Thursday, October 22, 2020

Nabopolassar “son of an unknown”: Chaldean king of Babylonia

In 626 BC - Ashurbanipal dies and Assyria begins to disintegrate, driven by internal strife. Babylon revolted with the help of the Chaldean people, led by Nabopolassar. Civil war happened. Nabopolassar exploited the situation and later seized the throne, and the Neo-Babylonian dynasty was born.

Though he presents himself as the “son of an unknown,” Nabopolassar may actually have been a general in the service of Sinsharishkun, the powerful king of Assyria, and very likely he was born into the ruling elite of Uruk.

He had himself officially recognized as king on 23 November 626. For the first years of Nabopolassar’s reign, Egypt and Assyria continued to harass the new empire. His eldest son and crown prince Nebuchadnezzar became involved in the military as a young man. Within 10 years on the throne Nabopolassar successfully united Babylonia and expelled Assyrians.

Nabopolassar is an important Babylonian king, he began restoration works throughout Babylonia, he established well-guarded frontiers, and defeated opponents, most notably the victory over Assyria.

In 616 BC Nabopolassar marched his army into Assyria proper and attempted to besiege Assur and Arrapha, but was defeated. Nabopolassar made alliances with other former subjects of Assyria, the Medes, Persians, Elamites and Scythians.

In 61 5 and 614 BC attacks were made on Assur and Arrapha and both fell. During 613 BC the Assyrians seem to have rallied and repelled Babylonian and Median attacks. However, in 612 BC Nabopolassar and the Median king Cyaxares led a coalition of forces including Babylonians, Medes, Sclthians and Cimmerians in sacking Assyria’s then capital Nineveh and toppled their rule.

Nabopolassar was king the year Daniel was taken to Babylon. In 605 BC - Nabopolassar dies and Nebuchadnezzar II becomes King of Babylon. He will rule for 43 years and bring the Babylonian Empire to its peak.
Nabopolassar “son of an unknown”: Chaldean king of Babylonia

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