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Word Count: 655
THE ASSYRIAN EMPIRE Assyrian civilization was focused around its powerful king with a militaristic hierarchy supported by officials artisans farmers and slaves The king was chief judge lawmaker commander-in-chief of the army and head of the religion although he was not deified himself Established traditions and customs stabilized the culture and the king The only revolutions in Assyrian history were by powerful generals or palace officials as the social hierarchy was never seriously challenged Governors and priests in fact any official could be directly ordered by the king Kings and officials need not be literate because they all were assisted by scribes Offices and professions tended to be hereditary or appointments were based on patronage Aramaeans did rise to high positions but the process took generations Social classes were rigidly determined by ones position in the hierarchy Captives in war and debtors were made slaves though the latter could marry a free person testify in court conduct business and own property Women were entirely dependent on their male relations raised the children and cared for the home and were not even allowed to associate with males who were not relatives If a man lived with a widow for two years they were considered married Adultery could be punished by the husband killing both or mutilating the wife and castrating her lover though if he did not punish the wife the lover could not be punished either Homosexuality which was tolerated in Babylon was punished by the Assyrians The king maintained a harem of women and eunuchs Foreign princes and nobles were also kept in the Assyrian court to assure treaties Laws operated primarily by the decisions of the king and officials based on precedents Contracts were made on tablets Prostitution was allowed but not common drunkenness was discouraged theft was limited and violence and murder were usually settled by private vendetta A few people were imprisoned but usually for political reasons The economy was primarily
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