History of Assyria

History of Assyria

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Description

Assyria was a great and powerful country lying on the Tigris. A mountainous region extending as far as to the high mountain range of Armenia, the Gordiaean or Carduchian mountains.

"The capital of Assyria was Nineveh, one of the most famous of cities. It was remarkable for extent, wealth, and architectural grandeur. Diodorus Siculus says its walls were sixty miles around and one hundred feet high. Three chariots could be driven abreast around the summit of its walls, which were defended by fifteen hundred bastions, each of them two hundred feet in height. These dimensions may be exaggerated, but the Hebrew scriptures and recent excavations at the ancient site leave no doubt as to the splendor of the Assyrian palaces and the greatness of the city of Nineveh in population, wealth, and power. In historical times it was destroyed by the Medes, under King Cyaxares, and by the Babylonians, under Nebuchadnezzar, about B.C. 607."


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Date de parution 19 octobre 2016
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EAN13 9782366592993
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History of Assyria

 

 

 

 

 

History of Assyria

Rise and Fall of Ancient World Power

 

 

 

 

Lenormant F. & Chevallier E.

Van Ness Myers P.

 

 

 

 

 

LM Publishers

 

 

 

 

Introduction

 

 

The name Assyria derived from the city Asshur. It was a great and powerful country lying on the Tigris. A mountainous region lying to the north of Babylonia, extending along the Tigris as far as to the high mountain range of Armenia, the Gordiaean or Carduchian mountains. It was founded in B.C. 1700 under Bel-kap-kapu, and became an independent and a conquering power, and shook off the yoke of its Babylonian masters. It subdued the whole of Northern Asia.

Mesopotamia for many centuries was the field of battle for the opposing hosts of Babylonia and Assyria, each striving for mastery over the other. At first each city had its own prince, but at length one of these petty kingdoms absorbed the rest, and Nineveh became the capital of a united Assyria. Babylonia had her own kings, but they were little more than hereditary satraps receiving investiture from Nineveh.

From about B.C. 1060 to 1020 Babylon seems to have recovered the upper hand. Her victories put an end to what is known as the First Assyrian Empire. After a few generations a new family ascended the throne and ultimately founded the Second Assyrian Empire.

The first princes whose figured monuments have come down to us belonged to those days. The oldest of all was Assurnizirpal; the bas-reliefs with which his palace was decorated are now in the British Museum and the Louvre; most of them in the former. His son Shalmaneser III, and later Shalmaneser IV, made many campaigns against the neighboring peoples, and Assyria became rapidly a great and powerful nation. The effeminate Sardanapalus was the last of the dynasty.

The capital of Assyria was Nineveh, one of the most famous of cities. It was remarkable for extent, wealth, and architectural grandeur. Diodorus Siculus says its walls were sixty miles around and one hundred feet high. Three chariots could be driven abreast around the summit of its walls, which were defended by fifteen hundred bastions, each of them two hundred feet in height. These dimensions may be exaggerated, but the Hebrew scriptures and recent excavations at the ancient site leave no doubt as to the splendor of the Assyrian palaces and the greatness of the city of Nineveh in population, wealth, and power. In historical times it was destroyed by the Medes, under King Cyaxares, and by the Babylonians, under Nebuchadnezzar, about B.C. 607.

We are indebted to the monuments, tablets, and "books" recently discovered for the history of Assyria and other ancient oriental nations. Layard unearthed the greater portion, on the site of ancient Nineveh, of the Assyrian "books" (for so are named the tablets of clay, sometimes enamelled, at others only sun-dried or burnt). The writing on these "books" is the cuneiform, and was done by impressing the "style" on the clay while in a waxlike condition. Many of the tablets were broken when Layard and Rawlinson gave them over to the British Museum. The reconstruction of these tablets was undertaken by George Smith, an English Assyriologist of the British Museum, who displayed great skill and earnest application in the deciphering of the cuneiform text.

In each reign the history of the king and his acts was written by a poet or historian detailed to that office. The "books" were collected and kept in great libraries, the largest of these being made by Sardanapalus.

(Lenormant F. and  Chevallier E.){1}

 

 

Rise and Fall of Assyria

and the Destruction of Nineveh{2}

 

 

 

The greater part of the expeditions of Shalmaneser IV, succeeding each other year after year, were directed, like those of his father, sometimes to the north, into Armenia and Pontus; sometimes to the east, into Media, never completely subdued; sometimes to the south, into Chaldæa, where revolts were of constant occurrence; and finally westward, toward Syria and the region of Amanus. In this direction he advanced farther than his predecessors...