CHAPTER I. introductory: babylon's place in the history of antiquity


CHAPTER II. the city of babylon and its remains : a discussion of the recent excavations


CHAPTER III. the dynasties of babylon : the chronological scheme in the light op recent discoveries


CHAPTER IV. the western semites and the first dynasty of babylon


CHAPTER V the age of hammurabi and its influence on later periods


CHAPTER VI the close of the first dynasty of babylon and the kings from the country of the sea


CHAPTER VII the kassite dynasty and its relations with egypt and the hittite empire


CHAPTER VIII the later dynasties and the assyrian domination


CHAPTER IX the neo-babylonian empire and the persian conquest


CHAPTER X greece, palestine, and babylon : an estimate of cultural influence -


The letters and inscriptions of Hammurabi, king of Babylon, about B.C. 2200, to which are added a series of letters of other kings of the first dynasty of Babylon



Babylonian letters of the Hammurapi period



I. A Comparative List oF the Dinasties of Nisin, Larsa, and Babylon II. A Dynastic List of the Kings of Babylon .

1. Ishbi Erra 2339-2308 2339-2308      
    1 Naplanum 2335-2315  
    2-Emisu 2314-2877  
2. Gimil-ilishu 2307-2298      
3. Idin-Dagan 2297-2277        
    3. Samum 2286-2252    
4.Idin-Dagan 2276-2257        
5.Libit-Ishtar 2256-2246        
    4.Zabaia 2251-2243    
6.Ur Ninib 2254-2218        
    5. Gungunum 2242-2216    
7. Bur Sin II 2217-2197        
        1 Sumu Abum 2225-2212
    6.Abi-sare 2215-2205    
        2.Sumu-la-ilum 2211-2176
    7-Sumu Ilum 2204-2176    
8.Iter Pisha 2196-2192        
9.Ura Imiti 2191-2185        
10....... 2185        
11.Enlil.bani 2184-2161        
    8. Nur Adad 2175-2160 3. Zabum 2175-2162
12.Zambia 2160-2158     4.Apil Sin 2161-2144
13...... 2157-2153 9.Sin-idinnam 2159-2153    
14...... 2152-2149 10.Sin-iriban 2152-2151    
15.Sin-magir 2148-2138 12-Sili Adad 2144    
16. Damik-Ilishu 2137-2115 13. Warad Sin 2143-2132 5.Sin Mullabit 2143-2123
Capture of Nisin 2115 14.Rim Sin 2137-2071    
    15.Hammurabi 2092-2081    
    16. Samsu Iluna 2080-2069 7.Samsu Iluna 2080-2043
        8- Abi-eshu 2042-2015
        9.Ammi-ditana 2014-1978
        10-Ammi Zaduga 1977-1957
        11.Samsu-ditana 1956-1926
1. Sumu Abum 2225-2212
2.Sumula Ilum 2211-2176
3.Zabum 2175-2162
4.Apil Sin 2161-2144
5. Sin Mulabit 2143-2124
6.Hammurabi 2123-2081
1.Iluma Ilum 7- Samsu Iluna 2080-2043
2. Iti-ili-nibi 8.Abi Eshu 2042-2015
3. Damki Ilusu 9. Ammi Ditana 2014-1978
4. Ishkibal 10.Ammi Zaduqa 1977-1957
5. Sushki 11. Samsu Ditana 1956-1926
6. Gulkishar
7. Peshgal Daramash
8. A dara kalama
9. Akur ul ana 1. Gandash 1760-1745
10. melam Kurhura 2. Agum 1744-1723
11. Ea Gamil 3. Kastiliash I 1722-1701
4. Ushshi 1700-1693
5. Abi Rattash 1692
6. Agum Kakrine
Kadashman Kharbe I
Kurigalzu I
Contemporaneus Kings of Assyria Meli Shipak I
Ashur Rim Nisheshu 16. Kara Indash I c. 1425
17. Kadashman Enlil I
18. Buriash
19.Kurigalzu II
Puzur Ashur 20. Burna Buriash c. 1385
Ashur Uballit 21. Kara Indash II
Nagi Bugash (usurper)
Enlil Nirari 22. Kurigalzu III 1357-1335
Adada Nirari I 23. Nazi Maruttash 1334-1309
24. Kadashman Turgu 1308-1292
25. HKadasman Enlil II 1291-1286
26. Kudur Enlil 1285-1277
27. Shagarakti Shuriash 1276-1264
Tukulti Ninib I 28. Kashtiliash II 1263-1256
29. Enlil Nadim Shum 1255-1254
30 Kadashman Kharbe III 1254-1253
31. Adad Shum Iddin 1252-1247
Enlil Kudur Usur 32.Adad Shum Usur 1246-1217
33. Meli Shipak II 1216-1202
34. Merodach Baladan I 1201-1189
AshurDan I 35.Zamama Shum Iddin 1188
36.Bel Nadin Akhi 1187-1185
1. Marduk 1184-1168 1. Nabu Mukin Zer 732-730
2........ 1167-1162 2. Pulu (Tiglath Pileser IV) 729-727
3.......... 3. Ulalai (Shalmaneser V) 727-722
4. Nebuchadnezzar I c. 1140 4.Merodach Baladan II 721-710
5.Enlil Nadin Apli 5. Sargon 709-705
6.Marduk Nadin Akhe c.1110 6. Sennacherib 704-703
7. Marduk Shapik Zermati c. 1110 7. Marduk Zakir Shum 703-702
8.Adad Aplu Iddina 1095-1074 8. Merodach Baladan II
9.Marduk Akhi Erba 1073 9. Bel Ibni 702-700
10. Marduk Zer 1072-1061 10. Ashur Nadin Shum 699-694
11. Nabu Shum Libur 1060-1053 11. Nergal Ushezib 693-692
12. Mushezib Marduk 692-689
1. Simmash Shipak 1052-1035 13. Senacherib 688-681
2. Ea Mukin Zer 1035 14. Esarhaddon 681-669
3.Hashu Nadin Akhu 1034-1032 15.Shamash Shum Ukin 668-648
16.Kandalanu 647-626
17. Ashur Etil Ilani 625-618
1. E Ulmash Shakin Shum 1031-1015 18- Sin Shum Lishir c.618
2. Ninib Kudur Usur 1014-1012 19. Sin Shar Ishkun c. 616
3. Shilanum Shukamuna 1012 Capture of Nineveh by the Medes 606
1. Ae Aplu Asur 1011-1006
1. Nabopolassar 625-604
1 Nabu Mukin Apli 1005-970 2. Nebuchadnezzar II 604-561
.......   3. Amel Marduk 561-559
Sibir   4. Neriglissar 559-556
........   5.Labashi Marduk 556
    6.Nabonidus 555-539
Sahamash Mudamunik c. 910
Nabu Shum Ishkun I  
Nabu Aplu Idinna c. 885 1. Cyrus 539-529
Marduk Zakir Shum c.855 2. Cambyses 529-522
Marduk Batalsu Ikbi c 830 3. Daris I 522-486
Erba Marduk   4.Xerxes I 486-465
Bau Akhi Iddina c. 815 5. Artaxerses I 465-424
6.Xerxes II 424
........   7. Darius II 424-404
Nabu Shum Ishkun II   8. Artaxerxes II 404-359
Nabonassar 747-734 9. Artaxerxes III 359-338
Nabu Nadin Zer 733-732 10. Arses 338-336
Nabu Shum Ukin 732 11. Darius III 336-331
    Capture of Babylon by Alexander, 331




