Mesopotamia Case Essay

History OF MESOPOTAMIAN RELIGION

The name Mesopotamia. is a Grecian name which means ‘the land between the rivers’ . refers to the geographic part which lies near the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers and non to any peculiar civilisation. The land of Mesopotamia is made fertile by the guerrilla and frequently violent implosion therapy of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers. While these inundations aided agricultural enterprises by adding rich silt to the dirt every twelvemonth. it took a enormous sum of human labour to successfully water the land and to protect the immature workss from the billowing inundation Waterss.

Given the combination of fertile dirt and the demand for organized human labour. possibly it is non surprising that the first civilisation developed in Mesopotamia. Sumerians were the first colonists in Sumeria. By c. 3500 BCE. the Sumerians had developed many of the characteristics that characterized subsequent civilisations. Cuneiform was a system of composing established by the Sumerians which became the dominant system of composing in Mesopotamia for over 2000 old ages.

Mesopotamia is widely recognized as one of the parts in the Near East foremost sing the developmental passage to hydraulic and urban civilisation. punctually celebrated as a “cradle of civilization” and the eastern section of the Fertile Crescent.

Mesopotamian faith is the spiritual beliefs and patterns of the Sumerians and Akkadians. which were noted the first developed civilisations and faiths ; and subsequently of their replacements. the Babylonians and Assyrians. ( Lindemans. 2007 ) . In general footings. it constitutes the greater portion of what is now Iraq. eastern Syria. and south-eastern Turkey. The divinities of Sumer were normally associated with facets of nature. such as birthrate of the Fieldss and farm animal. Among the most of import of the many Mesopatamian Gods were Anu. the God of Eden ; Enki the God of H2O ; and Enlil. the Earth God. Deities were frequently associated with peculiar metropoliss.

Stellar divinities such as Shamash and Sin were besides worshipped. The Mesopatamians are skilled astrologists who studied the motions of celestial organic structures. Priests besides determined the will of the Gods through the observation of portents. particularly by reading the visceras of sacrificed animate beings. The male monarch functioned as the main priest. presiding at the new-year festival held in spring. when the kingship is renewed and the victory of the divinity over the powers of pandemonium was celebrated.

In Mesopotamia. each metropolis province had its ain God who owned it. and although other Gods were admitted. they were ever subordinate to the metropolis God. Everyone had to belong to a temple. whatever rank they had in society. If they belonged to the temple of Marduk. they considered themselves ‘the people of the God Marduk’ . The God was the Godhead and the people served him as slaves or at least as retainers. Part of everyone’s produce belonged to the God and had to be brought as a forfeit. The land itself belonged to the God and had to be leased from him. God have ne’er been any good at subscribing understandings so the contracts were signed on his behalf by the priests.

The chief festival in Mesopotamia was the New Year Festival held in spring or in fall. Its significance was the reclamation of the land through the germination of new buds or the terminal of the summer scorching. The Sumerian play focused on Dumuzi or Tammuz. the originative power of Spring while the Goddess was Inanna. the birthrate of nature.

The play went this manner: the Earth goddess conceived a fine-looking boy who subsequently became her lover and engender the following boy – a ritual performed by the male monarch and his consort or the caput priest and priestess in a ritual yoke. The boy died and everyone wailed but the new boy was born and everyone rejoiced. In the Torrid Zones the flora died in the summer heat but in northern climes it died with the oncoming of hoar. so the times were non needfully the same.

( Amytas. 2002 ) In an article of Sumerian Religion it was said that reincarnation is a construct suited for Mesopotamians because it was so existent and explicit that it was non deserving describing the dramatic obvious. The Mesopotamians. took painstaking notes of the coming of the dawn and sunset every twenty-four hours. the return of the seasons. the planets and the stars. ever go arounding and returning to chartered points in the skies. Therefore. they did believe that everything was cyclic. and likely considered life and decease every bit such as good ( cited in Adapa ) .

