Ancient Governmental Standards Essay Research Paper Governmental

Ancient Governmental Standards Essay, Research Paper

Governmental Techniques in the Ancient World

Throughout history, many techniques have been used for forming society. Experiment with different manners chiefly took topographic point in the ancient Mediterranean universe. Athenian democracy, Hebrew temple province, Hellenic city states, Hellenistic lands, the Roman Republic, and the Christian Roman Empire were all major signifiers of administration, each with their ain strengths and failings. To find which of these signifiers was successful, it is impotent to look at each signifier? s chronological development.

Hebrew State Origin

The Hebrew State began as a loose alliance of 12 folks. A folk? s seniors ruled it, and while there was exogamy between folks, there was no existent political connexion. They shared common faith, linguistic communication and civilization, nevertheless they did non owe commitment to one swayer.

The roots of the Hebrew folks lay in myth. Jacob, a patriarch of Judaism, is said to hold had twelve boies, each of whom begot a folk of people. Taking into history the legendary features of each boy, each folk had specific traits. For illustration, the folk of Levy were the priests of the Jews. They owned no land, and survived on the tithes of the people. The folk of Dan were a oceangoing people ; their hereditary land ballad on the seashore of the Mediterranean Sea. These 12 groups of people were by no agencies one state, they raided each other on occasion, and there were frequently disputes as to boundaries and land rights.

In the 11th century B.C.E. , an outside menace, high invasion by the Philistines, drove the Hebrews to formalise their tribal ties under one leader, Saul. With the licking of the Philistines, Saul managed to maintain control over the folks, uniting them for his replacement, the warrior-poet David. Saul and David had forged the beginnings of a land that would see its true glorification in the 10th century B.C.E. , under David? s boy Solomon.

Under Solomon, the Temple State genuinely emerged. Until now, there were two chief grounds the Hebrews had stayed together: outside menaces, and monotheistic belief in Yahweh.

Monotheism as a State

Solomon, the most powerful male monarch of the Hebrews shared their belief in monotheism or belief in one God above all others. The Hebrews were the first people known to believe in the being of a individual, almighty God. Their faith was dominant in their lives, as they had regulations and ordinances for every imaginable state of affairs. The Torah, their sanctum plants, was really specific in the mode in which their lives were conducted.

With the rigidness of their faith, it was comparatively easy for Solomon to procure his power base in Israel. He built a munificent cardinal temple in his capital, Jerusalem, and secured control over the dominant category, the Levies, or priests. With the new? City of God, ? Solomon ushered in a period of peace and prosperity for the land of Israel.

The Fall of the Hebrew State

As is frequently the instance when a province is control by a strong personality, the Hebrew State? s glorification was short lived. With Solomon? s decease, sequence jobs and favouritism tore the realm apart. Ten of the original 12 folks organized their ain province, called Israel. Israel fell to Assyrian encroachers 200 old ages subsequently. The scattering of the folks to assorted parts of the Assyrian Empire led to their assimilation. They were later labeled? The Lost Tribes. ?

The staying two folks, Judah, Solomon? s folk, and Levy, the priests, formed the significantly smaller province of Judah. In 586 B.C.E. , 386 old ages after the decease of Solomon, Judah fell to the Chaldeans. The Chaldeans deported the Jews to Babylon, and therefore the Jews lost their statehood.

Strengths and Failings

Israel? s primary strength ballad in her people? s faith. The monotheistic Jews were a people apart from the universe. Nowhere else, at the clip, did people idolize a individual God. They were distinct from the universe, and that difference unified them. Unfortunately for the Jews, their monotheism besides affected their position of authorities. They looked to Solomon about as a representative of their God, with his decease ; they were without their existent leader. While he lived the Jews were strong and comfortable ; without him they were divided by junior-grade jobs.

The Hellenic City State

Greece was a part that shared similarities with the Hebrews. While the Greeks shared a faith and a linguistic communication, their folks, called city states were even more distinguishable than the Hebrews. Each city state developed its ain signifier of authorities that was specialized to its part and people.


The city state of Athens was characterized by a dependance on the sea. Athens was a merchandiser province, and therefore its social construction was really volatile for the epoch. Theoretically, anyone who could have belongings could be the richest individual, at virtually anytime. As such belongings proprietors, or citizens ( all Athenian grownup males ) were basically all equal in the eyes of the authorities, there were no existent familial swayers.

Athinais had two major governing organic structures: the Assembly, unfastened to all grownup male citizens, and the Council of Five Hundred, chosen indiscriminately from the organic structure of citizens. Daily administration was in the custodies of the magistrates, another groups of grownup male citizens, chosen indiscriminately. The Assembly handled all major Acts of the Apostless of province including war, pacts and dispersion of public financess. The Council dealt with ports, military installings and other province owned belongingss ; the Council besides set the docket for the Assembly.


Strengths and Failings of Athinais

The societal freedom allowed by the democratic procedure in Athens paved the manner for many great cultural progresss and made Athens a really affluent and powerful society. In theory, every citizen was equal, and had an equal say in how their authorities was run. In world, a few highly affluent citizens basically controlled the authorities. The lone existent consequence of this was that Athens was non capable to the periodic turns of rabble regulation that frequently characterizes democracy.

Other Hellenic States

The other city states on the Grecian peninsula are non as closely examined as Athens. Corinth, Thebes, Th

espia and many others are frequently overlooked, due to their dwindling effects on the ancient universe.

