Historical Existence: Between the Beginning and the End of History? 9783957681478, 3957681472

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Ernest Nolte


Ernest Nolte HISTORICAL EXISTENCE between beginning and end of story?

Bibliographic information the German National Library The German National Library lists these Publication in the Deutsche Nationalbibliografie; detailed bibliographic data are on the internet abouthttp://dnb.d-nb.deavailable.

ISBN 978-3-95768-147-8 © 2014 Lau-Verlag & Handel KG, Reinbek/Munich Internet:www.lau-verlag.de

All rights, in particular the right of reproduction and distribution as well as translation. No part of the work may be reproduced in any form reproduced (by photocopy, microfilm or any other method) without the written permission of the publisher

or stored, processed, reproduced or distributed using electronic systems. The work was written in the old spelling.

Cover design: Atelier Versen, Bad Aibling Typesetting and layout: Lau-Verlag & Handel KG, Reinbek

Table of contents


First part introduction 1. Explication of the question: What does "historical existence" mean? 2. "Historicity" and "historical anthropology"

3. "Natural History" or "History of Reason"? 4. Spengler, Toynbee, Jaspers and the concept of "historical existence"

ANatural events - prehistory - the early advanced civilizations 5. History of the cosmos or cosmic preconditions of history? 6. "History of the Earth" - "History of Life"? 7. Evolution as fundamental history? 8. Stages of the »history ability« in animals? 9. Problems of the »Incarnation« 10. The ages of prehistory

11. The Beginning of "History": "Neolithic Revolution" or "Writing"? 12. The Early Civilizations: I. Sumer and Akkad 13. The Early Civilizations: II. Egypt 14. The early high cultures: III. Ugarite 15. The Great Testimonies: I. The Epic of Gilgamesh 16. The great testimonies: II. The Iliad 17. The great testimonies: III. The Old Testament 1 18. The great testimonies: III. The Old Testament 2

BSchema of "historical existence" 19. The religion: A. The gods 20. The religion: B. The god 21. Domination - Stratification - State 22. Nobility – sublimation – art 23. war and peace 24. The rebellion and the beginnings of a "left" 25. History and Superiority Consciousness 26. Urban and countryside 27. schooling and science 28. The orders of everyday life (sexuality, economy) 29. Dynamism, progress, emancipation

Second part

AThe world religions and world history 30. Introduction: The span of religions 31. India and Buddhism 32. China: Confucianism and Taoism 33. Greece and the beginnings of philosophy and science 34. Post-exilic Judaism 35. Christianity

36. Islam

Bschema of historical existence 37. domination, stratification, state 38. nobility and sublimation 39. war and peace 40. Rebellion and »the left« 41. cities and rural areas 42. historiography and historical awareness 43. economy and sexuality 44. education and Science 45. Dynamism, progress, emancipation, "secularization"

Cmodernity and practical transcendence 46. The beginnings of modern science and the Enlightenment 47. The Atlantic revolutions as the gateway to modernity 48. The "civilized states" of the 19th century and the world domination of the Occident 49. The First World War and Bolshevism 50. Fascism and National Socialism 51. Judaism and Zionism 52. The Cold War and the end of Eastern European Communism

TThe present as the beginning of »post-history«? 53. "Globalization" as a triumph of scientific-technical competitive economy 54. Criticism of Civilization and Ecology 55. Population explosion and population dwindling 56. The left - basic impulse, diversity, paradoxes 57. Disempowered States in the Fragmented One World?

58. The decline of the nobility and the rise of industrial-politicalintellectual elites 59. Historical consciousness: weakening - renaissance - annihilation

- Probation 60. The Decline of Religions and the Rise of "Fundamentalism"

final consideration 61. The "post-history" - outside or within history?

Remarks index register of persons

Foreword to the new edition

As far as the personal assumptions and the conceptual content of the new edition of the present book, first published in 1998, is concerned, I must refer the reader to the foreword to this edition. It could be summed up in the shortest form as follows: The fact that in 1989 the magazine article by a hitherto almost unknown author entitled "The End of History?" but history as a whole was 1 made into the past and, as it were, placed at disposal . But Francis Fukuyama was not the first to make "history" the subject; every educated person knows that the term "posthistoire" was common, even fashionable, within the school of "postmodernism" during the 1970s and 1980s, and that in Germany Arnold Gehlen contrasted the state of "world civilization" with that of "past history" in much the same way as Alfred Weber did soon after the end of the Second 2 World War. This alone has made the question of the characteristics or categories or existentials (of historical existence) legitimate, and that is why the question of an "end of history" becomes unavoidable, so that these

existentials are only used for the five thousand year "interlude" of the "actual History« and are now disappearing or have already disappeared as such. To this

3 Existentials include B. Religion, state, nobility, war, rebellion and the left , and among the forefathers of this question are thinkers like Hegel, 4 Feuerbach, Comte, Marx and 1950 Roderick Seidenberg , but also Oswald Spengler, Arnold Toynbee and Karl Jaspers, and even Martin Heidegger, who also rudimentarily opposed an emerging »world state« to »previous 5 history« or »culture«. My book »Fascism in its Era«, published in 1963, can also be classified here, although it was initially considered a specialist study of National Socialism. Only later did it become clear that it had made a strong and non-specialist impression on a man as important as François 6 Furet.

The positive verdict, which had initially prevailed in Germany as well, was largely reversed from 1986, when an article from June 6, 1986 in the 7 FAZ had triggered the so-called "historian dispute". Only on the eve of Germany's unexpected reunification did the storm that it had triggered subside, and in the 1990s the books by Alan Bullock, François Furet and Eric Hobsbawm, as well as the French "Black Book" on communism, 8th became the rage publicly accepting the question again that nothing was so characteristic of the twentieth century as the radicals Extermination measures of the Bolshevik and National Socialist regimes. But that was least true of Germany, and the strange indignation at the "causal nexus" that I had declared fundamental between Bolshevism and National Socialism was taken as an "apology for Hitler"; for me it resulted in my almost 9 complete isolation from the specialist historical and feuilletonistic public and I was treated with derogatory terms such as "the historian who was" or, at best, "the philosopher gone astray." At the same time, one got rid of the need to think about the central concept of "transcendence," which was only understood as a kind of irrational "residual philosophy."

In truth, the connection between the seemingly purely political concepts of "fascism" and, with it, "Marxism"

and easily understandable from the seemingly merely philosophical content of "Historical Existence." The essence of National Socialism is defined as "resistance to transcendence," and if "transcendence" is nothing other than the much-cited progress, the result is unequivocal: National Socialism is the historical phenomenon that advances to the "posthistorical" state most fiercely and violently, seeing in it a destruction of humanity through progress to a state "beyond human," while Marxism sees in it precisely a return to the "primitive human" state on this side of nations, classes, and individual cultures, but not a return to what was once there, but to a higher and more universal existence. In 1998 I still had more than a decade of a productive existence ahead of me; but today that is no longer the case. I no longer have any major projects or work plans and at most I have sketches that are intended for the estate. Therefore, in the following and new part of the foreword, I want to emphasize what the careful reader has known for a long time, but which has never been discussed as a whole and has always only been perceptible in parts or rudiments. In a nutshell, the following can be said: My reflections have always focused primarily on three concrete historical phenomena that are particularly close to the problematic of "history" and "post-history" and that played a constant, even if they were only temporarily present in potential contact with each other: Judaism as one of the oldest peoples and particularly characterized by its monotheistic religion; Bolshevism as the (political) phenomenon most closely related to "post-history"; radical fascism as the not exclusively German phenomenon of the negative reaction to the contradictory reality of the fighters for post-history. By going back to the multi-thousand-year past of Judaism, to the “left” that is also deeply rooted in the past, such as Bolshevism, and to the structural characteristics of an almost equally Judaism as one of the oldest peoples and particularly characterized by its monotheistic religion; Bolshevism as the (political) phenomenon most closely related to "post-history"; radical fascism as the not exclusively German phenomenon of the negative reaction to the contradictory reality of the fighters for post-history. By going back to the multi-thousand-year past of Judaism, to the »left« like Bolshevism, which is also deeply rooted in the past, and to the structural characteristics of an almost equally Judaism as one of the oldest peoples and

particularly characterized by its monotheistic religion; Bolshevism as the (political) phenomenon most closely related to "post-history"; radical fascism as the not exclusively German phenomenon of the negative reaction to the contradictory reality of the fighters for post-history. By going back to the multithousand-year past of Judaism, to the “left” that is also deeply rooted in the past, such as Bolshevism, and to the structural characteristics of an almost equally

The deep past of a "Right" makes it possible to remove the disputes of the 20th century from everyday polemics and to place a stronger emphasis on much earlier phenomena, which as such are undeniable and at best the basis for later polemics. So it's always about the real on this side of the polemically perhaps only imagined. The 'people of Israel', with their God Yahweh as the creator and lord of the world, was 'different from the other peoples' from the very beginning, and they wanted to be different. The biblical narrative of the conquest of the land of Palestine by the Hebrews who had broken out of "servitude in Egypt" is a story of unconditional will to conquer, of cruelty and genocide, which fills the modern reader with horror, even if the warlike customs of these archaic times are not ignored . There were good reasons for the widespread anti-Semitism in antiquity, because the "eternal peace" that the prophets proclaimed to the people as the redeeming final state (after the Messiah) was all too obvious with the old claim to world domination of the only God and "his « Connected to the people. But no condemnation is derived from this in the »Historical Existence«. It is far more likely to be seen as a sign of world-historical greatness, because the religious intensity of the "Bible" cannot be diminished by any comparison and because the paradoxical "assimilation" to the environment of the Hellenistic age is emphasized. After the fall of the two Hebrew states, the new, "intellectual," leaders of the people, the rabbis, tightened the "fence" of the Torah, the "law," with its hundreds of do's and don'ts, around "Judaism," so that it when a people expelled from their homeland without a state was able to assert their identity. Quite a few of the most enlightening statements were formulated by Jewish authors such as Spinoza, who saw the reason for this in their self-image as a "chosen people".

Chaim Weizmann, who said that the Jews carried anti-Semitism with them in their rucksacks wherever they went. But didn't all of these statements characterize the Jews as a "great people" despite stating very negative aspects? But this greatness obviously had something to do with the Jewish "otherness," and if one ascribes the otherness not only to the Jews, but to all those who rebelled against "injustice," then one could give the Jews a rebellious, a critical, a "left" call people. However, this character only had an impact on world history when it was combined with a more comprehensive rebellion that had been called "socialism" since the beginning of the 19th century and, despite its manifold differentiations, was guided by the prospect of a "post-history" in which as the end point of the movement known today as »globalisation«, the conflict-inducing differences between nations, classes and individual cultures will no longer exist. Anyone who keeps all this in mind will no longer be surprised or outraged by the term "Jewish Bolshevism". The Bolshevik revolution in Russia in 1917 was not a "genocide" but a revolution of class destruction. Depending on the definition they gave to the term "bourgeoisie," they intended the annihilation of a small minority or half of the people. But in the environment of the earliest end of the war, it was fueled by an enthusiasm that could create the impression, even in bitter opponents, that this revolution must be right, even though it obviously violated its own basic assumption that world socialism can only follow fully developed capitalism . In the next few chapters, the book does not take up the popular rhetoric about Hitler's "beer cellar agitator," but concentrates entirely on the question of whether Hitler was filled with a similar "credibility" as the leaders and supporters of Bolshevism in Russia and in large parts of the world parts of Europe. The answer is in the affirmative and is restricted to the person of Hitler, for there can be no doubt as to the enthusiastic power of Hitler's speeches to a small and then ever greater extent

give audience. The decisive fact was apparently always the realization of that "class murder" which was interpreted as "race murder" and its threat to Germany, not just to the capitalists. And one will have to say that the "annihilation of the bourgeoisie" already threatened in the "Communist Manifesto" was not "at the right time" at least in Germany and that Hitler was right in this respect. Isn't that the "apology for Hitler" emphasized and fought by so many Nolte opponents? In truth, it is nothing more than making a challenging historical phenomenon understandable, which every historian should recognize as his own task. It does not exclude sharp criticism and just as little approval when, for example, contrary to a main Marxist thesis, it is emphasized that those inequalities and injustices that only came into the world through capitalism, such as private property, credit, interest payments and mortgages, already existed in Sumerian Lagash a thousand and a half years before Christ existed. The non-polemical interpretation of the three major phenomena of Judaism, Bolshevik left-wing extremism and the radical reactionary and yet modern National Socialism, which is nevertheless modern in its own way, yields the following result, leaving out a few intermediate steps: none of the three movements or regimes or movements grew up from unreal obsessions and fantasies. For all three, it was crucial to belong to a time when, for the first time, "historical existence" could be viewed as a "phase of history" that was about to end, and both Judaism and Bolshevism and National Socialism recognized or anticipated some of the problems and possible solutions of the epoch correctly and then gave comprehensible, albeit some unique and terrible answers. In this respect, all three were not completely wrong, and the fear of the apparent beginnings of an "apology" is unjustified. But the ultimately decisive protagonists of the continued effect of historical existence on the one hand and its weakening, yes even

their downfall on the other were guided by the ideological tendency to "absolute" and were therefore wrong in a deeper sense than right, because one side demanded the annihilation of the other. Both, unequally, although clearly distributed among the representatives of the three main regimes, were and are both right and wrong for this reason, and the answer with regard to the future can be no other than the demand for communities or states where freedom and equality of Citizens are synthesized in different ways. What is held to be very probable is that historical existence will not perish completely and that "world civilization" will not and should not assume total domination.

In this foreword I have had to mention various misunderstandings and misinterpretations regarding my work. I had already come to terms with the fact that my little autobiography, Retrospective on My Life and Thought, would be the last of my books and that everything I had written in old age, or might still write, would have a place in my "legacy". would find. But the publication of the present book gave me an experience that authors in their tenths can seldom have. The publisher of this little book, Mr. Willi J. Lau in Reinbek, was the first publisher in my life whose name I did not know at first, because he took the place of a larger publisher with whom I had signed the contract. I had reason to be satisfied with his work on the »Retrospect« and was extremely surprised when, a short time later, after reading the »Historical Existence« he suggested to me this extensive and not exactly »easy« book to be published anew and unabridged by his publishing house. For the first time in my life, at the age of 92, I have reason to be grateful to a publisher, because he not only answered an author's question in the affirmative, but made a far-reaching suggestion of his own accord. So there was no deliberation for me, and I agreed.

Berlin, August 2014

Ernest Nolte

I part


1Explication of the question: What does "historical existence" mean? The question "What does 'historical existence' mean?" is only an independent question if it is not identical with the question "What does 'human existence' mean?" Inquiring into the essence or nature of man has long been considered one of the foremost tasks of philosophy, and it is now mostly associated with "anthropology" as a special subject. There is, however, broad agreement that there have been, and may be, periods or states of affairs in human existence which have not had, and will not have, the character of history, or, as is sometimes said, of "proper history." In the biblical account of the first human beings, Adam, formed by God from earth and bestowed with the breath of life, lives together with his companion Eve, formed from a rib, for an indefinite, apparently "timeless" time in the Garden of Eden, the paradise - apparently in complete Harmony with God, the surrounding nature and with oneself, since the two people were naked and "they were not ashamed of one another". Only when Eve, tempted by the serpent, transgressed the Lord's command and, like Adam, ate a fruit from the tree of life, did they realize that they were naked, so that they were ashamed before God and one another. But at the same time they had come to the knowledge of good and evil, and even if they fell out of the original harmony because of this, it was precisely because of this that they gained the possibility that they "became like God" and also stretched out their hand to the "tree of life," that is, they became immortal lords of the earth. To prevent this, God expelled them from the paradisiacal unity of life and condemned them to constant toil to wrest a meager living from the "thorns and thistles," of a hostile nature. So

God clothed them in cloaks of skins and banished them to the inhospitable earth, to whose dust they would have to return when they died. A fundamentally different way of being began for them, although they remained what they were, namely human beings. One could say: With the gift of being able to choose between good and evil, but also with the burden of the constantly pressing need to make decisions, with the broken relationship to one's own nature and the resulting awareness of fallibility or sin, with the inevitability With constant work and the toil of incessant care for children and grandchildren, man has emerged from the paradisiacal condition of his origin into the hardships of "historical existence." As is well known, the first fratricide soon followed the expulsion from paradise, and it was precisely from the descendants of the murderer Cain that the blacksmiths and the flute players emerged, ie

But this profound myth was by no means an invention of the "Yahwist" to whom the Old Testament scholars ascribe chapters 2.4b to 3.24 of Genesis or Genesis. Rather, narratives of the "Golden Age" of mankind, which preceded the "Iron Age" or, in the language of Indian myth, the "Kali Age" of the present, are found among numerous peoples and in classical antiquity first with Hesiod . In the 19th and 20th centuries, this resulted in the opposition between "prehistory" and "history" or between "primitive" peoples and "civilized peoples". The "prehistory" is the unimaginably long period between the first traces of human or at least human-like beings over a million years ago and the replacement of the age of gatherers and hunters by the transition to sedentary life and agriculture in the "Neolithic Revolution" or even just through understood the advent of writing and »high culture«. In the 19th century there were analogies to this age in quite a few places on earth, and there are still in very hidden corners today, among "native peoples", which are consistently characterized by a fundamental

Conservatism and through the rejection of "innovations", but at the same time through a long time in civilized or developed conditions disappeared maximum of »social integration«, of communality. It is precisely this unity and this stubborn adherence to the traditional forms of life among hordes, clans and possibly tribes, which the science of ethnology found and described, may be assumed for the entire prehistory of mankind, which lasted just as much longer than the » actual history« has been more eventful and dynamic for 5000 years. To illustrate this, the image chosen is that of a serpentine path, the lowest and most visible part of which spans 25,000 years, while the corresponding sections appear progressively smaller as you go up until they are no more 1 than a millimeter in length at the top. How could it be otherwise when the seemingly longest section closest to us already depicts a thousand generations, while 40,000 generations must have lived? One has also used the course of a day to visualize it, and then it is easy to calculate that for the entire period of history there is not even a minute left before the clock strikes midnight, so that the enormous temporal preponderance of "prehistory" over history becomes clear . But if the meaning and importance for the belief in progress of the 19th century were inversely proportional to the length or shortness of these times, so that the centuries of primitive immobility looked like a desolate mountain massif in front of a fertile plain in the face of the turbulence of history,

modern man subjected to "stress" in many ways. And from a completely different part of the world it is known through the ethnological literature that the Pueblo Indians of southern North America are able to spend about half their time in ritual and religious activities. The myth of the "Golden Age" before history seems to contain a rational core. But even in history and alongside history there were and are "ahistorical" or "unhistorical" states that more or less correspond to those of "prehistory." Thus the expression "the fellahin's lack of history" is common, meaning that descent from former heights of history that contemporary observers believed they could already observe in the "Graeculi" of antiquity; after the passage of the "Sea Peoples" around 1200 BC. BC the once flourishing and now devastated regions of Asia Minor sank back into "histolessness," and a similar thing happened in Greece after the Doric migration. "Prehistoric" or archaic things are even preserved in the middle of history: In the prophetic proclamations of the Old Testament there is repeated talk of "the soothing fragrance of the Lord", which is the result of the burnt offerings, and that is obviously a relic from distant antiquity, which is actually not compatible with the spiritualized monotheism of the prophets. It is just as strange for today's readers to read in chapter 18 of the first book of Samuel that David married Saul's daughter Michal after bringing "200 foreskins of the Philistines." And isn't modern psychoanalysis in large part a study of the survival of the archaic or prehistoric in the soul of modern man? David married Saul's daughter Michal after bringing "200 Philistine foreskins." And isn't modern psychoanalysis in large part a study of the survival of the archaic or prehistoric in the soul of modern man? David married Saul's daughter Michal after bringing "200 Philistine foreskins." And isn't modern psychoanalysis in large part a study of the survival of the archaic or prehistoric in the soul of modern man? After all, Hegel should have the floor. Like Ranke, he speaks of the "peoples of an eternal stagnation", he describes the advance of the Aryans in India as "a dull prehistoric spread", he calls the early history of Central Asia, which was characterized by battles and migrations, an "unhistorical history", and he even denies the historical character of the world empires of the Mongols and Huns, because they do not see history as the "progress of the spirit."

belong there, but only in history "insofar as it has natural sides, 2 external necessities, impulses." But not only is pre-history or what is unhistorical separated from history, but also a "post-history" which no longer exhibits the essential characteristics of "previous" history. It may sound fashionable when the talk is of »post-histoire« or »postmodernity«, when Alfred Weber says »farewell to previous history« or when a historian speaks of the »post-historical age« in which we live, but this idea, too, has its roots in ancient times. "World fires" and "ends of the world" are told in numerous myths of early mankind, and they are even a subject of philosophy as in Heraclitus, but an end of history that nevertheless means continuity is first spoken of in prophetic statements of ancient Judaism . As it says in the book of Daniel, which dates from the second century BC, in interpreting Nebuchadnezzar's dream that a fifth kingdom would succeed the four world empires of decreasing value, from gold to iron - an empire established by God himself and » that will not perish for eternity". The following is said of this kingdom in a later passage: 'The dominion and power and the glory of all the kingdoms under all heaven are given to the people of the holy ones of the Most High. His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all powers will serve and obey him.” which is established by God himself and "which will never perish". The following is said of this kingdom in a later passage: 'The dominion and power and the glory of all the kingdoms under all heaven are given to the people of the holy ones of the Most High. His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all powers will serve and obey him.” which is established by God himself and "which will never perish". The following is said of this kingdom in a later passage: 'The dominion and power and the glory of all the kingdoms under all heaven are given to the people of the holy ones of the Most High. His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all powers will 3 serve and obey him.” But long before that, Isaiah had described this after in a way that might be called the victory of utopia over history. "Then the wolf lives with the lamb, the panther lies with the kid. Calf and lion graze together, a little boy can look after them. ... The baby plays in front of the snake's hole, the child stretches his hand into the snake's hole. No one does anything bad anymore and no crimes are committed on my whole holy mountain.” Apparently that paradisiacal

harmony of “prehistory” has been restored, and it is a mere consequence when the words that are so often quoted today are found in another chapter: “Then they forge plowshares from their swords, and pruning shears from their spears.

They no longer draw swords, nation against nation, and no longer 4 practice for war.” Christianity changed these ideas significantly, but did not eliminate them again in the sense of a classic-antique cycle theory. His Messiah was not an earthly ruler of the lineage of David, and the happiness of primeval times was not restored on earth, but rather the last judgment was followed by the assumption into heaven of all the good, both living and resurrected, and the casting out of the wicked into the hell. Nevertheless, the tendency towards a worldly messianism remained alive, and in the Middle Ages the abbot Joachim von Floris developed his doctrine of the three kingdoms, the last of which, the third kingdom of the monastic spirituals, would have unlimited duration. Again more secular and yet Christian were the ideas of the Spanish Dominicans, who, during the conquest of South and Central America, were guided by the thought that an end age must dawn when all people had become Christians, but who were already partly convinced that Christianity had failed in Europe and was only helping in America the realization of the Christian utopia was possible for the Indians. It is here that the starting point for that "Jesuit state" in Paraguay, which became so important for later socialism in terms of approval and polemics, should be sought. But in between lay the first development of the philosophy of progress, which now continued the linear conception of Christianity with an antiChristian and at any rate anti-church turn and thus outlined a state for the future that, as a fully enlightened not only superstition, but also the conflict nature of previous history would have overcome, as can be read in Condorcet's Esquisse d'un tableau historique des progrès de l'esprit humain from 1794. About the same time, Kant, in his short essay Idea for a General History in Cosmopolitan Purposes, thought together this future post-history and even an extra-human pre-history in a way that is most surprising to the philosopher of human freedom and the unknowability of the "thing-in-itself." Namely, he writes:

instinctively, like animals, and yet not proceeding as a whole according to an agreed plan, like sensible cosmopolitans; so it seems that no planned history of them (such as that of the bees or the beavers) is possible.' But Kant thinks that a 'natural intention' can be discovered in this 'nonsensical course of human things', ie in previous history , which in the end could produce that planned cooperation of sensible cosmopolitans according to the analogy of bees and beavers. So he seems to be developing a concept that, in a simplified manner, could be summed up in the following formula: from the harmony of unconscious animality to the harmony of conscious animality, which as cosmopolitanism would actually be human. Kant limits this concept in the further course by the concept of "unsociable 5 sociability", "Dialectical" thinking then suggested to all representatives of "German idealism", not least Schiller, to foresee a post-history which would be "on a higher level" the restoration of an original state of harmony while the present and all post-Greek history represented a phase of disunity and alienation. In principle, Bentham and Spencer could appear as continuators of this way of thinking, and even the wars and civil wars of the 20th century could not decisively weaken the vitality of the idea of progress up to the rational and scientific "regnum hominis". In the United States, a doctrine that seeks to find 6 practical ways An American physicist has even presented, in quasitheological disguise, a project for the conquest and colonization of the whole universe, a conquest and

Settlement, of course, "through life" and not "through man," for the prospective conquerors are by no means just beyond "previous 7 history," but they hardly bear any resemblance to "previous people." Marx and Engels are also far outdated, who in the 19th century most consistently developed the idea of post-history further by making it actual history and previous history “pre-history”: “The pre-history of human society therefore ends with this social formation This transition means nothing other than the gaining of definitive dominance over nature – earthly nature, as was still understood by Marx and Engels, including human nature – and thus the final elimination – “in a certain sense” – from the animal kingdom: hence "mankind's leap from the kingdom of necessity into the kingdom of 8th freedom." The thinking of the rationalist Enlightenment, with its view of a future "world of reason", had to be directed not only against the Christian churches, "feudalism" and all "obscurantism", but also against history itself, at least against the "previous" History that was so strongly determined by phenomena such as those fought. Nothing is less astonishing than that it met with strong resistance from those attacked, which by no means consisted of mere apologies. On the contrary, he was soon able to counterattack, for the French Revolution in particular seemed to show that the cosmopolitans had become fanatical French nationalists and the preachers of humanity bloodthirsty tyrants. In the end, "the story" became the reality But the mere denial of the possibility of a "post-history" was not always as much an intention as it was a consequence. Alexis de Tocqueville saw American democracy as one of the

first described and analyzed the life form of future humanity. He affirmed it in its difference from the revolutionary democracy of France, and yet he seemed to look with a mixture of disdain and terror to that future world in which the living would be without relation to the dead and in which extreme individualism would be the strongest in conformity would go hand in hand. The democratic »posthistory« is accepted as such, but given a negative accent. The negative accent becomes the dominant content when Nietzsche characterizes the "last men": ">What is love? what is creation What is longing? What is a star?' - so asks the last man and blinks ... 'We invented happiness' - say the last men and blinks ... 'Formerly all the world was crazy' - say the finest and blinks ..."9

Its strongest theoretical articulation found the emphasis on history and thus the rejection of post-history in the writings of Wilhelm Dilthey and his friend, Count Yorck, for whom the man of rationalistic planning with his "program" 10 that was fulfilled was a "homunculus made ready from the outset". . But this rejection involves taking the possibility seriously, and in the 20th century the inevitability is often acknowledged while the stigmatization is maintained, as Arnold Gehlen does when he writes about the "post-histoire" in the beginning world -Industrial culture will increasingly "disappear from the real tradition of 11 European history in the past". However, no assumption would be more wrong than the one that only a few scholars in the humanities made resigned statements about the emerging world of natural science and large-scale technology; Rather, it was precisely outstanding scientists who emphasized the destructive power of scientifictechnical civilization, which by no means only consisted of the atomic bomb, such as the important chemist Erwin Chargaff, and this criticism became a kind of popular movement, especially among those leftists who always referred to "progress" as " Humanization« understood and are now full of dismay

believed that "progress" and "humanity" came into deadly opposition. Thus, not even the fear could be dismissed as "reactionary" that the great-great-grandchildren of contemporary people "exaggerated eggheads

… with a mighty hydrocephalus and a face that looks senile« would 12 be, and a well-known natural scientist articulated his idea of the impending “post-history” as follows: “In the future, fully air-conditioned, fully automated, sterile space would sit apathetically a being without history, tradition or culture, whose thinking would be taken over by the computer and whose feelings would be biochemically balanced. Brave new 13 world!« With the final phrase, he quotes the title of a famous book by Aldous Huxley, which, like George Orwell's 1984, marks the extensive replacement of the previous positive utopia by the "negative utopia", which in Huxley and Orwell is still closely related to the experience of totalitarianism in the 20th century th century was linked, while this link has obviously already been dissolved here. It could appear as if history were shrinking to a tiny intermediate phase between the thousands of centuries of prehistory and those incalculable periods of posthistory that mankind has at its disposal for the great work of its constitution as a unit, the overcoming of internal conflicts and, above all, that to cope with reaching out into outer space, which no longer leads them to full domination over outer and inner nature just in beautiful metaphors. And this only poses dangers for the present and future because the past history is still present in fatal relics, such as nationalisms and religious fundamentalist fanaticisms. In the distancing and farewell view of history as a whole, however, the dominant emotion would be that Voltaire was one of the first to articulate it: it offers nothing else to the eye than a depressing sequence of wars, follies and massacres. That concept of "historical greatness," as it appears in the inscription at the beginning of the second millennium BC, would appear merely as a disguise for something terrible

of an Assyrian king and thus in the very beginning of history: "Shamshi-Adad, king of the universe, builder of the temple of Assyria, who pacified the land between the Tigris and Euphrates at the behest of Assur, who loved him, and his Names of Anu and Enlil among the 14 kings who went ahead, called to great things..." Has it not even become conceivable that writing, the invention of which counts as the beginning of "actual history" and the knowledge of which separated the "peoples of the written word" as the historical peoples from the non-literate and therefore prehistoric peoples, sinks to an instrument of secondary importance? while the images and characters on the globally networked screens come to the fore? What's the point of the "will to historical existence" that a historian, looking at ancient Egypt, thinks is a 15 main factor in historicity, since this will always involved distance, even hostility towards other states and peoples?

But even this negative view of history recognizes its uniqueness and difference, just as the negative judgment of "post-history" at least accepts its possibility. In any case, it is legitimate to raise the question of "historical existence." The question as such does not anticipate an answer. It could be that the result will be that the separation of history and prehistory is not appropriate, that prehistory is history too, and that it is no more different from the 5000 years of history described as "actual" than future posthistory, which is by no means will be as "unhistorical" as it is made out to be by enthusiastic friends and fearful opponents. It could be that with Frank Tipler and BFK Skinner the completely different nature of the scientific-technical future of united humanity would have to be acknowledged, but that dignity and humanity would have to be ascribed exclusively to those who have vanished. It is precisely here that surprising possibilities for thinking would be conceivable, for example in the footsteps of Konrad Lorenz, who, in a side note,

The humanity of man is seen precisely in what humans have in common with animals, i.e. in the emotional realm, which Plato pejoratively called the »epithymetikón«, the lustful, while intellectualization was the extreme prominence of Plato's »logistikón«, reason , while producing exceedingly 16 powerful instruments, it empties and destroys man himself.

The answer, however, cannot be a "thesis," but can only be approached along a long path of exposition, analysis, and thought, and in places even narration. The next preliminary question that has to be answered in the beginning is: Why is it spoken of "historical existence" and not of "historical existence", although up to now we have always spoken of "history", even when it is a question of "pre-" or "post-history" or "historylessness"?

2»Historicity« and »historical anthropology« The difference between 'story' and 'history', between 'historical' and 'historical', is first of all that one word, namely 'history', is far older and also more widespread than the other. Herodotus describes the nine books of his historiography as »historíes apódexis«, as an explanation of his research. Here the subjective aspect is in the foreground, the activity of the scholar or the world traveller, but "historíe" also has the meaning of "result of research" and thus takes a step towards the objective side, the "thing itself". 1 The word "historíe" does not occur in Thucydides, But in Polybius »historíe« is clearly the event, that is, as we would say, the story itself and not the historiography. In late antiquity, Augustine distinguished between the "narratio historica" and the "historia ipsa," and in doing so he unequivocally assigned priority to what happened, the "res gestae." For him, however, there are two fundamentally different ways of res gestae: what happens in the civitas terrena, ie the states and their disputes, and what happens in the civitas divina, ie in practice: the church. If a basic division of history was still common into the 18th century, which was the "historia divina", the "historia naturalis" and the "historia

humana« differed from each other, one could refer to Augustine. But it is striking that here objective meaning was supreme, for according to this view God directs history but does not write it. Isidore of Seville had already given the corresponding definition: »Historiae sunt res verae quae facta sunt.« But the term "history" also appears for the first time in the early Middle Ages, namely during the 8th and 9th centuries in the Old High German form "giskiht", i.e. "what happened", but only in a very concrete meaning, which consistently Plural required, and that is why the very strange phrase "eine historie von giskihten" can now appear, so that the subjective and the objective aspects are also clearly separated from one another linguistically. While the objective meaning of »storia«, »histoire« or »history« is already firmly established in the Romance languages and also in English, as the title Storia d'Italia by Francesco Guicciardini shows in the 16th century, it remains in German "the story" preserved as a plural form until well into the 18th century, so that a sentence from 1748 could read: It was a big step when the singular prevailed over the plural, so that "history" could come to mean "world history." As early as 1764, hence earlier than Voltaire's Philosophie de l'histoire, a book by I. Iselin entitled Philosophical Conjectures on the History of Mankind appeared, and here the subject is 'the perfection of the human race', the progression from the 'state of nature" and the "state of savagery" to the "civilized state", to the liberation of man from the sole rule of drives and desires and to the gradual attainment of virtues, arts and sciences. By understanding human history as a unified process of civilization and thus of perfection, that devaluation of human history is abolished

Ordinary world history deals "only" with the deeds of men, while revelation deals with the great deeds of God. However, that other and new type of devaluation that emanated from Descartes and the beginnings of rational natural science and which, in a peculiar modification of the Aristotelian distinction, placed the "truths of reason" far above the "accidental truths of history" also tends to lose weight. In this respect, Chladenius followed up on Giambattista Vico and his Scienza nuova from 1725, which had wrested the concept of science from the Cartesians and Baconians, so to speak, in order to ascribe an epistemological, albeit non-existential, priority to the “mondo civile” created by humans over the object of the natural sciences. Lessing then attached himself to this new, at the same time higher and narrower concept of history with his education of the human race, It was only Hegel who made the relationship between history as a context of events and history as historiography an explicit theme. In the lectures on the philosophy of world history he writes: “History in our language combines both the objective and the subjective side and means the historiam rerum gestarum as well as the res gestas itself. … We must use this combination of the two meanings for a higher kind than for a single look at external coincidence: it is to be taken for the fact that historical narration appears simultaneously with actual historical deeds and events (sic!); it is an inward common ground that drives them together... The periods of time, we may think of them as centuries or millennia, which the peoples lost before historiography and which may have been filled with revolutions, with migrations, with the wildest changes, are without objective history because they show no subjective, no historical narrative. Only in the state with the awareness of laws are clear

Deeds present, and with them the clarity of an awareness of them, which gives the ability and the need to preserve them.' In the following, Hegel deals with the strange fact that ancient India had books of religion, brilliant works of poetry, and also codes of law, but still had no history. He sees the reason in the caste system, which petrifies the natural determinations - such as light and dark skin color - and therefore does not know the element of morality. Therefore only "wild arbitrariness, transient doings or rather rages without an ultimate goal of progress and development" is to be perceived, so that "no thinking souvenir, no object for the mnemosyne" 2 is present.

With regard to India and also to "prehistory," Hegel has recently been frequently contradicted, and it was not only Nietzsche who shook his unequivocal value when, in his lectures On the Benefits and Disadvantages of History for Life, he used the Shakespeare's Hamlet fears varied, that consciousness "makes cowards of us all" and that "the innate color of resolution is sickened by the pallor of thought." Nevertheless, Nietzsche also confirmed Hegel again with his concept of "monumental" historiography, which evidently necessarily belongs to "actual history." So if the concept of "historical existence" is historically legitimate, the choice of the adjective "historical" instead of "historical" is also justified, But "historical existence" is not a topic of historical scholarship alone. Apparently it already leads into a peripheral area, which is close to philosophy, when the concept of "historicity" is formed, for which "historicity" is a synonym that seems scholarly. The historian must meet him at the moment when he is giving an account of the basis of his actions. If man is a being who has history, be it as "actual" history or as pre- and post-history, then he must be historical, and the question of

of man's peculiar, characteristic way of being is not merely a historical but a philosophical question. However, "historicality" has a number of meanings in literature, not all of which are simultaneously philosophical. For example, the question of the "historicity of Jesus" is unphilosophical. It cannot be ruled out that the Jesus we know from the gospels was just an imaginary figure in the life of the early communities, a figure around which legends and myths grew up, so that at best it was a "historical", that is, a natural and verifiable one core could be determined. "Historical" here means something like "once upon a time," and even if the answer may be laborious, it still falls solely within the competence of historical research. Similar questions were and are asked with regard to Homer, for example, and mythological elements probably entered the tales of the battles on the Catalaunian Fields or on the »Blackbird Field«, On the other hand, the determination of historicity by "transience" or "finitude" is all too philosophical. All beings are transitory and finite, from the worm to the Milky Way, perhaps even to the universe itself. Unless one ascribes a specific meaning to man's finitude, the determination is all too general; it belongs in ontology and not in anthropology. The same is true for the categories of temporality or conditionality or threat, even for the concept of "positivity," which says that history is not purely rational, that it does not merge into reasonableness. It is well known that Schelling, in his "positive philosophy," which was particularly directed against Hegel's rationalistic essentialism, wanted to see the basic character of everything real in this positivity.

Only terms such as "creation", "responsibility", "tradition", "future design" belong specifically to humans and presumably form, correctly formulated e.g. B. as tradition formation or traditionality - essential moments of the historicity of man. A brief and useful definition would probably be the following: Man is that

A being whose nature includes the "unnatural," ie, the artificial, not merely biological, the being that makes itself to a certain extent by adopting and further developing the abilities, works, and insights handed down from its ancestors.

On the other hand, the definition that the historicity of man consists in his self-awareness would be too narrow. Self-awareness is indeed the most basic characteristic of man, and without self-awareness there is no human history, but as the example of the Indian ascetics or the Christian pillar saints shows, an extreme form of self-awareness can imply the very exit from history. 3 Questions like these are dealt with in "historical anthropology" raised, and one might assume that the term "historical existence" could be replaced by that of "historical anthropology." Before the difference can be clarified, however, we must take a look at the much older subject of "philosophical anthropology," and Immanuel Kant and Arnold Gehlen can be considered as representatives.

Kant's anthropology in pragmatic terms dates from 1798 and is therefore one of his latest works. In the preface he contrasts 'pragmatic' with 'physiological', ie too physical, as we would say. In contrast to physical anthropology, which deals with the natural conditions in humans such as the composition of blood or the shape of the skull, pragmatic anthropology deals with "what he, as a freely acting being, makes or can and should make of himself". The very first sentence of the first chapter characterizes the human being in the innermost part of his individuality: the fact that he 'can have the ego in his imagination raises him infinitely above all other 4 beings living on earth. Thereby he is a person..., ie one of things, Of course, the question immediately arises as to whether man has given his I-ness, his personality, to himself or whether it is not rather a question of the prerequisite for all free action and all "making out of oneself". It is precisely here that the origin of the belief may lie

anthropology is linked to ontology and theology, that nature cannot produce a being that is "infinitely elevated above all other beings living on earth," indeed above the whole of nature, and that must therefore have been created by God or a divine world foundation. But obviously personality as the source of free action in its concrete forms of appearance is in turn determined by these actions, so that reason, for example, as the ability to draw conclusions from the general to the particular and to distinguish between good and evil, although certainly not a product of it itself, can nevertheless develop and consolidate. Such an unfolding and consolidation would be a historical process, and thus the pragmatic anthropology would also be a "historical" anthropology. But in this work Kant is only concerned with to work out those "structures" that characterize man as man, and so he deals first of all with sensuality as the opposite of reason, he describes each one of the "five senses", he characterizes the legislative power of reason, which orders sensuality, but should not weaken; he defines reason as the ability to form judgments according to principles. The cognitive faculty also includes the power of judgment, to which Kant, as is well known, dedicated one of his great "Critiques." The second book deals with the "feeling of pleasure and displeasure" and the third book is devoted to desire. he characterizes the lawgiving power of the intellect, which should order the sensuality, but not weaken it; he defines reason as the ability to form judgments according to principles. The cognitive faculty also includes the power of judgment, to which Kant, as is well known, dedicated one of his great "Critiques." The second book deals with the "feeling of pleasure and displeasure" and the third book is devoted to desire. he characterizes the law-giving power of the intellect, which should order the sensuality, but not weaken it; he defines reason as the ability to form judgments according to principles. The cognitive faculty also includes the power of judgment, to which Kant, as is well known, dedicated one of his great "Critiques." The second book deals with the "feeling of pleasure and displeasure" and the third book is devoted to desire. In principle, all these "structures" are supertemporal, for they pertain to man as man and therefore at all times; Kant, too, stands on the basis of the tripartite division of the human soul that Plato undertook in the state: the tripartition into 'logistikón', 'thymoeidés' and 'epithymetikón': in reason, which here includes

the intellect, in an upper and a lower sensual desire. The division of the world accessible to man into the mundus sensibilis and the mundus intelligibilis can easily be derived from the tripartite division of the soul, which is fundamental for the whole of scholasticism and also for Kant's critique of pure reason. In principle, a pure structural theory of human nature can be the result. But Plato also distinguishes the man who is ruled by his desires

is, of the man in whom the »logistikón«, reason, reigns over desires, and such a difference can also exist between different peoples, such as the barbarians and the Hellenes. Thus, supratemporal structures and temporal phases are closely related, and obviously the structure would not be what it is if phases or epochs did not result from it. This historicity resulting from pragmatic – or philosophical – anthropology is initially only noticeable in Kant in side remarks. Thus, in connection with the "faculty of prophecy," he briefly mentions the "Caraibean," who lacks this ability because he "sells his hammock in the morning and is embarrassed in the evening at not knowing how to sleep at 5 night should". Kant approaches social concreteness even more closely when, on the subject of "intemperance in social drinking," he includes the remark: "Women, clergymen, and Jews do not usually get drunk," and 6 gives the reason that these groups are "civilly weak and need restraint." In many other passages Kant also speaks of historically concrete phenomena, and it is not difficult for those born later to assign a historical place to this anthropology itself, because the circumstances of the Age of Enlightenment are often enough palpable, for example in the detail , with which Kant spreads about "dining parties," or in the polemical tone with which he speaks of "country fathers" or the clergy who strive to keep their subjects or their parishioners constantly in minors. The fact that all of this is not a matter of mere explanations, by means of which a timeless structural analysis of "man" is to be made clearer, becomes evident from the definition that Kant gives towards the end of the second part ("The Anthropological Characteristics"): "Man is destined by his reason to be in a society with men, and in it to cultivate, civilize and moralize himself through art and science, however great his animal tendency may be, to succumb to the stimuli of leisureliness and

7 of the good life, which he calls felicity." However, this is not just a process of breaking free from an "animal" point of departure - for how could a being break free from animality who was not an "I" from the start? -, not merely a transition "from the raw state of nature to the bourgeois" (= "civilized"), but this process includes needs that apparently increase with the "perfection", because it results e.g. B. a painful diastasis between the "natural epochs" of individual development and the "bourgeois" epochs, which according to Kant is best compensated for by "vices": e.g. For example, as civilization grows, the time of marriage moves further and further away from the time of natural sexual 8th maturity. An anthropology that has nothing to say about this process of "painful civilization" would therefore be a misguided undertaking, and the transition from the "pragmatic" to a "historical" anthropology was already accomplished by Kant himself and by German idealism, especially by Hegel, developed into a comprehensive "philosophy of history".

One could even claim that in German Idealism and in the subsequent doctrines of Comte, Marx and Engels, anthropology was almost swallowed up by the philosophy of history, and it probably took the devastating experiences of the 20th century and, before that, Nietzscheanism, for triumphalism the irresistibly climaxing "perfection" or "civilization" or "humanization." It was only then that anthropology became possible again as a study of the nature of man that forms the basis of history. However, the entire distance from the Platonism of the past becomes clear at a glance when Arnold Gehlen, in his book Der Mensch, first published in 1940, defines the former "crown of creation" as a "deficient being", which lacks the natural weapons and the sure instincts of animals and whose consciousness is characterized by an "extreme capacity for error and 9 disturbance". But the core of the shortcomings is precisely an incomparable advantage: the 'primitivism', the lack of specialization, which to some extent was also evident in the early

development of primates, for example in the urge to play and in the curiosity of young chimpanzees, which disappears completely with maturity, while in humans it persists throughout life as "neotenia". This is precisely why he is able to accomplish what no animal can accomplish: Although great apes also know categories such as "elongated" and "mobile", it is only man who encounters a "world" instead of an "environment" whose things are "objectively" grasped in such a way that "a real expansion of the world beyond what is currently given" takes place, and so "time and space, future 10 and distance open up before him." All of this is, as Gehlen expressly emphasizes in opposition to Kant, not a work of the "understanding" that would merely be superimposed on a sensibility that relates only to individual things: for Gehlen, the entire sensorimotor "substructure" of the human being is essentially different from the sensuousness of animals and therefore contains the thinking to some extent. The ability to act and the ability to discern are just two sides of the same thing. In place of the missing instincts, man produces institutions that give him that certainty in the conduct of life that nature gave animals in the cradle. Of course, the disclosure of time and the world also results in the knowledge of one's own mortality, and therefore man can come to worship 11 something divine in the "effortless, secure, quiet liveliness of the animal". Thus the main impetus of Gehlen's anthropology stems from the distinction between man and animal, which is far removed from the traditional praise of "reason" and also refrains from making world history the subject. Nevertheless, concrete references are not entirely lacking, but they mostly have the character of "cultural criticism": the comfort civilization of the present is a "disintegrated society", in the "modern, superconscious and isolated soul" all contents are understandable, but this is precisely how they are disempowered and Weak in motivation, the empirical or objectified consciousness of modern man has started a kind of proliferation that parallels the "proliferation of the drive to own and consume."


12 Kant and Hegel are distant figures in this anthropology.

As a preliminary result, it can be stated that philosophical and historical anthropology, that the question of "man" and the question of the "historical existence of man" can apparently pull each other out of the saddle: there must be structures that transcend time , if man is to be able to exist historically, but any structural analysis of human existence reveals the characteristics of a particular historical epoch. Suffice it to say that the two questions complement each other; presumably they need each other, and both refer to the other. So much should be certain that the question of historical existence must also be a philosophical question. But for the moment the approach to philosophy goes too far. The whole range of the concept "history" has not yet become clear. "History" is not infrequently understood as the "history of nature," and it is sometimes given a much narrower meaning than is suggested by the usual association with "writing" or "Neolithic revolution." The methodological difficulties involved in the task have not even begun to be discussed, and at least some of the great works that might bear the title "Historical Existence" should be discussed before some distinctions are made which will form the transition to the first chapter of the main part.

3»Natural History« or »History of Reason«? For thinking people, "nature" or the cosmos was early on an object of contemplation, even of being moved, and it would therefore not be surprising if he ascribed a history to nature just as much as to himself. But a history of natural beings cannot be given not even in a succession of generations, and stories or myths could only be linked to individual major natural events such as the deluge or earthquakes and solar eclipses. It was not the things in the world or even their sequence that aroused the attention and thought of early mankind, but the world as a whole and its emergence. The God of the Bible is also eternal, "before all time", which only comes into being through his command, and when God separates the light from the darkness on the "first day" of creation in the first chapter of Genesis, he calls the darkness on the fifth day beasts and birds into existence, and only after them, on the sixth day, men. But he distinguishes men right away by the command to populate the earth and to subdue it, and in the Old Testament all interest is focused only on men in their relationship to God, which is determined by obedience or defiance. Parmenides, on the other hand, separates beings or the one from things or the many at the beginning of Greek philosophy: that which

without a nothing, ie without time, is of the world of arising and passing away that appears in the deception of the senses or the "doxa". But for him, too, man is distinguished from all other living beings by the fact that, as a philosopher, he is able to grasp this unmoving and ageless Oneness in his thinking. With Empedocles, however, the eternal itself becomes a multiplicity, namely the fourfold number of the eternal elements water, earth, air and fire, and these are brought into a relationship that changes according to epochs by two equally eternal primal forces, love and hate, in which the individual things come into being and pass away: from the harmony of the original unity, determined by love, through the particularity of a middle epoch produced by strife, to complete separation at the climax of the dominance of strife and again in a "world-forming" process back to the initial harmony, which, however, itself is no more than a phase in this circular "history of nature." Therefore, one can speak of "roughly balled 1 forms of earth" that first appeared, A natural history much further removed from myth could result if the Eternal One was conceived precisely as an infinite multiplicity, a multiplicity of "atoms" varying in form, position, and arrangement, which, in the interplay of their connections and disconnections, constitute the world of transitory things bring to the fore. It was a Roman, Titus Lucretius Carus, who in his didactic poem De rerum natura wrote the first cosmogony and thus the natural history of atomism, which is at the same time a large-scale attack on "superstition." But Aristotle's doctrine of the eternity of the world and of God as the "unmoved mover" was far more effective. It could be combined with the Christian belief in God and remained dominant in this form throughout the Middle Ages.

only knows mechanical forces, but is completely geared to the timelessness of the laws that govern the equally eternal movement of the stars. But for Newton too, the Christian God remained the creator, ie the first originator of this cosmic eternity. Kant then tried to show a cosmic event in his youthful work of 1755, General Natural History and Theory of the Heavens, with which he founded what later became known as the Kant-Laplace theory. Its core is contained in the imperative that he formulates in the preface for illustration: 2 "Give me matter, I will build you a world out of it." But this matter is not inert, not passive like the platonic "Hyle" as a mere basis of forms or ideas, but it carries within itself two opposing forces, the forces of attraction and repulsion, from the interaction of which "lumps" form, which become celestial bodies in a long-lasting process and present themselves to us today in the perfect beauty of the starry sky. What Kant says about the "history of the sun" and about the origin of the solar planetary system is still basically valid today; for the universe as a whole, on the other hand, he assumes a process of the arising and passing away of worlds from the initial chaos and the eternity of an infinite process of formation, which have the character of speculation. It is true that Kant repeatedly emphasizes that those original forces were put into matter by God and that "the essential ability of nature, of things to raise themselves to order and perfection, is the most beautiful proof of the existence of God",3but the idea is extremely close that the centrifugal and centripetal forces are uncreated main properties of matter. In the cosmology of his youth, in which he once used the term "the phoenix of nature," Kant might4used, are closer to Heraclitus' doctrine of the eternally self-igniting and self-extinguishing "fire" than to the biblical doctrine of creation. But for him "natural history" is in any case cosmic history; He does not make assumptions about the origin of living beings.

Around the same time, however, in 1764, living beings are the main subject of Buffon's Histoire naturelle, albeit by a

Conversion of species into other species knows nothing. Already in the title, the history of the earth and the history of the people are tied together in the book by Georg Christian Füchsel from 1773: draft of the oldest history of the earth and of man, together with an attempt to find the origin of language. Strangely enough, how powerful the influence of Christian theology remained in all this is made clear by the fact that Ernst Haeckel, as the most influential champion of Darwinism in Germany, gave one of his best-known books the title Natural History of Creation in 1868.

Nearly a century later another influential book came out, now combining "history" and "nature" in its very title: The History of Nature by Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker - a series of lectures given in Gottingen in the summer semester of 1946. Von Weizsäcker proceeds from the impression of "nature's lack of history," which in fact imposes itself on the farmer, given the constant recurrence of elementary natural phenomena such as the seasons, just as much as it does on the astronomer of Newton's time, who understood the constant and mathematically calculable movements of the planets observed. But, according to von Weizsäcker, this impression is an "optical illusion" because it is a question of the time scale: for the mayfly, 5 man would have no history. In fact, almost all forms and all fixed boundaries dissolve when one lets 100,000 years unfold before one's mind's eye in a quarter of an hour, like in a film: the Alps rise, like an animal rising from its bed in the morning; other mountains descend to plains; Continents separate and drift in different directions; the seas expand and contract; Forests take the place of icy deserts, masses of sand advance to fertile land; the earth seems to breathe in and out like a living thing. Von Weizsäcker sees the ultimate reason "that the world is historical" in the second law of thermodynamics, which states that "the processes in the world 6 are unique, irreversible and of finite duration". because although the total mass of energy in the world after the

First Law is unchangeable, but the various forms of energy are subject to a conversion law which does not allow heat energy to be completely converted back into kinetic energy; The world process is thus directed towards a constant increase in heat energy that is no longer capable of working – the »entropy«. To put it more precisely, this means that within a closed system, and therefore also within the world as a whole, "ordered movement can be completely transformed into disordered movement, whereas disordered 7 movement cannot be completely transformed into ordered movement." The universe is therefore striving towards a state of complete equalization of the heat differences and must therefore end in "heat death", ie in the immobility and the solidification of all forms. Meanwhile, between the initial chaos and the final paralysis lies the time of the "history of nature," which seems endless to us, and this also includes the "history of life," which, as an ascent from the simplest to the most highly differentiated forms, seems to contradict the second law, but made possible by the constant supply of energy from the sun. With regard to the origin of life, the assumption of "spontaneous generation" cannot be avoided; the vitalists are wrong in positing an essential difference between the inorganic and the organic. Von Weizsäcker emphasizes with particular emphasis: »Life is a 8th historical phenomenon« : From the main trunk of the Bilateralia, which have a body canal, the Protostomia and finally - 100 million years ago - the termites, ants and bees emerge, while the closely related Deuterostomia reach their previous final phase in the primates and among them humans. Intelligence and the ability to learn can already be found in individual animal species, which in humans then gain preponderance over the innate instincts, without, of course, completely eliminating them. It is precisely from this that human history acquires its specificity, for "nature experiences its history but does not 9 experience it". Consequently, man does not merely carry out with consciousness what takes place in nature without consciousness - "the struggle for existence" e.g. B. – but he can gain access to God as love and thereby to himself

achieve an "attitude of the soul" that "seeing abolishes the struggle for 10 existence". Thus, for von Weizsäcker, the Christian God enters human existence at the highest point in natural history. Weizsäcker's concept of history reveals a peculiar duplication: on the one hand, the history of the cosmos, the history of life and the history of man stand side by side as fundamentally similar phenomena; On the other hand, however, it is evident that the distinction that history happens to nature, but that man experiences it, is insufficient, for man is by no means merely conscious of what takes place unconsciously in nature. Rather, in the upswing of love, man can step out of nature and deny her supreme law, the law of the struggle for existence; So there is not only a specific difference between the history of living beings and the history of human beings - based on the "species" of man - but an essential difference, a difference toto coelo, But one must understand von Weizsäcker's opinion in such a way that the existence of man superior to nature or "contrary to nature" is a requirement and not a reality that determines history, and to that extent the main result of his book is to be seen in the fact that he has a lot seeks to develop a more comprehensive concept of history than has hitherto been encountered; and, as will be shown, more recent conceptions by scientists point in the same direction with even greater determination. In the humanities, on the other hand, concepts of history have been developed here and there that are much narrower than the common notion that history took the form of the "high cultures" based on knowledge of writing about 5,000 years ago in several places on earth that were far apart replaced the »prehistory«

and today is involved in a process of fundamental change, which suggests the use of the term »post-history«. A good example is the essay by the Göttingen philosopher Klaus 11 Zimmermann in Volume V of Kindler's encyclopedia Der Mensch. The beginning sounds trivial: history is the way human societies exist. "Star clusters and wolf packs have no history, they exist 'naturally'". But against Plessner and Gehlen's emphasis on anthropological structures that are timeless, Zimmermann raises the question "whether reason simply distinguishes humans from animals, or whether reason, spirit and action were discoveries that humans made at a certain time and place." He summarizes his answer in the thesis "that the intentional, based on intelligence and reason, i.e. on more or less great insight into end-means relationships and objective rules of conduct of political, economic and socio-cultural nature belongs neither to nature nor to the essence of man and that it is not a product of biological evolution, but a product of the cultural development of certain groups of people at certain times". In other words, this means that "historicality" is also and especially to be ascribed to reason; it only arises in the transition from archaic to intentionally rational behavior. According to Zimmermann, the Greeks were the first to make this transition, albeit “in association with other (sic!) Near Eastern peoples”, but “the political revolution of the French, the industrial revolution of the English and the ‘revolution of the way of thinking’ among the Germans were of particular importance «. Although Zimmermann also names Solon, Pericles and Archimedes among the representative figures of history, but since he is the "feudalism", where life is not ruled by reason and intentional behavior, but by the "great powers of the mind" in their peculiar uninhibitedness, not to the actual history, the accent falls entirely on the European modern age, in which the human environment takes on a historical character and increasingly gets into historical motion.

This movement, as the dissolution of the archaic and irrational, is obviously the decisive factor for Zimmermann, and he can therefore say: 'To the extent that archaic behavior is transformed into intentional-instrumental action, the human world separates from the cosmic, society becomes more distant and nature, polis and physis apart ... Nature and history are parallel constructions of human behavior.« The last sentence can hardly mean anything other than the extreme thesis that nature, as soon as it has ceased to be a mythologically understood superiority, is also a product of the rational and scientific thought is like history. Therefore it has no real credibility when Zimmermann counts Israelites and Egyptians among those who see themselves "as human beings",

Zimmermann's thesis that Hegel was the first and so far the only one to have "thought" history must be exaggerated and it must be said that the concept of man in the precise sense is a discovery of modern Europe; before this modern age there was history at best in faint rudiments and in the main only a world of customs and customs or of "feudalism": a "prehuman world". Behavior based on "self-determination" and no longer on following divine or natural commandments - ie human "autonomy" - has in fact only existed since the 18th century, since the "Enlightenment". Consequently, doubt and the 'fall from grace' are the prerequisites of history, even if they are not prerequisites for the differentiation and height of a culture which are not dependent on its 'rationality and reasonableness'. So this essay by Klaus Zimmermann is an extreme example of a Eurocentric or occidental understanding of history and, at the same time, of the occident's claim to world domination, because Zimmermann apparently does not want "rationality and reasonableness" as

privilege of one part of the world, but expects its extension to the whole world. In doing so, he comes very close to the Marxian idea that with the "bourgeois" mode of production or "capitalism" pre-history is coming to an end and posthistory will now take its place as actual history. But the teaching of Marx and Engels was already in a certain respect occidentalist and in a certain way antioccidentalist, and the thesis could be derived from Klaus Zimmermann's Eurocentric rationalism that the occident is the death principle for every genuine and therefore not "merely rational" culture may be. A reversal of values is extremely obvious, and the anti-Occidental maxim would gain validity for the whole non-European and non-American world,

However, the whole range of the concept "history" is not exhausted with this contrast between "natural history" and "history of western rationality". A philosophical view that places the beginning of history before natural history must therefore be dealt with in a few words.

Hegel's logic deals with the categories that precede natural and historical reality because they are nothing other than their basic determinations - such as quantity and quality, measure and mechanism. But Hegel does not conceive them as a mere framework of mathematical-physical laws, which is often referred to as the objective-spiritual at the bottom of the world, but for him these categories are in an inner movement, from lower or simpler to higher or more complex provisions, e.g. B. from quantity to quality and from the mere idea to the concept. The "logic" is nothing other than the enactment of this innermost and oldest history, which begins with the opposition of "being" and "nothing" and with the, admittedly enigmatic,

Schelling's intention in his later philosophy and already in the World Ages of 1811 was to overcome the actual unconsciousness of the Hegelian Logos and with it the idea that God first attained consciousness of himself in man; he wants, as he expressly says (later), an active and not a merely moving 12 God. But he, too, has no more desire than Hegel to return to the Christian belief in an extra-worldly, eternal, and self-conscious God, which of course also has a kind of inner history in orthodox Christianity as the "Triune One." Rather, he intends to describe "the history of the development of the primordial being, beginning with its first unexplored state, the pre-worldly 13 period." In order to be able to do that, he must show distinctions in the primal being itself, above all the distinction between a "pure" and willless state, which he calls love or also deity, and the will to exist, to individuality and separation, which in the primal being is the ground of God and which Schelling frequently refers to as "contraction" or embodiment, while the expansion as pure love includes spiritualization. So the divine being is not free from pain and 14 suffering, and only then does the "triumph of his liberation" follow. This story is indeed inner-divine, prior to all natural history and all human history, and yet it is present in every moment of these stories, and that Schelling also has very concrete circumstances of the present in mind is shown by a statement like the following: "Such a God (--who is "human" and nothing but pure light--) is the natural image of a man who has entirely lost the power of absorption within himself; his impotence is comparable to that of a people who, in good-natured striving for so-called culture and enlightenment, have come to dissolve everything in their thoughts; on the other hand, along with the darkness, it has lost all strength and that ... barbaric principle that is overcome but not destroyed, the real basis of all 15 greatness." Human history must therefore include "greatness" and at the same time signify the overcoming of the principle of this greatness. Unlike von Weizsäcker, Schelling can therefore despite all

speeches reminiscent of Darwin about the "successive production of things 16 according to divisions, stages and differences" man's stepping out of the struggle for existence, but he would apparently not affirm a condition that, according to von Weizsäcker, would be pure love and, according to Klaus Zimmermann, pure rationality.

The concept of history thus clearly ranges from the natural history of the cosmos, even possibly from the prehistoric history of a divine primordial being, to being restricted to a global rationality, and which also causes the thinking of great thinkers to oscillate between opposing values. "Historical existence" is obviously something quite different from a mountain range that can be precisely measured according to longitude and latitude, and it is also something different from a specific epoch whose beginning and end can be reliably specified by naming dates.

But before beginning the long journey through this vast spectrum, the views of three twentieth-century historians who have been particularly influential should be briefly reviewed. After that, some preliminary considerations about the method are to be made, and this brings the introduction to an end.

4Spengler, Toynbee, Jaspers and the concept of "historical existence" It would not be unreasonable to claim that the famous books by Oswald Spengler, Arnold Toynbee, and Karl Jaspers could all bear the title "Historical Existence," although, if I am not mistaken, the term does not appear prominently in any of them. At least Spengler's Downfall of the West would probably have lost a good part of its great impact as a result, for hardly ever has a monumental title been better suited to its time, but hardly ever has its immediate meaning been so misunderstood as in the case of this book. Its appearance coincided practically with the defeat of Germany, felt by many hundreds of thousands as the downfall of an entire culture, a world of security and greatness, and so the author's thesis found widespread credence, that he had presented the "Philosophy of the Time" with this book. But the foreword is dated December 1917, and in its last sentence it expresses the wish that the book should not be entirely unworthy of Germany's military achievements. For Spengler, "downfall" in no way meant defeat or collapse, but rather the transition to the post-history of mere civilization. First of all, what was new was that, according to Spengler, there were just as many post-histories or late periods as there were cultures, and that these cultures were the real subjects of history - that is, it was a linear world history that rose to "the" civilization or plunged into "the" decadence, even not give. Consequently, the history of progress by Comte, Spencer and also Hegel must be replaced by a "morphology of world history". Historically in the proper sense, the great cultures such as those of antiquity, the Egyptians, the Arabs, and the West, which “with primeval power from the bosom of one

maternal landscape to which each of them remains strictly bound 1 throughout their existence« and all of which finally pass into the stage of "civilization" or, as Spengler often says, "the cosmopolitan city" and find their downfall there. Against the still prevailing conception of historical progress, whose object and subject was "humanity," Spengler thus sets a cultural pluralism and relativism, which are at the same time a doctrine of decadence. It was their pessimism that went so well with the desperation of the Germans, but the strange thing was that while he was writing the book, Spengler was confidently expecting a German victory and was just trying to encourage the Germans to take on a post-historical existence that, in his eyes, was nothing less than Germany's rule over Europe would imply. However, this Germany would stand 2 on "metaphysically exhausted ground" and no longer be historical in the same sense as the age of Goethe, the age of Louis XIV or the Middle Ages, and in this respect it would also lag behind early Islam and the Chinese Shang period, which, despite all the chronological differences, were specific periods of Western history were "simultaneously". So Spengler sees it as his "Copernican act" to have overcome the Eurocentric schema and put in its place a system "in which antiquity and the West, alongside India, Babylonia, China, Egypt, the Arabic and Mexican 3 cultures ... none at all Wisely occupy a privileged position". In fact, Spengler drew very impressive life pictures of some of these cultures, not least of the Arabic ones characterized by the magical dualism of a "feeling of a cave," but it cannot be overlooked that he focused much more on the "Faustian" culture of the West and sees in it the actual historical culture, while he describes ancient culture as unhistorical, ie as shaped by the primal symbol of the individual material body. Western man, on the other hand, whose primal symbol is pure, infinite space, has "history from the days of the Saxon emperors to the present day

lived through the most important senses with an awareness that is 4 unparalleled in any other culture. But Spengler does not adopt the law of his own conception, that is, he does not accept the inevitable characteristics of today's Late Period, which were the same in all other Late Periods, namely the cosmopolitan city, pacifism and intellectual dominance, and hence the whole Book filled with the sharpest polemics against "the born cosmopolitans and enthusiasts for world peace", against "the spiritual leaders of fellaism", against the "victory of the mere will to live in rootless freedom over the great binding cultural systems", not least against the "mass ' and even against the socialist Fourth Estate as an 'expression of history that 5 becomes ahistorical'. Often enough one gets the impression that even the interpretation of historical phenomena outside of Europe is guided by a polemical and topical intention, such as the description of the "magical" culture that lives on as the unity of state, church and people in the Jewish ghettos and finally produces those "brain people" who have no relation to the "soul" of the culture in which they live. So in the Western "post-history" a distinction would have to be made, namely the separation into the tendency towards pacifism and cosmopolitanism, which is strengthened by the influence of those "literati" who ultimately come from a different culture, and the specifically Western, that too Decline means, but at the 6 same time the will to enter the "age of giant struggles, in the age of Napoleonism. Spengler had previously made sharply accentuated distinctions with regard to "prehistory," where he sharply demarcated "preculture" as the beginning of every high culture from the completely different primitive culture, and also with regard to history itself, where he distinguished the nobility, who lives in a world of facts and is "man as history", opposed to the priesthood, which moves in a "world of truths" and represents "man as nature". It would therefore not be

all too daring thesis that for Oswald Spengler, in spite of everything he can say about the equal rights and basic similarity of the great cultures, the Western nobleman is ultimately the real historical man and that he still finds successors in the decline of post-history, to whom Spengler later expected a “Caesar” like Mussolini – successors who would implement what Spengler had recommended to the Germans in 1917: the will to empire, which is a countermove to the threatening world domination of money and trade. In any case, this is the best way to understand the final turn of the second volume, which was not published until 1922, which is entirely a warning and an appeal and no longer has anything of an understanding analysis about it: » World history is the Last Judgment... it has always sacrificed truth and justice to power, to race, and sentenced to death those people and peoples for whom truth was more important than deeds and justice more important than power... We do not have the freedom to choose this or to achieve that, but to do what is necessary or nothing. And a task which the necessity of history has set is solved, with the individual or against him. Ducunt fata volentem, nolentem trahunt." which the necessity of history has posed is solved, with the individual or against him. Ducunt fata volentem, nolentem trahunt." which the necessity of history has posed is solved, with the individual or against him. Ducunt fata 7 volentem, nolentem trahunt." For Arnold Toynbee, too, there was a current problem to be solved, but it was the exact opposite of what Spengler had in mind. For him it is time that the age of coexisting cultures and religions was replaced by a "world society", indeed by a world state, in which people lived in a kind of synthesis of the teachings of St. Francis of Assisi and Mahayana Buddhism come together so that they can retain the affirmation of suffering and "original sin" and therefore do not have to sink into the negative alternative of a superficial and probably also welfare state Americanism, ie into a mere "post-history". But otherwise his conception of history largely agrees with that of Spengler, because for him, too, the rise and fall of individual cultures are the main content of history. For him, too, the rise of cultures is dependent on a "creative minority," which, however, in the late period

degenerated into a 'ruling class' and then confronted the masses as an 'inner proletariat'. Of such cultures, Toynbee enumerates 21, a third of which are still alive, while the remainder have perished in the course of history or, like the Jews and the Parsis, continue to exist as mere relics. In the nine volumes of his Study of History, published between 1934 and 1954, Toynbee made all of these cultures the subject of stupendous erudition, not so much in descriptive and analytical individual descriptions, but in incessant comparisons from certain factual points of view, with which he established the laws or regularities of their development seeks to trace. However, he avoids Spengler's organicism by using the fundamental pair of concepts "challenge and response," which ascribes to the world not the character of a producing-preserving "landscape," but rather that of an "incentive," which, as with the Eskimos too strong and, as with the Polynesians, too weak for the formation of culture and thus of "history."

He also sees the “outer proletariat” positively, in other words the primitive or barbaric peoples, whose onslaught, especially in cooperation with an “inner proletariat”, can destroy cultures but also create new cultures – Toynbee apparently primarily hovers the fall of the Roman Empire at the hands of Germans and Christians and the resulting Western culture. Toynbee expressly distinguishes this culture, "ours," from all other cultures, precisely because it is capable of developing into that world society that will bear more resemblance to the universal churches than to the universal states of the past. So the difference between historical and post-historical existence is not as pronounced here as it was for Spengler, but appeals and

Toynbee does not lack current references either. In the post-1945 period, he was initially considered a "cold warrior," much as Spengler had been considered by many twenty years earlier to be a "pioneer of National Socialism," but then he expressed so much understanding of Bolshevism as nationalist and defensive socialism toward the West and attacked America's "betrayal of the revolution" so vehemently that he seemed to have become the champion of anti-Occidentalism.

In comparison with the works of Spengler and Toynbee, it was a slim little book that Karl Jaspers, until then primarily known as a co-founder of “Existence Philosophy”, published in 1950 under the title From the Origin and Goal of History. Unlike Spengler and Toynbee, he draws two cuts through the story, neither of which separate a pre-history from a posthistory. The first section does not separate the "hundreds of thousands of years of prehistory" from the world of advanced cultures, rather, through the "Axial Period," as Jaspers calls the period from 800 to 200 BC, prehistory and old advanced cultures are placed on one side and "history ' placed on the other side. The upheaval is taking place essentially through the emergence of philosophy and philosophical religions, in three parts of the world: the Occident consisting of Orient and Occident, in India and in China. With this man enters the stage of reflection about himself and the world, which means a new and hitherto unknown self-awareness, and the great spirits who pave the way are men like Confucius and Buddha, like Isaiah and Jeremiah, like Socrates and Plato, all members of the "Axis Peoples": Chinese, Indians, Iranians, Jews, Greeks. The deep ditch of not being able to understand one another that Spengler drew around each individual culture separates "us" from the ancient Egyptians and Babylonians, according to Jaspers, but not from the Chinese and Indians, who are "infinitely closer" to us than they are. With this man enters the stage of reflection about himself and the world, which means a new and hitherto unknown self-awareness, and the great spirits who pave the way are men like Confucius and Buddha, like Isaiah and Jeremiah, like Socrates and Plato, all members of the "Axis Peoples": Chinese, Indians, Iranians, Jews, Greeks. The deep ditch of not being able to understand one another that Spengler drew around each individual culture separates "us" from the ancient Egyptians and Babylonians, according to Jaspers, but not from the

Chinese and Indians, who are "infinitely closer" to us than they are. With this man enters the stage of reflection about himself and the world, which means a new and hitherto unknown self-awareness, and the great spirits who pave the way are men like Confucius and Buddha, like Isaiah and Jeremiah, like Socrates and Plato, all members of the "Axis Peoples": Chinese, Indians, Iranians, Jews, Greeks. The deep ditch of not being able to understand one another that Spengler drew around each individual culture separates "us" from the ancient Egyptians and Babylonians, according to Jaspers, but not from the Chinese and Indians, who are "infinitely closer" to us than they are. Chinese, Indians, Iranians, Jews, Greeks. The deep ditch of not being able to understand one another that Spengler drew around each individual culture separates "us" from the ancient Egyptians and Babylonians, according to Jaspers, but not from the Chinese and Indians, who are "infinitely closer" to us than they are. Chinese, Indians, Iranians, Jews, Greeks. The deep ditch of not being able to understand one another that Spengler drew around each individual culture separates "us" from the ancient Egyptians and Babylonians, according to Jaspers, but not from the Chinese and Indians, who are 8th "infinitely closer" to us than they are. The Axial Age, meanwhile, is only a breakthrough to spiritual universality and to that extent "like an initiation of being human," but it remains tied to limited regions, and only today does the "actual world history" begin, which is planetary and in a second one, albeit

perhaps "still distant" axial period of the actual incarnation. Jaspers thus sharpens the Condorcet-Marxian concept of previous history as mere prehistory, and his formulation reads: “What we call history, and what is now over in the previous sense, was the intermediate moment of 5000 years between the through prehistoric Thousands of centuries of settlement on the globe and 9 today's beginning of actual world history.« However, it was not the Axis peoples who took the decisive step together, but rather the Germanic-Romance peoples who produced what was absolutely new and future, namely science and technology, the prerequisites for which were the idea of political freedom, rationality and the will to shape the world are counting. It is true that one "disaster of the West" cannot be overlooked, namely the claim to exclusivity, but the competitive relationship between state and church meant moderation and thus the creation of an "unstoppable inquiring movement" without which science and technology could not have existed.10

It could therefore appear as if Jaspers were an unconditional eulogist of technical rationality, and in doing so he would have strayed very far from his own beginnings, namely the pronounced critique of civilization in the booklet The Spiritual Situation of the Time from 1931. But in truth he has by no means completely left this criticism of civilization behind him, and only with great difficulty does he reject the possibility that "the earth, including human beings, would only become the material of a single gigantic factory, the whole thing an anthill that has transformed everything into itself and ... the idling of a meaningless event remains«. His verdict on "the crowd" which is "bottomless and empty" and on "the simplifications of the all-explaining universal theories" 11 remains as harsh as it had been in 1931,

Long before the Club of Rome and the Green Party, Jaspers brings up views of ecology, and about the two

His judgment of "superpowers" is scarcely less negative than that of Heidegger. Unlike Spengler and Toynbee, he uses the concept of "totalitarianism," which remains a daunting possibility for the future as a world empire and an enforced religious unity, and his ultimate perspective is "boundless communication" within the "unorganized and unorganizable community of actual human beings." , a kind of "invisible church" that is hardly in complete harmony with "actual history" if it lives "in history beyond history" for the reason of unity, 12 which Jaspers otherwise calls the encompassing or transcendence. When attempting to give an answer to the question of "historical existence," reference will often have to be made to these three books. This does not mean that they are the only landmarks. Alfred Weber has already been mentioned; Eric Voegelin, Alexander Rüstow, Hans Freyer, Raymond Aron and not a few other thinkers could be added, all of whom could be subsumed under the term "historical thinking". As historians, they are not philosophers of history who, like Hegel, draw an overall picture of human history from its beginnings to its completion, in the context of a cosmology or even theology. They all lack the security and firm grip, but also the fundamental optimism which was characteristic of Hegel; they are primarily confronted with a frightening and opaque present, and as a rule they have 13 no "solution" to offer to the "riddle of history" like Marx. They all implicitly and sometimes explicitly make "historical existence" their theme, but this is only a fragment of a larger whole; the question of "historical existence" thus corresponds to only one segment of historical thinking. A demarcation from philosophical anthropology has already been made through the reference to Kant and Gehlen. The book at hand may best be ascribed to the already mentioned "historical anthropology" of the present, and as

parallel literature would be, for example, Reinhart Koselleck's collection of essays Past Future or Thomas Nipperdey's study The Anthropological 14 Dimension of Historical Science to call. In a broader sense, one essay and subsequent book that caused quite a stir and are more or less essayistic could be cited as relevant: Francis Fukuyama's The End of History?. Numerous publications, most of which come from authors such as Alfred Heuss, Jörn Rüsen and Karl-Georg Faber, belong more to the »historical theory«. The historical existence, however, has a much larger scope than the literature on "historical anthropology," which usually consists of essays, and for long stretches the book seems to be closer to historiography than to "historical theory." A further demarcation is necessary compared to the universal stories. Today they are all in the form of collective works, because apart from a few exceptions of a special kind, no individual dares to undertake such an enormous work in a scientific way, which even Ranke was able to begin in his late days but not complete. Who today would be able to know the history of Sumer as well as the history of the Umayyads and that of the Taiping movement, ie from being familiar with all the important source works and all the secondary literature? However, if only the knowledge of the most important sources, often only in the form of translations, and a narrowly limited number of works of secondary literature is given, then no narrative universal history, but at best an analyzing and comparative historical anthropology. However, a dozen or better a few dozen experts are quite capable of explaining the prehistoric Hallstatt culture, the ruling dynasties of Babylon and Egypt, the history of the Roman Empire, the fall of Byzantium, the prerequisites and events of the French Revolution and the early history of the Federal Republic of Germany together with many other individual stories and possibly also an almost exhaustive overview of the

provide secondary literature. As a rule, this will result in multi-volume 15 works in large format. This makes the most important of all preliminary methodological questions all the more urgent: must an attempt such as the one undertaken in this book not be characterized by an almost frightening dilettantism, since specialist knowledge is not only in the field of prehistory, but even in most fields of the "actual « There is no history - to say nothing of cosmology and theory of evolution - and only as a kind of »captatio benevolentiae« can the assurance be given that works by experts are consulted everywhere to the greatest possible extent. But there is a simple and decisive answer to this: the question of "historical existence" cannot be posed as a scientific one; at the very most, historical anthropology can be treated as a discipline that all previously available statements, whether they come from historians or philosophers, are juxtaposed and discussed. However, such a specialist science would not be based on genuine sources, but on nothing but non-scientific or amateurish statements and in this respect would be amateurism squared. Big questions like those about "historical existence" can also be raised and answered by very young people, and that is why, as in the case of Oswald Spengler, one can speak of "genuine impulses" that can be found in the patient and persistent work of the Specialist disciplines normally have no place. Where such an exceptional case does not exist, only long probation in a specialist discipline will have to be demanded, and then it goes without saying that mere reproductions will receive a peculiar coloring through the perspective in which they are placed, from which frequently an unfamiliar weight distribution may result. And then it quickly becomes apparent that the term "dilettantism," which is often used in such a derogatory way, can have a positive meaning.

a very pragmatic »interest« can exist. Anyone who asks about "historical existence" in its difference to natural, prehistoric and possibly post-historical existence is asking about oneself - not about oneself as an individual, but also not as a mere "generic being". The explicit effort to achieve a self-understanding that seeks to assert itself against other kinds of self-understanding, world interpretation, and historical consciousness is evidently a basic trait of historical existence in general. Attention must primarily be paid to this basic feature, and at the same time a preliminary decision has been made as to how the unavoidable selection from the overabundance of historical events and facts must be undertaken. Above all, religion must first be the subject, because it is the earliest and for a long time fundamental form of man's "relationship with the world": whether he leads a life filled with fear of "powers" or "gods" or demons, whether he everything that happens, recognizes the workings of God's providence, whether he sees himself integrated into the harmony of a well-ordered cosmos or whether he feels the world as a whole as a horrible monster - this obviously shapes him even in the simplest activities of life, and this is the prerequisite for philosophers to be able to think about the world and human life,that even in later times "world views" determined life and were able to bring about ideological wars, and that finally the natural sciences claim to make objective statements about the beginning of the universe and about the most distant star systems. This does not mean, however, that we should only talk about religion, philosophy, ideology and the main features of the scientific explanation of the world. With the highest probability, war - as an actual and as a potential state - can be called an essential part of historical existence, and a main question must then be whether war has not existed in prehistory and among animals and to what extent it has existed in a Post-history may no longer exist.

The view, already taken by Alfred Weber and Alexander Rüstow, is widespread today that rule and state appeared through warlike cavalry peoples and must disappear with the master consciousness of ruling aristocracies. Problems like these also belong to the question of "historical existence," and this alone makes it clear that analysis and interpretation must be in the foreground, but that the element of narrative must not be entirely absent. How the selection takes place in detail and in what relationship the individual moments are brought to one another certainly depends to a large extent on the relative chance of knowledge or ignorance. But no philosopher has ever considered it necessary to examine all bodies when defining corporeality as res extensa. The only requirement of the present book is that, as it were, rays emanate from each individual theme that converge in the concept of "historical existence." The real center of both the first and the second part will be the "Schema of Historical Existence," where following the more narrative chapters, which in turn relate to this "Schema," basic determinations of historical existence such as religion, rule, state, aristocracy, rebellion and the »left«, war and peace, History, economy and sexuality are worked out as orders of everyday life. "Scheme" means something like "outline" or "sketch"; it is therefore not a representation, but not a mere "ideal type" either.

However, the beginning is not made with the »prehistory«, rather the thesis of Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker about the historicity of nature is to be taken seriously and included. The main reason is that in the last few decades the notion of "historicality" has become something of a buzzword in some natural sciences, so that space, time and matter have been labeled "historical phenomena" and "narrative elements" have been introduced into physics. Thus Ilya Prigogine explicitly says that nature as a whole becomes a historical object because of successive 16 ramifications.

As will be shown, this view is countered by the distinction between "event" and "history". But first, in close connection with some scientific theories, a picture of that tremendous event must be outlined, from which human history probably already differed in the "prehistory" and on which it will remain dependent even in a "posthistory".

ANatural events - prehistory - the early advanced civilizations

5History of the Cosmos or Cosmic

preconditions of history? In one of the most quoted passages in his work, Kant writes that two things fill the mind with admiration and awe the more often and more illuminatingly one thinks about them - "the starry sky above me and 1 the moral law within me". Man is therefore most closely connected to the stars and therefore to the universe, because he sees something eternal in it, to which corresponds in his innermost being a capacity that encompasses time and the contradictions of daily life just as much as the eternal laws of nature do movements of the stars, which in a mathematically calculable way draw their unchanging orbits. In this man finds strength and consolation, for he knows that as a physical being he is frail and must die, but an eternity lives in him, which gives him instructions and, in Christian terms, promises his soul immortality. But even where the Christian faith is no longer alive, man receives orientation from the majesty of the starry sky, and from this he gains the certainty that he is not helplessly exposed to the vicissitudes of social life, but that he has "natural rights," "human rights." have at their disposal, which are as unchangeable and fixed as the stars. In this way, the trust in the eternal and just God is preserved in the Newtonian and Enlightenment world view, even if the Creator has moved far away since he worked as a world architect, or if the Aristotelian idea of the eternity of the world determines thinking. Even

when the contrast between nature and man is emphasized, the immutability of nature remains a comforting contrast to man's mobility:

In the 20th century, astronomy and physics brought about a profound change in the worldview that could be called dynamization or historicization. 2 A beginning of the world moves into the center of the consideration. 17 or 20 or maybe 10 billion years ago there was a primeval explosion, a "big bang" preceded by "nothing" which produced a fireball of unimaginably high temperature and density - a trillion "Kelvin", ie degrees above absolute zero. This fireball was not yet "material", it consisted rather of radiation in which the original components of later matter, the "quarks" only recently discovered and which today can no longer be separated from their compounds, had a free existence within a comparatively very small space, which apparently was not three-dimensional and "absolute," but retrograde, an overwhelming prefiguration of what Einstein would later call curved space-time.

Only after hundreds of thousands of years and strong cooling did the "atomic age" begin, ie the formation of atoms as we know them today, with protons and neutrons as the nucleus and electrons orbiting the nucleus like a shell, and at a comparatively huge distance and mostly in very small numbers. One might therefore be tempted to modify a famous phrase of Democritus and say that there are not "atoms and emptiness" but above all the emptiness in the atoms: one author uses St. Paul's Cathedral as a comparison and lets it go In the middle of its floor there is a pinhead as an atomic nucleus, which is orbited by its electrons at the height of the dome, 3 which weigh little more than a two-thousandth of this pinhead. Such atoms now form gas clouds in many places because they do not diverge evenly, but because there are irregularities, and whoever is familiar with ancient atomism, reading the latest cosmologies is reminded of a central concept of Epicurus, which the » declinatio«, that deviation from the vertical fall to which bodies owe their existence. As the cooling continues, as does the divergence, concentrations of gases are formed that begin to rotate, and so the twilight dawns in the

In the course of billions of years, the age of the stars arises, in which the simplest of the elements, hydrogen, which has only one proton and one neutron, is involved in a kind of progression process through nuclear fusion, from which first the helium atom with its two protons, two neutrons and two electrons.

Hydrogen and helium still make up 99% of the matter in the universe today, but gradually other atoms of the "periodic system of the elements" also come into existence in the fixed stars of different sizes and different temperatures, so that there are now a number of types of atoms with different atomic numbers and different atomic weights arises, ie with different numbers of protons or of protons and neutrons. Today, astronomy recognizes that all gas nebulae and all galaxies with their billions of fixed stars or suns are striving further and further apart and that they are in very different states: There are "red giants" and "white stars", some young and others others are old; one concludes that there are neutron stars, which perhaps only have a diameter of 10 kilometers and in which the matter is so densely compressed that a cubic centimeter weighs many hundreds of thousands of tons, statements can be made about "black holes" which indeed have a tremendous gravitational pull , but have no mass, "novae" and "supernovae" light up and then go out again. All in all, this world of stars is in extremely fast motion, even approaching the speed of light, i.e., according to the current state of knowledge, the "absolute" speed of "photons" that cannot be exceeded, of which one does not know whether they are better than corpuscles or be interpreted as waves. But all these movements are not random or infinite. According to the first law of thermodynamics, the total amount of energy in the universe always remains the same, but there are different types of energy, of which thermal energy is the most important one based on the disordered movement of atoms. According to the second law of thermodynamics, the "entropy" grows constantly, ie the proportion of that

disordered heat motion that cannot be converted back into "work" or kinetic energy. However, without differences in energy and therefore also heat, there is no movement, and so, according to the opinion of natural scientists, which is not entirely uncontested, the universe is striving towards a "heat death", which is sometimes also called "cold death", a state in which all energy differences are balanced and the warmth - in human terms the cold, close to absolute zero - has balanced itself everywhere, so that all the forms which had formed so slowly out of the formlessness of the radiant beginning freeze and sink into timelessness. Other astronomers allow a "gravitational collapse" to occur, so that the whole universe becomes one single "black hole", but the basic idea here is the same: not only matter, but also time has a beginning and an end - no different than a living being is born the universe and it dies; it is, as is often said, a historical phenomenon. Newton's eternal circular and elliptical movements have lost their validity as a final statement here, as have Kant and Schiller and even Max Scheler's trust in the "eternal in man". No one expressed this in a more moving way than the young Nietzsche, who in his untimely reflection "On the Benefits and Disadvantages of History for Life" speaks of the "conceptual quake of science" which "gives man the foundation 4 of all his security and calm, This historical cosmos has become manageable in a certain way; you can 9 put your age in a very simple number, like 17 times 10 Years, and astronomers even measure "quasars" and "pulsars" that are billions of lightyears away from us, almost as professionally as geographers determine the longitude and latitude of the earth's continents. This cosmos could be brought to life in a full-length film: there it flashes in the dark, there a fireball expands like a balloon, there the smallest and gigantic bodies circle around each other and around their own axis at great speed, there perhaps spacecraft fly through more sensibly , ie computing, living beings almost at the speed of light

expanses of the cosmos, and their occupants age little or not at all because time experience is tied to proximity to matter and almost no matter is encountered in the almost empty space. But if they don't get close to a black hole and get sucked in with insurmountable force and annihilated without leaving a trace, if they might even eventually return to their planet and meet their distant descendants while they themselves are wrinkleless , so it doesn't last too long in the film until only darkness can be perceived - time, world, movement no longer exist, the universe has expired its period of time, just like an animal and a human being have fulfilled their time in death. Thus man and the universe agree that they are both historical beings, albeit in different magnitudes; looking up to the eternal, seeking consolation in the immortal is no longer possible. Only amazement would remain as a 9 great emotion once one realized that 17 times 10 is a number that can be written down quickly, but that a period of 100 million years represents an unimaginable magnitude. But the astonishment is most likely to lead to a feeling that the French molecular biologist Jacques Monod expressed in the words that man must now "wake up from his thousand-year dream and recognize his total loneliness, his radical strangeness", because he has his place "like a gypsy on the edge of the universe, deaf to his music and 5 indifferent to his hopes, sufferings or crimes". It does not help man in any way if he believes that he can compare the universe as a historical being to himself: with the eternity of the stars, the eternity in man also becomes obsolete. There is no need to ask here how this modern and perhaps also fashionable view of the historicity of the universe, of its origin and disappearance, is justified - one would have to remember what is taught in school physics lessons about spectral analysis and the »red light shift « or the »cosmic background radiation« is said. No doubt it is only a hypothesis or even

several hypotheses, all of which have not gone entirely unchallenged. It is also not necessary to go into how some natural scientists try to cope with what is even more puzzling about these teachings than in ancient cosmogonies: e.g. B. the emergence of time, where "emergence" already presupposes time, or the nature of a nothing that is prior to being, which can no longer be understood as a divine, self-creating "ens a se".

Leibniz's question "Why is there anything at all and not rather nothing?" is as unanswered today as it was around 1700, and some scientific thinkers see in this "historical cosmos" only one world among countless others, so that the final state created by the gravitational collapse again could become the starting point for a new »Big Bang«. But didn't Heraclitus already want to see the cosmos as a sequence of many cosmoses, as "eternal fire that kindles in proportion and goes out in proportion"? And finally, let's not come back in modern cosmology to the archaic myth of the Indians, in which the world was carried by a white elephant, which in turn stood on a tortoise, that is, with such "ultimate questions" let us not try to tell the " to avoid regressus in infinitum?

It is not really a stop when it is pointed out that there are indeed "absolute" and fixed things in this cosmos: from the speed of light to the structure of the elements, which always have the same composition of protons, neutrons and electrons, where they may be located. As such, no electron is different from any other, and wherever the element sodium is found in the universe, it has the same composition. Only radioactive atoms decay, such as the uranium atom; even today one can say that the building blocks of the world that have been known for a long time are essentially stable and unchangeable. But modern physics has introduced something like instability and uncertainty into the heart of matter: according to Werner Heisenberg's famous uncertainty principle, momentum and position of an electron cannot be measured simultaneously with accuracy; it depends on the observer what

becomes comprehensible, and some physicists have come to the conclusion that in the realm of Planck's energy quanta and electron movements there is not only indefiniteness and unpredictability, but downright "freedom." No "cause" can be given for the "jump" of an electron from one orbit to another, and according to some physicists this means nothing other than "the end of Laplace's dream of an absolutely deterministic model of the 6 universe." At the same time, this means that one could write an individual life history of each electron and each atom if one did not have to be satisfied with the statistical laws that result from the average of countless individual movements. It does not mean a return to the earlier state of intellectual history that these laws are as unbreakable outside the subatomic realm as they were in the time of Newton and Laplace.

Einstein's theory of relativity had already assigned a decisive role to the observer. For some physicists, this observer principle leads to conclusions that are quite extreme and seem to correspond to the purest "subjective idealism." Thus John Gribbin suggests, as a possible thesis, that nothing is real until we look at it, and that reality vanishes as soon as we stop looking. For him it might even be that "by observing the photons of the cosmic background radiation, which are an echo of the big bang, we create 7 the big bang and the universe". But even where there is no talk of such idealism, modern physicists introduce a wealth of concepts and ideas, such as that of quarks and antiquarks, which destroy each other - ideas that would have amazed Newton and would have left the layman speechless must appear like a mystery narrative against which the Gnostic teachings of the origin and course of the world appear as models of comprehensibility. How else should one characterize considerations which operate on the notion of reversing time so that a being might die before it is born? And how should the normal contemporary, who is on the "firmly

"Earth" means understanding the idea of the "neutrinos" that are able to fly through the entire globe? But here, too, the human being often takes center stage in a very peculiar way, albeit in a completely different way than in the geocentric world view of the past or today with Teilhard de Chardin, in which the "unfolding" universe focuses on the human being and beyond him to the "point Omega« aims. According to Stephen Hawking, during the Big Bang, which he puts at 10 billion years ago, quarks and antiquarks were not produced in quite equal numbers, and it is only as a result that we can count ourselves lucky, because if the numbers were not unequal, »in the early universe all quarks and antiquarks mutually annihilated, leaving behind a universe full of radiation but almost no matter. Then there would have been no galaxies, stars or planets.« 8th And elsewhere he writes:

Hawking therefore speaks of an 'anthropic principle': the accidental initial conditions of the universe must have been so precisely coordinated that man could finally emerge; our own weak and frail existence thus becomes the only fixed thing in a universe that has emerged from chance and indeterminacy. With this, even the analogy between the historicity of the universe and the historicity of man, which is not comforting but nevertheless illuminating, is overtaken and put in brackets by the idea of a universe that not only could not have been just as good, but with a billion times greater probability could not have been , so that the old primal confidence of man to be the image of God as the creator of the world or the foundation of the world But whatever decision may be made between the different ways of thinking: between the idealism that

considers the role of the observer to be crucial, or the indeterminism that allows determinateness to emerge from the subatomic indeterminacy, between the refined atomism of the 27 elementary particles or the randomness principle - the idea of the historicity of the universe, to which the historicity of man corresponds, is closed discard. The universe is full of happenings, and it may have come into existence and once it perishes, but it does not change by interacting with other things, for there is nothing outside of it, and if the conceptual impossibility were real, that a number of Universes existed, our universe would still remain a closed system, which does not experience any influence from the outside and exerts no effect on the outside. History can only exist in the interaction of several things, that is, within the universe. Suppose a child was born deaf, blind, and lacking intellectual faculties to speak of, and yet he was loved and raised by his parents: he would grow, and his body would be full of events. But it wouldn't even have the kind of history that eagles and penguins might already have in finding mates of the opposite sex, building nests, and producing offspring. Perhaps even the folding of mountain ranges under the pressure of opposing forces, or the spreading of seas after continents have drifted away, could be described as a story quite different from what happened in the Sun or the Andromeda Nebula. Interaction as the execution of reactions is probably the most elementary, although hardly sufficient, character of "history" and is in any case far closer to human history than the "refining" of lower to higher, ie more complex, elements in the nuclear fusion processes of the sun and the other fixed stars. So it may be permissible to speak of the "history of the earth" and the "history of life", but in both cases a question mark must be placed.

6»History of the Earth« – »History of Life«?

