Nightbringer | The Arthurian Online Encyclopedia


Babilone, Babiloine, Babilonie, Babylone

Babylonia refers to a historical region and state located in ancient Mesopotamia, which is the region between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. The term “Babylonia” is often used to describe the southern part of Mesopotamia, with Babylon as its capital.

The Babylonian Empire, on the east bank of the Euphrates River in what is now central Iraq, was an ancient state in Mesopotamia that emerged as one of the major powers in the region.

The use of the name Babylonia in medieval literature probably refers to Cairo or Egypt.

In the time of Joseph of Arimathea, the kingdom was ruled by Tholomer the Fugitive, an enemy of Evalach (Evelake).

Babylon was ruled in Arthur’s time, according to Geoffrey of Monmouth, by Micipsa, who was an ally of the Roman Procurator Lucius Hiberius.

During the time of Uther, in Wolfram’s Parzival, Babylon was ruled by two brothers – Pompeius and Ipomidon – who made war on the Baruc of BaghdadPerceval’s father Gahmuret was involved in the war.

Heinrich von dem Türlin names Babylon’s king as Laamez, who ruled from Baldac, and Claris et Laris puts King Datois on the throne of Babylon. Datois was an ally of Thereus, Arthur’s Roman enemy.

Babylonia | History

Sumerian and Akkadian Periods | c. 3500-1900 BC
The earliest known civilization in Mesopotamia, the Sumerians, established city-states in the southern part of the region, including the city of Ur. The Akkadians, led by Sargon the Great, conquered Sumeria around 2334 BC, creating the Akkadian Empire. Akkadian became the lingua franca of the region.

Ur Ill and Old Babylonian Periods | c. 2100-1595 BC
The Ur Ill Dynasty, led by Ur-Nammu and his successor Shulgi, saw a period of cultural and economic prosperity. The Old Babylonian period began with the rise of the Amorite dynasty under Hammurabi (1792-1750 BC). Hammurabi is best known for the Code of Hammurabi, a comprehensive set of laws that established legal standards and punishments.

Kassite Rule | c. 1595-1157 BC
The Kassites, a people of uncertain origin, took control of Babylonia after the collapse of the Old Babylonian Dynasty. The Kassite period is marked by stability, but there are limited historical records from this time.

Assyrian and Elamite Invasions | c. 1157-1000 BC
Babylonia faced incursions from the Assyrians and the Elamites during this period, leading to disruptions and changes in leadership.

Neo-Babylonian Empire | c. 626-539 BC
The Neo-Babylonian Empire emerged under the Chaldean dynasty, with Nebuchadnezzar II as a prominent ruler. Nebuchadnezzar II rebuilt Babylon and constructed monumental structures, including the famous Hanging Gardens (though the existence of the gardens is debated). The Neo-Babylonian Empire reached its height in the sixth century BC but fell to the Persian Empire under Cyrus the Great in 539 BC.

Persian Period | c. 539-331 BC
Babylonia became part of the Achaemenid Persian Empire after its conquest by Cyrus the Great. The region continued to be a significant cultural and economic center within the Persian Empire.

Hellenistic and Parthian Periods | c. 331 BC – 224 AD
After the conquests of Alexander the Great, Babylonia came under Hellenistic influence. Subsequently, the Parthians, a Persian dynasty, ruled the region.

Sassanian and Islamic Periods | c. 224 – 651 AD
The Sassanian Empire succeeded the Parthians, and Babylonia continued to be part of the Persian cultural sphere. With the Islamiq conquest in the seventh century, the region’s cultural and political landscape changed.

Abbasid Caliphate and Later Periods
Under the Abbasid Caliphate, Babylonia remained an important center in the Islamic world, particularly in the field of scholarship. Over the centuries, the region experienced changes in political control and economic fortunes.

See also
Baghdad | The Legend of King Arthur
Dahamorth | The Legend of King Arthur

Historia Regum Britanniae | Geoffrey of Monmouth, c. 1138
Parzival | Wolfram von Eschenbach, 1200–1210
Vulgate Estoire del Saint Graal | 1220-1235
Diu Crône | Heinrich von dem Türlin, c. 1230