The most complex of Mesopotamia's institutions was probably Hammurabi's written legal code, the first in recorded history. In addition to this, several other Mesopotamian institutions, from a government bureaucracy to a system of welfare designed to alleviate famine, were important in the history of civilization.Continue Reading
Mesopotamia was among the first places where humans gathered to live in large cities. This led to a number of new problems, such as how to provide food to everyone, how to defend against enemies, and how to determine who gives the orders. In small villages, everyone grew crops or fished, everyone fought marauders and the leader was chosen more or less democratically or by heredity. In cities, it proved more effective to have a king who ran a bureaucracy of skilled administrators. With different cultures mingling in these growing cities, cultural norms were displaced or formalized by legal codes that everyone could understand and abide by. These codes were soon written down. Legal codes led to a court system to enforce them, and to a police force to ensure the court's rulings were enforced.
The government in Mesopotamia quickly found more problems that needed redress. Flooding led to a public works program in which citizens donated work to build dikes. Soon the government officials realized that it would be more efficient to pay specialists to build these and similar structures, so instead of requiring labor, they created a system of taxation that also enriched the king, tax collectors and priests. A larger populace made an educational system necessary, and educated citizens wanted libraries. As Mesopotamian cities grew in size, a complex civilization developed around them.Learn more about Ancient Greece
Some of civilization's first cities were founded by the Sumerian people in Mesopotamia, which is located in the valley between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers. In Mesopotamia, women were wives and mothers and took care of household duties. Men were trained from an early age for specialized jobs such as masons, musicians, builders or politicians. Big events such as weddings were celebrated with parties and festivals.Full Answer >
Several factors played a part in the development of early civilizations in Mesopotamia, but the most important factor was its location. Mesopotamia is situated between two very fertile rivers, which allowed agriculture to expand for the first time in human history.Full Answer >
Some interesting facts about Mesopotamia include the meaning of the word Mesopotamia, the numerous countries that made up Mesopotamia and the region's use of money. "Mesopotamia" literally means "the land between two rivers." The modern names for the rivers that bounded Mesopotamia are the Tigris and Euphrates.Full Answer >
The primary jobs in the ancient civilization of Mesopotamia were based on the agrarian nature of the society. Most Mesopotamian citizens raised and tended crops or livestock. There were also other jobs available, such as weavers, artisans, healers, teachers, and priests or priestesses.Full Answer >