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Nabonidus on a relief during the worship of the celestial deities Sin , Šamaš and Ištar

Nabonid (also Nabonaid , Nabunaid ; late Babylonian Nabû-nāʾid , old Persian Nabunaita , Elamish Nabunida , ancient Greek Λαβύνητος Labynetos ; * after 609 BC; † at the earliest 539 BC) ruled from 556 BC. BC to 539 BC As the last king of the New Babylonian Empire . His name means: "Nabu is exalted".

With Nabonidus, a regent of Assyrian descent succeeded the throne as the new king of Babylonia . The Babylonian king saw himself as the heir of Assyria ; of the land that dates back to 609 BC BC lost its political independence through the military defeat against the Babylonians and Medes . Nabonidus' reversal of Nebuchadnezzar's economic course of centralizing Babylonia led to an improvement in the supply situation in the country by stimulating the border provinces.

The reintroduction of Assyrian cults and the restoration of the ancient temple shrines led by the Babylonian king caused tensions with the Marduk priesthood, which with their reaction possibly prompted the Babylonian king to go to Tayma for ten years . Nabonidus' deposition of Marduk as supreme deity finally allowed the priesthood to cooperate with the Persian king Cyrus II , who brought about the fall of Babylonia and the end of the Babylonian king.

Historical sources

The sources of Nabonidus life before he took office are sparse and allow only a few details. According to numerous inscriptions, however, his activities as king in Babylonia can be described in more detail. There is very contradicting information from anti-Nabonidus texts about the circumstances of his death. Compared to the cuneiform sources, the significance of the information provided by Greek historians is to be assessed as minor.

Cuneiform texts

Nabonidus cylinder: Sin temple in Ur

From the abundant number of cuneiform texts from the reign of Nabonidus, an almost comprehensive picture of the extensive building activities and religious ideas of the Babylonian king as well as the economic life of that time can be drawn. In contrast, the reasons for his long stay in the desert oasis of Tayma are hardly documented and only a few details of his work there are known.

The neutral inscriptions, especially the Nabonidus Chronicles , provide concise and credible information in dry annual reports. From the Nabonidus Chronicles, parts of the 1st to 3rd, 6th to 11th and 16th to 17th years of government have been preserved in legible condition. Private documents dated after his reign are in the thousands. Since the actions of the Babylonian king are not evaluated, historians see the Nabonidus Chronicles and the private documents as the most reliable sources of special details from his government.

Traditionally, Nabonidus designed its activity reports in the form of self-portrayals as positive. Stephen Langdon published building inscriptions such as the Egipar inscription in 1912 for the first time comprehensively and with translation. In addition, Wilfred G. Lambert published a complete Official report of the reign of Nabonidus in 1968/1969 under A new Source for the reign of Nabonidus . Of the finds, the Nabonidus stele , the stele of his mother and the Nabonidus cylinders from Sippar and Ur are particularly noteworthy, as the theological background is visible in the descriptions of Nabonidus . The “divine vocation” as the new king is interwoven with historical facts by the Babylonian king, which is why a comparison with historically neutral sources must be made. The same applies to the inscriptions created from a Persian point of view, which are extremely hostile to the Babylonian king.

The explanations of the Cyrus cylinder discovered in 1879 show the reasons for the fall of Nabonidus from the point of view of the Persian king. The stanza poem of Nabonidus , written by the Marduk priesthood as a subsequent diatribe, deals with the alleged outrages of the Babylonian king and describes him as a "mentally ill king who plundered his subjects so that they became impoverished and starved". These statements served to justify the dethroning of Nabonidus with his alleged outrages. Neither the Cyrus cylinder nor the verse poem are viewed as historically neutrally usable sources: “An attempt to derive facts from them yields extremely uncertain results if no further sources are available for verification . However, the passages that partly correspond to other inscriptions allow a confirmation of Nabonidus statements ”.

Ancient Historians and Old Testament

Bust of Herodotus (Ancient Agora Museum, Athens , No. S270).

Of the Greek historians, the remarks by Herodotus and the surviving fragments of the last Babylonian historian Berossus are particularly important. The fragments of Berossus have come down to us through excerpts ( epitoms ) of his work by the historians Flavius ​​Josephus and Eusebius of Caesarea . Finally, in the corpus of the Old Testament, chapters 4 EU and EU 5 of the Book of Daniel refer to the reign of Nabonidus, which, however, were taken from other ancient sources and partly coincide with the mentions of Nabonidus. Also attributed to the Jewish tradition is the legendary account of the prayer of Nabonidus , written in Aramaic , among the dead sea scrolls found in cave 4 .

According to Herodotus, who misrepresents Nabonids name as Labynetos (Λαβύνητος), Nabonids royal father was also called Labynetus and his mother Nitokris . This information turned out to be wrong after the discovery of the cuneiform texts. Furthermore, Herodotus mentions that the "Babylonian Labynetus" gave birth to in 585 BC. I concluded peace between the Lydian king Alyattes and the Medischen king Kyaxares . It does not seem clear whether this Labynetos can be identified with Nabonidus. The argument for this equation is that Herodotus mentions Labynetus in his mediation of peace without the title of king. At this point in time, the historical Nabonidus did not yet hold the rank of ruler. When Croesus is defeated, Herodotus correctly names Labynetus as king. Nevertheless, the possibility preferred by FH Weissbach is not excluded that the Greek historian and the peace mediator from 585 BC. BC means the then ruling Babylonian king, the allegedly eponymous father of the later ruler Labynetus. In this case, of course, he actually had Nebuchadnezzar II in mind, since his name Herodotus was unknown. The reports about Nabonid and Cyrus II are repeated with his Darius I. -Stories. The sparse statements about the early reign of the Babylonian king are taken from other sources and incorporated as freely invented historical constructs. Herodotus' account of the fall of Babylon is also almost entirely unhistorical. All in all, Herodotus 'remarks are not easily usable sources and for the most part cannot be used to determine Nabonidus' work.

The multitude of ancient Greek historians characterizes Nabonidus very negatively. According to Xenophon , the last ruler of Babylon, whose name he does not name, was a godless ruler. However, the evaluations and representations were based on older texts and the admiration of the Persian king that cannot be overlooked. The romance-like tendencies already recognizable in Herodotus determine the quality of these historical sources and do not contribute to the clarification of the actual circumstances. Only the excerpts of Berossus tell the Persian conquest of Babylon, somewhat in accordance with the Nabonidus Chronicle.

The accounts found their way into the Bible as rewritten representations centuries later than the stories of Daniel . The Book of Daniel is thus an interesting source for identifying the underlying ancient models. In Chapter 5 in the Book of Daniel ( Dan 5.1  EU ) the last Babylonian king is referred to as Belshazzar . Herodotus calls him Labynetus in Historien 1,188. Herodotus notes that he has the same name as his father (Nabonidus).

Early years

Little is known about the years before Nabonidus took office. The Babylonian king was born as the son of Nabû-balātsu-iqbi and Adad-happe after 609 BC. Born in BC. Nabû-balātsu-iqbi held the position of governor in Harran and is referred to in the inscriptions of his son as “wise prince ” or “mighty governor ”. The Babylonian king thus had the rank of " son-in-law ". Nabonid's mother introduces herself on her stele as the Entu-priestess of the moon god Sin , venerated in Harran . This is considered incorrect in research, especially since there are no other inscriptions to support this statement. According to her inscription, which was written by the Babylonian king himself after her death, Nabonid performed faithful service to kings Nebuchadnezzar II and Nergal-šarra-uṣur according to her wishes . Accordingly, Nabonidus could have held an important position at the court of the above-mentioned Babylonian rulers.

