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N


Naasens. See Ophites.

Nabo or Nebo (133; Sept., Na)3oC), a town men- tioned in several passages of the Old Testament, v. g., Nmn., xxxii, 3; Jer., xlviii, 1, 22; I Par., v, 8; Is., XV, 2, etc. In Numbers, xxxii, 3, it is mentioned be- tween Saban and Beon, the latter being an abbrevia- tion of Baalmeon. In the same chapter, verse 3S, it is again mentioned between Cariathaim and Baal- meon, and it is found associated with the same names on the Mi'.^a Stone (line 14). These and other indi- cations go to show that the town was situated in the vicinity of Mt. Nebo, but the precise location cannot be fletermined. It belonged to the rich pasture lands which the tribes of Ruben and Gad asked of Moses in the distribution of the territory (Num., xxxii). The town had reverted to the Moabites at the time when Isaias projihesied against it (Is., xv, 2; cf. .ler., xlviii, I, 22). Mesa (lines 14-18) boasts of having taken it from the Israelites. According to St. Jerome (Com- ment, in Is., x-v, 2, in P. L., XXlV, 168), the sanctuary of the idol Chemosh was in Nabo.

Lege.n-dbe in ViootTHoux. Diaionnaire de la Bible, a. v.; Ben- nett in Hastings, Dictionary of the Bible, s. v. Nebo: EusEBlua, Onomasticon, s. v.; St. Jerome. De situ ct nominibus, s. v

James F. Driscoll.

Nabor and Felix, S.\ints, martjTs during the persecution of Diocletian (303). The relics of these holy witnesses to the faith rest in Milan, where a church has been erected over their tomb. St. Ambrose extolled the virtues of these two martyrs. In later times, legendary Acts of these saints have appeared, which are imitated from Acts of other martyrs (Victor, Firmu-s, and Rusticus). .\ccording to these legends, which are without histoi-ical value, Nabor and Felix were soldiers in the army of Maximian Herculeus, and were condemned to death in Milan and beheaded in Lodi. Their feast is celebrated on 12 July.

M0.MBRITIUS. Sniirtuarium, II, fol. 1.58-1.50; Aria SS.. July, III, 291-294; Analecta Bollandiana, XXV i P'n,; ,;i,i -,, , H,bU- otheca haffiographica latina, 11, S79; Allaud. /i ^rsecu-

<ion», IV (Paris. 1890), 416; SAVlo,Z)io;cu».,' , . 1/ '.„..an- Uriori a S. Ambrogio in Nuovo Bull, di arch, rr, ■ I ^'ir, , i i,,i sqq. J. P. KiRSCU.

Nabuchodonosor.— The Babylonian form of the name is Nabu-kudurri-usur, the second part of which is variously interpreted ("ONebo, defend my crown ", or "tiara", "empire", "landmark", "work"). The original ha-s been more or less defaced in the Hebrew, Greek, and Latin transhterations, from which are derived the modern English forms, Nabuchodono- sor, Nebuchadnezzar, and Nebuchadrezzar. On the whole, Xabuchodono.sor appears to be nearer to the original Babylonian pronunciation than Nebuchadrez- zar and especially Nebuchadnezzar (A. V., Ezra, ii, 1) taken from the Massoretic transliteration, and would be .still nearer if the "r" were restored to the second element where "n" has crept in. Two kings of this name are known to have ruled over Babylon.

NAnccHODONosoR I fc. 11.52-1124), is the most famous monarch of the dynasty of Pashi or Isin. A prince of untiring energy,' he led to victory the Chal- dean armies ea.st and west, against the Lu'lubi, Elam, and Syria, and although twice defeated by the As- syrian king, Ashshur-re.sh-i.shi, succeeded in arresting for a time the decay of the first Babylonian Empire (see Babylonia, II, 183).

Nabuchodonosor II is often mentioned in various parts of Holy Writ, and will claim our especial atten-


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tion here. He was the oldest son of Nabopolassar, the Chaldean restorer of Babylonian independence. His long reign of forty-three years (c. 60.5-562 B. c.) marks the zenith of the grandeur reached by the short- lived second Babylonian Empire (62.5-.538). Al- though we possess long inscriptions of Nabuchodono- sor, yet as these deal chiefly with the account of his architectural undertakings, our knowledge of his his- tory is incomplete, and we have to rely for informa- tion mostly on the Bible, Berosus, and Greek histo- rians. Of the wars he waged either before or after his coming to his father's throne, nothing need be said here: their recital can be read in this Encyclopedia, II, 183-84; only let it be remarked that after the Cimme- rians and Scythians were definitively crushed, all his expeditions were directed westwards, although a pow- erful neighbour lay to the North; the cause of this was that a wise political marriage with Amuhia, the daugh- ter of the Median king, had insured a lasting peace be- tween the two empires.

Nabuchodonosor seems to have prided himself on his constructions more than on his victories. During the last century of Ninive's existence Babylon had been greatly devastated, not only at the hands of Sen- nacherib and Assurbanipal, but also as a result of her ever renewed rebellions. Nabuchodonosor, continu- ing his father's work of reconstruction, aimed at making his capital one of the world's wonders. Old temples were restored; new edifices of incredible mag- nificence (Diodor. of Sicily, II, 95; Herodot., I, 183) were erected to the many gods of the Babylonian pan- theon; to complete the royal palace begun by Nabo- polassar, nothing was spared, neither "cedar-wood, nor bronze, gold, silver, rare and precious stones"; an underground passage and a stone bridge connected the two parts of the city separated by the Euphrates; the city itself was rendered impregnable by the con- struction of a triple line of walls. Nor was Nabucho- donosor's activity confined to the capital; he is cred- ited with the restoration of the Lake of Sippar.the opening of a port on the Persian Gulf, and the building of the famous Median wall between the Tigris and the Euphrates to protect the country against incursions from the North: in fact, there is scarcely a place around Babylon where his name does not appear and where traces of his activity are not found. These gigantic undertakings required an innumerable host of workmen : from the inscription of the great temple of Marduk (Meissner, "Assyr. Studien", II, in "Mit- teil. der Vorderas. Ges.", 1904, III), we may infer that most probably captives brought from various parts of Western Asia made up a large part of the labouring force used in all his public works.

From Nabuchodonosor's inscriptions and from the number of temples erected or restored by this prince we gather that he was a very devout man. What we know of his history shows him to have been of a hu- mane disposition, in striking contrast with the wanton cruelty of most of the iron-souled /\.ssyrian rulers. It was owing to this moderation that Jerusalem waa spared repeatedly, and (inally destroyed only when its destruction became a jKilitical nci'cs.sity ; rebel princes easily obtained pardon, and Sedecius himself, whose ungratefulness to the Babylonian king was particu- larly odious, would, had he manifested less stubborn- ness, have been treated with greater indulgence (Jer., xxxviii, 17, IS); Njibuchodonosor showed much con- sideration to Jeremias, leaving him free to accompany