Portal:Ancient Near East
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Portal:Ancient Near East

Introduction

Map showing the extent of Mesopotamia. Shown are Washukanni, Nineveh, Hatra, Assur, Nuzi, Palmyra, Mari, Sippar, Babylon, Kish, Nippur, Isin, Lagash, Uruk, Charax Spasinu and Ur, from north to south.

Mesopotamia is a historical region of Western Asia situated within the Tigris-Euphrates river system, in the northern part of the Fertile Crescent, in modern days roughly corresponding to most of Iraq, Kuwait, the eastern parts of Syria, Southeastern Turkey, and regions along the Turkish-Syrian and Iran-Iraq borders.

The Sumerians and Akkadians (including Assyrians and Babylonians) dominated Mesopotamia from the beginning of written history (c. 3100 BC) to the fall of Babylon in 539 BC, when it was conquered by the Achaemenid Empire. It fell to Alexander the Great in 332 BC, and after his death, it became part of the Greek Seleucid Empire.

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Achaemenid Empire
Cyrus II, the Great (Old Persian: K?ru?, reigned 559 - ca. 530 BC) was the founder of the Persian Empire under the Achaemenid dynasty. The empire expanded under his rule, eventually conquering most of Southwest Asia and much of Central Asia, from Egypt and the Hellespont in the west to the Indus River in the east, to create the largest state the world had yet seen.

During his twenty-nine year reign, Cyrus fought against some of the greatest states of his time, including the Median Empire, the Lydian Empire, and the Neo-Babylonian Empire. Cyrus did not venture into Egypt, as he himself died in battle, fighting the Massagetae along the Syr Darya in August 530 BC.

Beyond his nation, Cyrus left a lasting legacy on Jewish religion (through his Edict of Restoration), politics, and military strategy, as well as on both Eastern and Western civilization.

Did you know

...that the Sumerian language, the Kassite language, and the Hattic language are all language isolates, unrelated to any other known language?

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Key topic

Akkadian Empire
...The Akkadian Empire was centered in Akkad, an ancient city in central Mesopotamia. Despite its ancient importance, the city of Akkad has not yet been located. It was probably situated on the west bank of the Euphrates, between Sippar and Kish (ca 50 km (31 mi) southwest of Baghdad).

The Akkadian Empire reached the height of its power between the 23rd and 22nd centuries BC, following the conquests of king Sargon of Akkad.

Because of the policies of the Akkadian Empire toward linguistic assimilation, the predominant Semitic dialect was named the Akkadian language, reflected in the word akkadû ("in the language of Akkad") during the Old Babylonian period to denote a Semitic-language version of a Sumerian text.

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  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

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