Mesopotamia hanging vine shrines location

He reigned from BC to BC.

Scholarship and controversy

Not much is known about the reign of the first five Amorite rulers. They did defeat some nearby towns and, the fifth king, Sin-muballit worked to strengthen Babylon against its neighbors. The sixth ruler of the First Dynasty of Babylon, Hammurabi , conducted major building work in Babylon, expanding it from a small town into a great city. Hammurabi began a series of conquest to expand his empire.

He first raided a number of towns and cities; and then defeated the major powers to the north, east, and south of Babylon. By the end of his reign, he had brought all of southern Mesopotamia and part of Assyria under Babylonian rule. Hammurabi was a very efficient ruler.

He established a bureaucracy with taxation and centralized government. The First Dynasty of Babylon or the Old Babylonian Empire reached its greatest height, in terms of territory and power, under Hammurabi. However, he is most famous for his legal code known as the Code of Hammurabi , which was one of the earliest and most complete legal codes in history. It was during the reign of Hammurabi that southern Mesopotamia became known as Babylonia and Babylon eclipsed Nippur as its holy city. After the death of Hammurabi, the First Dynasty of Babylon began to disintegrate rapidly.

First Babylon lost control of the southern city-states and then its closer cities. Ultimately Babylonia shrunk to the small and relatively weak nation it was at the time of its foundation but the city of Babylon remained large and influential. Samsu-Ditana was the last Amorite ruler of Babylon. Early in his reign, he was pressured by the Kassites , nomadic people from the mountains east of Babylonia. The city was sacked with the Hittites carrying off its treasures. The destruction of the city enabled their allies, the Kassites, to take control of the region.


This was the end of the Old Babylonian Empire. It lasted from around BC to BC. Reasons for its downfall include no natural, defensible boundaries of southern Mesopotamia making it prone to invasions ; internal decay ; lack of powerful leaders ; and pressure of foreign invaders. The Kassites , like the Amorites, were not originally native to Mesopotamia. Instead they first appeared in the Zagros Mountains of what is today northwestern Iran.

Key points

With a reign of almost years , the Kassite Dynasty was the longest-ruling dynasty in the history of ancient Mesopotamia. They adopted the customs of the Babylonian culture and it appears that they were accepted by the native Babylonian population. Among the cultural elements they introduced to the state were large-scale horse breeding and improved technology for chariots and harnesses.

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Also, during the last year of their reign, religion and literature flourished in Babylonia. Babylon was renamed Kardunias during their reign. It continued to be the capital of the kingdom and one of the holy cities. However, the Babylonian kingdom was relatively weak and under constant threat from the Mesopotamian kingdoms of Assyria and Elam. It was also, at times, under their domination. Most of Babylonia was ultimately conquered by the Elam civilization in BC bringing an end to the Kassite Dynasty.

The Elamites remained in control of Babylonia for a short duration and were soon displaced by King Nebuchadnezzar I from the city state of Isin.

However the region proved hard to govern for the Assyrians and their king Sennacherib sacked and destroyed Babylon for its rebelliousness. His youngest son Esarhaddon personally ruled Babylon, rebuilt the city and brought peace to the region. Internal civil wars in Assyria caused its downfall.

Babylonia took advantage of this and rebelled under Nabopolassar , a previously unknown chieftain of the Chaldeans who had settled in south-eastern Mesopotamia. Nabopolassar became king of Babylon in BC. He seized control over much of Babylonia from the Assyrians with the support of its inhabitants. He then formed an alliance with the Iranian people to attack and sack the Assyrian capital of Nineveh.

Nabopolassar and his successors went on to govern an empire known as the Neo-Babylonian Empire. The Neo-Babylonian Empire was a period of political expansion and cultural flowering in Babylonia and it is considered the greatest period of Babylonian supremacy. Among other things, there was improvement in economic life and agricultural production; and great flourishing of architecture, arts and science. The last king of Babylonia was Nabonidus. This was the end of the last independent state of the ancient Mesopotamian civilization. Semitic languages are a branch of the Afroasiatic languages which originated in the Middle East.

The Akkadian language , which predates the founding of the Akkadian Empire by many centuries, is the earliest attested Semitic language. The Sumerian language is regarded as a language isolate in linguistics as it belongs to no known language family. In 3rd millennium BC, there was a close cultural symbiosis between Sumerians and Akkadians in Mesopotamia which included widespread bilingualism. The languages thus deeply influenced each other. Initially a part of the Akkadian Empire, Babylonia retained the written Akkadian language for official use while the Sumerian language was used for religious purposes.

Hanging Gardens Of Babylon Stock Photos & Hanging Gardens Of Babylon Stock Images - Alamy

However by the time Babylonia was founded, Sumerian had been totally replaced by Akkadian as the spoken language. Perhaps the most famous feature of the Babylonian civilization is the structure known as the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. They were considered as one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

The Hanging Gardens have been described as an ascending series of tiered gardens containing a wide variety of trees, shrubs and vines.

The were said to have looked like a large green mountain constructed of mud bricks. Other than that, this would have been a five-star read for me, as Dalley is a clear writer, with the ability to make specialized content accessible to a casual reader. A fascinating read; in fact, I can hardly believe that I was ignorant about this topic for so long. Of all the wonders of the ancient world, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon are the most elusive.

Archaeology at the site could not conclusively find it, the ancient sources mentioning the wonder contradict one another, and while some scholars stretch the available evidence unconvincingly to try and locate it, others simply declare that the Gardens did not exist at all. The truth of it? Well, it did a A fascinating read; in fact, I can hardly believe that I was ignorant about this topic for so long. Stephanie Dalley presents convincing evidence — agreed upon by peer review — that the Hanging Gardens were not at Babylon, they were at Nineveh, constructed by the Assyrian King Sennacherib, not the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar, and had the appearance of a tiered semicircle, not a temple ziggurat covered with plants.

Jun 18, Mary rated it liked it. I picked this up because I saw a BBC special about the topic and wanted more information.. I think the tv program is better for the average person rather than this book. Mar 13, Brad Dunn rated it it was ok. I was really just looking for a book on the old garden.

As a book, it can be a little dull to read. There is a lot of technical engineering details about inventions of the era which are not exactly enthralling. Important - yes.

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Im probably just the wrong audience for this book this book is perfect, I suspect, for those doing diligent research on Babylon, Mesopotamia, or Assyria. Im probably just the wrong audience for this book. It has value, just not with me. Sep 14, B.

Hanging Gardens of Babylon

Brainard rated it liked it. I bought the book hoping to find out more about the hanging garden of Babylon, because I was researching the subject for a book I was writing. Her conclusions did not help much with my research about the ancient city of Babylon, but did open my eyes to the Assyrian King Sennecherib's queen, garden, and palace in Nineveh. Extremely interesting and compelling case for the location, layout and structure of arguably the most famous of the seven wonders of the ancient world.

Jun 17, Bryan rated it it was amazing. Extremely well researched, coming from an expert in the field, this heavy but short book on the mystery of the unaccounted for seventh wonder is a fabulous read. Almost every paragraph was pointedly written with an interesting perspective or fact.

While the writing is rather academic, I found it reassuring to be learning from a reliable source and the mystery and intrigue of the subject made this an absorbing book--if you pace yourself well. It brought to life some of the characters o Extremely well researched, coming from an expert in the field, this heavy but short book on the mystery of the unaccounted for seventh wonder is a fabulous read. It brought to life some of the characters of Ancient Mesopotamia and has made me hungry for more knowledge about the history of that region in that time.

Jul 08, James rated it liked it. This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers.