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Humanities 111 Midterm - Stan Ingberman Section I 1 Stele...

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Stan Ingberman Section I: 1. Stele of Hammurabi: The Stele of Hammurabi is a piece of work that came from Mesopotamian society or, more specifically, the Amotires. The Amorites were led by King Hammurabi. He is famous for being one of the first lawmakers in history. The code of Hammurabi had laws inscribed on a stone slab, or stele. Near the top Hammurabi was depicted at the throne of the sun god and patron of justice. Hammurabi claimed that the laws were the laws of god. Therefore, violating the code of Hammurabi was violating the divine order. Because of this, punishments were harsh. It was “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth” system. The discovery of the Stele of Hammurabi digs deeper than just the law. It reveals social status and mores in that time and area. Men were the heads of the family; however, efforts were made to protect women and children from mistreatment and poverty. A man could divorce his wife for not bearing him a son, but he had to provide her with money. Also, being forgiven by the wronged party in a crime could mitigate the penalty. Class distinctions were also expressed. Penalties varied with the status of both the wrongdoer and the victim. 2. Monotheism: Monotheism is defined as the belief in the existence of one deity. One of the earliest movements towards monotheism was during the reign of Pharaoh Amenhotep IV (c. 1369-1353 B.C.) in Egypt. Amenhotep sought to replace traditional polytheism with the worship of Aton, a single god of all people. He dedicated himself to Aton, the creator of the world, the maintainer of life, and the god of live, peace, and justice. This movement had little impact on the masses of Egyptians who remained devoted to polytheism. A later Hebrew monotheism would be a profound break from Near Eastern religious thought. The Hebrews regarded God as fully sovereign. He ruled all and was subject to nothing. No realm of being preceded God in time or surpassed him in power. He was eternal and omnipotent. He created and governed the natural world and shaped the
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moral laws that govern human beings. He was not subservient to fate but determined what happened. Since God was the creator and ruler of nature, there was no need for a sun-god, moon-god, or river-god. Nature was God’s creation but not itself divine. By asserting that God was one, sovereign, transcendent, and good, the Hebrews effected a religious revolution that separated them entirely from the world view held by other peoples of the ancient Near East. 3. Ka: Ka is an important piece of Egyptian religion. It is a life force. It is the spirit that lives with one throughout his or her moral life. It is that which distinguishes the difference between a living and a dead person. Ka is brought into oneself at the instant of their birth as the part of their soul that made them be, alive. When one dies, their ka leaves their body. However, one’s ka lives on forever. The ka was more than that though. When the ka acted, all was well, both spiritually and materially. Sin was called "an abomination of the ka". The ka could also be seen as the conscience or
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