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Shekel
Shekel or sheqel ( akk, 𒅆𒅗𒇻 ''šiqlu'' or ''siqlu,'' he, שקל, plural he, שקלים or shekels, Phoenician: ) is an ancient Mesopotamian coin, usually of silver. A shekel was first a unit of weight—very roughly —and became currency in ancient Tyre and ancient Carthage and then in ancient Israel under the Maccabees. Name The word is based on the Semitic verbal root for "weighing" (''Š-Q-L''), cognate to the Akkadian or , a unit of weight equivalent to the Sumerian . Use of the word was first attested in during the Akkadian Empire under the reign of Naram-Sin, and later in in the Code of Hammurabi. The ''Š-Q-L'' root is found in the Hebrew words for "to weigh" (), "weight" () and "consideration" (). It is cognate to the Aramaic root ''T-Q-L'' and the Arabic ''root Θ-Q-L'' ''ثقل'', in words such as (the weight), (heavy) or (unit of weight). The famous writing on the wall in the Biblical Book of Daniel includes a cryptic use of the word in Ara ...
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Carthaginian Coinage
Carthaginian or Punic currency refers to the coins of ancient Carthage, a Phoenician city-state located near present-day Tunis, Tunisia. Between the late fifth century BC and its destruction in 146 BC, Carthage produced a wide range of coinage in gold, electrum, silver, billon, and bronze. The base denomination was the shekel, probably pronounced in Punic. Only a minority of Carthaginian coinage was produced or used in North Africa. Instead, the majority derive from Carthage's holdings in Sardinia and western Sicily. Background Between the ninth and seventh centuries BC, the Phoenicians established colonies throughout the western Mediterranean, particularly in North Africa, western Sicily, Sardinia, and southern Iberia. Carthage soon became the largest of these communities, establishing particularly close economic, cultural, and political ties with Motya in western Sicily and Sulci in Sardinia. Although coinage began to be minted by Greek communities in Sicily and Southern ...
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Belshazzar's Feast
Belshazzar's feast, or the story of the writing on the wall (chapter 5 in the Book of Daniel), tells how Belshazzar holds a great feast and drinks from the vessels that had been looted in the destruction of the First Temple. A hand appears and writes on the wall. The terrified Belshazzar calls for his wise men, but they are unable to read the writing. The queen advises him to send for Daniel, renowned for his wisdom. Daniel reminds Belshazzar that his father Nebuchadnezzar, when he became arrogant, was thrown down until he learned that God has sovereignty over the kingdom of men (see Daniel 4). Belshazzar had likewise blasphemed God, and so God sent this hand. Daniel then reads the message and interprets it: God has numbered Belshazzar's days, he has been weighed and found wanting, and his kingdom will be given to the Medes and the Persians. The message of Daniel 5 is the contrast it offers between Nebuchadnezzar and Belshazzar: * Nebuchadnezzar is humbled by God, learns his l ...
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Ancient Mesopotamian Units Of Measurement
Ancient Mesopotamian units of measurement originated in the loosely organized city-states of Early Dynastic Sumer. Each city, kingdom and trade guild had its own standards until the formation of the Akkadian Empire when Sargon of Akkad issued a common standard. This standard was improved by Naram-Sin, but fell into disuse after the Akkadian Empire dissolved. The standard of Naram-Sin was readopted in the Ur III period by the Nanše Hymn which reduced a plethora of multiple standards to a few agreed upon common groupings. Successors to Sumerian civilization including the Babylonians, Assyrians, and Persians continued to use these groupings. Akkado-Sumerian metrology has been reconstructed by applying statistical methods to compare Sumerian architecture, architectural plans, and issued official standards such as Statue B of Gudea and the bronze cubit of Nippur. Archaic system The systems that would later become the classical standard for Mesopotamia were developed in parall ...