We know billions of fixed stars, at least according to their luminous intensity and their position in space, but we only know one single planetary system, "ours," although there is a high probability that countless suns are surrounded by satellites in different states of solidification. In this respect not only the earth but the entire planetary system is a special case, even if it is of a kind that it may only be based on our ignorance. The four "terrestrial" planets closest to the sun Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars - consist largely of heavy solidified elements such as iron, nickel and silicates, and in this respect they occupy a remarkable special position compared to all fixed stars and also our sun. because everywhere there the light and simple elements hydrogen and helium have priority. The outer planets - Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto - are balls of gas on which the surface and atmosphere are indistinguishable. They are far larger than the terrestrial planets, apart from Pluto, which is thought to be made of ice, and are much farther from the Sun. To the best of human judgement, it is impossible for life to exist on them, although of course there are no limits to the imagination of science fiction writers. and they are much farther from the sun. To the best of human judgement, it is impossible for life to exist on them, although of course there are no limits to the imagination of science fiction writers. and they are much farther from the sun. To the best of human judgement, it is impossible for life to exist on them, although of course there are no limits to the imagination of science fiction writers.

But there shouldn't be any life on Venus and Mars either, because Venus often called Earth's "sister planet" because it is almost the same size - has a dense cloud layer, but the atmosphere consists of 96% carbon dioxide and 3. 5% nitrogen and the temperature on the surface is about 460 degrees. That

is why there is almost no water there, oceans have not been able to form. Astronomers once claimed to have discovered "channels" on Mars, and there are indeed depressions that indicate the former activity of water or ice. Today is the

In any case, the atmosphere was so thin that no more water could flow and no sand dunes could move. These peculiarities are probably not exclusively due to basic cosmological facts such as the different distance from the sun, which does not differ significantly, but to an interaction of several circumstances, which makes it possible to ascribe peculiar events to these planets and the moon, which often » History« and has already come to an end there today, for example due to an early slackening of the tectonic tensions, which can result in the rigidity to death that mankind has known from direct observation since the moon landing. In any case, the earth today has a moderate temperature compared to the greenhouse heat of Venus and the cold of Mars, and in this respect too it has a special position compared to the other terrestrial planets. Above all, only her water occurs in larger quantities, only she possesses oceans. We necessarily see them from the point of view of the possibility of the origin of life, and with regard to the planetary system we come to the conclusion that only this celestial body offered the conditions for the existence of life.

But the creation myth of the Bible also leaves plants, animals and people not at the same time with the lights of heaven and with that

water arise. There are different theories today about the formation of the earth and the other planets, which, however, do not deviate too far from Kant's "primordial nebula hypothesis" and call what Kant had described as the formation of lumps "accretion". In any case, the age of the earth is almost unanimously estimated at 4.5 billion years, and a differentiation process is assumed in which the earth's core, earth's mantle and earth's crust were distinguished. The earth's crust is an extraordinarily thin skin which, at its deepest point, extends about 70 km into the interior of the earth, ie to the upper mantle, and of which we know only 5-6 km directly from deep boreholes. The continents sort of float on the mantle and they have their positions

then changed significantly: around 250 million years ago there was still an almost closed block of land, called Pangea, from which today's continents formed as they drifted apart. When Nietzsche demanded that people should "live dangerously" and build their "cities on 1 Vesuvius" in order to escape the deadly routine, one must reply that the whole of mankind lives, so to speak, on a gigantic Vesuvius. And when Nietzsche tries elsewhere to break the metaphysical arrogance of the "God's creature" and compares mankind to a little apple skin over smoldering chaos, he was wrong insofar as, with regard to life, there was no sharp separation between the mighty terrestrial body with its radius of 6000 kilometers and the tiny "biomass" on the thin crust scarcely discernible from a cosmic distance, for the atmosphere, thin as it is in its own right with its 10 or 18 kilometers of "troposphere," must be counted as part of the planet's essence, how also the lack of atmosphere must not be left out of any description of Mars. Although the Earth's gaseous envelope was formed ultimately by the cosmic process of accretion of expelled solar mass held in orbit by centripetal and centrifugal forces, the concrete atmosphere that has surrounded the Earth for some 350 million years owes its formation to living beings which increased the proportion of oxygen through photosynthesis to such an extent that it changed from a trace element to a main component of 20%. With this, a new type of event begins, which one could call history with more justification than the origin of the planetary system, which can still be attributed to astronomical events, no matter how singular its result may have been. When one speaks of "earth history" or "earth ages," one does not usually mean the processes in the earth's core and mantle and not even the early bombardment of the solidifying earth's crust by meteors or planetoids, but one means the different ages of life

of the earth in its intimate connection with climatic and tectonic changes. In a sense, biologists and geoscientists have this new "history" beginning as early as 3.5 billion years ago with the first appearance of oxygenproducing organisms called cyanobacteria, often, and somewhat imprecisely, called blue-green algae. But it was another two billion years before the first breathing organisms came into existence. The term "Archaeozoic", synonymous with "Archaean", already indicates this orientation towards "life", which thus gives names to three quarters of all existence on earth, although the time span up to the beginning of the "Palaeozoic" is almost three billion years. It is probably easier But whether living beings breathe or still exist "anaerobically" (without oxygen), they can be defined as "self-replicating proteins," which means that they have "cells" as their basic components. Even if these cells do not yet have a cell nucleus, i.e. if they are so-called prokaryotes, they have a ringshaped molecule made of deoxyribonucleic acid inside them, which contains the genetic "information" and is therefore the prerequisite for self-replication. Sexual reproduction begins with the eukaryotes, ie the mixing of the genetic material in the offspring of a pair of parents. This brings about a diversity and variability that cannot yet exist in asexual reproduction and that justifies the 2 "nucleic acids" which form the "double helix" of the DNA and which, in a complicated process, bring about the formation of the proteins, the protein bodies of the organisms, are referred to as the basic element of life. The biologist Rupert Riedl therefore calls the DNA, which, to put it popularly, consists mainly of sugar molecules and has a very complicated and astonishing structure even in lower living beings, the "equally universal,

branching and immortal molecular memory of all living things.


All the individual cells of a living being, around a hundred trillion in humans, contain this "information" which should better be called 4 building instructions or command center. But only the sex cells of the gametes are used for reproduction, since they contain half a set of chromosomes, so that the original diploidy is restored in the new creature by union with the gametes, which are also haploid, from the other parent. In contrast, according to the opinion of biologists, which is hardly disputed today, there is no repercussion from the level of the proteins to the level of the nucleic acids, ie from the phenotype to the genotype, and therefore no "inheritance of acquired characteristics". There are still differing views among scientists about the "origin of life," although the prevailing view is that the first organic compounds were formed from inorganic molecules in the "primeval soup" of earliest terrestrial times under the influence of lightning strikes or volcanic eruptions are. Whatever the case, early life was already essentially different from the inorganic elements from which it may "consist" - Konrad Lorenz used the happy expression "fulguration" for this essential difference within what was fundamentally the same. One has only to compare it with the fixed stars and planets: no celestial body replicates and multiplies by itself - it may explode or be divided under the overpowering influence of another body, but that is not autonomous multiplication; no celestial body gives the parts into which it may disintegrate "heredity," ie instructions, according to which the subsequent body is shaped; no celestial body is in "metabolism" with its environment, maintaining its existence through the rhythmic absorption and release of substances; no celestial body "is born" and no celestial body "dies" - when these terms are used, as is often the case, they are metaphorical ways of speaking. life is an event

just like the expansion of the universe or the radiation of the fixed stars is an event, but it is an event of a completely different kind. If one can actually use the word "historicality", then this historicity of life is in any case toto coelo of "historicity". of the cosmic nebulae and the star clusters differ. All the essential characteristics of life were already present in the Precambrian, more precisely: from the last third of the time after the formation of the earth. The "history" of living beings that begins with this is now part of general education, and the dinosaurs have become popular film material. At least some of the "earth ages," which consistently span 50-100 million years, are commonly known as "Cretaceous" or "Jurassic," and one can easily learn that in the "Cambrian" (590-500 million years before present ) all life, mostly still in the form of molluscs or algae, only existed in the seas, that in the "Silurian" plants and animals "conquered" freshwater and mainland, that in the "Carboniferous" (360-290 million years BC. ) the oxygen content of the atmosphere reached today's value and an animal and plant world had already developed which deserved the description "lush". The Permian is the age of amphibians and reptiles, which includes the first dinosaurs, but in which the surface of the earth looks very different than today, since almost all the land masses of the earth are united in the "Pangaea". With the Triassic, the Great Age of the Paleozoic is replaced by the "Mesozoic" (250-66 million BC), and mammals appear for the first time, but they are no larger than rats. The Jurassic, a pronounced warm period, is the great epoch of the dinosaurs, which then died out in the "Cretaceous" for reasons that have not yet been clarified. On the other hand, the mammals, which have an extremely versatile body plan, spread and change,

The end of the Cretaceous began 66 million years ago Cenozoic, with the Tertiary first Section. In its initial section, the Alps begin to unfold,

while in the middle part, the Miocene (24-5 million BC), monkeys came into existence for the first time, and with the Pliocene (5-1.7 million BC), that "animal-human transition field" came into view , so that the decisive problem of the "incarnation" results. In the Quaternary, a series of ice ages and warm ages (glacials and interglacials), around 100,000 BC. 30,000 BC the "Neanderthals" appear, who undoubtedly have to be considered human, and they are followed around 30,000 by the Cro-Magnon man, who is often called the first "modern human". But it is almost universally accepted that he too lived in "prehistory," and prehistory largely includes the "Holocene," which began around 10,000 B.C. begins and is possibly only an interglacial period, which still includes the present of the beginning of the third millennium AD.

This "story" of the earth and of life can be understood by anyone in 5 richly illustrated works such as the Chronicle of the Earth can easily be presented very vividly, and at this point a mere reference to it will suffice. But hasn't "history" assumed a completely different meaning, and shouldn't all events of the billion and a half years since the beginning of the Archaeozoic, like the events of the formation of the solar system, be ascribed the character of mere, albeit certainly different, events if one is the following clear? A century, even a millennium, was not distinguishable as such during the last Ice Age and even more so during the many millions of years of the Cretaceous, while man at the end of the 20th century already feels far away from the 19th century, even from the Fear is filled that history has now entered such a frenetic pace that even in the first decades of the 21st By the end of the twentieth century the world would have been completely changed and all continuity with the preceding period would have been lost. Precisely with this he could have entered the "post-history," and the once widespread hope has lost its strength that out of the frantic movement a new kind of calm will arise through the rule of reason.

But "Earth's history" will continue according to age-old laws -- not for thousands, not even millions, but for billions of years, and it is only too likely that mankind, and possibly all life, will have perished within a few centuries or more emigrated to another planet at the end. For there will certainly be an 'end' to the 'earth's history', and there is no reason to doubt the prediction of a geologist who writes that today this tendency to level out all height levels is still 'opposed by the endogenous dynamics of the earth. But once the asthenosphere has solidified and the plate tectonic movements come to a standstill, ... then the terrestrial land area will steadily decrease, all continents will be eroded down to sea level and no mountain or island will protrude from it. Then the earth is geologically dead and at the same time uninhabitable for 6 humans.«

7Evolution as fundamental history? The fact that there is an abundance of extremely diverse creatures on earth has always been a matter of course for all people without any reflection; that in earlier times there were species that no longer exist today can be inferred from those myths and fairy tales that told of ancient monsters such as dragons and sea devils. But that all beings were linked by a "development" that would have taken place over unimaginably long periods of time was, apart from a few approaches in antiquity, an alien idea well into the nineteenth century. Diversity was brought early on into the concept of the "gradual structure" of beings, which, beginning with snails and other mollusks, ascended to reptiles, birds and mammals and finally to humans as the "crown of creation". This great chain of beings could be easily connected with platonic thoughts: The forms of being corresponded to the "ideas", those "archetypes" that exist unchangeably beyond reality and yet leave their stamp on all beings, so that it can be formed and thus be grasped by the human soul in the "view of ideas". If the juxtaposition of the figures was also understood as a succession, then this development, which would better be called "development," was the fundamental history, the realization of that In Christian terminology, this process could easily be understood as the story of creation, and man emerged from the hand of God like all other creatures, albeit as a fundamentally different being, as "zóon lógon échon," to use Aristotle's terminology, or as »animal rationale«

in scholastic terminology. Only one thing was unimaginable: that the fundamental history of the emergence of forms and especially the human form was contained causally in this development itself, i.e. that the form of molluscs produced the form of vertebrates of its own accord, or that the form of apes produced the form of humans. On the contrary, everything new had a direct connection to the world of ideas, to the primordial ground or to the Creator, and this applied most to man, who was created in the image of God. So it had to be an innovation beyond compare and an unprecedented provocation when the thesis arose in the second half of the 19th century that "man descended from apes" and that the existence of apes ultimately goes back to mollusks. Precisely this seemed to be the meaning of the "evolution theory" and at the same time of "Darwinism", through which that was explained and derived from what appeared in the doctrine of the "great chain of being" only one after the other. Konrad Lorenz saw only a "weakness" of human knowledge in the fact that it always wanted to perceive "types" and thus could not do justice to that infinite variety within which every plant and every animal is an individual and therefore historical 1 being. But first it must be pointed out that concepts such as "shape" or (objective) "idea" have by no means been completely discarded in modern biology, for the word "construction plan" plays an important role. And is the perception of "constancy" really just an expression of human weakness? Imprints of squids in 400-million-year-old rocks can hardly be distinguished from the squids living today, and numerous skeletons of bats are available from the oil shale of the Middle Eocene in the Messel pit near Darmstadt, which “in all essential points 2 correspond to the structural plan of today fully correspond to bats«. Jacques Monod, certainly an unsuspecting author, states that much more paradoxical than evolution itself is the fact that certain species have reproduced with amazing stability without appreciable changes for 100 million years; hence he expressly recognizes "a platonic element," and he emphasizes that in the

In the infinite multiplicity of phenomena, science can "only look for the 3 invariants." If development means something like movement, changeability and thus history, it might appear to take place within the framework of the unchangeable and constant; the genera are incomparably more powerful than the individuals: ferns and algae are essentially the same today as ferns and algae were 500 or 300 million years ago. Evolution could then be imagined as a fundamental history in such a way that a single great impetus of life pulsed through even the simplest structural plan and brought forth ever more complicated, and in this respect higher structural plans, until the highest of all forms was reached in man. There can be no fundamental difference between this impulse and human history; this is nothing other than the continuation of the "creative development",

One must bear in mind the intrinsic strength of the "Platonic" approach if one is to understand the whole otherness of the theory of evolution proper, which consistently traces its origins to Darwin. Paradoxically, she also assumes invariance, namely the invariance of the genetic make-up of every living being. If all genomes replicated error-free, changes would only occur if certain living beings died as a result of drastic changes in environmental conditions. But if, in the complicated process of translating the genome into the amino acids of the phenotype, the molecules of the so-called messenger RNA, or the proteins to which they attach, made a "reading error," then the genome of the offspring was identical to the genome of the previous generation no longer in agreement So the reason for the new was something purely negative, as one would say at first glance, namely an accidental error that did not imply any "aspiration" or even a direction. In a hundred thousand cases the error might mean deterioration, and the affected specimens of the genus perished. In one case

but perhaps a change had come about which meant that the creature in question was better able to adapt to changing environmental conditions. By these very conditions a selection was now being made: the genetically unaltered specimens, far more numerous at first, would have fewer offspring and perish in a long succession of generations, perhaps in hundreds of thousands of years, while the "mutated" specimen and its offspring would gain the upper hand . Now there is no better thought than that in the struggle for existence, which is perceptible everywhere in nature, the stronger specimens will prevail and that this struggle for life will result in an improvement in the sense of strengthening the average of these living beings. What characterizes the theory of evolution is that mutations, random and directionless as they are, do not stop at the species boundary, and thus the transition to another species becomes possible. And obviously this cannot happen in one step, because an entire genome never mutates, rather the mutations accumulate over an unimaginably long time and in countless small steps, so that a transition, for example from reptiles to birds, becomes possible. But actually a system does not "develop" according to its inner law,

Mutation and selection, then, are the great forces of change in the world of life, and one of these forces is completely blind, while the other has no wisdom whatsoever and is concerned only with the shortterm benefit of the creature in question. The extraordinary reversal of the principle based on Plato and victorious in the polemics against the ancient atomists for almost 2000 years becomes very clear here, which Lactantius once said in his Divine Instructions: »Something full 4 of planning can only be brought about by planning reason«. In contrast, the theory of evolution allows meaning to emerge from meaninglessness and order from chance: nothing is more comprehensible than

the outrage it caused when it emerged in the mid-19th century. Could this development still be called fundamental history, since human history should have been seen as a continuation of the process of mutation and selection? Could it really be argued that the Roman Empire came about because a random mutation altered the genes of Romulus and Remus? And what did it mean that, in the face of the inexhaustible richness and overwhelming order of reality, such a markedly atheistic doctrine often enough characterized "evolution" in a way that made it seem almost synonymous with "God"? In Rupert Riedl one can read: "Although the biological theory of evolution only offers us a blind and a short-sighted constructor with the confusion of the eternal struggle, and the physical even only the inescapable drift into chaos, evolution creates an almost incomprehensible order, against all probability and seemingly out of nowhere, and on top of that she makes 5 sure to reflect them, to be able to recognize them.« So the same thing appears here in the field of biology as was also observed with some physicists: that coincidence that can only be characterized as "divine coincidence" because according to its concept, of course, it could not "plan" man, but in fact produced exactly the process which is no longer an "image" of God, but is "the highest stage of development". There is hardly any other theory or trend in the natural sciences whose adherents referred so much to a founding figure as did the representatives of the theory of evolution, namely Charles Darwin. This is astonishing in some respects, because the Frenchman Jean Baptiste Lamarck had already published his philosophy zoologique in 1809, the year Darwin was born. Darwin himself, in the introduction to his 1859 book On the Origin of Species, listed several predecessors to whom he very generously gave great credit. His first relevant publication was prompted in 1858 by an essay by Alfred Russel Wallace and

appeared at the same time as its publication in the yearbook of the Linnaean Society. It is well attested that Darwin carefully read the three-volume Handbook of a History of Nature by the Heidelberg paleontologist and zoologist Heinrich Georg Bronn, which appeared between 1841 and 1849. One could say that the time for a "historicization" of zoology was ripe and overripe in the mid-nineteenth century. But Darwin produced the first major book to bear the phrase "Origin of Species" in the title, and he was immediately widely recognized as one of the greatest revolutionaries in the natural sciences. To be sure, he soon encountered sharp opposition, which was not entirely based on theological and anthropological principles, but ultimately drew its strongest passion from there. All Darwin had said about the origin of mankind was that his approach would shed new light on it, but his early students, notably Thomas Huxley in England and, somewhat later, Ernst Haeckel in Germany, soon articulated the thesis that of "man's ape descent," and no thesis could be more provocative and outrageous in a world still largely shaped by the Christian faith. She was consistent, however, in accepting the claim that the variations in species, which are indisputable facts and are readily apparent by looking at a mastiff and a dachshund, could spread so far and solidify to such an extent that a new species would arise, which would then no longer form a reproductive community with the original species, as corresponds to the concept of species. Darwin spoke of "natural selection," thereby showing his orientation to human breeders, who indeed achieve astonishing changes through wise selection and accumulation of the desired traits. But perhaps his thesis would have aroused only disbelief if Darwin had not placed himself, as it were, in an older stream of indignation. Hardly anyone in England was so hated by all humanistic and humanitarian spirits as the 6 "Pastor Malthus," who at the beginning of the century published a book had written, a counter-opinion to the biblical commandment that was perceived as downright devilish

of "Be fruitful and multiply" seemed to represent, because it ascribed a "geometric" progression to human biological reproduction, while the artificial production of food could not go beyond an arithmetic progression. Darwin now extended this Malthusian conception of the primacy of natural procreative power over human-technical productive power, which only by the application of reason would not have catastrophic consequences, to the entire realm of life - more precisely, he brought it back there - and there Since this biological life knows no subjective reason, the right proportion could only be established through a relentless and merciless struggle of individuals and species, which resulted in the "survival of the fittest" that Herbert Spencer had spoken of before Darwin. Darwin expressly says that Malthus' teachings should be applied with increased force to the entire animal and plant kingdom, and then nature would appear as one great struggle for survival, in which "the vigorous and healthiest males, who are therefore also the most perfectly adapted, generally win in their fights." So the call is consistent: "What a war between insect and insect, between insects, snails and other animals with 7 birds and beasts of prey, all striving to reproduce."

Thus one might call Darwinism a Malthusianism squared and a true science of war and science, which has a strong tendency to extend into the human realm, as formulated as early as 1860 in one of the earliest German reviews of Darwin's work, where it says , in nature the weaker is overpowered by the stronger in the same way "as the stronger do to the 8th weaker human races". Nor should one overlook the full title of Darwin's work, On the Origin of Species by Natural Selection, or The Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Existence. The question is therefore very much whether the later "neo-Darwinists" or "social Darwinists" were actually as far removed from the master as the orthodox among his successors have always made it out to be.

Darwin, for his part, did not separate himself from the atmosphere of the 19th century when he said that "out of the struggle of nature, out of hunger and death" proceeds "directly the solution of the greatest problem that we are able to grasp, the production of ever higher and more perfect 9 animals". Darwin not only extends the historicism of this century to organic nature by writing that every organic product of nature "is entitled to a long 10 history", rather he retains a place among the champions of "progressive history" like Comte and Spencer. Unlike Comte and Spencer, however, he is not free from misgivings, even from a sense of sadness, when he writes: "When we ponder this struggle for existence, let us console ourselves with the firm belief that nature's war is not uninterrupted, that no fear is felt, that 11 death is generally swift, and that the fit, healthy, and happy survive." But it is difficult to get around the following questions: why is nature's war "not continuous", why do flight animals feel no fear, although they are constantly on the lookout for enemies; aren't living things all the more pain and suffering the more "perfect" or "higher evolved" they are? The most remarkable paradox of Darwin's theory, however, lies in this: "Artificial selection" produces better and more suitable specimens of a species for certain purposes, but no breeder has yet succeeded in creating a cat variety or species from a dog variety, and the War between individuals and species allows the fittest individuals and the best-adapted varieties to survive, but as such it need not produce new species.

If today the Darwinian theory of evolution is considered proven by the vast majority of biologists, the best evidence cannot be traced back to the founding figure, but first to the paleontologists and their fossil finds, but not least to the geneticists, who identified the primary characteristic of life, the double helix of the Deoxyribonucleic acid and thus the genotype, decoded and finally subjected to the artificial modification of genetic engineering, which far outperforms natural modification through mutations in terms of speed and effectiveness. Nevertheless, doubts and concerns about this theory have not been completely eliminated to this day. Some biologists have introduced the concept of 'macroevolution', ie a development that does not take place in countless tiny steps but in leaps and bounds, so that new structures can appear 'overnight'. Even quite orthodox researchers state "essential differences" between birds and reptiles, for example, although they consider the doctrine of small steps to be correct. One can agree with both sides by making a clear distinction between phylogenetics and systematics: the first follows the concrete development, the second "depends on the existence of key taxonomic features in order to be able to establish the systematic 12 order". Thus the historical and the unhistorical, the fluid and the constant, would not be mutually exclusive, and Plato would be justified without having to attribute a complete right to him.

In the appropriate modification, the orthodox understanding of evolution could perhaps be understood as fundamental history, if differences in "freedom", ie seen from the human perspective, differences in historical capacity, could be demonstrated in the various genera and species of animals. The next task will be to pursue this question. At this point, however, Rupert Riedl should be given the floor again, who wrote one of the most ingenious books on evolution and who, although counting among the orthodox, articulates a reservation about the theory, which, as has been shown, Darwin did not either was completely foreign and on the

Human history can be extended because the theory of evolution and historiography at any rate have in common the emphasizing or stating of the fighting character: "More than 500,000 of their growths (- the growths of nature -) prove that with water, salts and photons alone a noble, quiet order is to be built up, which would have prevented mutual destruction 13 altogether if their production had been restricted.” The clash between utopia or alternative conception and reality, which we will encounter again and again with regard to human history, can thus have a kind of prefiguration in evolutionary theory. However, there is obviously no such prefiguration in evolution itself or in animals, and we have probably already encountered a characteristic of the "actual" history that the alleged fundamental history, evolution, lacks in any case.

8 Stages of the »history ability« in animals? There is no need to prove that the history of all previous societies was closely connected with animals. The domestication of the dog was an important step towards the end of prehistory, and it was soon followed by the domestication of cattle, horses, and sheep. Until yesterday, agriculture meant constant cooperation and coexistence of people and animals; the German colonization of the East in the Middle Ages and the conquest of America by European immigrants would not have been possible without the tremendous labor of cattle and horses. Even today there are tribes who worship "totem animals"; Egypt was known to be full of animal gods, and Toth, the god of scribes, was in the form of a baboon. In the Middle Ages, animals that had killed a human or caused other damage not infrequently tried, convicted and sometimes even excommunicated; personality was thus ascribed to them. Obviously there is an "understanding" between man and animal; man understands the wagging of the dog's tail, and the dog understands the angry expression on his master's face; there even seem to be lifelong "friendships" such as between the cameleer and his camel or between the elephant driver and his elephant. and the dog understands the angry countenance of his master; there even seem to be lifelong "friendships" such as between the cameleer and his camel or between the elephant driver and his elephant. and the dog understands the angry countenance of his master; there even seem to be lifelong "friendships" such as between the cameleer and his camel or between the elephant driver and his elephant.

But animals were not only servants and friends of man, not only were they worshiped as gods, feared as demons, and hunted as prey, but they also intervened in destructive ways in human history. Rats brought the plague to some countries; Plasmodium from mosquitoes, which caused malaria, killed countless people, migratory locusts destroyed most of Algeria's harvest in 1866 and before and after that repeatedly devastated large areas of land.

In all of this, however, the animals were involved in human history, or their actions directed against humans in a hurricane-like manner; Although this "mutual understanding" may indicate an inner closeness of some animals to humans, it makes the question of whether animals as such, or at least certain species of animals can have something like a history of their own, all the more pressing.

We have already ruled out mere evolution as history and even as fundamental history, no matter how astonishing some developments are in the area of sexual life, e.g. B. that in some barnacles the male has dwindled 1 to a mere reproductive organ which parasitizes on the female. The many individual steps in the development of reptiles into birds may at best be called historical in a figurative sense; but also the proliferation and spread of herring schools as a result of a change in the ocean currents has nothing to do with history. Schools of herring exist in a mere juxtaposition of the individual animals, which exclusively follow their instincts, which have been genetically determined for millions of years; there is no attempt at organization or self-reliance; Both, or at least one of the two, seems to be the most elementary prerequisite for a story that is not just happening. But one cannot speak of independent activity even if animals destroy themselves completely independently of humans through their own actions, such as e.g. For example, the goats abandoned by sailors on the island of Fernando Póo, where they found so many tasty plants and so few natural enemies that they multiplied rapidly, eating all the plants and eventually dying. It is well documented, however, that lions in good years, far from smothering their prey completely and multiplying indefinitely, behave as if correctly assessing future needs. But this is just an "as if" and really an instinctive behavior.

When an animal's genetic program dictates how it should behave, that is, when an "Innate Trigger

Mechanism« (AAM) comes into action directly through key stimuli, then one cannot even speak of the beginnings of a »free«, ie not determined by instincts, behavior and thus also not of a beginning of history. But even today it is easy for anyone to observe that a dog, following the trail of another dog on the road, will start and hesitate when it hears its mistress' call and has an internal conflict as to whether it should go on or turn back. His instincts don't give him clear commands; a chasm opens up between the instinct of nature and what it has learned, namely, to obey the commands of the master.

There is no doubt that animals can "learn." But you don't learn if you can't remember: Aristotle ascribed memory to animals, and now and again the question arises as to whether certain animals have a relationship to the future, through purely instinctive brood care or through that »ancestors«, which often causes mountain animals to visit their caves at the first distant rumble of thunder. It is true that the accumulation of stores is obviously part of the hereditary endowment of squirrels and woodpeckers, but if, as connoisseurs affirm, a greylag goose not only never forgets a bad experience but is also careful not to ever return to the scene of that experience, there is probably an analogy of »insight«. Rats also show intelligence when they are placed in a complicated system of corridors in the experiment and quickly learn to see through this environment. That an animal can have certain experiences and derive conclusions from them is certainly determined by an "a priori" of the species; but this does not yet reveal what experiences the individual animals have and how they deal with them. One can therefore speak of different degrees of 'freedom', ie freedom from instinct or openness to experience, in the individual animal species, and 'history ability' can be ascribed to those who associate it with the ability to act in groups, ie to organize. Even if one guards against the naïve anthropocentrisms one encounters in

Brehm's animal lifeencountered at every turn, where animals are "lovable," "witty," "sacrificing," and "noble-minded," one cannot a priori blame those modern researchers who describe certain animals as "insightful behavior," "curiosity," to award "consideration" and even "thinking."

But on the whole there are only relatively few animal species in which the vernacular states something like "historical resemblance" because they either use the word "state" or use terms like "family". "States" are primarily formed by bees, ants, and termites. In the briefest summary, one can say of the bees that they are in fact a purely female community of numerous animals based on closest kinship, in which the division of labor reaches an extreme degree on the one hand as a result of the monopolization of the sexual function by the "queen". but on the other hand is limited to mere age differences, so that one cannot speak of a "caste" again. These 'states', as is well known, are often harnessed for human purposes by beekeepers, but not actually 'domesticated', have a number of enemies, e.g. B. small butterflies, which smuggle themselves into the beehive under a chemical invisibility cloak and live there as parasites, or mites, which cause bee diseases and can ruin entire colonies. The bees have developed a variety of defenses against this. The so-called wagging of the bees is even more reminiscent of human behavior, ie the transmission via nearby flower stocks through body movements of the "discoverers". But even the most enthusiastic beekeeper would not be inclined or able to write a "history of his hive" which 2 differed in any relevant way from the history of countless other hives,

When it comes to ant colonies, however, one is often tempted to think of human colonies, although the ants are Hymenoptera like the bees and have also populated the earth for about 50 million years. They too are fundamentally divided into sexual animals and sterile workers, their colonies often have several million members, the queen lays up to 30,000 eggs a day, the males are not killed like bees, but they die soon after the nuptial flight and mating. With them, however, the castes are much more pronounced and fixed, because the "soldiers" also differ externally from the workers, who in turn are of different sizes, since their upper jaws, the mandibles, are designed into powerful weapons.

Above all, however, their states are much more aggressive and often wage outright wars. Such raids are usually directed against the burrows of other species of ants; they are prepared by scouts and initiated by encirclements; it is not uncommon for these to be genuine struggles to exterminate, but the pupae of the conquered nest are often transported to their own den and not infrequently made slaves there. There are species in which the slaves outnumber the slave owners five times. Not infrequently, this results in a severe decadence of the slave owners, who first specialize into a kind of warrior caste and then gradually even lose this function, so that they continue to exist as pure exploiters or parasites and only have a strong sexual one, no longer limited to the opposite sex display activity until they are in turn overwhelmed or perish.

But other animals can also be slaves; and then there is often a mutually beneficial interrelationship in which the ants perform a protective function. The species »Dolichoderus« lives on the »honeydew«, the excrement of woolly lice, and adapts to their movements: »Just like the human wandering shepherds, the ants also let their rhythm of life be determined by that of their herds, and just like the human ones, they are like that even the animal nomads are 3 completely dependent on their livestock.«

The leafcutter ants feed on fungi "which they cultivate in the huge nests 4 on chewed plant material." Inside the nests there is an admirable order governed by the necessities of brood care. There is no equality in the distribution of food: »nurses«, »domestics«, foragers, large and small workers, soldiers receive different shares. Caste determination appears to be mostly effected by inhibitors of the queens, such as pheromones (scents) in general; not unlike the bees there is a national or state odor, and when this is experimented to disappear, strong enmity arises between the castes, so that the state perishes in a 'civil war'.

Normally, however, the cohesion is very strong; non-colonial animals are recognized by their smell and immediately attacked and killed. By separating certain substances, a danger alarm or prey alarm is given. According to Klaus Dumpert, some types of propaganda material are used in wars or the oppression of slaves, so this author uses the term "psychological warfare".

Termites are far older than bees and ants; they have existed for 200 million years and are divided into thousands of species, hundreds of genera and several families. Unlike bees and ants, they are not hymenoptera, but belong to the cockroach order. They, too, are divided into castes, which in some cases even appear to be genetically determined; but the male sex is not, as a rule, exterminated, nor does it die off; next to the queen there is a king, and the two sex animals stay together. Here, too, many species have their own soldier castes, termites also wage wars, and one species is even called »warrior termite« (Bellicositermes goliath). But as a rule, the strong expansion tendencies are aimed at conquering new ways of life, especially wood, which is the main food. People in the tropics know about these

to sing a song to conquests. The burrows of the termites are true works of art and can reach a height of several meters.

But termites also have many enemies; in the second volume of Grzimek's Animal Life there is a colored picture of an ant species attacking a termite nest in the African steppe, which gives an idea of the systematic, almost "planned" appearance of this war of aggression and the good 5 organization of the defense. Such startling resemblances to human conditions have repeatedly led to comparisons or metaphorical phrases, which in antiquity mostly emphasized "industriousness" positively, while in the 20th century the words "ant colony" and "termite colony" became terrified phrases with which concrete Dangers of the future and also the current "totalitarianism" were described.

Of course, between bees, ants, termites and humans there is only the general relationship of all life; but in a graphic way man is related to mammals and especially to apes, and seen from here the difference could hardly be greater. No species of non-human mammals lives in States; nowhere is there a division into sexual animals and the majority of sterile females. On the contrary, the male sex almost always plays the dominant role here, and the groups are very small, usually only extended families or clans whose members know each other. For example, the Hamadryas baboon lives in an "extremely patriarchal society" that is firmly based on biology, because there is a pronounced "sexual dimorphism": the females weigh only half as much as the males and are 6 therefore far in physical strength inferior. However, males and females live in stable pair bonds, and even the dominant "alpha male" in the group of about 20-30 heads does not usually attempt to possess the "wives" of other males. However, it is usually difficult for adolescent males to acquire a wife of their own, and they often have to live well into adulthood, i.e. until around the age of 10,

live with extensive »renunciation of instincts«. Fighting takes place between different clans or gangs, mostly over females, but one cannot speak of "wars". There are also tensions within the group, especially between "high-ranking" and "low-ranking" males, but usually only when the previous "alpha male", who up to that point has strictly maintained his priority and thus at the same time promoted peace within the group had taken care of, begins to grow old. But there are also "high" and "low" females, and a very remarkable fact is that, according to the researchers' observations, the daughters of high-ranking females usually preserve the social position of their mothers, and thus, as one 7 author writes, with a silver be born spoon in mouth. That the stronger male does not readily appropriate the female of a weaker male may be interpreted as respect for the possessions of other individuals. On the other hand, there are no territorial claims by the individual clans, and even the largest unit, the herd of about 750 heads, gathers only during the night on the sleeping rocks, but shows no organization and breaks out in all directions in the morning in the form of the individual clans to search for food. Even within clans, no "orders" are given, but it is usually one of the older males who gives the direction. According to the statements of the observers, astonishing intelligence achievements can be recorded when looking for food; thus, according to Hans Kummer, the Hamadryas know the places where a rock ledge dams the groundwater, they dig holes there and wait until the water fills them up. When the open pool is covered with slime algae, they dig a hole 8th next to it, soak it and drink filtered water. However, they do not know a division of labour; always the whole group moves out, and everyone takes whatever food he or she can find or that is closest, apart from the mothers' care of the small children, of course. It is interesting to note the lifestyle changes that occur when, as is so often the case, baboons are forced to live in a zoo. Here the dangers that make Nietzsche's postulate of the "dangerous life" for wild animals to be taken for granted are not lurking at every turn, and

obtaining food requires no effort. The result is "luxurying," which Hans Kummer does not judge exclusively negatively, since it includes a heyday of the social and the chance to invent something new, but above all it

means the loss of the ability to adapt "in an alienated environment" and the observer is drawn to the comparison between these "residents, forcedretirees, unemployed" and "Calhoun's mice" who "were kept in limited spaces with unlimited food supplies until finally, as a result of a complex, gradual deterioration in their social behavior, they died out, well-fed but 9 socially inept". The chimpanzees are consistently considered the most intelligent of the great apes, and they are also the best-studied species. In the Zoological Gardens they lend themselves well to scrutiny by researchers who follow their lives minute by minute, and Jane Goodall has many years of hers Life spent in the Gombe National Park observing the wild chimpanzees and in a way sharing their lives. She was able to draw on the findings of many researchers, most of whom had worked under the conditions of civilization, starting with Otto Koehler, who had shown in his famous experiments that chimpanzees had some kind of technical understanding and not only used simple tools like bamboo sticks, but in a certain way even produce it, e.g. B. stick such rods into each other, to get to a distant fruit. Since then, a plethora of attempts had been made, and ingenious methods had even succeeded in teaching chimpanzees parts of the American deaf-mute language and an 10 understanding of linguistic categories such as "all - none" and "if - then".

Jane Goodall has now also discovered deliberation and the ability to abstract as well as "innovative acts" in the free-living chimpanzees, and with a look at humans she comes to the conclusion: "Humans do not stand 11 there in isolated splendor." In their social structure, chimpanzee communities are hierarchical, male-dominated and territorial, often warlike.

Some researchers regard the society of bonobos or chimpanzee pygmies with great sympathy, whose motto according to Frans de Waal 12 is: »Make love, not war!« In them, sexual life occurs largely independently of reproduction, since females are in the sexually attractive state of genital swelling almost 75% of the time. The most important function of sexuality among bonobos is conflict resolution; gender equality is high, bisexual contact and group sex are common but never enforced, and on the whole a society presented to observers is 13 characterized by "remarkable friendliness and gentleness." to characterize: "That sounds like a utopian society," writes Jane Goodall, "and by comparison it seems that the chimpanzees of Gombe still have 14 a long way to go."

Apparently, in the opinion of some animal researchers, human beings in particular still have a long way to go, and perhaps it would not be too exaggerated to formulate the following sentence as their maxim: "If you don't become like the bonobos, you can go to earth Therefore, with some animals - apparently contrary to what was presented at the end of the last chapter - there would be "utopia" with some animals, but not as a concept or ideal, as with humans, but as reality. We shall come back to this below. First of all, however, the question must be asked: Wouldn't baboons, chimpanzees and bonobos still have to travel a long way - if it is a way - before they reach humans? Have they already made a start, although they are in any case still so extraordinarily far removed from the "statehood" which ants and termites already seem to possess? Their intelligence alone would not mean such a step if it had remained the same for 20 million years, or if it had only enabled animals to develop an accurate spatial conception for life in the trees and in the jungle. Even the fact that it is not uncommon for small sticks to be used in termite burrows

to fish out termites, or the use of stones to break hard fruit skins, would only be evidence of intelligence, but not a step on the way to man, that is, to history. A thought experiment may go further: There is good evidence that some great apes have learned or seen on their own how to make earthy potatoes 15 tastier: by washing them in water. No instinct could have commanded these monkeys to treat the potatoes in such a manner, for many other monkeys do not do the same. Now suppose a family of chimpanzees passed this technique on to their offspring, and these in turn passed it on to their offspring. Then there would be a potato-washing chimpanzee kindred that would be substantially different from the surrounding non-potato-washing chimpanzee kindreds on this point. Perhaps the fourth generation would come up with the idea of cutting through the washed potatoes with a sharp stone or even peeling them. This chimpanzee clan would then lead a life that could not be adequately deduced from either their instincts or their intelligence, although instincts and intelligence would certainly be the prerequisites.

Do we not have the history, and at least the pre-history, of man in mind when we imagine an ape-like species of creature taking this "unnatural," not just instinctual, path and continuing it, albeit perhaps with extreme slowness, by ignoring the mere preservation and passing on of tradition, only every thousandth generation makes "progress"? Standing at the imaginable end of this path is perhaps by no means "the naked ape", as 16 Desmond Morris' biologism wants it, but on the contrary, a fusion of the statehood of the ants and the intelligence of the monkeys, a figure 17 that might be called the "ant-monkey"?

But even with this term we remain in a biological way of thinking. For us it will always be necessary to refer back to the animal world and also to evolution - that is why we have made it our subject, albeit very briefly, and nobody will doubt that the "animal" in man remains powerful and that the " Cerebralisation" as a process of evolution is fundamental for him - but we are now directly before the "actual history", which does not necessarily begin with the "incarnation", but nevertheless has this as the most elementary prerequisite.

9Problems of »Incarnation« Before one speaks of the "problems of the incarnation," one should remember that for a millennium and a half in Christian culture, the term "incarnation" was spoken of again and again and in an extremely solemn form that was also highly memorable for simple people - but not of the Incarnation of a living being that for millions of years was not yet a human but an animal, but of the incarnation of God, more precisely: of the Son of God as the second person of the Trinity, who assumed flesh form in order to be born through his teaching, his death on the cross and to redeem the human race through his triumphant resurrection. "Et incarnatus est de Spiritu Sancto ex Maria virgine: Et homo factus est" was a central sentence of the Catholic but in the matter of all Christian denominations common creed. What kind of exalted beings must these be for the sake of which God himself descended to earth; but how deeply these beings must have gotten themselves entangled in error and guilt that such a work of salvation and redemption was necessary!

It is precisely from this perspective that the horror, which by no means only seized church believers in the middle of the 19th century, becomes understandable when some natural scientists claimed that man "descended from apes" and that it took incomparably more time for him to "become man". than the 4000 years that, according to almost universal belief, had passed since the creation of the world: hundreds of thousands, even millions, maybe even billions of years, because the apes did not exist since the beginning of time either, but had developed like the other primates Preforms and ultimately probably even developed from a kind of primordial slime!

ThisThe doctrine of the "incarnation" thus meant a fall into the abyss: the annihilation of the creature of God, the "image of God",

of the vessel of divine indwelling, and in its place there appeared, it seemed, a being who had lost the fangs and claws of his ancestors, and had a face instead of a snout, but still bearing the greed and pugnacity of his birth fulfilled and had nothing "divine" or "godlike" about it. But it should also not be forgotten that in the Judeo-Christian tradition man was by no means an earthly god and not even a spirit being temporarily banished into darkness, but that according to the Genesis account he coexisted with the reptiles on the "sixth day". and the beasts of the field, and it was hardly a pronouncement of punishment, but rather an ontological statement when God said to him after the first and decisive sin: "For dust you are, to dust you must return." The origin of man From nature - and even from its very lowest strata - is therefore by no means an unattainable idea in Christianity, no matter how difficult it may seem to unite it with that first idea of the incomparable dignity of man.

In 1856, near Düsseldorf, the naturalist JC Fuhlrott discovered fragments of a skeleton that seemed to him to be the remains of a primeval human being and which he discussed in 1859, the year Darwin's book was published, in the negotiations of the Natural History Association of the Prussian Rhineland and Westphalens published an essay entitled “Human remains from a rock grotto in the Düsseltal”. This skeleton showed many strange features: large bulges protruded above the eyes, the forehead was flat, the chin receding, and the femur slightly arched; on the whole it gave the impression of a very massive and animal-like being. Drawings soon appeared to fill in what was missing, and a creature appeared It was by no means universally recognized that this was a primeval human being, and none other than Rudolf Virchow

explained that it must be a rickety idiot who had been buried a few decades or at most centuries ago. The difficulties facing paleoanthropology became very clear here: almost always only fragments were found, and sometimes 1 even forgeries, as in the case of the so-called Piltdown man, cannot be ruled out, and how should a time determination be made, since all written evidence and thus also those mentions of solar or lunar eclipses are missing, which are so helpful for the also extremely difficult "absolute chronology" of far later times. Shortly after Fuhlrott's discovery, numerous other fossils of humans or human-like beings were found, and it was soon assumed that they belonged to even far older times than the Neanderthals, such as "Homo heidelbergensis" or "Homo pekinensis" or at the end of the " Australopithecus robustus afarensis, which the researchers believe should have lived more than a million years ago. The specific possibilities of archeology were few, because there are characteristics of the dentition that do not appear in any animal, such as the absence of canines or the five-humped molars, but the age and classification often broke out among researchers. A decisive step was only taken when the natural sciences, especially physics and chemistry, could be called for help, because they had developed methods of measuring age, which differed significantly from counting the annual rings of old trees, which of course only for relatively young times brought results. The solution resulted from the knowledge of the decay of a radioactive isotope of carbon, which can be determined in all organic compounds with a high degree of certainty. In the case of non-organic materials such as rocks, the potassiumargon method is used, in which the half-life is far longer, opening up a view into times of many hundreds of thousands and millions of years. Although inaccuracies cannot be ruled out,

So we know today that the Neanderthals, who have since been found in many places around the world, lived in the period from about 100,000 to 40,000 BC. and there are reconstructions or images that convey a far more sympathetic impression than those first horror drawings, and one that is much closer to the appearance of modern man.

But there is enough controversy in paleoanthropology even today, and the skull fragment or half a dentition that is human for one researcher often belongs in the animal kingdom for another. This can hardly be otherwise, since the term »animal-human transition field« has largely been agreed upon, in analogy to the »abiotic-biotic transition field« at the beginning of life, which draws a much more complex picture of development, which is more like a tree than a line and also has dead branches and dying side branches. It is almost universally acknowledged that man is not "descended from apes," but that modern-day apes and apes as well as man have common ancestors, to whom a greater human resemblance is ascribed here and there, than today's »Pongidae« possess. It was even possible to put forward the paradoxical thesis that the monkey descended from humans, i.e. the monkeys are highly specialized creatures that are not capable of further development, while humans have their place in the main stream of development - so in the midst of modern research one can look back and forth again reminded of Henri Bergson's »creative development«. It will not now be an enumeration of the many finds, such as the Homo Steinbergensis and the Swanscombe skull, and their meritorious discoverers in the wake of Fuhlrott, such as Raymond Dart and Louis Leakey, but suffice without discussing the difficulties and imperfections of the principal genera to enumerate those that precede the "animal-human transition field" or are added to it. There is the "Ramapithecus", which perhaps goes back to the Miocene 15 million years ago and is often counted among the superfamily of the Hominoidea, the humanlike, there is its descendant, the "Australopithecus", i.e. "southern ape", who possibly

lived as early as 5 million years ago, and finally there is "Homo erectus" which appeared in East India and Africa about 1.3 million years ago. Animal "Australopithecinae" and human "homines erecti" may have coexisted for hundreds of thousands of years on the edge of the Serengeti steppe, where Louis Leakey made his groundbreaking discoveries. The "Homo erectus pekinensis" is credited with the use of fire, and around the same time, around 500,000 B.C. BC, the fossils and tools found at various sites are so clearly non-animal that stylistic terms such as Abbévillien and Acheulean are used. But even the Neanderthals are not yet regarded as “homo sapiens sapiens”, according to the prevailing opinion, they only appear around 35,000 BC. in the form of »Cro-Magnon Man«. He painted those cave paintings in France and northern Spain that a contemporary artist could hardly produce more beautifully and impressively with the technical means of the time. Undoubtedly, "man" is "there" now, and an immediate understanding seems to connect twentieth-century man with him. Nevertheless, the question cannot be dismissed as to whether this man already has "history" or whether he lived in a mode of existence which one must call "prehistoric."

The phases or ages of prehistory will be dealt with in the next chapter; 2 the purpose here is merely to refer to some works of literature from a more precise depiction of the "incarnation" as represented by paleoarchaeology, and a more systematic list of "moments" that must be present at least to a significant extent if one is to speak of "human beings". The most elementary of the prerequisites that nature has to thank for is belonging to the overarching process of "cerebralization" and thus the increase in "intelligence" that can be observed in the most diverse parts of the animal kingdom and not exclusively in primates. But even here trivial facts of nature come into play, and also possibly to some extent animal-human actions. So there is a probability that at the exit of the Tertiary

as a result of climatic changes, large parts of the forest in which the Australopithecines or pre-humans had lived until then died off and turned into steppe areas; if pre-man was to survive in such a profoundly changed situation, he could no longer live on four feet among the trees, but had to become a biped, developing "bipedy" in order to be able to see beyond the steppe grass and perceive prey and enemies. As a result, the hands could now be used for signaling, for example, since they were no longer needed for locomotion. It is reasonable to assume that the greater danger in the open field went hand in hand with a sharpening of perception and intelligence. This adaptation might take many thousands of generations, and probably the process of teaching and learning became more important in it, for undoubtedly this creature was not "inherently" biped, but the young had to rely on their parents' life-saving walk and run learn.

But bipeds alone are just as irrelevant to humans as the gradual sharpening of intelligence: some dinosaurs were bipeds, ostriches are still bipeds today, and chimpanzees can also learn to avoid dangerous places. Furthermore, it was only nature that caused the "upright ape" to lose its coat of hair and thus, to use Desmond Morris' term again, made it a "naked ape". But man had to defend himself against the consequences of this nakedness, for without a reaction he would have perished in the cold periods, at least in the northern hemisphere. Only clothing could help against the deadly cold, even if it consisted only of an animal skin; Although caves might offer protection, they were not a source of livelihood. Even if only fruits and roots were collected, a cover was essential: the "naked ape" had to become the "clothed ape," and this provided another distinguishing feature from their forest-dwelling cousins, albeit not an absolute one, for chimpanzees and gorillas also build one for themselves Kind of huts in the treetops and

occasionally, perhaps jokingly, cover some body parts with leaves or twigs. Also, living in a group and caring for the offspring are not yet specifically human; Graded responsibilities, "hierarchies," also exist with baboons, with chimpanzees, too, mothers and children know each other, with baboons, too, couple relationships and, to that extent, property relationships are largely respected, with gorillas, too, the young are helpless for a long time and require care and attention. But the naturally naked ape had to push the "preculture" even further if it wanted to feel somewhat protected: even the hand-axe-like stone found in the rubble can represent a weapon and serve as a means of self-defence, and it's not far from there to hunt. It is unlikely that the naked and therefore clothed living in kin groups, "monkeys" defending themselves with primitive weapons were ever mere gatherers; Sticks with attached stone tips, »spears«, were probably the first weapons for hunting and thus for attack. Only such tips are discovered by paleoarchaeologists, not clothing or wooden spears, and they are often not easily distinguishable from naturally formed tips. There is a high probability that very early on, perhaps around the year 500,000, the men of a horde set out to hunt edible animals, and in fact to hunt together, so that a division of tasks - for example between beaters and javelin throwers - was obvious. The women and children, as well as the older men, presumably stayed behind at the campsite, unlike the baboons, perhaps for several days; hence that respect for the "possessions" of the absent must have been even stronger than in baboons, and it is almost certain that the most successful hunter played a leading role in the group, distributing the spoils and determining sanctions if necessary.

But even the armed and hunting pre-humans did not differ significantly from apes and apes. The first absolutely characteristic feature, not resulting from mere reinforcement and intensification of what came before, might have been the use of fire. Arnold Gehlen speaks of the "insurmountable,

3 every animal's compulsive fear of fire. As already mentioned, traces of fire

were found for the first time at the dwellings of »Homo pekinensis«. Of course, we do not know how these early humans came to use fire. It is almost impossible that they ignited it themselves, and it is known from ethnology that in the recent past primitive tribes picked up small fireplaces that might have been caused by lightning strikes and carefully looked after and nourished them at their camp sites. yes, that they even took the heat source with them in hollowed-out trunks on hikes, in order to be in possession of an "eternal fire."

The next step was cooking and the one after that was kindling the fire, for example by drilling hard wood into soft wood. The clothed, armed, hunting, sometimes also seafaring, familiar with fire and meat-cooking beings differed in the combination of all these characteristics not only in degree, but essentially from all animals. What is rightly called "preculture" in some animals, and what can only be transmitted there by teaching and learning, has here reached a scale that justifies speaking of "culture" and that culture of a given one distinguish between "nature". But these characteristics - bipeds, clothing, hunting, fire, cooking, armament, family relationships - do not seem to suffice to describe early humans. The language is still missing, and this certainly cannot be a feature added to the others as an afterthought and as a kind of crowning achievement; it permeates, indeed, it seems, makes possible the other characteristics, in so far as they are not merely natural. As a mere medium of communication, "language" also exists in animals. So come across z. For example, the vervet monkeys make about ten different sounds, each of which means something specific, such as the appearance of a bird of prey, a snake or a human 4 being. These are expressions of warning of different enemies or dangers, which are understood immediately by all members of the species and are answered by certain reactions, primarily flight. To the boys this is it

But understanding is not in the cradle; they have to learn it first, and they often pay for not understanding with their lives. All animals are involved in specific communication systems, i.e. those belonging to a species, and some scientists allow "knowledge" to reach down to the lowest areas of life, for example to the "reading" of the hereditary information "coded" in the DNA by the proteins of the human body phenotype. But human language, which also contains interjections, expressions of pain or astonishment and instructions through mere sounds, is above all word language and thus already sentence language: it is not characterized by meaning as such, but by fixing and relating of meanings. In this, an »objectification« takes place; what is designated – things, persons and also categories – is potentially detached from the respective and concrete situation. Therefore it can be consigned to memory and related to the future; A world opens up around people that comes from the past and points to the future. This makes it possible to tell a story about the ancestors and at the same time to project the future. But it comes up against something that cannot be surpassed, that is universal, of which only one of all beings is evidently aware, the death of the remembering and projecting individual. Language and consciousness of death belong together. At the same time, a much more comprehensive dimension is opened up to the speaking person doomed to death: a world consciousness encompasses the consciousness of death, no matter how narrow the concrete lifeworld may be, because this being knows what every other being only "lives": that it is not the whole and that it is confronted with this whole. Therefore man does not merely look up in a scent and does he not only listen suspiciously into the distance, but he names the power on which his destiny depends, he addresses it as God or as gods; he implores success from God or the gods, and he seeks to ward off dangers by invocation, perhaps even by offering sacrifices; precisely because he is afraid of something he does not understand, perhaps of the ghostly survival of the deceased, whom he

therefore buried ritually or worshiped cultically, he displays a fundamental understanding. This human attitude has usually been called religion; today philosophers often speak of "openness to the world". There can be no open-mindedness without language, just like thinking; Language and religion are mutually dependent; and if man had not had religion for many thousands of years, he would not be able to pursue any science today in that sense of the world, which one might perhaps call the godless and godless religion of modern man, because this science is also based on the reflections of philosophers on the One and the many, the whole and its parts, essence and appearances. It could be said that if animals gathered somewhere for the burial of a corpse, raising their heads to the sun to make gestures or vocal requests, they would no longer be animals but human beings. Language and religion are—or were—man's chief characteristics, and if the groups of armed, hunting, and cooking pre-humans had been without language and religion, they would not have crossed the line into man. In truth, however, the human being is this transgression himself, and he remains a transgressor who, in the consciousness of the world or of God or gods, has always already exceeded the limits of his respective lifeworld and can therefore concretely push them further and further. Consequently, man is to be defined by “transcendence”, that is, by transcending or surpassing, namely by a double kind of transcendence: crossing the respective and perhaps extremely narrow lifeworld towards a “world horizon” that presents itself as mere, the lifeworld may appear to represent only the "reflecting" world of gods and demons, and the practical pushing forward of the boundaries of this lifeworld, which can be scarcely perceptible for hundreds of thousands of years. The world horizon is not visible or tangible, it only exists in the abstraction of the concreteness of the respective lifeworld and yet it is the prerequisite for the fact that it is a human lifeworld, because in this abstraction, non-present, is always already present. If you take "theory" as a that it is a question of a human lifeworld, because in this abstraction, the non-present, is always already present. If you take "theory" as a that it is a question of a

human lifeworld, because in this abstraction, the non-present, is always already present. If you take "theory" as a

"Looking ahead" and "looking ahead" and not as a scientific system of explanation, one can distinguish between theoretical and practical transcendence and yet must state their innermost connection. At what point in time language and religion began is a matter of debate in science; some scholars ascribe the possibility of language to the Australopithecines; others doubt that the Neanderthals possessed language, based on presumptive features of the nasal and pharyngeal cavity. Evidence has long been provided, however, that they buried their dead and gave flowers and food, thus believing in some kind of continued 5 existence. However, those who do not grant Neanderthals a "fully human" status do not rule out the possibility that people who were ancestors of the Cro-Magnon people and were therefore "higher developed" lived long before them. It will therefore probably be correct to say: Neither language nor religion were invented at a specific point in time; only when they come together as main elements with those other elements of bipedy, clothing, cooking, armament, hunting, family or horde nature, has the incarnation come to an end and humanity attained. Therefore, the exit from the "animal-human transition field" can neither be localized in space nor fixed in time; the supposition is permissible that even in the early forms of Homo erectus all elements were united, and the thesis cannot be dismissed apodictically that even the Peking man who uses fire has not yet opened up to the world through language, ie not religiously and therefore not yet not human in the full sense. But even the Cro-Magnon man, who no one denies the quality of the full human, still lived in the "prehistory" according to almost universal opinion. If we now turn to their "ages," we indicate by the very choice of the word that a sharp boundary between prehistory and history can probably no more be drawn than between animals and humans

and that, nevertheless, "history" is no less clearly distinguished from "prehistory" than "man" is from "animal."

10The Ages of Prehistory The term "age" is usually understood in the sense of "ages of history", but one also speaks of ages of the earth's history such as Cretaceous, Jurassic and Triassic. However, the term "earth ages" is also frequently used, and perhaps by analogy one should speak of "earliest ages" when dealing with human prehistory. These prehistoric ages are still closely connected with the earth ages, because their beginnings can only be determined by them and how they have the mark of an unimaginably long duration. The Quaternary, often called the Pleistocene, i.e. the period of the last million years, is also referred to as the "Ice Age", but the four great ice ages, which in Europe take their names from southern tributaries of the Danube - Günz, Mindel, Riss and Würm - set only around 600 000 BC. If one is of the opinion that stone tools, which bear unmistakable traces of processing and can therefore by no means have arisen naturally from rubble, are already reliable proof of the existence of beings which have crossed the "animalhuman transition field" and thus are humans in the full sense, one or the other find that can be dated back to the Pliocene may be traced back to humans, but a large number of mutually similar hand axes can be dated for the first time to that first "warm period" that lasted 60,000 years (from 540,000–480,000) and received the name Günz-Mindel warm period from its position between two ice ages. These are stone tools that reveal at first glance

were made, some of the results of which were certainly used as points or scratches. The name Abbévillien was chosen after the first site where it was found, and this marks the beginning of the »Old Paleolithic« era. The corresponding products of the next interglacial period, the »MindelRiss interglacial period«, which lasted from 430,000 to 235,000 BC. B.C., were given the designation Acheulean, and the keen eyes of the experts discovered various differences that seemed to warrant an "Early," "Middle," and "Late Acheulian," as well as "two-sided" and "one-sided." differentiate and to introduce own designations for the one-pagers. But the lay eye cannot discern any significant differences between the Abbévillien, early and late Acheulian hand axes, and even one expert speaks of a population "that did 1 not change their tool forms significantly for more than 400,000 years". In fact, the term "Abbévillien" is not infrequently omitted, and then ranges from 540,000 to 120,000 years BC. the unimaginably long and only characterized by minor changes pre-age of the Acheulean, i.e. over a period of time which exceeds the 5000 years of known history by a factor of eighty and lags behind it by a thousand times in terms of demonstrable changes - provided such an arbitrary but descriptive quantification may be considered permitted. The Riss-Würm interglacial period (180,000–120,000) is also characterized by hand axes of the Acheulean type, and a new type only appears after the beginning of the last ice age, the Würm ice age, which is most interesting for us and reasonably accessible. which, also interrupted by several higher temperature interstadials, dates from 110,000 years to 10,000 BC. lasted. This is the ice age we mean when we say that "once" most of northern Europe was covered by glaciers in a way that only the northernmost or southernmost areas of the earth are today, and of this ice age we believe to be able to say with some degree of probability that at the beginning about 100,000 people lived all over the world, that the living conditions for these people on the fringes of the ice zones were extremely difficult

and that they subsisted mainly on hunting reindeer and mammoths, which no doubt required a high degree of cooperation within groups and brave individual dexterity. It is unclear to what extent collecting activities also contributed to the livelihood; from comparatively very late finds, which allowed the examination of the stomach contents, it turned out that under still quite prehistoric conditions around 2000 BC. BC the food consisted largely of a kind of groats 2 and had only little nutritional value. However, this may have been very different in the best times of Ice Age hunting, and there are serious researchers who are of the opinion that the Paleolithic was a "golden age"; never again would people have been able to procure as much and as good 3 food as the Ice Age hunters with so little time. Such theses are not clear from finds, but from the findings of ethnologists about primitive peoples of the recent past, such as the Eskimos or African tribes, which were characterized by the absolute dominance of tradition and the resulting lack of change and of which one modern researcher could say: "You are happy. You have no 4 history.” This already gives one of the strangest characteristics of "prehistory": it is only accessible from history, since it cannot grasp itself as something distinct and can at best have a mythical consciousness of itself and its happiness. So much behind their borders appeared to the Greeks and Romans as the dawn of time, ie as prehistory, which in reality was only a few thousand or even a few hundred years "behind them" - Tacitus' Germania is an example of this. The ethnologists of the late 19th century could still be convinced that they encountered a living prehistory in the Congo or in New Guinea. And this tangible present of the past again fell into stages for their practiced eyes: The one tribe in this part of the world liked

not yet progressed beyond the Paleolithic, while the other represented the Neolithic stage, the New Stone Age. With the end of the Upper Paleolithic, the objects of prehistoric research proliferate greatly, and gradually something like narrative and description gains a place alongside the mere description of sites and remains. Not too long after the start of the Würm Ice Age, around 100,000 B.C. The Mousterian style has its beginnings in BC, and the Neanderthals can also be attributed to it, whose time is the Middle Palaeolithic from 100,000 to 40,000. Much more has come down to us from the Neanderthals than a few stone tools; Skulls can now be found in burial sites and remains of grave goods can be identified. Nevertheless, it means a qualitative difference if, in addition to flint tools, which to the layman still do not differ significantly from those of the Acheulean, in find sites of the Aurignacian, Now we are not very far from the first great works of art of mankind, those cave paintings of the Aurignacian and Magdalenian, of which more than 5000 have been discovered today. The viewer encounters wild horses and bison full of color and liveliness, the unevenness of the rock is used to create relieflike figures, and a human being, apparently a priest or a »shaman«, is dancing with an animal mask in front of his face and horns on the head. But there are also representations of archers hunting deer together or of women dancing. And the strangest thing is: All these paintings and figures are found deep inside large caves like Lascaux in France and Altamira near Santillana del Mar in Spain, so obviously they are not considered

Works of art were intended for the viewing and admiration of a numerous congregation. Rather, they apparently served a religious or magical purpose, which could also be fulfilled in secrecy. Even if it was largely a mere "hunting spell" intended to confer power over animals, it must be said that no chimpanzee or baboon ever thought that it could increase its prey by attacking it in a hidden or open place. Here the human being stands before us in the fullness of his possibilities - that being who had reached the end point of his cerebralization 100,000 or 200,000 years ago and which would therefore no longer receive from nature what life forms it had out of itself developed, so certainly it always remained bound not only to nature outside of it, but also to nature within it.

But this artistic man of the Upper Palaeolithic, who was already clearly gaining distance from his immediate living environment, at least exalting it, did not yet know of grain cultivation and no domestic animals. Only after the year 10,000, in the "Mesolithic", are the first traces of domesticated animals and harvested grain found - of dogs and sheep on the one hand, of emmer and wheat on the other. It seems that this transition took place in the "natufian" of old Palestine, and with it sedentarism, work, and stocking, perhaps even early forms of intergroup exchange, came into the world. If there was a "Neolithic Revolution" then it must be seen together with the origin of cities; the transition from hunting to farming, on the other hand, took place in many parts of the world and was apparently related to the onset of a new interglacial period around 10,000-8,000 BC. BC, whereby this transition forced itself on itself, so that it can be put on the same level as the transition to "higher hunters" in the Ice Age. Therefore, the prehistoric cultures of central and northern Europe must be dealt with briefly, because our view is

The next few chapters will be directed primarily to the area of the "Fertile Crescent," where the breakthrough to history took place. In any case, one can also speak of "culture" in this area, and the achievements of these prehistoric people are scarcely less amazing than the historical monuments of the pyramids of Egypt and the cities of Mesopotamia. It remains unclear how these people managed to pile up the immensely heavy blocks of Stonehenge, bring together the cairns of Carnak in Brittany, or even erect the standing stones and dolmens that are scattered throughout northern and western Europe and are now often referred to as "Hune graves" are called. There is some evidence that Stonehenge was an astral place of worship and possibly even something of the like astronomical observatory, and some scholars have argued that many of the megalithic tombs required too much labor for it to be conceivable they may have been built by some village-like settlements in community labor to provide a place for the dead; Rather, it must be a question of "princely graves," and this proves that there were great differences between rich and poor, the powerful and the powerless, even in these prehistoric communities. The works of ceramics are often enough scarcely inferior in beauty to the ceramics of the Ancient Near East and Egypt, and a work of art such as the sun chariot of Trundholm with the golden sun disk drawn by a horse need not hide itself from any other product of the contemporaneous peoples of history. But it is curious that prehistoric research in this area, well down to the first millennium BC, takes its designations from sites or material marks, little differently than for the Acheulean, and that it therefore derives from 'band' and 'band-' and "Cord Beaker People", of Bell Beaker people and the Funnel Beaker Culture or of the "Battle Ax-Kurgan Circle", but does not establish any connection to groups of people or peoples known from ancient historiography, such as the Germans, Celts and Illyrians or the Indo-Europeans . She has reason to be cautious, because

unlike the Acheulean and also the Neanderthals, this part of prehistory has often not been studied with scientific impartiality, but with an all too modern and nationalistic purpose. Ultimately, it could have significant political consequences if it could be proved that the "Lausitz culture" was Germanic or the "Tripolje culture" was Slavic.

On the other hand, it is often enough from such impulses that a lively interest in this science arose, and in Germany Gustav Kossinna is a good example, who received the first chair for prehistoric archeology in Berlin and whose main motive was, admittedly, the effort to achieve the equality of the Indo-European and the Germanic To demonstrate culture with the cultures of the Near East and to "awaken the love for one's ancestors" in the German people. However, this tendency was by no means specifically German; there were analogues in Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary and other countries; Not a word is to be said about its potentially disastrous consequences, but justice nevertheless requires the statement that scientifically correct or worthy of discussion can also arise from unscientific motives and that even today the hypothesis cannot be regarded as "refuted", the Indo-European proto-language, its existence It is almost undisputed that an Indo-European primitive people corresponded and this primitive people had their seat in an area that stretched from northern Germany to the steppes on the Black Sea. But the science of prehistory must reject any rapid connection of the prehistoric and therefore only very fragmentarily known with historical phenomena and especially historical interests. And the population of Western, Eastern and Central Europe was still prehistoric around 500 BC, although there was already a lot of trade and copper and salt, and even iron was mined, because this population already practiced the division of labor and even a certain professionalization, but they had no cities and knew no writing. The Bronze Age as such no longer belongs to the »prehistoric ages«,

but it persisted for a long time in many parts of the world, and the same may be true of the Neolithic, in so far as it signified more than the transition from Ice Age hunters to Warm Age peasantry, which of course was accomplished in a very uneven and by no means 5 complete manner. Before we can discuss the question of whether history began with a "Neolithic revolution" or with the gain of writing, it is necessary to outline what some important authors, ancient and modern, have said about "prehistory," and indeed did This is because the descriptive and cautious scientific procedure, averse to all "speculations," which is scarcely more pronounced in the humanities than in prehistory, all too easily has the result that what is different and strange in prehistory is no longer perceived, because one too fixated on finding and describing remains. If the self-understanding of modernity since the middle of the 19th century was fed to a significant extent from the theory of evolution, i.e. from natural history, the same applies, albeit to a lesser extent, to the relationship to prehistory. Outstanding examples are Johann Jacob Bachofen, who became the starting point for an interpretation emphasizing gender relations, and Lewis H. Morgan, to whom Marx and Engels felt closely connected. Approaches to such an interpretation of history based on prehistory can, however, already be found in antiquity, for example in Hesiod, who places the "Golden Age" on the beginning of the world and describes the whole of history 6 as a process of descent, while Aristotle's Pupil Dikäarch from Messene also describes the shepherd's life and the initial cultivation of the land as a happy original state, but then arrives at a doctrine of the gradual progress of the human race. For Tacitus, on the other hand, in his Germania the happy early days of the dicaarch were embodied in a people of his present, in the Germans, who, as a simple, unmixed and immoral people, represented the antithesis of Roman decadence and immorality. But Tacitus reports precisely of these warriors that, in their opinion, the

Night precedes day and that some of their tribes worship "Nerthus, that is, the Mother (of) Earth." Thus Johann Jacob Bachofen, Savigny's student and Nietzsche's colleague at the University of Basel, could also have referred to Germania when he developed his doctrine of "mother rights" as the main characteristic of prehistoric culture and gave a powerful impetus to an interpretation that only emerged today in all its consequences, namely the understanding of history from the point of view of the opposition of the sexes. For Bachofen, “gynaicocracy” is a general phase of human development, and it is characterized by “the cult distinction of the moon before the sun, the receptive earth before the fertilizing sea, the dark death side of natural life before the light side of becoming, of the deceased the living, the sorrow before 7 the joy..." But this "Demetrical" elevation of motherhood, which entails, among other things, the preferential treatment of daughters in the inheritance and the prominent role of the maternal uncles for the sons, already signifies an elevation above the preceding and most initial stage, "the full one, not yet 8th any constrained naturalness of pure tellurism left to itself." which is identical with "hetaerism," the disorderly sexual intermingling that corresponds to marsh life in nature and is only gradually elevated to the marital strictness of agricultural maternal rights. Over long stretches of Bachofen's work, one can get the impression that he lets himself be guided by the romantic enthusiasm for the "dark side" of life and for the primacy of the mother's womb and wants to sing a song of praise to the "inner greatness of pre-Hellenic civility", " which in the Demetrical religion, its mystery and its simultaneously cultic and civil gynaicocracy possessed a germ of the noblest disposition which later 9 developments had pushed back and often stunted«.

But this impression is misleading if one wants to derive "feminist" consequences from it. Bachofen is a resolute representative of the "principle of paternity" as the highest level of the historical principle

Development. He ascribes unconditional precedence to the cosmic power of the sun over the earth, that power which at the level of Apollinism is understood as "the unchanging source of light" which "contains all ideas of procreation and fertilization, all longings for mixture with leaves behind the female stuff below«. And so Bachofen can see in Orestes' matricide the mythical illustration of the victory of "fatherhood over the chthonic mother principle", the victory of day over night, of the right over the left, and with it a 10 new age of the world for him arises on the ruins of the old – the Apollonian. No matter how far Nietzsche later distanced himself from Bachofen, one thread of his thinking always left him just as much connected to this colleague in Basel as to that other colleague, Jacob Burckhardt. Marx, however, whom Nietzsche would certainly have described as his real adversary if he had known him, was for his part, like Engels, historically closely linked to a man who, like Bachofen, revealed an ambivalent assessment, with Lewis H Morgan. This lets mankind pass through seven stages: three of "savagery", three of "barbarism" and then civilization. In doing so, he oriented himself primarily to the North American Indians, especially the Iroquois, whom he had studied thoroughly, and with him one can also get the impression for long stretches that A gens is a body of blood relatives descended from a common ancestor, and its institutions are not lordly or aristocratic, hence not 'state' at all, but democratic, founded on the equality of all, including women, and governed by 'liberty, equality, fraternity « marked. Originally, all members of the same gens were also brothers and sisters to each other in the sense that every woman was the wife of all her brothers and every man the husband of all his sisters, so that one lived in a state of disorderly, albeit limited to the gens, sexual intercourse , which Bachofen called “Hetaerism”.

Gradually, the "Punalua family" develops as a narrow, limited unit and finally the monogamous family. One could assume that this development represents a decadence for Morgan, because he criticizes the civilized state of the autocracy of money in the strongest possible terms. Since historical development means a steady increase in inequality and implies the emergence of aristocratic classes, it has a highly negative accent. But in many places Morgan expresses himself in much the same way as Auguste Comte did: Mankind has "worked its way up," and for him the human spirit moves 11 from childhood in a state of savagery "to its present height." The only way out of this contradiction is offered by the thought "that democracy, which was once a general institution in an undeveloped form, and which is now suppressed in many civilized states, is destined to become general again at 12 a higher stage." Morgan sees the most important approach to this in the self-government of the American communities and "counties," and on this point Marx and Engels, who often referred to him, could have agreed with him. One wonders, however, whether Morgan, who does not leave the slightest doubt about his high regard for monogamy, would also like to see the Punalua family restored "on a higher level," and the champions of universal human equality must take serious offense at the self-evident fact who speaks to Morgan of "higher" and "lower" races and lets "the Aryan group of peoples" represent the "main stream of human progress" so that they "appropriated dominion over the 13 whole earth" with full justification.

Thus, prehistory was never and is not the exclusive domain of "scientific prehistoric research," for obviously one can only speak of "history" if one also has a concept of "prehistory." But for the transition from prehistory to history, scholars have also used a very modern term that was fashionable for a long time, namely that of "revolution."

11The Beginning of "History": "Neolithic Revolution" or "Writability"? The term "Neolithic Revolution" was coined by the English prehistorian V. Gordon Childe, and it has gained widespread acceptance, not least because of the (sometimes negative) popularity of the term "revolution." "Revolution" means, above all, radical change, but usually also includes the rapidity and violence with which a new life form comes into existence. This second, more political meaning, which essentially characterizes a term like "French Revolution," should obviously be left out here, for the Neolithic encompassed several thousand years and was also preceded by thousands of years of preparation. But if, broadly speaking, what is meant is the transition from foraging and hunting to cultivating the land and domesticating animals, then indeed there has hardly ever been such a profound change in human life, and paralleling it with the 'industrial Revolution« makes a lot of sense. Even the "higher Ice Age hunters" still meant a life "from hand to mouth", and the situation only changed fundamentally when the collectors began to fix what was to be collected and thus to a certain extent to bring it to life by using fields delimited and sowed in order to have a secure harvest after a few months of waiting, and when the hunters no longer only hunted the animals, but also tended and raised them, Countless differentiations would have to be made here if it were our concern to report on as many results of prehistoric science as possible, but it suffices to state that the "village community" was one of the earliest and most enduring realities of the

human existence is. Often enough, village communities would have been forced to defend themselves against attack, and so nearly every peasant was potentially a warrior. However, it cannot be assumed that towards the end of the Neolithic the whole of Europe and the Near East merely represented a juxtaposition of similar villages: the yields of the country differ according to the quality of the soil, weather conditions and the work expended; some areas are richer and some are poorer; the village elders of the richer and larger villages might become a kind of "princes" who were able to organize the work of many, for example for the purpose of erecting "megalithic buildings"; Whole groups of princes, "ruling strata," may even have formed, if it is correct, that, for example, the bearers of the "urn field culture" had subjected the bearers of the funnel beaker culture and forced them to pay taxes. Nothing was more 'natural' than such 'exploitation': the corn sown bears fruit tenfold, possibly a hundredfold, almost everywhere every farmer produces more than he needs for his livelihood and that of his family; It is known from ethnology that such surpluses in cooperatively organized villages or tribes were offered to the chiefs as gifts and were often left to rot by them as a sign of prestige in a way that was visible to all. possibly a hundredfold fruit, almost everywhere every farmer produces more than he needs for his livelihood and that of his family; It is known from ethnology that such surpluses in cooperatively organized villages or tribes were offered to the chiefs as gifts and were often left to rot by them as a sign of prestige in a way that was visible to all. possibly a hundredfold fruit, almost everywhere every farmer produces more than he needs for his livelihood and that of his family; It is known from ethnology that such surpluses in cooperatively organized villages or tribes were offered to the chiefs as gifts and were often left to rot by them as a sign of prestige in a 1 way that was visible to all. But these surpluses might also be invested in the graves of the dead or collected as a levy by a "prince"; in any case, there is no doubt that the agricultural world of the Neolithic was already far removed from that equality which is only realized to a limited extent in hunter-gatherer groups, scarcely unlike in hordes of chimpanzees or baboons. It can also be proven that trade began as early as the Neolithic, and this can result in the large-scale influence on which so-called diffusionism is

based, which sharply opposed Spengler's idea of plant-like, autonomous growth of cultures from the respective landscapes Doctrine which, in order to anticipate something, can refer to the fact that

Amber jewelery was found in the Mediterranean area and Minoan clasps on the North Sea coast. Trade always brings raw materials to craftsmanship and the products of craftsmanship to the suppliers of the raw materials, and raw materials such as flint existed in the Neolithic, as did the first beginnings of specialization among craftsmen and operators of salt mines. In short, one can say that the transition to agriculture in the Neolithic meant, figuratively speaking, such an increase in "potato washing," ie, the "precultural" that can already be seen in animals, that the question arises as to whether "the culture," ie, what has been acquired , learned, passed on and gradually improved from generation to generation, was not already more important for man than the instinctive equipment that made him react with lightning speed when he was attacked by an animal or threatened to sink into swampy ground. Nevertheless, the term "Neolithic Revolution" has often been criticized. Prehistorians have pointed out that the basic features that are considered constitutive – the stone cutting, the knowledge of clay and thus the first pottery, the domestication of animals and the cultivation of 2 grain – can already be proven in the Mesolithic. But whatever the chronological extent, what is more important is that even the fully developed Neolithic, insofar as it is characterized by agricultural villages, still belongs entirely to the "prehistoric" realm. We have already established that prehistoric research is not able to show any "events" even for the period of the second millennium BC in central and northern Europe, but has to content itself as a rule with characterizing finds and naming sites accordingly. Of course, various assumptions can and must be made. It is an obvious thought that the people of the "Kurgan-BattleaxeCulture" deserve the designation "warlike master peoples" and that during their advance they took possession of large settlement areas of the Linear Pottery Culture. It would therefore have to be asked whether this was not "objectively" a major historical event, which only happened for that reason

must be left to the prehistorians, because we lack the opportunity to look into the decision-making process of those "aristocrats" who, according to all assumptions, gave the signs for departure and, if necessary, for an attack, or even to name a person like "Arminius" later, who known to us from Roman historiography. Would the "Battle of Varus" be less of a historical event if no news had reached Rome and if only the prehistorians had unearthed a number of weapons and coins? But if only two Germanic tribes had fought in the Teutoburg Forest, no coins would have been found, and no historian would have recorded the famous, though possibly fictitious, words of the supreme commander: "Vare, Vare, redde legiones!" The absence of historiography is not merely the accidental absence of a reporter; rather, along with the historiographer, there is also a lack of money and the cities that are his prerequisites. Agriculture, animal husbandry, villages, and even population movements or military campaigns are not sufficient to produce "history," and even the notion of "Full Neolithic" may not be formed if one does not include the existence of the first cities. The oldest city known to mankind seems to be Jericho, and in any case it is the only prehistoric city that still exists and thrives today, indeed once again became significant in history. The Neolithic Jericho was a city with nearly 2000 inhabitants who buried their dead under the living quarters and modeled the skulls with clay and decorated them with shells, so that an ancestor cult can be concluded.3Furthermore, remains of strong city walls and a mighty defense tower were discovered. Nothing is more probable than that this very prominent place, which because of its prolific spring is still a thriving oasis in the midst of barren desert, has become the object of the desires of nomads, who could compare for the first time and feel disadvantaged. Indeed, this earliest city of Jericho is apparently soon destroyed and possibly by

rebuilt by those against whom the fortifications were built. As if in a tiny nutshell, it must have happened here for the first time what was later to become a basic reality of history: the city became the first object of envy for large numbers of people, and from the beginning it was and probably was the object of the will to resist the pride of the residents. It cannot be ruled out that there were already beginnings of social "stratification" in Jericho, ie the formation of classes with different standards of living. But nothing really certain has been found in this regard. We are far better informed about another Neolithic city, utterly forgotten for millennia and then largely uncovered and explored largely through the efforts of a single prehistorian, James Mellart: Çatal Hüyük in southern Anatolia. This city had no walls because it was a defensive system as a whole: you could only get into the densely built houses from above using ladders. Inside, the astonished excavators saw a wealth of cult objects: large bull horns protruded from the inner walls, stylized replicas of female breasts were found at their side, painted relief images of spotted leopards caught the eye, and there was even a kind of city map with a volcano in the background revealed, This city was probably built around 7000 BC. BC, and fertility cults obviously played a central role in it. It has even been suggested that the houses that have been excavated and make up only part of the city were some kind of chapels, cult rooms inhabited by a class of priests. The murals depicting people without heads and pursuing vultures must also have a symbolic meaning. The many illustrations or silhouettes of hands were very striking. The biggest surprise was a small sculpture, not yet 20 cm high, depicting a woman giving birth in an armchair formed by two animals.

It could be proven that the inhabitants knew about cattle breeding and kept sheep and cattle; they grew three varieties of wheat, as well as barley, peas, and legumes; Deer, wild donkeys, wild boar and leopards were hunted, and fishing was also common. Oil was extracted from acorns, almonds and pistachios, and there may have been wine and beer as well. Many obsidian spikes have been found, believed to be from the volcanic environment; there is a high probability that they were also objects of trade. Mellart found it particularly remarkable that the apparent connection between agriculture and the cult of fertility, while emphasizing symbols of sexual life such as breasts and bull's horns, never revealed any obscenity. He concludes that women played the leading role in this culture since the "emphasis" on "sex" always derives from male impulses and desires, and it is consistent with this that in depictions of divine families the mother always comes first position, while the father finds his place behind the 4 daughter and the son. If Johann Jakob Bachofen could have been present at the excavations, he would probably have seen his conception of the original mother religion confirmed. Whether Mellart is right when he assumes a deep social inequality between the priestly class, who are exempt from ordinary work, and the mass of the common people, must remain an open question; In any case, it is certain that numerous luxury items such as B. Obsidian mirrors have been found, and in any case the assumption seems justified that "luxury", ie the existence of objects that are not necessary for a living and serve the goals of comfort and beauty, i.e. sublimation, are also included in the definition must be taken in by "city"; this is already indicated by the institution of the »city kingship«, which was so widespread later on but did not yet exist in Jericho and Çatal Hüyük. Let's note: In the early Neolithic, in the period from approx. 8000 to 6000 BC. BC, in the Near East there are already cities or city-like settlements, group and perhaps also people movements, agriculture and animal husbandry,

trade, cult art and luxuries, but Jericho and Çatal Hüyük are tiny dots within a vast area ruled by hunter clans and small villages. This whole world is made accessible to us by discoveries of remains, but it does not speak to us, and we learn nothing of states, empires, kings, personal gods, and money, that is, a recognized medium of exchange. An entirely new state of affairs can only arise when the population becomes more dense, when the cities are more numerous and larger, when central authorities emerge, for example in the form of "city kingship", and when all this new complexity can be preserved and passed on. But such preservation and transmission is hardly possible without writing. We find writing, a system of cities, well-organized exchange, extensive division of labor, warlike but also peace-making state structures from around the year 3000 BC. in the river valleys of the Euphrates, the Tigris, and the Nile, and some time later on the east coast of the Mediterranean, and the next chapters will be devoted to these "advanced cultures." Now the anticipatory question is how to characterize writing and its possibilities.

Writing is obviously something other than mere news. The warning call of a vervet monkey is also a message, fire signals also convey information; the sentences of human language usually contain messages. Writing means fixation and wide communicability; its simplest form is pictorial writing, imprinting an image or outline of the object referred to on a neutral base, such as an obelisk, a clay tablet, or a 5 papyrus scroll. A king can z. B. by a man wearing a crown on his head, the sun by a circle with a dot in the middle, a soldier by a man holding a bow in his hand. If one wants to record the sentence “The sun – that is, the sun god – protects the king and his soldiers” and wants to hand it down to later times, the three nouns can be lined up next to each other as pictograms, and the verb “protect” can get through symbolize the image of a wall.

Even simple sentences can hardly do without symbolic signs, especially for abstract actions or concepts, but in principle such pictorial writing has the extraordinary advantage of being universally understandable and, so to speak, the state that prevailed according to the biblical narrative before the "Babylonian confusion of languages". , to restore: Anyone who arrives at an airport, no matter how far away, can immediately see from the simplified image of a car where they have to go to find a taxi.

The equally extraordinary disadvantage is that an immeasurable abundance of signs would be required in order to represent the myriad of concrete objects and especially their possible relationships with one another. But what keeps coming back in language are certain sounds and even individual syllables. Historically, the development took place in such a way that the pictograms for short, initially monosyllabic words can also appear for this syllable if there is only a phonetic and no meaningful 6 identity. Through the simplification and duplication of the pictograms and the extensive use of syllable signs, such writing can very quickly assume a character that bears little resemblance to the original and descriptive state. Both the pictorial writing of the Egyptian hieroglyphs and the cuneiform of the Sumerians and Akkadians were far removed from that simplicity of the "sun" or "taxi" sign, and even the Egyptian writing seemed to be on the way to that type of writing which came to us as the " natural" appears, namely to the letter writing, because e.g. For example, a picture of a species of bird appears to represent the letters »m« or »r«. In reality, however, the Egyptians always dealt with short syllables, and when an Egyptian text is converted into our script by Egyptologists, the result is a series of sounds, The path to phonetic writing led via consonant writing, and it was primarily taken by the Semitic languages, which, like Egyptian writing, also had "determinatives", ie mute descriptive signs with which e.g. B. Gods of people of the same name

were distinguished. What a consonant script is and what its difficulty is is known to anyone who has ever dealt with Hebrew: the word for "king" is written "mlk", and unless voweling marks had been introduced later, they are in the official editions missing from the Bible text, we would not know that the pronunciation was "melek." So no idea seems more obvious than solving this difficulty in the simplest way imaginable, namely by introducing vowel signs. However, it took more than 2000 years until this step was taken, as the Greeks changed the "Phoenician alphabet", which consisted of only about 30 consonant characters, by using various unnecessary characters in their language, such as the "aleph" for the vowels used. It was only then that the most plausible and most "democratic", ie easy to learn, form of alphabetical writing emerged, which today predominates throughout the world with the grave exception of Chinese, which has retained the character of pictorial writing.

With this, after the consonant writing, the level of the actual phonetic writing is reached, which is able to reproduce all meanings in an unmistakable way, but no longer shows any resemblance to the things meant and is therefore tied to the respective languages. As questionable as the sentence "Ex oriente lux" certainly is, the roughly parallel statement "Ex oriente litterae" can hardly be disputed. For the numerous and often very interesting details of this development and for the abundance of different types of writing, 7 reference is made to the literature; Finally, however, the question must be asked what is special about writing as such in its few basic forms. The very word gives the specific statement permanence and makes it »worthy of remembering«. "King Agamemnon is fighting for this city with his army," the people around Troy might say, and although the articulated sound immediately disappeared, the meaning passed from person to person and even from generation to generation

generation to be passed on. Perhaps the descendants made a heroic epic out of what the contemporaries or the returnees had merely told each other, and whole centuries may have passed on such songs, changed them and reassembled them - this is probably how the Iliad came into being. But when there were no more singers, the epic died and could never come alive again. The simple symbols, however, which have the Egyptian pharaoh seated on six lotus blossoms and place stylized reed plants in front of him, basically fixed forever the event of the capture of 6000 enemies in a campaign against the reed land in the Nile Delta: It might be forgotten, but it was closed reconstruct when historians discovered the unknown archive in which these characters had been preserved. Writing is memory that has been objectified, but is therefore also potentially withdrawn from living life. It signifies a mighty step in abstraction from the concrete process, but an abstraction that is at the same time conservation and potentially an endless addition. The recording of agreements and memories through writing, the mighty step of preserving and selecting abstraction, which far surpasses the corresponding step of language, was apparently the basic prerequisite for events becoming history, and we have now turned to the "high cultures" with which "historical existence" begins. The earliest example is the "Mesopotamia", is the 8th culture of the Sumerians,

12The early civilizations: I. Sumer and Akkad Since we are now entering the period of "actual" history with the invention of writing and must first turn to the culture that made this invention, some preliminary methodological considerations must be made and, above all, it must be pointed out that the topic of "historical existence" is called and not »the historically existing«. Even a hundred-volume universal history written by a thousand scholars would not be able to present the historically existing in all its fullness of cultures, peoples, states, empires, religions, economic systems, conflicts, campaigns, advances, signs of decay, etc and certainly not to follow all the individual processes, even if everything routine, more or less repetitive elements would be excluded and a selection would be made that would also have to separate the 'important' from the 'unimportant'. This immeasurable variety is presumably as such a main characteristic of historical existence, for it has been shown that throughout many thousands of years of prehistory there can be no question of an unmanageable variety and great variability of tools, although on closer examination each hand ax is just as individual would have to be attributed like all animals of a horde of chimpanzees. historicalIndividualities, however, are consistently determined or at least partly determined by their relationship to other historical individualities, and only from this does that overwhelming diversity result. When asked about historical existence, however, the answer must not be content with this abstract designation. When asking about historical existence, the task is to work out general features and to make them clear in concrete terms.

while a narrative that tends to be comprehensive is required as soon as something historically existing is the subject, be it an epoch or a nation or a war. Only because of this is it possible to treat in a single chapter of "Sumer and Akkad" or of "Egypt," realities that would take up far more than one chapter if only the titles of the literature devoted to them were to be listed are. Even the mere listing of the rulers' names would require more space. We must, therefore, content ourselves with the briefest of historical outlines, and face the reproach that we have omitted much more of what is important than has been stated. The fact that some things will be added to the "schema of historical existence" does not make the weakness disappear, which is ultimately a dilemma of all thinking about history itself: The first "high cultures" of mankind arose in the river valleys of the Euphrates and Tigris in Mesopotamia and the Nile in Egypt. Conditions that still belong to prehistory and have not been mentioned so far can be seen in the fact that ceramics have been used since about 6500 BC. 1000 years later the first metal, namely copper, was mined in Anatolia and Iran and then on a long historical path, which forced transport over long distances and extensive trading activity, by adding tin to bronze was made so that the Neolithic could be replaced by the Chalcolithic, the Stone Copper Age, and this by the Bronze Age. A first juxtaposition of small towns formed from about 4000 between the lower reaches of the Euphrates and Tigris in southern Mesopotamia, which at that time had not pushed their alluvial areas as far into the Persian Gulf as is the case today, so that e.g. B. Ur and Eridu used to lie close to the coast, while today their remains are tens of kilometers deep inland.

The first irrigation systems must have come into being as early as in that still prehistoric period, which is referred to as the Obed period after its ceramic forms, and as a result the desert became a fertile garden. The Sumerians immigrated to this country and it is still an unsolved question from which direction they came and to which type they and their language belong. The only thing that is beyond doubt is that physically they also embodied a sharply defined and in any case not Semitic type and they called themselves "the black-headed ones." This obviously highly gifted people, who never referred to themselves as a "people", invented writing towards the end of the 4th millennium, around 3100, in connection with the economic affairs of the "temple", ie the sanctuary of a god or a goddess which formed the center of the city and whose priesthood apparently directed the irrigation works, but also owned large parts of the arable land. What the peasants—not slaves but free men, but working within a somewhat 'socialist' temple economy—delivered and received in turn had to be recorded, and irrigation could not be set in motion without familiarity with numbers; the necessary characters could be carved on soft clay tablets, which were then hardened in the sun, and from the initial pictorial writing the group of scribes gradually developed that mixture of simplified pictorial and syllabic writing which we call cuneiform. but also owned large parts of the cultivable land. What the peasants—not slaves but free men, but working within a somewhat 'socialist' temple economy—delivered and received in turn had to be recorded, and irrigation could not be set in motion without familiarity with numbers; the necessary characters could be carved on soft clay tablets, which were then hardened in the sun, and from the initial pictorial writing the group of scribes gradually developed that mixture of simplified pictorial and syllabic writing which we call cuneiform. but also owned large parts of the cultivable land. What the peasants—not slaves but free men, but working within a somewhat 'socialist' temple economy— delivered and received in turn had to be recorded, and irrigation could not be set in motion without familiarity with numbers; the necessary characters could be carved on soft clay tablets, which were then hardened in the sun, and from the initial pictorial writing the group of scribes gradually developed that mixture of simplified pictorial and syllabic writing which we call cuneiform. and the irrigation could not be set in motion without familiarity

with figures; the necessary characters could be carved on soft clay tablets, which were then hardened in the sun, and from the initial pictorial writing the group of scribes gradually developed that mixture of simplified pictorial and syllabic writing which we call cuneiform. and the irrigation could not be set in motion without familiarity with numbers; the necessary characters could be carved on soft clay tablets, which were then hardened in the sun, and from the initial pictorial writing the group of scribes gradually developed that mixture of simplified pictorial and syllabic writing which we call cuneiform. This was the most important step that turned large parts of the once desert land into arable land and thus made a considerable increase in the population possible. Cooperation and organization were paramount if the vital management of the intermittent flooding of the great rivers was to be maintained and improved, and while some evidence suggests that "councils of elders" had a say in the earliest times, the chief priest became of the temple and finally also a "secular" ruler, the "ensi" or "lugal" or "ischakku", to the sole ruler or to the dual leadership of a sole ruler. That 'kingdom from heaven

come down' and not based on human choice was self-evident to the authors of those 'lists of kings' which, although only recorded at the end of the third millennium, undoubtedly go back much further. "Gilgamesh" also appears in these lists, who, like his predecessors, is ascribed a reign of mythical length, but who, according to modern understanding, was a 1 historical figure and reigned in Uruk around 2700. The first stage of Sumerian history is named after the city of Uruk, and from this period comes one of the most astonishing early works of art known, namely the sculpture of the head of the "Lady of Warka" (ie of Uruk), which is nothing hieratic and monumental in itself, but appears individual and graceful, even »soulful«. These Sumerian city-states—Uruk, Ur, Lagash, Umma, Nippur, and others—were mostly in deep enmity towards one another, not much different from the later Greek poleis, and the reasons for this were certainly not infrequently the ambition and greed of the city princes, but often so also very specific interests of the cities as such, because their own wellbeing often depended on the disposal of certain water resources or stretches of canal.

