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PART III

THE ASCENDANCY OF ASSYRIA


I


THE ANCIENT WORLD AT THE BEGINNING OF THE FIRST MILLENNIUM.

1000 B. C.

151. ABOUT the year 1000 B. C. a strange and well-nigh unaccountable state of things confronts the student of the empires of the Mesopotamian valley. For a scene of vigorous activity is substituted a monotonous vacancy. Aggressive expansion yields to inertness. In place of the regal personalities whose words proclaim their achievements in sonorous detail, appear mere names, scattered here and there over the wider spaces of the years, that tell nothing of import or interest concerning the progress of the states over which these phantom rulers held feeble sway. The sources of knowledge have slowly dried up or have been cut off by the accidents to which historical memorials are always subject. Here and there a brick inscribed with a king's name, or an occasional reference in later inscriptions to some otherwise unknown rulers of the time, is all that remains of Assyrian material. The Babylonian kings' lists and chronicles are confused or discordant, and at a critical point, where they are practically the only source, are quite broken away, leaving the whole chronological structure hanging in the air. Such facts carry their own important lesson. They speak of decay or downfall, and invite inquiry into its causes.

152. The information directly gleaned from these scanty memorials may be briefly stated. Three Assyrian rulers are known to belong somewhere within the period. Ashurkirbi (?) is said by Shalmaneser II., who ruled Assyria two centuries later, to have left a memorial of himself at the Mediterranean, presumably in token of a western expedition, and also to have lost to the Arameans the two cities on opposite sides of the Euphrates, captured and probably fortified by Tiglathpileser I. to guard Assyrian ascendancy at that point (sect. 146). On the so-called broken obelisk of Ashurnaçirpal III. are mentioned kings Irba Adad and Ashurnadinakhi II,, who, probably in these days, built at the city of Assur. In Babylonia the dynasty of Pashe came to an end about 1007 B. C., and was followed by three dynasties in rapid succession, The fifth in the order of the kings' list consisted of three kings who ruled between twenty-one and twenty-three years, and was called the "Dynasty of the Sea." The sixth, the "Dynasty of Bazi," also of three kings, endured for but twenty years. An Elamite followed, reigning for six years, constituting by himself alone the seventh dynasty. The names of the kings of the eighth dynasty are quite broken away on the list, and apparently the sum of their regnal years also. How long they ruled, therefore, is quite uncertain, and, when the gap closes, the kings that begin the new series belong to the eighth century. Half a dozen names, found in other documents, occupy the vacant space over against Assyrian kings of the ninth century, from whom ampler information has come down,

153. While only a broken and baffling story of the course of these kingdoms can be drawn from such sources, it does not follow that the years gathering about the beginning of the first millennium B. C. were not of real significance to the history of Babylonia and Assyria. The kingdoms themselves pass for the time into eclipse, and the centre of interest is shifted from their capitals to the lands that hitherto have been the scene of their aggression. In those lands, however, are to be found the causes of the decline, and there a veritably new political world was forming in those years, — a world in which the leaders of the Assyrian renaissance were later to carry their arms to wider and more splendid victories.

154. It may be correct to ascribe the decline of Assyria, at least in part, to internal exhaustion, due to the tremendous strain of the numerous and costly campaigns of Tiglathpileser I. Vigorous citizens had been drafted for the armies, many of whom perished on distant battlefields. The economic resources of the land absorbed in military campaigns were by no means compensated for by the inflowing of treasure from the conquered lands, most of which went into the royal coffers. These losses could not but disable the national strength. Yet the great king seems to have sought to guard against this danger by the statesmanlike measures already described (sect. 148), and during the reigns of his two sons some opportunity for recuperation was afforded. The prime fact was that, coincident with this period of internal decline, a series of mighty movements of peoples took place in the world without, which swept away Assyria's authority over her provincial districts, encroached upon her territory, threw Babylonia into civil war, paralyzed all foreign trade, and afforded opportunity for the consolidation of rival powers on the borders of both nations. The most important of these movements was a fresh wave of Aramean migration, which welled up in resistless volume from the Arabian peninsula. At various periods during preceding centuries, these nomads had crossed the Euphrates, and roamed through the middle Mesopotamian plain as far as the Tigris. At times they were a menace to the commerce of the rivers, but usually were held in check by the armies of the great states, driven back by systematic campaigns, or absorbed into the settled population. But in these years they came in overwhelming multitudes. Apparently by the mere force of numbers they crowded back the Assyrians and Babylonians and occupied the entire western half of the plain. They poured over into Syria as well, until stopped by the sea and the mountains. At the first they may have moved to and fro, fighting and plundering, and not without reason has it been held (Tiele, BAG, pp. 167, 178) that they carried fire and sword into the heart of Assyria itself. In course of time they yielded to the influences of civilization, and began to settle down in the rich country of upper Mesopotamia around the Euphrates, where their states are found a century after. The causes of such a movement are difficult to determine. In this case something more than the ordinary impulse to migration seems to be required. May it not he found in the rise of the kingdoms of southern Arabia which, whether Minean or Sabean, seem to have reached the acme of their prosperity just before this period? Their extension toward the north and east may have driven the Bedouin upward and precipitated the onward movement which forced the Arameans out into Mesopotamia and Syria.

155. Such a cause would account also for the other irruption from the same Arabian region, which in this period brought confusion to Babylonia. It has already been remarked (sect. 69) that Babylonian trade with southern Arabia centred about the border city of Ur near the mouth of the rivers. Along this open and attractive highway came a new horde that fell upon the coast-lands and river-bottoms, and appear henceforth in Babylonian history as the Kaldi. They pressed forward up the river, ever falling back, when defeated, into their almost inaccessible fastnesses in the swamps of the coast, and ever reappearing to contest the sovereignty of the land. The kings that followed the dynasty of Pashe were called Kings of the Sea Land; the name suggests that they may have belonged to the Kaldi. At any rate, they felt the influence of the troubles occasioned by the Arameans to the north, for an inscription of Nabu-abal-iddin of the ninth century, mentions the plundering of Akkad by the Suti, and the failure of two of the kings of the dynasty in an endeavor properly to restore the worship of the god Shamash in Sippar (KB, III. 1, p. 174), The rapid succession of dynasties in Babylonia from about 1000 to 950 B. C. is naturally explained in view of a series of incursions such as this inscription mentions and other facts suggest.

156. In the northern regions, also, the scene of the victories of Tiglathpileser, Assyrian ascendancy appears early to have been swept away. The facts are much more obscure and indecisive, but the entrance of new peoples on the scene seems fairly certain. Somewhere about or just before this time, the Phrygians entered Asia Minor from Europe, and, like a wedge, forced apart the peoples of the east and west. Vague traditions exist of a Cilician kingdom, which rivalled that of the earlier Khatti, and united the peoples to the north and east of the gulf of Issus as far as Armenia (Maspero, SN, p. 668). It may be that the assaults of the Assyrian king, coupled with the Phrygian invasion, had resulted in welding these tribes into a semblance of unity under some powerful chieftain, before whom the authority of Assyria speedily disappeared, and the mountain passes were closed to her trade. Even more significant for the later history of Assyria was the advance from the northeast to the shores of the "Upper Sea" (Lake Van) of a new people, the Urarti, who were to exercise a predominating influence in these regions. Their advent was followed by great confusion. The northern tribes were pressed down to the south and southwest, and thereby the Assyrian ascendancy in the eastern and northern mountains was broken.

157. Behind these obstructions which effectually closed in around the Mesopotamian kingdoms, the opportunity was given for the formation of new nationalities, or the larger development of those already in existence. Especially on the Mediterranean coast was the opportunity improved. Here the warlike people known as the Philistines had established themselves as lords in the cities on the southeast coast, where the roads run up from Egypt into Syria, and were pressing up into the hill country behind. On these plateaus the Hebrews had been feeling after that national organization to which their worship of Jehovah led the way and gave the inspiration. By the impact of Philistine aggression the nation was brought into being, and sprang into full vigor under the genial lcadership of David and the wise statesmanship of Solomon (about 1000-930 B. C.). Higher up along the coast the aggressive activity of the royal house of Tyre, and especially the reign of Hirom I., so strengthened and enriched that city as henceforth to make it the centre of the Phoenician communities, the commercial mart of the eastern and western worlds. In the interior of Syria, city-states, like Hamath and Khalman, Patin and Samal, grew prosperous and warred with one another and with the encroaching Arameans. The latter, while settling down in states on either side of the Euphrates, had pushed over into Syria as far as Zobah, and laid the foundations of the kingdom of Damascus, the famous trading-post and garden spot of eastern Syria. As for Egypt, she was broken by internal conflict; and though the Pharaohs of Tanis were fairly vigorous kings, and from time to time even ventured into southern Palestine, to check and dominate the Philistines (Milner, Asien and Europa, p. 389), these kings were not masters of all Egypt, and could do little to support their claims upon the Asiatic provinces possessed by the earlier dynasties. Thus the new states grew and older communities put on new life, under the impulse of the fresh masses of population, now that there was freedom from the pressure of the powers on the Tigris and the Nile. The whole face of the oriental world was changed and the centre of gravity seemed to have moved beyond the western bank of the Euphrates. By the middle of the tenth century the movement was at its height, and Syria appeared to be about to take the place of pre-eminence in the historical period that was to follow.



II


ASHURNAÇIRPAL III.

AND THE CONQUEST OF MESOPOTAMIA. 885-860 B. C.

158. THE year 950 B. C., by which date the confusion of the past century had spent itself and in the various districts bordering on the Mesopotamian valley was beginning to yield to order and progress, affords a convenient point from which also to observe the revival of the ancient kingdoms whose activity had been so suddenly interrupted during the preceding years, In Egypt a Libyan general, Sheshonk, high in position at the court, had usurped the throne and founded the twenty-second dynasty. His accession was soon followed by a forward movement into Palestine and an attack upon the Hebrew kingdoms. In Babylonia the eighth dynasty (sect. 152) ruled under a king of unknown name and origin, who remained on the throne for thirty-six years and was followed by ten or eleven rulers of the same line. Assyria, however, showed most clearly the beginnings of recovery. There also a new dynasty occupied the throne, and thenceforth the crown descended in the same family, from father to son, through at least ten generations. Of Tiglathpileser II., the founder of the line, nothing is known. His son, Ashurdan II. about 930 B. C., comes forward somewhat clearly as a canal-builder, a rounder of fortresses, and a restorer of temples in Assur. With Adadnirari II. his son (911-890 B. C.), the upward movement was accelerated. The Assyrian limu list (sect. 38), that invaluable document of ancient chronology, begins with him, as though the compiler regarded his reign as a new epoch in the national history. He built upon the walls of Assur, and, according to one of his descendants, "overthrew the disobedient and conquered on every side." No record has been preserved of any of his wars except that with Babylonia. A difficulty about boundaries between the countries seems to have brought on the conflict. A forward movement by the Babylonian king Shamash-mudammiq was met by Adadnirari near Mount Yalman (Holwan) in the eastern mountains. The Babylonians were driven back, and the defeat apparently cost their king his life, for he was immediately succeeded on the throne by a usurper, Nabushumishkun. Adadnirari advanced against him, defeated his army, spoiled several cities, and brought him speedily to terms. A treaty was made in which the kings exchanged daughters, and the boundaries were adjusted, no doubt to the satisfaction of Assyria, The son of Adadnirari II. was Tukulti Ninib II,, in whose case the direct report of a campaign in the north has been preserved. At the sources of the Tigris, where Tiglathpileser I. had recorded his victories (sect. 146), his successor also inscribed his name and exploits, how with the help of his god he traversed the mighty mountains from the rising of the sun to its setting, and reduced their peoples to submission. It is evident that the work of his predecessor of two centuries before had to be done over again, He valiantly undertook the task. It is not probable that his own campaigns extended beyond the valley of the upper Tigris between the first two ranges of mountains. He reigned but six years (890-885 B. C.), giving promise of what Assyria was about to achieve and winning from his successors characteristic appreciations of his valor; his son asserted that he "laid the yoke on his adversaries and set up their bodies on stakes," and his grandson, that "he subjugated all his enemies and swept them like a tempest."

159. With Ashurnaçirpal III. (885-860 B. C.), the son and successor of Tukulti Ninib II., dawns the bright morning of the Assyrian revival. The brief reign of his father brought him to the throne at an early age, and, like Tiglathpileser I., he plunged immediately into a series of warlike activities. Of the eleven campaigns recorded in his inscriptions, out of his twenty-four full years on the throne, seven were carried through before the first quarter of his reign was over. His first concern was with the north, whither his father had already led the way. There important changes had taken place since Tiglathpileser had made his campaigns. The commotions in the far north had pushed the tribes and peoples out of their old seats, crowded them together, or brought new peoples on the scene. The Nairi (sect. 144) were now to the southwest of Lake Van, and partly within the southern valley to the east of the sources of the Tigris. The Kirkhi had been pressed together and lay toward the south of the same valley. On the western side Aramean tribes had crowded up on the east of the Qummukhi, and formed several communities about Amid and to the west of the upper Tigris, pushing the Qummukhi back towards the mountains through which the Euphrates flows. Several tribes about the upper Tigris had retired into Kashiari, and there occupied the passes and valleys on the border of the Mesopotamian plain. On the east and northeast the mountain peoples had been thrown forward to the ridges overlooking the valley, and constituted a new problem for the Assyrian rulers. Ashurnaçirpal marched into the very centre of the disturbed region to check the advance of the Nairi, found their easternmost tribe (the Nimme) already to the couth of Lake Van, and crushed them, A dash over the mountains to the east brought the Kirruri to terms, and secured the homage of peoples to the far east in the upper valleys of the greater Zab (Gilzan and Khubushkia).

160. The western plateau south of the Armenian Taurus was then entered. Back and forth and up and down from the Bitlis to Qummukh and from Tauru to Kashiari, he marched and fought in the four campaigns of the years 885, 884, 883, and 880 B. C. The upper Tigris was first cleared by the overthrow of the Kirkhi, and the tribute of Qummukh was gathered. At this time apparently the Aramean communities of that valley submitted. Then followed the recovery of the southwestern part of the plateau, where vigorous opposition had developed under the leadership of a city which had once been an Assyrian outpost. The trouble was spreading northward among the Aramean cities. Reaching the sources of the Tigris, where he set up his image by the side of those of his predecessors, Ashurnaçirpal marched southward along the ridge overlooking Qummukh to Kashiari, on whose southwestern flanks were the strongholds of the enemy. Here the cities of the Nirbi were destroyed, and a fortified post on the right bank of the Tigris was established in the city of Tushkha, as the centre of Assyrian influence in the southwestern plateau. The reduction of the Nairi in the northern valleys was undertaken in the campaign of 880 B. C., and their tribute brought to Tushkha. With this the conquest of the various peoples of these districts was completed. A governor was appointed for the whole region, with his seat in that city.

161. The king's movement into the north, in the beginning of his reign, seems to have been regarded by the hill peoples of the eastern border as a menace, against which it behooved them to prepare. That they were growing into a sort of confederacy is shown in the common name attached to the region — Zamua. A chieftain whose tribe occupied the outermost fringe of mountains at the head of the pass of Babite, succeeded after two years in uniting all Zamua in an alliance. The united tribes presented an independent front to Assyria and proceeded to fortify the pass. To Ashurnaçirpal this move was equivalent to rebellion. Besides, it threatened the security of his eastern border as well as the control of the trade with the hinterland. He withdrew, therefore, from active operations in the northwest, and for two years (882-881 B. C.) campaigned among these eastern mountains. His first attack had for its purpose the opening of the pass. The struggle was a severe one, and the summer was gone before the first line of defences was pierced. The king then withdrew to the Assyrian border. Winter came on early in the high mountain valleys, and the inhabitants must have felt secure for the time, but in September the Assyrian army appeared again within the mountain barrier. A fortified camp was established, and expeditions sallied out in all directions into the heart of the enemy's country, striking hard blows, and retiring swiftly on their base of operations. All Zamua was terrified and hastened to do homage. The next year's campaign was in the southeast, where some Zamuan chiefs continued in rebellion. A rapid march to the sources of the Turnat brought the king into the centre of the disaffected region, which was laid waste; thence the army turned northward, burning and plundering through the upper valleys, and descended to the fortified camp of the previous winter. A second time all the chieftains of Zamua came and kissed the king's feet. While the leading rebels had escaped the vengeance of the king, the confederacy had been broken up, and the country severely punished. From the northern border were brought down the gifts of Gilzan and Khubushkia, lands which had tendered their submission in his opening year. Fortified posts were established in Zamua, and a governor was appointed with his seat at Kalkhi.

162. These six years of campaigning (885-880 B. C.) make up a cycle of vigorous achievement of which any warrior might be proud. From the head-waters of the river Turnat on the southeast, to the northwestern mountains through which the Euphrates flowed, the long arc of mountain borderland had been brought under Assyrian authority. The advancing tribes had been repressed and Assyria's borders relieved. A change of capital followed, possibly was occasioned by this extension of territory. In connection with his eastern wars the attention of Ashurnaçirpal had been directed to Kalkhi. Its favorable situation, in the angle where the greater Zab falls into the Tigris, and equidistant from the eastern and northern mountain borders, may have been the ground which induced him to remove the seat of government thither. His first work was piously to rebuild the temple of his patron god, Ninib, and place in it a colossal statue of that divinity, to set up his shrine and appoint his festal seasons, Building went forward from this time upon the various edifices which were to adorn the site, while the king himself turned to a new field of warfare, and undertook a series of expeditions that occupied him for at least four years.

163. While in Quinmukh, on the expedition of 884 B. C., word was brought to Ashurnaçirpal that the communities on the Khabur River were in commotion. The Arameans had already established petty principalities in the rich plains bordering on the Euphrates from the Khabur to the mountains (sect. 154). One of these states was aspiring to something more than local supremacy. This community, to the north of the Balikh, and situated in a fertile region, the seat of an ancient civilization, and an immemorial centre of trade, was called by the Assyrians Bit Adini from a certain Adinu, probably the founder of a dynasty of ambitious chiefs. How far it had extended its influence by this time cannot be determined, but its interference in the affairs of Suru on the Khabur had brought about a revolution there, whereby a chief from Bit Adini was raised to the throne. When the king heard of it, he at once recognized the gravity of the situation. A union of these communities was a serious danger to Assyria, and, as in the case of the tribes of the eastern mountains, he regarded it as an act of "rebellion," warranting immediate action on his part. Marching southward to the upper waters of the Khabur, he descended along the river bank to the scene of disturbance. A portion of the inhabitants of Suru submitted. The remainder, showing resistance, were cruelly punished, and their new chief carried off to be flayed alive at Nineveh. The neighboring tribes up and down the Euphrates brought tribute.

164. The four years following saw the completion of the work undertaken in the north and east (sects. 160, 161). Not till 879 B. C. did the king undertake another western expedition. Unfortunately, the three expeditions that follow 879 B. C. are left undated in his inscriptions, and it is uncertain whether these occupied the years immediately following (i. e. 878-876 B. C.), though it is usually assumed that they did. In the first two campaigns (879-878) he took Suru on the Khabur as a base of operations, and chastised the tribes north and south on either bank of the Euphrates. The southern tribes, the Sukhi, were supported by Babylonian troops under the command of Zabdanu, the brother of Nabupaliddin, king of Babylonia, and Ashurnaçirpal proudly claims to have stricken with terror "the land of Babylonia and the Kaldi, by taking prisoner the Babylonian general and three thousand of his troops. He obtained boats, and, sailing across and down the Euphrates, plundered the villages, burned the grain-fields, and marched into the desert. Somewhere in the region between the Khabur and the Balikh he built two fortresses on either side of the Euphrates, called Kar Ashurnaçirpal and Nibarti Ashur. The third expedition (877?) was aimed directly at Bit Adini, and the resistance offered by Akhuni, its king, collapsed with the storming of his citadel of Kaprabi. With the submission of this Aramean kingdom Ashurnaçirpal was in control of all upper Mesopotamia.

165. The last western campaign (876?) had the Mediterranean for its objective point. From Bit Adini the Euphrates was crossed, and Karkhemish, the capital of Sangara, king of the Khatti, surrendered without fighting. Ashurnaçirpal now had before him the plateau of upper Syria, which, lying behind the Euphrates hills, stretched away westward to the mountains and the seacoast in a series of fruitful plains, filled with inhabitants. Petty city-states divided the land between them and occupied themselves in perpetual warfare. At this time the leading state was that of Patin, which, under its king Lubarna, controlled the country about the lower Orontes and its northern affluents. Ashurnaçirpal marched directly on Patin. Lubarna offered no resistance, and was left in possession of his kingdom as an Assyrian vassal. The march led across the orontes southward through the mountains. The city of Aribua was selected as an Assyrian outpost and base of supplies. From thence the march may be told in the king's own words:

Then I approached the slopes of Lebanon. To the great sea of Akharri [i. e. the Mediterranean] I ascended. In the great sea I purified my weapons and offered sacrifices to the gods. Tribute of the kings on the shores of the sea, of Tyre, Sidon, Byblos, Makhallata, Maiça, Kaiça, Akharri, and Aramada [Arvad] in the midst of the sea, silver, gold, lead, copper, copper vessels, variegated and linen garments, a large and small pagutu, ushu and ukarinu wood, tusks of the nakhiri, the sea monster, I received in tribute, They embraced my feet (Standard Inscr., col. iii. 84-88).

 Returning northward, he went up into the Amanus mountains to cut choice timber for his palaces and temples, and, after setting up the usual image of himself with a memorial of his deeds, made his way back to Assyria.

