During all men without equal. The king akin

During each time period, there is always a leader whochanges a basic component of society: a king or ruler.

We find characteristicsof leaders as well as what changes they made in the ancient and medievalperiod. It is important to study ancient history because we can learn themistakes and impacts of the decisions they made. During the time periods, organizationdepended upon the leader that brought change to the state. The organization ofgovernment relied upon the role of certain individuals or groups.Amid the ancient and medieval age, we see that aleader or a group played the important role as the leader of a chain.

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Whencomparing and contrasting the way a king’s or group’s role is played in theancient age and medieval age, we find differences, particularly when it comesto how they rule the kingdom. But we also find similarities in the way theytreated their community and the power they hold. Thus, the king or group wasconsidered the most important voice that brought about change in laws, socialorder, and government. During ancient Egypt, civilization was brought about becausethe people picked a ruler, or king. “Two of the most important sources of lifefor the ancient Egyptians were the Nile River and the Pharaoh” (William). Atthe time, society was very hierarchical; the society was divided into twogroups: the privileged people and the majority. The king kept control andmanaged everything ranging from politics to religion.

Although Egyptians were polytheistic, they worshipedthe sun god, Atum or Re, as he was the source of life. This is importantbecause the Egyptian king took the title of “Son of Re”. The king, hence thedescendant of the god, was the mother and father of all men without equal. Theking akin to the living god, and his rule was law. Despite there being no laws,the words out of the king’s mouth were the law. As a king, he is responsiblefor the army to protect his possessions and people. His civil servants managed the King’s possessions.Society was very hierarchical with the king at the top of the chain.

The Kingoversaw trade because, at the time, there was no currency. River civilizationsutilized the barter system where they traded items for other items and wasdeemed necessary because not all necessities could be obtained throughthemselves.Consequently, we see that the king was the importantfigure that brought about change in ancient Egypt. The king was the law and hadcontrol over everything.  If the kingdoes or says something, then everyone is affected because they are under hisrule and control. Civilization, as we know, is depicted by a ruler at the topof the chain and the subjects under his rule. In any civilization, there is aneed for one to be in utmost power.

Similarly to Egyptians was ancient Mesopotamia. Ascities expanded, they exercised political and economic control over thecountryside forming city-states. Sumerians viewed kingship as divine in origin.A person once stated his petition to the king: “You in your judgment, you arethe son of Anu; Your commands, like the work of a god, cannot be reversed.

Yourwords, like rain pouring down from heaven, are without number” (William). Herewe also see another king who is akin to a god. Although there were earlier Mesopotamian law codes,Hammurabi’s is the most complete set of laws called Hammurabi’s Code that”affected all member of society” (Horne). The law code emphasized theprinciples of retribution and punishment that varied according to the person’ssocial status.

These collections of laws provide insight into day to day lifein Mesopotamia and give us a clue of the values of Mesopotamian early society.Hammurabi who a man of peace and war who took interest in state affairs:building temples, defensive walls, and water systems; supported trade; andbrought about a momentary restoration. Thus, we see another king who was the importantfigure that brought about change to civilization. The king had dominance overeverything and was seen as divine in origin. Under his rule, civilizationprospered and expanded. Hammurabi once stated, “I am indeed the shepherd whobrings peace, whose scepter is just… I held the people of the lands of Sumerand Akkad safely on my lap” (William). We see that a king must not only be inpower, but must also love, just, and caretaker of his subjects if he wants tocreate change.

Another civilization that had political, social, andcultural achievements were the Aryans. The Aryan’s civilization closelyresembled that of the previous ancient civilizations. Since they are similar,we can infer that there is centralized monopoly based on a ruling structurewith a ruling class, a freeman group, and commoners or slaves. In early Aryan history, there is an account of a godwho transformed Manu into a king because of his ability to protect the people.Later rajas, Indian king or sovereign, would claim their relationship to Manuassert their lineage of one of protection and worthy to rule over the people.Although men who claimed their lineage were not divine rulers, theydemonstrated that they were representatives of the gods by protecting theirpeople. Thus, kings at the time needed to provide protectionand material welfare to his subjects or suffer the consequences of unhappycitizens. A king must dependably put his subjects first before himself.

Theking of Ancient India did not possess authoritative power but instead had tofollow dharma. Sita explained in Ramayana, “…dharma is, most of all, peace byfollowing the path of righteousness” (Menon 163-164). It is the eternal lawand right way of living.Theking needed to be honest, religious, intelligent, and willing to listen to hissubjects. Since the ruler was a man, he also had to obey the law, unlike theEgyptian king where his word is law. Another system where the king ruled is feudalismduring the Medieval Age.

At the time of feudalism, governments ceased to beable to defend their subjects and it became important to find a powerful lordwho could offer protection in return for service. The king leased land towardsthe people he trusted who then leased it to people who served under them. Heallowed tenants he could trust to least land if they swore an oath of fealty tothe king at all times.

Under this framework, everybody but the king had aruling lord over them. Feudalism was a system that maintained power to rule butwas also a means to serve justice to local people under him. We see thehierarchy from the previous civilizations as well as the need to maintain arelationship with those under him. Duringthe seventh and eighth centuries, Pepin assumed the kingship of the Frankishstate for himself and his family. Upon his death in 768, his son, Charles theGreat, came to the throne of the Frankish kingdom. During his rule, heincreased the Frank kingdom and gained the goodwill of the surrounding kingsand nations.

There is a Greek proverb that stated, ‘Have the Frank for yourfriend, but not for your neighbor’ (William). Here we see another king that ruled over a nation.While other civilizations emphasized money on the rich, Charlemagne ruleappeased the lower class. He was the first leader to restore some semblance ofpolitical unity to Europe.

Charlemagne that he was remembered for centuries inEurope as being the ideal king, generating legends and songs that bards wouldsing for years to come.As we see in each civilization, there is a voice thatplayed a major role in the civilization. From the ancient to medieval age, we seea leader that played a specific rule as a leader. Although the kings are notentirely under a god, they are representatives of one because they are therulers of their nations who is the caregiver.

Although kings rule differently,we see that they treat their community with love and justice. Thus, the king orgroup was considered the important factor that brought about change in laws,social order, and society. Niccolo Machiavelli was an influential writer forkings who wanted to rule. He wrote, “For a change always leaves a dovetail intowhich another will fit” (Machiavelli). From this metaphor, we see the state is a work of art to which a rulerdesires to shape.

The king is not only the caregiver for its people but alsothe one who instigated change in a civilization. We see that after the Kingdied in each civilization, the civilization did not last long. A civilization,in the end, is only as good as its leader or king. 


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