The striding dragon was a portion of the decoration of one of the gates of the city of Babylon. King Nebuchadnezzar, who appears in the Bible as the despoiler of Jerusalem (2 Kings 4:10–16, 25:8–15), ornamented the monumental entrance gate dedicated to Ishtar, the goddess of love and war, and the processional street leading to it with scores of pacing glazed brick animals. On the gate were alternating tiers of Marduk’s dragons and bulls of the weather god Adad. Along the street were the lions sacred to Ishtar. All this brilliant decoration was designed to create a ceremonial entrance for the king in religious procession on the most important day of the New Year’s Festival.