Welcome to the first episode in a two-part series on Mesopotamian civilization. In this episode we are going to be covering four topics.

  • The origins of Mesopotamian civilization with Sumeria, its evolution into the Akkadian, Babylonian, and Assyrian Empires, and why education and literacy was so important (knowledge was passed down on information-dense cuneiform tablets, even though gigabyte of information on cuneiform tablets weighted nearly as much as a 747).
  • How the Epic of Gilgamesh created the genre of epic literature (or is at least the oldest such work that survives)
  • The reign of Sargon of Akkad: The King Arthur of Mesopotamia, who less known for what he actually did as much as the idea of who he was — a symbol of justice and righteousness that people looked to in dark times
  • Waging war the Mesopotamian way: How warfare evolved from simple infantry combat in Sumerian times to the massive siege towers and psychological warfare of the Assyrian Empire.

In the next episode we will look at everyday life in Mesopotamia, including the lives of merchants and traders, farmers, women, temple priests, and prostitutes.