166. The chronicle of these conquests naturally suggests comparison with those of Tiglathpileser I, That warrior undoubtedly extended Assyria's fame and influence more widely than did Ashurnaçirpal, whose campaigns did not carry him beyond the upper Euphrates, or the boundaries of Babylonia. In many of his measures the later king imitated the earlier, — in the personal leadership of his troops, in the imposition of tribute upon conquered countries and the requirement of hostages, in the deportation of subdued populations, and in the treatment of enemies. On the other hand, in some respects, Ashurnaçirpal shows himself in advance of his predecessor. His army was improved by the addition of a cavalry squadron, supplementing the infantry and chariots. This first appears in the Zamuan campaigns, and is developed in the western wars, where it may have been modelled after the Aramean cavalry. It was certainly useful in following up the Bedouin when foot-soldiers and chariots would have been useless; it formed thenceforth a constantly enlarging division of the Assyrian force. Another measure of the king was the incorporation of the troops of subject peoples in his army. This appears on the largest scale in his Syrian expedition, in which he added, successively, the soldiers of the Aramean communities on the Euphrates, of Karkhemish, and of Patin. While the desire to leave no enemies in his rear may have been a partial ground of this action, it is probable that these detachments continued to remain under his control and were carried with him to Kalkhi. There he seems to have established a great military centre, where these and other troops were maintained and drilled. In this procedure he solved a standing problem of Assyrian politics, namely, how to continue the wars without drawing too heavily on Assyria's citizens. While thereby introducing elements of serious danger into the state, he was, nevertheless, enabled thus to hand down to his successor an undiminished power, and make it possible for him to undertake an even greater series of military operations.

167. In organizing his conquered territory the king made a distinct advance. A line of Assyrian outposts was established. Some of these guardeal exposed districts; others formed the central points of regions more or less geographically compacted. Of the former class were Atlila, called Dur Assur, in Zamua on the Elamite-Babylonian border, the fortified post of Tukulti-ashur-açbat among the eastern mountains, the city of Ashurnaçirpal at the sources of the Tigris, the "royal cities" Damdamusa in the northwest and Uda in Kashiari, the two fortresses on opposite sides of the Euphrates (sect. 164), and Aribua in Patin, apparently guarding the Orontes valley. To the latter type belonged Kakzi, in the eastern Assyrian plain, the starting-point of the Zamuan campaigns, and Tushkha in Kirkhi, where the king built a palace and granaries. Various officials represented Assyria in these districts. Their names and jurisdiction are not altogether clear. Sometimes the former rulers were confirmed in their dignities on submission to the conqueror, or native nobles were chosen, whose exaltation to posts of honor and influence would be expected to insure their fidelity. Thus, the zabil kuduri, stationed among the northern peoples, had charge of the collection and delivery of tribute to the king. The exact duties of a qipu, the honorable title given to local chiefs, are not defined. An office of higher and wider jurisdiction is that of shaknu, which may be held by a native chief or, in some cases apparently, by an Assyrian noble who, in important territories like those of the Kirkhi and Nairi, is responsible directly to the king. The position of the urasi, another personage mentioned in the inscriptions, may have been hardly more than that of "resident" in cities under Assyrian control. The placing of Assyrian colonists in some of the cities, though not a new measure, is with all the rest a significant indication of the new beginning of systematic endeavors toward close supervision and control of the subjugated lands.

168. The method of Ashurnaçirpal in reducing many of these regions to subjection was so severe as potently to aid in holding them to Assyrian allegiance,

One illustration, drawn from the conqueror's own account of the overthrow of Tela on the slopes of Kashiari, is sufficient:

I drew near to the city of Tela, The city was very strong; three walls surrounded it. The inhabitants trusted to their strong walls and numerous soldiers; they did not come down or embrace my feet. With battle and slaughter I assaulted and took the city. Three thousand warriors I slew in battle. Their booty and possessions, cattle, sheep, I carried away; many captives I burned with fire. Many of their soldiers I took alive; of some I cut off hands and limbs; of others the noses, ears, and arms; of many soldiers I put out the eyes. I reared a column of the living and a column of heads, I hung up on high their heads on trees in the vicinity of their city. Their boys and girls I burned up in the flame. I devastated the city, dug it up, in fire burned it; I annihilated it (Standard Inscr., col. i. 113-118).

Such punishment was reserved for those communities which once under Assyrian authority now offered opposition. This was regarded as rebellion and punished by extermination, or by penalties which rendered the unhappy survivors a warning to their neighbors. Native officials, once trusted by their Assyrian masters, but afterwards rebellious, were, when captured, flayed alive and their skins hung upon the city walls. Communities for the first time summoned to submit to Assyria, if they resisted, were subject to the ordinary fate of the conquered, but not otherwise treated with special cruelty. The opposition encountered by Ashurnaçirpal was usually not very strong; the cities were beaten in detail; they had not yet learned how to unite against the common enemy. The numbers definitely mentioned in the inscriptions indicate a total of less than thirty thousand soldiers slain by the Assyrians in all these campaigns, but this estimate does not probably include more than a third of the persons who perished in the storming of the cities. Without doubt the stress of suffering fell upon the northern mountaineers, for more than half of the slain recorded by the king belong to this region, which evidently had caused the chief trouble and required the most strenuous efforts to keep under control. In fact, the last campaign of Ashurnaçirpal, in his eighteenth year (867 B. C.), directed against the districts to the northwest, was something of a failure. The city of Amid seems to have held out, and further trouble was promised for the future.

169. The importance of the conquests is shown in the long lists of the spoil and tribute obtained, beside which the booty of Tiglathpileser I. seems insignificant. Least productive were the lands of Zamua, yet they had one important and indispensable product, the splendid horses raised on their plateaus and famed throughout the Orient. From all the mountain regions came cattle and sheep in countless numbers, besides wine and corn. Of precious metals, these districts produced copper, which was manufactured in various forms, and gold and silver. The Aramean communities of the western Mesopotamian plain were the most remunerative, and their spoil reveals the wealth and civilization of that region. Even the Aramean states to the west of the sources of the Tigris contributed, besides horses, cattle, and sheep, chariots and harness, armor, silver, gold, lead, copper, variegated garments and linen cloths, wood and metal work, and furniture in ivory and gold. To these the chief of Bit Adini added ivory plates, couches and thrones, gold beads and pendants and weapons of gold; the king of Karkhemish, cloths of purple light and dark, marvellous furniture, silver baskets, precious woods and stones, elephant tusks and female slaves; and Syria, her fragrant cedars and the other woods of her mountain-forests.

170. Abundant opportunity for the use and bestowment of these spoils of war was given in the king's building enterprises at his capital of Kalkhi. Besides the temple already referred to (sect. 162), his crowning work was his magnificent palace. This stood on the western side of a rectangular platform which was reared along the east bank of the Tigris from north to south. Around its base to the north and east lay the city. The palace itself was about three hundred and fifty feet square; its entrances looked northward upon the great temple structure that occupied the northwestern corner of the platform and overhung the city and the river. A series of long narrow galleries, lined with sculptured alabaster slabs, surrounded a court in size one hundred and twenty-five by one hundred feet. The chief of these rooms, probably a throne chamber, one hundred and fifty-four by thirty-three feet, still contains at its eastern end the remains of a dais which once may have supported the throne. On the slabs were wrought, in low relief, scenes from the life and experiences of the king. Now he offers thanksgiving for the slaying of a wild ox or a lion; now he pursues the fleeing enemy in his chariots; now his army besieges a city, or advances to the attack across a river, or, led by the king, marches through the mountains. Everywhere inscriptions commemorate his achievements and recite his titles. At the doorways stood the monstrous man-headed bulls, or lions, only head and shoulders completely wrought out, as if leaping forth from the wall, the rest still half sculptured in the stone, — divine spirits guarding the entrances. Scenes of religious worship abound, gods, spirits, and heroes engaged in exercises of which the meaning is not yet clear. Everywhere is the combination of energy with repose, of massive strength with dignity; though crude and imperfect in the technique of the sculptor, the reliefs are the most vivid and lifelike achievements of Assyrian art, the counterpart in stone of the grandiose story of the king's campaigns, which is written above and on either side of them. The narrow galleries were spanned with cedar beams and decorated with silver and gold and bronze. The priceless ivories of the west, showing by subject and style the unmistakable influence of Egypt, have been picked up from the palace floors by modern explorers. All was a wonderful commentary upon Ashurnaçirpal's own words:

"A palace for my royal dwelling-place, for the glorious seat of my royalty, I founded for ever and splendidly planned it. I surrounded it with a cornice (?) of copper. Sculptures of the creatures of land and sea carved in alabaster," I made and placed them at the doors. Lofty door-posts of… wood I made, and sheathed them with copper and set them up in the gates. Thrones of "costly" woods, dishes of ivory containing silver, gold, lead, copper, and iron, the spoil of my hand, taken from conquered lands I deposited therein. (Monolith Inscr., concl. 12-24).

The king had a palace in Nineveh also, and built temples there and elsewhere. The evidence of his having contributed to the inner development of his country is not abundant. An aqueduct to supply Kalkhi with water drawn from the upper Zab was referred to; it brought fruitfulness to the surrounding country, as its name "producer of fertility" proves. The rebuilding of Kalkhi, and the wealth in cattle and sheep, as well as other property, brought in by the successful wars, must be regarded as most important contributions to Assyrian economic resources.

171. Varying judgments have been passed on the character of Ashurnaçirpal. Of his energy there can be no question. As hunter and warrior he was untiring and resistless. But to some he is chiefly a monster of remorseless cruelty, whose joy it was to maim, flay, burn, or impale his conquered enemies. If this verdict is finally to be rendered, he will be convicted out of his own mouth, for the evidence is derived solely from his frank, unsoftened narrative of his own ruthless barbarities. But while they are not to be palliated, it must be remembered that war has since engendered even more hideous crimes, of which his narrative shows him to be guiltless; that in an iron age, when Assyria was recovering from a century of dishonor and collapse, fierce and bloody vengeance had come to be the rule; and that in almost every instance these last penalties were inflicted upon communities which, from the Assyrian point of view, had violated their pledges to God and man. It is evident, moreover, that the statements of the king are not inspired by the lust of cruelty and blood, but have been inscribed with the same purpose as that with which the punishments were inflicted, — to strike terror into the heart of the opposer and to warn the intending rebel of his fate. That this verdict is more reasonable is strengthened by the probability that, with the sole exception of the campaign of 867 B. C., the king's wars ceased before his reign was half over. The lesson had been learned, and the king, having taught it in this savage fashion, was well content to turn his energies to the pursuits of. peace. Of these latter years there is but scanty record. Wisely to govern a peaceful empire had not yet come to stand among the glories of monarchs. Nevertheless in the remarkable statue of Ashurnaçirpal found in the temple of Ninib, not far from his palace, "the only extant perfect Assyrian royal statue in the round," a suggestion is given of the statesman as well as the warrior. A rude heroic figure, he stands upright before tle god, looking straight forward, his brawny arms bare, the left hand holding to his breast the mace, weapon of the soldier, but the right dropped by his side, grasping the sceptre, emblematic of the shepherd of his people.



III

THE ADVANCE INTO SYRIA AND THE RISE OF URARTU: FROM SHALMANESER II.
TO THE FALL OF HIS HOUSE. 860-745 B. C.

172. FOR more than a century after the death of Ashurnaçirpal (860 B. C.) his descendants occupied the throne of Assyria. The period is one of great variety in details; new peoples come upon the scene as the empire widens; new political problems appear for solution in the increasing complexity of the field and the factors involved; inner difficulties arise the presence of which is not easily to be accounted for, though of obvious significance; the dynasty at last gives way to a successful revolution. But, in the main features, the historical development of Assyria continues as before, with the same lines of policy, the same unwearied military activity, the same unceasing effort after expansion, the same methods of government, the same relations to peoples without. Accordingly, to trace in repetitious detail the campaigns of the several kings in turn, would be wearisome and unprofitable. Their work may be considered as a whole, its general features described, and its results summarized, while the special achievements of each ruler are properly appreciated. Ashurnaçirpal was succeeded by his son Shalmaneser II., whose thirty-five years of reigning (860-825 B. C.) were one long military campaign. Either under his own leadership, or that of his commanding general, the Turtan, his armies marched in all directions, coercing rebellious vassals, and collecting their tribute, or seeking new peoples to conquer. An obelisk of black basalt records in brief sentences, year by year, thirty-two of these expeditions, and its testimony is supplemented on the other monuments of the king by fuller accounts of particular achievements. His son, Shamshi Adad IV., reigned less than half as long as his father (825-812 B. C.), and has left, as his memorial, a monolith, the inscription of which covers only half of his years. Adadnirari III. followed (812-783 B. C.), ascending the throne of his father, apparently, in early youth, but ruling with great energy and splendor for nearly thirty years. Unfortunately, no satisfactory annals of his reign have been preserved. Royal inscriptions from the next three kings utterly fail. Shalmaneser III. (783-773 B. C.), Ashurdan III. (773-755 B. C.), and Ashurnirari II. (755-745 B. C.) are known to us from the limu list alone, where the brief references to years without campaigns, to pestilence and revolt, tell the melancholy story of imperial decay, until, with the last of the three, the dynasty fell, and a usurper seized the crown.

173. Beyond a few facts, little is known of the political organization and economic development of Assyria during this century. In the time of Shalmaneser II. and his two successors, the spoil of subject peoples continued to flow in abundantly, precious metals and manufactured articles from the west, corn, wine, and domestic animals from the north and east. Among the latter, two-humped dromedaries, received from the far northeast, obtained special mention as novelties, and point to the control of a trade route from the upper Iranian plateau. Shalmaneser seems to have taken a step forward, in the imposition of a regular and definite yearly tribute upon certain communities. Thus the kingdom of Patin paid one talent of silver, two talents of purple cloth, and two hundred (?) cedar beams; another king, at the foot of Mount Amanus, ten mina of silver, two hundred cedar beams, and other products of cedar; Karkhemish paid sixty mina of gold, one talent of silver, and two talents of purple cloth; Qummukh, twenty mina of silver, and three hundred cedar beams. A prescribed number of horses broken to the yoke was required from the northern tribes. These requisitions are more moderate than were the spoils gained in the descents of the armies upon the various subject regions, and indicate that already the Assyrian kings perceived the wisdom of adjusting their demands to the resources of the lands under their sway. Much less harshness in the wars is recorded. Measures like those of Ashurnaçirpal were reserved for the few peoples whose rebellious spirit or persistent hostility seemed to justify extreme penalties. Indeed, revolts became less frequent, because during this period the empire was becoming more compact by the direct incorporation of regions long subject to Assyrian authority. A striking illustration of this fact is found in the limu list, in which a regular order in the succession of officials seems to be established. In it appear governors of cities and districts along the borders, such as Raçappa (Reseph) on the right bank of the Euphrates, Arpakha on the Elamite border, Naçibina (Nisibis) in northern Mesopotamia, Amid and Tushkha in the northern mountains, Guzana (Gozan) in western Mesopotamia, Kirruri, and Mazamua, in the northeastern mountains. To have occupied places in this honorable list, the occupants of such posts must have been in intimate association with the court, and their administrative activity in immediate dependence on the central power.

174. The usual internal troubles that beset oriental monarchies appeared in this century in Assyria, Family difficulties in the reigning house broke out in the rebellion of Shalmaneser's son Ashurdaninpal in the thirty-third year of his father's reign. The cause is not difficult to comprehend. Six years before, Shalmaneser had handed over the leadership of his military expeditions to his Turtan, Damn Ashur. To this evidence of his own growing weakness, and the natural fear, on the part of his sons, of the usurpation of the throne by this general, is, perhaps, to be added a palace intrigue, which threatened the future accession of Ashurdaninpal by the putting forward of another son of Shalm aneser, Shamshi Adad, as a candidate for the throne. The rebellion was a very serious one, involving twenty-seven cities of the empire, among which were Nineveh, Assur, Arbela, Imgur Bel, Amid, and Til-abni. Kalkhi and, apparently, the army were, however, faithful to the king. In the midst of this civil war Shalmaneser died, and, only after it had endured six years, was Shamshi Adad able to bring it to a close and make sure his title to the crown. The blow inflicted upon the centres of Assyrian life must have been very severe.

Sixty years after this, another revolt is chronicled, the causes of which are to be found in the foreign politics of Assyria. The rising kingdom of Urartu was steadily encroaching upon Assyria all along the northern border as far as the Mediterranean, and the kings were being forced into a defensive attitude in spite of all their efforts. Thus Assyrian military pride was wounded, and mercantile prestige was crippled. A total eclipse of the sun occurring on June 15, 763 B. C., was thought the favorable moment for raising the standard of rebellion in the city of Assur. A line drawn across the limn list at this year suggests the setting up of a rival king in that city. The revolt spread to Arbakha in the east, and Gozan in the west, but was finally subdued. In 746 B. C., however, another insurrection broke out in the imperial military city of Kalkhi. Ashurnirari II. had been satisfied to spend more than half his regnal years without making any military expeditions, and, though in itself the fact does not account for the revolt, since the latter half of the great Ashurnaçirpal's reign is likewise unmarked by wars, it reveals the manifest inability of this ruler to cope with the threatening foreign difficulties. The attitude of the army was decisive, and Ashurnirari disappeared before a military leader who became king in 745 B. C. under the title of Tiglathpileser III.

175. While in these last troubled years the prosperity of the state must have been severely shaken, the earlier and more successful kings show, in their inscriptions and public works, that they were not behind Ashurnagirpal in the development of the higher life of the nation. Shalmaneser II. seems to have resided at Assur and Nineveh in his early years, and in each of these cities traces of his building operations remain. Kalkhi, however, was his real capital, and here, in the centre of the great mound (sect. 170), he built his palace, of which, unfortunately, but few remains have been found. In it stood the "Black Obelisk" (sect. 172), and two gigantic winged bulls carved in high relief on slabs fourteen feet square, inscribed with accounts of the royal campaigns (Layard, N. and R., I. pp. 59, 280 ff.). Toward the close of his reign the king rebuilt the wall of Assur in stone, and left there a statue of himself seated on his throne. At Imgur Bel, nine miles east of Kalkhi, were found the most splendid remains of the artistic skill of his reign, the bronze sheathings of what seems to be a wooden gate with double doors, twenty-seven feet in height. These bronze plates were ornamented with scenes done in repoussé work, representing events in the various expeditions of the king. A sacrifice on the shores of Lake Van, the storming of a fortress in Nairi, the receipt of tribute from Syria, the burning of a captured city — are some of the subjects, the treatment of which is bold and spirited, and differs from the work of the earlier period chiefly in the variety of detail, suggestive of the different localities in which the scenes are placed. Skill in the handling of the metal, sharpness of observation, and an artistic eye in the choice of scenes testify to the remarkable attainments of the royal artists. The inscriptions of the several kings do not differ largely from the conventional form adopted from earlier models. That of Shamshi Adad, indeed, evinces a certain freedom of characterization, indicating some independence in the details of literary expression, but otherwise the same annalistic form and traditional figures of speech prevail. Few other literary remains have survived. To Shalmaneser II. is ascribed the foundation at Kalkhi of the royal library. It had a librarian who cared for its collections. The works were chiefly Babylonian classical religious texts, either in originals brought from the south as the spoil of war, or copies made by scribes. The stock of books was still further increased under Adadnirari III. and Ashurnirari II. Under the former king was produced the diplomatic document known as the "Synchronistic History of Assyria and Babylonia," a summary of the political relations between the kings of these countries from the earliest period (sect. 30). The influence of Assyrian culture of the time on its environment is illustrated by the royal inscriptions of the kings of Urartu, who at first write in the Assyrian language, and later employ the Assyrian script for their native speech.

176. The religious life of the times receives light from several sides. The inscriptions of the kings, while still emphasizing the warlike side of religion and glorifying the gods of war, reveal a tendency to exalt the ethical element. Particularly the ranging, of the sun-god Shamash alongside of the national deity Ashur as the guide and inspirer of the king, and the epithets applied to him such as "judge of the world," "ordainer of all things," "director of mankind," and — though this is uncertain — "lord of law," suggest the development of a sense of order and justice in the government (Jastrow, Rel. of Bab. and Assyr., p. 210). A new emphasis on culture is indicated by the high place ascribed in the reign of Adadnirari III. to the Babylonian god of wisdom and learning, Nabu. A temple was built for him on the mound of Kalkhi, and his statues were placed within it. On one of them, prepared in honor of the king and the queen, an inscription, glorifying the god as the clear-eyed, the patron of the arts, the holder of the pen, whose attribute is wisdom, whose power is unequalled, and without whom no decision in heaven is made, closes with the exhortation "O Posterity, trust in Nabu; trust not in any other god!" Whatever may have been the occasion to make so much of this god at this time, it is clear that he represented to the Assyrians an ideal of life never before so attractive to them and suggestive of their higher aspirations.

