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Ancient Religions And How They Influenced Their Culture

1188 words - 5 pages

There are many things that define a specific culture although, throughout history there has always been a blatant regularity that's seemingly different in every culture even if just by the smallest detail. These differences whether subtle or not are particularly influencing in every individual culture. Some of the most important historical decisions have been made based on these differences. One could say that what a culture does not understand regulates their life and history more than any fact or piece of knowledge they possess. As a typically very curious and knowledge hungry species, humans try to explain what they do not understand. When minds settle on a few common explanatory guesses, ...view middle of the document...

Using any available crushed elements to add color they would paint vast murals hundreds of feet long depicting them having a successful hunt in hopes they could predetermine their own life. Although this belief system could basically be explained as thinking positive, the painters were careful not to detail themselves too well for fear of them being manipulated in a voodoo like fashion. Although these tribes lacked stable government, they did seemingly treat each other with relative equality and with potentially more emphasis on the female. Take note that all paintings were drawn in dark "womb-like" caves. Life was harsh and often short for these nomadic peoples, because of this fertility and a woman's womb were very important to them.

The Fertile Crescent between and around the mighty Tigris and Euphrates is where the first sparks of civilization were set ablaze. The abundance of resources and fertile land attracted many groups of people to settle there. Now, humanity had a solid grasp on agriculture so settling down made sense and was better way to stay alive. This was a major difference and vital reason for so many technological and cultural advancements. Since acquiring food wasn't as big of an issue anymore people specialized and soon the first system of writing was created, which then led to the first set of laws known as the Code of Hammurabi. Now that government was a staple part of society, religions became more complex as more people bound by the same laws believed in common ideas in a progressive civilization. A hierarchy was developed and kings were crowned and declared themselves god-like as peasants worked in the fields and merchants traded goods. These people who inhabited Mesopotamia (usually of Assyrian/Sumerian descent) had developed a slightly complex religion based around polytheism. Most of the gods they worshiped were based on some sort of natural element beneficial and important to them. Also, most of the gods were always represented as males. Towering temples called zigurats were constructed to worship their many gods and these buildings are often considered to emphasize male qualities. Whether it was a conscious decision or not the emphasis on males obviously negatively affected the role of woman in Mesopotamia and how they were treated. Not to mention the amount of wars waged in this region needed the constant supply of strong able bodied men considering woman are naturally less powerful.

By far the most complicated and imaginative religion probably ever conceived is that of the famous Nile dependent civilization of the Egyptians. Everything...

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