Thus the 'Early Dynastic Period', in which Uruk is most prominent, was followed by the dynasties of Ur, and in the shaft tombs of the first dynasty the striking find of human skeletal remains has been made, accompanied by works of art of high quality and a whole entourage of men and women who had apparently voluntarily accompanied their masters to death. For a time Lagash and Ummah vied for supremacy, but the step towards the formation of a large-scale state encompassing Sumerian land proper in southern Mesopotamia did not succeed; the first empire was formed in northern Mesopotamia by the dynasty of Aggade or Akkad, whose first ruler Sargon not only subjugated large parts of Mesopotamia but also claimed to be 'king of the four world regions', ie world rulers. Sargon and his successors, most notably Naram-Sin, who had himself and his warriors depicted on an impressive stele, were among them

Semites who had been infiltrating northern Mesopotamia for centuries, as well as the Sumerian cities, and in the second millennium made their mark on the whole country, but in such a way that they largely adopted Sumerian culture and even retained the Sumerian language for their worship. First, however, the Sumerians experienced a remarkable renaissance after the fall of the Sargon dynasty, which in Lagash under the priestly-pious city king Gudea and in Ur under the third dynasty created a wealth of works of art and state regulations, including the »ziggurat « of Ur, that stepped temple, over the stairs of which the gods descended to the people, according to the belief of the Sumerians, and on the top level of which, according to later and credible reports, was the room in which every year at the beginning of spring the chief priestess and the god or also the Rulers celebrated that "sacred marriage" which was seen as a symbol and perhaps even the cause of nature's annual rebirth. Nothing has come down to us about battles or other types of disputes between Semites and Sumerians, but about defensive battles against "mountain peoples," from whom the Gutians were able to seize control of the country for more than a century. When Ur was destroyed around the year 2000, Babylon came to the fore, and a Babylonian king is the first ancient oriental ruler to appear in the textbooks of our time: Hammurabi, the creator of the first legal code, it was long assumed, and at the same time the founder of an empire that extended far beyond the city-state of Babylon. But 150 years after his death, Babylon also falls under the rule of a foreign people, the Kassites, who are perceived as »barbaric«. By this time, however, the Assyrians, centered on Assyria, had already begun to form world empires, and now 'great kings' appeared who, like the first Sargon, could be called 'emperors'. Their power often perishes as quickly as it is built, and there are those around

last turn of the millennium B.C. BC even a period of almost 200 years, during which the Assyrians seem to have disappeared from history, but then Assyrian great kings with names like Tiglath-pilesar, Shalmaneser and Assarhaddon shaped the history of the entire Near East, up to a temporary conquest of Egypt.

Eventually, the empire collapses before the attack of Babylon's Chaldean dynasty, which destroys Nineveh and then Jerusalem. The Chaldean kingdom in turn is destroyed by the Persian Cyrus with the help of the Marduk priesthood in Babylon, and with that the threshold of Greek history and at the same time the post-exilic period of Israel is reached. Of particular interest is the broad history of the Sumerian and Akkadian states up to Hammurabi. As varied as this story is and as much can be told about the individual city-states, they all agree that they were originally temple or god-states and worshiped a unified world of gods, although each city had a special relationship to individual gods. At the head was An or Anu, the Lord of Heaven; at his side were Enlil as lord of the earth and storm god as well as Enki, the lord of the primeval ocean, the "Apsu" who carries the earth, at the same time the god of wisdom and teacher of the arts. Among the great gods is Inanna, who mourns her lover, the shepherd Dumuzi, after his death and brings him back to life, so that together with him she embodies that sacred rhythm that governs life and also in symbols such as the tree of life and the »Holy Marriage« finds an embodiment. Almost every thing and process is depicted in a god or goddess, and all these forces and powers are in constant struggle with each other, Obviously the Sumerians saw in these gods the cosmos and the cosmic forces, but also historical facts. An epic of the creation of the world has only come down to us from Old Babylonian times,

but one may assume that its core goes back to Sumerian times, although its peculiarity consists precisely in the fact that it lets a new god play the main role, namely Marduk, the god of Babylon, who thereby makes a historical claim. After the opening words it is called Enuma Elish, and it begins like this: When the sky above was not named, Below the firmament bore no name, Apsu, the primordial one, her begetter.

Mummu (and) Tiamat, the bearer of them all, Their waters mixed into one The shrubbery did not connect with each other, the thicket of reeds could not be seen When the gods didn't exist, nobody They were not called by their names, fates were not destined for them Then the gods were created in their midst Lahmu and Lahamu came into being, became with named names... In the further course of this theogony Anu was begotten, and after him Nudimmut, who later became the ruler of Apsu under the name of Ea, and was 'comprehensive in knowledge, wise, mighty in power'. Finally, a meeting of the gods can come together, and after the first fights, in which one of the mightiest gods, according to an albeit uncertain interpretation, "the potency was pitifully cut off", Ea and his bride Lahamu Marduk is fathered, "the wisest of the wise, the clever of the gods ', and Marduk takes command in the decisive battle which the gods fight and win

against Tiamat, the female chaos principle and the representative of the Salt Sea, so that order is established in the world.

About the creation of humans it is said: It was Kingu who created the strife

Raised Tiamat who made battle. When they had bound him, they brought him before Ea And punishment they inflicted on him, they cut off his veins of blood, out of his blood he mixed men, Laid them at the service of the gods, the 2 gods he set free. Human beings therefore have a fixed place in the order of the world: they were formed from the blood of a god who was slain as punishment for rebellion, and their duty is to 'serve the gods'.

Despite all later battles with the gods, this order is no longer shaken, but a large number of demons live in it, most of whom are evil and misanthropic, so that people not only have to offer sacrifices to the gods, but also have to constantly strive to help Avoid these dangers with the help of magic priests and incantations. There is also a belief in the immortality of the individual, but this is more a question of resignation than a belief, because in the underworld the souls in their plumage sit freezing in the dark. It remains inconceivable that man could confront the cosmic-divine world course and deny or even conquer it, for man is nothing other than being ruled by forces that are incomparably stronger and more powerful than he is. But he knows about it, and this knowledge is the basis of his life. It also does not let go of the common people when they stop working for the temple and receive their livelihood from the temple, when, as everywhere in the late Sumerian and Akkadian cities, they own houses and fields and trade on their own account can drift The world of the ancient Near East remained an entirely religious world, and there could be no "secularization" because the world was divine and the gods were secular.

This meant, on the one hand, that people were prepared to recognize foreign gods or to equate them with their own gods, and that at least in Sumer, to put it in the terminology of a much later time,

pursued a »tolerant religious policy«. On the other hand, in the face of a great misfortune, one had no support from a higher law or from a supreme deity: one god had triumphed over one's own god, and one had to accept that as much as one could lament it. Such a lament has been handed down from the city of Lagash, which is to be quoted from an adaptation that certainly supplements and smoothes out some phrases, but should nevertheless convey the whole thing correctly: The men of Umma set fire, The Antasurra they set on fire, They stole silver, stole precious stones, Spilled blood in Tirash, the palace! Yes blood they shed in Enlil Temple And more blood in Baba's sanctuary...

The men of Umma, since Lagash cherished them, committed crimes against Ningirsu.

That is why the power that has fallen to them will soon run away and be lost! For no sin was found in Urukagina, Girsu's good lord, but Lugalzaggesi who is the Ensi Ummas - may his sin Come on the head of Nisaba, his goddess.


Presumably, terms such as "outrage" and above all "sin" are taken far too much from the Christian realm; but one thing is for sure: the reason for the complaint is an act by humans, which is understood as the act of a goddess; it does not refer to a destructive natural event, and in this respect

it is consistent when the desire for revenge is expressed: events that can be lamented or cheered about are usually historical events and they cannot be confused with natural events .

From the same Lagash comes one of the earliest testimonies of historical jubilation, the so-called vulture stele of the city-king Eannatum, where the god Ningirsu appears victorious, causing the city's enemies to wriggle in a net, and where the king himself leads his warriors into battle pulls. An inscription in the still very pictorial characters of a monumental script means the associated victory report, which reports on the subjugation of neighboring areas such as Ur, Uruk and even Elam. The stele has been described as "the earliest 4 comprehensive historical document par excellence"; the name comes from the fact that on a fragment vultures are fighting over the severed heads of dead warriors - this is reminiscent of those prehistoric murals in Çatal Hüyük, which were not yet connected to a historical text.

The surrender to fate inherent in the complaint is articulated even more unequivocally in a text which in fact deals with an extremely drastic event, namely the destruction of Ur around the middle of the 20th century BC, which in fact marked the disappearance of the political existence of the Sumerian included. This text is also available in a translation that probably does too much of a good thing, namely harmonization with the German language:

The evil storm wind has to change the time And to blot out the law, a hurricane raged. He overthrew Sumer's old righteous order, The time of good rulers is gone... The word of the gods abolished the laws, For An glared at his lands, And Enlil's gaze fell graciously on the enemies.

Yes, Nintu has abandoned her own work, Enki even gave a new course to the streams: That's how An and Enlil decided... The barren banks of the Euphrates and the Tigris, They only let bad weed grow. Nobody dares to walk the streets

Frightened he squats in the ruined city, In which only distress and death still have a home... Thus An and Enlil determined fate. The word of An - who overthrew it, And who can change Enlil's advice! O Sumer, land of fear, where men tremble: The king went, and his children lamented.


Again one must not read into this text the much later Christian idea of the "inscrutable decree" of Almighty God, and one would certainly be doing the Sumerians an injustice if one were to take them for believers in a "kismet." Devotion also in no way meant an unquestioning reconciliation with dictatorial arbitrariness and clear injustice. It was not without reason that the cited lament spoke of the "old, right order" of Sumer, for these city-states apparently had a codified legal order very early on, which by no means appears as "archaic" in every respect. There is a text from Lagash translated by Samuel Noah Kramer, the famous Sumerologist from the University of Philadelphia, which describes the conditions there as they existed before the time of King Urukagina, who then carried out drastic reforms. Although the citizens of Lagash— agriculturists, ranchers, rowers and fishermen, merchants and artisans— were largely involved in the “state socialist” system of temple economy by 2500, in practice a considerable part of the land was private property, and there was not a little of "private initiative and individual energy," as Kramer writes, with credit, interest payments, and mortgages, so that a clear distinction could be made between rich and poor, even though the poor 6 also owned houses, gardens, and livestock.

However, these happy relationships were lost more and more when the ruling dynasty developed foreign policy ambitions and at times ruled the entire country of Sumer. The result was high

Taxes and even confiscations, accepted as inevitable in war, but seemed intolerable oppression when Lagash was reduced to its old borders and now at least once again lived in peace. For the ruling class that had formed around the "palace" wanted to retain the powers that had accrued to them during the war, and as a result, in the words of the Sumerian historian, injustice and corruption were rampant and e.g. For example, high fees had to be paid to the "Ischakku", ie the city king or his servants, for the ordinary processes of daily life, such as a marriage. A new ruler, Urukagina, took action against these abuses and made every effort to restore the old and better conditions. He forbade the rich to exploit or blackmail the poor, he purged the city of usurers, thieves and murderers; he abolished the unjust levies, and he made a special covenant with Ningirsu, the god of Lagash, that he would not allow the 'mighty' to rob widows and orphans. The Sumerian historian even uses the remarkable 7 phrase that Urukagina "established the liberty of the citizens of Lagash." In this document one can see one of the earliest testimonies to a process of "radical reforms" which, moreover, evidently saw itself as "restoration" and could, in modern terms, be described as "conservative revolution"; one can, however, also use sociological terminology to "unmask" it and claim, for example, that Urukagina was certainly a usurper who wanted to ingratiate himself with the lower middle class, and that the historian was nothing more than a representative of the interests of the temple priesthood. In any case, "history in Sumer" also began insofar as the inner-state or inner-city disputes, which to this day represent such an important part of historical events, were already tangible in Sumer, But we also have collections of laws that contain paragraphs of fixed regulations on the most diverse conflicts and disputes

inside, and the most famous is that of Babylonian King Hammurabi, who reigned from about 1730 to 1690. However, it can be assumed that much older material was also used here, and collections from Sumerian times have in fact been found, first the so-called Lipit-Ischtar codex, which is 150 years older, and then the collection of the founder the Third Dynasty of Ur, King Ur-nammu, going back 150 years further into the past. The badly damaged text, first translated by SN Kramer, begins with the creation of the world and the appointment of the moon god as king of Ur - it thus begins as mythologically as the »King Lists«, written at about the same time, but then moves quickly to the self-praise of King Ur-nammu, who had triumphed over the rival city of Lagash in foreign affairs and made reforms in domestic affairs that put a stop to swindlers and swindlers and set unchanging weights and measures. Then follows a number of concrete regulations, such as the following: "If a person cut off the foot of another with an instrument, he should pay 10 silver shekels." SN Kramer comments that regulations like 8th these show that even before the year 2000 BC the law »an eye for an eye, Many of these provisions of the law, however, are exceedingly harsh and highly disconcerting in modern eyes, such as when the Code of Hammurabi stipulates that in the case of adultery both offenders must die, or that the doctor who fails an operation has his hand cut off. But probably nothing is so characteristic and indispensable for the historical existence of man as the establishment of the law and the sanctions which the lawbreaker can expect. Primates do not need law, since the "law of the strongest" prevails in their dealings with one another, although this may solidify for a certain time and make the use of force superfluous. They don't worship gods and they can't

To express in articulate form complaints about what happens to them from 9 their kind or from nature. Chimpanzees just leave their dead there; They were solemnly buried in Sumerian shaft graves and in the megalithic structures of prehistory. The burial of the dead connects prehistory with history, the Neanderthals perhaps already spoke of divine powers, but only those people who led a "historical existence" had historiography and collections of laws. Its beginning can be seen in Sumer, but it was not limited to Sumer.

13The early advanced cultures: II. Egypt Mesopotamia is a country stretching in places more than a hundred kilometers from west to east between the Euphrates and Tigris; Egypt is little more than a line 1,000 kilometers south of the small Nile delta, a narrow strip of fertile land on the banks of the great river, bordered on either side by the realm of sand, barrenness, and death. It is not the Nile as such that produces fertility, but its rise, the floods of which regularly inundate the land in mid-July, leaving behind the nourishing mud which, like the best fertilizer, causes plants to sprout once the waters have receded. And above all, this narrow strip of fruit is the result of tremendous work which, decade after decade, century after century, wrested more cultivated land from nature, because around 3000 B.C. BC there was nothing but a wild medley of reeds, water, sand and swamp, crying out for a power to coordinate the efforts of all and ensure the preservation and expansion of the livable strip amidst the rigidity of death of the sandy deserts and rocky mountains. Even more pronounced than in Sumer, kingship had to "come down from heaven," and there was much to suggest that the king would not only call himself a god after great success, as in Babylon and Assyria, but that his subjects regarded him as a real god. born of the womb of a human mother as the son of the sun god. And in fact this country, which was not separated from its environment by almost insurmountable borders only at the Nile delta, remained the empire of the pharaohs, the god-men, for three millennia and, as it seemed, only the same: art historians point to differences in style between the Buildings in

different periods of such a long history, but the temples and the hieroglyphs, the paintings

in the tombs and the enthroned monumental figures from the time of the fourth dynasty of pyramid builders such as Djoser, Cheops, Chephren and Mykerinos to the temple of Edfu from the late Ptolemaic period are recognizable at first glance as "Egyptian", in as many details as they are may also differ. "Typically Egyptian" are also idols such as the falcon Horus, the goddess Hathor with the head of a cow, and the dog-headed god Anubis. Hegel therefore spoke disparagingly, albeit not without understanding, of the "animal service" of the Egyptians and came to the following statement: "The dull self-confidence of the Egyptians, to which the idea of human freedom is still closed, honors the dulled freedom that is still locked up in mere life soul 1 and sympathizes with animal life.«

But the speculations of the Egyptian priests about the beginning of the world and about the "ninth" of the creative primeval powers as well as about the great gods like Re, the sun god, Amun the "hidden one", the creator of the world, and Osiris, the god of the underworld, can be left unanswered side by side with Hegel's speculations in logic. Ptah, the god of craftsmen, or Thoth, the god of writing, are also not included in the figures of the temples, and it has not infrequently been pointed out that the emphasis on the creation of the world through the "Word" in connection with the teaching of Ptah seems to anticipate the beginning of the Gospel of John. This Egyptian world of gods does not consist of sharply demarcated forms of animal or human powers, but there are numerous transitions and ambiguities that hold many mysteries for the outside observer. However, one of the best experts might be right when he writes that the exclusive humanization would result in a de-divinization of the non-human world, of 2 nature in all its manifestations. Such an anthropologization was just impossible for the Egyptians. But all the changing of the divinities had a fixed point in the figure of the pharaoh, in which the divine was concentrated, even if it bore different names like Amun, Aton or Re. This divinity of pharaoh, however, was not like a gift of nature or of God, that of

did not require human intervention. The pyramids were nothing more than the tombs of individual pharaohs, which were supposed to ensure their immortality. Whole generations worked, certainly often enough in forced labour, on the erection of these gigantic stone monuments, which were intended to ensure that the dead pharaoh could ascend to his father Ra and at the same time become the god Osiris in the realm of the dead. It has rightly been said that these pyramids on the edge of the desert and these gigantic temples like those at Karnak near Thebes, the capital of Upper Egypt and for a long time of the empire, are a "passionate protest against 3 death." ie against transience, or, as one could also say, gigantic testimonies of the human will to eternity, to overcoming death in a visible form. One might add that this is precisely what makes the distinctive and unique of Egypt's historical existence comprehensible: that it denied the frailty that seems to characterize all existence, and that to that extent it also represented a negation of history. It would not be a resounding objection to point out that the myth of the dying and rising god, of his enemy and his helpful wife-sister, of Osiris, Seth and Isis was also alive in Egypt, because this dying is always followed by a resurrection , just as the cycle of nature is eternal, although everything is constantly in flux. Nor would it be a pervasive objection that Egypt, for all its natural isolation, had its own history and went through severe vicissitudes. The fact that Egypt was regarded as "the two countries" until late times, as a kingdom made up of Lower Egypt and Upper Egypt, which always threatened to fall apart if the pharaoh did not undisputedly wear the white and red royal crowns, was historical. Egypt had not existed before the first pharaohs, known by the Greeks as Menes, who were probably leaders of warbands from the southern desert, and it was not until the fourth dynasty of builders of the great pyramids that the empire founded for eternity after almost 500 years around 2500

seemed to be. But what has been called "feudalism," the power of local lords or families, lived on under the cover of an imposing imperial bureaucracy that directed vast armies of slave laborers, and when by the time of the sixth dynasty Pharaoh Phiops II reigned for nearly 100 years, the gau princes gained more and more power. This is how the first "intermediate period" came about, with which the Old Kingdom came to an end and which was predominantly perceived by contemporaries as a period of anarchy and dissolution. It took many decades before the gau princes of Upper Egypt, with their residence in Thebes, were able to defeat the rulers in the old residence of Memphis in the delta and the feudal dynasty in Herakleopolis and found the Middle Kingdom. In the name of the founder of the 12th dynasty, "Amenemhet", a hitherto little known god appears, Amun, who was to become the real god of Thebes and for many centuries the foremost god of Egypt. And this dynasty was not established by inheritance, but Amenemhat had been the vizier, the chief official, of the previous pharaoh; he won power in a civil war and he was assassinated in the end. Was he really a god in the dimensions of the pyramid builders like Cheops and Menkaure, who majestically look out over the world in their statues? But under this dynasty and the ones that followed, the Egyptians advanced south to the second cataract, conquered the Sinai Peninsula, whose copper deposits were indispensable, and secured the delta frontier against the "Asiatics," those Semitic nomads from Canaan and the adjoining desert regions who kept trying to infiltrate. In the 17th century, the defenses could no longer hold out, and the "Hyksos" established themselves as a new dynasty in the delta, a relatively small class of conquerors consisting of West Semites and probably also of Indo-European Churrites, who owed their military superiority to the possession of battle chariots. Only about 150 years later, around 1580, were the Egyptians able to lead a successful struggle for liberation from Thebes, and they were not satisfied with driving out the invaders, but pursued them into Canaan and into Syria.

The 18th dynasty, that of Amenhotep and Thutmosis, created the Egyptian empire, which in its best times reached as far as the Fourth Cataract and the Euphrates, so that the important trade routes to the Phoenician cities such as Byblos and Ugarit, to Cyprus and to were secured in Minoan Crete. The first third of this period from 1580 to 1321 was the reign of Queen Hatshepsut, who was the only female pharaoh in Egyptian history and whose mortuary temple on the west bank of the Nile opposite Karnak is a major tourist attraction today. Her son Thutmose III, who reigned for half a century, was a great warrior, Amenhotep III. married the 'bourgeois girl' Tey, a most conspicuous departure from the mysticism of 'divine blood' which had caused so many of his predecessors to marry their sisters or daughters. His son was Amenhotep IV, who wanted to be a religious revolutionary and called himself Akhenaten; to come back to him. The "Amarna Correspondence" dates from his time and it is precisely in this that the beginning decline of the empire can be clearly recognized, for the numerous calls for help from the petty kings and governors in Canaan and Syria who were dependent on Egypt went largely unheeded. Nevertheless, the Egyptians under Ramses III, in the early 12th century, managed to fend off the stubborn attacks of the "Sea Peoples" who destroyed the mighty Hittite Empire - once a rival and ultimately an ally of the Egyptians - and the flourishing Phoenician trading city of Ugarit and from a remainder of which then settled under the name "Philistines" in later Palestine. Temple possessions reached their greatest extent in this period: the livestock of the temple of Amun at Thebes was given as 400,000 head, and the temples of Re at Heliopolis and of Ptah at Memphis were not much poorer; some historians have

assumed that the country's economy had perished under this dominance of the "dead hand." But at no other time were greater and more monumental temples and structures erected in Egypt; now the gigantic statues of the rock temple at Abu Simbel arose, and the temple of Karnak was nearing completion. Yet there were indeed signs of decline: Ethiopians and Libyans established themselves as dynasties. In 662 Egypt was conquered by the Assyrians and, after an intervening period, by the Persians in 525, and eventually became part of the empires of Alexander the Great's successors. But even the last of the Ptolemaic queens, Cleopatra, mistress or wife of Roman conquerors Caesar and Antony, despite her Greek descent was distinctively Egyptian, and even now, like Herodotus 500 years earlier, Roman and Greek travelers stood full of admiration in front of the monumental buildings. Even the Hyksos and the Ethiopians had been rapidly assimilated, far longer than ever had a single culture remained enduring and thus identifiable, even Napoleon spurred his soldiers on with the phrase: "Three millennia look down on you." One could therefore make the claim dare that despite all historical changes and vicissitudes, Egyptian culture persevered in its protest against transience and thus against history and made it a truth; that is what their specific historicity consisted of. "Three millennia are looking down on you." One could therefore dare to claim that despite all historical changes and vicissitudes, Egyptian culture persevered in its protest against transience and thus against history and made it a truth; that is what their specific historicity consisted of. "Three millennia are looking down on you." One could therefore dare to claim that despite all historical changes and vicissitudes, Egyptian culture persevered in its protest against transience and thus against history and made it a truth; that is what their specific historicity consisted of. The concept of »Maat«, which can be translated as »order«, but also as »justice« and »truth«, and which is also represented as a goddess, fits this basic conception best. One could compare the Maat with those "eternal rights" of Schiller, "those hanging above inalienable and unbreakable like the stars themselves," but it is not a final authority that hovers "above"

above everyday hustle and bustle, but is eternal world order itself, which pervades and governs human life as well as the cosmos, and to which human beings conform by speaking truth and administering justice.

The individual stands in society as the pharaonic state stands in the cosmos. With regard to persistence after death, according to Jan Assmann, it is "the principle of permanence, i.e. redemption from death and transience", and therefore - in modern terms - "an eminently religious idea"; At the same time, however, it is the commandment to act correctly towards one's fellow human beings and thus includes the task of fighting "Isfet", disorder, 4 injustice. However, doing right and fighting injustice in no way mean the imperative to end inequality among people; on the contrary, the goal is the preservation and consolidation of dominion—the dominion of the sun god in the cosmos and the dominion of the pharaoh on earth.

However, this dominance is not something that is taken for granted, given by nature; rather, it is threatened by rebellion and death and consists in continually overcoming these threats. The rituals that the pharaoh performs help to keep the world going and to avert the dangers that threaten the sun god's barque from a giant water snake, and to ensure the new rising of the sun every morning. Thus the pharaoh ritually decapitates a wax image of the enemy, Apopis, and if he fails to do so, 'not only will the sun stand still, but the foreign countries will revolt 5 against Egypt, and civil war will break out inside'. Today such notions seem alien and archaic, if not highly reprehensible, for they seem designed to justify domination. And wasn't the rule of the pharaohs identical with the merciless exploitation of the masses of the people for the sake of a pure mad idea - to ensure immortality first only for the pharaoh and then more and more for his servants as well - or to ensure a luxurious lifestyle for the ruling class of courtiers , priests and "royal merchants", as depicted very vividly and without hesitation in many of the wall paintings of the tombs? But presumably beauty and sophistication can also be considered aspects of Maat, and the privileged have been reminded time and again that a cultivated life should not be an end in itself,

but to protect the weak and - in Kant's terminology - to strictly fulfill one's duties. The members of this class were constantly impressed with their duties towards the gods, towards the pharaoh and towards 6 their fellow human beings. One might object that pretty-sounding declarations of principles have been tried and tested means of securing aristocratic rule throughout history; in Egypt only the cosmological and theological covering was denser. But the Egyptian "nobles" felt no need to justify themselves; for them the only question could be whether the behavior was "according to Ma'at" and therefore good, or whether it violated "Ma'at." And it must have had a powerful influence on practical behavior when there was awareness of having to have one's own actions measured by the standard of inviolable commandments before the judges of the dead. This is what it says in a "negative confession of sins" that a deceased makes in the underworld and from which one could easily derive the Decalogue of the Bible by reformulating it into "ought":

I have not wronged, I have not robbed, I have not been greedy, I have not stolen, I have not killed people. ... … I have not spoken a lie...I have not robbed anyone who appealed to the court about his belongings, I have not raped a woman or a man. … I have done what men (praise) and with which the gods are pleased, I have satisfied the god with what he loves: I have given bread to the hungry and water to the thirsty and clothing to the neckless … I have sacrifices to the gods offered and sacrificed to the transfigured... I am of clean mouth and clean hands, One to whom "Welcome" is said by those who 7 see him. The »Maat« is not simply as much as an inviolable world order; it directs commands to people and knows the dangers of cosmic events; but precisely in this it can be the central concept of one

cosmomorphic state within a world order that identifies violations but excludes substantial change and is hostile to history when history is understood as variability and change. And yet even in this monumental history, which was oriented towards the typical and recurring, and in this respect hostile to history, there were periods of far-reaching upheavals in which continuity seemed to have been lost and people could no longer find support from the »Maat«. The »Harfnerlied« with its emphasis on transience is probably not to be counted among the literature that emerged from such situations, because it ends in verses that fit the banquets for which it was written:

No one comes from there to announce their condition... So celebrate a beautiful day and don't get tired. See, no one took his thing with him! See, no one comes back who 8th has gone away. Similar is the tale of the eloquent peasant, with its harsh criticism of an unjust official who is "like a hawk to the people," but that injustice is merely that of individuals, and it is finally remedied by Pharaoh, so 9 that the world is ok again. The situation is different with the "Laments of Ipuwer," which originate from the "First Intermediate Period," the time when the central state was falling apart and the regional rulers were developing "feudalism." Ipuwer, obviously an educated man, paints a picture of anarchy and subversion that sounds like a description of a "social revolution": It's like this: the noble are in mourning and the lowly rejoice. Every city says, "Let us conquer the strong among us."... See, those who had clothes are in rags now. He who never wove for himself now owns fine linen... Behold, the poor of the land are made rich

become, and the proprietor one who has nothing... Behold, no offices are in their proper place - like a terrified flock that has no shepherd... The law-books of the court are thrown into the street... The rebellious mob tear them up on the Streets... Big and small say "I wish I could die": Small children say "If only he hadn't brought me into being!" The reason for this anarchy seems to Ipuwer to be attributed in no small part to an encroachment of 'Asians' who are now 'men of importance', while the Egyptians of yore behave like itinerant nomads. That is why he probably sees a way out in that the energy of the overthrow should rather be 'turned against the enemies of the country'. At the end he paints a picture of the desirable state of affairs, which is by no means "utopia" or "chiliastic" as has been claimed, but simply the restoration of the power of kingship and maat; Ipuwer's opinion could probably be summarized as follows: 'Only when the nobles can once again rest on their upholstered beds will the poor's wish for a 'camp in the shade' be fulfilled; the Maat is articulated order and only within it

– or: within the world of culture or civilization – the top of the social edifice can build temples and do justice, while the mass of the common people 10 live a contented life.«

But the overthrow of the first intervening period came, in Ipuwer's eyes, "from below"; the hope of a revival of monarchy and the restoration of orderly conditions need not be abandoned. Things looked quite different and much more dangerous when the overthrow came from above and not merely in the form of a foreign dynasty replacing the native ones, for these foreigners would quickly assimilate. Amenhotep IV wanted to be a religious as well as a practical revolutionary, and therefore he and his followers fought the god Amun, who was a "hidden

one", and put in his place a deity, which until then had been considered one of his manifestations and completely

was visible: Aten, the disk of the sun; the pharaoh himself discarded the name meaning "Amun is satisfied" and adopted the new name Ah-enAton, "He who serves the Aten," which today is consistently spelled Akhenaten. The capital was moved from Thebes to a new foundation, el-Amarna, and here the pharaoh and his wife Nefertiti led a life such as no other pharaoh had led before them. Never before had there been depictions of normal family life in the palace of the pharaohs: the king and queen hugging their children, and never before had a pharaoh and his wife worn such individual facial features. Nothing hieratic, solemn, generic is to be perceived in the well-known portrait bust of Queen Nefertiti, only a woman full of charm, and Akhenaten himself has the thin face of a nervous, over-refined, even decadent man. And this man himself wrote great hymns to the new god Aten, who henceforth was to be the only one, hymns which are great religious lyric poetry indeed: You appear beautiful in the mountain of light in the sky, You living sun that lived first... Your rays embrace the lands

to the very end of everything you've done ... How numerous are your works... You only God, but whom there is no other! You made the earth according to your heart, all by 11 yourself. With people, herds and all animals... Not a few connoisseurs saw the beginning of monotheism in these hymns of Akhenaten, and in his novella Thomas Mann even makes Moses Akhenaten's teaching the origin of Israel's monotheism. But Akhenaten's teaching is a monotheism of a visible thing, namely the sun itself, and thus it was much closer to life than all teachings for which God or the deity is

invisible and "the hidden", but it also exposed objections and doubts, which they sooner or later had to destroy.

It may be that Akhenaten's intention was to rehabilitate the simple naturalness and thus to remove the veil of the mysterious, which also constituted the essence of Egyptian religion, but at the same time he undermined his own position and aroused not only doubts but resistance , for evidently he did not want to renounce his own divinity, but rather he wanted to free it from restrictions imposed by the priesthood of Amun, for the hymn continues: No one else knows you except your son Akhenaten, you initiated him into your plans and your power...

So the time of Akhenaten was actually a time of storming of images and inscriptions, in which fanatical followers tried to destroy the temples and inscriptions of Amun, but the priesthood of Amun not only defended their social rank and their material wealth when, after the death of Akhenaten, they for their part created an image - and unleashed a storm of inscriptions against the wicked and heretic king and quickly achieved the result that Akhenaten's son-in-law and successor, Tutench Amun, once again used the old god in his name and moved the capital once again to Thebes. Thus the 'un-Egyptian', the emphasis on the natural and ephemeral, was expelled, and the continuity restored which had so much and so long defined the 'historical existence' of the Egyptians and which was only finally shattered by history, as one new religion prevailed, this time coming from below, Christianity. For the time being, this is outside the scope of the question, but a first link is to be made by making a city culture in Syria, namely Ugarit, and thus also those Canaanite mythologies and cults, which were the main enemy for the prophets of the Old Testament, the subject of discussion.

14The early advanced cultures: III. Ugarite At first glance, it must seem strange that after Mesopotamia and Egypt, which are generally considered to be the oldest advanced civilizations, the Indus culture in India is not chosen as the third example, the beginnings of which go back well before the year 2000, nor the centuries of the Shang dynasty in China, which fills up a large part of the 2nd millennium BC, but a comparatively small port city on the east coast of the Mediterranean Sea in the area later called Phenicia or Syria. But there are serious reasons for choosing Ugarit: Of course, the city-state of Ugarit as such does not have the same importance as the city-state of Athens had a thousand years later, but as part of the eventful history of the small-state world of Syria, it enables and even forces a look at the history of the hard-fought land bridge between the Nile and the Euphrates and at the same time on the larger states in the neighborhood, which played a large part in these battles, but also in the cultural exchange within the Middle East and Mediterranean Sea world, namely the Hittite Empire and the Empire of the Mitanni. These are also of particular interest because the languages and at least the ruling classes were Indo-European, so that the popular idea of the "Orient" needs to be corrected.

Ugarit was a trading and seafaring city, not unlike Tyre, Byblos and Sidon. Although the Mesopotamians sailed to the wonderland of Tilmun, ie the Bahrain Islands, and early Assyrian kings boasted that they had dipped their weapons in "the sea," they were mainly land-dwellers, and it was largely because of this that they aspired to the coast because they needed the "Cedars of Lebanon" as timber for their temples and palaces. The same

applies to the Egyptians, whose ships were used far more for the Nile than for the Mediterranean, despite a permanent sea connection with Byblos

was maintained, which at times could also be reached from the land within the Egyptian Empire. The real intermediaries between Mesopotamia, Egypt and Crete of the Minoan and later the Mycenaean culture were the city dwellers on the coast, whose culture and world of gods is described as "Canaanite" and for a long time stretched south to the border of Egypt.

It is true that the task of this book is not to write history or to tell stories, but a minimum of important facts and connections must always be brought out or recalled if the question of the basic features of historical existence does not answer the » groundedness« should lose. Thirdly, very important finds have been made by archaeologists in Ugarit. Towards the end of the 1920's French explorers chanced upon the remains of a large city at 'Ras Shamra' which included a palace of considerable size, apparently the seat of the king. Thousands of clay tablets have been found in the remains of this palace, most of them written in a consonantal script of no more than 30 letters, which is believed to be the oldest alphabet found. Above all, however, a rich world of myths and legends came to light during the deciphering, and it did not take long until the relationships between the Canaanite and the Israelite religion were uncovered and interpreted from here, which until then had only been known from the hostile perspective of the Old Testament. Today, Ugarit has long since become an established and huge research field. If in Mesopotamia the great king was the first warrior and in Egypt the pharaoh was the first builder of his state, the king of Ugarit was the first merchant of the state. The numerous shipowners and traders called "tamkaru" received orders from him, and they exchanged the goods they bought in Mesopotamia, Egypt and the eastern Mediterranean region for other goods, usually at great profit: copper from Cyprus, gold from Nubia , pewter from Asia Minor, ivory from Syria, wood from Lebanon, papyrus palms from Egypt.

Terms like 'debt', 'interest', 'credit', 'obligation to pay' were common, although coins were not yet known. The merchants of Ugarit were, like those of the other coastal towns, the intermediaries "kat'exochen" in the world of that time, and cultural goods such as precious ceramics were just as much a part of their goods as raw materials and handicraft products. In Ugarit itself there was a separate craftsmen's quarter, and the division of labor was apparently well advanced. Many contracts were found in the archives of the royal palace, such as the self-obligation of the merchants of another city to come to Ugarit only at certain times and to refrain from buying land or houses. With all the wealth of the city and with all the astonishing size of the royal palace, the area of which was not much less than 10,000 square meters, Ugarit could not permanently assert its political independence. For a century and a half, Ugarit belonged as a vassal state to the Hittite empire, which had been founded in Anatolia around 1800, possibly by tribes of that first IndoEuropean migration that some time later led the Vedic Aryans to the Indus Valley. It was German archaeologists who excavated the capital Hattuschili near today's village of Boghazkoi and worked out the picture of a state that was not an "Asiatic despotism" but rather a noble and warrior state, which had known a noble assembly as the central institution for a long time . The society showed a strong social differentiation, but also the lowest class, the slaves, had certain rights. The position of the kings was strong, however, and around 1600 Murschili I conquered Babylon and Halab, later Aleppo. Internal conflicts in the royal family then led to a decline, but around 1380 King Schuppiluliuma ascended the throne and ushered in the second heyday of the Hittite Empire, in constant battles especially against the at times very powerful empire of the Mitanni, an Indo-European ruling class in Upper Mesopotamia , but also against the petty princes of Syria, who were constantly inclined to revolt, and against Egypt. The military successes were based primarily on one

sophisticated tactics of chariot fighting, which was exclusively a matter for the nobility. Ugarit was one of the most loyal allies of the Hittites. Apparently, the rule of the Hittites was very mild, and there were no interventions in Ugarit's internal affairs. These seem to have been characterized by a high degree of inner harmony; the religious legitimation of rule by tracing the dynasty back to a mythical founder was apparently generally accepted, and the king officiated as landlord, supreme judge, protector of widows and orphans and 1 lord of merchants, trade and seafarers not as a despot but as a Patriarch. A longer period of undisturbed peace began with the peace treaty between Hatti and Egypt in 1270, but soon after 1200 the 'Sea Peoples' swept across Anatolia and the eastern Mediterranean, who were all regarded as 'barbarians' and unwieldy enough with their numerous ox-carts moved in, but possessed more iron weapons than their opponents and could only be repelled by the Egyptian pharaoh at the border of the delta. As in India, these Indo-Europeans, who probably came from the Balkans, were primarily destroyers: in Greece, as Dorians, they put an end to the Mycenaean culture of those "Achaeans" about whom Homer's songs were written 500 years later, and that Troy also became apparent destroyed again by them, for which, according to Homer, the Achaeans had fought for ten years. These same Achaeans had previously taken possession of the Cretan palaces built by the Minoans and made the scene of a highly refined, almost feminine, and non-warlike culture based on naval power. Further east, the Sea Peoples overran the Hittite Empire and destroyed Ugarit to the ground around 1190. The city was never rebuilt, and even memory of it gradually faded away. Thus it not only sank back into "a historylessness" like large parts of Asia Minor, but was, so to speak, returned to the events of nature. Trade and seafaring, however, did not perish; now

the Phoenicians, whom Homer calls "ship-famous," first arose from 2 new mixtures of peoples. The Greeks took over the alphabet from the city of Byblos, which they perfected by inserting vowel signs; from these names they derived their term "book," and even today, "the Bible" is widely regarded as the "book of books." Ugarit was an early example of the great role played by shipping, trade and brokerage, and these did not disappear when Ugarit was destroyed; rather, they persisted as a fundamental characteristic of historical existence. In this respect, however, Ugarit is just one example among many others; on the other hand, among all Canaanite-Syrian cities, it stands alone because of the richness of the mythological tradition, even if this uniqueness rests largely on the coincidences of finds or non-finds. It may be assumed, then, that similar myths and beliefs prevailed throughout ancient Canaan, though certainly with many variations. At the top of the Ugaritic world of gods stood a supreme god of heaven named El (= god), corresponding to the Babylonian Anu: the father of gods and men and creator of the world. His wife's name is Ashirat; in this marriage the other gods were begotten. That he is often symbolized as a bull no doubt points to the power of his procreative powers, but in the myths he usually 3 appears as a friendly and benevolent old man, elevated above everyday life. A completely different figure is Baal, who is the focus of most tales of the gods, but who did not overthrow the older god like Zeus overthrew Kronos in the Greek myth. He is represented as a young man striding powerfully, carrying a thunderbolt or a mace in his hand. He is the storm and weather god, the »cloud rider«, who has his seat on Mount Zaphon, 50 kilometers north of Ugarit at the mouth of the Orontes. As a weather god and son of a weather god, he plays a particularly important role from the outset, since agriculture in Syria does not depend on artificial irrigation but on the natural phenomenon of rain, while the waters of the sea, represented by the god Jam,

represent an uncanny, menacing force. Of course, even more sinister and menacing is the god of death and the underworld, Mot or Courage. But there are correspondences not only to Poseidon and Hades, but also to Hephaestus: the craftsman god Koshar, who built the palace on the Zaphon for Baal. The female gods are no less important than the male ones; in addition to El's wife, Achtart, which corresponds to the Babylonian Ischtar, should be mentioned here. Unlike the Greek Aphrodite, she is not only the goddess of love, but also the goddess of war: Ares and Aphrodite therefore coincide in their form. She is often depicted naked, standing on lions or other animals. As the goddess of love, she is also the goddess of fertility, and she is considered the »mistress of animals«. Not easy to distinguish from her is Anat, the 'virgin', who is also a goddess of love and war, but above all the sister and wife of Baal. She frees Baal from the realm of Mot, the god of the dead, who won the battle of the gods and dragged Baal down into his realm, apparently killing him in the process; But Anat penetrates to the god of the underworld and smashes him to pieces so that Baal can return to earth. It is apparently a version of the ancient idea of vegetation withering at the beginning of the hot season and of the triumphant return of life at the beginning of spring, the widespread myth of the gods of the cycle of life in decline and resurrection, which turned out to be the case in Egypt the story of Osiris and Isis and later in Greece as the tale of Demeter,

It was not always a question of mere tales, but the whole congregation cultically mourned the death of the god and also cultically celebrated his resurrection, apparently not infrequently in an orgiastic manner. The Old Testament has much to report about this with harsh disparagement, and as a philosopher it was Nietzsche who first tried to awaken understanding for this "divine service of life" when he emphasized the "Dionysian" side of Greek life, but first the Babylonian "Sakaeen". with a very negative accent.

Opinions are divided again today on the »holy wedding«: Was the ceremonial bed of the king or the god with the chief priestess an act of piety connected to nature, which was intended to ensure the fertility of the earth and to which the »temple prostitution« and the orgiastic scenes assigned to Baal at the great festival of the accession to the throne, or was it simply debauchery in which people humbled themselves and forgot their human nature in favor of the animal? It is the blurring of opposites that often confuses modern man in these old myths: the togetherness of opposites, such as life and death above all, but also peace and war. Thus the following passage is found in the great cycle of myths about Baal, Anat and Mut:

A message from the great Baal, a word of the sublime among heroes: I reject wars in the land! Put much love on the earth, pour peace in 4 the middle of the land. But at another point in the same text, the 'Virgin

Anat' narrates without a sign of disapproval: And behold, Anat fights with might, kills the residents from two cities. She kills the people on the seashore, she destroys the people at sunrise. ... She gladdens her heart with laughter, her heart fills with joy; the inside of the Anat rejoices as she rolls her knees in blood

the fighter, the thighs (?) in the blood clot of the warrior.


And how should fighting and war on earth ever be able to end, since there is a constant state of war between the gods, which now brings victory to one god, now to the other. If Baal wins this time, courage will win next time, and if Baal sends the Anat a message of peace today, tomorrow he will send her a message of war, for opposites are part of their nature. If there were no more war, she would no longer be Anat, and one might add - then in the long run there would be no more love either. The fact that this Ugaritic-Canaanite myth cannot only have an appeal for modern people when it is placed in the context of the confrontation between feminism and patriarchalism was made clear in the most momentous way by Nietzsche's youthful work on The Birth of Tragedy from the Spirit of Music, no matter how much the orientation towards Schopenhauer and the hopes placed in Richard Wagner pushed him in a direction that was all too subject to the times. Suffice it to quote one passage: In the German Middle Ages too, under the same Dionysian violence, ever-growing crowds rolled from place to place, singing and dancing: in these Saint John and Saint Vitus dancers we recognize the Bacchic choirs of the Greeks, with their prehistory in Asia Minor , to Babylon and the orgiastic Sakäen. There are people who, out of lack of experience or dullness, turn away from such phenomena as "widespread diseases" mockingly or regretfully, feeling their own health: the poor, of course, have no idea how cadaverously colored and ghostly their "health" looks , when the glowing life of Dionysian enthusiasts rushes past 6 them. From here a general insight can be gained: Obviously, historical existence can include not only resistance to transience and to that extent against history, as in Egypt, but also being carried away by an unhistorical existence: that of the in

eternal cycle of incessantly renewing life, of which man is a part and which is his noblest task to represent cultically and ritually in great celebrations. He may ignore it in his day-to-day activities, and as a Platonist he may rise above the "vegetative" and the "sensuous," but the tendency often called "pagan" can resurface in him, and it likes some modus vivendi with historical realities, just as in Ugarit shipping, trade and the acquisition of wealth suffered no loss through the cult of Baal, the mother goddess and the goddess of war and love. Presumably, in addition to the “madness” of the irrational described by Nietzsche in all rapidly changing fashions and phases of modernity, the longing for the permanent and solid persists in modernity, as we encountered it in Egypt. However, it is also conceivable that what is unhistorical and superhistorical in historical existence will in the future dwindle away without finding substitute forms, and that this is precisely how a post-historical mode of existence would come about. Whoever deals with Egyptian pyramids and with ancient Babylonian or Canaanite myths does not turn away from the present; rather, their questions only confront him in a new form, provided he is not guided exclusively by what Nietzsche calls the "antiquarian" interest. Such a thing would not be possible, however, if these pasts aroused a similar incomprehension as a potsherd with indecipherable characters. If there is a possibility of understanding between people of the most distant ages of history, it arises most likely, though probably again with specific difficulties, from those great testimonies in which the questions and the answers, the concerns and the aspirations, the hopes and the apprehensions of a time appear most perfectly. And these questions and answers, these concerns and aspirations, these hopes and fears will not primarily relate to the generation of the children or to the fate of one's own country, but to "the" people in "the" world, to

his origin, his position in the cosmos, his tasks and also his possible failure. These testimonies will therefore be of an anthropological nature, but will probably contain far more than statements of general correctness. They will be documents of historical existence, and even if they only seem to state the inevitability of death, the mere statement carries with it so many emotions and connotations that it touches even modern man more deeply than a mere statement can. The principle of incomprehensibility between different cultures, as it is articulated in Spengler's explicit statements but not in his actual procedure, is unacceptable, as much as it cannot be overlooked that misunderstanding is close to understanding, indeed sometimes even immanent. Humans usually correctly understand a dog's tail wagging, We choose the Epic of Gilgamesh from Mesopotamia, the Iliad from the Ionian-Asia Minor regions of Greece and the Old Testament as the paradigmatic testimonies of that early period in which prehistory has already passed into history and yet remains tangible in a vivid way from ancient Israel or Judah. We will have to come back to some of the things that we have reported so briefly, but we will be most interested in what is still present and what may be contained in it that is even significant for the future.

15The Great Testimonies: I. The Epic of Gilgamesh One can compare the Sumerian-Old Babylonian-Assyrian epic of King Gilgamesh, who is listed in the Sumerian king lists with the somewhat "human" reign of 130 years and was actually the ruler of Uruk in the 27th or 26th century BC. seems to have lived in the rhythmic translation of 1 Hartmut Schmökel and enjoy as an important if somewhat strange work of art, although it should be recognized that this translation of the widely garbled text has the character of a transliteration. The first major theme is Gilgamesh - "made mightily by the great gods" and himself "two-thirds divine and one-third human" - as the despotic city ruler and builder of the great wall of Uruk. The complaints of the citizens reach to heaven, because "Gilgamesh does not let his son to his father... Gilgamesh does not let his girlfriend to his beloved"; namely, he compels the entire male population to work unremittingly on the great work. Thus the gods take counsel, and it is decided to create another hero who would be a match for Gilgamesh, so that out of their strife there might come peace for Uruk. This adversary is Enkidu, a primitive man, if not a beast, "covered with hair all over his body," who feeds on grass "with the gazelles" and rejoices in the water "among the game." A hunter meets him and, terrified, tells Gilgamesh about it, and thus begins the second theme: the civilization of primitive man through contact with the urban kind of sexual love. Gilgamesh instructs the hunter to get a

"temple harlot" and bring her together with Enkidu. She should seduce him and then the wild animals will flee from him. The

happens, and Enkidu loves the temple harlot for six days and seven nights, but then he is terrified to find that yesterday's companions, the beasts of the steppe, are fleeing from him. But now knowledge comes to him; "he understood" - apparently he realizes that he is not a natural being among natural beings, an animal among animals. So he listens attentively as the whore describes the joys of city life to him: Come to walled Uruk, Enkidu, Where men live, splendidly dressed, Where a festival is celebrated every day, The instruments and the drums sound Where there are harlots of glorious form, Adorned with lust and full of delights. Enkidu agrees, and he accepts half of her robe with which she dresses him; he eats in amazement the bread that she gives him; then he cleanses himself and anoints his hairy body so that he becomes "like a human being": clothing, food, cleansing make him human after relationship with a human woman has paved the way; now he takes up arms and from being the companion of lions and wolves becomes their hunter, to protect the herdsmen's flocks. Around the same time Gilgamesh has several dreams which his mother interprets as meaning that he is about to gain a comrade in arms. The first encounter between the two is hostile, however, for once again Gilgamesh is portrayed as a despot who claims the right to be the first to sleep with the newly married young women and who now prepares to bed in a temple to climb the goddess of love Ischchara, ie to perform the »hieròs gámos« with the high priestess. But Enkidu collides with him in

front of the temple and denies him entrance; they fight with each other and recognize each other as equals, so that enmity turns into friendship.

This friendship is a major theme of the epic from then on, and first the two embark on a journey to the cedar forest guarded by the monster Chuwawa. Knowing from his earlier days of the dangers of the vast forest, Enkidu becomes afraid, but Gilgamesh lifts him up with the words: Who do you think, friend, ascends to heaven as a human being? With Shamash – the sun god – only the gods stay forever, but the days of men are numbered, only a breath of wind remains, what they do; the will to gain glory, however, overcomes the fear of death:

And when I die, I make a name for myself: "Gilgamesh has fallen," they say, "in the battle with the terrible Khuvawa!" New weapons are forged for both of them by master craftsmen, and Gilgamesh bids farewell to his mother with the words that he will kill the mighty Khuvawah and thereby "wipe out from the land all evil that Shamash hates": From a despot he thus becomes a Pioneer of a moral idea, but the mother then turns to the sun god with the plaintive question: "Why did you make his heart so restless?" - Meant to perceive epic. In any case, the two embark on the long and perilous journey - which may mythically depict the expeditions of Sumerians and Assyrians to cedar-rich Lebanon - and finally kill Chuwawa with the help of the sun god,

First, however, a second "adventure" follows, and Gilgamesh proves to be an enemy of the goddess Ishtar. The goddess of love desires him in his manly beauty and strength, and she asks him to be her husband

become. But Gilgamesh rejects the offer in the most abrupt manner, full of moral indignation, accusing the goddess of her fickleness, even whorishness: To Tammuz, the beloved of your youth, Have you destined tears for every year. You also loved the colorful bird, But if you hit him, you broke his wings... Then you loved the shepherd among the sheep... You beat him, made him a wolf... Gilgamesh refuses to share the fate of his former lover and does not hesitate to insult the goddess as "pitch that defiles" and "waterskin that wets its bearer" - apparently not only the prophets of the The Old Testament dismisses the "lewd" cult of the goddess of love, and some interpreters regard these diatribes as the work of a skeptical enlightener who preceded the Greek sophists by 700 years.

But the offended Ishtar rushes to her father Anu, the god of heaven, and begs him, not without threats, to send the “bull of heaven” to avenge Gilgamesh and Enkidu. Meanwhile, the two slay the beast, and in so doing they once again make themselves guilty before the gods. The people cheered the king on the streets of Uruk: »The hero is Gilgamesh! He has the highest glory of all men', but the gods decree that Enkidu must die. Only then does the epic become a poem about death and the fight against death. In dreams Enkidu anticipates his end, and he sees the underworld before him, the "house that no one enters leaves ever again," the "house of

dust," where the residents, including the former kings and high priests, wear robes Wear »bird wing dress« and »sit lightless in the darkness«. After the end of Enkidu, Gilgamesh is seized with deep despair, he tears his hair, throws off his magnificent dress and runs in fear of death, clad only in a lion's skin, into the steppe

in, guided only by the hope that he would find his ancestor, the deluge hero Utnapishtim, who was rewarded by the gods with eternal life and who might be able to give him immortality. This envelope may seem strange. Gilgamesh knows death, and he knows that all men and even divine and demonic beings are mortal: he slew Khuvawa and the bull of heaven with his own hand. But it is an observation repeated at all times that there are two kinds of knowledge of death. Even children are not lacking in the abstract knowledge that life ends at death, and no Christian has ever assumed immortality to come to him already on this earth and before "the Last Judgment." But a thousandfold experience teaches that this knowledge only really transforms, only becomes "alive" when the human being stands or kneels in front of the motionless and unresponsive corpse of the spouse, the mother, the child or the friend, with whom he had probably exchanged words and glances hours before. Only then does he really experience that bony hand that also grasps his heart, and only then does the abstract consciousness of death become the overpowering certainty of having to die, which may be connected with a violent and desperate rebellion. The Epic of Gilgamesh is mankind's first epic to articulate this experience.

On his wanderings, Gilgamesh encounters "scorpion men" on Mount Mashu, beings "of gray horror, the sight of which kills." He, whom they immediately recognize as a demigod ("two-thirds god, onethird man"), they call upon and ask about the purpose of his wanderings. Gilgamesh replies: To Utnapishtim my ancestor (I want) Who entered the circle of the gods and lives. I wanted to ask him about life and death. The scorpion people open up the way for him, which no mortal has trodden before him and which leads through complete darkness for a long time. As

When he is in the light again, he first comes to the "precious stone garden", probably a kind of paradise, but the description of which has been almost completely destroyed, and he is then pointed out to his tutelary god Shamash about the futility of his actions: "Where are you running to? You will not find the life you are looking for', but Gilgamesh does not let himself be deterred from a renewed plea, which the fear of death inspires in him: Let my eyes look at the sun so that I continue to rejoice in its light! When the light appears, the darkness disappears completely, but no dead person looks at the sun's splendor.

At the edge of the world, Gilgamesh comes to the dwelling of the »Schenkin« Siduri, a divine or semi-divine figure, and she too asks him why he is wandering the steppe like this. Gilgamesh replies:

My friend whom I loved with all my heart... The bitter fate of mankind took him away! I wept for him six days and seven nights, I would not admit that they carried him to his grave, until the worms attacked his face. In mortal fear I then strayed through the steppes, The fate of Enkidu lay heavy on me... My friend, whom I loved so much, became earth, Enkidu, my friend, became earth.

O Schenkin, now that I have seen your face Don't let me see the death I so fear!

But the gift giver gives Gilgamesh the answer, which he undoubtedly knew from the very beginning, but which he could not and did not want to carry out after the concrete experience of the death of the loved one, and she adds a piece of advice that was probably at all times the most obvious reaction to the Insight into the inevitability of death was:

O Gilgamesh, where else will you run to? You will not find the life you are looking for! (For) when the gods (once) created man, They assigned death to mankind, But they took life for themselves! So fill your stomach, O Gilgamesh, Delight yourself day and night ... For all such things are the pleasures of men.

Gilgamesh, however, does not allow himself to be held and taught, and so she shows him the way to the "water of death" and to the ferryman who can take him across to Utnapishtim, the "enraptured one", who once, at the behest of a god, saved part of humanity from the great flood and as a reward from the gods, together with his wife, received eternal and, of course, quite lonely life beyond the water of death. Gilgamesh also tells the ferryman Urschanabi his and Enkidu's story, and it becomes even clearer than before that Gilgamesh's motive is not pity for his friend but naked fear for his own life, and yet more than individual fear rings through his words , namely the inability to understand that death is an absolute end for people: And I - must I lie down like him, so that I can never get up again?

So they come to Utnapishtim, who answers Gilgamesh's tales in the same way as Shamash and the gift maid did: Bitter death is truly inevitable, Let's build a house that will stand forever and seal For eternity a table we? ...

There is no permanence for eternal days The sleeper and the dead - how related!

For do not both show the image of death? ... But the Annunaki, noble gods, They hold council, and it determines with them Mamitum, creator of destiny, the lots, As death as life is in their hands But remain veiled when your days end. But Utnapishtim cannot escape the question of how he, a human, escaped this common lot and became immortal. He responds through his narrative of the Deluge, which is believed to be one of the sources of the biblical narrative of Noah and the Ark, although some scholars suggest an inverse 2 filiation relationship. In any case, there is extensive agreement: from the construction of the rescue ship to the taking in of the "seeds of all living beings" to the sending out of the dove and the raven. The motive of the god willing to destroy is different, however, and above all the dissent among the gods: Nothing other than "the shouting of the people", evidently the strong increase in their number, disturbs Enlil, the lord of the earth, and therefore he thinks about their destruction , as is made quite clear in the surviving 3 fragment of the Old Babylonian Epic of Atarchasis; but the supreme god of the sky, Ea, uses a ruse to tell Utnapishtim of this plan and show a way to salvation. So the Flood here is not a result of man's wickedness or sin, but of man's prevalence and the threat to the earth that ensues. Very strange then is the reaction of the gods to the great flood, for they fled to Anu's heaven, where they crouched down "like dogs," and upon Utnapishtim's first sacrifice after landing on Mount Nisir, they immediately smelled the sweet odors and "shook himself, like flies« around the sacrificial donor. In the end, Enlil is not only severely reprimanded by Ishtar for abandoning "their" people to annihilation, but Ea formulates in clear

words the principle of individual responsibility, which is violated by collective punishment. Enlil then turns in some kind of redemption

Utnapishtim and his wife to give them immortality "at the distant mouth of the river." Thus, the truths about human life proclaimed by Utnapishtim are not simply unbreakable, and Utnapishtim seems able to make a test of Gilgamesh. He bids him abstain from sleep for six days and seven nights, but Gilgamesh fails the test, and Utnapishtim says half-pityingly, halfcontemptuously to his wife:

There behold the man who is looking for life! Sleep wafts over him like mist. Thus Gilgamesh must say after awakening: Death crouches in my bedchamber, Wherever I set foot, is death! Still, Gilgamesh does not return without renewed hope. Utnapishtim gives him a plant as a farewell gift, through which Gilgamesh, when he is old, can attain a "new life", not immortality, but the – probably unique – return of youth. Gilgamesh indicates the intention of bringing the plant to "walled Uruk" and also giving the townspeople to eat from it, so that they would be assured of a very long life, if not eternal. But when he takes a bath on the way back and leaves the herb on the bank of the pond, a snake smells the scent and steals the plant. Gilgamesh now only has resignation left, but after returning home the epic also returns to a certain extent to the beginning, namely to the walls of Uruk, which are now complete, so that they,

There is a second tablet which contains a very poignant description of the underworld into which Enkidu descended to retrieve a drum and drumstick lost to Gilgamesh. This is not, however, an organic conclusion to the epic, but rather an extension of one of those Sumerian tales connected with the name of Gilgamesh, the discovery and translation of which we owe in large part to the aforementioned Samuel Noah Kramer. There seems little chance that the complete epic and all the individual tales preceding it will ever be found; we shall probably have to settle for only having about half of the epic, but even that half justifies the verdict that that it is one of the great mythical poems of mankind and probably the oldest. Never before had humans created such a testimony of what they are and want to be as human beings. This testimony is in the form of myth; it is neither a philosophical treatise nor even a scholarly study of physical anthropology. Ever since it became known in the modern age, it has had a variety of interpretations that oscillate between two vastly opposite possibilities. One can understand this epic in a very "human" way, namely as a hymn to friendship, as Giuseppe Furlani did, for example, who uses the pair of friends Iolaus-Heracles from the Greek 4 legend as a further example. According to Peter Jensen and other scholars, on the other hand, there is 5 an astral myth; Gilgamesh is originally a celestial god, while Enkidu is an earth god. Other interpreters see in Gilgamesh a god of vegetation and in Enkidu a god of fertility of the wild and tame animal world. In yet another interpretation, Gilgamesh appears as a follower of the sun god Shamash and champion of father rights, who encounters a deep hatred of the feminine, which is embodied in the serpent and gains power when Gilgamesh dips momentarily into the pond as an image of the womb. The author Franzis Jordan expressly refers to the »Manen Bachofens« and intends to continue working in his spirit. Leo Oppenheim

on the other hand, in Enkidu he sees the "noble savage" portrayed and believes he recognizes the existence of a sentimental sympathy for the flat country from the perspective of an already over-cultivated city life. Arthur Ungnad, on the other hand, compared the Gilgamesh epic with the Odyssey, placed the tavern Siduri and the goddess Calypso next to each other and was reminded of the sirens by the scorpion people.

The crux of the dispute is probably the question of whether Gilgamesh is to be regarded as a humanized god or as a deified human being, ie elevated to a demigod. But however this question is to be decided: In any case, this "epic" shows the basic character of 6 myth which is never a mere legend of former deeds or adventures of a few heroes, but which is shaped by the interaction of the human and the more-than-human, which is withdrawn from human will and ability, and consequently of the divine or the gods. Nowhere, however, are the human and the divine so clearly separated as in relation to death, to which men are subject and the gods are relieved, even if they die temporarily and then rise again and again. But the human being is only really human when he does not simply accept the fate of finiteness, but rebels against it and looks for a way out, which in its simplest and most understandable form consists in the will to live on through the acquisition of fame. Only a being who possesses a death consciousness and yet does not simply accept death can actually have history. The Epic of Gilgamesh is the myth of the historical existence of man, and as such 7 Karl Oberhuber rightly called it "a highly existentialist poem." It has nothing to do with the fad created by Jean-Paul Sartre, because nothing is further from it than the idea that man creates himself; and since it is a myth, it can be fundamentally understood and comprehended by all people at all times, provided that upsurge has taken place that distinguishes history from prehistory. However, that does not mean

that we could shake Gilgamesh's hand, so to speak, and sit down at a table with him. Far more familiar to us is the Greek myth, which has come down to us as a complete work of art in the form of Homer's epics.

16The Great Testimonies: II. The Iliad Anyone who knows the Gilgamesh epic and is a little familiar with the ancient Orient reads the Iliad and the Odyssey with different eyes: Zeus, the »cloud collector« (nephelegeréta), reminds them of Baal and other weather gods; the description of the underworld in the Odyssey bears much resemblance to Enkidu's account; one thinks of the animal gods of the Egyptians when Hera is often called "cow-eyed" or when Apollo and Athena are told in the seventh canto of the Iliad that they sat on top of an oak tree at the beginning of a battle, "like in the form of two mighty 1 vulture birds «. And yet the reader finds himself transported to another world: Gilgamesh and Enkidu as two lone fighters fight their battles with the demon Chuwawa and the bull of heaven, only the mighty walls of Uruk and for a moment the "elders" are visible, and on the The climax of the event is that Gilgamesh is confronted with death all alone and a reality that is still earthly, but nevertheless hereafter. In the Iliad, on the other hand, large armies fight one another; armored heroes mount their chariots; old men and young women look down on the battle from the wall of the besieged city; the leading men go to council, allies draw up, prisoners are taken, an imminent mutiny is put down.

A son of the king of Ilion, Paris, abducts Helena, the wife of one of the numerous petty kings in Greece, and under the leadership of Agamemnon, the powerful king of Mycenae and brother of

offended Menelaus, almost all the kings of the Achaeans allied themselves to a campaign of revenge against the city, which is apparently also a plunder: Ajas the Telamonian, Diomedes from Pylos, Odysseus from Ithaca, as the strongest of all Achilles from Phthia and many others. Only in the ninth year of the siege does the bravest of the defenders, Hector, one of Priam's many sons, fall, and a little later Achilles is also killed; Finally, however, the Achaeans stormed the city, set it on fire, killed all the men they could get their hands on, as was the habit of the time, and took home the women and numerous valuables as booty. This is not, like Gilgamesh, a myth of man's historical existence; told in about 15,000 verses with innumerable details, the Iliad is, according to the belief also of some recent research, by the singer Homer in the 8th century 2 BC. Chr. composed, a mighty battle painting, a narration of historical events, a report on occurrences which, starting from a minor and almost accidental point of departure, are more and more linked together until they seem to have become an overpowering destiny from which the actors can no longer evade could, even if they wished. And at the same time all these actors are filled with the awareness that even the remotest times will tell of 3 their deeds and suffering, indeed, it is not least this awareness that gives them the strength to endure all the hardships of the siege and to withstand all temptations to return home. One could say that, apart from the rhythm of the hexameters, the difference to Herodotus, the "father of historiography", who lived about 300 years later than Homer, is not very great, the Iliad is also historiography, indeed it is the oldest and greatest historiography in general, not the first myth of the historical existence of human beings, but their first concentrating depiction in a word painting, facing historical existence and only indirectly towards historical existence. Millions of small Iliads could continue to be written if the poets - or the historians as a special kind of poets - could be found who

countless events in which people wrestle with one another in a bloody or bloodless manner, because history is nothing other than a struggle between people over goals, ranging from the burning down or the successful defense of a village to the competition for the shape of an important monument or even to the lonely debate of a philosopher with long-dead predecessors about the substance of the truth. But then, wouldn't every article by a foreign correspondent about the outcome of elections in a distant country be called a little Iliad? And do we do justice to the Iliad in reducing it to recounting events which, while hardly verifiable, could undoubtedly have happened, for the remains of the city of Troy have indeed been uncovered, and by the thirteenth century the lords were of Mycenae actually present in many places of the Aegean as conquerors or through their merchants as traders? The Iliad is far more than an imaginative history in verse, and it is by no means merely about human deeds as we understand them. In spite of all the differences, like the Gilgamesh epic, it also belongs in the mythical realm, and this becomes most clear when

In the prologue of the first canto, Homer promises not to give a comprehensive description of a historical event, but he wants to sing about the wrath of Achilles, and the first question in verse 7 is: "Who of the gods provoked them to hostile quarrels?" The answer is "Zeus and Leto's son": Apollo, the god with the silver bow. Of course, he only intervenes because Agamemnon had insulted his priest with harsh words when he asked for the return of his daughter, who had been captured on one of the raids in the area and had been assigned to Agamemnon as booty. The god hears the pleas of Chryses, and with a wrathful heart he descends from Olympus to Troas, where the Greeks are encamped between the besieged city and their ships that have been pulled ashore: Far from the ships he sat down and shot the arrow,

And a terrible sound rang out from the silver bow. He killed mules first, and swift dogs. But then the bitter arrows aimed at them, he shot: restlessly the funeral fires burned in multitudes.


So the plague breaks out in the Achaean camp, and no one can help except the seer Calchas, "who knew what is, what will be, or what was before". He tells Agamemnon to give the young woman back to her father. After vigorous resistance, Agamemnon agrees to do so, but he demands a replacement and, of all people, from the strongest of the heroes, Achilles, to whom an equally beautiful woman, Briseis, had been assigned. Achilles, deeply indignant, already draws his sword, when Athena, invisible to everyone else, grabs him from behind by the forelock and promises him "thrice the glorious gifts" for the future, if he gives in today and does not bring ruin to the Achaeans, Athena is benevolent. So Achilles abandons his prey, but he withdraws from the battle along with his friend Patroclus and his Myrmidons, yes, he asks his divine mother, the Nereid Thetis, who lives in the depths of the sea, to go to Zeus, the father of the gods, and ask him for favor with the Trojans, so that Agamemnon's evil deed may be avenged. Zeus nods in agreement, and with that the prerequisite for what is to come is created. Homer does not relate, as a historian would, the vicissitudes of the war during the nine years of siege, but as a poet he creates a drama in the epic, or better: he gives the epic a dramatic character. The fortunes of war turn according to the will of Zeus, who, however, does not aim at the victory of the Trojans, but only at satisfaction for Achilles; the Trojans are advancing and a decisive battle for the ships is in the offing. The Achaeans are already in great distress when Achilles, sitting in his tent and playing the lyre, allows his friend Patroclus to put on his, Achilles', armor and to intervene in the fight to turn the fate of the Achaeans around. But Patroclus, almost victorious, falls from the hand of Hector, who has thus also won the arms of Achilles.

Grieving, the great hero now joins the fight himself, after new armor has been made for him by the smith-god Hephaestus, and he kills Hector, whom he had chased around the city walls three times before. But he is not content with this triumph: he maltreats the corpse of the dead enemy, and he celebrates funeral games for the dead Patroclus, in which twelve captive Trojan youths are sacrificed according to archaic, prehistoric custom. Priam, however, summoned by the messenger of Zeus, travels to the enemy's camp to see Achilles in order to beg him for the corpse, and in one of the most human scenes of the epic, the two very different enemies come closer together in shared mourning; Achilles accepts the ransom offered, and so, amidst the wailing of the people, and especially his mother Hecuba, his wife Andromache, and his sister-in-law Helena, Hector's body is solemnly buried in the hometown he so valiantly defended. Achilles, however, knows through forebodings and prophecies that he will soon follow Hector to his death, and Priam knows that he will die next year in the conquest of the city 5 with almost the entire male population. In this drama seemingly endless battle descriptions are composed in an epic breadth, in which almost always the noble heroes face each other in individual battles, while the mass of ordinary warriors is mentioned at best in brief allusions. But the gods are always present. When Menelaus has already gained the upper hand in a duel with Paris, the blade of the sword on Paris' helmet breaks, and the hero wails, "You are cruel, Zeus, like no one among the gods," because it is for he took it for granted that it was a god who broke the blade. And when the war seems to be coming to a happy end, because Menelaus has undoubtedly won the duel and now, in accordance with the solemn agreement, Helena and many treasures must be released,

At no time are men alone, but a god or goddess always helps or destroys. In the 22nd canto, which bears the title »Theomachía«, almost all the gods intervene in the battle at the same time and fight directly against each other: Ares against Athena, Athena against Aphrodite, Apollo against Poseidon, Artemis against Hera, Hermes against Leto. The gods never agree, but Zeus hears the last word, and sometimes one believes one perceives a theocentrism that leaves no freedom to mankind and that makes Menelaus say in the 13th canto: Father Zeus, they say you are superior in wisdom to men and gods, but you created all of this.6

And as Hector rushes around the city walls, fleeing from Achilles, but still ready for battle and accompanied by Apollo, Homer relates: When they finally reached the springs for the fourth time, father Zeus adjusted the golden bowls of the scales, threw in two lots of mourning death, That of Achilles and that of Hector, the horse tamer, took hold of the middle and weighed. Then Hector's fate sank 7 down to Hades, and Phoebus Apollo left him.

But it still requires a deceitful act on the part of Athenes, until

Hector to the decisive knowledge and to his last

decision made:

Alas, now the gods have really called me to death, For I believed that the hero Deiphobos wanted to help me. But he dwells in the city; Pallas Athene deceived me... By no means do I want to perish without a fight and dishonor, no, after a mighty deed that future people will 8th know about.

It is natural for modern man to offer an easily comprehensible explanation for the strange phenomenon of the "gods" who make the Iliad mythical, rather than making it appear as the embryonic and aestheticizing historiography that it is at its core. What are Zeus and Poseidon but images of the thunderstorm and the sea, what are Athena and Aphrodite but images of physical forces like courage and love that are known and familiar to every human being? But one must add that it is obviously primarily a matter of those "psychic forces" which man cannot bring about or set in motion arbitrarily or planned, but which "overcome" man by which he is "seized". The Greeks liked to depict psychic powers in their gods, but these were always powers "in" man, which were withdrawn from human arbitrariness and are therefore far greater than "he". Even Athena's prudence is a gift and not mere cunning. And the same applies even to the deified forces of nature. Poseidon is not just the sea that can be measured and whose movements can be predicted within certain limits: He is, to use the expression coined by Rudolf Otto, "the numinous" on the sea, that which eludes all human planning, maybe even the origin from which all life arose. A world without gods is not "the same" world merely purged of imaginative ideas; it is a different world 9 experienced and as such a different world.

Above all, however, the gods are the antithesis by whose example people experience themselves for what they are, as mortals. The hero Diomedes is able to rush against the god Apollo, who has taken the form of Aeneas, during his »Aristia«, but he immediately escapes when the voice of the god answers him:

Beware, son of Tydeus, and yield to me! Don't you dare to think yourself like the gods; for never are of the same sex Blessed gods and men who walk the earth.


Thus the Iliad is pervaded by an anthropology that is often embodied in the lamentation of frailty articulated at almost all times almost everywhere on earth: Like leaves in the forest, so are the generations of men Behold, some are blown away by the wind, and others the budding wood drives forth in the hour of spring: So the race of men, this grows and that disappears.


And yet blissful gods do not hover in the infinite distance over unfortunate people who equate what they see in nature: the plants and animals in their creation and death. Rather, human beings are linked to the gods in many ways: they receive immortal gifts like the horses of Achilles, mortal women are loved by gods and bear children to them; the gods intervene in human struggles and are often wounded in the process. And above all, the heroes of the Iliad know one thing that lifts them above mere creation and death: the everlasting glory of their person, but also of their sex, and this glory is above all the martial glory of the "esthloi", the nobles, because they Zeus, 12 as Odysseus once said, "decreed But these nobles are not puppets in the hands of the gods, although there are individual statements that ascribe a kind of sole or universal causality to Zeus or the gods. Just as they strive for fame and its eternity, they ascribe to themselves a certain degree of freedom that enables them to do or suffer something “hypér moron”, “against fate”. If Patroclus had heeded Achilles' word to fight only defensively, "he would certainly have escaped the doom of dark death," but he did not contradict the impulse that Zeus put into his 13 heart. The Danaer strengthened 'against fate' and they would have 'soon conquered by their own strength' even against the dictum of Zeus, but then it is Apollo who gave them

14 snatches the alluring victory. As a rule, fate, the gods, are stronger than freedom, than those forces and impulses that man has in his own hands. But this does not diminish fame, and in this respect the same basic concept is present in the Iliad as in the epic of Gilgamesh: immortality can only be bestowed on man in the form of fame, but this is what distinguishes him from the grass of the field and from the leaves of the woods.

This is the general trait of an aristocratic world that will endure through the millennia and made Lafayette, co-founder of the French Revolution, proud to say that not a single one of his ancestors died in bed. It is a world in which the common people hardly feature, except in the ugly figure of Thersites, who brings snarling accusations against Agamemnon in the assembly and is then put in his place by beatings by Odysseus. But there is a destiny in the Iliad that is quite individual and affects precisely the bravest of nobles, Achilles. All other heroes, if not killed in battle, may grow old and yet be famous like Menelaus and Odysseus. Only Achilles finds himself in a tragic situation: his fame is linked to an early death, because he can only have one of the two goods that Odysseus will have at the same time: fame or a long life. Nor did Gilgamesh have the tragedy of having to do without one thing in order to have the other, for he first rebels against death as such, and this rebellion must fail if it strives for more than glory. Achilles is anything but a despiser of life, for he says to the embassy,

My divine mother, the silver-footed Thetis, Say a doubly striving destiny leads me to death: If I stayed here and fought on for Troy, Gone is the homecoming then, but eternal posthumous glory blossoms for me.

But if I return to the dear land of my fathers, Then my glorious fame will wither, but long be the duration of 15 life, and the fate of death will not soon overtake me.

According to Schiller, this is not the highest level of the tragic, which is only reached when the choice is necessarily connected with guilt, but here too the positive is already closely connected with the negative, the bright with the dark, and the overcoming of death through fame is not only linked to the end of life, to mortality, but to an individual shortness of life. From here it becomes clear why, from the Iliad until well into the 18th century, the nobility knew no more abysmal contempt than the tavern Siduri's advice to fill one's belly and live life to the full. To be sure, today hardly anyone will read the Iliad with the same enraptured enthusiasm as Winckelmann and Goethe; the pacifist and all-too-necessary sensibilities of the era that followed two world wars and a "Cold War" are all 16 too outraged by the rivers of blood that flow here. But in fact it cannot be overlooked that not only knightly, albeit mostly deadly, individual battles are fought on the plain of the Skamander, but that bitter enmity and hatred are often enough expressed. So Agamemnon chastised the brother Menelaus, when he wanted to give life to a conquered Trojan, with violent words as a "sissie", and he continued: … none of them (of the Trojans) escape sudden destruction, none now from our arm, not even the baby boy in her lap, which the pregnant woman is carrying, not even that, everything now dies at the same time, what nourishes Illios, snatched away and 17 destroyed.

And hears more dreadful reports than Andromache does when they

Hector begs to hold back in battle:

The divine warrior Achilles killed my father

and destroyed the well-populated city of Cilicia... I had seven brothers at home in our palace, Who escaped that same day into the kingdom of Hades; For they all slew the glorious swift Achilles... Hector, behold, you are my father and ruling mother and brother at the same time, you are my blossoming husband! Oh, have mercy and stay here on the tower! Do not make the 18 child an orphan and the wife a widow!

And yet, given all the horrors, it is easy to overlook what unmistakably distinguishes this warlike epic from other war tales: the gods go into 19 battle with "shared attitudes", and they are all Greek gods, just as the Trojans are basically drawn as Greeks. Good gods do not fight evil gods, and unchosen people do not fight infidels. Things are very different in the Old Testament, although it is also largely a war story.

17The Great Testimonies: III. The Old Testament 1 In the Jewish tradition, the Old Testament is called "Torà-NabiimKetuwim" ("Law-Prophets-Writings"), and for all Christian denominations it is the first and by far the most comprehensive part of the Bible, the "Holy Scriptures". It is by no means the youngest of the major testimonies: its oldest parts were probably found before the turn of the last millennium BC. written; thus they are almost as old as the Assyrian version of the Epic of Gilgamesh of Sin-Leqe-Unimmi, but a considerable part dates from the time of the Babylonian exile after the destruction of Jerusalem in 587 BC. or from the post-exilic period; in this respect it is younger than the Iliad, which was written in the second half of the 8th century. The question of the age of the various components cannot be ignored as irrelevant, as in the case of the Iliad, because even the Five Books of Moses – i.e. the “Torà”, “the Law” – come from very different epochs and already differ in character they differ greatly from each other: The book of Genesis with the story of the creation of the world, the flood and the fate of the "fathers" Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and the story of Joseph and his brothers; the book of Exodus with the bringing of Israel out of Egypt by Yahweh and his servant Moses, with the fortyyear wandering in the desert, the covenant between Yahweh and his chosen people Israel, with the "Ten Commandments" and the repeated "murmuring" of the people; the Book of Leviticus, with a plethora of divine and legal prescriptions; the book of Numbers with the beginnings of the conquest in Canaan; the book of Deuteronomy, which takes the form of a retrospective and other discourses of

Moses and contains a wealth of detailed prescriptions, including a second version of the Decalogue. Whether Deuteronomy

really goes back to the time of Moses, or whether it was possibly written shortly before the destruction of Jerusalem and in parts even later, is one of the most difficult questions for "Old Testament scholarship" to this day, in which there is only broad agreement on a few points. Of the "historical books," the Book of Joshua is not infrequently counted among the "Pentateuch," so that one must speak of a "Hexateuch"; the books of Judges, Samuel and Kings, on the other hand, are now regarded as a coherent historical work, even if numerous individual issues are still disputed. The fact that the two books of the Chronicle are post-exilic is hardly ever questioned; the "ketuwim," the scriptures, especially the books of wisdom and the psalms, have a significantly different character. The third major component is the "books of the prophets," in which the times of origin and recording often diverge; Already the fact that in the book of Isaiah large sections are assigned to the "Deutero-Isaiah" and the "Trito-Isaiah" makes some of the philological problems clear, Since the last pre-Christian centuries, however, the Old Testament has been handed down and understood as a unit, and in Christianity it has not always and everywhere been accorded the same importance - the Gnostic Marcion even brought it into sharp contrast with the New Testament's "gospel of love" at the beginning of the second century, and the Catholic Church of the Middle Ages made its own tradition a third source of faith - but on the whole the The Old Testament's affiliation with the "Holy Scriptures" was not disputed, and in Protestantism it acquired a significance that seemed to rival that of the New Testament. But if the comparison with the Epic of Gilgamesh and the Iliad is difficult on questions of origin and age, things are very different when it comes to assessing the meaning for "our", ie for the Occidental Christian or also – postChristian, culture goes.

The Epic of Gilgamesh was unknown to classical antiquity, the Middle Ages and modern times well into the 19th century; even today knowledge is limited to small circles; Peter Jensen's attempt to find significant traces throughout world literature is generally considered to have failed. If we have characterized it as the "epic of the historical existence of man," we cannot appeal to any long and venerable tradition. The Iliad and "Homer" played no role throughout the Middle Ages; what was known of the "world of the Iliad" came from Virgil's Aeneid, which is still more important today in the Romanesque part of Europe than the much older epics. The Iliad and the Odyssey and Homer's "world of the gods" in general only achieved "general cultural significance" at first in Germany, and the whole of German idealism is unthinkable without them: from Schiller's poem "Die Götter Greece" to Hölderlin's complete works to the second part of Goethe's Fist. This characteristic "priority of Greece" continued to have an effect in Germany up to Nietzsche and up to the "Third Humanism" of Werner Jaeger. At its core, it was created as a counterweight to the heaviness The Old Testament, on the other hand, was a ubiquitous and powerful ingredient of Occidental and, in a different way, Greek Orthodox culture. Medieval religious art is inconceivable without the great figures of the Old Testament—Moses, David, Solomon, Isaiah; In a way, Luther's Germanization of the Bible created the German language; With the Old Testament in their fists, the English Puritans conquered North America, constantly comparing themselves to the people of Israel and drawing strength from the tales of the battles of the prophets against the "pagans" 1 for their own struggle against the Indians. All of this can be illustrated by a single quotation taken from Luther's lectures on Romans, that is, from a pre-Reformation writing. Here it says:

So a righteousness that comes entirely from outside and is completely foreign to us must be taught. That is why our own righteousness, which is at home in us, must first be eradicated. So it says in the 45th Psalm: "Forget your people and your father's house," just as Abraham was called to depart from his friendship (Genesis 12:1). The entire exodus of the people of 2 Israel was also a parable for this exodus... Taking Gilgamesh out of Western culture would have changed nothing; whoever excluded the Iliad and the Odyssey would only have to do without German idealism and the primarily German neo-humanism; But if you take away the Old Testament, you will only be left with fragments, no matter how important many of them might be – at least until the end of the 18th century. But all the millions of times the Old Testament was studied and read with Christian, believing eyes, based on the firm conviction that Yahweh is also the God of Christians and that these very Christians have taken on the role of Israel as the “chosen people” since Jesus preached have. A completely different reading became possible and inevitable from the moment since this belief lost strength and had to give way, at least as a trend, to enlightened or secularized thinking. When the Old Testament was no longer regarded as "God's word," then the question of the different parts of it and their different ages became possible, but then a completely different judgment of the events related would be obvious. The most famous of all Enlighteners, Voltaire, gives a chapter of his Essai sur les moeurs the title: "De Moïse considéré simplement comme chef d'une nation," and he only makes a not really credible concession to the traditional understanding. “Let us admit that in human understanding these horror stories are revolting to reason and to nature. But when we see in Moses the servant of God’s plans and retributions, everything looks different before our 3 eyes.” But the change, of course, took place in the unbelievers

eyes of Voltaire, and that he gave himself full account of the very serious consequences of this change, which he undoubtedly wanted,

is unequivocally evident from the following words, which can be found in the Dialogues philosophiques: I leave to the smooth-talking Bossuet the politics of the petty kings of Judah and Samaria, who knew nothing but murders, beginning with their David, who first acted as a robber in order to become king, and murdered Urias as soon as he was lord, and he was wise Solomon, who in the beginning murdered his own brother Adonias at the foot of the altar. I am fed up with this absurd pedantry which the history of such a people uses to educate the 4 youth. The first thing to note is that such statements by Voltaire can only be described as "anti-Semitic" with a completely inadequate cudgel; Rather, they must be regarded as unavoidable in terms of intellectual history, provided that one is convinced that "modernization" and "secularization" should in principle be regarded as positive and in any case as unavoidable processes. Anyone who wanted to free themselves from the superior power of Christianity had to direct their criticism against the older part of the "Holy Scriptures" as well, and anyone who no longer believed in Yahweh as the "Lord of heaven and earth" could do nothing but criticize it invention of the priests or the depiction of the Israelite "folk spirit". And secondly, it must be conceded unreservedly that for someone who considers the Old Testament to be a work of man,

The patriarchal stories in the book of Genesis are already shaped by Yahweh's "land promise": He causes Abraham to move out of his homeland "Ur in Chaldea" and by no means into an empty, uninhabited country, but into the land of the Canaanites, and then

he announces to him, the itinerant nomad: »I will give this land to your 5 descendants.« A little later this promise is confirmed and connected with a prophecy about the future slave lot of the descendants in Egypt: "But I will also judge the people whom they serve as slaves, and 6 afterwards they will go out with rich possessions." The Joseph story establishes the connection between Abraham, the 'God of Abraham', his clan and Moses, under whose leadership the prophecy is realized. The Egyptian sources do not infrequently mention the "chapirru," the robbery nomads who try to infiltrate Egypt, but the Book of Exodus reports that the "sons of Israel" were by no means oppressed at first, but in 400 became so numerous and prosperous over the years that the Egyptians were "stricken with dread." Therefore, they are made slaves and oppressed with hard labor.

Moses, who bears a typically Egyptian name, is told the same birth legend that Sargon of Akkad had given in an inscription about himself 7 1000 years earlier, and this charismatic succeeds, in accordance with Yahweh's instructions, in leading the oppressed people to freedom. The "rich goods" already promised to Abraham come about because, before the exodus brought about by the well-known "plagues", according to the 8th divine imperative "plunder the Egyptians". every man and woman ask their Egyptian neighbors for "utensils of silver and gold," which they then take with them. But then the last and worst plague is required: The Lord goes through Egypt at night and kills all the firstborn, while the Israelites are spared because they celebrated the Passover festival beforehand and smeared the doors of their houses with the blood of the sacrificed lamb have. After salvation through the miracle of the sea and the conclusion of the covenant at Sinai, the land promise is expressly confirmed: "If my angel will go ahead of you and lead you into the land of the Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Canaanites, Hivites and Jebusites and if I will disappear them

then you shall not bow down to their gods, nor commit yourself to 9 serve them..." What "allowing it to disappear" means becomes clear as early as in the book of Leviticus, where the conquest of the country and the extermination of its inhabitants is not only postulated, but also religiously justified by the statement that these peoples are characterized by many " abominations" unclean, above all by sacrificing their children to Moloch and practicing homosexuality and 10 bestiality. The war of conquest is thus understood as a war of religion. The first great bloodshed, however, took place in the Israelite camp itself, where the Levites, at the behest of Moses, slew "about three thousand men" as punishment for 11 worshiping the golden calf. The religious war can also take the form of a civil war, but for a long time during the last years of Moses' life the external war is in the foreground. The Israelites were the first to defeat the Canaanite king of Arad in the Negev, and they fulfilled the vow they had made to the Lord: They "dedicated the king and his people to destruction," ie they waged war as a "holy war." all relatives of the vanquished, including the women and children, but also the entire material booty destroyed and thus offered as a sacrifice to Yahweh. This becomes the norm as the story goes, and like the Egyptians of old, the Moabites now "reverently dread the Israelites" after they had killed 12 Og, king of Bashan, "and all his people." Once again the possibility of a religious civil war arises, because soon after their arrival in Shittim, "the people" who had repeatedly "murmured" against Moses even during the decade-long wandering in the desert, began to "fornicate" with the Moabite women and also their gods to worship, especially Baal-Pegor. Now the anger of the Lord flared up against Israel, and he commanded Moses: "Take all the leaders of the people and impale them on stakes for the Lord in the face of the sun, so that the burning wrath of the Lord may be turned away from Israel." This truly extraordinary punishment but is not carried out, since the anger of the LORD is allayed by the fact that the priest Phinehas, a grandson

Aarons, enraged when an Israelite walks into the women's room with a Midianite woman in full view. He grabs a spear and pierces both of 13 them on the camp. The Holy War against Midian follows, and Moses' violent outburst of anger is provoked by the fact that the Israelites initially let the women live, although they had been seducers. Therefore all the male children and the women who had already "know a man" are subsequently killed, while the female children and the virgins are 14 allowed to live "for the Israelites". The book of Deuteronomy opens with a retrospective of Moses, who reviews all the "holy wars" before his eyes and who expressly instructs Joshua to do the same with the kingdoms of the promised land. In the 7th chapter the 'separation', ie the election of Israel, is emphasized with the greatest emphasis and again connected with the demand for annihilation. If the Lord your God has brought you into the land which you are now entering to possess, if he will destroy many nations from your way...seven nations more numerous and mightier than you...then you shall dedicate them to destruction. You shall not make any treaty with them, nor spare them, nor marry them by marriage... Thus shall ye deal with them: you shall tear down their altars, break down their pillars, cut down their pillars, and burn their idols with fire. For you are a people holy to the LORD your God. The Lord your God has chosen you to be his own people among all the peoples that live on the earth...you will be more blessed than the other peoples...The Lord will take away from you all diseases. He will not impose on you any of the severe Egyptian plagues that you know, but will bring them upon all your enemies. You will devour all the peoples that the Lord your God appoints for you. You shouldn't feel sorry for yourself

let them rise, and you shall not serve their gods, for then 15 you will fall into a trap. A little later, the postulate of annihilation is extended to members of one's own family who want to serve other gods: Thou shalt not feel pity for him… but report him. When he is executed, you shall raise your hand against him first, and then all the people.

However, it does not stop with an individual offense and an individual punishment, but the possibility is considered that a whole city will fall away from the Lord: then you shall slay the citizens of this city with a sharp sword; you shall execute the consecration of destruction on the city and on everything that lives in it, including the cattle, with a sharp sword. Whatever you have spoiled in the city you shall pile up in the marketplace, and then you shall burn the city and all the spoils in the fire as a whole 16 offering to the LORD your God. In the 20th chapter, the commandment to destroy is expressly repeated to the inhabitants of Canaan: But in the cities of these peoples, which the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance, you shall not leave alive anything that breathes. On the other hand, when cities outside of Canaan are conquered, "only all 17 males must be slain with a sharp sword."

The song of Moses near the end of Deuteronomy, on the eve of his death, reflects a speech of Yahweh and is a true war song, also directed against the unfaithfulness of those Israelites who are called "a generation of rebellion." But primarily the enemies are meant, whose vine "from the vine of Sodom,

comes from the field of death of Gomorrah, without, the following words refer:

18 and to the enemies

Now see: it is I, only I, and no god opposes me. It is I who kill and who gives life... My arrows I make drunk with blood, while my sword eats flesh

- drunk on the blood of slain and prisoners, in the flesh of the highest enemy princes. Shout out victorious, ye heavens, with him, prostrate before him, ye gods. For he enforces the punishment for the blood of his sons and makes atonement 19 for the land of his people. Immediately before his death, Moses bestows his blessing on all the tribes of Israel, and his last words sum it all up again by proclaiming a curse on enemies and salvation on his own people: (The god of primeval times) drove the enemy before you, he said to you: Destroy! … How happy are you, Israel! Who are like you, O people, saved by the Lord... Your enemies will humble 20 themselves before you, and you will put your foot on their necks.

Joshua is the man to whom Moses entrusts the leadership of the people, and the Book of Joshua, which records the conquest of the "Holy Land," is a single consistent implementation of the words of the greatest of the prophets, as Moses expressly did in the last verses of Deuteronomy is called. The Israelites sent spies to Jericho and conquered the city with the help of the harlot Rahab, but above all through the intervention of Yahweh, who made it possible for them to cross the Jordan by stopping the flow of the water, and it is also said of the inhabitants of Canaan what had previously been said of the Egyptians and the Moabites: "Their hearts were melted, and their breath 21 was faint because of the Israelites".

The city walls of Jericho collapse at the sound of the ram's horns and the shouts of the Israelites, and then all that is in the city is again destroyed with a sharp sword,

"Men and women, children and old men, cattle, sheep and 22 donkeys", with the sole exception of the whore Rahab and her family. With an almost tiring monotony, the same thing is repeated throughout the land of Canaan: Joshua took Makkedah... he let no one escape... Libna... he let none escape... Lachish... he slew all that lived in it with a sharp sword... Gezer... left none left... Eglon... all that lived in her were consecrated on the same day Days of doom... Hebron... he let none escape... Debir... he let none escape. After the cities of the south, the north of Canaan is also conquered, and the same thing happens here, because a possible capitulation of the enemies is prevented by Yahweh himself by hardening their hearts, because Israel was not to show mercy to them, but to cut them off, as 23 the Lord commanded Moses.

After that, all the land, with the exception of the Philistine cities on the coast, which could not be conquered, is distributed by Joshua to the individual tribes. This conquest is once again traced back to the command of God: I gave you a land you did not labor for and cities you did not build. You dwelt in them, and you ate of vineyards and olive trees that you had not planted. So now all twelve tribes solemnly confess to Yahweh, who brought us and our fathers out of the slave house of Egypt and who did all the great wonders before our 24 eyes.

This is the early history of Israel as presented in the Old Testament, the history of the "chosen people" who, through the amazing

Yahweh's act of salvation freed from oppression and into the land already 25 promised to the forefathers, "where milk and honey flow", to be led.

If there is anything that enlightened and unbelieving thinking must take offense at, it is this early history of the "people of God," and Voltaire acted only consistently when he wrote elsewhere in the Essai sur les moeurs with regard to the time after Saul with bitter mockery wrote: Joash is murdered by his servants, Amasias is killed. Zechariah is murdered by Sellum, who is killed by Menachem, who slits the bellies of all the pregnant women 26 in Tapsa. Statements like this obviously close the question: "Is this what a people of God look like?" In fact, anyone who refers to the Enlightenment and humanism and does not admit that reading the Old Testament and at least the "Hexateuch ' filled him with horror: Enlightened and modern thought can easily be lenient in the face of some tales of magical rites or 'supernatural' phenomena, but it cannot remain unmoved when widespread mass killings are reported not only but when the annihilation of entire populations including of women and children, i.e. genocide, is expressly postulated. It rejects with indignation the belief that a god gave the appropriate commands, Rather, it must lead them back to the evil intentions of the "rulers" or to the "folk spirit" that pictured itself as God. It must demythologize this sacred history, and then the following picture might emerge: A nomadic tribe who fled to Egypt, who in retrospect invented a great story about the pharaoh's "vizier" Joseph, of whom the Egyptian sources know nothing at all, fled one day after causing a bloodbath among the Egyptians, taking numerous valuables with them . In long wanderings through the desert, the picture of the fertile lands to the north presented itself alluringly to him, and his leaders devised a program of conquest that

was also an extermination program. Indeed, they conquered the land like angels of death, and this success made such a deep impression on them that they attributed it to their god and henceforth lived entirely on the memory of his great deeds, which had accomplished the scarcely imaginable: that a nomadic tribe could do this acquired fertile land in which he could settle down and be "happy."

