Babylonian (Civ5)

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Babylonian (Civ5)
Introduced in DLC
Leader Nebuchadnezzar II (Civ5) Nebuchadnezzar II
Unique unit Bowman (Civ5) Bowman (replaces Archer)
Unique building Walls of Babylon (Civ5) Walls of Babylon (replaces Walls)
Ability Ingenuity:
  • Receive free Great Scientist when you discover Writing
  • Earn Great Scientists 50% faster
Starts bias Avoid Tundra (Civ5) Tundra
Language spoken Akkadian
BackArrowGreen Back to the list of civilizations
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The Babylonian people represent a DLC civilization for Civilization V that was released in October 2010.

  • Musical Theme: Hurrian Hymn (A Zaluzi to the Gods; composed by Roland Rizzo)
  • Music Set: Middle Eastern
  • Architecture: Middle Eastern
  • Spy Names: Rim-Sin II, Smerdis, Ilum-ma-ili, Peshgaldaramesh, Ur-zigurumaš, Semiramis, Em, Ishtar, Bilit Taauth, Aruru
  • Preferred Religion: Islam
  • Preferred Ideology: Order


The Babylonians are a scientific civilization, meaning they are geared towards outpacing other civilizations in technological advancements. The free Great Scientist upon the discovery of Writing allows one to construct an Academy improvement very early on in the game. This usually increases the empire's 20xScience5 Science output by a factor of 3, allowing one to take an early lead in technology. This lead becomes hard for the AI players to overcome on all difficulties outside of Immortal and Deity.

Again, thanks to Babylon's unique ability, earning Great Scientists is also faster (and easier). This allows one to keep ahead of every other nation technologically. Try combining this with Rationalism, so that others will never be able to catch up to you in technological development.

What's more, the Babylonians are also very good at defensive combat, particularly in the early game. Their unique replacement for the Archer, the Bowman, as well as their unique early game defensive building, the Walls of Babylon, can make up a great way to defend your cities. Make use of both of these, and you will have a strong defense against enemy attacks.

On the other hand, the rapid technological development also means more buildings will become available earlier. This may prove to be a big problem if not balanced with city 20xProduction5 Production output or the empire-wide 20xGold5 Gold output, so it's advisable to try to either improve your cities' 20xProduction5 Production, or build a strong economy. Many players prefer to focus on economic development, as the Rationalism branch in Gods & Kings grants a perk that makes Trading Posts provide 20xScience5 Science in addition to enhancing 20xGold5 Gold generation.

Civilopedia EntryEdit


The Babylonian Empire was, rather than a new idea, a reinvigoration of the old Sumerian Empire of the city of Ur, which had also occupied the Fertile Crescent in what is today Southern Iraq. Babylonia was formed from a collection of roughly a dozen city-states and was named for its capital city of Babylon. (Pre-empire, the city of Babylon itself was in existence since at least the 24th century BC.)

Terrain and ClimateEdit

Babylon was located in the Fertile Crescent, the incredibly fecund region around the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers, extending west to the Mediterranean and down through modern Israel. The Fertile Crescent not only benefits from the rich soil and irrigation provided by the two ancient rivers, but it also lies at the crossroads of three major landmasses: Africa, Asia, and Europe, meaning it has insects, plants and animals from all three sources. This gives the region a biodiversity unmatched anywhere in the world. This also means that its human inhabitants had a huge variety of plants and animals to experiment with when learning how to farm and herd animals, thus explaining why humans advanced so rapidly in this area.

The Old Babylonian EmpireEdit

Originally a disorganized region, Babylon and Babylonia began to grow as a center for culture, trade, and religion under the rule of Hammurabi in 1728 BC. Hammurabi was the first known ruler of United Babylonia as well as its greatest lawgiver. Hammurabi's Code of Laws specifically listed the acts that were criminal as well as the punishment for each act. Citizens were no longer at the mercy of capricious judges or nobility who could on a whim decide what was and wasn't illegal. So comprehensive was the Babylonian code that little about its laws or governmental system changed in the entirety of the empire's 1,200 years of existence.

Record-keeping and MathematicsEdit

Much like the Sumerian empire from which they were descended, Babylonia was a nation of fanatical record-keepers. Starting with Hammurabi and continuing down until the empire's dissolution at the hands of Cyrus and the great Persian emperors, every financial transaction, every court verdict, every contract, and just about anything that could be written down, was-on clay tablets. With laws pertaining to almost every aspect of daily living a significant amount of data was recorded, and much of this has been uncovered and excavated during the modern era. Researchers have even found several optical devices, similar to magnifying glasses, which were used to allow record keepers to write in smaller cuneiform, in order to fit more information on each clay tablet.

Despite numerous regime changes, education reached exceptional heights among the Babylonians. Technical achievements such as the creation of a base 60, "sexigesimal," system of mathematics, are still used to this day. Sixty seconds per minute, sixty minutes per hour: modern time, is in fact, Babylonian time.

Intermittent Chaos, with Chance of MassacreEdit

After the death of Hammurabi (1750BC), the empire slowly declined in power and influence. Following a Hittite raid which weakened the city, in approximately 1600 BC it was conquered by the Kassites who had emerged from what are now the mountains of Iran. The Kassites controlled Babylonia for 500 years, renaming the city Karanduniash.

