The Empire of Hammurabi c. 1750 BCE


Map Code: Ax02145

After his father had created a Babylonian power base in central Mesopotamia by annexing Borsippa, Kish and Sippar, Hammurabi began his reign peaceably, establishing his famous legal code and consolidating his defences. After the Elamites invaded Eshnunna, Hammurabi allied with Larsa to annex their kingdom. Larsa’s contribution to the war was lacklustre, and they became Hammurabi’s next target, extending his dominion to the Euphrates delta. In the last years of his reign, he moved north, conquering Mari and Subartu and turning Assyria into a tributary. The empire began to disintegrate soon after Hammurabi’s death (1750 BCE). The Akkadians broke free in the delta, establishing the Sealand Dynasty, while, in the north, a resurgent Assyria and Hurrian migrations eliminated Babylonian control. Finally, a sweeping Hittite invasion (1595 BCE) resulted in the sacking of Babylon. After the Hittites withdrew, the Kassites of the Zagros Mountains took over.

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