By Hugh Nibley
One vital key to realizing smooth civilization is a familiarity with its historical heritage. Many sleek ideas and practices — social, political, or even fiscal — have cleared parallels and antiquity. A cautious examine of those forerunners of our traditions, particularity as they contributed to the downfall of past civilizations, can assist us stay away from a few of the blunders of our predecessors.
The historical State, through Hugh Nibley, is a thought-provoking exam of facets of historic tradition, from using marked arrows to the unusually common notion of kinship, from argument from numerous colleges of philosophy to the increase of rhetoric. writer Hugh Nibley brings his traditional meticulous study and scholarship to endure during this enlightening number of essays and lectures.
It has been acknowledged that simply by way of studying the teachings of heritage will we desire to prevent repeating them. For student and amateur alike, The old State is a precious resource of such learning.
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Extra info for Collected Works of Hugh Nibley, Vol. 10: The Ancient State
Nevertheless, hunting and not herding is the original motif, though the distinction between them is sometimes very fine. V. Though the arrow rules the world, its victory is not final. For over against its claims must be set the equally valid and venerable claims of the Black-Earth, the Mother of Gods and Men, inculcating the deep conviction that a man can possess only the earth he “quickens,” all other ownership coming under the head of fraud. 108 The hunter’s arrow, on the other hand, marked with his noble “crest,” gives him, within the limits of a preserve necessarily much vaster than that of any farmer, the divine right to possess and dominate whatever it can reach.
This venerable symbol was later adopted by the Romans, who modified it by using their own securis axe first as a sign of sacrifice and then later of war and capital punishment. On a coin of C. , the consular fasces is flanked by a wheat kernel and the snaked-headed caduceus. Our own dime of 1916 (C) was popular until the symbol was tarnished by the Fascist movement. Here the arrow shaft comes full circuit, fulfilling its destiny as the ultimate embodiment of power. III. ”71 If Hilprecht’s theory failed of general acceptance, it was because no one could see how the arrow fitted into the picture.
London: Sonnenschein & Allen, 1880), 2:846.