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Early Antiquity

Antiquity

Early Antiquity
Antiquity
Early
I. M.
M. Diakonoff
DiakonofF
Volume
Volume Editor
Editor

Philip L.
L. Kohl
Philip
Kohl
Project Editor

Project Editor

Translated by Alexander Kirjanov

Translated by Alexander Kirjanov

The
The University
University of
of Chicago
Chicago Press
Press
Chicago and
and London
London
Chicago

I. M.
M. DIAKONOFF
DIAKONOFF is
is aa senior
senior research
research scholar
scholar of
of ancient
ancient history
history at
at the
the
I.
Institute of
of Oriental
Oriental Studies,
Studies, Leningrad
Leningrad Academy
Academy of
of Sciences.
Sciences.
Institute
PHILIP
PHILIP L.
L. KOHL
KOHL is
is professor
professor of
of anthropology
anthropology at
at Wellesley
Wellesley College.
College.
The
University of
The University
of Chicago
Chicago Press,
Press, Chicago
Chicago 60637
60637
The
University of
The University
of Chicago
Chicago Press,
Press, Ltd.,
Ltd., London
London

1991
1991 by
by The
The University
University of
of Chicago
Chicago
All rights
rights reserved.
reserved. Published
Published 1991
1991
All
Printed
Printed in
in the
the United
United States
States of
of America
America

91
00
00 99
99 98
98 97
97 96
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94 93
93 92
92 91

55 44 33 22 11

Originally published
published as
as Istoriya
IstoriyaDrevnego
Drevnego
Mira,
Mira,
volume
volume
1: 1:
Originally
Rannyaya Drevnost',
revised
edition.

1982,
1989
Chief
Rannyaya
Drevnost',
revised
edition.
1982,
1989
Chief
Division
Nauka Press.
Press.
Division of
of Eastern
Eastern Literature,
Literature, Nauka
Library of
of Congress
Congress Cataloging
Cataloging in
in Publication
Publication Data
Data
Library
Istoriia drevnego
drevnego mira.
1, Rannlala
Ranniaia drevnost'.
drevnost'. English
English
lstor'ITa
mira. 1,
Diakonoff, volume
Philip L.
Early antiquity
/ 1 . M.
M. Diakonoff,
volume editor;
editor ; Philip
L. Kohl,
Kohl,
Early
antiquity II.
project editor.
editor,
project
p.
cm.
p.
cm.
Translation
Translation of:
of: Istorila
Istoriia drevnego
drevnego mira.
mira. 1.
1. Rannlala
Ranniaia drevnost'.
drevnost'.
Includes
Includes index.
index.
ISBN 0-226-14465-8
0-226-14465-8
ISBN
1.
1. History,
History, Ancient.
Ancient. I.
I. D'lakonov,
D'Skonov, Igor'
Igor' Mikhailovich.
Mikhailovich.
II.
II. Title.
Title.
D57.I88 1991
1991
D57.188
930dc20
90-24148
90-24148
930-dc20
CIP
CIP
The
The paper
paper used
used in
in this
this publication
publication meets
meets
@)

the minimum
minimum requirements
requirements of
of the
the American
American National
National
the
of
Standard for
for Information
Information Sciences-Permanence
SciencesPermanence of
Standard
Paper for
for Printed
Printed Library
Library Materials,
Materials, ANSI
ANSI Z39.48-1984.
Z39.48-1984.
Paper

Contents
Contents

Foreword by
byPhilip
PhilipL.L.Kohl
Kohl
Foreword
Introduction
Board
Introduction by
by the
theEditorial
Editorial
Board

vii
Vll

11

General Outline
Outline of
of the
the First
First Period
Period of
of the
the History
History of
of the
the
1 General

2
3
4
5
6

8
9

Ancient
Ancient World
World and
and the
the Problem
Problem of
of the
the Ways
Ways of
of
Development
Development
I. M.
I.
M. DIAKONOFF

27
27

The
The City-States
City-States of
of Sumer
Sumer
I. M.
I.
M. DIAKONOFF

67
67

Early
Early Despotisms
Despotisms in
in Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia
I. M.
M. DIAKONOFF

84
84

The Old
Old Babylonian
Babylonian Period
Period of
of Mesopotamian
Mesopotamian History
History
The
N.
N. V. KOZYREVA

98
98

Sumerian
Sumerian Culture
Culture
V. K.
K. AFANASIEVA

124
124

The
The Predynastic
Predynastic Period
Period and
and the
the Early
Early and
and the
the Old
Old
Kingdoms in
in Egypt
Kingdoms
Egypt
I. V. VINOGRADOV

137
137

The
The Middle
Middle Kingdom
Kingdom of
of Egypt
Egypt and
and the
the Hyksos
Hyksos Invasion
Invasion
I. V. VINOGRADOV

158
158

The
The New
New Kingdom
Kingdom of
of Egypt
Egypt
I. V. VINOGRADOV
I.

172
172

The
The Culture
Culture of
of Ancient
Ancient Egypt
Egypt
I. A.
I.
A. LAPIS

193
193

10
India and
the Pre-Urban
10 The
The First
First States
States in
in India
and the
Pre-Urban Cultures
Cultures
of
of Central
Central Asia
Asia and
and Iran
Iran
G.
G. F. IL'YIN and
and I. M.
M. DIAKONOFF

214
214

11
11 Asshur,
Asshur, Mitanni,
Mitanni, and
and Arrapkhe
Arrapkhe
N. B. JANKOWSKA
N.

228
228

12 Mesopotamia
to Eleventh
B.C.
Mesopotamia in
in the
the Sixteenth
Sixteenth to
Eleventh Centuries
Centuries B.C.
V. A.
A. JAKOBSON
jAKOBsON

261
261

13 The
The Hittite
Hittite Kingdom
Kingdom
G.
G. G.
G. GIORGADZE

266
266

vi
vi

Contents
Contents

Third and
14 Syria, Phoenicia, and Palestine in the Third

Second Millennia B.C.


B.C.
I.
I. M.
M. DIAKONOFF

286
286

15 The
T h e World of
of Crete and Mycenae
Yu. V.
V. ANDREYEV
Yu.

309
309

16 Greece of
of the Eleventh to Ninth Centuries B.C.
B.C. in the
Homeric Epics

Yu.
Yu. V.
V. ANDREYEV

328
328

Phoenician and Greek Colonization


Colonization
17 Phoenician
Yu. B.
Yu.
B. TSIRKIN

347
347

Half of
of the
18 India, Central Asia, and Iran in the First Half

First Millennium B.C.


B.C.
G.
G. F. IL'YIN AND I.
I. M.
M. DIAKONOFF

366
366

19 The
T h e First States in China
T. V.
T.
V. STEPUGINA

387
387

Half of
of the First Millennium B.C.
B.C.
20 China in the First Half

T.
V. STEPUGINA
T. V. STEPUGINA

420
420

Maps
Maps
Index
Index

433
433
441
441

Foreword
Foreword
PHILIP L. KOHL
KOHL
PHILIP

On
On the
the English
English translation
translation

The organization
organization and
and nature
nature of
this book,
book, Early
Antiquity,and
anditsitsconconThe
of this
Early Antiquity,
ceptual
ceptual relation
relation to
to the
the two
two remaining
volumes in
in the
the three-volume
three-volume
remaining volumes
Soviet study
study on
on The
The History
Historyofofthe
theAncient
Ancient
World
discussed
in the
World
areare
discussed
in the
In-InSoviet
troduction.
troduction. This
This Foreword
Foreword explains
explains some
some difficulties
difficulties associated
with
associated with
this work
and tries
tries to
to familiarize
familiarize its
its EnglishEnglishthe English
translation of
of this
the
English translation
work and
reading audience
audience with
with certain
certain characteristics
characteristics of
of Soviet
Soviet Marxist
Marxist hisreading
historiography on
on antiquity.
antiquity. First,
First, aa brief
brief description
description of
of the
the history
history of
of the
the
toriography
translation is
is required.
required.
translation
first learned
learned of
of the
the three-volume
three-volume study
study The
The History
Historyofofthe
theAncient
Ancient
II first
World
whilevisiting
visitingLeningrad
Leningrad ininfall
fall 1983
1983asasaamember
memberof
ofan
anAmeriAmeriWorldwhile
can delegation
delegation of
of archaeologists
archaeologists to
to the
Soviet Union.
Union. Dr.
Dr. l.
I. M.
M. Dithe Soviet
Dican
akonoff
the Leningrad
akonoff of
of the
Leningrad Branch
Branch of
of the
the Oriental
Oriental Institute
Institute of
of the
the
USSR, Accademy
Accademy of
of Sciences,
Sciences, provided
provided the
delegation with
single
the delegation
with aa single
USSR,
copy of
of the
the first
edition of
of the
the work
work and
and suggested
suggested that
that it
would be
be
first edition
it would
copy
worthwhile to
to translate
translate this
this recent
recent synthesis
synthesis of
of his
his and,
and, primarily,
primarily, felfelworthwhile
low Leningrad
Leningrad colleagues'
colleagues' historical
studies of
of the
ancient world.
world. This
This
historical studies
the ancient
low
single copy
copy of
the limited
limited first
ended up
in my
single
of the
first edition
edition ended
up gathering
gathering dust
dust in
my
library in
in Wellesley,
Wellesley, dutifully
having been
been set
set aside
in my
"To Do"
file
dutifully having
aside in
my "To
Do" file
library
on
research with
with Soviet
Soviet scholars.
scholars. It
might have
have remained
remained
on collaborative
collaborative research
It might
there had
not had
had the
the opportunity
opportunity the
the following
following year
year to
to travel
travel to
to
there
had II not
Leningrad
to participate
in the
the Rencontre
Internationale,
Leningrad to
participate in
Rencontre Assyriologique
Assyriologique Internationale,
where II again
again met
met with
with Dr.
Diakonoff and
and discussed
discussed with
with him
him at
at
where
Dr, Diakonoff
length his
his desire
desire to
to have
have aa major
major work
work of
of his
translated into
into English.
English.
length
his translated
Several possibilities
possibilities presented
presented themselves,
themselves, including
including the
the recently
recently pubpubSeveral
lished
work
primarily
written
by
him:
Istoriya
drevnego
Vostoka:
lished work primarily written by him: Istoriya drevnego Vostoka:
Zarozhdenie drevneishikh
drevneishikh klassovykh
klassovykh obshchestv
obshchestv ii pervye
ochagi rabovlaZarozhdenie
pervye ochagi
rabovladeVcheskoi
tsivilizatsii
[The
history
of
the
ancient
East:
The
birth
of the
birth
of the
del'cheskoi tsivilizatsii [The history of the ancient East: The
most
ancient
class
societies
and
the
first
centers
of
slave-owning
civilimost ancient class societies and the first centers of slave-owning civilization] (Moscow,
(Moscow, 1983),
1983), but
but he
he reaffirmed
reaffirmed his
his desire
desire to
to have
have the
the multimultization]
of the
the Ancient
World translated,
translated,
authored three-volume
three-volume The
The History
authored
History of
Ancient World
since it
it was
was in
in his
opinion more
more up-to-date,
up-to-date, better
better represented
represented his
his curcursince
his opinion
rent understanding
understanding of
of developments
developments in
in ancient
ancient Mesopotamia,
Mesopotamia, and
and
rent
offered the
the inestimable
inestimable advantage
advantage of
of providing
providing aa synthetic
synthetic overview
overview
offered
to
antiquity as
as aa whole.
whole. Its
introductory chapters
chapters (see
(see the
Introduction
Its introductory
the Introduction
to antiquity
and Lecture
1, this
this volume)
volume) attempt
attempt to
to structure
structure and
and interpret
interpret the
the disand
Lecture 1,
discussed historical
historical materials
materials according
according to
to an
an explicit,
explicit, consistent,
consistent, and
and exexcussed
panded historical
historical framework
framework as
as evolved
evolved by
by Soviet
Soviet scholars
scholars in
in the
the
panded

viii

Foreword

general
general Marxist
Marxist tradition,
tradition, which,
which, Dr.
Dr. Diakonoff
Diakonoff believed,
believed, would
would be
be of
of
considerable interest
interest to
to Western
Western readers.
readers.
considerable
In fall
fall 1984
1984 the
the University
of Chicago
Chicago Press
Press contacted
contacted me
me about
about the
the
In
University of
possibility
work, which
which had
by then
then appeared
possibility of
of translating
translating this
this work,
had by
appeared in
in its
its
second
revised edition
the Soviet
Union, and
second revised
edition in
in the
Soviet Union,
and details,
details, as
as acknowlacknowledged
below, concerning
edged below,
concerning the
the translation
translation and
and editing
editing of
of the
the final
final text
text
eventually were
were hammered
hammered out
out among
among the
the interested
interested parties
in Chiparties in
Chieventually
cago,
cago, Leningrad,
Leningrad, and
and Wellesley.
Wellesley. Some
Some of
of these
these details,
details, as
as well
well as
as spespecific problems
of aa general
general popular
work of
of
popular work
cific
problems related
related to
to the
the translation
translation of
this kind,
kind, should
should be
be explicated
explicated further.
further. All
All of
of volume
1, Early
Early AntiqAntiqthis
volume 1,
uity, initially
initially was
was translated
translated by
Mr. Alexander
Alexander Kirjanov
and then
then enenuity,
by Mr.
Kirjanov and
tered by
Ms. Daria
Daria Kirjanov,
Kirjanov, his
his daughter,
daughter, into
into my
my file
on the
the
tered
by Ms.
file on
Wellesley College
College mainframe
mainframe computer.
computer. These
These rough
rough translations
translations
Wellesley
were then
then sent
sent lecture
lecture by
by lecture
lecture to
Dr. Diakonoff
Diakonoff in
in Leningrad
Leningrad for
for
to Dr.
were
corrections and
and revisions,
revisions, aa process
complicated not
not only
only by
longcorrections
process complicated
by longdistance mail
mail service
service but
also by
by the
the fact
fact that
that aa substantially
substantially revised
revised
distance
but also
third edition,
edition, upon
upon which
which this
this English
English translation
translation is
is ultimately
ultimately based,
based,
third
appeared in
in the
the Soviet
Soviet Union
Union during
during the
the course
course of
of this
this editing.
editing. II then
then
appeared
incorporated the
revised and
and edited
edited text
on my
word processor
processor and
and
incorporated
the revised
text on
my word
mailed the
the corrected
corrected copy
copy once
once more
more to
to Dr.
Dr. Diakonoff
Diakonoff for
for his
his final
mailed
final
approval.
approval.
Though
Though necessary,
necessary, such
such aa laborious
laborious procedure
procedure is,
is, to
to say
say the
the least,
least,
time-consuming and
and helps
helps explain
explain why
why so
so few
few outstanding
outstanding works
works of
of
time-consuming
Soviet historical
scholarship are
are translated.
Some particular
particular diffidiffiSoviet
historical scholarship
translated. Some
The History
Historyofofthe
theAncient
Ancient
World
culties beset
the translation
of the
the The
translation of
World
be-beculties
beset the
cause it
it is
is intended
intended for
for aa general
general educated
educated lay
lay audience.
audience. First
First and
and
cause
fundamentally, the
the reading
reading publics
of different
different countries
countries differ,
differ, and
and
fundamentally,
publics of
this fact
fact is
is particularly
striking when
when contrasting
contrasting the
the potential
"marthis
particularly striking
potential "market,"
if you
you will,
for this
this book
in the
the Soviet
Soviet Union
in the
the United
United
ket," if
will, for
book in
Union to
to that
that in
States. A
A cursory
cursory comparison
comparison of
of the
the reading
available for
for
reading materials
materials available
States.
purchase
in aa subway
subway stall
stall or
or street
street corner
corner kiosk
kiosk in
in any
any major
major Soviet
Soviet
purchase in
city with
with those
those on
on sale
sale at
at equivalent
equivalent locations
locations in
in American
American cities
cities would
would
city
quickly
convince
anyone
of
this
difference.
The
interested
Soviet
quickly convince anyone of this difference. The interested Soviet
reader
does
not
expect
a
novel
approach
to
the
data
or
the
advancereader does not expect a novel approach to the data or the advancement of
new all-encompassing theory
theory to
to provide
provide the
the latest
perspecment
of aa newall-encompassing
latest perspective
on
ancient
history;
a
product
is
not
expected
to
be
sold,
but
tive on ancient history; a product is not expected to be sold, but
current
knowledge
is
to
be
presented
in
a
straightforward,
accessible
current knowledge is to be presented in a straightforward, accessible
form within
an understood
understood and
and generally
generally unquestioned
unquestioned theoretical
theoretical
form
within an
History
of
theAncient
Ancient
framework.
It
is
for
such
an
audience
that
The
framework. It is for such an audience that The History of the
World
was
originally
written.
The
English-reading
audience
is
likely
to
World was originally written. The English-reading audience is likely to
be
considerably diverse,
diverse, consisting
consisting of
of specialists
specialists from
of discibe considerably
from aa range
range of
disciplinesanthropology,
history, Assyriology,
Assyriology, classical
classical studies,
studies, etc.,
etc., ininplines-anthropology, history,
terested in
in aa theoretically
distinctive materialist
interpretation of
of the
the
terested
theoretically distinctive
materialist interpretation

Foreword
Foreword

IX
ix

pastas
interested in a general overview to
past-as well as university students interested
antiquity.
antiquity.
The
T h e expectations of
of such potential readers necessarily will differ.
differ.
explained in the Introduction, this book was not primarily
primarily written
As explained
for specialists; it is not annotated
annotated or extensively footnoted
footnoted and, not
infrequently,
infrequently, controversial
controversial theories and interpretations
interpretations are presented
presented
just mention
mention two examples in
as unproblematic, as givens. Let me just
of American
fashwhich theories of
American scholars are cited favorably in this fashion; D. Schmandt-Besserat's
Schmandt-Besserat's theory (itself
(itself originally based on an idea
significance of
of "tokens" for understanding
understanding
of P. Amiet) on the use and significance
of
the beginnings of
of writing (see Lecture 2); and D. McAlpin's thesis that
ancient Elamite and the Dravidian language family are cognate (Lecancient
ture 10).
10). Scholars
Scholars familiar
familiar with
the literature
literature will
immediately realize
realize
ture
with the
will immediately
interpretations are either
either sharply
sharply contested
contested or inconthat such interpretations
Such controversy
controversy also
also occasionally
occasionally concerns
concerns
clusively demonstrated.
clusively
demonstrated.11 Such
fundamental questions
questions of
of interpretation
interpretation and
and classification,
classification, such
such as
as the
the
fundamental
scale and
and nature
nature of
the private/communal
private/communal sector
sector in
in ancient
ancient MesoMesoscale
of the
potamia.
Debates on
on some
some of
of these
these issues
issues also
also rage
rage within
within the
the Soviet
Soviet
potamia. Debates
specialist literature
literature (see
(see below).
below).
specialist
A related difficulty
difficulty is due to the lack of
of access to or familiarity with
of Western research on particular
particular problems. Thus,
the latest results of
for example, H. Weiss's fundamental
fundamental work on the beginnings of
of urnorthern Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia and his writings on the productivbanism in northern
ity/unit area of
of the dominantly rainfall-based
rainfall-based agriculture in northern
northern
Mesopotamia
compared with the exclusively irrigation-based
irrigation-based agriculMesopotamia compared
presented here. 22 There
There is an inevitable lag
ture in the south are not presented
diffusion of
of knowledge across the still-significant
still-significant political
time in the diffusion
frontier that separates Soviet from
from Western scholarship, though
though fair
fair
frontier
recognition of
of this
recognition
this fact admits that this temporal gap works in the opignorant of
of
posite direction as well; indeed, we tend to be far more ignorant
recent Soviet
Soviet scholarship
scholarship on
on antiquity
antiquity than
they are
are of
of our
our work.
work. In
In
recent
than they
any event,
event, one
one of
of the
the primary
primary purposes
of this
this volume
volume is
is to
to facilitate
facilitate
any
purposes of
the
transmission
of
knowledge
across
this
unfortunate
boundary.
the transmission of knowledge across this unfortunate boundary.
The
T h e editor
editor of
of the English edition, thus, is presented
presented with a problem. Should one flag such debatable theories by reference
reference to the rele1. For
For serious
serious criticisms
the former
former theory,
theory, see
see M.J.
M. J. Shendge,
Shendge, "The
"The Use
Use of
of Seals
Seals
1.
criticisms of
of the
and the Invention
Invention of
of Writing," Journal
Journal of
of the Economic and Social History of
of the Orient 26,
part 22 (1983);
(1983); for
for reservations
reservations concerning
concerning McAlpin's
McAlpin's thesis,
thesis, see
see the
the thoughtful
thoughtful (and
(and
part
of McAlpin's Proto-Elamo-Dravidian: The Evidence and Its Imlargely sympathetic) review of
plications by the Dravidian
of the American Oriental
Dravidian scholar K. V. Zvelebil in the Journal
Journal of
Society 105, no. 2 (1985).
Society
2. See, e.g.,
e.g., The Origins of
of Cities
Cities in
in Dry-Farming
Dry-Farming Syria
Syria and
and Mesopotamia
Mesopotamiaininthe
theThird
ThirdMilMillennium
lenniumB.C.,
B.C.,ed.
ed. by
byH.
H. Weiss
Weiss(Guilford,
(Guilford, Conn.:
Conn.: Four
Four Quarters
Quarters Publishing
Publishing Co.,
Co., 1986).
1986).

Foreword
Foreword

vant
vant opposed
opposed literature?
literature? Should
Should one
one note
note recent
recent research
research that
that
supports or
or contradicts
contradicts an
an interpretation
interpretation made
made in
in one
one of
of the
supports
the "lec"lectures"? In
In my
my opinion,
opinion, two
two arguments
arguments militated
militated against
against such
such interintertures"?
ference. First,
First, given
given the
the considerable
considerable time
and geographic
geographic areas
areas
time and
ference.
covered in
in this
collectively written
study of
of antiquity-literally
antiquityliterally
this collectively
written study
covered
stretching in
in time
time from
from Neolithic
origins to
to the
the fall
fall of
of Rome
Rome and
and in
in
stretching
Neolithic origins
space from
from the
the western
western Mediterranean
Mediterranean to
to East
East Asia-no
Asiano single
single editor
editor
space
could possibly
note all
all controversial
controversial areas
areas of
of interpretation.
interpretation. Collective
Collective
could
possibly note
editorship was
not feasible.
feasible. Second
Second and
and more
more important,
important, the
the docudocueditorship
was not
mentation required
required to
to address
address this
this problem
would change
change the
the characcharacproblem would
mentation
ter
of the
the work.
work. The
The introductory
introductory chapters
chapters of
of each
each volume
and all
all
ter of
volume and
the lectures
lectures are
are clearly
clearly synthetic
synthetic interpretations
interpretations of
of aa vast
vast corpus
corpus of
of
the
data. Final
truths never
never should
should be
be expected
expected in
in history,
and intelligent
intelligent
data.
Final truths
history, and
readers will
will immediately
immediately recognize
recognize that
that their
their approximation
approximation will
will be
be
readers
rougher
and less
less precise
in aa generalizing
generalizing work
of this
this kind.
kind. In
In aa
rougher and
precise in
work of
very few
few cases
cases II took
took the
the liberty
liberty of
of noting
noting some
some relevant
relevant research.
research.
very
These always
always occur
occur in
in the
the footnotes
footnotes and
and are
are marked
marked "Editor's
"Editor's note
note
These
(PLK)"; the
other, more
more numerous
instances designated
designated "Editor's
"Editor's
(PLK)";
the other,
numerous instances
note (IMD)"
(IMD)" refer
refer to
to additions
additions made
made by
the principal
principal Soviet
Soviet editor,
editor,
note
by the
I.M.
Diakonoff.
I.
M. Diakonoff.
One must
must not
not exaggerate
exaggerate the
the problem;
problem; nearly
nearly all
all of
of what
what is
is prepreOne
sented is consensually
consensually accepted
accepted by
by all
all historians.
historians. For
For the
remainder, it
it
sentedis
the remainder,
should suffice
suffice simply
simply to
to let
let the
the reader
reader beware
of these
these difficulties
difficulties at
at
beware of
should
the
the outset
outset and
and seek
seek on
on his
his or
or her
her own
own alternative
alternative perspectives
perspectives on
on parparticular topics
of interest.
interest.
ticular
topics of
Early Antiquity, volume 1 of
of The History of
of the
the Ancient
Ancient World,
World,isisaawork
work
written by
by aa group
group of
of historians
historians and
and linguists
linguists largely
largely working
working at
at the
the
written
Oriental Institute
Institute in
in Leningrad.
Leningrad. Difficulties
Difficulties associated
associated with
with collective
collective
Oriental
authorship are
are discussed
discussed in
in the
the Introduction,
Introduction, but
it is
is important
important to
to
authorship
but it
emphasize here
here that
that substantial
substantial differences
differences of
of interpretation
interpretation exist
exist
emphasize
even within
within this
this closely
closely collaborating
collaborating circle
circle of
of scholars.
scholars. Some
Some lectures
lectures
even
devote more,
more, some
some less,
less, space
space to
to straightforward
straightforward political
political history
history or
or
devote
cultural description.
description. Others
Others focus
focus more
more intensely
intensely on
on socioeconomic
socioeconomic
cultural
reconstruction.
Such diversity
diversity in
in perspective
and presentation,
presentation, of
of
reconstruction. Such
perspective and
course, may
may constitute
constitute more
more aa strength
strength than
than aa liability,
liability, and
and the
the reader
reader
course,
should evaluate
evaluate each
each lecture
lecture on
on its
its own.
own.
should
The
The historical/linguistic
historical/linguistic perspectives
perspectives of
of the
the authors
authors also
also should
should be
be
noted;
provides the
noted; we
we are
are told
told that
that the
the study
study of
of languages
languages provides
the key
key for
for
penetrating
the mental
processes or
or spiritual
spiritual world
of antiquity,
antiquity,
penetrating the
mental processes
world of
whereas
archaeological data,
data, the
the material
material culture
culture record,
record, often
often are
are
whereas archaeological
implicitly or
or even
even explicitly
explicitly regarded
regarded as
as of
of relatively
relatively limited
limited value
value for
for
implicitly
reconstructing the
socioeconomic structure
structure of
of ancient
ancient societies.
societies. Such
Such
reconstructing
the socioeconomic
perspective, of
of course,
course, has
has merit
merit and
and may
may indeed
indeed be
be more
more right
right than
than
aa perspective,
wrong,
but
again
caveat
lector.
wrong, but again caveat lector.

Foreword
Foreword

Xl
xi

Finally, the overall organization


lecorganization of the work, the sequence of lectures, should
should be mentioned: materials are presented
presented roughly in
chronological order, though each individual lecture treats separately
separately
chronological
a specific area of early civilization. Thus, fourth through early second
second
millennia
B.C.
developments
in
Egypt
are
presented
after
a
compamillennia B.C. developments in Egypt are presented after a comparable review
review of
of the
the early
early history
history of
of Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia but
but before
before treattreatrable
ments of the beginnings of civilization in South Asia, Central Asia,
and, finally,
finally, East
East Asia.
Asia. Such
Such aa framework
framework is
is logical
logical and,
and, given
given the
the colcoland,
lective authorship, constitutes perhaps the only feasible structure.
However, by its very nature this structure tends to minimize historical
interconnections among
among separate
separate areas;
areas; it threatens to obscure the
the
interconnections
development in which all the sosingle "world historical" process of development
comprehensive history
cieties were involved. Thus, paradoxically, this comprehensive
of antiquity can be read from
from a perspective that stresses the internal
of
evolution of separate societies, each of which finally reaches the same
evolution
development (see below).
typological stage of development
fulfills
Despite this inherent, if not inevitable, limitation, the work fulfills
T h e format
format of the lectures, the
the periodization
periodization and
its main purpose. The
elucidated in the introductory
introductory lectures, and the guiding
guiding
typology elucidated
Diakonoff and the editorial board
board are all responsible for
hand
hand of Dr. Diakonoff
unified work; the fundamental
fundamental goal of presenting
presenting
the creation of a unified
the histories
histories of separate early civilizations as part of an integral or unithe
(vsemirnaya istoriya)
istoriya) is
is achieved, despite the
versal historical process (vsemirnaya
organizational
problems associated with collective authorship and organizational
framework. Certain questions, however, inevitably emerge and must
be addressed.
addressed. How
How are separate early states with their incipient
incipient class
be
anstructures temporally, typologically, and historically related to one ansatisfactory or complete is this canvas that purports to
to
other? How
How satisfactory
sketch in broad strokes the main features of the ancient world? What
study
is the vision of the past,
past, the view of history, that permeates this study
how does it conform
conform to or distinguish itself
itself from
from an orthodox
orthodox
and how
stage theory
theory of development? And,
finally, how
stage
And, finally,
how does this macrohistorical collective
collective Soviet
Soviet overview
overview compare
compare with
with the
the overviews
overviews of
of
historical
Western macrohistorians-be
macrohistoriansbe they
they explicitly
explicitly Marxist-inspired
Marxist-inspired or
or not?
not?
Western
Soviet Historiography on Antiquity: Common Problems,
Particular Solutions
An outside observer attempting to describe any complex "school" or
unified corpus of scholarship always confronts
confronts the doublerelatively unified
edged difficulty
difficulty of
of disentangling common features, more or less uniof the school, from those characteristics
versally shared by adherents of
difficulty is particuand concerns specific to individual scholars. This difficulty
larly pronounced when generalizations are made concerning Soviet

xii

Foreword
Foreword

scholarship, for
for the
the Western
Western observer
observer must
must be
be aware
aware of
of and
and somehow
somehow
scholarship,
consciously
prejudices that
consciously correct
correct for
for stereotypic
stereotypic prejudices
that permeate
permeate Western
Western
understanding of
of all
all things
things Soviet.
Soviet. One
One such
such grossly
grossly inaccurate,
inaccurate, albeit
albeit
understanding
all-pervasive,
all-pervasive, image
image is
is that
that of
of aa monolithic,
monolithic, dogmatic,
dogmatic, highly
highly enentrenched orthodoxy
orthodoxy to
which everyone
everyone submits
submits either
either through
through brainbraintrenched
to which
washing
washing or
or coercion.
coercion. Whether
Whether applied
applied to
to society
society at
at large
large or
or to
to aa
branch of
of scholarship,
scholarship, such
such as
as ancient
ancient history,
history, this
this image
image distorts
distorts realrealbranch
ity, actually
actually shedding
shedding more
more light
light on
on Western
prejudice than
than Soviet
Soviet
Western prejudice
ity,
practice.
is also
legitimate to
of rerealso legitimate
to describe
describe national
national traditions
traditions of
practice. Yet,
Yet, it
it is
search in
in the
the historical
historical sciences,
sciences, and
and Soviet
Soviet scholars
scholars themselves
themselves conconsearch
sciously refer
refer to
to "the
"the Soviet
Soviet school
school of
of economic
economic historians
historians of
of the
the
sciously
ancient Orient"3-a
Orient"3a phrase
phrase that
explicitly acknowledges
acknowledges the
the existence
existence
ancient
that explicitly
of such
such aa school
school and,
and, correspondingly,
correspondingly, some
some commonality
commonality of
of interest
interest
of
or approach
approach that
that defines
defines it.
it.
or
the features
Before
Before attempting
attempting to
to list
list some
some of
of the
features characteristic
characteristic of
of
Soviet
Soviet writings
writings on
on antiquity,
antiquity, one
one first
first must
must demolish
demolish the
the aboveabovementioned
mentioned caricature.
caricature. Soviet
Soviet historical
historical and
and social
social science
science writings
writings
abound
abound in
in polemic,
polemic, sharply
sharply contested
contested points
points of
of view,
view, the
the articulation
articulation
of
uninitiated Western
readers. As
of which
which often
often shocks
shocks uninitiated
Western readers.
As illustration
illustration of
of
this
penchant for
within Soviet
this penchant
for polemic
polemic within
Soviet historiography
historiography on
on antiquity,
antiquity,
one
were featured
major Soviet
one can
can cite
cite two
two recent
recent debates
debates that
that were
featured in
in major
Soviet
Vestnikdrevnei
drevneiistorii
istorii
[The
journal
of ancient
history]
devoted
journals.
[The
journal
of ancient
history]
devoted
journals. Vestnik
several issues
issues44 to
to the
the presentation
presentation and
and criticism
criticism of
of aa new,
new, detailed
detailed linlinseveral
guistic theory
theory purporting
purporting to
to reconstruct
reconstruct Proto-Indo-European
Proto-Indo-European lanlanguistic
guage and
and culture.
culture. Disagreements
Disagreements ran
ran deep
deep and
and were
baldly
guage
were baldly
NarodyAzii
Aziii iAfriki
Afriki[Peoples
[Peoples
expressed. Similarly,
Similarly, two
two recent
recent issues
issues of
of Narody
expressed.
of Asia
Asia and
and Africa]
Africa] (1984,
(1984, nos.
nos. 2-3)
2-3) presented
presented aa roundtable
roundtable discusdiscusof
sion (kruglyi
(kruglyistoll
stol)onon"the
"thestate
stateand
andlaw
lawininthe
theancient
ancientEast"
East"led
ledbybyV.V.A.A.
sion
5
5 Many
EarlyAntiquity.
Antiquity.
Manyfascinating
fascinating
Jakobson, one
one of
of the
the contributors
contributors to
to Early
Jakobson,
issues were
were raised
raised in
in this
this discussion,
discussion, some
some of
of which
which are
are also
also discussed
discussed
issues
in The
The History
Historyofofthe
theAncient
Ancient
World:
including
origins
of law;
World:
including
the the
origins
of law;
the the
re- rein
3.
Ancient
3. See
See I.
I. M.
M. Diakonoff's
Diakonoff's prefatory
prefatory remarks
remarks to
to his
his edited
edited volume
volume in
in English
English Ancient
(Moscow:Nauka,
Nauka,1969).
1969).
Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia (Moscow:
4.
1980,
no. no.
3; 1981,
no. no.
2; 1982,
nos.nos.
3-4;
andand
1984,
no. no.
2. 2.
4. Vestnik
Vestnikdrevnei
drevneiistorii,
istorii,
1980,
3; 1981,
2; 1982,
3-4;
1984,
pubFortunately,
Fortunately, these
these and
and related
related articles
articles have
have been
been translated
translated into
into English,
English, initially
initially published in Soviet Studies in History 22, nos. 1-2
1-2 (1983), and in Soviet Anthropology and
Archeology
22
(1984),
V.V.
GamArcheology23,23,no.
no.
(1984),and
andsubsequentiyreprinted
subsequently reprintedwith
withthe
theresponse
responseofT.
of T.
GamV. V.
V. Ivanov
Ivanov to
to I.I. M.
M. Diakonoff's
Diakonoff's criticisms
criticisms in
in Journal
Journal of
of Indo-European
Indo-European
krelidze and
and V.
krelidze
Studies13,
13,nos.
nos.1-2
1-2 (1985).
(1985).An
AnEnglish
Englishtranslation
translationof
ofthe
thedefinitive
definitivestatement
statementof
ofGamGamStudies
yazyk ii indoevropeitsi:
indoevropeitsi:Rekonstruktsiya
Rekonstruktsiyai iistorikoistorikothesis, Indoevropeiskii
Indoevropeiskii yazyk
krelidze and Ivanov's thesis,
typologicheskiianaliz
analizprayazyka
prayazykai protokul'tury
i protokuVtury[Indo-European
[Indo-Europeanand
andthe
theIndo-Europeans:
Indo-Europeans:AA
typologicheskii
reconstruction and
and aa historical-typological
historical-typological analysis
analysis of
of aa proto-language
proto-language and
and aa protoprotoreconstruction
culture] (2
(2 vols.,
vols., Tbilisi,
Tbilisi, 1984),
1984), is
is currently
currently being
being prepared.
prepared.
culture]
5. Fortunately,
Fortunately, this
this was
was also
also translated
translated and
and appeared
appeared in
in Soviet
SovietAnthropology
Anthropology
Arche5.
andand
Archeology24,
24,no.
no.44(1986);
(1986);and
and25,
25,no.
no.44(1987).
(1987).
ology

Foreword

Xlll
xiii

lationship or relative dependence/independence


dependence/independence between religion
and ethical and moral norms, on the one hand, and law or legal justice, on the other; culturally based differences
differences in the expression of
of
law, which is defined
defined in classic Marxist terms as written codes that express and sanction the interests of
of the ruling class. During this discusdifferent source materials, differed
differed sharply
sion, specialists, utilizing different
in their views on fundamental
fundamental questions of
of interpretation;
interpretation; similarly
structured presentations with rebuttals in Western jounals may wan in
structured
of this debate.
comparison to the tone and tenor of
One of
of the major points of contention in this roundtable discussion
on ancient law also forms the major theoretical question addressed in
Early Antiquity:
Antiquity:namely,
namely,the
thedistinctiveness
distinctivenessofofhishisthe Introduction to Early
torical development in the East relative to the West (i.e., for antiquityclassical Greece and Rome). There is no reason to recapitulate
uity-classical
of scholarly writings on this seemingly timeless, perenthe history of
nially recurring question; the summary in the Introduction sketches
its main contours quite adequately, though it also may partially misunfamiliar reader. The Introduction discusses the debate
lead the unfamiliar
over the distinctiveness of the East, the phenomenon of Oriental desof the Marxist concept of
of an Asiatic mode of
of propotism, the validity of
formulated and today still
duction, and so on, as a problem intially formulated
of Soviet
scholarship.6 In its review of
raging primarily within Western scholarship.6
writings on the subject, the Introduction is uncharacteristically mild,
intentionally conciliatory,
conciliatory, as
as it
it glosses
glosses over
over very
very real
real and
and profound
profound
intentionally
differences among Soviet scholars that appear regularly-indeed,
regularlyindeed,
differences
The History
ofthe
theAnAnwith increasing
increasing frequency-in
frequencyin their
their literature.
literature.77 The
with
History of
cient World
World aims
aims atat presenting
presenting developments
developments inin antiquity
antiquity asas part
part of
of
cient
single, unified
unified process-the
processthe universal
universal history
history of
of humanity;
humanity; its
its intent
intent
aa single,
is to
to emphasize
emphasize the
the common,
common, shared
shared features
features at
at the
the expense
expense of
of the
the
is
particular
and, in
in so
so doing,
doing, lump
lump together
together disparate
disparate civilizations
civilizations into
into
particular and,
similar typological
typological categories.
categories. From
From this
this perspective,
perspective, classical
classical Greece
Greece
similar
and Rome
Rome theoretically
theoretically must
must resemble
resemble ancient
ancient Near
Near Eastern
Eastern civiliand
civilizations.
zations.
The disagreements within Soviet historiography on such fundafunda6.
6. One
One might
might add
add that
that today
today this
this debate
debate in
in the
the West
West experiences
experiences perhaps
perhaps its
its clearest
clearest
manifestation in
battle raging
raging over
manifestation
in the
the battle
over the
the question
question of
of Western
Western scholarship
scholarship on
on the
the East,
East,
the phenomenon
phenomenon of
the
of Orientalism
Orientalism or
or disciplines
disciplines that
that took
took shape
shape under,
under, and
and presumably
presumably
by their
their association
association with,
with, Western
Western colonial
colonial rule,
rule, the
the resulresulwere permanently
permanently affected
affected by
were
tant image
image being
that of
tant
being that
of aa distinctive,
distinctive, unchanging,
unchanging, and
and monolithic
monolithic Orient.
Orient. See
See E.
E. W.
W.
Said,
Orientalism(New
(NewYork:
York:Random
RandomHouse,
House,1978).
1978).
Said, Orientalism
7.
7. For
For aa thorough
thorough review
review of
of the
the earlier
earlier Soviet
Soviet debate
debate on
on the
the Asiatic
Asiatic mode
mode ofproducof production
from its
its appearance
appearance in
in the
the thirties
thirties through
through the
the sixties
sixties and
and early
early seventies,
seventies, see
see S.
S. P.P.
tion from
Dunn,
The Fall
Falland
andRise
Riseofofthethe
Asiatic
Asiatic
Mode
Mode
of Production
of Production
(Boston:
(Boston:
Routledge
Routledge
and Kegan
and Kegan
Dunn, The
Paul,
1982).
Paul, 1982).

XIV
xiv

Foreword
Foreword

mental issues
of interpretation,
real; and
mental
issues of
interpretation, however,
however, are
are real;
and it
it is
is healthy
healthy
that they
they are
are debated
debated openly
openly in
in their
their literature.
literature. Those
Those who
who have
folthat
have followed
English translations
translations of
of several
several of
of Diakonoff's
Diakonoff's major
major theoretical
theoretical
lowed English
studies on
on the
the private/communal
private/communal sector
sector in
in ancient
ancient Mesopotamia,
Mesopotamia, the
the
studies
nature of
the dependent
phenomenon of
nature
of the
dependent labor
labor force,
force, and
and the
the phenomenon
of "helots"
"helots"
in early
early antiquity,
that his
interpretations
in
antiquity, for
for example,
example, will
will also
also realize
realize that
his interpretations
have
have been
been critcized
critcized (almost
(almost predictably)
by Soviet
Soviet theorists
theorists and
and histopredictably) by
historians,
Georgian scholar
scholar G.
G. A.
Melikishvili, whose
whose
A. Melikishvili,
rians, particularly
particularly by
by the
the Georgian
mentioned only
The disdiscriticisms
criticisms are
are mentioned
only in
in passing
passing in
in the
the Introduction.
Introduction.8s The
agreement between
scholars continues,
continues, as
as reflected
reflected in
agreement
between these
these two
two scholars
in
Melikishvili's
summary article
article "Ob
"Ob osnovnykh
etapakh razviMelikishvili's recent
recent summary
osnovnykh etapakh
razvitiya
drevnego blizhnevostochnogo
obshchestva" [On
[On the
basic stages
stages
blizhnevostochnogo obshchestva"
the basic
tiya drevnego
of the
development of
of ancient
ancient Near
Eastern societiesJ,9
societies],9 which,
which, among
among
of
the development
Near Eastern
other points,
attacks the
the periodization
periodization of
of antiquity
antiquity presented
in The
other
points, attacks
presented in
The
Historyof
ofthe
theAncient
AncientWorld.
World.
Other
issues
of contention
include
scale
History
Other
issues
of contention
include
thethe
scale
and significance
significance of
of the
the so-called
so-called private/communal
private/communal sector
sector in
in third
third miland
millennium B.C.
B.C. Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia and
and the
the related
of the
the relative
relative
lennium
related problem
problem of
size and
and dominance
dominance of
of the
temple/state sector
sector in
in early
early Near
Eastern
the temple/state
Near Eastern
size
irrigation civilizations;
civilizations; the
the character
character of
of the
the later
later military
military states
states of
of the
the
irrigation
second millennium
millennium B.C.
B.C. (or
(or Diakonoff's
Diakonoff's "third
"third way
way of
of development,"
development,"
second
see Lecture
Lecture 1);
1); the
the nature
nature of
of the
the classical
classical Greek
Greek polis
compared with
with
polis compared
see
contemporary and
and later
later Near
Eastern cities;
cities; and
and property
property relations
in
contemporary
Near Eastern
relations in
classical Greece
Greece and
and Rome
Rome and
and how
should be
distinguished
how they
they should
be distinguished
classical
from those
those present
in Near
Near Eastern
societies. The
The interested
interested reader
reader
from
present in
Eastern societies.
should consult
consult Melikishvili's
Melikishvili's cited
cited works
and contrast
contrast his
interpretashould
works and
his interpretations with
with the
the overview
overview presented
in The
The History
Historyofofthe
theAncient
Ancient
World.
presented in
World.
tions
Here, one
one should
should only
only be
be aware
aware that
that the
the debate
debate on
on fundamental
fundamental quesquesHere,
tions
of interpretation
interpretation both
both outside
outside and
and within
Soviet Union
conwithin the
the Soviet
Union contions of
tinues and
and that
that The
The History
of the
the Ancient
World provides
provides only
only aa
tinues
History of
Ancient World
particular
on aa vast
vast corpus
corpus of
of data,
data, aa particular
reading set
set
particular perspective
perspective on
particular reading
forth
in
a
logically
consistent,
economical,
and
readable
form.
forth in a logically consistent, economical; and readable form.
If
what then
If answers
answers to
to fundamental
fundamental questions
questions differ,
differ, what
then unites
unites Soviet
Soviet
Can one
refer to
historical writings
writings on
historical
on antiquity?
antiquity? Can
one legitimately
legitimately refer
to aa Soviet
Soviet
school of
of economic
economic historians
of the
the ancient
ancient world?
It is insufficient
insufficient
historians of
world? !tis
school
8.
the Ancient
in
8. Contrast,
Contrast, e.g.,
e.g., I.
I. M.
M. Diakonoff's
Diakonoff's "The
"The Commune
Commune in
in the
Ancient East
East as
as Treated
Treated in
the Works
Researchers," Soviet
andand
Archeology
2, no.2,2no.
(1963),
and and
SovietAnthropology
Anthropology
Archeology
2 (1963),
the
Works of
of Soviet
Soviet Researchers,"
"Slaves,
andand
Archeology
15, nos.
"Slaves, Helots,
Helots, and
and Serfs
Serfs in
in Early
Early Antiquity,"
Antiquity," Soviet
SovietAnthropology
Anthropology
Archeology
15, nos.
2-3
(1976), with
with G.
A. Melikishvili's
the Most
2 - 3 (1976),
G. A.
Melikishvili's studies:
studies: "On
"On the
the Character
Character of
of the
Most Ancient
Ancient
Class
Introduction totoSoviet
Ethnography,
ed. ed.
by S.byP.S.Dunn
and and
E. Dunn,
Soviet
Ethnography,
P. Dunn
E. Dunn,
Class Societies,"
Societies," in
in Introduction
vol. 2,
vol.
2, pp.
pp. 549-73
549-73 (Berkeley:
(Berkeley: Highgate
Highgate Road
Road Social
Social Science
Science Research
Research Station,
Station, 1974);
1974);
"The
SovietAnthropolAnthropol"The Character
Character of
of the
the Socio-economic
Socio-economic Structure
Structure in
in the
the Ancient
Ancient East,"
East," Soviet
ogy and
15,15,
nos.nos.
2-32-3
(1976);
andand
"Some
Aspects
of the
Question
ofthe
Socioogy
andArcheology
Archeology
(1976);
"Some
Aspects
of the
Question
of the
Socioeconomic
Ancient Near
Near Eastern
Eastern Societies,"
Anthropology and
and
economic Structure
Structure of
of Ancient
Societies," Soviet
Soviet Anthropology
Archeology 17,17,
no.
Archeology
no.I (1978).
1 (1978).
9.
istorii,
1985,
no. no.
4. 4.
Vestnikdrevnei
drevnei
istorii,
1985,
9. Vestnik

Foreword
Foreword

xv
xv

simply to label Soviet scholarship on the ancient world as Marxist or to


common denominator
find a common
denominator in historical materialism as an answer to
these questions for, at least, two reasons. First, not all Soviet historians
are Marxists,
Marxists, though
though it probably would be fair to say that those who
are
who
are not
Marxists, have
pursued their
their historical
historical researches
researches without
without
are
not Marxists,
have pursued
challenging Marx's
Marx's or Lenin's writings,
indeed often
often without referring
referring
writings, indeed
challenging
paradigm and its classic literature at all. That
That is, the debatesdebates
to this paradigm
occasionally vitriolic-that
vitriolicthat have
have occurred
occurred and continue to rage in the
occasionally
the
whether or
Soviet literature have taken place within recognized limits; whether
as self-circumscribed
self-circumscribed in the future
future
not Soviet historical writings will be as
whether this silence or
is unclear, though it, at least, is questionable whether
default by omission will continue as Soviet society evolves and accepts
default
and openly debates more of its own
own internal contradications.
and
Second, as any observer
observer of Western Marxism immediately recognizes, not all Marxists, including Soviet historians, interpret
interpret Marx and
his successors in the same fashion. In the
the West, tremendous, at times
differences exist among scholars professing
professing to write
irreconcilable, differences
within the Marxist tradition;IO
tradition; 10 in the Soviet Union, this tendency may
may
be muted, but it is still possible to detect differences,
find
differences, and one may find
interpretations
relatively more deterministic or vulgar materialistic interpretations
emphasizing the more voluntaristic, class struggle
alongside others emphasizing
side of Marxism.
The
shared interests and
T h e Introduction
Introduction to Early Antiquity stresses the shared
common
common perspectives of the numerous contributors to The History of
of
the Ancient
Ancient World,
World, asserting that it was
was the conscious decision of the
editorial board
particular approach
board to select scholars sharing a particular
approach or oriorientation to historical data. This claim too should be tempered
tempered someinsofar as it is fair to judge
judge the orientation
orientation of specific
specific
what, at least insofar
contributors in terms of their other
other published works.
contributors
A. Dandamaev, a contributor
contributor to volvolFor example, the views of M. A.
ume 2 of The
Ancient World,
The History of the Ancient
World, The
The Florescence
Florescence of
ofAncient
Ancient
Societies,
Societies,on
onthe
theslave-owning
slave-owningcharacter
characterofofNeo-Babylonian
Neo-Babylonianand
andAchaeAchaemenian societies differ
differ markedly from the long-accepted, more orthoof Diakonoff
Diakonoff that more or less slavelike dependents were
dox position of
major exploited labor force throughout all periods of
of antiquity.
the m~or
The contrast is explicitly drawn by Dandamaev in his recently transSlavery in
in Babylonia:
Babylonia: From
From Nabopolassar
to Alexander
the Great
lated Slavery
Nabopolassar to
Alexander the
Great
(626-331 B.C):
(626-331
B.C.):
Slavery never reached in Babylonia such a degree of
of developof slave labor as having the leading
ment that one can speak of
10.
10. For
For divisions
divisions within
within Western
Western Marxism,
Marxism, see
see P.
P. Anderson's
Anderson's fine
fine studies:
studies: ConsideraConsiderations of Western
Western Marxism (London: NLB,
NLB, 1976), Arguments
Arguments within English
English Marxism (Lon(LonNLB, 1983).
don: NLB,
NLB, 1980), and In the Tracks
Tracks of
of Historical Materialism (London: NLB,

XVI
xvi

Foreword
Foreword

role
role in
in the
the economy.
economy. Slave
Slave labor
labor was
was only
only one
one of
of several
several types
types
of forced
forced labor
labor and
and not
always the
the most
significant.....
. . . That
That
of
not always
most significant
there
was no
predominance of
branch of
of
there was
no predominance
of slave
slave labor
labor in
in any
any branch
the
Babylonian economy
economy is
is not
the main
more imporimporthe Babylonian
not the
main point;
point; more
tant is
is that
that labor
labor in
in agriculture
agriculture was
was furnished
furnished primarily
tant
primarily by
by
free farmers
farmers and
and tenants
labor also
also dominated
dominated
free
tenants and
and that
that free
free labor
in craft
craft industriesY
industries.11
in

Certainly, not
not all
all the
the contributors
contributors consider
consider themselves
themselves represenrepresenCertainly,
tatives of
of aa particular
"school," though,
though, as
as noted,
noted, it
it is
is not
not without
without inintatives
particular "school,"
terest for
for both
theoretical and
and obviously
obviously practical
reasons that
that nearly
nearly
terest
both theoretical
practical reasons
all the
in Leningrad.
Leningrad. Dr.
Dr. DiakonofI
Diakonoff and
and his
his edithe contributors
contributors work
work in
ediall
torial board
board have
have chosen
chosen scholars
scholars whom
they personally
have known
known
torial
whom they
personally have
and collaborated
collaborated with
with for
for years.
years. Given
Given this
this context,
context, it
it would
would be
be sursurand
prising
if one
one could
could not
not detect
detect certain
certain common
common themes
themes and
and frameframeprising if
works
for understanding
understanding the
characterize the
works of
of this
this
works for
the past
past that
that characterize
the works
Leningrad circle
circle of
of historians
historians of
of the
the ancient
ancient world.
world.
Leningrad
Even outside
outside this
this circle,
circle, within
Soviet historiography
as aa whole,
Even
within Soviet
historiography as
whole,
one can
can detect
detect aa common
common sense
sense of
of problem,
common arena
arena of
of dedeone
problem, aa common
bate
that unites
scholars as
as sharply
sharply opposed
opposed as
Diakonoff and
and
bate that
unites scholars
as DiakonofI
Melikishvili. Here,
Here, reference
reference to
reading of
of Marx
Marx is
is approapproMelikishvili.
to aa particular
particular reading
priate.
Melikishvili writes
that
priate. Melikishvili
writes that
in order
order to
to arrive
arrive at
at aa characterization
characterization of
of the
the socioeconomic
socioeconomic
in
system of
of any
any society,
society, it
it is
is quite
quite important
important to
to identify
identify its
its class
system
class
structure, particularly
particularly the
the status
status of
of the
the direct
direct producers.
producers.
structure,
However, one
one must
must not
not forget
forget that
the class
class structure
structure of
of sothat the
soHowever,
ciety is
is itself
itself derivative
derivative and
and depends
depends on
on the
the division
division of
of labor
labor
ciety
operative in
in that
that society-the
societythe economic
economic base,
base, the
the fundamenfundamenoperative
tal expression
expression of
of which
which is
is property
relationships.....
. . .since
tal
property relationships
since it
it
is the
the economic
economic basethe
totality of
of the
the relationships
relationships of
of prois
base-the totality
productionthat
defines aa system
system (society),
(society), it
it will
understood
duction-that defines
will be
be understood
that one
one system
system may
may be
be distinguished
distinguished from
from another
another above
above all
that
all
in terms
terms of
of that
that base,
of the
the relationships
relationships of
of production,
production,
in
base, of
which,
in the
words of
of Marx,
are expressed
expressed in
in property
relawhich, in
the words
Marx, are
property relations. Proceeding
Proceeding from
from this
this assumption,
assumption, researchers
researchers are
are enentions.
11.
by v.
11. Trans.
Trans, by
V. A.
A. Powell,
Powell, ed.
ed. by
by M.
M. Powell
Powell (co-editor
(co-editor D.
D.B.
B. Weisberger),
Weisberger), (DeKalb:
(DeKalb:
Press, 1984),
1984), p.
p. 660.
660. Also,
Also, see
see his
his review
review of
of the
the slave-owning
slave-owning
Northern Illinois
Illinois University
University Press,
Northern
debate in
in Soviet
Soviet Orientalist
Orientalist literature
literature through
through 1977,
1977, "Problemy
"Problemy istorii
istorii drevnevostochdrevnevostochdebate
nykh obshchestv
obshchestv vv trudakh
trudakh sovetskikh
sovetskikh vostokovedov
vostokovedov (1967
(1967-1977
gg.)" [Problems
[Problems of
of the
the
nykh
-1977 gg.)"
history of
of ancient
ancient Eastern
Eastern societies
societies in
in the
the works
of Soviet
Soviet Orientalists
Orientalists (1967-1977)],
works of
(1967-1977)],
history
Vestnikdrevnei
drevneiistorii,
istorii,
1977,
4. For
a recent
defense
of the
slave-owning
concept
Vestnik
1977,
no. no.
4. For
a recent
defense
of the
slave-owning
concept
theAncient
AncientWorld,
World,
F. Il'yin,
"Drevneby
another contributor
contributor to
The History
to The
History ofofthe
see see
G. F.G.I1'yin,
"Drevneby another
vostochnoe obshchestvo
obshchestvo ii problemy
problemy ego
ego sotsial'no-ekonomicheskoi
sotsial'no-ekonomicheskoi struktury"
struktury" [Ancient
[Ancient
vostochnoe
Eastern society
society and
and the
the problem
problem of
of its
its socioeconomic
socioeconomic structure],
structure], Vestnik
Vestnikdrevnei
drevnei
istorii,
Eastern
istorii,
1983, no.
no. 3.
3.
1983,

Foreword

xvii

tirely justified
justified in recognizing
recogmzmg property relationships as the
system-forming
system-forming element of
of a given society.12
society.12
This is developed from a straightforward,
straightforward, unambiguous interpretaof Marx's famous "Introduction" to A Contribution
ContributiontotothetheCritique
Critique
tion of
of of
Political
Political Economy
Economy
and
and
summarizes
summarizes
thethe
orthodox,
orthodox,
oror
classic,
classic,
Marxism
Marxism
es-esof antiquity. Certain emphapoused by most Soviet Marxist historians of
ses, however, are apparent. The primary task of the historian is to
characterize
the
socioeconomic
system
a society.
Thus,
there
a concharacterize
the
socioeconomic
system
ofof
a society.
Thus,
there
is is
a concern for definition, a need to construct a typology that reduces the
bewildering kaleidoscopic array of
of historical data into a manageable,
understandable
whole.
Primary
effort
is expended
expended on
on defining
defining stages
stages
understandable whole. Primary effort is
of development and describing their characteristics; less energy is deof
voted to explaining processes of
of change or how societies evolve from
from
one developmental stage to another. The Marxism shared by many
Soviet historians of
of antiquity is certainly not vulgarly materialist in the
of reducing social complexity to features of
of the environment
environment or
sense of
of
of explaining institutions in terms of
of the functions they perform
perform to
solve problems ultimately posed by nature. Nor is theirs a Marxism
of production. The general disemphasizing changes in the forces of
13
of archaeological data already has been noted;
paragement of
noted;13
while
mentioned, technological
technological developments
developments are
are not
not emphasized
emphasized relative
relative
mentioned,
to the
the reconstruction
reconstruction of
of social
social groups
groups in
in terms
terms of
of their
their access
access to
to means
means
to
of production.
The concern,
concern, quite
quite properly,
properly, is
is with
with the
the recoristruction
reconstruction
of
production. The
of direct
direct primary
primary production,
production, which
which for
for antiquity
antiquity always
always meant
meant agriagriof
cultural productionthus,
the emphasis
emphasis on
on the
the critical
critical variables
variables of
cultural
production-thus, the
of
landownership and
and land
land use.
landownership
use.
theAncient
Ancient
World
As the reader soon will discover, The History
History ofofthe
World
is is
not a speculative accouI:1t
account but a rich summary based on the distillation
of primary source materials. Most contributors are internationally
of
known specialists in their fields, and their lectures here detail current
historical knowledge. As emphasized in the Introduction, however,
often are so incomplete that they cansource materials for antiquity often
not serve as the sole basis for reconstruction, and consequently, the
of the authors help them fill
theoretical perspectives of
fill in the lacunae
and guide
guide them
consciously or
or not
not in
in fleshing
out their
their portraits
and
them consciously
fleshing out
portraits of
of
past
societies and
and epochs.
epochs. One
One aid
aid frequently
frequently employed
employed in
in this
this task
task is
past societies
is
the use
use of
of an
an evolutionary
evolutionary theory
theory that
its Marxist
Marxist origins
origins in
in F.
the
that finds
finds its
F.
12.
A. Melikishvili,
the Questions
the Socioeconomic
12. C.
G. A.
Melikishvili, "Some
"Some Aspects
Aspects of
of the
Questions of
of the
Socioeconomic StrucStructure of
Ancient Near
Near Eastern
Eastern Societies,"
p. 26.
26.
of Ancient
Societies," p.
ture
to contrast
the once-popular
13.
13. It
It is
is instructive,
instructive, for
for example,
example, to
contrast the
once-popular summary
summary of
of ancient
ancient
to the
the fall
fall of
of Rome
What Happened
HappenedininHistory,
History,
written
Marxist
archaeolohistory to
history
Rome What
written
by by
thethe
Marxist
archaeoloGordon Childe
(rev. ed.
with that
gist
ed. [London:
[London: Penquin
Penquin Books,
Books, 1954),
1954), with
that presented
presented
gist V.
V. Gordon
Childe (rev.
here by
Soviet Marxist
Marxist linguists/historians.
linguists/historians.
here
by Soviet

XVlll
xviii

Foreword
Foreword

Engels, Origin
Origin of
of the
the Family,
Family, Private
Private Property,
Property,and
andthe
theState.
State.For
Forthe
theWestWestern
particular evolutionern reader,
reader, the
the terminology
terminology associated
associated with
with this
this particular
evolutionary perspective
may have
have aa slight
slight anachronistic
anachronistic ring.
For example,
example, in
in
ary
perspective may
ring. For
the
the second
second section
section of
of Lecture
Lecture 1,
1, we
we read
read that
that "accelerating
"accelerating progress
progress
distinguishes the
the early
early class
class society
society from
from barbarism,
barbarism, the
level that
that
distinguishes
the level
even
the most
primitive society
even the
most developed
developed primitive
society cannot
cannot exceed."
exceed." Societies
Societies
are ranked
on an
an ascending
ascending scala
societatis,
and
it may
always
are
ranked on
scala societatis,
and
it may
notnot
always
be be
clear how
they can
mutate or
or so
so transform
in order
order to
be
clear
how they
can mutate
transform themselves
themselves in
to be
classified at
at aa new
new evolutionary
evolutionary level.
classified
level.
Evolutionary
theory also
the basis
basis for
Evolutionary theory
also sometimes
sometimes serves
serves as
as the
for reconreconstruction when
are silent.
silent. For
his controversial
controversial interpretation
interpretation
struction
when the
the texts
texts are
For his
of aa large
large and
and important
economic sector
sector in
in third
third
of
important private/communal
private/communal economic
millennium
Mesopotamia, Diakonoff
Diakonoff utilizes
utilizes aa variety
variety of
of arguargumillennium B.C.
B.C. Mesopotamia,
ments,
one of
is based
based principally
principally on
on his
his understanding
of the
the
ments, one
of which
which is
understanding of
final stage
stage of
of advanced
advanced patriarchal
barbarism:
final
patriarchal barbarism:

In
the medieval
In the
the same
same way
way as
as the
medieval society
society inherited
inherited certain
certain
the ancient
features
features of
of the
the ancient
ancient society
society structure,
structure, the
ancient society
society
did also
certain still
more ancient
did
also inherit
inherit certain
still more
ancient structures
structures from
from the
the
society
which preceded
Arising from
the. primitive
primitive presociety which
preceded it.
it. Arising
from the
preurban, pre-class
pre-class society,
the ancient
ancient society
not have
urban,
society, the
society could
could not
have
been divided
and slaves;
the numerbeen
divided solely
solely into
into slave-owners
slave-owners and
slaves; the
numerically
predominant part
of the
ically predominant
part of
the population
population could
could not
not fail
fail to
to
had been
been inherited
the mass
consist
consist of
of what
what had
inherited from
from the
mass of
of the
the
population of
the pre-class
pre-class society
mass
population
of the
society.....
. . . it
it certainly
certainly was
was aa mass
of
personally free
of personally
free persons,
persons, at
at least
least in
in so
so far
far as
as the
the family
family
heads
14
heads were
were concerned.
concerned.14
Although the
texts themselves
us that
the case,
case,
Although
the texts
themselves do
do not
not inform
inform us
that this
this was
was the
such aa mass
mass of
of free
free citizens
citizens theoretically
theoretically must
such
must have
have continued
continued to
to exist
exist
during
during the
the time
time when
when the
the state
state and
and temple
temple sectors
sectors first
first slowly
slowly develdeveloped;
oped; later
later it
it was
was the
the impoverished
impoverished members
members of
of this
this citizenry
citizenry who
who
hired themselves
themselves out
the large
hired
out as
as laborers
laborers for
for the
large centralized
centralized economies.
economies.
The
to question
this reconstruction,
may seem
logiThe point
point is
is not
not to
question this
reconstruction, which
which may
seem logical and
basis: aa vision
vision
cal
and convincing,
convincing, but
but to
to emphasize
emphasize its
its epistemological
epistemological basis:
of preclass
society that
that is
from Engels's
Engels's Origin,
of
preclass society
is derived
derived ultimately
ultimately from
Origin,
though bolstered,
though
bolstered, of
of course,
course, with
with later
later historical
historical and
and ethnographic
ethnographic
evidence.
evidence.
Evolutionary teminology
teminology permeates
the created
Evolutionary
permeates the
created ordering
ordering of
of antiqantiquity.
different "ways
uity. We
We are
are presented
presented with
with different
"ways of
of development"
development" along
along
which
which preclass
preclass societies
societies evolved
evolved into
into stratified
stratified states.
states. Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia
and Egypt
distinguished and
and both
are separated
separated from
the
and
Egypt are
are thus
thus distinguished
both are
from the
military
states (Hittite,
(Hittite, Mitannian,
etc.) that
arose later
later outside
irmilitary states
Mitannian, etc.)
that arose
outside the
the ir14.
Ancient Near
14. 1.
I. M.
M. Diakonoff,
Diakonoff, "The
"The Rural
Rural Community
Community in
in the
the Ancient
Near East,"
East," Journal
Journalof
ofthe
the
Economic and Social History of
of the Orient 28, part
part 2 (1985): 122.

XIX
xix

Foreword
Foreword

rigated heartlands of
rigated
of the Nile and Euphrates valleys. On the one
from history, transcending strict
hand, these types are abstracted
abstracted from
chronological limits:
chronological
. . . societies belonging typologically to early antiquity do
do
...
not necessarily arise only in the chronological
chronological framework
framework of
of
the classical ancient
ancient Orierit:
Orient: in certain places the same tyB.C. andpology can also be traced in the first millennium
millennium B.C.
and
albeit for a short timein
time-in the first millennium
millennium A.D.,
A.D., as, for
for
instance, in northern
northern and eastern Europe. In the tropics, in
mountainous
mountainous zones, and in piedmont
piedmont regions, the same typology may linger and even reemerge as late as the second
I5
half
half of
of the second millennium
millennium A.D.
A.D. 15

On
and make
On the other
other hand, specific
specific discussions always emphasize and
clear that the factor
factor of
of time-the
timethe period
period when early states emerge-is
emergeis
millennium military states (or
crucial. In reference
reference to the later second millennium
of development), Diakonoff
Diakonoff writes that
third way of
his third
the fact that these societies took longer
longer to attain the level ofa
of a
class society and of
of civilization gave Egypt and Lower Mesopotamia the time to exert a powerful
powerful cultural influence
potamia
influence on
these areas-an
areasan influence
influence aimed precisely at strengthening
strengthening
I6
.
the authority of
of temples and of
of the royal power.16
These "types," thus, are related to one another
another historically (i.e., they
mutually influence
influence one another), as, undoubtedly, also would be true
true
for
for which we cannot
their early ways
for areas for
cannot adequately
adequately reconstruct
reconstruct their
of development
development from
from the available historical evidence (e.g., India
India and
of
China).
The
T h e question arises as to whether
whether or
or not an unnecessary
unnecessary tension has
fostered between
between the historical account and the abstracted
abstracted
been fostered
evolutionary
evolutionary types. Are the latter really necessary for writing a uniT h e purpose
purpose they serve must be the simplification
simplification and
versal history? The
ordering
but their use exacts the price (reinforced
ordering of
of data, but
(reinforced by the organizational framework
framework of
of the work) of
of minimizing the historical relaganizational
tionships and
and interconnections
interconnections among the separate societies that
transformed
of the same
transformed themselves into states during the course of
"world-historical" time.
Marxism and Beyond: The Missing Dialogue
The
World
does
notnot
concern
itself
solely
with
thethe
The History
Historyofofthe
theAncient
Ancient
World
does
concern
itself
solely
with
reconstruction
reconstruction of
of socioeconomic
socioeconomic systems.
systems. Its
Its Marxism
Marxism is
is not
not the
the crude
crude
15.
p.46.
15. Lecture
Lecture 1,
1, p.
46.
16.
p.45.
16. Lecture
Lecture 1,
1, p.
45.

xx

Foreword
Foreword

variety
that cleanly
base from
of
variety that
cleanly separates
separates phenomena
phenomena of
of the
the base
from those
those of
the superstructure.
superstructure. Some
Some of
of the
the most
most fascinating
fascinating sections
sections attempt
attempt to
to
the
reconstruct
ancient thought:
mythologies, worldviews,
early systems
systems
reconstruct ancient
thought: mythologies,
world views, early
of "proto-ethics,"
"proto-ethics," and
and later
later philosophies.
philosophies. In
In these
these sections,
sections, ancient
ancient
of
ideology is
is not
not simply
simply reduced
reduced to
to "false
"false consciousness,"
consciousness," though
anthough anideology
cient thought
thought is
is viewed
viewed as
as related
related to
to and
and ultimately
ultimately derivative
derivative of
of social
social
cient
reality;
is, social
social experience
experience determines
determines consciousness,
consciousness, more
more than
than
that is,
reality; that
the reverse.
reverse. The
The discussions
discussions of
of how
how reality
reality colors
colors consciousness
consciousness and,
and,
the
in turn,
turn, is
is changed
changed by
by it
it under
under the
the relatively
relatively low
low level
level of
of development
development
in
of
productive forces
of productive
forces in
in antiquity
antiquity are
are insightful
insightful and
and stimulating.
stimulating.
Dr.Diakonoff
Diakonoff adumbrates
adumbrates an
anagenda
agenda for
for aafuture
future gengenIn
In Lecture
Lecture 11 Dr.
eration of
of historians.
historians. As
As the
the mature
mature reflections
reflections of
of aa great
great scholar,
scholar, his
his
eration
suggestions deserve
attention; as
as recommendations
for aa
suggestions
deserve careful
careful attention;
recommendations for
more complete
complete accounting
accounting of
of the
the past
past by
by aa leading
leading Soviet
Soviet Marxist
Marxist hismore
historian, whose
whose writings
writings over
over aa long
long and
and distinguished
distinguished career
career have
have subsubtorian,
stantially refined
refined and
and sustained
sustained their
their still-dominant
still-dominant stage
stage theory
theory of
of
stantially
successive socioeconomic
socioeconomic formations,
formations, they
they are
are of
of great
great intellectual
intellectual ininsuccessive
terest. The
The attempt
attempt is
is to
to provide
comprehensive understandunderstandprovide aa more
more comprehensive
terest.
ing of
of the
the past
than that
that obtained
obtained from
from an
an exclusive
exclusive focus
focus on
on the
the
ing
past than
interplay between
between changes
changes in
in the
the forces
forces and
and changes
changes in
in the
the relations
relations
interplay
of production.
production.
of
Maintaining his
his materialism
materialism by
by citing
citing the
the well-known
well-known dictum
dictum that
that
Maintaining
an
mass consciousan idea
idea becomes
becomes aa material
material force
force once
once it
it is
is seized
seized by
by mass
consciousness,
Diakonoff argues
argues for
for aa history
history of
of emotions
emotions that
that utilizes
utilizes and
and exexness, Diakonoff
tends analytical
analytical techniques
techniques developed
developed by
by social
social psychologists.
Major
tends
psychologists. Major
universal historical
historical significance,
historical events
events of
of universal
significance, such
such as
as the
the initial
initial
historical
spread of
Islam or
or the
cannot be
be adequately
adequately exexspread
of Islam
the French
French Revolution,
Revolution, cannot
plained
nor deduced
deduced from
from aa consideration
consideration solely
solely of
of developments
developments
plained by
by nor
in the
the forces
forces and
and relations
relations of
of production.
production. Why
Why some
some movements
have
in
movements have
succeeded and
failed and
and why
occurred precisely
when
and others
others failed
why they
they occurred
precisely when
succeeded
they did
did cannot
cannot be
be explained
explained simply
simply by
consideration of
of economic
economic
they
by consideration
phenomena.
His is
is aa call
call for
for aa historical
social psychology,
psychology, aa new,
phenomena. His
historical social
new,
much more
more comprehensive
comprehensive history
of culture
culture that
that considers
considers everyeverymuch
history of
thing "that
"that....
. . has
has an
an impact
impact upon
upon society
society and
and that
that induces
induces men
and
thing
men and
women
socially valid
actions."17
women to
to socially
valid actions."17
These
These thoughtful,
thoughtful, provocative
provocative suggestions
suggestions are
are offered
offered to
to future
future
historians
but they
historians of
of antiquity,
antiquity, but
they are
are of
of interest
interest to
to other
other specialists
specialists
concerned either
either empirically
empirically or
or theoretically
concerned
theoretically with
with macrohistorical
macrohistorical dedevelopments: anthropologists,
anthropologists, archaeologists,
archaeologists, historical
historical sociologists,
sociologists,
velopments:
minded economists,
psyeconomic historians
historians and
and historically
historically minded
economists, social
social psyeconomic
chologists, and,
and, of
course, medieval
medieval and
and modern
modern historians.
historians. It
It is
is imimof course,
chologists,
possible to
to read
read this
this section
section without
without reflecting
reflecting upon
the unfortunate
unfortunate
upon the
possible
17. Lecture
Lecture 1,
1, p.
63.
17.
p.63.

