|UNESCO world heritage|
|Criteria :||(iii), (vi)|
|Reference No .:||278|
|UNESCO region :||Arabic states|
|History of enrollment|
|Enrollment:||2019 ( session 43 )|
Babylon ( Latin Babylon, Babylona, Babel , ancient Greek Βαβυλών Babylṓn , Sumerian KĀ-DINGIR-RA KI , Akkadian Bab-illa / ilani , Babylonian Bāb-ili (m) , Hebrew בבל Babel , Arabic بابل, DMG Bābil ) was one of the most important cities of ancient times as the capital of Babylonia . It was on the Euphrates , about 90 km south of Baghdad in what is now Iraq (province of Babil ). The ruins of the city were partially uncovered by Robert Koldewey at the beginning of the 20th century. The place was the capital of the city-state of the same name , which at times ruled over large parts of the southern Mesopotamia .
The Akkadian name of Babylon was as pictographic sumerogram written KÁ.DINGIR.RA KI ( KÁ , Gate ' , DINGIR ' God ' , = a (k) genitive, KI determinative for a city name) in Akkadian syllabary but Babilla .
From the beginning of the second millennium BC In BC it changed to the Babylonian equivalent Bābili (m) ( bāb 'gate' [sc. From bābum ], ilim 'of God' [gen. From ilum ]) derived from the Sumerogram, from which the ancient Greek Βαβυλών Babylṓn later derived. The common Mesopotamian translation of Babillu, Babilim, Babilani as 'Gate of God', 'God Gate' is probably a folk etymological derivation of the original form, although the old meaning of the Akkadian city name remains unclear.
At the latest under Naram-Sin there is the spelling KĀ.DINGIR KI (still without the genitive suffix = a (k) ), which Naram-Sin interpreted as the 'gate of God'. In the Ur-III period , the written form KÁ.DINGIR.RA KI expanded by the genitive is documented, spoken as Bāb-ilim . In the old Babylonian language , Ba-ab-DINGIR KI is attested as a further variant.
In Greek, the name was taken from the form bāb ilāni , whereby the dulling of the ā to ō reveals that the Greeks apparently adopted the name from a West Semitic dialect in which the name bāb ilōni or bāb ilōn was pronounced.
The name explanation made in connection with the Old Testament mention of Babylon is also based on later traditions and at the same time on other motifs. The Hebrew verb balal used in Gen 11.9 EU , “to confuse” with the basic meaning “to stir, to mix”, refers to the tower of Babel . The corresponding translation of Babylon as “mess” is therefore primarily based on the “linguistic confusion” or the “mess of languages” and can therefore not be used as etymological evidence for clarification.
Already at the end of the 3rd millennium BC there was First mention of Babylon, but only as an insignificant small town. Šumu-abum (1894–1881 BC), founder of the First Dynasty of Babylon, made the city the administrative center of his empire. Babylon experienced its first heyday under King Hammurabi I (1792–1750 BC), the most famous ancient Babylonian ruler. Texts of the first dynasty from Babylon itself are rare, none of them come from the previously undiscovered palace archive. The conquest of Babylon by the Hittites under King Muršili I (1620–1595 BC) is poorly documented, the exact date is unknown. It took place under the rule of Samsu-ditana , who was the last ruler of the 1st Dynasty. According to the middle chronology, the case is set in 1595, according to Gasche's ultra-short chronology 1499. After the fall of Babylon, written documents are completely suspended, the next ones date from the time of the Kassite rule and are probably to be set about 100 years later.
As a result, perhaps after an episode under Gulkišar , a king of the Sealand dynasty , the Kassites took over the city for 400 years. When in the 14th century BC BC King Kurigalzu I (1390-1370 BC) founded the royal seat of Dur-Kurigalzu , Babylon remained the spiritual and religious center. Around 1225 BC Babylon was conquered by the Assyrian king Tukulti-Ninurta I (1233–1197 BC), who in turn abducted the statue of the city god Marduk , this time to Assyria. Shortly afterwards, the Elamite king Šutruk-Naḫunte (1190–1155 BC) attacked the city and stole many works of art and images of gods, which he brought to his capital Susa (Persia) . This ended the rule of the Kassites in Babylon.
