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Babylonia

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Babylonia at the time of Hammurabi showing the Babylonian territory upon his ascension in 1792 BC and upon his death in 1750 BC.

Babylonia (Babylonian: Bābili, "gate of God"; Old Persian: Babirush) was a state south of Mesopotamia, in modern Iraq, combining the territories of Sumer and Akkad. The earliest mention of the city of Babylon can be found in a tablet from the reign of Sargon of Akkad, dating back to the 20th century BC.

History

The Babylonians began to dominate southern Mesopotamia under their sixth ruler, Hammurabi (1780–1750 BC). He was a highly efficient ruler, famous for the code of laws that he laid down, and he gave the region stability after turbulent times.

Babylon became the central power of Mesopotamia. The armies of Babylonia were well-disciplined, and they conquered the city-states of Isin, Elam, and Uruk, and the strong Kingdom of Mari. But Mesopotamia had no clear boundaries, making it vulnerable to attack. Trade and culture thrived for 150 years, but then the Hittites sacked Babylon in 1595 BC. Its cities continued for 100 years under different foreign rulers. Then, for 500 years, Babylon was overshadowed by Assyria before it's rise to greatness.

Mathematics and science

The mathematicians of Babylonia devised a system of counting based on the number 60, from which we get the number of seconds in a minute and of minutes in an hour and the number of degrees (60×6) in a circle. Babylonian scholars developed early sciences and astrology from the knowledge they gained from the Sumerians.

Location

The city of Babylon was found on the Euphrates River, about 110 kilometres south of modern Baghdad, just north of what is now the Iraqi town of al-Hillah.

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