Essay Example on Venus of Willendorf Made of limestone the faceless rotund statue

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Venus of Willendorf Made of limestone the faceless rotund statue with a distended stomach and full breasts is a figurine that was used to symbolically represent fertility and the creative power of nature This mythological figure appeared during the Upper Paleolithic time period and may have been used during religious ceremonies in order to ensure the reproduction of the tribe as well as a bountiful food supply This mother goddess seemed to be popular around southeastern Europe with about thirty thousand sculptures made of bone stone gold copper and marble being uncovered at about three thousand sites This figure is important because it tells us the types of materials that may have been used by artisans of that time as well as giving us insight to their religious practices Mesopotamia Located between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers is a valley that is known as the Fertile Crescent The Greek word Mesopotamia which means between two rivers became the place where Western civilization arose It was during the Neolithic Revolution that made cities possible Bronze production baking bread in ovens making glass and wine became common in Mesopotamia and Egypt during this time Writing was the hallmark of this period as well with Egyptians putting words on papyrus 



Three cultures flourished for fifteen hundred years during this time namely the Sumerians Akkadians and Babylonians Sargon Believed to the first and greatest Akkadian ruler Sargon was born of lowly origins and abandoned at birth in the reeds much like the Hebrew leader Moses Sargon conquered the Sumerians and incorporated Sumerian culture into his own Akkadian culture creating a sort of hybrid culture that expanded beyond the Tigris and Euphrates valley In his old age the lands that he conquered revolted against him They besieged him in Akkad but Sargon marched against them and defeated them From twenty fourth B C to twenty three B C Sargon was known for his conquests and was known for being the first to successfully control the Mesopotamia region Akhenaten Egypt was known for its polytheistic worship Often Egyptian subjects would worship the Pharaoh but it wasn't uncommon for the Pharaoh to venerate any deity he pleased Akhenaten attempted to reshape Egypts royal religion by elevating Aten god of sun disk to supremacy above the other gods It was Akhenaten's desire to shift from a polytheistic worship to a more monotheistic worship without necessarily denying the existence of other gods This is also known as henotheism Assyrians The first people to rule Egypt and Mesopotamia were the Assyrians They were known for their cruelty and militarism 



The Assyrians would conquer an area and then deport many of the people that they did not kill or enslave They used iron weapons and a swift moving calvary as opposed to chariots in order to ensure their victories Their cities were built as fortresses and the temples they constructed for their gods were large and adorned It is believed that the Assyrians would have ruled for centuries however they were quickly defeated by the Medes and Neo Babylonians in 612 BCE Sparta Playing a subsequent role in Greek history Sparta became known for its stringent and uncompromising policies Sparta would enslave its neighbors making them state slaves because of land restrictions and population growth The Helots or state slaves outnumbered the Spartans ten to one so in order to keep them from rebelling the Spartans would keep their military on full alert Sparta's military consisted of males that were trained from youth to be brave and skilled Unique to that time and amongst the Athenians Spartan women were able to own land and manage their own property Compared to Athenian women which were kept indoors mostly Spartan women seemed to have a bit more liberty and were expected to marry and spend their time outside the home Muse Also known as the nine goddesses of artistic interpretation was believed to give the Greeks their creativity Religious beliefs was a very important part of Greek life and history It was from out of these beliefs came the muses Poetry both epic erotic and lyric was attributed to the muses as well as dance song comedy astronomy tragedy history and sacred hymn Homer

From the Archaic age there came a bard who would sing his verses with a stringed instrument known as a lyre Homer was extremely influential with his poetry because it was well crafted and appealed to all social levels While very little is known about Homer himself his epic poems the Iliad and the Odyssey had a great impact on Western Culture Dionysus god of wine or god of the vine The Greeks attributed irrational emotional and uncontrolled aspects of human nature to the god Dionysus In an effort to be reinvigorated and born again Dionysus worshippers would dance wildly and consume wine In Athens Dionysus followers would hold annual ceremonies honoring and celebrating his powers as god of the vine Thales A materialist that believed that everything in the universe was made of matter in particular water Even though from the standpoint of modern science he and was incorrect in his thinking the belief in rationality determined the direction of speculative thought and initiated the steps that led to physics chemistry botany etc While others found satisfactory explanations for natural events in religion Thales was one of the first to question divine explanations


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