Cal'neh (Hebrews Kalneh', כִּלגֵה; Sept. Χαλάννη), the fourth of Nimrod's cities (Ge 10:10), and probably not different from the CALNO (Hebrews Kalzo', כִּלנוֹ; Sept. Χαλάνη) of Isa 10:9, or the CANNEH (Hebrews Kanneh', כִּנֵּח; Sept. Χανάα) of Eze 27:23. The word is thought to mean "the fort of the god Ana or Ann," who was one of the chief objects of Babylonian worship. According to the Chaldee translation, with which Eusebius and Jerome agree, this is the same place that was subsequently called Ctesiphon. It lay on the Tigris, opposite Seleucia, and was for a time the capital of the Parthians, and the winter residence of the Parthian kings (Strabo, xvi, p. 312; Cellarii Notit. 2:774; see Bochart, Phaleg, 4:18; Michaelis, Spicil(g. 1:228). This opinion respecting Calneh derives some support from the circumstance that the district named Ctesiphon was called by the Greeks Chalonitis (Pliny, Hist. Nat. 6:26, 27; Polyb. 5:44); but, on the other hand, this province does not appear to have extended so far west as Calneh must have lain. Ammianus Marcellinus (23:6, 23) states that it was the Persian king Pacorus (who reigned from A.D. 71 to 107) who changed the name of the city to Ctesiphon; but that name must have been more ancient, as it is mentioned by Polybius. In the time of the prophet Amos Calnch appears to have constituted an independent principality (Am 6:2; Sept. omits, v. r. Καλάνη or Χαλάννη); but not long after it became, with the rest of Western Asia, a prey to the Assyrians (Isa 10:9). About 150 years later, Calneh was still a considerable town, as may be inferred from its being mentioned by Ezekiel (Eze 27:23) among the places which traded with Tyre. We may gather from Scripture that in the eighth century B.C. Calneh was taken by one of the Assyrian kings, and never recovered its prosperity. Hence it is compared with Carchemish, Hamath, and Gath (Isa 10:9; Aimos 6:2), and regarded as a proof of the resistless might of Assyria. The site of Ctesiphon was afterward occupied by Jl-Madain, i.e. the (two) cities, of which the only remains are the ruins of a remarkable palace called Tauk-kesra, or "Arch of Khosroes," some mounds of rubbish, and a considerable extent of massive wall toward the river. (See Smith's Dict. of Class. Geog. s.v. Ctesiphon.)
More recent explorers have rendered it probable that the site of Calneh is the modern NiAer, which was certainly one of the early capitals, and which, under the name of Nopher, the Talmud identities with Calneh (see the Yoma). Arab traditions made Niffer the original Babylon, and said that it was the place where Nimrod endeavored to mount on eagles' wings to heaven. Similarly the Sept. speak of Calneh or Calno as "the place where the tower was built" (Isa 10:9). Niffer is situated about sixty miles E.S.E. of Babylon, in the marshes on the left bank of the Euphrates. It has been visited and explored by Mr. Layard (Min. and Bab. p. 468 sq.), and is thus described by Mr. Loftus (Chaldcea, p. 101): 'The present aspect of Niffer is that of a lofty platform of earth and rubbish, divided into two nearly equal parts by a deep channel — apparently the bed of a river — about 120 feet wide. Nearly in the center of the eastern portion of this platform are the remains of a brick tower of early construction, the debris of which constitutes a conical mound rising seventy feet above the plain. This is a conspicuous object in the distance, and exhibits, when the brick- work is exposed; oblong perforations similar to those seen at BirsNimrud and other edifices of the Babylonian age. The western division of the platform has no remarkable feature, except that it is strewed with fragments of pottery, and other relics of a later period than the tower just alluded to. At the distance of a few hundred yards on the east of the ruins may be distinctly traced a low continuous mound, the remains probably of the external wall of the ancient city. As to the obelisk, the particular object of my visit, the Arabs positively declared that there was one, but none of them had seen it or could indicate its position on the mounds." SEE CANNEH.