The Chaldeans (New Babylonians)


††††††††††† When the city of Babylon rose up and took control of Mesopotamia from the Assyrians in 626 BC, the era of the New Babylonians, or Chaldeans, began.Led by their chief Nabopolassar, the Babylonians never again allowed the northern city-states of Mesopotamia have their independence. When Nabopolassar was succeeded by his son, Nebuchadnezzar II, he continued to ensure that the borders of Mesopotamia were safe from outside groups and even expanded the empire to include Phoenicians and Judah. Nebuchadnezzar II held captive the two succeeding kings of Judah, Jehoiachin and Zedekiah, and scattered the people of Judah throughout the empireís vast lasts. With over ten thousand Jewish people from the upper class and crafts trades being removed, this marked the official beginning of the Jewish Exile.

††††††††††† Under the direction of Nebuchadnezzar II, the city of Babylon was rebuilt to become one of the most magnificent cities in the entire Middle East and Mediterranean region. There did, however, remain many cities that were still loyal to the Assyrians.The Babylonian empire was constantly challenged by internal threats.After only five successions, the Chaldeans fell when an Assyrian loyalist king, Nabonidus who angered many of the Babylonian priests by replacing the Assyrian moon-god, Sin, above the Babylonianís main god, Marduk in 555 BC. The Chaldeans, sensing the internal threat, called on the Persian Cyrus the Conqueror to take over, thus ending the Semitic rule of Mesopotamia around 539 BC. Cyrus soon moved the center of the Middle Eastern world to his capital of Susa. The power would shift again when the Greeks took control of the land and again when the Romans defeated the Greeks. For over two hundred years, Babylon stood as the hub of the Middle East, only to fall to the new wave of power and the return of the Indo-Europeans.