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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]
Phoenicia was an ancient civilization comprised of independent city-states which lay along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea stretching through what is now Syria, Lebannon and northern Israel. The Phoenicians were a great maritime people, known for their mighty ships adorned with horses’ heads in honor of their god of the sea, Yamm, the brother of Mot... [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 term “Aryan” has had a complicated history. The Sanskrit word ārya, the source of the English word, was mainly the self designation of the Vedic Indic people although during time it developed some secondary meanings. It has a cognate in Iranian arya, where it is also a self designation. Both the Indic and Iranian terms descend from a form ārya... [continue reading]