177. Turning to the first of those fields of aggressive activity in which Assyria made distinct advance, it appears that in the year 852 B. C. Babylonia engaged the attention of Shalmaneser II. Nabupaliddin, its king, a vigorous defender of his state against the Arameans, had succeeded in keeping free from hostilities with Ashurnaçirpal and had even made alliance with Shalmaneser II. After a long reign of at least thirty-one years, his people deposed him, and his son Marduknadinshum succeeded to the throne, which was contested by his brother, Mardukbelusate. The latter, having his strength in the eastern provinces with their more vigorous population, was pressing hard upon his brother, who held Babylon and the other cities of western and middle Babylonia. Marduknadinshum appealed to Shalmaneser II. for aid, which was promptly granted. In the two campaigns of 852-851 B. C. the Assyrian king overthrew and killed the usurper, and restored the kingdom to Marduknadinshum, who naturally became a vassal. As a sign of supremacy and with the customary reverence of an Assyrian king for the shrines of Babylonia, Shalmaneser visited the temples of Babylon, Borsippa, and Kutha, and made rich offerings to the gods. Two hundred and fifty years had passed since an Assyrian king had entered Babylon, and now the Assyrian suzerainty was acknowledged by the legitimate Babylonian king, of his own accord. Shalmaneser found the kingdom beset by its southern neighbors, the Kaldi (sect. 155), who had organized petty kingdoms and were constantly pushing up from the coast. He advanced against them, defeated one of their kings, and laid tribute upon them. The suzerainty of Assyria was thrown off by Babylon, possibly in the time of the rebellion of Ashurdaninpal, and was reestablished by Shamshi Adad in 818 B. C., who, however, according to the limu list, occupied the last five years of his reign in expeditions to Babylonian cities, and bequeathed the problem to his successor. Adadnirari III., after an expedition in his first years, in which he fully restored Assyrian, supremacy, appears to have entered into very close relations with the southern kingdom. The completion of the so-called "Synchronistic History" in his reign marks a final stage in the boundary dispute between the two states, The building of the Nabu temple at Kalkhi is an evidence of his regard for things Babylonian. The mention in the inscription on the statue of Nabu (sect. 176) of the Queen Sammuramat, the "lady of the palace," to whom, together with the king, the statue is dedicated, has given rise to a variety of interesting comment. That she should be named in this connection suggests that she was active in the new Babylonian worship, and that, therefore, she may have been herself a Babylonian princess, either wife or mother of the king. The similarity of the name Semiramis, the famous queen mentioned by Herodotus (I. 184) as ruling over Babylon, has suggested the identity of the two royal ladies, but without much gain to history thereby. The activity of the three last kings of the family, so far as Babylonia was concerned, was consumed in expeditions against the Ituha, Aramean tribes in lower Mesopotamia, who evidently interfered with the communications between the two countries. Adadnirari had already found them troublesome. Whether the later kings of the dynasty exercised supremacy over the southern kingdom is uncertain with the probabilities against it in view of the growing weakness of the royal house. A remarkable and as yet inexplicable fact is that with Nabunaçir, who became king in Babylonia in 747 B. C., the famous Canon of Ptolemy begins, as well as the Babylonian Chronicle, as though the accession of this ruler marked an epoch in the development of the state. Yet no historical memorials in our possession suggest any special change in Babylonian affairs.

178. The Babylonian problem was neither so serious nor so insistent as those of the west and the north. Ashurnaçirpal had subdued the west Mesopotamian states up and down the Euphrates, and, in his one Syrian expedition, had made the Assyrian name known as far as the Mediterranean. His successors proceeded to make that name supreme between the great river and the sea, from the Amanus to the Lebanons. Before advancing thither, however, Shalmaneser had to make good his title to the Aramean states which had yielded to his father. Upon his accession Akhuni of Bit Adini (sects. 163 f.) rebelled, and four years (859-856 B. C.) were needed to subjugate him. With great ability he had formed a league of states on either side of the Euphrates, as far as Patin, to repel the Assyrian advance, — a method of resistance in which the southern Syrian states were soon to imitate him with greater success. Unfortunately the league fell to pieces on its first defeat. Akhuni fought on alone desperately for three years, but was finally captured and taken to the city of Assur. Northern Syria as represented in the states of Karkhemish, Samal, and Patin, had already done homage. The way was open to the south. Planting Assyrian colonists at important centres and leaving garrisons in the chief cities of Bit Adini to which he gave Assyrian names, the king marched to the southwest in 854 B. C. A new country lay before him, as yet untrodden by an Assyrian army.

179, Three leading states divided the region between them; namely, Hamath, Damascus, and Israel. Eighty miles south of Khalman, the southern border of Assyrian authority in Syria, lay Hamath, at the entrance to Coele Syria; one hundred miles farther south was Damascus; the border of Israel met the confines of Damascus yet fifty miles west of south. Each state controlled the country round about it. Israel dominated Judah, Moab, and Edom; Damascus and Ha-math were in treaty relations with the Phoenician ports on the coast near to them. With one another they were in more or less continuous war, the outcome of which at any particular time might be the temporary suzerainty of the one or the other. Ever since Asa of Judah had made the fatal blunder of inviting the king of Damascus to attack Baasha of Israel in his interest, Damascus had been involved with Israel. Omri, founder of a new dynasty and of a new capital of his country at Samaria, had been worsted in the war. His son, Ahab, seems also to have reigned under Damascene influence. In the face of Shalmaneser's advance and in imitation of the example of Akhuni, a coalition was made under the leadership of the three kings, Irkhuleni of Hamath, Benhadad II. of Damascus, and Ahab of Israel, to which the kings of nine other peoples contributed troops. With an army of nearly four thousand chariots, two thousand cavalry, one thousand camel riders, and sixty-three thousand infantry, they met the Assyrian king at Qargar on the Orontes, twenty miles north of Hamath (854 B. C.). The Assyrian won the battle, no doubt, as he claims, but the victory was indecisive, and he retired beyond the Euphrates without capturing any of the capitals of his enemies or receiving their tribute. Indeed, his own domains in Syria withheld tribute, and in 850 B. C. he was compelled to chastise the kings of Karkhemish and Bit Agusi, In the next year, 849 B. C., he encountered the southern coalition again, and again withdrew. In 846 B. C. he called out the militia of Assyria and attacked the twelve allied kings with an army of one hundred and twenty thousand soldiers, but without any recorded success in the form of tribute. The situation was critical. Three years later (843 B. C.) he visited his Syrian provinces, marching to the Amanus without venturing southward. Meanwhile, either his intrigues or the inconstancy of Syrian princes had been working for him. Revolutions had taken place in Damascus and Israel. Benhadad II. had been overthrown by Hazael, and the house of Omri by Jehu. Shalmaneser II. developed new tactics. Marching westward, in 842 B. C., as though making for the sea at the mouth of the Orontes, he suddenly turned southward, leaving Khalman, Hamath, and Damascus on his left. He thus took the allied states unprepared and divided. Hazael was isolated, but met the Assyrians on the eastern slopes of Mount Hermon. They drove him back to Damascus and ravaged the territory down into the Hauran, but could not capture his city. The cities of Tyre and Sidon "sent tribute." Hamath appears to have submitted, though the fact is not mentioned. More significant still was the attitude of Israel, "whose king Jehu sent tribute," "silver, gold, golden bowls, golden chalices, golden cups, golden buckets, lead, a royal sceptre and spear shafts (?)." Yet so long as Hazael remained unsubdued, these gifts were empty. A last expedition against him in 839 B. C. was equally unsuccessful in subjugatiug him, though the Phoenician cities again sent prcsents. Assyria had been virtually halted. Shalmaneser's armies never again marched south of Hamath. Hazael was free to take vengeance on his recreant southern allies, and soon was lord of the south; as far as the Egyptian border. Israel was humiliated; Jehu and his son Jehoahaz became vassals. Shalmaneser II. was forced to be content with northern Syria; but with the southern trade routes cut off, he must find new outlets for Assyrian commerce. He therefore turned toward the northwest where Tiglathpileser I. had warred with the same purpose (sect, 144). Three campaigns are recorded against Qui (Cilicia), where he reached Tarzi (Tarsus) in the rich Cilician plain (840, 835, 834 B. C.); in 838 B. C. Tabal, in the vicinity of the modern Marash, was his objective point; in 837 B. C. he renewed Assyrian authority over Milid (sect. 144). In 832 B. C. his Turtan put down a rebellion in Patin. Thus the land route to the west and with it the rich trade of Asia Minor were secured for Assyria, and the civilization of the Tigris began directly to affect the less advanced peoples of these regions.

180. The civil war in Assyria was not without influence in the west. Khindanu, on the western bank of the Euphrates, and Hamath are mentioned among the rebellious cities. Shamshi Adad gives no indication that he ever crossed the Euphrates, and the presumption is that Assyrian authority in these districts was at a discount. Adadnirari, however, has another story to tell. In the summary of his achievements he says, "From above the Euphrates, Khatti, Akharri to its whole extent, Tyre, Sidon, the land of Omri, Edom, Palastu as far as the great sea of the setting sun I brought to submission, [and] taxes and tribute I laid upon them" (see ABL, p. 52). Special mention is made of an expedition to Damascus, where a certain Mari (Benhadad III.?), who had succeeded to Hazael, was shut up in his capital, and compelled to submit and pay .tribute. In the limu list the objective points of attack are Arpad (806 B. C.), Azaz (805 B. C.), Sahli (804 B. C.), the seacoast (803 B.C.) that is, the Mediterranean (?), Alauvate (797 B. C.). The two former cities are in northern Syria, the others in the central region. It is impossible, therefore, to date the victory over Damascus, and to determine whether the king ever traversed Israel and Palestine with his armies, or merely received "tribute" from them. The latter is more probably the case. The situation suggested is the breaking down of the dominance of Damascus in the south, and the practical recovery of independence on the part of the southern communities, by the easy method of sending gifts to the Assyrian conqueror. The subjugation of Damascus would signify to the king authority over all the regions owning Damascene supremacy. It is thought that some indication of what this victory meant for Israel still lingers in the late passage of 2 Kings xiii. 5, where the "saviour" may be identified with the Assyrian king. At any rate, as no expedition of Adadnirari after 797 B. C. is recorded, and Mancçuate, situated not far from Damascus, was the objective point of that year, Israel, with its northern enemy weakened, was able to recover strength, and, unmolested by Assyrian authority, make headway against its foes. Nor did the Assyrian kings that belong to the following years of decline disturb the southern states. A new centre of opposition to Assyria developed at Hatarika (Hadrach), south of Hamath, against which Ashurdan is said to have marched in 772 B. C. and 765 B. C. Either he or his successor attacked it again in 755 B. C., and one expedition of Ashurnirari against Arpad took place the next year (754 B. C.). It is evident that, if northern Syria remained faithful, the central and southern regions were practically free from Assyrian control after the reign of Adadnirari III. It is easy to understand, therefore, how in this period so brilliant a reign as that of Jeroboam II. of Israel was possible (2 Kings xiv. 23-29).

181. The relations to the peoples of the northern and eastern frontier form a not less important phase of Assyrian history during this period. The mountain valleys through which the upper Tigris flows had been subjugated and brought under direct Assyrian control by Ashurnaçirpal (sects. 159 f.) These gave the later kings little trouble. But the movements of peoples to the east and north of this district, already in progress in his time (sect. 159), had produced a remarkable change in the political situation. In the mountains from the southern slopes of which the Euphrates takes its rise, peoples were forming into a nation calling itself Khaldia, after the name of its god Khaldis, but to the Assyrians known as Urartu. They appear in history as they come down from the flanks of Ararat in the far northeast, or from homes on the banks of the Araxes, and move toward the southwest in the direction of Lake Van, attracted by the rich valleys on its eastern shore. Ashurnaçirpal is the first to mention them as in this region, but does not fight with them. The first kings of the new nation were Lutipris and Sarduris I., followed — whether immediately or not is uncertain — by Arame. Under this ruler the state made great strides westward and southward, controlling the valley north of the Taurus almost to Maid, and the eastern shores of Lake Van. Young, vigorous, aggressive, and eager for progress, Urartu was ready to take part in the larger life of the world. Already it had borrowed from Assyria its alphabet (sect. 175), and was preparing to dispute the older nation's pre-eminence in the northern lands.

182. Disturbances in the northeast brought Shalmaneser II., in the year of his accession (860 B. C.), into conflict with this new state. He traversed the land of Khubushkia, lying to the southwest of Lake Urmia, and thence fell upon Urartu. In 857 B. C., after defeating Akhuni on the Euphrates (sect. 178), he suddenly turned northward and marched along the western slope of Mount Masius over the Taurus to the upper waters of the Euphrates. Laying waste this region, he faced eastward and made for Urartu. Far up on the slopes of Ararat he destroyed Arzashku, Arame's capital, devastated the land and returned through Gilzan (Kirzan), on the northwestern shores of Lake Urmia, whence came the two-humped dromedaries, and through Khubushkia, coming out of the mountains above Arbela, a march of nearly a thousand miles. Similar expeditions from the sources of the Tigris to those of the Euphrates are recorded for 845 B. C. and 833 B. C. The latter was under command of the Turtan. In the interval Arame had been succeeded by Sarduris II., whom the Turtan of Shalmaneser II. attacked again in 829 B. C, In the Ushpina of "Nairi," with whom the general of Shamshi. Adad fought in 819 B. C., has been recognized Ishpuinis, successor of Sarduris II. The steady expansion of Urartu toward the south and west in these years caused uneasiness among the peoples already settled along the Assyrian border, and compelled the kings to make many expeditions into districts which hitherto had not come within the range of Assyrian aggression. A large extension of Assyrian territory, therefore, is traceable, although the royal authority was not at all times very insistent. Thus appear the Mannai, to the west and northwest of Lake Urmia; Mazamua and Parsua, to the south of the same lake, and the Madai, or Medians, further to the east. In these latter people is to be recognized the first wave of that Indo-European migration which was to exercise so important an influence upon the later history of Western Asia. It has been plausibly conjectured that the movement of the Medes from the steppes of central Asia had forced the advance of Urartu toward the south, and that, swinging off to the southeast, they were pressing on along the mountain barrier that overlooks the eastern Mesopotamian plain. As in the case of Urartu, so with them, the Assyrian kings, without being conscious of the magnitude of the interests involved, felt that they must be stopped, if Assyria was to keep its position in the oriental world. Adadnirari III. marched against them in not less than eight campaigns. From him, indeed, they received more attention than did Urartu. The latter under the son of Ishpuinis, Menuas, pushed east, west, and north, from the Araxes to the land of the Khatti (Hittites) and Lake Urmia. His son Argistis I. passed beyond the Araxes in the north; in the west he conquered Milid, and in the southeast overran the Mannai, Khubushkia, and Parsua. Shalmaneser III. for more than half his years fought with him without success, The Assyrians were compelled to see their northern and eastern provinces torn away by this vigorous rival, whose intrigues in the west were also threw en ing their possessions there. It was in this fierce storm of assault upon the outworks of the empire that the house of Ashurnaçirpal III. and Shalmaneser II. fell.

183. In summing up this epoch of Assyrian history, the first impression created is that of intense and superabounding energy. The long roll of military expeditions is kept up almost to the end. Where details are given, as in the reign of Shalmaneser II., these campaigns are seen to involve long marches, often in mountainous countries, and frequent battles with not insignificant antagonists. Both method and design in the expeditions are traceable, revealing the fact that they were planned in advance and with a broad outlook. The outcome of the whole was twofold. On the one hand, was a significant extension of Assyrian territory. New regions were opened up. Thus Shalmaneser II. made Assyria dominant on Lake Urmia. It is inferred, from hints in the inscriptions of Adadnirari III., that he reached the Caspian sea. Indeed, a remarkable summary of the wide range of Assyrian predominance is given in the laudatory inscription of the latter king:

Who conquered from the mountain Siluna, toward the rising sun . . as far as the great sea of the rising of the sun; from above the Euphrates, Khatti, Akharri to its whole extent, Tyre, Sidon, the country of Omri, Edom, Palastu as far as the great sea of the setting of the sun, I brought to submission, (and) taxes and tribute I placed on them....The kings of Kaldu, all of them, became servants. Taxes (and) tribute for the future I placed on them. Babylon, Borsippa (and) Kutha supported the decrees of Bel, Nabu (and) Nergal (Slab Iosc., 5-24; see ABL, pp. 51 f.).

184. On the other hand, obstacles of a character not hitherto encountered and, in part, rising out of the very policy of Assyria, confronted these kings. Nations, contemplated in their plans of conquest, began to unite for self-defence. To overcome this concentration of opposition called forth might and skill never before required. Assyrian pressure combined with movements of peoples as yet without the zone of historical knowledge, moulded border tribes into nations with national impulses and aspirations that rivalled those of the Assyrians themselves. New and vigorous tribes were at the same time brought upon the horizon of Assyrian territory. In grappling with such problems, the royal family, which had contributed so many warriors and statesmen to the throne of Assyria, found its strength failing and was constrained to disappear. Would the state itself go down before the same combination of difficulties, or would it regather its energies, and, under other and abler leaders, rise superior to opposition and hold its place of predominance for years to come? The next century contains the answer to this question.




IV


THE ASSYRIAN REVIVAL. TIGLATHPILESER III.

AND SHALMANESER IV. 746-722 B. C.

185. THE gloomy outlook for the future of the Assyrian state, consequent upon the encroachments of hostile peoples from without and the inner convulsions that shook the government and overthrew the ruling dynasty, was speedily transformed upon the accession of the new king. With him opens an inspiring chapter of splendid Assyrian success. This sudden change makes it likely that the causes of disaster were due, not so much to decline in the energies of the body politic, as to the weakness or unwisdom of the later members of the ruling dynasty. It has been plausibly conjectured that these rulers identified their interests with the priestly class, the centre of whose power was the city of Assur and who dominated the commercial activities of the realm. As in Babylonia, the temple was the bank and the trading centre of every community as well as the seat of the divine powers. Over against these heads of the spiritual and mercantile world stood the army, recruited chiefly from the free peasantry, and led by their local lords, as royal officers. The disasters on the frontiers brought commercial stringency, which, as in every ancient state, bore most heavily, not upon the men of wealth, but upon the poorer classes. The king unwisely threw himself into the hands of the priests. Sooner or later this attitude was bound to antagonize the army. King, priestly lords, and merchant princes went down before a rebellion, starting from Kalkhi, the seat of the army. The new king represented, therefore, the reassertion of the strongest forces in the state, the native farmers and soldiers, led by the ablest general among them (Peiser in MVAG, I. 161 f.; KAT 3, 50 f.).

186. It is significant that in his inscriptions no stress is laid by the new king upon his ancestral claims to the throne. In a popular leader this would be natural. Among his building activities no temples figure, and the long lists of gods who presided over the careers of his predecessors do not appear on his monuments. Ashur, the representative of the state as a conquering power, is his hero and lord, whose cult he established in the cities subjugated by him. His throne name was Tiglathpileser, chosen, presumably, for its historical suggestions of the first great king of that name, rather than for its theological significance. In military vigor he was a worthy follower of his brilliant predecessor, and surpassed him in statesmanlike foresight and achievement. Cinder his direction the tendencies and measures hitherto observed, looking to the incorporation of the subject peoples, were intensified and consummated. The Assyrian state was revived; the Assyrian empire was founded.

187. The memorials of the king consist of annals, which were written on the slabs adorning the walls of his palace at Kalkhi, and of laudatory inscriptions, containing summary records of his campaigns arranged geographically. All were found in the royal mound at Kalkhi, with the exception of a few bricks from Nineveh which testify to the erection of a palace there. The palace at Kalkhi and its contents suffered a strange fate. To build it the king seems to have removed a smaller structure of Shalmaneser II., which stood in the centre of the terrace, and to have greatly increased the size of the mound toward the south and west by extending it out into the Tigris. On the river side the mound was faced with alabaster blocks. The palace looked toward the north, where it had a portico in the Syrian style with pylons flanking the entrance. In construction it was distinguished from former structures by a predominance of woodwork of cedar and cypress. Double doors with bands of bronze, like those of Shalmaneser II. at Imgur Bel (sect. 175), hung in carved gateways. "'Palaces of joy, yielding abundance, bestowing blessing upon the king, causing their builder to live long,' I called their names. 'Gates of righteousness, guiding the judgment of the prince of the four quarters of the world, making the tribute of the mountains and the seas to continue, causing the abundance of the lands to enter before the king their lord,' I named their gates" (ABL, p. 58). Whether on account of its rapid decay or to do despite to the usurper, a later king of another line, used the materials of this structure for his own palace on the southwestern corner of the mound (sect. 236). The latter, however, was never finished, and to this fact is due the preservation of the fragments of the annals of Tiglathpileser III. on the slabs which had been removed and redressed, preparatory to their use in the walls of the later building. This fragmentary and confused condition of his inscriptions makes the task of reconstructing the historical order and the details of his activities difficult. No certain conclusions can in some instances be attained. Happily, the limu list for the king's reign is complete, and its brief notes form a basis for arranging the rest of the material. The contributions of the Old Testament, also, become now of special value.

188. Nearly all of the eighteen years of the king's reign (745-727 B. C.) were marked by campaigns on the various borders of the realm. These expeditions were characterized, even more clearly than those of his predecessors, by imperial purposes. The world of Western Asia, in expanding its horizon, had become at the same time more simple in its political problems, owing to the disappearance of the multitudinous petty communities before the three or four greater racial or political unities that had come face to face with one another. In the south the Kaldi were becoming more eager to lay hold on Babylon. In the north Urartu was spreading out on every side to absorb the tribes that occupied the mountain valleys, and even to reach over into northern Syria. In the west the tendency to unification brought this or that state to the front, as the suzerain of the lesser cities of a wider territory, and the representative of organized opposition to invasion. Egypt was preparing again to appear on the scene and to recover its place as a world-power west of the Euphrates. Thus, everywhere, with the exception of the eastern mountain valleys where the Medes had not yet realized that nationality the advent of which was to mark the new order, the movement toward a larger unity, based on political rather than on racial grounds, was growing stronger. The politics of the day were international in a new and deeper sense, and the ideal of world-empire was appearing more and more distinctly, as the controlling powers assumed more concrete and imposing forms. Thus, while the details of Assyrian activities are more complex, the main issues in them are more easily grasped and followed.

