• Barry Turner
Part of the The Statesman’s Yearbook book series (SYBK)


Around 3000 BC the Sumerian culture flourished in Mesopotamia—the part of the Fertile Crescent between and around the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. Incursions from Semitic peoples of the Arabian Peninsula led to Akkadian supremacy after the victory of Sargon the Great (c. 2340 BC). The Sumerian cities, such as Ur, reasserted their independence until 1700 BC, when King Hammurabi established the first dynasty of Babylon. Hammurabi and his son, Samsu-iluna, presided over the political and cultural apogee of Babylon; it was a time of great prosperity and relative peace. Babylonia was challenged by the Anatolian Hittites, who sacked Babylon in 1595 BC. A weakened Babylonia fell to the Kassites from the Zagros mountains, who held sway for over 400 years. The power-vacuum in northern Babylonia was filled by the Hurrian kingdom of Mitanni until Assyria’s dominance in the 13th century BC. The Semitic Assyrians built an empire that stretched from Tarsus on the Mediterranean to Babylon, which they sacked in 1240 BC.


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Further Reading

  1. Aburish, S. K., Saddam Hussein: The Politics of Revenge. 2000Google Scholar
  2. Allawi, Ali A., The Occupation of Iraq: Winning the War, Losing the Peace. 2007Google Scholar
  3. Anderson, Liam and Stansfield, Gareth, The Future of Iraq: Dictatorship, Democracy or Division. 2004Google Scholar
  4. Blix, Hans, Disarming Iraq: The Search for Weapons of Mass Destruction. 2004Google Scholar
  5. Butler, R., Saddam Defiant: The Threat of Weapons of Mass Destruction and the Crisis of Global Security. 2000Google Scholar
  6. Herring, Eric and Rangwala, Glen, Iraq in Fragments: The Occupation audits Legac. 2006Google Scholar
  7. Mackey, Sandra, The Reckoning: Iraq and the Legacy of Saddam Hussein. 2002Google Scholar
  8. Marr, Phebe, TheModern History of Iraq. 2003Google Scholar
  9. Polk, William R., Understanding Iraq: The Whole Sweep of Iraqi History, from Genghis Khan’s Mongols to the Ottoman Turks to the British Mandate to the American Occupation. 2006Google Scholar
  10. Shahid, Anthony, Night Draws Near: Iraq’s People in the Shadow of America’s War. 2005Google Scholar
  11. Sluglett, Marion Farouk and Sluglett, Peter, Iraq Since 1958: From Revolution to Dictatorship. 3rd ed. 2001Google Scholar
  12. Stansfield, Gareth, Iraq: People, History, Politics. 2007Google Scholar
  13. Stiglitz, Joseph E. and Bilmes, Linda J., The Three Trillion Dollar War: The True Cost of the Iraq Conflict. 2008Google Scholar
  14. Tripp, Charles, A History of Iraq. 2nd ed. 2002Google Scholar
  15. National Statistical Office: Central Organization of Statistics & Information Technology, Baghdad.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Barry Turner

There are no affiliations available

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