Current Events Essay

Submitted By nobacon4u
Words: 1572
Pages: 7

The first civilizations started to emerge thousands of years ago. They were located close to rivers, Egypt being near the Nile, and Mesopotamia being between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. The rivers and the surrounding environment forced the two civilizations to differ. Egypt and Mesopotamia were both one of the first civilizations, but their geographical locations made Egypt be more successful politically, religiously, and culturally.

The rivers impacted both civilizations greatly. Egypt had the Nile river, which provided many benefits to the society. It gave them fresh water, transportation, and trade routes. It flooded its banks annually, leaving materials in the soil to make it perfect for farming. While the rising of the Nile was predictable for Egypt, this was not the case for Mesopotamia. The Tigris and Euphrates rivers’ flooding was very sporadic. Many villages, lives, and livestock were lost to the rivers.

Egypt had many geographical barriers such as deserts, mountains, and seas which protected them from outside invasions. Mesopotamia was not as lucky as Egypt. They were constantly involved in skirmishes with neighboring civilizations. It forced the governments of the two civilizations to differ. Egypt was able to develop better as a whole civilization, while the Mesopotamians had to focus on developing the military.

Egypt and Mesopotamia had different styles of government. The most powerful person in Ancient Egypt was the pharaoh, who was thought as a demigod by the people. He was able to unify Egypt because it was isolated off from all other civilizations. The citizens thought that he was half-god and half man. He owned all the land, collected taxes, and defended the civilization from invaders. Mesopotamia had a different style of government. It started out being ruled by city-states, self-governing and competing for power. This was because it was always in combat with the neighboring civilizations. It was not until much later in the civilization that the city-states were unified to form an empire. The first set of written laws were created by King Hammurabi, who was a king in the Babylonian dynasty. The laws emphasized on “eye for eye,” which meant that you suffered consequences equal to your crime. The severity depended on the violator’s social status as well as the crime. Higher classes got a less severe punishment than a lower class would.

Egypt had many things going their way, which allowed them to develop better overall than their Mesopotamian counterpart. Mesopotamia did not have the luxuries that Egypt had, which resulted the citizens’ lives to be much harsher than of the Egyptians. It affected the development of government because Egypt was able to grow into one unified nation, while the Mesopotamians were ruled by small city-states.

Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia were both polytheistic. Mesopotamia believed in over three thousand gods, while the Egypt worshipped more than two thousand. The Mesopotamians built ziggurats for gods, which were temples built to honor the gods. Ziggurats were the center of every city-state. As the floors of the ziggurats got higher, the social classes did too. The king lived on the very top floor, his trusted advisors on the second highest floor, and so on. The ziggurats were always filled with people going about with their daily lives.

The Egyptians believed that the gods dictated everything in their lives. If it flooded, they believed it was a punishment from the gods. The religion was mainly focused on the pharaoh, who was believed to be descended from the gods. He was obligated to perform rituals and offerings to maintain order in the universe. The Egyptians believed in after-life. They thought that after they died, they would spend an eternity in the after-life. Preparing for the after-life was more important than the life they were living.

Egypt’s comfortable lifestyle led to them having a positive