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THE RISE OF ASSYRIA AND ITS STRUGGLES WITH KASSITE BABYLONIA
THE KASSITE CONQUEST OF BABYLONIA AND THE
APPEARANCE OF ASSYRIA. 2000-1500 B. C.
102. WITH the last king of the dynasty of Khammurabi (about 2098 B. C.) a period of darkness falls upon the history of the land between the rivers. A new dynasty of the Babylonian kings' list begins with a certain Amnanu, and continues with ten other kings whose names are anything but suggestive of Babylonian origin. The regnal years of the eleven reach the respectable number of three hundred and sixty-eight. The problem of their origin is complicated with that of deciphering the word (Uru-azagga?) descriptive of them in the kings' list. Some think that it points to a quarter of the city of Babylon. Others, reading it Uru-ku, see in it the name of the ancient city of Uruk. The length of the reigns of the several kings is above the average, and suggests peace and prosperity under their rule. It is certainly strange in that case that no memorials of them have as yet been discovered, — a fact that lends some plausibility to the theory maintained by Hommel that this dynasty was contemporaneous with that of Khammurabi and never attained significance.
103. The third dynasty, as recorded on the kings' list, consists of thirty-six kings, who reigned five hundred seventy-six years and nine months (about 1717-1140 B. C.). About these kings information, while quite extensive, is yet so fragmentary as to render exact and organized presentation of their history exceedingly difficult. The kings' list is badly broken in the middle of the dynasty, so that only the first six and the last eleven or twelve of the names are intact, leaving thirteen or fourteen to be otherwise supplied and the order of succession to be determined from imperfect and inconclusive data. Only one royal inscription of some length exists, that of a certain Agum-kakrime who does not appear on the dynastic list. The tablets found at Nippur by the University of Pennsylvania's expedition have added several names to the list and thrown new light upon the history of the dynasty. The fragments of the so-called "Synchronistic History" (sect. 30) cover, in part, the relations of the Babylonian and Assyrian kings of this age, and the recently discovered royal Egyptian archives known as the Tel-el-Amarna tablets contain letters from and to several of them. From these materials it is possible to obtain the names of all but three or four of the missing thirteen or fourteen kings, and to reach something like a general knowledge of the whole period and some details of single reigns and epochs. Yet it is evident that the absence of some royal names not only makes the order of succession in the dark period uncertain, but throws its chronology into disorder. Nor is the material sufficient to remove the whole age from the region of indefiniteness as to the aims and achievements of the dynasty, or to make possible a grouping into epochs of development which may be above criticism. With these considerations in mind it is possible roughly to divide the period into four epochs: first, the beginnings of Kassite rule; second, the appearance of Assyria as a possible rival of Kassite Babylonia; third, the culmination of the dynasty and the struggle with Assyria; fourth, the decline and disappearance of the Kassites.
104. Merely a glance at the names in the dynastic list is evidence that a majority of them are of a non-Babylonian character. The royal inscriptions prove beyond doubt that the dynasty as a whole was foreign, and its domination the result of invasion by a people called Kashhus, or, to use a more conventional name, the Kassites. They belonged to the eastern mountains, occupying the high valleys from the borders of Elam northward, living partly from the scanty products of the soil and partly by plundering travellers and making descents upon the western plain. The few fragments of their language which survive are not sufficient to indicate its affinity either to the Elamite or the Median, and at present all that can be said is that they formed a greater or lesser division of that congeries of mountain peoples which, without unity or common name and language, surged back and forth over the mountain wall stretching from the Caspian Sea to the Persian gulf. Their home seems to have been in the vicinity of those few mountain passes which lead from the valley up to the table-land. Hence they were brought into closer relations with the trade and commerce which from time immemorial had used these passes, and thereby they were early made aware of the civilization and wealth of Babylonia.
105. Whether driven by the impulse to conquest, begotten of a growing knowledge of Babylonian weakness, or by the pressure of peoples behind and about them, the Kassites appear at an early day to have figured in the annals of the Babylonian kingdom. In the ninth year of Samsuiluna, of the first dynasty, they were invading the land. This doubtless isolated invasion was repeated in the following years until by the beginning of the seventeenth century B. C., they seem to have gained the upper hand in Babylonia. Their earlier field of operations seems to have been in the south, near the mouth of the rivers. Here was Karduniash, the home of the Kassites in Babylonia, a name subsequently extended over all the land. It is not improbable that a Kassite tribe settled here in the last days of the second dynasty, and, assimilated to the civilization of the land, was later reinforced by larger bands of the same people displaced from the original home of the Kassites by pressure from behind, and that the combined forces found it easy to overspread and gain possession of the whole country. Such a supposition is in harmony with the evident predilection of the Kassites for southern Babylonia, as well as with their maintenance of authority over the regions in which they originally had their home. It also explains how, very soon after they came to power, they were hardly to be distinguished from the Semitic Babylonians over whom they ruled. They employed the royal titles, worshipped at the ancient shrines, served the native gods, and wrote their inscriptions in the Babylonian language.
106. Of the six kings whose names appear first on the dynastic list nothing of historical importance is known. The gap that ensues in that list, covering thirteen or fourteen names, is filled up from sources to which reference has already beer made. Agumkakrime (sect. 103), whose inscription of three hundred and thirty-eight lines is the most important Kassite document as yet discovered, probably stands near the early kings, is perhaps the seventh in order (about 1600 B. C.). This inscription, preserved in an Assyrian copy, was originally deposited in the temple at Babylon, and describes the royal achievements on behalf of the god Marduk and his divine spouse Zarpanit. The king first proclaims his own glory by reciting his genealogy, his relation to the gods and his royal titles:
I am Agumkakrime, the son of Tashshigurumash; the illustrious descendant of god Shuqamuna; called by Anu and Bel, Ea and Marduk, Sin and Shamash; the powerful hero of Ishtar, the warrior among the goddesses.
I am a king of wisdom and prudence; a king who grants hearing and pardon; the son of Tashshigurumash; the descendant of Abirumash, the crafty warrior; the first son among the numerous family of the great Agum; an illustrious, royal scion who holds the reins of the nation (and is) a mighty shepherd. . . .
I am king of the country of Kashshu and of the Akkadians; king of the wide country of Babylon, who settles the numerous people in Ashnunak; the King of Padan and Alman; the King of Gutium, a foolish nation; (a king) who makes obedient to him the four regions, and has always been a favorite of the great gods (I. 1-42).
107. Agumkakrime found, on taking the throne, that the images of Marduk and Zarpanit, chief deities of the city, had been removed from the temple to the land of Khani, a region not yet definitely located, but presumably in northern Mesopotamia, and possibly on the head-waters of the Euphrates. This removal took place probably in connection with an invasion of peoples from that distant region, who were subsequently driven out; and it sheds light on the weakened and disordered condition of the land at the time of the appearance of the Kassites. These images were recovered by the king, either through an embassy or by force of arms. The inscription is indefinite on the point, but the wealth of the king as intimated in the latter part of the inscription would suggest that he was at least able to compel the surrender of them. On being recovered they were replaced in their temple, which was renovated and splendidly furnished for their reception. Gold and precious stones and woods were employed in lavish profusion for the adornment of the persons of the divine pair and the decoration of their abode. Their priesthoods were revived, the service re-established, and endowments provided for the temple.
108. In the countries enumerated by Agumkakrime as under his sway no mention is made of a people who were soon to exercise a commanding influence upon the history of the Kassite dynasty. The people of Assyria, however, although, even before that time, having a local habitation and rulers, the names of some of whom have come down in tradition, could hardly have been independent of a king who claimed authority over the land of the Kassites and the Guti, Padan, and Alman, — districts which lie in the region of the middle and upper Tigris, or on the slopes of the eastern mountains (Delitzsch, Paradies, p. 205). According to the report of the Synchronistic History, about a century and a half later Assyria was capable of treating with Babylonia on equal terms, but, even if the opening passages of that document (some eleven lines) had been preserved, they would hardly have indicated such relations at a much earlier date. The sudden rise of Assyria, therefore, is reasonably explained as connected with the greater movement which made the Kassites supreme in Babylonia.
