Ancient Near East (Members Only)

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History of the Ancient Near East


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Perspective


Our digital history of the Ancient Near East is not of one civilization, but of many. Among these are the lesser known civilizations of Armenia, the Hittites, the Lydians, and Phrygians. Then there was Phoenicia, a nation of traders who brought the beginnings of our alphabet to Greece. And there was Sumer, which gave us writing. Brutish Assyria gave the Near East a legacy of brutality. But Babylonia’s King Hammurabi gave us a comprehensive body of law that anticipated many of the precepts of Western law.

While Hammurabi’s Code provided the beginnings of the Western legal tradition, Islam answered to the call of the Prophet Muhammed, and it grew to become an empire that stretched from Spain to Samarkand. Nowhere is the glory of Islam more evident than in its mosques (though the iconic Hagia Sophia in Istanbul was actually a creation of the Roman emperor Justinian). What’s more, Islam’s scientific genius enabled great advances in medicine and optics. And, its literary and philosophical ethos kept alive the giants of Western philosophy while Europe slumbered through its Dark Ages. Fro this, the empire of Islam gave rise to the ponderous Ottoman Empire that would bring Suleiman the Great to the gates of Vienna, and endure until the end of World War I.

Judea gave us Jerusalem, the locus of each of the region’s main religions of Islam, Judaism, and Christianity (whose adherents once shared the city in relative peace and harmony). As a province of the Roman Empire, Judea became troublesome and it rebelled against Rome, leading to the destruction of Jerusalem’s magnificent Temple. Jesus of Nazareth would prove no less nettlesome to Rome.

That said, here’s our assortment… please enjoy! When you’re done perusing a map, click the ⇠ back arrow link in the upper left of your screen (not the < link), and you’ll be back here. Any problems, please get in touch at [email protected]


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Index

Near East: Index | Society | Culture | Economy | Armenia | Akkad |
Assyria: SocietyCitiesClassCultureReligionPowerBureaucracyGovernanceLawMilitaryEconomyAgricultureIndustryTrade | Babylonia: SocietyCultureArchitectureArtLanguageLiteratureMusicScience and TechnologyReligionDeitiesFunerary CustomsMagicMagic and the Evil EyeMythCreation MythEvil EyePersonal ReligionTemplesTemple WealthPowerInvasionCode of Hammurabi: JusticeLawsCommerceMarriage and FamilyEconomyAgricultureBusiness DocumentsConstructionFinanceLaborMiningTradeTransport | Hittite Empire: SocietyCulturePower | Islam: CulturePhilosophyScience and TechnologyPre-Islamic ReligionPower: RiseGovernanceAbbasid CaliphateDeclineUmayyad Caliphate | Judea: SocietyOriginsPeople of AbrahamWomenSexualityMarriageFamilyHellenistic Judea: CultureLiteratureReligionJudaism: People of the Book GenesisProphetsJeremiahIsaiahMosaic CodeJerusalemTemple of JerusalemTextsHebrew BiblePowerBabylonian CaptivityReformEconomy | Lydia: CulturePower | Mesopotamia: Society: AdornmentFamilyFoodMoralsWomenCulture: Architecture: Temples | EducationAstronomyMathematicsMedicineEconomyNations | Palestine: Society | Phoenicia: SocietyCommunitiesCultureReligionEconomyIndustryTrade | Phrygia: Religion | Scythia | Sumer: SocietyCities: FeaturesFirst CitiesDressPeopleClassCulture: ArchitectureLearningLiteratureScience and TechnologySpreadWritingLegacyReligion: BeliefsDeitiesTemplesPowerGovernanceEconomy: AgricultureTradeWealth | Syria



Armenia



Akkad


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Assyria


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Babylonia


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Hittite Empire


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Islam


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Judea


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Lydia



Mesopotamia


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Palestine



Phoenicia


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Phrygia


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Scythia



Sumer



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Syria



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