Book Series ARATTA, vol. 2

The Historical and Cultural Memory of the Babylonian World

Collecting Fragments from the 'Centre of the World'

Marco Ramazzotti (ed)

  • Pages: viii + 193 p.
  • Size:216 x 280 mm
  • Illustrations:28 b/w, 5 col., 2 tables b/w., 2 maps b/w, 1 maps color
  • Language(s):English
  • Publication Year:2022

  • ISBN: 978-2-503-59536-8
  • Paperback
  • Available
  • ISBN: 978-2-503-59537-5
  • E-book
  • Available

The Historical and Cultural Memory of the Babylonian World


“Hopefully, the fragments presented here will encourage scholars to continue to collect more to further our understanding of Babylon’s lasting influence on the civilizations which followed it.” (Jonathan Price, in Orientalia, 92/2, 2023, p. 344)


Marco Ramazzotti is researcher and professor of Archaeology and Art History of the Ancient Near East in the Sapienza University of Rome. Since the 90s he has participated in many archaeological excavations, prospections, surveys, and restoration field projects in the Western Asia, Africa and Arabia.


In the study of the ancient world, Babylon can be considered as the most impressive representation, historically, archaeologically, and in literature, of urbanism in the Near East. This first example of an urban centre and its cultural heritage — both tangible and intangible — provides a focal point for discussions of historical and cultural memory in the region. The eleven contributions gathered here draw together multidisciplinary research into Babylonian culture, exploring the epistemic foundations, contacts, resilience, and cultural transmission of the city and its milieu from ancient times up until the modern day. Through this approach, this volume is able to support conversations concerning the historical and cultural memory of Babylon and promote a dialogue that cuts across, and unites, both cultures and academic disciplines.


Section I. The Epistemic Foundation of the Historical and Cultural Memory of Babylon

The Historical and Cultural Memory of Babylon: Collecting Fragments of the ‘Centre of the World’ — MARCO RAMAZZOTTI

Babylon as Seen by Babylonians — FRANCIS JOANNÈS

Traces of Babylon in the Old Testament — ALESSANDRO CATASTINI

Section II. Semantic Waves in the Historical and Cultural Memory of Babylon

The View of Babylon in Hittite Texts — RITA FRANCIA

The Perception of Babylonia in the Historical Memory of the Assyrians between Evocation and Negation, and its Reflections in the Urbanization of the Imperial Seats — RITA DOLCE

From Plains to Mountains: Literary and Cultural Models between Mesopotamia and Urarṭu — ROBERTO DAN and MARIE-CLAUDE TRÉMOUILLE

The ‘Mesopotamian Connection’: An Overview of South Arabian Data Relating to Mesopotamia (1st Millennium BCE) — ALESSIO AGOSTINI

A ‘Persian conception of urbanism’ as Seen from the Results of New Field Researches in Fars (Southern Iran) — PIERFRANCESCO CALLIERI

Section III. The Literary Form of Cultural Memory of Babylon

Reversing and Reinventing the Centre of the World: Iranian and Zoroastrian Perception of the Old Babylon — GIANFILIPPO TERRIBILI

Receiving Knowledge of the Past: Narratives of Babylon in the Medieval Arabic Culture — LEONARDO CAPEZZONE

Untranslatable Babel: A Quick Glance at the Contemporary Reception of the Biblical Myth — GIOVANNI GRECO