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Nabonidus

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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.

Sources:
"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.

Examples:
Nabonidus was an early archaeologist who excavated and restored temples.

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