Concept Of Immortality Essay

645 words - 3 pages

Triggs, Richard Per.5, 11/11/01 The Concept of Immortal When realizing the earliest civilizations known to man, three great and ancient cultures come to mind: the Sumerians, the Hebrews, and the Greeks. All these cultures were vastly unique from one another and are generally known as separate entities. However, there is an idea amongst these three cultures, which conflicts with this generalization. This idea is the following: there is similarities between the Bronze Age Greeks and the Sumerians, as well as similarities between the Classical Age Greeks and the Hebrews, over the concept of life after death. The Sumerians were the earliest of these ancient civilizations and were first of these archaic cultures to grasp an idea of immortality. The Sumerians' funeral ceremonies consisted of a burial within the ground. The deceased body was placed in the ground, but the Sumerians knew nothing of a life after death and made no assumptions on the idea that there might be a heaven. This idea affected the culture of the Sumerian greatly because, with no dictated belief in an afterlife, the Sumerian people believed should be happy and merry while you were still alive and to enjoy to the fullest. "The Epic of Gilgamesh advocates this concept. "Utnapishtim said, 'There is no permanence…life and death they allot but the day of death they do not disclose.'" The Hebrews acquired a different philosophy on the ideas of immortality than that of the Sumerian culture. Unlike their neighbors, the Hebrews believed there was an afterlife and that one's actions do affect how one is treated the new life lived after death. With this idea in mind, the Hebrews were a religious people and kept readings of their beliefs in a book known as...

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