3500BC-2400BC The Tower of Babel was built during
this period by people of one language who inhabited the land of
Shinar in the kingdom of Nimrod.
(Econ, 4/26/08, p.108)
c2700BC The Sumerian King, Gilgamesh, ruled the
city of Uruk (Babylonia) which had grown to a population of over
50,000. Gilgamesh was the subject of many epics, including the
Sumerian "Gilgamesh and Enkidu in the Nether World" and the
Babylonian "Epic of Gilgamesh." In 1844 Westerners discovered an
epic poem based on Gilgamesh on stone fragments in Mosul, Iraq. 5
Sumerian versions were later acknowledged. The 1st part of the poem
was published in 1876. In 2004 Stephen Mitchell published
“Gilgamesh: A New English Translation." Derek Hines authored
(eawc, p.1)(SFC, 12/14/04, p.E4)
2400BC Dagan, a name that appears in early
Mesopotamia, and that enters into the composition of proper names in
Babylonia about this time. Dagan was later a name for head of the
2145BC Idin-Dagan, a king of Babylonia. and his
2000BC-1600BC In Mesopotamia the Old Babylonian
period began after the collapse of Sumer, probably due to an
increase in the salt content of the soil that made farming
difficult. Weakened by poor crops and lack of surplus goods, the
Sumerians were conquered by the Amorites, situated in Babylon. The
center of civility shifted north. The Amorites preserved much of the
Sumerian culture but introduced their own Semitic language, an early
ancestor to Hebrew, into the region.
1900BC The “Epic of Gilgamesh" was redacted from
Sumerian sources and written in the Babylonian semetic.
1900BC-1500BC During this period a Semitic group
of nomads migrated from Sumer to Canaan and then on to Egypt. They
were led by a caravan trader, the Patriarch Abraham, who became the
father of the nation of Israel. Ishmael was a son of Abraham had by
Hagar. Isaac was a son of Abraham by Sarah. Hebrews trace their
lineage through Isaac, Arabs through Ishmael.
(eawc, p.3)(NW, 11/02, p.55)
1800BC By this time the Old Babylonians employed
advanced mathematical operations such as multiplication, division
and square roots. Their duodecimal system, based on 12 and 6 to
measure time, is still used today.
1792BC-1750BC Hammurabi, king of Babylon,
established a code of laws during this period that became known as
the Code of Hammurabi. They were inscribed on a basalt column, later
found at Susa, Iran. One of the laws was that if a married woman was
caught lying with another man, both should be bound and thrown into
(WH, 1994, p.13)(SFEC, 10/20/96, Z1 p.2)(Econ,
1763BC Hammurabi, the Amorite King, conquered all
of Sumer. He wrote a “Code of Laws" that contained 282 rules
including the principles of “an eye for an eye" and “let the buyer
beware." It was one of the first codes of law in world history,
predated only by the Laws of Lipit-Ishtar.
1750BC Hammurabi died but his empire lasted
another 150 years when the Kassites, a non-semetic people, conquered
most of Mesopotamia with the help of light chariot warfare.
1600BC The Kassites, a non-semetic people,
conquered most of Mesopotamia with the help of light chariot
1595BC The Hittites captured Babylon and
retreated. They left the city open to Kassite domination which
lasted about 300 years. They maintained the Sumerian/Babylonian
culture without innovations of their own.
1300BC A middle eastern empire of this time.
(MT, 3/96, p.3)
1225BC The Assyrian ruler, Tukulti-Ninurta,
captured Babylon and the region of southern Mesopotamia, but their
control did not last long.
1000BC Chaldeans traced their origins to about
this time in Babylon.
(SFC, 9/30/00, p.A12)
689BC Sennacherib of Assyria
destroyed Babylon, but his son rebuilt it.
650BC Babylon by this time was
again prosperous following its destruction in 689 by Sennacherib of
614BC The Babylonians
(particularly, the Chaldeans) with the help of the Medes, who
occupied what is today Iran, began a campaign to destroy the
612BC Ninevah (Mesopotamia)
fell to the Babylonians. The Chaldeans, a semetic people, then ruled
the entire region thereby issuing in the New Babylonian period that
lasted to 539BC.
(NG, Aug., 1974, S.W. Matthews, p.174)
609BC-593BC Pharaoh Necho II
ruled Egypt. The biblical king Josiah was slain on Har (Mt.) Megiddo
(root of Armageddon) in the 7th cent. when he was betrayed by
Pharaoh Necho whom he had come to stop from going to war on the side
of the Assyrians against the Babylonians.
(NG, Aug., 1974, p.180)(WSJ, 4/17/97, p.A20)
612BC Ninevah (Mesopotamia)
fell to the Babylonians.
(NG, Aug., 1974, S.W. Matthews, p.174)
609BC The biblical king Josiah
of Judah was slain on Har (Mt.) Megiddo (root of Armageddon) about
this time when he was betrayed by Pharaoh Necho, whom he had
approached to stop from going to war on the side of the Assyrians
against the Babylonians.
(NG, Aug., 1974, p.180)(WSJ, 4/17/97,
605BC-562BC Nebuchadnezzar II ruled in Babylon.
He undertook some monumental building projects that included the
Hanging Gardens. The New Babylonian Revival used glazed bricks for
building thereby creating a colorful city. The king was fond of
(SFC, 12/25/98, p.B5)(SFC, 3/24/00, p.B3)
604BC Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon
invaded and put the Philistines' cities to the sword. There is no
remnant of them after that.
