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1911 Encyclopedia Britannica
Babylonia and Assyria
I. Geography. - Geographically as well as ethnologically and historically, the whole district enclosed between the two great rivers of western Asia, the Tigris and Euphrates, forms but one country. The writers of antiquity clearly recognized this fact, speaking of the whole under the general name of Assyria, though Babylonia, as will be seen, would have been a more accurate designation. It naturally falls into two divisions, the northern being more or less mountainous, while the southern is flat and marshy; the near approach of the two rivers to one another, at a spot where the undulating plateau of the north sinks suddenly into the Babylonian alluvium, tends to separate them still more completely. In the earliest times of which we have any record, the northern portion was included in Mesopotamia; it was definitely marked off as Assyria only after the rise of the Assyrian monarchy. With the exception of Assur, the original capital, the chief cities of the country, Nineveh, Calah and Arbela, were all on the left bank of the Tigris. The reason of this preference for the eastern bank of the Tigris was due to its abundant supply of water, whereas the great Mesopotamian plain on the western side had to depend upon the streams which flowed into the Euphrates. This vast flat, the modern El-Jezireh, is about 250 miles in length, interrupted only by a single limestone range, rising abruptly out of the plain, and branching off from the Zagros mountains under the names of Sarazur, Hamrin and Sinjar. The numerous remains of old habitations show how thickly this level tract must once have been peopled, though now for the most part a wilderness. North of the plateau rises a well-watered and undulating belt of country, into which run low ranges of limestone hills, sometimes arid, sometimes covered with dwarf-oak, and often shutting in, between their northern and north-eastern flank and the main mountain-line from which they detach themselves, rich plains and fertile valleys. Behind them tower the massive ridges of the Niphates and Zagros ranges, where the Tigris and Euphrates take their rise, and which cut off Assyria from Armenia and Kurdistan. The name Assyria itself was derived from that of the city of Assur or Asur, now Qal'at Sherqat (Kaleh Shergat), which stood on the right bank of the Tigris, midway between the Greater and the Lesser Zab. It remained the capital long after the Assyrians had become the dominant power in western Asia, but was finally supplanted by Calah ( Nimrud ), Nineveh (Nebi Yunus and Kuyunjik ), and Dur-Sargina (Khorsabad ), some 60 m. farther north (see Nineveh).
In contrast with the arid plateau of Mesopotamia, stretched the rich alluvial plain of Chaldaea, formed by the deposits of the two great rivers by which it was enclosed. The soil was extremely fertile, and teemed with an industrious population. Eastward rose the mountains of Elam, southward were the sea-marshes and the Kalda or Chaldaeans and other Aramaic tribes, while on the west the civilization of Babylonia encroached beyond the banks of the Euphrates, upon the territory of the Semitic nomads (or Suti). Here stood Ur (Mugheir, more correctly Muqayyar ) the earliest capital of the country; and Babylon, with its suburb, Borsippa (Birs Nimrud ), as well as the two Sipparas (the Sepharvaim of Scripture, now Abu Habba ), occupied both the Arabian and Chaldaean sides of the river (see Babylon). The Arakhtu, or " river of Babylon," flowed past the southern side of the city, and to the south-west of it on the Arabian bank lay the great inland freshwater sea of Nejef, surrounded by red sandstone cliffs of considerable height, 40 m. in length and 35 in breadth in the widest part. Above and below this sea, from Borsippa to Kufa, extend the famous Chaldaean marshes, where Alexander was nearly lost (Arrian, Exp. Al. vii. 22; Strab. xvi. 1, § 12); but these depend upon the state of the Hindiya canal, disappearing altogether when it is closed.
Eastward of the Euphrates and southward of Sippara, Kutha and Babylon were Kis (Uhaimir, 9 m. E. of Hillah ), Nippur (Niffer) - where stood the great sanctuary of El -lil, the older Bel - Uruk or Erech ( Warka ) and Larsa (Senkera ) with its temple of the sun-god, while eastward of the Shatt el-Hai, probably the ancient channel of the Tigris, was Lagash (Tello ), which played an important part in early Babylonian history. The primitive seaport of the country, Eridu, the seat of the worship of Ea the culture-god, was a little south of Ur (at Abu Shahrain or Nowawis on the west side of the Euphrates). It is now about 130 m. distant from the sea; as about 46 m. of land have been formed by the silting up of the shore since the foundation of Spasinus Charax ( Muhamrah ) in the time of Alexander the Great, or some 115 ft. a year, the city would have been in existence at least 6000 years ago. The marshes in the south like the adjoining desert were frequented by Aramaic tribes; of these the most famous were the Kalda or Chaldaeans who under Merodach-baladan made themselves masters of Babylon and gave their name in later days to the whole population of the country. The combined stream of the Euphrates and Tigris as it flowed through the marshes was known to the Babylonians as the nar marrati, " the salt river" (cp. Jer. 1.21), a name originally applied to the Persian Gulf.
The alluvial plain of Babylonia was called Edin, the Eden of Gen. ii., though the name was properly restricted to " the plain " on the western bank of the river where the Bedouins pastured the flocks of their Babylonian masters. This " bank " or kisad, together with the corresponding western bank of the Tigris (according to Hommel the modern Shatt el-Hai), gave its name to the land of Chesed, whence the Kasdim of the Old Testament. In the early inscriptions of Lagash the whole district is known as Gu-Edinna, the Sumerian equivalent of the Semitic Kisad Edini. The coast-land was similarly known as Gu-abba (Semitic Kisad tamtim ), the " bank of the sea." A more comprehensive name of southern Babylonia was Kengi, "the land," or Kengi Sumer, " the land of Sumer," for which Sumer alone came afterwards to be used. Sumer has been supposed to be the original of the Biblical Shinar; but Shinar represented northern rather than southern Babylonia, and was probably the Sankhar of the Tell el-Amarna tablets (but see Sumer). Opposed to Kengi and Sumer were Urra (Uri) and Akkad or northern Babylonia. The original meaning of Urra was perhaps " clayey soil," but it came to signify " the upper country " or " highlands," kengi being " the lowlands." In Semitic times Urra was pronounced Uri and confounded with uru, " ciiy "; as a geographical term, however, it was replaced by Akkadu (Akkad), the Semitic form of Agadewritten Akkattim in the Elamite inscriptions - the name of the elder Sargon's capital, which must have stood close to Sippara, if indeed it was not a quarter of Sippara itself. The rise of Sargon's empire was doubtless the cause of this extension of the name of Akkad; from henceforward, in the imperial title, Sumer and Akkad " denoted the whole of Babylonia. After the Kassite conquest of the country, northern Babylonia came to be known as Kar-Duniyas, " the wall of the god Duniyas," from a line of fortification similar to that built by Nebuchadrezzar between Sippara and Opis, so as to defend his kingdom from attacks from the north. As this last was " the Wall of Semiramis " mentioned by Strabo (xi. 14.8), Kar-Duniyas may have represented the Median Wall of Xenophon ( Anab. ii. 4.12), traces of which were found by F. R. Chesney extending from Faluja to Jibbar.
The country was thickly studded with towns, the sites of which are still represented by mounds, though the identification of most of them is still doubtful. The latest to be identified are Bismya, between Nippur and Erech, which recent American excavations have proved to be the site of Udab (also called Adab and Usab) and the neighbouring Fara, the site of the ancient Kisurra. The dense population was due to the elaborate irrigation of the Babylonian plain which had originally reclaimed it from a pestiferous and uninhabitable swamp and had made it the most fertile country in the world. The science of irrigation and engineering seems to have been first created in Babylonia, which was covered by a network of canals, all skilfully planned and regulated. The three chief of them carried off the waters of the Euphrates to the Tigris above Babylon, - the Zabzallat canal (or Nahr Sarsar ) running from Faluja to Ctesiphon, the Kutha canal from Sippara to Madain, passing Tell Ibrahim or Kutha on the way, and the King's canal or Ar-Malcha between the other two. This last, which perhaps owed its name to Khammurabi, was conducted from the Euphrates towards Upi or Opis, which has been shown by H. Winckler (Altorientalische Forschungen, ii. pp. 509 seq.) to have been close to Seleucia on the western side of the Tigris. The Pallacopas, called Pallukkatu in the NeoBabylonian texts, started from Pallukkatu or Faluja, and running parallel to the western bank of the Euphrates as far as Iddaratu or Teredon (?) watered an immense tract of land and supplied a large lake near Borsippa. B. Meissner may be right in identifying it with " the Canal of the Sun-god " of the early texts. Thanks to this system of irrigation the cultivation of the soil was highly advanced in Babylonia. According to Herodotus (i. 193) wheat commonly returned two hundred-fold to the sower, and occasionally three hundred-fold. Pliny ( H. N. xviii. 17) states that it was cut twice, and afterwards was good keep for sheep, and Berossus remarked that wheat, sesame, barley, ochrys, palms, apples and many kinds of shelled fruit grew wild, as wheat still does in the neighbourhood of Anah. A Persian poem celebrated the 360 uses of the palm (Strabo xvi. I. 14), and Ammianus Marcellinus (xxiv. 3) says that from the point reached by Julian's army to the shores of the Persian Gulf was one continuous forest of verdure.
II. Classical Authorities. - Such a country was naturally fitted to be a pioneer of civilization. Before the decipherment of the cuneiform texts our knowledge of its history, however, was scanty and questionable. Had the native history of Berossus survived, this would not have been the case; all that is known of the Chaldaean historian's work, however, is derived from quotations in Josephus, Ptolemy, Eusebius and the Syncellus. The authenticity of his list of 10 antediluvian kings who reigned for 120 sari or 432,000 years, has been partially confirmed by the inscriptions; but his 8 postdiluvian dynasties are difficult to reconcile with the monuments, and the numbers attached to them are probably corrupt. It is different with the 7th and 8th dynasties as given by Ptolemy in the Alniagest, which prove to have been faithfully recorded: - 1. Nabonassar (747 B.C.) .
2. Nadios .
3. Khinziros and Poros (Pul) .
4. Ilulaeos. .. .. .
5. Mardokempados (Merodach - Baladan) 6. Arkeanos (Sargon) .
7. Interregnum .
8. Hagisa .
9. Belibos (702 B.C.). to. Assaranadios (Assur-nadin -sum) 14 years 2 „ 5 t, 5 ,, 12 „ 5 ,, 2 „ I month 3 years 6 „ 12. Mesesimordakos .
13. Interregnum 14. Asaridinos (Esar-haddon) .
15. Saosdukhinos (Savulsumyukin) .
16. Sineladanos (Assur-bani -pal). .
The account of Babylon given by Herodotus is not that of an eye-witness, and his historical notices are meagre and untrustworthy. He was controverted by Ctesias, who, however, has mistaken mythology for history, and Greek romance owed to him its Ninus and Semiramis, its Ninyas and Sardanapalus. The only ancient authority of value on Babylonian and Assyrian history is the Old Testament.
III. Modern Discovery. - The excavations of P. E. Botta and A. H. Layard at Nineveh opened up a new world, coinciding as they did with the successful decipherment of the cuneiform system of writing. Layard's discovery of the library of Assurbani-pal put the materials for reconstructing the ancient life and history of Assyria and Babylonia into the hands of scholars. He also was the first to excavate in Babylonia, where C. J. Rich had already done useful topographical work. Layard's excavations in this latter country were continued by W. K. Loftus, who also opened trenches at Susa, as well as by J. Oppert on behalf of the French government. But it was only in the last quarter of the 19th century that anything like systematic exploration was attempted. After the death of George Smith at Aleppo in 1876, an expedition was sent by the British Museum (1877-1879), under the conduct of Hormuzd Rassam, to continue his work at Nineveh and its neighbourhood. Excavations in the mounds of Balawat, called Imgur-Bel by the Assyrians, 15 m. east of Mosul, resulted in the discovery of a small temple dedicated to the god of dreams by Assur-nazir-pal III. (883 B.C.), containing a stone coffer or ark in which were two inscribed tables of alabaster of rectangular shape, as well as of a palace which had been destroyed by the Babylonians but restored by Shalmaneser II. (858 B.C.). From the latter came the bronze gates with hammered reliefs, which are now in the British Museum. The remains of a palace of Assur-nazir-pal III. at Nimrud (Calah) were also excavated, and hundreds of enamelled tiles were disinterred. Two years later (1880-1881) Rassam was sent to Babylonia, where he discovered the site of the temple of the sun-god of Sippara at Abu-Habba, and so fixed the position of the two Sipparas or Sepharvaim. Abu-Habba lies south-west of Bagdad, midway between the Euphrates and Tigris, on the south side of a canal, which may once have represented the main stream of the Euphrates, Sippara of the goddess Anunit, now Der, being on its opposite bank.
Meanwhile (1877-1881) the French consul, de Sarzec, had been excavating at Tello, the ancient Lagash, and bringing to light monuments of the pre-Semitic age, which included the diorite statues of Gudea now in the Louvre, the stone of which, according to the inscriptions upon them, had been brought from Magan, the Sinaitic peninsula. The subsequent excavations of de Sarzec in Tello and its neighbourhood carried the history of the city back to at least 4000 B.C., and a collection of more than 30,000 tablets has been found, which were arranged on shelves in the time of Gudea (c.2700 B.C.). In 1886-1887 a German expedition under Dr Koldewey explored the cemetery of El Hibba (immediately to the south of Tello), and for the first time made us acquainted with the burial customs of ancient Babylonia. Another German expedition, on a large scale, was despatched by the Orientgesellschaft in 1899 with the object of exploring the ruins of Babylon; the palace of Nebuchadrezzar and the great processional road were laid bare, and Dr W. Andrae subsequently conducted excavations at Qal`at Sherqat, the site of Assur. Even the Turkish government has not held aloof from the work of exploration, and the Museum at Constantinople is filled with the tablets discovered by Dr V. Scheil in 1897 on the site of Sippara. J. de Morgan's exceptionally important work at Susa lies outside the limits of Babylonia; not so, however, the American excavations (1903-1904) under E. J. Banks at Bismya (Udab), and those of the university of Pennsylvania at Niffer (see Nippur) first begun in 1889, where Mr J.H. Haynes has systematically and patiently uncovered the remains of the great temple of El-lil, removing layer after layer of debris and cutting sections in the ruins down to the virgin soil. Midway in the mound is a platform of large bricks stamped with the names of Sargon of Akkad and his son Naram-Sin (3800 B.C.); as the debris above them is 34 ft. thick, the topmost stratum being not later than the Parthian era (H. V. Hilprecht, The Babylonian Expedition, i. 2, p. 23), it is calculated that the debris underneath the pavement, 30 ft. thick, must represent a period of about 3000 years, more especially as older constructions had to be levelled before the pavement was laid. In the deepest part of the excavations, however, inscribed clay tablets and fragments of stone vases are still found, though the cuneiform characters upon them are of a very archaic type, and sometimes even retain their primitive pictorial forms.
