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Religion of Babylonia and Assyria, The
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A comprehensive survey of the religion of Babylonia and Assyria
The religion of the Babylonians and Assyrians was the polytheistic faith professed by the peoples inhabiting the Tigris and Euphrates valleys from what may be regarded as the dawn of history until the Christian era began, or, at least, until the inhabitants were brought under the influence of Christianity. The chronological period covered may be roughly estimated at about 5000 years. The belief of the people, at the end of that time, being Babylonian heathenism leavened with Judaism, the country was probably ripe for the reception of the new faith.
Excerpted from The Religion of Babylonia and Assyria [E-BOOK: MICROSOFT READER] by Theophilus G. Pinches. Copyright © 2000. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved
Thus we see, from the various inscriptions, both Babylonian and Assyrian-the former of an extremely early period-the growth and development, with at least one branching off, of one of the most important religious systems of the ancient world. It is not so important for modern religion as the development of the beliefs of the Hebrews, but as the creed of the people from which the Hebrew nation sprang, and from which, therefore, it had its beginnings, both corporeal and spiritual, it is such as no student of modern religious systems can afford to neglect.
Its legends, and therefore its teachings, as will be seen in these pages, ultimately permeated the Semitic West, and may in some cases even had penetrated Europe, not only through heathen Greece, but also through the early Christians, who, being so many centuries nearer the time of the Assyro-Babylonians, and also nearer the territory which they anciently occupied, than we are, were far better acquainted than the people of the present day with the legends and ideas which they possessed.
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