The Epic of Gilgamesh and Hammurabi's Code - Essay Example

Comments (0) Cite this document
The aim of the paper “The Epic of Gilgamesh and Hammurabi's Code” is to analyze some of the most ancient texts from ancient Mesopotamia that have been found by Historians and archaeologists to date. Both of these texts are rich in information concerning Mesopotamia…
Download full paperFile format: .doc, available for editing
GRAB THE BEST PAPER93.5% of users find it useful
The Epic of Gilgamesh and Hammurabis Code
Read TextPreview

Extract of sample "The Epic of Gilgamesh and Hammurabi's Code"

The Epic of Gilgamesh and Hammurabi’s are some of the most ancient texts from ancient Mesopotamia thathave been found by Historians and archaeologists to date. Both of these texts are rich in information concerning Mesopotamia at this time regarding its political systems, religion, social relationships and their cities. They show how religion was a very important part of the everyday lives of the ancient Mesopotamians and this is exemplified when Hammurabi declares that the set of laws which he has codified have been given to him directly by the god Shamash, and uses this to justify his codification of the law. Gilgamesh was going to the temple of Shamash to consult with the god before undertaking a major mission also shows the great influence religion had in Mesopotamia. In both of these texts, it can be noted that the sun – god Shamash, who was also the Mesopotamian god of justice, plays a major role in some of the major events which take place considering that he granted Hammurabi the laws and always gave guidance to Gilgamesh so that he would succeed in his missions (Hawkins, 277 – 278).
The values of the ancient Sumerians seem to have been guided by their religion and many believed that they needed the authority of a god while doing anything important to ensure that their actions were a success. One would notice in these texts that the relationships between the people of this society in the ancient times were very close and that friendships had a higher value then than they have today. Friends tended to treat each other more like siblings than as people from different backgrounds and a good example of this is the relationship between Gilgamesh and Enkidu. Although Gilgamesh was the king of Uruk and Enkidu was wild man from the fields, these two strike a friendship that would be very unlikely in the current times. It can further be noted that the rulers of ancient Mesopotamia tended to place a very high value to their connection with the gods most likely in an attempt to justify their authority over their people. We note that Hammurabi claims to have been in direct communication with a god when he was given the laws, which would be imposed, on his people (Beaulieu, 11). Gilgamesh on the other hand is said to have been two-thirds god and one-third man and that his mother was the goddess Ninsun who is repeatedly seen to intercede on his behalf to the other gods. It is most likely a fact that Gilgamesh’s attempt to attain immortality was in a bid to destroy his human side and retain his divine part.
The influences of religion are still very prominent today as they were in ancient Mesopotamia. In fact, religious influences today are so strong that in some instances, they border on fanaticism. Those who have retained their religious beliefs in a world that is headed to secularization believe that what they are doing is the will of God and that anyone not doing the same is a sinner and will die in hell. Furthermore, some of the most powerful states in the world today are monarchies and the monarchs sit on their thrones not because of any great ability but because a legendary ancestor once ruled before them and this is used to justify their social position. The similarities between the code of Hammurabi and the Ten Commandments can clearly be seen especially when one considers that they both are said to have been handed by a god and that they are both based on the eye for an eye doctrine. The Gilgamesh epic and the Flood story also have many similarities especially when one considers that a version of the latter story is told in the former in detail than is told in the Bible.
Works Cited
Hawkins, Ralph K. "Readings from the Ancient Near East: Primary Sources for Old Testament Study." The Catholic Biblical Quarterly 66.2 (2004): 277-8.
Beaulieu, Paul-Alain. "W.F. Albright & Assyriology." Near Eastern Archaeology 65.1 (2002): 11 Read More
Cite this document
  • APA
  • MLA
(“The Epic of Gilgamesh and Hammurabi's Code Essay”, n.d.)
The Epic of Gilgamesh and Hammurabi's Code Essay. Retrieved from
(The Epic of Gilgamesh and Hammurabi'S Code Essay)
The Epic of Gilgamesh and Hammurabi'S Code Essay.
“The Epic of Gilgamesh and Hammurabi'S Code Essay”, n.d.
  • Cited: 0 times
Comments (0)
Click to create a comment or rate a document

CHECK THESE SAMPLES OF The Epic of Gilgamesh and Hammurabi's Code

The Epic of Gilgamesh

...Full & or Number) The Epic of Gilgamesh (a reading journal) 25 September (estimated word count = 995) Introduction The Epic of Gilgamesh is a very remarkable story of the ancient times, showing how the people of antiquity had dealt with the various issues that confronted them, such as life and death, struggles with Nature and the immortal question of how to attain immortality. It shows these topics were as relevant in those times as they are still today, as people continue to seek the elixir of life that will not only guarantee a long life but a long and youthful life, a search for the fountain of youth, which somehow also illustrates the sheer vanity of Man. The...
3 Pages(750 words)Essay

The Epic of Gilgamesh

...?The Epic of Gilgamesh The Epic of Gilgamesh is indeed a ical poetry piece which depends a great deal on the historical incidents taking place with regards to the city of Eruk, known as Iraq in the present times. Quite commonly, one understands that the hero of Gilgamesh is indeed remarked as Gilgamesh. He was the son of a goddess and this is one aspect that is thoroughly highlighted upon here. This classic piece manifests a number of different strengths, all of which are linked with love, feelings of brotherhood and relationships amongst friends. Indeed Gilgamesh is a classic piece of Middle Eastern culture and one which...
3 Pages(750 words)Essay