IV. Chronology. 1 - The later chronology of Assyria has long been fixed, thanks to the lists of limmi, or archons, who gave their names in succession to their years of office. Several copies of these lists from the library of Nineveh are in existence, the earliest of which goes back to 911 B.C., while the latest comes down to the middle of the reign of Assur-bani-pal. The beginning of a king's reign is noted in the lists, and in some of them the chief events of the year are added to the name of its archon. Assyrian chronology is, therefore, certain from 911 B.C. to 666, and an eclipse of the sun which is stated to have been visible in the month Sivan, 763 B.C., is one that has been calculated to have taken place on the 15th of June of that year. The system of reckoning time by limmi was of Assyrian origin, and recent discoveries have made it clear that it went back to the first days of the monarchy. Even in the distant colony at Kara Euyuk near Kaisariyeh (Caesarea) in Cappadocia cuneiform tablets show that the Assyrian settlers used it in the 5th century B.C. In Babylonia a different system was adopted. Here the years were dated by the chief events that distinguished them, as was also the case in Egypt in the epoch of the Old Empire. What the event should be was determined by the government and notified to all its officials; one of these notices, sent to the Babylonian officials in Canaan in the reign of Samsuiluna, the son of Khammurabi, has been found in the Lebanon.
A careful register of the dates was kept, divided into reigns, from which dynastic lists were afterwards compiled, giving the duration of each king's reign as well as that of the several dynasties. Two of these dynastic compilations have been discovered, unfortunately in an imperfect state. 2 In addition to the chronological tables, works of a more ambitious and literary character were also attempted of the nature of chronicles. One of these is the so-called " Synchronous History of Assyria and Babylonia," consisting of brief notices, written by an Assyrian, of the occasions on which the kings of the two countries had entered into relation, hostile or otherwise, with one another; a second is the Babylonian Chronicle discovered by Dr Th. G. Pinches, which gave a synopsis of Babylonian history from a Babylonian point of view, and was compiled in the reign of Darius. It is interesting to note that its author says of the battle of Khalule, which we know from the Assyrian inscriptions to have taken place in 691 or 690 B.C., that he does " not know the year " when it was fought: the records of Assyria had been already lost, even in Babylonia. The early existence of an accurate system of dating is not surprising; it was necessitated by the fact that Babylonia was a great trading community, in which it was not only needful that commercial and legal documents should be dated, but also that it should be possible to refer easily to the dates of former business transactions. The Babylonian and Assyrian kings had consequently no difficulty in 1 For a survey of the chronological systems adopted by different modern scholars, see below, section viii. " Chronological Systems." The compiler of the more complete one seems to have allowed himself liberties. At all events he gives 30 years of reign to Sinmuballidh instead of the 20 assigned to him in a list of dates drawn up at the time of Ammi-zadok's accession, 55 years to Khammurabi instead of 43, and 35 years to Samsu-iluna instead of 38, while he omits altogether the seven years' reign of the Assyrian king TukultiIn-aristi at Babylon.
I year 4 years 8 „ 1 3 „ 20 „. 22 „ determining the age of their predecessors or of past events. Nabonidus (Nabunaid), who was more of an antiquarian than a politician, and spent his time in excavating the older temples of his country and ascertaining the names of their builders, tells us that Naram-Sin, the son of Sargon of Akkad, lived 3200 years before himself (i.e. 3750 B.C.), and Sagarakti-suryas Boo years; and we learn from Sennacherib that Shalmaneser I. reigned 600 years earlier, and that Tiglath-pileser I. fought with Merodach-nadin-akhi (Marduk-nadin-akhe) of Babylon 418 years before the campaign of 689 B.C.; while, according to Tiglath-pileser I., the high-priest Samas-Hadad, son of IsmeDagon, built the temple of Anu and Hadad at Assur 701 years before his own time. Shalmaneser I. in his turn states that the high-priest Samas-Hadad, the son of Bel-kabi, governed Assur 580 years previously, and that 159 years before this the highpriest Erisum was reigning there. The raid of the Elamite king Kutur-Nakhkhunte is placed by Assur-bani-pal 1635 years before his own conquest of Susa, and Khammurabi is said by Nabonidus to have preceded Burna-buryas by 700 years.
V. History. the earliest period of which we have any knowledge Babylonia was divided into several independent states, the limits of which were defined by canals and Early Sumerian boundary stones. Its culture may be traced back to period. two main centres, Eridu in the south and Nippur in the north. But the streams of civilization which flowed from them were in strong contrast. El-lil, around whose sanctuary Nippur had grown up, was lord of the ghost-land, and his gifts to mankind were the spells and incantations which the spirits of good or evil were compelled to obey. The world which he governed was a mountain; the creatures whom he had made lived underground. Eridu, on the other hand, was the home of the culture-god Ea, the god of light and beneficence, who employed his divine wisdom in healing the sick and restoring the dead to life. Rising each morning from his palace in the deep, he had given man the arts and sciences, the industries and manners of civilization. To him was due the invention of writing, and the first law-book was his creation. Eridu had once been a seaport, and it was doubtless its foreign trade and intercourse with other lands which influenced the development of its culture. Its cosmology was the result of its geographical position: the earth, it was believed, had grown out of the waters of the deep, like the ever-widening coast at the mouth of the Euphrates. Long before history begins, however, the cultures of Eridu and Nippur had coalesced. While Babylon seems to have been a colony of Eridu, Ur, the immediate neighbour of Eridu, must have been colonized from Nippur, since its moon-god was the son of El-lil of Nippur. But in the admixture of the two cultures the influence of Eridu was predominant.
We may call the early civilization of Babylonia Sumerian. The race who first developed it spoke an agglutinative language, and to them was due the invention of the pictorial hieroglyphs which became the running-hand or cuneiform characters of later days, as well as the foundation of the chief cities of the country and the elements of its civilization. The great engineering works by means of which the marshes were drained and the overflow of the rivers regulated by canals went back to Sumerian times, like a considerable part of later Babylonian religion and the beginnings of Babylonian law. Indeed Sumerian continued to be the language of religion and law long after the Semites had become the ruling race.
