The Fertile Crescent

The Fertile Crescent
The FC was in present day Israel, Jordan,
Lebanon, Turkey, Syria & Iraq
Mesopotamia - land between two rivers
– Tigris
– Euphrates
• Present Day Iraq
• Settled 5000 BC
• Flat plain
• Need protection from flooding rivers & from
– built dams & channels
– irrigation
Sumerian Civilization (3000 BC)
• City State – an independent state
consisting of the city & the farms around it
• (12) within Sumer valley
• common culture, language, religion
• Polytheistic – believed in many gods
• each City State has a temple – Ziggurat
unpredictable & selfish
bring famine, disease, flood, destruction
priests & priestesses ask for blessings
ceremonies to appease gods
• An – god of seasons
• Enlil – wind and agriculture
• Underworld – no light or air
The Story on Enmesh and Enten
• Summer Myth in which Enlil, son of the
Sumerian supreme God chooses the gifts
of Enten (creator of animals over Enmesh
creator of villages)
• Importance of Neolithic
• Kings are also priests, responsible for
pleasing the deity.
• This makes the government a Theocracy –
or government controlled by religious
Sumerian inventions
(develop around the need to trade)
arch – sturdier buildings
potter’s wheel
# system (based on 60)
lunar calendar
1st bronze
Cuneiform – writing
• symbols for ideas & objects
• hard to learn  scribe class studies at eddubas
• business, history, literature
Empires of Mesopotamia &
Hammurabi’s Code
Sargon of Akkad– 2350 BC
• conquered all c-s of Sumer
• 1st Empire – many peoples & previously
independent states under one ruler
Hammurabi of Babylon
• When- 1792- approx. 1750 B.C.E.
• Problem – many different laws & customs
throughout the land and acts of vengeance
were common
• Solution- Created a codified law system
based on class rank. Harsh punishments
Pillar of Law
Hammurabi’s Code:
“to make justice appear in the land”
• 1st “Codified” Law
(organized law code)
• 1st Written law –
engraved on stones
throughout the empire
• Uniform – all cs had
to abide by it
• What categories does it deal with?
• Is there equality under Hammurabi’s law?
• Does it “make justice appear in the land?”
• How do Hammurabi’s laws compare with ours in
terms of the 1. types of laws, 2. types of
punishments, 3. goal of the law?
Study collections