The consequence of this demythologization can be no other than this: the god that this people created from their experiences and fantasies was not just a god of vengeance, as he has often been characterized, but he was a god of annihilation, yes of extermination commandment, and the "Holy Scriptures" that reports on all this is more "unholy Scriptures" than any other document in world history. But even enlightenment and modernity shouldn't stop at immediate reactions, no matter how plausible, even compulsive, they may be; they also have to distance themselves from themselves and, if necessary, show selfcriticism. Something about this interpretation must be inadequate, as surely as it can appeal to Voltaire. Has the Old Testament been isolated too much, has one-sidedly chosen only what modern thinking finds objectionable? In the end, is there anything positive that makes all this negative not only understandable but possibly even justified? It cannot therefore be content with one chapter, as with the Epic of Gilgamesh and the Iliad: if what has been presented up to now were the whole, then "anti-Occidentalism" would be absolutely right,

18The Great Testimonies: III. The Old Testament 2

Indeed, in the Old Testament, if it continues to be considered at first as a unit, it is easy to find another "lineage" or tendency, departing from the image of the conquering and eradicating nomadic tribe living with their God - in modern terms, with themselves - has made an exclusive bond, deviates or at least puts this picture in a different perspective. In the 9th chapter of Genesis it is told that after the flood God made a covenant with Noah and his sons, but also “with all living things among you, with the birds, the cattle and all the beasts of the field, with all the 1 beasts of the earth, who came out of the ark with them". This covenant consists mainly in the promise that never again will a deluge come upon man and beast; nonetheless, one can distinguish this "Noahite covenant," which has a universal character, from the Mosaic covenant on Sinai, which, at least at first glance, is quite particularistic and exclusive. The attempt to make one compatible with the other runs throughout the Old Testament, from the first promise of the Lord to 2 Abraham, "Through you shall all the families of the earth be blessed." to the prophecy of Deutero-Isaiah addressed to Israel: »I will make you a light for the nations, so that my salvation will reach to the ends of the 3 earth.« The "holiness" that is imposed on the people of Israel is expressed not least in the prohibition of human sacrifice and especially infanticide: "You must not offer any of your descendants for Moloch." According to the Old Testament, 4 such child sacrifices were part of the known to Canaanite cults. But this is just

one commandment among many, all of which include the command not to do 5 "what is done in Canaan, where I am leading you." That also counts

Forbidden to sleep with a man "as one sleeps with a woman" or to follow 6 other customs that "disgusted" God. The people of Israel are to be distinguished from the surrounding peoples in order to be "holy" and "pure": 7 "Prove yourselves holy and be holy because I am holy." However, holiness not only includes the denial of what is impure and disgusting, but also a positive attitude towards “foreigners”: “If a stranger lives with you in your country, you should not oppress him. The stranger who dwells with you shall count to you as a native, and you shall love him as yourself; for you 8th were strangers yourselves in Egypt." It is therefore only logical that the first of the "Ten Commandments" reads "You shall have no other gods before me", but among the positive commandments there is not only the commandment to honor old age, but also the commandment to rest on the Sabbath, which expressly also extends to the slaves, the cattle, and "the stranger who has dwelling rights 9 in your townships." But when it is still said here that God pursues the guilt of the fathers on the sons and on the third and fourth generation in the case of his enemies, it is inculcated a little later in Deuteronomy that everyone 10 should only be punished with death for his own crime, and this rejection of a collectivistic attribution of blame is often repeated in the history books and among the prophets, as in Ezekiel in chapter 18: »Only those who sin shall die. A son shall not bear his father's guilt, and a father shall not bear his son's guilt. Justice belongs only to the just, and guilt rests only on the 11 guilty.” In some places, respect for the stranger increases to the point of rejecting joy at the enemy's misfortune, almost to the point of loving one's 12 enemy. Sexuality is not only limited by strict commandments, but (albeit at a later point in the book of Tobit) it is almost opposed to the sensual drive: On the evening of the wedding Tobias prays together with Sara, his bride »Therefore, Lord, I will take this one of mine Neither did my sister out of sheer lust for a woman, but out of true love … And Sara said with him: 13 Amen.”

With some prophets the ethicization and universalization reached a climax, as with Amos, who at least in some verses denies the special position of the Israelites. “Are you more to me than the Cushites, you Israelites? … I brought up Israel out of Egypt, but also the Philistines from Kaftor and the Arameans 14 from Kir.” And one can also give a subtle meaning to a famous saying of Hosea: »I want love, not sacrifice, the knowledge of God instead of burnt 15 offerings.« Jesus Sirach is also standing on the shoulders of a tradition when he says: "Man's mercy is only for his neighbor, the Lord's mercy is for 16 all people."

One could say that in the Old Testament the zealous volcano god of Sinai, who was filled with anger and even vengefulness, became the merciful father of all people, and the ethnocentric covenant of God with the Israelites, which went as far as the commandment to destroy peoples, constantly expanded until he in the end, 'on a higher level', become like the Noahite covenant between God and mankind. But this ethical-humanistic judgment is by no means the only one that can serve to praise the Old 17 Testament. The words of the Old Testament could not have ruled the worship of Christians for almost 2000 years if, beyond ethics and philanthropy, they had not repeatedly touched the hearts of many generations of the most diverse people: »As the deer thirsts for fresh water, so mine thirsts soul, god, after you. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.«18»If I go up to heaven, you are there; if I make my bed in the underworld, you are there. If I take the wings of the dawn and settle down at the outermost sea, there too your hand will seize me and your right hand will seize me."19In Deuteronomy it is written: "He wanted you to know that man does not live by bread alone, but that man lives by everything that the mouth of the Lord speaks."20 And where else in the whole of religious world literature can a more moving pathos be found than in the great prophets of Israel, such as in Isaiah's vision of peace: "At the end of days it will happen: The mountain with the house of the Lord stands firmly as the highest of the Mountains; he

towers over all hills. All peoples will flock to him... For the law of the Lord comes from Zion, his word from Jerusalem. He administers justice in the strife of the peoples, he corrects many nations. Then they forge plowshares from their swords and pruning shears from their spears. They no longer draw swords, nation against nation, and no 21 longer practice for war.” But even if the Old Testament is viewed from the point of view of what is simply human, it proves to be one of the "great testimonies". How simple and touching is the story of Ruth, the Moabitess, whose mother-in-law Noemi lived for a time with her husband and two sons as "foreigners" in the grasslands of Moab, wanting to return to Israel after the death of her husband and sons. Naomi urges the two daughters-inlaw who accompanied her to the frontier “to return to their people and to their God”, but Ruth answers her: “Where you go, I will go, and where you stay, I will stay. Your people are my people and your God is my God... only death will part me from you.« It is the first example of a foreigner's conversion to the God of Israel and thus proof that the 22 Israelite concept of people is not ethnicistic – as a great-grandson, none other than David emerges from the marriage that the Moabite Ruth concludes with the Israelite Boaz.

In all the literature of the ancient Near East, is there such a "human" narrative as that of Joseph and his brothers, and in particular of the scene of recognition prepared by a trick of Joseph's? The stories of Gilgamesh and Enkidu as well as of Achilles and Patroclus among the Greeks can be cited as parallels to the friendship between David and Saul's son Jonathan, and yet David's lamentation for Jonathan sounds more familiar to modern people than the lamentations of the Gilgamesh and Achilles: Woe is me for you, my brother Jonathan. you were very dear to me Your love for me was more wonderful than the 23 love of women." Absolutely unique in oriental antiquity, however, is the great one

Historical work covering the books of Joshua, Judges, Samuel and Kings:

The inscriptions of Assyrian kings, the battle reports of some pharaohs and also the narration of the Hittite king Murschili about the history of the plague 24 that afflicted his country, are only remotely comparable. It has always been rightly pointed out that for no other people in all of antiquity was their own history so much the focus of interest, that no other people was so shaped by the memory of a specific historical event as the people of Israel, namely the Exodus from Egypt, which was perceived as a saving deed of God and invoked again and again. In comparison, how novelistic and fluid are the stories and myths told by Herodotus from Greek prehistory; how purely contemporary is the great historical work of Thucydides! One could say that the Israelites were the inventors of historiography, indeed, in a sense, of history. But it is precisely this pointed conjecture or hypothesis that brings us back to our original question. Is it really correct to characterize the history of Israel as progressing from a still barbaric and bloody primeval age to an ever more humane ethic and to a more universal concept of God? It has been shown that statements of great ethical and human value can be found as early as the 25 Pentateuch, and Old Testament science even offers an interpretation that makes the horror that arises from the first acknowledgment seem unjustified, even unfounded. The majority of scholars tends to explain the accounts of the Book of Joshua as aetiological legends: since primeval times z. For example, north of Jerusalem there was a field of rubble called "Ai," and much later, sometime between the time of Solomon about 950 B.C. and the destruction of Jerusalem in 587, a historian would have adopted the popular narrative that the armies of Joshua captured and destroyed that city. In reality, the "land grab" of the Israelites was an infiltration of peaceful small cattle nomads who gradually settled down and pushed back the Canaanite population in some places.

so that it was only with great difficulty that they were able to keep their purer idea of God from being infected by the orgiastic cults of the great earth mother and the vegetation gods - the various Baals. This sufficiently explains the enmity against the Canaanites; the constant warnings against the temptations of the foreign gods would ultimately have been quite superfluous if one war of annihilation after the other had been waged under Joshua.

All of this, however, does not get rid of the more fundamental question: If no "holy wars" were fought under Joshua, that is, if no genocides took place - why then did the historians of Joshua's time, in retrospect, establish such a "holy war" mentality? and the genocide to the day? And does not this mentality continue, and does it not also appear with regard to later times, which were closer to the "deuteronomist" historians, so that more concrete historical memories must have existed? With the kingship and thus with Saul begins around 1000 BC. a new, the "state" period of Israel. That there was strong opposition to the introduction of kingship is evident from various statements in the books of Samuel, but the reason given for the end of Saul is much more revealing. At the behest of Samuel, Saul wages a 'holy war' against the Amalekites, a nomadic tribe who, as 'Amalek', survived through the centuries as a paradigm of the enemy in the 26 memories of the Israelites and Jews. Although Saul dooms the whole people with a sharp sword, he spares the king and the best of the cattle and sheep. In doing so he violates Yahweh's commandment, and despite his immediate remorse he is rejected by God through Samuel. It is in this context that Samuel's words belong: "Truly, obedience is better than sacrifice: 27 listening is better than the fat of rams." Disobedience to the divine command to annihilate is therefore considered a terrible sin worthy of death! David and his generals fulfill the commandment with great care, albeit with certain qualifications. David is reported to have after the victory over

the Moabites forced the captives to lie on the ground, and he measured the ranks with a measuring line: every two lengths of string 28 were killed, and every length of string survived. After their defeat, he even had the Ammonites burned in brick kilns – provided that Luther's 29 translation is correct, which of course raises serious doubts. The reign of Solomon is presented in 1 Kings as the culmination of Israel's history, as "glory," and was indeed a period of peace for the great empire created by David, encompassing all Judah and the northern kingdom of Israel, and much 30 beyond. Perhaps the positive ideal that the Israelites had in mind is nowhere clearer than in chapter five, where it says. “Judah and Israel lived in security from Dan to Beersheba; each sat under his vine and his fig tree as long as Solomon lived.”31

So there can be just as little talk of bellicialism on the part of the Israelites as of ethnicism. But that the situation was anything but satisfactory is made clear in the story of the many foreign women whom Solomon loved, and above all in the astonishing fact that Solomon not only built Yahweh's temple, but that he also "cult heights ' for Chemosh, 'the idol of the Moabites,' and for Milkom, 'the idol of the Ammonites,' yea, that he himself 32 worshiped Astarte and Milkom. At the high point of Israelite history, the Yahweh religion was threatened from within, and the whole history of the two small states of Judah and Israel, which were separated again after Solomon's death, as presented by the Deuteronomistic historians, is a single struggle between Yahweh and his Followers with most of the kings and large parts of the people, who constantly "did what displeased the Lord" and thus repeatedly drew upon themselves divine punishment, albeit with the active help of Yahweh's followers. From time to time one or the other king goes the right way, and then the cult heights and stone monuments are destroyed and the hierodules, who at times even had nested in the temple, are driven out.

kill at the creek Kishon; Through the intervention of a disciple of Elisha, Jehu is consecrated king in Israel, and he not only has the 70 sons of his predecessor Ahab murdered, but also his wife, the idolatrous Phoenician Jezebel, whose blood spattered the wall before the horses 33 trampled it. The conquest of the northern kingdom of Israel by the Assyrian great king Sargon in 721, which resulted in the deportation of large parts of the population, is then understood as punishment for falling into idolatry. In the southern kingdom of Judah, towards the end of the 7th century, under King Josiah, there was a major religious reform, which was not least promoted by the discovery of the "law" in the temple, i.e. the "primordial Deuteronomy". a huge iconoclasm and like a bloody reckoning with the sinful compatriots, because Yahweh was also worshiped on the »cult heights« as a rule: »He (Joschija) had the incense altars smashed, the cult posts destroyed, the carved and cast images crushed, sprinkle their dust on the graves of those 34 who sacrificed to them,

If you take a closer look, the Psalms and the books of the prophets are filled with the same spirit of absoluteness, and despite all the beautiful and profound statements, the question cannot be avoided as to whether "religious poetry" or prophetic statements are permitted somewhere in world literature are found that are so full of curses and desires of destruction against enemies. In the case of the prophets, the prophecies of annihilation against external enemies are even more pronounced than the prophecies of doom because of the sins of Judah and Israel « comes from: »I alone trod the winepress, none of the peoples was there. Then I trampled them in anger, trampled them in my fury. Their blood spattered my robe and stained my clothes. For a day of 35 vengeance was in my mind, and the year of redemption had come."

One could now say that such radical enmity as this also guided the pen of the Deuteronomistic author of the Book of Joshua, and that this is how the stories of 'holy wars', ie genocides, came about. But the Maccabees tell a similar account of the events of that war, and the starting point, the killing of an apostate Jew by the priest Mattatias, the father of the three Maccabee brothers, bears much resemblance to the killing of that sinful couple by the priest Phinehas in the book of Numbers.36

It would be incorrect to claim that religious fanaticism first appeared in Israel: Akhenaten and his followers were fanatical enough, but what is absolutely unique in Israel is the connection between religious fanaticism at home and universal hostility towards the outside, which in turn was characterized by religious belief . Again, this seems to be a very negative statement. But it is inadmissible to give the word "fanaticism" a completely negative accent from the outset. Faith and fanaticism are only separated by a thin wall, and there are probably situations where only absoluteness and fanaticism can make a difference. And, of course, these situations must not be ignored. It is well known what Greek cities did to other Greek cities when the war ended in one side's clear victory. In the Iliad, Agamemnon postulates the killing of all the inhabitants of Troy. An inscription by King Mesha of Moab says: "I attacked the city, took it and killed all the people in the city as a sacrifice to 37 Camosh and Moab." The Assyrian Great King Sargon II, who conquered Samaria in 721 and destroyed the northern kingdom of Israel by deporting a large part of the population, left inscriptions like the following: »I burned Karkar and flayed him (the king) himself. In those cities I slew the trespassers and made peace” or “I swept away their dwellings like a tide, I made the beasts eat their flocks, the date trees, their means of subsistence, 38 the groves, the riches of their land, I cut it off."

The cruelty of Assyrian warfare was notorious throughout the Near East. Even if the "holy wars" of Joshua, Saul, and David were all "historical" and not escalating legends, Joshua, Saul, and David would not stand isolated in their world. What they did to their neighbors today could happen to them tomorrow. So it happened to Ugarit, which was never rebuilt even after the Sea Peoples' Assault passed over it. This is what happened to the once powerful Assyrians when the capital Nineveh was conquered and destroyed by the Medes and Babylonians in 612. It was a world in which the existence of no city and no empire was secured and only the will to defend oneself or to expand made survival possible. The annihilation almost always had its origin in the fear of annihilation. This insecurity of all political structures, this compulsion to assert oneself shaped in one way or another all ages of history. Israel, however, was a small people and particularly exposed to all dangers on the narrow land bridge between the world empires of Mesopotamia and Egypt. Against these dangers it asserted itself for half a millennium with a tenacity and a determination, yes, a fanaticism that is second to none: If we have described the Epic of Gilgamesh as the epic of the historical existence of man, then Israel as a whole is the paradigm of the to call historical existence. And even after the destruction of the capital and the state, his identity was strong enough39

And the strange thing is that this paradigmatic historical existence was geared towards a non-historical or post-historical state, as can be seen in the ideal of everyone sitting under their own vine and fig tree, or in the orientation of the prophets to the undifferentiated, prehistoric way of being tribal equality emerges. And what is it other than the outline of the utopia in the middle of the story when Isaiah supplements the sentences quoted above in a later chapter with the words already mentioned: »Then the wolf will live with the lamb, the panther will lie with the kid … The

Baby plays in front of the snake's hole, the child stretches his hand into the snake's hole. One no longer does evil and commits no crime on my 40 holy mountain..." Was this focus on the pre- or post-historical perhaps the strength to endure the paradigm of historical existence? In the meantime, isn't that the reason for that harshness and decisiveness, which are the only things that stand there? For precisely when Joshua's will to destroy the peoples is only an invention of his late descendants, no parallel can be shown to this attitude - the Assyrians waged war in a very cruel manner, but with the intention of punishing "rebellion" and entire populations to pacify through deportations; if they or the Babylonians had dealt with the Israelites as they ascribed to Joshua, no trace of them would have remained.

It is not enough, therefore, merely to say descriptively that Israel represents the paradigm of historical existence, but it must be added immediately that the fanaticism of Israel's self-assertion is connected with the claim of its god to be the only god. Whether this extraordinary claim was justified, so that the immediate and completely natural horror from which we started out did not disappear, but was at least reconciled, will be discussed in the chapter "Religion. The Gods and the God” to be discussed below. But this much can already be stated: Israel was different from all other peoples of antiquity. His story has so many frightening features that it was easy for the later "anti-Semites" to compile a depressing summary, especially when such statements as we also emphasized at the beginning were added to such promises as "If the Lord , your God blesses you as he has promised you, then you can lend to many nations on pledge, but you yourself need not pledge anything; you will have 41 power over many peoples, but they will have no power over you.”

This one-sided emphasis is partisan and is guided by the highly questionable assumption that the assimilated Jews of nineteenth-century France or Germany were nothing more than ancient Israelites in modern dress. Conversely, however, the Christian interpreters of all denominations have so exclusively emphasized the sublime in the Pentateuch, in the Psalms and the books of the prophets, and so much downplayed or ignored the horror of the "holy wars" and the inner-Israelite enmity that a no less 42 one-sided picture emerges. The truth may be that the horrific and the sublime are closely related and should be acknowledged equally. It is a curious and unjustified expectation that the absolutely extraordinary claim which Israel has made from the beginning of its history will not arouse criticism and hostility. But if Israel had made the genuine universalistic claims of some later prophets, who make the differences between Israelites and Egyptians disappear before God, a maxim right from the start, then it would have been very quickly assimilated by the culturally far superior Canaanites and out of history eliminated. The great and extraordinary in history is not mild and good-natured; who ceaselessly varies the Golden Rule, is praiseworthy and worthy of praise; but he will accomplish nothing even remotely comparable to the Old Testament in importance and inner power.

InChapter 56It will have to be shown that even today a harsh hostility towards the Old Testament can be expressed, not least by authors who vehemently protest against any "anti-Semitism" but most vehemently 43 against the "fanatical priests" of a fateful monotheism. This thesis, which sees the "Judeo-Christian God" as the symbol of anti-life abstraction, reinforces the view that throughout human history there has been nothing more important than the question of "the gods and God."

BSchema of "historical existence"

19The religion: A. The gods If we adopt Karl Jaspers' train of thought as our own, we are still before the beginning of the "Axial Period", ie we have not yet entered the realm of "actual history" at all, unless we begin with Homer's epic. But Sumer and Babylon, Egypt and Ugarit, the epic of Gilgamesh and the teachings of Akhenaten obviously do not belong to "prehistory," and the impression arises that we have already encountered the whole range of the human in its basic features: polytheism and monotheism , city-states and empires, claims to world domination and the will to assert oneself, art and crafts, war and peace, myths and historiography, faith and skepticism, even »enlightenment« and resistance to it. It is true that philosophy and a secular history are still missing, and we have not yet encountered a democracy either; but the great hymns to Marduk or Aten are not already on the fringes of philosophy, the Deuteronomistic historiography does not get by for long stretches without direct intervention by Yahweh, the epic of Gilgamesh does not report on the "elders" who have an important say ? Perhaps 'principles' are more readily demonstrable at this early stage than later, when richness and differentiation have become overwhelming, and so these traits may be more easily put together into a 'scheme' that may no longer be a 'copy', but it is an outline whose lines will endure for thousands of years, however surely they will lose their distinctness in the mass of variations.

The first of these features to be identified is "religion," and the very word makes clear some of the issues to be discussed. »Religio« comes from the Latin »religere«, which means »observe carefully«

means – in contrast to »negligere« = to neglect. What is meant is the conscientious observance of cultic obligations such as B. the punctual offering of sacrifices. What is meant, then, is what might be called the "external aspect" of religion, and that seems characteristically "Roman." In Greek the word would most likely be rendered as aidós, pious abhorrence of the sacred, and this does not necessarily imply regular ritual performances. In Indian, perhaps the most appropriate equivalent would be dharma (law, custom, order) or sraddha, the belief in the deity manifested in the forces of nature. The Chinese sages used the term "Tao", the divine path that has to be paved by "Jiao" (teaching, education). The Latin translation of the Bible, the Vulgate, uses "religio" where the Hebrew says "huqqat," ie statute or cult order. In Islam, the self-designation later had the meaning of "religion" because it means nothing other than "submission to God's will," while "Sharia" as the divinely imposed law could 1 roughly correspond to the Roman cult order. In the Christian period of late antiquity, however, a different etymology came into use due to lactancy, deriving »religion« from »religare« (to tie back, to connect); "Religion" would thus be understood as "attachment to God". If the specifically Christian meaning of "God" is not taken as a basis, but the indefinite term "of the divine" is chosen, the most general term is likely to come about, namely "attachment to that as divine (and in the extreme case as devilish) understood whole of the world or at its origin«. A sufficient number of concrete examples of such a bond have already been described. According to the belief of the Sumerians and the Babylonians, the gods descended to the people via the great stairs of the "Ziqqurats", the god towers; the myth of the creation of the world of Enuma elisch was not least concerned with the origin of human beings, on whom "the service of the gods" was imposed; Gilgamesh did not accept the fate of death unquestioningly, but engaged in a desperate struggle only to finally see that only the fame of his works could be his life

would survive. Egypt was consumed with worries about ensuring the survival of the pharaohs and ultimately of all people in the realm of the dead "of the West", here too the temples were considered "images of the world" and the state itself was understood "cosmically", as a mirror image of the world order and at the same time their helpers; in the Canaanite myth of Baal and Moth, life and death engaged in an ever-recurring battle; the gods of Homer showed themselves as forces or forms that ruled or embodied that which outside and within man was beyond the exertion of the will. The Yahweh of the Old Testament, on the other hand, seemed to undergo a development from the tribal god of his "chosen people" to the world god of all people. The Indian and already pre-Buddhist desire for salvation from the "cycle of births" in turn has in mind a "salvation" that is neither earthly like the Jewish conception, nor otherworldly like the Christian conception, but rather worldless in the sense of the disappearance of individuality in "Nirvana". of desire and suffering. If religion is understood in such a comprehensive sense, it could well be regarded as "existential" in the sense of a structural determination of human existence that encompasses all human times. On the other hand, there are some ethnologists who believe they have encountered tribes who knew neither gods nor gods nor demons, but who were engaged in the struggle for everyday existence and considered nothing else than this everyday existence to be important. And for Auguste Comte's philosophy of progress, for example, it was an obvious maxim that the "theological" and the "metaphysical" stage of human history would be followed by the "positive" age, when people would have freed themselves from all "religious" fears and illusions , to dedicate himself exclusively to the improvement of the "real" and that means earthly conditions with firm step and sure view. Under the dominion of the scientific spirit, then, there would be no more "religion" than among those early tribes of prehistory. That would mean that religion, while a main feature of historical existence - a historical existential - is not a part of human existence as such.

So you can try the individual moves from a basic intended to derive, and by way of illustration are some more

to make additions. Let us recall the thought experiment conducted in the chapter on the "Incarnation." We said: "If anywhere animals assembled for the burial of the corpse of a member of a clan, raising their heads to the sun or the moon in order to make pleadings by gestures or sounds, they would no longer be animals but human beings." In this In connection with this, we introduced the concept of "transcendence" as crossing the respective lifeworld onto a "world horizon". This basic provision is now to be varied and expanded. Many animals also perceive wind and weather, they feel something like fear of the lightning strikes and the rumbling of thunder; they seek to flee when the waters of the river on whose banks they live rise. But apparently they know nothing of a wind god, and they do not seek to appease this wind god; They are far from afraid that the waning of the moonlight will continue to the point of disappearance, and from the belief that the moon god must be helped to regain his luminosity; performing ceremonies at the grave of a dead person never occurs to them. They are swayed by the rhythm of day and night, but this rhythm does not exist for them as such, any more than the wind that touches them or the lightning that makes them crouch. Man, on the other hand, invokes the wind and the rain as the weather gods; he not only perceives the thunder, but he supplicates the thunder god; not only does he use the moonlight for hunting or looking for fruit, he also takes an interest in the phases of the moon, and he cries out in horror when, in broad daylight, a solar eclipse seems to have caused the day star to disappear. If one does not shy away from a bold image, one could say: Man is like a harp that is placed in the winds of the cosmos, every breath of air and every storm wind makes it sound. In no animal does anything correspond to this "opening to the world"; are in this regard

they are all closed like stones or floods of water, their own strength and suppleness are as unknown to them as the flowers of the field are their colors and their fragrance. Were man nothing other than this, he would be wholly a receiver, harp in the winds of the world, sounding board for "gods." But at the same time he is an individual being who cares about his existence, fights for this existence and can be absorbed in the elaboration of this existence. As such an individual he would be like the animals, but he would be a future-seeing, past-remembering being, certain of the inevitability of death and yet rebelling against it. For this very reason, even as an egoistic fighting individual, he is not an animal, but rather a player in the game of cosmic powers even in all the narrowness of his daily life. And the highest of his possible activities is not the construction of a house or the planning of a campaign, but the penetrating and questioning look at the events in which he is a participant. With this attitude, he perceives the discord of the tones that his peers produce, and he combines into units what is struggling to diverge in immeasurable variety. This look is not like the echoing harp, but also not like the temporary self-assertion in the struggle for existence, but it is like the looking of a world eye that makes everything its object. Receptive openness, fighting self-assertion that remains in this openness, and distanced penetration of the world are aspects of what we have called human transcendence. Thus, if the term is given adequate breadth, man is a religious being throughout. But its openness, its quality as a "harp" or as a "sounding board" primarily allows gods to come into being; the deathconscious self-assertion, if it could be separated from openness, would produce the destructive life of that "ant-monkey," but one that perhaps cleverly 2 achieved a harmonizing balance; the questioning and searching »world eye would, taken by itself, reach beyond the gods to God and possibly even look beyond God in the end. His

However, man would never escape "openness to the world" or his comprehensively understood religiosity, except through collective suicide, but it could well turn out that religion in the narrower sense - as polytheism, monotheism and even nihilism - is linked to a historical stage, to the historical existence, would be bound. Polytheism is inadequately defined as "many gods." The gods of Egypt are characterized not only by numerical diversity, but also by an inner diversity, a blurring of fixed boundaries. For example, the goddess Hathor can appear as a wild cow, as a woman with a cow's head, and as a woman with a sun disk between the cow's horns, but also as a lioness or a snake. She represents intoxication, being beside oneself, the intoxication of celebrations and love, and also blood intoxication; she thus unites two apparently opposite sides of life, and one can say of her »She is angry as Sechmet and gracious as 3 Bastet« – Sekhmet is a dangerous lion goddess, while Bastet is a domestic cat –; anger can turn into gentleness, gentleness into anger, and it is precisely this transition that is embodied in the Goddess. Also Thoth, in whom the Greeks recognized their Hermes, has several manifestations, because he works in different areas of life. The ibis and the baboon are associated with him as sacred animals; but he is also close to the moon, whose phases he calculates. He is also the inventor of writing and as such the patron god of all students and writers. He acts as secretary to the gods and interpreter for the non-Egyptians at the judgment of the dead; in the land of Egypt he acts as a surveyor, and he keeps the annals of the world of the gods. At the same time he is doctor and magician; One could almost say: He is an intellectual, therefore flexible and busy, but in a more serving capacity towards the great gods. The greatest of all gods is Amun, the Hidden One, but when he is conceived as the creator of the world, that of the sun god is usually added to his name, and he is then called Amun-re. He is also called "King of the Gods". But even this highest title changes, other gods can also be invoked in this way. The ranking of the gods is therefore not fixed; every worshiper can decide for himself which god he regards as "the supreme of the gods" in a specific matter

want to turn to. With this a high degree of tolerance is given; whoever prays to this "supreme god" today may raise his hands to another tomorrow, and therefore no parties can form that fight each other because they are each permanently dedicated to the service of another "supreme god". Thus, the Egyptian pantheon knows no god battles, with the sole exception of the murder of Osiris by his brother Seth and the conflict between the falcon god Horus and the murderer and usurper.

A trinity of gods, a "trinity", nevertheless stands above all others in terms of prestige: Amun - Re - Ptah: "the invisible, all-ruling, life-giving spirit god Amun, the visible and therefore responsive sun god who watches over the 4 world order and finally the material, almost tangible body god Ptah«. Even if a lonely creator god is placed at the beginning of the world, such as Aton, the cosmos only comes into being through the procreation of further gods, first of Shu and Tefnut, air and moisture, and from these are born Geb and Nut, earth and sky. The fourth generation are then the sibling pairs Osiris and Isis, Seth and Nephthys. Horus, the son of Isis and Osiris, is no longer mentioned because he is also embodied in the living king, and the world of the gods is thus linked with the visible human god, the pharaoh. It is therefore not surprising that throughout Egyptian history there was no atheism, for who could deny the existence of heaven, sun and earth? The thought that these superhuman realities, which are so obviously far more powerful than humans, could be "nothing more" than dead natural forces released for human use or exploitation, never occurred to any Egyptian; the "numinous" character was beyond question for them . Since the gods were also city gods, they bound people to these places and established "communities" that were not based solely on human planning and deliberation. Jan Assmann writes: »As the dwelling places of the gods, the 5 temples make people feel at home on earth.« Every inhabitant of Thebes was aware that he belonged in a special way to the god Amun, and since the whole land of

covered with temples, no man was without such a home. However, the temples were not meeting rooms like the churches of the Christian Middle Ages. Rather, they were palaces of the gods, whose statues were housed in the innermost, in the "cella," while "the faithful" had access only to the outer precinct. But on feast days the gods were solemnly carried through the city or put in barks to visit neighboring gods, and on such feast days no one stayed in the dwellings of everyday life. So there was no "holy city" in Egypt like Jerusalem, but numerous "holy cities," and for the Egyptians it was self-evident that their whole country was a "holy land." In ancient Egypt, then, "state" and "church" were not separate but identical, and the pharaoh did not hold an "office" but was the living embodiment of this unity. Egypt was, one could say, the land of the gods of the realized world order, the Maat, built around the life-giving and even divine river, an order that was constantly threatened by chaos and just as constantly had to be secured and preserved by the cult. Jan Assmann therefore agrees with another researcher's assumption that, according to Egyptian belief, the unity of beings would disintegrate if people stopped cultically invoking it, and this idea, as we have seen, has parallels in modern science, albeit of course in secularized form. It is of course very difficult to say what was popular piety in this polytheistic picture of the world and what can be traced back to the interests of professional priesthoods. One might be tempted to speak of "priest deceit" when one reads that the statues of the gods were daily washed, clothed, perfumed, and provided with food by the priests, which were then consumed by these same priests. And the temples were at the same time huge economic concerns, which controlled a considerable part of the land and called their own huge masses of cattle. So there were good reasons why in the Old Testament the "idols" were incessantly attacked

but nothing more than wood and silver and thus concoctions made by human hands. But can mere priestly deception and mere priestly interest sustain a wholly individual and highly distinctive culture in existence for three thousand years? Shouldn't the interpretation be more correct that the statues as such were not the gods, but that according to the belief of the Egyptians, the veneration apparently dedicated to the statues drew down to earth, as it were, those manifold divine forces which would remain far away from the people without the cult, so that the idols would then be nothing but wood and silver and lapis lazuli? So the gods lived in and with humans, although they were by no means merely human inventions. The God-filled world was no different from today's world, but it was experienced in a different way. Polytheism does not simply mean "worship of the forces of nature by a humanity that has not yet come of age." Rather, it means experience of the world in its inexhaustible but nevertheless articulated variety, which also includes the "powers of the human heart" and those people who, as "bringers of salvation", cannot be measured by ordinary standards. But it can also mean war or at least the strife of the gods, so that the individual person gets into a tragic situation because he follows the command of one god, although he has to recognize the command of the other god as just as justified. The clarity and determination of the missionary cannot be won in a world of polytheism. The polytheistic view is opposed by another, which discards the worship of diversity, bounty, and irrational depth in order to establish unity, justice, and moral imperative firmly in the very foundation of the world, the only God and Lord of heaven and earth . Neither the one nor the other perspective disappears when gods are only spoken of in a figurative way and when atheism has taken the place of belief in God. So e.g. For example, in Schiller's poem Das Glück, the undeserved, the "given by the gods," is so praised that every champion of a "kingdom of justice"

or the 'kingdom of God' must blush with anger, although he is unable to 6 characterize the content as 'false' or 'evil'.

When the one God rejects the many gods through the mouths of men, one conception of cosmic and human life takes the place of another and perhaps older conception. No god did so much to elevate unity and rational justice above multiplicity and irrational favor as the God of the Old Testament, but he was not the only god of unity, and his opponents consistently claimed he was not free from contradictions. So Yahweh must again become the theme, even if not the only one.

20The religion: B. The God In many polytheisms there is a tendency to elevate one of the gods or goddesses far above all others and to ascribe to him or her overwhelming power. In the Iliad, Zeus is one of several as the "thunderer" and the "gatherer of clouds", yes as "the father of gods and men", even if he presides over the assembly of the gods - he is, so to speak, a constitutional monarch, who also is once misled or cheated. But at the beginning of Canto Eight Homer has him say:

Up, ye gods, try it, so that ye all know now: A golden chain ye fasten in the sky above, All ye cling to it, ye gods and goddesses all; Yet you never dragged down Zeus, the steward of the world, from heaven to earth, how much you strived and struggled! But as soon as I seriously wanted to draw, Even with the earth I lifted you up and even with the sea And I bound the chain on it around the rocky head of Olympos so that the universe hung floating on high!

So high do I stand above the gods and above men!


Anyone who is allowed to speak in this way is not a constitutional monarch, but an absolute ruler. In the Iliad, too, we can observe the beginnings of that henotheism which, by emphasizing the primacy of a single god, seems to be preparing for monotheism. From about the same time comes a hymn to the city god of Babylon, Marduk, which apparently comes from the great king Ashurbanipal and was at least found in his library:

In homage do I praise thy name, Marduk, Mighty One among the gods, Ruler of heaven and earth, Who gloriously begotten, which alone is high. You have the dignity of Anu, Enlil and Eas, dominion and kingship,

You have all wisdom, perfect in power ... Firstborn Eas, first, mighty, strong, ruthless Weathe r,

Grim fire god, blazing flame. Who burns the enemy, who does not falter in battle, in the tumult of arms, in the thick of battle! ...

Hear my pleas, accept my humiliation, mine fervent petitions and prayers;

Whoever pleases your mind may always speak to you piously... The supreme and strongest god thus absorbs the powers and distinctions of the other gods, so to speak, here even the powers of the ancient god trinity Anu, Enlil and Ea, who are still mentioned, but have apparently receded into an incomprehensible background. This "unification," as one might call it, does not go so far, however, that the female aspect of the world of the gods is no longer perceived; at the end, the supplicant turns specifically to Sarpanit, "the great lady" and wife of Marduk:

You who are mighty, queen, strong, ruler, ruler, ... Beloved of Marduks, keep me alive, that in homage I may praise you! I will praise your strength, exalted lady, Queen of Esagila, goddess of goddesses, queen of queens,

High, princess of all lands, merciful goddess who loves prayers...


A song of praise in the face of overwhelming power, but one that has a personal face and is "merciful" so that it can be approached with supplication

- that is the essence of the hymn, and it can hardly be addressed to a whole world of gods with their disparate powers and inclinations, but it does not necessarily have to depotentiate the multiplicity in favor of unity, and above all it will not strip the outstanding of human traits, which would not befit the absolute one. His wrath is listed alongside the mercy of Marduk, and there is no doubt that he is the ultimate helper in battle. Helper of the people is the all-powerful god - here Re, the sun god

– also in a much older Egyptian text, the Teaching for Merika-re, which was probably created around 1800 BC. Here it says: The people are well cared for, the small animals of God, for their sake he created heaven and earth; ... They are his images, proceeding from his body. for your sake he rises in the sky, for them he creates plants and animals, birds and fish, that they might have food... He slew the crooked among them,

as a man beats his son for his brother's sake, God 3 knows every name. This is not an expression of 'anthropocentrism', but it does reveal an extreme 'human orientation' of God, which, however, corresponds to the

human orientation to God, not much different from the book of Genesis in the Old Testament. Thus, in another ancient Egyptian text from around 1600 BC, the supreme god can be B.C. are referred to as the "one lonely one" "who created beings," but nowhere is there a hostile turn towards the other and subordinate gods, who become invisible in prayer to the one, but by no means sink into nonexistence. Just this turn to enmity against the other gods, yes to theirs

Annulment, which until then had not been carried out anywhere, is characteristic of the religious revolution of Akhenaten - Amenhotep IV 4 - who has already been quoted. Akhenaten's praise of this one no longer applies to the greatest of the gods, but to the only god; thus the transition from henotheism to monotheism has been completed. Therefore only one name of God is mentioned, namely Aton, and Aton is removed from all references to other gods. It has neither progenitors nor was it preceded by chaos or nothingness. No mysterious transitions or relationships call into question its uniqueness, and it is nevertheless quite visible: the sun disk and the light emanating from it. In that light all other gods have vanished; the night, the dead, the autonomous forces of nature become insubstantial. Nevertheless, the light-filled nature is not allowed to live its own life, And this extraordinary claim was realized in practice: A comprehensive "deification" began throughout the country, for the first time in world history, and with it the first totalitarianism became apparent - the sole rule of the only God, which at the same time meant the sole rule of the only Son of God . Thus the entire enmity of the "one" against "the many" became apparent, which can be interpreted as the king's power struggle against the priesthoods of the country and which has often been repeated in history - admittedly not in Egypt, where after death Akhenaten, a comprehensive restoration of the variety of gods and temples took place, from whose perspective the Amarna period 5 appeared as an illness and the flight of the gods.

In Israel the uniqueness of God was not enforced only after the end of a thousand and a half years of history, but existed from the beginning, although not in the sense that "Israel" had worshiped the only God Yahweh from the very beginning. Rather, Israel only came into being with the worship of Yahweh, and the uniqueness had to

centuries of struggles are claimed. "The God of the Fathers" is, of course, unique; the clan of wandering nomads consecrates themselves to a god, just as in other parts of the world a clan of hunters has only one totem animal. But this god, who revealed himself to Moses and led his chosen people out of Egyptian captivity, was by no means a "world god" for a long time, and he shared many archaic traits with the gods of other peoples. He appears to Moses in the 'burning bush' to reveal to him his identity with the 'God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob', and Moses covers his face because 6 he is afraid to look at the God. During the wanderings in the desert it appears to the eyes of the Israelites as a "cloud" and as "burning fire". He also resembles a natural force in all its mysteriousness insofar as he once tries to kill Moses, who is only saved by his wife Zippora by cutting off her son's foreskin and touching Moses' penis with it, which causes her to " 7 blood bridegroom«. When Moses tells his father-in-law Jitro about the deeds of Yahweh, he says: "Now I know: Yahweh is greater than all 8th gods." But even Moses himself, in his "victory song," in which he praises the Lord as a "warrior," takes the existence of other gods for granted: "Who is like you 9 among the gods, O Lord?" And Yahweh himself does nothing other than give his people the ten commandments at the conclusion of the covenant on Sinai, for although he claims exclusivity with regard to his people Israel, he does not deny the existence of other gods: »You shall have none besides me have other gods', says the first of the commandments, and it is justified by the statement that he, Yahweh, is a jealous god and that he pursues the guilt of the fathers of his enemies down to the fourth generation. That man should not murder and not commit adultery are trivial precepts to which there were plenty of parallels in Mesopotamia and Egypt during the preceding millennium; The commandment, however, is not at all trivial: "You shall not make an image of God for yourself, nor any representation of anything in heaven above, on earth below, or in the water under the earth." This becomes a main character of all previous ones

Religion denies, namely its vividness, as it had been widespread in countless pictures and statues all over the earth for at least 15,000 years, and tends to proclaim the invisibility of God, although the proclamation of the commandments takes place under thunder and lightning, so that the people are seized with fear and say to Moses: 'Speak to us, and we will listen. God 10 shouldn't talk to us, or we'll die.« Akhenaten's god was unique and allencompassing, but he was visible, even visibility itself. The invisible, purely spiritual god would be the god of a different kind of monotheism, but there would still be a long way to go before Yahweh shed all his natural and archaic traits would have.

How close the sublime and the archaic were still to each other is perhaps nowhere as clear as in the proverbs of Balaam, the Moabite whom God had enlightened: “God is not a man who lies, nor a child of man who repents … God has got rid of them led Egypt. He has horns 11 like a wild bull.” The decisive question is whether the exclusive relationship with "his people" also belongs to these archaic traits, since for the Assyrians it was as natural as it was for the Babylonians that Assyria or Marduk was "their god". Was it not an obvious consequence to expect that Yahweh the Invisible, who had no images and statues after the pattern of Assyria, Marduk and Amun, would one day, as the only God encompassing the universe, be evenly devoted to all mankind as the universal » "chosen people" would prevail? In fact, it is not an arbitrary construction when one says that the only and invisible God of every monotheism is subject to the thought tendency to make him ever more sublime and thus to further and further abolish human resemblance to the point where only negative statements can be made: God is timeless, non-spatial, needless, unchanging, unlimited, unnameable, incomprehensible, self-sufficient. But with that he is also inaccessible to human supplications and, above all, without a prominent reference to any human reality, whether it is a question of a people or a church. This would be 'the god of the philosophers', like Pascal him

later named, gained through the "via negationis," far from man in spite of his omnipresence, and in any case not a "living god." No religious person or religious culture has ever taken this path exclusively and then walked it to the end; all Christian churches have tended to choose the »via eminentiae«, which gains God's qualities through the greatest possible increase in positive human qualities: God is all-just, all-good, allmerciful, love itself. Only in this way can he be the God of a church and also of a country; only in this way can a state go to war shouting "God be with us!" Only then can Schiller's lament about "nature devoid of the gods" after the disappearance of the Greek gods, in which Helios does not steer his golden 12 chariot, but only "a soulless ball of fire turns", be irrelevant to a certain extent, because the all-good and all-just God can send saints and prophets to earth who show the way of people who have gone astray and who may also be sent to individual peoples in order to rouse them and oblige them to serve God. Only then will there continue to be holy places and worshipable people. Merely an inconsistent monotheism, it might be argued, can be religious; the God of the philosophers does not ask for prayer, but as 'being' or 'the whole' he becomes accessible only to the thinking of individuals, namely philosophers. Less than a century after the destruction of Jerusalem, Parmenides was active in Greece, who outlined the most radical doctrine of this no longer divine god, being, and Israel's monotheism leaned far more in this direction than that of Akhenaten because of the concept of the invisibility of God. But the Yahweh of the Israelites remained a "living God" who was active in their history - at most very indirectly in "world history" - and retained more "anthropomorphic" traits than most of the gods of the "pagans": anger, hatred, jealousy, disgust , will to destroy. Thus the process of the 'spiritualization of God' in the Old Testament cannot be overlooked, but it corresponds to a process of retaining, even strengthening, God's 'liveliness' or, to put it another way, his human-like traits. Only because of this could Yahweh

remain the God of Israel's history, but it would be unfair not to see the tendency to expand beyond the people of Israel.

At the dedication of the temple, Solomon said, "Does God really dwell on earth? Behold, even the heavens and the heavens of 13 heavens cannot contain you, much less this house that I have built.” Psalm 104 vividly recalls Akhenaten's great hymn to the sun: 'You make the fountains gush forth in the valleys, they rush between the mountains. They give drink to all the beasts of the field, and the wild donkeys quench their thirst from it. The birds of the sky dwell on the banks, and their song 14 comes from the branches..." But for the Israelite poet, unlike Akhenaten, the light is "like a garment" of God; it is not God himself. But how alive - for modern sensibilities: all too alive - does this sublime God remain! The prophet Elijah competes with 450 prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel. Sacrifices are offered, but no fire is kindled; Baal and Yahweh are expected to give a sign of their power. There is no answer to the 'Hear us, Baal', but after Elijah's supplication, 'the fire of the Lord came down and consumed the burnt offering, the wood, the stones and the earth'. All the people fall on his face and cry out, 'Yahweh is God! Yahweh is God". For the Baal priests, 15 however, the sign means the killing at the brook Kishon.

With regard to bloody animal sacrifices and smoking altars, the religion of Yahweh differs in no way from the religions of the pagans: The Iliad tells that Agamemnon always carried the sacrificial knife at his side in order to be ready at any time to sacrifice bulls or sheep to 16 the gods bring; But the Old Testament reports that Solomon had "22,000 cattle and 120,000 sheep" slaughtered for the dedication of 17 the temple. Joshua's conquest of Canaan is remembered again and again as a great act of God and is almost always linked to justifying accusations against those who were vanquished and cut off. In Chapter 12 of

»Wisdom«, the connection between ethicization and radical selfcenteredness becomes particularly clear: The earlier inhabitants of the

countries were hated by God because they committed heinous crimes; they were "merciless child murderers" and consumed human flesh and human blood at the sacrificial meal. Therefore the country should "receive a worthy population of God's children". But even with these Canaanites God was gentle, "because they were human". He sent hornets ahead of the army of Israel "to destroy them little by little." So he gave them time to turn back. “Yet you knew perfectly well that their origin was evil, and their wickedness innate, and that their minds would never change; they were a cursed tribe 18 from the start.” Nevertheless, the extension to include all of mankind stems from a necessary tendency of this first monotheism of the invisible God, and clinging to the "election of Israel" is perhaps nothing other than clinging to the "aliveness" of a God who could soar too high . It was very close to pure universalism when God said to the prophet Jonah, "You are sorry for the castor bean tree that you did not work for or raise. But I shouldn't be sorry for Nineveh, the great city where more than a hundred and twenty thousand 19 people live...?" However, this statement is preceded by the highly imaginative story of the conversion of Nineveh by Jonah, and this perhaps indicates what God wills Israel can still do when its capital city is destroyed and its people taken off to a foreign land: It can, if it survives, make it the missionary messenger of God to the other peoples. Then, however, it would soon become clear whether God – in modern terms: the objectified and concentrated will of the people – which had hitherto been the most powerful helper in the struggle for the “historical existence” of a people, would now become a God of all people – again To put it in a modern way: whether the folk god of yesterday, who was more than a mere folk god from the outset,

altered struggles for the preservation of existence and identity would remain. In any case, after 587 the state of Judah ceased to exist, and no "sprout of David" ever ascended its throne again, except in the hope of the "Messiah." But by the end of its paradigmatic historical existence, this state of monotheism had also differed from the states around it in that "rule" was understood and exercised differently in it, no matter how similar the "relationships of production" might be. When God became or remained "the only one," the foundation of a unique historical existence was laid. But 'rule' and 'state' as such were the main characteristics of all historical existence in general. The "schema of historical existence" can no more begin without the introduction of the concepts "rule - state - stratification" than without the elementary fact of "religion".

21Domination - Stratification - State Nothing is more natural in early advanced cultures than domination. Yahweh and also the fathers of the gods Anu and Amun-Re rule over the whole universe; in Sumer, kingship came "down from heaven" from time immemorial; between the death of the old pharaoh and the enthronement of the new one, the world seemed to the Egyptians to be in peril. The individual gods also had demarcated dominions, and there were clear differences in rank between them. However, a complete "reflection" of human conditions did not exist, because some gods, such as e.g. B. Hephaestus, although regularly perform services for other gods, but slaves do not exist in the heaven of gods. In contrast, the human societies of early high cultures were "layered" in an unmistakable way: slaves, farmers, craftsmen, and traders are to be distinguished everywhere as relatively large groups, and above them stand the kings with their court and their bureaucracy. There is no doubt that these are states in which a central authority legislates, wages wars, punishes and rewards, and it is a misguided undertaking to ascribe state character only to the states of modern Europe. But it is disputed whether rule, stratification, and the state can also be found in prehistory, and it is an ancient as well as modern thesis that there will be no longer rule, stratification, and the state in posthistory. The strongest and also the most questionable counter-argument to such assumptions and suppositions is to see at least domination in nature. The "lumps" of Kant or the "accretions" of modern science are arranged according to their size and power: condensations of cosmic dust attract smaller

condensations and finally form celestial bodies; the planets revolve around the sun because they are affected by its gravity, so to speak

are caught. The greater mass, the stronger force, submits to the smaller mass, the weaker force; in the relationship of the celestial bodies to each other there is no distinction between might and right.

But such a comprehensive concept of "dominion" is certainly inadmissible; The only thing that is undoubtedly correct is that celestial bodies of very different sizes and strengths exist in the cosmos and therefore different degrees of dependencies can be stated. It would, however, be nothing but metaphorical language to describe the solar system as a "state" built around the sun. What is true of the celestial bodies is also true - mutatis mutandis - of the oaks of the forest as representatives of the plant world: the stronger or favored by chance survives and prevails, but it is entirely dependent on the systems in which it is embedded: from the forest, from the climatic conditions, from earth movements. It is different in the animal world, and it is here to remember all that isChapter 8outlined: to the "ant states" with their "castes", "wars" and "slaves"; to the "clans" and "hordes" of apes and apes with their "sexual dimorphism," their "alpha males" and "whipping girls," but also with the first differences that are no longer based on instinct but on "experience." . "Command" and "obedience," however, do not seem to exist anywhere in primates. Even the earliest humans who emerged from the "animal-human transition field" continued to live in clans and hordes for thousands of generations. It is highly probable that the ablest hunter took on a leading role, but "orders" could hardly have been given here either, and one can hardly speak of "heredity" even if here and there a son takes his place of the father kicked. There could only have been a "stratification" according to age and sex. Whether and how groups of hunters joined together to form larger units such as "tribes" and the inferences made by present-day "primitive peoples" to prehistoric conditions, as suggested by ethnologists in the 19th century

frequently undertaken, today encounters many methodological concerns. A fundamental change only took place with the transition to agriculture in the Neolithic period, only then did villages and the first cities emerge. The world of gatherers and hunters was also not an indiscriminate world, because there were areas with little or plenty of game, dry and wet areas, but only after the cultivation of plants and the domestication of animals did it become apparent what the greater or lesser fertility of the earth could mean and what differences happened by chance. From the beginning there were poorer and richer villages, and since the cattle were usually owned by individual families, soon the owners of large herds differed from those of small herds - perhaps only because animal diseases had decimated some and spared others. The most elementary fact, however, was that now for the first time a "surplus" could be produced and stock management could be practiced. Even in primitive conditions, a peasant family produces more food than it can consume itself, and this results in the possibility that this surplus is made available to other people who perform important auxiliary services as craftsmen or bring goods that are in the immediate vicinity as traders are not available, or as magicians and priests try to ward off evil.

According to James Mellart, a "priestly" class was already to be found in Çatal Hüyük, occupying the larger houses, and there is a high probability that the walls and towers of ancient Jericho were built by professional builders and defended by professional soldiers. The possibility of division of labour, in turn promoted by agricultural "surplus" or "added value" production, was evidently the elementary basis for a "differentiation" into different groups within society, which could not have existed in the state of gatherers and hunters , because here everyone lived “from hand to mouth” and had to contribute equally to securing their livelihood.

"Cooperation" now took on a whole new meaning, because its effects were no longer immediately visible: the trader who had been provided with food and obsidian pieces so that he could trade ivory in distant regions could only give or show his return service after months. And as much work could be put into the erection of megalithic tombs as was required for tilling all the fields of several villages: Doesn't this have to be planned and calculated by individual people a long time beforehand, and is it really agreed that all these villagers will do the additional work voluntarily and equally? Hadn't the richer villages perhaps been able to exchange objects on more favorable terms, so that they became ever richer in comparison? Conditions of this kind were found by Bronislaw Malinowski on the 1 Trobriand Islands during the First World War, and it does not take much imagination to stretch out the lines and see a group of several villages arising, in which a single family collects taxes and gives orders, where the village elder has become the chief or prince, living a life of luxury and a clientele, while the villagers are divided into larger and smaller farmers, more skilled and less skilled artisans, and successful and less successful traders. But the “prince” gives orders and arranges things – perhaps for the benefit of even the poorest, perhaps only for the benefit of his own family and his clientele. In the second book of the Politeia, Plato constructed the emergence of the "city" roughly according to this model, and that means the emergence of rule, stratification and the state. But the emergence of different occupations due to the division of labor and as a result of the different needs of man, which could also take place on a safe island, does not suffice for him as an explanation. Rather, what is central for him is the inevitability of defense or attack

and with it the emergence of a class of warriors or "guardians." From there he makes the transition to the gods and, sharply criticizing Homer, outlines the basic outlines of a doctrine of the divine which alone can establish the morality of warriors and other members of the 2 state. But none of these constructions of prehistoric events, no matter how probable, are no longer necessary once the realm of written tradition has been reached: domination, stratification, and the state immediately come to the fore in full life-size. In the Epic of Gilgamesh, King Gilgamesh first appears as a despotic city ruler who builds the huge walls of Uruk: "Gilgamesh will not let his son go to his father, Gilgamesh will not let his girlfriend to his beloved," people complain. More than 1,500 years before Solon, a kind of »seisáchtheia« was carried out in Lagash under Urukagina, a social reform that eliminated serious abuses. At Ur about the same time, numerous courtiers follow the kings to their deaths, and the shaft tombs are furnished with a wealth of treasures; In Egypt, the great pyramids still show those who are born to come after what huge armies of forced laborers the pharaoh, as the son of God, was able to summon to ensure his continued life in the afterlife.

In Ugarit, the king is the city's chief merchant, and he trades extensively as far as Egypt, Crete, and the Bahrain Islands. In Israel, on the other hand, the traditional but always relative equality of the fellow tribesmen is long preserved, and the 'Confederation of the Twelve Tribes' is still governed by 'judges', in an intermittent rather than a permanent manner, while in Assyria and Babylonia 'kings of the four quarters « have long been claiming world domination for their gods and their tightly organized states. Eventually, however, around 1000 BC, many centuries after Egypt and the Mesopotamian empires, Israel too becomes a state under kings, with bureaucracy, merchants, priests "above" and the poor, and presumably even debt slaves "below".

How much domination in the ancient Near East was based on religion and thus in a certain way, although "despotic" according to general opinion

was restricted is particularly evident in the example of the celebration of the New Year festival in Babylon. At the beginning of the spring month of Nisan, great celebrations took place, beginning with the memory of the chaotic primeval times and at the same time mourning Marduk who had "disappeared in the mountains", ie who seemed to have lost his power in the dry and hot season and his return was requested. The poem of the creation of the world, the Enuma elish, was solemnly recited, and Marduk's struggle with Tiamat may also have been dramatized. On the following day the great Marduk temple, "Esagila," was solemnly rededicated by the chief priest, and then the king was escorted by priests into the Holy of Holies, where stood the statue of Marduk. The chief priest took the king's regalia - crown, sceptre, ring and scimitar - and laid them before the god. Then he turned back to the king, now an ordinary man without his insignia, and slapped him on the cheek; afterwards he told him to kneel down and declare his innocence: I have not sinned, O Lord of the land, I have not neglected the gods, I have not harmed Babylon. Then the king received another smack, and it was considered an auspicious omen when tears came to his eyes. Only then were the regalia restored to him, and with that his rule began anew, in analogy to Marduk's assumption of rulership during the great battle of the gods and as a symbolic parallel to Marduk's return from "the mountains" at the same time beseeching the masses in the streets and was celebrated. In this way, king and people alike placed themselves in harmony with the cosmic primordial events, and not as 3 mere spectators, but as active helpers.

If only the distinction between king - priesthood - people can be recognized as a "layer" here, then there is a testimony from Egypt which recognizes the self-understanding of a narrowly delimited layer

leaves, namely the writer class. It lets the teacher speak to a student like this: I make you love the Scriptures more than your mother... The miner's fingers are crocodile-like; he stinks more than fish spawn. … Behold, there is no profession in which a man is not commanded, 4 save that of official; it is he who commands.

It would be easy to argue here with the terms "class interest" and "exploitation"; the teacher motivates the student by the prospect of a more comfortable life, and he seems to realize that the means for that more comfortable life must be raised from the great mass of those who are tied to a most trying life. But if asked, he would probably have added that the profession of writer was absolutely indispensable and could only be learned over many years of intellectual effort. The ore worker also indirectly profits from the existence of the clerkship, for before the time of the pharaohs and their scribes, their ancestors would have had to earn their livelihood much more laboriously as peasants among peasants; the fact that society is stratified is also advantageous for the lower strata. In the Old Testament, a king's rule is not God-given; in the early days the Israelites were led on behalf of God by "prophets" like Moses, by charismatic war heroes like Joshua, Gideon and Samson, or by "judges"; only when they were severely oppressed by the Philistines did the people demand that they be given a king "like the other peoples". The last judge, Samuel, vividly reminds them of the disadvantages of kingship:

He will tithe your fields and vineyards and give them to his courtiers and officials. He will fetch your male and female servants, your best young people and your donkeys and have them work for him... you yourselves will be his 5 slaves.

An extremely negative accent falls on royalty and bureaucracy here, which could be summed up in the words "exploitation" and culminated in the use of the word "slavery". Although there are a number of 6 parallel passages to this, it would nonetheless be a mistake to perceive a general hostility to rulership in the Old Testament, for the Davidic kingship is repeatedly glorified, and only the step towards the king's 'sonship with God' is avoided, apart from a few not entirely clear 7 indications. So many kings and heroes are referred to in the Iliad as "born of Zeus" or "born of gods" that there seems little more than general praise, but for Homer the truth, first articulated by Odysseus when he was in the second, is quite unquestionable Singing harsh words to the people hurrying to return home: Evil is multiple rule; One is ruler, one is 8th only king... The sentence is just as obvious:

All men in battle are not at all alike,


and therefore there is also a stratification of ranks in the army. Now and then even the "state", detached from the ruler, comes into view, as when Hector refuses to let his actions be determined by an omen in the middle of a battle that is going well:

You, on the other hand, advise me, the broad-winged bird to trust more; I do not respect them, nor do I care; Whether they fly to the right, to the day's splendor and to the sun, or to the left, into

the misty darkness of the evening... A bird sign is the best: to fight 10 for the fatherland.

One can accept the statement by ethnologists that in many primitive societies the older men not only denied the younger men access to the better food, but even denied it

claim several women for themselves, so that the younger ones have to live as bachelors for a long time. Then Georges Balandier's thesis that there is "no society without political power and no power without hierarchy and relationships of inequality between individuals and social groups" can 11 hardly be disputed. However, one would probably have to supplement it as follows: the use of force by the stronger is a basic reality in the existence of all living beings, even if the silent threat is often enough; Power is fixed violence, ie violence that lasts beyond the moment, and power in this sense is already possessed by the "alpha male" of a horde of baboon, but probably also by the most capable member of a hunter's group - in both cases the inner approval of those subjected to power is likely; Rule is legitimate power, and it can therefore not exist without religion, without stratification resulting from the division of labor and without a state's willingness to impose sanctions. So domination is historical domination, so long as it is prefigured in differences, that is, "inequalities," in prehistory and in the animal world.

It may therefore seem astonishing that history is nonetheless filled with criticism of government, and not just criticism of peculiarities, such as the exceptional brutality of certain individual governments or forms of government, but of fundamental criticism of government in general. It should be remembered that Montaigne relates in his Essais that Brazilian Indians, when they came to Europe, expressed their astonishment that men should obey a child and that the disadvantaged half of the people 12 would not grab the other half by the throat . In fact, it is a consequence of the legitimacy of a government that the rules of succession can take precedence over the point of view of ability, and this makes sense in any case in order to avoid the fights that would otherwise most likely break out among the equally competent pretenders. But the eyes of primitive people can certainly perceive nothing but absurdity in it, and the same applies to social differences of a pronounced kind, especially when the numerical ratio is even more one-sided than in the case of social differences

distinguishing one half from the other. What is overlooked is that even a vast majority is incapable of action if they cannot articulate disagreeing feelings, and that they do not want to bring about such agreement when there are different situations in their inner lives. But apparently there is a widespread feeling that the simpler is the better and that domination, stratification, and "state" are not simple and therefore something unnatural. Jean-Jacques Rousseau was guided by this feeling when he wrote his essay on the origin of inequality between people in 1754. Rousseau, however, could rely on the ancient doctrine of the good "state of nature" as opposed to the artificial state of civilized society, and this doctrine was itself rooted in the Christian tenet of "expulsion from paradise" because of sin. In the twentieth century, this view was taken as a basis and further developed by the proponents of the so-called superimposition theory, especially by Alexander Rüstow in his three-volume work Localization of the Present, the first text of which bears the title Origin of Rule.

Rüstow does not appeal to Rousseau, and he does not claim absolute originality for his conception. He knows that it is based on a fact that has been going on for centuries and has often been explained theoretically: the subjugation of Roman-Celtic Gaul by the Germanic Franks during the Migration Period and the conquest of Anglo-Saxon England by the Normans after the Battle of Hastings in 1066. In England and especially in France, these events were often referred to in the modern conflict between the nobility and the bourgeoisie, positively by Count Boulainvilliers, who, as descendants of the Frankish victors, proudly opposed himself and his peers to the mass of the conquered Celts; negatively by the Thierry brothers and during the French Revolution already by the Abbé Sieyès, who condemned the nobility because of their descent from foreign conquerors

expelled from the "nation." In England, too, the widespread polemics by liberals against the 'Norman Conquest' on the subject was a criticism of the contemporary nobility. Rüstow now makes an extraordinary generalization with reference to Ibn Chaldun, in that he allows all high culture to emerge from the superimposition of peasant peoples by warlike nomads, by Semitic and Indo-European "lord peoples" who had far superior means of war, namely chariots and horses. Only with the formation of the “rich” for the first time was that broad “sociological base” created, which made population densification and thus the emergence of cities possible. This is the positive, the history-founding side, but it corresponds to the 13 negative, which is the expulsion of people from the "social paradise" of the peasant and small-scale communities in which there had been neither rule nor stratification nor state, but there had been a degree of leadership and small differences within the many polities. Rüstow does not shy away from linking directly to the ideas of Christianity, which he otherwise largely rejects in favor of a "natural", non-ascetic and also sexually "normal" way of life, and to write:

All of us, collectively and separately, are accomplices in this 14 great guilt, in this true original sin. One of the fatal consequences of the original sin of conquest and subjugation is e.g. B. the idea of the "chosen peoples" is also imperialism, is the concentration of all essential capital in the hands of a small minority and is primarily the fact that the descendants of the conquerors still live from that "surplus value" which first vanquished peasants had been robbed by forced tributes. Despite all modern tendencies towards the attainment of "liberty, equality, fraternity" the 15 great goal of "isonomy, complete equality" still not reached, "the poison of the universal-historical fall from grace of overlaying" has not yet been 16 excreted from the social body.

However, Riistow remains far from advocating radical egalitarianism, and a certain agreement in basic ideas does not prevent him from confronting Bolshevism with brusque hostility; his goal is a meritocracy in which no "artificial" income from property is able to distort the differences in naturally based income from performance, and according to him this society can only be realized in a "world state" that offers genuine smallscale living and thus the regaining of a natural and unspoilt way of life makes possible. As early as the Weimar Republic, Franz Oppenheimer had represented similar trains of thought, which tied in with the early socialists and expected the remedy in the lifting of the "land ban" caused by large landowners, so that the whole country and later the whole world could deal with wealthy and relatively could cover autonomous communities. After the replacement of the "political means" that has so far determined or helped determine the whole of history, the sole rule of the "economic means" would be given: a global competitive society based on the full economic freedom of individuals, but which only allows for small differences in the economic situation and therefore no dominance nor stratification (ie classes), nor states will produce. Like 17 Rüstow later, Oppenheimer does not shy away from religious,

The doctrine of superimposition traces domination, stratification, and the state back to "exogenous" causes, chiefly to conquest; Plato, on the other hand, makes endogenous factors the cause, in particular the division of labour. Criticism is not difficult: the first advanced civilization of mankind, the Sumerian, was based neither on the subjugation of a different-ethnic underclass nor on the formation of an empire; as

Gutians and Kassites, who were perceived as "barbarians," conquered Babylon and at times formed a ruling class, but they very quickly assimilated to the subjugated, and they by no means produced the Babylonian state along with rulership and stratification; the concept of "conquest" has a more intensive form of appearance, which Rüstow as well as Oppenheimer completely neglected, namely the displacement or annihilation of the vanquished. But it cannot be overlooked that Oppenheimer and Rüstow, and also Alfred Weber, let themselves be determined by a very concrete experience, the experience of the strong role of the nobility in Wilhelmine and even in Weimar Germany.

Today there is no longer any nobility except for insignificant remnants. The thesis is possible that for thousands of years, and especially at the beginning of history, the nobility was the most important of all strata, and it is striking enough that Plato, too, in his construction of the state for "endogenous" causes the "guards" and their orientation to the defense of the state ascribes a particularly important role. It could be that the existence of a nobility has, at least hitherto, been particularly characteristic of "historical existence" and that, if it could disappear, then perhaps domination, stratification and the state would also be linked to a mere phase of human existence, to the historical phase , are bound.

22Nobility - Sublimation - Art There is no rule and no state without a ruling class, but not every ruling class is a nobility. A ruler who cannot count on the loyalty and obedience of at least those around him will not long survive his accession to the throne, at least as a ruler. In Europe there has long been the popular notion of the "oriental despot" whom all his subjects may approach only in the attitude of "proskynesis," but closer inspection shows that the "omnipotence" of such kings was quickly over , if by ill-considered actions they had made themselves hated by a powerful priesthood and did not have a numerous retinue impervious to the insinuations of that priesthood. The same applies to the concepts of "Bonapartism", Every study of "authoritarian" or totalitarian regimes in modern times has shown to what extent a complicated structure of power and command from different groups enabled the "autocrat" to exercise seemingly unlimited power. But it is also a delusion to assume that there are no leading strata in "democracy." Even where one can for the first time speak of a political democracy and no longer of the family clan, namely in the assembly of the village communities or also of the tribal elders, closer observation has shown that levels of rank and authority can be observed and they have in fact been the same for decades are men on whom the important decisions depend.

In the Epic of Gilgamesh, "the elders" of Uruk play a role, and Gilgamesh is apparently required to seek their advice, which he then ignores. However, these leading men will not be called "nobility," and Gilgamesh may travel to distant lands with Enkidu in search of adventure, but the friends remain all alone in their battles with Chuwawa and the bull of heaven, and then the struggle against death intensifies exclusively in the foreground; Deeds and adventures can only be called "noble" when a community of noble men is involved, at least in the background. King Urukagina of Lagash had to push through social reforms against a "clique" that had formed around the "palace" during the wars of the previous dynasty. So it must have been a question of a number of rich families against which the new king had to assert himself. However, there is nothing to suggest that this 'clique' was a 'warlike class of gentlemen', and this seems to be a main characteristic of the nobility.

In Egypt, the pharaohs of the first, the "pyramid-building" dynasties ruled with the help of a large bureaucracy of scribes and administrative officials, who accomplished enormous organizational feats and had a finely graduated share in the luxury of court life and in the religious hopes of immortality according to the respective responsibilities. But it was not until the following "intermediate period" that reports were given of "district princes" who led an independent regime and thus plunged the "two kingdoms" into anarchy. It may be assumed that they each had a number of followers who, to all appearances, did not see themselves primarily as warriors. Here, too, the following should apply: if there is no focus on war, there is no nobility. An interesting question, however, would be whether one could not already speak of a "priestly nobility" with regard to the "Old Kingdom". But these two concepts are brought together only hesitantly, and the reason becomes clear when one goes a step further and is tempted to speak of a "nobility of writers". It has been shown as rugged

how the class of scribes differed from the "people" and what an extremely important role they played in Egypt, just like the priests. Intellectual activity as a profession, however, can obviously be subsumed even less under the term "nobility" than the orientation towards something "beyond," which is still characteristic of priests even when it is only a question of the beyond of a completely secular heaven of gods. The nobility is probably to be attributed an emphasis on "worldliness," even if they repeatedly make sacrifices to the gods. A 'theocracy', one might say, has no nobility but a leading, even ruling class of priests. The rule of Gudea of Lagash and even of Hammurabi of Babylon had more theocratic features than that of aristocratic rule. On the other hand, scholars are able to report that the Kassites, as a conquering class from outside, quickly got used to the more comfortable life of high culture and that the followers of the conquering kings became "land-owning feudal lords."1But nothing has survived that could serve as evidence of the selfimage of this "nobility," and there are no reports that the Kassites conquered Babylon with the help of chariots and cavalry.

On the other hand, since the 16th century, the princes of the Churrite states have often been "Aryan dynasties," "supported by an Aryan nobility fighting 2 with horse-drawn chariots." and it cannot be ruled out that the 'Hyksos' in Egypt are to be regarded as such a class of nobles, although they probably only included Aryan elements in small parts, while the larger part consisted of Semites. The Hittites and also the Mitanni may have largely consisted of groups of those Indo-Aryans who had blown away and who apparently already destroyed the Harappa culture and who were firmly established in the Indus Valley around 1200. The Hittite royal inscriptions make it clear that the dynasties depended largely on a powerful nobility to wage their wars and play a major role in resolving differences within the dynasties. The earliest evidence of a self-understanding that seems to belong to the nobility as inevitably as its absence does to the peasantry

characteristic is found, however, on the part of the Assyrians, who for several centuries, albeit with great fluctuations, were the most feared military power in the Near East. Since Assyria was much more agrarian than Babylonia and was not as dependent on irrigation work, something like a landed gentry could develop to provide the officers for the army. From the time of King Tukulti-Ninurta around 1200, there is an epic that has unfortunately only been preserved incompletely and describes an Assyrian campaign against the Babylonian Kassite king. The "I" form does not predominate here, as in most ancient oriental war reports of the rulers, but an officer gives an encouraging speech in the face of the king, which says, among other things:

Lord, since the beginning of your reign... struggle and hardship has been a feast for us, our joy is battle... Kings know of your warrior status, so they always dread fighting you... long live those who go ahead, let those who remain behind die . It is said of the Assyrians: They are fiery, full of rage... they storm in rage into the fray without outer garments... The men of war danced in the 3 ruinous game of arms. Here we are unmistakably talking about a prominent class of warriors, for whom fighting is the joy and fulfillment of life, but certainly also the taking of booty along with the drunken celebration of victory. From a "noble country life", of course, about which Otto Brunner wrote an important book 4 with a view to a much later and European time, can hardly be spoken of, for the huge palaces with their statues of gods and monumental sculptures of sphinxes and griffins discovered by archaeologists in Chorsabad and other places of ancient Assyria are royal palaces, and we do not know whether the senior officers of the Assyrian kings had country residences led a cultured life when not going to war or to the

court service were called. It is possible that they were only a class of warriors; however, the full concept of nobility seems to include the fact that its members are not just dead, but that their lives are characterized by a certain sublimation and that they develop a specific relationship to art at the same time - not to an autonomous art or even to a passion for collecting in the manner of modern art lovers, but an art that reflected their lives to a greater extent than the statues and pictures dedicated to the gods have done since the dawn of culture. The remains of the Cretan-Minoan culture allow a glimpse of a cultivated nobility. The palaces of Knossos, Phaistos and Mallia were certainly royal seats, but they only ruled parts of the great island at any given time, and so, despite their splendor, the term 'princely seat' is perhaps more appropriate. The most striking feature is the absence of fortifications, but this should not lead to the conclusion that an unwarlike nobility lived an idle life here. The premise of what may appear playful and merely aesthetic in the reliefs and frescoes of the palaces was evidently absolute mastery of the sea, and it is highly unlikely that the men of court society did not at times command individual ships or fleets. But the rest of the time they could merge into a life which was determined by the devotion to the beauty of nature and women and, in all its refinement, apparently retained strong features of the cult of fertility and the »Great Mother«. Here in Minoan Crete one may perceive a nobility that has pushed sublimation to an ideal type in which the starting point of war has become almost unrecognizable, so that only refinement and luxury remain as characteristics. In the Old Testament, on the other hand, the word "nobility" is only occasionally mentioned, as in Psalm 40, where it says "Hear this ... you people of the common people and of the nobility, rich and poor together." But in Israel the army is banned by free men (the »am-ha-aretz«) remained powerful for a long time, and it can be assumed that those Israelites of the later northern kingdom who answered the imperious statements of Solomon's son Rehoboam with the cry »In

5 your tents, Israel" answered, were the clan heads of this peasant militia. Nevertheless, both in Israel and in Judah, there undoubtedly was a court nobility, and the numerous overthrows and murders in the royal houses could not have taken place without the cooperation of such court nobility; but the overall picture of Israelite society was determined to a far greater extent by the priests, the Levites and the prophets. In any case, Israel and Judah were not "noble states" like the Hittite Empire and Minoan Crete. Aristocratic states in the most distinctive sense, on the other hand, were the often very small regions of Homeric Greece, each of which was ruled by a »basileús« or several »basilées«. Very often the term is better rendered by "prince" or "princes": Thus in the Odyssey Telemachus addresses two of the Ithakean suitors as "basilées", the "holy power of Alcinous" is only one of thirteen kings of the Phaeacians, Apollo recalls in the Iliad to Aeneas of a promise that he had made "to the Trojan basilées" at a wine banquet. A 'king' in the full sense of the word is actually only the commander of the Achaean army, Agamemnon, whom the other princes, however, face with remarkable independence, and on the other side corresponds at most to the city king Priam.

All members of this aristocratic world clearly stand out from the "people" and treat each other with the utmost respect. When old Nestor lined up his followers for the fight, he had “the horsemen” (hippeis) with their horses and chariots step into the front row, the infantrymen found their place in the back, “and he drove the figs into the middle, that the 6 casual one himself would be forced to fight«. But almost always only the fights of the men on the chariots, the nobles, are told, and the infantrymen are generally only briefly mentioned. The nobles addressed one another with epithets such as "son of the gods" or "descended from Zeus," and each boasted of his parentage and his "noble blood." Thus says Aeneas to Achilles when they meet in battle:

You, as they say, come from the incomparable Peleus

And Thetis, the curly foam-born mother. But I proudly call the haughty Anchises biological father and even have Aphrodite for my mother... But if you also want to know this, so that you may be informed of our sex... Dardanos was begotten by Zeus the cloud-gatherer... Dardanos then begot the son Erichthonios, the illustrious One, richer in wealth than any mortal man... Kapys son of Assaracus, but begot son Anchises. And I was the father of Anchises, and Priam Hector the noble.

Such blood and noble sex I can myself boast.


The nobleman, then, is distinguished by the fact that he knows his ancestors, that he is a member of a 'family', while the common man hardly even has knowledge of his grandfather. In this way he is supported and challenged at the same time: he must not lag behind his ancestors and must adopt their 8th maxim of "always being the first and striving ahead of the others". Aware of the high standards you set for yourself, you recognize anyone in the same position, well beyond the limits of your own army. Of course, this solidarity of the noble blood, which extends beyond the strife of the peoples, does not mean at all that the nobles of the Achaean army only competed among themselves for the more glorious deeds and the higher reputation, which Hesiod calls the "good Eris", because the Iliad is a tale of anger directed at one's commander, leading to a lack of discipline unimaginable in a modern army. So harsh abuses were made, and Achilles attacked Agamemnon with the words: "Drunkard, with the eyes of a dog and 9 the courage of a stag."

But one need only read one of Aristophanes' comedies to realize what was customary "among the people" and what the heroes of the Iliad avoided, even in the most acrimonious disputes

becomes: indecent gestures, vulgar terms, crude mentions of the "all too human." The world of nobility, though a world of blood and death, rises as high above the common and common as the chariot fighter rises above the foot soldier.

So it is correct, but still insufficient, to say that the Homeric nobility was above all a "warlike class of rulers" for whom battle and conquest as well as booty formed the center of their thinking. Much of the Iliad is a series of battle scenes, and realism is not lacking: So he (Achilles) rejoiced; but those darkness shadowed the eyes

And crushed by the rolling wheels of the Achaean team, he lay ahead in the crowd. But Demoleon next, That veteran of battle, the son of Antenor, Pelide pierced the spear through the helmet's cheeks

Temple. But the brazen helmet did not stop the thrust, and the point rushed through and shattered the bones; it turned bloody inside 10 the whole brain, so he knocked him down in the attack...

It is not surprising that soon after the Second World War sharp criticism was leveled in Germany against the prominent role played by the Iliad in the curriculum of humanistic high schools: Were not these heroes all murderers and completely unfit as models for humane life? And it was not just the cruelty of the battle narrations that caused offense, but also the contempt these bloodstained men displayed for women because 11 they "know nothing of the works of war." The Iliad, too, can be a source of horror and outrage for the modern reader, which is intensified by the aristocratic rebellion over the people and hardly

diminished by the respectful, even ceremonial dealings with one another. But in this moral outrage, so

well-founded it is, something important is overlooked and last but not least this: that in the noble striving for fame the dimensions of time expand, in that the view is directed into the distant past and into the future of distant generations and that at the same time the transience of man to the becomes the driving force to produce something imperishable. Just as the historical existence of the Egyptians as a struggle against transience found a symbol early on in the pyramids that determined millennia of history, so the aristocratic world of the Iliad was the prefiguration of millennia of Western history, and this history with all its "masculinity madness" would , "sexism" and haughty "racism" would not have existed if these heroes and the singers of their deeds had not existed, but if only small farmers had laboriously eked out their respective lives, so that not even indignation about the injustice of the big lords would have been voiced as it happens in Hesiod's 12 Works and Days.

The Iliad is far from providing a complete picture of the world of nobility in the early Greeks. The conditions of peace find their place much more in the Odyssey. The Fourth Canto describes how Telemachus, on his reconnaissance journey, through which he seeks to gain knowledge of the fate of his missing father, comes to Menelaus and Helena in Lacedaimon. There in the high palace of the king 'neighbours, relatives of the glorious Menelaus, dined; they were in a happy mood, the divine singer was singing 13 to the lyre«. The initially unknown guests are received with honor and bathed by the maids, then they sit down to the meal. Helena enters, "similar to Artemis, the 14 goddess with the golden spindle," and only now are questions asked and the guests revealing themselves. In much the same way, Odysseus himself is received at the last stop of his journey by the Phaeacians, and there the chant is described which apparently rang through the palaces of the nobility throughout Greece on festive occasions. Demodocos is the name of the singer here, and the muse had

given him bad and good things at the same time: "Take the light from his eyes 15 and gave him lovely tunes."

The singer now does what Helena in Troy had described to her brotherin-law Hector as her and Paris' 'sad lot': that 'in the future we will still live in 16 the song of the coming generations'. He sings the song about the conquest of Troy by Odysseus' cunning, but he also knows how to tell a story about the gods - not in the tone of the hymn, but rather in the burlesque style, which perhaps reveals a similar distance from this world of gods as the poet's story of the Gilgamesh epic of Gilgamesh's spurning of Ishtar: the burlesque of the artful binding of the adulteress Aphrodite and her lover, Ares, by the betrayed husband Hephaestus, so that a "laughter, 17 it could not be extinguished, arose among the blessed gods". So Homer's aristocracy, which still showed some archaic traits from the Mycenaean epoch and yet also reflected the last heyday of the nobility in the 8th century, by no means consisted of "art lovers" in the modern sense, so certainly from these palaces many commissions for red and and black-figure vases, and for statues of the gods. But within them, with the heroic song, the epic emerged, the main features of which are still recognizable in the modern novel of the 19th century, and in human interaction a sublimation took place that found its next climax a little later in the Attic tragedies. According to Aeschylus, these were "crumbs from Homer's table," but the Homeric nobility 18 was also the prerequisite for the Greek poleis, On this basis, different ideal types could easily be constructed, for which correspondences in the historically existing could be determined: a pure folk nobility and a radically alien nobility, the rich and uncultured leaders of a mercenary class and a decadent luxury nobility. But if the warlike orientation was the innermost characteristic of the Homeric nobility, war as a whole was by no means a matter of nobility alone, and even in the Iliad the assessment of war was not entirely positive. That is why war as such must now become the topic, which is different from warlike warfare

nobility, goes back beyond "historical existence" into prehistory and may reach into a possible "post-history".

23War and Peace Today one can talk about the gods of the Babylonians or the Greeks with great impartiality, and any approval or rejection can be expressed without special consideration, for at best they can expect an indulgent smile from listeners and readers. Even those who do not hide their admiration for the way of life of a historical nobility can count on leniency, because this has hardly any practical consequences for the present widespread and has such an obvious political purpose that a positive accentuation of even long-gone rule often enough causes concern. The situation with regard to war is even clearer, and it cannot be denied that statements which at least 100 years ago were widely taken for granted in Germany at least - such as: that war is an indispensable part of God's world order - today, in view of the devastation of the Second World War and the potential annihilation of mankind through nuclear war, have become impossible for internal reasons. This applies all the more to a statement by the important historian Heinrich Leo, which is still able to arouse outrage, although it has often been quoted "as a deterrent", so to speak: "God deliver us from the European corruption of the peoples and give us a happy war, who rampages through Europe, sifts through the population and crushes the 1 scrofulous rabble,

This indignation resonates with the memory that comparable sentiments dominated large masses of people in 1914 at the outbreak of the First 2 World War, and last but not least that's why today is the

opposite sentiment widespread and known to be permissible as an expression of opinion, namely the sentiment-soaked statement "soldiers are murderers". The untruth and foolishness of this assertion is obvious: a murderer destroys the lives of other people "for base motives," always with the aim of gaining advantages for his own life, even if it were only to satisfy a desire for revenge; Soldiers, on the other hand, kill enemy soldiers by exposing themselves to the possibility of being killed, and they do so to defend or protect other people, usually their countrymen, from evil. Carl von Clausewitz says in one of the first sentences of his famous 3 book On War that war is "nothing but an extended duel." Now it would not occur to any sane person to call a man who engages in a duel a "murderer," for he himself is in danger of being "murdered," and he gives 4 his opponent a chance that a murderer gives his victim never gives. The sentence is wrong, however, not least because it can be extraordinarily expanded and radicalized, namely to the sentence: "Man as such is a murderer." One of the most important problems in anthropology is whether all animals have an inhibition to kill in relation to their own kind, and whether humans are possibly the only living beings who do not have this inhibition. It is well known that when wolves fight each other, the vanquished offers his neck to the victor, and the victor then does not bite, but is content with surrender. Indeed, if this observation could be generalized, the quality of "murderer" would be a major characteristic of man as such, for in mythical figuration the son of the first human pair, Cain, slew his brother Abel, and as far as we have reliable information about man, it always was an exceptional case that a human being spared the other human being for the sake of being human. From this it can be deduced that that war, too, characterizes man as man and can therefore never be "abolished," as pacifism has always demanded. But the thesis is not undisputed

remained, and on the contrary, there was talk of the "deep biological roots" of the war. Ant colonies wage wars of annihilation against other ant colonies, one rat species wiping out another rat species, and chimpanzee families fight to the death against other chimpanzee families, although they generally try to avoid such conflicts. According to Darwin, all natural life is one war, and who could doubt that from primeval times man has waged a great war against animals? Is it likely that such a fundamental trait of life will cease to exist when man has gained such superiority that he no longer hunts animals but only slaughters them?

- will not the fighting impulse of life itself then discharge itself even more than in earlier times in wars of man against man? Or should it really be the case that man as such is peaceful by nature and was only driven into battle against his own kind by evil rulers for the sake of selfish interests? Then the root of war would be to be sought neither in human nature nor in the essence of life, but rather it would be a cultural phenomenon which, like other cultural phenomena, could one day disappear, which is by no means superhistorical, but even "historical" in the narrowest sense. were. The wars and bloody conflicts we have encountered so far do not necessarily speak against an exclusive combination of war and history, nor do they rule out the causal nexus of rule and war from the outset. The fighting archers on prehistoric rock carvings also admit of other interpretations, and even the walls and the mighty tower of prehistoric Jericho give no reason for anything more than mere conjecture, for we do not know anything certain.

As soon as there are written sources, on the other hand, there is talk of wars. We want to repeat the examples we have encountered so far

try to classify ideal-typical possibilities, but first make a general consideration based on Clausewitz. As is well known, Clausewitz defines war as a mere 'continuation of politics 5 by other means'. The "other" means are of course "violent" means, but it is not quite clear what is meant by "politics". Apparently it is nonviolent and as such opposed to war, but it must have something essential in common with war if war can be its 'continuation'. What they have in common is apparently that in politics, too, the will of one group of people should be enforced against another group. If you consider that in principle every human being has his own will and every individual will is reluctant to submit to another will, then it must seem quite astonishing that supra-individual will units come about at all. It is indeed conceivable, and probably was for almost hundreds of thousands of years, that families or clans lived side by side and independently of one another. What could make one tribe want what another tribe wanted? The simplest answer is: the insight into the mutual advantage, as it corresponds to the unequal endowment with desirable goods, but even more so the common defense against an enemy. All endowments, however, are unequal not only in the nature of the goods, but also in their quantity and quality: as a rule, one partner has greater advantages than the other, and the threat does not affect all equally; the more remote clans may resist entry into battle.

Requests, persuasion, and threats could result from the natural and situational differences, and thus the origins of "politics" are given, which aims to balance the differences. But when entreaties, persuasion, and threats cannot bring about the balance, violent means must take the place of nonviolent means - that means called "war" when larger entities - "states" - are thus doing their will to other states try to impose.

War - one has to say with and against Carl Schmitt - is the collective emergency, just as the immediate nearness of death is the individual emergency, while everyday existence represents life without an emergency and therefore possibly a deficient life. Only war is an unconditional friend-enemy relationship, and the corresponding definition of politics is only permissible if there is a civil war situation - a situation that Carl Schmitt found and did not bring about through his definition. Among the various kinds of war, one must be named first, namely, the war of annihilation. It is not a continuation of politics by other means, because politics can never strive for the destruction of the opposing state with its specific means, since the existence of no state is "negotiable". Annihilation can only be achieved through war, because in the face of a serious threat of annihilation every state takes up arms. We encountered this ideal type of war of annihilation or – better – of extermination in Israel's "holy wars", the sole aim of which was to win the highest-ranking of all means of life, namely the land, while physically eliminating the former inhabitants. It could be, that a relatively peaceful land grab was only later intensified and »ideologized«, but in any case there were also such wars 6 of annihilation in other parts of the world, e.g. B. in Iroquois tribes, while Clausewitz understands by a "war of annihilation" only the defencelessness of the armed forces of the opponent and in no way the annihilation of his population. But the Israelites of the Old Testament also became the object of annihilation wars themselves, which no longer fully fulfilled the concept, namely the Assyrian wars of annihilation, which in the case of the northern kingdom resulted in the deportation of large parts of the population. Admittedly, these wars were of a cruelty to which only weak analogies can be found on the part of the Israelites of Joshua and David: Assurnasirpal II had many captive chiefs skinned and hung it on the walls, Esarhaddon built pyramids from the skulls of fallen enemies, Tiglatpilesar III. staked an enemy

King and the nobles in front of their city; in the Old Testament we read that Nebuchadnezzar had the eyes of King Yidkiah of Judah put out after his attempted rebellion after he had had to watch the execution 7 of his sons; a number of phrases have been quoted from the Annals 8th of Sargon II. Here we are dealing with wars of conquest of a world empire, which did not aim at "acquiring land free of people," but rather at introducing taxpayers into the empire and also eliminating potential danger points; some scholars have the atrocities of

Assyrian warfare, however, is explained as well-measured propaganda measures intended to spread terror and paralyze the resistance, but which did not aim to destroy the enemy. Of a different kind are the constant wars between the city-states of Sumer, which seem to have been based on very tangible conflicts of interest, such as ownership of water resources or important canals. They, too, could lead to the destruction of a city, but as a rule they probably served to balance the balance of power over and over again. Wars of conquest of a comparatively mild kind were the incursions of barbarian peoples into areas of high culture, i.e. the "superimpositions," as Rüstow calls them: for example, the seizure of power in Babylonia by the Kassites. The bulk of the population was not seriously harmed, and the conquerors quickly assimilated into the higher culture of the conquered, who usually succeeded in shaking off the yoke of the foreign dynasty after a few decades.

Again something else are the simple raids like that of the Hittites to Babylon around the year 1600; bad as the immediate consequences were, they were all mere episodes.

In terms of dimension, the greatest wars are of course those fought as decisive battles between great empires, such as between Assyria and Egypt in the 7th century.

The specific dynamics brought into the world by changes in weaponry will be discussed below; but this much is already obvious: Wherever we have found history, we have also encountered armed conflicts, wars; the thesis that history and war are virtually identical cannot be rejected a limine.

Nothing is less surprising, then, than that those who play a prominent role in war should affirm, even glorify, their actions, and to this one can count all the heroic poetry from Homer's Iliad to the German war novels of the First World War. Already in an old Babylonian epic the clash of arms is called "the festival of real manhood", and in another it says: "Should we perhaps eat the bread of women like one who is not a soldier? Should we fear and tremble like one unaccustomed to fight? It's a feast for real men to go to war. A prince squatting in the city will not have enough to eat; shall he perhaps stretch out his hand to beg from 9 the mercenary? No matter how great the strength of the city dweller,

And the assumption that the war could be limited to history is not confirmed when we read in the 14th chapter of Tacitus' Germania: When the tribe in which they were born becomes lazy during a long period of peace and quiet, many distinguished young people seek out those peoples who are waging some sort of war, because on the one hand, the people find calm unpleasant and they become lighter famous in dangerous situations; moreover, a large retinue will only be kept together by acts of violence and war... The means of generosity are obtained by wars and raids; plowing the earth or waiting for a year's harvest will not be as easily persuaded as challenging the enemy and earning wounds. Yes, it is even considered lazy and sluggish

wanting to gain with sweat what can be gained with blood. It is all the more remarkable that in the most famous of all war epics, the Iliad, by no means only praises the heroes' exploits in arms can be found. On the contrary, adjectives such as "bad", "destructive", "manmurdering" are always associated with war; Athena insults Ares with the 10 words: »Ares, murderer Ares, you bloody demolition of walls«, and Zeus even snapped at him with the reproachful words: "Truly, you are hated to me above all the Olympian gods! You always loved quarrels and 11 fights and feuds!" Right at the beginning, Agamemnon reproaches Achilles with the words: Truly, I hate you above all enlightened rulers. You have always 12 only loved quarrels and war and turmoil

and towards the end Achilles himself says: If only the strife among gods and men would die away, And the 13 anger that embitters even the wisest to evil.

Far more fundamentally, war is negated in an Egyptian text, where it is said of the realm of the dead that "arguing is its abhorrence" and that 14 there is no one there who prepares to fight his companions. However, this suggests that the opposite truth holds true in the realm of the living, and it has been shown that the 'message of the exalted Baal', 'I reject wars in the land', when isolated, is misleading envisages. Something similar can be said of the great statements of the Israelite prophets about the future kingdom of peace; the concrete context consistently involves a war cry.

The view of early history about war and peace probably comes most vividly in the so-called Standard of Ur from around 2500 BC. to express that one »war side«

and has a »peace side«. On the "war side," chariots charge forward, combatants draw their bows, and foot soldiers charge against one another. On the peace side, revelers raise their goblets, harpists sing songs, and 15 embassies bring gifts. The underlying view is, by all assumptions, that only peace and war together make up the whole of life.

Now a war scene is to be retold, which is anything but a war scene, but makes the interpenetration of war and peace clear in an incomparable way. It is one of the most famous scenes in the Iliad: 16 Hector's farewell to Andromache in the sixth canto. Hector leaves the battle, which is marked by a powerful advance of the Achaeans, for a short time in order to urge the old men and women to "beg up to the heavenly ones and promise sacrifices" in the dangerous situation. He also wants to find his brother Paris and urge him to return to the fight. While his mother Hekate is climbing up to the temple with her wives, Hector rushes into the house of Paris and lashes out at his defaulting brother with violent words: "Come on, before the city is consumed by the blazing fire." He exchanged a few words with Helena, who calls himself the "canine mischiefmaking woman", but does not follow the request to sit down for a moment, because he wants to return to the battlefield as quickly as possible, but before that he wants to say hello to his wife Andromache and his little son: "For who knows if I shall return to my own, Or if by the hand of Dana the gods shall conquer me." Andromache is not at home, but has run to the Tower, having heard of the impending defeat, out of concern for her husband "like a madman," while the nurse carries the child after her. Not far from the tower, Hector meets the returning woman, and she presses against him and speaks to him through tears: Unfortunate one, your courage still kills you, and you do not pity the stammering child nor me, the miserable woman,

soon widow of yours; for the Achaeans will soon murder you, all united against you... So she asks him to retreat into the city with the army and direct the defense from the wall. But Hector rejects this, although he not only foresees his own death, but also the downfall of Ilion and - the climax of the pain - Andromache's future slave existence: One day the holy Ilios will fall, Priam himself and the people of the lance-knowledgeable king... But let the raised hill cover me dead,

Ere I heard about your screaming and kidnapping. And yet the other side of life, laughter, also has a share in this farewell, which sees itself as a farewell forever. For when Hector reaches for Skamandrios' little son to hold him for a moment, the child is frightened and clings to the nurse's bosom, screaming, for the shining helmet and "the fluttering mane of the bush" frighten him a. "The father laughed heartily at this, and the tender mother, hastily took the helmet from his head, the radiant Hector," and now he can kiss his dear child and gently rock it in his arms and at the same time express the wish that his little boy may like him, his father , once equal "in radiant glory among the people of Troy." Andromache knows that this is a vain wish and that Skamandrios will never be able to be the "Astyanax", the city screener,

"Smiling through tears" - longing for peace in the reality of war: nowhere else in the beginning of history can you find such a "human" scene, not even in the epic of Gilgamesh and in the story of Joseph in the Old Testament - a farewell two people, as can only happen in war, when love stands in the shadow of death and is nowhere more moving and touching than there. Only then does it become apparent what the

can be human, and this ultimate possibility would remain unrealized if farewells were always only taken with the sure prospect of a speedy return, that is, outside of the "emergency" that one day does occur, but which are probably no longer felt so deeply on the deathbed can like in the middle of life. If only war could provide an experience like this, mankind would be greatly impoverished if it were able to remove the scourge of war, the horror of which Homer by no means hides. It could be that high and low are very closely linked in human existence, that one cannot be had without the other and that the only alternative can be leveling and mediocrity, indeed that with the experience of war the experience of peace also becomes obsolete , because each only gains its inner strength from the other.

