Beliefs in Polytheism Mesopotamia vs. Egypt

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Two of the greatest ancient civilizations of all times are Mesopotamia and Egypt. Both civilizations originated in the same area of the world, now known as the Middle East, and were quite progressive for their time. Because of their close proximities to each other, they had several shared beliefs but they also, had several differences. This is most evident in their practice of polytheism. Each of these regions practiced polytheism, the belief of many gods. Both believed that they were created by gods and that a person’s sole purpose was to serve the gods. Egyptians were very adamant about this servitude while the Mesopotamians were more relaxed in their religious practice. The Egyptians would try their hardest to show the gods they obeying them and focused on following their rules. Pyramids were built to honor them. They had faith that if they did well by the gods the gods would do well by them in the afterlife. The Mesopotamians made statues to show respect and support to their gods and hoped that indicated they worshiped them. Their daily life was also concentrated on making the gods happy in the here and now. They felt their gods responded to its people’s works by a show of nature: i.e. hurricanes, rain, floods, drought etc.. They built ziggurats, tall temples that enable people to be closer to the gods. One colossal difference between the Egyptian and Mesopotamian’s religion is their belief in afterlife. Although they both believe in an afterlife, the Egyptians believed in a positive afterlife. They built elaborate tombs to “send” the pharaoh to his after life, allowing him a prime location so he could continue to overlook Egypt. They also had a book of the dead that guided people in their afterlife teaching good judgment and supporting a positive afterlife. In contrast, the Mesopotamian’s belief in afterlife is the complete opposite. They thought that the afterlife was gloomy and dismal like the one portrayed in the Epic of Gilgamesh when he is...
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