Here we go, we're going to look at four empires of Mesopotamia before we look at some of the more powerful empires. We must figure out what an empire is. The dictionary defines an empire as a group of nations or peoples ruled over by an emperor, empress or other powerful sovereign or government, usually a territory of greater extent than a kingdom.
At around 2300 BCE, a group known as the Acadians conquered Zumaya.
They made all the city states part of a single empire. The Acadians conquered the land and created the world's first empire. They were led by a king named Sargon, who use powerful and smart military strategies to retain power during the span of the empire. The Acadians has some great accomplishments. The Akkadian language replaces Sumerian language. Art flourished with three dimensional sculptures. One famous 3D sculpture is the Victory Steel, which shows a scene of a military victory.
Unfortunately, the Akkadian empire only lasted about 200 years and fell to new invaders from the north.
After the fall of the Acadians, Sumaya went back to being independent city states until a king named Hammurabi came around. Hammurabi is mostly known for his code of laws, which were used to unify and preserve order. The code spelled out specific punishments for wrongdoing. For example, here's a law.
If fire breaks out in a house and someone who comes to put it out cast his eye upon the property of the owner of the house and take the property of the master of the house, he shall be thrown into that selfsame fire. Although the law seemed harsh, Hammurabi's Code was a revolutionary because this was the first time where laws were applied to everyone. Also, during the Babylonian empire, trade flourished, which helped the empire's economy, the next great empire to rule Mesopotamia, where a group called the Assyrians, the Assyrians were a warlike people and were feared for their military might and cruelty.
Their greatest achievements were their weapons and war strategies. They were excellent at siege warfare and were the first to use the battering ram. The Assyrian empire lasted for about 300 years and at its height stretched from Egypt to the Persian Gulf. In the end, the territory proved too big to control and was plundered by a few different groups of people. Eventually, the Babylonians once again took control of the area. The neo Babylonian empires.
Most famous king was Nebuchadnezzar. The second NEBs ruled for over 40 years and expanded the empire whenever he could. NEBs worked hard to return the capital of Babylon to the riches it had enjoyed under Hammurabi. Also, one of the wonders of the ancient world was built at Nebuchadnezzar Palace. The Hanging Gardens of Babylon, the new Babylonian empire, only lasted about 75 years and was conquered by another great empire, the Persians. As we've seen in Mesopotamia, empires give me some mixed emotions.
On one hand, they they pumped out some great achievements, like the first code laws, great military achievements and beautiful wonders of the world. But on the other hand, they are taken over groups of people enforcing their control upon them. Like many other River Valley civilizations, Mesopotamia and several empires rise to power and fall apart for one reason or another. That is a common theme that you will see all throughout history until next time that's been here five minutes or less.
Here are some sources and some photographs.