Southwest Asia Research Paper

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Southwest Asia is a region located in the modern day Middle East which includes Mesopotamia and parts of modern day Turkey, Iraq, Iran, Syria, and Israel. This region was made up of very successful early civilizations beginning with the development of food production until around 500 CE. The civilizations came in multiple waves. The first wave civilizations existed from 3500 BCE to 500 BCE, and the second wave civilizations, or classical period, existed from 500 BCE to 500 CE. Southwest Asia had many different forms of government that varied by civilization and changed throughout time as civilizations adapted, became larger, or became conquered by other civilizations. For early development of civilization, the most important aspect of success…show more content…
These civilizations include the Sumerians, Akkadians, Babylonians, and Assyrians. The Sumerians ruled from 3200 to 2350 BCE, and consisted of many city-states ruled by a king. The Sumerians developed complex irrigation systems, an early form of writing called cuneiform, arches and stepped-pyramids, and domesticated crops such as wheat and barley. The Akkadians ruled from 2350 to 2000 BCE, and came from the city-state of Akkad, located on the Euphrates River. The Akkadian economy was based on agriculture. The Babylonians ruled from 1900 to 1500 BCE. King Hammurabi of Babylon, developed a code of law based on “eye for an eye” punishment. Under Hammurabi, a class system also developed and divided people based on gender and rank. The Babylonians built many temples and statues. The Assyrians ruled from 900 to 612 BCE. They were located in Northern Iraq, and came to conquer many of the surrounding peoples in this area. Their government system was based on a monarchy, but they also used a provincial system with Assyrian governors as their empire expanded over time. The Assyrians controlled busy trade routes that granted access to hard metals, and technology from the earlier Sumerians and Babylonians. Their major cities include Ninevah, Kalhu, and Ashur. The Assyrians were a very offensive people, and fought off the Babylonians and Armenians while conquering…show more content…
During this time, Southwest Asia was conquered by various empires including the Persian Empire, Alexander’s Macedon, the successor kingdoms of Alexander, the Roman Empire, and the Parthian and Sassanid empires. Each conqueror brought with them new technology, people, culture, language, and government systems. This was different than the first wave because the first wave had little to no influence from distant lands such as Greece or Rome. The Persian Achaemenid Empire began around 550 BCE, and followed a government system of Persian kings called “achaemenids.” The Persian kings ruled their empires through a government system of absolutism, and believed they were given kingship through the god Ahura Mazda. This began with Cyrus the Great by the unification of Neo-Babylon, Media, Lydia, and Bactria. The Persian Empire conquered many different societies and its kings used a local government system of client states called satrapy. This meant that each conquered state had autonomy under a Persian governor. The government of the Persian Empire was essential to its success due to the enormous conquered area. The job of the satraps was to quell rebellion to maintain order and integrity of the empire, as well as levy taxes to support the large Persian military and infrastructure. The Persian Empire was able to stay intact until being conquered by Alexander the Great in the 330s BCE.
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