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Vol. I, No. 1
Reflections of the Persian Wars
Both Hammurabi and Darius
I are the sixth kings in a line of 11 kings. They conquered large
territories and held the reins of large administrations. In Our
Oriental Heritage, Will Durant states that "Hammurabi and Darius I were
separated by differences of blood and religion, and by almost as many
centuries as those that divide us from Christ; nevertheless, when we examine
the two great kings we perceive that they are essentially and profoundly
This article is a continuation of research into Professor Gunnar Heinsohn's hypothesis
presented in Sumerians and Akkadians Never Existed.
One of the claims Professor Heinsohn makes is that the 11 kings of the First
Babylonian Dynasty are the alter egos of the real 11 kings of the Persian Dynasty.
Having satisfied myself that the stratographical record, as presented by
Heinsohn, shows no clear correlations with conventional chronology, it
seemed proper to go to Mesopotamian history and examine whether or not the
First Babylonian Dynasty was merely a reflection of the real Persian
Dynasty. Using relatively simple source materials, what I discovered was
The method employed was to determine whether the events of the Persian wars that spanned Persian
history, from Darius I to the conquest of Mesopotamia by Alexander the
Great, would be reflected in a comparable series of events spanning the
history of the First Babylonian Dynasty, from Hammurabi to its last king,
Samsuditana. If the same battles were fought in the same chronological
order by the same kings in the same chronological order, and the victories
and defeats were correspondingly alike, I felt that Professor Heinsohn's
theory must have validity. Herodotus' Persian Wars and Arrian's
Anabasis of Alexander are so well known and the probability of finding
another set of kings involved in the same series of conflicts is so highly
improbable that Heinsohn's conclusion could be tested. It is in the
details that the validity of this analysis is found.
Thus, the first question is, Did the Babylonians of the First Dynasty engage in a long
series of wars with a distant, sea-going people? Yes. They did. The
people they fought were known as the Sea Country
people. However, it is claimed that the Sealand was located at the
northern edge of the Persian Gulf, to the southeast of Babylon. What is
the basis for such a claim?
On account of the appellation applied to it, scholars have been disposed to identify the
Sealand with the marshy area north of the Persian Gulf ... The fact that
certain texts are in harmony with such a conclusion has discouraged
endeavor to advance a different view. A lack of concrete data prevents
easy inferences. Geological treatises in cuneiform giving specific
information concerning districts, provinces and countries known at the
time are exceedingly rare. In fact, no such general document entirely
satisfactory in character has been found. Furthermore, the scribe whose
recording stylus left its impress upon soft clay referred to lands in a
very casual manner. There was little attempt to describe their real
extent or to name their precise borders. Ancient cuneiform writers
assumed that those for whom they wrote understood the geographical terms
which they used. There is an additional difficulty in this field of
research. So far as our present knowledge is concerned the history of
the Sealand cannot be based upon records which had their origin in that
country .... Our knowledge of the Sealand depends, therefore, upon texts
which originated in other lands.
But how can the dominant nation of an area exist, as we are told, for six centuries and
not leave a single remnant or document of its existence? This in itself
is unimaginable, and leads to the conclusion that the Sealand must have
had an origin other than that assigned to it by the historians.
Immanuel Velikovsky, in Peoples of the Sea, identified the Sea People as the Greeks.
His identification is based on several lines of inquiry and seems very
well documented. Thus, if the First Babylonian Dynasty is the Persian
Dynasty, it is a reasonable assumption that the Sea Country people are
also the Greeks.
The Sealand "...politically attained ... a broad arena in which its forces developed
and found expression .... [Thus,] it seems necessary to posit a larger
area of activity and wider base of operation for the potency exhibited
by the Sealand."
