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Semitic stock-raising tribes who settled in the outlying regions of Babylonia, on the northwestern coast of the Persian Gulf, in the first half of the first millennium B.C.

The Chaldeans were probably of Aramean origin; however, there is some evidence to suggest that they originated in southern Arabia. What language the Chaldeans spoke is open to dispute, since the aristocracy rapidly assimilated with the Babylonians and bore Accadian names. Moreover, there are no written texts that can be positively identified as Chaldean. In the Bible and in post-biblical tradition, a Baby Ionian-Aramaic dialect is referred to as the Chaldean language.

The Chaldeans who settled in the southern part of Mesopotamia gradually adopted a settled way of life and formed a series of principalities, such as Bit-Yakin. Most of these principalities were named after their founders. Beginning in the ninth century B.C., the Chaldeans and Elam fought Assyria for control of Babylon. In the second half of the eighth century and in the early seventh century, Chaldean princes managed to seize the Babylonian throne a number of times. Each time, however, the Chaldeans were driven out by the Assyrians. From 626 B.C. to 538 B.C. the Chaldean dynasty ruled Babylon. This dynasty, which included Nabopolassar and Nebuchadnezzar II, established the New Babylonian Empire.

In ancient Greece and Rome, priests and fortune-tellers of Babylonian origin were called Chaldeans. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the term “Chaldeans” was erroneously applied to the Sumerians.

References in periodicals archive ?
Father Noel has been threatened with the loss of his priesthood from Chaldean Catholic Patriarch Sako if he does not immediately return to Iraq.
The Chaldeans in Syria doubled to about 30,000 as Iraqi Christians fled there when it was safer.
As a result, informants of the sample that is the focus of this study are likely to have been the recipients of paid interpreting services, most often in Arabic, but also in Chaldean and/or Assyrian, and this is confirmed by the numbers of informants who report this (twenty of the twenty-one informants from Group 1 and fifteen of the seventeen informants from Group 2).
Is it not possible for Canada to accept the Chaldeans as refugees while, at the same time reinforcing our SOF commitment to further confront ISIL?
I personally see this as being the start of pushing the Chaldean community out of this area of Michigan and shifting the demographics of the area," she said.
We wish our Assyrian, Chaldean and Syriac sisters and brothers a peaceful and happy feast and hope they celebrate their next feast with joy and happiness in their own homes
BEIRUT: On a cold morning, a small group of Iraqi refugees cluster together at the Chaldean diocese in Baabda.
For his part, Bishop of Chaldean Catholic in Syria Antony Audo said Christmas Day is a day of amity and pleasure, noting that Syria is an example to be followed regarding coexistence and tolerance.
The Chaldeans now became the dominant force in the Near East.
In his homily yesterday, Chaldean Cardinal Emmanuel III Delly praised the establishment of Christmas as an official holiday as a step towards easing tensions.
BAGHDAD: A leader of Al Qaeda in Iraq has been sentenced to death for the killing of Chaldean Catholic Archbishop Paulos Faraj Rahho, whose murder in March drew worldwide condemnation, the Iraqi government said yesterday.
Also on Sunday, Iraqi television, citing a government spokesman, reported that a court in Baghdad had sentenced to death the killer of the Chaldean Christian archbishop of Mosul, Paulos Faraj Rahho, 65, who was kidnapped on February 29 and found dead two weeks later.