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Title: A History of Babylon, From the Foundation of the Monarchy to the Persian Conquest - History of Babylonia vol. 2
Author: King, L. W. (Leonard William)
Language: English
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Assistant Keeper of Egyptian and Assyrian Antiquities in the British Museum
Professor of Assyrian and Babylonian Archæology in
the University of London





In the first volume of this work 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 Achæmenian 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 Keui,
like those from Tell el-Amarna, suggest that, in keeping her trade
connexions 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 effect, 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 inter-related 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 "Mémoires de la Délégation en
Perse," published by him under the editorship of Monsieur J. de Morgan;
and to the Council and Secretary of the Society of Biblical Archæology
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.





    Babylon as a centre of civilization--Illustrations
    of foreign influence--Babylon's share in the origin
    of the culture she distributed--Causes which led to
    her rise as capital--Advantages of her geographical
    position--Transcontinental lines of traffic--The Euphrates
    route, the Royal Road, and the Gates of Zagros--Her
    supremacy based on the strategic and commercial qualities
    of her site--The political centre of gravity in Babylonia
    illustrated by the later capitals, Seleucia, Ctesiphon,
    and Baghdad--The Persian Gulf as barrier, and as channel
    of international commerce--Navigation on the Euphrates and
    the Tigris--Causes of Babylon's deposition--Her treatment
    by Cyrus, Alexander, and Seleucus--The Arab conquest of
    Mesopotamia instructive for comparison with the era of
    early city-states--Effect of slackening of international
    communications--Effect of restoration of commercial
    intercourse with the West--Three main periods of Babylon's
    foreign influence--Extent to which she moulded the cultural
    development of other races-Traces of contact in Hebrew
    religion and in Greek mythology--Recent speculation on the
    subject to be tested by the study of history



    The site of Babylon in popular tradition--Observations of
    Benjamin of Tudela and John Eldred--Exaggerations of early
    travellers--The description of Herodotus--Modern survey and
    excavation--Characteristics of Babylonian architecture--The
    architect's ideal--Comparison of Babylonian and Assyrian
    architectural design--Difficulties of Babylonian
    excavation--The extent of Babylon and the classical
    tradition--Remains of the ancient city--The Walls of
    Babylon--The Outer City-wall--The Mound Bâbil--The Ḳaṣr--The
    Inner City-wall--Imgur-Bêl and Nimitti-Bêl--Quay-walls and
    fortifications--Nebuchadnezzar's river-fortification--Change
    in the course of the Euphrates--Palaces of Nabopolassar
    and Nebuchadnezzar--The official courts of the
    palace--Al-Bît-shar-Bâbili--The Throne-Room and its
    enamelled façade--The private palace and the women's
    apartments--The Hanging Gardens of Babylon--The Ishtar Gate
    and its Bulls and Dragons--Later defences of the Southern
    Citadel--The Lion Frieze--The Procession Street--Temples
    of Babylon--E-makh, the temple of Ninmakh--Altars in the
    Babylonian and Hebrew cults--The unidentified temple--The
    temple of Ishtar of Akkad--Religious mural decoration--The
    temple of Ninib--E-sagila and the Tower of Babylon--The
    Peribolos or Sacred Precincts--E-zida and the Temple-tower
    of Borsippa--The Euphrates bridge--Merkes and the street
    net-work of Babylon--Strata of different periods--Early
    Babylonian town-planning--Material influence of the
    West-Semitic Dynasty--Continuity of Babylonian culture



    Chronology the skeleton of history--Principal defect
    in the Babylonian scheme--The Dynasties of Nîsin,
    Larsa and Babylon--Discovery of a List of the kings of
    Larsa--Introduction of fresh uncertainty--Relationship
    of the kings of Babylon and Nîsin--Absence of
    synchronisms--Evidence of date-formula?.--A fresh and
    sounder line of research--Double-dates supply the missing
    link for the chronology--The Nîsin era--Explanation of the
    double-dates--The problem of Rîm-Sin--Method of reconciling
    data--Another line of evidence--Archæological research and
    the Second Dynasty of the Kings' List--Date-formulæ of
    Hammurabi, Samsu-iluna and Iluma-ilum--Methods of fixing
    period of First Dynasty--Ammi-zaduga's omens from the planet
    Venus--Combinations of Venus, sun, and moon--Possibility of
    fixing period of observations--Alternative dates in their
    relation to historical results--The time of harvest in
    farming-out contracts of the period--Probable date for the
    First Dynasty--Re-examination of chronological notices in
    later texts--The Dynasties of Berossus and the beginning of
    his historical period--Effect of recent discoveries on the
    chronological scheme as a whole--Our new picture of the rise
    of Babylon



    Original home of the Amurru, or Western Semites--Arabia
    one of the main breeding-grounds of the human race--The
    great Semitic migrations and their cause--Evidence
    of diminution of rainfall in Arabia--The life of the
    pastoral nomad conditioned by the desert--The change
    from pastoral to agricultural life--Successive stages of
    Canaanite civilization--The neolithic inhabitants and
    the Amorite migration--Canaanites of history and their
    culture--Eastern Syria and the middle Euphrates--Recent
    excavations at Carchemish and its neighbourhood--Early
    Babylonian cylinder-seals on the Sajûr--Trade of Carchemish
    with Northern Babylonia--West Semitic settlements on
    the Khâbûr--The kingdom of Khana--The Amorite invasion
    of Babylonia--The Dynasties of Nîsin and Larsa--Recent
    discoveries at Ashur--Proto-Mitannians--The Western
    Semites in Babylon and their conflict with Assyria--Early
    struggles and methods of expansion--The Elamite conquest
    of Larsa--The three-cornered contest of Nîsin, Elam and
    Babylon--The fall of Nîsin and the duel between Babylon and
    Elam--Hammurabi's defeat of Rîm-Sin and the annexation of
    Sumer by Babylon--Extent of Hammurabi's empire--Hammurabi
    the founder of Babylon's greatness--His work as law-giver
    and administrator



    The energy of the Western Semite and his perpetuation of a
    dying culture--His age one of transition--Contemporaneous
    evidence on social and political conditions--The three
    grades in the social scale of Babylon--The nobles a
    racial aristocracy--Origin and rights of the middle
    class--Condition of slaves--Pastoral and agricultural
    life in early Babylonia--Regulations sanction
    long-established custom--The _corvée_ for public
    works--Canals and fishing-rights--Methods of irrigation
    and their modern equivalents--Survival of the Babylonian
    plough and grain-drill--Importance of the date-palm
    and encouragement of plantations--Methods of transport
    by water--The commercial activities of Babylon and the
    larger cities--Partnerships for foreign trade--Life in the
    towns--Family life in early Babylonia--The position of
    women--Privileges enjoyed by votaries--The administration
    of justice--Relation of the crown and the priestly
    hierarchy under the Western Semites--The royal regulation
    of the calendar and the naming of the year--System of
    administration--Changes in the religious sphere and
    revision of the pantheon--Literary activity--The complete
    semitization of the country unaccompanied by any break in
    culture--Babylon's later civilization moulded by Hammurabi's



    Condition of the empire on Samsu-iluna's accession--Early
    Kassite raid the signal for revolt, assisted by Elamite
    invasion--Resources of Babylon strained in suppressing
    the rebellion--Rise of an independent kingdom in the
    Sea-Country on the littoral of the Persian Gulf--Capacity
    of the Sea-Country for defence and as a base for offensive
    operations--Sumerian elements in its population--Babylon's
    loss of territory and her struggle with the Sea-Country
    kings--Symptoms of decadence under the later West-Semitic
    kings of Babylon--The deification of royalty and increased
    luxury of ritual--Evidence of Babylon's growing wealth
    and artistic progress under foreign influence--Temporary
    restoration of Babylon's power under Ammi-ditana--Renewed
    activity of the Sea-Country followed by gradual decline of
    Babylon--The close of the West-Semitic dynasty brought about
    or hastened by Hittite invasion--Period of local dynasties
    following the fall of Babylon--Continued succession of the
    Sea-Country kings



    The Kassite conquest of Babylonia--The Kassites
    probably Aryans by race and akin to the later rulers
    of Mitanni--Character of their rule in Babylon--Their
    introduction of the horse into Western Asia--The
    Kassite conquest of the Sea-Country and its annexation
    to Babylon--Gap in our knowledge of the Kassite
    succession--The letters from Tell el-Amarna and
    Boghaz-Keui--Egypt and Western Asia at the close of
    the fifteenth century--Diplomacy and the balance of
    power--Dynastic marriages and international intercourse of
    the period--Amen-hetep III. and Kadashman-Enlil--Akhenaten
    and his policy of doles--Babylon's caravans in Syria--The
    correspondence of Burna-Buriash and Akhenaten--Egypt's
    loss of her Asiatic provinces--Rise of the Hittite
    Empire--The Hittites and their civilization--Their capital
    of Khatti--Their annexation of Mitanni and the Egyptian
    war--The relations of Khattusil with Kadashman-turgu
    and Kadashman-Enlil II.--Character of the Hittite
    correspondence--The growth of Assyria and her relations
    with Babylon--First phase in the long struggle of the two
    kingdoms--The later members of the Kassite Dynasty--Its
    fall to be traced to Elamite invasion--Economic conditions
    in Babylonia under the Kassites--Kudurru-inscriptions or
    boundary-stones--Their evidence on the Babylonian system of
    land-tenure--Gradual disappearance of tribal proprietorship
    as a result of West-Semitic and Kassite policy--Transition
    from collective to private ownership



    Spoils at Susa from the Elamite invasion--Recovery
    of her territory by Babylon under Nebuchadnezzar
    I.--Renewal of conflicts and treaties with Assyria--The
    devastation of Babylonia by the Sutû--Ephemeral
    Babylonian dynasties--The state of Sippar typical
    of the condition of the country--Renaissance of
    Assyria--The conquests of Ashur-uasir-pal and Babylon's
    abortive opposition--Babylonian art in the ninth
    century--Intervention of Shalmaneser III. in Babylonian
    politics--His campaign in Chaldea--The kingdom of Urartu
    and its effect on Assyrian expansion--Independence
    of provincial governments during a relaxation of
    central control--Temporary recovery of Babylon under
    Nabonassar--Gradual tightening of Assyria's grasp
    upon the southern kingdom--Character of her later
    empire--Tiglath-pileser IV.'s policy of deportation and its
    inherent weakness--The disappearance of Erartu as a buffer
    state--Sargon and Merodach-baladan--Sennacherib's attempt
    to destroy Babylon--Esarhaddon's reversal of his father's
    policy--The Assyrian conquest of Egypt--Ashur-bani-pal and
    the revolt of Shamash-shum-ukîn--The sack of Susa--Babylon
    under the Sargonids--The policies of encouragement and
    coercion--Effect of their alternation



    Nabopolassar and his nascent kingdom--The Scythian invasion
    and its effects--The sons of Ashur-bani-pal--Nabopolassar
    and the Medes--The fall of Nineveh--Division of Assyrian
    territory--Babylon's conflict with Egypt--Nebuchadnezzar
    II. and the Battle of Carchemish--Capture of Jerusalem
    and deportation of the Jews--Occupation of Phoenicia
    and siege of Tyre--Nebuchadnezzar's later campaign
    in Egypt--Babylon and the Median suzerainty--Lydia
    under the successors of Ardys--Conflict of Cyaxares
    and Alyattes on the Halys and the intervention of
    Babylon--Nebuchadnezzar as builder--Condition of the
    Babylonian army in Nebuchadnezzar's closing years and under
    his successors--Gubaru, the general, and the governor of
    Gutium--Death of Neriglissar--Character of Nabonidus--The
    decaying empire under Median protection--The rise of
    Cyrus--His ease in possessing himself of Media, and the
    probable cause--His defeat and capture of Croesus and
    the fall of Lydia--His advance on Babylon--Possibility
    that Gobryas was a native Babylonian--His motive in
    facilitating the Persian occupation--Defeat and death of
    Belshazzar--Popularity of Cyrus in Babylon--Tranquillity
    of the country under Persian rule--Babylon's last bids for
    independence--Her later history--Survival of Babylonian
    cults into the Christian era



    Influence of Babylon still apparent in the modern world--The
    mother of astronomy, and the survival of her ancient system
    of time-division--The political and religious history of
    the Hebrews in the light of Babylonian research--Echoes
    from Babylonian legends in Greek mythology--The Babylonian
    conception of the universe--The astral theory and its
    comprehensive assumptions--Was Babylonian religion
    essentially a star-worship?--Application of historical
    test--Evolution of the Babylonian god--Origin of divine
    emblems and animal symbolism--World Ages and the astral
    theory--Late evidence and the earlier historical
    periods--The astral ages of the Twins, the Bull and the
    Ram--Suggested influence of each age upon the historical
    literature of antiquity--The Old Testament and the Odyssey
    under astral interpretation--Astronomical defects of the
    astral theory--The age of Babylonian astronomy--Hipparchus
    of Nicæa and the precession of the equinoxes--Hebrews
    and Babylonian astrology--Contrast of the Babylonian and
    Hellenic temperaments--Mesopotamia and the coast-lands of
    Asia Minor--Tales that are told






    I. Merodach-baladan II., King of Babylon, making a grant of
    land to Bêl-akhê-erba, governor of Babylon _Frontispiece_

    II. (i) The temple-tower of E-zida at Borsippa. (ii) The
    Lion of Babylon on the Ḳaṣr Mound

    III. The Throne Room in Nebuchadnezzar's palace at Babylon,
    showing the recess in the back wall where the throne once

    IV. Eastern Towers of the Ishtar Gate, the portions
    preserved having formed the foundation of the final gateway

    V. Trench showing a portion of the Sacred Way of Babylon, to
    the east of the Peribolos

    VI. Two views of the Temple of Ninib in course of excavation

    VII. Brick of Sin-idinnam, King of Larsa, recording the
    cutting of a canal and the restoration of the Temple of the
    Moon-god in the city of Ur

    VIII. Hammurabi, King of Babylon, from a relief in the
    British Museum, dedicated on his behalf to the West Semitic
    goddess [Ash]ratum by Itur-ashdum, a provincial governor

    IX. Brick of Warad-Sin, King of Larsa, recording building
    operations in the city of Ur

    X. The Citadel Mound of Carchemish from the north-west

    XI. Upper portion of the Code of Hammurabi, engraved with
    a scene representing the king receiving his laws from the

    XII.(i) Bronze cone and votive figure, (ii) Stone cylinder
    with a votive inscription of Warad-Sin, King of Larsa

    XIII. Portion of the text of Hammurabi's Code, Columns 6-8

    XIV. A modern gufa, a form of coracle described by Herodotus
    and represented on the monuments

    XV. (i) A small kelek on the Tigris at Baghdad, (ii)
    Ferry-boats on the Euphrates at Birejik

    XVI. Impressions of Babylonian cylinder-seals, engraved with
    mythological subjects

    XVII. Impressions of Kassite cylinder-seals 198

    XVIII. Brick of Sin-gashid, King of Erech, recording the
    building of his palace in that city 210

    XIX. Head of a colossal statue of Amen-hetep III

    XX. Hittite hieroglyphic inscription at Carchemish

    XXI. Kassite kudurrus, or boundary-stones, set up in the
    reigns of Meli-Shipak II. and Nazi-maruttash

    XXII. Divine emblems on the upper part of akudurru, or
    boundary-stone, engraved with a charter of privileges
    granted by Nebuchadnezzar I

    XXIII. Memorial-tablet of Nabû-aplu-iddina, King of Babylon,
    recording his restoration of the Sun-temple at Sippar

    XXIV. Shalmaneser III. receiving the submission of the
    Chaldeans, from the bronze sheathing of his Gates in the
    British Museum

    XXV. Ashur-bani-pal, represented carrying a builder's
    basket, as the restorer of E-sagila, the temple of Marduk at

    XXVI. Bronze door-step from E-zida, the temple of Nabû
    at Borsippa, inscribed with the name and titles of
    Nebuchadnezzar II.

    XXVII. (i) Baked clay foundation-cylinder of Nabonidus,
    referring to the defeat of Astyages by Cyrus, (ii) Baked
    clay foundation-cylinder of Cyrus, recording his entry into
    Babylon "without battle and without fighting"

    XXVIII. Impressions of Neo-Babylonian and Persian

    XXIX. Limestone statue of the god Nabû at Nimrûd

    XXX. Divine emblems sculptured on the lower portion of the
    boundary-stone engraved with a charter of Nebuchadnezzar
    I.(cp. Plate XXII.)

    XXXI. Two views of a clay model of a sheep's liver with the
    surface divided up and labelled for purposes of divination

    XXXII. A Neo-Babylonian treatise on astronomy, inscribed
    with classified lists of the principal stars and
    constellations, heliacal risings and settings, culminations
    in the south, etc.


    1. Diagram to illustrate the political centre of gravity in

    2. Map of the neighbourhood of Babylon and Birs-Nimrûd;
    after the India Office Map

    3. Plan of the ruins of Babylon; after Koldewey and Andrae

    4. Ground-plan of part of the outer city-wall; after
    Koldewey and Andrae

    5. Conjectural restoration of the Southern Citadel; after

    6. Plan of the Southern Citadel; after Koldewey, Reuther,
    and Wetzel

    7. Ground-plan of quay-walls and fortification-walls in the
    north-west corner of the Southern Citadel; after Koldewey

    8. Section of the quay-walls and fortification-walls along
    the north front of the Southern Citadel; after Andrae

    9. Plan of the Throne Room of Nebuchadnezzar II. and part of
    the private palace; after Koldewey

    10. Design in enamelled brick from the façade of the Throne

    11. Plan of the north-east corner of the palace with the
    Vaulted Building; after Koldewey

    12. Bull in enamelled brick from the Ishtar Gate

    13. Dragon in enamelled brick from the Ishtar Gate

    14. Ground-plan of the Ishtar Gate; after Koldewey

    15. Section of the Ishtar Gate; after Andrae

    16. Diagram to show the arrangement of the beasts of the
    Ishtar Gate; after Koldewey

    17. Enamelled fragment of the Ishtar Gate still in position

    18. Plan of the later defences of the Citadel upon the
    north, showing the walls with the Lion Frieze and the Ishtar

    19. Lion from the frieze of the Sacred Way to the north of
    the Ishtar Gate

    20. Ground-plan of E-makh, the temple of the goddess
    Ninmakh; after Andrae

    21. Conjectural restoration of E-makh; after Andrae

    22. Gold plaque, with architectural design, from a
    Neo-Babylonian burial; enlargement after photo, by Koldewey

    23. Ground-plan of the unidentified temple known as "Z";
    after Andrae

    24. Conjectural restoration of the unidentified temple known
    as "Z"; after Andrae and Koldewey

    25. Ground-plan of the temple of Ishtar of Akkad; after

    20. Ground-plan of the temple of Ninib; after Andrae

    27. Ground-plan of E-temen-anki and E-sagila; after Wetzel

    28. Conjectural reconstruction of E-temen-anki and E-sagila;
    after Andrae

    29. Ground-plan of E-zida and the temple-tower of Nabû at
    Borsippa; after Koldewey

    30. Rough engraving of a temple-tower upon a boundary-stone

    31. Plan of the Merkes Mound, showing part of the street
    network of Babylon; after Koldewey

    32-33. Arabs of the seventh century B.C., from a sculpture
    in the Nineveh Gallery of the British Museum

    34. Head of an archaic limestone figure from Ashur

    35-30. Heads of archaic figures from Ashur and Tello

    37-39. Examples of archaic sculpture from Ashur and Tello,
    exhibiting the same convention in the treatment of woollen

    40. The Old Babylonian form of plough in use; after Clay

    41. Assyrian kelek on the Tigris; after La yard

    42. The Assyrian prototype of the gufa; from a bas-relief in
    the British Museum

    43. Assyrian raft of logs on the Tigris; from a bas-relief
    in the British Museum

    44. Swamp in Southern Babylonia, or the Sea-Country; after a
    bas-relief at Nineveh

    45. The zebu or humped oxen of the Sea-Country; after a
    bas-relief from Nineveh in the British Museum

    40. Akhenaten, with his queen and infant daughters, on the
    balcony of their palace; after N. de G. Davies

    47-48. Representations of Hittites in Egyptian sculpture;
    after Meyer

    49. Hittite foot-soldiers at the Battle of Kadesh; after

    50. Hittite chieftain, a captive of Rameses III.; after Meyer

    51. Figure, probably of a Hittite king, from the Royal Gate
    at Khatti; after a photo, by Puchstein

    52. The Royal Gate of Khatti, the capital of the Hittites,
    viewed from the outside; after Puchstein

    53. Conjectural restoration of a Hittite gateway viewed from
    outside; after Puchstein

    54. Longitudinal section of the Lower Western Gateway at
    Khatti; after Puchstein

    55. Transverse section of the Lower Western Gateway at
    Khatti; after Puchstein

    56. One of the two sacred boats of Khonsu, the Egyptian
    Moongod, who journeyed into Cappadocia to cast out a devil
    from a Hittite princess; after Rosellini

    57. Rameses II. offering incense to one of the boats of
    Khonsu before he started on his journey; after Rosellini

    58. Scene representing Nabû-mukîn-apli sanctioning a
    transfer of landed property

    59. Marduk and his dragon from a votive offering of
    Marduk-zakir-shum; after Weissbach

    60. The Assyrian army in Chaldea, 851 B.C.; from the Gates
    of Shalmaneser in the British Museum

    61. A Chaldean town of the ninth century B.C.; from the
    Gates of Shalmaneser

    62-63. The tribute of the Chaldeans; from the Gates of

    64. Bas-relief of Shamash-rêsh-usur, governor of the lands
    of Sukhi and Mari; after a photo, by Weissbach

    65. The god Adad from a votive offering dedicated in
    E-sagila by Esarhaddon; after Weissbach

    66-68. The weather-god and two goddesses from an Assyrian
    bas-relief; after Layard

    69. Figure of deity in portable shrine; after Layard

    70. Sumerian harp, with the sound-case surmounted by the
    figure of a bull

    71. The guardian lions of the Eastern Gate of Heaven, from
    the impression of a cylinder-seal in the Louvre; after Heuzey

    72. Winged monster on enamelled frieze at Persepolis; after


    I. Diagram to illustrate the political centre of gravity in
    Babylonia (Fig. 1)

    II. Map of the neighbourhood of Babylon and Birs-Nimrûd
    (Fig. 2)

    III. Plan of the ruins of Babylon (Fig. 3)

    IV. Ground-plan of part of the outer city-wall (Fig. 4)

    V. Plan of the Southern Citadel (Fig. 6)

    VI. Ground-plan of quay-walls and fortification-walls in the
    N.W. corner of the S. Citadel (Fig. 7)

    VII. Plan of the Throne Room of Nebuchadnezzar and part of
    the private palace (Fig. 9)

    VIII. Plan of the N.E. corner of the palace with the Vaulted
    Building (Fig. 11)

    IX. Ground-plan of the Ishtar Gate (Fig. 14)

    X. Plan of the later defences of the Citadel upon the N.,
    showing the walls with the Lion Frieze and the Ishtar Gate
    (Fig. 18)

    XI. Ground-plan of E-makh, the temple of the goddess Ninmakh
    (Fig. 20)

    XII. Ground-plan of the unidentified temple known as "Z"
    (Fig. 23)

    XIII. Ground-plan of the temple of Ishtar of Akkad (Fig. 25)

    XIV. Ground-plan of the temple of Ninib (Fig. 20)

    XV. Ground-plan of E-temen-anki and E-sagila (Fig. 27)

    XVI. Ground-plan of E-zida and the temple-tower of Nabii at
    Borsippa (Fig. 29)

    XVII. Plan of the Merkes Mound, showing part of the street
    network of Babylon (Fig. 31)

    XVIII. Map of Babylonia, Assyria and Mesopotamia. Inset: Map
    of Western Asia




The name of Babylon suggests one of the great centres from which
civilization radiated to other peoples of the ancient world. And it
is true that from the second millennium onwards we have evidence of
the gradual spread of Babylonian culture throughout the greater part
of Western Asia. Before the close of the fifteenth century, to cite a
single example of such influence, we find that Babylonian had become
the language of Eastern diplomacy. It is not surprising perhaps that
the Egyptian king should have adopted the Babylonian tongue and method
of writing for his correspondence with rulers of Babylon itself or
of Assyria. But it is remarkable that he should employ this foreign
script and language for sending orders to the governors of his Syrian
and Palestinian dependencies, and that such Canaanite officials
should use the same medium for the reports they despatched to their
Egyptian master. In the same period we find the Aryan rulers of
Mitanni, in Northern Mesopotamia, writing in cuneiform the language of
their adopted country. A few decades later the Hittites of Anatolia,
discarding their old and clumsy system of hieroglyphs except for
monumental purposes, borrow the same character for their own speech,
while their treaties with Egypt are drawn up in Babylonian. In the
ninth century the powerful race of the Urartians, settled in the
mountains of Armenia around the shores of Lake Van, adopt as their
national script the writing of Assyria, which in turn had been derived
from Babylon. Elam, Babylon's nearest foreign neighbour, at a very
early period had, like the Hittites of a later age, substituted for
their rude hieroglyphs the language and older characters of Babylon,
and later on they evolved from the same writing a character of their
own. Finally, coming down to the sixth century, we find the Achæmenian
kings inventing a cuneiform sign-list to express the Old Persian
language, in order that their own speech might be represented in royal
proclamations and memorials beside those of their subject provinces of
Babylon and Susiania.

These illustrations of Babylonian influence on foreign races are
confined to one department of culture only, the language and the system
of writing. But they have a very much wider implication. For when
a foreign language is used and written, a certain knowledge of its
literature must be presupposed. And since all early literatures were
largely religious in character, the study of the language carries with
it some acquaintance with the legends, mythology and religious beliefs
of the race from whom it was borrowed. Thus, even if we leave out of
account the obvious effects of commercial intercourse, the single group
of examples quoted necessarily implies a strong cultural influence on
contemporary races.

It may thus appear a paradox to assert that the civilization, with
which the name of Babylon is associated, was not Babylonian. But it is
a fact that for more than a thousand years before the appearance of
that city as a great centre of culture, the civilization it handed on
to others had acquired in all essentials its later type. In artistic
excellence, indeed, a standard had been already reached, which, so far
from being surpassed, was never afterwards attained in Mesopotamia.
And although the Babylonian may justly be credited with greater system
in his legislation, with an extended literature, and perhaps also with
an increased luxury of ritual, his efforts were entirely controlled
by earlier models. If we except the spheres of poetry and ethics, the
Semite in Babylon, as elsewhere, proved himself a clever adapter,
not a creator. He was the prophet of Sumerian culture and merely
perpetuated the achievements of the race whom he displaced politically
and absorbed. It is therefore the more remarkable that his particular
city should have seen but little of the process by which that culture
had been gradually evolved. During those eventful centuries Babylon had
been but little more than a provincial town. Yet it was reserved for
this obscure and unimportant city to absorb within herself the results
of that long process, and to appear to later ages as the original
source of the culture she enjoyed. Before tracing her political
fortunes in detail it will be well to consider briefly the causes which
contributed to her retention of the place she so suddenly secured for

The fact that under her West-Semitic kings Babylon should have taken
rank as the capital city does not in itself account for her permanent
enjoyment of that position. The earlier history of the lands of
Sumer and Akkad abounds with similar examples of the sudden rise of
cities, followed, after an interval of power, by their equally sudden
relapse into comparative obscurity. The political centre of gravity
was continually shifting from one town to another, and the problem we
have to solve is why, having come to rest in Babylon, it should have
remained there. To the Western Semites themselves, after a political
existence of three centuries, it must have seemed that their city was
about to share the fate of her numerous predecessors. When the Hittite
raiders captured and sacked Babylon and carried off her patron deities,
events must have appeared to be taking their normal course. After the
country, with her abounding fertility, had been given time to recover
from her temporary depression, she might have been expected to emerge
once more, according to precedent, under the aegis of some other
city. Yet it was within the ancient walls of Babylon that the Kassite
conquerors established their headquarters; and it was to Babylon, long
rebuilt and once more powerful, that the Pharaohs of the eighteenth
Dynasty and the Hittite kings of Cappadocia addressed their diplomatic
correspondence. During Assyria's long struggle with the southern
kingdom Babylon was always the protagonist, and no raid by Aramean or
Chaldean tribes ever succeeded in ousting her from that position. At
the height of Assyrian power she continued to be the chief check upon
that empire's expansion, and the vacillating policy of the Sargonids
in their treatment of the city sufficiently testifies to the dominant
_rôle_ she continued to play in politics. And when Nineveh had fallen,
it was Babylon that took her place in a great part of Western Asia.

This continued pre-eminence of a single city is in striking contrast
to the ephemeral authority of earlier capitals, and it can only be
explained by some radical change in the general conditions of the
country. One fact stands out clearly: Babylon's geographical position
must have endowed her during this period with a strategical and
commercial importance which enabled her to survive the rudest shocks
to her material prosperity. A glance at the map will show that the
city lay in the north of Babylonia, just below the confluence of the
two great rivers in their lower course. Built originally on the left
bank of the Euphrates, she was protected by its stream from any sudden
incursion of the desert tribes. At the same time she was in immediate
contact with the broad expanse of alluvial plain to the south-east,
intersected by its network of canals.

But the real strength of her position lay in her near neighbourhood
to the transcontinental routes of traffic. When approaching Baghdad
from the north the Mesopotamian plain contracts to a width of some
thirty-five miles, and, although it has already begun to expand again
in the latitude of Babylon, that city was well within touch of both
rivers. She consequently lay at the meeting-point of two great avenues
of commerce. The Euphrates route linked Babylonia with Northern Syria
and the Mediterranean, and was her natural line of contact with Egypt;
it also connected her with Cappadocia, by way of the Cilician Gates
through the Taurus, along the track of the later Royal Road.[1] Farther
north the trunk-route through Anatolia from the west, reinforced by
tributary routes from the Black Sea, turns at Sivas on the Upper Halys,
and after crossing the Euphrates in the mountains, first strikes the
Tigris at Diarbekr; then leaving that river for the easier plain, it
rejoins the stream in the neighbourhood of Nineveh and so advances
southward to Susa or to Babylon. A third great route that Babylon
controlled was that to the east through the Gates of Zagros, the
easiest point of penetration to the Iranian plateau and the natural
outlet of commerce from Northern Elam.[2] Babylon thus lay across the
stream of the nations' traffic, and in the direct path of any invader
advancing upon the southern plains.

That she owed her importance to her strategic position, and not to any
particular virtue on the part of her inhabitants, will be apparent from
the later history of the country. It has indeed been pointed out that
the geographical conditions render necessary the existence of a great
urban centre near the confluence of the Mesopotamian rivers.[3] And
this fact is amply attested by the relative positions of the capital
cities, which succeeded one another in that region after the supremacy
had passed from Babylon. Seleucia, Ctesiphon and Baghdad are all
clustered in the narrow neck of the Mesopotamian plain, and for only
one short period, when normal conditions were suspended, has the centre
of government been transferred to any southern city.[4] The sole change
has consisted in the permanent selection of the Tigris for the site of
each new capital, with a decided tendency to remove it to the left or
eastern bank.[5] That the Euphrates should have given place in this way
to her sister river was natural enough in view of the latter's deeper
channel and better water way, which gained in significance as soon as
the possibility of maritime communication was contemplated.

Throughout the whole period of Babylon's supremacy the Persian Gulf,
so far from being a channel of international commerce, was as great
a barrier as any mountain range. Doubtless a certain amount of local
coasting traffic was always carried on, and the heavy blocks of diorite
which were brought to Babylonia from Magan by the early Akkadian king
Narâm-Sin, and at a rather later period by Gudea of Lagash,[6] must
have been transported by water rather than over land. Tradition, too,
ascribed the conquest of the island of Dilmun, the modern Bahrein,
to Sargon of Akkad; but that marked the extreme limit of Babylonian
penetration southwards, and the conquest must have been little more
than a temporary occupation following a series of raids down the
Arabian coast. The fact that two thousand years later Sargon of
Assyria, when recording his receipt of tribute from Upêri of Dilmun,
should have been so far out in his estimate of its distance from the
Babylonian coast-line,[7] is an indication of the continued disuse of
the waters of the gulf as a means of communication. On this supposition
we may readily understand the difficulties encountered by Sennacherib
when transporting his army across the head of the gulf against certain
coast-towns of Elam, and the necessity, to which he was put, of
building special ships for the purpose.

There is evidence that in the Neo-Babylonian period the possibilities
of transport by way of the gulf had already begun to attract attention,
and Nebuchadnezzar II. is said to have attempted to build harbours
in the swamp at the mouths of the delta.[8] But his object must have
been confined to encouraging coastal trade, for the sea-route between
the Persian Gulf and India was certainly not in use before the fifth
century, and in all probability was inaugurated by Alexander. According
to Herodotus[9] it had been opened by Darius after the return of the
Greek Scylax of Caryanda from his journey to India, undertaken as one
of the surveying expeditions on the basis of which Darius founded
the assessment of his new satrapies. But, although there is no need
to doubt the historical character of that voyage, there is little
to suggest that Scylax coasted round, or even entered, the Persian
Gulf.[10] Moreover, it is clear that, while Babylon's international
trade received a great impetus under the efficient organization of
the Persian Empire, it was the overland routes which benefited. The
outcrops of rock, or cataracts, which blocked the Tigris for vessels
of deeper draft, were not removed until Alexander levelled them; and
the problem of Babylon's sea-traffic, to which he devoted the closing
months of his life, was undoubtedly one of the factors which, having
now come into prominence for the first time, influenced Seleucus in
selecting a site on the Tigris for his new capital.[11]

But that was not the only cause of Babylon's deposition. For after
her capture by Cyrus, new forces came into play which favoured a
transference of the capital eastward. During the earlier periods of her
history Babylon's chief rival and most persistent enemy had lain upon
her eastern frontier. To the early Sumerian rulers of city-states Elam
had been "the mountain that strikes terror,"[12] and during subsequent
periods the cities of Sumer and Akkad could never be sure of immunity
from invasion in that quarter. We shall see that in Elam the Western
Semites of Babylon found the chief obstacle to the southward extension
of their authority, and that in later periods any symptom of internal
weakness or dissension was the signal for renewed attack. It is true
that the Assyrian danger drew these ancient foes together for a time,
but even the sack of Susa by Ashur-bani-pal did not put an end to their
commercial rivalry.

During all this period there was small temptation to transfer the
capital to any point within easier striking distance of so powerful a
neighbour; and with the principal passes for eastward traffic under
foreign control, it was natural that the Euphrates route to Northern
Mesopotamia and the Mediterranean coast should continue to be the
chief outlet for Babylonian commerce. But on the incorporation of the
country within the Persian empire all danger of interference with her
eastern trade was removed; and it is a testimony to the part Babylon
had already played in history that she continued to be the capital
city of Asia for more than two centuries. Cyrus, like Alexander,
entered the city as a conqueror, but each was welcomed by the people
and their priests as the restorer of ancient rights and privileges.
Policy would thus have been against any attempt to introduce radical
innovations. The prestige the city enjoyed and the grandeur of its
temples and palaces doubtless also weighed with the Achæmenian kings in
their choice of Babylon for their official residence, except during the
summer months. Then they withdrew to the cooler climate of Persepolis
or Ecbatana, and during the early spring, too, they might transfer the
court to Susa; but they continued to recognize Babylon as their true
capital. In fact, the city only lost its importance when the centre of
government was removed to Seleucia in its own immediate neighbourhood.
Then, at first possibly under compulsion, and afterwards of their own
freewill, the commercial classes followed their rulers to the west bank
of the Tigris; and Babylon suffered in proportion. In the swift rise of
Seleucia in response to official orders, we may see clear proof that
the older city's influence had been founded upon natural conditions,
which were shared in an equal, and now in even a greater degree, by the
site of the new capital.

[Illustration: FIG. 1.


The circle marks the limits within which the capital shifted from the
period of the First Dynasty onwards. It was only under the abnormal
conditions produced by the Moslem conquest that Kûfa and Basra became
for five generations the twin capitals of 'Irâk; this interval presents
a parallel to the earlier period before the rise of Babylon.]

The secret of Babylon's greatness is further illustrated by still
later events in the valley of the Euphrates and the Tigris. The rise
of Ctesiphon on the left bank of the river was a further result of
the eastward trend of commerce. But it lay immediately opposite
Seleucia, and marked no fresh shifting of the centre of gravity. Of
little importance under the Seleucid rulers, it became the chief city
of the Arsacidæ, and, after the Parthian Empire had been conquered by
Ardashir I., it continued to be the principal city of the province and
became the winter residence of the Sassanian kings. When in 636 A.D.
the Moslem invaders defeated the Persians near the ruins of Babylon
and in the following year captured Ctesiphon, they found that city
and Seleucia to which they gave the joint name of Al-Madâin, or "the
cities," still retaining the importance their site had acquired in the
third century B.C. Then follows a period of a hundred and twenty-five
years which is peculiarly instructive for comparison with the earlier
epochs of Babylonian history.

The last of the great Semitic migrations from Arabia had resulted
in the conquests of Islam, when, after the death of Mohammed, the
Arab armies poured into Western Asia in their efforts to convert the
world to their faith. The course of the movement, and its effect upon
established civilizations which were overthrown, may be traced in the
full light of history; and we find in the valley of the Tigris and
Euphrates a resultant economic condition which forms a close parallel
to that of the age before the rise of Babylon. The military occupation
of Mesopotamia by the Arabs closed for a time the great avenues of
transcontinental commerce; and, as a result, the political control of
the country ceased to be exercised from the capital of the Sassanian
kings and was distributed over more than one area. New towns sprang
into being around the permanent camps of the Arab armies. Following on
the conquest of Mesopotamia, the city of Basra was built on the Shatt
el-'Arab in the extreme south of the country, while in the same year,
638 A.D., Kûfa was founded more to the north-west on the desert side of
the Euphrates. A third great town, Wâsit, was added sixty-five years
later, and this arose in the centre of the country on both banks of
the Tigris, whose waters were then passing along the present bed of
the Shatt el-Hai. It is true that Madâin retained a measure of local
importance, but during the Omayyad Caliphate Kûfa and Basra were the
twin capitals of 'Irâk.[13]

Thus the slackening of international connections led at once to a
distribution of authority between a north and a south Babylonian
site. It is true that both capitals were under the same political
control, but from the economic standpoint we are forcibly reminded of
the era of city-states in Sumer and Akkad. Then, too, there was no
external factor to retain the centre of gravity in the north; and
Erech more than once secured the hegemony, while the most stable of
the shifting dynasties was the latest of the southern city of Ur. The
rise of Babylon as the sole and permanent capital of Sumer and Akkad
may be traced, as we shall note, to increased relations with Northern
Syria, which followed the establishment of her dynasty of West-Semitic
kings.[14] And again we may see history repeating herself, when Moslem
authority is removed to Baghdad at the close of the first phase in
the Arab occupation of Mesopotamia. For on the fall of the Omayyad
dynasty and the transference of the Abbasid capital from Damascus to
the east, commercial intercourse with Syria and the west was restored
to its old footing. Basra and Kûfa at once failed to respond to the
changed conditions, and a new administrative centre was required. It
is significant that Baghdad should have been built a few miles above
Ctesiphon, within the small circle of the older capitals;[15] and
that, with the exception of a single short period,[16] she should have
remained the capital city of 'Irâk. Thus the history of Mesopotamia
under the Caliphate is instructive for the study of the closely
parallel conditions which enabled Babylon at a far earlier period to
secure the hegemony in Babylonia and afterwards to retain it.

From this brief survey of events it will have been noted that Babylon's
supremacy falls in the middle period of her country's history, during
which she distributed a civilization in the origin of which she played
no part. When she passed, the culture she had handed on passed with
her, though on Mesopotamian soil its decay was gradual. But she had
already delivered her message, and it has left its mark on the remains
of other races of antiquity which have come down to us. We shall see
that it was in three main periods that her influence made itself felt
in any marked degree beyond the limits of the home-land. The earliest
of these periods of external contact was that of her First Dynasty of
West-Semitic rulers, though the most striking evidence of its effect is
only forthcoming after some centuries had passed. In the second period
the process was indirect, her culture being carried north and west
by the expansion of Assyria. The last of the three epochs coincides
with the rule of the Neo-Babylonian kings, when, thanks to her natural
resources, the country not only regained her independence, but for a
short time established an empire which far eclipsed her earlier effort.
And in spite of her speedy return, under Persian rule, to the position
of a subject province, her foreign influence may be regarded as
operative, it is true in diminishing intensity, well into the Hellenic

The concluding chapter will deal in some detail with certain
features of Babylonian civilization, and with the extent to which
it may have moulded the cultural development of other races. In
the latter connexion a series of claims has been put forward which
cannot be ignored in any treatment of the nation's history. Some of
the most interesting contributions that have recently been made to
Assyriologieal study undoubtedly concern the influence of ideas, which
earlier research had already shown to be of Babylonian origin. Within
recent years a school has arisen in Germany which emphasizes the part
played by Babylon in the religious development of Western Asia, and,
in a minor degree, of Europe. The evidence on which reliance has been
placed to prove the spread of Babylonian thought throughout the ancient
world has been furnished mainly by Israel and Greece; and it is claimed
that many features both in Hebrew religion and in Greek mythology can
only be rightly studied in the light thrown upon them by Babylonian
parallels from which they were ultimately derived. It will therefore
be necessary to examine briefly the theory which underlies most recent
speculation on this subject, and to ascertain, if possible, how far it
may be relied on to furnish results of permanent value.

But it will be obvious that, if the theory is to be accepted in whole
or in part, it must be shown to rest upon a firm historical basis, and
that any inquiry into its credibility should be more fitly postponed
until the history of the nation itself has been passed in review. After
the evidence of actual contact with other races has been established
in detail, it will be possible to form a more confident judgment
upon questions which depend for their solution solely on a balancing
of probabilities. The estimate of Babylon's foreign influence has
therefore been postponed to the closing chapter of the volume. But
before considering the historical sequence of her dynasties, and the
periods to which they may be assigned, it will be well to inquire what
recent excavation has to tell us of the actual remains of the city
which became the permanent capital of Babylonia.

[Footnote 1: Cf. Hogarth, "The Nearer East," pp. 212 ff., and Ramsay,
"The Historical Geography of Asia Minor," pp. 27 ff. Herodotus (V,
52-54) describes the "Royal Road" of the Persian period as passing
from Ephesus by the Cilician Gates to Susa, and it obtained its name
from the fact that all government business of the Persian Court passed
along it; the distances, given by Herodotus in parasangs and stages,
may well be derived from some official Persian document (cf. How and
Wells, "Commentary on Herodotus," II, p. 21). But it followed the track
of a still earlier Royal Road, by which Khatti, the capital of the old
Hittite Empire, maintained its communications westward and with the
Euphrates valley.]

[Footnote 2: At the present day this forms the great trunk-road across
the highlands of Persia, by way of Kirmanshah; and, since the Moslem
conquest, it has been the chief overland route from the farther East
for all those making the pilgrimage to Mecca.]

[Footnote 3: Cf. Hogarth, _op. cit.,_ p. 200 f.]

[Footnote 4: See below, pp. 9 ff.]

[Footnote 5: It is not improbable that the transference from one bank
to the other was dictated by the relations of the ruling empire with
Persia and the West.]

[Footnote 6: See "Sumer and Akkad," p. 242.]

[Footnote 7: Cf. Delitzsch, "Paradies," pp. 178 ff., and Meyer,
"Geschichte des Altertums," 1., ii.; p. 473.]

[Footnote 8: See below, Chap. IX., p. 280.]

[Footnote 9: IV., 44.]

[Footnote 10: Cp. Myres, "Geographical Journal," Mil. 1896, p. 623, and
How and Wells, "Commentary on Herodotus," Vol. I., p. 320.]

[Footnote 11: See Bevan, "House of Seleucus," I., pp. 242 ff., 253.]

[Footnote 12: Cf. "Sum. and Akk.," p. 149.]

[Footnote 13: As such the two cities were known as 'Al-'Irâkân, or
Al-'Irâkayn, meaning "the two capitals of 'Irâk"; cf. G. Le Strange.
"The Lands of the Eastern Caliphate," p. 25.]

[Footnote 14: See further, Chap IV. The fact that from time to time
other cities of Akkad had secured the leadership, suggests that the
forces which eventually placed Babylon at the head of the country were
already beginning to be felt. They were doubtless checked in no small
degree by the absence of an internal administration of any lasting
stability during the acute racial conflict which characterized the

[Footnote 15: The city was founded by the second Abbasid Caliph in 762

[Footnote 16: For a period of fifty-six years (336-392 A.D.) the
Caliphate was removed to Sâmarrâ. The circumstances which led to the
transference may be traced directly to the civil war which broke out on
the death of Harûn-ar-Rashîd; cf. Le Strange, _op. cit.,_ p. 32.]



The actual site of Babylon was never lost in popular tradition. In
spite of the total disappearance of the city, which followed its
gradual decay under Seleucid and Parthian rule, its ancient fame
sufficed to keep it in continual remembrance. The old Semitic name
Bâb-ilî, "the Gate of the Gods," lingered on about the site, and under
the form Babil is still the local designation for the most northerly of
the city-mounds. Tradition, too, never ceased to connect the exposed
brickwork of Nebuchadnezzar's main citadel and palace with his name.
Ḳaṣr, the Arab name for the chief palace-mound and citadel of Babylon,
means "palace" or "castle," and when in the twelfth century Benjamin
of Tudela visited Baghdad, the Jews of that city told him that in
the neighbouring ruins, near Hilla, the traveller might still behold
Nebuchadnezzar's palace beside the fiery furnace into which Hananiah,
Mishael and Azariah had been thrown. It does not seem that this
adventurous rabbi actually visited the site,[1] though it is unlikely
that he was deterred by fear of the serpents and scorpions with which,
his informants said, the ruins were infested.

In the sixteenth century an English merchant traveller, John Eldred,
made three voyages to "New Babylon," as he calls Baghdad, journeying
from Aleppo down the Euphrates. On the last occasion, after describing
his landing at Faluja, and how he secured a hundred asses for lack
of camels to carry his goods to Baghdad, he tells us that "in this
place which we crossed over stood the olde mightie citie of Babylon,
many olde ruines whereof are easilie to be scene by daylight, which
I, John Eldred, have often behelde at my goode leisure having made
three voyages between the New Citie of Babylon and Aleppo over this
desert."[2] But it would seem probable from his further description
that "the olde tower of Babell," which he visited "sundry times," was
really the ruin of 'Akarkûf, which he would have passed on his way to
Baghdad. Benjamin of Tudela, on the other hand, had taken Birs-Nimrûd
for the Tower of Babel,[3] and had noted how the ruins of the streets
of Babylon still extend for thirty miles. In fact, it was natural that
several of the early travellers should have regarded the whole complex
of ruins, which they saw still standing along their road to Baghdad,
as parts of the ancient city; and it is not surprising that some of
the earlier excavators should have fallen under a similar illusion so
far as the area between Bâbil and El-Birs is concerned.[4] The famous
description of Herodotus, and the accounts other classical writers
have left us of the city's size, tended to foster this conviction;
and, although the centre of Babylon was identified correctly enough,
the size of the city's area was greatly exaggerated. Babylon had cast
her spell upon mankind, and it has taken sixteen years of patient and
continuous excavation to undermine that stubborn belief. But in the
process of shrinkage, and as accurate knowledge has gradually given
place to conjecture, the old spell has reappeared unchanged. It may be
worth while to examine in some detail the results of recent work upon
the site, and note to what extent the city's remains have thrown light
upon its history while leaving some problems still unsolved.

[Illustration: FIG. 2.


A: The mound Bâbil. B: The mound Ḳaṣr. C: The mound 'Amrân-ibn-'Ali. D:
The mound Merkes. E: Inner City-wall of Babylon. F: Outer City-wall of
Babylon. G: Ruins of western walls. H: Temple-tower of E-zida. K: Ruins
of E-zida. L: Marsh. M: Hindîya Canal.

(After the India Office Map.)]

In view of the revolution in our knowledge of Babylonian topography,
which has been one of the most striking results of recent work, no
practical purpose would be served by tracing out the earlier but very
partial examinations of the site which were undertaken successively
by Rich in 1811,[5] by Layard in 1850,[6] by Oppert as the head of
a French expedition in the years 1852-54,[7] and by Hormuzd Rassam,
between 1878 and 1889, when he was employed on excavations for the
British Museum.[8] During the last of these periods the British Museum
obtained a valuable series of tablets from Babylon, some of the texts
proving of great literary and scientific interest. In 1887, and again
after a lapse of ten years, Dr. Robert Koldewey visited the site of
Babylon and picked up fragments of enamelled bricks on the east side
of the Ḳaṣr. On the latter occasion he sent some of them to Berlin,
and Dr. Richard Schöne, at that time Director of the Royal Museums,
recognized their artistic and archæological interest. Thus it was with
the hope of making speedy and startling discoveries that the German
Oriental Society began work upon the site at the end of March in the
year 1899; and it is the more to the credit of the excavators that
they have not allowed any difficulties or disappointments to curtail
and bring to a premature close the steady progress of their research.

The extent of ground covered by the remains of the ancient city, and
the great accumulation of _débris_ over some of the principal buildings
rendered the work more arduous than was anticipated, and consequently
the publication of results has been delayed. It is true that, from the
very beginning of operations, the expert has been kept informed of
the general progress of the digging by means of letters and reports
distributed to its subscribers every few months by the society.[9] But
it was only in 1911, after twelve years of uninterrupted digging, that
the first instalment was issued of the scientific publication. This was
confined to the temples of the city, and for the first time placed the
study of Babylonian religious architecture upon a scientific basis.[10]
In the following year Dr. Koldewey, the director of the excavations,
supplemented his first volume with a second, in which, under pressure
from the society, he forestalled to some extent the future issues of
the detailed account by summarizing the results obtained to date upon
all sections of the site.[11] It has thus been rendered possible to
form a connected idea of the remains of the ancient city, so far as
they have been recovered.

In their work at Babylon the excavators have, of course, employed
modern methods, which differ considerably from those of the age when
Layard and Botta brought the winged bulls of Assyria to the British
Museum and to the Louvre. The extraordinary success which attended
those earlier excavators has, indeed, never been surpassed. But it
is now realized that only by minuteness of search and by careful
classification of strata can the remains of the past be made to
reveal in full their secrets. The fine museum specimen retains its
importance; but it gains immensely in significance when it ceases to be
an isolated product and takes its place in a detailed history of its

[Illustration: (i) The temple-tower of E-zida at Borsippa. (ii) The
Lion of Babylon on the Ḳaṣr Mound]

In order to grasp the character of the new evidence, and the methods
by which it has been obtained at Babylon, it is advisable to bear in
mind some of the general characteristics of Babylonian architecture
and the manner in which the art of building was influenced by the
natural conditions of the country. One important point to realize is
that the builders of all periods were on the defensive, and not solely
against human foes, for in that aspect they resembled other builders
of antiquity. The foe they most dreaded was Hood. Security against
flood conditioned the architect's ideal: he aimed solely at height
and mass. When a king built a palace for himself or a temple for his
god, he did not consciously aim at making it graceful or beautiful.
What he always boasts of having done is that he has made it "like a
mountain." He delighted to raise the level of his artificial mound or
building-platform, and the modern excavator owes much to this continual
filling in of the remains of earlier structures. The material at his
disposal was also not without its influence in the production of
buildings "like mountains," designed to escape the floods of the plain.

The alluvial origin of the Babylonian soil deprived the inhabitants
of an important factor in the development of the builder's art:
it produced for them no stone. But it supplied a very effective
building-material in its place, a strongly adhesive clay. Throughout
their whole history the Babylonian architects built in crude and in
kiln-burnt brick. In the Neo-Babylonian period we find them making
interesting technical experiments in this material, here a first
attempt to roof in a wide area with vaulting, elsewhere counteracting
the effects of settlement by a sort of expansion-joint. We shall see,
too, that it was in this same medium that they attained to real beauty
of design.

Brick continued to be the main building-material in Assyria too, for
that country derived its culture from the lower Euphrates valley.[12]
But in the north soft limestone quarries were accessible. So in
Assyria they lined their mud-brick walls with slabs of limestone,
carved in low relief and brightly coloured; and they set up huge stone
colossi to flank their palace entrances. This use of stone, both as a
wall-lining and in wall-foundations, constitutes the main difference
between Babylonian and Assyrian architectural design. Incidentally
it explains how the earlier excavators were so much more successful
in Assyria than in Babylonia; for in both countries they drove their
tunnels and trenches into most of the larger mounds. They could tunnel
with perfect certainty when they had these stone linings of the
walls to guide them. But to follow out the ground-plan of a building
constructed only of unburnt brick, with mud or clay for mortar,
necessitates a slower and more systematic process of examination.
For unburnt brick becomes welded into a solid mass, scarcely to be
distinguished from the surrounding soil, and the lines of a building in
this material can only be recovered by complete excavation.

An idea of the labour this sometimes entails may be gained from the
work which preceded the identification of E-sagila, the great temple
of Marduk, the city-god of Babylon. The temple lies at a depth of
no less than twenty-one metres below the upper level of the hill of
_débris_; and portions of two of its massive mud-brick walls, together
with the neighbouring pavements, were uncovered by bodily removing the
great depth of soil truck by truck. But here even German patience and
thoroughness have been beaten, and tunnelling was eventually adopted
to establish the outer limits of the ground-plan, much of the interior
of which still remains unexplored.[13]

The Babylon which has now been partially cleared, though in its
central portion it reaches back to the First Dynasty and to the
period of Hammurabi, is mainly that of the Neo-Babylonian empire,
when Nebuchadnezzar II., and Nabonidus, the last native Babylonian
king, raised their capital to a condition of magnificence it had not
known before. This city survived, with but little change, during the
domination of the Achæmenian kings of Persia, and from the time of
Herodotus onward Babylon was made famous throughout the ancient world.
At that time Ashur and Nineveh, the great capitals of Assyria, had
ceased to exist; but Babylon was still in her glory, and descriptions
of the city have come down to us in the works of classical writers.
To fit this literary tradition to the actual remains of the city has
furnished a number of fascinating problems. How, for example, are we
to explain the puzzling discrepancy between the present position of
the outer walls and the enormous estimate of the city's area given by
Herodotus, or even that of Ctesias? For Herodotus himself appears to
have visited Babylon; and Ctesias was the physician of Artaxerxes II.
Mnemon, who has left a memorial of his presence in a marble building on
the Ḳaṣr.

Herodotus reckons that the walls of Babylon extended for four hundred
and eighty stades, the area they enclosed forming an exact square,
a hundred and twenty stades in length each way.[14] In other words,
he would have us picture a city more than fifty-three miles in
circumference. The estimate of Ctesias is not so large, his side
of sixty-five stades giving a circumference of rather over forty
miles.[15] Such figures, it has been suggested, are not in themselves
impossible, Koldewey, for example, comparing the Great Wall of China
which extends for more than fifteen hundred miles, and is thus about
twenty-nine times as long as Herodotus's estimate for the wall of
Babylon.[16] But the latter was not simply a frontier-fortification.
It was the enclosing wall of a city, and a more apposite comparison is
that of the walls of Nanking, the largest city-site in China, and the
work of an empire even greater than Babylon.[17] The latter measure
less than twenty-four miles in circuit, and the comparison does not
encourage an acceptance of Herodotus's figures on grounds of general
probability. It is true that Oppert accepted them, but he only found
this possible by stretching his plan of the city to include the whole
area from Babil to Birs-Nimrûd,[18] and by seeing traces of the city
and its walls in every sort of intervening mound of whatever period.

As a matter of fact part of the great wall, which surrounded the city
from the Neo-Babylonian period onward, has survived to the present
day, and may still be recognized in a low ridge of earth, or series
of consecutive mounds,[19] which cross the plain for a considerable
distance to the south-east of Babil. The traveller from Baghdad, after
crossing the present Nîl Canal by a bridge,[20] passes through a gap in
the north-eastern wall before he sees on his right the isolated mound
of Bâbil with the extensive complex of the Ḳaṣr and its neighbour, Tell
'Amrân-ibn-'Ali, stretching away in front and to his left.[21] The
whole length of the city-wall, along the north-east side, may still be
traced by the position of these low earthen mounds, and they prove that
the city on this side measured not quite two and three-quarter miles
in extent. The eastern angle of the wall is also preserved, and the
south-east wall may be followed for another mile and a quarter as it
doubles back towards the Euphrates. These two walls, together with the
Euphrates, enclose the only portion of the ancient city on which ruins
of any importance still exist. But, according to Herodotus and other
writers, the city was enclosed by two similar walls upon the western
bank, in which case the site it occupied must have formed a rough
quadrangle, divided diagonally by the river. No certain trace has yet
been recovered of the western walls,[22] and all remains of buildings
seem to have disappeared completely on that side of the river. But for
the moment it may be assumed that the city did occupy approximately an
equal amount of space upon the western bank; and, even so, its complete
circuit would not have extended for more than about eleven miles, a
figure very far short of any of those given by Herodotus, Ctesias and
other writers.

[Illustration: FIG. 3.


A: The mound Babil. B: Outer City-wall. C: Inner City-wall. D: The
Ḳaṣr mound. E: The mound 'Amrân-ibn-'Ali. F: E-makh, temple of the
goddess Ninmakh. G: Temple of Ishtar of Akkad. H: E-tomen-anki, the
Tower of Babylon. I: Ancient bed of the Euphrates. J: The mound Merkes.
K: E-sagila, the temple of Marduk. L: The mound Ishin-aswad. M:
Unidentified temple known as "_Z._" N: E-patutila, the temple of Ninib.
P: Greek theatre. Q: Sakhn, the small plain covering the precincts of
the Tower of Babylon. R: The mound Homera. S: Nîl Canal. T: Bridge over
Nîl Canal. U: Former bed of Nîl Canal. V: Old Canal. W: Euphrates. X:
Track from Baghdad to Hilla. Z: Mounds covering the ruins of walls. I:
Village of Anana. 2: Village of Kweiresh. 3: Village of Jumjumma. 4:
Village of Sinjar.

(After Koldewey and Andrae.)]

Dr. Koldewey suggests that, as the estimate of Ctesias approximates to
four times the correct measurement, we may suspect that he mistook the
figure which applies to the whole circumference for the measure of one
side only of the square. But even if we accept that solution, it leaves
the still larger figure of Herodotus unexplained. It is preferable
to regard all such estimates of size, not as based on accurate
measurements, but merely as representing an impression of grandeur
produced on the mind of their recorder, whether by a visit to the city
itself, or by reports of its magnificence at second-hand.

The excavators have not as yet devoted much attention to the city-wall,
and, until more extensive digging has been carried out, it will not be
possible to form a very detailed idea of the system of fortification.
But enough has already been done to prove that the outer wall was a
very massive structure, and consisted of two separate walls with the
intermediate space filled in with rubble. The outer wall, or face,
which bore the brunt of any attack and rose high above the moat
encircling the city, was of burnt brick set in bitumen. It measured
more than seven metres in thickness, and below ground-level was further
protected from the waters of the moat by an additional wall, more
than three metres in thickness, and, like it, constructed of burnt
brick with bitumen as mortar. Behind the outer wall, at a distance
of some twelve metres from it, was a second wall of nearly the same
thickness. This faced inward towards the city, and so was constructed
of crude or unburnt brick, as it would not be liable to direct assault
by a besieger; and the mortar employed was clay.[23] The crude-brick
wall cannot be dated accurately, but it is certainly older than the
reign of Nebuchadnezzar, and in his father's time it probably formed
the outer city's sole protection.[24] The burnt-brick wall and the
moat-lining in front of it date, in their present form, from the age of
Nebuchadnezzar, for they are built of his square bricks, impressed with
his usual stamp, which are so common over the whole site of Babylon.

[Illustration: FIG. 4.


A: Outer moat-lining of burnt-brick. B: Moat. C: Inner moat-lining of
burnt-brick. D: Outer wall of burnt-brick. E: Rubble-filling. F: Inner
wall of crude brick, with towers built at intervals across it. The
figures on the plan give measurements in metres.

(After Koldewey and Andrae.)]

At intervals along the crude-brick wall were towers projecting slightly
beyond each face.[25] Only the bases of the towers have been preserved,
so that any restoration of their upper structure must rest on pure
conjecture. But, as rubble still fills the space between the two
walls of burnt and unburnt brick, it may be presumed that the filling
was continued up to the crown of the outer wall. It is possible that
the inner wall of crude brick was raised to a greater height and
formed a curtain between each pair of towers. But even so, the clear
space in front, consisting of the rubble filling and the burnt-brick
wall, formed a broad roadway nearly twenty metres in breadth, which
extended right round the city along the top of the wall. On this
point the excavations have fully substantiated the account given by
Herodotus, who states that "on the top, along the edges of the wall,
they constructed buildings of a single chamber facing one another,
leaving between them room for a four-horse chariot to turn."[26] Even
if smaller towers were built upon the outer edge, there would have been
fully enough space to drive a team of four horses abreast along the
wall, and in the intervals between the towers two such chariots might
easily have passed each other. It has been acutely noted that this
design of the wall was not only of protection by reason of its size,
but was also of great strategic value; for it enabled the defence to
move its forces with great speed from one point to another, wherever
the attack at the moment might be pressed.[27]

In fact it is only in the matter of size and extent that the
description given by Herodotus of the walls of Babylon is to be
discounted; and those are just the sort of details that an ancient
traveller would accept without question from his local guide. His total
number for the city-gates is also no doubt excessive,[28] but his
description of the wall itself as built of burnt-brick tallies exactly
with the construction of its outer face, which would have been the only
portion visible to any one passing outside the city. Moreover, in one
portion of the wall, as reconstructed by Nebuchadnezzar, its inner as
well as its outer half appears to have been formed of burnt-brick. This
is the small rectangular extension, which Nebuchadnezzar threw out to
protect his later citadel now covered by the mound known as Babil.[29]

The mound of Babil represents Nebuchadnezzar's latest addition to the
city's system of fortification, and its construction in advance of
the old line of the outer walls was dictated by the desire, of which
we find increasing evidence throughout his reign, to strengthen the
capital against attack from the north. The mound has not yet been
systematically excavated, but enough has been done to prove that, like
the great citadel upon the Ḳaṣr, it protected a royal palace consisting
of a large number of chambers and galleries grouped around open courts.
From this fact it is clear that a Babylonian citadel was not simply a
fortress to be used by the garrison for the defence of the city as a
whole: it was also a royal residence, into which the monarch and his
court could shut themselves for safety should the outer wall of the
city itself be penetrated. Even in times of peace the king dwelt there,
and the royal stores and treasury, as well as the national armoury
and arsenal, were housed in its innumerable magazines. In the case of
the Southern Citadel of Babylon, on which excavations have now been
continuously carried out for sixteen years, we shall see that it formed
a veritable township in itself. It was a city within a city, a second
Babylon in miniature.[30]

The Southern or chief Citadel was built on the mound now known as
the Ḳaṣr, and within it Nebuchadnezzar erected his principal palace,
partly over an earlier building of his father Nabopolassar. The palace
and citadel occupy the old city-square or centre of Babylon, which
is referred to in the inscriptions as the _irsit Babili,_ "the Bâbil
place."[31] Though far smaller in extent than Nebuchadnezzar's citadel,
we may conclude that the chief fortress of Babylon always stood upon
this site, and the city may well have derived its name Bâb-ilî, "the
Gate of the Gods," from the strategic position of its ancient fortress,
commanding as it does, the main approach to E-sagila, the famous temple
of the city-god.[32] The earliest ruins in Babylon, which date from
the age of Hammurabi and the First Dynasty of West-Semitic kings,
lie under the mound of Merkes[33] just to the east of E-sagila and
the Tower of Babylon, proving that the first capital clustered about
the shrine of the city-god. The streets in that quarter suffered but
little change, and their main lines remained unaltered down through the
Kassite period into Neo-Babylonian and later times.[34] It was natural
that even in the earlier period the citadel should have been planted
up-stream, to the north of city and temple, since the greatest danger
of invasion was always from the north.

[Illustration: FIG. 5.


The view is reconstructed from the north, the conventional mound in
the foreground covering the Central Citadel now partially excavated.
The Sacred Road passes through the Ishtar Gate and along the east side
of the palace; further to the east and within the fortifications is
the small temple of Ninmakh. The innermost wall encloses the palace
of Nebuchadnezzar with its four open courts; the façade of the Throne
Room, with three entrances, is visible in the Great Court. The flat
roofs of the palace are broken here and there by smaller courts or
light-wells. Compare the ground-plan on p. 30, Fig. 6.

(After Andrae.)]

The outer city-wall, already described, dates only from the
Neo-Babylonian period, when the earlier and smaller city expanded with
the prosperity which followed the victories of Nabopolassar and his
son. The eastern limits of that earlier city, at any rate toward the
close of the Assyrian domination, did not extend beyond the inner wall,
which was then the only line of defence and was directly connected
with the main citadel. The course of the inner wall may still be
traced for a length of seventeen hundred metres by the low ridge or
embankment,[35] running approximately north and south, from a point
north-east of the mound Homera.[36] It was a double fortification,
consisting of two walls of crude or unburnt brick, with a space between
of rather more than seven metres. The thicker of the walls, on the
west, which is six and a half metres in breadth, has large towers built
across it, projecting deeply on the outer side, and alternating with
smaller towers placed lengthwise along it. The outer or eastern wall
has smaller towers at regular intervals. Now along the north side of
the main or Southern Citadel run a pair of very similar walls,[37] also
of crude brick, and they are continued eastward of the citadel to a
point where, in the Persian period, the Euphrates through a change of
course destroyed all further trace of them.[38] We may confidently
assume that in the time of Nebuchadnezzar[39] they were linked up with
the inner city-wall to the north of Homeni and formed its continuation
after it turned at right angles on its way towards the river-bank.
This line of fortification is of considerable interest, as there is
reason to believe it may represent the famous double-line of Babylon's
defences, which is referred to again and again in the inscriptions.

[Illustration: FIG. 6.


A: East Court of the Palace of Nebuchadnezzar. B: Central Court. C:
Great Court. D: Private portion of palace built over earlier Palace
of Nabopolassar. E: West extension of palace. F: Throne Room of
Nebuchadnezzar. G: Sacred Road, known as Aibur-shabû. H: Ishtar Gate.
I: Continuation of Sacred Road with Lion Frieze. J: Temple of Ninmakh.
K: Space between the two fortification-walls of crude brick, probably
Imgur-Bêl and Nimitti-Bêl. L: Older moat-wall. M: Later moat-wall.
N: Later fortification thrown out into the bed of the Euphrates. P:
Southern Canal, probably part of the Libil-khegalla. R: Basin of canal.
S: Persian building. T: Moat, formerly the left side of the Euphrates.
V: River-side embankment of the Persian period, a: Gateway to East
Court, b: Gateway to Central Court, c: Gateway to Great Court, d:
Double Gateway to private part of palace, e, f: Temporary ramps used
during construction of palace, g: Temporary wall of crude brick, h:
Broad passage-way, leading northwards to Vaulted Building.

(After Koldewey, Reuther and Wetzel.)]

The two names the Babylonians gave these walls were suggested by their
gratitude to and confidence in Marduk, the city-god, who for them was
the "Bêl," or Lord, _par excellence._ To the greater of the two, the
_dûru_ or inner wall, they gave the name _Imgur-Bêl,_ meaning "Bêl
has been gracious"; while the _shaikhu,_ or outer one, they called
_Nimitti-Bêl,_ that is, probably, "The foundation of Bêl," or "My
foundation is Bêl."[40] The identification of at least one of the
crude-brick walls near Homera with Nimitti-Bêl, has been definitely
proved by several foundation-cylinders of Ashur-bani-pal, the famous
Assyrian king who deposed his brother Shamash-shum-ukîn from the throne
of Babylon and annexed the country as a province of Assyria.[41] On the
cylinders he states that the walls Imgur-Bêl and Nimitti-Bêl had fallen
into ruins, and he records his restoration of the latter, within the
foundation or structure of which the cylinders were originally immured.
Unfortunately they were not found in place, but among the _débris_ in
the space between the walls, so that it is not now certain from which
wall they came. If they had been deposited in the thicker or inner
wall, then Nimitti-Bêl must have been a double line of fortification,
and both walls together must have borne the name; and in that case we
must seek elsewhere for Imgur-Bêl. But it is equally possible that they
came from the narrow or outer wall; and on this alternative Nimitti-Bêl
may be the outer one and Imgur-Bêl the broader inner-wall with the
widely projecting towers. It is true that only further excavation can
settle the point; but meanwhile the fortifications on the Ḳaṣr have
supplied further evidence which seems to support the latter view.

[Illustration: FIG. 7.


A: Sargon's quay-wall. B: Older moat-wall. C: Later moat-wall of
Nebuchadnezzar. D: Intermediate wall. E: South fortification-wall of
crude brick, probably Imgur-Bêl. F: North fortification-wall of crude
brick, probably Nimitti-Bêl. G: North wall of the Southern Citadel.
I: Ruins of building, possibly the quarters of the Captain of the
Wall. J: Palace of Nabopolassar. K: West Extension of the Southern
Citadel. L: Connecting wall. M: Later wall across channel with grid
for water. N: Water, originally the left side of the Euphrates. P:
Later fortification of Nebuchadnezzar in former bed of the Euphrates.
1-3: Nabopolassar's quay-walls. N.B. The quays and moat-walls are
distinguished by dotting.

(After Koldewey.)]

The extensive alterations which took place in the old citadel's
fortifications, especially during Nebuchadnezzar's long reign of
forty-three years, led to the continual dismantling of earlier
structures and the enlargement of the area enclosed upon the north and
west. This is particularly apparent in its north-west corner. Here,
at a considerable depth below the later fortification-walls, were
found the remains of four earlier walls,[42] the discovery of which
has thrown considerable light on the topography of this portion of
Babylon. All four are ancient quay-walls, their northern and western
faces sloping sharply inwards as they rise. Each represents a fresh
rebuilding of the quay, as it was gradually extended to the north
and west. Fortunately, stamped and inscribed bricks were employed in
considerable quantities in their construction, so that it is possible
to date the periods of rebuilding accurately.

The earliest of the quay-walls, which is also the earliest building
yet recovered on the Ḳaṣr, is the most massive of the four,[43] and
is strengthened at the angle with a projecting circular bastion.
It is the work of Sargon of Assyria,[44] who states the object of
the structure in a text inscribed upon several of its bricks. After
reciting his own name and titles, he declares that it was his desire to
rebuild Imgur-Bêl; that with this object he caused burnt-bricks to be
fashioned, and built a quay-wall with pitch and bitumen in the depth
of the water from beside the Ishtar Gate to the bank of the Euphrates;
and he adds that he "founded Imgur-Bêl and Nimitti-Bêl mountain-high
upon it."[45] The two walls of Sargon, which he here definitely names
as Imgur-Bêl and Nimitti-Bêl, were probably of crude brick, and
were, no doubt, demolished and replaced by the later structures of
Nabopolassar's and Nebuchadnezzar's reigns. But they must have occupied
approximately the same position as the two crude brick walls above
the quay of Sargon,[46] which run from the old bank of the Euphrates
to the Ishtar Gate, precisely the two points mentioned in Sargon's
text. His evidence is therefore strongly in favour of identifying
these later crude-brick walls, which we have already connected with
the inner city-wall, as the direct successors of his Imgur-Bêl and his
Nimitti-Bêl, and therefore as inheritors of the ancient names.

[Illustration: FIG. 8.


A: Sargon's quay-wall. B: Older moat-wall. O: Later moat-wall of
Nebuchadnezzar. D: Intermediate wall. E: South fortification-wall of
crude brick, probably Imgur-Bêl. F: North fortification-wall of crude
brick, probably Nimitti-Bêl. G: North wall of Southern Citadel. H:
Remains of older crude brick wall.

(After Andrae.)]

We find further confirmation of this view in one of the later
quay-walls, which succeeded that of Sargon. The three narrow walls
already referred to[47] were all the work of Nabopolassar, and
represent three successive extensions of the quay westward into the bed
of the stream, which in the inscriptions upon their bricks is given the
name of Arakhtu.[48] But the texts make no mention of the city-walls.
No inscriptions at all have been found in the structure of the next
extension, represented by the wall B, which, like the latest quay-wall
(C), is not rounded off in the earlier manner, but is strengthened at
the corner with a massive rectangular bastion. It was in this latest
and most substantial of all the quay-walls that further inscriptions
were found referring to Imgur-Bêl. They prove that this wall was
the work of Nebuchadnezzar, who refers in them to Nabopolassar's
restoration of Imgur-Bêl and records that he raised its banks with
bitumen and burnt-brick mountain-high. It is therefore clear that this
was the quay-wall of Imgur Bêl, which it supported in the manner of
Sargon's earlier structure. That the less important Nimitti-Bêl is not
mentioned in these texts does not necessitate our placing it elsewhere,
in view of Sargon's earlier reference.

We may therefore provisionally regard the two crude-brick walls along
the Ḳaṣr's northern front[49] as a section of the famous defences of
Babylon, and picture them as running eastward till they meet the inner
city-wall by Homera. The point at which they extended westward across
the Euphrates can, as yet, only be conjectured. But it is significant
that the angle of the western walls, which may still be traced under
mounds to the north of Sinjar village,[50] is approximately in line
with the north front of the Ḳaṣr and the end of the inner wall by
Homera. Including these western walls within our scheme, the earlier
Babylon would have been rectangular in ground-plan, about a quarter
of it only upon the right bank, and the portion east of the river
forming approximately a square. The Babylon of the Kassite period and
of the First Dynasty must have been smaller still, its area covering
little more than the three principal mounds; and, though part of its
street net-work has been recovered, no trace of its fortifications has
apparently survived.

The evidence relating to the city's walls and fortifications has
been summarized rather fully, as it has furnished the chief subject
of controversy in connexion with the excavations. It should be added
that the view suggested above is not shared by Dr. Koldewey, whose
objections to the proposed identification of Imgur-Bêl rest on his
interpretation of two phrases in a cylinder of Nabopolassar, which was
found out of place in _débris_ close to the east wall of the Southern
Citadel. In it Nabopolassar records his own restoration of Imgur-Bêl,
which he tells us had fallen into decay, and he states that he "founded
it in the primæval abyss," adding the words, "I caused Babylon to
be enclosed with it towards the four winds."[51] From the reference
to the abyss, Dr. Koldewey concludes that it had deep foundations,
and must therefore have been constructed of burnt, not crude, brick;
while from the second phrase he correctly infers that it must have
formed a quadrilateral closed on all sides. But that, as we have seen,
is precisely the ground-plan we obtain by including the remains of
walls west of the river. And, in view of the well-known tendency to
exaggeration in these Neo-Babylonian records, we should surely not
credit any single metaphor with the accuracy of a modern architect's
specification. If a single section of the wall had been furnished,
during restoration, with a burnt-brick substructure, it would have been
enough to justify the royal claim.

The manner in which the Euphrates was utilized for the defence
and water-supply of the citadel has also been illustrated by the
excavations. The discovery of Sargon's inscriptions proved that in
his day the river flowed along the western face of his quay-wall;[52]
while the inscriptions on bricks from the three successive quay-walls
of Nabopolassar[53] state, in each case, that he used them to rebuild
the wall of a channel he calls the "Arakhtu," using the name in
precisely the same way as Sargon refers to the Euphrates. The simplest
explanation is that in Nabopolassar's time the Arakhtu was the name
for that section of the Euphrates which washed the western side of
the citadel, and that its use in any case included the portion of the
citadel-moat, or canal, along its northern face, which formed a basin
opening directly upon the river.[54] The "Arakhtu" may thus have been
a general term, not only for this basin, but for the whole water-front
from the north-west corner of the citadel to some point on the left
bank to the south of it. It may perhaps have been further extended to
include the river frontage of the Tower of Babylon, since it was into
the Arakhtu that Sennacherib cast the tower on his destruction of the
city. Within this stretch of water, particularly along the northern
quays, vessels and _keleks_ would have been moored which arrived down
stream with supplies for the palace and the garrison. The Arakhtu, in
fact, may well have been the name for the ancient harbour or dock of

Some idea of the appearance of the quays may be gathered from the
right-hand corner of the restoration in Fig. 5.[55] It is true that
the outer quay-wall appears to have been built to replace the inner
one, while in the illustration both are shown. But since the height
of the citadel and of its walls was continually being raised, the
arrangement there suggested is by no means impossible. But in the later
part of his reign Nebuchadnezzar changed the aspect of the river-front
entirely. To the west of the quay-walls, in the bed of the river,
he threw out a massive fortification with immensely thick walls,
from twenty to twenty-five metres in breadth.[56] It was constructed
entirely of burnt-brick and bitumen, and, from his reference to it in
an inscription from Sippar, it would seem that his object in building
it was to prevent the formation of sandbanks in the river, which in the
past may have caused the flooding of the left bank above E-Sagila.[57]
A narrow channel[58] was left between it and the old quay, along which
the river water continued to flow through gratings. This no doubt
acted as an overflow for the old northern moat of the citadel, since
the latter fed the supply-canal, which passed round the palace and
may still be traced along its south side.[59] It is possible that the
subsequent change in the course of the Euphrates may be traced in part
to this huge river-fortification. Its massive structure suggests that
it had to withstand considerable water-pressure, and it may well have
increased any tendency of the stream to break away eastward. However
that may be, it is certain that for a considerable time during the
Persian and Seleucid periods it flowed round to the eastward of the
Ḳaṣr, close under three sides of the citadel and rejoined its former
bed to the north of Marduk's temple and the Tower of Babylon. Its
course east of the Ishtar Gate is marked by a late embankment sloping
outwards, which supported the thicker of the crude-brick walls at the
point where they suddenly break off.[60] Beyond this embankment only
mud and river sediment were found. The water-course to the south of
the citadel is probably the point where the river turned again towards
the channel it had deserted. A trench that was dug here showed that
the present soil is formed of silt deposited by water, and beyond the
remains of the earlier canal no trace of any building was recovered.
This temporary change in the river's course, which the excavations have
definitely proved, explains another puzzle presented by the classical
tradition--the striking discrepancy between the actual position of
the principal ruins of Babylon in relation to the river and their
recorded position in the Persian period. Herodotus,[61] for example,
places the fortress with the palace of the kings (that is, the Ḳaṣr),
on the opposite bank to the sacred precinct of Zeus Belus (that is,
E-temen-anki, the Tower of Babylon). But we have now obtained proof
that they were separated at that time by the Euphrates, until the river
returned to its former and present bed, probably before the close of
the Seleucid period.

