International Relations in the Ancient Near East, 1600-1100 B.C.

By Mario Liverani | Go to book overview

14
Peace as Submission

After the trouble and feverish activity of the foreign rebellion, peace means to reach a state of order, rest, immobility. The best foreigner is a dead one; next comes one who has submitted. His correct position is under the feet of Pharaoh, and the classical iconography of the king trampling upon his enemies 1 is even better expressed in other ways: the soles of shoes having a Syrian and a Nubian depicted on them; 2 or the statue-bases with the Nine Bows aligned on the upper surface, under the standing figure of the sovereign; 3 or the ceremonial runner in the Amarna palace, with alternate Nubians and Asiatics to be daily trodden on by Pharaoh on his way to the throne room. 4

When the critical moment of submission takes place on the battlefield, the prisoners are bound with their elbows behind their backs. 5 This is a sort of straitjacket that ensures a speedy passage from the insane excitement of rebellion to orderly calm. When submission is voluntary, the potential rebel bows down to the ground ‘seven and seven times’, ‘upon back and upon belly’, to make it easier for Pharaoh – if it be his wish – to trample upon him. 6

The ‘rebels’ are most readily sorted out in the context of a military campaign. If they resist, they are annihilated; if they submit, they survive. The siege of Megiddo is a good example of this sifting process, for the enemies can come out of the city wall in order to submit, not in order to fight – or to flee. The end of the siege comes when all the chiefs come out to submit:

Now the princes of this foreign land came out on their bellies to kiss the ground to the might of His Majesty, and to beg breath for their nostrils, because of the greatness of his strength and the extent of the power of Amun over all foreign lands . . . Then His Majesty appointed the rulers anew for every town. 7

-97-

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International Relations in the Ancient Near East, 1600-1100 B.C.
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page i
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Preface vii
  • Abbreviations xiii
  • Introduction 1
  • Part I - Territory and Borders 15
  • 1 - Inner vs. Outer Territory 17
  • 2 - Universal Control 23
  • 3 - The Boundaries of the World 29
  • 4 - Symbolic Attainment of the World Border 34
  • 5 - The Coexistence of Different States 38
  • 6 - Moving Borders 46
  • 7 - The Boundary as a Watershed for Taxation 52
  • 8 - The Boundary as a Watershed for Responsibilities 57
  • 9 - Runaways and Extradition 66
  • 10 - Messengers and ‘Ambassadors’ 71
  • Part II - War and Alliance 77
  • 11 - The One Against Many 79
  • 12 - War as Elimination of the Rebels 86
  • 13 - Conquest as a Cosmic Organization 91
  • 14 - Peace as Submission 97
  • 15 - Ordeal by War 101
  • 16 - The Rules of War 108
  • 17 - The Battle of Megiddo 116
  • 18 - Peace as Mutual Recognition 122
  • 19 - The Ideology of Protection 128
  • 20 - The Ideology of Brotherhood 135
  • Part III - Circulation of Goods 139
  • 21 - Priority and Continuity of the Redistributive Pattern 141
  • 22 - Intervention of the Reciprocal Pattern 146
  • 23 - Accumulation vs. Circulation 151
  • 24 - Self-Sufficiency vs. Interdependence 155
  • 25 - The Ideology of Life 160
  • 26 - Hatshepsut and Punt: Trade or Tribute? 166
  • 27 - Wen-Amun and Zakar-Ba'Al: Gift or Trade? 170
  • 28 - The Annals of Tuthmosis Iii: Tribute or Gift? 176
  • 29 - The Origins of Tribute 183
  • 30 - Equal vs. Unequal Marriages 189
  • 31 - Conclusions 196
  • Chronologies 203
  • Notes 205
  • Index 233
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