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The power behind the neo assyrian empire

It is also the name of one of the greatest empires of Antiquity. Assyria was overthrown in 612 BCE by the Babylonians. The western part of Assyria consists of an alluvial plain, where irrigation enables agriculture; in the eastern part, the foothills of the Zagrosthere is sufficient rainfall. Not unlike Susa in Elam, it was an independent city state that had close ties with the powerful Sumerian states in the south, and later incorporated in the empires of king Sargon of Agade and the rulers of the Third Dynasty of Ur.

Meanwhile, the trade activity continued. During his reign, Assyria becomes "visible" again. He and the Hittite king Suppiluliumas attacked Mitanni, and Assyria regained its independence. This is the beginning of the Middle Assyrian period. In the west, the empire shared a border with the empire of the Hittites, and in the south, Babylon was attacked. It was to become a useful instrument for rulers of empires, also applied by the kings of Babylonia and Persia, and Alexander the Great.

The twelfth century started comparatively quietly for the Assyrians. The ancient Near East had become unstable by the invasions of the Sea Peopleand there were other nations that had left their homelands in search for more fertile land, like the Aramaeans.

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The Hittites were overthrown. It seems that the Assyrians succeeded in consolidating their conquests, although in the west, forts were evacuated. In the north, the tribes near Lake Vanand in the south, the Babylonians suffered from Assyrian aggression. But after the death of Tiglath-Pileser, his kingdom got its share of the problems that were encountered by the entire Near East. The Aramaeans settled in Assyrian towns in the west, and later become independent. For a century and a half, Assyria was in decline.

Other campaigns were directed against the Aramaeans in Syria and the towns on the plains of eastern Cilicia. A new capital, Kalhuwas built. The empire had now reached the same size as it had had during the reign of Tiglath-Pileser I. A new Assyrian capital was founded at Nineveh.

The power behind the neo assyrian empire

From the east, nomadic Medes made started to raid the Assyrian Empire, while in the west, Damascus retained some of its independence. Nevertheless, it survived, was consolidated, and still exercised great political influence example. Regions as far away as Cilicia were directly ruled by Assyrian officials and visited by royal inspectors.

King Tiglath-pileser III r. This system of provinces, governors and inspectors, roads and garrisons was to survive the Assyrian empire. Later, the Babylonians, Persians, and Seleucids used the same instruments to rule the ancient Near East. Drawing of the Lachish relief from Nineveh Now, the expansion started again. One of the great challenges was the organization of Babylonia in the south, which was Assyria's twin-culture and was too highly esteemed to be reduced to the status of province.

Tiglath-pileser III sought a solution in a "double monarchy": In the west, he tried to add Israel to the Assyrian empire, but was murdered during the siege of Samaria.

5 Revolts in the Neo-Assyrian Empire: A Preliminary Discourse Analysis

Sargon's son Sennacherib r. Babylon, which had revolted under Marduk-apla-iddin, was sacked in 703, and its entire population was deported - a harsh measure, even for oriental standards.

The Babylonians were forced to work in another new capital, Nineveh, which was surrounded by a double wall of perhaps 25 meters high, and received its water from a canal with a length of 50 kilometers.

It is during this period that our sources start to mention internal strife. This may be an optical illusion - we have more sources - but it is more likely that the spoils of the successful conquests were unequally divided. At the same the power behind the neo assyrian empire, it seems that the empire suffered from overstretch, because Egypt was too heavy a burden. One of the Assyrian vassals, Psammetichushired Greek and Carian mercenaries, reunited Egypt, and founded a new dynasty.

When the Assyrians had overcome this insurrection, they attacked the Babylonian ally Elam and destroyed its capital Susa. The Arabs also suffered. Again, many people were deported to Nineveh. The 22,000 cuneiform tablets are among the most important sources for our understanding of ancient Assyrian culture.

Decline and fall Assurbanipal Although the Assyrians had evacuated Egypt, their armed forces were still superior. One of the few serious problems was the status of Babylon. Several solutions had been attempted: None of these solutions had been really successful, but the Assyrians had always been able to impose their ideas.

Another enemy was the coalition of Medes in the east, but they were usually defeated. The people of Babylon defeated an Assyrian army, and according to the Babylonian chronicle known as ABC 2the Babylonian general Nabopolassar was recognized as king on 23 November 626. This seems to have been the beginning of a series of insurrections against the Assyrians, in which the Medes also played a role.

The only ally of the Assyrian king was pharaoh Psammetichus, who understood that if the Babylonians would overthrow Assyria, the new superpower would attack Egypt. In the Fall of Nineveh Chroniclewe can read about the events in these years.

We find Nabopolassar defeating the Assyrians near Harran in 616, which betrays a daring strategy: This time, however, the Egyptians arrived in time to prevent disaster. Again, the Assyrians averted a catastrophe, but now, the Medes appeared on the scene. In 614, they took the city. This was the beginning of the end. After a year of inconclusive campaigning, the united Medes and Babylonians laid siege to Nineveh in May 612, and in July, the city fell. Archaeologists have discovered the remains of forty of the defenders.

He briefly reorganized his forces in Harran, but was expelled, and when pharaoh Necho II appeared on the scene, he was defeated. The Babylonians and Egyptians would continue their struggle in Syria and Palestine. This was the end of the Assyrian empire, but the word "Assyria" remained in use and referred to the non-Babylonian parts of the Babylonian empire.

Yet, the original word was never forgotten. When the Roman emperor Trajan conquered Armenia and Mesopotamiathe province on the other side of the Tigris was called Assyria, and even today, the Christian church of Adiabene, which is very ancient, still calls itself Assyrian.