Sunday, January 11, 2015


Babylon became part of the Assyrian Empire in the late 18th century BC.  In turn the Assyrians were driven out by Nabopolassar, who founded the Neo-Babylonian dynasty around 615 BC.

His son Nebuchadnezzar II (604-561 BC) built the kingdom into an empire that covered most of southwest Asia.

Nebuchadnezzar changed the dynastic order and the history of the years following the death of his father – he eliminated his brother and brother’s son as kings preceding his own reign as if they were illegitimate occupants of the throne.

Nebuchadnezzar gave the city of Babylon its most famous feature, the Hanging Gardens, as well as fiery furnaces used both for commercial enterprise and for the torture and destruction of Babylon’s foes.

Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar‘s imperial capital underwent a huge rebuilding program – new temples and palace buildings, defensive walls and gates and a splendid processional way, to make it the largest city in the known world, covering some 2500 acres.

Using Code of Hammurabi as his basis, Nebuchadnezzar created a stable, generally lawful Babylonina society. Criminals faced severe penalties ranging from torture to death.

After Nebuchadnezzar, Babylon’s power faded. The city first fell into hands of the Persian Empire in 539 BC and then in 331 BBC it was conquered again, this time by the Macedonian general Alexander the Great.

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