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Definition: Nabonidus was the last Neo-Babylonian king. He ruled Babylonia from 555-539 B.C., when Babylon fell to Cyrus and the Persians. Nabonidus worshiped the moon god Nanna/Sin, since his mother was a priestess of the moon god. However, Nabonidus' religious preference was unpopular. He set up one of his daughters, Belshalti-Nannar, as high priestess of the moon god, as Sargon had done before him with his daughter, Enheduanna.

Doing a disappearing act worthy of Roman Emperor Tiberius when he went into self-imposed exile in Capri and allowed Sejanus to control Rome, King Nabonidus moved his capital to Teima, in Arabia. This was a caravan station in the trade network, with a sanctuary to the moon god. While he was out of Mesopotamia, Nabonidus let his eldest son, Belshazzer (mentioned in the Book of Daniel), rule Babylon as co-regent for 10 years. Nabonidus returned to Babylon in 539. He was soon captured and exiled by the Persians.

"King Nabonidus and the Missing Link City," by Emily Davis. The Science News-Letter, Vol. 19, No. 511 (Jan. 24, 1931), pp. 54-55+58.
Civilizations of Ancient Iraq, by Benjamin R. Foster and Karen Polinger Foster. Princeton University Press: 2009.

Nabonidus was an early archaeologist who excavated and restored temples.

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