By Charles River Editors
*Includes historic debts describing Assur and the Assyrians
*Includes a bibliography for additional reading
*Includes a desk of contents
“All who pay attention the scoop of your destruction clap their palms for pleasure. Did nobody get away your never-ending cruelty?” - Nahum 3:19
In northern Iraq, at the banks of the Tigris River, lie the ruins of the traditional urban of Aššur. This used to be the 1st capital and crucial spiritual middle of the Assyrian Empire. beneath the canopy of sand and soil are virtually six meters of dense stratigraphic layers that demonstrate the passage of millennia. recognized this present day as Qal’at Sherqat, and in addition as Kilah Shregat, town dates again to the third millennium BCE. In that point interval, the Assyrian military grew to become the most important but noticeable, and their warriors have been either the best and harshest within the land. They conquered an empire from the Persian Gulf to the Mediterranean Sea; they despoiled the good urban of Babylon, they usually enslaved the tribes of Israel. Even the pharaoh of Egypt paid them tribute. No military had ever carried struggle so far.
Indeed, Aššur used to be the center of 1 of antiquity’s so much notorious struggle machines. while students examine the historical past of the traditional close to East, numerous wars that had super brutal outcomes (at least through sleek criteria) usually stand out. compelled elimination of whole populations, sieges that decimated complete towns, and wanton destruction of estate have been all strategies utilized by some of the peoples of the traditional close to East opposed to one another, however the Assyrians have been the 1st humans to make battle a technology. while the Assyrians are pointed out, photos of warfare and brutality are one of the first that are evoked, although their tradition prospered for almost 2,000 years.
Like a few historic participants and empires in that area, the detrimental conception of historical Assyrian tradition used to be handed down via Biblical debts, and whatever the accuracy of the Bible’s depiction of yes occasions, the Assyrians essentially performed the function of adversary for the Israelites. certainly, Assyria (Biblical Shinar) and the Assyrian humans performed a major position in lots of books of the outdated testomony and are first pointed out within the ebook of Genesis: “And the start of his nation was once Babel and Erech, and Akkad, and Calneh, within the land of Shinar. Out of that land went forth Ashur and equipped Nineveh and town Rehoboth and Kallah.” (Gen. 10:10-11).
Although the Biblical money owed of the Assyrians are one of the finest and are frequently corroborated with different old resources, the Assyrians have been even more than simply the enemies of the Israelites and brutal thugs. A historic survey of historical Assyrian tradition finds that even if they have been the perfect warriors in their time, they have been additionally first-class retailers, diplomats, and hugely literate those that recorded their historical past and spiritual rituals and beliefs in nice element. The Assyrians, like their different pals in Mesopotamia, have been literate and built their very own dialect of the Akkadian language that they used to put in writing tens of hundreds of thousands of records within the cuneiform script (Kuhrt 2010, 1:84).
Although conflict performed this type of vital function in Assyrian society, they have been additionally energetic and filthy rich investors, and exchange was once an important a part of Aššur’s development from its earliest levels. surprisingly, even in the course of army campaigns, retailers from the town engaged in advertisement interactions with the “enemy,” for instance with the Aramaeans throughout the campaigns of Adad Nirari II. instead of different towns in Mesopotamia, Aššur’s position intended that it was once specifically subjected to the affects of its many pals in southern Mesopotamia; Anatolia, Syria, the Zagros Mountains, or even from the barbarian tribes north of the Caucasus Mountains. Their presence could be obvious this day within the structure and artifacts of the ruined urban.
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Additional resources for Assur: The History and Legacy of the Ancient Assyrian Empire’s Capital City
In other words, history to the Assyrians was a theocratic history (Speiser 1983, 55-56). Despite Assyrian historiography’s long and apparently unchanging background from early Mesopotamian origins, the Middle Assyrian period witnessed a major change in Assyrian historiography. During the reign of Tiglath-pileser I (ca. 1114-1076), the Assyrians began to write royal annals which consisted of chronologically detailed accounts of military expeditions and royal hunts (van de Mieroop 2007, 180). The manner and context in which these annals were first composed is unknown, but it is possible these reports were initially meant to be letters from the kings to their gods (Speiser 1983, 66).
Tiglath Pileser III had introduced for the first time a standing army that never demobilized during the winter, allowing the range of his campaigns to increase substantially. His campaigns across Babylonia, the kingdoms of the Zagros Mountains to the east, and Syria to the west were particularly bloody and successful, resulting in an empire whose borders stretched to a greater extent than had ever existed.  Hundreds of thousands of people were deported from their homelands by the Neo-Assyrian conquerors, separating them from their histories and their families.
They have served as a vital source of information regarding the city’s chronology and the genealogy of the Assyrian rulers. As a result of the assassination of Tukulti Ninurta I, his successors faced frequent dissent and conflict over the legitimacy of their power, and the empire even devolved into civil war at times.  The late second millennium BC was a period of unrest in the Near East, especially as the Bronze Age was swept away and replaced by the Iron Age. The transition to the Iron Age proved to be especially violent, and it brought about the end of the Great Powers Club.