189. Tiglathpileser III. ascended the throne toward the last of April 745 B. C. Six months were occupied in establishing himself in his seat, and late in the year (September–October) he took an army to the south. Aramean tribes, forever moving restlessly across the southern Mesopotamian plain from the Euphrates to the Tigris, had grown bolder during these years, and, in spite of the endeavors of the Assyrian kings (sect. 177), had entered Babylonia, occupied the Tigris basin from the lower Zab to the Uknu, and were in possession of some of the ancient cities of Akkad. Aramean states were forming, similar to those of western Mesopotamia which had been overcome with so much difficulty by Ashurnaçirpal III. and Shalmaneser II. The king fell upon the tribes furiously, blockaded and stormed the cities, drove the intruders from Dur Kurigalzu, Sippar, and Nippur, and deported multitudes to the northeastern mountains; he also built two fortresses, dug out the canals, and organized the country under direct Assyrian rule. From Babylon, Borsippa, and Kutha came the priests of the supreme divinities, offering their rikhat ("gifts of homage"?) to the deliverer, who returned to Assyria, claiming the ancient and proud title of "King of Shumer and Akkad."

190. A natural corollary of this campaign was the expedition of the second year (744 B. C.) to the southeast, which, with the expedition of 737 B. C. to Media, completed the operations in the east. In this direction the Assyrian armies reached Mount Demavend, which overlooks the southern coast of the Caspian sea. Fortresses were built, Assyrian rule established among the Namri, the restless Medes chastised, and made temporarily at least to respect the Assyrian power.

191. The four years (743-740 B. C.) following the first eastern campaign were occupied in the west, where a striking illustration was given of the new international situation. All the region west of the Euphrates had practically been lost to Assyria in the last years of the house of Ashurnaçirpal. The centre of reorganization in northern Syria was the city-state of Arpad, lying a few miles north of Khalman (Aleppo), the capital of King Mati'ilu of Agusi. That state had apparently succeeded in breaking up the formerly strong kingdom of Patin (sect. 165), the western part of which formed a separate principality called Unqi (Amq), and was, with the other contiguous districts, under the suzerainty of Aipad. The work of his predecessors must apparently be done over again by Tiglathpileser. But that was not all. Hardly had he reached the scene of operations, when he learned that he must confront a more formidable antagonist in the king of Urartu. Not contented with robbing Assyria of her tributaries on the northern frontier from Lake Urmia to Cilicia, the armies of Urartu had descended through the valleys along the upper Euphrates, overran Qummukh, and were supporting the north Syrian states in opposition to Assyria. The Urartian throne was occupied at this time by Sarduris III., successor of the brilliant conqueror, Argistis I. (sect. 182). He had advanced over the mountains into the upper Euphrates valley as the Assyrian king moved westward into Syria.

Whether Tiglathpileser III. had already reached Arpad is not clear, but, if so, he retraced his steps, and crossing again the Euphrates, marched northward into Qummukh, where his unexpected arrival and sudden attack threw the army of Sarduris III. into confusion. The king himself barely escaped and, with the relics of his force, ignominiously fled northward over the mountains, pursued by the Assyrians as far as the "bridge of the Euphrates." This defeat effectually cured Sarduris of meddling in Syrian politics, but by no means crippled the resistance of the Syrian states under Mati'ilu. Three years longer the struggle went on before Arpad. It must have fallen in 740 B. C. The fragments of the annals give only scattered names of kings and states that hastened to pay their homage after its overthrow. Qummukh, Gurgum, Karkhemish, Qui, Damascus, Tyre, are mentioned in the list, to which in all probability should be added Milid, Tabal, Samal, and Hamath. Tutammu of Unqi held out and was severely punished. His kingdom was made an Assyrian province, as was doubtless the former state of Agusi. Thus all of northern Syria again became Assyrian territory, and the chief states of the central region paid tribute.

192. In 738 B. C. the king made another step forward in the west. Middle Syria, about Hamath, became involved in trouble with Assyria. Just how this arose it is very difficult to understand, owing to the confused and fragmentary condition of the inscriptions. They mention a certain Azriyau of Jaudi, as inciting these districts to rebellion against the king. At first thought, this personage would seem identical with Azariah (Uzziah) of Judah; but chronological and historical obstacles outweigh the probability of this view, and serve, with other more positive considerations, to lead to the conclusion that the state of Jaudi was situated in northern Syria, adjoining and at times a part of Samal. A prince of this state, Panammu, the son of Karal, had already headed an uprising against the reigning king, Bar-çur, and cut him off with seventy of his house, though, unfortunately, as it proved for the new ruler, a son of Bar-çur, also called Panammu, succeeded in making his escape. It is not unlikely that Azriyau was a successor of the ambitious usurper and, as lord of Jaudi and Samal, was seeking, like so many other princes, to make his principality the centre of a larger Syrian state. This would inevitably bring him into hostility to Assyria. But, with considerable shrewdness, he sought to avoid conflict as long as possible by intriguing with cities of middle Syria as yet unvisited by Tiglathpileser III., among which the most prominent was the city of Kullani. The Assyrian king overthrew the rebel leader, devastated the districts about Hamath, and placed them under an Assyrian governor. Subject states hastened to pay tribute. Among them, besides the rulers of northern and central Syrian states already mentioned (sect. 191), appeared Menahem, king of Israel, and Zabibi, queen of Arabia. Panammu of Jaudi and Samal, the second of that name, had, it seems, fled to Tiglathpileser, and now reaped his reward in being placed upon his father's throne as a vassal of Assyria. His name appears on the tribute list. This was also in all probability, the occasion referred to in 2 Kings xv. 19, 20, where Tiglathpileser is called; by his Babylonian throne name, Pul (sect. 198). The acceptance of Menahem's gift by the Assyrian, as recorded in that passage, may well have been regarded in Israel as "confirming" him in the kingdom, and as a deliverance of the land from the presence of the Assyrian army.

193. With the western states thus pacified, Tiglathpileser turned his attention to his northern enemy whom he had so vigorously ejected from Qummukh in 743 B. C. The campaigns of 739 B. C. and 736 B. C. in the Nairi country may have been intended as preparatory essays in this direction, re-establishing, as they did, Assyrian authority as far as the southern shores of Lake Van. The expedition of 735 B. C. made straight for the heart of Urartu. There is no definite indication as to the route taken, whether the Assyrian came in from the west or from the southeast. The capital of Urartu, by this time pushed forward to the eastern shore of the lake in the vicinity of the present city of Van, was called Turuspa. It consisted of a double city, the lower town spread out along the rich valley, and the citadel perched upon a lofty rock that jutted out into the lake. The Assyrians destroyed the lower town, but besieged the citadel in vain. At last, having ravaged and ruined the country far and wide, from the lakes to the Euphrates as far as Qummukh, they retired, leaving to Sarduris III. a desolate land and an impoverished people. The years of Assyrian humiliation were thus amply avenged.

194. After three years of peace in the west, Tiglathpileser III. was again called thither in 734 B. C. The occasion was one of which the Assyrians had elsewhere often taken advantage. In Israel a new king, Pekah, had joined with Rezon, king of Damascus (2 Kings xvi. 5; Isa. vii. 1 f.), and the princes of the Philistine cities (2 Chron. xxviii. 18), chief of whom was Hanno of Gaza, in a vigorous attack upon the little kingdom of Judah. Edom, also, took up arms against her (2 Chron. xxviii. 17). It has been conjectured that these states had organized a league to resist Assyrian aggression, and were seeking to force Judah to join it. But of this there is no evidence. The real purpose seems to have been to take advantage of the weakness of Judah, and of the youth and incapacity of Ahaz its king, to plunder and divide the country among the assailants. In his extremity, Ahaz, in opposition to the urgent advice of Isaiah the prophet (Isa. vii. 3 ff.), determined to appeal to Tiglathpileser III., preferring vassalage to Assyria to the almost certain loss of kingdom and life at the hands of the league. The Assyrian king seems promptly to have responded to so attractive an invitation to interfere in the affairs of Palestine, hitherto undisturbed by his armies. For three years (734-732 B. C.) he campaigned from Damascus to the border of Egypt. The order of events cannot be determined with certainty. The limu list gives for 734 B. C. an expedition against Philistia. This suggests that he made in that year a rapid march to the far south in order to relieve Judah from the immediate and pressing danger of overthrow at the hands of her enemies, and then proceeded at his leisure to punish them, beginning with the nearest, the Philistines. Gaza suffered the most severely; Hanno fled southward to Munri; the city was plundered, but a vassal king was set up, perhaps Hanno himself, on making his submission. The other cities yielded without much resistance.

195. Israel next received attention. The Book of Kings (2 Kings xv. 29) tells how all Israel, north of the plain of Esdraelon, and east of the Jordan, was overrun. Pekah had thrown himself into his citadel of Samaria, where the Assyrian king would have soon beleaguered him and taken possession of the rest of the country, had not a conspiracy broken out in which Pekah was killed, and Hoshea, its leader, made king. His immediate submission to Tiglathpileser III. was accepted, and his position as vassal king confirmed. The northern half of his kingdom remained, however, in Assyrian possession.

196. In dealing with Damascus, Tiglathpileser III. first defeated Rezon in the field, and then shut him up in the city. How long the siege lasted is uncertain. The entire district was mercilessly devastated. During the siege Panammu II. of Samal, who brought his troops to the aid of his Assyrian suzerain, died, and his son and successor, Bar Rekub, thus records the event upon the funeral stele:

Moreover my father Panammu died while following his lord, Tiglathpileser, king of Assyria, in the camp... And the heir of the kingdom bewailed him. And all the camp of his lord, the king of Assyria, bewailed him. And his lord, the king of Assyria, (afflicted) his soul, and held a weeping for him on the way; and he brought my father from Damascus to this place. In my days (he was buried), and all his house (bewailed) him. And me, Bar Rekub, son of Panammu, because of the righteousness of my father, and because of my righteousness, my lord (the king of Assyria) seated upon (the throne) Of my father, Panammu, son of Bar-çur; and I have erected this monument for my father, Panammu, son of Bar-çur.

The Assyrian account of the capture of the city has not been preserved, but the summary statement of 2 Kings xvi. 9 tells what must have been the final result: "The king of Assyria... took it and carried (the people of) it captive to Kir and slew Rezin." The kingdom of Damascus was destroyed, and the district became an Assyrian province.

197. In the course of the three years other states of middle Syria and Palestine came under Assyrian authority. Sainsi, Queen of Arabia, who had withheld her tribute, was followed into the deserts, and, after the defeat of her warriors, paid for her rebellion with the loss of many camels, and the assignment of an Assyrian qipu, or resident, to her court. Other Arabian tribes to the southwest, among whom the Sabeans appear, sent gifts, and, as qipu over the region of Muçri, a certain Idibi'il was appointed. In the tribute list of the years 734-732 B. C. appear the kings of Ammon, Moab, Edom, and various cities of Phoenicia, hitherto independent. Even the king of Tyre, Mitinna, was compelled to recognize Assyrian suzerainty with a payment of one hundred and fifty talents of gold. The authority of Tiglathpileser III. was supreme from the Taurus to the Gulf of Aqaba and beyond. To slight it meant instant punishment. The king of Tabal, in the far north, ventured to absent himself from the king's presence, and was promptly deposed by the royal official. The king of Askalon, encouraged by the resistance of Rezon, suffered his zeal for Assyria to cool, and merely the news of the fall of Damascus threw him into a fit of sickness which forced him to resign his throne to his son whom the Assyrian king graciously permitted to ascend it. Ahaz of Judah, according to 2 Kings xvi. 10 ff.,. paid his homage in person to his lord Tiglathpileser III. in Damascus after the fall of that city, and caused to be built in Jerusalem a model of the Assyrian altar, set up in the Syrian capital for the worship of Assyrian gods. It has been thought, not without reason, that the biblical narrative intimates that this Jerusalem altar was prepared for the use of the Assyrian king himself, who honored his Judean vassal with a personal visit to his capital (Klostermann, Komm. Sam. u. Kön., in loc.). Such a visit was certainly due to that king whose personal appeal to Tiglathpileser III. had opened the way for this unprecedented extension of Assyrian power.

198. It was reserved for the last ycars of this vigorous king to see the crowning achievement of his vast ambitions. Thirteen years had passed since he had entered Babylonia and re-established Assyrian suzerainty over that ancient kingdom. Meanwhile Nabunaçir (sect. 177) had been succeeded (in 734 B. C.) by his son, Nabunadinziri (Nadinu), and he after two years was killed by one of his officials, who became king under the name of Nabushumukin. This usurpation was sufficient pretext for the interference of the Kaldi. Ukinzir, chief of the Kaldean principality of Bit Amukani, swept the pretender out of the way two months after his usurpation, and seated himself on the Babylonian throne (732 B. C.). On Tiglathpileser's return from the west he must needs intervene to restore Assyrian influence. In 731 B. C. he advanced against Ukinzir, moving down the Tigris to the gulf, and attacking Bit Amukani. He shut the Kaldean up in his capital, Sapia, cut down the palm-trees and ravaged his land and that of other neighboring princes. Evidently he found the enterprise a serious one, for he remained in Assyria the next year, preparing, it seems, for a decisive stroke. The campaign of 729 B. C. resulted in the capture of Sapia and the complete overthrow of Ukinzir, who disappeared from the scene. Among the Kaldean princes who offered gifts to the victor was a certain Mardukbaliddin, chief of Bit Jakin, far down on the gulf, who is to be heard of again in the years to come. With the passing of the usurper, the Babylonian throne was vacant, and in 728 B. C. the Assyrian king "took the hands of Bel" as rightful heritor of the prize. Not as Tiglathpileser, but as Pulu, either his own personal name or a Babylonian throne-name, did he reign as Babylonian king. The cause of this change of name is thought by some to be a rescript of Babylonian law, which forbade a foreign king to rule Babylon except as a Babylonian. It may be that the complicated mass of legal and ritual requirements which in the course of the centuries had gathered about the position of the king of Babylon made it necessary, particularly in the case of the Assyrian ruler, to distinguish thus formally between his authority in the two countries. In his native land he was political and military head; in Babylon his authority consisted chiefly in his relation to the gods and their priesthoods. As such, the new position may be considered as much a burden as an honor, and Maspero thinks that this act of Tiglathpileser III. saddled Assyria with a heavy load. On the other hand, it marks the culmination of the centuries of struggle between the motherland of immemorial culture and the younger and more aggressive military state of the north. It was the attainment of the goal toward which, with deep sentiment and inextinguishable expectation, king after king of Assyria had been striving, and which Tukulti Ninib five centuries before had achieved (sect. 121). To rule and guard the ancient home at the mouth of the rivers, as suzerain of its kings, was not enough; it was far worthier to assume in person the holy crown, to administer the sacred laws, to come face to face with the ancestral gods, and to mediate between them and mankind. Something of this feeling may have come to Tiglathpileser III. at this supreme moment. He enjoyed the honor only a little over a year, however, for in 727 B. C. he died, and in his stead Shalmaneser IV. became king in the two lands.

199. Tiglathpileser III., in his eighteen years of ruling, had succeeded in raising Assyria from a condition of degenerate impotence to be the first power of the ancient world, with an extent of territory and an efficiency of administration never before attained. He combined admirable military skill and energy with a genius for organization, to which former kings had not, indeed, been by any means strangers, but which they had not exercised with such ability, or with results so solid. The custom of establishing fortified posts in conquered countries and of appointing military officials to represent Assyrian authority in them was continued by Tiglathpileser III., but it is his merit to have undertaken to attach these subjugated lands much more closely to Assyria, and to give these officials much more significant administrative duties. Taking as a basis the local unit of the city and the land dependent upon it, he united a not too large number of these districts under a single government official, called, ordinarily, the shuparshaku, whose duty it was to administer the affairs of these districts in immediate dependence on the court. As such, he was called bel pikliati, "lord of the districts." In other words, the king introduced a system of provincial government corresponding to the social and political organization of the Semitic world. Of these provinces, two were established in eastern Babylonia, two in the eastern highlands, one in northern Syria out of the kingdom of Unqi (sect. 191), two in central Syria, that of Damascus, and that of the nineteen districts about Hamath, two in Phoenicia, and one in northern Israel. The collection of a regular tribute and the preservation of order were, as before, the chief duties of these provincial officers. They served also as protectors of the districts from attack, and as guardians of Assyrian interests in surrounding tributary states. Such tributary states with their vassal kings were permitted to continue on the same terms as of old. Tiglathpileser III. also followed his predecessors in the custom of carrying away the peoples of conquered lands, but his genius is seen in the system and method introduced. In the first place, the deportations were made on an immensely larger scale, and, second, the majority of those deported were sent, not to Assyria as before, but to other regions already subjugated. In other words, immense exchanges of conquered populations were made by him. Thus, more than one hundred and thirty-five thousand persons were removed from Babylonia, sixty-five thousand from the eastern highlands, seventy thousand from the northern highlands, and thirty thousand from the districts about Hamath, and these are not all that the inscriptions mention. The Syrians were taken to the north and east; the Babylonians to Syria. The result of this policy was to remove the dangers of insurrection arising out of local or national spirit, and to strengthen the Assyrian administration in the provinces. It has been admirably stated by Maspero as follows:

The colonists, exposed to the same hatreds as the original Assyrian conquerors, soon forgot to look upon the latter as the oppressors of all, and, allowing their present grudge to efface the memory of past injuries, did not hesitate to make common cause with them. In time of peace the governor did his best to protect them against molestation on the part of the natives, and in return for this they rallied round him whenever the latter threatened to get out of hand, and helped him to stifle the revolt, or hold it in check until the arrival of reinforcements. Thanks to their help, the empire was consolidated and maintained without too many violent outbreaks in regions far removed from the capital, and beyond the immediate reach of the sovereign (Passing of the Empires, pp. 200, 201).

200. Receiving from the hands of so able an administrator an empire thus organized, Shalmaneser IV. might look forward to a long and successful reign. Certain badly mutilated inscriptions, if they have been read correctly by modern scholars, indicate that he was the son of Tiglathpileser III. and had already been entrusted by him with the governorship of a Syrian province. No inscriptions of his own throwing light upon his reign have been discovered. This is not strange, as the limu list indicates that his reign lasted but five years (727-722 B. C.) The Babylonian Chronicle states that he succeeded to the Babylonian throne, and the Babylonian kings' list gives his throne name as Ulula'a. The limu list, containing the brief references to campaigns, is here badly mutilated and affords little help. All the more important, therefore, are the biblical statements concerning his relations to Israel, and a difficult passage of Menander of Tyre (in Josephus, Ant., IX. 14, 2) in regard to his dealings with that city.

201. The west had been quiet since the decisive settlement of its affairs made by Tiglathpileser III. in 732 B. C. (sect. 197). The accession of Shalmaneser IV. was generally acquiesced in, and tribute was promptly paid. The Babylonian Chronicle mentions the destruction of the city of Sabarahin (in Syria?) Ezek. xlvii. 16), which may have taken place in his first year (727 B. C. fait which time the payment of tribute by Hoshea of Israel (2 Kings xvii. 3) may have been made. The year 726 B. C. was spent by the king at home. The policy of Tiglathpileser III. seemed to insure the fidelity and peace of the empire. Trouble, however, soon appeared among the tributary kings of Palestine, owing to the intrigues of a certain "Sewe (So), king of Egypt (Miçraim)," (2 Kings xvii. 4), the Assyrian equivalent for whose name is probably Shabi. According to some scholars, the trouble was made by the north Arabian kingdom of Muçri over which Tiglathpileser III. had appointed a gipu (sect. 197). Whatever may be the solution of that question, the results of the intrigue were successful. Hoshea of Israel refused to pay tribute, and it is probable that the king of Tyre followed suit. Shalmaneser IV. came upon the ground in 725 B. C. Menander states that he "overran the whole of Phoenicia, and then marched away after he had made treaties and peace with all;" and a broken inscription, containing a treaty of the king of Tyre with a later Assyrian king appears to substantiate this account (Winckler, AOF, II., i, 15) so far as the submission of Tyre is concerned.

202. Israel was not as easily mastered. Hoshea and his nobles saw clearly that no mercy could be hoped for, in the face of their repeated contumacy, and prepared for the worst. They threw themselves into Samaria, hoping to be able to hold out until their allies brought them relief. By 724 B. C. the blockade began. No help came, yet still they defied the Assyrian army. The country must have been utterly laid waste. The siege continued through the year 723 B. C. The next year Shalmaneser IV. died. The circumstances are not known. The rebellious and beleaguered capital was left to be dealt with by his successor, Sargon, who ascended the throne in January of 722 B. C.




V


THE ASSYRIAN EMPIRE AT ITS HEIGHT

SARGON II. 722-706 B. C.

203. ALTHOUGH Sargon gives no indication in his inscriptions that he was related by blood to his immediate predecessors, the fact that he ascended the throne without opposition in the month that Shalmaneser IV. died, shows that he was no usurper, but was recognized as the logical successor of that king. In his foreign politics and his administrative activity he followed in the footsteps of Tiglathpileser III., and thereby carried forward the empire to a height of splendor, solidity, and power hitherto unattained. In one respect, indeed, and that a very important one, it is claimed that he reversed the policy of the two preceding kings. He favored the commercial and hierarchical interests as over against the peasantry (sects. 185 f.). I, "who preserved the supremacy of (the city) Assur which had ceased," and "extended" my "protection over Haran and in accordance with the will of Anu and Dagan wrote its charter," — are two statements in his cylinder inscription which, as doing honor to these centres of priestly rule, illustrate his friendly attitude toward the hierarchy and their interests. His name in one of its forms, Sharru-ukin, "the king has set in order," may embody a reference to this policy, which he conceived of as a restoration of the old order, the re-establishment of justice and right, ignored by his predecessors. While the king's opposition to them may not have been so intense or express as to warrant the claim that he deliberately threw himself into the hands of the other party, facts like those already mentioned and others, which will later appear, are explicable from this point of view.

