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By Max Weber

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Sample text

For important transactions, for example, for the reception of strangers into the association of citizens and land owners, this city head required the assent of the "armed" men ( anashim) of Shechem. Alongside this old master sib there appeared after the war against the Midianites Gideon's sib as an overpowering competitor, which, in its turn, was displaced by Hamor's sib in the revolt against Abimelech. The sibs, as in early Hellenic times, often settled interlocally; at times, a sib was predominant in several, particularly in small, towns.

The Philistine knighthood, too, consisted of trained warriors. man of war from his youth": that presupposes possessions. The ancient Israelite political leaders of the mountain tribes, however, are occasionally called "staff bearers" like the Homeric princes. 19 This is a reliable indication of sib rule as is the plurality of suflits and consuls. Conditions differed when a charismatic war lord succeeded as lord of the city in making himself independent of the aristocracy of elders by winning a personal following, or by hiring paid, frequently foreign-hom, mercenaries, who constitute a bodyguard only to him.

The charismatic chieftains also possessed castles, as did David and, in early times, Abimelech. Economically and politically, the cities of the tradition represent very different phenomena. The city could be but a small fortified agricultural community with a market. In this case it differed only in degree from a village. If fully developed, however, the city throughout the ancient Orient was not only a market place, but above all a fortress and, as such, seat of the army, the local deity, his priests, and the respective monarchical or oligarchical authorities of the body politic.

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