Babylonians and the Contributions to Math

Topics: Babylonia, Babylon, Hammurabi Pages: 5 (1612 words) Published: April 11, 2001
Essay #1: History

The history of ancient Babylonia is really long, but this essay is a short and to the point summery of the entire history. The history of Babylonia started near the end of the year 2000 BC, when invaders were attacking the Sumer kingdom. Sumer was a powerful kingdom in the western part of Asia, and it some what occupied what would become Babylonia. After the kingdom of Sumer was destroyed the city-states of Larsa and Isin came into settle on the land once occupied by Sumer. This led to fighting between Larsa and Isin. After hundreds of years of fighting Larsa defeated Isin.

But, just as Larsa beat Isin, Hammurabi came to power in the city of Babylonia. Hammurabi went on to defeat Larsa and start a vast kingdom in the place where the Sumer kingdom used to be.
Hammurabi was a very powerful military and political leader. Also he set up a code of law stating "an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth", this law is called the Hammurabi code and is still used today. Hammurabi's dynasty was also called the First Dynasty of Babylonia. This dynasty ruled for about 200 years until 1530 BC. Under the control of this dynasty, Babylonia entered a period of prosperity and peace.

The Babylonians developed an abstract form of writing based on wedge-shaped symbols. Their symbols were written on wet clay tablets that were baked in the hot sun. Many of thousands of these tablets have survived to this day. They had to use straight lines because curved line could not be drawn in the wet clay. They used these tablets to aid in the calculations of problems. They studied math with the help of these tablets. They studied in mathematics because having a peaceful nation they had no need to specialize in military and warfare, so they learned math and discovered new forms of math.

A tribe known as the Kassites began to attack Babylonia when Hammurabi's son ruled the empire. Over the centuries, the Kassites weakened Babylonia. Finally, around 1530 BC a Kassite dynasty was set up in Babylonia. After about 150 years, the Babylonians and the Kassites lived in peace until the Assyrians attacked Babylonia. They weakened Babylonia so much that the Kassite dynasty fell from power and the Assyrians took control. Because of an influx of many nomadic tribes, Babylonia fell into anarchy for about 200 years.

During the 800s BC, the Chaldeans rebuilt Babylonia to what it once was. The new king, Nebchadnezzar, added a lot of territory to Babylonia's already vast empire. The king also rebuilt the capital, Babylon. But, Babylonia did not hold together after the kings' death. Nabonidus, the new king, could not seem to keep the Babylonian empire together. Shortly after the end of Nabonidus's reign, the Persians moved into conquer. Babylonia was defeated and would never rise again.

Essay #2: Culture

Ancient Babylonian culture is represented mostly through their art. Their art is mostly consists of tablets and pottery with detailed carvings and images of people and their actions. This form of art reflected their every day lifestyles and culture.

First there is the representation of the people, men and women. The art of the men make it seem like that they are better than woman. Maybe symbolizing their gender aspects of their time, where women are considered lesser. Many women wanted to fulfill the desires of men.

From the list of other art forms, there is the clay plaque of the goddess Lillith. She looks like she is chained to a wall, perhaps in a sacrificial offering. Her arms appear to be raised as a spiritually symbolic element. A variety of animals surround her, which could also be a sacrifice. She is standing on two lambs, which the in the Bible means purity, so she could either be a good pure goddess, or one being offered to become one. Two owls are on each side, maybe offering her protection against harm. Since she is a goddess she seems to have wings that could most likely have powers as well.

Another thing that strongly...
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