* The status of women in Mesopotamia was lower then men. Women enjoyed some protection and liberties, yet not as much as men.
Ancient Mesopotamia and the Indus River Valley civilization were two incredibly productive and successful empires. While Mesopotamian politics were slightly less focused on religion and more on other aspects, the two societies shared many social characteristics. They both had defined social hierarchies, as well as similar views on gender roles. These traits are helpful in explaining the similarities and differences between the two cultures.
In Mesopotamia, there were different jobs. Men were given the harder jobs, and women would do other jobs that required other strengths besides physical strengths. There were copper and bronze workers, carpenters, leather workers, artisans, scribes, priests, local administrators, and teachers, most of which were employed by the temple. Some jobs were
Gender roles in ancient Mesopotamia were clearly defined (teachmiddleeast.edu). Generally, men worked outside of the home and women stayed inside of the home while focusing on raising their children and keeping up with work that took place in the home. However, there were exceptions; we know of women who were “bartenders” and even women who were priestesses, but with limited responsibility. Due to the fact that some were from socially higher families and owned large amounts of property, those women were not allowed to marry. Women at the time were given much less freedom than men, however, women were more protected than men, which is seen in Hammurabi’s Code of Law, specifically in his 130th law:
Egypt and Mesopotamia were in contrast to one another in many ways. Egypt emphasized strong central authority, while Mesopotamian politics shifted more frequently over a substructure of regional city-states. They were also culturally different; Egypt developed in relative isolation, all foreigners were considered enemies while Mesopotamia was a multicultural society. Also, Egypt was well endowed with natural resources and far more self-sufficient than Mesopotamia. They used papyrus reeds growing in marshy areas to make sails, ropes, and a kind of paper. Hunters pursued the abundant wild animals and birds in the marshes. Egypt's art and architecture are very different from Mesopotamia. From pyramids to temples, rigid pharaohs to flowing art of Amarna, Egypt's style was totally different from Mesopotamia's. Mesopotamian art focused on less monumental structures. In Mesopotamia, women lost social standing and freedoms in societies where agriculture superseded hunting and gathering; whereas in Egypt, they are depicted with dignity and respect, could own properties, and inheritance from their parents was possible. Both civilizations traded differently but Mesopotamia was more productive due to technological advance. Egypt’s interests abroad focused on maintain access to valuable resources rather than acquiring territory. Both Mesopotamia and Egypt were ruled by kings,
The role for women in Mesopotamia was primarily of a wife and housekeeper. Most of them did not attend school, but instead they learned household tasks at home to prepare themselves for marriage. Such as, taking care of family, feeding the kids and cooking. Girls stayed at home most of their time unless she was a royalty, they had rights to go to school. However, as part of the polytheistic religion, which was practice daily by Mesopotamians. It included a god and women were goddesses. Women were powerful if she was a priestess. High- rank families in this society could sell their own daughters to the temple or into prostitution as slaves. In contrast, prostitution was considered good and not degrading at this time period. As a matter of fact, prostitution was found in every corner throughout the temple.
Mesopotamia and Egypt are known as the “place of the first civilization” followed by the Hebrews. These three societies traded extensively, but there was a difference in economic area. Mesopotamia was more productive of technological improvements, because their environment was more difficult to manage than the Nile valley. Trade contacts were more extensive, and the Mesopotamians gave attention to a merchant class and commercial law. Priests were part of the trades because they possessed surplus produce collected as rents from the farmers using temple land. Before merchants gained power as independent entrepreneurs; they used to serve the king and the temple priest.
Mesopotamians developed specialized crafts and supported private entrepreneurship. They also were involved in foreign and domestic trade.
Mesopotamia political structures were to have one king and he would control the resources and build an army to go to war he also would make laws and be in control of building projects. Once King Hammurabi became the ruler he made a set of laws call the law of Hammurabi. These laws took more on a political stance of money and war. To maintain order they would go to other neighboring cities and collect money and it would help to build a stronger army to conquer more land.
In contrast, the Mesopotamian did not consider women equal to men and in their law did not have a particular right written about women. The law mentioned most of the time the men's
As Mary Wollstonecraft once said, “I do not wish them to have power over men, but over themselves.” In this quote, “themselves” is referred to as women of course. It is somewhat customary to pick up a paper in today’s light and perhaps see read about Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, or First Lady, Michelle Obama, even media specialist, Oprah Winfrey. The list could go on and on, but the point remains the same. If King Hammurabi of Babylon were living in today’s world and saw how dramatic the power of women has transformed over the years, he would perhaps declare himself Queen of Babylon. Kevin Reilly accurately depicts the struggling role of women from this early period of civilization through Assyrian
Let’s start out talking about the Mesopotamians. The role of a Mesopotamian woman was strictly defined. She was either a daughter to her father or a wife to her husband. Women rarely acted and were treated as individuals outside of their families. If you were allowed to it was because you were usually royalty or the wives of men who had power and status.
If I knew nothing else about Mesopotamia, I could conclude from the Hammurabi code that it's an eye for an eye philosophy and they value the military. I would describe the economy of the region as stiff and the most wealth consists only at high classes. The distinct social groups mentioned in the code are slave, freed man, builder, merchant, common man, chieftain. The rights women enjoy were certain respects (but they were still treated like property) and the restrictions they were subject to we're their
There are some hints given to women that are still underneath the social structure of men in certain laws. For example, when men wanted to get divorced, they were not even questioned by the judges. However, when women no longer wished to live with their husbands, they were carefully inquired before any decisions could be made. Also, women never actually “owned” their property; it always was either their fathers’ or husbands. This Mesopotamia was not perfectly bound to a patriarchal society, but also will still have issues concerning women’s freedom.I formally had thought that the status of women in Mesopotamia would be lower than that of men, however, Hammurabi’s codes of law gave me an insight of another perspective: the women were not completely
The region between the Euphrates and Tigris Rivers was home to an original civilization, Mesopotamia. They knew of few cultures other than themselves and had no basis for what their lives should be and therefore developed their own way of life. They developed their own religion and laws to follow, they were building civilization. Out of their religion, gods and goddesses emerged