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Mesopotamia

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					  Sumer
3000 B.C.E.
      Political Structure of Sumer
The priest-king:

led the military, administered trade,
judged disputes, and engaged in the
most important religious ceremonies.

ruled through a series of bureaucrats
who surveyed land, assigned fields, and
distributed crops after harvest.

claimed authority was based on “divine
selection.”

claimed the monarch was a
representative of the gods and worthy of
worship.
Social Structure of Mesopotamia

•The Emergence of a
Stratified Patriarchal
Society
• (“patri” = father)
    •Social Classes
    •Temple Communities
    •Patriarchal Society
    •Women’s Roles
    •Slaves
Economics

  Specialization of work led to increasing
   complexity in the economy.
  Artisan class develops.
  Barter system in which goods are
   exchanged at bazaars.
  No “money” is exchanged.
                Religion
•Polytheistic
•Powerful gods resembled humans.
•Gods controlled natural forces and were
associated with astronomical bodies, such
as the sun.
•The gods were creator gods; as a group,
they had created the world and the people in
it.
•Believed gods regretted creation of humans
and made a flood.
                    Writing
•Stone tablets kept records of
goods.
•Early writings were actually
pictures done with a reed on
wet clay.
• Eventually, the Sumerians
converted to a short-hand
called cuneiform, or "wedge-
shaped“ in Latin.
• The oldest literary work, The
Epic of Gilgamesh, is a product
of the Sumerians
           The Calendar

•Sumerians invented
calendars, which they divided
into twelve months based on
the cycle of the moon.


•This interest in measuring
long periods of time led the
Sumerians to develop a
complicated knowledge of
astronomy
Developments of Mesopotamia


  •Specialization and
  Trade
    •Bronze
    Metallurgy
    •The Wheel
    •Shipbuilding
    •Trade Networks
    •Ramps
    •Ziggurats
Mesopotamian empires, 1800-
600 B.C.E.

  Page: 39
The First Empire:
The Akkadians
          •The Akkadians came from the Arabic
          peninsula
          •The Akkadians migrated north into
          the Sumerian city-states
          •In 2340 BC, the military leader,
          Sargon, conquered Sumer and built
          an empire
          •It was the largest empire humans
          great Akkadian had ever seen up until
          that point.
          •It later became the city of Babylon,
          which was the commercial and
          cultural center of the middle east for
          almost two thousand years.
Hammurabi’s   •Around 1900 B.C.E. the
              Amorites (Old Babylonians)
   Code       gained control of most of
              Mesopotamian region.
              •A Babylonian monarch
              named Hammurabi came up
              with a system of laws.
              •a law of exact revenge or lex
              talionis: "an eye for an eye, a
              tooth for a tooth, a life for a
              life"
              •Sumerian law recognized
              class distinctions; under
              Sumerian law, everyone was
              not equal
              • Harming a priest or noble
              person was a far more serious
              crime than harming a slave or
              poor person
 Sources from the Past:
  Hammurabi’s Law on Family Relationships

   “If the wife of a seignior has been caught while lying with
   another man, they shall bind them and throw them into the
   water. If the husband of the woman wishes to spare his wife,
   then the king in turn may spare his subject.”
                                     - Hammurabi’s Law
  The Later Mesopotamian
  Empires: The Assyrians

The Assyrians were Semitic
people living in the northern
reaches of Mesopotamia.

The army was the largest
standing army ever seen in the
Middle East or Mediterranean.

Technological innovation in
weaponry: iron swords, lances,
metal armor, and battering rams

They are remembered for their
brutality, use of exile and harsh
rule.
Later Influences in Religion

  The Early Hebrews
  Migrations and
   Settlement in Palestine
  Moses and
   Monotheism
  Assyrian and
   Babylonian Conquests
  The Early Jewish
   Community
  Hear the story.
Indo-European Migrations
  The Phoenicians

 The
  Phoenicians
   The Early
    Phoenicians
   Phoenician
    Trade Networks
   Alphabetic
    Writing
Indo-European Migrations

  •The Hittites
  •War Chariots
  •Iron Metallurgy
  •Indo-European
  Migrations to the East
  •Indo-European
  Migrations to the
  South
  •Indo-European
  Migrations to the West

				
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posted:10/25/2012
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