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Babylon

The Conquest of the Amorites, as in Numbers 21:25, by James Tissot, before 1903.

The Amorites: Bronze Age Invaders Who United an Empire

Sometime during the third millennium BC, a group of nomadic raiders expanded out of their mountainous homelands in Syria and stormed Mesopotamia. They were known as the Martu or Tidnum to the...
Hanging gardens of Semiramis - before Babylon was destroyed.

The Monumental Fall of Babylon: What Really Shattered the Empire?

The fall of Babylon is a historical event that occurred in 539 BC. This event saw the conquest of Babylon by the Achaemenid Empire under Cyrus the Great and marked the end of the Neo-Babylonian...
A 17th century engraving depicting an ordeal by water.

Trial by Ordeal: A Life or Death Method of Judgement

In the modern judicial system, the innocence or guilt of an accused may be established based on the evidence brought against him or her. In ancient and medieval societies, however, a different way of...
Medieval stargazers. People have been fascinated by the stars and their possible influence over our lives, long before and after the time of Babylonian astrology.

Babylonian Astrology: How Mesopotamian Priests Influenced Your Horoscope

Mankind has always looked up to the sky and wondered at its beauty and secrets. Human beings are also incredibly good at spotting patterns, so it is no wonder that we noticed the changing appearance...
Babylonian/Assyrian king by Angus McBride. (Public Domain) Background: Detail of a relief reconstruction from the processional way that lead to the Ishtar Gate.

Nabopolassar: The Rebel Ruler of Babylonia Who Had the Gods on His Side

Nabopolassar was the founder of the Neo-Babylonian Empire, which existed between the 7th and 6th centuries BC. But the Neo-Assyrians that were losing power at the time didn’t make his rise easy. If...
Marduk

Marduk: Babylonian King of Gods and Reportedly Liberator of the Jews

Most people have heard of Zeus, Odin, or Jupiter, but not many have heard of Marduk. Born to the mother and father of all Babylonian gods, Marduk clawed his way to the top becoming the head of the...
Hammurabi Code of Laws

Hammurabi and his God Given Code of Laws

At that time, the gods Anu and Enlil, for the enhancement of the well-being of the people, named me by my name: Hammurabi, the pious prince, who venerates the gods, to make justice prevail in the...
Example of a lamb stew with vegetables. (Jo del Corro/CC BY 2.0) “Hen with Herbs”. Laura Kelley recreates Recipe 2 from Yale tablet 8958. (Laura Kelley) Lamb shanks in a stew. (E4024/CC BY SA 4.0) YBC 4644, a tablet with a Babylonian recipe, ca. 1750 BC. (Yale University Library)

Three Babylonian Recipes From 1600 BC You Can Make At Home Today

Ever wanted a taste of life in an ancient civilization? The oldest cookbook ever found was made sometime around 1600 BC in the ancient city of Babylon. It’s a set of cracked tablets engraved by an...
‘The Tower of Babel’ (1595) by Lucas van Valckenborch.

Inside Etemenanki: The Real-Life Tower of Babel

If there was a tower of Babel, it was Etemenanki: a massive, stone ziggurat at the center of Babylon built to be a passageway up to heaven. The Babylonians didn’t see their tower of Babel as a...
The Burning of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar’s Army (1630-1660)

By the Rivers of Babylon: Life in Ancient Babylon’s Thriving Jewish Community

In the 6th-century BC, the armies of Babylon destroyed Jerusalem and the Kingdom of Judah. They tore down the city walls, burned the temples, and ran down every person who tried to escape. The few...
The “Burney Relief,” which is believed to represent either Ishtar, the Mesopotamian goddess of love and war, or her older sister Ereshkigal, Queen of the underworld (c. 19th or 18th century BC).

In Ancient Mesopotamia, Sex among the Gods Shook Heaven and Earth

Sexuality was central to life in ancient Mesopotamia, an area of the Ancient Near East often described as the cradle of western civilisation roughly corresponding to modern-day Iraq, Kuwait, and...
Alexander the Great trust to physician Phillip by Henryk Siemiradzky (1870)

Alexander the Great: Bleeding Asia Dry – Part II

A famous Roman aphorism was used well by Tacitus: “They plunder, they slaughter, and they steal; this they falsely name Empire, and when they create a desert, then they call it peace”. It is a...
‘A Dance to the Music of Time’ (1634-1635) by Nicolas Poussin.

Humans Have Been Making New Year’s Resolutions for Over 4,000 Years

New Year’s resolutions are a popular practice. Countless people begin to consider them every year as December 31st rolls around. Although the big plans and ambitious goals can be difficult to follow...
The Garden of Eden with the Fall of Man by Jan Brueghel the Elder and Pieter Paul Rubens

Do the Four Rivers Lead Us to the Garden of Eden?

In the Biblical Book of Genesis, chapter 2, the description of the Four Rivers of Eden provides clues for locating the lost garden of paradise. Following these clues leads to a connection between the...
Coin of Mithridates I of Parthia (Classical Numismatic Group, Inc.and illustration depicting a sacrifice being made on behalf of a family, by the chief priest Conon and two assistants, first century AD. Graeco-Iranian style

Mithridates Clashes with Kings and Swallows up Territory: The ‘King of Kings’ of Ancient Iran — Part II

Mithridates (“The Gift of Mithra) exhibited qualities that most kings rarely have: experience and maturity. He understood that a king could retain his power only as long as the people and nobles were...

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