By Hala Fattah, Frank Caso

A finished consultant to greater than 6,000 years of heritage in Iraq. protecting issues starting from the traditional Mesopotamian civilizations to the autumn of Saddam Hussein and the struggle in Iraq, it examines the altering panorama of this state. It makes a speciality of the societies, peoples, and cultures of Iraq.

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One of the recurrent themes of Assyrian history, then, is perpetual expansion; even when military setbacks occurred, as they often did, the memory of earlier successful raids created a momentum that was not easily forgotten. One of the first actions normally undertaken by a reigning Assyrian king was to step up military offensives to recover 21 A BRIEF HISTORY OF IRAQ 22 IRAQ, THE FIRST SOCIETY lands lost, either in the south or the west. Oppenheim has made a provocative case for the relentless Assyrian compulsion to go to war.

Under the Persian, Macedonian-Greek, Parthian, Roman, and Sassanian Empires, the Assyro-Babylonian cities ceased to be great capitals in their own right (although Babylon was still held in highest regard even in the time of Alexander the Great); in fact, many were destroyed in the conquests. These empires left their marks on the land in many ways. With the exception of the Romans, who only held portions of Mesopotamia, each succeeding imperial dynasty contributed to the cultural history of ancient Iraq, not simply its political and military histories.

The Persian Empire under the Achaemenids was famous for its building activities. ) and Susa, which consisted of several palaces and large gardens. The most celebrated tradition associated with some, if not all the rulers of the Persian Empire, however, was the policy of toleration for all ethnic, religious, and social groups. According to historian Marc Van de Mieroop, “it was the first empire that acknowledged the fact that its inhabitants had a variety of cultures, spoke different languages, and were politically organized in various ways” (Van de Mieroop 2004, 274).

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