The Mesopotamia is one of the oldest civilizations recorded in history which most of the earliest innovations that are still seen at the present time. The region was called as an oasis between two rivers, the Tigris and the Euphrates, which can be the same region noted in the Book of Genesis as the location of Paradise. The region, unlike its neighbours, experiences several natural calamities which made people back then believe that they cannot understand the environment around them. They region was filled with natural calamities such as heavy floods, torrential rains and sandstorms. However, the region enabled trade and military to flourish since the Tigris and Euphrates enabled neighbours and potential threats to use the channel for whatever purpose they deem. In this region, three civilizations were recorded to have contributed to the innovations they have presented to the world. These are the Akkadians, the Sumerians and the Babylonians.
Aside from the fact that each of the three civilizations is located in the Mesopotamian region, there are other common traits and features in which they all share. However, there are still slight differences in these common cultures. The first common trait they all share is their polytheistic notion of religion. For each civilization, they all worshipped numerous things from the sun to the stars and to different gods they have made up to represent an event. They also have a complex and well-established temples and priest to organize and facilitate temple offerings and even some state affairs. For the Sumerians, they worshipped all kinds of Gods and noted that there is a super god. Sumerians also believed in the fertility symbol, which can be seen in similar religions such as those of the Jews and the Shiva Lingam in India. Sumerians also believed that plans for their temples and other infrastructure were done by their numerous gods. For the Akkadians, they believe that the universe is divided into two, the shame or “Heaven” and the ersetum or “earth.” Like the Sumerians, they believed that the universe is dominated by several divine beings. However, they believed that each city as their own designated god such as Ishtar who ruled over Akkad. Old Babylonians had the same format in religion as that of the Sumerians but what differs with the Babylonian version is the fact that it mostly concentrated on cults, prayers and ethical behaviour. They believe that the afterlife is not real, which explains the gap between gods and men. The epic of Gilgamesh embodies this gap since the hero of the epic seeks to become immortal, which will not come into fruition . Religion also plays in the political culture of each three regions as warlords, governors and even priests used their position to show to their constituents that they are being led by God’s representatives.
Another common trait all three nations have shared is the sense of law and order, which can be seen in some of the traditions they have managed to pass up to the present time. The first is the style of recording which paved the way to writing. The Sumerian style was known as the cuneiform and served as the foundation for the Akkadian and Babylonian form of writing. Writing also became a way for Priests to record transactions, donations and even spending. The cuneiform also enabled trade to become easier as recording of each deal can be done in faster . For the Akkadian script, they have tried to write a different language that separated them with the Sumerian style. But since the Akkadians did not have a recorded data as to their literature style, only a few evidences support this claim. The Babylonian style was more developed from the Semitic form and it was able to develop literature that has more sense than its counterparts .
In addition to this, writing has also enabled all three civilizations to create a form of order in the political and trading matters noted in tablets. Written laws were done, and they are usually double sided. No one was above the law in theory. It was a basic principle and respected by all since these laws were directed by their gods. Codification of law affected political ideas and idealism since it held power in them. The Babylonians, through Hammurabi’s Code, cemented this concept of order since it ruled in the idea of “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth”. Trading enabled the three civilizations to distribute their commodities, from peasants to technologies. Technology wise, it was the Sumerians and the Babylonians who have done revolutionary breakthroughs as compared to the Akkadians as it was the Sumerians who have discovered the wheel, time and even weights and scales; while the Babylonians first introduced the concept of money .
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