Nitocris of Babylon
Nitocris of Babylon (c. 550 BC) is an otherwise unknown queen of Babylon described by Herodotus in his Histories. According to Herodotus she was the wife of Nabonidus (Gr. Labynetus) against whose son Cyrus the Great launched an expedition. Dougherty and Beaulieu identify the son as Belshazzar.
She is credited by Herodotus with various building projects in Babylon. She is also said to have tricked Darius I by placing her tomb above a gate so that no Persian could pass below and enter through. According to the account, Darius was lured in by a mysterious inscription that served as a trap for greedy kings.
In the past, various hypotheses have been proposed to link her with one or several known persons:
- Naqi'a, wife of Sanherib, known for building activities
- Adad-happe, the historical mother of Nabonidus, last king of Babylon
- an otherwise unknown wife of Nebuchadnezzar II or a daughter of his. The latter view is the most commonly accepted.
- Dougherty, Raymond Philip (2008). Nabonidus and Belshazzar: A Study of the Closing Events of the Neo-Babylonian Empire. Eugene, Oregon: Wipf and Stock Publishers. pp. 38, 40–42, 65. ISBN 978-1-55635-956-9. Citing Herodotus, The Histories, 1.188
- Cf. Wiseman, D.J. (2004). Nebuchadnezzar and Babylon: The Schweich Lectures. Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 104. ISBN 0-19-726100-0. According to Wiseman, "Nabonidus is known to have been in his self-imposed exile for ten . . . years. Belshazzar was co-regent during his absence".
- Beaulieu, Paul-Alain (1989). The Reign of Nabonidus King of Babylon 556-559 B.C. New Haven and London: Yale University Press. pp. 80, 81. ISBN 0-300-04314-7.
- Notes and Discussions Darius and the Tomb of Nitocris Jstor.org of
- Herodotus, Histories I.185
- Röllig Wolfgang, Nitokris von Babylon, in Beiträge zur Alten Geschichte und deren Nachleben, Festschrift F. Altheim zum 6.10.1968, Berlin, 1969, p 128
- O. E. Ravn, Herodotus' Description of Babylon. Copenhagen 1942, pg. 76.