How Did Religion Influence Ancient Civilization

Good Essays
The Religious Influences of Ancient Civilizations
For the ancient civilizations of Mesopotamia and Egypt, religion was highly important to daily life. Religious laws and practices influenced day to day activities of citizens in these early civilizations. Although both had similar aspects, their societies and geography helped to shape differences in their belief systems.
In “The Epic of Gilgamesh” it is written “When the Anunnaki, the judges, come together, and Mammetun the mother of destinies, together they decree the fates of men. Life and death they allot but the day of death they do not disclose.” Showing that Mesopotamians believed that the gods controlled the weather and fertility. Since the Tigris and Euphrates rivers were subject to
…show more content…
Society tended to focus more on life after death. Pharaohs and any people of high rank believed that they could journey to the afterlife by building massive pyramids to be buried in. Inscribed on the walls of some of these pyramids were prayers that were believed to help the pharaohs in their journey to the realm of eternal life “As ordered done for you by Geb, your father, Rise up, O Teti, you shall not die!” Like Mesopotamians, the belief in perpetual life may have been influenced by geographic aspects of the land. The Nile River, with its predictable floods, provided Egypt with food, water, transport and trade which allowed for a much stable society allowing for the planning of a prosperous afterlife. Pharaohs, who were also considered living gods and had much more power over Egypt, were not exclusively able to enter the eternal life, or Land of the West. The “Book of the Dead” was a created and filled with spells that were believed to help make transition to the afterlife much simpler. These spells were highly accessible and could be bought by anyone that could afford them, the most common spell being the Negative Confession. “Homage to thee, O great god, thou Lord of Truth. I have come to thee, my Lord, and I have brought myself hither that I may see thy beauties. I know thee, I know thy name. I know the names of the Two-and-Forty gods who live with thee in this Hall of Maati. In truth I have come to thee. I have brought Truth to thee. I have destroyed wickedness for thee.” In the spell, the deceased person must prove that they have led a moral life and claim that they are pure and worthy to enter the Land of the

Related Documents

  • Decent Essays

    Both served their polytheistic gods to protect them from the harsh environments they were settled in. Ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt had many differences when it came to the culture, people, and religion. However, many similarities arise in how they brought up famous civilizations which will continue to be known through…

    • 1184 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    As the society began to grow, the Egyptians made many monuments to pay tribute to their fallen gods and goddesses. The Egyptians created the Great Pyramids as a way to practice their religion. The Great Pyramids, a very complex structure, often were marveled upon in surprise at the impressive detail they were constructed in. As time went on according to John Romer’s A History of Ancient Egypt, the Egyptians greatly improved their architectural style, “ Finally they created a unique structure… clean lines were entirely clad with Tura limestone” (Romer, 285) The exact theory of construction of these pyramids has varied, and is vastly controversial as everyone has their own position on the constructing on the building. After approximately, twenty years of hard labor, the Great Pyramids were finally assembled, and are historically remembered as one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.…

    • 1408 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Tutankhamun's Funeral Mask

    • 1015 Words
    • 5 Pages

    Tut made complete religious changes to Egypt primarily, as he forced the people to follow Monotheism; Aten, the sun God. The death of Tutankhamun is not entirely known, but it is speculated…

    • 1015 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    The gods are considered a part of religion and The Epic of Gilgamesh helps us to know and understand this. Gilgamesh speaks to the gods in many situations throughout the stories, therefore we connect those ideas to real life Mesopotamia believing that the people of Mesopotamia also thought very highly of their gods. Many natural forces are said to be the works of gods. In the Epic of Gilgamesh, Gilgamesh denies the goddess Ishtar. Ishtar, being very upset by the rejection, forces her father to send down the bull of heaven to earth to destroy all crops and water sources as well as many people (George, 1999, pg.…

    • 1134 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    “A funeral procession will be made for you on the day of joining the earth, with a mummy case of gold, a mask of lapis lazuli----and the offering invocation recited for you; sacrifices will be made at the mouth of your offering chapel.”7 Egyptians believe the eternity life after a person’s death, the tombs need to be carefully decorated and the funerals need be preciously planned according to the religion. When such deeply religious people believe their community leader is a living god, they can easily trust all powers to their…

    • 773 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Mesopotamia Importance

    • 915 Words
    • 4 Pages

    They were important people since pharaohs have the respect as a God and the Egyptian government’s rule is based on religious authority. • The historical significance of the word pyramid is to demonstrate why kings were treated like Gods even after their death. Pyramids were lavish structures that were built for dead pharaohs because after a pharaoh died, they would sill rule due to the fact they were believed to have an eternal life force. So, the Egyptians built lavish pyramids for the king’s needs and pleasures. • The historical importance of the phrase mummification is to display the Egyptian’s beliefs.…

    • 915 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Without the gods, Egyptian history as we know it would be incredibly different. Egyptian gods had a strong effect on daily life in Egypt, from explaining things in nature, providing for and protecting the people, even serving as a means for the pharaohs to keep the kingdom unified. Firstly, “The ancient Egyptian gods and goddesses represented aspects of the Egyptians’ natural and “supernatural” surrounding/s and helped them understand its many aspects.”(Discovering Ancient Egypt) This shows that the Egyptians believed gods had a hand in their surroundings that they lived in. In addition, the quote also states that the gods…

    • 885 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Mesopotamia Animism

    • 1054 Words
    • 5 Pages

    Egypt believes the Nile river is a gift sent down from the Gods and that it in itself is a living God, this helps to show the belief of animism. This also affetcs the way the people view the afterlife. In Egypt they have a very strong belief in afterlife, they went to extreme lengths to make sure higher class peoples had a safe passage to the afterlife. One the ways they prepared for the afterlife is through mummification, the proccess of removing the organs and preserving the body to prevent from decay. In contrast Mesopotamin’s did…

    • 1054 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Egyptian Afterlife Essay

    • 1221 Words
    • 5 Pages

    The belief in an afterlife was an important ritual for the Egyptian religion. The Egyptians believe that there is a transitional stage after one has passed. Their belief was stronger in the deceased rather than the living; the Egyptians established certain rituals that showed the progress to a better life into the next world, represented as the afterlife. Another lifelong journey continued as souls reached a better place after deceased. Egyptian culture is created on their strong role in worship and belief in the death and the afterlife.…

    • 1221 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    In short, the Mesopotamian and Egyptian civilizations were very different. Despite their proximity and similar beginnings and influences, each culture provides us with varied insights as to how life was lived during ancient times. The geographical locations alongside the religious beliefs led each civilization to further their advancements in a cultural aspect. These advancements is what has influenced the rest of the world today and how we view life, death, and social…

    • 809 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays