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Episode 52 - Anunnaki 8 Theogony of Dunnu and The Education of Scribes

Incest and Patricide are the highlights of today's tale, sometimes also called the Dynasty of Dunnum or the Harab Myth. The ancient Mesopotamian religious tradition was far from unified, and from an obscure town survives a creation story that has pwerful resonances all the way to ancient Greece. And while we are on the topic, this is a good chance to look at the men who wrote all these strange and wonderful stories and histories that the show has been depending on. How did they come to be educated, and what were their lives like?
Translation for the Theogony of Dunnu comes primarily from Stephanie Dalley, also consulting with Wilfred Lambert and Peter Walcot and Wikipedia.
When was the Theogony of Dunnu written? That is an open question, with dates proposed as early as 1900 BCE and as late as 1200 BCE, but I personally prefer the idea that it was written sometime during the Late Old Babylonian period, under one of the kings following Hammurabi, which is why is is being featured at t…
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Episode 51 - Babylon 10 The New Order

Finally, we have finished with Hammurabi, and it is time for his successor Samsu-Iluna to take over. At first, things are much the same as they were under his father, but the appearance of a strange new enemy with superior weaponry and tactics throws the empire into chaos. Samsu-Iluna is faced with the largest rebellion in three hundred years, and will do quite respectably for himself. The geopolitical order in general, however, will be shattered utterly. Kassites, Sealand, a weakened Yamhad, and horsies! are all in store for us today.

Episode 50 - Babylon 9 Hammurabi's Code of Laws

The entire code of Hammurabi, start to finish. This is the show's fiftieth episode, and will run quite long as something of a special edition. I am going to go through the entire law code of Hammurabi, start to finish, with commentary and extensive quotes. Not kidding, this is going to be seriously long, fair warning here. I did say I wasn't going to do this because it would be long and boring, but here I am doing it anyway. It is definitely long, but hopefully I have kept the boredom to a minimum. Feel free to skip over this episode if you are not interested in this sort of thing or if it gets dull halfway through.
The code itself:

And a link to a readable version with some more professional commentary: I have already forgotten the link. I will come back and post it before this episode goes live.

Episode 49 - Babylon 8 Hammurabi's Death and Legacy

The final decade of Hammurabi's life would be peaceful and prosperous, and was in many ways the foundation of the rest of the Old Babylonian Empire. We have actual letters from Hammurabi himself as he micromanages his administrators, establishes the Ilkum system, and handles the complaints of common citizens, that are quite revealing of his character and ambitions. This will also be the episode where we lay Hammurabi to rest, but once he is in the ground we follow the path of his legacy throughout the centuries, both in ancient Mesopotamia and his rediscovery in the modern era.

Episode 48 - Babylon 7 Hammurabi's Women and Slaves

Thus far this show has largely ignored over half of the population, though in my defense, the ancient scribes on whom we rely upon for so much of our information also tended to neglect them as well. But today we will do what we can to rectify the situation and give you as complete a view of Babylonian society as I know how. This means that we will look in depth at the conditions and societal practices of Babylonian slavery and Babylonian women, how they lived and what sort of restrictions kept them in their place.

Episode 47 - Babylon 6 Hammurabi's Rebels and Oracles

Hammurabi's final conquests are almost perfunctory, but his responses to the subsequent rebellions is anything but. Much of the episode however is concerned with the practice of religion in old Babylon and how it intertwined with everything from the daily lives of commoners to matters of state policy. Where did the superstitions of divination come from, what did they look like, and how did the average Babylonian understand his own religion?
I want to note that this episode deals pretty heavily with the practice of Sumerian religion in Babylonian times, and there are lots and lots of details that I am skimming over and simplifying. That said, this is not a dead religion, it is currently undergoing a bit of a revival, and I am doing my best to be respectful of the modern worshippers. If you are interested in the practice of Sumerian neo-paganism, I would suggest for a very helpful community, or for what may be the most well researched and info…

Episode 46 - Babylon 5 Hammurabi's Northern Conquests and Agricultural Power

Hammurabi's power rises as the cities of the north begin to grow suspicious of his ambitions, and then have those suspicions proven correct when he goes to war with them. But amid all the devastation of war, we have a chance to look at the beating heart of the Mesopotamian economy, agriculture, and what it tells us about why Babylon was able to become so dominant.