Kings of Mesopotamia were like no other anywhere in the ancient world. They were believed to have descended from gods, but were not revered as gods. Unlike the Egyptians of the same period, the kings in Mesopotamia were thought to have come down from the city of gods.
Mesopotamians did not believe the kings represented any popular godhead of the time even though the kings named themselves as ‘great kings’ or ‘kings of the universe’.
Kings were supposed to look after the people and were considered guardians who laid down certain rules. True to Biblical writings, the kings were regarded as shepherd and many of them were similarly named. God was referred to as the shepherd in the Bible and the kings were supposed to look after the herd or the people in ancient Mesopotamia.
There were many famous kings on record in Mesopotamia. Among the notable kings of the period, Eannatum of Lagash and Sargon of Akkad stand out. Ennatum was the founder of an empire that was short lived and Sargon conquered Mesopotamia and built the first empire that lasted long after its founder was dead and gone. Another king, Hammurabi, was known as the founder of the Babylonian empire.
There were other famous kings also who had ruled ancient Mesopotamia. Tiglath-Pileser III founded the neo-Assyrian empire, which was a notable period in the history of ancient Mesopotamia.
The most powerful king of the neo Babylonian empire was Nebuchadnezzar and he was popularly regarded as a direct descendant of the god Nabu. Mesopotamians regarded him as the son of Nabu. Nebuchadnezzar, through his marriage to the daughter of Cyaxeres, formed a family connection with the Babylonian dynasty.
As he was popularly known as the son of Nabu, Nebuchadnezzar was also regarded as the protector of the crown. The name meant Nabo, which, according to ancient Mesopotamian language, meant a ‘protector’ or guardian of an empire. Kings of Mesopotamia have a long history.
According to available records, Belshedezzar, whose father was Nabonidus and mother, Noctoris, was the last known king of Babylon. Nebuchednezzar was the father of Nictoris.