204. The abounding religiosity of his inscriptions is in manifest contrast to the ritual barrenness of those of Tiglathpileser III. Long passages glorify the gods, whose names make up a pantheon surpassing in number and variety those of any preceding ruler. A devotion to ecclesiastical archæology, characteristic of a priestly régime, appears in the resuscitation of old cults like that of Ningal, the recognition of half-forgotten divine names such as Damku, Sharru-ilu, and Shanitka (?). The reappearance of the triad of Anu, Bel, and Ea (sect. 89) suggests a revival of the old orthodoxy. Sin, Shamash, Ninib, and Nergal are honored with temple, festival, or gift. As though in express contrast with Tiglathpileser (sect. 187), though perhaps unconsciously, Sargon, when he built his lordly palace and city, gave its gates names which testified directly to the overmastering power and presence of the gods and illustrate the extent of his pantheon.

In front and behind, on both sides, in the direction of the eight winds I opened eight city-gates: "Shamash, who granted to me victory," "Adad, who controls its prosperity," I named the gates of Shamash and Adad on the east side; "Bel, who laid the foundation of my city," "Belit, who gives riches in abundance," named the gates of Bel and Belit on the north side; "Anu, who gave success to the work of my hands," "Ishtar, who causes its people to flourish," I made the names of the gates of Anu and Ishtar on the west side; "Ea, who controls its springs," "Belit-ilani, who grants to it numerous offspring," I ordered to be the names of the gates of Ea and Belit-ilani on the south side. (I called) its inner wall "Ashur, who granted long reign to the king, its builder, and protected his armies;" and its outer wall "Ninib, who laid the foundation of the new building for all time to come" (Cyl. Inscr., 66-71).

205. The siege of Samaria, a bequest of Shalmaneser IV. (sect. 202), was in its final stage when Sargon became king, and the city fell in the last months of 722 B. C. The flower of the nation, to the number of twenty-seven thousand two hundred and ninety persons, was deported to Mesopotamia and Media. The rest of the people were left in the wasted land, and a shuparshaku (sect. 199) was appointed to administer it as an Assyrian province. Later in the king's reign, captives from Babylonia and Syria were settled there.

206. Sargon could hardly have been present at the fall of Samaria, though, doubtless, the measures connected with its organization into a province were directed by him. The necessary adjustments of his home government and, particularly, the problem of Babylonia would require his presence in Assyria. Three months after his accession in Assyria, he would have to be in Babylon on New Year's day (Nisan) to "take the hands of Bel" as lawful Babylonian king. But what must have been an unexpected obstacle brought his purpose to naught. Tiglathpileser's annihilation of the Kaldean principality of Bit Amukani (sect. 198) had served to consolidate and strengthen the power of another Kaldean prince, Mardukbaliddin, of Bit Jakin, who at that time had paid rich tribute and now pressed forward to seize the vacant throne. He was supported, if not in his claims to the throne, at least in his opposition to Assyria, by Elam, a power which for centuries had not interfered in the affairs of the Mesopotamian valley. The Babylonian kings' list, indeed, records the rule of an Elamite over Babylon somewhere in the eleventh century, but nothing is known of his relation to the Elamite kingdom. Two new forces brought Elam upon the scene, and made it, from this time forth, an important element in Babylonio-Assyrian politics. First, the pressure of the new peoples from the far east, represented by the Medes in the northeastern mountains, was being felt in the rear of Elam, insensibly cramping and irritating the eastern and northern Elamites and forcing them westward. Second, the aggressive campaign of Tiglathpileser III. against the Aramean tribes on the lower Tigris had cleared that indeterminate region between the two countries and brought the frontier of Assyria up to the border of Elam. Collision was, therefore, as inevitable as between Assyria and the Median tribes farther north. Elam entered promptly into the complications of Babylonian politics and naturally took the anti-Assyrian side. While Mardukbaliddin advanced northward, Khumbanigash, the Elamite king, descended from the highlands and laid siege to Dur Ilu, a fortress on the lower Tigris. Sargon moved rapidly down the east bank of the river and engaged the Elamite army before the Kaldeans came up. The result of the battle was indecisive, a fact which practically meant defeat for the Assyrians. After punishing some Aramean tribes that had taken the side of the Kaldi and transporting them to the far west (Samaria), he turned back, leaving Mardukbaliddin to the possession of Babylon and the kingship, which he assumed in the lawful fashion on the first day of the new year (Bab. Chr., I. 32).

207. This serious set-back in Babylonia involved, at the beginning of Sargon's reign, a loss of prestige that had its effect upon all sides. It encouraged the rivals of Assyria to intrigue more actively in the provinces, and gave new heart to those among the subject peoples inclined to rebellion. In the west, Egypt, after centuries of impotence, was ready to engage in the affairs of the larger world. The innumerable petty princes who had divided up the imperial power among them had been formed into two groups, — one, the southern group, under the dominance of Ethiopia; the other, the northern group, under the authority of the prince of Sais, a certain Tefnakht. His son, Bok-en-renf (Greek, Bocchoris), unified his power yet more distinctly. He has gained a place in the Manethonian list as the sole representative of the twenty-fourth dynasty. About the year. 722 B. C. he assumed the rank of Pharaoh. Shut off from the south by his Ethiopian rivals, he looked to the north for the extension of his power, and naturally began to interfere in the affairs of Syria, whither, both by reason of immemorial Egyptian claims to the suzerainty and in view of commercial interests, his hopes were directed. His representatives began to appear at the courts of the vassal kings, and made large promises of Egyptian aid to those who would throw off the Assyrian yoke. Already representations of this sort had induced Hoshea of Israel to refuse the tribute, though in his case rebellion had been disastrous (sect. 201). Now a new conspiracy was formed, and the unlucky Babylonian campaign of Sargon gave the occasion for its launching. A certain Ilubidi, also called Jaubidi of Hamath, a man of the common people, usually the greatest sufferers from Assyrian oppression, had succeeded in deposing the king of that city, and took the throne as representing the anti-Assyrian party. He secured adherents in the provinces of Arpad, Çimirra, Damascus, and Samaria. Allied with him was Hanno of Gaza, who was ready to try once more the dangerous game, relying upon his Bedouin friends. Gaza, the end of the caravan routes from south and east, was a centre of trade for the Bedouin, and they were likewise hampered by Assyrian authority. Among these Arabian communities were the Muçri, already referred to (sect. 197), the likeness of whose name to that of Egypt (Muçur) probably led the Assyrian Scribes into a confusion of the two peoples, which was encouraged by the geographical proximity of the localities. This confusion appears also in the Hebrew writings, where Sewe (So) is called "king of Egypt" (Miçraim) rather than of Muçri; here it is due to the fact that the impulse to conspiracy came from the Egyptians, although the Muçri were members of the league against Assyria (sect. 201).

208. Sargon hastened to the west in 720 B. C. and took the rebels in detail. Ilubidi was met at Qargar, where the king defeated, captured, and flayed him alive. Sargon pushed southward and fought the southern army at Rapikhi (Raphia). Shabi (Sibi, Sewe, So), called, by a mixture of titles in the Assyrian account, "turtan of Piru (Pharaoh), king of Muçri," — a statement which has led some scholars to regard him as a petty Egyptian prince under the Pharaoh, — fled into the desert "like a shepherd whose sheep have been taken." Hanno was captured and brought to Assur. Nine hundred thirty-three people were deported. The Arabian chiefs offered tribute, — Piru of Muçri, Samsi of Aribi, and Itamara of Saba. The rebellion was crushed, punishments were duly inflicted, and provinces were reorganized. Having clearly demonstrated the consequences of revolt from Assyria, Sargon returned home. Seven years passed before trouble appeared again in Palestine, stirred up from the same sources as before. In the intervening period Sargon had, according to his annals, in 715 B. C. made an expedition into Arabia in consequence of which Piru of Muçri, Samsi of Aribi, and Itamara of Saba again paid tribute. The Pharaoh, Bocchoris, had fallen before the aggressive Ethiopian king, Shabako, who about 715 B. C. united all Egypt under his sway, and ruled as the first Pharaoh of the twenty-fifth dynasty. He did not wait long before undertaking the same measures as the Saite king to extend Egyptian influence in Asia. His agents began their work at all the vassal courts in Palestine. In Judah, Edom, Moab, and the Philistine cities, Egyptian sympathizers were found everywhere. Proposals were made for a league between these states. In Judah the chief opponent of this policy was the prophet Isaiah, who was moved to the strange action mentioned in Isaiah xx. 2. He kept it up for three years, at the end of which time the air had cleared. In Ashdod King Azuri openly favored the new movement, but so vigilant were the Assyrians that he was promptly deposed, and his brother Akhimiti substituted. This seems only to have added fuel to the flame, and by 711 B. C. the fire broke out. Akhimiti was overthrown; the leader of the mercenaries, a man from Cyprus, was made king, and allegiance to Assyria thrown off. The Assyrian, however, was now wide awake, and the conspirators were again taken unprepared. Sargon sent some of his finest troops in a forced march to Ashdod. The rebel leader was driven from his city before his allies could gather, and fled into the desert, where, in the fastnesses of the Sinaitic peninsula, he fell into the hands of a chieftain of Milukhkha, who delivered him up to the Assyrians. Ashdod and its dependencies, Gath and Aslidudimma, were put under a provincial government. Judah, Edom, and Moab hastened to assure the Assyrian of their faithfulness, and fresh gifts were required of them by way of punishment for their evil inclinations. Some time later, even Ashdod was permitted to resume its own government under a king Mitinti. Another instructive evidence had been given the Palestinians of the folly of seeking the aid of "Pharaoh of Egypt, a king who could not save them."

209. By far the greater number of Sargon's expeditions were directed toward the north, and occasioned by the renewed efforts of the kingdom of Urartu to unite the northern tribes against the Assyrians. Sarduris III. had left Assyria in peace after his punishment by Tiglathpileser III. in 735 B. C. (sect. 193), and was succeeded about 730 B. C. by Rusas I., called in the Assyrian inscriptions Rusa or Ursa. Under his vigorous and ambitious measures, Urartu entered upon its supreme effort for the control of the north and the overthrow of Assyrian supremacy. A combination was formed of states extending from the upper Mediterranean to the eastern shores of Lake Urmia, and the struggle that ensued lasted, in its various ramifications, for more than ten years (719-708 B. C.). The eastern peoples were led by Urartu itself; in the west the Mushki were the leading spirits under their king, Mita; both nations, however, evidently in mutual understanding and sympathy sought the same ends and used the same means.

210. After the humiliation of Urartu, Tiglathpileser III. had sought to build up, in the district between the two lakes, Van and Urmia, a kingdom which, in close dependence on Assyria, would offset the influence of Urartu. This was the kingdom of the Mannai, which had already attained some degree of unity under its king, Iranzu, and controlled a number of principalities, among which were Zikirtu, Uishdish, and Bit Daiukki. Unable to break down Iranzu's fidelity to Assyria, Rusas succeeded in drawing away the principalities from their allegiance and even detached some cities of the Mannai from Iranzu. Sargon promptly punished these latter in 719 B. C. In 716 Iranzu was succeeded by his son Aza, whose declared fidelity to his Assyrian overlord provoked a storm. The chiefs of the rebellious principalities succeeded in having him murdered, and raised Bagdatti of Uishdish to the throne. Sargon appeared again upon the scene, seized Bagdatti and flayed him alive. The rebels raised to the throne Ullusunu, brother of Bagdatti, who, after a brief struggle, submitted to Sargon and was permitted to remain king. The next year, 715 B. C., under the influence of Rusas, Daiukki, chief of another Mannean principality, rebelled against Ullusunu and was deported by Sargon. Expeditions to the east and southeast carried Sargon's armies among the Medes, who were evidently pressing more closely upon the mountain barrier and absorbing the tribes of that region. The campaign of 714 B. C. brought him face to face with Rusas himself. He entered Zikirtu, overthrew its prince, and devastated the country. The army of Rusas, which came to its relief, he utterly defeated, and drove the king himself in hasty flight to the mountains. The Assyrian narrative reports that, seeing his land ravaged, his cities burned, and portions of his territory given to the king of Man, in despair Rusas slew himself. It seems, however, according to Urartian inscriptions, that he lived to fight again. The reduction of the other districts followed without difficulty. From Illipi, in the far southeast on the borders of Elam, westward beyond Lake Van, and eastward as far as the Caspian, gifts and tribute were the signs of Assyrian authority. usual citadels were built, and provinces established for administrative purposes, where vassal kings were not continued in their authority. Urartu, however, somehow escaped incorporation. A new king, Arglstas II., continued to maintain the independence of his country, and even to interfere in Assyrian affairs, but with no success. The aggressive power of the state was broken, and the Assyrians were satisfied to let well enough alone. That Urartu was practically left to itself and yet was closely watched, is illustrated by a despatch which has been preserved from the Crown Prince Sennacherib, who in the last years of Sargon was the commanding general, stationed on the frontier between Urartu and Assyria.

211. In the northwest the Mushki were situated as advantageously for disturbing the Assyrian borders as was Urartu in the east. Perched high up among the Taurus mountains, they saw beneath them Qui (Cilicia) to the southwest, Tabal and the north Syrian states to the south, Qummukh to the southeast, and Milid to the east, beyond which Urartu extended to the mountains of Ararat. They themselves were moved to activity, doubtless, by the pressure of peoples behind them, caused by the westward movement of the Indo-European tribes, of whom the Medes in the east formed one branch, and who were to make themselves felt more distinctly within half a century. They entered heartily, therefore, into the schemes of Rusas of Urartu, and did their part toward breaking down Assyrian influence on these frontiers. A beginning was made in Tabal in 718 B. C. by a rebellion in Sinukhtu, one of its principalities. The rising was put down, the guilty tribe deported, and its territory given to a neighboring prince. The next year, tempted by the promise of help from Mita, King of Mushki, Pisiris, king of Karkhemish, threw off the yoke, but, if a general rising was expected, it was prevented by the vigilance and promptness of Sargon, who stormed the ancient city, carried away its inhabitants, and settled Assyrians in their places. The city became the capital of an Assyrian province. Mita had, meanwhile, been making advances to Qui. Its king had been faithful to Assyria at first. He was consequently attacked by the Mushki and lost some of his cities. Finally he fell away to the enemy, however, and was punished with the loss of his kingdom for, later in Sargon's reign, an Assyrian provincial governor administered Qui and conducted campaigns against the Mushki. In 713 B. C. the king of Tabal, son of the prince raised to the throne by Tiglathpileser III. (sect. 197), and himself married to an Assyrian princess, declared his independence, in spite of the fact that his territory had been twice enlarged by Sargon. The Assyrian overran the country, carried away the king and his people, settled other captives in the land, and brought it directly under Assyrian authority. The year following, it was the turn of Milid to revolt. Its king had overrun Kammanu, a land under Assyrian protection, and had annexed it. Sargon punished this aggression by the removal of the royal house, the deportation of the inhabitants, and the settlement of people from the Suti in the land. The country was fortified by a line of posts on either side over against Mushki and Urartu. Certain of its cities were conferred upon the king of the Qummukhi. In Gamgum, a small kingdom on the southern slopes of the Taurus, the reigning king had been murdered by his son, who seized the throne. Sargon, regarding this usurpation as inspired from the same source as the other movements in these regions, sent, in 711 B. C., a body of troops thither, by whom the same measures were carried through as elsewhere, and a new Assyrian province established. Meanwhile the governor of Qui had succeeded in his campaigns against Mita of Mushki, who in 709 B. C. made his formal submission to Sargon. At the same time seven kings of the island of Cyprus, who had somehow been involved in the wars of these states in the northwest, sent gifts to the king, who, in return, set up in that island a stele in token of his supremacy. That an Assyrian administration was introduced there, is not clear. Finally, the hitherto faithful kingdom of Qummukh, seduced by Argistis II., the new king of Urartu, threw off the Assyrian yoke. Sargon was then engaged in the thick of the struggle with his Babylonian rival. With its triumphant conclusion in 708 B. C., the king of Qummukh lost heart and did not await the advance of the Assyrian army. His land was overrun, and another province was added to the empire. Already, during these years, the kingdom of Samal, whose kings had been so loyal to Tiglathpileser III. (sect. 196), had disappeared, so that now all the west and north, with the exception of some of the Palestinian and Phoenician states, was directly incorporated into the Assyrian empire.

212. The overthrow of the northern coalition, by the defeat of Rusas of Urartu and Mita of Mushki, left Sargon free to finish the task which he had abandoned in the first year of his reign after the doubtful victory over the king of Elam (sect. 206). For more than a decade had Mardukbaliddin ruled in Babylon, undisturbed by his Assyrian rival. But now his turn had come to feel the weight of Assyrian vengeance, made all the heavier by delay, and by the added might of the Assyrian power, everywhere else victorious. The Kaldean king had, meanwhile, found it no easy task to administer his new domain. The Babylonian priesthood, while nominally acquiescing in his supremacy, were at heart enemies of Kaldean rule and devoted to Assyria, especially since Sargon was inclined to favor hierarchical assumptions. Nor had Mardukbaliddin seized the throne with any other purpose than to give his Kaldeans the supreme positions in Babylonia, and, in pursuing this policy, he appears to have dispossessed not a few Babylonian nobles in favor of his own partisans. A document which has been preserved recites his purpose "to give ground-plots to his subjects in Sippar, Nippur, Babylon, and the cities of Akkad," and describes such a gift to Bel-akhi-erba, mayor of Babylon, who was most probably one of his own people (ABL, 64 ff.). While Sargon's claims that his rival despised the Babylonian gods are disproved by the pious tone of that document, it appears that southern Babylonia particularly had been so rebellious that the Kaldean king had carried away the leading citizens of such cities as Ur and Uruk along with their city-gods to his capital, and even held confined there people of Sippar, Nippur, Babylon, and Borsippa. The Aramean tribes, also, had been permitted to resume their former independence as a bulwark against Assyria on the lower Tigris, and the Suti were active along the northern frontiers of Babylonia. Moreover, in 717 B. C., Khumbanigash of Elam, the ally of the Kaldean king, was succeeded by Shuturnakhundi, whose zeal for his support had not yet been put to the test. Under such conditions Mardukbaliddin was forced to meet the advance of Sargon.

213. The campaigns of the years 710-709 B. C. were occupied with this war in Babylonia. The weakness of the Kaldean king was apparent immediately. Sargon's account of his operations has been variously interpreted. Some assume two Assyrian armies, — one directed toward the east of the Tigris and the other, led by Sargon himself, moving west of the Euphrates. No good reason for the western trans-euphratean movement can possibly be imagined; indeed it was the worst sort of tactics to separate the two armies so widely. The campaign becomes clear however, if, in the annals (1. 287), we read "Tigris" for "Euphrates." The Assyrian army advanced down the eastern bank of the Tigris without opposition from Elam, and encountered only the Aramean tribes. The chief resistance was offered by the Gambuli, whose city of Duratkhara, though garrisoned by a corps of Kaldean troops in addition to its native defenders, was taken by storm, rebuilt and, as Dur Nabi, made the capital of an Assyrian province. The whole region down to the Uknu, and eastward into the borders of Elam, was overrun, devastated, and made Assyrian territory. Thus Elamite intervention was cut off. The Elamite king drew back into the mountains. Then the army turned westward toward Babylonia, crossed the Tigris (?), and entered the Kaldean principality of Bit Dakurri. Now Sargon stood between Mardukbaliddin and his Kaldean base; hence the Kaldean king must meet his enemy in Babylon. But his resources were not yet exhausted.

He recognized his danger, abandoned Babylon, and hurried eastward with his forces into the region just traversed by the Assyrians, to the border of Elam, to unite with the Elamite forces, and follow up the Assyrian army. It was a bold, but thoroughly strategic move. Shuturnakhundi, however, had lost heart, and no inducements could avail to secure his co-operation. Now one resource only remained for the Kaldean. He moved rapidly to the south, eluded the Assyrians, and threw himself into a citadel of his own principality, Bit Jakin, and there, fortifying it strongly, awaited the Assyrian attack.

214. Sargon, meanwhile, had fortified the capital of Bit Dakurri, and was preparing to advance northward toward Babylon. The news of Mardukbaliddin's escape was followed by the coming of the priesthoods of Borsippa and Babylon, who brought their rikhat (sect. 189) and, accompanied by a deputation of the chief citizens, invited Sargon to enter the city. He accepted the invitation, and showed his gratification by royal gifts and services befitting a devoted worshipper of the gods of Babylon. Sippar, which had been seized by an Aramean tribe driven westward by his advance down the Tigris, was recovered by a detachment sent out from Babylon. The next year (709 B. C.), Sargon "took the hands of Bel" and became lawful king of Babylon. The punishment of Mardukbaliddin followed. His principality of Bit Jakin was fiercely attacked, his citadel stormed in spite of a desperate resistance, the land laid waste, the inhabitants deported, and new peoples settled there. The Kaldean prince, however, succeeded m making his escape, and was destined still to be a troubler of Assyria. The landowners, dispossessed under the Kaldean régime, were restored to their estates. The imprisoned Babylonians were released, and the city-gods of Uruk, Eridu, and other ancient shrines were brought back and honored with gifts. From the king of Dilmun, an island "which lay like a fish thirty kasbu out in the Persian gulf," came gifts in token of homage.

