Egypt and Mesopotamia: Similarities and Differences in Religion

956 Words Feb 2nd, 2013 4 Pages
Most societies that developed in ancient civilizations were centered around their belief systems. The Egyptians and the Mesopotamians were no different in this sense. Both civilizations were polytheistic and built elaborate temples to praise their gods. Additionally, the leaders in both regions were believed to be related to the gods because of the great power they held and the wealth under their control. However, the Mesopotamians had a pessimistic outlook on life because of the unpredictability of their environment. The Egyptians, on the other hand, had an optimistic outlook because the Nile River inundated their region regularly, which could be predicted by the stars. The similarities and differences in the religions of these two …show more content…
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.

While both societies honored their gods and saw their leaders
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