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Nebuchadnezzar I

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Nebuchadnezzar I[nb 2] /ˌnɛbjəkədˈnɛzər/, ca. 1126–1103 BC, was the fourth king of the Second Dynasty of Isinand Fourth Dynasty of Babylon. He ruled for 23 years according to the Babylonian King List C,[i 2] and was the most prominent monarch of this dynasty. He is best known for his victory over Elam and the recovery of the cultic idol of Marduk.

Nebuchadnezzar I
King of Babylon
Detail from kudurru of Nebuchadnezzar granting Marduk freedom from taxation[i 1]
Reignca. 1126–1103 BC
Royal House2nd Dynasty of Isin


He is unrelated to his namesake, Nabû-kudurrī-uṣur II, who has come to be known by the name “Nebuchadnezzar” by biblical scholars. Consequently it would be anachronistic to apply this designation retroactively to the earlier king, as he does not make an appearance in that later publication. He is misidentified on the Chronicle Concerning the Reign of Šamaš-šuma-ukin[i 4] as the brother of Širikti-šuqamuna probably in place of Ninurta-kudurrῑ-uṣur I.[1] He succeeded his father, Ninurta-nādin-šumi, and was succeeded in turn by his son Enlil-nādin-apli, brother Marduk-nādin-aḫḫē and then nephew Marduk-šāpik-zēri, the only members of this family known to have reigned during the dynasty.
The Enmeduranki legend, or the seed of kingship,[i 5] is a Sumero-Akkadian composition relating his endowment with perfect wisdom (nam-kù-zu) by the god Marduk and his claim to belong to a “distant line of kingship from before the flood” and to be an “offspring of Enmeduranki, king of Sippar.” It begins with a lament over preceding events:

At that time, in the reign of a previous king, conditions changed. Good departed and evil was regular,[nb 3] The lord became angry and got furious. He gave the command and the gods of the land abandoned it […] its people were incited to commit crime. The guardians of peace became furious, and went up to the dome of heaven, the spirit of justice stood aside. …who guards living beings, prostrated the people, they all became like those who have no god. Evil demons filled the land, the namtar-demon […] they penetrated the cult centers. The land diminished, its fortunes changed. The wicked Elamite, who did not hold (the land’s) treasures in esteem, […] his battle, his attack was swift. He devastated the habitations, he made them into a ruin, he carried off the gods, he ruined the shrines.[2]
—The seed of kingship, lines 15-24.

War with Elam

In the first instance, his invasion of Elam was thwarted when his army was struck by plague and he narrowly escaped death in the stampede to return home. In his second raid, or šiḫṭu, accompanied by the Kassite chieftain Šitti- or LAK-ti-Marduk who struck the decisive blow,[i 1] he was able to overrun Elam in a surprise attack conducted from Dēr during the hottest of the summer months, Dumuzi, when
the axes (held in the hand) burned like fire and the road-surfaces were scorching like flame. There was no water in the wells and drinking supplies were unavailable. The strength of the powerful horses slackened and the legs of even the strongest man weakened.[3]
—LAK-ti Marduk kudurru,  i 17–21.
A battle routed Elamite king Ḫulteludiš-Inšušinak on the banks of the river Ulaya, the dust of the battle darkening the sky. He was then able to sack Susa and retrieved the statue of Marduk (here called Bēl) and that of the goddess Il-āliya (DINGIR.URU-ia).[i 6] The campaign destroyed Elam as a power and provided a defining moment for the Babylonians akin to the siege of Troy for the ancient Greeks.[4]
This famous victory was celebrated in hymns, epic poetry and the Marduk prophecy.[i 7] Known as “Nabû-kudurrī-uṣur and Marduk” or the Epic of Nabû-kudurrī-uṣur[i 8] a poetic document deals with the legendary story of his recovery of the statue of Marduk and is one of two hymns glorify his military achievements. It opens with the king in despair, lamenting over the absence of Marduk, "beautiful Babylon pass through your heart, Turn your face toward (your temple) Esagila, which you love!”
The Hymn to Marduk,[i 9] celebrating victory over the Elamites, is assigned to him rather than Ashurbanipal who had a similar triumph, on stylistic grounds. There is a poetic pseudo-autobiography,[i 10] which does not actually mention him by name. An interlinear Sumero-Akkadian text[i 11] describes the events preceding the return of the statue from Elam and its joyous installation in Babylon.[5] A seventh century astrological report alludes to observations made during his reign and their relationship to his devastation of Elam.

