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Over 2500 years after the city's fall, the Babylon of ancient Iraq is still an evocative name. The stories of the Tower of Babel, the Hanging Gardens, Daniel in the Lions' Den, the madness of Nebuchadnezzar and the "city of sin" still resonate today. But how much do we really know of the original city and the reality behind the myths, traditions, and stories? This lavishly illustrated volume sheds light for the first time on the true wonders of this ancient city and the echoes and images that have grown up around it over thousands of years. Babylon has carried complex and evolving meanings for artists through the ages and the authors bring together a wealth of art works inspired by this ancient city, from medieval manuscripts and major canvases to contemporary digital art. Alongside these later evocations of an imagined Babylon, the authors present the reality of the city: its kings, its history and its amazing structures, such as Nebuchadnezzar's magnificent state buildings with their famous glazed brick reliefs. They investigate the history, culture and religious life of the time, describing the Conquest of Jerusalem and the emergence of monotheism within Babylonian religion. They also demonstrate how ancient Babylon's legacy lives on today--in astronomy, astrology, and the origins of modern calendars and clocks. A final chapter considers the recent troubled history of the site of Babylon in today's Iraq. This book is published to accompany the major exhibition "Babylon" at the British Museum and draws on three of the most important collections of artifacts from the ancient city of Babylon, at the British Museum itself, the Mus e du Louvre, and the Vorderasiatisches Museum, more

Product details

  • Hardback | 240 pages
  • 231.14 x 292.1 x 30.48mm | 1,542.21g
  • Oxford University Press, USA
  • United States
  • English
  • 0195385403
  • 9780195385403
  • 1,445,463

Review quote

"History buffs, art buffs, and archaeology buffs alike with love this book."--Fine Books & Collections Magazine "The catalogue makes the courageous decision to concentrate on the writing tablets themselves...[these] are probably Mesopotamia's principal claim to greatness. Behind the measurements, observations and formulae of many of these texts lies an intellectual achievement which is as remarkable as anything in the ancient Near East, and which may well be the starting point for much of the Greek legacy to our own world." -- Times Literary Supplementshow more

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