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"Kingship and the Gods" by Henri Frankfort

Posted: Sat Nov 03, 2007 12:05 am
by Moderator
Kingship and the Gods: A Study of Ancient Near Eastern Religion as the Integration of Society and Nature by Henri Frankfort is a must read for those interested in Jaynes's theory.

More soon...

"Kingship and the Gods" by Henri Frankfort

Posted: Mon Nov 12, 2007 11:54 pm
by Moderator
Of particular interest are the following sections:

Book I - Egypt

Chapter 5 - The King's Potency: The Ka

"When we attempt to describe the Egyptian's view of the human personality, the differences between his mental processes and our own become particularly disturbing" (p. 61).

A. The Ka of Commoners

B. The Ka of the King

"When a king of Uganda dies, his interest in the community which he had ruled does not cease. In a temple, constructed for this purpose, he continues to give oracles and to advise his successors. But just as the Egyptians believed that a man's ghost required a material support — mummy or statue — to function effectively, so also do the Baganda. Hence the king's jawbone is removed from his corpse and prepared, decorated, and kept in his temple..." (p. 70).

Book II - Mesopotamia

Chapter 19 - The Service of the Gods
A. The Perils of Service and the Substitute King
B. The Joys of Service and the State Festivals
C. The Rewards of Service and the Building of Temples

Chapter 21 - The Deification of Kings
A. The Union of King and Goddess
B. The King as "Son" of the Gods
C. The King Worshiped in Temples
D. The Worship of Royal Statues

"It is revealing for the nature of kingship in Mesopotamia that the kings, like all other men, had their personal gods, who were more accessible than the great gods and were willing to approach these when necessary" (p. 304).

"The parallelism between statues and personal gods, and the fact that the statues received offerings, indicate that they were considered divinities" (p. 304).