Gianni Dagli Orti/Corbis

The Narmer Palette boasts one of the earliest depictions of a king smiting his enemies. In the second and first millennia B.C., this image symbolized royal power throughout the eastern Mediterranean. The Canaanite storm-god, Baal, is often shown in a smiting pose, as in the gilded bronze statue dating to the 14th century B.C. and found at ancient Ugarit, on Syria’s Mediterranean coast.