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Egypt And Mesopotamia: Compare And Contrast Analysis

There are many similarities and distinctions between cultures in ancient Egypt as well as ancient Mesopotamia. Both their laws and literature were different. Women in each society had very different views.

Mesopotamia’s laws and those of ancient Egypt were performed in very different ways. Egyptian law was more flexible than Mesopotamian law, and had laws that were written after every pharaoh became in power. The principal stipulation was for laws to follow the teachings, ideals, and practices of goddess Ma’at. However the pharaoh could interpret and implement them. Law was “an aspect” of administration. Any official could be an adjudicant. The law was not seperated from its judicial officers and its judicial buildings. There were no judges nor courts. No ancient Egyptian person is known to have had only the official role of hearing legal cases. Even though the same individuals may meet often to address a range administrative and legal issues (Egyptian ‘˜council’), no space or building has been designated for this purpose. An Egyptian DADAt (board of officials) could be established for short-term tasks. This might include the judgment of an important legal case or the management of a project like a quarrying expedition. However, law seemed more to be a secondary task than the government’s own branch. Precedents from prior rulings of law were also used. Most trials were case-by-case. Mesopotamians were a bit different in their approach to legal systems. The codification of laws meant that all crimes and punishments could be easily understood. This system was considered fair at the time, and Hammurabi’s most famous adage, “If one man puts out an eye of another man,” is commonly known as “an ear for an eye”. The assembly was an elected body of elders that would have the power to decide cases. They would apply the codified law to determine punishments and conduct trials in an impartial and fair manner. The assembly also advised the king about any unfair laws or offences he was trying to pass. They were responsible for deciding the law and making laws that the Gods had to adhere to. Most laws resulted in equal punishment, but the death penalty was more common than it used to be. 26 laws in Hammurabi’s cod explicitly mention the death penalty. 8 of these mentions a body part like the lips, hands, breasts, or tongue. Mesopotamia was able to develop its own pictographic alphabets. Egypt has hieroglyphs while Mesopotamia uses the more abstract Cuneiform. Mesopotamian writings were done on clay tablets which were then hardened. Egyptian writings, on the other hand, were carved into temple walls and monuments or written on paper papyrus. Their writings were similar in function, with their most important purpose being to keep records and administer. While historical records were not as common as those of kings or patriarchs in the early stages, they became more common as societies advanced. The Mesopotamian Epics and Aten of Gilgamesh were two examples of common literature. The Mesopotamians used writings for religious purposes, whereas Egypt used spells for protection and use in the afterlife. Egyptian Hieroglyphs could be described in drawings and letters. One example is the False Door at Kaitep. This false door has five vertical lines and four panels. The central panel contains the name and titles. The panels that surround the body on either side depict the deceased supporting his staff.

Mesopotamia, Ancient Egypt and Egypt treated women very differently. Mesopotamia treated them more like their fathers and husbands while Egypt treated them more like equals. In Egypt, men and women were treated equally legally. Women had many of the same rights as men. Women were allowed property ownership and could acquire her own livestock and goods as well as slaves and servants.

They could also sign contracts and sue her for her property, marriage, or job. They were most commonly employed by women as hairstylists, weavers or musicians. A case in point is that of Iry-nefret, a woman accused of illegally using silver. She also used a Bak-Mut tomb to pay for the purchase and care of a servantgirl. Irynefret appeared before the court to tell the story of how she obtained the girl. Before the judges, she had the honor to swear an oath naming the god Amon and Ruler. The judge ordered that the complainant present three witnesses (three men, three women) to attest that she had used stolen property for the purchase of the girl. The papyrus recording of the court case ends, but it is clear Irynet acted by herself in purchasing the servantgirl. While both women’s and men’s testimony was accepted by the judges, Mesopotamia denied such rights to its women. Only married women were allowed to act as individuals. After reaching puberty, the girls were united in marriage. After her marriage, she would become the wife of her husband and no longer be an independent person. According to The Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago’s article, women were permitted to have certain responsibilities. They were taught how to make beer and grain, as well as how to weave and spin cloth. A woman who worked outside her home usually had a job that was independent of her domestic duties. She might make beer, sell it or open a pub. Women became midwives after having children and caring for their babies.

Although they shared many similarities, Mesopotamia (Antiquity) and Mesopotamia (Mesopotamia) differed significantly when it comes to the position of women in society and their laws.


Miles Mitchell is a 40-year-old educational blogger and professor. He has been writing about education and education-related topics since he was a teenager, and has since become one of the leading voices in the education industry. Mitchell is a regular contributor to many education-related websites, including The Huffington Post and The Daily Caller, and has been teaching college students and professionals alike how to write, think, and learn in an education-related setting for over 10 years.