Historical Dictionary of Mesopotamia (Historical Dictionaries of Ancient Civilizations and Historical Eras) (2nd Edition)
The Greek name Mesopotamia means "land between the rivers." TheRomans used this term for an area that they controlled only briefly(between 115 and 117 A.D.): the land between the Euphrates andTigris rivers, from the south Anatolian mountains ranges to thePersian Gulf. It comprises the civilizations of Sumer and Akkad(third millennium B.C.) as well as the later Babylonian andAssyrian empires of the second and first millennium. Although the"history" of Mesopotamia in the strict sense of the term onlybegins with the inscriptions of Sumerian rulers around the 27thcentury B.C., the foundations for Mesopotamian civilization,especially the beginnings of irrigation and the emergence of largepermanent settlements, were laid much earlier, in the fifth andfourth millennium. The second edition of the Historical Dictionaryof Mesopotamia defines concepts, customs, and notions peculiar tothe civilization of ancient Mesopotamia, from adult adoption toziggurats. This is accomplished through a chronology, anintroductory essay, a bibliography, appendixes, and hundreds ofcross-reference dictionary entries on religion, economy, society,geography, and important kings and rulers.