Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Sümer-Think & You Established 3000 BCE Uruk  New York  London  Rome  Istanbul  Berlin Edw. Mitchell September 25, 2013.

Similar presentations


Presentation on theme: "Sümer-Think & You Established 3000 BCE Uruk  New York  London  Rome  Istanbul  Berlin Edw. Mitchell September 25, 2013."— Presentation transcript:

1 Sümer-Think & You Established 3000 BCE Uruk  New York  London  Rome  Istanbul  Berlin Edw. Mitchell September 25, 2013

2 Gilgamesh, the historical person: King of the city of Uruk about 2800 BC Gilgamesh, the legend: represented in mesopotamian art the hero of epic poems – story poems

3 Gilgamesh in Mesopotamian art Gilgamesh kills the Bull of Heaven [ = drought] Enkidu and Gilgamesh kill the Bull of Heaven

4

5 clay tablet a fragment from Gilgamesh: the Great Flood

6 SUMERIA AND URUK Sumeria: – the first “ city ” societies > the first “ civilization ”, beginning BC – follows the neo-lithic [ new stone-age] revolution > the agricultural revolution in Mesopotamia BC  agriculture  domestication of animals  settled societies (permanent villages and towns) Before this agricultural revolution, human societies lived as “hunters and gatherers”

7 Major cities of the Sumerian and Babylonian era

8 URUK: divided into three parts and sacred center houses gardens fields temples

9 The Sumerian city: a representation of totality Inside the walls: life, agriculture, labor, authority > order > civilization Outside the walls? Outside the circle: ???

10 Outside the walls: Mythic Space where human abilities to create and to destroy are projected into the unknown, the uncontrolled: gods, monsters, unconquered Nature. liminal [threshold / eșik] space: we look back to the mythic past, but the mythic past calls forward to the present and future.

11 Outside the walls: Humbaba, guardian of the great cedar forest Nature’s challenge to civilization; a useful resource to be conquered and exploited

12

13 13

14 What ’ s new about Sumeria? New technologies in – war – agriculture – labor Especially, storage technology.

15 Storage of necessities until the next harvest – essential for agricultural societies and civilization

16 History of Civilization: “ objectified ” in objects of storage technology

17 Writing – a key storage technology Clay tablet  USB

18 But what is really new about Sumeria? a new social form: hierarchy

19 For the first time in human history: society is divided into classes Hier-archy [original meaning: rule by the high priest]  organization by class or status.  high status rules low status. The higher class has the power to command. The higher class has political authority. This conception of authority begins with Sumeria.

20 authority author = [the one who is the origin of something] > > writer The one who writes the law = authority The right to speak is potentially the power to command.

21 Authority / Power claims to be innocent. Power claims to be serving a greater Authority, outside the person of the ruler. The god Enlil has given Gilgamesh the power “to bind and to loose” -- to rule his subjects. A king claims to be innocent because he is the first son of the last King – a unique position that he did not choose. Elected politicians claim to rule in the name of 51% of the people.

22 Hierarchy – Sumeria and after

23 23 Hierarchy: Iso-morphs of imaginary order 23 patriarchal family cosmos / gods Knowledge/hierarchies of truth Fill in the blank

24 The Real Sumerian Heritage II: Commands come from the top and go down Taxes and obligations come from the bottom and go up

25 Sumerian ziggurat – monument to hierarchy

26 Palace of the Soviets, Moscow -1930’s (never completed)

27 Sacramento, California

28 Since 4000 BC the basic elements of every well organized society exist: Priests, slaves, police, and prostitutes. And we do not know how or why this occurred. -- Cornelius Castoriadis

29 The Real Sumerian Heritage II: Commands come from the top and go down Taxes and obligations come from the bottom and go up

30 P olitical Theory of pre-modern civilizations

31 Property stone: the king gives land to his warriors. The warriors collect taxes from the peasants on that land.

32 property [Latin: ‘proprius’ ] -- one’s own; what is proper (appropriate) to oneself; a quality or state that belongs to something (this stone is hard, this table is flat, etc) Gilgamesh has the power “to bind and to loose” -- to determine the properties of his subjects, to decide what is proper / appropriate for each. >> authority _______________ state [Latin: ‘status’] -- condition or quality of something; state – political state [from status / estate] – political organization according to social status, according to what is proper for each class, according to the social properties of each class.

33 Hammurabi’s Code (1770 BCE)

34 Shamash gives Hammurabi the right to rule The gods called me, Hammurabi, to bring about the rule of righteousness in the land, to destroy the wicked and the evil-doers; so that the strong should not harm the weak; so that I should rule over the black- headed people like Shamash, and enlighten the land… to further the well-being of mankind.

35 1. If a man accuses another man of a (capital) crime, but cannot prove it, he, the accuser, shall be put to death If a man put out the eye of another man, his eye shall be put out If he break another man's bone, his bone shall be broken If he put out the eye of a freed man [a former slave], or break the bone of a freed man, he shall pay one gold mina If he put out the eye of a man's slave, or break the bone of a man's slave, he shall pay one-half of its value.

36 202. If any one strike the body of a man higher in rank than he, he shall receive sixty blows with an ox-whip in public If a free-born man strike the body of another free- born man of equal rank, he shall pay one gold mina If a freed man strike the body of another freed man, he shall pay ten shekels in money If the slave of a freed man strike the body of a freed man, his ear shall be cut off.

37 209. If a man strike a free-born woman so that she lose her unborn child, he shall pay ten shekels for her loss If the woman die, his daughter shall be put to death If a woman of the free class lose her child by a blow, he shall pay five shekels in money If this woman die, he shall pay half a mina If he strike the female-servant of a man, and she lose her child, he shall pay two shekels in money If this female-servant dies, he shall pay one-third of a mina.

38 The Net of the Sumerian Social Imaginary Sümer-Think property authority hierarch y

39 Hunter – Gatherers in the Amazon (the anti-sumerians)

40 Among hunter-gatherers: The chief must give gifts to the others. For this reason he works harder than others. The chief must give speeches everyday. It is his duty – not his right. But the chief has no power to command. No authority. When the chief speaks, the others do not listen. Or they pretend not to listen.

41 The City is the place and symbol of the state -- of hierarchy houses gardens fields temples

42 order

43 disorder = chaos

44 order Sumer-think 101: Everyone, everything has an identity Every identity has a function Every function has its place

45 Symbolic-Identitary Operations identity means sameness: the same as, identical to A = A A is identical to A A ≠ -A A is not identical to not A this = this this ≠ that This cannot be this and that. ___________________________ Our hunter-gatherers say: In truth, we are this and we are that. It is language that prevents us from being this and that.

46 Everyone has a social identity/ status/function Every function has an appropriate place Identitary logic of ancient civilization

47 Like properties go with like properties

48 The imaginary order of authority is made visible in the ancient City identity = function = proper place each identity group dresses (by law) in the proper manner.

49 The ancient City makes the principle visible – a spatial order of political and economic hierarchy. A place for every function. And everyone in his/her proper place.

50 The Well Ordered Society -- M.C. Escher


Download ppt "Sümer-Think & You Established 3000 BCE Uruk  New York  London  Rome  Istanbul  Berlin Edw. Mitchell September 25, 2013."

Similar presentations


Ads by Google