The political structure of Ancient Egypt was made of a government structure that was more enforced whereas the pharaoh was the Devine ruler, who the people perceived as a god and could not address while directly looking at him in the face (Backman). Noblemen appointed into the political structure were relatives of the pharaoh and upon his death, his son was to succeed him (Connan, 33-50). It was believed that Pharaoh descended from the gods and had the ability to ensure prosperity and controlled rituals which granted continued flow of river Nile that enhanced irrigation (Connan, 33-50). There was a high rate of bureaucracy in Ancient system influenced by this political structure and most people were illiterate peasants, they were highly regulated (Backman). On the contrary, Mesopotamia consisted of states that governed themselves before the proclamation of Sargon the great as the king in 2370BCE (Backman). The king here was not considered as divine and the majority of those who served in the political structure were just noble men from noble families with no blood relations with the ruling class (Connan, 33-50).
To begin with the Mesopotamians believed in the gods and goddesses. They would praise them for a significant reason either if its water, nature, wind, sun, etc. and each god has their own specific powers. To please the gods they will have to sacrifice one for a specific desire or necessity. In The Epic of Gilgamesh it is said that gods feast and love the smell of burnt human flesh; “When the gods smelled the sweet savor, they gathered like flies over the sacrifice” . The relationships that Mesopotamians have with their gods is cruel, they please the gods with sacrifices. This is what they believed was necessary to have a peaceful life with no catastrophic chaos. The Mesopotamians wanted harmony with their gods so they don’t die. Mesopotamians did not only believe in one god but many gods so they would worship the gods for specific needs. They also viewed the gods as the highest level class, in other words
A need for social interaction, the ability to trade goods, and a place to worship would develop and cities would form. The first written languages called Cuneiform, were established by the Sumerians, which consisted of symbols and were used for record keeping with trade deals (Steele 12). Throughout the modern world, people are required to pay their taxes to the government, well you can thank the first rulers from Mesopotamia. Although they did not have a currency system set in place, so taxes were paid with livestock and grains (Steele 13). Government and religion would play off of each other. It was believed by the people of Mesopotamia that the humans were to serve the gods, Anu, was considered the Chief Sumerian god, and Inanna was the goddess of love and war ((Hunter, Corbishley 48). A much later time Hammurabi would be considered a fair ruler, but harsh ruler of the land. While other states had their own beliefs and rituals, they respected him. The Code of Hammurabi was carved into stone for all to see. The statue stood about seven feet tall, and consisted of 272 laws but, what made this different from prior rulers is the laws were passed down from the sun god, Shamash, and not from man (Kerrigan 25). If someone broke the law, there was no way around saying, I did not know. Punishment could vary depending on your status within the community. A surgeon would be held responsible, and his punishment would be
Religion in the ancient civilizations of Egypt and Mesopotamia played a significant role in developing and organizing the society. Based on the common belief of the world’s divine creation, both civilizations had regular rituals and ceremonies to honor the supernatural beings. In rituals and ceremonies, the cult was expressed as the manifestation of components that symbolized the divine such as the cult images, temples, and shrines. Since religion was an important aspect in the people’s daily lives, it also had an impact on the ruling system in the two civilizations. Even though Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia have similar foundational beliefs about the cult, different cultic practices imply the difference in the structure and the scope of
The Egyptians believed that their pharaohs were the reincarnation of the sun god Re, the chief god who held the most power of all of the gods. This was believed because the pharaohs had immense power, governed huge areas of lands, and controlled vast resources such as gold and slaves. The pharaohs also elevated their status by building huge structures to the gods that seemed to transcend their earthly life, such as the pyramids and temples. The pharaohs used ordinary Egyptians to build the pyramids, not slaves, because the Egyptians wanted to please the god king so they would be guaranteed a place in the afterlife. The pharaohs also conquered thousands of square miles of land through military victories which seemed almost impossible for mere mortals. Similarly, the Mesopotamian kings were believed to be the sons of gods. The god the kings were related to depended on the city state’s main god, which was usually Anu. The king was also the chief priest which continued the relationship, keeping them close to the gods. The kings took on massive public works projects as well as military conquests which further cemented this belief. Because of the importance of the gods to these societies, their leaders were raised to a “godly” status as a reflection of their significance and as a result of their many accomplishments, which also gave the people a more tangible connection to the gods.
