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The Comparison of Mesoamerican and Greek Cosmovision Compare and Contrast Essay


Cosmovision can be defined as the specific view of the world construction and world ruling principles with the focus on the connection between space and time, cosmos and humans. In spite of the fact that people focus on the same elements of time and space in their discussion of the cosmos, cosmovision as the unique understanding of the world is different in cultures of such peoples as the Mesoamericans and Greeks.

The Mesoamericans created the specific system to understand the relations between the world and people where the cosmos was presented in three levels which were described as the overworld, the middleworld, and the underworld. The levels were closely interconnected, and all of them were presented in the daily life of the Mesoamerican people.

Thus, the world of men and the world of the dead were connected with the help of giant trees. Furthermore, different temples such as pyramids and temples in Palenque served to unite the overworld, the middleworld, and the underworld (Kelley and Milone 354).

This vision of the space was closely associated with the vision of the human body in the world’s development. The human body also was connected with the sacred forces of the overworld, and the human head, heart, and liver were the centers to reflect the forces of the three worlds.

The fact that the human body was the nucleus on the Earth also explained the vision of the Mesoamerican people related to time. There were three types of times: the human time, the time before the gods, and the time of the gods (Kelley and Milone 356).

The human body served as the nucleus because all these times were interconnected, and humans lived in the space filled with the supernatural forces associated with different times. That is why, the Mesoamerican people used calendars in order to fix the important cycles of three different time periods.

Cosmovision of Greeks was also based on the idea of the obvious connections between time and space. Greeks believed that the world was divided into the world of gods and the world of humans. Some gods also controlled the world of the dead. The world was created by gods or by Demiurge, the superior god creature, out of the chaos.

The world of gods and supernatural forces was inhabited with Zeus as a ruler, with the Titans, with the Giants, and with other gods from the Olympus as the place where gods lived to control the humans’ lives (Kelley and Milone 71).

The world of humans was opposed to the world of gods, but these worlds were also interconnected as the worlds of the Mesoamerican people because all the natural events and the aspects of the people’s daily activities were explained from the point of the gods’ impact.

Greeks divided the time into the period of the chaos, the period of gods and heroes, and the period of humans. The world of humans was discussed as a result of combining the elements of the Earth, Water, Air and Fire (Kelley and Milone 68).

To understand the principles of the changes in the day and night, Greeks also focused on studying the circular motion of planets and the sun. This knowledge became the basis for understanding the concept of time.

Referring to the discussed points, it is possible to note that the elements of cosmovision in Mesoamerica and Greece are similar when the interpretation of their relations and role for the humans and world’s development is different.

Works Cited

Kelley, David, and Eugene Milone. Exploring Ancient Skies: A Survey of Ancient and Cultural Astronomy. New York, NY: Springer Science & Business Media, 2011. Print.

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IvyPanda. (2019) 'The Comparison of Mesoamerican and Greek Cosmovision'. 23 June.

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