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By Michael Seymour

Babylon: for eons its very identify has been a byword for luxurious and wickedness. 'By the rivers of Babylon we sat down and wept', wrote the psalmist, 'as we remembered Zion'. one of many maximum towns of the traditional global, Babylon has been eclipsed via its personal sinful popularity. for 2 thousand years the genuine, actual city lay buried whereas one other, ghostly urban lived on, engorged on debts of its personal destruction. extra lately the positioning of Babylon has been the centre of significant excavation: but the astonishing result of this paintings have performed little displace the numerous different interesting ways that town has persevered and reinvented itself in tradition. Saddam Hussein, for one, notoriously exploited the Babylonian fantasy to affiliate himself and his regime with its excellent earlier. Why has Babylon so creatively fired the human mind's eye, with effects either sturdy and ailing? Why has it been so enchanting to such a lot of, and for therefore lengthy? In exploring solutions, Michael Seymour' s publication levels greatly over area and time and embraces artwork, archaeology, historical past and literature. From Hammurabi and Nebuchadnezzar, through Strabo and Diodorus, to the publication of Revelation, Brueghel, Rembrandt, Voltaire, William Blake and glossy interpreters like Umberto Eco, Italo Calvino and Gore Vidal, the writer brings to gentle a carnival of disparate resources ruled via the robust and intoxicating concept of depravity. but attractive as this darkish mythology used to be and has endured to be, at its root lies a amazing and complicated imperial civilization whose advanced state-building, legislation- making and faith ruled Mesopotamia and past for millennia, earlier than its incorporation into the nonetheless wider empire of the Achaemenid kings.

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Babylon: Legend, History and the Ancient City by Michael Seymour


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