Introduction: Mesopotamia, now a part of Syria has experienced a turbulent history of invasions and war. What we see going on today is in many ways what has gone on since people first began living in that area. This is a particular history and has undoubtedly had an effect on the peoples who live there and therefore on the artwork they make. In this assignment you are being asked to look for the affect that almost continuous war has had on this population as evidenced through their artwork. You may consider art work of the past or contemporary work. Please refer to the list provided to guide your search. An example is the tradition of rug making. Contemporary rug makers in this region are now including patterns in their rugs that are based on helicopters, tanks and other objects of warfare. The rug makers are still using ancient techniques that have passed down many generations but now the content of the rugs reflect current conditions and the associated imagery. The Assignment: Write an essay discussing a piece of Syrian Art you have chosen. You may use one of the “Ancient Assyrian Artworks” listed below OR choose a piece of art created by one of the “Contemporary Syrian Artists” listed below. Identify the artwork by title, artist, period/style, genre, and geographic/cultural origin. In your essay describe the artwork in terms of the Visual Elements and Principles of Design (Composition, Unity & Variety, Balance, Emphasis & Subordination, Scale & Proportion, Rhythym) Research your artwork and include what scholars have said about the meaning of that work of art. Include where your artwork fits into the history of art. Include what the uses of the object/objects were at the time it was made. What was the impact of that artwork on the culture who created it. Your conclusions should include your interpretations of the artwork. Ancient Assyrian Art Assyrian Relief of Nimrod Lion Hunt from the Place Complex Assurnasirpal Victory Stele of Narum-Sin Contemporary Syrian Artists Safwan Dahoul Tammam Azzam Iman Hasbani Kais Salman Saad Yagan Abdul Kerim Majdal Al-Beik Alice Al Khatib Use these questions below to help write your paper: Identity Who is the artist or is the artist unknown? What period or style is it? What is the name of the artwork? To what culture does it belong? Of what material/medium is it made? What is its subject matter? Style How big is it? Does its medium affect the quality? What are its formal elements (line, color, composition, etc.)? Is it abstract, naturalistic, idealistic, realistic, or a combination? How is the subject being depicted? What is the origin of the style? – Is it a combination of cultural styles? Function/Symbolism What was it used for? Why was it made? It is sacred or secular? Does it communicate a message? Is it asking for something? Does it contain symbolism? What does it mean? Cultural Context What was happening historically, politically, socially, religiously, intellectually, and/or economically at the time it was made? What were qualities of life at the time and place the piece was made that may have affected its function and style? Do historical events or overall aesthetic tastes relate to the image/story depicted? Resources: Chapter 3.1 – Ancient Mediterranean Worlds in your textbook Research on the internet Acceptable Length: 2 page Formatting Requirements: Put your name and assignment title at the top of the document. Use one-inch margins. Use a 12-point Times New Roman font. Use double line spacing in the document. Use MLA Citation Style. Standard sentences with subject agreement, adequate grammar, and no typographical or spelling errors

Sample Solution

Sample solution

Dante Alighieri played a critical role in the literature world through his poem Divine Comedy that was written in the 14th century. The poem contains Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso. The Inferno is a description of the nine circles of torment that are found on the earth. It depicts the realms of the people that have gone against the spiritual values and who, instead, have chosen bestial appetite, violence, or fraud and malice. The nine circles of hell are limbo, lust, gluttony, greed and wrath. Others are heresy, violence, fraud, and treachery. The purpose of this paper is to examine the Dante’s Inferno in the perspective of its portrayal of God’s image and the justification of hell. 

In this epic poem, God is portrayed as a super being guilty of multiple weaknesses including being egotistic, unjust, and hypocritical. Dante, in this poem, depicts God as being more human than divine by challenging God’s omnipotence. Additionally, the manner in which Dante describes Hell is in full contradiction to the morals of God as written in the Bible. When god arranges Hell to flatter Himself, He commits egotism, a sin that is common among human beings (Cheney, 2016). The weakness is depicted in Limbo and on the Gate of Hell where, for instance, God sends those who do not worship Him to Hell. This implies that failure to worship Him is a sin.

God is also depicted as lacking justice in His actions thus removing the godly image. The injustice is portrayed by the manner in which the sodomites and opportunists are treated. The opportunists are subjected to banner chasing in their lives after death followed by being stung by insects and maggots. They are known to having done neither good nor bad during their lifetimes and, therefore, justice could have demanded that they be granted a neutral punishment having lived a neutral life. The sodomites are also punished unfairly by God when Brunetto Lattini is condemned to hell despite being a good leader (Babor, T. F., McGovern, T., & Robaina, K. (2017). While he commited sodomy, God chooses to ignore all the other good deeds that Brunetto did.

Finally, God is also portrayed as being hypocritical in His actions, a sin that further diminishes His godliness and makes Him more human. A case in point is when God condemns the sin of egotism and goes ahead to commit it repeatedly. Proverbs 29:23 states that “arrogance will bring your downfall, but if you are humble, you will be respected.” When Slattery condemns Dante’s human state as being weak, doubtful, and limited, he is proving God’s hypocrisy because He is also human (Verdicchio, 2015). The actions of God in Hell as portrayed by Dante are inconsistent with the Biblical literature. Both Dante and God are prone to making mistakes, something common among human beings thus making God more human.

To wrap it up, Dante portrays God is more human since He commits the same sins that humans commit: egotism, hypocrisy, and injustice. Hell is justified as being a destination for victims of the mistakes committed by God. The Hell is presented as being a totally different place as compared to what is written about it in the Bible. As a result, reading through the text gives an image of God who is prone to the very mistakes common to humans thus ripping Him off His lofty status of divine and, instead, making Him a mere human. Whether or not Dante did it intentionally is subject to debate but one thing is clear in the poem: the misconstrued notion of God is revealed to future generations.



Babor, T. F., McGovern, T., & Robaina, K. (2017). Dante’s inferno: Seven deadly sins in scientific publishing and how to avoid them. Addiction Science: A Guide for the Perplexed, 267.

Cheney, L. D. G. (2016). Illustrations for Dante’s Inferno: A Comparative Study of Sandro Botticelli, Giovanni Stradano, and Federico Zuccaro. Cultural and Religious Studies4(8), 487.

Verdicchio, M. (2015). Irony and Desire in Dante’s” Inferno” 27. Italica, 285-297.