Tuesday, January 4, 2022

First Babylonian Empire (Old Babylonian Empire)

About 2300 BCE a northern tribe established a unified kingdom in Mesopotamia. Sargon I conquered all the Sumerian city-states and built a new capital city called Akkad.

The city of Babylon makes its first appearance in history after the fall of the Empire of the Third Dynasty of Ur, which had ruled the city states of the alluvial plain between the rivers Euphrates and Tigris for more than a century (2112-2004 BC).

About 1900 BCE the Amorites, a tribe from the west, conquered Akkad. The Amorites, who were a part of the larger tribe known as the Western Semites, were crucial in the development of the Old Babylonian Empire.

The nation of the Amorites ("westerners") took over Isin, Larsa, and Babylon. Their kings are known as the First Dynasty of Babylon (c. 1894 – c. 1595 BC).

The area was reunited by Hammurabi, a king of Babylon of Amorite descent (1792-1750 BC). Hammurabi was the sixth Amorite king. Babylon became a major military power under Amorite king Hammurabi. After Hammurabi conquered neighboring city states, he brought much of southern and central Mesopotamia under unified Babylonian rule, creating an empire called Babylonia.

Religious practices and features such as the cuneiform script of the Sumerian and Sumero-Akkadian civilization were adopted by the Amorites.

Samsu-iluna (c.1749–c.1712 BC), Hammurabi successor, made several attempts to add more territories and expand the empire, especially in the South: Ida-Maras, Emutbal, Uruk and Isin.

Under Hammurabi Babylon became the most splendid and important city of the ancient Near East. From his reign on, the alluvial plain of southern Iraq was called, with a deliberate archaism, Mât Akkadî, "the country of Akkad", after the city that had united the region centuries before.

Hammurabi introduced the famous code of laws (“an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth”). He created many civic improvements and monuments.

After the death of the great Babylonian King Hammurabi of the older Babylonian dynasty, the following Kings were weak.

The enemies sometimes invaded Babylonia, and in 1595 BC, the Hittite king Mursilis I advanced along the Euphrates, sacked Babylon, and even took away the statue of the supreme god of Babylonia, Marduk, from its temple, the Esagila.
First Babylonian Empire (Old Babylonian Empire)

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