The Reign of Nebuchadnezzar I in History and Historical Memory [Hardback]

John P. Nielsen (Author)

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ISBN: 9781138120402 | Published by: Routledge | Series: Studies in the History of the Ancient Near East | Year of Publication: 2018 | Language: English 280p, 3 Halftones, black and white; 2 Tables, black and white

The Reign of Nebuchadnezzar I in History and Historical Memory


Nebuchadnezzar I (r. 1125-1104) was one of the more significant and successful kings to rule Babylonia in the intervening period between the demise of the Kassite Dynasty in the 12th century at the end of the Late Bronze Age, and the emergence of a new, independent Babylonian monarchy in the last quarter of the 7th century. His dynamic reign saw Nebuchadnezzar active on both domestic and foreign fronts. He tended to the needs of the traditional cult sanctuaries and their associated priesthoods in the major cities throughout Babylonia and embarked on military campaigns against both Assyria in the north and Elam to the east. Yet later Babylonian tradition celebrated him for one achievement that was little noted in his own royal inscriptions: the return of the statue of Marduk, Babylon's patron deity, from captivity in Elam. The Reign of Nebuchadnezzar reconstructs the history of Nebuchadnezzar I's rule and, drawing upon theoretical treatments of historical and collective memory, examines how stories of his reign were intentionally utilized by later generations of Babylonian scholars and priests to create an historical memory that projected their collective identity and reflected Marduk's rise to the place of primacy within the Babylonian pantheon in the 1st millennium BCE. It also explores how this historical memory was employed by the urban elite in discourses of power. Nebuchadnezzar I remained a viable symbol, though with diminishing effect, until at least the 3rd century BCE, by which time his memory had almost entirely faded. This study is a valuable resource to students of the Ancient Near East and Nebuchadnezzar, but is also a fascinating exploration of memory creation and exploitation in the ancient world.

Table of Contents

List of Figures List of Maps List of Tables Foreword Acknowledgements List of Abbreviations PART I: WRITING HISTORY AND RECOVERING MEMORY, SOURCES AND METHODOLGIES 1. Toward an Understanding of the Babylonian Memory of Nebuchadnezzar I 1.1. Nebuchadnezzar I 1.2. Nebuchadnezzar I and Historical Memory 1.3. Babylonian Historical Consciousness 1.4. Nebuchadnezzar I and Historical Memory: A Prospectus 2. Nebuchadnezzar I: Prior Scholarship and Historical Sources 2.1. Prior Scholarship 2.2. Historical Sources 2.2.1. Primary Sources 2.2.2. Secondary Sources 2.2.3. Tertiary Sources 2.3. Writing of the Royal Name 2.4. Chronology PART II: NEBUCHADNEZZAR I AND HIS TIMES 3. The Reign of Nebuchadnezzar I 3.1. The Origins of the Second Dynasty of Isin 3.2. The Reign of Nebuchadnezzar I 3.2.1. Foreign Relations 3.2.2. Domestic Affairs 3.3. Conclusions 4. Nebuchadnezzar I's Successors 4.1. Enlil-nadin-apli 4.2. Marduk-nadin-ahhe 4.3. Marduk-sapik-zeri 4.4. Conclusions PART III: REMEMBERING NEBUCHADNEZZAR I IN THE 1ST MILLENNIUM BCE 5. Esarhaddon and the Return of Marduk in 668 BCE 5.1. Introduction 5.2. Ashurbanipal's Library and the Nebuchadnezzar I Literary Tablets 5.3. The Past Repeated: The Departure and Return of Marduk in the Seventh Century 5.3.1. Sennacherib's Destruction of Babylon in 689 5.3.2. The Fate of Marduk 5.3.3. Sennacherib's Religious Reforms 5.3.4. Esarhaddon's Rebuilding of Babylon 5.4. Nebuchadnezzar I and the Discourse at Esarhaddon's Court 5.4.1. The Memory of Nebuchadnezzar I and the Written Discourse 5.4.2. Reminding Babylon of Nebuchadnezzar I in the Performative Discourse 5.5. Conclusions 6. Remembering Nebuchadnezzar I from the Zenith of Babylonian Power through the Seleucid Era 6.1. Introduction 6.2. Nebuchadnezzar I in the Neo-Babylonian Empire 6.3. Nebuchadnezzar I in Achaemenid Babylonia 6.4. Nebuchadnezzar I in Hellenistic Babylonia 6.5. Conclusions PART IV: THE MAKING OF MEMORY AND THE MAKING OF MEANING 7. Nebuchadnezzar I in the Collective Memory 7.1. The Early First Millennium BCE: Crisis and Continuity 7.2. The Making of Memory 7.3. Nebuchadnezzar I in Collective Memory 7.4. Conclusions 8. The Elevation of Marduk: Nebuchadnezzar I as Cultural Formation 8.1. The Creation of Meaning 8.1.1. The Fall of Babylon 8.1.2. The Deity of Departs 8.1.3. The Deity Returns 8.2. Syncretic Thought 8.3. Conclusions 9. Intentional History in the Early First Millennium BCE 9.1. Introduction 9.2. Scholarly Culture during the Second Dynasty of Isin 9.3. Babylonia from the Tenth through Eighth Centuries BCE 9.3.1. King of Babylon 9.3.2. "Taking the Hand of Bel" and "Marduk did not go out" 9.4. Intentional History 9.5. Conclusions Index

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