Bookmark and Share



























Open the online Arabic language course







Sumer. Around 3500-2000 BCESumer. Around 3500-2000 BCE; Akkad. Ca. 2330-ca. 2220 BCESumer. Around 3500-2000 BCEAssyria. Ca. 1850-1760 BCEAssyria. Ca. 1850-1760 BCE; Babylonia. 1792-1595 BCEBabylonia. 1792-1595 BCEAssyria. Ca. 1350-610's BCEAssyria. Ca. 1350-610's BCE; Babylonia. 1120-539 BCEBabylonia. 1120-539 BCE


Mesopotamia /
Religions



Subs
Detailed articleGods and goddesses

Detailed articleSumerian
Detailed articleAkkadian
Detailed articleBabylonian and Assyrian
Detailed articleBabylonian
Detailed articleAssyrian

Detailed articleAmorite
Detailed articleKassite

Detailed articleZiggurat
The unique Mesopotamian temple.

The term Mesopotamian religions refer to the lands of Mesopotamia in ancient times, largely stretching from the 4th millennium until the middle of the 1st millennium BCE, altogether about 3,000 years.
Mesopotamian religions is a term mainly used for those religions that come from the Sumerian branch. Sumerian religion was the religion of ancient Sumer, the oldest civilization in history, emerging in the middle of the 4th millennium BCE. The structure and much of the organization and most of the pantheon survived well into Akkadian, then Babylonian and finally Assyrian religions.
There were other religions in Mesopotamia during the same period, most noteworthy is Amoritic religion. The Amorites were Semitics that took power in Mesopotamia, but their religion is not included in the category of Mesopotamian as it was in its main structures based upon non-Mesopotamian traditions.
Common characteristics of Mesopotamian religion was a strong link between political power and temple cults. Temples were of great importance to cities, in many cases a temple was almost like the administrative centre of a communist state, administering everything from the military to agriculture. Deities were usually anthropomorphic, they belonged to families, their powers may have been tremendous but they were never omnipotent. Deities often intervened in the human world, and humans could be agents for the will and plans of the gods.
Mesopotamian religions were not limited to Mesopotamia, cults would be exported to the larger Middle East. In some cases gods kept their names, in other cases gods and cults were modified. Mesopotamian religion can clearly be stated to have been of major importance to the development of Middle Eastern religions, including Judaism and Christianity. There were many similarities between Mesopotamian religion and Ancient Egyptian religion, but in most cases these two systems developed independently.





Confused? Try to find a good place to start learning about Mesopotamia in
Where to begin?Detailed article






By Tore Kjeilen