II. Classical Authorities. - Such a country was naturally fitted to be a pioneer of civilization. Before the decipherment of the cuneiform texts our knowledge of its history, however, was scanty and questionable. Had the native history of Berossus survived, this would not have been the case; all that is known of the Chaldaean historian's work, however, is derived from quotations in Josephus, Ptolemy, Eusebius and the Syncellus. The authenticity of his list of 10 antediluvian kings who reigned for 120 sari or 432,000 years, has been partially confirmed by the inscriptions; but his 8 postdiluvian dynasties are difficult to reconcile with the monuments, and the numbers attached to them are probably corrupt. It is different with the 7th and 8th dynasties as given by Ptolemy in the Almagest, which prove to have been faithfully recorded: -

1. Nabonassar (747 B.C.)

14 years

2. Nadios

2 "

3. Khinziros and Poros (Pul)

5 "

4. Ilulaeos

5 "

5. Mardokempados (Merodach-Baladan)

12 "

6. Arkeanos (Sargon)

5 "

7. Interregnum

2 "

8. Hagisa

1 month

9. Belibos (702 B.C.)

3 years

10. Assaranadios (Assur-nadin-sum)

6 "

11. Rēgebelos

1 year

12. Mesēsimordakos

4 years

13. Interregnum

8 "

14. Asaridinos (Esar-haddon)

13 "

15. Saosdukhinos (Savul-sum-yukin)

20 "

16. Sinēladanos (Assur-bani-pal)

22 "

The account of Babylon given by Herodotus is not that of an eye-witness, and his historical notices are meagre and untrustworthy. He was controverted by Ctesias, who, however, has mistaken mythology for history, and Greek romance owed to him its Ninus and Semiramis, its Ninyas and Sardanapalus. The only ancient authority of value on Babylonian and Assyrian history is the Old Testament.