A "Nabonidus, who is (set) over the city" is mentioned in a court document of February 11, 596 BC. Mentioned as a witness. In other copies the passage "which is (set) above the city" is missing; instead, the phrase “man of the king (Nebuchadnezzar)” or “son of the king” appears. It remains unclear whether the witness in question is identical to the later King Nabonidus, as is often assumed. It has also been suggested that a Babylonian who lived in 585 BC Took part in peace negotiations between Lydern and Medes and is referred to by Herodotus as Labynetus, with the so-called Nabonidus.

The Babylonian king was the father of at least three daughters: En-nigaldi-Nanna , Ina-Esaggila-rišat and Akkabu. Cuneiform texts by Nabonid's son Bel-šarru-uṣur (Belšazar) have not yet been identified; it is also rarely mentioned in private documents and inscriptions. During the ten-year absence of the Babylonian king, he took over from 552 BC. BC to 543 BC The function of the deputy regent. In addition, Bel-šarru-uṣur receives attention in a prayer by Nabonidus, which he said shortly before leaving for Tayma. The content is the request addressed to the supreme god Sin for the "sending of insight, awe and the leading of a sin-free life" for his son. After returning from Tayma, Bel-šarru-usur is no longer listed in documents. An early death before the arrival of Cyrus II in 539 BC. BC can be excluded, since the Babylonian chronicles and inscriptions of Nabonidus contain no entries about it.

Seizure of power


Nebuchadnezzar II named the city of Babylon as his personal "favorite place" when he took office . In the following period, the economic income, tributes , taxes, labor from exiled people and the temple income flowed as investments in the expansion of the future metropolis of Babylon. Large landowners, influential families, priesthoods of the sanctuaries or places of worship that stood apart from Babylon were endangered in their existence in the outskirts of Babylonia by these measures, since the new imperial policy was tantamount to expropriation. The main temple Esaĝila profited particularly from the new imperial politics and imperial theology ; The temple income from the peripheral provinces also flowed into it. Nebuchadnezzar II therefore called the Babylonian South Palace after completion "the unifying bond of the land and the great peoples". In the long run, this policy was not free of tension. After the death of Nebuchadnezzar II, open power struggles broke out between the members of the royal family.

Rival oligarchic circles murdered the successor king Amēl-Marduk, who was loyal to the line, after only two years and then helped the well-meaning Nergal-šarra-uṣur to the royal throne. After his death, his young son Lābāši-Marduk succeeded as the next king, who was also killed a short time later by influential personalities in the economy.

The already 50-year-old Nabonid describes his elevation to the new king by the co-conspirators on his own stele: “They threw themselves at my feet and welcomed me as king.” The Babylonian king was after “ taking the hands of Marduk ” and thus appropriate the will of the Babylonian god Marduk and that of his predecessors as kings, Nebuchadnezzar II and Nergal-šarra-usur, came to power. At the same time, on his inscription from Harran, Nabonid refers to the designation of king by the moon god Sin and attributes the seizure of power to the appearance of Sin in one of his dreams, who personally commissioned him to rebuild the old temples and destroyed statues as well as the long neglected cult to renew. His subsequent assessment of Lā-abāši-Marduk is correspondingly negative: “A young man who did not learn the rules that are necessary for correct behavior. It was also not exactly beneficial to stand against the will of the gods ”. Even if these statements are, of course, propagandistic justifications for his royal rule, Nabonidus does not seem to have come to power as a usurper , but rather at the will of the upper class.

Nabonidus' first official announcement as king comes from May 18, 556 BC. BC and was created only 22 days after the first message from its predecessor. A connection between Nabonidus and the Babylonian usurpation group is described by Berossus as “a conspiracy in which Nabonidus played a decisive role”. The new balance of power spread very slowly in the Babylonian Empire, since the last mention of Lā-abāši-Marduk as the ruling king was on June 13, 556 BC. BC falls, 26 days after the first inscription of Nabonidus as the new king. The accuracy of the few reports about Lā-abāši-Marduk and his fall cannot be verified because the small number of documents from his reign do not provide any information about him. In addition, the inscription Nabonidus, in which he justifies the violent end of his predecessor, is only very incomplete today.

Nabonidus as the new king

The exact time of Nabonidus' takeover of the throne is described in the accountability report for the first two years, among other things, by an astronomical constellation that is said to have occurred in his first year of rulership: “ Mars and Mercury could not be seen at dusk, but Venus , Jupiter and Saturn were well closed recognize. ”The rare planetary constellation was only on two days at the end of May 555 BC. Visible. It was not until 544 BC. The same event could be observed again. In addition, the Babylonian king mentions a period of 54 years, which lay between the seizure of power and the destruction of Harran in the 16th year of Nabopolassar's reign . On the basis of these details, the accession to government can undoubtedly date from 556 BC. And the 1st year of rulers to 555 BC To be dated.

Nabonidus' goal was to restore the former state of the empire, both economically and theologically. The Babylonian king relied on him for well-meaning, financially strong social circles who supported Nabonidus in his efforts. In the initial phase of his reign, the Babylonian king concentrated administrative and economic reforms, particularly on the organizational structure of the large temples and, associated with this, on limiting the influence of the Marduk temple priests.

New economic policy through temple land reforms

At the center of the economic circumcisions begun by Nabonidus were the lands of the temples of Marduk in the heartland of Babylonia, which thereby lost their previously ample income. So the Babylonian king replaced the post of temple scribe with a royal overseer for the property of the Eanna temple . The office of state treasurer for the royal temple income was created in the third year of the reign of the Babylonian ruler. Other important sanctuaries were affected by similar restrictions on their autonomy .

Without the income from the temples, no great influence could be exerted on the crucial official responsibilities. In addition, many workers who previously worked for the shrines of Marduk were lost as additional "economic factors" of the priesthood. In return, Nabonid promoted on the one hand the lands and temples of the Sin priesthood through exemption from duties and taxes and on the other hand through financial donations the places of worship in the peripheral provinces.

New lease systems

Nabonid leased the lands to the economically strong families. A two-tier lease system replaced the previous lower taxes on the temples, so that the Babylonian king received a secure, calculable source of income that was not linked to crop yields thanks to the temple land and the fixed minimum taxes. In addition, he levied a saddled tax by participating in the sales proceeds of the farm products. The main component of tax revenue was the agricultural wholesale sector, which was subject to high tax rates . The reduced tax burden on private garden land led to a significant revival of this sector.

The tenants had to pay 28 Kor (1 Kor = 180 liters) dates per hectare of garden land to the king and 4 Kor dates to the gardeners. After the subsequent harvest, one kor tax levy on the district overseers, clerks, surveyors and storage clerks was waived for 12 kor dates. A deduction of around 23% was made for meals. About 77% remained as a direct tax levy and thus an effective tax rate of about 6.33% as a harvest levy. The former participation of the Esagila Temple in the garden land yields ceased without replacement.

The usual calculation unit for arable land ("1 plow") corresponded to about 33 hectares and was subject to a minimum cultivation of four iron plows , two cows and four plowers imposed on the tenant . The king received 300 Kor of barley as a basic tax without deductions. The tax was broken down into several sections: 20% of the harvest yield for transport costs and wages for the district overseers, clerks, surveyors and storage clerks. 8.33% tax to the Esagila temple, which in turn had to pay 23% of this to the servants of the king. This resulted in the effective harvest tax rates of about 26.33% for the king's personnel costs and 6% as a temple fee. Overall, the tenants had to pay 32.33% about a third as a harvest tax payment.