Foreword
Foreword

XXI
xxi

absence of
of reference
reference to trends in contemporary
contemporary Western historiogmacrohistorical studies and critiques and.
and deraphy and to Western macrohistorical
of historical materialism.
materialism.
fenses of
One would like to know, for example, how Diakonoff
Diakonoff would evaluate the macrohistorical works of
Annales historians in
of certain French Annales
of his called-for
called-for historical social psychology. Would Braudel's
terms of
use of
of a plurality of
of times from
from the longue duree to the event be considered a useful
useful or a confused
confused and obfuscatory
obfuscatory analytical technique for
for
ordering
ordering history on a macroscale? Superficially,
Superficially, at least, the wellknown attempts to write histories of
of the mentalites
mentalites of
oi given periods
(e.g., the studies of
of G. Duby, J. LeGoff, P.
P. Aries) seem to have already
set in practice Diakonoff's
Diakonoff's recommendations
recommendations for a more complete
understanding
understanding of
of the past. Or
Or do they? Would Diakonoff
Diakonoff criticize
them on fairly obvious materialist grounds? Diakonoff
Diakonoff undoubtedly
undoubtedly
would insist that whether
whether one writes an histoire
histoire des
desmentalites
mentalitesor
or aa hishistorical social psychology of
of the sort he envisages, the critica1
critical task is to
of a society at a
relate the collective representations or psychology of
particular point in time to its social structure, internal contradictions,
particular
and class
class antagonisms.
antagonisms. He
He would
would correctly
correctly assert
assert that
that if
if these
these connecconnecand
of muddled, imprecise
tions are not made, the result may be a kind of
of ideas in which the mentalites
mentalites are viewed either as inexplicahistory of
"drift tobly resisting change or teleologically exhibiting a gradual "drift
wards enlightenment."IB
enlightenment." 18
In certain respects, Diakonoff's
Diakonoff's discussion of
of the limitations of
of previous socioeconomic historical research and suggestions for a history
of emotions and a broadened
broadened history of
of culture seem to anticipate or
of
independently voice many of
of the objections articulated
articulated by M. Sahlins
independently
andto a Marxist puristdisturbing
of
in his not-insensitive and-to
purist-disturbing critique of
"practical reason."1919 Conceptual differences,
differences, of
of course, are manifest.
manifest.
of Western (or, here, indusSahlins emphasizes the symbolic ordering of
conditioned belief
belief in "obtrial) society and its nonreflective, culturally conditioned
18.
18. The
The phrase
phrase is
is M.
M. Gismondi's.
Gismondi's. See
See his
his penetrating
penetrating analysis
analysis of
of the
the histoire
histoiredes
des
menmentalites,ororwhat
whathehesarcastically
sarcasticallyrefers
referstotoasasthis
this"new
"newapproach
approachtotoilluminating
illuminatingthe
therole
roleofof
talites,
Theory': A
A Critique
Critique of
of the
the Histoire
Histoire
the common
common people
people in
in history."
history." See
See his
his '''The
"'The Gift
Gift of
of Theory':
the
desMentalites,"
Mentalites,"Social
Social
History
10, 2no.(1985).
2 (1985).
an extended
discussion
of the
early
des
History
10, no.
For For
an extended
discussion
of the
early
histoiredes
desmentalites
mentalites
in the
Annales
the divergent
emphases
development of
of the
the histoire
development
in the
Annales
and and
the divergent
emphases
given it
it by
by L.
L. Febvre
Febvre and
and M.
M. Bloch,
Bloch, see
see A.
A. Burguiere,
Burguiere, "The
"The Fate
Fate of
of the
the History
History of
of MenMengiven
talities in
in the
the Annales,'"
Comparative Studies
Studies in
in Society
Society and
and History
History 24,
24, no.
no. 3
3 (1982).
(1982). In
In aa
talities
Annales," Comparative
personal communication,
communication, Dr.
Dr. Diakonoff
Diakonoff has
has informed
informed me
me that
that he
he evaluates
evaluates the
the contricontripersonal
bution of
of Braudel
Braudel and
and the
the annalistes
annalistesinina agenerally
generallypositive
positivelight.
light.
bution
(Chicago:
University
of of
Chicago
19.
19. See
See M.
M. Sahlins,
Sahlins, Culture
Culture and
andPractical
PracticalReason
Reason
(Chicago:
University
Chicago
Press, 1976),
1976), as
as well
as his
his later
later historical
historical essays
essays on
on Polynesia:
Polynesia: Historical
Metaphors
Press,
well as
Historical Metaphors
andand
of the
the Sandwich Islands Kingdom (Ann ArMythical Realities: Structure in the Early History of
bor: University
University of
of Michigan,
Michigan, 1981),
1981), and
and Islands
History(Chicago:
(Chicago:University
UniversityofofChiChiIslands ofofHistory
bor:
cago Press,
Press, 1985).
1985).
cago

XXll
xxii

Foreword

jective" reality
jective"
reality and
and the
the dominance
dominance of
of pragmatic
pragmatic activities
activities and
and seeks
seeks aa
posed alternatives,
historical
historical synthesis
synthesis of
of conventionally
conventionally posed
alternatives, such
such as
as strucstructure
ture and
and history,
history, materialism
materialism and
and idealism,
idealism, or
or infrastructure
infrastructure and
and susuperstructure. Diakonoff
perstructure.
Diakonoff appeares
appeares unaware
unaware or,
or, at
at least,
least, unconcerned
unconcerned
with the
the problem
problem of
of subjectivity
subjectivity and
and never
abandons an
an essentially
essentially
with
never abandons
historical materialist
materialist position,
position, though
though attempting
attempting to
to extend
extend the
the traditradihistorical
tional
reading of
of Marx
Marx among
among Soviet
Soviet historians.
certain
historians. Nevertheless,
Nevertheless, certain
tional reading
points
of similarity
similarity remain.
remain. It
It can
can be
be argued
argued that
that with
some modificamodificawith some
points of
tion,
Diakonoff's recommendations
incorporephrased to
to incorpotion, Diakonoff's
recommendations might
might be
be rephrased
rate the
the anthropological
anthropological concept
concept of
of culture
culture initially
initially developed
developed by
by F.
rate
F.
Boas, aa change
change that
that for
for Sahlins
Sahlins would
would represent
represent the
the initial,
initial, minimally
minimally
Boas,
necessary
emendation to
to Marx.
Marx. If
If this
this were
were attempted,
attempted, one
one could,
could,
necessary emendation
perhaps, more
more clearly
clearly detect
detect and
and understand
understand the
the differences
differences that
that sepperhaps,
separate aa more
more sophisticated
sophisticated historical
historical materialism
materialism from
from the
the symbolic
symbolic
arate
anthropological or
or "culturological"
"culturological" approach
approach of
of Sahlins.
Sahlins.
anthropological
Unfortunately,
Unfortunately, this
this exercise
exercise is
is unlikely
unlikely ever
ever to
to be
be undertaken,
undertaken, for
for
these
disthese possible
possible protagonists
protagonists carryon
carry on totally
totally different
different scholarly
scholarly discourses. Here,
Here, one
one can
can only
only note
note and
and regret
regret the
lack of
of common
common conconthe lack
courses.
ceptual
ceptual ground,
ground, the
the absence
absence of
of aa shared
shared vocabulary
vocabulary and
and literature
literature
among scholars
scholars concerned
concerned with
with essentially
essentially similar
similar theoretical
theoretical probprobamong
lems on
on either
either side
side of
of the
the East-West
East-West political
political divide.
divide. The
The absence
absence of
of
lems
dialogue is
is as
as apparent
apparent as
as it
it is
is unnecessary.
unnecessary. Western
Western readers
readers of
of The
dialogue
The
History
ofthe
theAncient
AncientWorld
World
appreciate
quality
historical
willwill
appreciate
thethe
quality
of of
historical
re-reHistory of
search on
oh antiquity
antiquity conducted
conducted by
by Soviet
Soviet specialists,
specialists, aa fact
fact long
long recogrecogsearch
nized by
by ancient
ancient Near
Near Eastern
Eastern scholars.
scholars. However,
However, when
when one
one turns
turns to
to
nized
broader
theoretical concerns,
concerns, an
an unfortunate
unfortunate vacuum
vacuum exists
exists in
in which
which
broader theoretical
Soviet and
Western scholars
scholars seem
seem to
to be
either unaware
unaware of
of or
or out-ofout-ofSoviet
and Western
be either
date with
with each
each other's
other's works.
works. There
There are
are for
for example,
example, more
more recent
recent
date
Western overviews
overviews and
and macrohistorical
macrohistorical theories
than those
advanced
Western
theories than
those advanced
by Spengler
Spengler and
and Toynbee
Toynbee (as
(as intimated
intimated in
in the
the Introduction).
Introduction). In
In realby
reality, though,
though, the
problem is
is more
more serious
serious on
on the
the Western
side, where
where
the problem
Western side,
ity,
the tendency
tendency is
is to
to dismiss
dismiss out
out of
of ignorance
ignorance (including
(including the
the inability
inability to
to
the
read Russian)
Russian) Soviet
Soviet writings
writings as
as dogmatic
dogmatic and
and uninteresting.
uninteresting. The
The conconread
demnation is
is not
not only
only uninformed
uninformed but
but paradoxical:
how can
can such
such bedemnation
paradoxical: how
benighted
theory
produce
such
quality
scholarship?
One
is
reminded
of
nighted theory produce such quality scholarship? One is reminded of
the
equally
illogical
political
view
that
fears
a
Soviet
Union
bent
on
the equally illogical political view that fears a Soviet Union bent on
world domination
domination while
while at
at the
the same
same time
time predicts
predicts the
the imminent
imminent colworld
collapse
of
its
economya
thought
that
inexorably
leads
one to
the
to the
lapse of its economy-a thought that inexorably leads one
gloomy,
if
realistic,
expectation
that
communication
among
scholars,
gloomy, if realistic, expectation that communication among scholars,
as well
as politicians,
politicians, is
is likely
likely to
to improve
improve substantially
substantially only
only when
when the
the
as
well as
objective
conditions
for
its
persistence
themselves
change;
that
objective conditions for its persistence themselves change; that is,
is,
when
sides move
move beyond
the cold
cold war
realities of
of the
the last
last forty
forty
both sides
beyond the
war realities
when both
Antiquity,obobyears and
and define
define aa new
new relationship.
relationship. Translation
Translation of
of Early
Early Antiquity,
years
viously
represents
no
such
breakthrough,
but
it
does
provide
us
with
viously represents no such breakthrough, but it does provide us with aa

Foreword

XXlll
xxiii

unified current overview of antiquity and constitutes a small step toward maintaining and extending a sadly underdeveloped dialogue
among interested, open-minded scholars and laypersons on the naof long-term historical developments. For the moment, all we
ture of
should do is simply sit back and enjoy this integrated vision of ancient
history presented
presented to
to us
us by
by aa group
group of
of Soviet
Soviet specialists.
history
specialists.
Many people worked on the English translation of Early
Early Antiquity.
Antiquity.A.A.
Kirjanov provided a rough translation of the entire volume and completed his task in the time promised. My duties as project director and
final editor were immensely simplified by the fact that Mr. Kirjanov's
translations were entered into the Wellesley computer by Ms.
Ms. Daria
Kirjanov, a former student at the College. Initially, I must confess to
being somewhat intimidated by the rigorous standards of
of editing insisted upon by Dr. Diakonoff;
Diakonoff; his command of
of English and impeccable sense of grammar, no doubt, increased ,my
jny consternation.
Obviously, he is primarily responsible for the standards of consistency
and editorial uniformity present in the work. Wellesley College must
be acknowledged for the support it provided, especially for covering
the expenses of mailing rough and edited drafts to Leningrad; the
of the Department of Anthropology's
help of
Anthropology's secretary at Wellesley, Ms.
Ms.
Edna Gillis,
Gillis, in
in the
the final
final preparation
of Lectures
Lectures 11
11 and
and 19
19 also
also must
must
Edna
preparation of
be mentioned. Publication would have been impossible without the assistance, indeed
indeed encouragement,
encouragement, of
of the
the University
of Chicago
Chicago Press,
sistance,
University of
Press,
particularly
of its
its most
most able
able and
and understanding
editor Ms.
Ms. Karen
Karen
particularly of
understanding editor
Wilson. II would
would also'like
also like to
to thank
thank Dr.
Dr. Norman
Yoffee at
at the
the UniverUniverWilson.
Norman Yoffee
sity of
of Arizona
for his
his support
support and
and for
for originally
originally suggesting
suggesting to
to people
people
sity
Arizona for
of Chicago Press that I actively participate in this
at the University of
project and Dr. C. C. Lamberg-Karlovsky of Harvard University for
critiquing the
the initial
initial draft
draft of
of this
this Foreword.
My wife,
wife, Barbara
Barbara Gard,
Gard,
critiquing
Foreword. My
son, Owen, and daughter, Mira (who was born
born during the long gestamy sequestersequestertion of
of this
this work),
work), must
must be
be praised
praised for
for their
their tolerance
tolerance of
of my
tion
myself for inexplicably interminable hours in our "computer
ing myself
room." Without
Without their
their unreasonable
unreasonable patience
patience and
and encouragement
encouragement this
this
room."
work would
would not
not have
have appeared.
appeared.
work
And, finally, I wish to acknowledge that it has been a privilege to
M. Diakonoff
Diakonoff on this project. The breadth of
have worked with Dr. I. M.
of
his erudition and stature as a scholar require no more comment. Once
we had
had agreed
agreed upon
upon aa system
system of
of editing
editing and
and regularly
regularly corresponded,
corresponded,
we
all work proceeded smoothly. I like to believe this was accomplished
not only
only because
because we
we shared
shared the
the same
same professional
professional goal
goal of
of producing
producing aa
not
scrupulously accurate
accurate and readable translation but also because we
scrupulously
grew to
to appreciate
appreciate each
each other
other as
as colleagues
colleagues and
and friends.
friends. II am
am most
most
grew
grateful to have had this opportunity.
grateful

Introduction
Introduction
THE EDITORIAL
EDITORIAL BOARD
BOARD
THE

General Remarks
Remarks
General

The
The occasion
occasion to
to write
write this
this book
book arose
arose out
out of
of work
work conducted
conducted over
over
many years
years by
by aa large
large group
group of
of collaborators
collaborators at
at the
the Oriental
Oriental Institute
Institute
many
of the
the USSR
USSR Academy
Academy of
of Sciences
Sciences and
and other
other scholarly
scholarly institutions
institutions
of
during the
the preparation
preparation of
of the
the extensively
extensively documented,
documented, multivolume
multivolume
during
Istoriya
drevnegoVostoka
Vostoka
[History
of the
ancient
orient].
latter
Istoriya drevnego
[History
of the
ancient
orient].
As As
the the
latter
publication is
is oriented
oriented toward
toward specialists,
specialists, our
our editorial
editorial board
board and
and
publication
group of
of authors
authors decided
decided to
to write
write the
the present
present work
work in
in the
the interest
interest
group
of reaching
reaching aa broader
broader public.
public. Directed
Directed at
at aa wider
wider audience,
audience, this
this work
work
of
examines the
the history
of ancient
ancient class
class societies
societies and
and states
states that
that once
once
examines
history of
existed in
in Asia,
Asia, Europe,
Europe, and
and North
North Africa
Africa as
as part
part of
of the
the process
of the
the
process of
existed
historical development
development of
of humanity.
humanity. Scholars
Scholars of
of numerous
numerous scientific
scientific
historical
and educational
educational institutions
institutions from
from all
all parts
parts of
of the
the Soviet
Soviet Union
Union participarticiand
pated in
in this
this effort.
effort.
pated
Thus,
publication, which
(Early
Thus, our
our publication,
which will
will consist
consist of
of three
three volumes
volumes (Early
Antiquity,
Florescence of
ofAncient
Ancient Societies,
Societies,and
andThe
TheDecline
DeclineofofAncient
Ancient
Antiquity, The Florescence
Societies),isisananattempt
attempttotocreate
createa ahistorical
historicalaccount
accountinvolving
involvingthe
theenenSocieties),
tire
tire ancient
ancient world.
world. It
It is
is based
based on
on contemporary
contemporary knowledge
knowledge and
and aa
clearer understanding
understanding not
not only
only of
of the
the individual
individual features
features of
of specific
specific
clearer
societies but
but also
also of
of the
the general
general features
features characteristic
characteristic of
of ancient
ancient class
class
societies
societies as
as aa whole.
whole. We
We hope
hope that
that it
it also
also will
contribute to
to the
the solution
solution
will contribute
societies
of ongoing
ongoing theoretical
theoretical controversies
controversies on
on this
this subject.
subject. The
The authors
authors beof
believe that
that the
the idea
idea that
that specific
specific ancient
ancient societies
societies exhibit
exhibit an
an absolute
absolute dislieve
dissimilarity among
among themselves
themselves has
has arisen
arisen through
through examining
examining them
them
similarity
according to
to unsuitable
unsuitable reference
reference scales
scales that
that are
are either
either too
too restricted
restricted
according
spatially or
or too
too narrow
narrow temporally.
temporally. The
The authors
authors contend
contend that
that aa comcomspatially
prehensive view
view of
of all
all ancient
ancient societies,
societies, seen
seen in
in relation
relation to
to each
each other,
other,
prehensive
will reveal
reveal general
general outlines
outlines of
of aa .regularity
regularity in
in the
the historical
historical developdevelopwill
ment of
of humanity.
humanity. The
The readers
readers will
will judge
or not
not we
we were
were
ment
judge whether
whether or
right.
right.
Today's
Today's universities
universities offer
offer separate
separate courses
courses on
on the
the specific
specific histories
histories
of
of Greece,
Greece, Rome,
Rome, and
and the
the ancient
ancient Orient.
Orient. In
In the
the case
case of
of the
the Orient,
Orient,
the courses
courses end
end abruptly
abruptly at
at arbitrary
arbitrary periods
periods in
in the
the development
development of
of
the
the various
various Asian
Asian or
or African
African societies,
societies, and
and their
their histories
histories are
are not
not preprethe
universal historical
historical process.
process. Vsemirnaya
Vsemirnayais-issented as
as integral
integral parts
parts of
of aa universal
sented
toria [Universal
[Universal history]
history] (vols.
(vols. 1-2,
1-2, Moscow,
Moscow, 1955-56)
1955-56) does
does permit
permit aa
toria
comparison between
between the
the more
more significant
significant societies
societies in
in the
the context
context of
comparison
of
universal historical
historical development;
development; however,
however, it
it is
is too
too voluminous
voluminous and,
and,
universal

2
2

Introduction
Introduction

therefore,
therefore, does
does not
not offer
offer aa general
general perspective.
perspective. Moreover,
Moreover, new
new data
data
have
made this
this work,
work, to
to aa considerable
considerable degree,
degree, obsolete.
obsolete.
have made
Other
Vsemirnayaistoria,
istoria,
nono
general,
general,
comprehensive
comprehensive
survey
survey
of of
Other than
than Vsemirnaya
the
the ancient
the Soviet
the history
history of
of the
ancient world
world has
has appeared
appeared in
in the
Soviet Union.
Union.
This lack
lack is
is due
due to
to the
the difficulty
difficulty of
of treating
treating material
material covering
covering so
so many
many
This
societies and
and periods
(a fact
fact that
that sometimes
sometimes leads
leads to
to general
general textbooks
textbooks
societies
periods (a
being
authors insufficiently
in the
the historiography
historiography of
of
being written
written by
by authors
insufficiently versed
versed in
some of
of the
the societies
societies treated).
treated). It
It was
therefore decided
decided to
to assign
assign the
the
some
was therefore
writing
of each
each section
section of
of the
specialists in
in particular
particular fields.
writing of
the book
book to
to specialists
fields.
Keeping in
in mind
mind the
the experience
experience gained
gained in
in the
the publication
publication of
of VsemirVsemirKeeping
naya istoria,
istoria,wewetried
triedtotoavoid
avoidexcessive
excessiveunification
unificationofofthe
theauthors'
authors'texts.
texts.
naya
Thus, the
publication is
is actually
actually aa collection
collection of
of lectures
lectures in
in
Thus,
the present
present publication
book form,
form, read
different experts,
experts, each
each in
in his
his or
or her
own way,
way, but
but
book
read by
by different
her own
presented
so as
as to
to create
create aa general
general overview.
overview. Without
Without supplying
supplying expresented so
exhaustive data
data (because
(because the
the contents
contents of
of each
each lecture
lecture were
were determined
determined
haustive
by
the specific
specific interests,
abilities, and
and resources
of the
the individuallecindividual lecby the
interests, abilities,
resources of
turer), such
such aa series
series should
should ideally
ideally offer
offer aa general
general notion
notion of
of the
the subsubturer),
ject
matter with
it deals.
The contents
contents of
however, are
are
ject matter
with which
which it
deals. The
of the
the book,
book, however,
ultimately
determined by
by the
staff of
of "lecturers"
"lecturers" available.
available. Our
Our book,
book,
ultimately determined
the staff
thus,
suffers from
gaps, and
and there
are some
some differences
differences in
in
there are
thus, suffers
from inevitable
inevitable gaps,
the
views adopted
by the
various writers
on specific
specific questions,
questions, as
as well
the views
adopted by
the various
writers on
well
as some
some dissimilarities,
dissimilarities, for
for example,
example, in
in treating
treating cultural
cultural questions
questions
as
concerning different
different societies.
societies. Each
or her
own
concerning
Each lecturer
lecturer presents
presents his
his or
her own
view; and
and depending
depending on
on an
an author's
author's individual
individual interests
interests and
and
point of
of view;
point
preferences,
the character
character of
of the
the presentation,
as well
well as
as the
relative
preferences, the
presentation, as
the relative
emphasis on
on the
different materials
materials presented
presented (e.g.,
(e.g., the
amount of
of ininthe different
the amount
emphasis
formation on
on political,
ethnic, or
or cultural
cultural history
history relative
relative to
to socioecosocioecoformation
political, ethnic,
nomic information),
information), changes
changes from
from lecture
lecture to
to lecture.
lecture. The
The editorial
editorial
nomic
board
assumes responsibility
for the
scientific and
and methodmethodboard assumes
responsibility for
the overall
overall scientific
ological quality
quality of
of this
book without
agreeing with
the ininthis book
without necessarily
necessarily agreeing
with the
ological
dividual authors
authors or
or particular
questions.
particular questions.
dividual
On
unanimity among
On theoretical
theoretical issues,
issues, there
there is
is no
no unanimity
among Soviet
Soviet historians
historians
(the
below). This
This lack
(the problem
problem is
is discussed
discussed in
in more
more detail
detail below).
lack of
of agreeagreement naturally
naturally is
reflected in
ment
is reflected
in our
our text.
text. The
The editorial
editorial board
board did
did not
not
consider it
it possible
to impose
impose its
its own
own viewpoint,
though aa general
general ediediconsider
possible to
viewpoint, though
torial statement
the introductory
torial
statement appears
appears in
in the
introductory chapter
chapter to
to each
each volume.
volume.
In order
order to
to ensure
ensure aa certain
certain degree
degree of
of structural
structural integrity
integrity for
for the
the
In
book, however,
editorial board
board preferred
to invite
invite scholars
scholars to
to conconbook,
however, the
the editorial
preferred to
tribute who
who share
share most
most of
of their
their theoretical
theoretical positions
positions and
and who
who work
work
tribute
within
mainstream tradition
of Soviet
Soviet scholarship.
scholarship. Such
Such authors
authors
the mainstream
tradition of
within the
would,
we believed,
believed, reflect
reflect more
more or
or less
less faithfully
faithfully the
of the
the mamawould, we
the views
views of
jority
of Soviet
Soviet scholars.
scholars. However,
However, other
other opinions
opinions on
on aa number
number of
jority of
of
important theoretical
theoretical questions
questions do
do exist
exist among
among scholars,
scholars, as
as we
will atatimportant
we will
tempt to
to show
show below.
tempt
below.

Introduction
Introduction

33

Notwithstanding
the closeness
is
Notwithstanding the
closeness of
of their
their theoretical
theoretical viewpoints,
viewpoints, it
it is
quite understandable
understandable that
that there
there are
are disagreements
disagreements among
among our
our auauquite
thors,
thors, as
as an
an attentive
attentive reader
reader will
will easily
easily discover.
discover. Yet,
Yet, it
it is
is important
important to
to
emphasize that
that despite
despite disagreements
disagreements on
on minor
minor points,
points, the
the authors
authors
emphasize
based themselves
themselves on
on similar
similar theoretical
theoretical premises
premises and
and had
had aa similar
similar
based
understanding of
of their
their task,
task, so
so that
that these
these lectures
lectures by
by no
no means
means consticonstiunderstanding
tute aa shapeless
shapeless collection.
collection. Rather,
Rather, it
it represents
represents aa well-defined
well-defined entity
entity
tute
whose parts,
parts, ultimately,
ultimately, are
are closely
closely knit
knit together.
together.
whose
During
During the
the editing
editing process,
process, the
the editors
editors made
made various
various suggestions
suggestions
and
and asked
asked the
the authors
authors for
for certain
certain modifications
modifications of
of their
their texts.
texts. The
The
final
final decision,
decision, nevertheless,
nevertheless, lay
lay with
with the
the author.
author. In
In the
the interest
interest of
of
unity,
unity, the
the editorial
editorial board
board also
also took
took the
the liberty
liberty of
of expressing
expressing its
its own
own
opinion
presented by
opinion about
about the
the material
material presented
by the
the individual
individual authorsauthors
namely,
namely, in
in the
the general
general theoretical
theoretical sections
sections preceding
preceding each
each of
of the
the three
three
volumes
volumes of
of the
the work.
work. The
The editors
editors actually
actually intervened
intervened only
only where
where the
the
designed length
length of
of the
the book
book or
or other
other technical
technical considerations
considerations warwardesigned
ranted
ranted such
such action.
action. The
The suggestions
suggestions and
and factual
factual corrections
corrections of
of nunumerous scholars
scholars who
who read
read the
the manuscripts
manuscripts were
were taken
taken into
into careful
careful
merous
consideration.
consideration.
publication as
book form,
Given
Given the
the character
character of
of this
this publication
as lectures
lectures in
in book
form, the
the
sections
sections are
are called
called "lectures"
"lectures" rather
rather than
than "chapters."
"chapters." There
There are
are four
four
reasons justifying
such aa designation:
designation: the
the independence
independence of
of the
the secreasons
justifying such
sections;
tions; the
the fact
fact that
that some
some of
of them
them are
are actually
actually based
based on
on lectures
lectures delivdelivered
universities or
ered at
at universities
or other
other institutions;
institutions; the
the fact
fact that
that the
the amount
amount of
of
material, in
in most
most cases,
cases, fits
fits into
into the
the time
time span
span normally
allotted to
to aa
material,
normally allotted
be helpful
helpful in
lecture;
lecture; and,
and, finally,
finally, the
the fact
fact that
that such
such aa format
format may
may be
in
using
book as
to emphasize
using this
this book
as aa reference
reference manual.
manual. It
It is
is necessary
necessary to
emphasize
that
pretend to
that this
this book
book does
does not
not pretend
to replace
replace existing
existing textbooks,
textbooks, particuparticularly university
university texts
texts on
on Greece
Greece and
and Rome,
Rome, which
which develop
develop the
the material
material
larly
in
but fail
the societies
in more
more detail
detail but
fail to
to show
show the
the position
position of
of the
societies treated
treated
within
within the
the overall
overall human
human historical
historical process.
process. As
As we
we have
have already
already
stressed,
all
stressed, this
this book
book does
does not
not claim
claim to
to be
be an
an exhaustive
exhaustive treatment
treatment of
of all
regions
regions and
and problems
problems of
of the
the ancient
ancient world.
world. At
At the
the same
same time,
time, the
the leclectures, written
independently by
different authors,
authors, partially
overlap.
tures,
written independently
by different
partially overlap.
We hope,
nevertheless, that
that this
this book
book conveys
conveys an
an integral
integral and
and more
more or
or
We
hope, nevertheless,
less internally
internally consistent
consistent view
of the
the ancient
ancient world.
world.
less
view of
Convinced
the historical
historical process,
process, the
Convinced of
of the
the unity
unity of
of the
the authors
authors considconsidered it
it possible
to adopt
adopt aa single
single periodization
system for
for the
the history
history
ered
possible to
periodization system
of ancient
class societies
societies and
and divided
divided the
into three
three stages,
stages,
of
ancient class
the materials
materials into
constituting three
three separate
separate volumes.
The first
first stage
stage (the
(the formation
formation of
volumes. The
of
constituting
class
class society
society and
and the
the state
state and
and the
the early
early forms
forms of
of this
this society)
society) encomencompasses
long time
time span,
span, stretching
stretching from
from the
the end
end of
of the
the fourth
fourth to
the
passes aa long
to the
end
of the
the second
B.C. The
end of
second millennium
millennium B.C.
The second
second stage
stage (the
(the florescence
florescence
of ancient
ancient societies
societies and
and the
development of
of the
"slave" econeconof
the highest
highest development
the "slave"

44

Introduction
Introduction

omy) begins
with the
the introduction
introduction of
of iron
iron at
at the
the end
end of
of the
the second
second and
and
omy)
begins with
beginning
first millennium
beginning of
of the
the first
millennium B.C.
B.C. and
and lasts
lasts throughout
throughout the
the entire
entire
first millennium
millennium B.C.
B.C. The
The third
third stage
stage (the
(the decline
decline of
of ancient
ancient societies
societies
first
and the
appearance offeatures
of features indicating
indicating the
the transition
transition to
feudalism)
and
the appearance
to feudalism)
A.D.
occupies approximately
approximately five
centuries of
of the
the first
millennium A.D.
occupies
five centuries
first millennium
The detailed
detailed characterization
characterization of
of each
each stage,
stage, of
of its
its economic,
economic, politipolitiThe
cal, and
and cultural
cultural features,
features, is
is given
given in
in the
the introductory
introductory lectures
lectures preprecal,
ceding each
each of
of the
the three
three volumes.
volumes. Within
Within each
each volume
volume we
we tried
tried to
to
ceding
examine the
the individual
individual countries
countries chronologically.
chronologically. Each
Each volume
volume is
is subsubexamine
ject
to aa typological
typological principle
of periodization.
As far
far as
as possible,
ject to
principle of
periodization. As
possible, we
we
characterized the
the various
various countries
countries according
according to
to their
their respective
respective stage
stage
characterized
of historical
historical development.
development. Expecting
Expecting aa wide
wide readership
readership (i.e.,
(i.e., students,
students,
of
teachers, and
and anyone
anyone interested
interested in
in ancient
ancient history),
history), the
staff of
of writers
writers
the staff
teachers,
aimed for
for simplicity,
simplicity, clarity,
clarity, and
and an
an accessible
accessible presentation
presentation (based
(based on
on
aimed
scientific data
data available
available in
in the
the early
early 1980s).
1980s).
scientific
Discussion of
of Theoretical
Theoretical Problems
Problems
Discussion
in Contemporary
Contemporary Ancient
Ancient Historiography
Historiography
in
Any textbook
textbook on
on history
history in
in our
our country
country is
is usually
usually preceded
preceded by
by an
an ininAny
troductory section
section defining
denning the
the subject
subject under
consideration and
and
troductory
unger consideration
stating the
the fundamentals
fundamentals of
of the
the Marxist
Marxist approach
approach to
to history.
history. The
The
stating
present work
work is
is not
not aa textbook;
textbook; it
it is
is intended
intended for
for readers
readers with
with aa suffisuffipresent
ciently high
high educational
educational background
background who
who are
are sufficiently
sufficiently versed
in the
the
versed in
ciently
fundamentals of
of historical
historical materialism.
materialism. Today,
Today, the
the Marxist
Marxist method
method
fundamentals
maintains aa dominant
dominant place
place among
among Soviet
Soviet historians
historians and
and occupies
occupies an
an
maintains
important position
all over
over the
the world.
world. As
As admitted
admitted by
by many
many Western
Western
important
position all
scholars, there
there does
does not
not exist
exist in
in the
the West
West any
any complete
complete and
and consistent
consistent
scholars,
theory of
of history
history regarded
regarded as
as aa single
single process,
process, aa theory
theory comprehencomprehentheory
sive enough
enough to
to match
match that
that of
of historical
historical materialism.
materialism. We
We will
will assume
assume
sive
that the
the latter
latter is
is known
known to
to the
the readers
readers and
and will
will attempt
attempt to
to acquaint
acquaint
that
them with
with those
those theoretical
theoretical problems
problems that
that today
today remain
remain unresolved.
unresolved.
them
The central
central questions
questions of
of the
the discussion,
discussion, which
which some
some years
ago conconThe
years ago
cerned
Soviet
historians,
can
be
formulated
in
philosophical
terms
as
cerned Soviet historians, can be formulated in philosophical terms as
follows:
What
is
the
correlation
between
the
general
and
the
particufollows: What is the correlation between the general and the particular in
in the
the development
development of
of the
the different
different societies
societies and
and civilizations
civilizations durdurlar
ing the
the precapitalist
precapitalist period?
period? The
The question
question can
can be
be rephrased
rephrased in
in terms
terms
ing
of historical
historical science
science as
as follows:
follows: Is
Is there
there aa single,
single, common
common path
of dedeof
path of
velopment for
for all
all precapitalist
precapitalist societies
societies (unavoidably
(unavoidably with
with local
local varivelopment
variants), or
or are
are there
there several?
several? Of
Of course,
course, all
all Marxist
Marxist historians
historians adhere
adhere to
to
ants),
the
concept that,
that, in
in the
analysis, the
the relations
relations of
of production
production are
are
the concept
the final
final analysis,
determined by
the level
level of
of development
development of
of the
the means
means of
of production.
production.
determined
by the
Yet,
in theory,
theory, it
it is
is quite
quite possible
possible to
to accept
accept that
that specific
specific local
local features
features
Yet, in
of the
depending on
on geographical
geographical
of
the means
means of
of production
production (e.g.,
(e.g., those
those depending

Introduction
Introduction

55

factors)
under certain
factors) can
can lead,
lead, under
certain specific
specific conditions,
conditions, to
to peculiar
peculiar trends
trends
in production
production relations,
relations, thus
thus producing
typologically different
different soin
producing typologically
societies.
cieties. In
In its
its most
most general
general form,
form, this
this question
question asks
asks whether
whether the
the "West"
"West"
(i.e., Europe)
Europe) and
and the
the "East"
"East" (i.e.,
(i.e., virtually
virtually the
the rest
rest of
of the
the world)
world) have
have
(i.e"
been developing
developing in
in more
more or
or less
less the
the same
same way,
way, or
or whether
whether the
the course
course
been
of development
development each
each has
has followed
followed is
is radically
radically different.
different.
of
The
West
The idea
idea of
of aa radical
radical difference
difference between
between the
the East
East and
and the
the West
arose
hisarose in
in European
European scholarship
scholarship long
long ago.
ago. European
European philosophers,
philosophers, historians, and
and writers
writers of
of belles-lettres
belles-lettres became
became interested
interested in
in the
the East
East as
as
torians,
early
early as
as the
the seventeenth
seventeenth century.
century. They
They built
built their
their theories
theories on
on the
the
Bible,
Bible, on
on the
the sparse
sparse and
and not
not always
always reliable
reliable information
information of
of GraecoGraecoRoman
Roman writers,
writers, and
and later
later on
on information
information acquired
acquired from
from European
European
ambassadors
ambassadors at
at the
the courts
courts of
of Oriental
Oriental rulers,
rulers, from
from travelers,
travelers, missionmissionaries,
aries, and,
and, since
since the
the middle
middle of
of the
the eighteenth
eighteenth century,
century, from
from colonial
colonial
functionaries.
by ideologues
functionaries. These
These theories
theories were
were used
used by
ideologues of
of the
the growing
growing
bourgeoisie
political aims.
bourgeoisie for
for their
their political
aims. The
The attitude
attitude toward
toward the
the political
political
order
order of
of the
the East
East swung
swung from
from idealization,
idealization, which
which presented
presented the
the social
social
and
and state
state order
order of
of Oriental
Oriental societies
societies (especially
(especially of
of China)
China) as
as models
models to
to
be
be emulated
emulated (L.
(L. Levalier,
Levalier, Voltaire,
Voltaire, F.
F. Quesnay),
Quesnay), to
to sharp
sharp condemnacondemnations
tions of
of and
and warnings
warnings against
against any
any attempts
attempts to
to follow
follow these
these examples
examples
(F.
De(F. Bernier,
Bernier, Ch.
Ch. Montesquieu,
Montesquieu, and
and J. J. Rousseau
Rousseau in
in France
France and
and D.
D. Defoe in
in England).
England). On
On the
the whole,
whole, however,
however, the
the dominant
dominant viewpoint
viewpoint was
foe
was
that
that the
the fundamental
fundamental difference
difference between
between the
the East
East and
and the
the West
West conconsisted in
in the
the absence
absence of
of private
private property
property in
in the
the Orient.
Orient. It
It was
was assumed
assumed
sisted
that all
all the
the land
land in
in that
that part
part of
of the
the world
world belonged
belonged to
to the
the monarchs
monarchs as
that
a!.
their property,
and that
that this
this supreme
supreme proprietorship
proprietorship was
was the
the foundafoundatheir
property, and
tion of
of "Oriental
"Oriental despotism"
despotism" and
and of
of "general
"general slavery."
slavery."
tion
The
same
point
of
view,
with
sundry
variations,
The same point of view, with sundry variations, predominated
predominated in
in
the
the beginning
beginning of
of the
the nineteenth
nineteenth century.
century. Representatives
Representatives of
of prepreMarxian
Marxian political
political economy
economy (Adam
(Adam Smith,
Smith, J. Stuart
Stuart Mill,
Mill, et
et al.)
al.) and
and
philosophy
philosophy (G.
(G. F.
F. W.
W. Hegel)
Hegel) subscribed
subscribed to
to this
this idea,
idea, despite
despite informainformation
tion available
available at
at that
that time
time about
about the
the existence
existence in
in many
many nations
nations of
of comcommunity
munity relationships,
relationships, private
private property,
property, and
and so
so on.
on.
In studying
studying the
the problems
problems of
of capitalist
capitalist society,
society, Marx
Marx and
and Engels
Engels inevinevIn
itably
itably became
became interested
interested in
in societies
societies that
that had
had not
not yet
yet reached
reached the
the level
level
of capitalist
capitalist development-hence,
developmenthence, their
their interest
interest in
in the
the Orient.
Orient. HowHowof
ever, they
they began
began studying
studying the
the Orient
Orient only
only in
in 1853,
1853, with
with most
most of
of their
their
ever,
efforts
efforts concentrated
concentrated between
between 1857
1857 and
and 1859.
1859. Their
Their opinions
opinions stemstemming from
from these
these studies
studies were
were outlined
outlined in
in aa draft
draft of
of aa manuscript
manuscript by
ming
by
Economic
Formations
published
during
Marx's
Marx, Precapitalist
Marx,
Precapitalist Economic
Formations
(not(not
published
during
Marx's
lifetime). The
The Preface
Preface to
to The
The Critique
CritiqueofofPolitical
Political
Economy
offers
a more
lifetime).
Economy
offers
a more
succinct review
review of
of this
this subject.
subject. In
In his
his analysis,
analysis, Marx
Marx formulates
formulates the
the
succinct
regular succession
succession of
of modes
of production:
"In broad
broad outlines
outlines Asiatic,
regular
modes of
production: "In
Asiatic,
ancient, feudal,
feudal, and
and modern
modern bourgeois
modes of
of production
production can
can be
be
bourgeois modes
ancient,

Introduction
Introduction

designated
designated as
as progressive
progressive epochs
epochs in
in the
the economic
economic formation
formation of
of sosoThis is
is the
the first
first expression
expression of
of aa dialectical
dialectical materialist
materialist view
view of
of
ciety."
ciety." Il This
history as
as aa single
single developmental
developmental process.
process. This
conclusion, of
of course,
course,
history
This conclusion,
was drawn
drawn from
from the
the scientific
scientific data
data accumulated
accumulated up
to that
that time.
time. Let
Let us
us
up to
was
point out,
out, however,
however, that
that Marx's
Marx's formula
formula assumes
assumes that
that an
an "Asiatic"
"Asiatic"
point
mode of
production precedes
is, the
mode
of production
precedes the
the ancient-that
ancientthat is,
the slave-owning
slave-owning
mode of
of production.
production. Also
Also his
his formula
formula lacks
lacks another
another natural
natural human
human
mode
developmental stage:
stage: the
primitive mode
mode of
of production.
The later
later
developmental
the primitive
production. The
works of
of Marx
Marx and
and Engels
Engels developed
developed the
the fundamental
fundamental principles
principles of
of
works
historical materialism
materialism in
in more
more detail,
detail, and
and as
as new
new data
data became
became available,
available,
historical
these principles
evolved further,
further, and
and particular
features of
of historical
historical
particular features
these
principles evolved
processes were
were better
understood.
better understood.
processes
Information
the work
work of
the period
period in
quesInformation about
about the
of historians
historians during
during the
in question (i.e.,
(i.e., about
about writings
were used
Marxist theoreticians),
theoreticians), can
can
writings that
that were
used by
by Marxist
tion
be found
found in
in special
special publications
publications dedicated
dedicated to
to historiography.
historiography. Here
Here we
be
we
Society;or,or,
will
only mention
mention the
the work
by L.
L. H.
H. Morgan:
Morgan: Ancient
work by
Ancient Society;
Re-Rewill only
searchesininthe
theLine
Lineof
ofHuman
Human Progress
Progressfrom
fromSavagery
Savagerythrough
throughBarbarism
Barbarismtoto
searches
(1877). In his Origin of
of the Family,
Civilization (1877);
Family, Private Property,
Property, and the
State, Engels
Engels notes
notes that
that Morgan's
Morgan's book
book has
has"the
"the same
same significance
significance for
for
State,
the history
history of
of primitive
society as
as Darwin's
Darwin's theory
theory of
of evolution
evolution has
for
the
primitive society
has for
Morgan's book
was written
written from
from an
an independently
independently derived
derived
biology."2 Morgan's
biology."2
book was
materialist
and contained
contained considerable
considerable data
data about
about preclass
preclass sosomaterialist position
position and
cial structure
structure as
as well
as about
about approaches
approaches to
the emergence
emergence of
of class
cial
well as
to the
class
society; that
that is,
is, about
about data
data illustrating
illustrating the
the fundamental
fundamental positions
of
positions of
society;
historical materialism,
materialism, which
which could
could and
and did
did lead
lead to
to further
further and
and deeper
deeper
historical
studies.
studies.
We must
must point
point out
out that
that after
after the
the appearance
appearance of
of the
first volume
volume of
of
the first
We
Capital,the
theterm
term"Asiatic
"Asiaticmode
modeof
ofproduction"
production"disappears
disappearsfrom
from the
the
Capital,
writings of
writings
of Marx
Marx and
and Engels.
Engels. It
It is
is also
also absent
absent from
from Lenin's
Lenin's works
works (ex(except, of
of course,
course, in
in references
references to
to the
the earlier
earlier publications
publications of
of Marx
Marx and
and
cept,
Engels).
Engels). On
On the
the whole,
whole, the
the development
development of
of historical
historical materialism
materialism led
led
to the
the conclusion
conclusion that
that society
society passed
passed through
through three
three consecutive
consecutive develdevelto
opmental stages
stages or
or formations
formations in
in the
the precapitalist
primitive
opmental
precapitalist period:
period: primitive
order, slave-owning
slave-owning order,
order, and
and feudalism.
feudalism.
order,
The
The end
end of
of the
the nineteenth
nineteenth century
century and
and the
the first
first decades
decades of
of the
the
twentieth
twentieth century
century saw
saw aa rapid
rapid development
development of
of Oriental
Oriental studies
studies and
and an
an
accumulation
which was
was
accumulation of
of enormous
enormous amounts
amounts of
of new
new information,
information, which
not
easy to
sort out.
out. Among
Among the
the professional
of that
that time,
not easy
to sort
professional historians
historians of
time,
there was
was no
no unified
unified conception
conception of
of history,
history, except
except for
for the
the hypothesis
hypothesis
there
of cyclical
cyclical development,
development, aa theory
theory that
that was
was rapidly
rapidly losing
losing its
its supportsupportof
1. K.
Progress
K. Marx and F.
F. Engels, Selected
SelectedWorks
Works(Moscow:
(Moscow:
ProgressPublishers,
Publishers,1973),
1973),
1:504.
2. Ibid., 3:201.

Introduction
Introduction

ers.
ers. According
According to
to this
this hypothesis,
hypothesis, development
development occurred
occurred from
from primiprimitive feudalism
feudalism to
to Graeco-Roman
Graeco-Roman capitalism,
capitalism, from
from capitalism
capitalism back
back to
to
tive
feudalism, from
from there
there to
to aa new
capitalism, and
and so
so on.
on. This
This hypothesis
hypothesis
feudalism,
new capitalism,
presented by
by Eduard
Meyer in
was
was most
most vividly
vividly presented
Eduard Meyer
in the
the several
several volumes
volumes of
of
his
History of
ofAntiquity
Antiquity(published
(publishedbetween
between1884
1884and
and1902;
1902;numerous
numerous
his History
reeditions appeared
until the
the middle
the twentieth
A
reeditions
appeared until
middle of
of the
twentieth century).
century). A
somewhat similar
similar cyclical
cyclical theory
theory was
suggested by
Oswald Spengler
Spengler
somewhat
was suggested
by Oswald
(The
Decline of
Based on
his theory,
(The Decline
of the
the West,
West, 22 vols.,
vols., 1918-23).
1918-23). Based
on his
theory,
Spengler
thought it
present "the
Spengler thought
it possible
possible to
to present
"the spiritual
spiritual form,
form, duration,
duration,
rhythm, meaning,
rhythm,
meaning, and
and product
product of
of the
the still
still unaccomplished
unaccomplished stages
stages of
of
our Western
However, Spengler'S
Spengler's predictions
predictions did
did not
not come
come
our
Western history."
history." However,
true. In
In the
the West
the views
views of
of the
the philosophers
W. Dilthey,
Dilthey, B.
B. Croce,
Croce,
true.
West the
philosophers W.
and R.
Collingwood became
important. They
They thought
that hisand
R. Collingwood
became most
most important.
thought that
history
could be
be understood
only insofar
insofar as
as it
it is
is made
comprehensible by
tory could
understood only
made comprehensible
by
professional
on specific
specific problems;
more
professional historians
historians working
working on
problems; nothing
nothing more
can reasonably
reasonably be
expected. Most
Most historians
historians limited
limited themselves
themselves to
to the
the
can
be expected.
accumulation of
of new
data.
accumulation
new data.
That the
the cyclical
cyclical theory
theory of
of history
for explaining
explaining
That
history is
is unsatisfactory
unsatisfactory for
the
became evident.
the latest
latest events
events of
of world
world history
history soon
soon became
evident. It
It followed
followed
from this
this that
that its
its explanation
explanation of
of any
any stage
stage of
of history
history could
could be
be quesfrom
questo aa great
to the
tioned. This
This lack
lack of
of satisfaction
satisfaction contributed
contributed to
great degree
degree to
the
tioned.
rise among
historians of
rise
among Russian
Russian historians
of an
an interest
interest in
in the
the Marxist
Marxist theory
theory of
of
the historical
historical process,
process, which
had its
the
which had
had already
already had
its adherents
adherents in
in Russian
Russian
academic
the 1890s
to 1910s
academic circles
circles as
as early
early as
as the
1890s to
1910s (e.g.,
(e.g., N.1.
N. I. Sieber
Sieber and
and
A. I. Tyumenev).
Tyumenev). This
This interest
interest continued
continued to
grow in
in the
the 1920s
1920s and
and
A.1.
to grow
1930s,
began to
with the
rest of
the intelliintelli1930s, when
when historians
historians began
to seek,
seek, along
along with
the rest
of the
gentsia,
niche in
the emerging
gentsia, their
their niche
in the
emerging Soviet
Soviet society.
society.
A general
A
general interpretation
interpretation of
of newly
newly acquired
acquired data
data from
from the
the perspecperspective of
materialism was
retive
of the
the fundamentals
fundamentals of
of historical
historical materialism
was urgently
urgently required.
which different
quired. After
After long
long discussions
discussions in
in which
different solutions
solutions were
were
suggested within
the framework
framework of
of Marxist
Marxist theory,
theory, aa general
general interintersuggested
within the
pretation
was proposed
proposed in
V. V.
V. Struve
Struve (originally,
(originally, aa student
student
pretation was
in 1933
1933 by
by V.
of E.
E. Meyer)
Meyer) in
in his
his address
address "Problem
"Problem of
of the
the Origin,
Origin, Development,
Development, and
and
of
Decline of
of Slave-Owning
Slave-Owning Society
Society in
in the
the Ancient
Ancient Orient"
Orient" and
and in
in his
arDecline
his article
ticle "Plebeians
"Plebeians and
and Helots."
Helots." Struve's
Struve's outstanding
outstanding erudition
erudition (he
(he used
used
Egyptian, Mesopotamian,
Mesopotamian, and
and classical
classical sources)
sources) allowed
allowed him
him to
to supsupEgyptian,
port the
the conclusion
conclusion that
that ancient
ancient Oriental
Oriental society,
society, despite
despite all
all its
its specific
specific
port
features, belonged
belonged to
to the
the slave-owning
slave-owning type.
type. This
This theory
theory was
was not
not imimfeatures,
mediately accepted.
accepted. One
One of
of Struve's
Struve's most
most active
active opponents,
opponents, A.
A. I.
I.
mediately
Tyumenev, learned
learned Sumerian
Sumerian in
in order
order to
to verify
verify this
this conclusion.
conclusion. For
For
Tyumenev,
fifteen years
years he
he investigated
investigated Sumerian
Sumerian administrative
administrative and
and economic
economic
fifteen
documents; his
his findings,
findings, however,
however, can
can be
be regarded
regarded as
as not
not fundamenfundamendocuments;
tally
disagreeing with
those of
of Struve.
Struve.
tally disagreeing
with those
From then
then on,
on, especially
especially during
during the
the postwar
postwar period,
period, the
the concept
concept of
of
From

Introduction
Introduction

the slave-owning
slave-owning character
character of
of ancient
ancient Oriental
Oriental society
society was
was dominant
dominant
the
3
among Soviet
Soviet historians.
This viewpoint
viewpoint affirms
affirms the
the unity
unity of
of the
the uniuniamong
historians. 3 This
versal historical
historical process,
process, leaving
leaving no
no ground
ground for
for the
the "Europe-centered"
"Europe-centered"
versal
and "Orient-centered"
"Orient-centered" concepts
concepts of
of universal
universal history.
history. Almost
Almost all
all the
auand
the authors of
of our
our book
book have
have worked
worked in
in the
the tradition
tradition established
established by
by Struve
Struve
thors
and Tyumenev.
Tyumenev.
and
In the
West during
during this
this period
and slightly
slightly later,
later, Arnold
Arnold Toynbee's
Toynbee's
In
the West
period and
theory
was most
most popular.
popular. He
He presented
presented itit in
in the
the ten
ten
theory of
of universal
universal history
history was
volumes
of his
Study of
of History
(1934-57). According
According totoToynbee,
Toynbee,
volumes of
his A
A Study
History (1934-57).
"civilizations"twenty-one in
in number-successfully
numbersuccessfully emerged
emerged and
and
"civilizations"-twenty-one
grew in
in response
response to
to certain
certain sociocultural
sociocultural "challenges,"
"challenges," under
under the
the
grew
leadership of
of creative
creative minorities.
minorities. Civilizations
Civilizations declined
declined when
when the
the leadleadleadership
ers failed
failed to
to act
act according
according to
to the
the demands
demands of
of the
the historical
historical situation.
situation.
ers
Actually, Toynbee's
Toynbee's theory
theory is
is simply
simply an
an elaborate
elaborate rationalization
rationalization of
of the
the
Actually,
popular notion
notion that
that history
history is
is aa multicolored
multicolored kaleidoscope
kaleidoscope of
of irregular
irregular
popular
events. Despite
Despite aa number
number of
of useful
useful ideas
ideas and
and acute
acute observations,
observations,
events.
Toynbee's theory,
theory, on
on the
the whole,
whole, has
has made
made little
little impact
impact on
on the
the discipline
discipline
Toynbee's
Lately, however,
however, the
the necessity
necessity of
of regarding
regarding the
the historical
historical
of history.4
history.4 Lately,
of
process as
as aa series
series of
of identical
identical stages
stages in
in all
all parts
of the
has also
also
parts of
the world
world has
process
been
in the
human history
history is
is now
now currently
currently subsubbeen recognized
recognized in
the West;
West; human
divided into
into pre-urban,
urban, and
and industrial
industrial societies.
pre-urban, urban,
societies.
divided
The postwar
period saw
saw an
an even
even more
more active
active development
development in
in OrienOrienThe
postwar period
tal
tal and
and African
African studies.
studies. Recently
Recently collected
collected data
data naturally
naturally required
required
new theoretical
theoretical generalizations,
generalizations, since
since the
the new
facts did
did not
not always
always fit
new
new facts
fit
the
When such
two
the old
old historical
historical schemes.
schemes. When
such aa situation
situation arises
arises in
in science,
science, two
solutions
solutions are
are possible;
possible; either
either the
the old
old theories
theories must
must be
be adjusted
adjusted or
or
modified, or
or if
if this
feasible, new
theories must
must be
be substituted.
modified,
this is
is not
not feasible,
new theories
substituted.
(The latter
latter solution
solution may
may also
also consist
consist of
of aa return
return to
to older,
older, formerly
formerly re(The
rejected
that now
appear more
more consistent
consistent with
with the
the new
jected theories
theories that
now appear
new evievidence.) Many
Many Marxist
Marxist historians
historians considered,
considered, and
and still
still consider,
consider, that
that
dence.)
new
facts do
do not
not require
revision of
of existing
existing theories,
theories, particularly
of
new facts
require revision
particularly of
the theory
theory of
of ancient
ancient society
society as
as slave-owning.
slave-owning. More
More accurate
accurate definidefinithe
tions
are all
all that
that is
is required.
required. This
group of
of historians
historians accepts
accepts the
the exisThis group
existions are
tence of
of multiple
multiple development
development variants
variants in
in ancient
ancient society
society similar
similar to
to
tence
3. The
most complete
complete defense
of this
on ancient
ancient history
history can
can be
be found
found in
in
3.
The most
defense of
this perspective
perspective on

G.
G. F.
F. I1'yin,
Il'yin, "Rabstvo
"Rabstvo ii drevnii
drevnii Vostok"
Vostok" [Slavery
[Slavery and
and the
the ancient
ancient Orient],
Orient], Narody
NarodyAzii
Aziii i

Afriki, 1973,
1973, no.
no. 4.
4.
AfTiki,
theory of
4.
4. Perhaps,
Perhaps, one
one also
also should
should mention
mention the
the theory
of hydraulic
hydraulic (irrigation-based)
(irrigation-based) OriOriental civilizations
civilizations that
that was
was popular
in the
the West
West about
about the
the same
same time.
time. According
this
ental
popular in
According to
to this
theory, the
the complete
complete monopoly
monopoly of
of state
state economies,
economies, supposedly
supposedly typical
typical of
of the
the Orient,
Orient,
theory,
was aa form
form of
of state
state socialism.
socialism. Regardless
Regardless of
of the
the obvious
obvious political
political bias
bias of
of this
this theory,
theory, we
we
was
may
state that
it was
was largely
largely mistaken,
mistaken, since
since most
most of
of the
ancient Oriental
societies were
were
may state
that it
the ancient
Oriental societies
not based
based on
on irrigation,
irrigation, and
and their
their state
state economies
economies usually
usually coexisted
coexisted with
with the
the private!
private/
not
communal economic
economic sector.
sector. Today,
Today, this
this theory
theory essentially
essentially has
has been
been abandom~d.
abandoned.
communal

Introduction
Introduction

99

those,
those, for
for example,
example, that
that characterized
characterized nineteenth-twentieth
nineteenthtwentieth century
century
capitalism (except
(except that
that during
during antiquity
antiquity the
the differences
differences between
between the
the
capitalism
variants
pronounced). They
regard the
variants were
were more
more pronounced).
They do
do not
not regard
the variants
variants as
as
different
different socioeconomic
socioeconomic formations
formations characterized
characterized by
by different
different modes
modes
of production
but merely
merely view
view them
as variants
variants of
of one
one and
and the
same
of
production but
them as
the same
ancient mode
mode of
of production.
production. Hence,
Hence, they
they adhere
adhere to
to the
the position
position that
that
ancient
emphasizes the
the "unity
"unity of
of human
human historical
historical development."
development." Most
Most of
of the
the
emphasizes
authors of
of this
book belong
to this
this group.
group.
authors
this book
belong to
On
On the
the other
other hand,
hand, many
many scholars
scholars considered
considered and
and still
still consider
consider that
that
views about
about ancient
ancient Oriental
Oriental societies
societies is
is necessary
necessary
aa radical
radical revision
revision of
of views
in
in order
order to
to overcome
overcome the
the danger
danger of
of overschematization
overschematization and
and dogdogmatism.
matism. Several
Several works
works criticizing
criticizing the
the slave-owning
slave-owning view
view of
of ancient
ancient
Oriental
Oriental societies
societies have
have been
been published.
published. In
In addition,
addition, the
the concept
concept of
of an
an
Asiatic
Asiatic mode
mode of
of production,
production, which
which was
was based
based on
on an
an early
early work
work of
of
Marx and
Marx
and which
which was
was popular
popular in
in the
the 1920s,
1920s, has
has again
again become
become aa subject
subject
of
of discussion.
discussion.
The
The first
first works
works supporting
supporting this
this latter
latter concept
concept appeared
appeared in
in print
print at
at
the
the end
end of
of the
the 1940s,
1940s, but
but debate
debate started
started in
in our
our country
country only
only after
after the
the
1964
journal Pensee,
Pensee,
1964 publication
publication of
of the
the French
French Marxist
Marxist theoretical
theoretical journal
which
which contained
contained several
several articles
articles on
on the
the Asiatic
Asiatic mode
mode of
of production.
production.
Chesnaux, for
for example,
example, wrote
wrote that
that the
the Asiatic
Asiatic mode
mode of
of production
production
J. Chesnaux,
"is characterized
characterized by
by aa conjunction
conjunction of
of the
the productive
productive activity
activity of
of village
village
"is
communities with
with the
the economic
economic intervention
intervention of
of the
the state
state authorities,
authorities,
communities
the state
state simultaneously
simultaneously both
both exploiting
exploiting and
and ruling
ruling these
these commucommuthe
nities."
brief, he
he defined
defined this
this mode
mode of
of production
production as
as "despotic"despoticIn brief,
nities." In
cum-village community."
community." According
According to
to Chesnaux,
Chesnaux, the
the fundamental
fundamental
cum-village
difference between
between the
the Asiatic
Asiatic despotic
despotic state
state and
and other
other precapitalist
precapitalist
difference
states consists
consists in
in the
the fact
fact that
that the
the former
former "is
"is itself
itself the
the organizer
organizer of
of proprostates
duction." The
The main
main contradiction
contradiction of
of such
such aa society
society is
is not
not between
between
duction."
classes but
but between
between the
the state
state and
and the
the communities.
communities.55 Subsequently,
Subsequently,
classes
Chesnaux revised
revised his
his views.
Chesnaux
views.
In
journal Narody
Narody Azii
Aziii iAfriki
Afrikipublished
published the
thetheses
theses
In 1965,
1965, the
the Soviet
Soviet journal
of
of two
two French
French Marxist
Marxist scholars,
scholars, the
the Africanist
Africanist J. Suret-Canal
Suret-Canal and
and the
the
theoretician M.
M. Godelier,
Godelier, as
as well
as Struve's
Struve's responding
responding thesis.
thesis. This
This
theoretician
well as
publication
actually triggered
triggered new
discussions among
scholars in
in our
our
publication actually
new discussions
among scholars
country. The
The controversy
controversy developed
developed in
in two
two directions.
directions. The
The first
first was
was aa
country.
more profound
study of
of the
the classic
classic Marxist-Leninist
Marxist-Leninist writings
in order
order
more
profound study
writings in
to demonstrate
demonstrate that
that Marx,
Marx, Engels,
Engels, and
and Lenin
Lenin actually
actually adhered
adhered consisto
consistently to
the "Asiatic
"Asiatic mode
mode of
of production"
production" concept.
concept. These
These attempts,
attempts,
tently
to the
however,
must be
regarded as
as failures,
failures, since
since in
in their
their later
writings, as
however, must
be regarded
later writings,
as
5. According
According to
to Marxist
Marxist philosophy,
philosophy, any
any process
process is
is moved
moved by
by some
some main
main inner
inner concon5.
tradiction. For
For example,
example, capitalist
capitalist development
development is
is moved
moved by
by the
the contradiction
contradiction between
between
tradiction.
the
class.
the capitalist
capitalist and
and the
the working
working class.

10
io

Introduction
Introduction

already
already mentioned,
mentioned, Marx
Marx and
and Engels
Engels never
never again
again referred
referred to
to this
this conconcept.
cept. Moreover,
Moreover, the
the fundamental
fundamental Marxist
Marxist work
work on
on the
the subject
subject belongs
belongs
theFamily,
Family,Private
Private
among these
these later
later writings,
writings, namely,
namely, The
The Origin
Origin of
ofthe
among
Property,and
andthe
theState,
State,which
whichwas
waswritten
writtenbybyEngels
Engelson
onthe
thebasis
basisofof
Property,
Marx;s
notes.
Marx's own
own notes.
The
The other
other side
side of
of the
the controversy
controversy was
was supported
supported by
by aa number
number of
of
authors
authors who
who criticized
criticized the
the slave-owning
slave-owning concept
concept of
of ancient
ancient Oriental
Oriental
society, proposing
proposing their
their own
own models
models and
and using
using supporting
supporting data
data from
from
society,
their particular
particular areas
areas of
of expertise
expertise without
without always
always paying
attention to
to
their
paying attention
materials from
from other
other regions.
regions. Unfortunately,
Unfortunately, many
many of
of these
authors'
these authors'
materials
publications
were based
based on
on secondary
secondary and
and even
even tertiary
tertiary sources.
sources.
publications were
We cannot
cannot enumerate
enumerate all
all the
the participants
in this
this debate
debate or
or all
all their
their
We
participants in
arguments.
We shall
shall only
only mention
mention the
the most
most typical
typical and
and important
important ones.
ones.
arguments. We
all, we
we must
must note
note that
that the
the concept
concept of
of an
an Asiatic
Asiatic mode
mode of
of proproFirst of
of all,
First
duction
duction implies
implies that
that aa special
special structure
structure (or
(or "formation")
"formation") existed
existed paralparallel to
to the
the slave-owning
slave-owning structure
structure (formation).
(formation). This
This particular
particular developdeveloplel
mental
mental path
path was
was determined
determined by
by special
special geographical
geographical conditions,
conditions,
particularly
particularly by
by the
the need
need for
for artificial
artificial irrigation.
irrigation. It
It generated
generated the
the cencentralized
tralized power
power of
of aa despotic
despotic ruler
ruler and
and was
was also
also the
the cause
cause of
of the
the longlongterm preservation
preservation of
of the
the primitive
primitive community,
community, which
which was
was subject
subject to
to
term
exploitation.
soexploitation. Although
Although private
private property
property did
did not
not appear
appear in
in such
such societies, it
it is
is assumed
assumed that
that the
the existence
existence of
of the
the Asiatic
Asiatic mode
mode of
of proprocieties,
duction
duction is
is "everlasting"
"everlasting" (apparently
(apparently since
since the
the disintegration
disintegration of
of the
the
primitive
and
primitive community
community order?).
order?). E.
E. S.
S. Varga
Varga supported
supported this
this view,6
view,6 and
Struve admitted
admitted the
the validity
validity of
of the
the above-mentioned
above-mentioned theses
theses (with
(with cercerStruve
tain caveats),
caveats), though
though as
as applied
applied only
only to
to the
the early
early period
period of
of antiquity.
antiquity.
tain
More complex
complex structures
structures were
were also
also proposed.
proposed. L.
L. S.
S. Vasil'ev
Vasil'ev and
and
More
I. A.
A. Stuchevskii
Stuchevskii proposed
proposed their
their own
own concept
concept of
of aa "secondary"
"secondary" formaforma1.
tion; that
that is,
is, aa formation
formation positioned
positioned between
between the
the primitive
primitive order
order and
and
tion;
According to
to these
these authors,
authors, aa society
society emerging
emerging from
from the
the
capitalism.7 According
capitalism.'
primitive
primitive order
order can
can proceed
proceed along
along one
one of
of three,
three, almost
almost equally
equally pospossible, paths:
paths: slave
slave ownership,
ownership, feudalism,
feudalism, or
or the
the Asiatic
Asiatic order
order (the
(the last
last
sible,
combining
combining features
features of
of the
the first
first two).
two). The
The actual
actual path
path is
is not
not deterdetermined by
by the
the developmental
developmental level
level of
of the
the forces
forces of
of production
production (it
(it is
mined
is
about equal
equal in
in all
all cases.)
cases.) but
but by
the type
type of
of community,
community, which,
which, in
in turn,
turn,
about
by the
is determined
determined mainly
mainly by
by environmental
environmental conditions.
conditions.88
is
6. Ocherki
Ocherki po
po problemam
problemampolitekonomii
politekonomiikapitalisma
kapitalisma[Essays
[Essayson
onthe
thepoliticoeconomic
politicoeconomicprobproblems of
of capitalism]
capitalism] (Moscow:
(Moscow: Nauka.
Nauka, 1964).
1964).
lems
7.
7. "Tri
"Tri modeli
modeli vozniknoveniya
vozniknoveniya dokapitalisticheskikh
dokapitalisticheskikh obshchestv"
obshchestv" [Three
[Three models
models for
for
Voprosyistorii.
istorii,
1966,
the origin
origin of
of precapitalist
precapitalist societies].
societies], Voprosy
the
1966.
no.no.
6. 6.
8.
recent work
work Istoriya
Istoriya drevnego
[History
of the
ancient
Orient].
8. In
In his
his recent
drevnegoVostoka
Vostoka
[History
of the
ancient
Orient],
vols.
1-2 (Moscow:
1985), L.
L. S.
S. Vasil'ev
on the
the one
hand,
vols. 1-2
(Moscow: Nauka,
Nauka. 1985).
Vasil'ev bases
bases his
his arguments,
arguments. on
one hand.
on Hegel
Hegel and
and early
early Marxian
Marxian work
and, on
on the
the other.
other, on
on social
social anthropology
anthropology and
and conconon
work and.
tends that
that all
all class
class societies
societies are
are stagnant
stagnant except
except those
those based
based on
on private
private property
in the
the
tends
property in
means of
of production,
as, for
for example.
example, ancient
ancient Greece.
Greece. Not
Not distinguishing
distinguishing between
between sovmeans
production. as.
sov-

Introduction
Introduction

11
11

A
A similar
similar perspective
perspective is
is advanced
advanced in
in aa number
number of
of writings
writings by
by the
the
prominent
Soviet historian
historian and
and philologist,
G. A.
Melikishvili.99 In
prominent Soviet
philologist, G.
A. Melikishvili.
In
Melikishvili's opinion,
opinion, the
the most
most common
common manifestation
manifestation of
of precapitalist
precapitalist
Melikishvili's
class society
society is
is feudalism.
feudalism. The
The slave-owning
slave-owning order
order appears
appears only
only in
in exexclass
ceptional cases
cases (Phoenicia,
(Phoenicia, Greece,
Greece, Rome),
Rome), culminating
culminating in
in aa return
return to
to
ceptional
the main
main road;
that is,
is, to
to feudalism.
feudalism. During
During the
the early
early developmental
developmental
the
road; that
stages of
of aa class
class society,
society, the
Asiatic mode
mode of
of production
production can
can also
also come
come
the Asiatic
stages
of production
production is
is defined
denned by
as aa
into existence.
existence. This
This mode
mode of
into
by Melikishvili
Melikishvili as
"protofeudal" complex
complex of
of exploitation
exploitation methods.
methods.10
"protofeudal"
19
Although
Although Melikishvili's
Melikishvili's view
view differs
differs from
from the
the one
one adopted
adopted in
in this
this
is nevertheless
nevertheless close
close to
to it
it in
in many
many respects.
respects. We
We actually
actually agree
agree
book, it
book,
it is
with him
him on
on the
the existence
existence of
of various
various types
types of
of development
development within
within the
with
the
framework
we try
feaframework of
of ancient
ancient society.
society. However,
However, we
try to
to stress
stress common
common features, defining
denning the
the different
different types
types of
of ancient
ancient societies
societies as
as ways
ways of
of develdeveltures,
opment
mode of
opment of
of one
one and
and the
the same
same ancient
ancient mode
of production.
production. Melikishvili
Melikishvili
on the
the distinguishing
distinguishing characteristics,
characteristics, which
which he
puts more
emphasis on
more emphasis
he
puts
considers
Melikishvili emphaconsiders different
different production
production structures.
structures. Yet
Yet Melikishvili
emphasizes,
sizes, to
to aa greater
greater extent
extent than
than we
we do,
do, the
the similarity
similarity between
between the
the mode
mode
of
of production
production of
of antiquity
antiquity and
and that
that of
of the
the Middle
Middle Ages.
Ages. To
To us
us the
the difdifference in
in this
this case
case is
is more
more substantial.
substantial. (At
(At the
the same
same time,
time, doubtless
doubtless
ference
no one
meno
one could
could dispute
dispute the
the fact
fact that
that ancient
ancient society
society differs
differs less
less from
from meother
dieval society
society than
than both
both differ
differ from
from capitalism;
capitalism; capitalism,
capitalism, in
in other
dieval
words,
from feudalism
words, is
is separated
separated from
feudalism by
by aa sharper
sharper break.)
break.)
The picture
picture of
The
of world
world history
history drawn
drawn by
by another
another Soviet
Soviet historian
historian and
and
philosopher,
V. P.
P. Ilyushechkin,
Ilyushechkin, seems
seems to
to us
oversimplified.11II He
He studstudphilosopher, V.
us oversimplified.
the forms
forms of
of exploitation
exploitation attested
attested in
in antiquity
antiquity and
and in
in the
the Middle
Middle
ies the
ies
Ages and
and concludes
concludes that
that the
number of
methods of
of exploitaexploitaAges
the number
of possible
possible methods
ereignty and property, Vasil'ev asserts that only state property existed in all other ancient and medieval societies.
9. "K voprosu 0o kharaktere drevneishikh klassovykh obshchestv" [On the problem
of the nature of
of the most ancient class societies], Voprosy
of
Voprosyistorii,
istorii,
1966,
1966,
no.no.
11;11;
"Kharakter
"Kharakter
sotsial'no-ekonomicheskogo stroya na drevnem Vostoke (Opyt stadial'no-tipologichesstadial'no-tipologichessotsial'no-ekonomicheskogo
klassifikatsii klassovykh obshchestv)" [The nature of
of the socioeconomic formation
formation in
koi klassifikatsii
of class societies)],
the ancient Orient (An attempt at a typological-stage classification
classification of
Narody
Aziii iA/riki,
Afriki,1972,
1972,lio.
no.4;4;"Nekotorye
"Nekotoryeaspekty
aspektyvoprosa
voprosa0osotsial'no-ekonomichessotsial'no-ekonomichesNarody Azii
of the problem of
kom stroye drevnikh blizhnevostochnykh
blizhnevostochnykh obshchestv" [Some aspects of
of
Vestnikdrevnei
drevneiistorii,
istorii,
the socio-economic formation in ancient Near Eastern societies], Vestnik
1975, no. 2; and others.
1975,
10. It should be noted that G. G. Giorgadze, one of
of the authors of
of this book and
different types of
of ancient societies
Melikishvili's pupil, adheres to the theory that the different
cannot simply be reduced to varieties of the same slave-owning mode of production.
11. See his Sistema vne-ekonomicheskogo
vne-ekonomicheskogoprinuzhdeniya
prinuzhdeniya i iproblema
problemavtoroi
vtoroiosnovnoi
osnovnoistadii
stadii
obshchestvennoi
evolyutsii
[The
system
of extraeconomic
coercion
problem
obshchestvennoi
evolyutsii
[The
system
of extraeconomic
coercion
andand
the the
problem
of of
Sistemyi istruktury
struktury
the second major
major stage of
of social evolution] (Moscow: Nauka 1970); Sistemy
chastnosobstvennicheskoyekspluatatsii
ekspluatatsii[Systems
[Systemsand
andstructures
structuresofofprecapiprecapidoburzhuaznoy chastnosobstvennicheskoy
talist exploitation by private proprietors] (Moscow: Nauka 1980).

