The Babylonians: An Introduction
By G. Leick
Gwendolyn Leick's approachable survey shows us the people of Babylon, from kings and merchants to women and slaves, and the social, historical, geographical and cultural context in which their extraordinary city flourished for so many millennia. This enjoyable read is the ideal introduction to the Babylonians for both students and the interested general reader. The Bible saw Babylon with only negative connotations, and while classical writers admired the city's size and splendour, they deplored some of its more unusual customs. More than any other ancient society, Babylon remained a symbol expressing a mistrust of urbanisation. Whatever the perspective taken, for much of the world, the city of Babylon was representative of the whole of Mesopotamian civilization for many centuries. In more recent times, the finds of archaeologists have allowed us to build a more balanced picture of who the Babylonians were, what they contributed to the process of civilization, and what were their intellectual and spiritual preoccupations.