David And Pisistratus Analysis

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Invocation of a divine being has been used throughout history to gain and maintain political power. From the times of King David of Israel and Pisistratus of Athens, to the 2015 Republican primary debate, people have often jockeyed for power in the name of a divine being. Pisistratus and King David both use the presence of a divine being to gain political power in Herodotus’ Histories and the second book of Samuel respectively. There are numerous similarities between the portrayal of divine presence and how it relates to political power in both works. Notably, both David and Pisistratus appeal to a divine being in order to legitimize their rule, give gifts in order to maintain the gods’ favor, and have families who eventually become usurped …show more content…

Both David and Pisistratus give gifts to divine beings in order to gain favor with the gods and maintain their power. David makes material sacrifices and celebrates the Lord through song and dance. This is explained in the book of Samuel, which reads, “and when those who bore the ark of the Lord had gone six paces, he sacrificed an ox and a fatling. And David danced before the Lord with all his might” (2Samuel6:13-14). David’s offerings to the Lord, both material and ceremonial, display that David makes continued gifts to the Lord in exchange for good fortune. David’s son, Solomon, extends these offerings to the Lord by decorating the house of the Lord with expensive woods and gold. Pisistratus, after taking power in Athens, gives generously to Athene, building a temple in her honor and holding a festival each year for her (Tappan). Pisistratus’ worship not only extends to Athene, but also to gods such as Apollo, Artemis and Zeus, as he began construction on temples or shrines for them as well (Starr). David’s and Pisistratus’ offerings to the gods served two primary roles: to secure good fortune from the gods, and to continue seeking advice from the gods. For David, his offerings and praise please God and God thus proclaims David to be the proper ruler of Israel. God continues to advise David on matters of the kingdom, and informs him that his son Solomon will be the next king of Israel after his death. There are many examples in Herodotus’s Histories about the importance of pleasing divine powers in exchange for good luck and advice. One such example would be Croesus’ gifts to the Oracle of Delphi. The relationship between Croesus and the Oracle of Delphi is explained by Herodotus, “To express his satisfaction he sent a further present to Delphi of two gold staters for every man, having first inquired how many men there were. The Delphians in return granted in perpetuity to Croesus and

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