Babylon gained strength under King Nebuchadnezzar I (1126–1104 BC) from the II dynasty of Isin , who brought back the Marduk statue. Assyrian troops later conquered the city under Tiglath-Pileser I (1115-1076 BC). However, Nebuchadnezzar I managed to free Babylon again from Assyrian rule.
Babylon lost its importance with the rise of Assyria and became in the 7th century BC. Destroyed twice by the Assyrians , 689 BC By Sennacherib . 626 BC BC Nabopolassar was proclaimed king and defeated the Assyrians, whose capital, Nineveh, he 612 BC. With the help of the Medes destroyed. Nebuchadnezzar II , his son, fended off an invasion by the Egyptians and ruled over an area from Palestine to the Persian Gulf. During his reign, the city and empire rose to new heights.
However, this heyday did not last very long. King Nabonid ascended in 556 BC. The throne of Babylon. He carried out the economic reforms begun by Nebuchadnezzar II and withdrew the land from the temples of the Marduk priesthood . In addition, he set Sin , the moon god, as the supreme deity. This led to the fact that the now hostile priesthood of Babylon with the Persian king Cyrus II , who confessed to Marduk, when he conquered the city in 539 BC. BC cooperated and was instrumental in its overthrow and the Babylonia.
Alexander the Great conquered the city after defeating Gaugamela and was greeted as a liberator. Alexander later made Babylon the seat of his empire, where he lived on June 10, 323 BC. Chr. Died. In the time of the Diadochi Babylon belonged to the Seleucid Empire , but lost power under Macedonian rule when the new capital Seleukia was built and many of the inhabitants of Babylon were resettled there. It is disputed whether Babylon was a polis of the Greek type under Hellenism . There is no doubt that Babylon had the typical buildings (theater, gymnasium, agora) at the latest since Antiochus IV. Politai 'citizens' are also mentioned, but on the other hand there has been no reference to the typical institutions of a polis (people's assembly, council, magistrates).
For a long time it was assumed in research that Babylon experienced a decline under the Seleucids and was finally abandoned under Parthian rule at the latest . The Roman Emperor Trajan is said to have only seen ruins here around 115 AD. Meanwhile, however, doubts have arisen about this view; So the so-called 1st Letter of Peter (5,13) , which probably originated in the first century , names Babylon as a place of activity of Peter, and in late antiquity Prokopius of Caesarea mentions Babylon (De Aed. 1,1,53) as a production site for asphalt . When exactly Babylon lost all meaning is therefore now again controversially discussed. The reference in Peter's letter was, however, already interpreted as a reference to Rome in antiquity , and Prokopios' remark refers strictly to Babylon at the time of Semiramis .
It is estimated that Babylon existed from about 1770 to 1670 BC. And again from approx. 612 to 320 BC Was the largest city in the world. It was perhaps the first city to have a population of over 200,000.
The estimates of the maximum extent of the urban area range from 890 to 900 hectares.
Building the city
Little is known about the structure of Babylon in the third and second millennium BC. Corresponding investigations failed for a long time because of the high groundwater level in this area and more recently because of the security situation in Iraq.
According to the ancient Greek historian Herodotus , Babylon was "mighty and magnificently built like no other city in the world to my knowledge". Babylon was surrounded by a huge belt of fortifications. These city walls of Babylon , according to Herodotus, were said to be fifty-five miles long with one hundred gates. Excavations by Koldewey revealed that the walls were "only" 18 kilometers long. There are also said to have been three- and four-story buildings in the city. According to his reports, there was also a tower in the temple precinct, which the Old Testament says was used to reach heaven. He didn't mention the Hanging Gardens, however .
Soon after the excavations began, Koldewey realized that Herodotus' dimensions were greatly exaggerated, even if the city's circumference of 18 kilometers still appears imposing. Babylon was built on both sides of the Euphrates . The city was surrounded by an inner double wall and an outer wall ring on the east bank, which were additionally protected in the north by a fortress, which also served as the king's summer residence .
