Mesopotamian Empires

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Because Mesopotamia and the Middle East were some of the wealthiest places in the world for most of the history of mankind, many and some of the oldest empires come from this region. This has forced a more elaborate organisation of the information than might otherwise be the case for other regions of the world. To that effect I’ve divided this section into the following sub-section, which are themselves further divided into the relevant empires we are interesting in:

Bronze Age – The Bronze Age is the period that follows the Neolithic, the last stage of the Stone Age. It seems that this is the first time during which actual, complex and codified civilisations emerge. To this effect it would seem a good place to start this enquiry.

  • Sumer (6500BCE-1940 BCE)
  • Assyria (2500BCE – 612BCE)
  • Akkadian Empire (2334BCE – 2154BCE)
  • Babylonia (1894 BCE – 1736/1499 BCE)
  • Hittite Empire (600 BCE –c. 1178 BCE)

Antiquity – Calling this period Antiquity is controversial given that the previous period was defined technologically by the adoption of the production and use of bronze tools. To this effect, the period of “Antiquity” coincides with the beginning of the Iron Age. However, because that classification is too broad (it stretches to the present day), another classification seemed more appropriate. Antiquity, which basically covers the period from the Bronze Age Collapse and the beginning of the Iron Age to the fall of the Roman Empire may seem arbitrary but it has the advantage of grouping a period of increased regional expansion, where the known world expands to cover the region from the shores of the Indus River to Greece and eventually beyond Gibraltar. The regional empires covered include:

  • Neo-Assyrian Empire (911BCE – 612 BCE)
  • Neo-Babylonian Empire (626 BCE – 539 BCE)
  • Median Kingdom (678 BCE–549 BCE)
  • Achaemenid Assyria (539 BCE–330 BCE)
  • Seleucid Babylonia (312 BCE–63 BCE)
  • Parthian Babylonia (247 BCE–224 CE)
  • Sasanian Empire (226–637)
  • Roman Empire in the East and various iterations of the following provinces
    • Arabia
    • Asia
    • Hellespont
    • Mesopotamia (116CE–117 & 198–637)
    • Palestina
    • Syria

Muslim Empires – Using the rise of Islam, its spread and crystallisation in this region of the world is convenient because it offers a cultural, linguistic, religious and political break with the period that preceded it. However, this classification is still very general and the period it covers, all the way to the present day is extremely diverse and itself marked by many sub-periods and shocks. By far the most important shock during this period was the arrival of the Mongols to present-day Afghanistan and the eastern edges of present-day Iran at the end of the reign of Genghis Khan in 1221CE, which concluded the decline of the Abbasid Caliphate which was already very fractionalised at this stage.

  • Islamic conquest (633–654)
  • Pre-Mongol Invasion Muslim Empires (632-1227CE)
    • Caliphates
      • Rashidun Caliphate (632–661CE)
      • Umayyad Caliphate (661–750CE)
      • Abbasid Caliphate (750–1258CE)
  • Mongol Invasions (1227-1259CE)
  • Post-Mongol Invasion Muslim Empires
    • Levant
      • The Mamluk Sultanate of Cairo (1261–1517)
      • The Ottoman Empire (1250-1924CE)
    • Persia
      • The Zengids (1127–1250CE)
      • The Ilkhanate (1256–1335/1353CE)
      • The Timurid Empire (1370-1507CE)
      • Safavid Empire (1501–1736CE)
      • Afsharid dynasty (1736-1796CE)
      • Sublime Qajar State of Iran (1789–1925CE)

The lines below (with links to the relevant Wikipedia entries) offer a brief summary to what’s in store in the sections above.

Bonze Age



Classical Period


Muslim Empires

Pre-Mongol Invasion Muslim Empires

Post-Mongol Invasion Muslim Empires