Arrival of the Semites
When the Semites first entered the Edin or plain of Babylonia is uncertain, but it must have been at a remote period. The cuneiform system of writing Semitic. w as still in process of growth when it was borrowed influence p g and adapted by the new comers, and the Semitic Babylonian language was profoundly influenced by the older language of the country, borrowing its words and even its grammatical usages. Sumerian in its turn borrowed from Semitic Babylonian, and traces of Semitic influence in some of the earliest Sumerian texts indicate that the Semite was already on the Babylonian border. His native home was probably Arabia; hence Eridu (" the good city ") and Ur (" the city ") would have been built in Semitic territory, and their population may have included Semitic elements from the first. It was in the north, however, that the Semites first appear on the monuments. Here in Akkad the first Semitic empire was founded, Semitic conquerors or settlers spread from Sippara to Susa, Khana to the east of the Tigris was occupied by " West Semitic " tribes, and " out of " Babylonia " went forth the Assyrian." As in Assyria, so too in the states of Babylonia the patesi or high-priest of the god preceded the king. The state had grown up around a sanctuary, the god of which was nominally its ruler, the human patesi being his viceregent. In course of time many of the high-priests assumed the functions and title of king; while retaining their priestly office they claimed at the same time to be supreme in the state in all secular concerns. The god remained nominally at its head; but even this position was lost to him when Babylonia was unified under Semitic princes, and the earthly king became an incarnate god. A recollection of his former power survived, however, at Babylon, where Bel-Merodach adopted the king before his right to rule was allowed.
The earliest monuments that can be approximately dated come from Lagash (Tello). Here we hear of a " king of Kengi," as well as of a certain Me-silim, king Ur-nines of Kis, who had dealings with Lugal-suggur, high- dynasty. priest of Lagash, and the high-priest of a neighbouring town, the name of which is provisionally transcribed Gis-ukh (formerly written Gis-ban and confounded with the name of Opis). According to Scheil, Gis-ukh is represented by Jokha, south of Fara and west of the Shatt el-Hai, and since two of its rulers are called kings of Te on a seal-cylinder, this may have been the pronunciation of the name.' At a later date the high-priests of Lagash made themselves kings, and a dynasty was founded there by Ur-Nina. In the ruins of a building, attached by him to the temple of Nina, terra-cotta bas-reliefs of the king and his sons have been found, as well as the heads of lions in onyx, which remind us of Egyptian work and onyx plates. These were " booty " dedicated to the goddess Bau. E-anna-du, the grandson of Ur-Nina, made himself master of the whole of southern Babylonia, including " the district of Sumer " together with the cities of Erech, Ur and Larsa (?). He also annexed the kingdom of Kis, which, however, recovered its independence after his death. Gis-ukh was made tributary, a certain amount of grain being levied upon each person in it, which had to be paid into the treasury of the goddess Nina and the god Ingurisa. The so-called " Stele of the Vultures," now in the Louvre, was erected as a monument of the victory. On this various incidents in the war are represented. In one scene the king stands in his chariot with a curved weapon in his right hand formed of three bars of metal bound together by rings (similar, as M. L. Heuzey has pointed out, to one carried by the chief of an Asiatic tribe in a tomb of the 12th dynasty at Beni-Hasan in Egypt), while his kilted followers with helmets on their heads and lances in their hands march behind him. In another a flock of vultures is feeding on the bodies of the fallen enemy; in a third a tumulus is being heaped up over those who had been slain on the side of Lagash. Elsewhere we see the victorious prince beating down a vanquished enemy, and superintending the execution of other prisoners who are being sacrificed to the gods, while in one curious scene he is striking with his mace a sort of wicker-work cage filled with naked men. In his hand he holds the crest of Lagash and its god - a lion-headed eagle with outstretched wings, supported by two lions which are set heraldically back to back. The sculptures belong to a primitive period of art.
E-anna-du's campaigns extended beyond the confines of Babylonia. He overran a part of Elam and took the city of Az on the Persian Gulf. Temples and palaces were repaired or erected at Lagash and elsewhere, the town of Nina - which probably gave ' They are also called high-priests of Gunammide and a contracttablet speaks of " Te in Babylon," but this was probably not the Te of the seal. It must be remembered that the reading of most of the early Sumerian proper names is merely provisional, as we do not know how the ideographs of which they are composed were pronounced in either Sumerian or Assyrian.
its name to the later Nina or Nineveh - was rebuilt, and canals and reservoirs were excavated. He was succeeded by his brother En-anna-turn I., under whom Gis-ukh once more became the dominant power. As En-anna-turn has the title only of highpriest, it is probable that he acknowledged Ur-lumma of Gis-ukh as his suzerain. His son and successor Entemena restored the prestige of Lagash. Gis-ukh was subdued and a priest named Illi was made its governor. A tripod of silver dedicated by Entemena to his god is now in the Louvre. A frieze of lions devouring ibexes and deer, and incised with great artistic skill, runs round the neck, while the eagle crest of Lagash adorns the globular part. The vase is a proof of the high degree of excellence to which the goldsmith's art had already attained. A vase of calcite, also dedicated by Entemena, has been found at Nippur.
The eighth successor of Ur-Nina was Uru-duggina, who was overthrown and his city captured by Lugal-zaggisi, the highpriest of Gis-ukh. Lugal-zaggisi was the founder of the first empire in Asia of which we know. He made Erech his capital and calls himself king of Kengi. In a long inscription which he caused to be engraved on hundreds of stone vases dedicated to El-lil of Nippur, he declares that his kingdom extended " from the Lower Sea of the Tigris and Euphrates," or Persian Gulf, to " the Upper Sea " or Mediterranean. It was at this time that Erech received the name of " the City," which it continued to bear when written ideographically.
Semitic Empire of Sargon of Akkad
The next empire founded in western Asia was Semitic. Semitic princes had already. established themselves at Kis, and a long inscription Sargon has been discovered at Susa by J. de Morgan, belonging to one of them, Manistusu, who like Lugal-zaggisi was a contemporary of Uru-duggina. Another Semitic ruler of Kis of the same period was Alusarsid (or Urumus) who " subdued Elam and Barahse." But the fame of these early establishers of Semitic supremacy was far eclipsed by that of Sargon of Akkad and his son, Naram-Sin. The date of Sargon is placed by Nabonidus at 3800 B.C. He was the son of Itti-Bel, and a legend related how he had been born in concealment and sent adrift in an ark of bulrushes on the waters of the Euphrates. Here he had been rescued and brought up by " Akki the husbandman"; but the day arrived at length when his true origin became known, the crown of Babylonia was set upon his head and he entered upon a career of foreign conquest. Four times he invaded Syria and Palestine, and spent three years in thoroughly subduing the countries of " the west," and in uniting them with Babylonia " into a single empire." Images of himself were erected on the shores of the Mediterranean in token of his victories, and cities and palaces were built at home out of the spoils of the conquered lands. Elam and the northern part of Mesopotamia were also subjugated, and rebellions were put down both in Kazalla and in Babylonia itself. Contract tablets have been found dated in the years of the campaigns against Palestine and Sarlak, king of Gutium or Kurdistan, and copper is mentioned as being brought from Magan or the Sinaitic peninsula.
