Urban history starts in Mesopotamia: the earliest known cities developed there as a result of long indigenous processes and, for millennia, the city determined every aspect of Mesopotamian civilization. Marc Van De Mieroop examines urban life in the historical period, investigating urban topography, the role of cities as centres of culture, their political and social structures, economy, literature, and the arts. He draws on material from the entirety of Mesopotamian history, from c. 3000 to 300 BC, and from both Babylonia and Assyria, arguing that the Mesopotamian city can be regarded as a prototype that inspired the rest of the ancient world and shared characteristics with the European cities of antiquity.
`offers a starting point to the cities of Mesopotamia for both the lay reader and the undergraduate student.'
E.J. Owens, The Classical Review, 2000.
`Van de Mieroop's thoroughgoing treatment of the subject can be read to advantage by every kind of ancient historian ... a splendid work of synthesis.'
A R George, Bulletin of the SOAS 62:3 1999
`His comparison and contrast of southern versus northern cities and planned versus unplanned cities gives a sense of the complexity, and his intelligent analysis of th e multiple loci fo social power offers insights into the contradictions ... frequent references to archaeological material are well integrated. This book deserves a wide audience.'
Anthony Sinclair, Antiquity
This work is the survey of a city in Mesopotamian history by an author who has studied Old Babylonian Ur with distinction and it is a welcome addition to our understanding of Mesopotamian society, economics and politics. The book is attractive and well illustrated. - Daniel Snell - Bibliotheca Orientalis LV No 5/6 Sept-Dec 1988