نوع مقاله : مقاله پژوهشی
1 کارشناسی ارشد پژوهش هنر، دانشگاه کاشان، دانشکده معماری و هنر، کاشان، ایران، نویسنده مسئول
2 استاد گروه پژوهش هنر، دانشکده هنر، دانشگاه الزهرا ، تهران، ایران
عنوان مقاله [English]
Art and expression are intertwined. Art has consistently represented the conditions of the society in which it has been formed, and today, what mankind knows about the past societies is largely based on the works of art from each civilization. Exploring works of art is of particular importance, acquainting us with the identity of past societies. It can be said that the remnants of any civilization represent its identity, mood, prevailing social conditions, laws and traditions. Among the variety of themes, the theme this article is looking for is ethics in the works of art in Mesopotamia. As ethics encompasses a wide range of areas, and it is impossible to study this general concept in works of art; so, among the many dimensions of good or bad morals, we have considered violence. First, today's definition of violence is discussed, and then, what was called violence in Mesopotamian civilization is studied. In the present paper, the visual works of Mesopotamian civilization have been studied. Although we take a look at all periods, in fact the emphasis will be on the periods more closely related to the theme of violence which their works represent, although symbolically, violence. What is certain is that it will be impossible to analyze works of art without studying the social, cultural, and religious contexts of society, but since the breadth of Mesopotamian civilization prevents us from discussing the details of kings and the social conditions of society of that timeless civilization, we have just concentrated on the evidence directly related to the theme of this article. The main concern of the present article is the current definition of violence, the definition of what had been called violence in Mesopotamian society, and the study of the works remained from this ancient civilization with the theme of violence. It is noteworthy that all the themes of violence have been examined, including violence against animals. Examining the instances of violence in Mesopotamian society and their representation in their works of art leads to the logical classification of violence in Mesopotamian society and how it is represented in that society. In the present article, which is based on descriptive-analytical method and documentary data, questions have been answered such as: Can the existing violence in Mesopotamian civilization be classified? And which of the violence types existing in Mesopotamian society has an artistic representation, and why? By examining the works of art studied in this article, as a small representative of the remaining works of Mesopotamian civilization, it can be concluded that one of the most colorful themes in the works of art in this civilization is violence, and this theme can be seen in different forms in works of art. What is certain is that the representation of violence in the works of art reflects the violence in Mesopotamian society, which stems directly from the context of society. Based on the results from the study of these works, the violence in Mesopotamian civilization can be classified into the following types:
- Violence against animals (hunting scenes in works of art)
- Social violence (including: violent laws, violence against slaves and residents of enemy cities)
- War violence
- Psychological violence (confession to the arrogant killings by kings, psychological stimulation of the inhabitants of the besieged cities, etc.)
The point about psychological violence is that it refers to violence that is insanely described by kings in inscriptions, and that kings have proudly immortalized their killings, assassinations, and bloodshed through the inscriptions and perpetuated them for future generations.
Now we come to the answer of the question: which of the existing violence has had an artistic representation and why? By studying the works, it became clear that violence against animals and war violence had a more prominent artistic representation than any other types of violence. However, social violence had almost no artistic representation, except for a small number of slaves, and had only been palpable in society at the time. It can be inferred that although social violence existed in their laws, it had not been severely realized and had occasionally been modified by other conditions, such as fines. Religious beliefs in Mesopotamia are the main reason for the colorful representation of war violence. The kings considered war a kind of jihad against evil forces and did not hesitate to do anything to achieve victory. No surprise that they recorded their victories in the works of art with full authority. According to the World Health Organization on group violence, group violence can have social, economic, and political factors, and we have seen the same effect in the study of the works of Mesopotamian civilization. War violence is considered a form of group violence which was applied under religious and doctrinal pretexts and with real political motivations.