Thursday, 13 June 2013

How did Kingship evolve?


This is a theory existing among scholars those who study human history. I do not pledge accuracy. This may not be the final truth. Some others may have another theory. Still this story narrates the most probable theory on the evolution of Kingship.

In the Old Testament part of the Bible there is a Babylonian King called Nimrod. The name ‘Nimrod’ has been proverbial from the earliest times as a mighty hunter. He was the first who claimed to be a "mighty one in the earth." Babel was the beginning of his kingdom, which he gradually enlarged. Nimrod is supposed to have begun the tower of Babel.

It is fine to believe that Nimrod himself was a hunter. He might have been a mighty man with extraordinary physical strength. Physical strength was the most valuable asset in the ancient times, as intellect and talent are today.

Man in his early ages lived a nomadic life. The life style of man evolved through various stages since then. The nomadic life was uncertain and uncomfortable. It was a restless life. So man decided to stay in one place for longer time. He chose fertile lands and moderate climate and permitted other people to live aside. He tolerated his co inhabitants for he realized the strength of unity of men.

The enemy of men was not other men, for all men were struggling to survive. The enemies of men were wild animals. So in the wisdom of the ancients they built their huts closely together at one place and maintained their arable farm at a length. They stayed together and worked together.  

They kept watch in the night to warn them of the attack of wild animals. At every siren from the night watch, all men in the village woke and attacked the enemy chasing them out of their village. The common enemy bound them together in all efforts. All men had to come together against the common enemy. All men in the village were considered as warriors. It was the beginning of today’s compulsory military service.

As this situation continued, the more mighty men stood in the forefront became a special warrior group and later they we lead by the still more mighty man. This man was the most ferocious warrior among all men in the group. He was unequalled in strength, courage and war tactics among all men in the village. So he became the leader all of warriors, all men in the village and hence the leader of the village itself.

Gradually and naturally he demanded and received respect and obedience. He was granted with special privileges by the villagers. As long as his might remained the best he was unchallenged. Might was the greatest asset of the time.

The privileges grew. His authority grew. His commitments grew.

A wise hunter leader of the village, tired of chasing animals every night, formulated a better war tactic - offence is better than defense.
Attacking and chasing away wild animals when they come to attack the village is only defense. Offence is going into the forest and attacking wild animals in expectation of an attack in the night. It rendered more and lasting peace to the village and rest to the leader. So he went into the nearby forest to a considerable length and attacked and chased away wild animals. Continuous offensive attack by the leader kept the wild animals away from the village for considerable period of days. A repeated and occasional attack into the forest kept wild animals away from the people.

Thus he established a new theory of offense above the old method of defense.

All these developments in the formation of leadership kept the leader busy and engaged every day that he could no longer go for work in the farm.
Hence the duty to feed, clothe and shelter the leader came down to the people. The people were happy because they could shift the responsibility of protection of their family and village to the leader and live peacefully. They were only happy to set apart a small portion of their income for the well being of the leader.

Thus Kingship evolved from hunter to King.

Professor Jacob Abraham                                                                            

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