"Babylon the Great, Mother of Harlots and of the Abominations of the Earth": it is not easy for us to efface the lurid vision of Babylon conjured up by the author of the "Book of Revelations." But what is the true story of this ancient city, renowned for its Hanging Gardens - one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World - and notorious for the Jewish exile? In a highly acclaimed account, now brought up to date for the revised edition, Dr. Oates describes the rise of Babylon from Sargon of Agade to Hammurapi, the great law-giver under whom in the 18th century B.C. the city first attained pre-eminence. She charts its progress under his successors, its greatest period of empire during the reigns of Nebuchadnezzar and Nabonidus in the 6th Century B.C., and its decay and final abandonment as Persians and Greeks turned Mesopotamia into a battleground.
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