Meso- Monthly

Current Religion

Priests and Schools

Today in cities all over Mesopotamia there are priests running schools. The priests are very strict and it isn't uncommon to see children being beaten or whipped. The students really want to go to school. Your can tell because they always come back despite the beatings that they received the previous day. Recently, there has been a new school opening up in Sumer called Scribes of Ur. Even the king himself has reccomended this school for his nobles' sons. there is a lot of buzz about this school all the way from Assyria to Babylon and every where in between! Maybe one day my children can go there too!



cites:

powerpoint

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At the Bottom of the Ziggurat

The Shopp!ng Scene!

The shopping scene at the ziggurat bases in Uruk is only for the most competitive vendors out there, so when one butcher shop recently shut down due to lack of business, hundreds of new businesses want to claim that spot to promote their business and lack of religious aspect. Right now there are three businesses who are most likely to get the slot. This is because the king has given them all reccomendations. One shop in the running is another butcher shop called Nice to Meat You with it's highest praise being for flavor and creativity. I have never been there but we interviewed a few commoners who have:


"Nice to Meat You is one of the best eateries that I have eaten at in a long time. I would recommend their grilled pork with a side of baba ghanoush. It is very authentic. Plus, Nice to Meat You gave me a free cloth nightgown for giving the best speech in the ziggurat this morning!"

- Young Priest


The next two shops we could not get people to interview since the shops are so new but we still were able to find some information on what they specialize in. One of the shops is a fashion-based store that weave religious symbols into all of their gowns. They call themselves We Be"weave" in god. The third shop is a new style of shop, what they do is exchange items. They have all kind of religion based board games and knick-knacks. The cool part about this shop is that they say if you buy a board game and you found out it was boring, you could return it to the shop and they would let you pick a new item of your choice as long as the first item is in perfect condition. Sounds pretty neat to me!


cites:

powerpoint and made up

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The Story of Enheduanna

Remember our great king, King Sargon? Well his daughter is the very first female poet named Enheduanna. She praises the gods and goddesses in her poems and is highly regarded throughout Mesopotamia. But an injustice has suddenly surfaced. When great King Sargon died, Enheduanna was stripped of her title as high priestess and was forced to live amongst the commoners. We were able to get ahold of one of her poems from not too long ago. And she said:



"Me who once sat triumphant, he has driven out of the sanctuary. Like a swallow he made me fly from the window, My life is consumed. He stripped me of the crown appropriate for the high priesthood. He have me dagger and sword - 'it becomes you,' he said to me"

-Enheduanna


There have been women-involving injustices happening all over Mesopotamia and this is just the tip of the iceberg. In Babylon, women are allowed to be sold! We hope that we can abolish these horrible acts soon before it gets out of hand.


cites:

Primary source packet

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Ziggurat Risin' on the Horizon

Hey guess what commoners? We are building a new ziggurat! It is going to be 350 feet tall and wide enough to fit the king's palace inside it, a new record for largest ziggurat! There is more room for offerings and there will be twice as many sacrifices per day than the old ziggurat. There will be a bigger market place around the perimeter that will supply us with our daily income and high quality food items and more! We are also building a new school inside that will teach your children cuneiform quicker and better than anywhere else. The ziggurat will be dedicated to Ashur, the god of war, to ensure our military victories. With the new ziggurat being built, we will be able to give hundreds more job offerings plus the carpenters needed for the building of this great structure. It will bear the colors gold, red, and blue with gold at the base, blue along the middle, and leaving red at the tip. This way you will be able to see the ziggurat from wherever you live and will be reminded that your country, Assyria, will rule forever.


cites:

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What is a Lammasu?

Lammasu is a celestial Assyrian god from mesopotamian religion. It is depicted as a man from the neck up, and as a bull from neck down with horns and wings. Sometimes they are even depicted with lion bodies. It is a protective spirit in many Babylonian households. Lammasu is commonly associated with the god Papsukkal by the Akkadians. These huge structures are placed in front of palaces as a pair on either side of the door and at the entrance of large cities. When the lammasus are placed in front of the Assyrian guard gates, they are placed there to prevent and frighten the forces of chaos. Lammasus are made with five legs so that when they are seen from the front, they look like they are holding their ground and when they are looked upon from the side they look like they are running into battle. Many cities all over Mesopotamia highly regard this majestic beast. They are the protectors of your house and all evil the evil spirits out there, so be sure to pray for them.


cites:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lamassu (backed up)

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Sumerian Creation

"Before time began there was only darkness and the goddess Nammu, the Primordial Sea. She gave birth to Anki, the Universe- at first they were Heaven and Earth in one, a vast mountain of soil and sky mixed together. Anki produced Enlil, the air. Enlil seperated his parents into An, the sky and Ki the mother earth He pulled his mother down to form solid ground and pushed his father up to form the heavens. He then created the moon god Nanna, who then created the sun god Utu. Enlil and Ki, air and earth joined to produce Enki, the god of water, vegetation and wisdom, and the lord of the universe. Enki gathered together part of the Primordial Sea and squeezed it into river Tigris and Euphrates. He caused there to be cattle and the earth and fish in the rivers. he built marshland around the rivers and made the soil rich and fertile. Meanwhile in haven, the gods were having a large, drunken banquet. They decided to create humans. the first race was made of clay, and weak in body and mind. At the time everyone was too drunk to see poorly they were made. The humans descended to live on Enki's earth. before long it became clear that this race had too many problems to survive and be a credit to the gods who created them. The gods decided to destroy them all in a great flood. Only two people were worthy enough to survive- a man named Ziusudra and his wife. Enki came to them with instructions. They were to build a wooden ark and hide there until the flood waters subsided. The gods redirected the Tigris and Euphrates and caused a violent flood, washing all the humans to their deaths. the storm raged day and night until there was no dry land. Ziusudra and his wife were safe in their wooden ark. They wept at the loss of mankind. Finally the rivers shrank back and the land re-emerged. Ziusudra and his wife began a new generation of men and women and set up their villages on the shores of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers."


cites:

primary source packet

All Hail Gilgamesh!

Gilgamesh is the greatest king in all of Mesopotamia and being two thirds god doesn't hurt your popularity status. He is the fifth king of Uruk and is believed to be created by the gods to be a superhuman king. It was said that Gilgamesh could lift a mountain. He could also touch the bottom of the deepest ocean and come back up in one breath. Gilgamesh was so popular that people started to make up stories of him going on amazing adventures. One particularly famous story is called the Epic of Gilgamesh. Although there are a great number of made up stories about Gilgamesh, there is real evidence that Gilgamesh was the creator of the great walls of Uruk. In one of the stories written about Gilgamesh, he was bored of protecting his city since there was no real challenge for him. He made an appeal to the gods hoping for them to grant him with someone to fight with, someone that would bring him pleasure and fun. The gods agreed to create another two thirds god and one third man and put him on the earth. They called him Enkidu. Enkidu and Gilgamesh fought for days and days with no one ever really winning. Eventually they both got tired and decided that if neither of them could win, then they shouldn't be fighting and should just be friends. And so they became the best of friends and went on countless adventures together. Gilgamesh is said to be the greatest king to ever roam these lands and that with Enkidu by his side, they could accomplish anything.


cites:

http://mesopotamia.mrdonn.org/gilgamesh.html

http://www.ancient.eu.com/gilgamesh/

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Mesopotamian Monarchs

Being a monarch means that you possess the highest rank in all of your kingdom. If a king gives an order, it is the law. You do not have the power to defy him. Many monarchs lead their armies into battle and even choose to be priests as well as staying as a king. Many monarchs sometimes let the power go a little to their head. For example when the Sumerians were ruling, they believed they were "Divinely Ordained Humans" on earth. Assyrians believed that they came from heaven and are "Gods On Earth". How crazy is that? Even though some of our kings like Hammurabi, Sargon, and Asurbanipal have done great things for Mesopotamia, there is always a fine line between good ruling and insanity.

Babylon Defeated: Should They change their lord?

Assyria and Babylon have always had tensions, but no one expected war. Just five days ago, the Assyrians made an attempt to conquer Babylon- and sucseeded. Luckily, around fifty government officials escaped and have been taking refuge in an abandon Sumerian town. they are disappointed in their god, Marduk, who is the god of Babylon, and is majorly associated with water, vegetation, judgement, magic, thunderstorms, and he is the lord of the gods of heaven and earth. But, they are still disappointed. The Babylonians main candidate to replace Marduk is Anu, the god of the highest heaves, constellations, spirits, and demons. one of the refugees quotes,"It is just an idea. We most likely won't change lords because it would greatly enrage Marduk, and he would punish us with torture and death." Hopefully, the refugees will build of their civilization under the eyes of Marduk.

cite:



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marduk

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anu







Priests: How Important are they?

Priests are a new idea that has been booming in popularity. Many people argue about whether they really are important in life or not. One man, Raaj, argues that,"Priests hold together the city. They give all of the offerings to the gods, and they are the only people allowed to visit the top of the ziggurat. They are the ones who teach our children how to write cuneiform and earn a living. they save lives- they are the only doctors. Without them, our cities would fall apart."


But, some disagree. They dislike priests. One man, Ilapbatuu, argues that," Priests are nothing. They are just lunatics that think that they were chosen by the gods. Any one can walk up stairs and put items on the floor. Dads could teach their children how to right, as I teach my child how to right(he doesn't succeed). Also, it's not that hard to clean a wound with water."

As it seems, most people agree with Raaj.

cites:

powerpoint