History of Mesopotamia - Part 1 (2900-2000 BC)
4.3 (10 ratings)
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History of Mesopotamia - Part 1 (2900-2000 BC)

An introduction to the political and cultural history of third millennium Mesopotamia
4.3 (10 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
1,867 students enrolled
Created by Nshan Kesecker
Last updated 5/2020
English
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Current price: $14.99 Original price: $24.99 Discount: 40% off
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This course includes
  • 2 hours on-demand video
  • 1 article
  • 3 downloadable resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Assignments
  • Certificate of Completion
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What you'll learn
  • The history and culture of third millennium Mesopotamia
  • Socio-political developments in third millennium Mesopotamia
  • Early Imperialism
Requirements
  • A Passion for History
  • An Interest in the Ancient Near East
Description

In this course, you will learn about the history of the Sumerians and Akkadians. The invention of writing, government propaganda, imperialism, letters - all of these were invented in Mesopotamia during the third millennium. This is an introductory course, but I plan on expanding and editing it over time to include more topics on literature, culture, and primary sources. This course will be helpful for college students who are taking an introductory course on Mesopotamian history and need to supplement their knowledge, or just for ancient history enthusiasts. There is information here for pure beginners, as well as for those with some knowledge of the field already. I will also be actively expanding the course - I look forward to your feedback!

In the first section of a course, you will gain the necessary background knowledge needed to follow along.

In the second section, you will learn about the Early Dynastic period and the various Sumerian kings that vied for power.

In the third section, you will learn about Sargon of Akkad and his dynasty.

In the fourth section, you will learn about the Third Dynasty of Ur - the "Neo-Sumerian Empire."

Who this course is for:
  • Students of history
  • College students seeking to learn more about Mesopotamia
  • Those interested in ancient civilizations
Course content
Expand all 29 lectures 01:53:45
+ Introductory Lectures/Materials
3 lectures 11:53

In this lecture, we will go over the chronology of third millennium Mesopotamia that you will need to follow along with the rest of the course.

Preview 03:51

In this lecture, you will learn some of the necessary terminology that you will need in order to follow along with the rest of the course.

Terminology
04:14

In this lecture, you will learn the geography that you will need to know in order to follow along with the rest of the course.

Geography
03:48
+ Early Dynastic Period (2900-2350 BC)
13 lectures 57:36

In this lecture, you will learn about the periods prior to the Early Dynastic period, when writing was invented.

On the Threshold of History: The Uruk Period and the Invention of Writing
03:52

This lecture is just a short introduction to the invention of cuneiform and how it works (basically). I am planning a more in depth course introducing students to Sumerian and Akkadian, which will contain much more information about cuneiform.

The Invention of Writing: Cuneiform
12:03

The Sumerian King List - an extremely unreliable text, but we use it anyway.

Reconstructing Political History: The Sumerian King List
10:18

In this lecture, you will learn about the Sumerian King List, a document that provides us with a basic outline (or does it?) of Mesopotamian history, king by king.

Names to Know: Early Dynastic Period
02:07

At the beginning of the Early Dynastic period, the city of Kish appears to have dominated Mesopotamian politics.

The Primacy of Kish: Myth or Reality?
02:38
Kings of Kish: Not Always Native Kishites
03:21

From the middle to the end of the Early Dynastic period, an epic, decades-long struggle between the city-states Umma and Lagash ended up defining Mesopotamia's future.

Warring States: Umma and Lagash
02:01

King Eannatum of Lagash smites all the foes of Lagash in his famous Vulture Stele text.

Primary Source Analysis: The Vulture Stele
02:32

Urukagina of Lagash rights the wrongs of the past.

Primary Source Analysis: Urukagina's Reforms
03:04

Lugalzagesi takes the reigns of power in Umma and possibly creates the world's first empire.

The Birth of Imperialism: Lugalzagesi
03:37

Lugalzagesi celebrates his conquests in this text.

Primary Source Analysis: Lugalzagesi, King of the Land
02:33
Final Thoughts on the Early Dynastic Period
04:34

Go over what you have learned in this section!

Early Dynastic Period Quiz
5 questions
This assignment will be an assessment of your understanding of the royal inscriptions of the Early Dynastic period.
Understanding Royal Inscriptions 1
1 question
+ The Sargonic Period (2350-2250 BC)
6 lectures 24:52

After 25 years of "peace," Lugalzagesi could not have expected what was to come...

Preview 06:18
Sargon's Sons: Rimush and Manishtushu
02:32

Sargon's grandson, Naram-Sin, crushes a large rebellion and declares himself a god.

The King is Divine: Naram-Sin and the Great Revolt
01:58

Naram-Sin's son, who is also initially divine, does not fare as well as his father.

The King of Kings: Shar-kali-sharri
03:31

The Akkadian Empire collapses. Mesopotamia falls into a "Dark Age."

The Aftermath
02:34
Final Thoughts on the Sargonic Period
07:59

Test your knowledge of the Sargonic period!

Sargonic Period Quiz
5 questions
Read these royal inscriptions from the Sargonic kings. Compare and contrast the way the kings express themselves. Does Sargon seem like a Sargonic king, or like an Early Dynastic king when composing his royal propaganda texts?
Understanding Royal Inscriptions 2
1 question
+ The Third Dynasty of Ur (2100-2000 BC)
6 lectures 17:24

Utu-hegal of Uruk finally kicked out the "barbaric" Gutians. What was next for Mesopotamia? Ur-Nammu of Ur had some ideas.

A New Hope: The South Rises Again
02:03

Utu-hegal of Uruk confronts the Gutian king and saves Sumer from certain doom.

Preview 02:50

King Shulgi decides to redo Sumerian literature. He also brags about his own intelligence.

The World's First Nerd: Shulgi
03:02

Ibbi-Sin desperately tries to save the empire by building a border wall. It does not work.

Build that Wall, Dig a Hole: Ibbi-Sin and the Fall of Ur
03:16
Primary Source Analysis: The Lament for Ur
01:24
Final Thoughts on the Ur III Period
04:49

Test your knowledge of the Ur III period!

Ur III Quiz
5 questions
This assignment will be similar to the first two.
Understanding Royal Inscriptions 3
2 questions