Ruling over the kingdom was a pharaoh, who was not only a king but was also seen as a god. Provinces were ruled by monarchs better known as provincial governors. The Egyptians devised themselves into classes, upper class, middle class, and a lower class. The pharaoh and his family were at the top of the Egyptian class system. People could move from one class to another depending on their situations.
However, the king was not always called a pharoah. This didn't start until the 18th dynasty in 1554 B.C. Before this, pharaoh just refered to the king's palace (“History of The Pharaohs of Ancient Egypt”). The people believed their king was not just merely a man, but that he was a god in human form (Wilson, 14). For this reason, they allowed him to have absolutecontrol over the land, government, economy, people, laws, etc.
What was mummification, its significance, and what happened after one was mummified? Religion was a large and crucial part of the Egyptian’s everyday lives. Their religion was based on polytheism, or the worship of many gods and goddesses; they did not believe in only one god. Furthermore, their gods, for the most part, took the forms of half human and half animal of some type. Citizens of ancient Egypt believed in many gods all through the Old Kingdom.
However they also share a number of differences because they developed in different regions with different natural influences. Egypt and Mesopotamia were both governed by god-kings. The idea of a god-king was common in early complex societies. A king established his rule by a divine right bestowed upon him by the gods of his people. Mesopotamia was broken into thirty-five separate city-states and “The ruler of each city-state claimed to rule with the support of the local guardian deity…” (Hansen and Curtis 36).
They believed that every human being was composed of physical and spiritual parts or aspects. In addition to the body, each person had a shadow, a personality or soul, a life-force, and a name. They worshiped many gods inside of cult temples that were held by priests. These two cultures religions were very alike, but yet very different. The Egyptian pyramids, One of the great wonders of the world, these architectural wonders is one of the many things the Egyptian's are famous for.
The king or temple leaders had controlled large agricultural estates, and collected taxes from their subjects. While the Egyptians started out with separate kings for upper and Lower Egypt. That was until one ruler named Menes united them both. In Mesopotamia the ruler Sargon who was king of the city state Akkad, decided to unite the city states and became ruler of Sumer and Akkad. Much like Menes did with upper and lower Egypt.
Egyptian government was much more centralized than the city states of Mesopotamia. Adding to the list of political differences, Mesopotamia is also famous for later being the birthplace of Hammurabi’s code, the first law code ever, written by Babylonian king Hammurabi in around 1750 B.C.E, while Egypt has no known written law code. Just as the rulers in each civilisation shared similarities and differences, so did the societies set up by them. While both of them had a similar social hierarchy of upper, lower and middle classes and a noticeable patriarchy (because what would an ancient civilization be without one), there were a few differences, one pertaining to the role of women. Women in Egypt enjoyed many more rights and were treated with higher regard (almost equal to men) than the women in Mesopotamia, who like in most ancient civilizations were treated as second class citizens.
The rivers would easily flood at unplanned times that would result in devastations and floods that made it harder for the civilization to develop. Mesopotamia also didn’t have any natural barriers to prevent from attack and invasion of foreigners, and was constantly being taken over and occupied by different people groups. Due to Mesopotamian civilization being the first, Egypt was influenced by the Mesopotamian culture and revised many of the ideas and developments created there. Due to the time that these civilizations surface, both of the civilizations were Polytheistic; meaning that they believed in several gods. In the earlier times all of the religions were focused around the strength and power of the gods, which they inferred to be a part of nature.
It focused on more important factors like sun rising each day and annual Nile flooding. It was believed that Egyptian life would continue its orderly progression irrespective of whether humans lived or died. Egyptian kings and queens were regarded as incarnations of the gods and provided order with the help from symbolic rites and rituals. Differing Egyptian cosmogonies can be found where each world was created in diverse means according to their understanding and beliefs of the universe. A similarity of these stories was the world beginning from chaotic, lifeless water, described as Nu or Nun , when for the ‘first occasion’ the sun rose from a mound in a period sometimes called ‘Zep Tepi’.
Victoria Valean 09-07-13 Period 01 Egypt and Mesopotamia: Compare and Contrast During the New Stone Age, also known as the Agricultural Revolution, two civilizations ascended. Although many similarities can be shown between the two, they each are very different from each other culturally, geographically, socially, politically, and religiously. Ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt developed during the same time period, 5000-6000 B.C., geographically; they both had a source main of freshwater; the Nile River for Egypt, and the Tigris and Euphrates River for Mesopotamia. Both civilizations also have access to major trading seas, coming from their main Rivers. Egypt and Mesopotamia’s river’s provided most of the needed water for their crops.