Babylon, the largest city of ancient Mesopotamia and capital of the Babylonian Empire. Babylon was on the east bank of the Euphrates River in what is now Iraq, just north of modern Hilla. The original name was Bab-ilu ("gate of god"), and a mound on the site is still called Babil. Another spelling of this name is Babel.
To the Hebrews, Babylon was the symbol of oppression and wickedness, yet during and after the Babylonian Captivity (sixth century B.C. ) the city was one of the chief centers of Jewish religion and culture. The Hanging Gardens of Babylon were one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.