Wednesday 12 June 2024

The Democratic System Of ASSUR

The city of Ashur was the capital of the Old Assyrian city-state (2025–1364 BC), the Middle Assyrian Empire (1363–912 BC), and for a time, of the Neo-Assyrian Empire (911–609 BC). The remains of the city lie on the western bank of the Tigris River, north of the confluence with its tributary, the Little Zab, in what is now Iraq, more precisely in the al-Shirqat District of the Saladin Governorate.

This city developed the idea of decision-making by council of elders and assembly. A magistrate was elected by lot every year. Over 1,500 years before the birth of the first elected official of Athens, in West Asia, the city of Ashur, we have the names of 100 elected officials in Assur. The job of the magistrate was to manage the city finances, but also do more than this.

In the city of Assur during the 21st century BCE, the magistrate, known as the ลกakkanakkum in Akkadian, held a significant administrative and judicial role. The magistrate was responsible for overseeing the legal and administrative affairs of the city, ensuring the enforcement of laws, and adjudicating disputes among citizens. They presided over local courts, where they heard cases involving civil disputes, criminal offenses, and matters related to property rights, contracts, and family law. Additionally, magistrates were involved in tax collection, land management, and maintaining public order within the city. Their authority derived from the king or ruler of the Assyrian state, and they played a crucial role in upholding the legal and social order of Assur and ensuring the stability of the city-state.

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