Epic of Gilgamesh
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Epic of Gilgamesh
Throughout the Mesopotamia era, structural social class was one of the many effortless ways that helped establish their society. Dividing people based on their social class availed the Mesopotamian people to follow laws. Just as Egypt had a social pyramid, Mesopotamians also believed to have one. At the top of the social pyramid were Kings, Demi Gods, and high priest along with their family members who made up 6% of the population. Army officers, merchants, free farmers were in the middle of the pyramid which made 54% of the population. The rest of the population was slaves whom were captured by army captives. The laws were different for each social class especially for the slaves whom were treated unfairly. Gender role would also be considered to be in a different category because men and women were not usually treated equally.
During the Mesopotamia period, kings were believed to be descendents from the City of Gods. Their profession was to look over the city and protect their lands. They were also believed to have the most captured slaves and servants during their reign. Making good judgment was crucial as well because other Mesopotamians believed his words were superior. High priest who would perform burials and help family when they were having issues reaching the Gods and Goddess.
In the legendary book, Epic of Gilgamesh tells many things about how people lived during that period in time. The book focuses on Gilgamesh who is the king of Uruk who is considered to be the strongest of men and is supposedly two-thirds God and one-third mortal. And because of that honorable attribute, he gets to do as he pleases. He has the permission to sacrifice soldiers whenever he feels like fighting, rape women whenever he feels lustful and can trample anyone who gets in his way.
Gilgamesh character himself, explains that the people of Mesopotamia are easily compelling when it came to spiritual beliefs. The fact that they thought of him as partly God makes them naive. The book also tells us that the people of Mesopotamia were a polytheistic society by naming numerous Gods throughout Gilgameshs journey. One God that Gilgamesh came upon was the God of Love whom fell in love with Gilgamesh and pleads that Gilgamesh marries her.
Eventually the people of Uruk did realize that Gilgameshs appalling behavior was inappropriate and as a King, he should be protecting the city rather then slowly destroying it with his awful behavior. So then a brave old man tells the God of Creation, Aruru, and he creates another man named Eruku who is an extremely non attractive hairy man. When people saw him, they thought of his as a giant man who is powerful. Erukus reason for existence was because he was going to challenge Gilgamesh to see who was