SAOC 46. The Organization of Power: Aspects of Bureaucracy in the Ancient Near East McGuire Gibson and Robert D. Biggs, eds. (Second Edition with Corrections)

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This symposium volume deals with the structure, operation, and ideology of ancient Near Eastern bureaucracies. Four of the eight papers deal with the Third Dynasty of Ur (Mesopotamia, 2100–2000 B.C.), two deal with Egypt (Old Kingdom and Ptolemaic), one with Byzantium, and the others treat bureaucracy from a sociological or anthropological standpoint. Thus the specialist in third-millennium Mesopotamia has rich fare set before him, whereas other readers are liable to be disappointed by the disproportionate coverage (reasons for which are explained by Gibson in his introduction).

The Organization of Power is well edited and handsomely produced. Although it is primarily a contribution to ancient Near Eastern Studies, historians of other regions and periods will find much to interest them here. [From a review of the first edition by Benjamin R. Foster in the American Journal of Archaeology 93 (1989) 292–93]

  • Studies in Ancient Oriental Civilization 46
  • Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1991
  • Pp. xii + 168; 15 figures, 10 plates, 1 table, 3 appendices
  • Out of Print