Ancient Babylonia - Astronomy and the Calendar

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BAB9.gif The observations of the astrologers, which were meticulously recorded on a nightly basis over many centuries, led to accurate predictions of various astronomical phenomena and the correct calculation of the solar and lunar year. The Babylonian calendar was based upon the lunar year but, thanks to the astrologer's knowledge, could be reconciled with the solar year by means of intercalary months.


We owe much of our calendar system to the Babylonians. They were probably the first people after the Sumerians to have a calendar. This calendar was very important because without it agriculture could not be planned properly.

There were twelve lunar months in the year but as the months were shorter than our months often an extra month would have to be added. This was called the second Elul. Each week was divided into seven days. The day was divided into six parts each of two hours duration and containing thirty parts. The Babylonians measured time with a water or sun clock.

One can see from this that the Babylonian calendar has marked similarities with our own: for instance the twelve months in the year and seven days in a week.

The year started at the vernal (spring) equinox. The Babylonians, by the time of Hammurapi had names for each month:

Babylonian
Hebrew
Tashritu
Tishri
Arahsamna
Heshwan
Kislimu
Kislev
Tebetu
Tebet
Sabatu
Shebat
Addaru
Adar
Nisannu
Nisan
Aiaru
Iyyar
Simanu
Siwan
Du'uzu
Tammuz
Abu
Ab
Alulu
Elul
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Ancient Babylonia
Ancient Babylonia
by R. Russell

2 Kin 24:13-14 "And Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon carried out from there all the treasures of the house of the LORD and the treasures of the king's house, and he cut in pieces all the articles of gold which Solomon king of Israel had made in the temple of the LORD, as the LORD had said. Also he carried into captivity all Jerusalem: all the captains and all the mighty men of valor, ten thousand captives, and all the craftsmen and smiths. None remained except the poorest people of the land."

Also see: Ancient Babylonia Map

Fall of Babylon Heart Message

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Glossary

Introduction

History of Babylonia

Old Babylonian Period (2000 - 1595 BC)

The Amorites, Isin and Larsa, Hammurapi of Babylon, Classical Period, The Language, Religion Law Science and the Arts, Babylon, The KassitesThe People of the Sealand, The Hittite Kingdom

Middle Babylonian Period (1595 - 1000 BC)

The Kassite Dynasty, Kadashman-Enlil I and Burnaburiash II, Kurigalzu II, Elam and Assyria, Dur Kurigalzu a New Capital, The Kudurru, Nebuchadnezzar I, The Aramaeans, The Culture

Neo Babylonian Period (1000 - 539 BC)

Assyria, Nabu-nasir, Tiglath pileser III, The Babylonian Chronicles, The Chaldeans, Sennacherib, Ashurbanipal, Nabopolassar, Nebuchadnezzar II, The Fall of Babylon

Literature

Sumerian Origins, Schools of Scribes, Numbering Tablets, Aramaic and Greek, Poetry, Music, Myths, The Gilgamesh Epic, The Babylonian Flood Myth, Biblical Flood, Prayers and Hymns, Wisdom Literature, Prophecy, Cuneiform

Religion

Marduk and his son Nabu, Babylonian Gods, Temples and Rituals, Priests, Personal Idols, Divination, Astrology, Extispicy, The New Year's Festival, Morality, Prayers and Hymns, Prophecy

Law and Justice

Shamash the Sun God, Civil Law, Law Codes, Hammurapi and Retaliation, Code of Hammurapi Text, Legal Disputes, Labor, Criminal Law, Prisons Slaves and Women, Legal Documents

King and State

Monarchy, The King's Palace, The King's Harem, Communication, Roads, Scribes, Nebuchadnezzar II

Economy and Social Structure

Houses and Farms, Irrigation, Artisans, Manufacturing, Trade, Social Hierarchy, Family and Tribe, Domestic Relations, Schools

Science

Scientific Knowledge, Astronomy, The Calendar, Mathematics, Medicine, Nature

Archaeology

Gilgamesh Tablet, The Hammurapi Stele, Ancient Map, Clay Model of a Sheep's Liver, Mathematics Tablet, Sheeps Liver Cuneiform, Seal Impression, Israelite Seal to Pedaiah, Clay Cylinder of Nabopolassar, The Striding Lion, The Ishtar Gate, The Dragon of Marduk, Nebuchadnezzar's Babylon, The Babylonian Chronicles, Basalt Block Inscription, The Ziggurats, Nabonidus Stele, Cyrus Cylinder

Biblical History

David Anoints Solomon, Solomon's Choice, Solomon's Temple, God's Ideal King, The Divided Kingdom, The Northern Kingdom Israel, The Southern Kingdom Judah, Judah's Kings, Hezekiah, The Destruction of Jerusalem, The Babylonian Captivity, Daniel and the Prophets, Nebuchadnezzar, The Return from Babylon

Questions about Babylon Answered in the Bible

Maps

Timelines


© Bible History Online (http://www.bible-history.com)

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