Another unstable period for Assyria followed, it was riven by periods of internal strife and the new king only made token and unsuccessful attempts to recapture Babylon, whose Kassite kings had taken advantage of the upheavals in Assyria and freed themselves from Assyrian rule. During Ashur-dugul's reign six other kings, “sons of nobodies also ruled at the time”. He then moved into north eastern Asia Minor, conquering Shupria. Esarhaddon expanded the empire as far south as Arabia, Meluhha, Magan and Dilmun (modern Saudi Arabia, Bahrain the United Arab Emirates and Qatar). It is from this general period that the Cilician Indo-Anatolian term Surai (Syria) first appears in historical record in what is now called the Çineköy inscription, not in reference to the region of Aramea now encompassing modern Syria in the Levant, but specifically and only to Assyria itself. In 831 BC, he received the submission of the Georgian kingdom of Tabal. He then turned south, forcing Babylonia to pay tribute. Sennacherib was forced to contend with a major revolt within his empire, which included a large alliance of subject peoples, including Babylonians, Persians, Medes, Chaldeans, Elamites, Parthians, Manneans and Arameans. This event showed how far Assyria could assert itself militarily when the need arose. Ashurbanipal then puts down a series of rebellions by the native Egyptians themselves, installing Necho I as a puppet Pharaoh, heralding the 26th Dynasty of Egypt. Shalim-ahum (died c. 2009 BC),[1] son and successor of Puzur-Ashur I,[2] is the earliest independent ruler to be attested in a contemporary inscription. Ashurnasirpal I (1049–1031 BC) succeeded him, and during his reign he continued to campaign endlessly against the Arameans to the west. In 615 BC, Cyaxares attacked the Assyrian Empire and his forces defeated the Assyrians at Arrapha. The Egyptian king sent a general named Raia as well as troops in order to support the neighboring ally. Esarhaddon (680–669 BC) expanded Assyria still further, campaigning deep into the Caucasus Mountains in the north, defeating king Rusas II and breaking Urartu completely in the process. All other trademarks and copyrights are the property of their respective owners. He put his son Ishme-Dagan on the throne of a nearby Assyrian city, Ekallatum, and maintained Assyria's Anatolian colonies. Semiramis held the empire together, and appears to have campaigned successfully in subjugating the Persians, Parthians and Medes during her regency, leading to the later Iranian and also Greek myths and legends surrounding her. Shamshi-Adad I (c. 1808 BC – c. 1776 BC), conquered Assur,[12] took over the long-abandoned town of Shekhna in north-eastern Syria,[13] converted it into the capital city of his Upper Mesopotamian Empire and renamed it Shubat-Enlil. He next turned eastward to Iran, and subjugated the Persians, Medes and the pre Iranian Manneans, penetrating as far north east as the Caspian Sea. His next targets were the migrant Aramean, Chaldean and Sutu tribes, who had settled in the far south eastern corner of Mesopotamia, whom he conquered and reduced to vassalage. He imposed a so-called Vassal Treaty upon his Persian, Parthian and Median subjects, forcing Teispes of Persia and Deioces of Media to submit both to himself, and in advance to his chosen successor, Ashurbanipal. Adad-nirari I made further gains to the south, annexing Babylonian territory and forcing the Kassite rulers of Babylon into accepting a new frontier agreement in Assyria's favour. The Assyrian king was then able to subjugate these nations individually, Babylon was sacked and largely destroyed by Sennacherib. Ashur-uballit I (1365–1330 BC) succeeded the throne of Assyria in 1365 BC, and proved to be a fierce, ambitious and powerful ruler. Asinum (c. 1732 BC), possibly successor or descendant to either Rimush or Mut-Ashkur, was an Amorite king driven out by the Assyrian vice-regent Puzur-Sin; not included in the standard King List; however, attested in Puzur-Sin's inscription. The lands of the Hurrians and Mitanni were duly appropriated by Assyria, making it a large and powerful empire. After centuries of rule, the Assyrian Empire fell to the Babylonians and Medes between 612 and 609 BCE. He was followed by Adad-nirari I (1295–1275 BC) who made Kalhu (Biblical Calah/Nimrud) his capital, and continued expansion to the northwest, mainly at the expense of the Hittites and Hurrians, conquering Hittite territories such as Carchemish and beyond. Ashur-bel-kala (1073–1056 BC) kept the vast empire together, campaigning successfully against Urartu and Phrygia to the north and the Arameans to the west. Tukulti-Ninurta I thus became the first Akkadian speaking native Mesopotamian to rule the state of Babylonia, its founders having been foreign Amorites, succeeded by equally foreign Kassites. As the Hittite empire collapsed from the onslaught of the Indo-European Phrygians (called Mushki in Assyrian annals), Babylon and Assyria began to vie for Aramaean regions (in modern Syria), formerly under firm Hittite control. Naram-Sin or Narām–Suen, (c. 1872 BC – c. 1818 BC), son and successor of Puzur-Ashur II, was named for the illustrious Naram-Sin of Akkad and, like his grandfather, Sargon I, took the divine determinative in his name. This was to lead to a renewed period of Assyrian expansion and empire. This military campaign of joint forces was commemorated on a victory stele which states that Dadusha gives the lands to Shmshi-Adad I. Shamshi-Adad I later turned against Dadusha by attacking cities including Shaduppum and Nerebtum. He undertook much rebuilding work in Assur, the city was refortified and the southern quarters incorporated into the main city defences. After a Babylonian revolt, he raided and plundered the temples in Babylon, regarded as an act of sacrilege. Although regarded as an Amorite by Assyrian tradition, Shamshi-Adad's descent is suggested to be from the same line as the native Assyrian ruler Ushpia by the Assyrian King List. He installed his own son Ashur-nadin-shumi as king in Babylonia. Similarly, Nabopolassar was unable to gain control over all of Babylonia, and could not make any inroads into Assyria despite its weakened state, being repelled at every attempt. In 652 BC, just one year after his victory over Phraortes, his own brother Shamash-shum-ukin, the Assyrian king of Babylon who had spent seventeen years peacefully subject to his sibling, became infused with Babylonian nationalism, declaring that Babylon and not Nineveh should be the seat of empire. [5] He further strengthened the fortifications of the city of Assur and maintained Assyria's colonies in Asia Minor. Memphis was sacked. [6], Sargon I or Šarru-kīn I (c. 1920 BC – c. 1881 BC), son and successor of Ikunum, reigned as king of the Old Assyrian Empire for an unusually long 39 years. In 716 BCE Sargon II crossed the Sinai and amassed an army on Egypt's border. Mannea, Cilicia Cappadocia and Commagene were conquered, Urartu was ravaged, and Babylonia, Chaldea, Aram, Phoenicia, Israel, Arabia, Cyprus and the famed Midas (king of Phrygia) were forced to pay tribute. Temples to the moon god Sin (Nanna) and the sun god Shamash were erected during his reign. His stele has been found as far west as Larnaca in Cyprus. In 814 BCE, he won the battle of Dur-Papsukkal against the new Babylonian king Murduk-balassu-iqbi, and went on to subjugate the immigrant tribes of Chaldeans, Arameans, and Suteans who had recently settled in parts of Babylonia. All rights reserved. He is mentioned in Biblical sources as having conquered Israel and being responsible for deporting the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel to Assyria.

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