AT THE ORIGIN OF POLITICS
The formation and growth of the State in Syrian-Mesopotamia
How and why the state, a society structured according to the lines of power that organize individuals in a new super-personal organism, blossoms almost suddenly after the never-ending prehistoric period? This book explores the causes to this phenomenon, of which Mesopotamia offers the first and richest records, from technology to ideology. According to this perspective, power tends inevitably to expand its range of action up to the point where it excludes any other analogous form of power. In Mesopotamia this process led from the first territorial state, the city-state, to the ultimate possible stage of this phenomenon, the universal state or the empire. Simultaneously, however, some experiments aim to pre- serve the personal dimension of the individual. For instance, the juridical system aims somehow to protect the individual. The ideal to preserve the integrity of the individual within an essentially super-personal organism remains an unsolved issue. An issue that the history of ancient Mesopotamia offers us framed for our modern questions.