NABONIDUS
(NABU-NA’ID in babylonian; reigned 555–539 B.C.)
   Babylonian king. He was not of royal blood and claimed descent from a scholar and courtier, Nabu-balatsu-iqbi. His mother, Adda’-guppi, had spent many years at the Babylonian court. Her devotion to the moon god Sin was shared by Nabonidus. Nabonidus had been a prominent citizen and an experienced soldier, and he was no longer young when he became king. It is not quite clear under what circumstances he acceded to the throne in the aftermath of assassination of the designated crown prince. In his first regnal years, he had to assert Babylonian authority in southern Anatoliaand Syria, and his campaigns there resulted in rich booty that he used to repair temples throughout the land. He then moved to Arabia, where he set up Babylonian strongholds in an effort to impose control over the nomadic population and the lucrative incense trade. From his headquarters from the oasis city Teima, he was able to direct the project of rebuilding the temple of Sin at Harran. During his absence from Babylon, which was to last some 10 years, his son, Belshazzar, was entrusted with the running of the state. Nabonidus returned to Babylon in c. 543 B.C. and duly celebrated the New Year festival, which had not been performed while he was at Teima. He managed to inaugurate the completed temple at Harran and other building projects, but in 539, his reign came to an end when the Persian king Cyrus II invaded Babylonia. Nabonidus, who had marched to meet his adversary, was beaten in battle near Opis and surrendered. The Persians entered Babylon freely, and Cyrus declared himself king. Nabonidus was moved to Carmania in southern Iran, where he died. He was the last indigenous king of Babylon.

Historical Dictionary of Mesopotamia. . 2012.

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