Babylon Ruins Marines-1-.jpeg

Babylon was a city-state of ancient Mesopotamia, founded around 2300 BC, the remains of which are found in present-day Al Hillah, Babil Province, Iraq, about 85 km (55 mi) south of Baghdad. All that remains of the original ancient famed city of Babylon today is a mound, or tell, of broken mud-brick buildings and debris in the fertile Mesopotamian plain between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, in Iraq. Babylon was a great city between the 19th and 6th centuries BC, during which it was at times the capital of successive empires of Babylonia. In 539 BC, it fell to the Persians, who maintained it as an important city of their empire. In later times, though the land remained populated and had an important place in later civilizations, the center moved to other great cities such as Baghdad, and Babylon fell into ruin, to be re-discovered by archaeologists many centuries later.

Literary note[]

Technically, Babylon refers to a city while Babylonia refers to the larger region in which the city is situated, yet popular culture often uses the terms interchangeably. As neither entity plays a very large role in Harry Turtledove's fiction, they have not been given separate articles.

Babylon in "Before the Beginning"[]

Following the global mass conversion to Judaism, the city of Brussels, Belgium was renamed after ancient Babylonia, a land where the Jews dwelt for a significant part of their history.[1]

Babylon in "Counting Potsherds"[]

Mithredath searched out all documents in Babylon related to the conquest of Yauna by Khsrish I. They proved insufficient to properly honor him, so Mithredath set off to Yauna to find more information.

Babylon in In the Presence of Mine Enemies[]

In the early 21st century, archaeological expeditions were being conducted at ancient Babylonian sites. A news report on one such discovery, relating to King Hammurabi, was so interesting that Lise Gimpel and Willi Dorsch temporarily found it even more exciting than bridge.[2]

Babylon in "Occupation Duty"[]

The ancient city of Babylonia had known many rulers and cultures, and under all of them retained its position as a significant regional power. The latest of these changes was when Babylon was taken over by invading Turkic tribes from central Asia, who eventually took up the militant religion of Sword Buddhism, built up a modern civilization, and became the arch-foes of the Philistinians.[3]


  1. Futureshocks, p. 107.
  2. In the Presence of Mine Enemies, p. 119-121.
  3. See e.g.: Atlantis and Other Places, pg. 240, HC.