Cuneiform: The earliest standardized writing system, a form of writing on wet clay tablets using a wedge-like writing tool called a stylus.

Free Online English to Babylonian Cuneiform

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Babylonian World as depicted on a Cuneiform Tablet Map


The Babylonians, one of the first civilizations, existed about 4000 to 2500 years ago. They were very skilled in the arts, science and mathematics. A very intelligent people and extremly advanced for their time, they valued both mathematics and literature.

It has been estimated that Babylon was the largest city in the world from 1770 to 1670 BC, and again between 612 and 320 BC. It was perhaps the first city to reach a population above 200,000.

The Babylonians lived in the area of present day southern Iraq, between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. Although they lived in a desert area, they used a very complex system of irrigation to water their crops. A Bible passage referring to Babylonia is found in Genesis 10:8-10: "Chus begat Nemrod, and the beginning of his kingdom was Babylon and Arach and Achad and Chalanne in the land of Sennaar."

Among the sciences, astronomy and astrology occupied an important postition in Babylonian society. The zodiac was a Babylonian invention of great antiquity; and eclipses of the sun and moon were foretold. There are dozens of cuneiform records of original Mesopotamian eclipse observations.

King Hammurabi of Babylonia is one of the most gigantic figures of the world's history, to be named with Alexander, Caesar, or Napoleon, but best compared to a Charlemagne, a conqueror and a lawgiver, whose powerful genius formed a lasting empire out of chaos, and whose beneficent influence continued for ages throughout an area almost as large as Europe.

Hammurabi created laws and codes that we still follow today, such as "An Eye For An Eye, A Tooth For a Tooth".


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