Both Mesopotamia and Egypt have different universal views, which then affected their culture. The Tigris and Euphrates rivers of Mesopotamia have unpredictable flood patterns. This affected their view of the universe because the inability to prepare for floods leads the Mesopotamians to believe that the world was harsh and unforgiving. In contrast, the predictable, opportune floods of the Egyptian Nile led to a trust in supernatural powers. These polar opposite views also were seen in and affected the religious opinions of the afterlife. Due to the accounts Gilgamesh, a hero in an Egyptian epic, the afterlife is seen in a terrorizing light, whereas Mesopotamians looked forward to it. A huge division in these Middle Eastern civilization’s cultures were the formation of urbanization, and class systems. In Mesopotamia, a structured 3-part class system was developed, along with Hammurabi’s Law Code.
The top class included land owning males and artisans, as well as royals and warriors. The middle class contained dependent people attached to land, and at the bottom was slaves employed for domestic work. Also the freedoms and some rights of women were lost around the second millennium. In Egypt, there too were classes, yet they weren’t as enforced and structured. Woman were held at a higher standard here because they weren’t secluded in the process of urbanization and class structure, like they were in Mesopotamia.
Economically, both regions participated in trade that was under state control, and their economic growth was related to commerce. Although, Mesopotamia relied solely on imports, while Egypt had an import export system within its region along the Nile. Mesopotamia was very poor in resources. In contrast, Egypt was well endowed with resources, yet practiced isolationism, which made global economic trade through commerce impossible.
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