In order to broaden this area, historians assume that the Sealand people
conquered Arabia. But this is purely ad hoc in that it is needed to
enlarge the range of power and influence of an unknown people's
territory. We are also told that "Sargon of Agade made war on the
Since the Sealand is supposedly part of Mesopotamia, it could not be
separated by both sea and land. In this respect, the translation of the
chronicle of Sargon, which states that "booty of the Westland brought
him by way of the Sealand,"
contains "[t]he words ina-ma-a-ti famtim (Italics mine.) 'by way
of the Sealand,"
[which] match the expression ina ma-a-ti tamtim (Italics mine.)
in the Neo-Babylonian chronicle."
According to Dougherty, Leonard W. King suggests that "(this expression)
may have been used by the cuneiform copyist to mean 'by land and by
If we assume the
booty came by way of land and sea, it could not have come by way of the
northern Persian Gulf. The other problem, if we accept the translation
that booty came by way of the Sealand, is the location of Westland. The
chronicle's version of Sargon's excursion to Westland is:
"The sea of the
setting of the sun he crossed and in the third year in [the land of] the
setting of the sun his hand conquered Sargon [Then he again] crossed the
sea of the setting of the sun, i.e., the Mediterranean Sea. Some take
it to mean that he journeyed as far as the island of Cyprus. Others
hold that it implies only a coastwise traversing of the Mediterranean
Neither interpretation of the chronicle leaves any doubt that Westland lay
somewhere in or along the Mediterranean Sea. Thus, booty sent to Akkad
or Persia had to be transported eastward. But the location of the
Sealand is said to be southwest of Akkad and south of Persia.
Therefore, neither interpretation of the chronicle will permit booty to
come through the Sealand from the west. However, it is also posited
that the Sealand occupied Arabia, and thus booty could have come via the
Mediterranean Sea across the Sealand's territory. Here we run into a
Sargon of Agade made
war on the Sealand and also on the Sumerians, who occupied the same
marshy region at the northern end of the Persian Gulf. In fact, we are
told that he conquered all of Sumer: "To show that he had conquered
Sumer in its totality, he made a symbolic gesture, a gesture which will
later be repeated by other monarchs on other shores; he washed his
weapon in the lower sea, the Persian Gulf."
In order for the Sealand not to be more influential than Sumer during
this early period, we must assume that it was not a powerful state and
thus could not occupy the Arabian peninsula.
Ultimately, if the
Sea Country people are the Greeks, that fact must be exhibited clearly
in the account of the Babylonian conflicts with them. One additional
point: Professor Heinsohn has presented the view that "Hammurabi's
mysterious [far away] provinces Hana [Eshunna] and Subartu [Subartum]
are really Darius I's [far away, northwestern] provinces Yauna and
Sparda, i.e., Ionia and Lydia."
What I suggest instead is that Sparda is a cognate of Sparta,
and that all of the area beyond Ionia in the earliest period was
identified by Persia as the largest and most powerful state on the Greek
mainland--Sparta: "Subar-tu ... in later tradition was regarded as
having ranked with Akkad, Elam, and Amurra as one of the four quarters
of the civilized world...."
Thus, Subartu could be considered the most distant state in the
northwest known to be civilized. This would clearly fit the Greek
mainland. It could not fit Lydia because Ionia (Eshunna) lay beyond it.
RELATIONS OF PERSIA WITH IONIA (YAUNA) & GREECE
RELATIONS OF BABYLONIA WITH ESHUNNA & THE SEALAND
In the year 512, Darius I of Persia crossed the Bosporus and invaded Sythia. Then,
marching westward, he conquered Thrace and Macedonia. As Darius I
conquered Thrace and Macedonia, which we identify as Subartu or
Subartum, we learn that the "32nd year of Hammurabi's reign takes its
name from the great victory won against Eshunna [Ionia] and its allies."
Then, during the next year, "[the 33rd] year-date [records] victories
If, as Heinsohn believes, Subartu is Lydia, it would lie closer to the
east and thus closer to Babylonia or Persia. Therefore, it would have
to be conquered first by an army marching west. But we are told it was
conquered after Ionia and thus could only lie west of Ionia;
therefore, Hammurabi's conquest was like that of Darius I: A taking of
lands in Greece, Ionia first and then mainland territory--Subartum.
