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Posted at Apr 11/2008 11:19AM:
I was hoping that our lectures would get into the last millennium BC and thus to the topic of the Neo-Babylonians and ‘Persians’ before I had to start thinking about my final paper, however I have nevertheless decided to spotlight this exact period. More specifically, I wish to focus on the rule of the Neo-Babylonians until but inclusive in some aspects the arrival or takeover of the Achaemenids, and then Alexander. I wish to explore, particularly, the religion of the Neo-Babylonians and it’s connection or influx into Persian and then, to whatever extent, ancient Greek culture as well. Some possible sub-headings would highlight origins of religion, the deeds of Nebuchadrezzar II, Biblical sources, and Chaldee/the Chaldean dynasty (which were names for the previously Sumerian site of Ur and then a set of Babylonian rulers, respectively). ‘Chaldean’ had been transformed into a social class by the time the Medes arrived, and because of their literacy, knowledge of theology, and ‘magical abilities,’ they were incorporated into the new Persian Empire (which Alexander later ‘incorporated’ into the rest of the world). In Greek, ‘Chaldean’ came to mean astrologer, which leads to the possible connection between the Neo-Babylonian and Greek or Roman theology. Thus, an attempt will be made to form some conclusion as to how the Neo-Babylonians influenced the rest of the world.
1. Roux, Georges. Chapter 23, “The Chaldaean Kings” Ancient Iraq. New York: Penguin Books, 1992. 2. Van De Mieroop, Marc. A History of the Ancient near East Ca. 3000 - 323 Bc. City: Wiley-Blackwell, 2006. Pp. 276-285 3. Bulfinch, Thomas. Bulfinch's Mythology. New York: Laurel, 1959. 4. The Old Testament: Book of Daniel 1.1-5 5. The Old Testament: Book of Jeremiah 25.1-12 6. http://www.achemenet.com/ 7. http://www.orientalisti.net/na_magic.htm