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Mesopotamia, Egypt and the Hebrews



Mesopotamia was the land of four primary civilizations: the Sumerian, the Akkadians, the Babylonian and the Assyrians. The Hebrews, like the Akkadians, belong to a group of people known as Semites and from there we can see the influence of Mesopotamian culture in some of the Hebrews traditions. During the same time, civilization began in Egypt, and there can be seen a distinct difference in the social, religious and political system from Mesopotamia; that the link between the two civilizations are the Hebrews, and although no historical records are available aside from the Holy Scriptures, it is believed that the Hebrews settled in Egypt during the era of Hyksos domination in the seventeenth century B.C.E. These three civilizations to be discussed were the foundation of today's society and provided the common era with concrete religious beliefs still practiced today.

Evidence of the mechanics on the evolution of social, religious and political values, as well as the fluctuating development of the role of women then and now, are present in these documents, beginning with the oldest document which is most likely the Epic of Gilgamesh, first passed on by word of mouth and later recorded by the Sumerians around the third millennium and finally edited and written down in cuneiform by the Babylonians.

This legend appears to have been used by all the civilizations in Mesopotamia in order to satisfy the need to know why we die and to justify the instincts that drove the people of these societies to war, to kill and to control as a must for survival. The gods were the only outlet available to justify such behavior to grant permission to rule, to kill and subdue the weak.

The Epic of Gilgamesh does just that: It serves as a model for the warrior, the king and the tragic hero and the standards for divine right, friendship, brotherhood and loyalty. Finally, it becomes evident from the beginning of a higher consciousness that justifies love, brotherhood and loyalty in the midst of this need for war and gods.

The Epic is divided into seven main parts: the "Coming of Enkidu", the "Forest Journey", "Ishtar", the "Search for Everlasting Life", the "Story of the Flood", the "Return", and the "Death of Gilgamesh".

The Creation of life was, and is, a mystery and therefore must be justified as it shows in the "Coming of Enkidu",...

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Category:   Ancient

Length:   8 pages (1,736 words)

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