In Mesopotamia, women have the same amount of power as men do. They can be a rulers or goddess’. For example, the goddess of love was Ishtar. The Mesopotamians do not have a problem with women having equal power as the men. The next one is the Greek, they didn’t have as much power as in Mesopotamia, but they still had some. Hera was the Greek goddess of marriage; they were still allowed to be goddess’. Women were looked upon but weren’t discriminated against. The last is Jewish. Jewish women didn’t have much power at all. They were created by god to serve the men, in other words, ‘go make me a sandwich’. They were always stated as a man’s woman. A woman must never be independent in their society. “In childhood a female is subject to her father. In youth a female is subject to her husband. When her lord is dead, she shall be subject to her sons.” This shows that the women had to always belong to a man in a way. She must do whatever she is told and the husband/father can punish or even kill the woman without being at fault.
Gods are just like humans. I think that the Greeks would come first. “Never has such a lust for goddess or mortal woman flooded my pounding heart and overwhelmed me so.” (Iliad pg. 380), Gods from Greece have human personalities; they feel love, anger, jealousy. It makes it easier for the people to connect and make them their idols. I mean, would you rather follow some God who was so different and you couldn’t relate to anything? Or would you rather have someone who could have theoretically gone through something that you might be going through. Gods weren’t some almighty creatures that were amazing and you must base your life on them. They were more of a topic of story, and something to think about. They were friendly creatures with powers. Greek people became more independent and started to civilize by themselves, working more actively. By working like that, Greece became the best civilization out of all three. Meanwhile, Mesopotamia seemed to have a nice thing going on, with them thinking that the goddess Ishtar making the mankind become more civilized. It would’ve been awesome if that really were the case. But the creation myth kind of brings all the civilized factors down. “The god Marduk defeated the first mother, the primordial goddess, and cut her in half to form Heaven and Earth: “He stilled himself to observe the corpse of Tiamat/ . . . He divided her like a shell- fish into two parts:/He threw one half to the heavens and called it the sky/ . . . he formed the firmament below.” (Enuma Elish) I think Mesopotamia is second because they believe Gods are their motivation to become civilized. Jews look at gods like the almighty idol. Which might be considered good, but considering how he punished Adam and Eve and their descendents for the small mistakes they made, he punished them as if they set a bomb over the whole world. All they did was eat an apple. “I will terribly sharpen your birth pangs, in pain shall you bear children. And for your man shall be your longing, and he shall rule over you” (Genesis page 13) The God makes very selfish rules – in my opinion. He causes a huge flood among all these people because they are bothering him. But then he says “no, wait, you give me food, so come back, cook for Me.” Then he makes one of his disciples, who trusts and lives for God, to kill his son. Sure, he stopped him right before, but still, was that a cruel trick to test how much people cared for him?
The men and women in the Iliad, the Genesis, and Gilgamesh, I think the Greeks were the best for moral goodness of nature, the body, and love. “Zeus who gathers the breasting clouds replied, ‘that is a journey you can make tomorrow. Now come, let’s go to bed…Never has such a lost for goddess or mortal woman flooded my pounding heart and overwhelmed me so.” (Spong pg 380) Zeus was praising how amazing Hera looked after she put the band between her breasts, the love potion, the braids and the body oil. “Not even then, when I made love to Ixion’s wife, who bore me Pirithous. rival to all the gods in wisdom … not when I loved Acrisius’ daughter Danae-s-marvelous anklesand Perseus sprang to life and excelled all men alive … not when I stormed Buropa, far-famed Phoenix’ daughter who bore me Minos and Rhadamanthys grand as gods … not even Semele, not even Alcmena queen of Thebes who bore me a son, that lionheart, that Heracles. and Semele bore Dionysus, ecstasy, joy to mankind…” (Spong pg 380) Even though Zeus is speaking of all these woman, Hera still goes on to sleep with him. They find that sex with many people is normal. I feel that Greeks express moral goodness of nature, the body, love much more than the Jews and Mesopotamians. As for the Mesopotamians, they still did have sex but not as much as the Greeks did. ‘There he is. Now, woman, make
your breasts bare, have no shame, do not delay but welcome his love. Let him see you naked, let him possess your body.’ (Spong: the coming of Enkidu) When it says ‘have no shame’ it makes me think. If he is telling her to have no shame, she must have used to have shame. So maybe women are more conservative then the Greeks. “And the eyes of the two were opened, and they knew they were naked, and they sewed fig leaves and made themselves loincloths…” (Spong page 12: genesis) Instead of having sex, and making love, they immediately covered themselves up and were embarrassed of their bodies. So I think that the Greeks were much more intact with nature, and love and their bodies.