109. The people who established the kingdom of Assyria exhibit, in language and customs and even in physical characteristics, a close likeness to the Babylonians. They were, therefore, not only a Semitic people, but, apparently, also of Semitic-Babylonian stock. The most natural explanation of this fact is that they were originally a Babylonian colony. They seem, however, to be of even purer Semitic blood than their Babylonian ancestors, and some scholars have preferred to see in them an independent offshoot from the original Semitic migration into the Mesopotamian valley (sect. 51). If that be so, they must have come very early under Babylonian influence which dominated the essential elements of their civilization and its growth down to their latest days. The earliest centre of their organization was the city of Assur on the west bank of the middle Tigris (lat. n. 35° 30'), where a line of low hills begins to run southward along the river. Perched on the outlying northern spur of these hills, and by them sheltered from the nomads of the steppe and protected by the broad river in front from the raids of mountaineers of the east, the city was an outpost of Babylonian civilization and a station on the natural road of trade with the lands of the upper Tigris. A fertile stretch of alluvial soil in the vicinity supplied the necessary agricultural basis of life, while, a few miles to the north, bitumen springs furnished, as on the Euphrates, an article of commerce and an indispensable element of building (Layard, Nineveh and its Remains, II. chap. xii.). The god of the city was Ashur, "the good one," and from him the city received its name (Jastrow, Rel. of Bab. and Assyria, p. 196).
110. The early rulers of the city of Assur were patesis (sect. 75), viceroys of Babylonian rulers. Some of their names have come down in tradition, as, for example, those of Ishme Dagan and his son, Shamshi Adad, who lived according to Tiglathpileser I. about seven hundred years before himself (that is, about 1840-1800 B. C.). Later kings of Assyria also refer to other rulers of the early age to whom they give the royal title, but of whom nothing further is known. The first mention of Assur is in a letter of king Khammurabi of the first dynasty of Babylon, who seems to intimate that the city was a part of the Babylonian Empire (King, Let. and Inscr. of H., III. p. 3). In the darkness that covers these beginnings, the viceroys became independent of Babylonia and extended their authority up the Tigris to Kalkhi, Arbela, and Nineveh, cities to be in the future centres of the Assyrian Empire. The kingdom of Assyria took form and gathered power.
111. The physical characteristics of this region could not but shape the activities of those who lived within its borders. It is the northeastern corner of Mesopotamia. The mountains rise in the rear; the Tigris and Mesopotamia are in front. The chief cities of Assyria, with the sole exception of Assur, lie to the east of the great river and on the narrow shelf between it and the northeastern mountain ranges. They who live there must needs find nature less friendly to them than to their brethren of the south. Agriculture does not richly reward their labors. They learn, by struggling with the wild beasts of the hills and the fierce men of the mountains, the thirst for battle and the joy of victory. And as they grow too numerous for their borders, the prospect, barred to the east and north, opens invitingly towards the west and southwest. Thus the Assyrian found in his surroundings the encouragement to devote himself to war and to the chase rather than to the peaceful pursuits of agriculture; the preparation for military achievement on a scale hitherto unrealized.
112. It is not difficult to conceive how the Kassite conquest of Babylonia profoundly influenced the development of Assyria. The city of Assur, protected from the inroads of the eastern invaders by its position on the west bank of the Tigris, became, at the same time, the refuge of those Babylonians who fled before the conquerors as they overspread the land. The Assyrian community was thus enabled to throw off the yoke of allegiance to the mother country, now in possession of foreigners, and to establish itself as an independent kingdom. Its patesis became kings, and began to cherish ambitions of recovering the home-land from the grasp of the enemy, and of extending their sway over the upper Tigris and beyond. It is not unlikely that this latter endeavor was at least partially successful during the early period of the Kassite rule. It is certainly significant that Agumkakrime does not mention Assyria among the districts under his sway and if, as has been remarked (sect. 108), his sphere of influence seems to include it, his successors were soon to learn that a new power must be reckoned with, in settling the question of supremacy on the middle Tigris.
113. THE half millennium (2000-1500 B. C.), that saw the decline of Old Babylonia, its conquest by the Kassites and the beginnings of the kingdom of Assyria, had been also a period of transition in the rest of the ancient oriental world. In Egypt the quiet, isolated development of native life and forces which had gone on unhindered for two thousand years and had produced so remarkable a civilization, was broken into by the invasion of the Hyksos, Semitic nomads from Arabia, who held the primacy of power for three hundred years and introduced new elements and influences into the historical process. In the region lying between the Euphrates and the Nile, which in the absence of a common name may be called Syria, where Babylonian civilization, sustained from time to time by Babylonian armies, had taken deep root, similar changes, though less clearly attested by definite historical memorials, seem to have taken place. The Hyksos movement into Egypt could not but have been attended with disturbances in southern Syria, reflected perhaps in the patriarchal traditions of the Hebrews. In the north, peoples from the mountains that rim the upper plateau began to descend and occupy the regions to the east and west of the head-waters of the Euphrates, thus threatening the security of the highways of trade, and, consequently, Babylonian authority on the Mediterranean.
114. Had the Babylonian kingdom been unhampered, it might have met and overcome these adverse influences in its western provinces and continued its hegemony over the peoples of Syria. But to the inner confusion caused by the presence of foreign rulers was added the antagonism of a young and vigorous rival, the Assyrian kingdom on the upper Tigris. Through the absorption of both powers in the complications that ensued, any vigorous movement toward the west was impossible. It was from another and quite unexpected quarter that the political situation was to be transformed. In Egypt by the beginning of the sixteenth century a desperate struggle of the native element against the ruling Hyksos began, resulting, as the century drew to a close, in the expulsion of the foreigners. Under the fresh impulses aroused by this victorious struggle the nation entered an entirely new path of conquest. The Pharaohs of the New Empire went forth to win Syria.
115. The fifteenth century B. C., therefore, marks a turning-point in the history of Western Asia. The nations that had hitherto wrought out largely by themselves their contributions tai civilization and progress came into direct political relation one with another in that middle zone between the Euphrates and the Nile, which was henceforth to be the battleground of their armies and the reward of their victories. From that time forth the politics of the kings was to be a world-politics; the balance of power was to be a burning question; international diplomacy came into being. The three great powers were Egypt, Assyria, and Babylonia. Lesser kingdoms appeared as Egypt advanced into the East, — Mitanni in northwestern Mesopotamia, whose people used the cuneiform script to express a language which cannot yet be understood, Alasia in northwestern Syria, and the Hittites just rounding into form in the highlands of northeastern Syria and destined to play so brilliant a part, if at present a puzzling one, in the history of the coming centuries. At first, Egypt carried all before her. Under the successive Pharaohs of the eighteenth dynasty, her armies passed victoriously up and down along the eastern Mediterranean and even crossed the Euphrates. All Syria became an Egyptian province, paying tribute to the empire of the Nile. Egyptian civilization was dominant throughout the whole region.
116. The effect of this Egyptian predominance in Syria upon the kingdoms of the Tigro-Euphrates valley was significant. The Egyptians obtained the monopoly of the trade of its new provinces, and the eastern kingdoms were cut off. They were crowded back as Egypt pressed forward. It is not improbable that Assyria's northern movement (sect. 112) was by this pressure forced to the east, and therefore the centre of Assyrian power shifted to the other side of the Tigris over against the eastern mountains. The image of Ishtar, goddess of Nineveh, had fallen during this time into the hands of the king of Mitanni, who sent it to Egypt (Winckler, Tel-el-Amarna Letters, 20). The pent up forces of the two peoples declined and exhausted themselves in reviving and pursuing with greater intensity and persistence the struggle for local supremacy. Assyria was numbered by Thutmose III. of Egypt (1480-1427 B. C.) among his tributaries for two years, although this may have been little more than a vainglorious boast, arising out of the endeavor of the Assyrian king to obtain the Egyptian alliance by means of gifts. That Egypt was courted by both Babylonian and Assyrian rulers is testified to by the archives of Amenhotep IV., as preserved in the Tel-el-Amarna letters, which contain communications from kings of both nations to the Pharaohs, intimating that these negotiations had been going on for half a century. The Pharaohs, having won their provinces in Syria by force of arms, were willing to maintain possession by alliances with bordering peoples whom they regarded as inferior, even while treating with them on the conventional terms imposed by the diplomacy of the time. Thus they exchanged princesses with Mitanni, Babylon, and Assyria, and made presents of gold, the receipt of which the kings of these lands acknowledged by asking for more. Their deferential attitude toward Egypt, however, goes somewhat beyond what must have been the diplomatic courtesy of the time, and shows how Egypt stood as arbiter and head among them. A perfect illustration of the situation is given in the following paragraph from a letter of the king of Babylon to Amenhotep IV. of Egypt:
In the time of Kurigalzu, my father, the Canaanites as a body sent to him as follows: "Against the frontier of the land, let us march, and invade it. Let us make an alliance with thee." Then my father sent them this (reply), as follows: "Cease (trying) to form an alliance with me. If you cherish hostility against the king of Egypt, my brother, and bind yourselves together (with an oath), as for me, shall I not come and plunder you? — for he is in alliance with me." My father, for the sake of thy father, did not heed them. Now, (as to) the Assyrians, my own subjects, did I not send thee (word) concerning their matters? Why has (an embassy) entered thy country? If thou lovest me, let them have no good fortune. Let them secure no (advantage) whatever (ABL, p. 221).
