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River Civilization Essay

Autor:   •  January 6, 2019  •  989 Words (4 Pages)  •  4 Views

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The stability and permanence present in Egyptian society led to a religion that promised an afterlife and whose gods loved their people. Mesopotamia’s unpredictable rivers on the other hand lead to cruel anthropomorphic gods. Egypt’s prosperous economy also lifted up the lower classes which may have contributed to the democratization of Egyptian religion in the Negative Confession. The potential reward of an afterlife for a peasant if he merely remained well behaved and did not challenge the social order may well have severely discouraged civil disorder and helped quell civil discontent. Mesopotamian religion on the other hand explicitly denied the afterlife in Gilgamesh and believed that the gods were against them. Without an afterlife there can be no fear of losing the afterlife, and without logical gods there is no fear of supernatural punishment. This means that those who detract from society need only fear the law which is far weaker than religion. In conclusion by not offering rewards Mesopotamian religion does not encourage civil obedience possibly making the downfall of regimes more likely.

This lack of civil obedience forced Mesopotamia to have a far stricter code of law than Egypt. The eye for an eye principle that Hammurabi’s code is built on was harmful to Mesopotamian society in the long run as it caused unnecessary losses. In addition, due to the civil unrest and instability present in Mesopotamia they must insure people against losses both from theft and from the loss of income coming from physical injury. This also removes resources from the economy taking away from the already smaller surplus. Egypt on the other hand is free to use the law to shape the use of surplus, determining if it is used for scientific, religious, or other means. This allowed the Pharaohs to more efficiently construct infrastructure like irrigation systems, roads, granaries, etc. To conclude, the peaceful nature of Egyptian Society allowed the Pharaohs to not take resources out of the economy in an eye for an eye system and to channel resources for the common good, reinforcing citizen satisfaction and furthering productivity.

In conclusion, the stability and prosperity created by the Nile compounded itself through infrastructure, religion, and laws leading to the strong and united civilization that was Egypt.

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