Mesopotamianism is the collective name of a cluster of similar cultures located primarily in Mesopotamia. The cultures are all an offshoot of modern classicism, as Mesopotamianism is primarily based on the ancient religions that once existed in the region. The Assyrian Empire is the most influential of the states that practice Mesopotamianism and has been greatly instrumental in its worldwide promotion.
Their adherents are known as "Mesopotamianists", not to be confused with people from the region itself, known as "Mesopotamians".
Outside of Mesopotamian contexts, it is sometimes referred to as the divine king model due to the core of the belief system being an absolute ruler who derives their legitimacy from a divine source. It is different from the hero king model, as the absolute ruler in that model is seen as an actual divinity or is at least treated as such by the populace.
Mesopotamianist cultures are henotheistic in nature, with the god or goddess that takes precedence depending on the state. Each god and goddess has certain rituals and practices attached to them, meaning there is extensive variance to the specific cultural practices that exist within the plethora of Mesopotamian city states.
Nevertheless, five specific tenets are common throughout Mesopotamianism:
- Absolute rule. Each Mesopotamian state is ruled by an absolute ruler, usually (but not always) a monarch. The monarch is viewed as the representative of the gods and their hierarchy within that particular Mesopotamian state, and is expected to style their rule based on the gods' expectations. Legally speaking, no ruler has any kind of "check and balance" to their rule except the gods, but some Mesopotamian cities informally employ arbitrators that citizens can appeal to who can "suggest" the ruler change their minds on a decree.
- Divine indifference. Although Mesopotamianists insist that all of their gods are caring in some way, critical analysis of their religious texts and practices indicates that the Mesopotamians largely live in fear of the gods with many of their prayers appearing to be grovelling. It is a frequent motif in Mesopotamian comedy to exaggerate the apathy the gods display for their own people, with several works of fiction even going so far as to portray the commoners as hapless transients the "regular people" (the gods) ignore.
- Superstition. Because of the divine indifference, Mesopotamians are highly superstitious, highly afraid of causing disorder or committing some act that may cause the gods to act against them in some way. Although modern Mesopotamianism does not reject scientific advances, it is still common among Mesopotamianists to believe that illnesses and evil are caused by divine intervention. Thus, it is common for Mesopotamians to employ many spiritual trinkets (including amulets) in a bid to keep their lives "clean" and to ward off potential dangers.
- Retributive justice. Mesopotamianism subscribes to an updated version of the ancient Code of Hammurabi, where punishments are meted based on the severity of the crime. Judges are given latitude in this regard, where some states use judgements to provide precedents while other states adjudicate solely on a case by case basis. Most of Mesopotamianism asserts to follow the presumption of innocence in some way, although the extent of trials involve both the accused and the accuser presenting their cases to the judge (through lawyers if the litigants can afford them) along with any evidence they may have with the judge making an immediate decision. Thus, Mesopotamianist trials tend to be much shorter than they are in the Roman and Virtual worlds, though with the lack of the right to silence and many abilities by counsellors to cross-examine witnesses and evidence, there are critics who assert Mesopotamianist trials are unfair.
- Festive social gatherings. Mesopotamianism is well known for its many festivals, with this festive spirit being a way of life. Mesopotamians are extroverted and artistic by nature, with almost all Mesopotamians skilled in the arts in some kind. Sexual activity is a casual act by nature, with prostitution being completely legal. Sex is also a prominent part of Mesopotamian religious activity, with sacred prostitution employed throughout the region.
The Omen Edit
The Omen is the informal name for a terrorist group that promotes Mesopotamianism. The group tends to strike within a country after a strange event, such as an eclipse or a rain of locusts, making it appear that their act was a "bad omen", hence their name. Little is known about their organizational structure (or even if it is organized), and there is no kind of terrorist attack they are known to favour.