Babylon: Mesopotamia and the Birth of Civilization

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Macmillan, Mar 27, 2012 - History - 320 pages
2 Reviews

Civilization was born eight thousand years ago, between the floodplains of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, when migrants from the surrounding mountains and deserts began to create increasingly sophisticated urban societies. In the cities that they built, half of human history took place.

In Babylon, Paul Kriwaczek tells the story of Mesopotamia from the earliest settlements seven thousand years ago to the eclipse of Babylon in the sixth century BCE. Bringing the people of this land to life in vibrant detail, the author chronicles the rise and fall of power during this period and explores the political and social systems, as well as the technical and cultural innovations, which made this land extraordinary. At the heart of this book is the story of Babylon, which rose to prominence under the Amorite king Hammurabi from about 1800 BCE. Even as Babylon's fortunes waxed and waned, it never lost its allure as the ancient world's greatest city.

Engaging and compelling, Babylon reveals the splendor of the ancient world that laid the foundation for civilization itself.


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User Review  - bethanyinthetaiga - LibraryThing

I've wanted to read something about ancient Mesopotamia for quite some time and after looking through reviews I decided on this book due to its "accessibility". Retrospectively perhaps I should have ... Read full review

Not what I was hoping

User Review  - Chris -

I ordered this book from a local book store and waited in anticipation of its arrival (I should have looked at CBD first, they have a much better price). I was looking for a book that would give me a ... Read full review


An Introduction
The Urban Revolution Before
A Caesura in History
The CityStates c 3000 to 2300
The Bronze Heroic Age c 2300 to 2200
The Dirigiste State c 2100 to 2000
The Culmination c 1900 to 1600
Colossus of the First Millennium c 1800 BCE
An End and a Beginning After 700
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About the author (2012)

PAUL KRIWACZEK was born in Vienna. He travelled extensively in Asia and Africa before developing a career in broadcasting and journalist. In 1970, he joined the BBC full-time and wrote, produced, and directed for twenty-five years. He also served as head of Central Asian Affairs at the BBC World Service. He is the author of Yiddish Civilisation: The Rise and Fall of a Forgotten Nation, which was shortlisted for the Jewish Quarterly Wingate Literary Award, as well as In Search of Zarathustra: The First Prophet and the Ideas that Changed the World.

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