Other conflicts

The Synchronistic History[i 12] relates his entente cordiale with his contemporary, the Assyrian king Aššur-rēša-iši I,[i 13] and subsequently the outcome of two military campaigns against the border fortresses of Zanqi and Idi he conducted in violation of this agreement. The first was curtailed by the arrival of Aššur-rēša-iši’s main force, causing Nabû-kudurrī-uṣur to burn his siege engines and flee, while the second resulted in a battle in which the Assyrians apparently triumphed, “slaughtered his troops (and) carried off his camp.” It even reports the capture of the Babylonian field marshall, Karaštu.[1]
He is titled as the conqueror of the Amorite lands,[nb 4] “despoiler of the Kassites,” in the LAK-ti Marduk kudurru, despite the beneficiary being a Kassite chieftain and ally, and having smitten the mighty Lullubû with weapons

Domestic affairs

His construction activities are memorialized in building inscriptions of the Ekituš-ḫegal-tila, temple of Adad, in Babylon, on bricks from the temple of Enlil inNippur and appear in the later king Simbar-Šipak’s reference to his having built the throne of Enlil for the Ekur-igigal in Nippur. A late Babylonian inventory lists his donations of gold vessels in Ur and Nabonidus, ca. 555 to 539 BC, consulted his stele for the ēntu-priestess.
The earliest of three extant economic texts is dated to his eighth year. Together with two kudurru’s and a stone memorial tablet, these are the only contemporary commercial records extant. Apart from the two deeds related to the Elamite campaign, the other kudurru[i 14] bears witness to a land grant to the nišakku of Nippur, a certain Nudku-ibni.[7] His name appears on four Lorestān bronze daggers and there is a prayer to Marduk on two more. He may be the Nabû-kudurrī-uṣur who is mentioned in the Chronicle of Market Prices[i 15] which records his ninth year but the context is lost.


One of the most astonishing claim about the antiquity of Jainism (Ancient Dharmic Religion that originated in India) was made following the discovery of a copperplate inscription found at Kathiawar, deciphered by Dr. Pran Nath. According to Dr. Pran Nath, King Nebuchadnezzar I of Babylon considered himself to be the Lord of Mt. Girnar (historically also known as Ujjayanta or Raivata or Revata or Rewanagar. ) [Girnar is located in the Gujarat state of India. Gujarat is also one of the states where some of the key settlements of Indus Valley Civilization are to be found.] The inscription mentions that King Nebuchadnezzar I visited Mt. Girnar and paid homage to Neminath (or Arishtanemi), the paramount deity of Mt. Raivata. He also contributed a grant to build a temple in honor or Neminath. This discovery is mentioned in [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] .
Disclaimer: Although these published references to the discovery must be taken seriously they can not be taken as a definitive evidence, since it is not clear whether Dr. Pran Nath's compelling discovery was ever published and accepted in a Peer-Reviewed Research Journal. Nor is it certain whether some other Archaeologist/Researcher has independently examined the Copper Plate Inscription to corroborate this seemingly seminal find by Dr.Pran Nath.
  1. a b Kudurru BM 90858, BBSt 6 grant to LAK-ti Marduk.
  2. a b Babylonian King List C, 4
  3. ^ Synchronistic King List, tablet excavation number Ass. 14616c (KAV 216), ii 15.
  4. ^ Šamaš-šuma-ukin Chronicle (ABC 15), tablet BM 96273.
  5. ^ The seed of kingship tablet K 4874.
  6. ^ Stone tablet BM 92987, BBSt 24 7-12.
  7. ^ Marduk Prophecy tablet K. 2158+.
  8. ^ The Epic of Nabû-kudurrī-uṣur, K.3426 (published as CT 13 48).
  9. ^ The Hymn to Marduk, DT 71.
  10. ^ Tablet K.2660, 3R 38.
  11. ^ Tablet BM 99067 K 3444, duplicated as K 3317 K 3319 K 5190 BM 35000.
  12. ^ Synchronistic History, tablets K4401a + Rm 854, ii 1–13.
  13. ^ Synchronistic King List 2-3 (KAV 12).
  14. ^ The Hinke Kudurru year 16.
  15. ^ Chronicle of Market Prices (ABC 23), BM 48498, line 13.
  16. ^ W 20030,7 the Seleucid List of Sages and Scholars, recovered from Anu’s Bīt Rēš temple during the 1959/60 excavation.


  1. ^ AN-AG-ŠA-DU-ŠIŠ
  2. ^ mdNabû-kudurrī-úṣur[nb 1][i 2] or mdNábû-ku-dúr-uṣur,[i 3] meaning "Nabû, protect my eldest son" or "Nabû, protect the border"
  3. ^ da-mi-iq-ti is-si-ma le-mu-ut-tu sad-rat.
  4. ^ KUR.MAR.TU.KI.

[edit]See also


Nebuchadnezzar II

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Nebuchadnezzar II (Listeni/nɛbjʉkədˈnɛzər/Aramaicܢܵܒܘܼ ܟܘܼܕܘܼܪܝܼ ܐܘܼܨܘܼܪ ‎; Hebrewנְבוּכַדְנֶצַּר Nəḇūḵaḏneṣṣar;Ancient GreekΝαβουχοδονόσωρ NaboukhodonósôrArabic: نِبُوخَذنِصَّر nibūḫaḏniṣṣar; c 634 – 562 BC) was king of the Neo-Babylonian Empire, who reigned c. 605 BC – 562 BC. According to the Bible, he conquered Judahand Jerusalem, and sent the Jews into exile. He is credited with the construction of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon and for the destruction of the First Temple. He is featured in the Book of Daniel and is mentioned in several other books of the Bible.
The Akkadian name, Nabû-kudurri-uṣur, means "O god Nabu, preserve/defend my firstborn son". Nabu is the Babylonian deity of wisdom, and son of the god Marduk. In an inscription, Nebuchadnezzar styles himself as Nabu's "beloved" and "favourite".[2][3] His name has previously been mistakenly interpreted as "O Nabu, defend my kudurru",[4] in which sense a kudurru is an inscribed stone deed of property. However, when contained in a ruler's title, kudurru approximates to "firstborn son" or "oldest son".[5] Variations of the Hebrew form includeנְבוּכַדְנֶאצַּר and נְבוּכַדְרֶאצַּר (Nəḇuḵaḏreṣṣar). He is also known as Bakhat Nasar, which means "winner of the fate", or literally, "fate winner"

An engraving on an eye stone of onyx with an inscription of Nebuchadnezzar II[1]


Nebuchadnezzar was the oldest son and successor of Nabopolassar, who delivered Babylon from its three centuries of vassalage to its fellow Mesopotamian state Assyria, and in alliance with the MedesPersiansScythians and Cimmerians, laid Nineveh in ruins. According to Berossus, some years before he became king of Babylon, Babylonian dynasties were united. There are conflicting accounts of Nitocris of Babylon either being his wife or daughter.
Nabopolassar was intent on annexing the western provinces of Syria (ancient Aram) from Necho II (whose own dynasty had been installed as vassals of Assyria, and who was still hoping to help restore Assyrian power), and to this end dispatched his son westward with a large army. In the ensuing Battle of Carchemish in 605 BC, the Egyptian and Assyrian army was defeated and driven back, and Syria and Phoenicia were brought under the control of Babylon. Nabopolassar died in August that year, and Nebuchadnezzar returned to Babylon to ascend to the throne.
Nebuchadnezzar faces off againstZedekiah, the last king of Judah, who holds a plan of Jerusalem, in a Baroque era depiction in Zwiefalten Abbey, Germany.
After the defeat of the Cimmerians and Scythians, previous allies in the defeat of Assyria, Nebuchadnezzar's expeditions were directed westwards, although the powerful Median empire lay to the north. Nebuchadnezzar's political marriage to Amytis of Media, the daughter of the Median king, had ensured peace between the two empires.
Nebuchadnezzar engaged in several military campaigns designed to increase Babylonian influence in Aramea(modern Syria) and Judah. An attempted invasion of Egypt in 601 BC was met with setbacks, however, leading to numerous rebellions among the Phoenician and Canaanite states of the Levant, including Judah. Nebuchadnezzar soon dealt with these rebellions, capturing Jerusalem in 597 BC and deposing King Jehoiakim, then in 587 BC due to rebellion, destroying both the city and the temple, and deporting many of the prominent citizens along with a sizable portion of the Jewish population of Judea to Babylon.[6] These events are described in the Prophets (Nevi'im) and Writings (Ketuvim), sections of the Hebrew Bible (in the books 2 Kings andJeremiah, and 2 Chronicles, respectively). After the destruction of Jerusalem, Nebuchadnezzar engaged in a thirteen-year siege of Tyre (585–572 BC) which ended in a compromise, with the Tyrians accepting Babylonian authority.
Following the pacification of the Phoenician state of Tyre, Nebuchadnezzar turned again to Egypt. A clay tablet,[7] now in the British Museum, states: "In the 37th year of Nebuchadnezzar, king of the country of Babylon, he went to Mitzraim (Egypt) to wage war. Amasis, king of Egypt, collected [his army], and marched and spread abroad." Having completed the subjugation of Phoenicia, and a campaign against Egypt, Nebuchadnezzar set himself to rebuild and adorn the city of Babylon, and constructed canals, aqueducts, temples and reservoirs.
According to Babylonian tradition, towards the end of his life, Nebuchadnezzar prophesied the impending ruin of the Chaldean Dynasty (Berossus andAbydenus in EusebiusPraeparatio Evangelica, 9.41). He died in Babylon between the second and sixth months of the forty-third year of his reign, and was succeeded by Amel-Marduk.

