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Kandalanu was king over Babylonia, with exception of the city of Nippur. His reign began in 648 BC when he was appointed by his overlord King Ashurbanipal of Assyria after the latter had crushed the Babylonian rebellion by Kandalanu’s predecessor, Shamash-shum-ukin.
Because records for this period are imperfect, all authentic records about Kandalanu consist of date formulae and one damaged chronological inscription. In later chronological inscription he is sometimes mentioned but also forgotten, most notably in the Harran inscription that seems to list Babylonian kings of the sixth century. The lack of sources and few information they do give makes it difficult to find out who Kandalanu was. He might have been another son of Esarhaddon or someone of the local elite who stayed loyal to the Assyrians during the rebellion. His name appears to mean some sort of physical deforming, possibly a clubfoot. It’s therefore not unlikely that the king was appointed as some sort of offence to the Babylonians, he might even have been simple minded.
It has been discussed that Kandalanu was the Babylonian name of Ashurbanipal. This is not likely as there is no proven parallel in Assyrian history. Examples as Tiglath-Pileser III (reigning over Babylon as "Pulu") and his son Shalmaneser V (reigning over Babylon as "Ululayu") are not based on authentic and official evidence. The chronological text from the reign of Kandalanu indicates that he ruled Babylon after the death of Ashurbanipal and four years into the reign of his son King Ashur-etil-ilani. After a reign twenty one years, Kandalanu died in 627 BC, and he was succeeded by Nabopolassar after a short interregnum.
- inscription KAV 182 r. 5-7 see also N. Na'aman, ZA 81 1991, p 248-249
- G. Frame, Babylonia 689-627 B.C. p. 303-304
- notable is ‘S. Zwadzki, the Fall of Assyria’ where Zawadzki argues in favour of this and ‘G. Frame, Babylonia 689-627 B.C’ where Frame argues against it.
- Frame, Babylonia 689-627 B.C. p. 303-304
- S. Zawadzki admitted that he was wrong because of this inscription in ZA 85 1995 p. 72
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