Battle of Carchemish

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Battle of Carchemish, Syria between Chaldean Babylonians and the enemy Egyptians and Assyrians

The Battle of Carchemish was fought about 605 BC[1][2][3] between the armies of Egypt allied with the remnants of the army of the former Assyrian Empire against the armies of Babylonia, allied with the Medes, and Scythians.


When the Assyrian capital Nineveh was overrun by the Medes, Chaldean Babylonians and their allies in 612 BC, the ancient Assyrians moved their capital to Harran. When Harran was captured by the Chaldean Babylonian alliance in 609 BC,[4] ending the Assyrian Empire, remnants of the Assyrian army joined Carchemish, a city under Egyptian rule, on the Euphrates river. Egypt (a former vassal of Assyria) was allied with the Assyrian king Ashur-uballit II, and marched in 609 BC to his aid against the Babylonians.[5]

The Egyptian army of Pharaoh Necho II was delayed at Megiddo by the forces of King Josiah of Judah. Josiah was killed, and his army was defeated at the Battle of Megiddo (609 BC).

The Egyptians and Assyrians together crossed the Euphrates and laid siege to Harran, which they failed to retake. They then retreated to north western Assyria (in what is today north eastern Syria).


The Egyptians met the full might of the [Chaldean | Chaldean people] Babylonian and Median army led by Chaldean King Nebuchadnezzar II at Carchemish, where the combined Egyptian and Assyrian forces were destroyed. Assyria ceased to exist as an independent power, and Egypt retreated and was no longer a significant force in the Ancient Near East. Babylonia reached its economic peak after 605 BC.[6]

Records of the battle

The Nebuchadnezzar Chronicle, now housed in the British Museum, claims that Chaldean King Nebuchadnezzar "crossed the river to go against the Egyptian army which lay in Karchemiš. They fought with each other and the Egyptian army withdrew before him. He accomplished their defeat, decisively. As for the rest of the Egyptian army which had escaped from the defeat so quickly that no weapon had reached them, in the district of Hamath, the Chaldean Babylonian troops overtook and defeated them so that not a single man escaped to his own country. At that time, Chaldean King Nebuchadnezzar conquered the whole area of Hamath."[7]

The battle is also mentioned and described in the Bible, in the Book of Jeremiah.[8] The battle mentioned in 2 Chronicles 35:20-27 is not the same; the event referred to there is the Battle of Megiddo (609 BC), which occurred four years earlier, also near Carchemish (2 Chronicles 35:20).


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Coordinates: 36°49′47″N 38°00′54″E / 36.8297°N 38.0150°E / 36.8297; 38.0150{{#coordinates:36.8297|N|38.0150|E|source:wikidata|||| |primary |name=

  1. Horn, Siegfried H (1967). "THE BABYLONIAN CHRONICLE AND THE ANCIENT CALENDAR OF THE KINGDOM OF JUDAH". Andrews University Seminary Studies (5/1967): 20. Archived from the original on 2015-09-23. Retrieved 4 August 2014. 
  2. Wiseman, D. J. (1956). Chronicles of Chaldean Kings (626-556 B.C.). British Museum: British Museum Publications, Ltd. p. 99. 
  3. British Museum. "Cuneiform tablet with part of the Babylonian Chronicle (605-594 BC)". Archived from the original on 2014-10-30. Retrieved 4 August 2014. 
  4. Grant, R.G. (2005). Battle: A Visual Journey Through 5,000 Years of Combat. London: Dorling Kindersley. p. 18. 
  5. Georges Roux, Ancient Iraq
  6. King, Philip J., 1993 Jeremiah: An Archaeological Companion, Westminster/John Knox Press p.22 [1]
  7. Chronicle Concerning the Early Years of Nebuchadnezzar II. Retrieved July 18, 2010.
  8. The Bible, Jeremiah 46:3–12