A brief history of the Fertile Crescent 3000BCE – 570BCE (8)

Posted: March 15, 2016 in Ancient Near Eastern History, History
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Sennacherib’s son, Esarhaddan , who reigned from 681 to 669 is noted for two events. In 680, he commenced the rebuilding of the city of Babylon and re-established it as a client kingdom. From 675 to 671 he launched a campaign into Egypt, which resulted in the Assyrians occupying Memphis, the Nile Delta and the lower valley. [map4].  However, these gains were to be short lived as in 669 the Egyptians rebelled and Ashurbanipal II, who had succeeded his father, fought a six-year campaign before the Assyrians were forced to admit defeat and withdraw back to their border at the southern end of the Levant.

Ashurbanipal on Horseback "Nineveh Ashurbanipal on horseback" by Anonymous (Nineveh) - Own work (BurgererSF). Licensed under CC0 via Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Nineveh_Ashurbanipal_on_horseback.jpg#/media/File:Nineveh_Ashurbanipal_on_horseback.jpg

Ashurbanipal on Horseback
“Nineveh Ashurbanipal on horseback” by Anonymous (Nineveh) – Own work (BurgererSF). Licensed under CC0 via Wikimedia Commons – 

 His reign was also marked by continued rebellion in Babylonia. Ashurbanipal is best remembered for the building of the great library at Nineveh from the contents of which much of our knowledge of the ancient near East comes.

Tablet from the library of Ashurbanipal. "1911 Britannica - Babylonia-Tablet" by Encyclopædia Britannica, 1911 - Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition, Vol. 3, Plate II. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:1911_Britannica_-_Babylonia-Tablet.png#/media/File:1911_Britannica_-_Babylonia-Tablet.png

Tablet from the library of Ashurbanipal.
“1911 Britannica – Babylonia-Tablet” by Encyclopædia Britannica, 1911 – Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition, Vol. 3, Plate II. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons – 

Following his death, his sons waged Civil War for the throne of Assyria. Nablopolassar, the client King of Babylon took advantage of this situation and declared himself King of an independent Babylonian kingdom in 620. It seems that the weakened Assyrians were unable to respond. In 615 Nablopolassar made an Alliance with the Medes, and their clients, the Persians, and declared war on Assyria. A 5 year campaign followed as the Allies gradually gained territory from the Assyrians. Nineveh finally fell in 612 following a three-year siege and the Babylonian forces completely destroyed the city to ground level. It seems likely that this was payback for the destruction of Babylon by Sennacherib in 689.

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