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605-561 BCE


Mesopotamia / Kings /
Babylonia / Kings /
Nebuchadnezzar 2
Akkadian: nabu-kudurri-usur


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Nebuchadnezzar 2's palace, Babylon (now Iraq)
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Gate to Nebuchadnezzar 2's palace, Babylon (now Iraq).

Nebuchadnezzar 2's palace, Babylon (now Iraq)
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Gate to Nebuchadnezzar 2's palace, Babylon (now Iraq).

Nebuchadnezzar 2's palace, Babylon (now Iraq)
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Courtyard of Nebuchadnezzar 2's palace, Babylon (now Iraq).

(Ca. 635-561 BCE) King of Babylonia ca. 605-561 BCE, being the second king of the Chaldean dynasty.
Nebuchadnezzar 2 was one of the greatest kings of the Middle East, but is in the Western world known principally for conquering Jerusalem, and deporting the king of Judah, Jehoiakim, and many of his people to Babylonia. His main achievements were, however, to revitalize Babylon, constructing the hanging gardens (which, actually, might never have existed — it could be a myth, since there are no contemporary accounts of it and no archaeological traces), rebuilding the temple of Marduk and the nearby ziggurat.
In addition to completing and extending the fortifications around Babylon, he also had built the Median Wall. This was erected in order to defend Babylonia against the Medes to the north, a people that grew increasingly strong through his reign.
His father was king Nabopolassar, who was the founder of the Chaldean dynasty. While Nabopolassar never had claimed royal descent, Nebuchadnezzar propagated that the Akkadian king Naram-Sin was his ancestor. Moreover, he claimed that he had been granted universal kingship by the chief-god Marduk.
Even if Nebuchadnezzar was the king that had the leading people of Judah deported, he is still presented in a positive light in the Bible. Nebuchadnezzar is actually presented as the instrument of God by Jeremiah and Ezekiel.
Nebuchadnezzar is surprisingly not represented anywhere, unusual for kings of great power in this era.

History
Approx. 635 BCE: Born.
610: Nebuchadnezzar starts acting as a military administrator, but is also active in restoring the temple of Marduk.
607: He commands an army together with his father north of Assyria.
605: Nebuchadnezzar leads a campaign against the Egyptians near Carchemish in today's Syria, and returns victorious. This resulted in Babylonia becoming the leading military power in the Middle East.
September 7: With the death of his father, Nabopolassar, Nebuchadnezzar returns to Babylon to ascend the throne within 3 weeks after his death.
604: Nebuchadnezzar gets the oath of submission from the rulers of local states in Syria and Palestine.
600: He gets his first serious military defeat when fighting an Egyptian army. This defeat also weakened him politically, and many of his vassal states defected.
597 March 16: Nebuchadnezzar conquers Jerusalem, and captures the king of Judah, Jehoiakim. Judah had been among the states that vowed their submission to Nebuchadnezzar in 604, but which defected in 600.
595: An invasion from Elam is stopped.
594: Revolt in Babylonia inside the army.
588: Fierce revolt in Judah, and Nebuchadnezzar moves his troops in, but does not achieve any quick results.
587: The revolt in Judah is suppressed.
587/6: The Temple of Jerusalem is destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar.
582: Many more of the inhabitants of Judah are deported to Babylonia.
568: Nebuchadnezzar's troops invade Egypt.
562 October: Nebuchadnezzar dies, and is succeeded by his son, Amel-Marduk.





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By Tore Kjeilen