While Egypt must needs be on friendly terms with the Mesopotamian states in order to keep them from interfering in Syria, it was with each one of them a vital matter to gain her exclusive alliance, or prevent any other of them from securing it.
117. In these conditions of world-politics, the complications between the rival states in Mesopotamia, as already remarked, were increased and intensified. The problem of a boundary line, a frequent source of trouble between nations, occasioned recurring difficulties. Kara-indash for Babylon and Ashur-bel-nisheshu for Assyria settled it (about 1450) by a treaty (Synchr. Hist., col. I. 1-4). The same procedure was followed about half a century later by the Babylonian Burnaburyas I. (?) and the Assyrian Puzur-ashur (Ibid., col. I. 5-7). Of Kadashman Bel (Kalliina Sin), who reigned at Babylon in the interval, four letters to Amenhotep III. of Egypt are preserved in the Tel-el-Amarna tablets, together with one from the Pharaoh to him, but beyond the mention of exchanging daughters as wives they contain no historical facts of importance. Kurigalzu I. (about 1380 B. C.), the son and successor of Burnaburyas (I.?), is mentioned in the same collection of documents as on good terms with Egypt, but no record remains of his relations with Assyria, where Ashur-nadin-akhi ruled. The same is true of the latter's son, Ashur-uballit and the Babylonian Burnaburyas II. (about 1350 B. C.), son of Kurigalzu I., who refers to his rival in the boastful terms already quoted (sect. 116), which, however, must be interpreted as the language of diplomacy. His six letters to the Pharaoh Amenhotep IV. are, otherwise, historically barren. Ashuruballit, "the vassal," succeeded in marrying his daughter Muballitat-sirua to the Babylonian king's son, Karakhardash, who followed his father upon the throne (about 1325 B. C.). The two kings also renewed the boundary treaty of their fathers (RP, 2 ser. V. p. 107, and Winckler, Alt. Or. Forsch. I., ii. pp. 115 f.). Here the first stage of the rivalry may be said to close. From a position of insignificance the Assyrian kingdom had been raised, by a series of able rulers, to an equality with Babylonia, and the achievement was consummated by the union of the royal houses.
118. The son of this union, Kadashman-kharbe, succeeded his father on the Babylonian throne while his grandfather, Ashuruballit, still ruled in Assyria. To him, apparently, a Babylonian chronicle fragment ascribes the clearing of the Euphrates road from the raids of the Bedouin Suti, and the building of fortresses and planting of colonies in Syria (RP, 2 ser. V., and Winckler, AOF, 1. c.). But it is not improbable that, if done by him, it was in connection with his grandfather, who, in his letter to the Pharaoh Amenhotep IV., expressly mentions the Suti as infesting the roads to the west, evidently the trade routes of the upper Mesopotamian valley (Winckler, Tel-el-Amarna Letters, pp. 30 f.). This close relation to Assyria was not pleasing to the Kassite nobles, who rebelled against their king, killed him, and set a certain Suzigas, or Nazibugas, upon the throne. But the aged Ashuruballit hastened to avenge his grandson, marched into Babylonia, and put the usurper to death. In his stead he placed on the throne the son of Kadashman-kharbe as Kurigalzu II., who, called the "young" one, was evidently still a child. With this agrees the probable reading of the years of his reign as fifty-five upon the kings' list. He must at first have reigned under the tutelage of Ashuruballit, who, however, could not have lived long after his great-grandson's accession. The Assyrian throne was taken by his son Bel-nirari, who was followed by his son Pudi-ilu. Kurigalzu outlived both these kings, and saw Pudi-ilu's son, Adad-nirari I., succeed his father. The Babylonian king seems not to have altered his friendly attitude toward Assyria during the reigns of the first two kings. He waged a brilliantly successful war with the Elamites, captured their king Khurba-tila with his own hands, sacked Susa, his capital, and brought back great spoil. At Nippur he offered to the goddess of the shrine an agate tablet which, after having been given to Ishtar of Uruk in honor of Dungi of Ur more than a thousand years before, had been carried away to Elam in the Elamite invasion of the third millennium and was now returned to its Babylonian home. In his last years the king came into conflict with Adadnirari I. of Assyria. Was it owing to the ambition of a young and vigorous ruler who hoped to get the better of his aged rival? Or was it the Babylonian's growing distrust of the power of Assyria, which, under one of the kings of his time, Belnirari, had attacked and overthrown the Kassites in their ancestral home to the east of the Tigris? Whatever was the occasion, the two armies met, and the Assyrian was completely defeated (RP, 2 ser. V. pp. 109 ff., cf. IV. p. 28; Winckler, AOF, p. 122). A readjustment of boundaries followed. Kurigalzu II. was an industrious builder. Whether the citadel of Dur Kurigalzu, which lay as a bulwark on the northern border of the Babylonian plain, was built by him or his predecessor, the first of the name, is uncertain. The same confusion attaches to most of the Kurigalzu inscriptions, though the probabilities are in favor of ascribing the majority of them to Kurigalzu II. The temples at Ur and Nippur were rebuilt by him as well as that of Agade. A statement of the Babylonian chronicle suggests that he was the first Kassite king who favored Babylon and its god Marduk. He gives himself in his inscriptions, among other titles, that of "Viceroy of the god Bel" and may well be that Kurigalzu whom a later ruler, in claiming descent from him, proudly calls the "incomparable king" (sharru la sanaan).
119. The period of peace with the Kassite rulers of Babylonia had been improved by the Assyrian kings in extending their boundaries toward the north and east. An inscription of Adadnirari I. (KB, I. 4ff.) ascribes the beginning of this forward movement to his great-grandfather, Ashuruballit, who conquered the Subari on the upper Tigris, Belnirari and Pudi-ilu campaigned in the east and southeast in the well-watered region between the river and the mountains, where dwelt the Kuti, the Suti, the Kassi, and other peoples of the mountain and the steppe, down to the borders of Elam. Adadnirari I. continued the advance by subduing the Lulumi in the east, but his defeat by Kurigalzu II. cost him the southern conquests of his predecessors, as the boundary-line established after the battle (Syn. Hist., col. I. 21-23) and the silence of his own inscription indicate. However, he strengthened Assyria's hold on the other peoples by planting cities among them. When Kurigalzu II. was succeeded in Babylonia by his son Nazi-maruttash, the Assyrian king tried the fortune of battle with him, and this time apparently with greater success, although the new boundaries agreed upon seem very little different from those in the time of Kurigalzu II. (Syn. Hist., col. I. 24-31).
120. Under Adadnirari's son, Shalmaneser I. (about 1300?), Assyria began to push westward. The decades that had passed since the correspondence between the Amenhoteps of Egypt and the kings of Assyria and Babylonia had witnessed a great change in the political relations of Egypt and Syria. A people which in the fifteenth century was just appearing in northern Syria, the Khatti (Hittites), had pushed down and overspread the land to the borders of Palestine. The eighteenth Egyptian dynasty had disappeared, and the nineteenth, which had succeeded, found the Khatti invincible. Ramses II., the fourth Pharaoh of that dynasty, made a treaty of peace with them, wherein he renounced all Egyptian provinces north of Palestine. With the pressure thus removed from northern Mesopotamia, Assyria was free to move in this the natural direction of her expansion. It was a turning-point in the world's history when this nation set its face toward the west. Shalmaneser followed up the Tigris, crossed its upper waters, planted Assyrian outposts among the tribes, and marched along the southern spurs of the mountains to the head-waters of the Euphrates. The chief peoples conquered by him were the Arami, by whom are to be understood the Arameans of western Mesopotamia, and the Muçri, concerning whose position little is known unless they are the people of that name living in northern Syria. In this case Shalmaneser was the first Assyrian king to carry the Assyrian arms across the Euphrates. The large additions to Assyria's territory on all sides thus made probably lay at the bottom of Shalmaneser's transfer of the seat of his administration from the ancient city of Assur to Kalkhi (Calah), forty miles to the north, and on the eastern side of the Tigris just above the point where the upper Zab empties into the great river. The strategic advantages of the site are obvious, — the protection offered by the Zab and the Tigris, the more central location and the greater accessibility from all parts of the now much enlarged state. Here the king built his city, which testified to the sagacity of its founder by remaining one of the great centres of Assyrian life down to the end of the empire. The title of Shar Kishshate, "king of the world," which he and his father Adadnirari were the first Assyrian kings to claim, is a testimony both of their greatness and of the consciousness of national enlargement which their work produced.
