Political power originally belonged to the citizens, but, as rivalry between the various city-states increased, each adopted the institution of kingship.

records that eight kings reigned before a great flood.

Out of the many incredible artefacts that have been recovered from sites in Iraq where flourishing Sumerian cities once stood, few have been more intriguing than the Sumerian King List, an ancient manuscript originally recorded in the Sumerian language, listing kings of Sumer (ancient southern Iraq) from Sumerian and neighbouring dynasties, their supposed reign lengths, and the locations of "official" kingship.

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This is similar to Genesis 5, where the generations from Creation to the Flood are recorded.

Interestingly, between Adam and Noah there are eight generations, just as there are eight kings between the beginning of kingship and the flood in the Sumerian King List.

At the other extreme, is the belief that the numbers have a basis in reality and that the early kings were indeed gods who were capable of living much longer than humans.

In between the two extremes is the hypothesis that the figures represent relative power, triumph or importance.

I'm trying to think of a good example to use..this might not be the best example but in America, we have the democratic and republican parties, we could have elections resulting in one party winning several elections in a row, but under different presidents...President Grant took office in March 4, 1869 and we had 4 consecutive republican presidents ending with President Arthur finishing his term March 4, 1885..in that 16 years, we had 4 different presidents but all from the same republican party..could these Kings have done something similiar??? The Egyptian stories make clear they are family names and not long-lived individuals.

It seems to defy coincidence but, to be fair, you have to accept the adjustments of dates for Egyptian regencies (where, say, a ruler did not officially reign until of a certain age so a 'regent' would belong to that ruler's reign or not, depending on who recorded it.) What seems the best answer to me: Late Israeli retelling of Egyptian tales, replacing names with Israelite names (probably already famous individuals or mythic characters.) Recall that, I think, in one of Joseph Cambell's Masks of God books. Egypt/Summer/Biblical patriarchs (dynasties.) in a chart. Earlier Egyptian dynasties seem made up and may be stolen from earlier Sumerian lists.This doesn’t explain, however, why the periods of tenure later switched to realistic time periods.Related to this perspective is the belief that although the early kings are historically unattested, this does not preclude their possible correspondence with historical rulers who were later mythicised. Wood, 2003) have drawn attention to the fact that there are remarkable similarities between the Sumerian King List and accounts in Genesis.After the flood, the King List records kings who ruled for much shorter periods of time.Thus, the Sumerian King List not only documents a great flood early in man’s history, but it also reflects the same pattern of decreasing longevity as found in the Bible - men had extremely long life spans before the flood and much shorter life spans following the flood (Wood, 2003).Finally, some scholars have sought to explain the figures through a mathematical investigation and interpretation (e.g. For example, Genesis tells the story of ‘the great flood’ and Noah’s efforts to save all the species of animals on Earth from destruction.