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Egypt and Mesopotamia Essay

Egypt and Mesopotamia have both similarities and differences, throughout both of these civilizations from back to 3,500 B.C. The political and social structures in these civilizations were different and the same in their own way. The political differences between Egypt and Mesopotamia included hierarchy power, land control, and centralized government. The similarities between both civilizations are social class, male patriarchy, and kings. Egypt and Mesopotamia both had differences of their political and social structures. Egypt had more of authorial government, where one head person was in charge which in this case was the pharaoh, which was the head on Egypt social class, as well as leader of his society. The Pharaoh was basically a king ruling for his people, while Mesopotamia, had city states, which was controlled by priest kings.

Another difference is that in Egypt the Pharaoh had complete control over the land, while in Mesopotamia the kings were not so powerful, and the land was split with others such as priest kings. Lastly, Egypt had a centralized government, while Mesopotamia did not have this. Egypt was ruled under one leader and was together as a unity. Egypt had an overall leader such as the Pharaoh, which helped Egypt stay united as one government and civilization. Key similarities would be that they both had poly gods and many of their gods were very brutal. Both the lands were birthed in war and had much cultural strife for land. Mesopotamia had an all mighty ruler of gods and Egyptians really didn’t. Many people say Ra was the almighty sun god of Egyptian culture but really all of Egypt’s gods were about equal.

The idea of what is beautiful and what is considered “manly” is still held upon Egyptian beliefs, not Mesopotamian beliefs. Very different cultures Egypt developed in relative isolation from the rest of the ancient Near East. Thus, cultural evolution resulted in a totally unique civilization, without influence from the outside. Mesopotamia was a multicultural society, with Sumer and Akkad, Elam and Babylon, Assyria, Mitanni, and others all vying for supremacy. Mesopotamia and Egypt were both in flood basins of major rivers. Mesopotamia was characterized by turmoil and tension and in contrast Egypt was characterized by stability and serenity. The Mesopotamian climate was harsh and since the Tigris and the Euphrates flooded irregularly, nature was not viewed as life enhancing but rather considered to be a threat.

Mesopotamia was located on an open plain without protection from foreign intrusions; therefore they were continually on alert. Differences between the religions is the idea of death and resurrection for all people, including common people, was possible in ancient Egypt, but not generally so in Mesopotamian religions. Early on in Egyptian history, only the king, or pharaoh, could resurrect from the dead and live forever. That is why the Egyptians mummified their dead. Later, even the common man wanted his body to be preserved as a home for the spirit, who would live on in the afterlife. This was not possible for the average Mesopotamian. Egyptian religion was less likely to be influenced by the outside world. Mesopotamia is at the crossroads of many different peoples and cultures.

Changes in the Mesopotamian religions was much more likely, and more common, than in Egypt. Egypt and Mesopotamia have both similarities and differences, throughout both of these civilizations from back to 3,500 B.C. The political and social structures in these civilizations were different and the same in their own way. The political differences between Egypt and Mesopotamia included hierarchy power, land control, and centralized government. The similarities between both civilizations are social class, male patriarchy, and kings. Egypt and Mesopotamia both had differences of their political and social structures. Egypt and Mesopotamia believed in polytheistic, but the Mesopotamia they believed in many rulers such as ur-nammu and sargon ant ect but they Egyptians believed in the pharaoh he was the only person in charge over everything.


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