Compare and Contrast Ancient India and Egypt Combined Politics and Religion

Topics: Ancient Egypt, Religion, India Pages: 2 (635 words) Published: October 9, 2012
Compare and Contrast ancient India and Egypt combined politics and religion Through history, religion has shaped civilizations in several aspects. In ancient Indian and Egyptian civilizations it was very strong shaping force in political structures, but both the religious beliefs and the resulting political system were different, just like pharaohs were different from rajas. The way Egyptians and Indians blended religion with politics bears certain similarities. First of all, the central role of priests, who were the Egyptians pharaohs most important advisors during the New Kingdom and at one point gained more power than the pharaoh himself. In the other hand, in India priests or Brahmans were also important political figures since they were considered to be at the top of the caste system and comprised the most educated portion of society. Also, in both civilizations religion became a way to reinforce the government and lead voluntaries to work during the summers to build the famous Egyptian pyramids. In India, on the other hand, the caste system and the concept of dharma taught the lower classes what their place in society, and this place was subordinated to the upper classes and the government. Despite the similarities the influence of religion in the political life of both ancient civilizations displays some differences. For example, the pharaoh was considered a divine ruler, making him a leading priest, while rajas were military figures and even after the rise of the caste system warriors confined with priests for power. Even Ashoka, the emperor of India who became a Buddhist monk, was not divine, eventhough his government gave Buddhism central importance. Here, we can see yet another difference that started with the emergence of Buddhism and Jainism in India, while in India more than one religion (with Ashoka) while the Hindu caste system was still in practice, Egypt only had one central system of beliefs at a time. Even though the form of worship and the...
Continue Reading

Please join StudyMode to read the full document

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Essay about Religion in Ancient China and Egypt
  • Compare and Contrast: Ancient China and Egypt Essay
  • Compare and Contrast Ancient Egypt and Today Essay
  • Ancient Egypt Religion Essay
  • Compare and Contrast Essay: Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia
  • Ancient Egypt Essay
  • Compare and Contrast Religions Essay
  • Compare and Contrast Essay: Ancient Egypt and Greece

Become a StudyMode Member

Sign Up - It's Free