Study Notes for a Western Civilizations class, Part 1.

Essay by tdesando86College, Undergraduate January 2007

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*Old Babylonian Empire

The code of Hammurabi functioned under the Babylonian Empire, which was "an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth." The Gilgamesh Epic was about a man searching for eternal life. While searching for the tree of life, a great flood occurs and he is saved by a man and a woman in an arc. All of the societies in the Old Babylonian Empire were slave based; they did not have technology that saved time. Religion gives us hope in afterlife, and teaches us right from wrong. Religion also explains that which cannot be explained. Most of the societies of this time were polytheistic, and all the gods were anthropomorphic, meaning that they were in human forms.


The Egyptian empire last for about 3,000 years, and for the first 1,200 years they did not have an army. They were surrounded by natural boundaries like the Mediterranean Sea, the Sahara Desert, and the Arabian Desert, which made the country easy to defend.

Egyptians did not own slaves, therefore free men and woman built the pyramids. The Nile River did two things for the Egyptians: it Flooded every year and brought fertile soil into the country; and their calendar was based on this flooding. The Egyptian Pharaoh was considered to be a god, and they often married their sisters. The Egyptians also developed a form of writing called hieroglyphics, which they used mostly, and they also had an alphabet. They also developed paper from the papyrus plant. In 1750BC, Egypt was invaded by the Hyksos, no one knows who they were, but they appeared to be oriental. In 1425BC, Amenhotep IV decided that there was only one god. This was a god for everybody, not just the Egyptian people. Amenhotep was replaced by his brother, King...