Western Civ. Essay 1

Western Civ. Essay 1 - P age |1 Brett Markut Western Civ...

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P a g e | 1 Brett Markut Western Civ. 2/28/2008 Authority in the Ancient World Since man has come on this earth, there has always been one important cultural trait in every civilization that the world has known. Religion has been one common attribute in every society. Although they all differ from each other, they all have a common aspect . The people all believe to be under the authority and status of one or many gods. Specifically, civilizations such as ancient Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, and Rome were significant in developing religions which had major impacts in the world that can be seen today. These religions developed an authority over the people in these civilizations, which put both order in the society and gave the people a purpose to live for their god or gods. The ancient era, saw the beginning of multiple religious ideals. The concept of polytheistic religions was the most common view of religion beginning with the first civilizations. Civilizations such as Babylon, Greece, Egypt, and Rome first began with polytheistic religions, having gods for human aspects of life. However a new concept was coming to the world, the idea of monotheistic religion which only taught to believe in one superior God. This idea first began with the Hebrews and later worked its way all over the world with multiple civilizations. In ancient Mesopotamia (3,000 B.C.E.) religions helped develop the society in the area, which then spread all over the world. In early Mesopotamia, the Babylonians developed a society which was based on the gods. They had gods for various physical things in their world, for
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P a g e | 2 example the sun, water, land, ext. The people built extravagant temples, also called ziggurats, to please their gods (Bellarmine 2007). One of the temples that are well known even today is the Tower of Babel, which as the Christian Bible says was destroyed when God was angry at the people for trying to build a structure which reached up into heaven. The people of ancient Mesopotamia believed that man existed to serve the Gods. The Babylonians also created what became known as Hammurabi’s Law Code, which created laws for the society to follow (Bellarmine 2007). The god of justice, Shamash gave the Law Code to the king Hammurabi, in which he brought to the people and incorporated the law into the society. The early law was basically an “eye for an eye” in which if there was a situation which man couldn’t solve, they would allow the gods to decide. For example the gods would decide on situations on whose
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