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42

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 ...


31

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 ...


26

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, ...


12

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 ...


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 ...


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

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, ...


7

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 ...


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 ...


5

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, ...


5

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 ...


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

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


2

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 ...


2

You can see some general survey, like: Victor Katz, A History of Mathematics: An Introduction (3rd edition, 2008), Ch.1.2 MESOPOTAMIA, page 10-on. There are references to "modern classics": Otto Neugebauer, The Exact Sciences in Antiquity (2nd ed, 1957), Ch.2 Babylonian mathematics B.L. Van der Waerden, Science Awakening I (or.ed, 1954), Ch.3 Babylonian ...


2

They were well aware of earlier empires, and many Kings of the subsequent empires would intentionally style themselves as the 'rightful successors' to the previous ones, by taking the names of earlier monarchs(eg. Sargon), or using many of the same titles(eg. King of the Four Quarters).


2

Short answer: By the era of the Babylonian conquest, Israel was an internally weak power sandwiched between two warring superpowers. After Nebuchanezzer, the remaining kings of Babylon did not have long reigns. Several were assassinated (hinting to the instability of the country. Then the Persians invaded. Long answer: The Land of Israel is sandwiched ...


2

We know that Assur-danin-pal rebelled even before the death of his father, King Shalmaneser III. We know that it was a serious rebellion that spread to at least 27 cities, including Ashur Nineneh, and Arbela. We know that it took four years to put the rebellion down [Kuhrt, 1995, Vol 2 p490]. It seems that the rebellion was eventually put down by Assur-...


2

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 ...


2

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 ...


1

I am willing to be corrected but as far as I know there is no surviving contemporary source for the circumstances in which the Hittite empire ended. There are various theories see e.g. http://semiramis-speaks.com/causes-of-the-collapse-of-the-hittite-empire-at-the-end-of-the-bronze-age/ but I am not aware that anyone has proved that it was due to civil war....


1

Lots of examples of cannibalism with regards to sieges. Lev,26:29; Deut, 26:53-57; 2 Kgs. 6:28-29: Per. 19:9; Ezek. 5:10; Larn. 2:20; 4:10; It's used as a metaphor in the Bible. A metaphor for how bad things were. Political treaties record parents eating their offspring without any explicit mention of siege, see SA A II 6:449-450, 547-550, 568-569 (...


1

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 ...


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