The historical region of Mesopotamia was located in West Asia, roughly where Iraq, Kuwait, East Syria, and South Turkey are in modern maps. Mesopotamian history is one of the earliest periods we have information about; the empires of Mesopotamia began in 3100 BC, and lasted for over 3000 years before the region eventually collapsed.
The main empires of Mesopotamia were the Akkadian Empire, the Assyrian Empire, the Babylonian Empire, and the Persian Empire.
It’s difficult to measure the dates of the Mesopotamian Empires exactly, but these are approximately the starting/ending dates of each Empire based in the Mesopotamian region.
The Akkadian Empire was centered around the capital city of Akkad. Despite having a similar culture to the Sumerians that came before them, the Akkadians had a different language and government structure.
The Akkadian government was divided into many city-states, each of which had its own ruler who controlled the city and surrounding agricultural land. The first ruler of the Akkadian Empire was Sargon the Great, the man who founded it.
His descendants continued to rule the Empire after his death. Most Akkadians were farmers, as was the case in the earlier Sumerian civilization, but people also worked as merchants, priests, craftsmen, soldiers, and fishermen. The Akkadian Empire depended a lot on agriculture and was the first empire in the world to make effective use of irrigation.
The Assyrian Empire rose and fell on multiple occasions throughout history. The First Rise of the Assyrian Empire occurred when the Akkadian Empire fell. During the First Rise, the leader of the Assyrian Empire was King Shamshi-Adad.
Having a strong military was very important to the Assyrians. The Assyrian Empire had a war-based society, and children were raised from a young age to be soldiers.
Their military was notable for its use of modern technology; in particular, chariots and iron weapons. It was also one of the first in the world to have a dedicated cavalry unit. The Assyrian Empire is also credited with the construction and development of the world’s greatest historical library, the Library of Nineveh.
After the fall of the Akkadian Empire, the Babylonian Empire came to power. One of the major achievements of the Babylonian Empire was the establishment of the world’s first written code of law. While law had always existed, the Babylonian Empire was the first to set theirs in stone.
The Babylonian code of law was established by King Hammurabi. Because of this, it was called the Code of Hammurabi. Much of what we know about Babylon comes from information contained in this code.
However, the biggest accomplishment of the Babylonian Empire was undoubtedly the design and creation of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. Though historians are unsure whether the gardens ever existed, they are still one of the Seven Ancient Wonders of the World.
The generally accepted “Persian Empire” lasted from the 6th century BC to the 20th century AD – roughly 2600 years! However, when discussing the Persian Empire, it’s usually the First Persian Empire that we talk about.
This empire is sometimes called the Achaemenid Empire. The First Persian Empire lasted only 180 years, from 550-330 BC. The first ruler of the Persian Empire was Cyrus the Great.
Unusually, Cyrus the Great was famous for his mercy rather than his cruelty; in this way, he was very different from the Kings of Assyria who had come before him. Under Cyrus the Great, one of the world’s first human rights charters was published. The Achaemenid Empire was famed for its architectural achievements.
In terms of what daily life in the Persian Empire was like, most peasants spent their days working; the most common profession in the Empire was farming. However, both men and women could hold high positions in the Persian government, and generally had the same employment opportunities as each other.
– West Asia.
– Akkadian, Assyrian, Babylonian, Persian.
– His mercy. The human rights charter passed during his reign.