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Ancient Sumer Vs, Ancient Egypt

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Ancient Egyptian and Mesopotamian Cultures Around the time 4,000-1,000 BC there were two major western civilizations. Those civilizations were the Ancient Egyptians and the

Mesopotamians. Many similarities exist between the civilizations of Ancient Egypt and

Mesopotamia, as well as many differences. Both Egypt and Mesopotamia were polytheistic,

that is, they believed their worlds were ruled by more than one god. Both cultures also

believed that they themselves were created for the purpose of serving their gods. Their

similarities include the existence of educational systems and codes of law. Their

differences are found partly in those similarities, as well as their medical practices

and their interpretations of the great floods. There are many patterns that are common of

the civilizations of Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia, which shows that there were some

patterns of development that might be common to early civilizations, but they probably

didn't have very much contact with each other. Both of the civilizations believed in

education. The people of Sumer were expected to do what was asked of them and to behave

properly while in school. If the pupils were late for school or failed to complete their

assignments, they would be beaten with a stick, or caned. One story about a Sumerian boy,

who was not doing well in school, tells of the kinds of small things children would be

punished for, such as poor penmanship. This story shows us how common this sort of

discipline was: "Who was in charge of drawing said 'Why when I was not here did you stand

up?' caned me. My teacher said 'Your hand is not good,' caned me." (A Sumerian Schoolboy,

SPV 15). It seams that if they misbehaved at all during school they would be punished by

being by a cane. The school children of Egypt were advised by their fathers to be men of

pride and to listen to their people. The advice that a father gave to his son was very

important, telling that son how to behave to make both himself and his family proud.

"Take counsel with the ignorant, as well as the wise" (A Father's Advice, SPV 31) advises

that wisdom may be found from the lips of all people; not only from the scholars or

artisans, but from the slaves and common folk as well. The Ancient Egyptians and

Mesopotamians had different theories as to how they came about and why they were created.

Both civilizations believed that the gods created them. The Mesopotamians believed that

the mightier gods forced the lesser gods into slavery, and that the Mesopotamian people

were created to take over for those lesser gods when they revolted. "When the gods, like

man, bore the work, carried the labor-basket-the labor-basket of the great gods-the work

was heavy, much was the distress..." (A Creation Myth: "Let Man Carry the Labor-Basket of

the Gods, SPV 13) is saying that the lesser gods had to do the hard labor before man was

created. "While Nintu is present, let the birth-goddess create the offspring, let man

bear the labor-basket of the gods" was what Enlil said after he agreed to create humans

to do the physical labor. "I have removed your heavy labor, have placed your labor-basket

on man," is what he said to the gods after humans were created. (A Creation Myth: "Let

Man Carry the Labor-Basket of the Gods, SPV 13). The Egyptian creation theory is

different from that of the Mesopotamians. The Egyptians thought that Khepri created all

the humans and created the other gods as well. It was believed the Kherpi created the

lesser gods from his spit and humans from his semen. "I planned in my own heart, and

there came into being a multitude of forms of beings, the forms of children and the forms

of their children. I was the one who copulated with my fist, I masturbated with my hand.

Then I spewed with my own mouth: I spat out what was Shu, and I sputtered out what was

Tefnut." (The Book of Knowing the Creations, HD #5). The Code of Hammurabi is the

Mesopotamian written code of law. It is a very complete and specific code of law, which

allowed specific punishment for almost every crime that could be committed against the

Mesopotamian people. The laws are also very severe when it comes to punishment. Law

number twenty-two states that, "If a man has robbed and has been captured, that man shall

be put to death." Law number twenty-five say that "If a fire broke out in a man's house

and a man who has come to extinguish the fire has lifted up his eyes to the property of

the householder and has taken the property of the householder, that man shall be thrown

into the fire." Law number fifty-three states that "If a man has neglected to strengthen

the dyke of his canal, and a breach has opened in his dyke, and the waters have ravaged

the meadow, the man in whose dyke the breach has been opened shall make good the corn

that he caused to be lost." (The Code of Hammurabi, ARC 5). Despite



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