In 1234 the Assyrian king Tukulti-Ninurta I temporarily conquered the city but the Kassites eventually reasserted independence, just in time for the Elamites to sack the city in 1158. Then the Babylonians regained control of their city (possibly because the Elamites had stolen everything that any invader might want). By 1124 the Babylonian Nebuchadnezzar I sacked the Elamite city of Susa in revenge for their earlier attack on Babylon. But by 1000 BC, Babylon was once again under pressure from a resurgent Assyria. Babylon remained more or less under Assyrian domination until 627 BC.

The Neo-Babylonian EmpireEdit

In 627 BC, Babylonia successfully revolted once again from Assyrian control. The revolt was led by a new leader, Nabopolassar, who would reign for some twenty years before passing the throne to his more famous son.

Nebuchadnezzar IIEdit

Nabopolassar's son, Nebuchadnezzar II, ruled Babylonia from 605 to 561 BC. He established himself early as a military leader, leading an army under his father in Assyria, and then later an independent command against Egypt, destroying the Egyptian army at Carchemish and gaining Babylonian control of all of Syria.

Nebuchadnezzar was deeply invested in the city of Babylon. During his reign it enjoyed something of a renaissance. Nebuchadnezzar engaged in a variety of city revitalization projects, rebuilding ancient temples and buildings, construction extensive fortification, and so forth. He also created the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. He employed foreign workers for much of the hard labor, which as an additional benefit dramatically increased the city's population. Nebuchadnezzar died in 561 BC. For more on Nebuchadnezzar II, see his Civilopedia entry.

The Fall of BabylonEdit

The leaders following Nebuchadnezzar were lesser men, and within thirty years Babylonian power and prestige were greatly weakened. It is said that when Cyrus II of Persia attacked in 539 BC, the city fell almost without resistance. It remained under Persian control until 331 BC, when it was captured by Alexander the Great, and then to the Seleucid dynasty after Alexander's death. In the period since, Babylon has all but vanished, reduced to mysterious mounds and piles of rubble, waiting for archaeologists to uncover their secrets.


Babylonia played an important role in the development of law throughout the world. The creation of Hammurabi's code of laws, and the zeal with which his successors, both blood –related and not, upheld those laws, demonstrated for all of history how successful and wealthy a nation could become by following an organized system of government. The rest of Babylon's history reminds us that nothing lasts forever, and that even the greatest of empires will someday be nothing more than dust beneath the next empire's chariot wheels. Or tank treads.

Babylonian TriviaEdit

Prior to the construction of the Colossus of Rhodes, the Babylonian Ishtar Gate was considered one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. The 8th gate to the inner city of Babylon, the Ishtar Gate was designed as both an entry and a shrine to the Babylonian goddess Ishtar, who represented sexuality, fertility, and love.

The famed walls of Babylon were at one time also considered amongst the Seven Wonders of the World. The Ancient Greek historian Herodotus recorded that these walls surrounding the city were over 90 m (300 feet) high, 25 m (80 feet) thick, and 90 km (56 miles) long, although his account is dubious in the eyes of modern archaeologists.

List of CitiesEdit

Founding Order City Name Notes
1 Babylon Present-day Hillah, Babil (Babylon) Governorate, Iraq
2 Akkad Present-day location has not yet been determined
3 Dur-Kurigalzu Ancient city in Iraq near Baghdad; abandoned after the fall of the Kassite dynasty
4 Nippur Ancient city located in modern-day Nuffar in Afak, Iraq
5 Borsippa Ancient city in Iraq; destroyed in 484 BCE during a revolt
6 Sippar Ancient city in Iraq; annexed by Babylon
7 Opis Ancient city in Iraq near modern Baghdad; exact location is not known
8 Mari Ancient city in Syria annexed by Babylon and Assyria; abandoned by Roman times
9 Shushan Present-day Shūsh, Khūzestān Province, Iran
10 Eshnunna Ancient city in Iraq; conquered by Babylon
11 Ellasar Could also be Alashyia, destroyed by the "Sea Peoples"
12 Erech Also Uruk; abandoned after Islamic conquest of the region
13 Kutha Ancient city in Iraq
14 Sirpurla Also called Lagash; ancient city in Iraq that eventually became part of Ur
15 Neribtum
16 Ashur Assur, capital of Assyria
17 Nineveh Shared with Assyria, not buildable if they are in the game
18 Nimrud Shared with Assyria, not buildable if they are in the game
19 Arbela Present-day Arbīl, Iraq
20 Nuzi Ancient city in Iraq near Eshnunna
21 Arrapkha Present-day Kirkūk, Iraq
22 Tutub Ancient city in Iraq; part of Eshnunna
23 Shaduppum Ancient ruins in modern Baghdad, Iraq
24 Rapiqum
25 Mashkan Shapir Modern village in Iran on the Iraq border
26 Tuttul Ancient city in northern Syria
27 Ramad A Tell in western Syria
28 Ana Present-day 'Annah, Iraq
29 Haradum Modern Khirbit ed-Diniye in Iraq
30 Agrab A Tell in Iraq near Baghdad
31 Uqair Ancient Islamic fort in Eastern Saudi Arabia
32 Gubba
33 Hafriyat
34 Nagar
35 Shubat Enlil Part of Tell Leilan; sacked by Assyria
36 Urhai Present-day Şanlıurfa, Şanlıurfa Province, Turkey
37 Urkesh A Tell in Northeastern Syria
38 Awan
39 Riblah Ancient city in northern Jerusalem
40 Tayma A large oasis in northern Saudi Arabia often used as a trade hub

Related achievements

Steam achievement By the Waters of Babylon (Civ5)
By the Waters of Babylon
Beat the game on any difficultly setting as Babylon.

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