Nabonidus Chronicle (BM)

Nabonidus Chronicle (BM)
Accession number: 
Museum Number 35382
British Museum

Nabonidus Chronicle (BM)

Clay tablet from Babylon in Neo-Babylonian cuneiform, with chronicle of the reign of the last Babylonian king, Nabonidus (555-539 BC). Columns II and III give an extensive contemporary account of the conquests of Cyrus the Great, including the defeat of Astyages of Media (550/549 BC), the conquest of Lydia (547/6 BC), and the fall of Babylon (539 BC).

L. 0.14m; W. 0.15m. British Museum (BM 35382)

Translation: ​M. Brosius, The Persian Empire from Cyrus II to Artaxerxes I (2000), no.11; A. Kuhrt, The Persian Empire: A Corpus of Sources from the Achaemenid Period (2007), pp. 50-53; up-to-date online translation here

See A. Kuhrt, ‘Nabonidus and the Babylonian Priesthood’, in M. Beard & J. North (eds), Pagan Priests (1990) 117-155.

Note that the reference to 'Lydia' (i.e. the fall of Croesus, 547/6 BC) in Column II, line 16, often doubted, now seems certain: see e.g. the first page of R.W. Wallace, 'Redating Croesus', JHS 136 (2016), 168-181