Egypt and the Shang-Zhou Dynasty were both powerful and influential civilization who faced similar ideas in their government, and defense strategies, but differed when it came to cultural rituals, and the use of natural resources.
A solid form of government is essential to any civilization, and although Egypt and Shang-Zhou were both successful, they both used different and similar methods to conform to their religious and social standards.
Egypt used a Pharaoh as their king, which they claim the pharaoh was sent from a god in order to maintain ma’at, the distinctive order of the universe. On the contrary, the Shang- Zhou Dynasty followed their own theory of the Mandate of Heaven. The Mandate of Heaven served as a foundation for the Chinese government for three thousand years, and was used when a ruler had neglected his duties such as dishonoring gods, expressing tyranny, or ignoring warning signs of disasters; heaven could remover this “mandate” and put it in the possession of a more worthy ruler or family.
After a ruler has fulfilled their duties and depart the physical world, both Egypt and the Shang-Zhou dynasty honor them in every way possible, however both have separate rituals and beliefs in how they should be honored. In Egypt, the Pharaoh is built a remarkable pyramid in which their body is mummified, and buried deep down in the structure. During the Shang-Zhou Dynasty, the royal family and the elite families were not buried in a pyramid, but rather in tombs with many of possessions they might need in the afterlife.
To run a successful government, there has to be order and record keeping to keep from conflict and having all property, belongings, etc. needs to be officially stated. The Egyptians developed their own writing, known as hieroglyphics, on papyrus to records all their statements. Instead of hieroglyphics and papyrus, the Shang-Zhou also developed their own writing of symbols which they wrote on oracle bones to keep order in their society. A significant connection between the two is that both civilizations were a theocracy because they both believed that their leader was divine and the closest to God. Both Egypt and the Shang-Zhou Dynasty shared the idea of charging taxes in exchange for landowning and service in the military.
Charging taxes influenced many civilizations because in order to be a resident, some sort of service or duty had to be given in exchange. In retrospect, Egypt and the Shang-Zhou dynasty both shared similarities in their government which helped them grow as a large, powerful society, but also varied in some methods mostly because of religion beliefs.
Environment plays an intense role in any region of the world because it determines the lifestyle for how that civilization will prosper over time. Being located in Africa, near the equator, Egypt has the consistent face of a hot, dry, and sunny climate. The Shang-Zhou dynasty territory is located east of Africa and slightly towards the north. Therefore, Southern China gets heavy rainfall due to the monsoons in India and surrounding areas, and the northern part of China gets rainfall as well, but is inconsistent. Being that China gets a fair amount of rain, most of their agriculture is dependent on that rainfall. Instead of depending on rainfall, Egypt is primarily dependent on the Nile River which is the longest river and provides the best source of irrigation.
A benefit to both the Shang-Zhou Dynasty and Egypt is that they both are in some way surrounded by natural barriers which serve as a mechanism for defense. Egypt has the Nile River which makes it difficult for invaders to get across to attack. The Shang-Zhou area has the Himalaya mountain range to the southwest, the Pamir and Tian Mountains and the Takla Makan Desert to the west, as well as the major rivers, the Yellow and the Yangtze, to also help to protect their society. Natural barriers are a huge advantage and blessing because they can distinctively mark territories as well as serve each civilization in a way as to help them advanced and develop while lowering the likelihood of getting attacked and weakening a civilization.
The natural elements are what make a society capable of flourishing and both Egypt and the Shang-Zhou Dynasty used all of their resources to their advantage to prosgress into a sophisticated and highly respected culture and society.
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