Essay on Ancient Civilizations And The Ancient World

Essay on Ancient Civilizations And The Ancient World

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Throughout the test of time one question has remained, what does it mean to be a human? In the ancient world this question was both pondered and ignored. Two ancient civilizations had very different thoughts when it came to human life, these civilizations being the Greeks and the Egyptians. When one examines the religion and government of these two great civilizations a very stark contrast is seen. Egypt, an advanced kingdom in the northeast of Africa worshipped numerous gods, one of these gods being their pharaoh. The pharaoh had absolute rule because he was considered from the gods. In Greece the connection between church and state was less so than in Egypt, especially in Athens, and in the Athenian run Delian league. In Athens the people ruled the city through the council of 500 and the assembly and prayed to the gods for support and guidance. The way in which the people of Egypt and Greece governed themselves, and their religious beliefs and practices show how important they saw themselves as a people, and how they saw humanity. In order to examine this statement further, I will be examining the Egyptian “Hymn to the sun”, Egyptian “Hymn to Ra”, and Greek “Aristotle on Politics”.
The Egyptian government was ruled by gods, speaking through a pharaoh who was considered a god himself. Because of this fact people were thought to have been left to the will of fate and will of the gods. People were seen as unable to make any difference, with gods dictating nature, weather, and law. Because the pharaoh proclaimed himself “from the gods” he was able to rule over his people as a god king. By having one, perfect, god king ruling over the whole of Egypt the common man is seen as inadequate to govern himself. By following this way of thin...

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...tant, just slaves at will of the gods. Egyptians had no sense of control over their lives. The Greeks regarded humanity a bit higher on the pedestal. The government relied on the intelligence and decision making skills of the average man. The religious beliefs of the Greeks, that the gods were not all powerful and could not change fate afforded the Greek populous a sense of control over their lives. In terms of how highly regarded humanity was to each civilization there is no contest. Greek society, in terms of government and religion respected and highly regarded humanity; unlike Egyptian society, that in terms of government and religion did not respect or highly regard humanity. The way in which the people of Egypt and Greece governed themselves, and their religious beliefs and practices show how important they saw themselves as a people, and how they saw humanity.

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