The actual city, however, was inside the double fortification wall with a rectangular floor plan of 1.5 x 2.5 km. The Ishtar Gate , one of the nine gates, can be viewed today in the Pergamon Museum in Berlin . The Ninmach Temple stood right next to the gate . A processional street led through into the city, past the palace of the king to the Marduct temple and the ziggurat of Etemenanki , better known as the Tower of Babel .
The palace built by Nabopolassar was modeled on that of the Assyrian King Sennacherib . It had a square inner courtyard, three small private rooms and two large halls, so it was relatively modest in size. Nebuchadnezzar II had three more identical buildings erected and connected to the original complex by corridors; one of them housed the king's throne room, 52 meters long. In addition, new living quarters were built for the staff, as well as administration and storage rooms. Presumably the hanging gardens were also housed there.
The temple of Marduk , named Esagila, was located in the sacred precinct of Babylon. The building was constructed like a fortress with a square shape. After entering the temple, the priests came into the room where the holy statue of Marduk was. However, many other gods were also worshiped in the sanctuary, all of whom were intended to serve Marduk. Next to the temple rose the previously mentioned tower.
Residential buildings could be excavated in the Merkes district, which was located south of the Ishtar gate. The houses of the Neo-Babylonian period in particular were well preserved: buildings with massive mud brick walls and a courtyard in the center.
Only a few new buildings from the Seleucid period have survived, but conversions can be found everywhere in the city. A Greek inscription (OGIS 253) from 166 BC. BC describes Antiochus IV as the founder of Babylon, which should mean that this king converted part of the city into a Greco-Macedonian polis , as he did in Jerusalem . The neo-Babylonian houses in the Merkesviertel were inhabited again during the Seleucid period after they had apparently stood empty for some time. In one house there were four column bases in the courtyard, which indicate that a peristyle in the Greek style was installed there. The pillars have not been preserved, but they may once have been made of wood. In the same house, a doorway was walled up and a bathtub was installed in the resulting niche. A Hellenistic theater was built to the east of the city and the old palaces continued to be in use, but show architectural elements that are obviously Greek. Antefixes were found in almost all of the city's palaces, proving that these buildings continued to be used and were partially adapted to Greek tastes.
Under Parthian rule
Soon after the middle of the 2nd century BC Babylonia came under the rule of the Parthian Arsacids . According to literary sources, the city experienced a slow decline under the Parthians , instead Ctesiphon became the most important metropolis in Mesopotamia. However, there are numerous findings, especially in the residential city, that show that the city continued to be inhabited. Since the Parthian strata are on top, they are usually poorly preserved. Above all, it can be observed that the street layout of the old city has been abandoned and replaced by a new one. The Greek theater continued to exist and was even renovated. So far, other public buildings cannot be assigned with certainty to this period. Many burials originate from the Parthian classes, which took place mainly under the floors of the houses. Since, as mentioned, Prokopios may have mentioned Babylon as an inhabited city in the 6th century (see above), the place seems to have been inhabited even under the Sassanids .
Although Babylon has always attracted great scientific interest not only from authors of classical antiquity , but also from many travelers, it was the systematic excavations of the British Claudius James Rich in the years 1811 to 1817 that marked the beginning of archaeological activities at this site.
In the course of the 19th century, the work continued with interruptions: in 1830 two excavation campaigns took place under Robert Mignan , in 1850 Austen Henry Layard became active in Babylon, and from 1851 a three-year large project by the French Fulgence Fresnel , Jules Oppert and Félix Thomas began . Henry Creswicke Rawlinson continued the work of his French predecessors in 1854, albeit extremely superficially. Even William Beaumont Selby (1859), Henri Pacifique Delaporte (1862) and Hormuzd Rassam (1879) their archaeological activities were limited in Babylon for short campaigns.
In 1899 a long-term research measure began on behalf of the German Orient Society , which had been founded a year earlier, under the direction of the architect Robert Koldewey . For the first time he carried out building surveys for archeology in Mesopotamia , in which the position of the individual stones and walls remained recognizable and subsequent archaeologists can use this to assess the floor plans in their historical sequence.
