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Agastya Raghavan

Ms. Nicoll

6th Grade History

October 29 2017

Religion Politics, and Society in Mesopotamia and Egypt

Detail the relationship between religion and the social and political order in Mesopotamia

and Egypt

Religion played an important part in the daily life of Egyptians and Mesopotamians.

“Organized religion had its beginnings in ancient Mesopotamia (in what is now modern Iraq) and

in Egypt more than five thousand years ago” (“Ancient Religions of Egypt and Mesopotamia”).

Religion was important in both early Mesopotamia and Egypt. Both religions were polytheistic,

meaning they believed in many gods. However, in Mesopotamia, the weather was rougher,

which they believed was the gds intent, so life in Mesopotamia was about pleasing the gods.

Egyptian gods were believed to be kinder, and Egypt was thought to be a sanctuary from the

chaotic, hellish, outside world. Religion and politics were related, as some political leaders were

thought of as gods. Religion also played some important parts in politics.

Politics was also important to the structure of Mesopotamia and Egypt. “The purpose of

the laws was to protect the weak from the powerful.” (“Mesopotamian Law”) Both early

Mesopotamia and Egypt had political structures. These were monarchies, run by kings or

pharaohs. In Egypt especially, these political leaders were thought to be living gods sent down to

earth. Both early civilizations had laws and forms of punishment. In Mesopotamian, laws were
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harsh, and based off cause and effect. If you murdered someone or committed a crime, especially

disrespecting a God, you would be inflicted with harsh punishments under the law.

Daily life was very varied, due to the many jobs of the social pyramids. “The ancient

Egyptian people were grouped in a hierarchical system with the Pharaoh at the top and farmers

and slaves at the bottom. The groups of people nearest the top of society were the richest and

most powerful.” (“The Egyptians- Society”) Both politics and religion fell under the social

structures in both Mesopotamia and Egypt. In Mesopotamia, life was about sacrificing and

pleasing gods. In Egypt, since the gods were thought to be nicer, Egyptians did more work for

their survival. In both Egypt and Mesopotamia, social classes determined your wealth and area of

expertise. Social pyramids usually started at the bottom with slaves, then the lower, middle, and

high class workers, and then kings and rulers.


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Works Cited

Ancient Religions of Egypt and Mesopotamia.” ​World Religions Reference Library​,

Encyclopedia.com, 2007,

www.encyclopedia.com/religion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/ancient-religi

ons-egypt-and-mesopotamia​.

Crawford, Chris. “Interactive Storytelling Tools for Writers.” ​Mesopotamian Law | Interactive

Storytelling Tools for Writers | Chris Crawford​,

www.erasmatazz.com/library/the-mind/history-of-thinking/early-civilization/mesopotamian-law

.html.

“The Egyptians - Society.” ​History​, 11 May 2017, www.historyonthenet.com/the-egyptians-society/.