Queen Kashshaya – The eldest daughter of King Nebuchadnezzar II of Babylon




Queen Kashshaya

Queen Kashshaya was the eldest daughter of King Nebuchadnezzar II of Babylon. Historians generally believe that she was queen consort to King Neriglissar of Babylon.[1] While very few facts are known, it is evident that she was a major political player.[2] She owned many estates in Uruk. Her vast wealth and political influence helped shape the events around her.[3] Thus, Queen Kashshaya changed the course of the Chaldean Dynasty forever.[4]

Queen Kashshaya was born in the 6th century B.C.E. Her father was Nebuchadnezzar II. Her mother is unknown. Some historians say that she was Queen Amytis of Media.[5] If this is true, this would make her a relative of King Cyrus the Great, who would one day found the first Persian Empire.[6] Princess Kashshaya had two other known sisters.[7] One of her younger sisters was Princess Ba’u-asitu, who owned a part of an estate in the city of Uruk.[8] The other one was Princess Innin-Etirat.[9] She may have had an unnamed sister.[10] Princess Kashshaya had six known brothers.[11] One of them was Prince Armel-Marduk.

Princess Kashshaya inherited many estates in Uruk.[12] Some of them were crown lands.[13] This made her a wealthy landowner.[14] She also received large quantities of blue wool for garments.[15] A Babylonian document also stated that she freed a slave.[16] Historians generally believe that Princess Kashshaya married Neriglissar, the son of Bel-shum-ishkun (the governor of the Puqudu tribe).[17] Neriglissar also held an important office in Simmagir.[18] This made him a wealthy landowner in Uruk and Sippar.[19] Thus, he was a good match for the eldest of King Nebuchadnezzar II’s daughters.[20] This marriage increased his political influence and wealth.[21] It also paved his way to the throne.[22]

In 562 B.C.E., King Nebuchadnezzar II died. He was succeeded by his son, Amel-Marduk. In 560 B.C.E., King Amel-Marduk reigned for only two years until he was murdered by his brother-in-law, Neriglissar.[23] This left Neriglissar the next King of Babylon.[24] Kashshaya became Queen of Babylon.[25] It is unclear whether Queen Kashshaya produced children with King Neriglissar. Some historians believe that she may have borne Neriglissar an heir named Prince Labashi-Marduk.[26] She may also have given him a daughter named Princess Gigitum, who would later marry Nabu-Shuma-ukin (an influential administrator at the Ediza Temple in Borsippa).[27] 

Queen Kashshaya’s later life is unknown. Her death date remains unrecorded. King Neriglissar of Babylon died in 556 B.C.E. He was succeeded by Labashi-Marduk.[28] He reigned for only a few months until he was succeeded by Nabonidus, the last King of Babylon.[29] In 539 B.C.E., King Nabonidus was overthrown by King Cyrus the Great, who founded the first Persian Empire.[30]

Even though very little information is known about Queen Kashshaya, it is clear that she played a major role during the Chaldean Dynasty.[31] As the eldest daughter of King Nebuchadnezzar II, she enjoyed great wealth and privilege. Queen Kashshaya ran many estates in Uruk and crown lands, which helped keep watch over the city that was not fully loyal to the throne.[32] Her significant political influence helped her husband gain the Babylonian throne. Hopefully, new details about this little-known but fascinating Babylonian queen will emerge in the future.

Sources:

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

Septuagint: Daniel (Vaticanus Version). (1901). United Kingdom: Scriptural Research Institute.

The Cambridge Ancient History: Volume 3 Part 2: The Assyrian and Babylonian Empires and Other States of the Near East, from the Eighth  to the Sixth Centuries. (1992). Boardman, J. , Edwards, I. E. S., Hammond, N. G. L., Sollberger, E., Walker, C. B. F. (Eds.). United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press.


[1] Beaulieu, 1998

[2] Beaulieu, 1998

[3] Beaulieu, 1998

[4] Beaulieu, 1998

[5] Septuagint: Daniel (Vaticanus Version), 1901

[6] Septuagint: Daniel (Vaticanus Version), 1901

[7] Beaulieu, 1998

[8] Beaulieu, 1998

[9] Beaulieu, 1998

[10] Beaulieu, 1998

[11] Boardman, et al., 1992

[12] Beaulieu, 1998

[13] Beaulieu, 1998

[14] Beaulieu, 1998

[15] Beaulieu, 1998

[16] Beaulieu, 1998

[17] Beaulieu, 1998; Boardman, et al., 1992

[18] Beaulieu, 1998

[19] Beaulieu, 1998

[20] Beaulieu, 1998

[21] Beaulieu, 1998

[22] Boardman, et al., 1992

[23] Boardman, et al., 1992

[24] Boardman, et al., 1992

[25] Beaulieu, 1992

[26] Boardman, et al. 1992

[27] Boardman, et al., 1992

[28] Boardman, et al., 1992

[29] Boardman, et al., 1992

[30] Boardman, et al., 1992

[31] Beaulieu, 1998

[32] Beaulieu, 1998






About Lauralee Jacks 174 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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