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By Courtney Hunt

Because the early Nineteen Nineties, Iraq (and its former dictator, Saddam Hussein) has been a fixture in Western media. despite the fact that, few American adults comprehend or comprehend the wealthy cultural background or the political forces that experience formed smooth Iraq. because the way forward for Iraq is now being written, a transparent realizing of the country's historical past is essential in our new worldwide setting. via ten narrative chapters, Hunt delves into the wealthy historical past of this land from the earliest settlements in Mesopotamia, the creation of the Muslim religion, and the conquest of Baghdad by way of the Ottomans in 1534 to the establishment and eventual overthrow of British regulate and the increase of the Ba'athist celebration to Saddam Hussein's reign as president. excellent for college kids and common readers, the background of Iraq is a part of Greenwood's Histories of recent international locations sequence.

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Extra resources for The History of Iraq (The Greenwood Histories of the Modern Nations)

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Egypt became the chief rival of Mesopotamia. Mesopotamia transformed from a network of loosely linked city-states to a unified, centralized nation-state. Additionally, Mesopotamia endured many conquests during this time, including those by the Medes, the Persians, the Macedonians, the Parthian Kingdom, and the Sassanid dynasty. ) After the Amorite kings obtained control of Mesopotamia, they worked to unite the independent Mesopotamian city-states under their rule. , when 22 The History of Iraq the Amorites founded their first dynasty there.

Social stratification was based almost solely on economic standing in Babylonian society. Hammurabi's legal code calls out three social classes: awilum, meaning freeman; mushkenum, meaning royal dependent and certainly inferior to the awilum; and wardum, meaning slave. Note the absence of a warrior class or a priesthood caste. There was a popular assembly, most probably made up of landowners or heads of households administered by a council of advisers. Any male citizen could participate in an assembly, so it is likely that the landowners or other prominent citizens made up the council.

Some 300 years before the Egyptians created hieroglyphics, the Sumerians invented cuneiform writing. Using a stylus, the Sumerians made wedge-shaped impressions according to a system of sound based symbols and pictographs. Writing initially developed to support trade by creating permanent records of transactions and inventory. Eventually, however, writing became used for recording poetry, legends and epics, and religious life. , there were vast libraries in many Sumerian towns. Another writing-related Sumerian invention was the cylinder seal, which functioned as a signature for property owners and merchants of the day.

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