600 BC - 600 BC

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Belshazzar (Babylonian cuneiform: Bēl-šar-uṣur, meaning "Bel, protect the king"; Hebrew: בֵּלְשַׁאצַּר‎ Bēlšaʾṣṣar) was the son and crown prince of Nabonidus (r. 556–539 BC), the last king of the Neo-Babylonian Empire. Through his mother, he might have been a grandson of Nebuchadnezzar II (r. 605–562 BC), though this is not certain and the claims to kinship with Nebuchadnezzar may have originated from royal propaganda. Belshazzar played a pivotal role in the coup d'état that overthrew the king Labashi-Marduk (r. 556 BC) and brought Nabonidus to power in 556 BC. Since Belshazzar was the main beneficiary of the coup, through confiscating and inheriting Labashi-Marduk's estates and wealth, it is likely that he was the chief orchestrator. Read more on Wikipedia

Since 2007, the English Wikipedia page of Belshazzar has received more than 1,174,800 page views. His biography is available in 41 different languages on Wikipedia (up from 39 in 2019). Belshazzar is the 356th most popular religious figure (down from 260th in 2019), the 30th most popular biography from Iraq (down from 22nd in 2019) and the 8th most popular Iraqi Religious Figure.

Belshazzar is most famous for the story of the writing on the wall, which is told in the Bible's book of Daniel. In this story, a Babylonian king named Belshazzar throws a feast and drinks from the cups of gold and silver that his father had taken from the temple in Jerusalem. He then sees a hand writing on the wall, and is so terrified that he falls down dead.

Memorability Metrics

  • 1.2M

    Page Views (PV)

  • 70.10

    Historical Popularity Index (HPI)

  • 41

    Languages Editions (L)

  • 8.72

    Effective Languages (L*)

  • 2.78

    Coefficient of Variation (CV)


Among religious figures, Belshazzar ranks 356 out of 3,187Before him are Guru Nanak, Pope John XI, Pope Benedict IX, Pope Silverius, Pope Innocent IV, and Caiaphas. After him are Umm Salama, Sarah Baartman, Photios I of Constantinople, Philip Neri, Pope Leo VII, and Sathya Sai Baba.

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Among people born in 600 BC, Belshazzar ranks 12Before him are Ānanda, Servius Tullius, Peisistratos, Hippasus, Yaśodharā, and Cambyses I. After him are Alexander I of Macedon, Polycrates, Maya, Pheidippides, Bias of Priene, and Mardonius. Among people deceased in 600 BC, Belshazzar ranks 5Before him are Laozi, Tomyris, Draco, and Habakkuk. After him are Astyages, Maya, Theano, Anacharsis, Epimenides, Phalaris, and Ibycus.

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In Iraq

Among people born in Iraq, Belshazzar ranks 30 out of 384Before him are Khosrow II (570), Fuzûlî (1494), Al-Ma'mun (786), Muhammad al-Mahdi (869), Jalal Talabani (1933), and Ismail al-Jazari (1136). After him are Al-Ash'ari (873), Gudea (-2200), Möngke Khan (1209), Al-Mu'tasim (796), Ahmad ibn Fadlan (900), and Enheduanna (-2300).

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Among religious figures born in Iraq, Belshazzar ranks 8Before him are Sarah (-1803), Abu Hanifa (698), Mani (216), Rabia of Basra (710), Ezra (-500), and Muhammad al-Mahdi (869). After him are Eber (-2038), Junayd of Baghdad (830), Ibn Hisham (701), Hillel the Elder (-110), Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah (1935), and Nahor, son of Serug (-1912).