By Brian Bonhomme, Cathleen Boivin
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Extra resources for Milestone Documents in World History: Exploring the Primary Sources That Shaped the World
In addition, the Mosaic laws (ca. 1300 BCE), especially in Exodus 22:20 36, 7 Milestone Documents Column xi The different times of day mentioned here are likely referring to the hours when religious ceremonies were to be performed. The sagbur (“sa˜gbur”) were perhaps associated with the lamentation singers, but their particular function is not clear. The sagbur were perhaps responsible for removing the clothes of the deceased before they were wrapped for burial. about their intended audience. A significant percentage of the Sumerian texts from Girsu were uncovered by French archaeologists in the late nineteenth century, when excavations were relatively primitive, at least by modern standards.
Hammurabi also sought to expand his territory by conquest. However, in doing so, he quickly came into disputes with powerful states outside Babylonia: the kingdoms of Upper Mesopotamia (with major cities at Shubat-Enlil and Mari) and Elam (in Iran). Instead of fighting these kingdoms, Hammurabi opted for a diplomatic strategy, contracting an alliance with King Shamshi-Adad of the Upper Mesopotamian kingdom in 1783 BCE. Similar alliances were forged with Elam, but these proved short-lived, as the Elamite king became interested in adding Babylon to his own territory.
Many city-states were ruled by kings of Amorite descent (their origins being land west of Sumer and Akkad) who had seized power from native Sumerians and Akkadians during the political upheaval. Isin and Larsa were two of the most powerful cities. Each was able to build a small kingdom, yet neither ever controlled all the cities of Sumer and Akkad. Babylon, which before this period had been an unimportant town, was one of the cities that proved able to Code of Hammurabi maintain its autonomy. The First Dynasty of Babylon began in 1894 BCE (dated according to the Middle Chronology used by most historians studying ancient Babylonia) with the reign of its first king, an Amorite named Sumu-abum.
Milestone Documents in World History: Exploring the Primary Sources That Shaped the World by Brian Bonhomme, Cathleen Boivin