The People of Sumer

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NationsReborn
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After a bit of a delay, we are visiting today the people of Sumer so without further ado, let's get going:

In the land between ("Meso") the Tigris and Euphrates rivers ("Potamia") lays an endless sea of sand. But if one would look closer he would find a land dotted with ancient, prospering cities going on with their lives in this harsh environment which served as the birthplace of civilisation.

As you decide to explore the cities in the south, in a land known to foreigners as 'Sumer' and to the natives as 'the place of the noble lords' you'll find a region filled with farmers working their fields and nomads tending to their herds. The Tigris and Euphrates are not simple to work with and can be unpredictable at times, it is hard to ignore the massive amount of slaves working on the dams and farms to sustain those prospering cities.

The road to the city is filled with bustling merchants on their carts, as you listen you can hear them complaining about the traffic to the city, discussing the rise of grain prices or the fall in imports. As you come closer to the city you are taken by the sight of its large walls and even larger buildings, you ask one of the merchants on the nature of those large buildings, he explains that those are the Ziggurat and the Palace, the two civic centres of the city.

As you get closer to the city's gate, you cannot help but notice the large army marching on. "One people, different nations" the merchant explain, "While we speak the same tongue and follow the same gods, each city has its own Lugal (King), and its own God-Protector". You thank him and move on to the city.

As you walk the streets you are overwhelmed by the pure beauty of the city. You can feel that art truly is the essence of the people's live. Musicians playing the lyre, drawings on the pottery, for the common man art follows him from the carving on his bed to the design of his clothes and up to the delicate artwork on his personal dagger. Truly one cannot understand the spirit of this place without understanding how essential art is to it.

But as you come closer to the centre of the city, you can see with your eyes the deep civic conflict going on. You see the Ziggurat, a great temple to honour the gods. Its head, the high priest, used to be the supreme ruler of the city, but as time went on a new challenger to the throne rose. Kings, usually former supreme generals or wealthy landlords which took to the practice of "holy procreating" with former high priestess to bring to the world an heir with claims of both mortal power from their fathers and divine power from their mothers. In the end, those Kings would be victorious and the high priests would be confined to solely to their religious role.

As you enter the Ziggurat it is easy to see why the people of the city worship their gods. The Sumerian Deities, chief among them is Anu the supreme ruler of the heavens, were unpredictable in nature just like the lives of the people who worshipped them. But just like the Tigris and Euphrates, even if they were unpredictable they were still the life source of the people, bringing the joy of worship and cosmic protection to the people of Sumer.

The people of Sumer gave us many things, from the presumption of Innocent to writing and the wheel. But sadly the story of Sumer is a tragic one, those once peaceful merchants we met at the beginning came mostly from the Semitic people of the North, namely the Akkadians, who would soon unify under the banner of the Sargon of Akkad forming the Akkadian Empire. After a series of droughts, the authority of both the Kings and the Priests would be heavily damaged and a great population decline would come afterwards. Eventually, the cities of Sumer would fall victim to the Akkadian Empire's conquest and would see their greatest city - Ur, brought under the Akkadian banner around 2000 BC. While the people of Sumer would later regain independence and even experience a golden age dubbed "The Sumerian Renaissance", by that time they would be much more Semitic rather than Sumerian. So much so that sadly we consider the Akkadian conquest to be the final nail in the Sumerian coffin.

And with that, we conclude this small show of the people of Sumer. I hope you are pleased with my delivery and I would love to hear your feedback! Especially on the style, do you prefer it story-like as I do it now, or do you prefer it to be more informative? Of course, I would also like to know if there are more aspects you wish me to cover on Sumer and/or which culture should we visit next?

Until next time,
NationsReborn
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DoubleD
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Thank you for the very thoughtful share. Sumerian culture is my passion and the gods my pantheon so I can really appreciate the thought that went into this. The Sumerians were interesting in many many ways. I tend to follow the teachings of Stichin and the Anunnaki. The Sumerians brought us everything we have today, contracts, writing, money being exchanged, marriage, divorce, all of it. Their remains also show signs of a sort of Nuclear war happening in the past, as if an alien war broke out and wiped them out.

They came and went too fast for it to be purely a conquer by another set of individuals, some wiped out yes, but still just too many unsolved mysteries about their growth and their disappearance. I would love to go see what is left of their temples, touch the earth etc. But well Iraq is not a place for me.

I look forward to more shares on this subject. Thanks for posting this.
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Nefer
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Great post. I did't know too much about this civilization. I like the story telling. You really painted a picture in my mind. I also do enjoy more of an informative approach. Is there any way you can combine the two. Like, first paint the picture with a background story like setting to paint a picture in our minds and then take on a more informative approach? Also I vote for Egypt next. My answer still remains Egypt like last time you asked :devilgrin: I was Egyptian in a past life and love to read about it. I love to learn anything I can about Egyptian culture. That is an ancient civilization that just fascinates me to the fullest. I can't ever get enough of it :) I would be very grateful if you make Egypt the next Topic of discussion. Please and if you do thank you :)
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DoubleD
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Nefer

There is a lot of great info out there on the Sumerians, but remember that there are only about 6 people that can decipher Cuniform, the last one being Sitchih himself. I do think that Josha Free has done a great job researching this culture so I would recommend his books.

This civilization is way to complex to dissect in a singe post, they were a complex culture with many ties to our past. Lots of books out there, start with one and see where it takes you..
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Nefer
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DoubleD wrote:Nefer

There is a lot of great info out there on the Sumerians, but remember that there are only about 6 people that can decipher Cuniform, the last one being Sitchih himself. I do think that Josha Free has done a great job researching this culture so I would recommend his books.

This civilization is way to complex to dissect in a singe post, they were a complex culture with many ties to our past. Lots of books out there, start with one and see where it takes you..
Josha Free . Ok I will search for some books. Thank you DD :)
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DoubleD
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Nef, He is a good researcher and writer, albeit a tad bit arrogant. Just look past that. there are also some great youtube videos of Sitchin explaining the Sumerians in great detail. I love that guy so much such a humble little man and so friggin smart.

I also love Egyptian stuff and work with both Anubis and Horus regularly, or by work I should say that I worship them regularly. Both cultures fascinate me. If you have items to share on Egypt, by all means please share.
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ChatHound
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Great post. :) And the story-telling aspect is refreshing!

DoubleD, I'm with on on Sitchin and Free. I'm interested, though, to find out your take on things. I've heard a lot of associations of Enki to Lucifer and Enlil to Satan. Some folks don't like to mix pantheons, but there are very close ties to them with those two brothers. I do find it encouraging to think that the Sumerian deities were physical beings and that they may be returning (if not from some other place, then in power to right some of the injustices that are being inflicted on both Earth and her inhabitants.
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DoubleD
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@CH:

Yes there are many parallels yes. Most people don't like to mix pantheons for whatever reason but I can see how easy it is to show the evolution of beings. Gods of the old become demons of the new cultures. Marduk has been tied with Ra and Moullouk. I don't honestly have an issue keeping an open mind to this possibility but what I can say working so heavily in the Sumerian Pantheon that Marduk and Enki feel vastly different than Satan and Lucifer. Okay i must admit, Lucifer is who I have experienced, not Satan. but you get my point.

So is it possible that over time these beings have evolved to maintain multiple personalities and energies? Maybe.

for me the differences between the gods I work heavily with and demon gods is pretty profound, their presence is felt in a very different manner and many are closer to our dimension than others.

I think there are other topics on the forum about this as well but it certainly sparks hot debate.
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