History : Nov-Dec 2018
NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC HISTORY 17 control of Judah, a small kingdom that would later play a large part in Nebuchadrezzar’s story. For the first years of Nabopolassar’s reign, Egypt and Assyria continued to harass the new empire. His eldest son and crown prince Nebu chadrezzar became involved in the military as a young man. Sources say he began his career in his late teens or early twenties and became a military administrator around 610 b.c. In several years, Nebuchadrezzar rose to com mander. At first he led armies with his father, but took on sole com mand when Nabo polassar returned which until then had been controlled by the waning Assyrian Empire. Nabopolassar forged a coalition with the Medes to the east and fought against the Assyr ians for the next decade. In 612 b.c. they sacked Assyria’s then capital Nineveh and toppled their rule. Babylonia had long been in the shadow of the Assyrians, and now it was time for their civilization to rise. Dubbed the NeoBabylonian or Chaldean Empire by historians, Nabopolassar’s new king dom faced strong threats, especially from Egypt, allies of the fading Assyrians. After the Battle of Megiddo in 609 b.c., Pharaoh Necho II took LANDS OF THE CHALDEANS Amapof Nebuchadrezzar II’s empire (below) shows its extension from the Mediterranean, through the valleys between the Tigris and Euphrates, and down to the Persian Gulf. The Ishtar Gate is built, the principal of Babylon’s eight great entrances. Nebuchadrezzar also completes restoration of the Etemenanki ziggurat, damaged during an Assyrian invasion a century before. 575 b.c. After a 44-year reign, Nebuchadrezzar II dies in Babylon. Only 22 years after his death, following a period of decadence, Babylon falls in 539 b.c. to the Persian king, Cyrus the Great. 561 b.c. Tyre Carchemish Babylon Jerusalem Nineveh Nippur ASSYRIA SYRIA JUDAH MEDIA ELAM CHALDEA EGYPT BABYLONIA TigrisMediterraneanSea Persian Gulf Euphrates Empire of Nebuchadrezzar II (605–561 B.C .) MERCHE HERNÁNDEZ ERICH LESSING/ALBUM TIME CAPSULE A CYLINDRICAL STELA COVERED WITH CLOSE-WRITTEN AKKADIAN INSCRIPTIONS, DETAILS THE THREE NEW PALACES BUILT BY NEBUCHADREZZAR II. IT WAS BURIED IN THE HOPES THAT FUTURE KINGS WOULD DISCOVER IT.