Jinyan Wang

Title: The Rise of the Neo-Babylonian Empire (630-582 BC)

University: University of Toronto

Supervisor: Prof. Paul-Alain Beaulieu


My dissertation will present an historical account of the period 630-582 BC in Mesopotamia. This transitional period involves the struggle and decline of the mighty Neo-Assyrian Empire, and the rise of the Babylonians, who gradually expanded their territorial control and established an imperial administration over the whole Empire. Providing a clear picture of this period is crucial to understanding the later period of Mesopotamian history. I will discuss the changes in Mesopotamian society and the surrounding environment that provided the conditions that led to the collapse of the Assyrian empire and the rise of the Babylonians. The Neo-Babylonian imperial ideology and policies will receive a close examination, providing new insight into Babylonian society.

Five chapters will be included in the dissertation. The first chapter deals with the chronology and history of the late Assyrian empire (630-612 BC). The Neo-Babylonian Empire rose out of the ashes of Assyria, and therefore the fall of Assyria is quite relevant to the topic of my dissertation. The second chapter will investigate the power structure of Babylonia during the reign of Kandalanu (648-627 BC). The initiation and success of the revolt of Nabopolassar is rooted in the social circumstances of Babylonia, which was already formed during the domination of Assyria over the Babylonia. Thus, a study of the policy of Ashurbanipal over Babylonia and the political situation during the reign of Kandalanu is in need. The third chapter will describe the struggle for power in Babylonia (628-620 BC). This is the period from the breaking out of the civil war in Assyria to the final withdrawal of Assyria from Babylonia in 620 BC. The fourth chapter will focus on the elimination of Assyria (620-609 BC). It was a difficult process for the Babylonians to wipe out the power of Assyria, who sought the help of the Egyptians. Finally the fifth chapter will study the imperial construction of the Neo-Babylonian dynasty (609-582 BC). During this period, the Neo-Babylonian Empire took over most of the territory of the previous Assyrian empire, including northern Mesopotamia, Syria and the Levant, and achieved an integrated state with a central royal government.

Keywords: Babylonia, Neo-Babylonian period, power struggle, territorial expansion, royal ideology, imperial organization