The Rise and Fall of Babylon: Gateway of the Gods

Overview

Ancient Mesopotamia?centered on the southern part of the floodplain between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers (in what is modern Iraq)?has long been known as the cradle of human civilization. It was here, in the fourth millennium bc, that the world?s first city-states came into being, and with them many of the social, legal, and economic structures that we recognize today.

Between 6000 bc and 1900 bc a number of different peoples?Sumerians, Akkadians, Gutians, Amorites, and ...

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Overview

Ancient Mesopotamia—centered on the southern part of the floodplain between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers (in what is modern Iraq)—has long been known as the cradle of human civilization. It was here, in the fourth millennium bc, that the world’s first city-states came into being, and with them many of the social, legal, and economic structures that we recognize today.

Between 6000 bc and 1900 bc a number of different peoples—Sumerians, Akkadians, Gutians, Amorites, and Elamites—established dynasties in the region, power constantly shifting between them. Around 1800–1750 bc, however, the Amorite king Hammurabi unified Mesopotamia under the hegemony of Babylon. Although its power waxed and waned over the succeeding centuries, Babylon retained its importance as a cultural, religious, and political center until its fall to the Persians in 539 bc.

Anton Gill tells the complete thousand-year story of the splendor that was ancient Babylon—the ‘gateway of the gods’. Beginning with a survey of the early Mesopotamian dynasties, he goes on to chronicle the city’s rise under Hammurabi, its troubled fortunes in the centuries that followed, its golden age under a dynasty of Chaldean kings in the seventh and sixth centuries bc, and the life of its last great king Nebuchadrezzar II.

Ruling from c.605 until 562 bc, Nebuchadrezzar created a Neo-Babylonian empire that extended over much of the Levant, and presided over a magnificent flowering of culture, including the construction of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. Anton Gill not only describes the political and military triumphs of Nebuchadrezzar’s reign but also explores its many achievements in the intellectual sphere—from art to mathematics, from economics to legal matters, and from astronomy to writing—as well as features of everyday life, from sex and shopping to food, drink, and customs.

Studded with detailed profiles of the rulers of the period, and embellished with 130 color illustrations, maps, and timelines, The Rise and Fall of Babylon is a vivid and richly informative portrait of an extraordinary era.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781435129610
  • Publisher: Sterling
  • Publication date: 5/25/2011
  • Pages: 192
  • Product dimensions: 9.86 (w) x 7.72 (h) x 0.84 (d)

Meet the Author

Anton Gill worked for the Arts Council of Great Britain, and the BBC, before becoming a full-time writer in 1984. He is the author of The Journey Back From Hell: Conversations with Nazi Concentration Camp Survivors; An Honourable Defeat: German Resistance to Nazism, 1933–1944; and A Dance Between Flames: Berlin, 1919–1939. He has also written a series of six thrillers set in the reign of Tutankhamun, as well as a history of Egypt, Ancient Egyptians.
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