By Don Nardo

Mesopotamia, the "land among the rivers," used to be the location of the world's first real towns, empires, large-scale engineering initiatives, and written literature. The background, tradition, and contributions of the pivotal civilizations that inhabited the realm are provided in vibrant aspect during this quantity, including the increase and fall of Sumeria, Babylonia, Assyria, and Persia. (20030501)

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Ancient Mesopotamia (Greenhaven Encyclopedia)

Mesopotamia, the "land among the rivers," used to be the location of the world's first actual towns, empires, large-scale engineering tasks, and written literature. The background, tradition, and contributions of the pivotal civilizations that inhabited the realm are offered in bright aspect during this quantity, inclusive of the increase and fall of Sumeria, Babylonia, Assyria, and Persia.

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The Armenians, an Indo-European tribal people, entered and took over the area. Almost immediately, they came under the 33 Armenia An investiture of Ardarshir I by the god Ahura-Mazda. © ROGER WOOD/CORBIS sway of the Median king Cyaxares II, whose own realm soon fell to Persia’s King Cyrus II. About a century and a half later, the Greek mercenary soldier and writer Xenophon passed through Armenia during the retreat of the Greek army known as the Ten Thousand. He later described some typical Armenian houses and their contents, including primitive versions of straws to sip beer: 34 The houses were underground structures with an aperture like the mouth of a well by which to enter, but they were broad and spacious below.

Two winged sphinxes topped by a winged disk, which is an emblem of the god AhuraMazda. ERICH LESSING/ART RESOURCE, NY After the catastrophe, some gods were glad that humanity had survived, but Enlil was upset that Ea had interfered in his plans to destroy the human race. Fortunately for Atrahasis and his family, the tactful Ea convinced Enlil that saving humanity was a good thing. Enlil decided to commemorate the event by giving Atrahasis and his wife—but no other humans—the gift of immortality.

When the younger man launched a rebellion against the Medes, Astyages prepared to put down the uprising. He “armed the Medes to a man,” Herodotus says. But once the war was under way, a mutiny occurred in the Median ranks, apparently led by a general named Harpagus. “When Astyages learned of the disgraceful collapse of the Median 45 Atrahasis army, he swore that . . 130) It is revealing of Cyrus’s merciful nature that he did not execute or punish Astyages. Instead, the defeated Median monarch was allowed to live out the rest of his days as one of Cyrus’s royal courtiers.

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