Over time and throughout the world there have always been different views on what “god” is and who the different gods were or whom different people saw as “gods”. Over time there are been several different religions ranging from worshiping one god to worshiping many gods. In ancient Mesopotamia the culture worshiped many gods, in fact they worshiped up to two thousand different gods. The main writing of this time was The Epic of Gilgamesh. This writing was the story of how the gods interacted with the humans and the relationship they had with them. Gilgamesh the main character in the story was on a mission to find immortality.
He was envious of the gods for having this ability and he did not. Through out the writing we will see how the Mesopotamians saw the concept of the gods and what relationships the gods had with humans. To start, the Mesopotamians believed that there were several gods. They believed that there were gods to control emotions, weather, and actions. All of these gods had a different purpose and were worshiped when humans needed a certain event or thing to happen. The people believed that if the gods were happy they would help you prosper and have an easy life, but if you went against them bad things would happen to you.
In The Epic of Gilgamesh, Gilgamesh was offered the life of a king by a female god. She said that if he was with her he would live an amazing life of pleasure being waited on hand and foot. Gilgamesh ended up turning down this offer and ultimately suffered the Luken 2 consequences. Unlike Gilgamesh it was most peoples goal to ultimately make the gods happy and keep them on their good side so that they would be rewarded not punished. In the Mesopotamian times people thought to have developed relationships with the gods. These relationships were always meant to be good ones in order to received blessing from them.
The gods were said to act immature and childish if they did not get their way, therefore humans did not want to bring this emotion out in them. In The Epic of Gilgamesh was given a friend Enkidu. Enkidu was brought into Gilgamesh’s life by the gods as in order to correct his terrible habits that he participated in while being king. Gilgamesh was known for raping women and abusing humans. Being two-thirds god and one-third human Gilgamesh saw himself as above humans but not yet as high as a god. When Gilgamesh met Enkidu they ended up becoming great friends. When the gods learned of their friendship they killed Enkidu by disease.
After Enkidu’s death Gilgamesh was deeply saddened and went on a venture in order to find immorality just as the full gods possessed. The gods had direct relationships with the humans, but they always wanted them to see that they ultimately had all of the control over them. Gods could give what they pleased and take it just as fast. Gilgamesh was on a mission to become immortal as the gods and reach an even playing field with them. He sought out his goal and found that there was no way that a human could ever fully become a god. The line between the two would always stand.
The only way he could reach his immortality would be through a plant that could continue to return him to youth, but would never make his life completely immortal. As always the gods had to have their hand in Gilgamesh’s life. They could not let him out Luken 3 with them. The gods had a snake steal the plant before Gilgamesh could return to his kingdom to bring himself and the elder’s youth again. The gods had to make it clear to Gilgamesh that he was part human and they were the gods and if he did not follow as told he would not be blessed, but would be punished for his actions.
All in all, the Mesopotamians believed that there were may gods and there was a god for each part of life. Humans did have a direct relationship with gods, they were not just worshiped, but they were interacted with. The Epic of Gilgamesh showed that humans and gods were mixed within people, but there was still a line between full gods and the power that they possessed. Gods did interact with the humans to a point of mating with them and creating children such as Gilgamesh who were part god and part human. The Mesopotamians loved their gods, and had a quite interesting relationship with them.