How the ancients reduced violence and maintained public order in the first cities

The Epic of Gilgamesh is one of the oldest stories known.

Gilgamesh, the protagonist and king of Uruk, imparts only three pieces of advice to his city’s elders before embarking on an adventure to kill a monster. These guidelines, though succinct, encapsulate essential principles for societal stability.

I’m impressed at how relevant these points are today.

Law and Order: Gilgamesh cautions against youths gathering in the streets, hinting at the risk of increased crime and unrest, particularly among young men. Historical data supports this view, showing that young men are often both perpetrators and victims of crime. Addressing street-level crime and providing purpose and guidance to the youth are vital to prevent societal discord.

Impartial Legal System: Gilgamesh emphasizes fair judgment for the weak and poor, highlighting the need for an unbiased legal system. Impartiality in legal matters ensures faith in institutions and prevents people from seeking vigilante justice.

Preventing Exploitation and Inequality: The third advice speaks against allowing the strong and wealthy to exploit others. This principle is about addressing extreme inequality to prevent social unrest and potential revolutions.

Watch the video above for a more details analysis.