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Join the conversation! There are now 8 comments on this chapter's page 119. Inventing God and Law: Theocracy. What are your thoughts?
  1. B.J. says

    Fictional character? *watches Nathan be flamed to death*

    But yeah, this is getting to the good part! Law becoming sovereign in its own right!

  2. STM says

    If law originated from monotheism, how did it take in areas that are not monotheistic? Didn’t Rome, India, and Japan have laws?

    • As amazing as they are, I’m leaving out all of the civilizations east of Persia in this section. Mainly because they didn’t significantly affect the political development that leads to Philadelphia in 1787. But also because, though they all had their own idiosyncracies (and China goes a bit beyond mere idiosyncracy), they generally follow the same pattern we’ve been tracing, and this digression of a digression is already going to be long enough as it is without repeating it all over again.

      As for Rome… wait a little. We’re getting there.

      Also, remember this monotheism story is about the development of “law as we know it,” which implies that it’s somehow different from law as the ancients knew it. Speaking of which, when are these Yehudites going to get around to inventing monotheism? They sure are taking their sweet time.

  3. STM says

    My interpretation is that the guy in the hat in the first panel is a Persian official crowing a subordinate Judean king, then revoking the king’s authority when he goes too far. But I see Hat Guy in panel 4. Was I wrong in panel 1?

    • I think the one crowing (and de-crowning) the king was a priest, as permitted by the Persians.

  4. STM says

    When we get back to the United States, I would like to see an explanation of how Indian tribes are sovereigns, and how federal/state/tribal laws operate on reservations. Precedent under the Assimilation Crimes Act, which I learned about five minutes ago, seems to contradict itself with every other court case. Is there any conflict related to Indian tribes being “tribal” in the sociological sense, while the federal government is a state, or meta-state?

    • The modern system of “Indian tribes” is an artificial construct established by white men. They are formerly tribal groups required to adopt the structures of a sovereign state to make it easier for the US to deal with and control them. Sometimes this leads to unusual results; for example, until 2017 the Cherokee Nation refused to admit the descendants of Cherokee slaves, until the District Court ruled that the descendants of freedmen were entitled to citizenship within the Cherokee nation.

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