Advertisement

Conception of Justice: Pre-Axial Age

  • Abbas MirakhorEmail author
  • Hossein Askari
Chapter
Part of the Political Economy of Islam book series (PEoI)

Abstract

Before the Axial Age (800–200 BCE), Zarathustra was the first to present a conception of justice (Gathas) anchored on a just social system with just governance as its axis. Importantly, his is also a conception within the framework of the first explicitly stated radical monotheism, emphasizing good rule with a good ruler as a man of truth. In the Gathas, truth is the first virtue. Ancient Egyptians considered that the source of justice was the divine, the creator god (Maat), who designated justice as the governing concept in the cosmos as well as among humans. While Pharaohs had absolute power, maat (truth, balance, order, harmony, law, morality and justice) played a restraining influence on their authority, they were expected to guarantee justice by being benevolent to their subjects and pious toward the gods.

Bibliography

  1. Allen, Thomas George (translation). 1974. The Book of the Dead or Going Forth by Day: Ideas of Ancient Egyptians Concerning the Hereafter Expressed in Their Own Terms. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  2. Allen, J.P. 2004. Middle Egyptian: An Introduction to the Language and Cultures of Hieroglyphs. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  3. ———. 2013. A New Concordance of the Pyramid Texts. Vol. I. Providence: Brown University Press.Google Scholar
  4. Assmann, Jan. 1992. When Justice Fails: Jurisdiction and Imprecation in Ancient Egypt. Journal of Egyptian Archaeology 78: 149–162.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. ———. 2001. The Search for God in Ancient Egypt. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
  6. ———. 2002. The Mind of Ancient Egypt: History and Meaning in the Time of the Pharaohs. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  7. Bleeker, C.J. 1967. Egyptian Festivals: Enactment of Religious Renewal. Leiden: Brill.Google Scholar
  8. Budge, E.A.W. 2005. Egyptian Religion: Egyptian Ideas of the Future Life. New York: Cosimo, Inc.Google Scholar
  9. Erman, Adolf. 1966. The Ancient Egyptians: A Source Book of Their Writings. Trans A. Blackman. New York: Harper Torch Book.Google Scholar
  10. Fairman, H.W. 1958. The Kingship Rituals of Egypt. In Myths, Rituals and Kingship: Essays in the Theory and Practice of Kingship in the Ancient Near East and Israel, ed. S.H. Hook. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  11. Fensham, F.C. 1962. Widow, Orphan, and the Poor in Ancient Near Eastern Legal and Wisdom Literature. Journal of Near Eastern Studies 21: 129–139.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Ferguson, James R. 2016. The Ancient Egyptian Concept of Maat: Reflection on Social Justice and Natural Order. The Center for East-West Cultural and Economic Studies, Bond University, Australia, Research Paper No. 15, 2016.Google Scholar
  13. Gardiner, Alan A. 1923. The Eloquent Peasant. Journal of Egyptian Archaeology 9 (1 and 2): 5–25.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Garrend, Kenneth M. 1993. Causal Origin of Egyptian Conceptual Thinking. Bulletin of Australian Centre for Egyptology 4: 7–16.Google Scholar
  15. Goff, Beatrice L. 1979. Symbols of Ancient Egypt in the Late Period: The Twenty First Dynasty. The Hague: Mouton Publisher.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Grimal, Nicholas. 1992. The History of Ancient Egypt. Cambridge: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  17. Hamilton, Caleb. 2013. Aspects of the Judiciary in the Egyptian Old Kingdom. In Proceedings of Conference on Approaches to Studying the Ancient Past, ed. Jessica Cox, Caleb Hamilton, Kathrin R.L. McLardy, Amy J. Pettman, and David Steward, 29–39. Oxford: All Bar. Uploaded by Caleb Hamilton, Academic.edu.Google Scholar
  18. Hornung, Erik. 1982. The Conception of God in Ancient Egypt: The One and the Many. Trans J. Bains. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  19. Iskandar, Zaki. 1975. Brief History of Pharaonic Egypt. Cairo: Arab World Printing House.Google Scholar
  20. Iverson, Erik. 1961. The Myth of Egypt and Its Hieroglyphs in European Tradition. Copenhagen: CEG Gad.Google Scholar
