State for A Monarchy and Epic of Gilgamesh and Old Testament
Consider the ways in which monarchs are represented in the Epic of Gilgamesh and the Story of Sinuhe. How much power do monarchs appear to have in these texts, and how do they wield it? Is their behavior portrayed as good or bad for their subjects? What similarities and differences can you discern in the expectations people had of their monarchs in ancient Sumerian/Babylonian society, on the one hand, and in ancient Egyptian society, on the other？
2. Consider the depictions of the behavior of deities in any two of the following: the Epic of Gilgamesh, the Code of Hammurabi, and the selections from the Old Testament assigned in this course. How do the deities act in the texts you have chosen, and what might that say about the political and social environments of the people who believed in those deities? What similarities and differences appear in the various portrayals, and what might this tell us about similarities and differences between the societies that produced them?
3. How do the role and characteristics of a leader in early Hebrew/Israelite society, as represented in the selections from the Old Testament that you have read in this course, evolve during the period from the Hebrews’ bondage in Egypt to the Babylonian Captivity?