Economic situation and consequences of the reforms

The reduced income had economically fatal consequences for the main shrine Esaĝila , as control of the most important economic sectors after the reforms was in the hands of the royal family and their sponsors. The effects affected large parts of the Babylonian people, who no longer worked mainly for the temples after the reforms, but were subject to the instructions of the new tenants and the king. Nabonids donations to the temples of the moon god and their restorations decentralized the ruling power structures of the Marduk priesthood, which was deprived of the economic basis for countermeasures by these reforms.

Around 3,000 surviving documents, which contain a description of the economic conditions in the country, show overall growing economic returns in the later course of the reign of the Babylonian king . Especially in times of sufficient rainfall after a drought period, the prosperity in Babylonia grew , as the prices for barley, wool and other goods were 30 to 50% cheaper than usual. In his inscriptions, Nabonidus affirmed that, apart from intermittent short-term famine , his subjects lived in prosperity during the further course of his reign.

Theological conversion

Nabonidus also referred to the state of the land of Babylonia before the establishment of the New Babylonian Empire in theological terms. The Babylonian king had not forgotten the destruction of his homeland in Harran and pressed for reparations. It was difficult for Nabonidus to justify theological injustice, which he saw as serious. The Babylonian king officially certified Nabopolassar innocence in the expulsion of his mother Adad-happe. In his theology of the empire, the Medes were given the sole role of "destroyers of the homeland of their ancestors". Nabonidus nevertheless pointed out that the Sin statues have been "in the temple of Babylon and actually belong to their place of origin" for a long time. The Babylonian king diplomatically formulated the transport of the Harran deities to Babylon as a “protective measure of his predecessors”.

At first it was impossible for Nabonidus to openly oppose the supremacy of the main god Marduk if he did not want to let the already tense situation degenerate into an open battle. First, therefore, the introduction of the ancient moon god took place in an equal partnership with Marduk. Theologically, the Babylonian king justified the reintroduction of Sin as a "measure of reconciliation after 54 years, which should reunite Marduk and Sin and which Marduk wanted". Later, Marduk slowly faded in his admiration and completely lost the leadership role to Sin.

Government and overthrow

The first three years of government

Detail of the Babylonian Ishtar Gate ( Pergamon Museum , Berlin )

The detailed picture of the foreign policy situation cannot be fully explored in research at the present time. The regionally limited campaigns of Nabonidus' predecessors are striking, which took place mainly in the area of ​​Cilicia and further on to the Lydian border. The statements of the Babylonian king on the Nabonidus cylinder suggest that Babylonia was apparently not militarily strong enough to advance into Median areas.

The economic supply in Babylonia must have been in a bad state when he took office, since the Babylonian king in 553 BC. BC suddenly fell ill and the Akkadian army moved to Cilicia in the month of Abu to import large quantities of fruit and vegetables to Babylonia. In his Harran inscription, Nabonidus blames the subjects for the supply shortages in his first years of reign: “The inhabitants of Babylon, Borsippa and other cities have sinned against the gods, have eaten each other like animals and are sick and sick because of the anger of the gods Famine ravaged ”.

Nabonid therefore proceeded rapidly to revive the old cults and to restore the ruined sanctuaries of Sin and Šamaš in Ur , Sippar and Larsa . At the same time he brought valuable gifts to the temples. So he left the city of Sippar on June 15, 555 BC. Six mines of gold as a gift for the sun god Šamaš.

He worshiped the important deities Bel , Nabu and Nergal on the occasion of the New Year celebrations on April 20, 554 BC. 100 talents 21 mines of silver and five talents 17 mines of gold. The Babylonian king insisted on donating jewels, gold and silver personally for the moon god Sin, the sun god Šamaš and the goddess of war Ištar in the important cities of Larsa, Ur and Uruk. Nabonidus also referred to the traditions of the Kingdom of Larsa and the city of Ur, which at that time went back over 1,200 years. Nevertheless, the local priesthood was hostile to him, since he obviously did not perform the worship of Sin according to Babylonian rites.

With the New Year celebrations at the beginning of his third year of reign in 553 BC. The Babylonian king appointed En-nigaldi-Nanna in connection with a previously in the month of Ululu 554 BC. A negative oracle request was made to Sin about the new Entu priestess. After the symbolic “holy wedding”, his daughter moved to the Egipar temple in Ur, which had been conferred on her by the holy divine additional title she was given .

The time is known from a cuneiform tablet by Nabonidus, which recorded a lunar eclipse on September 19, 554 BC. Chr. Describes: "When the sun darkens the moon during the morning watch in the month of Ululu, then Sin wants a new Entu-priestess". The reference to the old cults was important to the Babylonian king, since En-ane-du was the last in 1764 BC. Appointed Entu priestess of Ur, daughter of Kudur-Mabuk and sister of Rim-Sin I. , found special mention.

As a general, Nabonid continued the usual campaigns of his predecessors. 555 BC In his first campaign he went to Cilicia (Akkadian: Chume ) and then returned with 2,850 prisoners of war. In the year 554 BC A dispute with Hamath in Syria followed before the Babylonian king entered into an alliance with Nabu-tattan-usur of Amurru in 553 BC. BC attacked the land of Edom (Akkadian: Adummu ) in the month of Kislimu . However, the short-term successes did not bring the desired immediate economic success.

The Babylonian Ištar Gate

The public preference of Sins over Marduk also escalated the dispute between the royal family and the temples of the Marduk priesthood. In order to secure the economic development and the supply of Babylon, Nabonidus only remained the route of military expansion into the Arab desert regions. The aim of his strategic planning was to control the important trade routes that converged in the Tayma oasis .

The particular strategic importance was made clear by the fact that the empire of the Babylonian king no longer had its own seaports due to the increasing siltation of the Persian Gulf. In addition, the media had blocked his northern and eastern trade routes. The argument that Nabonidus moved to Tayma simply because of his religious views, since the Arabs would have worshiped the moon god there, does not seem very convincing.

The economic reasons mentioned and the dispute with the priestly establishment are therefore considered to be the main reasons for Nabonid's move to Tayma and his long stay there. Later reports, according to which the ruler is said to have withdrawn because of an illness such as " madness " or leprosy , are also considered unhistorical. The Babylonian king later justified his departure in his inscriptions with the disbelief of his subjects, who had brought the punishment of the gods over the land, and his abhorrence of this areligiousness. In addition, he ended the annual New Year celebrations with his departure, which could no longer be held due to his absence from the capital. With this step he no longer had to respect the privileges of the Babylonians that were valid during this festival.

“And Nabonidus said, 'I will establish a sacred abode for Sin and name it' Ehulhul '; so that the new holy place may last forever. The new temple should be like Ekur . When my work is done, I will take Sin by the hand and lead him to his holy seat. Until the completion of my work, I will follow my convictions and no longer celebrate the old holy festivals. The New Year processions in Nisannu are declared over by me '. Then Nabonid made the first brick, like that of Ekur, gave plans for his sacred bull, similar to the one in Esaĝila , which he wanted to have built in front of the foundation of the temple. After completing this atrocity, an unholy act, Nabonidus began [with other preparations] at the beginning of the third year of the reign. "

Nabonidus (Saudi Arabia)
Tayma (exile from Nabonidus)
Tayma (exile from Nabonidus)
Nabonidus (Iraq)
Large Map: Saudi Arabia
Small Map: Iraq

The Babylonian king commissioned at the end of the third year of reign in February 552 BC. His son Bel-šarru-usur took over the administration of the land and formally subordinated the Babylonian army to him. Nabonid left no doubt that a speedy return was not planned, and then set out with the troops from Akkad for northern Arabia .

