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By Isidore Tenen

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Women were allowed to enter professions, and trade on their own account, and in other ways enjoyed rights which with us they have only regained in modern times. After the reign of Hammurabi the glory of Babylonia declined. The Hittites (of whom we shall hear more later) began to raid from the north-west. More serious still, the Kassites, mountain tribes from the east who used horses, first raided, then in growing numbers settled in the land, and finally annexed it. ). But it still remained the most important city of its period.

The Syrians were encouraged by the Hittites to resist. 61), but its top, too (the upper reaches of the Euphrates and Tigris), were entirely in his power. A strong navy on the coast of Syria supported his army, threatened the Hittites on the south coast of Asia Minor and compelled Crete and Cyprus to obey him. Thus arose in the Eighteenth Dynasty, the Egyptian Empire. Empire is the name we give to a large area of land inhabited by different races, and ruled over by a conquering race which keeps its power by a strong army and navy and by careful organisation.

And that is just what happened. First of all let us talk about the Hebrews. You probably know something of their early history already from your reading of the Old Testament. You remember how Abraham left Ur, a Sumerian city (p. 42), and crossed the desert to the land of Canaan, which later came to be known as Palestine. Map - Syria and Palestine He and his descendants prospered there and their flocks and herds multiplied, for the ancestors of the Hebrews were wandering shepherds. From time to time they visited Egypt, and in the story of Joseph we read how one of them rose to a high position there.

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