Ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt.

Essay by braveheart_49 December 2005

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1) I have chosen to discuss the civilizations of Mesopotamia and Egypt. Both have many significant similarities and differences. I would like to compare some important points in four common categories. I will compare and contrast the geography and its impact, the political structure of each society, the importance of their existing class structures and finally the role of women in these dynamic civilizations.

Mesopotamia and Egypt were both in flood basins of major rivers. Mesopotamia was characterized by turmoil and tension and in contrast Egypt was characterized by stability and serenity. The Mesopotamian climate was harsh and since the Tigris and the Euphrates flooded irregularly, nature was not viewed as life enhancing but rather considered to be a threat. Mesopotamia was located on an open plain without protection from foreign intrusions; therefore they were continually on alert. Egypt, on the other hand, was centered on the dependable Nile.

The rich and fertile soil of the Nile Valley provided agricultural wealth. Even though the river was known to flood yearly the Egyptians had no reason to fear it. It helped them predict nature and they began to use this knowledge to their benefit. Since the Nile Valley was surrounded by deserts and the Red Sea, Egypt was free relatively free from foreign invasions. The Nile was also used for travel in their civilization.

The political structure in Mesopotamia during the Sumarian era had no unified government. Instead it had numerous independent city states. In the Babylonian Empire Hammurabi enforced his laws described in the "Code of Hammurabi." In this Code, the lower class had fewer rites than the higher class and is known for strict punishments. In the beginning Egypt was divided into two parts governed by different rulers. The Unification of the lower and upper kingdoms of Egypt...