Amytis of Babylon – The Queen’s Hanging Gardens of Babylon




hanging gardens of babylon
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Amytis of Babylon was Queen consort to King Nebuchadnezzar II. It was said that Queen Amytis was the reason that King Nebuchadnezzar created the famous Hanging Gardens of Babylon.[1] However, it is still unclear if the Hanging Gardens of Babylon existed.[2] As with the existence of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, Queen Amytis still remains elusive. There are very few facts that we know about her.

In circa 630 B.C.E., Queen Amytis of Babylon was born in Ecbatana. Her father was Cyaxares, the King of the Median Empire.[3] Her mother is unknown. Her brother was Astyages, who would become the last King of Media.[4] She was the aunt of Queen Mandana of Anshan and Amytis Shahbanu, the Queen of Persia. Therefore, Queen Amytis of Babylon was the great-aunt of King Cyrus the Great, who later overthrew her Chaldean Dynasty and founded the Achaemenid Dynasty.

King Cyaxares wanted to defeat the Assyrian Empire.[5] In order to destroy the mighty empire, he had to join forces with the Babylonian Empire.[6] He made an alliance with King Nabopolassar of Babylon.[7] Together, they defeated the Assyrian Empire.[8] Shortly after the fall of the Assyrian Empire, King Nabopolassar died in 605 B.C.E. His son, Nebuchadnezzar II, became the next king of Babylon. King Cyaxares offered his daughter, Princess Amytis, to the new king, Nebuchadnezzar II.[9] Because King Nebuchadnezzar II was beginning his reign, he did not want to start a war with the Medes.[10] He accepted the marriage.[11]

In circa 605 B.C.E., Princess Amytis travelled from Ecbatana to Babylon and married King Nebuchadnezzar II. Amytis then became Queen of Babylon.[12] King Nebuchadnezzar II loved her greatly, and she became his favourite wife.[13] According to a famous story, Queen Amytis missed her homeland.[14] King Nebuchadnezzar II wanted to please her.[15] He built the infamous Hanging Gardens of Babylon as a gift for her.[16] The Hanging Gardens of Babylon was known as one of the Seven World Wonders.[17] Some ancient writers, like Diodorus Siculus, claimed to have seen it.[18] However, some modern historians are doubting its existence.[19] Nevertheless, scholars are still searching for the lost Hanging Gardens of Babylon.[20]

Aside from the tale of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, much of Queen Amytis’s story has been lost. It is unclear if Queen Amytis had children with King Nebuchadnezzar II.[21] We do not know if she wielded any political influence on her husband. In circa 565 B.C.E., Queen Amytis died in Babylon. If it was not for the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, Queen Amytis’s name would have been lost to us in history.

Sources:

Beaulieu, P.-A. (1998). Ba’u-asītu and Kaššaya, Daughters of Nebuchadnezzar II. Orientalia67(2), 173–201. http://www.jstor.org/stable/43076387

Campbell, P. (2016). The Story of Civilization: VOLUME I – The Ancient World. United States: TAN Books.

Coren, C. M. (2023). “Hanging Gardens of Babylon”. Salem Press Encyclopedia.

Nardo, D. (2007). “Amytis (Flourished Late Seventh Century B.C.E.)”. Ancient Mesopotamia. NY: Greenhaven Press, p. 27.

Yamauchi, E. (2022). “Cyaxares”. Salem Press Encyclopedia.


[1] Yamauchi, 2022

[2] Coren, 2023

[3] Yamauchi, 2023

[4] Yamauchi, 2023

[5] Yamauchi, 2023

[6] Nardo, 2007

[7] Yamauchi, 2023

[8] Yamauchi, 2023

[9] Yamauchi, 2023

[10] Campbell, 2016

[11] Nardo, 2007

[12] Nardo, 2007

[13] Campbell, 2016

[14] Campbell, 2016

[15] Campbell, 2016

[16] Campbell, 2016

[17] Coren, 2023

[18] Coren, 2023

[19] Coren, 2023

[20] Coren, 2023

[21] Beaulieu, 1998






About Lauralee Jacks 183 Articles
I am a former elementary teacher in Tennessee. I have a bachelor’s degree in Liberal and Civic Studies from St. Mary’s College of California, a master’s in Elementary Education from the University of Phoenix, and a doctorate in Educational Leadership from the College of Saint Mary. Because my family are from East Asia, I have a passion for historical Chinese and Korean television shows. I always wanted to separate fact from fiction in dramas. Writing articles from History of Royal Women gives me a chance to dig deeper and explore these royal women as they might have been in real life. Also, it gives me a chance to look at the history and culture of where my family originated. I love researching East Asian royalty because they rarely get enough attention in the West often being overshadowed by European royalty. I find these royal women to be just as fascinating and their stories deserve to be told. Thus, I am excited to write for History of Royal Women!

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