Ancient Babylonia - Wisdom Literature
In Babylonian literature there is "wisdom literature" that are similar in composition to the biblical books of Job and Proverbs. Among the more important pieces are: I Will Praise the Lord of Wisdom, The Theodicy, The Dialogue of Pessimism, fables and debates, and various collections of proverbs. Many of these deal with the problem of the evil and suffering, as well as stories concerning devout and pious observers who fell upon evil times, as a lesson on morality. Cynicism is apparent in one text, The Dialogue of Pessimism, wherein, through an amusing sequence of discussions between master and slave, it is illustrated how any activity can lead to success or failure, according to the chance of fortune, and the conclusion is that death is the only dependable thing in life.