MESOPOTAMIAN MYTHOLOGY

The two following narratives are one of the descent and ascent narratives of Mesopotamian Religion

( Amytas. 2002 ) Descents to the underworld are a changeless subject in Mesopotamia and state about the victory of the spirit over desire. incorrect behaviors or guilt. Descent narratives ever contain the warning that one should non venture to ‘the Land of No Return’ . that the Torahs of ‘Great Below’ can non be changed and it designs the foremost. Nevertheless. Inanna descended to run into Her other Self. the Great Judge and Queen of the Underworld. Ereshkigal. and She who is the Lover and Beloved resurfaced as the vision of exultant humanity that transcends all deceases.

Enlil descended after holding raped Ninlil. who instantly took affairs in her custodies and went down after Him to suppress Her beloved back. accomplishing major growing along the procedure herself from maiden to Consort of Lord Air. Even Enlil. the most of import of the immature Anunnaki Gods. had to undergo penalty for a awful act in the most romantic and intense of all descent narratives.

However. Ninlil. as the Beloved and Hardest Judge Enlil could hold of all time had. flew after him for the deliverance to convey him back to the Heights Above. to go Enlil’s spouse in all degrees. All of them faced amazing tests and returned back to the Highs after accomplishing much healing and growing. It is hence clear that returns from the Underworld. despite all warnings against embarking over at that place. can be achieved. but merely by the victory of the spirit. by suppressing one’s ain failings. by a necessary loss to accomplish a major growing.

In the myth of Adapa. Adap ascends to the Heavens to run into Anu so that he could warrant himself in forepart of the Skyfather for holding been disrespectful to the South Wind. Adapa is the proto-Solomon. the sage and the priest-king of Eridu. He refuses immortality to come back to the Middleworld alternatively of staying with the Great Gods in the Great Above. as Anu had given him the chance to remain at that place by feeding and imbibing from the tabular array of the Gods. Adapa refuses the offering. because Enki. Adapa’s personal God. had warned him non to. if Adapa did non desire to decease.

A possible experience for this transition is the undermentioned: in the terminal Adapa understood that he would hold finally ageless life after populating a full life in the physical universe. and non in the minute he had been offered the gift by Anu. He did non necessitate ageless life when he was offered it by Anu. because he was needed on Earth. he was the priest-king the foundation of the province which was being built in Eridu. the topographic point where kingship descended from the celestial spheres. Again. it is a Mesopatamian acclivity narrative with a return. whose enigma show the rhythm and the nexus between Eden and Earth. the Great Above and the Great Below non as opposite universes. but fiting complements. in a ceaseless rhythm.

PHOENICIAN LETTERS

( Amytas. 2007 ) The Phoenician Letters is a piece of enigma instructions in a written signifier from a maestro to a devoted acolyte in the Mesopotamian tradition. a kind of retro-Caballa. It involves 10 letters. each affecting a god/goddess ( Rimon-Adad. Nabu. Ishtar. Nergal. Shamash. Marduk. Anu. Enlil. Ea-Enki. Sin-Nana ) by the maestro to the acolyte exchanged during the period of two old ages.

The letters cover the preparation of a future-priest male monarch by a maestro kept unknown up to the last missive. The citations on the chapter of Nergal on the following paragraph are about reincarnation. the Ageless Return. Notice that the piece of metal that is left from the combustion of what should be burned may mention to that portion of affair in us that is aboriginal and without blemish. the seed of the Great Mother that they all carry within. represented by the metal ascriptions of Mesopotamians divinities. or the imperishable in them. their Personal Supreme beings.

On Ishtar. “But Ishtar is all this and more. She is the reborn…Know. o Prince. that decease is the beginning of life. life is the cause of decease. Dumuzi her lover must decease in order to populate. She is the beat. and all beats have an terminal. this is decease. all have a beginning ( pages 34-35 ) .