121. Of the Kassite kings who held Babylonia during these years little is known beyond their names and regnal years (sect. 103). An uncertain passage on the broken Ashur-naçir-pal (7) obelisk seems to refer to a hostile meeting between Kadashman-burias and Shalmaneser I. of Assyria (Hommel, GBA, p. 437). A much more important contest was that between Shalmaneser's son, Tukulti Ninib (about 1250) and the Kassite rulers. From fragments of a Babylonian chronicle (RP, 2 ser. V. p. 111), it is clear that the Assyrian king entered Babylonia, and for seven years held the throne against all comers, defeating and overthrowing, it is probable, four Babylonian kings who successively sought to maintain their rights against him. At last, owing perhaps to the dissatisfaction felt in Assyria at the king's evident preference for governing his kingdom from Babylonia, Tukulti Ninib was himself murdered by a conspiracy headed by his own son Ashurnaçirpal. Here the second stage of the struggle may be said to terminate. It had been accompanied by a remarkable development of Assyria which brought the state, though hardly yet of age, to a position of power that culminated in the humiliation and temporary subjection of her rival under Assyrian rule. During the reign of Tukulti Ninib Assyria was the mistress of the entire Tigro-Euphrates valley from the mountains to the Persian gulf.
122. During these evil years Babylonia had suffered from Elamite inroads (RP, 2 ser. V. pp. 111 f.) as well as borne the yoke of the Assyrian. But the murder of Tukulti Ninib gave the opportunity for a new and successful rebellion which placed Adad-shumuçur (Adad-nadin-akhi) upon the throne. He ruled, according to the kings' list, for thirty years. Under him and his successors, Mili-shikhu and Marduk-baliddin I. (about 1150 B. C.), a sudden and splendid uplift was given to Babylonia's fortunes. If the hints contained in the fragmentary sources are correctly understood, it appears that, toward the close of the reign of Adadshumuçur, he was attacked by the Assyrian king Bel-kudur-uçur. The battle resulted in a victory for the Babylonians, but both kings were killed. The Assyrian general, Ninib-apal-ekur, possibly a son of the king, withdrew his forces, and, pressed hard by Milishikhu, the son and successor of the Babylonian king, shut himself up in the city of Assur, apparently his capital rather than Kalkhi, where he was able to beat off the enemy. He succeeded to the Assyrian throne, but with the loss of Assyrian prestige and authority in the Mesopotamian valley. For twenty-eight years, during the reigns of Milishikhu and his son Mardukbaliddin, Babylonia was supreme. The latter king assumed the title borne by Shalmaneser I. of Assyria, " King of the World," which implied, if Winckler's understanding of the title is to be accepted (sect. 54), authority over northern Mesopotamia between the Tigris and Euphrates. Be that as it may, this brilliant outburst of Kassite Babylonia was transient. Zamama-shum-iddin, the successor of Mardukbaliddin, was attacked and worsted by Ashurdan of Assyria, son of Ninib-apal-ekur. Within three years his successor, Bel-shum-iddin, was dethroned, and the Kassite dynasty of Babylonia came to an end after nearly six centuries of power (about 1140 B. C.).
123. THE earliest and by no means the least impressive instance of the power of civilization to dominate a rude people and mould them to its will is furnished in the relations of Babylonia to the Kassites. Tribes, vigorous and wild, hitherto possessing but slight traces of organization and culture, descended from the hills upon a region in which dwelt a nation of high social and political development, possessing a long history of achievements in culture, distinguished for the peaceful acquisitions of wealth and the enjoyment of the refinements of civilization. The outcome, it might seem, was likely to be the overthrow of the political structure, and the disappearance of the high attainment in science and the arts of life, reached by slow stages through two thousand years, to be followed by a painful rebuilding of the political and social edifice on new foundations. In reality the very opposite of this took place. The splendid work of Babylonian civilization stood intact; the conquerors entered into the inheritance of its traditions and achievements, and within a century were found laboring for its advancement and perfection. The Kassites were absorbed into the Babylonian life without a struggle. They even lost all attachment to the mountain homes whence they came and to the peoples from which they sprang, and permitted them, at last, to pass into the possession of Assyria.
124. The Kassite régime was not, however, without its influence upon Babylonian history and life. The direct contributions of purely Kassite elements were, indeed, few. Some words enriched the language; the new speech became a dialect which must be mastered by the scholars; some cults of Kassite gods were established and remained. A new racial ingredient was poured into the already varied complex which made up the Babylonian people, — an ingredient not without value in infusing fresh and vigorous elements into the doubtless somewhat enfeebled stock. For the incoming of the invaders was sufficient evidence that the native population was no longer able to defend itself against assaults, and the service of Agumkakrime, of which he boasts in his inscription (sect. 106), is an example of what the Kassites were to do for Babylonia. That such a work was not only necessary but appreciated by the nation is abundantly proved by the length of time during which the Kassite kings sat upon the throne, in spite of the difficulties which encompassed them.
125. Not as Kassite but as Babylonian kings, therefore, did these rulers contribute to the development of the land between the rivers. Entering into the heritage of preceding dynasties, they ruled like them in accordance with Babylonian precedent, and in many respects were worthy of the succession. In one thing they surpassed their predecessors; they gave to Babylonia a common name. Up to their time, the kings had been rulers of cities whose authority extended over districts round about, a state of things true even of the age of Khammurabi, when all the land was united under the sway of the city-state of Babylon. Yet these foreign conquerors were able to succeed where that great king had failed. They called themselves kings of Karduniash. This name was not that of a city, and while it was at first attached to one of the southern districts (sect. 105), soon came to be applied to the whole country, so that, when later kings of Assyria would assert their lordship over their ancestral enemy in the south, they proudly assumed the old Kassite designation "King of Karduniash." This achievement was significant of the new unity attained under this dynasty. Reference has already been made (sect. 100) to the religious policy which guided the unifiers of Babylonia in the days of Khammurabi, It centred in the exaltation of the city-god Marduk of Babylon, and the systematic abasement of the other religious shrines, particularly that of Nippur. But in this period that very temple of Bel at Nippur seems to have returned to prominence and its god received high honor. The American explorers on that site note that one of the Kurigalzus rebuilt the ancient ziggurat, another Kassite king "built the great structure containing the Court of Columns," and the memorials of this dynasty, in the shape of votive offerings and temple archives, are the characteristic and dominating element among the objects unearthed on the site (Peters, Nippur, II. p. 259 and passim). Moreover, among the few Kassite inscriptions found elsewhere, are records of temple-building at other points. Kara-indash built at Uruk, Burnaburyash at Larsam, and Kurigalzu at Larsam and Ur. These facts have led to the inference that the Kassites represented a reaction from the systematic glorification of Marduk of Babylon as god of gods, in favor of the older deities and the provincial shrines, and that this attitude illustrates their general position in opposition to the policy of Khammurabi, whereby they favored the people of the country at large as over against the capital city, Babylon. It is true that Agumkakrime's inscription is largely occupied with his services to the temple of Marduk, and that the other kings seem to have continued to dwell at Babylon, but these facts do not deter an eminent scholar from summing up the contribution of the Kassite dynasty to the development of Babylonia in these words: "By restoring the former glory of Ekur, the ancient national sanctuary in Nippur, so deeply rooted in the hearts of the Babylonian people, and by stepping forward as the champions of the sacred rights of the 'father of the gods,' they were able to bring about a reconciliation and a final melting together of the Kassite and Semitic elements" (Hilprecht, OBT, I. i. p, 31).
126, The civilization of Karduniash — to use the name characteristic of this age — was, in the Kassite period, influenced as never before by international relations. The great nations had come into intimate communication with one another, and their intercourse demanded a code of customs for its proper regulation. Hence came the beginnings of international law. The first treaty known to history belongs to this period, — that of the Pharaoh Rameses II. with the king of the Hittites, containing the famous so-called "extradition" clause. Hints of a kind of compact between Babylonian kings and the Pharaohs are given in the Tel-el-Amarna letters. We hear now for the first time of the "brotherhood of nations." "First establish good brotherhood between us" are words contained in a letter of Amenhotep III. to Kadashman Bel (Winckler, TAL, letter 1). Ambassadors pass to and fro between the courts on the Euphrates and the Nile, They carry safe-conducts for passage through the Egyptian provinces of Syria. Their persons are sacred, and the king in whose provinces an insult has been offered to them must punish the offender. Between the royal personages who figure in these letters, it has been thought that the relations were something more than formal, and the message of a Mitannian king to Amenhotep IV. on hearing of the death of his father, has a pathetic ring: "Never did Nimmuriya, your father, break his promises — I have mourned for him deeply, and when he died, I wished to die myself! May he, whom I loved, live with God" (Tiele-Western Asia, p. 12).