The period of exile

In the course of the campaign, Nabonid conquered first Jathrib and then Dadan , in order to later build the new residence on the same site after his victory in Tayma , which was built as an image of the Babylonian royal palace. His inscription from Harran says that he will be living for the next ten years from 552 BC. Until the end of the 13th year of government in March 542 BC. In his newly elected seat of government Tayma. In other Arab oases he set up further garrisons during this time and concluded alliances with his southern neighbors, probably to ward off the expanding Persian Empire. The kings of Egypt and the media, as well as Arab rulers, sent peace embassies to pay their respects in his metropolis Tayma.

In his exile he was able to avoid holding the New Year celebrations, which traditionally required the king to “take the hands of Marduk” in person and which could not be celebrated without this ritual. During this time, the inhabitants of Babylon and other holy cities enjoyed privileges according to this tradition, such as exemption from compulsory labor or rights of self-government.

After April 17, 546 BC BC in Dūr-Karāšu on the Euphrates above Sippar, the death of Adad-happe ordered her grandson Bel-šarru-usur to mourn for three days. The subsequent transmitted news of the death of his mother must have deeply affected Nabonid in Tayma, since in the month of Simanu (June 11 to July 9 in the year 546 BC) he proclaimed another general state mourning in which the people of Babylon, such a report, "sank weeping in lamentation and pain".

The fall of Babylon

Nabonidus (Iraq)
Rawanduz pass
Rawanduz pass
South Urartu
South Urartu
Nabonidus (Saudi Arabia)
Tayma (exile from Nabonaid)
Tayma (exile from Nabonaid)
Attack campaign on Babylon ( country details indicate the center of the respective state).
Large Map: Iraq
Small Map: Saudi Arabia

An exact reconstruction of the 542 BC After Nabonidus returned from his exile in Tayma in the 14th year of reign, this cannot be done due to a lack of cuneiform evidence. We have certain knowledge of the activities in the run-up to Cyrus II, who fueled the tension between Nabonid and the Marduk priesthood by making aid pledges to the Nabonidus opponents and offering himself as an alternative government . In the meantime, Nabonidus initiated defensive measures for Babylon, which began in March 539 BC. Were intensified by bringing the Ištar statue home from Uruk . First attacks by Cyrus II on territories of Babylon in the spring of 539 BC BC in the Gutium region caused Nabonidus to transfer more statues of gods to Babylon as reinforcements. The Babylonian king acted according to the old Mesopotamian belief that the gods would bestow their blessings on whoever was in possession of their images. Cyrus II later turned this act of Nabonidus into its opposite by claiming that the Babylonian king had the images brought to Babylon against the will of the gods and thereby incurred their wrath.

After the Persian king had formed a military alliance with the Sagartier prince Ugbaru and assured him of the satrap position in Babylon, Cyrus II moved from Sagartien in September over the Diyala River to Opis on the Tigris, about 400 kilometers away . At this fortress at the eastern end of the so-called “ Median Wall ”, the battle was decided very quickly, and the Babylonian Empire was subject to the Persian-Median alliance. After the subsequent massacre of the Babylonian prisoners, the last strategic fortress, Sippar, was captured without resistance. Cyrus II tried to capture Nabonidus, who had since fled. The Nabonidus Chronicle gives a detailed account of what happened:

“In the month of Tashritu , Cyrus fought the battle of Opis on the banks of the Tigris. Because of the strength of the army of Cyrus II, the Akkadian soldiers withdrew ... On the 15th Tashritu, Sippar was captured ... Cyrus II had the spoils of war carried away and the prisoners killed ... On the 16th of Tashritu Ugbaru, governor of Gutium and the army of the Cyrus enters Babylon. "

After Ugbaru entered the city without a fight on October 6, 539 BC. According to the Nabonidus Chronicle, the Babylonian king was imprisoned in Babylon. After the coronation, the Persian king ordered the demolition or the pillage of all Nabonidus structures. Writings that had the Babylonian king as their content obeyed the same purpose as statues and pictures of him. The last remarks on Nabonidus end in the verse poem with the words: "Everything that Nabonidus had created in his life was distributed as ashes by the wind in all directions."

Death of Nabonidus

Since the primary sources, i.e. the cuneiform texts, do not provide any information about the fate of Nabonidus after the fall of Babylon, one has to rely on the contradicting information provided by Greek historians. According to Xenophon , Ugbaru ( called Gobryas here ) and another defector, both of whom had been badly treated by the Babylonian king, entered the palace the night after the Persians entered Babylon and killed the king they hated. According to Berossos, however, Nabonid surrendered in Borsippa , was pardoned by Cyrus II and was allowed to spend his old age in Carmania . The Greek historian Abydenos , who lived in the 2nd century AD, embellished this report in his fragmentary work on Assyrian and Babylonian history by adding the subsequent appointment of Nabonids as regent of Carmania by the Persian king. The earlier prevailing opinion, derived from the statements of the ancient historians, that Cyrus II treated the kings he had defeated with care, has been shaken by the discovery of the reliable Nabonidus Chronicle, since according to its statements the Persian king killed at least the ruler of a conquered country whose name is given as Urartu after corrected reading . It must be stated that the circumstances of Nabonidus death are currently completely unknown.

Construction activities of Nabonids

Model of a ziggurat

Nabonidus building inscriptions are more religious than those of his predecessors. By victims show divine orders issued founded the Babylonierkönig its intense temple new buildings and introduced at the same time clear that only he was able to interpret the complicated omens correctly. Nabonidus developed a strong propensity for archaeological expeditions to excavate the original founding pods (temennu) of the holy sites. Even earlier Mesopotamian rulers were interested in the past, but according to Nabonidus' explanations in the inscriptions, he researched it with a previously unknown pedantry. The aim of the Babylonian king was to restore the Babylonian temples exactly according to the plans of their ancient predecessors. Nabonid systematically dug in the foundations of the dilapidated sanctuaries for the founding capsules of the first builders and tried to build the temple to be restored exactly on the old site.

Unlike today's archaeologists, the Babylonian king did not have a scientific interest in shedding light on the history of ancient times, but his urge to excavate was based on the ancient Mesopotamian belief that receiving the blessings of the original builder and the deities he worshiped gave him authority and legitimacy. This was particularly important for Nabonidus because he did not come to the throne because of his descent from the royal family, but through a usurpation.

During the restoration work on the Ebabbara temple in Sippar, Nabonid came across a damaged statue of the Sargon of Akkad , which he had repaired and rebuilt. The Babylonian king used the founding capsules of Ur-Nammu , Šulgi and the Kassite ruler Burna-buriaš II from other archaeological endeavors . The founding documents contain valuable information due to their building history from very ancient times.

The unusually lively building activity of the Babylonian king is known to some extent through his inscriptions and documents received from the temple archives. According to Berossus, he decorated the existing defensive wall on the banks of the Euphrates in the capital Babylon. It was discovered by a French expedition (1852-1854) and uncovered by later German excavations under the direction of Robert Koldewey . The stamps of some bricks found on the Euphrates confirmed Berossos' statement. However, the exact date of the construction of the wall is not known. The sea wall with its watchtowers protected Babylon's weakest fortified side so far and represented a continuation of the fortifications of the capital, which was already heavily developed by Nebuchadnezzar II. In Babylon, Nabonid had the temple Emašdari of the Akkadian Ištar and the inner city wall Imgur Enlil restored. Furthermore, he donated a golden chair for the god Ea , had the doors in the temple of Nineanna and some rooms of Esaĝila covered with silver and bronze dragons and bulls attached to the wall that surrounded the Ninmah temple .