12
12

Introduction
Introduction

tion was
was limited
of one
one or
or another
tion
limited and
and the
the application
application of
another depended
depended on
on
differences
historical conditions.
this, Ilyushechkin
differences in
in specific
specific historical
conditions. From
From this,
Ilyushechkin
that all
precapitalist societies
deduces
deduces that
all precapitalist
societies constitute
constitute aa single
single "precapitalist
"precapitalist
formation,"
the same
formation," or
or "the
"the second
second stage
stage of
of social
social evolution."
evolution."1212 At
At the
same
time,
time, however,
however, the
the author
author virtually
virtually ignores
ignores the
the forms
forms of
of property
property in
in
the means
of productionespecially
land (real)
(real) property.
But only
only
the
means of
production-especially land
property. But
the
the combination
combination of
of the
the form
form of
of property
property in
in the
the means
means of
of production
production
with the
the form
form of
of exploitation
exploitation determines
determines the
the dominant
dominant mode
mode of
of prowith
proplace in
process. Moreover,
duction
duction and
and its
its place
in the
the historical
historical process.
Moreover, the
the author
author
fails
fails to
to consider
consider the
the development
development of
of ideas,
ideas, which
which depends
depends on
on the
the proprocessual development
of socioeconomic
socioeconomic history.
It is
is well
well known
known that
that an
an
history. It
cessual
development of
idea becomes
force as
as soon
soon as
as it
it possesses
consciousness
idea
becomes aa material
material force
possesses the
the consciousness
of the
masses; but
ideational structure
structure typical
typical of
of antiquity
antiquity is
is quite
quite
of
the masses;
but the
the ideational
dissimilar from
from that
of the
the Middle
also means
means that
the
that of
Middle Ages,
Ages, which
which also
that the
dissimilar
incentives for
for mass
different.
mass behavior
behavior were
were different.
incentives
Finally,
Finally, we
we also
also mention
mention that
that new
new formations
formations have
have been
been postulated
postulated
(though without
sufficiently convincing
convincing argumentation)
argumentation) during
during the
the
(though
without sufficiently
course
by Yu.
Yu.1.
course of
of this
this discussion
discussion (e.g.,
(e.g., by
I. Semenov).
Semenov).
Participants in
in this
this debate
debate variously
variously interpret
role,
Participants
interpret the
the character,
character, role,
and
the factors
and significance
significance of
of the
factors that
that are
are fundamental
fundamental to
to the
the theory
theory of
of
historical materialism.
materialism. Such
include property
property in
the means
means of
of
historical
Such factors
factors include
in the
production (especially
land); the
the character
character of
of exploitation:
exploitation: economic
production
(especially land);
economic
(via the
the market,
market, where
labor force
force becomes
commodity) and
and
where the
the labor
becomes aa commodity)
(via
noneconomic (by
(by compulsion);
compulsion); and
and the
correlation of
of these
facnoneconomic
the correlation
these two
two factors
of property
and exploitation):
exploitation): whether
persons
property and
whether the
the persons
tors (i.e.,
(i.e., forms
forms of
exploited are
are deprived
deprived of
of property
property in
in the
means of
of production
or not.
not.
the means
production or
exploited
In our
our view,
view, property
property as
as aa relationship
relationship of
of classes
classes must
must not
not be
confused
In
be confused
with
simple physical
especially in
in the
the case
case when
when the
the posposwith simple
physical possession,
possession, especially
sessor cannot
cannot legally
legally dispose
dispose of
of the
the oqject
object in
in his
his own
own interest
interest and
and at
at
sessor
Our position
is that
that the
the character
character of
of aa society
society is
is determined
determined by
will.13
will.
IS Our
position is
by
the mode
mode of
of production,
which is
is realized
realized in
in the
the developmental
developmental level
level
the
production, which
of
the means
means of
and is
is achieved
and reflected
(on the
of the
of production
production and
achieved and
reflected (on
the sosocial level) in
in the
character of
of property.
This relation
relation determines
determines both
both
the character
property. This
ciallevel)
the
character of
of the
exploitation and
and the
class structure
structure of
of the
the society.
society.
the character
the exploitation
the class
We believe
our position
in agreement
agreement with
the tenets
of historihistoriWe
believe our
position to
to be
be in
with the
tenets of
cal materialism
and that
that opposing
opposing theories
theories have
have not
offered clear
clear anannot offered
cal
materialism and
swers to
to the
the problem
problem of
of the
the correlation
correlation of
of these.
these decisive
decisive factors
factors in
in
swers
ancient societies.
societies.
ancient
12.
of social
evolution corre12. Ilyushechkin's
Ilyushechkin's precapitalist
precapitalist formation
formation or
or second
second stage
stage of
social evolution
corresponds to
or urban
society.
sponds
to the
the preindustrial
preindustrial or
urban society.
13.
13. That
That is,
is, property
property can
can be
be defined
defined as
as an
an object
object that
that an
an owner
owner can
can use,
use, possess,
possess, and
and
dispose
in his
his own
own interest
interest and
his own
own will,
will, and
exclude any
proprietor
dispose of
of in
and at
at his
and can
can exclude
any non
nonproprietor
from
using, possessing,
possessing, or
disposing of.
from using,
or disposing
of.

Introduction
Introduction

13
13

We will
will not
We
not offer
offer further
further detailed
detailed presentation
presentation of
of the
the views
views and
and ararguments produced
opponents of
of the
slave-owning formation
formation in
in the
the
guments
produced by
by opponents
the slave-owning
ancient
but will
will limit
the fundamental
ancient Orient
Orient but
limit ourselves
ourselves to
to outlining
outlining the
fundamental
directions
by the
to familiarize
directions taken
taken by
the discussion.
discussion. Those
Those desiring
desiring to
familiarize themthemselves
to V.
Nikiforov's book
Vostoki i
selves with
with its
its course
course are
are referred
referred to
V. N.
N. Nikiforov's
book Vostok
vsemirnaya
[The
East
and
world
history]
(Moscow,
1975).
This
vsemirnayaistoriya
istoriya
[The
East
and
world
history]
(Moscow,
1975).
This
work
thorough and,
the whole,
whole, well-argued
work contains
contains aa thorough
and, on
on the
well-argued analysis
analysis of
of
all
viewpoints expressed
all the
the viewpoints
expressed in
in the
the discussion,
discussion, as
as well
well as
as aa comprehencomprehensive
bibliography. In
recent years,
years, this
has subsided.
sive bibliography.
In recent
this debate
debate has
subsided. Its
Its main
main
utility lay
in the
fact that
participants (as
as historians
utility
lay in
the fact
that many
many of
of the
the participants
(as well
well as
historians
who
not take
part in
in the
the arguwho did
did not
take aa direct
direct part
the discussion)
discussion) subjected
subjected the
arguments
their proposed
historical constructions
ments used
used to
to support
support their
proposed historical
constructions to
to aa
new thorough
analysis, redefining
their concepts
concepts where
necessary.
new
thorough analysis,
redefining their
where necessary.
not all
However,
However, obviously,
obviously, not
all the
the questions
questions of
of the
the history
history of
of the
the ancient
ancient
world
resolved. Uncertainty
Uncertainty and
in our
world have
have been
been resolved.
and incompleteness
incompleteness in
our
views
are due
due mainly
mainly to
unequal quality
quality and
and quantity
quantity of
of informainformaviews are
to the
the unequal
tion regarding
different periods
periods and
and countries,
countries, as
as well
as to
an uneven
uneven
tion
regarding different
well as
to an
elaboration of
of some
some trends
trends of
of the
elaboration
the historical
historical process.
process.
The greatest
of documented
documented data
data about
about the
entire period
period of
of
The
greatest wealth
wealth of
the entire
antiquity,
the beginning
of class
class civilizations
civilizations to
of the
antiquity, from
from the
beginning of
to the
the start
start of
the
medieval
point out
medieval era,
era, comes
comes from
from the
the Near
Near East.
East. We
We would
would like
like to
to point
out
that
that the
the taxonomic
taxonomic rank
rank of
of early
early antiquity
antiquity and
and late
late antiquity
antiquity remains
remains
uncertain.
there four
taxonomically equivalent
uncertain. Were
Were there
four taxonomically
equivalent stages
stages of
of one
one
precapitalist society
Ages,
precapitalist
society (early
(early antiquity,
antiquity, late
late antiquity,
antiquity, early
early Middle
Middle Ages,
or were
two consequent
consequent formations-an
late Middle
Ages) or
late
Middle Ages)
were there
there two
formationsan anancient
cient and
and aa medieval
medieval one,
one, each
each of
of them
them subdivided
subdivided into
into an
an early
early and
and aa
late stage
has been
been assumed
in this
book)? Or
Or is
is one
late
stage (as
(as has
assumed in
this book)?
one dealing
dealing with
with
three consequent
three
consequent precapitalist
precapitalist formations:
formations: early
early antiquity,
antiquity, late
late antiqantiquity, and
and the
the Middle
Middle Ages?
Ages? Here
Here we
we arrive
arrive at
at an
an important
important theoretical
theoretical
uity,
in our
We
difficulty,
difficulty, which
which is
is due
due to
to aa certain
certain vagueness
vagueness in
our constructions.
constructions. We
still
the mechanisms
which aa society
still actually
actually do
do not
not know
know the
mechanisms by
by which
society passes
passes
from one
one form
another, nor
can we
even establish
establish whether
whether the
the
from
form to
to another,
nor can
we even
change
change in
in each
each case
case is
is from
from "formation"
"formation" to
to "formation"
"formation" or
or whether
whether it
it
is less
less important.
important.
is
Naturally, because
because of
historical information
Naturally,
of the
the vast
vast amount
amount of
of historical
information that
that
students of
of the
the ancient
ancient Near
East have
have amassed,
amassed, many
many authors
authors of
of our
our
students
Near East
book
have used
kind of
book have
used Near
Near Eastern
Eastern data
data as
as aa kind
of standard.
standard. But,
But, in
in the
the
future,
when our
in India,
future, when
our knowledge
knowledge of
of the
the anciem
anciem :;ocieties
societies in
India, China,
China,
Central Asia,
Iran, Egypt,
Egypt, and
and other
other African
African countries
countries attains
attains the
the
Central
Asia, Iran,
same scientific
scientific level
level as
as our
our present
knowledge of
of the
the Near
East,
same
present knowledge
Near East,
Greece, and
and Rome,
Rome, we
we hope
hope that
that historical
historical science
science will
will advance
advance withGreece,
without the
for extrapolations
extrapolations from
from data
data acquired
acquired in
in one
one region
region to
to
out
the need
need for
other regions.
regions.
other

14

Introduction
Introduction

The
The Problem
Problem of
of Sources
Sources for
for Ancient
Ancient History
History

Sources of
of information
information on
on the
the history
history of
of the
the ancient
ancient world
world are
are manimaniSources
cases, more
more information
information is
is available
from certain
certain
fold. In
In aa number
number of
of cases,
fold.
available from
early periods
from epochs
epochs much
much closer
closer to
our own
own time.
These
than from
to our
time. These
early
periods than
sources, however
however abundant,
abundant, are
are incomplete,
incomplete, aa fact
fact that
that presents
sources,
presents seserious difficulties
difficulties for
for the
the objective
objective study
study of
of ancient
ancient history.
history.
rious
The
history of
The history
of ancient
ancient Mesopotamia,
Mesopotamia, from
from the
the beginning
beginning of
of the
the
third millennium
millennium B.C.
third
B.C. to
to the
the beginnings
beginnings of
of the
the Christian
Christian era
era (first
(first cencentury
tury B.C.
B.C. to
to first
first century
century A.D.),
A.D.), is
is reconstructed
reconstructed from
from original
original contemcontemporary texts,
texts, written
written on
on clay
other objects
objects made
of clay,
clay,
porary
clay tablets
tablets and
and other
made of
stone, and
and metal.
metal. The
The script
script is
is called
called cuneiform,
and the
stone,
cuneiform, and
the writing
writing syssystem
is aa complex,
complex, "word-syllabic"
"word-syllabic" one.
one. The
The quantity
quantity of
of cuneiform
cuneiform
tem is
texts is
is enormous-hundreds
enormoushundreds of
of thousands,
thousands, their
their number
number increasing
increasing
texts
every year
year as
as aa result
result of
of new
new archaeological
archaeological excavations.
excavations. Yet
Yet it
it would
would
every
be
wrong to
to think
think that
that these
these discoveries
discoveries give
give aa completely
completely satisfactory
satisfactory
be wrong
view of
of ancient
ancient Mesopotamian
Mesopotamian society,
society, of
of its
its life
life and
and historic
historic events.
events.
view
Royal inscriptions
inscriptions praise
gods and
king and
and inform
inform us
of the
the
Royal
praise the
the gods
and the
the king
us of
temples
he built
built (and,
(and, less
less frequently,
frequently, other
other structures).
structures). The
The inscripinscriptemples he
tions
of Hittite
Hittite and
and Assyrian
Assyrian kings
relate only
only their
their military
triumphs;
kings relate
military triumphs;
tions of
their accounts
accounts are
are very
very much
much biased.
(Defeats are,
are, of
of course,
course, ignored.)
ignored.)
their
biased. (Defeats
Texts recording
recording laws
are incomplete
incomplete in
in terms
terms of
of the
the social
social relations
relations
Texts
laws are
regulated by
by them
them and,
and, as
as often
often as
as not,
not, are
are poorly
moreregulated
poorly preserved;
preserved; moreover, such
such texts
texts have
have not
not been
recovered for
for all
all historical
historical periods
periods and
and
over,
been recovered
all countries.
Religious-literary texts
texts are
are mostly
in
all
countries. Religious-literary
mostly preserved
preserved only
only in
fragments. They
They are
are difficult
difficult to
date and
and usually
illustrate only
the
fragments.
to date
usually illustrate
only the
official ideology.
ideology. It
It is
is rarely
extract from
from them
them any
any inforinforofficial
rarely possible
possible to
to extract
mation about
about the
the real
real life
life and
and views
views of
of the
the population.
Administramation
population. Administrative-economic texts,
texts, which
which represent
represent the
vast majority
majority of
of the
the available
available
tive-economic
the vast
cuneiform material,
material, originate
originate from
from state
state economies
economies or
or the
economies
cuneiform
the economies
of government
employees, merchants,
merchants, and
and others.
others. Again,
the result
result is
of
government employees,
Again, the
is
society. It
It is
is not
not surprising
surprising that
that historians
historians believed
believed
aa one-sided
one-sided view
view of
of society.
for aa long
long time
time that
that only
only state
state or
or temple
economies existed
existed in
in Mesofor
temple economies
Mesopotamia
during
the
third
millennium
B.C.
Texts
recording
private
potamia during the third millennium B.C. Texts recording private
legal contracts
contracts appear
appear on
on those
those relatively
relatively rare
rare occasions
occasions when
when the
the solegal
social
relations
were
in
the
process
of
change
and
when
verbal
contracts
cial relations were in the process of change and when verbal contracts
based on
on customary
customary law
law were
were inadequate
inadequate for
for aa number
number of
of reasons.
reasons.
based
The
periods
that
are
illustrated
by
numerous
written
documents
The periods that are illustrated by numerous written documents alalternate with
with centuries
centuries from
from which
which not
single written
written document
document has
has
ternate
not aa single
reached
The Hittite
Hittite civilization,
civilization, which
existed in
in Asia
Asia Minor
Minor durdurreached us.
us. The
which existed
B.C. and
and also
also used
used the
the cuneiform
cuneiform script,
script,
ing the
the second
second millennium
millennium B.C.
ing
left us
us only
only one
one royal
royal archive,
archive, containing
containing accounts
accounts of
of royal
royal victories,
left
victories,
treaties between
states, legislative
legislative texts,
texts, instructions
instructions to
to employees,
employees, and
and
treaties
between states,
innumerable magic
magic rituals-but
ritualsbut not
not aa single
single document
document dealing
dealing with
with
innumerable

Introduction
Introduction

15

the
private lives
the private
lives of
of men
men and
and women.
women. From
From the
the second
second half
half of
of the
the first
first
millennium
parchment, potmillennium B.C.,
B.C., when
when such
such new
new writing
writing materials
materials as
as parchment,
pottery sherds
sherds (ostraca),
(ostraca), and
and papyrus
came into
into use
use in
in the
the Near
Near East,
East,
tery
papyrus came
practically no
no documents
documents have
have reached
reached us;
parchment and
and papyrus
papyrus
practically
us; parchment
disintegrate rapidly,
rapidly, and
and inscriptions
or sherds
sherds rub
rub off
off or
or fade
fade
disintegrate
inscriptions in
in ink
ink or
with
the passage
passage of
of time.
time.
with the
Let
us now
now turn
Let us
turn to
to the
the archaeological
archaeological remains
remains from
from the
the ancient
ancient
Near East.
East. Until
Until recently,
recently, extensive
extensive excavations
excavations were
were conducted
conducted only
only
Near
on
beginning of
twentieth century
on temples
temples and
and palaces.
palaces. Before
Before the
the beginning
of the
the twentieth
century
the unearthed
sites of
of ancient
ancient towns
towns were
were razed
razed in
in search
search of
of tablets
tablets
the
unearthed sites
and
and statues
statues and
and other
other "art"
"art" objects.
objects. Later
Later excavations
excavations in
in Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia
and
parts of
and other
other parts
of the
the Near
Near East
East were
were conducted
conducted by
by architects.
architects. ConConsequently,
began emerging
sequently, the
the cities
cities began
emerging with
with more
more clarity
clarity (although
(although
residential
residential houses
houses still
still attracted
attracted only
only minimal
minimal attention),
attention), but
but the
the circircumstances
utensils and
tabcumstances surrounding
surrounding such
such finds
finds as
as domestic
domestic utensils
and even
even tabremained mostly
lets
lets remained
mostly unrecorded.
unrecorded. For
For aa long
long time,
time, the
the excavations
excavations of
of
towns
towns and
and cities
cities did
did not
not proceed
proceed stratum
stratum by
by stratum
stratum to
to lay
lay bare
bare the
the
remains of
of the
the different
different periods.
periods. Even
Even today,
today, many
many pottery
pottery fragfragremains
ments,
bones of
ments, bones
of domestic
domestic animals,
animals, and
and other
other artifacts
artifacts are
are sometimes
sometimes
discardedmaterials that
that could
could provide
provide clues
clues to
to aspects
aspects of
of the
the daily
daily
discarded-materials
life and
and the
the diet
diet of
of the
the inhabitants.
inhabitants. Yet,
Yet, even
even when
when the
the excavations
excavations are
are
life
conducted in
in the
the best
possible way,
way, archaeology
archaeology without
without the
the support
support
conducted
best possible
of written
written records
records cannot
cannot provide
complete picture
of the
the social
social
of
provide aa complete
picture of
structure or
or the
the spiritual
spiritual culture
culture of
of aa past
past society.
society. While
While archaeoloarchaeolostructure
gists were
were gaining
gaining on-the-job
training in
in the
the mastery
of the
the complex
complex
gists
on-the-job training
mastery of
digging techniques
techniques necessary
necessary to
to furnish
furnish proper
material for
for histoproper material
histodigging
rians,
they often
often managed
to destroy
destroy many
many interesting
interesting sites.
sites. As
As aa rule,
rule,
rians, they
managed to
early archaeologists
archaeologists dug
dug the
the best
ancient sites,
sites, and
and after
after
best preserved
preserved ancient
early
having
destroyed them,
they left
left less
less significant
significant sites
sites to
to the
next gengenhaving destroyed
them, they
the next
eration
of
scientists,
whose
methods
were
more
sophisticated.
eration of scientists, whose methods were more sophisticated.
The
has its
vast majority
The history
history of
of Egypt
Egypt has
its own
own sources.
sources. The
The vast
majority of
of writwritten material
material is
is represented
represented by
prayers and
and invocations
invocations recorded
on
ten
by prayers
recorded on
the walls
walls of
of tombs
tombs and
and on
on funeral
funeral stelae
stelae (at
(at times
times with
with much
much embelembelthe
lished, though
standardized, biographies
biographies of
of the
the deceased).
deceased). In
In relarelalished,
though standardized,
tively rare
rare cases,
cases, inscriptions
inscriptions dedicated
dedicated to
exploits of
of pharaohs
pharaohs
tively
to the
the exploits
were engraved
engraved on
on temple
temple walls.
walls. More
More important
important even
even than
than the
inwere
the inscriptions are
are the
the wall
and reliefs
reliefs illustrating
illustrating the
the religious
religious
scriptions
wall paintings
paintings and
ideas of
of ancient
ancient Egyptians,
Egyptians, who
imagined the
the afterlife
afterlife to
to be
be aa copy
copy of
of
ideas
who imagined
their earthly
earthly existence.
existence. In
In these
these pictures,
we find
find numerous
numerous scenes
scenes of
of
their
pictures, we
everyday life,
life, although
although it
it is
is difficult
difficult to
use them
them to
to re-create
re-create the
the social
social
everyday
to use
aspects of
of this
this life.
life. The
The texts
texts written
written on
on the
the well-known
Egyptian papaaspects
well-known Egyptian
pyri stem
stem from
from relatively
relatively later
later times
(second millennium
and espepyri
times (second
millennium and
espeA.D.). A
A few
few
cially first
first millennium
B.C. through
through the
the first
first millennium
millennium A.D.).
cially
millennium B.C.
ostraca containing
containing economic
economic and
and legal
legal information
information have
have survived.
survived.
ostraca

16

Introduction
Introduction

The
The first
first code
code of
of law
law was
was found
found recently
recently but
but has
has not
not yet
yet been
been fully
fully
published.
published.
It was
was mainly
mainly religious,
literary, and,
and, occasionally,
occasionally, scientific
scientific subjects
subjects
It
religious, literary,
that
were recorded
that were
recorded on
on papyri,
papyri, although
although documents
documents originating
originating from
from
state
state administrative
administrative institutions
institutions have
have also
also come
come down
down to
to us.
us. (Most
(Most of
of
them are
are from
from the
the end
end of
of the
the second
second through
through the
the first
first millennium
millennium
them
B.C., as
as well
well as
as from
from the
the Hellenistic
Hellenistic and
and Roman
Roman periods.)
periods.) A
A relatively
relatively
B.C.,
small number
number (except
(except for
for later
later periods)
of legal
legal contracts
contracts also
also exist.
exist.
small
periods) of
mind that
acKeeping in
in mind
that scholars
scholars understand
understand Egyptian
Egyptian texts
texts with
with less
less acKeeping
curacy than
than they
they do
do the
the Babylonian
Babylonian texts,
texts, one
one may
may say
say that
that reconreconcuracy
struction of
of socioeconomic
socioeconomic life
life in
in ancient
ancient Egypt
Egypt is
is aa very
very difficult
difficult
struction
matter, and
and much
much remains
remains unclear.
unclear. Art
Art experts,
experts, as
as well
well as
as comcommatter,
paratively narrowly
narrowly oriented
oriented philologists,
more success
success in
in their
their
paratively
philologists, have
have more
efforts than
than economic
economic historians.
historians.
efforts
The
number of
The smaller
smaller the
the number
of documental
documental sources,
sources, the
the more
more difficult
difficult
it is
is to
to reconstruct
reconstruct the
the history
history of
of aa society.
society. Documental
Documental sources
sources have
have
it
two
two invaluable
invaluable advantages.
advantages. First,
First, they
they are,
are, as
as aa rule,
rule, contemporary
contemporary
with the
the events
they relate
thus, provide
provide more
objective accounts
with
events they
relate and,
and, thus,
more objective
accounts
of
is
of what
what really
really occurred.
occurred. Second,
Second, given
given that
that the
the number
number of
of texts
texts is
sufficiently large
large and
and that
that we
we can
can ascertain
ascertain that
that the
the large
or small
small
sufficiently
large or
number
reaching us
us is
result of
number of
of aa certain
certain type
type of
of document
document reaching
is not
not the
the result
of
the
were found,
the fortuitous
fortuitous conditions
conditions under
under which
which these
these documents
documents were
found,
we can
as to
to whether
particular social
social phenomephenomewe
can draw
draw conclusions
conclusions as
whether aa particular
non was
was common
common or
or unusual
unusual during
during the
the period
period in
in question.
question.
non
With regard
narrative sources
purely literary
With
regard to
to the
the so-called
so-called narrative
sources (both
(both purely
literary
works and
and works
ancient historians),
historians), it
it is
is important
important to
to realize
realize that
that
works
works by
by ancient
they do
do not
not inform
inform us
us of
of actual
actual facts
facts but,
but, rather,
rather, only
only of
of what
what the
the auauthey
thors,
or the
group to
to which
they belonged,
thought about
about the
the subthors, or
the group
which they
belonged, thought
subject.
Though such
such information
information is
is certainly
certainly useful
useful to
to the
the historian,
historian,
ject. Though
we can
can rarely
rarely check
check the
the correctness
correctness of
of the
the data
data transmitted
transmitted by
by aa narnarwe
rative source.
source. Details
Details describing
describing sundry
sundry events
events and
and quotations
quotations of
of proprorative
nouncements made
made by
historical figures
figures are,
are, in
in particular,
particular, nearly
nearly
nouncements
by historical
always fictitious.
fictitious.
always
The
The history
history of
of Palestine
Palestine is
is known
known almost
almost exclusively
exclusively through
through narnarrative sources,
sources, although
although recently
recently discovered
discovered archaeological
archaeological data
data can,
can,
rative
to
to some
some extent,
extent, be
be used
used in
in checking
checking their
their validity.
validity. The
The narratives
narratives have
have
been preserved
preserved in
in the
the Bible-the
Biblethe holy
holy scriptures
scriptures of
of the
the Jewish
Jewish and
and
been
Christian religions.
religions. The
The Bible
Bible is
is not
not aa book
an entire
entire library
library conconChristian
book but
but an
taining aa number
number of
of writings
writings dating
dating from
from the
the twelfth
twelfth to
to the
the second
second
taining
centuries
B.C.
(Old
Testament)
and
from
the
first
to
the
second
cencenturies B.C. (Old Testament) and from the first to the second centuries
A.D.
(New
Testament).
The
Bible
includes
mythological
and
turies A.D. (New Testament). The Bible includes mythological and leglegendary accounts
accounts relating
relating to
to the
the creation
creation of
of the
and to
to the
life of
endary
the world
world and
the life
of
the peoples
in and
and around
around Palestine
Palestine (mainly
Jews). It
It also
also includes
includes
the
peoples in
(mainly Jews).
criminal, civil,
civil, and
and ritual
legislation; prosaic
prosaic historical
accounts (these
(these
criminal,
ritual legislation;
historical accounts

Introduction
Introduction

17

can
can be
be verified
verified to
to aa substantial
substantial degree
degree by
by comparing
comparing them
them with
with ararchaeological
chaeological data,
data, as
as well
well as
as with
with Assyrian,
Assyrian, Babylonian,
Babylonian, and
and Egyptian
Egyptian
royal
royal inscriptions
inscriptions and,
and, occasionally,
occasionally, even
even with
with documents);
documents); religious
religious
and secular
secular poetry;
fragments of
of epic
epic poems;
poems; religious
and secular
secular
and
poetry; fragments
religious and
didactics;
rhythmical religious
religious (prophetic)
didactics; rhythmical
(prophetic) sermons-actually
sermonsactually often
often
speeches
speeches on
on political
political events
events of
of the
the day
day (these
(these can
can also
also be
be substantiated
substantiated
by
historical information
information from
from other
by historical
other Near
Near Eastern
Eastern countries);
countries); ficfictional
this diverse
material is
tional stories;
stories; and
and more.
more. Clearly,
Clearly, this
diverse material
is of
of quite
quite ununequal
equal historical
historical value,
value, but
but with
with the
the aid
aid of
of historical
historical criticism,
criticism, biblical
biblical
texts
great deal
reliable information.
Unfortunately, the
texts provide
provide aa great
deal of
of reliable
information. Unfortunately,
the
almost
almost complete
complete lack
lack of
of documental
documental sources
sources severely
severely limits
limits the
the ininvestigation of
of ancient
ancient Palestine,
Palestine, despite
the fact
fact that
that the
the number
vestigation
despite the
number of
of
documents has,
in the
past few
few years,
increased, especially
especially with
with the
the
documents
has, in
the past
years, increased,
sensational discovery
discovery of
of the
the Dead
Dead Sea
Sea scrolls,
scrolls, dating
dating from
from around
around the
the
sensational
second
B.C. to
to the
the second
second century
century A.D.
A.D.
second century
century B.C.
The
historiography of
presents aa very
DeThe historiography
of India
India presents
very difficult
difficult problem.
problem. Despite
the flourishing
spite the
flourishing of
of numerous
numerous sciences
sciences in
in ancient
ancient India-philosoIndiaphilosophy,
phy, mathematics,
mathematics, astronomy,
astronomy, grammar,
grammar, and
and others-the
othersthe science
science of
of
history
history did
did not
not come
come into
into being
being... The
The ancient
ancient religious
religious hymns,
hymns, the
the
Veda, ritual-legislative
ritual-legislativecollections,
collections,epics,
epics,and
and philosophical
philosophicaland
andother
other
Veda,
treatises that
reached us
us can
can be
be dated
dated only
only with
with the
the greatest
greatest diffidiffitreatises
that have
have reached
culty. Although
there are
are some
some royal
inscriptions carved
carved in
stone (dat(datculty.
Although there
royal inscriptions
in stone
ing from
from aa time
time not
earlier than
than the
the third
third century
century B.C.),
B.C.), in
in most
ing
not earlier
most cases,
cases,
they
are not
not very
very informative.
informative. Documental
Documental sources
sources are
are completely
completely
they are
lacking. In
In the
the past
half-century, Indian
Indian archaeology
archaeology has
has made
made great
great
past half-century,
lacking.
progress. One
One of
of its
its major
major successes
successes was
the discovery
discovery of
of the
the ancient,
ancient,
progress.
was the
previously
unknown Indus
Indus civilization,
which existed
existed during
during the
third
previously unknown
civilization, which
the third
and second
second millenia
millenia B.C.
its written
consist only
only
and
B.C. Unfortunately,
Unfortunately, its
written texts
texts consist
of very
brief inscriptions
inscriptions on
on seals
seals and
and other
other such
such items;
items; they
they are
are
of
very brief
insufficient
to
decipher
the
script.
The
structure
of
the
grammar
can
insufficient to decipher the script. The structure of the grammar can
be
ascertained, but
we are
are unable
read the
the words.
words.
be ascertained,
but we
unable to
to read
The
ancient history
history of
of China
exclusively on
The ancient
China is
is based
based almost
almost exclusively
on narnarrative
rative sources.
sources. In
In contrast
contrast to
to India,
India, historical
historical literature
literature flourished
flourished in
in
China.
secChina. Nevertheless,
Nevertheless, it
it only
only covered
covered the
the period
period starting
starting with
with the
the second
the first
first millennium
millennium B.C.,
historians of
ond half
half of
of the
B.C., although
although historians
of that
that time
time
had access
access to
to more
more ancient
ancient records,
which have
have not
not reached
us. InInhad
records, which
reached us.
scriptions from
earlier periods
periods are
preserved on
on bronze
bronze vessels
vessels of
scriptions
from earlier
are preserved
of
various kinds;
kinds; divinatory
various
divinatory texts,
texts, dating
dating from
from the
the second
second millennium
millennium
B.C., are
are also
also inscribed
inscribed on
on sheep
sheep shoulder
shoulder blades,
blades, turtle
shells, etc.
etc. We
B.C.,
turtle shells,
We
also have
ancient hymns
hymns and
and legends,
legends, but
but they
they have
have reached
reached us
us in
in ververalso
have ancient
sions written
written down
down much
much later
later than
than the
original compositions.
compositions. There
There
sions
the original
are numerous
numerous philosophical,
philosophical, scientific,
scientific, economic,
and military
treaare
economic, and
military treatises,
but until
lately, there
were scarcely
scarcely any
any documentary
documentary sources
sources
tises, but
until lately,
there were
available. Despite
Despite the
the fact
fact that
that important
important discoveries
already
discoveries have
have already
available.

i8
18

Introduction
Introduction

been made,
made, the
the archaeology
archaeology of
of China
China is
is still
still in
in its
its initial
initial phase.
phase. The
The
been
most
most sensational
sensational discovery
discovery was
was that
that of
of the
the tomb
tomb of
of the
the first
first Chinese
Chinese
emperor, Ch'in
Ch'in Shih
Shih Huang-ti,
Huang-ti, which
which remained
remained hidden
hidden throughout
throughout
emperor,
antiquity. It
It was
was surrounded
surrounded by
by an
an entire
entire army
army of
of realistically
realistically and
and
antiquity.
brightly colored
colored terra-cotta
terra-cotta warriors
warriors of
of the
the imperial
imperial guard
guard with
with all
all the
the
brightly
details
details of
of their
their arms,
arms, clothing,
clothing, and
and horses'
horses' accoutrements.
accoutrements. Less
Less sensasensational finds
finds also
also promise
promise aa considerable
considerable increase
increase in
in our
our knowledge
knowledge
tional
about
about ancient
ancient China.
China. Much
Much has
has also
also been
been accomplished
accomplished in
in the
the historihistorical criticism
criticism of
of the
the written
written sources.
sources.
cal
Until
Until recently,
recently, the
the most
most ancient
ancient period
period of
of Greek
Greek history
history could
could be
be
studied only
only from
from nontextual
nontextual archaeological
archaeological objects;
objects; just
few dedestudied
just aa few
cades ago,
ago, the
the mysterious
mysterious Mycenaean
Mycenaean word-syllabic
word-syllabic writing
writing of
of the
the seccades
second half
half of
of the
the second
second millennium
millennium B.C.
B.C. was
was deciphered.
deciphered. But
But the
the texts
texts
ond
appeared to
to be
accounts of
of the
the palace
palace household,
household, and
and for
for aa number
number of
of
appeared
be accounts
reasons, scholars
scholars believe
that the
the Greeks
Greeks of
of that
that time
time did
did not
not record
record
reasons,
believe that
anything else.
else. In
In addition
addition to
to archaeological
archaeological materials,
materials, the
the next
next period
period
anything
is illuminated
illuminated by
by epics,
epics, which
which were
were composed
composed during
during the
the eighth
eighth to
to
is
seventh centuries
centuries B.C.
B.C. and
and are
are attributed
attributed to
to Homer:
Homer: The
The Iliad
Iliadand
and The
The
seventh
Odyssey,These
Thesepoems
poemspose
posea most
a mostcomplex
complexproblem
problemininhistorical
historicalcriticritiOdyssey.
cism: how
how to
to separate
separate the
the poet's
poet's imagination
imagination from
from historical
historical reality.
reality.
cism:
Almost no
no original
original documents
documents written
written on
on perishable
perishable materials
materials and
and
Almost
contemporary
have reached
reached us
contemporary with
with the
the events
events described
described have
us from
from Greece
Greece
and Rome.
However, two
two fortunate
fortunate circumstances
circumstances neutralize
neutralize this
this
and
Rome. However,
drawback. First,
the Greeks
Greeks (and
(and later
later the
the Romans)
produced aa very
very
drawback.
First, the
Romans) produced
rich and
and most
most diverse
diverse narrative
narrative literature,
literature, including
including some
some remarkremarkrich
able works
works of
of history
history that
that will
will be
be frequently
frequently quoted
quoted in
in our
our book.
book.
able
Thucydides (ca.
(ca. 460-396
460-396 B.C.)
B.C.) can
can rightly
rightly be
regarded as
as the
the founder
founder
Thucydides
be regarded
of scientific
scientific historical
historical criticism.
criticism. Unfortunately,
all these
these writings
writings have
have
of
Unfortunately, all
reached us
us only
only in
in the
the form
form of
of medieval
medieval copies
copies or
or on
on papyri,
papyri, mostly
mostly
reached
from Egypt,
Egypt, of
of the
the first
first centuries
centuries A.D.
A.D. They
They have
have required
required aa huge
huge
from
amount of
of critical
critical work.
work. Second,
Second, in
in Greece
Greece and
and later
later in
in countries
countries ininamount
fluenced by
by Greek
Greek culture
culture (essentially
(essentially the
the entire
entire Near
Near and
and Middle
Middle
fluenced
East and
and the
the Roman
Roman Empire),
Empire), it
it was
was customary
customary to
to record
record on
on stone
stone all
all
East
sorts
of
private
and
social
events.
Among
these
inscriptions
we
can
sorts of private and social events. Among these inscriptions we can
find aa detailed
detailed account
account of
of the
the reign
reign of
of Augustus
Augustus written
written by
the Roman
Roman
find
by the
emperor himself,
himself, as
as well
well as
as aa few
few heartfelt
heartfelt words
words in
in memory
memory of
of aa
emperor
slave's concubine;
concubine; or
or an
an enormous
enormous customs
customs tariff
tariff on
on international
international
slave's
trade, as
as well
well as
as the
the record
record of
of aa private
private sacrifice
sacrifice to
to aa deity.
deity. In
In some
some
trade,
cases private
private deeds
deeds were
were also
also reproduced
reproduced on
on stone.
stone. A
A large
large number
number of
of
cases
documentary materials
materials from
from the
the times
times of
of Graeco-Macedonian
Graeco-Macedonian and
and
documentary
Roman rule
rule have
reached us
us on
on papyri
from Egypt.
Egypt. Numerous
Numerous legisRoman
have reached
papyri from
legislative records
records and
and legal
legal commentaries
commentaries (mainly
(mainly Roman)
Roman) have
have also
also been
been
lative
preserved (again
(again as
as medieval
medieval copies).
preserved
copies).

Introduction

19

Today's
Today's scholars
scholars of
of Greek
Greek and
and Roman
Roman history
history and
and of
of culturally
culturally and
and
politically
related countries
countries (including
(including the
the ancient
ancient Black
Sea littoral)
littoral)
politically related
Black Sea
have aa great
great advantage
advantage over
over those
the Oriental
Oriental countries,
countries,
have
those researching
researching the
because the
the sources
sources for
for Greek
Greek and
and Roman
Roman history
history began
began to
to be
be studied
studied
because
about
four hundred
hundred years
years earlier.
earlier. The
The result
is aa truly
truly enormous
enormous acabout four
result is
accumulation of
of scholarly
scholarly work
work and
and historical
historical criticism.
criticism. However,
However, new
cumulation
new
discoveries and
and interpretations
interpretations of
of old
old materials
materials continue
continue to
to appear
appear
discoveries
every year.
year.
every
Graeco-Roman archaeology
archaeology has
has achieved
achieved brilliant
results. Everyone
Everyone
Graeco-Roman
brilliant results.
is
the excavations
is familiar
familiar with
with the
excavations of
of Pompeii-the
Pompeiithe city
city that
that perished
perished
under
under hot
hot ash
ash during
during aa volcanic
volcanic eruption
eruption in
in the
the first
first century
century of
of the
the
Christian era.
preserved almost
including inscriptions
Christian
era. It
It was
was preserved
almost intact,
intact, including
inscriptions
(graffiti) on
on the
the walls
of the
houses. Other
Other discoveries
discoveries are
are equally
equally fasfas(graffiti)
walls of
the houses.
cinating and
and successfully
successfully complement
complement the
the abundant
abundant written
sources.
cinating
written sources.
Modern science
science has
has developed
developed underwater
underwater archaeology,
archaeology, making
making
Modern
possible the
the discovery
discovery of
of the
the remains
remains of
of sunken
sunken cities,
cities, as
as well
well as
as virtuvirtupossible
ally intact
ships that
with all
all their
their freight
freight two
thousand
ally
intact ships
that went
went down
down with
two thousand
years
ago.
years ago.
In
field of
In the
the last
last few
few years,
years, the
the field
of comparative
comparative historical
historical linguistics
linguistics
has
advanced considerably.
considerably. We
We may
may reasonably
reasonably hope
hope that
this source
source
has advanced
that this
reconstruction not
will
will enable
enable us
us to
to make
make at
at least
least aa partial
partial reconstruction
not only
only of
of the
the
material
culture of
of humanity
humanity far
material (archaeological)
(archaeological) culture
far beyond
beyond the
the range
range of
of
written history
but also
valwritten
history but
also of
of its
its mentality,
mentality, its
its ideology
ideology and
and cultural
cultural values, and
ues,
and certain
certain social
social features.
features. The
The migration
migration routes
routes of
of the
the speakers
speakers
of
hard to
of the
the most
most ancient
ancient languages
languages are
are still
still hard
to reconstruct.
reconstruct. However,
However,
it seems
seems that
that aa collaboration
collaboration of
of linguists
linguists with
with archaeologists,
archaeologists, physical
physical
it
the latest
anthropologists
anthropologists (who,
(who, using
using the
latest discoveries
discoveries in
in genetics,
genetics, have
have
made
progress), palaeobotanists,
palaeobotanists, palaeozoologists,
histomade spectacular
spectacular progress),
palaeozoologists, historians of
of the
the climate,
climate, and
and others
others will
will enable
enable us
us to
create aa base
for the
the
rians
to create
base for
science of
of ethnogenesis
science
ethnogenesis(the
(thestudy
studyofofthe
theorigins
originsofofnations).
nations).Let
Letususnote
note
that finding
finding the
the origin
origin of
of aa nation
implies the
discovery of
of its
its three
threedisdisthat
nation implies
the discovery
tinct
roots: the
the history
history of
of itsitsphysical
physical anthropological
anthropological characteristics;
characteristics;
tinct roots:
the
history of
of its
its language;
language; and
and the
the history
of its
its culture.
culture. We
We very
very
the history
history of
rarely
information about
about all
all three.
three.
rarely have
have information
This
replace aa comprehensive
This brief
brief survey
survey cannot,
cannot, of
of course,
course, replace
comprehensive sumsumming
provide at
ming up
up of
of research
research based
based on
on ancient
ancient sources.
sources. But
But it
it may
may provide
at
least
an approximate
approximate idea
least an
idea about
about the
the character
character of
of the
the sources
sources that
that
served
the degree
served as
as aa basis
basis for
for the
the lectures
lectures in
in our
our book,
book, about
about the
degree to
to
which
be regarded
which the
the reported
reported facts
facts can
can be
regarded as
as reliable,
reliable, and
and about
about the
the
obstacles confronted
confronted by
scholars in
in their
historical research.
research.
obstacles
by scholars
their historical
In
In addition
addition to
to the
the difficulties
difficulties in
in studying
studying these
these sources,
sources, we
we must
must
mention
the philological
philological difficulties.
difficulties. Historians
Historians investigating
investigating the
anmention the
the ancient
to work
materials prepared
cient world
world cannot
cannot afford
afford to
work with
with materials
prepared for
for them
them

20
20

Introduction
Introduction

by
historians themby philologists
philologists or
or archaeologists.
archaeologists. It
It is
is crucial
crucial that
that the
the historians
themnecessary paspasselves
selves read
read in
in the
the original,
original, sort
sort out,
out, and
and interpret
interpret the
the necessary
the results
results of
of
sages
sages of
of ancient
ancient texts.
texts. They
They must
must also
also learn
learn to
to interpret
interpret the
archaeological excavations.
excavations.
archaeological
The
historical sources
The ancient
ancient historical
sources are
are recorded
recorded in
in many,
many, often
often complex
complex
writing systems
systems designed
designed for
for dozens
dozens of
of languages,
languages, some
some of
of which
are
which are
writing
not yet
have not
not been
been fully
denot
yet well
well understood.
understood. Some
Some writing
writing systems
systems have
fully deciphered, so
so that
their interpretation
interpretation is
is controversial.
controversial. The
The languages
languages
that their
ciphered,
themselves were
were always
always changing
changing and
and are
are still
still changing,
changing, so
so that
that fifth
fifth
themselves
century B.C.
B.C. Latin
Latin differed
differed considerably
considerably from
from the
Latin of
of the
the first
first
century
the Latin
century B.C.
B.C. to
to the
the first
first century
century A.D.,
A.D., and
and the
the latter
latter was
was notably
notably distinct
distinct
century
from medieval
medieval Latin,
Latin, which,
in turn,
turn, was
was different
different from
from Renaissance
Renaissance
from
which, in
Latin. Akkadian,
which existed
existed for
for two
two and
and aa half
half millennia,
millennia, and
and ChiLatin.
Akkadian, which
Chinese, which
which existed
existed for
for three
and aa half
half millennia,
millennia, were,
were, of
of course,
course,
three and
nese,
subject to
to still
still more
drastic change.
change.
more drastic
subject
To
the problem
To end
end with
with the
problem of
of sources,
sources, it
it is
is worthwhile
worthwhile to
to dwell
dwell upon
upon
the following
following question:
question: Is
Is it
it not
not aa fact
fact that
that the
the sources
sources reach
reach us
us acthe
accidentally,
cidentally, so
so that
that we
the more
more important
important ones?
ones? To
To this
this
we may
may miss
miss the
legitimate question
question there
there is
is no
no unequivocal
unequivocal answer.
answer. Some
Some countries
countries
legitimate
and
and some
some epochs
epochs are,
are, one
one can
can assume,
assume, elucidated
elucidated satisfactorily.
satisfactorily. Thus,
Thus,
we know
know more
about Rome
Rome under
under Emperor
than about
about
we
more about
Emperor Augustus
Augustus than
seventeenth-century Russia.
Russia. Our
Our knowledge
about, say,
say, the
time of
of
seventeenth-century
knowledge about,
the time
Nebuchadnezzar II
II or
or about
about the
the Old
Old Babylonian
Babylonian Period
Period is
is considerconsiderNebuchadnezzar
able but
fragmentary. We
We know
know by
name hundreds
hundreds and
and thousands
thousands of
of
able
but fragmentary.
by name
few. Of
Of other
other epochs
epochs we
persons and
and the
life histories
of aa few.
persons
the life
histories of
we know,
know, alas,
alas,
next
to nothing,
nothing, and
and considerable
considerable errors
errors in
in reconstruction
reconstruction are
are posnext to
possible and
and even
even probable.
However, we
can be
sure that
that human
society
sible
probable. However,
we can
be sure
human society
lives and
and develops
develops in
in accordance
accordance with
certain uniform
uniform socioeconomic
socioeconomic
with certain
lives
and sociopsychological
sociopsychological laws.
laws. Therefore,
Therefore, with
with great
great caution,
caution, we
may
and
we may
sometimes allow
allow ourselves
ourselves to
to extrapolate
extrapolate from
from the
the known
without too
too
sometimes
known without
great aa possibility
possibility of
of falling
falling into
into error.
error. In
In any
any event,
event, there
there is
is no
no scigreat
science that
that does
does not
not have
its share
share of
of unknown
or erroneously
erroneously ininence
have its
unknown or
terpreted
facts.
Science
is
a
way
to
truth,
a
gradual
approach
to
it;
terpreted facts. Science is a way to truth, a gradual approach to it;
complete,
absolute
truth
is
unattainable.
complete, absolute truth is unattainable.
narrative art,
History
History first
first emerged
emerged in
in antiquity
antiquity as
as aa genre
genre of
of narrative
art, and
and
it still
still retains
some features
features of
of its
its literary
literary origin.
origin. There
There is
is nothing
nothing
it
retains some
wrong
in this,
this, so
so long
long as
as it
it allows
allows the
to present
wrong in
the historian
historian to
present aa living
living picpicture of
of the
the past
past not
not only
only to
to the
the reader's
reader's intellect
intellect but
also to
to the
the reader's
reader's
ture
but also
imagination. However,
However, aa subjective-emotional
subjective-emotional approach
approach to
the facts
facts of
of
to the
imagination.
history can
can do
do incalculable
incalculable harm
harm to
to science
science and
and to
society. One
One must
must
history
to society.
deduce from
from the
the fact
fact what
happened, not
not what
what the
the historian
historian
deduce
what really
really happened,
thinks ought
ought to
to have
The scientist's
scientist's task
is the
the objective
objective
have happened.
happened. The
task is
thinks
cognition of
of facts;
facts; emotions
emotions induced
induced by
facts are
are antithetical
antithetical to
to science.
science.
by facts
cognition
Thus,
Thus, the
the readers
readers of
of our
our book
book must
must clearly
clearly understand
understand that
that it
it does
does

Introduction
Introduction

21
21

not contain
not
contain absolute
absolute and
and final
final truths
truths but,
but, rather,just
rather, just what
what can
can be
be said
said
about
about the
the different
different subjects
subjects involved
involved on
on the
the basis
basis of
of present-day
present-day
knowledge. Development
Development of
the historical
not stop;
knowledge.
of the
historical sciences
sciences does
does not
stop; our
our
ideas about
about the
the past
are changing
changing and
and will
will continue
continue to
to do
do so.
so. Maybe
Maybe it
it
ideas
past are
is the
the gradual
is
gradual revealing
revealing of
of truth
truth that
that makes
makes history
history so
so fascinating.
fascinating.

Problems
Problems of
of Ancient
Ancient Chronology
Chronology
Anyone
will probably
Anyone approaching
approaching the
the study
study of
of ancient
ancient history
history will
probably ask,
ask,
How does
does one
fix the
time at
at which
which aa particular
event in
ancient hisHow
one fix
the time
particular event
in ancient
history
place? How
tory took
took place?
How reliable
reliable are
are the
the assigned
assigned dates?
dates? In
In the
the specialist
specialist
numerous disagreements
to the
literature,
literature, one
one actually
actually finds
finds numerous
disagreements as
as to
the dates
dates
of
not to
of individual
individual events
events and
and entire
entire ancient
ancient epochs,
epochs, not
to mention
mention the
the apapproximate
proximate nature
nature of
of the
the datings.
datings. The
The difficulties
difficulties in
in establishing
establishing the
the
chronology of
ancient history
are due
the absence
absence of
adequate syssyschronology
of ancient
history are
due to
to the
of adequate
tems
year reckoning
most ancient
tems of
of year
reckoning in
in most
ancient lands,
lands, as
as well
well as
as to
to the
the characcharacter
ter and
and condition
condition of
of many
many sources,
sources, which
which are
are not
not always
always dated
dated and
and
which frequently
frequently cannot
cannot be
be dated
dated even
even by
circumstantial evidence
evidence
which
by circumstantial
known from
(such
(such as
as references
references to
to events
events for
for which
which the
the dates
dates are
are known
from
other
writing peculiarities).
other sources
sources or
or spelling
spelling and
and writing
peculiarities).
peSuch
Such is
is the
the case
case especially
especially with
with the
the dating
dating of
of the
the most
most ancient
ancient periods
in
riods of
of oriental
oriental societies.
societies. The
The establishment
establishment of
of the
the chronology
chronology in
ancient
ancient oriental
oriental history
history is
is complicated
complicated by
by the
the fact
fact that
that there
there was
was no
no
single reference
reference point
point from
from which
which to
to count
count the
Each country
country
single
the years.
years. Each
had
its own,
own, very
imperfect way
way of
of determining
determining elapsed
elapsed time.
time.
had its
very imperfect
Thus,
Thus, in
in the
the Mesopotamian
Mesopotamian states
states it
it was
was customary,
customary, at
at one
one time,
time, to
to
designate aa year
year according
according to
to some
some important
important event
event that
that took
took place
place
designate
during that
that year.
year. Lists
Lists of
of such
such year
designations (date
(date formulae)
formulae) were
were
during
year designations
kept. Sources
Sources mention
such dates
dates as,
as, for
for example,
example, the
when aa
kept.
mention such
the year
year when
certain
building was
was erected,
year of
certain building
erected, the
the year
of aa war
war against
against aa certain
certain tribe,
tribe,
and so
so forth.
forth. In
In other
other cases,
cases, the
the years
years were
were counted
counted according
according to
to the
the
and
duration of
of the
the reign
reign of
of each
each king.
king. In
the count
count was
was kept
kept
duration
In Assyria,
Assyria, the
by the
limmu.
by
the annual
annual tenures
tenures of
of certain
certain functionaries-the
functionariesthe so-called
so-called limmu.
Scholars
Assyrian functionaries
by the
Scholars also
also refer
refer to
to these
these Assyrian
functionaries by
the Greek
Greek word
word
eponym.
eponym.InInorder
ordertotocorrelate
correlateevents
eventsthat
thatoccurred
occurredatatdifferent
differenttimes,
times,itit
was necessary
necessary to
to compile
compile lists
lists of
of all
all the
the dating
dating formulae
formulae (names
(names of
was
of
years)
or
lists
of
eponyms,
or
enumerations
of
kings
with
the
lengths
years) or lists of eponyms, or enumerations of kings with the lengths
of their
their reigns.
reigns. Such
Such lists
lists could
could be
be interrupted
interrupted by
wars or
or enemy
enemy conconof
by wars
quests of
of the
the capital
capital city,
city, and
and they
could contain
contain both
accidental and
and
they could
both accidental
quests
intentional errors:
errors: approximation
approximation of
of numbers
and exclusion
exclusion of
of some
some
intentional
numbers and
names, as
as well
well as
as of
of entire
entire dynasties
dynasties that,
that, for
for political
political reasons,
were
names,
reasons, were
not
considered desirable
desirable to
mention.
not considered
to mention.
Such
be correlated
Such records
records can
can be
correlated with
with our
our own
own chronological
chronological system
system
only when
they can
can be
be related
related at
at some
some point
(better yet,
yet, at
at several)
several) to
to
only
when they
point (better

22
22

Introduction
Introduction

firmly
firmly dated
dated astronomical
astronomical events,
events, the
the dates
dates of
of such
such events
events depending
depending
entirely
the laws
celestial mechanics.
reliable referentirely on
on the
laws of
of celestial
mechanics. The
The most
most reliable
referThat is
why all
ence points
points are
ence
are solar
solar eclipses.
eclipses. That
is why
all historical
historical events
events that
that
B.C. are
are usually
usually dated
dated
took
place in
in the
East startiiii
starting^ from
from 1073
1073 B.C.
took place
the Near
Near East
with
an average
average error
error no
no larger
larger than
one to
two years.
years. Less
Less reliable
reliable
with an
than one
to two
are references
references to
other astronomical
astronomical time
time measurements,
measurements, such
such as
are
to other
as
those based
based on
on the
the quite
quite imperfect
imperfect ancient
ancient observations
observations of
of the
planet
those
the planet
Venus. This
This particular
is used
used to
date events
events in
in the
history
Venus.
particular reference
reference is
to date
the history
of Babylonia
Babylonia from
from the
the twenty-fourth
twenty-fourth to
to the
the sixteenth
sixteenth centuries
centuries B.C.
of
B.C.
After aa series
series of
of corrections
corrections that
that resulted
resulted in
in lowering
lowering the
the proposed
proposed
After
dates, we
we are
are left
left with
error of
of sixty-four
sixty-four years,
years, forward
forward or
or
dates,
with aa probable
probable error
backward,
for the
the end
end of
of the
the period
period in
in question,
question, and
and up
to one
one hunhunbackward, for
up to
dred years
years for
for its
its beginning.
Historians have
agreed to
assign aa concondred
beginning. Historians
have agreed
to assign
ventional date,
date, 1792-1750
1792-1750 B.C.,
B.C., to
to the
the reign
reign of
of King
King Hammurapi
Hammurapi of
of
ventional
Babylon, from
from which
which the
the dates
dates of
of other
other events,
events, preceding
preceding or
or followfollowBabylon,
ing, are
are calculated
calculated based
on their
their distance
distance in
in time
time from
from Hammurapi's
Hammurapi's
based on
ing,
rule. This
This dating
dating system
system is
is called
called the
the middle
middle chronology.
chronology.
rule.
When aa certain
certain local
local chronology
chronology has
has aa point
of astronomical
astronomical referreferWhen
point of
ence,
ence, it
it may
may also
also help
help to
to establish
establish absolute
absolute dates
dates for
for the
the ancient
ancient chronchronological systems
systems of
of other
other countries.
countries. This
This determination
determination depends
depends on
on
ological
finding synchronisms
synchronisms between
between them;
them; that
that is,
is, historically
historically verified
verified ininfinding
dications that
that two
two specific
specific public
public figures,
figures, one
one from
from each
each country,
country, were
were
dications
contemporaneous or
or indications
indications of
of battles,
battles, wars,
wars, and
and agreements
agreements becontemporaneous
between the
the two
two countries.
countries. A
A chronological
chronological system
system based
only on
on synsyntween
based only
chronisms with
with another
another system
system (as
(as are
are the
the chronological
chronological systems
systems of
of
chronisms
ancient Asia
Asia Minor,
Minor, Palestine,
Palestine, and
and other
other areas)
areas) is
is less
less accurate
accurate than
than aa
ancient
system directly
directly tied
tied to
to the
astronomical time
time scale.
scale.
system
the astronomical
An
An additional
additional difficulty
difficulty in
in establishing
establishing an
an exact
exact chronology
chronology for
for
the
ancient New
East is
is that
the year
year used
in that
was mostly
mostly
the ancient
New East
that the
used in
that region
region was
not
12
not solar
solar (approximately
(approximately 365
365 days)
days) but
but lunar-solar,
lunar-solar, consisting
consisting of
of 12
days,
months, with
with successive
months,
successive months
months alternating
alternating between
between 29
29 and
and 30
30 days,
amounting
to aa total
total of
amounting to
of 354
354 days
days in
in aa year.
year. The
The deviation
deviation from
from the
the
natural
natural calendar
calendar was
was compensated
compensated for
for by
by intercalating
intercalating leap
leap months,
months,
first
first irregularly
irregularly and
and then,
then, since
since the
the sixth
sixth century
century B.C.,
B.C., according
according to
to aa
rigorously applied
applied system.
system.
rigorously
Today,
Today, our
our chronology
chronology is
is strictly
strictly correlated
correlated with
with astronomical
astronomical time.
time.
Small
Small errors
errors caused
caused by
by the
the somewhat
somewhat imprecise
imprecise coincidence
coincidence between
between
the civil
civil and
and the
the astronomical
astronomical year
year are
are corrected
corrected by
adding one
one day
day
the
by adding
during leap
leap years.
during
years.
In
In Egypt,
Egypt, time
time was
was counted
counted by
by the
the length
length of
of reign
reign of
of each
each pharaoh,
pharaoh,
and the
the count
count was
was renewed
renewed with
with each
each new
new ruler.
ruler. A
A list
list of
of pharaohs
pharaohs
and
indicating the
the duration
duration of
of their
their reigns
reigns has
has not
not reached
reached us
us in
in its
its comcomindicating
plete
form; it
it also
also contains
contains gaps
gaps owing
owing to
to scribal
scribal errors.
errors. Moreover,
Moreover,
plete form;

Introduction
Introduction

23

there
there was
was another
another shortcoming
shortcoming in
in this
this list
list that
that led
led to
to unjustified
unjustified
chronological extensions:
extensions: reigns
reigns of
of pharaohs
pharaohs who
who ruled
ruled simultanesimultanechronological
ously (coregents,
(coregents, as
as well
well as
as contemporaneous
contemporaneous kings,
kings, each
each governing
governing
ously
part of
of the
the country
country during
during periods
periods of
of political
political division)
division) are
are presented
presented
part
as
Mesoas sequential.
sequential. (The
(The same
same happens
happens sometimes
sometimes in
in the
the king
king lists
lists of
of Mesopotamia.) As
the estimate
estimate of
of dates
dates during
the third
third millenmillenpotamia.)
As aa result,
result, the
during the
nium
nium B.C.
B.C. oscillates
oscillates within
within aa 300-year
300-year range.
range. It
It isisonly
only at
at the
the beginning
beginning
of
of the
the second
second millennium
millennium B.C.
B.C. that
that the
the estimates
estimates improve
improve to
to the
the range
range
of
of one
one or
or two
two decades.
decades. The
The dating
dating becomes
becomes reliable
reliable from
from the
the middle
middle of
of
B.C. on.
on.
the first
first millennium
millennium B.C.
the
The situation
situation with
with the
the dating
dating of
of ancient
ancient Indian
Indian history
history is
is very
very poor.
poor.
The
The reason
reason is
is the
the nature
nature of
of the
the preserved
preserved sources.
sources. Not
single exexThe
Not aa single
ample of
of historical
historical work
work in
in the
the proper
proper sense-be
sensebe it
it chronicle,
chronicle, historihistoriample
cal account,
account, or
or treatise-is
treatiseis available
available from
from this
this region.
region. Nor
have any
any
cal
Nor have
royal archives
archives or
or any
any other
other official
official written
written documents
documents yet
yet been
been discovdiscovroyal
ered. Virtually
Virtually the
the only
only dated
dated sources
sources available
available for
for ancient
ancient India
India are
are
ered.
inscriptions on
on stone
stone and
and metal.
metal. But
But even
even these
these are
are few
few and
and stem
stem
inscriptions
from aa relatively
relatively late
late time,
time, beginning
beginning with
with the
the third
third century
century B.C.
B.C. Let
Let
from
us remember
remember that
that the
the oldest
oldest dated
dated written
written sources
sources of
of Egyptian
Egyptian and
and
us
Mesopotamian history
history (although
(although these
these dates
dates are
are only
only approximate)
approximate)
Mesopotamian
are from
from the
the third
third millennium
millennium B.C.
are
B.C. .
In contrast
contrast to
to Indian
Indian sources,
sources, those
those of
of China
China contain
contain numerous
numerous
In
dates. This
This is
is because
because China,
China, like
like Greece
Greece and
and Rome,
Rome, is
is one
one of
of the
the few
few
dates.
ancient countries
countries where
where historical
historical works
works were
were written.
written. Ancient
Ancient China
China
ancient
has left
left us
us chronicles,
chronicles, dynastic
dynastic histories,
histories, and
and valuable
valuable generalizing
generalizing hishas
historical
Shih Chi
Chi[Historical
[Historicalnotes],
notes],SsuSsutorical books.
books. In
In his
his voluminous
voluminous work
work Shih
ma Ch'ien
Ch'ien (145-87
(145-87 B.C.),
B.C.), the
the prominent
prominent historian
of ancient
ancient China,
China,
ma
historian of
paid
great attention
attention to
to chronology.
chronology. This
This work,
work, which
which encompasses
encompasses the
the
paid great
time from
from the
the mythological
creation of
of the
the world
world to
to the
the end
end of
of the
the
time
mythological creation
second century
century B.C.,
B.C., gives
gives aa chronological
chronological outline
outline of
of ancient
ancient Chinese
Chinese
second
history. However,
However, the
the basis
basis for
for the
the system
system of
of dating
dating that
that Ssu-ma
Ssu-ma
history.
Ch'ien and
and other
other Chinese
Chinese authors
authors use
use is
is often
often unclear.
unclear. Therefore,
Therefore,
Ch'ien
their
dates are
are not
always quite
quite reliable.
reliable.
their dates
not always
The situation
situation with
with the
the chronology
chronology of
of Greek
Greek and
and Roman
Roman history
history is
The
is
quite satisfactory
satisfactory because
of the
the great
great number
number of
of historical
historical works
works that
that
quite
because of
have reached
reached us
us and
and that
that contain
contain sufficiently
sufficiently reliable
reliable datings.
datings. These
These
have
works were
were based
based on
on several
several different
different chronological
chronological systems.
systems. Thus,
Thus, aa
works
system of
of dating
dating after
after yearly
yearly tenures
tenures of
of certain
certain high
high state
state functionfunctionsystem
aries (the
(the system
system also
also known
known from
from Assyria)
Assyria) was
was used
used in
in Athens,
Athens, where
where
aries
years were
were counted
counted by
by archon
archon eponyms.
eponyms. In
In Rome
Rome the
the year
year count
count was
years
was
based on
on the
the yearly
terms of
of consuls.
consuls. Partial
Partial records
of archons
archons and
and
based
yearly terms
records of
consuls inscribed
inscribed on
on stone
stone have
have been
there
consuls
been preserved.
preserved. Furthermore,
Furthermore, there
was aa pan-Greek
year count
count based
Olympiadsfestivals that
that
was
pan-Greek year
based on
on the
the Olympiads-festivals

24
24

Introduction
Introduction

bound
the union
union of
bound together
together the
of Hellenic
Hellenic communities.
communities. The
The Olympiads
Olympiads
took
place regularly
regularly every
years. The
Olympiad occurred,
took place
every four
four years.
The first
first Olympiad
occurred,
14
B.C.14
according to
to Greek
Greek legend,
legend, in
in 776
776 B.C.
according
Later,
Romans established
their year
Later, the
the Romans
established their
year count
count from
from the
the legendary
legendary
date of
of the
the foundation
foundation of
of Rome.
date
Rome. The
The Roman
Roman historian
historian Marcus
Marcus TerenTerentius
tius Varro
Varro (first
(first century
century B.C.)
B.C.) dated
dated the
the foundation
foundation of
of Rome
Rome to
to the
the
third
that is,
third year
year of
of the
the sixth
sixth Olympiad;
Olympiad; that
is, to
to 754-753
754-753 B.C.
B.C. Attempting
Attempting
to
to determine
determine the
the date
date of
of the
the foundation
foundation of
of Rome,
Rome, Varro
Varro utilized
utilized synsynyear count
based on
terms of
chronisms
chronisms between
between the
the year
count based
on the
the office
office terms
of consuls
consuls
with the
the Greek
Greek count
count based
on the
the Olympiads.
Olympiads.
with
based on
Claudius
Ptolemaeus, the
Claudius Ptolemaeus,
the great
great Greek
Greek mathematician
mathematician and
and astronoastronomer
the second
with
mer of
of the
second century
century A.D.,
A.D., connected
connected the
the Greek
Greek chronology
chronology with
the Babylonian,
Babylonian, which,
which, as
as mentioned
mentioned above,
above, has
has an
an exact
exact astronomical
astronomical
the
point of
point
of reference.
reference. Moreover,
Moreover, the
the Graeco-Roman
Graeco-Roman chronology
chronology has
has
number of
of other
other independent
independent astronomical
astronomical points
points of
of reference.
reference.
aa number
Ptolemaeus's
references to
Ptolemaeus's "Canon"
"Canon" includes
includes references
to several
several astronomically
astronomically
identifiable solar
solar eclipses.
eclipses.
identifiable
Beginning with
the sixth
sixth to
fifth centuries
centuries B.C.,
B.C., aa new
independent
Beginning
with the
to fifth
new independent
historical
namely, coins.
Numishistorical and
and chronological
chronological source
source appears,
appears, namely,
coins. Numismatics is
is aa field
field of
of scholarship
scholarship devoted
devoted to
the study
study of
of coins
coins from
from the
the
matics
to the
point
metallic content,
weight, area
point of
of view
view of
of their
their metallic
content, weight,
area of
of diffusion,
diffusion, the
the
declared and
and the
actual face
face value,
inscriptions (called
(called legends),
legends), and
and
declared
the actual
value, inscriptions
the
character of
of depicted
depicted objects
objects and
and persons,
persons, including
including portraits
of
the character
portraits of
the heads
of state
state who
who issued
issued the
the coin.
coin. During
During archaeological
archaeological excavaexcavathe
heads of
tions,
coins are
are often
often found
found that
that have
have inscriptions
inscriptions of
of kings
kings known
known from
from
tions, coins
narrative sources
sources (and
(and sometimes
sometimes unknown),
and in
in aa number
number of
of cases
cases
narrative
unknown), and
the portrait
portrait on
on the
coin can
can be
be identified
identified with
with already
already known
known sculpthe
the coin
sculptural portraits.
Such coins
coins constitute
constitute aa link
link between
archaeological
tural
portraits. Such
between archaeological
data and
and the
the data
data of
of the
the inscriptions
inscriptions and
and narrative
narrative sources.
sources. Besides,
data
Besides,
numismatics supply
supply diverse
diverse historico-economic,
historico-economic, politico-geographic,
politico-geographic,
numismatics
and other
other data
data to
to the
the historian.
historian. This
is especially
especially important
important for
for periperiand
This is
ods on
on which
other sources
sources cast
cast little
little light.
light.
ods
which other
In
A.D., the
the Italian
Italian monk
monk Dionysius
Dionysius Exiguus
Exiguus proproIn the
the sixth
sixth century
century A.D.,
posed aa new
new chronological
chronological system
system based
on the
the birth
of Jesus
Jesus Christ.
Christ.
posed
based on
birth of
point of
used the
the foundation
For
For his
his point
of orientation
orientation he
he used
the date
date for
for the
foundation of
of
Rome.
Rome. Dionysius
Dionysius proposed
proposed December
December 25
25 of
of the
the 753d
753d year
year after
after
Rome's
Jesus' birth.
birth. Accordingly,
Accordingly, the
the founfounRome's foundation
foundation as
as the
the date
date of
of Jesus'
dation of
of Rome
dated in
in the
year 753
753 before
before the
of
dation
Rome began
began to
to be
be dated
the year
the birth
birth of
14.
be mentioned
the first
14. It
It should
should be
mentioned that
that the
the legendary
legendary character
character of
of the
first Olympiad
Olympiad does
does
not in
in any
any way
way invalidate
invalidate the
the correctness
correctness of
the Olympiad-based
chronology. It
not
of the
Olympiad-based chronology.
It is
is imimportant that
portant
that the
the initial
initial point
point from
from which
which the
the years
years are
are counted
counted be
be defined
defined at
at some
some defidefinite
point. There
There is
no need
need for
reference point
point to
to correlate
nite astronomical
astronomical point.
is no
for such
such aa reference
correlate with
with
any
any real
real historical
historical event.
event. The
The date
date of
of any
any event
event calculated
calculated from
from an
an astronomical
astronomical referreference
point can
be recalculated
recalculated into
ence point
can easily
easily be
into our
our chronological
chronological system.
system.

