Ancient Male Rulers
No one knows whether famous ancient male rules would be successful leaders in the modern era but analyses of their methods of rule, ideas and practices are the matter of great interest for many historians and laypeople. This paper compares and contrasts the two rulers who played significant roles in the history of their countries. They are Ramses II from Ancient Egypt and Pericles from Ancient Greece. These two rulers are very different and the reason for these differences is not only the cultural characteristics of their home countries. This paper describes similarities and differences between Ramses II and Pericles, finds similar and different between the cultures over which they ruled and makes conclusions about different types of effective leadership in the modern world.
Ramses II was one of the most famous rulers of the Ancient Egypt. Nowadays, many people know about him because during the regiment of Ramses a number of monuments were built and many of them survived till now. According to Stephanie Fitzgerald, he was even given the title Supervisor of All Constructions. Also, Ramses is famous for the number of his wife and children which is indeed impressive. Besides, he played an important role in the history of Ancient Egypt and all neighboring countries because Ramses spent a significant part of his life at the battlefield and made Egypt a very powerful and militaristic country. He was even called the Conqueror or the Winner. According to Thomas: “The image of the brave fighter single-handedly defending his kingdom was one that Ramses called up even in his old age, and the walls of his temple are covered with paintings of successful military campaigns”. The personality of Pericles is very different. He was not an outstanding military commander, even though Pericles was aware of battle strategies and he was ready to protect his homeland from enemies at the field of battle as a leader. Pericles was not also a dictator as Ramses was because the Greek ruler believed in the outstanding importance of democracy while Ramses suppressed many people especially those of other ethnicities who wanted more freedom. During the government of Pericles, the Athenian democracy prospered. Pericles might not be a talented military commander but he was an outstanding speaker which majorly contributed to his success as a politician. Unlike Ramses who had many wives and concubines and dozens of children, Pericles was married only twice and had four sons. Nevertheless, the two rulers had much in common. For example, during their regiment, the cultures over which they ruled experienced the periods of prosperity it such spheres as economy, art and culture, and international politics. This resulted in a relatively high level of life and population growth. Many new monuments were built not only in the Ancient Egypt but also in Ancient Greece. Both countries succeeded in international trade. But despite all these similarities, Pericles and Ramses II were very different because Ramses was a king of a great country whose power was based on fear and worship while Pericles was an ordinary citizen who felt himself a part of his homeland. Hamish Aird states that: “Even though he was of noble birth himself, Pericles understood that any future development of Athens must have as its foundation these ordinary Athenians”. Ramses cared only about acquiring and preserving power. Stephanie Fitzgerald claims: “Even though he was the grandson of a common soldier, Ramses was proclaiming to the world that he had been born of a god as befitted the Pharaoh”. He wanted his lieges to treat him with respect and awe while Pericles valued his reputation and tried to lead his homeland to prosperity and well-being. His goal was to form an ideal political system which would liquidate all social inequalities and prevent tyrants from getting any power.
All the differences between Ramses II and Pericles can be explained by the closer look at the cultures over which they ruled. These cultures are quite different and the main dissimilarity is the government. The Ancient Egypt was monarchy while Athens was a democracy. In Egypt, after the death of a king, his children became the rulers, while in Athens, people participated in the elections to chose a new strategos. These differences influenced the methods of rule of Ramses and Pericles. Ramses was a warrior because he had to keep all his citizens in obedience. On the other hand, Pericles was a talented speaker and lawyer which made him a respected man among his fellow citizens who voted for him at the elections. Besides, Athens was a small police which was not planning to conquer new lands and nations. In fact, the opposite was correct. Some of the neighboring polices and states trying to invade Athens and the state had to fight back and protect itself. This also influenced the ideas and characters of Ramses and Pericles who needed to make what them majority of their citizens wanted. However, both the Ancient Egypt and Ancient Greece were great countries with interesting history and outstanding cultural achievements.
Taking all this into consideration, one can make lessons about different types of effective leadership in politics and business. The first type of leadership presented by Ramses is the rule with the help of power; it can be even said military power. Unfortunately, in some areas of the world, people use this method to succeed in the sphere of business even now. Besides, many international political conflicts in the modern world are solved with the use of weapons. The second type of leadership represented by Pericles is the way of diplomacy and law. This type is much more common in the modern civilized world both in the field of business and the field of politics. Negotiations and the norms of international law is a better way to solve various conflicts between the two nations than war and fighting. For this reason, Pericles is more likely to become a successful leader in the modern world than Ramses.
Summing up, Pericles and Ramses II were famous ancient rulers who contributed to the prosperity and political well-being of the countries over which they ruled. Their personalities have many similarities and even more differences caused by the discrepancies between their cultures. The main difference is that Ramses was a dictator created by the monarchic regime, while Pericles represented democracy and was ready to serve his fellow citizens who voted for him. Besides, Ramses was an outstanding military commander and spend about ten years at the battlefield while Pericles relied more on diplomacy and the power of law. He was also a very talented speaker. Ramses is also known for the big number of his children and wives. Both rulers were formed by the characteristic differences of the cultures over which they ruled. Ramses was one of the most prominent representatives of the Egyptian kings, and Pericles was a perfect example of a good ruler in the period of the Athenian democracy. Such different political systems could not create similar leaders. In the modern world, Pericles would have more chances to become a successful and influential leader because in the today’s society, law and diplomacy plays a more important role than the ability to command an army and conquer other nations.