Eulmaš temple construction

For the rebuilding of the Ištar temple Eulmaš in Akkad , Nabonid went particularly meticulously in his search for the original founding documents. Sargon of Akkad and his grandson Naram-Sin owned this temple around 2300 BC. First built. According to the report of the Babylonian king, several kings later searched in vain for the old building documents, for example King Kuri-galzu II in the 2nd millennium BC. Then Asarhaddon of Assyria and his son Aššur-bāni-apli around 652 BC. As well as lastly Nebuchadnezzar II., Who until 562 BC Ruled. Even Nabonid was not granted immediate success in his search: “I dug in the cesspools of Nebuchadnezzar II for 3 years, but I found nothing.” But the Babylonian king still believed the promise of a dream face that he would find the founding capsule. Upon further investigation, a downpour uncovered an extensive channel in which the “Temennu” of the Naram-Sin was actually discovered. So Nabonidus was able to erect the new Eulmaš building "not a hand's breadth from the former sanctuary".

Temple building Ehulhul

Ulu Cami ruins on the former Sin Temple Ehulhul in Harran

At the beginning of his exile in Tayma, the Babylonian king announced in 553 BC. The reconstruction of Ehulhul, the restoration of which began in the last Tayma year and in the year of the return of Nabonidus in 542 BC. Was completed. The year of the reconstruction is confirmed by private documents and the stanza poem hostile to the Babylonian king .

According to the Sippar cylinder, Nabonidus recruited residents from the Persian Gulf to the Mediterranean for the work on the sanctuary in Harran . After the holy procession in Babylon , he had the statues of the moon god brought to the rebuilt temple in Harran. The postponement of the temple construction in the initial phase of his reign had theological character in order to justify the later elevation of Sin to the chief god and the supposedly related appointment of the Babylonian king as heir to the throne.

Further construction activities

Remnants of the city of Ur with the ziggurat of Ur-Nammu

In Sippar took place in 554 BC. The rebuilding of the Ebabbara temple dedicated to the sun god Šamaš. The Babylonian king took on additional construction work on the Ebabbara temple in 546 BC. BC before. Further restorations: In the second year of reign in Ur, the renewal of the Egipar temple for the priestesses of the moon god and in Kuta the construction of the city wall.

In addition, Nabonid had the temple of Bunene in Sippar built between his 4th and 13th year and the temple of the Anunītum in Sippar-Anunītum in his 16th year of reign .

Finally, Nabonid built a temple in Ubassi for the goddess Nanaja and, presumably during his last reign, the ziggurat of Ur and a part of the temple of Egišnugal of Ur called the Enunmah . Cuneiform evidence of his building activity in Tayma has not yet been found.


Detail from the Harran stele, ( Şanlıurfa Archaeological Museum )
The old Sela taken from the city of Sela

On his Harran stele, Nabonidus is depicted with the conical Babylonian crown and an ornate staff. A stele acquired by CJ Rich in Babylon in 1811 and from the end of Nabonid's reign portrays the Babylonian king in a similar way to his Harran stele. In Tayma a stele was discovered, probably made during the Achaemenid period , with the image of a similarly dressed ruler, which perhaps depicts a statue erected by the Babylonian king during his stay in the desert oasis.

The upper part of a dark gray basalt stele from Nabonid that was later used as a door frame in the sun temple at Larsa also shows his portrait, which was apparently deliberately made almost completely unrecognizable after his fall. In addition, a Babylonian king, dressed similarly to the Harran stele, appears on a terracotta vessel discovered in Nippur . A similar image can be found on a rock relief in Sela in Jordan , dating from around 553 BC. BC comes after he had conquered Edom . It was discovered in 1996 and shows the king who worships the moon god Sin in the form of a crescent moon, next to it the winged Šamaš as the sun and the seven-pointed Venus star of the Ištar; on the edge an inscription in five columns .

Leap years during the reign

The following leap months are used during his reign:

Leap years during the reign of Nabonidus
Reg. Year Dating Leap month Beginning of the leap month Beginning of the next tašritu Beginning of the next nisannu
1 555  to  554 BC Chr. Addaru II March 13, 554 BC Chr. October 6, 554 BC Chr. April 11, 554 BC Chr.
3 553 to 552 BC Chr. Addaru II March 20, 552 BC Chr. October 13, 552 BC Chr. April 19, 552 BC Chr.
6th 550 to 549 BC Chr. Addaru II March 18, 549 BC Chr. October 9, 549 BC Chr. April 16, 549 BC Chr.
10 546 to 545 BC Chr. Ululu II September 8, 546 BC Chr. October 7, 546 BC Chr. April 1, 545 BC Chr.
12 544 to 543 BC Chr. Addaru II March 11, 543 BC Chr. October 4, 543 BC Chr. April 10, 543 BC Chr.
15th 541 to 540 BC Chr. Addaru II March 8, 540 BC Chr. September 30, 540 BC Chr. April 7, 540 BC Chr.

Nabonidus in connection with the Old Testament

Book of Daniel, Chapter 4

The fourth chapter of the book of Daniel ( Dan 4,1–34  EU ) reports about a dream of the Babylonian ruler Nebuchadnezzar (II.) . The king dreamed of a huge tree in the middle of the earth that gave all animals shade and food. A voice ordered everything but the stump to be felled. The human heart should be taken from him for "seven times" and replaced by an animal one. All this should be done "so that the living may see that the Most High has power over the kingdoms of men". Since Nebuchadnezzar's sage could not interpret this dream, the king gave Daniel the task of interpreting it.

Daniel explained to the Babylonian king that the tree meant himself and that he would have to live in the wild with the animals for seven years. But his kingdom will be preserved as soon as he recognizes the power of heaven. As the fourth chapter progresses, Nebuchadnezzar reports that everything happened as Daniel interpreted and that he finally recognized the power of the Most High God.

"Prayer of Nabonidus"

Cave 4 near the ruins of Qumran

In direct connection with the fourth chapter of the book of Daniel there is a legendary account written in Aramaic , which belongs to the inventory of the Dead Sea Scrolls from Qumran. He describes the suffering and healing of Nabonidus as well as his praise to the god YHWH associated with it .

In contrast to the Book of Daniel, the proclamation does not take place by word, but by means of a written arrangement by a person not named in the received text: “Then he (yhwdy = a Jew) informed me by writing that the honor was to be rendered and greatness to the name of the (highest) God ”. The find from Qumran confirms the assumption made earlier that behind the biblical-literary figure of Nebuchadnezzar II in the fourth chapter of the book of Daniel was originally the historical Nabonidus.

Based on palaeographic comparisons , the writing of the manuscript is dated to the 1st century BC. Dated. The narration is based on older models, but there is no clarity about the exact timing. What is striking is the parallel to the Mesopotamian tradition of the written proclamation of divine instructions , which thus provides the mythological background why the invitation was not delivered as a spoken word. In his inscriptions, Nabonid referred to Nabu as the god of writing, who initiated the Babylonian king into his secrets. Through the act of written request, the god, alien in the eyes of Nabonidus, is raised to at least one level with Nabu.

Possible role models

The related contacts between the book of Daniel and the prayer of Nabonidus shown raise the question of their relationship to one another. Presumably both go back to older, non-Jewish traditions about Nabonidus, which can be found in Nabonidus' verse poem and the Harran inscription .

