Mesopotamia Life And Afterlife Analysis

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Despite a steady trading relationship, Mesopotamian and Egyptian societies have very dissimilar views on life and the afterlife. Indeed, Mesopotamian civilization certainly had much stricter views of life and the afterlife. This is likely a reflection of the frequent nature of wars and violence in this highly urbanized society (83). As a result, their views of the fragility of their mortality seemed to be pessimistically realistic. They seemed to accept that their gods gave them this life and nothing else. In the excerpt from the Epic of Gilgamesh, a quote that summarizes their views on mortal life nicely is “… for this too is the lot of man” (94). Which basically means that this is just the way the gods meant for mortals to live. To be mortal…show more content…
Indeed, the Egyptians believes on the afterlife was very extensive. They believed a just life had to be lead in order to be accepted into the afterlife (99). This is shown in an excerpt of their Book of the Dead which contained spells that were meant to assist the journey to the afterlife. In the excerpt contained a passage the deceased was supposed to recite to the gods to prove their worthiness of eternal life. One phrase that summarizes the overall message of the passage is “I am pure” (99). This is an important phrase because the afterlife was otherwise known as the Land of the West, which you were only granted access to if you proved to the gods you lived a just life. The court before the gods was known as the Day of Judgement, which even the kings were said to have to face (84). However, this wasn’t a day to be feared by people. Instead people viewed this as positive journey to eternal life. An excerpt from a prayer inscribed in the tomb Egyptian King Teti reflects this, “… Rise up, O Teti, you shall not die!” (98). Eternal life was a valued and celebrated occurrence in the Egyptian society. This reflects their views on life as well. In Egyptian culture, to become a scribe offers the chance of going upward in class rank (101). The chance to better yourself in society seemed to give their civilizations a stronger feeling of hope for life. Although Mesopotamian and

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