In the first volume of this work (A HISTORY OF SUMER AND AKKAD) an account was given of the early races of Babylonia from prehistoric times to the foundation of the monarchy. It closed at the point when the city of Babylon was about to secure the permanent leadership under her dynasty of West-Semitic kings. The present volume describes the fortunes of Babylonia during the whole of the dynastic period, and it completes the history of the southern kingdom. Last autumn, in consequence of the war, it was decided to postpone its publication; but, at the request of the publishers, I have now finished it and seen it through the press. At a time when British troops are in occupation of Southern Mesopotamia, the appearance of a work upon its earlier history may perhaps not be considered altogether inopportune.

Thanks to recent excavation Babylon has ceased to be an abstraction, and we are now able to reconstitute the main features of one of the most famous cities of the ancient world. Unlike Ashur and Nineveh, the great capitals of Assyria, Babylon survived with but little change under the Achaemenian kings of Persia, and from the time of Herodotus onward we possess accounts of her magnificence, which recent research has in great part substantiated. It is true that we must modify the description Herodotus has left us of her size, but on all other points the accuracy of his information is confirmed. The Lion Frieze of the Citadel and the enamelled beasts of the Ishtar Gate enable us to understand something of the spell she cast. It is claimed that the site has been identified of her most famous building, the Hanging Gardens of the royal palace; and, if that should prove to be the case, they can hardly be said to have justified their reputation. Far more impressive is the Tower of Babel with its huge Peribolos, enclosing what has been aptly described as the Vatican of Babylon.

The majority of the buildings uncovered date from the Neo-Babylonian period, but they may be regarded as typical of Babylonian civilization as a whole. For temples were rebuilt again and again on the old lines, and religious conservatism retained the mud-brick walls and primitive decoration of earlier periods. Even Nabopolassar’s royal palace must have borne a close resemblance to that of Hammurabi; and the street network of the city appears to have descended without much change from the time of the First Dynasty. The system which Hammurabi introduced into the legislation of his country may perhaps have been reflected in the earliest attempt at town-planning on a scientific basis. The most striking fact about Babylon's history is the continuity of her culture during the whole of the dynastic period. The principal modification which took place was in the system of land-tenure, the primitive custom of tribal or collective proprietorship giving place to private ownership under the policy of purchase and annexation deliberately pursued by the West-Semitic and Kassite conquerors. A parallel to the earlier system and its long survival may be seen in the village communities of India at the present day.

