27 Facts About Babylon


Babylon built Babylon into a major city and declared himself its king.

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The empire waned under Hammurabi's son Samsu-iluna, and Babylon spent long periods under Assyrian, Kassite and Elamite domination.

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The Hanging Gardens of Babylon ranked as one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

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Babylon deduced that it later transformed into Akkadian, and that the Sumerian name Kan-digirak was a loan translation of the Semitic folk etymology, and not the original name.

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Babylon was pillaged numerous times after revolting against foreign rule, most notably by the Hittites and Elamites in the 2nd millennium, then by the Neo-Assyrian Empire and the Achaemenid Empire in the 1st millennium BC.

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Babylon was described, perhaps even visited, by a number of classical historians including Ctesias, Herodotus, Quintus Curtius Rufus, Strabo, and Cleitarchus.

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References to the city of Babylon can be found in Akkadian and Sumerian literature from the late third millennium BC.

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Babylon appears in the administrative records of the Third Dynasty of Ur, which collected in-kind tax payments and appointed an ensi as local governor.

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Babylon was initially a minor city-state, and controlled little surrounding territory; its first four Amorite rulers did not assume the title of king.

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Babylon conquered all of the cities and city states of southern Mesopotamia, including Isin, Larsa, Ur, Uruk, Nippur, Lagash, Eridu, Kish, Adab, Eshnunna, Akshak, Akkad, Shuruppak, Bad-tibira, Sippar, and Girsu, coalescing them into one kingdom, ruled from Babylon.

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From this time, Babylon supplanted Nippur and Eridu as the major religious centers of southern Mesopotamia.

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Texts from Old Babylon often include references to Shamash, the sun-god of Sippar, treated as a supreme deity, and Marduk, considered as his son.

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Babylon weakened during the Kassite era, and as a result, Kassite Babylon began paying tribute to the Pharaoh of Egypt, Thutmose III, following his eighth campaign against Mitanni.

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Kassite Babylon eventually became subject to the Middle Assyrian Empire to the north, and Elam to the east, with both powers vying for control of the city.

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However, Babylon remained weak and subject to domination by Assyria.

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Once again, Babylon was besieged by the Assyrians, starved into surrender and its allies were defeated.

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Under Nabopolassar, a previously Chaldean King, Babylon escaped Assyrian rule, and in an alliance with Cyaxares, king of the Medes who was his son in law together with Cimmerians, finally destroyed the Assyrian Empire between 612 BC and 605 BC.

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The hundred gates can be considered a reference to Homer, and following the pronouncement of Archibald Henry Sayce in 1883, Herodotus' account of Babylon has largely been considered to represent Greek folklore rather than an authentic voyage to Babylon.

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Under Cyrus and the subsequent Persian king Darius I, Babylon became the capital city of the 9th Satrapy, as well as a center of learning and scientific advancement.

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Under Alexander, Babylon again flourished as a center of learning and commerce.

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However, Babylon maintained its own culture and people, who spoke varieties of Aramaic, and who continued to refer to their homeland as Babylon.

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Babylon was dissolved as a province and Aramaic and Church of the East Christianity eventually became marginalized.

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Babylon is mentioned in medieval Arabic writings as a source of bricks, said to have been used in cities from Baghdad to Basra.

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Eighteenth century saw an increasing flow of travellers to Babylon, including Carsten Niebuhr and Pierre-Joseph de Beauchamp, as well as measurements of its latitude.

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Site of Babylon has been a cultural asset to Iraq since the creation of the modern Iraqi state in 1921.

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Babylon later constructed a modern palace in that area called Saddam Hill over some of the old ruins, in the pyramidal style of a ziggurat.

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Missler has written that Babylon has yet to be completely destroyed as prophesied by Isaiah and Jeremiah.

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