Book: Babylon: Mesopotamia and the Birth of Civilization

Babylon: Mesopotamia and the Birth of Civilization
Also available in red. Hardback.

Too technical for me. Sci-fi fans probably understand this better than I do.
320 pages, ★★

Sorry. This is probably an excellent book, but my elementary understanding of Babylonian culture prevents me from appreciating it fully.

I learned three small things from this book. First, amidst a deluge of alien-sounding names, I recognised what looked like a section on a natural history of the Fertile Crescent. It was so-named by one scientist, who shaded the region that received more than 200 mm of rainfall each year. (And that area was crescent-shaped.)

Second, I learned how Babylon pioneered the construction of cities, states, social classes, division of labour and organised religion (it sounds like Babylon in many ways resembled modern society). We have a lot to thank them for.

Third, I learned how the “fight of ideas” has happened throughout history. People probably even opposed early agriculture because it rendered hierarchies in traditional hunting communities useless (the opponents of agriculture were probably the ones who personally had less to gain from it). Agriculture developed nonetheless.

Long-standing fans of sci-fi, or those who studied “Class Civ” in school, might be able to grasp this book better than I can. Babylon and I give each other two stars. I hope you learn more from this book than I did. ★★


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