|Husband:||Nebuchadnezzer II + (634-562)|
|Wife:||Nitocris + of EGYPT (570- )|
|Children:||Nabonidis + (536?- )|
|Name:||Nebuchadnezzer II +|
|Father:||Nabopolassar II + (658-605)|
|Mother:||OF SISTAN (645- )|
|Occupation||King of Babylon|
|Title||King of Babylon|
|Death||0562 B.C. (age 71-72)|
|Name:||Nitocris + of EGYPT|
|Father:||Wehemibre + NECHO (660-595)|
|Mother:||Chedebnitjerbone I + (650- )|
|Occupation||Pharaoh of Egypt|
|Spouse:||Niticris + (541?- )|
|Occupation||King of Babylon|
|Title||frm 0556 B.C. to 0539 B.C. (age -1093--1075 (!))||King of Babylon|
Nebuchadnezzar II was the eldest son, and successor, of Nabopolassar, who delivered Babylon from its dependence on Assyria and laid Nineveh in ruins. According to Berossus, some years before he became king of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar II married Amytis of Media, the daughter or granddaughter of Cyaxares, king of the Medes, and thus the Median and Babylonian dynasties were united. There are also conflicting account of Nitocris of Babylon either being his wife or daughter. Nabopolassar was intent on annexing the western provinces of Syria from Necho II (who was still hoping to restore Assyrian power), and to this end dispatched his son westward with a powerful army. In the ensuing Battle of Carchemish in 605 BC, the Egyptian army was defeated and driven back, and Syria and Phoenicia were brought under the control of Babylon. Nabopolassar died in August of that year, and Nebuchadnezzar returned to Babylon to ascend to the throne.
After the defeat of the Cimmerians and Scythians, all of Nebuchadnezzar's expeditions were directed westwards, although the powerful Median empire lay to the north. Nebuchadnezzar's political marriage to Amytis of Media, the daughter of the Median king, had ensured peace between the two empires.
Nebuchadnezzar engaged in several military campaigns designed to increase Babylonian influence in Syria and Judah. An attempted invasion of Egypt in 601 BC was met with setbacks, however, leading to numerous rebellions among the states of the Levant, including Judah. Nebuchadnezzar soon dealt with these rebellions, capturing Jerusalem in 597 BC and deposing King Jehoiakim, then in 587 BC due to rebellion, destroying both the city and the temple, and deporting many of the prominent citizens along with a sizable portion of the Jewish population of Judea to Babylon. These events are described in the Prophets (Nevi'im) and Writings (Ketuvim), sections of the Hebrew Bible (in the books 2 Kings and Jeremiah, and 2 Chronicles, respectively). After the destruction of Jerusalem, Nebuchadnezzar engaged in a thirteen year siege of Tyre (585â€“572 BC), which ended in a compromise, with the Tyrians accepting Babylonian authority.
Following the pacification of Tyre, Nebuchadnezzar turned again to Egypt. A clay tablet, now in the British Museum, states: "In the 37th year of Nebuchadnezzar, king of the country of Babylon, he went to Mitzraim (Egypt) to make war. Amasis, king of Egypt, collected [his army], and marched and spread abroad." Having completed the subjugation of Phoenicia, and a campaign against Egypt, Nebuchadnezzar set himself to rebuild and adorn the city of Babylon, and constructed canals, aqueducts, temples and reservoirs.
According to Babylonian tradition, Nebuchadnezzar, towards the end of his life, prophesied the impending ruin of the Chaldean Empire (Berossus and Abydenus in Eusebius, Praeparatio Evangelica, 9.41). Nebuchadnezzar died in Babylon between the second and sixth months of the forty-third year of his reign, and was succeeded by Amel-Marduk.
Nineveh's existence, Babylon had been greatly devastated, not only at the hands of Sennacherib and Assurbanipal, but also as a result of her ever renewed rebellions. Nebuchadnezzar, continuing his father's work of reconstruction, aimed at making his capital one of the world's wonders. Old temples were restored; new edifices of incredible magnificence were erected to the many gods of the Babylonian pantheon (Diodorus of Sicily, 2.95; Herodotus, 1.183). To complete the royal palace begun by Nabopolassar, nothing was spared, neither "cedar-wood, nor bronze, gold, silver, rare and precious stones"; an underground passage and a stone bridge connected the two parts of the city separated by the Euphrates; the city itself was rendered impregnable by the construction of a triple line of walls. The bridge across the Euphrates is of particular interest, in that it was supported on asphalt covered brick piers that were streamlined to reduce the upstream resistance to flow, and the downstream turbulence that would otherwise undermine the foundations. Nebuchadnezzar's construction activity was not confined to the capital; he is credited with the restoration of the Lake of Sippar, the opening of a port on the Persian Gulf, and the building of the Mede wall between the Tigris and the Euphrates to protect the country against incursions from the north. These undertakings required a considerable number of laborers; an inscription at the great temple of Marduk suggests that the labouring force used for his public works was most likely made up of captives brought from various parts of western Asia.
Nebuchadnezzar is credited with the construction of the Hanging Gardens, for his homesick wife Amyitis (or Amytis) to remind her of her homeland, Medis (Media) in Persia. However, some scholars argue that they may have been constructed by a queen from the Assyrian city, Nineveh.
Nebuchadnezzar is most widely known through his portrayal in the Bible, especially the Book of Daniel as ????????????????. The Bible discusses events of his reign and in addition his conquest of Jerusalem.
