The civilizations of ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia and China were all different but were also developed similar ways of doing things. The political, economic and intellectual outlooks of these ancient peoples say a lot about their ways of life. The religious views of Egypt and Mesopotamia were rather different. II. Politics
The political thinking of these ancient civilizations definitely had their differences and
also their similarities. A. Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia was divided into city-states. They saw each city-state as a divine copy of heaven on earth. They viewed kingship as divine in origin. One could also view Mesopotamia as a primitive democracy. They had a consul responsible for everyday affairs and a government to administer the laws. The king Hammurabi of Mesopotamia wrote down a code of law. The Code of Hammurabi was harsh and made many distinctions between the classes. It gave us the whole “an eye for an eye” theory. B. Egypt
In ancient Egypt, the king was the supreme ruler of the country and was known as a pharaoh. He was also the highest level spiritual leader. The Egyptians believed that the office of pharaoh was divine. The reigning king was viewed as a god. Under the king was the vizier who ran parts of the government on behalf of the king. Egypt was divided into provinces and each province was headed by a governor.
The political institution of ancient China was the city-state. The Shang kings possessed political, economic and religious authority. Kings were not considered divine but were high priests of the state. The Chou continued the Shang pattern of living. Each of these civilizations had very similar political systems. They all had kings, governments, religions and a social structure. Each of them started off rather similar and then developed into civilizations with rather different political systems. III. Economics
The economies of these ancient civilizations were very similar. A. Mesopotamia
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