University of Pittsburgh


ancient Babylon

Fishburn and Hughes: "Greek form of Babel. An ancient city on the Euphrates, first mentioned in a tablet of 3800 BC, famous for its astronomical and astrological practices. From 2250 BC Babylon was the capital of an extensive commercial empire periodically fighting for supremacy with the neighbouring Assyrians. After the fall of Nineveh in 606 BC Nebuchadnezzar II rebuilt the town, fortifying it with towers and a wall which joined the Tigris to the Euphrates. When the western regions of the empire rose in revolt, led by Egypt, Babylon retaliated, destroying Jerusalem and enslaving the Jews. The decay of Babylon began in 500 BC with King Belshazzar, who saw the 'writing on the wall'. It was occupied first by Cyrus of Persia and then by Alexander of Macedon, after whose death in 323 BC it dwindled to a group of villages.
Among the Babylonians all transactions were carried out on clay tablets, many of which survive, along with documentation of their religion, magic and astrology. A complex system of gods involved a hierarchy of priests and many liturgical rites, including the making of horoscopes. A vast legal organisation governed the life of individuals: capital punishment was applied for theft, and the judicial system was based on the Lex Talionis ('an eye for an eye')." (21)

Borges Index: 
El asesino desinteresado Bill Harrigan, Historia universal de la infamia, OC, 317. La lotería en Babilonia, Ficciones, OC, 456-60. Funes el memorioso, Ficciones, OC, 490. Los dos reyes y los dos laberintos, OC, 607. La flor de Coleridge, Otras inquisiciones, OC, 639. Sobre Oscar Wilde, Otras inquisiciones, OC, 692n. El "Biathanatos", Otras inquisiciones, OC, 702. Demonios del judaísmo, El libro de los seres imaginarios, OCC, 613. Haniel, Kafziel, Azriel y Aniel, El libro de los seres imaginarios, OCC, 642. Khumbaba, El libro de los seres imaginarios,OCC, 652. El siglo XVII, Introducción a la literatura inglesa, OCC, 822. Literatura alemana, Literaturas germánicas medievales, OCC, 908. Graves en Deyá, A, 52. Herodoto, BP, 81. El libro de las ruinas, CS, 157. Las mil y una noches, SN, 58. Yo, judío, TR2, 90. Laberintos, TR2, 160. Lepanto, TR2, 176-77. Diálogos del asceta y del rey, TR2, 303.