HAA 0165 Gods And Kings: Art In Ancient Mesopotamia

Mesopotamia¿ is the land between the two rivers (the Tigris and Euphrates) in modern-day Iraq. Between 3,200 BCE and 323 BCE, the region was home to the first cities, to temples that housed the gods, and to palaces adorned with the finest materials that kings could provide. Over its 3,000-year history, ancient Mesopotamia experienced many religious and political upheavals. So did its art. This course surveys the history of Mesopotamian art in relation to changes in religion and politics. We will analyze how rulers used art to establish and communicate their relationship with the gods ¿ or to become gods themselves. We will discover how changes in royal ideology and religious beliefs spurred changes in the forms and functions of art. Finally, we will study how ancient Mesopotamian art and culture has been a source of pride and contention for modern Iraqi rulers and spiritual leaders.

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