Tonight will be your first chance in the course to read the historian, Herodotus. He is the great Ancient Greek historian, often referred to as the “Father of History” because he was among the first people to organize materials and present history in the “modern” sense. He wrote during the 5th Century B.C.E. and is best known for his work “The Histories”. Later in the semester we will read that account of the Persian Wars. For now he will introduce us to the great city of Babylon. While these are not strictly primary sources in that they are not first-hand accounts or original documents, Herodotus does give us as contemporary an account as is possible of how Babylon would have looked and what its customs were. He is writing in 440 B.C.E. Cyrus’ sacking of Babylon that Herodotus refers to occurred about 100 years earlier in 539 B.C.E.
For tonight please read “On Babylon” Part I pasted below. Do the following:
1. Take good notes which allow you at the end to answer the next few questions.
2. What do you think Babylon looked like visually? Create a drawing which depicts the Babylon that Herodotus describes. Include as much detail as possible, including street grids, gates, bodies of water, important buildings, and the surrounding geography. Your picture should include the work done by Nitocris
3. What was the purpose of Nitocris’ engineering feats? Why was she so keen to reroute the Euphrates and drain it?
4. What do you make of the Nitocris tomb story?
I have also pasted below a document which gives the measurement conversions so that you can get an idea of how big and heavy some of the items are that he describes.
Thank you for the good discussion today about conquering and empire. For tonight I would like you to go back through the three documents we have been reading over the past two weeks: “History of Ancient Mesopotamia”, “The Near East in the Ages of Confusion”, and “The Assyrians and the Persians”. In those readings the following conquering empires were discussed:
1. Akkadian Empire and Sargon
2. Third Dynasty of Ur
For each empire mentioned, please look at what tactics (political, economic, cultural) they used to control they lands they conquered. You should make a specific list for each. Where did their tactics fall on the continuum we discussed in class today? Did where they fall on the continuum affect how large an empire they could control? Did it affect how long their empire lasted?
Please finish the file “Mesopotamian History” posted below. This will include the sections “Sea Peoples and the Age of Confusion” and ” neo-Babylonian and Persian Empires”. These readings are really review on the Roberts but do contain some new information. Take notes, define the boldface terms and be ready to answer these questions:
1. What is the significance of the Battle of Qadesh?
2. To what does Leick attribute the Assyrian’s “aggressive foreign policy”?
3. What role do we see water playing (again) in Babylon’s sacking by the Assyrian king Sennacherib?
4. What role does Nebuchadnezzar play in Babylon’s resurgence?
5. What was the importance of Etemenanki?
6. What does Leick make of the Babylonians’ embracing (or not) of their Persian conquerors?
HAPPY FRRE DRESS DAY!! WEAR YOUR HOMECOMING T-SHIRT!!
For homework, read the attached file and be able to do the following:
1. Put into chronological order the kings and empires mentioned. You should keep a running list as you read with the important dates.
2. Define the bold-faced terms
3. Be able to answer these questions:
a. How did the Assyrian conquerors assert control over their territorial possessions?
b. What important contribution did Ashurbanipal make to the preservation of history?
c. To what does Roberts attribute Assyrian success? To what does he attribute their downfall?
d. What achievements both good and not was Nebuchadnezzar best known for?
e. Why does Roberts call Egypt “a Bronze Age anachronism”?
f. Under Cyrus, how did the Persians maintain control over their territories?
g. To what does Roberts attribute Persian (and Cyrus’) success?
Please do the attached reading and write down your answers to the following questions. You should continue working your note taking rubric as well. Be ready to share your notes and answers in class.
1. Around 1000 BC what factor contributed to the downfall of the Hittites?
2. Who do these “sea peoples” seem to be and what role do they play in the political history of the ANE?
3. What were the two main differences between the religion of the Hebrews and the religious traditions of other Mesopotamians?
4. What factors account for the rise of monotheism?
5. What appears to have caused the ascendancy of the Hebrew kingdom around 1000 BC?
6. What is the chronological order of the Jewish leaders, beginning with Abraham and finishing with Solomon.
I hope your test went well. I look forward to reading them. Tomorrow we will continue our discussion of Hammurabi’s Code, so review that reading. As well, please do the following assignment. Please read the section of Mesopotamian History entitled “The Hittites and The Kassites” and answer the following questions:
1. What was the important change brought to Mesopotamia by the Kassite dynasty?
2. What was the importance of corvee labor?
3. What was it about Babylonia’s geographical position that
enabled it to flourish during this period?
4. To what does Leick attribute the professionalization of cultural pursuits like literature, astronomy, and medicine?
For homework I would like you to do two things. First, attached below you will find Hammurabi’s Code. Read the Code and then answer in written form the questions below. Bullet points are fine.
1. What themes of royal power and Babylonian cosmogony are evident in the Prologue?
2. One important legal concept is judicial principle or judicial precedent. Define the word “precedent” in the context of the law.
3. In these laws, Hammurabi set forth several legal principles and precedents that are still in use today. Find as many as you can and cite specific law(s) in the Code which are examples of them.
4. As with any primary resource, we can analyze Hammurabi’s Code to determine characteristics of everyday Babylonian life. Find as many as you can and cite specific law(s) in the Code which are examples of them.
Second you should begin to think about Monday’s test. Please do three things in preparation for your studying this weekend.
1. Compile and be able to define all the terms we have put on the board and/or discussed in class. You should the historical ID rubric we discussed in class.
2. Think about the major themes we have touched on in class and consider how an essay might be structered around those themes. Try to answer your questions using the five paragraph essay as your outline.
3. Look again at the main passages of the Enuma Elish. There will be a section of the test in which you will be asked to identify a few passages and their importance.