King Hammurabi of Babylon: A Biography (Blackwell Ancient Lives)
by Marc Van De Mieroop
This book presents the first biography written in English of the famous Babylonian lawgiver, King Hammurabi, who ruled from 1792 to 1750 BC. It presents a well-rounded view of this ancient Mesopotamian king's accomplishments, by drawing on the extensive writings of his time, including those by Hammurabi himself. Numerous letters and reports by ambassadors to his court and others are presented in translation.Marc Van De Mieroop traces Hammurabi's career as a diplomat and conqueror, describing how he dealt with powerful rivals and extended his kingdom to create the large state of Babylon. He explores the administration of the kingdom and looks at the legacies of Hammurabi's rule, especially his legal code, the earliest complete body of legal instructions in world history.The book demonstrates how Hammurabi's conquests irrevocably changed the political organization of the Middle East and shows that Hammurabi was long remembered by the ancient Mesopotamians as one of the greatest kings of the past.