The greater part of the Southern Citadel is occupied by the enormous
palace on which Nebuchadnezzar lavished his energies during so many
years of his reign. On ascending the throne of Babylon, he found
the ancient fortress a very different place to the huge structure
he bequeathed to his successors. He had lived there in his father's
life-time, but Nabopolassar had been content with a comparatively
modest dwelling. And when his son, flushed with his victory over the
hosts of Egypt, returned to Babylon to take the hands of Bêl, he began
to plan a palace that should be worthy of the empire he had secured.
Of the old palace of Nabopolassar, in which at first he was obliged
to dwell, very little now remains. What is left of it constitutes the
earliest building of which traces now exist within the palace area.
Nebuchadnezzar describes it, before his own building operations, as
extending from the Euphrates eastward to the Sacred Road; and the old
palace-enclosure undoubtedly occupied that site. Traces of the old
fortification-wall have been found below the east front of the later
palace, and the arched doorway which gave access to its open court,
afterwards filled up and built over by Nebuchadnezzar, has been found
in a perfect state of preservation.[62]

[Illustration: III. The Throne Room in Nebuchadnezzar's palace at
Babylon, showing the recess in the back wall where the throne once

The old palace itself[63] did not reach beyond the western side of
Nebuchadnezzar's great court.[64] The upper structure, as we learn from
the East India House Inscription,[65] was of crude brick, which was
demolished for the later building. But Nabopolassar, following a custom
which had survived unchanged from the time of Hammurabi, had placed
his crude-brick walls upon burnt-brick foundations. These his son made
use of, simply strengthening them before erecting his own walls upon
them. Thus this section of the new palace retained the old ground-plan
to a great extent unchanged. The strength and size of its walls are
remarkable and may in part be explained by the crude-brick upper
structure of the earlier building, which necessarily demanded a broader
base for its walls.

When Nebuchadnezzar began building he dwelt in the old palace, while
he strengthened the walls of its open court on the east and raised its
level for the solid platform on which his own palace was to rise.[66]
For a time the new and the old palace were connected by two ramps of
unburnt-brick,[67] which were afterwards filled in below the later
pavement of the great court; and we may picture the king ascending
the ramps with his architect on his daily inspection of the work. As
soon as the new palace on the east was ready he moved into it, and,
having demolished the old one, he built up his own walls upon its
foundations, and filled in the intermediate spaces with earth and
rubble until he raised its pavement to the eastern level. Still later
he built out a further extension[68] along its western side. In the
account he has left us of the palace-building the king says: "I laid
firm its foundation and raised it mountain-high with bitumen and
burnt-brick. Mighty cedars I caused to be stretched out at length for
its roofing. Door-leaves of cedar overlaid with copper, thresholds
and sockets of bronze I placed in its doorways. Silver and gold and
precious stones, all that can be imagined of costliness, splendour,
wealth, riches, all that was highly esteemed, I heaped up within it, I
stored up immense abundance of royal treasure therein."[69]

A good general idea of the palace ground-plan, in its final form, may
be obtained from Fig. 6. The main entrance was in its eastern front,
through a gate-way,[70] flanked on its outer side by towers, and
known as the Bûb Bêlti, or "Lady Gate," no doubt from its proximity
to the temple of the goddess Ninmakh.[71] The gate-house consists of
an entrance hall, with rooms opening at the sides for the use of the
palace-guard. The eastern part of the palace is built to the north and
south of three great open courts,[72] separated from each other by
gateways[73] very like that at the main entrance to the palace. It will
be noticed that, unlike the arrangement of a European dwelling, the
larger rooms are always placed on the south side of the court facing to
the north, for in the sub-tropical climate of Babylonia the heat of the
summer sun was not courted, and these chambers would have been in the
shade throughout almost the whole of the day.

Some of the larger apartments, including possibly the chambers of the
inner gateways, must have served as courts of justice, for from the
Hammurabi period onward we know that the royal palace was the resort
of litigants, whose appeals in the earlier period were settled by the
king himself,[74] and later by the judges under his supervision. Every
kind of commercial business was carried on within the palace precincts,
and not only were regular lawsuits tried, but any transaction that
required legal attestation was most conveniently carried through
there. Proof of this may be seen in the fact that so many of the
Neo-Babylonian contracts that have been recovered on the site of
Babylon are dated from the Al-Bît-shar-Bâbili, "the City of the King
of Babylon's dwelling," doubtless a general title for the citadel and
palace-area. All government business was also transacted here, and we
may provisionally assign to the higher ministers and officials of the
court the great apartment and the adjoining dwellings on the south side
of the Central Court of the palace.[75] For many of the more important
officers in the king's service were doubtless housed on the premises;
and to those of lower rank we may assign the similar but rather
smaller dwellings, which flank the three courts on the north and the
Entrance Court upon the south side as well. Even royal manufactories
were carried on within the palace, to judge from the large number of
alabaster jars, found beside their cylindrical cores, in one room in
the south-west corner by the outer palace-wall.[76]

It will be seen from the ground-plan that these dwellings consist
of rooms built around open courts or light-wells; most of them are
separate dwellings, isolated from their neighbours, and having doors
opening on to the greater courts or into passage-ways running up from
them. No trace of any windows has been found within the buildings,
and it is probable that they were very sparsely employed. But we must
not conclude that they were never used, since no wall of the palace
has been preserved for more than a few feet in height, and, for the
greater part, their foundations only have survived. But there is no
doubt that, like the modern houses of the country, all the dwellings,
whether in palace or city, had flat roofs, which formed the natural
sleeping-place for their inhabitants during the greater part of the
year. Towards sunset, when the heat of the day was past, they would
ascend to the house-tops to enjoy the evening breeze; during the day a
window would have been merely a further inlet for the sun. The general
appearance of the palace is no doubt accurately rendered in the sketch
already given.[77]

[Illustration Fig. 9.


C: Great Court. F: Throne Room, _a:_ Recess in back-wall for throne,
_b-d:_ Entrances to Throne Room from Court, _e-g_: Entrances from side
and back. 1-3: Open courts, surrounded by rooms for the royal service.
4, 5: Open courts in the south-east corner of the Private Palace.
(After Koldewey.)]

The most interesting apartment within the palace is one that may
be identified as Nebuchadnezzar's Throne Room. This is the room
immediately to the south of the Great Court.[78] It is the largest
chamber of the palace, and since the walls on the longer sides are
six metres thick, far broader than those at the ends, it is possible
that they supported a barrel-vaulting. It has three entrances from the
court,[79] and in the back wall opposite the centre one is a broad
niche, doubly recessed into the structure of the wall, where we may
assume the royal throne once stood. During any elaborate court ceremony
the king would thus have been visible upon his throne, not only to
those within the chamber, but also from the central portion of the
Great Court. It was in this portion of the palace that some traces of
the later Babylonian methods of mural decoration were discovered. For,
while the inner walls of the Throne Room were merely washed over with a
plaster of white gypsum, the brickwork of the outer façade, which faced
the court, was decorated with brightly-coloured enamels.

[Illustration: FIG. 10.


In the drawing light and dark blue are indicated by light and heavy
horizontal shading; yellow by a dotted surface.]

Only fragments of the enamelled surface were discovered, but these
sufficed to restore the scheme of decoration. A series of yellow
columns with bright blue capitals, both edged with white borders, stand
out against a dark blue ground. The capitals are the most striking
feature of the composition. Each consists of two sets of double
volutes, one above the other, and a white rosette with yellow centre
comes partly into sight above them. Between each member is a bud in
sheath, forming a trefoil, and linking the volutes of the capitals by
means of light blue bands which fall in a shallow curve from either
side of it. Still higher on the wall ran a frieze of double palmettes
in similar colouring, between yellow line-borders, the centres of the
latter picked out with lozenges coloured black and yellow, and black
and white, alternately. The rich effect of this enamelled façade of the
Throne Room was enhanced by the decoration of the court gateway, the
surface of which was adorned in a like fashion with figures of lions.
So too were the gateways of the other eastern courts, to judge from
the fragments of enamel found there, but the rest of the court-walls
were left undecorated or, perhaps, merely received a coat of plaster.
The fact that the interior of the Throne Room, like the rest of the
chambers of the palace, was without ornamentation of any sort favours
the view that heat, and light with it, was deliberately excluded by the
absence of windows in the walls.

The chambers behind the Throne Room, reached by two doorways in the
back wall,[80] were evidently for the king's service, and are ranged
around three open courts; and in the south-west corners of two of
them, which lie immediately behind the Throne Room wall, are wells,
their positions indicated on the plan by small open circles. The
walls of each of these small chambers are carried down through the
foundations to water-level, and the intermediate space is filled in
around the wells with rubble-packing. This device was evidently adopted
to secure an absolutely pure supply of water for the royal table.
But the private part of the palace, occupied by the women and the
rest of the royal household, was evidently further to the west, built
over the earlier dwelling of Nabopolassar. It will be seen from the
ground-plan that this is quite distinct from the eastern or official
portion of the palace, from which it is separated by a substantial wall
and passage-way running, with the Great Court, the whole width of the
palace-area. The character of the gateway-building, which formed its
chief entrance and opened on the Great Court, is also significant.[81]
For the towers, flanking the gateways to the official courts, are
here entirely absent, and the pathway passes through two successive
apartments, the second smaller than the first and with a porters'
service-room opening off it. The entrance for the king's own use was
in the southern half of the passage-way, and lies immediately between
the side entrance to the Throne Room[82] and another doorway in the
passage leading to one of the small courts behind it.[83] In two of the
chambers within the private palace, both opening on to Court 5, are
two more circular wells, walled in for protection, and here too the
foundations of each chamber are carried down to water-level and filled
in with brick-rubble, as in the case of the wells behind the Throne

The same care that was taken to ensure the purity of the water-supply
may also be detected in the elaborate drainage-system, with which
the palace was provided, with the object of carrying off the
surface-water from the flat palace-roofs, the open courts, and the
fortification-walls. The larger drains were roofed with corbelled
courses; the smaller ones, of a simpler but quite effective
construction, were formed of bricks set together in the shape of a V
and closed in at the top with other bricks laid flat. The tops of
the fortifications, both in the citadel itself and on the outer and
inner city-wall, were drained by means of vertical shafts, or gutters,
running down within the solid substructures of the towers; and in the
case of crude-brick buildings these have a lining of burnt-brick. In
some of the temples, which, as we shall see, were invariably built of
crude brick,[84] this form of drainage was also adopted.

[Illustration: FIG. 11.


A: East Court of the Palace. B: Central Court. H: Ishtar Gate. I:
Vaulted Building. J: Southern fortification-wall of crude brick,
probably Imgur-Bêl. _h_: Passage-way leading to the Vaulted Building,
_m_, _n_: Entrances to the Vaulted Building. 1-15: Small open courts or
light-wells in official residencies.

(After Koldewey.)]

One other building within the palace deserves mention, as it has been
suggested that it may represent the remains of the famous Hanging
Gardens of Babylon.[85] It is reached from the north-east corner of
the Central Court[86] along a broad passage-way,[87] from which a
branch passage turns off at right angles; and on the left side of this
narrower passage are its two entrances.[88] It must be confessed that
at first sight the ground-plan of this building does not suggest a
garden of any sort, least of all one that became famous as a wonder
of the ancient world. It will be seen that the central part, or core,
of the building is surrounded by a strong wall and within are fourteen
narrow cells or chambers, seven on each side of a central gangway.[89]
The cells were roofed in with semicircular arches, forming a barrel
vault over each; and the whole is encircled by a narrow corridor,
flanked on the north and east sides by the outer palace-wall. This
part of the building, both the vaulted chambers and the surrounding
corridor, lies completely below the level of the rest of the palace.
The small chambers, some of them long and narrow like the vaults, which
enclose the central core upon the west and south, are on the palace
level; and the subterranean portion is reached by a stairway in one of
the rooms on the south side.[90]

There are two main reasons which suggested the identification of this
building with the Hanging Gardens. The first is that hewn stone was
used in its construction, which is attested by the numerous broken
fragments discovered among its ruins. With the exception of the Sacred
Road and the bridge over the Euphrates, there is only one other place
on the whole site of Babylon where hewn stone is used in bulk for
building purposes, and that is the northern wall of the Ḳaṣr. Now, in
all the literature referring to Babylon, stone is only recorded to
have been used for buildings in two places, and those are the north
wall of the Citadel and in the Hanging Gardens, a lower layer in the
latter's roofing, below the layer of earth, being described as made of
stone. These facts certainly point to the identification of the Vaulted
Building with the Hanging Gardens.[91] Moreover, Berossus definitely
places them within the buildings by which Nebuchadnezzar enlarged his
father's palace; but this reference would apply equally to the later
Central Citadel constructed by Nebuchadnezzar immediately to the north
of his main palace. The size of the building is also far greater in
Strabo and Diodorus than that of the Vaulted Building, the side of the
quadrangle, according to these writers, measuring about four times the
latter's length. But discrepancy in figures of this sort, as we have
already seen in the case of the outer walls of the city, is easily
explicable and need not be reckoned as a serious objection.[92]

The second reason which pointed to the identification is that, in one
of the small chambers near the south-west corner of the outer fringe of
rooms on those two sides, there is a very remarkable well. It consists
of three adjoining shafts, a square one in the centre flanked by two of
oblong shape. This arrangement, unique so far as the remains of ancient
Babylon are concerned, may be most satisfactorily explained on the
assumption that we here have the water-supply for a hydraulic machine,
constructed on the principle of a chain-pump. The buckets, attached to
an endless chain, would have passed up one of the outside wells, over
a great wheel fixed above them, and, after emptying their water into
a trough as they passed, would have descended the other outside well
for refilling. The square well in the centre obviously served as an
inspection-chamber, down which an engineer could descend to clean the
well out, or to remove any obstruction. In the modern contrivances of
this sort, sometimes employed to-day in Babylonia to raise a continuous
flow of water to the irrigation-trenches, the motive-power for turning
the winch is supplied by horses or other animals moving round in a
circle. In the Vaulted Building there would have been scarcely room
for such an arrangement, and it is probable that gangs of slaves were
employed to work a couple of heavy hand-winches. The discovery of the
well undoubtedly serves to strengthen the case for identification.


Two alternative schemes are put forward to reconstitute the upper
structure of this building. Its massive walls suggest in any case
that they were intended to support a considerable weight, and it may
be that the core of the building, constructed over the subterranean
vaults, towered high above its surrounding chambers which are on the
palace-level. This would have been in accordance with the current
conception of a hanging garden; and, since on two sides it was bounded
by the palace-wall, its trees and vegetation would have been visible
from outside the citadel. Seen thus from the lower level of the town,
the height of the garden would have been reinforced by the whole height
of the Citadel-mound on which the palace stands, and imagination once
kindled might have played freely with its actual measurements.

On the other hand, the semicircular arches, still preserved within the
central core, may have directly supported the thick layer of earth in
which the trees of the garden were planted. These would then have been
growing on the palace-level, as it were in a garden-court, perhaps
surrounded by a pillared colonnade with the outer chambers opening on
to it on the west and south sides. In either scheme the subterranean
vaults can only have been used as stores or magazines, since they were
entirely without light. As a matter of fact, a large number of tablets
were found in the stairway-chamber that leads down to them; and, since
the inscriptions upon them relate to grain, it would seem that some at
least were used as granaries. But this is a use to which they could
only have been put if the space above them was not a garden, watered
continuously by an irrigation-pump, as moisture would have been bound
to reach the vaults.[93]

Whichever alternative scheme we adopt, it must be confessed that the
Hanging Gardens have not justified their reputation. And if they merely
formed a garden-court, as Dr. Koldewey inclines to believe, it is
difficult to explain the adjectives [κρεμαστός] and _pensilis._ For the
subterranean vaults would have been completely out of sight, and, even
when known to be below the pavement-level, were not such as to excite
wonder or to suggest the idea of suspension in the air. One cannot help
suspecting that the vaulted building may really, after all, be nothing
more than the palace granary, and the triple well one of the main
water-supplies for domestic use. We may, at least for the present, be
permitted to hope that a more convincing site for the gardens will be
found in the Central Citadel after further excavation.


In the autumn of 1901 the writer spent some time in Babylon, stopping
with Dr. Koldewey in the substantial expedition-house they have built
with fine burnt-brick from Nebuchadnezzar's palace. At that time he had
uncovered a good deal of the palace, and it was even then possible to
trace out the walls of the Throne Room and note the recess where the
throne itself had stood. But, beyond the fragments of the enamelled
façade, little of artistic interest had been found, and on other
portions of the site the results had been still more disappointing. The
deep excavation of E-sagila had already been made, the temple of the
goddess Ninmakh had been completely excavated, and work was in full
swing on that of the god Ninib. All proved to be of unburnt brick,[94]
and the principal decoration of the walls was a thin lime-wash. Their
discoverer was inclined to be sceptical of Babylon's fabled splendour.


But in the following spring he made the discovery which still remains
the most striking achievement of the expedition, and has rehabilitated
the fame of that ancient city. This was the great Ishtar Gate, which
spanned Babylon's Sacred Way, and the bulls and dragons with which it
was adorned have proved that the glyptic art of Babylonia attained a
high level of perfection during its later period. The gate was erected
at the point where the Sacred Way entered the older city. It was, in
fact, the main gate in the two walls of crude brick along the north
side of the Citadel, which we have seen reason to believe were the
famous defences, Imgur-Bêl and Nimitti-Bêl.[95] Its structure, when
rebuilt by Nebuchadnezzar, was rather elaborate.[96] It is a double
gateway consisting of two separate gate-houses,[97] each with an
outer and an inner door.[98] The reason for this is that the line of
fortification is a double one, and each of its walls has a gateway of
its own. But the gates are united into a single structure by means of
short connecting walls, which complete the enclosure of the Gateway

[Illustration: FIG. 14.


The ground-plan of the gateway is indicated in black; other walls and
buildings are hatched. A: Sacred Way to north of gate. B: Gate of outer
wall. C: Gateway Court. D: Gate of inner wall. E: Space between west
wings. F: Space between east wings. G: Sacred Way to south of gate. H:
North-east corner of Palace. K: Temple of the goddess Ninmakh. S: Steps
leading down from level of Sacred Way. 1, 2: Doorways of outer gate. 3,
4: Doorways of inner gate.

(After Koldewey.)]

Dr. Koldewey considers it probable that this court was roofed in, to
protect the great pair of doors, which swung back into it, from the
weather. But if so, the whole roofing of the gateway must have been at
the same low level; whereas the thick walls of the inner gate-house
suggest that it and its arched doorways rose higher than the outer
gateway, as is suggested in the section[100] and in the reconstruction
of the Citadel.[101]

[Illustration: FIG. 15.


The section is conjecturally restored, looking from west to east; the
index capitals and figures correspond to those in Fig. 14. A: Sacred
Way to north of gate. B: Gate of outer wall. C: Gateway Court. D: Gate
of inner wall. G: Sacred way to south of gate. 1, 2: Doorways of
outer gate. 3, 4: Doorways of inner gate, _a_: Traces of pavement. 6:
Level of second pavement, _c_: Level of final pavement. _d_: Present
ground-level, _e_: Level of ground before excavation. It will be
noticed that the portions of the gate preserved are all below the final

(After Andrae.)]

It thus appears more probable that the court between the two gateways
was left open, and that the two inner arches[102] rose far higher
than those of the outer gate.[103] And there is the more reason for
this, as an open court would have given far more light for viewing the
remarkable decoration of the gateway upon its inner walls.

It will be noticed in the plan that the central roadway is not the
only entrance through the gate; on each side of the two central
gate-houses a wing is thrown out, making four wings in all. These also
are constructed of burnt-brick, and they serve to connect the gate with
the two fortification-walls of unburnt brick. In each wing is a further
door, giving access to the space between the walls. Thus, in all, the
gate has three separate entrances, and no less than eight doorways,
four ranged along the central roadway, and two in each double wing.

[Illustration: FIG. 16.


The ground-plan of the gate is shown in outline, the arrows indicating
the positions of Bulls or Dragons still in place upon its walls. The
head of each arrow points in the same direction as the beast to which
it refers. Where no beasts are preserved, the foundations of the
structure are indicated by a dotted line. The index letters correspond
to those in Fig. 14.

(After Koldewey.)]

The whole wall-surface of the gateway on its northern side, both
central towers and side-wings, was decorated with alternate rows of
bulls and dragons in brick relief, the rows ranged one above the
other up the surface of walls and towers. The decoration is continued
over the whole interior surface of the central gateways and may be
traced along the southern front of the inner gate-house. The beasts
are arranged in such a way that to any one entering the city they
would appear as though advancing to meet him. In the accompanying
diagram,[104] which gives the ground-plan of the gate in outline, the
arrows indicate the positions of beasts that are still in place upon
the walls, and the head of each arrow points in the direction that
animal faces. It will be noticed that along most of the walls running
north and south the beasts face northwards, while on the transverse
walls they face inwards towards the centre. One end-wall in chamber B
is preserved, and there, for the sake of symmetry, the two animals face
each other, advancing from opposite directions. It has been calculated
that at least five hundred and seventy-five of these creatures were
represented on the walls and towers of the gateway. Some of the walls,
with their successive tiers of beasts, are still standing to a height
of twelve metres. The two eastern towers of the outer gate-house are
the best preserved, and even in their present condition they convey
some idea of the former magnificence of the building.

In the greater part of the structure that still remains in place, it
is apparent that the brickwork was very roughly finished, and that the
bitumen employed as mortar has been left where it has oozed out between
the courses. The explanation is that the portions of the gateway which
still stand are really foundations of the building, and were always
intended to be buried below the pavement level. It is clear that
the height of the road-way was constantly raised while the building
of the gate was in progress, and there are traces of two temporary
pavements,[105] afterwards filled in when the final pavement-level[106]
was reached.[107] The visible portion of the gate above the last
pavement has been entirely destroyed, but among its _débris_ were found
thousands of fragments of the same two animals, but in enamelled brick
of brilliant colouring, white and yellow against a blue ground. Some
of these have been laboriously pieced together in Berlin, and specimens
are now exhibited in the Kaiser Friedrich Museum and in the Imperial
Ottoman Museum at Constantinople. Only one fragment of an enamelled
portion of the wall was found in place,[108] and that was below the
final pavement. It shows the legs of a bull above a band of rosettes
with yellow centres.[109]

[Illustration: FIG. 17.


The fragment, which was the highest portion of the gate preserved, is
from the east side of the second doorway of the outer gate; cf. Figs.
14 and 15, No. 2. It stands just below the final pavement-level, and
only the upper portion is enamelled.]

The delicate modelling of the figures is to some extent obscured in the
foundation specimens, but the imperfections there visible are entirely
absent from the enamelled series. An examination of the latter shows
that the bricks were separately moulded, and, before the process of
enamelling, were burnt in the usual way. The contours of the figures
were then outlined in black with a vitreous paste, the surfaces so
defined being afterwards filled in with coloured liquid enamels. The
paste of the black outlines and the coloured enamels themselves had
evidently the same fusing point, for when fired they have sometimes
shaded off into one another, giving a softness and a pleasing variety
of tone to the composition.[110] It should be added that the enamelled
beasts, like those in plain brick, are in slight relief, the same
moulds having been employed for both.

[Illustration: FIG. 18.


A: Sacred Way. B, B: Walls with Lion Frieze flanking the Sacred Way.
C: Ishtar Gate. D: North-east corner of Palace. E: Temple of Ninmakh.
F: Front wall of Northern Citadel. G: North wall of Northern Citadel.
H: North wall of the Principal Citadel. J: Broad Canal, fed from
the Euphrates, to supply the Principal Citadel. K: Old wall of the
Principal Citadel. L, M: Moat-walls supporting dam, over which the
roadway passed; that on the east side has not yet been excavated. N:
Eastward extension of north wall of Northern Citadel. P: Stair-case,
or ramps, ascending to roadway. R: Eastward extension of wall of
Principal Citadel. S: South wall of eastern outworks. T, U, V: Ends of
transverse walls in Principal Citadel. Y: River-side embankment of the
Persian period. Z: Crude brick walls with doorways, forming a temporary
gateway, filled in below latest pavement. N.B.--The two arrows denote
the direction in which the lions are represented as advancing in the

Before the Neo-Babylonian period the Ishtar Gate had defended the
northern entrance to the city, and was probably a massive structure of
unburnt brick without external decoration. But, with the building of
the outer city-wall, it stood in the second line of defence. And as
Nebuchadnezzar extended the fortifications of the Citadel itself upon
the northern side, it lost still more of its strategic importance, and
from its interior position became a fit subject for the decorator's
art. The whole course of the roadway through these exterior defences
he flanked with mighty walls, seven metres thick, extending from the
gate northwards to the outermost wall and moat.[111] Their great
strength was dictated by the fact that, should an enemy penetrate
the outer city-wall, he would have to pass between them, under the
garrison's fire, to reach the citadel-gate. But these, like the gate
itself, formed a secondary or interior defence, and so, like it, were
elaborately decorated. The side of each wall facing the roadway was
adorned with a long frieze of lions, in low relief and brilliantly
enamelled, which were represented advancing southwards towards the
Ishtar Gate. The surface of each wall was broken up into panels by a
series of slightly projecting towers, each panel probably containing
two lions, while the plinth below the Lion Frieze was decorated with
rosettes. There appear to have been sixty lions along each wall. Some
were in white enamel with yellow manes, while others were in yellow and
had red manes,[112] and they stood out against a light or dark blue
ground. Leading as they did to the bulls and dragons of the gateway, we
can realize in some degree the effect produced upon a stranger entering
the inner city of Babylon for the first time.

[Illustration: FIG. 19.


Such a stranger, passing within the Ishtar Gate, would have been struck
with wonder at the broad Procession Street,[113] which ran its long
course straight through the city from north to south, with the great
temples ranged on either hand. Its foundation of burnt brick covered
with bitumen is still preserved, upon which, to the south of the
gateway, rested a pavement of massive flags, the centre of fine hard
limestone, the sides of red breccia veined with white. In inscriptions
upon the edges of these paving slabs, formerly hidden by their asphalt
mortar, Nebuchadnezzar boasts that he paved the street of Babylon for
the procession of the great lord Marduk, to whom he prays for eternal
life.[114] The slabs that are still in place are polished with hard
use, but, unlike the pavements of Pompeii, show no ruts or indentations
such as we might have expected from the chariots of the later period.
It is possible that, in view of its sacred character, the use of the
road was restricted to foot passengers and beasts of burden, except
when the king and his retinue passed along it through the city. And in
any case, not counting chariots of war and state, there was probably
very little wheeled traffic in Babylonia at any time.

When clear of the citadel the road descends by a gradual slope to the
level of the plain, and preserving the same breadth, passes to the
right of the temple dedicated to Ishtar of Akkad.[115] As it continues
southward it is flanked at a little distance on the east by the streets
of private houses, whose foundations have been uncovered in the Merkes
mound;[116] and on the west side it runs close under the huge peribolos
of E-temen-anki, the Tower of Babylon.[117] As far as the main gate of
E-temen-anki[118] its foundation is laid in burnt-brick, over which was
an upper paving completely formed of breccia. The inscription upon the
slabs corresponds to that on the breccia paving-stones opposite the
citadel; but they have evidently been re-used from an earlier pavement
of Sennacherib, whose name some of them bear upon the underside. This
earlier pavement of Babylon's Sacred Way must have been laid by that
monarch before he reversed his conciliatory policy toward the southern
kingdom. At the south-east corner of the peribolos the road turns at
a right angle and running between the peribolos and E-sagila, the
great temple of the city-god, passes through a gate in the river-wall
built by Nabonidus, and so over the Euphrates bridge before turning
southward again in the direction of Borsippa.[119] This branch road
between the Tower of Babylon and E-sagila[120] is undoubtedly the
continuation of the procession-street. For not only was it the way of
approach to Marduk's temple, but its course has been definitely traced
by excavation. But there can be no doubt that the upper portion of the
road, running north and south through the city, was continued in a
straight line from the point where the Sacred Way branched off. This
would have conducted an important stream of traffic to the main
gate in the southern city-wall, passing on its way between the temples
dedicated to the god Ninib and to another deity not yet identified.[121]


Apart from the royal palaces, the five temples of Babylon were the
principal buildings within the city, and their excavation has thrown
an entirely new light upon our ideas of the religious architecture of
the country. The ground-plans of four of them have now been ascertained
in their entirety, and we are consequently in a position to form some
idea of the general principles upon which such buildings were arranged.
The first to be excavated was the little temple E-makh, dedicated to
the goddess Ninmakh, which, as we have already seen, was built on the
citadel itself, in the north-east corner of the open space to the south
of the Ishtar Gateway. Its principal façade faces the north-west, and,
since the eastern entrance of the Ishtar Gate opens just opposite the
corner of the temple, a wall with a doorway in it was thrown across,
spanning the passage between temple and fortification.[122] The only
entrance to the temple was in the centre of the façade; and in the
passage-way immediately in front of it, surrounded by a pavement of
burnt-brick, is a small crude-brick altar.[123] It is an interesting
fact that the only other altar yet found in Babylon is also of crude
brick and occupies precisely the same position, outside a temple
and immediately opposite its main entrance;[124] while in a third
temple, though the altar itself has disappeared, the paved area which
surrounded it is still visible.[125] We may therefore conclude that
this represents the normal position for the altar in the Babylonian
cult; and it fully substantiates the statement of Herodotus that the
two altars of Belus were outside his temple.[126] One of these, he
tells us, was of solid gold, on which it was only lawful to offer
sucklings; the other was a common altar (doubtless of crude brick) but
of great size, on which full-grown animals were sacrificed. It was
also on the great altar that the Chaldeans burnt the frankincense,
which, according to Herodotus, was offered to the amount of a thousand
talents' weight every year at the festival of the god.

It may further be noted that this exterior position of the altar
corresponds to Hebrew usage, according to which the main altar was
erected in the outer court in front of the temple proper. Thus
Solomon's brazen altar, which under Phoenician influence took the place
of earlier altars of earth or unhewn stone,[127] stood before the
temple.[128] The altar within the Hebrew temple was of cedar-wood,[129]
and it was clearly not a permanent structure embedded in the pavement,
for Ezekiel refers to it as a "table," and states that it "was of
wood."[130] It was more in the nature of a table for offerings, and it
may be inferred that in earlier times it served as the table upon which
the shewbread was placed before Yahwe.[131] The complete absence of
any trace of a permanent altar within the Babylonian temples can only
be due to a similar practice; the altars or tables within the shrines
must have been light wooden structures, and they were probably carried
off or burnt when the temples were destroyed. There is of course no
need to regard this resemblance as due to direct cultural influence
or borrowing. But we may undoubtedly conclude that we here have an
example of parallelism in religious ritual between two races of the
same Semitic stock. What the Sumerian practice was in this respect we
have as yet no means of ascertaining; but in such details of cult it
is quite possible that the Semitic Babylonians substituted their own
traditional usages for any other they may have found in the country of
their adoption.

The temple of Ninmakh itself, like all the others in Babylon, was built
of crude brick, and though its walls were covered with a thin plaster
or wash of lime, only the simplest form of decoration in black and
white was attempted, and that very sparingly.[132] The fact that the
practice of building in mud-brick should have continued at a time when
kiln-burnt and enamelled brick was lavished on the royal palaces, is
probably to be explained as a result of religious conservatism. The
architectural design does not differ in essentials from that employed
for buildings of a military character. It will be seen that the long
exterior walls of E-makh resemble those of a fortification, their
surface being broken up by slightly projecting towers set at regular
intervals.[133] Larger rectangular towers flank the gateway, and two
others, diminishing in size and probably also in height, are ranged on
either side of them. The vertical grooves, which traverse the exterior
faces of the towers from top to bottom, constitute a characteristic
form of temple embellishment, which is never found on buildings of a
secular character. They may be either plain rectangular grooves, or
more usually, as in E-makh, are stepped when viewed in section.[134]

In all the important doorways of the temples foundation-deposits were
buried in little niches or boxes, formed of six bricks placed together
and hidden below the level of the pavement. The deposits found in
place are generally fashioned of baked clay, and that of most common
occurrence is a small figure of the god Papsukal. One of those in
Ninmakh's temple was in the form of a bird, no doubt sacred to the
goddess. There is clear evidence that the object of their burial was to
ensure the safety of the entrance both from spiritual and from human
foes. In addition to this magical protection the entrance was further
secured by double doors, their pivots shod with bronze and turning in
massive stone sockets. The ordinary method of fastening such doors
by bolts was supplemented in the case of E-makh by a beam propped
against the doors and with its lower end fitting into a socket in the
pavement. Since the temple was within the citadel fortifications, the
possibility was foreseen that it might have to be defended from assault
like the secular buildings in its immediate neighbourhood.

[Illustration: FIG. 20.


A: Open Court. B: Ante-chamber to Shrine. C: Shrine. E:
Entrance-chamber, or Vestibule, to temple, _b_: Service-room for
Ante-chamber, _c_: Service-room for Shrine, _d_: Crude-brick altar,
_e_: Well, _s_: Dais, or postament, for statue of Ninmakh. 1: Porters'
room. 2-4: Priests' apartments or Store-rooms. 5, 6, 9, 10: Chambers
giving access to narrow passages. 7, 8, 11, 12: Narrow passages,
possibly containing stairways or ramps to roof.

(After Andrae.)]

Passing through the entrance-chamber of E-makh, from which opens a
service-room for the use of the temple-guardians, one enters a large
open court,[135] surrounded on all sides by doorways leading to
priests' apartments and store-chambers and to the shrine. The latter
is on the south-east side, facing the entrance to the court, and,
like the main gateway of the temple, the façade of the shrine and the
flanking towers of its doorway were adorned with stepped grooves. The
shrine itself is approached through an ante-chamber, and each has
a small service-apartment opening out from it to the left. Against
the back wall of the shrine, immediately opposite the doors, stood
the cult image of the goddess, visible from the open court; this has
disappeared, but the foundations of the low dais or postament, on which
it stood, are still in place.

[Illustration: FIG. 21.


The view is taken from the north. The plain finish to the tops of walls
and towers is in accordance with one theory of reconstruction. The
connecting wall between the temple and the east wing of the Ishtar Gate
is omitted to simplify the drawing.

(After Andrae.)]

The long narrow passage behind the shrine[136] was thought at first by
its discoverer to have served a secret purpose of the priesthood. It
was suggested that it might have given access to a concealed opening
in the back wall of the shrine, behind the image of the goddess,
whence oracles could have been given forth with her authority. But
there is a precisely similar passage along the north-east wall; and we
may probably accept the more prosaic explanation that they contained
the ramps or stairways that led up to the flat roof, though why two
should have been required, both at the same end of the building, is not
clear.[137] The precise use of the other chambers opening from the
court cannot be identified with any certainty, as nothing was found in
them to indicate whether they served as apartments for the priesthood
or as magazines for temple-stores. Beyond a number of votive terracotta
figures, no cult object was discovered. But around the dais for the
image of the goddess, the well in the courtyard for lustral water, and
the small crude-brick altar before the temple entrance, it is possible
to picture in imagination some of the rites to which reference is made
in the Babylonian religious texts.

As we have already seen was the case with the palace-buildings, the
upper structure of all the temples has been completely destroyed,
so that it is not now certain how the tops of walls and towers were
finished off. In the conjectural restoration of Ninmakh's temple[138]
the upper portions are left perfectly plain. And this represents one
theory of reconstruction. But it is also possible that the walls were
crowned with the stepped battlements of military architecture. In the
restoration of Assyrian buildings, both secular and religious, great
assistance has been obtained from the sculptured bas-reliefs that lined
the palace walls. For the scenes upon them include many representations
of buildings, and, when due allowance has been made for the conventions
employed, a considerable degree of certainty may be attained with
their help in picturing the external appearance of buildings of
which only the lower courses of the walls now remain. The scarcity
of stone in Babylonia, and the consequent absence of mural reliefs,
have deprived us of this source of information in the case of the
southern kingdom. The only direct evidence on the point that has been
forthcoming consists of a design stamped in outline upon a rectangular
gold plaque, found with other fragments of gold and jewellery in the
remains of a sumptuous burial within the structure of Nabopolassar's
palace.[139] The period of the burial is certain, for the grave in
which the great pottery sarcophagus was placed had been closed with
bricks of Nebuchadnezzar, who afterwards built his strengthening wall
against it. It must therefore date from the earlier part of his reign,
and Dr. Koldewey makes the suggestion that it was perhaps the tomb of
Nabopolassar himself.[140] However that may be, the grave is certainly
of the early Neo-Babylonian period, and the architectural design upon
the gold plaque may be taken as good evidence for that time.

[Illustration: FIG. 22.


The engraving on the plaque shows a city-gate with flanking towers and
stepped battlements. (Enlargement after photo, by Koldewey.)]

The plaque formed the principal decoration in a chain bracelet, small
rings passing through the holes at its four corners and serving to
attach it to the larger links of the chain. On it the jeweller has
represented a gate with an arched doorway, flanked by towers, which
rise above the walls of the main building. Each tower is surmounted by
a projecting upper structure, pierced with small circular loopholes,
and both towers and walls are crowned with triangular battlements.
The latter are obviously intended to be stepped, the engraver not
having sufficient space to represent this detail in a design on so
small a scale. The outline is probably that of a fortified city-gate,
and it fully justifies the adoption of the stepped battlement in the
reconstruction of military buildings of the period. Whether the temples
were furnished in the same manner, for purely decorative purposes, is
not so clear. Some idea of the appearance of one, restored on this
alternative hypothesis, may be gathered from the elevation of the
unidentified temple known as "Z," which is given in Fig. 24.

[Illustration: FIG. 23.


A1: Main Court of temple. A2, A3: Subsidiary Courts. B: Ante-chamber
to Shrine. C: Shrine. E1, E2, E3: Entrance-chambers, or Vestibules, to
temple, d, c2, c3: Service-rooms for Shrine, _s_: Dais, or postament,
for cult-statue. 1-3: Porters' rooms. 4, 5: Chambers with access to
narrow passage, possibly containing stairway or ramp to roof. 6,
7: Priests' apartments or store-rooms. 8, 9: Entrance-chambers to
residential quarters. 10-15: Quarters for resident priesthood around
N.-W. Court. 16: Entrance-chamber to Inner Court. 17-21: Quarters for
resident priesthood around Inner Court.

(After Andrae.)]

It is important that the ground-plans of no less than four of the
temples in Babylon have been recovered, for it will be seen that
the main features, already noted in Ninmakh's temple, are always
repeated.[141] In each the temple buildings are arranged around an open
court, to which access is given through one or more entrances with
vestibules. The doorways to temple and to shrine are flanked by grooved
towers, while within the shrine itself the cult-statue stood on a low
dais, visible from the court. Yet with this general similarity, all
combine special features of their own. The temple "Z," for example, is
exactly rectangular in plan, and is divided into two distinct parts,
the object of which may be readily surmised. The larger and eastern
portion, opening on the great court, was obviously devoted to the
service of the deity. For there, on the south side, is the shrine and
its ante-chamber, with the dais for the eult-image against the south
wall. The western portion is grouped around two smaller courts, and,
as its arrangement resembles that of a private dwelling-house, we may
regard it as the quarters of the resident priesthood. Other notable
features are the three service-chambers to the shrine, and the three
separate entrances to the temple itself, each with its own vestibule
and porters' room. But there is only one narrow passage, extending
partly behind the shrine and containing, as suggested, a ramp or
stairway to the roof. There was probably an altar before the northern
gate, as shown in the restoration, but only the paved area on which it
stood was found to be still in place.

[Illustration: FIG. 24.


The view is taken from a point immediately opposite the north corner of
the temple. The stepped battlements on walls and towers, borrowed from
military architecture, are here adopted in accordance with one theory
of reconstruction. (After Andrae and Koldewey.)]

In the temples dedicated to Ishtar of Akkad and to the god Ninib the
shrines are on the west side of the great court, instead of on the
south as in those we have already examined. Thus it would seem there
was no special position for the shrine, though the temples themselves
are generally built with their corners directed approximately to the
cardinal points.[142] In the temple of Ishtar unmistakable traces have
been noted of a simple form of mural decoration that appears to have
been employed in all the temples of Babylon. While the walls in general
were coloured dead white with a thin gypsum wash, certain of the more
prominent parts, such as the main entrance, the doorway leading to the
shrine and the niche behind the statue of the goddess, were washed
over with black asphalt in solution, each blackened surface being
decorated near its edge with white strips or line-borders. The contrast
in colour presented by this black and white decoration must have been
startling in its effect; no doubt, like the crude-brick material of
the buildings, it was an inheritance from earlier times, and owed its
retention to its traditional religious significance.

[Illustration: FIG. 25.


A: Open Court. B: Ante-chamber to Shrine. C: Shrine. El, E2:
Entrance-chambers, or Vestibules, to temple. _b_1, _b_2, _b_3:
Service-rooms for Ante-chamber, _d_: Service-room for Shrine, _e_:
Well, _s_: Position of statue of Ishtar, on dais or postament against
niche in back-wall of Shrine. 1-4: Priests' apartments or store-rooms.
5-7: Porters' rooms. 8: Entrance-chamber to small inner court. 9:
Small open court in which were two circular stores or granaries.
10-14: Chambers, probably used as store-rooms, giving access to narrow
passage, which possibly contained stairway or ramp to roof.

(After Reuther.)]

In the temple of Ninib two additional shrines flank the principal one,
each having its own entrance and a dais or postament for a statue.
It is probable that the side shrines were devoted to the worship of
subsidiary deities connected in some way with Ninib, for the temple as
a whole was dedicated solely to him. This we learn from Nabopolassar's
foundation-cylinders, buried below the pavement of the shrine, which
relate how the king erected the building in his honour, on an earlier
foundation, after he had kept back the foot of the Assyrian from the
land of Akkad and had thrown off his heavy yoke.[143] It was fitting
that he should have marked his gratitude in this way to the god of war.

[Illustration: FIG. 26.


A: Open Court. C: Shrine of Ninib. NC, SC: Subsidiary shrines for
other deities, _s, s, s_: Postaments for statues of Ninib and the
other deities, set against niches in the wall exactly opposite the
entrances. E1, E2, E3: Entrance-chambers or Vestibules, to temple, _d_:
Crude-brick altar. 1, 2, 6, 7: Porters' rooms. 3-6, 11, 12: Priests'
apartments or store-rooms. 10: Small open court. 8, 9: Chambers giving
access to narrow passage behind the shrines, which possibly contained
stairway or ramp to roof.

(After Andrae.)]

The most interesting temple of Babylon is naturally that dedicated to
the worship of the city-god. This was the famous E-sagila, a great
part of which still lies buried some twenty-one metres below the
surface of Tell 'Amrân.[144] Its main portion, lying to the west,
is practically square in ground-plan, and like the smaller temples
of the city, it consists of chambers grouped around an open court;
but their arrangement here is far more symmetrical.[145] There was
a great gateway in the centre of each side, where in Neriglissar's
time stood the eight bronze serpents, a pair of them beside each
entrance.[146] The eastern gate was no doubt the principal one, as it
gives access to the inner court through a single great vestibule or
entrance-chamber, in striking contrast to the smaller vestibules on
the north and south sides, from which the court can be reached only
through side-corridors.[147] Around the great court within, the temple
doorways and towers are arranged symmetrically. The shrine of Marduk
lay on its western side, as may be inferred from the façade and towered
entrance. This was the E-kua of the inscriptions, which Nebuchadnezzar
states he made to shine like the sun, coating its walls with gold as
though with gypsum-plaster, a phrase which recalls the mud and gypsum
washes of the other temples. "The best of my cedars," he says, "that I
brought from Lebanon, the noble forest, I sought out for the roofing
of Ekua, [Marduk's] lordly chamber; the mighty cedars I covered with
gleaming gold for the roofing of Ekua."[148] The lavish employment of
gold in the temple's decoration is attested by Herodotus, who states
that in this, "the lower temple,"[149] was a great seated figure of
Zeus, which, like the throne, the dais, and the table before it,
was fashioned of gold, the metal weighing altogether eight hundred

[Illustration: VI. Two views of the Temple of Ninib in course of

The identification of the temple was rendered certain by the discovery
of inscribed bricks in earlier pavements below those of Nebuchadnezzar.
Inscriptions stamped upon bricks from two pavements of Ashur-bani-pal
record that this Assyrian king made "bricks of E-sagila and
E-temen-anki," while on an older one which he re-used, stamped with the
name of Esarhaddon, it is definitely stated that it formed part of the
paving of E-sagila.[151] These pavements were reached by means of an
open excavation in Tell 'Amrân, extending some forty metres each way.
It took no less than eight months to remove the soil to the pavement
level, and it is estimated that some thirty thousand cubic metres of
earth were carted away in the course of the work. It is not surprising,
therefore, that the chambers on the west side of the court, including
the shrine of Marduk, still remain covered by the mound. A subsidiary
shrine, on the north side of the court, has been cleared, and it would
be a spot of considerable interest if, as Dr. Koldewey suggests, it
was dedicated to Ea. For in the Hellenistic period Ea was identified
with Serapis, and should this prove to have been his sanctuary, it
was here that Alexander's generals repaired during his illness, when
they enquired of the god whether he should be carried thither to be

To the north of Marduk's temple rose its ziggurat, the Tower of Babel,
known to Babylonians of all ages as E-temen-anki, "The House of the
Foundation-stone of Heaven and Earth." It stood within its Peribolos
or sacred precincts, marked now by the flat area or plain which the
local Arabs call Sakhn, "the pan."[153] The precincts of the tower were
surrounded by an enclosing wall, decorated with innumerable grooved
towers, along the east and south sides of which the track of the Sacred
Way may still be followed.[154] On the inner side of the wall, in its
whole circuit, stretched a vast extent of buildings, all devoted to the
cult of the city-god, and forming, in the phrase of their discoverer,
a veritable Vatican of Babylon.[155]

[Illustration: FIG. 27.


A: Sacred Way, or Procession Street. B: E-temen-anki, the Ziggurat
or Temple-tower of Babylon. C: E-sagila, the temple of Marduk. D:
Eastern Annex to E-sagila. E: Northern Court of the Peribolos or sacred
precincts. P: Main Court. G: Western Court. H, J: Temple-magazines. K:
Arakhtu-wall. L: Nebuchadnezzar's wall. M: River-wall of Nabonidus. N:
Gateway in River-wall. P: Stone piers of Bridge over the Euphrates.
1-12: Entrances to the Peribolos, No. 2 marking the position of the
Main Entrance.

(After Wetzel.)]

The area so enclosed forms approximately a square, and is cut up by
cross-walls into three separate sections of unequal size. Within
the largest of the great courts[156] stood the temple-tower,[157]
its core constructed of unburnt brick but enclosed with a burnt
brick facing.[158] In the reconstruction a single stairway is shown
projecting from the southern side, and giving access to the first stage
or story of the tower. But it has lately been ascertained that three
separate stairways ascended the tower on the south side, the two outer
ones being built against its south-east and south-west corners, and
being flanked on their outer sides by stepped walls, which formed a
solid breastwork or protection for any one ascending them.[159]

[Illustration: FIG. 28.


The form of the Temple-tower within the Peribolos is here restored in
accordance with Dr. Koldewey's theory that it consisted of a single
stage or story, on which the upper Temple of Marduk rested. According
to an alternative interpretation of Herodotus, the upper Temple would
have formed the last of eight receding towers or stages. It will be
noted that the two flanking stairways, recently discovered on the south
side of the tower, are here not shown.

(After Andrae.)]

The buildings within the precincts were evidently not temples, as they
present none of their characteristic features, such as the shrine
or the towered façade, and any theory as to their use must be based
on pure conjecture. Judging solely by their ground-plans, it would
appear that the two great buildings on the east side,[160] consisting
of a long series of narrow chambers ranged around open courts, were
probably the magazines and store-chambers. The buildings on the south
side resemble dwelling-houses, and were probably the quarters of the
priesthood; their huge size would not have been out of keeping with the
privileges and dignified position enjoyed by those in control of the
principal temple in the capital. The small chambers along the walls of
the Northern Court,[161] and the narrow Western Court,[162] may well
have been used to house the thousands of pilgrims who doubtless flocked
to Babylon to worship at the central shrine. No less than twelve
gateways led into the sacred precincts, the principal entrance being on
the east side,[163] exactly opposite the east face of the temple-tower.
The breccia paving of the Sacred Way was here continued within the area
of the precincts, along the centre of the open space, or deep recess,
between the temple-magazines. The great gateway probably spanned the
western end of this recess, thus completing the line of the Main Court
upon that side.[164]

The most striking feature of E-temen-anki was naturally the
temple-tower itself, which rose high above the surrounding buildings
and must have been visible from all parts of the city and from some
considerable distance beyond the walls. Its exact form has been the
subject of some controversy. Dr. Koldewey rejects the current view,
based upon the description of Herodotus,[165] that it consisted of a
stepped tower in eight stages, with the ascent to the top encircling
the outside. It is true that the excavations have shown that the
ascent to the first stage, at any rate, was not of this character,
consisting, as it did, of a triple stairway built against one side of
the tower;[166] but, as the ground-plan only of the building can now be
traced, there is nothing to indicate the form of its upper structure.
Dr. Koldewey does not regard the evidence for the existence of stepped
towers in Babylonia as satisfactory, and he appears to consider that
they depend solely on the description of Herodotus, who, he claims,
says nothing about stepped terraces, nor that each stage was smaller
than the one below it. He is inclined to reconstruct the tower as built
in a single stage, decorated on its face with coloured bands, and
surmounted by the temple to which the triple-stairway would have given
direct access. This view of its reconstruction is shown in Fig. 28,
but its author considers the problem as still unsettled, and suspends
his judgment until the Ziggurat at Borsippa, the best preserved of the
temple-towers, is excavated.

There, as at Babylon, we have a temple and a separate temple-tower,
but they both stood within the same peribolos or sacred enclosure,
along the inner side of which were built series of numerous small
chambers resembling those of E-temen-anki. A street[167] ran along the
north-west front of the peribolos, and two gateways[168] opened on
to it from the sacred enclosure. The main entrance both to peribolos
and temple was probably on the north-east side.[169] It will be noted
that the plan of the temple[170] follows the lines of those already
described, consisting of a complex of buildings ranged around one
great court and a number of smaller ones. The shrine of the god Nabû
stood on the south-west side of the Great Court, the heavily-towered
façade indicating the entrance to its outer vestibule. While so
much of the temple itself and of its enclosure has been cleared,
the temple-tower[171] awaits excavation. It still rises to a height
of no less than forty-seven metres above the surrounding plain, but
such a mass of _débris_ has fallen about its base that to clear it
completely would entail a vast amount of labour. The mound of soil
not only covers the open court surrounding the temple-tower, but
extends over the inner line of chambers on the north-west side of the
peribolos. The destruction of the temple and its surroundings by fire
has vitrified the upper structure of the ziggurat, and to this fact the
ruins owe their preservation. For the bricks are welded into a solid
mass, and, since it is no longer possible to separate them, they offer
no attractions as building-material and so have escaped the fate of

[Illustration: FIG. 29.


A: The temple E-zida. B: The Temple-tower of Nabû. C, D: Gateways
opening from the Peribolos on to the street which ran along that side
of the sacred enclosure. E: Remains of later building. F: Chambers on
south-west side of Peribolos. G, G: Street running along the north-west
face of the Peribolos.

(After Koldewey.)]

It is quite possible that, when Nabû's temple-tower is excavated,
it will throw some light upon the upper structure of these massive
buildings. Meanwhile we possess a piece of evidence which should not
be ignored in any discussion of the subject. On a boundary-stone of
the time of Merodach-baladan I. are carved a number of emblems of
the gods, including those of Marduk and Nabii, which are set beside
each other in the second row. That of Marduk consists of his sacred
Spear-head supported by his dragon, that of Nabfi being the Wedge or
Stilus, also supported by a horned dragon. But while the other emblems
are left sculptured in relief against the field of the stone, that of
Nabii is engraved against a temple-tower.[172] It will be noticed that
this rises in stages, diminishing in size and set one above the other.
The rough engraving may well represent the outward form of Nabû's
temple-tower at Borsippa at the time of Merodach-baladan I. In any
case, since the emblems on the boundary-stones are associated with
temples, the only building it can be intended for is a temple-tower. It
thus definitely proves the construction of this class of building in
stories or stages, which diminish in area as they ascend.

[Illustration: FIG. 30.


The boundary-stone is of the period of Marduk-aplu-iddina, or
Merodach-baladan I. The engraving represents a temple-tower, before
which is a diagon supporting on its back an upright Wedge, the emblem
of Nabû. The tower is represented as built in stories, or stopped
stages, set one upon the other. (From Brit. Mus., No. 90850.)]

Additional evidence that this was actually the form of the Tower of
Babylon has been deduced from a tablet, drawn up in the Seleucid era,
and purporting to give a detailed description and measurements of
E-sagila and its temple-tower. A hurried description of the text and
its contents was published by George Smith[173] before he started on
his last journey to the east, and from that time the tablet was lost
sight of. But some three years ago it was found in Paris, and it has
now been made fully available for study.[174] It must be admitted that
it is almost impossible at present to reconcile the descriptions on
the tablet with the actual remains of E-sagila and the Peribolos that
have been recovered by excavation. The "Great Terrace (or Court)," and
the "Terrace (or Court) of Ishtar and Zamama," which, according to
the tablet, were the largest and most important subdivisions in the
sacred area, have not been satisfactorily identified. Dr. Koldewey was
inclined to regard the former as corresponding to the Great Court[175]
of the Peribolos, including the buildings surrounding it, and the
latter he would identify with the northern court of the enclosure;[176]
while the third great sub-division he suggested might be the inner
space of the Great Court, which he thus had to count twice over.
Scarcely more satisfactory is M. Marcel Dieulafoy's reconstruction,
since he makes the two main areas, or "terraces," extend to the east
of the Sacred Way, over ground which, as the excavations have shown,
was covered by the houses of the town, and thus lay beyond the limits
of the sacred area. It is possible that the apparent discrepancies may
be traced to an extensive reconstruction of the Peribolos between the
Neo-Babylonian and the Seleucid periods. But, whatever explanation
be adopted, a number of detailed measurements given by the tablet are
best explained on the hypothesis that they refer to receding stages of
a temple-tower. The tablet may thus be cited as affording additional
support to the current conception of the Tower of Babylon, and there is
no reason to reject the interpretation that has so long been accepted
of the famous description of the tower that is given by Herodotus.[177]

There is one other structure in Babylon that deserves mention, and that
is the bridge over the Euphrates, since its remains are those of the
earliest permanent bridge of which we have any record in antiquity.
It will be noted from the ground-plan of E-temen-anki[178] that the
procession-street leads past the corner of the Peribolos to a great
gate-way in the river-wall, guarding the head of the bridge which
crossed the Euphrates on stone piers. The river at this point appears
to have been one hundred and twenty-three metres in breadth. The piers
are built in the shape of boats with their bows pointing up-stream,
and their form was no doubt suggested by the earlier bridge-of-boats
which they displaced. The roadway, as in boat-bridges in Mesopotamia
at the present day, was laid across the boatpiers, and must have been
very much narrower than the length of the piers themselves. The bridge,
which is mentioned by Herodotus[179] and Diodorus,[180] was the work
of Nabopolassar, as we learn from the East India House Inscription, in
which Nebuchadnezzar states that his father "had built piers of burnt
brick for the crossing of the Euphrates."[181] The stone used in its
construction, which is referred to by Herodotus, was no doubt laid
above the brick-piers, as a foundation for the flat wooden structure
of the bridge itself. The later river-wall was the work of Nabonidus
and it marks an extension of the bank westwards, which was rendered
possible by the building of Nebuchadnezzar's fortification in the
bed of the river to the west of the Southern Citadel.[182] The old
line of the left bank is marked by the ruins of earlier river-walls,
traces of which have been uncovered below the north-west angle of the
Peribolos.[183] It was doubtless to protect the Peribolos and E-sagila
from flood that the bank was extended in this way.

The buildings that have hitherto been described all date from the later
Assyrian and Neo-Babylonian periods, and during their first years of
work at Babylon the excavators found nothing that could be assigned
to the earlier epochs in the history of the capital. It was assumed
that the destruction of Babylon by Sennacherib had been so thorough
that very little of the earlier city had survived. But later on it was
realized that the remains of the older Babylon lay largely below the
present water-level. The continual deposit of silt in the bed of the
river has raised the level at which water is reached when digging on
the site of the city, and it is clear that at the time of the First
Dynasty the general level of the town was considerably lower than in
later periods. During recent years a comparatively small body of water
has flowed along the Euphrates bed, so that it has been possible on the
Merkes Mound to uncover one quarter in the ancient city. There trenches
have been cut to a depth of twelve metres, when water-level was reached
and further progress was rendered impossible, although the remains of
buildings continued still lower.

[Illustration: FIG. 31.


A: The Sacred Way or Procession-Street of Babylon. B: E-makh, the
temple of the goddess Ninmakh. C: South-east corner of the Southern
Citadel with the Palace of Nebuchadnezzar. D: Canal and basin. E:
Northern Court of the Peribolos of E-temen-anki. P: Main Court of the
Peribolos. G: The mound Merkes. H: Temple of Ishtar of Akkad. J: Greek
Theatre. K: Old canal.

(After Koldewey.)]

From the accompanying plan it will be seen that the street net-work has
been recovered over a considerable area. The entire structure of the
mound consists of the dwellings of private citizens, rising layer above
layer from below water-level to the surface of the soil. The upper
strata date from the Parthian period, and here the houses are scattered
with wide spaces of garden or waste land between them. In striking
contrast to these scanty remains are the streets of the Greek, Persian
and Neo-Babylonian periods, where the houses are crowded together, and
open spaces, which were at one time courts or gardens, have later
on been surrendered to the builder. We here have striking proof of
the value of house-property in Babylon during the city's period of
greatest prosperity. Still deeper in the mound a level can be dated
to the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, for in the houses were found
tablets inscribed in the reigns of Merodach-baladan I., Meli-Shipak
II., and Enlil-nadin-shum. In the northern part of the mound, in
the lowest stratum of all and lying partly above and partly below
water-level, contract-tablets of the First Dynasty were uncovered,
bearing date-formulæ of Samsu-iluna, Ammi-ditana and Samsu-ditana.
Here the mud-brick walls of the houses, though not very thick, all
rest upon burnt-brick foundations, a method of building which, as we
have seen,[184] survived into the Neo-Babylonian period. This is the
earliest city of which traces have been recovered, and a thick layer
of ashes testifies to its destruction by fire. There can be no doubt
that the town so destroyed was that of Hammurabi and his immediate
successors, for the dated tablets were found lying in the layer of
ashes undisturbed. We here have additional proof that Babylon's First
Dynasty ended in disaster. It is possible that the conflagration, in
which the city then perished, was the work of the Hittite raiders whose
onslaught we know took place in Samsu-ditana's reign.

This portion of the town would appear to have been entirely
residential, as it contains no open space such as would have served
as a market. Even the temples were without a space in front of them,
and in this respect resemble the churches in many modern cities. It
will be noted that the temple of Ishtar of Akkad in the north of the
Merkes Mound, though not actually built in, is approached on every
side by private houses, though on its southern face the road is rather
broader than elsewhere. Still more shut in were the temple of Ninib and
the unidentified temple known as "Z," both of which lie in the mound
Ishin-aswad.[185] Here trenches cut across the mound have uncovered the
ruins of Babylonian houses in crude brick, the remains of different
periods lying one above the other as in Merkes, and they surround
the temples on all sides. The only other spot in Babylon where the
same strata of streets and private houses have been found is in a low
range of mounds between the Ḳaṣr and Tell 'Amrân, where the dwellings
appear to be of an inferior character such as we might expect in a
poorer quarter of the town. It is only in the rather higher ground
that satisfactory results have yet been obtained, as in the plain the
earlier strata descend below water-level. It is possible that further
digging may lay bare the business-quarters of ancient Babylon, and that
we may identify the markets and bazaars which formed one of the great
centres of distribution in the ancient world.

Meanwhile, the Merkes Mound has yielded sufficient evidence to form a
general conclusion as to the lines on which the city was built. The
street net-work shown in the plan is mainly that of the Neo-Babylonian
period, but, wherever the earlier levels were preserved, it was
noted that the old streets followed the same lines with but slight
variations. The main arteries run roughly north and south, parallel
to the course of the Sacred Way, while others cross them at right
angles.[186] It would appear that, in spite of the absence of open
spaces, we here have a deliberate attempt at town-planning on a
scientific basis, the original idea of which may be traced back to the
First Dynasty. It is true that the streets are not entirely regular,
but the main thoroughfares all run through, and the island-plots are
all approximately rectangular. We may probably place this achievement
to the credit of the Semitic element in the population, as in the two
Sumerian towns, in which private house-property has been uncovered,
there is no trace of town-planning. Both at Fâra and at Abû Hatab,
the sites of the early Sumerian cities of Shuruppak and Kisurra, the
streets that have been followed out are crooked and far more irregular
than those of Babylon. It has long been known that Hammurabi did much
to codify the laws of his country and render their administration
effective. It would now appear that similar system and method were
introduced at the same period into the more material side of the
national life.

The excavations at Babylon have thus thrown some direct light upon
the condition of the city during the period at which it first became
the capital. It is true that no portion of a royal or sacred building
as yet identified antedates the later Assyrian Empire, and that, as
the result of extensive reconstruction, the ruins of temples, palaces
and city-walls are mainly those of the Neo-Babylonian period. But
there was no great break in continuity between that epoch and its
predecessors, so that, when due allowance has been made for certain
innovations, the buildings of the later period may be treated as
typical of Babylonian civilization as a whole. We have seen how the
streets of Babylon followed the same lines throughout the whole of
her dynastic period, and a similar spirit of conservatism no doubt
characterized her architectural development. Temples were rebuilt again
and again on the old sites, and even in the Neo-Babylonian period they
retained the mud-brick walls and primitive decoration of their remote
predecessors. Indeed, the conditions of life in Babylonia precluded
any possibility of drastic change. The increased use of burnt brick
in the upper structure of the royal palaces rendered possible the
brilliant enamelling of the Neo-Babylonian craftsmen. But, even as
late as Nabopolassar's reign, the thick mud-brick walls of the king's
dwelling must have resembled those of Hammurabi himself: it was mainly
in point of size that the earlier palace and city differed from those
of later monarchs. And when we examine the successive periods of the
country's history, we shall find that tradition exerted an equally
powerful influence in retaining unaltered the essential features of the
national life. It was under her earliest dynasty that Babylon worked
out in detail a social organization that suited her agricultural and
commercial activities; and it is a remarkable tribute to its founders
that it should have survived the shock of foreign domination and have
imposed its mould upon later generations.

[Footnote 1: Rogers points out that the rabbi's account of Babylon
seems to lack the little touches which betray the record of an
eye-witness, and he compares it with the same traveller's descriptions
of Mosul and Baghdad. By far the best and fullest account of the early
explorers of Babylonia is that given by Rogers in his "History of
Babylonia and Assyria," Vol. 1., pp. 84 ff.]

[Footnote 2: See Hakluyt, "The Principall navigations voiages and
discoveries of the English nation," ed. 1589, p. 232; ed. Goldsmid,
Vol. X., "Asia," Pt. III. (1889), p. 63.]

[Footnote 3: He states that "the heavenly fire which struck the tower
split it to its very foundation," a description which is thoroughly
applicable to the present appearance of Borsippa's temple-tower at
El-Birs; see the photograph reproduced on Plate II. Other travellers,
such as Anthony Shirley in 1599 or 1600, appear to have made the same
identification. A few years later Pietro della Valle was nearer the
mark in identifying the tower with the mound Babil, from which he
carried away to Home some of Nebuchadnezzar's stamped bricks, probably
the first collection of Babylonian antiquities to reach Europe (cf.
Rogers, _op. cit.,_ p. 98).]

[Footnote 4: See p. 10, Fig. 2.]

[Footnote 5: In addition to his incomplete plan (cf. C. J. Rich,
"Narrative of a Journey to the site of Babylon in 1811," edited by
his widow, London, 1839; opposite p. 43), and the smaller-scale plan
of Major Rennet based upon it (published originally in "Archæologia,"
Vol. 18, and reprinted with Rich's memoir), we possess another
sketch-plan, more accurate in certain details, by Sir Robert Ker Porter
(cf. "Travels in Georgia, Persia, Armenia, Ancient Babylonia, etc.,
during the years 1817, 1818, 1819, and 1820," Vol II., 1822, opposite
p. 349). Accurate surveys of large districts in Babylonia were made
by Captain J. Felix Jones of the Indian Navy, who did such excellent
work on Nineveh and its neighbourhood (see his "Memoirs," issued as a
volume in "Bombay Government Records," No. XLIII., New Series, Bombay,
1857; and for the Nineveh survey, cf. "Journ. Roy. Asiat. Soc.," Vol.
XV., 1853, pp. 352 ff.). The material collected by Felix Jones in
Babylonia, was incorporated in the India Office Map, which was compiled
by Trelawney Saunders on the basis of the surveys made between 1860 and
1865 by Commander W. Beaumont Selby, Lieut. W. Collingwood and Lieut.
J. B. Bewsher, all of the Indian Navy. This was issued in 1885 under
the title "Surveys of Ancient Babylon and the surrounding ruins with
part of the rivers Tigris and Euphrates, the Hindiyeh Canal, the Sea
of Nejf and the Shat Atshar," etc., London, 1885. It takes in the area
from Baghdad to the junction of the Shatt Atshar with the Euphrates and
is by far the best map, and the only one on a large scale, hitherto
produced of Babylon and its neighbourhood. All plans of the mounds
covering the ruins of the city itself are of course superseded by those
issued by the German expedition.]

[Footnote 6: See "Nineveh and Babylon," London, 1853.]

[Footnote 7: The results of the expedition were published in two
volumes under the title "Expédition scientifique en Mésopotamie,"
Paris, 1863.]

[Footnote 8: Cf. "Asshur and the Land of Nimrod," New York, 1897.]

[Footnote 9: "Mitteilungen der Deutschen Orient-Gesellschaft zu
Berlin," Nos. 1-54 (March, 1899--June, 1914).]

[Footnote 10: See Koldewey, "Die Tempel von Babylon und Borsippa,"
Leipzig, 1911.]

[Footnote 11: Cf. "Das wieder erstehende Babylon," Leipzig, 1912. A
careful English translation of the work, from the pen of Mrs. Johns,
has been issued under the title "The Excavations at Babylon," London,

[Footnote 12: Recent discoveries at Shergât prove that a Sumerian
occupation of the site of Ashur preceded the first settlement of the
Semitic Assyrians. In a stratum below the first Ishtar-temple (the
earliest Assyrian temple yet recovered, dating as it does from the
close of the third millennium B.C.), several examples of Sumerian
sculpture were found which bear an unmistakably close relationship
to the earliest Sumerian work at Tello and Bismâya. The racial type
represented by the sculptures is also that of the south, and suggests
a Sumerian occupation of Assyria before the advent of the Semites. The
termination of their settlement at Ashur was probably not the work of
the Semitic conquerors of Assyria, but of another non-Semitic race
akin to the Mitannian people of Northern Mesopotamia (on this subject
see further Chap. IV., pp. 137 ff.). But the Semites were at least
indirect heirs of the Sumerian inhabitants and derived their culture
in part from them; and the growth of such elements in their acquired
civilization would have been fostered as intercourse with the south
increased. For a summary account of the new discoveries at Ashur, see
the "Mitteilungen der Deutschen Orient-Gesellschaft," No. 54 (June,

[Footnote 13: See further, p. 72 f.]

[Footnote 14: I., 178.]

[Footnote 15: For references to other estimates, see How and Wells,
"Commentary on Herodotus," _sub I._, 178.]

[Footnote 16: Cf. "Das wieder erstehende Babylon," p. 5.]

[Footnote 17: Cf. Haverfield, "Ancient Town Planning," p. 22.]

[Footnote 18: See above, p. 10, Fig. 2.]

[Footnote 19: See the general plan of Babylon on p. 23, Fig. 3, B.]

[Footnote 20: Fig. 3, T.]

[Footnote 21: A. D. and E. on plan.]

[Footnote 22: Some traces of walls still remain near the village of
Sinjar (see Fig. 3, 4), and Weissbach has attempted to use them for
a reconstruction of the city plan. As a result he makes the western
portion of the city considerably smaller than that on the eastern bank,
his north-west wall meeting the Euphrates opposite the Ḳaṣr, and
being continued by the elaborate fortification-walls to the north of
the Southern Citadel; cf. "Das Stadtbild von Babylon," in "Der alte
Orient," V., Heft 4. This represents quite a possible arrangement.
We shall see that these remains of western walls may possibly date
from a still earlier period, and may also have defended the western
extension of the earlier city-area (see below, p. 35). But even so
they may have remained the only fortifications on the western bank;
for the tendency to expansion would have been more marked to the east
where the main citadel offered increased possibilities of defence.
The fact that Nebuchadnezzar's northern citadel should also have been
built on the left bank points in the same direction. But the question
can only be settled definitely when the traces of these western walls
have been examined by excavation and their relationship to the eastern
fortifications determined.]

[Footnote 23: The line of mounds now marking in places the position of
the city-wall is formed, oddly enough, by the core of the mud-brick
portion, which still stands above the level of the surrounding soil.
The far stronger outer wall has completely disappeared, for its fine
burnt-bricks have tempted plunderers in search of building material. It
is only after excavation that the lower courses of its foundation are
detected when still in place. It is possible that deep excavation may
settle the position of the whole line of walls, even where no trace of
them now remains upon the surface.]

[Footnote 24: This has been deduced from the fact that a ditch, or
moat, once ran immediately in front of it, of which traces only
have been found. The old ditch was filled in when Nebuchadnezzar's
burnt-brick wall broadened and strengthened the whole line of

[Footnote 25: It has been reckoned that there were not less than ninety
towers along the north-east wall of the city, though only fifteen of
these have as yet been completely excavated.]

[Footnote 26: I., 179.]

[Footnote 27: Cf. Koldewey, "Babylon," p. 2.]

[Footnote 28: He tells us that in the circuit of the wall there were a
hundred gates, all of brass, with brazen lintels and side-posts; cf.
I., 179. As yet the excavations have not determined the site of any
of the gates in the outer wall; but the manner in which bronze may
have been used to strengthen and decorate the doors and gateways is
illustrated by the bronze lintel, or step, from E-zida, the temple of
Nabû at Borsippa, now in the British Museum: cf. Plate XXVI., opposite
p. 278, and see further, p. 77, n. 4.]

[Footnote 29: See Fig. 3, A.]

[Footnote 30: Indeed during the Neo-Babylonian period it appears
to have been known as "the City of the Dwelling" of "the King of
Babylon;" see further, p. 41.]

[Footnote 31: Cf. "East India House Inscription," Col. VII., 1. 40,
Rawlinson, "Cun. Inscr. West. Asia," Vol. 1., pl. 57, and Langdon, "Die
neubabylonischen Königsinschriften," p. 13 (5 f.).]

[Footnote 32: See below, pp. 71 ff. Traces of a very ancient
settlement, with much pottery (still unpublished), have been found
by deep trenching in the fillings below the south-east corner
of the citadel; cf. Koldewey, "Babylon," p. 82. Some flints and
stone-implements found elsewhere are also evidence of a still earlier
prehistoric settlement.]

[Footnote 33: See above, p. 23, Fig. 3, J.]

[Footnote 34: See further, pp. 82 ff.]

[Footnote 35: See Fig. 3, C.]

[Footnote 36: Fig. 3, R.]

[Footnote 37: See below, p. 30, Fig. 6, where the space between the
crude brick walls is labelled K K. The walls are distinguished,
by cross-hatching, from the structure of the palace which is of
burnt-brick. When the Ishtar Gate (H) was built by Nebuchadnezzar,
the northern of the two walls received a facing on both sides of
brick-rubble laid in mud and bitumen, indicated by a heavy surrounding
line upon the plan; but originally this wall too was of crude brick.]

[Footnote 38: Fig. 6, V; and see further, p. 58, n. 1.]

[Footnote 39: The present crude brick walls of the Ḳaṣr fortifications
date from his reign or from that of his father.]

[Footnote 40: The meaning of _nimitti_ is not quite certain.]

[Footnote 41: In 648 B.C.; see further, Chap. VIII.]

[Footnote 42: Figs. 7 and 8, A and 1-3. Fig. 7 gives the ground-plan
of this corner of the citadel. In Fig. 8 the quay walls and
fortification-walls are given in section along the north front, looking
from W. to E. In Fig. 8 the quay-wall "2" cannot be shown, as it is
practically a westward extension of "I."]

[Footnote 43: A.]

[Footnote 44: It was built by Sargon within the last five years of
his reign, when, after his signal defeat of Alerodach-baladan in 710
B.C., he ruled Babylonia as an Assyrian province. He did not ascend the
throne, but contented himself with the title "Governor (_shakkanuku_)
of Babylon," though he claimed the older title of "King of Sumer and
Akkad." See further, Chap. VIII.]

[Footnote 45: Cf. Delitzsch's translation in Koldewey, "Babylon," p.
139; Engl. ed. p. 138. Elsewhere in the building-inscriptions the
Ishtar Gate is named as belonging to Imgur-Bêl and Nimitti-Bêl.]

[Footnote 46: E and F in Figs. 7 and 8. In Fig. 7 it will be seen
that there are remains of a building (I) at the western end of the
two walls, between them and the quay-wall B. This may have been the
quarters occupied by the Captain of the Wall.]

[Footnote 47: Nos. 1-3 in Fig. 7.]

[Footnote 48: On the meaning of the name, see below, p. 36.]

[Footnote 49: E and F in Figs. 7 and 8.]

[Footnote 50: See above, p. 23, Fig. 3, Z; cf. also, p. 24, n. 1.]

[Footnote 51: Cf. Delitzsch's translation in "Babylon," p. 135 f.]

[Footnote 52: See above, p. 33.]

[Footnote 53: See above, p. 34.]

[Footnote 54: Its employment with the determinative _nâru,_ "river" or
"canal," does not prove that it was at this time a canal in the strict
sense. According to the explanation offered in the text, it would have
been a section of the river, including an open basin and probably a
canal. In earlier periods it may have been simply a canal, which led
off from the river at this point.]

[Footnote 55: See above, p. 28.]

[Footnote 56: See above, p. 30, Fig. 6, N.]

[Footnote 57: On a foundation-cylinder from Sippar in the British
Museum (No. 91114; A. H. 82--7--14, 1042) Nebuchadnezzar writes: "For
the protection of E-sagila and Babylon, that sandbanks _(pu-ri-im)_
should not form in the bed of the Euphrates, I caused a great
fortification to be made in the river, of bitumen and burnt-brick. Its
foundation I laid in the abyss, and its head I raised mountain-high";
cf. Ball, "Troc. Soc. Bibl. Arch.", X., May 1888, Pl. IV., Col. ii.,
ll. 19-24, and Langdon, "Neubabylonischen Königsinschriften," p. 106 f.]

[Footnote 58: See p. 30, Fig. 6, T, and p. 32, Fig. 7, N.]

