Cover image for Historical dictionary of Mesopotamia
Historical dictionary of Mesopotamia
Leick, Gwendolyn, 1951-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Lanham, MD : Scarecrow Press, [2003]

Physical Description:
xxiii, 187 pages : map ; 23 cm.
Conventions -- Map of Mesopotamia -- Chronology -- Introduction -- The dictionary -- Mesopotamian rulers -- Museums.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
DS70.82 .L45 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Non circulating

On Order



The Mesopotamian civilisation contains a mystifying array of names, places, kings, kingdoms and so forth, which makes reference books such as this one invaluable. This handy guide includes all manner of entries from rulers and prominent figures in Mesopotamian history, to aspects of everyday life: agriculture, archives, eunuchs, festivals, pottery, weapons and writing. It also includes a short introduction to the Mesopotamian civilisation and appendices listing rulers and museums with Mesopotamian collections.

Author Notes

Gwendolyn Leick is Senior Lecturer at the Chelsea College of Art and Design in London. She is the author of Mesopotamia, the Invention of the City and The Babylonians, An Introduction.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

The first of these volumes, number nine in the publisher's Historical Dictionaries of Ancient Civilizations and Historical Eras series, deals with the various cultures in the land between the Tigris and Euphrates from the prehistoric to the Islamic periods. The second, part of the Asian/Oceanic Historical Dictionaries series, deals with the Arabian Peninsula and Saudi Arabia through December 2002. Both volumes include extensive bibliographies that are organized by topic. -- RBB Copyright 2003 Booklist

Choice Review

Leick, compiler of Who's Who in the Ancient Near East (CH, Apr'00) and A Dictionary of Ancient Near Eastern Mythology (CH, Oct'91), offers a historical guide to a complex civilization spanning several thousand years. Short entries describe Mesopotamia's languages and customs, economy, the role of women and the gods, and the rulers of city-states and empires. The Babylonians were obsessed with dynastic history, and Leick appends a list of their most prominent kings and probable dates. Babylonia (Mesopotamia, modern Iraq) built the first cities, developed the earliest writing, and practiced a complex religion; its greatest failure was that it did not achieve long-term stability. Pressure from outsiders contributed to this, causing one to wish for a more detailed map, to clarify where the Hittites, Gutians, or Amorites lived. (Some invaders established enduring dynasties, provided they respected the local religion.) The appendix includes a comprehensive bibliography and a list of museums with strong Near Eastern collections. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. All research collections. A. L. Unsworth University of Rochester