From the Great Wall to the Pyramids

Topics: Ancient Egypt, Egypt, China Pages: 3 (1154 words) Published: December 4, 2010
From the Great Wall to the Pyramids
The Great Wall of China and the Egyptian Pyramids are both Manmade Wonders of the World and belong to two of the oldest civilizations. Ancient Egypt and ancient China both have history that date back over 4,000 years ago, and though the two civilizations co-existed simultaneously with one another, there were little contact between the two. Yet apart from some underlying differences, there are many similarities between the two cultures as is highlighted when examining the Analects and The Book of the Dead. On the surface, the social behavior and values emphasized in the Analects and The Book of the Dead resemble one another; however, upon closer examination it becomes apparent that the origin and purpose behind the actions different greatly. The purpose of the two literatures contrast due to the lifestyles and beliefs that were held during each of the corresponding civilizations. Though the texts preach similar values and achieve similar results in terms of human behavior, the factor that ignited the creation of these two historical pieces differ tremendously. The Analects was written by Confucius, also known as Kong Zi, who resided during the Era of Warring State, which was a sub-period of the Eastern Zhou Dynasty. This was a time of disunity and power struggle where the empire was divided into areas controlled feudal lords who desired to expand their land by conquering weaker neighboring states. In the midst of this, philosophies of humanity and order began to blossom, as people began to grow tiresome of the constant wars and chaos. Confucius emphasizes that, “If they [riches and honor] cannot be obtained in the proper way, they should not be held”(p.2). These philosophies flourished as people began wanting reforms towards a harmonious life. Confucianism contributed to the downfall of the Zhou Dynasty, bringing in new values and social behaviors to the civilization. The Book of the Dead, on the other hand, formed due to...
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