Persia exercised its
influence over these distant, conquered territories by imposing annual
payments of tribute; however, it did not exercise its influence over the
whole Hellenic peninsula. "Only one important nation remained outside
this vast system of government and trade, and that was Greece. By 510,
Darius had hardly heard of it outside Ionia. 'The Athenians,' he asked,
'who are they?'"
We assume that the
same condition existed regarding Babylonia's relationship with the
Sealand and are told as much. "The fringe territory [at] the extreme
[of] Babylonia always exhibited a tendency to detach itself from
"The early kings of Babylonia had always been content to leave the
swamp-dwellers [the Sea Country people] to themselves and at most to
exact a nominal recognition of suzerainty."
Thus, Darius I and
Hammurabi held Ionia, Thrace and Macedonia, but not all mainland Greece.
The cause of the Persian wars is well known. The Athenians encouraged Ionia to resist
Persia by stopping payment of tribute. The Babylonians refer to the
leader of the Sealand as King Illumailum. Thus, it is important that he
be dated to reign during the leadership of Hammurabi if he did indeed
spark the Ionian rebellion. His date, in fact, is not accurately
known. "His [Illumailum's] accession has been placed as early as
Hammurabi's [26th] year .... As we have no evidence that Illumailum was
Hammurabi's contemporary, it is safer to place his accession in
My analysis tells me that it was "Illumailum who probably ... headed a
revolt ... and declared his independence of Babylon."
Now, if the Sealand was not directly under Hammurabi's rule as we were
informed, how can a king lead a revolt against a non-existent ruler? A
revolt implies the removal of territory from Babylonian control and
rule. This is indicated by Dougherty: "More Iikelihood may be
attributed to the view that he [Illumailum] actually invaded Babylonia."
Dougherty further states: "There is some evidence that part of Babylonia
was controlled by the First Sealand Dynasty for a time, but it cannot be
demonstrated that the First Sealand Dynasty should be described as
What is implied is that the Sealand, without direct rule, influenced an
area ruled by Babylonia and took it from Babylonian control. This
indicates either an alliance or a war of conquest by the Sealand. An
alliance is clearly what is described, because we are told that the
action was a revolt, not an attack.
DARIUS I'S WAR WITH IONIA &
HAMMURABI'S WAR WITH ESHUNNA & SUBARTUM
against Ionia and reduced it to less than its former position. He then
went on to attack Greece, but was defeated at Marathon.
Although the information regarding Babylonia, in texts substantiating these
circumstances, is both succinct and fragmentary, "there can be no doubt
that a definite but abortive effort was made to bring military disaster
Hammurabi conquered Eshunna (Ionia), and, "the King proclaimed his
victory over Elam, Gutium, Subartum .... The last echo of these distant
campaigns resounded upon the head of the whole mass of enemies up to the
land of Subartum."
Hammurabi fought many battles during this period, as did Darius I. The
battle at Marathon, fought in Greece, was merely one among many. It is
possible that "the end of Hammurabi's reign was clouded by disaster,"
a disaster thought to have been caused by the recovery from defeat of
Hammurabi's enemy, Rim Sin. However, the disaster may also have been
caused by the defeat in Greece.
XERXES & THE GREEKS; SAMSUILUNA & THE SEALAND
Xerxes, the son of Darius, carried on the war against Greece, launching an invasion by land
and sea which culminated in an indeterminate naval battle at Salamis.
In reality, Salamis was a Persian defeat. Even worse defeats were
inflicted upon the Persians a year later at the land battle of Plataea
and the naval battle of Mycale. Xerxes had carefully prepared for this
campaign. When it was over, "Xerxes, Darius' successor, lost
Macedonia.... Cyrenica then broke away and the Persians were driven out
of Thrace and the coastal cities of western Asia Minor."
Thus, Xerxes lost all his land in Greece and Ionia.