Introduction
Introduction

25
25

Christ.
Christ. Now
Now it
it is
is agreed
agreed that
that Dionysius
Dionysius made
made an
an error
error and
and that,
that, in
in rereality, Jesus
Jesus must
must have
have been
been born
born aa few
few years
years earlier,
earlier, perhaps
perhaps in
in the
the
ality,
fourth or
or even
even fifth
fifth year
year before
before our
our era.
era.
fourth
The
DThe new
new year
year count
count "from
"from the
the birth
birth of
of Christ"-A(nno}.
Christ"A(nno). D(omini).did not
not take
take root
root immediately.
immediately. During
During the
the entire
entire Middle
Middle
(omini}.-did
Ages it
it coexisted
coexisted with
with the
the biblical
biblical tradition
tradition of
of counting
counting years
years "from
"from
Ages
the
15 GradGradthe creation
creation of
of the
the world"
world" adopted
adopted earlier
earlier in
in Christian
Christian nations.
nations.15
ually, the
the calculation
calculation in
in years
years from
from the
the birth
birth of
of Christ
Christ or,
or, more
more corcorually,
rectly, from
from the
the beginning
beginning of
of our
our era
era was
was accepted
accepted in
in many
many countries,
countries,
rectly,
including Russia.
Russia. A
A significant
significant portion
portion of
of the
the world's
world's population
population uses
uses
including
this system,
system, which
which is
is also
also universally
universally accepted
accepted in
in history.
history. Other
Other chronchronthis
ological systems
systems also
also exist,
exist, but
but there
there is
is no
no need
need to
to discuss
discuss them
them here.
here.
ological
In
In recent
recent times,
times, historians
historians have
have relied
relied on
on an
an archaeological
archaeological method
method
to establish
establish absolute
absolute dates
dates with
with the
the aid
aid of
of radioactive
radioactive carbon
carbon dating.
dating.
to
Carbon
Carbon dating
dating is
is based
based on
on measuring
measuring the
the concentration
concentration of
of radioactive
radioactive
carbon
carbon in
in excavated
excavated artifacts.
artifacts. For
For instance,
instance, aa felled
felled tree
tree ceases
ceases to
to take
take
up
up the
the radioactive
radioactive 14
14 isotope
isotope of
of carbon,
carbon, and
and thus,
thus, the
the time
time when
when the
the
tree
tree was
was cut
cut can
can be
be determined
determined according
according to
to our
our present
present chronologichronological scale.
scale. Unfortunately,
Unfortunately, radioactive
radioactive carbon
carbon dating
dating is
is imprecise,
imprecise, leadleadcal
ing to
to unavoidable
unavoidable errors,
errors, which
which sometimes
sometimes amount
amount to
to tens
tens and
and even
even
ing
hundreds of
of years
years and
and which
which preclude
preclude its
its application
application to
to cases
cases that
that
hundreds
At the
the present
present time,
time, aa potentially
imrequire more
more accurate
accurate dating.
dating.1616 At
require
potentially important absolute
absolute dating
dating method
method called
called thermoluminescence
thermoluminescence is
is being
being
portant
developed for
for ceramics,
ceramics, as
as well
well as
as other
other physical
methods such
such as
as
developed
physical methods
archaeomagnetism.
archaeomagnetism.
For the
the time
time being,
being, however,
however, all
all dates
dates for
for ancient
ancient Near
Near Eastern
Eastern hishisFor
tory
tory earlier
earlier than
than the
the second
second millennium
millennium B.C.
B.C. and
and for
for Europe
Europe and
and
B.C. remain
remain ununChina earlier
earlier than
than the
the middle
middle of
of the
the first
millennium B.C.
China
first millennium
certain;
certain; they
they only
only provide
provide relative
relative orientation.
orientation. The
The situation
situation is
is even
even
worse for
for India,
India, where
where even
even the
the dates
dates in
in the
the first
first millennium
millennium B.C.
worse
B.C. are
are
frequently approximate
approximate and
and inaccurate,
inaccurate, because
because they
they are
are primarily
primarily
frequently
based on
on objects
objects imported
imported from
from other
other countries
countries with
with aa better
estabbased
better established chronology
chronology or
or on
on late
late king
king lists
lists of
of doubtful
doubtful accuracy
accuracy or
or on
on eslished
establishing that
that certain
certain literary
literary works
works influenced
influenced certain
certain others,
others, rather
rather
tablishing
than the
the reverse.
reverse. Generally
Generally speaking,
speaking, the
the farther
farther away
away aa territory
territory is
than
is
from ancient
ancient Mesopotamia,
Mesopotamia, the
the less
less accurate
accurate is
is its
its chronology
chronology and
and the
the
from
more recent
recent its
its reliable
reliable datings.
datings.
more
15. During
During the
the Middle
Middle Ages,
Ages, the
the mythological
mythological date
date of
of the
the creation
creation of
of the
the world
world
15.
based on
on the
the biblical
biblical legends
legends was
was calculated
calculated in
in various
various ways.
ways. The
The Greek
Greek Orthodox
Orthodox
based
church adopted
adopted the
the year
year 5508
5508 B.C.,
church
B.C, and
and the
the Anglican,
Anglican, the
the year
year 4004
4004 B.C.
B.C.
16.
16. Most
Most of
of the
the radiocarbon
radiocarbon dates
dates relevant
relevant to
to the
the history
history of
of the
the ancient
ancient world
world need
need
to be
be recalibrated
recalibrated by
by adding
adding aa certain
certain correction
correction factor
factor based
based upon
upon dendrochronologidendrochronologito
cally determined
determined dates.
dates. The
The radiocarbon
radiocarbon dates
dates for
for ancient
ancient history
history are
are too
too young
young due
due to
to
cally
past variations
variations in
in the
the production
of radioactive
radioactive carbon
carbon in
in the
the earth's
earth's atmosphere.
atmosphere.
past
production of

1
General
General Outline
Outline of
of the
the First
First Period
Period
of
the History
History of
the Ancient
Ancient World
of the
of the
World
and
Problem of
Ways
and the
the Problem
of the
the Ways
of
of Development
Development
I. M. DIAKONOFF
DlAKONOFF

Preconditions
Preconditions for
for the
the Formation
Formation of
of the
the First
First Class
Class Society
Society
The
Homo separated
The genus
genus Homo
separated out
out of
of the
the rest
rest of
of the
the animal
animal kingdom
kingdom
sapienssapiens,
sapiens,
roughly
million years
years ago.
ago. Our
Our species,
species, Homo
roughly two
two million
Homo sapiens
hashas
existed
existed at
at least
least since
since the
the end
end of
of the
the Middle
Middle Palaeolithic,
Palaeolithic, some
some forty
forty
thousand years.
years. From
From his
his ancestors,
ancestors, who
who belonged
to more.
more ancient
ancient
thousand
belonged to
human species,
species, Homo
sapienssapiens
sapiens
inherited
ability
produce
human
Homo sapiens
inherited
thethe
ability
to to
produce
simple tools
tools for
for labor.
labor. But
But for
for thirty
thirty thousand
thousand years
years of
of history,
history, huhusimple
mans, with
with the
the aid
aid of
of the
the tools
tools they
they made,
made, still
still derived
derived benefits
benefits solely
solely
mans,
from nature,
nature, just
like their
their ancestors;
ancestors; for
for thirty
thirty thousand
thousand years,
years, they
they
from
just like
did not
not sow
sow or
or reap.
reap. Their
Their means
means of
of sustenance
sustenance were
were gathering
gathering wild
did
wild
plants, hunting,
and fishing,
fishing, all
all of
of which
which are
are activities
activities that
are cercerplants,
hunting, and
that are
tainly work.
work. In
In order
order to
to exist,
exist, however,
however, it
it was
was not
not sufficient
sufficient for
for them
them
tainly
to merely
merely produce
produce the
the necessary
necessary work
work tools:
tools: they
they had
had to
to be
be rereto
produced.
But
they
could
not
reproduce
the
products
they
had
exproduced. But they could not reproduce the products they had extracted from
from nature.
nature. For
For this
this reason,
reason, the
the life
life of
of human
human groups
groups
tracted
(communities usually
usually based
based on
on kinship)
kinship) depended
largely on
on environenviron(communities
depended largely
mental conditions,
conditions, such
such as
as climate,
climate, on
on the
the abundance
abundance or
or scarcity
scarcity of
of
mental
game, and
and on
on pure
pure luck.
luck. Successes
Successes alternated
alternated with
with periods
of hunger;
hunger;
game,
periods of
mortality was
was very
very high,
high, especially
especially for
for children
children and
and the
the elderly.
elderly. The
The
mortality
surface of
of the
the enormous
enormous planet
planet was
was inhabited
inhabited by
by very
very few
few people,
people, and
and
surface
if their
their number
number increased
at all,
all, it
it did
did so
so very
very slowly;
slowly; indeed,
indeed, somesomeif
increased at
times it
it may
may have
have even
even decreased.
decreased.
times
This situation
situation changed
changed about
about ten
ten to
to twelve
twelve thousand
thousand years
years ago,
This
ago,
when in
in certain
certain ecologically
ecologically favored
favored regions,
regions, some
some human
human commucommuwhen
nities learned
learned to
to plant
plant grain,
grain, ensuring
ensuring their
their year-round
year-round food
food requirerequirenities
ments, and
and to
to raise
raise sheep,
sheep, goats,
goats, and
and cattle,
cattle, allowing
allowing for
for regular
regular
ments,
consumption of
of meat,
meat, as
as well
well as
as for
for provision
of milk
milk and
and cheese
cheese
consumption
provision of
(curds). The
The domestic
animals also
also provided
leather, which
which was
was supesupe(curds).
domestic animals
provided leather,
rior to
to that
that from
from hunted
hunted animals,
animals, and
and supplied
supplied wool,
wool, which
which people
people
rior
learned to
to spin
spin and
and weave.
weave. Soon
Soon after,
after, humans
humans were
were able
able to
to abandon
abandon
learned

28

I.
/. M. Diakonoff
Diakonoff

cave
cave dwellings,
dwellings, twig
twig and
and mud
mud huts,
huts, or
or dugouts
dugouts and
and to
to live
live in
in permapermanent houses
houses made
made of
of clay
clay or
or clay-coated
clay-coated rocks
rocks and,
and, later,
later, of
of adobe
adobe
nent
bricks. Community
Community life
life became
became safer:
safer: the
the mortality
mortality rate
rate decreased
decreased
bricks.
somewhat. Population
Population growth,
growth, though
though never
never exceeding
exceeding about
about 0.01
0.01
somewhat.
percent,
noticeable from
from generation
generation to
generation, and
and the
the
percent, became
became noticeable
to generation,
first farmers
farmers and
and livestock
livestock herders
herders began
began to
to expand
expand gradually
gradually over
over
first
the earth's
earth's surface.
surface.
the
The
The first
first humans
humans to
to achieve
achieve these
these successes
successes inhabited
inhabited the
the North
North
Temperate Zone
Zone of
of the
the Eastern
Eastern Hemisphere.
Hemisphere. This
was the
the epoch
epoch
Temperate
This was
when
was not
yet over
when the
the great
great Ice
Ice Age
Age was
not yet
over in
in northern
northern Europe
Europe and
and Asia,
Asia,
but
but to
to the
the south
south of
of the
the glacial
glacial zone
zone the
the cold
cold dry
dry climate
climate of
of the
the
Pleistocene had
had passed.
passed. A
A significant
significant portion
portion of
of the
the Eurasian
Eurasian landlandPleistocene
mass was
was covered
covered by
by pine
pine forests,
forests, separated
separated from
from the
the glacial
glacial zone
zone by
mass
by aa
Greece, Asia
Asia Minor,
Minor, and
and most
most
zone of
of tundra.
tundra. The
The peninsulas
peninsulas ofltaly,
of Italy, Greece,
zone
of China
China were
all covered
covered with
deciduous forests.
forests. The
The expanse
expanse of
of
were all
with deciduous
of
North Africa,
Africa, Arabia,
Arabia, and
and other
other Near
Near Eastern
Eastern regions
regions as
as far
far as
as northnorthNorth
ern China
China (covered
(covered today
today by
by dry
dry steppes
steppes or
or scorched
scorched deserts)
deserts) was
ern
was
mostly mixed
mixed forest
forest and
and steppe.
steppe. Farther
Farther to
to the
the south,
south, in
in Africa,
Africa, southsouthmostly
ern India,
India, southern
southern China,
China, and
and Indochina,
Indochina, lush
lush tropical
tropical forests
forests were
were
ern
growing.
growmg.
The partly
partly wooded
wooded steppe
steppe regions
regions were
were the
the most
most favorable
favorable areas
areas
The
for
for human
human life,
life, but
but not
not everywhere
everywhere even
even in
in this
this zone
zone were
were the
the condiconditions sufficiently
sufficiently conducive
conducive for
for aa transition
transition to
to agriculture
agriculture and
and livestock
livestock
tions
raising. A
A region
was suitable
suitable when
it offered
offered wild
wild grains
grains appropriate
appropriate
when it
raising.
region was
for consumption
consumption and
and later
later for
for artificial
artificial sowing
sowing (as
(as documented
documented by
for
by
N. I.
I. Vavilov
Vavilov in
in 1926),
1926), as
as well
well as
as wild
wild animals
animals that
that could
could be
be domestidomestiN.
cated. The
The first
grains harvested
harvested in
in their
their wild
wild state
state (aided
(aided by
by wooden
wooden
first grains
cated.
or bone
bone sickles
sickles with
with embedded
embedded flint
and later
later cultivated
cultivated were
were
or
flint blades)
blades) and
barley and
and einkorn
einkorn and
and emmer
emmer wheat.
Wild stands
stands of
of barley
and these
these
wheat. Wild
barley and
barley
early wheats
grew in
in the
uplands of
Asia Minor,
Minor, Palestine,
Palestine, Iran,
Iran, and
and
early
wheats grew
the uplands
of Asia
southern Turkmenia,
Turkmenia, as
as well
well as
as in
in northern
northern Africa.
Africa. Other
Other cereals
cereals were
were
southern
domesticated later.
later. Though
Though it
it is
is difficult
difficult to
to determine
determine where
where this
this phephedomesticated
nomenon occurred
occurred for
for the
the first
time, it
it is
is certain
certain that
that cereals
cereals were
were
nomenon
first time,
B.C. in
in PalesPalesalready being
sown between
between the
the tenth
and eighth
eighth millenia
millenia B.C.
tenth and
already
being sown
tine, in
in Asia
Asia Minor,
Minor, and
and on
on the
the western
slopes of
of the
Iranian uplands.
uplands.
western slopes
the Iranian
tine,
In Egypt,
Egypt, along
along the
the Danube
Danube River,
River, in
in the
the Balkans,
Balkans, and
and in
in southern
southern
In
Turkmenia,
grains
were
being
sown
no
later
than
the
seventh
to sixth
sixth
Turkmenia, grains were being sown no later than the seventh to
millennia
B.C.
At
about
the
same
time,
these
regions
saw
the
domesmillennia B.C. At about the same time, these regions saw the domestication
of goats
goats and
and sheep.
sheep. (Late
(Late Palaeolithic
Palaeolithic hunters
hunters had
had tamed
tamed dogs
dogs
tication of
much
earlier.)
Cattle
and,
sporadically,
pigs
were
domesticated
later.
much earlier.) Cattle and, sporadically, pigs were domesticated later.
The standard
standard ofliving
of living improved
improved even
even more
more during
during the
the eighth
eighth to
to sixth
sixth
The
millenia
B.C.
when
people
learned
to
make
polished
stone
tools,
woven
millenia B.C. when people learned to make polished stone tools, woven
baskets, woven
woven fabrics,
fabrics, and
and fired
fired pottery,
pottery, which
which permitted
permitted better
better food
food
baskets,
preparation
and
storage.
preparation and storage.

General Outline

29
29

With the
the disappearance
disappearance of
of the
the northern
northern glaciers,
glaciers, the
the climate
climate in
in the
the
With
temperate zone
zone of
of the
the Northern
became drier.
drier.
temperate
Northern Hemisphere
Hemisphere gradually
gradually became
Foothill
Foothill agriculture
agriculture depended
depended less
less and
and less
less on
on natural
natural rain
rain irrigation
irrigation
and
and more
more on
on damned
damned brooks
brooks channeled
channeled to
to the
the fields.
fields. For
For aa long
long time,
time,
the
the population
population of
of the
the northern
northern and
and southern
southern forest
forest zones
zones was
was still
still
very scanty
scanty and
and was
was not
not able
able to
to adopt
adopt the
the achievements
achievements of
of the
the inhabiinhabivery
tants
tants of
of the
the forest-steppe
forest-steppe and
and the
the steppe-uplands;
steppe-uplands; with
with the
the tools
tools then
then
available, it
it was
was still
still impossible
impossible to
to clear
clear forests
forests for
for tilling
tilling the
the land.
land.
available,
Archaeologists attribute
attribute significant
significant technological
technological progress
progress to
to three
three
Archaeologists
important periods:
periods: to
to the
the final
final stage
stage of
of the
the Old
Old Stone
Stone Age-the
Agethe
important
Upper Palaeolithic-when
Palaeolithicwhen Homo
sapienssapiens
sapiens
began
prevail;
Upper
Homo sapiens
began
to to
prevail;
to to
the Mesolithic
Mesolithic Age,
Age, which
which in
in the
the temperate
temperate zone
zone coincides
coincides with
with the
the
the
development of
of agriculture
agriculture and
and animal
animal husbandry;
husbandry; and
and to
to the
the Neodevelopment
Neolithic Age,
Age, which
which saw
saw the
the development
development of
of polished
polished stone
stone implements
implements
lithic
and the
the invention
invention of
of weaving
weaving and
and pottery.
pottery. But
But even
even the
the most
most adadand
vanced
vanced Neolithic
Neolithic communities
communities of
of northern
northern Africa,
Africa, the
the Near
Near East,
East, and
and
the Middle
Middle East
East were
were unable
unable to
to reach
reach the
the level
level of
of production
production necesthe
necessary for
for the
the creation
creation of
of aa civilization.
civilization. The
The goal
goal of
of their
their agricultural
agricultural
sary
production and
and animal
animal husbandry
husbandry was;
was, as
as before,
before, solely
solely to
to ensure
ensure the
the
production
survival of
of the
the community
community and
and its
its members.
members. Reserves
Reserves were
were accumuaccumusurvival
lated only
only for
for extreme
extreme emergencies,
emergencies, such
such as
as unexpected
unexpected natural
natural disasdisaslated
ters. Working
Working the
the soil
soil with
with hoes
hoes made
made of
of stone
stone or
or horn
horn was
was very
very
ters.
arduous, even
even in
in the
the softest
softest of
of soils,
soils, and
and provided
provided very
very meager,
meager, alarduous,
although reliable,
reliable, nutrition.
nutrition. Domesticated
Domesticated goats
goats and
and sheep
sheep still
still supsupthough
plied only
only small
small quantities
quantities of
of wool
wool and
and milk.
milk. Dairy
Dairy products
products and
and milk
milk
plied
had to
to be
be consumed
consumed quickly,
quickly, because
because long-term
long-term storage
storage methods
methods were
were
had
unknown. It
It was
was only
only in
in Asia
Asia Minor,
Minor, Syria,
Syria, and
and Palestine
Palestine that
that during
during
unknown.
the eighth
eighth to
to sixth
sixth millennia
millennia B.C.,
B.C., there
there arose
arose wealthy
wealthy villages
villages with
with
the
considerable populations
populations and
and sometimes
sometimes even
even surrounded
surrounded by
by walls
considerable
walls
(which means
means that
that there
there was
was something
something to
to protect!).
protect!). These,
These, however,
however,
(which
were exceptions,
exceptions, and
and the
the oldest
oldest of
of these
these cultures-Jericho
culturesJericho in
in Palestine
Palestine
were
and <;atal-Hiiyiik
Qatal-Hiiyuk in
in Asia
Asia Minor-did
Minordid not
not develop
develop into
into civilizations.
civilizations.
and
With
With the
the growth
growth of
of agricultural
agricultural populations
populations in
in the
the foothills,
foothills, some
some
people had
people
had to
to migrate
migrate deeper
deeper and
and deeper
deeper into
into the
the steppes.
steppes. As
As these
these
clan
clan or
or tribal
tribal groups
groups migrated
migrated away
away from
from regions
regions with
with more
more or
or less
less
efficient
pluvial or
efficient pluvial
or brook
brook irrigation,
irrigation, animal
animal husbandry
husbandry became
became aa more
more
important
important factor
factor in
in their
their economy,
economy, while
while the
the cultivation
cultivation of
of barley
barley and
and
emmer wheat
wheat became
became economically
economically less
less reliable
reliable and
and less
less important.
important.
emmer
However,
since humans
had not
not yet
yet domesticated
domesticated the
the horse
horse or
or the
the
humans had
However, since
camel, the
the shepherds
shepherds were
were not
not able
able to
to manage
manage the
the long
long seasonal
seasonal micamel,
migrations necessary
necessary for
for the
the restoration
restoration of
of the
the grassland
grassland used
used to
to graze
graze
grations
sheep and
and cattle;
cattle; that
that is,
is, they
they were
were not
not nomads.
nomads. And
And since
since they
they could
could
sheep
not move
move too
too far
far away
away from
from water
water sources,
sources, they
they did
did not
not entirely
entirely abanabannot
don
agriculture.
When
it
became
impossible
to
feed
the
animals
as aa
don agriculture. When it became impossible to feed the animals as

30

I. M.
/.
M. Diakonoff
Diakonoff

result of
of the
sheep and
and goats
goats completely
completely overgrazing
overgrazing the
the meager
meager
result
the sheep
southern grasslands
grasslands or
or after
after aa catastrophic
catastrophic drought,
drought, the
shepherds
southern
the shepherds
migrated
other places.
during the
eighth to
the sixth
sixth millenmillenmigrated to
to other
places. Thus,
Thus, during
the eighth
to the
nia B.C.,
B.C., tribes
speaking Afrasian
Afrasian (Afro-Asiatic,
Semito-Hamitic) diadiatribes speaking
(Afro-Asiatic, Semito-Hamitic)
nia
V. A.
A. Shnirelman,
Shnirelman,
lects (who,
(who, in
in the
the opinion
opinion of
of A.
Militarev and
and V.
A. Yu.
Yu. Militarev
lects
were the
the descendants
descendants of
of the
the Mesolithic
of the
the Near
East)
Mesolithic population
population of
Near East)
were
expanded over
over northern
northern Africa
Africa and
and over
over the
the steppe
steppe regions
regions of
of Westexpanded
Western Asia
Asia (Arabia,
(Arabia, Syria,
Syria, and
and Upper
Upper Mesopotamia,
Mesopotamia, where
where tribes
tribes of
of the
the
ern
Semitic language
language family
family of
of the
the Afrasian
Afrasian languge
languge phylum
had rereSemitic
phylum had
mained or
or had
had immigrated).
immigrated). Beginning
Beginning with
with the
the fifth
fifth to
to third
third millenmillenmained
nia
B.C. (i.e.,
(i.e., at
at the
the beginning
the age
age of
of metal),
groups
beginning of
of the
metal), related
related groups
nia B.C.
speaking Indo-European
Indo-European languages
languages migrated
migrated in
in different
different directions
directions
speaking
from their
their homeland.
homeland. Their
Their homeland
homeland was
thought to
to be
be
from
was previously
previously thought
between
the Elbe
Elbe and
and the
the Vistula
(eastern Germany
Germany and
and Poland),
Poland), but
but
between the
Vistula (eastern
more likely,
likely, one
one should
should locate
locate it
it in
in more
more southerly
southerly areas
areas nearer
nearer the
the
more
Black Sea;
Sea; for
for example,
example, in
in the
the Danube
Danube Valley,
Valley, the
the Balkans,
Balkans, or
or on
on the
the
Black
Eurasian steppes.
steppes.1l By
By the
second millennium
millennium B.C.,
B.C., these
tribes had
had
Eurasian
the second
these tribes
passed their
their languages
languages to
to the
the local
local populations
affected by
their
passed
populations affected
by their
movements, and
and these
these then
again, over
over aa vast
movements,
then have
have passed
passed them
them on
on again,
vast
area stretching
stretching from
from the
the Atlantic
Atlantic to
to the
the Indian
Indian Ocean.
Ocean.
area
Minor
Minor migrations
migrations contributing
contributing to
to the
the vast
vast spread
spread of
of language
language famifamiby no
means fortuitous.
lies
lies were,
were, of
of course,
course, by
no means
fortuitous. They
They were
were mainly
mainly conconnected
the climate.
Thus, the
nected with
with secular
secular fluctuations
fluctuations of
of the
climate. Thus,
the sixth
sixth and
and the
the
late third
third to
to the
the second
second millennia
millennia B.C.
B.C. were
of drought
drought that
that
late
were periods
periods of
may have
have stimulated
stimulated tribal
tribal migrations
migrations in
in search
search of
of better
better living
living condicondimay
tions. Drought
Drought may
caused the
decline of
of the
Early Neolithic
may have
have caused
the decline
the Early
Neolithic agagtions.
ricultural
in Asia
Asia Minor
Minor and
the rise
of animal
animal husbandry
husbandry and
and
and the
rise of
ricultural villages
villages in
agriculture in
in the
the still-forested
still-forested Balkans
Balkans or
or the
the Danube
But in
in
agriculture
Danube Valley.
Valley. But
the fifth
fifth and
and fourth
fourth millennia
millennia B.C.
B.C. the
the climatic
climatic conditions
conditions were
were more
more
the
favorable; the
mortality rate
rate in
in the
the agricultural
agricultural pastoral
tribes dedefavorable;
the mortality
pastoral tribes
creased somewhat,
somewhat, and
and aa relative
surplus was
was created.
created. The
The
relative population
population surplus
creased
population gradually
gradually spread
spread in
in different
different directions
directions within
within the
the general
general
population
climatic zone
zone favorable
favorable to
to the
the type
type of
of economy
economy of
of such
such tribes.
tribes.
climatic
It
must be
be understood
that the
that time
was very
very thinly
It must
understood that
the earth
earth at
at that
time was
thinly
populated
populated and
and that
that as
as shown
shown by
by the
the data
data of
of historical
historical linguistics,
linguistics, the
the
migration
migration of
of peoples
peoples did
did not
not result
result so
so much
much in
in the
the total
total destruction
destruction or
or
1.
1. Recently
Recently aa hypothesis
hypothesis has
has been
been proposed,
proposed, according
according to
to which
which the
the original
original home
home
of the
the Indo-European
Indo-European languages
is to
to be
sought in
in Asia
Asia Minor
Minor and
and eastern
eastern Anatolia.
Anatolia.
of
languages is
be sought
This hypothesis,
hypothesis, which
which has
has failed
failed to
to convince
convince most
most linguists,
linguists, cannot
cannot be
into
This
be brought
brought into
harmony
not only
harmony with
with archaeological
archaeological data
data either.
either. More
More likely,
likely, the
the distant
distant forebears
forebears not
only of
of
the
speakers of
of Proto-Indo-European
Proto-Indo-European but
some other
other languages
languages (e.g.,
(e.g., South
South
the speakers
but also
also of
of some
Caucasian) may
may have
inhabited these
in the
the eighth
eighth to
to sixth
sixth millennia
millennia B.C.
B.C. and
and
Caucasian)
have inhabited
these territories
territories in
later, in
in connection
connection with
the beginning
beginning of
of an
an arid
arid epoch
epoch about
about 5000
5000 B.C.,
B.C., migrated
migrated to
to
later,
with the
Europe and
and the
Caucasus.
Europe
the Caucasus.

General
General Outline
Outline

31

displacement
displacement of
of native
native tribes
tribes as
as in
in the
the assimilation
assimilation of
of the
the new
new arrivals
arrivals
the natives,
the wave
wave of
with
with the
natives, so
so that
that the
of aa further
further migration
migration could
could differ
differ
ethnically,
not linguistically,
ethnically, though
though not
linguistically, from
from the
the original
original one.
one. People
People
who
who in
in the
the sixth
sixth and
and fifth
fifth millennia
millennia B.C.
B.C. brought
brought Afrasian
Afrasian languages
languages
deep
those who
who in
millennia B.C.
B.C.
deep into
into Africa
Africa and
and those
in the
the second
second to
to first
first millennia
brought Indo-European
Indo-European languages
to the
the shores
shores of
of the
the Bay
of Bengal
Bengal
brought
languages to
Bay of
(present-day Bangladesh)
Bangladesh) were
were not
not at
at all
all similar
similar in
in their
their culture
culture and
and
(present-day
physical features
features to
to those
those who
started the
the first
first wave
of migration
migration of
of
physical
who started
wave of
tribes engaged
engaged in
in agriculture
agriculture and
and animal
animal husbandry.
husbandry.
tribes
Although
Although these
these relatively
relatively mobile
mobile pastoral
pastoral tribes,
tribes, who
who also
also always
always
practiced some
true nomads,
practiced
some form
form of
of subsidiary
subsidiary agriculture,
agriculture, were
were not
not true
nomads,
is justified
justified in
in stating
stating that
that the
the people
people permanently
permanently settled
settled on
on ferferone is
one
tile,
tile, irrigated
irrigated land
land were
were aa population
population group
group opposed
opposed to
to shepherds,
shepherds,
cattle raisers,
and semiagricultural
semiagricultural transhumants;
separation or
or
cattle
raisers, and
transhumants; this
this separation
opposition represents
represents the
the first
first great
division of
of labor.
labor. Exchange
Exchange was
opposition
great division
was
already
at this
this early
early age
age between
between the
groups engaged
in
the groups
engaged in
already established
established at
agriculture
agriculture and
and those
those engaged
engaged in
in animal
animal husbandry.
husbandry. Moreover,
Moreover, there
there
was
need for
for such
such an
an exchange
exchange even
even earlier,
earlier, because
even during
during the
the
was need
because even
late Old
Old Stone
Stone Age,
of people
people was
able to
provide itself
itself with
with
late
Age, no
no group
group of
was able
to provide
all the
without exchange.
exchange. Materials
Materials for
for exchange
included
all
the necessities
necessities without
exchange included
relatively
scarce stones
and ob(fl~nt and
obrelatively scarce
stones suitable
suitable for
for making
making implements
implements (flint
sidian). Later,
the newly
discovered metals-gold,
metalsgold, copper,
copper, and
and silversilver
sidian).
Later, the
newly discovered
began
to be
be exchanged
exchanged for
for various
various handiwork
such as
began to
handiwork products,
products, such
as
textiles. These
These exchanges
exchanges involved
involved several
several intermediaries
intermediaries and
and covtextiles.
covered great
great distances.
distances.
ered
soWe
We can
can trace
trace several
several ways
ways of
of the
the development
development of
of stratified
stratified (class)
(class) societies;
cieties; each
each way
way depended
depended on
on aa specific
specific combination
combination of
of two
two economic
economic
sectors,
ecosectors, and
and their
their ratio,
ratio, in
in turn,
turn, probably
probably depended
depended on
on specific
specific ecological
logical conditions.
conditions.

Societies
Societies in
in Early
Early Antiquity:
Antiquity: The
The First
First Way
Way of
of Development
Development
During
the resettling
During the
resettling of
of communities
communities from
from the
the original
original agricultural
agricultural
regions of
centers
centers (in
(in the
the foothill
foothill regions
of the
the Near
Near and
and Middle
Middle East),
East), other
other
events took
took place
place imperceptibly.
imperceptibly. It
It is
is possible
possible that
that they
they had
had an
an even
even
events
greater
greater significance
significance for
for human
human history.
history.
Between
Between the
the sixth
sixth and
and third
third millennia
millennia B.C.,
B.C., agriculturalists
agriculturalists settled
settled
the
Nile, the
the valleys
valleys of
of three
three great
great rivers
rivers in
in Africa
Africa and
and Asia:
Asia: the
the Nile,
the Lower
Lower
While part
part of
of the
population belonging
belonging to
to
Euphrates, and
and the
the Indus.
Indus.22 While
Euphrates,
the population
agricultural
agricultural communities
communities in
in the
the foothills
foothills either
either was
was displaced
displaced or
or volvoluntarily migrated
migrated further
further into
into the
the steppes,
steppes, aa few
few were
were forced
forced to
to rereuntarily
2.
2. They
They also
also settled
settled the
the valleys
valleys ofthe
of the Karun
Karun and
and Kerkheh
Kerkheh rivers,
rivers, located
located to
to the
the east
east
of
present-day Iraq.
of present-day
Iraq.

32

I. M. Diakonoff
Diakonoff

treat
toward the
plains of
Mesopotamia. There
treat toward
the plains
of Lower
Lower Mesopotamia.
There they
they found
found
extremely
unfavorable conditions
to the
of
extremely unfavorable
conditions owing
owing to
the periodic
periodic flooding
flooding of
the
by three
Tigris, and
the land
land by
three rivers-the
riversthe Euphrates,
Euphrates, the
the Tigris,
and the
the Karun.
Karun.
All
flow through
through aa desert
through very
very hot
hot and
All three
three flow
desert area
area or
or through
and dry
dry
steppes where
grain cannot
cannot be
grown without
artificial irrigation.
irrigation. Yet,
steppes
where grain
be grown
without artificial
Yet,
all three
had yearly
of flood,
inundating vast
vast areas
areas for
for
all
three rivers
rivers had
yearly periods
periods of
flood, inundating
long periods
and converting
them into
into swamps.
swamps. Thus,
the
long
periods of
of time
time and
converting them
Thus, the
fields were
either flooded
flooded at
at the
(during the
spring harharfields
were either
the wrong
wrong time
time (during
the spring
vest)
or were
were parched
sun once
the floodwaters
making
vest) or
parched by
by the
the sun
once the
floodwaters receded,
receded, making
agriculture much
much less
less successful
successful here
here than
than in
in the
the foothills,
foothills, and
and food
food
agriculture
supplies much
much less
less secure.
secure. The
The Lower
Lower Euphrates
Euphrates Valley
lacked buildbuildsupplies
Valley lacked
ing timber
timber (only
were available)
available) and
and stone
stone suitable
suitable for
for
ing
(only giant
giant reeds
reeds were
manufacturing tools.
tools. Since
Since there
were also
also no
no metals,
inhabitants
manufacturing
there were
metals, the
the inhabitants
of this
this valley
valley had
had to
to depend
depend on
on implements
implements made
made of
of reeds
reeds and
and clay
clay or
or
of
had to
obtain stone
stone by
bartering with
neighboring groups.
groups. MeanMeanhad
to obtain
by bartering
with neighboring
while, their
their neighbors
neighbors had
had long
long since
since mastered
mastered copper
copper smelting.
smelting. The
The
while,
inhabitants of
of the
the Lower
Lower Euphrates
Euphrates also,
also, of
of course,
course, knew
knew copper
copper as
as an
an
inhabitants
exotic material,
material, but
it was
was much
much more
difficult for
for them,
them, compared
compared
exotic
but it
more difficult
with
other groups
groups situated
situated closer
closer to
to the
the source
source areas,
areas, to
to obtain
obtain it
it
with other
through exchange.
exchange. Many
dozens of
of generations
generations passed
the inthrough
Many dozens
passed before
before the
inhabitants
of the
the great
great river
of Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia managed
managed to
to take
take
habitants of
river valleys
valleys of
practical
advantage of
of the
for agricultural
agricultural purposes.
This then
then
the floods
floods for
purposes. This
practical advantage
became
the first
of humans
over the
natural elements.
elements.
became the
first victory
victory of
humans over
the natural
Control
supply was
accomplished in
in various
various ways.
Control over
over the
the water
water supply
was accomplished
ways. In
In
the Nile
Nile Valley
Valley of
of Egypt,
the river
river begins
begins to
to flood
flood in
une and
the
Egypt, the
in 1
June
and remains
remains
at aa high
high level
level until
People learned
at
until October.
October. People
learned to
to divide
divide the
the fields
fields with
with
earthen dikes.
dikes. After
After the
trapped Nile
Nile floodwaters
floodwaters deposited
deposited their
their ferearthen
the trapped
fertile
water was
was released,
trapped silt
with enough
tile silt,
silt, the
the water
released, leaving
leaving the
the trapped
silt with
enough
moisture
not only
moisture to
to serve
serve as
as an
an excellent
excellent fertilizer
fertilizer not
only for
for germination
germination
but also
also for
for the
the entire
entire growing
growing period
of the
In Sumer
Sumer (i.e.,
(i.e., the
the
but
period of
the grain.
grain. In
Lower
the river
the spring,
Lower Euphrates
Euphrates Valley)
Valley) the
river overflowed
overflowed its
its banks
banks in
in the
spring,
but
at rather
irregular times.
times. Its
Its water
water was
was diverted
diverted to
to special
special reserreserbut at
rather irregular
to the
fields several
voirs,
voirs, and
and from
from there
there it
it was
was supplied
supplied to
the fields
several times
times during
during
the growing
growing season.
season. Special
Special methods
methods of
of taming
taming rivers
also ememthe
rivers were
were also
ployed
Karun, and
rivers (the
ployed on
on the
the Kerkheh,
Kerkheh, Karun,
and Indus
Indus rivers
(the last
last of
of which
which
was brought
control only
only in
in the
the middle
middle of
of the
the third
third millennium
millennium
brought under
under control
was
B.C.).

It
It must
must not
not be
be assumed
assumed that
that irrigation
irrigation and
and land
land reclamation
reclamation systems
systems
were
created for
for the
entire lengths
lengths of
of the
only local
local systhe entire
the rivers;
rivers; only
syswere being
being created
assotems, such
were within
within the
tems,
such as
as were
the capabilities
capabilities of
of aa community
community or
or an
an association of
of aa few
few communities,
communities, were
developed. But
But this
alone was
an
ciation
were developed.
this alone
was an
enormous accomplishment,
accomplishment, which
which the
the inhabitants
inhabitants owed
owed to
persistence
enormous
to persistence
and cooperation.
cooperation. We
We do
do not
not know
know how
how this
this work
work was
was actually
actually orgaorgaand
nized, because
did not
not yet
exist, and
and thus,
thus, no
no records
have
nized,
because writing
writing did
yet exist,
records have

General Outline

33
33

reached us.
us. However,
However, it
been noticed
that in
reached
it has
has been
noticed that
in those
those areas
areas where
where the
the
creation of
of aa productive
productive agriculture
agriculture required
required the
the cooperation
cooperation of
of nunucreation
merous communities
communities at
at the
earliest stages
stages of
of civilization,
civilization, the
the power
power
merous
the earliest
and wealth
of temples
and cultic
cultic chiefs
chiefs were
much more
more conspicuous
conspicuous
and
wealth of
temples and
were much
than in
in regions
regions where
agriculture was
based on
on rain
rain or
or stream
stream irriirrithan
where agriculture
was based
gation, neither
neither of
of which
large-scale work
work projects.
It has,
gation,
which required
required large-scale
projects. It
has,
therefore, been
that the
the land
land improvement
improvement and
and irrigation
irrigation
therefore,
been postulated
postulated that
tasks must
under the
the management
of the
the priests.
tasks
must have
have been
been placed
placed under
management of
priests.
This is
is reasonable,
reasonable, since
since the
task of
of the
the priests
to ensure
ensure the
the gengenThis
the task
priests was
was to
eral well-being
of the
the community
community by
of cultic
cultic activities
activities and
and proeral
well-being of
by way
way of
propitiation of
of deities.
deities. Considering
Considering the
the Weltanschauung
WeltanschauungororWeltgefuhl
Weltgefuhl
pitiation
at at
the level
level of
of human
human development
development in
in those
those times,
times, cultic
cultic actions
actions were
were no
no
the
less important
important and
and effective
effective than
than technical
technical ones,
ones, and
and it
it was
was only
only natural
natural
less
to
and wisest
in charge
charge of
organizing
to put
put the
the most
most respected
respected and
wisest persons
persons in
of organizing
both
the cultic
cultic activities
activities and
and the
the technical
The priestpriestboth the
technical enterprises.
enterprises. The
chief, precursor
is represented
represented on
some of
of the
the most
most ancient
ancient
chief,
precursor of
of kings,
kings, is
on some
reliefs
of Egypt
Egypt and
and Sumer
Sumer performing
an agricultural
agricultural ceremony,
ceremony, and
and
performing an
reliefs of
this
is significant.
significant.
this is
Mastering
irrigation at
at that
level of
of development
development of
of the
the
Mastering fluvial
fluvial irrigation
that level
forces of
of production
production (the
(the Chalcolithic
Chalcolithic Age)
Age) was
only where
where
forces
was possible
possible only
the
soil was
sufficiently soft,
soft, the
riverbanks not
too steep
steep and
and rocky,
rocky,
the soil
was sufficiently
the riverbanks
not too
and the
river flow
not too
swift. This
This meant
meant that
that many
many rivers,
includand
the river
flow not
too swift.
rivers, including the
the Tigris,
Tigris, Araxes,
Syr Darya,
and Amu
rivers, were
were
ing
Araxes, Kura,
Kura, Syr
Darya, and
Amu Darya
Darya rivers,
not suitable
suitable for
for the
creation of
of irrigation-based
irrigation-based societies,
societies, not
not even
even
not
the creation
where
they flowed
through subtropical
subtropical desert,
desert, desert-steppe,
desert-steppe, steppe,
steppe,
where they
flowed through
and forest-steppe
forest-steppe country.
People began
use of
of their
waters
and
country. People
began to
to make
make use
their waters
only during
during much
much later
only
later periods.
periods.
But where
organized fluvial
fluvial irrigation
irrigation was
was feasible
But
where organized
feasible and
and where
where the
the
soil
was composed
began to
soil was
composed of
of fertile
fertile silt
silt deposits,
deposits, harvests
harvests began
to increase
increase
rapidly. The
to more
rapidly.
The growth
growth of
of labor
labor productivity
productivity also
also contributed
contributed to
more
abundant
to tilling
tilling with
hoes, plowing
plowing was
was pracpracabundant harvests.
harvests. In
In addition
addition to
with hoes,
ticed (with
overall improvement
ticed
(with donkeys
donkeys or
or with
with oxen).
oxen). There
There was
was an
an overall
improvement
in
have remained
alin soil-working
soil-working techniques,
techniques, and
and these
these techniques
techniques have
remained almost unchanged
millennia. In
and Sumer
Sumer by
by the
the end
end
most
unchanged through
through millennia.
In Egypt
Egypt and
of the
the fourth
fourth millennium
B.C., harvest
harvest yields
increased tenfold
to
of
millennium B.C.,
yields had
had increased
tenfold to
twentyfold. This
This meant
meant that
each person
began to
produce signifisignifitwentyfold.
that each
person began
to produce
cantly more
more than
than needed
needed for
for personal
personal sustenance.
sustenance. The
The increased
increased harharcantly
vests were
were also
also especially
especially conducive
conducive to
to the
the development
development of
of livestock
livestock
vests
raising.
livestock economy
economy contributed
contributed to
to an
an
raising. And
And aa well-developed
well-developed livestock
even higher
higher standard
standard of
living. The
The community
was then
then able
able to
to feed
feed
even
of living.
community was
not
only the
the laborers
laborers but
but also
also those
those incapable
incapable of
of production,
such as
not only
production, such
as
children and
and the
the elderly,
elderly, and
and to
create aa reliable
reliable food
food reserve,
reserve, as
as well
children
to create
well
as to
to free
free some
some of
of the
the able-bodied
able-bodied from
from agricultural
agricultural work.
work. This
This labor
labor
as
reserve fostered
fostered the
growth of
of specialized
specialized crafts:
crafts: pottery,
pottery, textexthe rapid
rapid growth
reserve

34
34

I.
Diakonoff
I- M.
M. Diakonoff

tiles
tiles and
and basketry,
basketry, shipbuilding,
shipbuilding, stonecutting,
stonecutting, copper
copper working,
working, and
and
so forth.
forth. The
The mastering
mastering of
of copper
copper was
was of
of the
the utmost
importance.
so
utmost importance.
Copper was
was first
first used
used as
Copper
as just
just another
another variety
variety of
of stone,
stone, but
but eventually,
eventually,
it was
was forged
forged and,
and, finally,
finally, cast.
cast. Numerous
Numerous implements
implements and
and weapons
weapons
it
that could
could not
not be
be made
made of
of stone,
stone, wood,
wood, or
or bone
bone began
began to
to be
be manufacmanufacthat
tured from
from copper.
copper. Moreover,
Moreover, such
such objects
objects could
could be
be remelted
remelted when
when
tured
broken
broken and
and the
the raw
raw metal
metal used
used for
for new
new implements.
implements. The
The separation
separation
of the
the crafts
crafts from
from agriculture
agriculture marked
marked the
the second
second great
great division
division of
of
of
labor.
labor.
The increased
increased surplus
surplus of
of agricultural
agricultural and
and livestock-raising
livestock-raising prodprodThe
ucts
ucts freed
freed some
some of
of the
the community
community members
members from
from having
having to
to perform
perform
productive
productive labor.
labor. Who
Who were
were these
these people
people who
who could
could be
be so
so liberated
liberated
and maintained
maintained at
at the
the expense
expense of
of other
other people's
people's labor?
labor? The
The formaformaand
tion of
of aa ruling
ruling class
class was
was certainly
certainly aa complex
complex and
and nonlinear
nonlinear process.
process.
tion
Already
in primitive
society, the
the structure
structure of
of human
human groups
groups was
was not
not
Already in
primitive society,
homogeneous. The
The primitive
primitive community
community could
could be
be divided
divided into
into differdifferhomogeneous.
ent age-groups
age-groups and
and male,
male, female,
female, and
and cultic
cultic associations.
associations. Military
Military
ent
leaders could
could keep
keep their
their own
own personal
personal armed
armed followers,
followers, recruited
recruited
leaders
from among
among the
the community
community members.
members. Sometimes
Sometimes the
the lives
lives of
of prisfrom
prisoners taken
taken in
in skirmishes
skirmishes with
with neighbors
were spared,
spared, and
and they
they were
were
oners
neighbors were
adopted into
into the
the households,
households, acquiring
acquiring the
the status
status of
of community
community
adopted
members. In
In other
other cases,
cases, they
they became
became slaves.
slaves. However,
However, no
antagmembers.
no antagonistic socioeconomic
socioeconomic classes
classes existed
existed during
during the
the Chalcolithic
Chalcolithic Age.
Age. (By
onistic
(By
classeswe
wemean
meanhere
herehistorically
historicallydeveloped
developedgroups
groupsofofpeople
peoplewith
withdifdifclasses
ferent tasks
in the
the production
production process
and distinguished
distinguished by
by their
different
tasks in
process and
their different relationships
relationships to
to property
property in
in the
of production
production and
and by
ferent
the means
means of
by
their opposing
opposing social
social interests.)
interests.)
their
A
A household
household commune
commune was
was headed
headed by
by aa patriarch
patriarch and
and included
included his
his
sons
grandsons and
While the
the patriarch
patriarch
sons and
and grandsons
and their
their ':Vives
wives and
and children.
children.33 While
was alive,
alive, all
all the
the commune
commune members
members and
and dependent
dependent persons
persons were
were
was
subject to
to his
his total,
total, practically
unlimited authority.
authority. In
In the
the event
event that
that
subject
practically unlimited
the household
household commune
commune did
did not
not subdivide
subdivide following
following his
his death,
death, it
it
the
could
could gradually
gradually grow
grow into
into an
an entire
entire clan,
clan, including
including the
the spouses
spouses of
of
the
the male
male members.
members. (Marriages
(Marriages within
within this
this kinship
kinship group
group were
were mostly
mostly
banned to
to avoid
avoid internal
internal strife.
strife. As
As aa rule,
rule, therefore,
therefore, the
the wives
wives bebanned
belonged
longed to
to other
other lineage
lineage groups.)
groups.) In
In primitive
primitive society,
society, aa clan
clan was
was usuusually
ally part
part of
of aa tribe-a
tribea larger
larger association
association of
of people
people supposed
supposed to
to be
be
related in
in the
the maternal
maternal or
or paternal
line. But
But under
under the
the conditions
conditions of
of
related
paternal line.
an agricultural
agricultural society
society and
and with
with the
the increasing
increasing role
role of
of exchange
exchange bean
between communities,
communities, it
it became
became more
more difficult
difficult to
to maintain
maintain close
close organiorganitween
zational and
and economic
economic unity
unity of
of very
very large
large groups
groups only
only on
on the
the basis
basis of
of
zational
kinship. Thus,
Thus, tribal
tribal ties
ties began
began to
to loosen
loosen and
and relations
relations based
based on
on resikinship.
resi3.
3. Communes
Communes organized
organized along
along matrilineal
matrilineal lines
lines are
are not
not attested
attested in
in the
the Near
Near East.
East.

General
General Outline
Outline

35
35

dence or
or ties
ties formed
formed simply
simply on
on the
of being
neighbors became
became
dence
the basis
basis of
being neighbors
dominant. Neighbors
could be
be related
related through
or not
not be
be redominant.
Neighbors could
through kinship
kinship or
reall. At
At the
the time
time when
when the
the first
first class
class society
society was
was born,
born, the
the role
role of
lated
at all.
lated at
of
the tribal
tribal union
union passed
passed to
to the
the territorial
territorial community
community (village
(village or
or city),
the
city),
which was
was aa group
group of
of neighboring
neighboring household
household communes
communes that
that had
had the
the
which
land and
and water
water more
more or
or less
less at
at their
their common
common disposal.
disposal. The
The territorial
territorial
land
Such
community decided
decided its
its affairs
affairs in
in aa general
general assembly
assembly of
of warriors.
community
warriors. Such
large assemblies
assemblies could
could not
not possibly
possibly go
go into
into all
all the
the details
details of
of adminadminlarge
istration, so
so important
important affairs
affairs had
had to
to be
be entrusted
entrusted to
to aa council
council of
of
istration,
eldersthe most
most experienced
experienced representatives
representatives of
of the
the individual
individual househouseelders-the
hold communes,
communes, which,
which, in
in principle,
principle, were
were considered
considered to
to be
be equals
equals (alhold
(although clans
clans could
could be
distinguished as
as elder
elder and
and younger).
younger). In
In most
most
though
be distinguished
cases, the
assemblies simply
simply approved
approved the
decisions made
made by
councases,
the assemblies
the decisions
by the
the council. The
The assembly
assembly or,
or, more
more often,
often, the
the council
council also
also chose
chose one
one or
or two
two
cil.
leaders
of the
the community
community whose
responsibility it
it was
was to
to serve
serve as
as milileaders of
whose responsibility
military commander
commander and
and community
community representative
representative before
before the
the unknown
unknown
tary
forces of
of the
the world
world that
that were
were personified
personified as
as gods.
gods. Such
Such aa system
system of
forces
of
public administration
administration is
is often
often called
called aa military
military democracy.
democracy.
public
Naturally,
the first
Naturally, the
the amount
amount of
of the
first surpluses
surpluses could
could not
not suffice
suffice for
for
everyone. At
At the
the same
same time,
time, not
not all
all the
the people
people of
of the
the territorial
territorial comcomeveryone.
the same
their livelihood
munity had
munity
had the
same opportunities
opportunities to
to ensure
ensure their
livelihood at
at the
the
expense of
of others.
others. The
The persons
in the
the most
most favorable
favorable situation
situation were,
expense
persons in
were,
on the
the one
one hand,
hand, the
chief and
and his
his entourage
entourage and,
and, on
on the
the
on
the military
military chief
other, the
the high
high priest.
priest. (It
(It is
is assumed
assumed that
that in
in the
the lands
lands with
with fluvial
fluvial irriirriother,
gation, the
the latter
latter was
was also
also the
the manager
manager of
of irrigation
irrigation activities.)
activities.) Not
ungation,
Not uncommonly,
be both
commonly, one
one leader
leader could
could be
both the
the military
military chief
chief and
and the
the high
high
priest. The
The members
members of
of the
the council
council of
of elders
elders also
also ranked
ranked higher
higher than
than
priest.
the rest
rest of
of the
the community
community members,
members, and
and even
even different
different household
household
the
communes could
could have
unequal authority
authority and
and power.
power.
communes
have unequal
The formation
formation of
of aa class
class society
society is
is governed
governed by
strictly logical
logical laws.
The
by strictly
laws.
In
maintain the
highest growth
the means
In order
order to
to maintain
the highest
growth of
of the
means of
of production
production
and cultural
cultural and
and ideological
ideological progress,
society requires
requires people
freed
and
progress, aa society
people freed
from productive
from
productive labor.
labor. This
This certainly
certainly does
does not
not mean
mean that
that aa society
society
consciously releases
releases the
the best
best organizers,
organizers, the
the most
most profound
thinkers,
consciously
profound thinkers,
and the
outstanding artists
artists from
from production
production work.
work. It
It is
is not
not those
those
and
the most
most outstanding
who
are best
best capable
capable of
of utilizing
utilizing the
the surplus
surplus of
of produce
produce in
in the
most
who are
the most
is, rather,
rather, those
those who
are in
in aa position
position to
to
rational way
way who
who acquire
acquire it.
it. It
It is,
rational
who are
do so:
so: individuals
individuals who
who possess
possess resources
of sheer
sheer physical
strength or
or
do
resources of
physical strength
who
the daring
daring or
or the
the armed
armed or
or the
the ideological
ideological power;
power; it
it is
is they
they
who have
have the
who
also
appropriate
the
organizational
power.
Most
of
these
indiwho also appropriate the organizational power. Most of these individuals exploit
exploit the
the labor
labor of
of others
others without
thereby benefiting
society
viduals
without thereby
benefiting society
as aa whole.
certain percentage,
however, are
are people
who are
are really
really
as
whole. A
A certain
percentage, however,
people who
able to
to promote
promote the
the technical
technical and
and cultural
cultural progress
progress of
society.
able
of aa society.
It is
is precisely
precisely this
this accelerating
accelerating progress
progress that
that allows
allows us
us to
to call
call the
the
It

36

/. M. Diakonoff
I.
Diakonoff

very
very first
first class
class society
society aa civilization
civilization(from
(from the
theLatin:
Latin:cives,
cives,"citizen";
"citizen";
civitas,
civitas, "community
"community of
of citizens,"
citizens,""city").
"city").Acclerating
Acclerating progress
progress distindistinguishes
the level
that even
guishes the
the early
early class
class society
society from
from barbarism,
barbarism, the
level that
even the
the
most developed
developed primitive
society cannot
cannot exceed.
exceed.
most
primitive society
When the
the society
society began
began to
to produce
produce aa surplus,
surplus, its
its quantity,
quantity, of
When
of
course,
course, was
was insufficient
insufficient to
to raise
raise the
the standard
standard of
of living
living for
for the
the entire
entire
benefited, which
which means
means that
society.
society. Only
Only aa certain
certain fraction
fraction of
of society
society benefited,
that
economic
economic and
and social
social inequality
inequality inevitably
inevitably arose.
arose. Moreover,
Moreover, at
at the
the level
level
of productivity
productivity characteristic
characteristic of
of that
that period,
progress at
at all
all was
of
period, no
no progress
was
possible without
without such
such inequality
inequality and
and without
the potential
potential for
for growth
growth
without the
possible
of
production forces,
which were
were inherent
of the
the production
forces, which
inherent in
in the
the exploitation
exploitation of
of
the labor
labor of
of one
one group
group for
for the
the benefit
of another.
another. It
It is
is evident
evident that
that no
no
the
benefit of
one
one would
would willingly
willingly agree
agree to
to surrender
surrender his
his portion
portion of
of the
the society's
society's
product
someone else.
else. A
coercive mechanism
was therefore
therefore necesproduct to
to someone
A coercive
mechanism was
necessary to
to force
force the
exploited class,
class, as
as well
as the
entire society,
society, to
to submit
submit
the exploited
well as
the entire
sary
to the
the socioeconomic
socioeconomic order.
order. Such
Such aa mechanism
mechanism was
was found
found in
in the
the state,
state,
to
which developed
developed simultaneously
simultaneously with
with the
the class
class society.
society. Special
Special adminadminwhich
istrative personnel;
personnel; territorial,
territorial, instead
instead of
of clan
clan or
or tribal,
tribal, subdivision
subdivision of
of
istrative
the
administered region;
region; special
special armed
armed forces
forces separate
separate both
from the
the
the administered
both from
people
at large
large and
and from
from their
their own
own popular
armed militia;
militia; and
and taxes
taxes
people at
popular armed
collected from
from the
the inhabitants
inhabitants for
for the
the maintenance
maintenance of
of the
the state
state mamacollected
chinery and
and the
the armed
armed forces-these
forcesthese are
are the
the features
features characteristic
characteristic of
of
chinery
state. The
The taxes
taxes could
could have
have different
different forms,
forms, occasionally
occasionally quite
quite difdifaa state.
ferent from
from those
those of
of today.
today.
ferent
In
In Sumer
Sumer during
during the
the third
third millennium
millennium B.C.
B.C. (we
(we have
have less
less informainformathe top
tion
tion about
about the
the other
other riverine
riverine civilizations),
civilizations), the
top echelon
echelon of
of society
society
was
sustained not
not so
so much
much by
(although there
there
was sustained
by requisitioning
requisitioning produce
produce (although
were
were some
some requisitions)
requisitions) as
as by
by giving
giving large
large tracts
tracts of
of communal
communal land
land to
to
the
the temples
temples and
and to
to the
the most
most important
important functionaries
functionaries (and
(and it
it must
must be
be
remembered that
that the
the irrigated
irrigated land
land belonging
belonging to
to the
the community
community was
remembered
was
limited).
of people
this appropriated
appropriated
limited). A
A very
very large
large number
number of
people worked
worked this
land,
land, and
and it
it is
is they
they who
who constituted
constituted the
the majority
majority of
of the
the emerging
emerging exexploited class.
class. Temples
Temples had
had special
special significance
significance for
for the
the community.
community. For
For
ploited
one thing,
thing, the
the produce
of the
the temple
temple economy
economy was
was originally
originally the
the comcomone
produce of
munity
emergency
fund.
Furthermore,
the
sacrificial
offerings
permunity emergency fund. Furthermore, the sacrificial offerings performed
in
the
temple
gave
the
participating
population
virtually
its
formed in the temple gave the participating population virtually its
only opportunity
opportunity to
to consume
consume meat.
meat. At
At the
the same
same time,
time, the
the extensive
extensive
only
area of
of temple
temple land
land made
made possible
possible the
the application
application of
of advanced
advanced agriagriarea
cultural
techniques, such
such as
as plowing.
It was
here that
that the
the bulk
bulk of
of the
the
plowing. It
was here
cultural techniques,
surplus was
was produced.
produced. For
For the
the majority
majority of
of the
the free
free inhabitants
inhabitants (i.e.,
surplus
(i.e.,
those not
not in
in the
the developing
developing state
state bureaucracy,
bureaucracy, to
to which
which we
we must
must add
add
those
4.
4. We
We must
must assume
assume that
that the
the temple
temple economies
economies were
were originally
originally established
established to
to serve
serve
the gods
gods rather
rather than
the priests.
priests. In
In general,
general, the
the concept
concept of
of priesthood,
priesthood, at
at least
least in
in Mesothe
than the
Meso-

General
General Outline
Outline

37
37

the nascent
nascent priesthood),4
priesthood),4 the
the
the segregation
segregation of
of aa substantial
substantial portion
portion of
of
the most
most fertile
benefit of
this elite
was actuthe
fertile community
community land
land for
for the
the benefit
of this
elite was
actuwere levies
ally
ally aa form
form of
of taxation.
taxation. Other
Other forms
forms of
of taxation
taxation were
levies for
for irrigairrigation and
and construction
construction work,
as well
well as
as for
for military
military service.
service.
work, as
tion
It
to note
the primitive
It is
is important
important to
note that
that during
during the
the later
later stages
stages of
of the
primitive
order,
tribes could
unions of
order, whereas
whereas tribes
could form
form unions
of tribes
tribes and
and confederations,
confederations,
the
within aa small
the conthe first
first states
states always
always originated
originated within
small area,
area, within
within the
confines
of aa single
single territorial
territorial community
community or,
or, mote
more frequently,
frequently, within
within aa
fines of
few
few closely
closely knit
knit communities.
communities. The
The security
security of
of such
such aa state
state depended
depended
on
the existence
existence of
of natural
boundaries-mountains surrounding
on the
natural boundaries-mountains
surrounding aa
valley,
valley, aa sea
sea surrounding
surrounding an
an island
island or
or aa peninsula,
peninsula, or
or aa desert
desert encirencircling aa region
irrigated by
by aa master
canal. We
We will
will call
call such
clearly
such aa clearly
cling
region irrigated
master canal.
distinct
in which
distinct region
region in
which an
an early
early form
form of
of state
state emerges
emerges aa nome.
nome. The
The
center of
of aa nome
was usually
temple of
of the
the dominant
dominant local
local deity.
deity. Locenter
nome was
usually aa temple
Lowere the
homes of
cated
cated around
around this
this central
central temple
temple were
the homes
of the
the administrative
administrative
functionaries, warehouses
warehouses for
for food
food and
and other
other supplies,
supplies, armories,
armories, and
and
functionaries,
so
important craft
workshops were
were concentrated
so on.
on. Also,
Also, the
the most
most important
craft workshops
concentrated
here. All
All this
this was
eventually enclosed
enclosed within
security wall
wall and
and consticonstihere.
was eventually
within aa security
tuted
of aa small
primary state.
tuted aa city,
city, the
the center
center of
small primary
state. The
The form
form of
of governgovernment in
in these
these city-states
city-states was
usually, though
though not
not always,
always, monarchic,
monarchic,
ment
was usually,
although bodies
bodies of
of communal
communal self-government
self-government (council
(council of
of elders,
elders, asalthough
assembly of
of warriors)
warriors) were
also usually
retained.
sembly
were also
usually retained.
Since
Since the
the formation
formation of
of cities
cities roughly
roughly coincides
coincides with
with the
the appearance
appearance
of
of the
the earliest
earliest class
class society
society and
and state,
state, Western
Western scholars
scholars frequently
frequently term
term
the
primitive community
the class
class
the transition
transition between
between the
the primitive
community order
order and
and the
order
revolution. This
order the
the urban
urban revolution.
This term
term is
is convenient
convenient but
but not
not unreserunreservedly acceptable,
focuses on
on the
development of
of centers
centers of
of
the development
vedly
acceptable, because
because it
it focuses
trade
and industry
industry and
the main
trade and
and does
does not
not take
take into
into account
account the
main feature
feature
distinguishing the
the final
final stage
stage of
of the
primitive society
society (barbarism)
(barbarism) from
from
the primitive
distinguishing
civilization:
into antagonistic
civilization: the
the stratification
stratification of
of the
the society
society into
antagonistic classes.
classes. It
It
is precisely
this feature
feature that
that provides
provides the
the key
key for
for our
our understanding
understanding
is
precisely this
of the
the course
course of
of the
the subsequent
subsequent history
of ancient
ancient society.
society.
of
history of
The
first
societal
class
differentiation
is
attested
in
Egypt and
The first societal class differentiation is attested in Egypt
and Sumer.
Sumer.
In
had certain
peculiarities deIn both
both of
of these
these countries,
countries, the
the process
process had
certain peculiarities
decisive for
for the
the future
future history
history of
of each
each civilization
civilization and
and for
for their
their specific
specific
cisive
ways
of development
development within
within the
the framework
framework of
of the
same type
type of
of society
society
the same
ways of
(conventionally called
called the
slave-owning mode
mode of
of production).
The
(conventionally
the slave-owning
production). The
first way
of development
development of
of the
the various
various types
types attested
attested in
in ancient
ancient slavefirst
way of
slaveowning societies
societies has
has been
satisfactorily in
in its
early stages
stages
been studied
studied satisfactorily
its early
owning
mostly for
for Sumer.
Sumer. We
We have
already seen
seen that
that economically
economically Sumerian
Sumerian
have already
mostly
potamia,
potamia, belongs
belongs to
to aa much
much later
later time;
time; the
the ancients
ancients did
did not
not at
at first
first distinguish
distinguish priestly
priestly
activities
activities or
or the
the ceremonial
ceremonial and
and magical
magical services
services to
to the
the gods
gods from
from other
other state
state and
and social
social
services.

38

/.
I. M. Diakonoff
Diakonoff

society
society was
was divided
divided into
into two
two sectors.
sectors. One
One included
included the
the great
great econoeconomies
temples and
the top
the emerging
mies of
of the
the temples
and the
top functionaries
functionaries of
of the
emerging state.
state.
During the
the first
first centuries
centuries of
of written
written history,
history, these
these economic
economic entities
entities
During
gradually
released themselves
jurisdiction of
gradually released
themselves from
from the
the jurisdiction
of the
the bodies
bodies of
of
the
community's self-government.
self-government. The
The second
second sector
sector comprised
lands
the community's
comprised lands
settled by
by free
free inhabitants
inhabitants who
who participated
participated in
in the
the self-government
self-government
settled
of the
community. The
supreme proprietor
of the
lands of
of
the community.
The supreme
proprietor of
the lands
of the
the secsecond sector
sector was
was the
the territorial
territorial community,
community, but
the lands
lands were
were held
held by
ond
but the
by
extended-family households;
households; that
is, communes
communes headed
headed by
extended-family
that is,
by their
their papatriarchs. In
In the
the third
third or
or fourth
fourth generations,
generations, such
such household
household comcomtriarchs.
munes usually
divided, though
the separated
separated hou~eholds
households still
still regarded
regarded
munes
usually divided,
though the
themselves as
as kin;
kin; they
they had
had aa shared
shared cult
cult of
of ancestors,
ancestors, and
and the
custom
themselves
the custom
of mutual
mutual aid
aid between
them continued.
continued.
of
between them
Later,
property, while
Later, the
the economies
economies of
of the
the first
first sector
sector became
became state
state property,
while
the
economies of
of the
the second
second sector
sector remained
under the
supreme proprothe economies
remained under
the supreme
prietorship
of the
community and
and in
in the
of the
the
prietodhip of
the territorial
territorial community
the possession
possession of
family heads.
In practical
terms, the
of the
latter differed
differed
family
heads. In
practical terms,
the possessions
possessions of
the latter
from full
full property
solely in
in that
only as
as members
of the
territorial
from
property solely
that only
members of
the territorial
(i.e., rural
rural and
and urban)
urban) community
community could
could they
they use
use and
and dispose
dispose of
of the
the
(i.e.,
land at
at will.
land
will.
The
The community
community members
members themselves-that
themselvesthat is,
is, the
the free
free members
members
of
of the
the second-sector
second-sector economies
economies (communal-cum-private)-worked
(communal-cum-private)worked
on
on the
the land
land aided
aided only
only by
by their
their families.
families. Nevertheless,
Nevertheless, inequalities
inequalities in
in
wealth
wealth did
did exist,
exist, both
both within
within the
the confines
confines of
of individual
individual extendedextendedfamily communes
communes and
and especially
especially between
between different
different kin-related
kin-related comcomfamily
munes. These
These inequalities
inequalities depended
depended on
on the
the social
social status
status of
of the
the heads
heads
munes.
of
of the
the community
community memof the
the nuclear
nuclear and
and extended
extended families
families (some
(some of
members
bers could
could be
be priests,
priests, elders,
elders, etc.);
etc.); on
on accidental
accidental fortune
fortune or
or misformisfortune;
tune; and
and on
on the
the ability
ability of
of the
the individual
individual members
members to
to manage
manage their
their
movable property,
because such
house, field,
movable
property, because
such items,
items, as
as opposed
opposed to
to house,
field, or
or
date plantation,
considered the
of each
each family
family
date
plantation, were
were considered
the personal
personal property
property of
member. By
By utilizing
mutual aid
by lending
of
member.
utilizing the
the custom
custom of
of mutual
aid or
or by
lending some
some of
their
products to
to less
more fortutheir products
less successful
successful community
community members,
members, the
the more
fortunate
nate families
families could
could also
also profit
profit from
from the
the labor
labor of
of others.
others. Also,
Also, slaves
slaves
were sometimes
sometimes owned,
owned, but
but more
more on
on this
were
this below.
below.
People
who were
by the
the state
held the
People who
were settled
settled on
on land
land owned
owned by
state sector
sector held
the
land as
as conditional
conditional possessions;
it was
was allotted
allotted for
for their
their sustenance
sustenance or
or
land
possessions; it
in payment
for services
services or
or work
work performed
for the
the temple,
the chief,
chief,
in
payment for
performed for
temple, the
or
or other
other functionary.
functionary. Such
Such land
land was
was granted
granted on
on an
an individual
individual basis
basis to
to
nuclear, rather
rather than
than to
to an
an extended,
extended, family
family unit.
unit. In
In other
other words,
words,
aa nuclear,
sons and
and grandsons
grandsons performed
performed their
their duties
duties individually
individually and
and were
were
sons
awarded
land
separately
from
their
fathers
and
grandfathers.
From
awarded land separately from their fathers and grandfathers. From
each of
of them,
them, the
the land
land could
could be
away or
or replaced
replaced with
with other
other
each
be taken
taken away

General
General Outline
Outline

39
39

land
the administration.
workers in
land at
at the
the discretion
discretion of
of the
administration. Many
Many workers
in the
the state
state
sector did
did not
receive any
any land
land at
at all,
all, just
just aa ration.
ration.
sector
not receive
however, there
there existed
Even among
Even
among state
state dependents,
dependents, however,
existed well-to-do
well-to-do
persons,
the standards
standards of
of that
that time,
time, who
who profited
from
persons, according
according to
to the
profited from
the
labor of
of others
others and
and who
could own
slaves of
of both
sexes. These
These
the labor
who could
own slaves
both sexes.
were state
state functionaries,
functionaries, the
were
the elite
el~te military
military commanders,
commanders, and
and specialspecialized craftsmen.
land and
and by
by receiving
comparatively
ized
craftsmen. By
By acquiring
acquiring land
receiving comparatively
generous rations,
rations, they
they actually
obtained aa portion
in the
the agricultural
agricultural
generous
actually obtained
portion in
produce
of the
the temple
temple or
of the
state economy.
economy. Occasionally,
rose
produce of
or of
the state
Occasionally, they
they rose
quite
high on
service ladder;
the people
supplied
quite high
on the
the service
ladder; these
these were
were the
people who
who supplied
the personnel
personnel for
for the
the administrative
administrative machinery.
machinery. Even
Even when
they did
did
the
when they
not possess
possess any
any state
state land
or have
any landed
property of
of their
own,
not
land or
have any
landed property
their own,
some
of them
actually managed
the state
state sector
sector economy.
economy. On
the
them actually
managed the
On the
some of
other
hand,
state
dependents
also
included
slaves,
especially
female
other hand, state dependents also included slaves, especially female
slaves, who
could be
be bought
sold.
slaves,
who could
bought and
and sold.
Thus,
society that
third millennium
B.C. in
Thus, the
the society
that emerged
emerged in
in the
the third
millennium B.C.
in the
the
Lower Euphrates
Euphrates Valley
Valley was
was divided
divided into
into several
several social
social estates.
estates. The
The
Lower
upper estate
the members
the communities
communities who
particiupper
estate comprised
comprised the
members of
of the
who participated in
in the
the communal
communal ownership
ownership of
of property
property in
in land,
land, who
had the
the
pated
who had
right to
take part
part in
who, initially,
right
to take
in communal
communal self-government,
self-government, and
and who,
initially,
also had
had the
right to
to elect
elect the
chief. A
lower estate
estate included
included temple
or
also
the right
the chief.
A lower
temple or
state economy
economy personnel
personnel who
who owned
owned no
no land
land outright
outright but
but either
either posstate
possessed land
land only
only in
return for
for their
their services
services or
or possessed
possessed no
no land
land and
and
in return
sessed
were allocated
allocated rations.
rations. In
In addition,
addition, there
there were
slaves, who
who were
were outoutwere
were slaves,
side the
the social
social estates
estates and,
and, in
in principle,
principle, could
could be
be treated
as cattle.
cattle. Acside
treated as
Actually the
the slaves
slaves also
also constituted
constituted an
an estate-one
estateone deprived
deprived of
of rights.
rights.
tually
This
was quite
This division
division of
of society
society was
quite evident
evident and
and fully
fully acknowledged
acknowledged
profound sosoby
by the
the ancients
ancients themselves.
themselves. But
But there
there was
was another,
another, more
more profound
cioeconomic
cioeconomic division
division in
in society.
society. The
The society
society was
was divided
divided into
into social
social
classes
classes occupying
occupying different
different positions
positions within
within the
the production
production process
process
and
their relationship
relationship to
to the
the property
property in
and differing
differing in
in their
in the
the means
means of
of
production and
production
and to
to exploitation.
exploitation. This
This division
division did
did not
not coincide
coincide with
with
the
estates.
the estates.
The
who did
The upper
upper class
class consisted
consisted of
of people
people who
did not
not engage
engage in
in producproductive
tive work
work and
and who
who exploited
exploited the
the labor
labor of
of others.
others. In
In our
our country
country this
this
class is
is usually
usually labeled
labeled slave
slave owners,
owners, although
although they
they exploited
exploited others
others
class
besides slaves,
slaves, in
in the
the strict
strict sense
sense of
of the
the term.
term. The
The members
members of
of this
this
besides
class owned
owned property
in the
the means
means of
of production
production (if
(if they
they were
memclass
property in
were members of
of aa community)
community) or
or they
they owned
owned property
property in
in return
for their
their serserbers
return for
vices. Actually,
Actually, they
they managed
managed the
the economy
economy of
of the
the state
state sector
sector in
in the
the
vices.
interest of
of the
the ruling
class as
as aa whole.
whole.
interest
ruling class
The
The middle
middle class
class comprised
comprised agriculturalists
agriculturalists and
and craftspeople
craftspeople who
who
engaged
as aa rule,
rule, did
exploit the
of
engaged in
in productive
productive labor
labor but,
but, as
did not
not exploit
the labor
labor of

40

I.
Diakonoff
/. M. Diakonoff

others or,
or, at
at most,
most, used
them only
only as
as auxiliary
auxiliary labor.
labor. To
To this
class may
others
used them
this class
may
be assigned,
assigned, first
first of
of all,
all, the
the less
less well-to-do
well-to-do landowning
landowning community
community
be
members, although
although it
it could
could also
also include
include the
conditional landowners
landowners
members,
the conditional
(i.e., state
state sector
sector personnel).
personnel). But
But these
these latter
latter were,
were, in
in most
most cases,
cases, subsub(i.e.,
ject to
ject
to exploitation,
exploitation, and
and for
for this
this reason,
reason, it
it is
is sometimes
sometimes very
very difficult
difficult to
to
draw the
the line
line between
between the
the middle
middle and
and lower
lower classes
classes in
in the
the state
state sector.
sector.
draw
The lower
lower class
class was
was made
up of
of slavelike
slavelike dependents
dependents who
who owned
owned no
no
The
made up
property
property within
within the
the economy
economy and
and who
who were
were also
also subject
subject to
to extraextraeconomic exploitation.
exploitation. Extraeconomic
Extraeconomic exploitation
exploitation is
is exploitation
exploitation by
economic
by
direct physical
or ideological
ideological coercion.
coercion. Economic
Economic exploitation,
on the
the
direct
physical or
exploitation, on
other hand,
hand, occurs
occurs when
when workers
workers within
within aa certain
certain historically
historically condicondiother
tioned socioeconomic
socioeconomic structure
structure cannot
cannot sustain
sustain themselves
themselves except
except by
tioned
by
entering into
into aa contractual
contractual agreement
agreement with
with aa proprietor
proprietor of
of the
the means
means
entering
of production
production to
to sell
sell their
their labor
labor power.
power. In
In antiquity,
antiquity, economic
economic exploiexploiof
tation was
was the
the exception,
exception, not
not the
the rule.
rule.
tation
Slaves
part of
they lack
lack
Slaves also
also formed
formed part
of the
the exploited
exploited class.
class. Not
Not only
only did
did they
property in
in the
the means
means of
of production,
production, but
but they
they themselves
themselves were
were their
their
property
exploiter'S
property, being,
being, as
exploiter's property,
as it
it were,
were, live
live tools.
tools. Since
Since slaves
slaves could
could be
be
most
most completely
completely exploited,
exploited, aa slave
slave labor
labor force
force was,
was, in
in principle,
principle, the
the
most desirable
desirable for
for the
the owners.
owners. However,
However, because
because this
this labor
labor force
force had
had
most
to be
be constantly
the agricultural
to
constantly supervised
supervised and
and the
agricultural implements
implements of
of that
that
epoch were
were quite
quite primitive,
primitive, the
the productivity
of slave
slave labor
labor did
did not
not
epoch
productivity of
differ substantially
substantially from
from the
the productivity
productivity of
of aa free
free agriculturalist.
agriculturalist. A
differ
A
slave, however,
however, was
was not
not supposed
supposed to
to have
have aa family,
family, unlike
unlike those
those memmemslave,
bers of
of the
the exploited
exploited class
class who
who were
not slaves
slaves and
and who
who had
had to
to feed
feed
bers
were not
their families
families on
on their
their rations
rations or
or from
from the
the crops
crops on
on their
their land
land allotallottheir
ment.
It was
convenient for
for the
the owner
owner not
not to
to have
have to
to supply
supply his
his slaves
slaves
ment. It
was convenient
with
food for
for their
their families.
families. A
A slave
slave could
could be
be given
given less
less food
food than
than
with food
other dependent
dependent workers
workers and
and the
the worst
worst clothes
clothes (or
(or none
none at
at all)
all) and
and
other
could be
be forced
forced to
to work
work more
more each
each day.
day. This
This was
was such
such aa profitable
profitable
could
arrangement for
for the
the slave
slave owners
owners that,
that, circumstances
circumstances permitting,
permitting,
arrangement
they
tried
to
convert
other
exploited
persons
into
actual
slaves.
This is
is
they tried to convert other exploited persons into actual slaves. This
why
such
an
economy
may
be
called
a
slave-owning
one
and
why
the
why such an economy may be called a slave-owning one and why the
slavelike dependent
dependent workers
workers are
are frequently
frequently designated
designated as
as aa slave
slave class
class
slavelike
in the
the broad
broad sense
sense of
of the
the term.
term.
in
This scenario
scenario of
of "classic"
This
"classic" slave
slave exploitation
exploitation usually
usually could
could not
not be
be rerewas
alized
alized in
in early
early antiquity
antiquity for
for aa number
number of
of reasons.
reasons. For
For example,
example, it
it was
not
possible to
to convert
convert individuals
not possible
individuals who
who were
were members
members of
of aa commucommunity into
into real
slaves, because
of their
their kinship
kinship relations
and religious
religious
relations and
nity
real slaves,
because of
ties
to other
other community
community members,
members, who
who would
come to
to their
their aid.
aid. DurDurties to
would come
ing the
third millennium,
millennium, community
members of
of the
the Lower
Lower EuphraEuphraing
the third
community members
tes Valley
Valley managed
managed periodically
to free
free their
their members
members who
who had
had been
been
tes
periodically to
enslaved for
for debt
debt or
or for
for other
other reasons.
reasons.
enslaved

General
General Outline
Outline

41

foreigner could
could be
be enslaved
enslaved only
only if
if taken
taken prisoner
in battle.
battle. How.A
A foreigner
prisoner in
However, it
it was
was costly
costly to
force aa male
to work
for his
enslaver if
ever,
to force
male prisoner
prisoner to
work for
his enslaver
if
the latter
create for
more or
or less
less reasonable
reasonable living
living condicondithe
latter did
did not
not create
for him
him more
tions. In
In the
the fourth
fourth to
to third
third millennia,
warrior had
had no
defensive
tions.
millennia, aa warrior
no defensive
arms except
except for
helmet and,
and, on
occasion, aa very
very rudimentary
rudimentary
arms
for aa copper
copper helmet
on occasion,
shield made
of leather
leather or
or reeds.
His offensive
offensive weapons
of aa
shield
made of
reeds. His
weapons consisted
consisted of
dagger, aa small
small copper
copper axe
axe hafted
hafted to
handle, or
or aa coppercopperdagger,
to aa wooden
wooden handle,
headed spear.
spear. If
If each
each captured
captured warrior
was given
given aa copper
copper pick,
pick,
headed
warrior was
spade, or
or hoe,
hoe, the
soldiers serving
serving as
as guards
guards would
would be
at aa disadvandisadvanspade,
the soldiers
be at
tageunless
each prisoner
prisoner was
was guarded
guarded by
by two
two or
or three
soldiers.
tage-unless each
three soldiers.
Therefore, many
many captured
captured warriors
on the
spot. AlterAlterTherefore,
warriors were
were killed
killed on
the spot.
natively,
warriors could
made dependent
workers on
on
natively, captured
captured warriors
could be
be made
dependent workers
state lands
and given
given aa ration
ration or
or aa land
allotment and
and allowed
allowed to
have
state
lands and
land allotment
to have
their
own shelters
shelters and
and families.
families. This
This relatively
relatively lenient
lenient treatment
their own
treatment was
was
intended
maintain order
order and
and ensure
ensure their
subordination.
intended to
to maintain
their subordination.
The
private economies
not afford
to
The private
economies of
of community
community members
members could
could not
afford to
grant their
captive slaves
slaves separate
separate households,
was the
commugrant
their captive
households, nor
nor was
the community in
in aa position
position to
keep them
the fields
under guard.
guard. ConConnity
to keep
them working
working the
fields under
sequently, under
under such
such conditions,
conditions, only
only patriarchal
slavery could
could exist.
exist.
sequently,
patriarchal slavery
This meant
meant that
that from
from the
the arrived
arrived troop
troop of
of prisoners,
number of
This
prisoners, aa number
of
girls would
would be
(where the
slave owners
owners
girls
be taken
taken into
into individual
individual homes
homes (where
the slave
would father
father their
children). Boys
were also
also taken,
they
would
their children).
Boys were
taken, provided
provided that
that they
were
an age
age when
when they
could accustom
accustom themselves
were at
at an
they could
themselves to
to their
their new
new
5
home and
and feel
of the
Slaves of
of both
sexes were
were
home
feel part
part of
the household.
household. 5 Slaves
both sexes
mainly assigned
heavy productive
productive labor
the house
(making pottery,
pottery,
mainly
assigned heavy
labor in
in the
house (making
tending the
cattle, spinning
spinning and
and weaving,
weaving, cooking,
cooking, and
and milling
milling grain
grain
tending
the cattle,
between two
stones, which
was an
an especially
especially heavy
heavy task).
task). In
In the
the fields,
between
two stones,
which was
fields,
the boy
slaves and
and women
women slaves
slaves were
were given
given auxiliary
auxiliary work
work along
along with
with
the
boy slaves
family members,
such as
as driving
oxen, weeding,
weeding, harvesting,
harvesting, and
and tying
tying
members, such
driving oxen,
family
sheaves of
of grain;
grain; they
not entrusted
entrusted with
with plowing
plowing and
and sowing.
sowing.
sheaves
they were
were not
The slaves'
slaves' labor
labor around
the house
was extremely
productive, not
not
The
around the
house was
extremely productive,
only because
because they
they were
under the
the constant
constant supervision
supervision of
of their
ownonly
were under
their owners
but also
also because
because they
they participated
participated in
one common
common production
proers but
in one
production process
with
the
masters.
No
less
important
was
often
the
actual
kinship
cess with the masters. No less important was often the actual kinship
of
many slaves
slaves with
with their
their owners,
owners, as
well as
as the
the insignificant
insignificant difference
difference
of many
as well
between
living conditions
conditions of
of the
the master
master and
and the
the slave.
slave. The
The nournourbetween the
the living
ishment of
of the
the masters
masters was
was equally
equally meager
and their
clothing exishment
meager and
their clothing
extremely unpretentious.
unpretentious. The
The same
same conditions
conditions also
also prevailed
prevailed for
for the
the
tremely
individuals who
in the
state sector.
sector.
individuals
who received
received land
land allotments
allotments in
the state
5.
In any
any event,
event, there
often more
male than
private househouse5. In
there were
were often
more male
than female
female slaves
slaves in
in aa private
hold.
the number
of both
probably most
households had
had no
slaves
hold. But
But the
number of
both was
was small,
small, and
and probably
most households
no slaves
at
at all.
all.

