By Dr Augustine Tirivangana
THE first person blamed for the destruction of the library is none other than Julius Caesar.
In 48 BC, Caesar was pursuing Pompey into Egypt when he was suddenly cut off by an Egyptian fleet at Alexandria.
Greatly outnumbered and in enemy territory, Caesar ordered that ships in the harbour be set on fire.
The fire spread and destroyed the Egyptian fleet.
Unfortunately, it also burned down part of the city – the area where the great library stood.
Caesar wrote of starting the fire in the harbour but neglected to mention the burning of the library.
This is no longer news to serious researchers.
It is now common knowledge, but what is of particular relevance to this presentation is the fact of how African religion was hijacked in a similar fashion. And worse, efforts were then made to systematically obliterate facts of history; that Africa is the true source of civilisation and genius, not barbarism.
If anything, evidence of barbarism and unjustified violence can be traced in the whole story of the Hebrew journeys which leave trails of destruction in the name of a God who has no concern for the national sovereignty of those in the way of the Zionist march.
The history of Judaism and its threat to national securities of other nations is not even veiled in the Bible.
It is told with diabolical pride.
After Moses, Joshua leads through the city of Jericho.
We are told they encircled it seven times and its walls collapsed, killing many inmates and exposing the rest to the wrath of the Hebrews whom they had not even provoked.
Unprovoked aggression is a threat to national security, isn’t it?
Babylonian history is replete with wars – Nebuchadnezzar; the Priests/Kings and wars; Prophets of Israel and prophecies of war (Samuel, Elijah, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Amos etc).
One å victim of Hebrew demonisation is Nebuchadnezzar, the King of Babylon, all because he was too vigilant to resist the Hebrew conquests.
Nebuchadnezzar was the oldest son and successor of Nabopolassar, who delivered Babylon from its dependence on Assyria and laid Nineveh in ruins.
According to Berossus, some years before he became king of Babylon, Babylonian dynasties were united.
There are conflicting accounts of Nitocris of Babylon either being his wife or daughter.
Nabopolassar was intent on annexing the western provinces of Syria from Necho II (who was still hoping to restore Assyrian power) and to this end dispatched his son westward with a large army.
In the ensuing Battle of Carchemish in 605 BCE, the Egyptian army was defeated and driven back and Syria and Phoenicia were brought under the control of Babylon.
Nabopolassar died in August that year and Nebuchadnezzar returned to Babylon to ascend to the throne.
During the last century of Nineveh’s existence, Babylon had been greatly devastated, not only at the hands of Sennacherib and Assurbanipal, but also as a result of her ever renewed rebellions.
Nebuchadnezzar, continuing his father’s work of reconstruction, aimed at making his capital one of the world’s wonders.
Old temples were restored; new edifices of incredible magnificence were erected to the many gods of the Babylonian pantheon (Diodorus of Sicily, 2.95; Herodotus, 1.183).
To complete the royal palace begun by Nabopolassar, nothing was spared, neither ‘cedar-wood, nor bronze, gold, silver, rare and precious stones’; an underground passage and a stone bridge connected the two parts of the city separated by the Euphrates; the city itself was rendered impregnable by the construction of a triple line of walls.
The bridge across the Euphrates is of particular interest, in that it was supported on asphalt-covered brick piers that were streamlined to reduce the upstream resistance to flow and the downstream turbulence that would otherwise undermine the foundations.
Nebuchadnezzar’s construction activity was not confined to the capital; he is credited with the restoration of the Lake of Sippar, the opening of a port on the Persian Gulf and the building of the Mede wall between the Tigris and the Euphrates to protect the country against incursions from the north.
These undertakings required a considerable number of labourers; an inscription at the great temple of Marduk suggests that the labouring force used for his public works was most likely made up of captives brought from various parts of western Asia.
Nebuchadnezzar is credited with the construction of the Hanging Gardens, for his homesick wife Amyitis (or Amytis) to remind her of her homeland, Medis (Media) in Persia.
He is also credited for the construction of the Ishtar Gate, one of the eight gates leading into the city of Babylon.
However, some scholars argue that they may have been constructed by a queen from the Assyrian city, Nineveh, but this is not how he is depicted in the Hebrew Bible.
Nebuchadnezzar is widely known through his portrayal in the Bible, especially the Book of Daniel, as the Bible discusses events of his reign and his conquest of Jerusalem.
The second chapter of Daniel relates an account attributed to the second year of his reign, in which Nebuchadnezzar dreams of a huge image made of various materials (gold, silver, bronze, iron and clay).
The prophet Daniel tells him God’s interpretation that it stands for the rise and fall of world powers, starting with Nebuchadnezzar’s own as the golden head, why? Because he has dared raise a finger against the ‘chosen ones of God’ apparently in defence of his sovereignty.
However, there is overwhelming evidence in the same Bible of his respect and fear of God.
In Daniel Chapter Three, Nebuchadnezzar erects a large idol made of gold for worship during a public ceremony on the plain of Dura.
When three Jews, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah (respectively renamed Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego by their captors, to facilitate their assimilation into Babylonian culture), refuse to take part, he has them cast into a fiery furnace. They are protected by what Nebuchadnezzar describes as ‘the son of God’ (Daniel 3:25) and emerge unscathed, without even the smell of smoke.
Daniel Chapter Four contains an account of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream about an immense tree, which Daniel interprets to mean that Nebuchadnezzar will go insane for seven years because of his pride.
While boasting about his achievements, Nebuchadnezzar is humbled by God.
The king loses his sanity and lives in the wild like an animal for seven years.
After this, his sanity and position are restored and he praises and honours God.