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    • What was the time period of the 2nd millennium BC?

      • The 2nd millennium BC spanned the years 2000 through 1001 BC. In the Ancient Near East, it marks the transition from the Middle to the Late Bronze Age. The Ancient Near Eastern cultures are well within the historical era: The first half of the millennium is dominated by the Middle Kingdom of Egypt and Babylonia. The alphabet develops.
  1. The 2nd millennium BC spanned the years 2000 through 1001 BC. In the Ancient Near East, it marks the transition from the Middle to the Late Bronze Age.The Ancient Near Eastern cultures are well within the historical era: The first half of the millennium is dominated by the Middle Kingdom of Egypt and Babylonia.

  2. Thutmose II, (flourished 2nd millennium bce ), 18th-dynasty king (reigned c. 1482–79 bce) of ancient Egypt who suppressed a revolt in Nubia, Egypt’s territory to the south, and also sent a punitive expedition to Palestine against some Bedouins. Thutmose was born to Thutmose I, his predecessor, by one of his secondary queens, Mutnofret.

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    • Introduction
    • Questions to Guide Your Reading
    • Key Terms
    • The Babylonian Empire
    • The Significance of Mesopotamia For World History
    • Middle Kingdom Egypt
    • New Kingdom Egypt
    • The Kingdom of Kerma
    • The Greek World: from The Bronze Age to The Archaic Period
    • The Early Aryan Settlement of Northern India

    The second millennium BCE (2000 BCE-1000 BCE) saw the emergence of a number of polities (political entitites, such as city-states, territorial states, or empires) that demonstrated a higher level of political sophistication than in earlier ones. East Asia’s Shang Dynasty, the Middle and New Kingdoms in Egypt and the Babylonian Kingdom in Mesopotamia epitomized this. At the same time, non-state developments elsewhere laid the groundwork for the future. The arrival of the Indo-European “Aryans” in South Asia would lead to the establishment of the Vedic culture that would serve as the social and religious foundations of the region. Small societies in the Aegean, such as the Minoans on Crete and Mycenaeans on the Greek mainland would influence the Greek culture we will see in Chapters 4 and 5. In the Americas, cultures like the Olmec and Chavín illustrate that complex societies were not confined to Afro-Eurasia.

    How did the rulers of ancient Mesopotamian empires attempt to bring together and control the people within their realms?
    Describe the legacies of the civilization in ancient Mesopotamia.
    Describe Egypt’s intermediate periods.
    Explain the significance of pyramids.
    Archaeological evidence
    Bronze Age

    Hammurabi, who aspired to follow Sargon’s example, created the next empire in the region, the Babylonian Empire. With well-disciplined foot soldiers armed with copper and bronze weapons, he conquered Mesopotamian city-states, including Akkad and Sumer, to create an empire with its capital at Babylon. Although he had other achievements, Hammurabi is most famous for the law code etched into a stele that bears his name, the Stele of Hammurabi. The Stele of Hammurabi records a comprehensive set of laws. Codes of law existed prior to Hammurabi’s famous stele, but Hammurabi’s Code gets a lot of attention because it is still intact and has proven very in uential. As seen in above, the upper part of the stele depicts Hammurabi standing in front of the Babylonian god of justice, from whom Hammurabi derives his power and legitimacy. The lower portion of the stele contains the collection of 282 laws. One particularly influential principle in the code is the law of retaliation, which demands “a...

    Mesopotamia saw the emergence of some of the first cities and the world’s first empires. The city-states of the region flourished from about 3000 to 2300 BCE. Then, Sargon of Akkad and subsequent rulers built empires, expanding their control and influence over even larger territories. There were cultural links and commonalities found in the Sumerian city-states of the third millennium BCE. With agricultural production dependent on access to water, cities initially grew in Southern Mesopotamia near rivers, namely the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers and their tributaries. Sumerians tried to control their environment using irrigation, drainage ditches, water reserves, and other methods. With unpredictable floods and other environmental challenges, the Sumerians viewed nature as hostile and their expectations of the afterlife tended to be pessimistic. Their understanding of nature as unpredictable also spurred engineering innovations as Sumerians prepared for floods, water shortages, and ot...

    Following the decentralized First Intermediate Period of roughly 150 years, Pharaoh Mentohotep II reunited Egypt to found the Middle Kingdom. The Middle Kingdom saw the reorganization of the state’s bureaucratic apparatus to control the nomes. To further strengthen their authority, the pharaohs also moved their capital from the Old Kingdom capital of Thebes south to Lisht, halfway between Upper and Lower Egypt. With military expeditions, they extended the boundaries of the state north to Lebanon and south to the second cataract of the Nile into a region known as Nubia. With this extension of territory, Egypt had access to more trade goods, and the organization of trade shifted so that professional merchants took a leading role in developing new trade routes. These professional merchants paid taxes to the state, supporting further consolidation of power by the pharaohs and also infrastructural improvements like irrigation. During the Middle Kingdom, the pharaohs focused less on the b...

