A culture brings together people by sharing social habits, language, religion, behaviors, and interactions. The Epic of Gilgamesh introduces us to the magnificent Sumerian Civilization. They invented and gave meaning to the idea of what a civilization truly consisted of; however, to create a well-functioning civilization, values, moral ideas, and social behavior rules need come to together as one and be practiced by the people. I will be expanding on the moral ideas that Sumerians believed in such as religion, strict social hierarchies, and assigned tasks and responsibilities according to gender.
Sumerians are believed to have arrived before 3000 B.C. Villages consisted of reed-huts and sun-dried brick houses which they inherited from the illiterates who lived there before. They were the first literate inhabitants of Mesopotamia and were gifted people who influenced laws, language, and ideas. Worshipping the gods and religion were important rituals in their lives. They were strong believers that prayer and sacrifice would bring them closer to the gods. It was crucial for every city to have these beautiful buildings decorated with mosaics and reliefs called ziggurat (temples), strictly dedicated to worship. In relation to religion, divine kingship was a sacred moral idea that they practiced as well. Sumerians had set expectations for their rulers to live up to; this was known as the ideal Shepherd Kingship. Rulers were expected to protect civilians from invasions, provide safety and well-being to their people on behalf of the gods.
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A social hierarchy was another important idea in Sumerian culture. An individual’s rank was a sufficient way to determine what was proper and ethical in society.
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