Plate Section


Figure 1 Hammurabi of Babylon (1790–1752 BC) stands before the sun-god Shamash, from the Code of Hammurabi. Musée du Louvre.


Figure 2 Stela of Marduk-apla-iddina II (721–710 BC, 703–702 BC). Vorderasiatisches Museum, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin.


Figure 3 Reconstructed view of sixth-century BC Babylon from the north.

Produced by Herbert Anger based on Robert Koldewey’s excavations, 1927.

The Ishtar Gate appears in the foreground, with the Processional Way leading into the city and the ziggurat Etemenanki, unidentified until the German excavations, appearing in the distance. Beside the Ishtar Gate can be seen the north-western corner of Nebuchadnezzar II’s Southern Palace, including lush greenery in the area Koldewey believed to have been the site of the Hanging Gardens.


Figure 4 The Tower of Babel in the Bedford Hours. Bedford Master (probably Haincelin of Hagenau) and Parisian studio, 1410–30 (this fol. 1430). British Library.


Figure 5 The destruction of Babylon in the Apocalypse of Angers, Nicolas Bataille and Robert Poinçon after designs by Hennequin de Bruges, 1377–82. Château d’Angers, Angers, France.


Figure 6 The story of the doomed lovers Pyramus and Thisbe depicted on a medieval ivory casket. Front panel, from left to right: Aristotle teaching Alexander; Phyllis riding Aristotle; the lion with Thisbe's cloak; death of Pyramus and Thisbe. French, early fourteenth century. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917; The Cloisters Collection, 1988.


Figure 7 Albrecht Dürer, The Whore of Babylon, the Destruction of Babylon, and the Knight Called Faithful and True, c.1496–7. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Rogers Fund, 1918.


Figure 8 Pieter Bruegel the Elder, Tower of Babel, 1563. Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna.


Figure 9 ‘Why the Tower Cannot Reach the Moon’. Conraet Decker after Lievin Cruyl in Athanasius Kircher’s Turris Babel, 1679.


Figure 10 Rembrandt van Rijn, Belshazzar’s Feast, c.1636–8. National Gallery, London.


Figure 11 Plan of the ruins of Babylon. Frontispiece to Claudius Rich, Memoir on the Ruins of Babylon, 1815. The three major mounds are Tell Babil (north, here labelled `Mujelibe'), the Kasr (centre, also known as the ‘Mujelibe’), and Amran (south), with the shrine of Amran ibn `Ali on top. To the south and west of Amran are the modern villages of Djimijma (here `Jumjuma') and Anana, which still border the site today.


Figure 12 Arthur Ackland Hunt, Portrait of Hormuzd Rassam (1826–1910), 1869. The British Museum.


Figure 13 William Blake, Nebuchadnezzar, 1795/c.1805. Tate Britain.


Figure 14 Edwin Long, The Babylonian Marriage Market, 1875. Royal Holloway College, London.


Figure 15 Robert Koldewey at the Babylon expedition house, photographed by Gertrude Bell, March–April 1914. Gertrude Bell Archive, Newcastle University.


Figure 16 Early stages in the excavation of the Ishtar Gate, 1902.


Figure 17 The Lion of Babylon. Possibly seen by Joseph de Beauchamp at the end of the eighteenth century, and certainly by Claudius Rich at the beginning of the nineteenth, the enigmatic statue remained a mystery. (The statue’s identification is difficult because it is unfinished, but it is unlikely to be a Babylonian product.) By Koldewey’s time the lion had acquired a local folklore of its own.


Figure 18 Walter Andrae, set design for Sardanapal, 1907. Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin.


Figure 19 Preparations for Ishtar Gate reconstructions: sorting glazed-brick fragments in Berlin, 1927.


Figure 20 The completed Ishtar Gate reconstructions at the Vorderasiatisches Museum today.


Figure 21 Glazed-brick lion relief from the Processional Way. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Fletcher Fund, 1931.


Figure 22 The colossal Babylon set in D. W. Griffith’s Intolerance, 1916.


Figure 23 Gertrude Bell at Babylon, 1909. Gertrude Bell Archive, Newcastle University.


Figure 24 Excavated ruins of the Northern Palace (left) and 1980s reconstructions at the Southern Palace (right) at Babylon.


Figure 25 Modern brickwork at the Southern Palace reconstructions, with Arabic inscription of Saddam Hussein.


Figure 26 Ceiling mural depicting Iraqi history, from Saddam Hussein’s palace at Babylon.


Figure 27 Hanaa Malallah, The God Marduk, 2008.

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