Sargon's son and successor, Naram-Sin, followed up the successes of his father by marching into Magan, whose king he took captive. He assumed the imperial title of " king of the four zones," and, like his father, was addressed as a god. He is even called " the god of Agade " (Akkad), reminding us of the divine honours claimed by the Pharaohs of Egypt, whose territory now adjoined that of Babylonia. A finely executed bas-relief, representing Naram-Sin, and bearing a striking resemblance to early Egyptian art in many of its features, has been found at Diarbekr. Babylonian art, however, had already attained a high degree of excellence; two seal cylinders of the time of Sargon are among the most beautiful specimens of the gem-cutter's art ever discovered. The empire was bound together by roads, along which there was a regular postal service; and clay seals, which took the place of stamps, are now in the Louvre bearing the names of Sargon and his son. A cadastral survey seems also to have been instituted, and one of the documents relating to it states that a certain Uru-Malik, whose name appears to indicate his Canaanitish origin, was governor of the land of the Amorites, as Syria and Palestine were called by the Babylonians. It is probable that the first collection of astronomical observations and terrestrial omens was made for a library established by Sargon.
Bingani-sar-ali was the son of Naram-Sin, but we do not yet know whether he followed his father on the throne. Another son was high-priest of the city of Tutu, and in the name of his daughter, Lipus-Eaum, a priestess of Sin some ur dynasty.
scholars have seen that of the Hebrew deity Yahweh.
The Babylonian god Ea, however, is more likely to be meant. The fall of Sargon's empire seems to have been as sudden as its rise. The seat of supreme power in Babylonia was shifted southwards to Isin and Ur. It is generally assumed that two dynasties reigned at Ur and claimed suzerainty over the other Babylonian states, though there is as yet no clear proof that there was more than one. It was probably Gungunu who succeeded in transferring the capital of Babylonia from Isin to Ur, but his place in the dynasty (or dynasties) is still uncertain. One of his successors was Ur-Gur, a great builder, who built or restored the temples of the Moon-god at Ur, of the Sun-god at Larsa, of Ishtar at Erech and of Bel at Nippur. His son and successor was Dungi, whose reign lasted more than 51 years, and among whose vassals was Gudea, the patesi or high-priest of Lagash. Gudea was also a great builder, and the materials for his buildings and statues were brought from all parts of western Asia, cedar wood from the Amanus mountains, quarried stones from Lebanon, copper from northern Arabia, gold and precious stones from the desert between Palestine and Egypt, dolerite from Magan (the Sinaitic peninsula) and timber from Dilmun in the Persian Gulf. Some of his statues, now in the Louvre, are carved out of Sinaitic dolerite, and on the lap of one of them (statue E) is the plan of his palace, with the scale of measurement attached. Six of the statues bore special names, and offerings were made to them as to the statues of the gods. Gudea claims to have conqueredAnshan in Elam, and was succeeded byhis son Ur-Ningirsu. His date may be provisionally fixed at 2700 B.C.
This dynasty of Ur was Semitic, not Sumerian, notwithstanding the name of Dungi. Dungi was followed by Bur-Sin, Gimil-Sin, and Ibi-Sin. Their power extended to the Mediterranean, and we possess a large number of contemporaneous monuments in the shape of contracts and similar business documents, as well as chronological tables, which belong to their reigns.
After the fall of the dynasty, Babylonia passed under foreign influence. Sumuabi (" Shem is my father "), from southern Arabia (or perhaps Canaan), made himself master of northern Babylonia, while Elamite invaders occupied the south. After a reign of 14 years Sumuabi was succeeded by his son Sumu-la-ilu, in the fifth year of whose reign the fortress of Babylon was built, and the city became for the first time a capital. Rival kings, Pungunilaand Immerum,are mentioned in the contract tablets as reigning at the same time as Sumu-la-ilu (or Samu-la-ilu); and under Sin-muballidh, the great-grandson of Sumu-la-ilu, the Elamites laid the whole of the country under tribute, and made Eri-Aku or Arioch, called Rim-Sin by his Semitic subjects, king of Larsa. Eri-Aku was the son of Kudur-Mabug, who was prince of Yamutbal, on the eastern border of Babylonia, and also " governor of Syria." The Elamite supremacy was at last shaken off by the son and successor of Sin-muballidh, Khammurabi, Kham- whose name is also written Ammurapi and Kham- murabi. muram, and who was the Amraphel of Gen. xiv.
The Elamites, under their king Kudur-Lagamar or Chedorlaomer, seem to have taken Babylon and destroyed the temple of Bel-Merodach; but Khammurabi retrieved his fortunes, and in ,. the thirtieth year of his reign (in 2340 B.C.) he overthrew the Elamite forces in a decisive battle and drove them out of Babylonia. The next two years were occupied in adding Larsa and Yamutbal to his dominion, and in forming Babylonia into a single monarchy, the head of which was Babylon. A great literary revival followed the recovery of Babylonian independence, and the rule of Babylon was obeyed as far as the shores of the Mediterranean. Vast numbers of contract tablets, dated in the reigns of Khammurabi and other kings of the dynasty, have NaramSin. been discovered, as well as autograph letters of the kings themselves, more especially of Khammurabi. Among the latter is one ordering the despatch of 2 4 0 soldiers from Assyria and Situllum, a proof that Assyria was at the time a Babylonian dependency. Constant intercourse was kept up between Babylonia and the west, Babylonian officials and troops passing to Syria and Canaan, while " Amorite " colonists were established in Babylonia for the purposes of trade. One of these Amorites, Abi-ramu or Abram by name, is the father of a witness to a deed dated in the reign of Khammurabi's grandfather. Ammi-ditana, the great-grandson of Khammurabi, still entitles himself " king of the land of the Amorites," and both his father and son bear the Canaanitish (and south Arabian) names_of Abesukh or Abishua and Ammi-zadok.
One of the most important works of this " First Dynasty of Babylon," as it was called by the native historians, was the compilation of a code of laws (see Babylonian Law). This was made by order of Khammurabi after the expulsion of the Elamites and the settlement of his kingdom. A copy of the Code has been found at Susa by J. de Morgan and is now in the Louvre. The last king of the dynasty was Samsu-ditana the son of Ammizadok. He was followed by a dynasty of 11 Sumerian kings, who are said to have reigned for 368 years, a number which must be much exaggerated. As yet the name of only one of them has been found in a contemporaneous document. They were overthrown and Babylonia was conquered by Kassites or Kossaeans from the mountains of Elam, with whom Samsu-iluna had already come into conflict in his 9th year. The Kassite dynasty was founded by Kandis, Gandis or Gaddas (about 1780 B.C.), and lasted for 5764 years. Under this foreign dominion, which offers a striking analogy to the contemporary rule of the Hyksos in Egypt, Babylonia lost its empire over western Asia, Syria and Palestine became independent, and the high-priests of Assur made themselves kings of Assyria. The divine attributes with which the Semitic kings of Babylonia had been invested disappeared at the same time; the title of " god " is never given to a Kassite sovereign. Babylon, however, remained the capital of the kingdom and the holy city of western Asia, where the priests were all-powerful, and the right to the inheritance of the old Babylonian empire could alone be conferred.
