What Are Some Facts About the Assyrian Civilization?


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The Assyrian civilization is one of the world's oldest civilizations, emerging around 3500 B.C. The Assyrians receive credit for inventing the world's first written language, developing the 360-degree circle and establishing Hammurabi's code of laws. They were the first nation to accept Christianity.

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The origin of the name "Assyria" comes from the god Ashur, a diety in whom the Assyrians believed. Assyria emerged around the fertile crescent of the Middle East, an agriculturally rich territory that benefited from the presence of the Tigris and Euphrates river systems. As a result, cities such as Ashur, Nineveh, Arbel, Nimrod and Arrapkha all managed to flourish.

The Assyrian civilization used two languages throughout its history: ancient Assyrian and modern Assyrian. It first used Akkadian, which people wrote down using a method called cuneiform script. This writing was wedge-shaped in form and appeared on clay tablets. After 750 B.C., Assyrians moved away from clay tablets and toward newer methods of transcription, such as parchment, leather and papyrus.

Assyria also had two religions throughout its existence: Ashurism and Christianity. People practived Ashurism up to 256 A.D., which Christianity was starting to overtake by then. Thomas, Bartholomew and Thaddeus established the first Christian church in 33 A.D.

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