What are the Sumerian Social Classes?

Did the Ancient Sumer have Social Classes? What are the Sumerian Social Classes? What were the 3 Main Social Groups in Sumerian Society? What Race were Sumerians?

In ancient Sumer, society was divided into three Sumerian social classes which includes the priests, the warriors, and the common people. The people are divided into upper, middle, and lower or working class based on their roles and responsibilities towards their people. This follows a certain order of social hierarchy. But what were their jobs? What race were Sumerians? How did they live? And how did they interact with one another? Tune in to find out!

1. Did the Ancient Sumer have Social Classes?

Photo by Yusuf Onuk on Unsplash

Yes, they had all different types of social classes. The ancient Sumerians had three social classes: the upper class, the middle class, and the lower class. The upper class was made up of priests and kings, the middle class was made up of merchants and bureaucrats, and the working class was made up of farmers and laborers. Each social class had its own distinct set of privileges and responsibilities. (Also read What are the Three Main Principles of Greek Aesthetics?)

2. What are the Sumerian Social Classes?

Sumerian social classes consisted of a ruling class, an upper class, a middle class, a working class, and an enslaved class.

  • The ruling class was the elite of society and held all the power.
  • The upper Sumerian social classes were made up of landowners and manufacturers.
  • The middle class was made up of merchants and craftsmen.
  • The working class was made up of farmers and laborers.
  • The enslaved class was made up of people who were not free citizens and could be bought and sold like property.

3. What were the 3 Main Social Groups in Sumerian Society?

The social groups in Sumerian society were divided into three classes: the upper class, the middle class, and the working class.

The upper class consisted of priests and kings, who held the most power and privilege in Sumerian society. The middle class comprised merchants, artisans, and other skilled professionals. The working-class included farmers and laborers. (See What is a List of Cultures around the World?)

4. What Race were Sumerians?

The Sumerians were a race of people who arrived from the south and settled in Mesopotamia more than 7,000 years ago. They were the first to develop a written language, and their culture was the foundation for later civilizations in the region, such as Babylon and Assyria.

The origins of the Sumerians are not clear, but many scholars have claimed that they may have arrived from the south which is the oldest city, Eridu, in the south. (Also read What are Examples of Social Characteristics?)

5. Why do Sumerian Statues have Blue Eyes?

Sumerians considered blue eyes to be a sign of gods, and as statues were meant to represent deities, it is unsurprising that they depict these figures with blue eyes. Additionally, many pigments used in ancient times have faded over time, so the eye color of many statues is difficult to determine with certainty. (See How was Rome a Site of Encounter?)

6. Why did Sumerian Statues have Big Eyes?

The huge eyes on Sumerian statues were meant to represent supplication to the gods. The statues were often placed in shrines, and the eyes were believed to be able to see the gods in heaven and bring their blessings down to Earth. (See Who was the Founder and Uniter of The Mali Empire?)

7. What does the Bible say about Sumerians?

Yes, the Sumerians are mentioned in the Bible. In the book of Genesis, they are called migrants from the east. The Sumerians were among some of the earliest people to develop a written language, mathematics, and astronomy. They also had a large influence on the Babylonian and Assyrian empires. (See Which are the 66 books of the Bible, in the same order as listed in the book?)

8. What were the Social Classes in Mesopotamia?

Here is the list of social classes in Mesopotamia: 

  • The King and Nobility: The King was the highest social class in Mesopotamia. He owned all the land, and people were required to serve him. The nobility was the second highest social class. They served the king and managed his estates.
  • The Priesthood: The priesthood was a very important social class in Mesopotamia. They oversaw the religious rites and ceremonies and ensured the gods were kept happy.
  • The Upper Class: The upper class was made up of wealthy landowners and merchants. They were the most powerful people in Mesopotamia after the king and nobility.
  • Lower Class: The lower class was made up of the poor, peasants, and enslaved people. They had very little power or status in Mesopotamian society.
  • The Slaves: Slavery was an important part of Mesopotamian society. Slaves were owned by the upper class and had no rights or freedoms.

9. Which Social Class in Mesopotamia was the Largest?

The lower class was the largest social class in Mesopotamia. This was large because most of the population were laborers who worked on farms and in other manual labor jobs. Check out Why were Plantation Owners at the Top of Virginia Society?

10. What was the Lower Class in Mesopotamia?

The lower class in Mesopotamia were primarily prisoners of war. War captives were often enslaved, and their descendants continued to occupy the lowest rungs of Mesopotamian society for centuries. In addition to war captives, there were also many poor people who could not find work and had to rely on charity or government assistance. These people typically lived in poverty and had very little power or influence in society. 

Hope you got to know about the Sumerian social classes and what race were Sumerians. (Also read How do You become a Slave?)

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