Apart from the general interest in the exposed large buildings, the excavations in the Merkes (Markaz) residential area were particularly trend-setting for the professional world due to their special approach. Amongst others, Oscar Reuther dug here in 1907 and 1908 , who was primarily concerned with the sequence of shifts. For this purpose, he laid out excavation squares , between which three meter wide excavation bridges remained, on which the layers could be assessed. After stately houses from the Neo-Babylonian era had come to light, in 1912 a move was made to excavate the area concentrating on this layer.
The excavations ran almost without interruption for 18 years. It was not until 1917, towards the end of the First World War, that the work came to a standstill when British troops were advancing against Baghdad . In the second half of the 20th century, the excavation activity was resumed, especially by the Iraqi antiquities administration. In addition, excavations by the German Archaeological Institute took place under the direction of Hansjörg Schmid (from 1962) and Jürgen Schmidt (1967–1973).
Iraqi activities in Babylon focused on the reconstruction of public structures. In addition, the Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein , who saw himself as the successor to the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar II , had a new palace built for himself.
After the Iraq war , US troops set up a base around Babylon in April 2003 to protect the ancient city from looters and grave robbers. Polish troops arrived a few months later and took over the camp management on September 3, 2003. The base housed up to 2000 soldiers.
During the construction of the camp, areas for parking spaces and helipads were cleared and filled with gravel. Trenches were also built and sandbags were filled with sand from the excavation sites. According to two reports by the British Museum curator John Curtis in 2003 and 2005, the ruined city was severely damaged. Among other things, the dragons of the Ishtar Gate were affected when an stranger tried to break out stones. In addition, the 2,600-year-old paved procession street was destroyed by heavy military vehicles being driven on it. Mohammed Tahir al-Shahk Hussein, archaeologist with the Iraqi State Council for Antiquities and Cultural Heritage and former museum director, puts the war damage into perspective and sees the bigger problem in the new buildings built under Saddam Hussein.
Seven wonders of the world
The city was the center of Babylonia and is also known for the Hanging Gardens of Semiramis , one of the Seven Wonders of the World . Originally, the mighty city wall was also one of the wonders of the world.
As mentioned above, Herodotus described the city in detail.
In the Jewish Torah and the Christian Old Testament , the Hebrew name Babel is used for ancient Babylon , interpreted as borrowing from bâlal '“overflow, mix, confuse”. A huge tower of Babel is mentioned (11.1 EU -9). In order to limit the power of people, God confused people and gave them different languages (11.9 EU ). Because of this communication disruption, they then had to finish construction. This story is the origin of the phrase " Tower of Babel " or "Babylonian confusion".
Around 600 BC BC Nebuchadnezzar II conquered Jerusalem and initiated the relocation of parts of the population, especially the upper class, to Babylon. This Babylonian exile was decisive for the development of a sense of identity as a Jewish people and is described in detail in the Bible: Babylon is portrayed as a place of unbelief, fornication and oppression, a view that is later found in the New Testament. It should be borne in mind that the Bible authors viewed exile as a great danger to the Jewish faith, and their description of the stay, which was perceived as slavery, is accordingly negative. Most Hebrews, however, lived a comfortable life in the metropolis; Babylonian cuneiform tablets show that many of them held high positions in the military and business.
The following is an overview of the most relevant mentions of Babylon by name in the Tanakh:
- Babylon as part of Nimrod's dominion (Gen 10:10)
- Tower building in Babylon (Gen 11,9)
- An embassy from Babylon maintains diplomatic relations with King Hezekiah of Judah (2 Kings 20.12–15; 2Chr 32.31)
- Announcement of the Babylonian exile (2 Kings 20: 16-18)
- King Manasseh of Judah is deported to Babylon (2Chr 33:11)
- King Jehoiakim of Judah was dependent on tribute to the king of Babylon (2 Kings 24: 1); Jehoiakim is deported to Babylon (2Chr 36,6) and looted temple treasures are also brought there (2Chr 36,7)
- Siege of Jerusalem by the army from Babylon at the time of King Joachim of Judah (2Kings 24,10) with subsequent deportation to Babylon (2Ks 24.12.15-16; 1Chr 9.1) - including Mordechai (Est 2,6) - and further looting in favor of Babylon (2Chr 36,10)
- King Zedekiah is installed as a puppet king by Babylon (2 Kings 24:17; 2 Chr 36:10), but then turns away from Babylon (2 Kings 24:20; 2 Chr 36:13).
- New siege of Jerusalem (2 Kings 25.1) with subsequent destruction or deportation to Babylon (2 Kings 25.6–7.11.21); Deportation implies u. a. Slavery in Babylon (2Chr 36:20) and is interpreted as God's punishment (Ezr 5:12)
- Nebusaradan comes to Jerusalem from Babylon to plunder and destroy the temple; the booty is brought to Babylon (2 Kings 22.214.171.124; 2Chr 36:18)
- From Babylon Gedaliah is installed as ruler over the remnant (2 Kings 25: 22-26)
- Jehoiachin is pardoned in Babylon (2 Kings 25: 27-30; Jer 52: 31-34)
- The return of the people of Judah from Babylon (Ezr 2,1; 8,1; Neh 7,6) under Cyrus the Persian means u. a. the return of the looted objects (Esr 1,11; 5,14; 6,5), the rebuilding of the temple (Esr 5,13), the career of Esra (Esr 7,6.9), support of the returnees through the economic power of Babylonia (Esr 7.16)
- The book of Daniel is set in Babylonia (e.g. Dan 2:12)
- In addition, Babylonia is mentioned in prophetic writings, especially in Isa, Jer and Ez
In the New Testament the name Babylon or the attribute Babylonian is mentioned twelve times. This happens on the one hand in retrospectives on the history of Israel , on the other hand in the prophetic speeches about the future of the world. Babylon here denotes the earthly anti-Christian power center in contrast to the city of God, the heavenly Jerusalem . In the Revelation of John , their destruction is foretold in the last judgments of God. In 1. Peter 5:13 EU the apostolic writer greets his church from Babylon . Some interpreters suggest that Babylon is used here as a pseudonym for Rome . Others, however, refer to the unpredictable time of the city's decline and take the name Babylon literally. They believe that Paul was in Rome as an apostle to the nations, and not Peter .
In the Christian symbolism shaped by the Revelation of John, Babylon is regarded as a power hostile to God and a refuge of sin and decadence . Martin Luther interpreted the papacy he hated as a whore of Babylon . Revelation 17: 3–5 describes Babylon the Great as an ornate woman, clad in purple and scarlet, seated on a scarlet wild beast with seven heads and ten horns. A name is written on her forehead, "a secret: 'Babylon the Great, mother of the harlots and the abhorrent things of the earth'". She is also said to sit on “many waters” representing “peoples and multitudes and nations and tongues” (Rev 17: 1–15). Professor Morris Jastrow Jr. says in his work The Religion of Babylonia and Assyria (1898, pp. 699-701) in relation to this: “In ancient times, even before Christianity emerged, Egypt, Persia and Greece felt the influence of the Babylonian religion. ... The Persian Mithraic cult clearly shows Babylonian ideas; and when one considers the important role the mysteries connected with this cult finally played under the Romans, another link can be established between the ramifications of ancient cultures and the civilization of the Euphrates valley. ”In conclusion, he speaks of“ the great effect which the remarkable ones Expressions of religious thought in Babylonia and religious activity in this area had on the ancient world ”.
Most songs related to Babylon build on the importance of the city in the Old Testament as a place of exile and slavery. The reference to the historical background, which does not confirm an enslavement, is usually not established. Occasionally, songs also take up the New Testament theological myth of the city as the center of evil.
In 1745 Georg Friedrich Händel immortalized the conquest of the city by Cyrus and the liberation of the Jews from Babylonian captivity in his oratorio Belshazzar (German: Belsazar ). Giuseppe Verdi also set an episode from his Jewish exile in Babylon to music in Nabucco in 1842 . In 1930/31 William Walton composed a choral work with Belshazzar's Feast , the libretto of which is based on Bible texts about Belshazzar's banquet in Babylon. Bertold Hummel named the 2nd movement of his 3rd symphony, composed in 1996, JEREMIAS, with the name of the city of Babylon. In 2012 the opera Babylon by Jörg Widmann was premiered at the Bavarian State Opera based on a libretto by Peter Sloterdijk .
The setting of Don McLean's song By the waters of Babylon , a adaptation of the 137th Psalm, is well known . The song Rivers of Babylon by the Jamaican band The Melodians , which became famous in the version of Boney M. , also deals with the text of the 137th Psalm. Also took Leonard Cohen in his song By the Rivers Dark Babylon respect Babylon is sinful liaison with the Jewish and Christian symbolism both place of exile (from God) and symbol, deluded life change and at the same time place a mysterious experience. The German setting Die Legende von Babylon von Bruce Low is about the Tower of Babel and has nothing to do with the Babylonian exile.
With the establishment of reggae music in the 1970s, the Rastafarian term Babylon system became popular worldwide and today has a permanent place in black music and other styles of pop music. The term was first known through the song Babylon System , composed by the Jamaican reggae musician Bob Marley and published on the album Survival , which deals with the western "vampiric" system that suppresses humanity and holds it back from unity. Before that, however, Desmond Dekker dealt with the subject in his song The Israelites and tells the story of the suffering of the Israelites in Egypt compared to life as a black slave in Jamaica .
The Greek band Aphrodite's Child dealt with Babylon in their concept album 666 , for which there is also a track on the album. At first sight, the album is an adaptation of sections of the Revelation of John ( 666 ), but the lyrics and structure are very experimental. The album is stylistically assigned to progressive rock .
In their song On Ebay - From Babylon back to Babylon , published in 2004, the British pop band Chumbawamba denounced the theft of exhibits, including those from Babylon, from the Iraqi National Museum .
Babylon system among the Rastafari
In the Rastafarian movement, which emerged from the descendants of black slaves in Jamaica , the Babylon system or Babylon for short - based on the biblical use of the term - is an expression for the ruling "Western" social system that is perceived as corrupt and oppressive. In the biblical story of the Babylonian exile of the Israelites, the Rastafari recognized parallels with the deportation of their own African ancestors to America and coined the Babylon system (also: shitstem ) as an expression for the western world.
Due to the success of reggae music, the term was established worldwide. The interpretation of the term varies depending on personal political and cultural background.
- List of the kings of Babylonia
- List of Persian royal cities
- the Babylonian people
- Babylonian religion
- Eva Cancik-Kirschbaum , Margarete van Ess , Joachim Marzahn (eds.): Babylon. Knowledge culture in the Orient and Occident. De Gruyter, Berlin / New York 2011, ISBN 978-3-11-022212-8 ( doi : 10.1515 / 9783110222128 OpenAccess)
- Domenique Charpin, Dietz-Otto Edzard, Marten Stol: Mesopotamia - the ancient Babylonian period. Orbis biblicus et orientalis (OBO) 160, 4th Academic Press u. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Freiburg / Göttingen 2004, ISBN 3-525-53063-3 , .
- Dietz-Otto Edzard : History of Mesopotamia. From the Sumerians to Alexander the Great. Beck, Munich 2004, ISBN 3-406-51664-5 .
- Oliver Fischer: Babylon. A city meets its god. In: Michael Schaper (Ed.): Myth Babylon. The birth of civilization 3300-500 BC Chr. (= GEO epoch. No. 87). Gruner + Jahr, Hamburg 2017, ISBN 978-3-652-00640-8 , pp. 132–149 ( article preview at Geo.de).
- Frank Kürschner-Pelkmann: Babylon. Myth and Reality. Steinmann, Rosengarten near Hamburg 2015, ISBN 978-3-927043-65-7 .
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- Ulrike Sals: The biography of the "Whore Babylon". Studies on the intertextuality of the Babylonian texts in the Bible. Mohr Siebeck Verlag, Tübingen 2004, ISBN 3-16-148431-2 .
- State Museums in Berlin (Ed.): Babylon. Myth and Truth. (= Catalogs accompanying the double exhibition of the same name in the Pergamon Museum). 2 volumes. Hirmer, Munich 2008, ISBN 978-3-7774-5005-6 .
- Johannes Strempel: Babylon. In: Michael Schaper (Ed.): Alexander the Great. Conqueror of an Empire, 356–323 BC Chr. (= GEO epoch. No. 63). Gruner + Jahr, Hamburg 2013, ISBN 978-3-652-00236-3 , pp. 78-93.
