Origin of BabylonClassical Latin from Classical Greek Babyl?n from Classical Hebrew (language) bavel: see Babel
ancient city on the lower Euphrates River (in what is now central Iraq), the capital of Babylonia: noted for wealth, luxury, and wickedness
The capital of ancient Babylonia in Mesopotamia on the Euphrates River. Established as capital c. 1750 BC and rebuilt in regal splendor by Nebuchadnezzar II after its destruction (c. 689 BC) by the Assyrians, Babylon was the site of the Hanging Gardens, one of the Seven Wonders of the World.
- A city or place of great luxury, sensuality, and often vice and corruption.
- A place of captivity or exile.
- Alexander returns to Babylon, is crowned with much pomp and mass is celebrated.
- Epiphanius (Vitae prophetarum) says that he came up from Babylon while still young, prophesied the return, witnessed the building of the temple and received an honoured burial near the priests.
- Occidental geographers, however, have followed the Greek use, and so to-day we call the river of Babylon or Nahr Sura the Euphrates and the older westerly channel the Hindieh canal.
- Below the bifurcation the river of Babylon was again divided into several streams, and indeed the most famous of all the ancient canals was the Arakhat (Archous of the Greeks and Serrat and Nil of the Arabs), which left that river just above Babylon and ran due east to the Tigris, irrigating all the central part of the Jezireh, and sending down a branch through Nippur and Erech to rejoin the Euphrates a little above the modern Nasrieh.
- The fact also that many of the most ancient of these ruins, like Ur, Lagash (Sirpurla), Larsa, Erech, Nippur, Sippara and Babylon, were situated on the banks of the great canals would indicate that the control of the waters of the rivers by a system of canalization and irrigation was one of the first achievements of civilization.