About the United States GEOGRAPHY The vast and varied expanse of the United States of America stretches from the heavily industrialized, metropolitan Atlantic seaboard, across the rich flat farms of the central plains, over the majestic Rocky Mountains to the fertile, densely populated west coast, then halfway across the Pacific to the semi-tropical island-state of Hawaii. Without Hawaii and Alaska the continental U. In area, it is the fourth largest nation in the world behind the Soviet Union, Canada and China. The sparsely settled far-northern state of Alaska, is the largest of America's 50 states with a land mass of 1, square kilometers.
Abraham was a Babylonian by birth; the Asiatic world through which he wandered was Babylonian in civilisation and government, and the Babylonian exile was the final turning-point in the religious history of Judah. The Semitic Babylonians were allied in race and language to the Hebrews; they had common ideas and common points of view.
Though Egyptian influence is markedly absent from the Mosaic Code, we find in it old Semitic institutions and beliefs which equally characterised Babylonia. But the Semites were not the first occupants of Babylonia. The civilisation of the country had been founded by a race which spoke an agglutinative language, like that of the modern Finns or Turks, and which scholars have now agreed to call Sumerian.
The Sumerians had been the builders of the cities, the reclaimers of the marshy plain, the inventors of the picture-writing which developed into the cuneiform or wedge-shaped characters, and the pioneers of a culture which profoundly affected the whole of western Asia.
The Semites entered upon the inheritance, adopting, modifying, and improving upon it. The Babylonian civilisation, with which we are best acquainted, was the result of this amalgamation of Sumerian and Semitic elements. Out of this mixture of Sumerians and Semites there arose a mixed people, a mixed language, and a mixed religion.
The language and race of Babylonia were thus like those of England, probably also like those of Egypt.
Mixed races are invariably the best; it is the more pure-blooded peoples who fall behind in the struggle for existence. Recent excavations have thrown light on the early beginnings of Babylonia.
The country itself was an alluvial plain, formed by the silt deposited each year by the Tigris and Euphrates. The land grows at the rate of about ninety feet a year, or less than two miles in a century; since the age of Alexander the Great the waters of the Persian Gulf have receded more than forty-six miles from the shore.
When the Sumerians first settled by the banks of the Euphrates it must have been on the sandy plateau to the west of the river where the city of Ur, the modern Mugheir, was afterwards built.
At that time the future Babylonia was a pestiferous marsh, inundated by the unchecked overflow of the rivers which flowed through it. The reclamation of the marsh was the first work of the new-comers. The rivers were banked out and the inundation regulated by means of canals.
All this demanded no little engineering skill; in fact, the creation of Babylonia was the birth of the science of engineering. Its site is now marked by the mounds of Abu Shahrein or Nowawis, nearly miles from the sea; its foundation, therefore, must go back to about years, or B.
Ur, a little to the north-west, with its temple of the Moon-god, was a colony of Eridu.
In the plain itself many cities were erected, which rose around the temples of the gods. In the north was Nippur, now Niffer, whose great temple of Mul-lil or El-lil, the Lord of the Ghost-world, was a centre of Babylonian religion for unnumbered centuries.
After the Semitic conquest Mul-lil came to be addressed as Bel or "Lord," and when the rise of Babylon caused the worship of its patron-deity Bel-Merodach to spread throughout the country, the Bel of Nippur became known as the "older Bel.
A little to the west of Lagas was Larsa, the modern Senkereh, famous for its ancient temple of the Sun-god, a few miles to the north-west of which stood Erech, now Warka, dedicated to the Sky-god Anu and his daughter Istar.
It was a double city, built on either side of the Euphrates, and adjoining its suburb of Borsippa, once an independent town. Babylon seems to have been a colony of Eridu, and its god, Bel-Merodach, called by the Sumerians "Asari who does good to man," was held to be the son of Ea, the culture-god of Eridu.
E-Saggil, the great temple of Bel-Merodach, rose in the midst of Babylon; the temple of Nebo, his "prophet" and interpreter, rose hard by in Borsippa. Its ruins are now known as the Birs-i-Nimrud, in which travellers have seen the Tower of Babel.
Sippara was the northern fortress of the Babylonian plain; it stood where the Tigris and Euphrates approached most nearly one another, and where, therefore, the plain itself came practically to an end.
Upi or Opis, on the Tigris, still farther to the north, lay outside the boundaries of primaeval Chaldaea. East of Babylonia were the mountains of Elam, inhabited by non-Semitic tribes.
Among them were the Kassi or Kossaeeans, who maintained a rude independence in their mountain fastnesses, and who, at one time, overran Babylonia and founded a dynasty there which lasted for several centuries.
The capital of Elam was Susa or Shushan, the seat of an early monarchy, whose civilisation was derived from the Babylonians.The main character of Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn undergoes a total moral transformation upon having to make life defining decisions throughout his journey for a new life.
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In , his novel Tom Sawyer was published, followed by Life on the Mississippi () and his masterpiece Huckleberry Finn (18 February ).
Bad investments left Clemens bankrupt after the publication of Huckleberry Finn, but he won back his financial standing with his next three books.
Bear worship (also known as the bear cult or arctolatry) is the religious practice of the worshiping of bears found in many North Eurasian ethnic religions such as the Sami, Nivkh, Ainu,, pre-Christian Basques, and Finns.
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