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The Fall of the Babylonian Empire

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3m May 24, 2021
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The fall of Babylon is a historical event that occurred in 539 BC. This event saw the conquest of Babylon by the Achaemenid Empire under Cyrus the Great and marked the end of the Neo-Babylonian Empire. The fall of Babylon is reported by a number of ancient sources, including the Cyrus Cylinder, the Greek historian Herodotus, as well as a number of books in the Old Testament.

The city of Babylon is located in modern day Iraq and its history stretches back to the 3rd millennium BC, when it was a small port town on the Euphrates River. At that time, Babylon was part of the Akkadian Empire. Over time, the town would grow and develop into one of the most important cities in ancient Mesopotamia. It was during the 18th century BC that Babylon became a major power in the region under the rule of the Amorite king, Hammurabi.

Over time the Kingdom would become weakened by decline and other growing empires and kingdoms would attempt to conquer and destroy its power such as the Assyrians and the Hittites.

Following the death of Ashurbanipal around 627 BC, civil war broke out in the Neo-Assyrian Empire, causing it to weaken. Many subjects of the Neo-Assyrian Empire seized this opportunity to revolt. One of these was a Chaldean chief by the name of Nabopolassar, who formed an alliance with the Medes, Persians, Scythians, and Cimmerians. This coalition succeeded in destroying the Neo-Assyrian Empire.

Having gained independence from the Assyrians, Nabopolassar established the Neo-Babylonian Empire, with Babylon as its capital. When he died, he left his son with immense stores of wealth and a strong Babylonian city. This ruler set the groundwork for the impressive Neo-Babylonian Empire, leaving his son Nebuchadnezzar II with the ideal circumstances to bring Babylonia to the forefront of ancient society. And that is exactly what the son did.

The Neo-Babylonian Empire reached its zenith during the reign of Nebuchadnezzar II. During Nebuchadnezzar II’s reign, which lasted until around 562 BC, the Neo-Babylonian Empire was in control of Babylonia, Assyria, parts of Asia Minor, Phoenicia, Israel, and northern Arabia.

Nebuchadnezzar II is most remembered today for a handful of important acts. Firstly, he is documented for driving the Jews out of Babylon, capturing the city of Jerusalem in 597 BC, and destroying the First Temple and that city in 587 BC. He is also generally credited with the construction of two major features of Babylon - the Ishtar Gate in 575 BC and the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, which are considered one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. There is, however, some contention if Nebuchadnezzar II can really receive recognition for creating the Hanging Gardens.

How Did Babylon Fall - Did Nabonidus’ Rule Contribute to the Destruction of Babylon?

When Did Babylon Fall?

The Fall of Babylon Prophecy – What Story Does It Tell?

Link to original article titled "The Monumental Fall of Babylon: What Really Shattered the Empire?"

https://www.ancient-origins.net/ancient-places-europe/fall-babylon-0011090

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THUMBNAIL ATTRIBUTION: An artist's depiction of Ishtar Gate as it may have appeared around the time it was constructed in Babylon c. 575 BCE. From the game Old World. https://www.mohawkgames.com/oldworld/

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