Hammurabi (better translated as "Hammurapi", but we're stuck)
was the one of the greatest leaders in history. This Amorite king flourished
1792-1750 BCE and is today well-known for writing down a formal lex talionis
code of laws, the Code of Hammurabi.
In 1792 BCE he gained control of the city of Babylon and defeated all other
cities and states of Babylonia (what we now call Babylonia because Babylon
became its capital - southern Mesopotamia), which were controlled by the Larsan
king Rim-Sin. Ishme-Dagan, the king of Assyria (northern Mesopotamia),
joined with the Elamites, the Guti, and the Eshnuna in a four-way alliance
to attack Babylon. Hammurabi defeated them and ended up taking over
most of Mesopotamia - northward from the Persian Gulf, westward to
the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. Assyria was left as a separate state in
his new empire.
Hammurabi personally supervised such state details as navigation, irrigation,
agriculture, tax collection, erecting temples, and adjusting the calendar.
He and his son, who Samsu-iluna, who succeeded him in 1750 BCE, led Babylonian
civilization to its zenith in culture and politics.