The second chapter of Daniel relates an account attributed to the second year of his reign, in which Nebuchadnezzar dreams of a huge image made of various materials (gold, silver, bronze, iron and clay). The prophet Daniel tells him God's interpretation, that it stands for the rise and fall of world powers, starting with Nebuchadnezzar's own as the golden head.
In Daniel chapter 3, Nebuchadnezzar erects a large idol made of gold for worship during a public ceremony on the plain of Dura. When three Jews, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah (respectively renamed Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego by their captors, to facilitate their assimilation into Babylonian culture), refuse to take part, he has them cast into a fiery furnace. They are protected by what Nebuchadnezzar describes as "the son of God" (Daniel 3:25) and emerge unscathed without even the smell of smoke.
Daniel chapter 4 contains an account of another of Nebuchadnezzar's dreams, this time of an immense tree, which Daniel interprets that Nebuchadnezzar will go insane for seven years because of his pride. This chapter was either written by Nebuchadnezzar himself in the first person, or at the least, was constructed to appear that way.
While boasting over his achievements, Nebuchadnezzar is humbled by God. The king loses his sanity and lives in the wild like an animal for seven years. After this, his sanity and position are restored and he praises and honors God. There has been some speculation on what the organic cause of this insanity might have been. Some consider it to be an attack of clinical lycanthropy or alternatively porphyria, or an advanced case of syphilis.
Some scholars  think that Nebuchadnezzar's portrayal by Daniel is a mixture of traditions about Nebuchadnezzar â€” he was indeed the one who conquered Jerusalem â€” and about Nabonidus (Nabuna'id). For example, Nabonidus was the natural, or paternal father of Belshazzar, and the seven years of insanity could be related to Nabonidus' sojourn in Tayma in the desert. Fragments from the Dead Sea Scrolls, written from 150 BC to 70 AD state that it was Nabonidus (N-b-n-y) who was smitten by God with a fever for seven years of his reign while his son Belshazzar was regent.
The Book of Jeremiah contains a prophecy about the arising of a "destroyer of nations", commonly regarded as a reference to Nebuchadnezzar (Jer. 4:7), as well as an account of Nebuchadnezzar's siege of Jerusalem and looting and destruction of the temple (Jer. 52).
 Interpretations of Nebuchadnezzar's actionsRoger Williams, a Baptist minister and founder of Rhode Island, interpreted several passages in the Old and New Testament to support limiting government interference in religious matters. Williams published The Bloudy Tenent of Persecution describing his analysis of why a civil government should be separate from religion according to the Bible. Williams believed that Israel was a unique covenant kingdom and not an appropriate model for New Testament Christians who believed that the Old Testament covenant had been fulfilled. Therefore, the more informative Old Testament examples of civil government are kings such as Nebuchadnezzar, a pagan (not one of the covenant kings), who provides an example of a "bad" king that forces his subjects to worship the official state religion or be thrown in the furnace.
Voltaire interprets the legacy of Nebuchadnezzar and his relationship with Amasis in a short story entitled The White Bull.
Nitocris has been claimed to have been the last pharaoh of the Sixth Dynasty. Her name is found in the Histories of Herodotus and writings of Manetho but her historicity is questionable. She might have been an interregnum queen. If she is in fact a historical person, then she may be the sister of King Merenre and the daughter of Pepi II and Queen Neith.
According to Herodotus (Histories ii-100), she invited the murderers of her brother, the "king of Egypt", to a banquet, then killed them by flooding the sealed room with the Nile.
...[Nitocris] succeeded her brother. He had been the king of Egypt, and he had been put to death by his subjects, who then placed her upon the throne. Determined to avenge his death, she devised a cunning schema by which she destroyed a vast number of Egyptians. She constructed a spacious underground chamber and, on pretense of inaugurating it, threw a banquet, inviting all those whom she knew to have been responsible for the murder of her brother. Suddenly as they were feasting, she let the river in upon them by means of a large, secret duct. (Herodotus)
Then, to avoid the other conspirators, she committed suicide (possibly by running into a burning room). Manetho claims she built the "third pyramid" at Giza, which is attributed by modern historians and archaeologists to Menkaure. Herodotus also has a Babylonian queen of the same name and talks of her constructions in Babylon, mainly connected with diverting the Euphrates. His story about her tomb and the inscription on it which fooled Darius into opening it, only to have another inscription on the inside that chastised the opener for being so greedy is an early example of a familiar cultural meme.
Nitocris is not mentioned, however, in any native Egyptian inscriptions and "she" probably did not exist. It was long claimed that Nitocris appears on a fragment of the Turin King List, dated to the Nineteenth Dynasty, under the Egyptian name of Nitiqreti (nt-?qrt?). The fragment where this name appears was thought to belong to the Sixth Dynasty portion of the king list, thus appearing to confirm both Herodotus and Manetho. However, microscopic analysis of the Turin King List suggests the fragment was misplaced in reassembling the fragmentary text, and that the name Nitiqreti is in fact a faulty transcription of the praenomen of a clearly male king Netjerkare Siptah I, who is named on the Abydos King List as the successor of the Sixth Dynasty king Nemtyemsaf II. On the Abydos King List, Netjerkare Siptah is placed in the equivalent spot that Neitiqreti Siptah holds on the Turin King List.
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