10 – The Third Dynasty of Ur

“Then did Ur-Nammu the mighty warrior, king of Ur, king of Sumer and Akkad, by the might of Nanna, lord of the city, and in accordance with the true word of Utu, establish equity in the land…”
-Prologue to the Code of Ur-Nammu
All good stories must come to an end, and while this is not the end of Mesopotamia, it is for the Sumerians…
And if you’re looking for the name of that hauntingly beautiful song in this episode it’s by The Lyre Ensemble who have done an amazing job recreating the music of Sumer and Babylon. You owe it to yourself to download a copy of their album!
Music Credits
The Lyre Ensemble – Balbale to Nanshe

Supplemental learning!
Map of the 3rd Dynasty of Ur. It’s en francais but you still get the picture.
Another neat map showing the territorial influence of Ur III, but you might need to tilt your head for this one!
Map of the empires of Mesopotamia around 1400 BC…a bit later than what’s covered in this episode, but it’s a good visual aid to what’s going on.
Foundation Figure of Ur-Nammu
Fragments of the law code of Ur-Nammu
Map of Babylonian Empire (Hammurabi)
Hammurabi, standing, receiving a gift from Shamash
Hammurabi, sans schnoz
Hammurabi, as he appears on the U.S. House of Representatives
Code of Hammurabi: side view
Code of Hammurabi: full stele
The full code of Hammurabi in Akkadian and English by Robert Francis Harper

  6 comments for “10 – The Third Dynasty of Ur

  1. October 9, 2012 at 3:25 PM

    This is an absolutely fantastic podcast. I really enjoy the way you weave history, science (of all types) and myth together. The production value is way above any of the other podcasts I’ve listened to as well. This will surely become one of the most popular podcasts on the web, i’m glad I’m getting in NEAR the bottom floor. Also, as I teach an intro course on Western Civilization at a university, this is really good for me stealing some of your ideas! Congratulations on such a quality work.

    • October 9, 2012 at 8:30 PM

      Since you honor me with such flattery you may help yourself to as much theft as you need! And glad to hear you’re enjoying the show. I hope your predictions come true!

  2. Anonymous
    February 1, 2014 at 2:26 PM

    Hi, the episode is marvelous! Thank you for your work on this podcast, it’s the best I’ve seen so far. But what is that civilization that you omitted, called suspense/annoyance?

    • February 1, 2014 at 5:58 PM

      I was intentionally leaving out the Egyptians :)

  3. June 21, 2014 at 4:04 AM

    Only one thing…

    I always hear the argument that to criticize things like suppression of females, slavery, exceptional brutality, and that like it to be unfair and inconsiderate of the culture of the times…however, this doesn’t seem like a good argument.

    For instance, with Hamurabi, the very concept of fair justice means that they are cognizant of treating people good versus treating people bad. The very concept of alleviating debts means they are also cognizant of treating former enemies well (somewhat…it is a bribe, after all) The very fact that one would not vote to be a slave, or oppressed, themselves, means that they are aware that these things are bad, but still do them for what I might charge was cultural indoctrination in the manner of acting, but not excused.

    Why…because what of Hitler, who, arguably, existed not only in a time period where these things would have been unquestionably crimes, but in one of the leading nations of the world- comparatively. Yet, they still did it. The slavery and the quasi-genocides of the America’s North American Indians. And these things continue to this day by people willing and ready to do them despite knowing that these things are bad. They don’t wish such on themselves. It seems that morality is as present as brutality back then and now, and that for whatever reason, there is a choice to do these things, just as a man choses to kill another soldier in war. It’s not the morality or the absence of consideration of morality, but those ideologies and convictions which erode and chip at what would seem s basic empathy- whether structural or immediate (like walking in on adultery)

  4. Danielle
    August 21, 2015 at 6:52 PM

    It would be great if the supplemental learning links opened in new windows so I can listen and explore the resources at the same time

Comments are closed.