Among all of the great cities of the ancient world, Babylon has one of the longest and most storied histories. Slowing rising from an insignificant settlement in Bronze Age Mesopotamia, it grew until it became the home of conquerors, scholars, and countless religious figures. Babylon was the primary city in Mesopotamia for most of its history and the capital for three of the greatest dynasties in Mesopotamian civilization: the First Dynasty of Babylon (ca. 1894-1595 BC), the Kassite Dynasty (ca. 1530-1159 BC), and the Neo-Babylonian or Chaldean Dynasty (626-539 BC). Over the millennia, Babylon became known just as much for the wealth that flowed through there as it was for being a seat of power and the headquarters of some of ancient Mesopotamia’s most influential religious cults.
Babylon reached the apex of its power and prestige during the Kassite Dynasty, which also happened to be one of the members of the unofficial “Great Powers” club of the ancient Near Eastern Kingdoms. But almost as quickly as Babylon rose to prominence under the Kassites, it collapsed under successive waves of invaders. The Aramaeans, Elamites, and Assyrians all took part in ravaging Babylon and carrying away it precious statue of the god Marduk on more than one occasion, which vanquished the Kassites from the region and relegated Babylon to hundreds of years of Assyrian rule.