11 Facts About Amorites


Amorites were an ancient Northwest Semitic-speaking people from the Levant who occupied large parts of southern Mesopotamia from the 21st century BC to the end of the 17th century BC, where they established several prominent city-states in existing locations, such as Isin, Larsa and later notably Babylon, which was raised from a small town to an independent state and a major city.

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Amorites are mentioned in the Bible as inhabitants of Canaan both before and after the conquest of the land under Joshua.

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The most common view is that the "homeland" of the Amorites was a limited area in central Syria identified with the mountainous region of Jebel Bishri.

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The Amorites appear as nomadic tribes under chiefs, who forced themselves into lands they needed to graze their herds.

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Some of the Akkadian literature of this era speaks disparagingly of the Amorites and implies that the Akkadian- and Sumerian-speakers of Mesopotamia viewed their nomadic and primitive way of life with disgust and contempt:.

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The Amorites clung on in a once-more small and weak Babylon until the Hittites' sack of Babylon, which ended the Amorite presence, and brought new ethnic groups, particularly the Kassites, to the forefront in southern Mesopotamia.

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Term Amorites is used in the Bible to refer to certain highland mountaineers who inhabited the land of Canaan, described in Genesis as descendants of Canaan, the son of Ham.

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Biblical Amorites seem to have originally occupied the region stretching from the heights west of the Dead Sea to Hebron, embracing "all Gilead and all Bashan", with the Jordan valley on the east of the river, the land of the "two kings of the Amorites", Sihon and Og ( and ).

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Book of Joshua speaks of the five kings of the Amorites were first defeated with great slaughter by Joshua.

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View that Amorites were fierce, tall nomads led to an anachronistic theory among some racialist writers in the 19th century that they were a tribe of "Aryan" warriors who at one point dominated the Israelites.

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However, the Amorites certainly spoke exclusively a Semitic language, followed Semitic religions of the Near East and had distinctly Semitic personal names.

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