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Showing posts from August, 2020

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 reddit.com/r/sumer for a very helpful community, or gatewaystobabylon.com 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.

Episode 45 - Babylon 4 Hammurabi's Medicine and Justice

Hammurabi conquers Larsa in another lightning campaign displaying his strategic and diplomatic cunning. But once it is conquered, he needs to bring this massive new territory into his growing empire. This will give us an occasion to look at what exactly justice looked like in an Amorite city. We will also have an opportunity to discuss Middle Bronze Age medicine and what kind of surgical practices were known in Babylon.

Episode 44 - Babylon 3 Hammurabi's Military and Elamite War

Today we follow the course of the Great Elamite War, the turning point in Babylon's history when it will beat the odds and establish itself as the region's great power for the next thousand years. The story itself is full of action and twists, but we will take some time also to look at how warfare has evolved and systematized as we emerge fully out of the previous transitional period fully into the Amorite age of warfare.

So, the Elamite king has a name, but I chose not to read it out loud because it is written Siwepalarhuppak and honestly I couldn't get my tongue around that even after practicing a few times, so too bad to old Siwepalarhuppak, if you wanted to be remembered forever, then you should have picked a simpler name. Humorously, it seems that even the Mesopotamians couldn't get his name right and he appears in their letters as Sheplarpak.

All the letters that I am reading are from Marc Van De Mieroop's "King Hammurabi of Babylon: a biography" wh…