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

By Mario Liverani | Go to book overview

31
Conclusions

Unity and diversity

Throughout this work an effort has been made to combine the use of documents springing from all of the different cultural areas of the ancient Near East. This procedure has its risks – a flattened appreciation of regional variations – but these have been taken into account. Major care has been devoted to specifying the origin (in space, time, typology and social setting) of the various documents used, the aim being to emphasize diversities and similarities alike, according to their actual occurrence.

Every cultural feature lies at the intersection of space and time. As the cultural traditions of particular regions have a specific character of their own, so also do particular chronological periods. A ‘vertical’ analysis, focusing on the development of a particular area through time, will point up features of continuity and evolution, and even breaks in them. A ‘horizontal’ analysis, focusing on the regional differences within a larger area in a limited period, will point up common practices and local peculiarities, and even contrasts between them.

It is possible that the ‘vertical’ approach has greater value but it is also much more widely employed. The usual delimitations of the historiography of the ancient Near East are too often ‘the Hittites’ or ‘the Egyptians’ and too seldom ‘the Late Bronze’ or ‘the fourteenth century’ – probably because of the specializations of scholars rather than deliberate choice framed by theoretical analysis. In this book the opposite strategy has been followed instead: priority has been given to the ‘horizontal’ over the ‘vertical’, a synchronic perspective has been applied in a delimited timespan.

Besides being worthy of attention because less common, the synchronic treatment seems the most likely to allow cultural differences to emerge. It

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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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