Assyro-Babylonian literature[1][2][3][4][5][6][7] is one of the world's oldest. Drawing on the traditions of Sumerian literature, the Babylonians compiled a vast textual tradition of mythological narrative, legal texts, scientific works, letters and other literary forms. As a scribal society, Babylon placed great prestige on its great literary works and on the practice of philology.


The origins of Babylonian philosophy can be traced back to early Mesopotamian wisdom, which embodied certain philosophies of life, particularly ethics. These are reflected in Mesopotamian religion and in a variety of Babylonian literature in the forms of dialectic, dialogs, epic poetry, folklore, hymns, lyrics, prose, and proverbs. These different forms of literature were first classified by the Babylonians, and they had developed forms of reasoning both rationally and empirically. [8]

Esagil-kin-apli's medical Diagnostic Handbook written in the 11th century BC was based on a logical set of axioms and assumptions, including the modern view that through the examination and inspection of the symptoms of a patient, it is possible to determine the patient's disease, its aetiology and future development, and the chances of the patient's recovery.[9]

During the 8th and 7th centuries BC, Babylonian astronomers began studying philosophy dealing with the ideal nature of the early universe and began employing an internal logic within their predictive planetary systems. This was an important contribution to the philosophy of science.[10]

It is possible that Babylonian philosophy had an influence on Greek, particularly Hellenistic philosophy. The Babylonian text Dialog of Pessimism contains similarities to the agonistic thought of the sophists, the Heraclitean doctrine of contrasts, and the dialogs of Plato, as well as a precursor to the maieutic Socratic method developed by Socrates.[11] The Phoenician philosopher Thales had also studied in Babylonia.

See also Edit


  7. Silvestro Fiore, Voices from the Clay: The Development of Assyro-Babylonian Literature. U. of Oklahoma Press.
  8. Giorgio Buccellati (1981), "Wisdom and Not: The Case of Mesopotamia", Journal of the American Oriental Society 101 (1), p. 35-47.
  9. H. F. J. Horstmanshoff, Marten Stol, Cornelis Tilburg (2004), Magic and Rationality in Ancient Near Eastern and Graeco-Roman Medicine, p. 99, Brill Publishers, ISBN 9004136665.
  10. D. Brown (2000), Mesopotamian Planetary Astronomy-Astrology , Styx Publications, ISBN 9056930362.
  11. Giorgio Buccellati (1981), "Wisdom and Not: The Case of Mesopotamia", Journal of the American Oriental Society 101 (1), p. 35-47 [43].


Ad blocker interference detected!

Wikia is a free-to-use site that makes money from advertising. We have a modified experience for viewers using ad blockers

Wikia is not accessible if you’ve made further modifications. Remove the custom ad blocker rule(s) and the page will load as expected.