On Nergal: “There are many signifiers of gallantry. There is that signifier that represents a brilliant stupidity. where the hero achieves nil. salvaging neither his people nor his ain life. but taking with him down into decease as many of the enemy as possible. He will contend in the underworld that conflict which he did non win. for it is sad that as a adult male dies. all that he has done is presented to him. to see if he regrets his actions or non.

If he regrets and pines for the things that he failed to make or the mistakes he has made. so this is a weight he must transport into his following clip of life ( Lishtar’s accent ) . Herein is the narrative of justness: the assessors of snake pit visit upon each adult male his offenses. and harmonizing as he loves them or hates them. he will be attracted to the same events. clip without terminal. till the actions of his life be without blemish” ( page 41 ) .

Creation OF MAN ( and WOMAN ) SUMERIAN VERSION

Enki. the Magician. and Ninhursag. the Earth Mother. create world from the fertile Waterss of the Abzu and a pinch of clay. take a breathing into the mix the spirit of a slain God. It is in the myth that the spirit of the slain God resonates in each and every being as a rub-a-dub. life force. to remind them of its forfeit. Harmonizing to Amytas. the myth was a fantastic metaphor that shows embodiment as a gift from Divine Consciousness bestowed upon all world. all that lives and breathes. The bond that was therefore established between Eden and Earth from the beginning of Sumerian faith. whereby from this minute on world

is called upon to go on for the Gods the workings of being and faithful retainers. This metaphor shows the truth all novices have experiences from times immemorial. Spirit can merely incarnate through love. the same manner we can merely go up to the highs of spiritual and airy experience by giving religious organic structure to our soul’s design. Slain in this context may really good intend the necessary loss to accomplish higher consciousness. the disrobing and exposure needed to come in both Great Above and the Depths Below enforced. Furthermore. the myth of the ‘Creation of Man and Woman’ can be interpreted harmonizing to the Sumerians as the ceaseless miracle of spirit come ining affair and for those of them who live their lives in the visible radiation of the Mesopotamian tradition.

From the beginning of Sumerian Religion. from the creative activity of adult male and adult female it is hence present the everlasting bond between affair and spirit. As concluded by Amytas. ” the portion of us who belongs to the everlasting spirit will be so confronted by our life accomplishments and judged by the Annunaki of the Underworld. These divinities will be the Judgess of our psyches and make up one’s mind when we are ready to return from the ‘Land of No Return’ . It is for all these grounds that we suggest that the Eternal Return might hold been a nucleus unostentatious rule of Mesopotamian faith. ”

THE BABYLON AND ITS PEOPLE

Many bookmans believe the first great historiographer. Herodotus. a Grecian who traveled widely over the ancient universe several centuries before the birth of Chris. visited the metropolis of Babylon in its diminution. He has left a description of the metropolis but. because he could non talk Babylonian. his singular statements must come mostly from the lips of the ushers. The crop was.

Herodotus says. twice or thrice every bit big as in other lands. the ears of wheat and barley turning to a phenomenal size. Rich Grovess of thenar trees waved in the zephyr all over the field and so adept were the nutrient agriculturists that from the fruit of the thenar they got staff of life. vino and honey. From their scattered small towns they looked with pride toward Babel – the Greeks called it Babylon – or the gate of the God.

They had no doctor. Marriage. he says. was by purchase or auction sale. His most celebrated statement about the ethical motives of ancient Babylon is to the consequence that every adult female had one time in her life to prostitute herself in what Herodotus calls ‘the tribunal of Venus’ . intending the tribunal of the temple of the goddess Ishtar. There she was compelled to stand until some adult male threw her a coin. stating. “the goddess Mylitta prosper thee. ” and taking her away to his sofa. ( Shirlie )

On the contrary. in respect to its ethical motives and its adult females he wholly misunderstood his sources. There was no auction of married womans in Babylon. and there was no such jurisprudence as the harlotry of every adult female at the temple of Ishtar. By that clip. Ishtar was a patronne of virtuousness and the main safety of evildoers. Womans had in ancient Babylon a place of regard and prestigiousness barely lower than they have won in modern times and the jurisprudence of sexual pureness was most drastically enforced upon both sexes.

