This is the handout that you will be given in the classroom to study. Again, try to look up for difficult words and do some personal research. Keep up! Click here to download the handout http://www.mediafire.com/view/?4b9k0fvfa3wrnrw
1st Year LMD
Teacher: Ms Bouadma
Babylon: Capital City of Babylonia
Babylon was an ancient city in Mesopotamia. It was the capital city of Babylonia from the second to first millennium B.C. Hammurabi made Babylon the capital city of his kingdom. Nebuchadnezzar, centuries later, also made his capital in Babylon and rebuilt the city. Nebuchadnezzar’s Babylon was the largest city of the time. In it was a temple of Marduk and Ziggurat, the Tower of Babel. In 331 B.C. Babylon surrendered to Alexander the Great. After Alexander’s death, Babylon fell into the hands of the Seleucids.Babylon was a commercial, administrative, literary, and religious center. The chief god of Babylon, Marduk, became supreme Mesopotamian god.
Hammurabi ruled Mesopotamia. He is credited with uniting most of this area under one extensive empire for the first time since Sargon of Akkad did so in about 2300 BC. To do this, Hammurabi waged several military campaigns. The purpose of most of his operations was to gain control of the Tigris and Euphrates waters, on which agricultural productivity depended.
The last 14 years of Hammurabi’s reign were overshadowed by war. In 1763 he fought against a coalition east of the Tigris that threatened to block access to metal-producing areas in Iran. The same year he conquered the city of Larsa, which enabled him to take over the older Sumerian cities in the south. He followed this victory with the conquest of Mari, 250 miles (400 kilometers) upstream on the Euphrates. During his last two years the king concentrated on building defensive fortifications. By this time he was a sick man, and the government was in the hands of his son, Samsuiluna.
Hammurabi effected great changes in all spheres of life, mostly from the transformation of a small city-state into a large empire. Most of his rule was given to the establishment of law and order, religious buildings, irrigation projects, and defense works. Throughout his long reign, he personally supervised navigation, irrigation, agriculture, tax collection, and the erection of many temples and other buildings. Although he was a successful military leader and administrator, Hammurabi is primarily remembered for his codification of the laws governing Babylonian life called the Code of Hammurabi, the importance of the Code of Hammurabi is that it was the first known written code of law ever and very influential in lawmaking.
The dynasty of Nebuchadnezzar
The final Babylonian dynasty became the controlling power of the whole of Mesopotamia. Nabopolassar was succeeded by his son Nebuchadnezzar in 605. Nebuchadnezzar remained in the a reign for more than 40 years, giving Babylon its period of greatest fame. He was prominent in the Bible as the ruler who destroyed Jerusalem and carried off the Jews into their Babylonian captivity. And he is featured in the list of the Seven Wonders of the World, as the creator of the hanging gardens of Babylon.
The successors of Nebuchadnezzar on the throne of Babylon are less effective. They had the misfortune to be close neighbours of the greatest empire-builder to have emerged by this stage in history.
The Decline of Babylon:
In 539 BC Cyrus the Great of Persia conquered Babylon. The Bible records in the Book of Daniel about the “Handwriting on the Wall” where Belshazzar who had been ruling in Babylon on behalf of his father Nabonidus, saw handwriting on his palace wall during a feast, which Daniel the Hebrew interpreted as the end of the Babylonian Empire.
Alexander and the Greeks
The immigrants during that period did not have any well-structured culture or civilization until they adopted the culture of the city dwellers. Of course these people brought some things with them. The invaders had different languages and more importantly they had a tribal society with tribal customs. However after a few generations living in cities these tribal customs were virtually forgotten. The newcomers also had different views on some aspects, such as war. Sumerian kings boasted of the periods of peace they had brought their kingdoms, whereas the Akkadians, a Semitic people, boasted of their great victories. However there were only minor differences in Mesopotamian civilization until the introduction of Hellenism (Greek culture) with the invasion by Alexander the Great, King of Macedon (331 BC)
The Greeks were people with a long history of civilization. They imposed this civilization on all the people they conquered, building new cities with Greek civilizations. Babylon was no longer the principal city in the area and began to decline. As Babylon declined so did the Mesopotamian civilization. The old customs were forgotten or not performed. The old gods were abandoned. The old cities, the great cities of Sumer and Akkad, such as Babylon and Ur, Uruk and Eridu, Lagash and Isin declined to insignificance.
Examples of the Hammurabi Code
14. If a man has stolen a child, he shall be put to death.
128. If a man has taken a wife and has not executed a marriage contract, that woman is not a wife.
131. If a man’s wife has been accused by her husband, and has not been caught lying with another, she shall swear her innocence, and return to her house.
196. If a man has knocked out the eye of a patrician, his eye shall be knocked out.
197. If he has broken the limb of a patrician, his limb shall be broken.
200. If a patrician has knocked out the tooth of a man that is his equal, his tooth shall be knocked out.
Check more laws here http://www.commonlaw.com/Hammurabi.html