Sumerian cities

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Sumerian cities

Postby Quintus Aurelius Orcus on Sun Sep 15, 2002 2:00 pm

Salvete
this is part of my essay on Mesopotamia.Soemerian cities:

The cities that were formed in the late 4th millennia BC stayed separate states for long, even though they weren't that different from each other in language, population and social structure. Everywhere in Soemeria the temple of the chief deity played a significant role in the city. The priests of that temple oversaw the constructions that were to be done by the population and took care of storage and distribution of the production of the land. If the fields and gardens were partial or entirely collective possession isn't sure. If this was the case than we can assume that there was a slow process to privatization in the course of the 3rd millennia BC because this was the case from 2300 Bc according to Soemerian sources. The chief priests, the high priest could have called himself king or developed in that character, but this was no general rule because early in their history non- clerical functions appeared like army commander, as a tyrant. The kings could than have ruled over their subjects like Louis 16 did, as replacement ruler for the gods. But Louis 16 ruled as replacement ruler for God.
The monarchy in these cities is very old and the palaces were the political center of the city next to or weave with the temple. The king remained priest but at the same time king and he appeared as first and beloved servant of the deity and not, at least as a general rule, as a deity in the flesh like with the pharaohs. The idea of far beyond the human kind of deities always existed in Asia and in Mesopotamia. In the 3rd millennia BC, we hear of rivalry between the cities where the one city dominates the other. Important centers were Oer/Ur, Lagasj and Oeroek/Uruk. Short after 2400 BC we hear of a brave king of Uruk who managed to form a hegemony over whole Southern- and Middle- Mesopotamia. It was the first time in history that anyone tried to build an empire with force that covered the entire known world. 'King of all' or 'King of the Four quarters' would become titles in the future to point out world domination. This Soemerian empire collapsed to Akkad where king Sargon around 2375 BC settles the first Semitic Empire. Sargon conquered whole of Mesopotamia and even got as far as the shores of the Mediterranean Sea. With the arrival of the Amorites around the year 2000 BC, it would end this empire as well. And the political downfall of the Soemerians would begin: their language disappeared as a spoken language, and would for now on only be used for religious and other texts since it was a dead language.
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Priests

Postby Q. C. Locatus Barbatus on Sun Sep 15, 2002 3:21 pm

Salve Sokare,


If priests were that important, how did one became priest in that era?

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Postby Quintus Aurelius Orcus on Sun Sep 15, 2002 3:40 pm

Salve Locate
Glad you asked but to be honest my sources don't say much about this. I assume through study,meditation. Mayby there was a school for priests. I couldn't find anything to back this up so i assume it was like in Rome and Greece. The head of the family was the priest of a deity but at the same time one could become an official priest by recognition of the High priest(s) or by the King. Also i must mention that your question was ahead of time, since i still need to translate some material of my essay. Mainly page 3- 7. Its only the first part which deals with Sumeria. Part 2 is about Babylonia, than Akkad, Assyria, etc...
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thanks

Postby Q. C. Locatus Barbatus on Mon Sep 16, 2002 12:26 pm

Salve Sokare,

All right, thanks! I'm looking forward to your next postings about this subject!

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Inventions

Postby Quintus Aurelius Orcus on Sat Sep 21, 2002 2:56 pm

This is yet another part of my essay on Sumeria: Inventions. The next part is about writings and religion. Since I'm kind of busy with seevral art projects for school i can't find enough time to translate the rest of the essay and would appreciate it if anyone stepped forward to translate the text from dutch to English. From the beginning they knew of the existence of the use of copper for knives and for other decorative uses, next to the polished stones work tools. The earliest metallurgy in the form of copper showed up around the 7 millennia BC, as a counteraction to the use of pottery ovens for the baking earthwork in the area of Northern Iraq, Iran and Anatolia and would later spread across Europe in the 5th and 4th millennia BC. It is also possible that the copper metallurgy independent developed in certain regions like the Balkan and in certain areas of Southwest Asia. Because copper is a relative soft material, it use was limited until the late 4th millennia something was invented. They discovered that copper with arsine and in a latter stadium alloying it with tin. The bronze that was created was harder than copper and could be used for weapons and other stuff. Where it was first created is uncertain but the oldest bronze objects date back of South- Mesopotamia. Thus here and later over the rest of the world the Bronze Age began around 3000 BC and with it also the first written records. An organized society with a good education wasn't that far away any more. It were the first steps to a urban society. Because these cities offered the required concentration of population by which further specialization of labour was possible and made space to inventions and renewal Writings meant a direct end to the prehistory and the actual history based upon written records began. In prehistoric times you don't have written records so you have to rely on archeology to find out what happened in those times.
Through writing one could imagine what the people thought of their world than. By this we know of names of their citizens, kings, priests, warriors and gods.At first it was still primitive but soon evolved into a syllable writing of about 600 signs who in principle depicted each syllable.
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