Ancient Mesopotamian Religion

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The ancient Mesopotamians believed that the primary function of their existence on the Earth was to serve the ruling Gods. It is for this reason that ancient Mesopotamian ritual was aimed primarily at keeping the Gods happy and content. The ancient Mesopotamians believed that the satisfaction of the Gods was of utmost importance to the welfare of Mesopotamian civilization. They believed that if the Gods were happy, humankind would thrive and be protected. Alternatively, if the Gods were unhappy, humankind would suffer evils such as plagues and earthquakes (Clark 2012). This essay aims to explore ancient Mesopotamian religion with special reference to tradition and rituals that were observed by the ancient Mesopotamians.
The Epic of Atrahasis
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The king was required to provide and maintain structures in which the gods would be worshipped and served. There were a vast number of temples in each city, but in every city was a main temple which was dedicated entirely to that city’s patron god. These elaborate temples were designed to accommodate every activity of the god and required a large staff to maintain them. Every temple contained a wooden statue of the patron god which was dressed elaborately and decorated with gold and precious stones. (Clarke…show more content…
The mis pi ritual was used to impart the spirit of a god into a statue. The ritual involved transporting the statue from its place of manufacture to a hut on the riverbank. In this hut the statue would be subjected to various rituals and incantations through which it would be transformed into living god (Clarke 2012). In addition to mis pi, another ritual, pit pi, was performed on the statue to enable it to consume the food and beverages served during the divine meal (Linssen 2004, p. 153). The mis pi ritual was also used to purify humans, animals and sacred objects prior to coming into contact with the gods. The ancient Mesopotamians believed that god and statue were transposable and in the event that a statue was irreparably damaged, the god was believed to be dead and mourning would commence soon thereafter. The “death” of a god was a devastating occurrence for a city as it implied that the god would no longer be around to protect them, leaving them susceptible to all kinds of tragedy and

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