Social Stratifications: Classical India vs. Mesopotamia
During the 4th millennium in modern day Iraq laid one of the first large scale societies, Mesopotamia. To the east lay classical India which came about between 8,000 and 5,000 BCE. Classical India and Mesopotamia’s social stratifications are similar in that they had similar ways of punishment and that their upper classes strongly relied on the lower classes. They differ in the ways the treat their women. While they grew separately, they came up with similar ideas, but also different. Classical India followed the code of Manu, which had differing punishments between classes; Mesopotamia followed the code of Hammurabi, which also had differing punishments between classes. For example, in both societies upper classes were monetary, meaning when a member of a higher class made a wrong-doing they were given a fine to pay. These upper classes included nobles, priests, priestesses, warriors and aristocrats. Both the codes Hammurabi and Manu gave harsh punishments, usually physical, to the lower classes. The lower classes included merchants, farmers, peasants and slaves. Also, if a member of a higher class enacted a scene of lawbreaking towards a lower class the punishment is greatly lessoned, but if a member of a lower class did a wrong doing to a higher class member, the punishment was extremely more severe. Both Mesopotamia and classical India relied heavily on lower classes. Each had peasants, slaves and sometimes artisans and merchants that manufactured basic goods like pots, cups and clothing. Essentially aristocrats and nobles owned land, but peasants, or shudras as they were called in India, worked the land and harvested crops. If a person died or an animal was to be killed, a lower class slave or untouchable had to handle the bodies and kill the animal. Upper classes relied on these jobs to maintain cleanliness in the kingdoms. High classes depended on low classes for all the gruesome jobs that had to be...
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