The Relations of Egypt and WesternAsia in the Fifteenth Century B.C.According toThe Tell El Amarna Tablets
hat to the poorer chiefs a summons from Egypt to appear in person meant little less than ruin. Resistance to it was so surely to be counted on that such a summons was often kept in the background more as a threat than anything else. Now and then petty chiefs in Palestine and Syria withheld their bushels of corn, their three oxen or their twenty sheep; or perhaps they were so sparing of bakshìsh that the tribute itself was swallowed up and vanished entirely from the accounts. It was scarcely possible to take costly measures to punish such delinquents, so the business was turned over to some kind neighbour of the recalcitrant chief, and a little war was soon fairly ablaze. But when direct commands of royal ambassadors were treated as of doubtful authenticity, it was hardly likely that the authority placed in the hands of an equal would meet with much respect. Both leaders received reinforcements; a third intervened at a moment favourable to himself; many and often very remote quarrels broke out, and when
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