• 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. Bloomsbury, London, 2000Google Scholar
  2. Anderson, Liam and Stansfield, Gareth, The Future of Iraq: Dictatorship, Democracy or Division. Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke, 2004Google Scholar
  3. Blix, Hans, Disarming Iraq: The Search for Weapons of Mass Destruction. Bloomsbury, London, 2004Google Scholar
  4. Butler, R., Saddam Defiant: The Threat of Weapons of Mass Destruction and the Crisis of Global Security. Weidenfeld & Nicolson, London, 2000Google Scholar
  5. Mackey, Sandra, The Reckoning: Iraq and the Legacy of Saddam Hussein. W. W. Norton, New York, 2002Google Scholar
  6. Shahid, Anthony, Night Draws Near: Iraq’s People in the Shadow of America’s War. Henry Holt, New York, 2005Google Scholar
  7. Sluglett, Marion Farouk and Sluglett, Peter, Iraq Since 1958: From Revolution to Dictatorship. 3rd ed. I. B. Tauris, London, 2001Google Scholar
  8. Tripp, Charles, A History of Iraq. 2nd ed. CUP, 2002Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Barry Turner

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