Rise of Assyria
Under Khammurabi a Samsi-Hadad (or Samsi-Raman) seems to have been vassal-prince at Assur, and the names of several of the high-priests of Assur who succeeded him have been made known to us by the recent German excavations. The foundation of the monarchy was ascribed to Zulilu, who is described as living after Bel-kapkapi or Belkabi (1900 B.C.), the ancestor of Shalmaneser I. Assyria grew in power at the expense of Babylonia, and a time came when the Kassite king of Babylonia was glad to marry the daughter of Assur-yuballidh of Assyria, whose letters to Amenophis (Amon-hotep) IV. of Egypt have been found at Tell el-Amarna. The marriage, however, led to disastrous results, as the Kassite faction at court murdered the king and placed a pretender on the throne. Assur-yuballidh promptly marched into Babylonia and avenged his son-in-law, making Burna-buryas of the royal line king in his stead. Burnaburyas, who reigned 2 2 years, carried on a correspondence with Amenophis IV. of Egypt. After his death, the Assyrians, who were still nominally the vassals of Babylonia, threw off neser L - g n a ll disguise, and Shalmaneser I. (130o B.C.), the great- neser I. great-grandson of Assur-yuballidh, openly claimed the supremacy in western Asia. Shalmaneser was the founder of Calah, and his annals, which have recently been discovered at Assur, show how widely extended the Assyrian empire already was. Campaign after campaign was carried on against the Hittites and the wild tribes of the north-west, and Assyrian colonists were settled in Cappadocia. His son Tukulti-In-aristi conquered Babylon, putting its king Bitilyasu to death, and thereby made Assyria the mistress of the oriental world. Assyria had taken the place of Babylonia.
For 7 years Tukulti-In-aristi ruled at Babylon with the old imperial title of " king of Sumer and Akkad." Then the Babylonians revolted. The Assyrian king was murdered by his be fairly full. The empire of Assyria was again ex- Assurnazir- tended in all directions, and the palaces, temples and pal III. other buildings raised by him bear witness to a con siderable development of wealth and art. Calah became the favourite residence of a monarch who was distinguished even among Assyrian conquerors for his revolting cruelties. His son Shalmaneser II. had a long reign of 35 years, Shalma- during which the Assyrian capital was converted into neser II a sort of armed camp. Each year the Assyrian armies marched out of it to plunder and destroy. Babylon was occupied and the country reduced to vassalage. In the west the confederacy of Syrian princes headed by Benhadad of Damascus and including Ahab of Israel (see Jews, § io) was shattered in 853 B.C., and twelve years later the forces of Hazael were annihilated and the ambassadors of Jehu of Samaria brought tribute to " the great king." The last few years of his life, however, were disturbed by the rebellion of his eldest son, which well-nigh proved fatal. Assur, Arbela and other places joined the pretender, and the revolt was with difficulty put down by Samsi-Raman (or Samsi-Hadad), Shalmaneser's second son, who soon afterwards succeeded him (824 B.C.). In 804 B.C. Damascus was captured by his successor Hadad-nirari IV., to whom tribute was paid by Samaria.
With Nabu-nazir, the Nabonassar of classical writers, the socalled Canon of Ptolemy begins. When he ascended the throne of Babylon in 747 B.C. Assyria was in the throes of a revolution. Civil war and pestilence were devastat- „azir. ing the country, and its northern provinces had been wrested from it by Ararat. In 746 B.C. Calah joined the rebels, and on the 13th of Iyyar in the following year, Pulu or Pul, who took the name of Tiglath-pileser III., seized the crown and inaugurated a new and vigorous policy.
Second Assyrian Empire. - Under Tiglath-pileser III. arose the second Assyrian empire, which differed from the first in its greater consolidation. For the first time in history the idea of centralization was introduced into politics; the Tiglathpileser conquered provinces were organized under an elaborate bureaucracy at the head of which was the king, each district paying a fixed tribute and providing a military contingent. The Assyrian forces became a standing army, which, by successive improvements and careful discipline, was moulded into an irresistible fighting machine, and Assyrian policy was directed towards the definite object of reducing the whole civilized world into a single empire and thereby throwing its trade and wealth into Assyrian hands. With this object, after terrorizing Armenia and the Medes and breaking the power of the Hittites, Tiglathpileser III. secured the high-roads of commerce to the Mediterranean together with the Phoenician seaports and then made himself master of Babylonia. In 729 B.C. the summit of his ambition was attained, and he was invested with the sovereignty of Asia in the holy city of Babylon. Two years later, in Tebet fourth successor was Tiglath-pileser I., one of the great Tileser pieserl. conquerors of Assyria, who carried his arms towards Armenia on the north and Cappadocia on the west; he hunted wild bulls in the Lebanon and was presented with a crocodile by the Egyptian king. In 1107 B.C., however, he sustained a temporary defeat at the hands of Merodach-nadin-akhi (Marduknadin-akhe) of Babylonia, where the Kassite dynasty had finally succumbed to Elamite attacks and a new line of kings was on the throne.
Of the immediate successors of Tiglath-pileser I. we know little, and it is with Assur-nazir-pal III. (883-858 B.C.) that our knowledge of Assyrian history begins once more to son, Assur-nazir-pal I., and Hadad-nadin-akhi made king of Babylonia. But it was not until several years later, in the reign of the Assyrian king Tukulti-Assur, that a reconciliation was effected between the two rival kingdoms. The next Assyrian monarch, Bel-kudur-uzur, was the last of the old royal line. He seems to have been slain fighting against the Babylonians, who were still under the rule of Hadad-dadin-akhi, and a new dynasty was established at Assur by In-aristi-pileser, who claimed to be a descendant of the ancient prince Erba-Raman. His Statue Of Assur-Nazir-Pal, King Of Assyria.
Boundary-Stone Sculptured With Emblems Of The Gods; Reign Of Nebuchadrezzar I.
Relief Representing Assur Bani-Pal Spearing A Lion.
ING Lion,)M The Lion-Hunt Reliefs Of Assur-Bani-Pal.
Colossal l U D. Humanheaded Lion From The Palace Of Assur-Nazir-Pal At Nimrud.
Statue Of The God Nebo; REIGN OF ADAD-NIRARI III.
Photos, Mansell & Co. Copper Vot1 Sin, King Of Larsa.
Stele Of Victory Of Naram-Sin, King Of Agade. Louvre.
Figure Of Gudea, Patesi Of Lagash. Louvre.
Sculpture From The Stele Engraved With Kiiammurabi'S Code Of Laws. Louvre.
LETTER FROM TUSHRATTA, KING OF MITANI, TO AMENOPHIS III.
Prism Of Sennacherib, Tablet From Assur Inscribed With Hisbani-Pal'S Library, Torical Annals Of Inscribed With His Reign. Mythological Text.
Specimens Of Babylonian And Assyrian Writing.
The objects, with the exception of those represented in the first three fi ures Stamped Brick-Inscription Of Pur-Sin, King Of Ur.
Sculptured Relief Of The Reign Of Assur-Nazir-Pal; Foreigners Bringing Tribute.
Ivory Panels With Line Engraving; From Nimrud.
Architectural Ornaments Of Painted Terra-Cotta; From Nimrud.
Section Of Bronze Sheathing From Gates Of Shalmaneser Ii.
Sculpti;:ED Relief Of The Reign Of Assur-Bani-Pal; Mythological Beings In Conflict, Portion Of Sculptured Paving Slab From A Doorway In Assur-Bani-Pal'S Palace At Kuyunjik (Nineveh).
