Mesopotamia and Nile River Valley Political Systems

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Emanuel Mordechaev
S/S Essay #2, Mr.Wainer
C-band, 09/13/12
Differences in the political systems of
Mesopotamia and Nile River Valley

The ancient civilizations of Mesopotamia and the Nile River Valley varied in most aspects of society. Everything from the temples built in Mesopotamia to the technologically advanced pyramids in ancient Egypt that still stand today as historical landmarks is linked to the sovereigns that ruled these civilizations. Egyptian kings (better known as pharaohs) and Mesopotamian rulers were treated completely different. Unlike rulers from Mesopotamia, pharaohs were viewed as Gods and human sacrifices were made when the pharaoh was undergoing reincarnation, awaiting afterlife. On the other hand, Mesopotamian rulers were not considered deities but still carried out their responsibilities as leaders, such as passing laws and judging disputes.  

Mesopotamia’s land was divided into many organized city states. Each state was ruled by its own king, which was assisted by a bureaucracy of priests that helped out with many duties that the king would not be able to fulfill on his own. Priests distributed land as well as crops, while the kings set up religious ceremonies and led the military, preparing the soldiers for any invaders along the way. Rules and regulations were passed by the kings in order to sustain every day society. One of the most notorious set of laws passed was by a king named Hammurabi, ruling the Babylonian Empire. The Hammurabi Code, as he referred to it, consisted of 252 laws and penalties written approximately at 1700 BC. It stated that all people above the law would be treated according to the crime committed (an eye for an eye and a leg for a leg). However, if the culprit stood higher on the social class system than his prosecutor, a fine would do.  

The unified landmass of Egypt is what greatly distinguished it from that of the Mesopotamian civilization. Unlike Mesopotamia, the Nile River Valley was ruled by...
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