[Footnote 59: Fig. 6, P, R. It re-entered the river close under the
citadel-wall, for its outlet has been found in the later river-wall
of Nabonidus. It was perhaps the canal called in the inscriptions
Libil-khegalla, "May it bring abundance." It will be seen from the
plan that the remains of the canal to the south-east show a narrow
channel (P), less than three metres in breadth, but widening westward
of the Sacred Road (G) into a broad basin (R). This represents a
reconstruction, probably of the time of Neriglissar, who built a bridge
for the road across the canal. Formerly the road crossed the canal by a
dam with walled embankments, of which traces have been found below the
canal-walls. Beneath the embankment the water probably flowed through
grated sluices like these spanning Nebuchadnezzar's narrow channel
between his river-fortification and the citadel.]

[Footnote 60: See above, p. 30, and cf. Fig. 6, V.]

[Footnote 61: I., 181.]

[Footnote 62: If we except the foundations of the Ishtar Gate, this
door is the only structure recovered on the site of Babylon which gives
us an idea of what a building looked like above ground-level. Elsewhere
the ground-plan is our only guide.]

[Footnote 63: See p. 30, Fig. 6, D.]

[Footnote 64: Fig. 6, C.]

[Footnote 65: Col. vii., 1. 34.]

[Footnote 66: Fig. 6, A--C.]

[Footnote 67: Fig. 6, e and f. The hatched wall, which runs between
them (g), was a temporary containing wall, also of crude brick.]

[Footnote 68: See above, p. 30, Fig. 6, E.]

[Footnote 69: East India House Inscription, Col. vii., 1. 61--Col.
viii., 1. 18; cf. Rawlinson, "Cun. Inscr. West. Asia," Vol. I., pl. 57,
and Langdon, "Neubabylonischen Königsinschriften," p. 130 f.]

[Footnote 70: Fig. 6, _a._]

[Footnote 71: A, B and C.]

[Footnote 72: Fig. 6, J.]

[Footnote 73: Marked _b_ and _c_ on the plan.]

[Footnote 74: See further, Chap. V.]

[Footnote 75: Fig. 6, B.]

[Footnote 76: Such jars, or alabastra, were highly esteemed; and the
royal factory need not surprise us, since the king not only employed
them for his own use, but sent the larger sort away as presents. In
the Persian period we know that Xerxes despatched some as royal gifts,
inscribed with his own name and titles, as far afield as Egypt and the
western coast of Asia Minor.]

[Footnote 77: See above, p. 28, Fig. 5.]

[Footnote 78: See Fig. 6, F; this portion of the ground-plan of the
palace is given on a larger scale in Fig. 9.]

[Footnote 79: Fig. 9, _b, c_ and _d_.]

[Footnote 80: Fig. 9, _f_ and _g._ The courts (numbered on the plan
1-3) are square like the small courts or light-wells in the rest of the
palace, and like them were evidently left open in order to give light
and air to the chambers round them. In the Persian period one of them
(No 1) was roofed over wholly or in part, as the bases for two pillars,
formed of palm-trunks, are still in place, which were clearly intended
to support roof-beams. These are indicated by solid circles on the

[Footnote 81: See above, p. 30, Fig. 6, _d._]

[Footnote 82: See p. 42, Fig. 9, _e._]

[Footnote 83: Fig. 9, 1. This is the court roofed in during the Persian
period (see p. 44, n. 1), evidently to secure the king a second covered
passage-way when passing from the Throne Room or from some of its
adjoining chambers to the private palace.]

[Footnote 84: See below, p. 62 f.]

[Footnote 85: Fig. 11, I.]

[Footnote 86: B. in Fig. 6 and 11.]

[Footnote 87: Marked _h_ on the plans.]

[Footnote 88: Fig. 11, _m_ and _n_.]

[Footnote 89: In Fig. 11 the reference letter _l._, to indicate the
building, is marked along the gangway.]

[Footnote 90: It is marked on the plan, and lies between the entrance
_m_ and the south-east corner of the building.]

[Footnote 91: The _κρεμαστὸς παράδεισος_ of Berossus, the _κρεμαστὸς
κῆπος_ of Ctesias and Strabo, the _pensiles horti_ of Curtius Rufus;
their descriptions are quoted at length by Koldewey, "Babylon," pp. 95
ff., Engl, ed., pp. 90 ff.]

[Footnote 92: Koldewey's explanation, that the total circuit of the
building has been confused with the length of a single side, need not
be invoked, in view of the natural tendency of ancient writers to
exaggeration in such matters, especially when reproducing measurements
at second or third hand.]

[Footnote 93: This objection seems to me to outweigh any correspondence
in details between the architectural structure of the Vaulted Building
and the texts of Curtius Rufus or Diodorus.]

[Footnote 94: For the probable reason for this practice in
temple-construction, see below, p. 63.]

[Footnote 95: See above, pp. 31 ff.]

[Footnote 96: Nebuchadnezzar has left us a description of his building
of the gateway in the "East India House Inscription," Col. v., 1. 55,
Col. vi., 1. 21 (see Rawlinson, "Cun. Inscr. West. Asia," I., pl. 56,
and cf. Langdon, "Neubab. Königsinschriften," p. 132 f.). He records
how he decorated the building with wild oxen and dragons in enamelled
brick, roofed it with cedar, and set up in it doors which he sheathed
in copper and fitted with thresholds and hinges of bronze. He also set
bronze oxen and dragons beside the entrances; bases for some of these
appear to have been found by the excavators.]

[Footnote 97: Fig. 14, B and D. In the plan the structure of the
gateway, built of burnt brick, is indicated in black. The adjacent
fortification-walls, of unburnt brick, are hatched; so too are the
areas covered by parts of the temple of Ninmakh and the palace.]

[Footnote 98: The outer gate-house (B) has doors 1 and 2; the doors of
the inner gatehouse (D) are numbered 3 and 4.]

[Footnote 99: C.]

[Footnote 100: Fig. 15.]

[Footnote 101: Figs. 14 and 15, Nos. 3 and 4.]

[Footnote 102: See above, p. 28, Fig. 5.]

[Footnote 103: Nos. 1 and 2.]

[Footnote 104: Fig. 16.]

[Footnote 105: Fig. 15, _a_ and _b._]

[Footnote 106: Fig. 15, _c._]

[Footnote 107: The adornment of the gate's foundations, as well as
its upper structure, with reliefs, may in part be explained by their
temporary use in flanking the roadway during construction. But the
decoration of sacred buildings was not intended merely for the purpose
of artistic display. It had a deeper significance, based on the
belief that the use of sacred emblems ensured the protection of their
tutelary deities. And this perhaps offers the best explanation of the
presence of the Weather-god's Bull, and of Marduk's Dragon, upon the
foundation-walls of the building. The lion, Ishtar's own emblem in her
character as the goddess of war, was employed, as we shall see (cf. p.
58), upon the two walls leading to her gate.]

[Footnote 108: See Fig. 15; its position is indicated in the southern
doorway (2) of the outer gate-house. This was the first part of the
gateway to be discovered, as it stands higher than the rest.]

[Footnote 109: See Fig. 17.]

[Footnote 110: The same process was employed for the Lion Frieze to the
north of the gateway; see below, p. 59.]

[Footnote 111: See Fig. 18, B, B. The fortified areas to the west of
the roadway, which Nebuchadnezzar built out as direct extensions of
the Southern Citadel upon its north side, are still in course of
excavation. They have been christened the "Principal Citadel" and the
"Northern Citadel" of the Ḳaṣr. The most interesting construction
yet recovered there is a broad canal (Fig. 18, J), to the north of
the palace-area of the Principal Citadel; this was evidently left
uncovered, and it must have drawn its water-supply from the Euphrates
through grated openings in the western wall. To the east of the roadway
lines of defence were thrown out corresponding to those of the two
later citadels. The foundations of their eastern wall, approximately
parallel to the roadway, have been uncovered; but the whole of this
area was destroyed by the Euphrates when it changed its course, and
only the main fortification-walls can now be traced below the deposit
of silt.]

[Footnote 112: The red enamel has decomposed and is now green. All the
lions, like the enamelled beasts of the Ishtar Gate, were found in

[Footnote 113: Compare the plan on p. 30, Fig. 6, where the Procession
Street, in its course past the Citadel, is lettered G.]

[Footnote 114: Cf. Koldewey, "Die Pflastersteine von Aiburschabu
in Babylon," pp. 4 ff. The limestone is termed _shadâ,_ or
"mountain-stone," and Koldewey suggests that it was quarried in the
neighbourhood of Hit on the Euphrates. The quarries from which the
_turmina-banda,_ or breccia, was obtained have not yet been identified.]

[Footnote 115: The course of the Procession Street may be followed in
the plan on p. 83, Fig. 31; it is there marked A. The Temple of Ishtar
of Akkad is lettered H.]

[Footnote 116: Fig. 30, G.]

[Footnote 117: Fig. 30, E, F; compare also Fig. 27 on p. 74, with the
same lettering.]

[Footnote 118: Fig. 27, the gate numbered 2.]

[Footnote 119: See Fig. 27, where the course of the road is lettered A,
as in Fig. 30.]

[Footnote 120: Fig. 27, B and C.]

[Footnote 121: See above, p. 23, Fig. 3, where the position of the two
temples is indicated by the letters N and M. The line of the city-wall
along part of the south side is indicated by the mounds lettered B.]

[Footnote 122: For the position of the temple in relation to the Ishtar
Gate, see above, p. 30, Fig. 6, where the temple is lettered J, and the
Ishtar Gate H.]

[Footnote 123: See p. 64, Fig. 20, _d._ Compare also the reconstruction
in Fig. 21.]

[Footnote 124: See below, p. 71.]

[Footnote 125: See below, p. 69.]

[Footnote 126: I., 183.]

[Footnote 127: Cf. Exodus, xx., 24-26.]

[Footnote 128: Cf. I. Kings, viii., 64.]

[Footnote 129: See I. Kings, vi., 20.]

[Footnote 130: Ezekiel, xli., 22.]

[Footnote 131: Cf. I. Samuel, 6 [7]. For a discussion of the evidence
relating to the Hebrew practices, see especially the article "Altar,"
by W. E. Addis, in the "Encyclopædia Biblica," I., Cols. 123 ff.]

[Footnote 132: See below, p. 69 f.]

[Footnote 133: See p. 65, Fig. 21.]

[Footnote 134: In some temples, as in E-zida, the temple of Nabû at
Borsippa, and in the earliest remains of E-sagila (see below, pp. 71
ff.), semicircular fillets take the place of sunken grooves.]

[Footnote 135: Fig. 20, A. The description may be followed by means of
the index letters and figures on the plan, which are explained below

[Footnote 136: In Fig. 20 the passage is numbered 11 and 12.]

[Footnote 137: They are so narrow that they can hardly have served as

[Footnote 138: See Fig. 21.]

[Footnote 139: The grave was hollowed out of the massive brickwork of
the outer wall, in the extreme north-west corner of the palace.]

[Footnote 140: Cf. "Babylon," p. 118 f.; Engl. ed., p. 110 f.]

[Footnote 141: In the ground-plans, which are here reproduced, the same
lettering is employed, as far as they correspond, for the principal
features of each building.]

[Footnote 142: It will be noticed that this orientation is least
apparent in E-sagila (see below, p. 74, Fig. 27), and in the temple of
Ishtar of Akkad (Fig. 25).]

[Footnote 143: Cf. Weissbach, "Babylonische Miscellen," p. 20 f., II.

[Footnote 144: See above, p. 23, Fig. 3, E.]

[Footnote 145: See p. 74, Fig. 27, C.]

[Footnote 146: See Rawlinson, "Cim. Inscr. West. Asia," I., pl. 67,
Col. I., 11. 21 ff., and cf. Bezold in Schrader's "Keilins. Bibl.,"
III., ii., p. 72 f., and Langdon, "Neubab. Königsinschriften," p. 210

[Footnote 147: The main entrance to the temple was approached through
an annex on the east (Fig. 27, D), of which the external walls only
have been traced by tunnelling, while its interior remains still
unexplored. It will be noted in the plan that the main entrance to the
annex is again on the east side, marked by a recess in the enclosing
wall, almost opposite the main entrance to the temple. The approach to
the annex was doubtless by a branch of the Procession Street, which
must have left the principal roadway opposite entrance No. 4 of the
Peribolos (see Fig. 27).]

[Footnote 148: Cf. "East India House Inscr.," Col. II., 11. 43 ff., and
Col. III., 11. 21 ff.]

[Footnote 149: The κἀτω νηός, to distinguish it from that on the

[Footnote 150: I., 183.]

[Footnote 151: Cf. Koldewey, "Babylon," p. 202 f.; Engl, ed., p. 207.]

[Footnote 152: Cf. Koldewey, "Die Tempel von Babylon und Borsippa," p.

[Footnote 153: See above, p. 23, Fig. 3, Q.]

[Footnote 154: Marked A, A, A in Fig. 27.]

[Footnote 155: Cf. Koldewey, "Babylon," p. 185; Engl, ed., p. 190.
Some idea of the probable appearance of the immense enclosure may be
gathered from the reconstruction in Fig. 28.]

[Footnote 156: Fig. 27, F.]

[Footnote 157: Fig. 27, B.]

[Footnote 158: During the recent excavation of the tower the outer
facing of burnt brick has been uncovered along the north side, and it
was seen to have been decorated with twelve tower-like projections. A
considerable fragment was also found on the west side; and the exterior
measurement of both these sides of the tower was ascertained to be
ninety-one metres. The crude-brick core measures about sixty-one metres
along its north front. See "Mitteil. der Deutsch. Orient-Gesellschaft,"
No. 53 (April, 1914), p. 18.]

[Footnote 159: The outer stairways were eight metres in breadth, and
sixteen steps are still preserved of the one in the south-west corner;
cf. "Mitteil. d. Deutsch. Or.-Gesells.," No. 53, p. 19.]

[Footnote 160: Fig. 27, II and J.]

[Footnote 161: Fig. 27, E.]

[Footnote 162: Fig. 27, G.]

[Footnote 163: Fig. 27, Entrance No. 2.]

[Footnote 164: This arrangement is suggested in Fig. 28.]

[Footnote 165: I., 181.]

[Footnote 166: See above, p. 75.]

[Footnote 167: See Fig. 29, G.]

[Footnote 168: C and D.]

[Footnote 169: The bronze step of Nebuchadnezzar, preserved in the
British Museum (see above, p. 27, n. 1), seems to have come from the
temple entrance in the south-west front, facing the temple-tower.]

[Footnote 170: Fig. 29, A.]

[Footnote 171: Fig. 29, B.]

[Footnote 172: In the engraving, in order that the wedge and the dragon
should stand out in relief, the surface of the stone has been cut away
round them. This gives the lowest story of the tower an appearance of
having arched openings in it. It should, of course, be solid, like
the other stages of the tower, the apparent openings being merely due
to the exigencies of the engraver; cf. King, "Boundary-Stones and
Memorial-Tablets in the British Museum." p. 25, n. 1. A photographic
reproduction of this portion of the stone is given, _op. cit.,_ Pl.

[Footnote 173: In the "Athenæum," Feb. 12th, 1876.]

[Footnote 174: See Scheil, "Esagil ou le temple de Bêl-Marduk," in
the "Mémoires de l'Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-lettres,"
vol. xxxix. (1914), pp. 293 ff.; and cp. the "Étude arithmétique et
architectonique du texte," by Dieulafoy, _ibid.,_ pp. 309 ff.]

[Footnote 175: See above, p. 74, Fig. 27, F.]

[Footnote 176: Fig. 27, E.]

[Footnote 177: According to M. Dieulafoy's theory, the tower itself was
built in five stages, standing on a massive base (_kigullu,_) which in
turn rested on a plinth, or terrace, extending over a great part of the
temple-court; thus, including the temple at the summit of the tower,
the eight stages of Herodotus would be explained.]

[Footnote 178: See above, p. 74, Fig. 27, and cp. Fig. 28.]

[Footnote 179: I., 186.]

[Footnote 180: II., 8.]

[Footnote 181: Col. IV., 1. 66--Col. V., 1. 4.]

[Footnote 182: See above, p. 37.]

[Footnote 183: See p. 74, Fig. 27, K and L.]

[Footnote 184: See above, p. 39.]

[Footnote 185: See above, p. 68 ff.]

[Footnote 186: It maybe noted that this fully corroborates the
statement of Herodotus (I., 180) that the streets of Babylon were
straight, particularly those that ran at right angles and led to
the river. As little more than the foundations of the houses are
preserved, it is not possible to control his further statement that the
houses were three or four stories high.]



It has often been said that chronology is the skeleton of history;
and it will be obvious that any flaw in the chronological scheme must
react upon our conception of the sequence and inter-relation of events.
Perhaps the most serious defect from which Babylonian chronology has
suffered hitherto has been the complete absence of any established
point of contact between the Babylonian dynasties and those earlier
lines of rulers who exercised authority in cities other than Babylon.
On the one hand, with the help of the Babylonian List of Kings, we
could build up from below a scheme of the rulers of Babylon itself. On
the other hand, after the discovery of the Nippur Kings' List, it was
possible to establish the succession of the earlier dynasties of Ur
and Nîsin, and to conjecture their relation to the still more remote
rulers of Akkad and other cities in the north and south. The two halves
of the skeleton were each articulated satisfactorily enough, but the
few bones were wanting which should enable us to fit them together. It
is scarcely necessary to say that there was no lack of theories for
filling in the gap. But every one of the schemes suggested introduced
fresh difficulties of its own; and to writers of a more cautious
temperament it seemed preferable to avoid a detailed chronology for
those earlier ages. Approximate dates only were suggested, for, in
spite of the obvious temptations presented by the Nippur List, it was
realized that any attempt to work out the earlier dates in detail
was bound to be misleading. Such writers were content to await the
recovery of new material and meanwhile to think in periods.[1]

It is thus with some satisfaction that the announcement may be made
that the connecting link, for which we have been waiting, has quite
recently been established, with the result that we have now in our
hands the necessary material for reconstructing the chronology on a
sound basis and extending it back without a serious break, into the
middle of the third millennium. The effect of the newly recovered point
of contact between the earlier and the later phases in the country's
history is naturally of greater importance for the former, so far as
strict chronology is concerned.[2] But the information afforded, as to
the overlapping of additional dynasties with that of the West-Semitic
kings of Babylon, throws an entirely new light upon the circumstances
which led to the rise of Babylon to power. Our picture of the capital's
early history, as an independent city-state struggling for the mastery
of her rivals, ceases to be an abstraction, and we may now follow
her varying fortunes to their climax in Hammurabi's reign. This will
form the subject of the following chapter; but, as the new historical
material is only now in course of publication, it will be advisable
first to give some account of it and to estimate its effects upon the
chronological scheme.

It has long been recognized that certain kings of Larsa, the city
in Southern Babylonia now marked by the mounds of Senkera, were
contemporaneous with the First Dynasty of Babylon. The greatest of
these, Rîm-Sin, a ruler of Elamite extraction, was the contemporary of
Hammurabi, and his signal defeat by Babylon was commemorated in the
date-formula for the thirty-first year of the latter's reign.[3] This
victory was, indeed, the chief event of Hammurabi's reign, and at one
time it was thought that it freed Babylon once for all from her most
powerful enemy. But the discovery of a chronicle of early Babylonian
kings, while substantiating the fact of Hammurabi's victory, and
affording the additional information that it was followed by the
capture of Ur and Larsa, proved that Rîm-Sin survived into the reign
of Samsu-iluna, Hammurabi's son, by whom he was finally defeated.[4]
Another king of Larsa, Warad-Sin, formerly identified with Rîm-Sin, was
correctly recognized as his brother, both of them sons of the Elamite
Kudur-Mabuk, and successively kings of the city.[5] The names of other
rulers were known from votive texts and foundation-records, and from
this source it was possible to incorporate in the dynasty Gungunum,
probably Sumu-ilum (a king of Ur), and Nûr-Adad or Nûr-Immer and his
son Sin-idinnam. It was realized that Sin-idinnam, the correspondent to
whom Hammurabi addressed his letters, was not to be identified with the
king of Larsa of that name,[6] and all four rulers were provisionally
regarded as having preceded Warad-Sin upon the throne.[7]

A complete list of the Larsa kings has now been recovered by Professor
A. T. Clay of Yale University, who is engaged in preparing the text for
publication. The dynasty is seen to have consisted of sixteen kings,
and against the name of each ruler is stated the number of years he
occupied the throne. The surface of the tablet is damaged in places and
the figures against three of the names are wanting. But this is of no
great consequence, since the scribe has added up the total number of
years enumerated in the list, and states it at the close as two hundred
and eighty-nine.[8] A most important point about the list is that
the last two kings of the dynasty are stated to have been Hammurabi
and Samsu-iluna, who, as we know, were the sixth and seventh rulers
of the First Dynasty of Babylon. It is true that Hammurabi is one of
the three kings against whose names the figures are wanting. But we
already know that he conquered Larsa in his thirty-first year,[9] so
that we may confidently regard him as king of that city for the last
twelve years of his reign. The two remaining kings of the dynasty whose
years are missing, Sin-idinnam and Sin-iḳisham, have thirteen years
to divide between them, and since they are only separated from each
other by the short two-years' reign of Sin-iribam, the absence of the
figures is practically immaterial. We are thus furnished with the means
for establishing in detail the relationship of the earliest kings of
Babylon to those of Larsa.

[Illustration: VII. Brick of Sin-idinnam, King of Larsa, recording the
cutting of a canal and the restoration of the Temple of the Moon-god in
the city of Ur]

But like most new discoveries, this one has brought a fresh problem
in its train. We already suspected that Rîm-Sin was a long-lived
monarch, and we here find him credited with a reign of sixty-one years.
But that fact would be difficult to reconcile with his survival into
Samsu-iluna's tenth year, which, according to the figures of the new
list, would have fallen eighty-three years after his accession to
the throne. That Rîm-Sin did survive into the reign of Samsu-iluna
seems practically certain, since the broken passage in the late
chronicle, from which the fact was at first inferred, is supported
by two date-formulæ which can be satisfactorily explained only on
that hypothesis.[10] Thus, if he ascended the throne of Larsa when
merely a boy of fifteen, we should have to infer from the new figures
that he was leading a revolt against Samsu-iluna in his ninety-eighth
year--a combination of circumstances which is just within the bounds
of possibility, but is hardly probable or convincing. We shall see
presently that there is a comparatively simple, and not improbable,
solution of the puzzle, to which another line of evidence seems to

It will be noted that the new list of the kings of Larsa, important
as it undoubtedly is for the history of its own period, does not in
itself supply the long-desired link between the earlier and the later
chronology of Babylonia. The relationship of the First Dynasty of
Babylon with that of Nîsin[11] is, so far as the new list is concerned,
left in the same state of uncertainty as before. The possibility has
long been foreseen that the Dynasty of Nîsin and the First Dynasty of
Babylon overlapped each other,[12] as was proved to have been the case
with the first dynasties in the Babylonian List of Kings, and as was
confidently assumed with regard to the dynasties of Larsa and Babylon.
That no long interval separated the two dynasties from one another
had been inferred from the character of the contract-tablets, dating
from the period of the Nîsin Dynasty, which had been found at Nippur;
for these were seen to bear a elose resemblance to those of the First
Babylonian Dynasty in form, material, writing, and terminology.[13]
There were obvious advantages to be obtained, if grounds could be
produced for believing that the two dynasties were not only closely
consecutive but were partly contemporaneous. For, in such a case, it
would follow that not only the earlier kings of Babylon, but also the
kings of Larsa, would have been reigning at the same time as the later
kings of Nîsin. In fact, we should picture Babylonia as still divided
into a number of smaller principalities, each vying with the other in
a contest for the hegemony and maintaining a comparatively independent
rule within its own borders. It was fully recognized that such a
condition of affairs would amply account for the confusion in the later
succession at Nîsin, and our scanty knowledge of that period could then
be combined with the fuller sources of information on the First Dynasty
of Babylon.[14]

In the absence of any definite synchronism, such as we already
possessed for deciding the inter-relations of the early Babylonian
dynasties, other means were tried in order to establish a point
of contact. The capture of Nîsin by Rîm-Sin, which is recorded in
date-formulæ upon tablets found at Tell Sifr and Nippur, was evidently
looked upon as an event of considerable importance, since it formed an
epoch for dating tablets in that district. It was thus a legitimate
assumption that the capture of the city by Rîm-Sin should be regarded
as having brought the Dynasty of Nîsin to an end; such an assumption
certainly supplied an adequate reason for the rise of a new era in
time-reckoning. Now in the date-formulæ of the First Dynasty of Babylon
two captures of the city of Nîsin are commemorated, the earlier one in
that for the seventeenth year of Sin-muballit, the later in the formula
for Hammurabi's seventh year. Advocates have been found for deriving
each of these dates from the capture of Nîsin by Rîm-Sin, and so
obtaining the desired point of contact.[15] But the obvious objection
to either of these views is that we should hardly expect a victory by
Rîm-Sin to be commemorated in the date-formulæ of his chief rival;
and certain attempts to show that Babylon was at the time the vassal
of Larsa have not proved very convincing. Moreover, if we accept the
earlier identification, it raises the fresh difficulty that the era
of Nîsin was not disturbed by Hammurabi's conquest of that city. The
rejection of both views thus leads to the same condition of uncertainty
from which we started.

A fresh and sounder line of research has recently been opened up. A
detailed study has been undertaken of the proper names occurring on
contract-tablets from Nippur, and it was remarked that some of the
proper names found in documents belonging to the Nîsin and Larsa
Dynasties are identical with those appearing on other Nippur tablets
belonging to the First Dynasty of Babylon.[16] That they were borne
by the same individuals is in many eases quite certain from the fact
that the names of their fathers are also given. Both sets of documents
were not only found at Nippur but were obviously written there,
since they closely resemble one another in general appearance, style
and arrangement. The same witnesses, too, occur again and again on
them, and some of the tablets, which were drawn up under different
dynasties, are the work of the same scribe. It has even been found
possible, by the study of the proper names, to follow the history of
a family through three generations, during which it was living at
Nippur under different rulers belonging to the dynasties of Nîsin,
Larsa and Babylon; and one branch of the family can never have left
the city, since its members in successive generations held the office
of "pashishu," or anointing-priest, in the temple of the goddess

Of such evidence it will suffice for the moment to cite two examples,
since they have a direct bearing on the assumption that Rîm-Sin's
conquest of Nîsin put an end to the dynasty in that city. From two of
the documents we learn that Zîatum, the scribe, pursued his calling
at Nippur not only under Damik-ilishu, the last king of Nîsin, but
also under Rîm-Sin of Larsa,[18] a fact which definitely proves
that Nippur passed under the control of these two rulers within the
space of one generation. The other piece of evidence is still more
instructive. It has long been known that Hammurabi was Rîm-Sin's
contemporary, and from the new Kings' List we have gained the further
information that he succeeded him upon the throne of Larsa. Now two
other of the Nippur documents prove that Ibkushu, the _pashishu,_ or
"anointing-priest" of the goddess Ninlil, was living at Nippur under
Damik-ilishu and also under Hammurabi in the latter's thirty-first
year.[19] This fact not only confirms our former inference, but gives
very good grounds for believing that the close of Damik-ilishu's reign
must have fallen within that of Rîm-Sin. We may therefore regard it as
certain that Rîm-Sin's conquest of Nîsin, which began a new era for
time-reckoning in central and southern Babylonia, put an end to the
reign of Damik-ilishu and to the Dynasty of Nîsin, of which he was
the last member. In order to connect the chronology of Babylon with
that of Nîsin it therefore only remains to ascertain at what period in
Rîm-Sin's reign, as King of Larsa, his conquest of Nîsin took place.

It is at this point that a further discovery of Prof. Clay has
furnished us with the necessary data for a decision. Among the tablets
of the Yale Babylonian Collection he has come across several documents
of Rîm-Sin's reign, which bear a double-date. In every case the
first half of the double-date corresponds to the usual formula for
the second year of the Nîsin era. On two of them the second half of
the date-formula equates that year with the eighteenth of some other
era, while on two others the same year is equated with the nineteenth
year.[20] It is obvious that we here have scribes dating documents
according to a new era, and explaining that that year corresponds
to the eighteenth (or nineteenth) of one with which they had been
familiar, and which the new method of time-reckoning was probably
intended to displace. Now we know that, before the capture of Nîsin,
the scribes in cities under Rîm-Sin's control had been in the habit
of dating documents by events in his reign, according to the usual
practice of early Babylonian kings.[21] But this method was given up
after the capture of Nîsin, and for at least thirty-one years after
that event the era of Nîsin was in vogue.[22] In the second year of the
era, when the new method of dating had just been settled, it would have
been natural for the scribes to add a note explaining the relationship
of the new era to the old. But, as the old changing formulæ had been
discontinued, the only possible way to make the equation would have
been to reckon the number of years Rîm-Sin had been upon the throne.
Hence we may confidently conclude that the second figure in the
double-dates was intended to give the year of Rîm-Sin's reign which
corresponded to the second year of the Nîsin era.

It may seem strange that in some of the documents with the
double-dates the second figure is given as eighteen and in others as
nineteen. There is more than one way in which it is possible to explain
the discrepancy. If we assume that the conquest of Nîsin took place
towards the close of Rîm-Sin's seventeenth year, it is possible that,
during the two years that followed, alternative methods of reckoning
were in vogue, some scribes regarding the close of the seventeenth
year as the first year of the new epoch, others beginning the new
method of time-reckoning with the first day of the following Nisan.
Rut that explanation can hardly be regarded as probable, for, in view
of the importance attached to the conquest, the promulgation of the
new era commemorating the event would have been carried out with more
than ordinary ceremonial, and the date of its adoption would not have
been left to the calculation of individual scribes. It is far more
likely that the explanation is to be sought in the second figure of
the equation, the discrepancy being due to alternative methods of
reckoning Rîm-Sin's regnal years. Again assuming that the conquest
took place in Rîm-Sin's seventeenth year, those scribes who counted
the years from his first date-formula would have made the second year
of the era the eighteenth of his reign. But others may have included
in their total the year of Rîm-Sin's accession to the throne, and that
would account for their regarding the same year as the nineteenth
according to the abolished system of reckoning.[23] This seems the
preferable explanation of the two, but it will be noticed that, on
either alternative, we must regard the first year of the Nîsin era as
corresponding to the seventeenth year of Rîm-Sin's reign.

One other point requires to be settled, and that is the relation of the
Nîsin era to the actual conquest of the city. Was the era inaugurated
in the same year as the conquest, or did its first year begin with
the following first of Nisan? In the course of the fifth chapter
the early Babylonian method of time-reckoning is referred to, and it
will be seen that precisely the same question arises with regard to
certain other events commemorated in date-formulæ of the period.[24]
Though some features of the system are still rather uncertain, we have
proof that the greater historical events did in certain cases affect
the current date-formula, especially when this was of a provisional
character, with the result that the event was commemorated in the final
formula for the year of its actual occurrence. Arguing from analogy, we
may therefore regard the inauguration of the Nîsin era as coinciding
with the year of the city's capture. In the case of this particular
event the arguments in favour of such a view apply with redoubled
force, for no other victory by a king of Larsa was comparable to it in
importance. We may thus regard the last year of Damik-ilishu, King of
Nîsin, as corresponding to the seventeenth year of Rîm-Sin, King of
Larsa. And since the relationship of Rîm-Sin with Hammurabi has been
established by the new list of Larsa kings, we are at length furnished
with the missing synchronism for connecting the dynasties of the Nippur
Kings' List with those of Babylon.

[Illustration: VIII. Hammurabi, King of Babylon, from a relief in the
British Museum, dedicated on his behalf to the West Semitic goddess
[Ash]ratum by Itur-ashdum, a provincial governor]

We may now return to the difficulty introduced by the new list of
Larsa kings, on which, as we have already noted, the long reign of
Rîm-Sin is apparently entered as preceding the thirty-second year
of Hammurabi's rule in Babylon. Soon after the publication of the
chronicle, from a broken passage on which it was inferred that
Rîm-Sin survived into Samsu-iluna's reign.[25] an attempt was made to
explain the words as referring to a son of Rîm-Sin and not to that
ruler himself.[26] But it was pointed out that the sign, which it was
suggested should be rendered as "son," was never employed with that
meaning in chronicles of the period,[27] and that we must consequently
continue to regard the passage as referring to Rîm-Sin. It was further
noted that two contract-tablets found at Tell Sifr, which record the
same deed of sale, are dated the one by Rîm-Sin, and the other in
Samsu-iluna's tenth year.[28] In both of these deeds the same parties
are represented as carrying out the same transaction, and, although
there is a difference in the price agreed upon, the same list of
witnesses occur on both, and both are dated in the same month. The most
reasonable explanation of the existence of the two documents would
seem to be that, at the period the transaction they record took place,
the possession of the town now marked by the mounds of Tell Sifr was
disputed by Rîm-Sin and Samsu-iluna. Soon after the first of the deeds
had been drawn up, the town may have changed hands, and, in order that
the transaction should still be recognized as valid, a fresh copy of
the deed was made out with the new ruler's date-formula substituted
for that which was no longer current.[29] But whatever explanation be
adopted, the alternative dates upon the documents, taken in conjunction
with the chronicle, certainly imply that Rîm-Sin was living at least as
late as Samsu-iluna's ninth year, and probably in the tenth year of his

If, then, we accept the face value of the figures given by the new
Larsa Kings' List, we are met by the difficulty already referred to,
that Rîm-Sin would have been an active political force in Babylonia
some eighty-three years after his own accession to the throne. And
assuming that he was merely a boy of fifteen when he succeeded
his brother at Larsa, he would have been taking the field against
Samsu-iluna in his ninety-eighth year.[30] But it is extremely
unlikely that he was so young at his accession, and, in view of the
improbabilities involved, it is preferable to scrutinize the figures
in the Larsa list with a view to ascertaining whether they are not
capable of any other interpretation.

It has already been noted that the Larsa List is a contemporaneous
document, since the scribe has added the title of "king" to the last
name only, that of Samsu-iluna, implying that he was the reigning king
at the time the document was drawn up. It is unlikely, therefore, that
any mistake should have been made in the number of years assigned to
separate rulers, the date-formulæ and records of whose reigns would
have been easily accessible for consultation by the compiler. The
long reign of sixty-one years, with which Rîm-Sin is credited, must
be accepted as correct, for it does not come to us as a tradition
incorporated in a Neo-Babylonian document, but is attested by a scribe
writing within two years of the time when, as we have seen, Rîm-Sin was
not only living but fighting against the armies of Babylon. In fact,
the survival of Rîm-Sin throughout the period of Hammurabi's rule at
Larsa, and during the first ten years of Samsu-iluna's reign, perhaps
furnishes us with the solution of our problem.

If Rîm-Sin had not been deposed by Hammurabi on his conquest of Larsa,
but had been retained there with curtailed powers as the vassal of
Babylon, may not his sixty-one years of rule have included this period
of dependence? In that case he may have ruled as independent King of
Larsa for thirty-nine years, followed by twenty-two years during which
he owed allegiance successively to Hammurabi and Samsu-iluna, until
in the latter's tenth year he revolted and once more took the field
against Babylon. It is true that, with the missing figures in the
Kings' List restored as suggested by Professor Clay, the figure for the
total duration of the dynasty may be cited against this explanation;
for the two hundred and eighty-nine years is obtained by regarding the
whole of Rîm-Sin's reign as anterior to Hammurabi's conquest. There
are two possibilities with regard to the figure. In the first place
it is perhaps just possible that Sin-idinnam and Sin-iḳîsham may have
reigned between them thirty-five years, in place of the thirteen years
provisionally assigned to them. If that were so, the scribe's total
would be twenty-two years less than the addition of his figures, and
the discrepancy could only be explained by some such overlapping as
suggested. But it is far more likely that the figures are correctly
restored, and that the scribe's total corresponds to that of the
figures in the list. On such an assumption it is not improbable that
he mechanically added up the figures placed opposite the royal names,
without deducting from his total the years of Rîm-Sin's dependent rule.

This explanation appears to be the one least open to objection, as it
does not necessitate the alteration of essential figures, and merely
postulates a natural oversight on the part of the compiler. The placing
of Hammurabi and Samsu-iluna in the list after, and not beside, Rîm-Sin
would be precisely on the lines of the Babylonian Kings' List, in
which the Second Dynasty is enumerated between the First and Third,
although, as we now know, it overlapped a part of each. In that case,
too, the scribe has added up the totals of his separate dynasties,
without any indication of their periods of overlapping. The explanation
in both cases is, of course, that the modern system of arranging
contemporaneous rulers in parallel columns had not been evolved by
the Babylonian scribes. Moreover, we have evidence that at least one
other compiler of a dynastic list was careless in adding up his totals;
from one of his discrepancies it would seem that he counted a period
of three months as three years, while in another of his dynasties a
similar period of three months was probably counted twice over both as
months and years.[31] It is true that the dynastic list in question is
a late and not a contemporaneous document, but at least it inclines us
to accept the possibility of such an oversight as that suggested on the
part of the compiler of the Larsa list.

The only reason which we have as yet examined for equating the first
twenty-two years of Babylon's suzerainty over Larsa with the latter
part of Rîm-Sin's reign has been the necessity of reducing the duration
of that monarch's life within the bounds of probability. If this had
been the only ground for the assumption, it might perhaps have been
regarded as more or less problematical. But the Nippur contract-tablets
and legal documents, to which reference has already been made,[32]
furnish us with a number of separate and independent pieces of evidence
in its support. The tablets contain references to officials and private
people who were living at Nippur in the reigns of Damik-ilishu, the
last king of Nîsin, and of Rîm-Sin of Larsa, and also under Hammurabi
and Samsu-iluna of Babylon. Most of the tablets of Rîm-Sin's period are
dated by the Nîsin era, and, since the dates of those drawn up in the
reigns of Hammurabi and Samsu-iluna can be definitely ascertained by
means of their date-formulæ, it is possible to estimate the intervals
of time separating references to the same man or to a man and his
son. It is remarkable that in some cases the interval of time appears
excessive if the whole of Rîm-Sin's reign of sixty-one years be placed
before Hammurabi's capture of Larsa. If, on the other hand, we regard
Rîm-Sin as Babylon's vassal for the last twenty-two years of his rule
in Larsa, the intervals of time are reduced to normal proportions. As
the point is of some importance for the chronology, it may be as well
to cite one or two examples of this class of evidence, in order that
the reader may judge of its value for himself.

The first example we will examine will be that furnished by Ibkushu,
the anointing-priest of Ninlil, to whom we have already referred as
having lived at Nippur under Damik-ilishu and also under Hammurabi in
the latter's thirty-first year[33]; both references, it may be noted,
describe him as holding his priestly office, at Nippur. Now, if we
accept the face value of the figures in the Larsa List we obtain an
interval between these two references of at least forty-four years
and probably more.[34] By the suggested interpretation of the figures
in the List the interval would be reduced by twenty-two years. A very
similar case is that of the scribe Ur-kingala, who is mentioned in a
document dated in the eleventh year of the Nîsin era, and again in
one of Samsu-iluna's fourth year.[35] In the one case we obtain an
interval of fifty years between the two references, while in the other
it is reduced to twenty-eight years. Very similar results follow if we
examine references on the tablets to fathers and their sons. A certain
Adad-rabi, for example, was living at Nippur under Damik-ilishu, while
his two sons Mâr-irsitim and Mutum-ilu are mentioned there in the
eleventh year of Samsu-iluna's reign.[36] In the one case we must infer
an interval of at least sixty-seven years, and probably more, between
father and sons; in the other an interval of forty-five years or more
is obtained. It will be unnecessary to examine further examples, as
those already cited may suffice to illustrate the point. It will
be noted that the unabridged interval can in no single instance be
pronounced impossible. But the cumulative effect produced is striking.
The independent testimony of these private documents and contracts thus
converges to the same point as the data with regard to the length of
Rîm-Sin's life. Several of the figures so obtained suggest that, taken
at their face value, the regnal years in the Larsa List yield a total
that is about one generation too long. They are thus strongly in favour
of the suggested method of interpreting Rîm-Sin's reign in the Larsa

We may thus provisionally place the sixty-first year of Rîm-Sin's rule
at Larsa in the tenth year of Samsu-iluna's reign, when we may assume
that he revolted and took the field against his suzerain. It was in
that year that Tell Sifr changed hands for a time. But it is probably a
significant fact that not a single document of Samsu-iluna's reign has
been found in that district dated after his twelfth year. In fact we
shall see reason to believe that the whole of Southern Babylonia soon
passed from the control of Babylon, though Samsu-iluna succeeded in
retaining his hold on Nippur for some years longer. Meanwhile it will
suffice to note that the suggested sequence of events fits in very
well with other references in the date-lists. The two defeats of Nîsin
by Hammurabi and his father Sin-muballit, which have formed for so long
a subject of controversy, now cease to be a stumbling-block. We see
that both took place before Rîm-Sin's capture of Nîsin,[37] and were
merely temporary successes which had no effect upon the continuance
of the Nîsin dynasty. That was brought to an end by Rîm-Sin's victory
in his seventeenth year, when the Nîsin era of dating was instituted.
That, in cities where it had been long employed, the continued use
of the era alongside his own formulæ should have been permitted
by Hammurabi for some eight years after his capture of Larsa, is
sufficiently explained by our assumption that Rîm-Sin was not deposed,
but was retained in his own capital as the vassal of Babylon. There
would have been a natural reluctance to abandon an established era,
especially if Babylon's authority was not rigidly enforced during the
first few years of her suzerainty, as with earlier vassal states.[38]

The overlapping of the Dynasty of Nîsin with that of Babylon for a
period of one hundred and eleven years, which follows from the new
information afforded by the Yale tablets, merely carries the process
still further that was noted some years ago with regard to the first
three Dynasties of the Babylonian List of Kings. At the time of the
earlier discovery considerable difference of opinion existed as to the
number of years, if any, during which the Second Dynasty of the List
held independent sway in Babylonia. The archæological evidence at that
time available seemed to suggest that the kings of the Sea-Country
never ruled in Babylonia, and that the Third, or Kassite, Dynasty
followed the First Dynasty without any considerable break.[39] Other
writers, in their endeavours to use and reconcile the chronological
references to earlier rulers which occur in later texts, assumed a
period of independence for the Second Dynasty which varied, according
to their differing hypotheses, from one hundred and sixty-eight to
eighty years.[40] Since the period of the First Dynasty was not fixed
independently, the complete absence of contemporary evidence with
regard to the Second Dynasty led to a considerable divergence of
opinion upon the point.

So far as the archæological evidence is concerned, we are still without
any great body of documents dated in their reigns, which should
definitely prove the rule of the Sea-Country kings in Babylonia. But
two tablets have now been discovered in the Nippur Collections which
are dated in the second year of Iluma-ilum, the founder of the Second
Dynasty.[41] And this fact is important, since it proves that for two
years at any rate he exercised control over a great part of Babylonia.
Now among the numerous documents dated in the reigns of Hammurabi and
Samsu-iluna, which have been found at Nippur, none are later than
Samsu-iluna's twenty-ninth year, although the succession of dated
documents up to that time is almost unbroken. It would thus appear
that after Samsu-iluna's twenty-ninth year Babylon lost her hold upon
Nippur. It is difficult to resist the conclusion that the power which
drove her northwards was the kingdom of the Sea-Country, whose founder
Iluma-ilum waged successful campaigns against both Samsu-iluna and his
son Abi-eshu', as we learn from the late Babylonian chronicle.[42]
Another fact that is probably of equal significance is that, of the
tablets from Larsa and its neighbourhood, none have been found dated
after Samsu-iluna's twelfth year, although we have numerous examples
drawn up during the earlier years of his reign. We may therefore assume
that soon after his twelve years of rule at Larsa, which are assigned
to him on the new Kings' List,[43] that city was lost to Babylon. And
again it is difficult to resist the conclusion that the Sea-Country was
the aggressor. From Samsu-iluna's own date-formulæ we know that in his
twelfth year "all the lands revolted" against him.[44] We may therefore
with considerable probability place Iluma-ilum's revolt in that year,
followed immediately by his establishment of an independent kingdom
in the south.[45] He probably soon gained control over Larsa and
gradually pushed northwards until he occupied Nippur in Samsu-iluna's
twenty-ninth or thirtieth year.

[Illustration: X. Brick of Warad-Sin, King of Larsa, recording building
operations in the city of Ur]

Such appears to be the most probable course of events, so far as it
may be determined in accordance with our new evidence. And since it
definitely proves that the founder of the Second Dynasty of the Kings'
List established, at any rate for a time, an effective control over
southern and central Babylonia, we are the more inclined to credit the
kings of the Sea-Country with having later on extended their authority
farther to the north. The fact that the compiler of the Babylonian
List of Kings should have included the rulers of the Sea-Country in
that document has always formed a weighty argument for regarding
some of them as having ruled in Babylonia; and it was only possible
to eliminate the dynasty entirely from the chronological scheme by
a very drastic reduction of his figures for some of their reigns.
The founder of the dynasty, for example, is credited with a reign of
sixty years, two other rulers with reigns of fifty-five years, and a
fourth with fifty years. But the average duration of the reigns in the
dynasty is only six years in excess of that for the First Dynasty,
which also consisted of eleven kings. And, in view of the sixty-one
years credited to Rîm-Sin in the newly recovered Larsa List, which is a
contemporaneous document and not a later compilation, we may regard the
traditional length of the dynasty as perhaps approximately correct.[46]
Moreover, in all other parts of the Kings' List that can be controlled
by contemporaneous documents, the general accuracy of the figures has
been amply vindicated. The balance of evidence appears, therefore, to
be in favour of regarding the compiler's estimate for the duration of
his Second Dynasty as also resting on reliable tradition.

In working out the chronological scheme it only remains therefore to
fix accurately the period of the First Dynasty, in order to arrive
at a detailed chronology for both the earlier and the later periods.
Hitherto, in default of any other method, it has been necessary to
rely on the traditions which have come down to us from the history of
Berossus or on chronological references to early rulers which occur in
the later historical texts. A new method of arriving at the date of the
First Dynasty, in complete independence of such sources of information,
was hit upon three years ago by Dr. Kugler, the Dutch astronomer, in
the course of his work on published texts that had any bearing on the
history and achievements of Babylonian astronomy.[47] Two such tablets
had been found by Sir Henry Layard at Nineveh and were preserved in
the Kouyunjik Collection of the British Museum. Of these one had long
of Sippar,
Bunutakhtun-ila, occupied the throne in Sumu-la-ilum's re
astronomical omens derived from observations of the planet Venus.[48]
It was certain that this Assyrian text was a copy of an earlier
Babylonian one, since that was definitely stated in its colophon. The
second of the two inscriptions proved to be in part a duplicate,[49]
and by using them in combination Dr. Kugler was able to restore the
original text with a considerable degree of certainty.[50] But a more
important discovery was that he succeeded in identifying precisely the
period at which the text was originally drawn up, and the astronomical
observations recorded. For he noted that in the eighth section of his
restored text there was a chronological note, dating that section by
the old Babylonian date-formula for the eighth year of Ammi-zaduga,
the tenth king of the First Babylonian Dynasty. As his text contained
twenty-one sections, he drew the legitimate inference that it gave him
a series of observations of the planet Venus for each of the twenty-one
years of Ammi-zaduga's reign.[51]

The observations from which the omens were derived consist of dates
for the heliacal rising and setting of the planet Venus. The date was
observed at which the planet was first visible in the east, the date
of her disappearance was noted, and the duration of her period of
invisibility; similar dates were then observed of her first appearance
in the west as the Evening Star, followed as before by the dates of
her disappearance and her period of invisibility. The taking of such
observations does not, of course, imply any elaborate astronomical
knowledge on the part of the early Babylonians. This beautiful planet
must have been the first, after the moon, to attract systematic
observation, and thanks to her nearly circular orbit, no water-clock
nor instrument for measuring angles was required. The astrologers of
the period would naturally watch for the planet's first appearance in
the glimmer of the dawn, that they might read therefrom the will of the
great goddess with whom she was identified. They would note her gradual
ascension, decline and disappearance, and then count the days of her
absence until she reappeared at sunset and repeated her movements of
ascension and decline. Such dates, with the resulting fortunes of the
country, form the observations noted in the text that was drawn up in
Ammi-zaduga's reign.

It will be obvious that the periodic return of the same appearance of
the planet Venus would not in itself have supplied us with sufficient
means for determining the period of the observations. But we obtain
additional data if we employ our information with the further object
of ascertaining the relative positions of the sun and moon. On the one
hand the heliacal risings and settings of Venus are naturally bound
up in a fixed relationship of Venus to the sun; on the other hand the
series of dates by the days of the month furnishes us with the relative
position of the moon with regard to the sun on the days cited. Without
the second criterion, the first would be of very little use. But,
taken together, the combination of the sun, Venus and the moon are
of the greatest value for fixing the position of the group of years,
covered by the observations, within any given period of a hundred years
or more. Now if we eliminate the Second Dynasty altogether from the
Babylonian Kings' List, it is certain that Ammi-zaduga's reign could
not have fallen much later than 1800 B.C.; on the other hand, in view
of the ascertained minimum of overlapping of the First Dynasty by the
Second, it is equally certain that it could not have fallen earlier
than 2060 B.C. The period of his reign must thus be sought within the
interval between these dates. But, in order to be on the safe side,
Dr. Kugler extended both the limits of the period to be examined; he
conducted his researches within the period from 2080 to 1740 B.C. He
began by taking two observations for the sixth year of Ammi-zaduga,
which gave the dates for the heliacal setting of Venus in the west
and her rising in the east, and, by using the days of the month to
ascertain the relative positions of the moon, he found that throughout
the whole course of his period this particular combination took place
three times.[52] He then proceeded to examine in the same way the
rest of the observations, with their dates, as supplied by the two
tablets, and, by working them out in detail for the central one of his
three possible periods, he obtained confirmation of his view that the
observations did cover a consecutive period of twenty-one years. In
order to obtain independent proof of the correctness of his figures,
he proceeded to examine the dates upon contemporary legal documents,
which could be brought into direct or indirect relation to the time of
harvest. These dates, according to his interpretation of the calendar,
offered a means of controlling his results, since he was able to show
that a higher or lower estimate tended to throw out the time of harvest
from the month of Nisan, which was peculiarly the harvest month.

It must be admitted that the last part of the demonstration stands in
a different category to the first; it does not share the simplicity
of the astronomical problem. It formed, indeed, merely an additional
method of testing the interpretation of the astronomical evidence,
and the dates resulting from the latter were obtained in complete
independence of the farming-out contracts of the period. Taking, then,
the three alternative dates, there can be no doubt, if we accept the
figure of the Kings' List for the Second Dynasty as approximately
accurate, that the central of the three periods is the only one
possible for Ammi-zaduga's reign; for either of the other two would
imply too high or too low a date for the Third Dynasty of the Kings'
List. We may thus accept the date of 1977 B.C. as that of Ammi-zaduga's
accession, and we thereby obtain a fixed point for working out the
chronology of the First Dynasty of Babylon, and, consequently, of the
partly contemporaneous Dynasties of Larsa and of Nîsin, and of the
still earlier Dynasty of Ur. Incidentally it assists in fixing within
comparatively narrow limits the period of the Kassite conquest and of
the following dynasties of Babylon.[53] Starting from this figure as a
basis, and making use of the information already discussed, it would
follow that the Dynasty of Nîsin was founded in the year 2339 B.C.,
that of Larsa only four years later in 2335 B.C., and the First Dynasty
of Babylon after a further interval of a hundred and ten years in 2225

It will have been seen that the suggested system of chronology has
been settled in complete independence of the chronological notices
to earlier rulers which have come down to us in the inscriptions of
some of the later Assyrian and Babylonian kings. Hitherto these have
furnished the principal starting points, on which reliance has been
placed to date the earlier periods in the history of Babylon. In the
present case it will be pertinent to examine them afresh and ascertain
how far they harmonize with a scheme which has been evolved without
their help. If they are found to accord very well with the new system,
we may legitimately see in such an agreement additional grounds for
believing we are on the right track. Without pinning one's faith
too slavishly to any calculation by a native Babylonian scribe, the
possibility of harmonizing such references at least removes a number of
difficulties, which it has always been necessary either to ignore or to
explain away.

Perhaps the chronological notice which has given rise to most
discussion is the one in which Nabonidus refers to the period of
Hammurabi's reign. On one of his foundation-cylinders Nabonidus states
that Hammurabi rebuilt E-babbar, the temple of the Sun-god in Larsa,
seven hundred years before Burna-Buriash.[55] At a time when it was
not realized that the First and Second Dynasties of the Kings' List
were partly contemporaneous, the majority of writers were content to
ignore the apparent inconsistency between the figures of the Kings'
List and this statement of Nabonidus. Others attempted to get over the
difficulty by emending the figures in the List and by other ingenious
suggestions; for it was felt that to leave a discrepancy of this sort
without explanation pointed to a possibility of error in any scheme
necessitating such a course.[56] We will see, then, how far the
estimate of Nabonidus accords with the date assigned to Hammurabi under
our scheme. From the Tell el-Amarna letters we know that Burna-Buriash
was the contemporary of Amen-hetep IV., to whose accession most
historians of Egypt now agree to assign a date in the early part of
the fourteenth century B.C.[57] We may take 1480 B.C. as representing
approximately the date which, according to the majority of the schemes
of Egyptian chronology, may be assigned to Amen-hetep IV.'s accession.
And by adding seven hundred years to this date we obtain, according to
the testimony of Nabonidus, a date for Hammurabi of about 2080 B.C.
According to our scheme the last year of Hammurabi's reign fell in 2081
B.C., and, since the seven hundred years of Nabonidus is obviously
a round number, its general agreement with the scheme is remarkably

The chronological notice of Nabonidus thus serves to confirm, so far
as its evidence goes, the general accuracy of the date assigned to the
First Dynasty. In the case of the Second Dynasty we obtain an equally
striking confirmation, when we examine the only available reference
to the period of one of its kings which is found in the record of a
later ruler. The passage in question occurs upon a boundary-stone
preserved in the University Museum of Pennsylvania, referring to events
which took place in the fourth year of Enlil-nadin-apli.[59] In the
text engraved upon the stone it is stated that 696 years separated
Gulkishar (the sixth king of the Second Dynasty) from Nebuchadnezzar,
who is of course to be identified with Nebuchadnezzar I., the immediate
predecessor of Enlil-nadin-apli upon the throne of Babylon. Now we
know from the "Synchronistic History" that Nebuchadnezzar I. was the
contemporary of Ashur-rêsh-ishi, the father of Tiglath-pileser I., and
if we can establish independently the date of the latter's accession,
we obtain approximate dates for Nebuchadnezzar and consequently for

In his inscription on the rock at Bavian Sennacherib tells us that
418 years elapsed between the defeat of Tiglath-pileser I. by
Marduk-nadin-akhê and his own conquest of Babylon in 689 B.C.[60]
Tiglath-pileser was therefore reigning in 1107 B.C., and we know from
his Cylinder-inscription that this year was not among the first five
of his reign; on this evidence the beginning of his reign has been
assigned approximately to 1120 B.C. Nebuchadnezzar I., the contemporary
of Tiglath-pileser's father, may thus have come to the throne at about
1140 B.C.; and, by adding the 696 years to this date, we obtain an
approximate date of 1836 B.C. as falling within the reign of Gulkishar
of the Second Dynasty. This date supports the figures of the Kings'
List, according to which Gulkishar would have been reigning from about
1876 to 1822 B.C. But it should be noted that the period of 696 years
upon the boundary-stone, though it has an appearance of great accuracy,
was probably derived from a round number; for the stone refers to
events which took place in Enlil-nadin-apli's fourth year, and the
number 696 may have been based upon the estimate that seven hundred
years separated Enlil-nadin-apli's reign from that of Gulkishar. It is
thus probable that the reference should not be regarded as more than a
rough indication of the belief that a portion of Gulkishar's reign fell
within the second half of the nineteenth century. But, even on this
lower estimate of the figure's accuracy, its agreement with our scheme
is equally striking.

One other chronological reference remains to be examined, and that is
the record of Ashur-bani-pal, who, when describing his capture of Susa
in about 647 B.C., relates that he recovered the image of the goddess
Nanâ, which the Elamite Kudur-Nankhundi had carried off from Erech
sixteen hundred and thirty-five years before.[61] This figure would
assign to Kudur-Nankhundi's invasion an approximate date of 2282 B.C.
As we possess no other reference to, nor record of, an early Elamite
king of this name, there is no question of harmonizing this figure with
other chronological records bearing on his reign. All that we can do is
to ascertain whether, according to our chronological scheme, the date
2282 B.C. falls within a period during which an Elamite king would have
been likely to invade Southern Babylonia and raid the city of Erech.
Tested in this way, Ashur-bani-pal's figure harmonizes well enough
with the chronology, for Kudur-Nankhundi would have invaded Babylonia
fifty-seven years after a very similar Elamite invasion which brought
the Dynasty of Ur to an end, and gave Nîsin her opportunity of securing
the hegemony.[62] That Elam continued to be a menace to Babylonia
is sufficiently proved by Kudur-Mabuk's invasion, which resulted in
placing his son Warad-Sin upon the throne of Larsa in 2143 B.C. It will
be noted that Ashur-bani-pal's figure places Kudur-Nankhundi's raid on
Erech in the period between the two most notable Elamite invasions of
early Babylonia, of which we have independent evidence.

Another advantage of the suggested chronological scheme is that it
enables us to clear up some of the problems presented by the dynasties
of Berossus, at least so far as concerns the historical period in
his system of chronology. In a later historian of Babylon we should
naturally expect to find that period beginning with the first dynasty
of rulers in the capital; but hitherto the available evidence did not
seem to suggest a date that could be reconciled with his system. It may
be worth while to point out that the date assigned under the new scheme
for the rise of the First Dynasty of Babylon coincides approximately
with that deduced for the beginning of the historical period in
Berossus. Five of the historical dynasties of Berossus, following his
first dynasty of eighty-six kings who ruled for 34,090 years after
the Deluge,[63] are preserved only in the Armenian version of the
Chronicles of Eusebius[64] and are the following:--

    Dynasty II., 8 Median usurpers, ruling 224 years;[65]
    Dynasty III., 11 kings, the length of their rule wanting;[66]
    Dynasty IV., 49 Chaldean kings, ruling 458 years;
    Dynasty V., 9 Arab kings, ruling for 245 years;
    Dynasty VI., 45 kings, ruling for 526 years.

It is not quite clear to what stage in the national history Berossus
intended his sixth dynasty to extend;[67] and in any case, the fact
that the figure is wanting for the length of his third dynasty, renders
their total duration a matter of uncertainty. But, in spite of these
drawbacks, a general agreement has been reached as to a date for the
beginning of his historical period, based on considerations independent
of the figures in detail. A. von Gutschmid's suggestion that the
kings after the Deluge were grouped by Berossus in a cycle of ten
_sars, i.e._ 36,000 years,[68] furnished the key that has been used
for solving the problem. For, if the first dynasty be subtracted from
this total, the remaining number of years would give the total length
of the historical dynasties. Thus, if we take the length of the first
dynasty as 34,090 years, the duration of the historical dynasties is
seen to have been 1910 years. Now the statement attributed to Abydenus
by Eusebius, to the effect that the Chaldeans reckoned their kings from
Alorus to Alexander,[69] has led to the suggestion that the period of
1910 years was intended to include the reign of Alexander the Great
(331-323 B.C.). If therefore we add 1910 years to 322 B.C., we obtain
2232 B.C. as the beginning of the historical period with which the
second dynasty of Berossus opened. It may be added that the same result
has been arrived at by taking 34,080 years as the length of his first
dynasty,[70] and by extending the historical period of 1920 years down
to 312 B.C., the beginning of the Seleucid Era.

Incidentally it may be noted that this date has been harmonized with
the figure assigned in the margin of some manuscripts as representing
the length of tin third dynasty of Berossus. It has usually been held
that his sixth dynasty ended with the predecessor of Nabonassar upon
the throne of Babylon, and that the following or seventh dynasty
would have begun in 747 B.C. But it has been pointed out that, after
enumerating the dynasties II.-VI., Eusebius goes on to say that after
these rulers came a king of the Chaldeans whose name was Phulus[71];
and this phrase has been explained as indicating that the sixth
dynasty of Berossus ended at the same point as the Ninth Babylonian
Dynasty, in 732 B.C., that is to say, with the reign of Nabû-shum-ukîn,
the contemporary of Tiglath-pileser IV., whose original name of Pulu is
preserved in the Babylonian List of Kings. Thus the seventh dynasty of
Berossus would have begun with the reign of the usurper Ukîn-zêr, who
was also the contemporary of Tiglath-pileser.[72] On this supposition
the figure "forty-eight," which occurs in the margin of certain
manuscripts of the Armenian version of Eusebius,[73] may be retained
for the number of years assigned by Berossus to his third dynasty.[74]
A further confirmation of the date 2232 B.C. for the beginning of the
historical period of Berossus has been found in a statement derived
from Porphyrins, to the effect that, according to Callisthenes, the
Babylonian records of astronomical observations extended over a period
of 1903 years down to the time of Alexander of Macedon.[75] Assuming
that the reading 1903 is correct, the observations would have extended
back to 2233 B.C., a date differing by only one year from that obtained
for the beginning of Berossus' historical dynasties.

Thus there are ample grounds for regarding the date 2232 B.C.
as representing the beginning of the historical period in the
chronological system of Berossus;[76] and we have already noted that
in a late Babylonian historian, writing during the Hellenistic period,
we should expect the beginning of his history, in the stricter sense
of the term, to coincide with the first recorded dynasty of Babylon,
as distinct from rulers of other and earlier city-states. It will be
observed that this date is only seven years out with that obtained
astronomically by Dr. Kugler for the rise of the First Dynasty of
Babylon. Now the astronomical demonstration relates only to the
reign of Ammi-zaduga, who was the tenth king of the First Dynasty;
and to obtain the date 2225 B.C. for Sumu-abum's accession, reliance
is naturally placed on figures for the intermediate reigns which
are supplied by the contemporaneous date-lists. But the Babylonian
Kings' List gives figures which were current in the Neo-Babylonian
period; and, by employing it in place of contemporaneous records, we
obtain the date 2229 B.C. for Sumu-abum's accession, which presents
a discrepancy of only three years to that deduced from Berossus. In
view of the slight inconsistencies with the Kings' List which we find
in at least one of the late chronicles, it is clear that the native
historians, who compiled their records during the later periods, found
a number of small variations in the chronological material on which
they had to rely. While there was probably agreement on the general
lines of the later chronology, the traditional length of some reigns
and dynasties might vary in different documents by a few years. We may
conclude therefore that the evidence of Berossus, so far as it can
be reconstituted from the summaries preserved in other works, may be
harmonized with the date obtained independently for the First Dynasty
of Babylon.

The new information, which has been discussed in this chapter, has
enabled us to carry further than was previously possible the process
of reconstructing the chronology; and we have at last been able to
connect the earlier epochs in the country's history with those which
followed the rise of Babylon to power. On the one hand we have obtained
definite proof of the overlapping of further dynasties with that of
the West Semitic kings of Babylon. On the other hand, the consequent
reduction in date is more than compensated by new evidence pointing
to the probability of a period of independent rule in Babylonia on
the part of some of the Sea-Country kings. The general effect of
the new discoveries is thus of no revolutionary character. It has
resulted, rather, in local rearrangements, which to a considerable
extent are found to counterbalance one another in their relation to the
chronological scheme as a whole. Perhaps the most valuable result of
the regrouping is that we are furnished with the material for a more
detailed picture of the gradual rise of Babylon to power. We shall
see that the coming of the Western Semites effected other cities than
Babylon, and that the triumph of the invaders marked only the closing
stage of a long and varied struggle.

[Footnote 1: Cf. "Sumer and Akkad," p. 64.]

[Footnote 2: The new discoveries, in their general effect, do not
involve any drastic changes in the accepted chronological scheme, as
the local rearrangements largely counterbalance one another; see below,
p. 117 f.]

[Footnote 3: Cf. "Letters of Hammurabi," III., pp. lxviii, 236 f.]

[Footnote 4: See "Chronicles concerning Early Babylonian Kings," I., p.
68 f.; 11., p. 17 f.]

[Footnote 5: Cf. Thureau-Dangin, "Inscriptions de Sumener et d'Akkad,"
p. 300, n. 3; and "Sum. und Akkad. Königsinschriften," p. 210 f., note

[Footnote 6: Cf. "Letters of Hammurabi," III., pp. xxvi ff.]

[Footnote 7: Their votive inscriptions are collected by Thureau-Dangin,
"Königsinschriften," pp. 206 ff.]

[Footnote 8: Knowing that I was engaged upon this volume of my History
and that it would probably be printed off before his own work left
the press, Professor Clay very kindly sent me a transcript of his
Larsa Kings' List with full permission to make use of it. To enable
the reader to follow the argument with regard to the dynasty and its
chronology, the following transliteration and rendering may be given
of the text: "21 MU Na-ap-la-nu-um | 28 MU E-mi-su I 35 MU Sa-mn-um
| 9 MU Za-ba-aia | 27 MU Gu-un-gu-nu-um | 11 MU A-bi-sa-ri-e | 29 MU
Su-mu-ilum | 16 MU Nu-ur-(ilu)Adad | 7 (?) MU (ilu)Sin-idin-nam
| 2 MU (ilu)Sin-i-ri-ba-am | 6(?) MU(ilu)Sin-i-ki-sha-am | 1 MU
Sili(li)-(ilu)Adad | 12 MU Warad-(ilu)Sin | 61 MU (ilu)Ri-im-(ilu)Sin
| 12 (?) MU (ilu)Ha-am-mu-ra-bi | 12 MU Sa-am-su-i-lu-na sharru | 289
MU-III." In the translation that follows, a semicolon separates each
line of the text: "21 years Naplanum; 28 years Emisa; 35 years Samum; 9
years Zabâia; 27 years Gungunum; 11 years Abi-sarê; 29 years Sumu-ilum;
10 years Nûr-Adad; 7(?) years Sin-idinnam; 2 years Sin-iribam; 6(?)
years Sin-iḳîsham; 1 year Sili-Adad; 12 years Warad-Sin; 61 years
Rîm-Sin; 12(?) years Hammurabi; 12 years Samsu-iluna, the king; 289 the
years thereof." From the insertion of the word _sharru,_ "king," after
Samsu-iluna's name, we may infer that the list is a contemporaneous
document, drawn up in Samsu-iluna's twelfth year. Another point of
interest is that the scribe has written the determinative for divinity
before the names of Rîm-Sin and Hammurabi, but not before that of
Samsu-iluna. The numbers followed by a query are those suggested by
Professor Clay for the three broken passages; it will be noted that
they make up the total of the figures, which is given by the scribe as
two hundred and eighty-nine years.]

[Footnote 9: See above, p. 88.]

[Footnote 10: See further, p. 98 f.]

[Footnote 11: It should be noted that the name of the Babylonian city
now usually rendered as Isin should be more correctly read as Nîsin.
This is suggested by two forms of the name, which Prof. Clay tells me
occur on two tablets in the Yale Babylonian Collection, Nos. 5415 and
5417; in the date-formulæ upon these tablets the city's name is written
as _Ni-i-si-in_ (KI) and _Ni-i-si-in-na_ (KI). Eventually the initial
was dropped; cf. p. 254, n. 2.]

[Footnote 12: Cf. "Chronicles," I., p. 168, n. 1.]

[Footnote 13: Cf. Hilprecht, "Mathematical, Metrological and
Chronological Tablets" (in "Bab. Exped.," Ser. A., Vol. X., i.), p. 55,
n. 1.]

[Footnote 14: Cf. "Sumer and Akkad," pp. 63, 313 f.]

[Footnote 15: The identification of Rîm-Sin's capture of Nîsin with
that referred to in Sin-muballit's seventeenth year was first suggested
in "Letters of Hammurabi," III., p. 228, n. 39, and it was adopted for
purposes of chronology,'by Hilprecht, "Math., Met., and Chron. Tabl.,"
p. 50, note; Meyer, "Geschichte," I., ii., pp. 345, 556; Ungnad,
"Orient. Lit.-Zeit.," 1908, Col. 66, and "Z.D.M.G.," LVI., p. 714,
and others. Langdon has recently sought to identify Rîm-Sin's capture
with that referred to in the formula for Hammurabi's seventh year; see
"The Expositor," 1910, p. 131, and "Babyloniaca," 1914, p. 41, and cf.
Chiera, "Legal and Administrative Documents," p. 24 f. For Chiera's own
researches on the point, see below, p. 93 f.]

[Footnote 16: Cf. Edward Chiera, "Legal and Administrative Documents
from Nippur chiefly from the Dynasties of Isin and Larsa" (in
"University of Pennsylvania Museum Publications, Babylonian Section,"
Vol. VIII., No. 1), pp. 19 ff.]

[Footnote 17: _Op. cit.,_ p. 22.]

[Footnote 18: Cf. Chiera, _op. cit.,_ pl. ix., No. 15, 11. 27 ff.; pl.
xxiii., No. 35, 11. 20 ff.; and p. 21, No. 26.]

[Footnote 19: _Op. cit.,_ pl. vii., No. 12, 11. 29, 35 f.; pl. xxxv.,
No. 81, 11. 2, 23 ff.; and p. 20, No. 6.]

[Footnote 20: Professor Clay has written to inform me that on the
two tablets Y.B.C., Nos. 4229 and 4270, the usual formula for the
second year of the Nîsin era is followed by the words _shag mu ki
XVIII-kam,_ which may be rendered "within the eighteenth year," _i.e._
corresponding to the eighteenth year. On one tablet the addition to
the usual date takes the form _shag mu ki XVIII-kam in-ag (?),_ but
Prof. Clay is not quite certain of the reading of the sign _ag,_
which, he writes, "because the tablet was cased, is badly twisted." If
the reading is correct it is important, for the addition may then be
rendered "within (_i.e._ corresponding to) the eighteenth year that he
reigned," the word _in-ag_ being the verb usually employed in Sumerian
dynastic lists in sentences stating the number of years a king reigned.
Two other long date-formulæ for the same year (on tablets Y.B.C., Nos.
4307 and 4481) begin as follows: _mu ki II dim(?) mu ki XIX giš-ku-makh
Ana (dingir) En-lil (dingir) En-ki,_ etc. Here the reading of the
sign _dim_ is not absolutely certain, but, assuming its correctness,
the formula may be rendered: "The second year (corresponding to the
nineteenth year) in which with the exalted weapon of Anu, Enlil and Ea,
Rîm-Sin the king took the city of Nîsin," etc. It will be seen that
the readings, which are suggested by Prof. Clay for the two uncertain
signs in the formulæ, give excellent sense, and, if correct, they
definitely prove that the second figures in the equations were derived
from Rîm-Sin's regnal years. Hut, even if we regard the two signs as
quite uncertain, the general interpretation of the double-dates is not
affected; it would be difficult to explain them on any other hypothesis
than that adopted in the text.]

[Footnote 21: Some of his earlier date-formulæ have been recovered; see
below, p. 155.]

[Footnote 22: For many years past the latest date recovered of the
Nîsin era was one of the thirtieth year; see Scheil, "Recueil de
travaux," XXI. (1899), p. 125, and cf. "Letters of Hammurabi," III.,
p. 229. Prof. Clay informs me that among the tablets of the Yale
Babylonian Collection is one dated in the thirty-first year of the fall
of Nîsin.]

[Footnote 23: The fact that they had always dated by formulæ, and not
by numbered years of the king's reign, is quite sufficient to explain
the uncertainty as to whether the accession-year should be included in
their reckoning. Thus the apparent discrepancy in the double-dates,
so far from weakening the explanation put forward in the text, really
affords it additional support and confirmation.]

[Footnote 24: See below, p. 190.]

[Footnote 25: See "Chronicles concerning early Babylonian Kings," II..
p. 18.]

[Footnote 26: Cf. Winckler, "Orient. Lit.-Zeit.," 1907, Col. 585 f.,
and Hrozný, "Wiener Zeitschrift," Bd. 21 (1908), p. 382.]

[Footnote 27: Cf. "Sumer and Akkad," p. 317, n. 2. The broken line
in the chronicle reads: (.........) _zu-na-a_ (m)Rîm-(ilu)Sin ana
(.........) illik(ik), "(.........) ... Rîm-Sin to (.........)
marched." The rendering suggested by Winckler and Hrozný was:
"[.........]zuna, the son of Rîm-Sin, to (.........) marched;" but
their translation ignored the fact that, in these late chronicles,
"son" is always expressed by the sign TUR (_mâru,_) never by A

[Footnote 28: _Cf._ Ungnad, "Zeits. für Assyr.," XXIII., pp. 73 ff.,
and Thureau-Dangin, "Journal Asiatique," xiv., 1909, pp. 335 ff.]

[Footnote 29: The difference in price may perhaps be traced to the
political revolution, which may have enabled one of the parties to
exact better terms from the other.]

[Footnote 30: See above, p. 90 f.]

[Footnote 31: Cf. "Chronicles concerning Early Babylonian Kings," I.,
p. 184 f.]

[Footnote 32: See above, p. 93 f.]

[Footnote 33: See above, p. 94, n. 2.]

[Footnote 34: If Ibḳushu was appointed priest in Damiḳ-ilishu's
last year, the interval would be exactly forty-four years; but as
Damiḳ-ilishu reigned for twenty-three years, Ibḳushu may well have been
appointed several years earlier.]

[Footnote 35: See Poebel, "Babylonian Legal and Business Documents,"
pl. 3, No. 6, 11. 25, 30 ff., and pl. 11, No. 23, 11. 33, 36 ff.; and
cf. Chiera, "Legal and Administrative Documents from Nippur," p. 21,
No. 24.]

[Footnote 36: Cf. Chiera, _op. cit.,_ p. 22. Chiera's own deduction
from the proper names (pp. 29 ff.) must of course be modified in view
of the Larsa Kings' List; but his data hold good.]

[Footnote 37: On the suggested hypothesis with regard to the Larsa
List, Rîm-Sin's capture of Nîsin would have taken place two years after
Hammurabi's attack on that city. But, if we reject the hypothesis, the
Nîsin era would have begun in Sin-muballit's seventh year.]

[Footnote 38: See pp. 142 ff. The survival of the Nîsin era, during
the first years of Larsa's vassalage, seems to offer less difficulties
than those involved in an acceptance of Rîm-Sin's sixty-one years of
independent rule, followed at first by twenty-one or twenty-two years
of political obscurity, and then by a period of active operations in
the field. And, apart from the improbabilities involved in the length
of Rîm-Sin's life, the further difficulty of the interruption of the
Nîsin era by Sin-muballit's and Hammurabi's conquests of the city would
still remain (see above, p. 92 f.).]

[Footnote 39: That was the view I suggested in "Chronicles concerning
Early Babylonian Kings," I., pp. 96 ff., and it was adopted by Meyer,
"Geschichte des Altertums," Bd. I., Hft, ii., p. 340 f.]

[Footnote 40: Cf. "Sumer and Akkad," p. 63, n. 2.]

[Footnote 41: See Poebel, "Business Documents," pl. 40, No. 68, and
Chiera, "Legal and Administrative Documents," pi. xl., No. 89.]

[Footnote 42: Cf. "Chronicles," II., pp. 19 ff. That the Sea-Country
was Babylon's most powerful rival at this time may be inferred from
the inclusion of Iluma-ilum's name in the Chronicle. He is evidently
selected for mention as the leader of the most notable invasion of the

[Footnote 43: See above, p. 90, note.]

[Footnote 44: See Schorr, "Urkunden des altbab. Ziv. und
Prozessrechts," p. 595.]

[Footnote 45: We know that Iluma-ilum was the contemporary of Abi-eshu'
as well as of Samsu-iluna. As he is credited by the Kings' List with a
reign of sixty years, it is possible, if we accept that figure, that
he had established his dynasty in the Sea-Country some years before
attacking Larsa. His accession has been placed as early as Hammurabi's
twenty-sixth year (cf. Thureau-Dangin, "Zeits. für Assyr.," XXI., pp.
176 ff.), though the same writer, by making a reduction of twenty years
in his dates for the Third and Second Dynasties, afterwards assumed
that he secured his throne in Samsu-iluna's fourth year (_op. cit.,_
p. 185 f.). As we have no evidence that Iluma-ilum was Hammurabi's
contemporary, it is safer to place his accession in Samsu-iluna's
reign; and, in that case, the date-formula for the twelfth year appears
to offer the most probable occasion for his revolt.]

[Footnote 46: The figures are probably not absolutely accurate; see
below, p. 209, n. 1.]

[Footnote 47: see his "Sternkunde und Sterndienst in Babel," 1907-1913.]

[Footnote 48: This, the principal text, is numbered K. 160, and its
text was published by George Smith in Rawlinson's "Cun. Inscr. West.
Asia," III., pl. 63. Translations and studies have been given of it by
Sayce, "Trans. Soc. Bibl. Arch.," III. (1874), pp. 316 ff.; by Sayce
and Bosanquet, "Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society,"
XL. (1880). p. 566 ff., and by Schiaparelli, "Venusbeobachtungen und
Berechnungen der Babylonier" (1906). For other references, see Bezold,
"Catalogue," I., p. 42.]

