Dr. van Meer
10 November 2015
Equality and Hierarchy in Classical Iron Age
Equality is a key component needed in societies. Many societies in the Classical Iron Age made significant attempts to reduce inequalities, but not all of these attempts completely reduced them. The societies of the Jews, Greeks, Early Christians in Rome, and the Muslims were the societies in the Iron Age that tried to reduce inequalities, but ended up maintaining hierarchy or patriarchy in their cultures.
According to excerpts in the Hebrew Bible, the ideal Jewish follower was one who obeyed the Lord and did morally right. Therefore if all of the Jewish people honored the Lord and his commandments then each follower should have equal rights and treat each other with fairness, unlike the way the Egyptians had treated them previously. While implementing equality, the Lord maintained a hierarchy by selecting certain people to receive his message or carry on a task. For instance, in Exodus the only person allowed to reach and speak to the Lord directly was Moses, and anyone else who tried would be killed. Thus consequently creating a hierarchy consisting of the Lord as the highest “class”, his messengers below him, the followers below the messengers, and perhaps the nonbelievers as the lowest class.
The Greeks usually shared many aspects of their culture with each other, for instance all Greek males competed in the Pan-Hellenic games for military preparedness, and during battles the hoplite infantry would use the same phalanx formation. Although Greeks shared some aspects they were still independent from each other, so they had their differences.
Sparta tried eliminating many of the inequalities between men and women as well as giving male citizens equal opportunities in war and politics. According to excerpts from Xenophon on the Constitution of the Lacedaemonians, Spartan women were physically trained just as much as the man,...