127. The influence of Egypt upon the life of the Babylonians, resulting from this enlarged intercourse, cannot be followed into detail with any materials at present available. Medical science may have been improved. One might expect that religion would have been affected. The dogma of the divinity of the Pharaoh might be regarded as likely to emphasize and encourage claims of the Babylonian kings for like honors not unknown in the past (sect. 75); yet not only is no evidence presented for this, but it is even maintained that the Kassite kings definitely set aside the remnants of the Babylonian usage in the case, and regarded themselves as delegates and representatives of the gods of whom they were the adopted sons (Sayce, BA, p. 171). In the sphere of trade and commerce the influence of Egypt was unmistakable and far reaching. No doubt, at the beginning of the advance of Egypt into Asia and throughout her domination of Syria, Babylonian commerce with the west suffered, and was at times entirely cut off. But the traders on the Euphrates directed their energies only the more toward opening and developing new markets in the north and east. According to testimony drawn from the "finds" at Nippur, they brought gypsum from Mesopotamia, marble and limestone from the Persian mountains, cedar and cypress from the Zagros, lapis lazuli from Bactria, and cobalt for coloring material, "presumably" from China (Peters, Nippur, II. p. 134). It is not impossible that the eastern affinities of the Kassite kings assisted the development of trade in this direction. On the other hand, when with some possible restrictions commerce was revived with the Egyptian provinces of Syria under royal agreements, the unification of these regions under one authority gave at that time, as often later, a substantial stimulus to trade both in its security and its extent. This fact is proved by the striking discovery at Nippur of votive offerings of magnesite, which must have been brought for the Kassite kings from the island of Eubcea (Nippur, ibid.). Egypt itself had, in its Nubian mines, the pre-eminent source of gold for the oriental world, and the letters of the eastern kings to their brethren the Pharaohs are full of requests for gifts of more of the precious metal and of better quality, for which they send in return lapis lazuli, enamel, horses and chariots, slaves, costly furniture, and works of art.
128. From the facts already stated it is clear that Karduniash flourished under its Kassite rulers. Industry was active. Manufacturing was represented not only by the objects already enumerated as gifts to the Pharaohs, but by a multitude of materials found at Nippur and mentioned in the royal inscriptions. Among the former were the ornamental axe-heads. These analysis has disclosed to be made of glass colored with cobalt and copper and resembling in character "the famous Venetian glass of the fourteenth century A. D.," moulded probably by Phoenician artists employed at the temple (Nippur, II. p. 134) Agumkakrime's description of his rehabilitation of the deities Marduk and Zarpanit of Babylon gives a picture of the superabounding wealth of the king, who clothes the images of the deities with gold-embroidered robes, heavy with jewels, and houses them in a cella of cedar and cypress woods made by cunning workmen, its doors banded with bronze, and its walls lined with strange carved animal figures. Unfortunately, no large sculptures of these kings have yet been discovered, nor do the remains of the Nippur temple ascribed to them afford any judgment as to the architecture of the time. The so-called boundary stones of Milishikhu and Mardukbaliddin I., carved with rude representations of animals and of the heavenly bodies, symbols of uncertain significance, were probably the work of provincial artists (Smith, AD, pp. 236 ff.). It is strange that these stones are the chief evidence for the legal element in the life of the time. The inscription on that Of Mardukbaliddin I. conveys a tract of land to one of his officials as a reward. The boundaries of the tract are carefully stated, the ancestry of the beneficiary is traced to the fifth generation, witnesses are named, and curses are invoked upon all who in the future may interfere with this award. Excavations yet to be made on temple sites like that of Nippur will probably reveal in sufficient abundance the deeds, contracts, and other documents which were indispensable in so active and enterprising a commercial and industrial community as was Babylonia in those days. A similar silence broods over the literature. Beyond the few royal inscriptions and letters already sufficiently described, no evidence exists to show either that the masterpieces of old were studied or that new works were being produced. This gap in our knowledge will also sometime be filled.
129. If the successful seizure of the Babylonian throne by the Kassites had given a mighty impetus to the development of Assyria as an independent kingdom (sect. 112), their continued possession of Babylonia affected deeply the history of the northern people, The Assyrians were not thereby alienated from the civilization of the south, for this had already been wrought too deeply into the structure of their body politic. It is maintained, indeed, that the Assyrian cuneiform script of the time tends to resemble the north Mesopotamian forms rather than the Babylonian (Winckler, GBA, p. 165); but in all that may be regarded as fundamental in a people's culture Assyria remained in Babylonian leading-strings. The surprising thing is that, as time wore on, the hostility between the Kassite and Assyrian rulers did not relax, nor did it yield even when all interests were in favor of peace. The facts seem to show that the primary part in this aggressive activity was taken by Assyria. In other words, it became the settled policy of the northern state to strive for the possession of Babylonia, even when the actual Kassite element had long been absorbed into the Semitic Babylonian. The mere lust of conquest will not explain this persistence. It must have its ground in the political or economic conditions of the state. The original Assyria (sect. 111) had neither a natural frontier nor sufficient arable land to protect and sustain a nation. Hence the people, if they were not constantly to stand on guard, must expand until a natural barrier was met; they must also reach out to control the only other source of wealth in the ancient world, commerce. In the way of the attainment of both these objects stood, primarily, Babylonia. The Babylonian war was, therefore, a vital condition of Assyria's progress. Other motives may have entered in, — the feeling that the south was the home-land, the seat of religion and culture, and therefore must be recovered. Nor is it unlikely that there was in Babylonia itself a longing for union with Assyria, and consequently a pro-Assyrian party, always ready to encourage interference from the north. Yet the deeper motive is that first mentioned.
130. The fateful influence of this course into which Assyria was drawn was to intensify a military bent already sufficiently encouraged by physical surroundings. The king became the warrior, the defender of his people from wild beasts and from human enemies, the leader of au army. "He breaks in pieces the mass of his foes, he tramples down their countries," "he scatters their armies" — are phrases of Adadnirari I. in his own inscription. The gods were those representing the fierce, wild elements of nature, as Adad (Ramman), the god of the storm, the wind, and the rain, or Ishtar, the goddess of Arbela, the fierce companion in arms of the warriors, or the other Ishtar, of Nineveh, the mistress of the soldier returned from the wars, the goddess of love and lust. Above them stood Ashur, the divine king of the military state, of whom the human king was the representative and servant, — the god, who went out with the army to battle and received the spoils. The nation, thus affected and inspired, gathered close about its divine head, and followed the king his vicegerent with unquestioning obedience. The city where he had his seat, whether Assur or Kalkhi or Nineveh, became the headquarters of all activity. All other cities, Arbela excepted, were overshadowed and left to drag out a petty and insignificant existence, their names hardly known. Here the court with its aristocracy of warriors, chiefs with their clansmen, formed the centre of national life. The king usually gave his name to the first full year of his kingship; it was the limu of the king by which all events were recorded; then followed, given as official designation to year after year, the names of the warriors of the court in due succession. As king succeeded king, the limu lists were preserved, formed a chronological framework for history (sect. 38), and fostered the self-consciousness of the state as a living organism, having a past wrought out by men of might, and moving on toward the future. This system had already been adopted by the time of Adadnirari I., whose stele was set up in the year when Shalmanuasharid (Shalmaneser) was limu. It was Assyria's original contribution to historical progress, and passed over from the east to reappear in Athens, where a similar official was called the archon eponymos.
131. In this military state all spheres of life felt the impulse to realize practical results. Religion was at the service of the kings. They were devoted to the gods, indeed, since they were proud constantly to build temples. Ashuruballit and his descendant Shalmaneser I. repaired and enlarged a temple to Ishtar of Nineveh, and Adadnirari I., another to Ashur at the capital. They were equally proud of erecting palaces. The Adadnirari stele deals more fully with the warlike achievements of the king and his ancestors than with his religious foundation. The remains of literature and art and the evidences of industry and manufacturing in this age are too scanty to warrant any judgment, the few royal inscriptions, some alabaster jars, and a bronze sword of Adadnirari I. (Maspero, SN, p, 607), chariots and horses, lapis lazuli, slaves, and precious vases mentioned as gifts sent to the Egyptian kings (Winckler, TAL, 15) being about all the available material, — enough perhaps to indicate that Assyrian scribes and merchants were following in the footsteps of their brethren on the Euphrates. Phoenician artists may have wrought in this period the ivory carvings which were found on the site of Kalkhi, the capital of Shalmaneser I. (BMG, p. 23). While it is certain from documents of later periods that the same legal forms were employed in business transactions as were in use in Babylonia, no tablets of that character belonging to this time, with possibly one exception, have been found.
