Naqia of Assyria and Semiramis
Naqia also like Adad-guppi, Nabonidus’ mother
Damien F. Mackey
“In addition to telling us a little of Semiramis, Herodotus narrates a story of a
Babylonian queen called Nitocris. While some have identified this legendary figure with Zakutu (Naqia), the wife of Sennacherib and mother of Esarhaddon,
others have proposed Adad-guppi, the mother of Nabonidus”.
Cambridge Ancient History
That Queen Naqia of Assyria, mother of Esarhaddon (c. 681-669 BC, conventional dating), invites strong comparisons with the legendary Queen Semiramis, has been noted by scholars. And I have discussed some of these perceived likenesses in Part One:
drawing upon examples to be found in, for instance, Dr. Stephanie Dalley’s tremendous book, The Mystery of the Hanging Garden of Babylon (2013).
For example, Dr. Dalley writes:
Here, then, we have a group of material that indicates attachment of Naqia’s deeds to the name ‘Semiramis’. As second wife of Sennacherib, she bears comparison with the historical Sammu-ramat for having her name on inscriptions written during her lifetime, and for supporting publicly first her husband and then her own son, both as kings.
There was every reason, therefore, to conflate the two great queens, two great builders, Naqia would be the wife of the later Assyrian king to whom Diodorus referred when he wrote: ‘the Hanging Garden, as it is called, which was built, not by Semiramis, but by a later Syrian [a Greek reference to Assyrian: Dalley] king …’ His account that ‘Semiramis alongside a Ninus founded ‘Babylon’ on the Euphrates gives details that are applicable to Nineveh: two palaces, technical details of water supply, walls adorned with hunting scenes. ….
[End of quote]
It becomes apparent from Dr. Dalley’s book that some Assyrian advancements and technology were wrongly attributed later (by e.g. the Greco-Romans) to Babylonia – Sennacherib of Assyria commonly being confused by them with Nebuchednezzar.
That is understandable to some extent if I am correct in my proposed collapsing of late neo-Assyria into early neo-Babylonia, and actually identifying Sennacherib of Assyria’s successor, Esarhaddon, with Nebuchednezzar. See e.g. my article:
Esarhaddon a tolerable fit for King Nebuchednezzar
The Cambridge Ancient History (Vol. III, pt. 1, 1982, pp. 243-244) tells, in regard to Nitocris, of scholars being unable to determine if she were meant to represent Naqia or Adad-guppi:
Related to this discussion is the matter of legends about Assyrian and Babylonian individuals which has been preserved in other languages and literatures, in particular the tales told of Semiramis, Nitocris, and Ahiqar. Legends about Semiramis are found in Greece, Armenia, and Persia but the best-known version is that of Ctesias, as preserved in Diodorus. Since the early days of Assyriology it has been widely accepted that the heroine of the tale should be identified with the historical Sammuramat, wife of Shamshi-Adad V and mother of Adad-nirari III …. In addition to telling us a little of Semiramis, Herodotus narrates a story of a Babylonian queen called Nitocris. While some have identified this legendary figure with Zakutu (Naqia), the wife of Sennacherib and mother of Esarhaddon, others have proposed Adad-guppi, the mother of Nabonidus.
[End of quote]
Similarly, Matt Waters in Ctesias’ “Persica” in Its Near Eastern Context (p. 46) ‘ties up’ altogether Semiramis, Naqia and Adad-guppi:
Semiramis’ legends as preserved in Greek traditions have been traced through prominent Assyrian and Babylonian women such as Naqia (also called “Zakutu”), the wife of Sennacherib (r. 705-681) and mother of Esarhaddon (r. 681-669), as well as Nabonidus’ mother, Adad-guppi.
Naqia may herself, in fact, have been a Babylonian: “Naqia was probably born in Babylonia, but her family may have originated in the Harran area”:
That queen Naqia and Adad-guppi would be alike comes as no surprise to me, given that I have already identified Naqia’s son, Esarhaddon (= Nebuchednezzar) with Adad-guppi’s son, Nabonidus (= Nebuchednezzar). See e.g. my article:
Aligning Neo-Babylonia with Book of Daniel. Part Two: Merging late neo-Assyrians with Chaldeans
Nor would it be surprising if Naqia’s “family may have originated in the Harran area”, given
Adad-guppi’s close association with Harran – some think she was born there: “Adad-guppi Princess of Assyria. Date, Place, Source. Born : -, b. 649 BC in Harran”: http://www.american-pictures.com/genealogy/persons/per01964.htm