Rulers of Babylonia (1157-64 BC)

The table below presents the chronology of the principal rulers of Babylonia from the twelfth to the first centuries BC. Reconstructing an absolute chronology, one that measures the exact chronological distance to present time, is still problematic for ancient Babylonia. Although several different chronologies have been proposed, the dates used here follow those of J.A. Brinkman (in A. Leo Oppenheim, Ancient Mesopotamia: Portrait of a Dead Civilization, Chicago: Chicago University Press, 1977 [revised edition, completed by E. Reiner], pp. 338-341).

Click here [] or on the "Alphabetic List of the Rulers of Babylonia" link to the left to view an alphabetic list of rulers of Babylon.

Second Dynasty of Isin [] (1157-1026 BC)

It is uncertain how the Second Dynasty of Isin gained power and succeeded the Kassite Dynasty in Babylonia; the original seat of power, from the name of the dynasty provided by King List A, may have been Isin, although there is no evidence to support this claim. This dynasty, which lasted one hundred and thirty-two years and six months, comprises eleven kings, some of whom were related to one another.

Marduk-kabit-aḫḫēšu [] (1157-1140 BC)
Itti-Marduk-balāṭu [] (1139-1132 BC)
Ninurta-nādin-šumi [] (1131-1126 BC)
Nebuchadnezzar I [] (1125-1104 BC)
Enlil-nādin-apli [] (1103-1100 BC)
Marduk-nādin-aḫḫē [] (1099-1082 BC)
Marduk-šāpik-zēri [] (1081-1069 BC)
Adad-apla-iddina [] (1068-1047 BC)
Marduk-aḫḫē-erība [] (1046 BC)
Marduk-zēr-[...] [] (1045-1034 BC)
Nabû-šumu-libūr [] (1033-1026 BC)

Second Dynasty of the Sealand [] (1025-1005 BC)

A dynasty of the Sealand comprised three kings, which lasted twenty-one years and five months according to one source and twenty-three years according to another source. The second king was a usurper and the third king may have been a son of the dynasty's founder.

Simbar-Šipak [] (1025-1008 BC)
Ea-mukīn-zēri [] (1008 BC)
Kaššû-nādin-aḫḫē [] (1007-1005 BC)

Bazi Dynasty [] (1004-985 BC)

This dynasty came to power in Babylonia after Kaššû-nādin-aḫḫē died. Its three kings reigned for twenty years and three months. Although the family relationship between the Bazi Dynasty rulers is uncertain, it is possible that the last two rulers may have been brothers.

Eulmaš-šākin-šumi [] (1004-988 BC)
Ninurta-kudurrī-uṣur I [] (987-985 BC)
Širikti-Šuqamuna [] (985 BC)

Elamite Dynasty [] (984-979 BC)

An individual from the land Elam succeeded the last king of the Bazi Dynasty. He is the only ruler attested for the so-called "Elamite Dynasty."

Mār-bīti-apla-uṣur [] (984-979 BC)

Uncertain Dynasties [] (978-626 BC)

After Mār-bīti-apla-uṣur had died, Babylonia was ruled by numerous individuals whose dynastic and/or family affiliation is often unknown or uncertain. Many of the reigns/dynasties in this period, which lasted until Nabopolassar [] gained control over Babylonia and founded a new dynasty, were brief, sometimes lasting only a few months. During the second half of the eighth century and for much of the seventh century, Babylonia was ruled by several kings of Assyria, beginning with Tiglath-pileser III. Moreover, other rulers during these three and a half centuries were Assyrian vassals. Because the dynastic affiliation of the rulers of Babylonia during this time is frequently not clear in extant textual sources, it is current scholarly practice to treat the rulers of this period as a single "dynasty"; in reality, it comprises at least five dynasties, including the so-called "E" Dynasty, the "Baltil" Dynasty, and the "Ḫanigalbat" Dynasty.

Nabû-mukīn-apli [] (978-943 BC)
Ninurta-kudurrī-uṣur II [] (943 BC)
Mār-bīti-aḫḫē-iddina [] (942-? BC)
Šamaš-mudammiq [] (?-? BC)
Nabû-šuma-ukīn I [] (?-? BC)
Nabû-apla-iddina [] (?- ? BC)
Marduk-zākir-šumi I [] (?-? BC)
Marduk-balāssu-iqbi [] (?-813? BC)
Baba-aḫa-iddina [] (812? BC)
Ninurta?-apl?-[...] [] (?-? BC)
Marduk-bēl-[zēri] [] (?-? BC)
Marduk-apla-uṣur [] (?-? BC)
Erība-Marduk [] (?-? BC; E Dynasty)
Nabû-šuma-iškun [] (?-748 BC; E Dynasty)
Nabû-nāṣir [] (747-734 BC; E Dynasty)
Nabû-nādin-zēri [] (733-732 BC; E Dynasty)
Nabû-šuma-ukīn II [] (732 BC; E Dynasty)
Nabû-mukīn-zēri [] (731-729 BC; Šapî Dynasty)
Tiglath-pileser III [] (728-727 BC)
Shalmaneser V [] (726-722 BC; Baltil Dynasty)
Marduk-apla-iddina II [] (721-710 BC and 703 BC; Sealand Dynasty)
Sargon II [] (709-705 BC)
Sennacherib [] (704-703 BC and 688-681 BC; Ḫanigalbat Dynasty)
Marduk-zākir-šumi II [] (703 BC)
Bēl-ibni [] (702-700 BC; E Dynasty)
Aššur-nādin-šumi [] (699-694 BC; Ḫanigalbat Dynasty)
Nergal-ušēzib [] (693 BC)
Mušēzib-Marduk [] (692-689 BC; E Dynasty)
Esarhaddon [] (680-669 BC)
Šamaš-šuma-ukīn [] (667-648 BC)
Kandalānu [] (647-627 BC)
Sîn-šumu-līšir [] (626 BC)
Sîn-šarra-iškun [] (626 BC)
[Note: Although Ashurbanipal [] and Aššur-etel-ilāni [] are known to have sponsored activities in Babylonia, including Babylon, and economic documents were dated according to their reigns, neither Assyrian ruler is included in the various lists of Babylonian rulers [] and, therefore, both kings are excluded from the list above.]