Construction activity

Building Inscription of King Nebuchadnezar II at the Ishtar Gate. An abridged excerpt says:"I (Nebuchadnezzar) laid the foundation of the gates down to the ground water level and had them built out of pure blue stone. Upon the walls in the inner room of the gate are bulls and dragons and thus I magnificently adorned them with luxurious splendour for all mankind to behold in awe."
During the last century of Nineveh's existence, Babylon had been greatly devastated, not only at the hands ofSennacherib and Assurbanipal, but also as a result of her ever renewed rebellions. Nebuchadnezzar, continuing his father's work of reconstruction, aimed at making his capital one of the world's wonders. Old temples were restored; new edifices of incredible magnificence were erected to the many gods of the Babylonian pantheon (Diodorus of Sicily, 2.95; Herodotus, 1.183). To complete the royal palace begun by Nabopolassar, nothing was spared, neither "cedar-wood, nor bronze, gold, silver, rare and precious stones";[8] an underground passage and a stone bridge connected the two parts of the city separated by the Euphrates; the city itself was rendered impregnable by the construction of a triple line of walls. The bridge across the Euphrates is of particular interest, in that it was supported on asphalt covered brick piers that were streamlined to reduce the upstream resistance to flow, and the downstream turbulence that would otherwise undermine the foundations. Nebuchadnezzar's construction activity was not confined to the capital; he is credited with the restoration of the Lake of Sippar, the opening of a port on the Persian Gulf, and the building of the Mede wall between the Tigris and the Euphrates to protect the country against incursions from the north. These undertakings required a considerable number of laborers; an inscription at the great temple of Marduk suggests that the labouring force used for his public works was most likely made up of captives brought from various parts of western Asia.
Nebuchadnezzar is credited with the construction of the Hanging Gardens, for his homesick wife Amyitis (or Amytis) to remind her of her homeland, Medis (Media) in Persia. He is also credited for the construction of theIshtar Gate, one of the eight gates leading into the city of Babylon.[9] However, some scholars argue that they may have been constructed by a queen from the Assyrian city, Nineveh.[10]

