Mesopotamian Mythology (Middle Eastern)

Mesopotamian Mythology
(Middle Eastern)
Ancient Sumerian Culture
Southern Iraq
Land between the rivers
Sumerian Achievements
• Wheel
• 365 calendar
• 60 seconds and 60 minutes
Cuneiform---clay tablets
Mesopotamian Archetypes
Ancient City (Uruk)
• a sacred space symbolizing security,
social harmony, and creative achievement.
• It is the place where nature, the human,
and the divine are integrated into an
ordered whole.
Hammurabi Code of
• First laws of government
• “rule of righteousness in the land, to
destroy the wicked and the evildoers; so that the strong should not
harm the weak; so that I should rule
over the black-headed people like
Shamash, and enlighten the land, to
further the well-being of mankind.”
Creation Story
• The archetypal creation story begins with
undefined matter. Then primeval parents
generate cosmic gods who, through
struggle and conflict, create the universe
and mankind.
Heroic Quest
• The archetypal life journey of a hero includes
his struggle to prove his physical strength, win
political power, and gain spiritual wisdom.
Direct Characterization
Author directly states
what a character
looks like, feels, acts,
Indirect Characterization
Author doesn’t directly
state the character’s
appearance, actions,
feelings, etc.
Readers make
assumptions based on
– Other characters’
opinions, thoughts, etc.
– Character’s actions
– Dialect, word choice, etc.
• Recorded on clay tablets
• Several lines are missing. Why?
• Hero “evolves” as a result of his
interactions with others, his quest, and
– Dynamic character
– Learns from mistakes
• Several connections to Greek mythology
and Christianity