The Mesopotamians

Articles on the culture, history, and peoples of ancient Mesopotamia


Neo-Assyrian Warfare

Neo-Assyrian Warfare

While the Sumerians, Akkadians and Babylonians were all good at war, they were pikers compared to the Assyrians who took warfare to new heights. During the time of the Neo-Assyrian Empire (c. 1000 to 609 B.C.), the Assyrian army was the most powerful military force...
Mesopotamian Warfare: The Sumerians, Akkadians and Babylonians

Mesopotamian Warfare: The Sumerians, Akkadians and Babylonians

Each of these three great civilizations, all related to each other, brought in new weapons and tactics to warfare. All warred among themselves and with others. Mesopotamian cities usually went to war for water and land rights. As cultures based on agriculture, land...
Assyrian Empire: The Most Powerful Empire in the World

Assyrian Empire: The Most Powerful Empire in the World

For 300 years, from 900 to 600 B.C., the Assyrian Empire expanded, conquered and ruled the Middle East, including Mesopotamia, Egypt, the eastern coast of the Mediterranean, and parts of today’s Turkey, Iran and Iraq. Since around 1250 B.C., the Assyrians had started...

Assyrian Empire: The Middle Empire

For a few centuries after the death of Shamshi-Adad I, Assyrian cities were subjugated by a succession of outsiders: Babylonians under Hammurabi, Hittites and Mitanni-Hurrians. From 1791 to 1360 B.C. control over Assyria passed back and forth, although Assyria itself...
Assyrian Empire: The Old Kingdom

Assyrian Empire: The Old Kingdom

Over the centuries of its long existence, the Assyrian empire expanded and grew only to fail and fall many times. Scholars divide Assyrian history into three main periods: the Old Kingdom, the Middle Empire and the Neo-Assyrian Empire. While Assyria ended as a...
Ziggurats and Temples in Ancient Mesopotamia

Ziggurats and Temples in Ancient Mesopotamia

Ziggurats are as emblematic of Mesopotamia as the great pyramids are of ancient Egypt. These ancient stepped buildings were created to be home to the patron god or goddess of the city. As religion was central to Mesopotamian life, the ziggurat was the heart of a city....

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The Epic of Gilgamesh

The Epic of Gilgamesh

The oldest epic tale in the world was written 1500 years before Homer wrote the Illiad. “The Epic of Gilgamesh” tells of the Sumerian Gilgamesh, the hero king of Uruk, and his adventures. This epic story was discovered in the ruins of the library of Ashurbanipal in...
King Hammurabi and His Code of Law

King Hammurabi and His Code of Law

Babylon reached its first height with the reign of the great King Hammurabi, an Amorite prince, the sixth of his dynasty. The Amorites were a semi-nomadic people who migrated east into Mesopotamia from Syria. During the reign of Hammurabi’s father, Babylon’s kingdom...
The Wonders of Ancient Babylon

The Wonders of Ancient Babylon

What remains today of Old Babylon are the ruins of an ancient city under the water level of the Euphrates River, although some later city ruins still exist. However, archeology tells us much about the 4,000-year history of this storied city that passed through many...
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