What Is Babylon?

The ruins of the medieval city of Babylon are located in Hillah, the governorate of Babil in Iraq. At the height, the city was one of the most important cities of the ancient era. It was the home of the famous hanging gardens of Babylon. Between 1770 and 1670 BC and 612 to 320 BC, Babylon was the largest city in the world and it is estimated that it could have been the first to acquire a population of over 200,000 inhabitants.


The English term Babylon derives from the Greek word Babylṓn which is a transliteration of the Akkadian word Babili. In the first 2 nd millennium BC, the city was indicated by the Babylonian name Babilla or Babilli. The name evolved into Babili in 1 st millennium BC and was inspired by the popular etymology that linked it to bāb-ili (“Door of God” or “Door of God”). The city is called Babel in the Bible, which means confusion in the Hebrew translation.

Location and geography

The site where the city was located is about 53 miles south of Baghdad in the Governorate of Babil. The ruins are characterized by a large story of broken mud brick structures as well as debris. Initially, the Euphrates River cut Babylon twice a week, but since then the river has changed course. The ruins of the city consist of mounds that occupy an estimated area of ​​1.24 x 0.62 miles oriented from north to south and on the border with the Euphrates in the west. There are also some parts of the walls of Babylon to the west of the Euphrates.

Ancient history

Babylon began as a small Semitic city of Akkadian during the reign of the Akkadian empire in 2300 BC. The Amorites settled in southern Mesopotamia around 19 thcentury BC, where wealthy cereal merchants created independent dynasties in various states of the region such as Lagash, Isin and Eshnunna. Babylon was later established as a city-state. For a while, Babylon was a minor city overshadowed by more powerful and older states. It has gained prominence as the capital of the brief Babylonian empire established by Hammurabi. Hammurabi successfully conquered all the city-states and cities of the region such as Akkad, Kish, Nippur, Isin, Girsu, Lagash, Ur and Uruk and integrated them into a kingdom ruled by Babylon. After the death of Hammurabi, the city was occupied by powers such as Assyrians, Kassites and Elamites until it became a state as the capital of the neo-Babylonian empire between 609 and 539 BC. Babylon was again occupied by other powers ranging from the Achaemenids, the Parthians, the Seleucids, the Romans and the Sassanids.th century, after which Islamization followe

Modern history

Since 1983, the efforts supported by Saddam Hussein have been implemented to rebuild the city. Hussein has directed funds to rebuild and rebuild Babylon together with Nimrud, Hatra, Nineveh and Assur to portray the splendor of the Arab conquest. After the Gulf War, Hussein intended to build a modern building and a cable line, but the implementation was reduced by the invasion of Iraq in 2003. US invading forces have been widely criticized for causing large-scale damage to the site . The Iraqi Ministry of Culture took over the management of the site in 2005.

Historical and cultural importance

The second ruler of Babylon has the merit of having written the Hammurabi code of laws. The most ambitious ruler of the city was perhaps Nebuchadnezzar, who filled the city with splendid temples, palaces and sanctuaries. The city was also surrounded by imposing walls and important gates like the Ishtar gate. It is also stated that a beautiful park was also nicknamed “The Hanging Gardens of Babylon”, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world: Nebuchadnezzar II had a great ambition that commissioned the construction of a 300-foot tower called the Tower of Babel in the Bible Ruins of the city include palaces and temples. Ancient Babylonians worshiped multiple gods such as Ashur (god of heaven), Ea (god of wisdom) and Anu (god of heaven). for its architectural glory and wealth.

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