- Robert Koldewey : Babylon Rising Again. Leipzig, 4th ext. Edition 1925; New edition Beck, Munich 1990, ISBN 3-406-31674-3 .
- Robert Koldewey: The royal castles of Babylon, the south castle, excavations of the German Orient Society in Babylon. 5. Leipzig 1931-1932.
- Robert Koldewey: The royal castles of Babylon, the main castle and the summer palace of Nebuchadnezzar in the hill of Babil, excavations of the German Orient Society in Babylon. 6. Leipzig 1931.
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- Entry on the UNESCO World Heritage Center website ( English and French ).
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- Search for the city of Babylon in the German Digital Library
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- Literature from and about Babylon in the catalog of the German National Library
- From around 140 BC Rapid decline and loss of importance due to the regional shift in focus of the main urban center of Babylonia to Seleukia-Ctesiphon and never-ending wars between the (Greek-Macedonian) Seleucids and the (Iranian) Parthians for hegemony in the region.
- Dietz Otto Edzard: History of Mesopotamia. From the Sumerians to Alexander the Great. Beck, Munich 2004, p. 121.
- Miklós Köszeghy: The dispute over Babel in the books of Isaiah and Jeremiah . Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 2007, ISBN 978-3-17-019823-4 , p. 116.
- Dietz-Otto Edzard: Names, naming (A) . In Dietz-Otto Edzard u. a .: Real Lexicon of Assyriology and Near Eastern Archeology, Vol. 9 . de Gruyter, Berlin 2001, ISBN 3-11-017296-8 , p. 102, cf. also Dietz-Otto Edzard, Gertrud Farber: Répertoire Géographique des Textes Cunéiformes II, The names of places and waters of the Ur III period . In: Supplements to the Tübingen Atlas of the Middle East (TAVO). Row B, No. 7/2 . Wiesbaden 1974, p. 21.
- Klaus Seybold : The Tower of Babel: To the origin of Genesis XI 1–9. In: Vetus Testamentum, Volume 26, No. 4, October 1976, pp. 453-479, here p. 466
- Othmar Keel : The history of Jerusalem and the emergence of monotheism . Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 2007, ISBN 978-3-525-50177-1 , p. 603.
- Amanda H. Podany, The Land of Hana. Kings, chronology and scribal tradition. Bethesda, CDL-Press 2002, 1, note 2
- H. Gasche et al., Dating the fall of Babylon: a reappraisal of second-millennium chronology. Mesopotamian history and environment, Memoirs 4. Ghent, University of Ghent and the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago 1998.
- Amanda H. Podany, The Land of Hana. Kings, chronology and scribal tradition. Bethesda, CDL-Press 2002, 2
- Klaus D. Christof and Renate Haass: Weihrauch: the scent of heaven. JH Röll Verlag, 2006, ISBN 3-89754-252-8 , p. 119.
- Tertius Chandler. Four Thousand Years of Urban Growth: An Historical Census (1987), St. David's University Press (etext.org) ( Memento of February 11, 2008 in the Internet Archive ). ISBN 0-88946-207-0 .
- Marc van de Mieroop: The Ancient Mesopotamian City. Oxford University Press, Oxford 1997, ISBN 978-0-19-158845-7 , p. 95 ( limited preview in Google book search).
- Tom Boiy: Late Achaemenid and Hellenistic Babylon. (= Orientalia Lovaniensia Analecta. Volume 136) Peeters Publishers, Leuven 2004, ISBN 90-429-1449-1 , p. 233 ( limited preview in Google book search).
- Eva Strommenger , Wolfram Nagel, Christian Eder : From Gudea to Hammurapi. Fundamentals of art and history in ancient Near East Asia. Böhlau Verlag, Cologne 2005, p. 217 f.
- Archeology: The Second Destruction of the Great Babylon (welt.de, June 19, 2008, accessed April 5, 2013)
- Reiner Luyken : " The Banausen-Bau zu Babel " - Die Zeit (2009) No. 31, p. 27
- Leonard Cohen : Ten New Songs Music Album, 2001.
- Jan Ole Jöhnk: Chumbawamba: On Ebay . ( Memento from March 24, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) www.fluter.de, November 1, 2005