The Babylonian codification of Torahs was compiled by King Hammurabi. This codification was found carved on a black diorite column seven pess high in the ruins of Susa in 1901. A vanquisher of Babylon about 1100 BC had stolen it and carried it off to the hills. On the upper portion of it is a figure of Hammurabi in an attitude of worship before the sun-god. Shamash. The male monarch says he made the codification himself. Babylon. supposed to hold been a sink of wickedness. in which celibacy was unknown. an illustration followed the clauses of the following paragraph in the Hammurabi Code of four thousand old ages ago.

MESOPOTAMIAN CONCEPTS OF DISEASE AND HEALING

Mesopotamian diseases are frequently blamed on preexistent liquors: Gods. shades. etc. Each spirit corresponds or is responsible for a specific disease. For illustration. ‘Hand of God X’ . of the tummy corresponds to what is called a disease of tummy. A figure of diseases merely were identified by names. ‘bennu’ for illustration. Besides it was recognized that assorted variety meats could merely misfunction doing unwellnesss. Mesopotamian uses workss as intervention for diseases although this can non be comparative for charming intents. In add-on. specific offerings are made to a peculiar God or shade when it was considered to be a causative factor. but these offerings are non indicated in the medical texts. and must hold been found in other texts.

There two distinguishable types of professional medical practicians in Mesopotamia. the ashipu known as the ‘sorcerer’ and the asu which may be referred to as the ‘physician’ . The ashipu diagnoses the complaint. In the instance of internal diseases. this most frequently meant that the ashipu determined which God or devil was doing the unwellness. The ashipu besides attempted to find if the disease was the consequence of some mistake or wickedness on the portion of the patient. The phrase. “the Hand of…” was used to bespeak the Godhead entity responsible for the complaint in inquiry. who could so be propitiated by the patient.

The ashipu could besides try to bring around the patient by agencies of appeals and enchantments that were designed to lure off or drive out the spirit doing the disease. On the other manus. asu is the specializer in herbal redresss and trades with were frequently distinctive as empirical applications of medicine. For illustration. when handling wounds the asu relied on three cardinal techniques: lavation. dressing and doing plasters on which appear in the world’s oldest known medical papers ( c. 2100 BCE ) .

Decision

Mesopotamian faith in conformity with my research clearly implies that it is the foundation of many faiths since. Sargon. who founded the Babylon and created the first Mesopotamian imperium. lived over two thousand old ages before Christ and even a thousand old ages before the presumed clip of Moses of the Christian Bible. One illustration would be the comparing in the narrative of Moses: one of the clay tablets covered with the cuneiform authorship of the Babylonians and Assyrians refers to Sargon. the great male monarch.

His female parent bore him in secret. After the birth she made a small Ark or boat of reeds or hastes. coated it with pitch. which is natural at that place. She placed the babe in it and she set it afloat on the river. doubtless anticipating it to decease but trusting it might be saved. The kid was destined to be a mighty leader and the Gods took attention of him. A water-carrier found the Ark and reared the kid. until the goddess Ishtar proverb and fell in love with the young person. and made him king over the land.

To sum it all up. larning man’s history ever is a really interesting topic. it’s like being transported to a different universe where oneself could be alienated. For me it would non count because the most of import thing is that you have respect to all work forces irrespective of their faith.

Bibliography

Williams. Tyler. Ideas of Origins and Creation in Ancient Mesopatamia. 2007

Lindemans. M. F. Mesopotamian Mythology. 2007

Amytas. Voluptua. Sumerian Religion and the Eternal Return. 2002

Shirlie. God or Goddess? The Son Gods. 1999

hypertext transfer protocol: //www. oriental. Cam. Ac. uk/jmc

hypertext transfer protocol: //www. archaeowiki. org/Mesopotamia

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