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 Detailed Timeline of Iraq History
 
Assyrian Empire (2000-605 BC)  <<  Babylonian Empire  >>  Persian Empire (539-330 BC)

Babylonian Empire (605 - 539 BC)
The Last "Native-Ruled" Mesopotamian Nation Until the 20th Century

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Fall of Assyrian EmpireBabylon Gains Independence from Assyrian Empire (627 BC): As barbaric tribes from the north and east invaded Assyria, Babylon capitalized upon Assyria's weakened state, by gaining independence. The ruling Chaldeans (a Semitic people) also proceeded to conquer the rest of Southern Mesopotamia.

Assyria Capital of Nineveh Captured by Babylonians (612 BC): The Babylonians marched north, conquering Assyrian territory along the way as they advanced toward the heart of the empire. In 612 BC, with the help of the Iranian Medes, Babylon conquered Nineveh.

(Timeline Continued Below)

Battle of Meggido Ends the Assyrian Empire (605 BC): The last remnant of the Assyrian army escaped from the defeat at Nineveh. They were joined at Megiddo by the Egyptians. The Assyrian-Egyptian alliance is thoroughly defeated by the Babylonians, bringing an absolute end to they Assyrian Empire, while extending the emerging Babylonian Empire to the Mediterranean Sea.

Note: Chaldeans. The Chaldeans were a Semitic people that had gained control of Babylon. Thus, the Neo-Babylonian Empire is also known as the Chaldean Empire.

Babylonian EmpireBabylon's Northern Border Secured Before 600 BC: After assuming the throne in 605 BC, upon the death of his father. Nebuchadnezzar II defeats the nomadic tribes to the north, securing the northern borders, and the entire empire by extension. In which case, Babylonia achieves what Assyria could not.

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Babylon Subdues Jerusalem (597 BC): Nebuchadnezzar's campaigns against Egypt elicited discontent among Babylonia's subjects in the Levant. After a Jerusalem uprising, Nebuchadnezzar conquered Jerusalem in 597 BC, then destroying the city in 587 after another rebellion. According to the Bible, 5,000-10,000 inhabitants of Jerusalem (primarily the upper class) were exiled eastward into Mesopotamia. Empirical evidence does not confirm the specific exile of a “Jewish” upper class, but it does support the notion that Nebuchadnezzar did have a tendency to exile problematic groups of people from their homeland into other, far-removed parts of the empire.

Babylon's Siege and Subjugation of Tyre (585-572 BC): After destroying Jerusalem, Nebuchadnezzar turned his attention toward revolts in Tyre (Phoencia). Following a 13-year siege, Tyre agreed to accept Babylonian rule.

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Note: Nebuchadnezzar's Famous Construction Projects. Nebuchadnezzar II is perhaps most famous for his massive contruction projects in eradicating Babylon's somewhat dilapidated state (due to frequent rebellions against Assyria before finally gaining independence). Magnificent religious monuments were built, and an outrageously extravagant royal palace was constructed, transforming Babylon into an ancient "7th wonder of the world".

Persians defeat Babylonians at Battle of Opis in (June, 539 BC).

Babylon Captured by Persians (Oct, 539 BC): Persians enter the city without a fight, bringing an abrupt end to the Babylonian Empire.

Note: The Persian Empire Gains Popularity of Babylonians. The Chaldean Empire was never very popular among its constituents, which weakened and ripened the empire for defeat. To engender the support of his new subjects, Cyrus (Persian Emperor) allowed exiles to return to their homeland. He then underwent the sacred ceremony of the Babylonian religious consecration ritual performed by Babylonian priests, traditionally endowed upon the King of Babylon.

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Next: Persian Empire (539 - 330 BC)

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