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Friday, September 24, 2010

Hammurabi takes Assyria

Hammurabi was a very powerful king in Southern Mesoptamia, but up north there was another king building a different empire. He was Shamshi-Adad. He didn't want to be fair and make good laws like Hammurabi. He wanted to rule the whole world. Shamshi-Adad lived in Assur. Assur was a city in the north part of Mesopotamia by the Tigris river. Shamshi-Adad became ruler of Assur. He thought that Assur should be the center of a new empire.

The god he worshipped was the god of wind and storms. He made a temple for the god out of cedar logs with silver and gold. Shamshi-Adad rubbed the foundation with butter, oil and honey so that his god was happy and would be on his side to give him more power. When his temple was finished, he told the people of Assur "the god of wind and storms loves the temple. He will give Assur power to win control over other cities."

Shamshi-Adad conquered other cities and made them follow him. How did he do this? He cut off the heads of the rulers of the cities and burned down buildings. Each time he conquered a city he put one of his sons in charge. Most times as soon as Shamshi-Adad came,rulers came up to him and surrendered and said that they would follow him just so that he would let them live. Shamshi-Adad would say that they could live as long as they followed all of his rules. But Shamshi-Adad never bothered southern Mesoptamia where Hammurabi was ruler. He knew Babylon was too strong for him.

One day Shamshi-Adad died and put his two sons in charge. He hoped that they would keep his cities strong and keep control. But the brothers fought with each other and Hammurabi took over. Hammurbi was much nicer and let the rulers keep control as long as they followed his laws. The people all thought they would be free again and be back in power someday but still agreed to follow Hammurabi for the time-being.

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