Babylon was the capital of Babylonia in the 2nd and 1st millennia BC. In antiquity the city profited from its location extending across the main overland trade route connecting the Persian Gulf and the Mediterranean. Nabopolassar started the Neo-Babylonian dynasty, and his son Nebuchadnezzar II expanded the kingdom until it became an empire occupying much of southwest Asia. The imperial capital at Babylon was changed with new shrines and castle buildings, extensive strengthened walls and gates, and paved procedural ways; it was at that time the largest city of the known world, covering greater than 1,000 hectares.

The Neo-Babylonian Empire was of short duration. In 539 BC, Cyrus the Great captured Babylon and incorporated Babylonia into the newly created Persian Empire. Under the Persians, Babylon for a time served as the bona-fide residents of the crown prince, until an uprising in 482 led Xerxes I to raze the temples and ziggurat (temple tower) and to melt down the statue of the patron god Marduk.

Alexander the Great captured the city in 330 BC and planned to rebuild it and make it the capital of his vast empire, but he perished before he could accomplish his goals. After 312 BC, Babylon was for a while used as a capital by the Seleucid dynasty set up by Alexanderís descendants. When the new capital of Seleucia on the Tigris was founded in the early 3rd century BC, however, most of Babylonís population was moved there. The temples continued in use for some time, but the city became insignificant and almost vanished before the coming of Islam in the 7th century AD.

Posted 2011-01-29 and updated on Jun 08, 2011 12:34pm by crisd

 Jun 08, 2011 12:34pmIn awe of that answer! Ralely cool! by Kalyn
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