"Samsuiluna's answer [to the revolt] was to raise further levies and
lead them against his new foe."
We are also informed that "Samsuiluna twice marched against [Illumailum
of the Sealand], the first time fighting a costly but indecisive battle,
the second time suffering a defeat."
It is well known that, at the Battle of Salamis, "the Persians managed
to extricate a large portion, at least, of their ships from
Themistocles' trap. They abandoned the scene of the battle strewn with
wrecks and floating men, whom the victors clubbed with oars or spitted
like tunny. The slaughter, but probably not the fighting, went on till
It is quite interesting to find that the battle of Samsuiluna against the Sealand
king "was fiercely contested in the very shore of the gulf, for a later
chronicler records that the bodies of the slain were carried off by the
sea; yet it was either indecisive or resulted in the discomfiture of the
What is described appears to be a naval battle fought on the shores of
the gulf. The slain were carried out to sea because they were not
killed on shore, but at sea.
We know that Xerxes retreated after the battle of Salamis. As for Samsuiluna, King states:
"If the Babylonian army [had successfully retreated] in comparative good
that "would have formed a sufficient justification for Samsuiluna's
boast that he ha[d] given the rebellious [Sea]land a lesson."
Like Xerxes, Samsuiluna lost his northern possessions. According to Raymond P.
Dougherty, "indirect evidence [indicates] that this reconstruction is
not imaginary. Cuneiform records seem to demonstrate that Samsuiluna's
suzerainty over certain Babylonian cities ceased long before the time
when he was followed by Abeishu."
These cities were thought to be in the south. However, we are
specifically told by Roux: "At the end of this [Samsuiluna's] disastrous
reign Babylonia was safe and the kingdom amputated of its northern and
Thus, northern territories were also lost.
ARTAXERXES & THE GREEKS; ABEISHU & THE SEALAND
Velikovsky, in Peoples of the Sea, tells us that Artaxerxes inherited the throne
when his father, Xerxes, was assassinated, and, much later, when a local
chief led a revolt in Egypt,
The Athenian fleet of
two hundred triremes sailed up the Nile to help Egypt against the Great
King. At first the [routed] Persian garrison... took refuge in the
citadel of Memphis, but after a few years a new Persian army freed the
beleaguered garrison.... defeated the Athenian fleet, [and left it] high
and dry by diverting the flow of a canal. The Athenians burned their
fleet and retreated to Cyrene.
Thus, the Greeks escaped Artaxerxes' trap.
The Babylonian account describes another expedition, sent by Abeishu, against the
southern rebel (the Sealanders). Abeishu, son and successor of
Samsuiluna, had a 28-year reign "marked by no known external event other
than this spectacular failure, which is related only in the chronicle
During the battle, he sought "to trap Illumailum by damming the Tigris,
but although the earthwork was successful the rival leader escaped."
Hence, these battles are precisely alike. We learn that, in fighting
this battle, Abeishu took the initiative. If the battle was fought in
the South, then Egypt seems to be the proper location for the conflict
and the Tigris is a later interpretation by the scribe.
BOTH PERSIA & BABYLONIA
It is well-known that Alexander accepted Babylonia's surrender, received or took much of its
wealth and, with it, paid his soldiers amply. He also accepted the
Babylonian gods and bowed before their images, restoring, by decree,
their sacred shrines. Hearing of such great magnanimity, the people of
Susa, in Elam, accepted and welcomed Alexander into their city, which he
defended against pillage. His warriors received a share of the 50,000
talents (almost $300,000,000) taken from Darius' treasurer.
Afterwards, Alexander repaid the cities of Ionia the money demanded of
them prior to his campaign.
The chronicle of the fall of Babylonia states that "'men of the Khatti marched against the
land of Akkad'; in other words that Hittites from Uatolia marched down
the Euphrates and invaded Babylonia from the [northwest]."
