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Human Suffering in Ancient Civilizations Suffering is a facet of life that all cultures must learn to deal with Whether it is religion or mythology humans must find a way to explain suffering and more importantly death Death is the single most unifying aspect of all cultures after all it doesnt discriminate Ancient civilizations such as the Babylonians Hebrews and Greeks all had different mythology to explain the reasons behind suffering and death but all of it is fundamentally the same When life seems too harsh and unhappy society will create a way to welcome death This is true throughout the entire history of civilization even today However in ancient times it was much easier for the people to swallow because it also provided an explanation for all the unexplainable that occurred around them all the time The concept of divine intervention seems to pervade Mesopotamian culture when concerning suffering and death In Lament for Ur the God Enlil punishes the city of Ur by summoning a hurricane that ravages the town until the people lay in heaps This idea of divine intervention explaining the suffering brought on by a hurricane is the only way their ancient culture had of dealing with the random nature of such an event Since there was no way of predicting a hurricane it had to be an act of an angry and vengeful God A view of pessimism resulted from the way Mesopotamia viewed suffering If there was nothing that could be done to predict it if no god can be prayed to for assistance then how can one have an optimistic view of life In Mesopotamian Wisdom Literature the author conveys his frustration to the Gods What is good for oneself may be offense to ones GodWhat in ones heart seems despicable may be proper to ones God he bemoans his pessimism towards the gods and life in general a direct result of the
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