727 B.C., he died, but his successor Ulula, who took the name of Shalmaneser IV., continued the policy he had begun. Shalmaneser died suddenly in Tebet 722 B.C., while pressing the siege of Samaria, and the seizure of the throne by another general, Sargon, on the 12th of the month, gave the Babylonians an opportunity to revolt. In Nisan the Kalda prince, M e rodach (Marduk)-baladan, entered Babylon and baladan. ? Y was there crowned legitimate king. For twelve years he successfully resisted the Assyrians; but the failure of his allies in the west to act in concert with him, and the overthrow of the Elamites, eventually compelled him to fly to his ancestral domains in the marshes of southern Babylonia. Sargon, who meanwhile had crushed the confederacy of the northern nations, had taken (717 B.C.) the Hittite stronghold of Carchemish and had annexed the future kingdom of Ecbatana, was now accepted as king by the Babylonian priests and his claim to be the successor of Sargon of Akkad acknowledged up to the time of his murder in 705 B.C. His son Sennacherib, who succeeded Serena- hi m on the 12th of Ab, did not possess the military or cherlb. ? P Y administrative abilities of his father, and the success of his reign was not commensurate with the vanity of the ruler. He was never crowned at Babylon, which was in a perpetual state of revolt until, in 691 B.C., he shocked the religious and political conscience of Asia by razing the holy city of Babylon to the ground. His campaign against Hezekiah of Judah was as much a failure as his policy in Babylonia, and in his murder by his sons on the 10th of Tebet 681 B.C. both Babylonians and Jews saw the judgment of heaven.
Esar-haddon, who succeeded him, was of different calibre from his father. He was commanding the army in a campaign against Ararat at the time of the murder; forty-two days later the murderers fled from Nineveh and took refuge at the court of Ararat. But the Armenian army was utterly defeated near Malatia on the 12th of Iyyar, and at the end of the day Esar-haddon was saluted by his soldiers as king. He thereupon returned to Nineveh and on the 8th of Sivan formally ascended the throne.
One of his first acts was to restore Babylon, to send back the image of Bel-Merodach (Bel-Marduk) to its old home, and to re-people the city with such of the priests and the former population as had survived massacre. Then he was solemnly declared king in the temple of Bel-Merodach, which had again risen from its ruins, and Babylon became the second capital of the empire. Esar-haddon's policy was successful and Babylonia remained contentedly quiet throughout his reign. In February (674 B.C.) the Assyrians entered upon their invasion of Egypt (see also Egypt: History ), and in Nisan (or March) 670 B.C. an expedition on an unusually large scale set out from Nineveh. The Egyptian frontier was crossed on the 3rd of Tammuz (June), and Tirhaka, at the head of the Egyptian forces, was driven to Memphis after fifteen days of continuous fighting, during which the Egyptians were thrice defeated with heavy loss and Tirhada himself was wounded. On the 22nd of the month Memphis was entered by the victorious army and Tirhaka fled to the south. A stele, commemorating the victory and representing Tirhaka with the features of a negro, was set up at Sinjirli (north of the Gulf of Antioch) and is now in the Berlin Museum. Two years later (668 B.C.) Egypt revolted, and while on the march
to reduce it, Esar-haddon fell ill and died (on the 10th of Marchesvan or October). Assur-bani-pal succeeded him as king of Assyria and its empire, while his brother, Samas-sumyukin, was made viceroy of Babylonia. The arrangement was evidently intended to flatter the Babylonians by giving them once more the semblance of independence. But it failed to work. Samas-sum-yukin became more Babylonian than his subjects; the viceroy claimed to be the successor of the monarchs whose empire had once stretched to the Mediterranean; even the Sumerian language was revived as the official tongue, and a revolt broke out which shook the Assyrian empire to its foundations. After several years of struggle, during which Egypt recovered its independence, Babylon was starved into surrender, and the rebel viceroy and his supporters were put to death.
Egypt had already recovered its independence (660 B.C.) with the help of mercenaries sent by Gyges of Lydia, who had vainly solicited aid from Assyria against his Cimmerian enemies. Next followed the contest with Elam, in spite of the efforts of Assurbani-pal to ward it off. Assyria, however, was aided by civil war in Elam itself; the country was wasted with fire and sword,, and its capital Susa or Shushan levelled with the ground. But. the long struggle left Assyria maimed and exhausted. It had been drained of both wealth and fighting population; the devastated provinces of Elam and Babylonia could yield nothing with which to supply the needs of the imperial exchequer, and it was difficult to find sufficient troops even to garrison the conquered populations. Assyria, therefore, was ill prepared to face the hordes of Scythians - or Manda, as they were called by the Babylonians - who now began to harass the frontiers. A Scythian power had grown up in the old kingdom of Ellip, to the east of Assyria, where Ecbatana was built by a " Manda " prince; Asia Minor was infested by the Scythian tribe of Cimmerian;, and the death of the Scythian leader Dugdamme (the Lygdamis of Strabo i. 3.16) was regarded by Assur-bani-pal as a special mark of divine favour.
When Assur-bani-pal died, his empire was fast breaking up. Under his successor, Assur-etil-ilani, the Scythians penetrated into Assyria and made their way as far as the borders of Egypt. Calah was burned thou h the stron walls g YP, g g of Nineveh protected the relics of the Assyrian army which had taken refuge behind them; and when the raiders had passed on to other fields of booty, a new palace was erected among the ruins of the neighbouring city. But its architectural poverty and small size show that the resources of Assyria were at a low ebb. A contract has been found at Sippara, dated in the fourth year of Assur-etil-ilani, though it is possible that his rule in Babylonia was disputed by his Rab-shakeh (vizier), Assur-sum-lisir, whose accession year as king of Assyria occurs on a contract from Nippur (Niffer). The last king of Assyria was probably the brother of Assur-etil-ilani, Sin - sar - iskun (Sin-sarra-uzur), who seems to have been the Sarakos (Saracus) of Berossus. He was still reigning in Babylonia in his seventh year, as a contract dated in that year has been discovered at Erech, and an inscription of his, in which he speaks of restoring the ruined temples and their priests, couples Merodach of Babylon with Assur of Nineveh. Babylonia, however, was again restless. After the over throw of Samas - sum - yukin, Kandalanu, the Chineladanos of Ptolemy's canon, had been appointed viceroy. His successor was Nabo oPP Y
P lassar, between whom and the last king of Assyria war broke out. The Scythian king of Ecbatana, the Cyaxares of the Greeks, came to the help of the Babylonians. Nineveh was captured and destroyed by the Scythian army, along with those cities of northern Babylonia which had sided with Babylonia, and the Assyrian empire was at an end.
The seat of empire was now transferred to Babylonia. Nabopolassar was followed by his son Nebuchadrezzar II., whose reign of 43 years made Babylon once more the mistress of the civilized world. Only a small fragment of his annals has been discovered relating to his invasion of Egypt in 567 B.C., and referring to " Phut of the Ionians." Of the reign of the last Babylonian king, Nabonidus, however, and the conquest of Babylonia by Cyrus, we now have a fair amount of information.' This is chiefly derived from a chronological tablet containing the annals of Nabonidus, which is supplemented by an inscription of Nabonidus, in which he recounts his restoration of the temple of the Moon-god at Harran, as well as by a proclamation of Cyrus issued shortly after his formal recognition as king of Babylonia. It was in the sixth year of Nabonidus (549 B.C.) - or perhaps in 553 - that Cyrus, " king of Anshan" in Elam, revolted against his suzerain Astyages, king of " the Manda " or Scythians, at Ecbatana. The army of Astyages betrayed him to his enemy, and Cyrus established himself at Ecbatana, thus putting an end to the empire of the Scythians, ' For the events leading up to the conquests of Cyrus, see Persia: Ancient History, § v. The chronology is not absolutely certain.
