John Nielsen

John Nielsen

Associate Professor

    Bradley Hall 336D
    (309) 677-2401


Ph.D., Ancient Near Eastern History, University of Chicago
M.A., Ancient Near Eastern History, University of Chicago
B.A., History, Augsburg College


John Nielsen has been at Bradley since 2014, having previously been on the faculty at Loyola University of New Orleans. At Bradley he has offered courses on Greek and Roman history, the pre-Islamic and modern Middle East, early and later Western Civilization, African history, pre-modern and modern World History, and Digital Humanities. In 2021 he was Visiting Senior Lecturer in Assyriology at Uppsala University in Sweden.

John’s research interests focus on the social and economic history of Babylonia in the first millennium B.C. from the Neo-Assyrian to Hellenistic periods. He is the author of three monographs and several peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters. During his time at Bradley, he has received the Stein-Fuller Notable Publication Award (2018) and the Claire Etaugh Teaching Award (2023) from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and has received the University’s Caterpillar Inc. Faculty Achievement Award for Scholarship (2018).


  • CIV 101 Western Civilization to 1600
  • HIS 206 Non-Western Civilization: The Middle East since Muhammad
  • HIS 322 Ancient Egypt and the Near East
  • HIS 323 Ancient Greece and the Hellenistic World
  • HIS 325 Roman Civilization
  • HIS 336 Early Non-Western History and Geography
  • HIS 209 History of Africa
  • HIS 352 Introduction to Digital Humanities



  • The Reign of Nebuchadnezzar I in History and Historical Memory. Studies in the History of the Ancient Near East. London: Routledge, 2018.
  • Early Neo-Babylonian Personal Names from Legal and Administrative Documents, 747-626 B.C.E. NISABA 29. Winona Lake, Ind.: Eisenbrauns, 2015.
  • Sons and Descendants: A Social History of Kin Groups and Family Names in the Early Neo-Babylonian Period, 747-626 B.C. Culture and History of the Ancient Near East 43. Leiden: Brill, 2010.

Journals Articles:

  • with Michael Kozuh, “‘Check the writing boards from the time of Nebuchadnezzar’: An Inventory of Administrative Writing Boards in the Spurlock Museum of World Cultures, University of Illinois (Spurlock Museum 1913-14-1574).” Revue d’Assyriologie et d’archéologie orientale 115 (2021): 143-158.
  • “Kings of Chaldea and Sons of Nobodies: Assyrian Engagement with Chaldea and the Emergence of Chaldean Power in Babylonia.” In The Strange and the Familiar: Identity and Empire in the Ancient Near East, ed. G. Konstantopoulos, Studia Orientalia Electronica 9/2 (2021): 108-121.
  • with Liu Changyu, “Cuneiform Tablets in the Collection of the Logan Museum of Anthropology, Beloit College.” Akkadica 140 (2019): 72-102.
  • “Taking Refuge at Borsippa: The Archive of Lâbâši Son of Nādinu.” Archiv für Orientforschung 53 (2015): 93-109.
    with Liu Changyu, “Cuneiform Tablets in the Special Collections of Knox College, Galesburg, IL.” Cuneiform Digital Library Bulletin, 2015: 5.
  • “Three Early Neo-Babylonian Tablets Belonging to Bēl-Ēṭir of the Miṣiraya Kin Group.” Journal of Cuneiform Studies 62 (2010): 97-106.
  • “Trading on Knowledge: The Iddin-Papsukkal Kin Group in Southern Babylonia in the 7th and 6th Centuries B.C.” Journal of Ancient Near Eastern Religions 9/2 (2009): 171-182.
  • “Adbi’ilu: An Arab at Babylon (BM 78912).” Antiguo Oriente 7 (2009): 199-205.
  • “Four Ur III Administrative Tablets in the Possession of Professor Francis Carroll, University of Manitoba.” Antiguo Oriente 6 (2008): 105-110.

Chapters in Collected Works and Conference Proceedings:

  • “The Family in the Ancient Near East.” In A Companion to the Ancient Near East, 2d ed. (New York: Wiley-Blackwell, 2020), 111-124.
  • “Cultural Encounters and Identity Formation among the Urban Elite in Early Neo-Babylonian Society.” In Cultural Encounters in Near Eastern History, ed. Thomas Hertel, Mogens T. Larsen, and Kim Ryholt. CNI Publications 44 (Copenhagen: Museum Tusculanum Forlag, 2018), 91-117.
  • with Caroline Waerzeggers, “In Search of the Origins of the hanšû Land Schemes in the Early Neo-Babylonian Period: Interactions between Temple, King and Local Elites.” In The Proceedings of the ESF Exploratory Workshop: Dynamics of Production and Economic Interaction in the Near East in the First Half of the First Millennium BCE, Villeneuve d’Ascq, 28-30 June 2011, ed. Juan Carlos Garcia Moreno. (Oxford: Oxbow Press, 2016), 331-344.
  • “‘I Overwhelmed the King of Elam’: Remembering Nebuchadnezzar I in Persian Babylonia.” In Political Memory in and after the Persian Empire, ed. Jason Silvermann and Caroline Waerzeggers. SBLANEM 13 (Atlanta: SBL, 2015), 53-73.
  • “Marduk’s Return: Babylonian Cultural Memory, Assyrian Imperial Ideology, and the akītu Festival of 667 B.C.” In Cultural Memory and Religion in the Ancient City, ed. Martin Bommas, Juliette Harrison, Phoebe Roy and Elena Theodorakopolous. Cultural Memory and History in Antiquity Vol. 2 (London: Bloomsbury Publishing, 2012), 3-32.
  • “Nebuchadnezzar I’s Eastern Front.” In The Ancient Near East in the 12th-10th Centuries BCE: Culture and History, ed. Gershon Galil. Alter Orient und Altes Testament 392 (Münster: Ugarit-Verlag, 2012), 401-411.
  • “Babylonia from Nebuchadnezzar I to Tiglath-pileser III.” In The Oxford History of the Ancient Near East, ed. K. Radner et al., Vol. 4 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2023), 520-587.