Tigris and Euphrates, The Fertile Crescent, The two rivers where civilisation began – Rhys Griffiths.

Sigmund Freud dated the origin of civilisation to ‘the first time an angry person cast a word instead of a rock’. Whether that particular incident occurred in the fertile plain surrounding the Euphrates and Tigris rivers is likely to remain unclear, but histories of the world have traditionally seen Mesopotamia – from the Ancient Greek for ‘land between rivers’ and mostly contained in modern Iraq – as the area in which cities, law and agriculture first developed.

Tigris and Euphrates, the two arteries that, with the Nile, created the Fertile Crescent and sustained the ancient cultures, dynasties and empires of Sumer, Ur, Akkad, Babylonia, Assyria and Persia, perhaps watering the Hanging Gardens, possibly originating in Eden, but certainly supporting myriad settlements and peoples whose names were, to some extent, writ in water.

History Today


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