Similarities in Mesopotamian and Greek Mythologies

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Ancient Civ Essay Apollo the Greek god of music storms into Olympos playing his lyre. He plays it so beautifully, he wants the people of Olympos to know that he is coming. A few hundred miles away in the ancient city of Nippur, the citizens hear Ninurta thundering like a storm; similar to Apollo, he too wants the people’s attention. Greek mythology is notably similar to Mesopotamian mythology. It is similar because of the extensive contacts and trade between Pre-Classical Greece and Mesopotamia. This impact of similar cultural values, are manifested in their mythology. There aren’t many documents of official trades between Greece and Mesopotamia, only a few depictions in cuneiform[1]; however, archaeologists know that the Ionian Greeks that had taken control of Western Anatolia had established a trade route with Mesopotamia leading through Lydia and Persia called “The Royal Road”, built by Darius in 5th century BCE.[2] Archaeologists also know that not just Ionians but the whole Greek empire had adapted the Babylonian sexigesmal system and were exchanging knowledge of philosophy for knowledge of mathematics.[3] The Greeks and the Mesopotamians had often met in Egypt and Anatolia and worked together with the Persians[4]. Greek citizens’ imminent contact with Mesopotamia is also evident after the sack of Miletos in 496 which saw the Persians expel many Greeks to places in Mesopotamia like Susa and Ampe[5]. There is also evidence of Greek mercenaries who fought with Xenophon that returned to Greece telling tales of Mesopotamian myths and cities[6]. After a hundred years of extensive contacts between the two empires, a rising power from Greece looked to take conquest over Mesopotamia. This power was Alexander the Great and his Macedonians. This resulted in a battle between the Iranian Kings in control of Mesopotamia and Alexander’s army[7]. The war caused a

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