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Achaemenid Coinage
The Achaemenid Empire issued coins from 520 BCE–450 BCE to 330 BCE. The Persian daric was the first gold coin which, along with a similar silver coin, the siglos (from grc, σίγλος, he, שֶׁקֶל, '' shékel'') represented the first bimetallic monetary standard.Michael Alram"DARIC" ''Encyclopaedia Iranica'', December 15, 1994, last updated November 17, 2011 It seems that before the Persians issued their own coinage, a continuation of Lydian coinage under Persian rule is likely. Achaemenid coinage includes the official imperial issues (Darics and Sigloi), as well as coins issued by the Achaemenid provincial governors (satraps), such as those stationed in Asia Minor. Early coinage of Western Asia under the Achaemenid Empire When Cyrus the Great (550–530 BC) came to power, coinage was unfamiliar in his realm. Barter, and to some extent silver bullion, was used instead for trade. The practice of using silver bars for currency also seems to have been current in Centra ...
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Akkadian Empire
The Akkadian Empire () was the first ancient empire of Mesopotamia after the long-lived civilization of Sumer. It was centered in the city of Akkad () and its surrounding region. The empire united Akkadian and Sumerian speakers under one rule. The Akkadian Empire exercised influence across Mesopotamia, the Levant, and Anatolia, sending military expeditions as far south as Dilmun and Magan (modern Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Oman) in the Arabian Peninsula.Mish, Frederick C., Editor in Chief. "Akkad" ''Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary''. ninth ed. Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster 1985. ). The Akkadian Empire reached its political peak between the 24th and 22nd centuries BC, following the conquests by its founder Sargon of Akkad. Under Sargon and his successors, the Akkadian language was briefly imposed on neighboring conquered states such as Elam and Gutium. Akkad is sometimes regarded as the first empire in history, though the meaning of this term is not p ...
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Tyre, Lebanon
Tyre (; ar, صور, translit=Ṣūr; phn, 𐤑𐤓, translit=Ṣūr, Greek language, Greek ''Tyros'', Τύρος) is a city in Lebanon, one of the List of oldest continuously inhabited cities, oldest continually inhabited cities in the world, though in medieval times for some centuries by just a tiny population. It was one of the earliest Phoenician metropolises and the legendary birthplace of Europa (mythology), Europa, her brothers Cadmus and Phoenix (son of Agenor), Phoenix, as well as Carthage's founder Dido (Elissa). The city has many ancient sites, including the Tyre Hippodrome, and was added as a whole to UNESCO's list of World Heritage Sites in 1984. The historian Ernest Renan noted that "One can call Tyre a city of ruins, built out of ruins". Today Tyre is the fourth largest city in Lebanon after Beirut, Tripoli, Lebanon, Tripoli, and Sidon. It is the capital of the Tyre District in the South Governorate. There were approximately 200,000 inhabitants in the Tyre urban ar ...
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Code Of Hammurabi
The Code of Hammurabi is a Babylonian legal text composed 1755–1750 BC. It is the longest, best-organised, and best-preserved legal text from the ancient Near East. It is written in the Old Babylonian dialect of Akkadian, purportedly by Hammurabi, sixth king of the First Dynasty of Babylon. The primary copy of the text is inscribed on a basalt stele tall. The stele was rediscovered in 1901 at the site of Susa in present-day Iran, where it had been taken as plunder six hundred years after its creation. The text itself was copied and studied by Mesopotamian scribes for over a millennium. The stele now resides in the Louvre Museum. The top of the stele features an image in relief of Hammurabi with Shamash, the Babylonian sun god and god of justice. Below the relief are about 4,130 lines of cuneiform text: one fifth contains a prologue and epilogue in poetic style, while the remaining four fifths contain what are generally called the laws. In the prologue, Hammurabi claims ...
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Semitic Peoples
Semites, Semitic peoples or Semitic cultures is an obsolete term for an ethnic, cultural or racial group.On the use of the terms “(anti-)Semitic” and “(anti-) Zionist” in modern Middle Eastern discourse, Orientalia Suecana LXI Suppl. (2012)
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Lutz Eberhard Edzard
"In linguistics context, the term "Semitic" is generally speaking non-controversial... As an ethnic term, "Semitic" should best be avoided these days, in spite of ongoing genetic research (which also is supported by the Israeli scholarly community itself) that tries to scientifically underpin suc ...
