Thursday, December 5, 2013

Credit Where it is Due

Jared Miller's new book on Hittite instructions begins with a text classified as belonging to the Old Hittite Empire. This is a harangue of officials who have been doing less than stellar work. This bit gives a feel for the problem.
When my father calls together the assembly he will investigate among you for corruption, not (among) your pack bearers (saying): "You constantly oppress your own pack bearers, and you repeatedly cause the king aggravation." (Jared L. Miller, Royal Hittite Instructions and Related Administrative Texts [Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2013], 75.)
The text deals with various types of corruption, including irregularities in both treatment of personnel, and use of funds. While human corruption is spread throughout history, one of the interesting things about this text is that it focuses on the leader, not the underlings. The writer (whose identity is lost in a break in the table) recognizes the likely source of the problem.