Come to Mesopotamia!
Where Civilization Started
The Rise of Sumerian City-States
The earliest cities date back to about 3500 B.C. Sumerians believed that their kings were chosen by gods. They were like small independent countries. They each had their own ruler and their own farmland to provide for food. This is why they are called city-states. For 1500 years, Sumer was a land of independent city-states. Then, around 2300 B.C. the Akkadians conquered the land. Come visit the place that invented wheels! They also invented cuneiform. Also, come check out all of the ziggurats, the place where the Sumerians believed their gods lived.
The Akkadian Empire
The Akkadians came from northern Mesopotamia. They were led by a great king named Sargon. Sargon ruled for 56 years, in which time he established the empire's capital in the northern city of Agade. It became a cultural center with many beautiful temples and palaces. Even though the Akkadians ruled over the Sumerians, they still used their system of farming, writing, and worshiping. Although Sargon had hoped that his empire would last for thousands of years, after only 200 years it fell to invaders from the north. They were the worlds first empire and had a very pwerful military. They believed in multiple gods and worshiped in temples.
The Babylonian Empire
After the fall of the Akkadians, Sumer was once again a collection of city-states. But then they were united by their next king Hummurabi. After conquering the rest of Mesopotamia, he made Babylon the capital of his empire. The region under his rule became known as Babylonia. Hammurabi is best known for his 282 code of laws. He used those laws to unite his people, claiming the laws came from the gods. His laws were written on a stele and placed in a temple for everyone to see. His code was very detailed, and although they seem harsh to us now, they helped unite his people during his rule. Hammurabi was very proud of his achievements, and is arguably the best king Babylonia ever had. If you want to live under strict laws, come visit Babylonia.
The kings after Hammurabi did not rule Babylonia for long. The next great empire in Mesopotamia was created by a war like people called the Assyrians. They were feared because of military and cruelty. They perfected the use of horses in war and built many powerful war machines. They believed that kings were special beings, so they built palaces for them. Their people farmed the land and built the very first aqueducts. Their empire has bee going on for 300 years. They were conquered in 612 BC. Come visit Assyria.
Next came the Neo-Babylon empire, which sadly only lasted for 75 years. Their famous empire Nebuchadrezzar II expanded the empire whenever he could. They created the first Sundial and were very good in mathematics and astronomy. They created the 60 min hour and the 7 day week. They had fabulous gardens and a great watering system. In 539 B.C. the Persians took over. Come visit the Neo-Babylonian Empire!