The kingdoms and cultures of the Ancient Near East in Mesopotamia, Anatolia, the Levant (such as the Sumerian, Hittite, Assyrian Babylonian and Israelite) and Egypt, have long since been considered the cradle of civilization. They were the first to harness, on a widespread scale, the power of cultivation, thus leading to fixed homesteads and the rise of city-states that required complex organization. It is here that writing, law, organized religion, science, medicine, literature, public art and monumental architecture arose, which have had a profound impact on all later history and institutions. They were also important players in the development of the East-West conflict, which remains an active fault-line of culture to this day.
The Department of Classics offers a selection of courses on the History, Culture and Languages of the civilizations that developed in the Ancient Near East and Egypt (you can find the “List of Courses,” under “Resources”).