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  • 1. Section 4 Notes

2. Around 2300BC, Sargon, the ruler of neighboring Akkad, invaded and conquered the city-states of Sumer He built the first empire known to history His achievement didnt last long; after his death other invaders tumbled his empire into ruin 3. Around 1790BC, Hammurabi, king of Babylon, brought much of Mesopotamia under his control His most ambitious and lasting achievement was the publication of a set of laws known as the Code of Hammurabi Hammurabis Code---set of laws that were the legal principles of his empire 4. Hammurabis code was divided into two sections---criminal law and civil law The criminal law section dealt with offenses against others such as robbery, assault, and murder By setting out specific punishments for specific offenses, Hammurabis Code limited personal vengeance and encouraged social order 5. The main principle of Hammurabis Code was eye for an eye, life for a life Example---if a house collapsed because of poor construction and the homeowner was killed, the builder of the house could be put to death Taliban-style justice 6. The civil law section dealt with private rights and matters such as business contracts, inheritance, taxes, marriage, and divorce Much of the civil code was designed to protect the powerless, such as slaves and women In general, Babylonian civil law gave a husband both legal authority over his wife and a legal duty to support her The code also gave a father nearly unlimited authority over his children 7. Hammurabi took other steps to unite his empire besides his law code He also improved irrigation, organized a well-trained army, and had temples built 8. The Hittites pushed out of Asia Minor into Mesopotamia about 1400BC The most important skill they had learned was to be able to extract iron from ore and create iron weapons As their empire collapsed, Hittite ironsmiths migrated and spread their knowledge across Asia, Africa, and Europe, ushering in the Iron Age 9. The Assyrians, who lived on the upper Tigris, learned to forge iron weapons By 1100BC, they began expanding across Mesopotamia For 500 years, they earned a reputation for being among the most feared warriors in history 10. King Assurbanipal---founded the first library at Nineveh He ordered his scribes to collect cuneiform tablets from all over the Fertile Crescent The Babylonian empire was revived by King Nebuchadnezzar Nebuchadnezzar rebuilt canals, temples, walls and palaces---most famous were the Hanging Gardens of Babylon Babylonians were especially interested in astronomy 11. The Persians eventually controlled a wide sweep of territory from Asia Minor to India, including present-day Turkey, Iran, Egypt, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. In general, Persian kings pursued a policy of tolerance of the people they conquered The Persians respected the customs and religious traditions of the diverse groups in their empire 12. Darius---Persian emperor from 522-486BC He divided his empire into provinces, each headed by a satrap Each province had to pay taxes based on its resources and wealth Darius adapted laws from the people he conquered and drew up a single code of laws for the empire He built or repaired hundreds of miles of roads throughout the empire to encourage unity 13. To encourage trade, Darius did two important things: 1. he set up a common system of weights and measures throughout the empire and 2. he encouraged the use of coins 14. Religious beliefs put forward by the Persian thinker Zoroaster also helped to unite the empire Zoroaster lived about 600BC He rejected the old Persian gods and instead taught that a single wise god, Ahura Mazda, ruled the world Zoroaster taught that on judgement day all people would be judged for their actions with people who had done good entering paradise and evildoers being condemned to eternal suffering 15. The Phoenicians gained fame as sailors and traders They occupied a string of cities along the eastern Mediterranean coast, in the area that is today Lebanon and Syria Phoenicians traded with people all around the Mediterranean and to help promote trade they set up colonies from North Africa to Sicily and Spain A few Phoenician traders braved the stormy Atlantic and sailed as far as England 16. Historians have called the Phoenicians carriers of civilization because they spread Middle Eastern civilization around the Mediterranean Phoenician traders needed a quick form of writing to record their business deals Most important creation---22 letter alphabet of consonant sounds