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Full text of "The Legacy Of Egypt"

Political Approach to the Classical World 31
individual, and even those of women, were recognized, a society
based on commerce and agriculture alike. Hammurabi's letters,
of which we have a number, show that there was a well-regu-
lated system of local government in the Sumerian cities, under
the direct control of the king himself.
But Hammurabi's organization did not long outlast him.
Under his successors Babylonia once more tended to disin-
tegrate. A rival line of dynasts established themselves in the
'sea-land'—the salt marshes around the mouth of the Tigris and
Euphrates, and the enfeebled Babylonian dynasty found itself
threatened on either side, for the Cassites, mountain tribesmen
of the Zagros to the north-east of Mesopotamia, were now an
increasing menace to the plains. But the coup de grace was
delivered from a new and unexpected quarter. From distant
Cappadocia a Hittite army marched down the Euphrates into
Babylonia and sacked the capital, carrying off its god Marduk
among the spoil.
The Haiti who thus made their first appearance on the stage
of international politics were not the same as those inhabitants
of Cappadocia, often called Proto-Hittites, among whom the
traders from Asshur had their homes two centuries before. The
immigration of new peoples from Europe may even then have
been taking place. These new-comers, at first barbarians,
gradually adopted much of the civilization that they found in
the regions in which they settled. An amalgamation of their
Indo-European speech with the Asianic of the earlier inhabi-
tants of Anatolia resulted in a mixed language which we call
Hittite. This they learned to write in cuneiform characters on
tablets of clay, and they incorporated the local gods of their
subjects in their pantheon. The 'thousand gods of Hatti' in-
cluded those of every nation which the Hittites later added to
their empire. At first divided into a number of small warring
kingdoms, they were at length united under the leadership of
the kings of Hattusas (the modern Boghaz-keui), on the river