King Nebuchadnezzar II ruled Babylonia from 605 BC to his death in Babylon in 561 BC. He defeated the Egyptians and Assyrians at Carchemish and gave his father control over Syria. He took over Jerusalem and Judah and built up the city of Babylon. He married Amytis of Media, forming an alliance with the Medes, and it is said he built the Hanging Gardens of Babylon to remind her of Persia.
During his reign King Nebuchadnezzar II seized control of all the trade routes in Mesopotamia, from the Persian Gulf to the Mediterranean.
The Ishtar Gate he had constructed is considered by some writers as one of the wonders of the ancient world. He had slaves build a 56-mile wall around the city. These walls were wide enough to hold chariot races on top of them and encircled an area of 200 square miles.
He experienced a seven-year bout of insanity, the cause of which no one is certain of. By the end of his life, he had created a city renowned for intellectual and artistic pursuits, and women enjoyed equal rights. The citizens of Babylon were able to learn literacy, mathematics and craftsmanship in the many schools. Temples were also abundant, and the people enjoyed religious tolerance and interest.