An engraving of the fall of Babylon.Licensed from iStockPhoto
Origin: Classical Latin ; from Classical Greek Babylōn ; from Classical Hebrew (language) bavel: see Babel
Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
- A city or place of great luxury, sensuality, and often vice and corruption.
- A place of captivity or exile.
Babylon - Cultural Definition
The capital of the ancient empire of Babylonia, which conquered Israel in the sixth century b.c. The Jews (see also Jews) were exiled to Babylon, which they found luxurious and corrupt. The prophet Daniel became a counselor to the king of Babylon (see the handwriting on the wall), and eventually the Israelites were allowed to return to their homeland. (See also Daniel in the lions' den.)
- A “Babylon” is any place of sin and corruption.