, Steph. B. sub voce Strab. xvi. p.738
, Joseph. c. Apion
. 1.20: Eth. Βορσιππηνός
), a town in Babylonia, according to Strabo, but according to Stephanus, a city of the Chaldaeans.
There has been much doubt as to its exact situation, and it has been supposed, from the notice in Stephanus, that it must have been in the southern part of Babylonia.
It is, however, more likely that it was near Babylon, as Berossus states that Nabonnedus (Belshazzar) fled thither, on the capture of Babylon by Cyrus. (Joseph. c. Apion.
1.20; Euseb. Praep. Evang.
There can be little doubt that the Barsita (Βάρσιτα
) of Ptolemy (5.20.6
) represents the same place. Strabo (l.c.
) states that Borsippa was sacred to Apollo and Diana; and that it abounded in a species of bat (νύκτερις
), which, when salted, was used for food.
He mentions also a sect of Chaldaean astronomers who were called Borsippeni, probably because they resided in that town.
According to Justin (12.13
) Alexander, on his return from India, when warned by the Magi not to enter Babylon, retired to Borsippa, then a deserted place.
It has been suspected in modern days that the ancient Borsippa is represented by the celebrated mound of the Birs-i-Nimrúd,
and Mr Rich (Mem. on Babylon,
p. 73) remarks that the word Birs
has no meaning in Arabic (the common language of the country), while these ruins are called by the natives Boursa,
which resembles the Borsippa of Strabo (ibid. p. 79).
He adds, that the Chaldee word, Borsip,
from which the Greeks took their name, is, according to the Talmud, the name of a place in Babel, near the Tower. (Rich, l.c.
) On the black obelisk found by Mr. Layard at Nimrúd,
Col. Raw-linson reads the name Borsippa, where it is mentioned as one of the cities of Shinar, remarking that in his opinion this name is undoubted; as it occurs in every notice of Babylon, from the earliest time to the latest, being written indifferently, Bartsebah, Bartseleh, or Bartsira. (As. Journ.
xii. pt. 2, pp. 436-7.)