10 Job Titles That Have Been Around for 2,000 Years

An Etruscan 5th century stone tablet shows two judges with a scribe (at right). DEA / A. DAGLI ORTI/De Agostini/Getty Images

During the old kingdom in ancient Egypt (3000 B.C.E.), there were no official judges, but cases were tried before priests and scribes. But by the middle kingdom (around 1500 B.C.E.), there were official judges, and a judgeship was typically passed down from father to son. The cases a judge might oversee were the same as today: murder, robbery, property ownership and so on. People often tried to bribe the judges or sway their opinion through flattery in order to avoid harsh sentences. And judges were often dishonest or abused power when it served their needs, namely when society wasn't running so smoothly. But if a judge was caught in a misdeed, the punishment could be severe. During one era in Egypt, convicted judges had their noses cut off [source: Reshafim].

In the Middle Ages, dishonesty continued to plague the judiciary. Judges often were paid off by litigants, even if the judges were members of the clergy [source: Helmholz]. Today's judges are either appointed officials or elected by the people. Although generally only a bachelor's degree and some related experience is required to be a judge, most judges are lawyers. But the job market for judges is rather flat, because every new judgeship position in the U.S. must be authorized and approved by the state or federal legislature [sources: Learn, Bureau of Labor Statistics]. And they still get accused of dishonesty sometimes.