[Footnote 49: The second of the two inscriptions is numbered
K. 2821 + K. 3032, and its text has been published by Craig,
"Astrological-Astronomical Texts." pl. 46; cf. also Virolleaud,
"L'Astrologie Chaldéenne," Ishtar XII., XV. and XIV.]

[Footnote 50: Cf. "Sternkunde und Sterndienst in Mabel," Buch II.,
Teil ii., Hft. I, pp. 257 ff. In addition to broken passages occurring
in the two texts, some scribal errors appear to have crept in in the
course of transmission.]

[Footnote 51: From contemporary date-formulæ we know that Ammi-zaduga
reigned for more than seventeen years. The Babylonian Kings' List
ascribes him twenty-one.]

[Footnote 52: According to this criterion, Anuni-zaduga's sixth year
could have fallen in 2036-5 B.C., or in 1972-1 B.C., or in 1853-2 B.C.,
thus giving for his first year the three possible dates, 2041-40 B.C.,
or 1977-6 b.c., or 1858-7 b.c.]

[Footnote 53: For this purpose it may be used in conjunction with the
later Assyrian synchronisms, and with the date of Burna-Buriash as
obtained from Egyptian sources (see below, p. 111).]

[Footnote 54: It may be worth while noting-that, if we place the whole
of Rîm-Sin's reign of sixty-one years before Hammurabi's conquest of
Larsa, we raise the first two dates given in the text by twenty-two
years. On that assumption the Dynasty of Nîsin would have been
founded in 2361 B.C., and that of Larsa in 2357 B.C. Consequently the
Dynasties of Nîsin and of Babylon would have overlapped for a period of
eighty-nine years, instead of one hundred and eleven. But the balance
of probability is in favour of the later dates; see above, p. 103, n.

[Footnote 55: See Bezold, "Proc. Soc. Bibl. Arch.," XI., pp. 94,
99, and pl. iv., 85-4-30, 2, Col. II., 11. 20 ff., and Rawlinson,
"Cun. Inscr. West. Asia," I., 69, Col. II., 1. 4; cf. also Langdon,
"Neubabylonischen Königsinschriften," p. 238 f.]

[Footnote 56: See "Chronicles," I., p. 87 f.]

[Footnote 57: An approximate date of 1430-1400 _b.c._ is assigned to
him by Budge, "History of Egypt," Vol. IV., pp. 113 ff.; while his
accession is placed in 1383 b.c. by Pétrie, "History of Egypt," Vol.
II., pp. 205 ff.; in 1380 B.C. by Meyer, "Ægyptische Chronologie," p.
68, and "Geschichte," I., ii., p. 335 f., and Hall, "Ancient History
of the Near East," p. 228; and in 1375 B.C. by Breasted, "History of
Egypt," p. 509, and "Ancient Records," Vol. I., p. 43. Maspero implies
a date of about 1380 B.C.; cf. "Histoire ancienne," II., p. 337, note.]

[Footnote 58: According to Dr. Budge's scheme of chronology, an
approximate date of 1400 B.C. for Burna-Buriash would yield for
Hammurabi a date of c. 2100 B.C. (equivalent to his twenty-fourth

[Footnote 59: See Hilprecht, "Old Babylonian Inscriptions," Pt. I., pi.
30 f., No. 83; cf. also Jensen, "Zeits. für Assyr.," VIII., pp. 220 ff.]

[Footnote 60: Cf. King, "Tukulti-Ninib I.," p. 118 f.]

[Footnote 61: See Rawlinson, "Cun. Inscr. West. Asia," Vol. III., pl.
38, No. 1, Obv. 1. 10.]

[Footnote 62: See below, p. 133.]

[Footnote 63: That Berossus depended on native lists of rulers in
compiling his first dynasty of semi-mythical kings has been strikingly
confirmed by documents discovered recently in the Niffer Collection of
tablets preserved in the Pennsylvania Museum. These have been published
by Poebel, "Univ. of Pennsyl. Mus. Publications," Vol. IV., No. I, and
Vol. V., and the new information they furnish is of great interest for
the earlier history. It may be noted that the figure 34,090 is that
given for the duration of the dynasty in Syncellus (ed. Dindorf, p.
147); in the equivalent in sars, etc., which is added (_i.e._ 9 _sars,_
2 _ners,_ and 8 _soss_ = 34,080 years), it is probable that the units
are intentionally ignored, though some would regard 34,080 as the
correct figure (see below, p. 115). In Eusebius ("Chron. lib. I.," ed.
Schoene, Col. 25) the figure is 33,091 (probably a mistake for 34,091);
this figure at any rate confirms the reading of ninety (against eighty)
in Syncellus, cf. Meyer, "Beiträge zur alten Geschichte (Klio)," III.,
p. 133; and see further, p. 116 f., n. 5.]

[Footnote 64: Eusebius, "Chron. lib. I.," ed. Schoene, Col. 25; see
also Schwartz in Pauly-Wissowa, "Real-Encyclopädie," III. (i.). Col.

[Footnote 65: In margin of MSS. 34 years.]

[Footnote 66: In margin of MSS. 48 years.]

[Footnote 67: See further, p. 115 f.]

[Footnote 68: Those before the Deluge are said to have reigned for a
hundred and twenty _sars, i.e._ 432,000 years.]

[Footnote 69: Eusebius, "Chron. lib. I.," ed. Schoene, Col. 53:
"Hoc pacto Khaldæi suæ regionis reges ab Aloro usque ad Alexandrum

[Footnote 70: See above, p. 114, n. 1.]

[Footnote 71: "Chron. lib. I.," ed. Schoene, Col. 25: "postquos, inquit
(_sc._ Poly-histor), rex Chaldæorum extitit, cui nomen Phulus est."]

[Footnote 72: That is to say, at the point marked by the group Χίνξηρος
καὶ Πῶros in the Ptolemaic Canon. Ukîn-zêr is an abbreviation of

[Footnote 73: See above, p. 114, n. 4.]

[Footnote 74: Cf. Meyer, "Beiträge zur alten Geschichte (Klio)," III.,
pp. 131 ff.]

[Footnote 75: The statement occurs in the commentary of Simplicius
upon Aristotle's "De Caelo," and the Greek text reads 31,000; cf. ed.
Heiberg, p. 506. But in a Latin translation by Moerbeka the figure is
given as 1903, and this probably represents the original reading; cf.
Lehmann-Haupt, "Zwei Hauptprobleme," pp. 109 f., 210, and Meyer, _op.
cit.,_ p. 131.]

[Footnote 76: The Pennsylvania documents published by Poebel (see
above, p. 114, n. 1) suggest that variant traditions were current with
regard to the number of mythical and semi-mythical rulers of Babylonia
and the duration of their rule. For instance, in two of the lists
drawn up under the Nîsin kings, and separated from one another by an
interval of only sixty-seven years, the total duration of the preceding
dynasties appears to be given in one as 32,243, and in the other as
28,876 years. But this fact does not, of course, prevent the use of the
figures which have come to us from Berossus, in order to ascertain the
beginning of the historical period in the system he employed.]



The rise of Babylon to a position of pre-eminence among the warring
dynasties of Sumer and Akkad may be regarded as sealing the final
triumph of the Semite over the Sumerian. His survival in the long
racial contest was due to the reinforcements he received from men of
his own stock, whereas the Sumerian population, when once settled in
the country, was never afterwards renewed. The great Semitic wave,
under which the Sumerian sank and finally disappeared, reached the
Euphrates from the coast-lands of the Eastern Mediterranean. But
the Amurru, or Western Semites, like their predecessors in Northern
Babylonia, had come originally from Arabia. For it is now generally
recognized that the Arabian peninsula was the first home and cradle of
the Semitic peoples. Arabia, like the plains of Central Asia, was, in
fact, one of the main breeding-grounds of the human race, and during
the historic period we may trace four great migrations of Semitic nomad
tribes, which successively broke away from the northern margin of the
Arabian pasture-lands and spread over the neighbouring countries like
a flood. The first great racial movement of the kind is that of which
the effects were chiefly apparent in Akkad, or Northern Babylonia,
where the Semites first obtained a footing when overrunning the valley
of the Tigris and Euphrates. The second is distinguished from the
first, as the Canaanite or Amorite, since it gave to Canaan its Semitic
inhabitants; but how long an interval separated the one movement from
the other it is impossible to say. The process may well have been
a continuous one, with merely a change in the direction of advance;
but it is convenient to distinguish them by their effects as separate
movements, the sensitization of Canaan following that of Babylonia, but
at the same time contributing to its complete success. Of the later
migrations we are not for the moment concerned, and in any case only
one of them falls within the period of this history. That was the third
great movement, which began in the fourteenth century and has been
termed the Aramean from the kingdom it established in Syria with its
capital at Damascus. The fourth, and last, took place in the seventh
century of our own era, when the armies of Islam, after conquering
Western Asia and Northern Africa, penetrated even to South-Western
Europe. It was by far the most extensive of the four in the area it
covered, and, in spite of being the last of the series, it illustrates
the character and methods of the earlier movements in their initial
stages, when the desert nomad, issuing in force from his own borders,
came within the area of settled civilization.

It is true that great tracts of Central Arabia are to-day quite
uninhabitable, but there is reason to believe that its present
condition of aridity was not so marked in earlier periods. We have
definite proof of this in the interior of Southern Arabia, where
there is still a belt of comparatively fertile country between the
flat coastal regions and the steep mountain range, that forms the
southern boundary of the central plateau.[1] On the coast itself
there is practically no rainfall, and even on the higher slopes away
from the coast it is very scanty. Here the herds of goats frequently
go without water for many weeks, and they have learnt to pull up and
chew the fleshy roots of a species of cactus to quench their thirst.
But further still inland there is a broad belt of country, which is
marvellously fertile and in a high state of cultivation. The rainfall
there is regular during a portion of the year, the country is timbered,
and the main mountain range, though possessing no towns of any size,
is thickly dotted with strong fighting towers, which dominate the
well-farmed and flourishing villages. To the north of the range, beyond
the cultivation, is a belt roamed over by the desert-nomads with their
typical black tents of woven goat-hair, and then comes the central
desert, a region of rolling sand. But here and there the ruins of
palaces and temples may still be seen rising from the sand or built on
some slight eminence above its level.

At the time of the Sabæan kingdom, as early as the sixth century
B.C., this region of Southern Arabia must have been far more fertile
than it is at the present day. The shifting sand, under the driving
pressure of the simoom, doubtless played its part in overwhelming
tracts of cultivated country; but that alone cannot account for the
changed conditions. The researches of Stein, Pumpelly, Huntington and
others have shown the results of desiccation in Central Asia,[2]and
it is certain that a similar diminution of the rainfall has taken
place in the interior of Southern Arabia.[3] To such climatic changes,
which seem, according to the latest theories, to occur in recurrent
cycles,[4] we may probably trace the great racial migrations from
Central Arabia, which have given their inhabitants to so many countries
of Western Asia and North Africa.

It is possible to form a very clear picture of the Semite who issued
from this region, for the life of the pastoral nomad, all the world
over, is the same.[5] And even at the present day, in the hollows of
the Arabian desert, there is enough deposit of moisture to allow of a
sufficient growth of grass for pasture-lands, capable of supporting
nomadic tribes, who move with their flocks of sheep and goats from
one more favoured area to another. The life of such a nomad is
forced into one mould by the conditions imposed by the desert; for
the grass-land cannot support him and he must live on the milk and
young of his flocks. He is purely a shepherd, carrying with him the
simplest and lightest tents, tools, and weapons for his needs. The type
of society is that of the patriarchal family, for each nomad tribe
consists of a group of relatives; and, under the direction of their
chief, not only the men of the clan, but the women and children, all
take an active part in tending the flocks and in practising the simple
arts of skin-curing and the weaving of hair and wool. So long as the
pasture-lands can support his flocks, the nomad is content to leave
the settled agriculturist beyond the desert edge in peace. Some of the
semi-nomad tribes upon the margin of the cultivation may engage in
barter with their more civilised neighbours, and even at times demand
subsidies for leaving their crops in peace. But the bulk of the tribes
would normally remain within their own area, while conditions existed
which were capable of supplying the needs of their simple life. It is
when the pasture lands dry up that the nomad must leave his own area
or perish, and it is then that he descends upon the cultivation and
proceeds to adapt himself to new conditions, should he conquer the
settled races whose higher culture he himself absorbs.

While still held within the grip of the desert, there was never any
prospect of his development or advance in civilization. The only great
changes that have taken place in the life of the Arabian nomad have
been due to the introduction of the horse and the camel. But these
have merely increased his mobility, while leaving the man himself
unchanged. The Arabs of the seventh century b.c., depicted in the
reliefs from Nineveh as fleeing on their camels before the advance of
the Assyrians, can have differed in no essential feature from their
earliest predecessors, who made their way to the Euphrates valley
on foot or with only the ass as a beast of burden. For, having once
succeeded in domesticating his flocks and in living by their means
upon the rolling steppes of pasture-land, the nomad's needs are fully
satisfied, and his ways of life survive through succeeding generations.
He cannot accumulate possessions, as he must be able to carry all his
goods continually with him, and his knowledge of the uneventful past
is derived entirely from oral tradition. The earliest inscriptions
recovered in Arabia are probably not anterior to the sixth century
b.c., and they were naturally not the work of nomads, but of Semitic
tribes who had forsaken their wanderings for the settled life of
village and township in the more hospitable regions of the south.

[Illustration: FIG. 32.


From a sculpture of the reign of Ashur-bani-pal in the Nineveh Gallery
of the British Museum.]

The Amurru, or Western Semites, to whose incursion into Babylonia the
rise of Babylon itself was directly due, had long abandoned a nomadic
existence, and in addition to the higher standards of the agriculturist
had acquired a civilization which had been largely influenced by that
of Babylonia. Thanks to the active policy of excavation, carried out
during the last twenty-five years in Palestine, we are enabled to
reconstruct the conditions of life which prevailed in that country
from a very early period. It is, in fact, now possible to trace the
successive stages of Canaanite civilization back to neolithic times.
Rude flint implements of the palaeolithic or Older Stone Age have also
been found on the surface of the plains of Palestine, where they had
lain since the close of the glacial epoch. But at that time the climate
and character of the Mediterranean lands were very different to their
present condition; and a great break of unknown length then occurs in
the cultural sequence, which separates that primæval period from the
neolithic or Later Stone Age. It is to this second era that we may
trace the real beginnings of Canaanite civilization. For, from that
time onwards, there is no break in the continuity of culture, and each
age was the direct heir of that which preceded it.

[Illustration: FIG. 33.


From a sculpture of the reign of Ashur-bani-pal in the Nineveh Gallery
of the British Museum.]

The neolithic inhabitants of Canaan, whose implements of worked and
polished stone mark a great advance upon the rough flints of their
remote predecessors, belonged to the short, dark-skinned race which
spread itself over the shores of the Mediterranean. Dwelling in rude
huts, they employed for household use rough vessels of kneaded clay
which they fashioned by hand and baked in the fire. They lived chiefly
by the cattle and flocks they had domesticated, and, to judge by
their clay spindle-whorls, they practised a simple form of weaving,
and began to clothe themselves with cloth in place of skins. Over
these primitive inhabitants a fresh tide of migration swept, probably
in the early part of the third millennium B.C. The new-comers were
Semites from Arabia, of the same stock as those nomadic hordes who had
already overrun Babylonia and had established themselves in a great
part of that country. After they had settled in Canaan and Syria they
were known to the Babylonians as the Amurru or Amorites. They were
taller and more vigorous than the neolithic Canaanites, and they seem
to have brought with them a knowledge of the use of metal, acquired
probably by traffic with southern Babylonia.[6] The flint arrows and
knives of their enemies would have had little chance against weapons
of copper and bronze. But, whether helped by their superior armament
or not, they became the dominant race in Canaan. By intermarrying with
their predecessors they produced the Canaanites of history, a people
of Semitic speech, but with a varying admixture in their blood of the
dark-skinned Mediterranean race of lower type.

Such in origin was the Canaanite branch of the Western Semites, and
it may be worth while to glance for a moment at the main features of
their culture as revealed by excavation in Palestine.[7] One thing
stands out clearly: they revolutionized conditions of life in Canaan.
The rude huts of the first settlers were superseded by houses of
brick and stone, and, in place of villages, cities rose surrounded
by massive walls. The city-wall of Gezer was more than thirteen feet
thick and was defended by strong towers. That of Megiddo was twenty-six
feet in thickness, and its foot was further protected by a slope, or
_glacis,_ of beaten earth. To secure their water-supply in time of
siege, the arrangements were equally thorough. At Gezer, for example,
a huge tunnel was found, hewn in the solid rock, which gave access to
an abundant spring of water over ninety feet below the surface of the
ground. Not only had the earlier nomad adopted the agricultural life,
but he soon evolved a system of defence for his settlements, suggested
by the hilly character of his new country and its ample supply of
stone.[8] Not less remarkable is the light thrown by the excavations
on details of Canaanite worship. The centre of each town was the high
place, where huge monoliths were erected, some of them, when unearthed,
still worn and polished by the kisses of their worshippers. At Gezer
ten such monoliths were discovered in a row, and it is worth noting
that they were erected over a sacred cave of the neolithic inhabitants,
proving that the ancient sanctuary was taken over by the Semitic
invaders. The religious centres inherited by the Ba'alîm, or local
"Lords" of Canaanite worship, had evidently been sanctified by long
tradition. In the soil beneath the high places both at Gezer and at
Megiddo numbers of jars were found containing the bodies of children,
and we may probably see in this fact evidence of infant-sacrifice,
the survival of which into later periods is attested by Hebrew
tradition. In the cultural remains of these Semitic invaders a distinct
development is discernible. During the earlier period there is scarcely
a trace of foreign influence, but later on we find importations from
both Babylonia and Egypt.

It is but natural that southern and central Canaan should have long
remained inaccessible to outside influence, and that the effects of
Babylonian civilization should have been confined at first to eastern
Syria and to the frontier districts scattered along the middle course
of the Euphrates. Recent digging by natives so far to the north as the
neighbourhood of Carchemish, for example, have revealed some remarkable
traces of connexion with Babylonia at a very early period.[9] In graves
at Hammam, a village on the Euphrates near the mouth of the Sajûr,
cylinder-seals were found which exhibit unmistakable analogies to
very early Babylonian work;[10] and the use of this form of seal at a
period anterior to the First Dynasty of Babylon is in itself proof that
Babylonian influence had reached the frontier of Syria by the great
trade-route up the course of the Euphrates, along which the armies of
Sargon of Akkad had already marched in their raid to the Mediterranean
coast.[11] It is not improbable, too, that Carchemish herself sent
her own products at this time to Babylon, for one class of her local
pottery at any rate appears to have been valued by other races and
to have formed an article of export. At the time of the later kings
of the First Dynasty a special kind of large clay vessel, in use in
Northern Babylonia, was known as "a Carchemisian," and was evidently
manufactured at Carchemish and exported.[12] The trade was no doubt
encouraged by the close relations established under Hammurabi and his
successors with the West, but its existence points to the possibility
of still earlier commercial intercourse, such as would explain the
occurrence of archaic Babylonian cylinder-seals in early graves in the

But, apart from such trade relations, there is nothing to suggest that
the early culture of Carchemish and its adjacent districts had been
effected to any great extent by that of Babylon, nor is there any
indication that the inhabitants of the early city were Semites. Indeed,
the archæological evidence is entirely in favour of the opposite view.
The bronze age at Carchemish and its neighbourhood is distinguished
from the preceding period by the use of metal, by different burial
customs, and by new types of pottery, and must be regarded as marking
the advent of a foreign people. But throughout the bronze age itself at
Carchemish, from its beginning in the third millennium to its close in
the eleventh century B.C., there is a uniform development.[13] There is
no sudden outcrop of new types such as had marked its own beginning,
and, since in its later periods it was essentially Hittite, we may
assume that it was neither inaugurated nor interrupted by the Semites.
Its earlier representatives, before the great Hittite migration from
Anatolia, may well have been a branch of that proto-Mitannian stock,
itself possibly of Anatolian origin, evidence of whose presence we
shall note at Ashur before the rise of Babylon's First Dynasty.[14]

[Illustration: X. The Citadel Mound of Carchemish from the north-west.
After Hogarth, Carchemish, Pl. 1A]

Carchemish lies out of the direct road from Babylon to Northern Syria,
and it is remarkable that any trace of early Babylonian influence
should have been found so far to the north as the mouth of the Sajûr.
It is farther down stream, after the Euphrates has turned eastward
towards its junction with the Khâbûr, that we should expect to find
evidence of a more striking character; and it is precisely there, along
the river route from Syria to Akkad, that we have recovered definite
proof, at the time of the First Dynasty of Babylon, of the existence of
Amorite or West-Semitic settlements with a culture that was Babylonian
in its essential features. The evidence is drawn mainly from one
district, the kingdom of Khana, which lay not far from the mouth of
the Khâbûr. One of the chief towns, and probably the capital of the
kingdom, was Tirka, the site of which probably lay near Tell 'Ashar or
Tell 'Ishar, a place situated between Dêr ez-Zôr and Sâlihîya and about
four hours from the latter. The identification is certain, since an
Assyrian inscription of the ninth century was found there, recording
the rebuilding of the local temple which is stated in the text to
have been "in Tirka."[15] From about this region three tablets have
also been recovered, all dating from the period of the First Dynasty
of Babylon and throwing considerable light on the character of West
Semitic culture in a district within the reach of Babylonian influence.

One of these documents records a deed of gift by which Isharlim, a king
of Khana, conveys to one of his subjects a house in a village within
the district of Tirka.[16] On a second document is inscribed a similar
deed of gift by which another king of the same district, Ammi-baïl,
the son of Shunu'-rammu, bestows two plots of land on a certain
Pagirum, described as "his servant," evidently in return for faithful
service;[17] and, as one of the plots was in Tirka, it is probable that
the deed was drawn up in that city. The third document is perhaps the
most interesting of the three, since it contains a marriage-contract
and is dated in the reign of a king who bears the name of Hammurabih.
This last ruler has by some been confidently regarded as identical with
Hammurabi of the First Dynasty of Babylon, and it has been assumed that
it was drawn up at a time when Khana had been conquered and annexed by
that monarch, of whose advance into that region we have independent
evidence.[18] But since the tablet appears to be the latest of the
three, it is clear that Khana had been subject to Babylonian influence
long before Hammurabi's conquest. And, even if we regard Hammurabih
as no more than a local king of Khana, the document has furnished us
with a West-Semitic variant of Hammurabi's name, or one that is closely
parallel to it.

The remarkable fact about all these texts is that they are drawn up
in the style of legal documents of the period of the First Dynasty
of Babylon. But, while the terminology is much the same, it has been
adapted to local conditions. The early Babylonian method of dating by
events[19] has been taken over, but the formulas are not those in use
at this period in Babylonia, but are peculiar to the kingdom of Khana.
Thus the first deed of gift is dated in the year when Isharlim, the
king, built the great gate of the palace in the city of Kash-dakh;
the second was drawn up in the year in which Ammi-baïl, the king,
ascended the throne in his father's house; while the marriage-contract
is dated in the year that Hammurabih, the king, opened the canal
Khabur-ibal-bugash from the city of Zakku-Isharlim to the city of
Zakku-Igitlim.[20] The names of the months, too, are not those of
Babylon,[21] and we find evidence that local laws and customs were
in force. Each of the deeds of gift, for example, provides that any
infringement of the rights bestowed by the king is to be punished by a
money-fine of ten manehs of silver, and in addition the delinquent is
to undergo the quaint but doubtless very painful process of having his
head tarred with hot tar. From the list of witnesses we gather that
the community was already organized much on the lines of a provincial
district of Babylonia. For, though we find a cultivator or farmer
occupying an important position, we meet also a superintendent of the
merchants, another of the bakers, a chief judge, a chief seer, and
members of the priesthood. It is interesting, too, to note that the
kings of Khana were still great landowners, to judge from the fact that
the lands conveyed in the deeds of gift were surrounded on almost every
side by palace-property. At the same time the chief gods of Khana are
associated with the king in the oath-formulæ, since the royal property
was also regarded as the property of the Ba'al, or divine "Lord" of the

The two chief Baalim or "Lords" of Khana were the Sun-god and the
West-Semitic deity, Dagon. The latter is constantly referred to in
the documents under the Babylonian form of his name, Dagan. He stood
beside Shamash on the royal seal and in the local oath-formulæ, and
is associated in the latter with Iturmer, who may well have been the
old local god of Tirka, deposed after the invasion of the Semites. His
temple in Tirka, which we know survived until the ninth century,[22]
was probably the chief shrine of the city, and the great part he
played in the national life is attested by the constant occurrence of
his title as a component part of personal names.[23] Later evidence
proves that Dagon was peculiarly the god of Ashdod, and the princely
writer of two of the letters from Tell el-Amarna, who bore the name
Dagan-takala, must have ruled some district of northern or central
Canaan. The Khana documents prove that already at the time of the First
Dynasty his cult was established on the Euphrates, and, in view of
this fact, the occurrence of two early kings of the Babylonian Dynasty
of Nîsin with the names of Idin-Dagan and Ishme-Dagan is certainly
significant. We know, too, that the original home of Ishbi-Ura, the
founder of the Dynasty of Nîsin, was Mari, a city and district on
the middle Euphrates.[24] We may conclude, then, that the Dynasties
of Nîsin and Babylon, and probably that of Larsa, were products of
the same great racial movement, and that, more than a century before
Sumu-abum established his throne at Babylon, Western Semites had
descended the Euphrates and had penetrated into the southern districts
of the country.

The new-comers probably owed their speedy success in Babylonia in great
part to the fact that many of the immigrant tribes had already acquired
the elements of Babylonian culture. During their previous residence
within the sphere of settled civilization they had adopted a way of
life and a social organization which differed but little from that of
the country into which they came. That they should have immigrated at
all in a south-easterly direction, in preference to remaining within
their own borders, was doubtless due to racial pressure to which they
themselves had been subjected. Canaan was still in a ferment of unrest
in consequence of the arrival of fresh nomad tribes within her settled
districts, and, while many were doubtless diverted southwards towards
the Egyptian border, others pressed northwards into Syria, exerting
an outward pressure in their advance. That the West-Semitic invasion
of Babylonia differed so essentially from that of Egypt by the Hyksos
is to be explained by this fringe of civilized settlements and petty
kingdoms, which formed a check upon the nomad hordes behind them and
dominated such of them as succeeded in breaking through. In Egypt the
damage wrought by the Semitic barbarians was remembered for generations
after their expulsion,[25] whereas in Babylonia the invaders succeeded
in establishing a dynasty which gave its permanent form to Babylonian

Nîsin, the city in which, as we have seen, we first obtain an
indication of the presence of West-Semitic rulers, probably lay in
Southern Babylonia, and we may picture the earlier immigrants as
descending the course of the Euphrates until they found an opportunity
of establishing themselves in the Babylonian plain. The Elamite
conquest, which put an end to the dynasty of Ur, and stripped Babylonia
of her eastern provinces,[26] afforded Nîsin the opportunity of
claiming the hegemony. Ishbi-Ura, the founder of the new dynasty of
kings, established his own family upon the throne for nearly a century,
and we may probably regard his success in bringing his city to the
front as due to the Semitic elements in Southern Babylonia, recently
reinforced by fresh accretions from the north-west. The centralization
of authority under the later kings of Ur had led to abuses in the
administration, and to the revolt of the Elamite provinces; and when an
invading army appeared before the capital and carried the king, whom
his courtiers had deified, to captivity in Elam,[27] Sumerian prestige
received a blow from which it never recovered.

Shortly after Ishbi-Ura had established himself in Nîsin, we find
another noble, who bore the Semitic name Naplanum, following his
example, and founding an independent line of rulers in the neighbouring
city of Larsa. But, in spite of the Semitic names borne by these two
leaders and by the kings who succeeded them in their respective cities,
it is clear that no great change took place in the character of the
population. The commercial and administrative documents of the Nîsin
period closely resemble those of the Dynasty of Ur, and evidently
reflect an unbroken sequence in the course of the national life.[28]
The great bulk of the southern Babylonians were still Sumerian, and we
may regard the new dynasties both at Nîsin and Larsa as representing
a comparatively small racial aristocracy, which by organizing the
national forces in resistance to the Elamites, had succeeded in
imposing their own rule upon the native population. At Nîsin the
unbroken succession of five rulers is evidence of a settled state of
affairs, and though Gimil-ilishu reigned for no more than ten years,
his son and grandson, as well as his father, Ishbi-Ura, all had long
reigns. At Larsa, too, we find Emisu and Samum, who succeeded Naplanum,
the founder of the dynasty, each retaining the throne for more than
a generation. It is probable that the Sumerians accepted their new
rulers without question, and that the latter attempted to introduce no
startling innovations into their system of administrative control.

Of the two contemporaneous dynasties in Southern Babylonia, there is no
doubt that Nîsin was the more important. Not only have we the direct
evidence of the Nippur Kings' List that it was to Nîsin the hegemony
passed from Ur,[29] but what votive texts and building-records have
been recovered prove that its rulers extended their sway over other of
the great cities of Sumer and Akkad. A fragmentary text of Idin-Dagan,
the son and successor of Gimil-ilishu, found at Abû Habba, proves that
Sippar acknowledged his authority,[30] and inscribed bricks of his own
son Ishme-Dagan have been found in the south at Ur.[31]

In all their inscriptions, too, the kings of Nîsin lay claim to the
rule of Sumer and Akkad, while Ishme-Dagan and his son Libit-Ishtar[32]
adopt further descriptive titles implying beneficent activities on
their part in the cities of Nippur, Ur, Erech and Eridu. The recently
published inscriptions of Libit-Ishtar, which were recovered during the
American excavations at Nippur, prove that in his reign the central
city and shrine of Babylonia were under Nîsin's active control. But he
was the last king in the direct line from Ishbi-Ura, and it is probable
that the break in the succession may be connected with a temporary
depression in the fortunes of the city; for we shortly have evidence
of an increase in the power of Larsa, in consequence of which the city
of Ur acknowledged her suserainty in place of that of Nîsin. At the
time of Libit-Ishtar's death Zabâia was reigning at Larsa, but after
three years the latter was succeeded by Gungunum, who not only bore the
titles of king of Larsa and of Ur, but laid claim to the rule of Sumer
and Akkad.

At any rate, one member of the old dynastic family of Nîsin
acknowledged these new claims. Enannatum, Libit-Ishtar's brother,
was at this time chief priest of the Moon-temple in Ur, and on cones
discovered at Mukayyar he commemorates the rebuilding of the Sun-temple
at Larsa for the preservation of his own life and that of Gungunum.[33]
It is possible that when Ur-Ninib secured the throne of Nîsin, the
surviving members of Ishbi-Ura's family fled from the city to its
rival, and that Enannatum, one of the most powerful of their number,
and possibly the direct heir to his brother's throne, was installed
by Gungunum in the high-priestly office at Ur. It would be tempting
to connect Libit-Ishtar's fall with a fresh incursion of West-Semitic
tribes, who, recking little of any racial connexion with themselves
on the part of the reigning family at Nîsin may have attacked the
city with some success until defeated and driven off by Ur-Ninib. We
now know that Ur-Ninib conducted a successful campaign against the Su
tribes on the west of Babylonia,[34] and in support of the suggestion
it would be possible to cite the much discussed date-formula upon a
tablet in the British Museum, which was drawn up in "the year in which
the Amurru drove out Libit-Ishtar."[35] But since the Libit-Ishtar
of the formula has no title, it is also possible to identify him
with a provincial governor, probably of Sippar, who bore the name of
Libit-Ishtar, and seems to be referred to on other documents inscribed
in the reign of Apil-Sin, the grandfather of Hammurabi.[36] The date
assigned to the invasion on the second alternative would correspond to
another period of unrest at Nîsin, which followed the long reign of
Enlil-bani, so that on either alternative we may conjecture that the
city of Nîsin was affected for a time by a new incursion of Amorites.

Whether the fall of Libit-Ishtar may be traced to such a cause or not,
we now know that it was during the reigns of Ur-Ninib and Gungunum,
at Nîsin and at Larsa respectively, that a West-Semitic Dynasty was
established at Babylon. Northern Babylonia now fell under the political
control of the invaders, and it is significant of the new direction
of their advance that the only conflict connected in later tradition
with the name of Sumu-abum, the founder of Babylon's independent line
of rulers, was not with either of the dominant cities in Sumer, but
with Assyria in the far north. On a late chronicle it is recorded that
Ilu-shûma, King of Assyria, marched against Su-abu, or Sumu-abum,[37]
and though the result of the encounter is not related, we may assume
that his motive in making the attack was to check encroachments of the
invaders towards the north and drive them southward into Babylonia.
Ilu-shûma's own name is purely Semitic, and since the Amorite god
Dagan enters into the composition of a name borne by more than one
early Assyrian ruler, we may assume that Assyria received her Semitic
population at about this period as another offshoot of the Amorite

[Illustration: FIG. 34.


The primitive character of the sculpture is apparent, and the inlaying
of the eyes with shell is characteristic of early work in Babylonia.
The figure is possibly that of a female.

(After _Mitt. der Deutsch. Orient-Gesellschaft,_ No. 54, p. 9.)]

This assumption does not rest entirely on evidence supplied by the
royal names, but finds indirect confirmation in recent archæological
research. The excavations on the site of Ashur, the earliest Assyrian
capital, tend to show that the first settlements in that country, of
which we have recovered traces, were made by a people closely akin to
the Sumerians of Southern Babylonia.[38] It was in the course of work
upon a temple dedicated to Ishtar, the national goddess of Assyria,
that remains were found of very early periods of occupation. Below the
foundation of the later building a still older temple was found, also
dedicated to that goddess. Incidentally this building has an interest
of its own, for it proved to be the earliest temple yet discovered
in Assyria, dating, as it probably does, from the close of the third
millennium B.C. Still deeper excavation, below the level of this
primitive Assyrian shrine, revealed a stratum in which were several
examples of rude sculpture, apparently representing, not Semites, but
the early non-Semitic inhabitants of Southern Babylonia.

The extremely archaic character of the work is well illustrated by a
head, possibly that of a female figure,[39] in which the inlaying of
the eyes recalls a familiar practice in early work from Babylonia. But
the most striking evidence was furnished by heads of male figures,
which, if offered for sale without a knowledge of their _provenance,_
would undoubtedly have been accepted as coming from Tello or Bismâya,
the sites of the early Sumerian cities of Lagash and Adab. The racial
type presented by the heads appears to be purely Sumerian, and, though
one figure at least is bearded, the Sumerian practice of shaving the
head was evidently in vogue.[40]

[Illustration: FIG. 35. FIG. 36.


A marked feature of both heads is the shaven scalp, exhibiting a
characteristic Sumerian practice. Fig. 35 is from Ashur, Fig. 36 from
Tello. (After _M.D.O.G.,_ No. 54, p. 12, and De Sarzec, _Découvertes en
Chaldée,_ pl. 6, No. 1.)]

In other limestone figures, of which the bodies have been preserved,
the treatment of the garments corresponds precisely to that in archaic
Sumerian sculpture. The figures wear the same rough woollen garments,
and the conventionalized treatment of the separate flocks of wool
is identical in both sets of examples.[41] The evidence is not yet
fully published, but, so far as it is available, it suggests that the
Sumerians, whose presence has hitherto been traced only upon sites in
Southern Babylonia, were also at a very early period in occupation of

The violent termination of their settlement at Ashur is attested by
an abundance of charred remains, which separate the Sumerian stratum
from that immediately above it. Had we no evidence to the contrary, it
might have been assumed that their successors were of the same stock
as those early Semitic invaders who dominated Northern Babylonia early
in the third millennium B.C., and pushed eastward across the Tigris
into Gutium. But it is recognized that the founders of the historic
city of Ashur, records of whose achievements have been recovered in
the early building-inscriptions, bear names which are quite un-Semitic
in character. There is a good deal to be said for regarding Ushpia,
or Aushpia, the traditional founder of the great temple of the god
Ashir,[42] and Kikia, the earliest builder of the city's wall,[43] as
representing the first arrival of the Mitannian race, which in the
fourteenth century played, under new leadership, so dominant a part in
the politics of Western Asia.[44] Not only have their names a Mitannian
sound, but we have undoubted evidence of the worship of the Mitannian
and Hittite god Teshub as early as the period of the First Dynasty of
Babylon; and the fact that the Mitannian name, which incorporates that
of the deity, is borne by a witness on a Babylonian contract, suggests
that he came of a civilized and settled race.[45]

It is true that the name Mitanni is not met with at this period, but
the geographical term Subartu is,[46] and in later tradition was
regarded as having ranked with Akkad, Elam and Amurru as one of the
four quarters of the ancient civilized world.

[Illustration: FIG. 37. FIG. 38. FIG. 39.


The seated statuette (Fig. 37) is from Ashur, and the treatment of the
garment is precisely similar to that in early Tello work (Figs. 38 and
39). (After _M.D.O.G.,_ No. 54, p. 18, and _Déc._ pl. 2 (_bis,_) No.
1, and pl. 21 (_ter,_) No. 3.)] In the astrological and omen texts,
which incorporate very early traditions, the references to Shubartu
are interpreted as applying to Assyria,[47] but the term evidently had
an earlier connotation before the rise of Assyria to power. It may
well have included the North-Mesopotamian region known afterwards as
the land of Mitanni, whose rulers are found in temporary occupation
of Nineveh, as their predecessors may have established themselves at
Ashur. But, however that may be, it is clear that the historic city of
Ashur was not in its origin either a Sumerian or a Semitic foundation.
Its later racial character must date from the period of the Western
Semites, whose amalgamation with an alien and probably Anatolian
strain, which they found there, may account in part for the warlike and
brutal character of the Assyrians of history, so striking a contrast to
that of the milder and more commercial Semites who settled in the lower
Euphrates valley. As in Babylonia, the language and to a great extent
the features of the Semite eventually predominated; and the other
element in the composition of the race survived only in an increased
ferocity of temperament.

This was the people of whose attack on Sumu-abum, the founder of
Babylon's greatness, later ages preserved the tradition. No conflict
with Assyria is commemorated in Sumu-abum's date-formulæ, and it is
possible that it took place before he secured his throne in Babylon,
and built the great fortification-wall of the city with which he
inaugurated his reign. When once he was settled there and had placed
the town in a state of defence, he began to extend his influence
over neighbouring cities in Akkad. Kibalbarru, which he fortified
with a city-wall in his third year, was probably in the immediate
neighbourhood of Babylon, and we know that Dilbat, the fortification
of which was completed in his ninth year, lay only about seventeen
miles south of the capital.[48] The five years which separated these
two efforts at expansion were uneventful from the point of view of
political achievement, for the only noteworthy episodes recorded
were the building of a temple to the goddess Nin-Sinna and another
to Nannar, the Moon-god, in which he afterwards set up a great cedar
door. It may be that the conflict with Assyria should be set in this
interval; but we should then have expected some sort of reference to
the successful repulse of the enemy, and it is preferable to place it
before his first year of rule.

His success in the encounter with Assyria may well have afforded this
West-Semitic chieftain the opportunity of fortifying one of the great
towns of Akkad, and of establishing himself there as its protector
against the danger of aggression from the north; and there is no doubt
that Babylon had long had some sort of local governor, the traditions
of whose office he inherited. Since we have references to E-sagila in
the time of the Dynasties of Akkad and of Ur,[49] the former rulers
of Babylon were probably no more than the chief priests of Marduk's
sanctuary. That Sumu-abum should have changed the office to that of
king, and that his successor should have succeeded in establishing a
dynasty that endured for nearly three centuries, is evidence of the
unabated energy of the new settlers. Even the later members of the
dynasty retained their original West-Semitic character,[50] and this
fact, coupled with the speedy control of other cities than Babylon,
suggests that the Western Semites had now arrived in far greater
numbers than during their earlier migration farther down the Euphrates.

It is possible to trace the gradual growth of Babylon's influence in
Akkad under her new rulers, and the stages by which she threw out her
control over an increasing area of territory. At Dilbat, for example,
she had no difficulties from the very first, and during almost the
whole period of the First Dynasty the government of the city was
scarcely distinguishable from that of Babylon. The god Urash and
the goddess Lagamal were the patron deities of Dilbat, around whose
cult the life of the city centred; and there was a local secular
administration. But the latter was completely subordinate to the
capital, and no effort was made, nor apparently was one required, to
retain a semblance of local independence. The treatment of Sippar, on
the other hand, was rather different. Here Sumu-abum appears to have
recognized the local ruler as his vassal; and, as a further concession
to its semi-independent state, he allowed the town the privilege of
continuing to use its own date-formulæ, derived from local events.[51]
Oaths, it is true, had to be taken in the king of Babylon's name and
in that of the great Sun-god of Sippar; but the city could arrange and
use its own system of time-reckoning without reference to the capital's
affairs. Perhaps the most interesting example of Babylon's early system
of provincial government is that presented by the city of Kish, for we
can there trace the gradual extension of her control from a limited
suzerainty to complete annexation.

Kish lay far nearer to Babylon than Dilbat,[52] but it had a more
illustrious past to inspire it than the other city. It had played a
great part in the earlier history of Sumer and Akkad, and at the time
of the West-Semitic occupation of Babylon it was still governed by
independent kings. We have recovered an inscription of one such ruler,
Ashduni-erim, who may well have been Sumu-abum's contemporary, for the
record reflects a state of affairs such as would have been caused by
a hostile invasion and gradual conquest of the country.[53] Although
Ashduni-erim lays claim only to the kingdom of Kish, he speaks in
grandiloquent terms of the invasion, relating how the four quarters of
the world revolted against him. For eight years he fought against the
enemy, so that in the eighth year his army was reduced to three hundred
men. But the city-god Zamama and Ishtar, his consort, then came to
his succour and brought him supplies of food. With this encouragement
he marched out for a whole day, and then for forty days he placed the
enemy's land under contribution; and he closes his inscription rather
abruptly by recording that he rebuilt the wall of Kish. The clay cone
was probably a foundation-record, which he buried within the structure
of the city-wall.

Ashduni-erim does not refer to his enemy by name, but it is to be
noted that the hostile territory lay within a day's march of Kish, a
description that surely points to Babylon. The eight years of conflict
fit in admirably with the suggestion, for we know that it was in
Sumu-abum's tenth year, exactly eight years after his occupation of
Kibalbarru, that his suzerainty was acknowledged in Kish. Sumu-abum
named that year of his reign after his dedication of a crown to the
god Anu of Kish,[54] and we may conjecture that Ashduni-erim, weakened
by the long conflict which he describes, came to terms with his
stronger neighbour and accepted the position of a vassal. Having given
guarantees for his fidelity, he would have received Sumu-abum in Kish,
where the latter as the suzerain of the city performed the dedication
he commemorated in his date-formula for that year. This would fully
explain the guarded terms in which Ashduni-erim refers to the enemy
in his inscription, the rebuilding of the city-wall having, on this
supposition, been undertaken with Babylon's consent.[55]

Délég. en Perse, Mém. IV, pl. 3]

That Kish was accorded the position of a vassal state is certain, for,
among contract-tablets recovered from the city, several were drawn up
in the reign of Mananâ, who was Sumu-abum's vassal. In these documents
the oath is taken in Mananâ's name, but they are dated by the formula
for Sumu-abum's thirteenth year, commemorating his capture of Kazallu.
The importance of the latter event may be held to explain the use of
the suzerain's own formula, for other documents in Mananâ's reign are
dated by local events, proving that at Kish, as at Sippar, a vassal
city of Babylon was allowed the privilege of retaining its own system
of time-reckoning. If we are right in regarding Ashduni-erim as
Sumu-abum's contemporary, it is clear that he must have been succeeded
by Mananâ within three years of his capitulation to Babylon. During the
next few years the throne of Kish was occupied by at least three rulers
in quick succession, Sumu-ditana, Iawium, and Khalium,[56] for we know
that by the thirteenth year of Sumu-la-ilum, who succeeded Sumu-abum
on the throne of Babylon, the city of Kish had revolted and had been
finally annexed.

The conquest of Kazallu, winch Sumu-abum carried out in the last
year but one of his reign, was the most important of Babylon's early
victories, for it marked an extension of her influence beyond the
limits of Akkad. The city appears to have lain to the east of the
Tigris, and the two most powerful empires in the past history of
Babylonia had each come into active conflict with it during the early
years of their existence. Its conquest by Akkad was regarded in
Babylonian tradition as the most notable achievement of Sargon's reign;
and at a later period Dungi of Ur, after capturing the Elamite border
city of Dêr, had extended his empire to the north or east by including
Kazallu within its borders.[57] Sumu-abum's conquest was probably
little more than a successful raid, for in the reign of Sumu-la-ilum
Kazallu in its turn attacked Babylon, and, by fully occupying her
energies, delayed her southward expansion for some years.

In the earlier part of his reign Sumu-la-ilum appears to have
devoted himself to consolidating the position his predecessor had
secured and to improving the internal resources of his kingdom. The
Shamash-khegallum Canal, which he cut immediately on his accession,
lay probably in the neighbourhood of Sippar; and later on he further
improved the country's system of irrigation by a second canal to
which he gave his own name.[58] The policy he thus inaugurated was
energetically maintained by his successors, and much of Babylon's
wealth and prosperity under her early kings may be traced to the
care they lavished on increasing the area of land under cultivation.
Sumu-la-ilum also rebuilt the great fortification-wall of his capital,
but during his first twelve years he records only one military
expedition.[59] It was in his thirteenth year that the revolt and
reconquest of Kish put an end to this period of peaceful development.

The importance attached by Babylon to the suppression of this revolt
is attested by the fact that for five years it formed an era for the
dating of documents, which was only discontinued when the city of
Kazallu, under the leadership of Iakhzir-ilum, administered a fresh
shock to the growing kingdom by an invasion of Babylonian territory.
Iakhzir-ilum appears to have secured the co-operation of Kish by
inciting it once more to rebellion, for in the following year Babylon
destroyed the wall of Anu in that city; and, after re-establishing her
authority there, she devoted her next campaign to carrying the war
into the enemy's country. That the subsequent conquest of Kazallu and
the defeat of its army failed to afford a fresh subject for a nascent
era in the chronology is to be explained by the incompleteness of the
victory; for Iakhzir-ilum escaped the fate which overtook his city,
and it was only after five years of continued resistance that he was
finally defeated and slain.[60]

After disposing of this source of danger from beyond the Tigris,
Sumu-la-ilum continued his predecessor's policy of annexation within
the limits of Akkad. In his twenty-seventh year he commemorates the
destruction and rebuilding of the wall of Cuthah, suggesting that
the city had up to that time maintained its independence and now only
yielded it to force of arms. It is significant that in the same year he
records that he treated the wall of the god Zakar in a similar fashion,
for Dûr-Zakar was one of the defences of Nippur,[61] and lay either
within the city-area or in its immediate neighbourhood. That year thus
appears to mark Babylon's first bid for the rule of Sumer as well
as of Akkad, for the possession of the central city was regarded as
carrying with it the right of suzerainty over the whole country. It is
noteworthy, too, that this success appears to correspond to a period of
great unrest at Nîsin in Southern Babylonia.

During the preceding period of forty years the southern cities had
continued to rule within their home territory without interference
from Babylon. In spite of Sumu-abum's increasing influence in Northern
Babylonia, Ur-Ninib of Nîsin had claimed the control of Akkad in virtue
of his possession of Nippur, though his authority cannot have been
recognized much farther to the north. Like the earlier king of Nîsin,
Ishme-Dagan, he styled himself in addition Lord of Erech and patron of
Nippur, Ur and Eridu, and so did his son Bûr-Sin II., who succeeded
his father after the latter's long reign of twenty-eight years. Of
the group of southern cities Larsa alone continued to boast a line of
independent rulers, the throne having passed from Gungunum successively
to Abi-sarê[62] and Sumu-ilum; and in the latter's reign it would seem
that Larsa for a time even ousted Nîsin from the hegemony in Sinner.
For we have recovered at Tello the votive figure of a dog, which a
certain priest of Lagash named Abba-dugga dedicated to a goddess on his
behalf,[63] and in the inscription he refers to Sumu-ilum as King of
Ur, proving that the city had passed from the control of Nîsin to that
of Larsa. The goddess, to whom the dedication was made, was Nin-Nîsin,
"the Lady of Nîsin," a fact suggestive of the further possibility
that Nîsin itself may have acknowledged Sumu-ilum for a time. It may
be noted that in the list of Nîsin kings one name is missing after
those of Itêr-pîsha and Ura-imitti, who followed Bûr-Sin on the throne
in quick succession.[64] According to later tradition Ura-imitti had
named his gardener, Enlil-bani, to succeed him,[65] and in the list
the missing ruler is recorded to have reigned in Nîsin for six months
before Enlil-bani's accession. It is perhaps just possible that we
should restore his name as that of Sumu-ilum of Larsa,[66] who may have
taken advantage of the internal troubles of Nîsin, not only to annex
Ur, but to place himself for a few months upon the rival throne, until
driven out by Enlil-bani. However that may be, it is certain that Larsa
profited by the unrest at Nîsin, and we may perhaps also connect with
it Babylon's successful incursion in the south.[67]

There is no doubt that Sumu-la-ilum was the real founder of Babylon's
greatness as a military power. We have the testimony of his later
descendant Samsu-iluna to the strategic importance of the fortresses
he built to protect his country's extended frontier;[68] and, though
Dûr-Zakar of Nippur is the only one the position of which can be
approximately identified, we may assume that the majority of these lay
along the east and the south sides of Akkad, where the greatest danger
of invasion was to be anticipated. It does not seem that Nippur itself
passed at this time under more than a temporary control by Babylon, and
we may assume that, after his successful raid, Sumu-la-ilum was content
to remain within the limits of Akkad, which he strengthened with his
line of forts. In his later years he occupied the city of Barzi, and
conducted some further military operations, details of which we have
not recovered; but those were the last efforts on Babylon's part for
more than a generation.

The pause in expansion gave Babylon the opportunity of husbanding
her resources, after the first effort of conquest had been rendered
permanent in its effect by Sumu-la-ilum. His two immediate
successors, Zabum and Apil-Sin, occupied themselves with the internal
administration of their kingdom and confined their military activities
to keeping the frontier intact. Zabum indeed records a successful
attack on Kazallu, no doubt necessitated by renewed aggression on
that city's part; but his other most notable achievements were the
fortification of Kâr-Shamash, and the construction of a canal or
reservoir.[69] Equally uneventful was the reign of Apil-Sin, for though
Dûr-muti, the wall of which he rebuilt, may have been acquired as the
result of conquest, he too was mainly occupied with the consolidation
and improvement of the territory already won. He strengthened the walls
of Barzi and Babylon, cut two canals,[70] and rebuilt some of the great
temples.[71] As a result of her peaceful development during this period
the country was rendered capable of a still greater struggle, which was
to free Sumer and Akkad from a foreign domination, and, by over-coming
the invader, was to place Babylon for a time at the head of a more
powerful and united empire than had yet been seen on the banks of the

The country's new foe was her old rival Elam, who more than once before
had by successful invasion affected the course of Babylonian affairs.
But on this occasion she did more than raid, harry, and return: she
annexed the city of Larsa, and by using it as a centre of control,
attempted to extend her influence over the whole of Sumer and Akkad.
It was at the close of Apil-Sin's reign at Babylon that Kudur-Mabuk,
the ruler of Western Elam, known at this period as the land of Emutbal,
invaded Southern Babylonia and, after deposing Sili-Adad[72] of Larsa,
installed his own son Warad-Sin upon the throne. It is a testimony
to the greatness of this achievement, that Larsa had for some time
enjoyed over Nîsin the position of leading city in Sumer. Nûr-Adad, the
successor of Sumu-ilum, had retained control of the neighbouring city
of Ur, and, though Enlil-bani of Nîsin had continued to lay claim to be
King of Sumer and Akkad, this proud title was wrested from Zambia or
his successor by Sin-idinnam, Nur-Adad's son.[73] Sin-idinnam, indeed,
on bricks from Muḳayyar in the British Museum makes a reference to the
military achievements by which he had won the position for his city.
In the text his object is to record the rebuilding of the Moon-god's
temple in Ur, but he relates that he carried out this work after he had
made the foundation of the throne of Larsa secure and had smitten the
whole of his enemies with the sword.[74] It is probable that his three
successors on the throne, who reigned for less than ten years between
them, failed to maintain his level of achievement, and that Sin-magir
recovered the hegemony for Nîsin.[75] But Ur, no doubt, remained under
Larsa's administration, and it was no mean nor inferior city that
Kudur-Mabuk seized and occupied.

The Elamite had seen his opportunity in the continual conflicts which
were taking place between the two rival cities of Sumer. In their
contest for the hegemony Larsa had proved herself successful for a
time, but she was still the weaker city and doubtless more exposed to
attack from across the Tigris. Hence her selection by Kudur-Mabuk as a
basis for his attempt on the country as a whole. He himself retained
his position in Elam as the _Adda_ of Emutbal; but he installed
his two sons, Warad-Sin and Rîm-Sin, successively upon the throne
of Larsa, and encouraged them to attack Nîsin and to lay claim to
the rule of Sumer and Akkad. But the success which attended their
efforts soon brought Babylon upon the scene, and we have the curious
spectacle of a three-cornered contest, in which Nîsin is at war with
Elam, while Babylon is at war in turn with both. That Sin-muballit,
the son of Apil-Sin, did not combine with Nîsin to expel the invader
from Babylonian soil, may have played at first into the hands of the
Elamites. But it is not to be forgotten that the Western Semites of
Babylon were still a conquering aristocracy, and their sympathies
were far from being involved in the fate of any part of Sumer. Both
Elam and Babylon must have foreseen that the capture of Nîsin would
prove a decisive advantage to the victor, and each was content to see
her weakened in the hope of ultimate success. When Rîm-Sin actually
proved the victor in the long struggle, and Larsa under his regis
inherited the traditions as well as the material resources of the
Nîsin Dynasty, the three-cornered contest was reduced to a duel
between Babylon and a more powerful Larsa. Then for a generation there
ensued a fierce struggle between the two invading races, Elam and the
Western Semites, for the possession of the country; and the fact that
Hammurabi, Sin-muballit's son, should have emerged victorious, was a
justification in full of his father's policy of avoiding any alliance
with the south. The Western Semites proved themselves in the end strong
enough to overcome the conqueror of Nîsin, and thereby they were left
in undisputed possession of the whole of Babylonia.

It is possible, with the help of the date-formulæ and votive
inscriptions of the period, to follow in outline the main features
of this remarkable struggle. At first Kudur-Mabuk's footing in Sumer
was confined to the city of Larsa, though even then he laid claim
to the title _Adda_ of Amurru, a reference to be explained perhaps
by the suggested Amorite origin of the Larsa and Nîsin dynasties,
and reflecting a claim to the suzerainty of the land from which his
northern foes at any rate boasted their origin.[76] Warad-Sin, on
ascending the throne, assumed merely the title King of Larsa, but
we soon find him becoming the patron of Ur, and building a great
fortification-wall in that city.[77] He then extended his authority to
the south and east, Eridu, Lagash, and Girsu all falling before his
arms or submitting to his suzerainty.[78] During this period Babylon
remained aloof in the north, and Sin-muballit is occupied with cutting
canals and fortifying cities, some of which he perhaps occupied for the
first time.[79] It was only in his fourteenth year, after Warad-Sin had
been succeeded at Larsa by his brother Rîm-Sin, that we have evidence
of Babylon taking an active part in opposing Elamite pretensions.

[Illustration: BRONZE CONE AND VOTIVE FIGURE. _Brit. Mus., Nos._ 90951
_and_ 91016.]

No._ 91085.]

In that year Sin-muballit records that he slew the army of Ur with the
sword, and, since we know that Ur was at this time a vassal-city of
Larsa, it is clear that the army referred to was one of those under
Rîm-Sin's command. Three years later he transferred his attention from
Larsa to Nîsin, then under the control of Damiḳ-ilishu, the son and
successor of Sin-magir. On that occasion Sin-muballit commemorates his
conquest of Nîsin, but it must have been little more than a victory in
the field, for Damiḳ-ilishu lost neither his city nor his independence.
In the last year of his reign we find Sin-muballit fighting on the
other front, and claiming to have slain the army of Larsa with the
sword. It is clear that in these last seven years of his reign Babylon
proved herself capable of cheeking any encroachments to the north
on the part of Larsa and the Elamites, and, by a continuance of the
policy of fortifying her vassal-cities,[80] she paved the way for a
more vigorous offensive on the part of Hammurabi, Sin-muballit's son
and successor. Meanwhile the unfortunate city of Nîsin was between two
fires, though for a few years longer Damiḳ-ilishu succeeded in beating
off both his opponents.

The military successes of Hammurabi fall within two clearly defined
periods, the first during the five years which followed his sixth year
of rule at Babylon, and a second period, of ten years' duration,
beginning with the thirteenth of his reign. On his accession he appears
to have inaugurated the reforms in the internal administration of
the country, which culminated towards the close of his life in the
promulgation of his famous Code of Laws; for he commemorated his
second year as that in which he established righteousness in the
land. The following years were uneventful, the most important royal
acts being the installation of the chief-priest in Kashbaran,[81] the
building of a wall for the Gagûm, or great Cloister of Sippar, and
of a temple to Nannar in Babylon. But with his seventh year we find
his first reference to a military campaign in a claim to the capture
of Erech and Nîsin. This temporary success against Damik-ilishu of
Nîsin was doubtless a menace to the plans of Rîm-Sin at Larsa, and it
would appear that Kudur-Mabuk came to the assistance of his son by
threatening Babylon's eastern border. At any rate Hammurabi records
a conflict with the land of Emutbal in his eighth year, and, though
the attack appears to have been successfully repulsed with a gain
of territory to Babylon,[82] the diversion was successful. Rîm-Sin
took advantage of the respite thus secured to renew his attack with
increased vigour upon Nîsin, and in the following year, the seventeenth
of his own reign, the famous city fell, and Larsa under her Elamite
ruler secured the hegemony in the whole of Central and Southern

Rîm-Sin's victory must have been a severe blow to Babylon, and it would
seem that she made no attempt at first to recover her position in the
south, since Hammurabi occupied himself with a raid on Malgûm[83] in
the west and with the capture of the cities of Rabikum and Shalibi.
But these were the last successes during his first military period,
and for nineteen years afterwards Babylon achieved nothing of a
similar nature to commemorate in her date-formulæ. For the most part
the years are named after the dedication of statues and the building
and enrichment of temples. One canal was cut,[84] and the process of
fortification went on, Sippar especially being put in a thorough state
of defence.[85] But the negative evidence supplied by the formulæ for
this period suggests that it was one in which Babylon completely failed
in any attempt she may have made to hinder the growth of Larsa's power
in the south.

In addition to his capital, Rîm-Sin had inherited from his brother
the control of the southern group of cities, Ur, Erech, Girsu and
Lagash, all of which lay to the east of Larsa and nearer to the coast;
and it was probably before his conquest of Nîsin that he took Erech
from Damiḳ-ilishu, who had been attacked there by Hammurabi two years
before. For in more than one of his inscriptions Rîm-Sin refers to
the time when Anu, Enlil and Enki, the great gods, had given the fair
city of Erech into his hands.[86] We also know that he took Kisurra,
rebuilt the wall of Zabilum, and extended his authority over Kesh,
whose goddess Ninmakh, he relates, gave him the kingship over the whole
country.[87] The most notable result of his conquest of Nîsin was the
possession of Nippur, which now passed to him and regularized his
earlier claim to the rule of Sumer and Akkad. Thereafter he describes
himself as the exalted Prince of Nippur, or as the shepherd of the
whole land of Nippur; and we possess an interesting confirmation of
his recognition there in a clay cone inscribed with a dedication
for the prolongation of his life by a private citizen, a certain

That Rîm-Sin's rule in Sumer was attended by great prosperity
throughout the country as a whole, is attested by the numerous
commercial documents which have been recovered both at Nippur and
Larsa and are dated in the era of his capture of Nîsin. There is also
evidence that he devoted himself to improving the system of irrigation
and of transport by water. He canalized a section in the lower course
of the Euphrates, and dug the Tigris to the sea, no doubt removing
from its main channel an accumulation of silt, which not only hindered
traffic but increased the danger of flood and the growth of the
swamp-area. He also cut the Mashtabba Canal, and others at Nippur and
on the Khabilu river.[89] It would seem that, in spite of his Elamite
extraction and the intimate relations he continued to maintain with his
father Kudur-Mabuk, he completely identified himself with the country
of his adoption; for in the course of his long life he married twice,
and both his wives, to judge from their fathers' names, were of Semitic

It was not until nearly a generation had passed, after Rîm-Sin's
capture of Nîsin, that Hammurabi made any headway against the Elamite
domination, which for so long had arrested any increase in the power of
Babylon.[91] But his success, when it came, was complete and enduring.
In his thirtieth year he records that he defeated the army of Elam,
and in the next campaign he followed up this victory by invading
the land of Emutbal, inflicting a final defeat on the Elamites, and
capturing and annexing Larsa. Rîm-Sin himself appears to have survived
for many years, and to have given further trouble to Babylon in the
reign of Hammurabi's son, Samsu-iluna.--And the evidence seems to show
that for a few years at least he was accorded the position of vassal
ruler at Larsa.[92] On this supposition Hammurabi, after his conquest
of Sumer, would have treated the old capital in the same way that
Sumu-abum treated Kish.[93] But it would seem that after a time Larsa
must have been deprived of many of its privileges, including that of
continuing its own era of time-reckoning; and Hammurabi's letters to
Sin-idinnam, his local representative, give no hint of any divided
rule. We may perhaps assume that Rîm-Sin's subsequent revolt was due to
resentment at this treatment, and that in Samsu-iluna's reign he seized
a favourable opportunity to make one more bid for independent rule in

The defeat of Rîm-Sin, and the annexation of Sumer to Babylon, freed
Hammurabi for the task of extending his empire on its other three
sides. During these later years he twice made successful raids in the
Elamite country of Tupliash or Ashnunnak, and on the west he destroyed
the walls of Mari and Malgûm, defeated the armies of Turukkum, Kagmum
and Subartu, and in his thirty-ninth year he records that he destroyed
all his enemies that dwelt beside Subartu. It is probable that he
includes Assyria under the geographical term Subartu, for both Ashur
and Nineveh were subject to his rule; and one of his letters proves
that his occupation of Assyria was of a permanent character, and
that his authority was maintained by garrisons of Babylonian troops.
Hammurabi tells us too, in the Prologue to his Code of Laws, that he
subjugated "the settlements on the Euphrates," implying the conquest of
such local West-Semitic kingdoms as that of Khana.[94] On the west we
may therefore regard the area of his military activities as extending
to the borders of Syria. Up to the close of his reign he continued to
improve the defences of his country, for he devoted his last two years
to rebuilding the great fortification of Kâr-Shamash on the Tigris and
the wall of Rabikum on the Euphrates, and he once again strengthened
the city-wall of Sippar. His building-inscriptions also bear witness
to his increased activity in the reconstruction of temples during his
closing years.[95]

An estimate of the extent of Hammurabi's empire may be formed from
the very exhaustive record of his activities which he himself drew up
as the Prologue to his Code. He there enumerates the great cities of
his kingdom and the benefits he has conferred upon each one of them.
The list of cities is not drawn up with any administrative object,
but from a purely religious standpoint, a recital of his treatment
of each city being followed by a reference to what he has done for
its temple and its city-god. Hence the majority of the cities are
not arranged on a geographical basis, but in accordance with their
relative rank as centres of religious cult. Nippur naturally heads
the list, and its possession at this time by Babylon had, as we shall
see,[96] far-reaching effects upon the development of the mythology
and religious system of the country. Next in order comes Eridu, in
virtue of the great age and sanctity of its local oracle. Babylon,
as the capital, comes third, and then the great centres of Moon-and
Sun-worship, followed by the other great cities and shrines of Sumer
and Akkad, the king characterizing the benefits he has bestowed on
each. The list includes some of his western conquests and ends with
Ashur and Nineveh.[97] It is significant of the racial character of
his dynasty that Hammurabi should here ascribe his victories on the
middle Euphrates to "the strength of Dagan, his creator," proving
that, like his ancestors before him, he continued to be proud of his
West-Semitic descent.

In view of the closer relations which had now been established between
Babylonia and the West, it may be interesting to recall that an echo
from these troubled times found its way into the early traditions
of the Hebrews, and has been preserved in the Book of Genesis. It
is there related[98] that Amraphel king of Shinar, Arioch king of
Ellasar, Chedorlaomer king of Elam, and Tidal king of Goiim or the
"nations," acting as members of a confederation, invaded Eastern
Palestine to subdue the revolted tribes of that district. Chedorlaomer
is represented as the head of the confederation, and though we know
of no Elamite ruler of that name, we have seen that Elam at about
this period had exercised control over a great part of Southern and
Central Babylonia, and that its Babylonian capital was the city of
Larsa, with which the Ellasar of the Hebrew tradition is certainly to
be identified.[99] Moreover, Kudur-Mabuk, the historical founder of the
Elamite domination in Babylonia, did lay claim to the title of _Adda_
or ruler of the Amorites.[100] Amraphel of Shinar may well be Hammurabi
of Babylon himself, though, so far from acknowledging the suzerainty
of the Elamites, he was their principal antagonist and brought their
domination to an end. Tidal is a purely Hittite name,[101] and it is
significant that the close of Hammurabi's powerful dynasty was, as we
shall see presently, hastened by an invasion of Hittite tribes. Thus
all the great nations which are mentioned in this passage in Genesis
were actually on the stage of history at this time, and, though we have
as yet found no trace in secular sources of such a confederation under
the leadership of Elam, the Hebrew record represents a state of affairs
in Western Asia which was not impossible during the earlier half of
Hammurabi's reign.[102]

While Sumu-la-ilum may have laid the foundations of Babylon's military
power, Hammurabi was the real founder of her greatness. To his military
achievements he added a genius for administrative detail, and his
letters and despatches, which have been recovered, reveal him as in
active control of even subordinate officials stationed in distant
cities of his empire. That he should have superintended matters of
public importance is what might be naturally expected; but we also
see him investigating quite trivial complaints and disputes among the
humbler classes of his subjects, and often sending back a case for
retrial or for further report. In fact, Hammurabi's fame will always
rest on his achievements as a law-giver, and on the great legal code
which he drew up for use throughout his empire. It is true that this
elaborate system of laws, which deal in detail with every class of
the population from the noble to the slave, was not the creative
work of Hammurabi himself. Like all other ancient legal codes it was
governed strictly by precedent, and where it did not incorporate
earlier collections of laws, it was based on careful consideration of
established custom. Hammurabi's great achievement was the codification
of this mass of legal enactments and the rigid enforcement of the
provisions of the resulting code throughout the whole territory of
Babylonia. Its provisions reflect the king's own enthusiasm, of which
his letters give independent proof, in the cause of the humbler and the
more oppressed classes of his subjects. Numerous legal and commercial
documents also attest the manner in which its provisions were carried
out, and we have evidence that the legislative system so established
remained in practical force during subsequent periods. It may be well,
then, to pause at the age of Hammurabi, in order to ascertain the
main features of early Babylonian civilization, and to estimate its
influence on the country's later development.

[Footnote 1: Cf. Hogarth, "The Penetration of Arabia," pp. 206 ff.]

[Footnote 2: Cf. "Sumer and Akkad," pp. 352 ff.]

[Footnote 3: An interesting confirmation of this view has been made
by General P.J. Maitland. He points out that the great tanks at Aden,
which were hewn out of the solid rock in early Himyarite if not in
Sabajan times, are at the present day absolutely dry for four years out
of five, and that the heaviest rainfalls since they were discovered and
cleared out have not filled them to an eighth part of their capacity;
cf. his preface to G. W. Bury's "Land of Uz," p. xii. f.]

[Footnote 4: It has been established that these pulsations of climatic
change apply to all the great inland steppes upon the earth's surface,
periods of maximum moisture being followed by long intervals of
comparative aridity; see especially, Huntington, "The Pulse of Asia"

[Footnote 5: On this subject, see especially Myres, "The Dawn of
History," pp. 16 ff., 104 ff.]

[Footnote 6: This view seems to be more probable than the assumption
that the Semitic inhabitants of Canaan learnt the use of metal after
their first period of settlement.]

[Footnote 7: For the more important monographs on the subject, see
Macalister, "The Excavation of Gezer" (1912), and Bliss and Macalister,
"Excavations in Palestine during the years 1898-1900" (1902), both
issued by the Palestine Exploration Fund; Sellin, "Tell Ta'annek,"
published by the Vienna Academy in its "Denkschriften," Phil.-Hist.
Kl., Bd. 60, No. 4 (1904), and "Eine Nachlese auf dem Tell Ta'annek
in Palästina," ibid., Bd. 52, No. 3 (1906); Schumacher, "Tell
el-Mutesellim," published by the "Deutscher Palästina Verein" in 1908;
and Sellin and Watzinger, "Jericho," a volume issued by the "Deutsche
Orient-Gesellschaft" in its "Wissenschaftliche Veröffentlichungen,"
Hft. 22 (1913). For further references and a useful summary of the
archæological results, see Driver, "Modern Research as illustrating the
Bible" (Schweich Lectures, 1908), pp. 40 ff.; for later summaries, see
especially Sayce, "Patriarchal Palestine," new ed. (1912), pp. 233 ff.,
and Handcock, "Latest Light on Bible Lands," 1913; and for an estimate
of artistic achievement, cf. Hall, "Ancient History of the Near East"
(1913), pp. 440 ff. On the racial character of the earliest inhabitants
of Canaan, see especially Sergi, "The Mediterranean Race" (1901).]

[Footnote 8: There are few data for estimating the period at which
these centres of population were first fortified. There is no doubt
that the city-walls are long anterior to the Egyptian conquest, and
from the accumulation of _débris_ in the lower strata they have been
provisionally placed at an early period in the third millennium b.c.;
in any case they preceded the age of the First Babylonian Dynasty.]

[Footnote 9: The evidence has been recovered in connexion with
the excavations at Carchemish, conducted by Mr. Hogarth for the
British Museum. For discussions of the problems presented by the
main excavation, see his volume on "Carchemish" (1914), and "Hittite
Problems and the excavation of Carchemish," in the "Proceedings of
the British Academy," Vol. V. The results of recent native digging in
neighbouring mounds have been recovered on the spot by his assistants
Messrs. Woolley and Lawrence, and Mr. Woolley has published an account
of them in a paper ou "Hittite Burial Customs," in the Liverpool
"Annals of Archæology," VI., No. 4 (1914), pp. 87 ff.]

[Footnote 10: In view of the haphazard nature of the native diggings,
the absence of cylinder-seals on some neighbouring sites is not to
be taken as necessarily dis-proving Babylonian influence there. At
Amarna, for example, some eight miles to the south of Jerablus, no
seals nor cylinders are reported to have been found, but at Kara Kuzal,
on the Mesopotamian side of the Euphrates opposite Hammam, where the
pottery is of the Amarna type, two cylinder-seals of a later period and
probably of local manufacture were recovered; they are engraved in the
style classified by Mr. Woolley as "the Syrian Geometric" (_op. cit.,_
p. 92). The find is also of interest as proving the assimilation of the
cylindrical form of seal, which had then ceased to be merely a foreign

[Footnote 11: Cf. "Sumer and Akkad," p. 233 f.]

[Footnote 12: One of these large vessels is mentioned in an inventory
among the belongings of a votary of the Sun-god, of which we possess
two copies dating from the period of the First Dynasty of Babylon; see
"Cun. Texts in the Brit. Mus.," II., pl. 1, Obv., 1. 8, and pl. 6, 1.
11; and cf. Hogarth, "Carchemish," p. 17. The vessel was of large size,
as it is stated to have been of two-thirds of a _gur,_ the greatest
Babylonian measure of capacity; it may have been used for grain.]

[Footnote 13: Cf. Woolley, _op. cit.,_ pp. 88 f., 92 ff.]

[Footnote 14: See below, pp. 137 ff.]

[Footnote 15: Cf. Condamin, "Zeits. für Assyr.," XXI. (1908), pp. 247
ff. The votive inscription was drawn up by Shamshi-Adad IV.]

[Footnote 16: See Thureau-Dangin, "Rev. d'Assyr.," IV. (1898), p. 85
f., and pl. xxxii., No. 85, and Schorr, "Urkunden des altbabylonischen
Zivil- und Prozessrechts," p. 302 f. Both Thureau-Dangin and Ungnad
("Beitr. z. Assyr.," VI., No. 5, p. 26) had regarded it as a deed of
sale, but the ten manehs mentioned in the text is not a sale-price but
a fine to be imposed for any infringement of the deed.]

[Footnote 17: See Ungnad, "Vorderasiat. Schriftdenkmäler," VII., No.
204, and "Beitr. z. Assyr.," VI., No. 5 (1909), pp. 26 ff. The tablet
was purchased by Prof. Sarre at Dêr ez-Zôr, and is said to have been
found at Rahaba some hours to the south-east of the mouth of the

[Footnote 18: See below, pp. 157, 159; Hammurabi also bore the title
"King of Amurru" (cf. "Letters," III., p. 195).]

[Footnote 19: See below, p. 190 f.]

[Footnote 20: The city of Zakku-Isharlim may have derived the second
part of its name from the king referred to in the first deed of gift;
in that case Igitlim may perhaps have been the name of another king
of Khana. The canal evidently supplied one of the cities with water
from the Khâbûr. The last element in its name is suggestive of Kassite
influence, and the script of this document points to a period rather
later than that of Hammurabi; for its publication, see Johns, "Proc.
Soc. Bibl. Arch.," XXIX. (1907), pp. 177 ff.]

[Footnote 21: They are the months Teritum, Kinunu, and Birizzarru. For
other West-Semitic month-names, cf. "Letters of Hammurabi," p. xxxvi.
f., n.; the majority of the "seltenere Monatsnamen," referred to by
Schorr, "Urkunden," p. 577, are to be included in this category.]

[Footnote 22: The votive inscription of Shamshi-Adad IV. (see above, p.
129, n. 1) records its restoration.]

[Footnote 23: We find at Khana such personal names as Amursha-Dagan,
Iazi-Dagan, Turi-Dagan, Bitti-Dagan and Iashma(?)-Dagan, in addition to
the city-name Ia'mu-Dagan; cf. Unguad, _op. cit.,_ p. 27 f.]

[Footnote 24: Cf. Poebel, "Historical Texts," p. 137.]

[Footnote 25: Cf. Breasted, "History of Egypt," pp. 215 ff.]

[Footnote 26: Cf. "Sumer and Akkad," p. 304.]

[Footnote 27: The tradition to this effect, which was incorporated in
the later augural literature (cf. Boissier, "Choix de textes," II., p.
64; and Meissner, "Orient. Lit.-Zeit.," 1907, col. 114, n. 1) may be
accepted as historically accurate; cf. "Sumer and Akkad," p. 304.]

[Footnote 28: Cf. Huber, "Die Personennamen ... aus der Zeit der Könige
von Ur und Nîsin" (1907), _passim._ It was this fact that at one time
seemed to suggest the probability that the kings of Nîsin, like the
bulk of their subjects, may have been Sumerians (cf. "Sumer and Akkad,"
p. 303); but we may preferably regard them as representing the first
wave of the movement which was soon to flood Northern Babylonia.]

[Footnote 29: Cf. Hilprecht, "Math., Met., and Chron. Tablets," p. 46
f., pl. 30, No. 47.]

[Footnote 30: See Scheil, "Rec. de trav.," XVI., pp. 187 ff.]

[Footnote 31: Cf. "Cun. Texts in the Brit. Mus.," XXI., pl. 20 f.]

[Footnote 32: In the dynastic Kings' List published by Hilprecht,
"Math., Met., and Chron. Tablets," pl. 30, No. 47, Libit-Ishtar is
stated to have been Ishme-Dagan's son; but on another, recently
published by Poebel, he is stated to have been Idin-Dagan's son, and so
the brother of Ishme-Dagan (cf. "Historical Texts," pp. 94, 137).]

[Footnote 33: Cf. "Cun. Texts in the Brit. Mus.," XXI., pl. 22.]

[Footnote 34: Cf. Poebel, "Historical Texts," p. 138; he also notes the
fact that Ur-Ninib successfully raided the country of Zabshali on the
east of Babylonia.]

[Footnote 35: See "Cun. Texts," IV., pl. 22, No. 78, 395: and Ranke,
"Orient. Lit.-Zeit.," 1907, col. 109 ff.]

[Footnote 36: Cf. "Sumer and Akkad," p. 315 f.]

[Footnote 37: Cf. "Chronicles concerning Early Babylonian Kings," II.,
p. 14. The Ilu-shûma, the father of Irishum or Erishu, who is referred
to in building-inscriptions of Shalmaneser I. and Esarhaddon (_op.
cit.,_ I., pp. 118 ff.), is probably to be regarded as a later ruler
than Sumu-abum's contemporary.]

