Nabukadnezar II.

Nebuchadnezzar II

(? - 562)

There are no reports of the date of Nabukadnezar's birth (Nabú-kudurru-usur, translated by the god Nabú to protect my son). His father was the leader of the Chaldean tribe in southern Mesopozamia (Iraq) Nabopalasar, the founder of the New Babylonian Empire (626/539 BC), the empire that reached its greatest prosperity during the reign of Nebuchadnezzar II. (605-562).

In 616 BC, Nabopalasar felt strong enough to attack the Assyrian Empire. This first attack of the Neo-Assyrian Empire still persisted. On the participation of Nebuchadnezzar in the offensive against the Assyrians of 616 BC. we can only speculate. In 615 BC. the Medes, whose king Kyaxarés conquered in 614 BC, join the attack on the Assyrians. the former metropolis of the Assyrian Asshur and concludes an alliance agreement with Nabopalasar

The last stronghold of the Assyrians was the city of Charran. Egyptian pharaoh Neko II. dragged the Assyrians to help, although he did not prevent the fall of the city (Charran fell in 610 BC), but at least he conquered the former Assyrian
vassals in Judea, Syria and Lebanon. The Euphrates became the border between the New Babylonian Empire and Egypt vassals.

In 608 BC. the participation of Crown Prince Nebuchadnezzar in the fighting at his father's side has already been documented. The Babylonians first fought in the mountains of the kingdom of Urartu (parts of Turkey, Iran and Armenia). After the fighting, Nebuchadnezzar returned to Babylon, and his father crossed the Euphrates and conquered the city of Kimuchu, which belongs to Egypt. War is inevitable.

In 605 BC. the sick Nabopalasar returns to Babylon and Nabukadnezar takes over command of the army. He decides to attack a key point of Egypt's defense in the north, the city of Carchemish (now southern Turkey). Nebuchadnezzar stretches with the army not northwest along the Euphrates. It crosses the Euphrates south below the city and cuts off the Egyptians from the rear. He defeats the Egyptian army first under the city of Carchemish and then conquers the city itself. The fleeing Egyptians arrive at the Battle of Hamat. Egypt's power in Syria and Palestine is broken.

However, he must mourn the fruits of his victory in time. August 15, 605 BC learns of Nabopalasar's death and immediately rushes to support his claims not to the throne against his brothers. After eleven days and a thousand kilometers of travel, he arrives in Babylon and on September 6, 605 BC. in the ritual ceremony of the temple of Esagil he takes the hand of the statue of the god Marduk and becomes king under the noble name "humble subject who fears the great gods, noble prince of the city, maintainer of the temples of Esagil and Egida, son of Nabopalasar", Nebuchadnezzar II.

He now has his hands free and invades Syria and Palestine. Most of the city-states submit to him, including Jehoiakim King of Judah, who is set up by Egypt, and pays tribute. The city of Askalon, in the south near the Egyptian border refuses, and is in 603 BC. conquered and plundered. Nebuchadnezzar continues to Egypt. The battle between the Babylonians and the Egyptians in 601 BC. ends in a stalemate, both sides suffer heavy losses and Nabukadnezar temporarily retreats. King Jehoiakim of Judah takes advantage of this and rejects the sovereignty of Babylon.

Year 599 BC catches Nebuchadnezzar II. in the fighting against Arab invaders in Lebanon. He is winning and consolidating his rule over Lebanon. The celebration of victory is heralded by a mosaic on a rock wall in the Lebanese wadi Brise, where, among other things, is carved "I have driven away the enemy and made the whole country happy." The importance of the pacification of Lebanon and the real reason for the invasion is clarified by another text "I have paved the way for cedars powerful, high and strong, whose price is high and beauty excellent". In Babylon, which is currently experiencing a construction fever, no trees are growing in or around it and are thus a strategic resource.

Nabukadnezar II. he did not forget Judea, which refused to pay him fees, and in 598 he undertook a criminal expedition against Jerusalem. March 16, 597 BC Jerusalem falls.Now Jehoiakin the son of Jehoiakim, the ruling king, is taken captive to Babylon. In his place Nebuchadnezzar II. he succeeds Zedekiah, the brother of Josiah, who was deposed by Nekon.

Nabukadnezar II. he must also face problems in his home Babylon. His frequent absence leads to an uprising, which Nebuchadnezzar defeats and has the leader executed. The heyday is coming. Bybylon is growing, according to some historians it has up to a million inhabitants. The city is fortified by a double ring of walls. According to Herodotus, the city has a square floor plan with an incredible 85 km perimeter, and Strabo, who visited the city at the turn of our era, is not far behind and estimates its perimeter at 75 km. According to the lowest estimate, the walls are 22 meters high. The hardly believable fact that up to 4 cars could drive side by side along the wall is confirmed by archaeological research. In 1900, during excavations, Robert Koldewey even found three strips of walls 7m - 7.8m - 3.3m wide, with a 12-meter space between the first and second walls. Logically, an explanation is offered that the space between the first and second castle was filled with soil during the stay of Herodotus and Strabo and the resulting wall exceeded a width of 20 meters, and therefore both agree that there were only two walls. The monumental walls were lined with about 350 towers and a moat filled with water. "So that the enemy could not endanger Babylon, I surrounded them with powerful waves like the waves of the seas," read the cuneiform tables of the Babylonian Chronicle.

