The god-kings presided over prehistoric and antique civilizations, ruling with iron fists. When the age of the first such kings faded, the idea of the deified king was passed on to the rulers of men. The oldest of these god-kings in the historical record were the Rephaim—the feared tribe of giants in the ancient Near East. The Mesopotamians and Phoenicians called them kings and princes of the abyss, and their name became synonymous with the concept of the autocratic king. Unravel the mystery of how this word began as a corruption of an ideal, how it survived, and then spread to the languages of Europe, Asia, and beyond in this preliminary linguistic assessment from the Institute of Biblical Anthropology.
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