Ancient Babylon is considered as the most mysterious country. Babylon was a city-state of ancientMesopotamia (which was sometimes considered an Empire) , the remains of which can be found in present-day Al Hillah, Babil Province, Iraq, about 85 kilometers (55 mi) south of Baghdad.
All that remains today of the ancient famed city of Babylon is a mound, or tell, of broken mud-brick buildings and debris in the fertile Mesopotamian plain between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, in Iraq. Historical resources inform us that Babylon was at first a small town, that had sprung up by the beginning of the third millennium BC (the dawn of the dynasties). The town flourished and attained prominence and political repute with the rise of the first Babylonian dynasty. It was the “holy city” of Babylonia by approximately 2300 BC, and the seat of the Neo-Babylonian Empire from 612 BC. The Hanging Gardens of Babylon were one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
The form Babylon is the Greek variant of Akkadian Babilu (bāb-ilû, meaning “Gateway of the god(s)”, translating Sumerian Ka.dingir.ra). In the Bible, the name appears as בבל (Babel), interpreted by Book of Genesis 11:9 to mean “confusion” (of languages), from the verb balbal, “to confuse”.
The earliest source to mention Babylon may be a dated tablet of the reign of Sargon of Akkad (ca. 24th century BC short chronology). The so-called “Weidner Chronicle” states that it was Sargon himself who built Babylon “in front of Akkad” (ABC 19:51). Another chronicle likewise states that Sargon “dug up the dirt of the pit of Babylon, and made a counterpart of Babylon next to Agade”. (ABC 20:18-19).
Some scholars, including linguist I.J. Gelb, have suggested that the name Babil is an echo of an earlier city name. According to Dr. Ranajit Pal, this city was in the East. Herzfeld wrote about Bawer in Iran, which was allegedly founded by Jamshid; the name Babil could be an echo of Bawer. David Rohl holds that the original Babylon is to be identified with Eridu. The Bible in Genesis 10 indicates that Nimrod was the original founder of Babel (Babylon). Joan Oates claims in her book Babylon that the rendering “Gateway of the gods” is no longer accepted by modern scholars.
Over the years, the power and population of Babylon waned. From around the 20th century BC, it was occupied by Amorites, nomadic tribes from the west who were Semitic speakers like the Akkadians, but did not practice agriculture like them, preferring to herd sheep.
Old Babylonian period
The First Babylonian Dynasty was established by Sumu-abum, but the city-state controlled little surrounding territory until it became the capital of Hammurabi’s empire (ca. 18th century BC). From that time onward, the city continued to be the capital of the region known as Babylonia — although during the 440 years of domination by the Kassites (1595–1185 BC), the city was renamed Karanduniash.
Hammurabi is also known for codifying the laws of Babylonia into the Code of Hammurabi that was to have a lasting influence on legal thought.
The city itself was built upon the Euphrates, and divided in equal parts along its left and right banks, with steep embankments to contain the river’s seasonal floods. Babylon grew in extent and grandeur over time, but gradually became subject to the rule of Assyria.
It has been estimated that Babylon was the largest city in the world from ca. 1770 to 1670 BC, and again between ca. 612 and 320 BC. It was perhaps the first city to reach a population above 200,000.
During the reign of Sennacherib of Assyria, Babylonia was in a constant state of revolt, led by Mushezib-Marduk, and suppressed only by the complete destruction of the city of Babylon. In 689 BC, its walls, temples and palaces were razed, and the rubble was thrown into the Arakhtu, the sea bordering the earlier Babylon on the south. This act shocked the religious conscience of Mesopotamia; the subsequent murder of Sennacherib was held to be in expiation of it, and his successor Esarhaddon hastened to rebuild the old city, to receive there his crown, and make it his residence during part of the year. On his death, Babylonia was left to be governed by his elder son Shamash-shum-ukin, who eventually headed a revolt in 652 BC against his brother in Nineveh, Assurbanipal.
Once again, Babylon was besieged by the Assyrians and starved into surrender. Assurbanipal purified the city and celebrated a “service of reconciliation”, but did not venture to “take the hands” of Bel. In the subsequent overthrow of the Assyrian Empire, the Babylonians saw another example of divine vengeance.
- School Girl Challenges Japanese AV Star Sora Aoi with Sexy Appearance in Commercial
- What’s the best fun game you played as a kid?
- What would you like to be reborn as? Do you wish to be reborn as a woman or man?
- Brazilian Playboy Model Who Sold Her Virginity Offers It Up in Another Online Auction After Claiming the Last Buyer Did Not Sleep with Her
- Chinese Antiques Stamps: Bronze Wares of Eastern Zhou Dynasty
- Japanese School Girls Astound Chinese Students for Mini Skirts
- Science Fiction and Fantasy Art Make Artists Crazy
- Postage Stamps Online: 2010 Year of Tiger in Chinese Lunar Calendar
- Dogs Gradually Used in Courtrooms
- Toxicology Tests to Determine Marie Osmond Son’s Death Reason