Nabukadnezar II. he had three royal palaces built. And it was the summer residence that was to boast the legendary hanging walls of Queen Semiramis. The name Semiramis has appeared several times in Babylonian history, and some historians identify Semiramis with the media wife of King Nebuchadnezzar II, Nitris. The gardens are mentioned by all ancient historians and ranked among the seven wonders of the world, but they are not 100% documented by archaeological research.

In cosmopolitan Babylon, there were 43 large temples and 900 smaller prayer houses dedicated to various deities. The main temple of Babylon was dedicated to the god Marduk, it was the famous ziggurat E-temenan-ki, the House of Foundations of Heaven and Earth, known to us as the Tower of Babel, about 90 meters high. It was to the Tower of Babel and the royal palace that the famous main street, 24 meters wide, led from the largest fortification gate dedicated to the goddess Ishtar.

Nebuchadnezzar II, though apparently illiterate, elevated the Neo-Babylonian Empire to unprecedented prosperity and prosperity. Ships sail the Euphrates to the Persian Gulf and make trade trips to Arabia and India. Trade caravan routes lead to Asia Minor, Syria and Persia. The Babylonian Empire exports wool, fabrics and grain. It imports mainly metals, gold, silver, lead, copper and iron. The shops are taken care of by temple priests, but there are also private banks.

In 588, Apriés became the Egyptian pharaoh. This was at the time when Judah had risen up against Babylon, although King Zedekiah had sworn an oath before God to be faithful to Nebuchadnezzar II. The king of Babylon from January 15, 588 BC. besieges Jerusalem. Apriés will support the insurgents with military action. The Phoenician cities of Sidón (Sajdá) and Tyros (Sur) are attacked from the sea. The attack on Sidon is repulsed. Nabukadnezar II. he breaks the siege of Jerusalem and launches a ground attack on the Egyptians. July 28, 587 BC. Nabukadnezrar conquers Jerusalem. The royal palace and the temple in Jerusalem are destroyed. The city walls are torn down. Part of the population, according to the Prophet Jeremiah, 4,600 people, mainly the upper classes, such as artisans and merchants, are deported to Babylon. Shepherds and peasants can stay. Tyros was blocked by the Babylonians for thirteen years and did not finally capitulate until 573 BC.

The captive Jews are not slaves in Babylon. They belong to the layer of the semi-free (society is divided into free-avenues, semi-free-shells and slaves-vardums). They have their own self-government headed by a council of elders, they can marry, they are entitled to land allotment. They are employed according to their qualifications, and over time, some capable individuals have worked their way up to the royal court.

Nabukadnezar II. strengthened the empire through diplomatic negotiations. In 585 BC.mediates peace negotiations between the Median King Kyaxar and the Lydian King Allyat (the battle between the two armies was prevented by a solar eclipse on May 28, 585 BC). According to the agreement, the border is formed by the river Halys (Kizilirmak), which also suits the Babylonians. He also negotiates peace with the Egyptian pharaoh Amasid, who came to power in 570 BC.

King Nebuchadnezzar II he died in Babylon in 562 BC. His successor Nabonidus abdicated in 550 BC. for the benefit of his son Belsazar. Following his father's example, he got into a dispute with the priests when he wanted to introduce the cult of the moon god Sina in the country. Under the Old Testament, he offended God and fell victim to the Menetekel curse. During the royal feast, an inscription of the name, memetekel ufarsín-summed, weighed, divided, appeared on the wall. According to legend, he was soon murdered. His death is far more likely when the city was occupied by the Persian king Cyrus II in 539 BC.
Not even the mighty walls built by Nebuchadnezzar II. They did not prevent the Persians from occupying the city. They were not defended, the inhabitants of Cyrus II welcomed them as liberators. The Babylonian Empire has ceased to exist.
Nabukadnezar II. - Rytina na onyxovém kameni s nápisem Nabukadnezar II.

Rytina na onyxovém kameni s nápisem Nabukadnezar II.

Nabukadnezar II. - Mapa Novobabylonské říše za vlády Nabukadnezara

Mapa Novobabylonské říše za vlády Nabukadnezara

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Nabukadnezar II. - Babylonská Ištarská brána, obnovená a zkrášlená za vlády Nabukadnezara.

Babylonská Ištarská brána, obnovená a zkrášlená za vlády Nabukadnezara.

Nabukadnezar II. - Plán města Babylon s vyznačením hlavních pamětihodností. Vnější hradby a severní Letní palác nejsou zobrazeny.

Plán města Babylon s vyznačením hlavních pamětihodností. Vnější hradby a severní Letní palác nejsou zobrazeny.

Nabukadnezar II. - Jméno Nabukadnezara (akkadsky Nabû-kudurri-uṣur) v akkadském (babylónském) klínopise.

Jméno Nabukadnezara (akkadsky Nabû-kudurri-uṣur) v akkadském (babylónském) klínopise.

Nabukadnezar II. - Nabukadnezar, král spravedlnosti. Jakmile se Nabukadnezar dostal k moci, byl představen jako typický babylonský panovník; moudrý, zbožný, spravedlivý a silný. Texty, jako je tato hliněná tabulka, vychvalují jeho velikost jako člověka a vládce.

"Nabukadnezar, král spravedlnosti". Jakmile se Nabukadnezar dostal k moci, byl představen jako typický babylonský panovník; moudrý, zbožný, spravedlivý a silný. Texty, jako je tato hliněná tabulka, vychvalují jeho velikost jako člověka a vládce.

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Brána je v současnosti v berlínském Pergamonmuseum

Vlastní foto, 2018
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