The Code of Hammurabi

...? The of Hammurabi The rule of law is vital to the proper functioning of society. Laws are what separate us from the animals and permit us to live orderly, comfortable lives. But where did laws come from and from what did they develop? These are vital historical questions which can help to inform us about the way own political and social order works. The Code of Hammurabi, now about 3500 years old is a very important piece of historical evidence in this regard. It shows us how one of the first sets of laws worked. This essay will provide a brief outline of this Code and provide more detail. Archaeologists discovered the Code of Hammurabi...
3 Pages(750 words)Essay

Epic of Gilgamesh

...Epic of Gilgamesh The Epic of Gilgamesh is factually a germ for all other epics and hero stories since it contains nearly all literary aspects, symbolism, themes, and other technical features that recur in the works of the same genre. This assessment draws further support from the fact that the epic is one of the earliest publications in its genre. The vast influences of the epic are traceable from the biblical allusions of Noah’s story to the Greek tales of the Titans. Multiple literary features are self-evident in the epic. These include the element of characterization, which stretches the dimensions...
3 Pages(750 words)Essay

Civilizations of the Ancient Near East

...but both treated their women differently. While profoundly patriarchal Mesopotamia withheld equality in all respects to its women citizens and treated them as second class citizens, the matriarchal-leaning ancient Egypt gave equality in all phases of life and opportunities for advancement in practically all professions except perhaps the military to its women citizens. BIBLIOGRAPHY Bullough, VL., Shelton, B. & Slavin, S. (1988). The subordinated sex. University of Georgia Press. Gilgamesh (2003). The Epic of Gilgamesh. Penguin Classics. ...
11 Pages(2750 words)Essay

The Epic of Gilgamesh

...Theme and Literary Devices in "A Chance at Immortality", tablet XI in The Epic of Gilgamesh The Epic of Gilgamesh is an ancient epic poem based on Sumerian legends which was mainly found in twelve clay tablets. But recently some archaeologists, linguists have considered that Tablet XII does not form part of the Epic as it is some kind of sequel and does not have the same style. The Epic of Gilgamesh is considered the oldest story recorded in humanity; it narrates the adventure of King Gilgamesh of Uruk and his friend Enkidu. After his friend's death, punished by the gods,...
3 Pages(750 words)Essay

The Epic of Gilgamesh as Translated by Andrew George what this stone tablet says! (George, p. xxxvi) The Mesopotamian kings, however, are not like those rulers in ancient Egypt who saw themselves as gods. As with Gilgamesh, it appears that the Mesopotamian rulers saw themselves as great men who had been chosen by the gods to represent them on earth. From this reading, the gods in the Epic governed through Gilgamesh and that the king, in turn, reported to the gods about the affairs and the conditions of the dominion and sough their advice. The laws are also dispensed by the king as mandated by the deities, however, unlike the Egyptians, the Mesopotamian king must follow the laws as with any ordinary man. These laws, which would...
8 Pages(2000 words)Book Report/Review

Women, the Hammurabi Code

...Running Head: The of Hammurabi The Status of Women in the of Hammurabi A Discussion Paper Outline Submission Introduction The Hammurabi Code is the most prominent of the ancient law codes. It is not likely that Hammurabi was a grand jurist creating laws then and there, but instead a realist who aimed to document the judicial traditions of his time. Injured parties expected to be retaliated; imposing the punishments in writing recognizes the concern of the society in crime and punishment and looked forward to launch the greatest vengeance. However, the Code’s stated punishments for crime are not its only defining characteristics but also its prescribed status for women. The following rules might broadly be challenged these days... but their...
4 Pages(1000 words)Essay

The Epic of Gilgamesh

...The Epic of Gilgamesh The Epic of Gilgamesh seems a plain legend, however, is a high-valued paper that lifts the veil on much essential information concerning social and political development. Special attention in the document is paid to the changeable role of women. People from Mesopotamia used the epic of Gilgamesh to explain different facts and phenomena such as death and desire to gain a power. The legend shows that people of that time had a very vague and mixed understanding of everything around. Notwithstanding that, their desire to explain everything around was great. Different phenomena of our world not only attracted their...
2 Pages(500 words)Essay

Mythology: Epic of Gilgamesh

...The paper seeks to explain Levi-Strausss Opposing Forces Theory with reference to the Epic of Gilgamesh. The paper will discuss the opposing forces that are at play as well as how the heroes reconcile those conflicting forces. The other aspect that will be discussed in the paper is about the lesson to be learned by the audience from these results of the paper. Basically, Levi-Strausss Opposing Forces Theory states that myths consist of opposing and contradicting elements. The two opposing forces portrayed in the story of Gilgamesh are historical and mythical. The historical Gilgamesh was the “king of Uruk, built walls, led Uruk in war of independence against Kish”...
2 Pages(500 words)Essay
sponsored ads
We use cookies to create the best experience for you. Keep on browsing if you are OK with that, or find out how to manage cookies.

Let us find you another Essay on topic The Epic of Gilgamesh and Hammurabi's Code for FREE!

Contact Us