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HIST 1720 Class 3 Notes

by: Ann Carter Herbert

HIST 1720 Class 3 Notes Hist 1720

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Ann Carter Herbert

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Mesopotamians cont'd
The West and the World 1
Professor Caroline Dunn
Class Notes
25 ?




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This 2 page Class Notes was uploaded by Ann Carter Herbert on Friday August 26, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Hist 1720 at Clemson University taught by Professor Caroline Dunn in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 50 views. For similar materials see The West and the World 1 in History at Clemson University.


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Date Created: 08/26/16
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ 8/25/2016 The Mesopotamians Cont’d Hammurabi and Gilgamesh  Gilgamesh is the one leader we are not sure if he actually existed or not o The story about him is not written any time near his life time, written about 1,000 years after his life time (makes this hard to find accuracy) o The story about him is one of the earliest surviving forms of literature o He was part god, part human (an old Mesopotamian king)  Perhaps super human intellect  Enkidu- friend / nemesis  Also a creation of the god, starts off as this animal-like, wild, uncivilized man  Knows nothing about cities, writing, or social relationships  Becomes civilized after making love to a prostitute (thanks to Gilgamesh)  The two fight but then become friends, the missing pieces fall here in the story  After Enkidu dies, Gilgamesh goes through grief, which makes him realize that even though he is part god, he is also human enough that he will die one day  Becomes obsessed with finding immortality  Travels to the underworld to find the secret to immortal life  Is warned of a flood very similar to Jonah’s ark o Is Gilgamesh a king to be praised or to be vilified?  Hard to praise when we don’t know if he’s actually real  The people who wrote it were intending for him to be praised  His ability to forgive and form a relationship with a former enemy speaks to his character as a ruler  Transformation could be praised o What does the story of Gilgamesh tell us about Mesopotamian values?  Don’t piss off the gods  That being said, the people are more forgiving than the gods  Value righting your wrongs o Gilgamesh realizes he cannot live forever so he then turns to giving back to his people  Rebuilds his city-in a sense he gains immortality because we are still talking about him today  Hammurabi: o Hammurabi’s Code  A Law Code inscribed into stone o What is the purpose of written law in general and what seems to be the purpose of Hammurabi’s code specifically?  To establish a general acceptable way of life and avoid chaos and disagreement on how a society should function  Hammurabi’s code didn’t a lot of key components of everyday life in Babylon. Ex. Commerce, etc. but it addressed like divorce, murder, and all of the extremes, but there was definitely a lot of gray area  The purpose then would be to have semi equality yet still protect the upper class  Just to establish his power as a god-appointed leader o More propaganda than law  The eye for an eye principal:  Only applies to the same social class  A very unequal society o Primary source:  As close to the original as possible o Secondary Source:  Written by a modern day expert in the subject  Ex. A translator of cuneiform  Is it published  Is it academic or scholarly source  Published by a university press  Cites primary source  Is it recent


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