42
42

I. M. Diakonoff
Diakonoff
I.

Although small
small households
households did
did not
not require
require many
many dependent
dependent workworkAlthough
the state
temple lands,
ers,
ers, the
the situation
situation in
in the
state sector
sector was
was different.
different. On
On temple
lands, for
for
example, many
many workers
were required,
required, yet
it was
was impossible
impossible to
to keep
keep
example,
workers were
yet it
large numbers
numbers of
of slaves
slaves working
working the
the fields,
fields, because
there were
were not
not
large
because there
enough overseers
overseers to
to guard
guard them.
them. Here
Here there
there were
were no
no free
free agriculagriculenough
turalists who
who would
would undertake
plowing and
and sowing.
sowing. For
For these
these reasons,
reasons,
turalists
undertake plowing
only women
women were
were kept
kept as
as slaves
slaves on
on temple
temple lands,
lands, and
and male
male prisoners,
prisoners,
only
both adults
adults and
and boys,
boys, worked
worked with
with the
the nonslave
nonslave personnel
of the
the large
large
both
personnel of
economies. This
This labor
labor force
force consisted
consisted of
of the
the younger
brothers from
from
younger brothers
economies.
impoverished households
and of
of refugees
refugees seeking
seeking the
the protection
impoverished
households and
protection of
of
the
temple or
or aa neighboring
neighboring chief
chief when,
when, for
for instance,
instance, their
their home
home
the temple
town
had been
been destroyed
destroyed by
or when
when their
land had
suffered
town had
by war
war or
their land
had suffered
from aa catastrophic
catastrophic drought
drought or
or aa flood.
flood. Nor
can we
we exclude
exclude the
from
Nor can
the possipossibility that
that aa community,
community, while
while allocating
allocating part
part of
of its
its land
land to
to the
the temple
temple
bility
chief, would,
would, at
at the
the same
same time,
time, commit
commit aa number
number of
of its
its memmemor the
the chief,
or
bers to
to working
working for
for the
the economies
economies in
in question.
question.
bers
Even though
though workers
workers in
in the
the state
state sector
sector received
received only
only aa land
land allotallotEven
ment or
or aa ration,
ration, they
they were
were not
not actually
actually enslaved,
enslaved, despite
despite being
being exexment
property in
ploited
ploited by
by extraeconomic
extraeconomic compulsion
compulsion and
and deprived
deprived of
of property
in the
the
means of
of production.
These workers
were not
not necessarily
necessarily recruited
recruited
means
production. These
workers were
from captives
and prisoners-of-war
but, perhaps
more frequently,
frequently, may
may
from
captives and
prisoners-of-war but,
perhaps more
have come
come from
from the
local population.
They were
were allowed
allowed personal
personal
have
the local
population. They
movable
property, often
often their
their own
own house,
and sometimes
sometimes even
even sheep
sheep
movable property,
house, and
and cattle.
cattle. All
All of
of this,
this, however,
they enjoyed
enjoyed not
as property,
property, but
as
and
however, they
not as
but as
conditional possessions.
possessions. (We
(We might
might use
use the
the Roman
term peculium.)
conditional
Roman term
peculium.)
Because
Because these
these workers
workers were
were bound
bound to
to the
the estate
estate that
that employed
employed
them
them (they
(they were
were not
not allowed
allowed to
to leave
leave it),
it), they
they have
have frequently
frequently been
been
classified
classified as
as serfs.
serfs. But
But since
since they
they had
had no
no part
part in
in the
the property
property in
in the
the
means
production, they
means of
of production,
they differed
differed from
from medieval
medieval dependent
dependent agriagriculturalists
culturalists in
in that
that they
they were,
were, in
in fact,
fact, subject
subject to
to slave-type
slave-type exploitation.
exploitation.
use the
the Greek
To
To avoid
avoid confusion,
confusion, let
let us
us from
from now
now on
on use
Greek term
term for
for state
state
slavelike
who maintained
slavelike dependents
dependents who
who were
were settled
settled on
on land
land and
and who
maintained
the
members of
of the
class with
labor but
but who
who still
still had
their
the members
the ruling
ruling class
with their
their labor
had their
own households:
households: helots.
helots. Within
state property,
the helots
helots are
are the
the
own
Within state
property, the
equivalent of
of private
equivalent
private patriarchal
patriarchal slaves.
slaves.66
6.
6. Note
Note aa phenomenon
phenomenon that
that has
has been
been underestimated
underestimated by
by scholars.
scholars. From
From aa very
very early
early
period,
probably not
not later
later than
than the
the second
second millennium
millennium B.C.,
B.C., aa considerable
considerable number
number of
of
period, probably
eunuchs were
were employed
employed in
in the
the temple
temple and
and state
state economies,
economies, especially
especially as
as functionaries
functionaries
eunuchs
and temple
temple singers
singers (these
(these probably
probably were
were always
always eunuchs
eunuchs in
in Mesopotamia)
Mesopotamia) but
but also
also as
as
and
manual workers.
workers. Probably
Probably it
it seemed
seemed natural
natural to
to castrate
castrate "bipeds"
"bipeds" for
for security's
security's sake,just
sake, just
manual
B.C. This
This phenomenon
phenomenon
as one
one castrated
castrated calves
calves at
at least
least as
as early
early as
as the
the sixth
sixth millennium
millennium B.C.
as
was obvious
obvious in
in the
the nineteenth
nineteenth century
century A.D.
A.D. to
first students
students of
of Mesopotamian
was
to the
the first
Mesopotamian culculture. Thus,
Thus, for
for example,
example, Layard,
Layard, aa British
British consul
consul in
in the
Turkish Empire,
Empire, had
had himself
himself
ture.
the Turkish
met many
many eunuchs
eunuchs and
and had
had no
no difficulty
difficulty in
in identifying
identifying them
in depictions
depictions of
of numerous
numerous
met
them in

General
General Outline
Outline

43
43

Relying on
on the
the personnel
personnel of
of the
the powerful
powerful state
state economies,
economies, the
the
Relying
rulers
rulers of
of individual
individual nomes,
nomes, or
or city-states,
city-states, could
could create
create large
large troops
troops
of warriors,
warriors, who
who were
were not
not dependent
dependent on
on the
council, the
of
the council,
the popular
popular asassembly,
sembly, or
or other
other community
community self-governing
self-governing institutions.
institutions. This
This enabled
enabled
these rulers,
rulers, supported
supported by
bureaucracy composed
composed of
of their
their personal
personal
these
by aa bureaucracy
followers, to
to rise
rise above
above the
the individual
individual nomes
nomes and
and establish
establish aa despotic
despotic
followers,
royal power-a
powera power
power not
not limited
limited by
by any
any other
other legal
legal bodies.
bodies. BecomBecomroyal
ing independent
independent of
of the
the nomes,
nomes, aa king
king could
could gradually
gradually consolidate
consolidate his
his
ing
power over
over the
the entire
entire irrigational
irrigational network
network of
of Lower
Mesopotamia,
power
Lower Mesopotamia,
the country
country between
between the
the Tigris
Tigris and
and Euphrates
Euphrates rivers.
rivers. The
The emergence
emergence
the
of this
this power
power made
made aa single
single unified
unified royal
royal and
and slave-owning
slave-owning economy
economy
of
within the
the state
state sector
sector possible.
possible. Yet,
Yet, in
in this
this "slave-owning"
"slave-owning" society,
society, pripriwithin
vate economies continued
continued to
to survive
survive in
in the
the community
community sector.
sector.
vateeconomies
Further
Further along
along in
in the
the course
course of
of history,
history, it
it became
became clear
clear that
that mainmaintaining the
the state
state through
through an
an economy
economy of
of its
its own,
own, with
with large
large numbers
numbers
taining
of slavelike,
slavelike, exploited
exploited laborers
laborers (helots),
(helots), was
was not
not profitable;
profitable; too
too many
many
of
nonproductive expenses
expenses connected
connected with
with supervision
supervision and
and managemanagenonproductive
ment were
were required.
required. The
The state
state began
began to
to shift
shift to
to aa system
system of
of direct
direct
ment
taxation of
of the
the entire
entire population
population and
and collection
collection of
of tribute.
tribute. The
The distaxation
distinction between
state and
and the
sector remained,
remained,
tinction
between the
the state
the private/communal
private/communal sector
although the
the same
same type
type of
of private
private slave-owning
slave-owning economies
economies now
now existed
existed
although
on both
both the
the state
state and
and the
the community
community lands.
lands. The
The difference
difference was
was in
in the
the
on
character of
of property
property and
and possession:
possession: the
the possession
possession of
of state
state land
land did
did
character
not imply
imply property
property rights
rights to
to it.
it.
not
In the
the field
of exchange,
exchange, the
the main
main role
role in
in early
early antiquity
antiquity was
was played
played
In
field of
by
Intermediaries were
by international
international trade.
trade. Intermediaries
were often
often necessary,
necessary, especially
especially
when great
great distances
distances were
were involved.
involved. This
This trade
trade was
was conducted
conducted at
at their
their
when
own risk
risk either
either by
by state
state agents
agents or
or by
by professional
professional household
household comcomown
munes whose
whose members
members were
were not
not in
in the
the state
state service.
service. Both,
Both, however,
however,
munes
were closely
closely linked
linked to
to the
the state,
state, but
but the
the state
state had
had under
under its
its control
control not
not
were
so much
much the
the international
international activities
activities of
of the
the traders
traders as
as revenues
revenues from
from
so
them. The
The produce
was redistributed
redistributed in
in the
the cities
cities and
and towns,
towns, where
where
them.
produce was
the industrial
industrial and
and exchange
exchange activities
activities of
of the
the society
society were
were concenconcenthe
trated, where
where the
state administration
administration was
was located,
located, and
and where
where most
most
trated,
the state
of the
the nonlaboring
nonlaboring population
population had
had their
their homes.
homes. Inside
Inside the.
the city
city comcomof
munity, in-kind
in-kind exchange
exchange was
was practiced
practiced on
on aa small
small scale
scale (often
(often based
based
munity,
on
nonequivalent
mutual
aid
relations),
along
with
centralized
state
on nonequivalent mutual aid relations), along with centralized state
distribution.
distribution.
Such
first way
soSuch was
was the
the first
way of
of development
development of
of the
the most
most ancient
ancient class
class sobeardless men with fat under their chins on Assyrian reliefs. However, modern As-

beardless men with fat under their chins on Assyrian reliefs. However, modern Assyriologists identify them, both on reliefs and in texts, and sometimes against common
syriologists identify them, both on reliefs and in texts, and sometimes against common
sense, as
as "young
"young men."
men." In
In the
the ancient
ancient languages
languages aa eunuch
eunuch was
was supposed
supposed to
to be
be identified
identified
sense,
by aa polite
polite term,
term, such
such as
as "following
"following (his
(his master)
at his
his foot"
foot" or
or "being
"being before
before (the
(the king)."
by
master) at
king)."

44
44

I.
Diakonoff
/ M. Diakonoff

ciety.
by the
ciety. It
It was
was characterized
characterized by
the coexistence
coexistence of
of two
two economic
economic sectors:
sectors:
state and
state
and private/communal,
private/communal, the
the former
former being
being dominant.
dominant. This
This way
way of
of
development was
was typical
typical of
of the
Lower Euphrates
Euphrates Valley
Valley and
and the
development
the Lower
the valvalleys of
of the
the Karun
Karun and
and Kerkheh
Kerkheh rivers
rivers (ancient
(ancient Elam).
leys
Elam).
The
Way of
The Second
Second Way
of Development
Development in
in Early
Early Antiquity
Antiquity

of early
early society
society to
that which
Another
variant of
Another variant
to be
be considered
considered is
is that
which dedeveloped
in the
the Nile
Valley in
in Egypt.
Egypt. Unfortunately,
early Egyptian
Egyptian
veloped in
Nile Valley
Unfortunately, early
economic and
and legal
legal documents
documents are
are extremely
extremely scarce,
scarce, and
and much
much of
of the
economic
the
information is
is not
not clear
clear to
information
to us.
us.
Sumer is
is traversed
traversed by
separate branches
of the
the Euphrates,
Euphrates, making
Sumer
by separate
branches of
making it
it
possible
possible to
to construct
construct individual
individual master
master canals,
canals, around
around which
which formed
formed
many small
small nomes
nomes that
endured for
many
that endured
for long
long periods;
periods; unified
unified kingdoms
kingdoms
On the
the other
other hand,
Egypt stretched
stretched like
like aa
were short-lived.
short-lived. On
were
hand, Upper
Upper Egypt
narrow ribbon
along aa single
single main
main stream
stream of
of water-the
waterthe Nile.
Only in
narrow
ribbon along
Nile. Only
in
Lower Egypt
Egypt does
does the
the Nile
fan out
out into
into many
many branches
Delta.
Lower
Nile fan
branches of
of the
the Delta.
Since the
the Upper
Egyptian nomes
nomes constituted
constituted aa chain
chain of
of bordering
Since
Upper Egyptian
bordering terterritories, squeezed
squeezed between
the Nile
and the
the rocky
rocky precipices
precipices of
of the
ritories,
between the
Nile and
the
desert edge,
edge, it
it was
was obviously
obviously not
not possible
form multilateral
multilateral political
political
desert
possible to
to form
alliances by
taking advantage
advantage of
of struggles
struggles and
and competition
competition between
between
alliances
by taking
neighbors.
it was
was such
such competition
competition that
that actually
actually ensured
ensured
neighbors. Elsewhere
Elsewhere it
sufficient independence
independence for
for self-governing
self-governing nomes.
nomes.
sufficient
the nomes
nomes invariably
led to
unification
In Egypt,
Egypt, clashes
clashes between
In
between the
invariably led
to aa unification
"along the
the chain"
chain" under
under the
the power
of the
the strongest
strongest nome
nome or
or else
else to
"along
power of
to
the
complete annihilation
annihilation of
of aa quarrelsome
neighbor. Consequently,
Consequently,
the complete
quarrelsome neighbor.
autocratic kings
kings appeared
appeared in
in Upper
Egypt already
already during
during the
the earliest
earliest
Upper Egypt
autocratic
epoch. They
They acquired
acquired despotic
despotic power
over the
the individual
individual nomes
nomes and
epoch.
power over
and
later over
over the
entire country,
country, eventually
eventually conquering
conquering Lower
Lower Egypt
Egypt as
later
the entire
as
well. In
In early
early Egypt
Egypt aa state
state sector
sector (temple
(temple and
and royal
royal and,
and, possibly,
also
well.
possibly, also
"houses" of
of nobles)
nobles) must
must have
have originally
originally coexisted
coexisted with
with aa private/
private/
"houses"
communal
sector, but
the latter,
latter, apparently,
apparently, was
was gradually
gradually swallowed
swallowed
communal sector,
but the
up, without
leaving any
any trace,
trace, by
the state.
state. In
In any
any case,
case, Egyptologists
Egyptologists
up,
without leaving
by the
the existence
existence of
of communities
communities of
of free
free citizens,
citizens, fully
fully
cannot ascertain
ascertain the
cannot
invested
with
rights
and
administratively
independent
from
state
invested with rights and administratively independent from state
economies, on
on the
the basis
of any
any clear
clear evidence
evidence available
available from
from the
the year
year
economies,
basis of
2000 B.C.
B.C. on.
on. This
This does
does not
possibility that
that separate
separate selfself2000
not preclude
preclude the
the possibility
sufficient households
could have
arisen within
state itself.
itself.
sufficient
households could
have arisen
within the
the state
beAll
All this,
this, however,
however, does
does not
not constitute
constitute an
an essential
essential difference
difference between
the
societies
of
Egypt
and
Lower
Mesopotamia.
Here,
as
there,
tween the societies of Egypt and Lower Mesopotamia. Here, as there,
direct management
of huge
huge slave-owning
slave-owning econoeconodirect
management by
by the
the royal
royal power
power of
mies became,
in the
the end,
end, unprofitable,
unprofitable, with
with the
the difference
difference that
that in
mies
became, in
in
Egypt the
the private
slave-owning economies
economies developed
developed on
on what
what legally
legally
Egypt
private slave-owning
lands. These
These private
economies had
had their
labor force
force (helots)
(helots)
were state
state lands.
private economies
their labor
were

General
General Outline
Outline

45
45

allotted
to them
by the
the state,
addition, they
they may
may have
have owned
allotted to
them by
state, and
and in
in addition,
owned
slaves.
these laborers,
who were
were state
what we
we
slaves. Each
Each of
of these
laborers, who
state dependents
dependents (or
(or what
have
termed helots),
have termed
helots), were
were assigned
assigned aa specific
specific task,
task, such
such as
as tiller
tiller of
of the
the
soil, craftsman,
craftsman, or
or the
the like,
like, to
be fulfilled
fulfilled for
for the
economic entity
entity to
soil,
to be
the economic
to
which
they had
been
allotted.
Any
production
over
and
above
the aswhich they
had been allotted. Any production over and above the
assigned task
task could
could be
kept for
for their
their own
own benefit
and disposed
disposed of
of at
at
signed
be kept
benefit and
their
own
discretion.
However,
such
products
should
not
be
regarded
their own discretion. However, such products should not be regarded
as property
as conditional
conditional possession
(peculium).As
Aswe
wealalas
property but,
but, rather,
rather, as
possession (peculium).
ready
patriarchal dependents,
dependents, even
including classical
classical slaves,
ready know,
know, patriarchal
even including
slaves,
Classicalslaves,
slaves,however,
however, were
were
could
also dispose
could also
dispose of
of their
their peculium.
peculium. Classical
even allowed
allowed to
to amass
amass savings
savings for
for the
the purpose
purpose of
of redeeming
redeeming themthemeven
selves from
from their
their master,
master, aa right
right that
that the
the ancient
ancient Oriental
Oriental helots
helots lacked.
lacked.
selves

Other Ways
Ways of
of Development
Development in
in the
Societies of
of Early
Early Antiquity
Antiquity
Other
the Societies
In countries
countries that
that lacked
lacked the
the high
high crop
crop capacity
capacity of
of the
the fertile
fertile silt
silt of
of the
the
In
great
first way
great river
river valleys,
valleys, the
the same
same laws
laws that
that governed
governed the
the first
way of
of develdevelopment in
in river
river irrigation
irrigation societies
societies also
also applied.
applied. But
But in
in order
order to
to
opment
achieve aa sufficiently
sufficiently high
high technological
technological level
level for
for generating
generating agriculagriculachieve
tural surplus,
surplus, aa significantly
significantly longer
longer time
time period
was required
required in
in these
these
tural
period was
less fertile
fertile regions.
regions. In
In addition
to mastering
the techniques
techniques of
of grain
grain
addition to
mastering the
less
cultivation, such
such factors
factors as
as livestock
livestock raising,
raising, viticulture,
viticulture, olive
olive growing,
growing,
cultivation,
gardening, and
and the
the extraction
extraction of
of metals
metals usually
were equally
equally imporimporgardening,
usually were
tant, helping
helping the
the local
local society,
society, through
through the
the process
process of
of exchange,
exchange, to
to
tant,
partake of
of the
the surplus
surplus product
product from
from the
the leading
leading agricultural
agricultural areas.
areas.
partake
Furthermore, in
in these
these regions
regions there
there was
no need
need to
to create
create and
and mainmainFurthermore,
was no
tain vast,
vast, labor-intensive
labor-intensive irrigation
irrigation and
and land
land improvement
improvement systems,
systems, aa
tain
condition that
that resulted
resulted in
in temples
temples and
and priest-chiefs
playing aa much
much
condition
priest-chiefs playing
diminished role.
role. The
The private/communal
private/communal sector
sector sometimes
sometimes gained
gained
diminished
prominence over
over the
the state
state sector.
sector. However,
However, the
the fact
fact that
that these
these soprominence
societies took
took longer
longer to
to attain
attain the
the level
level of
of aa class
class society
society and
and of
of civilizacivilizacieties
tion gave
gave Egypt
Egypt and
and Lower
Lower Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia the
the time
time to
to exert
exert aa powerful
powerful
tion
cultural influence
influence on
on these
these areas-an
areasan influence
influence aimed
aimed precisely
precisely at
at
cultural
strengthening the
the authority
authority of
of temples
temples and
and of
of the
the royal
royal power.
power. Thus,
Thus,
strengthening
the most
most ancient
ancient societies
societies belonging
belonging to
to this
this third
third evolutionary
evolutionary course
course
the
exhibit aa diversity
diversity of
of relationships
relationships between
between the
the state
state sector
sector and
and the
the
exhibit
private/communal
sector but
but tend
tend to
to monarchical
monarchical forms
forms of
of polity.
polity.
private/
communal sector
In
In some
some countries
countries and
and periods
periods the
the one
one economic
economic sector
sector was
was stronger
stronger
and, in
in some,
some, the
other.7 Moreover,
and,
the other.7
Moreover, since
since there
there were
were no
no vast
vast or
or nunu7.
7. Note
Note that
that the
the existence
existence of
of territorial
territorial communities
communities (rural
(rural and
and later
later also
also urban)
urban) and
and
the
these of
resulted from
dethe existence
existence within
within these
of extended-family
extended-family communes
communes resulted
from the
the level
level of
of development
of production
in antiquity
antiquity and
and was
was not
not connected
connected specifically
specifically with
with the
velopment of
production in
the necesnecessities of
of aa "hydraulic"
"hydraulic" society.
society. Usually
Usually the
private/communal sector
sector is
is weaker
weaker when
the
sities
the private/communal
when the
state economies
economies flourish,
as happens
happens in
in the
riverine irrigation
irrigation societies.
societies. It
It is
is stronger
stronger in
in
state
flourish, as
the riverine

46

I.
/. M.
M. Diakonoff
Diakonoff

merous
merous irrigation
irrigation systems,
systems, which
which would
would have
have been
been profitable
profitable to
to unify,
unify,
these regions
regions did
did not
not generate
generate monolithic
monolithic and
and despotic
despotic kingdoms
kingdoms like
like
these
the kingdom
kingdom on
on the
the Nile
or the
the less
less stable
stable kingdoms
kingdoms of
of Mesopotamia.
Mesopotamia.
the
Nile or
The local
local empires
empires (the
(the Achaean,
Achaean, the
the Hittite,
Hittite, the
the Mitannian,
Mitannian, the
the Middle
Middle
The
Assyrian, and
and the
the Egyptian
Egyptian empire
empire in
in Syria
Syria during
during the
the New
New Kingdom)
Kingdom)
Assyrian,
were more
like military
military alliances
alliances in
in which
which weaker
weaker nomes
nomes were
were obliged
obliged
more like
were
to
tribute and
and provide
military support
support to
to aa stronger
stronger state.
state. In
In the
the
to pay
pay tribute
provide military
third and
and especially
especially in
in the
the second
second millennium
millennium B.C.,
B.C., all
all the
the societies
societies of
of
third
Asia Minor
Minor and
and the
the Near
East (with
(with the
the exception
exception of
of Lower
Lower MesoAsia
Near East
Mesopotamia and
and the
the Kerkheh
Kerkheh and
and Karun
Karun plain),
plain), as
as well
well as
as the
the societies
societies
potamia
around the
the Aegean
Aegean Sea
Sea in
in the
the eastern
eastern Mediterranean,
Mediterranean, belonged
to the
the
around
belonged to
third way
way of
of development
development of
of early
early ancient
ancient class
class societies.
societies. It
It appears
appears
third
that in
in the
the first
millennium B.C.,
B.C., certain
certain societies
societies in
in the
the uplands
uplands of
of the
the
that
first millennium
Near East
East and
and Asia
Asia Minor,
Minor, in
in Greece,
Greece, and
and probably
probably in
in Italy
Italy (Etruria?)
(Etruria?)
Near
still belonged
to this
this type
type of
of society.
society.
still
belonged to
From the
the point
point of
of view
view of
of universal
universal history,
history, the
the epoch
epoch when
when the
the soFrom
social
cial conditions
conditions typical
typical of
of early
early antiquity
antiquity existed
existed are
are mainly
mainly the
the third
third
and second
second millennia
millennia B.C.
B.C. We
We know
know too
too little
little about
about the
the societies
societies of
of InInand
dia
that period
to describe
sociodia and
and China
China during
during that
period to
describe confidently
confidently their
their socioeconomic development.
development. Therefore,
Therefore, at
at the
present level
level of
of knowledge,
knowledge,
economic
the present
we may
early antiquity
antiquity as
as aa period
when the
the first,
the second,
second,
we
may regard
regard early
period when
first, the
and the
the third
third ways
ways of
of development
development predominated.
predominated.
and
But societies
societies belonging
typologically to
to early
early antiquity
antiquity do
do not
not necesBut
belonging typologically
necessarily arise
arise onl
only in
in the
the chronological
chronological framework
framework of
of the
the classical
classical anansarily
cient Orient:
Orient: in
in certain
certain places
the same
same typology
can also
also be
traced
places the
typology can
be traced
cient
in the
the first
millennium B.C.
B.C. and-albeit
andalbeit for
for aa short
short time-in
timein the
the first
in
first millennium
first
as, for
for instance,
instance, in
in northern
and eastern
eastern Europe.
Europe. In
In
millennium A.D.,
millennium
A.D., as,
northern and
the tropics,
in mountainous
mountainous zones,
zones, and
and in
in piedmont
piedmont regions,
regions, the
the same
same
the
tropics, in
typology
and even
even reemerge
reemerge as
as late
late as
as the
the second
second half
of
typology may
may linger
linger and
half of
the second
second millennium
millennium A.D.
A.D.
the
The
The Further
Further Development
Development of
of the
the Class
Class Societies
Societies
Established in
in Early
Early Antiquity
Antiquity
Established

The
of societies
societies of
late antiquity
antiquity differs
differs strongly
strongly from
from that
that of
The typology
typology of
of late
of
early antiquity.
antiquity. In
In many
many respects,
respects, the
the later
later period
period presents
more variearly
presents more
variation of
of forms
forms than
and not
not all
all of
of the
emerging variations
variations
ation
than the
the earlier,
earlier, and
the emerging
are easily
easily explained
explained by
It seems
seems that
there were
were
are
by ecological
ecological conditions.
conditions. It
that there
at
least
four
ways
of
development.
In
the
field
of
production,
typical
at. least four ways of development. In the field of production, typical
of late
late antiquity
antiquity is
is the
the use
iron and
and primitive
steel, which
resulted,
of
use of
of iron
primitive steel,
which resulted,
the
the countries
countries of
of the
the third
third way
way of
of development,
development, especially
especially in
in the
the mountainous
mountainous regions
regions
of
of the
the periphery.
periphery. Often
Often it
it was
was the
the mountain
mountain people
people who
who controlled
controlled the
the passes
passes over
over
which
population of
which the
which the
the population
of the
the lowlands
lowlands traded
traded and
and which
the latter
latter needed
needed for
for military
military
purposes.
purposes.

General
General Outline
Outline

47
47

among
other things,
things, in
in the
exploitation of
natural regions
regions for
for civamong other
the exploitation
of new
new natural
civtime, in
ilization.
ilization. At
At the
the same
same time,
in agricultural
agricultural technology
technology there
there is
is little
little apappreciable
as compared
preciable development,
development, as
compared with
with development
development of
of industries,
industries,
especially the
production of
of arms
arms and
and military
military equipment.
equipment.
especially
the production
The
way of
The first
first way
of development
development in
in late
late antiquity,
antiquity, which
which is
is the
the most
most
thoroughly studied,
the Mediterranean
thoroughly
studied, is
is the
Mediterranean one.
one. It
It emerged
emerged from
from the
the
third
way of
of early
early antiquity
antiquity under
under certain
certain specific
specific conditions
conditions and
and was
third way
was
characterized by
the virtually
complete abolishment
abolishment of
of the
the state
state sector
sector
characterized
by the
virtually complete
during
the fall
the kingkingduring the
the stormy
stormy epoch
epoch of
of ethnic
ethnic migrations
migrations and
and the
fall of
of the
organidoms
The polis
doms that
that belonged
belonged typologically
typologically to
to early
early antiquity.
antiquity. The
polis organization now
now emerged.
emerged. These
These were
were city-state
city-state communities,
communities, which,
for
zation
which, for
all
practical purposes,
purposes, lacked
lacked aa state
state economic
economic sector;
sector; state
state power
all practical
power was
was
conferred on
on aa vestigial
monarchical or
or purely
republican administraadministraconferred
vestigial monarchical
purely republican
grewand
and flourished
flourished on
onthe
thebasis
basisof
of market-oriented
market-oriented
tion. The
The poleis
tion.
poleis grew
agricultural and
and industrial
industrial production
the private
private sector.
sector. Such
Such proagricultural
production in
in the
production became
became possible
because of
of the
the intensification
of international
international
intensification of
duction
possible because
trade, which
had now
now become
easier and
and more
accessible to
to the
the pritrade,
which had
become easier
more accessible
private
enterprise of
of the
the citizens
citizens of
of the
balance between
between the
the
vate enterprise
the poleis.
poleis. AAbalance
and the
(that
communal (that
which belonged
communal
(that which
belonged to
to the
the polls)
polis) and
the private
private (that
which pertained
pertained to
to the
the individual)
individual) arose.
arose. This
This contributed
contributed to
to the
which
the dedevelopment of
of rationality
rationality in
in the
the mental
mental life
life and
and to
the emergence
emergence of
of
velopment
to the
individuality in
in art,
art, literature,
literature, and
and philosophy;
at the
same time,
time, the
the
individuality
philosophy; at
the same
traditional community
community cults
cults were
were preserved.
For the
the first
time in
in histraditional
preserved. For
first time
history there
there was
notion of
of the
the freedom
freedom of
of the
the individual.
individual. The
The majority
majority
tory
was aa notion
of the
the citizens
citizens consisted
consisted of
of the
the same
same nonexploited
working population
population
of
non exploited working
of the
the primitive
primitive epoch,
epoch, but
but the
the more
more well-to-do
well-to-do citizens
citizens of
of the
the polis
exof
polis exploited
slave labor
labor not
not only
only in
in its
also in
ploited slave
its patriarchal
patriarchal form
form but
but also
in its
its classiclassical one;
one; namely,
as chattel
chattel slavery.
slavery.
cal
namely, as
After aa comparatively
comparatively short
period, aa crisis
crisis of
of the
the polis
polis arose
After
short period,
arose that
that
intoan
anempire;
empire;here
here
could only
only be
resolved by
by incorporating
incorporating all
all poleis
could
be resolved
poleis into
the
citizens could
could continue
continue to
enjoy their
their rights
but at
at
the citizens
to enjoy
rights and
and privileges,
privileges, but
the same
same time,
time, they
they could
could also
also reap
the advantages
advantages of
belonging to
to an
an
the
reap the
of belonging
empire. The
important advantage
advantage was
was that
the empires
empires united,
united,
empire.
The most
most important
that the
under one
one political
authority, both
regions of
of agricultural
agricultural production
production
under
political authority,
both regions
(which
were also
for industrial
industrial production)
production) and
regions of
of
(which were
also the
the market
market for
and regions
industrial and
Moreover, in
in unifying
unifying these
difindustrial
and livestock
livestock production.
production. Moreover,
these different economic
economic areas,
these later
empires did
did not
not upset
routes,
ferent
areas, these
later empires
upset trade
trade routes,
as was
the case
case in
early antiquity,
antiquity, but
actually secured
secured the
as
was the
in early
but actually
the routes
routes bebetween different
regions. The
The later
later empires
defend
tween
different regions.
empires were
were also
also able
able to
to defend
the cities.
cities. The
development was
was reached
in the
Roman
the
The zenith
zenith of
of this
this development
reached in
the Roman
Empire,
was aa very
very specific
specific formation
formation since
since it
it had
had no
state secEmpire, which
which was
no state
sector. (The
(The emperors'
their private
property.)
tor.
emperors' estates
estates were
were their
private property.)
The
new medieval
which formerly
The transition
transition to
to aa new
medieval society
society in
in which
formerly free
free arartisans and
and agriculturalists
agriculturalists constituted
constituted the
exploited class
along
tisans
the exploited
class (first
(first along

48

I.
Diakonoff
/. M. Diakonoff

with
with the
the slaves
slaves and
and later
later in
in place
place of
of them)
them) occurred
occurred within
within the
the Roman
Roman
Empire and
and along
along its
its frontiers.
frontiers. Some
Some members
members of
of the
ancient exEmpire
the ancient
exploiter
class, reappearing
now as
as the
class of
of landed
landed magmagploiter class,
reappearing now
the protofeudal
protofeudal class
nates,
vested with
with state
state power.
power.
nates, became
became vested
The
is represented
represented by
by the
the Near
Near Eastern
Eastern
The second
second way
way of
of development
development is
empires,
empires, from
from the
the Assyrian
Assyrian and
and Neo-Babylonian
Neo-Babylonian through
through the
the HellenHellenistic.
istic. As
As aa result
result of
of attempts
attempts to
to unify
unify the
the regions
regions of
of agriculture
agriculture with
with
those of
of livestock
livestock and
and industrial
industrial production,
production, and
and also
also of
of certain
certain strong
strong
those
internal
internal processes,
processes, conquests
conquests were
were made
made on
on aa grand
grand scale,
scale, and
and interinterregional empires
empires were
were created.
created. All
All conquered
conquered land
land became
became state
state land,
land,
regional
providing the
base for
the economy;
providing
the base
for the
the state
state sector
sector of
of the
economy; here
here the
the "king's
"king's
men" and
and other
other groups
groups of
of the
the helot
helot type
type were
were exploited.
exploited. However,
However,
men"
inside the
the empires
empires there
there also
also existed
existed self-governing
self-governing temple
temple cities
cities and
and
inside
thatsuperficially
superficially reproduced
reproduced
territories, and,
and, later,
later, Hellenistic
Hellenistic poleis
territories,
poleis that
the structure
structure of
of the
Greek poleis.
Personallyfree
freecitizens,
citizens,both
bothslave
slave
the
the Greek
poleis. Personally
owners and
and non-slave
non-slave owners,
owners, existed
existed within
within such
such structures;
structures; slave
slave laowners
labor was
was on
on aa metayage
metayage or
or quitrent
quitrent basis.
At the
the end
end of
of this
this way
way of
of debor
basis. At
development, as
as well
as of
of the
the others,
others, magnate
magnate landownership
landownership emerged,
emerged,
velopment,
well as
and state
state power
power passed
to the
the magnates;
magnates; the
the self-government
self-government of
of the
the
and
passed to
cities was
was abolished,
abolished, and
and the
the market-oriented
market-oriented economies
economies were
were dedecities
stroyed (mainly
(mainly because
because of
of the
the autarchic
autarchic character
character of
of the
the magnates'
magnates'
stroyed
economies).
economies).
A
A third
third way
way seems
seems to
to have
have developed
developed in
in India;
India; here
here the
the opposition
opposition
between the
king's men
was not
not as
between
the king's
men and
and the
the citizens
citizens was
as important
important as
as the
the
rigid
opposition of
of social
social estates,
estates, which
which evolved
evolved into
into the
the caste
caste system.
system.
rigid opposition
Finally,
way is
that of
the formal
soFinally, the
the fourth
fourth way
is that
of the
the Far
Far East,
East, where
where the
formal social opposition
opposition is
is between
between literates
literates (functionaries)
(functionaries) and
and illiterates
illiterates (non(noncial
functionaries);
functionaries); however,
however, the
the actual
actual class
class structure,
structure, on
on the
the whole,
whole, is
is the
the
same
politisame as
as attested
attested elsewhere.
elsewhere. Here
Here also
also the
the class
class of
of magnates
magnates with
with political power
evolves at
at the
the end
end of
of antiquity.
antiquity.
cal
power evolves
The
The attention
attention of
of the
the reader
reader should
should also
also be
be directed
directed to
to the
the following.
following.
The
classsocieties
societies
from
from
thethe
fourth
fourth
millennium
millennium
B.C.
B.C.
to to
thethe
The history
history of
of class
first millennium
millennium A.D.
A.D. is
is not
not the
the same
same as
as the
the history
history of
of the
the world
for the
the
first
world for
same period
of time;
time; the
ancient class
class societies
societies always
always existed
existed within
same
period of
the ancient
within aa
world that
was also
also populated
societies at
at various
levels of
world
that was
populated by
by primitive
primitive societies
various levels
of
development from
from simple
simple Neolithic
tribes to
to relatively
relatively sophisticated
sophisticated
development
Neolithic tribes
ones with
with complicated
complicated social
social structures.
structures. Moreover,
Moreover, the
ancient class
ones
the ancient
class
societies could
could not
not have
have existed
existed without
without aa preclass
preclass periphery
periphery where
where
societies
they could
could exploit
exploit seemingly
seemingly inexhaustible
inexhaustible resources
resources of
of raw
raw materials
materials
they
and, over
over time,
time, inexhaustible
inexhaustible supplies
supplies of
of labor.
labor. The
The presence
presence of
of the
the
and,
periphery
also always
always implied
implied the
the threat
threat of
of invasions
invasions and
and the
the disrupdisrupperiphery also
tion of
of cultural
cultural and
and historical
historical traditions.
traditions. The
The periphery,
paradoxically,
tion
periphery, paradoxically,
also
was
regarded
as
a
world
of
primitive
"freedom"
or
"innocence,"
also was regarded as a world of primitive "freedom" or "innocence,"
and
it
influenced
the
ideational
and
emotional
life
of
the
class
societies.
and it influenced the ideational and emotional life of the class societies.

General Outline
Outline

49
49

The first
first period
period of
of early
early antiquity
antiquity (Lectures
(Lectures 22-7)
the history
of
The
- 7) is
is the
history of
small
world of
primitive "barbarism";
small foci
foci of
of civilization
civilization in
in aa vast
vast world
of primitive
"barbarism"; concontinuous
period of
tinuous areas
areas of
of civilization
civilization only
only emerge
emerge in
in the
the second
second period
of early
early
antiquity
Near East,
antiquity (Lectures
(Lectures 8-20):
8-20): the
the Mediterranean,
Mediterranean, the
the Near
East, India,
India,
and China.
China. But
But they
they still
still continue
continue to
to be
surrounded by
the primitive
primitive
and
be surrounded
by the
periphery.
Even when
when the
the zone
of class-based
class-based civilization
civilization occupies
occupies an
an
periphery. Even
zone of
unbroken territory,
territory, it
remains encircled
encircled by
by this
this periphery.
periphery.
unbroken
it remains
Thus,
history of
humanity, from
Thus, the
the universal
universal history
of humanity,
from the
the fourth
fourth millenmillennium
nium B.C.
B.C. to
to the
the first
first millennium
millennium A.D.,
A.D., ought
ought not
not to
to be
be simply
simply aa history
history
of civilizations
civilizations but
history of
of civilizations
civilizations encircled
encircled by
by the
the primitive
primitive
of
but aa history
this work
work did
did not
not feel
feel themselves
themselves equal
equal to
to aa task
task
world. The
The authors
authors of
of this
world.
of this
this kind,
did they
even set
set for
for themselves
themselves this
this goal.
goal. The
The
of
kind, nor
nor did
they even
reader,
always remember
remember the
the other,
other, less
developed
reader, nevertheless,
nevertheless, must
must always
less developed
world, which
which always
surrounded the
the states
states we
are describing.
describing.
world,
always surrounded
we are
The Perception
Perception of
of the
World at
at the
from
The
the World
the Passing
Passing from
Primitive
to Ancient
Ancient Society
Primitive to
Society
It
difficult to
to comprehend
comprehend the
the events
events of
of the
the ancient
epoch without
without
It is
is difficult
ancient epoch
attempting to
to understand,
understand, at
approximately, how
ancients
attempting
at least
least approximately,
how the
the ancients
thought
and felt.
felt. What
did they
they think
about the
world and
and about
about
thought and
What did
think about
the world
themselves?
themselves?
Unfortunately, it
it is
is very
very difficult
difficult to
to penetrate
penetrate the
the spiritual
spiritual world
of
Unfortunately,
world of
ancient times-in
timesin fact,
fact, almost
almost impossible.
impossible. The
The unearthed
unearthed temples
are
ancient
temples are
mute, the
images uncertain;
only very
very slowly,
slowly, in
in small
small bits,
bits, do
do we
we bemute,
the images
uncertain; only
bethe relics
relics of
And, even
if ancome
with the
come acquainted
acquainted with
of ancient
ancient literature.
literature. And,
even if
ancient art
and literature
were completely
do they
they really
cient
art and
literature were
completely understood,
understood, do
really
reflect
the thoughts
and feelings
feelings of
of the
the people
people of
of those
those bygone
bygone
thoughts and
reflect all
all the
times? After
After all,
just mementos,
mementos, accidentimes?
all, artistic
artistic accomplishments
accomplishments are
are just
accidental relics
relics preserved
preserved for
for us
us by
chance of
of all
all that
that the
the artists
artists of
of that
that epoch
epoch
tal
by chance
had created.
created. There
There are,
are, of
of course,
course, also
also oral
oral myths,
myths, fairy
fairy tales,
songs,
had
tales, songs,
proverbs,
and aphorisms
aphorisms that
that are
are rooted
rooted in
in the
the thought
of the
ancient
thought of
the ancient
proverbs, and
world.
Yet changes
changes and
and additions
additions made
during the
course of
of time
world. Yet
made during
the course
time may
may
well distort
distort them
them before
before they
they reach
reach the
the present.
Present-day narrators
narrators
well
present. Present-day
of folktales
social anthropologists
anthropologists have
studied cannot
cannot themthemof
folktales whom
whom social
have studied
selves
the ancients
ancients originally
their stories.
stories. The
The
selves know
know what
what the
originally meant
meant by
by their
hypotheses
scholars have
formulated on
on these
are usually
usually rehypotheses scholars
have formulated
these subjects
subjects are
rejected
by those
those who
who still
still keep
keep the
the old
old myths
myths alive,
alive, such
such as
as the
the tribal
tribal
jected by
peoples of
of Africa,
Africa, Australia,
Australia, and
and Polynesia.
Polynesia.
peoples
that can
asPerhaps,
Perhaps, however,
however, there
there does
does exist
exist one
one objective
objective means
means that
can assist us
us in
penetrating the
mental processes
of people
people who
who lived
lived in
in
sist
in penetrating
the mental
processes of
primitive times
times and
and in
in early
early antiquity;
antiquity; namely,
namely, the
study of
of languages.
languages.
primitive
the study
Language expresses
expresses categories
categories of
of the
investigating
Language
the mental
mental process:
process: by
by investigating
the
the most
languages, the
exthe structures
structures of
of the
most archaic
archaic languages,
the modes
modes used
used to
to ex-

50

/.
I. M. Diakonoff
Diakonoff

press
how humans
humans related
related to
to the
the world
world and
and its
its phenomena,
it is
is pospress how
phenomena, it
possible to
to recover
recover some
some of
of the
the mental
mental processes
of that
that time.
time.
processes of
sible
Based on
on aa comparative
comparative study
study of
of the
the most
most ancient
ancient strata
strata of
of the
the lanlanBased
guages that
guages
that have
have reached
reached us
us and
and on
on the
the structures
structures of
of the
the most
most ancient
ancient
myths, the
the following
following hypothesis
hypothesis about
about the
the mentality
mentality and
and world
worldview
of
myths,
view of
primitive people
primitive
people seems
seems to
to be
be the
the most
most plausible.
plausible.
The
great difficulty
The great
difficulty for
for primitive
primitive humans
humans was
was to
to comprehend
comprehend and
and
express
judgment is
possible without
express abstract
abstract concepts.
concepts. Since
Since no
no judgment
is possible
without
making certain
certain generalizations,
generalizations, one
one had
had to
to generalize
generalize without
without stating
stating
making
abstract concepts.
concepts. For
For this,
this, one
one had
had to
to create
create associations
associations based
based on
on imimabstract
ages perceived
by the
the senses
senses (e.g.,
(e.g., comparisons).
comparisons). For
For example,
example, in
in
ages
perceived by
order to
to express
express the
the idea
idea that
that the
sky is
is aa dome
dome or
or roof
roof supported
supported by
order
the sky
by
four points
on the
horizon and,
and, at
at the
the same
same time,
time, something
something that
that gives
four
points on
the horizon
gives
birth to
to the
the sun
sun every
every day
day and
and to
to the
the stars
stars and
and moon
moon at
at night,
night, as
as well
well
birth
as the
the place
place where
where the
the sun
sun travels
travels from
from one
one end
end to
to the
the other,
other, one
one
as
could illustrate
illustrate the
the concept
concept of
of "sky"
"sky" as
as aa cow
cow standing
standing on
on its
its four
four legs,
could
legs,
woman giving
giving birth
birth to
to the
the sun,
sun, and
and aa river
river along
along which
which the
the sun
sun
aa woman
travels. This
This quite
quite adequately
adequately illustrated
illustrated the
the idea
idea that
that had
had to
to be
be extravels.
expressed
anyone being
being disturbed
disturbed by
by the
the question
question of
of how
how the
the
pressed without
without anyone
sky could
could be
cow, aa woman,
and aa river
all at
at the
the same
same time.
time. EveryEverysky
be aa cow,
woman, and
river all
one dearly
clearly understood
understood that
that this
this was
was merely
merely an
an interpretation
interpretation and
and
one
that, in
in reality,
reality, the
the sky
sky was
was not
not aa cow,
cow, aa woman,
or aa river.
river. But
But because
because
that,
woman, or
abstract concepts
concepts had
had not
not yet
yet developed,
developed, such
such ideas
ideas as
as "comparison,"
"comparison,"
abstract
"metaphor," "interpretation,"
"interpretation," and
and all
all that
is necessary
express that
that
"metaphor,"
that is
necessary to
to express
the sky
sky is
is actually
actually not
not any
any of
of these
these objects
objects did
did not
not exist.
exist. The
The process
process of
of
the
comparing, interpreting,
interpreting, and
and naming
an object
object or
or aa phenomenon
comparing,
naming an
phenomenon was
was
perceived in
in material
material terms.
terms. For
For example,
example, aa name
name was
was perceived
as aa
perceived
perceived as
material part
part of
of the
the named
object. Therefore,
Therefore, we
should not
not be
be sursurnamed object.
we should
material
prised that
that even
even without
without identifying
identifying the
the sky
sky with
with aa real
real cow
cow or
or aa real
real
prised
woman, the
ancient people
could still
still offer
offer sacrifices
sacrifices to
to the
the sky
sky perperwoman,
the ancient
people could
sonified as
as aa divine
cow or
or aa goddess.
goddess.
sonified
divine cow
Any natural
Any
natural and
and purposeful
purposeful phenomena
phenomena that
that concerned
concerned people
people (or
(or
phenomena imagined
purpose) and
phenomena
imagined to
to have
have aa purpose)
and any
any phenomena
phenomena withwithout aa known
purpose but
but with
with aa definite
definite cause
cause were
were mentally
mentally and
and
out
known purpose
emotionally
perceived as
by an
will. This
This was
was the
the rereemotionally perceived
as caused
caused by
an intelligent
intelligent will.
sult of
of the
the fact
fact that
that people
could, in
in practical
life, observe
observe aa relationrelationsult
people could,
practical life,
ship between
between cause
cause and
and effect
effect essentially
essentially only
only within
within the
the context
context of
of
ship
their own
own activities,
activities, understanding
understanding aa cause
cause as
as aa willful
willful action.
action. For
For this
this
their
reason,
some intelligent
intelligent being
being was
was imagined
imagined to
to be
behind every
every phephebe behind
reason, some
nomenon that
that took
took place
in the
the world,
world, and
and for
for humanity'S
humanity's benefit,
benefit, this
this
nomenon
place in
being
had to
to be
propitiated. Such
Such aa being,
or deity,
deity, was
was not
not thought
thought of
of
being had
be propitiated.
being, or
as spiritual
spiritual (because
(because an
an immaterial
immaterial spirit
spirit is
is also
also an
an abstraction
abstraction and
and
as
could not
not be
be verbally
verbally expressed
expressed or
or imagined
imagined for
for lack
lack of
of the
the means
means to
to
could

General
General Outline
Outline

51

do so)
so) but
but as
as material.
material. It
It could
could differ
differ from
from humanity
humanity in
in its
its power,
power, in
in
do
its maliciousness-in
maliciousnessin anything
anything but
but its
its spirituality.
spirituality.
its
Neither was
was aa deity
deity distinct
distinct from
from humanity
in terms
terms of
of immortality,
immortality,
Neither
humanity in
because people
people had
no means
means to
to imagine
imagine or
or describe
describe verbally
verbally nonexisnonexisbecause
had no
tence and,
and, hence,
hence, could
could not
not conceive
conceive of
of being
being dead
dead as
as being
being nonexisnonexistence
tent. A
A deceased
deceased person
person was
was someone
someone who
who had
had passed
passed from
from life
life here
here
tent.
to another
another life
life somewhere
somewhere else,just
else, just as
as aa newborn
newborn was
was transferred
transferred from
from
to
life in
in some
some other
other place
place to
to life
life here.
here. Another
Another transition
transition from
from one
one
aa life
form of
of existence
existence to
to another
another was
was the
the passage
passage from
from childhood:
childhood: boys
boys to
to
form
girls to
to marriageable
maidens. Such
Such aa transition
transition was
was often
often
warriors and
and girls
marriageable maidens.
warriors
celebrated by
by an
an initiation
initiation ritual,
ritual, or
or aa consecration,
consecration, which
which included
included
celebrated
testing aa young
young man's
man's or
or woman's
woman's fortitude
fortitude in
in confronting
confronting fear
fear or
or exextesting
periencing physical
physical pain.
pain. (Circumcision
(Circumcision of
of the
the foreskin
foreskin and
and infliction
infliction
periencing
of wounds
wounds or
or burns
burns were
were typical.)
typical.) Initiation
Initiation could
could also
also include
include passing
passing
of
on to
to the
the new
new generation
generation the
the experience
experience of
of their
their forebears,
forebears, which
which
on
consisted not
not only
only of
of various
various practical
practical skills
skills and
and labor
labor techniques
techniques but
but
consisted
also of
of myths.
The latter
latter created
created aa sensorial
sensorial and
and figurative
figurative comprecomprealso
myths. The
hension of
of the
the causes
causes of
of phenomena
phenomena and
and their
their relationships.
relationships.
hension
A
A myth
myth cannot
cannot be
be interpreted
interpreted out
out of
of the
the context
context of
of aa ritual.
ritual. PrimiPrimitive people
people interpreted
interpreted their
their actions
actions in
in the
the same
same way
way they
they did
did natural
natural
tive
phenomenain aa sensorial
sensorial and
and associative
associative manner
manner rather
rather than
than in
in an
an
phenomena-in
abstract
abstract and
and logical
logical one.
one. Practical
Practical activities
activities (technical
(technical work
work methods,
methods,
for example)
example) were,
were, of
of course,
course, also
also interpreted
interpreted associatively
associatively but,
but, neverneverfor
theless, were
were understood
understood quite
quite correctly,
correctly, because
because such
such actions
actions are
are in
in
theless,
an obvious
obvious way
way directly
directly affected
affected by
by human
human will.
will. Ritualistic
Ritualistic actions
actions
an
were conditioned
conditioned by
by assumed
assumed causes
causes governing
governing universal
universal phenomena,
phenomena,
were
which were
were conditioned
conditioned by
by the
the will
will of
of deities.
deities. As
As we
we have
have already
already seen,
seen,
which
deities and
and their
their actions
actions were
were re-created
re-created in
in myths
myths by
by generating
generating assodeities
associations. These
These associations
associations lacked
lacked rigorous
rigorous logic;
logic; they
they were
were sensorial
sensorial
ciations.
and emotional.
emotional. Therefore,
Therefore, it
it is
is not
not surprising
surprising that
that the
the way
way to
to influinfluand
ence the
the causes
causes (the
(the divine
divine causes!)
causes!) of
of phenomena
phenomena also
also had
had to
to be
be assoence
assois aa material
material
ciative and
and emotional,
emotional, not
not logical.
logical. For
For example,
example, if
if aa name
ciative
name is
part
of aa deity,
deity, then
then would
would whoever
whoever uttered
uttered this
this name
name not
also possess
possess
part of
not also
this
deity
to
some
degree?
Would
not
the
act
of
coition
with
a
woman
this deity to some degree? Would not the act of coition with a woman
incarnating (as
(as an
an "actress")
"actress") the
the goddess
goddess promote
promote the
the fertility
fertility of
of the
the
incarnating
goddess
herself
and,
in
turn,
the
fertility
of
the
land
of
which
she
was
goddess herself and, in turn, the fertility of the land of which she was
not only
only in
in charge
charge but
but which
which she,
she, herself,
herself, was?
was? The
The ritual
ritual appeared
appeared to
to
not
be even
even more
more effective
effective because
the concept
concept of
of abstract,
abstract, physical
physical time
time
be
because the
was nonexistent
nonexistent for
for primitive
primitive humans.
humans. Today,
Today, of
of course,
course, we
we know
know that
that
was
physical
time unwinds
unwinds uniformly,
uniformly, always
moving in
the same
same direcdirecphysical time
always moving
in the
tion. Yet,
Yet, we
we do
do not
not perceive
our senses;
senses; we
perceive only
only
tion.
perceive time
time with
with our
we perceive
the events
events that
that fill
it, or
or those
those we
we expect
expect to
to fill
it. If
If many
events are
are
the
fill it,
fill it.
many events
taking place
or are
are expected,
it seems
seems to
to us
that aa long
long time
time has
has passed.
passed.
taking
place or
expected, it
us that

52

I. M. Diakonoff
Diakonoff

If
If nothing
nothing happens,
happens, time
time seems
seems to
to have
have passed
passed quickly.
quickly. Primitive
Primitive
people experienced
that alalpeople
experienced time
time in
in the
the same
same way;
way; that
that is,
is, in
in terms
terms that
lowed
them to
to relate
relate it
it to
to events
events in
in their
their own
own lives.
lives.88 It
It was
was still
still more
more
lowed them
to define
define aa point
point in
in time
connected with
one's own
own life
life or
or
difficult to
difficult
time not
not connected
with one's
even
even with
with the
the lives
lives of
of remembered
remembered ancestors.
ancestors. And
And mythological
mythological events
events
such as,
as, let
us say,
say, aa goddess
goddess giving
giving birth
to the
the sun
sun or
or aa goddess
goddess givgivsuch
let us
birth to
ing birth
cereals are
are not
not connected
connected to
any point
point in
in time,
ing
birth to
to cereals
to any
time, because
because the
the
sun rises
rises every
every morning
morning and
and the
grain comes
comes up
up every
every year.
year. Thus,
Thus, aa
sun
the grain
ritual performed
today can
can certainly
certainly be
be thought
thought of
of as
as influencing
influencing
performed today
ritual
mythological
events that
that took
took place
at any
any other
other time
time and
and can
can affect
affect
place at
mythological events
their regular
regular repetition.
repetition.
their
.
We
attitude aa philosophy,
philosophy, nor
nor do
do we
we
We cannot
cannot call
call this
this mythological
mythological attitude
know
call it
religion. Nevertheless,
Nevertheless, it
cerknow whether
whether to
to call
it aa religion.
it does
does contain
contain aa certain
from the
the plot
plot of
of aa myth,
myth, we
we can
can see
see what
what isis viewed
viewed as
as
tain proto-ethic;
proto-ethic; from
good or
or bad.
somewhat automatic
automatic
bad. This
This proto-ethic,
proto-ethic, however,
however, has
has aa somewhat
good
character, because
it is
is not
logical system.
system. In
In essence,
essence, it
it shows
shows that
that
not aa logical
character,
because it
is useful
to one's
one's own
own community,
community, comrades-in-arms,
comrades-in-arms, and
and chilchilwhat
what is
useful to
dren is
is good;
good; since
since all
all people
people beyond
the border
border of
of the
community
dren
beyond the
the community
are enemies,
enemies, it
it is
is certainly
certainly good
good to
to outwit
outwit or
or kill
kill them.
them. And
And whatever
whatever
are
is bad
is usually
usually under
under aa magic
magic spell
spell or
or taboo;
if you
do what
what is
is prois
bad is
taboo; if
you do
prohibited,
die, not
not necessarily
necessarily for
for fear
fear of
of being
killed but
for
being killed
but for
hibited, you
you will
will die,
fear
of the
itself. Here,
ethics are
are inseparable
inseparable from
primitive
fear of
the taboo
taboo itself.
Here, ethics
from primitive
magic.
Thus, shedding
shedding blood
(except in
in the
the case
case of
war) defiles
defiles aa perblood (except
of war)
permagic. Thus,
son because
magical properties,
of whether
son
because of
of blood's
blood's magical
properties, regardless
regardless of
whether murmurder is
is good
good or
or bad.
To have
eaten aa prohibited
food, participated
in aa
der
bad. To
have eaten
prohibited food,
participated in
prohibited ceremony,
ceremony, cohabited
cohabited with
of aa prohibited
kinship
prohibited kinship
prohibited
with aa woman
woman of
or pronounced
pronounced aa god's
god's dread
dread name
name in
in vain
vain may
may turn
turn out
out to
to be
be
degree, or
degree,
much graver
graver sin
sin than
than the
the sin
sin of
of murder
murder itself,
itself, which
which could,
could, in
in any
aa much
any
event, be
redeemed by
by aa ransom
ransom or
or aa purifying
purifying ritual.
ritual.
event,
be redeemed
Such was
was the
the burdensome
burdensome load
load of
of emotional
emotional and
and ideological
ideological heriheriSuch
tage that
that humanity
humanity carried
carried over
over the
the threshold
of civilization.
civilization. If
If we
threshold of
we
tage
add
add the
the additional
additional weight
weight of
of the
the insecurity
insecurity of
of crops,
crops, defenselessness
defenselessness
clothing,
against disease
and natural
natural disasters,
disasters, wretched
wretched dwellings,
dwellings, clothing,
against
disease and
and tools,
and lack
of any
any knowledge
about hygiene,
it becomes
clear
and
tools, and
lack of
knowledge about
hygiene, it
becomes clear
how
difficult life
in that
that world.
must not
not assume
assume that
some
world. We
We must
that some
how difficult
life was
was in
lone genius
genius would
would have
have been
been able
able to
to teach
teach the
lone
the people
people the
the falsehood
falsehood of
of
this
or that
that view
and win
followers. At
At aa time
development,
this or
view and
win followers.
time when
when development,
we are
are accustomed
accustomed to,
to, was
was extremely
extremely slow
slow and
compared with
with what
what we
compared
and
gradual, only
only the
the collective
collective experience
experience of
of the
the ancestors
ancestors carried
carried any
gradual,
any
weight. And
And just
that experience
experience was
embodied in
in myths
and rituals.
just that
was embodied
myths and
rituals.
weight.
8.
8. We
We must
must remember
remember also
also that
that at
at that
that time
time there
there was
was no
no fixed
fixed point
point from
from which
which to
to
count
count years,
years, nor
nor was
was there
there any
any definite
definite subdivision
subdivision of
of the
the day.
day. The
The day
day was
was simply
simply didivided
into morning,
morning, noon,
and evening,
evening, and
and the
night into
into several
several "watches"
"watches" or
or vigils,
vided into
noon, and
the night
vigils,
depending on
on the
the custom
custom of
the garrison.
garrison.
depending
of the

General
General Outline
Outline

53
53

The
The success
success of
of an
an individual
individual who
who did
did not
not adhere
adhere to
to the
the ancestral
ancestral
teachings would
would appear
appear fortuitous
fortuitous or
or controlled
controlled by
by some
some sort
sort of
of unacteachings
unaccounted-for, perhaps
perhaps ill-boding,
ill-boding, magic.
counted-for,
magic.
We should
should not,
not, however,
however, belittle
belittle the
the ancients
ancients and
and their
their myths.
myths. ToToWe
day, life
life is
is also
also filled
filled with
with many
many tenaciously
tenaciously held
held delusions
delusions and
and prejuprejuday,
dices that
that have
no logical
logical basis
basis whatsoever,
whatsoever, as
as in
in attitudes
attitudes toward
toward alien
alien
dices
have no
nations
too, qualify
nations or
or beliefs
beliefs in
in ominous
ominous signs,
signs, etc.
etc. These,
These, too,
qualify as
as true
true
myths. They
They do
do not
not develop
develop logically
logically but,
but, rather,
rather, are
are based
based on
on emomyths.
emotional
associations; many
many erroneous
erroneous scientific
scientific hypotheses
are also
also
tional associations;
hypotheses are
scarcely more
more than
myths. And
And despite
despite being
being limited
limited by
by mythological
mythological
than myths.
scarcely
reasoning, primitive
primitive people's
people's abilities-when
abilitieswhen the
collective experiexperireasoning,
the collective
ence was
was sufficient-to
sufficientto make
make reasonable
reasonable decisions,
decisions, to
associate ideas
ideas
ence
to associate
correctly, to
to find
find the
the real
real causes
causes of
of phenomena,
and to
to verify
verify concluconclucorrectly,
phenomena, and
sions were
were adequate
adequate for
for their
their needs.
needs.
sions
In examining
examining the
the outlines
outlines of
of the
early period
period of
of ancient
ancient history,
history, we
In
the early
we
have
on the
the particular
features of
of ancient
ancient mentality;
without
have focused
focused on
particular features
mentality; without
understanding these
these features,
features, we
we would
would have
difficulty explaining
explaining
understanding
have difficulty
why religion,
religion, the
the temple,
temple, rituals,
rituals, and
and the
the priesthood
priesthood played
played such
such an
an
why
enormous role
role during
during the
the early
early period
period of
human development.
development. Why
Why
enormous
of human
was it
it that
that the
the priesthood
priesthood received
received the
the lion's
lion's share
share of
of the
the first
first producproducwas
tion surpluses?
surpluses? Of
Of course,
course, the
the explanation
explanation of
of eighteenth-century
eighteenth-century ratioratiotion
nalists
that of
of many
many twentieth-century
twentieth-century antireligious
antireligious
nalists was
was naive,
naive, as
as was
was that
thinkers, who
who saw
saw the
the reason,
reason, primarily,
primarily, in
in the
the priests'
priests' conscious
conscious dethinkers,
deception of
of the
the public.
public. There
There is
is no
no doubt
doubt that
that the
the priests
priests never
never neception
neglected their
their own
own interests
interests and,
and, not
not uncommonly,
uncommonly, even
even placed
placed them
them
glected
above those
those of
of others.
others. But
But let
let us
us bear
bear in
in mind
mind that
that everyone,
everyone, without
without
above
any exception,
exception, was
was aa believer.
believer. So,
So, of
of course,
course, were
were the
the priests.
priests. The
The parparany
ticularly important
important social
social role
role played
played from
from the
the very
very beginning
beginning of
of civiticularly
civilization
by the
the professional
professional performers
performers of
of religious
religious rituals
rituals can
can be
be
lization by
explained by
by the
the fact
fact that
that the
the entire
entire population
population regarded
regarded the
the rituals
rituals
explained
themselves as
as the
the supreme
supreme means
means of
of ensuring
ensuring the
the welfare
welfare of
of the
the enenthemselves
tire community.
community. Initially,
Initially, the
the wealth
wealth of
of the
the temples
temples was
was the
the insurance
insurance
tire
fund of
of the
the entire
entire community.
community. For
For millennia,
millennia, the
the majority
of the
the
fund
majority of
farming population
population ate
ate meat
meat only
only during
during sacrifices
sacrifices to
to the
the gods.
farming
gods.
Let us
us also
also remember
remember the
the creation
creation of
of the
the "slave-owning"
"slave-owning" mode
mode of
of
Let
production was,
was, in
in those
those times,
times, aa progressive
progressive phenomenon
phenomenon that
that conconproduction
tributed to
to the
the highest
possible development
development of
of productive
productive forces,
forces, inintributed
highest possible
creasing
was
creasing the
the standard
standard of
of living
living for
for as
as large
large aa number
number of
of people
people as
as was
then possible.
possible. In
In the
the meantime,
meantime, primitive
primitive society
society was
was fading
fading into
into the
the
then
background, despite
despite its
its predominantly
predominantly egalitarian
egalitarian character.
character. (It
(It was
background,
was
it was
mostly
hungry egalitarianism.)
egalitarianism.) But
But it
was for
for the
the return
return of
of this
this primprimmostly aa hungry
itive past
past that
that the
the oppressed
oppressed people
people of
of antiquity
antiquity longed.
longed.
itive
For
collecFor the
the mass
mass of
of the
the people,
people, myths
myths and
and rituals
rituals were
were vital.
vital. The
The collective
tive experience
experience of
of the
the ancestors,
ancestors, expressed
expressed in
in these
these myths
myths and
and rituals,
rituals,

54
54

I. M.
Diakonoff
IM. Diakonoff

still
still determined,
determined, to
to aa large
large degree,
degree, the
the interpretation
interpretation of
of the
the world
world and
and
the
social psychology
of humans.
Such an
an attitude
attitude toward
toward the
the social
psychology of
humans. Such
the phephenomenal
had an
an authoritarian
authoritarian character
character independent
independent of
of the
the
nomenal world
world had
political
order of
of each
each individual
individual society.
society. This
This was
was because
because this
attipolitical order
this attitude was
was based
based on
on the
the absolute
absolute authority
authority of
of "those
"those who
ought to
to
tude
who ought
know," of
of those
those who
who were
were regarded
as inheriting
and the
the
regarded as
inheriting the
the power
power and
know,"
wisdom of
of the
the ancestors.
ancestors. It
It was
was only
only during
during aa later
later period
in antiqantiqperiod in
wisdom
uityin
Greece and
and in
in some
some of
of the
the advanced
advanced societies
societies of
of the
East
uity-in Greece
the Eastthat authoritarian
authoritarian thought
began to
to lose
lose its
its sway
sway over
over people:
people: no
no
that
thought began
longer would
would one
one accept
accept everything
everything on
on trust
and mere
mere faith;
faith; each
each
longer
trust and
proposition had
had to
be proved.
proved. But
But even
even when,
after 2,500
proposition
to be
when, after
2,500 years,
years, aa sciscientific outlook
outlook and
and philosophy
philosophy began
to emerge
emerge alongside
alongside the
the relibegan to
relientific
gious worldview,
the new
remained alien
alien to
to most
of the
the
new philosophy
philosophy remained
most of
gious
world view, the
population;
it was
was the
ideology of
of the
population; it
the ideology
the upper
upper class.
class.
However, it
only then
However,
it was
was only
then that
that aa nonmetaphoric
nonmetaphoric cognition
cognition of
of the
the
world
world emerged
emerged clearly
clearly enough
enough as
as aa separate
separate field
field of
of creative
creative activity
activity
and when
it first
first was
was divided
divided into
into science-cognition
sciencecognition of
of the
the world's
world's
and
when it
phenomena
as such-and
suchand into
into art-cognition
artcognition of
of our
our attitudes
attitudes toward
toward
phenomena as
the world.
world.
the

The Common
the Particular
the Historical
The
Common and
and the
Particular in
in the
Historical Process
Process
of Antiquity:
History of
History of
of
Antiquity: History
of Ideas
Ideas and
and History
of Emotions
Emotions
The
years' experience
world has
The last
last fifty
fifty years'
experience in
in the
the study
study of
of the
the ancient
ancient world
has
shown that
by studying
studying the
the socioeconomic
socioeconomic history
history of
of antiquity
antiquity with
with
that by
shown
the
of the
the methods
methods we
have at
at our
our disposal,
disposal, we
apparently
the help
help of
we have
we have
have apparently
been
been able
able to
to find
find certain
certain very
very general
general common
common laws
laws typical
typical of
of the
the
whole millennial
millennial epoch
epoch in
them in
in the
whole
in question.
question. We
We have
have examined
examined them
the
second through
fourth sections
sections of
of the
lecture. Meanwhile,
Meanwhile,
second
through fourth
the present
present lecture.
discussions
to which
discussions about
about the
the "formation"
"formation" to
which ancient
ancient societies
societies belonged
belonged
have become
become more
more and
and more
more concerned
concerned with
with the
the problem
of definidefiniproblem of
have
tions.
We already
already know
know in
in general
general outline
outline what
what the
the ancient
ancient societies
societies
tions. We
queswere
be elucidated;
were like,
like, although
although details
details still
still must
must be
elucidated; the
the rest
rest is
is aa question
of definition
definition and
and classification.
classification.
tion of
We
know that
two
We know
that the
the ancient
ancient epoch
epoch was
was subdivided
subdivided into,
into, at
at least,
least, two
consecutive
consecutive periods:
periods: early
early and
and late
late antiquity.
antiquity. Both
Both periods
periods are
are differdifferentiated from
from the
the primitive
primitive epoch
epoch by
the fact
fact that
that two
antagonistic
by the
two antagonistic
entiated
classes formed
formed and
and continued
continued to
to exist:
exist: one
one of
of them
property in
in
them having
having property
classes
the means
means of
of production
or, at
at least,
the possibility
possibility to
dispose of
of this
this
the
production or,
least, the
to dispose
property; the
the other
other being
the first
first and
and being
devoid of
of
property;
being exploited
exploited by
by the
being devoid
property
in the
the means
of production.
Some of
of the
belonging
property in
means of
production. Some
the people
people belonging
to the
the latter
latter class
class may
the property
of the
ruling
to
may themselves
themselves have
have been
been the
property of
the ruling
class
or
of
the
state;
others
could
have
had
certain
means
of
producclass or of the state; others could have had certain means of production in
their possession
property.
tion
in their
possession but
but not
not property.

