Religion Law Science and the Arts

Religion, law, science and the arts altered very little. The three main gods, An, Enlil and Enki (Ea in Akkadian) headed the pantheon of gods, but when Babylon rose as a dynasty the chief God of that city was Marduk. Marduk rose in status almost to that of Enki, who was said to be his father.

Legal practice was basically the same, with a few new laws such as "an eye for eye, a tooth for a tooth" (lex talionis), which came from the Amorites. Legal formulas were phrase in the Sumerian language although legal contracts and the "law codes" now written in Akkadian.

The literature of the Sumerians was studied extensively during the Isin-Larsa period and soon an Akkadian literature began to appear in the north. Although the Sumerian language had died as a spoken language, it continued to be used for a Babylonian civilization for liturgical and scholarly purposes.

Some distinctive features that occurred in the Babylonian civilization are worth mentioning. There was a serious power shift to the north because in the south the salt table of the subsoil had risen because of over-irrigation and poor drainage, to such a point that the crop yields began to diminish and could no longer support the population. Another distinctive feature was the rise of the Babylonian dialect of Akkadian, which later replaced the Sumerian language and Old Akkadian dialect of the third millennium, both in spoken in written communication.