Hammurabi and His Code of Laws - BABYLON AFTER HAMMURABI

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For centuries, artists have imagined the appearance of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon.  Frantisek Kupka created this view in 1908.  Image online, courtesy Wikimedia Commons.  PD

 

Babylon was not powerful again until many centuries had passed. The New Babylonian Empire, whose best-known king was Nebuchadnezzar II (reigned 605-562 BC), existed more than a thousand years later.

It was Nebuchadnezzar who saw the handwriting on the wall (interpreted by the Biblical Daniel). And it was Nebuchadnezzar who created one of the seven wonders of the ancient world: the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. (The image is an artist's conception, based on ancient writings.)

Not until Nebuchadnezzar was king did Babylon reach the height of her wealth and glory. The city was a major metropolis. Scholars speculate, however, whether the Hanging Gardens (reportedly built for Nebuchadnezzar's wife) ever really existed.

Recent excavations at the ancient site tend to support the traditional ancient claim. The palace walls have been located plus archaeologists have found additional walls near the river. Drawings depict how the palace, the terraced gardens and the city may have looked at the height of Babylonian power.

It is not the Hanging Gardens, however, which carry significance today. It is the Code of Hammurabi, written 3700 years ago, that people throughout the world still study. And it is Hammurabi himself who is remembered because, to use his words, he acted "like a real father to his people...[who] has established prosperity...and (gave) good government to the land."

 

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