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Lecture

The Fertitle Crescent.docx

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Department
History
Course
HIST 110
Professor
Sebastian Siebel- Achenbach
Semester
Fall

Description
HIST #2 The Fertile Crescent Wednesday September 12, 2012  Mesopotomia – ‘land between two rivers’ Euphrates + Tigris  Sumerian cities: Ur, Eridu, Erech, Uruk, Ubaid, Larsa, Lagash, Nippur  Akkadian cities: Kish, Nippur, Akkad, Samarra, Khafaje  Ziggurat with mastabas (‘bench’)  Lugalzaggisi (c. 2350 BC)  Sargon I ‘the Great’ (2371 BC)  Kassities, Elamites, Assyrians  Neubuchadrezzar II (604 BC – 562 BC) and New Babylonian Empire  Enslaved Israelites  Built “sacared way” Mesopotamia was a land of natural fertile because of the water that flowed through it. Refered as The fertile crescent by geographers: Persian gulf arched into the nile, Egypt . Samarra: first evidence of civilization. Towns were small. Towns required fortification. No overpopulation, famine and constant war between states. Sumerian cities: these small towns important because not involved in agriculture, not involved in working the land. Own kings, own governments, own religion. Fighting one another over centuries for supremacy. Developed organized warfare . Needed materials, resources, swords, formations to be successful, so states started to emerge (ruled by king or prince) heavily intertwined with religion. State + religion same. Limited opposition. Opposition was heresy & treason. Battled each other until 2050 BC. Lugalzaggasi first one to unify all states. Became small federation of states designed for mutual defense. Realized there were outsiders who were interested in their wealth/resources. We know this because of cuneiform on clay tablets. Sumerians highly interested in trade: always about interest, credit. Traded wood products, jewelry, chairs, tables. Importers of raw materials. Exported finished goods. Akkadians cities: also interested in acquiring wealth/trade of Sumerians. Land around Sumerian began to be infertile (soil failed) (salts) Ecological disaster. Soil depleted. Mankind misused irrigation. 1700 BC: Akkadian cities dominate Sumerian cities. Sargon I ‘the great’ succeeded by Hammurabi. Hammurabi unified Akkadian cities into one great empire. Great warrior, never lost a battle. Created first great empire in Middle East. Area in Mesopomatia became unified under his authority. Hammurabi known for establishing a code of law “ code of Hammurabi” . held for retribution. ‘ an eye for an eye’. Victim would inflict punishment onto offender. Severe punishment if crime committed. Code was hope that citizens would fear punishments so would obey rules Weakness of true authority? ¼ harvests died, hunger occurred. Short life expectancy. People would worship particular gods representing various things ie. Sun, harvests. Kings elected by priests, elders. Strong kings got son to succeed, often successor elected. People who lived on land worked very hard, land owned by King. Expected to pay taxes (gave up percentage of total harvest, up to 20%) must obey labor duties. People in the towns had similar HIST #2 The Fertile Crescent Wednesday September 12, 2012 obligations: taxes, labor duty (military service) had to worry about diseases. Women were little better than slaves, roles have evolved from Neolithic period. Property becam
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