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The Whore of Babylon



There are few words in English more evocative or thrilling than the name ‘Babylon’. As a child I believed the city was itself a fantasy – a biblical legend, the work of fabulous imagination. Western civilization, we were told at school, started in Athens and Rome. I knew little of Mesopotamia until I was about to go to Iraq and learned that Babylon and many other ancient cities besides lie within the country’s borders.

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