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Discussion 1 relates to religious, ethical, and legal considerations in the earliest Western civilizations in Egypt, Mesopotamia, and among the ancient Hebrews.
Primary Source Readings and Discussion for Unit One (60 points):
Read Spielvogel (our course textbook) Chapters 1 and 2 and:
The â€œNegative Confessionâ€ from the Egyptian Book of the Dead:
Read from the Code of Hammurabi laws 134-148 and 172-232 at:
Read Genesis, chapters 1, 2, and 3 at:
Initial Response Phase
For the initial response phase of the discussion board, due 1/12/2018, please post initial answers to three of the questions below.
Questions addressing factual issues only are highlighted in bold print (#1, 2, 3). Answer no more than one of the questions in bold print for credit. Questions dealing with primary source material are not highlighted in bold print. Answer two primary source questions, each dealing with a different source document (Questions 4-5 relate to The Book of the Dead, questions 6-9 relate to The Code of Hammurabi, and questions 10-14 relate to Genesis). No credit will be given for a second answer to a question in bold print, or to a second answer dealing exclusively with the same primary source document you have already addressed.
Three Initial Posts (10 points each). Only one answer to a bold print question (based on the textbook) and one each to two different primary source documents (not bold).Â These submissions should be approximately two to three paragraphs in length.
For the replies phase of the discussion board, due 1/19/2018, please post at least two responses to other student’s comments and reply to the follow-up question that your instructor posted to one of your initial responses. Locate the question or answer that you wish to respond to, click “Reply”, write an answer, and then click “Submit” to post a response. Responses to other studentâ€s answers should move the discussion forward with an alternate interpretation or tactfully indicate disagreement with some aspect of it.
Two Reply Posts (10 points each). Responses to another student’s initial answer, click on “reply” within the bottom portion of the student’s post.Â Students may not reply to a question that they completed an initial answer to (for instance, if you replied to question 6 you should also not respond to a student in that same thread).Â To completely reply to another student, at least a full paragraph is needed.
One Reply Post to Instructor’s Follow-up (10 points); the instructor will post an original follow-up question to one of each student’s initial answers.Â Same as an initial, two to three paragraphs.
1. Please assess the geographical conditions that allowed the Mesopotamians and Egyptians to be so successful. What impact did these features have on their culture/civilization?
2. What are two similarities between the religions of ancient Egypt and ancient Mesopotamia?Â What is one way in which they were different?
3. Please assess the similarities and differences between the religions of Mesopotamia and Egypt and the religion of the Hebrews. What were the major features the religion of the Hebrews that differentiated it from those of ancient Egypt and Mespotomia?
4. As demonstrated in the negative confession in the Egyptian Book of the Dead, ancient Egyptians had a clear ethical system. What are some of the actions that a righteous person must not commit? By implication, what are some of the actions that a righteous person should do?Â What flaws do you see in their system?
5. In what ways do Egyptian ideas of right and wrong seem similar to our traditional ideas of right and wrong? In what ways are Egyptian ideas of right and wrong different from our traditional ideas?
6. The Code of Hammurabi has several clearly delineated social classes who have defined rights and duties. What does the Code of Hammurabi tell you about the importance of social class in ancient Babylon? Is there a balance between rights and duties, i.e. those with more rights have more duties, or does the system seem arbitrary or preferential in assigning rights and duties?
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