Late Babylonian Period

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The old Orient
The city gate of Nimrud
Timeline based on calibrated C 14 data
Epipalaeolithic 12000-9500 BC Chr.
Pre-ceramic Neolithic 9500-6400 BC Chr.
PPNA 9500-8800 BC Chr.
PPNB 8800-7000 BC Chr.
PPNC 7000-6400 BC Chr.
Ceramic Neolithic 6400-5800 BC Chr.
Umm Dabaghiyah culture 6000-5800 BC Chr.
Hassuna culture 5800-5260 BC Chr.
Samarra culture 5500-5000 BC Chr.
Transition to the Chalcolithic 5800-4500 BC Chr.
Halaf culture 5500-5000 BC Chr.
Chalcolithic 4500-3600 BC Chr.
Obed time 5000-4000 BC Chr.
Uruk time 4000-3100 / 3000 BC Chr.
Early Bronze Age 3000-2000 BC Chr.
Jemdet Nasr time 3000-2800 BC Chr.
Early dynasty 2900 / 2800-2340 BC Chr.
Battery life 2340-2200 BC Chr.
New Sumerian / Ur-III period 2340-2000 BC Chr.
Middle Bronze Age 2000-1550 BC Chr.
Isin Larsa Period / Ancient Assyrian Period 2000–1800 BC Chr.
Old Babylonian time 1800–1595 BC Chr.
Late Bronze Age 1550-1150 BC Chr.
Checkout time 1580-1200 BC Chr.
Central Assyrian Period 1400-1000 BC Chr.
Iron age 1150-600 BC Chr.
Isin II time 1160-1026 BC Chr.
Neo-Assyrian time 1000-600 BC Chr.
Neo-Babylonian Period 1025-627 BC Chr.
Late Babylonian Period 626-539 BC Chr.
Achaemenid period 539-330 BC Chr.
Years according to the middle chronology (rounded)

The late Babylonian period is a period in ancient oriental history that began with the rise of the first Neo-Babylonian king Nabǔ-apla-ușur in 626 BC. Begins and with the conquest of Babylon by the Achaemenid king Cyrus II in the year 539 BC. Ends. It is - with the New Babylonian Empire - the last phase of the rule of the city-state of Babylon over Mesopotamia and large parts of the Levant .

historical development

Reconstructed Ishtar Gate. Pergamon Museum Berlin.

The late Babylonian period follows on from the Neo-Assyrian period (911 BC-612/605 BC). In 626 BC The first Neo-Babylonian king Nabǔ-apla-uşur ascended the throne in Babylon, which at that time still belonged to the Neo-Assyrian Empire under the last king Sîn-šarru-iškun . Nabǔ-apla-uşur betrayed Sîn-šarru-iškun and entered into an alliance with the Medes . First Aššur came under Babylonian rule (614 BC), then Nineveh (612 BC). This effectively ended the Assyrian rule over Mesopotamia, even if the Neo-Assyrian Empire did not exist until 605 BC. BC, after the lost battle of Carchemish , finally went under.

Under Nabû-apla-uṣur's son Nabû-kudurrī-uṣur II , the Babylonian Empire succeeded in spreading over Syria to the southern Levant. Nabû-kudurrī-uṣur II was followed in quick succession by Amēl-Marduk (562 BC – 560 BC), Nergal-šarra-uṣur (560 BC – 556 BC) and Lābāši- Marduk (556 BC), until under the reign of the last neo-Babylonian king Nabû-nāʾid (555 BC – 539 BC) the capital of Babylon by the Achaemenid king Cyrus II in 539 BC. Was conquered without a fight.

Cultural development

Especially under Nabû-kudurrī-uṣur II , the city of Babylon experienced a new bloom and was magnificently expanded. This is how he most likely had the Etemenanki ziggurat built. A wall 18 km in length was drawn around the city and at the end of the processional street the Ishtar Gate (now on display in the Vorderasiatisches Museum in Berlin) reached its final shape.

The official language and lingua franca were Akkadian , written in cuneiform (from this time also called "New Babylonian") and Aramaic . After the fall of the New Babylonian Empire, Akkadian was increasingly displaced by Aramaic.

See also


  • Michael Jursa : The Babylonians. History, society, culture . CH Beck, Munich 2004.
  • Astrid Nunn : The Ancient Orient. History and archeology . Scientific Book Society, Darmstadt 2012.


  1. in the Levant
  2. a b c d in southern Mesopotamia
  3. a b c in northern Mesopotamia