215. Little is known of the course of events in Sargon's reign after 708 B. C. It is clear, however, that during this period his city and palace of Dur Sharrukin were completed and occupied. The king had lived principally at Kalkhi, where he had restored the famous Ashurnaçirpal palace (sect. 170). But his overmastering ambition suggested to him an achievement which had not entered into the minds of his predecessors. They had erected palaces. He would build a city in which his palace should stand. For this purpose, with an eye to the natural beauty of the location, he chose a plain to the northeast of Nineveh, well watered and fertile, in full view of the mountains. A rectangle was marked out, its sides more than a mile in length, its corners lying on the four cardinal points. It was surrounded by walls nearly fifty feet in height, on which at regular intervals rose towers to a further height of some fifteen feet. Eight gates elaborately finished and dedicated to the gods (sect. 204) gave entrance through these walls into the city, which was laid out with streets and parks in a thoroughly modern fashion, and was capable of housing eighty thousand people. Upon the northwest side stood the royal palace on an artificial elevation raised to the height of the wall. This mound was in the shape of the letter T, the base projecting from the outer wall, the arms falling within and facing the city. An area of about twenty-five acres thus obtained was completely covered by the palace, which consisted of a complex of rooms, courts, towers, and gardens, numbering in all not less than two hundred. The main entrance was from the city front through a most splendid gateway which admitted to the central square. From its three sides opened the three main quarters of the palace, to the right the storehouses, to the left the harem, and directly across, the king's apartments and the court rooms. This latter portion was finished in the highest artistic fashion of the period. The halls were lined with bas-reliefs of the king's campaigns; the doorways were flanked with winged bulls, and the archways adorned with bands of enamelled tiles. In the less elaborate chambers colored stucco and frescoes are found. The artistic character of the bas-reliefs, however, is not distinctly higher than that of previous periods. The variety of detail already noted as appearing in the bronzes of Shalmaneser II. (sect. 175) is the most striking characteristic of these sculptures. It is in the mechanical skill displayed, in the finish of the tiling, in the coloring of the frescoes, in the modelling of the furniture, in the forms of weapons and the like, that the art here exhibited is chiefly remarkable. In addition, the colossal character of the whole design of city and palace, culminating ill the lofty ziggurat, with its seven stories in different fe t ors, rising to the height of one hundred and forty from the court in the middle of the southwest face Of the palace mound, gives a vivid impression of the wealth, resourcefulness, and magnificent powers of the Assyrian empire as it lay in the hand of Sargon, who brought it to its height and gave it this unique monument.

216. Sargon's administration of the empire reveals a curious mixture of progressiveness and conservatism, of strength and weakness, which makes the task of estimating his ability and achievement not a little difficult. His reign was one series of wars, yet a large number of his campaigns were against petty tribes and insignificant peoples. Over against his good generalship, illustrated in the skilful campaign of 710 B. C. against Mardukbaliddin, must be placed the serious reverse in the same region in 721 B. C. Good fortune did much for him in Babylonia and in the west, where rebellious combinations never materialized. He overthrew his enemies in detail or found them deserted by those who had promised help. It is evident that Urartu itself offered him nothing like the resistance it had shown to Tiglathpileser III. His system of provincial government, involving the exchange of populations, was an inheritance from his predecessors. He carried it out more extensively, establishing provinces on all borders and deporting peoples from one end of the empire to the other in enormous numbers. His new city of Dur Sharrukin was composed almost entirely of the odds and ends of populations from every part of his domains. So intent on making provinces was he, that he seems at times to take advantage of insignificant difficulties in vassal kingdoms to overturn the government and incorporate them into the empire. Was he wise in this? or was the policy of Tiglathpileser III. more far-sighted? He, while establishing provinces in important centres, not only permitted vassal kings to hold their thrones, but even encouraged the growth of such states, as in the case of the kingdom of the Mannai. The task of organizing and unifying this mass of provinces and of meeting the responsibilities of their administration was certainly severe. National spirit had disappeared with the deportation of the people, and imperial attachment had to be fostered in its place. All the details of government and administration, left otherwise to local and tribal officials, must be taken over by the imperial administration. Officials had to be obtained and trained. Military forces must be maintained for their protection and authority. If Sargon had before him the vision of a mighty organization like this, he had not wisely estimated the difficulties of its successful maintenance. As ruler of Babylon, he particularly felt the inconvenience of presenting himself yearly at the city to receive the royal office at the hands of Bel, and therefore contented himself with the title of "Governor" (Shakkanak Bel), by which he exercised the power, even if he must forego the honors, of kingship.

217. A severer indictment against Sargon is found by those who hold that he reversed the policy of Tiglathpileser III. relative to the priesthood (sect. 203). An immediate result of this would be the substitution of a mercenary soldiery for the usual native troops. Sargon certainly revived the policy instituted by Shalmaneser II. of incorporating the soldiers of conquered states into his armies. His inscriptions testify to this in the case of Samaria, Tabal, Karkhemish, and Qummukh. But the maintenance of mercenary troops involves their employment in constant wars to keep them active and secure them booty. When these fail, they sell themselves to a higher bidder, or turn their arms against the state. The policy of Sargon also involved the subordination of the Assyrian peasantry to the commercial and industrial interests of the state or to the possessors of great landed estates. The burdens of taxes fell upon the farmers even more heavily. They dwindled away, became serfs on the estates, or slaves in the manufactories, and their places were supplied by aliens from without, transplanted into the native soil. Thus the state as organized by Sargon became more and more an artificial structure, of splendid proportions, indeed, but the foundations of which were altogether insufficient. Whether this judgment is unduly severe or not, it is clear that none of these evils appeared in the king's time. Assyria was never so great in extent, never so rich in silver and gold and all precious things, never so brilliant in the achievements of art and architecture, never more devoted to the gods and their temples. Nor was Sargon unmindful of the economic welfare of his country, as his inscriptions testify. He directed his attention to the colonization of ruined sites, to the planting of fields, to making the barren hills productive, and causing the waste dry lands to bring forth grain, to rebuilding reservoirs and dams for irrigation. He sought to fill the granaries with food, to protect the needy against want, to make oil cheap, to make sesame of the same price with corn, and to establish a uniform price for all commodities. When he had settled strangers from the four quarters of the earth in his new city, he sent to them Assyrians, man of knowledge and insight, learned men and scribes, to teach them the fear of God and the king (Cyl. Inscr., ABL, pp. 62 ff.). These were high conceptions of the responsibilities of empire, however imperfectly they may have been realized.

218. Hardly had Sargon been settled in his new city and palace when his end came. A violent death is recorded, but whether in battle or by a murderer's hand in his palace, the broken lines of the inscription do not make clear. His son and heir, Sennacherib, was summoned from the frontier, where he was acting as general, and without opposition ascended the throne toward the close of July, 705 B. C.



VI


THE STRUGGLE FOR IMPERIAL UNITY\

SENNACHERIB. 705-681 B. C.

219. THE reign of Sennacherib, though longer by six years than that of his father, is marked by fewer military expeditions, but the campaigns recorded are, with one or two exceptions, of a much more serious character than those which brought Sargon booty and fame. It is true that for his last eight years (689681 B. C.) he has left no memorials of his activities. Yet that very fact indicates how Assyrian rule was changing from aggression and conquest to the administration of an organized and compact state as the outcome of a long series of experiments in government, brought to a climax in the reign of Sargon. A demonstration of Assyrian strength by a raid into the southeastern mountains in 702 B. C., when the Kassites and Illipi were again punished, an expedition to the northwest among the tribes of Mount Nipur and into Tabal, which, perhaps, reached as far as Cilicia, in 697 B. C., and a campaign among the Arabian tribes in his later years, — these constitute the sum total of the minor wars waged by Seunacherib. Along the eastern and northern borders and in Syria provincial governors kept strict ward over the motley populations under their sway, and carefully watched all signs of movement in the outlying peoples beyond, among whom, for a season, a strange and perhaps portentous quiet seemed to prevail.

220. Only on the two extremities of the long semicircle of lands making up the empire did serious difficulty appear. Babylonia and Palestine, the former especially, were the two problems given to Sennacherib to solve. The complexities which they involved, the new factors appearing there, the daring attempts at solution, and the tragic elements concerned in them make Sennacherib's reign one of the most interesting and baffling studies in all Assyrian history.

221. The Babylonian difficulties were not new. How they troubled his predecessors has already been described (sects. 189, 198, 206). Babylonia was no longer a unity under the rule of kings of Babylon, but a number of separate principalities, each eager for possession of the capital city and thus the nominal headship of the land. Aramean communities lay on the north and east, Arabians on the west, and Kaldean states on the south, while over the borders were the rivals Assyria and Elam, the latter just beginning to assert itself, both determined to enter and possess the land. Babylon itself, the genial fountain-head of religion, culture, and mercantile activity, alike flattered and preyed upon by these various states, containing a great population made up of heterogeneous elements with inclinations divided between all the parties that invited their favor, had no unity except in the self-interest concerned with the maintenance of its religious authority and its commercial supremacy. Tiglathpileser. III. had entered the city as a deliverer from the anarchy threatened by incursions of Arameans and Kaldeans, and, as king by the grace of Bel, had been welcomed. Between his rule and the assumption of the throne by Sargon had come the decade of Mardukbaliddin's reign, which had doubtless accustomed the Babylonians to Kaldean authority and had strengthened Kaldean influence there. After the first year, Sargon relinquished the title of king for that of regent (sect. 216) and, on his retirement to his new residence, Dur Sharrukin, must have ruled Babylonia by a royal governor. It is suggested by a passage of Berosus that he placed a younger son over it who retained his position on the accession of Sennacherib. If the king thought this flattering to the Babylonians, he was disappointed. They would have none but the great king himself, and he must rule as king of Babylon, not of Assyria. Sennacherib had reigned hardly a year, when his brother was murdered, and a Babylonian, Mardukzakir-shum, made king. The latter was, after a month, put out of the way by the Kaldeans, and Mardukbaliddin again seized the throne (704 B. C.). He renewed his alliance with the Aramean communities and with Elam, and prepared to meet the Assyrians. Sennacherib came in 703 B. C., defeated the Kaldean at Kish, and drove him out, after his nine months' reign. He entered Babylon, seized the palace and treasures of Mardukbaliddin, cleared the capital and other Babylonian cities of the Kaldeans and their sympathizers, marched into Kaldu and laid it waste, and returned by the way of the Aramean states, from which he carried away two hundred and eight thousand people and a vast spoil in cattle. For Babylon Sennacherib provided a new arrangement which he might expect to be altogether agreeable. He took a young Babylonian noble, Belibni, who had been reared at his court, and made him king of Babylon. Naturally, Belibni would be maintained under Assyrian protection, but, as a native king, he would represent to the jealous Babylonians the preservation and maintenance of their ancestral rights. The arrangement seemed to promise well.

222. Meanwhile, in the opposite quarter of the empire, Mardukbaliddin, during his nine months' possession of Babylon, had succeeded in stirring up disaffection which began to threaten serious trouble for Sennacherib. On the Phoenician coastland the kings Of the rich and energetic city of Tyre had been gradually extending their authority over the neighboring communities, until King Luli, who was reigning at this time in Tyre, could claim supremacy from Akko to Sidon and beyond, and was ready to bring no little strength to an organized movement for throwing off the Assyrian yoke. In Palestine the young Hezekiah had succeeded his father, Ahaz, upon the throne Of Judah, the leading vassal kingdom in that region. Its faithfulness to Assyria had been sorely tried during the reign of Sargon, but had apparently Stood every strain, and its reward was freedom from Assyrian interference and a high degree of material prosperity. Hezekiah, however, was ambitious and restless under the Assyrian yoke. He was already entertaining proposals to rebel, when he suddenly fell ill (2 Kings xx. 1). The desperate situation of his house and people, should he die at this time, stirred him to a struggle for life, which, under the ministrations of Isaiah, prophet of Jehovah, was successful. Interpreting this event as a sign of Jehovah's approval, the king proceeded more boldly with his rebellious plans. A visit of emissaries from Mardukbaliddin (2 Kings xx. 12 f.), who, though driven from Babylon, was still active in organizing opposition to Assyria (702 B. C.), secured Hezekiah's adherence to a league which included the Tyrian and Palestinian states, Ammon, Moab, and Edom, the Bedouin on the east and south, as well as the Egyptians. All disguise was thrown off. Padi, the king of the Philistine city of Ekron, who would not join the rebels, was deposed and delivered to Hezekiah. Open defiance was thus offered to Sennacherib.

223. The Assyrian was, however, apparently well apprised of the designs of the leaguers, and determined to forestall them. Early in 701 B. C. he appeared on the Mediterranean coast and received the submission of the Phoenician cities with the exception of Tyre. Ammon, Moab, and Edom hastened, also, to pay homage at that time. Luli of Tyre, called king of Sidon in the Assyrian account, retired to Cyprus, and his newly acquired Phœnician kingdom fell to pieces. The omission of Tyre from the submissive cities makes it evident that Sennacherib was unable to capture it at this time. But he determined to set up a rival which would effectually prevent it from giving him trouble and from re-establishing its influence among the Phoenician cities. For this purpose he chose Sidon, appointed, as king over it, Itobaal (Assyr. Tubalu), and gave him suzerainty over the cities which had acknowledged the authority of Tyre. It is probable that an attack was made upon Tyre by a naval force collected from these cities, under Sidon's leadership; but the assailants were repulsed, and Tyre remained independent (Menander in Jos. Ant., IX. 14, 2).

224. Sennacherib, without waiting for the issue of the attack on Tyre, hurried forward, down the coast road, to strike at Askalon, the southernmost of the Philistine cities that was in rebellion. Having reduced it and captured its king, Çidqa, he turned toward the northeast, and, on his advance to Ekron, was confronted at Altaqu with an army led by the chiefs of Muçri and Ethiopian-Egyptian generals. The force, hastily gathered and poorly commanded, was dispersed without difficulty. Altaqu and Timnath were despoiled, and Ekron surrendered. All opposition on the coast was thus crushed. Hezekiah was isolated, and the Assyrian attack could concentrate on Judah. The king therefore marched up the valleys leading to the plateau. His own words describe the punishment he inflicted upon the unhappy land:

But as for Hezekiah of Judah, who had not submitted to my yoke, forty-six of his strong walled cities and the smaller cities round about them, without number, by the battering of rams, and the attack of war-engines (?), by making breaches by cutting through, and the use of axes, I besieged and captured. Two hundred thousand one hundred and fifty people, small and great, male and female, horses, mules, asses, camels, cattle, and sheep, without number, I brought forth from their midst and reckoned as spoil. (Hezekiah) himself I shut up like a caged bird in Jerusalem, his royal city. I threw up fortifications against him, and whoever came out of the gates of his city I punished. His cities, which I plundered, I cut off from his land and gave to Mitinti, King of Ashdod, to Padi, King of Ekron, and to Çil-Bel, King of Gaza, and (thus) made his territory smaller. To the former taxes, paid yearly, tribute, a present for my lordship, I added and imposed on him. Hezekiah himself was overwhelmed by the fear of the brilliancy of my lordship, and the Arabians and faithful soldiers whom he had brought in to strengthen Jerusalem, his royal city, deserted him. Thirty talents of gold, eight hundred talents of silver, precious stones, guhli daggassi, large lapis lazuli, couches of ivory, thrones of elephant skin and ivory, ivory, ashu and urkarinu woods, of every kind, a heavy treasure, and his daughters, his palace women, male and female singers, to Nineveh, my lordship's city, I caused to be brought after me, and he sent his ambassador to give tribute and to pay homage (Taylor Cyl., III. 11-41).

225. The course of the campaign, as here presented, is also described in 2 Kings xviii. and xix. (see Isa. xxxvi. and xxxvii.), and a harmonization of the narratives, though difficult, is not impossible. Sennacherib did not, at first, attack Jerusalem, but only blockaded it, and leaving fear and famine to accomplish its surrender, moved southward, devastating the land on every side, until he came to Lachish and Libnah. The capture of these towns made an end of rebellion in the southeastern plain, and completed his Palestinian campaign, which had swung around in a great circle from Askalon in the southwest to these southeastern cities. Meanwhile Hezekiah had decided to submit; he set free Padi, king of Ekron, and sent to Sennacherib, at Lachish, for terms of surrender, which were promptly forthcoming and as promptly met. His failure to present himself in person, however, angered the Assyrian. Recognizing also the danger of leaving behind him Jerusalem the only city which had not opened its gates in submission, Sennacherib demanded the surrender of the capital. Meanwhile he himself, it appears, advanced farther to the south. But the year was now far spent. News came from the east that Mardukbaliddin had appeared again in Babylonia. Sennacherib had already decided to return, when it seems that pestilence fell upon his army. He was, accordingly, forced to withdraw the detachment from Jerusalem and beat a hasty retreat. Having laid greater tribute upon the subdued states, he returned to Nineveh with the heavy spoil of the west. If the close of his campaign had been inglorious, he had succeeded in his purpose. Never again during his reign did the kings of the west raise the hand of revolt against him. The punishment had been effectual. Sennacherib entered the west only once again, and then only to make a foray against Arabian tribes whose constant restlessness needed frequent restraint and sometimes severe chastisement.

226. Sennacherib's well-meant effort to conciliate the Babylonians had ended in failure. During the king's absence in the west, Belibni, either from weakness or seduced by the opposition, had not maintained his fidelity to Assyria. Babylonia was in commotion, and in 700 B. C. the Assyrian king was again called there by an alliance of the Kaldeans and Elamites. Along with Mardukbaliddin appeared another Kaldean chieftain, Shuzub. The combination was dispersed by Sennacherib, who advanced far into the marsh lands of the south. Shuzub disappeared in the swamps. Mardukbaliddin, with his people, emigrated in a body down the eastern coast of the gulf into a district of Elam. He must have died soon after, for he played no part in the succeeding events. Bit Jakin, his principality, was utterly devastated. A new experiment was tried at Babylon. Sennacherib made his eldest son, Ashur-nadin-shum, king of the city, and carried Belibni and his counsellors, in disgrace, back to Assyria. The failure of the coalition against Assyria caused, also, the downfall of the Elamite king, who was dethroned by his brother Khallushu. The way seemed, thus, to be cleared for the new régime in Babylonia and, in fact, Ashurnadinshum occupied the throne for six years (700694 B. C.). But the end of his career was tragical, and opened another period of trouble for the unhappy land.

227. Sennacherib employed these years of quiet in preparations for a military expedition which was as unique in its method as it was audacious in its conception. The Kaldi, whom Mardukbaliddin had carried off with him in ships to the eastern shore of the Persian gulf and brought under the immediate shelter of Elam, were settled on the lower courses of the river Karun, the waterway from the south into the heart of Elam. If an army could be landed here, it might be able not only to destroy these enemies, but even make its way to the Elamite capital Susa, and strike a deadly blow at the power of Elam. Two conditions were essential for the success of this enterprise, a fleet at the head of the gulf for the transport of troops, and secrecy as to the goal and the preparations for the expedition. Accordingly Phoenician ship-builders and sailors from the vassal state of Sidon, recently favored by the king (sect. 223), were secured, and a shipyard was set up at Til Barsip on the upper Euphrates; ships were also gathered in Assyria. At an appointed time both fleets were sent down the rivers; the Assyrian ships, for the sake of secrecy, had been transferred at Upi to the Arakhtu canal, and were thus brought into the Euphrates above Babylon; all were concentrated at the appointed place, where the troops were encamped, awaiting their arrival. An unexpected flood tide delayed them for some days, but, the embarkation once made, the distance was quickly traversed, the troops landed and the surprised Kaldeans overwhelmed (695-694 B. C.). The captives were loaded into the ships and transported to Assyria, the main body of the troops apparently being left behind to push forward into Elam. But in some way, probably by the treachery of the Babylonians, news of the expedition had come to Elam, and Khallushu determined upon a stroke as bold as that of Sennacherib himself. Hardly had the fleet sailed, when, with his Elamites, he rushed down upon northern Babylonia. Sippar was taken by storm, and Babylon, cut off from Assyrian help both north and south, and probably unprepared for so sudden an onslaught, surrendered (694 B. C.). Ashurnadinshum was captured and carried away to Elam, where he was probably put to death. A Babylonian noble, Shuzub, was placed on the throne under the name of Nergal-ushezib, and supported by Elamite troops. He immediately marched southward to overcome the Assyrian garrisons and cut off the army operating in southern Elam. But news of the disaster had reached the king, and he had hastily returned. He made Uruk his headquarters, and awaited the coming of the enemy, who were occupied about Nippur. The battle between the two armies took place in September (693 B. C.), and Nergalushezib was defeated, captured, and carried off to Assyria.

228. Whatever arrangements Sennacherib had made for the government in Babylon, on the fall of the usurper, were speedily brought to naught by the Babylonians themselves, who made the Kaldean prince Shuzub (sect. 226) their king, under the name of Mushezib Marduk (693 B. C.). Meanwhile another revolution had broken out in Elam by which Khallushu was set aside and Kudur-nakhundi became king. The Assyrian king was, as it seems, already marching down the eastern bank of the Tigris again to settle affairs in Babylonia, when the news from Elam induced him to turn his arms against that enemy. He swept through the lower valleys with fire and sword, and, though the winter was approaching, determined to advance into the mountains whither the Elamite king had withdrawn. But hardly had he entered the highlands when the inclemency of the weather forced him to retire (692 B. C.). He had, however, broken the prestige of liudurnakhundi, who lost his throne to his brother, Umman-menanu, after hardly a year's reign. Mushezib Marduk knew that his turn would soon come for punishment, and made a vigorous effort to defend himself. He called for aid upon the new Elamite king, who for his own security must also show a bold front to Assyria. The Babylonians likewise felt that vengeance would fall upon them for their treachery, and committed an act which revealed their desperate fear and hatred of Sennacherib. They opened the treasuries of the temples, and offered the wealth of Marduk for the purchase of Elamite support. All through the winter of 692 B. C. the preparations went on to meet the Assyrian advance. A great army of Elamites, Arameans, Babylonians, and Kaldeans was gathered. Sennacherib compared its advance to "the coming of locust-swarms in the spring." "The face of the heavens was covered with the dust of their feet like a heavy cloud big with mischief." The battle was joined at Khalule, on the eastern bank of the Tigris, in 691 B. C., and, after a long and fierce struggle, the issue was drawn. Sennacherib claimed a victory, but, though the coalition was broken, his own forces were so shattered that he advanced no farther, and left to Mushezib Marduk the possession of the Babylonian throne for that year.

