Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
A World History of Ancient Political Thought$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Antony Black

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199281695

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199281695.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 29 January 2020

Early Communities and States

Early Communities and States

Chapter:
(p.6) 1 Early Communities and States
Source:
A World History of Ancient Political Thought
Author(s):

Antony Black (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199281695.003.0002

We can discover something about early, pre-literate social and political thought from archaeology, anthropology, and social biology. Humans evolved in small kin-groups, in which reciprocal altruism and tit-for-tat paid off. Larger, non-kin-groups necessitated morality and law. Language, symbolic systems, and religious beliefs facilitated transitions to larger societies. Hierarchy and property developed; wealth, status, and power were distributed more unequally than among other primates. Humans developed a strong sense of a distinction between insiders and outsiders. The first states, from Egypt to China, were sacred patrimonial monarchies, in which religious beliefs produced an appearance of family relationships. The king was supposed to embody justice and benevolence. The main exception was the Greek people-state.

Keywords:   small groups, reciprocal altruism, symbolic system, language, hierarchy, sacred monarchy

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .