Saggs, H. W. F.. The greatness that was Babylon: a survey of the ancient civilization of the Tigris-Euphrates Valley

Table of Contents

Publication Information

1: Prehistoric Background

Babylon In Tradition

Babylonia Then And Now

Early Man In Mesopotamia

Prehistoric Cultures Of Mesopotamia

The Uruk Period

Sumerian Origins

Sumerians Not A Race

Were Sumerians Immigrants?

The Beginnings Of Sumerian Civilization

Religion Of The Uruk Period

2: South Mesopotamia In The Third Millennium


Written Sources For History

Epics As History

Archaic Writing

Third-millennium City-states

Social Structure In Early Dynastic City-states

Economic Reforms

The Beginnings Of Imperialism

Sargon Of Agade


The Gutians And After

The Third Dynasty Of Ur

Shulgi Of Ur

Amorite Invaders

3: The Coming Of Babylon

The Kingdoms Of Isin And Larsa

Hammurabi Of Babylon

The Cassites And Hurrians

4: The Rise Of Imperial Assyria

A North Mesopotamian Kingdom

Mesopotamia After Mittanni

The Aramaeans

Beginning Of The Neo-assyrian Empire

5: Assyrian Supremacy

Sargon Ii Of Assyria




The Downfall Of Assyria

6: The Neo-babylonian Empire


Successors Of Nebuchadnezzar

The End Of Independent Babylonia

7: The Foundations Of The Babylonian Way Of Life

Family Landholdings

Temple Estates

The City-state Administration And The City Ruler

Landless Citizens


The Pattern Of Sumerian Society

Marriage And Sexual Relations

The Status Of Women



Hair Styles

Food And Drink


Town Planning; Water Supply


Dreams And Nightmares

8: Law And Statecraft

The Concept Of Justice

Laws Of Ur-nammu

Laws Of Lipit-ishtar

Laws Of Eshnunna

Laws Of Hammurabi

Administration Of Justice

A Murder Trial


International Law

9: Administration And Government

End Of The Early Dynastic Period (c. 2400 Bc)

The Dynasty Of Agade (2371–2230 Bc)

The Third Dynasty Of Ur (c. 2100 Bc)

The Old Babylonian Period; Mari


Babylonia In The Second Half Of The Second Millennium

First Millennium; New Assyrian Period

Assyria And Subject States

Assyrian Governors And Provinces


Rights Of Cities

Land Ownership In First-millennium Assyria

New Babylonian Period, 605–539 Bc

Temple Administration In New Babylonian Erech

10: Trade And Commerce

Overland Trade

Market Economy Or State-controlled Economy?

International Trading Centres

Trade In The First Millennium Bc

Babylonian Trade In The First Millennium

Babylonian Merchants

Loan Transactions

Real-estate Transactions

11: Magic And Religion

Protection Against Demons

Magicians (exorcists Or Witchdoctors)

Sympathetic, Symbolic And Substitutional Magic

Demons And Ghosts




The Pantheon

The Moon-god Sin

The Sun-god Shamash

The Goddess Ishtar

The Weather-god Adad

The God Ninurta


Minor Deities




The Service Of The Gods



Other Servants Of The Cult


The Sexual Dimension Of Religion

The Entu

The Feeding Of The Gods

The Temple Complex

The Divine Image

12: The Religious Role Of The King

Temple Building

The King As The God's Steward

The ‘royal Tombs’ Of Ur


The Sacred Marriage

The Akitu- Festival

The Tree Of Life

13: Literature

Myths And Epics

The Epic Of Gilgamesh

The Flood Story


The Epic Of Adapa

Enuma Elish

Myths Of The Underworld

The Myth Of Anzu 8


Epics And Legends

Legend Of Naram-sin

Wisdom Literature

Contest Texts

Texts On Scribal Education

Texts Of Religious Philosophy

The Poem Of The Righteous Sufferer

The Babylonian Theodicy

The Dialogue Of Pessimism

Akkadian Proverbs And Related Categories





14: Mathematics And Astronomy; Medicine

Numeration And Mathematics


Astronomical Observations


Diagnostic Texts

Prescription Texts



Bathing With Hot Infusions:

Anatomical Knowledge; Surgery

15: Legacy And Survival

The Physical Remains Of Babylonian Civilization

Architectural Features

Remains Of Babylonian Art

The Legacy Of Knowledge And Ideas

The Persistence Of Ancient Religious Motifs

Mesopotamian Elements In The Bible

Astrology, Astronomy, Numeration And Time Division



The Legacy Of Writing, Literature And Thought

Publication Information

Paragraph Subjects (OCM)

Publication Information The main body of the Publication Information page contains all the metadata that HRAF holds for that document.

Author: Author's name as listed in Library of Congress records

Title: The greatness that was Babylon: a survey of the ancient civilization of the Tigris-Euphrates Valley

Published By: Original publisher London: Sidgwick and Jackson. 1988. xxii, 487 p. ill., maps

By line: Author's name as appearing in the actual publication H. W. F. Saggs

HRAF Publication Information: New Haven, Conn.: Human Relations Area Files, 2019. Computer File

Culture: Culture name from the Outline of World Cultures (OWC) with the alphanumberic OWC identifier in parenthesis. Babylonians (MH07)

Subjects: Document-level OCM identifiers given by the anthropology subject indexers at HRAF Traditional history (173); History (175); Writing (212); Verbal arts (5310); Visual arts (5311); Cities (633); Chief executive (643); External relations (648); Instigation of war (721); Warfare (726); Mythology (773); Spirits and gods (776); Priesthood (793); Texts translated into english (902);

Abstract: Brief abstract written by HRAF anthropologists who have done the subject indexing for the document This comprehensive and topically-organized work covers the history (using the middle chronology) and culture of Mesopotamia, including the Sumerians, Assyrians, and Babylonians. There is particular concentration on marriage, gender, family, law, trade and commerce, religion and magic, astronomy, and mathematics, much of it Sumerian in origin.

Document Number: HRAF's in-house numbering system derived from the processing order of documents 1

Document ID: HRAF's unique document identifier. The first part is the OWC identifier and the second part is the document number in three digits. mh07-001

Document Type: May include journal articles, essays, collections of essays, monographs or chapters/parts of monographs. Monograph

Language: Language that the document is written in English

Note: Includes bibliographical references (p. 469-475) and indexes

Field Date: The date the researcher conducted the fieldwork or archival research that produced the document not applicable

Evaluation: In this alphanumeric code, the first part designates the type of person writing the document, e.g. Ethnographer, Missionary, Archaeologist, Folklorist, Linguist, Indigene, and so on. The second part is a ranking done by HRAF anthropologists based on the strength of the source material on a scale of 1 to 5, as follows: 1 - poor; 2 - fair; 3 - good, useful data, but not uniformly excellent; 4 - excellent secondary data; 5 - excellent primary data Linguist-4

Analyst: The HRAF anthropologist who subject indexed the document and prepared other materials for the eHRAF culture/tradition collection. Ian Skoggard; 2018

Coverage Date: The date or dates that the information in the document pertains to (often not the same as the field date). 2900–539 BC

Coverage Place: Location of the research culture or tradition (often a smaller unit such as a band, community, or archaeological site) southern Iraq

LCSH: Library of Congress Subject Headings Babylonia--History


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