229. During the next two years Sennacherib grappled with the Babylonian problem and brought it to a definite solution. On his advance in 690 B. C. he met with no serious opposition. Ummanmenanu of Elam could offer no aid to Mushezib Marduk, who was Speedily seized and sent to Nineveh. Babylon now lay at the mercy of the Assyrian, whose long-tried patience was exhausted. He determined on no less a vengeance than the total destruction of the ancient city. The work was systematically and thoroughly done. The temples and palaces were levelled. Fortifications and walls were uprooted. The inhabitants were slaughtered; even those who sought refuge in the temples perished. Images of Babylonian gods were not spared. Two images of Assyrian deities, which Marduknadinakhi had carried away from Ekallati (sect. 145), were carefully removed and restored to their city. The canal of Arakhtu was turned from its bed so as to flow over the ruins. The immense spoil was made over to the soldiers. The district was then placed under a provincial government, as had already been the case with the lands of the Kaldeans and Arameans round about it. Sennacherib thus ruled Babylon till his death. The Babylonian kings' list names him as "king" both for the years 705-703 B. C. and also during this last period, 689-681 B. C., although the source from which Ptolemy drew his information denominated both these periods "kingless." The Assyrian had made a solitude and called it peace.

230. The last years of Sennacherib were evidently embittered by family difficulties, of which some traces appear in the inscriptions. When the unfortunate Ashurnadinshum was carried away to Elam, another son of the king, Ardi-belit, was recognized as crown prince. Two other sons are mentioned, Ashur-munik, for whom a palace was built, and Esarhaddon. This latter prince, for reasons not now discoverable, began gradually to supplant his brothers in the king's favor. It seems probable, though absolute proof is not yet available, that he was appointed governor of the province of Babylon (680 B. C.), and a curious document has been preserved in which his father confers upon him certain gifts, and changes his name from Esarhaddon (Ashur-akh-iddin, that is, "Ashur has given a brother") to Ashur-itil-ukin-apla, that is, "Ashur the hero has established the son." The bestowal of the name suggests the choice of him as heir and successor to the throne in preference to his elder brother. His mother, Naqia, who plays an important rôle in her son's reign, may have had her part in the affair. At any rate, the embittered and disgraced brother sought betimes the not unusual revenge. Associating, it may be, another brother with him, as 2 Kings xix. 36 f. states, he slew his father while worshipping in a temple of "Nisroch" (Nusku?). Thus, once more, a brilliant reign ended in shameful assassination, and revolution was let loose upon the empire.

231. The name of Sennacherib is intimately associated with the city of Nineveh, which owes its fame, as the chief capital of the Assyrian empire, to his choice of it as a favorite dwelling-place. He planned its fortifications, gave it a system of water-works, restored its temples, and built its most magnificent palaces. The city, as it came from his hands, was an irregular parallelogram that lay from northwest to southeast along the eastern bank of the Tigris, its western side about two and one-half miles long, its northern over a mile, its eastern more than three miles, and its southern half a mile in length, making in all a circuit of about seven miles. Through the middle of the city flowed, from east to west, the river Khusur, an affluent of the Tigris. Sennacherib built massive walls and gates about the city, and on the eastern side toward the mountains added protecting ramparts. A quadruple defence was made on this side. A deep moat, supplied with water from the Khusur, was also led along the eastern face. Diodorus estimates the height of the walls at one hundred feet. Their general width was about fifty feet, and excavations have indicated that in the vicinity of the gates they were more than one hundred feet wide. The arrangements for furnishing the city with water are described by the king in an inscription, carved upon the cliff of Bavian, a few miles to the northeast of Nineveh among the mountains. Eighteen mountain streams were made to pour their waters into the Khusur, thus securing a constant flow of fresh water. A series of works regulated at the same time the storing and the distribution of the water, and made it possible for the city to maintain an abundant supply in time of siege. Two lofty platforms along the Tigris front of the city had served as the foundations of the palaces already erected, but both palaces and platforms had fallen into decay. The northern platform, now known as the mound of Kouyunjik, lay in the upper angle formed by the junction of the Khusur and the Tigris. Sennacherib restored and enlarged this platform, changed the bed of the Khusur so that it half encircled the mound, and built in the southwest portion of it his palace. It has been only partially excavated, yet already seventy-one rooms have been opened; in the judgment of competent investigators, the palace is the greatest built by any Assyrian monarch. On the southern platform, now called Nebiyunus, the king built an arsenal for the storing of military supplies. His ideal for these buildings is stated by himself to be that they should excel those of his predecessors in "adaptation, size, and artistic effect." His success in the latter respect is no less remarkable than in the two former. No series of bas-reliefs hitherto executed in Assyria, or even in the ancient world, reaches the height of artistic excellence attained by those of Sennacherib. In variety of subject-matter, strength and accuracy of portraiture, simplicity and breadth of composition, they are among the most remarkable productions of antiquity. The tendency to the development of the background and setting of the principal subject, already observed in previous work (sects. 175, 215), has reached its climax. The delineation of building operations and the sense for landscape are two new features which illustrate the larger outlook characteristic of the higher civilization and broader culture of the time. Similar characteristics appear in the literary remains of the king. Official as they are, they reveal, as compared with similar documents of earlier kings, a feeling for literary effect, an element of subjectivity, a color and breadth of composition, which are unusual. The description of the battle of Khalule, in the Taylor inscription (ABL, pp. 77-79), in spirit and vigor leaves little to be desired, while the free characterization of personages and measures, indulged in throughout the inscription, introduces a distinctly fresh note into these usually arid and stereotyped annalistic documents. The culture of the time may, perhaps, also be illustrated by the subtle and effective speech of the Assyrian royal officer to the people of Jerusalem, preserved in 2 Kings xviii. 19-35, — an argument in content and form worthy of a modern diplomatist.

232. What, after all, shall be said of the central figure of this brilliant time and of the work which he did for Assyria? The verdict has, in general, been unfavorable, ranging from the moderate statement that, "though great, he was so by no desert of his own," "to the thoroughgoing condemnation of him as boastful, arrogant, cruel, and revengeful," whose "vindictive cruelty was only equalled by his almost incredible impiety," exhibiting "blind rage" and the "ruthless malignity of the narrow-minded conqueror." The chief basis for the extreme view must lie, in part, in the striking subjectivity of his inscriptions as already referred to, and, for the rest, in the judgment passed on his destruction of Babylon. But the former ground is a very hazardous basis for estimating the character of an Assyrian king, since he cannot be regarded as the author of the inscriptions in which he thus speaks. Nor should the destruction of Babylon be singled out from his whole career as the sole test of his character and work. A broader view may be able to make a fairer estimate of his contribution to Assyrian history, and thereby to see even in the overthrow of Babylon something more than one of "the wildest scenes of folly in all human history." As a soldier he was active and brave even to personal rashness in the day of battle. In his conduct of a campaign he will, in energy and rapidity of movement, bear the comparison and with any of his predecessors, and in the daring and originality of his strategy he surpasses them. His Palestinian campaign and his naval expedition to southern Elam are conclusive illustrations. It is true that disasters attended both these campaigns, but they were such as could hardly have been foreseen and prepared for. The most that can be said against him as a soldier is that he may have been hasty in forming plans, and possibly obstinate in carrying them through, and that unexpected difficulties robbed him of complete success.

233. From the larger point of view his dealings with Babylon may, perhaps, be most justly estimated. As the heir of the political programme of Sargon, he found himself face to face with the problem of Babylonian prerogative. The unity of the empire, with its system of vassal kingdoms and of provincial government, could not harmonize with the claims of Babylonian equality. Sennacherib tried various methods of incorporating that ancient city into the scheme of imperial unity, but in vain. Finally, he chose, with characteristic audacity and impetuousness, to cut the knot, to maintain the unity of the empire upon the ruins of Babylon. The solution was one which only a man of genius would have conceived and a man of intense and fiery spirit have carried through. It may be that he also desired the ruin of Babylon to redound to the higher glory of Nineveh, or that he was inspired to the act by his anti-hierarchical inclinations and his wrath at Babylonian obduracy and treachery. These were, however, surely secondary to his main impulse, his determination that the unity of the empire should be secured, so far as it involved Babylonia, even by the destruction of the proud city that would not lower her head and for whose favor the nations round about were forever at strife. So far as the immediate problem was concerned, he was, indeed, successful, but he overestimated his power, if he thought himself able to wipe out a past so ancient and glorious, and to prevent the gathering of man- kind to a spot so manifestly intended by nature and history as , a centre of commerce and culture. The future of the Assyrian empire, in its relation to the Babylon soon to be rejuvenated, holds the answer to the question whether his successors, who reversed his policy in this respect, were wiser than he.



VII

IMPERIAL EXPANSION AND DIVISION

ESARHADDON. 681-668 B.C.

234. No contemporary narrative has been preserved which gives in clear detail the story of the critical months that followed the murder of Sennacherib. The deed was done on the twentieth of Tebet (early in January), according to the Babylonian Chronicle. Second Kings xix. 37 states that his murderers escaped into the land of "Ararat," that is, Urartu. The Chronicle adds that the insurrection in Assyria ceased on the second of Adar (middle of February), and that Esarhaddon became king sixteen (?) days thereafter (18th (?) of Adar). An inscriptional fragment of Esarhaddon seems to refer to events of these days and describes the climax of the struggle:

I was fierce as a lion, and my heart (liver) was enraged. To exercise the sovereignty of my father's house and to clothe my priestly office, to Ashur, Sin, Shamash, Bel, Nabu and Nergal, Ishtar of Nineveh, Ishtar of Arbela, I raised my hands, and they looked with favour on my petition. In their eternal mercy they sent me an oracle of confidence — viz.: "Go, do not delay; we will march at thy side and will subjugate thine enemies." One day, two days, I did not wait, the front of my army I did not look upon, the rear I did not see, the appointments for my yoked horses, the weapons for my battle I did not inspect, provisions for my campaign I did not issue. The furious cold of the month of Shebat, the fierceness of the cold I did not fear. Like a flying sisinnu bird, for the overthrow of mine enemies, I opened out my forces. The road to Nineveh, with difficulty and haste, I travelled. Before me in Hanigalbat, all of their splendid warriors seized the front of my expedition and forced a battle. The fear of the great gods, my lords, overwhelmed them. They saw the approach of my mighty battle and they became insane. Ishtar, the mistress of onslaught and battle, the lover of my priestly office stood at my side and broke their bows. She broke up their compact line of battle, and in their assembly they proclaimed, "This is our king." By her illustrious command they joined themselves to my side (Cyl. B. 1. 1-25).

235. While it is possible that Esarhaddon was in the far northwest when he received news of the murder, and that he proceeded hastily toward Nineveh only to find the army of his brothers barring his way, his more probable starting-point was Babylonia, where he was governor (sect. 230), whence his march would take him northward through Nineveh, the murderers retiring before his advance, until the decisive battle was fought on the upper Euphrates. The desertion of a part of the hostile forces sealed the fate of the insurrection. The brothers escaped to Urartu, and Esarhaddon became king (March, 681 B. C.).

236. The inscriptions of the king, which are available for his reign, are not chronologically arranged, and hence some uncertainty exists as to the duration and order of his various activities, which is not altogether dispelled by the useful chronology of the Babylonian Chronicle. They describe, however, the important movements, both of war and peace, in sufficient fulness and with a variety of picturesque detail that suggests the influence of the literary school of the time of Sennacherib. No such splendid battle-scenes as that of Khalule (sect. 231) decorate the narratives, which, indeed, reveal a decline in energy and an inclination to fine writing that reaches its climax in the following reign. The numerous building inscriptions illustrate a prominent and important feature of the king's rule. On the southern platform of Nineveh, he erected a palace and arsenal on the site of the building of Sennacherib (sect. 231), which had grown too Small. At Kalkhi his palace occupied the southwestern corner of the mound; it was partially excavated by Layard. The indications are that it was unfinished at the time of the king's death. Curiously enough, there were found piled up in it a number of slabs, from the palace of Tiglathpileser III.; these had been trimmed off, preparatory to recarving and fitting them for use in the new edifice (sect. 187). A characteristic of both of his palaces, indicative perhaps of a new architectural impulse, is the great hall of unusual width, its roof supported by pillars and a medial wall. Another striking feature is the use of sphinxes in decoration. No bas-reliefs of any significance have as yet been discovered. A tunnel was built by the king to bring the waters of the upper Zab to Kalkhi, a renewal of the channel dug by Ashurnaçirpal. Esarhaddon was also pre-eminently a temple-builder. He rebuilt the temple of Ashur at Nineveh. In Babylonia he was especially active, the temples at Uruk, Sippar, Dur Ilu, Borsippa, and elsewhere being restored by him. Not less than thirty temples in all bore marks of his work.

237. His crowning achievement in this respect was the reconstruction of the city of Babylon, to the account of which he devotes several inscriptions. The wrath of Marduk at the spoiling of his treasure in order to send it to Elam (sect. 228) had been the cause of the city's destruction. "He had decreed ten years as the length of its state of ruin, and the merciful Marduk was speedily appeased and he drew to his side all Babylonia. In the eleventh year I gave orders to re-inhabit it" (The Black Stone Inscr., ABL, p. 88). For Marduk had chosen him in preference to his elder brothers for this work. With profoundly solemn and impressive religious ceremonies, the enterprise was undertaken, all Babylonia being summoned for service and the king himself assuming the insignia of a laborer. The temple, Esagila, the inner wall, Imgur-bel, the ramparts, Nemitti-Bel, began to rise in surpassing strength and magnificence. The royal bounties for the service of the sanctuary were renewed. The scattered population was recalled. It is not unlikely that the city had not been so utterly destroyed as Sennacherib's strong language suggests. The walls, temples, and palaces were, indeed, demolished, but there is no evidence that the site had been utterly abandoned during these years. As the destruction involved the taking away of the religious, political, and commercial supremacy of the city in punishment for its rebelliousness, but not necessarily its complete desolation, so the rebuilding signified that its former headship and prerogative were restored under the fostering favor of the ruler of the empire. Hence the king called it "the protected city." The same conclusion follows from the fact that the work was practically completed in three years (680-678 B. C.). The estates of the nobility in the vicinity of the city, which had been appropriated by the Kaldeans of Bit Dakurri, were restored to them, and the king of that principality paid for his crime by the loss of his throne.

238. This important enterprise had a political as well as an architectural significance. It involved the reversal of Sennacherib's policy, and reinstated Babylon among the problems of imperial rule. The motives which induced Esarhaddon to take this step have been variously conceived. He himself ascribes it to the mercy and forgivingness of the gods. But religion in antiquity, particularly official religion, usually gave its oracles in accordance with royal or priestly policy, and the question therefore still remains. A clew may be found in the personal interest taken by the king in Babylon and its affairs owing to his residence there as governor, or to family ties, if, as is assumed, his mother or wife belonged to the Babylonian nobility. He may have thus paid off a political debt, as his accession to the throne had been made possible by the immediate acknowledgment of him as king in Babylon and through the aid furnished him by Babylonian troops. By some scholars the fundamental political division in the empire is assumed to account for the undertaking. This division appeared originally between hierarchy and army (sect. 185), but now took the more concrete form of Nineveh against Babylon without losing the inveterate opposition of a military and secular policy to a peaceful and commercial, a cultural and religious ideal. Sennacherib devoted himself to the interests of Nineveh and the army; Esarhaddon took the opposite course, and the rehabilitation of Babylon naturally followed. This theory is too rigorously maintained and applied by its advocates; one cannot conceive that any Assyrian ruler or party would voluntarily undertake to set Babylon above Nineveh, or that the ambitions of the Babylonian hierarchy would not be offset by the equally pretentious claims of the Assyrian priesthood. Yet it is quite probable that at the Assyrian court Babylonian influences emanating from personal, religious, and commercial interests alike, were strong, and at this time may have overruled, in the king's mind, the counsel of those who regarded the rebuilding of the city as inimical to the welfare of the state. The very violence of Sennacherib's measures would tend to produce a reaction of which the representatives of Babylon's wrongs would not fail to take advantage. Whatever may have been Esarhaddon's motive, his inscriptions reveal the lively interest he took in the work, and the importance he attached to its completion.

239. In connection with the rebuilding of the city Esarhaddon, as shakkanak of Babylon (sect. 216), was engaged in the reorganization and administration of Babylonia. During the troubles connected with the succession, the Kaldi, under the leadership of a son of Mardukbaliddin, named Nabu-zer-napishti-lishir, took up arms and besieged Ur. The energetic advance of the provincial governor of southern Babylonia into his domain compelled the Kaldean to retreat and finally to flee to Elam, his father's old resort in time of trouble. There Ummanmenanu had been succeeded by Khumma-khaldash I., and he by another of the same name. Khummakhaldash II., however, contrary to the policy of his predecessors, put the fugitive to death. His brother Na'id Marduk, who had accompanied him, fled to Assyria and threw himself on the mercy of Esarhaddon, who promptly made him vassal-lord of the Kaldi, and thereby not only widened the breach between the Kaldi and Elam but also secured the allegiance of the former. The Gambulians, an Aramean tribe of the southeast, were likewise won to the Assyrian side, and their capital fortified against Elam. Still, though thus isolated, the Elamites ventured a raid into northern Babylonia (674 B. C.), while Esarhaddon was in the west, and his mother, Naqia, was acting as regent. They stormed Sippar and carried away the gods of Agade, but were evidently prevented from doing further damage by the well-organized system of Assyrian defence. It seems that this somewhat unsuccessful expedition cost Khummakhaldash II. his throne. The same year he died "without being sick," and was succeeded by his brother, Urtagu (Urtaki), who signalized his accession by returning the gods of Agade. He continued the policy of peace with Assyria during Esarhaddon's reign. It is probable that not only the Assyrian defensive arrangements, but also troubles arising on his northern and eastern frontiers from the encroachments of the Medes, explain this attitude.

240. Assyria, likewise, had her problem to solve upon the northern frontier. During the quiet which reigned here in the years of Sennacherib (sect. 219), the Medes of the northeast had been passing from the condition of tribal independence into a somewhat consolidated confederacy, which now acknowledged as leader a certain Mamitiarshu, who is called in Assyrian documents "lord of the cities of the Medes." In the north the kingdom of Urartu was held in check by the Mannai, who owed their place and power to Assyrian favor (sect. 210); but in the last years of Sennacherib, a new wave of migratory peoples came rolling down from the Caucasus. It broke on the Assyrian border and produced confusion and turmoil. These peoples were called by the Assyrians Gimirrai (anglicized, through the Greek, as "Kimmerians"). Reaching the high and complex mountain-mass behind which lay Urartu, they seem to have split into two divisions, one moving westward along the Anti-Taurus into Asia Minor, the other likewise following the mountains in their southeasterly trend toward Iran. In both directions they emerged upon territory under Assyrian influence, and came into conflict with Assyrian troops. The western body came out above the upper Euphrates, in the provinces of Milid and Tabal, where Esarhaddon met them under the leadership of a certain Teushpa, whom he claims to have defeated. If the restoration of the reading in a broken place in the Babylonian Chronicle is correct, this battle took place as early as 678 B. C. The result of it seems to have been to drive the Gimirrai farther to the northwest, where they fell upon the kingdom of Phrygia. The complications in the northeast were much more formidable. Urartu became restless, and it is not surprising therefore, that the sons of Sennacherib, who murdered him, fled northward, made their stand on the upper Euphrates, and finally took refuge in Urartu. Their presence there may have had something to do with the disturbances which soon arose on the frontiers. These broke out, however, not in Urartu, but in the pro-Assyrian state of the Mannai, which seems to have united with the Gimirrai, and threatened Assyrian supremacy in the mountains. Then, as the Gimirrai pushed farther to the southeast, they sought alliance with the Medes. Before the Assyrians were awake to the situation, they were startled to find that the Gimirrai, Mannai, and Medes were forming a league under the leadership of Kash-tarit, lord of Karkashshi. A series of curious documents, apparently official inquiries made of the sun god with reference to these disturbances and the king's measures taken to quiet them, reveals at the same time the gravity of the situation and the procedure prerequisite to Assyrian diplomatic and military activity (Knudtzon, Assyrische Gebete). The Assyrian plan is laid before the god for his approval; an oracle as to the outcome of the king's policy or of the enemy's reported movements is requested in a fashion which, though introduced and accompanied with a stately and elaborate ritual, is in essence similar to that employed by the kings of Israel (1 Sam. xxx. 8; 1 Kings xxii. 5, 15). From Esarhaddon's own report and the hints given in these prayers, the details of the wars can be recovered and the general result stated. How many years the struggle continued is quite uncertain; it was brought to an end before 673 B. C. The league against Assyria failed to do serious harm, as much because of its own weakness as through Esarhaddon's attacks upon it. Promises which were made to some tribes detached them from the alliance; a King Bartatua seems to have secured as his reward a wife from the daughters of Assyria's royal house; some Median chieftains, who were being forced into the league, made their peace with Assyria and sought protection. Campaigns were made against the Mannai and their Kimmerian or Scythian ally, king Ishpaka, of Ashguza (Bibi. Ashkenaz?), and against Median tribes in the eastern mountains. Intrigues were set on foot to array the different peoples one against another. Urartu, even, came to terms with Assyria, and in 672 B. C., when Esarhaddon was recovering from the Gimirrai the fortress of Shu-pria, he set free Urartians who were found there and permitted them to return home. Esarhaddon had succeeded in averting the storm and in protecting his frontiers, as well as in inflicting punishment upon the intruders by campaigns which he had made into the regions of disturbance; but there is no evidence that he extended Assyrian authority there, or even that he established on a firm basis in the border-lands the Assyrian provincial system. On this side of his empire the stream of migration was neither turned aside nor dissipated; it was merely halted at the frontier. In such a situation the future was ominous.

