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The Kingdom of Israel occupied the land on the Mediterranean Sea corresponding roughly to the State of Israel of modern times. The region was known, historically, as Canaan, as Phonecia and, later, as Palestine. Named after the Hebrew patriarch Jacob (also known as Yisrae’el, `persevere with God’) and, by extension, his nation, Israel was, at first... [continue reading]
The Bible takes its name from the Latin Biblia (book or books) which comes from the Greek Ta Biblia (the books) traced to the Phoenician port city of Gebal, known as Byblos to the Greeks because it was an exporter of papyrus (used in writing) and the Greek name for papyrus was bublos, linking the city with the written word. The book is a collection... [continue reading]
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]
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]
Cuneiform is a system of writing first developed by the ancient Sumerians of Mesopotamia c. 5000 BCE. The name comes from the Latin word cuneus for `wedge' owing to the wedge-shaped style of writing. In cuneiform, a carefully cut writing implement known as a stylus is pressed into soft clay to produce wedge-like impressions which represent word-signs (pictographs... [continue reading]