The long absence of Nabonidus from Babylon had been interpreted by the hostile Marduk priesthood as the result of mental illness, and the Jews, who were able to return to their homeland after the conquest of Babylon by Cyrus II, perhaps transferred this view to their hated Nebuchadnezzar . YHWH chose the Babylonian king as an instrument to punish his chosen people and therefore gave him the power to conquer Jerusalem. The “Conqueror King” then neglected his God, was beaten with madness and only found healing again through the recognition of YHWH as “true” God. In the book of Daniel, negative interpretations from the history of Nabonidus were therefore deliberately incorporated into those of the “Jerusalem destroyer” Nebuchadnezzar; The author was not concerned with historical accuracy.

Translations of the cuneiform texts


  • Otto Kaiser (Hrsg.): Texts from the environment of the Old Testament . tape 1 , old series. Gerd Mohn, Gütersloh 1984, ISBN 3-579-00063-2 .
  • Martine Kommer: King Nabonid of Babylon according to sources in cuneiform script . University of Tübingen, Tübingen 1974.
  • Hanspeter Schaudig : The inscriptions of Nabonids of Babylon and Cyrus the Great, together with the trend writings that were created in their environment (=  Old Orient and Old Testament . Volume 256 ). Ugarit-Verlag, Münster 2001, ISBN 3-927120-75-8 .
  • Rudolf Zehnpfund, Stephen Langdon: The New Babylonian King's Inscriptions (German translation of the English original version by Stephen Langdon) . Hinrichs, Leipzig 1912.


  • Paul-Alain Beaulieu: The reign of Nabonidus, King of Babylon, 556-539 BC Yale University Press, New Haven 1989, ISBN 0-300-04314-7 .
  • Paul-Alain Beaulieu: Legal and administrative texts from the reign of Nabonidus . Yale University Press, New Haven 2000, ISBN 0-300-05770-9 .
  • Paul-Alain Beaulieu, Ulla Kasten: Late Babylonian texts in the Nies Babylonian Collection . Yale University Press, New Haven 1994, ISBN 1-883053-04-8 .
  • J. Cargill: The Nabonidus Chronicle and the Fall of Lydia . In: American Journal of Ancient History . No. 2 , 1977.
  • Raymond Philip Dougherty: Nabonidus and Belshazzar: A study of the closing events of the neo-Babylonian empire . AMS Press, New York 1980, ISBN 0-404-60285-1 (first edition: 1929).
  • Albert-Kirk Grayson: Assyrian and Babylonian Chronicles (Nabonidus Chronicles) . Augustin, New York 1975.
  • Wilfred G. LambertO: A new Source for the reign of Nabonidus . In: Archive for Orient Research . No. 22 (1968/1969) , pp. 1-36 .
  • Adolf Leo Oppenheim : The cuneiform texts (translations from James B. Pritchard's Ancient near Eastern texts) . Special print from “Glass and glassmaking in ancient Mesopotamia”, without location 1970.
  • James B. Pritchard : Ancient near Eastern texts (reprint) . Pro Quest, 2005, ISBN 0-691-03503-2 .
  • Sidney Smith: Babylonian Historical Texts to the Capture and downfall of Babylon (Reprint) . Verlag Olms, Hildesheim 1975, ISBN 3-487-05615-1 .
  • Reginald-Campbell Thompson: Late Babylonian Letters: Transliterations and Translations of a Series of Letters written in Babylonian Cuneiform, chiefly during the Reigns of Nabonidus, Cyrus, Cambyses, and Darius . AMS Press, New York 1976 (first edition: 1906).



  • Joachim Oelsner: Nabonidus. In: The New Pauly (DNP). Volume 8, Metzler, Stuttgart 2000, ISBN 3-476-01478-9 , column 660 f.
  • David Clines, Elke Blumenthal : Wisdom in Israel. Contributions to the symposium “The Old Testament and Modern Culture” on the occasion of the 100th birthday of Gerhard von Rad (1901–1971), Heidelberg, 18. – 21. October 2001 . Lit, Münster 2003, ISBN 3-8258-5459-0 .
  • Hartmut Gese : Old Testament Studies. The historical picture of the book of Daniel and Egypt; The significance of the crisis under Antiochus IV. Epiphanes for the apocalyptic of the Book of Daniel . JCB Mohr, Tübingen 1991, ISBN 3-16-145699-8 .
  • Reinhard-Gregor Kratz: Judaism in the Age of the Second Temple (study edition from the series of publications: Research on the Old Testament, No. 42) . Mohr-Siebeck, Tübingen 2006, ISBN 3-16-148835-0 .
  • Jean Meeus : Astronomical Algorithms with Applications for “Ephemeris Tool 4,5” . Verlag Barth, Leipzig 2000, ISBN 3-335-00400-0 .
  • Rudolf Meyer: The prayer of Nabonidus. A wisdom tale rediscovered in the Qumran manuscripts . Akademie Verlag, Berlin 1962.
  • Wolfgang Röllig : Considerations on the new steles of King Nabonids. In: Journal for Assyriology and Near Eastern Archeology . Volume 56, 1964, pp. 218-260.
  • Anna-Maria Schwemer: Studies on the early Jewish prophetic legends - The Vites of the great prophets Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Daniel: Introduction, translation and commentary - . Mohr, Tübingen 1995, ISBN 3-16-146439-7 .
  • Klaas R. Veenhof: History of the ancient Orient up to the time of Alexander the great. Floor plans for the Old Testament . Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 2001, ISBN 3-525-51686-X .
  • Franz Heinrich Weißbach : Ναβονάδιος. In: Paulys Realencyclopadie der classischen Antiquity Science (RE). Volume XVI, 2, Stuttgart 1935, Col. 1483-1489.
  • Josef Wiesehöfer : Ancient Persia 550 BC Until 650 AD Patmos, Düsseldorf 2005, ISBN 3-491-96151-3 .


  • Pierre Briant : From Cyrus to Alexander: A History of the Persian Empire . Eisenbrauns, Winona Lake 2002, ISBN 1-57506-031-0 .
  • Muhammad A. Dandamayev, Michael Roaf: Nabonid . In: Reallexikon der Assyriologie und Vorderasiatischen Aräologie (RIA) . tape 9 . Walter de Gruyter, Berlin / New York 2001, p. 6-12 .
  • Lester L. Grabbe: Leading captivity captive - "The exile" as history and ideology . In: European Seminar in Historical Methodology . tape 2 . Sheffield Acad. Press, Sheffield 1998, ISBN 1-85075-907-3 .
  • Ronald H. Sack: Nabonidus . In: The anchor bible dictionary . tape 4 . Doubleday, New York et al. a. 1992, p. 973-976 .