[Footnote 38: Since the year 1903 the Deutsche Orient-Gesellschaft
has been conducting excavations at Shergât, the site of Ashur, the
old capital of Assyria on the middle Tigris. Monographs on some of
the temples of the city and its system of fortification have already
been published, and during the summer of 1913 the excavations were
drawing to a close. The greater part of the palace and temple-area
had been uncovered, and detailed plans had been made of all existing
buildings; it only remained to trench still deeper to the virgin
rock, in order to complete the digging. This process bad naturally
been left till last, as it involved considerable destruction to the
buildings already uncovered. It was in the course of the deeper
trenching that the discoveries referred to in the text were made; for
brief reports of them by Andrae, see the "Mitteilungen der Deutschen
Orient-Gesellschaft," No. 54 (June, 1914).]

[Footnote 39: See Fig. 34.]

[Footnote 40: See Figs. 35 and 36.]

[Footnote 41: See p. 140, Figs. 37-39.]

[Footnote 42: The tradition has survived in the building-inscriptions
of Shalmaneser I. and Esarhaddon, found at Shergât; cf. "Chronicles,"
I., pp. 120 ff.]

[Footnote 43: He is referred to on a small cone or cylinder, found at
Shergât in 1904, and inscribed with a text of Ashir-rîm-nishêshu; _op.
cit.,_ p. 140 f.]

[Footnote 44: Their names have been compared with such Mitannian forms
as Pindiya, Zuliya, etc.; cf. Ungnad, "Beitr. z. Assyr.," VI., No. 5,
pp. 11 ff.]

[Footnote 45: The first witness to a loan, dated in the third year of
Ammi-zaduga, bears the name Teshshub-'ari, corresponding to the later
Mitannian name Ari-Teshub, meaning "Teshub has given"; cf. Ungnad,
"Vorderas. Schriftdenkmäler," VII., No. 72, 1. 10.]

[Footnote 46: A "man of Subartu" (_awîl Subarti_) is mentioned on a
document of the Hammurabi period (cf. Scheil, "Rec. de tray.," XX., p.
64); and a private letter of the time gives directions for the sale
into slavery of certain "Shubareans" (_Shubarî,_) who had probably been
captured in battle (cf. Meissner, "Beitr. z. Assyr.," II., p. 561 f.,
and Delitzsch, _op. cit._ IV., p. 95). On another text "a slave-girl
of Shubartu" (_amtum Shubaritum_) is referred to (cf. "Cun. Texts
in the Brit. Mus.," VIII., pl. 46. Bu. 91-5-9, 2179, Obv., 1. 20),
and "a Shubarean" (_Shubarâ_) is mentioned in an account-tablet among
recipients of daily rations (cf. Ungnad, "Vorderas. Schriftdenk.,"
VII., p. 68, No. 184, Col. III., 1. 3, and "Beitr. z. Assyr.," VI., No.
5, p. 19, n. 2).]

[Footnote 47: For the purpose of interpreting lunar observations,
for example, and particularly for eclipses, the face of the moon was
divided into four quarters, that on the right referring to Akkad, that
on the left to Elam, the upper quarter to Amurru and the lower to
Subartu; and one Assyrian astrologer, when reporting to his master an
observation which related to Subartu, explains that "We are Subartu";
cf. Thompson, "Reports of the Magicians and Astrologers," II., pp.
xviii., lxxxv.]

[Footnote 48: Dilbat is now marked by the mound of Dêlem, which lies
about seventeen miles to the south of the Ḳaṣr, the old citadel and
centre of Babylon, and less than ten miles to the south-east of
Birs Nimrûd. Many years ago Rassam procured a few tablets there by
excavation (cf. "Asshur and the Land of Nimrod," p. 265), and in recent
years large numbers have been obtained there, as the result of native
digging, and sold in Europe; they all date from the period of the First
Dynasty of Babylon.]

[Footnote 49: Cf. "Sumer and Akkad," pp. 226, 282.]

[Footnote 50: This is particularly apparent in the royal names, the
foreign character of which was first pointed out by Pognon, "Journal
Asiatique," 8me sér., Vol. XI., pp. 544 ff., who on this evidence alone
suggested that the dynasty might be Arab or Aramean; see further,
"Letters of Hammurabi," III., p. lxv., and Meyer, "Geschichte des
Altertums," I., ii., p. 545.]

[Footnote 51: From a local date-formula on one of the tablets from
Abû Habba we have recovered the name of Narâm-Sin, a governor or
vassal-ruler of Sippar in Sumu-abum's reign; cf. Ungnad, "Vorderas.
Schriftdenkmäler," VIII., No. 3. Another vassal-ruler of Sippar,
Bunutakhtun-ila, occupied the throne in Sumu-la-ilum's reign, and to
the same period are to be assigned Iluma-ila and Immerum, of whom the
latter cut the Ashukhi Canal; for references, see Schorr, "Urkunden des
altbabylonischen Zivil- und Processrechts," p. 611.]

[Footnote 52: Kish is now marked by the mounds of El-Ohêmir, or Aḥimer,
which lie to the east of Babylon; cf. "Sumer and Akkad," p. 88 f.]

[Footnote 53: The text is inscribed upon a clay cone from Aḥimer, and
has been published by Thureau-Dangin, "Rev. d'Assyr.," VIII. (1911),
pp. 65 ff.]

[Footnote 54: That Sumu-abum performed the dedication in his character
of suzerain is proved by a contract-tablet from Kish, which is dated by
the formula for his tenth year.]

[Footnote 55: It is also possible that the eight years of conflict
may date from Sumu-abum's accession, in which case the text would
commemorate a strengthening of the wall of Kish two years before the
capture of the city by Babylon; but the evidence of the date-formulæ is
in favour of the tenth year.]

[Footnote 56: On one of the tablets from Kish Iawium is associated with
Mananâ in the oath-formula, and from another we know that he survived
Sumu-ditana, whom he probably succeeded on the throne; Khalium may
probably be placed after the other three vassal-rulers whose names
have been recovered. There appears to have been a local custom at Kish
for each ruler to choose a different god with whom to be associated in
the oath-formulæ; thus, while Zamama, the city-god of Kish, appears in
those of Iawium's reign, his place is taken by Nannar and Sin under
Mananâ and Khalium respectively. For the tablets and their dates, see
Thureau-Dangin, "Rev. d'Assyr.," VIII., pp. 68 ff.; Johns, "Proc.
Soc. Bibl. Arch.," XXXII. (1910), p. 279 f.; and Langdon, _op. cit.,_
XXXIII. (1911), pp. 185 ff.]

[Footnote 57: Cf. "Sumer and Akkad," pp. 227, 285 f.]

[Footnote 58: The Sumu-la-ilum Canal was first constructed in his
twelfth year, and it was recut or extended twenty years afterwards.]

[Footnote 59: The third year of his reign was named as that in which he
slew the Khalambû with the sword.]

[Footnote 60: That in the interval Babylon had no marked success to
commemorate is suggested by the naming of years after the construction
of a throne for Marduk in his temple at Babylon, and of a statue for
his consort, Sarpanitum.]

[Footnote 61: That the two are to be identified is certain from
Samsu-iluna's reference to Dûr-Zakar of Nippur as among the six
fortresses built by Snmu-la-ilum and rebuilt by himself; see below, pp.
148, 204.]

[Footnote 62: Since Gungunum's death is recorded in a local
date-formula (cf. Scheil, "Rec. de tray.," XXI., p. 125) we may infer
that his end was violent; Abi-sarê's accession may thus mark a break in
the direct succession at Larsa.]

[Footnote 63: See Thureau-Dangin, "Rev. d'Assyr.," VI., p. 69 f.]

[Footnote 64: Ura-imitti was not the son of Itêr-pîsha, and since a
date-formula of his reign refers to his restoration of the city of
Nippur, we may regard its previous destruction or capture as further
evidence of political trouble at Nîsin; cf. Poebel. "Historical Texts,"
p. 138 f.]

[Footnote 65: Cf. "Sumer and Akkad," p. 312.]

[Footnote 66: The name was conjecturally restored by Poebel, from a
date-formula in the Pennsylvania Museum, as Sin-ikisha (cf. "Orient.
Lit.-Zeit.," 1907, col. 461 ff.). But from Prof. Clay's new king-list
we now know that that ruler is to be identified with Sin-iḳîsham,
the eleventh king of the Dynasty of Larsa; there is no evidence to
connect him with Nîsin. On the other hand, the six months' rule of the
unknown king at Nîsin falls in the twentieth year of Sumu-ilum's reign
at Larsa, who at least for a time was recognized in Ur, the former
vassal-city of Nîsin.]

[Footnote 67: According to our scheme of chronology, Sumu-la-ilum's
capture of Dûr-Zakar at Nippur corresponds to the year of Ura-imitti's
death and to the subsequent struggle for the throne of Nîsin.]

[Footnote 68: In addition to Dûr-Zakar of Nippur, these were Dûr-Padda,
Dûr-Lagaba, Dûr-Iabugani, Dûr-Cula-dûru, and Dûr-uṣi-ana-Ura. On their
reconstruction Samsu-iluna dedicated the first four to Ninmakh, Adad,
Sin and Lugal-diri-tugab, and the last two to Nergal; cf. "Letters of
Hammurabi," pp. 199 ff.]

[Footnote 69: To this he gave the name Tâmtum-khegallum, "the Ocean
(gives) abundance." He also rebuilt E-ibianu, E-sagila, and E-babbar in
Sippar, installing in the last-named temple a bronze image of himself,
possibly with the idea of claiming divine honours.]

[Footnote 70: The Sumu-dâri and Apil-Sin-khegallum Canals were both cut
in his reign.]

[Footnote 71: The costly throne for Shamash and Shunirda, or the
goddess Aia, which he dedicated in his third year, was probably for
E-babbar in Sippar. Apil-Sin devoted special attention to Cuthah, the
most recently acquired of Babylon's greater possessions, rebuilding on
two occasions E-meslam, the temple of Nergal, the city-god. He also
enriched Babylon on the material side, erecting a great city-gate in
its eastern wall, and building within the city the temple E-kiku for
the goddess Ishtar and another shrine for the Sun-god.]

[Footnote 72: For the reading of the weather-god's name as Adad, cf.
Budge and King, "Annals of the Kings of Assyria," p. lxxiv. f. The
name was probably of West Semitic origin, though the form Rammânu,
"the thunderer," has been noted by Prof. Sayce on a cylinder-seal
beside the goddess Ashratum (cf. "Zeits. f. Assyr.," VI., p. 161),
and she elsewhere appears as the spouse of the god Amurru (cf. Meyer,
"Geschichte," I., ii., p. 406). The Sumerian equivalent of Adad is
still uncertain; Hrozný suggests the reading Ishkur (cf. "Zeits. f.
Assyr.," XX., pp. 424 ff.), while Thureau-Dangin, Clay and others
prefer Immer, suggested in "Königsinschriften," p. 208. Meanwhile it is
preferable to employ the reading Adad, for periods at any rate after
the West-Semitic invasion.]

[Footnote 73: That Sin-idinnam's assumption of the title was justified
by the actual possession of Nippur is proved by a date-formula on a
contract in the British Museum, in which he records the dedication
of a statue of himself as an ornament for Nippur; cf. Rawlinson,
"Cun. Inscr. West. Asia," IV., pl. 36, No. 2, and Chiera, "Legal and
Administrative Documents," p. 72.]

[Footnote 74: Cf. Rawlinson, _op. cit.,_ I., pl. 5, No. xx. In addition
to his military prowess, he reconstructed E-babbar at Larsa, built the
great fortress of Dûr-gurgurri, and by canalizing the Tigris improved
his country's water-supply (cf. "Cun. Texts in the Brit. Mus.," XXL,
pl. 30, No. 30215; Delitzsch, "Beitr. zur Assyr.," I., pp. 301 ff.;
and Thureau-Dangin, "Königsinschriften," p. 208 f.). He also built the
city-gate of Mashkan-shabri; cf. Chiera, _op. cit.,_ p. 72 f.]

[Footnote 75: On a broken clay cone from Babylon (cf. Weissbach,
"Babylonische Miscellen," p. 1, pl. 1) Sin-magir bears the title of
King of Sumer and Akkad.]

[Footnote 76: If we may identify Khallabu with Aleppo, we should find
a still firmer basis for Kudur-Mabuk's title. For we know that, while
Warad-Sin was still King of Larsa, he dedicated a chamber in Ishtar's
temple at Khallabu (cf. "Cun. Texts in the Brit. Mus.," XXI., pl.
31, No. 91144; and Thureau-Dangin, "Königsinschriften," p. 214 f.).
We should then have to assume that, before completing his conquest
of Sumer, he had already pushed up and across the Euphrates and had
captured large districts of Amurru. It is possible that this was so,
but it should be noted that both Khallabu and Bît-Karkara are mentioned
in the Prologue to Hammurabi's Code of Laws, not with "the settlements
on the Euphrates," but immediately after Lagash and Girsu, suggesting a
Babylonian origin (see below, p. 159).]

[Footnote 77: Cf. Rawlinson, "Cun. Inscr. West. Asia," I., pl. 5, No.
xvi.; the erection of the wall is also commemorated in a date-formula
of his reign (cf. Chiera. "Documents," p. 74).]

[Footnote 78: On a clay cone from Mukayyar, recording his building of a
temple to Nannar at Ur, Warad-Sin describes himself as "he who carries
out the decrees and decisions of Eridu (_i.e._ of its oracle), who
increased the offerings of E-ninnû (the temple of Ningirsu at Lagash),
who restored Lavish mid Girsu, and renewed the city and the land"; cf.
Rawlinson, _op. cit._ IV., pl. 35, No. 6.]

[Footnote 79: During the first thirteen years of his reign Sin-muballit
cut three canals, the first named after himself, the Sin-muballit
Canal, and two others which he termed the Aia-khegallum and the
Tutu-khegallum. He also built the walls of Rubatum, Zakar-dada,
Dûr-Sin-muballit, Bît-Karkara, and Marad. It is possible, of course,
that conflicts with the south took place at this time, but, if so, the
absence of any reference to them in the records is to be explained by
the want of success of Babylonian arms.]

[Footnote 80: In this period the city walls of Nanga and Baṣu were

[Footnote 81: From two recently published date-lists of Hammurabi's
reign we know that this event took place in his fifth year, while
the following year appears to have been dated by a similar priestly
installation of the shepherd of the goddess Ninaz; cf. Boissier, "Rev.
d'Assyr.," XI., No. iv. (1914), pp. 161 ff.]

[Footnote 82: The territory gained on the bank of the Shu-numum-dar
Canal (cf. Boissier, _op. cit._) may have lain in Emutbal. The
canal was possibly a portion of the famous Nâr-sharri, which in the
Achæmenian period was regarded as lying "in Elam."]

[Footnote 83: The town lay in the neighbourhood of Sukhi on the middle
Euphrates, below the mouth of the Khâbûr and probably to the south of

[Footnote 84: The Tishit-Enlil Canal, which we now know was cut
in Hammurabi's twenty-fourth year (cf. Boissier, _op. cit._); the
Hammurabi-khegallum Canal had been cut in his ninth year, at the time
of Rîm-Sin's capture of Nîsin.]

[Footnote 85: Two years were devoted to the fortification of Sippar;
and the walls of Igi-kharsagga, and probably of Baṣu, were built. In
the vassal-city of Kibalbarru Hammurabi dedicated an image to Ninni, or
Ishtar, while in Babylon he built E-namkhe, the temple of Adad, and a
shrine also for Enlil.]

[Footnote 86: Cf. "Déc. en Chaldée," pl. 41; Rawlinson, "Cun.
Inscr. West. Asia," I., pl. 3, No. X.; and Thureau-Dangin,
"Königsinschriften," p. 218 f.]

[Footnote 87: See the date-formulæ cited by Chiera, "Documents." p. 80

[Footnote 88: Cf. Hilprecht, "Old Babylonian Inscriptions," Pt. II.,
pl. 58, No. 128.]

[Footnote 89: Cf. Hilprecht, _loc. cit.,_ and Chiera, _op. cit.,_ p. 82

[Footnote 90: One of his wives, Si[...]-Ninni, the daughter of
Arad-Nannar, dedicated a temple, on his behalf and her own, to the
goddess Nin-egal (cf. Thureau-Dangin, "Königsinschriften," p. 218 f.).
The other wife, who bore the name Rîm-Sin-Shala-bashtashu, was the
daughter of a certain Sin-magir, and Rîm-Sin himself had a daughter
named Lirish-gamium; cf. Poebel, "Historical Texts," p. 140, who
quotes the information from an inscription of Rîm-Sin-Shala-bashtashu,
which Prof. Clay informs me is now in the Yale Collection. A sister of
Rîm-Sin, who was a priestess, is mentioned on a cylinder of Nabonidus
(cf. Scheil, "Comptes rendus de l'Académie des Inscriptions et Belles
Lettres," 1912, p. 680 f.).]

[Footnote 91: The period would be forty-five years, instead of
twenty-three, if we place the whole sixty-one years of Rîm-Sin's
reign before Hammurabi's conquest of Larsa; in that case the fall of
Nîsin would have taken place in Sin-muballit's seventh year. But the
available evidence is strongly in favour of curtailing Rîm-Sin's period
of independent rule; see above, pp. 97 ff.]

[Footnote 92: This seems to follow from the continuation of the Nîsin
era in the south for a few years after the fall of Larsa; see above, p.

[Footnote 93: See above, p. 144.]

[Footnote 94: See above, pp. 129 ff.; it was probably after these
conquests that he adopted the title King of Amurru.]

[Footnote 95: Cf., _e.g.,_ "Letters and Inscriptions of Hammurabi,"
pp. 180 ff. It is clear from the titles in the majority of them that
they date from the latter part of his reign. It was also after his
annexation of Larsa that he cut the Hammurabi-nukhush-nishi Canal,
building a fortress at the head of the canal for its defence, which he
named after his father Dûr-Sin-muballit-abim-walidia. The erection of
the granary at Babylon (_op. cit.,_ p. 192 f.) was evidently one of his
earlier works.]

[Footnote 96: See below, p. 194 f.]

[Footnote 97: As the list of cities is practically a gazetteer of
Hammurabi's empire during his closing years, the names will repay
enumeration, together with their temples and city-gods; they are here
given in the order in which they occur in the Prologue, the names of
gods, when omitted in the text, being supplied within parentheses:
(1) Nippur, and Ekur, the temple of Enlil; (2) Eridu, and E-apsû
(the temple of Enki); (3) Babylon, and E-sagila, the temple of
Marduk; (4) Ur, and E-gishshirgal (the temple of Sin); (5) Sippar,
and E-babbar (the temple of Shamash); (6) Larsa, and E-babbar (the
temple of Shamash); (7) Erech, and E-anna, the temple of Anu and
Ninni, or Ishtar; (8) Nîsin, and the temple E-galmakh; (9) Kish, and
E-mete-ursag, the temple of Zamama; (10) Cuthah, and E-meslam (the
temple of Nergal); (11) Borsippa, and E-zida (the temple of Nabû);
(12) Dilbat, and its god Urash; (13) the city of Kesh; (14) Lagash and
Girsu, and E-ninnû (the temple of Ningirsu); (15) Khallabu, and the
goddess Ninni, or Ishtar; (16) Bît-Karkara, and E-ugalgal, the temple
of Adad; (17) Adab, and its temple E-makh; (18) Mashkan-shabri and the
temple Meslam; (19) Malgûm; (20) the dwellings, or settlements, on the
Euphrates, and the god Dagan; (21) Mera and Tutul; (22) Akkad (Agade),
and E-ulmash, the temple of Ishtar; (23) Ashur, and "its favourable
protecting deity"; and (24) Nineveh, and E-mishmish, the temple of

[Footnote 98: Gen. xiv.]

[Footnote 99: For the Elamite character of Chedorlaomer's name,
cf. "Letters of Hammurabi," I., p. iv. f.; but there are too many
difficulties in the way of accepting the suggested identification of
Arioch with Warad-Sin, the son of Kudur-Mabuk (_op. cit.,_ pp. xlix.

[Footnote 100: See above, p. 152.]

[Footnote 101: Prof. Sayce was the first to point out that Tidal is a
Hittite name, and was borne by one of the last kings of the Hittite
Empire, Dudkhalia; cf. "Patriarchal Palestine," p. 60.]

[Footnote 102: We are not here concerned with the textual character
of Gen. xiv. (on that subject, see especially Skinner, "Genesis," pp.
256 ff.), nor with the evolution of the Abrahamic traditions (see
Meyer, "Die Israeliten," p. 248, and cp. Hall, "Anc. Hist, of the Near
East," p. 401). It will suffice to note that, in view of the recovery
of Neo-Babylonian chronicles and poetical compositions, dealing with
early historical events, the employment of such a document among Hebrew
literary sources seems to offer a sufficient explanation of the facts.]



Of no other period in the history of Babylon have we so intimate a
knowledge as that of the West-Semitic kings under whom the city first
attained the rank of capital. It was a time of strenuous growth, in the
course of which the long struggle with regard to language and racial
dominance was decided in favour of the Semite. But the victory involved
no break of continuity, for all the essential elements of Sumerian
culture were preserved, the very length of the struggle having proved
the main factor in securing their survival. There had been a gradual
assimilation on both sides, though naturally the Sumerian had the more
to give, and, in spite of his political disappearance, he continued to
exert an indirect influence. This he owed in the main to the energy
of the Western Semite, who completed the task of transforming a dying
culture, so that in its new embodiment it could be accepted by men of a
newer race.

Hammurabi's age was one of transition, and we have fortunately
recovered a great body of contemporaneous evidence on which to base
an analysis of its social and political structure. On the one hand
the great Code of Laws supplies us with the state's administrative
ideal and standard of justice.[1] On the other we have the letters of
the kings themselves, and the commercial and legal documents of the
period,[2] to prove that the Code was no dead letter but was accurately
adjusted to the conditions of the time. The possibility has long been
recognized of the existence of similar codes of early Sumerian origin,
and a copy of one of them, on a tablet of the Hammurabi period, has
recently been recovered.[3] But the value of Hammurabi's Code rests
not so much in any claim to extensive originality, but rather on its
correspondence to contemporary needs. It thus forms a first-rate
witness on the subjects with which it deals, and where it gives no
information, the letters and contracts of the period often enable us to
supply the deficiency.

For the purpose of legislation the Babylonian community was divided
into three main classes or grades of society, which corresponded
to well-defined strata in the social system. The highest or upper
class embraced all the officers or ministers attached to the court,
the higher officials and servants of the state, and the owners of
considerable landed property. But wealth or position did not constitute
the sole qualification distinguishing the members of the upper class
from that immediately below them. In fact, while the majority of its
members enjoyed these advantages, it was possible for a man to forfeit
them through his own fault or misfortune and yet to retain his social
standing and privileges. It would seem therefore that the distinction
was based on a racial qualification, and that the upper class, or
nobles, as we may perhaps term them,[4] were men of the predominant,
race, sprung from the West-Semitic or Amorite stock which had given
Babylon its first independent dynasty. In course of time its racial
purity would tend to become diluted by intermarriage with the older
inhabitants, especially where these had thrown in their lot with the
invaders and had espoused their cause. It is even possible that some
of the latter had from the first obtained recognition in its ranks in
return for military or political service. But, speaking broadly, we may
regard the highest class in the social order as representing a racial
aristocracy that had imposed itself.

The second class in the population comprised the great body of free men
who did not come within the ranks of the nobles; in fact, they formed
a middle class between the aristocracy and the slaves. They bore a
title which in itself implied a state of inferiority,[5] and though
they were not necessarily poor and could possess slaves and property,
they did not share the privileges of the upper class. It is probable
that they represented the subject race, derived in part from the old
Sumerian element in the population, in part from the Semitic strain
which had long been settled in Northern Babylonia and by intercourse
and intermarriage had lost much of its racial purity and independence.
The difference, which divided and marked off from one another these two
great classes of free men in the population, is well illustrated by the
scale of payments as compensation for injury which they were obliged
to make or were entitled to receive. Thus if a noble should be guilty
of stealing an ox, or other animal, or a boat, which was private or
temple property, he had to pay thirty times its value as compensation;
whereas, if the thief were a member of the middle class the penalty
was reduced to ten times the price, and, should he have no property
with which to pay, he was put to death. The penalty for man-slaughter
was also less if the assailant was a man of the middle class; he could
obtain a divorce more cheaply, and he paid his doctor or surgeon
a smaller fee for a successful operation. On the other hand, these
privileges were counterbalanced by a corresponding diminution of the
value at which his life and limbs were assessed.

That a racial distinction underlay the difference in social position
and standing is suggested by the current penalties for assault, in
accordance with which a noble could demand an exact retaliation for
injuries from one of his own class, whereas he merely paid a money
compensation to any man of the middle class he might have injured. Thus
if one noble happened to knock out the eye or the tooth of another, his
own eye or his own tooth was knocked out in return, and if he broke the
limb of one of the members of his own class, he had his corresponding
limb broken; but, if he knocked out the eye of a member of the middle
class, or broke his limb, he was fined one maneh of silver, and for
knocking out the tooth of such a man, he was fined one-third of a
maneh. Other regulations point to a similar cleavage in the social
strata, which can best be explained by a difference in race. Thus
if two members of the same class quarrelled and one of them made a
peculiarly improper assault on the other, the assailant was only fined,
the fine being larger if the quarrel was between two nobles. But if
such an assault was made by a member of the middle class upon a noble,
the assailant was punished by being publicly beaten in the presence of
the assembly, when he received sixty stripes from an ox-hide scourge.

The third and lowest class in the community were the slaves, who were
owned by both the upper classes, but were naturally more numerous
in the households of the nobles and on their estates. The slave was
his master's absolute property, and on the contract-tablets he is
often referred to as "a head," as though he were merely an animal. He
constantly changed hands, by sale, bequest, or when temporarily pledged
for a debt. For bad offences he was liable to severe punishment, such
as cutting off the ear, which was the penalty for denying his master,
or for making an aggravated assault upon a noble. But, on the whole,
his lot was not a particularly hard one, for he was a recognized
member of his master's household, and, as a valuable piece of
property, it was obviously to his owner's interest to keep him healthy
and in good condition. In fact, the value of the slave is attested by
the severity of the penalties exacted for abducting a male or female
slave from the owner's house and removing one from the city; for the
death penalty was imposed in such a case, as also on anyone harbouring
and taking possession of a runaway slave. On the other hand, a fixed
reward was paid by the owner to anyone by whom a runaway was captured
and brought back. Special legislation was also devised with the object
of rendering the theft of slaves difficult and their detection easy.
Thus, if a brander put a mark upon a slave without the owner's consent,
he was liable to have his hands cut off; and, if he could prove that he
had done so through being deceived by another man, that man was put to
death. There was a regular trade in slaves, and no doubt their numbers
were constantly increased by captives taken in war.

Though the slaves, as a class, had few rights of their own, there were
regulations in accordance with which, under certain circumstances,
they could acquire them, and even obtain their freedom. Thus it was
possible for an industrious slave, while still in his master's service,
to acquire property of his own, or a slave might inherit wealth from
relatives; and, in such circumstances, he was able with his master's
consent to purchase his freedom. Again, if a slave were captured by the
enemy and taken to a foreign land and sold, and were then brought back
by his new owner to his own country, he could claim his liberty without
having to pay compensation to either of his masters. Moreover, a slave
could acquire certain rights while still in slavery. Thus, if the owner
of a female slave had begotten children by her, he could not use her
as payment for a debt; and, in the event of his having done so, he was
obliged to ransom her by paying the original amount of the debt in
money. It was also possible for a male slave, whether owned by a noble
or by a member of the middle class, to marry a free woman, and if he
did so his children were free and did not become the property of his
master. His wife, too, if a free woman, retained her marriage-portion
on her husband's death, and supposing the couple had acquired property
during the time they lived together as man and wife, the owner of
the slave could only claim half of such property, the other half
being retained by the free woman for her own use and for that of her
children. The mere fact that such a union was possible suggests that
there was no very marked cleavage between the social status of the
better class of slaves and that of the humbler members of the middle

The cultivation of the land, which formed the principal source of the
wealth of Babylonia,[6] was carried on mainly by slave labour, under
the control of the two upper classes of the population. The land itself
was largely in the hands of the crown, the temples, and the great
nobles and merchants who were landed proprietors; and, including that
still in communal or tribal possession,[7] a very large proportion was
cultivated on lease. The usual practice in hiring land for cultivation
was for the tenant to pay his rent in kind, by assigning a certain
proportion of the crop, generally a third or a half, to the owner,
who advanced the seed-corn.[8] The tenant was bound to till the
land and raise a crop, and should he neglect to do so he had to pay
the owner what was reckoned as the average rent of the land, and he
had also to break up the land and plough it before handing it back.
Elaborate regulations were in force to adjust the landowner's duties
and responsibilities on the one hand, and what was due to him from his
tenant on the other. As the rent of a field was usually reckoned at
harvest, and its amount depended on the size of the crop, it would have
been unfair that damage to the crop from flood or storm should have
been made up by the tenant; such a loss was shared equally by the owner
of the field and the farmer, though, if the latter had already paid
his rent at the time the damage occurred, he could not make a claim
for repayment. There is evidence that disputes were frequent not only
between farmers and landowners, but also between farmers and shepherds,
for the latter, when attempting to find pasture for their flocks,
often allowed their sheep to feed off the farmers' fields in spring.
For such cases a scale of compensation was fixed. If the damage was
done in the early spring, when the plants were still small, the farmer
harvested the crop and received a price in kind as compensation from
the shepherd. But if it occurred later in the year, when the sheep had
been brought in from the meadows and turned on to the common land by
the city-gate, the damage was heavier; in such a case the shepherd had
to take over the crop and compensate the farmer heavily.

The king himself was a very large owner of cattle and sheep, and he
levied tribute on the flocks and herds of his subjects. The owners
were bound to bring the young cattle and lambs, that were due from
them, to the central town of the district in which they dwelt, and they
were then collected and added to the royal flocks and herds. If the
owners attempted to hold back any that were due as tribute, they were
afterwards forced to incur the extra expense and trouble of driving the
beasts to Babylon. The flocks and herds owned by the king and the great
temples were probably enormous, and yielded a considerable revenue
in themselves apart from the tribute and taxes levied upon private
owners. Shepherds and herdsmen were placed in charge of them, and they
were divided into groups under head-men, who arranged the districts
in which the herds and flocks were to be grazed. The king received
regular reports from his chief shepherds and herdsmen, and it was the
duty of the governors of the larger towns and districts of Babylonia
to make tours of inspection and see that due care was taken of the
royal flocks. The sheep-shearing for all the flocks that were pastured
near the capital took place in Babylon, and the king used to send out
summonses to his chief shepherds to inform them of the day when the
shearing would take place.[9] Separate flocks, that were royal and
priestly property, were sometimes under the same chief officer, a fact
that tends to show that the king himself exercised a considerable
measure of control over the sacred revenues.

Délég. en Perse, Mém. IV, pl. 4.]

In the regulation of the pastoral and agricultural life of the
community, custom played a very important part, and this was recognized
and enforced by royal authority. Carelessness in looking after cattle
was punished by fine, but the owner was not held responsible for damage
unless negligence could be proved on his part. Thus a bull might go
wild at any time and gore a man, who would have no redress against its
owner. But if the beast was known to be vicious, and its owner had not
blunted its horns nor shut it up, he was obliged to pay compensation
for damage. On the other hand, the owner of cattle or asses, who had
hired them out, could exact compensation for the loss or ill-treatment
of his beasts. These were framed on the principle that the hirer was
responsible only for damage or loss which; he could reasonably have
prevented. If, for example, a lion killed a hired ox or ass in the
open country, or if an ox was killed by lightning, the loss fell upon
the owner and not on the man who had hired the beast. But if the hirer
killed the ox through carelessness or by beating it unmercifully, or
if the beast broke its leg while in his charge, he had to restore to
the owner another ox in its place. For less serious damage to the beast
the hirer paid compensation on a fixed scale.[10] It is clear that such
regulations merely gave the royal sanction to long-established custom.

Both for looking after their herds and for the cultivation of their
estates the landed proprietors depended to a great extent upon hired
herdsmen and farmers; and any dishonesty on the part of the latter with
regard to cattle, provender, or seed-corn was severely punished. A
theft of provender, for example, had to be made good, and the culprit
ran the additional risk of having his hands cut off. Heavy compensation
was exacted from any man, who, for his own profit, hired out oxen
which had been entrusted to his charge; while, if a farmer stole the
seed-corn supplied for the field he had hired, so that he produced no
crop to share with the owner, not only had he to pay compensation but
he was liable to be torn in pieces by oxen in the field he should have
cultivated.[11] In the age of Hammurabi the heavier penalties were no
doubt largely traditional, having come down from a more barbarous time
when dishonesty could only be kept in check by strong measures. Their
retention among the statutes doubtless acted as an effective deterrent,
and a severe sentence, if carried out occasionally in the case of an
aggravated offence, would have sufficed to maintain respect for the

In the semi-tropical climate of Babylonia the canals played a vitally
important part for the successful prosecution of agriculture, and it
was to the royal interest to see that their channels were kept in a
proper state of repair and cleaned out at regular intervals. There
is evidence that nearly every king of the First Dynasty of Babylon
cut new canals and extended the system of irrigation and transport by
water that he had inherited. The rich silt carried down by the rivers
was deposited partly in the canals, especially in those sections
nearer the main stream, with the result that the bed of a canal was
constantly in process of being raised. Every year it was necessary to
dig this deposit out and pile it upon the banks. Every year the banks
rose higher and higher, until a point was reached when the labour
involved in getting rid of the silt became greater than that required
for cutting a new channel. Hence sections of a canal were constantly
being recut alongside the old channel, and it is probable that many of
the canals, the cutting of which is commemorated in the texts, were
really reconstructions of older streams, the beds of which had become
hopelessly silted up.

At the present day the traveller in certain parts of Babylonia comes
across the raised embankments of old canals extending across the plain
within a short distance of each other, and their parallel course is to
be explained by the process of recutting, which was put off as long
as possible, but was at last necessitated by the growing height of
the banks. As the bed of a canal gradually rose too, the high banks
served the purpose of retaining the stream, and these were often washed
away by the flood-water which came down from the hills in spring. An
interesting letter has been preserved, that was written by Hammurabi's
grandson, Abi-eshu', who describes a sudden rise of this sort in the
level of the Irnina Canal so that it overflowed its banks.[12] At the
time the king was building a palace in the city of Kâr-Irnina, which
was supplied by the Irnina Canal, and every year a certain amount of
work was put into the building. At the time the letter was written
little more than a third of the year's work had been done, when the
building-operations were stopped by flood, the canal having overflowed
its banks so that the water rose right up to the town-wall.

It was the duty of the local governors to see that the canals were kept
in good repair, and they had the power of requisitioning labour from
the inhabitants of villages and the owners of land situated on or near
the banks. In return, the villagers had the right of fishing in the
waters of a canal along the section in their charge, and any poaching
by other villagers in their part of the stream was strictly forbidden.
On one occasion in the reign of Samsu-iluna, Hammurabi's son, fishermen
from the village of Itabim went down in their boats to the district
of Shakanim, and caught fish there contrary to local custom. So the
inhabitants of Shakanim complained to the king of this infringement
of their rights, and he sent a palace-official to the authorities of
Sippar. in the jurisdiction of which the villages in question lay, with
instructions to inquire into the matter and take steps to prevent any
poaching in the future. Fishing by line and net was a regular industry,
and the preservation of rights in local waters was jealously guarded.

The larger canals were fed directly from the river, especially along
the Euphrates, whose banks were lower than those of the swifter
Tigris. But along the latter river, and also along the banks of the
canals, it will be obvious that some means had to be employed to
raise the water for purposes of irrigation from the main channel to
the higher level of the land. Reference is made in the Babylonian
inscriptions to irrigation-machines,[13] and, although their exact form
and construction are not described, they must have been very similar
to those employed at the present day. The most primitive method of
raising water, which is commoner to-day in Egypt than in Mesopotamia,
is the _shadduf,_ which is worked by hand. It consists of a beam
supported in the centre; and at one end a bucket is suspended for
raising the water, while at the other end is fixed a counter-weight.
Thus comparatively little labour is required to raise the bucket when
full. That this contrivance was employed on the Tigris is proved by an
Assyrian bas-relief, found at Kuyunjik, with representations of the
_shadduf_ in operation. Two of them are being used, the one above the
other, to raise the water to successive levels. These were probably
the contrivances usually employed by the early Babylonians for raising
the water to the level of their fields, and the fact that they were
light and easily removed must have made them tempting objects to the
dishonest former. A scale of compensation was therefore in force,
regulating the payments to be made to the owner by a detected thief.
From the fact that these varied, according to the class and value
of the machine he stole, we may infer that other contrivances, of a
heavier and more permanent character, were also employed.

One of these must certainly have corresponded to a very primitive
arrangement that is in general use at the present day in Mesopotamia,
particularly along the Tigris, where the banks are high and steep. A
recess or cutting with perpendicular sides is driven into the bank,
and a wooden spindle is supported on struts in a horizontal position
over the recess, which resembles a well with one side opening on to the
river. A rope running over the spindle is fastened to a skin in which
the water is raised from the river, being drawn up by horses, donkeys,
or cattle harnessed to the other end of the rope. To empty the skin by
hand into the irrigation channel would, of course, entail considerable
time and labour, and, to avoid this necessity, an ingenious contrivance
is employed. The skin is sewn up, not in the form of a closed bag,
but of a bag ending in a long narrow funnel. While the skin is being
filled and drawn to the top, the funnel is kept raised by a thin line
running over a lower spindle and fastened off to the main rope, so
that both are pulled up together by the beasts. The positions of the
spindles and the length of the ropes are so adjusted, that the end
of the funnel stops just above a wooden trough on the bank below the
struts, while the rest of the skin is drawn up higher and shoots its
water through the funnel into the trough. The trough is usually made
from half the trunk of a date-palm, hollowed out, and one end leads
to the irrigation-channel on the bank. To give the beasts a better
purchase in pulling up the weight of water, an inclined plane is cut
in the ground, sloping away from the machine, and up and down this the
beasts are driven, the skin filling and emptying itself automatically.
To increase the supply of water, two skins are often employed side by
side, each with its own tackle and set of beasts, and, as one is drawn
up full, the other is let down empty. Thus a continuous flow of water
is secured, and not more than one man or boy is required to keep each
set of beasts moving. No more effective or simpler method could be
devised of raising water to a considerable height, and there can be no
doubt that, at the period of the First Dynasty, cattle were employed
not only for ploughing, but for working primitive irrigation-machines
of this character.

On the Euphrates, where the river-banks are lower, a simple form of
water-wheel was probably in use then as it is to-day, wherever there
was sufficient current to work one. And the advantage of this form of
machine is that, so long as it is in order, it can be unlocked at will
and kept working without supervision day and night. The wheel is formed
of stripped boughs and branches nailed together, with spokes joining
the outer rims to a roughly hewn axle. Around the outer rim are tied a
series of rough earthenware cups or bottles, and a few rude paddles are
fixed to the wheel, projecting beyond the rim. The wheel is then set
up in place near the bank of the river, its axle resting on pillars of
rough masonry. The current turns the wheel, and the bottles, dipping
below the surface, are raised up full, and empty their water into
a wooden trough at the top. The banks of the Euphrates are usually
sloping, and the water is conducted from the trough to the fields along
a small aqueduct or earthen embankment. Such wheels to-day are usually
set up where there is a slight drop in the river-bed and the water runs
swiftly over shallows. In order to span the difference in level between
the fields and the summer height of the stream the wheels are often
huge contrivances, and their rough construction causes them to creak
and groan as they turn with the current. In a convenient place in the
river several of these are sometimes set up side by side, and their
noise when at work can be heard at a great distance.[14]

It is not unlikely that the later Sumerians had already evolved these
primitive forms of irrigation-machine, and that the Babylonians of
the First Dynasty merely inherited them and passed them on to their
successors. When once invented they were incapable of very great
improvement. In the one the skin must always remain a skin; in the
other the wheel must always be lightly constructed of boughs, or the
strength of the current would not suffice to turn it. We have seen
reason to believe that, in the palace of Nebuchadnezzar II. at Babylon,
the triple well in the north-west corner may be best explained as
having formed the water-supply for a hydraulic machine, consisting of
an endless chain of buckets passing over a great wheel. Such is a very
common form of raising water in Babylonia at the present day. It is
true that in some of these machines the wheel for the buckets is still
geared by means of rough wooden cogs to the long pole or winch, turned
by beasts, who move round in a circle. But it is very unlikely that
the early Babylonians had evolved the principle of the cogged wheel,
and it was probably not till the period of the later Assyrian empire
that bronze was so plentiful that it could have been used in sufficient
quantity for buckets on an endless chain. There seems reason to believe
that Sennacherib himself introduced an innovation when he employed
metal in the construction of the machines that supplied water to his
palace;[15] and we may infer that even in the Neo-Babylonian period a
contrivance of that sort was still a royal luxury, and that the farmer
continued to use the more primitive machines, sanctioned by immemorial
usage, which he could make with his own hands.

[Illustration: FIG. 40.


The drawing is taken from seal-impressions on a tablet of the Kassite

(After Clay.)]

The manner in which the agricultural implements employed in early
Babylonia have survived to the present day is well illustrated by
their form of plough, which closely resembles that still in use in
parts of Syria. We have no representation of the plough of the First
Babylonian Dynasty, but this was doubtless the same as that of the
Kassite period, of which a very interesting representation has recently
been recovered. On a tablet found at Nippur and dated in the fourth
year of Nazi-Maruttash, are several impressions of a cylinder-seal
engraved with a representation of three men ploughing.[16] The plough
is drawn by two humped bulls, or zebu, who are being driven by one of
the men, while another holds the two handles of the plough and guides
it. The third man has a bag of seed-corn slung over his shoulders
and is in the act of feeding seed with his right hand into a tube or
grain-drill, down which it passed into the furrow made by the plough.
At the top of the tube is a bowl, with a hole in the bottom opening
on to the tube, which acted as a funnel and enabled the sower to drop
the seed in without scattering it. This is the earliest representation
of the Babylonian plough that we possess, and its value is increased
by the fact that the plough is seen in operation. The same seed-drill
occurs in three later representations. One of these also dates from
the Kassite period, being found upon a boundary-stone of the period of
Meli-Shipak II.,[17] on which it is sculptured as the sacred symbol
of Geshtinna, the goddess of the plough.[18] The other two are of
the Assyrian period, one being represented in enamelled brick on the
walls of the palace at Khorsabad,[19] the other being carved among the
symbols on the Black Stone of Esarhaddon, on which he gives an account
of his restoration of Babylon.[20] Similar ploughs, with grain-drills
of precisely the same structure, are still used in Syria at the present

Before ploughing and sowing his land the Babylonian farmer prepared
it for irrigation by dividing it up into a number of small squares
or oblong patches, each separated from the others by a low bank of
earth. Some of the banks, that ran lengthways through the field, were
made into small channels, the ends of which were connected with his
main irrigation-stream. No gates nor sluices were employed, and, when
he wished to water one of his fields, he simply broke away the bank
opposite one of his small channels and let the water flow into it.
When it reached the part of his land he wished to water, he blocked the
channel with a little earth and broke down its bank so that the water
flowed over one of the small squares and soaked it.

[Illustration; A MODERN GUFA Photo by Messrs. Underwood & Underwood.]

He could then repeat the process with the next square, and so on,
afterwards returning to the main channel and stopping the flow of water
by blocking up the hole he had made in the bank. Such is the present
process of irrigation in Mesopotamia, and there is no doubt that it
was adopted by the early Babylonians. It was extremely simple, but
needed care and vigilance, especially when water was being carried into
several parts of an estate at once. Moreover, one main channel often
supplied the fields of several farmers, and, in return for his share
of the water, it was the duty of each man to keep its banks, where it
crossed his land, in repair. If he failed to do so and the water forced
a breach and flooded his neighbour's field, he had to pay compensation
in kind for any crop that was ruined, and, if he could not pay, his
goods were sold, and his neighbours, whose fields had been damaged,
shared the proceeds of the sale. Similarly, if a farmer left his water
running and forgot to shut it off, he had to pay compensation for any
damage it might do to a neighbouring crop.

The date-palm formed the chief secondary source of the country's
wealth, for it grew luxuriantly in the alluvium and supplied the
Babylonians with one of their principal articles of diet.[22] From
it, too, they made a fermented wine, and a species of flour for
baking; its sap yielded palm-sugar, and its fibrous bark was suitable
for weaving ropes, while its trunk furnished a light but tough
building-material. The early Babylonian kings encouraged the laying
out of date-plantations and the planting of gardens and orchards; and
special regulations were made with that object in view. For a man could
obtain a field for the purpose without paying a yearly rent. He could
plant and tend it for four years, and in the fifth year of his tenancy
the original owner of the land took half the garden in payment, while
the planter kept the other half for himself. Care was taken to see
that the bargain was properly carried out, for, if a bare patch had
been left in the plantation, it was reckoned in the planter's half;
and should the tenant neglect the trees during his first four years
of occupation, he was still liable to plant the whole plot without
receiving his half of it, and he had to pay compensation in addition,
which varied in amount according to the original condition of the land.
In this way the authorities ensured that land should not be taken over
and allowed to deteriorate. For the hire of a plantation the rent was
fixed at two-thirds of its produce, the tenant providing all labour and
supplying the necessary irrigation-water.

[Illustration: FIG. 41.


From the royal letters of the period of the First Dynasty we know that
the canals were not only used for irrigation, but also as water-ways
for transport.---The letters contain directions for the bringing of
corn, dates, sesame-seed, and wood to Babylon, and we also know that
wool and oil were carried in bulk by water. For transport of heavy
goods on the Tigris and Euphrates it is possible that rafts, floated
on inflated skins, were used from an early period, though the earliest
evidence we have of their employment is furnished by the bas-reliefs
from Nineveh. Such rafts have survived to the present day,[23] and
they are specially adapted for the transport of heavy materials, for
they are carried down by the current, and are kept in the main stream
by means of huge sweeps or oars. Being formed only of logs of wood and
skins, they are not costly, for wood was plentiful in the upper course
of the rivers. At the end of the journey, after the goods were landed,
they were broken up, the logs being sold at a profit, and the skins,
after being deflated, were packed on donkeys to return up stream by

[Illustration: FIG. 42.


(From a bas-relief in the British Museum.)]

The use of such _keleks_ can only have been general when through-river
communication was general, but, since we know that Hammurabi included
Assyria within his dominions, it is not impossible that they may date
from at least as early a period as the First Dynasty. For purely local
traffic in small bulk the _gufa,_ or light coracle, may have been used
in Babylonia at this time, for its representation on the Assyrian
monuments corresponds exactly with its structure at the present time
as used; on the lower Tigris and Euphrates. The _gufa_ is formed of
wicker-work coated with bitumen, but some of those represented on the
sculptures from Nineveh appear to have been covered with skins as in
the description of Herodotus.[25]

In the texts and inscriptions of the early period ships are referred
to, and these were undoubtedly the only class of vessels employed on
the canals for conveying supplies in bulk by water. The size of such
ships, or barges, was reckoned by the amount of grain they were capable
of carrying, measured by the _gur,_ the largest measure of capacity. We
find vessels of very different size referred to, varying from five to
seventy-five _gur_ and over. The larger class probably resembled the
sailing barges and ferry-boats in use to-day,[26] which are built of
heavy timbers and have flat bottoms when intended for the transport of
beasts. In Babylon at the time of the First Dynasty a boat-builder's
fee for constructing a vessel of sixty _gur_ was fixed at two shekels
of silver, and it was proportionately less for vessels of smaller
capacity. A boat-builder was held responsible for unsound work, and
should defects develop in a vessel within a year of its being launched,
he was obliged to strengthen or rebuild it at his own expense. Boatmen
and sailors formed a numerous class in the community, and the yearly
wage of a man in such employment was fixed at sixty _gur_ of corn.
Larger vessels carried crews under the command of a captain, or chief
boatman, and there is evidence that the vessels owned by the king
included many of the larger type, which he employed for carrying grain,
wool and dates, as well as wood and stone for building-operations.

[Illustration: FIG. 43.


(From a bas-relief in the British Museum.)]

It is probable that there were regular officials, under the king's
control, who collected dues and looked after the water-transport in the
separate sections of the river, or canal, on which they were stationed.
It would have been their duty to report any damage or defect in the
channel to the king, who would send orders to the local governor
that the necessary repairs should be put in hand. One of Hammurabi's
letters deals with the blocking of a canal at Erech, about which he
had received such reports. The dredging already undertaken had not
been thoroughly done, so that the canal had soon silted up again and
boats were prevented from reaching the city; in his letter Hammurabi
sent pressing orders that the canal was to be rendered navigable
within three days.[27] Special regulations were also in force with
regard to the respective responsibilities of boat-owners, boatmen and
their clients. If a boatman hired a boat from its owner, he was held
responsible for it, and had to replace it should it be lost or sunk;
but if he refloated it, he had only to pay the owner half its value
for the damage it had sustained. Boatmen were also responsible for
the safety of goods, such as corn, wool, oil or dates, which they had
undertaken to carry for hire, and they had to make good any total loss
due to their own carelessness. Collisions between two vessels were also
provided for, and should one of the boats have been moored at the time,
the boatman of the other vessel had to pay compensation for the boat
that was sunk as well as for the lost cargo, the owner of the latter
estimating its value upon oath. Many cases in the courts probably arose
out of loss or damage to goods in course of transport by water.

The commercial activities of Babylon at the time of the First Dynasty
led to a considerable growth in the size of the larger cities, which
ceased to be merely local centres of distribution and began to engage
in commerce farther afield. Between Babylonia and Elam close commercial
relations had long been maintained, but Hammurabi's western conquests
opened up new markets to the merchants of his capital. The great
trade-route up the Euphrates and into Syria was no longer blocked by
military outposts and fortifications, placed there in the vain attempt
to keep back the invasion of Amorite tribes; and the trade in pottery
with Carchemish, of which we have evidence under the later kings of
the First Dynasty,[28] is significant of the new relations established
between Babylonia and the West. The great merchants were, as a body,
members of the upper class, and while they themselves continued to
reside in Babylon, they employed traders who carried their goods abroad
for them by caravan.

Even Hammurabi could not entirely guarantee the safety of such traders,
for attacks by brigands were then as common in the Nearer East as
at the present day; and there was always the additional risk that a
caravan might be captured by the enemy, if it ventured too near a
hostile frontier. In such circumstances the king saw to it that the
loss of the goods was not borne by the agent, who had already risked
his life and liberty in undertaking their transport. For, if such an
agent had been forced in the course of his journey to give up some of
the goods he was carrying, he had to specify the exact amount on oath
on his return, and he was then acquitted of all responsibility. But if
it could be proved before the elders of the city that he had attempted
to cheat his employer by misappropriating money or goods to his own
use, he was obliged to pay the merchant three times the value of the
goods he had taken. The law was not one-sided and afforded the agent
equal protection in relation to his more powerful employer; for should
the latter be convicted of an attempt to defraud his agent, by denying
that the due amount had been returned to him, he had to pay his agent
as compensation six times the amount in dispute. The merchant always
advanced the goods or money with which to trade, and the fact that he
could, if he wished to do so, fix his own profit at double the value of
the capital, is an indication of the very satisfactory returns obtained
at this period from foreign commerce. But the more usual practice was
for merchant and trader to share the profits between them, and, in
the event of the latter making such bad bargains that there was a loss
on his journey, he had to refund to the merchant the full value of
the goods he had received. At the time of the First Dynasty asses and
donkeys were the beasts of burden employed for carrying merchandise,
for the horse was as yet a great rarity and was not in general use in
Babylonia until after the Kassite conquest.[29]

A large number of the First Dynasty contracts relate to commercial
journeys of this sort, and record the terms of the bargains entered
into between the interested parties. Such partnerships were sometimes
concluded for a single journey, but more often for longer periods of
time. The merchant always demanded a properly executed receipt for
the money or goods he advanced to the trader, and the latter received
one for any deposit or pledge he might have made in token of his good
faith. In reckoning their accounts on the conclusion of a journey, only
such amounts as were specified in the receipts were regarded as legal
obligations, and, if either party had omitted to obtain his proper
documents, he did so at his own risk. The market-places of the capital
and the larger towns must have been the centres where such business
arrangements were transacted, and official scribes were probably always
in attendance to draw up the terms of any bargain in the presence of
other merchants and traders, who acted as witnesses. These had their
names enumerated at the close of the document, and since they were
chosen from local residents, some were always at hand to testify in
case of any subsequent dispute.

The town-life in Babylonia at this time must have had many features in
common with that of any provincial town in Mesopotamia to-day, except
that the paternal government of the First Dynasty undoubtedly saw to it
that the streets were kept clean, and made strenuous efforts to ensure
that private houses should be soundly built and maintained in proper
repair. We have already followed out the lines of some of the streets
in ancient Babylon,[30] and noted that, while the foundations of the
houses were usually of burnt brick, crude brick was invariably employed
for their upper structure. They were probably all buildings of a single
story, their flat mud roofs, supported on a layer of brush-wood with
poles for rafters, serving as a sleeping-place for their inmates during
the hot season. Contemporary evidence goes to show that, before the
period of Hammurabi, private houses had not been very solidly built,
for his legislation contemplates the possibility of their falling
and injuring the inmates. In the case of new houses the law fixed
the responsibility upon the builder, and we may infer that the very
heavy penalties exacted for bad work led to a marked improvement in
construction. For, when such a newly built house fell and crushed the
owner so that he died, the builder himself was liable to be put to
death. Should the fall of the house kill the owner's son, the builder's
own son was slain; and, if one or more of the owner's slaves were
killed, the builder had to restore him slave for slave. Any damage to
the owner's possessions was also made good by the builder, who had in
addition to rebuild the house at his own cost, or repair any portion
of it that had fallen. On the other hand, payment for sound work was
guaranteed, and the fact that the scale of payment was fixed by the
area of ground covered by the building, is direct evidence that the
houses of the period consisted of no more than one story. The beginning
of town-planning on systematic lines, with streets running through and
crossing each other at right angles, of which we have noted evidence at
Babylon, may perhaps date from the Hammurabi period; but no confident
opinion on the point can be expressed until further excavation has been
undertaken in the earlier strata of the city.[31]


We have recovered from contemporary documents a very full picture
of family life in early Babylonia, for the duties of the separate
members of a family to one another were regulated by law, and
any change in relationship was duly attested and recorded in legal
form before witnesses. Minute regulations were in force with regard
to marriage, divorce and the adoption and maintenance of children,
while the provision and disposal of marriage-portions, the rights of
widows and the laws of inheritance were all controlled by the state
upon traditional lines. Perhaps the most striking feature in the
social system was the recognized status of the wife in the Babylonian
household, and the extremely independent position enjoyed by women
in general. Any marriage to be legally binding had to be accompanied
by a duly executed and attested marriage-contract, and without this
necessary preliminary a woman was not regarded as a wife in the legal
sense. On the other hand, when once such a marriage-contract had been
drawn up and attested, its inviolability was stringently secured.
Chastity on the wife's part was enforced under severe penalty;[32] but
on the other hand the husband's responsibility to maintain his wife in
a position suitable to their circumstances was also recognized.

The law gave the wife ample protection, and in the case of the
husband's desertion allowed her, under certain conditions, to become
the legal wife of another man. If the husband wilfully deserted her
and left his city under no compulsion, she might remarry and he could
not reclaim her on his return. But if his desertion was involuntary,
as in the case of a man taken in battle and carried off as a prisoner,
this rule did not apply; and the wife was allowed to shape her action
during his absence in accordance with the condition of her husband's
affairs. The regulations in such a case were extraordinarily in favour
of the woman. If the husband was possessed of property sufficient to
maintain the wife during the period of his captivity, she had no excuse
for remarriage; and, should she become the wife of another man, the
marriage was not regarded as legal and she was liable to the extreme
penalty for adultery. But if the husband had not sufficient means for
his wife's maintenance, it was recognized that she would be thrown on
her own resources, and she was permitted to remarry. The returning
captive could claim his wife, but the children of the second marriage
remained with their own father. The laws of divorce, too, safeguarded
the woman's interests, and only dealt with her severely if it could
be proved that she had wasted her household and failed in her duty as
a wife; in such a case she could be divorced without compensation,
and even reduced to the condition of a slave in her husband's house.
But, in the absence of such proof, her maintenance was fully secured;
for the husband had to return her marriage-portion, and, if there had
been none, he must make her an allowance. She also had the custody of
her children, for whose maintenance and education the husband had to
provide; and, at his death, the divorced wife and her children could
inherit a share of his estate.[33] The contraction of a permanent
disease by the wife was also held to constitute no grounds for a

Such regulations throw an interesting light on the position of
the married woman in the Babylonian community, which was not only
unexampled in antiquity but compares favourably, in point of freedom
and independence, with her status in many countries of modern Europe.
Still more remarkable were the privileges capable of attainment by
unmarried women of the upper class, who in certain circumstances were
entitled to hold property in their own names and engage in commercial
undertakings. To secure such a position a woman took vows, by which she
became a member of a class of votaries attached to one of the chief
temples in Babylon, Sippar, or another of the great cities.[34] The
duties of such women were not sacerdotal, and, though they generally
lived together, in a special building, or convent, attached to the
temple, they enjoyed a position of great influence and independence in
the community. A votary could possess property in her own name, and on
taking her vows was provided with a portion by her father, exactly as
though she were being given in marriage. This was vested in herself,
and did not become the property of her order, nor of the temple to
which she was attached; it was devoted entirely to her maintenance, and
after her father's death, her brothers looked after her interest, and
she could farm the property out. Upon her death her portion returned
to her own family, unless her father assigned her the privilege of
bequeathing it; but any property she inherited she could bequeath, and
she had not to pay taxes on it. She had considerable freedom, could
engage in commerce on her own account, and, should she desire to do so,
could leave, the convent and contract a form of marriage.

While securing her these privileges, the vows she took entailed
corresponding responsibilities. Even when married, a votary was still
obliged to remain a virgin, and, should her husband desire children,
she could not bear them herself, but must provide him with a maid or
concubine. But, in spite of this disability, she was secured in her
position as the permanent head of the household. The concubine, though
she might bear the husband children, was always the wife's inferior,
and should she attempt to put herself on a level with the votary, the
latter could brand her and put her with the female slaves; while in the
event of the concubine proving barren, she could be sold. Unmarried
votaries, too, could live in houses of their own and dispose of their
time and money in their own way. But a high standard of commercial
and social morality was expected from them, and severe penalties were
imposed for its infringement. No votary, for example, was permitted
to open a beer-shop, and should she even enter one, she ran the risk
of being put to death. An unmarried votary also enjoyed the status
of a married woman, and the penalty for slandering one was branding
in the forehead. That the social position enjoyed by a votary was
considerable is proved by the fact that many women of good family, and
even members of the royal house, took vows.

It is a striking fact that women of an Eastern race should have
achieved such a position of independence at the beginning of the second
millennium. The explanation is perhaps to be sought in the great part
already played by commerce in Babylonian life. Among contemporary
races, occupied mainly by agriculture and war, woman's activity was
necessarily restricted to the rearing of children and to the internal
economy of the household. But with the growth of Babylonian trade and
commercial enterprise, it would seem that the demand arose, on the
part of women of the upper class, to take part in activities in which
they considered themselves capable of joining.[35] The success of the
experiment was doubtless due in part to the high standard of morality
exacted, and in part to the prestige conferred by association with the
religious cult.

The administration of justice at the period of the First Dynasty was
carried out by duly appointed courts of law under the supervision of
the king. The judges were appointed by the crown, and a check was put
upon any arbitrary administration of the law by the fact that the
elders of the city sat with them and assisted them in hearing and
sifting evidence. When once a judgment had been given and recorded, it
was irrevocable, and if any judge attempted to alter such a decision,
he was expelled from his judgment-seat and debarred from exercising
judicial functions in the future. The regulation was probably intended
to prevent the possibility of subsequent bribery; and, if a litigant
considered that justice had not been done, it was always open to him
to appeal to the king. Hammurabi's letters prove that he exercised
strict supervision, not only over the cases decided in the capital,
but also over those which were tried in the other great cities of
Babylonia, and it is clear that he attempted to stamp out corruption
on the part of all those invested with authority. On one occasion he
had been informed of a case of bribery in the town of Dûr-gurgurri,
and he at once ordered the governor of the district to investigate
the charge and send the guilty parties to Babylon for punishment. The
bribe, too, was to be confiscated and despatched to Babylon under seal,
a wise provision that would have tended to discourage those inclined to
tamper with the course of justice, while at the same time it enriched
the state.[36] The king probably tried all cases of appeal in person,
when it was possible; but in distant cities he deputed this duty to
local officials. Many of the cases that came before him arose from the
extortions of money-lenders,[37] and the king had no mercy when fraud
on their part was proved.

The relations maintained by the king with the numerous classes of
the priesthood was also very close, and the control he exercised
over the chief priests and their subordinates appears to have been
as effective as that he maintained over the judicial authorities
throughout the country. Under the Sumerians there had always been a
tendency on the part of the more powerful members of the hierarchy to
usurp the prerogatives of the crown,[38] but this danger appears to
have been fully discounted under the rule of the Western Semites. One
important section of the priestly body were the astrologers, whose
duty it probably was to make periodical reports to the king on the
conjunctions and movements of the heavenly bodies, with the object of
ascertaining whether they portended good or evil to the state. The
later Assyrian practice may well have had its origin at this period,
and we may conclude that the regulation of the calendar was carried out
in accordance with such advice. One of Hammurabi's letters has come
down to us in which he writes to inform Sin-idinnam, his local governor
of Larsa, that it had been decided to insert an intercalary month in
the calendar. He writes that, as the year, that is the calendar, had
a deficiency, the month that was beginning was to be registered as
the second Elul; and he adds the very practical reminder, that the
insertion of the extra month would not justify any postponement in the
payment of the regular tribute due from the city of Larsa.[39] The
lunar calendar of the Babylonians rendered the periodical intercalation
of months necessary, in order that it should be made to correspond to
the solar year; and the duty of watching for the earliest appearance of
the new moon and fixing the first day of each month, was among the most
important of the functions performed by the official astrologers.

In the naming of the year the priesthood must also have played an
important part, since the majority of the events from which the
years were named were of a religious character. The system, which
was inherited from the Sumerians, cannot have been a very convenient
one,[40] and no doubt it owed its retention to the sanctity of the
religious rites and associations attaching to it. There can be little
doubt that, normally, the naming of the year took place at the New
Year's Feast, and, when the event commemorated in the formula was the
installation of a chief priest or the dedication of temple-furniture,
the royal act, we may assume, was performed on the day the year
was named.[41] Often merely a provisional title was adopted from
the preceding formula, and then perhaps no ceremony of naming was
held, unless in the course of it a great victory, or other important
occurrence, was commemorated by the renaming of the year. The king must
have consulted with his priestly advisers before the close of the old
year, and have settled on the new formula in good time to allow of its
announcement in the outlying districts of the kingdom.

Another important religious class at this period was the guild of
soothsayers, and they also appear to have been directly under the royal
control. This we gather from a letter of Ammi-ditana, one of the later
kings of the First Dynasty, written to three high officials of Sippar,
which illustrates the nature of their duties and the sort of occasion
on which they were called upon to perform them.[42] It had come to
the king's knowledge that there was a scarcity of corn in Shagga,
and since that town was in the administrative district of Sippar,
he wrote to the officials concerned ordering them to send a supply
thither. But, before the corn was brought into the city, they were to
consult the soothsayers, in order to ascertain whether the omens were
favourable. The method of inquiry is not specified, but it was probably
liver-divination, which was in common use during all periods.[43] Only
if the omens proved favourable, was the corn to be brought into the
town, and Ave may conclude that the king took this precaution as he
feared that the scarcity of corn in Shagga was due to the anger of some
local deity. The astrologers would be able to ascertain the facts, and,
in the event of their reporting unfavourably, no doubt the services of
the local priesthood would have been called in.

We have already seen that flocks and herds which were owned by the
great temples were sometimes pastured with those of the king, and there
is abundant evidence that the king also superintended the collection
of temple-revenues along with his own. Collectors of both secular and
ecclesiastical tribute sent reports directly to the king, and, if there
was any deficit in the supply expected from a collector, he had to make
it up himself. From one of Hammurabi's letters, for example, we gather
that two landowners, or money-lenders, had lent money or advanced
seed-corn to certain farmers near the towns of Dûr-gurgurri and Rakhabu
and along the Tigris, and in settlement of their claims had seized the
crops, refusing to pay the proportion due to Bît-il-kittim, the great
temple of the Sun-god at Larsa. The governor of Larsa, the principal
city in the district, had rightly, as the representative of the palace,
caused the tax-collector to make up the deficiency, but Hammurabi, on
receiving the subordinate officer's complaint, referred the matter
back to the governor, and we may infer from similar cases that the
defaulting parties had to make good the loss and submit to fines or
punishment.[44] The document throws an interesting light on the methods
of government administration, and the manner in which the king gave
personal supervision to the smallest details.

It will be obvious that for the administration of the country a large
body of officials were required, and of their number two classes,
of a semi-military character, enjoyed the king's special favour and
protection. They were placed in charge of public works and looked after
and controlled the public slaves, and they probably also had a good
deal to do with the collection of the revenue. As payment for their
duties, they were each granted land with a house and garden; they were
assigned sheep and cattle to stock their land, and in addition they
Received a regular salary. They were, in a sense, personal retainers
of the king, and were liable to be sent at any moment on a special
mission. Disobedience was severely punished, for if such an officer,
when detailed for special service, hired a substitute, he was liable
to be put to death and the substitute could take his office. Sometimes
an officer was sent to take charge of a distant garrison for a long
period, and when this was done his home duties were performed by
another man, who temporarily occupied his house and land, and gave
it back to the officer on his return. If the officer had a son old
enough to perform the duty in his father's absence, he war allowed to
do so; and, if he was too young, his maintenance was paid for out of
the estate. Should the officer fail to arrange, before his departure,
for the proper cultivation of his land and the discharge of his local
duties, another could take his place after the lapse of a year, and
on his return he could not reclaim his land or office. When on garrison
duty, or on special service, he ran the risk of capture by the enemy,
and in that event his ransom was assured. For if his own means did
not suffice, the sum had to be paid from the treasury of the local
temple, and in the last resort by the state. It was specially enacted
that his land, garden, and house were in no case to be sold to pay
for his ransom. They were inalienably attached to the office he held,
which appears to have been entailed in the male line, since he was
precluded from bequeathing any of the property to his wife or daughter.
They could only pass from him and his male issue through neglect or

Nos._ 89771, 89388, 89110, 89367.]

It is not improbable that the existence of this specially favoured
class of officer dates back to the earliest settlement of the Western
Semites in Babylonia. The first of their number may well have been
personal retainers and followers of Sumu-abum, the founder of the
dynasty. Originally soldiers, they were probably assigned lands
throughout the country in return for their services to the king, and
they continued to serve him by maintaining order and upholding his
authority. In the course of time specified duties were assigned to
them, but they retained their privileges, and they must have remained
a very valuable body of officers, on whose personal loyalty the king
could always rely. In the case of war, they may have assisted in
mobilization for the army was probably raised on a territorial basis,
much on the lines of the _corvée_ for public works which was under
their control.

By contemporary documents of the period much light is thrown on other
classes of the population, but, as they were all connected with various
departments in the commercial or agricultural life of the community,
it will be unnecessary to describe them in further detail. One class
perhaps deserves mention, the surgeons, since lack of professional
skill was rather heavily penalized. For if a surgeon, when called in
by a noble, carried out an operation so unskilfully as to cause his
death or inflict a permanent injury upon him, such as the loss of an
eye, the punishment was amputation of both hands. No penalty appears
to have been enacted if the patient were a member of the middle class,
but should the slave of such a man die as the result of an operation,
the surgeon had to give the owner another slave; and, in the event of
the slave losing his eye, he had to pay the owner half the slave's
value. There was, of course, no secular class in the population which
corresponded to the modern doctor, for the medicinal use of herbs and
drugs was not separated from their employment in magic. Disease was
looked upon as due to the agency of evil spirits, or of those that
controlled them, and though many potions were doubtless drunk of a
curative nature, they were taken at the instance of the magician,
not of the doctor, and to the accompaniment of magical rites and

In the religious sphere, the rise of Babylon to the position of
capital led to a number of important changes, and to a revision of
the Babylonian pantheon. Marduk, the god of Babylon, from being
a comparatively obscure city-god, underwent a transformation in
proportion to the increase in his city's importance. The achievements
and attributes of Enlil, the chief Sumerian deity, were ascribed to
him, and the old Sumerian sagas and legends, particularly those of
the creation of the world, were rewritten in this new spirit by the
Babylonian priesthood. The beginning of the process may be accurately
dated to the year of Hammurabi's conquest of Rîm-Sin and his subsequent
control of Nippur, the ancient centre of the old Sumerian faith. It
does not appear that the earlier Semites, when they conquered that
city, had ever attempted to modify the old traditions they found there,
or to appropriate them for their local gods. But a new spirit was
introduced with the triumph of the Western Semites. The Sumerians were
then a dying race, and the gradual disappearance of their language as
a living tongue was accompanied by a systematic translation, and a
partial transformation, of their sacred literature. Enlil could not be
entirely ousted from the position he had so long enjoyed, but Marduk
became his greater son. The younger god is represented as winning his
position by his own valour, in coming to the help of the older gods
when their very existence was threatened by the dragons of chaos; and,
having slain the monster of the deep, he is portrayed as creating
the universe from her severed body.[46] The older legends, no doubt,
continued to be treasured in the ancient cult-centres of the land, but
the Babylonian versions, under royal sanction and encouragement, tended
to gain wide recognition and popularity.

Under the later kings of the First Dynasty a great impetus was also
given to all branches of literary activity. The old Sumerian language
still bulked largely in the phraseology of legal and commercial
documents, as well as in the purely religious literature of the
country. And, to aid them in their study of the ancient texts, the
Semitic scribes undertook a systematic compilation of explanatory
lists of words and ideograms--the earliest form of dictionary,--which
continued in use into the Assyrian and Neo-Babylonian periods. The
Sumerian texts, too, were copied out and furnished with inter-linear
Semitic translations. The astronomical and astrological studies and
records of the Sumerian priests were taken over, and great collections
were compiled in combination with the early Akkadian records that
had come down to them. A study of the Babylonian literature affords
striking proof that the semitizing of the country led to no break, nor
set-back, in Babylonian culture. The older texts and traditions were
taken over in bulk, and, except where the rank or position of Marduk
was affected, little change or modification was made. The Semitic
scribes no doubt developed their inheritance, but expansion took place
on the old lines.

In commercial life, too, Sumerian customs remained to a great extent
unaltered. Taxes, rent, and prices continued to be paid in kind, and
though the talent, maneh, and shekel were in use as metal weights, and;
silver was in partial circulation, no true currency was developed. In
the sale of land, for example, even during the period of the Kassite
kings, the purchase-price was settled in shekel-weights of silver, but
very little metal actually changed hands. Various items were exchanged
against the land, and these, in addition I to corn, the principal
medium of exchange, included slaves, animals, weapons, garments, etc.,
the value of each item being reckoned on the same silver basis, until
the agreed purchase-price was made up. The early Semitic Babylonian,
despite his commercial activity, did not advance beyond the transition
stage between pure barter and a regular currency.

One important advantage conferred by the Western Semite on the country
of his adoption was an increase in the area of its commercial relations
and a political expansion to the north and west. He systematized its
laws, and placed its internal administration on a wider--and more
uniform basis. But the greatest and most far-reaching change of the
Hammurabi period was that the common speech of the whole of Babylonia
became Semitic, as did the dominant racial element in the population.
And it was thanks to this fact that all subsequent invasions of the
country failed to alter the main features in her civilization. Such
alien strains were absorbed in process of time, and, though they
undoubtedly introduced fresh blends into the racial mixture, the
Semitic element triumphed, and continued to receive reinforcements
from the parent stock. The Sumerian race and language appear to have
survived longest in the extreme south of the country, and we shall see
that the rise of the Sea-Country kings may perhaps be regarded as their
last effective effort in the political sphere.

[Footnote 1: The Code was first published and translated by Scheil,
in the "Mémoires de la Délégation en Perse," Vol. IV. (1902), and
the accompanying photographie facsimile remains the best authority
for the text. For the fullest and best bibliography to the immense
mass of literature which has grown up around it, see Johns, "Schweich
Lectures," 1912, pp. 65 ff.; the most accessible versions in English
are those by Johns in "Babylonian and Assyrian Laws, Contracts
and Letters" (1904), pp. 44 ff., and in Hastings' "Dictionary of
the Bible," Vol. V. For the linguistic study of the text Ungnad's
transliteration and glossary in Kohler and Ungnad's "Hammurabi's
Gesetz," Bd. II. (1909), may be specially mentioned.]

[Footnote 2: For the latest bibliography to the early
contract-literature see Schorr, "Urkunden des altbabylonischen Zivil-
und Prozessrechts" (published in the "Vorderasiatische Bibliothek,"
1913), pp. xlix. ff. The great bulk of the royal letters are in the
British Museum and are translated in "Letters and Inscriptions of
Hammurabi, etc." (1898-1900); and for publications of private letters
of the period, see Schorr, _op cit.,_ p. lvi.]

[Footnote 3: See Clay, "Orient. Lit.-Zeit," 1914 (January), "A Sumerian
Prototype of the Hammurabi Code." The text, of which Prof. Clay has
sent me a photograph, is of the greatest importance for the study of
Babylonian law; he is at present preparing it for publication.]

[Footnote 4: The Babylonian name for a member of the upper class was
_awîlum,_ "man," and, when employed in this special sense, it is best
translated by some such expression as "patrician" or "noble." But for
legislative purposes, as well as in common parlance, _awîlum_ could be
employed in its more general meaning to include members of the middle

[Footnote 5: They were known as _mushkênum,_ derived from the
Shafel-Piel stem of the root (_kânu_), with the meaning "to humble
oneself, to be humble." Combe has compared the similar use of _miskîn_
in Arabic for a man of humble station who is not a descendant of the
prophet (cf. "Babyloniaca," III., p. 73 f.). The word passed into
Hebrew as _miskên,_ and, with modifications of meaning, into more than
one European language (cf. Ital. _meschino, meschinello,_ Portug.
_mesquinho,_ French _mesquin_); see Johns, "Schweich Lectures"
(1912), pp. 8, 74.]

[Footnote 6: Herodotus (I., 193) bears witness to the great fertility
of Babylonia, stating that of all countries of the ancient world it was
the most fruitful in grain.]

[Footnote 7: On the early system of tribal ownership, which survived
even the Kassite conquest and requisitions, see below, pp. 249 ff.]

[Footnote 8: In fact, the _métayer_ system was in force, the landlord
finding the cattle, agricultural implements, and seed for the culture
of the fields; cf. Johns, "Schweich Lectures," p. 5.]

[Footnote 9: See the five letters of Ammi-zaduga, in "Letters of Ham."
III., pp. 162 ff.]

[Footnote 10: For the loss of an eye the hirer paid half the beast's
value, and a quarter for a broken horn, the loss of the tail, or a torn

[Footnote 11: See § 256 of the Code.]

[Footnote 12: Cf. "Letters of Hammurabi," III., pp. 130 ff.]

[Footnote 13: They are also referred to by Herodotus (I., 193), but not

[Footnote 14: At Hit on the Euphrates are some of the largest
water-wheels in Mesopotamia, a line of them being built across one
portion of the river.]

[Footnote 15: Cf. "Cun. Texts in the Brit. Mus.," XXVI., p. 26.]

[Footnote 16: See Fig. 40, and cf. Clay, "Documents from the Temple
Archives of Nippur," in the "Museum Publications of the Univ. of
Pennsylvania," Vol. II., No. 2 (1912), p. 65, from which the drawing
has been taken.]

[Footnote 17: See Plate XXI., opposite p. 248.]

[Footnote 18: Cf. Frank, "Das Symbol der Göttin Gestinna," in the
"Hilprecht Anniversary Volume" (1909), pp. 104 ff.]

[Footnote 19: Cf. Place, "Ninive et l'Assyrie," III., pl. 31; the
plough is there depicted in yellow enamel on a blue ground.]

[Footnote 20: See Budge and King, "Guide to the Babylonian and Assyrian
Antiquities in the British Museum," 2nd ed. (1908), p. 221, Figure.
George Rawlinson ("Ancient Monarchies," I., p. 567) had already
explained the seed-drill in the plough on Esarhaddon's stone.]

[Footnote 21: The Babylonian word for plough, _ḳanḳannu,_ has also
survived in the Syriac _kenkĕnā,_ and the Rabbinic _ḳanḳannâ_; cf.
Frank, _op. cit.,_ p. 165 f. This use of the determinative _erû,_
"copper," before the Babylonian word, suggests that metal was employed
for the plough-share from a very early period.]

[Footnote 22: On the cultivation of the date-palm and the Babylonian
method of artificial fertilization, see Herodotus, I., 193; and cp.
Tylor, "Proc. Soc. Bibl. Arch.," XII. (1890), pp. 383 ff.]

