While acknowledging the numerous similarities between the ancient Near East and ancient Greece, what do you believe were two of the most significant ways they were different?
A substantial difference between them is that the Ancient Near East (from Sumar to Israel and Jordan to Iraq and Egypt plus more) predates Ancient Greece by close to 2000 years: originates from: Sumar, 2500-700 BC; Greece, 800-600 BC. This distance across time alone will embed vast differences between the two. Each civilization introduced important things to world civilization but these were of somewhat different natures. The Ancient Near East, for instance, contributed the first potter's wheel and mill wheel, while Ancient Greece contributed the reintroduction of literacy following the fall of the Mycenaean culture and it contributed Aristotle's treatises. The Ancient Near East contributed stratified social divisions, a central government and laws, while Ancient Greece contributed small, isolated self-governing communities and the merchant class. So while they are similar in that both contributed to world culture, what they contributed--in many cases--is different by the defining quality of vast time: one contributed the "first," while the other contributed the improved or the new.