However, one city state other than Athens does merit some attending, Sparta.

If Athens was the major naval power of the ancient universe, Sparta was its landbound opposite number. Due to the proportionately big slave population, every Spartan male was a warrior. Their life was harshly disciplined, from the really minute of birth. Equally shortly as a Spartan was born, he was judged as to his physical flawlessness. If found wanting, the neonate was abandoned by his parents to decease of exposure.

Two male monarchs led Sparta. This irregular agreement was due to the world of combat. If one male monarch died while contending, there was still one male monarch left. The male monarchs? place was really similar to that of a general. The existent administration of the land was left to rolling magistrates, who acted as combination police officer and justice.

Hellenic Kingdoms

After the decease of Alexander the Great, his imperium was divided into three, and subsequently four, replacement dynasties. The most powerful of these was the Ptolemaic monarchy, based in Egypt. Ptolemaic Egypt was a merchandiser power, but due to internal rebellions and manque Seleucid vanquishers, the Ptolemaic dynasty lost power by the 2nd century B.C.E.

The Seleucid dynasty, based in Persia, emerged as the most powerful land following the conquest of Phoenicia and Palestine. The Antigonid monarchy, from Macedon, took advantage of the Ptolemaic failing to prehend cardinal Ptolemaic belongingss.

Strengths of the Hellenistic Kingdoms

None of the Hellenistic Kingdoms stood out as a typical political force. They served more as a span between the Greek dominated Mediterranean and the Roman dominated universe. While they enjoyed important cultural cosmopolitanism, the existent political construction of the provinces was uninspired and finally weak.

Roman Republic

Rome? s roots lay in revolution. At the stopping point of the 6th century B.C.E. , affluent Romans, or patriarchs, expelled the Etruscan controlled male monarch. At first, these patricians controlled Roman authorities under the pretense of an Assembly, a Senate, and two consuls. ? The Centuriate Assembly was a popular assembly but, because of vote processs, was controlled by the nobility. ? ( Perry, 119 ) The Assembly enacted all Roman Torahs. The Senate, a familial organic structure, advised the Assembly, every bit good as allocating public financess and ordering foreign policy.

By the stopping point of the 3rd century B.C.E. the common mans, or plebians, had won some step of governmental control form the patricians. Theoretically, the plebians could look into the patrician regulation through at that place ain Tribunal Assembly. Plebians could win any governmental office, intermarry with patricians, and were no longer sold into bondage to pay off debt. In aculeate, Rome was still an oligarchy, ruled by a choice few of the patrician category.

Rome, led by the oligarchy, embarked on a series of conquerings that led to the complete Roman domination of Italy. With a much larger land and population base, Rome became a major universe power. After a series of reactive wars with the North African city-state Carthage, the Roman Republic was the greatest power in the western Mediterranean. For defensive grounds, Rome seized the Antigonid land of Macedon and Greece. Finally, Rome conquered all of the Hellenistic lands in the involvement of province security.

This meteorologic enlargement, completed around 146 B.C.E. , was the ultimate ruin of the Roman Republic. Several leaders attempted to queer the senatorial procedure and addition personal power for themselves, for a broad assortment of grounds. Finally in 49 B.C.E. , Julius Caesar was appointed dictator, or absolute swayer. Caesar began to consolidate his regulation, doing authorities less dependent on provincial governors, set uping a public works plan, and helping the hapless and landless.

Strengths of the Roman Republic

The Roman Republic? s primary strength ballad in its citizens. Its ground forcess were comprised of Roman work forces, contending to protect their place. Its authorities was Roman work forces who felt that they had a direct consequence on mundane life. Despite the control of the oligarchy, and finally the dictator Caesar, Romans felt responsible for themselves and their province. The lone existent failing of the Roman Republic was its inability to regulate without the immediate menace of invasion. Without that menace, category divisions were felt most harshly. Equally long as they had a common end, patrician and plebian could work together.

The Christian Roman Empire

The Roman Empire replaced the Roman Republic with the blackwash of Julius Caesar. Caesar? s adopted nephew, Octavian became the first Roman Emperor. Octavian farther solidified the centrality of Roman regulation, doing the emperor the focal point of the authorities. With farther enlargement, nevertheless, the Empire grew much less governable. One adult male in Rome could non successfully orchestrate the day-to-day undertakings of such a immense province. Provincial governors regained some component of regulation, weakening the Roman province.

Christian religion did non hold a profound impact on the Roman regulation. If anything Roman regulation had a profound impact on Christianity. Christianity expanded along Roman lines of power from an nouveau-riche Judaic religious order, to a universe power all its ain. The Empire died, but Christianity still flourishes today.

Strengths of the Roman Empire

The Roman Empire was able to govern more expeditiously than the Roman democracy, with merely one existent swayer, his word was jurisprudence. The Senate remained, but strictly as a figurehead place. Even as the Empire brought about stableness it contributed to the dry decomposition from within. The corruptness that spread throughout the bureaucratism, the increasing dependance on materialistic soldiers and the rampaging hosts of barbaric folks proved to be excessively much for the Empire to defy.

Features of Success

For a system of authorities to labeled a success, it must run into two major demands: it must administer its district efficaciously until the recognized terminal of its dynasty, and it must be able to defy more than one coevals of citizens. Of the civilisations reviewed, merely Athens, Sparta and Rome fit the features of a successful authorities.


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