If there was ever a debate on which civilization was greater; The Mesopotamians, the Ancient Greeks or the Early Jews, the views on women, God(s), and the body and love would have to be considered.
Views on Women
The society in Ancient Greece viewed women as less powerful than the males. In the Iliad, Hera needed the help of two other gods to distract / seduce Zeus. The fact that she had to seduce him to make him look away from the war shows that she wasn’t powerful enough to make a significant difference if she took a side in the war.
The story of Genesis (which is the first book in the Torah) says that women were made to help / serve men, and that they were created from and for men. God also created them for man AFTER all the cattle and wild beasts. Towards the end of the time in the Garden of Eden, woman is tempted by the snake to eat the apple, and in turn tempts man to eat the forbidden apple. Because of woman, God threw humans out of the paradise.
In ancient Mesopotamia, if GilgameshIN shows how they acted and what they believed, women were honored and trusted even by the king. They were made priestesses, and because of this were viewed to be next to the gods. Women in this society were given more respect than in ancient Greece and with the early Jews.
Views on God
In Genesis, with the early Jews, God was an all loving all caring God. He had created man and gave him domain over all animals, and once that wasn’t enough, created a partner for man. However, once humans had disobeyed his one law; “don’t eat the fruit from the tree of knowledge”, then he became wrathful and expelled them from paradise. In fairness to God, he only had one rule to follow, and man still found a way to break it. So maybe he had some right to be angry.
In Mesopotamia, humans were created to serve the gods. However, it wasn’t as bad as it sounds; they believed that Uruk (the first walled city) was created (indirectly) by the gods. They also had woman as priestesses, and through sex, believed they were closer to the gods.
With the Ancient Greeks, gods were feared and revered at the same time. Mood on the gods differed from city-state to city-state. If the god(s) took your side in a war, then you loved them and sent offerings / sacrifices to them regularly. However, if the gods were against you in a war…… then you had a major problem. Though even the gods didn’t take the same side for every war; in the Trojan war, there was a split between the gods. However, both city-states still worshiped all the gods. Even if they worshiped the ones who helped them a bit more.
Views on Body, Nature and Love
In Mesopotamia, the body and love were considered religious, and were celebrated. They considered sex as a way to get closer to the gods, even in Gilgamesh, sex civilized Enkidu and destroyed his wild, untamed side. In this way, sex was used to make the wild less…. wild.
In ancient Greece, the body and love were used as a sign of love and as a tool for seduction. Hera used the power of love / sex to make Zeus distracted, if the Ancient greeks saw this behavior from their gods, them they must think that it isn’t bad and they don’t frown upon it.
With the early Jews, God had thrown humans out of paradise because the became aware of the fact that they were naked. This may show that they think that we should be ashamed of the body and that God created ignorance for bliss.
In the end, I believe that the Mesopotamians would be the better civilization because they had better treatment of women, more respect for the gods, and they treated sex and the body maturely and didn’t consider it dirty and sinful, and they used it less maliciously than the Greeks.