Web links

Commons : Nabonid  - collection of images, videos and audio files


  1. This is the form used by Herodotus, who hereby probably denotes the kings of the Neo-Babylonian dynasty in general; different spellings can be found in the canon of Ptolemy and the epitomators of Berossus.
  2. The 18th year of reign would have been on Nisannu 1 in 538 BC. Had its beginning, which is why a full 17 years to the year 538 BC. Chr. Must be added.
  3. Under Darius I followed in 522 BC. BC Nebuchadnezzar III. and 521 BC BC Nebuchadnezzar IV. As usurpers .
  4. Hans J. Nissen: History of the Ancient Near East . Oldenbourg, Munich 1999, p. 111.
  5. About 3000 economic documents from the 17-year reign of Nabonidus are compared to only 1700 texts from the 43-year reign of Nebuchadnezzar II.
  6. St. Langdon: The New Babylonian King's Inscriptions , 1912, pp. 46 ff., 218 ff.
  7. ^ Reinhard-Gregor Kratz: Judaism in the Age of the Second Temple (study edition from the series: Research on the Old Testament, No. 42) . Mohr (Siebeck), Tübingen 2006, pp. 44-47.
  8. a b c d Muhammad A. Dandamayev: Nabonid. In: RIA , Vol. 9, pp. 7-8; Franz Heinrich Weißbach : Ναβονάδιος. In: Paulys Realencyclopadie der classischen Antiquity Science (RE). Volume XVI, 2, Stuttgart 1935, Col. 1483–1489, here Col. 1483–1486.
  9. Herodotus, Historien 1.74; 1.77; 1.188.
  10. Herodotus, Histories 1,188.
  11. Herodotus, Histories 1.74.
  12. Xenophon, Education of Cyrus 5,4,35 and 7,5,32
  13. A brick inscription from Harran names the father of Nabonid differently Nusku-balāstu-iqbi .
  14. Wolfgang Röllig: Considerations on the new steles of King Nabonids. In: Journal for Assyriology and Near Eastern Archeology. Volume 56, 1964, pp. 218-260, here p. 236.
  15. Paul-Alain Beaulieu: The reign of Nabonidus, King of Babylon, 556-539 BC Yale University Press, New Haven 1989, pp. 74-80.
  16. The certificate contains the date “16. Sabatu in the eighth year of Nebuchadnezzar's reign ”. The 16th Sabatu fell in 596 BC. On February 18th and the beginning of spring on March 28th in the proleptic Julian calendar. The time difference to the Gregorian calendar is 7 days, which must be deducted from February 18. Calculations according to Jean Meeus: Astronomical Algorithms - Applications for Ephemeris Tool 4,5 ; Leipzig: Barth, 2000 and Ephemeris Tool 4.5 conversion program .
  17. A scribe had replaced the word “man” in one of the copies with “son”; see. on this: Theophilus-Goldridge Pinches: The Old Testament in the light of the historical records and legends of Assyria and Babylonia , Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, London 1908, p. 436.
  18. Wolfgang Röllig: Considerations on the new steles of King Nabonids. In: Journal for Assyriology and Near Eastern Archeology. Volume 56, 1964, pp. 218-260, here p. 239.
  19. The exact name spelling and discovery in Achemenet is available online (PDF; 451 kB).
  20. ^ Kurt Galling: Text book on the history of Israel (TGI) . Mohr, Tübingen 1979, ISBN 3-16-142361-5 , p. 81.
  21. a b c d e f g Lester L. Grabbe: Leading captivity captive - “The exile” as history and ideology - European Seminar in Historical Methodology 2 . Sheffield Acad. Press, Sheffield 1998, pp. 31-33.
  22. H 2, column I, lines 10-11, online here.
  23. ^ Library of the Institute for Near Eastern Antiquity in Berlin (VAB): 4, 276–277 Nabonidus 8 4: 34–41 and Ancient Near Eastern Texts relating to the Old Testament, No. 309 .
  24. Wolfgang Röllig: Considerations on the new steles of King Nabonids. In: Journal for Assyriology and Near Eastern Archeology. Volume 56, 1964, pp. 218-260, here pp. 239-241.
  25. ^ Date in the Gregorian calendar . The usual date is given as May 25th in the proleptic Julian calendar . The beginning of spring this year fell on March 28 of the same calendar; 7 days must therefore be deducted. Calculations according to Jean Meeus: Astronomical Algorithms - Applications for Ephemeris Tool 4,5 ; Barth, Leipzig 2000 and Ephemeris Tool 4.5 conversion program . Lā-abāši-Marduk's first pronouncement fell on April 26th.
  26. Berossos in Josephus , Kontra Apion 1, 20 § 149 u. a.
  27. a b Muhammad A. Dandamayev: Nabonid . In: RIA , Vol. 9, pp. 8-10.
  28. a b c d e f Bernd Jankowski, Gernot Wilhelm: Texts from the environment of the Old Testament, New Series Vol. 1 ; Gütersloh: Gütersloher Verlagshaus, 2004; Pp. 101-102.
  29. Muhammad A. Dandamayev: Nabonid . In: RIA , Vol. 9, p. 11.
  30. A Babylonian document from the eleventh year of Nabonidus reign (545 BC), for example, indicates that a widow dedicated her two sons to the temple of Eanna in Uruk so that they would not starve to death.
  31. Harran inscription H2, column 1, lines 14-22
  32. The 26th Simanu fell in 555 BC. On June 22nd and the beginning of spring on March 28th in the proleptic Julian calendar . The time difference to the Gregorian calendar is 7 days, which must be deducted from June 22nd. Calculations according to Jean Meeus: Astronomical Algorithms - Applications for Ephemeris Tool 4,5 ; Leipzig: Barth, 2000 and Ephemeris Tool 4.5 conversion program .
  33. The 10th Nisanu fell in 554 BC. On April 27th and the beginning of spring on March 28th in the proleptic Julian calendar. The time difference to the Gregorian calendar is 7 days, which must be deducted from April 27th. Calculations according to Jean Meeus: Astronomical Algorithms - Applications for Ephemeris Tool 4,5 ; Leipzig: Barth, 2000 and Ephemeris Tool 4.5 conversion program .
  34. Franz Heinrich Weißbach : Ναβονάδιος. In: Paulys Realencyclopadie der classischen Antiquity Science (RE). Volume XVI, 2, Stuttgart 1935, Sp. 1483–1489, here Sp. 1489.
  35. The beginning of the 13th Ululu fell in 554 BC. Chr. On the evening of September 25th, the lunar eclipse on the morning of September 26th and the beginning of spring on March 28th in the proleptic Julian calendar. The time difference to the Gregorian calendar is 7 days, which must be deducted from September 26th. Calculations according to Jean Meeus: Astronomical Algorithms - Applications for Ephemeris Tool 4,5 ; Leipzig: Barth, 2000 and Ephemeris Tool 4.5 conversion program . The lunar eclipse only reaches its maximum in the morning around 9:00 am and started shortly after sunrise; see. on this, Wilfred G. Lambert: A new Source for the reign of Nabonidus ; in: AfO 22, 1968/69.
  36. Wolfgang Röllig: The wisdom of the kings in Assyria and Babylonia. In: David JA Clines; Hermann Lichtenberger; Hans-Peter Müller (Ed.): Wisdom in Israel: Contributions to the symposium “The Old Testament and the Culture of Modernity” on the occasion of the 100th birthday of Gerhard von Rad (1901–1971). Heidelberg, 18. – 21. October 2001 ; Münster: Lit, 2003; Pp. 37–52, here p. 43. ( online )
  37. 1828 BC According to middle chronology .
  38. ^ Joachim Oelsner: Nabonidus. In: The New Pauly (DNP). Volume 8, Metzler, Stuttgart 2000, ISBN 3-476-01478-9 , column 661 f.
  39. Wolfgang Röllig: Considerations on the new steles of King Nabonids. In: Journal for Assyriology and Near Eastern Archeology. Volume 56, 1964, pp. 218-260, here p. 245.
  40. XXX: Röllig p. 252.
