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    The Epic of Gilgamesh, 1st Great Work of Literature  
Gilgamesh is one of the oldest recorded stories in the world. It tells the story of an ancient King of Uruk, Gilgamesh, who may have actually existed, and whose name is on the Sumerian King List. The story of Gilgamesh, in various Sumeria...
 
    Enheduanna, Sumerian Poet/Priestess  
Enheduanna was a Sumerian/Akkadian high priestess of the moon god Nanna in Ur, who came to honor Inanna above all the other gods of the Sumerian pantheon. A single tablet records her as the "daughter of Sargon of Akkad" a relationship that...
 
    The Nimrud Lens, Layard Discovery 1850  
The Nimrud lens, also called Layard lens, is a 3000-year-old piece of rock crystal, which was unearthed in 1850 by Austen Henry Layard at the Assyrian palace of Nimrud, in modern-day Iraq. It may have been used as a magnifying glass, or as...
 
    Hammurabi, Sixth Amorite King of Babylon  
Hammurabi (Akkadian from Amorite Ammurapi, "the kinsman is a healer", from Ammu, "paternal kinsman", and Rapi, "healer"; died c. 1750 BC) was the sixth Amorite king of Babylon (that is, of the First Babylonian Dynasty, the Amorite Dynasty)...
 
    Code of Hammurabi, Babylonian Law Code, 1901  
The Code of Hammurabi is a well-preserved Babylonian law code of ancient Mesopotamia, dating back to about 1754 BC. It is one of the oldest deciphered writings of significant length in the world. The sixth Babylonian king, Hammurabi, enacte...
 
    The Zodiac, Divided into Twelve Star Signs  
The zodiac is an area of the sky that extends approximately 8° north or south (as measured in celestial latitude) of the ecliptic, the apparent path of the Sun across the celestial sphere over the course of the year. The paths of the Moon a...
 
    Ashurbanipal, King of Assyria  
Ashurbanipal, Assurbanipal or Sardanapal, (reigned 669-627 BC), was the last great king of ancient Assyria. He is famous as one of the few kings in antiquity who could himself read and write. Assyrian sculpture reached its apogee under his...
 
    Nebuchadnezzar II, Ruler of Babylon  
Nebuchadnezzar II was a ruler of Babylon in the Chaldean Dynasty, who reigned c. 605 BC 562 BC. According to the Bible, he conquered Judah and Jerusalem, and sent the Jews into exile. He is credited with the construction of the Hanging Ga...
 
    Cyrus The Great of Persia  
Cyrus II of Persia, commonly known as Cyrus the Great and also called Cyrus the Elder by the Greeks, was the founder of the Achaemenid Empire. Under his rule, the empire embraced all the previous civilized states of the ancient Near East, e...
 
    Darius The Great, King of Persia  
Darius I was the third king of the Persian Achaemenid Empire. Also called Darius the Great, he ruled the empire at its peak, when it included much of West Asia, the Caucasus, parts of the Balkans (Thrace-Macedonia and Paeonia), most of the...
 
    The Cyrus Cylinder  
The Cyrus Cylinder, discovered in 1879 and now in the British Museum, is one of the most famous cuneiform texts, because it was once believed that it confirmed what the Bible says: that in 539 BCE, the Persian conqueror Cyrus the Great had...
 
    Xerxes I, King of Persia  
Persian king (486 465 BC) of the Achaemenian dynasty. The son of Darius I, he had been governor of Babylon before his succession. He ferociously suppressed rebellions in Egypt (484) and Babylonia (482). To avenge Darius's defeat by th...
 
    The Greco-Persian Wars  
The Greco-Persian Wars (also often called the Persian Wars) were a series of conflicts between the Achaemenid Empire of Persia and city-states of the Hellenic world that started in 499 BC and lasted until 449 BC. The collision between the f...
 
    Battle of Marathon, The First Persian invasion of Greece  
The Battle of Marathon took place in 490 BC, during the first Persian invasion of Greece. It was fought between the citizens of Athens, aided by Plataea, and a Persian force commanded by Datis and Artaphernes. The battle was the culmination...
 
    Battle of Thermopylae  
In the Battle of Thermopylae of 480 BC, an alliance of Greek city-states fought the invading Persian Empire at the pass of Thermopylae in central Greece. Vastly outnumbered, the Greeks held back the Persians for three days in one of history...
 
       
 
         
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