What Does It Mean For A Monument As A Leader? Essay

5607 Words Oct 17th, 2016 23 Pages
What does it mean to write on a monument as a leader? One answer to this question can be pursued by studying inscriptions on steles from the ancient Near East and their relationships with their audiences. These monuments have all been constructed to communicate messages through both their content and form, particularly in their imagery. Some would describe these steles as ‘propaganda,’ which has many negative connotations. However, monumental inscriptions are much more complex than that. Propaganda is a control mechanism leaders use to spread ideologies and benefit themselves. Though some monumental inscriptions have this intention, all were not created to control their audiences. Their meanings vary depending on their historical contexts, physical settings, and the identities of their audience. An inscription communicates with its audience, and by examining this communication of notable steles from the Iron Age Levant as case studies, the experiences of ancient people reading these steles and the effect it had on them may be better understood. Few researchers have studied steles as individual entities, nor the effect that they had on those who saw them. Scholars tend to focus on the content found in these texts. They flesh out the vocabulary, word forms and translations in order to understand the inscriptions’ semantics (e.g. Niccacci). However, in so doing, many forget that these inscriptions resided in places where they commanded a presence and functioned to…

Related Documents