Compare and contrast leaders and leadership styles of the Hebrews, Assyrians, and Persians.Beginning in 911 B.C.
E., the Assyrian empire was well known and feared by surrounding civilizations. Kings were believed to be the earthly representation of the god Ashur, who continuously encouraged conquest and control of other peoples. At one point, King Tiglath-Pileser brought together and assembled Assyria’s most remarkable soldiers, solely for the purpose of conquest. This military was vast and constantly campaigning in order to gain more resources (Hasel). Mass deportation, murder, and pillaging were encouraged during these events.
The peoples of Assyria lived in fear of their kings. However, the Assyrian empire thrived economically, with most trade occurring on a local level and agriculture being plentiful. Some evidence supports the idea of kings paying to create or maintain public infrastructure, although this was likely an uncommon occurrence.The Persian empire was founded by Cyrus in 550 B.C.E.
While his reign was short-lived, he left a lasting impression. Many of his ideals remained in the empire until its end. The Persians successfully conquered the majority of Mesopotamia (Dalley) and the surrounding areas thanks to their vast military campaigns. They brought with them their own laws. Slavery was discouraged if not outright forbidden.
Religious freedom and its associated traditions were encouraged. Taxes were typically low and well utilized, as the empire took great care to maintain roads and other facilities under their rule. Those living under the empire undoubtedly thrived, enjoying more freedoms and benefits than the peoples of Assyria and Israel.Perhaps the most notable Hebrew leader was King Solomon, son of David, the latter of which led the Israelites towards a unified monarchy. Solomon ruled lightly compared when compared to his predecessors but was not without fault. The Israelites divided into economic classes, with Solomon and various temple priests enjoying the most benefits.
Trade was of great importance, more so than creating a strong military. War seemed to be infrequent in comparison to other civilizations at the time. Slavery was present (Mendelsohn) but to a lesser extent than the Assyrian empire. These slaves were often utilized to create religious temples, especially once monotheism took hold after Solomon’s death. While a seemingly bland form of leadership, the Israelites clearly thrived and were eager to document their own history, as shown by modern Christianity.Works CitedHasel, Michael G. “Assyrian Military Practices and Deuteronomy’s Laws of Warfare.
” Writing and Reading War: Rhetoric, Gender, and Ethics in Biblical and Modern Contexts (2008): 67-81.Dalley, Stephanie, ed. The legacy of Mesopotamia. Oxford University Press, USA, 1998.Mendelsohn, Isaac.
“State slavery in ancient Palestine.” Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research 85 (1942): 14-17.