    The New Kingdom of reunited Egypt that began in 1530 BCE saw an era of Egyptian imperialism, changes in the burial practices of pharaohs, and the emergence of a brief period of state-sponsored monotheism under the Pharaoh Akhenaten. In 1530 BCE, the pharaoh who became known as Ahmose the Liberator (Ahmose I) defeated the Hyksos and continued sweeping up along the Eastern Mediterranean. By 1500 BCE, the Egyptian army had also pushed into Nubia, taking Kush southward to the fourth cataract of the Nile River. As pharaohs following Ahmose I continued Egypt’s expansion, the Imperial Egyptian army ran successful campaigns in Palestine and Syria, along the Eastern Mediterranean. Furthermore, by expanding into Kush, Egypt controlled trade routes into Sub-Saharan Africa. Adopting the Hyksos’ chariot military and metal technologies contributed to the Egyptian ability to strengthen its military. Egypt maintained a large standing army and built an expansive empire during the New Kingdom. Egypt...

    The region south of Aswan, at the first cataract of the Nile River, is commonly called Nubia. Nubia is notable for its long-term, dynamic relationship with ancient Egypt. Just as importantly, Nubia was also the site of an early civilization. The kingdoms of Kerma (c. 2400 BCE to 1500 BCE) and Kush (c. 1000 BCE to 300 CE, see Chapter Four) emerged along the Nile River. These kingdoms prospered especially due to their productive agriculture and the region’s copious natural resources. At certain points, both Kerma and Kush were strong enough to successfully invade Egypt. These kingdoms in Nubia also developed their own religious and cultural traditions, including a written script, Meroitic. While the people of this region, known collectively as Nubians, borrowed heavily from the Egyptians, Nubians also had distinctive practices that set their civilization apart from that of their northern neighbors. Scholars generally link the origins of ancient Kerma (in present-day Sudan) back to the...

    Geography and Topography

    While Greece is a unified country today, the territory of the present-day country was not unified under one rule until the rise of the Macedonians in the fourth century BCE (see Chapter 6). The geography and topography of the Greek mainland and the Mediterranean region surrounding it in uenced the history of the Greek people in a number of crucial ways. First, the mountainous nature of mainland Greece, especially in the north, allowed di erent regions to remain somewhat isolated. The most iso...

    Periods of Greek History

    Historians today separate Greek history into particular periods, which shared specific features throughout the Greek world. In this chapter, we will examine: The Bronze Age (c. 3,300 – 1,150 BCE) – a period characterized by the use of bronze tools and weapons. In addition, two particular periods during the Bronze Age are crucial in the development of early Greece: the Minoan Age on the island of Crete (c. 2,000 – 1,450 BCE) and the Mycenean period on mainland Greece (c. 1,600 – 1,100 BCE), bo...

    Methodology: Sources and Problem

    Before launching into the story of the early Greek world, it is important to consider the methodology that Greek historians utilize. In other words, how do we know what we know about the Greek world? Modern scholars of ancient history are notoriously obsessed with evaluating their primary sources critically, and with good reason. Studying Greek history, especially in its earliest periods, is like putting together a puzzle, most of whose pieces are missing, and some pieces from another puzzle...

    By 1700 BCE, Harappan Civilization had collapsed. In northwest India, scattered village communities engaging in agriculture and pastoralism replaced the dense and more highly populated network of cities, towns, and villages of the third millennium. The rest of northern India too (including the Ganges River), as well as the entire subcontinent, were similarly dotted with Neolithic communities of farmers and herders. That is what the archaeological record demonstrates. The next stage in India’s history is the Vedic Age (1700 – 600 BCE). This period is named after a set of religious texts composed during these centuries called the Vedas. The people who composed them are known as the Vedic peoples and Indo-Aryans. They were not originally from India, and rather came as migrants travelling to the subcontinent via mountain passes located in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The Aryans rst settled in the Punjab, but then they pushed east along the Ganges, eventually impressing their way of life, l...

  4. The second millennium of the Anno Domini or Common Era was a millennium spanning the years 1001 to 2000 (11th to 20th centuries; in astronomy: JD 2 086 667.5 – 2 451 909.5).. It encompassed the High and Late Middle Ages of the Old World, the Islamic Golden Age and the period of Renaissance, followed by the Early Modern period, characterized by the Wars of Religion in Europe, the Age of ...

