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Sippara (Zimbir in Sumerian, Sippar in Assyro-Babylonian) was an ancient Babylonian city on the east bank of the Euphrates, north of Babylon. It was divided into two quarters, "Sippar of the Sun-god" and "Sippar of the goddess Anunit," the former of which was discovered by Hormuzd Rassam in 1881 at Abu-Habba, 16 miles southeast of Bagdad.

Two other Sippars are mentioned in the inscriptions, one of them being "Sippar of Eden," which must have been an additional quarter of the city. It is possible that one of them should be identified with Agade or Akkad, the capital of the first Semitic Babylonian Empire.

The two Sippars of the Sun-god and Anunit are referred to in the Old Testament as Sepharvaim. A large number of cuneiform tablets and other monuments has been found in the ruins of the temple of the Sun-god which was called E-Babara by the Sumerians, Bit-Un by the Semites. The Chaldaean Noah is said by Berossus to have buried the records of the antediluvian world here--doubtless because the name of Sippar was supposed to be connected with sipru, "a writing"--and according to Abydenus (Fr. 9) Nebuchadrezzar excavated a great reservoir in the neighbourhood. Here too was the Babylonian camp in the reign of Nabonidos, and Pliny (N.H. vi. 30) states that it was the seat of a university.

This entry was originally from the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.