[Footnote 23: Even the modern Arabic name for such a raft, _kelek,_ is
derived from the Assyrian word for the same form of vessel, _kalaku,_
as was first pointed out by Johnson.]

[Footnote 24: This is the custom at the present day, and we know
that it also existed at the time of Herodotus (cf. I., 194); but his
description of the structure of the "boats" applies, not to the raft or
_kelek,_ but to the _gufa,_ a small coracle, which was used only for
local traffic.]

[Footnote 25: See Fig. 42; and cf. p. 179, n. 2.]

[Footnote 26: See Plate XV., opposite p. 184.]

[Footnote 27: Cf. "Letters," III., p. 16 f.]

[Footnote 28: See above, p. 127 f.]

[Footnote 29: See below, p. 215 f.]

[Footnote 30: See above, pp. 82 ff.]

[Footnote 31: The fact that, so far as they have yet been examined,
the lines of the streets appear to have altered little during the time
from the First Dynasty to the Neo-Babylonian and Persian periods, is
at least presumptive evidence in favour of assigning the main lines of
the street-plan on the Merkes Mound to the age of Hammurabi and his
descendants; see above, p. 85 f.]

[Footnote 32: In the case of proved adultery, drowning was the penalty
for the guilty parties; but the husband could save his wife, if he
wished to do so, by appeal to the king. If the charge was brought by
the husband himself, a woman could clear herself by swearing to her
own innocence; but, if others brought the charge, she had to submit to
the ordeal by water. She plunged into the Euphrates, and should she be
drowned, it was regarded as proof of guilt; but if she got safely to
the bank her innocence was established. It was believed that the Sacred
River would see that justice was done; see §§ 131 f. of the Code, and
cp. § 2.]

[Footnote 33: The wife could also divorce her husband, if she
could prove that her past life had been seemly; she then took her
marriage-portion and returned to her father's house. For laws as to
breach of promise (based on the payment of the bride-price), see §§
159-101 of the Code.]

[Footnote 34: There was an important guild of votaries attached to
E-babbar, the temple of the Sun-god at Sippar, a second at Ur, and
another at E-sagila, the great temple of Marduk at Babylon, where they
had special privileges.]

[Footnote 35: Prof. Myres, in commenting on the industrial status
found for these unmarried women, remarks that, with manufactures and
commerce standing so high in the economy of Babylonia, it is not to be
wondered at if the social structure of the country developed some of
the same features as begin to perplex our modern world: cf. "Dawn of
Civilization," p. 97.]

[Footnote 36: See "Letters of Hammurabi," III., pp. 20 ff.]

[Footnote 37: _Op. cit.,_ III., pp. 23 ff., 26 f.]

[Footnote 38: Cf. "Sumer and Akkad," pp. 167 f., 172 f.]

[Footnote 39: Cf. "Letters," III., p. 12 f.]

[Footnote 40: Cf. "Sumer and Akkad," p. 57 f.]

[Footnote 41: Ungnad ("Beitr. z. Assyr.," VI., Hft. 3, p. 7 f.) has
collected a number of formulæ from documents, dated either on the first
day of Nisan, or within the first six days of the year, which suggest
that this was the practice; even the completion of the cutting of a
canal might have been foreseen. Very rarely, a formula may have been
framed from an important event of the preceding year, perhaps occurring
towards its close; the defeat of Nîsin in Sin-muballit's seventeenth
date-formula is an instance in point, since one document which bears
the formula is dated on the sixth of Nisan. But there is little to
be said for Poebel's theory (cf. "Babylonian Legal and Business
Documents," pp. 109 ff.), which is based on the assumption that this
was the usual practice. For editions of the First Dynasty date-formulæ,
see "Letters and Inscriptions of Hammurabi," III., pp. 212 ff.; Poebel,
"Legal and Business Documents," pp. 56 ff.; Johns, "Year-Names of the
First Dynasty of Babylon" (1911); and Schorr, "Urkunden," pp. 582 ff.]

[Footnote 42: See "Letters of Hammurabi," III., pp. 157 ff.]

[Footnote 43: See Jastrow, "Religion," Bd. II., _passim._]

[Footnote 44: See "Letters," III., pp. 49 ff. From a letter of
Abi-eshu' (_op. cit.,_ p. 153 f.), we gather that the king held the
merchants of Sippar ultimately responsible for their city's tribute.]

[Footnote 45: See below, p. 240.]

[Footnote 46: On the composite character of the Creation Series, and
the historical lines of its development, see "The Seven Tablets of
Creation," I., pp. lxvi. ff.]



In the closing years of Hammurabi's reign Babylon had reached the
climax of her early power. The proud phraseology of the Prologue to
his Code conveys the impression that the empire was solidly compact,
and its component cities the willing recipients of his royal clemency
and favour. And there can be no doubt that he owed his success in
great measure to the efficient administration he had established under
his personal control. His son, Samsu-iluna, inherited his father's
traditions, and in his letters that have survived we have abundant
evidence that he exercised the same close supervision over the judicial
and administrative officers stationed in cities distant from the
capital. And it would appear that the first eight years of his reign
passed under the same peaceful conditions, that had prevailed at the
time of his accession to the throne. He cut two canals, and the names
he gave them commemorate the wealth and abundance he hoped by their
means to bestow upon the people. It was in his third and fourth years
that the Samsu-iluna-nagab-nukhush-nishi and the Samsu-iluna-khegallum
Canals were completed, and the royal activities were then confined to
the further adornment of the great temples of Babylon and Sippar. His
ninth year marks the crisis, not only in Samsu-iluna's own reign, but
in the early fortunes of the kingdom. It is then that we first hear of
Kassite tribes appearing in force upon Babylon's eastern frontier, and,
though Samsu-iluna doubtless defeated them, as he claims to have done,
it is clear that their emergence from the foothills of Western Elam,
followed speedily by their penetration of Babylonian territory, was the
signal for setting the empire in a blaze.

They must have met with some success before their onslaught was
arrested by the army sent against them,[1] and the renewal of
hostilities in any form must have aroused once more the fighting
instinct of the Elamite border tribes, which had been temporarily laid
to rest by Hammurabi's victories. Hammurabi's old antagonist, Rîm-Sin
himself, had long been living in comparative retirement, and, in spite
of his advanced age, the news fired him to fresh efforts. His name was
still on the lips of those who had fought under him, and since the
death of his conqueror, Hammurabi, his prestige must have tended to
increase. When, therefore, his native land of Emutbal, allying itself
with the neighbouring Elamite district of Idamaraz, followed up the
Kassite onslaught by an organized invasion, Rîm-Sin raised a revolt
in Southern Babylonia, and succeeded in gaining possession of Erech
and Nîsin. It would appear that the Babylonian garrison in Larsa, too,
was overcome, and that the city passed once more under the independent
control of its old ruler.

With the whole south of the country in arms against him, we may
conjecture that Samsu-iluna detailed sufficient forces to contain
Rîm-Sin, while he dealt with the invasion of Babylon's home-territory.
He had little difficulty in disposing of the Elamites, and, marching
southwards, he defeated Rîm-Sin's forces and reoccupied Larsa.[2]
It may be that it was at this time he captured, or burnt, Rîm-Sin
alive,[3] and that the palace where this took place was the
rebel leader's old palace at Larsa, which he had been making his
headquarters. But the revolt was not completely subdued. Ur and
Erech still held out, and it was only after a further campaign that
Samsu-iluna recaptured them and razed their walls. He had thus
succeeded in crushing the first series of organized attacks upon
the empire, but the effort of dealing simultaneously with invasion
and internal revolt had evidently strained the national resources.
Garrisons had probably been reduced in distant provinces, others had
been cut down in order to reinforce his armies in the field, and it is
not surprising that in his twelfth year these outlying districts should
have followed the prevailing lead. In that year it is recorded that all
the lands revolted against him.[4]

Nos._ 89128, 89001, 28799, 89240, 89258.]

We may with some confidence trace the main source of Samsu-iluna's
fresh troubles to the action of Iluma-ilum, who, probably at this time,
headed a revolt in the Sea-Country on the shore of the Persian Gulf,
and declared his independence of Babylon. Samsu-iluna's answer was to
raise further levies and lead them against his new foe. The subsequent
battle was fiercely contested on the very shore of the Gulf, for a
later chronicler records that the bodies of the slain were carried
off by the sea; yet it was either indecisive, or resulted in the
discomfiture of the Babylonians. We may conjecture that the king was
prevented from employing his full forces to stamp out the rebellion,
in consequence of trouble in other quarters. For in the following
two years we find him destroying the cities Kisurra and Sabum, and
defeating the leader of a rebellion in the home-territory of Babylon

Iluma-ilum was thus afforded the opportunity of consolidating his
position, and we may perhaps see evidence of his growing influence
in Southern Babylonia in the fact that at Tell Ṣifr not a single
document has been found dated in a later year of Samsu-iluna's reign
than the tenth.[6] In view of the fact that the central city of Nippur
eventually passed under Iluma-ilum's control, we may probably assume
that he was already encroaching northwards, and that territory in
the south of Sumer, perhaps including the city of Larsa, passed now
into his possession. In support of this suggestion it may be noted
that, when Samsu-iluna, after suppressing the Akkadian usurper, began
repairing the damage wrought in six years of continuous fighting, it
is at Nîsin and at Sippar that he rebuilds the ruined walls, and in
Emutbal that he repairs the great garrison-fortresses. Nîsin may well
have marked the most southerly limit of Babylon's control, and we may
picture the gradual expansion of the Sea-Country, as the power of
Babylon declined. The "rebellious land," which Samsu-iluna boasts that
he overthrew in his twentieth year, was perhaps the Sea-Country, for we
know that he conducted a second campaign against Iluma-ilum, who this
time secured a victory. If the Babylonian army succeeded in retreating
in comparatively good order, it would have formed a sufficient
justification for Samsu-iluna's boast that he had given the rebellious
land a lesson.

The fringe of territory in the extreme south-east of Babylonia always
exhibited a tendency to detach itself from the upper riverain districts
of Babylonia proper. Forming the littoral of the Persian Gulf, and
encroaching in its northern area upon Elam, it consisted of great
stretches of rich alluvial soil interspersed with areas of marsh-land
and swamps, which tended to increase where the rivers approached the
coast. The swamps undoubtedly acted as a protection to the country,
for while tracks and fords were known to the inhabitants, a stranger
from the north-west would in many places have been completely baffled
by them. The natives, too, in their light reed-boats could escape from
one district to another, pushing along known passages and eluding their
pursuers, when once the tall reeds had closed behind them. The later
Assyrians at the height of their power succeeded in subduing a series
of revolts in the Sea-Country, but it was only by enlisting the help
of native guides and by commandeering the light canoes of neighbouring
villages. The earlier kings of Babylonia had always been content to
leave the swamp-dwellers to themselves, and at most to exact a nominal
recognition of suzerainty. But it is probable that fresh energy had
been lately introduced into the district, and of this Iluma-ilum
doubtless took advantage when he succeeded, not only in leading a
revolt, but in establishing an independent kingdom.

[Illustration: FIG. 44.


An Assyrian conquest of the country is here represented, amid all the
difficulties presented by its swamps and reed-beds.

(After a bas-relief at Nineveh.)]

It is clear that the pressure exerted upon Babylonia by the
West-Semitic migration must have tended to displace sections of the
existing population. The direction of advance was always down-stream,
and the pressure continued in force even after the occupation of
the country. Those strains in the population, which differed most
radically from the invaders, would be the more likely to seek sanctuary
elsewhere, and, with the exception of Elam, the Sea-Country offered
the only possible line of retreat. We may assume, therefore, that the
marsh-dwellers of the south had been reinforced for a considerable
period by Sumerian refugees, and, though the first three rulers of the
new kingdom bore Semitic names and were probably Semites, the names
of later rulers of the Sea-Country suggest that the Sumerian element
in the population afterwards secured the control,[7] no doubt with
the assistance of fresh drafts from their own kindred after their
successful occupation of Southern Babylonia. Under the more powerful
kings of the Second Dynasty, the kingdom may have assumed a character
resembling that of its predecessors in Babylonia. The centre of
administration was certainly shifted for a time to Nippur, and possibly
even further north, but the Sea-Country, as the home-land of the
dynasty, must have always been regarded as a dominant province of the
kingdom, and it offered a secure refuge to its rulers in the event of
their being driven again within its borders. In spite of its extensive
marshes, it was capable of sustaining its inhabitants in a considerable
degree of comfort, for the date-palm flourished luxuriantly, and the
areas under cultivation must have been at least as productive as those
further to the north-west. Moreover, the zebu, or humped cattle of
Sumer, thrived in the swamps and water-meadows, and not only formed
an important source of supply, but were used for ploughing in the
agricultural districts.[8]

With such a country as a base of operations, protected in no small
degree by its marshes, it is not surprising that the Sea-Country kings
should have met with considerable success in their efforts at extending
the area of territory under their control.

After his second conflict with Iluma-ilum, Samsu-iluna appears to
have reconciled himself to the loss of his southern province, and to
have made no further effort at reconquest. He could still boast of
successes in other districts, for he destroyed the walls of Shakhnâ
and Zarkhanum, doubtless after the suppression of a revolt, and he
strengthened the fortifications of Kish. He also retained the control
of the Euphrates route to Syria, and he doubtless encouraged the
commercial enterprise of Babylon in that direction as a set-off to his
losses in the south. We possess an interesting illustration of the
close relations he maintained with the west in the date-formula for
the twenty-sixth year of his reign, which tells us that he procured
a monolith from the great mountain of the land of Amurru. This must
have been quarried in the Lebanon, and transported overland to the
Euphrates, and thence conveyed by _kelek_ to the capital. From the
details he gives us of its size, it appears to have measured some
thirty-six feet in length, and it was no small achievement to have
brought it so far to Babylon.

[Illustration: FIG. 45.


They are here represented as being driven off from the Soa-Country,
along with other booty, under a convoy of Assyrian soldiers.

(After a bas-relief from Nineveh in the British Museum.)]

During this period of comparative tranquillity Samsu-iluna devoted
himself once more to rebuilding and beautifying E-sagila and the
temples of Kish and Sippar; but in his twenty-eighth year Babylon
suffered a fresh shock, which appears to have resulted in still
further loss of territory. In that year he claims to have slain
Iadi-khabum and Muti-khurshana, two leaders of an invasion, or a
revolt, of which we have no details. But it is clear that the victory,
if such it was, resulted in further trouble, for in the following
two years no fresh date-formulæ were promulgated, and it is probable
that the king himself was absent from the capital. It is significant
that no document has been recovered at Nippur which is dated after
Samsu-iluna's twenty-ninth year, although in the preceding period, from
the thirty-first year of Hammurabi onward, when the city first passed
into Babylon's possession, nearly every year is well represented in the
dated series.[9] It is difficult not to conclude that Samsu-iluna now
lost the control of that city, and, since one of the documents from
Nippur is dated in Iluma-ilum's reign, it can only have passed into the
latter's possession. Further evidence of the diminishing territory of
Babylon may be seen in the fact that Samsu-iluna should have rebuilt
the old line of fortresses, founded by his ancestor Suma-la-ilum
at a time when the kingdom was in its infancy.[10] This work was
doubtless undertaken when he foresaw the necessity of defending the
Akkadian border, and he must have lost one at least of the fortresses,
Dûr-Zakar, when Nippur was taken. His activities during his closing
years were confined to the north and west, and to the task of keeping
open the Euphrates route. For he cut a canal beside Kâr-Sippar,
recovered possession of Saggaratum, and probably destroyed the cities
of Arkum and Amal. His defeat of an Amorite force some two years
before his death is of interest as proving that the Western Semites
of Akkad, nearly two centuries after their settlement in the country,
were experiencing the same treatment from their own stock that they
themselves had caused to the land of their adoption.

Samsu-iluna, with the possible exception of Ammi-ditana, was the
last great king of the West-Semitic dynasty. It is true that his son
Abi-eshu' made a fresh attempt to dislodge Iluma-ilum from his hold
upon Central and Southern Babylonia. A late chronicle records that he
took the offensive and marched against Iluma-ilum.[11] It would seem
that his attack was in the nature of a surprise, and that he succeeded
in cutting off the king and part of his forces, possibly on their
return from some other expedition. It is clear that he came into touch
with him in the neighbourhood of the Tigris, and probably forced him to
take refuge in a fortress, since he attempted to cut off his retreat by
damming the river. He is said to have succeeded in damming the stream,
but he failed to catch Iluma-ilum. The chronicle records no further
conflict between the two, and we may assume that he then adopted his
father's later policy of leaving the Sea-Country in possession of its
conquered territory. In some of his broken date-formulæ we have echoes
of a few further campaigns, and we know that he cut the Abi-eshu'
Canal, and built a fortress at the gate of the Tigris, which he also
named after himself, Dûr-Abi-eshu'. This was probably a frontier
fortification, erected for the defence of the river at the point where
it passed from Babylon's area of control to that of the Sea-Country. He
also built the town of Lukhaia on the Arakhtu Canal in the immediate
neighbourhood of Babylon. But both Abi-eshu' and his successors on
the throne give evidence of having become more and more engrossed in
cult-observances. The supply of temple-furniture begins to have for
them the importance that military success had for their fathers. And it
is a symptom of decadence that, even in the religious sphere, they are
as much concerned with their own worship as with that of the gods.

It is significant that Abi-eshu' should have named one of his years
of rule by his decoration of a statue of Entemena, the early patesi
of Lagash, who had been accorded divine honours, and, at some period
after Hammurabi's occupation of that city, had received a cult-centre
of his own in Babylon. For the act indicates an increased interest,
on Abi-eshu's part, in the deification of royalty. This honour was
peculiarly associated with the possession of Nippur, the central city
and shrine of the country, and Babylon had adopted the practice of
deification for her kings after Nippur had been annexed by Hammurabi.
Though the city had now passed from Babylon's control, Abi-eshu'
did not relinquish the privilege his father and grandfather had
legitimately enjoyed. Since Babylon no longer possessed the central
shrine of Enlil, in which his own divine statue should have been set
up, he dedicated one in Enlil's local temple at Babylon. But not
content with that he fashioned no less than five other statues of
himself, which he set up in the temples of other gods, at Babylon,
Sippar and elsewhere.[12]

His three successors followed the same practice, and Ammi-ditana and
Ammi-zaduga, his son and grandson, have left descriptions of some of
these cult-images of themselves.[13] A favourite character, in which
the king was often represented, was holding a lamb for divination, and
another was in the attitude of prayer. The later kings of the First
Dynasty love, too, to dwell on their sumptuous votive offerings.
Marduk is supplied with innumerable weapons of red gold, and the
Sun-god's shrine at Sippar is decorated with solar disks of precious
_dushû_-stone, inlaid with red gold, lapis-lazuli, and silver. Great
reliefs, with representations of rivers and mountains, were cast
in bronze and set up in the temples; and Samsu-ditana, the last of
his line, records among his offerings to the gods the dedication to
Sarpanitum of a rich silver casket for perfumes.

Incidentally, these references afford striking proof of the wealth
Babylon had now acquired, due no doubt to her increased commercial
activities. Elam on the one side and Syria on the other[14] had
furnished her with imports of precious stone, metal, and wood; and
her craftsmen had learnt much from foreign teachers. In spite of the
contraction of Hammurabi's empire, the life of the people in both
the town and country districts of Akkad was not materially altered.
The organized supervision of all departments of national activity,
pastoral, agricultural and commercial, which the nation owed in
great measure to Hammurabi, was continued under these later kings;
and some of the royal letters that have been recovered show that
orders on comparatively unimportant matters continued to be issued in
the king's name. We know, too, of a good many public works carried
out by Ammi-ditana, Abi-eshu's son. He cut only one canal, and he
built fortresses for the protection of others, and named them alter
himself. Thus, in addition to the Ammi-ditana Canal, we learn of a
Dûr-Ammi-ditana, which he erected on the Zilakum Canal, and another
fortress of the same name on the Mê-Enlil Canal. He strengthened
the wall of Ishkun-Marduk, which was also on the Zilakum, and built
Mashkan-Ammi-ditana and the wall of Kâr-Shamash, both on the bank of
the Euphrates.[15]

The systematic fortification of the rivers and canals may perhaps
be interpreted as marking an advance of the frontier southward, in
consequence of which it was advisable to protect the crops and the
water-supply of the districts thus recovered from the danger of sudden
raids. On two occasions Ammi-ditana claims, in rather vague terms, to
have freed his land from danger, once by restoring the might of Marduk,
and later on by loosing the pressure from his land; and that, in his
seventeenth year, he should have claimed to have conquered Arakhab,
perhaps referred to as "the Sumerian,"[16] is an indication that the
Sea-Country kings found ready assistance from the older population
of the South. Moreover, of the later West-Semitic kings, Ammi-ditana
alone appears to have made headway against the encroachments of the
Sea-Country. The most conclusive proof of his advance is to be seen
in the date-formula for his thirty-seventh year, which records that
he destroyed the wall of Nîsin,[17] proving that he had penetrated to
the south of Nippur. That Nippur itself was held by him for a time is
more than probable, especially as one of his building-inscriptions,
still unpublished, is said to have been found there[18]; and we know
also, from a Neo-Babylonian copy of a similar text, that he claimed the
title "King of Sumer and Akkad."[19] Under him, then, Babylon recovered
a semblance of her former strength, but we may conjecture that the
Sea-Country retained its hold on Larsa and the southern group of cities.

We are furnished with a third valuable synchronism between the
dynasties of Babylon and of the south by the reference to Ammi-ditana's
destruction of the wall of Nîsin, for the date-formula adds that this
had been erected by the people of Damiḳ-ilishu. The ruler referred
to is obviously the third king in the dynasty of the Sea-Country,
who succeeded Itti-ili-nibi upon the throne.[20] We may conclude
that it was in his reign, or shortly after it, that Ammi-ditana
succeeded in recovering Nîsin, after having already annexed Nippur on
his southward advance. In his thirty-fourth year, two years before
the capture of Nîsin, he had dedicated an image of Samsu-iluna in
the temple E-namtila, and we may perhaps connect this tribute to his
grandfather with the fact that in his reign Babylon had last enjoyed
the distinction conferred by the suzerainty of Nippur.

In the year following the recovery of Nîsin Ammi-zaduga succeeded
his father on the throne, and since he ascribes the greatness of his
kingdom to Enlil, and not to Marduk or any other god, we may see
in this a further indication that Babylon continued to control his
ancient shrine. But the remaining date-formulæ for Ammi-zaduga's reign
do not suggest that Ammi-ditana's conquests were held permanently.
A succession of religious dedications is followed in his tenth year
by the conventional record that he loosed the pressure of his land,
suggesting that his country had been through a period of conflict; and,
though in the following year he built a fortress, Dûr-Ammi-zaduga "at
the mouth of the Euphrates," the nearly unbroken succession of votive
acts, commemorated during his remaining years and in the reign of his
son Samsu-ditana, makes it probable that the kings of Sea-Country were
gradually regaining some of the territory they had temporarily lost.[21]

But it was not from the Sea-Country that the West-Semitic Dynasty of
Babylon received its death-blow. In the late chronicle, which has
thrown so much light on the earlier conflicts of this troubled period,
we read of another invasion, which not only brought disaster to Babylon
but probably put an end to her first dynasty. The chronicler states
that during the reign of Samsu-ditana, the last king of the dynasty,
"men of the land of Khatti marched against the land of Akkad," in other
words, that Hittites from Anatolia[22] marched down the Euphrates and
invaded Babylonia from the north-west. The chronicle does not record
the result of the invasion,[23] but we may probably connect it with the
fact that the Kassite king Agum-kakrime brought back to Babylon from
Khanî, the old Khana on the middle Euphrates,[24] the cult-images of
Marduk and Sarpanitum and installed them once more with great pomp and
ceremony within their shrines in E-sagila. We may legitimately conclude
that they were carried off by the Hittites during their invasion in
Samsu-ditana's reign.

90268; _Photo by Messrs. Mansell & Co._]

If the Hittites succeeded in despoiling Babylon of her most sacred
deities, it is clear that they must have raided the city, and they may
even have occupied it for a time. Thus the West-Semitic Dynasty of
Babylon may have been brought to an end by these Hittite conquerors,
and Samsu-ditana himself may have fallen in defence of his own capital.
But there is no reason for supposing that the Hittites occupied
Babylon for long. Even if their success was complete, they would soon
have returned to their own country, laden with heavy spoil; and they
doubtless left some of their number in occupation of Khana on their
withdrawal up the Euphrates. Southern Babylonia may also have suffered
in the raid, but we may assume that its force was felt most in the
north, and that the kings of the Sea-Country profited by the disaster.
We have as yet no direct evidence of their occupation of Babylon, but,
as their kingdom had been Babylon's most powerful rival prior to the
Hittite raid, it may well have increased its borders after her fall.

To this period we may probably assign a local dynasty of Erech,
represented by the names of Sin-gashid, Sin-gamil and An-am. From
bricks and foundation-records recovered at Warka, the site of the
ancient city, we know that the first of these rulers restored the old
temple of E-anna and built himself a new palace.[25] But the most
interesting of Sin-gashid's records is a votive cone, commemorating
the dedication of E-kankal to Lugal-banda and the goddess Ninsun, for,
when concluding his text with a prayer for abundance, he inserts a
list or tariff, stating the maximum-price which he had fixed for the
chief articles of commerce during his reign,[26] Sin-gamil was An-am's
immediate predecessor on the throne of Erech, and during his reign
the latter dedicated on his behalf a temple to Nergal in the town
of Usipara.[27] An-am was the son of a certain Bêl-shemea, and his
principal work was the restoration of the wall of Erech, the foundation
of which he ascribes to the semi-mythical ruler Gilgamesh.[28]

Doubtless other local kingdoms arose during the period following
Babylon's temporary disappearance as a political force, but we have
recovered no traces of them,[29] and the only fact of which we are
certain is the continued succession of the Sea-Country kings. To one
of these rulers, Gulkishar, reference is made upon a boundary stone
of the twelfth century, drawn up in the reign of Enlil-nadin-apli, an
early king of the Fourth Dynasty. On it he is given the title of King
of the Sea-Country, which is also the late chronicler's designation
for E-gamil, the last member of the dynasty, in the account he has
left us of the Kassite invasion. Such evidence seems to show that the
administrative centre of their rule was established at those periods in
the south; but the inclusion of the dynasty in the Kings' List is best
explained on the assumption that at least some of its later members
imposed their suzerainty over a wider area.[30] They were evidently
the only stable line of rulers in a period after the most powerful
administration the country had yet known had been suddenly shattered.
The land had suffered much, not only from the Hittite raid, but also
during the continuous conflicts of more than a century that preceded
the final fall of Babylon. It must have been then that many of the
old Sumerian cities of Southern and Central Babylonia were deserted,
after being burned down and destroyed; and they were never afterwards
re-occupied. Lagash, Umma, Shuruppak, Kisurra and Adab play no part in
the subsequent history of Babylonia.

Of the fortunes of Babylon at this time we know nothing, but the fact
that the Kassites should have made the city their capital shows that
the economic forces, which had originally raised her to that position,
were still in operation. The Sumerian elements in the population of
Southern Babylonia may now have enjoyed a last period of influence,
and their racial survival in the Sea-Country may in part explain its
continual striving for independence. But in Babylonia as a whole the
effects of three centuries of West-Semitic rule were permanent. When,
after the Kassite conquest, Babylon emerges once more into view, it
is apparent that the traditions inherited from her first empire have
undergone small change.

[Footnote 1: We may assume that they owed the partial success of the
raid to their mobility, although on this occasion, their earliest
invasion of Babylonian territory, the horse probably played a still
more useful part in the retreat; see further, p. 215 f.]

[Footnote 2: Such appears to be the most probable explanation of
the duplicate copies of the sale-contract from Tell Ṣifr, in the
neighbourhood of Larsa, with their variant dates by formulæ of Rîm-Sin
and Samsu-iluna; see above, p. 98.]

[Footnote 3: Cf. "Chronicles concerning early Babylonian Kings," II.,
p. 18.]

[Footnote 4: Cf. the date-formula for Samsu-iluna's twelfth year, which
in its full form commemorated some royal act "after all the lands had
revolted." Since the success against Ur and Erech was commemorated in
the preceding year, the revolt in question can hardly refer to the
troubles with Rîm-Sin and the Elamites, but must be taken as implying
that other provinces were now making a bid for independence.]

[Footnote 5: The formula for his fourteenth year commemorates his
overthrow of "the usurping king, whom the Akkadians had caused to lead
a rebellion."]

[Footnote 6: The latest document from Larsa (Senkera) is dated in his
twelfth year; see above, p. 104 f.]

[Footnote 7: Such names as Ishkibal, Gulkishar, Peshgal-daramash,
A-dara-kalama, Akur-ul-ana and Melam-kurkura are all Sumerian. The last
king of the dynasty, Ea-gamil, bears a Semitic name, and Shushshi, the
name of Ishkibal's brother, is probably Semitic.]

[Footnote 8: The zebu, or _Bos indicus,_ is represented on Sumerian
sculpture from Lagash, dating from the middle of the third millennium
B.C. (cf. "Sumer and Akkad, p. 69, Fig. 21); men are represented
ploughing with it in a Kassite seal-impression (see above, p. 175 Fig.
40); and it formed one of the most valued classes of booty from the
Sea-Country at the time of the later Assyrian empire (see Fig. 45).]

[Footnote 9: Cf. Poebel, "Legal and Business Documents," p. 119; and
Chiera, "Legal and Administrative Documents," p. 25.]

[Footnote 10: See above, p. 148 f.]

[Footnote 11: Cf. "Chronicles concerning Early Kings," II., p. 21.]

[Footnote 12: One of these statues was set up in E-gishshirgal, a name
which corresponds to that of the old Moon-temple at Ur; and on this
evidence Poebel has assumed that Abi-eshu' succeeded in getting control
of Southern Babylonia (cf. "Legal and Business Documents," p. 120). But
a fuller form of the date has since been recovered, showing that this
E-gishshirgal, and doubtless the temple of Enlil coupled with it, were
in Babylon. It would seem therefore that after Samsu-iluna had lost
his hold upon the great centre of the Moon-cult in the south, a local
temple for the Moon-god's worship was established at Babylon, under the
ancient name, in which the old cult-practices were reproduced as far
as possible. Similarly, having lost Nippur, a new shrine to Enlil was
built at Babylon, or an old one enlarged and beautified. By such means
it was doubtless hoped to secure a continuance of the gods' favour, and
an ultimate recovery of their cities; and the continual dedication of
royal images, though doubtless a sign of royal deification, must also
have been intended to bring the king's claims to the divine notice.]

[Footnote 13: As Ammi-ditana appears to have recovered Nippur for
a time towards the end of his reign, and as Ammi-zaduga probably
retained it during his earlier years (see below, p. 208 f.), Babylon
could legitimately claim her former privileges during the period of

[Footnote 14: The bronze-casting may well have been learnt from
Elam; and we have striking evidence of increased relations with
the west in the fact that under Ammi-zaduga a district of Sippar
was known as Amurrî, from its Amorite quarter or settlement; cf.
Meissner, "Altbabylonisches Privatrecht," p. 41 f., No. 42, and Meyer,
"Geschichte," I., ii., p. 467 f.]

[Footnote 15: His other building activities included the founding of a
royal suburb at Babylon, named Shag-dugga, on the bank of the Arakhtu
Canal, where he built himself a palace; while at Sippar he once more
rebuilt the Gagûm, or spacious Cloister attached to the temple of the

[Footnote 16: Cf. Poebel, "Legal and Business Documents," p. 121, and
Schorr, "Urkunden," p. 602.]

[Footnote 17: For references, see Schorr, _op. cit.,_ p. 604.]

[Footnote 18: According to a verbal communication made by Prof.
Hilprecht to Dr. Poebel.]

[Footnote 19: Cf. "Letters and Inscriptions of Hammurabi," III., p. 207
f.; in the same inscription he also lays claim to the rule of Amurru.]

[Footnote 20: It is most improbable that he should be identified
with Damiḳ-ilishu, the last king of the earlier Dynasty of Nîsin,
who perished one hundred and thirty-seven years before this time.
It is true that Nabonidus, to judge from his building-inscriptions,
evinces an interest in the past, but in many ways he was a unique
monarch and he lived in a later age. These early date-formulæ, on the
other hand, always refer to contemporaneous events, not to matters of
archæological interest. We know definitely that Iluma-ilum (the first
Sea-Country king) was the contemporary of Samsu-iluna and Abi-eshu',
and it is not unreasonable to find a reference to Damiḳ-ilishu (the
third Sea-Country king) in the last year of Ammi-ditana, Abi-eshu's
son. Granting this assumption, there follows the important inference
that the exceptionally long period of one hundred and fifteen years,
assigned by the Kings' List to the reigns of the first two kings of
the Sea-Country, is a little exaggerated. The accuracy of some of the
longer figures assigned in the List to kings of this dynasty has long
been called in question (cf. "Chronicles," I., pp. 111 ff., and see
above, p. 106), and the synchronism justifies this doubt. While the
historical character of the Second Dynasty has been amply confirmed, we
must not regard the total duration assigned to it in the Kings' List
as more than approximately correct. Under these circumstances detailed
dates have not been assigned to members of that dynasty in the Dynastic
List of Kings; see Appendix II., p. 320.]

[Footnote 21: Success doubtless fluctuated from one side to the
other, Ammi-zaduga in one of his later years commemorating that he
had brightened his land like the Sun-god, and Samsu-ditana recording
that he had restored his dominion with the weapon of Marduk. How far
these rather vague claims were justified it is impossible to say. Apart
from votive acts, the only definite record of this period is that of
Ammi-zaduga's sixteenth year, in which he celebrates the cutting of the
Ammi-zaduga-nukhush-nishi Canal.]

[Footnote 22: We may confidently regard the phrase as referring to
the Anatolian Hittites, whose capital at Boghaz Keui must have been
founded far earlier than the end of the fifteenth century when we
know that it bore the name of Khatti. It is true that, after the
southern migration of the Hittites in the twelfth century, Northern
Syria was known as "the land of Khatti," but, if the invasion of
Babylonia in Samsu-ditana's reign had been made by Semitic tribes
from Syria, no doubt the chronicler would have employed the correct
designation, Amurru, which is used in an earlier section of the text
for Sargon's invasion of Syria. In the late omen-literature, too, the
use of the early geographical terms is not confused. Both chronicles
and omen-texts are transcripts of early written originals, not late
compilations based on oral tradition.]

[Footnote 23: The reason for the omission is that the whole of this
section of the text had evidently been left out by the scribe in
error, and he afterwards only had room to insert the first line; cf.
"Chronicles," II., p. 22, n. 1.]

[Footnote 24: This district was in the path of the Hittite raid,
and its occupation by a section of the invaders was evidently more
permanent than that of Babylon.]

[Footnote 25: Cf. "Cun. Texts in the Brit. Mus.," XXI., pl. 12, and
King, "Proc. Soc. Bibl. Arch.," XXXVII., p. 22 f.]

[Footnote 26: See "Cun. Texts," XXI., pl. 15 ff., and cf.
Thureau-Dangin, "Königsinschriften," p. 222 f. The purchasing power of
one shekel of silver is fixed at three _gur_ of corn, or twelve manehs
of wool, or ten manehs of copper, or thirty _ḳa_ of wood. The chief
interest of the record is its proof that at this period the values of
copper and silver stood in the ratio of 600:1 (cf. Meyer, "Geschichte,"
I., ii., p. 512).]

[Footnote 27: Cf. "Cun. Texts," XXI., pl. 17.]

[Footnote 28: See Hilprecht, "Old Bab. Inscriptions," I., pl. 15,
No. 26. A tablet has been recovered dated in the reign of An-am, and
another of the same type is dated in the reign of Arad-shasha, whom we
may therefore regard as another king of this local dynasty; cf. Scheil,
"Orient. Lit.-Zeit.," 1905, col. 351, and Thureau-Dangin, _op. cit.,_
p. 238. The style of writing on these tablets is rather later than that
of the First Dynasty of Babylon.]

[Footnote 29: For Pukhia, son of Asiru and king of the land of
Khurshitu, see "Sum. and Akk.," p. 287. Khurshitu may have been the
name of a district on the Ak-su, a tributary of the Adhem, since a
brick from his palace is said to have been found at Tuz-khurmati on
that stream; cf. Scheil, "Rec. de trav.," XVI., p. 186; XIX., p. 64.
The region of King Manabaltel's rule (cf. Pinches, "Proc. Soc. Bibl.
Arch.," XXI., p. 158) is quite uncertain, but the archaic style of
the writing of the tablet, dated in his reign, suggests that he was a
contemporary of one of the earlier West-Semitic kings.]

[Footnote 30: See above, p. 105 f.]



The Kassite conquest of Babylonia, though it met with immediate success
in a great part of the country, was a gradual process in the south,
being carried out by independent Kassite chieftains. The Sea-Country
kings continued for a time their independent existence; and even after
that dynasty was brought to an end, the struggle for the south went on.
It was after a further period of conflict that the Kassite domination
was completed, and the administration of the whole country centred
once more in Babylon. It is fortunate for Babylonia that the new
invaders did not appear in such numbers as to over-whelm the existing
population. The probability has long been recognized that they were
Aryan by race, and we may with some confidence regard them as akin to
the later rulers of Mitanni, who imposed themselves upon the earlier
non-Iranian population of Subartu, or Northern Mesopotamia. Like the
Mitannian kings, the Kassites of Babylonia were a ruling caste or
aristocracy, and, though they doubtless brought with them numbers of
humbler followers, their domination did not affect the linguistic nor
the racial character of the country in any marked degree. In some of
its aspects we may compare their rule to that of Turkey in the Tigris
and Euphrates valley. They give no evidence of having possessed a high
degree of culture, and though they gradually adopted the civilization
of Babylon, they tended for long to keep themselves aloof, retaining
their native names along with their separate nationality. They were
essentially a practical people and produced successful administrators.
The chief gain they brought to Babylon was an improved method of
time-reckoning. In place of the unwieldy system of date-formulæ,
inherited by the Semites from the Sumerians, under which each year
was known by an elaborate title taken from some great event or
cult-observance, the Kassites introduced the simpler plan of dating by
the years of the king's reign. And we shall see that it was directly
owing to the political circumstances of their occupation that the old
system of land tenure, already to a great extent undermined by the
Western Semites, was still further modified.

But, on the material side, the greatest change they effected in the
life of Babylonia was due to their introduction of the horse. There
can be little doubt that they were a horse-keeping race,[1] and
the success of their invasion may in large part be traced to their
greater mobility. Hitherto asses and cattle had been employed for all
purposes of draught and carriage, but, with the appearance of the
Kassites, the horse suddenly becomes the beast of burden throughout
Western Asia. Before their time "the ass of the mountain," as it was
designated in Babylonia, was a great rarity, the earliest reference
to it occurring in the age of Hammurabi.[2] In that period we have
evidence that Kassite tribes were already forming settlements in the
western districts of Elam, and when from time to time small parties
of them made their way into the Babylonian plain to be employed as
harvesters,[3] they doubtless carried their goods with them in the
usual way. The usefulness of horses imported in this manner would have
ensured their ready sale to the Babylonians, who probably retained the
services of their owners to tend the strange animals. But the early
Kassite immigrants must have been men of a simple and unprogressive
type, for in all the contract-literature of the period we find no trace
of their acquiring wealth, or engaging in the commercial activities of
their adopted country. The only evidence of their employment in other
than a menial capacity is supplied by a contract of Ammi-ditana's
reign, which records a two-years' lease of an uncultivated field taken
by a Kassite for farming.[4]

The Kassite raid into Babylonian territory in Samsu-iluna's reign[5]
may have been followed by others of a like character, but it was
only at the time of the later kings of the Sea-Country that the
invaders succeeded in effecting a permanent foothold in Northern
Babylonia. According to the Kings' List the founder of the Third
Dynasty was Gandash, and we have obtained confirmation of the record
in a Neo-Babylonian tablet purporting to contain a copy of one of his
inscriptions.[6] The Babylonian king, whose text the copy reproduces,
there bears the name Gaddash, evidently a contracted form of Gandash
as written in the Kings' List; and the record contains an unmistakable
reference to the Kassite conquest. From what is left of the inscription
it may be inferred that it commemorated the restoration of the temple
of Bêl, that is, of Marduk, which seems to have been damaged "in the
conquest of Babylon." It is clear, therefore, that Babylon must have
offered a strenuous opposition to the invaders, and that the city held
out until captured by assault. It would seem, too, that this success
was followed up by further conquests of Babylonian territory, for in
his text, in addition to styling himself King of Babylon, Gaddash
adopts the other time-honoured titles of King of the four quarters (of
the world), and King of Sinner and Akkad. We may see evidence in this
that the kingdom of the Sea-Country was now restricted within its
original limits, though some attempts may have been made to stem the
tide of invasion. Ea-gamil, at any rate, the last king of the Second
Dynasty, was not content to defend his home-territory, for we know that
he assumed the offensive and invaded Elam. But he appears to have met
with no success, and after his death a Kassite chieftain, Ula-Burariash
or Ulam-Buriash, conquered the Sea-Country and established his dominion

The late chronicler, who records these events, tells us that
Ulam-Buriash was the brother of Kashtiliash, the Kassite, whom we
may probably identify with the third ruler of the Kassite Dynasty of
Babylon. There Gandash, the founder of the dynasty, had been succeeded
by his son Agum, but after the hitter's reign of twenty-two years
Kashtiliash, a rival Kassite, had secured the throne.[8] He evidently
came of a powerful Kassite tribe, for it was his brother, Ulam-Buriash,
who conquered the Country of the Sea. We have recovered a memorial
of the latter's reign in a knob or mace-head of diorite. which was
found during the excavations at Babylon.[9] On it he terms himself
King of the Sea-Country, and we learn from it, too, that he and his
brother were the sons of Burna-Burariash, or Burna-Buriash, who may
have remained behind as a local Kassite chieftain in Elam, while his
sons between them secured the control of Babylonia. After a certain
interval the Sea-Country must have revolted from Ulam-Buriash, for
its reconquest was undertaken by Agum, a younger son of Kashtiliash,
who is recorded to have captured the city of Dûr-Enlil and to have
destroyed E-malga-uruna, the local temple of Enlil.[10] The eldest
son of Kashtiliash had meanwhile succeeded his father on the throne of
Babylon, and, if Agum established his rule in the Sea-Country, we again
have the spectacle of two brothers, in the next generation of this
Kassite family, dividing the control of Babylonia between them. But as
the chronicler does not record that Agum, like his uncle Ulam-Buriash,
exercised dominion over the Sea-Country as a whole, he may have secured
little more than a local success. The throne of Babylon then passed
to the second son of Kashtiliash, Abi-rattash, and it was possibly by
him, or by one of his successors, that the whole country was once more
united under Babylon's rule.

We know of two more members of the family of Kashtiliash, who carried
on his line at Babylon. For Abi-rattash was succeeded by his son and
grandson, Tashshi-gurumash and Agum-kakrime, of whom the latter has
left us the record already referred to, commemorating his recovery
of the statues of Marduk and Sarpanitum from the land of Khanî.[11]
And then there occurs a great break in our knowledge of the history
of Babylon. For a period extending over some thirteen reigns, from
about the middle of the seventeenth to the close of the fifteenth
century B.C., our native evidence is confined to a couple of brief
records, dating from the latter half of the interval, and to one or two
historical references in later texts. By their help we have recovered
the names of a few of the missing kings, though their relative order,
and in one or two cases even their existence, are still matters
of controversy. In fact, were we dependent solely upon Babylonian
sources, our knowledge of the country's history, even when we can
again establish the succession, would have been practically a blank.
But, thanks in great part to the commercial relations established
with Syria since the age of the West-Semitic kings, the influence of
Babylonian culture had travelled far afield. Her method of writing on
the convenient and imperishable clay tablet had been adopted by other
nations of Western Asia, and her language had become the _lingua
franca_ of the ancient world. After her conquest of Canaan, Egypt
had become an Asiatic power, and had adopted the current method of
international intercourse for communication with other great states and
with her own provinces in Canaan. And thus it has come about that some
of our most striking information on the period has come to us, not from
Babylon itself, but from Egypt.

The mounds known as Tell el-Amarna in Upper Egypt mark the site of
a city which had a brief but brilliant existence under Amen-hetep
IV., or Akhenaten, one of the later kings of the Eighteenth Dynasty.
He was the famous "heretic" king, who attempted to suppress the
established religion of Egypt and to substitute for it a pantheistic
monotheism associated with the worship of the solar disk. In pursuance
of his religious ideas he deserted Thebes, the ancient capital of
the country, and built a new capital further to the north, which he
called Akhetaten,[12] the modern Tell el-Amarna. Here he transferred
the official records of his own government and those of his father,
Amenhetep III., including the despatches from Egypt's Asiatic provinces
and the diplomatic correspondence with kings of Mesopotamia, Assyria
and Babylon. Some twenty-seven years ago a large number of these were
discovered in the ruins of the royal palace, and they form one of the
most valuable sources of information on the early relations of Egypt
and Western Asia.[13] More recently they have been supplemented by a
still larger find of similar documents at Boghaz Keui in Cappadocia,
a village built beside the site of Khatti, the ancient capital of the
Hittite empire. The royal and official archives had been stored for
safety on the ancient citadel, and the few extracts that have as yet
been published, from the many thousands of documents recovered on the
site, have furnished further information of the greatest value from the
Hittite standpoint.[14]

From these documents we have recovered a very full picture of
international politics in Western Asia during two centuries, from the
close of the fifteenth to the later years of the thirteenth century
B.C. We can trace in some measure the dynastic relations established
by Egypt with the other great Asiatic states, and the manner in which
the balance of power was maintained, largely by diplomatic methods.
During the earlier part of this period Egyptian power is dominant in
Palestine and Syria, while the kingdom of Mitanni, under its Aryan
dynasty, is a check upon Assyrian expansion. But Egypt was losing her
hold upon her Asiatic provinces, and the rise of the Hittite empire
coincided with her decline in power. Mitanni soon fell before the
Hittites, to the material advantage of Assyria, which began to be a
menace to her neighbours upon the west and south. After a change of
dynasty, Egypt had meanwhile in part recovered her lost territory in
Palestine, and once more took her place among the great nations of
Western Asia. And it is only with the fall of the Hittite empire that
the international situation is completely altered. Throughout Babylon
stands, so far as she may, aloof, preoccupied with commerce rather than
with conquest;[15] but in the latter half of the period her eyes are
always fixed upon her Assyrian frontier.


From the Tell el-Amarna correspondence we see how the kings of
Mitanni, Assyria and Babylon gave their daughters to the Egyptian
king in marriage and sought to secure his friendship and alliance.
Apparently Egypt considered it beneath her dignity to bestow her
princesses in return, for in one of his letters to Amen-hetep III.
Kadashman-Enlil remonstrates with the King of Egypt for refusing him
one of his daughters and threatens to withhold his own daughter in
retaliation.[16] Another of the letters illustrates in a still more
striking manner the intimate international intercourse of the period.
At the height of its power the kingdom of Mitanni appears to have
annexed the southern districts of Assyria, and for a time to have
exercised control over Nineveh, as Hammurabi of Babylon had done in an
earlier age. It was in his character of suzerain that Dushratta sent
the holy statue of Ishtar of Nineveh to Egypt, as a mark of his esteem
for Amen-hetep III. We have recovered the letter he sent with the
goddess, in which he writes concerning her:[17] " Indeed in the time of
my father the lady Ishtar went into that land; and, just as she dwelt
there formerly and they honoured her, so now may my brother honour her
ten times more than before. May my brother honour her and may he allow
her to return with joy." We thus gather that this was not the first
time Ishtar had visited Egypt, and we may infer from such a custom the
belief that a deity, when stopping in a foreign country with his or her
own consent, would, if properly treated, confer favour and prosperity
upon that land. We shall see later on that Rameses II. sent his own god
Khonsu on a similar mission to Khatti, in order to cure the epileptic
daughter of the Hittite king, who was believed to be possessed by a
devil.[18] We could not have more striking proofs of international
intercourse. Not only did the rulers of the great states exchange their
daughters but even their gods.

But the letters also exhibit the jealousy which existed between the
rival states of Asia. By skilful diplomacy, and, particularly in
the reign of Akhenaten, by presents and heavy bribes, the Egyptian
king and his advisers succeeded in playing off one power against the
other, and in retaining some hold upon their troublesome provinces of
Syria and Palestine. In paying liberal bounties and rewards to his
own followers and party in Egypt itself, Akhenaten was only carrying
out the traditional policy of the Egyptian crown;[19] and he extended
the principle still more in his dealings with foreign states. But
peculation on the part of the ambassadors was only equalled by the
greed of the monarchs to whom they were accredited, and whose appetite
for Egyptian gold grew with their consumption of it. Much space in the
letters is given up to the constant request for more presents, and to
complaints that promised gifts have not arrived. In one letter, for
example, Ashur-uballit of Assyria writes to Akhenaten that formerly the
king of Khanirabbat had received a present of twenty manehs of gold
from Egypt, and he proceeds to demand a like sum.[20] Burna-Buriash
of Babylon, his contemporary, writes in the same strain to Egypt,[21]
reminding Akhenaten that Amenophis III. had been far more generous to
his father. "Since the time my father and thine established friendly
relations with one another, they sent rich presents to one another, and
they did not refuse to one another any desired object. Now my brother
has sent me as a present two manehs of gold. Send now much gold, as
much as thy father; and if it is less, send but half that of thy
father. Why hast thou sent only two manehs of gold? For the work in the
temple is great, and I have undertaken it and am carrying it out with
vigour; therefore send much gold. And do thou send for whatsoever thou
desirest in my land, that they may take it thee."

[Illustration: FIG. 46.


The king and his family are hero represented throwing down collars
and ornaments of gold to A , the Priest of Aten and Master of the
Horse, who has called at the palace with his wife, attended by a largo
retinue. The Aten, or Solar Disk, the object of the royal worship, is
caressing the king with its rays and giving him life.

(After N. de G. Davies.)]

Though a great part of the royal letters from Tell el-Amarna is
taken up with such rather wearisome requests for gold, they also
give valuable glimpses into the political movements of the time. We
gather, for instance, that Egypt succeeds in preventing Babylon from
giving support to the revolts in Canaan, but she does not hesitate
to encourage Assyria, which is now beginning to display her power as
Babylon's rival. Burna-Buriash makes this clear when he complains
that Akhenaten has received an embassy from the Assyrians, whom he
boastfully refers to as his subjects; and he contrasts Babylon's own
reception of Canaanite proposals of alliance against Egypt in the time
of his father Kurigalzu. "In the time of Kurigalzu, my father," he
writes, "the Canaanites sent to him with one accord, saying, 'Let us
go down against the border of the land and invade it, and let us form
an alliance with thee.' But my father replied to them, saying, 'Desist
from seeking to form an alliance with me. If ye are hostile to the
king of Egypt, my brother, and ally yourselves with one another, shall
I not come and plunder you? For with me is he allied.' My father for
thy father's sake did not hearken to them."[22] But Burna-Buriash does
not trust entirely to the Egyptian's sense of gratitude for Babylon's
support in the past. He reinforces his argument by a present of three
manehs of lapis-lazuli, five yoke of horses and five wooden chariots.
Lapis-lazuli and horses were the two most valuable exports from Babylon
during the Kassite period, and they counterbalanced to some extent
Egypt's almost inexhaustible supply of Nubian gold.

Babylon at this time had no territorial ambitions outside the limit of
her own frontiers. She was never menaced by Mitanni, and it was only
after the fall of the latter kingdom that she began to be uneasy at the
increase of Assyrian power.[23] Apart from the defence of her frontier,
her chief preoccupation was to keep the trade-routes open, especially
the Euphrates route to Syria and the north. Thus we find Burna-Buriash
remonstrating with Egypt when the caravans of one of his messengers,
named Salmu, had been plundered by two Canaanite chiefs, and demanding
compensation.[24] On another occasion he writes that Babylonian
merchants had been robbed and slain at Khinnatuni in Canaan,[25] and
he again holds Akhenaten responsible. "Canaan is thy land," he says,
"and its kings are thy servants;" and he demands that the losses should
be made good and the murderers slain.[26] But Egypt was at this period
so busy with her own affairs that she had not the time, nor even the
power, to protect the commercial interests of her neighbours. For in
the majority of the Tell el-Amarna letters we see her Asiatic empire
falling to pieces.[27] From Northern Syria to Southern Palestine the
Egyptian governors and vassal rulers vainly attempt to quell rebellion
and to hold back invading tribes.

The source of a good deal of the trouble was the great Hittite power,
away to the north in the mountains of Anatolia. The Hittite kings
had formed a confederation of their own peoples north of the Taurus,
and they were now pressing southwards into Phœnicia and the Lebanon.
They coveted the fertile plains of Northern Syria, and Egypt was the
power that blocked their path. They were not at first strong enough to
challenge Egypt by direct invasion of her provinces, so they confined
themselves to stirring up rebellion among the native princes of
Canaan. These they encouraged to throw off the Egyptian yoke, and to
attack those cities which refused to join them. The loyal chiefs and
governors appealed for help to Egypt, and their letters show that they
generally appealed in vain. For Akhenaten was a weak monarch, and was
far more interested in his heretic worship of the Solar Disk than in
retaining the foreign empire he had inherited. It was in his reign that
the Anatolian Hittites began to take an active part in the politics of
Western Asia.


The two Figures are parts of the same scene from a relief found at
Karnak, representing the introduction of Asiatic ambassadors by an
Egyptian prince to Rameses II. The bearded Semites are readily to be
distinguished from their Hittite colleagues, clean-shaven and with
their long plaits of hair, or pig-tails, hanging down the back.

(After Meyer.)]

Until the discovery of the documents at Boghaz Keui, it had only been
possible to deduce the existence of the Hittites from the mark they had
left in the records of Egypt and Assyria; and at that time it was not
even certain whether we might regard as their work the hieroglyphic
rock-inscriptions, which are scattered over a great part of Asia Minor.
But it is now possible to supplement our material from native sources,
and to trace the gradual extension of their power by both conquest and
diplomacy. They were a virile race, and their strongly marked features
may be still seen, not only on their own rock-sculptures, but also
in Egyptian reliefs beside those of other Asiatics.[28] In facial
type, too, they are quite distinct, for the nose, though prominent and
slightly curved, is not very fleshy, mouth and chin are small, and the
forehead recedes abruptly, with the hair drawn back from it and falling
in one, or possibly in two plaits, or pig-tails, on the shoulders.[29]
It is still not certain to which of the great families of nations they
belonged. The suggestion has been made that their language has certain
Indo-European characteristics, but for the present it is safer to
regard them as an indigenous race of Asia Minor.[30] Their facial type
in any case suggests comparison as little with Aryan as with Semitic


The figure illustrates the facial type of the Hittite, with his
prominent and slightly curved nose and strongly receding brow.

(After Meyer.)]

Their civilization was strongly influenced by that of Babylonia,
perhaps through the medium of Assyrian trading settlements, which were
already established in Cappadocia in the second half of the third
millennium. From these early Semitic immigrants, or their successors,
they borrowed the clay tablet and the cuneiform system of writing.
But they continued to use their own picture-characters for monumental
records; and even in the later period, when they came into direct
contact with the Assyrian empire, their art never lost its individual
character. Some of the most elaborate of their rock-sculptures still
survive in the holy sanctuary at Yasili Kaya, not far from Boghaz Keui.
Here on the rock-face, in a natural fissure of the mountain, are carved
the figures of their deities, chief among them the great Mother-goddess
of the Hittites.

[Illustration: FIG. 50.


A relief of the twelfth century, perhaps the finest representation
of a Hittite on the Egyptian monuments; it is evidently a portrait
sculpture, so far as the head is concerned. It illustrates, too, the
manner in which the heavy plait of hair ends in a curled tail.

(After Meyer.)]

She and Teshub, the principal male deity, are here represented meeting,
with their processions of deities and attendants. Whether it was
from precisely this area that the Hittite tribes descended on their
raid down the Euphrates, which hastened the fall of Babylon's First
Dynasty and perhaps brought it to an end, we have as yet no means of
judging.[31] But during the subsequent centuries we may certainly
picture a slow but uninterrupted expansion of the area under Hittite
control; and it is probable that authority was divided among the
various local kingdoms and chieftainships, which occupied the valleys
and upland stretches to the north of the Taurus.

[Illustration: FIG. 51.


The pose of the figure, slightly leaning to the right, is due to the
sloping side of the gateway, beside which it is sculptured in relief.

(After a photo by Puchstein.]

At the time of their empire, their capital and central fortress was
Khatti, which lay to the east of the Halys, on the Anatolian plateau
some three thousand feet above sea-level. It occupied a strong position
near the crossing of the great lines of traffic through Asia Minor;
and expansion from this area must have begun to take place at an
early period beyond the west bank of the river, where the country
offered greater facilities for pasturage. Another line of advance was
southward to the coast-plains beneath the Taurus, and it is certain
that Cilicia was occupied by Hittite tribes before any attempt was made
on Northern Syria. That at first the Hittites were scattered, without
any central organization, among a number of independent city-states,
may be inferred from their later records. For when a land is referred
to in their official documents, it is designated "the country of the
city of so and so," suggesting that each important township had been
the centre of an independent district to which it gave its name. Some
of the Hittite states attained in time to a considerable degree of
importance. Thus we find Tarkundaraba of Arzawa sufficiently eminent
to marry a daughter of Amen-hetep III. of Egypt.[32] Another city
was Kussar, one of whose kings, Khattusil I., was the father of
Shubbiluliuma, under whom the Hittites were organized into a strong
confederacy which endured for nearly two hundred years. It must have
been owing to its strategic importance that Shubbiluliuma selected
Khatti as his capital in place of his ancestral city.

Quite apart from its name, and from the traditions attaching to it,
there can be no question but that from this time forward Khatti was
the centre of Hittite power and civilization; for it is by far the
most extensive Hittite site in existence. It covers the high ground,
including the hill-top, above Boghaz Keui, which lies in the valley
below; and it is fortunate that the greater part of the modern village
was built clear of the outer boundaries of the ancient city, as the
ruins have in consequence run far less risk of destruction.[33] It was
placed high for purely strategic purposes, commanding as it does the
Royal Road from the west and the great trunk-road from the south as
they approach the city-walls. The citadel was formed by a flat-topped
hill,[34] which dominates the walled city to the north, west, and
south of it. Its precipitous slopes descend on the north-east side
to a mountain stream outside the walls; and a similar stream, fed by
shallow gullies, flows north-westward through the city-area. From the
point where they rise in the south, to their junction below the city,
the ground falls no less than a thousand feet, and the uneven surface
has been fully utilized for its defence. The wall which surrounded
the southern and higher half of the city is still comparatively well
preserved, and forms three sides of a rough hexagon, but the falling
and broken ground to the north prevented a symmetrical completion of
the circuit. A series of interior fortification-walls, following the
slope of the ground, enclosed a number of irregular areas, subsidiary
forts being constructed on four smaller hills along the most southerly
cross-wall, which shut in the highest part of the city.

[Illustration: FIG. 52.


The massive walls are preserved in their lower courses, but in the
sketch the upper portions are restored in outline. The arched gateway
with its sloping sides is characteristic of Hittite work.

(After Puchstein.)]

The city's greatest length from north to south was about a mile and a
quarter, and its greatest width some three-quarters of a mile, the
whole circuit of the existing defences, including the lower-lying area,
extending to some three and a half miles. This is a remarkable size for
a mountain city, and although some portions of the area cannot have
been occupied by buildings, the fortification of so extensive a site is
an indication of the power of the Hittite empire and its capital. About
fourteen feet in thickness, the wall is preserved in many places to a
hight of more than twelve feet. It consists of an inner and an outer
wall, filled in with a stone packing. The outer face was naturally the
stronger of the two, and huge stones, sometimes five feet in length,
have been employed in its construction. The wall was strengthened
by towers, set at more or less regular intervals along it, their
position being sometimes dictated by the contour of the ground. Round
a great part of the circuit there are traces of an outer defensive
wall of lighter construction and with smaller towers, but this was not
continuous, being omitted wherever the natural fall of the ground was a
sufficient protection to the main wall.

[Illustration: FIG. 53.


It is possible that brick was employed for the upper structure of the
city-wall and its towers, as suggested in the restoration. In such a
case it is not unlikely that the stepped battlements of Mesopotamia
were also adopted.

(After Puchstein.)]

Projecting towers also flanked the main gateways, which exhibit a
characteristic feature of Hittite architecture. This is the peculiar
form of the gateway, consisting of a pointed arch with gently sloping
sides, the latter formed by huge monoliths bonded into the structure of
the wall.[35] It would seem that brick was probably employed for the
upper structure of both wall and towers; and in other buildings of the
city, such as the great temple to the north-west of the citadel, brick
was used for the upper structure of the walls upon a stone foundation.
Whenever the use of brick was adopted in one of the northern lands of
Mesopotamia, where stone is plentiful, the latter was always used in
the foundations. It is not improbable, therefore, that the stepped
battlements of Assyria and Babylon were also borrowed, as that was the
most convenient and decorative way of finishing off the upper courses
of a fortification-wall built of that material.

In the earlier years of Shubbiluliuma the city was doubtless very
much smaller than it subsequently became. But he used it effectively
as a base, and, as much by diplomatic means as by actual conquest,
he succeeded in making the power of the Hittites felt beyond their
own borders. The Syrian revolts in the reign of Amen-hetep III., by
which the authority of Egypt was weakened in her Asiatic provinces,
undoubtedly received Hittite encouragement. Shubbiluliuma also crossed
the Euphrates and ravaged the northern territory of Mitanni, the
principal rival of the Hittites up to that time. Later he invaded
Syria in force and returned to his mountain fastness of Khatti, laden
with spoil and leading two Mitannian princes as captives in his train.
On the accession of Akhenaten, Shubbiluliuma wrote him a letter of
congratulation; but, when the Syrian prince Aziru acknowledged the
suzerainty of Egypt, Shubbiluliuma defeated him and laid the whole of
Northern Syria under tribute, subsequently confirming his possession of
the country by treaty with Egypt. The state of Mitanni, too, submitted
to Shubbiluliuma's dictation, for, on the murder of its powerful king
Dushratta, he espoused the cause of Mattiuaza, whom he restored to his
father's throne after marrying him to his daughter. We have recovered
the text of his treaty with Mitanni, and it reflects the despotic power
of the Hittite king at this time. Referring to himself in the third
person he says, "The great king, for the sake of his daughter, gave the
country of Mitanni a new life."[36]

[Illustration: FIG. 54.


The diagram, based on the conjectural restoration, indicates the
massive construction of the gate-house, and the manner in which both it
and the wall were adapted to the rising ground. The passage-way along
the battlements must have passed through the towers.

(After Puchstein.)]

It was not until the reign of Mursil, a younger son of Shubbiluliuma,
that the Hittite empire came into armed conflict with Egypt. A change
of dynasty in the latter country, and the restoration of her old
religion, had strengthened the government, and now led to renewed
attempts on her part at recovering her lost territory. On the first
occasion the Hittites were defeated by Seti I. in the north of Syria,
and Egypt reoccupied Phoenicia and Canaan. Later on, probably in the
reign of Mutallu, Mursil's son, Rameses II. attempted to recover
Northern Syria. At the battle of Kadesh, on the Orontes, he succeeded
in defeating the Hittite army, though both sides lost heavily and at
an early stage of the fight Rameses himself was in imminent danger of
capture. Episodes in the battle may still be seen pictured in relief on
the temple-walls at Luxor, Karnak and Abydos.[37]

[Illustration: FIG. 55.

projection of each flanking tower beyond the wall is indicated in the
diagram. (After Puchstein.)]

The Egyptian war was continued with varying success, though it is
certain that the Hittites were eventually successful in the north.
But in the reign of Khattusil, the brother of Mutallu, both sides were
weary of the conflict, and an elaborate treaty of peace and alliance
was drawn up. This, when engraved upon a silver tablet, was carried
to Egypt by an ambassador and presented to Rameses. The contents of
the treaty have long been known from the Egyptian text, engraved on
the walls of the temple at Karnak; and among the tablets found at
Boghaz Keui was a broken copy of the original Hittite version,[38]
drawn up in cuneiform characters and in Babylonian, the language of
diplomacy at the period. Khattusil also maintained friendly relations
with the Babylonian court, and he informed the king of Babylon of his
treaty with the king of Egypt. It is clear from a copy of the letter,
recovered at Boghaz Keui, that the Babylonian king had heard about the
treaty and had written to enquire concerning it. Khattusil replies that
the king of Egypt and he had formed a friendship and had concluded an
alliance: "We are brothers, and against a foe will we fight together,
and with a friend will we together maintain friendship."[39] And his
next remark enables us to identify his Kassite correspondent; for
he adds, "and when the king of Egypt [formerly] attacked [Khatti],
then did I write to inform thy father Kadashman-turgu." Khattusil
was thus the contemporary of two Kassite kings, Kadashman-turgu and
Kadashman-Enlil II., the twenty-fourth and twenty-fifth rulers of the

Another section of this letter is of considerable interest, as it shows
that an attempt by Khattusil to intervene in Babylonian politics had
been resented, and had led to a temporary estrangement between the two
countries. Khattusil is at pains to reassure Kadashman-Enlil as to the
unselfishness of his motives, explaining that the action he had taken
had been dictated entirely by the Kassite king's own interests. The
episode had occurred on the death of Kadashman-turgu, and, according
to Khattusil's account, he had at once written to Babylon to say that,
unless the succession of Kadashman-Enlil, who was then a boy, was
recognized, he would break off the alliance he had concluded with the
late king, Kadasman-Enlil's father. The Babylonian chief minister,
Itti-Marduk-balâtu, had taken offence at the tone of the letter, and
had replied that the Hittite king had not written in the tone of
brotherhood, but had issued his commands as though the Babylonians were
his vassals. As a result, diplomatic negotiations had been broken off
during the young king's minority; but he had now attained his majority,
and had taken the direction of affairs from his minister's hands into
his own. The long communication from Khattusil must have been written
shortly after the resumption of diplomatic intercourse.

After giving these explanations of his present relations with Egypt,
and of his former discontinuance of negotiations with Babylon,
Khattusil passes on to matters which doubtless had furnished the
occasion for his letter. Certain Babylonian merchants, when journeying
by caravan to Amurru and Ugarit, a town in Northern Phœnicia, had been
murdered; and, as the responsibility lay on the Hittite empire in its
character of suzerain, Kudashman-Enlil had apparently addressed to
Khattusil the demand that the guilty parties should be handed over to
the relatives of the murdered men. The reference is of interest, as it
gives further proof of Babylon's commercial activities in the West,
and shows how, after Egypt had lost her control of Northern Syria,
the Kassite rulers addressed themselves to its new suzerain to secure
protection for their caravans.

We have evidence that such diplomatic action was thoroughly effective,
for not only had Babylon's language and system of writing penetrated
Western Asia, but her respect for law and her legislative methods
had accompanied them, at any rate within the Hittite area. The point
is well illustrated by one of the last sections in this remarkable
letter, which deals with a complaint by the Babylonian king concerning
some action of the Amorite prince, Banti-shinni. The Amorite, when
accused by Khattusil of having "troubled the land" of Kadashman-Enlil,
had replied by advancing a counterclaim for thirty talents of silver
against the inhabitants of Akkad. After stating this fact, Khattusil
continues in his letter: "Now, since Banti-Shinni has become my vassal,
let my brother prosecute the claim against him; and, concerning the
troubling of my brother's land, he shall make his defence before the
god[40] in the presence of thy ambassador, Adad-shar-ilâni. And if my
brother will not conduct the action (himself), then shall thy servant
come who has heard that Banti-Shinni harassed my brother's land, and he
shall conduct the action. Then will I summon Banti-Shinni to answer the
charge. He is (my) vassal. If he harasses my brother, does he not then
harass me?"[41]

[Illustration: FIG. 56.


A priest is offering incense before the shrine and sacred boat, which
is being carried on the shoulders of other priests. In the accompanying
inscription on the original stele, the god is referred to in his
character as "Plan-Maker in Thebes" and "Smiter of Evil Spirits."

(After Rosellini.)]

It may be that Hittite diplomacy is here making use of the Babylonian
respect for law, to find a way out of a difficult situation; but the
mere proposal of such a trial as that suggested proves that the usual
method of settling international disputes of a minor character was
modelled on Babylon's internal legislative system. It is clear that the
Hittite was anxious to prevent strained relations with Babylon, for he
goes on to urge Kadashman-Enlil to attack a common enemy, whom he does
not name. This must have been Assyria, whose growing power had become a
menace to both states, and had caused them to draw together for mutual

[Illustration: FIG. 57.


The sacred boat of Khonsu is here being borne by a larger retinue of
priests into the presence of the king, who did not accompany the god on
his journey.

(After Rosellini.)]

The account that has been given of this lengthy document will have
indicated the character of the royal correspondence discovered at
Boghaz Keui. In some respects it closely resembles that from Tell
el-Amarna, but it exhibits a pleasing contrast by the complete absence
of those whining petitions for gold and presents, which bulk so largely
in the earlier documents. The Egyptian policy of doles and bribery had
brought out the worst side of the Oriental character. The Hittite did
not believe in doles, and in any case he had not them to give; as a
consequence, his correspondence confines itself in great measure to
matters of state and high policy, and exhibits far greater dignity
and self-respect. And this applies equally, so far as we can see, to
the communications with Egypt, who had recovered from her temporary
decadence. There can be little doubt that the royal Hittite letters,
when published, will enable us to follow the political movements of the
period in even greater detail.

One other act of Khattusil may be referred to, as it illustrates in the
religious sphere the breaking down of international barriers which took
place. A few years after the completion of his great treaty, Khattusil
brought his daughter to Egypt, where she was married to Rameses with
great pomp and circumstance. An intimate friendship continued to exist
between the two royal families, and when Bentresh, his sister-in-law,
fell ill in Khatti and was believed to be incurably possessed by a
devil, Rameses hastened to send his physician to cure her.[42] But his
efforts proving fruitless, the Pharaoh despatched the holy image of
Khonsu, the Egyptian Moon-god, to Cappadocia, in order to cure her. The
god duly arrived at the distant capital, and, while he wrought with the
evil spirit, it is said that the Hittite king "stood with his soldiers
and feared very greatly."[43] But Khonsu was victorious, and the
spirit having departed in peace to the place whence he came, there was
great rejoicing. The episode forms an interesting parallel to Ishtar's
journey into Egypt in the reign of Amenhetep III.

There is no doubt that the son and grandson of Khattusil, Dudkhalia
and Arnuanta, carried on their father's policy of friendliness towards
Babylon, who had no reason politically to resent the intrusion of
Egyptian influence at Khatti.[44] But Arnuanta is the last king
of Khatti whose name has been recovered, and it is certain that in
the following century the invasion of Anatolia by the Phrygians and
the Muski put an end to Hittite power in Cappadocia. The Hittites
were pressed southward through the passes, and they continued to
wield a diminished political influence in Northern Syria. Meanwhile
Assyria profited by their downfall and disappearance in the north.
She had already expanded at the expense of Mitanni, and now that this
second check upon her was removed, the balance of power ceased to be
maintained in Western Asia. Babylon's history from this time forward
is in great part moulded by her relations with the northern kingdom.
Even at the time of the later Hittite kings she failed to maintain her
frontier from Assyrian encroachment, and the capital itself was soon to
fall. We are able to follow the course of these events in some detail,
as, with the reign of Kara-indash I., the earliest of Amen-hetep III.'s
correspondents,[45] our sources of information are increased by the
so-called "Synchronistic History" of Assyria and Babylonia,[46] which
furnishes a series of brief notices concerning the relations maintained
between the two countries.

Carchemish, pl. B, 6.]

In the long period between Agum-kakrime[47] and Kara-indash, the names
of three Kassite rulers only have recovered. From a kudurru,[48] or
legal document, of the reign of Kadashman-Enlil I. we learn of two
earlier Kassite kings, Kadashman-Kharbe and his son Kurigalzu,[49]
and it is possible that a son of the latter, Meli-Shipak, succeeded
his father on the throne.[50] We know nothing of Babylon's relations
to Assyria at this time, and our first glimpse of their long struggle
for supremacy is in the reign of Kara-indash, who is recorded to have
made a friendly agreement with Ashur-rim-nishêshu with regard to
their common boundary.[51] That such an agreement should have been
drawn up is in itself evidence of friction, and it is not surprising
that a generation or so later Burna-Buriash, the correspondent of
Amen-hetep III., should have found it necessary to conclude a similar
treaty with Puzur-Ashur, the contemporary Assyrian king.[52] We may
regard these agreements as marking the beginning of the first phase in
Babylon's subsequent dealings with Assyria, which closes with friendly
agreements of a like character at the time of the Fourth Babylonian
dynasty. During the intervening period of some three centuries friendly
relations were constantly interrupted by armed conflicts, which
generally resulted in a rectification of the frontier to Babylon's
disadvantage. On only one occasion was she victorious in battle, and
twice during the period the capital itself was taken. But Assyria was
not yet strong enough to dominate the southern kingdom for any length
of time, and at the close of the period Babylon may still be regarded
as in occupation of a great part of her former territory, but with
sorely diminished prestige.

To appreciate the motives which impelled Assyria from time to time
to intervene in Babylonian politics, and to attempt spasmodically
a southward expansion, it would be necessary to trace out her own
history, and note the manner in which her ambition in other quarters
reacted upon her policy in the south. As that would be out of place
in the present volume, it will suffice here to summarize events so
far as Babylon was affected. The friendly attitude of Puzur-Ashur
to Burna-Buriash was maintained by the more powerful Assyrian king
Ashur-uballit, who cemented an alliance between the two countries
by giving Burna-Buriash his daughter Muballitat-Sherûa in marriage.
On the death of Burna-Buriash, his son Kara-indash II., who was
Ashur-uballit's grandson, ascended the throne, and it was probably
due to his Assyrian sympathies that the Kassite party in Babylon
revolted, slew him and set Nazi-bugash in his place. Ashur-uballit
invaded Babylonia, and having taken vengeance on Nazi-bugash, put
Kurigalzu III., another son of Burna-Buriash, upon the throne.[53] But
the young Kurigalzu did not fulfil the expectations of his Assyrian
relatives, for after Ashur-uballit's death he took the initiative
against Assyria,[54] and was defeated at Sugagi on the Zabzallat by
Enlil-nirari, to whom he was obliged to cede territory. A further
extension of Assyrian territory was secured by Adad-nirari I., when he
defeated Kurigalzu's son and successor, Nazi-maruttash, at Kâr-Ishtar
in the frontier district of Akarsallu.[55] We have already seen from
the Boghaz Keui correspondence how the Hittite Empire and Babylon were
drawn together at this time by dread of their common foe, doubtless
in consequence of the aggressive policy of Shalmaneser I. We do not
know whether Kadashman-Enlil II. followed the promptings of Khattusil,
and it is not until the reign of Kashtiliash II.[56] that we have
record of fresh conflicts. Then it was that Babylon suffered her first
serious disaster at Assyrian hands. Up to this time we have seen that
two Assyrian kings had defeated Babylonian armies, and had exacted
cessions of territory as the result of their victories. Tukulti-Ninib
I. was only following in their steps when he in turn defeated
Kashtiliash. But his achievement differed from theirs in degree, for
he succeeded in capturing Babylon itself, deported the Babylonian
king, and, instead of merely acquiring a fresh strip of territory, he
subdued Karduniash[57] and administered it as a province of his kingdom
till his death.[58] The revolts which closed Tukulti-Ninib's reign
and life[59] were soon followed by Babylon's only successful campaign
against Assyria.

Adad-shum-usur, who owed his throne to a revolt of the Kassite
nobles against the Assyrian domination, restored the fortunes of his
country for a time. He defeated and slew Enlil-kudur-usur in battle,
and, when the Assyrians retreated, he followed them up and fought
a battle before Ashur. This successful reassertion of Babylon's
initiative was maintained by his direct descendants Meli-Shipak II. and
Marduk-aplu-iddina, or Merodach-baladan I.; and the kudurru-records of
their reigns, which have been recovered, have thrown an interesting
light on the internal conditions of the country during the later
Kassite period. But Assyria once again asserted herself under Ashur-dân
I., who defeated Zamama-shum-iddin and succeeded in recovering her
lost frontier provinces.[60] The Kassite dynasty did not long survive
this defeat, although it received its death-blow from another quarter.
Shutruk-Nakhkhunte, the Elamite king, invaded Babylonia, defeated
and slew Zamama-shum-iddin, and, aided by son Kutir-Nakhkhunte, he
sacked Sippar and carried away much spoil to Elam. The name of the
last Kassite ruler, who reigned for only three years, is broken
in the Kings' List, but it is possible that we may restore it as
Bêlnadin-akhi,[61] whom Nebuchadnezzar I. mentions after referring to
the invasion which cost Zamama-shum-iddin his life. Whether we accept
the identification or not, we may certainly connect the fall of the
Kassite Dynasty with aggression on the part of Elam, such as so often
before had changed the course of Babylonian politics.