General Outline

55
55

In
between agriculture
In the
the field
field of
of production,
production, aa division
division of
of labor
labor between
agriculture
(including
irrigation agriculture)
(including irrigation
agriculture) and
and industry
industry (including
(including highly
highly spespecialized crafts
crafts and
and mining,
mining, which
which used
used mostly
mostly bronze
bronze tools,
tools, although
although
cialized
wooden and
and stone
stone implements
implements had
had not
not totally
totally disappeared)
disappeared) was
was typitypiwooden
cal for
for early
early antiquity.
antiquity. Agriculture
Agriculture and
and industry
industry are
are also
also countercountercal
posed to
to livestock
livestock raising,
raising, which
which is
is not
not fully
fully divorced
divorced from
from subsidiary
subsidiary
posed
agriculture.
agriculture.
The
of people
people into
into communities
communities similar
similar to
to those
those of
of the
the
The association
association of
primitive epoch
epoch was
was also
also characteristic,
characteristic, although
although such
such communities
communities
primitive
came into
into existence
existence and
and were
were maintained
by conditions
conditions specific
specific to
to anancame
maintained by
cient society
society itself.
itself. These
These were
were the
the helplessness
helplessness of
of the
the individual
individual in
in the
the
cient
production
production process
process against
against natural
natural and
and social
social forces
forces and
and the
the necessity
necessity
and reciprocal
reciprocal aid.
aid. The
The emergence
emergence of
of the
the state
state
for close
close cooperation
cooperation and
for
by the
neeconomies,
economies, typical
typical of
of early
early antiquity,
antiquity, was
was also
also conditioned
conditioned by
the necessity
cessity of
of cooperation,
cooperation, which
which was
was required
required not
not only
only by
by free
free people,
people,
but
but also
also by
by the
the dependent
dependent and
and exploited
exploited people.
people.
In
In the
the field
field of
of production
production relationships,
relationships, this
this epoch
epoch was
was also
also characcharacterized
by the
the preservation,
preservation, from
from the
the times
times of
of primitive
primitive society,
society, of
of aa
terized by
of
considerable
considerable stratum
stratum of
of working
working men
men who
who did
did not
not exploit
exploit the
the labor
labor of
others
who themselves,
disothers but
but who
themselves, likewise,
likewise, were
were not
not exploited
exploited (if
(if one
one discounts
counts their
their utilization
utilization for
for socially
socially necessary
necessary work;
work; i.e.,
i.e., that
that which
which was
was
necessary for
necessary
for defense
defense and
and magic
magic [cultic]
[cultic] activities).
activities). Here,
Here, as
as the
the reader
reader
the field
of ideology
ideology or,
or, to
to be
more premay note,
note, we
we have
have passed
passed into
into the
may
field of
be more
precise, of
of social
social psychology.
psychology. The
The fact
that magical
magical aid
aid to
to fertility
fertility and
cise,
fact is
is that
and
social welfare
welfare was
was not
not perceived
perceived by
by ancient
ancient people
as belonging
to the
social
people as
belonging to
the
field of
of ideas.
ideas. On
On the
the contrary,
contrary, magic
magic activity
activity was
was perceived
perceived as
as part
part of
field
of
the process
process of
of production
production itself
itself and,
and, of
of course,
course, was
was not
not regarded
regarded as
the
as
some sort
sort of
of burden
burden imposed
imposed by
by aa class
class enemy.
enemy. Granted
Granted this
this fact,
fact, it
some
it
follows logically
logically that
in order
order to
discover how
ancient society
society actually
actually
follows
that in
to discover
how ancient
functioned, it
it is
is necessary
necessary to
to enlist
enlist the
services of
of social
social psychology;
psychology;
functioned,
the services
and this
this is
is something
something ancient
ancient historians
not attempted,
attempted, never
never
and
historians have
have not
knew how
to do,
do, and
and even
even were
were not
not aware
aware that
that it
it ought
ought to
to be
be done.
done.
knew
how to
Ideology
in early
early antiquity
antiquity is
is determined
determined by
by traditional
traditional features
features of
of
Ideology in
community religions.
religions. These
These are
are mainly
mainly inherited
inherited from
from primitive
primitive socommunity
society and
and do
do not
not so
so much
much consecrate
consecrate the
the existing
existing social
social structure
structure
ciety
(which requires
no such
such justification)
as the
the political
and, even,
even, the
the dydy(which
requires no
justification) as
political and,
nastic structure.
structure. The
The religion
religion of
of early
early antiquity
antiquity is
is predominantly
predominantly of
nastic
of
magicoritualistic type
type with
with very
very little
little ethicophilosophical
ethicophilosophical contribucontribuaa magicoritualistic
tion:
each incognizable
incognizable natural
natural phenomenon,
phenomenon, the
the mechanism
mechanism or
or funcfunction: each
of
which
is
obscure,
is
eo
ipso
regarded
as
possibly
having
tioning
tioning of which is obscure, is eo ipso regarded as possibly having anan
unpredictable ability
ability to
to influence
influence people;
people; and
and the
the more
more the
the phenomephenomeunpredictable
non
is
of
everyday
occurrence
and
nearer
to
one
self,
the
stronger
non is of everyday occurrence and nearer to one self, the stronger is
is
its supposed
supposed active
active influence.
influence. The
The one
one factor
factor in
in the
the world's
world's structure
structure
its
is the
the most
for society
society is
is the
the maintenance
maintenance of
of fertility
fertility
that is
that
most important
important for

56

/.
I. M. Diakonoff
Diakonoff

for agricultural
agricultural production
production (hence,
(hence, in
in Mesopotamia,
Mesopotamia, the
the sacred
sacred marmarfor
riage
riage rite;
rite; in
in Egypt
Egypt the
the renascence
renascence of
of plants
plants in
in the
the cult
cult Osiris-rites
Osirisrites
promoting
promoting the
the activity
activity of
of the
the sun,
sun, the
the Nile,
Nile, etc.).
etc.). Caring
Caring for
for the
the dead
dead
to
to keep
keep them
them satisfied
satisfied can
can also
also be
be an
an important
important factor
factor in
in maintaining
maintaining
the
the world's
world's structure.
structure. Such
Such care
care aims
aims to
to prevent
prevent the
the unfavorable
unfavorable and
and
to
to promote
promote the
the favorable
favorable influence
influence of
of the
the dead
dead over
over the
the society
society of
of the
the
living.
living.
All
All this
this is
is comparatively
comparatively clear,
clear, but
but the
the ideological
ideological situation
situation becomes
becomes
less
to explanation
move from
less amenable
amenable to
explanation as
as we
we move
from early
early to
to late
late antiquity.
antiquity.
We understand
understand clearly
We
clearly enough
enough the
the socioeconomic
socioeconomic structure
structure of
of late
late
ancient society,
society, its
its division
division into
into classes.
classes. We
We can
can also
also note
note considerable
considerable
ancient
changes in
in the
ideological field:
field: the
of rational
forms of
changes
the ideological
the emergence
emergence of
rational forms
of
scientific thought
thought and
and philosophy;
flourishing of
of the
exact sciences;
sciences;
scientific
philosophy; aa flourishing
the exact
and, at
at the
same time,
remodeling of
of the
the religious
religious systems
systems in
in the
the
and,
the same
time, aa remodeling
direction of
of introducing
introducing elements
elements of
of ethics
ethics and
and developing
developing the
motif
direction
the motif
of the
the necessity
necessity of
of human
human salvation,
salvation, in
in both
the moral
moral and
and the
of
both the
the physiphysical sense.
sense.
cal
However, although
although we
we seem
seem to
to understand
understand the
the static
static structure
structure of
of
However,
ancient society
society satisfactorily
satisfactorily enough,
enough, both
in the
the field
of production
production
ancient
both in
field of
and in
in that
that of
of ideology,
ideology, and,
and, lately,
lately, we
we have
begun to
to understand
understand the
the
and
have begun
we are
are still
still far
far from
from underundermechanism of
of the
the structures
structures of
of production,
production, we
mechanism
standing the
the causes
causes inducing
inducing human
masses to
to actions.
actions. Such
Such actions
actions
standing
human masses
are those
those that
that bring
about major
major shifts
shifts in
in history:
history: changes
changes and
and develdevelare
bring about
opments that
that operate
operate in
in all
all areas
areas of
of human
human life.
life. That
That which
which is
is comcomopments
mon to
to the
the ancient
ancient world
world as
as aa whole
whole is,
is, in
in many
many respects,
respects, clear,
clear, but
but the
the
mon
causes of
of the
the differences
differences are
are often
often not
not apparent.
apparent. However,
However, such
such difdifcauses
ferencesamong various
various periods
periods and
and regions-are
regionsare often
often crucial.
crucial.
ferences-among
In
In contrast
contrast to
to other
other scientists,
scientists, the
the modern
modern historian
historian does
does not
not aim
aim at
at
the prediction
prediction of
of future
future phenomena.
Because we
we deal
deal with
with events
events that
that
the
phenomena. Because
have already
already happened,
happened, we
we utilize
utilize the
the materialist
materialist theory
theory only
only as
as aa
have
explain the
the causes
causes of
of the
the social
social changes
changes and
and other
other major
major
means to
to explain
means
events of
both on
on the
scale of
of millennial
epochs and
and great
great
events
of the
the past
past both
the scale
millennial epochs
continents
and
on
the
scale
of
comparatively
small
segments
of
space
continents and on the scale of comparatively small segments of space
and time.
time. Nevertheless,
Nevertheless, aa sort
sort of
is still
still sometimes
sometimes possible:
and
of prediction
prediction is
possible:
now and
and again,
again, based
some known
known facts,
facts, we
we can
extrapolate
now
based upon
upon some
can extrapolate
back
to some
some fact
fact yet
yet unconfirmed,
unconfirmed, which
which later
later can
corroborated
back to
can be
be corroborated
when
new historical
historical sources
sources are
are discovered
discovered or
or when
when sources
sources already
already
when new
known
are studied
studied from
from aa novel
novel viewpoint.
viewpoint. Such
Such moments
moments in
in the
the lives
known are
lives
of historians
check of
of the
the correctness
correctness of
of their
their concepts
concepts and
and
of
historians provide
provide aa check
induce them
to continue
continue their
induce
them to
their labors.
labors.
We
have always
always proceeded
proceeded and
and are
are still
still proceeding
proceeding first
first from
from the
the
We have
universal concept
concept that
that any
any material
material process
process is
is governed
governed by
by certain
certain dedeuniversal
velopmental laws and
and that
that fact
fact must
must also
also be
true of
of the
the historical
historical proprovelopmentallaws
be true

General
General Outline
Outline

57

cess
cess (always
(always taking
taking into
into account,
account, of
of course,
course, various
various fluctuations,
fluctuations, some
some
of
And, second,
of which
which are
are important).
important). And,
second, we
we proceed
proceed from
from the
the concept
concept
of
of aa dialectic
dialectic connection
connection between
between productive
productive forces
forces and
and the
the relationrelationships
in production:
ships in
production: the
the productive
productive forces
forces tend
tend to
to develop
develop to
to aa limit;
limit;
and
by creatand when
when this
this limit
limit has
has been
been reached,
reached, it
it is
is sharply
sharply overcome
overcome by
creating
including the
ing new
new relationships
relationships in
in production,
production, including
the formation
formation of
of new
new
social classes
classes and
and the
the destruction
destruction and
and disappearance
disappearance of
of the
the old
old ones.
ones.
social
Studying
Studying the
the process
process of
of history,
history, the
the generation
generation of
of historians
historians born
born in
in
the 1900s
1900s to
to 1920s
1920s made
made certain
certain typical,
typical, systematic
systematic errors.
errors. Thus,
Thus, for
for
the
instance, despite
despite many
many warnings
warnings by
the greatest
greatest thinkers
thinkers that
that develdevelinstance,
by the
opment
much more
more dynamic
opment does
does not
not occur
occur linearly
linearly but
but according
according to
to much
dynamic
laws, we
we yielded
yielded in
in the
past to
to the
the positivist
positivist illusion
illusion that
that progress
is aa
laws,
the past
progress is
constant movement
constant
movement (admittedly,
(admittedly, not
not uniform,
uniform, but
but by
by fits
fits and
starts)
and starts)
toward perfection
perfection of
of the
the society;
society; actually,
actually, the
the development
development is
is not
not
toward
from bad
to better,
only from
from less
less complex
complex to
more complex.
complex. This
This
from
bad to
better, but
but only
to more
greater complexity,
complexity, of
of course,
course, may
may manifest
itself in
in aa new
"unheard
greater
manifest itself
new "unheard
of simplicity,"
simplicity," in
in the
the words
of the
the poet
poet Pasternak.
Pasternak. Moreover,
Moreover, each
each
of
words of
natural process
process (which
(which means
means aa process
induced by
by inherent
inherent contracontranatural
process induced
dictions) is
is an
an immanent
immanent process,
process, and
and it
it cannot
cannot be
be related
to ethical
ethical
dictions)
related to
categories, as,
as, for
for instance,
instance, the
the assertion
assertion that
that each
each new
new formation
formation of
of aa
categories,
mode
of production
more good
good to
to more
more people.
people.
mode of
production means
means more
Thus,
simThus, contrary
contrary to
to facts
facts in
in evidence,
evidence, but
but in
in accordance
accordance with
with aa simplified concept
concept of
of progress,
progress, we
we again
again and
and again
again stated
stated in
in lectures
lectures and
and
plified
textbooks that
that the
European Middle
not simply
simply represent
textbooks
the European
Middle Ages
Ages did
did not
represent aa
change and
and aa complication
complication of
of the
the social
social mechanism
mechanism but
but that
that it
it consticonstichange
tuted direct
direct progress
progress in
in the
the sense
sense of
of an
an improvement
improvement in
the living
living
tuted
in the
conditions and
and morals
morals of
of aa greater
greater percentage
percentage of
of people
inside the
the
conditions
people inside
99
socium.
socium.
The
progress from
The same
same mistake
mistake was
was made
made for
for ancient
ancient society:
society: the
the progress
from
primitive
to slave-owning
slave-owning society
society did
did not,
not, of
of course,
course, consist
consist in
in the
the
primitive to
betterment
but rather
betterment of
of living
living conditions
conditions for
for the
the majority,
majority, but
rather only
only for
for
the minority.
minority. Nor
was there
there improvement
improvement in
in the
the mechanisms
conthe
Nor was
mechanisms conimmanent development
ducive
ducive to
to the
the further
further immanent
development of
of productive
productive forces.
forces.
Moreover,
progress in
Moreover, we
we forgot
forgot to
to keep
keep in
in mind
mind that
that progress
in the
the positivist
positivist
sense
namely, the
sense would
would contradict
contradict natural
natural laws;
laws; namely,
the second
second law
law of
of therthermodynamics. Obviously,
Obviously, any
any progressing
progressing development
development presupposes
presupposes
modynamics.
losses, to
to which
which we
we did
did not
give the
the attention
attention they
they deserve.
deserve.
losses,
not give
It is
is evident
evident that
that the
the process
process of
of socioeconomic
socioeconomic development
development is
is not
not
It
fully uniform,
uniform, and
and within
within it
it we
we can
can trace
trace certain
certain specific
specific ways
ways of
of develdevelfully
opment. In
In antiquity,
antiquity, these,
these, to
to aa very
very considerable
considerable degree,
degree, were
were deterdeteropment.
9.
9. Any
Any sufficiently
sufficiently closed
closed social
social group-a
groupa family,
family, aa clan,
clan, aa professional
professional group,
group, aa
class, the
the entire
entire society
society inside
inside aa certain
certain state,
state, etc.-is
etc.is called
called aa socium.
socium.
class,

58

I. M. Diakonoff
Diakonoff
/.

mined by
ecological conditions.
conditions. However,
However, the
diversity of
of the
the historical
historical
mined
by ecological
the diversity
process
is not
not limited
limited to
to these
these ways
ways of
of development.
development. This
This diversity
diversity
process is
should not,
not, on
on the
the other
other hand,
hand, be
be regarded
regarded as
as absolute,
absolute, and
and history
history
should
should not
be regarded
regarded (as
(as is
is often
often the
the case
case in
in the
as the
the inexinexnot be
the West)
West) as
should
plicable,
irregular, and
and erratic
erratic kaleidoscopic
kaleidoscopic vibration
vibration of
of phenomena.
phenomena.
plicable, irregular,
Behind the
the peculiarities,
the common
common features
features can
can always
always be
be traced;
traced;
Behind
peculiarities, the
namely, the
the dialectics
dialectics of
of productive
forces and
and relationships
in pronamely,
productive forces
relationships in
production. These
These common
common features
features determine
determine the
the general
generalflow
of the
the
flow of
duction.
historical process.
process.
historical
However, we
we would
would not
not have
fulfilled our
our duty
duty as
as historians
historians if
if we
have fulfilled
we
However,
did not
not also
also take
take into
into account
account peculiarities
thedevelopment
developmentofofparpardid
peculiarities ininthe
ticular
societies. It
It is
is our
our obvious
obvious duty
duty to
to be
be able
able to
to explain
explain and-in
andin
ticular societies.
the future-to
futureto predict
them. Meanwhile,
Meanwhile, there
there are
are aa number
number of
of phethe
predict them.
phenomena
very essenti!ll
essential to
the understanding
understanding of
of history
that we
we still
still do
do
nomena very
to the
history that
not
know how
how to
to explain.
explain. The
The more
more complicated
complicated the
the society,
society, the
the more
more
not know
such phenomena
exist.
such
phenomena exist.
For instance,
we may
may notice
that events
For
instance, we
notice that
events that
that we
we usually
usually associate
associate
with the
the passage
from one
one socioeconomic
socioeconomic formation
formation to
to another
another not
not
passage from
with
uncommonly occur
uncommonly
occur either
either after
after or
or far
far before
before the
the full
full development
development of
of
the critical
critical situation
situation in
in the
forces and
and rethe
the relation
relation between
between productive
productive forces
relationships in
in production.
Thus, in
in English
history, the
critical situasituaproduction. Thus,
English history,
the critical
lationships
tion developed
developed in
in the
industrial revolution
of the
the late
late eighteenth
eighteenth and
and
tion
the industrial
revolution of
early nineteenth
centuries. However,
However, on
on the
the one
one hand,
the bourgeois
bourgeois
early
nineteenth centuries.
hand, the
revolution,
took aa religious
form, occurred
occurred in
in England
England more
more
revolution, which
which took
religious form,
than aa century
century earlier,
earlier, and,
and, on
on the
the other,
other, the
the capitalist
capitalist class
class gained
gained
than
power
(in quite
quite practical
practical forms)
forms) as
as late
late as
as the
middle of
of the
the nineteenth
nineteenth
the middle
power (in
century.
century.
Similar examples
examples could
could easily
easily be
cited from
from ancient
ancient history.
history. It
It is
is not
not
Similar
be cited
easy to
determine where
where the
the border
border between
between early
early and
and late
late antiquity
antiquity
easy
to determine
lies, and
and it
it is
is perhaps
still more
more difficult
difficult to
to discover
discover where
antiquity
perhaps still
where antiquity
lies,
ends and
and the
the Middle
Middle Ages
Ages begin.
It is
is even
even more
more difficult
difficult to
to synsynends
begin. It
chronize the
critical phenomena
phenomena in
in the
the socioeconomic
socioeconomic sphere
sphere with
with
chronize
the critical
those in
in the
the sphere
sphere of
of ideas
ideas and
and emotions.
emotions. For
For instance,
instance, we
we have
have not
not
those
satisfactorily explained
explained such
such phenomena
phenomena as
as the
the unexpected
leap in
in
satisfactorily
unexpected leap
the development
development of
of Greek
Greek culture
culture in
in the
the eighth
eighth to
to fifth
fifth centuries
centuries B.C.;
the
B.C.;
the failure
failure of
of some
some religious
religious movements,
such as
as the
religious reforms
reforms
the
movements, such
the religious
of Akhenaton
Akhenaton in
in the
the New
Kingdom of
of Egypt;
Egypt; and
and the
success of
of other
other
of
New Kingdom
the success
movements that
that have
substantially changed
changed not
only the
the appearance
appearance
movements
have substantially
not only
of some
some particular
societies but
but even
even the
the motion
of the
historical
of
particular societies
motion of
the historical
process
itself (e.g.,
(e.g., the
the conquest
conquest of
of the
East, North
North Africa,
and
the Near
Near East,
Africa, and
process itself
Central Asia
Asia by
by Islam
Islam in
in the
early Middle
Middle Ages;
the importance
importance of
of
Central
the early
Ages; the
Buddhism for
for the
early Indian
Indian Empire
Empire and
and of
of Zoroastrianism
Zoroastrianism for
for the
the
Buddhism
the early
early Iranian
Iranian Empire,
Empire, an
an importance
importance that
that had
disappeared by
the end
end
early
had disappeared
by the

General Outline

59
59

of
of the
the ancient
ancient or
or the
the beginning
beginning of
of the
the medieval
medieval epoch;
epoch; or
or the
the correlacorrelation between
between the
the emergence
emergence of
of feudal
feudal socioeconomic
socioeconomic conditions
conditions in
in
tion
the late
late Roman
Roman Empire
Empire and
and the
the rise
rise of
of Christianity).
Christianity). Late
Late antiquity
antiquity is
the
is
particularly replete
particularly
replete with
with examples
examples of
of this
this sort
sort that
that the
the historian
historian must
must
confront and
attempt to
to understand.
understand.
confront
and attempt
As
As the
the societies
societies oflate
of late antiquity
antiquity developed,
developed, the
the traditional
traditional ideologies
ideologies
everywhere proved
proved to
to be
be no
no longer
longer adequate
adequate for
for fulfilling
fulfilling the
the needs
needs
everywhere
of the
the more
more complicated
complicated socia.
of
socia.These
Theseinherited
inheritedtraditional
traditionalideologies
ideologies
proved
be insufficient
proved to
to be
insufficient even
even for
for supplying
supplying the
the self-governing
self-governing cities
cities
with
ideological base
base for
for their
their special
with an
an ideological
special position
position within
within the
the empire.
empire.
Unavoidably,
Unavoidably, they
they were
were transformed.
transformed. Also
Also outside
outside the
the cities,
cities, an
an ideoideological
logical crisis
crisis was
was felt
felt everywhere,
everywhere, and
and everywhere
everywhere there
there arose
arose new
new ethiethicodogmatic
codogmatic doctrines.
doctrines. At
At first,
first, they
they did
did not
not repudiate
repudiate the
the earlier
earlier
religious traditions
traditions but
but were
superimposed on
on them.
them. Sometimes
Sometimes these
these
religious
were superimposed
with time
time they
they not
doctrines
doctrines did
did not
not even
even acquire
acquire aa religious
religious form.
form. But
But with
not
only developed
developed into
into dogmatic
dogmatic religions
religions but
but also
also began
began to
to fix
fix in
in writing
writing aa
only
canon
for all
all believers
(thus, Zoroastrianism,
Jainism, BudBudcanon obligatory
obligatory for
believers (thus,
Zoroastrianism, Jainism,
dhism, the
the different
different and
and constantly
constantly renewing
forms of
of BrahmanismBrahmanismdhism,
renewing forms
Hinduism, Confucianism,
Confucianism, Taoism,
Taoism, Manichaeism,
Manichaeism, and
and the
the doctrines
doctrines
Hinduism,
growing
out of
of JudaismChristianity
later, Islam,
Judaism-Christianity and,
and,later,
Islam, etc.).
etc.).
growing out
The
changes
The historian
historian finds
finds it
it more
more and
and more
more difficult
difficult to
to deduce
deduce the
the changes
in social
in
social structure
structure and
and the
the differences
differencesamong
amongsocieties
societiesdirectly
directlyand
andimimmediately
the forces
hence, from
mediately from
from changes
changes in
in the
forces of
of production
production and,
and, hence,
from
changes
relationships in
not infrequently
changes in
in relationships
in production.
production. Differences
Differences not
infrequently
appear
by an
appear among
among societies
societies that
that are
are characterized
characterized by
an approximately
approximately
similar
production (or
similar level
level of
of production
(or at
at aa similar
similar typological
typological stage
stage of
of develdevelopment) or,
or, in
words, among
opment)
in other
other words,
among societies
societies where
where one
one would
would expect
expect
but does
not, find
to, but
to,
does not,
find roughly
roughly similar
similar developments
developments with
with respect
respect to
to
their
their ideology.
ideology.
It
process of
It is
is evident
evident that
that between
between aa critical
critical situation
situation in
in the
the process
of the
the
development
productive forces
development of
of the
the productive
forces and
and their
their result
result in
in the
the form
form of
of
changes
there has
changes in
in social
social structure
structure there
has to
to occur
occur aa crisis
crisis in
in social
social psycholpsychology, in
in the
motivation of
of actions.
actions. What
What had
had once
once
ogy,
the mass
mass psychological
psychological motivation
been
have become
become both
both possible
been impossible
impossible must
must now
now have
possible and
and desirable,
desirable,
and what
what had
had been
been possible
possible must
must now
now be
be condemned
condemned by
by the
the society.
society. It
It
and
is only
only then
then that
that social
social masses
masses are
are brought
brought into
into action,
action, and
and society
society itis
itchanged.
self is
self
is changed.
An
An idea
idea becomes
becomes aa material
material force
force as
as soon
soon as
as it
it takes
takes possession
possession of
of
mass
However, there
in mass
mass conmass consciousness.
consciousness. However,
there is
is never
never aa vacuum
vacuum in
consciousness; and
and typically,
typically, this
this consciousness,
consciousness, filled
filled with
with traditional
traditional
sciousness;
concepts, does
does not
not induce
induce the
the masses
masses to
to actions
actions directed
directed toward
toward social
social
concepts,
If the
in the
in the
change. If
the masses
masses are
are to
to act
act in
the direction
direction of
of aa change
change in
the
change.
conditions of
of their
their existence,
existence, it
it is
is necessary
necessary that
that the
the dominant
dominant psychoconditions
psycho-

60
6o

/.
I. M. Diakonoff
Diakonoff

logical tendency
preservation should
logical
tendency of
of preservation
shouldbebechanged
changedbybya apsychological
psychological
Also,the
thevery
verystrong
stronghuman
humantendency
tendency
tendency
toward development.
development. Also,
tendency toward
of imitation
imitation("I
("I do
doasaseveryone
everyoneelse
elsedoes")
does")must
mustbe
beovercome,
overcome,and
and aa
of
new suggested
suggested model
of behavior
should be
be accepted
accepted by
the human
human
new
model of
behavior should
by the
mass for
for imitation.
imitation.
mass
The science
of psychology
psychology has
has shown
that the
the need
to imitate
beThe
science of
shown that
need to
imitate bemainly in
First, imitation
comes
comes absolutely
absolutely dominant
dominant mainly
in two
two cases.
cases. First,
imitation is
is part
part
of
process of
mastering social
of the
the process
process of
of education
education (or
(or the
the process
of mastering
social skills
skills
and
habits) and
and habits)
and occurs
occurs in
in the
the form
form of
of direct
direct imitation
imitation of
of adult
adult actions
actions
or in
in the
the form
form of
of children's
children's play
play involving,
involving, especially,
especially, the
the emotional
emotional
or
and even
even artistic
artistic spheres.
spheres. Second,
Second, imitation
imitation will
will occur
occur in
in aa critical
critical
and
situation to
the individual
individual cannot
cannot confer
confer meaning
meaning by
by respondrespondsituation
to which
which the
ing independently
independently ("If
("If you
do not
do, do
as everyone
everyone
ing
you do
not know
know what
what to
to do,
do as
else does").
does"). However,
However, the
need to
imitate is
is not
only in
in these
these
the heed
to imitate
not present
present only
else
two cases;
cases; rather,
rather, it
it is
is always
always present,
sometimes to
degree.
two
present, sometimes
to aa high
high degree.
This need
need actually
actually remains
remains in
in the
the background
background no
no matter
matter what
motiThis
what motivates people
to act.
act. (However,
(However, it
it is
is important
important to
to distinguish
distinguish the
the situasituavates
people to
tions when
this background
background is,
is, as
as it
it were,
were, jammed
jammed or
or negated
negated by
by less
less
tions
when this
constant
more demanding
demanding needs.)
needs.)
but more
constant but
The considerable
considerable strength
the need
to imitate
been shown
The
strength of
of the
need to
imitate has
has been
shown in
in
the well-known
well-known experiment
with the
triangle. In
the
experiment with
the lozenge
lozenge and
and the
the triangle.
In the
the
experiment, forty-one
forty-one people
people (forty
(forty of
of whom
secret, one
one of
of
experiment,
whom know
know the
the secret,
whom does
does not)
not) are
are shown
shown diverse
diverse geometrical
geometrical figures
figures on
on aa display
display
whom
board.
time, everybody
everybody must
quickly name
the figure.
figure. All
All are
are
board. Each
Each time,
must quickly
name the
unanimous
the experimenter
experimenter shows
shows aa rhombus,
and the
warned
unanimous until
until the
rhombus, and
the warned
people
"Triangle." Only
the test
test subject
subject says,
says, "Lozenge."
"Lozenge." The
The expeople cry,
cry, "Triangle."
Only the
experiment
and after
after aa time,
time, aa lozenge
again appears
appears on
on the
the
periment continues,
continues, and
lozenge again
board,
and again
again everyone
everyone who
informed cries,
cries, "Triangle!"
"Triangle!"
board, and
who has
has been
been informed
Eventually the
the sole
sole dissenter,
dissenter, who
asserted that
seen aa lozenge,
lozenge,
who asserted
that he
he had
had seen
Eventually
gives up.
up. Of
Of dozens
dozens tested,
tested, only
only very
few continue
continue to
that
very few
to maintain
maintain that
gives
the
figure is
is aa lozenge
lozenge (if
(if the
the experiment
experiment goes
goes on
on long
long enough).
enough). Thus,
Thus,
the figure
for the
the majority
need for
for imitation
imitation is
is stronger
stronger than
the need
need for
for
for
majority the
the need
than the
cognition of
of new
new objects.
objects. This
This is
is only
only natural,
because the
the one
one who
who
cognition
natural, because
conducts the
the described
described case)
propagandist
the experiment
experiment (in
(in the
case) or
or the
the propagandist
conducts
(as
in
actual
history)
does
not
appeal
to
reason,
which
does
not enter
enter
(as in actual history) does not appeal to reason, which does not
into
play
at
all,
but
to
the
emotions.
This
is
why
new
ideas
created
in
into play at all, but to the emotions. This is why new ideas created in
the
rational
sphere
have
such
difficulty
in
gaining
recognitionas
the rational sphere have such difficulty in gaining recognition-as
long as
as they
remain purely
If traditional
traditional ideas
ideas continue
continue to
to
long
they remain
purely rational.
rational. If
dominate the
the emotions,
emotions, owing
owing to
to some
some objective
objective historical
conditions,
dominate
historical conditions,
new ideology
ideology will
will not
not be
be accepted,
accepted, even
even if
if it
it is
is adequate
adequate and
and approapproaa new
priate
changed conditions
in the
forces. If
If it
it succeeds,
succeeds, it
it
priate to
to changed
conditions in
the productive
productive forces.
is because
the new
ideology has
itself or
or evolved
evolved from
from aa
is
because the
new ideology
has transformed
transformed itself
system primarily
of conscious
conscious reasoning
one of
of emotional
emotional agitation.
reasoning to
to one
agitation.
system
primarily of
This is
is why
why Robespierre
was aa follower
follower of
of Rousseau,
Rousseau, not
of Voltaire;
This
Robespierre was
not of
Voltaire;

General Outline

61
61

all
all the
the skeptical
skeptical encyclopaedists
encyclopaedists appealed
appealed to
to reason,
reason, whereas
whereas RousRousseau appealed
appealed to
to emotion.
emotion.
seau
But
many times
But what
what is
is true
true of
of Robespierre
Robespierre is
is many
times truer
truer of
of those
those who
who
motivated and
and activated
activated the
the soda
of primitive
primitive and
and ancient
ancient societies.
societies.
socia of
motivated
The traditional
traditional ideologies
ideologies of
of early
early antiquity
antiquity were
were mythologies,
mythologies, so
so here
here
The
the historian
historian has
deal with
so-called mythological
mentality.
the
has to
to deal
with the
the so-called
mythological mentality.
The
The twentieth
twentieth century
century has
has witnessed
witnessed aa great
great and
and manifold
manifold interest
interest
in
mythological ways
but historians,
accusin myths
myths and
and mythological
ways of
of thought,
thought, but
historians, accustomed as
as they
they are
are to
to documented
documented facts,
facts, find
find it
it difficult
difficult to
to agree
agree with
with
tomed
has been
this topic.
L. Levy-Bruhl
most
most of
of what
what has
been said
said and
and written
written on
on this
topic. L.
Levy-Bruhl
treated
primitive mentality
prelogical, as
logitreated primitive
mentality as
as prelogical,
as opposed
opposed to
to modern
modern logical mentality;
mentality; but
but he
he was
was unable
unable to
to explain
explain why
why primitive
primitive people
people with
with
cal
their prelogical
prelogical mentality
mentality could
could achieve
achieve sensible
sensible results
results in
in their
their activitheir
activities.
ties. S.
S. Freud
Freud attempted
attempted to
to construct
construct aa system
system of
of emotional
emotional psycholpsychology,
psychology, but
was not
based on
ogy, also
also social
social psychology,
but his
his system
system was
not based
on the
the
physiology
physiology of
of the
the brain
brain and
and contained
contained much
much that
that was
was subjective
subjective and
and
one-sided.
one-sided. Instead
Instead of
of this,
this, C.
C. G.
G. Jung
Jung was
was aa proponent
proponent of
of aa mystical
mystical
system
the mechasystem that
that included
included collective
collective psychological
psychological archetypes,
archetypes, the
mechanism of
of which
which (i.e.,
(i.e., how
how it
it functioned)
functioned) cannot,
cannot, apparently,
apparently, be
be specified
specified
nism
in strictly
strictly logical
logical terms.
terms. C.
Levi-Strauss attempted
attempted to
to lay
lay bare
bare the
the gengenC. Levi-Strauss
in
erallaws
eral laws of
of the
the structure
structure of
of the
the mind,
mind, and
and his
his binary
binary oppositions
oppositions seem
seem
to actually
actually have
have aa physical
physical basis.
basis. However,
However, Levi-Strauss
Levi-Strauss and,
and, espeespeto
cially, his
his epigones
epigones operate
operate with
with "concepts"
"concepts" supposedly
supposedly existing
existing in
in the
the
cially,
mythological
such as
as the
the concept
concept of
of "above
"above and
and below"
below" or
or
mythological mentality,
mentality, such
of "the
"the universal
universal vertical."
vertical." In
this, they
they resort
resort to
to terms
terms of
of rational
rational
of
In this,
logic, which
which was
was certainly
certainly alien
alien to
to primitive
primitive humanity.
humanity. Where
Where there
there is
is
logic,
concept, there
there inevitably
inevitably must
must exist
exist aa word
word expressing
expressing the
the concept.
concept.
aa concept,
However, Levi-Strauss's
Levi-Strauss's concepts
concepts cannot
cannot be
be expressed
expressed in
in terms
terms of
of any
any
However,
language of
of early
early antiquity,
antiquity, which
which is
is sufficient
sufficient proof
that the
the ancients
ancients
proof that
language
we understand
understand them
them as
logical
actually did
did not
not have
have such
such concepts
concepts (if
(if we
as logical
actually
categories). At
At the
the level
level of
of mythological
mythological mentality,
mentality, generalizations
generalizations are
are
categories).
made not
not by
evolving abstract
abstract notions
notions and
and corresponding
corresponding terms
terms but
but
made
by evolving
through tropes,
tropes, mainly
mainly image-inducing
image-inducing metonymies.
metonymies. Such
Such aa genergenerthrough
alization is
is always
always emotional;
emotional; that
that is,
is, it
it induces
induces to
to action
action certain
certain brain
brain
alization
structures, but
but not
not those
those that
that govern
govern verbal
verbal formulations.
formulations. Therefore,
Therefore,
structures,
such generalizations,
generalizations, seen
seen from
from the
the logical
logical point
point of
of view,
view, are
are exexsuch
tremely
vague.
When
speaking
of
primitive
people
and
the
people
of
tremely vague. When speaking of primitive people and the people of
early
antiquity,
we
should
not
make
statements
in
terms
of
concepts
early antiquity, we should not make statements in terms of concepts
but in
in terms
terms of
of metonymic
metonymic chains
chains and
and bundles
bundles of
of images.
images.
but
Until early
human mentality
mentality could
could not
not operate
operate with
with forforUntil
early antiquity,
antiquity, human
mulated
logical concepts:
concepts: they
they cannot
cannot be
be found
found in
in the
the texts,
texts, and
and they
they
mulated logical
did
But even
did not
not exist
exist in
in the
the languages.
languages. But
even when
when they
they had
had been
been develdeveloped, Aristotle
Aristotle and
and the
the other
other great
great thinkers
thinkers of
of antiquity
antiquity labored
labored only
only
oped,
for
for aa minority,
minority, and
and it
it was
was not
not their
their ideas
ideas that
that were
were to
to move
move the
the souls
souls of
of

62

I. M. Diakonoff
Diakonoff

the masses.
masses. In
In the
the last
last century,
century, scientists
scientists and
and scholars
scholars of
of many
many nations
nations
the
have written
written on
on the
the history
of ideas,
ideas, but
if we
we want
want to
to understand
the
history of
but if
understand the
have
mechanisms of
of history,
history, we
we need
need aa history
of emotions.
emotions.
mechanisms
history of
In order
order for
for aa new
new idea
idea to
gain acceptance
acceptance in
in society,
society, the
the one
one who
who
In
to gain
promotes it
must resort
resort to
propaganda. This
was first
promotes
it must
to propaganda.
This term
term was
first introduced
introduced
by
the Roman
Roman Catholic
the Counter-Reformation.
by the
Catholic church
church during
during the
Counter-Reformation. (In
(In
1622
1622 Pope
Pope Gregory
Gregory XV
XV established
established the
the Roman
Roman Congregation
Congregation of
of the
the
Propaganda
Propaganda of
of the
the Faith.)
Faith.) But
But we
we shall
shall now
now use
use this
this term
term in
in aa broad
broad
sense to
to mean
mean the
the spreading
spreading of
of controversial
controversial ideas.
ideas. Obviously,
Obviously, when
when
sense
no one
one disagrees,
disagrees, there
there is
is place
for ritual
ritual but
but not
not for
for propaganda.
propaganda.
no
place for
(Such was
the case
case of
of the
the traditional
traditional mentality
mentality in
in the
epoch
(Such
was the
the primitive
primitive epoch
and in
in early
early antiquity.)
antiquity.) Propaganda
Propaganda presupposes
presupposes aa struggleeither
and
struggle-either
against tradition
or against
against another
another propaganda.
Already in
in ancient
ancient
against
tradition or
propaganda. Already
times, propaganda
propaganda was
was not
not necessarily
necessarily religious:
religious: one
one could
could generate
generate
times,
propaganda about
about royalty,
royalty, aa dynasty,
dynasty, or
or an
an empire.
empire. But
But whether
whether or
or
propaganda
not the
the propaganda
was successful
successful (in
(in the
the historical
historical situations
situations of
of anannot
propaganda was
tiquity) depended
depended on
on the
the extent
extent to
to which
which it
it penetrated
and affected
affected
penetrated and
tiquity)
the sphere
sphere of
of social
social emotions.
emotions.
the
The
propaganda acts
The fact
fact that
that propaganda
acts mainly
mainly in
in the
the sphere
sphere of
of emotions
emotions can
can
be
seen from
from the
the simple
simple fact
fact that
that the
card of
of any
any propaganda
propaganda is
the trump
trump card
is
be seen
justice and
justice
and fairriess.
fairness. One
One of
of the
the most
most important
important statements
statements of
of an
an ananwas
cient
king when
cient Oriental
Oriental king
when propagandizing
propagandizing in
in favor
favor of
of his
his royalty
royalty was
the
justice, kittum
kittum uu miSarum.
misarum.Of
Of
the claim
claim that
that he
he advocated
advocated fairness
fairness and
and justice,
course, in
in different
different historical
epochs, there
there were
were different
different notions
notions of
of
course,
historical epochs,
what
just and
and fair:
fair: thus,
thus, what
what was
was meant
meant by
by justice
justice and
and fairness
fairness in
in
what was
was just
ancient
on incurred
incurred debts,
debts, the
safety
moratorium on
the safety
ancient Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia was
was aa moratorium
of family
landholdings, and
and so
so on.
on. In
In any
any event,
event, agitation
agitation for
for justice
of
family landholdings,
justicein this
this and
and all
all similar
similar cases-involved
casesinvolved an
an impact
impact upon
the emotional
emotional
in
upon the
sphere; modern
modern psychophysiologists
psychophysiologists know
need for
for justice
is insphere;
know that
that aa need
justice is
inherent
the physiology
emotions.
herent in
in the
physiology of
of human
human emotions.
It
be possible
possible to
to cite
soIt would
would be
cite many
many more
more examples
examples showing
showing how
how sothe historian
who tries
tries to
to explain
cial psychology
psychology may
may aid
cial
aid the
historian who
explain certain
certain
situations
why the
the pupils
pupils of
situations of
of social
social history;
history; for
for example,
example, why
of Socrates
Socrates
and Jesus
Jesus were
mostly unmarried
such examples
examples would
and
were mostly
unmarried men.
men. But
But such
would ococcupy too
too much
much space;
space; this
this book
is not
special monograph,
and here
here
book is
not aa special
monograph, and
cupy
we aim
pointing out
out some
possible new
new directions
directions of
we
aim only
only at
at pointing
some possible
of historical
historical
research.
research.
To sum
sum up,
up, aa modern
historian of
antiquity is
is confronted
confronted with
the
To
modern historian
of antiquity
with the
problem
social psychology.
It follows
follows from
from the
above that
explain
problem of
of social
psychology. It
the above
that to
to explain
social events
events and
and social
social changes
antiquity, one
one must
limit oneonesocial
changes in
in antiquity,
must not
not limit
self
to
studies
in
the
history
of
material
culture
and
the
history
of
soself to studies in the history of material culture and the history of social structures
structures and
and machinery,
machinery, but
one should
should also
apply historical
historical
cial
but one
also apply
social psychology.
psychology.
social
Of
has been
been obvious
long time.
However, here
here we
we
Of course,
course, this
this has
obvious for
for aa long
time. However,

General Outline
General
Outline

63

encounter aa serious
serious difficulty:
difficulty: up
up to
to the
the present,
present, social
psychology has
has
encounter
social psychology
been
an experimental
experimental science,
science, so
so that
methods were
inapplicable to
to
been an
that its
its methods
were inapplicable
history.
history.
It seems
seems to
to us
us that
that aa possible
way to
to surmount
surmount this
difficulty lies
in
It
possible way
this difficulty
lies in
an
psychology-and, first
all,
an orientation
orientation toward
toward such
such features
features of
of psychologyand,
first of
of all,
such
needs-that are
unavoidably present
present in
such emotional
emotional needsthat
are unavoidably
in humanity
humanity as
as aa
species: those
those that
are always
always present
present to
to aa greater
greater or
or lesser
lesser degree,
degree, in
in
species:
that are
one form
form or
or another,
another, independent
independent of
of the
the current
current social
social environment.
environment.
one
It is,
is, of
of course,
course, precisely
precisely the
social environment
environment that
that determines
determines the
the
It
the social
concrete form
form of
these psychological
studying ideolconcrete
of these
psychological features.
features. In
In studying
ideology, one
one should
should be
required to
to separate
separate the
the psychologically
psychologically universal
universal
ogy,
be required
(whether hyptertrophied
hyptertrophied or
or depressed)
depressed) from
from the
distinctive: those
those de(whether
the distinctive:
determined by
by social
social factors
factors limited
limited in
in space
space or
or in
in time
time or
or by
by ecological
ecological
termined
factors, and
and so
so on.
on. Thus,
Thus, for
for example,
example, it
it probably
probably will
be particularly
particularly
factors,
will be
important to
to sort
sort out
out the
the local
local and
and temporally
temporally limited
limited factors
factors relevant
relevant
important
for the
study of
of the
the ancient
ancient Egyptian
Egyptian religion;
religion; here
here one
one should
should estabfor
the study
establish what
is not
not universal
for humanity,
and, not
not restricting
oneself
lish
what is
universal for
humanity, and,
restricting oneself
just
stating what
what is
is distinctive,
distinctive, one
one should
should attempt
attempt to
to explain
explain it
it by
just to
to stating
by
the
certain impacts
impacts (I.
(I. P.
P. Pavlov
have
the presence
presence or
or absence
absence of
of certain
Pavlov would
would have
said "irritants").
"irritants").
said
In
we shall
shall have
have to
the factors
In general,
general, we
to treat
treat the
factors of
of ideology
ideology and
and culture
culture
not in
in themselves
by taking
taking account
account of
of what
what psychological
needs
not
themselves but
but by
psychological needsemotional,
by these
emotional, above
above all-were
allwere satisfied
satisfied by
these factors
factors or,
or, contrariwise,
contrariwise,
suppressed
by them.
them. Especially,
Especially, the
the impact
will have
have to
suppressed by
impact of
of propaganda
propaganda will
to
itself, but
but as
as aa response
response to
to the
input of
of traditional
traditional
be studied
studied not
in itself,
be
not in
the input
mentality, and
mentality,
and as
as something
something inimical
inimical to
to it.
it. We
We shall
shall have
to note
note the
the
have to
historical moment
moment when
when the
struggle between
between propaganda
propaganda and
and traditradihistorical
the struggle
tion ceases
ceases and
and is
replaced by
by the
the struggle
struggle of
of more
more or
or less
less particular
or
is replaced
particular or
tion
private
interests. Moreover,
Moreover, in
in studying
studying propaganda
propaganda we
we must,
without
private interests.
must, without
fail, keep
keep in
in mind
mind the
the feedback
the propaganda
propaganda and
and the
the proprofail,
feedback between
between the
pagandists
themselves. Because
Because they
they typically
typically are
are the
the most
most staunch
staunch bepagandists themselves.
believers of
of their
their own
own propaganda,
propaganda, they
they are
are able
able to
to influence
influence and
and carry
carry
lievers
away the
the emotions
emotions of
of the
the socium.
socium. Here
Here another
another very
very strong
strong sociosocioaway
psychological
is involved;
involved; viz.,
viz., the
the need
need to
led (and
(and also
also loved
loved
psychological factor
factor is
to be
be led
and esteemed),
esteemed), which
which is
is stronger
stronger and
and more
more common
common than
than the
the need
need to
to
and
be aa leader.
leader.
be
At
present, the
history of
information on
At present,
the history
of culture
culture isa
is a collection
collection of
of information
on
science, literature,
literature, art,
art, and,
and, sometimes,
sometimes, religion
religion and,
and, very
very seldom,
seldom,
science,
everyday life.
"culture" is
is all
that, being
by society,
society,
all that,
being created
created by
everyday
life. Actually
Actually "culture"
has an
an impact
impact upon
upon society
society and
and that
that induces
induces men
and women
to sohas
men and
women to
socially valid
valid actions.
actions. It
It seems
seems to
that the
the history
history of
of culture
culture should
should be
be
cially
to us
us that
history of
of factors
factors influencing
influencing social
social psychology.
psychology. In
In order
order to
to accomaccomaa history
plish this,
this, we
we shall
shall have
have to
to regard
regard psychology
not as
as aa whole
whole but
but take
take
plish
psychology not
into account
account the
the different
different psychological
psychological (even
(even psychophysiological)
psychophysiological)
into

64

I.
Diakonoff
/. M. Diakonoff

mechanisms that
are subject
subject to
to different
impacts.Some
Someattention
attentionshould
should
mechanisms
that are
different impacts.
be
devoted to
to biological
needs, such
such as
as the
need for
for satisfying
satisfying one's
one's
be devoted
biological needs,
the need
hunger and
and the
need for
for reproduction.
reproduction. More
More attention
attention should
should be
given
hunger
the need
be given
to
social needs,
such as
as the
the need
need to
to occupy
occupy an
an important
important place
place in
in the
the
to social
needs, such
socium;the
theneed
needtotoevade
evadethe
thefrustration
frustration induced
inducedby
byan
animpact
impactfrom
from
socium;
the socium
sociumthat
thatisisperceived
perceivedtotobe
beunjust;
unjust;the
theneed
needtotobe
beled,
led,protected,
protected,
the
and secure;
secure; and
and only
only then,
then, finally,
finally, the
the need
to lead.
lead. An
An important
important
and
need to
need is
is that
that of
of cognition
cognition of
of the
the environment,
environment, including
including new
new objects,
objects,
need
both of
of the
the surrounding
surrounding phenomenal
world (which
(which develops
develops into
into sciboth
phenomenal world
science) and
and of
of the
the world
world of
of one's
one's emotional
emotional perceptions
of the
the natural
natural
ence)
perceptions of
and social
social environment
environment (which
(which develops
develops into
into art).
art). The
The dual
dual character
character
and
of the
the object
object of
of cognition
cognition is
is reflected
reflected in
in the
the duality
duality of
of cognition
cognition itself:
itself:
of
scientific cognition
cognition strives
strives to
attain and
and define
define absolute
absolute truth,
truth, which
which is
is aa
scientific
to attain
movement leading
leading to
to infinity;
infinity; whereas
whereas emotional
emotional cognition
cognition is
is subject
subject to
to
movement
"Sherrington's funnel":
funnel": the
stream of
of emotional
emotional stimuli
stimuli is
is vastly
vastly greater
greater
"Sherrington's
the stream
than the
the ability
ability of
of efferent
efferent nervous
to react
react to
to each
each single
single
than
nervous tracks
tracks to
stimulus. Hence,
Hence, comprehension
comprehension of
of truth
truth in
in art
art is
is manifested
manifested only
only in
in
stimulus.
images intended
intended to
to induce
induce the
the pertinent
undefined associations.
associations.
images
pertinent but
but undefined
The fact
fact that
that we
we will
will have
have to
to be
be oriented
oriented not
to psychology
psychology as
as aa
The
not to
whole (as
(as the
of an
an individual
individual is
is aa whole)
whole) but
but to
to specific
specificneeds
needs
whole
the mentality
mentality of
groupsofofresponses
responses
seems
important
Otherand to
to characteristic
characteristic groups
and
seems
important
to to
us.us.
Otherwise
one might
might think
think that,
that, being
being oriented
oriented to
to what
is characteristic
characteristic of
of
wise one
what is
humans as
as aa species,
species, we
we would
socially nonnonhumans
would receive
receive only
only uniform,
uniform, socially
differentiated answers,
answers, insofar
insofar as
as Homo
sapienssapiens
sapiens
a species
differentiated
Homo sapiens
as as
a species
it- itself is
is uniform.
assumption obviously
obviously would
would be
incorrect. Just
Just as
self
uniform. This
This assumption
be incorrect.
as
the
individual finds
finds thousands
thousands of
of different
different responses
responses to
the impact
impact of
of
the individual
to the
socium.Inside
Insidethe
thesocium
sociuma psychola psycholthe
environment, so
so also
also does
does the
the socium.
the environment,
ogist will
will be
able to
to show
show statistically
statistically the
that are
are more
more develthe needs
needs that
develogist
be able
oped under
under what
and those that
that are
are variable
and depend
depend
oped
what conditions
conditions and.those
variable and
upon
character of
of the
the environment-the
environmentthe social
social environment
environment in
upon the
the character
in
our
the influencing
ideour case.
case. The
The study
study of
of the
influencing factors
factors of
of culture
culture and
and of
of ideology will,
the
ology
will, correspondingly,
correspondingly, allow
allow us
us to
to predict
predict which
which centers
centers in
in the
brain will
will be
subject to
to the
the greatest
greatest impact.
By the
the character
character of
of an
an imimbrain
be subject
impact. By
pact
individual, we
assess the
pact on
on an
an individual,
we will
will be
be able
able to
to assess
the probability
probability of
of his
his
response
(if
his
typological
psychophysiological
characteristics
are
response (if his typological psychophysiological characteristics are
known from
from
known).
confronting the
of the
the socium
known). Thus,
Thus, confronting
the response
response of
socium known
history
the influencing
influencing factors
factors that
are also
also known
known from
from history,
history,
history with
with the
that are
we will
will be
able to
to assess
assess the
the statistically
statistically probable
probable mechanism
mechanism of
of the
the
we
be able
motivation for
for social
social behavior.
behavior.
motivation
Our
Our suggestions,
suggestions, formulated
formulated in
in this
this way,
way, bear
bear an
an external
external similarity
similarity
with the
the definitions
definitions of
of early
early behaviorism.
behaviorism. Thus,
Thus, J. Watson
Watson stated
stated "that
"that
with
the
the goal
goal of
of psychological
psychological study
study is
is the
the ascertaining
ascertaining of
of such
such data
data and
and
laws that,
that, given
given the
the stimulus,
stimulus, psychology
can predict
predict what
what the
the relaws
psychology can
re-

General
General Outline
Outline

65

sponse
will be;
the other
specsponse will
be; or,
or, on
on the
other hand,
hand, given
given the
the response,
response, it
it can
can specify
original).10
10
of the
the effective
effective stimulus"
stimulus" (italicized
(italicized in
in original).
ify the
the nature
nature of
This
position of
justly criticized.
has
This position
of the
the behaviorists
behaviorists has
has been
been justly
criticized. It
It has
been
been observed
observed that
that the
the behaviorists
behaviorists simply
simply do
do not
not take
take into
into account
account all
all
the intermediary
as, for
the
intermediary factors,
factors, as,
for example,
example, all
all the
the extremely
extremely complicomplicated
that do
do not
cated functions
functions of
of the
the different
different mechanisms
mechanisms of
of the
the brain
brain that
not
allow for
for aa simple
simple stimulus-response
stimulus-response correlation.
correlation. However,
However, complex
complex
allow
problems of
problems
of psychophysiology
psychophysiology lie
lie outside
outside the
the realm
realm of
of the
the humanities.
humanities.
We shall
have to
take at
We
shall have
to take
at face
face value
value the
the data
data (including
(including statistical
statistical data)
data)
that
psychology, especially
that the
the science
science of
of psychology,
especially experimental
experimental social
social psycholpsychology,
these data
must draw
ogy, furnishes
furnishes us.
us. From
From these
data we
we must
draw sufficiently
sufficiently differdifferentiated
reciprocal influence
influence of
psyon the
the reciprocal
of different
different psyentiated information
information on
chological needs;
example, information
information on
on the
the relative
relative ability,
chological
needs; for
for example,
ability,
under given
given conditions,
conditions, of
under
of certain
certain needs
needs to
to stimulate
stimulate or
or to
to suppress
suppress
other
needs. But
responses doubtless
other needs.
But the
the social
social stimuli
stimuli and
and the
the social
social responses
doubtless
lie
and
lie within
within the
the sphere
sphere of
of competence
competence of
of the
the historian
historian of
of society
society and
culture.
culture.
If we
If
we were
were to
to regard
regard from
from this
this point
point of
of view
view the
the different
different ideologiideological and
and religious
religious movements
movements of
of antiquity
since religion
is always
cal
antiquity (and
(and since
religion is
always
probably be
be
emotional,
emotional, it
it is
is always
always universally
universally ascendant),
ascendant), we
we would
would probably
able
able to
to solve
solve aa number
number of
of problems.
problems. For
For instance,
instance, why
why is
is it
it that
that some
some
the historical
historical development
development of
of aa sodoctrines have
have greatly
greatly influenced
influenced the
doctrines
society,
whereas others
others have
have quickly
quickly dwindled
dwindled to
to nonexistence?
nonexistence? We
We shall
shall
ciety, whereas
try to
to adduce
adduce aa single
single example-a
examplea very
very crude
crude one,
one, perhaps-that
perhapsthat may
may
try
the general
pure monoillustrate
illustrate the
general direction
direction of
of our
our thought.
thought. Why
Why did
did pure
monotheism take
to spread,
why did
varitheism
take such
such aa long
long time
time to
spread, and
and why
did it,
it, in
in its
its mass
mass variant,
monotheism? Even
ant, mostly
mostly appear
appear as
as aa quasi
quasi monotheism?
Even medieval
medieval Christianity
Christianity
can
be regarded
regarded as
with great
can actually
actually be
as monotheistic
monotheistic only
only with
great reservations.
reservations.
to
Why was
was Akhenaton's
Akhenaton's monotheism
monotheism (or
monotheism) doomed
Why
(or quasi
quasi monotheism)
doomed to
quick
of
quick extinction,
extinction, whereas
whereas the
the quasi
quasi monotheism
monotheism of
of Zoroaster
Zoroaster or
or of
Paul
Paul received
received widespread
widespread and
and long-lived
long-lived support?
support? To
To answer
answer that
that the
the
for monotheism
monotheism
society under
under Akhenaton
was not
not yet
enough for
society
Akhenaton was
yet mature
mature enough
is
not to
to answer
answer at
at all.
What are
the criteria
criteria of
of maturity
for mOnOmonois not
all. What
are the
maturity for
theism? Akhenaton's
Akhenaton's doctrine
was not
viable because
because itit did
did not
notevoke
evoke
theism?
doctrine was
not viable
positive emotions
emotions in
in anyone.
anyone.
positive
At
present, we
we already
At present,
already have
have some
some knowledge
knowledge about
about the
the emotional
emotional
side
of human
human cerebral
cerebral activity.
activity. Apart
Apart from
from addressing
addressing sociopsychosociopsychoside of
logical
can, in
principle, address
problems of
logical problems,
problems, one
one can,
in principle,
address problems
of how
how aa
certain
personality emerges;
how certain
say,
certain social
social personality
emerges; how
certain correlations
correlations arise,
arise, say,
of cognition
between
between the
the need
need of
cognition and
and the
the need
need to
to return
return to
to aa stable
stable place
place
from the
theStandpoint
Standpointof
ofa
Behaviorist,1st
1sted.
ed.(New
(NewYork:
York:LipLip10. J. B. Watson, Psychology
Psychology from
a Behaviorist,
pincott, 1919), p. 10.

66

/.
I. M. Diakonoff
Diakonoff

in the
the socium;
socium;the
theneed
needof
ofpreserving
preservingskills
skillsand
andhabits
habitsand
andthe
theneed
needof
of
in
acquiring new
skills; the
of self-preservation
self-preservation and
and the
of agagacquiring
new skills;
the need
need of
the need
need of
time in
the future
we are
to assess
gression. If
If at
at some
some time
in the
future we
are able
able to
assess correctly
correctly
gression.
the formative
formative sociopsychological
sociopsychological situation,
situation, we
shall, ideally,
ideally, be
able to
to
the
we shall,
be able
explain why
why this
this epoch
epoch and
and this
this nation
nation needed
needed the
the domination
domination of
of aa
explain
Chinghiz Khan,
Khan, another
another of
of aa prophet
Muhammad, while
while still
still another
another
Chinghiz
prophet Muhammad,
of an
an Ivan
Ivan the
the Terrible,
Terrible, an
an Akhenaton,
or aa Hammurapi.
Hammurapi.
of
Akhenaton, or
Meanwhile, we
our research
research in
in the
history of
Meanwhile,
we ought
ought to
to reorient
reorient our
the history
of
culture
to socioeconomic
toward the
culture (without
(without detriment
detriment to
socioeconomic research)
research) toward
the
understanding
of the
the sociopsychological
sociopsychological causes
causes and
and sociopsychologisociopsychologiunderstanding of
cal effects
effects of
of different
different cultural
cultural phenomenaabove
all, the
emotional
cal
phenomena-above all,
the emotional
effects. Furthermore,
Furthermore, there
there should
should be
be research
on the
the relations
effects.
research on
relations bebetween
and various
of propaganda.
should
tween tradition
tradition and
various types
types of
propaganda. Finally
Finally we
we should
attempt to
understand clearly
clearly the
connection between
cultural phepheattempt
to understand
the connection
between cultural
nomena
and their
substratum of
of social
social relations
relations in
in production.
production. This
This is
nomena and
their substratum
is
moving substratum
substratum that
that isis always
always receiving
receiving aa certain
certain interpretation
interpretation
aa moving
and remodeling
remodeling in
in people's
minds. In
In other
other words,
words, we
we ought
ought to
to underunderand
people's minds.
stand better
better the
the connection
of culture
culture with
with the
the dialectics
of the
stand
connection of
dialectics of
the proproductive forces
forces and
and social
social relationships
relationships in
in production.
production.
ductive
All
book we
All this
this is
is aa program
program for
for the
the future.
future. In
In this
this book
we attempt
attempt only
only
to
been done;
we
to put
put together
together what
what has
has already
already been
done; in
in this
this last
last section
section we
have just
outlined aa plan
plan of
of further
further work
work for
for the
the next
generation of
of
have
just outlined
next generation
historians.
historians.

2
2
The
The City-States
City-States of
of Sumer
Sumer
I. M. DIAKONOFF
DlAKONOFF

The Development
Development of
of Organized
Organized Irrigation
Irrigation
The
in the
the Lower
Lower Euphrates
Euphrates Valley
Valley
in
The
The Introduction
Introduction to
to this
this volume
volume described
described the
the emergence
emergence of
of the
the earearliest
particular ways
in
liest class
class societies
societies and
and the
the particular
ways in
in which
which they
they developed
developed in
the Lower
Lower Euphrates
Euphrates Valley
Valley and
and in
in the
the Nile
Valley; that
that is,
is, in
in ancient
ancient
the
Nile Valley;
Sumer and
and in
in ancient
ancient Egypt.
Now, let
let us
us analyze
analyze more
closely the
the
Sumer
Egypt. Now,
more closely
Lower Euphrates
Euphrates Valley
Valley (Lower
(Lower Mesopotamia)
Mesopotamia) in
in early
early antiquity.
antiquity.1I
Lower
We
We already
already know
know that
that this
this country
country is
is separated
separated from
from the
the rest
rest of
of the
the
Near East
East by
barely passable
passable deserts
deserts and
and that
that it
it was
was already
already inhabited
inhabited
Near
by barely
B.C. During
During the
the sixth
sixth to
to fourth
fourth millennia
millennia
during the
the sixth
sixth millennium
millennium B.C.
during
B.C. the
the tribes
tribes lived
lived here
here in
extreme poverty.
poverty. Barley,
Barley, which
which was
was sown
sown
B.C.
in extreme
on the
the narrow
narrow strip
strip of
of land
land between
between the
the marshes
marshes and
and the
the burned-out
burned-out
on
desert and
and irrigated
irrigated by
irregularly occurring
occurring floods
of varying
varying intenintendesert
by irregularly
floods of
sity, yielded
yielded sinall
small and
and fluctuating
fluctuating harvests.
harvests. Harvests
Harvests were
were greater
greater on
on
sity,
lands irrigated
irrigated by
by channels
channels dug
dug from
from the
the Diyala
Diyala River,
River, aa minor
minor tributribulands
tary
of the
the Tigris.
Tigris. It
It was
was only
only toward
middle of
of the
the fourth
fourth miltary of
toward the
the middle
millennium B.C.
B.C. that
that individual
individual community
community groups
groups managed
managed to
to create
create
lennium
drainage-irrigation systems
systems in
in the
the Euphrates
Euphrates basin.
basin.
drainage-irrigation
The Lower
Lower Euphrates
Euphrates basin
basin is
is aa wide,
wide, flat
flat plain,
plain, bordered
bordered to
to the
the
The
east
east by
by the
the Tigris,
Tigris, beyond
beyond which
which stretch
stretch the
the spurs
spurs of
of the
the Iranian
Iranian
mountains, and
and to
to the
west by
by the
the steep
steep edge
edge of
of the
Syro-Arabian
mountains,
the west
the Syro-Arabian
semidesert.
semidesert. Lacking
Lacking suitable
suitable irrigation
irrigation and
and land
land improvement,
improvement, this
this
plain
places and
plain was
was aa desert
desert in
in some
some places
and in
in others
others was
was covered
covered by
by bogs
bogs
and shallow
shallow lakes
lakes bordered
bordered by
by thickets
thickets of
of giant
giant reeds
reeds swarming
swarming with
with
and
noxious insects.
insects. Today,
Today, the
the desert
desert portion
portion is
is crossed
crossed by
by earthen
earthen banks
banks
noxious
of former
former canals.
When aa canal
canal is
operating, date
date palms
palms grow
grow along
along
of
canals. When
is operating,
the banks.
Here and
and there,
the flat
land is
is dotted
dotted by
by mounds
mounds of
of clay
the
banks. Here
there, the
flat land
clay
(tells) and
and by
bycinder
cinder mounds
mounds (ishans).
(ishans).These
Theseare
areruins
ruinsofofcities;
cities;actuactu(tells)
ally, they
they are
are the
of hundreds
of adobe
adobe houses
houses and
and temple
temple
the remains
remains of
hundreds of
ally,
towers,
and mud
that succeeded
succeeded one
antowers, reed
reed huts
huts and
mud wallsstructures
walls-structures that
one another at
the same
earliest antiquity,
antiquity, however,
were no
no
other
at the
same site.
site. In
In earliest
however, there
there were
1.
designate
1. The
The ancient
ancient Greeks
Greeks used
used the
the term
term Mesopotamia
Mesopotamiatoto
designatethetheland
landbetween
betweenthethe
Tigris
Tigris and
and the
the Euphrates
Euphrates rivers.
rivers. Today,
Today, the
the territory
territory of
of historic
historic Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia is
is part
part of
of
Turkey,
Turkey, Syria,
Syria, and
and Iraq.
Iraq. Lower
Lower Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia is
is the
the southern
southern part
part of
of present-day
present-day Iraq.
Iraq.

68

/.
I. M. Diakonoff
Diakonoff

mounds or
mounds
or banks.
banks. The
The swampy
swampy lagoons
lagoons covered
covered more
more surface
surface than
than
they do
do now,
now, stretching
stretching across
across what
what is
is now
now southern
southern Iraq;
Iraq; it
it was
only
they
was only
in the
in
the extreme
extreme south
south that
that low,
low, uninhabited
uninhabited islands
islands broke
broke up
up the
the vast
vast
lagoons. Gradually,
Gradually, the
the silt
silt from
from the
the Euphrates,
Euphrates, the
the Tigris,
Tigris, and
and the
the
lagoons.
northeast-southwest flowing
flowing Elamite
barnortheastsouthwest
Elamite rivers
rivers22 formed
formed an
an alluvial
alluvial barrier,
extended the
of the
some 120
120 kilometers
kilometers
the territory
territory of
the plain
plain by
by some
rier, which
which extended
(almost
miles) to
(almost 75
75 miles)
to the
the south.
south. Where,
Where, at
at one
one time,
time, shallow
shallow coastal
coastal bays
bays
communicated directly
directly with
with the
the Persian
Persian Gulf,
Gulf, the
the Shatt-al-Arab
Shatt-al-Arab River
communicated
River
now
The Shatt-al-Arab
Shatt-al-Arab was
formed by
the confluence
confluence of
of the
the Tiwas formed
by the
Tinow flows.
flows. The
gris and
and Euphrates,
both of
of which
which once
once had
own mouths
mouths and
Euphrates, both
had their
their own
and
gris
lagoons.
lagoons.
The
MesoThe Euphrates
Euphrates divided
divided into
into several
several branches
branches within
within Lower
Lower Mesomillennium B.C.
potamia. The
potamia.
The most
most important
important one
one in
in the
the third
third millennium
B.C. was
was
Iturungal,
Iturungal, from
from which
which the
the canal
canal I-Nina-Gena
I-Nina-Gena extended
extended to
to aa lagoon
lagoon in
in
the southeast.
southeast. The
The Tigris
Tigris flowed
further east;
east; its
its shores
shores were
were bare
bare exthe
flowed further
except where
it received
the Diyala
In the
fourth millennium
millennium
cept
where it
received the
Diyala tributary.
tributary. In
the fourth
several smaller
canals stemmed
stemmed from
from each
of the
the main
main branches
branches of
of the
the
several
smaller canals
each of
Euphrates. With
the aid
aid of
of aa system
system of
of dams
dams and
and reservoirs,
reservoirs, it
it was
was
Euphrates.
With the
possible to
to accumulate
accumulate sufficient
sufficient water
water to
irrigate the
fields throughthroughpossible
to irrigate
the fields
the entire
entire growing
growing season.
season. This
This increased
increased the
the harvest
yields and
out the
out
harvest yields
and
made
it possible
accumulate aa surplus.
surplus. It
It was
development that
that
made it
possible to
to accumulate
was aa development
led to
to the
the second
second great
great division
division of
of labor;
labor; that
that is,
is, to
to the
the segregation
segregation of
led
of
specialized trades.
trades. It
It eventually
eventually allowed
allowed class
class stratification:
stratification: aa slavespecialized
slaveowning class
class formed
formed that
could exploit
exploit slavelike
slavelike dependents
dependents (patriar(patriarowning
that could
and helots).
chal slaves
slaves and
helots).
chal
It
be mentioned
mentioned that
the extremely
labor of
It should
should be
that the
extremely strenuous
strenuous labor
of buildbuilding,
and maintaining
maintaining the
the canals-or
canalsor of
of any
any other
other earthearthing, cleaning,
cleaning, and
moving construction
generally not
moving
construction workwas
work-was generally
not performed
performed by
by slaves
slaves
but, rather,
rather, by
by community
community members
members serving
serving their
their conscription
conscription duty.3
duty.3
but,
Every
Every free
free adult
adult spent
spent an
an average
average of
of one
one or
or two
two months
months doing
doing this
this
type of
of work.
work. This
This arrangement
arrangement existed
existed throughout
throughout the
the entire
entire history
history
type
of ancient
ancient Mesopotamia.
Mesopotamia.
of
The
performed the
the main
main agriculagriculThe free
free community
community members
members also
also performed
tural
and sowing.
sowing. Those
Those individuals
individuals who
who were
were inintural work-plowing
workplowing and
vested
performed functions
vested with
with authority
authority and
and performed
functions that
that were
were considered
considered
socially
important were
were the
the only
only ones
ones who
who did
did not
not personally
personally participarticisocially important
not work
soil.
pate in
pate
in these
these duties
duties and
and did
did not
work the
the soil.
Extensive
archaeological surveys
the most
most ancient
traces of
settleExtensive archaeological
surveys of
of the
ancient traces
of settlements in
in Lower
Lower Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia show
show that
that the
the accomplishment
accomplishment of
of local
local
ments
. 2.
the Euphrates,
2. Like
Like the
the Tigris
Tigris and
and the
Euphrates, the
the Elamite
Elamite rivers
rivers discharged
discharged into
into the
the Persian
Persian
Gulf,
Gulf, though
though perpendicular
perpendicular to
to the
the other
other two.
two.
the people's
people's very
3.
work was
3. Such
Such work
was necessary
necessary for
for the
very existence.
existence. Conscription
Conscription duty
duty was
was aa
form
form of
of taxation,
taxation, much
much like
like military
military duty
duty or
or the
the regulation
regulation of
of resources
resources for
for the
the maintemainteevery tax
tax is
is exploitative.
nance
nance of
of defense;
defense; however,
however, not
not every
exploitative.

