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Power in Complex Societies - Essay Example

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They mainly refereed to those they ruled as subjects. They also led their communities towards supremacy against their neighbors. They could either use their economic power, military…
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Power in Complex Societies
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s Power in complex societies In ancient societies, the leaders who ruled then had to maintain their position and respect. They mainly refereed to those they ruled as subjects. They also led their communities towards supremacy against their neighbors. They could either use their economic power, military power, political power or even ideological power to maintain their position. In this essay, I shall focus on the ideological power that these ancient leaders used to maintain their position.
The ancient leaders mainly preferred to use ideologies as their source of power. If we could look at the ancient communities, it is easy to tell that the communities were deeply religious. The gods were worshiped with a lot of respect and anything that was said to come from the god was not taken lightly. The ancient leaders knew this and took the fullest advantage of this. The brains of the communities were brainwashed to trust religion.
In ancient Egypt, the king ruled over the people and even owned their wealth. This way, he was able to control the people in totality. The king visited the temple regularly to assert his power. He also participated in the rituals of the community. The kings mainly used this source of power where the military and political power also had other determinants (O’Connor & Reid 176). He could then capture the minds of the people.
In ancient Athens, there was great reference to religion. The ways of the gods were respected just like in ancient Egypt. In Athens, there were several impiety trials for those who did not respect religion. For example, Anaxagoras was prosecuted for doubting the existence of the god sun. The leaders knew this too well and thus by using religion, they dictated how the Athenians lived. They also protected their dynasties using religion. The Athenians had a lot of belief in prophecy and there were a lot of divinations. In most instances, the results of the divinations favored the reigns of the leaders who were there at the time. Religion also shaped the political culture at the time and thus was the main source of power in most ancient kingdoms including Athens.
Sparta had a sophisticated ideological system. The system of power dictated that few elite people ruled over the majority in the community. Sparta had both military and political power. The king was also the spiritual leader of the people and that used this role to assert his authority in the community. Being militaristic state, the ideologies that the community believed played a great role in propelling the dynasties that reigned at the time. Their leaders had great devotion to the gods of the community like Apollo and thus the people held them in high regard.
Though the ideologies that these communities held on to were not the only source of power for the leaders and the communities, it played a great role. During times of war, the communities used religion for divination and to assist them win the battle. Politics were also used as a source of power but they were also heavily dependent on religion. The political leaders had great reference to the community gods who helped them to maintain their power over other communities. The reason here is that most communities were constantly at war with their neighbors. There was need to assert their influence and to do so, religion came in handy.

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Connor, David, and Andrew Reid. Ancient Egypt in Africa. London: Left Coast, 2007. Print. Read More
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