Mesopotamia/Babylon History and King Hammurabi

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Mesopotamia/Babylon History
Babylon was probably the most famous city of ancient Mesopotamia. Until today the city is a symbol for wealth, power, and sin (largely due to its treatment in the Bible). The name Babylon is the Greek form of Babel of Babili, which means "the gate of the god" in Semitic, which again is the translation of the original Sumerian name Ka-dimirra. The god was probably Marduk, the divine patron of the city. Like the other great Sanctuaries of Babylonia, the temple of Marduk had been founded in pre-Semitic times and the future Babylon grew around it. As Marduk was the son of Ea, the patron god of Eridu, it is possible that Babylon was a colony of Eridu.

The earliest mention of Babylon is in a dated tablet of the reign of Sargon of Akkad (2334-2279 BCE), who is stated to have built sanctuaries there. Babylon remained a provincial town until it became the capital of the first dynasty of Babylon and then Hammurabi's empire, around 1795-1750 BCE. From this time onward it continued to be the capital of Babylonia and the holy city of western Asia. The claim to supremacy in Mesopotamia was not fulfilled de jure until the claimant had "taken the hands" of Marduk at Babylon. It was this which made Tiglath-pileser III (ruled 745-727 BCE) and other Assyrian kings so anxious to possess themselves of Babylon and to thus legitimize their power.

Only Sennacherib of Assyria (reigned 704-681 BCE) failed to secure the support of the Babylonian priesthood, and subsequently razed the city in 689 BC. This act shocked the religious conscience of western Asia, and Sennacherib was subsequently assassinated. His successor hastened to rebuild the city.

With the recovery of Babylonian independence under Nabopolassar (reigned the Neo-Babylonian Empire 625-605 BCE) a new era of architectural activity set in, and his son Nebuchadrezzar II (reign 605-562 BCE) made…...

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