Mediterranean civilization largely entailed interaction of various cultures around the region around the Mediterranean Sea. This sea served as center for cultural exchange, trade as well as transport among communities of diverse cultures.
it can be argued that the ancient Mediterranean communities were solely responsible for the entire course of civilization that took place in this region.
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The Mediterranean’s were responsible for their actions as a result of the code of laws. For instance, the first code of law dictated that an individual who snared at another individual with any proof of his action will be punished by death. This code of ethics made the ancient Mediterranean people to be responsible for their own actions (Kishlansky 78).
Furthermore, the ancient Mediterranean communities lost their possessions as a result of the second code of law which dictated that if one accuses an individual, the accused is likely to lose his house in case he sinks into the river. Using this second code of law, it can be argued that the ancient Mediterranean were responsible for their actions as there were no better systems of justice to persecute an individual. The elders were used to persecute individuals and there was no justice at all.
Every individual was made to be responsible for his or her actions. For instance, based on the third code of law, any person who accused another but lacked sufficient proof was put to death by the elders. However in cases whereby the accuser was able to provided sufficient proof against the accused, he or she was compensated either by money or grain. Therefore, in this situation both the accused and the accuser were responsible for their actions.
In addition, judges were also made to be responsible for their actions. For instance, in dealing with the cases that were brought before them, they were not expected to make any error. In cases where they made mistakes and a misjudgment occurred as a result of the fault, the judges were also responsible for their actions as they were expected to pay twelve times the amount that was set by the court on that particular case. In addition, the judges faced expulsion from the bench and they were never allowed to serve as judges again.
In guarding the religious property, individuals who stole from the temple faced death. Moreover people who were found to be in possession of stolen property from the temple also faced prosecution by being sentenced to death.
In addition, if one stole any cattle or sheep that was considered to be belonging to the gods, the person was likely to pay thirtyfold of the stolen property. But if the property belonged to the king or a common man, the person was forced to pay ten times the actual amount. In cases whereby individual lacked any wealth and was unable to pay, he or she was punished by death.
In exchange of property, the merchant, buyer and the owner of the property were all responsible for their actions. For instance, if an individual had lost a property and the same property was found to be in possession of another person yet the buyer bought the said property in front of a witness, the merchant would face death sentence as a result of this.
On the other hand, if the owner failed to bring a witness to identify the alleged stolen property, death sentence was issued to the owner. Therefore, the Hammurabi’s code of laws made people in the ancient Mediterranean to be responsible for their actions, the owners, the thieves, the merchants and judges among others were all responsible for their actions.
Despite the Hammurabi’s code of laws which believed that every person was responsible for is or her actions, to some extent, people believed that human and natural events were controlled by divine agents.
For instance, ancient Egyptian beliefs and practices entailed polytheistic beliefs and rituals that were so complex. Additionally, there were myths about gods that offered explanations of the behavior and origin of each element that they represented. Therefore, the Egyptian society worked towards pleasing these gods with the aim of receiving favors (Rodney 23).
The societies further believed that leadership came from god. For instance the Egyptians believed that even though pharaoh was in form of human being, he was a gift from heaven. Therefore, he was given the responsibility of acting as a mediator between the gods and the people. In addition, he had the role of sustaining the gods by universe. Hence, government of the day used the resources to ensure that rituals were performed and places of worship constructed (Kishlansky 78).
Due to the fact that people believed that gods gave health and were also responsible for different forms of punishment, they offered sacrifices and offerings in addition to interacting with the gods for personal gains. Furthermore, people in the ancient Mediterranean believed that the nature was as a result of divine agents and this included elements such as abstract forces or characteristics of animals (Schneider 45).
Finally, people believed that religion solved most of their problems in addition to solving mysteries in the physical world. Religious agents also provided man with skills in various fields, long life and good harvests among other forms of blessings. Therefore, every occurrence in the world was linked to religious elements.
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Kishlansky, Mark. et al. Civilization in the West: Penguin Academic Edition. Boston: Pearson Education, 2009.
Rodney, Walter. Africa in the Americas and Europe, Cambridge History of Africa, 4(1986): 230-278.
Schneider, Laurie. Penguin Custom Editions, the Western World. New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 2006.