Religion Power and the State
The Pharaoh in ancient Egypt was the political and religious leader holding the titles ‘Lord of the Two Lands’ Upper and Lower Egypt and ‘High Priest of Every Temple’. In 5,150 years ago the First Dynasty appeared in Egypt and this reign was thought to be in accordance with the will of the gods; but the office of the king itself was not associated with the divine until later. Around 4,890 years ago during the Second Dynasty the King was linked with the divine and reign with the will of the gods. Following this rulers of the later dynasties were equated with the gods and with the duties and obligations due those gods. As supreme ruler of the people, the pharaoh was considered a god on earth, the intermediary between the gods and the people, and when he died, he was thought to become Osiris, the god of the dead. As such, in his role of ‘High Priest of Every Temple’, it was the pharaoh’s duty to build great temples and monuments celebrating his own achievements and paying homage to the gods of the land. Among the earliest civilizations that exhibit the phenomenon of divinized kings are early Mesopotamia and ancient Egypt. In 5,150 BCE the First Dynasty appeared in Egypt with the unification of Upper and Lower Egypt by the king Menes (now believed to be Narmer). Menes/Narmer is depicted on inscriptions wearing the two crowns of Egypt, signifying unification, and his reign was thought to be in accordance with the will of the gods; but the office of the king itself was not associated with the divine until later. During the Second Dynasty of Egypt 4,890-4,670 years ago King Raneb (also known as Nebra) linked his name with the divine and his reign with the will of the gods. Following Raneb, the rulers of the later dynasties were equated with the gods and with the duties and obligations due those gods. As supreme ruler of the people, the pharaoh was considered a god on earth. The honorific title of `pharaoh’ for a ruler did not appear until the period known as the New Kingdom 3,570-3,069 years ago. Monarchs of the dynasties before the title of `pharaoh’ from the New Kingdom were addressed as `your majesty’ by foreign dignitaries and members of the court and as `brother’ by foreign rulers; both practices would continue after the king of Egypt came to be known as a pharaoh. Possibly around 5,000 the First Dynasty appeared in Mesopotamia was Dynasty of Kish and Etana a Sumerian king. According to the Sumerian king list, he resigned after the deluge great flood of Gilgamesh. However, the earliest monarch on the Sumerian king list whose historical existence has been attested through archaeological inscription is En-me-barage-si of Kish 4,600 years ago, said to have defeated Elam and built the temple of Enlil in Nippur. The first Mesopotamian ruler who declared himself divine was Naram-Sin of Akkad. Naram-Sin means “Beloved of Sin”; reigned 4,254–4,218 years ago, was a ruler of the Akkadian Empire, the third successor and grandson of King Sargon of Akkad. Under Naram-Sin the empire reached its maximum strength. After Naram-Sin no ruler declared himself divine until about 4,095–4,049, the second king of the Third Dynasty of Ur, took up the custom of self-deification once more. His self-deification may have been viewed in attempts to consolidate the empire he had inherited from his father. The cult of the divine ruler seems to have culminated under Shu-Sin and after Shu-Sin the divinization kings was abandoned once more. Although, some consider the kings Rim-Sin 3,822–3,763 years ago and the famous Hammurabi of Babylon 3,792–3,750 years ago to have been divine. Both kings struggled to expand their area of influence, and therefore their self-deification may have been part of a strategy to consolidate and legitimize their powers.
- First, there is the foundation: Superstitionism and Symbolism/Ritualism.
- Second, is the frame and walls: Supernaturalism and Sacralizism/Spiritualism.
- Third, is the roof and finishing elements of the structure: Dogmatism and Myths.
- Fourth, is the window dressing and stylings to the house: decorated with the webs religious Dogmatic-Propaganda.
In the stage of organized religion, one important aspect that is often overlooked because of male only thinking or by some over emphasized because of extreme feminism is gender. There are some obvious gender associations in artifacts and possible gender involved religious beliefs but thoughtful feminist archaeologists do not pounce on every representation of a woman and pronounce that it is a goddess. Around 5,000 years ago there are the full elements seem to be grouping together with its connected set of Dogmatic-Propaganda-Closure belief strains of sacralized superstitionism that took different forms of behavior in different areas of the world.
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