Greek and the Mesopotamian View of Humanity

provide written responses to a minimum of three (3) of your classmates’ original posts. Those responses must be about 200 words each.

It is obvious that each of the twelve Olympians, along with lesser gods and demigods, embodied the ancient Greeks’ societal values. Each deity represents specific ideas and certain segments of the society. The Greeks were seafarers and prone to warmongering, so it would make sense that there would have two war gods, a sea god, and a literal god of thieves (Hermes). The ancient Greeks’ perception of marriage is also evident in their cosmogony and succeeding lore. With only a few exceptions, Greek mythology revolves around ill-fated marriages: Gaia (the mother earth goddess) and Ouranos (the all-encompassing sky god); Zeus and Hera; Aphrodite and Hephaestus; Helen and Menelaus; Clytemnestra and Agamemnon.

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In general, the ancient Greek view of humanity and the Mesopotamian view of humanity is similar. A common theme in different polytheistic cultures is the conflicting interests of different deities, resulting in the death or persecution of ordinary mortals. Just as the blessing of Inanna cannot save a mortal from the underworld gods, the favor of Zeus and Aphrodite cannot shield against the wrath of Ares and Apollo. One thing of note that is still a major difference between the two pantheons would be that Mesopotamian deities seem to have more agency, especially in stories revolving around them specifically. Both Athena and Inanna were goddesses of justice but how they enforce the principles are quite different. Athena oversees divine quests but is helpless to protect her own priestesses from assault. Inanna may fail at prevention of wrong, but she makes up for it in retribution, avenging herself and all her husbands.

 

 

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