Historical And Textual Data Of The Mesopotamian Religion

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The Mesopotamian religion has not a large amount of information uncovered. There are both archaeological and textual data that has been found on religious beliefs of the early Sumerian civilization survive. The typical temples were constructed of mud bricks and adorned with buttresses and many small cones of different colors. On the inside there was a niche for the image of the deity right in front of an offering table. The early sanctuaries were simple in their style but the later new temples contained spacious courts, which were rooms for attendant priests and a ziggurat. There were three types of textual materials that have been discovered: prayers, descriptions of the rituals conducted by priests, and mythological literature. Prayers were always associated with specific rites to be performed by the person offering the prayers or by a priest attached to the sanctuary. The prayers would consist of invocations to the gods, requests for assistance, and expressions of gratitude for past favors or for dangers averted. There was a rule, that the worshipers did not emphasize such spiritual or moral topics as death, survival, and contact with the divine. The discovered mythological literature is difficult for present day readers to understand and the extent to which such myths reflect early religious beliefs is unknown. In its beginning, Mesopotamian religion expressed harmony between humanity and the natural powers on which it depended on survival. The Sumerians have

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