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Moab
Moab ''Mōáb''; Assyrian: 𒈬𒀪𒁀𒀀𒀀 ''Mu'abâ'', 𒈠𒀪𒁀𒀀𒀀 ''Ma'bâ'', 𒈠𒀪𒀊 ''Ma'ab''; Egyptian: 𓈗𓇋𓃀𓅱𓈉 ''Mū'ībū'', name=, group= () is the name of an ancient Levantine kingdom whose territory is today located in the modern state of Jordan. The land is mountainous and lies alongside much of the eastern shore of the Dead Sea. The existence of the Kingdom of Moab is attested to by numerous archaeological findings, most notably the Mesha Stele, which describes the Moabite victory over an unnamed son of King Omri of Israel, an episode also noted in 2 Kings . The Moabite capital was Dibon. According to the Hebrew Bible, Moab was often in conflict with its Israelite neighbours to the west. Etymology The etymology of the word Moab is uncertain. The earliest gloss is found in the Koine Greek Septuagint () which explains the name, in obvious allusion to the account of Moab's parentage, as ἐκ τοῦ πατρός μου ("from ...
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Edom
Edom (; Edomite: ; he, אֱדוֹם , lit.: "red"; Akkadian: , ; Ancient Egyptian: ) was an ancient kingdom in Transjordan, located between Moab to the northeast, the Arabah to the west, and the Arabian Desert to the south and east.Negev & Gibson (ed.), 2001, ''Edom; Edomites'', pp. 149–150 Most of its former territory is now divided between present-day southern Israel and Jordan. Edom appears in written sources relating to the late Bronze Age and to the Iron Age in the Levant. Edomites are related in several ancient sources including the Tanakh, a list of the Egyptian pharaoh Seti I from c. 1215 BC as well as in the chronicle of a campaign by Ramesses III (r. 1186–1155 BC). Archaeological investigation has shown that the nation flourished between the 13th and the 8th century BC and was destroyed after a period of decline in the 6th century BC by the Babylonians. After the fall of the kingdom of Edom, the Edomites were pushed westward towards southern Judah by ...
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Phoenicia
Phoenicia () was an ancient thalassocratic civilization originating in the Levant region of the eastern Mediterranean, primarily located in modern Lebanon. The territory of the Phoenician city-states extended and shrank throughout their history, and they possessed several enclaves such as Arwad and Tell Sukas (modern Syria). The core region in which the Phoenician culture developed and thrived stretched from Tripoli and Byblos in northern Lebanon to Mount Carmel in modern Israel. At their height, the Phoenician possessions in the Eastern Mediterranean stretched from the Orontes River mouth to Ashkelon. Beyond its homeland, the Phoenician civilization extended to the Mediterranean from Cyprus to the Iberian Peninsula. The Phoenicians were a Semitic-speaking people of somewhat unknown origin who emerged in the Levant around 3000 BC. The term ''Phoenicia'' is an ancient Greek exonym that most likely described one of their most famous exports, a dye also known as Tyria ...
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Bronze Age Europe
The European Bronze Age is characterized by bronze artifacts and the use of bronze implements. The regional Bronze Age succeeds the Neolithic and Copper Age and is followed by the Iron Age. It starts with the Aegean Bronze Age in 3200 BC (succeeded by the Beaker culture), and spans the entire 2nd millennium BC ( Unetice culture, Tumulus culture, Nordic Bronze Age, Terramare culture, Urnfield culture and Lusatian culture) in Northern Europe, lasting until c. 600 BC. History Aegean The Aegean Bronze Age begins around 3200 BC when civilizations first established a far-ranging trade network. This network imported tin and charcoal to Cyprus, where copper was mined and alloyed with the tin to produce bronze. Bronze objects were then exported far and wide and supported the trade. Isotopic analysis of the tin in some Mediterranean bronze objects indicates it came from as far away as Great Britain. Knowledge of navigation was well developed at this time and reached a pea ...
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