[edit]Portrayal in the Bible

Daniel Interpreting Nebuchadnezzar's Dream
Nebuchadnezzar is widely known through his portrayal in the Bible, especially the Book of Daniel as נְבוּכַדְנֶאצַּר. The Bible discusses events of his reign and his conquest of Jerusalem.
The second chapter of Daniel relates an account attributed to the second year of his reign, in which Nebuchadnezzar dreams of a huge image made of various materials (gold, silver, bronze, iron and clay). The prophet Daniel tells him God's interpretation, that it stands for the rise and fall of world powers, starting with Nebuchadnezzar's own as the golden head.
In Daniel chapter 3, Nebuchadnezzar erects a large idol made of gold for worship during a public ceremony on the plain of Dura. When three Jews, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah (respectively renamed Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego by their captors, to facilitate their assimilation into Babylonian culture), refuse to take part, he has them cast into a fiery furnace. They are protected by what Nebuchadnezzar describes as "the son of a god" (Daniel 3:25) and emerge unscathed without even the smell of smoke.[11] Daniel chapter 4 contains an account of Nebuchadnezzar's dream about an immense tree, which Daniel interprets to mean that Nebuchadnezzar will go insane for seven years because of his pride. The chapter is written from the perspective of king Nebuchadnezzar.
While boasting about his achievements, Nebuchadnezzar is humbled by God. The king loses his sanity and lives in the wild like an animal for seven years. After this, his sanity and position are restored and he praises and honors God. There has been some speculation on what the organic cause of this insanity might have been. Some consider it to be an attack of clinical lycanthropy or alternatively porphyria.[12] Psychologist Henry Gleitman has claimed that Nebuchadnezzar's insanity was a result of general paresis or paralytic dementia seen in advanced cases of syphilis.[13] Origen attributed the metamorphosis as a representation of the fall of LuciferBodin and Cluvier maintained it was a metamorphosis of both soul and body, Tertullian confined the transformation to the body only, without the loss of reason, cases of which Augustine stated were reported in Italy, but gave them little credit. Gaspard Peucer asserted that the transformation of men into wolves was common in Livonia. Some Jewish Rabbins asserted there was an exchange of souls between the man and ox, while others argued for an apparent or docetic change which was not real. The most generally received opinion, which was also held by Jerome, was that the madman was under the influence of hypochondriachalmonomania by which God could humble the pride of kings.[14]
Some scholars [15] think that Nebuchadnezzar's portrayal by Daniel is a mixture of traditions about Nebuchadnezzar — he was indeed the one who conquered Jerusalem — and about Nabonidus (Nabuna'id). For example, Nabonidus was the natural, or paternal father of Belshazzar, and the seven years of insanity could be related to Nabonidus' sojourn in Tayma in the desert. Fragments from the Dead Sea Scrolls, written from 150 BC to 70 AD [16] state that it was Nabonidus (N-b-n-y) who was smitten by God with a fever for seven years of his reign while his son Belshazzar was regent.
The Book of Jeremiah contains a prophecy about the arising of a "destroyer of nations", commonly regarded as a reference to Nebuchadnezzar (Jer. 4:7),[17]as well as an account of Nebuchadnezzar's siege of Jerusalem and looting and destruction of the temple (Jer. 52).

Helel, Son of the Morning

Chapter 14 of the Book of Isaiah refers to what Jewish exegesis of the prophetic vision of Isaiah 14:12-15 identifies as King Nebuchadnezzar II; the Hebrewword says "Helel ben Shaḥar" ("the shining one, son of the morning").[18] It is a taunting prophecy against an oppressive king.[19] In Isaiah 14,[20] the king is being mocked, as he is struck through with a sword, killed, and thrown into a common grave. Although mainstream Christianity attributes this passage to the fall of Lucifer because verse 20 says that this king will not be joined with the others in burial, but rather be cast out of the grave, most scholars believe that these passages cannot be about a fallen angel, assuming that the king referred to in these passages is killed. Likewise, it is usually claimed that by the word "Helel ben Shaḥar", the Morning Star is meant; but Isaiah gives no intimation whatsoever that Helel is a star.[21]

[edit]Interpretations of Nebuchadnezzar's actions

Voltaire interprets the legacy of Nebuchadnezzar and his relationship with Amasis in a short story entitled The White Bull.

Named after Nebuchadnezzar

  • The opera Nabucco (1842) by Giuseppe Verdi.
  • The Nabucco pipeline, a planned natural gas pipeline that will transport natural gas from Turkey to Austria, via Bulgaria, Romania, and Hungary.
  • Saddam Hussein considered himself to be the reincarnation of Nebuchadnezzar[22] and had the inscription "To King Nebuchadnezzar in the reign of Saddam Hussein" inscribed on bricks inserted into the walls of the ancient city of Babylon during a reconstruction project he initiated;[23] he named one of his Republican Guards divisions after Nebuchadnezzar.[24]
  • A bottle of champagne filled with the volume equivalent of 20 standard bottles (15 litres) is called a Nebuchadnezzar.
  • "Nebuchadnezzar's Furnace" is a type of daylily.
  • The name of Morpheus' vessel in the films The Matrix and The Matrix Reloaded.
  • Nebuchadnezzar II is a playable character in Civilization V.
  • Nebuchadnezzar II is mentioned in the Microsoft computer game Age of Empires in the eighth Babylon campaign "Nineveh" in the history section and after the campaign is won.

See also


[edit]External links


Maybe You guys already know this History. I do not have a cue what it is all about. But it is about right now in time. I am usually the last one to find out anything. This time, I am next to last. You are last. I have a very heavy Spring Heart. Around here, we just had a bluebonnet festivals and went to Church on Easter.

I will be gone on Spring Break.  See You when I get back. Love and Peace to All.