Ancient Babylonian Cities

A List of Important Cities of Babylonia Under Hammurabi

Code of Hammurabi
Code of Hammurabi. Getty Images/Mesopotamian

Babylonia was a kingdom in ancient Mesopotamia, located to the west of the Tigris and Euphrates, in present-day Iraq. Although famous in the West for its cultural advances—including the legal code of its greatest ruler, Hammurabi—the city of Babylon itself was of minor importance throughout much of Mesopotamian history. Far more significant was the city of Ur and its rivals (at various times) for regional power: Isin, Lagash, Larga, Nippur and Kish.

The ascension of Hammurabi circa 1699 B.C. and a massive building campaign made Babylon a city fit for a king. Indeed, the southern Mesopotamian cities fell one by one to Babylon. Hammurabi's disciplined armies turned to conquer parts of present-day Iran in the east and Syria to the west.

Below is a list of some of Babylonia's most significant cities at the empire's height.

  • Agade (Akkad): exact location between the Tigris and Euphrates is not known. They spoke Akkadian.
  • Babylon
  • Eridu (Eridug/Urudug): Site of the temple of Enki
  • Eshnunna: Located in the Diyala Valley, gateway to the kingdom of Elam
  • Kish: Symbolic center of northern Mesopotamia
  • Ur: Biblical home of the Hebrew forefather Abram, later Abraham
  • Uruk: Seat of the legendary king Gilgamesh
  • Nippur: Symbolic center of southern Mesopotamia
  • Sippar: Sun-cult center on the banks of the Euphrates
  • Umma: Rival to Lagash
  • Larsa: Another center of a sun cult
  • Adab: A vassal of Kish
  • Lagash: Especially ancient city, center of artistic development
  • Isin: Important city to the Third Dynasty of Ur, ca. 2000 B.C., and thereafter
     

Learn More About Babylonia

  • Babylonian Gods and Goddesses