  41. According to the Nabonidus Chronicle, Adad-happe died on the 5th of Nisannu of the ninth year of the reign of Nabonidus. The 5th Nisanu fell in 546 BC. On April 24th and the beginning of spring on March 28th in the proleptic Julian calendar. The time difference to the Gregorian calendar is 7 days, which must be deducted from April 24th. It is not clear whether the date has to be converted to the actual Babylonian lunar or the static annual calendar. Calculations according to Jean Meeus: Astronomical Algorithms - Applications for Ephemeris Tool 4,5 ; Leipzig: Barth, 2000 and Ephemeris Tool 4.5 conversion program .
  42. According to the Harran inscription H1, Adad-happe reached the age of 104 years.
  43. The 1st Simanu fell in 546 BC. On June 18 in the proleptic Julian calendar. According to the lunar calendar, the month of Simanu contained 29 days this year. The time difference to the Gregorian calendar is 7 days, which must be deducted from June 18. Calculations according to Jean Meeus: Astronomical Algorithms - Applications for Ephemeris Tool 4,5 ; Leipzig: Barth, 2000 and Ephemeris Tool 4.5 conversion program .
  44. As the son and public representative of Nabonaids, Bel-Sharru-usur was only sealed from April 4th to 13th. Year of government, cf. in addition: Klaas R. Veenhof: History of the Old Orient up to the time of Alexander the Great - Outlines of the Old Testament ; Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2001; P. 284.
  45. a b Josef Wiesehöfer : Kyros 2. In: Der Neue Pauly (DNP). Volume 6, Metzler, Stuttgart 1999, ISBN 3-476-01476-2 , Sp. 1014-1017, here Sp. 1015.
  46. The Nabonidus Chronicle names the month of Adaru in the 16th year of the reign and the associated attacks by the Persians.
  47. The equation of the name Ugabru with Gobryas is in no way certain. The name Ugbaru is therefore used, which is also listed in the Nabonidus Chronicle. See also Rüdiger Schmitt in the Encyclopædia Iranica online
  48. Dietz-Otto Edzard : Real Lexicon of Assyriology and Near Eastern Archeology (RLA) . Volume 6, Berlin 1983, p. 402.
  49. The 16th Tashritu fell in the proleptic Julian calendar in 539 BC. On October 12th and the beginning of spring on March 28th. In conversion to today's Gregorian calendar, 7 days must therefore be deducted. The result is October 6th. It is not clear whether the date has to be converted to the actual Babylonian lunar or the static annual calendar. Calculations according to Jean Meeus: Astronomical Algorithms - Applications for Ephemeris Tool 4,5 ; Leipzig: Barth, 2000 and Ephemeris Tool 4.5 conversion program .
  50. Xenophon, Education of Cyrus 7.5.
  51. Flavius ​​Josephus refers to Berossos in On the Originality of Judaism 1.151–153 ( online ).
  52. Abydenos with Eusebius of Caesarea, Praeparatio evangelica 9, 41; u. a.
  53. Cf. translation according to Robert Rollinger : “In the month of Nisannu, Cyrus, king of Parsu, gathered his troops and crossed the Tigris below Erbil . In the month of Ajaru he marched to Urartu, killed the local king and stationed his troops in a fortress ”; According to the state of the new research, "this reading forms the new basis for all future evaluations" in Robert Rollinger: The Median Empire, the End of Urartu and Cyrus the Great Campaigne 547 BC. In Nabonidus Chronicle II 16 ; in: Proceedings of the 1st International Conference on Ancient Cultural Relations between Iran and West-Asia ; Tehran 2004, pp. 5-6.
  54. ^ Dietz-Otto Edzard: History of Mesopotamia , CH Beck, Munich 2004, p. 244.
  55. Flavius ​​Josephus quotes Berossos in On the originality of Judaism : 1, 149 .
  56. Franz Heinrich Weißbach : Ναβονάδιος. In: Paulys Realencyclopadie der classischen Antiquity Science (RE). Volume XVI, 2, Stuttgart 1935, col. 1483–1489, here col. 1488.
  57. a b Theodor A. Busink: The Temple of Jerusalem from Solomon to Herod: An archaeological-historical study taking into account the Western Semitic temple building , 1980, ISBN 90-04-06047-2 , pp. 804-805.
  58. Franz Heinrich Weißbach : Ναβονάδιος. In: Paulys Realencyclopadie der classischen Antiquity Science (RE). Volume XVI, 2, Stuttgart 1935, Sp. 1483-1489, here Sp. 1487-1488.
  59. Muhammad A. Dandamayev: Nabonid . In: RIA , Vol. 9, pp. 10 and 12; Franz Heinrich Weißbach : Ναβονάδιος. In: Paulys Realencyclopadie der classischen Antiquity Science (RE). Volume XVI, 2, Stuttgart 1935, Sp. 1483-1489, here Sp. 1488-1489.
  60. Michael Roaf: Nabonidus . In: RIA , Vol. 9, p. 12
  61. ^ Richard Anthony Parker , Waldo H. Dubberstein: Babylonian Chronology 626 BC - AD 75 . Brown University Press, Rhode Island 1956, pp. 5-7; Jean Meeus : Astronomical Algorithms - Applications for Ephemeris Tool 4,5 - , Barth, Leipzig 2000 for: Ephemeris Tool 4,5 according to Jean Meeus, conversion program, 2001 .
  62. a b c d Date in the Gregorian calendar ; In the Julian calendar system , six days are to be added to the Gregorian date. The date is based on NASA information ( memento from March 23, 2008 in the Internet Archive ) taking into account the T-Delta. For Babylonia, the time zone surcharge of 3 hours must be taken into account for Universal Time (UT); according to Jean Meeus : Astronomical Algorithms - Applications for Ephemeris Tool 4,5 - , Barth, Leipzig 2000 for: Ephemeris Tool 4,5 according to Jean Meeus, conversion program, 2001 .
  63. Anna-Maria Schwemer: Studies on the early Jewish prophetic legends. The Vites of the great prophets Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Daniel: Introduction, translation and commentary ; Tübingen: Mohr (Siebeck), 1995; Pp. 322-324; see. also Klaus Beyer: The Aramaic Texts from the Dead Sea: including the inscriptions from Palestine, Levi's will from the Cairo Genisa, the scroll of fasting and the old Talmudic quotations; Aramaic introduction, text, translation, interpretation, grammar / dictionary, German-Aramaic word list and index ; Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1984; Pp. 223-224; see. also: Klaus Beyer: The Aramaic Texts from the Dead Sea ; Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2004; Pp. 139-140.
  64. Wolfgang Röllig: The wisdom of the kings in Assyria and Babylonia ; in: David JA Clines, Hermann Lichtenberger, Hans-Peter Müller (eds.): Wisdom in Israel: Contributions to the symposium “The Old Testament and Modern Culture” on the occasion of the 100th birthday of Gerhard von Rad (1901–1971). Heidelberg, 18. – 21. October 2001 ; Münster: Lit, 2003; Pp. 37–52, here p. 39. ( online )
  65. Wolfram von Soden: A Babylonian folk tradition from Nabonid in the Daniel narratives. In: Journal for Old Testament Science 53 (1935), 81–89.
  66. See Józef T. Milik: Prière de Nabonide et autres écrits d'un cycle de Daniel. Fragments araméens de Qumran 4. In: Revue Biblique 63 (1956), pp. 407-415, here p. 407; and Frank Moore Cross: Fragments of the Prayer of Nabonidus. In: Israel Exploration Journal 34 (1984), pp. 260-264, here p. 260.
  67. Cf. Ronald H. Sack: Nabonidus ; in: The anchor bible dictionary; 1992; Vol. 4, p. 976
predecessor Office successor
Lā-abāši-Marduk King of Babylonia
555–539 BC Chr.
Cyrus II
This version was added to the list of articles worth reading on April 23, 2008 .