The
The City-States
City-States of
of Sumer
Sumer

69
69

land improvement
improvement and
and irrigation
irrigation systems
systems was
attended by
an influx
influx
land
was attended
by an
of inhabitants
inhabitants from
from scattered
scattered tiny
tiny villages,
villages, probably
probably made
made up
of exexof
up of
tended-family groups,
groups, into
into the
the regional,
regional, or
or nome,
nome, centers,
centers, where
where the
the
tended-family
principal temples
temples and
rich granaries
and workshops
workshops were
were situsituprincipal
and their
their rich
granaries and
ated. The
The temple
temple functioned
functioned as
as the
the collection
collection center
center for
for the
the emergency
emergency
ated.
funds of
these centers
funds
of the
the nome.
nome. From
From these
centers trading
trading agents-tamkarsagentstamkars
traveled to
to distant
distant lands
lands to
to exchange
exchange the
the grain
grain and
and textiles
textiles of
of Lower
Lower
traveled
Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia for
for the
the lumber,
lumber, metals,
metals, and
and slaves
slaves of
of other
other regions.
regions. In
In
the
the beginning
beginning of
of the
the second
second quarter
quarter of
of the
the third
third millennium,
millennium, the
the
densely
populated perimeters
perimeters of
by
densely populated
of the
the main
main temples
temples were
were encircled
encircled by
City
city walls.
walls. Somewhat
Somewhat earlier,
earlier, around
around 3000-2900,
3000-2900, the
the temple
temple econoeconowas necessary
necessary to
keep acacmies
became so
mies became
so large
large and
and complex
complex that
that it
it was
to keep
was born.
born.
counts of
of their
their activities.
In the
face of
of this
this necessity,
necessity, writing
writing was
activities. In
the face
counts
Invention
Invention of
of Writing:
Writing: the
the Protoliterate
Protoliterate Period
Period
At aa very
very early
iIi history,
history, people
people felt
to pass
pass on
At
early period
period in
felt the
the need
need to
on inforinformation
not only
only orally,
orally, from
from one
one person
another, but
but also
also across
across
person to
to another,
mation not
used special
reminding (mnemonic)
time
time and
and space.
space. For
For this,
this, they
they used
special reminding
(mnemonic)
that symbolized
signs
signs that
symbolized or
or depicted
depicted the
the objects
objects of
of significance
significance or
or signs
signs
that
We know
that called
called forth
forth corresponding
corresponding associations.
associations. We
know aa considerable
considerable
amount about
about such
such signs
signs used
used by
of the
the nineteenth
and twentwenamount
by tribes
tribes of
nineteenth and
tieth
primitive conditions,
tieth centuries
centuries A.D.
A.D. under
under primitive
conditions, but
but unfortunately,
unfortunately,
until recently
recently we
we knew
knew nothing
of those
those used
used by
Neolithic
by ancient
ancient Neolithic
until
nothing of
peoples. Some
Some years
ago, the
scholar Denise
Denise SchmandtSchmandtpeoples.
years ago,
the American
American scholar
the Neolithic
of the
Besserat discovered
that the
Neolithic population
population of
the Near
Near East
East
Besserat
discovered that
used for
for communication
communication not
not only
only objects
objects that
that primarily
primarily had
another
used
had another
purpose
(and possibly
possibly drawings
drawings in
in paint
paint or
or soot,
soot, which
which have
have long
long
purpose44 (and
since disappeared)
disappeared) but
but also
also three-dimensional
three-dimensional representations
representations of
of obsince
objects,
which have
have sometimes
sometimes been
found enclosed
enclosed in
in special
special clay
clay conconbeen found
jects, which
tainers. The
The shapes
shapes of
of these
these clay
clay three-dimensional
three-dimensional mnemonic
mnemonic signs
signs
tainers.
used for
for communicating
communicating information
information is
is very
very similar
similar to
to some
some of
of the
the
used
first Mesopotamian
Mesopotamian pictorial
pictorial signs
signs that
that already
already constitute
constitute aa closed
closed sysfirst
system
(i.e., aa script).
tem (i.e.,
script).
By the
By
the end
end of
of the
the fourth
fourth and
and beginning
beginning of
of the
the third
third millennium,
millennium,
information
passed on
information was
was passed
on through
through drawings.
drawings. They
They were
were made
made on
on
soft
corner of
edge of
soft clay
clay tablets
tablets with
with the
the corner
of the
the edge
of aa reed
reed stick's
stick's cutoff
cutoff
stump.
stump. Each
Each drawn
drawn sign
sign represented
represented either
either the
the depicted
depicted object
object itself
itself
or
or concepts
concepts associated
associated with
with the
the object.
object. For
For example,
example, aa drawing
drawing of
of
the sky
sky made
made with
with aa hatched,
hatched, arched
arched line
line meant
meant "night,"
"night," as
as well
well as
as
the
"black,"
"black," "dark,"
"dark," "darkness,"
"darkness," "ill,"
"ill," and
and so
so on.
on. Similarly,
Similarly, the
the sign
sign of
of aa
4.
For example,
might signify
we
4. For
example, aa bunch
bunch of
of arrows
arrows might
signify aa declaration
declaration of
of war.
war. Of
Of course,
course, we
are unable
unable to
to identify
identify objects
objects so
so used
used by
by preliterate
preliterate peoples.
peoples.
are

70

/.
I. M. Diakonoff
Diakonoff

foot
verbs as
foot signified
signified such
such verbs
as "to
"to go,"
go," "walk,"
"walk," "stand,"
"stand," and
and "bring."
"bring." The
The
grammatical forms
forms of
of words
words were
were not
not expressed;
expressed; it
it was
grammatical
was not
not really
really necnecessary, since
since the
the earliest
earliest documents
only numbers
numbers and
and the
the
documents recorded
recorded only
essary,
signs of
of the
the objects.
objects. It
It was
was more
more difficult
difficult to
to express
express the
the names
names of
of the
the
signs
individuals receiving
receiving or
or delivering
delivering the
the objects.
objects. Initially,
Initially, it
it was
was suffisuffiindividuals
cient to
to identify
identify them
them simply
simply by
by their
their trade:
trade: aa furnace
furnace signified
signified aa
cient
coppersmith; aa mountain
mountain (which
(which was
was the
the symbol
symbol for
for aa foreign
foreign land)
land)
coppersmith;
indicated aa slave;
slave; aa terrace(?)
terrace(?) (perhaps
(perhaps aa kind
of rostrum)
rostrum) meant
meant aa
indicated
kind of
chief priest;
priest; and
and so
so on.
on. Very
Very soon,
soon, however,
rebuses came
came into
into use:
use: if
chief
however, rebuses
if
na meant
meant "stone"
"stone" or
or "weight,"
"weight," then
sign denoting
denoting aa weight
and
na
then the
the sign
weight and
placed
that of
of aa foot
foot suggested
suggested the
the word
word gena,
gena, "walking";
"walking";and
and
placed next
next to
to that
the sign
sign for
for "heap,"
"heap," ba,
ba, placed
next to
to the
same sign
sign suggested
suggested the
the
the
placed next
the same
word guba,
"standing." At
At times,
times, the
the rebus
rebus method
method was
was used
used to
to write
write
word
guba, "standing."
entire words
words when
when their
their meaning
meaning was
was difficult
difficult to
to represent
represent pictorially.
pictorially.
entire
Thus, gi,
gi, "return,
"return, turn
turn in,"
in," was
was represented
by the
the sign
sign for
for "reed,"
"reed," gi.
gi.
Thus,
represented by
The earliest
earliest pictorial
pictorial mnemonic
mnemonic signs
signs are
are attested
attested from
from about
about 3000
3000
The
B.C., but
but it
it took
took at
at least
least 600
600 years
for this
this purely
mnemonic or
or sugsugB.C.,
years for
purely mnemonic
gestive system
system of
of sign
sign making
develop into
into an
an orderly
orderly system
system that
that
making to
to develop
gestive
could convey
convey spoken
spoken information
information over
over space
space and
and time.
time. This
This process
process
could
was
completed around
around 2400
2400 B.C.
B.C.
was completed
By
had developed
developed into
combinations of
By this
this time,
time, the
the signs
signs had
into combinations
of short,
short,
straight lines,
lines, because
it was
not possible
draw curved
curved lines
lines on
was not
possible to
to draw
on clay
clay
straight
because it
with the
the necessary
necessary speed
speed and
and without
without causing
causing accidental
accidental ridges
ridges and
and
with
other marks.
marks. This
This form
form of
of writing
made it
it difficult
difficult to
to recognize
recognize the
the
other
writing made
original drawings.
drawings. Each
Each short,
short, straight
straight line
line in
in this
system resembles
resembles aa
original
this system
wedge because
of the
angle at
at which
which the
the corner
corner of
of the
the rectangular
rectangular
the angle
wedge
because of
stick was
was pressed
pressed into
into the
the malleable
clay. Hence,
Hence, the
the term
term cuneiform
malleable clay.
cuneiform
stick
(wedge-shaped) script.
script. Each
Each cuneiform
cuneiform sign
sign could
could stand
stand for
for several
several
(wedge-shaped)
semantically related
words and,
and, for
for this
could also
also have
have sevsevthis reason,
reason, could
semantically
related words
eral phonetic
phonetic (rebus)
(rebus) values.
(The signs
signs are
are commonly
commonly referred
to as
as
referred to
eral
values. (The
syllabic. Strictly
Strictly speaking,
speaking, this
this is
is not
not correct;
correct; the
the phonetic
phonetic value
value may
may
syllabic.
babcan
canbe
be
also correspond
correspond to
to half
half aa syllable.
syllable. For
For example,
example, the
the syllable
syllable bab
also
written with
with two
two "syllabic"
"syllabic" signs:
signs: ba-ab.
ba-ab.The
Thevalue
valueisisthe
thesame
sameasasfor
for
written
the sign
sign bab,
bab, the
the difference
difference being
beinginin the
theconvenience
convenience of
of memorizing
memorizing
the
and saving
saving space,
space, not
not in
in the
the reading.)
reading.) Certain
Certain signs
signs could
could be
used as
and
be used
as
"determinatives";
that
is,
signs
that
were
not
pronounced
but
that
"determinatives"; that is, signs that were not pronounced but that
indicated the
the conceptual
conceptual category
category to
to which
which the
the neighboring
neighboring word
word beindicated
belonged
(such
as
wooden
or
metallic
objects,
fish,
birds,
or
occupalonged (such as wooden or metallic objects, fish, birds, or occupations). Determinative
Determinative signs
signs helped
helped the
the reader
reader to
to select
select the
correct
the correct
tions).
meaning
from
among
several
possible
options.
meaning from among several possible options.
Despite
the written
Despite the
the communicative
communicative imprecision
imprecision of
of the
written language
language
during this
this period
of Lower
Lower Mesopotamian
Mesopotamian history,
history, it
it is
is now
now possible
possible
during
period of
to
to read
read at
at least
least some
some of
of the
the very
very ancient
ancient administrative
administrative documents.
documents.

The
The City-States
City-States of
of Sumer
Sumer

71

The
The information
information from
from these
these documents
documents and
and investigations
investigations of
of the
the
drawings used
for writing,
in conjunction
conjunction with
with archaeological
archaeological data,
data, aldrawings
used for
writing, in
allow us
us to
to partially
re-create the
ancient social
social history
of this
this country,
country,
low
partially re-create
the ancient
history of
even though
many events
events that
that occurred
occurred during
during this
even
though many
this long
long period
period of
of
history
remain unknown.
unknown.
history remain
Questions
the first
Questions inevitably
inevitably arise.
arise. What
What people
people created
created the
first civilization
civilization
in Lower
Lower Mesopotamia?
Mesopotamia? What
What language
language did
did they
they speak?
speak? Linguistic
Linguistic
in
studies of
of later
later cuneiform
cuneiform inscriptions
(from about
2500 B.C.)
B.C.) and
and
studies
inscriptions (from
about 2500
proper names
mentioned in
in the
the inscriptions
inscriptions (from
(from about
about 2700
2700 B.C.)
proper
names mentioned
B.C.)
show
that Lower
by people
show that
Lower Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia was
was then
then inhabited
inhabited by
people who
who
spoke two
completely different
languages: Sumerian
Sumerian and
Eastern Sespoke
two completely
different languages:
and Eastern
Semitic.
mitic. The
The Sumerian
Sumerian language,
language, with
with its
its idiosyncratic
idiosyncratic grammar,
grammar, is
is not
not
known
known to
to be
be related
related to
to any
any language
language that
that survives
survives today.
today. However,
However, the
the
Eastern
BabyloEastern Semitic
Semitic language,
language, which
which was
was later
later called
called Akkadian
Akkadian or
or Babylonian-Assyrian, belongs
belongs to
to the
the Semitic
Semitic family
family of
of the
the Afrasian
Afrasian linguistic
linguistic
nian-Assyrian,
phylum.
phylum. The
The following
following present-day
present-day languages
languages belong
belong to
to the
the same
same
Arabic; the
family: several
family:
several languages
languages spoken
spoken in
in Ethiopia;
Ethiopia; Arabic;
the language
language of
of
the
Hebrew; and
the Mediterranean
Mediterranean island
island of
of Malta;
Malta; Hebrew;
and the
the Neo-Aramaic
Neo-Aramaic
dialects, spoken
spoken by
by aa small
small group
group of
of people
call themselves
themselves Asdialects,
people who
who call
Assyrians and
and who
who are
are dispersed
dispersed throughout
throughout many
many countries,
countries, including
including
syrians
the USSR.
USSR. The
The Akkadian,
Akkadian, or
or Babylonian-Assyrian,
language died
died out
out
the
Babylonian-Assyrian, language
before our
our era,
era, as
as did
did aa number
number of
of other
other Semitic
Semitic languages.
languages. The
The ananbefore
cient Egyptian
Egyptian language
language also
also belongs
belongs to
to the
the Afrasian
Afrasian phylum,
phylum, which
which
cient
includes aa number
number of
of languages
languages spoken
spoken today
today in
in northern
northern Africa,
Africa,
includes
Tanzania, Nigeria,
and in
in countries
countries all
all the
the way
way to
to the
the Atlantic
Atlantic coast.
coast.
Tanzania,
Nigeria, and
There
There is
is reason
reason to
to believe
believe that
that in
in the
the fourth
fourth millennium
millennium B.C.
B.C. and,
and,
perhaps, even
even later,
later, there
there were
were still
still people
in the
Tigris and
and EuphraEuphraperhaps,
people in
the Tigris
tes valleys
valleys who
who spoke
spoke languages
languages that
that became
became extinct
extinct in
in early
early AntiqAntiqtes
uity. It
It is
is possible
that the
the speakers
speakers of
of one
one of
of these
these languages
languages were
were the
the
uity.
possible that
first to
to have
have created
created systematic
systematic irrigation
works in
in the
the Diyala
Diyala Valley,
Valley,
first
irrigation works
and they
they may
taken part
also in
in the
the development
development of
of the
the lands
lands in
in
and
may have
have taken
part also
Lower Mesopotamia.
Mesopotamia. Although
Although in
in the
the latter
latter region
the main
main role
Lower
region the
role was
was
probably played
by Sumerians,
Sumerians, Eastern
Eastern Semitic-speaking
Semitic-speaking peoples
peoples also
also
probably
played by
participated, particularly
particularly on
on the
the northern
northern borders
borders of
of Lower
Lower Mesoparticipated,
Mesopotamia. The
The earliest
earliest Mesopotamian
Mesopotamian texts
texts (ca.
(ca. 2900-2500
29002500 B.C.)
B.C.) were
were
potamia.
written, without
doubt, exclusively
exclusively in
in Sumerian;
Sumerian; the
the character
character of
of the
the
written,
without doubt,
rebus-like
use
of
signs
proves
this.
It
is
obvious
that
if
the
word
"reed"
rebus-like use of signs proves this. It is obvious that if the word "reed"
coincides with
with the
the word
word "return"-gi-then
"return"githen we
we must
must be
be dealing
dealing with
with
coincides
aa language
language that
that had
had just
just such
such aa phonetic
phonetic coincidence:
coincidence: Sumerian.
Sumerian. This
This
does not
mean that
that at
at that
that time
time and
and even
even earlier,
earlier, Eastern
Eastern Semites
Semites and,
and,
does
not mean
perhaps, people
people who
who spoke
spoke another
another language,
language, now
did
perhaps,
now unknown,
unknown, did
not inhabit
inhabit Lower
Lower Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia together
together with
with the
the Sumerians
Sumerians or
or benot
before them.
them.
fore

72

I.
Diakonoff
/. M. Diakonqff

We
We have
have no
no indications,
indications, archaeological
archaeological or
or linguistic,
linguistic, to
to prove
prove that
that
the
jointly parthe Eastern
Eastern Semites
Semites were
were nomads
nomads and
and that
that they
they could
could not
not jointly
participate with
with the
the Sumerians
Sumerians in
in the
the great
great task
task of
of developing
developing the
the EuEuticipate
phrates region.
phrates
region. Nor
Nor do
do we
we have
have reason
reason to
to believe
believe that
that Eastern
Eastern Semites
Semites
invaded Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia around
around 2750
2750 B.C.,
B.C., as
as many
many scholars
scholars once
once supsupinvaded
posed.
posed. On
On the
the contrary,
contrary, linguistic
linguistic data
data show
show that
that already
already during
during the
the
Neolithic, the
the Eastern
Eastern Semites
Semites must
must have
have settled
settled between
between the
the EuphraEuphraNeolithic,
tes and
and the
the Tigris.
Tigris. Apparently,
Apparently, however,
however, the
the inhabitants
inhabitants of
of the
the southsouthtes
ern part
part of
of Lower
Lower Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia spoke
spoke primarily
primarily Sumerian
Sumerian until
until at
at
ern
least 2350
2350 B.C.,
B.C., whereas
whereas the
the Eastern
Eastern Semitic
Semitic language
language was
was spoken
spoken side
side
least
by side
side with
with Sumerian
Sumerian in
in the
the central
central and
and northern
northern parts
parts of
of Lower
Lower
by
Mesopotamia and
and was
was predominant
in Upper
Upper Mesopotamia.
Mesopotamia. Judging
Judging
Mesopotamia
predominant in
from the
the available
available information,
information, there
there was
was no
no ethnic
ethnic enmity
enmity between
between
from
the people
who spoke
spoke these
these completely
completely different
different languages.
languages. Evithe
people who
Evidently, people
of that
that time
time did
did not
not think
think in
in broad
broad categories
categories of
of linlindently,
people of
guistic and
and ethnic
ethnic groups;
groups; they
they both
both made
made friends
friends and
and made
made war
war only
only
guistic
at the
the level
level of
of the
the smaller
smaller units-the
unitsthe tribes,
tribes, nomes,
nomes, and
and territorial
territorial
at
communities. At
At the
the same
same time,
time, there
there could
could have
have been
been aa sense
sense of
of idenidencommunities.
tity on
on aa broader
broader level.
level. For
For example,
example, all
all the
the inhabitants
inhabitants of
of Lower
Lower
tity
Mesopotamia, regardless
regardless of
of which
which language
language they
they spoke,
spoke, called
called themthemMesopotamia,
selves "black-headed
"black-headed people"
(sang-ngigaininSumerian
Sumerian and
and tsalmattsalmatselves
people" (sang-ngiga
qaqqadiininAkkadian).
Akkadian).
qaqqadi
historic events
us,
Since
Since the
the historic
events of
of such
such remote
remote times
times are
are unknown
unknown to
to us,
historians use
use archaeological
archaeological periods
periods to
to classify
classify the
the earliest
earliest ancient
ancient
historians
history
of Lower
Lower Mesopotamia.
Mesopotamia. They
They distinguish
distinguish aa Protoliterate
Protoliterate Pehistory of
Period (2900-2750
(2900-2750 B.C.,
B.C., with
with two
two subperiods)
subperiods) from
from an
an Early
Early Dynastic
Dynastic
riod
We have
have three
three ararPeriod (2750-2310
(2750-2310 B.C.,
B.C., with
with three
three subperiods).5
subperiods).5 We
Period
chives from
from the
the Protoliterate
Protoliterate Period,
Period, not
not counting
counting occasional
occasional isolated
isolated
chives
documents. Two
Two of
of the
the archives,
archives, one
one of
of which
which is
is somewhat
somewhat older
older than
than
documents.
the other,
other, were
were found
found in
in the
the city
city of
of Uruk
Uruk (present-day
(present-day Warka)
Warka) in
in
the
southern Lower
Lower Mesopotamia,
Mesopotamia, and
and one
one is
is from
from the
the archaeological
archaeological site
site
southern
of Jemdet-Nasr
Jemdet-Nasr in
in the
north. (The
(The ancient
ancient name
name of
of the
the city
city is
is not
not
of
the north.
known.) The
The latter
latter archive
archive is
is contemporaneous
contemporaneous with
with the
the second,
second, more
more
known.)
recent Uruk
Uruk archive.
archive. Two
Two Soviet
Soviet scholars,
scholars, A.
A. I.
I. Tyumenev
Tyumenev and
and A.
A. A.
recent
A.
Vaiman, attempted
attempted aa study
study into
into the
the social
social order
order of
of the
the Protoliterate
Protoliterate
Vaiman,
Period. Whereas
Whereas Tyumenev's
Tyumenev's research
research was
was based
based exclusively
exclusively on
on the
the
Period.
interpretation of
of the
the pictographs
pictographs themselves,
themselves, Vaiman's
Vaiman's was
was based
based on
on
interpretation
the actual
actual readings
readings of
of some
some of
of the
the documents.
documents.
the
Note that
Note
that the
the system
system of
of writing
writing during
during the
the Protoliterate
Protoliterate Period,
Period, dedespite its
its unwieldiness,
unwieldiness, was
was identical
identical in
in both
both the
the southern
southern and
and the
the
spite
northern parts
parts of
of Lower
Lower Mesopotamia.
Mesopotamia. This
This suggests
suggests that
that it
it origioriginorthern
5. According
According to
to the
the latest
latest findings,
findings, these
these dates
dates should
should perhaps
perhaps be
be corrected
corrected to
to some5.
somewhat earlier
earlier ones.
ones.
what

The
The City-States
City-States of
of Sumer
Sumer

73
73

nated
in aa single
single center
center that
have enjoyed
enjoyed considerable
considerable auaunated in
that must
must have
thority, since
since the
the invention
was adopted
adopted by
by different
different nomes
nomes regardless
regardless
thority,
invention was
of
no economic
political unity
of the
the fact
fact that
that no
economic or
or political
unity existed
existed among
among them
them and
and
that
of
that their
their main
main canals
canals were
were separated
separated from
from each
each other
other by
by zones
zones of
desert. This
This center
center was,
was, apparently,
apparently, the
the city
city of
of Nippur,
situated bedesert.
Nippur, situated
between the
the southern
southern and
and northern
of the
Lower Euphrates
Euphrates Valtween
northern parts
parts of
the Lower
Valley. Here
Here the
temple of
of the
the god
Enlil was
worshiped
ley.
the temple
god Enlil
was situated.
situated. Enlil
Enlil was
was worshiped
by all
all "black-headed
"black-headed people,"
although each
each nome
nome also
also had
had its
its own
own
by
people," although
mythology
and pantheon
(system of
of deities).
deities). At
At some
some period
during
pantheon (system
period during
mythology and
the pre-urban
pre-urban epoch,
epoch, Nippur
was probably
the ritual
ritual center
center of
of aa SuSuthe
Nippur was
probably the
merian
tribal union.
union. Although
Nippur was
was never
never aa political
political center,
center,
merian tribal
Although Nippur
it remained
remained an
important cultural
cultural center
for aa long
long time.
an important
center for
time.
it
Some
the Protoliterate
Some of
of the
the documents
documents of
of the
Protoliterate Period
Period come
come from
from the
the
economic
the Eanna
economic administrative
administrative archive
archive of
of the
Eanna temple,
temple, which
which was
was dedidedicated to
to the
the goddess
Inanna and
and around
around which
the city
city of
of Uruk
cated
goddess Inanna
which the
Uruk was
was
consolidated.
consolidated. The
The rest
rest of
of the
the documents
documents come
come from
from an
an analogous
analogous
at Jemdet-Nasr.
Jemdet-Nasr. The
documents show
temple
temple archive
archive found
found at
The documents
show that
that the
the
temple's
was composed
temple's household
household was
composed of
of numerous
numerous specialized
specialized craftsmen
craftsmen
and
both sexes.
male slaves
and quite
quite aa few
few captured
captured slaves
slaves of
of both
sexes. The
The male
slaves probaprobathe general
mass of
temple's dependents.
bly
bly were
were absorbed
absorbed into
into the
general mass
of the
the temple's
dependents.
In
was certainly
In any
any case,
case, such
such was
certainly the
the case
case two
two centuries
centuries later.
later. It
It also
also apappears that
the community
community allotted
pears
that the
allotted large
large parcels
parcels of
of land
land to
to its
its principal
principal
functionaries,
judge, the
sefunctionaries, such
such as
as the
the soothsayer-priest,
soothsayer-priest, the
the chief
chief judge,
the senior priestess,
the trade
But the
the lion's
nior
priestess, and
and the
the chief
chief of
of the
trade agents.
agents. But
lion's share
share
was
given to
to the
the priest
priest holding
the title
was given
holding the
title en.
en.
An en
en was
was the
the supreme
supreme priest
priest in
in those
those communities
communities that
that worshiped
worshiped
An
aa goddess
goddess as
as their
their supreme
supreme deity.
deity. He
He represented
represented the
the community
community to
to
the outside
outside world
world and
and presided
over the
the community
community council.
council. He
He also
also
the
presided over
partook in
in the
the "sacred
"sacred marriage"
marriage" rite
rite with
with the
chief goddess.
goddess. (In
(In
partook
the chief
Uruk,
Uruk, it
it was
was Inanna.)
Inanna.) This
This was
was aa ceremony
ceremony that
that evidently
evidently was
was considconsidered
the general
well-being and
ered necessary
necessary in
in order
order to
to ensure
ensure the
general well-being
and fertility
fertility
of
In communities
where the
the supreme
supreme deity
was
of the
the land
land of
of Uruk.
Uruk. In
communities where
deity was
male,
was aa priestess,
male, there
there was
priestess, also
also called
called en
en (sometimes
(sometimes she
she was
was known
known
by other
titles), who
participated in
in the
the sacred
marriage rite
by
other titles),
who also
also participated
sacred marriage
rite with
with
the
chief
local
deity.
The
land
assigned
to
the
en
(called
ashag-en
the chief local deity. The land assigned to the en (called ashag-enoror
nig-en) gradually
gradually became
became temple
land. Its
Its crop
crop became
the commucommunig-en)
temple land.
became the
nity's
emergency reserve
stock and
and was
was also
also 'used
used for
for exchange
exchange with
with
nity's emergency
reserve stock
other communities
communities and
and countries,
countries, for
for sacrifices
sacrifices to
gods, and
and for
for
other
to the
the gods,
the
rations of
of the
temple personnelits
craftsmen, tillers
tillers of
of the
the rations
the temple
personnel-its craftsmen,
the soil,
soil,
fishermen, and
and others
others (sometimes
(sometimes rations
given to
to personnel
personnel in
in
fishermen,
rations were
were given
addition to
to land).
land). The
The priests
priests usually
usually also
also had
personal land
land allotallotaddition
had personal
ments
within the
community. It
is still
still not
not quite
quite clear
who worked
worked the
the
ments within
the community.
It is
clear who
nig-en land
land during
during the
the Protoliterate
Protoliterate Period,
Period, though
we know
that it
nig-en
though we
know that
it
was
later cultivated
by different
This appears
appears from
from
was later
cultivated by
different kinds
kinds of
of helots.
helots. This

74
74

I.
1- M.
M. Diakonoff
Diakonoff

the
Uruk's neighboring
Ur, as
as
the data
data of
of an
an archive
archive from
from Uruk's
neighboring city,
city, archaic
archaic Ur,
belong to
next, or
well
well as
as from
from certain
certain other
other archives;
archives; they
they all
all belong
to the
the next,
or
Early Dynastic,
Dynastic, period.
period.
Early

The
The Early
Early Dynastic
Dynastic Period
Period
The
The establishment
establishment of
of an
an Early
Early Dynastic
Dynastic Period
Period as
as distinct
distinct from
from the
the
Protoliterate
based on
various archaeological
Protoliterate is
is based
on various
archaeological reasons
reasons that
that would
would be
be
but the
difficult
difficult to
to discuss
discuss here;
here; but
the Early
Early Dynastic
Dynastic Period
Period also
also stands
stands out
out
quite
purely historical
historical point
view.
quite clearly
clearly from
from aa purely
point of
of view.
In
In the
the third
third millennium
millennium B.C.,
B.C., the
the Sumerians
Sumerians composed
composed aa sort
sort of
of
primitive account
history: the
the "King
"King List."
List." It
It recorded
recorded all
all the
the kings,
kings,
primitive
account of
of history:
who supposedly
supposedly ruled
ruled in
in aa consecutive
consecutive order,
order, succeeding
succeeding one
one another
another
who
The
in the
the various
various cities
cities of
of Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia from
from the
the beginning
of time.
in
beginning of
time. The
kings ruling
ruling one
one after
after another
another in
in the
the same
same city
city were
were conventionally
conventionally
kings
regarded as
as one
one "dynasty."
"dynasty." Actually,
Actually, mythological
mythological as
as well
as historical
historical
regarded
well as
characters were
were included
included in
in this
list, and
and the
the dynasties
dynasties of
of the
the individindividcharacters
this list,
ual cities
cities often
often ruled
ruled contemporaneously
contemporaneously rather
rather than
than sequentially.
sequentially.
ual
Moreover, most
most of
of the
the enumerated
enumerated rulers
rulers were
were not
not kings:
some bore
bore
kings: some
Moreover,
the title
title en-priest;
^n-priest; some
some were
were "Big
"Big Men"
(Sumerian lu-gal,
lu-gal,lugal)-that
lugal)that
the
Men" (Sumerian
is, chiefs
chiefs who
who were
were military
military commanders;
commanders; and
and some
some were
were ensi,
ensi, which
which
is,
possibly
"priest-founder (of
(of buildings?)."
adopting
meant "priest-founder
buildings?)." The
The ruler's
ruler's adopting
possibly meant
one or
or the
other title
title depended
depended on
on circumstances
and on
on the
traone
the other
circumstances and
the local
local traditions of
city. The
of years
in the
to the
the duduof the
the city.
The number
number of
years assigned
assigned in
the list
list to
ditions
ration of
individual reigns
is rarely
cases, it
ration
of the
the individual
reigns is
rarely reliable;
reliable; in
in most
most cases,
it
resulted
arbitrary manipulations
manipulations of
of the
the figures.
figures. The
King
from later
later arbitrary
The King
resulted from
List
is essentially
essentially based
on aa count
of generations
based on
count of
generations according
according to
to two
two
List is
major
originally independent
lists; one
one is
is connected
connected with
the
major lines,
lines, originally
independent lists;
with the
cities
of Uruk
and Ur
in southern
southern Lower
Lower Mesopotamia,
Mesopotamia, and
and the
other
cities of
Uruk and
Ur in
the other
6
If we
entirely disregard
disregard the
the imagiwith
city of
of Kish
in the
with the
the city
Kish in
the north.
north. 6 If
we entirely
imaginary
dynasties
that,
according
to
the
King
List,
ruled
"before
the
nary dynasties that, according to the King List, ruled "before the
Flood,"
then
the
beginning
of
the
First
Dynasty
of
Kish
(the
first
Flood," then the beginning of the First Dynasty of Kish (the first
"after the
approximately coincide
coincide with
"after
the Flood")
Flood") will
will approximately
with the
the beginning
beginning of
of
the
Early
Dynastic
Period;
according
to
the
archaeological
periodizathe Early Dynastic Period; according to the archaeological periodization,
of the
Dynastic Period
is referred
"ED I."
I."
part of
the Early
Early Dynastic
Period is
referred to
to as
as "ED
tion, this
this part
This
is the
the time
of the
mentioned archaic
Ur,
This is
time of
the previously
previously mentioned
archaic archive
archive from
from Ur,
Uruk's
Uruk's neighboring
neighboring city.
city.
En-Menbaragesi, the
of the
of Kish,
Kish,
the penultimate
penultimate ruler
ruler of
the First
First Dynasty
Dynasty of
En-Menbaragesi,
is
the first
first Sumerian
Sumerian statesman
not only
the King
King List
is the
statesman not
only included
included in
in the
List but
but
also known
from his
his own
own inscriptions;
inscriptions; so
so there
are no
doubts about
about
also
known from
there are
no doubts
6.
6. Only
Only in
in the
the latter
latter part
part of
of the
the Uruk-Ur
Uruk-Ur list
list are
are the
the durations
durations of
of reigns
reigns based
based on
on
lists
lists of
of "date
"date formulae"
formulae" (lists
(lists of
of designations
designations of
of years
years according
according to
to events
events occurring
occurring in
in
them).
them). Such
Such assessments
assessments of
of the
the duration
duration of
of reigns
reigns may
may be
be regarded
regarded as
as more
more or
or less
less
reliable.
reliable.

The
City-States of
The City-States
of Sumer
Sumer

75
75

his historical
authenticity. He
waged war
against Sumer's
Sumer's neighboring
neighboring
his
historical authenticity.
He waged
war against
cities
in Elam,
in the
the valley
valley of
rivers, where
cities in
Elam, in
of the
the Karun
Karun and
and Kerkheh
Kerkheh rivers,
where
the
that of
the historical
historical development
development was
was similar
similar to
to that
of Sumer.
Sumer. Thus,
Thus, there
there
should not
be too
much doubt
doubt also
also about
about the
authenticity of
of Aka,
the
should
not be
too much
the authenticity
Aka, the
son of
of Menbaragesi,
Menbaragesi, also
also mentioned
mentioned in
in the
King List.
The only
other
son
the King
List. The
only other
mention
of him
is in
an epic
epic that
reached us
copy written
written
mention of
him is
in an
that has
has reached
us in
in aa copy
down about
about aa thousand
thousand years
years later.
later. According
to this
tried
down
According to
this epic,
epic, Aka
Aka tried
to
Uruk in
to place
place Uruk
in the
the south
south under
under the
the control
control of
of his
his native
native Kish,
Kish, and
and
the
council of
was about
about to
accept it
until the
the council
of Uruk's
Uruk's elders
elders was
to accept
it until
the popular
popular
assembly
of the
city proclaimed
the chief
priest (en),
Gilgamesh, as
as
assembly of
the city
proclaimed the
chief priest
(en), Gilgamesh,
their
chief military
resist Aka.
Aka. Aka
Aka bebetheir chief
military leader
leader (lugal)
(lugal) and
and decided
decided to
to resist
sieged
Uruk but
but did
did not
not succeed,
consequently, it
it was
was Kish
Kish that
that
sieged Uruk
succeed, and
and consequently,
had
to Uruk
Gilgamesh. According
had to
to submit
submit to
Uruk under
under the
the leadership
leadership of
of Gilgamesh.
According
to the
the King
Gilgamesh belonged
to the
the First
Uruk.
to
King List,
List, Gilgamesh
belonged to
First Dynasty
Dynasty of
of Uruk.
Eventually,
hero of
of many
Eventually, Gilgamesh
Gilgamesh became
became the
the hero
many Sumerian
Sumerian epic
epic
songs
of the
Akkadian lansongs and:later,
and, later, of
the great
great epic
epic poem
poem written
written in
in the
the Akkadian
language (Eastern
Semitic). These
These literary
compositions will
will be
be discussed
discussed
guage
(Eastern Semitic).
literary compositions
in
the lectures
dealing with
the Sumerian
Sumerian and
Let
in the
lectures dealing
with the
and Babylonian
Babylonian culture.
culture. Let
us
mention here
here that
that the
the identification
identification of
of an
an epic
epic hero
hero with
with aa hisus just
just mention
hisperson is
is aa very
very common
common feature
toric
toric person
feature of
of ancient
ancient literature.
literature. However,
However,
the
myths that
used for
for the
the myths
that were
were used
the plots
plots in
in the
the songs
songs about
about Gilgamesh
Gilgamesh
are
older than
historical figure.
himself seems
are much
much older
than that
that historical
figure. Gilgamesh
Gilgamesh himself
seems
to
been aa remarkable
remarkable enough
remain in
in the
to have
have been
enough personality
personality to
to remain
the memmemories
generations. (Soon
after his
he was
ories of
of much
much later
later generations.
(Soon after
his death,
death, he
was deified,
deified,
and his
was known
known in
Near East
as late
late as
and
his name
name was
in the
the Near
East even
even as
as the
the eleventh
eleventh
century
glorify his
his major
The epics
epics glorify
major accomplishments:
accomplishments: the
the buildbuildcentury A.D.). The
ing of
of Uruk's
Uruk's city
city wall
wall and
to the
the mountains
mountains77 to
ing
and an
an expedition
expedition to
to obtain
obtain
cedar.
whether such
cedar. (It
(It is
is not
not known
known whether
such an
an expedition
expedition actually
actually took
took
place.)
place.)
Gilgamesh begins
begins the
the second
second stage
stage of
of the
the Early
Period (ED
(ED
Early Dynastic
Dynastic Period
Gilgamesh
II).
Our knowledge
knowledge of
of the
socioeconomic conditions
conditions of
of that
that time
time
II). Our
the socioeconomic
stems from
from yet
which was
was discovered
discovered in
the ancient
ancient
stems
yet another
another archive,
archive, which
in the
town of
of Shuruppak.
Shuruppak. It
contains economic
economic and
and legal
legal documents,
documents, as
It contains
as
town
well as
as educational
educational texts
texts of
of the
the twenty-sixth
twenty-sixth century
century B.C.
B.C.88 One
One part
of
well
part of
this
belongs to
to the
the temple
temple economy,
economy, while
while other
other documents
documents
this archive
archive belongs
come from
from individual
come
individual houses.
houses.
learned from
that the
the territorial
We
have learned
We have
from these
these documents
documents that
territorial commucommunity (nome)
Shuruppak was
union of
nity
(nome) of
of Shuruppak
was part
part of
of aa military
military union
of communities
communities
headed by
headed
by Uruk.
Uruk. Apparently,
Apparently, the
the direct
direct descendants
descendants of
of Gilgamesh
Gilgamesh (the
(the
First
Dynasty of
at the
Uruk's warriors
First Dynasty
of Uruk)
Uruk) ruled
ruled at
the time.
time. Some
Some of
of Uruk's
warriors
7.
version of
7. The
The later
later version
of the
the epic,
epic, in
in Akkadian,
Akkadian, speaks
speaks of
of the
the Lebanon,
Lebanon, but
but originally
originally
some less
less distant
mountains to
east probably
meant.
some
distant mountains
to the
the east
probably were
were meant.
8. Such
Such texts,
texts, as
as well
well as
as the
the earliest
copies of
of literary
literary compositions
compositions so
far discovered,
discovered,
8.
earliest copies
so far
were
found at
present-day Abu-Salabikh.
were found
at another
another site
site dating
dating from
from that
that time,
time, present-day
Abu-Salabikh.

76

I.
/. M. Diakonoff
Diakonoff

were
were stationed
stationed in
in the
the different
different cities
cities of
of the
the union,
union, but
but the
the lugals
lugals of
of
Uruk did
not, in
the local
community's affairs.
Uruk
did not,
in general,
general, interfere
interfere in
in the
local community's
affairs. At
At
this time
time the
temple economy
economy was
already separate
separate from
from the
territowas already
the territothis
the temple
rial
community and
and from
from the
the economies
economies of
of the
extended-family comcomrial community
the extended-family
munes
established on
on its
its land.
land. Nevertheless,
connection between
between
munes established
Nevertheless, the
the connection
the
temple and
and the
the community
community remained
conspicuous. When
When necesthe temple
remained conspicuous.
necessary, the
community loaned
loaned draft
animals to
the temple
temple
sary,
the territorial
territorial community
draft animals
to the
economies (donkeys
(donkeys were
were most
most often
often used
for this
this purpose)
and, posused for
purpose) and,
poseconomies
sibly, even
even donated
donated the
the labor
labor of
of its
its members;
in turn,
the temple
temple supsupmembers; in
turn, the
sibly,
plied
food for
for the
traditional feast
feast that
that took
took place
during the
general
the traditional
place during
the general
plied food
assembly of
of the
the community.
community. The
The ruler
ruler of
of the
Shuruppak nome
nome was
was an
an
assembly
the Shuruppak
ensi,
quite unimportant
unimportant figure.
figure. He
He received
received aarelatively
relatively small
small allotallotensf, aa quite
ment;
it seems
seems that
council of
of elders
elders and
and some
some of
of the
were
that the
the council
the priests
priests were
ment; it
more important
important than
than he
he was.
The years
were not
not counted
counted by
the
more
was. The
years were
by the
reigning
of the
ensi but
annual periods
during which
which
reigning years
years of
the ensf
but by
by the
the annual
periods during
duty, apparently
apparently ritual,
ritual, was
performed alternately
alternately by
the
some sort
sort of
of duty,
was performed
by the
some
representatives
of the
different temples
temples and
and by
those of
of the
the various
various
representatives of
the different
by those
minor
communities making
making up
the Shuruppak
Shuruppak nome.
nome.
minor territorial
territorial communities
up the
Craftsmen, cowherds,
cowherds, shepherds,
shepherds, and
and agriculturalists
agriculturalists of
of the
most
the most
Craftsmen,
diverse
worked in
the temple
economy. It
diverse social
social categories
categories worked
in the
temple economy.
It seems
seems that
that
they usually
rations for
for their
their labor,
labor, although
although some
some of
of them
them
they
usually received
received rations
may have
have obtained
obtained service-conditioned
service-conditioned land
land allotments
allotments (not
as propmay
(not as
property, of
of course).
course). They
They were
all deprived
deprived of
of property
in the
the means
means
were all
property in
erty,
of production
and were
were extraeconomically
extraeconomically exploited.
exploited. Some
Some of
of them
them
of
production and
were
fugitives from
from other
other communities;
some were
descendants of
were fugitives
communities; some
were descendants
of
prisoners-of-war;
many of
of the
workers were
local people.
prisoners-of-war; but
but many
the workers
were probably
probably local
people.
Female workers
workers were
were automatically
automatically labeled
labeled slaves.
Female
slaves.
the temple,
temple, the
the extended-family
households sometimes
Outside
Outside the
extended-family households
sometimes
their land.
resold
sold their
land. The
The patriarch
patriarch of
of the
the extended-family
extended-family commune
commune received
the payment
payment for
this land;
happened to
to be
be dead,
dead, payment
ceived the
for this
land; if
if he
he happened
payment
went
"brothers"that is,
is, the
descendants in
in the
next generagenerathe "brothers"-that
the descendants
the next
went to
to the
tion. Other
tion.
Other adult
adult community
community members
members received
received gifts
gifts or
or symbolic
symbolic
treats
for agreeing
agreeing to
transaction. The
for the
(in
to the
the transaction.
The payment
payment for
the land
land (in
treats for
kind
or in
in copper)
copper) was
was extremely
extremely low,
and it
it is
is entirely
entirely possible
that
kind or
low, and
possible that
after
the "purchaser"
the parcel
after aa certain
certain time,
time, the
"purchaser" actually
actually had
had to
to return
return the
parcel
of land to
commune of
of the
original owners.
ofland
to the
the household
household commune
the original
owners.99
Toward
middle of
B.C., in
to the
Toward the
the middle
of the
the third
third millennium
millennium B.C.,
in addition
addition to
the
{lugal,en,
en,and
andens)
ensi)who
whowere
wereunder
underthe
thepopomilitary and
military
and cultic
cultic leaders
leaders (lugal,
litical
control of
of the
councils of
of elders,
elders, aa new
new figure
figure emerged:
emerged: the
the
the councils
litical control
9.
Another explanation
conditioned by
by aa catastrophically
9. Another
explanation is
is that
that the
the sales
sales were
were conditioned
catastrophically poor
poor
crop;
crop; aa "sale"
"sale" would
would then
then be
be regarded
regarded as
as an
an input
input in
in the
the reciprocal
reciprocal aid
aid fund,
fund, and
and either
either
the
could be
retrieved later
some other
services could
could be
from
the property
property could
be retrieved
later or
or some
other services
be requested
requested from
the "purchaser"
the hypothesis
the text
text tallies
tallies with
with
the
"purchaser" at
at aa later
later date.
date. However,
However, the
hypothesis as
as stated
stated in
in the
later Mesopotamian
Mesopotamian customs.
customs.
later

The
The City-States
City-States of
of Sumer
Sumer

77
77

hegemonic
hegemonic lugal.
lugal. This
This lugal
lugalrelied
reliedon
onthe
thesupport
supportofofhis
hispersonal
personalfolfollowers and
and his
his own
own military
military troop,
whom he
he could
could keep
keep without
without the
the
troop, whom
lowers
council's
council's approval
approval or
or consent.
consent. With
With the
the help
help of
of this
this military
military detachdetachment, he
he was
was able
able to
to conquer
conquer other
other nomes
nomes and
and place
place himself
himself above
above
ment,
the individual
individual nome
nome councils,
councils, which
which continued
continued to
to act
act only
only on
on the
the
the
nome level.
level. In
In the
the northern
northern part
part of
of the
the country,
country, the
the hegemonic
hegemonic lugal
nome
lugal
usually adopted
adopted the
title of
of "lugal
"lugal of
of Kish"
Kish" (this
(this was
was aa play
play on
on words,
words,
usually
the title
and in
in the
the southern
southern part,
part,
meaning also"
also "lugal
of the
the multitudes"),10
multitudes"),10 and
meaning
lugal of
the title
title of"
of "lugal
of the
the Country."
Country." To
To earn
earn the
the latter
latter title,
title, itit was
was necesnecesthe
lugal of
sary to
to be
be recognized
recognized in
in the
the temple
temple of
of the
the city
city of
of Nippur.
Nippur.
sary
In order
order for
for the
the lugals
lugals to
to be.
be independent
independent of
of the
the nome
nome bodies
bodies
In
of
independent resources-primarily
of self-government,
self-government, they
they needed
needed independent
resourcesprimarily
land,
land, which
which they
they could
could allot
allot to
to their
their followers
followers without
without bothering
bothering about
about
their
their daily
daily sustenance.
sustenance. Allowing
Allowing his
his followers
followers to
to sustain
sustain themselves
themselves
was
was much
much more
more convenient
convenient for
for the
the lugal,
lugal, because
because he
hedid
did not
not need
need toto
rations. Since
the temples
provide them
provide
them with
with grain
grain and
and other
other rations.
Since the
temples actually
actually
had
the lugals
had both
both the
the resources
resources and
and the
the land,
land, the
lugalstried
triedtotogain
gaincontrol
controlof
of
the
the temples,
temples, either
either by
by marrying
marrying the
the chief
chief priestess
priestess or
or by
by forcing
forcing the
the
council to
to elect
elect them
them as
as both
military leader
leader and
and chief
chief priest;
priest; it
it would
would
council
both military
then be
possible to
to entrust
entrust the
the administration
administration of
of the
the temple
temple to
men
then
be possible
to men
lugalinstead
instead of
of to
to the
the community
community elders.
elders.
personally
dependent on
on the
the lugal
personally dependent
The
lugals were
were those
those of
of the
the First
First Dynasty
Dynasty of
of Ur,
Ur, which
which
The wealthiest
wealthiest lugals
replaced the
the First
First Dynasty
Dynasty of
of nearby
nearby Uruk:
these were
were Mesanepada
Mesanepada
Uruk: these
replaced
and
and his
his successors.
successors. (The
(The last
last lugals
lugals of
of the
the First
First Dynasty
Dynasty of
of Ur
Ur moved
moved
from Ur
back to
and founded
founded the
Second Dynasty
Dynasty of
of Uruk.)
Uruk.)
from
Ur back
to Uruk
Uruk and
the Second
Their
was based
Their wealth
wealth was
based not
not only
only on
on the
the seizure
seizure of
of temple
temple land
land (we
(we can
can
indirect reference)11
assume this
but also
also on
on trade.
trade.
assume
this from
from an
an indirect
reference)11 but
During
asDuring the
the excavations
excavations at
at Ur,
Ur, archaeologists
archaeologists discovered
discovered an
an astonishing
A sloping
tonishing burial.
burial. A
sloping passage
passage led
led to
to aa subterranean
subterranean chamber.
chamber.
There
There were
were carts
carts with
with harnessed
harnessed oxen
oxen in
in the
the passage.
passage. The
The entrance
entrance
was
was guarded
guarded by
by warriors
warriors in
in helmets,
helmets, holding
holding spears;
spears; both
both the
the oxen
oxen
and
and the
the warriors
warriors had
had been
been killed
killed during
during the
the preparations
preparations for
for burial.
burial.
The
The funeral
funeral chamber
chamber itself
itself was
was aa rather
rather large
large dug-out
dug-out space;
space; dozens
dozens
of
had originally
originally
of women
women were
were seated
seated along
along its
its walls.
walls. (Actually
(Actually they
they had
been seated;
seated; archaeologists
archaeologists found
found the
the skeletons
skeletons lying
lying on
on the
the floor.)
floor.)
been
Some held
held musical
musical instruments.
instruments. Their
Their hair
hair had
had once
once been
been gathered
gathered in
in
Some
the back
and fastened
above their
their foreheads
foreheads by
by silver
silver bands.
bands. One
One of
of
the
back and
fastened above
the women
women apparently
apparently died
died before
before she
she had
had time
time to
to don
don her
her silver
silver
the
10.
10. This
This title
title is
is frequently
frequently translated
translated as
as "King
"King of
of the
the Universe."
Universe." This
This translation,
translation,
however,
however, is
is probably
probably incorrect.
incorrect.
11.
11. Thus,
Thus, Mesanepada
Mesanepada assumed
assumed the
the title
title "husband
"husband of
of the
the (heavenly?)
(heavenly?) harlot,"
harlot," meanmeaning
harlot, goddess
harlot-priestess of
ing either
either "the
"the heavenly
heavenly harlot,
goddess Inanna
Inanna of
of Uruk"
Uruk" or
or "the
"the harlot-priestess
of
goddess Inanna."
Inanna." In
In either
either case,
case, it
it means
means that
that he
he daimed
claimed authority
authority over
over Inanna's
Inanna's
goddess
temple.
temple.

78

/.
I. M. Diakonoff
Diakonoff

band,
band, and
and it
it rested
rested in
in the
the folds
folds of
of her
her dress;
dress; the
the metal
metal was
was imprinted
imprinted
with
with the
the remains
remains of
of aa valuable
valuable fabric.
fabric.
In aa corner
corner of
of aa neighboring
neighboring funeral
funeral chamber
chamber there
there was
small
In
was aa small
of bricks
bricks with
with aa sort
bed inside.
This was
vaulted cell
cell made
vaulted
made of
sort of
of bed
inside. This
was clearly
clearly
no
burial; on
the bed,
bed, the
woman lay
lay
no common
common Sumerian
Sumerian burial;
on the
the skeleton
skeleton of
of aa woman
supine.
The woman
woman was
was dressed
of imsupine. The
dressed in
in aa mantle
mantle of
of blue
blue beads
beads of
imported
lapis lazuli;
lazuli; she
she wore
rich bead
necklaces of
of carnelian
carnelian and
and
ported lapis
wore rich
bead necklaces
gold, large
large golden
golden earrings,
earrings, and
and aa peculiar
headdress made
made of
of golden
golden
gold,
peculiar headdress
flowers. Judging
Judging from
from the
inscription on
on her
seal, her
name was
flowers.
the inscription
her seal,
her name
was
Also found
found were
number of
of gold
gold and
and silver
silver objects
objects that
that had
had
Puabi.
Puabi.12
12 Also
were aa number
belonged
Puabi, including
including two
harps of
of exquisite
exquisite workmanship
workmanship
belonged to
to Puabi,
two harps
with images
images (on
(on the
one, of
of aa bull;
on the
other, of
of aa cow)
cow) sculpted
sculpted in
in
bull; on
the other,
with
the one,
gold and
and lapis
lapis lazuli
lazuli on
on the
the resonance
resonance box.
Archaeologists found
found
box. Archaeologists
gold
some similar
similar burials
nearby, although
although they
they were
were not
not as
as completely
completely
some
burials nearby,
intact. The
The remains
remains of
of the
the central
central figure
figure were
in any
any
were not
not preserved
preserved in
intact.
of them.
them.
of
Puabi's
burial stimulated
Puabi's burial
stimulated debates
debates among
among scholars
scholars that
that continue
continue to
to
unlike any
this
this day;
day; in
in its
its lavishness
lavishness it
it is
is unlike
any other
other of
of that
that epoch,
epoch, including
including
aa shaft
shaft burial,
burial, also
also uncovered
uncovered in
in Ur,
Ur, of
of aa king
king whose
whose remains
remains were
were
found
female coiffure
coiffure with
with aa
found wearing
wearing aa golden
golden helmet
helmet in
in the
the form
form of
of aa female
sacrirolled-up
rolled-up braid
braid of
of exceptionally
exceptionally fine
fine craftsmanship.
craftsmanship. None
None of
of the
the sacrificial
ficial victims
victims of
of Puabi's
Puabi's funeral
funeral showed
showed any
any traces
traces of
of violence;
violence; they
they
put to
poison. It
were
probably put
were probably
to sleep
sleep by
by poison.
It is
is quite
quite probable
probable that
that they
they
submitted voluntarily
voluntarily to
to their
their fate
fate in
in order
order to
to continue
continue their
their customcustomsubmitted
ary service
service to
to their
their mistress
mistress in
in the
the other
other world.
world. In
In any
any case,
case, the
the warwarary
riors in
in Puabi's
Puabi's guard
guard and
and her
her maids
maids of
of honor
honor in
in their
their rich
rich attire
attire most
most
riors
likely were
were not
not simply
simply slaves.
slaves. Because
Because of
of the
the vegetation
vegetation symbols
symbols on
on
likely
Puabi's headdress,
headdress, because
because she
she lay
lay on
on what
can be
described as
as aa bridal
bridal
Puabi's
what can
be described
bed,
and because
because her
her golden
golden harps
harps were
were decorated
decorated with
with representarepresentabed, and
tions
of aa wild,
the personification
personification of
of Ur's
tutelary god,
god,
wild, bearded
bearded bull,
bull, the
U r's tutelary
tions of
Nanna,
the god
god of
of the
the Moon,
Moon, and
and of
wild cow,
Nanna's
of aa wild
cow, personifying
personifying Nanna's
Nanna, the
spouse, the
goddess Ningal,
some scholars
scholars believe
Puabi was
not
spouse,
the goddess
Ningal, some
believe that
that Puabi
was not
just
the
wife
of
a
lugal
of
Uruk
but
that
she
may
have
been
an
just the wife of a lugal of Uruk but that she may have been an enenpriestess
who had
had participated
in the
sacred marriage
marriage rite
the
priestess who
participated in
the sacred
rite with
with the
13
Moon god.
god.13
Moon
Whatever
Whatever the
the case
case may
may be,
be, Puabi's
Puabi's burial
burial and
and other
other similar
similar exexamples from
from the
the First
First Dynasty
Dynasty of
of Ur
(about the
the twenty-fifth
twenty-fifth century
century
Ur (about
amples
B.C.) testify
testify to
to the
the exceptional
exceptional wealth
of the
the ruling
ruling elite
elite of
of the
the Ur
kingB.C.)
wealth of
Ur king12.
the name,
with early
in12. The
The reading
reading of
of the
name, as
as is
is frequently
frequently the
the case
case with
early Mesopotami,l.ll
Mesopotamian inscriptions, is
is not
certain. It
It has
also been
been read
read as
as "Shub-ad";
"Shub-ad"; this
this is
is the
form used
used in
scriptions,
not certain.
has also
the form
in
most popular
most
popular and
and even
even in
in some
some specialized
specialized works,
works, but
but it
it is
is almost
almost certainly
certainly wrong.
wrong.
13.
13. Such
Such burials
burials were,
were, however,
however, not
not part
part of
of an
an annual
annual rite;
rite; the
the funeral
funeral gifts
gifts were
were too
too
expensive, even
even for
for aa royal
spouse.
expensive,
royal spouse.

The
The City-States
City-States of
of Sumer
Sumer

79
79

dom,
which apparently
union of
Mesodom, which
apparently headed
headed the
the southern
southern union
of Lower
Lower Mesopotamian Sumerian
no doubt
the source
potamian
Sumerian nomes.
nomes. There
There is
is no
doubt about
about the
source of
of this
this
wealth: the
wealth:
the gold
gold and
and the
the carnelian
carnelian beads
beads came
came from
from India,
India, and
and the
the
lapis
lazuli, although
mines of
lapis lazuli,
although from
from the
the mines
of Badakhshan
Badakhshan in
in northern
northern
Afghanistan,
reached Ur
Ur from
via the
the sea.
It is
to
Afghanistan, probably
probably also
also reached
from India
India via
sea. It
is to
lugals of
of Kish
Kish were
were much
much less
less lavish:
lavish:
be
noted that
that the
the burials
burials of
of the
the lugals
be noted
Ur was
the seaport
seaport for
for trade
trade with
with India.
India. The
The high-prowed
high-prowed Sumerian
Sumerian
Ur
was the
ships, built
built of
of long
long giant
giant reed
reed beams
beams tied
tied together
together and
and coated
coated with
with
ships,
natural bitumen,
with sails
sails made
made of
of reed
reed mats
mats and
and attached
attached to
to thick
thick
natural
bitumen, with
reed masts,
masts, sailed
sailed along
along the
shores of
of the
the Persian
Gulf to
to the
the island
of
reed
the shores
Persian Gulf
island of
Dilmun
(present-day Bahrain)
Bahrain) and
and then
then to
to the
the Indian
Ocean, possibly
possibly
Dilmun (present-day
Indian Ocean,
even reaching
reaching the
the ports
ports of
of Melakha-a
Melakhaa country
country of
of the
the ancient
ancient Indus
Indus
even
14
civilization, not
far from
from the
the mouth
mouth of
of the
the Indus
Indus River.
River.14
civilization,
not far
The
The First
First Dynasty
Dynasty of
of Ur
Ur begins
begins the
the last
last stage
stage of
of the
the Early
Early Dynastic
Dynastic
Period (ED
(ED III).
III). In
In addition
addition to
the city
city ofUr,
of Ur, there
there existed
existed other
other indeindePeriod
to the
pendent nome
nome communities
communities in
in Lower
Lower Mesopotamia,
Mesopotamia, some
some of
of which
which
pendent
were headed
were
headed by
by lugals
lugalswho,
who,like
likethe
the lugals
lugalsininUr,
Ur,strove
strovefor
forhegemony.
hegemony.
The
with each
The communities
communities constantly
constantly dashed
clashed with
each other;
other; this
this condition
condition of
of
unremitting
was characteristic
unremitting warfare
warfare was
characteristic of
of the
the period.
period. They
They fought
fought
for
the fertile
riches.
for the
fertile strips
strips of
of land,
land, for
for canals,
canals, and
and for
for accumulated
accumulated riches.
Among
the most
was
Among the
the rival
rival states
states claiming
claiming hegemony,
hegemony, the
most important
important was
the nome
nome of
in the
the northern
northern part
Lower Mesopotamia
the
of Kish
Kish in
part of
of Lower
Mesopotamia and
and the
the
nome of
Lagash in
south. Lagash
Lagash was
was situated
situated on
on aa branch
nome
of Lagash
in the
the south.
branch of
of the
the
Euphrates,
I-Nina-Gena, that
that reached
Euphrates, the
the I-Nina-Gena,
reached the
the Tigris
Tigris lagoon.
lagoon. Girsu
Girsu
(or,
Ngirsu) was
was the
the capital
(or, actually,
actually, Ngirsu)
capital city
city of
of Lagash.
Lagash.
We
more documents
We have
have many
many more
documents and
and inscriptions
inscriptions from
from Lagash
Lagash than
than
from
from any
any other
other Lower
Lower Mesopotamian
Mesopotamian nome
nome of
of that
that time.
time. Most
Most imporimportant is
the economic
temple dedicated
tant
is the
economic archive
archive of
of the
the temple
dedicated to
to the
the goddess
goddess
Baba (or
Bau). This
archive indicates
indicates that
land was
was divided
divided into
into
Baba
(or Bau).
This archive
that the
the land
three categories:
categories: (1)
(1) The
The actual
temple land,
land, the
the nig-en,
nig-en, which
which was
three
actual temple
was
worked by
by the
dependent laborers.
laborers. In
part, its
its income
income went
went
worked
the temple's
temple's dependent
In part,
to the
the maintenance
the economy's
to
maintenance of
of the
economy's personnel.
personnel. But
But the
the greater
greater part
part
of the
the income
income went
went into
into the
the sacrificial,
sacrificial, reserve,
reserve, and
and exchange
exchange funds.
funds.
of
parcels to
the temple
personnel: to
(2)
(2) Land
Land allotted
allotted in
in parcels
to some
some of
of the
temple personnel:
to minor
minor
administrators, craftsmen,
craftsmen, and
and men
responsible for
for the
the agricultural
agricultural
administrators,
men responsible
work.
This group
supplied the
the soldiers
the temple'S
temple's military
military
work. This
group also
also supplied
soldiers for
for the
detachment. Frequently,
such an
allotment was
given to
entire
detachment.
Frequently, such
an allotment
was given
to an
an entire
chief. Legally,
Legally,
group
of workers
workers who
were considered
considered "men"
"men" of
of their
their chief.
group of
who were
the
allotments did
did not
constitute the
property of
of the
the holders;
holders; they
they
the allotments
not constitute
the property
were just
form of
of personnel
maintenance. If,
If, for
for some
some reason,
it
were
just aa form
personnel maintenance.
reason, it
14.
In the
14. In
the specialized
specialized literature,
literature, it is
is also
also called
called Meluhha.
Meluhha. Both
Both readings
readings are
are
acceptable.
acceptable.

80
8o

I.
/. M. Diakonoff
Diakonoff

suited
suited the
the administration,
administration, the
the allotment
allotment could
could be
be withdrawn,
withdrawn, or
or not
not be
be
awarded
place, and
awarded in
in the
the first
first place,
and the
the man
man given
given aa ration
ration instead.
instead.15IS The
The
female workers
were employed
employed in
in spinning,
spinning, weaving,
weaving, tending
tending
female
workers who
who were
cattle,
and so
so on
only, as
as did
did their
children
cattle, and
on received
received rations
rations only,
their non-adult
non-adult children
and all
all male
male unskilled
laborers. Men
Men and
and women
of this
group could
could
and
unskilled laborers.
women of
this group
be
and for
for all
all practical
practical purposes,
purposes, they
shared the
the status
status of
of
be purchased,
purchased, and
they shared
slaves, although
although the
the children
children of
of the
the female
female slaves
slaves could
could be
eventuslaves,
be eventually transferred
another category
of workers.
(3) Land
Land apparently
apparently
ally
transferred to
to another
category of
workers. (3)
rented
out by
the temple
temple to
to anyone
anyone who
who wanted
wanted and
and was
able to
work
rented out
by the
was able
to work
it, on
on relatively
favorable conditions.
conditions. The
The holder's
holder's main
main obligation
obligation was
relatively favorable
was
it,
to
cede aa portion
temple.
to cede
portion of
of the
the crop
crop to
to the
the temple.
As before,
before, there
there still
lands outside
the temple
temple that
As
still existed
existed lands
outside the
that belonged
belonged
to
households. It
not seem
to extended-family
extended-family households.
It does
does not
seem probable
probable that
that they
they
employed slave
slave labor
labor as
as aa rule.
rule.
employed
The
the nome,
nome, including
the chief
The higher
higher functionaries
functionaries of
of the
including the
chief priest
priest
and
ruler himself,
himself, received
received very
very substantial
substantial allotments
allotments for
for their
their
and the
the ruler
service.
their own
them, who
service. They
They had
had their
own "men"
"men" working
working for
for them,
who carried
carried the
the
same status
status as
as those
land. It
It is
is not
not entirely
clear
same
those working
working the
the temple
temple land.
entirely clear
whether
the lands
lands allotted
allotted to
important persons
of the
the
whether the
to these
these important
persons were
were part
part of
state fund
fund or
or whether
whether they
they were
to these
these functionaries
functionaries as
as propstate
were given
given to
property.
not have
even to
to the
erty. Actually,
Actually, this
this may
may not
have been
been clear
clear even
the people
people of
of
Lagash themselves.
themselves. The
The fact
fact is
is that
as opposed
opposed to
to mere
mere posLagash
that property,
property, as
possession, is
is characterized
characterized by
the right
right of
of the
the proprietor
to dispose
dispose of
of it
it
by the
proprietor to
session,
at his
his own
own discretion,
discretion, as,
as, for
for example,
example, by
by selling
selling it,
it, by
by bestowing
bestowing it
it as
as aa
at
gift, or
or by
leaving it
it as
as an
an inheritance.
inheritance. But
But the
idea of
complete
gift,
by leaving
the idea
of the
the complete
alienation of
of land
land contradicted
contradicted the
the deep-rooted
deep-rooted principles
the
alienation
principles that
that the
Mesopotamians had
inherited from
from primitive
times. Moreover,
the
Mesopotamians
had inherited
primitive times.
Moreover, the
rich
noble actually
actually had
alienate land.
land. It
It was
was the
the poor
poor
rich and
and the
the noble
had no
no need
need to
to alienate
of
the
community
who
sometimes
were
forced
by
circumstance
to
of the community who sometimes were forced by circumstance to rerelinquish
their land
land in
in order
order to
to pay
off debts,
debts, but
such deals
deals may
may not
not
linquish their
payoff
but such
have been
been considered
considered fully
fully irreversible.
irreversible. There
There were
were also
also occasional
occasional ininhave
stances when
would force
force someone
someone to
give up
his land
to him.
him.
stances
when aa ruler
ruler would
to give
up his
land to
But the
the property
relationships of
of Lower
Lower Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia in
in the
the third
third
But
property relationships
millennium were
were apparently
apparently not
not yet
yet clearly
clearly geared
geared to
to the
the needs
of
millennium
needs of
class
society. However,
However, it
it is
is important
important to
to realize
that the
society was
class society.
realize that
the society
was
already stratified
stratified into
into aa wealthy
wealthy class
class that
that had
opportunity to
to exhad the
the opportunity
exalready
others, aa class
class that
was not
not yet
yet exploited
exploited and
and did
did not
not
ploit
the labor
labor of
of others,
ploit the
that was
exploit other
other people's
labor, and
and aa class
class of
of people
who were
were disexploit
people's labor,
people who
dispossessed
of production
and who
who were
subject to
extrapossessed of
of means
means of
production and
were subject
to extraeconomic exploitation.
exploitation. This
This last
last class
class included
included patriarchal
patriarchal slaves
slaves and
and
economic
helots, workers
were bound
to the
the large
large economies.
economies.
helots,
workers who
who were
bound to
15.
15. Actually,
Actually, the
the holders
holders of
of allotments
allotments also
also received
received rations-not
rationsnot monthly
monthly but
but once
once
in
in aa season.
season.

The
The City-States
City-States of
of Sumer
Sumer

81
81

It is
is true
information almost
almost exclusively
exclusively comes
comes from
from Lagash
Lagash
It
true that
that this
this information
(twenty-fifth to
centuries B.C.),
B.C.), but
but there
there is
is some
some evi(twenty-fifth
to twenty-fourth
twenty-fourth centuries
evidence that
that an
an analogous
analogous situation
situation prevailed
prevailed in
in all
all the
other Lower
Lower
dence
the other
Mesopotamian nomes,
nomes, regardless
regardless of
of whether
whether their
their inhabitants
inhabitants spoke
spoke
Mesopotamian
Sumerian or
or Eastern
Semitic. However,
in many
ways, the
Lagash
Sumerian
Eastern Semitic.
However, in
many ways,
the Lagash
nome was
example, Lagash
Lagash was
was second
second in
in
nome
was in
in aa unique
unique position.
position. For
For example,
wealth
only to
to Ur-Uruk.
Ur-Uruk. The
The Lagash
Lagash port
port of
of Guaba
Guaba competed
competed with
with Ur
Ur
wealth only
in overseas
overseas trade
trade with
with neighboring
and with
India. The
The trade
trade
in
neighboring Elam
Elam and
with India.
agents (tamkars)
(tamkars) were
were part
part ofofthe
thetemple
templeeconomies'
economies'personnel,
personnel,alalagents
though
they also
also accepted
accepted private
orders for
the purchase
of overseas
overseas
though they
private orders
for the
purchase of
products,
including slaves.
products, including
slaves.
The
rulers of
their counterparts
nomes,
The rulers
of Lagash,
Lagash, like
like their
counterparts in
in the
the other
other nomes,
dreamed of
of achieving
achieving hegemony
hegemony in
in Lower
Lower Mesopotamia,
Mesopotamia, but
access to
to
dreamed
but access
the center
was blocked
neighboring city
the
center of
of the
the land
land was
blocked by
by the
the neighboring
city of
of Umma,
Umma,
which was
located near
near the
the point
point where
where the
the I-Nina-Gena
separated
which
was located
I-Nina-Gena separated
from the
the Iturungal.
For many
many generations
generations Lagash
was engaged
from
Iturungal. For
Lagash was
engaged in
in aa
bloody
with Umma
over the
the fertile
fertile region
at the
border between
between
feud with
Umma over
region at
the border
bloody feud
the
two cities.
cities. The
The rulers
rulers of
of Lagash
the title
title of
of ensf
ensi and
and were
were
the two
Lagash held
held the
granted
the title
title of
of lugal
lugal (by
(by the
council or the
the popular
popular assembly?)
assembly?)
granted the
the councilor
only temporarily,
apparently in
conjunction with
the transfer
transfer of
of spespeonly
temporarily, apparently
in conjunction
with the
cial powers,
such as
as for
for the
duration of
of aa military
military expedition
expedition or
or when
when
cial
powers, such
the duration
carrying out
out some
some especially
especially important
important measures.
measures.
carrying
The
of aa Sumerian
ruler at
at that
that time
consisted of
of relaThe army
army of
Sumerian nome
nome ruler
time consisted
relatively
detachments of
of heavily
heavily armed
armed warriors.
The soldiers
soldiers were
were
tively small
small detachments
warriors. The
protected
by cone-shaped
helmets and
by heavy
protected by
cone-shaped copper
copper helmets
and by
heavy felt
felt cloaks
cloaks
with
with large
large copper
copper plates,
plates, or
or by
by enormous
enormous copper-covered
copper-covered shields;
shields;
they
they fought
fought in
in close
close order,
order, the
the long
long spears
spears of
of the
the rear
rear rows
rows protrudprotruding between
the protective
the first
first row
like bristles.
bristles. There
ing
between the
protective shields
shields of
of the
row like
There
were also
also primitive
primitive chariots
on solid
solid wheels
wheels with
with quivers
were
chariots on
quivers containing
containing
missile
or javelins
javelins attached
their fronts.
missile darts
darts or
attached to
to their
fronts. The
The chariots
chariots were
were
pulled
pulled by
by onagers
onagers (large
(large semiwild
semiwild donkeys).16
donkeys).16
The
The losses
losses suffered
suffered in
in the
the confrontations
confrontations between
between such
such detachments
detachments
were
the dead
were relatively
relatively small;
small; the
dead were
were only
only counted
counted in
in dozens.
dozens. The
The warwarriors
of these
these detachments
detachments were
were allotted
allotted parcels
parcels on
on temple
temple land
land or
or on
on
riors of
the land
land of
of the
the ruler,
ruler, if
committed to
him. A
lugal
the
if they
they were
were directly
directly committed
to him.
A lugal
could
popular militia
the temple's
temple's dependepencould also
also raise
raise aa popular
militia from
from among
among the
dents, as
as well
well as
as from
from the
the free
free community
community members.
members. These
These milidents,
militiamen formed
formed aa light
light infantry
infantry armed
armed with
with short
short spears.
spears.
tiamen
Soon after
after 2400
2400 B.C.,
the ruler
ruler of
of Lagash,
Lagash, Eanatum,
Eanatum, was
was temporartemporarSoon
B.C., the
ily
lugal;he
heled
ledthe
theheavily
heavilyarmed
armeddetachments
detachmentsand
and the
themilitia
militia
ily elected
elected lugal;
16. The
The horse
horse was
was known
known but,
but, most
been domesticated
in Meso16.
most likely,
likely, had
had not
not yet
yet been
domesticated in
Mesopotamia. Earlier
Earlier evidence
evidence for
for the
the utilization
utilization of
of the
the horse
horse has
has been
been found
found in
in archaeologiarchaeologipotamia.
cal
particularly, the
note (PLK).
(PLK).
cal sites
sites in
in Turkey,
Turkey, Transcaucasia,
Transcaucasia, and,
and, particularly,
the Ukraine.
Ukraine. Editor's
Editor's note

82

I.
/. M.
M. Diakonoff
Diakonoff

against
Umma, inflicting
by the
against Umma,
inflicting enormous
enormous casualties
casualties (at
(at least,
least, by
the stanstandards of
that time)
on the
the enemy.
enemy. Although
Although in
in his
his native
native Lagash
Lagash
dards
of that
time) on
Eanatum
acensi, he
he eventually
eventually acEanatum had
had to
to be
be content
content with
with the
the title
title of
of ensf,
quired the
the title
title of
of lugal
quired
lugal of
of Kish
Kish after
after successes
successes in
in his
his wars
wars against
against UUr
r
and Kish,
Kish, as
as well
well as
as against
against other
other nomes.
nomes. His
His successors,
successors, however,
however,
and
were
unable to
to maintain
maintain hegemony
hegemony over
over these
these nomes.
nomes.
were unable
After
time, the
the rule
passed to
to Enentarzi,
the son
After some
some time,
rule of
of Lagash
Lagash passed
Enentarzi, the
son of
of
the chief
chief priest
of the
local god,
god, Ningirsu.
Ningirsu. After
After his
father, Enentarzi
Enentarzi
the
priest of
the local
his father,
also became
became chief
chief priest
priest of
of Ningirsu.
Ningirsu. When
When he
he became
the ensf
ensi of
also
became the
of
Lagash, he
he merged
merged the
the state
state lands
lands with
with the
the lands
lands of
of Ningirsu's
Ningirsu's temple
temple
Lagash,
and of
of the
the temples
temples belonging
belonging to
to the
the goddess
goddess Baba
Baba (Ningirsu's
(Ningirsu's wife)
wife)
and
and their
their children.
children. In
In this
this way,
way, more
more than
than half
half of
of all
all the
the land
land in
in
and
Lagash came
came into
into the
the possession
possession of
of the
and his
his family.
family. Many
Many
Lagash
the ruler
ruler and
priests
were removed,
removed, and
and the
the administration
administration of
of the
the temple
temple lands
lands
priests were
passed
into the
the hands
hands of
of the
the dependents
dependents of
of the
the ruler.
ruler. The
The ruler's
ruler's
passed into
people began
began exacting
exacting various
various levies
levies from
from the
the lower
lower priests
priests and
and men
men
people
in the
the temple
temple service.
service. We
We must
must assume
assume that
that the
the situation
situation of
of the
the comcomin
munity members
members also
also deteriorated.
deteriorated. There
There are
are documents
documents showing
showing
munity
that impoverished
impoverished parents
parents had
had to
to sell
sell their
their children,
children, which
which gives
gives us
us
that
some vague
information about
about the
indebtedness of
of the
the community
community
some
vague information
the indebtedness
members. The
The causes
causes of
of this
impoverishment are
are not
not known
exactly;
members.
this impoverishment
known exactly;
increased taxation
taxation owing
owing to
to the
the growth
growth of
of government
government personnel
personnel
increased
combined with
with unequal
unequal distribution
distribution of
of land
land and
and of
of other
other resources
resources
combined
caused by
by social
social and
and economic
economic stratification
stratification may
may have
have played
played aa part.
part.
caused
In such
such circumstances
circumstances it
it was
was necessary
necessary to
to get
get means
means on
on credit
credit in
in order
order
In
to obtain
obtain grain
grain for
for sowing
sowing and
and tools.
But the
the amount
amount of
of metals
metals in
in circirto
tools. But
culation (silver
(silver and
and copper)
copper) was
extremely small.
small.
culation
was extremely
All this
this caused
caused discontent
discontent among
among different
different groups
groups of
of the
the populapopulaAll
altion
tion of
of Lagash.
Lagash. Lugalanda,
Lugalanda, Enentarzi's
Enentarzi's successor,
successor, was
was overthrown,
overthrown, although it
it is
is possible
possible he
he continued
continued living
living in
in Lagash
Lagash as
as aa private
private citizen.
citizen.
though
Uruinimgina
Uruinimgina (ca.
(ca. 2318-2310
2318-2310 B.C.)17
B.C.)17 was
was elected
elected in
in his
his place,
place, probably
probably
by
the popular
popular assembly,
assembly, and
and during
during the
the second
second year
year of
of his
rule, was
was
by the
his rule,
lugal.As
Aslugal,
lugal,Uruinimgina
Uruinimginacarried
carriedout
outanan
conferred the
authority of
of lugal.
conferred
the authority
important
reform that
was recorded
and described
described in
in inscriptions
inscriptions
important reform
that was
recorded and
made on
on his
his orders.
orders. Apparently,
Apparently, he
he was
was not
the first
first to
to accomplish
accomplish
made
not the
such
reforms
in
Sumer;
we
know
that
they
had
been,
perhaps
periodisuch reforms in Sumer; we know that they had been, perhaps periodically,
enacted
in
the
past,
though
we
do
not
have
such
detailed
cally, enacted in the past, though we do not have such detailed evievidence of
of these
these previous
previous measures
measures as
as we
we have
have from
from Uruinimgina's
Uruinimgina's
dence
inscriptions. Nominally,
put an
an end
end to
family's
reform put
to the
the ruling
ruling family's
inscriptions.
Nominally, this
this reform
ownership of
of the
the lands
lands of
of Ningirsu,
Baba, and
and the
the other
other gods
gods and
and
ownership
Ningirsu, Baba,
goddesses; it
it abolished
abolished requisitions
requisitions that
that contradicted
contradicted the
the prevailing
prevailing
goddesses;
customs; it
it stopped
stopped some
some arbitrary
arbitrary actions
actions of
of the
the ruler's
ruler's men;
men; it
it imimcustoms;
17.
name was
17. Earlier,
Earlier, his
his name
was incorrectly
incorrectly read
read "Urukagina."
"Urukagina."

