Mesopotamian And Egyptian Rulers Essay

895 words - 4 pages

There are a few similarities between the attitudes that people, in both Mesopotamia and Egypt, had about their rulers. Despite theses similarities, there were also significant differences. There were very different definitions of who ruled, and how they ruled, each land.Mesopotamia was the first identifiable civilization in the Ancient world. Located between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, it was given its name by the Greeks, literally meaning "the country between rivers." The name referred mainly to the land of Sumer, however it also included the countries of Akkad, Babylonia and Assyria. All were connected by the Tigris and the Euphrates, which flooded swiftly and irregularly (at different times during the year).Ancient Egypt was located closer to the Nile and Indus rivers. The Nile Valley of Egypt was notably different from the Tigris and Euphrates. The waters flowed slowly and flooded on a much more predictable basis . Rock walls and barren desert closed off Egypt from the rest of the continent.In Mesopotamia, it was believed that gods ruled the world. They were said to have behaved like human beings only they lived much longer; they existed forever. Each individual god embodied the most important natural entities; they were earth, sky, sun, moon, storm, fresh water and salt water. Statues, set in individual temples, represented each god. They inhabited the statues in the same manner that souls inhabit human bodies .Mesopotamian cities developed around the temples of the gods. The people of these cities were servants to their gods. If they served them well, they would reap the benefits. However, if the gods were not pleased, there would be severe repercussions in the form of famine, invasion and so forth .The people of Mesopotamia believed that the gods were petty, just as people could be. They feared a sudden change in their gods' moods and carefully kept track of each god's needs. There were special servants for each god; people who took care of their daily wants and needs, and also watched for "signs of their intentions." These "special servants" were priests. If the predictions they made about the gods' next move were correct, it was all the better. But, if their forecasts failed to materialize, they took credit for preventing disaster, which elevated their status in society even more.The priests met annually at Nippur to talk things over and make important decisions about their cities and surrounding communities. This "informal association" worked well as long as the way of life in each city did not affect a neighboring city. Eventually, struggle broke out when the land came under cultivation around the waters and more powerful leaders were...

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