III. 4 a which the Greek writers called that of the Medes, through a confusion of Mada or " Medes " with Manda. Three years later we find that Cyrus has become king of Persia and is engaged in a campaign in the north of Mesopotamia. Meanwhile Nabonidus has established a camp at Sippara, near the northern frontier of his kingdom, his son - probably the Belshazzar of Invasion other inscriptions - being in command of the arm by Cyrus. p g army.
In 538 B.C. Cyrus invaded Babylonia. A battle was fought at Opis in the month of June, in which the Babylonians were defeated, and immediately afterwards Sippara surrendered to the invader. Nabonidus fled to Babylon, whither he was pursued by Gobryas, the governor of Kurdistan, and on the 16th of Tammuz, two days after the capture of Sippara, " the soldiers of Cyrus entered Babylon without fighting." Nabonidus was dragged out of his hiding-place, and Kurdish guards were placed at the gates of the great temple of Bel, where the services continued without intermission. Cyrus did not arrive till the 3rd of Marchesvan (October), Gobryas having acted for him in his absence. Gobryas was now made governor of the province of Babylon, and a few days afterwards the son of Nabonidus, according to the most probable reading, died. A public mourning followed, which lasted six days, and Cambyses accompanied the corpse to the tomb. Cyrus now claimed to be the legitimate successor of the ancient Babylonian kings and the avenger of Bel-Merodach, who was wrathful at the impiety of Nabonidus in removing the images of the local gods from their ancestral shrines to his capital Babylon. Nabonidus, in fact, had excited a strong feeling against himself by attempting to centralize the religion of Babylonia in the temple of Merodach (Marduk) at Babylon, and while he had thus alienated the local priesthoods the military party despised him on account of his antiquarian tastes. He seems to have left the defence of his kingdom to others, occupying himself with the more congenial work of excavating the foundation records of the temples and determining the dates of their builders. The invasion of Babylonia by Cyrus was doubtless facilitated by the existence of a disaffected party in the state, as well as by the presence of foreign exiles like the Jews, who had 1 The following is a list of the later dynasties and kings of Babylonia and Assyria so far as they are known at present. For the views of other writers on the chronology, see § viii., Chronological Systems. The Babylonian Dynasties from cir. 2500 B.C.
Dynasty of Ur. Kassite Dynasty of 36 kings for 576 years 9 months. 1780 B.C. Gandis, 16 years. Agum-sipak, 22 years.
Bitilyasu I., 22 years.
Ussi (?), 9 years. Adu-metas.
Kadasman-Bel, his son, corresponded with Amon-hotep (Amenophis) III. of Egypt, 1400 B.C.
Burna-buryas, his son, 22 years. Kuri-galzu III., his son, 26 years. Nazi-Maruttas, his son, 17 years. Kadasman-Turgu, his son, 13 years.
Kudur-bel, 6 years. Sagarakti-suryas, his son, 13 years.
Bitilyasu II., 8 years. Tukulti-In-aristi of Assyria (1272 B.C.) for 7 years, native vassal kings being Bel-sum-iddin, II years. Kadasman-Bel II., 12 years. Hadad-sum-iddin, 6 years. Hadad-sum-uzur, 30 years. Meli-sipak, 15 years. Merodach-baladan I., his son, 13 years.
Zamama-sum-iddin, I year. Bel-sum-iddin, 3 years.
been planted in the midst of the country. One of the first acts of Cyrus accordingly was to allow these exiles to return to their own homes, carrying with them the images of their gods and their sacred vessels. The permission to do so was embodied in a proclamation, in which the conqueror endeavoured to justify his claim to the Babylonian throne. The feeling was still strong that none had a right to rule over western Asia until he had been consecrated to the office by Bel and his priests; and from henceforth, accordingly, Cyrus assumed the imperial title of " king of Babylon." A year before his death, in 529 B.C., he associated his son Cambyses in the government, making him king of Babylon, while he reserved for himself the fuller title of " king of the (other) provinces " of the empire. It was only when Darius Hystaspis, the representative of the Aryan race and the Zoroastrian religion, had re-conquered the empire of Cyrus, that the old tradition was broken and the claim of Babylon to confer legitimacy on the rulers of western Asia ceased to be acknowledged (see DARIUs). Darius, in fact, entered Babylon as a conqueror; after the murder of the Magian it had recovered its independence under Nidinta-Bel, who took the name of Nebuchadrezzar III., and reigned from October 521 B.C. to August 520 B.C., when the Persians took it by storm. A few years later, probably 514 B.C., Babylon again revolted under the Armenian Arakha; on this occasion, after its capture by the Persians, the walls were partly destroyed. E-Saggila, the great temple of Bel, however, still continued to be kept in repair and to be a centre of Babylonian patriotism, until at last the foundation of Seleucia diverted the population to the new capital of Babylonia and the ruins of the old city became a quarry for the builders of the new seat of government.' VI. Assyria and Babylonia contrasted. - The sister-states of Babylonia and Assyria differed essentially in character. Babylonia was a land of merchants and agriculturists; Assyria was an organized camp. The Assyrian dynasties were founded Dynasty of Isin of I i kings for 1324 years. 1203 B.C.
Merodach-. ... 18 years.
Nebuchadrezzar I. Bel-nadin-pal. Merodach-nadin-akhi, 22 years. Merodach12 years. Hadad-baladan, an usurper. Merodach - sapik - zer - mati, 12 years.
Nabu-nadin, 8 years.
Dynasty of the Sea-coast. 1070 B.C.
Simbar-sipak, 18 years. Ea-mukin-zeri, 5 months. Kassu-nadin-akhi, 3 years.
Dynasty of Bit-Bazi. 1050 B.C.
E-Ulmas-sakin-sumi, 17 years. Ninip-kudur-uzur I., 3 years. Silanim-Suqamuna, 3 months.
Dynasty of Elam. 1030 B.C. An Elamite, 6 years.
Second Dynasty of Babylon. 1025 B.C.
Nebo-kin-abli, 36 years. Ninip-kudur-uzur II. (?) 8 months 12 days.
Probably 5 names missing. B.C.
Samas-mudammiq. cir. 920 Nebo-sum-iskun cir. 900 Nebo-baladan cir. 880 Merodach-nadin-sumi cir. 860 Merodach-baladhsu-iqbi cir. 830 Bau-akhi-iddin cir. 810 Probably two names missing. Nebosum - iskun, son of Dakuri.. cir. 760 Nabonassar,
These files are public domain.
Chisholm, Hugh, General Editor. Entry for 'Babylonia and Assyria'. 1911 Encyclopedia Britanica. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/eng/bri/b/babylonia-and-assyria.html. 1910.
the Sixth Week after Easter