132. If the power of an ancient civilization to dominate a rude people was impressively exhibited in the victory of Babylonian culture over the Kassites (sect. 123), not less significant was the spectacle of the renaissance of that culture as the Kassite domination began to wane. Contemporaneous with the splitting off of Assyria and its incessant inroads upon Karduniash was the advance of Egypt into Syria and its appearance upon the Euphrates. The reign of the Semite in Western Asia and the long era of Babylonian leadership in civilization seemed about to come to an end. But so deeply rooted and so vigorous was this culture, even in Syria, that the Egyptian conquerors were compelled to use the Babylonian speech in their diplomatic correspondence with the princes and governors of the provinces and to teach it to their officials in the Egyptian capital. And when the authority of the Pharaohs decayed and their armies disappeared from Syria, the new kingdom on the Tigris came forward and girded itself for the task of unifying under its own leadership the Semitic peoples of Western Asia, and of making that same Babylonian culture prevail from the Persian gulf to the Mediterranean.
133. THE splendid extension of Assyrian authority to the northwest, achieved by Shalmaneser I. and his successors (sect. 120), had not been lasting. The incursion and settlement of the Khatti in Syria proved to be merely the beginning of a series of similar migrations from the north and northwest into the regions of Western Asia. Half a century before his own time, according to the testimony of Tiglathpileser I. of Assyria, the Mushki had advanced over the boundaries of Assyria's conquests along the headwaters of the Euphrates, had conquered the Alzi and the Purukuzzi, her tributary peoples, and were sifting into the nearer region of Qummukh. The bulk of the invading peoples, indeed, poured down into Syria, and broke in pieces the loose confederation of the Khatti, but the latter in turn were thereby pushed eastward to hamper Assyrian progress. The effect of this reverse may be observed in the revival of Babylonia under the later Kassite kings (sect. 122). It was, probably, late in his long reign that Ashurdan I. of Assyria was able to make headway against his southern rivals, and inflict on the next to the last Kassite ruler a defeat which three years after seems to have cost this foreign dynasty its supremacy over Babylonia. Ashurdan died soon after, and was followed by his son Mutakkil-nusku, of whom little is known; presumably he reigned but a few years (about 1135 B. C.).
134. The dynasty which wrested the Babylonian throne from the Kassites was, as the names of its kings indicate, of native origin, and is called in the kings' list "the dynasty of Pashe." Unfortunately, that important document is imperfectly preserved at this point, and seven names out of the whole number of eleven are quite illegible. By a strange chance the names of those kings who from other documents are known to belong to this dynasty, are among those missing from the kings' list, and it is therefore impossible to determine accurately their chronological order and the length of their reigns. Of these the greatest was Nebuchadrezzar I. A highly probable argument has been made by Hilprecht (OBT, I. i, pp. 41 ff.) to prove that he was the founder of the dynasty and its first king (about 1140-1123 B. C.), but paleographic grounds render it inconclusive, though not impossible. He was followed in turn by Belnadin-aplu (about 1122-1117 B. C.), and Marduknadin-akhi (about 1116-1105). The dynasty held the throne over one hundred and thirty-two years to about 1010 B.C.
135. The name Nebuchadrezzar, meaning "May the god Nabu protect the boundary," is significaut of the work of this energetic Babylonian ruler. Babylonia had been the tramping-ground of the nations. For centuries foreigners had ruled in the land and had warred with the Assyrians for its possession. In the last Kassite years the Elamites had renewed their inroads from the east, penetrating to the very heart of the land. The province of Namar, famous for its horses, was already occupied by them. This deep humiliation, coupled with the Assyrian success, drove the Kassite from his ascendency and opened the way for more successful defenders of the ancient state. Nebuchadrezzar undertook the task. He found the Elamites already at Der. In spite of the scorching heat of midsummer he pushed on, driving them before him. Across the Tigris, on the banks of the Ula, the final stand was made by the Elamite army, but, in the fierce battle that ensued, the king, in the words of his own inscription (ABL, p. 8), "remained the victor" and "overthrew the country of the king of Elam... carrying away its possessions." Other expeditions to the northeast into the old Kassite land and beyond it to the highlands of the Lullumi, were intended to give warning to future marauders from that region. A governor of the district was stationed at the fortress of Holwan.
136. Among the first tasks confronting such a ruler was the rewarding of his followers, — a work which at the same time meant the restoration of the Semitic-Babylonian element to its former social and political supremacy. An interesting example of his procedure in this respect is found in a document of the king, the most considerable inscription which has been preserved from his reign, containing a deed of gift. Ritti Marduk, of the house of Karziyabkhu, in the province of Namar, which had fallen into the hands of the Elamites, had valiantly supported his lord in the trying Elamite campaign. Indeed, he seems to have performed a signal personal service to Nebuchadrezzar when hail pressed by the enemy. On the return of the army the king issued a proclamation, giving back to the prince and sealing for all time former privileges by which Karziyabkhu was made a free domain, over which the royal officials were not to exercise authority, upon which they were not to levy taxes, from which no requisitions for state purposes of any sort were to be made. Of the wisdom of establishing such feudal domains in the kingdom there may be some question. It was a return to the older system of land tenure which, by weakening the force of royal authority, had made defence against invaders difficult. But, for the present at least, restoration was the order of the day, and Nebuchadrezzar proudly styles himself "the sun of his country, who makes his people to prosper, who preserves boundaries and establishes landmarks(?), the just king, who pronounces righteous judgment." According to another similar document, he rescued in his campaign a statue of the god Bel, which the Elamites may have taken from Babylon. He seized the opportunity on this occasion to re-establish, by "taking the hands of Bel," his own right to the Babylonian throne, and proceeded to renew in a yet more striking and magnificent way the ancient glories of his kingdom.
137. Centuries had passed since any Babylonian ruler either had set up the ancestral claim to possession of the "West-land," or had done anything to make that claim good. The Kassite kings had found Egypt in possession of the field, and Assyria was, from time to time, pushing forward to cut off the road by occupying the upper waters of the Euphrates. But Nebuchadrezzar, in the spirit of a glorious past which he felt that he represented, not only called himself "conqueror of the West-land," but seems actually to have reached the Mediterranean and left his name upon the cliffs of the Nahr-el-Kelb.
138. Such an expedition was certain to bring him into contact with Assyria, and, indeed, was possible only by reason of Assyrian weakness. His activities in the northeast were equally offensive to the rival state. It is no wonder, therefore, that the Synchronistic History records a clash between the two kingdoms. Neither the time nor the details of the campaigns can be satisfactorily determined. It may be presumed that they took place toward the close of the king's reign (about 1125 B. C.). A new ruler, Ashur-rish-ishi, was king in Assyria and eager to try conclusions with the Babylonian veteran. He invaded the south, but was driven back and followed by Nebuchadrezzar, who laid siege to a border fortress. The Assyrian king succeeded in beating him off and destroying his siege-train. In a later expedition which the Babylonian sent against Assyria, another and more serious repulse was suffered; the Babylonian general Karastu was taken prisoner and forty chariots captured. Nebuchadrezzar, near the end of his career, made no further attempt to avenge this disgrace, but left the renewal of the contest to his successors (Syn. Hist., col. II.), Belnadinaplu (sect. 134), indeed, seems to have taken no steps in this direction, nor did the Assyrian king pursue his advantage, unless his campaigns in the east and southeast against the highland tribes, Ahlami, Guti, and Lullumi, are to be regarded as an intrusion into territory already claimed as the conquest ef Nebuchadrezzar (sect. 135). Evidently neither party was anxious to come to blows. Babylonia needed yet a longer period of recuperation from the exhausting struggles for deliverance from Kassite and Elamite, while the Assyrian had his task awaiting him in the restoration of Assyrian power in the north and northwest.
139. The king who was to achieve this task for Assyria and to add a brilliant page to her annals of victory was already in the field. For at least three generations the Assyrian crown had passed from father to son, when Tiglathpileser I., the fourth of the line, in the flower of his youth, mounted the throne (about 1110 B.C.).
