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Babylon was probably the most famous city of ancient Mesopotamia. Until today the city is a symbol for wealth, power, and sin (largely due to its treatment in the Bible). The name Babylon is the Greek form of Babel of Babili, which means "the gate of the god" in Semitic, which again is the translation of the original Sumerian name Ka-dimirra... [continue reading]
A country in northern Greece, Macedon (or Macedonia) was first inhabited by the Mackednoi tribe who, according to Herodotus, were the first to call themselves 'Hellenes’ (later applied to all Greeks) and who gave the land their name. For centuries the Mackednoi had little to do with southern Greece. Even after the Persian invasion of 480 (during... [continue reading]
Assyria was a Mesopotamian empire that grew out of the city-state of Ashur. It was one of the greatest empires in Mesopotamia, together with the Akkadian Empire of Sargon the Great and the Babylonian Empire under Hammurabi. At its height, the Assyrian Empire extended from Anatolia in the west, to Armenia in the... [continue reading]
After his father's death in 559 BC, Cyrus the Great became king of Anshan but like his predecessors, Cyrus had to recognize Mede overlordship. In 552 BC Cyrus led his armies against the Medes and captured Ecbatana in 549 BC, effectively conquering the Median Empire and also inheriting Assyria. Cyrus later conquered Lydia and Babylon. Cyrus the Great created... [continue reading]
The Medes, (Greek Μῆδοι, from an Old Persian ماد Mādai) were an ancient Iranian people who lived in the northwestern portions of present-day Iran. This area is known as Media (also Medea; Greek Μηδία, Old Persian Māda; the English adjective is Median, antiquated also Medean). They entered this region with the first wave of Iranian tribes, in... [continue reading]