Apart from the tablets of the Kassite period discovered at Nippur,[62]
our principal source of information on economic conditions in
Babylonia at this time is to be found in the kudurru-inscriptions, or
boundary-stones, to which reference has already been made.[63] The
word _kudurru_ may be rendered accurately enough as "boundary-stone,"
for the texts are engraved on conical blocks or boulders of stone; and
there is little doubt that many of the earlier stones must have been
set up on landed estates, whose limits and ownership they were intended
to define and commemorate. Even at a time when the stone itself had
ceased to be employed to mark the boundary and was preserved in the
owner's house, or in the temple of his god, as a charter or title-deed
to which he could appeal in case of need, the text preserved its old
formulas setting out the limits and orientation of the plot of land to
which it referred. The importance of these records is considerable,
not only in their legal and religious aspects, but also from a
historical point of view. Apart from the references to Babylonian
kings and to historical events, which they contain, they form in many
cases the only documents of their period which have come down to us.
They thus serve to bridge the gap in our knowledge of Euphratean
civilization between the Kassite epoch and that of the Neo-Babylonian
kings; and, while they illustrate the development which gradually
took place in Babylonian law and custom, they prove the continuity of
culture during times of great political change.[64]

The kudurru or boundary-stone had its origin under the Kassite kings,
and, while at first recording, or confirming, a royal grant of land to
an important official or servant of the king, its aim was undoubtedly
to place the newly acquired rights of the owner under the protection of
the gods. A series of curses, regularly appended to the legal record,
was directed against any interference with the owner's rights, which
were also placed under the protection of a number of deities whose
symbols were engraved upon the blank spaces of the stone. It has been
suggested that the idea of placing property under divine protection
was not entirely an innovation of the Kassites. It is true that the
foundation-cones of the early Sumerian patesi Entemena may well have
ended with elaborate curses intended to preserve a frontier-ditch from
violation.[65] But the cones themselves, and the stele from which they
were copied, were intended to protect a national frontier, not the
boundaries of private property. Gate-sockets, too, have been treated as
closely related to boundary-stones, on the ground that the threshold
of a temple might be regarded as its boundary.[66] But the main object
of the gate-socket was to support the temple-gate, and its prominent
position and the durable nature of its material no doubt suggested its
employment as a suitable place for a commemorative inscription. The
peculiarity of the boundary-stone is that, by both curse and sculptured
emblem, it invokes divine protection upon private property and the
rights of private individuals.

In the age of Hammurabi we have no evidence of such a practice, and
the Obelisk of Manishtusu,[67] the far earlier Semitic king of Akkad,
which records his extensive purchases of land in Northern Babylonia, is
without the protection of imprecatory clauses or symbols of the gods.
The suggestion is thus extremely probable that the custom of protecting
private property in this way arose at a time when the authority of the
law was not sufficiently powerful to guarantee respect for the property
of private individuals.[68] This would specially apply to grants
of land to favoured officials settled among a hostile population,
especially if no adequate payment for the property had been made by the
Kassite king. The disorder and confusion which followed the fall of the
First Dynasty must have been renewed during the Kassite conquest of
the country, and the absence of any feeling of public security would
account for the general adoption of such a practice as placing land in
private possession under the protection of the gods.

The use of stone stelæ for this purpose may well have been suggested by
a Kassite custom; for in the mountains of Western Persia, the recent
home of the Kassite tribes before their conquest of the river-plain,
stones had probably been used to mark the limits of their fields, and
these may well have borne short inscriptions giving the owner's name
and title.[69] The employment of curses to secure divine protection
was undoubtedly of Babylonian, and ultimately of Sumerian origin, but
the idea of placing symbols of the gods upon the stone was probably
Kassite.[70] Moreover, the kudurru was not the original title-deed
recording the acquisition of the land to which it refers. As in the
earlier Babylonian periods, clay tablets continued to be employed for
this purpose, and they received the impression of the royal seal as
evidence of the king's sanction and authority. The text of the tablet,
generally with the list of witnesses, was later on recopied by the
engraver upon the stone, and the curses and symbols were added.[71]

A boundary-stone was sometimes employed to commemorate a confirmation
of title, and, like many modern legal documents, it recited the
previous history of the property during a long period extending over
several reigns. But the majority of the stones recovered commemorate
original grants of land made by the king to a relative, or to one of
his adherents in return for some special service. Perhaps the finest of
this class of charters is that in which Meli-Shipak makes a grant of
certain property in Bît-Pir-Shadû-rabû, near the old city of Akkad or
Agade and the Kassite town Dûr-Kurigalzu, to his son Merodach-baladan
I., who afterwards succeeded him upon the throne.[72] After giving the
size and situation of the estates, and the names of the high officials
who had been entrusted with the duty of drawing up the survey, the text
defines the privileges granted to Merodach-baladan along with the land.
As some of these throw considerable light on the system of land tenure
during the Kassite period, they may be briefly summarized.

NAZI-MARUTTASH. After Délég. en Perse, Mém. I, pl. XVI et XIV]

The king, in conferring the ownership of the land upon his son,
freed it from all taxes and tithes, and forbade the displacement of
its ditches, limits, and boundaries. He freed it also from the
_corvée,_ and enacted that none of the people of the estate were to be
requisitioned among the gangs levied in its district for public works,
for the prevention of flood, or for the repair of the royal canal, a
section of which was maintained in working order by the neighbouring
villages of Bît-Sikkamidu and Damiḳ-Adad. They were not liable to
forced labour on the canal-sluices, nor for building dams, nor for
digging out the canal-bed. No cultivator on the property, whether
hired or belonging to the estate, was to be requisitioned by the local
governor even under royal authority. No levy was to be made on wood,
grass, straw, corn, or any sort of crop, on the carts and yokes, on
asses or man-servants. No one was to use his son's irrigation-ditch,
and no levy was to be made on his water-supply even during times of
drought. No one was to mow his grass-land without his permission, and
no beasts belonging to the king or governor, which might be assigned to
the district, were to be driven over or pastured on the estate. And,
finally, he was freed from all liability to build a road or a bridge
for the public convenience, even though the king or the governor should
give the order.

From these regulations it will be seen that the owner of land in
Babylonia under the later Kassite kings, unless granted special
exemption, was liable to furnish forced labour for public works both
to the state and to his local district; he had to supply grazing and
pasture for the flocks and herds of the king and the governor, and to
pay various taxes and tithes on land, irrigation-water, and crops. We
have already noted the prevalence of similar customs under the First
Dynasty,[73] and it is clear that the successive conquests to which
the country had been subjected, and its domination by a foreign race,
had not to any appreciable extent affected the life and customs of the
people nor even the general character of the administrative system.

On one subject the boundary-stones throw additional light, which
is lacking at the period of the First Dynasty, and that is the old
Babylonian system of land tenure. They suggest that the lands, which
formed the subject of royal grants during the Kassite period, were
generally the property of the local _bîtu,_ or tribe.[74] In certain
cases the king actually purchased the land from the _bîtu_ in whose
district it was situated, and, when no consideration was given, we
need merely assume that it was requisitioned by royal authority. The
primitive system of tribal or collective proprietorship, which is
attested by the Obelisk of Manishtusu,[75] undoubtedly survived into
the Kassite period, when it co-existed with the system of private
ownership, as it had doubtless done at the time of the West-Semitic
kings. The _bîtu_ must often have occupied an extensive area, split up
into separate districts or groups of villages. It had its own head, the
_bêl bîti,_ and its own body of local functionaries, who were quite
distinct from the official and military servants of the state. In
fact, agricultural life in Babylonia during the earlier periods must
have presented many points of analogy to such examples of collective
proprietorship as may be seen in the village communities of India
at the present day. As the latter system has survived the political
changes and revolutions of many centuries, so it is probable that the
tribal proprietorship in Babylonia was slow to decay.

The principal factor in its disintegration was undoubtedly the policy,
pursued by the West-Semitic and Kassite conquerors, of settling their
own officers and more powerful adherents on estates throughout the
country. Both these periods thus represent a time of transition, during
which the older system of land tenure gradually gave way in face of the
policy of private ownership, which for purely political reasons was so
strongly encouraged by the crown. There can be no doubt that under the
West-Semitic kings, at any rate from the time of Hammurabi onwards, the
policy of confiscation was rarely resorted to. And even the earlier
rulers of that dynasty, since they were of the same racial stock as
a large proportion of their new subjects, would have been the more
inclined to respect tribal institutions which may have found a parallel
in their land of origin. The Kassites, on the other hand, had no such
racial associations to restrain them, and it is significant that the
kudurrus were now for the first time introduced, with their threatening
emblems of divinity and their imprecatory clauses. At first employed
to guard the rights of private ownership, often based on high-handed
requisition by the king, they were afterwards retained for transfers
of landed property by purchase. In the Neo-Babylonian period, when the
boundary-stones recorded long series of purchases by means of which the
larger landed estates were built up, the imprecations and symbols had
become to a great extent conventional survivals.

But that period was still far distant, and the vicissitudes the country
was to pass through were not conducive to security of tenure, whether
the property were held under private or collective ownership. We have
seen that Assyria, as early as the thirteenth century, had succeeded
in capturing and sacking Babylon, and, according to one tradition, had
ruled the city for seven years. She was shortly to renew her attempts
to subjugate the southern kingdom; but it was Elam, Babylon's still
older foe, that brought the long and undistinguished Kassite Dynasty to
an end.

[Footnote 1: Proof that the Aryans were horse-keepers may be seen
in the numerous Iranian proper names which include _asva_ (_aspa_),
"horse," as a component; see Justi, "Iran. Namenbuch," p. 486, and cf.
Meyer, "Geschichte," I., ii., p. 579.]

[Footnote 2: It is on a text of that period that we find the first
mention of the horse in antiquity; cf. Ungnad, "Orient. Lit.-Zeit.,"
1907, col. 638 f., and King, "Journ. of Hellenic Studies," XXXIII., p.
359. A reference to one also occurs in a letter of the early Babylonian
period (cf. "Cun. Texts in the Brit. Mus.," IV., pl. 1), but, to
judge from the writing, this is probably rather later than the time
of Hammurabi. It is immediately after the Kassite period that we have
evidence of the adoption of the horse as a divine symbol, doubtless
that of a deity introduced by the Kassites; see Plate XXII., opposite
p. 254.]

[Footnote 3: Some First Dynasty tablets record the issue of rations to
certain Kassites, who were obviously employed as labourers, probably
for getting in the harvest (cf. Ungnad, "Beitr. zur Assyr.," VI., No.
5. p. 22); and in a list of proper names of the same period (cf. "Cun.
Texts," VI., pl. 23) a Kassite man, (_awîl_) ṣâbum Kashshû, bears the
name Warad-Ibari, perhaps a Semitic rendering of an original Kassite

[Footnote 4: Cf. Ingnad, "Vorderas. Schriftdenkmäler," VII., pl. 27,
No. 64.]

[Footnote 5: See above, p. 195 f.]

[Footnote 6: Cf. Winckler, "Untersuchungen," p. 156, No. 6.]

[Footnote 7: Cf. "Chronicles," II., p. 22 f. For discussions of the
manner in which we may reconcile the chronicler's account of the
Kassite conquest of the Sea-Country with the known succession of the
early Kassite kings of Babylon, see _op. cit.,_ I., pp. 101 ff., and
cf. Thureau-Dangin, "Journal des Savants." Nouv. Sér., VI., No. 4, pp.
100 ff., and "Zeits. für Assyr.," XXI., pp. 170 ff. The established
genealogy of Agum-kakrime renders it impossible to identify the Agum of
the chronicle, who was a son of Kashtiliash the Kassite, with either
of the Kassite kings of Babylon who bore that name. He can only have
raided or ruled in the Sea-Country, probably at the time his eldest
brother Ushshi (or perhaps his other brother, Abi-rattash) was king in

[Footnote 8: Agum-kakrime describes Kashtiliash as _aplu,_ probably
"the inheritor." not _mâru,_ "the son," of Agum I. (cf. Thureau-Dangin,
"Journ. Asiat.," XI., 1908, p. 133 f.).]

[Footnote 9: See Weissbach, "Babylonische Miscellen," p. 7, pl. 1, No.

[Footnote 10: Cf. "Chronicles," II., p. 24.]

[Footnote 11: See above, p. 210. From his titles we gather that he
ruled Padan, Alman, Gutium and Ashnunnak as subject provinces; cf.
Jensen in Schrader's "Keilins. Bibl.," III., i., p. 130 f.]

[Footnote 12: That is, "The Glory of the Disk," in honour of his new
cult. For detailed histories of the period, see Budge, "History of
Egypt." Vol. V., pp. 90 ff.; Breasted, "History of Egypt," pp. 322 ff,
and Hall, "Ancient History of the Near East," pp. 297 ff.]

[Footnote 13: For the texts, see Budge and Bezold, "The Tell el-Amarna
Tablets in the British Museum" (1892), and Winckler, "Der Thontafelfund
von El Amarna" (1889-90); and for translations, see Winckler. "Die
Thontafeln von Tell el-Amarna" in Schrader's "Keilins. Bibl.," Bd.
V.. Engl. ed. 1890, and Knudtzon's "Die El-Amarna Tafeln" in the
"Vorderasiatische Bibliothek," 1907-12, with an appendix by Weber,
annotating and discussing the contents of the letters.]

[Footnote 14: Winckler's preliminary account of the documents in the
"Mitteil. d. Deutsch. Orient-Gesellschaft," No. 35, Dec. 1907, is still
the only publication on the linguistic material that has appeared. The
topographical and part of the archæological results of the excavations
have now been published; see Puchstein, "Boghasköi," 1912.]

[Footnote 15: Among the royal letters from Tell el-Amarna are eleven
which directly concern Babylon. Two of these are drafts, or copies, of
letters which Amenhetep III. despatched to Kadashman-Enlil of Babylon
(cf. Kundtzon, _op. cit.,_ pp. 60 ff., 74 ff.); three are letters
received by Amen-hetep III. from the same correspondent (_op. cit.,_
pp. 66 ff., 68 ff., 72 ff.); five are letters written by Burna-Buriash
of Babylon to Amen-hetep IV. or Akhenaten (_op. cit.,_ pp. 78 ff.); and
one is a letter from Burna-Buriash, which may have been addressed to
Amen-hetep III. (_op. cit.,_ 78 f.). We also possess a letter, from a
princess in Babylon to her lord in Egypt, on a purely domestic matter
(_op. cit.,_ pp. 118 ff.), as well as long lists of presents which
passed between Akhenaten and Burna-Buriash (_op. cit.,_ pp. 100 ff.);
one of the letters also appears to be a Babylonian passport for use in
Canaan (see below, p. 225, n. 3). The letters thus fall in the reigns
of two Kassite rulers, Kadashman-Enlil I. and Burna-Buriash, but from
one of Burna-Buriash's letters to Akhenaten we gather that Amen-hetep
III. had corresponded with a still earlier king in Babylon, Kara-indash
I.; for the letter begins by assuring the Pharaoh that "since the
time of Kara-indash, when their fathers had begun to correspond with
one another, they had always been good friends" (cf. Knudtzon, _op.
cit.,_ pp. 90 ff.). We have recovered no letters of Kurigalzu, the
father of Burna-Buriash, though Amen-hetep III. maintained friendly
relations with him (see below, p. 224). In a letter of Amen-hetep III.
to Kadashman-Enlil reference is also made to correspondence between the
two countries in the time of Amen-hetep III.'s father, Thothmes IV.
(_op. cit.,_ p. 64 f.).]

[Footnote 16: The Babylonian king expresses his willingness to receive
any beautiful Egyptian woman, as no one would know she was not a king's
daughter (_op. cit.,_ p. 72 f.). Amen-hetep III. married a sister of
Kadashman-Enlil, though the Babylonian court was not satisfied with the
lady's treatment in Egypt (_op. cit.,_ p. 60 f.).]

[Footnote 17: _Op. cit.,_ pp. 178 ff.]

[Footnote 18: See below, p. 240.]

[Footnote 19: Cf. Breasted, "Hist. of Egypt," p. 367 f.]

[Footnote 20: See Knudtzon, _op. cit.,_ p. 128 f.]

[Footnote 21: _Op. cit.,_ p. 88 f.]

[Footnote 22: Knudtzon, _op. cit.,_ pp. 88 ff.]

[Footnote 23: See below, p. 241.]

[Footnote 24: Cf. Knudtzon, _op. cit.,_ p. 84 f.]

[Footnote 25: This was a Canaanite city built by Akhenaten, and named
by him Akhetaten, in honour of the Solar Disk.]

[Footnote 26: _Op. cit.,_ p. 86 f. An interesting little letter
addressed "to the kings of Canaan, the servants of my brother,"
was apparently a passport carried by Akia, an ambassador, whom the
Babylonian king had sent to condole with the king of Egypt, probably
on the death of his father Amen-hetep III. In it the king writes, "let
none detain him; speedily may they cause him to arrive in Egypt" (cf.
_op. cit.,_ pp. 268 ff.)]

[Footnote 27: We are not here concerned with this aspect of the
letters, as Babylon had but a remote interest in the internal
politics of Canaan. Her activities in the west at this time were
mainly commercial; and the resulting influence of her civilization in
Palestine is discussed in a later chapter (see below, pp. 289 ff.). The
letters will be treated more fully in the third volume of this history,
when tracing the gradual expansion of Assyria in the west, and the
forces which delayed her inevitable conflict with Egypt.]

[Footnote 28: See Figs. 47 and 48. The relief was found by M. Legrain
at Karnak; cf. Meyer, "Reich und Kultur der Chetiter," pl. i. The
inscription in Fig. 47 labels the ambassadors as "_mariana_ of Naharain
(_i.e._ Northern Syria)." the term _mariana_ being the Aryan word for
"young men, warriors," doubtless borrowed from the ruling dynasty
of Mitanni (see below, n. 2). That in Fig. 48 contains the end of a
list of Hittite cities, including [Car]chemish and Aruna, the latter
probably in Asia Minor.]

[Footnote 29: See Figs. 49 and 50.]

[Footnote 30: The Mitannian people were probably akin to them,
though in the fifteenth century they were dominated by a dynasty
of Indo-European extraction, bearing Aryan names and worshipping
the Aryan gods Mitra and Varuna, Indra and the Nâsatya-twins (cf.
Winckler, "Mitteil. d. Deutsch. Orient-Gesellschaft," No. 35, p. 51,
and Meyer, _op. cit.,_ p. 57 f.). In spite of Scheftelowitz's attempt
to prove the Mitannian speech Aryan (cf. "Zeits. f. vergl. Sprachf.,"
xxxviii., pp. 260 ff.), it has been shown by Bloomfield to be totally
non-Indo-European in character; see "Amer. Journ. of Philol.," xxv.,
pp. 4 ff., and cf. Meyer, "Zeits. f. vergl. Sprachf.," xlii., 21, and
King, "Journ. for Hellen. Stud.," xxxiii., p. 359.]

[Footnote 31: Khatti may well have been an important centre from a
very early period, and the use of the name "Hittites" by the late
chronicler, in describing the conflicts of the First Babylonian
Dynasty, is in favour of this view: see above, p. 210, n. 2.]

[Footnote 32: This we gather from a letter Amen-hetep wrote to him in
the Arzawa language, which was found at Tell el-Amarna; cf. Knudtzon,
"Die el-Amarna Tafeln," pp. 270 ff., No. 31.]

[Footnote 33: A portion of the village is built over an extension of
the outer fortification-walls on the north-west.]

[Footnote 34: Now known as Beuyuk Kale. For an account of the
excavations, see Puchstein, "Boghasköi: die Bauwerke" (1912); and for
the best earlier description of the site, see Garstang, "Land of the
Hittites," pp. 196 ff.]

[Footnote 35: In the Lion-Gateway at Khatti the face of each monolith
is carved to represent a lion, facing any one approaching the entrance
from without (cf. Puchstein, "Boghasköi," pi. 23 f.). The figure
sculptured in relief on the inner side of the Royal Gateway (see p.
229, Fig. 51) preserves an interesting feature of the best Hittite
work,--an unusual combination of minute surface-adornment with great
boldness of design. The hatching and scroll-work on the garment are
only roughly indicated in the small drawing, and other detail is
omitted. Hair on the breast of the figure, for example, doubtless
regarded as a sign of strength and virility, is conventionally rendered
by series of minute overlapping curls, which form a diapered pattern
traced with the point. This can only be detected on the original stone,
or in a large-size photograph, such as that reproduced by Puchstein,
_op. cit.,_ pl. 19. The Royal Gateway is in the S.E. corner of the
city, near the palace and the smaller temples. The great temple, by
far the largest building on the site, lies on the lower ground to the

[Footnote 36: Cf. Winckler, "Mitteil. d. Deutsch. Orient-Gesellschaft,"
No. 35, p. 36.]

[Footnote 37: The disastrous opening of the battle was largely due to
the over-confidence of Rameses and his complete miscalculation of the
enemy's strength and resources; for the Egyptians had never yet met
so powerful an enemy as the Hittites proved themselves to be. With
the help of the reliefs it is possible to follow the tactics of the
opposing armies in some detail. The accompanying inscriptions are very
fragmentary, but they are supplemented by a historical account of the
battle, introducing a poem in celebration of the valour of Rameses,
preserved on a papyrus in the British Museum. For a detailed account
of the battle, illustrated by plans and accompanied by translations of
the texts, see Breasted, "Ancient Records of Egypt," Vol. 111., pp. 123
ff.; cp. also Budge, "History," Vol. V., pp. 20 ff., and Hall, "Near
East," p. 360 f.]

[Footnote 38: Cf. Winckler, _op. cit.,_ p. 20 f.]

[Footnote 39: _Op. cit.,_ p. 23 f.]

[Footnote 40: That is, under oath, according to the regular Babylonian

[Footnote 41: Winckler, _op. cit.,_ p. 24.]

[Footnote 42: This is not the only occasion on which we hear of the
despatch of physicians from one foreign country to another at this
period. Naturally they were supplied by Egypt and Babylon, as the two
great centres of science and learning. Thus Khattusil refers to a
physician _(asû)_ and an exorcist _(ashipu),_ who had formerly been
sent from Babylon to the Hittite king Mutallu but had not returned.
Kadashman-Enlil had evidently written to enquire about them, and
Khattusil replies that the exorcist is dead, but that the physician
will be sent back; cf. Winckler, _op. cit.,_ p. 26. Medicine at
this time was, of course, merely a branch of magic, and the _asû_ a
practising magician; see above, p. 194.]

[Footnote 43: We possess no contemporary reference to Khonsu's journey.
The tale is recorded on a stele, now in the Bibliothèque Nationale,
which was engraved and set up in the Persian or Hellenic period by the
priests of Khonsu at Thebes (cf. Breasted, "Ancient Records," III., pp.
188 ff.). At the head of the stele is a relief showing the two sacred
boats of Khonsu borne on the shoulders of priests (see p. 238 f., Figs.
56 f.).]

[Footnote 44: Evidence of increased Egyptian influence may be seen in
the fact that, to judge from the seals upon a Hittite document (cf.
Winckler, _op. cit.,_ p. 29), Arnuanta appears to have adopted the
Egyptian custom of marrying his sister.]

[Footnote 45: See above, p. 221.]

[Footnote 46: Cf. "Cun. Texts in the Brit. Mus.," Pt. XXXIV. (1914),
pl. 38 ff., and Schrader, "Keilins. Bibl.," I., pp. 194 ff.; and cp.
Budge and King, "Annals of the Kings of Assyria," pp. xxii. ff.]

[Footnote 47: See above, p. 218.]

[Footnote 48: See below, p. 245 f.]

[Footnote 49: Kurigalzu I. is recorded to have made a grant of certain
land, in the possession of which Kadashman-Enlil I. confirmed a
descendant of the former owner; see King, "Babylonian Boundary Stones
and Memorial Tablets in the British Museum," p. 3 f. The document is
of considerable importance, as the reading of Kadashman-Enlil's name
upon it has cleared up several points of uncertainty connected with the
vexed subject of the Kassite succession.]

[Footnote 50: A red marble mace-head, discovered at Babylon (cf.
Weissbach, "Bab. Miscellen," pp. 2 ff.), is inscribed with his name
and that of his father. Neither bears a royal title in the text,
but, as this is sometimes omitted in the Kassite period, Meli-Shipak
may be provisionally regarded as the successor of Kurigalzu I.; cf.
Thureau-Dangin, "Journ. Asiat.," XI. (1908), p. 119 f.]

[Footnote 51: Cf. "Annals," p. xxii.]

[Footnote 52: _Op. cit.,_ p. xxiii. In the interval between Kara-indash
I. and Burna-Buriash are to be set Kadashman-Enlil I. and his son,
[....Bu]riash (see Hilprecht, "Old Bab. Inscr.," I., i., pl. 25, No.
68, and cp. Thureau-Dangin, _op. cit.,_ pp. 122 ff.), as well as
Kurgalzu II. the father of Burna-Buriash (see above, pp. 221, 224).]

[Footnote 53: Cf. "Annals," p. xxvii. The account given by the
Synchronistic History is certainly to be preferred to that of the
Chronicle 82-7-4, 38. The discrepancies are best explained on the
assumption that the latter's editor has confused Kurigalzu, the young
son of Hurna-Buriash, with Kurigalzu I., the son of Kadashman-Kharbe
I., to whom the chronicler's ascription of success against the Sutû
should be transferred (see Thureau-Dangin, "Journ. Asiat.," XI., 1908,
pp. 125 if., and cp. Knudtzon, "Die El-Amarna-Tafeln," p. 34, n. 2).]

[Footnote 54: He was no doubt elated by his successful war with Elam,
in the course of which he captured Khurpatila, the Elamite king; cf.
Delitzsch, "Das Bab. Chron.," p. 45.]

[Footnote 55: "Annals," pp. xxviii., xxxii.]

[Footnote 56: The successor of his father and grandfather,
Shagarakti-Shuriash and Kudur-Enlil upon the Babylonian throne.]

[Footnote 57: The unification of Babylonia under the Kassites was
symbolized by the name Karduniash, which they bestowed on the country
as a whole. But the older territorial divisions of Sumer and Akkad
still survived as geographical terms and in the royal titles.]

[Footnote 58: Cf. King, "Records of Tukulti-Ninib I.," pp. 96 ff.]

[Footnote 59: The short reigns of Enlil-nadin-shum, Kadashman-Khabe
II. and Adad-shum-iddin must be regarded as falling partly within the
period of Tukulti-Ninib's troubled years of suzerainty, partly in the
reign of Tukulti-Ashur, when the statue of Marduk, carried off by
Tukulti-Ninib, was restored to Babylon. The reign of Enlil-nadin-shum
was cut short by Kidin-Khutrutash of Elam, who sacked Nippur and Dêr,
while a few years later the same Elamite monarch penetrated still
further into Babylonia after defeating Adad-shum-iddin; cf. Delitzsch,
"Das Bab. Chron.," p. 46.]

[Footnote 60: "Annals," p. xli.]

[Footnote 61: The name in the Kings' List reads _Bêl-nadin-_(....);
and in the fragmentary inscription in which Nebuchadnezzar records
how he turned the tables upon Elam, he refers to a ruler, between
(Zamama)-shum-iddin and himself, as _(ilu)BE-nadin-akhi_ (see
Rawlinson, "Cun. Inscr. West Asia," III., pl. 38, No. 2, and cf.
Winckler, "Altorientalische Forschungen," I., pp. 534 ff.). The divine
ideogram _(ilu)BE_ was read as Ea by the Babylonians and as Enlil by
the Assyrians. And the identification of the two royal names has been
called in question on the grounds that the Assyrian copy, in which
Nebuchadnezzar's text has come down to us, would have reproduced the
Babylonian orthography of its original, and that in any case it is
doubtful whether Enlil, like Marduk, ever bore the synonymous title
of Bêl (cf. Thureau-Dangin, "Journ. Asiat.," XI., p. 132 f.). If we
reject the identification, we should read the name of the last king of
the Kassite Dynasty as Ea-nadin-[....], and regard Bêl-nadin-akhi as
probably the second or third ruler of the Fourth Dynasty.]

[Footnote 62: The contracts and letters of this period closely resemble
those of the time of the First Dynasty. The dated documents have
furnished a means of controlling the figures assigned in the Kings'
List to the later Kassite rulers; see Clay, "Documents from the Temple
Archives of Nippur," in the "Bab. Exped." Series, Vol. XIV. f., and for
a number of contemporary letters, see Radau, _ibid.,_ Vol. XVII., i.]

[Footnote 63: See above, pp. 241, 244.]

[Footnote 64: For the kudurru-inscriptions in the British Museum, see
"Babylonian Boundary-Stones and Memorial Tablets in the Brit. Mus."
(1912); and for references to and discussions of other texts, cf.
Hincke, "A New Boundary-Stone of Nebuchadnezzar I." (1907), pp. xvi.
ff., 10 ff.]

[Footnote 65: Cf. "Sumer and Akkad," p. 105.]

[Footnote 66: See Hincke, _op. cit.,_ p. 4.]

[Footnote 67: Cf. "Sumer and Akkad," pp. 206 ff.]

[Footnote 68: Cf. Cuq, "Nouvelle Revue Historique," 1907, p. 707 f.,
1908, p. 476 f.]

[Footnote 69: Resemblances have been pointed out between the
boundary-records of ancient Egypt and those of Babylonia; but of
course no inference of borrowing need be inferred from them. The
method of marking out the limits of a field or estate by means of
boundary-stones, or boundary-tablets, is common among peoples who
have abandoned nomad life for agriculture; and the further idea of
inscribing the owner's name and title to the land is one that would
naturally suggest itself.]

[Footnote 70: This is suggested by the fact that the symbols and curses
so often do not correspond; had they both been bound up in a like
origin, we should have expected the one to illustrate the other more

[Footnote 71: It was quite optional on the part of a Kassite landowner
to engrave a boundary-stone, and, if he did so, it was simply to secure
additional protection for his title. This is well illustrated by a
kudurru of the reign of Nazi-maruttash (see Plate XXI.), which was only
engraved after the original clay title-deed had been destroyed by the
fall of the building in which it had been preserved.]

[Footnote 72: See Plate XXI., opposite; and cp. Scheil, "Textes
Élam.-Sémit.," I., pp. 99 ff., pl. 21 ff.]

[Footnote 73: See above, pp. 167 ff.]

[Footnote 74: Cf. Cuq, "Nouv. Rev. Hist.," 1906, pp. 720 ff., 1908, p.
474 f. This view appears preferable to the theory that the land granted
by the Kassite kings was taken from communal or public laud of a city,
or district, of which the king had the right to dispose (cf. Hincke,
"Boundary Stone of Nebuchadnezzar I.," p. 16).]

[Footnote 75: See above, p. 247.]



The historian of ancient Babylonia has reason to be grateful to
Shutruk-Nakhkhunte and his son for their raids into the Euphrates
valley, since certain of the monuments they carried off as spoil have
been preserved in the mounds of Susa, until the French expedition
brought them again to light. Thanks to Babylon's misfortunes at this
time, we have recovered some of her finest memorials, including the
famous Stele of Narâm-Sin, Hammurabi's Code of Laws, and an important
series of the Kassite kudurrus, or boundary-stones, which, as we
have seen, throw considerable light upon the economic condition of
the country. These doubtless represent but a small proportion of the
booty secured by Elam at this period, but they suffice to show the
manner in which the great Babylonian cities were denuded of their
treasures. Under the earlier kings of the Fourth Dynasty it would
seem that Elam continued to be a menace, and it was not until the
reign of Nebuchadnezzar I. that the land was freed from further
danger of Elamite invasion. We possess two interesting memorials of
his successful campaigns, during which he not only regained his own
territories, but carried the war into the enemy's country. One is a
charter of privileges, which the king conferred upon Ritti-Marduk, the
Captain of his chariots, for signal service against Elam. The text is
engraved on a block of calcareous limestone, and on one side of it are
a series of divine symbols, sculptured in high relief, in order to
place the record under the protection of the gods, in accordance with
the custom introduced during the Kassite period. The campaign in Elam
which furnished the occasion for the charter was undertaken, according
to the text,[1] with the object of "avenging Akkad," that is to say, in
retaliation for the Elamite raids in Northern Babylonia. The campaign
was conducted from the frontier city of Dêr, or Dûr-ilu, and, as it was
carried out in the summer, the Babylonian army suffered considerably
on the march. The heat of the sun was so great that, in the words of
the record, the axe burned like fire, the roads scorched like flame,
and through the lack of drinking-water "the vigour of the great horses
failed, and the legs of the strong man turned aside." Ritti-Marduk,
as Captain of the chariots, encouraged the troops by his example, and
eventually brought them to the Euheus, where they gave battle to the
Elamite confederation which had been summoned to oppose them.

The record describes the subsequent battle in vivid phraseology.
"The kings took their stand round about and offered battle. Fire
was kindled in their midst; by their dust was the face of the sun
darkened. The hurricane sweeps along, the storm rages; in the storm of
their battle the warrior in the chariot perceives not the companion
at his side." Here again Ritti-Marduk did good service by leading the
attack. "He turned evil against the King of Elam, so that destruction
overtook him; King Nebuchadnezzar triumphed, he captured the land of
Elam, he plundered its possessions." On his return from the campaign
Nebuchadnezzar granted the charter to Ritti-Marduk, freeing the towns
and villages of Bît-Karziabku, of which he was the head-man, from
the jurisdiction of the neighbouring town of Namar. In addition to
freedom from all taxation and the _corvée,_ the privileges secured the
inhabitants from liability to arrest by imperial soldiers stationed
in the district, and forbade the billeting of such troops upon them.
This portion of the text affords an interesting glimpse of the military
organization of the kingdom.

The second memorial too has a bearing on this war, since it exhibits
Nebuchadnezzar as a patron of Elamite refugees. It is a copy of a
deed recording a grant of land and privileges to Shamfia and his
son Shamfiia, priests of the Elamite god Rîa, who, in fear of the
Elamite king, fled from their own country and secured Nebuchadnezzar's
protection. The text states that, when the king undertook an expedition
on their behalf, they accompanied him and brought back the statue of
the god Rîa, whose cult Nebuchadnezzar inaugurated in the Babylonian
city of Khuṣṣi, after he had introduced the foreign god into Babylon at
the Feast of the New Year. The deed records the grant of five estates
to the two Elamite priests and their god, and it exempts the land in
future from all liability to taxation and forced labour.[2]

Though Nebuchadnezzar restored the fortunes of his country, he was
not the founder of his dynasty,[3] Of his three predecessors, the
name of one may now be restored as Marduk-shapik-zêrim. His name
has been read on a kudurru-fragment in the Yale Collection, which
is dated in the eighth year of Marduk-nadin-akhê, and refers to the
twelfth year of Marduk-shapik-zêrim.[4] That he cannot be identified
with Marduk-shapik-zêr-mâti is certain, since we know from the
"Synchronistic History" that the latter succeeded Marduk-nadin-akhê
upon the throne of Babylon, the one being the contemporary of
Tiglath-pileser I., the other of his son Ashur-bêl-kala.[5] The close
sequence of the reigns of Nebuchadnezzar I., Enlil-nadin-apli, and
Marduk-nadin-akhê has long been recognized from the occurrence of the
same officials on legal documents of the period.[6] We must therefore
place the newly recovered ruler in the gap before Nebuchadnezzar I.;
he must be one of the first three kings of the dynasty, possibly its
founder, whose name in the Kings' List begins with the divine title
Marduk, and who ruled for seventeen years according to the same
authority. Another of these missing rulers may perhaps be restored
as Ea-nadin-[....], if the royal name in the broken inscription of
Nebuchadnezzar I., to which reference has already been made,[7] is to
be read in that way and not identified as that of the last member of
the Kassite Dynasty. During the earlier years of the Dynasty of Isin
Babylonia must have been subject to further Elamite aggression, and
portions of the country may for a time have acknowledged the suzerainty
of her rulers.

Mus., No. 90858.]

Nebuchadnezzar's successes against Elam and the neighbouring district
of Lulubu[8] no doubt enabled him to offer a more vigorous defence of
his northern frontier; and, when Ashur-rêsh-ishi attempted an invasion
of Babylonian territory, he not only drove the Assyrians back, but
followed them up and laid siege to the frontier fortress of Zanki. But
Ashur-rêsh-ishi forced him to raise the siege and burn his siege-train;
and, on Nebuchadnezzar's return with reinforcements, the Babylonian
army suffered a further defeat, losing its fortified camp together with
Karashtu, the general in command of the army, who was taken to Assyria
as a prisoner of war. Babylon thus proved that, though strong enough to
recover and maintain her independence, she was incapable of a vigorous
offensive on a large scale. It is true that Nebuchadnezzar claimed
among his titles that of "Conqueror of Amurru,"[9] but it is doubtful
whether we should regard the term as implying more than a raid into the
region of the middle Euphrates.[10]

That within her own borders Babylon maintained an effective
administration is clear from a boundary-stone of the period of
Nebuchadnezzar's successor, Enlil-nadin-apli, recording a grant of land
in the district of Edina in Southern Babylonia by E-anna-shum-iddina, a
governor of the Sea-Country, who administered that district under the
Babylonian king and owed his appointment to him.[11] But in the reign
of Marduk-nadin-akhê, she was to suffer her second great defeat at the
hands of Assyria. She fought two campaigns with Tiglath-pileser I.,
in the latter part of his reign, after his successes in the North and
West.[12] In the first she met with some success,[13] but on the second
occasion Tiglath-pileser completely reversed its result, and followed
up his victory by the capture of Babylon itself with other of the great
northern cities, Dûr-Kurigalzu, Sippar of Shamash, Sippar of Anunitum,
and Opis. But Assyria did not then attempt a permanent occupation,
for we find Tiglath-pileser's son, Ashur-bêl-kala, on friendly terms
with Marduk-shapik-zêr-mâti; and when the latter, after a prosperous
reign,[14] lost his throne to the Aramean usurper Adad-aplu-iddina,[15]
he further strengthened the alliance by contracting a marriage with the
new king's daughter.[16]

Thus closed the first phase of Babylon's relations with the growing
Assyrian power. A state of alternate conflict and temporary truce had
been maintained between them for some three centuries, and now for
more than half a century the internal condition of both countries
was such as to put an end to any policy of aggression. The cause of
Babylon's decline was the overrunning of the country by the Sutû,
semi-nomad Semitic tribes from beyond the Euphrates,[17] who made their
first descent during Adad-aplu-iddina's later years, and, according
to a Neo-Babylonian chronicle, carried off with them the spoil of
Sumer and Akkad. This was probably the first of many raids, and we
may see evidence of the unsettled condition of the country in the
ephemeral Babylonian dynasties, which followed one another in quick

The later ruler, Nabû-aplu-iddina, when recording his rebuilding of the
great temple of the Sun-god at Sippar,[19] has left us some details of
this troubled time; and the facts he relates of one of the great cities
of Akkad may be regarded as typical of the general condition of the
country. The temple had been wrecked by the Sutû, doubtless at the time
of Adad-aplu-iddina, and it was not until the reign of Simmash-Shipak,
who came from the Country of the Sea and founded the Fifth Dynasty,[20]
that any attempt was made to reestablish the interrupted service of
the deity. His successor, Ea-mukîn-zêr, did not retain the throne for
more than five months, and in the reign of Kashshûnadin-akhi, with
whom the dynasty closed, the country suffered further misfortunes, the
general distress, occasioned by raids and civil disturbance, being
increased by famine. Thus the service of the temple again suffered,
until under E-ulmash-shakin-shum of Bît-Bazi, who founded the Sixth
Dynasty, a partial re-endowment of the temple took place. But its half
ruinous condition continued to attest the poverty of the country and
of its rulers, until the more prosperous times of Nabû-aplu-iddina.
E-ulmash-shakin-shum was succeeded by two members of his own house,
Ninib-kudur-usur and Shilanum-Shuḳamuna; but they reigned between them
less than four years, and the throne then passed for six years to an
Elamite,[21] whose rule is regarded by the later chroniclers as having
constituted in itself the Seventh Babylonian Dynasty.

[Illustration: FIG. 58.


Arad-Sibitti, accompanied by his sister, receives the royal sanction to
the transfer of an estate, situated in the district of Sha-mamîtu, to
his daughter as her dowry.

(From Boundary-Stone No. 90835 in the British Museum.)]

A stable government was once more established in Babylonia by
Nabû-mukîn-apli, the founder of the Eighth Dynasty,[22] though even
in his reign Aramean tribes continued to give trouble, holding the
Euphrates in the neighbourhood of Babylon and Borsippa, cutting
communications, and raiding the country-side. On one occasion they
captured the Ferry-Gate of Kâr-bêlmâtâti and prevented the king from
holding the New Year's Festival, as the statue of the god Nabû could
not be transported across the river to Babylon.[23] A rude portrait of
this monarch is preserved on a boundary-stone of his reign, on which he
is represented giving the royal sanction to the transfer of an estate
in the district of Sha-mamîtu; and it may be added that considerable
friction subsequently took place, with regard to the validity of the
title, between the original owner Arad-Sibitti and his son-in-law, a
jewel-worker named Burusha.[24] The coarse style of the engraving is
probably to be explained by the fact of its provincial origin, though
there can be little doubt that the standard of Babylonian art had been
adversely affected by the internal condition of the country during the
preceding period.

It was at the time of the Eighth Dynasty that the renaissance of
Assyria took place, which culminated in the victories of that ruthless
conqueror Ashur-nasir-pal and of his son Shalmaneser III. Its effect
was first felt in Babylon in the reign of Shamash-mudammik, who
suffered a serious defeat in the neighbourhood of Mt. Ialman at the
hands of Adad-nirari III., Ashur-nasir-pal's grandfather. Against
Nabû-shum-ishkun I., the murderer and successor of Shamash-mudammik,
Adad-nirari secured another victory, several Babylonian cities with
much spoil falling into his hands. But we subsequently find him on
friendly terms with Babylon, and allying himself with Nabû-shum-ishkun,
or possibly with his successor, each monarch marrying the others
daughter.[25] His son Tukulti-Ninib II. of Assyria, profiting by the
renewed sense of security from attack upon his southern border, began
to make tentative efforts at expanding westwards into Mesopotamia. But
it was reserved for Ashur-nasir-pal, his son, to cross the Euphrates
and lead Assyrian armies once more into Syrian territory. After
securing his frontier to the east and north of Assyria, Ashur-nasir-pal
turned his attention to the west. The Aramean states of Bît-Khadippi
and Bît-Adini, both on the left bank of the Euphrates, fell before his
onslaught. Then crossing the Euphrates on rafts of skins, he received
the submission of Sangar of Carchemish, and marched in triumph through
Syria to the coast.

Babylon naturally viewed this encroachment on the Euphrates route
to the west as a danger to her commercial connexions, and it is not
surprising that Nabû-aplu-iddina should have attempted to oppose
Ashur-nasir-pal's advance by allying himself with Shadudu of Sukhi.[26]
But the armed forces he sent to support the people of Sukhi in their
resistance were quite unable to withstand the Assyrian onslaught, and
his brother Sabdanu and Bêl-aplu-iddin, the Babylonian leader, fell
into Ashur-nasir-pal's hands. In recording his victory the Assyrian
king refers to the Babylonians as the Kassites,[27] a striking tribute
to the fame of the foreign dynasty which had ended more than three
centuries before. Nabû-aplu-iddina evidently realized the futility
of attempting further opposition to Assyrian aims, and he was glad
to establish relations of a friendly character, which he continued
in the reign of Shalmaneser. He attempted to forget the failure of
his military expedition by repairing the damage inflicted during the
numerous Aramean raids upon the ancient cult-centres of Babylonia.


He is the king who restored and re-endowed so richly the temple of
Shamash at Sippar, digging in the ruins of former structures till he
found the ancient image of the god. He redecorated the shrine, and
with much ceremony re-established the ritual and offerings for the god,
placing them under the control of Nabû-nadin-shum, a descendant of the
former priest E-kur-shum-ushabshi, whom Simmash-Shipak had installed
at Sippar. The sculptured scene on the stone memorial-tablet, which
records the re-endowment of the temple, represents Nabû-aplu-iddina
being led by the priest Nabû-nadin-shum and the goddess Aia into the
presence of the Sun-god, who is seated in his temple E-babbar.

[Illustration: FIG. 59.


(After Weissbach.)]

Before the god is the solar disk resting upon an altar supported by
attendant deities, whose bodies spring from the roof of the shrine.[28]

The skill of the Babylonian craftsmen at this period is also attested
by a cylinder of lapis-lazuli, engraved in low relief with a figure of
Marduk and his dragon, which was dedicated in E-sagila at Babylon by
Marduk-zakir-shum, the son and successor of Nabû-aplu-iddina. It was
originally coated with gold, and the design and execution of the figure
may be compared with those of the Sun-god Tablet, as an additional
example of the decorative character of Babylonian stone-engraving in
the ninth century.

It was in Marduk-zakir-shum's reign that Assyria capped her
conquests of this period by becoming the suzerain of Babylon. Under
Ashur-naṣir-pal and Shalmaneser the military organization of the
country had been renewed, and both made effective use of their
extraordinarily efficient armies. Ashur-nasir-pal's policy was one of
annihilation, and the speed with which he struck ensured his success.
Thus when he crossed the Euphrates after taking Carchemish, the king
of Damascus, the most powerful and important state in Syria, made no
attempt to oppose him or to organize a defence. He had evidently been
taken by surprise.

[Illustration: FIG. 60.


In the upper register Assyrian foot-soldiers and cavalry are seen
crossing a stream by a bridge of boats, while below the army is
represented leaving its fortified camp.

(From the Gates of Shalmaneser in the British Museum.)] But Syria then
learned her lesson, and at the battle of Karkar in 854 B.C. Shalmaneser
found himself opposed by a confederation of the northern kings, and,
though he eventually succeeded in ravaging the territory of Damascus,
the city itself held out. In fact, the stubborn resistance of Damascus
prevented any further attempt on Assyria's part at this period to
penetrate further into Southern Syria and Palestine. So Shalmaneser
had to content himself with marching northwards across Mt. Amanus,
subjugating Cilicia and exacting tribute from districts north of the
Taurus. He also conducted a successful campaign in Armenia, from which
quarter one of Assyria's most powerful enemies was about to arise. But
it was in Babylonia that he secured his principal political success.
He has left us a pictorial record of his campaigns on the bronze
sheathing of two cedar-wood doors of his palace; and, as one of the
bands commemorates his triumphal march through Chaldea in 851 b.c., it
gives us some indication of the condition of the country at this time.

[Illustration: FIG. 61.


The male inhabitants are represented leaving with cattle and tribute
for Shalmaneser III., while the women watch them from the walls.

(From the Gates of Shalmaneser.)]

The occasion for Shalmaneser's intervention in Babylonian affairs
was furnished by internal dissension.[29] When Marduk-bêl-usâte, the
brother of Marduk-zakir-shum, revolted, and divided the country into
two armed camps, Shalmaneser readily responded to the latter's appeal
for help, and marching southwards succeeded in defeating the rebels and
in ravaging the districts under their control. On a second expedition
in the following year he completed his work by slaying Marduk-bel-usâte
in battle, and he was then acknowledged by Marduk-zakir-shum as his
suzerain. In this capacity he toured through the principal cities of
Akkad, offering sacrifices in the famous temples of Cuthah, Babylon,
and Borsippa. He also led his army into Chaldea, and, after storming
its frontier fortress of Bakâni, received the submission of its ruler,
Adini, and heavy tribute from him and from Iakin, the Chaldean king
of the Sea-Country further to the south. In his representation of the
campaign Shalmaneser is portrayed marching through the country, and
receiving tribute from the Chaldeans, which they carry from their
cities and ferry across streams to deposit in the presence of the king
and his officials.

[Illustration FIGS. 62 AND 63.


In Fig. 62 Chaldeans are represented conveying tribute across a stream
in boats; in Fig. 63 they deposit it at a bridge-head held by the

(From the Gates of Shalmaneser.)]

But Babylon did not long endure the position of a vassal state,
and Shalmaneser's son and successor. Shamshi-Adad IV., attempted
her reconquest, plundering many cities before he met with serious
opposition. Marduk-balâtsu-ikbi, the Babylonian king, had meanwhile
collected his forces, which included armed levies from Elam, Chaldea,
and other districts. The two armies met near the city of Dûr-Papsukal,
the Babylonians were totally defeated, and a rich booty fell to their
conqueror. During a subsequent interregnum Erba-Marduk, the son of
Marduk-shakin-shum, secured the throne, owing his election to his
success in driving Aramean raiders from the cultivated fields of
Babylon and Borsippa.[30] But he did not reign for long, and when
Babylon continued to give trouble to Assyria, Adad-nirari IV., the
successor of Shamshi-Adad, again subjugated a considerable portion of
the country, carrying away Bau-akhi-iddina, the Babylonian king, as a
captive to Assyria, together with the treasures of his palace.[31]

During the following half-century our knowledge of Babylonian affairs
is a blank, and we have not as yet recovered even the names of the last
members of the Eighth Dynasty. This epoch corresponds to a period of
weakness and inaction in the northern kingdom, such as more than once
before had followed a forward movement on her part. The expansion of
Assyria, in fact, took place in a series of successive waves, and when
one had spent itself, a recoil preceded the next advance. The principal
cause of her contraction, after the brilliant reigns of Shalmaneser
III. and his father, may undoubtedly be traced to the rise of a new
power in the mountains of Armenia. From their capital on the shore of
Lake Van, the Urartians marched southward and menaced the northern
frontier of Assyria itself. Her kings could no longer dream of further
adventures in the West, which would leave their home territory at
the mercy of this new foe. Urartu became now the principal drag on
Assyria's ambitions, a part which was afterwards so effectively played
by Elam in alliance with Babylon.

It is to this period we may probably assign an interesting provincial
monument, discovered in Babylon,[32] which illustrates the independent
position enjoyed by the rulers of local districts at a time when the
central control of either kingdom, and particularly of Assyria, was
relaxed. The monument commemorates the principal achievements of
Shamash-rêsh-usur, governor of the lands of Sukhi and Mari on the
middle Euphrates.[33] He may have owed his appointment to Assyria,
but he speaks like a reigning monarch and dates the record in his
thirteenth year.

[Illustration: FIG. 64.


The scene represents Shamash-rêsh-usur standing before the god Adad and
the goddess Ishtar. The stone was set up in Gabbari-ibni, a city he had
founded, and it commemorates his achievements, the one of which he was
most proud being the introduction of honey-bees into the land of Sukhi.

(After a photo, by Weissbach.)]

On it he records his suppression of a revolt of the Tu'mânu tribe,
who threatened his capital Ribanish, while he was holding festival
in the neighbouring town of Baka. But he attacked them with the
people who were with him, slew three hundred and fifty of them, and
the rest submitted. He also records how he dug out the Sukhi Canal,
when it had silted up, and how he planted palm-trees in his palace at
Ribanish. But his most notable act, according to his own account, was
the introduction of bees into Sukhi, which his improved irrigation of
the district doubtless rendered possible. "Bees which collect honey,"
he tells us, "which no man had seen since the time of my fathers and
forefathers, nor had brought to the land of Sukhi, I brought down
from the mountains of the Khabkha-tribe and I put them in the garden
of Gabbari-ibni." The text closes with an interesting little note upon
the bees: "They collect honey and wax. The preparing of honey and
wax I understand, and the gardeners understand it." And he adds that
in days to come a ruler will ask the elders of his land, "Is it true
that Shamash-rêsh-usur, governor of Sukhi, brought honey-bees into the
land of Sukhi?" The monument may well have been carried to Babylon by
Nebuchadnezzar II., when he incorporated the district within his empire.

The subsequent period shows a gradual tightening of Assyria's grasp
upon the southern kingdom, varied by comparatively ineffective
struggles and revolts on Babylon's part to avoid her loss of
independence. The temporary decline of Assyrian power enabled
Babylon for a time to regain something of her former position under
Nabû-shum-ishkun II., an early king of the Ninth Dynasty, and his
successor Nabonassar. But the military revolt in Assyria, which in 745
B.C. placed Tiglath-pileser IV. upon the throne,[34] put a speedy end
to Babylon's hopes of any permanent recovery of power. His accession
marks the beginning of the last period of Assyrian expansion, and
the administrative policy he inaugurated justifies us in ascribing
the term "empire" to the area conquered by him, and his successors,
in the last half of the eighth and the first half of the seventh
centuries B.C. But it was an empire which carried in itself from the
outset the seeds of decay. It was based on a policy of deportation,
Assyria's final answer to her pressing problem of how to administer
the wide areas she annexed. Former Assyrian kings had carried away the
conquered into slavery, but Tiglath-pileser IV. inaugurated a regular
transference of nations. The policy certainly effected its immediate
object: it kept the subject provinces quiet. But as a permanent method
of administration it was bound to be a failure. While destroying
patriotism and love of country, it put an end at the same time to
all incentives to labour. The subject country's accumulated wealth
had already been drained for the benefit of Assyrian coffers; and in
the hands of its half-starved colonists it was not likely to prove a
permanent source of strength, or of wealth, to its suzerain.

Tiglath-pileser's first object, before launching his armies to
the north and west, was to secure his southern frontier, and this
he effected by invading Babylonia and forcing from Nabonassar an
acknowledgment of Assyrian control. During the campaign he overran the
northern districts, and applied his policy of deportation by carrying
away many of their inhabitants. The distress in the country, due to
the Assyrian inroads, was aggravated by internal dissension. Sippar
repudiated Nabonassar's authority, and the revolt was subdued only
after a siege of the city.[35] The Ninth Dynasty ended with the country
in confusion; for Nabû-nadin-zêr, Nabopolassar's son, after a reign of
only two years, was slain in a revolt by Nabû-shum-ukin, the governor
of a province.[36] The dynasty soon came to an end after the latter's
accession. He had not enjoyed his position for more than a month, when
the kingdom again changed hands, and Nabû-mukîn-zêr secured the throne.

From the fall of the Ninth Dynasty, until the rise of the
Neo-Babylonian Empire, Babylonia was completely overshadowed by
the power of Assyria. She became merely a subject province of the
empire, and her Tenth Dynasty is mainly composed of Assyrian rulers
or their nominees. Nabû-mukîn-zêr had reigned only three years when
Tiglath-pileser again invaded Babylonia, took him captive, and ascended
the throne of Babylon, where he ruled under his name of Pulu.[37]
On his death, which occurred two years later, he was succeeded by
Shalmaneser V., who, as suzerain of Babylon, adopted the name of
Ululai. But Babylonia soon demonstrated her power of hindering
Assyrian plans, for, after the elose of Shalmaneser's reign, when
Sargon's army had secured the capture of Samaria, he was obliged to
recall his forces from the West by the menace of his southern province.
Merodach-baladan, a Chaldean chief of Bît-Iakin[38] at the head of
the Persian Gulf, now laid claim to the throne of Babylon. By himself
he would not have been formidable to Assyria, but he was backed by
an unexpected and dangerous ally. Elam had not meddled in Babylonian
affairs for centuries, but she had gradually become alarmed at the
growth of Assyrian power. So Khumbanigash, the Elamite king, allying
himself with Merodach-baladan, invaded Babylonia, laid siege to the
frontier fortress of Dêr or Dûr-ilu on the Lower Tigris, and defeated
Sargon and the Assyrian army before its walls. Merodach-baladan was
acknowledged by the Babylonians as their king, and he continued to be a
thorn in the side of Assyria.

CHALDEANS. From the Gates of Shalmaneser in the Brit. Mus.]

After the defeat of Shabaka and the Egyptians at Raphia, Sargon was
occupied with the final subjugation of Urartu in the north, which had
for so long been a danger to Assyria. But Urartu had to fight, not
only the Assyrians, but also a new enemy, the Cimmerians, who now made
their appearance from the north and east. In fact, Sargon's conquest of
Urartu resulted in the destruction of that people as a buffer state,
and laid Assyria open to the direct attack of the barbarian invaders,
though it was not until the reign of Esarhaddon that their activity
began to be formidable. Meanwhile, having subjugated his other foes.
Sargon was able to turn his attention once more to Babylon, from
which he expelled Merodach-baladan. His appearance was welcomed by
the priestly party, and, entering the city in state, he assumed the
title of Governor and for the last seven years of his life he ruled in
Babylon virtually as king. A memorial of his occupation survives to-day
in the quay-wall, which he constructed along the north front of the
Southern Citadel.[39]

On Sargon's death in 705 B.C. the subject provinces of the empire
rebelled. The revolt was led by Babylon, where Merodach-baladan
reappears with Elamite support,[40] while Hezekiah of Judah headed a
confederation of the states of Southern Syria. Sennacherib was first
occupied with Babylon, where he had little difficulty in defeating
Merodach-baladan and his allies. He was then free to deal with Syria
and Palestine; and at Eltekeh, near Ekron, he routed the Egyptian army,
which had come to the support of the rebel states. He then received
the submission of Ekron, and took Lachish after a siege, though Tyre
resisted. After his expulsion from Babylon Merodach-baladan had sought
safety by hiding himself in the Babylonian swamps, where he allied
himself with the Chaldean prince Mushezib-Marduk; and Babylon had been
left in charge of Bêl-ibni, a young native Babylonian, who had been
brought up at the Assyrian court. A rising, headed by Mushezib-Marduk,
brought Sennacherib again into the country, who, after defeating the
rebels, carried off Bêl-ibni and his nobles to Assyria, leaving his own
son Ashur-nadin-shum upon the throne.

The country was in a state of continual disaffection, and after a few
years a fresh revolt was headed by a Babylonian, Nergal-ushezib. But
he ruled for little more than a year, being defeated by Sennacherib
and sent in chains to Nineveh. This took place after the return of the
Assyrian army from Nagitu, whither it had been conveyed by Sennacherib,
across the head of the Persian Gulf, against the Chaldeans whom
Merodach-baladan had settled there.[41] Sennacherib then turned his
forces against Elam, and, after plundering a considerable portion
of the country, he was stopped in his advance into the interior by
the setting in of winter. In his absence the Chaldean Mushezib-Marduk
seized the throne of Babylon, and allied himself with Elam. But the
combined armies were defeated at Khalule, and after the death of
Umman-menanu, the Elamite king, in 689, Sennacherib seized Babylon.
Exasperated at her disaffection, he attempted to put an end for all
time to her constant menace by destroying the city. He succeeded in
doing an enormous amount of damage, and, by deflecting the course of
the Euphrates, wiped out large areas and turned them into swamps.[42]
For the last eight years of Sennacherib's reign the country was given
over to a state of anarchy.


(After Weissbach.)]

In 681 Sennacherib was murdered by his sons, and, after a struggle for
the succession, Esarhaddon secured the throne. His first thought was to
reverse completely his father's Babylonian policy, and by rebuilding
the city and restoring its ancient privileges to placate the priestly
party, whose support his grandfather, Sargon, had secured.[43] In 668
B.C. the statue of Marduk was restored to its shrine, and Esarhaddon's
son, Shamash-shum-ukîn, was proclaimed King of Babylon. Esarhaddon
sought to reconcile the military and aggressive party in his own
capital by crowning Ashur-bani-pal, his eldest son, as king in Assyria.
But at the same time Babylon was still taught to look upon Assyria as
her suzerain, and the spirit of disaffection was only driven for the
moment underground. Esarhaddon's aim had been to retain the territory
already incorporated in the Assyrian empire, and, had he been able
to confine his country's energies within these limits, its existence
as a state might have been prolonged. But he was unable to curb the
ambitions of his generals, and, in his effort to find employment for
the army, he achieved the ultimate object of his father's western
campaigns, the conquest of Egypt.

It was soon apparent that Esarhaddon's occupation of that country had
been merely nominal, and it thus fell to his son Ashur-bani-pal to
continue the Egyptian war, and to complete the work his father had left
unfinished. And though he met with far greater success, he too in the
end found the task of any permanent conquest beyond his power.[44] For
he soon had his hands full with troubles nearer home, in consequence of
which his hold on Egypt gradually relaxed. Urtaku of Elam, who invaded
Babylonia, does not appear to have followed up his success; and the
subsequent invasion of the country by Teumman was only followed by
that ruler's defeat and death in battle. But the strength of Elam was
not broken by this reverse, and, when Shamash-shum-ukîn revolted, he
received active Elamite support.

Not only in Elam, but also throughout the territory controlled by
Assyria, Shamash-shum-ukîn found support in his rebellion, a fact
significant of the detestation of Assyrian rule in the scattered
provinces of the empire, which continued to be held together only by
fear. But the force at Ashur-bani-pal's disposal was still powerful
enough to stamp out the conflagration and head off disaster for a time.
He marched into Babylonia, besieged and captured Babylon, and his
brother Shamash-shum-ukîn met his death in the flames of his palace
in 648 B.C. The Assyrian king then invaded Elam, and, capturing its
cities as he advanced, he laid the country under fire and sword. Susa
was protected by its river, then in flood, but the Assyrian army
effected a crossing, and the ancient capital lay at the mercy of the
invaders. Having taken the city, Ashur-bani-pal determined to break its
power for ever, after the manner Sennacherib had dealt with Babylon.
He not only stripped the temples and carried off the treasures of the
palace, but he even desecrated the royal tombs, and completed his
work of destruction by fire. So Susa was plundered and destroyed, and
in Babylon itself Ashur-bani-pal continued to be supreme until his

MARDUK AT BABYLON. Brit. Mus., No. 90864.]

Babylonia had proved herself no match for the legions of Assyria at the
height of the hitter's power; but the industrial and commercial life of
her cities, based ultimately on the rich return her soil yielded to her
agricultural population, enabled her to survive blows which would have
permanently disabled a country less favoured by nature. Moreover, she
always regarded the Assyrians as an upstart people, who had borrowed
her culture, and whose land had been a mere province of her kingdom
at a time when her own political influence had extended from Elam to
the borders of Syria. Even in her darkest hour she was buoyed up by
the hope of recovering her ancient glory, and she let no opportunity
slip of striking a blow at the northern kingdom. She was consequently
always a drag on Assyria's advance to the Mediterranean, for, when the
latter's armies marched westward, they left Babylon and Elam in their

In her later dealings with Babylon Assyria had tried the alternative
policies of intimidation and in-dulgence, but with equal want of
success; and they reached their climax in the reigns of Sennacherib
and Esarhaddon. It is quite possible that either of these policies,
if consistently pursued, would have been equally futile in its aim of
coercing or placating Babylonia. But their alternation was a far worse
blunder, as it only succeeded in revealing to the Babylonians their
own power, and in confirming them in their obstinate resistance. To
this cause we may trace the long revolt under Shamash-shum-ukîn, when
Babylon with Elam at her back struck a succession of blows which helped
in a material degree to reduce the power of the Assyrian army, already
weakened by the Egyptian campaigns. And in 625 B.C., when the Scythians
had overrun the Assyrian empire, and her power was on the wane, we
find Nabopolassar proclaiming himself king in Babylon and founding a
new empire which for nearly seventy years was to survive the city of
Nineveh itself.

[Footnote 1: Cf. "Boundary-Stones in the Brit. Mus.," pp. 29 ff.]

[Footnote 2: See "Boundary-Stones in the Brit. Mus.," pp. 96 ff.]

[Footnote 3: The Fourth Dynasty was known as that of Isin, and the fact
that its founder should have come from there is to be explained by the
magnitude of the disaster to Northern Babylonia. The city had been
known as Nîsin in the earlier period (see above, p. 91, n. I), but even
then there was a tendency to drop the initial _n._]

[Footnote 4: I owe this information to Prof. Clay, who is preparing the
text for publication.]

[Footnote 5: See below, p. 256.]

[Footnote 6: _Op. cit.,_ p. 37.]

[Footnote 7: See above, p. 245, n. 1.]

[Footnote 8: Nebuchadnezzar laid claim to the title, "Conqueror of the
mighty land of Lulubu"; see "Boundary Stones," p. 31, 1. 9.]

[Footnote 9: _Ibid.,_ 1. 10.]

[Footnote 10: A current exaggeration of Babylon's dominion in the West
under Nebuchadnezzar I. appears to have arisen from a confusion as to
the authorship of Nebuchadnezzar II.'s fragmentary inscription at the
Nahr-el-Kelb, which is written in archaistic characters.]

[Footnote 11: Cf. "Boundary-Stones in the Brit. Mus.," pp. 76 ff.]

[Footnote 12: Tiglath-pileser was the first Assyrian monarch, with the
possible exception of Shamshi-Adad III., to carry Assyrian arms to the
coast of the Mediterranean; and in consequence he attracted Egyptian

[Footnote 13: It was then that Marduk-nadin-akhê must have carried
off the statues of Adad and Shala from Ekallâti, which Sennacherib
afterwards recovered on his capture of Babylon in 689 B.C.; cf.
"Records of Tukulti-Ninib I.," p. 118 f.]

[Footnote 14: A later chronicle credits him with having established his
suzerainty over a large number of petty kings and rulers, and adds that
they "beheld abundance"; cf. King, "Chronicles," I., p. 190, II., p. 57

[Footnote 15: The "Synchronistic History" makes Adad-aplu-iddina the
son of E-sagil-shadûni, a man of humble origin; but, according to a
Babylonian tradition, his father was Itti-Marduk-balâtu, the Aramean
(_op. cit.,_ I., p. 191, II., p. 59), and this is more probably

[Footnote 16: See "Annals of the Kings of Assyria," pp. liii. ff.]

[Footnote 17: On the Sutû and their connexion with the Arameans, see
Streck, "Klio," VI., pp. 209 ff.]

[Footnote 18: For a discussion of the evidence supplied by the Kings'
List and the fragmentary Assyrian Dynastic Chronicle with regard to the
Fifth, Sixth, and so-called Seventh Dynasties, see "Chronicles," I.,
pp. 183 ff.]

[Footnote 19: See below, p. 260 f.]

[Footnote 20: We know little more than the names of Adad-aplu-iddina's
three successors, Marduk-akhi-erba, Marduk-zêr-[....], and
Nabû-shum-libur, with whose reign the Fourth Dynasty closed (cf.
King, "Proc. Soc. Bibl. Arch.," p. 221). The dynasty founded by
Simmash-Shipak has by some been regarded as of Chaldean origin; and
it is possible that Chaldean tribes, though not mentioned in the
inscriptions before the period of Ashur-nasir-pal and Shalmaneser, had
already begun to overrun the southern districts of Babylonia. For a
discussion of a passage in a religious chronicle, which may possibly
record a solar eclipse in Simmash-Shipak's seventh year, see King,
"Chronicles," I., pp. 232 ff., and Cowell, "Monthly Notices of the Roy.
Astr. Soc," LXV., pp. 865, 867.]

[Footnote 21: For the possible restoration of his name as Ae-aplu-usur,
see "Chronicles," I., p. 200 f.]

[Footnote 22: There were about thirteen kings of the Eighth Dynasty,
and, though their names are completely wanting in the Kings' List,
some of them are preserved in records concerning their relations with
Assyria. In the gap between Nabû-mukîn-apli and Shamash-mudammik we may
probably place Sibir, a Babylonian king whom Ashur-nasir-pal mentions
as having founded Atlila, a city in Zamua, which he himself rebuilt
as a royal residence and renamed Dûr-Ashur (cf. "Annals," p. 325). It
is improbable that Sibir was one of the missing rulers of the Kassite
Dynasty, the only other period to which his reign could be assigned.
For the broken name [....-akh]ê-iddina, possibly that of another ruler
of this period, see "Chronicles," II., p. 63.]

[Footnote 23: _Op. cit.,_ II., p. 81 f.]
[Footnote 24: See Fig. 58; and cf. "Boundary-Stones in the Brit. Mus.,"
pp. 51 ff.]

[Footnote 25: Cf. "Annals," pp. lvii. ff. Nabû-shum-ishkun's name,
attested by "Syn. Hist.," III., 9 ff., appears to be given as
[Nabù-sh]um-ukîn in "Chron.," II., p. 64.]

[Footnote 26: Sukhi lay on the middle Euphrates, near the mouth of the
Khâbûr. Its position is accurately indicated by Tiglath-pileser I., who
records that he plundered the Aramean Akhlamî from the neighbourhood of
Sukhi up to Carchemish in one day (cf. "Annals," p. 73). For a later
monument from the district, see below, p. 205 f.]

[Footnote 27: Cf. "Annals," p. 351 f.]

[Footnote 28: See Plate XXIII. For a translation of the memorial, see
"Bab. Boundary-Stones and Memorial Tablets in the Brit. Mus.," pp. 120
ff. The tablet was found in a clay coffer, in which it had been placed
at a later period by Nabopolassar, together with clay impressions of
the sculptured scene, to preserve the design of the relief in case the
tablet itself should eventually be broken.]

[Footnote 29: See King, "The Gates of Shalmaneser," pp. 18 ff., 31 f.]

[Footnote 30: Cf. "Chronicles," II., p. 66 ff.]

[Footnote 31: Cf. "Keilins. Bibl.," I., p. 202 f. At this point the
record of the "Synchronistic History" ceases; and it is only with the
reign of Nabonassar, the second king of the Ninth Dynasty, that our
knowledge of the Babylonian succession becomes fuller. In addition to
the evidence afforded by the Kings' List, the information contained
in the Babylonian Chronicle and the Ptolemaic Canon then becomes

[Footnote 32: See Weissbach, "Babylonische Miscellen," pp. 9 ff.]

[Footnote 33: See above, p. 200, n. 1.]

[Footnote 34: He was an Assyrian general named Pulu, the leader of the
revolt, and he took the famous name of Tiglath-pileser to mark his
assumption of royal rank; but he retained his own name in Babylon (see
p. 268).]

[Footnote 35: Though we only possess a few contract-tablets of this
period, the fact that the Ptolemaic Canon begins with the reign of
Nabonassar (see above, p. 265, n. 1) is evidence that it marked a
revival of literary activity, accompanied by a study of the chronology
and possibly by a revision of the calendar.]

[Footnote 36: So "Bab. Chron.," I., 16; in the Kings' List he is
described as the son of Nabû-nadin-zêr.]

[Footnote 37: See above, p. 267, n. 1.]

[Footnote 38: Merodach-baladan claimed descent from Krba-Marduk,
the king of the Eighth Dynasty who secured the throne of Babylon
by his services against the Arameans (see above, p. 204). He made
himself popular in Babylon by restoring to its former owners property
confiscated by the Assyrians. In the Frontispiece to this volume he is
portrayed making a grant of land to his governor of Babylon.]

[Footnote 39: See above, p. 32 f.]

[Footnote 40: According to the Ptolemaic Canon, the two years following
Sargon's death formed a period of interregnum, though the Kings' List
assigns the throne to Sennacherib. However this may be, we know that in
703 Marduk-zakir-shum proclaimed himself king; but he had only reigned
for one month when he was murdered by Merodach-baladan.]

[Footnote 41: In spite of Sennacherib's devastation of Chaldea,
Merodach-baladan had assisted Mushezib-Marduk in his revolt; but he had
then fled with his followers in ships to the coast of Elam, where he
died. Sennacherib built ships on the Tigris and dragged them overland
to the Euphrates, where his troops embarked.]

[Footnote 42: An interesting description of the state of Babylon on
Esarhaddon's accession is given in the recently published cylinder,
inscribed in the year of his accession; cf. King, "Kouyunjik Catalogue
(Supplement)," pp. xviii. f., 7 f., and "Cun. Texts in the Brit. Mus.,"
XXXIV., pl. 1 f.]

[Footnote 43: We have recovered a lapis-lazuli cylinder-seal, engraved
with a figure of "Adad of E-sagila," which he dedicated in that temple;
see Fig. 65, and cf. Weissbach, "Bab. Misc.," p. 17.]

[Footnote 44: Esarhaddon had plundered Memphis, but in a few months it
had been recovered by Egypt and the Assyrian garrison massacred. On his
final Egyptian campaign in 661, Ashur-bani-pal sacked and destroyed
Thebes, and for some years afterwards Egypt continued to acknowledge
Assyrian control.]

[Footnote 45: The subject of Ashur-bani-pal's probable identification
with Kandalanu, and the subsequent relations of Babylon to
Ashur-etil-ihini, Sin-shuni-lishir, and Sin-shar-ishkun will be treated
in the third volume of this history.]



Freed from her Assyrian oppressors, Babylon now renewed her youth, and
the city attained a material splendour and magnificence such as she had
not achieved during the long course of her earlier history. But it took
her more than a generation to realize to the full her newly awakened
ambitions. After his declaration of independence, Nabopolassar's
influence did not extend far beyond the walls of Babylon and Borsippa.
The other great cities, both in the north and south, continued for a
time to acknowledge Assyrian supremacy. But the sons of Ashur-bani-pal,
who succeeded him upon the throne, had inherited a reduced empire,
whose sole support, the Assyrian army, was now largely composed of
disheartened mercenaries. In Ashur-bani-pal's reign there had been
signs of coming change and of the appearance of new races before whom
the Assyrians were doomed to disappear. The destruction of Urartu had
removed a vital barrier against the incursion of the nomad tribes,
and with its disappearance we find new racial elements pressing into
Western Asia, of the same Indo-European family as that of the Medes and
their Iranian kinsfolk. These were the Scythians, who in the middle of
the seventh century had driven the Cimmerians before them into Asia
Minor, and it was they who a generation later struck the death-blow of
the Assyrian empire, pouring across it in resistless hordes. Assyria
had no force in reserve with which to oppose their progress or repair
their ravages.

For centuries this great military power had struck terror throughout
Western Asia; but insatiable lust for dominion now met with its due
reward. Since Sennacherib's day the ranks of the army had been filled
with levies drawn from her subject peoples or with mercenary troops,
and these were a poor substitute for the race of hardy fighters who
had been sacrificed in their country's countless wars. So when the
Medes invested Nineveh, with the possible assistance of the Scythians,
and the passive encouragement of Babylon, the capital could look for
no assistance from her provinces. According to Herodotus[1] the Medes
had already twice invaded Assyria before the final investment; and it
was natural that Nabopolassar should have regarded them as his allies,
and have concluded a definite alliance with them by marrying his
son Nebuchadnezzar to the daughter of Cyaxares, the Median king.[2]
Sennacherib's mighty walls kept the enemy at bay for three years, but
in 606 B.C. the city was taken by storm, and later ages preserved the
tradition that Sin-shar-ishkun, the Sarakos of the Greeks, perished in
the flames of his palace, rather than fall alive into the besiegers'

Though he does not appear to have taken any active part in the long
siege of Nineveh, Nabopolassar was not slow in securing his share of
the dismembered empire. The northern territory of Assyria, including
Northern Mesopotamia,[3] fell to the Medes, while the southern
districts became parts of Nabopolassar's empire under a possible Median
suzerainty.[4] But Babylon was soon to put her newly organized army
to the test. Two years before the fall of Nineveh Egypt had seized
the opportunity, afforded her by Assyria's impotence, of occupying
Palestine and Syria.[5] She had crushed Josiah and his Hebrew army at
Megiddo, and, though it is not certain whether Judah had the support
of other allies, it is clear that Necho encountered no effective
opposition on his advance to the Euphrates. But Nabopolassar did not
intend to allow this portion of the Assyrian empire to fall to Egypt
unchallenged, and he despatched a Babylonian force north-westwards
along the Euphrates under the command of the crown-prince,
Nebuchadnezzar. The two armies met at Carchemish in 604 B.C., where the
Egyptians were utterly routed and driven back through Palestine.[6]
But Nebuchadnezzar did not press his pursuit beyond the borders of
Egypt, for news reached him at Pelusium of Nabopolassar's death, and he
was obliged to return at once to Babylon in order to carry out at the
capital the necessary ceremonies attending his accession to the throne.

In spite of his withdrawal from the country, the greater part of Syria
and Palestine lost no time in transferring their allegiance to Babylon.
The little state of Judah was an exception, for, though she paid her
tribute at first, she soon put the warnings of the prophet Jeremiah at
defiance, and her short-sighted revolt led to the capture of Jerusalem
by Nebuchadnezzar in 596 B.C., and to the carrying away of a large
portion of her population into captivity. A few years later Egypt made
her last attempt to reoccupy Palestine and Syria, and Judah joined the
Phoenician cities of Sidon and Tyre in rallying to her support. In
587 Nebuchadnezzar advanced into Northern Syria and took up a strong
strategic position at Riblah on the Orontes, whence he despatched
a part of his army to besiege Jerusalem. An attempt by Apries, the
Egyptian king, to relieve the city was unsuccessful, and in 586
Jerusalem was once more taken and the greater part of the remnant of
the Jews followed their fellow-countrymen into exile.[7] The Babylonian
army then occupied Phoenicia, though the city of Tyre offered an
obstinate resistance and only acknowledged its allegiance to Babylon
after a long siege, which is said to have lasted for thirteen years.[8]

Thus Nebuchadnezzar completed the work begun by his father,
Nabopolassar, and, by the skilful and vigorous prosecution of his
campaigns, established the Neo-Babylonian empire on a firm basis,
so that its authority was unquestioned from the Persian Gulf to
the Egyptian frontier. Of his later campaigns nothing has yet been
published, beyond a fragmentary reference to a conflict with Amasis of
Egypt in the thirty-seventh year of his reign.[9] Though we do not know
the circumstances under which it took place, we may assume that the
Babylonian army was again victorious against the Egyptian troops and
the Greek mercenaries who fought in their ranks. A tradition is indeed
preserved by Josephus that Nebuchadnezzar made Egypt a Babylonian
province, and although this is certainly an exaggeration, the evidence
suggests that he may well have conducted at least one successful
campaign on Egyptian territory. The troubles of Apries in consequence
of his ill-advised expedition against Cyrene, followed by the revolt of
Amasis and his own deposition and death, may well have furnished the
occasion for a successful invasion of the country by Nebuchadnezzar.

