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hbhatnagar

I need to fill this up with much better content than I had populated it with earlier. Why I write a blog maybe? I started blogging in 2009 or thereabouts. I was a newly turned atheist and wanted to converse with others of the same persuasion. We're not exactly a big population group in India! It didn't go very well and I sort of lost interest, posting a few things now and then. I got a lot more regular over the last few months and have been posting almost daily since February '15. There were many reasons why I gradually became more regular in posting, but one way or the other, here I am! So this blog has taken shape, being at different points in time my showcase, my comedy club, my art gallery, my book club, my therapist, my close friend, my innermost self....but always my little corner of the world. You are all welcome to visit and I hope you stay awhile! A few points about me because I don't want to lead anyone on(and trust me this does become an issue more often than I'd care to admit). I'm Indian, the brown-skinned variety; if race, ethnicity or skin colour is an issue, you don't have to get to know me any more than what you see on my blog. I'm 40, so if age is an issue, please be informed accordingly. I was a doctor, an ophthalmic surgeon for 10 years before I quit practice.
hbhatnagar has written 1601 posts for hbhatnagar

Hammurabi’s code of Law

Hammurabi’s laws are generally believed to be the oldest written laws, though that is not the case. The (mostly)preserved laws of Ur-Nammu predate these by about three centuries, and there is mention of older codices that have not yet been found (oh, the possibilities!) Hammurabi’s code, though remains the better-known and better-preserved legal codex, dating … Continue reading

Sumerian antiquities at the Louvre – 10

A war scene from a fragment of what was probably a palace wall. The scene depicts an assault on a fortified city, interestingly defended by a double-wall system with the inner wall higher than the outer one, allowing the defenders to shoot arrows and pour heated oil, tar etc. from two levels at the attackers. … Continue reading

Sumerian antiquities at the Louvre – 9

A statue of Gudea, Prince of Lagash. Having read about him in Sumerian history, it was a “little shiver down my spine” moment to see him face-to-face! The epic of Gilgamesh is probably the oldest epic/fable/legend known to us. It’s unclear if Gilgamesh was an historical figure or not, though the current thought is that … Continue reading

Sumerian antiquities at the Louvre – 8

Lamassu from the palace of Sargon II near modern-day Khorsabad. These mythical creatures with the body of a winged bull or lion and the head of a human were considered as guardian deities, and seals depicting these magical creatures were buried under the threshold of Assyrian homes in the 1st millennium BCE. Of course, the … Continue reading

Sumerian antiquities at the Louvre – 7

Cuneiform writing has always fascinated me. The first known script, I still wonder at the genius of the humans who came up with it. From simple scribbles for counting to a complex set of symbols for recording their history, literature, mythology, and more, this was one of the most remarkable inventions of all time. More … Continue reading

The beauty in small things

Sumerian antiquities at the Louvre – 6

Some more examples of foundation nails, these made of more perishable materials, pillar bases, and plaques from Sumerian temples. The king in the temple and relaxing at the palace. Visual representation was important even in the first society with a script. The king is depicted markedly bigger than the commoners, whether he is paying homage … Continue reading

The ol’ Eclipse

It’s been ages since I posted here! Somewhere along the line, work and various projects I took on have pushed this to the backburner and I lost the habit of posting. It’s not like I didn’t need this space, but I’ve been involuting a lot recently. Anyhow, this is neither the time nor the place. … Continue reading

Sumerian antiquities at the Louvre – 5

The word “freedom” was first written down in Sumer. “Amagi” was the first known word that signified what has come to be of foremost importance to every living human being. It’s first known use is in the reforms of UruKaGina, a king of Lagash in the 24th century BCE. He reformed the priesthood and bureaucracy … Continue reading

Sumerian antiquities at the Louvre – 4

Lamentations are well-recorded in Sumerian archives. Essays and poems bemoaning the looting of a city and the temple of its patron deity were etched onto tablets and kept for posterity. Many of them have survived (in most cases because the clay tablets got baked and hardened when the palace library went up in flames). Reading … Continue reading

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