It is true that this is only a possibility, and it would be inadmissible, even wicked, to draw the conclusion from this that it is desirable for wars to be waged again and again, but this much can be said with certainty: the well-meaning demand, war to abolish is justified and yet short-sighted; the real question should be: What can take the place of war to ensure a space for development for the utmost and highest potential of man? Can the previous connection between the best and the worst be broken, or must it be affirmed in a new way, or is it important to do without it in the awareness of the loss? One thing, of course, is beyond question: next to the great, moving farewell of Hector and Andromache stood thousands and hundreds of thousands of farewells in which nothing was to be found but fear and worry, where those who said goodbye must have had the feeling that they were victims of ambition or greed to be snatched from their narrow but contented existence. Why don't these victims of war rebel? Why don't they overthrow the lords and commanders who demand the highest of all their goods, their lives? There is certainly a wide range of possibilities here. How could a Trojan rebel against Hector without whom the city would be

ruthless enemies would be quickly conquered? But even Hector speaks of the "ignominious speeches" made among the Trojan people about 17 Paris, whose outrage brought the enemies to the city in the first place. With far greater justification, however, those Achaean foot soldiers, scarcely mentioned by Homer, could rebel against their leaders, whom they had been chasing away from women for the sake of carrying out a private affair and rich spoils for ten years and children are to be kept away from and exposed to the daily danger of death without expecting more than a scant share, even at best!

24Rebellion and the Beginnings of a “Left”

The Iliad, one might say, begins with an insubordination: the retreat of Achilles because Agememnon has offended him. But this insubordination is a consequence of "royal democracy," or, more simply, of nobility: it does not involve a rebellion against oppression and suffering, much less the idea that "conditions" are wrong and can be fundamentally changed . The only beginning of a rebellion, of a "mutiny of the infantry," can be found in the second canto, where Agamemnon, seduced by a dream sent by Zeus, tests the army and proposes that the siege of Troy be lifted and after return to Greece. The response has been 1 overwhelmingly positive and indicates

Odysseus, summoned and strengthened by Athena, only succeeds with great difficulty in calming the army down again and inducing them to take part in the council meeting again. A man, meanwhile, who belongs to the foot soldiers and who is not mentioned again in the whole epic, thus an unnamed one, rises and apparently articulates the feelings with which the masses were just animated: Thersites. With all emphasis he emphasizes the outrageous inequality between the "kings" and the troops, the greed of the one and the oppression of the other: Agamemnon's tents are richly filled with bronze and women are sitting there in multitudes, but he is a leader who bring misfortune to the Achaeans, from whom alone his wealth derives; one should take the ships back home, and then Agamemnon may

stay behind alone before Troy; then he would very quickly realize how powerless he really was. It is therefore an open call for mutiny, and in view of the mood of the army described above, it would probably have considerable prospects of success, for it correctly expresses the feelings of the masses. But Homer portrays the scene in a way that makes Thersites appear villain and loser from the start. For in the eyes of the poet he is 'the ugliest man who came against Troy: saber-legged and limping on one foot, his shoulders humped, his chest bent; over it his head tipped, strewn with scant wool." So Odysseus immediately turns to him with threatening words, and then he hits him on the back and shoulder with his scepter, "so that he doubled over with pain, and tears flowed freely from his eyes".

But the decisive factor is the reaction of those whose spokesman Thersites wanted to make himself. Homer emphasizes once again that they were all very angry, so that there was good reason to rebel, but the people still laugh heartily at this punishment of their champion, because everyone obviously has a lot of admiration for Odysseus, and so they agree that what should have caused her anger and 2 indignation. The rule of kings in the Iliad does not mean mere oppression of the people, for the people themselves cling to this rule because they admire their leaders or at least have a deep-rooted fear of them, no matter how much they feel a tendency to rebellion. Domination is negative and positive at the same time; therefore, a unified protest cannot come about. In historical times almost none of the 'Oriental despots' failed to expressly proclaim the 'protection of widows and orphans' as his program and to make 'justice to everyone' the duty of his officials. Phrases like "I saved the weak 3 from him who was stronger than him" were quite common in Egypt as well as in Mesopotamia, and almost all said the meaning of what the Persian king Darius I included in his tomb inscription: "What is right,

I love; I hate injustice. It is not my pleasure that the lowly should 4 suffer injustice because of the high..." "The rulers" thus made their own what could turn against them in the form of indignation and rebellion, if there was not one

– and be it subordinate – found a place in everyday life. Only then did the fight against rebellions become promising, and at the same time it gained firm ground in the anthropological concept that human beings tend to rebel against the gods and, if necessary, must be kept away from such sins with the severest punishments. There is no doubt that there were contrasts between rich and poor and that there was much oppression and misery, but the rebellion hardly ever found an independent articulation. It may have contributed to the fact that there were festivals, as later in Greece and Rome, during which social differences were abolished, e.g. B. in the Babylonian Sazaen, where for seven days the maid stood equal to her 5 mistress and master and slave walked side by side,

A significant distraction from internal political conflicts was also given in Mesopotamia by the fact that internal opponents could be matched with external enemies; Thus, in an inscription, Sargon II expresses himself very negatively about "Arameans, runaways, deserters, criminals" who "gathered around Suzubu, a man of the 6 lower rank, and fomented a riot." Of course, royal inscriptions certainly do not give an adequate picture of the social conditions. In the words of the Ipuwer, the turbulence of the first intermediate period is described "from above," from the point of view of an educated Egyptian; in the Lamentations of the Eloquent Peasant, on the other hand, the enduring experiences of the lower classes in Egypt may have gained a voice. Here a poor farmer suffers great injustice from a high official who takes away what little property he has and against whom the farmer now directs serious charges: How wretched is the poor man whom you destroy... You are full of your bread and drunk of your beer, you are rich... you

relate to the people like a hawk that lives on the smaller birds. … You have reaped your harvest, your belly is full, you have grain in abundance, yea, it overflows, and 7 excess is wasting away on the earth. But none of these accusations result in a call to insurrection; at the end the pharaoh restores justice: the farmer is rewarded and the wrongdoer is punished. Things are different when in the time of Ramses III. a workers' strike is reported, probably the first of which we are aware. Then hunger drives the workers employed in the city of the dead, despite the ban that has always been in force, to cross the walls and send the following message to the priests of the temple:

We have come here from hunger and thirst, we have no clothes, we have no ointments, we have no fish, we have no herbs. Send to Pharaoh, our good lord, and write to 8th Vizier, our chief, for provisions to be procured for us. Trust in the pharaoh still prevails here, as in the tale of the eloquent peasant, but a completely different tone is heard when a worker says: "The 9 vizier should carry the boards himself." Here a basic rebellion emerges: a rebellion against the fact that one man is forced to carry boards and live in poverty, while the other just gives orders and lives in luxury. Taken to its logical conclusion, this leads to the requirement that there should be no dominion of men over men, nor should there be different activities by people which entail different rewards. Political and economic class divisions are thus something evil that contradicts the fundamental anthropological character of equality. To be sure, it would not be easy to find an answer to the objection that all progress and all culture since the days of planters and hunters have arisen precisely from these distinctions. Therefore draws

a diastasis between humanity understood in this way and progress or culture, which could only be remedied by progress only temporarily moving away from equality, but then moving towards it again. Such a thought would probably have been far from the mind of the Egyptian worker, but only in its sign can the elementary human feeling that it expresses escape the charge of being anti-cultural and primitivist. In the Old Testament, unlike in Mesopotamia or Egypt, various antiking views are articulated, primarily on the part of such an important man as the judge and prophet Samuel. But it would be completely wrong to perceive a fundamentally hostile tendency in the Old Testament. After all, Moses (for the 40 years of the desert journey) was the God-given leader of the people, and he in no way made his behavior dependent on the opinions and moods of the masses. On the contrary, he constantly had to contend with the "murmurings" of the people and their complaints, which cast a peculiar light on the alleged oppression in the alleged "house of slaves" of Egypt. For the Israelites weep in the wilderness, saying: If only someone gave us meat to eat. We think of the fish that we got to eat for free in Egypt, of the cucumbers and melons, of the leeks and the onions and of the garlic. But now our throats 10 are drying up, we see nothing but manna.

The events surrounding the so-called Rotte Korach may be characterized as a democratic, even a Protestant rebellion, because Korach and his people reproach Moses and Aaron:

You take on too much. All are holy, the whole church, and the Lord is in their midst. Why do you exalt yourselves 11 above the church of the Lord?

This democratic rebellion is severely punished by Yahweh: the ground splits under the spot where Korah and his people were gathered together with their wives and children, they all "fell down alive into the underworld", and in addition a fire goes out from the Lord, which 12 consumes another 250 followers of Korach.

The song of praise of Hannah, the mother of Samuel, in the 2nd chapter of the first book of Samuel is probably misunderstood if one only quotes the best-known verses from it, which later became the model for the "Magnificat" in the Gospel of Luke: He lifts up the weak from the dust and lifts up the poor who lie in the dirt, because immediately before it says: The Lord makes poor and makes rich, he humiliates and exalts, and the closing words are: The Lord holds judgment to the ends of the earth. He will give 13 strength to his king and increase the power of his anointed. A qualitative difference between the attitude towards kingship in Mesopotamia or Egypt on the one hand and Israel on the other would be difficult to recognize if the phenomenon of prophethood had not existed in Israel, for Psalm 2 hardly mentions the sonship of the king the speech differs from that in the rest of the Ancient Near East: "You are my son. Today 14 I have begotten you." According to their self-understanding, the prophets are proclaimers and seers called by God, they are neither priests nor, as a rule, Levites and therefore without an institutional office; they see it as their duty to represent

the cause of pure faith in Yahweh, if necessary also against kings and priests. This tends towards a direction hostile to rule, which, however, is only directed against the abuse of rule and at no point speaks of the direct rule of God, as was realized for a time in Amun's Egyptian Thebes. The

Prophethood can therefore be entirely "state-supporting"; but it can also

leadership of an insurgency movement, which are existing

conditions, even the state, threatens to be overthrown. There seems to have been a beginning of such a prophethood in Mari; In Mesopotamia and Egypt we know of conspiracies by powerful priesthoods against a respective king, but nothing is known of the peculiarly "free" of an officeless and therefore purely charismatic prophetic estate. The actual starting point of Israelite prophethood was the separation of the northern kingdom of Israel from the southern state of Judah, more precisely: the interpretation given to this separation widely and by no means only by the prophets, namely that it was a defect from the genuine faith in Yahweh, the sin of Jeroboam'. However, the complaint of the prophets or Deuteronomistic historians that this or that king did "what was displeasing to the Lord" applies so frequently to Judah that it must obviously be about more than a political struggle for the reunification of the both kingdoms. Rather, there was an effort by the priesthood of the temple in Jerusalem and the prophets allied with them in this regard, When a king, in the interest of a balance between the Israelite and the Canaanite sections of the population, tried particularly emphatically to bring about a synthesis and probably even like King Ahab of Israel did - and as Solomon had already done - married a foreigner and their "idolatries" gave room, then the prophets became a subversive, "anti-state" force.

In a weakened form, this "hostility to the state" was

Isaiah and Jeremiah, visible in the southern kingdom when the kings one in the eyes of the prophets led to false foreign policies and the existence of the

endangered people. Finally, the foreign policy and the

domestic political criticism in such a way that the leading stratum, including the priests, were severely reproached for their way of life and the poor and oppressed were sided with. However, this "social criticism" was never the primary motive, and if one does not take the concern about Israel's "childship with God" seriously and endeavors to uncover tangible motives of a political or economic nature, one should better think of a power struggle between the prophets and kings for the leadership of the speak state.

The first real prophet was Elijah in the northern kingdom in the time of King Ahab, i.e. in the middle of the 9th century BC. The fight of this prophet against the priests of Baal and its bloody outcome have already been mentioned, but Elijah also turns directly against the king and announces to him that God will cut off every male from Ahab's 15 family because of the injustice done to the vineyard owner Naboth . After Elijah is caught up into heaven, Elisha, who also performs many miracles, becomes his successor. Elisha, in turn, gives one of his students the task of secretly anointing the general Jehu of King Jehoram, the son of Ahab, as king so that Elijah's prophecy can be fulfilled. In fact, the godanointed usurper kills not only his king Jehoram, but also the visiting king Ahaziah of Judah, and after Jezebel's murder he not only has Ahab's 70 sons killed, but also his "elders" and priests.

Here, then, prophethood is presented as the immediate cause of a revolution, admittedly a revolution 'from above', which at the same time saw itself as a religious struggle. Causes of this kind can also be found here and there in the often very bloody inner-dynastic battles of the Assyrians, Babylonians and Hittites, e.g. B. in the conspiracy of the Marduk priesthood against the last king of Babylon Nabonidus; but the fact that the new king Jehu enters the temple of Baal together with Jonadab, the son of Rechab, and has all the priests of Baal put to death is quite singular, because Jonadab is the leader of a very peculiar sect, which Jeremiah later also described with words of praise.

Jehu, then, acted in accordance with a popular current and not merely at the behest of a single prophet. The most important of the prophets, Isaiah, whose main period of activity fell into the period after the destruction of the northern kingdom by the Assyrians, can be understood as a socially critical revolutionary, although he was of noble birth. His sermons are full of woes about what he sees as the corrupt leadership of Judah:

Your princes (Jerusalem) are rebels and a band of thieves. Everyone likes to be bribed and chase after gifts. They do not bring justice to the orphans, the cause of the 16 widow does not come before them. But Isaiah even makes himself the spokesman for all the poor in the world, in the name of God, who has decided to destroy all the splendor of the merchants of Tire "and to break down the pride of all the noble 17 lords of the earth". The even more impassioned "Words about the Foreign Peoples" are connected with the domestic political social criticism of the "rulers", in which the downfall of the Babylonians is also predicted:

Before their eyes their children are being smashed to 18 pieces, their houses plundered, their wives violated. Jeremiah, who 100 years after Isaiah is even more pessimistic than Isaiah and speaks out in favor of the capitulation before Babylon like an outspoken defeatist, even blames almost the entire population of Jerusalem for the calamity, because “they are all, from the smallest to 19 the largest , just out for profit«.

For the prophet, the positive antithesis to the general corruption are the Rechabites, to whom the entire 35th chapter is dedicated. He lets them say: We do not drink wine, because our ancestor Jonadab the son of Rehab commanded us: You shall never drink wine... Nor shall you build a house, nor till seed, nor vineyard

plant or possess... We dwelt in tents, and obediently we did exactly as our ancestor Jonadab commanded us. Jeremiah fully agrees with this life plan and accepts

Community of Rechabiters: Because you have obeyed the commandment of your ancestor Jonadab, therefore thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Jonadab the son of Rechab shall never 20 lack an offspring to be in my service. There is therefore no doubt that the social criticism of the prophets is based on a more comprehensive criticism of culture, which is also easily recognizable in Isaiah. The prophetic criticism of Israel's depravity reaches its climax in Ezekiel, who describes Samaria and Jerusalem under the names Ohola and Oholiba with extremely drastic phrases as whores who committed fornication with the Assyrians and Babylonians in front of 21 everyone. The vantage point from which the rejection occurs is evidently that time in the wilderness when the nomadic Israelites were not yet exposed to the temptations of the voluptuousness and licentiousness of the Canaanite inhabitants of the fertile land, temptations that have come to be regarded as the pursuit of luxury , when self-indulgence and haughty separation from the poor have destroyed the good old tradition and endangered the pure belief in God, which only the Rechabites and of course their spokesmen, the prophets, still cling to. So it is understandable and yet also paradoxical that before the First World War radical conservatives like Charles Maurras and Enrico Corradini attacked with great vigor the Hebrew prophets as the first 22 champions of the social revolution - as the first, because among coherent

"Lefts", as one might say, but they should have added that this earliest form of the revolution was entirely

was a radical conservative revolution, a revolution oriented towards the simpler, purer, more god-pleasing antiquity. Thus, the real, cultured Israel—as opponents of the prophets would have called it—has not been so abused by anyone as by its prophets, and Hosea, Amos, or Micah speak no more timidly than Isaiah or Jeremiah. Zephaniah 23 predicts the extermination of all money changers, and after Zechariah "in 24 that day" there will be no more merchants in the house of the Lord of hosts.

But "that day" is nothing other than the day of the end of history and the beginning of the kingdom of God, in which that pure beginning time of the stay in the desert will have returned, but in such a way that after the destruction of the ungodly all peoples of the earth turn to Yahweh, the God of Israel, will have converted. The prophetic-Rehabite movement – the beginning of the “Left” – is no longer content with socially and culturally critical words of blame, but rather sketches a vision of the future, a “utopia” (which, of course, opposes in the most abrupt manner the utopia already realized in the animal kingdom by the bonobos is): a process of worldhistorical significance, which, however, was not to have any direct consequences for many centuries. Potentially, for countless people - and not just for the oppressed and exploited - nothing has been more moving and inspiring than those phrases of Isaiah about the "mountain with the house of the Lord" to which the peoples are flocking, who "ploughshares from their swords and pruning shears from 25 their forge lances, that vision of eternal peace that was so sharply opposed to Homer's understanding of the world and yet could have pointed to some beginnings in the Iliad itself. The strongest objection to the prophets of Israel and their utopia was bound to result from the impression that this eternal peace was identical with the world rulership of Yahweh and his people, and that this universalism was therefore inseparable from a deeply rooted particularism. Certainly all ancient peoples must have felt this claim of Yahweh as something just as unbelievable, even grotesque, as modern people would find it unbelievable or grotesque if they were told Chemosh, the god of

Moabites wanted to subject the whole world to his dominion. It is probable, however, that Yahweh - the Israelites' idea of God - can be "localized" along a completely objective line, where Parmenides' "being" ultimately finds a place, and the thesis that utopia is nothing other than an invention of the Israelite prophets to force the Gentiles to renounce their gods and their view of the world. The extent to which utopia is rooted in "human nature" as such is made clear by a poem that belongs to about the same time as Isaiah and which, of course, does not depict an end kingdom but an original state. Looking at the present, it is no less pessimistic than the prophets' pronouncements of doom, but it remains far from "messianism." But that longing for what is long past and better can give rise to hope for future salvation can hardly be doubted. It is about the myth of the Golden Age before the beginning of history, which Hesiod tells about 700 in his didactic poem »Works and Days«: First of all, golden was the generation of the speaking people, created by the immortals, the high dwellers of Olympus, those were at the time of Kronos, who ruled in heaven,

and they lived like gods, and had hearts without sorrow, Without plagues and sorrows... As if overcome with sleep, they died; everything desired was theirs. And the uncultivated field bore fruit in enviable 26 abundance... The utopia, the longing for the absence of history, is therefore presumably powerful in all history, and it may become a force that can hardly be compared to any other force if it is combined with that rebellion against current injustice that is the basis of a »Left« is as soon as connection and organization are established. It must be the aim of all rulers to prevent such a merger, and this can be achieved all the more easily the more firmly they are

Rulers can be convinced that "justice," which does not mean equality, can only be achieved through them. It was an intention of historiography from the very beginning not to make the real appear reprehensible, but rather praiseworthy and at least understandable, and we now want to turn our attention to these early stages of history.

25Historical writing and superiority consciousness

That the writing of history has to do with the real becomes clear in its first beginnings in an almost overwhelming way. The earliest of their motives were the deeds of the kings, chiefly their campaigns and their building activities; Most of the reports are in the first person and almost always marked by a triumphalism, especially among the Egyptians, where defeats were always kept secret or turned into half victories and where incessantly "His Majesty - life, salvation, health" about the "miserable « Enemies wins. In one of the earliest reports of all, dating from the time of Pharaoh Phiops I, ie around 2500 BC. B.C., it says: His Majesty made war upon the sand-dwellers of Asia, and His Majesty gathered an army of many tens of thousands... His Majesty sent me at the head of that army... The army returned home happily,

after it hacked up the land of the sand dwellers. The army returned home happy having slain warriors there by the tens of thousands, the army returned home happily,

after taking a great many warriors away from there as 1 captives. Even here the self-confidence of high culture cannot be overlooked, which believes that it is not just "enemies" but "barbarians" who are felt more contempt than hatred. The Egyptians never lost this feeling of superiority, because for them "the two countries" always remained the center of the world and the holy land of the gods.

Warnings of impending catastrophe or admonitions to cling to one's gods are therefore nowhere to be found, even though Hyksos rule was a harsh experience and although Egypt was conquered, albeit briefly, by arch-rival Assyria in the seventh century. However, there is not a complete lack of travel descriptions and reports of adventures, which are also to be regarded as a basis of what we mean by historiography today, such as the stories of Sinuhe about his stay in distant countries and the report of Wen-Amon about a trading 2 trip to Phoenicia .

In Mesopotamia things were not much different. For centuries the Assyrians were the most feared world power, and then around 600 the country succumbed to the double attack of the Medes and the Babylonians, wiping it out of history. A millennium and a half earlier, the Sumerians had not waged a desperate struggle for self-reliance, and only the lamentations of the destruction of Ur tell of the demise of a people who never referred to themselves as a "people." Two inscriptions can be cited as examples, which refer to events that are also mentioned in the Old Testament. The Assyrian Sennacherib describes his conquests in Palestine, and it becomes clear that he himself understood these conquests as punitive expeditions. Their goal was to atone for wrongdoers who had transgressed against the god Ashur, often in the most horrific ways such as impaling, eye gouging, or skinning, while the bulk of the population was either deported or escaped unpunished. And Hazaqiau of Judah, who had not submitted to my yoke, I besieged 46 of his fortified walled cities, and the small towns around them without number, by storming boardwalks and the onslaught of siege engines... and I took them. 200 150 people, big and small, men and women, horses, mules … and

I brought out of them small livestock without number and counted (all this) as spoil. I shut him up like a caged bird in 3 Jerusalem, his residence...

But Israel was not only oppressed by the Assyrian great king, the "lord of the world", but also by the small neighboring states. An inscription by King Mesha of Moab dates from around 840, which shows how widespread the appeal to one's own god and the extermination of the enemy population were in the ancient oriental world: Omri was king over Israel and had afflicted Moab many days, for Chemosh was angry with his land... And Chemosh said to me, "Go, take Nebo to fight against Israel." Midday. I took it and killed all: 7000 men, boys, women, girls and slaves because I had dedicated them to Ashthar-chemosh. From there I took the 4 vessels of the LORD and carried them to Chemosh.

Some Hittite texts, the "Mannetaten des Schuppiluliuma" and also the so-called plague prayer, which are both written by the successor of the great conqueror, Murschili II, deviate furthest from merely annalistic reports of victory. In the "Pest Prayer" Murschili II turns to the lord of the Chatti country, the "weather god", and seeks to find out through an oracle what is the cause of a plague that has been raging in the country for twenty years now. However, this cause is given very precisely in the further course of the prayer: Enraged at the murder of his son, Suppiluliuma attacked Egypt and took many captives, who, however, brought the plague into the Chatti land. So Murschili doesn't really want to find out the cause, but wants to get his hands on the means to stop the disaster, and now he finds out that his father has sinned against the commands of the weather gods and that this sin came over him, the son, although he was himself not aware of any wrongdoing. He thinks through

This confession will calm the god's wrath, but if the anger persists, he asks for 5 a dream that will tell him what additional compensation is still to be paid.

But all of this is nothing more than material for writing history. According to the unanimous judgment of scholars, the decisive step into the new dimension was not taken anywhere in the ancient Near East, with the sole exception of Israel, so that precisely from this point of view the Old Testament is ascribed a unique position. In fact, the Old Testament, as it has existed for nearly 2,500 years, is a single coherent narrative of the history of the people of Israel, not merely from their mythical beginnings, but from the creation of the world, which extends through their posterity of the first human couple continues directly into the history of Israel. The Old Testament is not just history, it is an interpretation of history, while in Egypt and Mesopotamia the connection between cosmic and historical events is at best indirectly established. Only in Hammurabi's collection of laws is there a direct connection between the religious prologue and the juridical provisions, but the comparison is only remote. We must therefore turn again to the Old Testament, with the question to what extent it is history. One or the other repetition is to be accepted. The Old Testament is not the work of a historian, and only a faith that has become a rarity can still see in it "the word of God." Rather, it has been characterized as a "library" - a compilation of documents of various kinds 6 spanning more than five centuries. In any case, the Old Testament scholars often speak of a "deuteronomic historical work," to which the Book of Joshua is usually added. There is no doubt, however, that these Deuteronomistic historians were in large part editors, the much older components often only circulating in oral form

processed, so that there is a lot of room for scientific dispute; when assessing the individual components, such as the story of David, the dates sometimes differ by several centuries. The unifying main characteristic of Deuteronomistic historiography, however, is that theological-moral interpretation of events which states again and again that this or that judge or king or even the whole people did "what displeased the Lord" and was therefore punished. This interpretation also permeates all books of the prophets, and perhaps one could also say "prophetic" instead of "deuteronomic". The predictions of the 'scattering' of the people are regarded as a sure sign of late development, and are therefore regarded as statements ex eventu. Some chapters of the Book of Judges, sometimes referred to as the "Book of Heroes" and dated to the second half of the eleventh century, are considered to be the oldest parts of history. The "deeds of David" seem to have been recorded during the reign of Solomon around 950, and the events of Solomon's time a little later.

Everywhere, however, insertions from a later period can be found, and some interpreters consider those sections to be the oldest in which there is least mention of an intervention by Yahweh, i.e. where the later "supernaturalism" of the prophets and the Deuteronomists had not yet found any expression. The so-called song of Deborah and Barak in the 5th chapter of the book of Judges is considered almost unanimously to be one of the oldest pieces of the Old Testament. It praises the liberation of the Israelites from oppression by the Canaanite king Jabin and his general Sisera, which took place after the death of the second judge Ehud. The final verse says that after that the land was quiet for 40 years. This desire for "rest" in one's own land, where everyone sits under his own vine and olive tree, reappears later and is certainly a major criterion for distinguishing Israel from Assyria and Babylonia with their imperialism, but an "absence of

Supernaturalism' can hardly be adduced here as evidence of old 7 age. Despite the anti-king tendencies in the book of Samuel, the Deuteronomistic history is clearly built around a climax, namely the kingship of David and his son Solomon, ie around the time of the Israelite-Judean empire, when the borders in the north reached as far as Damascus. It is striking that there is no mere glorification: David is also presented as a gang leader in the service of the Philistines, the insidious attempt on Bathsheba's husband and the fact that Solomon was born from a particularly reprehensible adultery are not concealed, nor are the rebellions of his own sons against David, Solomon's elimination of the elder brother Adonias, and Solomon's inclination to "idolatry." In this respect one can speak of critical historiography, but there is a complete lack of weighing up the different and often contradictory components, and some interpreters see more in falsification of history than in historiography. In fact, the history of the kings of Israel and Judah who followed Solomon reveals hardly anything of the real situations and structures of the two countries or of the character of the kings; rather, in tedious monotony, it is almost always only about the violations of the ideal of pure Yahweh service and the resulting penalties. Nevertheless, the negative judgments about "falsifications of history" are unfair, even if they are correct in individual cases: Whoever takes the Deuteronomistic historical work in its extension from the struggles for the country before the turn of the millennium to the kidnapping of King Jehoiachin to Babylon in the year 587 as a whole in the one cannot help saying that there was nothing comparable in the two and a half thousand years of ancient oriental high culture and that Israel is therefore unique in terms of historiography. One cannot find any other reason for this than that a priestly and prophetic minority felt the objective threat to the small country so strongly and at the same time was so deeply affected by it

uniqueness, even uniqueness of their God, that they brought about an expenditure of strength and energy that was not required in this form in the great empires of Egypt and Assyria and in fact did not come about in the smaller states. It is therefore certainly no coincidence that the consciousness of superiority over barbarians, which can be ascertained in the earliest beginnings of embryonic historiography, was particularly pronounced here as a contrast to the pagans in their own self-understanding as a "chosen people". The thesis of Israel as the "paradigm of historical existence" is thus also confirmed from this point of view. The paradox consists in the fact that the prophetic-priestlyDeuteronomic impulse, to which alone the formation and preservation of Israel's identity can be attributed, drew its strength precisely from the opposition to the inevitable effects of high culture. And nowhere was the antihistorical utopia so grand,

Herodotus should also be the subject of this chapter, although he lived in the 5th century, so that at most the most recent parts of the Old Testament - apart from the book of Daniel and the books of the Maccabees - are contemporaneous to him. But Herodotus, often called "the father of history," is in some ways closer to Homer than to Thucydides, who was only twenty years his junior. Already the description of his motives in the "Proömion" to his histories reveal the relationship; he wrote his book so that "human works should not be forgotten by posterity, and so that the great and wonderful deeds of the Greeks and the barbarians would not go uncommemorated". Like Homer, Herodotus is an Ionian; like Homer, he does not limit his view to mainland Greece; the first four of the nine "books" deal almost exclusively with the Orient: with the Lydians and Croesus, with the emergence of the Persian world empire, with Babylon, above all with Egypt and finally with the internal order of the Persian empire and the Scythian campaign of Darius. The 5th book begins

Narrative of the Persian wars, the great confrontation between Orient and Occident, in which one might see a parallel to the Greeks' fight against the Trojans. But Herodotus is just as eloquent as Homer; he does not shy away from painting episodes broadly, and when he tells of distant lands, as in the case of the Odyssey, the fantastic and fabulous are not lacking. And for Herodotus, too, the gods are realities that blind people, throw them into guilt and punish 8th them: "God's terrible vengeance" hits Croesus, but for the crime of his ancestor, which he has to atone for in the fifth generation; Human races are traced back to the gods; for him the "sons of Europe" and the "Lotophagi" are figures of real history and of the contemporary world; Oracles and omens play a large part all the time; the borders of the inhabited world are full of fantastic 9 beings, e.g. E.g. "Ants, smaller than dogs but bigger than foxes". So the unknown author of the work Peri hypsous was right in AD 40 when he wrote: 10 »Herodotus alone became quite like Homer.«

And yet Herodotus is no epic poet in prose and no mere storyteller. Again, the first sentence of the first book is revealing, because if he wants to praise the great deeds of man like Homer, he expressly calls his book "historíes apódeixis": presentation of his research, and he expressly tries again and again to erroneously Separating the true and unbelievable from the believable. Again and again he emphasizes his thirst for knowledge as the reason for his many journeys, which were research trips because they had "historein" as their goal. Herodotus therefore makes a very sharp distinction between what he himself saw as an eyewitness and what others, especially the Egyptian priests, told him, and he is always skeptical of such sources, whether oral or written. What the Egyptians claim about Cambyses, that he is an Egyptian, is based only on a desire to be related to the house of Cyrus; in reality things 11 were different, and he didn't believe a second version of the story either.

He also expressly declares other stories to be questionable, and now and then he even shows skepticism towards the gods, about whom 12 people could hardly know anything for sure. He often juxtaposes the views of different authors or peoples on individual events or facts and leaves it to the reader to decide. Herodotus stands not only in the tradition of Homer, but also in that of the "logographers," those earliest historians of the sixth century who were geographers as much as historians. Among them was Herodotus' Ionian compatriot, Hecataeus of Miletus, from whom the haughty saying has been handed down: Hecataeus the Milesians speaks thus: 'I write as it seems to me to be true. The tales (logoi) of the Greeks are, in my 13 opinion, numerous and ridiculous” (hos emoí phaínontai). Here, then, is a man who goes against all of tradition and expressly proclaims that he will be guided only by truth and his own judgment. Herodotus often expresses himself in a similar way: the successor to Homer is also one of the authors of a historiography that is also critical in a subjective sense, and in doing so he distances himself far from the Deuteronomists, who were roughly his contemporaries.

Admittedly, this criticism is by far not Herodotus's only motive, and his stories are extremely vivid and memorable, full of wisdom and knowledge, which even today often cannot be matched with new discoveries in terms of source value. A few examples may make this clear: When the Lydian king Croesus is defeated by Cyrus and then made an advisor, he prevents Cyrus' planned destruction of his capital Sardis after a Lydian uprising with the following advice: Forbid them to have weapons of war... let them educate their children in harpsichord and string playing and trade. Soon

you will see how they grow from men to women, so that you 14 no longer have to fear their apostasy. In the context of the story of the accession of Darius to the throne, Herodotus tells of the murder of numerous members of the Mager tribe as punishment for the machinations of the Mager Smerdis and of the great festival of "mager 15 murder", which has been celebrated every year since then – So it is a parallel ante festum to the story in the Book of Esther about the large-scale revenge of the Jews living in the Persian Empire on their enemy Haman and his followers, which has since been made the subject of constant commemoration in the Purim festival.

In a hidden place one may even perceive a hint of utopia. Beyond the Scythians there are said to live many most peculiar peoples, e.g. B. a people that have goat feet and a people that sleep for half a year. Herodotus 'doesn't want to believe' the narrators, but without an expression of doubt he reports of the 'Argippai people', who 'consider to be holy', have no military equipment, settle disputes with their neighbors and receive the 16 exiles in a friendly manner.

It is not uncommon to find reports in which anthropological conceptions appear. This is how Herodotus tells about the manners and customs of the Thracian tribe of Trauser: Relatives sit around the newborn and lament how much suffering he will have to endure in his life; while enumerating all human plagues. But they bury the deceased with jesting and joy, counting how many evils he escaped and now lives in all bliss.17

It would probably not be inadmissible to assert that the first four books were the work of the ethnologist Herodotus, and that the historian only appeared from the fifth book onwards, who consistently and reasonably chronologically represented a great world-historical event, namely the fight between Persians

and Greeks - from Ionian revolt to the Battle of Marathon to Xerxes' campaign in Greece and the Persian defeats in the naval battles of Salamis and Mycale,

which resulted in the liberation of Greece. Now that his own cause is at stake, Herodotus' astonishing impartiality is all the more striking. He by no means attributes the blame exclusively to the Persians; he emphasizes their "chivalry"; he does not conceal the fact that many of the small Greek states were "Persian-friendly" ("medízontes") and that the "great period" was filled with petty class struggles or even civil wars in several of the Greek city-states. It is all the more credible that in the end, in his eyes, a world struggle is being waged for great principles. Xerxes expressly links the impending victory over Greece to the idea of world domination, he has the Hellespont punished with 300 lashes after a storm has destroyed the bridge that was painstakingly built over it, he expects the Lacedaemonian envoys to make the usual gesture of submission of the » perform proskynesis," but these proudly reply that it is 18 not their custom to prostrate before humans, and we may well assume that Themistocles also articulates Herodotus' opinion when, after the victory, he says to the Athenians: 'It was not we who did this, but gods and heroes who 19 did not want to admit that Asia and Europe have a single ruler. «

The same might be true of the secret message of the Macedonian king Alexander, who pledged his support to the Greeks, saying that he was Greek by origin and did not like to see 'free Greece become a slave 20 country'. So the "father of historiography" takes sides by describing the defensive struggle of the Greeks and the West (the "pros hesperes oikeontes anthropoi") as a world-historical war between occidental freedom 21 and oriental despotism. He, too, is filled with a consciousness of superiority, not towards "infidels," but towards "barbarians." Thus, as an individual who alone is responsible for a great work of historical presentation, he takes a significant step beyond the anonymous Deuteronomists, and he reveals incomparably less theologicalmoral absoluteness, but he, too, makes something absolutely extraordinary on the subject, and he Unlike the Deuteronomists, allows the will to

Recognizing objectivity without retreating to the Olympic heights of impartiality freed from all inner sympathy. Thus he can rightly be called the "father of history", although he has retained a naivety - Homeric, one might say - which makes him more endearing and attractive than any of his descendants.

Great history and great historiography would hardly ever go together as closely as they do with him. But he was not a land dweller like Hesiod in Greece and Amos in Israel; he was an outspoken city dweller, born in Halicarnassus, long residing in Athens as a friend of Sophocles, and eventually involved in founding the city of Thurioi in southern Italy. The writing of history, as a main element of historical existence, presupposes not only great deeds, but also the existence of cities in which the historian draws inspiration from other historians and from poets or philosophers, and moreover finds the materials indispensable for his work. But the country belongs to the city.

26City and Country Without the city there is no historiography and perhaps no history, but the country predates the city and its sine qua non by far. "Land" is not to be understood here as an area that may be desert or jungle and uninhabited. Rather, “land” only comes into existence with agriculture: only when people mark off and sow fields somewhere, only when they expect harvests and prepare for them, can we speak of “land”. The hunter-gatherers live in an area from which they derive their livelihood from natural produce, and within which they camp here and there: they have no 'abodes' and are therefore not 'land dwellers'. Only with the beginning of the Neolithic did the first villages form: small collections of houses whose inhabitants cultivate fields and, to a lesser extent, raise livestock, whether they regard fields and animals as common property or have made a division between small or large families. In any case, neighborhood and thus personal knowledge is a main characteristic of the village, and this necessarily creates a "village community" within which all pending questions - such as those of starting sowing or protection against threats from wild animals - are discussed. The 'village democracy' is the oldest of all democracies, and when it gives itself a 'head', an elder or village mayor, alienation or even a conflict between head and members is all but impossible: fifty men are always far stronger as one, and over long periods of time such a thing as leadership may seem superfluous, so that the village community may appear "akephal" and only make the necessary decisions on a case-by-case basis in meetings attended by all adult males or all males and

women participate. But these will only be "small" decisions, and "anarchy" will end the moment a serious threat arises, that is, where "enemies" appear enemies who may only be the inhabitants of a country other villages that have claims to a community grazing area, but are more likely to be members of a hunter clan who come from the surrounding forests and want to take possession of the fields, or harmful animals such as locusts.

Then the village elder has to take on vital tasks, and he has to divide up the able-bodied men in such a way that counterattacks can be made and the village nevertheless remains secure against surprise attacks; under certain circumstances he must coordinate with the elders of the neighboring villages in order to organize a large-scale defense. This will strengthen his position within the village community; if a threat has been successfully averted under his leadership, he will have great prestige and perhaps remain the village elder well into old age.

Without dangers and their overcoming, no appreciable direction will be required, nor will "prestige" be gained, and it is relatively easy to imagine at the beginning of the Neolithic a large number of coexisting villages, separated by considerable distances, with those akephalic and anarchic everywhere primal democracy prevails. Archeology tells us about the circumstances only in a very inadequate way: how should it be determined whether lance shafts, if they have been preserved, were used for hunting animals or for defense against humans? However, ethnology teaches us that struggles and "wars" among so-called primitive people claim large numbers of victims and that it is often difficult to find even a single man who does not take part in a killing, be it individual or 1 collective was and therefore had also found himself in danger of death.

However, the danger alone could not bring about any qualitative change; B. a danger that affected a whole circle of villages, such as when

a foreign people like the »Sea Peoples« around 1200 BC. or even earlier in very prehistoric conditions the tribes of the Battleaxt-Kurgan circle. Now one of the village elders had to become a war chief, and there was a high probability that he would not take the step back to simple village elder once the danger had been successfully averted. Rather, he would perhaps stay with the fittest of his warriors in a fortified place, which he would and could develop into a refuge for the population, since the agricultural surpluses from all the villages in the area would flow to him as contributions for these future-oriented and charitable projects.

So it is not necessary to use the motive of lust for power, which Herodotus ascribes to the Mede Dejokes in the first book of his histories, in order to explain that the many villages of the Medes, partly voluntarily and partly as a result of the skilful manipulations of this ancestor of Cyrus, first looked for a "judge". demanded and then had to bow to the kingship. According to Herodotus, the first town emerged from the many villages, which initially was nothing more than a fortress for Dejokes and 2 his bodyguard. But an even more fundamental requirement than danger and expansion was the fact that the villages produced more than the livelihood of the inhabitants; if no storable "added value" were created through agriculture, all struggles between people would be reduced to the most elementary: the acquisition of land for the purpose of prolonging life while wiping out the previous inhabitants. Defense alliances, on the other hand, would only be formed for pure defence; if there were centralization, it could never serve accumulation, and specialists such as bodyguards, professional warriors, and professional priests could not arise. But the surpluses that flow to the princely court and that have been left to rot in the self-sufficient village create the precondition for the emergence of cities, and they are at the same time the first "capital": If a village is hit by a storm, it the prince will provide the next year's seed, but he will demand that he receive part of the harvest in return. The

Surplus crops are specifically land-based for the emergence of dominions and cities; Danger and expansion are the premises, one of which results from the situation of all living beings and the other from the peculiar nature of man; united in one, they drive the country beyond itself to the city and the village democracy to territorial rule. But in reality there seem to be intermediate forms. Jericho is the first 3 city of which we have knowledge. She was, as was stated , with imposing defensive walls and a "tower", but there is no evidence that some of the approximately 2000 inhabitants were released from agricultural work, and differences in the size of the residential buildings cannot be determined. Villages also had fortifications, so perhaps this city was nothing more than a larger village after all; the supposition is nevertheless permissible that only an "elder" was at the top, who was elected and dismissed in popular meetings. Fortifications alone are not enough to reliably set the city apart from the countryside. At Çatal Hüyük, however, the excavator thought he had uncovered different types of houses, and he thought he could assume the existence of a "priestly class" devoted primarily to those fertility cults, the symbols of which had been found to be bull's horns and women's breasts. It is possible that in this town there was a division of labor between entire groups, and with it a 'relief' of individual 'classes' from the work that is a characteristic of all villagers without exception. This feeling of being relieved, which one might call "freedom," was obviously based on the production of surpluses, which in turn were based on the fertility of the earth. In any case, luxury items were also found which, for their part, exhibit something like "privacy," namely freedom from immediate necessities of life, and it is probable that these items were not equally accessible to the entire population. If that were correct, then in Çatal Hüyük there would already have been something like a "superstructure" on top of a "substructure", namely a realm

of the non-essential above the realm of the necessities of life, and this distinction is certainly specific to humans, for nowhere is there a similar thing among animals - even the most colorful wing and the most beautiful voice fulfill vital functions in birds. However, luxury items can be dispensed with: in wars, all gold and silver items could be confiscated, sold or melted down, so that what was not essential to life was reduced back to what was essential to life. However, the theses of James Mellart have been criticized and there are some city-like sites in the prehistoric Near East where no luxury items have been found, but which in a sense can be considered luxury items themselves. In Hacilar e.g. For example, there are casemate-like structures right behind the walls, which probably also served as dwellings and could hardly have accommodated other people than soldiers and supplies. So Hacilar was probably a fortress, possibly as a place of constant vigil against external enemies, but possibly also as a stronghold over a subject population. In any case, this fortified city could not support itself, as Jericho and Çatal Hüyük could; it was dependent on contributions from the surrounding area; and here the earliest form of "exploitation" becomes tangible, which is better described as "division of labor," insofar as agricultural work was first secured and perhaps even made possible by the barracked warriors. With this, another specific feature of the human being becomes visible to some extent: the “superstructure” can become a vital necessity for the “substructure”, even a condition of existence; the 'city' in a way produces the 'country', which is obviously much older than it. With this, another specific feature of the human being becomes visible to some extent: the “superstructure” can become a vital necessity for the “substructure”, even a condition of existence; the 'city' in a way produces the 'country', which is obviously much older than it. With this, another specific feature of the human being becomes visible to some extent: the “superstructure” can become a vital necessity for the “substructure”, even a condition of existence; the 'city' in a way produces the 'country', which is obviously much older than it. Hardly anywhere is this more evident than in Mesopotamia, which was a desert of sand and swamp until humans regulated the rivers and built irrigation

systems. The beginnings were certainly made by village-like settlements in the fourth millennium, but cultivation and cultivation took place on a larger scale

Land was not reclaimed until cities had been founded and princes or temple priests had come to power: the population was now managed centrally and large canals were systematically built, from which the water was channeled through branch canals and ditches to the fields.

In connection with this creation of the land through the temple and the city, the invention of writing can be seen, which was originally only a means of keeping in line the deliveries from the peasants and the distributions from the warehouses to the rural dwellers. The city was not yet primarily determined by a 'market', since the temple economy was something like state socialism, but the city and the temple within it were in any case a center that determined a wide area of land. In Mesopotamia, these temple cities retained their autonomy and became city-states, in which the palace of the "ensi", the city king, increasingly appeared next to the temple, while mighty walls enclosed the city area and apparently wide open spaces so that the rural population could, in the event of the Not could get there with the animals: The walls of Uruk were already more than eight kilometers long in the middle of the 3rd millennium and enclosed an area of 550 hectares, about half of the space that Babylon enclosed a millennium and a half later when it was the largest city of antiquity. In Egypt, development took a different direction, because autonomous citystates were not formed: In the empire of the early pharaohs, who used a large part of the entire country's resources to build monumental tombs with the pyramids, they needed those built around the temples Cities not of their own defensive walls, for all Egypt was, so to speak, one city with the water-giving artery in the middle and the wall of inaccessible deserts in the east and west; nevertheless there was a deep emotional relationship between the cities and their inhabitants; one should remember the sentence of an Egyptologist: »As the dwelling places of the gods, the temples make people feel at home on 4 earth.« But the great attraction of the cities was by no means based solely on the temples, but also consisted in their already highly diverse nature

Life: the festivals and processions, the king and his administrative officials, the initially state or semi-state merchants, the craftsmen, hunters, fishermen and slaves, and last but not least the prostitutes, who in turn were divided into several classes. A touch of depravity and corruption already hung over the early city, for thither flowed the vast surplus of the land, and at no time could its distribution be in a manner of strict reciprocity; that is, with the city came not only the reality of a great abundance of luxury goods, but also the possibility of parasitic existences, the classic and age5 old paradigm of which is the prostitute. With the city, a different and narrower concept of »culture« emerges. "Culture" in the broader anthropological sense is agriculture, farming, but it is also hunting with spears and bows and is even the gathering of fruits and roots - that continuation and increasing transformation of the "pre-culture" already detectable in some animals; but city life is "sophisticated," it implies refinement, and that means luxury. This luxury and refinement are not evenly distributed; Anyone who has a share in it belongs to the upper class, or better: whoever belongs to the conducting, administrative and worshiping upper class also gains a share in this luxury and thus in what is superfluous to earn a living. He may have bathrooms and cold rooms. Yet in Mesopotamia the real contrast was not that between town and country, for the country could not be imagined without the town, nor the city without the country as its indispensable extension, but the contrast was town and steppe, fixation of dwellings in largely artificial fertile land and the

empty, barren space where only isolated groups of nomads roamed and pitched their tents for short periods. Even during the 2nd millennium BC, the image of the city in Mesopotamia and Egypt as well as in other parts of the "Fertile Crescent" shows a wide spectrum: The small city can still be an agricultural town, ie almost all inhabitants earn their living from direct Work in agriculture, so that the difference between town and country consists only in the denser or less dense settlement and there can be no talk of luxury even with the few urban craftsmen.

The city can be a pure temple city, which consists almost entirely of priests, temple servants and serfs or semi-free people who farm the temple land. Any excess is intended for the "service of the gods," as prescribed by the oldest mythological documents, but presumably also for a cultivated existence for the priests, who are therefore particularly exposed to the dangers of decadence and the seduction of wealth. As the residence of a warlike ruler, the city may be essentially defined by a professional military: Sargon of Akkade already boasts that 5,600 warriors receive their food from his table every day; Division of labor and professionalization do not stop at scribes and priests. More and more in the 2nd millennium in Mesopotamia and in Phoenicia - not so much in Egypt - the merchants and traders became the prominent class, because they not only organized the market on which the products of town and country are exchanged, such as bronze hosts of plowing barley, but they are the carriers of the long-distance trade, bringing bronze and iron from Asia Minor and copper from Sinai. They also link the city and the steppe by assembling caravans that often have to travel through deserts and steppes for months before they reach the coveted raw materials. The transports across the salt desert of the sea were no less timeconsuming and dangerous, but port cities such as Ugarit were closed

pure and usually very rich trading cities. It is not clear whether one can describe the merchant class as a "bourgeoisie"; the term "patriciate" seems to be inappropriate in any case, and even in Ugarit the merchants did not rule, but the royal palace was by far the largest and most important buildings in the city. Inner-Mesopotamian and inner-Egyptian traffic took place largely on the rivers, of which the Nile offered far better opportunities, since the prevailing north wind also made it possible to travel upriver, while the Euphrates and Tigris could practically only be navigated with the current. The most important place of mediation between rivers and sea in Mesopotamia was Ur, where goods were transferred from riverboats or rafts to seagoing ships, which then sailed through the Persian Gulf to the Bahrain Islands, the famous "Tilmun." Little is known about the population of the cities: Ur, as the capital of the Sumerians around 2000, probably had no more than 24,000 inhabitants; in the Old Testament, on the other hand, it is reported of Nineveh, albeit at a much later time, that "more than 100,000 people" lived there. A report by Assurnasirpal II on the inauguration ceremonies for his palace in the city of Kalash makes particularly clear what capacity an ancient oriental city could have: for ten days he celebrated a big festival with 70,000 people from all over the country, and there were thousands of them slaughtered of sheep 6 and cattle.

The city - bearer of a new concept of culture, city-state and Imperial capital, peasant city, temple city, military city, trading city, ruling city has belonged to history since the beginning, but always in its relative contrast to the "country" and in its complete difference to the "steppe"; there has never been a city-free, purely rural history, and even the great conquests of the Kassites, the Hyksos, the Cimbri and Teutons, and later the Mongols, only became "history" by encountering urban civilizations, which they admittedly partly destroyed, but which they themselves

later adapted, provided they did not suffer heavy defeats and were destroyed. However, one character of the city has been left out because a separate chapter is to be devoted to it: the city is the home of writers, literati, the beginnings of science. Nippur was not merely a temple city, but one might even call it an academy city, the seat of theological speculation and site of early scientific research, highly respected center of learning, sometimes referred to with a bold metaphor as the "Vatican of Sumer." But no town, even the pure merchant town, was completely without its part of »Nippur«: everywhere there were training centers for the offspring of writers, and it is not uncommon to claim that education only makes a person truly human. In other words, being human was not a natural

27School Education and Sciences "Education" can be understood to mean everything that is not given to living beings through their hereditary endowment, i.e. as "instinct". In this sense, education is not specifically human: the young vervet monkeys do not know birds of prey and snakes "by nature" or by instinct, and they are not at all a priori familiar with the importance of the warning calls that adult animals use to indicate danger threatened by eagles, serpents or humans. So they have to "learn," and their whole young life is a kind of school, until the understanding of the various signs becomes "flesh and blood," so that they don't need to learn anything new. Animal learning would be different again in the case of 1 that chimpanzee There is no doubt that prehistoric man made extraordinary educational achievements, for although there is no absolute difference between washing potatoes and making stone axes or producing cave paintings, there is a qualitative difference. Even the hunters of the Paleolithic had to train their boys for a long time through constant practice until they learned how to make and use spears properly, and the young women could only gradually learn how to handle fire properly. But the first villages were built, and the first land was wrested from the desert and swamps without "schools" existing. Learning was just as natural and common a part of boys' lives as

Only writing created a further qualitative difference. Even the simplest pictorial writing cannot simply be "drawing" as children do on their own, but is subject to a certain schematization and very soon also requires symbolic signs to express activity relationships or numbers. Scripture can only be taught and learned in school, and the greater the number of characters, the longer the training takes and the more professional the teachers become, the more going to school becomes the main focus of life for many years the student.

In Mesopotamia, the literacy students, who could only make up a small minority of the entire youth, were educated in the so-called clay tablet house: Here one learned how to use the tubular stylus, here one was made familiar with the more than 2000 characters of cuneiform writing, here one had to you can read exercises and play them back yourself. Here, however, literary works were also studied and interpreted at the higher levels; the "Tontafelhaus" included all types of schools from elementary school to "university." It often belonged neither to the palace nor to the temple, but had a private character, so that the "master" had to exert a high degree of initiative and responsibility, but was often the object of great veneration on the part of the students. In some places, however, the schools of scribes were also part of the palace, and in any case they received much attention from the kings, for they themselves were not (usually) masters of writing and they were responsible for their administration and for their diplomatic correspondence constantly dependent on the writers. Thus the scribes or literati in both Mesopotamia and Egypt soon became the first true 'class' of people, ie a group that differed from all other people by clear characteristics and developed a positive self-understanding of this difference. At best, this knowledge of differences was just as pronounced among priests and officers, and at least some of the priests counted among the literate. However, it is better to speak of

"Classes," because membership also implied a certain degree of honor and prestige. It also meant freedom from hard physical labor, and the orientation towards an easier and more comfortable existence is expressed in a number of testimonies in a surprisingly unbiased way. Thus in that document, from which a few sentences have already been 2 quoted, to read: There is nothing that beats the books. … Every woodworker wielding the chisel is more weary than a tiller; his field is the wood, his hoe the gouge. At night he feels battered for having worked beyond his strength, but even at night he burns light. The stonemason engraves with a chisel in all kinds of hard stones... when he sits down in the evening his knees and back are broken... The potter sticks in his clay, it smears him more than a pig until he has fired his pots... If you If you can write, it will be of more use to you than any of the professions I have outlined to you. A day at school is useful to you, and the work done in it lasts 3 forever...

Hardly anywhere in Egyptian written evidence do we get such a vivid picture of the harsh realities of ordinary people's lives; It must be asked, however, whether such persuasion is not also proof of how hard years of school existence and the learning of hundreds, even thousands of signs, really were for the pupils and how much they needed encouragement. In fact, there are a number of testimonies from everyday school life with its beatings and despair that paint anything but an idyllic picture of this school life. Since about 2000, the most peculiar feature of schooling in Mesopotamia has been the teaching of writing along with Sumerian, which was gradually dying out and soon became a dead language. However, these texts could not be dispensed with to such an extent that Sumerian became a kind of "sacred language," not much different from Latin in the Middle Ages and in the Middle Ages

Beginnings of modern Europe. As a result, writing became ever more distant from the practical purpose of administration and economic necessities, and the idea could arise that one only really becomes “educated”, in fact, a person at all, only by studying those classic writings in a foreign language . Often enough, this pride in education led to an arrogant sense of class, to the point that in Egypt it was no longer just "Asians" and other foreigners who were regarded as "barbarians," but rather their own uneducated compatriots. But there were also counterweights to the overly interested admonitions and eulogies of the school teachers, and in the wisdom sayings of the vizier Ptah-hotpe, which were written around 2000 at the latest, one can read:

Don't be proud of your knowledge. Counsel with the 4 ignorant as with the wise, and also all those commandments and admonitions which anticipate essential parts of the Decalogue by more than a thousand years obviously come from those who are literate. Writing and the state were inseparable, but they were not identical. Archives were a state necessity par excellence, and state treaties and the letters of kings were preserved in carefully secured copies, but Ashurbanipal's library was evidently for state purposes. This king had ancient works of literature searched for in all parts of the known world, and the Epic of Gilgamesh also found a place in his library; the king himself, however, by no means saw himself merely as a collector, but also as a connoisseur and enthusiast who 5 was proud to be a scholar at the same time. Thus the world of "education," which at first was only at home in the "clay tablet house" and had served predominantly practical purposes, had finally reached the top of the state, after all the great kings, conquerors, and pharaohs had dictated only to their secretaries for centuries or had given the order to have inscriptions made "for posterity" praising their wartime deeds. Of course they had

always performed the ceremonies for the gods, and as the high priests, which they all were, they always participated in a more original kind of education, namely, the religious one. But, like Assurbanipal, they turned to the sciences at best in the late period, although their first beginnings went back to the earliest times. 6 As far as science in the narrower sense is concerned - medicine, astronomy, mathematics, arranged according to their distance from immediate practice - one might well speak of the "birth of science out of the spirit of magic," for not only in the beginning, but for many centuries, both in Egypt and Also in Mesopotamia all attempts to combat the dangers threatening life or to bring about positive effects of any kind are closely linked with the defense against demons or the initiation of healing processes through incantations or the knowledge of the future through omens.

Almost as important as Shamash was the demon Lahasthu to the Babylonians, and they perceived "the hand of Nergal" when the plague broke out. The means used by the helpers, the "azu," the doctors, were magical or theurgical, but they were linked to precise observation from the very beginning and paved the way for an empirical medicine in which a wealth of "craft" knowledge was handed down never completely renounced magical means or continued to assign the exorcist a place next to the doctor. At one point it is prescribed: "He may appoint an 7 exorcist and a doctor, and they shall carry out their treatment together". Physicians, too, probably recited a "raise of hands" prayer over the patient before the practical treatment. The exorcist officiated in red regalia and perhaps walked around the patient's bed with an incense burner and a cult torch, summoning the demons with sayings like "Go out, bad demon, come in, good demon", but words alone were not enough, they were Means given, to which one attributed an effect that went far beyond the natural.

However, the step to medicines, which are still believed to have healing powers today, was not far: plant resins and oils,

Nuts in honey and date stones are prescribed, but also "the left horn of a billy goat", girl's hair or fox excrement. Pills, suppositories, ointments, poultices, poultices and enemas were also known. The assignment to the diseases was based on precise observation: apoplexy, epilepsy, Vitus dance, muscle cramps were precisely distinguished, the healing effect of sweating was known, and hemorrhoids were treated with sharp knives.

The surgical interventions had to do without the help of magic. These included amazing cranial trepanations, of which we are also aware from the discovery of skulls treated in this way. But one cannot say that Mesopotamian and Egyptian medicine followed a straight path 'from myth to logos', that is, from magic to science or at least to high craftsmanship; magic always retained a recognized place, and one could even claim with some boldness that in the ancient Near East empirical medicine was supported in an exemplary manner by psychological means of the inner strengthening of the patient. However, this medicine did not reach the stage of analyzes of a general nature and the production of textbooks. Astronomy, too, arose from the desirability of practical life, for astrology was one of the "astrological sciences" which, for example, on the basis of the widespread liver omens, greatly promoted knowledge of some of the internal organs of animals. Likewise, the observation of the stars served to predict future fortunes not so much for individuals as for princely houses, but also for harvest prospects. The beginnings of the calendar system also go back to these early observations of the course of the moon and the sun, and after the turn of the millennium real observatories are attested in the cities of Uruk, Nippur, Babylon, Assur, Nineveh and others. The constellations of the ecliptic had been given names before, and the identity of Venus as the morning and evening star was no secret. The other planets were also closely observed,

strong residues is present, was widespread, e.g. B. Mars generally as "evil". The length of the lunar month of 29½ days was probably already known in prehistoric times, and the attribution of the individual days to a festival calendar has already been handed down from the time of Gudea: The first day was preceded by a new light celebration on the evening before, the third was the vigil for the Eschesh festival on the fourth, when laypeople were admitted to the temple and thus the "temple greeting" took place, the seventh day was an unlucky day, the 15th was the day of the full moon celebration, Ishtar is sacred and at the same time the day of the "calming of the heart" of the gods ; on the 25th the procession of Ishtar took place in Babylon, the sacrifices dedicated to her were offered in the direction of the Big Dipper, the 30th was the day of jubilation for the moon deity Shin. Not a single day was without religious significance, even if only of impending doom; the people and the whole state lived constantly in relation to heavenly events; they were "kosmotheoroí," to use an expression used by Kant in his opus postumum to define man. The individual months got their names partly from festivals of the gods, partly from the periods of vegetation such as "blossom month" or "maturity period". The difference between the length of the lunar year (354 days) and the solar year (365 days) was common early on, and once again the close connection between astrology, astronomy and the calendar becomes clear when an omen text says: »Fix the calendar 8th and complete it with a leap month.«

Of course, there was no counting of the years after a central event such as "before or after the birth of Christ." It was not until 600 BC that lunar eclipses could be explained and even predicted. to date, and it was only from this point in time that astronomy finally separated from astrology. 9 Ancient Mesopotamian mathematics was based on a sexagesimal but decimal number system, i.e. the series of positive numbers was 1, 10, 60, 2 3 600, 3600 (60 ), 60 ; apparently the mythically long reigns in the Sumerian king lists are based on such

Pay. Although multiplication and division were not known as independent operations, but instead made a detour via repeated additions or subtractions, calculations of astonishing scope and great accuracy could be carried out with the help of reciprocal tables; Square and cube root tables were other common tools. The Pythagorean theorem was known in substance, but it was not derived, and no formulas or proofs of the Euclidean type are to be found. Mathematics and accounting served primarily practical purposes, both in Mesopotamia and in Egypt: surveying fields, calculating the volume of buildings, determining interest and compound interest. Therefore, the thesis can be defended that the ancient Orient only reached the threshold of science in medicine, astronomy and mathematics and that this threshold was only crossed by the Greeks. But the way was so long and so difficult, and it led so clearly in the direction of this threshold, that schooling and science must be regarded as indispensable parts of the scheme of historical existence. What would be a more important prerequisite for science and education than the invention of writing, and hasn't the professionalization of the art of writing and knowledge initiated an irreversible development? Of course, there can by no means be any question of a "scientificization" of life, even a tendency towards it, but the communal,

28The orders of everyday life (sexuality, economy)

Science and historiography are aspects of human existence that belong only to "historical existence," because there are no signs of this in animals or even in human prehistory. Up until modern times they remain exceptional phenomena, tied to royal courts and spiritual centers such as monasteries; they are, so to speak, holidays even within history. Sexuality and economics - understood in a broad sense - permeate the everyday life of all people at all times: From the earliest prehistory, men cohabited with women and children were born; the Peking people already had to struggle to earn a living every day. Both reached back to the primeval times of life, indeed of existence itself: when eukaryotes appeared billions of years ago, they were already reproducing sexually, that is, by requiring a pair of parents to produce offspring in which the genetic makeup of the parents was mixed in the most varied ways, so that no generation was simply a copy of the other. The "eating and being eaten" can already be ascribed to the prokaryotes: even the most primitive creatures have to find food for themselves, and this food can also consist of other creatures.

Even in historical times there may have been communities unknown not merely to science and history, but to commerce, cities, and war, but never, nowhere, was there a group of people that did not produce offspring and provide their daily sustenance—partially apart from a few and marginal, consistently culturally determined communities such as celibates, priests, monasteries or certain sects. So far we have often encountered sexuality in the pre-human realm, while the economy only came to our attention as trade: At

in some barnacles the male has been reduced to a mere reproductive organ parasitizing on the female, and in the Hamadryas baboons there is marked sexual dimorphism, the females weighing only half that of the males. Conversely, the primacy of the female sex is extremely pronounced in bees and ants; all hives and colonies are female communities, but within which only a single reproductive animal—the "queen"—provides procreation, while all worker bees are sterile and their maternal instincts are limited to tending and foraging; the male sex – the drones – only has the selective function of donating sperm and is then killed; in mammals, on the other hand, all females are fertile, but they are only ready to receive during limited times, e.g. This is indicated, for example, in chimpanzees and baboons by swelling and redness of the genitals, so that in the wild sex life plays only a relatively minor role and is often overshadowed by the necessities of struggling for mere existence. In bonobos, however, as primate researchers have discovered, sex life is primarily for conflict resolution, since females are sexually available most of the time, and so we have, only half-jokingly, constructed the maxim of some researchers' opinion: "If you won't like the bonobos, you cannot enter the earthly paradise, that is, the realization of utopia.« in chimpanzees and baboons it is indicated by swelling and redness of the genitals, so that in the wild sex life plays only a relatively minor role and is often overshadowed by the necessities of struggling for mere existence. In bonobos, however, as primate researchers have discovered, sex life is primarily for conflict resolution, since females are sexually available most of the time, and so we have, only half-jokingly, constructed the maxim of some researchers' opinion: "If you won't like the bonobos, you cannot enter the earthly paradise, that is, the realization of utopia.« in chimpanzees and baboons it is indicated by swelling and redness of the genitals, so that in the wild sex life plays only a relatively minor role and is often overshadowed by the necessities of struggling for mere existence. In bonobos, however, as primate researchers have discovered, sex life is primarily for conflict resolution, since females are sexually available most of the time, and so we have, only half-jokingly, constructed the maxim of some researchers' opinion: "If you won't like the bonobos, you cannot enter the 1 earthly paradise, that is, the realization of utopia.« But throughout their prehistoric and historical existence, humans were far removed from the

conflict-free, harmonious, and equal life of the bonobos, and precisely because sexuality and the economy were all-pervasive realities, especially those that determined everyday life, there had to be rules for them that were strictly observed monitored, even if Bachofen was right in his doctrine of primitive hetaerism and Morgan in his idea of "Punalua marriage," that is, if there had not been such a thing as jealousy in primeval times. In any case, the first collections of laws that have come down to us from historical times are full of regulations that affect sexuality and the economy

rules and violations are often punished with very severe penalties. Before turning to these provisions, let us make a few considerations, starting with sexuality. The most elementary of all facts of human sexuality is that the urge of the male sex for sexual activity is of overwhelming and urgent strength, as a relief instinct opposed and similar to hunger as a desire for satiation, while the female sex lacks the corresponding urge for physiological reasons, so that female beings can remain "unawakened" throughout their lives. At the same time, males are on average physically stronger than females, although sexual dimorphism is not nearly as pronounced as in baboons. From this results the possibility that women can serve the male instincts as pure objects of pleasure. Something like this tends 2 to happen whenever women fall prey to warriors, and even the Israelites made exceptions to the divine command of destruction by killing only the 3 males and adult females, but keeping the virgin girls for themselves. In a conceivable, though extreme, case, a few dozen female prisoners of war would be pure objects of the male urges of a few dozen victorious warriors. However, it is precisely this constructed idea that will hardly ever even come close to being realized. For there will be differences in beauty and age among women, and differences in strength and rank among men. Very quickly the most beautiful of the captives will be "appropriated" by the strongest warrior, and very soon couples will develop, which will probably also have an emotional character: the kings of the Iliad distribute the conquered women among themselves, and Agamemnon is not ashamed to publicly put 4 Chryseis above his distant wife Clytemnestra. So this must be the first goal of all

Orders of sexuality: to rein in the "impetuousness" of the male urge, to punish rape, to impose sanctions on breaking into marriages or relationships with others and - as a rule - to prevent homosexuality. But women are not only to be protected as potential victims from male impetuosity, they also have specific possibilities that are intended to be regulated and even combated by legal regulations and even more by a whole cultural atmosphere. Men's impetuosity exhausts itself at greater or lesser intervals, even when, like Heracles in Greek saga, they perform true miracles, but women, once awakened, can be insatiable.

This possibility was already realized in the oldest times in the figure of the prostitute, who practiced the "oldest profession in the world", and as early as the third millennium BC In ancient oriental proverbs, young men are admonished not to marry a prostitute "who has 6000 5 husbands". Since only the prostitute is allowed to live out the extreme sexual potency of women, all other women are deprived of this opportunity, to the point that girls and wives are closely monitored and, under certain circumstances, are destined for a purely domestic existence. It is probably no mere speculation to suggest that archaic religions and the earliest legislators envisaged the horrific extreme possibility that man's sexuality, almost unbound by nature in comparison to all animals, could unleash the impetuousness of one sex and the insatiability of the other and thereby bring about the self-destruction of the state and even of humanity. Because the ultimate meaning of the regulations of sexuality was not the negative one of moderation or suppression, but the positive one of securing the continued existence of the community. Here, however, the weaker ones, the women, had a far more important function, which at the same time involved far greater burdens: the burdens of pregnancy, childbirth, and raising children. Unbridled impetuosity and unstigmatized insatiability had to make the most indispensable of all tasks the hardest in the long run

affect and maybe even prevent; no measure could be severe enough to counteract the fatal group consequence to which natural urges so strongly urged individuals, although another natural urge paralleled cultural imperatives: the natural urge of brood care, that root of "altruism" in the whole wildlife, which usually also entails a life partnership in the struggle for individual survival. But only man could emancipate himself from this urge of nature, and therefore cultural institutions were needed to secure what one might call "the will of nature" or "the intention of God." Thus that type of society emerged almost automatically which best guaranteed the continuation of human life: the society

Such a society may be called the "natural-moral" one, and as such it shows few varieties in history. But in reality, impetuosity and insatiability have their place, at least on the fringes, and so in fact rape, adultery and prostitution are everyday facts that are pushed back by regulations, ie laws, sanctions and last but not least "public opinion", but never completely prevented become. This intertwining of commandment and transgression is an essential part of historical existence; the ages differ not least in what character the commandments and transgressions have, and in what relation they stand to one another. What is strictly forbidden in one society and threatened with the death penalty may even be demanded and praised in another, e.g. B. male homosexuality, which was punished with death in ancient Israel and far beyond, while it was considered a "pederastic" relationship between a man and a boy in the Greek warrior states of the Dorians and Cretans as a praiseworthy aid to brave efficiency, the " areté« was valid, but of course it did not prevent the normal relations between men and women.

Within the imaginable ideal types, historical reality is characterized by a wealth of modifications, but at no point were male impetuosity, female insatiability and the safeguarding of social procreation brought into an anarchic, prohibition-free and commandment-free harmony, as is possibly the case with the bonobos.

Even in the oldest legal codes, the provisions regulating sexual life and the relationships connected with it occupy an important place. So it says e.g. For example, in the Lipit Ishtar Code: "If a man has married a woman and she bore him children who are still alive, and a slave woman also bore him children, and the father gave freedom to the slave woman and her children, so shall the children the slave (in the event of inheritance) not share the property with the children of her 6 (former) master.” Economic questions, problems of inheritance and property play a part in determining sex life from the earliest times, and this is also determined from the outset by inequalities in marital status. The most comprehensive of all 7 early legal texts is known to be the Code of Hammurabi, which reflects a wealth of possibilities for sexual intercourse between the sexes and makes very clear regulations, which also reveal the close connection with the economic area. Differences compared to other laws in the area of the ancient Near East can be seen above all in the different severity of the punishments and especially in the strict observance of the talion principle: If the ancient Sumerian laws are content with fines in many cases, where Hammurabi provides for death, the ancient Assyrian laws give the offended spouse a much wider scope of possibilities, e.g. B. to cut off the noses of the adulterous 8th couple, but a stipulation like the one that says that the builder's child is to be killed is unmistakable if a child of the owner dies in the house that he built 9 poorly and then collapsed. What they all have in common, however, is the goal of taming male impetuosity, banishing female insatiability to the fringes of society and ensuring that children grow up.

However, all these many paragraphs leave one thing unregulated, because it eludes all external regulation: the love between man and woman, which is always very personal and individual and which in itself knows neither impetuosity nor even insatiability and is even the most powerful factor of limitation , because it takes the individuals involved farthest beyond the confines of everyday life. It is always more than a mere masking of the drive, and it can reach a point where the sensual and sexual becomes insignificant, even dispensable. It has also found moving articulations in the ancient Orient. Last but not least, this includes the Song of Songs,

Strong as death is love passion is hard as the underworld... Even mighty waters cannot quench love, nor do rivers sweep it away. If someone offered all the wealth of his house for love, 10 he would only be despised. Similar love songs have been handed down on Egyptian papyri, and they are no less remote from "gross sensuality": I did not see my beloved for seven days. sickness has struck me. My heart gets heavy. I forgot myself or:

I won't let go of him, even if I'm being beaten; so that I can spend the whole day in the swamp, to Syrian country under clubs and clubs... I will not listen to their advice To give up 11 your wish.

No law can decree that a sexual relationship must be love; there is a free area that is extra-legal; the law only makes provisions about the consequences, whether they consist of marriage or joint suicide. Whatever form sexuality takes, it is always related to the future, even if the connection between procreation and birth is still unknown; Economy in the narrower sense, on the other hand, initially only has to do with the present; it is about the survival not of the group but of the individual. The "economy" of a tribe of gatherers and hunters is to bring in the food they need to survive day by day; if the game is only a few weeks out of reach, if the migration has led to an area where no bulbs and fruits can be found, the individuals of the clan die: hunger is more pressing than love, to quote one of Schiller's most famous and trivial change statements. But the question is whether the idea of the self-sufficient gathering and hunting tribes is correct, who produce everything they need and what is not given to them by nature themselves, from huts to spears and arrows, and it is sexuality that establishes relations with other kinships, for exogamy is one of the earliest and most powerful realities of prehistory: the biologically ingrained urge to withdraw procreation from the narrow circle of closest blood relatives and to include "new blood" and be it by abduction of women. As soon as a unit has formed above the clans, primarily the tribe, exogamy, the exchange of blood, is institutionalized and the males of the "eagle" clan, for example, have to take their wives from the "snake" clan. The bartering community of people between several clans would very soon be followed by a bartering community of things between clans or tribes. The term "trade" is not to be used here in its usual sense: not "goods" but "gifts" are exchanged, and the goal is not equivalence but the attainment of prestige through the gift given being greater than

the received; The ethnologists have thoroughly researched this exchange among recent primitive peoples under the names "Kula" and "Potlatsch", and the French sociologist Marcel Mauss developed a whole critique of civilization from it in his book on the exchange of gifts. But after a shorter or longer period of time it might have developed into a trade in the sense commonly used today, ie an exchange according to the criterion of equivalence, in which not the gaining of prestige but the acquisition of advantages was the main motive and for which the different natural resources were fundamental: Lebanon has rich forest stocks, Mesopotamia grows a lot of grain, an exchange of surpluses was mutually beneficial, even if comparatively much grain had to be given for comparatively little cedar wood. The second prerequisite, however, was surplus production, which only came about on a larger scale with the advent of agriculture; as long as the production did not significantly exceed the needs of the clan or the village, no trade could be conducted. The third requirement was factual, not already given by the concept of trade, because easily transportable luxury goods such as amber necklaces or copper clasps were particularly suitable for exchange, and there had to be differentiations between richer and poorer individuals or families within the villages or tribes , which allowed the rich to barter for luxury items. The fact that copper was only found on the Sinai Peninsula and in Anatolia, but was also needed in Egypt and Mesopotamia, is the first prerequisite for trade as a difference between the regions of the world; The second is that agriculture produced substantial surpluses, and the third is that intra-social differences created a need for luxury goods. This third condition is in turn the precondition of the second, for significant surplus production in both Egypt and Mesopotamia only came about after the administrative staffs of the kings and the temples had organized large-scale land reclamation and protection of the land.

With this we are already in the middle of early history and are referring to temples, palaces and cities, and only in history can economy in the form of trade become a necessity of life; only now can towns arise which, like Ugarit, live from trade, and only now does it become one of the main tasks of the kings to ensure the security of the caravans by concluding treaties with other states, with which their own merchants from distant regions bring their goods fetched, without which one could no longer get along or believed one could no longer get along. Certainly not all Uruk residents could purchase the silver ornaments brought by the merchants from the Bahrain Islands, but the whore who took Enkidu to Uruk was certainly not alone in believing that every resident of the city had a better fate than when he could have it out of town and far from the arable land gained by the organization of labor. Only when the differences were felt to be excessive and when the living conditions of the lower classes fell below that of the simple peasants could widespread dissatisfaction arise. Above all, and first of all, the legislation had to ensure the interlocking of the many divisions of labor and property-related functions, so that the already very complicated mechanism could move Once again, Hammurabi's body of laws gives a clear picture of the regulations to which this economy of division of labour, exchange and property was subject. Securing the already extensive property of individuals was evidently one of the highest maxims. A burglar is killed and buried in front of the house he tried to break into. Anyone who buys or takes custody of an item of value without calling a witness or making a contract is considered a thief and will be killed.

In an emergency, debts can be paid off by the debtor selling his wife or children or himself into debt slavery, and this gives one of the most important principles of internal "class formation," but it determines Hammurabi

expressly that those concerned must be released in the fourth year; it should therefore only be a question of a transitory class formation. In any case, free exchange among the citizens of a city or a state is perfectly sufficient to bring about a class formation for internal reasons, which, however, only acquires real consistency when there is a sense of status and claims to "honor" that are not yet based on purely economic differences result, but rather grow out of the self-confidence of a class of writers or warriors. Economic differentiation can occur even within a small family if one of the children fails to respect their parents and is therefore disinherited; but this case is also regulated in the Code of Hammurabi and thus removed from arbitrariness: once the father has to forgive the child, and only in the event of a repeat offense may he undertake 12 disinheritance. Thus, in the first half of the second millennium, the economy is already largely developed: there is private property of very different sizes, loans, interest, wage labour, debt bondage and money. However, there is still no talk of banks and professional moneylenders, and trade is largely foreign trade, ie it must be secured by state treaties. However, this economy is not completely free and unbound; there is certainly a reason why Hammurabi boasts in the final part of his codex that he saved the people of Sumer and Akkad in his wisdom "so that the strong do not oppress the weak, and the orphan and widow have their rights", he obeyed Marduk's command 13 Obeyed and »prepared well-being for the people«. The economy was not emancipated from belief in the gods, and it was subject to a variety of legal provisions to protect the gods

"weak", the widows and orphans. But Hammurabi did not try to prevent the existence of weak and strong, poor and rich, powerless and powerful, and even in the temple states of early Sumer there were at least considerable signs of this. These differences—in Marxist terms, “class formation”—were an indispensable feature of “culture,” of “civilization,” and along with it, of “history.” Nothing was more fruitful for mankind, nothing meant greater justice than the advent of advanced civilizations with all their inequalities and, to that extent, injustices. But couldn't the legal protection of property and barter one day produce an analogy to that extreme possibility of female sexuality, insatiability, and wasn't the way prepared for it by an analogue of male impetuosity in sexual life, by the ruthlessness of irrepressible having more -want? In any case, 1000 years after Hammurabi, Isaiah saw such an insatiability, such an unleashed ruthlessness at work when he preached against the rich merchant class of Jerusalem: Woe to you who join house to house and add field to field, until there is no more room and you dwell alone in the land...

and he complained: Usurers rule the people... You have plundered the vineyard; your houses are full of what you have stolen 14 from the poor. But comparable laments had already been heard in Lagash before Urukagina in the 24th century BC. BC set a limit to the insatiability of the king and the 15 rich families through his reforms. On the other hand, wasn't it the relatively free economy, based on the search for advantages by individuals and families, that brought about the greatest changes within the states of the early advanced civilizations and

indirectly also outside of them, which must be described as a whole or at least in part "progress"? Did these changes bring or

Does progress lead to the "emancipation" of certain classes, such as the gaining of equal rights for the merchant classes with the bureaucracy and the clerks? Is this the main force of that "dynamic" at work in history? Or are there other factors that are even more powerful, such as population growth and wars? And does the emancipation of the bourgeoisie (if one may use these terms) perhaps entail the emancipation of the slaves and especially the debt slaves? Or, on the contrary, did this emancipation push the lower classes deeper and deeper into poverty and dependence? Or are all these terms inadequate? Before the transition to the second part of the book can be made, concepts such as "dynamics", "progress" and "emancipation" must therefore be examined more closely.

29Dynamics, progress, emancipation In his sociology, Auguste Comte distinguished between "social statics" and "social dynamics," and the term is easily explained from this contrast. Dynamic as opposed to static is evidently implied in the notion of the "Neolithic Revolution," and if we recall the Acheulean centuries, one might well argue that the Neolithic Revolution, the birth of the first cities, and the invention of writing began the previous static would be replaced by a dynamic of development, and that would mean that "dynamic" would be synonymous with "history." Right in the first chapter it was said that the prehistory was just as much longer in terms of time as the actual history was more eventful and 1 dynamic for the past 5000 years. On the other hand, the opinion of a modern philosopher was presented soon after, who put forward the thesis that it was only in modern Europe that the lifeworld took on a historical character and increasingly moved into historical motion - in other words: it was only at this point in time that the specific dynamics of history began. It should be remembered that Oswald Spengler ascribed to the "Faustian" culture of the West a movement and dynamism of a unique kind. Shouldn't one go back incomparably further and realize that the "Big Bang" is the first source of all dynamics and that the entire universe represents a structure of tremendous dynamics, in which all elementary particles are constantly in rapid motion and in which the great celestial bodies also diverge at unimaginably high speeds? However, it could be objected that all these movements are classified as a kind of immobility, the immobility of those mathematically

formulatable laws according to which the planets revolve around the sun for billions of years, albeit not for ever, and the immobility of those forms

of life, which allow all individuals of a species to be "essentially" the same for millions of years, although a closer look would reveal the tiniest differences between the individuals. The dynamics of the processes and the statics of the forms would have to be distinguished even in the most ancient occurrences of nature. A number of distinctions would have to be made, and the strangest of all would be that if the theory of evolution, in its Darwinian form, is correct, there should be no specific dynamics of life, for it omits all change from mere error Mutations arise that have no direction in themselves, but whose random results are only selected according to their short-term viability. A dynamic in the sense of a "creative development" would not exist at all, no matter how much the sequence of forms from the infusoria to primitive man seems to impose a concept such as "higher development". But the pragmatic usefulness of the term cannot be denied. In the Acheulean region, with its hand axes that have remained virtually the same for hundreds of thousands of years, what is evidently absent is what built up in clearly recognizable stages at the beginning of history: the communitization of people of different origins in villages, the merger of villages into regions, some of cities ruled, the emergence of supra-regional structures under kings, the states' struggle for hegemony or sole rule within huge areas. Even this description implies a thesis: historical dynamics do not exist without domination, not without subordination of the will of many individuals to the will of a single one or a few, which in exceptional cases may be the equal alignment of the will of all individuals towards a common goal. But it is at least conceivable that manageable states, analogous to prehistoric villages, could exist side by side, and only that

Make an effort not to see the inner harmony of the inhabitants disturbed. The aggregate of these states would then show no dynamics, but represent an addition of self-sufficient districts. Roughly such a state existed in the guise of the Sumerian city-states around the middle of the third millennium BC. But what brought unrest, movement and thus dynamism to this situation, which is so desirable in some respects? Must one not even speak of different sources of this inner-historical dynamic, which may differ from that older dynamic which gave rise to the cities and states of history with their temples, palaces and scriptures from the villages of prehistory?

We have already given an answer to this question; it is concluded in the 2 words "difference" and "danger." The very areas of the Sumerian citystates were not self-sufficient, and the whole could therefore not be mere juxtaposition. The main channel on which the country's output depended might first have passed through the territory of another city-state, and in the event of severe drought the favored city would use up most of the vital water resources for itself. As a result, their own supply was in jeopardy. So the idea of reaching reliable agreements through persuasion, pressure, or threats, that is, using political means and, under certain circumstances, resorting to the extreme means of continuing politics, namely war, came to mind. With war in mind, King Gilgamesh built the mighty walls of Uruk, and the juxtaposition of the Sumerian city-states was in fact a constant struggle against one another, a struggle for influence and supremacy that derives not primarily from the "lust for power" of individual city-kings, but from the Served to secure the supply, which none of these states could fully extract from their own territory. There can be no doubt that suspicions about possible intentions of potential enemies, but also about individual striving for power, came into play very quickly, but nothing of the kind could develop without the objective prerequisite of a lack of self-sufficiency and the actual existence of danger.

War readiness of states is a moment of historical existence that can be observed throughout history and it is a root of historical dynamics. It may present itself as a confused and aimless cycle of perpetual warfare, resulting in nothing but exhaustion and eventual ruin, as in the case of the Sumerian city-states, but it may also lead to the formation of great empires, such as the Akkadian Empire of Sargon I, the was actually able to guarantee the security of long trade routes and thus created a traffic and supply zone in which peace reigned.

It is very understandable that uprisings should be regarded as rebellions against the gods and severely punished; the peace of the world empire could therefore be the static in which the dynamism of empire building found its goal. If history could be adequately understood as the process of integrating small spatial units into ever larger units, then Sargon of Akkad and the pharaohs of the fourth dynasty would have brought history to its timely, ie spatially still limited, end. But this history meant not only a highly imperfect integration, because the regions of the empire remained as diverse as the languages of its peoples, but also an increasing internal differentiation. "Oriental despotism" was also unable to establish a lasting unity of will; in Egypt the nomads regained power, in the kingdom of Akkad the sons of great kings murdered their fathers and waged a merciless war among themselves. The later rulers of the Assyrian world empire founded their own ruling cities, because they felt threatened by the priesthoods and the rich merchant class of the old capitals; not infrequently domestic political or dynastic disputes on the one hand and the resurgence of the subdued' attempts at independence on the other hand went hand in hand. Thus can the many centuries of history we have been considering - the centuries from the first Sumerian kings and the earliest Egyptian pharaohs to Homer and the Destruction

Jerusalem – as what Voltaire and the Enlightenment perceived above all: a recurring sequence of bloody and senseless slaughter, a rolling wheel of futility that, despite the colorfulness of the surface, did not allow anything really new to emerge. This view is not affected by the observation that the thirst for power in foreign policy was paralleled by avarice in domestic policy, with which the leading strata sought to secure as large a share as possible of the huge surpluses, mostly converted into luxury goods, which the peasants used as of the exploited layer were generated.

But there was in any case a source of dynamism that produced something essentially new, at least for the actors. Conquests did not only serve to secure trade routes and attract additional taxpayers, but could have a far more elementary character. Much of the history of the Fertile Crescent in ancient Near Eastern times is nothing more than the throng of nomads who strode out of their deserts and outskirts into the fertile lands and sought to gain it - almost always because they had multiplied so profusely that the previous areas no longer offered them enough opportunities to live. Unequal reproduction is one of the most important differences of all, and it potentially leads not only to conquest but to wars of extermination. Most of the time, however, it remains with the conquest, which may be followed by the assimilation of the conquerors. It is possible that the Sumerians, when they immigrated to Mesopotamia in the second half of the fourth millennium, subjugated an indigenous population that disappeared almost without a trace. The immigration of the Western Semites in Mesopotamia and later the gradual gain of linguistic dominance by Aramaic in large areas of the Assyrian empire had more the character of infiltration and subliminal expansion. Even if the Israelite conquest of Palestine could be described as such an infiltration, it would still be the result of a

Migration of peoples may have been for demographic reasons, and the occupation of land by a new people under displacement, subjugation or extermination of the old is by no means a bloody futility within a continuous cycle, but the beginning of another history, which represents a new beginning for the conquerors. Migration and land gains by tribes and peoples are thus a primal fact of history and a main source of dynamism, and this cannot be derived from domination as such, but rather it accepts and strengthens domination, which may have only been rudimentary beforehand. However, migration movements are more likely to be successful the more clearly the attackers' weapons are superior. The Hittites and the Mitanni could only found their empires because they had the new weapon of the chariots, which spread fear and terror among the enemies. Admittedly, the advantage is usually only short-term, and it wasn't long before the Assyrians, even the Phoenician cities, also had fighting vehicles at their disposal, but when the "Sea Peoples" approached from the north around 1200, that was their irresistibility, which first came from the Nile delta came to an end on the large number of iron weapons, which were far inferior to the traditional bronze weapons. Changes in combat techniques and their materials can be almost as important a source of historical dynamics as population pressures; history has nothing to say about advantages thus obtained going unexploited. Here "progress" can come into play, and it must first be remembered that, according to the teachings of natural science, although progress processes can already be recognized in inorganic nature, they go hand in hand with the increase in entropy and all processes in the world are most likely ultimately aimed at "cold death." In the human field, however, "progress" means above all reality and perhaps the concept of "improvement." It was objectively an improvement from the point of view of empire building when Sargon II and Sennacherib demolished large parts of Canaan

incorporated into the Assyrian Empire as provinces. The goal of "rule over the four regions of the world" was now a good deal closer, and when Assarhaddon conquered Egypt 50 years later, it could appear as if the entire area of the early advanced civilizations - in the cultural sense almost "the whole world" - was – has become a unified dominion and economic area. When the Guteans conquered Babylon and the Israelites settled most of Canaan, the hill tribe and nomads of yesteryear were completely changed, and the Old Testament shows the central importance of land ownership to the Israelites. One might be tempted to characterize what happened as "a tremendous advance"—for these peoples. The iron weapons with which the "Sea Peoples" had conquered the Hittite Empire and destroyed Ugarit ushered in a completely new age: the Iron Age, which succeeded the Bronze Age. This was a step equal in importance to the invention of bronze, which paved the way for early civilizations. In modern eyes, this was a fundamental advance. All of these advances were based on the greatest of all advances, the "Neolithic Revolution," the transition to agriculture and then to cities, states, and writing. They were surrounded and supported by numerous small advances: the mass of characters in pictorial writing was progressively reduced, and the characters themselves were simplified until the transition to syllabic and eventually to alphabetic writing became possible; Chariots, bows, and twin axes were far more powerful weapons than slings and clubs; the Babylon of the Chaldean kings was far larger and better built than that of the Third Dynasty; the craftsmen that King Hiram of Tire provided for Solomon to build the temple certainly had more sophisticated techniques than their predecessors, who had built the first and still very small temples of Sumerian land; Trepanations of the skull, such as those performed by the Babylonian physicians with their scalpels and obsidian knives, could not have taken place in Uruk a thousand years earlier; the temple of Karnak would not have existed under Menes

can be built. Progress can also be noted in religious ideas: Akhenaten's Aten comes much closer to today's ideas than the cowand baboon-shaped gods of earlier times; the god of Jonah exhibits far more ethical and universal traits than the thunderstorm god of Moses from Sinai. But the strange thing is that no concept of progress has ever become a lifedetermining force, indeed it has not even been formed. All self-glorification of the kings on their historical inscriptions is limited to the personal achievements and at most those of a few ancestors; the transition to the Iron Age is given a very negative accent not only by Hesiod; while the Deuteronomian historians extoll the conquest of the land and the glory of the kingship under David and Solomon, a double decline stands just as strongly in their view: Objectively there was much progress in the Old World up to Isaiah and Homer, but a sense of progress or a will to progress is not to be found; even the word was missing. At most, one may cite the myth of the civilization of the primitive man Enkidu or the desire of the Israelites of the Judges' period for 3 the introduction of kingship in order "to be like the other peoples." There is nowhere to be found an arrogant look back at the "dark ages" or the material misery or lack of education of the past, no matter how boldly the writers and warriors expressed a feeling of superiority over their own contemporaries.

Although the possibility of a radical dynamic and a radical emancipation appears both in the Epic of Gilgamesh and in the Old Testament - the liberation of man from the fate of his finitude or "that man becomes like God" and builds his towers in the sky - but both become shocked and emphatic

rejected. The commandment to subdue the earth must certainly also be placed in this context: This dominion must not emancipate itself from the other commandments of God.

"Emancipatio" is known to be a concept of Roman law; it signifies the release of the sons from paternal authority (the "mancupatio"), which did not happen automatically after reaching a certain age, but required an act of will on the part of the father. It could also mean the emancipation of slaves, but it never developed into a general postulate, namely that of converting all slaves to the status of liberty and thereby their equality. The slave uprisings of Greek and Roman antiquity did not lead to a political emancipation movement either; the ultimate act of equality, ie the abolition of legal differences, was the extension of Roman citizenship to all inhabitants of the Imperium Romanum under Caracalla in the third century AD. That women could be released from the "mancupatio" has always remained inconceivable, and here the meaning of the word becomes most clearly visible: it does not primarily mean oppression, but belonging - belonging to a "house", to an "oikos" - and thus especially granting of protection. The young man was "emancipated" when he was able to start his own home; a woman, on the other hand, was always a 'protegee', belonging either to her father's or her husband's house or, under certain circumstances, to her brother; Anyone who had "emancipated" them would have deprived them of what was most necessary, namely protection, which of course meant subordination, or better, classification. The sources often speak of social dissatisfaction among the free and semifree, especially among the debt-ridden tenant farmers, and 1,500 years before Solon, King Urukagina of Lagash, as is well known, initiated major social 4 reforms, a veritable seisachtheia. The Israelite prophets also accuse the greedy traders who 'row field after field', and this is where a tendency can most easily be discerned which could be traced back to a will to emancipation: not least because of this, the prophets want pure Yahweh service

because by doing so the way could be found from the present division of urban society into alienated groups (from the "class division", if you will) back to the original solidarity of the "people of the country", to the "classless society" around one to apply the modern term. But even in this society women would not have the same rights as men, and there would be slaves and "foreigners" in it too. The prophetic sermon is therefore in no way to be interpreted as a demand for equality for those who are not equal; it is essentially religious and cannot be separated from its relation to the one God. If one characterizes the prophetic and Deuteronomistic movement as a "radical left in religious disguise," one is already using modern ideas as a basis, which should find just as little application here as the concept of "secularization," so certainly some skepticism about the tales of the gods and individual cults shows. The best candidates for an emancipation movement were the merchant classes, who had numerous members in all the big cities and played a considerable role. But it is not known that they ever demanded a "sharing in power" as such, and for this reason it is also doubtful whether one can find a "bourgeoisie" or even a "patriciate" in the large cities of the early advanced civilizations. Where there is no consciousness of progress guiding action, there can be no coherent movements of emancipation. So far we have found in our scheme of "historical existence" many of the characteristics that still characterize historical life to a large extent today: worship of gods, worship of God, rule, state, stratification, nobility and sublimation, the beginnings of a "left", war and peace, history and superiority consciousness, town and country, schooling and science. Some of these features have apparently disappeared today, or have been reduced to remainders, or have been subject to the postulate of "abolition": worship of the gods, nobility, war. It cannot be ruled out that other features will also disappear or be significantly changed

could, for example, the country in the sense of farmland or the sense of superiority, which includes contempt or even contempt. On the whole, the change is strong enough to make it legitimate to ask whether "historical existence" is nearing its end and being replaced by a "post-historical" form of life. But we must also be clear about what we have not yet encountered and what obviously belongs to the full concept of "historical existence." On the one hand, there are philosophy and the science associated with philosophy instead of primarily practice, and possibly together with this consciousness of progress and striving for emancipation, which would then create a new 5 kind of dynamic. On the other hand, there are the proselytizing world religions or the life lessons that dominate an entire culture. With the "second part" we do not leave the "schema of historical existence" behind us, but if "religion" comprised two chapters in the "first part", seven chapters are now devoted to "the world religions", which lead to a separate chapter Section "A" can be summarized and also include narrative sections, especially with regard to Buddhism in India and Confucianism and Taoism in China. But the chapter on Greek philosophy and science also belongs to it, the subject of which shows both an unmistakable proximity and an unmistakable distance to the actual world religions. The other topics of the "scheme" are taken up again in section "B." Section C, entitled Modernity and Practical Transcendence, begins with the 'beginnings of modern science and the Enlightenment' and, like Section A of Part One, seeks to combine narrative and analysis. Section "D" with the heading "The present as the beginning of the 'post-history'?" encircles the question of whether "historical existence" today can only be discussed in the form of a "retrospective" while modifying the topic of the "schema". The attempt at an answer in the "Concluding Remarks" remains with the

At a distance from the champions of "post-history" as well as from the advocates of the fact that history cannot be overtaken.

Part II

AThe world religions and world history

30Introduction: The span of religions The second passage through the individual areas of our "scheme of historical existence" begins with the "world religions", and this already sets a distance both to Karl Jaspers' concept of the "Axial Age" and to Turgot's and Condorcet's early ideas of progress. whose special attention was given to the beginnings of science, from there tracing the main line of history to the enlightened state of modern civilization or "positivism." But with good reason the emergence of the world religions can be seen as the deep turning point in history up to the age of the Industrial Revolution. One must bear in mind how great the change was from everything that had gone before: that since the early Middle Ages almost all people between the Scandinavian peninsula and southern Italy, between northern Spain and the eastern border of the Byzantine Empire, celebrated Sunday Mass in the churches flocked and in the whole area of Islam from the Maghreb to the Indus region and from Aleppo to the Second Cataract of Egypt all Muslims were called to prayer five times a day by the muezzin from the minarets, which was performed at least on Fridays in such a way that the community of believers comprising many millions, the "umma" at about the same time prostrated themselves in the mosques before the face of Allah. And just like the Christians and the Muslims, Buddhist monks traveled thousands of kilometers to proclaim the message of the "Exalted One" in the most distant regions. No such unity of the world, but much of the world had never existed before.

