The Lasting Legacy of an Ancient Land: Babylon


Founded around 2300 B.C.E., in Mesopotamia, one of the strongest city-states in history flourished for 2000 years. Babylon was a beautiful ancient civilization located near the Euphrates River and modern-day Iraq. The discoveries made in Babylon laid the foundation for modern mathematics and science.

Babylon' many memorable features included the city's stunning architecture. Their temples, called ziggurats, were pyramid-shaped towers made from sun-dried bricks. The city was also famous for its hanging wall gardens; Babylonian King Nebuchadrezzar built these to please his wife.

Babylonians also excelled in science, astronomy and mathematics. They divided the circle into 360 degrees, split the hour into 60 minutes, and placed numbers into tens. Babylonians wrote in a language called cuneiform by etching symbols into clay with pointed reeds. Additionally, these ancient people made agricultural advancements by digging canals that brought water from the city to farms outside city walls.

The Babylonian legacy also includes many infamous leaders. Babylonian rulers had military, legal and religious powers. One of their best-known leaders Hammurabi, is famous for writing laws that have survived until today. These laws protected the rights of slaves, women and children.

After Hammurabi's reign, the throne became Nebuchadrezzar's. During Nebuchadrezzar's rule, Babylon grew stronger and was adorned with beautiful buildings. After Nebuchadrezzar’s death, however, Babylon broke into civil war. Babylon was ultimately conquered by the Persians and later by the Greeks in 331 B.C.E.

Though Babylon fell, the historical legacy and many accomplishments of this great city still influence us today.

[Source: The Kingfish Children’s Encyclopedia]

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