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History Unplugged Podcast

with Scott Rank

Mesopotamian Civilization: Gilgamesh, Sargon, and Why 1 GB of Information on Cuneiform Tablets Weights as Much as a 747

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Welcome to the first episode in a two-part series on Mesopotamian civilization. In this episode we are going to be covering four topics: 1) The origins of Mesopotamian civilization with Sumeria, its evolution into the Akkadian, Babylonian, and Assyrian Empires, and why education and literacy was so important (knowledge was passed down on information-dense cuneiform tablets, even though gigabyte of information on cuneiform tablets weighted nearly as much as a 747. 2) How the Epic of Gilgamesh created the genre of epic literature (or is at least the oldest such work that survives). 3) The reign of Sargon of Akkad: The King Arthur of Mesopotamia, who less known for what he actually did as much as the idea of who he was -- a symbol of justice and righteousness that people looked to in dark times. 4) Waging war the Mesopotamian way: How warfare evolved from simple infantry combat in Sumerian times to the massive siege towers and psychological warfare of the Assyrian Empire.
February 15, 2018
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Meet Your Host
Scott Rank is the host of the History Unplugged Podcast and a PhD in history who specialized in the Ottoman Empire and modern Turkey. Before going down the academic route he worked as a journalist in Istanbul. He has written 12 history books on topics ranging from lost Bronze Age civilizations to the Age of Discovery. Some of his books include The Age of Illumination: Science, Technology, and Reason in the Middle Ages and History’s 9 Most Insane Rulers.. Learn more about him by going to
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