Essay on Ancient Greek and Mesopotamian Religions - a Comparison
1501 WordsNov 7th, 20037 Pages
Ancient Religions By: MLB
As civilization has progressed through the ages, many religions have arisen and taken hold around the world, two if the most interesting, being the religious beliefs of the ancient Mesopotamian and the Greeks. These two religions were practiced in different areas and at different times and, therefore, show that religion has played a critical role in every society and civilization. No matter how it is organized or what type of god is worshiped, a society would be nothing without some kind of deity to organize it. In comparing the religious beliefs of the Mesopotamian and the Ancient Greeks religious components highlighted including the style of worship, the temples…show more content…
Although the styles were different between these two cultures, both the Mesopotamian and the Greeks took great pride in glorifying their gods. Just as each culture built unique places of worship as was their style of worship unique. In the Mesopotamian religion there were well over 3000 gods and goddesses. Each city had its own patron god who was in charge of that city. It was also believed that each person had his own lesser god who would appeal with the greater gods on his own account. At the upper part of the Mesopotamian pantheon sits An, the Lord of heaven and Enlil, Lord of the earth. These two gods had a sour attitude towards the human beings. It was Enki, god of sweet waters, magic and wisdom, that was humanity's friend. The Mesopotamians also had an interesting view on doing evil and evil acts. They never blamed themselves; instead it was all put on a demon taking over the person's body. So instead of punishing the individuals for their crimes, the Mesopotamians would try to exorcise them. People wore amulets or charms to try to keep the evil demons away. If they performed a ritual fault or accident, such as touching a cursed person, it could invoke the wrath of the gods and that was when a person's personal god would have to defend you before the greater gods (Garber, 204).
The ancient Mesopotamians worshipped hundreds of gods. They worshipped them every day. Each god had a job to do. Each city had its own special god to watch over the city. Each profession had a god to watch over the people who worked in that profession like builders and fishermen.
To the Sumerians, each person had a god of their own, who looked after them. Their own special god talked to other gods on their behalf. Their personal god received a great deal of their worship time and attention. But no one god was more important than another.
The Babylonians and Assyrians believed in nearly all the Sumerian gods, plus more gods that each added. Unlike the ancient Sumerians, they believed some gods were more powerful than others, gods like the god of the sky, the sun, the air, and the crops. To the Babylonians, Marduk was the most powerful god. To the Assyrians, Ashur was the most powerful god.
The Sumerians, and later on, the Babylonians (southern Mesopotamia) and the Assyrians (northern Mesopotamia) all believed that everything good and bad that happened to them was the result of their gods pleasure or displeasure. They spent a great deal of time trying to make their gods happy. Their gods were not often happy. That's why Mesopotamian gods are sometimes referred to as the gloomy gods of ancient Mesopotamia.
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