Early Societies-Readings

Here are the links for the Chapter 2 Readings.  This assignment is due on Thursday, August 17 at the beginning of the class period.

Epic Of Gilgamesh

1. In the prologue, Gilgamesh is portrayed as a king-tyrant, but later he becomes a king-hero. According to this, how was a king supposed to behave in Sumerian culture?


2. How would you describe the political organization of the city of Uruk?


3. What roles do women play in the story? What do their representations suggest about the significance of women in this ancient culture?


4. How is nature depicted? Is the setting of the epic a safe and peaceful place, or dangerous and chaotic?


5. Why does the flood happen? Why is Utnapishtim saved?

6. How is death regarded in the epic? How do humans come to terms with death?


7. What is the purpose of this story?


Code of Hammurabi

  1. What is the main purpose of laws? Should they promote good behavior or punish bad behavior?
  2. Do all communities need a system of laws to guide them?
  3. What influence does social class have on the punishments for the crimes in the code?
  4. What areas of life did the code cover? Choose one law and explain its importance and significance to society.
  5. In your opinion, list three of Hammurabi’s laws that are too extreme/harsh for society. Why?