Nabû-kudurrī-uṣur I.

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Nabû-kudurrī-uṣur I , also Nebuchadnezzar I (not to be confused with the New Babylonian ruler Nebuchadnezzar II ), was a Babylonian king and ruled from 1125 to 1104 BC. As the fourth ruler from the so-called 2nd Isin dynasty . His name Nabû-kudurrī- uṣur translates as " Nabû protect my heir son".


Nebuchadnezzar was the fourth king of the 2nd Isin dynasty and succeeded his father Ninurta-nādin-šumi in 1125 BC. On the throne. His greatest achievements in his 22-year reign were, in addition to achieving independence from the Assyrian Empire, above all the conquest of the neighboring kingdom of Elam and the retrieval of the holy Babylonian city god statue Marduk . He was followed in 1104 BC. His son Enlil-nādin-apli .


Foreign policy

The Kassite dynasty , which had previously lasted 576 years , was founded in 1155 BC. By the conquest of Babylon by the Elamites. After the defeat, high tributes were imposed on the Babylonians. The famous legal stele of Hammurapi I (with the Hammurapis code ) went to the Elamite capital Susa . The most painful loss for the Babylonians, however, was the holy city god statue of Marduk, which was also abducted to Susa. This was possibly the reason that decades later Nebuchadnezzar launched the campaign against the kingdom of Elam, east of Babylon.

The duration of Nebuchadnezzar's war with Elam and the number of campaigns he waged are unknown. However, the decisive campaign possibly took place in 1110 BC. It started from the border town Dēr in the month of Du'uzu (June / July). A stele of the Kassite sheikh Šitti-Marduk tells in detail about the preparations and events of the battle:

“[...] when the king of the gods, Mardukm, ordered him to avenge the land of the Akkades, he seized his weapons and launched an attack up to the city of Dēr, the cult city of An. For 30 bēru (route) he set off in the fourth month. After (during) the entire period the midday heat glowed like fire and the “convolutions ? "Which burned like paths like flames, there was no water in the floodplains, the drinking troughs were cut off."

- Šitti-Marduk kudurru, i 12–20

The decisive battle took place on the Ulaya River, which lies in today's Chuzestan Province in southwest Iran . In this heated battle, the Babylonian kingdom was able to prevail, with the Kassite Sheikh Šitti-Marduk achieving the decisive overall victory over Elam. The fate of the Elamite king Hutelutuš-Inšušinak remained unclear. After this battle, Nebuchadnezzar plundered and devastated the kingdom of Elam and its capital Susa to such an extent that this was possibly the reason that sources and reports from and about Elam did not exist for the next 300 years.

Nebuchadnezzar's greatest achievement for the Babylonians was the "bringing home" of the Babylonian city god statue Marduk to the Babylonian capital Babylon , which for decades had been in foreign possession of the Elamites. This famous victory was celebrated in hymns, epic poetry and in the Marduk prophecy. Known as "Nabû-kudurrī-uṣur and Marduk" or the epic of Nabû-kudurrī-uṣur, it is the legendary story of the statue of Marduk's recovery and is one of two hymns that glorify his military achievements. The second hymn is the "Hymn to Marduk", which celebrates the victory over the Elamites.

There were also armed conflicts with the Assyrian Empire north of Babylon. End of the 12th century BC The Assyrian Empire under Tukulti-apil-Ešarra I (1114-1076 BC) was able to expand its sphere of influence to the Persian Gulf, where he was also able to conquer Babylon. However, Nebuchadnezzar was able to regain independence for Babylonia a short time later.

Domestic politics

With the conquest of Babylonia by the Elamites in 1155 BC The Kassite dynasty, which had lasted 576 years before, ended and then the 2nd dynasty of Isin began. Nebuchadnezzar's rule has not been reported to have any major disadvantages vis-à-vis the Kassites. Many Kassites are said to have served under him in high military and civil offices and in other high positions such as that of governor. It was also that Šitti-Marduk who, as the military leader, played a major role in the victory over the kingdom of Elam.

Nebuchadnezzar had several temples built and expanded during his time as ruler. The building of the temple Ekituš-ḫegal-tila in Babylon, which was dedicated to the weather god Adad , has been handed down. He is also said to have carried out construction work on the main temple of the creator god Enlil in Nippur .


  • JA Brinkman: Nebuchadnezzar I . In: Michael P. Streck (Hrsg.): Nab - Nuzi : Reallexikon der Assyriologie and Near Eastern Archeology. Volume 9., de Gruyter, Berlin 2001, ISBN 978-3-11-017296-6 , pp. 192-194.
  • Dietz-Otto Edzard: History of Mesopotamia. From the Sumerians to Alexander the Great . 2nd, improved edition, Beck, Munich 2004, ISBN 3-406-51664-5 , pp. 176, 183, 191.
  • Paul-Richard Berger:  NEBUCHADNEZAR I .. In: Biographisch-Bibliographisches Kirchenlexikon (BBKL). Volume 6, Bautz, Herzberg 1993, ISBN 3-88309-044-1 , Sp. 527-528.

Individual evidence

  1. Susanne Paulus: The Babylonian Kudurru inscriptions from the Kassite to the early Neubabylonian period . Old Orient and Old Testament, Volume 51, Ugarit Verlag, Münster 2014, ISBN 978-3-86835-070-8 , p. 504.
  2. Takayoshi Oshima: A Forgotten Royal Hymn to Marduk and Its Historical Background. In: The Journal of the Ancient Near Eastern Society , Volume 32, 2011, pp. 107-116.
  3. Klaus D Christof, Renate Haass: incense: the scent of heaven . Röll, Dettelbach 2006, ISBN 3897542528 , p. 119.
predecessor Office successor
Ninurta-nādin-šumi King of Babylonia
1126–1104 BC Chr.