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A Blending of Cultures

The First Empire

-When older Sumerian city-states declined, Akkad,
a city to the north, rose to power.
-About 2350 B.C, Sargon found the first empire.
-He called himself “Lord of the Quarter”
-Repaired and expanded flood control system
-He also sent troops to protect caravants.
The First Empire
-The Akkadians borrowed many things from
Sumerian civilization.
-They also adopted cuneiform for writing.
-Scribes translated Sumerian religious,
scientific, and literary works into Akkadian.
-So they absorbed the Sumerian religious
belief and government.
-Later, Akkadian rulers lacked Srgon’s
The First Empire
-For a short time, Ur-Nammu, ruler of Ur, united the city-
-About 2050 B.C, he compiled the first known code of
-It summarized Sumerian ideas of justice, emphasizing
king’s duty to protect people and correct the wrongs.
-About 2000 B.C, groups of nomadic people invaded
-One small group called Amorites built the small village of
Babylon on the Euphrates River. By 1700 B.C,
Hammurabi had carved out empire into mesopotamia
The Code of Hammurabi

-The greatest ruler

-Out standing general, excellent administrator, and a
patron of the art.
-In his hundreds of surviving letters, he showed
concern on many subjects.
-He is well-known for drawing up a uniform code of
-He appointed a committee to revise the existing laws
to create one set of laws for the whole empire.
The Code of Hammurabi

-His purpose was to cause justice to prevail in

the land, to destroy the wicked an evil, to
prevent the strong from oppressing the weak,
and to further the welfare of the people.
-The code contained 282 laws arranged under
headings such as trade, family, labor, real
estate, and personal property.
-The basic principle of Hammurabi was “an
eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth”.
The Code of Hammurabi

-Despite the severity of most punishment,

Hammurabi’s code was an important
contribution to the civilization.
-Hammurabi had the laws carved on the stone
columns for every one to see.
-If they break the laws, it does not mean that they
do not only offended the king, but the gods, too.
Beginning of the Iron Age
-After his death, rebellions and invasions weakened
the kingdom.
-In 1600 B.C, it fell to invaders from the east.
-About 1550 B.C, Hittites moved into the fertile
Crescent from Asia Minor.
-Hittites established huge empire and adopted
Babylonian cuneiform, ideas of government, and
the religion.
-Hittites owed their military success to the careful
strategy, skillful diplomacy, and superior weapon.
Beginning of the Iron Age

-They were the first people used iron for spears

and battle axes.
-They guarded their secret of ironworking.
-Even so, the new strategy spread to other
-By 1200 B.C, iron was being used in place of
bronze symbolized the iron age.
-The Hittites soon lost their military advantage.
The Assyrian

-Among the people invaded Fertile Crescent,

the most feared and hated were Assyrians.
-They were hardy nomads settled in the Tigris
valley and built their city named Assur.
-Their strong empire depended on the
disciplined army.
-Their iron weapons and the excellent cavalry
brought them many victories.
The Assyrian

-Once a city was conquered, the Assyrians

showed no mercy. Boasted Assyrians ruler
mentioned “I cut off their heads and like heaps
of grain, I piled them up”. “I skin alive all the
chief men. Their young men and maidens I
burned in the fire”.
-When they captured Babylon about 700 B.C,
they tortured and beheaded prisoners, enslaved
women and children, and destroyed the city.
The Assyrian
-Their government was as harsh as their army.
-They divided the kingdom into provinces each ruled by
the governor responsible to the king.
-They built roads for army movement benefit.
-They sent groups of trouble men to the remote.
-They built huge capital at Nineveh and their king
Assurbanipal built great library there.
-He restored over 22 000 clay tablets written in cuneiform.
Revival of Babylon

-In 612 B.C, oppressed people joined the Meddes and

Chaldeans to capture and destroy Nineveh.
-They divided up Assyrian empire.
-Meddes occupied highland north of Mesopotamia.
-Chaldeans established an empire in Mesopotamia.
-King Nebuchadnezzar extended their empire over the
Fertil Crescent.
-He rebuilt Babylon as symbol of power.
Revival of Babylon

-Hanging garden of Babylon

-He designed the garden for his wife.
-Chaldeans also advanced the study of
mathematic and astronomy.
-Chaldean priests acquired a vast knowledge on
-After his death, the empire suffered civil war.
-In 539 B.C, Babylon fell to invaders Persians.
The Persians

-Became powerful forces in the ancient middle east.

-In 550 B.C, king of Persia named Cyrus led a successful
revolt against Medes. Within 20 years, he conquered
Fertile Crescent and Asia Minor.
-He was a remarkable military leader and a wise ruler.
-He treated conquered people with tolerance and respected
their religious practices.
-His successors added Afghanistan, Northern India, and
Egypt to their empire.
The Persians

-Darius completed the task of making vast
Persian Empire.
-He divided the empire into 20 provinces.
-Darius sent royal inspectors into every
-They improved Assyrian road system.
-In 331 B.C, Persian fell into Greece army.
The Persians

-Although the respected many gods, but
during reign of Darius they adopted
Zoroaster. Ahura Mazda and Ahriman
-The sacred book was Zend Avesta.
Section Review

1. Identify Sargon, Hammurabi,

Nebuchadnezzar, Zoroaster, Zend Avesta.
2. Why did Hammurabi draw up a law code?
What aspects of life did it cover?
3. How did Assyrians organized their empire?
4. How do you think the policies Cyrus
followed toward the people he conquered
benefited the Persian Empire?