Questions on Mesopotamia

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Chapter 2: Early Societies in Southwest Asia and Indo-European Migration 1. In Mesopotamia, the most important geographic features were the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. Because Mesopotamia was on a flat land between two rivers, as so named, the Mesopotamians had to adapt. One Adaptation was irrigation. The use of irrigation helped Mesopotamians develop a wealthy agricultural society. Another adaptation was boundaries such as city walls. Without natural boundaries to protect their cities, Mesopotamian noblemen and kinds ordered city walls to be erected both to protect the city-states wealth and from nomadic peoples trying to invade and gain control. The geographic features helped to mold Mesopotamia into stable city-states dependent on agriculture because of the necessity of adaption, due to the lack of naturally convenient water sources. 2. Mesopotamia was ruled by kings and noblemen. The government was organized by social classes. The social classes with the most wealth had the most power, and the poor people, such as slaves, held no power. Ruling city-states changed throughout Mesopotamian history, depending on which cities were the strongest economically, socially and had strong religious centers. Important Mesopotamian leaders include Sargon of Akkad, who conquered many cities. The Babylonian king Hammurabi, who created a code of laws designed to punish crimes, was another important leader in Mesopotamia. 3. Hammurabi was a Babylonian ruler who reigned from 1792B.C.E. to 1750B.C.E. Hammurabi developed a system of laws of retaliation, punishing unaccepted behaviors with heavy fines and often a death penalty. Hammurabi’s rule set rigid ideas of what was acceptable in the communities. Hammurabi’s code showed that Mesopotamian society would punish women more heavily than men in instances in which a man and woman broke a law. Hammurabi’s laws reveal a society more lenient towards men and harsher towards women. 4. The economy of Mesopotamia was driven...
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