595BC-589BC Psammetichus II
(Psamtik II), son of Nacho II, ruled in Egypt as a 26th Dynasty
king. Psamtik II built the temple of Hibis in the al-Khargah oasis,
310 miles south of Cairo. It was built to worship Amun and contained
statues of Amun's wife, Mut.
586BC Nebuchadnezzar of
Babylon, ruler of Mesopotamia, destroyed Jerusalem and recorded his
deeds at the Nahr al Kalb (Dog River) cliff face between Beirut and
Byblos. He destroyed the first Temple, built by Solomon and took the
Jewish people into captivity.
(NG, Aug., 1974, p.157)(SFC, 12/31/96,
p.A11)(Econ, 12/20/03, p.26)
586BC Ezekial, in exile at
Babylon, described Tyre as it was before Nebuchadnezzar's attack in
the Bible: (Ezekial 27:1-25). This time is known as the "Babylonian
(NG, Aug., 1974, p.162)(eawc, p.8)
585BC-572BC Nebuchadnezzar of
Babylon began his 13 year siege of Tyre.
(NG, Aug., 1974, S.W. Matthews, p.157)
570BC Oct, General Amasis
(Ahmose II) defeated King Apries a 2nd time and took control of a
united Egypt. Apries sought refuge abroad and later turned up at the
court of Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon.
567BC Apries, former ruler of
Egypt, marched on Egypt at the head of a Babylonian army, but once
again, Amasis defeated him, this time capturing the former king.
539BC Babylon, under Chaldean
rule since 612BC, fell to the Persians. Cyrus the Persian captured
Babylon after the New Babylonian leader, Belshazaar, failed to read
"the handwriting on the wall." The Persian Empire under Cyrus lasted
to 331BC, when it was conquered by Alexander the Great. Cyrus
returned some of the exiled Jews to Palestine, while other Jews
preferred to stay and establish a 2nd Jewish center, the first being
in Jerusalem. The Cyrus Cylinder was created following the Persian
conquest of Babylon, when Cyrus overthrew the Babylonian king
Nabonidus and replaced him as ruler, ending the Neo-Babylonian
Empire. It was discovered in 1879 and became considered as the
world's first declaration of human rights.
(NG, Aug., 1974, p.174)(eawc,
486BC Darius, ruler of Persia,
died. His preparations for a 3rd expedition against Greece were
delayed by an insurrection in Egypt. He was succeeded by his son
Xerxes (35), governor of Babylonia.
486BC-465BC Xerxes the Great,
king of Persia, ruled Egypt as the 3rd king of the 27th Dynasty. His
rule extended from India to the lands below the Caspian and Black
seas, to the east coast of the Mediterranean including Egypt and
Thrace. Persia’s great cities Sardis, Ninevah, Babylon, and Susa
were joined by the Royal Road. East of Susa was Persopolis, a vast
religious monument. To the north of Persia were the Scythians.
465BC-424BC Artaxerxes, son of
Xerxes I, ruled Persia in the Achaemenis dynasty and Egypt as the
4th king of the 27th Dynasty. The books of Ezra and Nehemiah
remember him warmly because he authorized their revival of
Judaism. Esther, a Jewish woman living in Babylon, was chosen
for her beauty to be his new queen. She later discovered a plot by
the king’s vizier to slaughter all Jews. She informed the king and
saved her people. This is remembered in the Jewish holiday of Purim.
350BC Babylonian tables of
astronomical numbers regularly use zero.
323BC Jun 10, Alexander died In
Persia at Babylon at the age of 32. His general, Ptolemy, took
possession of Egypt. Apelles was a painter in Alexander's court. He
had been commissioned by Alexander to paint a portrait of Campaspe,
Alexander's concubine. Apelles fell in love with Campaspe and
Alexander granted her to him in marriage. In 1984 Curtius Quintas
Rufus authored "the History of Alexander." In 1991 Peter Green
authored "Alexander of Macedon, A Historical Biography."
(V.D.-H.K.p.62)(BS, 5/3/98, p.12E)(WSJ, 2/11/00,
p.W6)(ON, 1/01, p.11)(WBO)
276 The prophet Mani (b.210), a
resident of Babylon, died. His writings led to Manichaeism, one of
the major Iranian Gnostic religions, originating in Sassanid Persia.
Although most of his original writings have been lost, numerous
translations and fragmentary texts have survived. Manichaeism is
distinguished by its elaborate cosmology describing the struggle
between a good, spiritual world of light, and an evil, material
world of darkness.
500 The second component of the
Talmud, the Gemara, was compiled about this time in Babylon (later
Iraq). It is a discussion of the Mishnah and related Tannaitic
writings that often ventures onto other subjects and expounds
broadly on the Tanakh. The first component, the Mishnah, the first
written compendium of Judaism's Oral Law, dated to around 200.
776 Al-Jahiz (d.868), Muslim
theologian and scholar, was born in Basra about this time. He is
credited with writing nearly two hundred works, although fewer than
one hundred survive today. His most famous work is Al-Hayawan" (The
Book of animals), which merges discussions of zoology with
1271 The Polos were called back
to Acre where the new Pope assigned two friars, Fra Nicolo da
Vicenza and Fra Guielmo da Tripoli, to accompany them to visit the
grand khan. They reached Armenia and heard that the soldan of
Babylonia, named Bundokdari, had invaded Armenian territory. The
friars feared for their lives and returned home.