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Nebuchadnezzar II - Ancient History Encyclopedia

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Nebuchadnezzar II

When the father died in , Nebuchadrezzar was with his army in Syria; he…. After Nebuchadrezzar II reigned c. After withdrawing his troops from Asia, Necho concentrated on developing Egyptian commerce; the grain that was delivered to Greece was paid for in silver.

He also built up the navy and began a canal linking…. History at your fingertips.

Sign up here to see what happened On This Day , every day in your inbox! Nebuchadnezzar II was the eldest son and successor of Nabopolassar , founder of the Chaldean empire. He is known from cuneiform inscriptions, the Bible and later Jewish sources, and classical authors.

The Legendary Kings of Babylon: Hammurabi and Nebuchadnezzar II (Unabridged)

While his father disclaimed royal descent, Nebuchadnezzar claimed the third-millennium Akkadian ruler Naram-Sin as ancestor. The year of his birth is uncertain, but it is not likely to have been before bce , for according to tradition Nebuchadnezzar began his military career as a young man, appearing as a military administrator by He is first mentioned by his father as working as a labourer in the restoration of the temple of Marduk , the chief god of the city of Babylon and the national god of Babylonia.

This rapid consolidation of his accession and the fact that he could return to Syria shortly afterward reflected his strong grip on the empire. On expeditions in Syria and Palestine from June to December of , Nebuchadnezzar received the submission of local states, including Judah , and captured the city of Ashkelon.

With Greek mercenaries in his armies, further campaigns to extend Babylonian control in Palestine followed in the three succeeding years. In this respect he followed the methods of his Assyrian predecessors.

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In addition to being a brilliant tactician and strategist, Nebuchadnezzar was prominent in international diplomacy, as shown in his sending an ambassador probably Nabonidus, a successor to mediate between the Medes and Lydians in Asia Minor. He completed and extended fortifications begun by his father, built a great moat and a new outer defense wall, paved the ceremonial Processional Way with limestone, rebuilt and embellished the principal temples, and cut canals. This he did not only for his own glorification but also in honour of the gods.

Little is known of his family life beyond the tradition that he married a Median princess, whose yearning for her native terrain he sought to ease by creating gardens simulating hills. Art and architecture flourished throughout the Babylonian Empire, especially in the capital city of Babylon, which is also famous for its impenetrable walls.

Hammurabi first encircled the city with walls. Nebuchadnezzar II further fortified the city with three rings of walls that were 40 feet tall. The Greek historian Herodotus wrote that the walls of Babylon were so thick that chariot races were held on top of them. The city inside the walls occupied an area of square miles, roughly the size of Chicago today.

Nebuchadnezzar II built three major palaces, each lavishly decorated with blue and yellow glazed tiles. He also built a number of shrines, the largest of which, called Esagil, was dedicated to Marduk.


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The shrine stood feet tall, nearly the size of a story office building. The Hanging Gardens of Babylon, a colossal maze of terraced trees, shrubs, flowers and manmade waterfalls, are one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Yet archaeologists have turned up scant evidence of the gardens. Some researchers have uncovered evidence that suggests the hanging gardens existed, but not in Babylon —they may have actually been located in the city of Nineveh in upper Mesopotamia.

The main entrance to the inner city of Babylon was called the Ishtar Gate. The portal was decorated with bright blue glazed bricks adorned with pictures of bulls, dragons and lions. In ancient Babylon, the new year started with the spring equinox and marked the beginning of the agricultural season. After the invasion of Iraq , United States forces built a military base on the ruins of Babylon.

The site was reopened to tourists in Babylon; Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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