Home >> New International Encyclopedia, Volume 14 >> Murcia_2 to National Hymns >> Nabonassar

Nabonassar

babylonia, gods and babylonian

NA'BONAS'SAR (Ass. Nabu-nasir, Nairn (or Nebo) protects). King of Babylonia (n.e. 747 734). His contemporary in Assyria, Tiglath pileser III. (p.c. 745-727), succeeded with the help of the Aram:ran hordes that at all times were a menace to Babylonian security in obtain ing complete control of Babylonia, and empha sized his success by giving himself in his in scriptions the title of King of Sumer and Accad (i.e. Southern and Northern Babylonia). and Icy worshiping at the shrines of the Babylonian gods in the most important cities of the south: Sippar, Nippur, Itabylon, Borsippa, Cuthah, Kish, Dilbat, and Erech. It is evident, therefore, that Nabonassar must have been merely a vassal to Tiglath-pileser 11l., hut a semblance of inde pendence' was permitted to Babylonia because of a desire on the part of the Assyrian rulers to deal leniently with the old empire in the south for fear of incurring the displeasure of the Babylo nian gods who were also the gods of Assyria.

The history of Babylonia, therefore, in Na bonassar's reign is merely a part of Assyrian history. His name is preserved in the Ptolemaic canon, whose list of Babylonian kings begins in deed with Nabonassar. Why the beginning should have been made' with this ruler is not clear. There is nothing to warrant the supposi tion that the Babylonians began a new era— historical or astronomical—at the time of Na bonassar, though that was adopted as a new astronomical era by the Greeks. Equally mysterious is Berosus's statement, preserved by Syncellus, that Nabonassar first jecollected and then destroyed the chronicles of his predecessors. Consult Rogers, History of Babylonia and Assy ria, von. ii. (New York, 1000) ; and for the reign of Tiglath-pileser, Rost, keilsehriftleste Tiglat-Pilesers III. (Leipzig, 1893).