However, in the footnote to this passage, King informs us: "We may
confidently regard the phrase as referring to the Anatolian Hittites,
whose capital at Boghoz Keui must have been found earlier than
the end of the [15th] century."
(Emphasis added.) King's identification of the Hittites, then, is
There is a further problem with the chronicle. The cuneiform sign for against is
(ana), but the sign on the tablet is different. Some claim this as a
scribal misspelling of against.
But, even in the Chicago Assyrian Dictionary, ana is defined
as a preposition meaning "to, for, up to, toward, against, upon."
Thus, the interpretation may be questionable. The very next statement
in the chronicle reports that "Ea Gamil, King of the Country of the Sea,
[set out] against Elam."
Thus, I conjecture the passage should read that "men from the direction
of Khatti marched upon the land of Akkad. Ea Gamil, their king of the
Sea Country, afterwards set out against the land of Elam."
King makes it clear that
the chronicle does
not record the result of the invasion. But we may probably connect it
with the fact that the Kassite king Agum Ka Krime brought back to
Babylon, from Khami... on the middle Euphrates, the cult images of
Marduk and Sarpanitum and installed them once more with pomp and
ceremony within their shrine in E-sagila.
This quite resembles
the action taken by Alexander. One may well suspect confusion by the
scribe, because the Hittites, exactly like Alexander, took their "booty
[and] ... for some obscure reason left [some of it] behind at Hana
Also, as in the story of Alexander, we are told that "Southern Babylonia
may also have suffered in the raid."
The Hittites at that time were supposedly a semi-barbarous people. It
is implied that they shared the same gods as the Babylonians and, while
looting the city, honored its gods. Then they retreated to their own
land but left booty in a land with which they had no relationship or
alliance. What is most striking is that Samsuditana, the last
Babylonian king, "may have fallen in defense of his own capital."
Although some of the names are different in the chronicle, the actions
taken are exactly alike. We believe that this number of similarities
cannot exist by coincidence.
AFTER THE FALLS OF PERSIA &
One of the major phenomena of history is the imposition of Greek civilization on the Near
East. After Alexander's death, Greek dynasties were established and
ruled by his generals. Greek culture thrived. The change was swift and
far-reaching. Thus, under Heinsohn's reconstruction of Mesopotamian
history, we would expect to find a flourishing artistic culture and a
new, stable government from the Sealand replacing the destroyed
Babylonian administration. In his review of Babylonian history, King
states that other local kingdoms arose after Babylon's transient
disappearance as a political force, but that there is no recorded trace
of them, and that our only certainty lies in the continued succession of
the Sea Country kings:
[About] one of these
rulers, Gulkishar, reference is made upon a boundary stone in the [12th]
century, drawn up in the reign of Enlil-nadin-apli, an early king of the
Fourth Dynasty. On it is ... the title of 'King of the Sea Country,"
which is also the late chronicler's designation for E-gamil, the last
member of the dynasty [according to] the account he has left for us of
the Kassite invasion. Such evidence seems to show that the
administrative centre of their rule was established at those periods in
the south; but the inclusion of the dynasty in the King's List is best
explained on the assumption that at least some of its latter members
imposed their suzerainty over a wide area .... They were evidently
the only stable line of rulers in a period after the most
powerful administration the country had yet known had been
There is additional evidence that the rule of the Sea Country was actually the rule of
Hellenistic Greece over Babylonia. Historians have found that the
evidence indicating a sudden change in Mesopotamia--the development of a
flourishing art--is found in a cuneiform tablet "inscribed with secret
recipes for making ... various kinds of glass, each bearing a trade
The glass-making technique was so advanced as to be a cherished mystery
among glass makers, and so cryptic information was passed down in a
language only decipherable to workers in the trade. The precise date of
the tablet is unknown, but "it would seem to be about a century earlier
than the earliest glass vessels in Egypt, which appear under the rule of
Thus, this tablet is ascribed to the rule of Gulkishar, a Sealand king.
The major problem with this comparison of Persian and Babylonian history lies not with the order
and nature of events, but with certain names associated with the events.
