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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Babylon was an ancient city in Mesopotamia (modern Iraq), the ruins of which can be found in present-day about 80km south of Baghdad. It was the "holy city" of Babylonia from around 2300 BC.

Babylon has achieved considerable prominence throughout the ages as a symbol and by-word of wealth, luxury, decadence, vice and corruption. The New Testament book of Revelation, for example, mentions the city on several occasions in this role. More recently, the 1959 Kenneth Anger book Hollywood Babylon has characterized the American film industry along the same lines.



In the Bible the term babel interpreted by Genesis 11:9 to mean "confusion", from the verb balal, "to confuse".

Hanging Gardens of Babylon

Babylon was an important city, both politically and aesthetically. The Hanging Gardens of Babylon was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

Babylon in popular culture

Due to the importance of Babylon in its time as well as the stories in the Bible the word "Babylon" in various languages has acquired a generic meaning of a large, bustling diverse city. As such, the word "Babylon" is used for various entertainment events or buildings. For example, sci-fi series Babylon 5 tells a tale of a multi-racial future space station. Babilonas (Lithuanian name for "Babylon") is also a name for a major real estate development in Lithuania.

In Rastafarianism

In reggae music the term Babylon is often used since it is an important concept in the rastafarian belief system, denoting the profane materialistic capitalist world or 'white man's civilization'.


See also

Not to be confused with Babylonia.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Babylon" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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