Semiramis, Queen of Assyria: Background information when reading The Dawn of Everything

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The Dawn of Everything

A New History of Humanity

by David Graeber, David Wengrow

The Dawn of Everything by David Graeber, David Wengrow X
The Dawn of Everything by David Graeber, David Wengrow
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  • First Published:
    Nov 2021, 704 pages

    Jan 10, 2023, 704 pages


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Book Reviewed by:
Grace Graham-Taylor
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About this Book

Semiramis, Queen of Assyria

This article relates to The Dawn of Everything

18th-century black and white illustration of Semiramis Among the many fascinating anecdotes presented in David Graeber and David Wengrow's The Dawn of Everything, one stood out to me. This was the myth of Semiramis (also known as Sammu-ramat), a woman of low stature who rose to become queen of the empire of Assyria. Graeber and Wengrow mention her in a chapter discussing role reversals, using her as an example of the flexibility of hierarchies in earlier periods of human history. Behind the mythical Semiramis is a real woman who lived in the ninth century BC and is known for her keen intelligence and military prowess.

Semiramis's approximate five-year rule over the Assyrian Empire has inspired artists for centuries. She waged several successful military campaigns in Persia and North Africa. The only woman known to have ruled this empire independently (which she did as regent until her son came of age), she controlled an area that stretched from the Caucasus Mountains in modern-day Russia to Cyprus and Egypt in the west and the ...

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