Admittedly, it would be a misconception to think, only through the

World religions have come into existence because the

dominion of the Assyrian kings Esarhaddon and Tiglath-pilesar

could very well be called an empire, given the paramount importance of the lands of the Fertile Crescent, and both the empire of Alexander the Great and the Roman Empire were larger than any of the later Christian or Muslim empires. Also, neither "Christianity" nor the "peace area" of "dar al-Islam" were ever a political entity: "Western" and "Eastern" often opposed each other in bitter enmity, and numerous sects soon arose in Islam that opposed each other hardly differed from each other in the core of the creed, but nevertheless showed much enmity against one another. However, Alexander the Great, the Hellenistic rulers and the Roman emperors recognized the gods of all the peoples of their empires and made no attempt to to impose the Greek or Roman world of gods on the subjugated; at most they sought to recognize the nature of their own in these foreign gods. Charlemagne, on the other hand, "Christianized" the Saxons by force, and the Muslim conquerors of much of India waged a merciless struggle against the "idolaters" of the Hindu religion. Islam practiced tolerance towards the members of the "religions of the book", i.e. Christians and Jews, but it only accepted them as "protégés" who had no political rights, and the Jews were persecuted at certain times and in some places in the Christian Middle Ages , but on the whole they were tolerated. In this way, world empires only arose within the Christian or Muslim area as a whole, but they were always religiously uniform and, in principle, missionary empires, as corresponded to the basic approach of monotheism. Monotheism, however, was not a mandatory requirement, for Buddhism was not monotheistic, but it was no less missionary than Christianity and Islam. The possibility of religious wars seems to be particularly characteristic of the world religions. In the polytheistic world, it seems, "crusades" could not take place. But even here there are limitations. The Assyrians waged their cruel wars

as campaigns in the name of Assyria, and regarded rebellious kings not merely as rebels but as blasphemers against their chief god. But after victory the conquered were not converted but punished, and so far as they survived all that was asked of them was recognition of the supremacy of Assyria. The main characteristic of the world religions should therefore be that they not only show "teachings" and great founding figures, but basically believe that all people are capable of accepting these teachings and the beliefs that result from them. The orientation towards 'humanity', ie universalism, is common to all, while it would never have occurred to Aristotle, for example, to convey any Hellenic message to the 'barbarians'. All polytheisms are particularistic insofar as their gods are above all the gods of a people, just as Yahweh was the God of the people of Israel and remained so even when the prophets proclaimed his dominion over 'the peoples', so that they peculiar synthesis of universalism and particularism. However, the relationship between world religions and popular or cultural religions can also be determined in other ways. All religions, as one can put it in the most abbreviated form, are based on the feeling that man is dependent on the "overpowering". Only man has a feeling for what may objectively be regarded as an ontological law, namely that everything individual, even if it is a matter of solar systems or stellar nebulae, is of microscopic smallness compared to the whole or the universe; This feeling, which can increase to the point of insight, arises directly from man's "openness to the world" or transcendence and is the most elementary of all his character traits. It precedes all intellectual exertion, all endeavors to gain knowledge, and just the simplest farmer is filled with it, even if he doesn't say a word about it. But for him, too, from the earliest times it was evidently obvious to individualize "the overpowering," and "the overpowering" are "the gods"—the powers of earth and heaven presented as persons.

All gods are supreme and mostly immortal, but they are far from omnipotent. The world religions take the decisive step of replacing "the almighty ones" with "the Almighty one". Here Israel leads the way, which in this respect represents the earliest of the world religions, but a merely potential world religion, characterized by the tension between particularism and universalism. Buddhism, on the other hand, does not fit into this picture, since it knows gods as well as a supreme god, but in truth focuses on the "wheel of births," the eternal self-identity of the world filled with sorrow. However, the world of "samsara" is not final and insurmountable; the individual can escape it through asceticism and meditation and attain salvation in »Nirvana«. In this respect, one might claim that Buddhism takes a step beyond "the Almighty" and differs only in the prospect of "salvation" from the atheism of modern scientists, which is often referred to as irreligion and which led the biologist Jacques Monod to say that man must finally realizing his radical 1 abandonment in the universe – of an atheism which, however, bears an unmistakable resemblance to the primal feeling of all religions. Within religiosity, which is a fundamental characteristic of man as such, no matter how much the modern concept of "dominion over nature" thinks it can be overcome, world religions differ most clearly from tribal, popular or cultural religions. Admittedly, it must be conceded that the modern idea of man's dominion over nature and thus the disempowerment of the overpowering has peculiar prefigurations in ancient times: In Vedic India the conviction was widespread that the sun would not rise if the priest did not sacrifice, and Even in ancient Egypt, the prayer of the pharaoh was a prerequisite for the proper course of divine natural phenomena. Consequently, the spectrum of religions extends beyond the contrast between the local or popular religions and the world religions, but this contrast between the worship of the overpowering, but

the mostly immoral gods who also fight each other and the one omnipotent, all-good, just God of all-human moral commandments may nonetheless be regarded as the decisive one from a practical point of view. With a value opposite to the usual one, the toleration of polytheisms could be opposed to the fanaticism of monotheism, for which numerous examples can be cited in the history of religion, such as the Protestant »Babels Tomb Song« by Gottfried Arnold, in which, with a sharpening of the final phrase, Psalm 137 says: Smash her children against the stones. No 2 one should weep for the devil's spawn.

Tolerance only emerged within monotheism when "denominations" had formed which, under certain circumstances, primarily in American colonies such as Rhode Island and Pennsylvania, lived together peacefully before the Enlightenment made "tolerance" a postulate. An extremely sharp contrast within the world religions means that Judaism, Christianity and Islam on the one hand and Buddhism, Christian heterodoxes and also a few smaller world religions that have not yet been mentioned stand in opposition to one another on the other. The Yahweh of the Old Testament is the good and just creator of this world, however different it is from the initial "paradise" as a result of the sin of the first men, but the world of Buddhism itself is more like a monster, and the Samkhya school expressed the conviction in all harshness that such a world as the one known to man could not have been created by a powerful and at the same time benevolent god, only a scoundrel could have done so.

In Zoroastrianism and Manichaeism, both of which are world religions according to the intention, but in fact have too small a distribution area, one may see a middle point, because here an independent evil god stands opposite the good god, and only the end times of the world will the decision of the bring strife. But Plotinus, the religious philosopher of late antiquity, also distinguishes between two spheres and at the same time gives theoretical transcendence a classical expression when he writes: "Therefore we strive to get away from here and grumble about 3 the chains that bind us to the other ( namely matter) bind.« But up to Leibniz and beyond Leibniz, the existence of evil and the demand for a "theodicy" remained a serious problem for Christian philosophy. The strongest contrast, which all world religions face together at one pole and a few primitive folk religions, concerns the question of sacrifices and especially human sacrifices. Making sacrifices to the gods or even to the god seems to be a basic feature of all religion. The most primitive of all sacrifices is human sacrifice and in particular the sacrifice of one's own child, for what is more valuable for human beings than other human beings, especially than one's own offspring! The Bible tells that King Mesha of Moab, who was besieged by the Israelites in his capital, sacrificed his child to the gods in front of the enemies on the city wall in the hour of greatest need, and that the Israelites then left , although they 4 were filled with great anger because of this act. Sacrificing prisoners of war seems to be of lesser merit, but this practice was widespread in the pre-Columbian cultures of America, especially among the Aztecs, and the Christian fanaticism of the conquistadors was ignited not least by the fact that they found a pyramid at Tenochtitlán adorned with allegedly 130,000 skulls found. Worship here even included acts such as the priest being clothed in the freshly skinned skin of a human being in order to be able to transform himself into one of the gods, or at least draw on his powers. Even Solomon offered a huge one at the dedication of the temple

Crowd of sheep and cattle. But most prophets dismissed the bloody sacrifices, or at least minimized their importance; before that Zarathustra had founded his religion on the condemnation of the bloody victims. Bloody sacrifices or even human sacrifices do not play a role in any of the world religions, but it is well known that one of the deepest thoughts of Christianity says that God sacrificed his own son for the salvation of mankind. This contrast is nowhere near as pronounced when it comes to the way people lead their lives. Many of the polytheistic folk religions, such as the Canaanite, were primarily fertility cults centered around a "magna mater," or a dying and then rising god. Human sexuality is obviously of great importance in this context, and there are many reports both of the "holy marriage" between the priestess and the god and of orgiastic scenes in the context of the great festivals. The Yahwism of Israel knew hardly a stronger pathos than the rejection of these cults and with them an unbridled sexuality. But actual asceticism existed in Israel and later in Judaism only as a marginal phenomenon. Asceticism must be regarded as a way to salvation when being born has such a negative emphasis as it does in Buddhism. In a moderate form, asceticism also plays an important role in Christianity; indeed, the "pillar saints" of early Christianity such as Symeon the Stilite far surpassed the "homelessness" of the Buddhist monks with their way of life. But even in Christianity, as the antithesis to asceticism, a libertinism could be found, as can be seen in the letters of Paul and especially the letter of Jude, and in the Middle Ages the harsh asceticism of the Cathars was opposed to the hedonism of Amalric of Bène, for example, who declared evil itself to be divine and

wanted to free himself and his followers from the fear of sin "like a bad 5 tooth". In the tantric versions of Buddhism and in certain branches of Tibetan Lamaism, the anti-ascetic affirmation of sexuality reached a climax; some monasteries accommodating both sexes were sites of sexual orgies. In Islam, on the other hand, neither asceticism nor anti-asceticism was very pronounced, but the ideas about the afterlife and the rules for everyday life were far removed from hostility to sensuality.

As far as the assessment of individuality is concerned, the spectrum within the world religions is also very broad. Buddhism is hostile to individuality because it seeks salvation from suffering, which for it is inseparable from individuality. Thus he denies the existence of an "I" or a "soul"; all individuals are nothing but accidental composites of the five factors of existence, and they vanish like ripples in a river. However, they do not thereby "extinguish" but continue into other existences, since each individual configuration entails certain configurations in the world of "samsara," leaving a faint analogy to the doctrine of transmigration.

Christianity, on the other hand, wants to redeem the individuals as such and thus make them immortal, including their body, which will only be transfigured, ie free of the organs of lower sensuality. This expectation can absolutely only be fulfilled in a strong belief, but even for a secularized thinking it retains a "rational core" of the highest importance, namely the conviction of the incomparable value of individuality. From this point of view, a greater contrast can hardly be imagined than that between Buddhism and Christianity, and it is extremely doubtful whether a humanistic ecumenism can bring the two poles of the spectrum into agreement. One cannot deny and affirm individuality at the same time, but it

is certainly far more difficult to believe in the permanence of the frail and limited. However, it is not clear how one can still ascribe an "infinite value" to individuality if it is separated from the concept of the "human soul"; There is no doubt, however, that Christianity, unlike Buddhism and unlike Islam, can become the starting point of an "individualism," which is probably the attitude furthest removed from all forms of religion. It is only through world religions that the possibility of distinguishing between "church" and "state" arises. Since world religions are founded by a founder, adherents and non-adherents can be distinguished even at their place of origin, and adherents tend to unite in organizations which one may call "church". In this sense, the earliest Buddhist monastic communities and the earliest communities of those who believed in Jesus as the Christ were already "churches." What is usually expected of a church, however, is a degree of hierarchy and institutionalization, and the transition from "speaking in tongues" and expecting the Lord's imminent return to the "episcopal church" which claimed a teaching authority and the expectation of one perhaps the "end times" that were far from imminent, was one of the most difficult phases for early Christianity. With the spread of Christianity, the church became more and more intertwined with the "world," and long before Constantine, complaints were being voiced about the extensive separation between priests and laity, the authoritarianism of the bishops, and even about their aloof lifestyle.

Once Christianity had become the "state church," a significant part of church history became the history of criticism of this "worldliness" and of the rebellions that demanded a return to the spirituality of early Christianity. Despite the failure of all these movements, the church did not become identical with the state, even in the High Middle Ages; Pope and emperor remained the heads of Christianity, which was ideally united in the "Holy Roman Empire" but actually consisted of several independent states.

Only the Reformation of Luther and Calvin brought about a real rupture, since what it claimed to be "Catholic" Christianity now split into "denominations" that showed significant dogmatic differences, but remained in close contact with one another despite all the struggles and religious wars. This became the starting point of "secularization," which was no longer mere "secularization" in the sense so often lamented, but led to the weakening of the mystery element in all denominations and to the postulate of tolerance. This made it possible for the first time in world history to declare religion a "private matter." In Muslim states, on the other hand, nothing was less of a private matter than religion during their more than thousand years of existence. Even today, according to Sharia law, a Muslim who renounces his faith is sentenced to death. From its very beginnings, Islam was never a "church" that could have opposed itself to a "state," for it was a religious community that was already constituted as a state under Muhammad and then established itself under the first caliphs warlike manner over much of the then known world; According to the idea, there was only one state and one head of state, namely the "umma" and the imam, the prayer leader, who was early on called the "ruler of the believers". It is true that individual states soon formed, such as the Abbasid Empire in Baghdad, the Umayyads in Spain and the Fatimids in Egypt; Admittedly, individual tendencies formed, which one might call "denominations," such as the "Shia" and the "Sunna"; Although the old reality of "oriental despotism" prevailed again, especially in Baghdad, there was no doubt anywhere that Allah was the only god, that Muhammad was his prophet and that the Koran was the unrivaled revelation. In principle, the individual states remained something like the dioceses of the unified church, and there has been no "secularization" in the Islamic sphere up to the present, with the exception of individual approaches that were mostly induced from outside. the old reality of 'oriental despotism', but nowhere was it doubted that Allah was the only god, that Muhammad was his prophet and that the Koran was the unrivaled revelation. In principle, the individual states remained something like the dioceses of the unified church, and there has been no "secularization" in the Islamic sphere up to the present, with the exception of individual approaches that were mostly induced from outside. the old reality of 'oriental despotism', but nowhere was it doubted that Allah was the only god, that

Muhammad was his prophet and that the Koran was the unrivaled revelation. In principle, the individual states remained something like the dioceses of the unified church, and there has been no "secularization" in the Islamic sphere up to the present, with the exception of individual approaches that were mostly induced from outside.

Therefore, a secular and organized criticism of the "social conditions" could not arise, and "revolutionary"

could at best be "ecclesiastical" tendencies like the Kharijites. However, the highest degree of affirmation of social conditions can be found in Hinduism, which, like Judaism, can be regarded as a merely tendentious, unfinished world religion. Membership of a caste is seen here as the result of behavior in the earlier stages of the transmigration of souls: thus a member of the not well-respected Merchant Caste may have committed great trespasses in a previous life, but may hope to be a warrior in a future life or even to be reborn as a Brahmin if he earns great merit. However, even Buddhism, in which Hinduism transformed itself into a world religion, so to speak, questioned the caste boundaries, but in India, despite temporary successes, it lost the game, and for a long time it has been of little importance there. Buddhism then became a "church" in China, where it was just as little able to assert itself against the dominant educational religion of Confucianism as was Taoism, which was becoming a marginal national church. But the religions had a powerful influence not only on the state and the political and social conditions within the state, but also on the economy, both on production and on trade. In one of his earliest works, Max Weber worked out the great differences between the professional interests and the economic success of contemporary Protestants and Catholics. Such differences, however, were even more pronounced in ancient India. The Jainas, a parallel phenomenon to Buddhism, strictly forbade the killing of other living beings, even the smallest animals, and therefore could not engage in agriculture or many branches of handicrafts. So they concentrated their activities on trade and banking, and there they soon took a leading position. Insofar as cattle breeding included bloody activities, it was not only in the sphere of influence of the Jains that it sank deep. On the other hand, the Buddhist traders were by no means representatives of a "pure economy"; they were the ones who focused on it in the first place

first brought Buddhism to China on their long journeys, so they were traders and missionaries in one. There are therefore good reasons for placing religions as such, and in particular the world religions, at the forefront of our considerations and analyses. Religion is the specifically human par excellence, for no other living being is determined by "transcendence," and nowhere does transcendence, more precisely the theoretical transcendence to be characterized in the broadest sense as "vision," find such direct expression as in religions. The state may be found prefigured in the ant colonies, man shares sexuality with all mammals, beavers and woodpeckers already act "economically" in a certain way. Certainly it is an inevitable task to make something human out of what was pre-human, but religion and the philosophy and poetry that flows from it belong to man alone. All world religions are historical, but religion as such can be traced back to prehistory. Not only since Auguste Comte, however, has the conviction been widespread that in the third, the "positive" or "post-historical" stage of history, religion will have died out and been replaced by science. It is quite possible, then, that religiosity is a historical and not an anthropological determination of existence, and for this reason too it must occupy a prominent place in our considerations. However, historical existentials can only be worked out in such a way that the history of individual and no matter how important phenomena is told - then in the present case a multi-volume "Handbook of the History of Religions" would have to be presented -, In principle, this enterprise can be carried out on the basis of some knowledge of world history. But in analysis and comparison the author is the sole master of the selection he must make; the clarity and the possible resistance of original sources are missing. Therefore, narrative chapters about a few selected high cultures should be inserted before the existentials are worked out

early history can be passed over, and therefore a few chapters on individual world religions will be presented in the following, before the mere comparative analysis of other existentials is taken up again. This not only allows for greater detail, but also allows the voices of the founders of the religion and of the "holy books" themselves to be heard. That also here a selection - z. B. according to the extent of effectiveness - must be done, is of course unavoidable.

A first selection concerns the number of world religions to be represented. If the universalistic orientation towards all human beings were the only criterion, this number would be considerable and e.g. B. also include Manichaeism and Gnosticism. But Manichaeism as such is a world religion that did not develop and soon succumbed to suppression, even though it continued to have significant influences "underground," for example in Bogomilism and the Cathars, both of whom preached the dualism of a good and an evil force . Even the earliest beginning of the dualistic doctrine, Zoroastrianism, had important sponsors and even followers in the first dynasty of the Persian great kings, the Achaemenids, but the technique of rule was a "polytheistic tolerance", A "world religion" is thus constituted not only by intention, but also by the success it has been able to achieve in the world. But it is not just Buddhism, Christianity and Islam that have been and are undoubtedly great and prosperous world religions. Buddhism will be followed first by Chinese Confucianism and Taoism, although the religious character of Confucianism can be questioned, for just as little as an overview of all regions of the world can be striven for, an advanced culture that has itself understood as the »Middle Kingdom«. Then "Greek philosophy and science" will become the theme, although there can be less talk of a "world religion" than with Confucianism. But once

Greek philosophy in its beginnings is closely connected with religious ideas, and on the other hand it is nevertheless more oriented towards "science" than any other early philosophy, and in the 19th century you have modern science, which despite all struggles to overcome the Aristoletism, which has never denied its origins in Greek thought, is often understood as the great religion of modern times. Even the religion of Israel, initially a classic form of the 'people's religion', did not become a genuine world religion, even through the activities of the great prophets, as has been shown, for it remained very closely tied to the 'chosen people'. After the destruction of the First Temple in 587 B.C. BC and the later return of some of those exiled in Babylon, this folk-religious tendency increased enormously under Esra, only to be replaced in the Hellenistic period by an opening to the world, which allowed Judaism to gain numerous proselytes, but also the possibility of a assimilation into the Hellenistic culture and thus again provoked serious struggles for the self-assertion of the people. The development towards world religion was interrupted by the great uprisings of 66-70, of 115 and of 132–135, which were put down by the Romans, and the destruction of the Second Temple in AD 70. completed the transformation of the still political people into a "community," which also included the numerous Jews of the diaspora. After the crucifixion of Jesus, the first “Jewish Christians” were recruited from this community – the Pharisee Paul of Tarsos was one of them and yet he did most of the work to free the young Christianity from its Jewish origins. But Marcion, in a way the most important follower of Paul, did not prevail with his rejection of the Old Testament and the Jewish concept of God overall, and Christianity continued to see itself as the "new Israel" even after it had become the state religion of the Roman Empire was. 300 years later, Muhammad also referred very emphatically to the Jewish tradition, and Judaism is therefore not itself a »world religion«, but as a

To look at the mother soil of two world religions, which of course it fought and by which it was fought. The fact that Christianity and Islam are each the subject of a chapter requires no justification. After that, our subject will first and in very brief outlines be "rule, stratification, state," but after going through the remaining existentials, a narrative section will be inserted again, which is supposed to lead from the Industrial Revolution to the Cold War. This will then provide the basis on which the concluding discussions about the "post-history" are to take place.

31India and Buddhism Indian history is a classic example of the superimposition theory. Around 1200 BC In about 300 BC, peoples who call themselves "Aryans", ie "the nobles", first penetrated into the Indus Valley and subjugated the local population, which they did not exterminate, but made subservient to themselves. They may have been part of those "Sea Peoples" whose invasion had devastated so many countries and cities of the eastern Mediterranean basin and was only repulsed by the Egyptians at the edge of the Nile Delta. In any case, the Indian Aryans were close relatives of the invading tribes that later became known as the Medes and Persians. The pre-Aryan population was darker-skinned, and their gods were apparently fertility gods; She was deeply despised as a Phallos worshiper by the Aryans, who brought with them the common Indo-European god of the sky, and excluded from all contact with the conquerors. They were made 'Shudras', servants or slaves, and above them stood the three classes of Aryans, the Brahmins or priests, the 'Kshatriyas', the warriors or nobles, and the 'Vaisyas', the tillers, merchants and Handyman. The designation for these four classes was varna, which means "color," and this word alone makes it clear that the Indian stratification was in fact "racial," with the light-skinned conquerors having a pronounced sense of superiority went hand in hand. However, it is unlikely that these cities were destroyed by the Aryans, as their demise is estimated around the year 2000

but one may assume that at the time of the conquest the culture of the natives was higher and that only the better war technology, namely the possession of chariots and iron weapons, ensured the Aryans' victory. In a relatively late text, the meaning ascribed to "blood" is formulated with great clarity. Regarding the "marriage" it says: First one should examine the family for the earlier claim, which on the mother's and father's side through ten ancestors walked in science and mortification and good works and on both sides did not admit unbrahmanic 1 blood. But this "master race," which was already divided into castes, did not develop an urban culture for many centuries. For a long time there was not even a question of villages, since a kind of wagon complex formed the centers from which some of the agricultural products of the native population were appropriated and from which fights were certainly also fought among themselves. It is all the more amazing what great literature they created and handed down orally for centuries, namely the "Vedic" literature, the oldest part of which, the Rigveda, seems to have come into being before the turn of the millennium.

It is the book of sacred art poetry, while the Atharvaveda, which is equally ancient in parts, contains mainly magic spells and represents the popular side of religion. The Yajurveda forms the transition to a younger period to which the Brahmanas and above all the Upanishads belong. There is already a speculative thinking that has given rise to the thesis that the Indians possess the oldest philosophy in the world. But even in the Upanishads - probably best translated as "secret teachings" - determining the time is difficult; one may assume that the oldest ones were made around the year 600. In the Rigveda, however, there is still a diverse world of gods in the 2 foreground, which bears some resemblance to that of Homer.

Varuna, the sky god, and Indra, the war god, are among the oldest of the Vedic gods; In the course of further development, the world of the gods became ever more numerous and colorful, and it can be assumed that not a few gods of the subjugated invaded it. But only when the late Vedic period was superseded by "Hinduism" did Brahma the creator, Vishnu the preserver and Shiva the destroyer assert themselves as the authoritative trinity of gods. A particularly important god always remained »Agni«, the god of fire, and his example shows how much of a natural force we are dealing with as a numinosum:

Agni is in the earth, in the plants, the waters shelter the Agni, Agni is in the stones, Agni in the people, in the cows and horses are the Agnis. Agni burns from the sky, the 3 wide air space belongs to the god Agni.

But in all these diverse manifestations Agni is one, and not very rarely he is considered to be the All-God: You Agni are born as Varuna, you become Mitra when you are kindled. In you, O son of power, are all the gods 4 contained, you are an Indra to the sacrificing mortal. In Brahmin thought, however, the priest who kindles the sacrificial fire becomes even more the center of the world than any of the gods; therefore it 5 can be said that unless the priest sacrifices, the sun will not rise. The sacrifice and the ritual acts associated with it thus establish the position of the Brahmans as the supreme of the "colors," which is superior to the warriors, although they hold political power in the individual Aryan states. And if over time an extraordinarily complicated caste system develops from the simple division into four classes, so that e.g. For example, if the 'chandalas' are assigned a place below the shudras, the 'racial pride' of the brahmans and warriors is in no way diminished. On the contrary, it intensifies to such an extent that, after the transmigration of souls has been developed, the "dirty 6 womb of a Chandala woman" can be equated with the "dirty womb of a bitch."

In the »law book of Manu« this extreme measure of man's superiority over other people finds a classic formulation which, two and a half thousand years later, inspired Nietzsche to some of the harshest formulations of his theory of history. Indeed, in this law book the four castes are given separate creation stories: the Brahmins the Lord of the World created from his mouth, the Kshatriyas from his arm, the Vaisyas from his thighs, and the 7 Shudras from his foot. It is all the more remarkable that both in the old Vedic literature and in the Upanishads a dominant idea of unity emerges, which, however, is only reluctantly called monotheism, since no moral commandments arise from it. Presumably the diversity of the ancient Indian world of gods evoked the opposite, which is already clearly formulated in the Rigveda: »They call it Indra, Mitra, Varuna, Agni, and it is that heavenly winged bird. What is only one, the singers call by many names; they call it Agni, Yama, 8th Mataris'van.« But this all-god is often not given a name: he gives no orders, and nowhere is it said that he regards any particular people or caste 9 as his particular property. However, the All-God does not remain completely unnamed – he is often called »Prajapati« and more and more »Brahman«. But what is really characteristic of Indian thinking is that this Brahman is associated with, indeed equated with, the Atman, which forms the innermost part of man. Thus it is said in the Chandogya Upanishad:

Certainly this All is the Brahman... This - the Atman - is my Self within in the heart, tinier than a rice grain, or a barley grain, or a mustard seed, or a millet grain, or the kernel of a millet grain. This is my self within the heart, greater than earth, greater than airspace, greater than heaven, greater 10 than these worlds. But this great Self, the Atman identical with the All, cannot be the Self of the 11 empirical person, who is nevertheless a part of "this not evil world." is, as stated in the Bhagavadgita, the best known

Part of the great epic Mahabharata, as to the date of which not much more can be said than that it was between the fourth century B.C. and the fourth century AD. The empirical ego is involved in the cycle of births, the "samsara," and remains there, subject to impermanence and suffering, as long as it remains in the realm of "karman," deeds and actions. Only asceticism, the departure from the bondage of desire, frees the Atman to belong to Brahman. According to the original Brahmanic doctrine, however, this acosmism does not deny life in its entirety, but only forms the final stage of a Brahmin's life: as a boy he goes into the apprenticeship of an older Brahmin, as a man he founds a family and fathers children, as an old man he moves he becomes "homeless" and takes up residence in the woods, where he primarily devotes himself to meditation. So he is a "Sannyasi," someone "who has shed everything" and lives only for the contemplation of his innermost self, namely the Atman. The state of this union is described over and over again as a state of supreme bliss, but it is often compared to "deep sleep," and it is even said that the sannyasi is indifferent to everything, reacting to the pleasant and the 12 unpleasant like a corpse or a mute .

Thus the suspicion arises that this "highest state" does not mean the extreme increase and expansion of consciousness, but simply the end of consciousness, death. Then the supreme commandment of Brahmanism would be to direct life towards death, but not towards a good death, as in Christianity, which is followed by a higher life, but towards a definitive end. However, the doctrine of the "transmigration of souls" stands in the way of such an understanding; the desired end must therefore be a different kind of "extinguishing". Thus, not a little in the Vedic literature, the Vedanta, points to Buddhism, which the Brahmans regarded as a mere sect after its formation, but which, during the following centuries, showed itself able to transcend the boundaries that Brahmanism could not could exceed. Already at the time of Christ's birth he was after Sri

Lanka, India and even China, and thus it became the first religion that could lay claim to being a "world religion" not only in doctrine but also in reality.

Little is known about the founder of this religion, for many wondrous stories were soon told of his life and death. But all these stories prove one thing, that the "Buddha", ie "the enlightened one", as his honorific title was, was an outstanding personality whose authority was never shaken despite all the disputes that soon arose among his students and followers . What is indubitable from his life story draws our attention to old Aryan India: Gotama Siddharta was born around 550 in northern India as the son of the highly respected noble family of the Sakyas; his father is often referred to as a king and he himself as a king's son, but in reality his father was rather the honorary chairman of an aristocratic republic. Of course, not even the date of his birth is certain, and some scholars have put his life a full century closer to the present. In any case, he grew up in the highest luxury, married and had a son. But at the age of almost 30 he was suddenly overcome by the misery of the world, which he had never known before: As the legend goes, he met a sick man, an old man and a poor man on a road trip, and it is said that he One night he was overcome with disgust when he awoke in the midst of his concubines and saw what a repellent picture the beauties of the evening, left to the emotions of their mere physicality, now presented. Now he did the same thing that not a few Brahmins and Kshatriyas had done before him: Perhaps his experience is reflected in the speech he later gave about the five »messengers of the gods«. The first messenger of the gods is the vision of birth, ie of an infant lying there soiled with feces and urine. The second messenger of the gods is the sight of an old man who

"emaciated, leaning on crutches, ailing, withered, toothless, with bleached strands, bald, wagging head, wrinkled, skin blotched," shuddering along. The third messenger of the gods is the perception of sick people who – not much different from infants – lie helpless “dirty with faeces and urine”. The fourth messenger of the gods is the punishment meted out to criminals, and the enumeration of the punishments then common is indeed terrifying: mutilation of the nose, running the gauntlet, the torture goat, the caustic etching, the boiling oil dripping, being torn by dogs, the living impaling. Finally, the fifth messenger of the gods is the experience of the death of others, which after just two or three days makes the body "bloated, blueblack in color, gone into decay."

Birth, old age, illness, corporal punishment and death make people realize that their existence is essentially one of suffering, even if for a moment it seems to be successful and happy. In the concrete context of this speech, the only result is the demand for a good and virtuous life, but in the end the Buddha expresses his actual teaching in the form of a poem and suggests it:

… The noble one who notices the admonition (the messenger of the gods), … Clinging recognized as bad, creating births and death: Clinging he lets be redeemed, exhausting birth and death. become certain, blissfully so, In life soon faded away, escaped from all anxious fear, escaped from all pain.13

A Brahmanic sannyasi could have spoken in a similar way, and he would have emphasized even more the value of asceticism, the mortification of desire. Gotama Buddha, however, had followed this path of the harshest asceticism during the first years of his homelessness, without the longed for

enlightenment would have been bestowed, and in the Discourse of Benares he proclaimed for the first time a new way which he calls the "middle one," which walks between the extremes of "devotion to desires and lusts" and "self-torture." This middle path alone, he says, can lead "to stillness, to knowledge, to enlightenment, to nirvana"; it is gained on the "noble eightfold path" of the "four noble truths":

But this, ascetics, is the noble truth of suffering: Birth is suffering, old age is suffering, sickness is suffering, to be united with what is unlovable is suffering, to be separated from what is loved is suffering, not attaining what one desires is suffering—in short , the five elements of existence [the five elements arising from the "attachment" to the world, "skandha", of individual existence] are suffering. But this, ascetics, is the noble truth of the origin of suffering: the greed that leads to rebirth, which combined with joy and passion seeks joy here and there, namely the greed for sensual pleasure, the greed for existence, the greed for Well-being. But this, you ascetics, is the noble truth of the way to the suppression of suffering: It is the suppression of this here through complete dispassion, it is the giving up, the rejection, the letting go, the not harboring this greed.

But this, you ascetics, is the noble truth of the path to the suppression of suffering, precisely this noble eight-part path, namely: right belief, right will, right speech, right action, right life, right striving, right thinking, right selfcontemplation.

As in Brahmanism, a good and moral life seems here integrated but subordinate to the definitive salvation from life, and in the

In the final sentence of the speech, Buddha makes a statement about himself and explains: "But the realization and the conviction arose within me: The liberation of my spirit is certain, this is my last birth, now there is 14 no more rebirth for me." In the almost fifty years that he lived after his enlightenment, Buddha presented these basic ideas in countless sermons and conversations, constantly moving about, mostly accompanied by a group of followers and himself leading the life of a mendicant monk, with powerful language and great clarity. explained and explained. They are collected in the three »baskets« (»pitakas«) of the so-called Pali canon and largely translated by Karl Eugen Neumann in what is generally considered to be an exemplary manner. However, not a single one of these speeches was written down by the Buddha himself; they have all been passed on through oral tradition for centuries, and this also explains the numerous repetitions that can be found in the individual speeches. If I see correctly, a textual criticism along the lines of "Bible Criticism" has never even been attempted: editing and insertions by later authors are to be expected. But on the whole the collections convey a uniform impression; Apparently the Buddha succeeded in creating a religious-intellectual atmosphere from which none of the followers could or wanted to escape, so that the question of "authenticity" or a later origin is not very important. If the world is a whole of suffering and impermanence, and thus can best be compared to a monster, then the meaning of the caste boundaries disappears, and indeed Buddha never left any doubt that he addressed all castes equally with his teaching; however, a remnant of orientation toward a future better life through the acquisition of moral merit in the present existence remains in Buddhism. The same applies to history. No effort is capable of creating a condition on earth that would contradict the "Four Noble Truths". Even a paradisiacal state, if it were attainable, would still be determined by desire and suffering and impermanence, and at most the rough ones

Forms of greed would be eliminated, such as the pursuit of possessions and luxury. An "inner-worldly redemption" is out of the question; even the messianic final kingdom of the Holy God of which the book of Daniel speaks would be infinitely far from nirvana (or nibbana as it is called in Pali). One of its prerequisites is the annihilation of greed as such and as a whole, and this includes such a radical demand as the following:

As long as ... not the slightest desire of the man for the woman is eradicated, so long is his spirit chained, like the 15 suckling calf to the mother cow. Nevertheless, Buddhism also has a history, and the enlightened one seems to have developed it himself in one of his discourses. There he tells of a righteous ruler who, at a heavenly sign, conquered the whole world, but in such a way that the other kings voluntarily surrendered to his power, since he was guided by maxims with which everyone could agree: There is no life to kill! What is not given is not to be taken! Evil life of lust is to be avoided! No untruth is to be spoken! No intoxicating drink is to be drunk! As is right, may you enjoy. Under him the lifespan of man was eighty thousand years. But when, again at a heavenly sign, he laid aside his dignity and went homeless with his hair shaved in the dark yellow robes of a monk, the son and successor did not follow all his maxims; Although he provided security, protection and shelter, he no longer gave any means to the poor, so that poverty increased more and more. But with poverty came theft, and then the punishment of theft by death sentences. Therefore, these people lost their long life and physical beauty. Their children now lived only 40,000 years. And since lying and murdering, "the addiction to what is illegal, the greed for what is unjust and for false teaching" (!) continued to grow, the lifetime of the

people getting shorter. Of the generation that will only have a lifetime of ten years in the future, Buddha says: With these people...there will be no regard for mother, mothersister, mother-brother's wife, teacher's wife, or other people's wives to be valued. Mankind will proceed to interbreeding like goats and sheep, like chickens and pigs, like dogs and jackals. In these people of ten years of life, monks, there will be intense hatred among beings, intense enmity, intense malice, intense murderousness, mother against son, son against mother... brother 16 against brother.

Mankind thus descends to the level of an animal-like existence, and if the audience could have seen beyond the borders of India they would have remembered Hesiod and his account of the "Iron Age." But according to the Buddha, the better few among humans flee into solitude, and here life regenerates, so that in the following generations lifespans gradually increase again to 80,000 years. The end of the discourse deals with a future Buddha named Metteya, whose preaching he compares with his own, and then the transition is made to the depiction of the monks' "pure life". But it is certainly not an inadmissible assumption that after the climax has been reached the decline sets in again and that the story ultimately resembles that cycle which imprisons all beings in the wheel of births. There is liberation only for the individual in mortification to eternal life in Nirvana, where there is as little otherness, opposition and consciousness as there is greed and which is still not mere death. Before him, what is happening in the world turns out to be a mere veil, a curtain in front of the reality of reality. It is difficult for modern people to understand how such an extraordinarily demanding and profound - if you will: hostile to the world and life - religion became a world religion and in all of East Asia

could win many millions of devout followers. It is true that there are not a few touching words of the Buddha that are also immediately understandable for ordinary people, such as the word about the streams of tears that are shed on earth and that are more than the 17 water in the four great seas but on the whole monks and ascetics are not a part of the whole as in Christianity, but they are the core of this whole. Now one might say that in a situation in which poverty was widespread with a few isolated exceptions, in which child mortality was very high and epidemics and floods were constantly threatening, the existence of a Buddhist monk who fetched his food daily with bowl and begging sack, was still better than that of the truly poor; but this argument has little persuasive power, for evidently the way of life of the monks was accepted by the populace, and the charity came from the surplus, which provided the mass of the populace with a better life than the recipients. However, complaints were heard relatively early on that numerous monks were striving for a life without work and were therefore also "parasites" in the usual sense of the word.

Even in the speeches of the Buddha, however, a few features can be pointed out that have a "folk" character and make it seem possible that Buddhism would develop in the direction of a popular religion. In a speech in which the Buddha described the paths he pointed out to his disciples, there is the following passage, which of course could have been inserted later: Further on, Udayi, I have pointed out to the disciples the paths along which my disciples may experience the development of power in a variety of ways: as just one, to become many times and become one again many times, or to become visible and invisible, also through

to soar through walls, ramparts, rocks as if through the air; or to rise and fall on the earth as in water, to walk on water without sinking as on earth, or to soar through the air l8 perched like a bird with its wings...

Here the Buddha seems to show himself to be a shaman who wields great powers in this world and is able to transmit them to his disciples, so that the allure of power comes into play and also the fears that such power arouses in the common people . Thus that world of magic spells which fills so much of the Vedas is not entirely eliminated even in the discourses of the Buddha, and this may have been a popular attraction. But the threat of punishment in the afterlife is not lacking either, and the description of the various hells given in that speech about the 19 messengers of the gods does not fall short of Christian descriptions. Of course, these are not "eternal punishments from hell," for even the terribly punished evildoers do not leave the cycle of birth, but the evil work is compensated for by the punishments, so that the evil ones will one day return to earth. But it is probable that such terrifying images have become deeply imprinted in the minds of the people, and if one adds to this the tendency on the part of the disciples to call the Buddha "the highest of gods and men," as well as the turn against it, in addition to the magical promises If the caste system is taken into account, then it becomes clear that even in early Buddhism, in spite of all "acosmism," the trend towards a popular religion was contained. This tendency became dominant in Mahayana Buddhism, which from about the time of Christ pushed back the older doctrine of the "Theravadins," derogatory calling them "Hinayana," "small vehicle," contrasting their own teachings with "great vehicle." . It is true that the teaching of the greatest thinker of the new trend, Nagarjuna, is the teaching of emptiness as ontological

fundamental fact which, paradoxically, makes possible both the suffering of the merely apparent individuality and its salvation from the process of estate conditioning or, as one might say, of only ever transitory configurations of the factors of existence, no less profound and demanding than the original teaching of the Buddha, to which it was closely related remains connected, but the practically relevant difference between the two schools or "denominations" is very large and obvious. Mahayana Buddhism accuses the followers of Hinayana of allowing themselves to be guided by the egoistic guiding principle of the "saved saint" (the "arhat"), while for them the ideal is the "bodhisattva", the potential Buddha, who is his own postpones salvation in order to work in the world for the salvation of other people. So the Mahayana school is much more worldly and practical than the Hinayana school, and indeed it has had greater success in the world. But that should not primarily be due to Nagarjuna and his teachings, but to the popular traits of this religion. This includes the "deification" of the Buddha, his elevation to a supernatural and transcendent being, thus roughly to an analogue of Yahweh, but without his anthropomorphic character traits and even with the express rejection of such a concept of God, since Buddha ranks above all gods. Nevertheless, a paradisiacal land is assigned to him, where there are "many games and amusements, millions of gardens, palaces and 20 celestial chariots", and there is no end to the enraptured descriptions of the Buddha-land "Abhirati": There are no diseases, no lies and no ugliness; Greed, hate and delusion are only weakly present in the beings who have reached the highest of the "pre-Nirvana stages". Trade and merchants are just as non-existent as farms and agriculture. Sexual desire is unknown, all pleasures result from the teachings of the Buddha alone. Not infrequently there is talk of several paradises from which the bodhisattvas, filled with compassion, descend to this earthly world where greed, hatred and delusion reign. They can improve this world in that they enable many people to advance into the world

Buddha lands help, but the ultimate goal for humans and Bodhisattvas always remains the only non-place, nirvana. All the popularizations and metaphors could not take away from Buddhism the character of "acosmism," of turning away from the world, even of hostility to the world. It seems plausible to assert that a minimum of this hostility to the world can be demonstrated in every religion, even if the correctness is not always as obvious as in the case of Christianity. But this assertion needs to be verified.

32China: Confucianism and Taoism Whoever speaks of China has in mind an empire, even a centralized state, and not without good reason. It is true that at times there were also great indigenous empires in India, such as those of the Maurya dynasty and the Gupta emperors, but on the whole the political map of India remained as colorful as the religious map of Hinduism; It is true that China under the Chou dynasty of the first millennium BC and into the third century also exhibited "feudalistic" characteristics of multiple rulers, and between 450 and 221 it lived through the "period of the warring states"; but after the violent first emperor of the Chin Dynasty, "Shi Huang-ti," prevailed, China became a centralized state and remained a unified, centralized empire, at least in idea and postulate, when it was temporarily restored to its own components disintegrated.

China, like India, was conquered several times by "foreign peoples" and ruled by foreign dynasties, such as the Mongols, but although the Mongols tried to implement a "racial policy" of strict separation, the Chinese power of assimilation proved stronger in the medium term , and the conquerors adopted the higher culture and language of the conquered. In India, on the other hand, the religious antagonism between the Islamic conquerors and the subdued Hindus prevented, to a very small extent, any interpenetration and thus assimilation; as is well known, the "liberation of India from British colonial rule" led to the constitution of two states determined by religious traditions. But Chinese history is also full of acts of violence, and it also knows the brutal settlement of religious or quasi-religious contradictions: In the year 213

BC the first Chinese emperor had all libraries burned and several hundred scholars executed; 1000

Years later, under the very successful Tang Dynasty, which took China to a peak of cultural and political prosperity, anti-Buddhist measures were taken, which included the destruction of 4,600 monasteries, the confiscation of several million acres of farmland, and the forcible "Laicization" of over 250,000 monks and nuns - probably the earliest comprehensive "secularization" in history, which incidentally shows how strong even in Buddhism was the tendency towards "secularization" without which there can be no secularization of an economic nature. If all uprisings, rebellions, usurpations and "civil wars" between individual states were to be listed, a very colorful picture would emerge. And yet stability was the main character of Chinese history; if there were no "strong emperors," at least the longing for them lived among the people, and in the end the longing was always fulfilled. According to almost universal opinion, this main character is connected with the fact that under the reign of the Han dynasty in the second century BC, Confucianism was made the "state philosophy" of the empire and, as the common world view and view of life of the leading class, the literary educated "gentry « State philosophy remained for two millennia, no matter how perceptible the reversals and interactions were.

At first glance, there hardly seems to be a greater contradiction than that between the religious metaphysics of Buddha, even the Vedas, and the irreligious, "purely moral world wisdom" of Confucius, the master Kung (Kung-tse), whose "conversations" in are collected from the book Lun-Yü and certainly have no more demonstrable authenticity than the discourses of the Buddha. The biographical dates of Confucius are just as uncertain as those of the Buddha, but in a broader sense both were contemporaries. Kung-tse, whose name was much later Latinized into "Confucius" by the Jesuit missionaries, died about 450; he thus lived at a time when the Chou Empire was already in decline and the epoch of the "fighting empires" was looming. He held important offices in the state

but his reputation must have been great even before his death, and the important ethicist Meng-tse, who lived from 372 to 289, called himself his pupil. What moral principle could be more enlightening for every human being than the "Golden Rule", which Confucius formulated very similarly to Kant later: "What you do not want to be done to yourself, do not do to others 1 either"? To live by this maxim is "virtue," and princes in particular must make it their own. "He who rules by virtue is like the pole star: he remains 2 in his place and all the stars turn to him." In daily life, "humanity" is a synonym for virtue, and this primarily includes five qualities that could be called "actions" in a Fichtean term: "modesty, 3 generosity, sincerity, diligence, kindness." Only virtue or humanity makes a good coexistence possible, and so the practical application is obvious, which according to Hegel, like the entire philosophy of Confucius, is characterized by "plain comprehensibility":

If you are humble, you will not be treated lightly; if one is generous, one wins the crowd; if one is sincere, one enjoys the trust of men; if you are diligent, you will be successful; if 4 you are kind, you have the ability to use people. But apparently cold-hearted opportunism shouldn't guide one's way of life, rather the concept of a "loving relationship" with other people is at the center of Confucius' thinking. This must, of course, be based on love within the family:

Filial piety and brotherly love are the roots of loving 5 relationships with others.

In political life, this results in obedience to the authorities, and for Confucius, reverence for the prince is the same

necessary like the reverence of the son to the father. But virtuous rule is precisely that which the ruled least feels; indeed, the renunciation of rule is considered the pinnacle of virtue. Thus the master says of the king's son T'ai Po that he has reached the highest level of virtue, for "he renounced dominion over the kingdom three times, and the 6 people did not even have an opportunity to praise him for it". But Kung-tse does not demand that the highest level of virtue should become universal; rather, daily life must involve respect for the differences of nature or history, and Confucius articulates this conviction through an apparent tautology: "The prince is prince, the 7 subject is subject, the father is father, the son is son." That is why the Lun-yü often speaks of the difference between the "noble" and the "common man" or the "everyday man"; but the noble is not destined by birth to a position of leadership, but has made himself noble through the acquisition of education and the practice of virtuous conduct. Balance and composure are characteristic of him, but also detachment, because he knows nothing in this world "that he unconditionally agrees with and nothing that he unconditionally (that is, 8th from the outset and without examination) rejects". He knows that individual traits of virtue become negative traits through excess: "Courtesy without propriety becomes importunity, prudence without propriety becomes timidity, bravery without propriety becomes insubordination, straightforwardness without propriety becomes 9 arrogance"; that is why he always strives for the right measure. So he does not confront reality with utopian postulates, such as that of absolute non-violence, because he expressly affirms the "military power of the people" and the rule of the princes, but he denies the absolute setting of the one as well as the other and always behaves as a man who Mitte, who does not want to abolish the extremes, but only wants to curb them. So it could be argued that Confucianism, which gave the Chinese central government the most effective and stable bureaucracy the

Antiquity and the Middle Ages were known around the world, and who embodied an ethic that can in principle be realized by every human being, in this irreligiousness and "worldliness" realistically anticipated a state of "post-history" that contemporary religions transformed into a supernatural one gods or buddha world misplaced. Although the "Middle Kingdom" as the center of civilization had to fend off attacks by the "barbarians" on its borders, the interior guaranteed the harmony of the different - the old and the young generation, the ruling scholars and the simple people, the ruling son of heaven and his subjects - the peaceful coexistence and security of trade and change. But the very term "Son of Heaven" indicates that Confucianism, as an irreligious "world religion," has been inadequately characterized by an educated Enlightenment. The natural presupposition of Chinese thought is the concept of the 'T'ien', of heaven, which in the earliest times was also presented as a person, as 'Shang-ti' and presumably related to the Egyptian 'Ma'at' or the Greek 'Ma'at' "Cosmos" can be compared, that is, it means "the world order." It is heaven that knows man's heart, that rewards the good and punishes the wicked, that educates men and shows resentment when they go against the world order; Kings and emperors sacrifice to heaven, those who believe that the current ruler has lost the "mandate of heaven" through mistakes and vices appeal to heaven.

The "great earth" is closest in dignity to heaven, but numerous nature spirits are also worshiped, especially the spirits of the mountains and streams as well as those of the earth and the states. There are also guardian spirits of the house, and the deceased ancestors are not lost in nothing, but they take part in the life and fate of their descendants, blessing and punishing them. The "veneration of ancestors" is common to all members of the people, while the sacrifices to heaven and the spirits are acts of state, which are performed in fine gradations by the authorities, so that the whole differentiation of society becomes clear in them. Nevertheless, the people as such are above the prince, and Meng-tse can say:

The people are the foremost, the spirits of the earth and of the states stand next to them; the prince is the least 10 noble. Although it is reported by Confucius that the things the master did not like to talk about were "miracles, acts of violence, disturbances and 11 ghosts", but there can be no doubt that the 'harmony' that Confucianism was striving for was not exclusively an inner-human or anthropological harmony, but rather a cosmological and to that extent religious harmony of man with heaven and earthly nature. The "cosmic" character of the Confucian concept of harmony becomes quite obvious in Meng-tse's statement: If we effectively develop ourselves "on the straight line" without damaging what is given by nature, "then we close the gap between heaven, 12 earth and ourselves «. So this "rupture" is a reality that is healed by right, cosmos-oriented (Godly speaking, in Christian terms) living.

It is probably not a construction to associate the "rupture" with a concept that can be rendered in German as "Reification"; In any case, the Li Chi, the »Book of Morals«, whose authors are close to Confucianism, says:

Things touch people incessantly, if man has no measure of his liking and disliking, then only things 13 arrive and man is also transformed into a thing. It would be misleading, however, to focus only on Confucianism when looking at Chinese thought in the last few centuries BC, for that would imply a dominance that was gradual and never total. In addition to Confucianism and in part against it, paradigmatic positions were developed that could be used again and again in later times.

Mo Ti, a contemporary of Socrates, went far beyond Confucius in replacing "mutual love," which referred primarily to those sharing the common culture, with the principle of "general love of mankind," which of course applied to the Chinese familiality and ancestor worship had to have a destructive effect. Consequently, he not only recommended peace, as Confucius had done, but he strongly condemned aggressive war. He is one of the earliest representatives of a pronounced humanitarianism.

The sharply opposed position, itself far removed from the "middle" of Confucius, championed Yang Chu, namely a radical Epicureanism, or rather hedonism, for which only the pleasures of the individual are 14 desirable. So he comes, like the Egyptian harp song long before him, to the maxim: »So let us rejoice in life – why do we care what comes after 15 death!« However, he does not dismiss the common good as indifferent, but generalizes the hedonistic maxim to the thesis that if this way of life were extended to all lands under heaven, it would eventually render all government unnecessary. His teaching can therefore be characterized as hedonistic anarchism.

The approach to a theory of history is most likely to be found in Chuang-Tse, who also lived in the fourth century and is considered a forerunner or pioneer of Taoism. For him, civilization is an aberration, since it distances man from nature and is comparable to the domestication of wild animals. Once upon a time, people still stood firmly and steadfastly in nature, dressed in self-woven clothes and fed on the fields they tilled themselves. That is why it is said that they were subordinated to the workings of nature... They were all free from knowledge... and free from desire... In their pure 16 simplicity they preserved their true nature.

Chuang-Tse thus represents the position of "primitivism", a "Rousseauism" long before Rousseau. And from here he guides you

violent attack against "the saints", including not least the Confucians, but also the artists and inventors whom he accuses of having thrown the world into doubt and having destroyed natural matter by creating artificial devices. This train of thought culminates in an unreserved assignment of blame: Only when the saints improved the world with their artificial sacred music and their embarrassingly graduated rites, and made the people happy with their sophisticated morals, did people plunge into the search for knowledge and relentlessly chase happiness. This is the fault of the 17 saints! But not only Voltaire's humanitarianism, Helvétius' hedonism and Rousseau's primitivism have their predecessors in the non-Confucian thinking of early China, but also Machiavelli's doctrine of power. The so-called school of legalism, the "Fa-Chia," is of particular interest because it was closely linked to important political developments. One might call it the state philosophy of the state of Ch'in, which, located in the extreme west of the empire, was considered only semi-civilized in the eyes of its contemporaries, but was therefore particularly vital and warlike, most closely resembling the Macedonia of Alexander the Great at about the same time similar and possibly even a »Prussia avant la lettre«.

Here, around the year 360, an immigrant prince named Wei Yang, later given the title Shang Yang, carried out a series of revolutionary reforms as adviser to the Duke of Ch'in. Thus a tightly organized power and military state emerged amidst the "fighting" kingdoms, which were divided among themselves and internally weakened by "feudal disintegration," and this state finally annexed all the others, so that in the year 221 the king of Ch'in was the first " Ch'in Shih-huang-ti« came to rule Greater China. His rule was very harsh, and it was under it that the burning of books and the executions of scholars mentioned took place.

Power slipped from the hands of his weak successors, and the Ch'in dynasty proved to be one of the shortest in Chinese history, but the successors, the Han dynasty emperors after 202, clung to the centralized system. In this respect, the maxims of the Shang and the Legalists, which were compiled in the form that has come down to us only a few centuries after Yang's death, remained alive, although the Han emperors had the official body trained according to Confucian principles.

These maxims can still have a provocative effect today and in fact represent something like "super-Machiavellianism." State strength is considered the top priority and is identified with military strength; what interferes with this strength is subsumed under the term "parasites," and these include "love, ambition, and virtuous behavior," among others. Thus 'virtue' is conflated with 'disorder', and the demand is made that 'the wicked rule the virtuous', for a state 'which gives rise to 18 knowledge and ability will surely perish'. Finally, Hsün-Tse should also be named as a pioneer of a paradigmatic position, who, contrary to Mencius, defends the thesis that human beings are inherently bad, so that legalists often refer to them, but who, on the other hand, emphasizes the importance of education and culture strongly emphasized that he is again related to the Confucians. So he represents the exact opposite of primitivism and can therefore be called a "philosopher of culture." virtues are acquired goods; Disorder and turmoil, on the other hand, are inherent in human nature, and reappear whenever the refinement of mores weakens. Civilized life is not possible without deterrent penalties. Compared to Confucianism, Taoism is a religion even in the strictest sense. Here, too, the harmony between man and the cosmos is the central idea, but the accent is more on the cosmos, more precisely: on the primal ground of the cosmos. »Tao« – pronounced »dau« – means »the way«, and is certainly largely the same as »t'ien«, the sky, but rather its inside, its »inner

Law«, which also radiates to and determines all things. Even before Taoism, one of the effects of this inner law or "way" of heaven sought to articulate the teachings of "yin" and "yang," the two polar forces that determine all beings in different parts: Yin means the dark, the cool , the night, the earth, the feminine - its constellation is the moon; Yang means the hot, dry, the sky, the day, the masculine - its constellation is the sun. The two primal forces cause the eternal but circular change of things. But you can name them like you can name heaven.

This Tao, which we have called the inner side of "Heaven", is nevertheless something like the outer side of the universe, and it is preceded by another Tao which cannot be named and which can only be circumscribed in a suggestive way as "Urgrund" or "Origin". like. The very first song of the Tao tê King, the "Book of the Way and of Virtue", begins as follows: Tao, can it be pronounced is not the eternal Tao. The name, can it be called, is not the eternal name. The nameless is the primeval ground of heaven and earth, That which has a name is the mother of all beings.


The author of the Tao tê King has always been Lao Tse, who is said to have been a contemporary of Confucius and about whom we know little that is more reliable than that he led an inconspicuous life and was probably a minor archivist. Early on, this life, like that of Buddha, was embellished with legends

by the followers, and in later times Lao Tse was even elevated to the status of a god to whom temples and cults were dedicated. What we have in our hands is the small book, consisting of 81 poems, some of which are very short and written in impressive verse, and the question of whether it is wholly or partly by a

Personality named Lao Tse can be considered indifferent without stay decision. Just some of the most quoted verses are simple ones

Versions of the yin-yang theory with an emphasis on the yin

Principle: »Soft and weak overcomes hard and strong.«


This results in the doctrine of »non-action« or »non-intervention« (»wu wei«), which is based on the natural phenomenon of water, which is the softest and weakest of the elements and yet in the long run the hardest and strongest cannot resist. Therefore culture, which is mainly due to action, cannot correspond to Tao, and in this respect Taoism sides with the primitivism already mentioned. The attack on the "saints" of Confucianism is therefore no less decisive than that of Chuang Tse:

Abandon holiness, give up prudence!; and the welfare of the people will increase a hundredfold. Let go of human love, give up justice!, and the people will return to filial duty and parental love. Abandon skill, give in to gain!, and there will be no 21 thieves and robbers.

In some poems, the admonition becomes harsh social criticism and an unconditional rejection of the desire to possess: Has the kingdom of Tao this is how you keep gaited horses for field fertilization. Doesn't the kingdom have Tao

this is how war horses are bred on the frontiers. no greater crime to name as lust permitted, no greater evil it's enough not to know No greater vice

than to burn for multiple possessions. Therefore: Whoever knows how to satisfy himself has enough forever.


Over the centuries, Taoism became more and more a popular religion with gods, saints and sects, of which the "Sect of the Masters of Heaven" was even able to found a priestly state in Sichuan around 200 that existed for 23 30 years. Of particular interest was the encounter with encroaching Buddhism, which led to syntheses and eclecticisms, so that Taoism potentially took on the character of a world religion centered around the worship of the deified founder, Lao Tse. Indeed, Taoism now had an impact far beyond China, but it remained subordinate to Buddhism. However, he was always strong enough to refute the talk of the "irreligious national character" of the Chinese. However, Confucianism remained more powerful, which, as has been shown, is inadequately characterized as an inner-worldly or pragmatic doctrine of life, but must be understood as an inner-cosmic religion. As such it was the spiritual foundation of an empire which, at its best, like that of the Roman Empire in late antiquity, can be ascribed the hallmarks of a 'posthistory'. In fact, in 18th-century Europe, the philosopher Christian Wolff ascribed a role model function for the Chinese to the future, and Leibniz saw the basis for a "global communication society," to use a modern term, in the apparently antiquated symbols of Chinese writing. Not much later, this Enlightenment idea of the inner closeness between the different cultures was pushed back by the Enlightenment's conception of profound differences. The point here is not to make a decision on this question, but in conclusion a very simple, very human poem from the book of songs should be quoted, which certainly also comes closer to today's feelings through its translation, and yet in the simplest way articulates that »general human« on all levels,

which makes it permissible to mention Rousseau and Machiavelli, Kant and Leibniz in a chapter on early Chinese times: Blue, blue your collar. Bang, bang my questions. Am I not allowed to go to you – Why didn't you let me say a word? ... Oh, I wander, roam, Stand up on the rampart by the gate: For a day when I don't see you Seems 24 like three moons to me. If we now turn to "Greek philosophy and science," we come to "our own culture." Whether it is more easily accessible to us is of course not yet clear from this statement.

33Greece and the beginnings of philosophy and science Even those who have not attended a humanistic grammar school still feel that the Greek world of gods is "familiar" or "human"; no animal-shaped demons frighten, there is no mention of ghosts in either Homer or the tragedians, nowhere are dark threats of punishment directed at people. Although the popular image of the "easy-living" gods of the Greeks needs a certain correction, it is still correct on the whole that the "Olympic gods" compared to the gods of Mesopotamia, Egypt, India and China according to their actions and their Characters show a great deal of human proximity, although they are contrasted with the "miserable mortals" as "the immortals".

It is not much different with Greek philosophy: Thales, Heraclitus and Democritus are well-known and frequently quoted names today, and some of their teachings enjoy a certain popularity, such as Heraclitus' statement that one cannot step into the same river twice. In fact, reference was made to the Greek philosophers not only in Roman history, but also in all epochs of the West and especially of the Byzantine Empire, even marginally on the part of Islam, so great was the loss of concrete knowledge during the "dark centuries « also was after the end of the Western Roman Empire.

Nor is our knowledge in good part meager; from Thales, Anaximander, Xenophanes, even from Heraclitus and Parmenides only individual fragments have survived, mostly as quotations from late antique commentators and writers. It was not until Plato and

Aristotle onwards that a stream of tradition flowed through the ages, and even this flowed together into a narrow river for centuries.

In the third chapter of the first book of his Metaphysics, Aristotle writes that the first philosophers could generally only have imagined the principles of all things in a material form, because they called that from which things originally arose and into which they finally dissolved as »arché«. of beings, and Thales, who first made philosophical investigations in this direction, looked for the principle in water. This statement seems to be confirmed by the fact that Anaximenes, another member of the 'Milesian school', has all things arise from condensations or rarefactions of the air. A visible and tactile element, water or air, would also be the origin of the other elements like fire and earth 1 and himself. Xenophanes says, In other fragments, of course, he names "earth and water" as the origin, and of human beings he claims that "we all" 2 were born of earth and water.

Statements like these are easy to understand. But if philosophy only begins where easy comprehension ends, then philosophy begins with Anaximander, another member of the Milesian school, who was about the same age as Thales and probably lived from 610 to 545. In Simplicius, a sentence has been handed down from him in indirect speech, which provokes thought: "But where things came from, there their fall also takes place, according to the obligation of the order of 3 time." In the preceding sentence he describes this “from which” as “the boundless” (tò ápeiron), and in other fragments he says of this boundless 4 being “without age, without death, without ruin”. The "boundless" can therefore be nothing other than the primal ground of the universe, which is not identical with any of the known elements or substances, or rather this universe itself as a whole, outside of which nothing can be and which still includes those "worlds" to which one sees a coming into being and passing away attributes. Thus it 'is' different from all individual things, and of these individual things the strange and seemingly moralizing statement is made that 'injustice' is their chief trait and they paid each other punishment and penance for it.

However, this probably only underlines the derived, secondary mode of existence of all things; in the proper and to that extent the only "just" sense there is only the universe, while all individual things take their place in existence and reciprocally repress from existence. Defining the »arché« as water or as air would mean confusing the worlds of being; the element of water cannot be unlimited either, since it has other elements alongside and outside of it; the true limitless must therefore lie outside of what our senses give us access to. It seems that from here the most enigmatic of the early philosophers can be made more intelligible, namely Parmenides, who was about a century younger than Anaximander and lived in Elea in southern Italy, so that the whole school which he founded was called the "Eleatics". received. Parmenides stands out from all other philosophers in that he clothes his teachings in the form of a mythological narrative and declares them to be insights communicated to him by "the goddess." "Versatile steeds" carry him, led by Heliad maidens, far above the dwelling places of men to a heavenly building, where the goddess solemnly announces to him that he should now learn everything, "both of the well-rounded truth's unshakable heart and of 5 mortals bogus opinions,

The philosophical truth is therefore a divine revelation, which is not accessible to human beings as human beings, for in the following they are called "double heads", "mortals who know nothing", who drift along at the same time dumb and blind, "for whom being and non-being count as the same and not for the same thing and for whom there is an opposing 6 trajectory in everything." The goddess, on the other hand, inculcates the fundamental truth in the listening philosopher that there are only two ways of research, one of the conviction "that IS is and that non-being is not", and the other, impracticable, of the mere opinion "that NOT IS is and that non7 being is required'. This is followed as fragment 3 by the sentence: "Because thinking and being are the same" (tò gàr autó estin voeĩn te kai eĩnai). This central sentence has several

Experiencing interpretations: sometimes it counts as a discovery of "logical evidence", sometimes as a thesis of the justification of being in thinking. But it might be much more probable that "being" means nothing other than that limitlessness of Anaximander; for it is said of it to be "unborn and imperishable" because it is "whole in its structure and unshakable as well as timeless", and "it never was and never will be because it is present together in the Now as a whole, one , coherent…”

This characterization of being as the universe, which lacks the basic character of all things that exist, namely temporality, the coming into being and passing away, and which is therefore the inexpressible fullness, is therefore not what is new in Parmenides' thinking: what is new, however, is the relationship of the thinking about being, which is obviously presupposed in Anaximander but not specifically articulated. Only thought reaches beyond all things to "being" or the "all" itself, and thus, although Parmenides does not expressly say so, it shares its character of superiority in time. The immortality of being is of course also motionlessness, for how should that have a "goal" that contains all goals within itself, and it is likely to be a misunderstanding if one assumes that Parmenides denied the movements of existing things. Only being itself is without movement, and thus it is of course all the more without strivings and emotions: being is a far higher "abstraction" from the things that are than the one god or even the many gods, but Parmenides would probably affirm the thesis that thinking of being is not a consequence of abstraction from things, but that a relationship to things is only possible in one with thinking's relation to being or everything.

sensory perception, the "sightless eye" and the "roaring hearing" are 8th opposed in the most abrupt manner. Indeed, it would be strange if Parmenides had something quite different in mind from Xenophanes, who was considerably older than him and is said to be his teacher, or his contemporary Heraclitus, who is often declared to be his adversary, since he caused the movement to originate made and not the immobility. In his fragment 23, Xenophanes speaks of the 'single god' who is greatest among gods and men, 'not like mortals in form or in thought'.

No less clearly does Heraclitus make the distinction between the universe that is not subject to temporality and things that only have a derived, because temporal, existence: This world (order) - »kósmon tónde« -, the same for all beings, was not created by either gods or men, but it was forever and is and will be his ever-living fire, flaring up in measure and dying out in measure.


The definition of the universe as "fire" seems to be a step backwards towards Thales and Anaximenes, but after the fundamental distinction has been made the question of how the universe and things are related must be inevitable. Far from Heraclitus is the thought that it could be a question of a relationship between a creator and his creatures; he does not orientate himself on human actions, but on a superhuman - if you will: natural - event, which he sometimes calls the "lightning" that controls the universe, and mostly "the fire". But he does not simply add man as the thinking being to the things that are. Rather, he expresses his transcendence as clearly as Parmenides, albeit in a more graphic way: The soul's limits you cannot discover, even if you tread every path; such a deep sense (hūto

bathýn lógon) has them.


But Parmenides is no more satisfied than Heraclitus or Anaximenes with distinguishing the authentic being of the universe from the inauthentic, timesubdued being of things; instead, he accords an astonishing degree of justice to the "mere opinion," the "doxa" of mortals , by developing a cosmology in the second and longer part of his didactic poem that names two elements, namely the "ethereal flame fire, the mild, very light one" on the one hand and the "lightless night, a dense, heavy structure" on the other . These two elements, in mixture and conflict, determine the nature of things - from the inner ring of space, filled with unmixed fire, to the outer rings, ruled by 11 night. And in the midst of it all, the Goddess directs and inspires "horrid birth and mating" everywhere, sending the male to the female to mate, and vice 12 versa, "the male to the female." Whether this resulted in a theory of the cycle of births and probably even of the transmigration of souls cannot be seen from the fragments that have survived. With the Pythagoreans, on the other hand, who were the most religious and "mystical" of all the philosophical schools of early Greece, the doctrine of the transmigration of souls is readily demonstrated, and even a doctrine of progressive purification in successive existences, so that further incarnations eventually ceased take place. But their main importance lies in the fact that they saw the ruling power of the universe in a multiplicity, namely in the numbers, in the investigation and characterization of which they have earned the greatest merit. For them, purity and perfection were already present in the finite, even if they were not absorbed in it and could only be grasped in thought: Although a child can already count up to 10 and far beyond, it is no more able than the ordinary person to recognize that the ten, the tetractys,

on which the harmonic proportion in the music is based and which 13 embody the three dimensions in geometry. That the infinite can be present and effective in the finite, although not as the absolutely unlimited, is the core of Empedocles' teaching, which has come down to us in an unusually large number of fragments, some of which are detailed. For him, in addition to the four eternal elements of fire, water, air and earth as the roots of things, there are two primal forces, love and hate, which are the cause of movement within the world. The autocracy of love means a mixture of elements that makes it indistinguishable, so that one might be inclined to use the modern term "primeval soup." But the working of the quarrel drives them apart, and in the course of this separation, a variety of things come into being; in the third stage the four elements are completely separated from each other and appear to be arranged in 'rings' as in the 14 'probably obvious' cosmology of Parmenides; but love then brings about new mixtures and new things, until in the end the complete mixture, excluding the existence of differentiated things, has re-entered under the sole rule of love. But this is by no means an end stage, but the cyclical process begins again and again. This makes it possible to imagine world epochs, and a continuation into human history does not appear to be out of the question. In a very different way the atomists, Leucippus and Democritus, who lived in the second half of the fifth century, discovered the eternal and, admittedly, by no means limitless within finite things themselves. "Only in opinion," wrote Democritus, "there are sweet, only in opinion bitter, warm, cold, only in opinion 15 color, in truth there are only atoms and empty space«. Like Parmenides, then, Democritus distinguishes between "mere opinion" and "truth," but opinions are statements about particular things - be they sweet or bitter, smooth or angular - and "truth" refers to the same things - they are composites of tiny bodies that only rearrange themselves when a single thing perishes. What the senses show us is therefore mere appearance; but the intellect or reason can do this

Seeing through apparentness and recognizing the underlying, namely the atoms. Consequently, no distinction is made in the mode of being between the universe and the individual things, but in the things themselves an inner, "true" is separated from mere appearance. It is therefore a "reductionist" or "abstracting" procedure within the world of beings or things. However, the atoms are not alike like grains of sand are alike; for then they would not be able to form complexes of a certain firmness and permanence; according to the account given by Aristotle of the doctrine of Democritus, they differ in form, arrangement, and position. The letter A differs from the letter N in shape, AN from NA in arrangement, and a lying H from standing H in 16 position.

So the difference in things is not mere appearance, but the striking difference between a mouse and a lion is ultimately "only" based on the minor differences of atoms. This "only" entails a great task that can hardly ever be completed: if the whole world of things were looked through to the atoms that form it, it would be "explored", "reduced" from the appearance of the senses to the truth of reason. But a statement is also made about the universe, because the totality of all atoms is not yet the universe. According to Democritus' fundamental theorem, apart from the atoms there is also "the void", ie the empty space within which the atoms move. It is obviously different from the atom, and that is why Leucippus and Democritus apply the Parmenidean terminology to it, calling it the 'non-existent' to which they contrast the atoms as 'the existent'. But in a second step they reverse the distinction by claiming that beings do not exist to a higher degree than non-beings, ie empty space has the same kind of reality as the indivisible bodies that exist "in" it. The question remains whether empty space shouldn't be equated with Parmenides' "being" since it, too, as a "whole, one,

"Coherent" can be understood, in stark contrast to the separate, "discrete" atoms. But the Parmenidean "being" is, one could say, gained by going beyond the god of monotheism, as he still appears in Xenophanes; the atomists' doctrine of empty space, on the other hand, is entirely atheistic and mechanistic. Not infrequently this was seen as its great advantage, because it freed people from the fear of gods or ghosts and therefore gave them that "peace of mind" that could only be attained far from religion. This is very clear with Epicurus, who made an important contribution to the theory in the narrower sense by introducing the term "declinatio", the tendency to deviate: If the atoms in empty space fell down parallel to one another, a world of atomic complexes or things could never develop. But Plato also developed an atomic theory that deviates from Democritus in his dialogue Timaeus, in that he bases the elements on differently shaped atoms, e.g. B. the earth the cube shape and the fire that of the tetrahedron. Different ways of thinking were also open to the ancient atomic theory, but even Plato, in the dialogue most influenced by Pythagorean thought, namely the Timaeus, does not manage to abolish the a-theistic and mechanistic character of the doctrine in a convincing way.

It would, however, be a great mistake to suppose that Democritus and Plato are as opposed to each other in their ethics as the atomic theory and the theory of ideas are. By far the majority of the fragments of Democritus that have come down to us are of an ethical nature, and not a few of them read quite "Platonically", for example when it is said that not only "he who overcomes his enemies, but also he who 17 overcomes his lusts" is manly. . In this respect, Democritus can be credited with taking part in that turn in philosophy which, according to general opinion, his contemporary Socrates was the first to complete: the turn from the question of the cosmos to the question of man, which, however, was also reflected in the activity of the Sophists, in the famous Protagoras' statement about man as the measure of all things, in the opposition of »nature« (»physis«) and »custom«

18 (»nómos«), the Platonic doctrine of the parts of the soul and the state, and finally in the all-encompassing philosophy of Aristotle. Instead of going into this comparatively late anthropology, which was able to develop into a science of human works such as culture and the state, we want to turn our gaze back to the "natural philosophers". For we have looked at them far too much from the point of view of ontology. But that captures only part of what is characteristic of them. Thales aroused the admiration of his contemporaries by correctly predicting a solar eclipse, probably that of the year 585. He is said to have amazed the Egyptians by measuring the height of the pyramids by measuring their shadows. He was practical enough to give the Ionian cities good advice on the Persian threat, but there is a well-known anecdote that one night he was so engrossed in observing the stars that he fell into a nearby well fell and was mocked by a Thracian maid with the words that he wanted to explore the sky, but that he did not know his way around in his immediate environment.

Anaximenes was not satisfied with the ontological theory of the air as its origin and of its condensation and rarefaction, but he endeavored to explain individual phenomena such as thunder and lightning, earthquakes and rainbows. Anaximander created humans from Pisces and advanced detailed, if certainly odd, theses about the moon.

For all their "number mysticism," the Pythagoreans laid the foundations for a form of mathematics that was not intended to serve merely practical purposes. Xenophanes not only preceded Feuerbach by more than 2000 years in that he derived the concrete ideas of gods or gods from the respective being of the people - if the oxen had hands and could paint like the people, then they 19 would paint ox-like god figures but he anticipates the reductions of atomism by e.g. B. says what the people with the god name »Iris«

is in its nature "only a cloud to behold, crimson, and bright red, and 20 yellow-green." Parmenides calls the moon "a noctilucent, alien light wandering 21 around the earth." Empedocles anticipates the Darwinian theory of evolution. Anaxagoras was banished from Athens by the people because he

outlawed the sun god when he took the sun for a glowing

rock mass explained. This leads to a surprising insight: it is not the metaphysical statements about the universe or the one God and man's relationship to it that characterize early Greek philosophy. The Vedas spoke of “Brahman” earlier than “Being” in the Parmenidean didactic poem, and the Chinese – as well as the Indo-Europeans, by the way – worshiped “heaven” long before the universe in Greece was considered “well-rounded Sphere« was presented. The visible world was considered by Buddha and by the Upanishads before him to be just as "illusory" as it was by Democritus. One can even see a parallel in the identity of Brahman and Atman to the connection between being and thinking in Parmenides. The singers of the Vedas were pure metaphysicians, for whom only the universe and thinking related to the universe was important; the Buddha was too indifferent to the world of 'samsara' to seek knowledge of the details of the 'veil of Maya', despite his differentiation of the factors of existence. The early Greek philosophers also tried to think of the universe or being and also the "soul", but at the same time they were geared towards gaining knowledge within the cosmos. It is true that the great philosophical statements are never “science” as such, since they do not apply to verifiable facts or conditions within the world, but they can rather belong to theology or – as in Buddhism – to “nihilogy” or the science of things and conditions in the world.

This second kind of giving was first made in Greece, and it has never been entirely lost in Western history. At best it brought a harmony of "thinking"

and "research" as in Aristotle, Leibniz, and Kant. It was then even able to penetrate that fundamentally empirical and technical knowledge that, as medical knowledge, had already brought about remarkable achievements, such as cranial trepanations, among the Mesopotamians and Egyptians. What is characteristic of Hippocratic medicine is not only the absence of exorcisms and incantations, which had never completely disappeared in the Near East, but precisely the connection with philosophical and ethical principles, as they exist on the one hand in the theory of the humors as a modification of the physics of qualities and on the other hand, in the maxims of the Hippocratic Oath, such as:

I will not give a deadly poison to anyone, not even if asked, I will not give such abominable advice, nor will I 22 give a woman a means of destroying the budding life. Greek technology, as another point of departure for theoretical thinking that grew out of immediate life, was just as little superior to the technology of the Mesopotamians and Egyptians from the outset as was Greek medicine. While it is easy to list a number of significant achievements, such as the invention of the watermill and the pulley by Archytas of Taranto, or the construction of gears and new weapons by Archimedes of Syracuse, the Assyrians and Babylonians had not conquered the enemy cities with their bare hands , but had very effective siege and weapon technology. A well-known anecdote perhaps makes the novelty clearer than the enumeration of the mathematical achievements of Archimedes, for example. When in the year 212 during the conquest of Syracuse in his house, away from his mathematical work, he confronted an invading Roman soldier, he is said to have said: "Don't disturb my circles."

he paid for scientific problems with his life. And where would be

the most self-evident convictions of "common sense" have been more severely snubbed than in the considerations and calculations of Aristarchus of Samos and before that of the Pythagorean Philolaus, which set the "solid earth" in motion and made it revolve around the 23 sun? Greek science was certainly not always and everywhere pursued for its own sake, but its best representatives saw themselves as "theoría," as observation and research independent of pragmatic goals. In doing so, it detached itself fundamentally from everyday life and also proved to be based in transcendence, no different from the philosophy that preceded it and to which it remained connected for a long time. This common path of philosophy and science has often been described as the path »from myth 24 to logos« or »from religion to worldliness«. but the common roots in transcendence, in transcending the everyday lifeworld or, if you will, in the "abstraction of life" must not be overlooked. No one expressed this with greater, if somewhat caricatural, radicalism than Plato in his dialogue 25 Theaetetus. Nothing seems to be further removed from all world religions than this selfsufficient science, which claims to be self-sufficient, and which first emerged in Greece after philosophy. On the one hand, the circle of those who thought so was certainly very small in Plato's time, while world religions usually have large numbers of followers. Second, this "research" seems to be far removed from the basic attitude of reverence that is a key feature of all religions. But isn't this detachment, in principle, possible for everyone? Couldn't all people finally agree that they do science in this sense and use the results for a "better", make use of life that has become free from all immediate earth relations? Paradoxically, could there be such a thing as a "world religion of science" one day?

Plato would doubtless have answered this question in the negative, for his science is a science of "ideas", of the generic, of "structures". But can this conception claim general validity? Isn't a science imaginable that explores "everything," that is, the whole empirical world in its innumerable details? At least the thoughts of the atomists seem to have gone in this direction. If ever there was anything new under the sun, it was performances like these.

34Post-exilic Judaism The novelty of Greek philosophy and science and even the possible development into a world religion of a very peculiar kind would have taken place around the year 400 BC. Hardly recognizable since the Greeks were still behind the countries of the Middle East in many areas; What was new in the history of Israel or Judaism would probably have been viewed by a contemporary observer as the explicit negation of a development into a 'world religion'. The conquest of Jerusalem by the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar in 587, the destruction of Solomon's Temple and the deportation of large parts of the leading class to Babylonia were part of normality in this world of states - 150 years earlier the northern kingdom of Israel had been destroyed by the Assyrians and the majority of the inhabitants were been kidnapped already at the time of the conquest of Jerusalem they were considered lost, and only a poor remnant remained in the country, who were later called "Samaritans" and were not recognized by the Judeans as their equals. Exactly this did not happen to the abducted Judeans of the year 587; according to the famous verse of Psalm 137, although they "sat by the waters of Babylon and wept" when they thought of Zion, they were able to keep in touch with each other and apparently also kept in touch with Jerusalem. Not a few became rich, and the whole community was in good circumstances, but the yearning to return home did not disappear, separation from the Babylonians was maintained, an attempt to make the enigmas of recent history understandable—how could God hand over his chosen people to the

heathen "nations"? – was not given up, and the nagging question was asked in the traditional way

Answered: God had punished the sins of his people, but he left the way of repentance open. Indeed, it was not more than 50 years before the way home was again open; the Persian king Cyrus conquered Babylonia in the year 537, and according to the tolerant religious policy of the Achaemenids he allowed the Jews to return, indeed, according to the certainly exaggerated wording of the 1 Book of Ezra, he downright encouraged them to do so.

The strange thing is that a large part of the Babylonian church did not heed this request. So the homecomers, according to the information in the Book of Ezra, not much more than 50,000 people, had to endure difficult times, although they found a lot of support from the Persians and were at times under their own governor, namely Nehemiah, whose name another book bears. In any case, the temple was rebuilt, and Ezra reorganized the "congregation," for the people of Israel now consisted of two branches, the Babylonian and the Judean, whose religion remained virtually identical.

Some parts of the Old Testament, such as the sermons of the prophets Haggai and Malachi and a number of psalms, were not written until this time. Ezra's reorganization was aimed at restitution, at reversing the developments that the part of the people who had stayed behind in Judea had gone through: namely, above all, extensive mixing with the non-Jewish inhabitants of the country. Soon after Ezra's arrival, he is told: The people of Israel and the priests and the Levites did not keep away from the people of the land and their atrocities, from the Canaanites, Hittites, Perizzites, Jebusites, Ammonites, Moabites, Egyptians and Amorites. They took wives from their daughters for themselves and their sons. Thus the holy seed was mingled with the peoples of the land, and 2 the rulers and officials were the first in this transgression.

Hearing this, Ezra tore his robe and cloak, tore his hair and beard, confessed a "guilt that reaches to heaven," and with great determination made himself the champion of a "purification" of the people. He managed to get everyone who lived in mixed marriages to send their foreign wives and children away. But what at first glance appears to be just an extraordinary undertaking to restore "purity of blood" and self-assertion within a great empire filled with leveling tendencies despite all tolerance, nevertheless became entirely in the religious spirit and in close connection with the ideas of the Judges' time: 'Purity' was not understood primarily as purity of blood, but as purity from the 'atrocities' of the heathen peoples. From this, a commandment is derived in the spirit of Deuteronomy, which was certainly not infrequently broken later, but was never fundamentally questioned: "Therefore you may not give your daughters to their sons as wives, nor 3 may you take their daughters for your sons." However, the other peoples are no longer accused of child sacrifice and orgiastic debauchery as 'abominations', as in pre-exilic times, but precisely 'their happiness and prosperity', which the Israelites should not desire. What Ezra obliges the people to do above all is "the law," actually "the instruction" that he brought with him from Babylonia, ie the Pentateuch, the "Torah," that part of the Old Testament that is at the top in all modern editions stands and seems to reach back into the oldest times. In any case, it was only after Ezra read it publicly that the Torah became the "law of the people of Israel," and observance of the commandments and prohibitions contained therein became the basis of the Jewish religion. So it is not incomprehensible that 'Old Testament scholarship' says that a 'cult community' was founded by Ezra and that something completely new began with it, namely Judaism, which now took the place of the 'people of Israel'. But the Torah was not a new invention; it comprised many ancient and largely oral traditions through which the self-understanding of the 'chosen one

people", the "people of Yahweh", and the reading of the law, like the separation of mixed marriages, meant a reconnection with the old realities of the people of Israel.

Therefore, the thesis is championed by Jewish authors in particular that there is no essential difference between the ancient people of Israel and the new "Jerusalem cult community"; in truth, the subject of history has remained "the people of Israel" up to the present day, and even the alleged cult community has always understood itself as a 4 "people". In the centuries that followed, the people of Israel no longer enjoyed state independence, but they had not only religious autonomy, but also, to a certain extent, political autonomy in a little-noticed corner of the Persian empire. A significant change in the situation did not occur until Alexander the Great overthrew the Persian Empire and those "Hellenistic" kingdoms formed under his successors, the Diadochi, from Macedonia to the Indus Valley, from the southern border of Egypt to the shore of the Black Sea would have exercised world domination if they had not been so at odds with one another. Judea belonged to the Near Eastern or Syrian land bridge over which the Ptolemies and the Seleucids fought and which finally belonged to the Seleucid Empire. "Hellenization" progressed here far more than in Egypt, and with it went hand in hand the emergence of a large Jewish diaspora, the "Galuth" or "dispersion," which was entirely voluntary, however, because the small community in Jerusalem had multiplied greatly, and the Jews were no longer primarily farmers, but they found rich fields of activity in the large cities of the Hellenistic world, in Alexandria as well as in Antioch, as large merchants and small traders. But they consistently held fast to their faith, and their ethical monotheism made a great impression on many of the Greeks, for whom the polytheism of their world of gods was not enough. Despite Ezra, "purity of blood" had not become the supreme principle, and Jewish communities everywhere were opening up to proselytes, even to a certain extent

for the "God-fearing" who, unlike the full proselytes, did not adopt the Jewish law, including circumcision and the Sabbath celebration. On the other hand, Greek customs did not remain unaffected, and numerous Jews adopted Greek names for themselves. An alternating penetration of Hellenism and Judaism thus took place, which meanwhile found not a few opponents on both sides: on the Greek side the first "antiSemitism" was noticeable, and on the Jewish side the "pious" or "zealots" feared that the Hellenization would would result in the demise of the people. However, things only came to a dangerous head when a Seleucid king, Antiochus IV Epiphanés, after taking power in 175, made himself the champion of Hellenization with ideological accents. After the presentation of the two books of the Maccabees and the book of Daniel, an attempt was made to eliminate the special nature of the Jewish people and also of all other peoples of the empire in order to bring a new and homogeneous imperial population into existence. As a sign of willingness, everyone should join the imperial cult, which consisted mainly in the deification of the king - in the Jewish view: sacrifices to idols should be offered. It is remarkable that "many of the people" joined this desire, that it was even promoted by individual high 5 priests,

It is not surprising that the "pious" now saw the annihilation of Israel imminent and prepared themselves for a desperate resistance. The decisive role played by this fear of annihilation is evident in many places in the books of the Maccabees: Antiochus was said to have set himself "to erase even the memory of the Jews," and it seemed to have been a general belief during the wars that followed that "all the peoples around 6 tried to destroy Israel...because they hate us". The point of departure for the "national liberation struggle" was an event that closely resembled a process described in the Book of Numbers

corresponded to: When in the city of Modein the king's officials wanted to induce the population to offer sacrifices in honor of the ruler, the priest Mattatias announced in a firm voice that he, his sons and his relatives remained with the alliance of the fathers and they would obey the commands of the disobey the king. When he saw another Jew approaching the altar to perform the sacrifice, he was "seized with passionate zeal": he stabbed the apostate over the altar and also slew the official; He therefore did, as is expressly emphasized, what the priest Phinehas had done to Zimri, the son of Salu. Very quickly the fire of a national and religious revolt flared up, which was first led by one of the sons of Mattatias, Judas, surnamed Maccabi (hammer), after Mattatias had asked all Jews in his will: »Take revenge for your people. Pay it back to the foreign peoples. Heed 7 what the law commands.” Now a fight begins that vividly reminds of Joshua's conquest of Canaan: Judas marches against the Beonites, and just as he had previously reminded his comrades-in-arms of the salvation of the fathers in the Red Sea, he now remembers the past misdeeds of this people present so that he locks them up in their escape towers and then burns them with all who were in them; in Galilee he slays the entire male population of the enemy cities with a sharp sword, he conquers pagan sanctuaries and burns them together with all those 8th who had fled there, and similar things are repeated in many other places. But if the fear of annihilation, which was all too well founded in view of the balance of power, makes a difference compared to Joshua's genocide, then the fight against "traitors" and "apostates" in one's own people makes the second difference. Judas's successor, his brother Jonathan, "cut off the 9 wicked in Israel," and in the second book of Maccabees it is told, with a twist that is not entirely clear, that at the celebration of victory in Jerusalem Judas' 10 warriors 'burned the men who had set fire to the holy gates'. In any case, at the end of this national-religious struggle for freedom under Judas Maccabeus and his brothers, there was the reestablishment of one

Jewish state under the dynasty of the Hasmoneans—the brother Maccabees and their descendants—a state that expanded the original territory of Judea almost tenfold, exceeding the kingdom of DavidicSolomon in size. Surrounded by dangers and struggling for their political existence, the people of Israel were by no means excluded from history, and one has to agree with the authors who think that a mere "cult community" could not have achieved such a thing. Further evidence of continuity is that, to extol the state of peace under Judas' brother Simeon, First Maccabees quotes the very word from 1 Kings and from the sermon 11 of the prophets Micah and Zechariah quoted earlier has been, Nevertheless, there can be no question of a restoration of Davidic kingship: the rule of the later Hasmoneans was only too disappointing to the "Hazarites", whose support for the Maccabees had been so important, for it differed little from the rule of the royal houses of the Hellenistic states. Thus religious parties formed within the Hasmonean kingdom, above all the Pharisees as successors to those "pious" and alongside them the Sadducees, who were actually the party of the priests and were critical of the emerging belief in individual immortality.

The sect of the Essenes, from which the famous Dead Sea Scrolls originate - those scrolls from the caves at Qumram, only discovered after the Second World War, which are among the oldest written records of parts of the Old Testament, made a complete retreat from the prevailing conditions in Jerusalem and, moreover, give scholarly a deep insight into the mindset of Jewish "dissidents" who wholeheartedly rejected the existing world of injustice and paid boundless homage to their founder, the "teacher of justice."

The "Hellenization" thus went on, but so did the "Judaization" in the Greek cities; evidently, many Jews recognized Hellenistic culture as the higher and more diverse, while not a few Greeks turned to Judaism as the more persuasive religion and ethic. On the one hand, one can say that Judaism, which still saw itself as "the people of Israel," was subject to an enormous process of assimilation that threatened to rob it of its uniqueness; but it is also true that precisely because of this the Jewish religion developed the universalistic approaches that were already contained in the great prophets and also in the Old Testament account of the fate of Abraham, and was therefore on the way to becoming a world religion.

It was hard to imagine, however, that large numbers of Greeks would actually bow to the requirement to become genuine Jews: that is, to undergo circumcision, observe the Sabbath, and observe the hundreds of do's and don'ts of the Torah. A realistic possibility was probably that the "congregations" of the Hellenistic cities, which included both the Jews of the Diaspora and a small number of Greek "full proselytes", were surrounded by large circles of "God-fearers" and that in this way a peculiar synthesis of Judaism and Greece would have come about. In the eyes of the "zealots," however, this development posed a great danger to the purity of the teaching and to the survival of the people of Israel, because it happened more and more frequently that the most educated Diaspora Jews, although subjectively determined pioneers of Judaism, did not speak Hebrew more mastered and only wrote in Greek such. B. Philo of Alexandria; as early as the first half of the third century, the Pentateuch had been translated into Greek by 72 translators, allegedly by order of King Ptolemy II Philadelphos of Egypt; This is how the so-called Septuagint came into being. The resistance of the "zealots" against the process of assimilation gained strength when the independence of the Hasmonean state came to an end at the hands of the Roman Pompeius in the 1960s

Initially, several state entities dependent on the Romans took its place, but they were all ruled by Jewish rulers - the most famous of whom was Herod the Great, who succeeded in once again uniting all of Jewish Palestine and who ruled from 37 to 4 BC . held the throne. Towards the end of his reign, Jesus of Nazareth was born, but although Herod had the Second Temple rebuilt and enlarged in the most magnificent way, he was hated by the zealots who e.g. T. as "sicarians" in the rural areas acted in a terrorist way against Hellenized Jews. After the death of Herod, the Romans abolished the kingship and had parts of the country ruled by – Jewish – »ethnarchs« and »tetrarchs«. The time of Jesus and the following decades formed an epoch of diverse unrest, which was often caused by resistance to Roman tax demands, but was always borne above all by religious hopes for the imminence of an end time in which the rule of Rome, which was often contemptible or filled with hatred called "Edom," would be destroyed by the coming of the Messiah, the Anointed One of the house of David, and replaced by the rulership of God.

Especially during the Jewish festivals, Jerusalem was a dangerous area for the Romans, which the legionnaires only dared to enter with rolled-up banners and veiled field signs, since they always had to fear the outbreak of a great uprising. For this divided country was anything but an indifferent corner on the fringes of the Empire; it is estimated that the total number of all Jews within the Empire was at least five and possibly as many as ten 12 million; about every tenth resident was a Jew. The Diaspora Jews enjoyed considerable privileges, e.g. B. the exemption from the imperial cult; Caesar had already pursued a pro-Jewish policy. All of this, however, weighed lightly against the threat to religion and the hope that the people of Israel would regain national-religious independence, which, however, was by no means supported by the entire population, but mainly by the zealots and sicarians, the "fanatics".

In the year 66 AD the great uprising actually broke out and the Romans suffered a heavy defeat that shook the empire. Not unlike here on the eastern frontier, the empire had suffered a severe defeat on its western frontier a few decades earlier, namely by the annihilation of the legions of Publius Quintilius Varus in the Germanic Cheruscan region - the same Varus who had been the governor of Syria 15 years before his death was. This uprising was also a Jewish civil war; the Zealots secured control of Jerusalem, and large sections of the ruling class were killed or fled. But this time not only, as in the time of the Maccabees, did individual generals of a Hellenistic king go to war against the national-religious fight for freedom of the Jews, but the world-ruling empire called on all its forces, and after a threeyear struggle under the leadership of the future emperor Vespasian, Jerusalem became conquered by his son Titus, the temple was destroyed, and the inhabitants were killed or sold into slavery. The final act did not take place until three years later: the Romans besieged the last stronghold, the fortress of Masada on the Dead Sea, and the zealots under Eleazar who were trapped there committed suicide after valiantly resisting.

Yet for half a century the "destruction of the Second Temple" in AD 70 was not nearly as momentous as the destruction of the First Temple in AD 587. Despite severe punitive measures, the Romans in Judea did not carry out any deportations, and shortly after the defeat the "scribes" were able to set up a kind of academy in Yavneh as a successor institute to the former Sanhedrin (which condemned Jesus to death and handed it over to the Romans for the purpose of carrying out the sentence founded), from where the new existence of Judaism as a community gathered around the Torah and led by scribes began. But the "people of Israel" had not yet completely transformed into the "Jewish community" that could no longer and would 13 not make proselytes,

From the year 114, the Emperor Trajan undertook a campaign against the Parthians, the last dangerous enemies of the Empire, which was at the height of its power and expansion. But when it could not be ruled out that the emperor in Persia would suffer a defeat similar to that suffered by the then triumvir Crassus in 59 BC. A violent uprising broke out among the Diaspora Jews in Egypt, Cyrene, Cyprus and then also in Mesopotamia, which according to Roman reports was carried out with the utmost fanaticism and is said to have cost the lives of 250,000 non-Jews in Cyprus alone. In the midst of this exceedingly dangerous situation, Trajan died, and it was only with great effort that the Romans were able to master the uprising.

