Culture and Values Gilgamesh and Aten, Essay Example

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Essay

The Epic of Gilgamesh reveals a lot about the culture of the Sumerians, a culture from the ancient Mesoptomaia.  For one, Gilgamesh was portrayed as a strong and courageous individual.  The Sumerians/Mesopotomians valued these qualities in Gilgamesh, indicating that it was part of their culture to honor an individual possessing strength and courage.  In addition, throughout the story Gilgamesh’s goal is to discover immortality. We can therefore assume that in the Mesopotomian culture, immortality was highly valued.  Furthermore, we have knowledge that the Mesopotomian people were interested in literacy and self-knowledge, as we read in the story that Gilgamesh wrote his travels and his thoughts on stone tablets.

The Great Hymn of Aten reveals knowledge about the culture of the Eqyptians as we have seen in the Epic of Gilgamesh.  In reading the Great Hymn of Aten, we recognize the respect the Egyptians have for their departed leaders.  Even through death, the Egyptians praised their leaders.  For instance, in the Hymn, its stated “Praise of Re Har-Akhit, Rejoicing on the Horizon (Osirisnet)”.  In addition, we see how the Egyptian culture believes in life after death.  “in His Name as Shu Who Is in the Aten-disc, living forever and ever; the living great Aten who is in jubilee, lord of all that the Aten encircles (Osirisnet)”.

The two stories both reveal knowledge about their respective cultures in the readings; however, through these stories, you can see the difference between the Mesopotomain and Egyptian Cultures.  The Epic of Gilgamesh shows the Mesopotamian culture as being more interested in strength, courage and self-knowledge, as seen in Gilgamesh’s described personality and his conquest in search for immortality.  The Egyptian culture, on the other hand, sees more interested in religious beliefs and the respect for their dead leaders.  The Egyptians seem to put their faith and belief into death being immortality and not searching for it while they are living; whereas, the Mesopotamians seem more interested in obtaining immortality by obtaining it while they are still living.

Works Cited

Osirisnet.  Akhenaten and the Religion of the Aten (2).  Retrieved from: http://www.osirisnet.net/docu/akhenat/e_akhen2.htm

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