How Did Religion Influence Ancient Civilization
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