140. To understand the significance of the career of this great king, so fully detailed in his own inscription, a glance must be given at what had come to be the traditional political policy of Assyria. Linked to Babylonia by ties of blood and culture, the state was constantly drawn into complications with the mother-land. The vicissitudes of these relations have been traced in preceding chapters. But, apart from this fundamental influence, was the problem, presented to each state, of the relation to the larger environment. For Babylonia, this problem had already been solved. Her central position on the Euphrates — the connecting link between east and west — indicated that her sphere of influence reached out through western Mesopotamia to Syria and the Mediterranean coast-lands. This predominance, realized long before Assyria was born, had been maintained, with frequent lapses, indeed, and long intervals of inactivity, down to the days of Nebuchadrezzar I. From Babylon to Haran and from Haran to the sea stretched the recognized highroad as well of Babylonia's merchants as of her armies, Assyria, newly arrived upon the scene, and once secure of her position as an independent power by the side of her more ancient rival, found the outlook for progress leading to the more rugged pathways of the highlands to the north and northwest. To this field her position in the upper corner of the Mesopotamian plain invited her. The Tigris had broken through the mountains and opened up the road thither. And when the Assyrian merchant, moving westward in the shadow of the mountain wall which formed the northern boundary of the plain, was halted at the Euphrates by Babylonian authority, he turned northward into the highlands through which the upper Euphrates poured, and thus brought to light wider regions for the extension of Assyrian commerce. In all this mountain-land the soldier had followed hard upon the heels of the trader, so that for more than three centuries the campaigns of kings like Ashuruballit, Adadnirari, and Shalmaneser had built up the tradition that Assyria's sphere of influence was this northern highland. Though in after years, when Babylonia had yielded her supremacy of the west-land, the Assyrian kings devoted themselves to conquest in the richer lands of Syria, they never forgot the field of their earlier campaigns; they kept open the trade routes, and held in check the restless peoples of this rugged region.
141. This region, in classical times known as Armenia, containing in its fullest extent sixty thousand square miles, is an irregular rectangle, its greatest length five hundred miles, its width two hundred and fifty miles. A vast plateau, lifted some seven thousand feet above sea-level, it is girt about and traversed by mountain ranges. On its northern boundary lies the Caucasus; along the southern border, overlooking the Mesopotamian valley, runs Mt. Masius, called by the Assyrians Kashiari. Between these mountain boundaries two chains (the Armenian Taurus and the Anti-Taurus) cross this lofty region from west to east at about equal distances from one another, At its eastern border the mountains turn sharply to the southeast, and the country becomes a trackless tangle of peaks and ravines. Toward the northwest the plain runs out onto the plateau of Asia Minor, or drops to the Black Sea. To the southwest the Taurus throws out the ranges that pierce Armenia, and then itself turns off to the south in the Amanus range which forms the backbone of Syria. In this disintegration of the Taurus the entire surface of the land, like its eastern counterpart, is tossed about in a shapeless confusion of high and well-nigh impassable summits. Within Armenia, between the long ranges, lie fair and smiling plains. Between Kashiari and the Armenian Taurus the springs of the Tigris gather to form that mighty stream which breaks through the former range on the east and pours down to the sea. Behind the Armenian Taurus are the sources of the Euphrates which flows at first parallel to the Tigris, but in the opposite direction, until, turning to the southward, it tears its way through the knot of mountains in southwestern Armenia by innumerable windings, and debouches on the plain, at first to fall swiftly, then to spread out more widely on its way to the Persian gulf. The land, threaded by the head-waters of these rivers, is wild and romantic, with deep glens, lofty peaks, and barren passes. In the midst of it lies the broad, blue salt lake of Van, eighty miles long. The mountains are thickly wooded, the valleys are genial. Mineral wealth in silver, copper, and iron abounds. Inexhaustible pasturage is found for flocks and herds. All the fruits of the temperate zone grow in the valleys, and harvests of grain are reaped in the plains. The winters are cold and invigorating. It is a country of rare picturesqueness, capable of supporting a large population. The people, vigorous and hardy, till the soil of the plains, or lead flocks and herds over the hillsides. The tribal organization prevails. Villages nestle at the base of hills surmounted by rude fortresses. The larger towns, situated on the main roads which lead from Asia Minor to Mesopotamia, are centres of trade in raw materials, wool, goat's hair, and grain, or in the rude vessels of copper and silver, the spoil of the mines, or in the coarse cloths of the native weaver. The larger plains afford to the tribes opportunities for closer organization, under chiefs mustering no inconsiderable number of warriors. Border forays and the hunting of wild beasts vary the monotony of agricultural and pastoral existence, At times, under pressure of invasion, the tribes unite to defend their valleys, but fall apart again when the danger is past. A free, healthy, and abundant, if rude, life is lived under the open sky.
142. To secure control over the borders of this upland, then, Assyrian kings had girded themselves in preceding centuries. But the foothold attained by them on the upper waters of the Euphrates had been, as has been indicated (sect. 133), all but lost before Tiglathpileser became king. Scarcely had he taken his seat, when a new disaster was announced front the land of the Qummukhi. This people occupied the extensive valley between the Armenian Taurus and the Kashiari range at the sources of the Tigris, to the east of the gorge by which the Euphrates breaks through the former range to seek the Mesopotamian plain. Tribes from the northwest, known collectively as the Mushki, not content with overpowering the Alzi and Purukuzzi (sect. 133), suddenly hurled themselves under their five kings with twenty thousand warriors upon the Qummukhi. Tiglathpileser hurried, with an army, from Assur to the scene, more than three hundred miles away. His route led him up the Tigris, half-way across the upper Mesopotamian plain, then northward over the range of Kashiari, to a point where he could overlook the valley at its centre, not far from the ancient town of Amid, the modern Diyarbekr. From here he descended with chariots and infantry upon the invaders below and crushed them in one tremendous onslaught. Surprised and overwhelmed, fourteen thousand were cut down, and the remainder captured and transported to Assur. The Qummukhi, restless and rebellious, were subdued with fire and sword; one of their clans that fled into the eastern mountains the king followed across the Tigris, and, though they were aided by the Kirkhi (Kurti), a neighboring people in the eastern plateau, he defeated them and captured their stronghold. Returning, he marched against the capital of another of their clans farther to the north. They fled at his approach; their chief submitted without fighting and was spared. The king closed the campaign by taking a detachment of infantry and thirty chariots for a dash over the northern mountains into the "haughty and unsubmissive country of Mildish," which was likewise reduced to subjection. Upon all the peoples he laid the obligation of regular tribute and, laden with booty, returned to Assyria. By one vigorous advance he had not only removed the danger from the invading peoples, but had re-established Assyrian authority over one of the largest and most important of these mountain valleys, — that one which formed the entrance into the Mesopotamian plain.
143. The second campaign, undertaken in the first full year of his reign, — the year of his accession counting as only "the beginning," — was directed chiefly against the still rebellious Qummukhi, who were made again to feel the weight of Assyrian displeasure. On their western border were settled the Shumashti (Shubarti), whose cities had been invaded by a body of tribes of the Khatti, four thousand strong in infantry and chariots. These invaders submitted on the king's advance and were transported to Assyria. Two minor events of the year were the re-establishment of authority over the Alzi and Purukuzzi, and the subjugation of the Shubari, an eastern hill-tribe.
144. In the narrative of the first year's exploits occurs a phrase which suggests that the plan subsequently followed by the king was already conceived. Not only had Ashur, the nation's god, bidden him subdue rebellious vassals, but, to use the king's own words, "now he commanded me to extend the boundaries of my country." It had become clear that, to hold the peoples of these northern valleys to their allegiance, a systematic extension of Assyrian territory there must be undertaken. The task was formidable, leading Tiglathpileser I. into far districts hitherto unheard of by Assyrian kings, and requiring a display of energy and resource that his predecessors had not approached. Three well-conceived campaigns are recorded. In the first — that of his second regnal year — the tribes to the east of Qummukhi and the sources of the Tigris, between Kashiari and the Armenian Taurus, were subdued. In the second — that of his third regnal year — the king climbed the Taurus and descended upon the sources of the Euphrates. Here were the tribes known to the Assyrians as the Nairi, living to the west of Lake Van. The army pushed steadily westward through the mountains, fighting as it advanced, crossed the Euphrates, marched along its right bank, and reached the city of Milid, the western end of the main road from Asia Minor, later called the "Royal Road," and the chief city of a district separated from the Qummukhi only by the lofty Taurus mountains. There remained only the peoples to the far west, and against these, after the interval of a year, the king proceeded in his fifth regnal year. In this region, between Qummukhi and the gulf of Issus, lived the Muçri, whom Shalmaneser I. had already encountered (sect. 120). In these mountain valleys had flourished, centuries before, one of the main branches of the wide kingdom of the Khatti, and from thence this warlike people had descended upon the Syrian plain, Here Tiglathpileser found great fortresses, with walls and towers, blocking his advance. His reduction of the Muçri stirred up their neighbors and allies to the northwest the Qumani, and sent him still farther away into the endless confusion of rugged mountain ranges to accomplish their overthrow. One fierce battle with an army of twenty thousand warriors drove the defenders back upon Khunusa, their triple-walled fortress, which was stormed by the king with great slaughter and demolished. The way now lay open to their capital, which surrendered on his approach. Thereupon he accepted the submission of the tribes and laid the usual tribute upon them. The first stage of his stupendous task was now practically completed. The Assyrian border in this vast mountain region stretched in a huge arc from the upper Tigris and Lake Van around the head-waters of the Euphrates to the northeastern corner of the Mediterranean. Indeed it extended even farther, for, to use his own proud words:
I conquered in all, from the beginning of my reign to my fifth regnal year, forty-two countries and their princes, from the left bank of the lower Zab and the border of distant forest-clad mountains as far as the right bank of the Euphrates, the land of the Khatti, and the Upper Sea Of the setting sun (Prism Inscription, col, vi. 39-45).
