Covenant and International Relations in the Ancient Near East: A Preliminary Exploration

Antiguo Oriente, 11: 129-154

29 Pages Posted: 16 Feb 2015

See all articles by Lucas G Freire

Lucas G Freire

Mackenzie Center for Economic Freedom (CMLE); OBSERVARE - Universidade Autónoma de Lisboa

Date Written: 2013

Abstract

To a great extent, ancient Near Eastern international relations operated within covenantal frameworks. In light of renewed interest in world history and the Near East in the discipline of International Relations, this article provides a preliminary exploration of the important practice of covenanting as an alternative account of balance-of-power dynamics. The notion, structure and diffusion of the covenant as a common practice has been discussed to great detail in other disciplines, such as, for example, Old Testament Studies. Dialogue with these studies will be pursued, but covenanting is here addressed also in some of its primary sources in light of the English School approach. As it turns out, the practice accounts for a number of peculiarities in alliance formation of the period. The preliminary findings are contrasted with alternative IR accounts of ancient Near Eastern power-balancing.

Keywords: Ancient Near East, International Relations, Diplomacy, English School IR

Suggested Citation

Freire, Lucas Grassi, Covenant and International Relations in the Ancient Near East: A Preliminary Exploration (2013). Antiguo Oriente, 11: 129-154, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2565261

Lucas Grassi Freire (Contact Author)

Mackenzie Center for Economic Freedom (CMLE) ( email )

Rua Itambé, 135 / Prédio 12
Campus Higienópolis
São Paulo, São Paulo 01239-001
Brazil

OBSERVARE - Universidade Autónoma de Lisboa ( email )

Lisbon
Portugal

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