Saturday, November 12, 2022

Middle Babylonian Period

Sumu-la-El (c.1880–1845) was the founder kingdom of Babylonia, building a royal palace and a great fortification wall around the city. Babylon became a major military power under Amorite king Hammurabi, who ruled from 1792 to 1750 BC. He brought much of southern and central Mesopotamia under unified Babylonian rule, creating an empire called Babylonia.

The Middle Babylonian period, also known as the Kassite period, in southern Mesopotamia is dated from c. 1595 BC to 1155 BC. Modern chronology uses the sack of Babylon by a Hittite army in 1595 B.C. as the dividing line between the Old Babylonian (1894–1595 BC.) and Middle Babylonian (1595–1155 BC.).

Cities in the deep south broke off from the Babylonian state (they became known as the First Sealand Dynasty), and the Kassites, a non-Babylonian people identifiable by their distinct language took part in regional fighting. The Kassites were originally Highlanders from the Zagros Mountains and later overran Babylonia after the Hittite destruction of Babylon at the end of the Middle Bronze Age in 1595 BC.

The Kassites first appear as a political factor in Babylonia in 1742 (or 1741) BC, when they were opposed by both Samsiluna and Rīm-Sîn I’s. Kassites penetrated from the central Zagros via the lower Diyala region into northern Babylonia, notably the Sippar region during the late Old Babylonian period.

Following the collapse of the Old Babylonian Kingdom in 1595 BC, a dynasty identified as Kassite took hold in northern Babylonia and by 1475 BC had extended control over the south as well. They set up a Dynasty which lasted for more than five hundred years: the longest rule by any dynasty in Babylonian history.

At the end of the Middle Babylonian period, power in southern Mesopotamia returned to Isin in the deep south (identified in modern chronology as the Second Dynasty of Isin, ca. 1155–1026 BC.), and the Elamite forces were first repelled, then attacked, when king Nebuchadnezzar I (ca. 1125–1104 BC.) sacked Susa in ca. 1100 BC.
Middle Babylonian Period

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