Discussion 1: The Law Code of Hammurabi
Code of Hammurabi was drafted during the reign of King Hammurabi. It dates back in 1772 and it consisted of 282 laws which covered every aspect of the Babylonian people. The laws had prescribed punishments and its operation was largely influenced by a person’s social class. The laws were strictly enforced and their original copies were drafted on stones while small ones were in clay tablets. The most fundamental aspect of Hammurabi code is that it acts as a mirror capable of reflecting different practices and living styles of Babylonian people. The law first reveals that the Babylonian society was Patriarchal meaning every aspect of life was centered on a man although there were few privileges given to women. Secondly, the law points out the fact that Babylonian people believed in strict justice and their punishments were harsh. The punishments were very severe and they largely promoted deterrence. Thirdly, the society was divided into three classes and the slaves were much oppressed and discriminated against. Slaves were to exist at the mercies of the freemen (Bottero, 1992).
The laws in the Hammurabi code had retaliation punishments which were administered by the king and it was through mass observance. The punishment between a slave and a slave was different from a freeman and a noble. The punishments did not fit the offences since they were discriminatory in nature. The liability of a slave upon killing a fellow slave was death while the sentence would vary if a freeman murdered a slave. The sentences would only apply uniformly if both parties are members of the same social class. A murder of a slave by a freeman would be compensated by money while a murder of a freeman by a freeman was punished by death. The laws were not only discriminative but they were selective basing on the class. (McKenzie, 2000)
The Hammurabi code has notable differences and similarities which make it consistent and inconsistent with the modern law. The drafting of the laws on a stone formed the basis of the modern day written law. The code also covered all aspects of Babylonian people. That means that every relationship either commercial or social was regulated by the law. The modern day constitution is purely similar to the Code since it covers all the aspects of people’s lives in a country. The Hammurabi code had specific regulations to the Government and its officials. Similar regulations are also evident in modern constitutions whereby powers of the three wings of government are regulated. In addition, the modern day laws provide for the presumption of the accused as innocent till evidence proves otherwise. The principle of presumption of innocence is a modern day pillar in many legal systems. The code is also similar to the modern law in the sense that evidence was the only way to determine the innocent and the guilty. In the modern law such principle is equally embraced and the accused and the accusing are allowed to tender evidence before a judgment is reached. The summoning of witnesses just like it in the Hammurabi Code is done today (Bottero, 1992).
The modern laws differ with the Hammurabi Code in the sense that the nature of punishments administered seeks to create an environment whereby the guilty has an opportunity to reform. On the contrary the code advocated for a retaliation form of punishment. On the same footing, the law was discriminative since it favored the nobles and the freemen at the expense of the slaves. Modern law is free and uniform to all people in the country or any legal setting. The king would be law and everything he said was law which is different in the modern setting whereby head of the states are subjects of law (Plazy, 2001).
Discussion 2: Egyptology and Archaeology
The sacred nature of a tomb is a very important aspect of the people’s culture and it ought to be respected at all material times. Worth noting is the fact that exceptions should be created when such observance should be disregarded. If any excavation on the sacred site is to the benefit of the cultural group then it should be allowed without undue delay. The disturbance of the sacred site is to be compared with the outcomes of the excavation. In my opinion, the excavation of the sacred site would add to the frontiers of knowledge by providing an explanation to the history of Egypt unknown before. The knowledge finding does not destroy a sacred site since the disturbance talked about is a mind set. A cultural site can remain even after excavation. Basing on the reasoning here above I would not leave the tomb untouched and I would continue with the excavation (Sayre, 2012).
Pharaoh Akhenaten ruled Egypt about 3,500 years ago. He is remembered for staging up a religious revolution in Egypt during his rule. He presented himself in a very unique way compared with his predecessors. He made Egypt change from polytheism to monotheism during his reign. There are many theories which have been advance to explain his monotheism liking but it has remained clear that his reign focused on religion. Secondly, it was Queen Hatshepsut who reigned for twenty years and greatly accused of conniving to prevent men from inheriting the throne. In her reign she dressed like a man and she had many admirers. She was said to have given women a lot of privileges and rights which included ownership of property and competing with men in governmental positions (McKenzie, 2000).
Pharaoh Tutankhamen reigned in Egypt after the rule of Queen Hatshepsut. The kingdom was facing economic upheavals. The diplomatic relation between Egypt and other surrounding Kingdoms is said to have substantially deteriorated during the reign of Queen Hatshepsut. The main challenge of Pharaoh Tutankhamen was the fact that he had a lot of health complications which were attributed to his background since he is said to have been a product of incest. Due to his unhealthy state, it is said that he did not take part in battle fields. His strength was based on strong advisers that he had. He died at the age of nineteen. At the time of death he had made fundamental changes in the Egyptian economy. (McKenzie, 2000). If I had to choose between these Pharaohs, I am persuaded that Queen Hatshepsut reign saw restoration of women rights and they were also allowed to compete. She made women more confident and they largely displayed that by wearing men’s attires. I would therefore choose Hatshepsut.
Discussion 1: Tombs and Monuments
The tomb of Emperor Qin Shi Huangdi is found in the modern day China located at a place called Xian. The emperor was the first China’s ruler. Unlike the Egyptians who used to decorate the tomb with gold, He had a well designed tomb which looked like a battle field. Tomb robberies were very common in Egypt since information about the tomb would be easily accessed. The Emperors tomb was not easy to access since he killed every person he suspected to have information about its existence. He immediately killed his architect after finishing designing the tomb. It is further said that the laborers who constructed the tomb were killed. The secretive way in which the information about the tomb was kept is intriguing (Bottero, 1992).
