Babylon Essay, Research Paper

In what today is Iraq, there once was a great civilization known as Babylon, which at one time could have ruled the world and was home to the second wonder of the world, the Hanging Gardens. Babylon was located in an ancient region surrounded by the Tigris and Euphrates River called the Mesopotamia area (now southern Iraq near the end of the Fertile Crescent). This great civilization first initiated around 3500 BC and began to crumble after the year 323 BC. The Babylon culture was successful because of the advanced citizens, cultural cities, their technology, and both political and legal systems.

The capital of the Babylon Empire was a large city in Babylon, which were home to 10,000 to 40,000 Sumerians and Semites (names of Babylonians). The city was circumspect by a large wall to ward off any attackers. Inside the walls there were several magnificent palaces and temples utilized for everyday worship. The rest of the city had typical houses that had a central courtyard established in every room. Narrow and twisting streets outside the wall at openings located the houses where open-air markets at the bizarre took place.

Many people originating from two major civilizations populated Babylon: the nomadic Sumerians and the mysterious Semitic. The Sumerians were the first people to settle in Babylon, after leaving their homeland in Sumeria, but gradually united with the Semitic. The Sumerians made the land into a great area to farm, raise livestock, build swamps, and irrigate canals. These lessons taught by the Sumerians instituted themselves in to Babylonian life. The Babylonians understood the technical achievements of the Sumerians in irrigation and agriculture. Maintaining the system of canals dikes, weirs, and reservoirs exercised by their predecessors required considerable engineering knowledge and skill. All of the tools and preparations the Sumerians used were inaugurated into Babylonian history.

Due to Babylon?s location, farming was a methodical occupation requiring great foresight, diligence, and skill. As in The Ancient Babylonian (Davis: 4), a document written in Sumerian, but used as a textbook in the Babylon schools is a veritable farmer’s almanac. It records a series of instructions and directions to guide farm activities from the watering of the fields, to the winnowing of the harvested crops. Babylon?s culture is quite astonishing. Law and justice were essential concepts in the Babylon way of life. At the head of the political structure was the king, a more or less absolute monarch who exercised legislative and judicial as well as executive powers.

Justice was upheld by the courts, each of which consisted of from one to four judges. Often the elders of a town constituted a tribunal. The judges could not reverse their decisions for any reason, but appeals from their verdicts could be made to the king. Evidence ! either of statements from witnesses or of written documents. Babylonian legal concepts have been inherited, in one form or another, by many civilizations around the world. Babylonian art and architecture continues to amaze contemporary historians.

To ensure that their legal, administrative, and economic institutions operated effectively, the Babylonns used the cuneiform system of writing developed by their Sumerian predecessors. To train their scribes, secretaries, archivists, and other administrative personnel, they used the Sumerian system of formal education, under which secular schools employed as the cultural centers of the land.

Throughout Babylon?s history, it stayed as an independent country. However, near its end, others began to invade and conquer this great civilization. Babylon was part of the Persian empire from 539 B.C. until 331 B.C. when Alexander the Great took over the empire. Alexander the Great loved Babylon so much he was able to make Babylon the capital of his empire, but he ?expired? in 323 BC and after that point the Babylon empire began to crumble forever.

For instance, Babylonian influence is pervasive throughout the Bible and in the works of such Greek poets as Homer and Hesiod, in the geometry of the Greek mathematician Euclid, in astronomy, in astrology, and in heraldry.

More than 1200 years had elapsed from the glorious reign of Hammurabi to the subjugation of Babylonia by the Persians. During this long span of time the Babylonian social structure, economic organization, arts and crafts, science and literature, judicial system, and religious beliefs underwent considerable modification, but generally only in details, not in essence. Grounded almost wholly on the culture of Sumer, Babylonian cultural achievements left a deep impression on the entire ancient world, and particularly on the Hebrews and the Greeks. Even present-day civilization is indebted culturally to Babylonian civilization to some extent. On the other hand the Babylonn empire has left us with many great advancement in many fields and also made their empire sucessful. In conclusion the Babylonn empire was one of the greatest civilizations ever on this planet.

1.Breasted, James 1959 Development of Religion and Thought in Ancient Babylon Harper and Row, New York

2.Budge, E.A. Wallis 1973 Babylon Civilization Dover Publications, Inc., New York

3.Budge, E.A. Wallis 1976 Babylonian Ideas of the Future Life Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner & Co., London

4.Davis, A. Rosalie 1982 The Ancient Babylonian Routledge & Kegan Paul, London

5.Davis, Charles H.S. 1894 The Babylonian G.P. Putnam?s Sons, New York

6.Jaynes, Julian 1976 The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston

7.Wenke, Robert J. 1990 Patterns in Prehistory Oxford University Press, New York

8.Jantzen, Steven L. and Kringer and Neill. 1990. World History: Perspectives of the Past Houghton Mifflin Company, Canada.

9.Boersma, Jay 1998 Exploring Ancient World Cultures

10.Michael Smith and Sandeep Aggarwal, 1993 Ancient Civilizations

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