|Akkadian Empire – Assyrian Empire|
23rd century BC?
Babylonia was an ancient Akkadian speaking Semitic nation state and cultural region based in central-southern Mesopotamia (present-day Iraq). It emerged as an independent state circa 1894 BC, the city of Babylon being its capital. It was often involved in rivalry with its fellow Akkadian state of Assyria in northern Mesopotamia. Babylonia became the major power in the region after Hammurabi (fl. ca. 1792- 1752 BC middle chronology, or ca. 1696 – 1654 BC, short chronology) created an empire out of many of the territories of the former Akkadian Empire. The Babylonian state retained the written Semitic Akkadian language for official use (the language of its native populace), despite its Amorite founders and Kassite successors not being native Akkadians. It retained the Sumerian language for religious use, but by the time Babylon was founded this was no longer a spoken language, having been wholly subsumed by Akkadian. The earlier Akkadian and Sumerian traditions played a major role in Babylonian (and Assyrian) culture, and the region would remain an important cultural center, even under protracted periods of outside rule.
The earliest mention of the city of Babylon can be found in a tablet from the reign of Sargon of Akkad (2334- 2279 BC), dating back to the 23rd century BC. Babylon was merely a religious and cultural centre at this point and not an independent state; like the rest of Mesopotamia, it was subject to the Akkadian Empire which united all the Akkadian and Sumerian speakers under one rule. After the collapse of the Akkadian empire, the south Mesopotamian region was dominated by the Gutians for a few decades before the rise of the Sumerian third dynasty of Ur, which encompassed the whole of Mesopotamia, including Babylon.
|<< Akkadian Empire||Timeline|
23 century BC – 605 BC