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Ancient Civilization Essay

6856 words - 28 pages





Mesopotamia - means "Land Between Two Rivers"

Two Rivers: Tigris and Euphrates

Forms part of the famous "fertile Crescent"

Reasons why Mesopotamia became the birth place of history and civilization: strategic location, fertile soil and favorable climate


Twelve city-states were formed.

City-state = city and farmlands around it

Each city-state had its own government and was independent of the other city states.

Council of elders - rule the city

appoint lugals (generals) to lead the armies in times of war

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known as the "Lawgiver of Babylonia" - greatest achievement was the promulgation of a written law code (Hammurabi Code)

Hammurabi code - inscribed on a black stone 8 ft. high

consist of 285 laws pertaining to family relations, property rights, marriage, divorce, adoption of children, labor commerce, and crimes


Babylonian society: 3 Social Classes:

Nobles - king, aristocrats, priests, and rich landlords

Freemen - farmers, merchants, soldiers, artisans


Religion of ancient Babylonians

worshipped as many as 65,000 gods (Shamash - god of the sun, Marduk - god of war, Ishtar - goddess of love, Bel - god of the earth, Ea- god of water, Tiamat - goddess of chaos, Nergal - god of death)

believed in life after death


Arts - Ancient Babylon

- ziggurat - greatest architectural achievement of Babylonians


settled at the region north of Babylon

established their capital city (Assur) on the bank of the Tigris River

Founded by Tiglath-Pileser I

Tiglath-Pileser III - greatest Assyrian emperor

Military genius who never lost in battle

Sennacherib - transferred Assyria's capital to Nineveh (named after the goddess Nina, Assyrian goddess of love)

Nineveh - fell before the attack of combined Chaldean-Medes armies

** With the capture of this city, the Assyrian empire collapsed


Chaldean Empire - known as the 2nd Babylonian empire

founded by Nabopolassar - Chaldean conqueror of Nineveh

Nebuchadnezzar - son of Nabopolassar

greatest monarch

Nabonidus - last Chaldean ruler who neglected the affairs of state

Hanging Gardens of Babylon - crowning glory of Babylon


It invented writing.

It produced the world's first written literature (epic of Gilgamesh - famous Mesopotamian epic)

It gave mankind the earliest written law codes (Hammurabi code)

It introduced the sexagesimal system in Mathematics (1 min - 60 sec, 1hr - 60 min, circle - 360 degrees or 6 60s)

It gave mankind the first cities, schools, libraries, temples (ziggurats), hanging gardens (hanging Gardens of Babylon), palaces and sculptural objects.


King Gilgamesh - learned that a plant that gives immortality grows at the bottom of the sea

However, the plant was stolen by a snake before he can use it

Sumerians made splendid jewelry from gold and silver inlaid with semi-precious stones.

The Sumerians were expert in Math.

Babylonians - 1st to devise the 12 signs of the zodiac




emerged in the valley of the Nile River

Egypt - known as "the gift of the Nile"



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