This BBC audio programme explores the reputation of Babylon and its contribution to the world. Dr Fran Reynolds, Shillito Fellow in Assyriology at the Oriental Institute and Fellow of St Benet's Hall, is one of the experts in conversation.
With its Hanging Gardens and huge walls, Babylon was celebrated as one of the Seven Wonders of the ancient world; to the Israelites enslaved there under Nebuchadnezzar, it was a lasting emblem of oppression and depravity, where they wept as they remembered Zion. It is only in the last two hundred years that Babylon's fuller history has been unearthed, both the remains of its buildings and a huge number of clay tablets covered in writing, revealing a complex world that created epic stories, powerful people and an understanding of science and the stars, and it was their 60 based numbering system that led to our 60 seconds in a minute and 60 minutes in an hour. It has been called a cradle of civilisation.
The 45 minute audio from the Forum is posted at <https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/w3cszjvf>