The Babylonian emperor, Hammurabi, is famous for his legal code, which addressed issues as wide-ranging as cowboy builders and medical malpractice. However, when it came to boundary disputes, he wrote his own laws. He first allied with the Persian Gulf state of Larsa to repulse an invasion from Elam, then proceeded to annex Larsa. Turning his attention northward, he overcame the empire of Eshnunna situated to the east of the Tigris, and, after a protracted war, subdued the Assyrians, reigning supreme over the whole of Mesopotamia by his death (c. 1750 BCE). After his death, the empire rapidly disintegrated. The Assyrians quickly broke free, followed by the southern territories: the coup de grâce came from much further afield, when the Hittites swept south to sack Babylon (1595 BCE). The Hittites turned Babylon over to their local allies, the Kassites, who established a ruling dynasty there that endured for four centuries.
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