Also found in: Dictionary, Wikipedia.
Amorites(ăm`ərīts), a people of Canaan. There is evidence of them in Babylonia, where in the 19th cent. B.C. they established under their patronage the first dynasty at Babylon. The most powerful king of this dynasty, Hammurabi, put an end (18th cent. B.C.) to Amorite domination and issued a famous code of law, similar to Israelite codes. At the time of Joshua the Amorites were living both E and W of the Dead Sea. They were subdued and gradually absorbed by the Israelites.
also Amorei or Amurru, in antiquity, Semitic tribes, originating in Arabia, who inhabited the vast expanse of the Syrian steppe from Palestine to the Persian Gulf.
At the end of the third millennium B.C., the Amorites together with the Elamites overthrew the sovereignty of the Third Dynasty of Ur and founded the ancient Babylonian kingdom circa 1894 B.C. Settling in Mesopotamia in the 18th and 17th centuries, the Amorites were assimilated by the local population. However, they still existed in the 15th and 14th centuries in Syria, and in Palestine up to the 12th through tenth centuries B.C., when they were assimilated by the Hebrews. Amurru was the name of Syria in the first millennium B.C.
REFERENCED’iakonov, I. M. “Narody Drevnei Perednei Azii.” In the collection Peredneaziatskii etnograficheskii sbornik, [no.] 1. Moscow, 1958.
R. A. GRIBOV