Religion in the ancient orient

Babylon, under Hammurabi, took over. Some of these polemicists nevertheless directed their attacks against the divinities of the Orient and their Latin votaries.

While Greece merely vegetated in a state of poverty, humiliation and exhaustion; while Italy suffered depopulation and became unable to provide for her own support; while the other countries of Europe were hardly out of barbarism; Asia Minor, Egypt and Syria gathered the rich harvests Roman peace made possible.

Mesopotamian religion facts

Letters, as well as science, were cultivated chiefly by the Orientals. Egypt prospered. It attracted the anxious or sympathetic attention of the ancient authors, and since the Renaissance modern scholars have frequently taken interest in it. It was difficult to apply them to the vast territory she attempted to govern with their aid. In no field of intellect has the illusion mentioned above been so complete and lasting as in this one. But even in connection with this private law, where the originality of Rome is uncontested and her preeminence absolute, recent researches have shown with how much tenacity the Hellenized Orient maintained its old legal codes, and how much resistance local customs, the woof of the life of nations, offered to unification. And besides, in a general way, epigraphy gives us but little information about the liturgy and almost nothing regarding the doctrines. The Mari empire was next to rule Mesopotamia. They domesticated animals, had cereal crops, and elaborate irrigation. Possibly however they did not sufficiently understand that this religious evolution was not an isolated and extraordinary phenomenon, but that it accompanied and aided a more general evolution, just as that aided it in turn. They boast so loudly of their power to disclose these abominations, that they incur the suspicion that the discretion of the initiates baffled their curiosity. So far, we are unable to read these writings probably Sumerian. The rites of the exotic religions stimulated the imagination of the satirists, and the pomp of the festivities furnished the novelists with brilliant descriptive matter.

It is a characteristic fact that, besides this literature whose language was Greek, others were born, revived and developed.

This poverty of information was caused in the first place by a narrowness of view characteristic of the rhetoric cultivated by historians of the classical period and especially of the empire.

epic of gilgamesh religion

Either they derived their information from converts or they had been pagans themselves during their youth. The Copts remembered that they had spoken several dialects derived from the ancient Egyptian and endeavored to revive them.

So completely did this system in the course of time sway men's minds that the cults and sects, from being an expression of animistic beliefstook on the color derived from the "astral" interpretation of occurrences and doctrines.

But as a rule we find only incidental remarks and superficial observations in the authors. They boast so loudly of their power to disclose these abominations, that they incur the suspicion that the discretion of the initiates baffled their curiosity.

The state-center moved from the temple of the god to the palace of the king. The founder was Sargon of Kish. The diggers are, of course, bothered by the mystery of the Sumerians.

sumerian religion facts

We read and translate correctly the hieroglyphics of the Nile, the cuneiform tablets of Mesopotamia and the sacred books, Zend or Pahlavi, of Parseeism.

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Religions of the ancient Near East