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

Map
Ishtar Gate
Ishtar Gate, Babylon

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, conquered Babylon and ended the Babylonian Empire.

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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Professor Carr

Karen Eva Carr, PhD.
Assoc. Professor Emerita, History
Portland State University

Professor Carr holds a B.A. with high honors from Cornell University in classics and archaeology, and her M.A. and PhD. from the University of Michigan in Classical Art and Archaeology. She has excavated in Scotland, Cyprus, Greece, Israel, and Tunisia, and she has been teaching history to university students for a very long time.

Professor Carr's PSU page

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