In contrast to that of Assyria, the history of Babylon is more concerned with the development and spread of a civilization than with the military achievements of a race. Her greatest period of power was under her first line of kings; and in after ages her foreign policy was dictated solely by her commercial needs. The letters from Boghaz Iveui, like those from Tell el-Amarna, suggest that, in keeping her trade connections open, she relied upon diplomacy in preference to force. That she could fight at need is proved by her long struggle with the northern kingdom, but in the later period her troops were never a match for the trained legions of Assyria. It is possible that Nabopolassar and his son owed their empire in great measure to the protecting arm of Media; and Nebuchadnezzar's success at Carchemish does not prove that the Babylonian character had suddenly changed. A recently recovered letter throws light on the unsatisfactory state of at least one section of the army during Nebuchadnezzar's later years, and incidentally it suggests that Gobryas, who facilitated the Persian occupation, may be identified with a Babylonian general of that name. With the fall of Media, he may perhaps have despaired of any successful opposition on his country's part.

Babylon's great wealth, due to her soil and semi-tropical climate, enabled her to survive successive foreign dominations and to impose her civilization on her conquerors. Her caravans carried that civilization far afield, and one of the most fascinating problems of her history is to trace the effect of such intercourse in the literary remains of other nations. Much recent research has been devoted to this subject, and the great value of its results has given rise in some quarters to the view that the religious development of Western Asia, and in a minor degree of Europe, was dominated by the influence of Babylon. The theory which underlies such speculation assumes a reading of the country's history which cannot be ignored. In the concluding chapter an estimate has been attempted of the extent to which the assumption is in harmony with historical research.

The delay in the publication of this volume has rendered it possible to incorporate recent discoveries, some of which have not as yet appeared in print. Professor A. T. Clay has been fortunate enough to acquire for the Yale University Collection a complete list of the early kings of Larsa, in addition to other documents with an important bearing on the history of Babylon. He is at present preparing the texts for publication, and has meanwhile very kindly sent me transcripts of the pertinent material with full permission to make use of them. The information afforded as to the overlapping of additional dynasties with the First Dynasty of Babylon has thrown new light on the circumstances which led to the rise of Babylon to power. But these and other recent discoveries, in their general effects do not involve any drastic changes in the chronological scheme as a whole. They lead rather to local rearrangements, which to a great extent counterbalance one another. Under Babylon's later dynasties her history and that of Assyria are so closely interrelated that it is difficult to isolate the southern kingdom. An attempt has been made to indicate broadly the chief phases of the conflict, and the manner in which Babylonian interests alone were affected. In order to avoid needless repetition, a fuller treatment of the period is postponed to the third volume of this work. A combined account will then also be given of the literature and civilization of both countries.

I take this opportunity of expressing my thanks to Monsieur F. Thureau-Dangin, Conservateur-adjoint of the Museums of the Louvre, for allowing me last spring to study unpublished historical material in his charge. The information he placed at my disposal I found most useful during subsequent work in the Ottoman Museum at Constantinople shortly before the war. Reference has already been made to my indebtedness to Professor Clay, who has furnished me from time to time with other unpublished material, for which detailed acknowledgment is made in the course of this work. With Professor C. F. Burney I have discussed many of the problems connected with the influence of Babylon upon Hebrew literature ; and I am indebted to Professor A. C. Headlam for permission to reprint portions of an article on that subject, which I contributed in 1912 to the Church Quarterly Review.

To Dr. E. A. Wallis Budge my thanks are due, as he suggested that I should write these histories, and he has given me the benefit of his advice. To him, as to Sir Frederic Kenyon and Mr. D. G. Hogarth, I am indebted for permission to make use of illustrations, which have appeared in official publications of the British Museum. My thanks are also due to Monsieur Ernest Leroux of Paris for allowing me to reproduce some of the plates from the " Memoires de la Delegation en Perse," published by him under the editorship of Monsieur J. de Morgan; and to the Council and Secretary of the Society of Biblical Archaeology for the loan of a block employed to illustrate a paper I contributed to their Proceedings. The greater number of the plates illustrating the excavations are from photographs taken on the spot; and the plans and drawings figured in the text are the work of Mr. E. J. Lambert and Mr. C. O. Waterhouse, who have spared no pains to ensure their accuracy. The designs upon the cover of this volume represent the two most prominent figures in Babylonian tradition. In the panel on the face of the cover the national hero Gilgamesh is portrayed, whose epic reflects the Babylonian heroic ideal. The panel on the back of the binding contains a figure of Marduk, the city-god of Babylon, grasping in his right hand the flaming sword with which he severed the dragon of chaos.