History of Interpersonal Skill Literature Review Chapter

Pages: 14 (4344 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 20  ·  Level: Doctoral  ·  Topic: Drama - World

Interpersonal Skill of Mesopotamia

The study of interpersonal skills among ancient civilizations like Mesopotamia consists mostly of major innovations and advances in society, technology and human development. Sargon is typically credited with being the first person to unify a world empire in the 24th century B.C. Most of what is known of Sargon comes from the Chronicles of Early Kings, a series of tablets forming one of the first known historiographies and written from the 8th century B.C. To the 3rd Century A.D. Sargon, as the world's first known leader is believed to have inspired future Kings and rulers for centuries to come with his ability to build, maintain and administer his empire (Snell 32).

Hammurabi ruled Babylon in the 18th century B.C. He is most singularly known for the Hammurabi Code, one of the first written collection of laws in world history. The study of Hammurabi predominantly focuses on the legacy of his Code, which includes a form of presumption of innocence and other rights very similar to some of the protections found in the American Bill of Rights.

Mesopotamian writing was pictographic. It is believed to be one of the first, if not the first written communication. Pictures were inscribed on stone tablets to relay messages. The messages had heavy emphasis on matters of city administration, such as a list of city employees and salaries etc.… The exact spoken language in early Mesopotamia (2500 BC) is unknown but assumed to be Sumerian. The numerology is more precisely understood than the early language. Later languages included Akkadian, Amorite (Semitic) and Hurrian. It is believed that earlier writings were on a perishable medium (Saggs 63).

Mesopotamia is known as the cradle of civilization. This ancient civilization saw the emergence of cities and city states. Societal motivations included seeking the protection of more populated and more organized cities. As a result, cities grew larger, more bureaucratic and more sanitary. A traditional medium for gauging the change in ancient society is a change in pottery. Since this is noticeably absent in middle Mesopotamian society, historians assume it was a period of relative continuity.

Interpersonal Skill of Ancient Egypt

The great leaders of Ancient Egypt were the Kings, Queens and pharaohs. Some historians believe while that there are a many rulers who are not popular today who made significant contributions to Egyptian society (Ruiz 177). Historians favor Egyptian leaders renowned for military skills. The pharaohs and ancient Egyptian civilization in general are discussed at some length in the Old Testament, which provides historians with a reference point for historical analysis and hypothesis. Priests were also among the most valued and revered leaders. Religion was the cornerstone of society, so the priesthood was a very exclusive profession, which garnered great prestige, even from the Pharaohs.

Egyptian is an ancient language, some historians feel it is the world's oldest or second oldest in the world. The written language was hieroglyphics, a more 'modern form of pictography.' Many hieroglyphics still survive today and serve as the basis for modern Egyptian historiography. The Egyptians are believed to be the first civilization to use paper (papyrus). They later used a parchment form of paper. Both of these were attempts to preserve their communications and ideas.

Ancient Egyptians are primarily motivated by an earnest love of life and by adequate preparation for death and the afterlife. The institutions of marriage and family were held to be sacrosanct. They possessed a polytheistic belief of a great pantheon of deities which either protected or threatened every aspect of life. They had tremendous reverence for animals and saw godly qualities in them (Ruiz 129). The Sphinx, the tombs of the Pharaohs and other such artifacts provide the basis for historical study in these areas.

Interpersonal Skill of Ancient Greece

Leadership in Ancient Greece belonged to the emperors, the local leaders of the city-states and the great philosophers. Historians consider Alexander the Great to be one of the greatest military leaders in all history. He conquered much of the free world. Pericles was a military leader who also advocated reform and social improvements for the Greek citizens.

The Greeks are the first society to consistently demonstrate leadership beyond its military and political leaders. Socrates, a philosopher, was perhaps to analyze the relative similarities between public leadership (military and political) and private management. Socrates also is the first figure to document the importance of delegating authority and work. Socrates works inspired Plato and Aristotle to further develop the theory to include specialization of work and a division of labor (Wren 19). These are the conclusions of Daniel Wren, one of, if not the most definitive authority on the evolution of leadership skills over the course of history.

The Greek historian Thucydides is often called the father of modern history. His history of the Peloponnesian War serves a one of the first true treatises on leadership. His thesis that leadership was necessary for democracy but also very dangerous to democracy provided the spark for intense debate that survived into the 20th century (Warner 620).

Greek's were the first Europeans to read and write with an alphabet. Thus their contributions to communication are easier for historians to measure. The Greek's most important contributions to communication are literature and theater, especially the Greek tragedy and comedy. Historians believe that both were designed to spread Greek culture and values and promote a common identity among Greeks everywhere, and thus they have immense value as historical tools of communications. Another significant Greek contribution to communication is the art of military histories through epics and story-telling.

Historians examine Ancient Greek motivation through its culture. Greek philosophy was motivated by reason and inquiry. The foundations of Greek philosophy are still quite evident in our world today. Greek foundations in mathematics, science medicine and architecture are still the anchors of modern practice. The Greek mythology and religion has received a large share of attention by historians (and students of other disciplines for millennia).

Interpersonal Skill of Roman Empire

The study of the Roman Empire leadership skills begins with Julius Caesar. He has of course, been the consistent subject of a massive amount of study since his death. Unlike earlier world leaders, a great deal is known about him due primarily to his own extensive writings and the fact that many biographies and histories were written about him starting from during his life and shortly after his death. His contributions to Leadership were many. He is hailed as a master political maneuver who built alliances that served him well and helped significantly in his rise to the top of the Roman Empire. His reforms helped develop a system of public administration which is the basis for our modern day, western style of central government.

The Roman Empire also introduced the world to a new form of public leadership, the Senate. The Senate in Rome was designed to be a separate body of government from the Emperor (Abbott 385). It is thought to be the world's first legislative body. It is important to note that the society of the Roman Empire laid the groundwork for the leadership structure of aristocracy in Britain.

Roman communication skills focused on education, literature and music. Greek and Latin were both heavily studied, thus making Rome a forerunner to the European tradition of studying the classic languages of Greek and Latin. Also, most children were schooled at age six. Oratory skills were highly stressed by the Roman educators. Roman roads allowed for the expansion of a Roman ideals and values and in a very significant way, aided their communication.

Nationalism and leisure were two concepts that historians trace back to the early days of the Roman Empire. Their public projects and institutions have stood the test of time. Roman built roads are still in use throughout Europe. The concrete based aqueducts and coliseums still stand today. The Romans appear to have grasped the religious practices of the Greeks and modified the many deities to fit their language and culture.

Interpersonal Skill of Byzantine Empire

The first ruler of the Byzantine Empire, Heraclius, is credited with combating political corruption. He had been credited with instituting the Thematic System of administration, but here the historiography is changing as two recent writers, Warren Treagold, from Oxford, and John Haldon (208), from Cambridge have both recently determined that the Thematic system was instituted in the 660's, after his death.

Communication in the Byzantine Empire was essentially religious in nature. Art and literature took on the form of ecclesiastical and theological doctrine. Much of the Byzantine art would serve as motivation for Italian renaissance painters.

The Byzantine Empire was motivated mostly by austere rigid religious beliefs. They were the instigators of the crusades, so it can be said that they laid the motivation for most of the world's affairs for the next 800 years. Historians from the West have typically vilified the Byzantines as being overly bureaucratic and anti-Western. Modern historians have tended to see the Empire more as an extension of the Roman… [END OF PREVIEW]

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