A very large number of inscriptions have been recovered of the
Neo-Babylonian kings, but, unlike the foundation-records of Assyria,
they contain no accounts of military expeditions, but confine
themselves to commemorating the restoration or erection of temples and
palaces in Babylon and the other great cities in the land. Considering
his military successes, this is surprising in Nebuchadnezzar's case,
and the suggestion has been made that he may have told us so little of
his expeditions and battles because they were perhaps undertaken at the
bidding of Media as his suzerain.[10] Cyaxares was his kinsman, and the
part played by Babylon in the conflict of Media with Lydia may well be
explained on that hypothesis.

AND TITLES OF NEBUCHADNEZAR ii. Brit. Mus., No. 90851.]

With the passing of Assyrian power the political importance of
Lydia had risen considerably, and under Sadyattes and Alyattes,
the successors of Ardys upon the Lydian throne, the ravages of the
Cimmerian invasion were repaired. These monarchs had conducted a long
series of attacks upon the cities and states of Ionia, and, though they
were in the main successful, they used up the resources of the nation
without obtaining material advantages in return. Handicapped to this
extent, Lydia entered upon a five years' struggle with the growing
power of Cyaxares, who pushed back her eastern frontier. Matters came
to a head in 585 B.C., when the great battle was fought on the Halys
between Cyaxares and Alyattes on May 28th. The battle is famous for the
total eclipse of the sun, which took place on that day, and is said to
have been foretold by the Greek astronomer Thales of Miletus.[11] By
the subsequent treaty the Halys was fixed as the frontier between Lydia
and the Median empire, and, according to Herodotus, it was arranged
in part through the mediation of Nebuchadnezzar.[12] The intervention
of Babylon must have been undertaken in the Median interest, and it
is possible that Cyaxares could count on Nebuchadnezzar for more than
benevolent neutrality in case of need.

Nebuchadnezzar appears in his inscriptions as a mighty builder, and we
have already seen how he transformed the city of Babylon. He entirely
rebuilt and enlarged his father's royal palace,[13] and in the course
of his reconstructions raised its terraced platform to so great a
height above the surrounding city and plain, that its Hanging Garden
became one of the seven wonders of the ancient world.[14] He rebuilt
the great temples of E-zida at Borsippa and of E-sagila at Babylon, and
the Sacred Procession-street within the city he sumptuously paved,
spanning it between the temple of Ninmakh and his own palace with
the famous Ishtar Gate, adorned with bulls and dragons in enamelled
relief.[15] The fortifications of the city he also greatly strengthened
by the extension of its double line of walls and the erection of new
citadels.[16] During his long reign of forty-two years he devoted his
energies and the new wealth of his kingdom to this work of rebuilding,
both in the capital and in the other ancient religious centres of
Babylonia.[17] The decoration of the façade of Nebuchadnezzar's own
palace reflects the influence of the West upon Babylonian art; and we
may picture her markets and quays as thronged with foreign caravans
and merchandise. Evidence of her extended horizon at this period may
also be traced in the interest which Nebuchadnezzar showed in the
sea-traffic on the Persian Gulf, which doubtless led him to construct
a harbour in the swamps, and to protect it against Arab raids by the
erection of the town of Teredon to the west of the Euphrates, as an
outpost on the desert frontier.[18]

Nebuchadnezzar's son, Amêl-Marduk, was an unworthy successor to his
father. During his short reign he was restrained neither by law nor
decency,[19] and it is not surprising that in less than three years
the priestly party should have secured his assassination and have
set Neriglissar, his brother-in-law, in his place, a man of far
stronger character and a soldier.[20] The son of a private Babylonian,
Bêl-shum-ishkun, Neriglissar had married a daughter of Nebuchadnezzar,
and we may certainly identify him with Nergal-sharezer, the Rab-mag
or Babylonian general who was present at the siege of Jerusalem.[21]
A striking proof that Neriglissar enjoyed high military rank in
Nebuchadnezzar's reign has recently been obtained in a letter from
Erech, which was written by a captain in charge of a body of troops
stationed in the neighbourhood of that city.[22] The date of the
letter is certain, since the captain refers to soldiers on the roll
of Nebuchadnezzar and Neriglissar; and incidentally it gives us a
glimpse of the unsatisfactory condition of the Babylonian army during
Nebuchadnezzar's closing years. The captain is anxious that the
depleted state of his company, and the measures he contemplates in
order to fill its ranks, should not be known to Gubaru, who exercised
a high command in Nebuchadnezzar's army. It is possible that we may
identify this general with the governor of Gutium, who played so
prominent a part in the Persian conquest. Knowing, as he doubtless
did, the unsatisfactory condition of his country's forces, he may
perhaps have regarded the task of opposing the invaders as quite beyond
their powers.[23] Neriglissar's death, less than four years after
his accession, must certainly have been the death-blow to any hopes
his generals may have entertained of placing the country's military
organization and defence upon a sound footing. For his son was little
more than a child, and after nine months' reign the priestly party
at the capital succeeded in deposing him in favour of one of their
own number, Nabonidus, a man of priestly descent[24] and thoroughly
imbued with the traditions of the hierarchy. The new king carried on
Nebuchadnezzar's tradition of temple-reconstruction with enthusiasm,
but he had none of his great predecessor's military aptitude. To
his own priestly detachment he added the unpractical character of
the archæologist, loving to occupy himself in investigating the
past history of the temples he rebuilt, in place of controlling his
country's administration. The bent of his mind is well reflected
in the account he has left us of the dedication of his daughter,
Bêl-shalti-Nannar, as head of the college of votaries attached to the
Moon-temple at Ur.[25] It is clear that this act and the accompanying
ceremonial interested him far more than the education of his son; and
any military aptitude Belshazzar may have developed was certainly not
fostered by his father or his father's friends. It was only when the
enemy was at the frontier that the king must have realized his own

Thus with the accession of Nabonidus the close of Babylon's last period
of greatness is in sight. But the empire did not crumble of its own
accord, for in one of his foundation-records the king boasts that the
whole of Mesopotamia and the West, as far as Gaza on the Egyptian
border, continued to acknowledge his authority.[26] It required
pressure from without to shatter the decaying empire, which from the
first must have owed its success in no small measure to the friendly
and protective attitude of Media. When that essential support was no
longer forthcoming, it lay at the mercy of the new power before which
Media herself had already gone down.

The Persian kingdom of Cyrus, rising on a new wave of the Indo-European
migration, had had little difficulty in absorbing that of the
Medes.[27] Five years after the accession of Nabonidus, Cyrus had
deposed Astyages, and, uniting his own followers from the south of
Iran with their Median kinsfolk, he proceeded to deal with Croesus of
Lydia. Under her last king, the successor of Alyattes, the power of
Lydia had risen to its greatest height, and the fame of Croesus' wealth
had attracted many of the more cultured Greeks to his court at Sardis.
But when Cyrus made himself master of the Median empire, Croesus began
to fear his growing power. In 547 B.C. he fought an indecisive battle
with the Persians at Pteria in Cappadocia, near the site of the old
Hittite capital, and he then retreated on Sardis. Here he sent for
assistance to Sparta, Egypt and Babylon. But Cyrus did not delay before
renewing his attack, and he appeared unexpectedly before the capital.
The Lydian army was now signally defeated; Sardis, in which Croesus had
taken refuge, was captured after a siege, and the Lydian empire brought
to an end. Cyrus was then free to turn his attention to Babylon.



If we should be right in identifying Gobryas or Gubaru, the governor
of Gutium, with the Babylonian general of that name, who had held high
position under Nebuchadnezzar,[28] we may trace the speed and ease of
the Persian conquest of Babylonia directly to his action in espousing
the cause of the invader. Foreseeing that the only hope for his country
lay in its speedy submission, he may have considered that he would be
acting in its best interests if he did not oppose its incorporation
within the Persian empire, but rendered the revolution so far as
possible a peaceful one. That would explain the action of Cyrus in
entrusting the invasion largely to his hands; and the subsequent revolt
of Sippar is the more easily accounted for if a Babylonian general with
Gubaru's reputation had appeared as the envoy of the Persian king. In
any case we must assume that a large section of the Akkadian population
was of that way of thinking, quite apart from the opposition to himself
that Nabonidus had aroused in the priestly party of the capital.

The defence of the country was entrusted by Nabonidus to his son
Belshazzar, who met the advancing Persians at Opis, where he was
defeated; and, as often as he attempted to rally his forces, they were
again dispersed.[29] Sippar then opened its gates without fighting,
Nabonidus fled, and Gubaru advancing on the capital secured its
peaceful surrender. The native chronicler of these events records
that, during the early days of the Persian occupation of the city, the
shields of Gutium surrounded the doors of E-sagila, so that no man's
spear entered the sacred shrines and no military standard was brought
in.[30] The record gains fresh meaning if we may assume that the
governor of Gutium was himself of native origin and a former general
of the Babylonian army. On the third day of the following month Cyrus
made his state entry into the capital, being received by all classes,
and especially by the priesthood and the nobles, as a liberator. He
appointed Gubaru his governor of Babylon, and the latter appears to
have stamped out further resistance by pursuing Belshazzar and putting
him to death.[31] Nabonidus had already been taken, when the capital

It is perhaps remarkable that the native priesthood, from whose ranks
Nabonidus himself had sprung, should have welcomed the Persian king
as their country's deliverer, whose victory had been brought about by
Marduk, the national god. But, after securing the secular control,
Nabonidus had given free rein to his priestly ambition, and, as a
consequence, had estranged his own party. His imagination may have
been fired by some ill-advised scheme of centralizing worship; but,
whatever his motive, the king had collected many of the cult-images
throughout the country into the capital, little recking that he thereby
tore the gods from their ancient habitations. By restoring the gods to
their local shrines, Cyrus gained in popularity, and completely won
over the priesthood, by far the most powerful political section of the
community.[32] Thus it happened that Babylon made no further struggle
to retain her freedom, and the whole of the territory she had enjoyed
was incorporated without resistance in the Persian empire.

With the permanent loss of Babylon's independence, the period covered
by this history draws to an end. The epoch forms a convenient
stopping-place; but, unlike the fall of the Assyrian empire, her
conquest made but little difference to the life and activities of the
population as a whole. It may therefore be permissible to glance ahead
a little, and note her subsequent fortunes as a subject province, under
the foreign domination of the powers which succeeded one another in the
rule of that region of Western Asia. The tranquillity of the country
under Cyrus formed a striking contrast to the unrest and intrigue which
characterized its attitude under Assyrian rule; and this was due to the
fact that the policy he inaugurated in the provinces of his empire was
a complete reversal of Assyrian methods. For the nationality of each
conquered race was respected, and it was encouraged to retain its own
religion and its laws and customs. Hence Babylon's commercial life and
prosperity suffered no interruption in consequence of the change in her
political status. Taxation was not materially increased, and little was
altered beyond the name and title of the reigning king in the dates
upon commercial and legal documents.[33]

This state of things would doubtless have continued, had not the
authority of the Persian empire itself been rudely shaken during the
reign of Cambyses, Cyrus' son and successor. The conquest of Egypt and
its incorporation as an integral part of the Achæmenian empire, to
which he directed his main energies, were achieved after the battle of
Pelusium and the fall of Memphis. But when attempting to extend his
sway over Nubia in the south, he received news of revolt in Persia.
Before his departure for Egypt he had murdered his brother Bardiya,
known to the Greeks as Smerdis. The murder had been kept a secret,
and the revolt against the absent king was now headed by a Magian,
named Gaumata, who gave himself out as the missing Smerdis and the
true heir to the throne.[34] Cambyses made preparations to repress
the revolt, but died on his return journey in Syria in 522. The death
of the king gave a fresh impetus to the forces of rebellion, which
now began to spread through the provinces of the Persian empire. But
Gaumata, the Persian rebel, soon met his fate. For after Cambyses'
death, the Persian army was led back by Darius, a prince of the same
house as Cyrus and his son; Gaumata was surprised and murdered, and
Darius firmly established on the throne. Darius continued to act with
extraordinary energy, and in the course of a single year succeeded in
quelling the rebellions in Babylon and in the various provinces.[35]
On the rock-face of Behistun in Persia, on the road from Babylon to
Ecbatana, he has left us sculptured portraits of himself and the rebel
leaders he subdued. The latter include Nidintu-Bêl and Arakha, the two
pretenders to the Babylonian throne.[36]

The sieges of Babylon by Darius mark the beginning of the city's decay.
Her defences had not been seriously impaired by Cyrus, but they now
suffered considerably. The city was again restless during Darius'
closing years,[37] and further damage was done to it in the reign of
Xerxes, when the Babylonians made their last bids for independence.[38]
For Xerxes is said not only to have dismantled the walls, but to have
plundered and destroyed the great temple of Marduk itself. Large areas
in the city, which had been a wonder of the nations, now began to lie
permanently in ruins. Babylon entered on a new phase in 331 B.C.,
when the long struggle between Greece and Persia was ended by the
defeat of Darius III. at Gaugamela. For Susa and Babylon submitted to
Alexander, who on proclaiming himself King of Asia, took Babylon as
his capital. We may picture him gazing on the city's great buildings,
many of which now lay ruined and deserted. Like Cyrus before him, he
sacrificed to Babylon's gods; and he is said to have wished to restore
E-sagila, Marduk's great temple, but to have given up the idea, as it
would have taken ten thousand men more than two months to remove the
rubbish from the ruins. But he seems to have made some attempt in that
direction, since a tablet has been found, dated in his sixth year,
which records a payment of ten manehs of silver for "clearing away the
dust of E-sagila."[39]

SEALS. Brit. Mus., Nos. 18249, 89146, 89352.]

While the old buildings decayed, some new ones arose in their place,
including a Greek theatre for the use of the large Greek colony.[40]
Many of the Babylonians themselves adopted Greek names and fashions,
but the more conservative elements, particularly among the priesthood,
continued to retain their own separate life and customs. In the year
270 B.C. we have a record that Antiochus Soter restored the temples of
Nairn and Marduk at Babylon and Borsippa,[41] and the recent diggings
at Erech have shown that the old temple in that city retained its
ancient cult under a new name.[42] In the second century we know that,
in a corner of the great temple at Babylon, Marduk and the God of
Heaven were worshipped as a two-fold deity under the name of Anna-Bêl;
and we hear of priests attached to one of Babylon's old shrines as
late as the year 29 B.C. Services in honour of the later forms of the
Babylonian gods were probably continued into the Christian era.

The life of the ancient city naturally flickered longest around
the ruined temples and seats of worship. On the secular side, as a
commercial centre, she was then but a ghost of her former self. Her
real decay had set in when Seleucus, after securing the satrapy of
Babylon on Alexander's death, had recognized the greater advantages
offered by the Tigris for maritime communication. On the foundation of
Seleucia, Babylon as a city began rapidly to decay. Deserted at first
by the official classes, followed later by the merchants, she decreased
in importance as her rival grew. Thus it was by a gradual and purely
economic process, and through no sudden blow, that Babylon slowly bled
to death.

[Footnote 1: I., 102 f.]

[Footnote 2: According to Abydenus in Eusebius, "Chron., lib. I.," ed.
Schoene, col. 37; the account is preserved in the Armenian version.]

[Footnote 3: This would seem to follow from Nabonidus' references
to E-khulkhul, the temple of Sin in Harran, and its destruction by
the Umman-manda after the fall of Nineveh (cf. Langdon, "Neubab.
Königsinschriften," pp. 220 f., 272 ff.); see Hogarth, "The Ancient
East," p. 123. The term Manda is loosely employed in the inscriptions.]

[Footnote 4: See below, pp. 278 f., 282.]

[Footnote 5: After throwing off the Assyrian yoke Egypt, under the
XXVIth Dynasty, entered on a last period of independence, and it was
natural that she should dream once more of Asiatic empire.]

[Footnote 6: The Egyptian army at this time must have been a very mixed
host, drawn in great part from the African provinces of Egypt, and its
stiffening of Greek and Carian mercenaries was probably untrustworthy;
cf. Maspero, "Histoire ancienne," III., p. 530 f., and Hall, "Ancient
History of the Near East," p. 543 f.]

[Footnote 7: Zedekiah, the last of the kings of Judah, paid dearly
for his rebellion. He was captured on his flight from Jerusalem, and
carried to Riblah, where Nebuchadnezzar slew his sous before his eyes,
blinded him, and then sent him in chains to Babylon (II. Kings, xxv., I

[Footnote 8: From 585 to 573 b.c.]

[Footnote 9: For the text of the tablet, see Strassmaier,
"Nabuchodonosor," p. 194, No. 329, and for a full discussion of its
contents, cf. Winckler, "Altorient. Forsch.," I., pp. 511 ff.; in Rev.,
1. I, it mentions "[Am]ûsu, king of Egypt."]

[Footnote 10: Cf. Hogarth, "The Ancient East," p. 124 f.]

[Footnote 11: Herodotus (I., 74) relates that the Medes and Lydians,
when they perceived the day suddenly changed into night, ceased
fighting (evidently taking it as a portent from the gods) and were
anxious for terms of pence.]

[Footnote 12: The Babylonian king must have been Nebuchadnezzar, though
the name given by Herodotus as "Labynetus" is best explained as a
corruption of Nabonidus (_Nabû-na'id_).]

[Footnote 13: See above, pp. 38 ff.]

[Footnote 14: For a suggested identification of the Hanging Gardens
with a building in the north-east corner of the palace on the Southern
Citadel, see above, pp. 40 ff.]

[Footnote 15: See above, pp. 51 ff.]

[Footnote 16: See above, pp. 24 ff., 58.]

[Footnote 17: For a discussion of the temples in Babylon,
which Nebuchadnezzar in great part rebuilt, see above, pp. 61
ff. His building activity in other cities is attested by his
foundation-records; cf. Langdon, "Neubab. Königsinschriften," pp. 70

[Footnote 18: Cf. Abydenus, in Eusebius, "Chron. lib. I.," ed. Schoene,
Col. 39 f., or Müller, "Fragm. Hist. Graec.," IV., p. 284, which
may perhaps reproduce a statement of Berossus; see Bevan, "House of
Seleucus," I., p. 247.]

[Footnote 19: According to Berossus he reigned ἀνόμως καὶ ἀσελγῶς (cf.
Josephus c. Apion. I., 20, in Müller, _op. cit.,_ p. 507).]

[Footnote 20: Evidence that he owed his election to the priestly party
may be seen in the approval accorded him by Nabonidus; cf. Nab. Stele,
Col. IV., 11. 24 ff. (Langdon, "Neubab. Königsinschriften," p. 276 f.).]

[Footnote 21: 7 Jer. xxxix., 3, 13.]

[Footnote 22: Cf. Scheil, "Rev. d'Assyr.," XI., No. iv. (1914), pp. 105

[Footnote 23: See below, p. 283.]

[Footnote 24: Cf. Dhorme, "Revue Biblique," 1903, pp. 131 ff.]

[Footnote 25: Cf. Dhorme, "Rev. d'Assyr.," XI., No. iii. (1914), pp.
105 ff. A duplicate account of the dedication will appear in Prof.
Clay's forthcoming "Miscellaneous Inscriptions in the Vale Babylonian
Collection," No. 45.]

[Footnote 26: See his cylinder in the British Museum, 82-7-4, 1025
recording his restoration of the temples in Harran and Sippar, Col. I.,
11. 38 ff.; cf. Langdon, "Neuhab. Königsinschriften," p. 220 f.]

[Footnote 27: Though Cyrus was at first merely king of Anshan in
Elam, with Susa as his capital, he was undoubtedly of Aryan descent.
The rise of the southern or Persian group of the Iranians coincided
with the westward expansion of the Median empire, and the fusion of
the two branches may well have been fostered by disaffection in the
north, due to the favour shown by the Median kings to their Scythian
subjects. This would in great measure account for the ease with which
Cyrus possessed himself of the Median empire; cf. Hogarth, "The Ancient
East," pp. 150 ff.]

[Footnote 28: See above, p. 281.]

[Footnote 29: See the "Nabonidus-Cyrus Chronicle," Rev., Col. 111., 11.
12 ff.; and cp. Hagen, "Beitr. zur Assyr.," II., p. 222 f.]

[Footnote 30: Cf. "Nab.-Cyr. Chron.," Col. III., 11. 16 ff.]

[Footnote 31: The passage in the Chronicle, which appears to record
this act on Gubaru's part (Col. III., 1. 22 f.), is broken and its
reading is not certain; but the fact that the next entry relates to a
period of national mourning in Akkad is in favour of the interpretation

[Footnote 32: Cf. "Nab.-Cyr. Chron.," Col. III., 1l. 18 ff.]

[Footnote 33: The enormous number of these that have been recovered
attest the continued prosperity of the country.]

[Footnote 34: Cf. King and Thompson, "Sculptures and Inscription of
Darius," pp. 6 ff.]

[Footnote 35: Cf. Weissbach, "Zeits. für Deutsch. Morgenland.
Gesellschaft," Bd. LXII. (1908), pp. 631 ff. The majority of the
national revolts were probably suppressed during the accession-year
of Darius and the early part of his first year. The later revolts of
Susiania and Scythia also gave little difficulty; Weissbach (_ib.,_
p. 641) suggests a restoration of the Persian text of the Behistun
Inscription which would place them in the fourth and fifth year of
Darius' reign.]

[Footnote 36: See King and Thompson, _op. cit.,_ Plates iii., xv. and

[Footnote 37: It was only towards the end of Darius' reign, after
the Egyptian revolt, that we have evidence pointing to a renewal of
Babylonian unrest (see below, n. 4). The fear inspired by Darius on his
accession was evidently felt throughout his Asiatic provinces, and it
was the revolt of Egypt, not Asia, that checked his activities against
the Greeks.]

[Footnote 38: For a list of documents dated in the brief reigns of
Bel-simanni, Shamash-erba, and two other Babylonian usurpers of this
period, see Weissbach, _op. cit.,_ p. 044. The extraordinary variants
in writing the Babylonian form of Xerxes' name show the difficulty
the Babylonians had in pronouncing it; but Akshimakshu can hardly be
regarded as such a variant, and may well be that of a rebel who secured
a brief period of power (cf. also Boissier, "Orient. Lit.-Zeit.,"
1013, p. 300). On the evidence of the proper names occurring in the
contracts, he and the others are all to be placed in the reign of
Xerxes or in the last years of Darius.]

[Footnote 39: Cf. Oppert, "Comptes rendus," 1898, pp. 414 ff.]

[Footnote 40: See above, p. 83, Fig. 31, «I. The theatre was built
of mud-brick; for the pillars and their bases a sort of concrete was
employed, made of burnt-brick rubble and gypsum mortar, washed over
with white plaster.]

[Footnote 41: Cf. Rawlinson, "Cun. Inscr. West. Asia," V., pl. 66.]

[Footnote 42: In contract-tablets from the site, dating from the third
and second centuries B.C., the old temple E-anna is always referred
to under the name Bît-rêsh, "Chief Temple," or "Chief Building" (cf.
Clay, "Babylonian Records in the Library of J. Pierpont Morgan," Pt.
II., 1913). Prof. Clay has recently sent me a transcript of a very
interesting building-inscription from the same site, drawn up in
the year 244 b.c., which will appear as No. 52 in his forthcoming
"Miscellaneous Inscriptions." It records the rebuilding of Bît-rêsh by
a certain Anu-uballit, the second prefect (_shanû_) of Erech, who also
bore the Greek name Νίαρκος _Nikiḳarḳusu, Nikarḳusu_; it was clearly
a privilege to bear a Greek name, as he tells us he was given his by
"Antiochus, king of the lands." The text furnishes additional evidence
of the survival of the literary language of Babylon for official
records, and of the conservatism of the religious cult.]



During the Persian and Hellenistic periods Babylon exerted an influence
upon contemporary races of which we may trace some survivals in the
civilization of the modern world. She was the mother of astronomy,
and the twelve divisions on the dial of our clocks and watches were
ultimately derived, through Greek channels, from her ancient system of
time-division. It was under the Neo-Babylonian kings that the Hebrew
race first came into close contact with her culture, and there can be
no doubt that the Jews, in the time of their captivity, renewed their
interest in her mythology when they found it presented some parallels
to their own. But in the course of this history it has been shown that,
during far earlier periods, the civilization of Babylon had penetrated
throughout a great part of Western Asia. It is admitted that, as a
result of her westward expansion at the time of the First Dynasty,
her culture had spread during subsequent periods to the Mediterranean
coast-lands, and had moulded to some extent the development of those
peoples with whom it came in contact. And since the religious element
dominated her own activities in a greater measure than was the case
with most other races of antiquity, it has been urged that many
features in Hebrew religion and in Greek mythology can only be rightly
explained by Babylonian beliefs in which they had their origin. It is
the purpose of this chapter to examine a theory of Babylon's external
influence, which has been propagated by a school of writers and has
determined the direction of much recent research.

It is scarcely necessary to insist on the manner in which material
drawn from Babylonian and Assyrian sources has helped to elucidate
points in the political and religious history of Israel. Scarcely
less striking, though not so numerous, are the echoes from Babylonian
legends which have long been recognized as existing in Greek mythology.
The best known example of direct borrowing is undoubtedly the myth of
Adonis and Aphrodite, the main features of which correspond closely
to the Babylonian legend of Tammuz and Ishtar. In this case not only
the myth, but the accompanying festival and rites were also borrowed,
passing to Greece by way of Byblos on the Syrian coast and Paphos in
Cyprus, both centres of Astarte worship.[1] Another Greek legend,
obviously of Babylonian origin, is that of Actseon, who is clearly to
be identified with the shepherd, loved by Ishtar and changed by her
into a leopard, so that he was hunted and killed by his own hounds.[2]

Some parallels have also long been pointed out between the national
heroes Heracles and Gilgamesh. It is true that most races of antiquity
possess stories of national heroes of superhuman strength and power,
but there are certain features in the traditions concerning Heracles
which may have some ultimate connexion with the Gilgamesh cycle of
legends.[3] Less convincing is the analogy which has been suggested
between Icarus and Etana, the Babylonian hero or demi-god, who
succeeded in flying to the highest heaven only to fall headlong to the
earth. For in Etana's case there is no question of human flight: he
was carried to heaven by his friend the Eagle, to whose wings he clung
while they mounted to heaven's gates. But the examples already referred
to may suffice to illustrate the way in which it has long been agreed
that Babylonian mythology may have left its impress on that of Greece.

But the views now held by a considerable body of scholars suggest a
much broader extension of Babylonian influence than is implied by a
series of isolated and fortuitous connexions; and, as the character of
this influence is _ex hypothesi_ astronomical, any attempt to define
its limits with precision is a matter of some difficulty. For it will
be obvious that, if we may assume an astronomical basis or background
to any two mythologies, we at once detect a great number of common
features the existence of which we should not otherwise have suspected.
And the reason is not far to seek; for the astronomical phenomena with
which we go to work are necessarily restricted in number, and they
have to do duty many times over as a background in each system.[4] In
spite of this disadvantage, which is inherent in their theory, Winckler
and his school have rendered good service in working out the general
relationship which was believed by the Babylonians to exist between
the heavenly bodies and the earth.[5] He has shown sound reasons for
assuming that, according to the tenets of Babylonian astrology, events
and institutions on earth were in a certain sense copies of heavenly

It is well known that the Babylonians, like the Hebrews, conceived the
universe as consisting of three parts: the heaven above, the earth
beneath, and the waters under the earth. The Babylonians gradually
elaborated this conception of the universe, and traced in the heavens
a parallel to the threefold division of earth, separating the universe
into a heavenly and an earthly world. The earthly universe consisted as
before of three divisions, that is to say the heaven (limited to the
air or atmosphere above the earth), the earth itself, and the waters
beneath it. Those corresponded in the heavenly world to the Northern
heaven, the Zodiac, and the Southern heaven or heavenly ocean. By the
later Babylonian period the greater gods had long become identified
with the planets, and the lesser gods with the fixed stars, each deity
having his special house or star in heaven in addition to his temple
on earth. This idea appears to have been carried still further by
the later Greek astrologers, by whom lands and cities in addition to
temples were thought to have their cosmic counterparts.[6] But even for
the Babylonians the moving stars were not merely symbols serving as
interpreters to men of the divine will; their movements were the actual
cause of events on earth. To use an apposite simile of Winckler, heaven
was believed to be related to earth much as a moving object seen in a
mirror was related to its reflection.[7]


In order to illustrate the way in which these astral ideas are said
to have supplied material to Greek mythology, a test instance may
be selected, the suggested explanation of which involves one of the
essential features of Winckler's astral system as he eventually
elaborated it.[8] We will take the story of the Golden Lamb of
Atreus and Thyestes, which is introduced by Euripides into one of the
choruses in his _Electra_[9] According to the story, which is referred
to, but not explicitly told, by Euripides, the Lamb with the Golden
Fleece was brought by Pan to Atreus, and was regarded by the Argives
as a sign that he was the true king. But his brother Thyestes, with
the help of Atreus' wife, stole it and claimed to be king; so strife
ensued, good was turned to evil, and the stars were shaken in their
courses. It is curious that the theft of the Lamb should have such a
special effect upon the heavens and the weather, for this is definitely
stated in the second strophe and antistrophe of the chorus.[10] Though
details are obscure, it is clear that we here have a legend with
strongly marked astrological elements. The theft of the Lamb changes
the sun's course, and from other lines in the chorus we gather that the
alteration led to the present climatic conditions of the world, the
rain-clouds flying northward and leaving "the seats of Amnion"--that
is, the Libyan desert--parched and dewless.

In its original form the legend may well have been a story of the First
Sin, after which the world was changed to its present state, both moral
and atmospheric.[11] There is definite evidence that the Golden Lamb
was identified with the constellation Aries; and since Babylon was
admittedly the home of astrology, it is not an improbable suggestion,
in spite of the reference to Ammon, that we should regard it as one
of the lost legends of Babylon. According to Winckler's theory of the
Babylonian religion, we should go further, and trace the origin of the
legend to a convulsion in Babylonian thought which took place in the
ninth and eighth centuries B.C. At this period, it is asserted, the sun
at the vernal equinox was moving from the constellation Taurus into
Aries, The bull, according to the theory, was identified with Marduk,
the god of Babylon,[12] and all the time he was yielding his place
to the Ram, Babylon was declining before the power of Assyria. The
disorganization of the calendar and the seasons, due to the imperfect
method of time-reckoning in vogue, was associated with this event,
giving an impetus to a fresh birth of legends, one of which has found
its way in a Greek dress into this chorus of Euripides. Or, as it
has been put rather differently, the story is a piece of Babylonian
astronomy misunderstood.

The theory underlying this interpretation of the legend is based on
the axiom that the Babylonian religion was essentially a star-worship,
and that behind every department of the national literature, secular
as well as religious, lay the same astral conception of the universe.
Before treating the theory in greater detail, it may be well to
ascertain how far the history of the country substantiates this view.
In the earliest period of which we have recovered material remains
there can be no doubt that image-worship formed a characteristic
feature of the Babylonian religious system, though we have no means of
tracing its gradual evolution out of the fetish and stock-and-stone
worship which necessarily preceded it.[13] The extraneous civilization,
which the Sumerians introduced, most probably included cult-images
of their gods, and these may well have been already anthropomorphic.
Fashioned in the god's form, the image was believed to enshrine his
presence, and for the Babylonians of all periods it never lost this
animistic character.

[Illustration: FIG. 66. FIG. 67. FIG. 68.


The goddesses wear the homed headdresses of Babylonian deities, and, as
they are represented being carried by soldiers, they had probably been
taken from a captured Babylonian town.

(After Layard.)]

A tribal or city-god, in his earliest stage of development, was
doubtless wholly identified with his cult-image. No more than one
image of each was worshipped, and the idea of a god's existence apart
from this visible form must have been of gradual growth.[14] The
misfortunes of the material image, especially if unaccompanied by
national disaster, would have fostered a belief in the god's existence
apart from his visible body of wood or stone. And such a belief
eventually developed into the Babylonian conception of a heavenly
division of the universe, in which the great gods had their dwelling,
making their presence manifest to men in the stars and planets that
moved across the sky. But this development marked a great advance upon
pure image-worship, and undoubtedly followed the growth of a pantheon
out of a collection of separate and detached city-gods. We have no
means of dating the association of some of the greater gods with
natural forces. It would seem that, in the earlier Sumerian period,
religious centres in the country were already associated with lunar
and solar cults and with other divisions of nature-worship. But it is
quite certain that, during all subsequent stages of Babylonian history,
the divine image never degenerated into a mere symbol of divinity.
Without consciously postulating a theory in explanation of his belief,
the Babylonian found no difficulty in reconciling a localization of the
divine person with his presence at other cult centres and ultimately
with a separate life in the heavenly sphere.

[Illustration: FIG. 69. FIGURE OF DEITY IN SHRINE.

(After Layard.)]

That this was actually the case is proved by a number of historical
examples. With the rise of Babylon we may note the important part which
the actual image of Marduk played in each coronation ceremony and in
the renewal of the king's oath at every subsequent Feast of the New
Year; the hands of no other image than that in E-sagila would serve
for the king to grasp. In Hammurabi's reign we see the Babylonian's
conception of his visible gods reflected in his treatment of foreign
images.[15] The international exchange of deities in the fourteenth
and thirteenth centuries has already been referred to,[16] and the
recovery of captured images was always recorded with enthusiasm.[17]
For the images themselves constituted a nation's chief weapon of
offence, and there was always the chance that, if properly treated by
their captors, they might transfer their influence to the other side.
This close connexion between the god and his image survived into the
Neo-Babylonian period, and Nabonidus' offence in the eyes of the
priesthood was simply that he ignored the feeling. Historical evidence
thus suggests that the astral aspect of divinity in Babylonia was not
an original feature of its religious system, and that it was never
adopted to the exclusion of more primitive ideas.

Mus., No. 90838.]

A similar result follows if we examine the relation of a Babylonian
deity to his sculptured emblem, by means of which his authority or
presence could in certain circumstances be secured or indicated. The
origin of such emblems was not astrological, nor is it to be sought
in liver-augury: they were not derived from fancied resemblances to
animals or objects, presented either by constellations in heaven, or by
markings on the liver of a victim. It is clear that they arose in the
first instance from the characters or attributes assumed by the gods
in the mythology; their transference to constellations was a secondary
process, and their detection in liver-markings resulted, not in their
own origin but in that of the omen.[18] In the earliest period the
emblem of a city-god might symbolize his city's power,[19] and those
of other deities expressed some quality in the character of their
possessor, or were drawn from a weapon, object or animal with which
they were associated in tradition.[20]

Another class of images were the animal forms, also drawn largely from
the mythology, which adorned the earlier temples and were reproduced
in enamelled brickwork on secular buildings by the Neo-Babylonian
kings. Most of these, in the later as in the earlier periods, were
placed near temple-entrances, and where stone was so plentiful that
it could be used in bulk in the structure of buildings, the doorways
themselves were carved in the same way. That animal forms were
employed to symbolize sound is suggested by the representation of a
great harp or lyre on a Sumerian-bas-relief, in which the figure of a
bull surmounting the sound-case is evidently intended to suggest the
peculiarly deep and vibrant tones of the instrument.[21] Moreover, on
cylinder-seals engraved with the figure of the Sun-god emerging from
the Eastern Gate of heaven, two lions are often set immediately above
the opening doors, and in one specimen the gate-pivots rest upon a
second pair arranged symmetrically below them.[22]

[Illustration: FIG. 70.


(After _Déc. en Chald.,_ pl. 23.)]

The symbolism of these and similar monsters may well have been
suggested by the grinding of the heavy doors in their stone sockets and
the shrieking of thair bolts.[23] The noises suggested the cries of
animals, which, in accordance with the tenets of primitive animism,
were thought to inhabit the doors and gateways and to guard them. We
may probably trace to this ancestry the colossal lions and winged
bulls which flanked the doorways of Assyrian and Persian palaces, and,
like the enamelled monsters of Babylon and Persepolis, continued to
be reproduced as divine guardians of a building after their primitive
associations had been forgotten or modified.[24]

[Illustration: FIG. 71.


(After Heuzey.)]

Archæological evidence thus supports the view, already deduced from
historical considerations, that astrology did not dominate the
religious activities of Babylon. And an examination of the literature
points to the same conclusion. Magic and divination bulk largely in
the texts recovered, and in their case there is nothing to suggest
an underlying astrological element.[25] We are the less inclined,
therefore, to accept the axiom that an astral conception of the
universe permeated and coloured Babylonian thought to such an extent,
that not only myths and legends, but even historical events, were
recorded in terms which reflect the movements of the sun, moon and
planets and the other phenomena of the heavens. If we once grant this
assumption, it might perhaps have followed, as the astral mythologists
claim, that the beliefs of the Babylonian star-worshippers became the
prevailing doctrine of the ancient East and left their traces broadcast
upon the records of antiquity. But the original assumption appears
to be unsound, and the theory can only find support by treating late
evidence as applicable to all stages of Babylonian history.

[Illustration: FIG. 72.


(After Dieulafoy.)]

The roots of the theory are placed in a purely imaginary age, where
evidence for or against it is lacking. Thus the oldest monuments
which have been recovered upon Babylonian sites are not considered
relics of the early stages of Babylonian culture.[26] It is asserted
that in the periods behind them there existed an elaborate and
highly developed civilization, lying back in the darkness beyond the
earliest extant records. In the total absence of material evidence,
it is no difficult task to paint this age in colours which are shared
by no other early or primitive race in the world's history. It is
assumed that war and violence had no existence in Babylonia in this
prehistoric time. Intellect dominated and controlled the passions of
the primeval but highly gifted people, and in particular one form of
intellectual conception based on a scientific knowledge of astronomy.
It is postulated that a purely astronomical theory of the universe
lay at the root of their civilization, and governed their whole
thought and conduct. This was no teaching of a learned priesthood,
but was a universally held belief which permeated every branch of
the national and individual life. The theory in its perfect and
uncorrupted state had perished with the other relics of its inventors.
But it was inherited by the Semitic immigrants into Babylonia, and,
though employed by them in an altered and corrupted form, has, it is
said, left its traces in the later records. In this way the astral
mythologist would explain the fragmentary character of his data, from
which he claims to reconstruct the original beliefs in their entirety.

One such belief has been preserved by Seneca,[27] who, giving Berossus
as his authority, refers to a Chaldean theory of a great year, a long
cosmical period having, like the year, a summer and a winter. The
summer is marked by a great conflagration produced by the conjunction
of all the planets in Cancer, and the winter is characterized by a
universal deluge caused by a similar conjunction of all the planets
in Capricorn. The idea is evidently based on the conception that, as
the succession of day and night corresponds to the changes of the
seasons, so the year itself must correspond to greater cycles of time.
Though Berossus is our earliest authority, the doctrine is regarded
as a primitive Babylonian one. It is further argued that, even in the
earliest period, the inhabitants of Babylonia conceived the history of
the world to have been evolved in a series of successive ages, bearing
the same relation to these aeons of the world-cycle as the year bore to

The theory of Ages of the World is familiar enough from the classical
conception, first met with in Hesiod's "Works and Days,"[28] which
profoundly influenced later Greek speculation. There is nothing
particularly astral about Hesiod's conception of four ages,
distinguished by the principal metals and showing progressive
deterioration. But it is claimed that Hesiod's theory, and all parallel
conceptions of World-Ages, are derived from a Babylonian prototype,
Hesiod's Golden Age reflecting the general condition of prehistoric
Babylonia. Assuming a close correspondence between the zodiac and the
earth in early Babylonian thought, it is argued that the inhabitants of
the country from the earliest periods divided the world's history into
ages of about two thousand years each, according to the particular sign
of the zodiac in which the sun stood each year at the vernal equinox,
when the New Year's Festival was celebrated.[29] Although these ages
are never named nor mentioned in the inscriptions, they are referred to
by the astral mythologists as the Ages of the Twins, the Bull, and the
Ram,[30] from the zodiacal constellations of Gemini, Taurus, and Aries.

This is a vital point of the theory and it postulates on the part of
the early Babylonians a highly accurate knowledge of astronomy: it
assumes a knowledge of the procession of the equinoxes, which could
only be based on a very rigid system of astronomical observation and
record.[31] But the ancient Babylonians are supposed to have been quite
familiar with these facts, and to have traced a close connexion between
them and the world's history. Certain myths are supposed to have
characterized each of these world ages, not only affecting religious
beliefs, but so obsessing Babylonian thought that they influenced
historical writings. As the sun at the vernal equinox gradually
progressed through the ecliptic constellations, so, according to the
theory, the history of the world was believed to be evolved in harmony
with its course, and the pre-ordained fate of the universe was slowly


Up to this point the astral theory is very complete and, granting
its original hypotheses, it goes smoothly enough. But as soon as its
authors try to fit the existing legends to their theory, difficulties
begin. In Babylonian mythology we find no pair of heroes who present
any resemblance to the Dioscuri. But lunar cults were prominent in the
earliest Babylonian epoch, and, in default of any closer parallel,
the two phases of the waxing and the waning moon have been treated as
characterizing the myths and legends of the Age of the Twins. Borrowing
a term from music, they are described as the characteristic _motif_
of the age. The second Age, that of the Bull, begins roughly with the
rise of Babylon to power. There is very slender evidence for connecting
Marduk, the god of Babylon, with the zodiacal constellation of the
Bull, but the connexion is confidently assumed.[32] The Third Age, that
of the Ram, presents even more difficulties than its two predecessors,
for no amount of ingenuity can discover material for a Ram _motif_ at
Babylon. But Jupiter Amnion was represented with the head of a ram,
and he is assumed to have been identical in his nature with Marduk.
Thus the new reckoning is supposed to have passed over to Egypt,
while Babylon remained unaffected.[33] The explanation put forward is
that the Ram Age began at a time when the power of Babylon was on the
decline; but why the Babylonians should therefore have ignored the
true position of the sun at the vernal equinox is not quite obvious.

The foreign influence of Babylon's conception of the universe is said
to have left its strongest imprint on Hebrew historical writing.
It is claimed that the Biblical narratives relating to the earlier
history of the Hebrews have in particular been influenced by the
Babylonian myths of the universe, and that a great number of passages
have in consequence an astral significance. This side of the subject
has been worked out in detail by Dr. Alfred Jeremias,[34] and a few
examples will suffice to illustrate the system of interpretation which
is suggested. We will take one of the Babylonian legends which is
said to be most frequently encountered in the Hebrew narratives, the
Descent of the goddess Ishtar into the Underworld in search of her
youthful husband Tammuz, which in its Babylonian form is unquestionably
a nature-myth. There can be little doubt that in the myth Tammuz
represents the vegetation of spring; this, after being parched up by
the summer-heat, is absent from the earth during the winter months,
until restored by the goddess of fertility. There is also no doubt
that the cult of Tammuz eventually spread into Palestine, for Ezekiel
in a vision saw women at the north gate of the temple at Jerusalem
weeping for Tammuz.[35] We have already noted its arrival in Greece
in the story of Adonis and Aphrodite.[36] In its Greek form the
contest between Aphrodite and Persephone for the possession of Adonis
reproduces the struggle between Ishtar and Ereshkigal in the Abode of
the Dead; and the annual disappearance and reappearance of Tammuz
gives rise in the Greek version to the decision of Zeus that Adonis
should spend one part of the year above ground with Aphrodite and the
other part underground with Persephone.[37] Such are the main facts,
which are not disputed, concerning this particular Babylonian myth. We
may now note the manner in which it is said that _motifs_ from it are
interwoven in the Old Testament with traditions concerning the early
history of the Hebrews.

It is well known that in early Christian writings, such as the Syriac
"Hymn of the Soul," a Gnostic composition of the second or third
century A.D.,[38] the land of Egypt is sometimes referred to in a
metaphorical or allegorical sense. It is suggested that the story
of Abraham's journey with his wife Sarah into Egypt[39] may have
been written, by a parallel system of allegory, in terms reflecting
a descent into the underworld and a rescue from it. It is true that
in the story Pharaoh's house is plagued, probably with sterility, a
feature that recalls the cessation of fertility on earth while the
goddess of love remains in the underworld. But the same _motif is_
traced in the rescue of Lot from Sodom: here Sodom is the underworld.
The pit into which Joseph is thrown by his brethren and the prison
into which Potiphar casts him also represent the underworld: and
his two fellow-prisoners, the chief baker and the chief butler, are
two minor deities in Marduk's household.[40] The cave at Makkedah,
in which the five kings of the Amorites hid themselves after their
defeat by Joshua,[41] is said to have the same _motif_ underlying it.
In short, any cave, or prison, or state of misery mentioned in the
Hebrew narratives may, according to astral interpretation, be taken as
representing the underworld.[42]

The one other _motif_ we will take from the Babylonian mythology is
the Dragon-combat, since this illustrates the principal pattern, or
system, on which the astral mythologist arranges his material. In the
Babylonian story of the Creation it will be recalled how Tiamat, the
dragon of chaos, revolted with Apsû, the god of the abyss, against
the new and ordered ways of the gods; how Marduk, the champion of the
gods, defeated her, and, cutting her body in half, used one half of
her as a firmament for the heaven, and then proceeded to carry out
his other works of creation.[43] The probability has long been noted
that the Dragon-combat may have suggested certain metaphorical phrases
or descriptions in Hebrew poetical and prophetic literature.[44] But
the astral mythologist uses it as the dominant _motif_ of his Age of
Taurus; and, since this age began, according to his theory, before the
period of Abraham, the Marduk myths are traced more frequently than
any others in the Old Testament. The astral god plays the part of a
deliverer in the mythology: hence any Biblical hero who is recorded to
have rescued any one, or to have delivered his family or people, forms
a convenient peg on which to hang a _motif_ So too the birth of the
founder of a dynasty, or of the inaugurator of a new age, is said to
reflect the solar _motif_ of the birth of the spring sun.[45]

In this process of detecting hidden _motifs,_ numbers play an important
part. To take one example, they are said to indicate that David's
fight with Goliath reflects the myth of the Year-Cycle. The forty days
during which Goliath, who is identified with the Dragon Tiamat,[46]
drew near to the Israelites morning and evening are symbolical of
winter. In the Hebrew text his height is given as six cubits and a
span;[47] the figure is emended to read five cubits and a span, since
otherwise the number would not correspond to the five and a quarter
epagomenal days.[48] With the best will in the world to be convinced
one cannot help feeling that, even assuming the soundness of the
theory, its authors have let it run away with them. It cannot of
course be denied that astrological conceptions may colour some of the
stories in the Old Testament. The three hundred foxes, with firebrands
tied to their brushes, with which Samson destroyed the standing corn
of the Philistines, find a striking parallel in the ceremonial which
took place annually in the circus at Rome during the Cerealia,[49] and
may well be regarded as folk-mythology of astrological origin.[50]
Elijah's chariot of fire may have been suggested by some astronomical
phenomenon, perhaps a comet; it was probably the product of the same
association of ideas as Medea's dragon-chariot, the gift of Helios. But
this scarcely prepares us to accept such an allegorizing of details as
is proposed in other passages.

Precisely the same principles of interpretation have been applied to
the heroes of Greek legend. Professor Jensen of Marburg, in his work
on the Babylonian epic of Gilgamesh, has attempted to trace almost
every figure, not only in the Old Testament, but also in classical
mythology, to a Babylonian source.[51] But his rather monotonous method
of perceiving on all sides reflexions of his own hero Gilgamesh has
already been criticized sufficiently, and we will take some examples
from a more recent work by Dr. Carl Fries,[52] who has made other
contributions of a less speculative character upon Greek and Oriental
connexions. Elaborating a published suggestion of Professor Jensen, Dr.
Fries has enthusiastically applied the astral method of interpretation
to the Odyssey. Such an episode as the voyage of Odysseus to Hades, in
order to consult the Theban prophet Teiresias, undoubtedly presents a
close parallel to the journey of Gilgamesh to Xisuthros in Babylonian
legend; and, though similar traditions are not uncommon in the epics
of other races, the Greek form of the story may perhaps retain an echo
from Babylon. But a far closer relationship than that is suggested.

The section of the Odyssey which is said to have been principally
exposed to Babylonian influence is the sojourn of Odysseus in Scheria,
the whole episode of his entertainment by the Phæacians being said
to reflect the Babylonian Feast of the New Year. From the moment of
his awakening on the island we begin to perceive astral _motifs._ In
Nausicaa's choral game of ball with her maidens, the ball symbolizes
the sun or moon which revolves from one side of heaven to the other;
when it falls into the river it is the setting sun or moon. Odysseus,
awakened by the maiden's shrill cry, comes forth from the darkness of
the wood: he is the rising sun. The Way into the city which Nausicaa
describes to Odysseus corresponds to the sacred Procession Street in
Babylon, along which Marduk was carried from his temple through the
city at the Feast of the New Year. The cult-image on its journey must
be protected from the gaze of unconsecrated eyes; so Athene sheds a
mist about Odysseus lest any of the Phæacians should accost him by the
way. Other astral elements are suggested without a specially Babylonian

We are not here concerned with Dr. Fries' theory on the origin of
Greek tragedy, but we may note in passing that Odysseus, in relating
his adventures, is the priestsinger at the festival of the Light-god.
In other parts of the Odyssey Dr. Fries does not attempt to trace
many astral _motifs,_ though he certainly remarks that the adventures
of Odysseus are merely survivals of astral myths, and, in spite of
a hundred transformations, ultimately relate only to the journey of
the Light-god over the heavenly ocean.[54] The closing scenes of
the Odyssey also receive a thoroughly astrological interpretation,
and moon- and _sun-motifs_ appear promiscuously. From the speech of
Antinous at the trial of the bow we know that the slaying of the wooers
took place at the Feast of the New Moon, for after Eurymachus and the
other wooers had failed to bend it, he makes the least an excuse for
his proposal to postpone the trial till the morrow. This fact leads
to the suggestion that in Odysseus returning at the Feast of the New
Moon we are to recognize the Moon-god himself, who triumphs over the
darkness with his bow or crescent. On the other hand, the twelve axes,
through which the arrow flies, suggest, presumably by their number, the
sun. Penelope wooed by the suitors is the moon whom the stars surround,
and her weaving and unravelling of the web is a moon-_motif._ Then
Odysseus as the sun draws near, and all the stars are eclipsed at his

In such hands the astral theory carries its own antidote, for one
cannot but be struck with the ease with which it may be applied.
There is generally no need to prove a mythological setting to the
narrative; all that is necessary is to assume an astral meaning beneath
the text.[55] In fact, one way of demonstrating its unsoundness has
been to apply its methods to the records of the life of a historical
personage.[56] But this argument amounts at best to a _reductio ad
absurdum,_ and the most damaging criticism has been directed from the
purely astronomical side.

It is well known that the different ecliptic constellations which
make up the signs of the zodiac do not each occupy thirty degrees of
the ecliptic, but that some are longer and some shorter than others.
Also, the constellations of the Babylonian astronomers during the late
period did not completely coincide with ours. For instance, the most
eastern star of our constellation Virgo was counted by the Babylonians
of the Arsacid era as belonging to the next ecliptic constellation,
Leo, since it was known as "the hind-foot of the lion."[57] But,
fortunately for our purpose, not much doubt can exist as to the eastern
limit of the Twins and the western limit of the Ram, which mark the
beginning and end of the three World Ages of the astral mythologists.
For the two bright stars, Castor and Pollux, from which the Twins
receive their name were undoubtedly reckoned in that constellation by
the Neo-Babylonians. And the easternmost star of our constellation of
the Fishes (a _piscium_) was probably well beyond the Babylonian
constellation of the Ham.


Working on this assumption, and assuming thirty degrees to each of
the three intervening constellations, Dr. Kugler has calculated the
years in which the sun entered these signs of the zodiac at the vernal
equinox, the points, that is to say, at which the astral World-Ages
would have begun and ended. His figures entirely dispose of Winckler's
claim to an astronomical basis for his astral system. The Age of the
Twins, instead of ending, according to the theory, at about 2800 B.C.,
really ended in the year 4383 b.c. Thus the Age of the Bull began over
fifteen hundred years before the birth of Sargon I., who is supposed
to have inaugurated its beginning; and it ended in 2232 b.c.--that is,
considerably before the birth of Hammurabi, under whom we are told the
Bull Age _motifs_ were principally developed. Moreover, from the time
of the First Dynasty onwards down to the year 81 B.C.--that is to say,
during the whole course of her history--Babylon was really living in
the Age of the Ham, not in that of the Bull. Thus all the _motifs_
and myths, which have been so ingeniously connected with the Bull
sign of the zodiac, ought really to have been connected with the Ram.
But even the astral mythologists admit that there is not a trace of a
Ram-_motif_ in the Babylonian mythology. Granting all the assumptions
made by Winckler and his school with regard to the astronomical
knowledge of the early Babylonians, the theory evolved from them is
found to be baseless. Winckler's astronomy was at fault, and his three
astrological World-Ages do not really correspond to his periods of

Babylon was, indeed, the mother of astronomy no less than of astrology,
and classical antiquity was indebted to her in no small measure: but,
strictly speaking, her scientific observations do not date from a
very early period. It is true we have evidence that, as early as the
close of the third millennium, the astronomers recorded observations
of the planet Venus,[59] and there is also a fragment of an early
text which shows that they attempted to measure approximately the
positions of the fixed stars. But their art of measuring remained for
a long time primitive, and it was only the later Babylonians, of the
period from the sixth to the first century B.C., who were enabled to
fix with sufficient accuracy the movements of the planets, especially
those of the moon, and by this means to found a reliable system of
time-measurement. The mere fact that the astrological texts, even in
the late Assyrian period, treat eclipses as possible on any day of
the month, and use the term for any kind of obscuration of the sun
and moon, is sufficient evidence that they had not at that time noted
their regular occurrence and still had comparatively crude notions of

The earliest scientific document in the strict sense of the word dates
from the second half of the sixth century, when we find for the first
time that the relative positions of the sun and moon were calculated in
advance, as well as the conjunction of the moon with the planets and of
the planets with each other, their position being noted in the signs
of the zodiac. But the tablets afford no evidence that the Babylonian
astronomers possessed any knowledge of the precession of the equinoxes
before the close of the second century B.C., and the traditional
ascription of the discovery to Hipparchus of Nicæa, working between
the years 161 and 126 B.C. on the observations of his Babylonian
predecessors, may be accepted as accurate.[61]

There are, in short, no grounds for the theory that the Babylonians
divided the history of the world into astral ages, nor that their
myths and legends had any peculiar connexion with successive signs
of the zodiac. That astrology formed an important section of the
Babylonian religious system from an early period there can be no
doubt; but at that time the stars and planets did not exercise any
preponderating influence on religious belief, and many features of the
system, for which an astral origin has been confidently assumed, must
be traced to a simpler and more primitive association of ideas.[62]
But the necessary modification of the astral theory still leaves open
the possibility that Hebrew literature may have acquired a strong
astrological tinge in the Exilic and post-Exilic periods. Were Jewish
traditions affected in Babylon, for example, in some such way as the
Mithraie legends from Persia? Since the astral theory has no claim to
dictate the answer for us, the question must be decided by the ordinary
rules of historical and literary evidence.

If we are to assume that Babylonian astrology exerted so marked an
influence on the Jews of the Exile, we should at least expect to find
some traces of it in practical matters and in terminology. And in this
connexion there are certain facts which have never been fairly met by
the astral mycologists.[63] It is true that the returning exiles under
Zerubbabel had adopted the Babylonian names of the months for civil
use; but the idea of hours--that is to say, the division of the day
into equal parts--does not seem to have occurred to the Jews till long
after the Exile, and even then there is no trace of the Babylonian
double hour.[64] The other fact is still more significant. With the
exception of a single reference to the planet Saturn by the prophet
Amos,[65] none of the Hebrew names for the stars and constellations,
which occur in the Old Testament, correspond to those we know were in
use in Babylon. Such a tact is surely decisive against any wholesale
adoption of astral mythology from Babylon on the part of the writers or
redactors of the Old Testament, whether in pre-Exilic or in post-Exilic
times. But it is quite compatible with the view that some of the
imagery, and even certain lines of thought, occurring in the poetical
and prophetic books of the Hebrews, betray a Babylonian colouring and
may find their explanation in the cuneiform literature. There can be no
doubt that the Babylonian texts have afforded invaluable assistance in
the effort to trace the working of the oriental mind in antiquity.

With regard to the suggested influence of Babylon on Greek religious
thought, it is essential to realize that the temperaments of the
Babylonian and the Hellene were totally distinct, the fanatic and
self-abasing spirit of the East contrasting vividly with the coolness,
civic sobriety, and self-confidence of the West. This has been pointed
out by Dr. Farnell,[66] who lays special emphasis on the total absence
of any trace in Mesopotamian cults of those religious mysteries,
which, as he has shown elsewhere, formed so essential a feature in
Hellenic and Ægean society.[67] Another fact in which he would see
significance is that the use of incense, universal from immemorial
times in Babylonia, was not introduced into Greece before the eighth
century B.C. This little product, it will be readily admitted, was
much easier to import than Babylonian theology. Few will disagree with
him in regarding the suggestion, that for long centuries the Hittite
empire was a barrier between Mesopotamia and the coast-lands of Asia
Minor,[68] as a sufficient reason for this check in the direct spread
of Babylonian influence westward. But no political barrier is effective
against the tales that are remembered by travelling merchants and are
retold around the camp-fires of the caravan. That Babylon should have
contributed in some degree to the rich store of legends current in
various forms throughout the region of the eastern Mediterranean is
what one would expect.

The cultural influence of Babylonia had from the earliest period
penetrated eastward, and the civilization of Elam, her nearest
neighbour, had been to a great extent moulded by that of Sumer. But
even at that time the trade-routes had been open to the west, and
before the rise of Babylon both soldier and merchant had passed from
the lower Euphrates into Syria. With the expansion of the Western
Semites the two regions were drawn into more intimate relationship, and
the political control of the middle Euphrates, first established in
the age of Hammurabi, was followed by an increased commercial traffic,
which continued with few interruptions into the Neo-Babylonian and
later periods. Babylon's foreign policy was always dominated by the
necessity of keeping her connexion open with the west: and it was
mainly due to her commercial enterprise, and not to any territorial
ambitions, that her culture reached the farther limits of Palestine and
has left some traces in Greek mythology.

[Footnote 1: The cult of Adonis travelled to Greece not later than the seventh
century, B.C., and there is evidence that his rites were subsequently celebrated
both in Argosand in Attica; see Frazer, "Adonis, Attis, Osiris," I., pp. 13 if.,
226 f. For the Sumerian origin of the legend, see Zimmern, "Sumerisch-babylonische
Tamûzlieder" (1907), and Langdon, "Tammuz and Ishtar"

[Footnote 2: Though Actseon was changed into a stag by Artemis, the main features
of the Babylonian myth, _viz._ the angry goddess, the changing of the hero
into a beast, and his death due to his own hounds, persist in the various
versions of the Greek story.]

[Footnote 3: Apart from other detailed resemblances, the labours and sufferings to
which Heracles is exposed through Hera's hatred, a feature common to all
forms of the Greek legend, find a close parallel in the persecution and trial
of Gilgamesh by Ishtar. For the most recent discussion of the possible
influence of the Gilgamesh legends on Hebrew traditions, see the additional
note on "The mythical element in the Story of Samson," in Prof. Burney's
forthcoming volume on "Judges," in the "Oxford Church Biblical

[Footnote 4: It is precisely this laxity of application, and the consequent temptation
to abuse it, that have led many of their critics to deny all value to the
researches of the late Hugo Winckler and his followers.]

[Footnote 5: For the chief literature in which their astral theory is expounded, see
below, p. 292, n. 3.]

[Footnote 6: On this subject, cf. Cumont, "La plus ancienne géographie astrologique"
in "Klio," IX. (1909), Hft. 3, pp. 263 ff.]

[Footnote 7: A striking instance of the way in which this astral conception of the
universe, as current at any rate among the later school of Babylonian
astrologers, has left its imprint on Hebrew literature may be seen in
Is. xxvii., I, an esehatological prophecy of post-exilie date, where the imagery
is clearly drawn from Babylonian sources. The "winding" or "crooked
serpent" of the passage is the constellation Draco, which winds about the
North Pole; Serpens, a little to the north of the ecliptic, is "the fugitive
serpent"; while Hydra, the water-snake, dwelling in the southern heaven
or heavenly ocean, is "the dragon that is in the sea." The passage was first
explained in this way by Burney, "Journ. Theol. Stud.," XI. (1910),
pp. 443 ff.]

[Footnote 8: Stucken's "Astralmythen" (1896-1907) appears to have strongly
influenced Winckler, whose theory attracted general attention on its exposition
in the "Preussische Jahrbücher" in 1901 (Bd. 104, pp. 224 ff.) and in
"Himmels- und Weltenbild der Babylonier als Grundlage der Weltanschauung
und Mythologie aller Vôlker," in "Der alte Orient," III., 2-3. He elaborated
special points in his "Altorientalische Forschungen" (1902-1905); see also
Winckler and Jeremias, "Im Kampfe um den alten Orient," Leipzig, 1907-8.
For a defence of the astronomical assumptions of the theory, see especially
Jeremias, "Das Alter der babylonischen Astronomie" _(op. cit.,_ Hft. 3,1908);
and cf. Weidner, "Orient. Lit.-Zeit.," 1911, Col. 345 ff., and 1913, Nos. I
and 2 (Sonderabdruck, 16 pp.); see further, pp. 304, 308.]

[Footnote 9: Winckler's explanation of the passage is cited by Prof. Gilbert Murray in
his "Electra of Euripides," p. 91 f., and by Prof. Burrows in his "Discoveries
in Crete," p. 133.]

[Footnote 10: LI. 726 ff.]

[Footnote 11: Cf. Murray, _op. cit.,_ p. 91.]

[Footnote 12: The hull was actually associated with Adad, the Weather-god, and
naturally symbolized the God of Thunder.]

[Footnote 13: Cf. Taylor, "Primitive Culture," II., pp. 143 ff.]

[Footnote 14: It is possible to conjecture circumstances which would have tended to
encourage speculation in that direction. The capture and deportation of
a god, if followed by the substitution of another figure in its place and the
subsequent recovery of the original, would have led to the incorporation of
two figures within one shrine. And a king's ambition to rebuild or beautify
a temple might have been extended to the image itself, if the latter had
suffered damage or decay.]

[Footnote 15: It was not merely as booty, but in order to gain their favour, that Sin-idinnam
and his army carried oft certain Elamite goddesses to their own land,
conveying them carefully as in their shrines; and on the restoration of the
images to Elam the goddesses themselves returned thither (cf. "Letters of
Hammurabi," III., pp. 6 ff.). It was in the same spirit that Nebuchadnezzar I.
gave sanctuary to the refugee priests from Elam, and introduced their god
Rîa into Babylon (see above, p. 253 f.).]

[Footnote 16: See above, pp. 221 f., 240.]

[Footnote 17: Agum-kakrime's recovery of the images of Marduk and Sarpanitum is
an instance in point (see above, pp. 210, 218). But perhaps the most striking
example is Ashur bani-pal's recovery of Nana's image from Susa, which had
been carried off from Erech sixteen hundred and thirty-five years before (see
above, p. 113). He probably found her installed in her Susian shrine, perhaps
within the temple of Shushinak, the national god.]

[Footnote 18: The Spear-head of Marduk was a fit emblem for the slayer of
Tiajmat, the demon of chaos, and the Stilus, or Wedge, of Nabû suits the
god of writing and architecture. The emblems of some of the great nature-go,'
ds were naturally astrological, such as the Lightning-fork of Adad. and the
lunar and solar disks for the Moon-god and Sun-god; but this character was
not shared by the majority of the emblems.]

[Footnote 19: The emblem of Ningirsu of Lagash, for example, was a lion-headed
eagle grasping lions; cf. "Sinner and Akkad," p. 100.]

[Footnote 20: Some divine emblems were purely animal, such as the Dog of Gula, the
Walking Bird of Bau, and the Scorpion of Ishkhara. It may be added that
in these cases there is nothing to indicate a totemistic origin, and the
analogy of the Goat-fish of Enki or Ea, the god of the Deep, suggests that
they are not to be traced beyond the mythological stage.]

[Footnote 21: See Fig. 70; and cp. Heuzey, "Musique chaldéenne" in the "Rev.
d'Assyr.," IX., No. iii. (1912), pp. 85 ff. M. Heuzey supports his suggestion
by quoting a description of a similar instrument of music from a contemporary
text: "The 'portico' of the lyre was like a bellowing bull."]

[Footnote 22: See p. 299, Fig. 71, and cp. Plate XVI. (No. 89110), opposite p. 192.]

[Footnote 23: Heuzey (_loc. cit._) cites the following description of the doors set up by
Gudea in the temple of Ningirsu: "The doors of cedar-wood, installed in the
gateway, were like the God of Thunder thundering in the heavens; the holt
of the temple of E-ninnû was like a savage dog; the pivots were like a lion;
 ... on the ..., placed above the doors, he (Gudea) caused a young lion
and a young panther to dwell" (cf. Thureau-Dangin, "Sum. und Akkad.
Königsinschriften," p. 118 f., Col. 20, 11. 20 ff.).]

[Footnote 24: Cf. "Proc. Soc. Bibl. Arch.," XXXIV. (1912), pp. 270 ff.]

[Footnote 25: Our knowledge of Babylonian literature has been derived in great
measure from Assyrian sources, and, as the civilization of both countries was
intimately connected, the two branches of the subject will be treated together
at the close of the third volume of this history. It will then also be possible
to speak more confidently on the relative part played by Sumerian and
Semite in the development of Babylonian law, after the publication of the
recently discovered Sumerian code (see above, p. 153, n. 2). Incidentally the
document will throw light on the extent to which primitive Semitic custom,
shared possibly by the Hebrews, may have moulded some of the provisions of
Hammurabi's Code.]

[Footnote 26: The rude inscriptions from such a mound as Fâra (cf. "Sumer and Akkad,"
pp. 24 ff.), the site of the city of Shuruppak which is mentioned in the Deluge-story,
are not regarded as archaic. The shell seals, copper weapons, and
rough stone necklaces from the graves beneath the city are treated with scant
attention. All are assigned to a comparatively late stage of development.]

[Footnote 27: "Quiest. Natur.," 111., 29, ed. Haase, p. 235.]

[Footnote 28: LI. 108 ff.]

[Footnote 29: This was the most important festival in the Babylonian calendar; see above, pp. 190, 296.]

[Footnote 30: See above, p. 293 f.]

[Footnote 31: The position of the sun at the vernal equinox varies, of course, only
very slightly from year to year. Its displacement amounts to only a day in
about seventy-two years; and, if we assign thirty degrees to each of the
twelve ecliptic constellations, it takes 2151 years to pass, in this way, through
a single figure of the zodiac.]

[Footnote 32: The fact that the bull was employed to decorate Ishtar Gate at
Babylon affords no grounds for connecting the bull with the city-god. The
bull is always associated with the God of Thunder (see above, p. 294, n. 1).
whereas Marduk was essentially a solar deity. This latter fact is made use of
by the mycologists, who argue that an Age of the Sun would naturally follow
an Age of the Moon, and that solar myths'are to be looked for as characteristic
of this second period.]

[Footnote 33: The admission that the Marduk-myths were unaffected by the Ram is
difficult to reconcile with the importance attached by the astral mythologist
to the advent of a new Age.]

[Footnote 34: See his "Das alte Testament im Lichte des alten Orients" (1st ed.,
Leipzig, 1904), and more especially the revised and enlarged English
edition published in 1911 in the "Theological Translation Library." In his
introduction to this edition of the work Canon Johns, while stating that it is
not the province of the writer of an introduction to combat any of the opinions
of the author, admits that he differs from Dr. Jeremias' opinions on many
points. A reviewer of the volumes in the "Church Quarterly Review,"
Vol. LXXIV., No. 147 (April, 1912), pp. 166 ff., comments on "the apologetic
impulse which is as marked in Dr. Jeremias as its form is peculiar."
Readers who might be inclined to see in the work grounds for condemning
the results obtained by the literary criticism of the Old Testament are warned
by Canon Johns in his introduction that they "would be ill-advised to lean
too heavily on this staff of Babylonia."]

[Footnote 35: Ezek. viii., 14.]

[Footnote 36: See above, p. 290.]

[Footnote 37: On the close correspondence of the Greek form of the legend with its
Babylonian original, see Frazer, "Adonis Attis Osiris," I., pp. 6 ff.]

[Footnote 38: Ed. Bevan in "Texts and Studies," V., 3.]

[Footnote 39: Gen. xii.]

[Footnote 40: Cf. Jeremias, "Old Testament," I., p. (60, II., p. 65). These wore the
gods Minâ-ikul-bêli, "What-will-my-lord-eat?", and Minâ-ishti-bêli, "What-will-my-lord-drink?"
(cf. King, "Cun. Texts," XXIV., 1908, p. 5); but
there is nothing to connect the Hebrew story with them.]

[Footnote 41: Josh, x., 10, 16.]

[Footnote 42: In support of such astral _motifs_ evidence of direct worship of Ishtar is
traced in unexpected quarters. Thus the men of Gilead are explained to
have chosen the word _shibboleth,_ "ear of grain," as a password for the
Ephraemites, not because it was a common word containing the required
sibilant, but in honour of the goddess Ishtar, the heavenly Virgin with the
ears of corn. And, though the veil was part of the ordinary attire of Hebrew
women, a natural act such as that told of Rebecca, who is said to have veiled
herself at the approach of Isaac, is held to reflect the Ishtar cult.]

[Footnote 43: Cf. "Seven Tablets of Creation," I., pp. 32 ff.]

[Footnote 44: See especially Gunkell, "Schopfung und Chaos in Urzeit und Endzeit,"
pp. 16 ff.]

[Footnote 45: Moses, for instance, is peculiarly a deliverer and the inaugurator of
a new age in Israel's history; the traditions about him thus bristle with
astral _motifs._ When he is persecuted by Pharaoh in Egypt, Pharaoh is the
Dragon; when he is rescued as a babe from the Nile, Pharaoh's daughter is
Ishtar, Queen of heaven, and we have a Tammuz-Ishtar _motif._ When he
leads Israel out of Egypt, we have the _motif_ of victory over the Dragon. The
crossing of the Red Sea is the cleaving of the Dragon in half, and so too is
Joshua's passage of the Jordan. In short, Joshua in his character of deliverer
rivals Moses in the number of _motifs_ which are said to cluster round him.]

[Footnote 46: Jeremias (_op. cit.,_ II., p. 182) connects the name Goliath with Assyr.
_galittu,_ which he renders "sea," hence the dragon Tiamat; but _galittu,_ though
applied to the sea, is merely the feminine of the adj. galtu, "terrible."]

[Footnote 47: I. Samuel, xvii., 4; Josephus and some MSS. of the Septuagint read
four cubits and a span.]

[Footnote 48: As in so much of their speculation, the members of the astral school
have here mixed valuable suggestions with pure theorizing. Certain numbers
were specially sacred among the Babylonians and were employed as divine
names. Sin, the Moon-god, for example, was the god "Thirty," from the
conventional length of the lunar month; and the gods "Four" and "Seven"
may have represented different aspects of the Moon-god, the former the four
phases of the moon, the latter the seven-day week as a lunar quarter. If the
idea travelled westward, we obtain a satisfactory explanation of such Palestinian
names as Kiriath-arba and Be'er-sheba'. For this subject, see especially
Prof. Burney's forthcoming work on "Judges" (see above, p. 290 n. 3),
p. 43 f. Discussions are there given of other points illustrated by the Babylonian
texts, of which special mention may be made of the exhaustive notes
on Yahwe (pp. 243 ff.) and the Ashera (pp. 196 ff.), and the valuable section>
on early Hebrew poetry.]

[Footnote 49: Ovid, _Fasti,_ IV., 679 ff.; and cf. Frazer, "Spirits of the Corn," I., p. 297 f.]

[Footnote 50: See Burney, _op. cit.,_ additional note on "The mythical element in the
story of Samson."]

[Footnote 51: See "Das Gilgamesch-Epos in der Weltliteratur" (Strassburg, 1906).]

[Footnote 52: "Studien zur Odyssée" in the "Mitteilungen der Vorderasiatischen
Gesellschaft," 1910, Hefte 2-4; 1911, Heft 4.]

[Footnote 53: The fifty-two noble youths, for example, whom Alcinous entrusts with
the task of preparing the ship and escorting Odysseus homewards may correspond
to the fifty-two weeks of the year, sun-heroes who accompany the sun
on his voyage through the year. In the challenge of Euryalus to Odysseus
and the latter's triumph in the discus-throwing, we are to see a glimmer of
the old light-myth. The dance of Halius and Laodamas, with the purple ball
which Polybus made for them, again symbolizes the battle of light, the colour
of the ball being specially significant. Indeed, there are few limits to be
placed to this system of astrological interpretation, since, according to
Dr. Fries, even lawn-tennis goes back to the same idea: he remarks that
"ailes Ballspiel ja bis herab zum Lawn-Tennis auf denselben Gedanken [der
Lichtkampf] zurückgeht" ("Studien zur Odyssée," i., p. 324).]

[Footnote 54: One point, at which the colouring is said to be peculiarly Babylonian, is
the prophecy that death shall come to Odysseus from the sea; for this is
to the Babylonian legend of Oannes, the benefactor of mankind, who
ever returns to the sea from which he rose, but here, too, Odysseus is the
god of heaven who sinks at the approach of night.]

[Footnote 55: With regard to its application to the Hebrew narratives, the "Church
Quarterly" reviewer of Dr. Jeremias' work (see above, p. 304, n. I) points
out the resemblance between this procedure and Philo's method of interpretation.]

[Footnote 56: In 1870 the same plan was adopted to discredit Professor Max Müller's
theory of the Solar Myth. The demonstration, though humorous (since its
subject was the professor himself), constituted a legitimate form of criticism,
and it has been borrowed by Dr. Kugler, the Dutch astronomer, and applied
to the astral theory. For the astral theory is in essence the old Solar Myth
revived and grafted on to a Babylonian stem. In his book "Im Bannkreis
Babels" (1910), Dr. Kugler selects at random the historical figure of Louis IX.
of France, and has no difficulty in demonstrating by astral methods that the
extant records of his life and reign are full of solar and astral _motifs._]

[Footnote 57: Cf. Kugler, _op. cit._]

[Footnote 58: His interpretation of Euripides' story of the Golden Lamb must share
the fate of the main structure of his theory, but the legend itself may well
have been of Babylonian origin (see above, p. 293).]

[Footnote 59: See above, pp. 106 ff.]

[Footnote 60: For an exhaustive discussion or the astrological material contained in
the omen-literature, see Jastrow, "Religion Babyloniens und Assyriens," II.,
pp. 138 ff. (1909-12). A Neo-Babylonian astronomical treatise, recently
acquired by the British Museum (see Plate XXXII., opposite p. 310), containing
classified and descriptive lists of the principal stars and constellations,
with their heliacal risings and settings, culminations in the south, etc., does
not surest a profound knowledge of astronomy on the part of its compiler
(cf. King, "Cun. Texts," XXXIII., 1912, pp. 30 ff., and "Proc. Soc. Bibl.
Arch.," XXXV., 1913, pp. 41 ff.).]

[Footnote 61: See "Sternkunde und Sterndienst," II., pp. 30 ff.; cf. also Cumont,
"Babylon und der griechische Astrologie," in the "Neue Jahrbücher für das
klassische Altertum," Bd. 27 (1911), pp. Off., and the earlier of his "American
Lectures on the History of Religions," published under the title "Astrology
and Religion among the Greeks and Romans" (1912).]

[Footnote 62: See above, p. 208 f.]

[Footnote 63: They are emphasized by Schiarparelli, in his "Astronomy in the Old
Testament" (Engl. transl.), pp. 39 ff., 99 ff., 104 f.]

[Footnote 64: During their pastoral and agricultural life in Palestine the Hebrews
found it quite sufficient to refer to time by describing the period of the day:
see further, Schiarparelli, _op. cit._, p. 96.]

[Footnote 65: Amos, v., 20.]

[Footnote 66: Cf. "Greece and Babylon" (published as the Wilde Lectures, 1911).]

[Footnote 67: See his "Cults of the Creek States," Oxford, 1896-1909.]

[Footnote 68: Cf. Hogarth, "Ionia and the East," pp. 27 ff., 64 ff.]









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