So the messianic dreams of the end of Rome had not been mere fantasies, but now the Romans seemed determined to bring about the end of the religion of Judaism, and with it, it was supposed, of Judaism itself. Shortly before, in the annals, when describing the Neronian fire in Rome and its consequences, Tacitus had called the faith of the Christians, whom he consistently took to be Jews, a "fatal superstition" that no longer only existed in Judea, the "starting point of evil". , but also appeared in Rome and was filled with "hatred of humanity," the "odium 14 generis humani." The Emperor Hadrian had Jerusalem rebuilt, but as the Roman city »Aelia Capitolina«, in the center of which stood a shrine to Jupiter. This was apparently intended to symbolize and seal the ultimate triumph of ancient polytheism over Jewish monotheism. The result, however, was another Jewish uprising in the years 132-135, whose leader Simeon ben Koseba was able to seize Jerusalem for a while and have his own coins struck. Jerusalem was not reconquered by the Romans until early 134, and Bar Kochba ("Son of the Stars"), as Simeon was named, died in the fortress of Bet-Ter after a last, desperate resistance. These battles, together with those of 115-117, meant a heavy loss of blood for the Jews - about 500,000 are said to have lost their lives -,

and their bloody struggles for self-assertion and territorial expansion. Only now did it become - as it seemed: definitively - "Judaism". Henceforth the Jews were a small minority in Palestine, which had been their "own land" for more than a thousand years and which they continued to regard as the "Holy Land," the God-appointed homeland of the righteous, but they were also a well-established minority in Babylonia, and the condition of their communities in nearly every major city of the Roman Empire was on the whole good; there could be no talk of systematic persecution by the state. Nevertheless, the situation was extremely dangerous: a people without their own territory and without a political center could all too easily become a mere part of the population in the thousands of places where they lived and then merge into the environment of the many majorities. That it survived as a clearly defined identity was only due to These rabbis were not priests but teachers, and they did not work in temples but in meeting rooms or synagogues, where worship consisted primarily in readings from the Holy Scriptures, the Torah, and in instructions on the do's and don'ts of "the law." duration. Nowhere was there an analogue to this scholarly-led and non-hierarchically structured folk church, but the rabbis should not be considered "intellectuals" in the narrower sense, for they were anything but "free-floating" since they often made their living as craftsmen deserved, and they were by no means "critical," however heated their discussions about the meaning of certain Scriptures were. Doubts about the revealed truth had no place in their lives, and in this respect they were much closer to the priests than to the "critical ones".

Intellectuals«, which also existed in antiquity in the form of the sophists and their successors. Moreover, not every individual was on his own, and while hierarchies were not institutionalized, there were many differences of standing, not least between the "schools," and a word of the great Hillel, from which dynasties of school heads descended, was noted with the greatest attention throughout the Jewish Diaspora. In these schools, for example in the Palestinian Yavneh and in the Babylonian Sura, the Talmud (ie "the doctrine") was worked out in the period up to about 500 AD the Jews of the whole world found the widest distribution and, according to almost universal opinion, made the preservation of a Jewish identity possible in the first place. The Talmud, of which a German translation has been available since 1933 in 14 massive folio volumes, is not, as one might think, an "interpretation of 15 the Scriptures," a commentary on the Torah. Rather, he reproduces discussions in which the rabbis often referred to the Torah, but which primarily served to develop the 'oral Torah', ie the application of the ancient provisions to the diversity of daily life. Therefore, it no longer stayed with the 613 commandments and prohibitions, but they were all varied so much and applied to concrete situations that a huge network of regulations and rules came into being, which made Jewish life something absolutely unique, into which the smallest detail of everyday life was included and thereby sanctified. A 'fence' was deliberately to be placed around Judaism to prevent foreigners from entering, but also to prevent them from breaking out. Thus the Talmud, like the Torah, became an altar around which the people flocked in place of the ruined temple altar, and which was the same throughout the world and accessible to those who belonged. According to all human judgement, the absolutely extraordinary was only possible in this way, that a people defeated after the hardest fighting, robbed of their country and scattered all over the world maintained its identity for many centuries

claimed and at the dawn of modern times was still unmistakably the same as it had been in antiquity. At the same time, however, this book was not the least cause of the persecutions to which the Jews were subjected almost everywhere in the Christian world, for if deviance is all too easy to provoke indignation, then this is especially true of deviance which one feels both enmity against attributed to the rest of the world an unbearable claim to spiritual rule through the future victory of a people's god, who was nevertheless always understood as the god of the world, as the god of heaven and earth. And there was also enough that was strange and repulsive to discover, so that the anti-Judaism of the early modern period was carried not least by converted Jews, who made the Christian environment acquainted with 16 these strange, even repulsive, characteristics. First and foremost is the hostility towards "the peoples" who indiscriminately - including Christianity - are denigrated as "idolaters" or "pagans". Long before the completion of the Talmud, that cursing of heretics and especially of Christians had entered the daily "Eighteen Prayer" to which no similar cursing can be cited on the Christian side:

Let no hope be given to the apostates, swiftly take away the bold government in our days; the Nazarenes and the 17 heretics may disappear in a moment. Wherever Christ is mentioned, he is referred to as an idolater or 18 deceiver, And vice versa, the people of Israel are opposed to all other peoples according to the analogy of light and darkness, yes, there are expressions of downright absurd self-centredness and self-importance such as: "The land of Israel was created first, and the whole rest of the 19 world was created last."

Equally objectionable was the practical requirement that a Jewess should not assist in the birth of non-Jews because doing so would help a follower of idolatry to give birth.


How outrageous he must be

extremely strange arrogance, which accuses the non-Jews of boundless lack of discipline of a sexual nature, but makes a number of very pronounced sexual offenses the subject of which occurred in the Jewish 21 communities, e.g. B. "pederasty committed on a dying man." But all these stipulations were tucked away in an exceedingly tangled body of recitals, quotations, and descriptions in which one could speak, one after the other, of Rabbi Aqiba's martyrdom and of the rules of conduct in the 22 act of defecation.

In fact, it was hardly surprising that from the end of the Middle Ages the Talmud was persecuted in Christian Europe with such vehemence that finally hardly a copy escaped. But anyone who was outraged or surprised in this way had to overlook the fact that true pearls of religious ethics could be found in many no less hidden places, such as the saying: Those who are humiliated and do not humiliate, who listen to their insults and do not return them, who act out of love and rejoice in their sufferings - of them the Scripture says "Those who love him are like the rising 23 of the sun in their power". He also had to overlook the fact that not only was a fence erected around the Jewish people, but especially around the Jewish family, which was an autonomous part of religious life due to the weekly Sabbath celebration and the high position of the housewife despite all patriarchalism. He was not allowed to take on the great role of education, which made this "people of the book" attach the greatest importance to the education of schoolchildren, when even many kings in Europe and even more so the large masses were still illiterate. Certainly this closed existence of the Jewish communities and this astonishing preservation of an endangered identity were not absolutely

singular: the life of the devout Hindu was also embedded in ceremonies and rites from birth to death, and the

Messenians, when driven out by the Spartans, lived scattered throughout the rest of Greece for 300 years without losing their sense of identity and dialect, so that they could eventually be recalled by the 24 victorious Thebans. It should also not be overlooked that the Jews did not live in otherworldly circles of pious pietism, but that they were extraordinarily active and successful in commerce and that common prayer in the congregations was of great economic importance because it created trust and in highly insecure ones times made something like lending possible. Economic historians can report that the Jews, together with the Vikings, dominated the economic life 25 of Europe in the 9th and 10th centuries; the Byzantinists tell that because of the persecutions they suffered in the Byzantine Empire, the Jews turned their sympathies to the invading Islam and contributed significantly to the decline of Christianity in the Near East and ultimately to the catastrophe of the 26 Byzantine Empire; the great part played by the Jews in the heyday of Islamic Spain is well known. Finally, one must not forget that these Jewish communities were far from homogeneous, but showed strong differences between rich and poor and even more between the learned and the 27 unlearned, which sometimes led to articulations of stupendous arrogance. But amidst all these contradictions, and despite the necessary modifications of overly simplistic characterizations, some general theses can be advanced: The people of Israel, who had been the paradigm of historical existence for a full millennium, departed with the destruction of the Second Temple and the aftermath of the years 132- 135 from history, as little as it could escape its vicissitudes, whether privileged or persecuted. But a paradigm nevertheless remained: the paradigm of a purely cultural, ie religious-cultural, existence which, despite the absence of a territory and a state organization, was able to preserve intact the identity of the people.

However, that was only possible because the historical memory of the former historical existence was retained, yes

was intensified. But it also implied that the religious-cultural fence was so solid that it could be felt as a prison from which a breakthrough to freedom had to be sought. At a much later period, a characteristic example was Baruch de Spinoza, who in his Tractatus theologicopoliticus severely criticized Jewish orthodoxy and was expelled from the community. Spinoza would probably have agreed that Judaism had regressed into a narrow-minded national religion by the first century AD, having been well on the way to becoming a world religion in the HellenisticRoman period. But on the one hand, this "national religion" has always maintained the claim that "their" God is the creator and ruler of the whole world, and on the other hand, precisely because of this claim, it became the motherland for two genuine world religions: for Christianity and Islam.

35Christianity If in the 15th year of the reign of Emperor Tiberius (between August 28 and August 29) a Roman tourist had undertaken a journey through Palestine and recorded his observations, nothing would have been further from his mind than the thought that a world religion could derive from this landscape of great Syria which would have conquered the Roman Empire three hundred years later and would have spread to the furthest corners of the then known world. At best he would have mentioned a man from Nazareth, Galilee, who preached in many places and attracted large crowds because of the reputation he had for healing the sick and casting out demons. Perhaps he would have added that this man's sermons were directed against the rich, but they did not call for rebellion against the Romans, as another Galilean named Judas had done some time before; Rather, this man proclaimed peace, which he certainly understood according to Jewish tradition as a "kingdom of God," but which he did not want to bring about by violent means. Apparently he wanted to induce the rich to voluntarily transfer their property to the poor, and if the tourist had been familiar with the modern terms, In fact, what is Jewish about the Jew Jesus, the son of a carpenter, can also be found in the gospels - the stories of his followers - not overlooked, and he probably stood in a very characteristic lineage of tradition in Judaism. Both the Gospel of Mark, written around AD 70 at the earliest, and the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, written about a decade later - i.e. the three "synoptic" Gospels, which differ significantly from the fourth Gospel,

that of John - report at the beginning of another preacher, of "John the Baptist", as whose greater successor they regard Jesus. John is said to have worn a robe of camel's hair and a leather belt about his waist; he lived on locusts and wild honey. Even before the birth of John, Luke has an 'angel of the Lord' announce to his father Zacharias that he 1 will not drink 'wine and other intoxicating drinks'. As an adult he then called on the people in the Judea desert to repent and turn around because "the kingdom of heaven was near"; Countless people went out to him, confessed their sins before him, and were baptized by him in the waters of the Jordan. Jesus was also among them. What is said about John's clothing and behavior is a vivid reminder of one of the strictest schools of Judaism, which is mentioned in several places in the Old Testament, especially in the 35th chapter of Jeremiah. There the Prophet is commanded by the Lord to go to the community of Rechabites and offer them wine. But they answered, We do not drink wine, for our ancestor Jonadab son of Rehab commanded us, "Never drink wine, neither you nor your sons." That is why they did not build houses for themselves, but lived in tents and owned neither vineyards nor fields. It is, therefore, a sect that clung to the traditions of primeval times and denied the development of Israel towards agricultural and urban life, from which in fact originated all the dangers and sins repeatedly scourged by the prophets. Jeremiah clearly expresses his assent to the views of the Rechabites, and he declares as a statute of the Lord that Jonadab son of Rechab should never lack a descendant to serve in his service. So there are good reasons to believe that John the Baptist is a descendant of the To see Rechabiter and under the "heavenly kingdom" he proclaimed, the

Return to the way of life of the time of migration and

to understand early judges. So Jesus would not only be rooted in the Jewish tradition in a very general way, since he incessantly appeals to "the law and the prophets," but in a very specific and distinct part of that tradition. It is true that Jesus is not reported as not having drunk any wine, but the Pharisees often reproached him for his dealings with sinners and tax collectors. For 2 example, the parable of the lilies in the field is linked to this Rechabi tradition.

However, Jesus does not draw the conclusion from this that his followers should return to a pre-agricultural way of life, but he merely urges the disciples that their priority must be the kingdom of God and 3 its righteousness; everything else will then be added to them. However, this kingdom of justice is evidently understood by Jesus as a kingdom of the poor. Therefore he can say that it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom 4 of God, and the Sermon on the Mount contains not only the beatitude 5 of the poor but an explicit condemnation of the rich.

For the rich, the only way to salvation is to give up all their 6 7 possessions, for no one can "serve both God and mammon." One of Jesus' most impressive parables is about the rich glutton and poor Lazarus. Up to the death of both, nothing changes in the contrast in their destinies, but after that the poor man is "carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom", while the rich man has to pay for his former good life with excruciating pain in the underworld and finds all his pleas for relief no 8th answer from Abraham. And Jesus is not satisfied with admonitions and maxims. When he enters Jerusalem on the eve of his crucifixion, he drives all traders and buyers out of the temple; he overturns the tables of the money changers and the stalls of the dove dealers and says: “It is written: My house shall be a house of prayer. But you make a den of thieves out of 9 it.”

The firmness of Jesus in Jewish tradition is nowhere clearer than in the story of his encounter with the Syrophoenician woman, reported in both Mark and Matthew. When Jesus was going to the region of Tire for a short time, this woman, a heathen, came and fell at his feet, asking that an unclean demon be cast out of her daughter so that she would be bound to the sick bed. Jesus replies, "Let the children be fed first, for it is not right to take bread from the children and throw it to the dogs." Thus, in accordance with the most radical Jewish tradition, Jesus equates the "gentiles" with the "dogs." When the woman humbly answered that some of the bread intended for the children also fell for the dogs under the table, Jesus gave in and said that she would find her daughter healthy at 10 home. When he sends out his apostles and gives them power to heal the sick, raise the dead, and cast out demons, he expressly urges them: “Do not go to the Gentiles, nor enter a city of Samaritans, but go to the lost sheep of 11 the house Israel."

When Jesus disputes with the Pharisees, he uses quotations from Isaiah and other prophets against them, and no one contradicts him when, when asked by a scribe about the first of all commandments, he quotes "Listen 12 to Israel" and then the commandment to love one's neighbor.

It is not a denial of Jewish tradition when he contrasts the haughty and self-righteous Pharisee with the (also Jewish) publican who in the temple does not even dare lift his eyes to heaven but beats his breast 13 and prays, "God, be have mercy on me sinner." Even some of the most beautiful and surprising of his discourses drew on Jewish ethics, such as the commandment to love one's enemies. Here he takes up the phrase in the Book of Leviticus about love for one's neighbor, who is clearly understood there as "fellow tribe" and "child of your 14 people", and intensifies it to "love of enemies". But the enemy meant here apparently is still another son of Israel, for it would be nothing special, adds Jesus, if only the

Greetings friends, for that is what the heathen would do. For him, 15 loving one's enemy is apparently an inner-Israeli commandment. If "Christianity" was to emerge and become a world religion, then it had to cease to be a modification of the popular Jewish religion; and then it had to take the step towards universalism, such as was self-evident for Buddha from the beginning. The question is whether this crucial step was already taken by Jesus himself or whether it can be traced back to Paul and then brought into the gospels by his followers. This is the main problem that "New Testament science" faces, but for which a clear "solution" has not yet been found. There is no doubt, however, that the gospels had their effect in the form in which we have it, and in all probability before the end of the first century after Christ's birth. The most radical of the possible interpretations, that Christianity is only indirectly linked to the thoroughly Jewish preacher Jesus of Nazareth, since all non- and even anti-Jewish utterances of Jesus are later additions, cannot be dismissed apodictically, but has little probability for themselves. In the following, the existing text is used as a basis.

The path to universalism has already been taken by the fact that Jesus, when quoting from the proclamation of the prophets, not infrequently picks out and isolates those statements that already have a clear reference to "all peoples" and the "whole world", but usually, read in context, but leave Israel's unconditional priority untouched, for example when Jesus quotes Isaiah's sentence in the context of the cleansing of the temple that God's 16 temple should be a house of prayer "for all peoples". But the uniqueness of Israel is also explicitly denied with regard to the future of Jesus. So the firm belief of a Roman centurion in the healing power of the very words of Jesus astounds him, and he says: I have never found such a faith in anyone in Israel. I tell you, there will be many from the east and from the west

come and sit at table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven; but those for whom the kingdom was destined will be thrown out into outer darkness; there they will 17 weep and gnash their teeth.

The sentence is just as unmistakable: The kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given 18 to a people who will bring forth the expected fruits.

Therefore, the gospel of the kingdom will be "proclaimed in all the 19 world." However, it was only "the Risen One" who gave his disciples the very unambiguous commandments: Therefore go to all nations and make all men my disciples; baptize them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, and teach them to obey 20 all that I have commanded you. But the "expropriation of Israel" (as it might be called) also takes place in the simple parable of the good Samaritan opposed to the "priests" and the 21 "Levites". In the Gospel of John, there is almost always a negative accent on "the Jews," and Jesus does not shrink from the harshest of all accusations: "Your father is the devil, and you want to do what your father 22 asks. He was a killer from the start." The synoptic gospels should, however, already provide proof that Jesus himself, rooted as he was in the mother soil of Judaism, took the step beyond Jewish particularism, which was so difficult to overcome precisely because it had the "national" or " "national" existence of Israel linked most closely with the creator of the world and Lord of heaven and earth. The "New Covenant"

that Jesus proclaimed at the institution of the Lord's Supper


dissolves the

covenant between God and his "chosen people" and makes the

the whole of mankind as a subject, insofar as it becomes a believer and accepts the teachings of Jesus. But what would have been the content of this announcement? It could have been the doctrine of the One God and a Jewish ethic that had become more subtle in parts; even if the result had been a genuine recognition of the equality and equality of the Romans and the Greeks, the Babylonians and the Egyptians, so that the last ties with the tribal and "national" origins would have been severed by renouncing "full proselytism", a world religion would have arisen which would have placed the whole emphasis on earthly life, albeit on the basis of monotheism, of course. Nothing had been further from the Jewish popular religion than to doubt the reality of this "this world" like Buddhism did,

The dissolution of Jewish particularism in favor of universalism, which was also Jewish to some extent, left the realistic and unmysterious character of this religion untouched and formed a clear contrast to the older world religion of Buddhism. But in truth the actual content of Christ's preaching was nothing other than Christ himself: that Jesus is the Christ, that as the "Son of God" he has a completely different relationship to God than other people, and that his death on the cross is the redemption of mankind of the dominion of sin and death. His resurrection from the dead and ascension into heaven confirm this belief, but it did not create it. Christianity is essentially Christology, and it was Christology from the beginning; This is another way in which it differs from Buddhism, for the content of which the much later stories of the divinity or even superdivinity of the Buddha are irrelevant. The question is, however, whether such a christology was already articulated by Jesus himself or whether it was first created by his disciples and especially by Paul, who were faced with the devastating experience of

Jesus' death on the cross, a death roughly analogous to that of the "impalement" and usually only meted out to bad criminals. That Jesus appears as a human being is nowhere clearer in the Gospels than in that moving scene where, shortly before his departure, he utters the cry on the cross: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken 24 me?” (“Eli , Eli, lema sabachtani?” ) Who but a human being could be overwhelmed by such a sense of godforsakenness? But even before that, in the Garden of Gethsemane, when the Sanhedrin's henchmen were looking for him and his handover to the Romans was imminent, "fear and anguish seized him," and he said to his disciples, "My soul is 25 grieved to death."

He prays, "My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me."


Although fully human, Jesus could have been the Messiah

– according to the meaning of the word “the anointed one”, as Christós also means “the anointed one”. But the idea of the Messiah was traditionally linked very closely to the idea of victory, the final liberation of the chosen people, and in the two places where Jesus is expressly called "Messiah" or describes himself as such, it is precisely this idea that is used rejected. Before Jesus announces his imminent Passion for the first time, he asks Peter who he and the other disciples thought he was, and Peter replies, "You are the Messiah," but he immediately 27 goes on, "the Son of the living God." And when Jesus was brought before the Sanhedrin, the high priest Caiaphas asked him: "Are you the Messiah, the son of the Blessed One?" no longer just metaphorically, as the high priest did: "And ye shall see the Son of man seated at the right hand of power, and coming with the clouds of 28 heaven."

It is precisely this statement that the assembled Jews regard as blasphemy and is the reason for the death sentence.

In fact, from the beginning Jesus may not have regarded himself as the "Son of God" only in the sense of speaking of human beings as "children of God", and he uses the term "Son of man" from the book of 29 Daniel for this. Right at the beginning of the Gospel of Mark, Jesus says to the scribes, who take offense at his forgiving the sins of a paralytic man: "You must know that the Son of Man has authority to forgive sins here on earth." And when he speaks of the horrors of the "end times," when the sun grows dark, the moon no longer shines, and the stars fall from the sky, he describes himself as the heavenly power that brings salvation to the chosen: "Then one will see the Son of man coming on the clouds with 30 power and great glory.” Therefore it is only logical when he (after the resurrection) says to his disciples: "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to 31 me". Christianity thus becomes a religion of mystery, over which human reason labors in vain: 'for Jews a stumbling block', 'for Gentiles 32 foolishness', as Paul later put it. How is the eternal God, who of course still bears enough human traits in Judaism and is therefore a "living" God, supposed to have a "son" who would have to be "younger" than he? How is unity to be at the same time a duality, even a "trinity" when the doctrine of the "holy spirit" is added? It is not surprising that Christianity seemed to the Jews, and later to the Muslims, to be a fall from pure monotheism to a special kind of polytheism. Even more mysterious, however, is the teaching that God sacrificed his son, that is, in a certain sense himself, out of love for mankind for their sins. On the other hand, even the strictest monotheism cannot conceive of the stars, earth, plants, animals, and human beings alike as creatures of the Almighty Lord, for even if human beings are servants or slaves of God, they are something different from animals ; in any case, they have a special relationship with God, and to that extent, one must conclude, there is something divine in them. And that the

That the Creator of the World or the Ground of the World cannot be a self-sufficient entity, but must be outgoing for non-divine things to come into existence, can be an indisputable truth and a subject of constant meditation for non-Christian philosophers and thinkers. This mystery does not lie beyond all reason, but it is the real challenge for reason, and the philosophy of German Idealism is for the most part nothing more than a constant circling around this mystery. As a 'mystery religion' of this kind, Christianity opposes Jewish monotheism, Greek polytheism and also the Buddhist doctrine of nirvana in the most unequivocal manner, and at the same time it can ally itself with philosophical reflection on the foundation of the world and the world. But it is just as much an incomparable consolation for the simple people, who are not only promised greater justice in a future life, as in Hinduism, but also eternal preservation and glorification of their individual existence, which of course faces eternal rejection if the unique soul missed the unique opportunity of their earthly existence through unpunished sins. Only through the mystery of the one God, who sends his divine Son into the world for the enlightenment and redemption of men and to suffer in the world,

In the Gospel of John, which has good reason to be separated from the synoptic gospels, Christology appears in a clear form, but also in an easily recognizable influence by Greek thinking, but which may also contain some original goodness about the life and teaching of Jesus. Neither Mark nor Matthew nor Luke could have formulated the opening words of this Gospel: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." 'The Word' is 'the Logos' of which Greek philosophers spoke, and for John this 'Word' is the eternal form of Christ's existence, in whose birth the 'incarnation', the incarnation of the Logos, takes place. So the beginning of the Gospel of John takes the main teaching

of Gnosticism from the pre-existent Logos, but he denies the condemnation of the "flesh" so characteristic of the Gnostic teachings. Even in these early beginnings, then, Christianity demonstrates selfassertion in relation to other religious and philosophical teachings as well as a willingness to adapt and develop. But the Synoptics posed a great threat to the emerging world religion. They handed down some sayings of Jesus which clearly show that he considered the overcoming of this world, his own return and the "end times" to be imminent. Both Mark and Matthew hand down the sentence: 33 "This generation will not pass away until all this has happened."

He even announces to the apostles that they will not even finish 34 their preaching with the cities of Israel "until the Son of Man comes". With this imminent expectation, the future world religion destroyed itself in the bud, because it did not give itself the time to become a world religion. It was therefore unavoidable and yet a difficult task, opposed by the most immediate feelings and hopes of the earliest communities, to say goodbye to this imminent expectation and to envisage a long historical process, which was not allowed to be a state of mere unredeemed. An answer of Jesus to the question of the disciples about the time of the coming of the kingdom of God referred to this: "the kingdom of God" is already among 35 them, and no less the commandment of proclaiming the good news in all the world. This gave the Synoptics the opportunity to draw those great scenes that have touched the hearts of very different people over the centuries and that are entirely dependent on the seemingly banal and everyday or just sad depicting the Son of God and Redeemer of the world: the birth of the child in a stable and its laying in a manger, the devotion offered by the shepherds, the mission of the magi or kings from the East, the calm supremacy of Jesus bound

before the Roman governor Pontius Pilate, the crucifixion between the "thieves," which is at the same time an uprising. No other religion has inspired so many artists to so many depictions, and this fact itself became a powerful factor in the spread of world religion. But the earliest and most powerful impulse came from a single man, the "Apostle to the Gentiles" Paul, whose real name was Shaul or Saul and was a Diaspora Jew from Tarsus. Paul, a Pharisee by spiritual origin, had been among the most zealous persecutors of early Christianity, and then near Damascus he had a life-changing vision. In the book of Acts it is told: (near Damascus) ... it happened that suddenly a light from heaven shone around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, "Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?" He answered, "Who are you, Lord?" He said, "I am Jesus whom you are persecuting. Get up and go into town; 36 there you will be told what to do.” At Damascus, at the same time, it is revealed to a Christian named Ananias that the persecutor of Christians is chosen to become the instrument of God, to bear the name of Christ "before nations and kings and the sons of Israel." Ananias seeks out Paul, who has been blinded by the radiant light, and explains to him the connection between the two visions. “Immediately 37 scales fell from his eyes, and he saw again; he arose and was baptized.” From the very beginning Paul was the most zealous and active Christian, but from the beginning there was also a certain tension with the "early community" in Jerusalem, which Peter and several "brothers of the Lord" presided over, because Paul wrote himself a direct commission based on his vision of Christ and therefore an apostolate in its own right. According to the Acts of the Apostles, the apostles of the early church already had before Paul's conversion

mission to the Gentiles, and before Paul, indeed with Paul's active participation, a "Hellenist" named Stephen had been persecuted and stoned, who in a long speech had reproached the Jews for falling away from the meaning of the law. But the "Hellenists" were also Jews, namely Greekeducated diaspora Jews, and the "Hebrews", mainly led by the "lord's brother" James, were outspoken Jewish Christians who demanded of the converted pagans to accept the Jewish law including circumcision.

Paul brought a whole new dynamic into the half-hearted and hesitant attempts to separate Christianity from Judaism by finding Jewish-Christian congregations in many places on long missionary journeys, but now with great determination equated the "pagans" by as well as the Jewish Christians - freed from the rule of the Jewish "law". Thus he taught the absolute priority of 'faith' over 'works' (which the Torah prescribed) and of 'grace' over 'law'. As 'children of God' and 'joint heirs with Christ', all Christians are equal through baptism and 38 are no longer subject to the law, for 'Christ is the end of the law'. In doing so, Paul by no means denied his origins in Judaism, on the contrary he often emphasized it, but he insisted with the utmost emphasis that the Christians were a "new Israel" in which the Israel of old was both abolished and continued. As clear as the breakthrough to Christian universalism was, Paul did not give up the connection to the motherland of the Jewish religion. And his "faith" opposes not only the law, but apparently also a doubt more rooted in Greek skepticism than in the belief of contemporary Jews, the doubt about the "resurrection of the dead":

If there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised either. But if Christ has not been raised, 39 then our preaching is vain, and your faith vain...

So Paul can basically only build the faith of Christianity in the eventual resurrection of all human beings and thus in the victory over death and sin on the vision that had been bestowed on him before Damascus, and at best he still liked the stories of the older apostles about the Encounters with the Risen One. Buddha was able to base his teaching on an experience that anyone can have at any time, namely the encounter with old age, sickness and death; the conviction of Israel's supremacy might be maintained even if God had not spoken to Moses from the burning bush; but according to Paul's unmistakable statement, the universal religion of Christianity was not only full of mysteries difficult to understand and therefore a scandal and foolishness for nonChristians, rather, it rested on a foundation that was absolutely neither provable nor even demonstrable, but could only be grasped in a strong belief. But this strong faith, this "credo quia absurdum," as Tertullian put it around AD 200, was apparently longed for by countless people in late antiquity, and even before Paul's death Christian communities were closed in almost all the larger cities of the Roman Empire found who had little contact with the Jewish communities. Although even Tacitus was not yet able to clearly distinguish between Jews and Christians, it was the Christians who fell victim to Nero's persecution as 'scapegoats' for the burning of Rome, while the Jews, through Nero's wife Poppaea Sabina, who belonged to the 'God-fearing' or possibly even a full proselyte, were protected. And for Paul himself the opposition to the Jews became fate: when he was once again in Jerusalem around the year 60, the Jews were outraged that he had allegedly taken Greeks with him to the temple. This was a crime worthy of death, and only his status as a Roman citizen saved Paul from being immediately sentenced to death. He was taken to Rome, and there his trace is lost.

By the time of Paul's death, little more than three decades after Christ's crucifixion, Christianity had unmistakably detached itself from its origins in Judaism and had become a world religion, a world religion, however, which at the time was only one of numerous mystery cults seemed to be. It is not the point here to recount the history of Christianity up to its victory under the Emperor Constantine at the beginning of the 4th century, even if it is in the briefest outlines. But very briefly it should be pointed out that because of the centrality of the "God-Man" Christ, Christianity had to develop very different interpretations, which for the most part developed into directions or sects which stood in a different relationship to one another than the directions in Buddhism, which Schools in Judaism and later the religious parties or sects in Islam. By neglecting the development over time, an order can be established which, with a certain necessity, results from the fundamental 40 mystery of Christianity, the divine-human nature of Christ.

The mystery could be resolved by understanding Christ as a mere man, albeit a far superior one, or as a pure God. Arianism, which was to become the religion of most Germanic tribes and states during the Migration Period, was later close to the first view, while the second was adopted by "Monophysitism," which gained great influence in the Oriental churches. If Christ was God but not identical with the Father, then it was natural to subject Him to the Father, and that is what adoptive monarchianism did. But if Christ was regarded as a mode of God the Father's appearance, then the conclusion that the Father Himself suffered on earth in the form of Christ could hardly be dismissed, and this tendency was called "Patripassianism," which, however, could not gain acceptance in the Church. But if the ability to suffer was considered to be absolutely ungodly, then it had to be denied to Christ as well, and then only a "pseudo-body" could have been crucified. This was the doctrine of "Docetism," which was often combined with Gnostic doctrines.

In the 'Logos Christology', as it becomes visible at the beginning of the Gospel of John, Christ's subordination to the Father could be assumed, but also that God the Father and the Logos were of the same origin. This gave rise to the great dispute between the "Homoiusians", who only assumed a similarity in character, and the Homousians, who spoke of equality in character. This was by no means a mere tongue-twisting difference, as modern people are fond of assuming, for the unmitigated mystery of Christianity can be preserved only when a single "substance" is represented in three persons. It was precisely this teaching of the Athanasian that was made dogma by the Council of Nicaea in 329.

The question of the 'return of the Lord', which in the form of 'imminent expectation' would have prevented the further development of Christianity, was not quite as contested because it was largely decided by practice and the course of time. The solution was to say that the day of the Lord would not come until all people had had an opportunity to be converted and Satan had appeared as the 41 "Antichrist." A violent reaction against the institutionalization of offices in the church was Montanism, which tried to revive the spirit of 'prophetism', but was soon defeated by the 'official church'. Marcion's teaching was even more quickly condemned as heresy, which one could call radicalized Paulinism, because Marcion most harshly opposed the God of the New Testament as the God of love to the God of the Old Testament as the God of vengeance and hatred. Here too, as in the case of Greek science, an anticipatory outlook is permissible, which at the same time makes it clear that, despite the strange terminology, there was no talk of curiosities. If the world religion of Christianity was so closely tied to a mystery impenetrable to the intellect, the mystery of the God-man, if serious differences of a dogmatic nature and inner-Christian 42 struggles fought with great fanaticism, yes, wars developed, could and must result from it

shouldn't a "secularization" emerge in the end, which in this form was only possible on the basis of this religion? The example of the third great world religion, Islam, should shed light on the answer to this question, for Islam is the religion par excellence without any mysteries.

36Islam If you look at Islam from early Christianity, you find yourself in a completely different world. Palestine, it is true, borders on deserts, but on the whole it was and is a green and hilly country, full of streams, springs and wells; the Arabian Peninsula, on the other hand, is a gigantic desert plain dotted with only a few oasis cities like Mecca and Medina; the founder of Christianity worked through his sermons and suffered an ignominious death in spite of his peace sermons; the founder of Islam was, in the last decade of his life, a general and conqueror who commanded his followers to crush the infidels in the "holy war" and to win the whole world to the faith; Christianity endured three centuries of persecution; the followers of Islam had already conquered a large part of the then known world 20 years after the death of Muhammad; Jesus continued the faith and traditions of his people, which he then led beyond himself; Muhammad fought the traditional polytheism of the Arab tribes with indomitable firmness and adopted not a little from the beliefs of the Jews and Christians; even the earliest adherents saw Jesus as the "Son of God," and this already marked a difference from Jewish monotheism; Muhammad, on the other hand, always remained a human being for the Muslims, and the oneness of God is emphasized in Islam at least as much as in Judaism; Insofar as the teaching of Christianity is a modified enhancement of Jewish ethics, it could also have arisen without Jesus, but it is hardly conceivable that Islam would have come into existence without Muhammad, for nothing is known about parallel phenomena.

Muhammad ben Abdallah was born in Mecca around 570. Although he was a member of the ruling tribe of the Quraishites, his clan, the Banu hashim, were among the less wealthy and

influential. He lost his parents early and grew up in an uncle's house. His environment was therefore the tribal and clan system of the Arabs, who were mostly nomads and to a small extent settled in the oases. Even the most important of the oasis cities, Mecca, was at best a tribal state in which the mutual protection of blood relatives was the most important factor.

Muhammad took part in caravans with his uncle, certainly in a subordinate position, and one may call him a 'camel driver' who, 1 moreover, was illiterate or, as he calls himself, an unlearned man. But on these journeys, which probably took him as far as Syria, he came into contact with Jews and Christians, and the most important educational material that he absorbed was the Old Testament, which at that time was by no means primarily a "book", but a living narrative. Thus Muhammad brought back to Mecca great respect for the 'People of the Book', namely Jews and Christians, and there he married the rich merchant's widow Chadija, in whose service he had entered. So he was no longer poor when his first revelations came to him, and he did not preach primarily to the poor. Rather, he proclaimed the unity of God, and at the same time set in motion the overcoming of tribalism, for his followers knew no differences in their blood origins and already represented what was later called the "nation of Islam." was identical with the community of believers, the 'umma'. Of course, the "revelations" that he received after his explanation from the angel Gabriel and first spread orally, but later also dictated to scribes, met with much resistance, and some of his followers were forced to emigrate, sometimes to Ethiopia, sometimes to another of the Arab oasis cities, after Jathrib, which later received the name Medina. In addition to two Arab tribes, three Jewish tribes were resident in Yathrib, and Muhammad initially had a good relationship with them, so that in the face of increasing oppression in Mecca in 620 it was possible for him to meet with a number of believers

to 'flight' to Medina, that 'Hedschra' from which the Islamic calendar begins. In Medina, Muhammad also had to contend with great difficulties at first, since he and his followers lacked an economic basis and the three Jewish tribes of the Qaynuqa, the Nadir and the Qurayza, who together formed the majority of the population, did not provide any help. The way out and at the same time the beginning of the warlike existence of Islam came about when, in the middle of the month of Radjab, holy for the pagans, Muhammad had a surprise attack carried out against a Meccan caravan, which brought rich booty. Muhammad wanted to continue this kind of forays, which as such was not uncommon among Arabs, and he ambushed a rich caravan at Badr, after calming the concerns of followers and other Medina people about the choice of the holy month with a new revelation. However, the Meccans received news of the plan and advanced with a vastly superior army. To their own astonishment, however, the Muslims won a great victory, and the result was a mighty increase in Muhammad's prophetic self-confidence: Allah was visibly on his side and he would surely continue to grant victory and spoils. So he decided to eliminate the Banu Qunayka Jewish merchant tribe, who occupied a strategic part of the city and had been a nuisance to him for some time. He urged these Jews to convert to Islam, and when they refused, he had their neighborhood besieged. The other Jewish tribes did not come to their aid, and so the tribe had to capitulate after 14 days. Muhammad banished these Jews to Syria and could now almost consider himself master of the city. But he suffered a severe setback when the Meccans advanced on Medina with an army of 3,000 men. At Mount Uhud they won a clear victory over the Muslims, and Muhammad saved his life with difficulty.

The Meccans, however, did not take advantage of their victory, and "the 2 armed prophet" had to try his weakened reputation in Medina

to restore. He did this by attacking the second Jewish tribe, the Banu Nadir, who received no help from either their Arab allies or the rest of the Jews. They, too, had to capitulate after a fortnight's siege, and all their possessions were confiscated if they could not carry them away on their camels. So there was rich booty, part of which Muhammad kept for himself. Again a new revelation justified an unfamiliar course of action on the part of Muhammad. He had caused the palm trees of the Nadir to be cut down, contrary to the unwritten laws of war, and now it has been revealed through his mouth to the believers that this work of destruction 3 was done with the permission of Allah. But the dispute with Mecca was not yet settled, and Muhammad continued to raid Meccan caravans. Now he turned against the last Jewish tribe, the Qurayza. Another siege set in, and again, after almost four weeks, the end was surrender. This time the Prophet showed no mercy. Graves were dug in the marketplace of Medina and all the men of the tribe, probably numbering nearly a thousand in all, were beheaded - only four of them bought their lives by converting to Islam. The women and children were sold into slavery or distributed among the victors, and Muhammad, who no longer lived in monogamy as he once did with Chadija, chose one of the women as his slave. So it was a full-blown genocide, Muhammad's attitude toward Jews and Christians had become increasingly hostile in Medina, and ties with the Jewish religion were also now severed, with the mandate that daily prayer be performed in the direction of 4 Mecca rather than Jerusalem. More importantly, Muhammad was no longer 5 satisfied with being the last prophet, the "Seal of the Prophet," to conclude the long series of Moses about Jesus, but that he now assigned an independent origin to Islam by making Abraham its forefather

who founded the sanctuary of the Ka'ba in Mecca and - neither a heathen nor a Jew - was the first Muslim at all. The fourth victory over a Jewish tribe, the inhabitants of the wealthy oasis of Khaybar, was a prelude to the peaceful conquest of Mecca, which in 630 AD finally made Muhammad master of the Arabian Peninsula. In Khaybar, Muhammad did not allow genocide to be committed, but set an example for the coming treatment of the victorious Islam with the "People of the Book": the Jews were allowed to keep their possessions, but had to hand over half of the proceeds to the Islamic victors. This transformation of the defeated 'People of the Book' into 'charges' (dhimmis) who had to pay heavy taxes remained in force later, but the regulations governing the treatment of captive pagans, and especially the apostates, were much 6 harsher, for they all had to be put to death . Muhammad only survived the hitherto greatest triumph of his religion by two years, 632 he died in the arms of his favorite wife Aisha, who had been married to him at the age of nine and who, like Muhammad's cousin and son-in-law Ali and his close followers Omar and Uthman, was still expanding of this triumph on Syria, Egypt and Persia. Under the command of the second caliph, Omar, enthusiastic religious warriors fought on the Islamic side, who were no match for the Persian mercenary armies or the Byzantines, who fought off several attacks against Constantinople only with great effort and with the successful use of "Greek fire". could.

Only twenty years after Muhammad's death, Islam was firmly established as a new and very peculiar world religion, and he was able to make a distinction to which a faint analogy only later appeared in Christianity: the distinction between the Islam-dominated "dar alIslam", the area of peace, from the area of the infidels, the "dar alharb", the war zone, with which only armistices but no peace treaties could be concluded until the final triumph of the Islamic "kingdom of God".

However, Islam not only carried the sword before it, but also its "holy book", the Koran. This contains the revelations that Muhammad received in 114 »suras«, which were only collected by his scribes after his death and put into book form. What they all have in common is the repeatedly inculcated proclamation that God (Allah) is unique, omnipotent, but also 7 all-merciful. This immediately results in turning against Christianity, which is accused of abolishing the uniqueness of God through the concept of the "Son of God." The idea of predestination also inevitably resulted from this, since no independent nature can be ascribed to the human will. So genuine sins as in Judaism cannot actually exist, but in later Islam there are tendencies that advocate a certain freedom of human will. On the other hand, it is not a compelling conclusion if the belief of later Jews and Christians in the future resurrection of the dead is accepted without restriction. But the descriptions of paradise as the future abode of the believers and of the hell fire in which the unbelievers will have to "roast" are of an extraordinary vividness and sensuality, and in the authoritative literature of all world religions it is unlikely that a single book can be found that is so 8th filled with threats of hell. Most of these threats are aimed at those who disobey the commandments of the Prophet and are often called "infidels" for that reason alone, and only a small part of these commands or commands derives from belief in the one and only God. This is most likely to apply to those commandments that have always been considered the "pillars of Islam" since then - alongside belief in Allah and his prophet Muhammad: ritual prayer, almsgiving, fasting in the month of Ramadan and finally the pilgrimage to Mecca. But the cutting off of the hands of thieves is also enjoined, and the drinking of wine, gambling and casting lots, and the making of images, especially depictions of the human face, are forbidden. The regulations on the distribution of spoils also count

the commandments and no less the command about the treatment of unbelievers: … I will put fear into the hearts of those who disbelieve; therefore cut off their heads and cut off all the ends of their fingers; this was because they opposed Allah and 9 His Messenger. Very far removed from Christ's statement: "I and the Father are one", Muhammad is hardly in his practice, but with him even the most banal commands can be made into commandments of Allah. Almost the entire historical content of the Koran is a simple rendering of stories from the Old and New Testaments, often based on misunderstandings and ignorance. Thomas Carlyle's corresponding verdict on the Koran is therefore only too understandable: "...a wearisome, tangled mess, badly structured, endless 10 repetitions, full of fuss, lengthyness, in short: unbearable dullness".

On the other hand, Carlyle felt great admiration for the personal qualities and achievements of Muhammad, and there is no doubt that no other world religion was as successful as Islam under the founder and within a few decades after his death. Last but not least, the lack of mystery mentioned at the end of the last chapter may have contributed to this success. The assertion that Muhammad is the "Messenger of Allah" and the "Seal of the Prophet" involved no mystery like Christianity's belief in the Son of God, and required no intellectual effort and ascetic self-torture as did the Buddhist belief that Buddha was the "fully enlightened one" and had shown the way to salvation in nirvana - it was nothing more than an extraordinary claim, Belief in the one and only God was already too widespread in the world, particularly through Judaism, to be specific to Islam, and of all possibilities, its origin and

The reason for thinking of the world as a person was the simplest and particularly clearly oriented towards human, namely manual activity. The idea of the terrible punishments in hell, which was not lacking in Buddhism either, was so obvious as a threat against enemies that there was nothing mysterious about it. The paradise that was promised to the believers was so much just an improved picture of this world, devoid of impermanence, that the qualitative difference between the present world and future bliss, so marked in Buddhism and always unmistakable in Christianity, was obvious , became obsolete. As a mystery-less Islam was at the same time a simple religion. No commandment to "love one's enemy" stood at odds with the elementary sentiments of the masses. The rule of fasting was easy to fulfill because it was limited to the times of day of the month of Ramadan. Prayer or meditating was a matter of course in all religions; the giving of alms increasingly meant nothing other than the fulfillment of one's tax obligations, and the commandment to make a pilgrimage to Mecca had in mind a unique event, albeit a difficult one for many believers. But in spite of this, or even because of this, Islam was by no means a religion that touched people only superficially; rather, it pervaded the whole everyday life of the believer, from early morning to late evening and from infancy to death. Although the believers were not surrounded by such a dense network of regulations as the Jews of the Talmud, the believer had to say the ritual prayer, the salat, five times a day, and in doing so he not only had to bend the knee, but had to prostrate himself before God in the attitude of ancient oriental proskynesis. He was summoned to do this five times a day, the first time early in the morning, by the unmistakable calls of the muezzin, and at least midday on Friday prayer had to be performed in community with other believers, mostly in the mosques. Of which religion could there be more impressive to report than the fact that at least once a week a certain

Time in large parts of the world throwing millions and millions of people to the ground in prayer! What was the ringing of the Christian church bells in comparison to the long-resounding calls of the muezzin from the minarets of the mosques, how little was the knee-bending of the Christians different in comparison to the everyday posture! And the law of Islam was by no means limited to religious services, but at the same time determined the "secular" law of everyday life as "Sharia". In fact, a spiritual sphere could not be distinguished from a "secular" one, and this indistinguishability was certainly also connected with the fact that there was no separate class of priests and certainly no priestly hierarchy.

According to all assumptions, however, it is more natural for people to live in an undivided world that is both religious and political than to feel that they belong to separate spheres. In this respect, Islam preserved a primacy of human existence far more than Christianity, and in its unmysteriousness and simplicity it could lay claim to being the universal religion better than Christianity - in fact, Christianity was never able to do the same for its believers to merge into a "Christian nation" just as Islam united them into the "nation of Islam". A truly splendid picture can thus be drawn of the Islamic world around AD 900 or 1000: from Gibraltar to the Indus Valley, from the foot of the Pyrenees to the cataracts of the Nile, men throw themselves day after 11 day the respective region or at least their ruling class on the ground five times a day in front of one god, they say their prayers in the beautiful Arabic of the Koran, all countries are dotted with mosques of very similar construction; the Prophet's successor, the Caliph in Baghdad, is also the "leader"; the notion is widespread that the realm of believers will soon extend to the borders of the earth and that all of mankind will be united in a religious and moral kingdom of peace. When would the "unity of mankind" have been realized to such an extent? And even in the intermediate historical stage, when there was still a "war zone," significant steps were already being taken toward another

greater unity: Christians and Jews, as the “owners of the Scriptures”, were distinguished from the “pagans” or “idolaters”, and so the Christian world of East Roman-Christian Byzantium and the formerly West Roman, Germanic-Romanesque Occident could be regarded as a kind of expectation land, which also exhibited a certain unity, but by no means as pronounced. But this picture is highly idealized. So much is correct that in Islam there were never serious dogmatic differences like those between Arians and Athanasians in early Christianity, that the culture was everywhere the same in its basic character and was literally "obvious" to foreign travelers as soon as they crossed the borders, that all Muslims felt they belonged primarily to the "Islamic nation" and not to an Arab or Persian or Egyptian nation-state. But there were very specific disputes, some of which were resolved through wars or uprisings, and even in its best times, the Islamic world was far removed 12 from genuine political unity. The earliest of the great issues was that of the succession to Muhammad. The first two caliphs, Abu Bekr, who reigned for only two years, and the great conqueror Omar, were close associates of Muhammad and members of the Quraish aristocracy, but apparently a particularly high rank was ascribed to the Prophet's relatives and descendants, and the third caliph, Uthman was a son-in-law of Muhammad. He was assassinated after a reign of twelve years, and his place as the fourth caliph was taken by another son-in-law of Muhammad, Ali, the husband of his favorite daughter Fatima, who was also his cousin. In 661 he was also murdered. However, most of his followers did not recognize the succession to Muawiyah as legitimate, and the resulting fighting killed Ali's sons, Hassan and Husein, the prophet's grandsons. This is how the first quasi-confession in Islam was formed, that of the Shia. One could call the Shia "legitimists," but not only did they take a different stand on the question of succession, they displayed a far higher regard for the imamate as a fundamental institution, and they quickly developed a martyrdom cult around the fallen and im

Mesopotamian Karbala buried prophet's grandson. Thus the legitimists in particular became a revolutionary element in Islam, and even in the twentieth century world-historical consequences arose from the fact that the Shiites, who, in contrast to the majority "confession" of the Sunnis, produced a kind of clergy, had their main strength in the country that was most clearly shaped by a distinct and powerful tradition, namely Persia.

Thus the quasi-sectarian antagonism combined with the quasinational between Persians and Arabs, and both forces, partly allied, partly identical, played a considerable part in the overthrow of the Umayyad house and the founding of the Abbasid Caliphate in Baghdad by the descendants of Muhammad's uncle Abbas . Under this caliphate, the Sunnis, who still form the great majority of the followers of Islam, held their ground, but the strange development took place that the ShiitePersian house of the Bujids became the actual power in Baghdad in the first half of the 9th century ruptured, so that the caliph was little more than the spiritual leader. In this way, an analogue of the Western distinction between the worldly and the spiritual realm was temporarily established in Islam. Around the same time, a Shia dynasty, the Fatimids, derived from the Prophet's daughter Fatima, established an independent rule in Egypt. Thus the whole area of Islam divided into a number of political or dynastic parts as a result of the principle of descent, but no doubt in close connection with pre-existing differences between countries, regions and language groups, and historians of Islam have learned much from the Twelver and the Seventh Shia, the Tahirids, the Saffarids, the Ghaznarids, the Seljuks and many other dynasties as well as the four major schools of law of the Sunna.

Three directions are of particular interest. Even earlier than the Shiites, the Kharijites formed around Ali, and Ali was murdered by a Kharijite. They were, one might say, the revolutionary-democratic wing of Islam, they opposed it

dynastic principle, which under the Abbasids led to the paradox that in the midst of the egalitarianism of Islam (admittedly only in principle and by no means also factual) the ancient oriental despotism experienced a rebirth. In the view of the Kharijites, piety should be the sole criterion in the selection of caliphs, and since piety is even more difficult to define and measure than blood ties, the Kharijites, as their name suggests, were a rebellious, seditious element throughout the world area of Islam, but they too were "conservative revolutionaries" who sought to restore the early days of Islam, while the Shia, and within them the Ismaili sect that still exists today, are entirely dependent on the future reappearance of the disappeared seventh Imam and that of him the "kingdom of justice" to be achieved.

The Mutazilites, on the other hand, formed the "liberal" group in Islam, and discussions of free will and related philosophical questions developed in their circles. Without their participation, it would hardly have been possible to productively absorb Greek and especially Aristotelian thought, as it was accomplished in the works of Ashari, Avicenna (Ibn Sina) and Averroes (Ibn Roschid) and then also, largely through Jewish mediation, into the West reached. Sufism, the school of "mystics" in Islam, influenced in part by Gnosticism, Neoplatonism, and Buddhism, brought out the mysterious and irrational element of mystery so absent from Sunni legal religion. Here God and man were not confronted as the commander and the obedient, the ultimate goal was rather the union of man with God in that "vision" that went beyond all recognition of things and material connections, which the mystics of all times strived for and now also in Islam ideas such as »becoming God« or merging with God became possible. But it is certainly incorrect to ascribe to Islam a unity free from particularisms, or to ascribe it as a mere religion

of obedience to simple beliefs and rules of life, it remains undeniable that it has a closer relationship to the state than the other world religions, since from its beginning it was both a religion and a state and, despite all factual divisions and differences, it has always been part of it of this unit. On the other hand, he preached the equality of all believers and in this respect rejected the social stratification that seems to be characteristic of every state. However, he took no offense at "rule" as such, for the second caliph, Omar, already referred to himself as the "ruler of the faithful," and the rulership of the Muslims over the "protégés" was and remained a fundamental reality in all areas of Islam .

Bschema of historical existence

37Domination, stratification, state Anyone who makes rule, stratification, and the state the subject of a "scheme of historical existence" and thus does not want to tell stories of rulers, social conditions, and the fate of states must first look back to the earliest human, even pre-human, times. This is what we did in the first part, and we shall come back to it in hints shortly. But we do not just coincidentally link up with Islam as the third of the great world religions. The world religions are also a historical existential, although in the period of the »early high cultures«, which extends to about 500 BC. extends, are not to be shown, unlike "the religion" as such. Islam can be viewed as an ideal-typical pole within the manifestations of the state and thus also of domination and stratification. It is not a "church" but also a "state" from the outset, a church state, if you will, or a theocracy. As a doctrine of the one God and of the proclamation of the Messenger of God, Muhammad, it is a state that wants to make its own statehood superfluous because it considers it its destiny to expand over the entire earth, thus becoming a "world state". and to deny that plurality which, throughout history up to now, has constituted the innermost character of every state: that it was a state among other states and involved in struggles for its – defensive or offensive – self-assertion. A "world state" is therefore no longer a state; unless,

The Islamic State is one in its idea, and as a "zone of peace" it ceaselessly diminishes the "zone of war" by converting the unbelievers into believers or subjugating them. The 'world state', which is no longer a state but the 'kingdom of God', has thus stepped out of 'historical existence'. But he is by no means "free from domination," for Muhammad's "representatives" will continue to be necessary, who will give the whole of humanity that right direction that was exercised by the first four "rightly guided caliphs" over the earliest community. Nor will the Islamic kingdom be without social strata, for one of the five 'pillars', almsgiving, would become obsolete if there were no longer any differences between the poor and the rich.

There is no question that the historical reality of Islam, which very rapidly developed within itself a plurality of states, corresponds only very imperfectly to this ideal type, and the repeated appearance of movements demanding a return to the purer beginning times is a internal Islamic proof of this. But it was they who always made a significant contribution to ensuring that the original impulse was not completely lost and that there was no complete break between ideal and reality. In Buddhism there is only a rudimentary correspondence to this, for "the world" here has too little reality content, as a process of "samsara" it is too much "maya" and illusion for its unification and establishment to be a religious goal. But as early as the third century BC there was the 'Buddhist state' of Emperor Ashoka, and Lamaism in Tibet was a distinct 'papal state'. A Buddhist final stage of this world was therefore conceivable, which would have corresponded to the concept of a "Third Kingdom" of the spirit, namely the monks, developed by Joachim of Fiore around 1300 AD.

The analogy in Christianity is much more tangible, but at the same time it experiences an essential relativization. The spread of Christianity over "all peoples" is seen in the gospels as a result of "preaching" and not of a state-like conquest. This sermon essentially serves the 'soul salvation' of the individuals, who of course at the same time as a whole form the 'mystical body of Christ'. That is why Christianity is "church" in the proper sense, ie a community of believers separated from the state. But already under the sons of Constantine Christianity became the state church, and in the Byzantine Empire Christianity and state were almost identical. In the Western Roman Empire, during the storms of the Migration Period, some popes and many bishops took on the state task of protecting the population; Without the clergy and the monks, the self-assertion of the kingdoms of the early Middle Ages, even of the Merovingian and Carolingian kingdoms, is scarcely imaginable. In the \endash In the 19th century the church, which knew how to collect money from all over the Catholic world and channel it to Rome, was far more "state" than the states, most of which were still extremely imperfectly organized "associations of people". For a moment it might have seemed as if the extraordinary claims of Popes Gregory VII in his Dictatus papae and Boniface VIII in the bull Unam Sanctam could not imply "Caesaropapism" as in the Byzantine Empire, but "Papo-Caesarism" bring about the direct dominion of 1 the chief priest over the formerly western Roman part of the world.

Although these attempts quickly failed, "Christianity" saw itself as a unit and fought against Islam during the Crusades; The Spanish and Portuguese "conquistadors" still saw their task as part of a "Christianization of the world." But the reality, at least in the early days, was annihilation rather than conversion of the Indians, and Bartolomé de Las Casas was just one of many voices condemning and denouncing the nationalization or secularization of the Church. The culmination of this secularization has long been the age of the Renaissance popes and in particular the Borgia pope Alexander VI.

and Nietzsche, as is well known, delighted in the idea that Alexander's son Cesare Borgia could have become pope and thus the church would finally have been unmasked as what it basically always was, namely as an institution 2 of striving for power and the will to rule. But even more revealing than the murderous deeds of Cesare Borgia and the love life of his sister Lucretia (although distorted by rumors and expedient propaganda) was the fact that the "reform Pope" Paul III, elected in 1534, therefore by Alexander VI. had been made a cardinal because he had previously been the lover of his 3 beautiful sister Giulia. Can a worse decline of a universal church be imagined? And yet the original impulse remained alive in Christianity, and it brought about both the Reformation and the far-reaching reforms of the Council of Trent.

However, the idea of a Christian "world state" never had the same relevance as the corresponding idea in Islam, because the "kingdom of God" was never understood, apart from a few "heretics", as a worldly, earthly kingdom. Rather, all end-time expectations played precisely the coming rule of the "Antichrist" played a major role, and this rule was only abolished by the "Last Judgment", the consequence of which was the acceptance of the just into heaven and the banishment of sinners into hell. And with the Reformation, the dogmatic differences between the Christian "denominations" became so great that a unified Christian kingdom in the end could no longer be taken seriously as a goal. All that could be striven for was the extension of "Christian civilisation" to the ends of the earth, but this did not negate the existence of the "Christian world of states". However, the transcendental claim of the world religions to overcome statehood could be adopted in a weakened form by individual states and peoples and transformed into the demand for their own world domination, for example by the Germans as bearers of the Holy Roman Empire or by the English of Oliver Cromwell. But such a claim of individual peoples to world domination is not specific

connected with the world religions, because it was raised by Assyrians, Persians and Romans. The ideal-typical pole in the spectrum of statehood from the point of view of negation or affirmation must be seen on the side of negation as the nolonger-state "world state" of Islam, the earthly kingdom of God of humanity that has come to unity in faith. At the opposite end of the spectrum would be the affirmation of the state as such. It is not easy to find a single example of this, for self-affirmation seems to be the basic character of any state that is not shaped by the spirit of a world religion. Such a will to one's own limitations is most likely to be found where a foreign claim to world domination is felt to be a threat. Paradoxically, a fourth world religion can be cited as an example, namely the "half",

The preaching of the prophets contains a universal claim, because it also sees the only God, the God of Israel, as the Lord of all peoples, but it is still evident to a large degree as a rejection of the extremely real claims of "Assur" and "Marduk" to world domination defensively, and although all peoples are to come to the holy mountain Zion for the purpose of worshiping Yahweh, no expansion is postulated for Israel, but the chosen people also remain chosen in the world-wide kingdom of peace prophesied by Isaiah insofar as it forms a community of righteous 4 people , each sitting "under his vine and under his olive tree." Admittedly, this community of holy and righteous people, which is enclosed within fixed borders set by God himself, is apparently no longer a state in the proper sense, since everywhere swords are forged into sickles, but it still retains its distinctive individuality, because of Israel's disappearance in there is no mention anywhere of humanity melted into one. The mass of ordinary

States that all agree on the will to assert themselves, however this selfassertion is conceived, as an outreach or as a defence. But then another distinguishing feature comes to the fore, namely the relationship to internal power, to the superiority and subordination of the various strata and to the exercise of power as such. Two famous examples from ancient Greece are particularly suitable to illustrate the range that results from this point of view: the paradigmatic dominating and oppressive state of the Spartans on the one hand and the national state of the Athenians, which minimizes domestic political power relations, on the other . The Spartans were part of those "Dorians" who penetrated from the north into present-day Greece from about 1200 and defeated the - also IndoEuropean - "Achaeans" of the Mycenaean era and in some cases subdued or ousted them. The Spartans settled in the middle of the Peloponnese by subjugating the local Achaean and partly pre-Indo-European population and finally conquering the large plain of Messenia, whose inhabitants, although of Doric origin, were also made "helots". These helots had to till the land that the Spartans had divided among equal "landless people," and this enabled them to continue to think of themselves and behave exclusively as "warriors." In mythical antiquity they had received a constitution from "Lycurgus" that found many admirers throughout Greece - not least Plato - because it secured or restored the equality of free warriors, the comrades in the conquest, and the emergence of greed and luxury effectively prevented. With the introduction of iron money, practically all trade with foreign countries was prevented, the compulsion of men to eat together (»syssitien«) reduced family life and its corrupting effects on warriors to a minor extent; the upbringing of boys and girls was geared entirely towards physical fitness; weak or deformed children were killed by order of "elders."

'Reading and writing', says Plutarch in his treatise on Lycurgus, 'they learned only as much as they needed; all the rest of their education was directed towards their learning to obey punctually, to endure hardships, and 5 to win in battle.” No one practiced a "low trade"; all were convinced that they did not belong to themselves but to the fatherland. Urban life was unknown to them, "Sparta" consisted of five or six villages, and the state 6 was repeatedly compared to a "camp". However, there was no single royal family that exercised power, for there were always two kings officiating side by side, who had to come from the two royal families, but were nevertheless elected in a certain way. Rulers were most likely the elected ephors, who represented a kind of moral police and constantly increased their power. More powerful than any government regulations was the attitude of the mothers, who expected their sons to return to Sparta "with the shield or on the shield" from warlike undertakings, and who often enough even wished their sons to die heroically because it was for them was an honour. In general, however, the Spartans did not pursue a warlike foreign policy of their own accord; rather, the discipline and equality of youth and men served a domestic purpose above all, namely the suppression of those helots whose work made the existence of the "encampment" possible in the first place. If the Spartans showed a certain stratification only in so far as the so-called perioce (residents) did not enjoy full civil rights because of their distance from the villages of the war camp, Since the helots far outnumbered the Spartans, fear of rebellion by the oppressed permeated the whole life of the lords, and the helots were not so much the basis of an outward-looking warrior's existence as their suppression was the very purpose of that existence. The helots were not actually slaves, but rather something like serfs, and they even had to go to war with their masters as helpers, but it must be absolutely unique in world history that the ephors officially defeat the helots year after year

Declared war so that they could be killed without bloodguilt. At night, the young members of the "crypteia," a type of secret service, roamed the country killing every helot they saw. Every year the helots were flogged so that they would never lose the consciousness of being servants. In the history of the Peloponnesian War, Thucydides even relates that the Spartans pretended to release and even crowned those helots, 2000 in number, who had distinguished themselves the most in the war, but then killed them all as a dangerous elite. To secure their rule, the Spartans committed genocide in the form of the murder of a "potentially leading class," just as Joshua had set in motion genocides to conquer the land and how the Assyrians destroyed the northern kingdom of Israel by deporting the leading class. If ever there was a state in which a ruling class kept the far more numerous class of the oppressed in fear and terror through an unmissable 7 state terror, then it was the state of the Spartans, There was no radical difference between the state constitution of the Spartans and that of the Athenians insofar as the citizens of Athens were also a detached class whose economic existence depended to a large extent on the work of the slaves or the "foreigners," the "metics." But even if the ordinary Athenian, even at the time of Pericles, spent a great deal of time in fulfilling his civic duties, he still practiced a profession as a rule, and the urban conditions made Athens from the outset far more industrial than the five villages who could and wanted to be Spartiates. The history of Athens also begins with a strong contrast between classes, but this is not about a conflict between the ruling Athenians and the subjugated non-Athenians, but about the quarrel between rich and poor Athenians, which is partly related to the quarrel between the city dwellers and the rural inhabitants of the surrounding area was identical. The description given by 8th Aristotle - in his treatise on the "State of the Athenians" - from the fight

between "the noble and the common" and of the procedure with which the great legislator Solon ended these disputes, vividly recalls events that took place a thousand and a half earlier in the Sumerian city of Lagash, where King Urukagina guided the oppressed masses of people freed debt relief and land redistribution from the economic dominance of a wealthy 9 oligarchy. Solon gave the Athenians a new constitution. Above all, he banned loans on persons and implemented a far-reaching cancellation of debts, which received the name »seisáchtheia« (burden shedding). The people were now also given political rights, which were graduated according to tax brackets, but even gave the poorest class, the "thetes," access to the popular assembly. Although the supreme council, the Areiopagus, which had previously consisted only of nobles, retained a number of important rights, within certain limits officials were now elected or even chosen by lot.

After the completion of these great reforms, Solon was censured by the radicals on both sides, for the poor had expected all property to be divided up, and the reforms went much too far for the nobles. But the "intermediate" constitution that Solon had created stood the test of time and, in principle, remained in force for centuries, although a "democratizing" tendency made steady progress and finally enforced full equality for all citizens and the almost unrestricted primacy of elections and lottery. Aristotle draws a very comprehensive and clear picture of the conditions that prevailed in his time, ie in the second third of the 4th century. In short, it was the most pronounced system of direct popular rule that ever existed on earth under differentiated and urban conditions. Its main intention was that any lasting power of individual citizens or groups over other individual citizens or groups should be prevented. Rule as such was by no means abolished by this, for the council determined by lot and those who came into office by lot

Tax officials issued orders that could have very unpleasant repercussions for many members of the common people. But each concerned had to tell himself that if he had been drawn by lot to be a councilor or official, he would have taken the same measures, or else he would change them as soon as he and his friends had won the appropriate position. Nor was social stratification eliminated, insofar as it was of an economic and not political nature. Each of the archons chosen by lot and then examined by the people's assembly had it announced at the beginning of his term of office that everyone could keep and dispose of the property he had before taking office until the end of his term of office. In this system of direct rule by the people, there were rich and poor citizens, and the latter, who of course far outnumbered them, were content to impose quite a few additional burdens on the rich, which, however, might look like honors, e.g . B. the equipment of warships or the equipment of plays. The great mistakes are well known: the death sentence against Socrates for "seducing youth", the banishment of Protagoras for his lack of respect for the sun god, the condemnation of the ten generals after the naval battle at the Arginuses. Nor can there be any doubt that the rise of Athens to become the first city in Greece and the glorious period of the classical period with the buildings on the Acropolis, with the first blossoming of philosophy and art, fell in an epoch when democracy was still seen as the "rule". of the first man«, namely Pericles, who was repeatedly elected strategist, although he came from one of the oldest and most distinguished noble families. Thus it may not be entirely unfounded to assert that the greatness of Athens was not due to democracy as such but to the residual undemocratic element within democracy. But this much is indisputable, in any case, that the constitution described by Aristotle comes very close to an ideal type: the ideal type of a rule that is limited to such short periods of time for individuals that

that it cannot be felt as domination "by others"; a stratification that is limited to the economic sphere, and on the whole a state which, as a true people's state, forms the exact opposite of the oppressive state of the Spartans. It is appropriate to include a comment on the procedure here. We start from the assumption that all historical modes of existence take place within spectra whose opposite poles can be constructed as ideal types, but can also be found approximately in reality. The fact that between these poles there is a colorful and sometimes almost inexhaustible abundance of different figures is itself a basic fact of historical existence, but the bulk of the associated descriptions and narratives must be left to historiography or even political analysis. No area of historical existence has been made the subject of reflection and the construction of ideal types so frequently and so intensively as the state and with it rule and stratification. Plato and Aristotle define the forms of government according to the number of rulers as monarchy, aristocracy and democracy. At the same time they make a distinction between “good” and “bad”: the bad form of good monarchy is tyranny, good aristocracy can sink into bad oligarchy, good democracy or polity can turn into mob rule (ochlocracy).

According to a view widespread in antiquity, these ideal types do not stand rigidly and permanently side by side, but there is a constant movement that leads from good to bad and then again from bad to good at the respective level and, in principle, a never-ending cycle (»anakýklosis«). In this way, the ideal type and historical course are conveyed together, but compared to the description of the process, the question of the "best," i.e., the most stable, constitution takes up more space, and it is usually answered by the concept of the "mixed constitution," which each of the three good forms of government contains something in itself and is therefore most likely to be immune to constant change.

For Augustine, the Christian Father of the Church, the 'earthly state' of self-love, ie sin, and the 'divine state' of love of God are the most opposed to each other, but they are not found in history as pure forms; the church too has to bear the remnants of the earthly state, and if the real states weren't founded on something more than self-help, they would break away 10 from big gangs of thieves ("magna latrocinia"). not distinguish. For early modern treaty historians, the people's state of consensus is opposed to the ruling state of an oppressing minority, but Thomas Hobbes allows the common will to establish peace and security to gain strength only through the approval of an individual's absolute rule. That ancient warning of 11 kingship articulated by the Old Testament prophet Samuel is expressed most poignantly by a radical like Etienne de la Boëtie, who shouts to the mass of the people: "It is not enemies who have your misery on their conscience, 12 but only the one enemy you have raised to power, your tyrant". and thereby raises the demand for a rule-free self-government of the people, as Rousseau did in a similar way 200 years later.

De la Boëtie and Rousseau implicitly condemn almost all states that have existed on earth so far as "evil" and tend to oppose "the good", namely anarchy. Hegel seems to embody the other extreme in the assessment of the state as such when he makes the striking statement: "It is the course of God in the world that the state is," for for him the state 13 is "that in and for itself reasonable«.

But Hegel also takes up again that old distinction between singular, plural and totality by historicizing it: In the ancient Orient only one was free, namely the despot, the Greeks and Romans knew that some are free, namely themselves, but first through Christianity the Germanic nations came to realize that man as man is free. This procedure of spectra formation or scale analysis (as it might be called) is by no means limited to "domination, stratification and state"

limited, which are themselves to be arranged on a scale of decreasing generality, because, as has been shown in the first part, there was domination in early prehistory, even among pre-human beings, insofar as they were understood as "power", ie as consolidated violence becomes; Stratification cannot be overlooked in later prehistory, and the state can only be found in history, unless the power over life and death, which even a clan elder can have, is considered a sufficient criterion of statehood. A statement by Arnold J. Toynbee on the subject of "religion" can be quoted as an example:

The range of vibration of these ideas ranges from the Buddhist vision of the absolute reality of the spirit as the state of "extinction" (nirvana), in which "all passions are gone" to the Jewish idea of a God, the One True God and the Lord of the universe and yet is a person in the sense 14 that the individual is. This method has already been used in the first part and will continue to be used as a basis. However, a considerable degree of caution is required: differentiations are needed again and again, and variation is not only permissible but desirable. More narration and examples are desirable for one headword than for the other; sometimes it is enough to work out two "poles" or extremes of the scale, sometimes six or eight are necessary to encircle the phenomenon, so to speak; Completeness will never even be striven for. Thus, with regard to the state, the poles of the planetary, no-longer-state, faith-state and the ordinary state in its characteristic limitations, and then those of the oppressive state and the people's state, have been pointed out, and we want to finish with the extremes of the not-yet-state - of the tribal states and the army kingship - and of the fully developed, the "modern" state. One could first ask whether a very important scale is not missing, namely the assessment of the soldiers, who are one

represent such an indispensable part of all states: in China, for many centuries, the soldiers were among the most despised groups of the population, while in Prussia the soldiers and especially the officers formed the actual core of the state in an unmistakable way according to their role and reputation. One might also ask whether the not-yet-state of the tribal states should not be brought together with the no-longer-state of the world state on a scale, a scale that no longer juxtaposes only ideal types, but a process, the fundamental progress of the history, make recognizable. Some of these questions will be settled by the fact that the answer, or at least a starting point for the answer, can be found from one of the other perspectives indicated by the keywords; others take care of themselves in the overall context of the thought movement; still others must remain unanswered. The theme of historical existence cannot be "treated exhaustively"; Imperfection is as much a part of trying to understand as it is of the thing itself. A not-yet-state is described in Tacitus' Germania. For Tacitus, the tribes of the Germans are not states, since they have no centers that could give orders, ie no tribal kings and not even tribal aristocrats. True, there are "nobles," but none of these nobles can impose their will on another; but in times of peace he can gather a number of followers around him, with whom he sets out on war and plunder. Actions by entire tribes, but mostly by sub-tribes such as the Cherusci, only occur under special circumstances, for example to ward off an invading enemy force, and Aristotle already denied the state order of the tribes of northern Europe.

The "Germanic freedom" was of an anarchic nature, and certainly not a freedom of individuals, but a freedom of the heads of tribes or clans. Here, as in many other parts of the world, a larger clan included a number of fathers, younger men, women and children, and servants, sometimes slaves. The decisive question is whether the head of the clan, the

"Chief" who certainly owed his position not exclusively to the election of the other heads of the family, but also to the reputation of his ancestors, who had power over the life and death of members of the clan. If this was the case - and also if this power was exercised by a council of older men - one of the main criteria of the state is fulfilled and one can speak of a clan state, or in larger proportions of a tribal state. Certainly the answer cannot be the same for all parts of the world. But the thesis is permissible that everywhere in clan and tribal relationships the members of the small groups determined by blood relationship stood up for one another unconditionally and practiced vendettas when members were killed by outsiders. Externally there was a kind of war, and internally there was a kind of justice, even if this only consisted in the expulsion of a member, which as a rule was tantamount to a death sentence. So if the clan was a not-yet-state, it contained at least the germs of the state. And as soon as the darkness of prehistory clears, large tribes and important tribal leaders become visible among the Germans and Celts. Caesar had to fight the Helvetii, and he was opposed by the Suevi under Ariovistus, and finally Vercingetorix managed to unite almost all the Gaul tribes to resist the Roman conquerors. The victor over the legions of Varus, the Cheruscan Arminius, who had served as an officer in the Roman army, was apparently striving to become the founder of a monarchy, a military kingship, from the commander of the decisive battle, but the jealousy of "his relatives", ie one Part of the other clan heads, did not let him reach his goal. More successful was the Marcomanni Marbod, who was able to persuade his large tribe, which one may well call a "people," to move to Bohemia. A capital was built here, and Marbod built a palatial residence and fort to house his guard. Thus, the Marcomanni lived in a clearly demarcated area and did not form a mere aggregate of

Tribes more, because they were under a single and clearly recognizable authority, Marbod. So they already had territory, they were a people, and they recognized a unified authority; the criteria on which modern political theory is based were therefore fulfilled. But Marbod nevertheless remained a military king who did not succeed in establishing a secure order of succession, ie founding a dynasty, and like Arminius he was overthrown by a noble faction with the help of the Romans. Thereafter, the Marcomanni broke up again into merely loosely connected clans and sub-tribes, mostly dependent on the Romans and sometimes rebelling violently against that dependence, but then disappearing from history. Another form of near-statehood emerged among the West Germanic tribes, such as the Alamanni, Franks and Saxons, from various alliances which they concluded in order to be better able to lead the defensive and then the offensive fight against Rome. The blood principle of the community of descent, which in any case could never be maintained integrally at any time, was largely overridden by a political principle here, but only the Franks succeeded in building a genuine empire after conquering large parts of Gaul, while the Saxons and Alemanni, despite the existence of petty kings and of the Saxon state parliament in Marklo on the Weser basically did not get out of the tribal system. As the third type of state formation among the Germans, Alexander Demandt lists the kingdoms of the East Germanic tribes that were founded on the soil of the Roman Empire during the Migration Period. However, very few of these tribes remained closed units; they often divided, took in strangers and, despite the continuation of the old names, were often subordinate not to the descendants of their old sacral kings, but to military kings, who might also be called condottieri. The best known of these states was the Ostrogothic kingdom of Theodoric (the »Dietrich von Bern« of the legend) in northern Italy. Here the Germans grew into the state traditions of the Roman Empire in one way or another, and at least those

The tendency towards founding dynasties and thus towards greater stability of the states was also evident among the Vandals, Visigoths 15 and Lombards. Only the Frankish Empire defied all dangers over the centuries, where, as a result of Clovis' conversion to Catholicism, the distance between the conquerors (who were Arian everywhere else) and the subjugated Roman population was reduced and a new kind of synthesis between Germanic and Roman character traits was made possible. The history of the great empire of the Carolingians, the disintegration of this empire into the three kingdoms of West Franconia, East Franconia and the intermediate kingdom of Lotharingia, the formation of the French national kingdom in the centuries-long struggles against the English dynasty, which was also French by origin, the rise and the soon to begin Decline of the "Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation" constitutes the core of medieval history as a whole, and certainly a most significant chapter of world history in general. But according to a widespread view of medievalists, all these states were not fully developed, yet

not modern states, but "feudal states," states of association of persons, in which the polity was held together by the bonds of personal and mutual loyalty between the monarch and his vassals, endowed with hereditary fiefs, and was always exposed to the danger of renunciation of loyalty and anarchic disintegration. The modern, genuine state first came into being, as numerous historians and lawyers have shown, through the activity of early modern absolutism, which centralized, disciplined, regulated, pushed back the local powers of the nobility and created an administrative apparatus. Only then did the national state of France and the territorial states of the collapsing RomanGerman Empire come into being. However, the thesis can arouse astonishment, for this "modernity" seems to be something ancient and already realized in the despotic empires of antiquity.

But the difference becomes evident when one considers, for example, the surprising fact that the Persian great king, in order to be able to reach one of his capitals, Persepolis, had to buy passage rights from a 16 surrounding tribe, the Uxians. Only in response to the devastating religious wars of the 16th and 17th centuries was it possible for monarchs such as the Great Elector of Prussia to establish their sovereignty like a rocher de bronze, or even to assert it like Louis XIV : »I am the state.«

If one wants to visualize the profound character of the change, one has only to remember that in the seventeenth century there was still the "war entrepreneur," the man who recruited soldiers from his own resources and monarchs who paid well for themselves and their troops made available: after a thousand and a half years, a clear analogue to the Germanic "army kings," which, however, had already become just as impossible in the tightly organized military state of Frederick William I of Prussia as in the French monarchy of the Sun King. However, it should be borne in mind that the local level of government of the "estates", ie above all the nobility, remained more powerful than the historians of absolutism had long wanted to admit that the state of Philip II of Spain achieved a high degree of centralization, although it was not a counterpart to a sectarian civil war, that in the end it was precisely England, from which the industrial revolution was to take its origin, that remained a corporate or aristocratic state that based its self-confidence on the 17 successful defense against absolutist tendencies. Much older examples of pronounced statehood are China's Confucian official state and the Spartan "compulsory state," which oppressed taxpayers to the death. Even the "modern state" of absolutism was presumably not so much a "state," and the "feudal state" of the Middle Ages was not so little a state as many historians have assumed; instead, the concept of the "liberal system" would have to be introduced here, the one common

of occidental history. This common element signifies a certain weakness of the 'state', inherent in the existence of a fundamentally independent church, and constitutes a distinguishing feature from all non-Occidental forms of government. Nevertheless, a definition can now also be made that affects all historical states, despite all the ranges of the ideal-typical poles: States are groups of people who, in a threatening environment, have a central authority that has the right of life and death over the individual members are determined to defend their existence and property unconditionally.

The broadest of all possible meanings is present when a clan head, who can condemn a member of the clan to death or expel him, is understood as a "central authority"; a narrower meaning is given when the central authority is a hereditary king or a perennial institution such as a parliament and when orders and orders are given at least partially in writing. In the broadest sense, the state is to be found in prehistory as well as in history; in the narrower and "proper" meaning it is limited to history. In all historical states, however, communication between the central authority and the mass of the people or even the subjects required the mediation of people who were closer to this authority than the others and who were usually able to issue certain orders in their own right. Since the age of absolutism this mediating and guiding stratum has been 'the state apparatus' or bureaucracy, but for most of history it has been called 'nobility' or 'aristocracy'. This layer almost always had a special relationship to the elementary purpose of the state, defense and, if necessary, attack in war. "The nobility" and "the war" or "war and peace" must therefore be the next themes.

38Nobility and sublimation If the broadest possible and at the same time barest of all possible definitions of the state, which was given at the end of the last chapter, is correct, then a motley group of shipwrecked people, living on the coast of a small and, in their eyes, probably populated by savages, could also be called a state stranded on the island and determined to secure their lives by searching for food and by staunchly defending against any attack by the natives. They would no doubt choose a man of energy and intelligence as their leader, probably the ship's captain, and would give him the right to expel or kill any member who failed in the expected combat and thereby endangered the whole group . If they numbered beyond a few dozen, the leader would no doubt designate subordinates who would direct the smaller groups sent out in search of food and who would command certain sections of the force in battles against the natives. These sub-leaders would have tasks that were particularly important to the survival of the group, and they would be distinguished from the ordinary members in this way. Some would survive, some would not, but after a few weeks or months something like a 'leading class' would have developed which stood in a closer relationship to the supreme leader than the ordinary members. None of these ordinary members would think of rebelling against the small group of "commanders," knowing full well that their very existence depended on the efficiency of these few men. This leading group might be called, in modern terms, the "elite" of the shipwrecked, but they would not be nobility. It would a

there was a common primary interest of all, which is survival, and a frail man, like women, would look with confidence and approval to men whose energy could handle the most dangerous situation. The description of the situation can be continued in the indicative: Day after day, for a long time, sentinels are longingly on the lookout for a ship that will pick them up and bring them back home. But no ship appears, and after the lapse of two or three years the attacks of the savages are repelled, a river in the middle of the island forms an easily defendable frontier; the daily search for food is no longer necessary, because the individual extended families have built huts and tilled fields from saved seeds, so that the lives of the individuals are no longer endangered at any moment. Some have already gained the impression that they lead a better life than at home, from which they wanted to emigrate; already they no longer communicate with each other only with calls and signs, but have become familiar with the language of the majority. Pride in one's own achievement gradually grows, and in the popular assemblies people's assemblies often look back to the early days. This is precisely what increases the prestige of the leader and his sub-leaders, for despite all the improvements, the situation remains difficult and threatening.

After 20 or 30 years the leader has died and his son is chosen to succeed him; the courts of those subordinates are larger and better equipped than the courts of the ordinary comrades; the son of that leader receives gifts from all sides in his great homestead in recognition of his merits and those of his father; some old men talk about the difficult early days at the popular meetings; One has long since sighted passing ships, but one lets them pass, for one is preparing for an incalculable duration. Now the castaways of yore have become a real state that is no longer a mere emergency state, although the hardships of the beginning are still there

are present: in possession of common memories, oriented towards enduring, all individuals are equal but differ in role and function. But the sons of that first elite are now aristocracy: filled with stronger memories, more resolutely forward-looking, in more frequent contact with one another, largely relieved of the daily toil of anticipation of the next campaign, surrounded in their homes by trophies of their fathers' past victories. So this nobility differs visibly and also in its self-image from the others, from the people, but it is still a distinctly popular nobility, which sees itself as a defense of the nationals and is understood as such by everyone. This is roughly how thinkers since antiquity have sought to explain the origin of the state, and this is how the Pilgrim Fathers understood their own enterprise when they landed on the "Mayflower" on the American east coast in 1620. However, they brought with them a common language and beliefs, and they were led by their clergy.

On the other hand, because of their experiences in Stuart dynasty England, they were far more determined not to allow any nobility to arise among them, but differences in social status and levels of responsibility also showed in their state even after the passing of the first generation. Undoubtedly the men most distinguished were those who had rendered the greatest service in the battles with the Indians. But nobody would have spoken of a "contradiction of interests" and even less of an "oppression of the people"; if the Puritans of North America had no popular nobility, they did have at least a popular elite. In all theories, constructions, or reports of this kind, the emergence of a ruling class or nobility is understood as an endogenous process, as Plato had already done in his theory of the emergence of the state. That powerful historical realities corresponded to such theories cannot be doubted. When Tacitus speaks of the "nobles" among the Germans, he is obviously not assuming that these nobles or nobles could be anything other than members of the respective tribe or tribe

people. The best and most famous warriors of the Migration Period can only have been the most successful champions of their tribe or people. In Homer's well-developed aristocratic world, even the ordinary foot fighters are referred to as "Achaeans" with so much matter-of-factness that the heroes, although "descended from Zeus," are still easily recognizable as champions. In his account of Roman social and economic history, Fritz M. Heichelheim even writes that all peasant cultures in the world since the Neolithic have had seven classes: "Royal clans, priestly clans, aristocratic large land and cattle owners, small land owners, landless free men, serfs 1 and slaves". . Evidently he has in mind far more developed conditions in the distant time to which he specifically refers than we have been able to construct for the second generation of castaways, but what is typical of all peasant cultures of the world cannot be merely imposed from without ; even the nobility, even the monarchy of the archaic peasant cultures must have been, on the whole, a people's nobility, a people's monarchy. We must, however, take up the construction of our story of the castaways again in order to vary it. We assume that our state of emergency would not have been content with defending that river border, even if it were occasionally through preventive offensive operations. Rather, one day the leader would have called for a major campaign to definitively end the native threat. After a successful decisive battle, the whole island came into the possession of the shipwrecked. However, the "savages" would not have been exterminated, but their surviving clans would have remained in possession of the land they cultivated, over which the leader would have appointed particularly deserving subordinates as owners. You would have the native owners,

These lieutenants would soon have become a very different kind of nobility from their friends left on the other side of the river. Their courts would grow faster and be richer, and the servile commoners would not be

"People's comrades," but subjects who would be underestimated, even despised. On this half of the island a noble nobility would have come into existence, while in the other part a nobility of the people would continue to be in charge, which would not be a lordship in the narrower sense. The conditions in one part of the island would correspond to the theories of the endogenous origin of the state and the nobility, and the conditions in the last conquered part to that "overlay theory" which was one of the themes in the first part. It is, however, probable that the two classes of nobility would exert mutual influence on one another, with all presumption that the nobility of the nobility would become more of a model for the nobility of the people than vice versa.

One of the earliest and purest examples of aristocratic nobility are the Aryan conquerors of India, who called themselves "the nobles" and despised the subjugated simply because they were of a different skin color and were "phallo worshipers": the term for "class" or As is well known, "status" means "color" ("varna"), and therefore a biological or racial criterion was decisive, just as much later throughout America after the conquest by the English and Spanish, where Negroes and Indians were not just a "lower class", but were a despised caste. Only in the land of a nobleman who defined themselves according to racial criteria could a phrase like the one mentioned above be formulated after the development of the doctrine of transmigration: Those who led a stinking life here had a chance of getting into a stinking womb, "the of a dog, a pig, or the 2 womb of a Chandala woman'. In comparison, the expressions of derision and contempt with which the medieval peasants, the "vilains," were treated by the nobles, sound harmless, but even in the Middle Ages there seem to have been physical differences between nobility and peasants, according to modern medievalists the nobles 3 were on average taller than the peasants. This may only be due to better and more plentiful nutrition, but still in the 20th century

none other than Walther Rathenau drew a striking picture of the contrast between the nobler and finer physique of Prussia's noble 4 officers and the coarse, heavy-boned enlisted men. In fact, there has never been a more abysmal contempt in history than that shown by members of the gentry for the "people," the servants or servants. This contempt did not gradually weaken over the course of history, but only reached a climax in the French "Ancien régime" of the 18th century, which, however, was also the result of the strongest efforts to achieve a balance between the nobility and at least the "bourgeois" part of the nation was marked. It is well known that female members of the French high nobility undressed and changed their clothes without hesitation in the presence of male servants, since these servants were not real people in their eyes, and Eduard Fuchs, in his history of customs, reports the assessment of their maids 5 by noble ladies,

Only in a nobility that sees itself as a nobleman can such contempt for the people and ordinary people arise or even be the rule. The contempt for the little people is often enough to be noted in a nobility of the people, since it usually solidifies quickly, glorifies its military achievements and is often filled with pride in that education and sophistication behind which the mass of the people, "the mob«, lags far behind. In general, a gentleman's nobility exerts greater influence on a people's nobility in neighboring countries than vice versa, because aloofness corresponds better to the desire for distinction. We have come to know the demand "always to be the best and strive ahead of the others" as a maxim of the Homeric nobility.

Not only the nobility of the Aryans was a typical gentleman's nobility. Even the Frankish warriors who conquered Gaul in the 5th century

evidently felt themselves to be the lords of the conquered Celts and Romans, although interpenetration with the Roman provincial nobility had already begun under Clovis. How powerful the consciousness of Germanic influence remained in France over a millennium is made clear by Montesquieu's statement that freedom had its origin in the forests of Germania. 50 years earlier, the Count de Boulainvilliers had articulated this self-image of the French nobility in a provocative way when he emphatically emphasized their origins in the Frankish conquerors and thus made just as harsh a contrast between the nobility and the people as the abbé did at the beginning of the revolution Sieyès proclaimed with opposite accentuation and with greater consequences.

On the other hand, the aristocracy of the first Germanic state, Iceland, was a pronounced nobility of the people, where all the free peasants formed a nobility, below which only the mass of servants existed. Internally, the Spartans remained a people's nobility, a union of free warriors in which tendencies towards permanent differences in rank were successfully combated. Tyrtaeus, their oldest poet, speaks in his Elegies quite like a champion and not like a lord: Because dying is good, falling in the front rows For a brave man fighting for the fatherland.


There are further distinctions to be made: Not every prominent class is a nobility. With regard to ancient Egypt one could not speak of a "scribal nobility", although the scribes played an extremely important role and were also very aware of their prominent role. The term 'priestly nobility', which one tends to attribute to the Brahmans in view of their outstanding importance for early Indian society, is probably the most permissible. But were the upper echelons of the hierarchy of the Christian Church in the Middle Ages really nobility? Preaching and teaching are so obviously different from the conduct of war that one should avoid using the same term for both. Existed those dynasties of rabbis, at the head of which

Hill elites, who oversaw the scattered communities of Jews and created the Talmud, really from "priest-princes"? As certainly as offices were often passed from father to son and grandson, the distance from politics was always so great and the material situation of the individual was often so modest that the term is inapplicable. On the other hand, it is certainly true that the higher ranks in the Catholic Church of the Middle Ages and the early modern period were predominantly occupied by nobles and that the spirit of nobility often enough prevailed: as Johan Huizinga reports in his book Autumn of the Middle Ages, the Bastard David of Duke Philip of Burgundy as bishop of Liège "completely armored" in 7 his city, "as if he were a conqueror", and when in the 15th century a new bishop of Hildesheim, on seeing his palace, asked where the library was, he was led into the armory and told that here were the books that a Hildesheim 8th bishop had to deal with. But all of this was an occupation of the upper echelons of the church by the nobility, much like those religious foundations which only those who could prove 16 noble ancestors could enter could enter - the priesthood of the church was thereby not considered as such to a nobility, but they continued to be subject to different laws than the nobility in their way of life and also in their recruitment. A nobleman must primarily be a nobleman, and therefore it is even questionable whether the upper class of the bourgeoisie, i.e. the wealthy merchants, should be described as a "bourgeois nobility", although they often exercised almost unlimited power in the medieval towns and took over quite a bit of aristocratic ways of life. But the distance between the aristocratic ideal of distance from all "work" as an undignified activity and the bourgeois maxim of restless work for the profit community of the company or the house was so great that one would do better to choose the term "patriciate". , so there is certainly a wealth of overlap. It is a little different with the »new nobility«, who did not pursue any commercial or other »lower« activities, but

held high offices in the state administration. Initially, he merely strove for formal equality with the "old nobility," and he had in fact established equal rank for doctoral degrees and nobility even before the end of the Middle Ages. In principle, the old nobility, in France the "noblesse d'épée", always rejected the new nobility of the mere office holders, in France the "noblesse de robe", but in fact there were many connections and transitions, so that the blood nobility new blood was always supplied »from below«. Therefore, contrary to their own wishes, the occidental nobility never became a firmly closed caste, and this was not least due to the fact that, especially in times of war, it was not always necessary to have several generations before ascent was completed, but that the way from the bottom up to the top above became practicable for single men. Examples would be the Prussian Field Marshal Georg Derfflinger, who was a farmer's son and became the ancestor of Prince Louis Ferdinand, or the semi-illiterate and son of a serf, Johann August Sporck, who decided to live as an Imperial 9 Count. According to its self-understanding, however, the nobility held fast to the primacy of the "blood" at different times and in nations far apart from 10 each other, especially when its position was threatened. This is how a Baltic German nobleman answered Tsar Alexander's question as to how he and his comrades could have kept themselves so unmixed in the foreign environment of Estonians and Latvians, that noble horses could be locked in one stable with pigs, but the horses would 11 therefore not to pigs. But even this haughty nobleman would probably have had to concede on further questions that not only blood but also the possession of large estates was a prerequisite for this unmixedness and that a nobility without assets, a "bagatell nobility", as they were later called , on the northern shores of the Baltic Sea, would have been absorbed very quickly in the mass of the simple, albeit foreign, people. No less important is the distinction between »primal nobility« and »service nobility«. The primeval nobility never forgets that their ancestors are with the monarch

were on the same level, and for Bismarck the self-confidence of the old Mark family towards the Hohenzollerns who had come from outside was a determining factor, no matter how much he saw himself in the tradition of feudalism as a "servant" of the king.

The court nobility, a special form of the service nobility, should be distinguished from the provincial nobility, who stay away from the center and live on their estates, often by long day trips from the capital and supported by numerous dependents or clients. He is inclined to see in the monarch only the greatest of the noble landowners and to oppose everything that serves to develop a solid statehood, especially the collection of taxes by royal officials. Even under Louis XIV there was resistance of this kind, and only under Louis XV. the court nobility gained such preeminence that the "hobereaux," the country squires, were only spoken of with a pitying smile. In many countries and times, however, the contrast between the central royal authority and the provincial nobility was the strongest impulse in political life: whenever the central authority showed weakness, for example in lengthy succession struggles, uprisings broke out in the provinces, and as soon as the monarchy strengthened again, the provincial nobility fell victim to a monarchical counterattack, as was the case with particular clarity in the Persian empire of the Sassanids.

We now want to use a few examples to illustrate the character traits described so far and highlight other characteristics of the nobility. The history of the origins of the Roman nobility can be compared to the fate of those shipwrecked, because from the often mythical and legendary beginnings of the city so much can be deduced with certainty that "Romulus" opened its foundation to many newcomers, who then found themselves in difficult times Fighting with the neighbors had to claim. How far the tales of the Etruscan kings and their eventual expulsion are true we do not know; What is certain, however, is that Rome was a paradigmatic noble state from its early days and that, in contrast to Athens, it remained such a noble state

democratic tendencies, which were also present and powerful in him, yielded only to a small extent. Polybius derives Rome's strength from precisely this characteristic, which he also considers to be a characteristic of backwardness, but precisely one of productive, "progressive" backwardness; at the beginning of his description of the world-historical battles between Rome and Carthage he says that Carthage had already passed the peak of its heyday and power, while Rome had only just reached this peak, because in Carthage "had the decisive influence on all decisions 12 people, but in Rome the senate still had it." However, even after that Rome did not follow the path of Carthage or Athens, but the senate always remained the authoritative authority in questions of foreign policy up to the imperial period. However, it changed to a significant degree as a result of the "class struggles," and if the origin of the oldest nobility, the "patricians," can still be easily understood from our construction, the conflict between patricians and plebeians formed a phase of coexistence of a popular nobility and a noble nobility on the two parts of the island can no longer be grasped. But the crucial fact is that the plebeians, although originally identified with the "people" and could make popular assemblies their instrument of power, apparently never intended to destroy the patricians, There and throughout the state, both groups merged into the "nobility," and after the end of the struggle between the estates, Rome was even more of an aristocratic state, which gave itself a quasi-monarchical head in the two consuls, each strictly bound to the time of a year, but as an institution was far more enduring than most royal dynasties. It is no coincidence that the senators called themselves "fathers," and nowhere in history has the patriarchal principle been presented more purely than in Rome, where the father even did that

had rights over the life and death of his children as long as the girls had not passed into their husband's "mancipium" after marriage and the sons had not been emancipated according to the father's will. In plebeian houses as well as in patrician houses, ancestral images stood in the atrium, and these ancestral images, masks of remarkable fidelity, were carried along to the funerals, indeed placed on people who resembled the deceased as closely as 13 possible. As such a noble state, Rome conquered the world in spite of all internal struggles and civil wars, and when Caesar fell victim to a senatorial conspiracy, Caesar's successors, the emperors, destroyed the senate no more than the plebeians had done half a millennium earlier. Certainly his powers were now very limited, certainly entire clans disappeared and others changed beyond recognition, but it should not be overlooked that ancient historians could still write about the period of the 4th century AD:

Like little emperors, the senatorial aristocracy stood next to the court with their lavish games and festivals, their glittering palaces, golden festival robes, and the precious 14 objects of value which they distributed as festival gifts.

