Nature and Life Mesopotamian’s attitude towards nature and life evolves with each piece of literature and can closely be compared to Ancient Egyptian civilizations. Although the two civilizations differed economically, politically, and culturally, both civilizations did have a couple things in common which were their polytheistic beliefs and their associations with nature and its forces. In the Epic of Creation, Gilgamesh, and the Great Hymn to the Aten one sees the role nature played and its significance in both cultures. In Mesopotamia’s Epic of Creation, it is stated in the beginning that creation of the heavens started with two types of water intermingling- sweet water, also known as fresh water, Apsu and bitter water, known as sea water, Tiamat. Already, there is a prominence placed on water. The waters represent good and evil. The Hymn to the Aten also hits on good and evil with night and day, showing how when it is dark everything dies, but when the sun is out everything is alive. (Lichthiem, pg. 96-99) There is also an importance placed on water in Gilgamesh, when he travels across the water to meet Utnapishtim, who tells him about the flood, that wiped out mankind. (The Epic of Gilgamesh, pg. 92-93) Water is represented as both rejuvenating and destructive. Another interesting aspect in both Mesopotamian myths is the emphasis on the power of the natural elements. Marduk defeats Tiamat using the winds to fill her belly then slices her in half and uses her body to
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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
Mesopotamian and Ancient Egyptian are two very comparable cultures. There are similar and differences in regards to their Government, Law, Writing, Cities, Religion, Jobs, and Technology. This is reflected in their literatures, Epic Gilgamesh, and the Story of Sinuhe. Gilgamesh in the Epic of Gilgamesh and Sinuhe in the Story of Sinuhe are important characters that outline the perspective of an ancient society’s.
There were many ways that the Ancient Egyptian society and the Mesopotamian society were similar yet at the same time they were very different. Egyptians and Sumerians agreed on religion in a sense that both cultures were polytheistic. However, the relationships between the gods and goddesses were different between the Sumerians and Egyptians. This essay will discuss those differences in culture, religion and the viewpoints on death and afterlife.
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
Known as one of the earliest civilizations, Mesopotamia and Egypt both share set amounts of similarities along with a share of striking distinctions. Environmentally, these two civilizations were formed in similar surroundings, yet their weather patterns show distinctions. Politically, both governments derived from a monarch, yet their laws and punishments distinguished the two’s court systems. Economically, they both shared prosperous success in similar manners. Socially, although the two lands followed a hierarchy, the value of women contrasted. Culturally, they both believed in a higher order of creation; however, their views of them were polar opposites. Intellectually, these two societies developed skilled abilities and creations that
Water. It expresses its’ power in the form of hurricanes and flash floods. It displays its gentleness, washing dirt off a child's scabbed knee. Water has been used to quench the thirst of many longing throats; and it has been the cause of death to those who unfavorably crossed its path. It possesses the power of total destruction, yet it holds the bases of all life. Generally, water has symbolized cleanliness and renewal. In the Bible, water was used in Baptism, cleansing the soul of original sin and offering a new life in the light of God. Water in itself is a natural purifier, washing the dirt from our bodies. Water is a symbol of
The Epic of Gilgamesh not only told a story of the people of a Sumerian Civilization and the battles of their great ruler. The Epic spoke of current environmental and natural issues “It shows an understanding of ecological processes and the consequences of human action on the earth that anticipates current ecological work.”( Perlin 35)
Evolutions of civilizations can occur because of differences in people’s religion, culture, or geographic setting of the settlement. The relationship between the world of the gods and that of men was perceived differently by the Sumerians, Egyptians, and Hebrew ancient civilizations. This is demonstrated by the way each group viewed the process of creation. They had different thoughts on the creation of their gods, the universe and of man. This essay will discuss the relationship between humans and their gods in three different ancient civilizations: Sumerian, Egyptian and Hebrew.
Ancient world literature and early civilization stories turn around human’s relationship with higher beings. Ancient civilizations were extremely religious, holding the belief that their very lives were in the hands of their almighty god or goddess. This holds true for both the people of biblical times as well as those of the epic era. However, their stories have some differences according to cultural variation but the main structure, idea and theme are generally found correlative. It is hard to believe that that one work did not affect the others. The first great heroic epic poem of Gilgamesh and the Old Testament are two cultures that are hundreds of years apart. Upon studying the book of Genesis and the story of Gilgamesh; whereas one
While describing the cultural among the people of Mesopotamia and Egypt, I learned the differences and similarities in culture. The birth of Mesopotamian Civilization began in c. 3000 B.C.E., in the valleys of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers of Southwest Asia. Mesopotamia is a Greek word and it means ‘between the rivers.’ In contrast, the birth of Egyptian Civilization began in c. 3100 B.C.E., in a valley of the Nile River in Northeastern Africa. Egypt is a Greek word and it means ‘House of the Spirit of Ptah.’ Since there are several categories in the cultures of the Mesopotamians and the Egyptians, I decided to narrows it to three categories: Religion, Writing, and Geography. The three categories will present the basis to compare cultural differences and similarities.
When comparing cultures it would be difficult to find two that are more diverse than the Mesopotamian and Egyptian cultures. The Mesopotamian culture was filled with tension and instability while the Egyptian people maintained a stable and somewhat more content way of life. In examining these two cultures one can surmise that these differences are mainly due to the political, economic, social, religious, and geographic differences between Egypt and Mesopotamia. These factors added to the overall mentality of the people. These mentalities affected the stability of each culture, whether for the better or worse.
Ancient world literature and early civilization stories are mostly centered on human’s relationship with higher beings. Ancient civilizations were extremely religious, holding the belief that their very lives were in the hands of their almighty god or goddess. This holds true for both the people of biblical times as well as those of the epic era. However, their stories have some differences according to cultural variation but the main structure, ideas, and themes are generally found correlative. It is hard to believe that one work did not affect the others. The first great heroic epic poem of Gilgamesh and the Old Testament are parts of two cultures that are hundreds of years apart. Whereas Gilgamesh is a myth and the book of Genesis is
Archaic Mesopotamia and the environments influence. In Archaic Mesopotamia to the fall in 339 BCE, the surrounding environment highly influenced these people in a multitude of ways. As it aided in crafting and refining technology, the growth of agriculture and religious aspects. As the environment created and strengthen the connection of the people to the gods and goddesses as seen by the Epic Tales of Gilgamesh.
Both societies were polytheistic in which they worshipped gods that were created based on nature and their environment. However, their outlooks on religion were entirely antithetical. In Mesopotamia, the people felt as if they had angered the gods and had an egregious view on religion. The reason for this dreadful outlook was because of the unstable government they had due to invasions and lack of natural barriers. Evidence of this is shown in the ancient mesopotamian poem, “The Epic of Gilgamesh”.
In the words of Henry David Thoreau who is a poet state, "Nature and Human life are as various as our several constitutions. Who shall say what prospect life offers to another." Speaking of nature and life, I want to compare and contrast ancient Mesopotamians attitudes towards nature and life through the stories of Gilgamesh, the Epic of Creation, and Hymn to the Sun. Looking at these stories establishes three different views of nature and life which can either be negative or positive. The first story, you see a man who meets his match and then goes on an adventure together. The second story is about how the world was created from a small swirl of water and then became more. The third which is a poem describes the way of life and how Aten provides the means to survive on earth. While reading, the reader should get a sense of how each one differs and how they compare in the small aspects. Now, let's start our journey in ancient times which is a time people believed the world was ruled by gods.