Hist2APaper1 - Parker Sheriff Professor Dr C Kegerreis...

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Parker Sheriff Professor Dr. C. Kegerreis History 2A 23 October 2016 Word count: 914 How to be an Ancient King: for Dummies Some may argue that the political legitimacy of kings in all early civilizations was based exclusively on military power. However, this statement is false based on the fact that not every early civilization based the political legitimacy of their kings solely on military effectiveness. In fact, military power was nothing, if not an afterthought, when legitimizing a king’s politics. One could see this in the early Mesopotamian Epic of Gilgamesh, where Gilgamesh is taught that being a king takes more than being physically strong but rather following the moral guidelines of Sumerian society, in the ancient Harappan law code The Laws of Manu under the Duties of Kshatriya which paints a picture of how a king should act in order to fulfill his duty to his people and himself, and finally within the ancient Chinese text, Shu Jing , which suggests familial respect is the primary way to gain political legitimacy. All together, one could see that these ancient civilizations held civility and morality in the highest of regards when it came to the legitimacy of any king, rather than military aptitude. In the beginning of The Epic of Gilgamesh , Gilgamesh is quite the “Gilga- mess”. He’s a womanizer and a braggart who lacks a filter and knows no
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