One of the largest cities of the ancient world, Babylon was located in which modern-day country?

And the answer: Iraq.    

Founded around 2300 BCE, Babylon was located along the Euphrates River in what is now Iraq, about 50 miles south of Baghdad. For nearly 2,000 years, Babylon was the center of the ancient civilization of Mesopotamia.

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Under the rule of Hammurabi, Babylon was once one of the most powerful cities in the world. It operated as a major hub for trade, knowledge, and innovation, soon leading it to grow into the largest city in the world during that time with about 200,000 residents at its peak. Babylon was known across the world for its flourishing cultural center that encouraged art, science, music, and literature to thrive.

The city was also famous for its gardens, artwork, palaces and towers, yet perhaps the most notable structure at its heart was the large temple called a ziggurat. This temple resembled a pyramid but with a flat top and quite a bit of height – archaeologists estimate the structure was over 300 feet tall. The ziggurat served as a holy place which sought to bring the people closer to the heavens, while providing access from the ground. The Mesopotamians believed that these pyramid temples connected heaven and earth. In fact, the ziggurat at Babylon was known as Etemenanki, which means "House of the foundation of heaven and earth" in Sumerian.

Much of the success of Babylon can be attributed to its ruler, Hammurabi. It was here that he implemented the famous Hammurabi Code: a series of laws which dictated how the city should be run, which penalizations for crime were acceptable, and even laws regarding personal (and seemingly more modern) notions like marriage and divorce. This code, inscribed in stone, marks the first time in human history that the law was written.


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