The City-States of Sumer

83

proved the
the conditions
conditions of
of the
the junior
priesthood and
and of
of the
the more
more wellproved
junior priesthood
wellto-do
to-do temple
temple dependents;
dependents; it
it eliminated
eliminated debt
debt contracts;
contracts; etc.
etc. However,
However,
despite
despite the
the revolutionary
revolutionary appearance
appearance of
of the
the reforms,
reforms, the
the situation
situation
changed
changed very
very little.
little. The
The removal
removal of
of the
the temple
temple economies
economies from
from the
the
ruler's possession
possession was
was purely
purely nominal-indeed,
nominalindeed, the
the entire
entire administraadministraruler's
tion installed
installed by
by the
the former
former ruler
ruler remained
remained in
in place.
place. Whatever
Whatever were
were
tion
the causes
causes for
for the
the impoverishment
impoverishment and
and indebtedness
indebtedness of
of community
community
the
members, they
they were
were not
not eliminated.
eliminated. Meanwhile,
Meanwhile, Uruinimgina
Uruinimgina got
got
members,
himself involved
involved in
in aa war
war against
against neighboring
neighboring Umma.
Umma. This
This war
war had
had
himself
disastrous consequences
consequences for
for Lagash.
Lagash.
disastrous
At that
that time,
time, Umma
Umma was
was ruled
ruled by
by Lugalzagesi,
Lugalzagesi, who
who had
had inherited
inherited
At
from
from the
the First
First Dynasty
Dynasty of
of Ur
Ur (Second
(Second Dynasty
Dynasty of
of Uruk)
Uruk) the
the power
power
over
over all
all of
of southern
southern Lower
Lower Mesopotamia,
Mesopotamia, except
except for
for Lagash.
Lagash. His
His war
war
against
ruinimgina lasted
against U
Uruinimgina
lasted several
several years
years and
and ended
ended with
with the
the conquest
conquest
of
ruinimgina's territory
reof aa good
good half
half of
of U
Uruinimgina's
territory and
and the
the decline
decline of
of the
the remainder
mainder of
of his
his state.
state. Having
Having defeated
defeated Lagash
Lagash in
in 2312
2312 B.C.,18
B.C.,18 LugalzaLugalzagesithen
gesi then defeated
defeated Kish
Kish and
and succeeded
succeeded in
in obtaining
obtaining free
free passage
passage
for
rulers. These
for his
his traders
traders through
through the
the territories
territories of
of the
the northern
northern rulers.
These
traders
India via
Gulf, and
and now
now
traders already
already enjoyed
enjoyed access
access to
to India
via the
the Persian
Persian Gulf,
they
they could
could travel
travel to
to the
the north,
north, toward
toward the
the Mediterranean
Mediterranean Sea,
Sea, to
to Syria
Syria
and Asia
Minor, from
from whence
whence they
they brought
brought valuable
valuable lumber,
lumber, copper,
copper,
and
Asia Minor,
and silver.
silver. But
But soon
soon Lugalzagesi
Lugalzagesi himself
suffered aa crushing
crushing defeat.
defeat.
and
himself suffered
This
3.
This defeat
defeat is
is the
the subject
subject of
of Lecture
Lecture 3.
18.
18. All
All dates
dates cited
cited in
in this
this lecture
lecture may
may be
be affected
affected by
by an
an error
error of
of about
about one
one hundred
hundred
years
to each
not diverge
by
years in
in either
either direction;
direction; but
but any
any two
two dates,
dates, in
in relation
relation to
each other,
other, do
do not
diverge by
more than
than one
one generation.
generation. For
For example,
example, the
the date
of the
the beginning
beginning of
of the
the Protoliterate
Protoliterate
more
date of
B.C. in
in this
this lecture)
lecture) can
can oscillate
oscillate between
between 3000
3000 and
and 2800,
2800, and
and the
the date
date of
of
Period
(2900 B.C.
Period (2900
B.C. in
in this
this lecture),
lecture), from
from 2500
2500 to
to 2300.
2300. But
But the
the
the beginning
beginning of
of Eanatum's
Eanatum's rule
rule (2400
(2400 B.C.
the
time from
from the
the start
start of
of Eanatum's
Eanatum's rule
rule to
to the
the end
end of
of Uruinimgina's
Uruinimgina's rule
rule (ninety
(ninety years,
years, or
or
time
three generations,
generations, according
according to
to the
the chronological
chronological calculation
calculation used
used in
in this
this lecture)
lecture) cancanthree
not be
be less
less than
than two
two or
or more
more than
than four
four generations
generations in
in duration.
duration.
not

3
Early
Despotisms in
in Mesopotamia
Early Despotisms
Mesopotamia
I.
I. M.
M. DIAKONOFF
DIAKONOFF

The Kingdom
Kingdom of
of the
the Sargonids
Sargonids
The
After
having subjugated
the entire
part of
After having
subjugated almost
almost the
entire southern
southern part
of Lower
Lower
Mesopotamia
(Sumer), Lugalzagesi
Lugalzagesi did
did not
attempt to
to consolidate
consolidate it
it
not attempt
Mesopotamia (Sumer),
into aa unified
unified state;
state; having
having his
social base
base in
in the
the elite
elite of
of the
the temples
temples
into
his social
and communities
communities of
of the
Sumerian nomes,
nomes, he
he limited
limited himself
himself to
apand
the Sumerian
to appropriating
local priestly
priestly or
or princely
conferred by
by the
the nome
nome
propriating the
the local
princely titles
titles conferred
elders. Lugalzagesi
Lugalzagesi did
did nothing
to bring
the struggle
struggle against
against his
his opelders.
nothing to
bring the
opponents
to aa permanent
end. Although
Although he
he defeated
defeated Kish,
Kish, he
he did
did
ponents to
permanent end.
not destroy
destroy the
the Kish
Kish lugals,
lugah, and
and having
having defeated
defeated Lagash,
Lagash, he
he was
was not
not
not
able
to
remove
Uruinimgina
from
power.
During
Lugalzagesi's
rule,
able to remove Uruinimgina from power. During Lugalzagesi's rule,
Sumer resembled
military confederations
confederations of
of nomes
nomes in
in the
the times
times of
Sumer
resembled the
the military
of
Gilgamesh
and
Aka.
Gilgamesh and Aka.
had to
Eventually,
Eventually, Lugalzagesi
Lugalzagesi had
to confront
confront aa new,
new, formidable,
formidable, and
and ununexpected adversary:
adversary: Sargon
Sargon the
Ancient. (This
(This is
is the
the conventional
conventional
expected
the Ancient.
name
that historians
name that
historians give
give Lugalzagesi's
Lugalzagesi's foe.)
foe.) Sargon
Sargon descended
descended from
from
the
people
who
inhabited
the
northern
part
of
Lower
Mesopotamia
the people who inhabited the northern part of Lower Mesopotamia
and
who spoke
spoke the
the Eastern
Eastern Semitic
Semitic language.
language. In
In this
language he
he
and who
this language
Sharrum-ken,which
whichmeans
means"the
"theking
kingisisthe
thetrue
trueone."
one."
called himself
himself Sharrum-ken,
called
Historians assume
assume that
that this
this was
was not
his original
original name
name and
and that
that he
he apapnot his
Historians
propriated
after he
he declared
declared himself
himself king.
king.
propriated it
it only
only after
Legends of
of much
much later
later times
describe Sargon
Sargon the
the Ancient
Ancient as
man
Legends
times describe
as aa man
of
humble origin,
reason to
of very
very humble
origin, and
and there
there is
is no
no reason
to doubt
doubt the
the credibility
credibility
of
was said
he was
the adopted
of this
this tradition.
tradition. It
It was
said that
that he
was aa gardener,
gardener, the
adopted son
son of
of
aa waterbearer,
waterbearer, and
and that
that he
he became
became aa cupbearer
cupbearer of
of the
the lugal
lugal of
of Kish.
Kish.
When
Lugalzagesi defeated
defeated this
Sargon carved
carved out
out of
of it
it his
When Lugalzagesi
this nome,
nome, Sargon
his
own
own kingdom.
kingdom.
Sargon did
did not
not tie
tie his
his fortunes
fortunes to
to age-old
age-old community
community or
or nome
nome tratraSargon
ditions. In
In his
his own
own right,
elevated aa small
small obscure
obscure town
town called
called Akright, he
he elevated
Akditions.
kade. (This
(This town
town was
was probably
located somewhere
somewhere on
on the
the irrigated
irrigated
kade.
probably located
lands that
that once
once belonged
belonged to
to Kish.)
Kish.) When
When Sargon's
Sargon's dynasty
dynasty fell,
fell, the
the city
city
lands
of Akkade
Akkade was
was completely
completely destroyed,
destroyed, leaving
leaving no
no trace.
trace. Archaeologists
Archaeologists
of
its ruins.
ruins.1l In
In its
its own
own time,
time, however,
however, this
this
have not
not yet
yet found
found the
the site
site of
of its
have
1. The
city of
Akkade is
is mentioned
mentioned in
in post-Akkadian
so apparently
apparently some
some remrem1.
The city
of Akkade
post-Akkadian texts,
texts, so
nant of
of it
it survived.
survived. Editor's
Editor's note
nant
note (PLK).
(PLK).

Early
Early Despotisms
Despotisms in
in Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia

85
85

city played
played an
an important
role; and
and after
after Sargon
Sargon the
the Ancient
Ancient (ca.
city
important role;
(ca.
2316-2261 B.C.),
B.C.), the
the entire
entire northern
northern part
of Lower
Lower Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia
2316-2261
part of
(between the
the Tigris
Tigris and
and Euphrates
including the
the lower
lower part
(between
Euphrates and
and including
part of
of
the Diyala
Diyala Valley)
Valley) began
began to
to be
be called
called Akkad.
Akkad. For
For the
the next
two thouthouthe
next two
sand years
years the
the Eastern
Eastern Semitic
Semitic language
language was
was known
known as
as Akkadian.
Akkadian.
sand
The
had no
roots in
The fact
fact that
that Sargon
Sargon had
no roots
in the
the traditional
traditional nomes
nomes and
and did
did
not
not depend
depend on
on the
the nobility
nobility allowed
allowed him
him to
to draw
draw his
his support
support from
from the
the
common people,
forming aa militia
militia that
that might
might have
have been
more or
or less
common
people, forming
been more
less
voluntary.
voluntary. Sargon
Sargon and
and his
his successors
successors changed
changed the
the traditional
traditional battle
battle
tactics by
by replacing
replacing the
the small,
small, heavily
heavily armed
armed detachments,
detachments, which
which
tactics
fought
fought in
in closed
closed ranks,
ranks, with
with large
large masses
masses of
of lightly
lightly armed,
armed, mobile
mobile
warriors, who
who either
either fought
in chain
chain formations
formations or
or dispersed.
dispersed. TradiTradiwarriors,
fought in
tionally, the
the lugals
lugals did
did not
not use
bows and
and arrows
arrows in
in combat,
combat, since
since
tionally,
use bows
Sumer lacked
lacked the
the flexible
and resilient
resilient varieties
varieties of
of wood
wood that
were
Sumer
flexible and
that were
suitable for
for bows.
But Sargon
Sargon and
and the
the Sargonids
Sargonids attached
attached great
great imimbows. But
suitable
portance
to archers.
archers. They
They had
the advantage
advantage of
of being
being able
able to
to shower
shower
portance to
had the
with aa cloud
cloud of
of arrows
arrows the
clumsy detachments
detachments of
of warriors
warriors bearing
bearing
with
the clumsy
heavy shields
shields and
and spears,
spears, thus
thus breaking
up their
their ranks
ranks and
and evading
evading
heavy
breaking up
hand-to-hand combat
combat by
by remaining
remaining at
at aa considerable
considerable distance.
It is
hand-to-hand
distance. It
is
entirely possible
possible that
Sargon had
had access
access to
to yew
yew tree
tree (or
(or hazel
hazel tree)
tree)
entirely
that Sargon
groves in
the foothills
foothills of
of Iran
Iran and
and Asia
Asia Minor
Minor or
or that
that aa composite
composite bow,
groves
in the
bow,
glued together
together from
from horn,
horn, wood,
wood, and
and sinews,
sinews, had
had already
already been
been ininglued
vented at
at that
that time.
time. A
A good
is aa powerful
weapon that
that can
can hit
hit aa
vented
good bow
bow is
powerful weapon
target at
at 200
200 yards
yards and
and even
even farther;
farther; at
at close
close range
range an
an arrow
arrow can
can
target
pierce aa heavy
heavy board.
Five to
six shots
shots can
can be
be released
released in
in one
one minute,
minute,
pierce
board. Five
to six
and aa single
single quiver
quiver can
can store
store thirty
thirty to
to fifty
fifty arrows.
arrows.
and
In Lagash,
Lagash, the
the events
events that
that led
led to
to the
the coup
coup of
of Uruinimgina
Uruinimgina attest
attest to
to
In
the accumulation
accumulation of
of many
grievances against
against the
the prevailing
prevailing order.
order.
the
many grievances
Sargon could
could encounter
encounter support
support everywhere.
everywhere. The
The poorest
commuSargon
poorest community
may have
have been
interested in
in curbing
curbing the
the inordinate
inordinate
nity members
members may
been interested
growth of
of the
the nome
nome aristocracy's
aristocracy's power;
power; service
service in
in Sargon's
Sargon's army
army
growth
offered them
them hope
hope for
social and
and material
the past
past the
the
offered
for social
material betterment.
betterment. In
In the
means for
for such
such personal
personal advancement
advancement had
had been
been inaccessible
inaccessible to
to these
these
means
people.
But even
even within
within the
the temple
temple and
and the
the state
state economies,
economies, the
the perperpeople. But
sonnel were
were stratified
stratified to
to such
such aa degree
degree that
that it
it was
always easy
easy to
to find
find
sonnel
was always
here people
who were
were willing
willing to
to help
help destroy
destroy the
the nome
nome order.
order. It
It was
here
people who
was
actually from
from such
such people
people that
Sargon himself
himself had
originated. The
The
actually
that Sargon
had originated.
unification
of the
the country
country into
into one
one state
state could
could appear
appear to
to be
beneficial
unification of
be beneficial
for
the
development
of
productive
forces.
It
could
stop
the
for the development of productive forces. It could stop the endless,
endless,
bloody
squabbles over
over canals
canals and
and the
the interruptions
interruptions of
of irrigation
irrigation netnetbloody squabbles
works. It
would also
also mean
mean more
efficient trade.
trade.
works.
It would
more efficient
Apparently, Sargon
Sargon started
started by
by expanding
expanding his
his authority
authority over
over Upper
Upper
Apparently,
Mesopotamia, possibly
reaching all
all the
the way
to the
the Mediterranean.
Mediterranean. He
He
Mesopotamia,
possibly reaching
way to
then offered
offered Lugalzagesi
Lugalzagesi aa family
family alliance.
alliance. When
When Lugalzagesi
Lugalzagesi refused,
refused,
then

86

/.
I. M. Diakonoff
Diakonoff

Sargon resorted
resorted to
to military
military action
action and
and quickly
quickly defeated
defeated his
his adveradverSargon
sary. Lugalzagesi
Lugalzagesi was
captured and
and triumphantly
triumphantly paraded
paraded in
in copper
copper
was captured
sary.
shackles through
through the
the "Gates
"Gates of
of Enlil"
Enlil" in
in Nippur;
Nippur; he
he was
was probably
shackles
probably exeexecuted soon
soon after.
after. Over
Over aa short
short period
period of
of time,
time, Sargon
Sargon conquered
conquered all
all
cuted
the most
most important
important cities
cities of
of Lower
Lower Mesopotamia,
Mesopotamia, including
including Lagash,
Lagash,
the
which was
was now
now taken
taken in
in its
its entirety.
entirety. Having
Having reached
reached the
the MediterraMediterrawhich
nean, Sargon's
Sargon's soldiers
soldiers next
next washed
washed their
their weapons
weapons in
in the
the Persian
Persian
nean,
Gulf. Later,
Later, his
his troops
troops carried
carried on
on other
other campaigns
campaigns into
into Asia
Asia Minor
Minor
Gulf.
(the "Silver
"Silver Mountains")
Mountains") and
and Elam.
Elam.
(the
The
The nomes
nomes under
under Sargon
Sargon retained
retained their
their own
own internal
internal structure,
structure, but
but
the
ensisnow
nowbecame
becameofficials
officials responsible
responsibletotothe
theking.
king.They
They
the individual
individual ensis
took
over the
management of
of the
economies, which
also
took over
the management
the temple
temple economies,
which were
were also
subjected to
to the
the king.
king. Sargon
Sargon and
and his
his successors
successors kept
kept at
at their
their court
court the
the
subjected
representatives of
of the
aristocratic nome
nome family
family lineages,
lineages, esthe remaining
remaining aristocratic
esrepresentatives
pecially
ones; their
status was
was part
part dignitary,
dignitary, part
hostage.
the ruling
ruling ones;
their status
part hostage.
pecially the
Having
his own
own personal
personal standing
standing army
army (according
(according to
to tradition,
tradition, the
the
Having his
soldiers were
were settled
settled around
around the
the city
city of
of Akkade)
Akkade) and
and the
the support
support of
of aa
soldiers
countrywide militia,
militia, Sargon
Sargon had
had no
no need
need for
for detachments
detachments of
of soldiers
soldiers
countrywide
who
allotted land
land by
temple economies;
economies; being
being useless
useless now,
by the
the temple
now,
who were
were allotted
they were
were disbanded.
disbanded. The
The Sargonids
Sargonids generally
generally preferred
preferred to
to maintain
maintain
they
their workers
rations and
and to
to decrease
decrease the
the number
number of
of allotments
allotments
their
workers with
with rations
awarded to
to the
the state
state economy
economy personnel.
personnel. The
result was
was aa higher
higher rate
rate
The result
awarded
of exploitation.
exploitation.
of
Sargon's introduction
introduction of
of uniform
uniform measuring
measuring units
units for
for area,
area, weight,
weight,
Sargon's
and so
so on
on throughout
the country
country and
and his
his maintenance
maintenance of
of overland
overland
and
throughout the
and
his rule,
rule, ships
and sea
sea trade
trade routes
routes were
were also
also important.
important. During
During his
ships from
from
Melakha (in
(in India)
India) are
are said
said to
to have
have navigated
navigated up
up the
the river,
river, bringing
bringing
Melakha
exotic goods,
goods, such
such as
as elephants
elephants and
and monkeys,
monkeys, to
to the
the quay
quay of
of Akkade.
Akkade.
exotic
This trade,
trade, however,
however, did
did not
not flourish
flourish for
for long.
long.
This
Sargon made
made much
much of
of his
his reverence
reverence to
to the
the gods,
gods, especially
especially to
to the
the
Sargon
patron deity
deity of
of Akkade,
Akkade, Aba
Aba (or
(or Amba),
Amba), and
and to
to Nippur's
Enlil, and
and
patron
Nippur's Enlil,
gave rich
gifts to
to the
temples in
in order
order to
sway the
the priesthood
his
gave
rich gifts
the temples
to sway
priesthood to
to his
side. He
He had
had his
his daughter
daughter consecrated
consecrated as
as en-priestess
^n-priestess (entu
(entu in
in AkkaAkkaside.
dian) of
of the
the Moon
Moon god
god Nanna
Nanna of
of Dr.
Ur. From
From that
that time
time on,
on, it
it became
became
dian)
traditional
for the
the eldest
eldest daughter
daughter of
of the
king to
to become
entu of
the king
become entu
of
traditional for
Nanna. But
But despite
despite Sargon's
Sargon's patronage,
patronage, the
the relationship
relationship between
between the
the
Nanna.
priesthood and
and the
the kings,
kings, especially
especially under
under Sargon's
Sargon's successors,
successors, rerepriesthood
mained cool.
cool. The
The Sargonids
Sargonids broke
broke with
with the
the Early
Early Dynastic
Dynastic traditions
traditions
mained
in all
all respects-in
respectsin the
the use
use of
of titles,
titles, in
in their
their customs,
customs, and
and in
in artistic
artistic
in
tastes.
In
art,
the
superhuman,
impersonal
image
of
a
god
or
a
priest
tastes. In art, the superhuman, impersonal image of a god or a priest
was
replaced
by
images
exhibiting
a
powerful
individuality.
These
imwas replaced by images exhibiting a powerful individuality. These images were
were actually
actually Sargon
Sargon himself
himself and
and his
his closest
closest associates
associates who
who had
had
ages
achieved power
power on
on their
their own
own merits.
merits. Heroic
Heroic epic
epic images
images began
began to
to
achieved
dominate
the
oral
literature.
However,
very
few
individuals
managed
dominate the oral literature. However, very few individuals managed

Early
Early Despotisms
Despotisms in
in Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia

87

to
rise from
to positions
those who
to rise
from the
the lower
lower ranks
ranks to
positions of
of power,
power, and
and those
who did
did
seem
mainly to
have succeeded
only in
in the
beginning of
of Sargon's
Sargon's rule.
rule.
seem mainly
to have
succeeded only
the beginning
Eventually,
there arose
arose aa new
new aristocracy
aristocracy of
of royal
servants, and
and its
Eventually, there
royal servants,
its
ranks
restricted. Although
Although the
the soldiers
soldiers of
of Sargon's
Sargon's army
army are
are said
said
ranks were
were restricted.
in the
the legend
legend to
have assembled
assembled at
at meetings,
assemblies
in
to have
meetings, the
the popular
popular assemblies
and councils
councils of
of elders
elders no
longer had
had any
any significance,
significance, being
being always
always no
no
and
no longer
more
than nome
nome bodies.
bodies. The
The king
exercised aa despotic
despotic power
power
more than
king now
now exercised
over the
the entire
entire state;
state; that
that is,
is, his
power did
did not
derive from
from any
any outoutover
his power
not derive
side authority,
authority, whether
it be
be aa councilor
council or aa popular
popular assembly.
assembly. Nor
side
whether it
Nor was
was
there any
any auxiliary
auxiliary authority
authority parallel
parallel to
to the
the king's
king's and
and legally
legally checking
checking
there
his
Thus, the
had supported
supported Sargon,
Sargon,
his power.
power. Thus,
the popular
popular masses,
masses, who
who had
gained
from his
victory and
and eventually
eventually lost
lost considerably,
considerably, because
because
gained little
little from
his victory
despotic and
and bureaucratic
bureaucratic form
form of
of government
government became
became firmly
estabaa despotic
firmly established in
in Mesopotamia
and lasted
lasted for
for millennia.
millennia.
Mesopotamia and
lished
The people
people sensed
sensed and
and understood
understood their
their situation
situation very
quickly. AcThe
very quickly.
According
to aa late
late legend,
legend, some
elders organized
organized uprisings
even
cording to
some city
city elders
uprisings even
during Sargon's
Sargon's time.
Once, in
in his
old age,
age, Sargon
Sargon is
said to
to have
have
during
time. Once,
his old
is said
been forced
forced to
to flee
and hide
hide in
in aa ditch;
ditch; nevertheless,
nevertheless, he
he was
was eventually
eventually
been
flee and
able to
to subdue
subdue the
the insurgents.
insurgents. But
But Sargon's
Sargon's sons,
sons, Rimush
Rimush and
and Maable
Manishtushu,
ruled in
in succession
succession after
after their
their father,
confronted aa
father, confronted
nishtushu, who
who ruled
unanimous and
stubborn resistance
resistance throughout
throughout all
of Lower
unanimous
and stubborn
all of
Lower MesoMesoensis and
and noblemen
noblemen rose
rose in
in revolt,
revolt, and
and they
they were
were
potamia.
The city
city ensis
potamia. The
supported by
by aa multitude
of people
from all
all social
social ranks.
ranks. In
the prosupported
multitude of
people from
In the
process of
of subduing
subduing the
Rimush slaughtered
slaughtered the
the entirepopulaentire populacess
the rebellion,
rebellion, Rimush
tions
of some
some of
of his
country's cities
cities and
executed countless
countless thousands
thousands
tions of
his country's
and executed
of
prisoners.
of prisoners.
Let us
us note
that in
in this
case, as
as in
in the
Early Dynastic
Period, there
there
Let
note that
this case,
the Early
Dynastic Period,
was no
ethnic enmity.
enmity. The
Akkade dynasty
dynasty is
is frequently
frequently called
called Sewas
no ethnic
The Akkade
Semitic, as
as opposed
opposed to
to earlier
earlier and
and later,
later, supposedly
supposedly Sumerian
Sumerian dynasties.
dynasties.
mitic,
It is
true that
Sargon and
and his
his successors
successors belonged
belonged to
to that
that part
part of
It
is true
that Sargon
of
Lower
Mesopotamia where
where Eastern
Eastern Semitic
Semitic (Akkadian)
(Akkadian) was
was spoken
spoken
Lower Mesopotamia
and that
that Sargon
Sargon promoted
of all
all his
his own
own countrymen,
countrymen, many
and
promoted first
first of
many of
of
whom,
perhaps
even
the
majority,
spoke
Akkadian.
However,
some
whom, perhaps even the majority, spoke Akkadian. However, some
of the
the much
much earlier
earlier dynasties
dynasties also
also spoke
spoke Semitic.
Semitic. The
The Eastern
Eastern Semitic
Semitic
of
language
was
commonly
spoken
not
only
in
Kish
but
also
as
far
south
language was commonly spoken not only in Kish but also as far south
as
Ur,
at
least
since
the
Early
Dynastic
Period,
if
not
even
earlier.
It
as Ur, at least since the Early Dynastic Period, if not even earlier. It
seems
that
Lagash
alone
remained
almost
entirely
Sumerian
speakseems that Lagash alone remained almost entirely Sumerian speaking. But
But in
in Sargon's
Sargon's time,
and during
during the
the time
time of
of his
his successors,
successors, SumeSumeing.
time, and
rian
remained
the
official
language,
while
Akkadian
was
used
only
as
rian remained the official language, while Akkadian was used only as
secondary language.
language.
aa secondary
Legend
tells us
us that
Rimush was
was killed
killed by
his dignitaries,
who pelted
Legend tells
that Rimush
by his
dignitaries, who
pelted
him
stone seals;
seals; evidently,
evidently, it
it was
not proper
to carry
carry weaphim with
with heavy
heavy stone
was not
proper to
weapons in
in the
the presence
presence of
of aa king.
king. Yet,
his brother,
conons
Yet, his
brother, Manishtushu,
Manishtushu, continued the
the same
same policies.
policies. He
He also
also had
cruelly suppress
suppress uprisings
uprisings
tinued
had to
to cruelly

88

/.
I. M. Diakonoff
Diakonoff

in his
his own
own country.
country. Taking
Taking advantage
advantage of
of the
the difficult
difficult situation
situation of
of
in
the cities
cities that
that had
had been
been devastated
devastated by
by the
the slaughter
slaughter inflicted
inflicted by
by his
his
the
brother, Rimush,
Rimush, and
and by
by himself,
himself, Manishtushu
Manishtushu expanded
expanded the
the state
state
brother,
economy sector
sector by
by forcing
forcing the
the citizens
citizens to
to sell
sell him
him their
their lands
lands at
at nominomieconomy
nal prices.
prices. However,
However, he
he did
did not
not consider
consider it
it feasible
feasible to
to simply
simply conconnal
fiscate the
the land
land but
but proceeded
proceeded with
with all
all the
the formalities
formalities required
required in
in
fiscate
private land
land purchases.
purchases. The
The deals
deals were
were consummated
consummated in
in the
the presence
presence
private
of witnesses-his
witnesseshis own
own and
and those
those of
of the
the unwilling
unwilling sellers.
sellers. In
In cases
cases of
of
of
very large
large tracts
tracts of
of land,
land, he
sought approval
approval from
from the
the local
local popular
popular
very
he sought
assemblies. This
This proves
proves that
that the
the ancient
ancient kings
kings did
did not
not own
own all
all the
the land
land
assemblies.
in their
their country
country as
as property,
property, regardless
regardless of
of the
the despotic
despotic character
character of
of
in
their power,
power, and
and had
had to
to follow
follow the
the universally
universally established
established rules
rules when
when
their
acquiring real
real estate.
estate. They
They were
were able
able to
to exercise
exercise their
their power
power only
only in
in
acquiring
setting extremely
extremely low,
almost token,
token, purchase
setting
low, almost
purchase prices.
prices.
Manishtushu ordered
Manishtushu
ordered his
his land
land transactions
transactions to
to be
be recorded
recorded in
in writwriting on
on aa huge
huge stone
stone obelisk,
obelisk, which
which has
has been
preserved to
to our
our day.
day.
ing
been preserved
Since these
these sales
sales involved
involved large
large numbers
numbers of
of people,
people, the
the text
text inscribed
inscribed
Since
on Manishtushu's
obelisk allows
allows us
us to
to determine
determine for
for Lower
Lower Mesoon
Manishtushu's obelisk
Mesopotamia in
in the
the twenty-third
twenty-third century
century B.C.
B.C. the
the structure
structure of
of society
society outoutpotamia
side the
the state
state economy
economy sector.
sector.
side
It appears
appears that
that the
the community
community members
members at
at that
that time
time lived
lived in
in exexIt
tended-family
tended-family household
household communes
communes ("houses")
("houses") comprised
comprised of
of one
one to
to
three generations
generations that
that were
were headed
headed by
patriarch. This
domestic
three
by aa patriarch.
This domestic
structure is
is similar
similar to
to the
the one
one that
that existed
existed during
during the
the Early
Early Dynastic
Dynastic
structure
Period. Each
Each household
household commune
commune owned
owned its
its own
own land,
land, from
from which
which
Period.
individual family
family cells
cells received
received their
their shares.
shares. Such
Such aa share,
share, in
in its
its enenindividual
tirety or
or in
in part,
part, could
could be
be sold
sold only
only with
with the
the approval
approval of
of the
the whole
whole
tirety
extended-family commune.
commune. The
The seller
seller received
received aa "price,"
"price," and
and his
his relarelaextended-family
tives
received
all
sorts
of
additional
payments
("gifts");
these
paytives received all sorts of additional payments ("gifts"); these payments became
their personal
personal property.
property. Such
Such land
land as
as belonged
to the
the
belonged to
ments
became their
entire
family
group
could
be
sold,
all
or
in
part,
only
with
the
permisentire family group could be sold, all or in part, only with the permission of
of all
all the
the related
related extended
extended families
families whose
whose patriarchs
patriarchs descended
descended
sion
from aa common
common paternal
paternal ancestor.
ancestor. In
In such
such cases,
cases, the
the payment
payment was
was rerefrom
ceived by
the patriarch
patriarch of
of the
the selling
selling community,
community, and
and the
the additional
additional
ceived
by the
payments and
and gifts
gifts were
were given
given to
to the
the other
other interested
interested parties;
parties; that
that is,
is,
payments
the relatives
relatives belonging
to the
the kindred
kindred "houses."
"houses." Finally,
Finally, when
when lands
lands
the
belonging to
that belonged
belonged to
several "houses"
"houses" were
were sold
sold simultaneously,
simultaneously, especially
especially
that
to several
in cases
cases where
where their
their men
men belonged
belonged to
more than
than one
one lineage,
the apapto more
lineage, the
in
proval of
of the
the territorial
territorial community's
community's popular
popular assembly
assembly or
or of
of the
the asasproval
sembly of
of the
the entire
entire nome
nome was
required. The
The feast
feast for
for the
the popular
popular
was required.
sembly
assembly was
given by
the purchaser;
purchaser; viz.,
viz., the
the king.
king.
assembly
was given
by the
The military
military campaigns,
campaigns, already
already begun
begun by
by Sargon,
Sargon, into
into neighborneighborThe
ing countries
countries (Syria,
(Syria, Asia
Asia Minor,
Minor, and
and Elam)
Elam) were
were continued
continued by
his
ing
by his

Early
Early Despotisms
Despotisms in
in Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia

89
89

sons.
sons. Apparently,
Apparently, the
the kings
kings regarded
regarded occasional
occasional looting
looting of
of nearby
nearby
countries
more profitable
profitable than
and earnings
countries more
than duties
duties and
earnings that
that could
could be
be exexacted from
from trade.
Manishtushu organized
organized military
expeditions far
far to
to
acted
trade. Manishtushu
military expeditions
the
East, by
by sea
sea as
as well
as by
land, and
and got
got as
as far
far as
as the
the Elamite
Elamite city
city
the East,
well as
by land,
of Anshan,
located deep
deep within
within Iran,
close to
city of
of
of
Anshan, located
Iran, close
to the
the present-day
present-day city
Shiraz.
Shiraz.
In
very similar
In Elam
Elam at
at that
that time
time there
there flourished
flourished aa civilization
civilization very
similar to
to
the
the Early
Early Dynastic
Period. The
the Sumerian-Akkadian
Sumerian-Akkadian one
one of
of the
Dynastic Period.
The ElamElamite
language was
was related
related to
languages of
of today's
southite language
to the
the Dravidian
Dravidian languages
today's southern India.
India. The
The Elamite
hieroglyphic writing
writing developed
developed for
for this
this
ern
Elamite hieroglyphic
language in
in the
the first
first quarter
quarter of
of the
the third
third millennium
B.C. was
was to
to aa
language
millennium B.C.
certain degree
degree influenced
influenced by
the Sumerian
Sumerian writing
writing system.
system. It
It was
certain
by the
was
apparently used
used for
accounts (as
was the
case also
also in
in Sumer)
Sumer) in
in the
the
apparently
for accounts
(as was
the case
economies of
of the
the temples.
temples. This
This writing
has not
not yet
been deciphered.
deciphered.
economies
writing has
yet been
Generally speaking,
speaking, Elam
Elam followed
followed the
the same
same developmental
developmental path
path as
Generally
as
Lower Mesopotamia.
of the
the Elamite
Elamite civilization
civilization
the region
region of
Lower
Mesopotamia. However,
However, the
comprised not
alluvial plain
Karun and
and Kerkheh
rivers
comprised
not only
only the
the alluvial
plain of
of the
the Karun
Kerkheh rivers
but also
also the
the mountainous
mountainous regions
all the
the way
to the
of today's
today's
but
regions all
way to
the borders
borders of
Afghanistan
and Pakistan.
Pakistan. One
One of
of the
the routes
routes to
to the
the land
land of
of the
ancient
the ancient
Afghanistan and
Indus civilization
civilization led
led through
through Elam.
Elam.
Indus
Despite aa series
series of
of military
of Akkade
Akkade were
Despite
military campaigns,
campaigns, the
the kings
kings of
were
apparently unable
unable to
completely subdue
subdue Elam,
and Manishtushu's
Manishtushu's
apparently
to completely
Elam, and
nephew,
King Naram-Su'en,
finally signed
signed aa written
written agreement
agreement with
with
nephew, King
Naram-Su'en, finally
the
Elam pledged
to coordinate
coordinate its
its foreign
foreign and
and milithe Elamites
Elamites whereby
whereby Elam
pledged to
military policy
policy with
the Akkadian
tary
with the
Akkadian kingdom,
kingdom, while
while preserving
preserving its
its own
own ininternal independence.
independence. This
This was
was the
the first
first known
known international
treaty
ternal
international treaty
in world
world history.
history. It
It is
Elamite using
using Akkadian
cuneiform
in
is written
written in
in Elamite
Akkadian cuneiform
script, which,
since that
began to
spread throughout
Elam.
script,
which, since
that time,
time, began
to spread
throughout Elam.
Naram-Su'en
(ca. 2236-2200
B.C.) was
the mightiest
Sargon's deNaram-Su'en (ca.
2236-2200 B.C.)
was the
mightiest of
of Sargon's
descendants.
Yet, his
his reign
reign also
scendants. Yet,
also began
began with
The citizens
citizens of
with aa rebellion.
rebellion. The
of
ancient
Kish elected
their own
ancient Kish
elected one
one of
of their
own as
as king,
king, and
and numerous
numerous cities
cities of
of
different parts
parts of
of the
vast country
country joined
joined the
insurrection. Young
different
the vast
the insurrection.
Young
Naram-Su'en's
quick and
and resolute
resolute action
rebellion.
Naram-Su'en's quick
action crushed
crushed the
the rebellion.
We
know relatively
little about
about other
other military
military events
events during
the
We know
relatively little
during the
reign
Naram-Su'en. He
in Syria,
Mesoreign of
of Naram-Su'en.
He apparently
apparently fought
fought in
Syria, Upper
Upper Mesopotamia,
and in
the Iranian
Syria, he
the
in the
Iranian foothills.
foothills. In
In Syria,
he destroyed
destroyed the
potamia, and
powerful
Western Semites,
Semites, and
gained
powerful nome
nome of
of Ebla,
Ebla, inhabited
inhabited by
by Western
and gained
hegemony in
that region.
region.
hegemony
in that
The
changes
in
the
the state,
which Sargon
had alalThe changes in the organization
organization of
of the
state, which
Sargon had
ready
his grandson.
Naran-Su'en fiready initiated,
initiated, were
were completed
completed under
under his
grandson. Naran-Su'en
finally discarded
discarded all
old traditional
called himself
himself "King
"King
nally
all the
the old
traditional titles
titles and
and called
of the
Quarters of
World." In
no former
former period
had
of
the Four
Four Quarters
of the
the World."
In fact,
fact, no
period had
known
such aa vast
state as
as his
he preserved
the
known such
vast state
his had
had become.
become. Although
Although he
preserved the

go

/. M.
M. Diakonoff
I.
Diakonoff

role
role of
of the
the ensis
ensisininthe
theadministration,
administration,asaswell
wellasasthe
thestate
stateeconomies
economiesof
of
the nomes,
nomes, he
he appointed
appointed as
as ensfs
ensiseither
either his
hissons
sonsor
or his
hisfunctionaries.
functionaries.
the
As
As aa result,
result, the
the rank
rank of
of ensf
ensiin
in Lagash
Lagash was
wasborne
borne by
by aacommon
common scribe.
scribe.
Serious consequences
consequences resulted
resulted from
from Naram-Su'en's
Naram-Su'en's quarrel
quarrel with
with the
the
Serious
priests of
of Nippur.
Nippur. Among
Among other
other factors,
factors, the
the problem
problem of
of the
the titles
titles may
may
priests
have brought
this about.
about. Having
Having discarded
discarded all
all previous
previous titles,
titles, NaramNaramhave
brought this
Su'en
eo ipso
ipsothe
thepriestly
priestlyratification
ratificationofofthese
thesetitles.
titles.And,
And,asas
Su'en rejected
rejected eo
if that
were not
not enough,
enough, he
first ruler
ruler who
let himself
be
if
that were
he was
was the
the first
who let
himself be
proclaimed aa god
god and
and demanded
demanded worship.
An ensi
ensi was
was now
now obliged
obliged
proclaimed
worship. An
to
on his
his official
official seal
seal the
the following
following address
address to
to his
his ruler:
ruler: "God
"God
bear on
to bear
Naram-Su'en,
King of
the Four
Four Quarters
Quarters of
of the
God of
of AkAkNaram-Su'en, King
of the
the World,
World, God
kade, II so-and-so,
so-and-so, ensf
ensiof
of the
the city
city so-and-so,
so-and-so, am
am your
your slave."
slave."
kade,
Social support
support for
for the
Akkadian dynasty
dynasty shrunk
shrunk to
to aa minimum
minimum tothe Akkadian
toSocial
ward the
the end
end of
of Naram-Su'en's
Naram-Su'en's rule.
rule. The
The community
community members
members were
were
ward
ruined by
by wars,
wars, by
by punitive
expeditions against
against the
the cities
cities of
of the
the king's
king's
ruined
punitive expeditions
own country,
country, and
and by
by compulsory
compulsory land
land purchases.
The old
old nobility
nobility
purchases. The
own
was, for
for the
the most
most part,
liquidated. A
A substantial
substantial part
of the
the
was,
part, physically
physically liquidated.
part of
middle stratum
stratum of
of royal
royal servants
servants was
was dispossessed
dispossessed of
of their
their land
land almiddle
allotments and
and transferred
transferred to
to helot
helot rations.
rations. And
And the
the priesthood
priesthood was
was
lotments
discontented, probably
probably for
for ideological
ideological reasons.
reasons. It
It was
was in
in these
these circumcircumdiscontented,
stances that
that the
the invasion
invasion of
of the
the Quti
Quti (Gutium)
(Gutium) tribes
tribes from
from the
the Iranian
Iranian
stances
highlands
(These tribes
tribes may
may have
have been
related linguistically
linguistically to
to
highlands began.
began. (These
been related
peoples
of present-day
Daghestan east
east of
of the
the Caspian
Caspian Sea.)
Sea.)
present-day Daghestan
peoples of
Gudea
Gudea

From
time on,
the Akkadian
From this
this time
on, the
Akkadian dynasty
dynasty gradually
gradually declined.
declined. Initially,
Initially,
the
struggle against
against the
mountain people
people proceeded
proceeded with
with varying
varying sucthe struggle
the mountain
success. But,
But, eventually,
eventually, Naram-Su'en's
son was
forced to
yield his
his title
title
was forced
to yield
cess.
Naram-Su'en's son
"King of
of the
the Four
Four Quarters
of the
the World"
to the
the king
of Elam
Elam (whose
(whose
"King
Quarters of
World" to
king of
kingdom
at that
time was
was unified),
in exchange
exchange for
for his
help
that time
unified), probably
probably in
his help
kingdom at
against the
the Quti.
Soon after,
after, however,
all power
power in
in Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia
against
Quti. Soon
however, all
passed into
into the
the hands
of Qutian
Qutian chieftains,
chieftains, who
who although
although they
they also
also
hands of
passed
called themselves
kings, actually
actually seemed
seemed to
elected in
in tribal
tribal
been elected
called
themselves kings,
to have
have been
assemblies of
of warriors
for aa limited
limited term
term (from
(from two
two to
to seven
seven years).
assemblies
warriors for
years).
The Quti
Quti ravaged
ravaged almost
almost the
the entire
entire country
country with
with the
the exception
exception of
of
The
Lagash, which
which was
was somewhat
somewhat removed
removed from
from the
the main
main thrust
thrust of
of the
the
Lagash,
invasion, and,
and, perhaps,
also Uruk
Uruk and
and Ur,
Ur, which
which were
were protected
protected by
invasion,
perhaps, also
by aa
stretch
of
marshland.
stretch of marshland.
The
The Quti
Quti did
did not
not create
create their
their own
own central
central government
government in
in Lower
Lower
Mesopotamia. Once
Once they
they stopped
stopped their
their armed
armed looting,
looting, they
they continued
continued
Mesopotamia.
to plunder
the country
country by
by exacting
exacting tributes,
tributes, which
which were
were collected
collected for
for
plunder the
to
them
by
local
Akkadian
and
Sumerian
rulers.
them by local Akkadian and Sumerian rulers.
Gudea, who
who lived
lived in
in the
the second
second half
half of
of the
twenty-second century
century in
in
Gudea,
the twenty-second

Early
Despotisms in
Early Despotisms
in Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia

91
91

Lagash, is
is thought
thought to
to have
have been
the son
son of
of aa priestess
Lagash,
been the
priestess who
who represented
represented
aa goddess
goddess in
in the
the "sacred
"sacred marriage"
marriage" rite
rite with
with aa priest.
priest. Although
Although Gudea
Gudea
officially had
had no
no human
human parents,
parents, such
such aa birth
probably was
was considered
considered
officially
birth probably
to be
rather distinguished.
distinguished. Gudea's
Gudea's wife
wife by
his first
first marriage
marriage was
was the
the
to
be rather
by his
daughter
ensi of
of Lagash,
Lagash, whose
whose title
title he
he later
later inherited.
inherited. The
The dididaughter of
of the
the ensi
vinity of
of his
his birth
along with
his acquired
acquired title
granted him
him entry
entry into
into
vinity
birth along
with his
title granted
the priesthood
priesthood of
of the
the nome.
nome.
the
ensis of
Gudea's
Gudea's policy
policy combined
combined the
the traditional
traditional program
program of
of the
the ensis
of aa
nome with
nome
with the
the principles
principles developed
developed during
during the
the Akkadian
Akkadian dynasty.
dynasty. He
He
rejected
rejected the
the right
right of
of the
the state
state ruler
ruler to
to own
own temple
temple lands,
lands, following
following
in
ruinimgina's policies,
by
in this
this respect
respect U
Uruinimgina's
policies, instead
instead of
of those
those adopted
adopted by
Sargon
Sargon and
and Naram-Su'en.
Naram-Su'en. However,
However, he
he did
did not
not return
return to
to the
the system
system
of multiple
multiple temple
temple economies
economies belonging
belonging to
to many
many gods
gods but
but merged
merged
of
them into
into one
one statewide
statewide temple
temple economy
economy of
of the
the nome
nome god
god Ningirsu.
Ningirsu.
them
He
He kept
kept the
the workers
workers of
of this
this economy,
economy, as
as helots,
helots, on
on rations,
rations, as
as was
was the
the
custom under
under the
the Sargonids.
Sargonids. Gudea
Gudea spared
spared no
no resources
resources for
for the
the erecereccustom
tion of
of aa new,
new, magnificent
magnificent temple
temple to
to Ningirsu.
Ningirsu. Thus,
Thus, he
he imposed
imposed new
new
tion
taxes and
and obligatory
obligatory labor
labor conscriptions
conscriptions on
on the
the entire
entire population
population in
in
taxes
the support
support of
of this
this project;
project; even
even women
women were
were enrolled
enrolled in
in the
the working
working
the
teams. Based
Based on
on certain
certain indirect
indirect information,
information, we
we can
can conclude
conclude that
that
teams.
the council
council of
of elders
elders of
of Lagash
Lagash was
was active
active during
during Gudea's
Gudea's time
time and
and
the
that it
it had
had the
the theoretical
theoretical right
to choose
choose and
and depose
depose aa ruler.
ruler. Gudea
Gudea
that
right to
payed aa high
ransom to
to the
the Quti,
Quti, but
but Lower
Lower Mesopotamia,
Mesopotamia, not
not just
just
payed
high ransom
the
Lagash nome,
nome, was
was almost
almost entirely
entirely at
at his
disposal. He
was now
now able
able
the Lagash
his disposal.
He was
to wage
wage war
war against
against Elam
and to
to trade
trade with
with other
other Near
counto
Elam and
Near Eastern
Eastern countries and
and even
Melakha (India).
(India). But
But it
it seems
seems that
that he
he imported
imported
tries
even with
with Melakha
only materials
materials required
required for
for the
the construction
construction and
rich ornamentation
ornamentation
only
and rich
of the
the Ningirsu
Ningirsu temple.
temple. Many
Many statues
statues and
and inscriptions
inscriptions have
have come
come
of
down to
to us
us from
from Gudea's
Gudea's reign.
reign. His
His son
son and
and grandson,
grandson, however
however
down
were unable
unable to
to maintain
maintain his
his political
political status,
status, and
and the
the might
might of
of Lagash
Lagash
were
diminished.
diminished.
The
The Third
Third Dynasty
Dynasty of
of Ur
Ur
Soon
(according to
to legend,
Soon after
after Gudea,
Gudea, Utuhengal
Utuhengal (according
legend, he
he was
was the
the son
son of
of
aa fish
fish curer)
curer) fomented
fomented aa general
general uprising
uprising against
against the
the Quti,
Quti, whose
whose exextortionate
hated by
tortionate rule
rule had,
had, for
for aa long
long time,
time, been
been hated
by the
the MesopotaMesopotamians. The
The Quti
Quti were
successfully and
and permanently
expelled, but
the
mians.
were successfully
permanently expelled,
but the
brilliant
Acbrilliant beginnings
beginnings of
of Utuhengal's
Utuhengal's rule
rule suddenly
suddenly came
came to
to an
an end.
end. According to
to tradition,
tradition, while
while inspecting
inspecting the
the construction
construction site
site of
of aa new
new
cording
under Utuhengal's
Utuhengal's feet,
irrigation
irrigation canal,
canal, aa piece
piece of
of ground
ground caved
caved in
in under
feet,
and he
he drowned.
The kingdom
passed on
on to
to Ur-Nammu,
Ur-Nammu, who
who made
made
and
drowned. The
kingdom passed
the
city of
of Ur
Ur his
his capital.
capital. Lagash
fell into
into disfavor,
disfavor, and
and the
the Indian
Indian
the city
Lagash fell
trade again
again returned
returned to
to U
Ur.
trade
r.

9922

I. M. Diakonoff
Diakonoff

The
was officially
The new
new state
state was
officially called
called the
the "Kingdom
"Kingdom of
of Sumer
Sumer and
and AkAkkad." Although
kad."
Although all
all inscriptions
inscriptions and
and administrative
administrative texts
texts were
were written
written
in Sumerian,
Sumerian, spoken
spoken Sumerian
Sumerian at
at that
that time
time was
was dying
dying out
out and
and being
being
in
displaced
Akkadian. The
redisplaced by
by Akkadian.
The dynasty
dynasty founded
founded by
by Ur-Nammu
Ur-Nammu is
is referred to
to by
by historians
historians as
as the
the Third
Third Dynasty
Dynasty of
of Ur
(or Ur
ferred
Ur (or
Ur III).
III).22
Ur-Nammu
Ur-Nammu (ca.
(ca. 2111-2094
2111-2094 B.C.)
B.C.) and,
and, especially,
especially, his
his son,
son, Shulgi
Shulgi (ca.
(ca.
2093-2064
B.C.) created
created the
classic and
and typical
form of
of the
ancient
2093-2064 B.C.)
the classic
typical form
the ancient
Oriental
Oriental despotic
despotic and
and bureaucratic
state. Hundreds
Hundreds of
of thousands
thousands of
of
bureaucratic state.
accounting
accounting documents
documents from
from the
the economies
economies of
of the
the kings
kings of
of the
the Ur
Ur III
III
dynasty can
can be
be found
found in
in museums
museums all
all over
over the
the world.
world. They
They probably
probably
dynasty
represent at
at least
least one
one half
half of
of all
all the
the preserved
cuneiform tablets.
tablets.
represent
preserved cuneiform
During
Ur III
was
During the
the initial
initial stage
stage of
of the
the Ur
III dynasty,
dynasty, much
much attention
attention was
reconstruction of
which had
given to
the reconstruction
of the
the irrigation
irrigation network,
network, which
had fallen
fallen
given
to the
into considerable
considerable disrepair
disrepair under
under the
the sway
sway of
of the
Quti and
and their
their
the Quti
into
henchmen.
kings' political
henchmen. But
But this
this was
was not
not the
the essence
essence of
of the
the Ur
Ur III
III kings'
political
activities.
activities.
Their
Their most
most important
important accomplishment
accomplishment was
was the
the unification
unification of
of the
the
state
state economy.
economy. All
All temple
temple and
and state
state economies
economies within
within the
the borders
borders of
of
the Kingdom
the
Kingdom of
of Sumer
Sumer and
and Akkad,
Akkad, which
which soon
soon included
included not
not only
only
Lower Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia but
also aa significant
significant portion
of Upper
but also
portion of
Upper MesoMesoLower
potamia,
as well
well as
as some
some of
of the
the lands
lands beyond
the Tigris
and in
in Elam,
Elam,
beyond the
Tigris and
potamia, as
were welded
welded into
into aa single
single economy.
economy. All
All its
its male
male workers
workers (helots)
(helots) were
were
were
"lads,"and
and the
the female
female workers
workerswere
werecalled
called ngeme,
ngeme,"slave
"slave
called gurush,
called
gurush, "lads,"
girl."
Altogether, they
they probably
numbered between
between five
five hundred
hundred
girl."33 Altogether,
probably numbered
thousand and
and one
one million.
The workers-farmers,
workersfarmers, porters,
shepherds,
thousand
million. The
porters, shepherds,
and
fishermenwere organized
organized into
into teams.
teams. (The
(The craftsmen
were
and fishermen-were
craftsmen were
organized into
into workshops,
sometimes of
of aa considerable
size.) They
They
organized
workshops, sometimes
considerable size.)
worked
from sunrise
sunrise to
to sundown
sundown without
any days
days off.
off. (Only
(Only the
feworked from
without any
the female slaves
slaves were
were given
given time
time off
off during
during their
their ritually
ritually "impure"
"impure" days,
days,
male
when they
they were
were probably
probably locked
locked up.)
up.) Each
Each received
received aa standard
standard ration:
ration:
when
1.5
liters
(about
2.5
pints)
of
barley
daily
for
every
man
and
half
this
l.5 liters (about 2.5 pints) of barley daily for every man and half this
amount for
for every
every woman.
woman. They
They also
also received
received aa small
small amount
amount of
of vegeamount
vegetable oil
oil and
and aa little
little wool.
wool. Any
team, or
part of
of one,
one, could
arbiAny team,
or part
could be
be arbitable
trarily
other work
and even
even to
another city.
city. Weavers
Weavers
transferred to
to other
work and
to another
trarily transferred
could be
be sent
sent to
coppersmiths to
to unload
ships, and
and so
so on.
on.
to tow
tow barges,
barges, coppersmiths
unload ships,
could
Boys were
were also
also put
put to
to work.
in fact,
fact, was
was aa form
form of
of slavery,
slavery, alBoys
work. This,
This, in
although this
this word
word was
not used
used to
to describe
describe male
male workers.
workers. No
records
though
was not
No records
indicate that
that little
little children
children received
received any
any rations;
rations; it
it seems
seems that
that women
women
indicate
2.
2. Nothing
Nothing is
is positively
positively known
known about
about the
the ephemeral
ephemeral Second
Second Dynasty
Dynasty of
of Ur,
Ur, which
which is
is
included
included in
in the
the King
King List,
List, except
except that
that it
it belonged
belonged to
to the
the ED
ED III
III Period.
Period.
3.
Note, however,
3. Note,
however, that
that in
in ancient
ancient Near
Near Eastern
Eastern languages
languages aa "slave"
"slave" was
was not
not necesnecessarily a person
person who
was another
another person's
private property
property but
was anyone
anyone subject
subject to
the
sarilya
who was
person's private
but was
to the
authority of
of another
another person,
person, vaguely
vaguely called
called his
his or
or her
"lord."
authority
her "lord."

Early
Early Despotisms
Despotisms in
in Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia

93
93

had to
their own
rations. This
had
to support
support their
their children
children on
on their
own rations.
This increased
increased the
the
gurush and
and the
the ngeme
ngemehad
had
already high
high mortality
Evidently, the
the gurush
already
mortality rate.
rate. Evidently,
no families,
families, so
so the
the labor
labor force
force had
had to
to be
be replenished
replenished mainly
mainly through
through
no
persons captured
captured during
during military
military campaigns
campaigns and
and collected
collected at
at Dr,
Ur,
persons
from where
where they
they were
were distributed
distributed among
among the
the local
local state
state economies.
economies.
from
The captives,
captives, especially
especially women
women and
and children,
children, were
frequently kept
kept in
in
The
were frequently
camps for
for considerable
considerable periods,
and many
many would
would perish
perish there.
there.
camps
periods, and
Skilled
were also
Skilled craftsmen,
craftsmen, administrative
administrative employees,
employees, and
and soldiers
soldiers were
also
primarily
maintained on
on rations.
rations. These
These rations,
rations, however,
however, were
were more
more
primarily maintained
generous
gurush. The
generous than
than those
those issued
issued to
to the
the ordinary
ordinary gurush.
The administraadministration
tion of
of the
the state
state economies
economies was
was very
very reluctant
reluctant to
to grant
grant land
land allotments
allotments
for
for service.
service.
Such
Such labor
labor organization
organization required
required enormous
enormous efforts
efforts of
of supervision
supervision
and
was
and accounting.
accounting. Accountability
Accountability was
was extremely
extremely strict.
strict. Everything
Everything was
put
put into
into writing.
writing. Each
Each document,
document, even
even aa simple
simple issue
issue of
of two
two pigeons
pigeons
to
to aa kitchen,
kitchen, had
had to
to be
be documented,
documented, with
with seals
seals affixed
affixed by
by the
the person
person
responsible
responsible for
for the
the operation
operation and
and by
by the
the controller.
controller. Moreover,
Moreover, the
the
accounting of
of the
the labor
labor force
force was
was separate
separate from
from the
the accounting
accounting of
of
accounting
the
the work
work norms
norms fulfilled
fulfilled by
by the
the laborers.
laborers. A
A field
field could
could be
be divided
divided
into strips,
strips, lengthwise
lengthwise and
and widthwise,
widthwise, and
and the
the work
work in
in each
each direction
direction
into
could be
be controlled
controlled by
by aa different
different person.
person. This
This ensured
ensured aa mutual,
mutual,
could
overlapping control.
control. Documents
Documents accounting
accounting for
for single
single operations
operations
overlapping
were summed
summed up
up in
in annual
annual reports,
reports, according
according to
to each
each team,
team, each
each
were
economy, etc.
economy,
etc.
The
harvest and
The products
products of
of the
the harvest
and the
the workshop
workshop were
were used
used to
to supsupport the
the court
court and
and the
the army,
army, to
to offer
offer sacrifices
sacrifices in
in the
the temples,
temples, to
to feed
feed
port
the
personnel, and
the personnel,
and to
to carry
carry out
out the
the international
international exchange
exchange conducted
conducted
by
tamkars.Trade,
Trade,however,
however,did
did not
notflourish,
flourish,
by state
state trade
trade agents,
agents, the
the tamkars.
because the
the tamkars
because
tamkarshad
hadtotoreturn
returnan
anexcessive
excessiveportion
portionof
ofthe
theprofit
profittoto
the
the administration.
administration.
Livestock
as well
as state
state agriculture,
agriculture, was
was centralized.
centralized. Herds
Herds
Livestock raising,
raising, as
well as
were
in part,
were kept
kept mainly
mainly for
for sacrifices
sacrifices to
to the
the gods
gods and,
and, in
part, for
for leather
leather
and cheese
cheese production.
production. The
The temple's
continual supply
supply of
of sacrifices
sacrifices
and
temple's continual
was guaranteed
guaranteed by
by each
each district
district taking
in providing
providing the
temple
was
taking turns
turns in
the temple
with
cattle during
specific period
period of
of time.
time. Thousands
of heads
with cattle
during aa specific
Thousands of
heads of
of
cattle, from
all corners
corners of
of the
the country,
country, were
herded into
center
cattle,
from all
were herded
into the
the center
of the
the state
state for
the Enlil
temple in
in Nippur.
Nippur. This
This was
of
for the
Enlil temple
was clearly
clearly aa form
form of
of
taxation.
taxation.
The
was divided
divided into
districts, which
did not
necesThe entire
entire country
country was
into districts,
which did
not necessarily coincide
coincide with
earlier territories
of the
the nomes.
sarily
with the
the earlier
territories of
nomes. Each
Each was
was
headed by
headed
by an
an ensi.
ensi. The
The ensis
ensiswere
werenow
nowmere
merefunctionaries
functionarieswho
whowere
were
arbitrarily
from district
district by
the royal
royal administraadministraarbitrarily transferred
transferred from
district to
to district
by the
traditional authorities
only in
in aa few
few border
border regions.
regions.
tion. The
tion.
The traditional
authorities survived
survived only

94
94

I. M. Diakonoff
IDiakonoff

The position of
of the ensf
erm was, nevertheless, quite profitable. They were
allowed
allowed to own
own many
many slaves,
slaves, even
even though
though these slaves
slaves had to
to help the
the
state
harvest or
urgent irrigation
tasks.
state economy
economy during
during harvest
or in
in urgent
irrigation tasks.
The community
community membersthose
members-those not
not yet
yet swallowed
swallowed up
by the
the state
The
up by
state
economy-were
probably also
economywere probably
also subjected
subjected to
to the
the bureaucratic
bureaucratic authority
authority
of
of the
the ensis,
ensis.All
Allwe
weknow
knowisisthat
thatsuch
suchcommunity
communitymembers
membersdid,
did,ininfact,
fact,
exist
that the
them as
reapers durexist and
and that
the state
state economy
economy hired
hired some
some of
of them
as reapers
during
poor. Unfortunately,
ing the
the harvest.
harvest. Clearly,
Clearly, they
they must
must have
have been
been poor.
Unfortunately, the
the
important
that we
important data
data sources
sources about
about community
community life
life that
we have
have from
from the
the
Early Dynastic
Dynastic and
and Akkadian
Akkadian periods
periods in
in the
form of
of land
land sale
sale conconEarly
the form
tracts are
are not
not available
available for
for Ur
Ur III.
III. The
The reason
for this
apparently
tracts
reason for
this apparently
lies in
in the
the fact
fact that
that purchase
purchase of
of land
land was
was prohibited,
as generally
generally was
lies
prohibited, as
was
4
any private
private profit.
And, although
although there
community court-a
courta
any
profit. 4 And,
there was
was aa community
remnant
of the
the council
council of
of elders-no
eldersno popular
popular assemblies
assemblies within
the
remnant of
within the
nomes
active.
nomes were
were active.
What social
provided the
As
What
social stratum
stratum provided
the support
support for
for this
this despotic
despotic state?
state? As
we mentioned
mentioned earlier,
that managing
managing aa unified
unified royal
royal econwe
earlier, the
the fact
fact is
is that
economy that
that embraced
embraced the
the entire
entire country
country required
an enormous
enormous numnumomy
required an
ber of
personnel-scribes, team
team overseers,
ber
of administrative
administrative personnelscribes,
overseers, workshop
workshop
chiefs, and
to large
chiefs,
and managers-in
managersin addition
addition to
large numbers
numbers of
of skilled
skilled craftscraftsmen. The
community members,
members, ruined
ruined during
during the
the Akkadian
and
men.
The community
Akkadian and
Qutian periods,
periods, must
eager to
fill these
thereby
Qutian
must have
have been
been eager
to fill
these positions,
positions, thereby
ensuring for
for themselves
themselves aa stable
stable and
and secure
secure subsistence,
subsistence, independent
independent
ensuring
of luck,
luck, harvest,
or credit.
credit. Available
Available information
information about
about court
court cases
cases
of
harvest, or
that
were tried
tried during
during the
Third Dynasty
of Ur
indicates that
that the
the
that were
the Third
Dynasty of
Ur indicates
number
of private
slaves sharply
sharply increased
increased in
econonumber of
private patriarchal
patriarchal slaves
in the
the economies
of even
even the
lower level
participamies of
the lower
level personnel.
personnel. This
This tells
tells us
us that
that the
the participation
of administrative
administrative personnel
in the
acquisition of
of the
surplus
tion of
personnel in
the acquisition
the surplus
and the
the ngeme)
ngeme)re-reproduct, which
generated by
by helots
helots (the
(the gurush
product,
which was
was generated
gurush and
sulted in
in aa good
good income
income for
for them
them and
and increased
increased their
their personal
sulted
personal wellwellbeing.
supervisors, functionaries,
functionaries, and
and skilled
skilled craftsmen
craftsmen who
who
being. Minor
Minor supervisors,
thus
became
part
of
the
ruling
slave-owning
class,
together
with
the
thus became part of the ruling slave-owning class, together with the
army,
the
priesthood,
and
the
administration,
constituted
the
political
army, the priesthood, and the administration, constituted the political
support of
of the
the dynasty.
dynasty.
support
It
must be
be pointed
pointed out
that patriarchal
patriarchal slaves,
who belonged
belonged to
to the
It must
out that
slaves, who
the
slave owner's
owner's family,
family, even
even if
if not
not enjoying
enjoying full
full rights,
rights, enjoyed
enjoyed better
better
slave
living
living conditions
conditions than
than the
the helots.
helots. They
They still
still had
had some
some rights
rights left.
left. For
For
example, they
they were
were allowed
allowed to
to sue
sue even
even their
owners in
in court.
court. Quite
Quite aa
example,
their owners
few documents
documents of
of court
cases record
attempts on
on the
slaves
court cases
record attempts
the part
part of
of the
the slaves
few
to argue
argue against
against their
their slave
slave status.
status. In
In all
all the
the known
cases, however,
however,
to
known cases,
4. Some
Some land
land purchases
purchases in
in Ur
III times
times have
have been
been documented
documented recently.
Editor's
4.
Dr III
recently. Editor's
note (PLK).
note(PLK).

Early
Early Despotisms
Despotisms in
in Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia

95
95

they were
were exploited
less merthey
were not
not successful.
successful. Patriarchal
Patriarchal slaves
slaves were
exploited less
merthan the
were flogged.
cilessly
cilessly than
the helots,
helots, although
although they
they also
also were
flogged.
The rule
of the
Third Dynasty
Dynasty of
of Ur
Ur lasted
lasted about
about one
one hundred
hundred
The
rule of
the Third
years, and
that no
years,
and it
it seemed
seemed that
no government
government could
could be
be more
more solid
solid and
and
durable.
Even the
the gods
durable. Even
the cults
cults of
of the
gods were
were subject
subject to
to regulation.
regulation. The
The
diverse
were rerediverse and
and mutually
mutually contradictory
contradictory systems
systems of
of nome
nome deities
deities were
duced to
to aa single
single general
general system
system headed
by the
king-god Enlil
of Nipduced
headed by
the king-god
Enlil of
Nippur-the
patron of
position was
by
purthe patron
of the
the state.
state. The
The second
second position
was occupied
occupied by
the
the god
god of
of the
the Moon,
Moon, Nanna
Nanna of
of Ur,
Ur, also
also called
called Zuen
Zuen (Su'en
(Su'en in
in AkkaAkkadian). A
A doctrine
doctrine was
createdor, in
in any
any case,
case, systematized-that
systematizedthat
dian).
was created-or,
was
constantly instilled
in the
the consciousness
consciousness of
of the
the people:
people: humans
humans
was constantly
instilled in
were created
created by
to nourish
nourish the
gods with
with sacrifices
sacrifices and
and to
to
were
by the
the gods
gods to
the gods
free
them from
from work.
work. Starting
Shulgi, all
all the
the kings
of U
Urr III
III
free them
Starting with
with Shulgi,
kings of
were
deified, so
so they
they ranked
ranked with
the other
other gods
gods in
in regard
regard to
to the
the
were deified,
with the
people's
duties. It
It was
this time
that the
the King
King List,
mentioned
people's duties.
was during
during this
time that
List, mentioned
earlier, was
was created,
created, as
as was
was the
doctrine of
of the
the divine
divine origin
origin of
of royalty,
royalty,
earlier,
the doctrine
which supposedly
supposedly descended
descended from
in the
of time,
from heaven
heaven in
the beginning
beginning of
time,
which
henceforth remaining
remaining on
on earth
earth in
in an
an unchanging
unchanging succession
succession that
that
henceforth
passed from
from city
city to
city and
and from
from dynasty
dynasty to
it reached
reached
passed
to city
to dynasty
dynasty until
until it
the Third
Third Dynasty
Dynasty of
of Ur.
Ur.
the

The
The Fall
Fall of
of Ur
Ur and
and the
the Rise
Rise of
of Issin
Issin
The
was unexpected
unexpected to
pastoral tribes
tribes of
The end
end was
to all.
all. The
The pastoral
of Western
Western SemSemites-the
Amorites-were harassed
harassed by
droughts in
itesthe so-called
so-called Amoriteswere
by droughts
in the
the
sheep-trampled Syrian
Syrian steppe
steppe and
and began
began to
to cross
cross the
Euphrates,
sheep-trampled
the Euphrates,
threatening
the settled
settled population
Mesopotamia. Therefore,
Therefore, the
the
threatening the
population of
of Mesopotamia.
kings of
of Ur
Ur built
to protect
protect Lower
Lower Mesopotamia
from the
the
kings
built aa wall
wall to
Mesopotamia from
north,
along the
the edge
edge of
"Gypsum Desert,"
Desert," which
stretched from
from
north, along
of the
the "Gypsum
which stretched
the
Euphrates to
the Tigris.
Tigris. But
But the
Amorite pastoralists
did not
not atatthe Euphrates
to the
the Amorite
pastoralists did
tempt
to cross
the scorching
scorching desert
to the
the south
to penetrate
the
tempt to
cross the
desert to
south and
and to
penetrate the
wall
constructed by
by the
the royal
royal laborers.
laborers. Instead,
Instead, the
(around
wall constructed
the Amorites
Amorites (around
traversed Upper
Mesopotamia from
from west
crossed
2025 B.C.)
2025
B.C.) traversed
Upper Mesopotamia
west to
to east,
east, crossed
the
Tigris and
and then
then the
the Diyala
Diyala River,
and began
began to
invade the
of
the Tigris
River, and
to invade
the fields
fields of
Lower Mesopotamia
in an
east-to-west direction.
direction.
Lower
Mesopotamia in
an east-to-west
The king
of Ur,
Ur, Ibbi-Su'en
Ibbi-Su'en (2027-2003
(2027-2003 B.C.),
B.C.), was
was at
at that
time apThe
king of
that time
apparently
in Elam,
cities of
of which
which occasionally
submitted to
the auauparently in
Elam, the
the cities
occasionally submitted
to the
thority of
of the
kings, then
again fell
fell away,
away, and
and later
later entered
entered into
into
thority
the Ur
Ur kings,
then again
agreements
with them
based on
diplomatic marriages;
marriages; often,
often, they
they
agreements with
them based
on diplomatic
waged war
against the
of Ur.
carried away
away by
waged
war against
the kingdom
kingdom of
Ur. Ibbi-Su'en,
Ibbi-Su'en, carried
by
his
own military
successes, seemingly
seemingly underestimated
the impending
impending
his own
military successes,
underestimated the
threat.
The Amorites
continued to
to drive
drive their
their livestock
livestock into
into the
the SumeSumethreat. The
Amorites continued
rian grainfields,
grainfields, surrounding
surrounding the
the cities
and blocking
leading
rian
cities and
blocking the
the roads
roads leading

9966

I.
/. M. Diakonoff
Diakonoff

to
the kingdom.
Ur, the
to the
the center
center of
of the
kingdom. Without
Without help
help from
from Ur,
the local
local ensis
ensis
began
to fall
fall away
away from
from the
central authority.
authority. The
gurush teams
teams scatscatbegan to
the central
The gurush
tered,
looting (together
(together with
with the
the Amorites)
state property
in order
order to
to
tered, looting
Amorites) state
property in
feed themselves.
themselves.
feed
Upon
Ibbi-Su'en was
faced with
an incipient
incipient famfamUpon returning
returning to
to Ur,
Ur, Ibbi-Su'en
was faced
with an
people in
ine.
ine. Most
Most of
of the
the people
in the
the vastly
vastly expanded
expanded state
state sector
sector economy
economy
had been
deprived of
of any
any land
land of
of their
their own
own and
and lived
lived on
on rations
rations supsuphad
been deprived
plied
these supplies
had ceased
plied by
by the
the harvests
harvests of
of the
the state
state fields.
fields. But
But these
supplies had
ceased
The king
king acted
acted quickly
quickly
to arrive
arrive from
from aa good
good one
one half
half of
of the
the districts.
districts.55 The
to
by dispatching
dispatching his
his official,
official, Ishbi-Erra,
Ishbi-Erra, to
to the
the still-intact
still-intact western
western
by
regions of
of the
the country
country in
in order
order to
to purchase
purchase grain
grain from
from the
the local
local
regions
communities. Ishbi-Erra
Ishbi-Erra accomplished
accomplished this
this task
task and
and collected
collected the
the purpurcommunities.
chased grain
grain in
in the
the small
small town
town of
of Issin,
Issin, situated
situated on
on aa branch
branch of
of the
the
chased
Euphrates not
not far
far from
from ancient
ancient Nippur.
Nippur. From
From there
there he
he sent
sent IbbiIbbiEuphrates
Su'en aa request
request for
for boats
boats to
to ship
ship the
grain. But
But the
the king
king had
had none.
none.
Su'en
the grain.
Ishbi-Erra, sensing
sensing his
his position
position of
of strength,
strength, seceded
seceded from
from Ur
Ur and
and proproIshbi-Erra,
claimed himself
himself king.
king. At
At first,
first, he
he was
was cautious
cautious and
and took
took only
only the
the title
title
claimed
of "King
"King of
of His
His Own
Own Country,"
Country," but
later he
he proclaimed
himself "King
"King
of
but later
proclaimed himself
of Sumer
Sumer and
and Akkad."
Akkad." The
The surviving
surviving ensis
ensis who
who still
still reported
reported toto UUr
of
r
now recognized
recognized Ishbi-Erra
Ishbi-Erra as
as their
their king.
king. Ibbi-Su'en
Ibbi-S