Neo-Babylonians and Nebuchadnezzar - History of Mesopotamia
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Neo-Babylonians

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Ishtar Gate
Ishtar Gate, Babylon

October 2016 - As the Assyrians got weaker, pieces of their empire began to break off. People saw their chance to become independent and grabbed it. Egypt became independent again, and so did Israel for a while.

Ishtar Gate

But then in the 600s BC a new empire started up, centered on the old Mesopotamian capital at Babylon. Under King Nebuchadnezzar (neh-buk-kad-NEZ-arr), the Babylonians reconquered most of the old Assyrian empire. The Babylonians conquered Israel, and took many of the Jewish leaders and their families back to Babylon with them to keep them from revolting again. People call this the Babylonian Captivity.

The Babylonians also did a lot of new building in Babylon during their time in power. But it didn't last very long. In 539 BC, the Persians, under their King Cyrus the Great, conquered Babylon and ended the Babylonian Empire.

Learn by doing: molded bricks
More about the Babylonian Captivity
More about the Persians

Bibliography and further reading about the Neo-Babylonians:

Find Out About Mesopotamia: What Life Was Like in Ancient Sumer, Babylon and Assyria, by Lorna Oakes (2004).

The Babylonians: An Introduction, by Gwendolyn Leick (2002). Covers the whole history of the city of Babylon, from Hammurabi down to Alexander.

Babylon, by Joan Oates (1986).

Ancient Near Eastern History and Culture, by William H. Stiebing (2002). Expensive, and hard to read, but it's a good up to date account.

The Persians
Babylonian Captivity
Third Intermediate Period Egypt
West Asian history
Ancient West Asia
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Karen Carr is Associate Professor Emerita, Department of History, Portland State University. She holds a doctorate in Classical Art and Archaeology from the University of Michigan. Follow her on Instagram, Pinterest, or Twitter, or buy her book, Vandals to Visigoths.
Karen Carr is Associate Professor Emerita, Department of History, Portland State University. She holds a doctorate in Classical Art and Archaeology from the University of Michigan. Follow her on Instagram or Twitter, or buy her book, Vandals to Visigoths.
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