  21. Jeffers, Chike. 2013. Embodying Justice in Ancient Egypt: The Tale of the Eloquent Peasant as a classic of Political Philosophy. British Journal for the History of Philosophy 1 (3): 421–442.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Lichtheim, Miriam. 1973. Ancient Egyptian Literature: A Book of Readings I. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  23. ———. 1976. Ancient Egyptian Literature: A Book of Readings II. Translation of the Book of the Dead, Chapter 125 “The Judgement of the Dead.” Berkeley: University of California Press, pp. 124–132.Google Scholar
  24. Lorton, David. 1977. The Treatment of Criminals in Ancient Egypt: Through the New Kingdom. Journal of Economic and Social History of the Orient 20: 2–64.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Malek, J. 2000. The Old Kingdom. In Oxford History of Ancient Egypt, ed. I. Shaw. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  26. Mancini, Anna. 2002. Ancient Egyptian Wisdom for the Internet. Lanham, MD: University Press of America, Inc., pp. 55–94.Google Scholar
  27. Manning, J.C. 2012. The Representation of Justice in Ancient Egypt. Yale Journal of Law & the Humanities 24 (1): 111–118.Google Scholar
  28. Morenz, Siegfried. 1973. Egyptian Religion. Trans. A. Keep. London: Methuen.Google Scholar
  29. Morschauer, Scott N. 1995. The Ideological Basis for Social Justice/Responsibility in Ancient Egypt. In Social Justice in Ancient World, ed. K.D. Irani and Moris Silver, 101–114. London: Greenwood Press.Google Scholar
  30. O’Connor, David. 2003. Egypt’s View of ‘Others’. In Never Had the Like Occurred: Egypt’s View of Its Past, ed. John Tate. London: UCL Press.Google Scholar
  31. O’Connor, David K., and David P. Silverman, eds. 1995. Ancient Egyptian Kingdom. Leiden: Brill.Google Scholar
  32. Parkinson, R.B. 1991. The Tale of Eloquent Peasant. Oxford: Griffith Institute Publications.Google Scholar
  33. ———. 1992. Literary Form and the Tale of the Eloquent Peasant. Journal of Egyptian Archeology 78: 163–178.Google Scholar
  34. ———. 2012. The Tale of the Eloquent Peasant: A Reader’s Commentary. Hamburg: Widmaier Verlag.Google Scholar
  35. Perry, E. 1986. A Critical Study of the Eloquent Peasant. Unpublished Doctoral Dissertation. University Microfilm, Ann Arbor, MI.Google Scholar
  36. Pinch, Geraldine. 2002. Egyptian Mythology. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  37. Roberts, Allison. 2000. Death and Rebirth in Ancient Egypt. London: Northgate Publishers.Google Scholar
  38. Ruiz, Ana. 2001. The Spirit of Ancient Egypt. New York: Algora Publishing.Google Scholar
  39. Shafer, Byron, ed. 1991. Religion in Ancient Egypt: God, Myth, and Personal Practice. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  40. Shorter, Alan. 1978. The Egyptian Gods: A Handbook. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.Google Scholar
  41. Shupak, Nili. 1992. A New Source for the Study of Judiciary and Law of Ancient Egypt: The Tale of the Eloquent Peasant. Journal of Near Eastern Studies 51 (1): 1–18.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Simpson, William Kelly, ed. 1989. Religion and Philosophy in Ancient Egypt. New Haven: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  43. Teeter, Emily. 1997. The Presentation of Ma’at: Ritual and Legitimacy in Ancient Egypt. Chicago: The Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago.Google Scholar
  44. Tobin, Vincent Arieh. 1987. Ma’at and Dike: Some Comparative Considerations of Egyptian and Greek Thought. The Journal of the American Research Center in Egypt 24: 113–121.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Van Blerk, Nicolas Johannes. 2006. The Concept of Law and Justice in Ancient Egypt with Specific Reference to the Tale of Eloquent Peasant. Unpublished Master’s Thesis, University of South Africa.Google Scholar
  46. Wenke, Robert J. 2009. The Ancient Egyptian State: The Origins of the Egyptian Culture (c. 8000–2000 BC). New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  47. Westbrook, Raymond. 2003. A History of Ancient Near Eastern Law (2 Vols). Leiden: Brill.Google Scholar
  48. Wilkinson, Toby A.H. 1999. Early Dynastic Egypt. London: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Wilson, John A. 1951. The Culture of Ancient Egypt. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  50. Zabkar, Louis V. 1968. A Study of the Ba Concept in Ancient Egyptian Texts. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.La JuntaUSA
  2. 2.LeesburgUSA

Personalised recommendations