Hebrew and Ancient Sumerian Societies

Topics: Sumer, Epic of Gilgamesh, Mesopotamia Pages: 3 (1179 words) Published: November 10, 2008
Political and religious beliefs gave Hebrew and ancient Sumerian societies unique characteristics that set them apart from the rest of the world, making them individual civilizations in the Middle East. The differences of the Hebrews and ancient Sumerians range throughout history but are mostly affected by culture. One aspect of culture that has had a lasting role in the societies is religion. Religion played a vital role in the daily lives of these people; it also went hand in hand with political power and leadership. Religion how we see it today is much different from these two societies and that is made evident from the written documents about the Hebrews and Sumerians. Our reading and written documents cover a variety of things some of which are: the number of Gods they worshiped, the way the practiced their religion, and the followers they had for their rituals. The Epic of Gilgamesh is an epic story that happened around in 3,000 BCE. It took place in Mesopotamia, which is now modern day Iraq. In the Epic of Gilgamesh the main characters name was Gilgamesh, king of Uruk. Gilgamesh was two-thirds god and one-third man. Gilgamesh reined as a cruel leader that did what he pleased, but he was a prime example of how religion and political power played off one another. Since Gilgamesh was part god and part man, the people of his land feared him. Yet at the same time the people adored him and were thankful to have such a beautiful, strong, smart, and savage ruler. The people in this story worshiped a number of different gods. Which created a central theme of how the Gods were dangerous and could even be jealous or spiteful.

In the ancient Sumerian society the Gods can be compared to those in the Gilgamesh on an account that they share many polytheistic traits and were looked at the same. The Gods did what they want and often behaved illogically and irrational. The people of that time and of this specific region often thought of the Gods as very...
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