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Pessimis VS Optimism

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The emergence of the Egyptian and Mesopotamian civilizations is astounding in both their similarities and differences. The Mesopotamians were pessimistic while the Egyptian civilization was very optimistic.

Take for example both civilizations view of the rivers that ran through their land. The Egyptians had the Nile which they believed was in its own form a god, and called the annual floods, "The gift of the Nile" (Moss lecture, 9/23/04). The Mesopotamians were less optimistic about the Tigris and Euphrates rivers that flowed through their land. Whereas the Egyptians believed the Nile was a god, the Mesopotamians viewed nature as an extremely angry and unreasonable force (Holt, p.28) because of the unpredictable flooding of both the rivers.

In the Egyptian Creation Myth the All-Lord Khepri creates 2 gods and they give him his eye for this and he weeps, creating the men of the world (Creation Myth), whereas in the Mesopotamian Creation Epic there are Apsu and Tiamat who created all the other gods, and in turn Marduk (the king of the other gods) slays his mother Tiamat and uses her remains to make the universe, and after that on a whim he makes man to be a servant for the gods (Creation Epic). You would think that the Egyptians would always be looking on the bright side of things, and the Mesopotamians constantly complaining about how everything is not going right for them.

The Afterlife also plays a large role, especially in the Egyptian civilization where everything you did was what you would be judged on to see if you were worthy to enter a place of eternal happiness, and if you were not worthy your soul is thrown to a horrible monster called the eater of the dead (Holt, p. 27). Therefore the in the Egyptian civilization having good character and living a morally pure life was very important. The Mesopotamians though did not believe in rewards or punishment after death and were free to be horrible people in life and have no punishment in the Sumerian...