Why is Nebuchadnezzar assured of a place in history?

       Nebuchadnezzar was the mighty king of the Babylonian Empire between 604 and 562 BC. In 597, Nebuchadnezzar captured Jerusalem. He also defeated the Cimmerians and Scythians. He then put down a rebellion in Jerusalem, and took the inhabitants of Jerusalem as prisoners. He brought them to Babylon, and this period in Biblical history is referred to as the Babylonian captivity.

       The evidence of Nebuchadnezzar’s military successes is seen in his building works in Babylonia. All the great old cities were extensively rebuilt. Most notable was the development of Babylon. He restored old religious monuments, and improved canals, as other Babylonian kings had done. Nebuchadnezzar’s building projects included surrounding his capital city with double wall 16 kilometres long, with an elaborate entry called the Ishtar Gate. He also built a port on the Persian Gulf.

       Nebuchadnezzar will always be remembered for The Hanging Gardens of Babylon, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. According to accounts, the gardens were built to cheer up Nebuchadnezzar’s homesick wife. The gardens did not actually ‘hang’, but consisted of a series of terraces, resting on pillars. They were ingeniously irrigated so as to allow the magnificent plants to grow and flower in spite of the fact that Babylon receives very little rain. Without doubt, they were his most spectacular contribution to posterity.