145. During the strenuous years of these campaigns the king had found occasion to make at least two expeditions in other directions. The overthrow of the Shubari in the eastern hills took place in his first regnal year. In the fourth, he made a raid upon the Bedouin, who were crossing the Euphrates into western Mesopotamia, apparently for the purpose of settling in the upper plain. They were the advance guard of the Arameans. Crossing the plain due west from Assur, Tiglathpileser drove them before him along the river from the Khabur to the city of Karkhemish, followed them across into the desert, burned their villages, and carried off their goods and cattle to his capital. Necessary as such a campaign was for Aissyria's protection, it had entered territory under Babylonian influence, and could hardly have failed to stir up the Babylonian ruler to action against Assyria. Marduknadinakhi (sect. 134) was a vigorous ruler, and he seems to have responded by an invasion of Assyrian territory in the tenth year of his reign, in which may have occurred the capture of the city of Ekallati, and the removal of its gods to Babylon, an event to which a later Assyrian king, Sennacherib, refers. In the hostilities which inevitably ensued and continued for two years, possibly the seventh and eighth regnal years of Tiglathpileser, the Babylonian was severely beaten. In the first campaign Marduknadinakhi had advanced beyond the lower Zab into Assyrian territory, when he was driven back. In the second, the Assyrian king took the offensive and swept all before him. The decisive defeat was administered in northern Babylonia. Tiglathpileser captured, one after another, the chief northern cities, Upi, Dur Kurigalzu, Sippar, and Babylon, and then marched up the Euphrates to the Khabur, thereby bringing the river from Babylon to Karkhemish under Assyrian control. Satisfied with this assertion of his superiority, and the control of the chief trade routes, he did not attempt to usurp the Babylonian throne, but left Marduknadinakhi to resume his discredited authority.
146. A few more campaigns of the great Assyrian are recorded. An expedition against Elam may belong to his ninth year. Other visits to the lands of the Nairi are mentioned, in the last of which he set up, at the mouth of a grotto whence flows one of the sources of the Tigris, a stone slab upon which a full-length effigy of the conqueror is sculptured, with a proclamation of his victories over these northern peoples. It would not be surprising if he reigned little more than ten years. The numerous and fatiguing campaigns in which he led his troops, sometimes in his chariot, oftener on foot, over rugged mountains, amidst incessant fighting, must early have exhausted even his iron endurance. In the intervals of warfare he hunted with indefatigable zeal. Lists of lions slain by the king when on foot or from the chariot, of wild oxen and elephants, the trophies of his lance and bow, appear in his annals, and reveal another side of his activity. Not by himself, but by later kings, is another expedition referred to, which if, as it seems, properly assigned to him, rounds out his career. On the broken obelisk of Ashurnaçirpal III. are some lines which describe achievements parallel to his, though the ruler's name has not been preserved. Of this unknown it is further said that he sailed in ships of Arvad, a city of Phoenicia, killed a nakhiru (sea monster of some sort) in the great sea, captured wild cattle at the foot of Lebanon, and was presented by the king of Egypt with a pagutu (hippopotamus?) and a crocodile, Shalmaneser II. speaks of the cities of Ashurutiraçbat and Mutkinu, lying over against one another on either side of the Euphrates, as once captured by Tiglathpileser. These statements imply that, in the years after his Babylonian victory, he completed his western conquests by a campaign in Syria that carried him to the Mediterranean and to the Lebanons. The fame of this exploit extorted a tribute of respect from an Egyptian ruler.
147. Enough has been said to show that the king's military activity was no purposeless series of plundering raids. His campaigns are linked together in a well-ordered system. The first item of his policy is stated in his plain but significant assertion, "The feet of the enemy I kept from my country." Even more important is his second boast, "One word united I caused them to speak." Once conquered, the peoples were organized under Assyrian rule. Of the details in the realization of this plan he himself has recorded little beyond the establishment of a regular tax and the requirement of hostages. The deportation of captured tribes is not uncommon. The conquered peoples swear solemn oaths of allegiance by the Assyrian gods. Rebels are treated with ruthless cruelty, for they have sinned against gods and men. Peoples who resist attack are exposed to slaughter and the plundering of their goods. Tribes that submit are spared, their property respected, their chiefs restored to power under Assyrian supremacy. These principles, acted upon by Tiglathpileser, formed a body of precedents for future rulers,
148. At first thought, it seems unlikely that so eager a warrior would be solicitous for the economic welfare of his country. He was statesman, however, as well as conqueror. From the conquered lands he brought back flocks and herds; he sought out useful and valuable trees for transplanting into Assyrian forests, oaks, cedars, and fruit trees of a kind unknown to Assyrian orchards. He rebuilt the crumbling walls of cities; repaired the storehouses and granaries and heaped them high with grain. Royal palaces in his various provincial cities were restored, forming citadels for defence. Most splendid of all were the temples which he built and adorned with inimitable splendor. Of the restored temple of Anu and Adad he says:
I built it from foundation to roof larger and grander than before, and erected also two great temple towers, fitting ornaments of their great divinities. The splendid temple, a brilliant and magnificent dwelling, the habitation of their joys, the house for their delight, shining as bright as the stars on heaven's firmament and richly decorated with ornaments through the skill of my artists, I planned, devised, and thought out, built, and completed. I made its interior brilliant like the dome of the heavens; decorated its walls like the splendor of the rising stars, and made it grand with resplendent brilliancy. I reared its temple towers to heaven, and completed its roof with burned brick; located therein the upper terrace containing the chamber of their great divinities; and led into the interior Anu and Adad, the great gods, and made them to dwell in their lofty house, thus gladdening the heart of their great divinities (Prism Ins., col. vii. 85-114, trans. in ABL, pp. 25 f.).
149, The height of Assyria's attainment in the arts of life may be inferred from a passage like the foregoing, which is characteristic of the inscription as a whole, written as it is in a vigorous, flowing, and some. what rhetorical style, significant of no little literary culture. The ruler who could achieve such things and find expression for them in so lofty a fashion was far from being a mere ruthless general, and his state much more than a mere military establishment. Justly could he declare that he had "enhanced the welfare of his nation," and made his people "live and dwell in peaceful homes." Well might he pray, to use his own words, that the gods
may turn to me truly and faithfully, accept graciously the lifting up of my hands, hearken unto my devout prayers, grant unto me and my kingdom abundance of rain, years of prosperity and fruitfulness in plenty (Prism. Ins,, col. viii. 24-29, trans. in ABL, p. 26).
150. Tiglathpileser was followed on the throne by his son Ashur-bel-kala, and he by his brother Shamshi Adad. The two reigns seem to have been peaceful and prosperous. The former king appears to have continued to rule over the wide domains of his father and, in addition, to have come to terms with Babylonia. There Marduk-sapik-zerim followed Marduknadinakhi, and entered into an alliance with his Assyrian neighbor. When a rebellion drove the Babylonian from his throne, the successful usurper, "son of nobody," Adad-aplu-iddin, was recognized by the son of Tiglathpileser, who took his daughter into the harem on payment of a princely dowry by her father. It has been inferred, from the finding of a statue in Nineveh hailing from the king's palace, that Ashurbelkala removed the capital from Assur to Nineveh. Such a change is quite possible, since it would place him nearer the centre of his realm. His brother, who was perhaps his successor, is known to have built on the temple of Ishtar in the latter city. The name of the son of Shamshi Adad, Ashurnaçirpal II., has been preserved, but though his striking prayer to Ishtar is in our hands (BMG, p. 68), a record of his deeds has not come down to posterity. The Assyrian kingdom goes out in darkness. The first chapter of her imperial history is finished (about 1050 B. C.).