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Dating the fall of babylon

Dating the fall of babylon

Conditions[ edit ] A number of factors arose which would ultimately lead to the fall of Babylon. The population of Babylonia became restive and increasingly disaffected under Nabonidus. The Marduk priesthood hated Nabonidus because of his suppression of Marduk's cult and his elevation of the cult of the moon-god Sin.

The military party also despised him on account of his antiquarian tastes. He seemed to have left the defense of his kingdom to Belshazzar a capable soldier but poor diplomat who alienated the political elitewhile occupying himself with the more congenial work, like excavating foundation records of the temples and determining the dates of their builders.

The Story of the Fall of Babylon, Biblical Studies

He also spent time outside Babylonia, rebuilding temples in the Assyrian city of Harran, and also among his Arab subjects in the deserts to the south of Mesopotamia. Nabonidus and Belshazzar's Assyrian heritage is also likely to have added to this resentment.

In addition, Mesopotamian military might had usually been concentrated in the martial state of Assyria.

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Babylonia had always been more vulnerable to conquest and invasion than its northern neighbour, and without the might of Assyria to keep foreign powers in check, Babylonia was ultimately exposed. Astyages' army betrayed him to his enemy, and Cyrus established himself at Ecbatana, thus putting an end to the massive Median Empire and making the Persian faction dominant among the Iranic peoples.

Three years later Cyrus had become dating the fall of babylon of all Persia, and was engaged in a campaign to put down a revolt among the Assyrians. Meanwhile, Nabonidus had established a camp in the desert of his colony of Arabia, near the southern frontier of his kingdom, leaving his son Belshazzar Belsharutsur in command of the army.

Dating the fall of babylon

Historical reconstruction of the fall of Babylon to Persia has been problematic due to the inconsistencies between the various source documents. Both the Babylonian Chronicles and the Cyrus Cylinder describe Babylon being taken "without battle", whereas the Greek historians Herodotus and Xenophon [7] report that the city was besieged.

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The Book of Daniel implies that Babylon was taken in one night and that Belshazzar was killed. In one reconstructed account,[ dating the fall of babylon needed ] a battle was fought at Opis in the month of June, where the Babylonians were defeated; and immediately afterwards Sippar surrendered to the invader.

Nabonidus fled to Babylon, where he was pursued by Gobryasand on the 16th day of Tammuztwo days after the capture of Sippar, "the soldiers of Cyrus entered Babylon without fighting.

Cyrus did not arrive until the 3rd of Marchesvan OctoberGobryas having acted for him in his absence. Gobryas was now made governor of the province of Babylon, and a few days afterwards Belshazzar the son of Nabonidus died in battle.

A public mourning followed, lasting six days, and Cyrus' son Cambyses II accompanied the corpse to the tomb. In another reconstructed account,[ citation needed ] Nabonidus sent his son Belshazzar to head off the huge Persian army, however, already massively outnumbered. Belshazzar was betrayed by GobryasGovernor of Assyria, who switched his datings the fall over to the Persian side.

The Babylonian forces were overwhelmed at the battle of Opis. Nabonidus fled to Borsippa, babylon on 12 October, after Cyrus' engineers had diverted the waters of the Euphrates"the soldiers of Cyrus entered Babylon without fighting. Gutian guards were placed at the gates of the great temple of Bel, where the services continued without interruption.

Cyrus did not arrive until 3 October, with Gobryas having acted for him in his absence.

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Gobryas was now made governor of the dating the of Babylon. The fall babylon of Babylonia by Cyrus was 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 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, whereby the conqueror endeavored to justify his claim to the Babylonian throne. It is said that the Jews initially greeted the Persians as liberators. According to biblical account, Cyrus sent the Jewish exiles back to Israel from the Babylonian captivity.

Among Babylonians, feelings were still strong that none.

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