44

It was a divine judgement in cases where the evidence was inconclusive and previous attempts to resolve the case had failed. In some cases at least, it was only used after other attempts at a resolution had failed. We can't be certain why it was considered a valid outcome as there is insufficient evidence, but it is likely that the apparent verdict of a god ...


39

One way to go about this type of research is to simply dig deeper, one step at the time: review the bibliography of the articles you've run into, and read the citations of potential interest. Rinse and repeat until you finally locate one or more articles that argue about the precise date - historians aren't the type of scholars who take ancient texts at face ...


32

Peter Leeson from George Mason University has argued that medieval trial by ordeal worked because people believed that they worked. Thus, only the innocent were willing to undergo the ordeal. If this theory is correct, presumably the ordeal also separated the guilty and innocent via the same mechanism at the time of Hammurabi. I argue that medieval ...


27

It seems like this was the 'polite' gesture of greeting in ancient Sumeria, and is actually the meaning of a Sumerian phrase for greeting: She faces in the direction of the cultic activity, her right arm bent at the elbow, hand raised before the face, in a well-known gesture of pious greeting, comparable to those depicted in presentation scenes, ...


22

According to Herodotus, there was no conquest in the sense. The Phoenician cities including Tyre had belonged to the Neo-Babylonian empire and recognized the suzerainty of the Persians willingly when Cyrus conquered Babylon in 539 BCE. Specifically, in Histories 3.19 Herodotus says (in a different context, when talking about Cambyses, a later Persian ruler) ...


21

As a quick note on chronology, "5000+ years ago" would put your setting in the Jemdet Nasr period or earlier (Uruk III–V; yes, archeological periods are numbered backwards). This is around the time when the earliest forms of "cuneiform" writing first evolved out of pre-literate pictographs used for accounting, and the signs used at the ...


15

Just like the better researchable Assyrians the Neo-Babylonians employed this as a proven tool to assert their control of the conquered lands and the remaining people there. Once the head of the snake is removed, it is no longer needed to crush that head? The Assyrian policy of deportation is analyzed as punishment for rebellious behaviour; liquidation of ...


12

As far as we know, Babylonians had no Pythagorean theorem and no theorems at all whatsoever. The major contribution of the Greeks was that "there are statements (which they called theorems) which can be PROVEN". This was a unique discovery, and no trace of it exists in any other culture. The notion of a "theorem" is a Greek invention, and there is absolutely ...


11

The Babylonians and Assyrians had several versions of a king list, at least one of which enumerated the kings from the Old Babylonian period down to the Neo-Assyrian period. There is also a much older Sumerian king list, copies of which were discovered in Neo-Assyrian sites, so it is evident that these texts were still being copied and read many centuries ...


11

I'm going to guess you're coming at this with the idea in your head that every living soul in the country was exiled. That's incorrect. In fact, while the Bible itself isn't consistent on the subject (and its our only real source), most likely what happened was something much closer to your "I could understand" option. We know the exiled included ...


9

In Jewish custom, all calendar questions were decided by the court (Synedrion). It was a duty of everyone who spotted the new Moon to report to this court as soon as possible. But of course, the new moon is not always visible, the sky can be covered by clouds for example, so the Synedrion decided when to start the new month, based on all available evidence, ...


9

Is there any other evidence of this mathematical concept existing in Babylon before Pythagoras? Yes. As Wikipedia observes, the Plimpton 322 tablet … lists two of the three numbers in what are now called Pythagorean triples, i.e., integers a, b, and c satisfying a2 + b2 = c2 (Click to enlarge) In addition to the Plimpton 322 tablet we have: The Yale ...


8

First, it is important to understand that the economic system of ancient Mesopotamia was something much closer to a barter system than a modern market. Money did exist, but not in the fully standardized form we are used to today. Here is a relevant article which explains: Although Babylon had flourishing trading activity, Hammurabi did not come up with ...


8

The timing is wrong. Although there is evidence of settlement at Pergamum around this time, it does not enter the historical record until Xenophon wrote about bringing his mercenaries through around 400 BC. According to Ancient History Encyclopedia, Pergamum was not much more than a hilltop fortress until the Hellenistic Period. The area around Pergamum ...


6

The direct motivation of Nebuchadnezzar in sparing King Jeconiah is not known. However, we can discern his motivation from subsequent events that suggest that keeping an heir of David alive, but under the thumb of the Babylonian king would make it easier to manage the large number of Jews in exile in Babylon. In or about the year 597 BCE, Jeconiah, the ...


