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Organising an Empire

The Assyrian Way

Discover the mighty kingdom of Assyria, which came to be the world’s first great empire three thousand years ago. From the 9th to the 7th centuries BC, during the imperial phase of Assyria’s long history, modern day northern Iraq was the central region of a state reaching from the Mediterranean Sea to the Persian Gulf, and incorporating what is now Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon, as well as half of Israel, and wide parts of south-eastern Turkey, and Western Iran.

In its geographical extent, this state was unprecedentedly large, and the distinct geography of the Middle East, with deserts and high mountain ranges, posed challenges to communication and cohesion. What were the mechanisms that kept the Empire running? This course explores the methods the Assyrian government employed to ensure unity and maintain loyalty across vast distances, using traditional as well as innovative strategies. Some of these imperial techniques have marked parallels in the ways modern multi-national corporations are operating, others will strike you as profoundly alien.

This course focusses on how the Assyrians organised their empire by analysing key aspects, namely:

· The CEO – the king, a religious, political and military leader, who is charged to govern by his master, the god Assur;

· Home Office – the royal palace in the central region and the royal court that form the administrative centre of the state;

· The Regional Managers – the governors and client-rulers to whom local power is delegated;

· Human Resources – the Empire’s people are its most precious assets, its consumers and its key product, as the goal of the imperial project was to create “Assyrians”; an approach with lasting repercussions that still reverberate in the Middle East today; and finally

· The Fruits of Empire – it takes a lot of effort, so what are the rewards?

When we explore these topics we will contextualise them with information about the lives led by ordinary Assyrian families.

Taking this course will provide you with an overview of the political, social, religious, and military history of the world’s first superpower. It will give you insight into the geography and climatic conditions of the Middle East and contribute to your understanding of the opportunities and challenges of that region. It will present you with a vision of the Middle East at a time when its political and religious structures were very different from today.

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Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (LMU)

Rating 4.8 based on 21 ratings
Length 7 weeks
Effort 2 to 3 hours per week
Starts May 28 (30 weeks ago)
Cost $49
From Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (LMU) via Coursera
Instructor Karen Radner
Free Limited Content
Language English
Subjects Humanities Art & Design
Tags History Arts And Humanities Philosophy

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What people are saying

We analyzed reviews for this course to surface learners' thoughts about it

so looking forward in one review

So looking forward to more from Karen Radner, Denise Bolton and team!

attention than others in one review

It covers an ancient civilisation that receives far less attention than others in the region (i.e.

fish skin coats in one review

And a civilisation that has many elements that operate today (they invented the postal service) with some strange features (the fish skin coats is one that will stay with me for some time).

perhaps inevitable after in one review

The only downside is the lack of engagement in the discussion forums - perhaps inevitable after the initial running of a course.

politics or sociology in one review

If you have an interest in the Ancient World, politics or sociology, then this is a definite course for you.

when people talk in one review

When people talk about an ancient empire that runs efficiently many would think about Rome, but it's cool to know that there's an earlier empire in a different part of the world that's no less awesome.

Careers

An overview of related careers and their average salaries in the US. Bars indicate income percentile (33rd - 99th).

South East Sales $82k

East Coast Sales $82k

Middle Office $83k

Middle Market $91k

SUPPLY PLANNER- MIDDLE EAST OPERATIONS Manager $103k

Project Engineer - East $109k

Assistant Special Agent in Charge, Middle East Field Office $110k

Treasurer, Middle East Region, Dubai $110k

Special Agent in Charge, Middle East Field Office $112k

Team Leader East $174k

Marketing Manager, MEA (Middle East & Africa) $177k

Senior Marketing Manager, MEA (Middle East & Africa) $190k

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Coursera

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Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (LMU)

Rating 4.8 based on 21 ratings
Length 7 weeks
Effort 2 to 3 hours per week
Starts May 28 (30 weeks ago)
Cost $49
From Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (LMU) via Coursera
Instructor Karen Radner
Free Limited Content
Language English
Subjects Humanities Art & Design
Tags History Arts And Humanities Philosophy

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