Neo-Babylonian Dynasty [] (625-539 BC)

This dynasty was founded by Nabopolassar [], who after gaining power in Babylonia soundly defeated Assyria and destroyed its principal cities, and thus brought that once-powerful empire to an end as a political entity. Under Nabopolassar []'s successors, especially Nebuchadnezzar II [], Babylon regained its former glory for eighty-six years, until Cyrus II easily captured it from the dynasty's sixth and last ruler, Nabonidus [].

Nabopolassar [] (625–605 BC)
Nebuchadnezzar II [] (604–562 BC)
Amēl-Marduk [] (562–560 BC)
Neriglissar [] (560–556 BC)
Lâbâši-Marduk [] (556 BC)
Nabonidus [] (555-539 BC)

Persian/Achaemenid Empire [] (538-330 BC)

Native rule over Babylonia came to an end when Cyrus II gained control of Babylon. For two hundred and nine years, Persian kings exercised authority over Mesopotamia. The Achaemenid Empire ended when Alexander of Macedon defeated Darius III in the famous battle of Gaugamela (331 BC).

Cyrus II [] (559-530 BC)
Cambyses II (529-522 BC)
Bardiya (Smerdis; 522 BC)
Darius I (521-486 BC)
Xerxes I (485-465 BC)
Artaxerxes I (464-424/3 BC)
Xerxes II (424/3 BC)
Sogdianus (424/3 BC)
Darius II (423-405 BC)
Artaxerxes II (404-359 BC)
Artaxerxes III (358-338 BC)
Artaxerxes IV (337-336 BC)
Darius III (335-330 BC)

Macedonian Rulers (ca. 330-307 BC)

After defeating the Persians at Gaugamela (331 BC), Alexander of Macedon took direct control of all the lands previously held by the Persian Empire, including Babylonia and Egypt.

Alexander III (the Great) (330-323 BC)
Philip Arrhidaeus (323-316 BC)
Alexander IV (316-307 BC)

Seleucid Empire [] (ca. 305-64 BC)

After the death of Alexander on the eleventh of June 323 BC, his empire was divided by his former generals (the Diadochi). In the former eastern provinces, Seleucus I Nicator eventually declared himself king and established a dynasty that lasted until 64 BC; Ptolemy I Soter became satrap of Egypt.

Seleucus I Nicator (305-281 BC)
Antiochus I Soter [] (281-261 BC)
Antiochus II Theos (261-246 BC)
Seleucus II Callinicus (246-226 BC)
Seleucus III Soter (225-223 BC)
Antiochus III (the Great) (223-187 BC)
Seleucus IV Philopator (187-175 BC)
Antiochus IV Epiphanes (175-164 BC)
Antiochus V Eupator (164-162 BC)
Demetrius I Soter (162-150 BC)
Alexander I Balas (150-145 BC)
Demetrius II Nicator (145-139 BC)
Antiochus VI Epiphanes (145-142 BC)
Antiochus VII Sidetes (139-129 BC)
Demetrius II Nicator (129-125 BC)
Alexander II Zabinas (128-123 BC)
Antiochus VIII Grypus (125-96 BC)
Seleucus V Philometor (125 BC)
Antiochus IX Cyzicenus (115-95 BC)
Seleucus VI Epiphanes Nicator (96-95 BC)
Antiochus X Eusebes (95-83 BC)
Demetrius III Eucaerus (95-88 BC)
Antiochus XI Epiphanes Philadelphus (92 BC)
Philip I Philadelphus (92-83 BC)
Antiochus XII Dionysus (87-84 BC)
Antiochus XIII Asiaticus (69-64 BC)
Philip II Philoromaeus (65-64 BC)

Further reading

The following books offer basic introductions into the history of ancient Mesopotamia:

Kuhrt, A., The Ancient Near East c. 3000-330 BC (Routledge History of the Ancient World), London/New York: Routledge, 1995.

Oppenheim, A.L., Ancient Mesopotamia: Portrait of a Dead Civilization, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1977 (revised edition; completed by E. Reiner).

Radner, K., and E. Robson (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Cuneiform Culture, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011.

Roaf, M., Cultural Atlas of Mesopotamia and the Ancient Near East, New York: Facts on File, 1990.

Van De Mieroop, M., A History of the Ancient Near East ca. 3000-323 BC (Blackwell History of the Ancient World), Oxford: Blackwell, 2007 (second edition).

Jamie Novotny

Jamie Novotny, 'Rulers of Babylonia (1157-64 BC)', The Royal Inscriptions of Babylonia online (RIBo) Project, The RIBo Project, a sub-project of MOCCI, 2016 []

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