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Unformatted text preview: from them. The largest category of
laws relates to the family and its maintenance and protection, including marriage, inheritance, and adoption.
Parents usually arranged marriages, and betrothal was
followed by the signing of a marriage contract. The bride
usually left her own family to join her husband’s. The
husband-to-be could make a bridal payment, and the father of the bride-to-be provided a dowry for his daughter in
money, land, or objects. A marriage started out monogamous, but a husband whose wife was childless or sickly
could take a second wife. Sometimes husbands also sired
children from domestic slave women. Women could own
their own property and do business on their own. Women
divorced by their husbands without good cause could get
back their dowry. A woman seeking divorce could also recover her dowry if her husband could not convict her of
wrongdoing. A married woman’s place was thought to be in
the home, but hundreds of letters between wives and husbands show them as equal partners in the ventures of life.
Single women who were not part of families could establish a business on their own, often as tavern owners or
moneylenders, or could be associated with temples, sometimes working as midwives and wet nurses, or taking care
of orphaned children. CRAIMC01_001-039hr.qxp 8/12/10 3:57 PM Page 13 Chapter 1 The Birth of Civilization 13 A Closer Look
Babylonian World Map
CARTOGRAPHY WAS AMONG THE many intellectual achievements of the Babylonians. The map
illustrated here was inscribed on a clay tablet about 600 B.C.E., and appears to be the earliest surviving
map of the world.
The Babylonians did not intend this map to be a precise or literal picture of the universe or even of
the land on which human beings lived, for they omitted any representation of such important and
numerous peoples as the Egyptians and Persians whom they knew very well. There is a text written in
cuneiform script above the picture
and on the back of the tablet that
help makes its identification as a
map secure. The tablet shows the
world from a Babylonian
point of view as flat and
round, with Babylon
sitting at its center on
the Euphrates River. Surrounding Babylon are cities
and lands, including Armenia
and Assyria, and all the lands
are encircled by a “Bitter
River.” Beyond that are seven
islands arranged to form a
seven-pointed star. Courtesy of the Trustees of the British Museum. © The British Museum. Questions
1. What can we learn from this map about how the
Babylonians saw the world around them and their
own place in it?
2. Why do you think this map locates some of the Babylonians’ neighbors but ignores other important
neighboring cultures? 3. Why has cartography remained so important throughout the ages?
4. Is the subjectivity reflected here confined to this map,
or is it a general characteristic of cartography
throughout history? To examine this image in an interactive fashion, please go to www.myhistorylab.com CRAIMC01_001-039hr.qxp 14 8/12/10 3:57 PM Page 14 Part 1 Human Origins and Early Civilizations to...
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This document was uploaded on 04/03/2014.
- Spring '14