The Ancient Egyptians, Mesopotamia, and Greeks were some of the oldest complex societies, although similar in many aspects. Mesopotamia is located in the Fertile Crescent, land in and between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers usually known as modern day Iraq and Eastern Syria.(24) In Egypt, the Nile River creates a fertile valley which is rich in nutrients and essential to their survival. The Nile flows from Burundi, slightly south of the equator eventually traveling through Egypt and into the Mediterranean. Ancient Greece is situated very closely to Egypt so trading was easy between them. How are these three civilizations comparable and different?
As cities formed in Mesopotamia, Monarchy remained the dominant form of government. They believed that as gods ruled earth, kings should rule men. As the two countries grew, so did their ruling. Both the Assyrians and Babylonian at different periods of time ruled Mesopotamia as its monarch leader. The Assyrian’s had the last empire to rule Mesopotamia.
Mesopotamia was divided into city-states. They saw each city-state as a divine copy of heaven on earth. They viewed kingship as divine in origin. One could also view Mesopotamia as a primitive democracy. They had a consul responsible for everyday affairs and a government to administer
Mesopotamia and Egypt were very different because of their geography and world view. Mesopotamia was often flooded because of their bad geography, but the land around the Nile river was built well so the Egyptians didn 't have to worry about the river flooding as often. The land in Mesopotamia was often attacked and invaded. Ultimately the geography of Egypt was significantly better than Mesopotamia because of the benefits of the nile river created a positive world view, a strong government and a universal religion.
Egypt and Mesopotamia were successful civilizations because they were able to adapt to their harsh surroundings because of the influence of their powerful leaders. This is first example of this when it mentions that their only building tool was mudbrick due to their lack of resources(document 1). They were able to brilliantly adapt to their surroundings and were able to invent things like the arch and the dome out of hardened mud. Mud brick was also used to create the ziggurat(document 7). Mud brick was their only resource because they were so isolated from everything else. They also could really only inhabit the euphrates river because the Tigris river would flood a lot, so that’s why all of the cities are on the Euphrates (document 2).
A: Studies of the cultural landscape and urban morphology of Mesopotamian cities have found signs of social inequality in the varying sizes and ornamentation of houses. Urban elite erected palaces, protected themselves with walls, and employed countless artisans to beautify their spaces. They also established a priest‐king class and developed a religious‐political ideology to support the priest‐kings. Rulers in the cities were both priests and kings, and they levied taxes and demanded tribute from the harvest brought by the agricultural laborers.
The early cities of Mesopotamia fell from one warlord to another, and were constantly changing, unlike the kingdoms of Ancient Egypt that kept its stability. The Egyptians lived along the Nile River, which probably made it easier to govern the people. The King was the owner and ruler of all Egypt and was considered a god by the people. The economy was a royal monopoly, the peoples duties was to serve the King. In the old Kingdom
Mesopotamians government had a set of laws. They did not write them down, however. If a citizen broke a rule. Their punishment was based on the crime that they committed. For example, if you killed someone, the government would kill you. Next, Mesopotamia worshipped many gods. This was called polytheism. The builders of Mesopotamia would build ziggurats, or temples, to worship the gods. They would kneel and pray to the gods. They worshipped 7 gods in total.They also built and created their own tools.
In Mesopotamia the ruling powers were both divine and royal. The Sumerians had a belief that people were created by gods to labor for them. The temple and its land belonged to the god Ningirsu and his wife Baba, and their family. The land owning upper classes included ruling princes and their families, leading priests, and palace officials. The political function was not separated from the religious function for much of Mesopotamia's history. In old Babylonian times a town or a precinct mayor led a group or council of elders. Nobility formed the upper house of elders, and also land-owning commoners met in a popular assembly to make important decisions. Together they managed dealings such as appointing governors, and choosing kings to be temporary military commanders in times of crisis. Eventually there was a separation of the kings from the temple, and the soldiers were kept in the king's palace. The king with his increasing
Kings and rulers started to emerge as soon as people moved away from living in tribes. This was the case with the Jews when they have decided to unite under one ruler. However, long before them the first empire was established in Mesopotamia by Sargon of Akkad in 2334 BCE (Kelly, 2011). The essay will compare kingship in three geographically and chronologically different societies. They are the following: Babylonians during Hammurabi’s reign (1792-1750 BCE), Neo-Assyrians (934-610 BCE), and the Jews (1000 BCE). In order to avoid historical distortions, primary sources from those time periods will be used. These three communities have influenced each other in different fields. Therefore, we can see similarities in their ruling systems.