Cradles of Civilization 2: Hammurabi of Babylon
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Dr. David Neiman explains how the cuneiform texts of ancient languages were deciphered by 19th century scholars. Dr. Neiman reads through the "Year List of Hammurabi" which catalogs the leader's great accomplishments. Hammurabi is described as an absolute ruler, but a ruler who felt at one with his people and enacted polices to improve their lives. Dr. Neiman compares the political approach of Hammurabi of Babylon to other great leaders including: Nebuchadnezzar, Cyrus The Great, Alexander The Great and Genghis Khan
Dr. Neiman reviews Babylonian advances in astronomy and mathematics. He also credits the Babylonians with devising some of civilization's most basic concepts: dividing the circle into 360 degrees, the day into 24 hours and the hour into 60 minutes. The Babylonians developed a calendar based on the the moon and the sun cycles. The Lunar calendar was designed to work in conjunction with the solar cycle by adding leap months known an "intercalary" months. Dr. Neiman concludes with a explanation of the many calculations of the year one.
Dr. David Neiman (1921–2004) was professor of Jewish theology at Boston College and specialized in a broad range of fields, including archaeology, Biblical studies, Jewish history and Catholic-Jewish relations. He also organized Boston College’s Institute of Biblical Archeology and participated in nearly a dozen archaeological excavations in Israel. He was the author of Domestic Relations in Antiquity (Little Acorns Press, 1994) as well as a commentary and selected translation of the Book of Job (Massada, 1972). He also wrote several important articles for the Encyclopedia Judaica. His lectures on the Book of Genesis were delivered in 2000 at the University of Judaism in Bel Air, CA.