Advertisement

The Ancient Crucible

Chapter
  • 29 Downloads

Abstract

The region of the world that the ancient Greeks called Mesopotamia (land ‘between the rivers’) and that we know today as Iraq was a fount of civilisation — a veritable crucible, cockpit, cradle, womb of cultural progress (the metaphors run through the books). Here it was that restless tribes and peoples jostled for land and power, contending with their neighbours, being shaped by defeats, successful conquests, and the collisions of different cultures. Here it was that the first cities were born, writing began, and the first codified legal systems were established. Here it was — through such ancient lands as Sumer, Akkad, Babylonia and Assyria — that the vital cultural brew was stirred, the quite remarkable concoction from which Western civilisation would emerge. We often tend to begin the chronicle of Western culture with the achievements of the classical world but it is worth remembering that the Greco-Roman states owe much to the ancient worlds of Egypt and Mesopotamia, as far removed in time from them as Greece and Rome are from the nation states of the modern era. We may reflect also that a modern Iraqi is entitled to contemplate with awe and pride the fructifying richness of the cultures that first emerged in his land more than five thousand years ago.

Keywords

Ancient World Semitic Language Settle Community Modem World Western Frontier 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Notes

  1. 1.
    James Wellard, By the Waters of Babylon, Hutchinson, London, 1972, pp. 83–4.Google Scholar
  2. 3.
    Jacquetta Hawkes, The First Great Civilisations, Hutchinson, London, 1973, p. 63. A translation of the full Sumerian King List is included as an appendix in Leonard Woolley, Excavations at Ur, Ernest Benn, London, pp. 249–53.Google Scholar
  3. 19.
    Solomon Grayzel, A History of the Jews, New American Library, New York, 1947, p. 29.Google Scholar
  4. 21.
    Judah Goldin, ‘The Period of the Talmud’, in Louis Finkelstein, The Jews: Their History, Culture and Religion, New York, 1955, p. 115.Google Scholar
  5. 23.
    Nissim Rejwan, The Jews of Iraq, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, London, 1985.Google Scholar
  6. 24.
    E. A. Speiser, ‘Mesopotamia: Evolution of an Integrated Civilization’, in E. A. Speiser (ed.), The World History of the Jewish People, Series I, Vol. II: ‘At the Dawn of Civilization’, Jerusalem, 1964, p. 265.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Geoff Simons 1994

Authors and Affiliations

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations