Mesopotamia Essay

(C) – Mesopotamia comes from the Greek word “mesos” – meaning middle, and the Greek work “potamos” – meaning river. As such, Mesopotamia means “between rivers”, which is apt, considering it was build between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. Mesopotamia had an arid climate that could facilitate the irrigation of crops.

(B) – The first man to be considered an emperor was Sargon of Akkad, also known as Sargon the Great. His reign in Mesopotamia lasted from 2334 to 2779 BCE. He ruled for 56 years, and died of natural causes.

(D) – Mesopotamia had a polytheistic religion. Most cities would have a patron deity that they would pray to, as well as a multitude of other gods. One such god was Ishtar – also known as Inanna – who was the goddess of love, war, and fertility. To worship gods such as Ishtar, the Mesopotamians would build temples called ziggurats.

(C) – Hammurabi’s Code was the stone stele that contained 282 laws for those under King Hammurabi. Many of the laws had an “eye for an eye” approach, meaning that if you were to harm someone, you would be punished accordingly. Hammurabi’s Code was the first written law, and can now be viewed at the Louvre in Paris.

(D) – The Sumerians would build temples called “ziggurats”, which were used in the worship of their gods. As the Sumerians were from a polytheistic society, there were different ziggurats for different gods. However, these were not places where the public could go and worship; the ziggurats were considered to be the god’s dwelling.

(C) – The Egyptian pharaoh that was responsible for creating unity between Upper and Lower Egypt was Menes. Legend says that Menes united Upper and Lower Egypt by becoming the first pharaoh and thusly creating the first Egyptian dynasty. Though the identity of Menes is still unknown, the most likely theory is that Menes was actually Namer.

(D) – The writing system that the Egyptians developing during the Predynastic Period is known as hieroglyphics. Hieroglyphics are a type of logography, meaning a symbol that represents a word. Most hieroglyphics are phonetic.

(A) – The Great Pyramid of Giza was erected by the Pharaoh Khufu. The pyramid of Giza is the only remained of the seven wonders of the ancient world. At the time of its completion, the pyramid was said to be just under 150 meters high. It remained the tallest man-made structure of the ancient world for 3 800 years. (C) – The pharaoh Hatshepsut was actually a woman. She would wear a false beard to show her status as pharaoh, and artworks of the time would depict her in all pharaoh regalia, including the beard. She was one of the most successful pharaohs of all time, due in part to the hundreds of buildings she constructed, including erecting monuments at the Temple of Karnak.

(A) – Pharaoh Amenhotep – also known as Akhenaten – was the cause of the Amarna Revolution. The Amarna Revolution was when Amenhotep declared all of Egypt’s gods as false, and that they should only worship Aten, the sun god. His abandonment of Egypt’s polytheistic ways would only last until his death in 1336 or 1334 BCE. The next Egyptian dynasty would bring back the polytheistic worship that Egypt was used to, and would refer to Amenhotep as “the enemy”.

(B) – The chief god in the Egyptian pantheon is Horus. Horus was the god of kings and the god of the sky. In Egyptian mythology, he was the son of Isis and Osiris. Horus and his brother Set were constantly fighting in Horus’s story, perhaps as a metaphor upon the struggles of Upper and Lower Egypt. He was most commonly depicted as having a falcon’s head and a man’s body.

(C) – The New Kingdom in Egypt was the period in which the Egyptians began to use the embalming process in mummification. Embalming allowed the deceased to look far more lifelike for longer periods of time. The mummification process itself consisted of removing the internal organs and placing them in canopic jars, the disposal of the brain, the stuffing of the body cavity, and the wrapping of the body in linen.

(B) – The stone stele that allowed modern archaeologists to understand ancient Egyptian was the Rosetta Stone. The Rosetta Stone was discovered in 1799. The upper part of the stele is written in hieroglyphs, the middle is written in Demotic scripts, and the lower part of the stele is written in Ancient Greek. As the passages on the stone were almost exactly the same in each language, the Rosetta Stone helped archaeologists to better understand hieroglyphics.