  5. Akkadian Love Literature of the Third and Second Millennium BCE is the first systematic treatment of the corpus of Akkadian compositions related to love and sex in Ancient Near Eastern Studies. More than 30 cuneiform texts (including two hitherto unpublished compositions) are carefully edited and translated, accompanied by a thorough ...

    • Functions
    • Divine Genealogy and Syncretisms
    • Cult Places
    • Time Periods Attested
    • Name and Spellings
    • Dagan in Online Corpora
    • References

    In Mesopotamia Dagan is associated with the Middle Euphrates, in particular the cities of Tuttul and Terqa. References to Dagan in some of the Akkadian royal inscriptions have been thought to suggest a military role for this deity, but his appearance in these texts at the time of certain battles may relate more to his association with the western regions in which these conflicts occurred. Dagan appears rarely in Mesopotamian mythology, he is mentioned in connection with the senior deity An in the Old Babylonian (early 2nd millennium BCE) versions of the myth of Anzu, and in the Neo-Assyrian (early 1st millennium BCE) version he makes a speech recounting the deeds of Ninurta (Crowell 2001: 39-40). In other cases Dagan is said to keep with him the seven children of the underworld god Enmešarra, and this netherworld aspect to Dagan is possibly supported by the temple built by Šamši-Adad I (ca. 1808-1776 BCE) at Terqa called the é-kisiga "temple of the funerary offerings" (Black and Gre...

    There is no evidence for the parents or creation of Dagan. In some traditions the spouse of Dagan was Šalaša, in others Išhara (Black and Green 1998: 56). While Dagan is recorded as the father of the west Semitic deity Ba'al at Ugarit, Ba'al is also known as the son of El, and some scholars, therefore, have suggested a syncretism of Dagan and El (Dietrich 1976: 1.2 I 18-19 and 1.3 IV 48-53). Others have suggested a link in function and syncretism between Dagan and Ba'al - both having the attributes of a 'storm god' or a link to vegetation (Crowell 2001: 64). Pantheons should not be viewed as static or monolithic; the city of Ugarit was cosmopolitan, complex and interactive, and the Ugaritic pantheon necessarily should be understood as highly complex with multiple and competing rituals, myths and comprehensions (Crowell 2001: 63-64).

    There is a suggestion of a temple of Dagan and Išhara at Nippur[~/images/Nippur.jpg] in the Ur III period (Hilgert 1994: 1 and 38), while a dedicatory inscription of the Isin king Ur-dukuga (1830-1828 BCE) mentions a temple of Dagan in Isin[~/images/Isin.jpg] in southern Mesopotamia (Crowell 2001: 39). Further west a temple of Dagan dating to the second millennium at Mari[~/images/Mari.jpg] is now thought to be that of the deity Itur-Mer, but the temple at Terqa[~/images/Terqa.jpg] built by Šamši-Adad (1808-1776 BCE) is of Dagan, and another temple to Dagan is believed to have existed at Emar[~/images/Emar.jpg] (Crowell 2001: 41-44). Attempts have been made to attribute temples in the Levant to Dagan, but such suggestions are only based on Biblical literature, and the temple at Ugarit[~/images/Susa.jpg] once considered to have been associated with Dagan has been reinterpreted as that of El (Crowell 2001: 44-50).

    In Mesopotamia the earliest textual references to Dagan come from the Royal Inscriptions of Sargon (2334-2279 BCE) and Naram-Sin (2254-2218 BCE). From this period Dagan also appears as a theophoric elementTT in personal names, e.g., Pu-Dagan, on the Maništušu (2269-2255 BCE) Obelisk (Crowell 2001: 35). In the Ur III period (2112-2004 BCE), the personal name evidence increases across Mesopotamia, and is prevalent in the Middle Euphrates region (Singer 2000: 221; Crowell 2001: 63-64). Dagan was an important deity in this period, he appears in the contemporary god and offering lists, and is commonly attested in the records from Puzriš-Dagan (the administrative hub of the Ur III period located near Nippur) and at Nippur itself (Crowell 2001: 36). In some texts, Dagan appears in close association with Babati, the uncle of Šu-Suen (the fourth Ur III king 2037-2029 BCE), clearly highlighting the importance of this deity to the Ur III ruling family (Hilgert 1994: 36). Moreover, Waetzoldt ha...

    In syllabic texts the name of Dagan is usually spelled dDa-gan, but other attested spellings include dDa-ga-an. There have been some suggestions that there may have been logographic writings for the name of this deity, e.g. dKUR, and dBE, but the reading of these as Dagan is not certain (Crowell 2001: 32).

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