Belshazzar and Darius
jww at xs4all.nl
Tue Feb 22 10:13:13 EST 2000
On 22 February 2000, Liz Fried (lizfried at umich.edu) wrote:
>Belshazzar's reference to Nebuchaddnezzar as his
>father is interesting, and I'd never thought of it before.
>Darius in the Gadatas inscription refers (very definitely,
>I think) to Cyrus as his father.
>This suggests that those who preceded you in the
>line of kingship become your "father." Perhaps to
>admit otherwise, or to deny the relationship, would
>imply you have no literal right to the throne.
A reasonable thought, but note also that in many of these cases (such as
Jehu "son of Omri") we may also be dealing with a royal descent which was
established through marriage (i.e. along the female line), either of the
king himself or of his father. In fact, I think we can safely assume that
such a marriage would be a highly desirable source of legitimacy in the
absence of another title to the throne. Usually we have no means of
establishing whether this is so, but in the case of Darius we can be sure of
this, as after his accession he married Cyrus' daughter Atossa. Is there any
systematic survey of this phenomenonin the ANE? I could find none when I
looked for it some time ago.
In the case of the book of Daniel, it may be added that it is unlikely that
the author considered Nebuchadnezzar to be the father of Belshazzar in the
strict sense, as he must at least have been aware of the reign of King
Evilmerodach/Amel-Marduk through 2 Kings 25:27!
>Lisbeth S. Fried
Jan-Wim Wesselius, Hoekenes 26A, 1068 MT Amsterdam
Tel. 020 - 619 1535; fax 020 - 619 1636; e-mail jww at xs4all.nl
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