(B) – Abraham led his followers out of the city of Ur in 1900 BCE. Abraham is a prominent figure in Islam, Christianity, and Judaism; these religions are called Abrahamic religions due to his prominence in each faith.This makes sense as Jesus was born in 1 CE, Moses was born in c. 1400 BCE, and King David died in 940 BCE. As such, none of the other religious figures could have been alive in Mesopotamia.

(B) – The Minoans arose out of the islands of Crete. They had a very unique style of art and architecture. Their city, Knossos, was said to be where the myth of King Minos took place. The most important Minoan contribution to Greek culture was their writing, as Minoans had a form of writing that could be considered the primitive version of Greek. (D) – The Mycenaeans were said to have launched an attack on the city of Troy. In Homer’s Iliad, the war began over the god of strife, Eris, awarding a golden apple from the Garden of the Hesperides to the “fairest”. This incited resentment between Hera, Aphrodite, and Athena, each goddess believing she should lay claim. They asked a mortal prince, Paris, to judge between them. Paris chooses Aphrodite, as she promises him any woman he desired. Later on, Paris would use this gift to make Helen of Troy fall in love with him, thus starting a war between the Greeks and the Trojans. Whether the story is pure myth or has basis in fact, it is one of the most well-known Greek myths.

(D) – Homer was the author of Iliad and the Odyssey, however there are only a few historians who believe that Homer was indeed, a real person. Instead, Homer may have been a group of poets; nevertheless, the influence of Homer’s works is widespread. Iliad and the Odyssey are some of the most well-known works of Greek mythology.

(C) – Sicily was one of the greatest Greek colonies. It was a trade hub of the ancient world, which allowed ancient Greece a strong holding point for trade opportunities. It also had an abundance of natural resources and very fertile land, which made it an important Greek colony.

(C) – The first Olympic games took place in 776 BCE. The games were originally part of a festival honouring Zeus, the Greek god of lightning. The athletes that participated in the Olympic games were all male, and came from every part of the Greek world, such as Iberia and the Black Sea (Spain and Turkey, respectively). During the games, a truce was in place so that the athletes could make the journey to the Olympics in safety. The prize for winning an Olympic match was laurels or crowns. The tradition of the Olympic games has been continued from 776 BCE to the present day, the most recent taking place in Rio de Janeiro.

(C) – The Etruscans lived in the northern Italian peninsula and would have an influence upon Roman civilization. Though most writing from the Etruscans cannot be read, the Romans cared for their writing and many would practice Etruscan alongside Latin. Political influence, gladiators, and funeral rites were also carried from the Etruscans to the Romans.

(A) – The earliest Chinese civilization was centered on the Yellow River. Though the river provided this civilization with fertile land, it was also prone to floods, reportedly flooding over 1500 times in 2 540 years. The river was believed to have flowed from Heaven in ancient times, as a continuation of the Milky Way.

(C) – According to my research, the earliest recorded dynasty in Chinese history is the Xia Dynasty. However, the answer is still the Shang Dynasty as their dynasty started in 1700 BCE, and they were known to use war chariots. The Shang Dynasty would later be succeeded by the Zhou Dynasty.

(A) – The longest reign of any Chinese dynasty came from the Zhou Dynasty. The Zhou Dynasty was the home to many influential Chinese historical figures, such as Confucius, Mencius, Laozi. The Zhou Dynasty lasted from 1046 BCE to 256 BCE. Many Chinese schools of thought, such as Confucianism, came to light during this period.

(D) – The Chinese believed in a force called “qi”. Qi is a force that sustains all life, and literally translates to “breath”, though other translations are “gas” or “air”. It can be considered as a life force that links all things together. The notion of qi has been adopted by some pop culture brands, such as Star Wars with the Force and Jediism.

(B) – The first settlers of Japan were known as the Ainu. The Ainu believed in animism, or that everything has a spirit – or kamuy – that must be respected. Though many of the Ainu were assimilated into Japanese culture, in 2008 the Japanese Diet (legislature) called upon the Japanese government to recognize the Ainu as indigenous people, with a distinctive culture and religion.