The chronological events of the wars are stunningly parallel. The questions
are, Why does Abeishu trap the Sealanders by damming the Tigris, while
Artaxerxes traps the Greeks by diverting the Nile? Why does the Hittite
king, or possibly the Sealand king, do exactly the same things as does
Alexander? Both apparently invade from the northwest, both conquer, both
honor and restore certain forms of religious worship, both go south to Elam,
both leave booty in Ionia; at the last battle, or shortly thereafter, the
opposing king dies. The implication is that these actions were carried out
by the Sealand king. Velikovsky wrote about the coincidence of events in
Ages in Chaos:
The biblical story of the
last plague has a distinctly supernatural quality in that all the firstborn
and only the firstborn were killed on the night of the plagues. An
earthquake that destroys only the firstborn is inconceivable because events
can never attain that degree of coincidence. No credit should be given to
such a record.
I paraphrase this view as follows: The Babylonian wars against the Sea Country show a distinct
parallel with the events of the Persian wars against the Greeks in that all
the battles are fought in a parallel chronological order by the same kings,
in a parallel chronological order; and all the defeats and victories
correspond with each other. A series of events supposedly separated by a
long period of time can never attain that degree of corresponding
coincidence. Therefore, credit should be given to the view that the Persian
wars against the Greeks are the same wars fought by the First Babylonian
Dynasty against the Sealand.
Will Durant, Our Oriental Heritage (New York, 19.54), p. 291.
Charles Ginenthal, "The Sargonid Mirror," privately circulated paper
Gunnar Heinsohn, Sumerians and Akkadians Never Existed
(University of Bremen, 1986).
Raymond P. Dougherty, The Sealand of Ancient Arabia, Yale
Oriental Researches Series, Vol. XIX; Leonard W. King (A), A
History of Babilonia (London, 1919).
Dougherty. op. cit., pp. 1-2.
Immanuel Velikovsky (A), Peoples of the Sea (New York, 1977).
Dougherty, op. cit., p. 24.
Dougherty, Ibid., p. 26.
Ibid., P. 6.
Ibid., pp. 5-6.
Ibid., pp. 5-6.
George Roux, Ancient Iraq (New York, 1964), pp. 128-129.
Heinsohn, op. cit., p. 64.
Leonard W. King (B), A History of Babylonia and Assyria, 2
vols. (New York, 1915), Vol. II, pp. 139-140.
Cambridge Ancient History [henceforth CAH, 3rd ed.
(Cambridge, 1973), Vol. II: Pt. 1, p. 15.
Ibid, p. 182.
Durant, loc. cit.
King (A), op. cit, p. 200.
King (B), op. cit., p. 201.
King (A), op. cit., p. 105.
Ibid., p. 199.
Dougherty, op. cit., p. 20.
Ibid, p. 23.
Ibid, p. 20.
CAH, op. cit., p. 183.
Leonard W. King (C), Studies in Eastern History 2 (London,
The Columbia History of the World [henceforth CHM (New York,
1986), p. 167.
King (A), loc. cit.
CAH, op. cit., p. 222.
CAH, Vol. IV (Cambridge, 1930), p. 312.
King (A), op. cit., p. 197.
Ibid., p. 20.
Dougherty, op. cit., p. 21.
Roux op. cit., p. 199.
Velikovsky, op. cit., p. 21.
CAH, (Cambridge, 1973), p. 223.
King (A), op. cit, p. 210.
King (C), op. cit., p. 22.
Chicago Assyrian Dictionary [henceforth CAD] 23 vols.
(Chicago, 1968), Vol. 1: Pt. 2, p. 100.
King (C), loc. cit.
King (A), loc. cit.
Roux, op. cit., p. 201.
King (A), op. cit., p. 211.
King (A), op. cit., p. 212.
CAH, op. cit., p. 226.
Immanuel Velikovsky (B), Ages in Chaos (New York, 1952), p.