Civilizations Term Paper

Pages: 8 (2569 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1+  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Drama - World

SAMPLE EXCERPT:

[. . .] The political and military dominance that Roman Empire achieved over conquered states was dependent on the geographical advantages it had in attacking other states while defending itself through improvisation in natural barriers. The Roman Empire was established on the foundations laid by Greeks and thus it was Greek use of symbols and things that influenced the Roman more than any other factor. Vast expansion of the Empire was due to the diverse geographical location but this also caused the fall of empire as the geographical stretch spread too far (Adams et al. 2012, 5-50).

3. What was the function of religion in these ancient civilizations? How did it help to shape them, or how was it shaped by them? Compare and contrast the religions of two civilizations in your response.

The role of religion in the Egyptian civilization was immense. Both religion and civilization had impacted each other. The Egyptians were polytheistic and worshipped many gods. The gods and deities were associated with many good and bad phase of life of people of the civilization. The gods being worshipped were related to natural and heavenly ecclesial bodies. Being surrounded by river and fertile soil, and having plenty of sunlight that provided life to the vegetation, Sun was the main god. As compared to the Greek civilization that evolved later, the Egyptians were more religious in the sense that they performed sacrificial ceremonies in Egypt as a sign of following to their gods.

If compared to the later Greek civilization, the Egyptian civilization was deeply rooted in religiosity and arts as well as culture of the civilization were formed as a consequence of religious collectivism displayed by the members of the civilization. The arts and sculptures of Egyptian civilization were basically religious in nature. Specifically that of early years of civilization represents gods and dead people. The sculptures had a value in religious aspect more than that of arts. People engaged in worshipping gods by making their physical bodies in form of sculptures and then decorating them. Cult and magic were based in the literature, art, and drama of the civilization. The religious urge or desire of the Egyptians compelled them to offer gratitude and sacrifice in one form or another for the bounties that they enjoyed in form of abundance of natural resources such as water, sunlight, and agricultural produce. It was for this reason, arguably, that Egyptians associated the sources of abundance as being gods or gods' representatives. The science and medicine fields were also impacted by the religious beliefs and leanings of the Egyptians (Morenz1973, 1-35). The civilization, in its early era called death a message from a deity rather than any physical cause. Priesthood and medical practice were also interdependent. Gods and goddesses significantly shaped the behaviors and attitudes of inhabitants of the civilization.

The Greek civilization also got impacted from the religious fervor that kept Egyptian civilization intact. The Greeks however did open up the study of rational science and they altered the course of history more than the former civilization. The real challenge to Egyptian knowledge came from the Greeks who wanted to know the reality of this world and questions about mortality, truth, nature and its connection to human beings. Nonetheless, as is representative of early civilizations, religion played an important role in shaping the social life of city states and early Greek civilization was deeply religious. Gods and goddesses were common place in the Greek society as well. Since Greek civilization was less dependent on the agricultural way of life, the cohesiveness and collectivism of society specifically with respect to women role was considerably different from the Egyptians. Egyptians largely acknowledged the role of women and their participation in civic life. Unlike Egypt, Greek states were more patriarchic societies. Only adult and male citizens of 'polis'took part in the public politics. The participation of women was welcomed in religious ceremonies and proceedings only. Thus, religious leanings played an important role limiting the role of women in active participation in matters of civic life. City states were built with temples and high places for the gods and goddesses. Each aspect of personal and social life was directly or indirectly connected to some religious notion (Sansone2011, 1-39).

The architecture of Mycenaean tombs and other architectural structures of Greece and Egypt alike depict that religion and respect of deceased that originates from religious teachingshas had significant impact on both the civilizations. From pyramids of Egypt to great tombs of Greece dedicated to deceased and deities were and remain important monumental structures. The national and civilizational pride that both Greeks and Egyptians hold has been shaped by hero worship. The impact of religion on Greek cities and rural areas was not alike and some authors such argue that Greek rural areas have little significance in the development of Greek political life and civilization (Nilsson et al. 1971, 1-20). Religion was more professed, practiced, and preserved in rural areas. Cities that later became to be known as states such as Sparta, Athens, Thebes, and Miletus that shaped modern Greek civilization accepted lesser religious practices. In fact it is here in these cities that Greek religion got impacted by the rational and objective approach of city folks. Rationalism, as propagated by Socrates significantly reduced the 'persona' of religion in minds of common people.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Adams, Collins, and Ray Laurance.Travel and geography in the Roman Empire. London: Routledge, 2012.

Cartledge, Paul. Ancient Greece: A Very Short Introduction . Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011.

Dalling, Robert .The Story of Us Humans, From Atoms to Today's Civilization. NE: iUniverse, 2006.

Ehrenberg, Victor. From Solon to Socrates: Greek History and Civilization during the 6th and 5th Centuries BC. Oxon: Taylor and Francis, 2010.

Hassan, Hamdi and Rasheedy Ahmed A. "The Nile River and Egyptian Foreign Policy Interest."African Sociological Review 11(1) (2010): 25-37.

Hoffman, Michael A., Hany, A. Hamroush, & Ralph, O Allen."The environment and evolution of an early Egyptian urban center: Archaeological and geochemical investigations at hierakonpolis."Geoarchaeology, 2(1) (1987): 1-13.

Morenz, Siegfried.Egyptian religion. New York: Cornell University Press, 1973.

Nilsson, Martin P. Greek folk religion (Vol. 34). Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press,1961.

Sansone, David. Ancient Greek Civilization. West-Sussex: Wiley-Blackwell, 2011.

Tintero, Felipa L. & Felicitas R. Manacsa.World Geography Affected by World Upheavals. Quezon City: Katha Publishing, 2012.

Wilgenbus, David., & Pierre, L. Early science education and astronomy. Proceedings of the International Astronomical… [END OF PREVIEW]

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