6

Simply put, the decimal system is more convenient for most types of calculations. As you point out, there are systems that still use base 60. And there are others such as binary and hexadecimal which are applied in other areas where they are applicable. But the main reason for its decline is the unwieldiness. 60 as a base is difficult to use because you ...


6

The Babylonian sexagesimal system is used by Ptolemy in his Almagest (2nd century AD) and by Arabic astronomers throughout the Middle Ages. The decimal numerals were introduced from India to the Muslim World in the 9th century AD, and later from the Near East to Europe. It took a long time for the “Indian” numbers to be accepted, but eventually people ...


6

The Met has one of these panels on display: It also has an interpretation of the image: The figure depicted on the panel is eagle-headed and faces left, holding in his left hand a bucket and in his right hand a cone whose exact nature is unclear. One suggestion has been that the gesture, sometimes performed by figures flanking a sacred tree, is ...


5

Sura, or at least that area, was within the Roman province of Mesopotamia as of the reign of Septimius Severus when he conquered the area around 200CE. The province fell to the Sasanians, as you mentioned, about 50 years later. Trajan conquered the area north of Sura about a hundred years earlier and created the original province of Mesopotamia; however, ...


4

More of an economic answer than historical, but yet... The answer is that it would change very little. Two factors: Silver and gold are not consumed, so the amount available the previous year was still available the current year. Silver and gold are scarce and difficult to mine (from it their value), so at any given period its production would have been ...


3

The problem with determining Tiglath Pileser III's origins is lack of evidence. As Amélie Kuhrt has repeatedly observed in her 2-volume work The Ancient Near East, C. 3000-330 BC, alteration of Assyrian inscriptions in antiquity was commonplace. In the case of Tiglath Pileser III, we have contradictory evidence. As Dr Floyd Nolen Jones noted: It is well ...


3

There were two Babylonian kings named Nebuchadnezzar, accepted to have ruled respectively c. 1125–1104 BCE and c. 605-562 BCE, and three Kings of Tyre named Hiram who are accepted to have rules respectively 980 – 947 BCE, 739–730 BCE, and 551–532 BCE. The only overlap or close between these dates is of Nebuchadnezzar II (c. 605-562 BCE) and Hiram III (551–...


3

Adding to @Timothy's answer: I concur that there are no detailed accounts of the destruction of the Hittites. However, there appear to be at least two very, very short and incomplete accounts: Ugarit was probably under Hittite suzerranity, but maybe not. In any case, it was not far from the core areas of the Hittites. A desperate letter written by king ...


3

There are various chronologies floating around for Hammurabi's reign. So that will naturally produce some variation. Wikipedia seems to currently be favoring the middle one, which would indeed put the code at about 1750 BC. However, none of their listed chronologies vary by that much. Even their "Ultra Long" only backs him up to about 1900 BC. One thing I ...


3

Look at the footnote in the linked edition. It says "[Twenty-two years is probably a scribal error.]" The "King list VI" gives the correct number "20"; see here: http://www.livius.org/k/kinglist/babylonian_hellenistic.html


3

Nabu-kudurri-usur (Nebuchadnezzar II), was the oldest son of Nabu-apla-usur (Nabopolassar), founder of the 11th dynasty of Babylon. From the records, we know that he was born c634BC and died c562BC (aged 71/72). He succeeded his father to become king c605BC. (the "c" in all these dates stands for "circa" or "about") You are right that we use a number of ...


3

The earliest surviving references I've found seem to be from inscriptions dated to the Akkadian period (2350–2150 BCE). "miSru" certainly appears as the word for Egyptian in A Concise Dictionary of Akkadian, where the word can also mean 'border' or 'frontier'. Interestingly (or perhaps not!), the CIA seem to have come to the same conclusion about the ...


3

Babylonian/Iranian Cisterns have not Fundamentally Changed across the Millenia A cistern (Persian: āb-anbār) was intended as a large, waterproof reservoir which also allows ventilation and access. The site was chosen as an optimal location to maximize the collection of underground moisture and/or rainwater. The excavation was lined with oven-fired brick set ...


3

I'm the editor who had added the info to Wikipedia. I heavily expanded the novel's article in 2018, but had maybe gotten a touch lazy when I began tackling the section about historical accuracy, with terse explanations; I had suddenly become busy with real life, and soon returned my sources to the library. I have now added to the bit about the day of the ...


3

Does a crown have to be a gold or silver crown with jewels, or can it be made of other materials, so long as it represents authority? In the latter case, it would be very hard to tell the difference between fancy hats and hatlike crowns. Ancient Egyptian crowns came in many designs and weren't always made out of metal. In fact the materials they are made of ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible