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The Mesopotamian Ideal of Kingship

Paper type: Essay
Pages: 5 (1089 words)
Categories: Mesopotamian Civilization
Downloads: 8
Views: 10

The Mesopotamian ideal of kingship is looked down upon. The kings treated the commoners & peasants so poorly during this time. 2.)That the afterlife isn’t so great. Gilgamesh goes out to find morality but it turns out it is tragic.

“There is the house whose people sit in darkness; dust is their food and clay their meat.” That doesn’t sound like much fun. That states that even in the afterlife you can be miserable.

The philosophy of life that comes from the Gilgamesh Story is that, you should appreciate what you have in the life you live, and not try to find it somewhere else. (Or in a power beyond you.) The epic portrays the gods as awful people, they don’t have a great relationship with people, and they treat them poorly.

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Shown from the Code of Hammurabi, one can conclude that they were very adamant about getting what was right.

Society was all for it, shown in “If a man put out the eye of another man, his eye shall be put out.” The economy wasn’t great. If something went wrong, the king would take his life or his home.

They wanted the city to be kept in good conditions, “If any one be too lazy to keep his dam in proper condition, and does not so keep it; if then the dam break and all the fields be flooded… he would be sentenced to punishment,” because of the crop damage. 2.)The kind of economy prevailed in the region was either you were rich or you were poor. The different social groups mentioned in this code were mainly peasants. Slaves, and poorer men and women. There are specific sections “On Class and Slavery” and “On Men and Women”.

Women couldn’t, “open a tavern, or enter a tavern to drink, then shall this woman be burned to death…” “If the ‘finger is pointed’ at another man’s wife about another man, but she is not caught sleeping with the other man, she shall jump into the river for her husband…” women couldn’t drink or cheat on their husbands. But women could declare a man to not be her husband if they did not have intercourse, and “If a man take a wife, and she be seized by disease, if he then desire to take a second wife, he shall not put away his wife who has been attacked by disease, but he shall keep her in the house.”

The kind of social problems that afflicted ancient Mesopotamia were simple in a way. An eye for an eye; tooth for a tooth was one if wrong was done to you by someone, wrong would be done back. If something was stolen you were punished to death, and if you cheated on your spouse you were also sentenced to death. 6.)The principles of justice that underlay Hammurabi’s code are simple. An eye for an eye; a tooth for a tooth. So if something is done wrong to you, its done wrong back to the person that did you wrong.

7.)People living at the time of Hammurabi would assess this system of justice as normal. Considering they didn’t know anything else, they would have gone with whatever was given to them. 8.)People in the 21st Century would assess this system as harsh. Because, when one would steal an animal they would be sentenced to death. Or, when you cheated on your spouse you would also be sentenced to death. Today, cheating doesn’t matter in the sense of law and stealing is usually dealt with less harshly.

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The afterlife of the pharaoh is represented by warm greetings. Resembling that Teti never really dies. He meets his father, and he rejoices at the sight. “Kisses you, caresses you, the hidden ones worship you, the great ones surround you,” The afterlife is good for a pharaoh; it’s almost as if he never died. In the Pharaoh’s afterlife, it is great, almost as if he’s not dead. But in Gilgamesh’s afterlife, its horrible. “There is the house whose people sit in darkness; dust is their food and clay their meat.” That doesn’t sound like much fun.

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Once the Negative Confession came out, only ones with money could buy this way into the afterlife. Stated in the intro paragraph, “The spells could be purchased by anyone who could afford them. The owner then inscribed his own name and title and had the document placed in his tomb.” This changed from traditional Egyptian religious thinking, because now you could just buy it. When one buys the Negative Confession, they are then making the claim for eternal life. The Negative Confession provides more violence and wrong doing, now that you can purchase the right thing.

This causes conflict and discord in New Kingdom Egypt because now you can buy something saying “I have caused no man to suffer.” Or “I have made no man weep. I have slain no man.” This compares to the social problems revealed in the code of Hammurabi, because in Mesopotamia if you couldn’t pay you got thrown in the river. Same in Egypt, if you can’t buy your way into the afterlife, you practically can’t go.

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In Egypt there were several different occupations, a washerman, pot maker, watchman, cobbler, merchants, ship crew, outworker, soldiers, and scribes. Everything, but the scribes were viewed poorly. For instance “The cobbler mingles with vats. His odor is penetrating. His hands are red…, like the one who is smeared with blood…”

Then when the scribe is mentioned, “Be a scribe and be spared from soldiering!” You were only safe if you were a scribe. 2.)Learning how to write offers you many things. “I instruct you to…make you become one whom the king trusts; to make you gain entrance to treasury and granary. To make sure you receive the shipload at the gate of granary.

To make you issue the offerings n feast days. You are dressed in fine clothes; you own horses.” You become a higher power than others. 3.)A timeless frustration of a teacher evident here is that kids don’t listen and they don’t want to write. “Young fellow, how conceited you are!… But though I beat you with every kind of stick, you do not listen… you are a person fit for writing, through you have not yet known a woman. Your heart discerns your fingers are skilled; your mouth is apt for reciting… But though I spend the day telling you ‘Write’ it seems like a plague to you…”

Cite this essay

The Mesopotamian Ideal of Kingship. (2018, Sep 22). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/document-2-analysis-strayer-essay

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