HISTORY 111A - HISTORY 111A Thursday, September 27, 2007...

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HISTORY 111A Thursday, September 27, 2007 Stories used as evidence for politics, culture, and ideas in history Always have to interpret what past leaves us We don’t care if Gilgamesh is a hero or not, just the history or Sumerian life he depicts Story types: - Suffering man (story of Job) - Warriors (epic of Gilgamesh, Iliad), - Kings (ancient Egypt, Epic of Gilgamesh) - Origins (stories that start in the beginning) Microcosm: small world of humans- spending, ruling and being ruled SMALL WORLD Macrocosm: Grand cosmic order, World of Gods, etc. LARGE WORLD - Each one can think of force, manipulation, … - Where are the boundaries? What divides them? - Distinguishes by power - Macrocosm gods have more power and act upon it in microcosm - Humans have relationships with gods/how to secure their goodwill - Gods are immortal Epic of Gilgamesh -Male buddy story -Wise man who tells everyone everything -Individualistic warrior -Typical hero story; man struggles too much to find himself in the world -Gilgamesh is from Sumerian -Kingship descended from heaven after the flood; relies on legend Oddities of Epic of Gilgamesh -Characters colorful but flat -Externally oriented=influenced from the outside -Lacking belief in connection between mind and body -Repetitions -Identical passages in several places -Parallelism (piling up examples) to compensate lack of abstraction -Literate poetic style -Example on page 79 -Different dialects -Language distinguished by gender/gender distinguished by language - Library of Assyrian Assurbanipal (668-627) at Ninevah -When studying Mesopotamia always read Epic of Gilgamesh 150 Tablets -Not as important though because Omen texts (300 Tablets), teaching (200 Tablets), and catalogs (200 Tablets) have more tablets Epics stories made for entertainment purposes Monday, October 1, 2007: History Begins At Sumer 2900-2000 BCE stories like Gilgamesh first seen -Preserved in the 7 th century by scribes Weather (Daily) & Climate Mesopotamia
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-Modern day Iraq -Southern half of Babylonia is Sumer, northern part is Akkad -Two rivers flood and make very rich soil for agriculture -Occurred in April and May -Irrigation was needed b/c of the floods -Floods not predictable -Tigris and Euphrates very soluble -Decreases agriculture productivity Irrigation leads to: -Large numbers of people and cooperation -Complex societies -The state -Has authority to command people in a certain territory -Power to wage war -Has ability to tax -Make and administer law that govern everyone in the territory State -City-state -territorial state Sumer divided into 12 small city-states -included grazing fields and everything outside of it -depends on agriculture Hierarchy: order of ranks, divided by wealth and social privileges -monarchy is main form of government -different political positions 1) King and family -do things for the Gods, buildings -war leader, protect the city -judge: writer of wrongs, protector of orphans and widows -often called lugal (big man) or ensi (governor) 2) Elite by birth 3) Other ordinary subjects
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This note was uploaded on 04/07/2008 for the course HIST 111 taught by Professor Joshel during the Fall '08 term at University of Washington.

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HISTORY 111A - HISTORY 111A Thursday, September 27, 2007...

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