Xenophon, Cyropaedia, Volume II

LCL 52: 456-457

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Appendix II

To make clearer the relations between Xenophon’s kings in Babylon and those of Bible story and the Babylonian inscriptions, the following tables of succession are added (the vertical lines denote sonship):—

NabopolassarΝαβοπαλάσσαροςNabu-apal-usur (625–604 b.c.) (Nabu protect the son)
NebuchadnezzarΝαβουχοδονόσοροςNabu-kuduri-usur (604–561 b.c.) (Nabu protect the boundary)
Evil MerodachἈμιλμαρούδοκοςAmil-Marduk (561–559 b.c.) (Man of Marduk)
Neriglissar1ΝηριγλισσόοροςNergal-shar-usur (559–556 b.c.) (Nergal protect the king)
LabosoarchodΛαβασσοάρασκοςLabashi-Marduk (556 b.c.)
NabonidusΛαβύνητοςNabu-naid (558–538 b.c.) (Nabu is exalted)
BelshazzarΒαλτάσαροςBel-shar-usur (slain 539 or 538 b.c.) (Bel protect the king)

The relationship between Xenophon’s “old king” and “young king” and the historical succession is not clear. His “old king” is slain in the first battle and can, therefore, be neither Nabonidus nor Belshazzar (for both (?)


were in Babylon at its fall), but ought to be Labashi-Marduk. But if Labashi-Marduk were the “old king,” the “young king” would be Nabonidus, and Nabonidus was not the “son” of his predecessor. By the “old king” Xenophon probably means Nabonidus, and by the “young king” Belshazzar, though the chronology is not in order, for Nabonidus was not slain in that earlier battle. There seems to be an inextricable snarl, in any case.

Cyrus’s line, tabulated from his genealogy given by himself on his famous clay cylinder found in the ruins of his palace, from Xenophon’s statements, and from well-known facts of history, is as follows:—

diagram: Zeus Danae Cepheus Deioces Perseus Andromeda (Hdt. I.101-103) Phraortes Achaemenes (Jamshid) Cyaxares (634-584 B.C.) Teispes Astyages (584-550 B.C.) Cyrus I Ariamnes Amytis Mandane Cyaxares (?) Cambyses I Arsamas Cassandane Daughter of Cyaxares Cyrus II Hystaspas (Daughter of Gobryas) (the Great) (558-dagram:529 B.C.) Smerdis (Mardiya) Cambyses II Atossa Darius I (Bardiya) (529-522) (521-486 B.C.) Tanaoxares (?) Xerxes (486-465)

For the sake of further comparison the following striking parallels to Xenophon’s story are added from two official documents of the kings themselves, discovered in the ruins of their palace:—