And formally, the »Lex Claudia« from 218 B.C. not abolished, which excluded any active participation of Senate members and their sons in commercial transactions. The nobility in the Persian Empire of the Sassanids, which from 224 AD was the last major opponent of the Roman Empire and who managed to capture a Roman emperor, namely Valerian, in 260, had a different character. Here, beyond the long intervening period of Parthian rule and Hellenism, there was a continuity with the empire of the Achaemenids, and this corresponded to the fact that the monarchical rule of a 'king of kings' remained fundamentally undisputed. But the Sassanids themselves were originally only one of the great noble families, and so the oldest tradition of nobility went down to the

chariot fighters of the conquering Aryans, i.e. until about 1200 BC. BC, back. Despite all the changes they had undergone over the course of a thousand and a half years, the Persian nobility was a strong nobility with independent roots, which, however, could never or would not break free from the ruling dynasty. The fact that the Sassanid Empire was at least temporarily a religious state in which Zoroastrianism, as a hierarchically structured state church, played an important role, may have contributed to this. Church, nobility, and people were strictly separated from one another, and here, as with the Vedic Indians and unlike in Greece and Rome, a distinction can be made between 'teaching, military, and nurturing status'. Within the nobility, the magnates and the actual knightly nobility could be distinguished. The knights, who for their part were divided into several ranks, not only owned country estates like the Roman nobility, but for the most part lived permanently in fortified castles in the midst of their occupants; many centuries earlier than in the West one can find in this Persia a knightly life with horse races, drinking bouts, ball games and tournaments. They had their property as a fief from the king, and they considered themselves the kings' retainers. Outwardly they differed from the people by their splendid clothing and gold jewelry, and their life was reflected in a literature of epic character, of which clear traces can still be found in Firdausi's Book of Kings, which, however, only in the tenth century, after the Islamic conquest. As in Rome, earning money was unworthy of a 15 nobleman. Quite a few character traits in the Germanic-Romanesque Middle Ages are reminiscent of the Sassanid epoch. Here, too, there is a strong nobility, which in France and England can even invoke a right of conquest, alongside a monarchy whose existence is never called into question. Here, too, alongside the magnates of the primal nobility, there is a broad class of knights who imprint specific traits on the culture by writing a knightly epic such as Wolfram von Eschenbach's Parsival and a love poem such as that of Walther von der

Vogelweide, which does not show contempt for the other, the nonwarlike sex, but honors women as "mistresses" and thus carries out an extraordinary sublimation of sexuality. Here, too, a feudal system prevailed, which strengthened the nobility by means of heredity, instead of weakening it, as in the Islamic and Byzantine spheres, through the return of fiefs (the »iqta« or »pronoia«) to the feudal lord. Here, too, one finds the intensification of aristocratic existence at the courts of kings. But the Christian church played a larger and more enduring role in the Occidental Middle Ages than the Zoroastrian church in the Sassanid Empire, and it is in any case a valid thesis that it was only through the adoption of the ethos preached by the church that the partly unfree stratum of the 'ministerials' became 'knights «, who as »milites Christi« overcame the rough customs of their origin and learned to see themselves as champions of the defenseless and defenseless and as representatives of »mâze« and »stête«. Whether and to what extent a connection with the "God's Peace 16 Movement" whether the Provençal minstrelsy of the troubadours does not represent an independent root, whether and to what extent the church bid farewell to its essential pacifism in order to be able to employ the armor bearers for its idea of the liberation of Jerusalem, shall not be discussed 17 here; So much is certain that the monarchical feudal or personal association state can also be called an aristocratic state, which, however, did not, as in the late Sassanid empire, gain the sublimation of simple warriorship from the skepticism of a late culture, but from the Christian ethos, which even the Persia as well as in Islam was able to produce the phenomenon of spiritual orders of knights unknown. However, even in the Middle Ages, the Christian aristocratic culture never had an exclusive validity: the self-governing cities and thus the bourgeoisie, as well as the independent but closely linked states, were further and peculiar factors in a social whole that did not exist elsewhere, which one called the » 18 called polygonal society. The Reformation changed this structure

true, but she did not destroy them. Even when much more profound skepticism arose in the 18th century than in the Sassanid Empire, a preacher in 1777 at the "thousand-year jubilee celebration" of the noble Benedictine monastery in Kempten was able to confidently reject the criticism that had been leveled for many years at the church's apostasy from the poverty ideal of its early days by saying that God himself willed "that his church on earth should be resplendent, noble, and excelled in 19 all things." It is indeed a singular phenomenon to what extent the ways of life of the western nobility, which cannot be detached from their relationship to the church, retained their influence and formative power in a world that was no longer primarily founded on warriorship - from the Spanish Hidalgo, whose mentality became the mentality of an entire people, right down to the English "gentleman" and the ideals that still guided Romanticism and the Restoration period of the 19th century. And wasn't the ideal of German idealism, and indeed of Marxism as well, the "harmonious development of all physical and 20 intellectual abilities" originally an ideal of the nobility? Could there ever have been so much aversion to "profit-seeking" if it had not been firmly rooted in a noble ethos? Jonathan Powis writes in his little essay on the nobility that the money of the nobility in western Europe has largely been transformed into "permanent 21 and visible cultural monuments." One could go on: and as a result it was deprived of industrial development. But if you add the Church, which also spent most of the money it received on unproductive purposes, indeed, in the eyes of the skeptics, on delusional illusions, you will have to ask: What would Europe be without the cathedrals and churches of its episcopal cities, without the castles of its kings, the castles of its nobility and the city palaces of its patricians? It would be an older North America at best, and all of its residents could have eaten a chicken in a pot on Sunday for generations. Much can be said about the criticism of the nobility, especially of the Occidental, and we shall come back to that, but the historian becomes a party polemicist if he does not allow the nobility the glory it deserves.

In any case, there has hardly ever been a story far beyond the Occident in which the nobility did not play a prominent role. In the first part, ancient Israel was identified as a "paradigm of historical existence." But the nobility, in all its numerous versions, has always been a major factor in historical existence as a whole. Oddly enough, a survival of prehistoric forms of life can be recognized in it. For the nobleman is always a member of a family, of a house, and the connection is no less close than it was between the individual and his clan in primeval times. Nevertheless, in all cultures where it existed at all, ie in almost all, the nobility was the most contact and communication-friendly element. If it first developed something like a "culture of discussion," then it was precisely its members who took the lead in that comprehensive discussion in the salons of the ancien régime, which did not herald its downfall, but rather heralded the decisive weakening. Precisely because his existence in all developed states was so much a cultural existence, some of his relatives could feel like inmates of a prison, as prisoners of a "convenience world" from which one tried to break out, just as Christians sought to break out of ecclesiastical dogma and Jews out of the world of the kahal and the shtetl. It is precisely from this that "modernity" presumably arose as a form of that polygonal society of the European liberal system.

But the root of it all, the nobility's earliest sense of existence, was not thereby made to disappear. Even in ancient India, the postulate was valid that an ancient "kschatriya" should seek death in battle, since any 22 other end was unworthy of him. In the »Chansons de geste« a knight says, »none of us has a father who 23 died at home, all died in the battle of cold steel«.

So it was only logical that Richelieu wrote in his political will that a nobility that did not do military service was useless and even a burden 24 for the state. Nobles are by no means to be equated with warriors. Only that warrior is a noble who boasts of his ancestors and his

Aligns behavior with inherited norms in order to transmit the same pride and norms to his sons. But in this cultural and culture-creating framework, far removed from the initial brutality, he is and remains related to the war as his most personal matter.

39War and Peace Wherever the reader turns to a history book, he soon finds a war or wars, and he can easily get the impression that war is the peculiar affair of mankind and by no means only of the nobility. In the first part it was shown that the anthropological thesis can be substantiated that, in contrast to all animals, man is a "murderer", ie a being who knows no inhibitions about killing his own kind, and with contrary justification a scientific thinking can have "deep biological Discover the "causes" of war and, ultimately, of aggression: ant colonies wage wars of extermination against other ant colonies, and one species of rat exterminates the other. Only if war is a mere cultural phenomenon that is inconsistent with the naturally peaceful nature of man and is merely brought about by the greed of rulers, it may one day be "abolished." Without wanting to decide the fundamental question, we have defined war as the "collective emergency" which is paralleled by the "individual emergency" of death. It is, however, appropriate that we first recall the ubiquity of war in history with a few examples: Today, a historiography that focuses on "principal and state actions" is more widely disdained and seems more modern to follow cultural-historical lines of development of "long duration" or to research the everyday life of ordinary people. But the question is whether this does not belie the central role and terrible reality of war in history. "Principal and state actions" are primarily wars or at least near-wars, and what can rightly cause offense is only that

affirmative, even glorifying way in which numerous historians have focused on the positive results of wars and the brilliant achievements of the military leaders and have hardly acknowledged the sacrifices: the Greeks successfully defended themselves under the leadership of Themistokles against the great attack of the Persian empire 150 years later, Alexander the Great led the counterattack that destroyed the Achaemenid Empire; before that, however, Sparta had prevailed against Athens in a thirty-year war and established a fragile hegemony. Before long, the Hellenistic states were drawn into the Roman Empire, which gave the world the "pax romana" but remained constantly embroiled in battles with the Persian empire of the Parthian Arsacids and the Sassanids before succumbing to the storms succumbed to the attacks of the Germanic peoples and tribes during the Migration Period. This was the prerequisite for the rise of the Christian world in the form of the Germanic-Romanesque West, Greek Byzantium and the Russian Empire.

Of course, this Christian world was also a world full of struggles and wars: the world religion had indeed transformed the war, but by no means put an end to it. The influence of the other world religions on the war was stronger: the first Buddhist state, that of the Indian Ashoka, probably perished because the ruler, under the devastating impressions of the so-called Kalinga War, made Buddhist pacifism his maxim and neglected his armed forces . In stark contrast, the third world religion, Islam, intensified the war, considering it a "holy war" to conquer the world for the message of Muhammad, the message that would establish the kingdom of God throughout the earth. Up to the end of the period we are considering here, i.e. up to the second half of the 18th century, numerous wars were being fought in all regions of the world, including China, and the most positive result could be stated that in Europe had finally succeeded in "enclosing" the war, that is, in removing it from religious passions, and

to make it an instrument of a careful cabinet policy, with the formation of "martial law," which allowed the relatively small armies to collide and largely protected the population from serious harm. But could not a terrifying picture be drawn of the suffering and agony of the dying and wounded on the battlefields of Malplaquet or Torgau? There was no lack of calls for peace and descriptions of war atrocities at this time, but it was not until the second half of the nineteenth century that a man like Henri Dunant drew practical conclusions from his experiences in the Franco-Austrian war. For many centuries, the focus has only been on the victims, and figures - often exaggerated, to be sure - are most likely to be quoted when dealing with what is now called "genocides".

After the Persians conquered Miletus in 495 B.C. BC, the male population was mostly slaughtered, and the women and children were sold into slavery. The Greeks, however, also prepared the same fate when they conquered Greek cities or regions, as the Athenians did to the Melians after they had revealed the cynicism of their power thinking in a long dialogue, if Thucydides' story is not an elaborate invention. When the Carthaginians conquered the Greek cities of Selinus and Himera in southern Italy, they killed many thousands of Greeks. According to historians, 80,000 Romans died during the »Vespers of Asia Minor«. The Romans, for their part, plowed over the conquered Carthage, ie they completely destroyed it. At the time of the migration of peoples, writers wrote in horror that the whole of Gaul was smoking like a pyre in the course of the Germanic attacks, and the Byzantine general Belisar destroyed the Germanic vandals who had established themselves in North Africa so completely that almost every trace of them lost. When the Christian crusaders captured Jerusalem in 1099, they slaughtered 40,000 Muslims and Jews in a blood frenzy, but when two centuries later the last Christian stronghold in Palestine, Akko, fell,

the Muslim conquerors caused an even worse bloodbath among the population. When Baghdad was conquered by the Mongols in 1258, neither the caliph nor his family survived, nor did large parts of the population. In Beijing, on the other hand, it is said that at the time of the Mongolian siege, 60,000 Chinese girls fell from the walls to their deaths so as not to fall into the hands of these wild warriors during the conquest. News of Genghis Khan's and Timur Leng's campaigns of conquest reaching Europe ran cold blood: the urban populations of Samarkand and Bukhara were exterminated, and pyramids of skulls were piled up in front of burnt cities. But when the Chinese freed themselves from Mongol rule, hardly a member of yesterday's victorious people escaped the great massacre that was to wipe out the last traces of the oppressors.

Christian Europe hardly lagged behind the genocides of the Mongols and later the Islamic Almohads in Spain: in the campaign against the southern French Cathars, the "heretics" were mercilessly slaughtered, and the Teutonic Order aimed less at converting than at exterminating the Lithuanians. Cromwell waged a war of annihilation against the Catholic Irish and resettled the north of the island with Protestant Scots - bloody clashes are still the result of the planned but only partially realized annihilation today. In the German Peasants' War, the princely mercenaries killed around 100,000 peasants after the decisive battles, and when the Catholic Tilly conquered the Protestant Magdeburg in the Thirty Years' War, Enough of the enumeration of the atrocities, which could go on for a long time. This, too, is already enough and more than enough for the viewer to cover his head and, especially in view of the wars and genocides that increased after the victory of the victorious coalition of the Second World War, which was so "peace-loving" in its proclamations, desperately exclaims: Does madness never want to happen? come to an end? is humanity

in the end really no better than to characterize it as a "murderer race"? Nothing is more understandable, nothing was more legitimate, than that from all periods of history shattering lamentations about the war reach our ears, even, as we have seen, from the great epic of the self-praise of the Greek nobility, the Iliad, and not just since Isaiah again and again hopes for a future "kingdom of peace on earth" were articulated. Precisely for this reason, however, it is necessary to demand that people keep their distance, even in the face of such an obvious and understandable emotion, and a conceptual construction may again be helpful for this: What would an earth look like on which there were no objective reasons for war ?

Suppose the earth was one large plain, without seas, but divided into five hundred squares formed by rivers of equal size. The population of each square is 100,000 people. The plain would be equally fertile, and all families could, without undue effort, obtain a sufficient subsistence by farming on their equally sized estates. There would therefore not be the slightest reason that the inhabitants of one square should wage war on the inhabitants of the neighboring square; rather, every family in the whole world would sit contentedly "under their vine and their fig tree."

In order for this situation to remain permanent, however, one essential condition would still have to be met: the number of inhabitants would have to be the same in all squares after 100 years. If it were otherwise, disadvantages and advantages would have arisen and with it the desire to eliminate this inequality again. That the problem could be solved by friendly arrangements between neighboring squares is almost impossible, and it is only too likely that the most populous square would try by force to equalize, which the neighboring area, for very understandable reasons, was reluctant to do. With that, war would have come to this peaceful world, because advantages and covetousness would have arisen.

Now the real earth on which mankind lives and has always lived is anything but an evenly fertile plain: mountains bordering river valleys, one seashore favorable to traffic while the other is rocky and forbidding; vast deserts stretch for thousands of miles, but not far from their borders are areas of concentrated fertility; different climatic zones create very different conditions for earning a living. In simple words: the surface of the earth is differentiated in many ways, its regions are unequal among themselves, people live under unequal conditions. They are therefore unequal, although as human beings they are allowed to consider themselves equal, and the envy of those who are disadvantaged towards those which enjoy an advantage is not bad or reprehensible. But never in all history has mere persuasion brought about a fundamental balance. The most likely interpretation of the towers of the earliest prehistoric city, Jerichos, uncovered by archaeologists is that the inhabitants of the privileged oasis were determined to use any means and risk the lives of many individuals to gain the advantage they enjoyed against covetousness of the nomads in the neighboring desert areas. And they probably had reason to believe that they were defending not just a "higher standard of living," but a peculiar and valuable way of life that would perish if the oasis were overrun by desert dwellers. And only after the violent confrontation could it be seen whether a modus vivendi could be found that would not eliminate the differences, But with each new growth of advantages, envy would also grow stronger again, and claims on the one hand, self-assertion on the other would allow the interplay to develop over the millennia, which from a certain concentration onwards

is called history and which would repeatedly be articulated in wars. So we come to the following conclusion: On the unevenly shaped surface of the earth, struggles and wars between human groups are unavoidable and a powerful factor in "networking" or regional unity, provided the disadvantaged do not renounce their claim to equality and as long as a situation has not arisen which, in a general consensus, enables a peaceful balance across the earth, better: a series of balance processes. But no imaginable compensation can eliminate the essentially constant differentiation of the earth and the increasing number and diversity of cultural situations and traditions; whoever strives for such elimination would have to transform the earth into that constructed plane. In other words, wanting to end the war before it has done its job of creating a unified consciousness while respecting the growing differences was - and possibly is - a foolish utopia and the strongest cause of war in the future. 1 With this we return to the analysis of war as a historical existential. Islam was on the verge of defeating the Eastern Roman Empire around 700 AD, and the capital was besieged several times. Only the technical achievement of "Greek fire" saved the empire and with it the eastern bastion of Christianity from collapse. Almost four centuries later, however, Emperor Romanos IV lost the decisive battle at Manzikert against the Turks, and since then Byzantium, no longer even in complete possession of Asia Minor, had been so weakened that it was conquered by the Turks in 1453, who then became more and more dense pushed towards Western Europe before suffering the decisive defeat near Vienna in 1683, which reversed the East-West movement. The Hagia Sophia was known to have been converted into a mosque; the religious culture of Islam had replaced the religious culture of Christianity; Christians and Jews survived, but

they had become "protégés" without political rights, and the Ottomans could henceforth organize the "boy picking" among the Christian peoples of the Balkans, through which they recruited their elite troops.

When the battle between two cultures was decided by wars, the alternative often enough seemed to be »non-culture« versus »culture«, as in the battle of the Germans in 955 on the Lechfeld against the still pagan Hungarians, and in the middle of the 13th Century in Silesia in the fight against the Mongols. After the lost battle of Liegnitz, only a fortunate coincidence brought about the retreat of the attackers, who had already taken possession of the whole of North Asia and large parts of Eastern Europe. The Russians had lost this fight, and the result was that "Tatar yoke" for them, which is one of their traumas to this day. But in 1380 Russian armies prevailed on the Kulikovo field against the power of the "Golden Horde", albeit with the heaviest losses, The fact that Protestantism remained a lasting phenomenon and that England and northern Germany were not returned to Catholicism by the Counter-Reformation, like parts of France and Austria, was not primarily due to the competition among the preachers, but rather to the successful defense against the Spanish Armada, favored by fortunate natural circumstances 1588 and through the intervention of the Swedish king Gustav Adolf in the dispute between the denominational powers, which had apparently already been decided by Wallenstein in favor of the emperor and thus of Catholicism. It is true that the argument is possible and tends to be widespread today, at least in the battles between Islam and Christianity and between Catholicism and Protestantism, there were not really essential differences that would have justified the thousands of death cries of the soldiers and the suffering of the bereaved: also a Europe that had become Islamic would have been a country of high culture, and Greifswald would not have developed less well if the Latin Mass had been celebrated in its cathedral instead of the German Liturgy of the Word. But a thought like this

can be applied all the more to internal political conditions: ducking down saves victims and as a rule does not call survival into question, but the advocates of time-honoured and endangered legal relationships such as the peasants of the German Peasants' War were just as unwilling to ensure the survival of the individual to make the supreme maxim like the pioneers of Protestantism or the knights of the defensive battles in Silesia. The willingness to stand up for values of an over-vital kind with one's life - be it for the self-assertion of one's own state, one's own culture and one's own religion or for "honor" or for "freedom" - is a main character of all history par excellence, which justifies the internal possibility of wars and does not lose its legitimacy because a large number of contemporaries were presumably willing to submit to the claims of the enemy if only their physical existence were secured. And it is precisely from this that, according to Hegel's famous chapter in the Phenomenology of Spirit, the difference between 'master and servant' results, but also the possibility of 'emancipation' and 'general freedom'.

But this thesis is valid for all of history, presumably also for prehistory, and one may even discover "biological roots". In our context, however, the main question to be asked is: Has war been changed by the world religions, and if so, in what way? The common characteristic of all world religions is that they contain a "message of peace," that is, that they do not simply come to terms with the reality of war. Buddha rejected any kind of violence, and yet he also justified it as an inevitable part of existence in the cycle of births; only in Nirvana has war disappeared as well as suffering and individual consciousness. Whoever, like King Ashoka, was serious about rejecting suffering and thus war, had to pay a high price, namely the weakening and ultimately the downfall of his state. If the Chinese are culturally far behind and not

once defeated by numerically superior Mongols for a whole period, the cause was seen early on in the pacifism of the Confucian bureaucracy and the consequent contempt for the soldiers. The Christian church fathers, such as Tertullian, were outspoken pacifists, and the church upheld the ban on armed service, although not always with full consistency. However, a first change in the attitude towards war was already noticeable in Athanasius and Augustine, and with the Crusades the transformation of the maxim 'teach all peoples' into the demand 'subdue the enemies of Christianity' seems to have been completed. But wasn't that just an adoption of the much more decisive maxim of Islam, to spread the faith through war, a maxim which, of course, could be mitigated by appealing to individual and milder statements by Muhammad? So the assertion is certainly not entirely wrong that all world religions tend, albeit to different degrees, to assert their universalistic claims not only through proclamation and preaching, but also through war, Needless to say, these religious wars were never "pure" in their motives: the advance of Islam in the seventh century was fueled not only by religious zeal but also by the ancient looting of Arab tribes, and the crusade against other Christians in southern France it would hardly have been so successful if it had not been linked to the possessiveness and will to rule of the northern French knights and the crown.

Nonetheless, one must not simply speak of "genocides by the world religions" or even attribute the existence of genocides to the "world religions". Genocides, wars of annihilation, existed long before the emergence of world religions, also and especially among 2 »savages«, and the genocides listed above stand largely unconnected with world religions such as the

Wars of annihilation by Greek cities against other Greek cities. The 80,000 Romans killed at the "Vespers of Asia Minor" fell victim to the hatred of the native population for the foreign moneylenders and usurers; it is therefore questionable whether the term »genocide« can be used at all.

But there are further distinctions to be made: It is not the same when tens of thousands of now defenseless enemies are killed in the frenzy of a successful conquest or when a campaign of annihilation is planned in cold blood against pagan or "unbelieving" peoples. And fundamentally every world religion has adhered to the principle that the vanquished are allowed to convert and then their existence is secured. At no point did we come across an analogy to "Joshua", ie to the practiced or possibly just mental requirement to exterminate the inhabitants of a certain country to the last remnant, not just to make room for the invaders, but to open up to them the possibility of a "holy" life pleasing to God by eliminating all dangers of infection through an orgiastic natural religion. The Germanic tribes of the Migration Period did indeed fight without scruples for "living space," but they had no intention of wiping out the Roman provincial population, and the idea of wanting to form a "community of saints" was far from their minds.

The radical contrast to the always justified wars of annihilation are the "cabinet wars" of the early modern period, which on the other hand as "cherished wars" also form the opposite pole to the unleashed or absolute wars in which complete victory, but not annihilation of the enemy and was sought after by its population. The "flower wars" of the late period of pre-Hispanic Mexico should at least be mentioned in one sentence as a very strange hybrid form of religious wars and cabinet wars that does not exist anywhere else in the world; they were only waged to give the peoples or tribes involved the opportunity to take prisoners of war

3 to make, which were then sacrificed in honor of the gods. The huge skull pyramids that the Spaniards found under Cortez in the Aztec

capital of Tenochtitlan were one of the main reasons why the Christian war of conquest took on the character of a religious war of annihilation. The most common of all distinctions is that of "aggressive" and defensive wars. The latter are still considered legitimate today, while the former have long been condemned. But as a rule no clear boundary can be drawn, as the concept of "preventive war" already shows, and at least up to now almost every conqueror has found legal grounds to support his claims and his actions. And only in rare cases was the complete conquest of the enemy state the goal; when that was the case, the war of conquest quickly became a war of annihilation as a result of the fierce resistance it aroused. Presumably the supranational nature of the European nobility was one reason why this case did not exist in the internal history of the West.

In general it can be said of the war that the most important of the social reorganizations can be traced back directly or indirectly to it: When the mercenary troops of the Byzantine Empire suffered repeated defeats against Islamic armies, the so-called themed constitution and the stratitic estates were introduced, i.e. an estate was created created by military peasants who were organized in military districts (the "themes") and, in contrast to the mere mercenaries, felt committed to the state as such. By this measure, to all appearances, the lifespan of the empire was lengthened considerably. It hardly needs to be emphasized that the war not only had a destructive effect, but that beyond the promotion of weapon technology it opened up new avenues for economic development, abolished local self-sufficiency and even meant for many simple soldiers an intensification of life in the face of death. War brought out the highest and lowest in human nature, which remain hidden in the balance of routine peace

and it is not surprising that in the middle of the 19th century a socialist like Pierre-Joseph Proudhon was still singing the praises of the power 4 of war to promote progress, although he felt that this positive role was coming to an end in his presence. But even during the Weimar Republic, and not just after 1933, the "moral justification of war" could be defended in Germany with arguments like the following: War is certainly a great destroyer of human happiness and wellbeing, but it is also the "purifying one." Thunderstorm, the steely bath, from which the peoples emerge rejuvenated and strengthened." As a willingness to make sacrifices, it means an elevation of existence for the individual, and above all it makes a whole people aware that it is not only for the present, but also responsible for the historical heritage of the ancestors and 5 the spiritual and moral life of future generations. But in the midst of the most warlike times, even in Homer, such voices of praise for war and a positive self-image of warriors were rare, though at some point entirely absent, and the desire for peace resounds in literature of all ages, not just religious ones. In the cosmopolitanism of post-Socratic philosophers and especially in the Stoics' idea of a world state, the descriptions of facts or concrete postulates for the near future approach the ideas of utopias, and in the praise speech of a Greek rhetor on the Roman Empire in the middle of the second century AD .they reach a climax: … the entire inhabited earth, clearer than a chorus, resounds in one tone, in common prayer, that this dominion would like to remain for all time: it is led to such beautiful harmony by this supreme ruler (the emperor) ... To wars, yes, that it ever given, one no longer believes; as one hears of mythical tales, so does the multitude hear of them... Cities stand radiant in splendor and grace, the whole earth is adorned like a garden of paradise: incendiary smoke from the plains

and signals of friend and foe have vanished as if carried away by a 6 wind, beyond sea and land.

But it would not be many decades before rhetoricians and historians had to devote all their energies to describing the wars in which the Roman Empire fell. In the early Middle Ages, wars still resembled the conquests of warlords and their followers, and around the turn of the millennium, in large parts of the West and also in the Islamic world, genuine feuds, anarchy of the nobility or petty dynasties, had taken the place of the great wars. and they were even harder to bear for the masses of the population. If Christ was not infrequently depicted in the guise of a feudal lord, the "God's Peace Movement", primarily in France and particularly promoted by the Cluny Monastery, sought to bring about an improvement. In England and France, the centralizing activities of the dynasties each gave rise to a state that, in the narrower sense, deserved the name because it combined the ability to wage war externally with peacekeeping internally, while in the German Empire the "land peace movement" of the feudal anarchy of the "emperorless era" and the robber baron system only very imperfectly, before this task was taken over with greater success by the strongest of the feudal powers, the sovereign principality, in its development to territorial statehood.

Literature appears as an independent force for peace for the first time in the Querela Pacis by Erasmus von Rotterdam, even though it is still closely linked to the Christian idea of peace, that believers are the mystical "Body of Christ". This, however, was potentially and in many other places also quite currently linked to another idea of war, namely the demand for Christians to unite to ward off the enemy of 7 the faith, "the Turk". On the other hand, the Duke of Sully's 'Great Plan', which is said to have been inspired by none other than the king, is entirely secular

Henry IV of France and who envisaged a far-reaching reorganization and reorganization of Europe, which alone could secure peace. But the priority given to the French position and interests is so conspicuous that a serious attempt at realization should have led to a great war. The difficulty involved in the Abbé de Saint-Pierre's "Projet pour rendre la paix perpétuelle en Europe" is of a different nature. In fact, Saint-Pierre wanted to freeze the status quo as established by the Treaty of Utrecht of 1713 after the end of the War of the Spanish Succession, and it is clear that such a rigidity, especially on the part of the future revolutionaries, their oldest generation was born around this time could not expect approval. The earliest secular peace thinkers (who would certainly not have called themselves "peace researchers") in the eighteenth century also include William Penn, Jeremy Bentham, and to some extent Jean-Jacques Rousseau, while Hugo Grotius is the most important theorist of the above mentioned "keeping of the war" was. Frenchman Emeric Crucé deserves a special mention. Unlike Saint-Pierre, he does not limit the future League of Nations to Europe, and he anticipates one of Herbert Spencer's main thesis, namely that war does not pay and that international trade creates the conditions for world peace by increasing the wealth of states and the ensure the welfare of its citizens. Of course, there is still a long way to go, and that is why Crucé does not fundamentally rule out war: League of Nations wars against "pirates" and also barbarian peoples will 8th have to be waged.

Immanuel Kant's treatise on Perpetual Peace from 1795 is to be regarded as the culmination and conclusion of the 18th century peace thinking, which was no longer emphatic Christian and also no longer 9 primarily determined by the condemnation of denominational civil wars. In this tract, war appears as an evil that is difficult to overcome. A section of the Critique of the

judgment(§28) where it says that even war, if it is waged with civil rights sanctified, has something sublime about it and at the same time makes the way of thinking of the people concerned "all the more sublime, the more dangers they have been exposed to". , whereas a long peace tends to make the mere spirit of commerce and thus base selfishness dominant and 10 to degrade the way of thinking of the people. And in §83 Kant declares war, albeit under various safeguards, for "another driving force... to develop all talents that serve culture to the highest degree". Kant does not give a simplistic, moralizing answer to the question of "war and peace." It was therefore not correct in every respect when the eulogists of war often referred to Hegel's propositions against Kant, such as the comparison of war with the movement of the winds, which keep the sea from putrefaction, "into which it has a permanent Rest, as the peoples would be 11 moved by a lasting and even an everlasting peace". Nor can Hegel's thinking about war and peace be reduced to a simple formula, and I close this chapter with one of Hegel's most remarkable texts, which of course belongs to the 12 19th century and comes from the lectures on aesthetics.

Here Hegel characterizes warlike conditions as the basis of the epic plot, but it must be a question of wars between foreign nations, because dynastic wars and civil wars were more suited to the dramatic depiction. However, it should not be about ordinary or accidental wars, but "about the universal historical justification that drives one people against the other." Thus, in the great epics of the past, the triumph of the West over the East and of European proportions over Asiatic splendor is portrayed; but if one wants to think today of possible epics of the future, 'then this would only have to show the victory of the American living reasonableness of the past over imprisonment in a never-ending measurement and particularization.

start another European nation; if one now wants to send beyond Europe, it can only be to America.« Perhaps one can interpret these sentences as follows: Moral condemnations are not adequate for wars, insofar as they are worldhistorical wars, also wars that also justify great art, but if once America, taking over the torch of world history in warlike conflicts from exhausted Europe, its living reasonableness unfolded, then the articles of Kant's treatise will finally be translated into reality.

But what would the great majority of individuals have said about this triumphant march of world history with its "repressions," its many wars, and short periods of peace, which reached its climax in the absolute knowledge of Hegelian philosophy? Had it not been filled with violent rebellion, would it not have constituted a "left" in some way?

40Rebellion and "The Left" A good starting point is the episode related by Montaigne, which was quoted in the first part: When some Brazilian Indians were brought to Europe, after first becoming acquainted with the conditions, they expressed their astonishment that men here had a child as theirs King obeyed and that the disadvantaged half of the people would not go for the throat of the 1 favored ones. As members of a clan and tribal society, these Indians articulated nothing other than the feeling of all people who live in the transparent and manageable conditions of prehistory and even the earliest historical times, primarily in relatively autonomous village communities. what inChapter 21What has been said can be summarized in the form of theses: If justice is as much as equality, then the clan and even the tribal society and no less the initial village community is the just society, because there there is no rule, no separation between general interest and private interest, no significant differences in the economic situation. Even if a nobility arises from the minor differences, which in reality are of course present from the beginning, it is a "people's nobility" and a "lord's nobility" can only arise if military conflicts arise from external relations. The majority of people can have the feeling of living in an unjust society towards the aristocracy and its monarchy, But the realities of history correspond only very partially to this simple ideal type. The Inca dynasty was certainly the head of a ruling class that was alien to the great mass of the subjugated, but they had a large network of roads built and made it possible

significant improvements in agriculture; the Normans in England were undoubtedly a conquering and "overlapping" group, even speaking a different language from the conquered Saxons, but the taxes which the conquered had to pay served not only for the luxury of the royal court but also for the maintenance of an armed one Power that, albeit in a different form, would have had to be nurtured if the Battle of Hastings in 1066 had ended in favor of the Saxons. But there has always been a natural tendency among the oppressed, even when they were merely 'taxpayers', to orient themselves towards the notion of that 'just society' of clans and village communities, and at the same time to enlighten the stratified society of which they were a part Attributing lines of oppression and exploitation that only fully conformed to an ideal type. And conversely, it was obvious for every nobleman, even if it had not emerged from conquest and overriding, not to attribute the striking inequality to historical causes, such as a military victory, but to see it rooted in a natural basic fact, for example in an inherent, "bloody" superiority.

The classic examples range from the "belief in colour" of the lightskinned Aryans in India to the pride of French nobles in their Germanic descent. The "natural ideology" of the people or the oppressed is therefore the conviction of the injustice of the present situation, yes of all historical conditions, and the longing for the return of just, ie equal, conditions in the prehistoric beginning of time; the "natural ideology" of the gentry or oppressor is the belief in the primacy of the "blood," which in turn has its origin not in history but in nature. One 'ideology', or rather way of thinking, possibly consisting only of inarticulate feelings, should be called 'primitivism', avoiding a pejorative connotation, the other may be called 'aristocratism'. Both ways of thinking are in principle

without a relationship to history, but they can gain such a relationship if they attain a clear consciousness of themselves and if one sees in the historical process the loss of equality and at the same time the tendency to regain it, while the other comes to the conclusion that all periods of history are determined by aristocracies, but that the aristocratic principle can perish with history itself. The ideal-typical rebellion of the disadvantaged, which the Indians understood as "going for the throat," was softened, broken, or blunted in many ways in historical reality. Thersites rebelled against Agamemnon, but although he was evidently speaking only what the mass of foot soldiers felt, they laughed at him because he was "ugly" and because Odysseus, who silenced him with a few blows, was far from the people impressed more than its own champion. Almost all rulers of the nobility also had popular traits, and very often the people saw in the dynasty an enlarged image of themselves, and therefore a model that aroused admiration. And hardly 2 ever was the separation radical; the names Derfflinger and Sporck can stand as an example for the countless ordinary people who rose to the ranks of the aristocracy, even the rulers: the Byzantine Emperor Basil I was originally a groom, the successor of Peter the Great, the Tsarina Catherine, was a Lithuanian maid in her youth been, Pope Sixtus V. had tended the pigs as a boy. Above all, however, were "the poor," the mass of the people was just as differentiated in itself as, as a rule, the nobility, although in this respect the differences between peoples and cultures were considerable: everywhere there were poor who were less poor than others, and not a little, had to lose by going at the throats with the poorest of the aristocracy or the rich; in not a few places in the world these "less poor" were even wealthy, "bourgeois" and averse to the nobility, but ready to support them immediately if they were endangered by a revolt of the poorest. Conversely, the monarchy often stood in a common front

with the people against the nobility when it was necessary to curtail their power, and parts of the nobility often allied themselves with the people in the fight against the claims of the monarch. As a rule, the conflicts of history did not take place according to the ideal-typical pattern of class struggle between the oppressors and the oppressed, but as disputes within the leading stratum, which at best bordered on the merely potential possibility of a "popular uprising". The stratified societies of history were thus far stronger, but in extreme cases also far weaker, than the primitivist notion of the struggle of the just half of society against the unjust half suggests. However, it remains an inviolable truth that no rational reasons can be given for the concrete inequalities in the concrete historical societies, and especially since the economic differences are far greater than that they can be adequately justified by different ability. Even if a supra-regional market economy is only weakly developed, coincidences play a major role, and efficiency is often enough identical with lack of scruples. It cannot have been ability in the usual sense that made Crassus by far the richest man in Rome within a short time, but it was the unscrupulous exploitation of special circumstances created by politics.

But criticism by other knights of such behavior, condemned by prevailing ethics, should not be called a "rebellion." Such a rebellion was shown in antiquity and also in the North American South by the slave, who, despite his exhaustion, was whipped to further work; in all agricultural societies the peasant, to whom the large landowners or the State tax collectors barely left enough to barely sustain life. The slaves and the poorest strata of the peasantry are the groups that have the best reason and the most right to one

have rebellion. For this very reason they are subject to a ban on organization in all historical societies, which in many places and also in the cities of the Western Middle Ages also extends to the lowest strata of craftsmen who, like 3 the Florentine ciompi, do not belong to the guilds or guilds allowed are.

The first manifestation of that rebellion is therefore the uprisings of the slaves, the poorest peasants and the humblest artisans, that is to say of those strata who could be said to have lived no worse if there had been no history at all. It is the human beings who are transcendentally wronged because they are forced to be deprived, within history as the specifically human event, of the material and spiritual benefits produced in and through history.

An unorganized rebellion is dull and usually just destructive: One paradigm is the small farmers in a village who kill the tax collectors, who do not even want to let them have the seeds, and who inevitably are thrown down by police units a short time later and dragged before merciless judges. Such peasant uprisings were counted in the 4 Japanese Tokugawa period, well over a thousand. All history is full of peasant and slave uprisings of this kind, although historians tend to take notice of them only when, as a result of certain circumstances, they have acquired larger dimensions and have subsequently acquired a certain degree of organization. Even of these, little more than the name is often known, and at most the specialist researcher, with difficulty, gains some insight into the concrete circumstances and the details of the events. Especially in China, the peasant uprisings were repeated incessantly, and the history books usually only included self-designations such as the "red eyebrows" or the "yellow turbans". Roman history speaks of the peasant uprising of the "bucoles" and the "lantron movement". The well-known slave rebellion under Spartacus was followed by the Sicilian rebellions of 124-130 and 104-100

in advance; It is doubtful whether the great peasant uprisings in Russia under Stenka Razin, Ivan Bolotnikov and Yemelyan Pugachev can be classified here, for in them the element of an ideology brought in from outside played a 5 role. But the revolutionary reform of the Gracchi, Catiline's attempted coup, the "Jewish War" of AD 66-70, Mazdakism in Sassanid Persia, the Charijites in Islam, the German Peasants' War and the "Digger" of the English revolutionary epoch certainly belong in another category.

The uprising of Spartacus in the years from 73 BC would be a paradigmatic example of the spontaneous, initially unorganized rebellion 6 supported at most by the "natural ideology" of the oppressed. to call. After great success, it ended, as is well known, with the fact that the Roman 7 general, Marcus Licinius Crassus, who was finally victorious, 6000 prisoners along the Via Appia between Capus and Rome suffered slave death, the crucifixion. Here it was already blatantly evident what was to remain a fundamental reality in history: that nothing frightens a leading class and all its supporters among the people so much as an uprising of the lowest social class and that generally nothing is more ruthless entails retaliation.

The majority of these slaves wanted nothing more than to flee their unbearable situation, just as many Russian peasants escaped from the exploitation of their landlords by fleeing much later in the 17th and 18th centuries and became "Cossacks" in the Don region. Under Spartacus, the slaves did not attack their masters with slogans of annihilation and moral condemnations, they found no sympathy among the educated and philosophers on the other side, and no members of the Roman nobility joined them. In this way, the uprisings of the slaves must be distinguished from the "normal" conflicts among the groups or estates or classes of the free population: the peasants of Rome and Italy, under the leadership of nobles like Tiberius and Gaius Gracchus, resisted desperately against the creeping expropriation that followed that of them

Rome's own wars came upon them, but eventually, as the propertyless "proletarians," they were fed by the state and entertained by games

- as unenviable as this fate was, it clearly meant a participation in the advantages created by history. But the slave uprisings are also not to be equated with those movements that referred to religious teachings or philosophical theses and thus acquired (in the broadest sense) an ideological character. It was not only the poorest of the poor who could posit equality: the widening of the field of vision brought about by the expansion of the Roman Empire weakened distinctions that had previously been unchallenged, e.g. B. the distinction between barbarians and Hellenes or Romans. In any case, the sophist Antiphon emphatically questioned it and justified the idea of human equality with the striking thesis: "Let's all breathe out through our mouths and noses, and let's all eat with the 8th help of our hands." This thesis of equality was based on the old opposition of "nature" and (human) "law," of "physis" and "nomos," from which Callicles, however, had 9 drawn the opposite conclusion in the Platonic Gorgias. For Antiphon, the natural was the necessary, and the legal, because it was merely agreed upon, the arbitrary; all historical and cultural differences were therefore irrelevant, and only what was given by nature was the essential thing. No one showed his contemporaries so vividly what this philosophy considered essential as Diogenes, "the dog," who lived in a barrel, drank the water out of his cupped hands, and thought it right that human beings should do the same with their sexual lives should lead without shame and in public like animals. This form of philosophy, the Cynical, also saw itself as a form of enlightenment, just like Dom Deschamps did 2000 years later, who preached a »animation« of man as a salvation from all the damage 10 and vices of history.

The natural 'primitivism', the return to the simple and equal primeval times, is thus justified by these philosophers with an even more farreaching recourse than that to the tribal society of primeval times. And yet this primitivism seemed to stand in a close and positive relation to the most recent condition, the condition of cosmopolitanism, which had in fact been brought within reach by the Roman Empire and was justified by the thesis of Zeno, the founder of the Stoic school, who declared that by nature all human beings belonged to one another. People belonged to one another most obviously when the striving for pleasure, for »hedoné«, as for Aristippus, was their main characteristic: a representative of a patriarchal-moral culture like a Jew or a Roman could get along with the follower of an orgiastic natural religion never get together; but the barriers fell as soon as they had freed themselves from the prison of their traditions and agreed in the affirmation of their own striving for pleasure. However, it had to be a rational striving if society was to remain stable, and so a new moralism arose in the Stoics with the model of the 'wise man'.

But the inhabitants of happy islands, of which philosophical travel writers were able to tell, perfectly combined inclination and duty in their way of life; they lived in such small, manageable circumstances as the people of primeval times, and were so little guided by gloomy passions that they lived in perfect harmony with the cosmos and were just as free from greed and covetousness, the source of which is the existence of private property is. At least that's how the inhabitants of the "Island of the Sun" of Jambulos live: in clans of about 400 people in a tropical wonderland that eliminates the need for laborious work, so that individuals are able to indulge in this pleasure today and that pleasure tomorrow, today that Fishing and tomorrow gardening about. Of course they don't know of a "state" and just as little of anything like the police or executioners; however, they agree to broad regulations

eugenic in nature, and they end their lives in a "euthanasia," which is a celebration, as their whole life has been celebrated as a celebration. Elements of this notion of an "entirely different" life are found in many ancient writers, even in Plato's myth of Atlantis related in Critias, in Theopompus' descriptions of the land of the "antipodes," and in the 11 depiction of the island of Panchaia by Euhemeros.

This construction of a world sharply opposed to the present world can obviously only be undertaken by a being determined by 'transcendence'. However, the fact that the ideal is oriented towards very real characteristics of a distant past points to an essential weakness or finitude of transcendence. In the religions of the world this weakness is far less evident: Nirvana bears no resemblance to any phase of prehistory or history, and in Christianity the transfigured bodies of the resurrected feel no need of food and drink. Nevertheless, Christianity in particular, but also Islam, offered room for the "primitivist" return that has contributed so much to changing realities, albeit always with greater complexity as a result. Heretics and reformers did not orientate themselves on the clan society of the pagan primeval times or the Arab prehistory, but on the way of life of the first Christian communities, whose members, according to a possibly misleading account of the Acts of the 12 Apostles, had 'everything in common' and who in any case were free from the spirit of covetousness and violence.

In turn, for the dissidents of Islam, particularly the Kharijites and then the Seventh Shia, it was the age of the first "four rightly guided caliphs" that embodied the primacy of believing piety, and was then succeeded by a rule that wrongly presented itself as non-state and community (»umma«). Since ancient religiosity knew no dogmatic religious persecution and the Shiites were at least recognized by the Sunnis as "believers", within the framework of the

Christianity and later Islam articulate and even organize that "rebellion" that is often called "social revolutionary". If one understood the "equality of men before God" that Christianity proclaimed not as an all-encompassing religious faith, but as an imperfect insight of a political nature that still had the step to "real equality on earth" ahead of it, then the Christian Religion and later Islam became the pretext or cover for movements that were primarily concerned with restoring primordial and real equality. However, none of the spokesmen would have admitted such a worldly goal in clear words: the "kingdom of God" always remained more than a mere "earthly paradise" or even as a "kingdom of real equality". For this very reason, none of the social-revolutionary tendencies, schools of thought or sects in Christianity and Islam is reduced to being a "rebellion" of the poorest and most oppressed strata; rather, all involve a transcendent mentality and find support and often leadership among people who by no means belong to this poorest stratum. Therefore one can speak here in a broad meaning, which can only be made stringent by additional provisions, of a "Left" which includes the representatives of the established ecclesiastical and state relationships, the hierarchy of ministers in Christianity,

A social-revolutionary tendency was already inherent in Christianity among the Donatists, and the same applies much later to the Bulgarian Bogomils and the southern French Cathars. The Hussites were the earliest Christian 'denomination' and were at least as 'national' as 'social', but they contained as a trend those 'wild people' who were arguably influenced by the libertinist 'Brothers and Sisters of the Free Spirit' and in erected a "paradise for the poor" in an area that was difficult to access, where they lived in complete freedom and, last but not least, enjoyed all sexual pleasures, before Zischka exterminated them down 13 to the last man and woman.

Further enumerations could easily be made, not the least of which would 14 be the rebellion of the Mazdakites in Sassanid Persia and the Islamic sect of the »Assassins«. In the following, however, only three very different examples of the "Christian left" will be discussed, namely the Anabaptists in Münster and two writings, Thomas More's Utopia and the true system of the Benedictine and enlightener Dom Deschamps. The epoch of the Reformation lasted far longer than the Mazdakist rebellion, and as a result it not only changed the situation of a country, but brought about a new world situation: Christianity, after the prelude to Hussite rule, finally disintegrated into several denominations, those in theology and dogmatics were much further apart than Sunna and Shia, and yet remained much more closely intertwined than the various branches of Islam. Almost four decades passed from the posting of Luther's theses to the Augsburg Religious Peace, but by then the confessional wars in France had hardly begun, and the great European war, the Thirty Years, only began after another six decades; Only with the Peace of Westphalia of 1648 could the epoch of the Reformation and the confessional wars and civil wars be considered over. But even then, the system of internally and externally sovereign, of absolutist or tendentiously absolutist states only slowly and unevenly prevailed in Europe; only around 1750 did it become a phenomenon in the fullness of its external and internal forces, with no comparable center of power existing in the world, although in Germany the "Turkish threat" was not considered to have been eliminated and although the Chinese emperors continued to treat their country as a looked at the middle of the world. For the first time in world history, "tolerance" was demanded and in some cases granted: no longer mere toleration, as Islam granted its protégés, or the broad-mindedness of polytheism, but the recognition of organized differences, albeit primarily denominational differences. With that he drew

the possibility that a social rebellion could also create a connection or at least find a basis on which it could unfold. By 1750 the writers of the "Enlightenment" in France were no longer far from being the determining force in public opinion, which was only slightly restricted by censorship, and the work of these writers consisted largely of criticism of the "feudal" , but even more so in the "absolutist" regime, although important representatives of this regime were also among the Enlighteners and, in their own way, led the fight against the claims of the Church and especially against "Jesuitism".

Thus the world-historically completely new possibility arose that within this polygonal "liberal system" of states, denominations and estates, a "public sphere" arose in which a new type of left and a new type of right confronted each other: a left that represented elementary rebellion draw on, even assimilate, without becoming absorbed in it, since writers were its spokesmen, who themselves belonged to established culture, and a right that was no longer identical with "the rulers" but from "society". called on the leading strata of the states to wage a more determined struggle against the left. Now only the step towards the formation of fixed organizations, ie of parties, remained to be taken, and then, in the fullest sense, there would be a 'Left' and a 'Right', both divided into a moderate and a radical direction. If anything gave inner strength to the warnings of right-wing writers and no fewer statesmen in the decades before the outbreak of the French Revolution, it was not least the memory of certain events of the Reformation period, primarily the German Peasants' War and the rule of the Anabaptists in Munster. There are good reasons for claiming that the Lutheran

Reformation is one of the movements critical of the church of

Late Middle Ages, which the church no longer integrate

after integrating the various "poverty" and "piety movements" in the form of the mendicant orders, the beguines or the "devotio moderna". The attempt failed because that national element which had already appeared in Czech Hussitism and which had led to the early stages of Gallicanism in France had become powerful in Germany. But it was just as important that the elementary rebellion of the lowest strata found a new form in which it was combined with the early Christian (but also Islamic) pathos of establishing the 'kingdom of God' and cleansing the earth of the 'godless'. The demands of the peasants, which preceded the outbreak of the civil war in 1525, were aimed at regaining older and better conditions, but not at restoring primitive equality; Thomas Müntzer, however, Luther's more radical and unruly follower, demanded in passionate sermons that the ungodly be destroyed as a precondition for establishing the kingdom of God on earth: Now on it, on it, on it, it's time, the wicked are free faint-hearted like dogs; do not let your sword grow cold with blood, forge Pinkepank on the anvil Nimrod, cast down their tower to the ground; it is not possible because (= while) they live that you should get rid of human fear. You cannot be told about God while they rule over you. On it, on it, on it, while it's your day! God go 15 before you, follow! But the terrible punishment that the victorious princes carried out not only on 16 Müntzer himself and his followers, but on the peasants as a whole, brought neither the religious nor the social unrest out of the world, although this very quickly turned Lutheranism into a conservative force allied with the sovereignty. New and more radical tendencies emerged in the Reformation movement: Zwinglianism, later Calvinism and, above all, Anabaptism. They all appealed to "God's will," the tendency for the Reformed Church to overpower the state, that is, to overpower it completely

Christianization of the community was already strong in Zwingli and even more so in Calvinism, but Müntzer's will to cleanse the earth by eradicating the "godless" and to establish the kingdom of God on the cleansed earth only lived on among the Anabaptists, because only they believed themselves so superior to the evil world by appealing to their "inner light" that any kind of community with sinners was excluded. Separation from the world could, however, also be achieved by withdrawing from it and by fully concentrating on one's own holy life, and this "quietistic" tendency was particularly dominant among the South German Anabaptists, which staunchly faced the persecution of the world saw and accepted martyrdom without hesitation. But all authorities, including those of the Reformation, regarded the "Anabaptists," who rejected infant baptism and only validated adult baptism, as at least as much political subversives who cut the bond of community life as heretics who denied the human nature of Christ and awaited the Last Judgment in the near future.

Numerous Anabaptists were also executed in southern Germany, and the harshness of the city and state authorities is at least more understandable because the "Turkish danger" was felt to be very threatening and quite a few Anabaptists not only advocated capitulation, but also a triumph of the Turks as punishment longed for by their enemies. But in North Germany, in Munster, they were able to establish their rule for a year and a half. It would be incorrect to claim that in the old episcopal city the rebellion of the poorest strata of the population, who were also tormented by an economic crisis, was covered with the religious veil of Anabaptism, and that all feudal and conservative forces had united against this rebellion, so that Bishop Franz von Waldeck could have conquered the city with the support of the »Reich«. One must not call the sovereignty, which was to determine the development in Germany for almost 300 years, "reactionary" in relation to an actually existing force, and the

Anabaptist rule was not exclusively supported by the poorest strata of the population, but counted quite a few of the long-established citizens among its pioneers, at the head Bernhard Knipperdolling, who was mayor the entire time. No less important was the city's first reformer, the preacher Bernd Rothmann, who had spread the Lutheran faith in the city since 1529 and who was led to the Anabaptists through the inner consistency of the radical criticism of the church. Elementary prerequisites were the widespread disputes between the city and the princely or clerical "city lord" in late medieval cities, and the internal conflict between the patricians and the guilds. After a radical reformation and a victory for the guilds as a result of the support of the poorest classes, an armed struggle between the city and the recently elected and still quite uncertain bishop could probably have ensued, which was probably waged with increasing severity on both sides were. But a qualitative difference resulted from the arrival of the two Dutch "prophets" Jan Matthys from Haarlem and Johann Bockelson, who was called Jan van Leiden. They were not satisfied with the main statement of all radical reformers that the church founded by Christ and built up unadulterated by the apostles had betrayed the spirit of genuine Christianity, the original community, as a result of the rise of the papal hierarchy, and that Luther had only eliminated a few abuses, but not paved the way for a genuine return to early Christianity. Very soon after his arrival, Jan Matthys demanded in a sermon that the New Jerusalem that was to be erected in Munster must be cleansed of all uncleanliness; the right way is 17 therefore the killing of all papists, Lutherans, 18 So the will to exterminate was not, as some authors claim, only a consequence of the radicalization of the struggle, but it was an "overshooting" given from the beginning, which resulted with much consequence from the intention to build a Christian empire of "Israelites",

in which the prophets of the Old Testament were quoted far more often than the teachings of Christ in the Sermon on the Mount. It was extremely characteristic that a young woman, Hille Feickens, undertook to go to the bishop's camp as the "new Judith" and kill the new 19 Holofernes. And it was even logical that Jan van Leiden, like the David of the Old Testament, had himself made king after he had previously married the beautiful wife of Jan Matthys, who had been killed in a sortie. And even this did not completely fall out of the picture of the Old Testament or Koranic theocracy, that the king ultimately had 16 wives and a large court. However, the introduction of the community of goods could not be derived from the Old Testament, and there was no parallel in the Bible and in the Koran that Jan van Leiden dragged one of his queens, Elisabeth Wantscheres, who had shown insubordination, to the market with 20 his own hands and cut off her head there. On the other hand, it was logical that one day all the worldly books were collected and ceremoniously burned in the market place, since only knowledge of the Old and New Testaments was required for salvation. So it seems that the Anabaptists, enemies of the ceremonial and sacramental system of the early church, were pioneers of modernity and yet as unmodern as possible in their religious enthusiasm, their expectation of the end times, their pathological visions and their hostility to education. When hunger spread in the besieged city and the episcopal lansquenets attacked, they fought with great bravery, and hardly anyone renounced his faith under torture after defeat, but it hardly needed the various slanders of their enemies that the The horror of this faith-based state continued through decades, even through centuries. He was undoubtedly a manifestation of the "Left" - in the broad sense indicated above and not just a figure of human rebellion,

party system, in their own self-image and in the enemy image of their 21 opponents. Of the two writings mentioned above, which illustrate or at least shed light on the concept of the left, one is world-famous and comes from an author who is also very remarkable from a political point of view, the other was hardly read in its day and was only rediscovered in the recent past, but it embodies an extreme and ideal-typical possibility of the left, more precisely, of left-wing thinking critical of the "circumstances."

Thomas More, Latinized More, close friend of Erasmus of Rotterdam and for a time also of King Henry VIII, 1523 "Speaker" of the House of Commons and then for many years "Lord Chancellor of England", was one of the most notable personalities of intellectual and political life of the Renaissance and finally, in 1535, not yet 50 years old, one of the first martyrs of the Catholic faith in England of a king who put the Reformation at the service of his private and public interests. His Utopia, the namesake and model of almost all future utopias, was published in Latin in 1516 and is still one of the most frequently mentioned writings. It is divided into two books, the first of which contains a very concrete critique of the social conditions of contemporary English, not least of the greed and profiteering of the big landowners, who constantly increased the grazing land for sheep at the expense of the peasants. As a counterpoint to these grave abuses, the second book tells of an island "Utopia" whose inhabitants have cut off the root of all covetousness and inequality, namely private property. With them all things are common property, and the most beneficent results result therefrom. They know neither idleness nor excessive work, they have neither wineries nor beer houses nor hidden places for vices or conspiracies: everything is public and common, even the hour of bedtime.22in other men's states they see a "conspiracy of rich men for the purpose of the pursuit of their private interests under the mere name of a commonwealth," and they despise gold so much that they

23 make chamber pots out of it. Thus they lead a virtuous and happy life, far removed from the "insatiable covetousness" which in contemporary England makes the wealthy enemies of one another and the poor victims of. It can therefore be stated that if the Anabaptist empire was a mortgage on the account of the emerging left, Thomas More's utopia was an extraordinary asset. If a representative of the highest intellectual culture developed a positive ideal as a result of sharp social criticism, which justified the longing for an uncomplicated life and raised it to a higher level, then how should writers and intellectuals be able to close their eyes to the goals of the left, even though the primitivism seems to be an inheritance of only the humblest of people? However, it has often been overlooked that Thomas More puts all these thoughts into the mouth of a third party, Raphael Hythloday, and expressly underlines the need for criticism in the final section. It cannot therefore be ruled out

Dom Deschamps was a Benedictine, an enlightener and at the same time a staunch enemy of the state and the church of the ancien régime. 24 His book Le vrai système The old distinction between a "natural" and peaceful state on the one hand and the "unnatural" and violent state of the entire historical world on the other leads to an extreme hitherto hardly known, with sharp criticism of state power structures and church dogmas. "Unnatural" for Deschamps is even the pressure exerted on children to learn to read and write; the »état des moeurs«, in which the social ills of the present would be healed, has an imperfect model in the life of the patriarchs of the Old Testament, because to reach this state one would not only have to have our books, our legal claims and papers of all kinds

burn, but one would also have to destroy everything that 25 we call the products of the fine arts. Then there would not be that small minority who call themselves "cultured people" and yet derive their livelihood and luxuries from the exploitation of the labor of the common man. In the état des moeurs there would be no private property, no private property of women either; Trade and ships would be unknown as people's needs would be very simple and could be met face to face, ie in non-mediated traffic. These people would sleep on straw, but at the same time their work would be a pleasure for them. They would be included in nature, the essence of which is equality. Therefore, the burials of their dead 26 would be in no way different from those of their animals.

In the first part, when describing the Neanderthals, it was said that what was human about these early humans was that they buried their dead and did not just bury them, as some animals do. In the Epic of Gilgamesh it became clear that the acceptance of city life was understood as the beginning of culture. The work of Dom Deschamps, certainly a leftist work, but devoted to the logic of consistency, not only goes on to deny the inequality between human beings, but to affirm the equality of humans and animals. The state of nature is the authentic human state because it is (allegedly) the equal state of all living beings. The left, in the form it takes on in Dom Deschamps' work, is highly anti-culture, even anti-human.

The rebellion of the poorest and most tormented people against a historical condition which denies them all the advantages of historical existence has been everywhere in the world where the prehistoric conditions of the clan or tribal state have been abandoned; a transcendental right is inherent in him as opposition to a transcendental injustice.

A left in the broadest sense of the word as a religiously or philosophically based protest against unjust realities can only be found in the realm of world religions or philosophy, be it as a genuine outgrowth of religion or be it under the cloak of religion; it remains close to that rebellion, but is in danger of merely putting it at its service and out of hostility to rule like the Anabaptists in Münster or the "zealots" who ruled in Byzantine Thessaloniki 27 for almost ten years (1342-1350). to develop a particularly distinctive form of domination. The Left in the full sense of the word is a party within the framework of the Liberal system, already rudimentarily existing in the Enlightenment, and as such it only exists in modern Occidental times. It contains different possibilities; neither philosophical moralism in the sense of Thomas More nor anti-culture in the sense of Dom Deschamps are ever completely lost. For a long time she remains convinced of her "transcendental right" before she gains insight into her own diversity and becomes willing to criticize herself.

Rebellion throughout history has almost always been confined to the poorest peasants, the landless farm laborers and the farm slaves, ie the land. The left, even in its religious form, was almost always tied to the cities, whose luxury was inevitably a cause of indignation for them. It makes sense to take up the question of "town and country" again, although it can only partially be brought into line with the question of the manifestations of the left.

41Cities and Country Areas The most important insight gained in Part One with regard to the oldest cities on earth was that although cities cannot exist without a surrounding land area, they are not a mere and even parasitic "superstructure" but open up that land and even "make it" in some places, as has been observed particularly in the land of Sumer. There is therefore a reciprocity relationship that one might call “dialectical”. Many of these cities were city-states, but few were able to maintain their independence; most were sooner or later incorporated into empires. 1 Even where, as in Ugarit, the long-distance traders played an important role, a royal dynasty was usually in charge, which had the armed forces at its disposal. A whole world of city-states can only be found in Greece, which from this point of view may seem like a resurrected Sumer and where above all those inner-city conflicts that could also be observed in one or the other city of Sumeria reached full development. "City-state" means above all: visibility, concreteness of politics; Last but not least, politics is the peaceful or unpeaceful settlement of the urban primal conflict between »poor« and »rich«. Even more originally, however, politics is the consistently warlike settlement of conflicts between the cities, and Max Weber therefore defined 2 the Greek poleis as a "settlement community of warriors". We know quite a bit about this battle-filled existence of the Greek city-states due to the good sources; especially since Thucydides gives deep insights into the civil war situation that prevailed in many of these city-states. Under the

keyword "state" two of these poleis have been examined more closely: the ruling and

The oppressive state of Sparta, which was actually not a city at all, but an aggregate of a few villages in the middle of a large agricultural area, and the already largely democratized Athens of the late period, which aimed at internal domination, but which still exercised a very noticeable rule externally, as it did had already done to a much greater extent at the time of its heyday under Pericles as a suburb of the Attic naval alliance. The landscape of Attica always belonged as closely to the port and trading city of Athens as the inner Peloponnese to Sparta, and on the whole the thesis can be substantiated that the singular culture of classical Greece was the precious fruit of a battle roar and a mobility in which some of the most important representatives of this culture, not least Plato, took such great offense. Rome, too, was for centuries a republican city-state, in whose political life the people played a considerable part, although the most important decisions were made by the aristocracy, for which commercial transactions were long forbidden. It was through these decisions that the city weakened the country: the peasants were constantly called upon to serve in the wars and, having lost their fields to the economically overpowered patricians, flocked to the city where they hoped to find help and only defeat witnessed and had to endure their pioneers like the Gracchen. Eventually, Rome became the capital of a world empire ruled by imperial dynasties, which formally retained its old constitution for centuries, leaving the individual components of the empire a relatively large degree of autonomy, whether they were cities or states. Only in the final epoch before the end of the Western Roman Empire did the extraordinary tax demands of the empire, which was becoming more and more of a "compulsory state" under the Germanic threat, smash or drive out the patriciate, which until then had still been quite active in self-government, which now sought refuge in the countryside and thus anticipating the downfall of ancient urban culture.

For more than half a millennium, in the developing Occident, the country dominated almost unreservedly the few and only in

Remnants of surviving Roman cities of yesteryear: the Merovingian and Carolingian nobility were just as much landed gentry as the Lombard or Alamannic nobility – forts, palaces and castles are not cities, and Charlemagne made Aachen his preferred residence mainly because of the healing springs. But before we look at the re-emergence of a basic possibility of the city in the urban system of the Middle Ages, we want to turn to the designations with which the cities in the other great world religions were given by special researchers. In India's Gupta Empire there existed a number of larger cities which, while generally governed by provincial governors, enjoyed a measure of selfgovernment. There were civic councils, which usually consisted of four members: the head of the merchants, the head of the caravan system, the chief craftsman and the chief scribe. One may assume that the Hellenistic urban system, which stretched with its highlights in Bactria to the border of India, exerted some influence even after its downfall. But then a development set in which, according to an Indian historian, led to the village as a selfcontained economic unit suffocating the city, because it made cross-local 3 exchange, ie trade, unnecessary. By far the largest cities of that time can be found in China; under the Tang dynasty the capital, Chang-an, had a population of more than a million, more populous than all the major cities of the early medieval Occident combined. But in spite of all the hustle and bustle and in spite of the large number of traders, it was firmly in the hands of the imperial and Confucian bureaucracy; the Chinese merchants did not become a self-confident "bourgeoisie" in competition with feudal or bureaucratic powers; they orientated themselves too much towards the learned civil servants who governed the state and held the tradesman's profession in no less light than that of the soldiers. So

the Chinese cities remained administrative and distribution centers and did not become independent factors of development. This is not to say that the cities were without political importance; rather, they were probably the most important factor in the "civilization" of the Mongols who conquered China; the urban luxury that the previous steppe and warrior people in China got to know led to a decline that made the subsequent expulsion possible in the first place. The same happened to the Mongol conquerors in Iran. But that the cities were the cause of decadence was certainly not a Chinese or Iranian peculiarity, and the decline affected not only foreign conquerors, for Polybius already lamented the rampant childlessness 4 in the Hellenistic cities. As will be explained, one of the most important Islamic historians saw the proliferation of cities and luxury as the main cause of the decline of Islamic dynasties and countries, but he was referring primarily to North Africa and the high Middle Ages. In its earliest beginnings the Islamic city had been a fortified camp, but with the extension of its dominion into Persia and Syria Islam took over an already existing city system of considerable development. Even here, however, as later in the Ottoman Empire, the cities remained mainly accumulations of people who could indeed be composed in many ways, namely of Muslims and the various groups of "dhimmis", but who never 5 achieved that "dialectical reciprocity". arrived because the juxtaposition was fixed and the commonality of the separate city districts found expression only in the bazaars. Although Christians and Jews enjoyed a considerable degree of autonomy and self-government, the difference in political rights was so pronounced that any "emancipatory movement" was ruled out. The compulsory guilds, whose leaders were elected but had a clear responsibility to the government, had just as little real freedom of movement. Since there is nowhere - and especially in the Ottoman Empire - an independent

nobility, the possibility of political change was limited to palace 6 intrigues. Even more than the Ottoman Empire, Russia was a state of the country, a state of peasants and landowners. The empire of Kiev had fallen under Mongol rule, and the only city that came close to Western Europe in terms of civic spirit and self-government, Novgorod, was robbed of the last remnants of its autonomy by Ivan IV; the city bell (»vjetsche«), the symbol of their freedom, was brought to Moscow. Even under Peter the Great, 7 Russia's cities were "merely large settlements around a fortress." Peter's newly founded capital on the shore of the Baltic Sea was and remained in every respect an artificial structure that always remained as foreign to the vast farmland as the capital was to the country. Compared to Russia, the whole area of the Latin West was already a city8th rich country during the Middle Ages. One could even say that the ancient poleis were revived, especially in Italy and Germany. Florence and Pisa, Venice and Genoa, Milan and Lucca, Lübeck and Dortmund, Soest and Goslar were for centuries de facto and in part also de jure independent states, city-states, like Athens and Corinth had been. The difference compared to the poleis was that both in Italy and in Germany there were higher and secondary states against which the cities had to assert themselves, sometimes in outright wars.

The battle of Legnano in 1076, defeated by the league of Lombard cities against Emperor Friedrich Barbarossa, secured the freedom of cities in northern Italy, although the entire region legally remained a part of the empire. Florence had the Papal States as neighbors to the south, but in the struggles between Emperor and Pope it sided with the Pope and belonged to the all-Italian Guelph party, which opposed the equally all-Italian Ghibelline party. The fate of Dante Alighieri, who as a supporter of the idea of empire and the

Equality of the two supreme powers, the Pope and the

Kaisers, one of the Ghibellines, the exasperation becomes clear, with

which these party fights were fought. After all, there were other city-states ruled by Ghibellines in the immediate vicinity of Florence, so that talk of a threat was no mere propaganda formula. Florence, however, was not only a Guelf city, but also a people's city, more precisely even a guild city, where at the time of its heyday in the late 13th and 14th centuries the nobility was discriminated against by special laws, while the government of the "priors" was governed by the guilds « was elected, each of which served a term of only two months.

As in all of northern and central Italy, in and around Florence the city had prevailed over the surrounding countryside; the nobility that ruled the country had more or less voluntarily moved their residences to the city; in a second act he was then deprived of power in Florence and elsewhere, so much so that the family towers which he had erected and which still dominate the cityscape of San Gimignano today were demolished by the people. This "people," governing themselves through their "priors," was anything but an indiscriminate mass of equal citizens: the "guilds" were not primarily craftsmen's guilds; Drapers who dominated the most important of the city's industries, namely the textile industry, with its imports of Flanders wool and exports of finely worked cloths, which formed the backbone of Florence's economic life.

So these wealthy merchants and the most powerful of their guilds, the Arte di Calimara, were also part of the popolo, and they too were represented during the transitional period of the thirteenth century by the capitani del popolo, associated with Rome's "People's tribunes" and who formed a kind of parallel power to the "lord mayor", the "podestà". Behind the twelve "big guilds" (the "arti maiori") were the nine small guilds (the "arti minori") of craftsmen and shopkeepers far behind in power and influence, although they too, unlike the lowest stratum of the guildless people, the "ciompi" were involved in the city regiment.

The biggest merchant families, the Bardi and Peruzzi, the Strozzi and Acciaiuoli, had the greatest influence. However, they were not immune to the downside of the money economy; quite a few of the great houses fell in the financial crises of the fourteenth century, which, however, mostly had more political than economic causes. As in ancient Athens, the internal struggles corresponded to the external struggles and wars that led, among other things, to the incorporation of Pisa and its territory (the "contado"), so that at the end of the Middle Ages Florence covered an area of around 11,000 square kilometers and thus ruled the entire northern half of Tuscany. Despite all the changes and all the turbulence, this medieval city-state led an economic and artistic life of the greatest splendor and outstanding importance; one could say without hesitation that a state like Poland-Lithuania or even the France of the 100 Years' War could hardly 9 compete with this city in terms of material and spiritual power.

The example of Venice makes it even clearer that the Italian city-states were able to equal the large territorial states in terms of power and influence. The 'Queen of the Adriatic', which conducted highly successful trade throughout the Mediterranean basin, seemed to be the opposite of Florence in that the nobility exercised a rule that was never seriously threatened. But the Venetian nobility was in fact as much a merchant patriciate as the heads of the 'popolo' in Florence, and the main difference was that Florence could never pursue such a wide-ranging foreign policy as the 'Great Council' of Venice, an institution , which can very well be compared to the Roman Senate. This foreign policy was highly determined by "material interests" and ruthlessly exploited every opportunity to gain trade advantages, The Crusades could hardly have taken place without the support of Venice's fleets, and it was Venice's influence that was one

decisive weakening of the Christian position towards Islam, namely through the conquest of Constantinople by the Latin Christians in 1204 and the establishment of the Latin Empire, which was able to last until 1261. But even after the re-establishment of a Byzantine Empire, now extremely endangered by the Ottomans, even after the conquest of Constantinople by the Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II, Venetian traders remained present in the great city on the Bosphorus, and Venetian warriors held the strongholds in the eastern Mediterranean like Crete two more centuries against the Turks. What this city-state, whose mainland possessions extended westwards in the 15th century beyond Bergamo, meant for the history of intellectual life, art and especially architecture is now clear even to the tourists visiting the Piazza San Marco Look around you and admire the city palaces of the great families on the boat trip on the Canal Grande. Even during the period of decline, in the 18th century, when absolutist monarchs ruled over large territorial states almost everywhere in Europe, opposition thinkers oriented themselves towards this republic.

Rarely is the temptation so great to tell stories of historical existence in the midst of the analysis of "historical existence" as in the case of the Italian city-states of the Middle Ages, such as Genoa and Siena, Milan and Mantua, the "Signoria" and the Condottieri could hardly be said less than about Florence and Venice. For us, however, the main question is: How are we to judge a state of affairs that not a few Italian patriots longed for early on: that instead of these city-states, a great monarchy, modeled on that of France, would have taken possession of and organized Italy? With all due regard for the paramount role that Paris played and would continue to play as the capital of the French monarchy, the answer can only be: If only Venice and Florence, Ferrara and Lucca had developed since the 12th century as provincial cities in the shadow of the capital Rome could, would be the "historical existence"

was far poorer in the Occident, yes, it could not have represented the type that distinguishes it from other world religions. "Italy" may have lost something when it failed to "form a nation state in good time"; the Occident and Europe have gained from it.

Anyone who would assert the same with regard to Germany would have to reckon with the violent contradiction of all those who perceive a great "miss" in the medieval history of Germany - the miss of that development towards the national unified state that France and England carried out with such great success had. The reason for this was seen not only since Heinrich von Sybel in the unfortunate Italian policy of the German emperors, which drew attention from the German homeland and directed the forces towards the realization of an imperial dream, which soon failed. But one overlooks the fact that the dynasties of France and England were only able to create unified states early on because France was relatively small in the fourteenth century and England was a sparsely populated island on the edge of Europe. For the German kings and Roman emperors, the honorable burden they had taken on with the tradition of Charlemagne, the burden of the "Roman Empire," was too great for the path to a unified state to have been practicable. The territorial princes on the one hand and the cities on the other pushed their way into the gap between the overly high standards and the modest reality determined by 'feudalism'. In contrast to the Italian cities, the German cities could not largely include the "land" in their sphere of rule, but this land always remained ruled by the 10 nobility , that is, if one disregards the warlike origins and characteristics, from the landowners, who also included a large number of monasteries. These landowners had played an important role in the cultivation of the land in the early Middle Ages and were by no means only to be regarded as "exploiters" of the rural population: the three-field economy had begun on the Carolingian royal estate and then spread mostly within the framework of the monastic economy; for supralocal needs and

Desirable aspects such as the construction of mills were usually the responsibility of the landlord, and this cultivation, as well as the German eastward settlement directed by princes, albeit resulting from the impulse of the strong increase in population, formed the first prerequisite for the resurgence of some old Roman cities such as Cologne and for the founding of new cities such as Lübeck .

But none of these German cities remotely matched the great Italian centers in population: Cologne numbered about 30,000, while Florence had over 100,000 before the Black Death. None of the German cities could even think of forcing the surrounding nobility into their walls, none of them rose to genuine territorial rule. What was the beginning of urban development in Italy in the early Middle Ages, the disempowerment of the episcopal city lords, was a protracted, multifaceted process in Germany, and if Lübeck was able to strike its own coins as early as the 13th century, it was a winner Episcopal cities such as Würzburg, Bamberg and Trier never lost this important right of sovereignty. The people of Cologne defeated their Archbishop at the Battle of Worringen in 1388, and the Bishop of Paderborn had to have a new residence built outside the city gates, in Neuhaus; some of the greatest church buildings of the German Middle Ages were the work of the citizenry rather than the ecclesiastical authorities, and the tensions between the townships and the church often had purely economic causes, namely the competition between the craftsmen and the working monasteries, favored by immunity rights, but they were also a factor in "secularization," such as the establishment of municipal schools. It was only in Germany that the great alliances of cities were formed, and primarily the Hanseatic League, which was able to declare war on kingdoms like Denmark. In the interior of the Hanseatic cities, the long-distance merchants played the leading role as well as in the Italian cities, but also in Germany the guilds of small craftsmen and shopkeepers fought with greater or lesser success for more say. From the craftsmen, especially the weavers, the negative view of the

Long-distance traders from: These often appeared as people who were just driven by the quest for profit, who were merciless towards their dependents, as exploiters and "capitalists", as one could have put it. In the eyes of the big merchants and also in the opinion of later historians, the fate of the whole city depended on their daring and their organizational skills; it flourished as long as bold entrepreneurs were at its head; their development stagnated or declined as soon as a comfortably living patriciate was concerned only with preserving what had already been achieved. The characteristic mentality of the small master craftsmen, who wanted to eliminate competition among themselves and secure their "food" for everyone, did not prevail everywhere, and for the medievalists the towns and cities of the German Middle Ages presented an extremely colorful picture. But what they have in common is easy to recognize: It was all about small, manageable communities that were separated from their environment by towers and walls and yet were usually closely connected through extensive trade with a wider environment that was under smaller or greater participation of the "people" themselves and were consistently filled with a strong community spirit, which found its lasting expression in churches and town halls. Looking at the inner-city struggles, which were much harder and more bitter in Flanders and Italy than in Germany, the viewer may often be inclined to turn away, unable to suppress a similar sentiment felt by many contemporary observers when comparing the turbulence in the camps of the Christian armies and the exemplary discipline of the Turks: was not a powerful, orderly state preferable to this half-anarchic diversity of different aspirations? And yet one has to say the following: The even more comprehensive semi-anarchy, within which the turbulence of the cities was only a moment, namely the constant battles and conflicts, but usually not conducted with the intention of annihilation

between emperor and pope, between princes and towns, between towns and bishops or monasteries, between states and between estates, there was very clear anarchy in parts of the Islamic and also the Christian world here and there and from time to time Time passed, as different from the Turkish "despotism" which enabled the sultan to have a man executed without trial if his wealth or lust for power caught his eye. Although the social system only experienced a decisive further development with the Reformation, the social world of the Middle Ages can already be described as a "liberal system", ie as a multi-pole, "polygonal" 11 structure which as such was unique in world history. Its closely connected multiplicity of states and its nobility are not to be equated with the states and nobility of other regions of the world, and nowhere else has a selfconfident "bourgeoisie" been developed, which, however, was something other than a rich merchant class because the nobility was not just concerned with opposed, but whose example was ready to use.

Therefore, even in the cities, the leading stratum was not simply "bourgeois," but "bourgeois-noble," or patrician. A revolution in the sense of the annihilation of one class by another therefore took place nowhere, even if such an intention is articulated quite often and sometimes at marginal points in reality, such as in the agitation of Thomas Müntzer and to some extent in the reality of the Anabaptist Empire in Münster, is detectable. The "Liberal System" would not have come into existence if the subsequent postulates of two very influential contemporary social doctrines had been realized: the early formation of unitary monarchical states in Germany and Italy, or the annihilation of the nobility by a "bourgeois revolution" throughout Europe . But the impression that the Liberal System was merely a German and Italian phenomenon would be wrong. In France, too, "communes" were formed, and in England, too, struggles for the freedom of towns and even of "counties" erupted; in Spain the

»fueros«, the privileges of towns and regions, solemnly invoked by monarchs throughout the Middle Ages. In France and England a bourgeoisie took its place alongside the old nobility with no less determination: here as there there were transitions and mergers. But the French 'bourgeoisie' and the English 'gentry', once they had come into existence, did not primarily work in individual towns or regions, but in the national framework as a whole, as 'legists' and later as 'noblesse de robe' in the service of the king and king State in France, as Members of Parliament in England. Such differences between the states themselves became a characteristic of the social order of the liberal system of the "Occident", the Romano-Germanic West. It is natural to ask whether this is a characterization made in retrospect and from outside, or whether the contemporaries themselves produced a corresponding historiography and displayed a corresponding historical consciousness.

42Historical writing and historical consciousness

1 The oldest root of historiography is, as has been shown in the first part, to be found in the inscriptions of the Assyrian and Egyptian kings, where their deeds and victories are recorded and usually glorified. Usually the king speaks himself, now and then one of his generals reports; The strong sense of superiority of an urban high culture over wild or barbaric enemies cannot be overlooked throughout - the Egyptian inscriptions often speak contemptuously of the "sand dwellers", ie of the nomads of the desert. But there was only one place in the ancient Near East that actually wrote history, namely in Israel, which is also unique from this point of view. The authors' attitude towards most of the kings of Israel and Judah is very critical, and even David and Solomon are not unreservedly glorified; explicit references to sources and even a discussion of the greater or lesser value of these sources are completely absent, and to this extent it is a question of a completely uncritical historiography. Even Herodotus has been included in the account, although in the fifth century B.C. but his histories are more comparable to Homer than to Thucydides, who was only twenty years his junior. The world, about which he reports in large parts of his work like a travel writer, is still a world full of gods and fantastic peoples on the edge of the inhabited earth, and that critical and deliberative attitude is only noticeable to 2 a limited extent,

The core of the work is the story of the great battle between the Persians and Greeks, i.e. the immediate history of the time, and it is absolutely unmistakable that Herodotus has a strong

historical awareness that allows him to perceive this struggle as a conflict between two forms of life - the forms of life of despotism and freedom. Nevertheless, he is obviously trying to refrain from mere praise or condemnation and at least strive for an "objective" presentation. It is also evident that the Deuteronomistic historians were guided by a historical consciousness fed by the power of Israelite memory and the concrete experience of contemporary events. One can say, then, that the root of historiography was history itself, namely the almost entirely warlike history of kings and high cultures, and that its immediate origin was a historical consciousness that grew out of the interaction of historical memories with the experience of moving events in the present .

In both the Deuteronomistic historians and in Herodotus, historical consciousness and historiography do not hover unintentionally and unrelated to the future above past and present. Rather, some want to strengthen confidence in God's future leadership, and the Greek wants to ensure that the "great and wonderful deeds of the Greeks 3 and the barbarians do not remain without memory", and that certainly also means that his compatriots, the Greeks, will confidently continue on the path of freedom in the future, which they have so bravely defended in the recent past. Thus, even from these earliest sources, the following statement can be deduced: Historical consciousness and the historiography that arises from it belong very closely to history, not only as an afterthought or as a mere clarification, but as a contributing factor in history itself. Historical consciousness and historiography also count no less to the "historical existentials" such as state, war and nobility; However, historiography only tends to become a science when it is no longer the direct implementation of a strong historical consciousness, but

shows at least a minimum of a critical attitude towards the sources and thus also of self-criticism or distance to oneself.

Two extremes of a spectrum can thus already be constructed from these first beginnings: on the one hand, a purely enthusiastic historiography that does not even tend to be scientific, and that completely identifies itself with the “ways of God” or the fate of a people or a culture, and a “purely scientific «, completely impartial historiography that avoids all value judgments on the other. The latter may deny any connection with a definite and therefore necessarily limited historical consciousness, but hitherto such research has existed at most as antiquarian or as highly specialized research; all historiography worthy of the name moves between poles and thus in an indissoluble tension, Up to Herodotus, the modern historian has only a few sources on the historical existential of historical consciousness and historiography, but then the gates open, so to speak, and he is almost overwhelmed by the abundance of phenomena and figures: Thucydides, Polybius, Sallust, Tacitus , Arrian, Ammianus Marcellinus, Josephus Flavius, Augustine, Orosius, Gregory of Tours, Otto of Freising, Joachim of Fiore, the Chinese Ssuma-Kuang, the Muslims Raschid-ad-Din, Ibn al-Athir and Ibn Chaldun, Francesco Guicciardini, Niccolò Machiavelli, the Englishmen Clarendon and David Hume, the Italians Giambattista Vico and Pietro Giannone, the Spaniard Las Casas, the Germans Justus Möser and Johann Gottfried Herder, the French Voltaire and Montesquieu: who names all the nameseven if the period after the French Revolution is no longer included? Leopold Ranke, who began the six decades of his great historiography with the »Supplement« to his first work from 1824 on histories of the Romanic and Germanic peoples, which bore the title Criticism of modern historians, would have denied some of these authors the quality of the historian without further ado, and indeed, it is obvious that Augustine

and Orosius can be counted among the theologians and Polybius and Montesquieu among the political scientists; Guicciardini would also not emerge unscathed from Ranke's criticism as a historian. But historical consciousness is far from being limited to historians, and even of history there is a broader and a narrower concept. Ranke himself has not escaped the accusation that through his historiography, even if it relates to times far in the past, he is taking sides in the controversies of the present and should be placed in the ranks of the "reactionaries." If we may look forward again for a moment, now to nineteenthcentury historians, the following immediately catches the eye: Barthold Georg Niebuhr not only defends and attacks the people and tendencies that were once active in ancient history, but the Macedonian king Philip is Napoleon for him, he perceives Stein and Fichte in Demosthenes, Charonea appears to him like the defeat of Prussia at Jena and Auerstedt; with his devastating judgment on Phocion he also expresses his contempt for Napoleon's helpers such as Dalberg and Johannes Müller; Gervinus made it a point to promote the political education of the Germans in terms of a liberal and progressive attitude; Throughout his work, Schlosser spoke out against clericalism and obscurantism; Treitschke was filled with a deep aversion to Austria and Catholicism, and he was not afraid to assert that bloodless objectivity is the exact opposite of a genuine historical attitude; the Whig interpretation of history by Thomas Babington Macaulay and others unreservedly glorified the "glorious revolution" of 1688-89; Jules Michelet saw himself as superior to other historians only because he loved France more; Augustine Thierry consciously and emphatically took the side of the vanquished, especially that of the Saxons of England conquered by the Normans, and he concealed as little as Thiers that he wished for France a 4 development similar to that which had taken place in England. It must, therefore, be taken as an indisputable truth that all great history, and also every significant exposition and analysis

historical-political-sociological phenomena was rooted in a certain historical consciousness of the author and is exposed to the objection of "commitment" or "partisanship". Precisely this is what is specifically historical about it. And for that very reason it can only tend to be scientific. The extremes of merely glorifying or merely polemical historiography on the one hand and completely distanced historiography on the other form only the poles between which all significant historiography is to be settled.

We would come to the area of the history of historiography if further spectra were highlighted, such as those between political history and cultural history or between economic and psychological historical observations. It might be more appropriate to illustrate the relationship between historical consciousness and historiography using the example of a few representative authors. Polybius, born around 200 BC. B.C., was a highly educated Greek from Arcadia who had fought against Rome in the Third Macedonian War as a cavalry leader of the Achaean League and was brought to Rome after the Battle of Pydna as one of a thousand Achaean hostages. There he found entrance into the house of the victor of Pydna, Aemilius Paullus, and became the tutor and friend of his adopted son Scipio Aemilianus, at whose side he was present at the final destruction of Carthage. He is therefore to be regarded as an early representative of that intellectual encounter between Romans and Greeks, which began with the subjugation of Macedonia and Greece by the Romans and ended with the mental Hellenization of Rome. As a historian, he achieved fame through his 40 books of histories,

He reveals his motive right at the beginning of the first book, in the form of a question: For who would be so indifferent, so superficial, that he would not wish to know how and by what kind of

Institution and constitution of their state nearly the whole World in not quite 53 years under the sole rule of

Romans fell?


So he wants to ask about the causes of the transition of world domination from the Hellenistic states of the successors of Alexander the Great to the Romans, but he leaves no doubt from the start that for him the main cause is to be found in the constitution of the state, and it quickly becomes clear that he sees the best of all constitutions in the Roman constitution. The question of the causes is at the same time a statement about what is politically good, and this inevitably results in the inner assent of the vanquished to the world-historical triumph of the victors, ie a historical consciousness of a thoroughly affirmative kind, which can only then be described as "own". would be if Polybius ascribed the actual victory to that Roman-Hellenic synthesis, the beginnings of which he himself embodied.

The basic idea, which is only developed in the sixth book, is simple. Following Plato, Polybius distinguishes three pure forms of government: monarchy as the beginning of statehood, aristocracy and democracy. Each carries with it the possibility, even the necessity, of degeneration: when royalty has become tyranny, it is overthrown by able men who establish an aristocracy. But in the course of time it develops into an oligarchy and arouses as much hatred as tyranny had aroused, and so it is overthrown by the people, who now take rule as democracy into their own hands; but also the degenerate among the grandchildren of the founding generation, namely to mob rule, so that the call for the strong man who finally creates order, This cycle – the »anakýklosis« – of the constitutions would continue like this if wise constitutional legislators had not been found who introduced a mixed constitution that combined the advantages of the pure constitutions and avoided their disadvantages. As a first example, Polybius cites the constitution of Lycurgus, i.e. that of the Spartans.

Here the individual power factors - the kingdom, the people and the council of elders - are "so balanced against each other that no one gets the upper hand" and as a result the state is preserved for a long time. But the greatest example of such a constitution is the Roman one: the Romans "possess the best 6 constitution that exists today."

But according to Polybius, the world domination of the Romans, no matter how well founded and justified it is, is ultimately destined to 7 fall. In one respect, then, Polybius identifies with the historical consciousness of the Romans, but in other respects he remains distant from it. From the very beginning, the Christian consciousness of history has been fundamentally different from that of antiquity in that it expects not merely the decay of historical realities, but an end to history itself: the return of Christ and the Last Judgment, when the good will find acceptance into heaven forever and condemns the wicked to eternal punishment in hell. The imminent anticipation of the early days soon faded, but the focus on the "end of the world" never faltered, and history remained an abandoned stage on which the struggle between good and bad was played out. Augustine's books on the "City of God" were the most influential articulation of this Christian historical awareness, but one can hardly attribute them to historiography,

None of the mediaeval chronicles and historical narrations followed Augustine as clearly in the title as Otto von Freising's Chronica sive De duabus civitatibus. This bishop was a historian of imperial blood: grandson of Emperor Henry IV, half-brother of King Conrad III of Germany. and uncle of the Emperor Friedrich Barbarossa, thus a member of the highest imperial aristocracy and, to a certain extent, a participant in the historical events of the 12th century. Like all Christian historiography from Augustine to Bossuet, his book begins with the creation of the world, and the sons of the first human couple, Cain and Abel, are for him the first citizens of the world

theocracy and the earthly state. But unlike Augustine, he can look back on many centuries of Christian statehood, which he calls the civitas 8th permixta. The end of this seems to have come to him with the banishment of Emperor Henry IV by Pope Gregory VII, and he is therefore, like the first Christians, convinced of the imminent end of the world. In his very extensive historical narrative, drawn from numerous sources, he makes no claim to originality, but it is strange that he not only retells the history of God's people Israel, but also broadly includes pagan antiquity and not just "Jerusalem" and "Babylon" each other contrasts, but recognizes three 9 languages as the foremost, namely Hebrew, Greek and Latin. It can therefore also be understood as a forerunner of that humanistic-occidental interpretation of history which, without reference to a final judgement, allows the occidental world to emerge from the confluence of the source rivers of the Old Testament, Greek philosophy and Roman statehood.

However, Otto remains much too close to the prophecy of the book of Daniel about the succession of the four world empires, the fulfillment of 10 which he awaits "in fear", than he could adopt this tendency towards a secular understanding, and before proceeding in the eighth book to the description of the reign of Antichrist and the events at the Last 11 Judgment, At the end of the seventh book, at the end of the historical work, he apparently finds consolation in view of the holy life of the monks, who know no private property and devote themselves to prayer and mortification of the flesh. In their monasteries the "state of God" evidently found a home even before the end of the world, indeed they are the ones 12 "in the midst of the stinking sinfulness of this most troubled time" preserve the existence of the world for a while longer. Otto is therefore just as "monastic" minded as his somewhat younger contemporary Joachim of Fiore, but he is far from expecting a "Third Reich" of monastic spirituals on earth in the near future like Joachim von Fiore. In his own way, however, he does show an affection for this world, when he did it a few years after

at the end of his world chronicle, at the request of his uncle Friedrich Barbarossa, made it his task to present the "deeds of Frederick" (Gesta Frederici) in another chronicle, in a chronicle that represented 13 an unrestricted glorification of the emperor and the Staufer family. Also from the Middle Ages, but belonging to the Islamic area, is the historical work of Ibn Chaldun, the main part of which describes the history of the Arab and Berber tribes of the Maghreb with so much detail that it can only be read by special researchers. But the »Introduction« (»muqudimma«) contains, in its three extensive volumes, an analysis of the main features of Islamic history, which at times sounds like modern sociology and bears no resemblance to Otto von Freising's theologicalschatological conception. This much greater "worldliness" is certainly not exclusively due to the fact that Ibn Chaldun, born in 1332, lived to see the beginning of the 15th century; it is more likely to be a feature of Islamic historical awareness in general. Right at the beginning, Ibn Chaldun reveals himself to be a critical historian in that he openly doubts the figures that have been handed down and wants to reduce them to a tenth throughout, e.g. B. the number of 600,000 Israeli warriors in the time of Moses. His attitude towards his own people also seems to be critical – and this is much more remarkable – because there are very negative judgments about the Arabs, indeed they appear to be the nomadic and barbaric destroyers of culture par excellence. They are "robbers and destroyers because of their wild nature," and they have "the least talent for artistry."14

But Ibn Chaldun is anything but an unconditional praiser of culture. Rather, its central concept is »ashabiyyah«, and this is best represented by »community spirit«. This "ashabiyyah" is strongest in the countryside, ie among the Bedouins of the steppes and deserts, and its firm basis is blood relationship, ie the clan. Statehood, city life and culture can only grow out of the »ashabiyyah«, but it is precisely through this that they are also weakened and ultimately destroyed. The luxuries and luxuries of city life take over

roughness and community spirit of country life, ie Bedouin life, and so the culture destroys its own origin. The last stage of culture before its decline can be characterized as mere 'civilization', and Ibn Chaldun thus appears as a forerunner of Spengler. But he is not a mere decadent theorist who praises his own 15 people while apparently belittling them. The many quotations from the Koran are certainly not mere embellishments, and Ibn Chaldun apparently ascribes to Islam a power of transformation that made world conquerors and culture-creating dynasties out of the wild tribes of the time before Muhammad. One may be reminded of Giambattista Vico just as often as Spengler, or more precisely: Ibn Chaldun can appear as a forerunner of precisely these two historical thinkers. It is extremely questionable whether one can call Bartolomé de Las Casas a historian or even a historical thinker. His very brief account of the destruction of the West Indies, which was not his only work but with which his name is primarily associated, is nothing more than a pamphlet, indeed an indictment, containing the most extraordinary accusations against "the Spaniards" or "the Christians« who, after the discovery of America by Columbus, murdered the native population of the Caribbean islands and the South American mainland by the millions out of greed for gold and also out of joy in cruelty. If Las Casas' statements are anywhere near correct, this conquest of a hitherto unknown world, which another Spanish writer hailed as "the greatest event after the creation of the world," was the most horrific genocide in world history, and the one that caused it first raised the issue, could and was only allowed to write one indictment: historiography is always also determined by its subject matter, and the historian cannot describe the living conditions of a time or the foreign policy of a court and a large mass crime in the same way, especially not a crime , which falls outside of all known dimensions. And didn't even have to endure the extermination campaigns of Genghis Khan and Timur Leng

fade if Las Casas' statement was correct that in the 40 years from about 1500 to 1540 the Spaniards killed twelve million people, 16 perhaps 15 million, through "their tyrannies and infernal deeds"? On the island of Española alone, three million people lived before the arrival of the conquistadors, and today not even 200 of them are left. These acts are particularly reprehensible because the Indians were