On the other hand, the designing of the tomb was very unique from the Egyptian designs. He had two huge pyramids in the tomb and between them was a mercury flowing river. The mercury and other designs in the tomb were said to represent the things that he had seen in his lifetime. The tomb was also distinct due to the presence of terracotta warriors who were to protect the Emperor in the next life. The terra cotta soldiers were a unique feature which was not evident in the Egyptian tombs (Sayre, 2012).
I was intrigued by the sight of the terra cotta warriors which were designed to protect the Emperor in the life after death. In the simplest explanation, the worriers appeared ready for the battle just awaiting orders from the Emperor. The presence of terracotta clearly gives a leading hint on the size of the emperor’s army and the overall arrangement in battle (Sayre, 2012).
The Emperor’s tomb had a shrine which was made of gold. The belief in life after death is religious and the emperor had it in mind when he was constructing the tomb. It is crystal clear that the entire tomb and life after death notion is religious. However, there is a power element whereby the terracotta soldiers were to assist him in conquering his enemies in the spirit world. His ruling ambitions in the next life were evident in the designing of the tomb. He also had a bronze chariot in the tomb to protect him from enemies (Bottero, 1992).
Discussion 2: Representing Hindu and Buddhist Belief
Bhagavad Gita is a collection of Hindu scripture. It represents the Upanishad teachings. It has been said to be the conversations of Krishna. Many commentators state that it is the message from God and the scripture is highly respected in Hinduism. The excerpt on Gita being Gods Song means that the reliance on Gita by followers of Hinduism is very strong (Sayre, 2012).
Early believers of Buddhism distanced themselves from any form of display which would portray Buddha as having any form. This was grounded in the belief that Buddha was formless. A formless being could not be represented in a sculpture. They also believed that Buddha took a form of a ghost when talking to people. The ghost form that Buddha took resembled the audience he addressed (McKenzie, 2000)
A growing concern to have something absolute to meditate on was started by the Japan and China Buddha believers. Various sculptures were then designed to serve that purpose. The image of Sambhogakaya has been designed to represent Buddha. In the image of Sambhogakaya, Buddha is said to appear and talk to the believers. It is true to say that the image in the sculptures is not of Buddha since in their believe Buddha is formless (Bottero, 1992).
Discussion 3: Cultural Representations in Africa and the Americas
The diversity of African culture is an element that makes African cultures unique. However, in every African culture there is a common thread which unites the cultures. There are certain African cultures that cut across the continent and even extending outside the continent. The cultures may appear distinct through subjective test but there are basics which unite the cultures. First, African cultures are joined by the advocacy for communal instead of individualist living (Cohen, 2008). In many African cultures, communal living is highly encouraged. The regulations which govern the community are purely moral which must be strictly adhered to (Barnstone, 2003). The spiritual believe transcend the continent. For Instance, In West Africa, the belief in gods is practiced just like in South Africa and Egypt. The spiritual ties of the Africans and the observance of morals is a single thread that joins and unifies the African culture. It could be said that the spiritual believe of Africans differs in form of the mode of worship but it is clear that the culture is much joined by spiritual beliefs (McKenzie, 2000).
The noticeable similarities between the monuments to represent Sun god either in Mesoamerica , South America or Egypt is to the effect that they were used for astronomical observatories and specifically in the places of worship. In Egypt it was done on the pyramids similar to Mesoamerica. They would represent the rituals offered after the disappearance of the sun. During winter or eclipses that was common and it was to symbolize the absence of God (Plazy, 2001).
Discussion 1: Homeric Epics in Greek Culture
The Homeric literature was unique in its writing since it was plain and easy to understand. Some commentators have observed that the epic had entertaining feature only (Cohen, 2008). The development of a genre of poetry rather than ballad poetry was inspired by the Homeric style of writing poetry. There are many ideals that he advocated for which were later carried to different continents. Simplicity, clarity of expression are some of the ideals in Homeric’s poetry that would have shaped my identity (Bottero, 1992).
Discussion 2: Greek Legacy
The element of democracy being used to run affairs not only of the state but other organizations in the country was first witnessed in Greece. Athens was the pillar of democracy in Ancient Greece. The ideology of democracy is very evident in the American contemporary life. The relationships in the living styles of the people of Greece were regulated by law similar to the American contemporary life. The aspects of life influenced by the Ancient Greece in America are many. To start with, the English language has a lot of Greek borrowing. Secondly, the use of holistic treatment in medicine has its origin in the Greece. Thirdly, theatre and literature in America owes a great debt to Greece. Lastly, the use of science in understanding nature and treating diseases was first applied in the Ancient Greece (Plazy, 2001).
The spread of the Greek philosophy has been a great promoter of democracy across the Western civilization. The most widely used aspect of Greek philosophy is democracy. Many western states have embraced the notion of democracy in governance. The Olympics games have been made a world competition whereby winners are honored. The idea of honoring the athletes was first practiced in Athens. Many aspects of Ancient Greece have permeated in many western countries education systems. Timeless poetry, literature and Greek philosophy have been taught in different universities across the globe (Plazy, 2001).
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