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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 international, Babylon has been eclipsed through its personal sinful recognition. for 2 thousand years the true, actual city lay buried whereas one other, ghostly urban lived on, engorged on bills of its personal destruction. extra lately the location of Babylon has been the centre of significant excavation: but the superb result of this paintings have performed little displace the numerous different interesting ways that town has persisted and reinvented itself in tradition. Saddam Hussein, for one, notoriously exploited the Babylonian fable to affiliate himself and his regime with its wonderful earlier. Why has Babylon so creatively fired the human mind's eye, with effects either strong and ailing? Why has it been so captivating to such a lot of, and for therefore lengthy? In exploring solutions, Michael Seymour' s publication levels greatly over area and time and embraces paintings, archaeology, heritage and literature. From Hammurabi and Nebuchadnezzar, through Strabo and Diodorus, to the e-book of Revelation, Brueghel, Rembrandt, Voltaire, William Blake and glossy interpreters like Umberto Eco, Italo Calvino and Gore Vidal, the writer brings to mild a carnival of disparate assets ruled by means of the robust and intoxicating thought of depravity. but appealing as this darkish mythology was once and has persevered to be, at its root lies a striking and complicated imperial civilization whose complicated state-building, legislation- making and faith ruled Mesopotamia and past for millennia, sooner 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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