241. If Esarhaddon had been able to do little more in the north than maintain his frontier intact, his activity in the west was productive ef a far more brilliant result. It is a signal testimony to Sennacherib's administration of the empire that for more than twenty years after the expedition of 701 B. C. no troubles appeared in the western provinces, not even when the new king came to the throne in circumstances so favorable to uprisings in dependent states. Several years after the accession of Esarhaddon the first difficulty arose, in connection with Sidon. This city owed its power and prosperity to Assyria, favored as it had been by Sennacherib as a rival to Tyre (sect. 223). Its king, Itobaal, had been succeeded by Abdimilkuti. He proceeded to withhold the usual tribute (about 678 B. C.), relying apparently upon a league formed with Sanduarri, a king of some cities of Cilicia (?), and hoping also for assistance possibly from the kings of Cyprus and Egypt. In this he was disappointed, and when Esarhaddon appeared (676 B. C.?), he made little resistance, fled to the west, and, together with his ally, was after a year or two caught and beheaded. Sidon was treated as Babylon; it was utterly destroyed, the immense booty transported to Assyria, and a new city built near the site, called Kar Esarhaddon, in the erection of which the vassal kings of the west gave assistance. In the list of these kings appears Baal of Tyre, who, either at this time or in Sennacherib's reign, had yielded to Assyria. The same kings, together with the kings of Cyprus who renewed their allegiance on Sidon's downfall, contributed materials for the building of Esarhaddon's palace in Nineveh. The list is instructive, as showing the states which at this date (about 674 B. C.) retained their autonomy in vassalage to Assyria.

Ba'al of Tyre, Manasseh of Judah, Qaushgabri of Edom, Muguri of Moab, Chil-Bel of Gaza, Metinti of Askelon, Ikausu of Ekron, Milkiashapa of Byblos, Matanbaal of Arvad, Abibaal of Samsimuruna, Buduil of Ammon, Ahimilki of Ashdod, twelve kings of the seacoast; Ekishtura of Edial, Pilagura of Kitrusi, Kisu of Sillua, Ituandar of Paphos, Eresu of Sillu, Damasu of Kuri, Atmesu of Tamesu, Damusi of Qartihadashti, Unasagusu of Sidir, Bu-ou-su of Nure, ten kings of Cyprus in the midst of the sea, in all twenty-two kings of Khatti (Cyl. B. Col. v. 13-26; ABL, p. 86).

242. Esarhaddon's activities in the west, however, contemplated something more than the restraining of uneasy vassals or the conquest of rebellious states. Egypt was his goal. It is conclusive for the view that the enmity of Egypt had for a long time been the chief hindrance to Assyrian aggression in the west, and its overthrow a standing purpose of the Sargonids, that Esarhaddon, at the first moment of freedom from complications elsewhere, proceeded to lay plans for attacking it. The breadth of the plans and the persistency of his activities show that he regarded Egypt as "an old and inveterate foe." Ever since the Ethiopian dynasty had unified Egypt, the interference of Egypt with Syria and Palestine, first under Sabako, then under his successor, Shabitoku (about 703-693 B. C.), and now under the vigorous and enterprising Taharqa (about 693-666 B. C.), had been offensive and persistent. It was now, at last, to be grappled with in earnest by Esarhaddon. In the light of his Egyptian goal his Arabian campaigns are comprehensible. The Assyrian yoke was fixed more firmly on the Aribi, to whose king, Hazael, were returned his gods captured by Sennacherib. A Queen Tabua was appointed to joint sovereignty with Hazael and, upon his death, his son Yailu was seated on the throne. The districts of Bazu and Hazu, somewhere in southwestern Arabia, were subjugated after a march the appalling difficulties of which are imaginatively described in the king's narrative. These campaigns (675-674 B. C.) preceded the first advance against Egypt in 674 B. C., in which the Egyptian border was crossed, and a basis for further progress established. The next year, however, if Kundtzon's reading of the confused statement of the Babylonian Chronicle at this point is correct, the Assyrian army was defeated and driven out. It was this disaster which probably emboldened Baal, King of Tyre, to withhold his tribute. Esarhaddon, nothing daunted, spent two years in more extensive preparations, and was on his way to the west by 670 B. C. Baal was summoned to surrender, and, when he refused and retired to his island citadel, he was besieged, while the army moved on southward. The course of the campaign cannot be described more vividly and tersely than in the royal inscription of Samal:

As for Tanya, King of Egypt and Cush, who was under the curse of their great divinity, from Ishupri as far as Memphis, his royal city — a march of fifteen days — every day without exception I killed his warriors in great number, and as for him, five times with the point of the spear I struck him with a deadly stroke. Memphis, his royal city, in half a day, by cutting through, cutting into and scaling (?) I besieged, I conquered, I tore down, I destroyed, I burned with fire, and the wife of his palace, his palace women, Ushanahuru, his own son, and the rest of his sons, his daughters, his property and possessions, his horses, his oxen, his sheep without number, I carried away as spoil to Assyria. I tore up the root of Cush from Egypt, a single one — even to the suppliant — I did not leave behind. Over all Egypt I appointed kings, prefects, governors, grain-inspectors, mayors, and secretaries. I instituted regular offerings to Ashur and the great gods, my lords, for all time. I placed on them the tribute and taxes of my lordship, regularly and without fail (Mon. 38-51; ABL, p. 92).

243. Twenty Egyptian city-princes, headed by Necho of Sais, were said to have yielded to Esarhaddon, and, after taking the solemn oath of fidelity to Ashur, were confirmed in their authority, subject to the oversight of Assyrian officials (qipani, sect. 167). The usual tribute was required. Last named among these princes was the king of Thebes; yet he could have paid but nominal homage at this time, for only after some years did his city fall into the hands of Assyria. It is evident that Esarhaddon proposed, by these measures, to incorporate at least lower Egypt into his empire. On his return he set up the stele at Samal, in which he appears, endowed with heroic proportions, and holding a cord attached to rings in the lips of two lesser figures, his captives, one of whom on his knees is evidently Taharqa of Egypt, and the other presumably Baal of Tyre. The inscription, however, says nothing of Baal's surrender, and his submission, if offered, was merely nominal. A. similar image and superscription appears graven on the cliffs of the Nahr-el-Kelb, side by side with the proud bas-reliefs of Egyptian conquerors of former centuries. Another long-sought goal of Assyrian kings had been attained, and Esarhaddon was the first of their line to proclaim himself "King of the kings of Egypt." But a year had hardly passed when he was summoned to Egypt again by a fresh inroad of Taharqa. He set out in 668 B. C., but never returned, dying on the march in the last of October. The expedition was concluded triumphantly by his son and successor.

244. As if anticipating that he would never return from the campaign, Esarhaddon had, in that very year, completed the arrangements for the succession to the throne. At the feast of Gula (last of April, 668 B. C.) the proclamation was made to the people of the empire that Ashurbanipal, his eldest son, was appointed king of Assyria, and a younger son, Shamash-shum-ukin, was to be king of Babylon. Other sons were made priests of important temples. This procedure seems to have been necessitated by court or dynastic difficulties which troubled the last years of the king. The Babylonian Chronicle, at the year 669 B. C., has the significant statement: "The king remained in Assyria; he put to death many nobles with the sword." It is easy to conjecture that this record testifies to a revolt of the Assyrian party against the pro-Babylonian tendencies of the king (sect. 238), and that Ashurbanipal represented this party and succeeded in carrying his point (so KAT3, 91 f.), whereby he secured the Assyrian throne and the primacy in the empire. But this is only conjecture, against which much might be urged. It is sufficient to observe that Esarhaddon, before his death, himself determined upon this method of administering the empire, either to avoid a war of succession, or to secure the future establishment of that form of government which to him appeared likely to be the wisest and the most successful for the state.

245. The verdict upon Esarhaddon has been as uniformly favorable as that upon his father has been condemnatory. He is characterized by a "reasonable and conciliatory disposition," a "largeness of aim peculiarly his own;" he was "a wise and strenuous king who left his vast domains with a fairer show of prosperity and safety than the Assyrian realm had ever presented at the demise of any of his predecessors." He "is the noblest and most sympathetic figure among the Assyrian kings." These are high commendations of both the personal and public worth of the king. The facts, however, require a more balanced judgment. The king's action regarding Sidon was peculiarly cruel. Not only was the city destroyed, and its king beheaded, but, as the royal record declares, on the triumphal march into Nineveh, the heads of the monarchs slaughtered in that campaign were hung upon the necks of their great men. The restoration of captured gods and the establishment of submissive kings upon their thrones must be regarded as political rather than personal acts, a part of the policy followed in other periods of Assyrian history. The king's generalship, personal courage, and force are all that any king before him exhibited, and his success was brilliant. Yet he, too, suffered military disasters as in Egypt and on the northern frontier. In the latter region, moreover, his energy was exhibited rather in beating off his enemies than in aggressive warfare. A Tiglathpileser, it may be said, would have followed up and broken the power of his assailants. In Esarhaddon, also, appears more distinctly than before something of that orientalism in manners and taste which is accustomed to be associated with eastern monarchs. He is the first of the Sargonids to boast of his lineage and to trace it back to a fabulous royal ancestry. Kings from all parts of his realm throng his court and are summoned regularly to do him homage at his capital. As captives, they are represented as in his stele of Samal, as beasts crouching at his feet, with rings in their lips. His religiosity, amounting almost to dependence upon the priesthood and their oracles, is another marked and not altogether favorable trait of character. It is not a mere chance that the largest number of oracle texts of the temples of Ishtar and Shamash come from his reign and relate to his affairs. "A pious man and a friend of priests from the beginning" is Tiele's estimate of him from this point of view, and it is illustrated yet more completely by his temple-building and his restoration of the city of Babylon. But piety in Assyria was not far removed from superstition, and the facts suggest that this was not absent from the king's disposition.

246. As a statesman, Esarhaddon in many respects shows himself a worthy follower of his predecessors. The provincial system and the policy of deportation are employed by him in the reorganization of Sidon and the province of Samaria (Ezra iv. 2). His relations with vassal kings, indeed, are perhaps more uniformly successful than was the case with former rulers, and in the Kaldean and Arabian states, where he combines various districts under native rulers, he reveals distinct and admirable diplomacy. His larger foreign policy was, however, in every case inadequate, if not disastrous. In the north he stood on the defensive; but under such conditions mere defence was worse than useless. His conquest of Egypt Was brilliant, yet in the end it weakened more than it strengthened the empire. Our larger knowledge of his organization of Egypt makes it clear that he intended to incorporate it into the state by setting up an administrative system, in part directly, in part indirectly, related to the central government. The system failed completely, and the drain on the imperial resources was severe.

247. His internal policy is revealed in his splendid building operations that culminated in the new Babylon. In this direction no king had approached the lavish outlay of treasure which these enterprises must have required. That this treasure was available was due to the resources laid up by Sennacherib in his years of peace, and it is a question whether their dissipation in such operations was wise. No doubt can rest upon the political inexpediency of the rebuilding of Babylon. It revived at once the Kaldean and Elamite problems, as well as the most perplexing problem of all, that of Babylon itself. It led directly to that act which even the most ardent admirers of Esarhaddon concede to have been "an act of folly" and "a colossal failure," — the division of the empire between two rulers, the king of Assyria and the king of Babylon. Sennacherib may have been violent, ruthless, and short-sighted. He was not so witless as his son, who, while he added Egypt to the empire, gave the state, by his deliberately adopted policy of decentralization, a start upon the downward road at the end of which lay sudden and complete destruction.



VIII


THE LAST DAYS OF SPLENDOR

ASHURBANIPAL. 668-626 B. C.

248. UPON the death of Esarhaddon the arrangements made by him for the succession were smoothly and promptly carried out; the empire passed to Ashurbanipal, while his brother Shamashshumukin became king in Babylon. The queen mother, Naqia, who had already acted as regent in the absence of her son, issued a proclamation calling for obedience to these, the legally constituted rulers. For Shamashshumukin, however, a further ceremonial was requisite. He must, according to precedent, "take the hands of Bel" in the city of Babylon. But the images of the gods of Babylon, removed to Assur at the time of the destruction of Babylon, had never been returned to the reconstructed capital. At the command of the sun-god, Ashurbanipal ordered their return to their temples, and with stately ceremonial the coronation of the new king of Babylon proceeded in the ancient fashion intermitted for more than half a century. All seemed to promise well for the peace and prosperity of the state. The brothers were well disposed toward each other, and proceeded to the tasks which lay before them, the king of Babylon to continue the rebuilding of his city and to revive its industrial activities, the Assyrian ruler to guard and extend the boundaries of the empire.

249. The affairs of Egypt were the first to require the attention of Ashurbanipal. Esarhaddon's death, while on the march to Egypt to drive back a new invasion of Taharqa, apparently had not caused a more than temporary delay of the expedition. The presence of an army in the western provinces, indeed, at the time of a change of rulers in Assyria was desirable for holding disaffected peoples to their allegiance. The general of the forces seems to have improved the moment to obtain renewal of homage and gifts, as well as a substantial contingent of troops, from the twenty-two vassal kings of the states already mentioned by Esarhaddon as subject to him (sect. 241). The only new royal names in the list of Ashurbanipal are Iakinlu of Arvad and Amminadbi of Ammon. Manasseh king of Judah again appears there, as also Baal of Tyre, who had evidently submitted so far as nominally to recognize Assyrian supremacy. The Ethiopian king was already in Memphis, and his troops met the Assyrians somewhere between that city and the border. The battle went against Taharqa, who retired to the vicinity of Thebes. Whether the Assyrians pursued him thither, as one of the several somewhat contradictory inscriptions states, is doubtful. With good reason it has been held that the Assyrians were content to renew their sway over lower Egypt only, restoring the vassal princes to their cities under oath of fidelity to Assyria, and did not attempt to advance farther up the river. In the years that followed stirring events occurred.

The princes, led by Necho, Sharruludari, and Paqruru, were discovered to be intriguing with Taharqa; their cities were severely punished, and the two chief culprits sent to Nineveh for punishment. Ashurbanipal determined to try a new policy similar to that employed for Babylon; he pardoned Necho and returned him as a kind of vassal ruler of Assyrian Egypt, sustained by Assyrian troops. The plan worked well. Taharqa was quiet till his death (666 B. C.), and his successor, Tanutamon (Assyr., Tandamani), made no move for at least three years. Then he, in consequence of divine monitions, and also invited, no doubt, by the petty princes who were jealous of Necho, marched northward. Necho and his Assyrians fought bravely, but were too few to make a successful resistance. Necho was slain, and Pisamilku (Psamtik), his son, with his troops, was driven out. In 661 B. C. — the date is attested astronomically — Ashurbanipal sent an army against the Ethiopian invader, to which the latter made but feeble opposition, retiring at last into Ethiopia, never again to return to Egypt. The Assyrian army now for the first time captured Thebes and carried away abundant spoil, returning "with full hands" to Nineveh. The administration of Egypt under Assyrian supremacy continued as before. People from Kirbit in Elam were deported thither, after Ashurbanipal's conquest of that rebellious district. Pisamilku occupied the position held by his father, Necho, sustained, as he had been, by Assyrian troops.

250. During these years, or at the close of this second campaign of 661 B. C., the affairs of the west were placed in order. Baal of Tyre, whose allegiance to Assyria varied according to Assyrian success in Egypt, had finally roused Ashurbanipal's wrath, and was shut up in his island-city so strictly that famine forced him to make terms. He sent his son, as a hostage, and his own daughter with the daughters of his brother for the king's harem, with rich gifts. The women and the gifts Ashurbanipal graciously accepted, but returned the son to his father. Iakinlu of Arvad, who had shown himself only nominally submissive hitherto, now, likewise, sent his daughter to the king, as did also Mukallu of Tabal and Sandasarme, a prince of Cilicia. Some special reason induced the Assyrian king to remove the king of Arvad and place his son Azibaal upon the throne. Tribute was laid upon all these states. It is not improbable that the difficulties which these northwestern communities were having with the Kimmerians induced their kings to seek Assyria's aid in opposing these new enemies. This is the reason assigned by Ashurbanipal for the appeal of king Gyges of Lydia, for Assyrian help. This ruler, under whom the Lydian state comes forth into the world's history, was establishing and extending his power chiefly through the employment of mercenary soldiers from Caria. The Kimmerians assailing him in fresh swarms, he was led, by the revival of Assyrian influence in Tabal and Cilicia, to send ambassadors to Ashurbanipal. Before, however, any aid was rendered, it appears that the Kimmerian crisis had passed away, and Gyges had no intention of paying tribute to the far-off monarch on the banks of the Tigris. The latter, however, did not hesitate in his inscriptions to make the most of the appeal. The affair is notable, chiefly as showing how the world of international politics was widening toward the west, and new factors were entering to make more complex the political relations of the times.

251. The friendly relations with Elam which characterized the later years of Esarhaddon (sect. 239) gave place, soon after his death, to a renewal of hostilities. By 665 B. C. Urtaki of Elam, in conjunction with Kaldean and Aramean tribes, raided northern Babylonia and besieged Babylon. Ashurbanipal was satisfied to drive the invaders back into their own land, where in a short time Urtaki was succeeded by his brother Teumman, who attempted to kill off all members of the royal house. Sixty of them succeeded in escaping to Assyria. Teumman demanded that they be given up to him. Ashurbanipal's refusal led to another Elamite invasion which was checked by the advance of an Assyrian army to Dur Ilu and thence toward Susa, the Elamite capital. The decisive battle was fought at Tulliz on the Ula River before Susa, and resulted in an overwhelming defeat for Elam. The king and his son were killed; the army cut to pieces. The event marked, according to Billerbeck (Susa, p. 105), the end of the old kingdom of Susa. The Assyrians made Khumbanigash, son of Urtaki, king of Elam; his son, Tammaritu, became prince of Khidal, one of the royal fiefs. The division of power was evidently made with the purpose Of intensifying the dynastic conflicts in the kingdom, which hitherto had contributed more to the overthrow of the Elamite power than defeats of its armies. The punishment of the Gambulians, the Aramean tribe whose secession from Assyria had played so large a part in inducing hostilities, formed another and concluding stage of the war. Their chiefs were captured and suffered shameful deaths in Assyria (about 660 B. C.).

252. For some years affairs in Babylonia and Elam remained on a peaceful footing. The latter country had been too frightfully devastated and left too thoroughly in confusion to permit hostile movements there. In Babylonia, too, Shamashshumukin had ruled in harmony with his brother, content to administer the affairs of his city, to direct the religious ceremonial, and to enjoy the prerogatives which were the prized possession of the king of that wealthy capital and the holy seat of the great gods. In the very nature of the situation, however, contradictions existed which were bound to produce trouble. Babylon's claims to supremacy were secular as well as religious, and her nobles never relinquished their rights to supremacy over the world of nations as well as over the world of the gods. Their king, too, was an Assyrian, with the ambitions of a warrior and a statesman as well as the aspirations of a priest. Yet, in the very nature of things, Ashurbanipal was lord of the empire and the army, the protector of the peace, and conqueror of the enemies of the state, the defender of Babylon from assailants, its head in the political sphere. A clash was therefore inevitable, and it speaks well for the brotherly confidence of both rulers that for fifteen years they worked together peacefully. Nor is it possible to indicate any special reasons which brought on the conflict that in its various ramifications shook the state to its foundations. The ambition of the younger brother was doubtless intensified by the intrigues of his priestly advisers, and his pride wounded by the achievements of Ashurbanipal and the glorification of them. It appears, also, that an economic crisis, caused by a series of bad harvests, was imminent in Babylonia about this time, which may have brought things to a head. Shamashshumukin determined to declare his independence. The course of events shows how carefully he laid his plans and how wide a sweep was taken by his ambitious design, which in its fulness comprehended nothing less than the substitution of Babylon for Assyria as ruler of the world. Two main lines of activity were followed: (1) agents were employed to foment rebellion in the vassal states; (2) the treasures of the temples were freely used to engage the help of the peoples about Babylon in driving the Assyrians from Babylonia, and to raise an army of mercenaries to defend and maintain the new centre of the empire. How far these emissaries succeeded in the former work is not certain, but Ashurbanipal found traces of their activity in the provinces of southern Babylonia, along the eastern mountains, in Syria, and Palestine and in western Arabia, while Egypt and far-off Lydia are supposed to have been tampered with by them. Northern Babylonia was already secure for Shamashshumukin, and his gold had found acceptance in Elam, Arabia, and among Kaldean and Aramean tribes. Even some Assyrian officers and garrisons had been corrupted.

253. The conspiracy was well advanced before any knowledge of it came to the surface. The prefect of Ur, who had been approached in the interests of the plot, sent word to his superior officer, the prefect of Uruk, that Shamashshumukin's envoys were abroad in that, city. The news was immediately sent to Ashurbanipal, who seems to have been taken utterly by surprise. If he had had suspicions, they had been allayed by a recent embassy of noble Babylonians who had brought to him renewed assurances of loyalty on the part of his brother. His feelings are expressed in the following words of his inscription:

At that time Shamashshumukin, the faithless brother, to whom I bad done good, and whom I had established as king of Babylon, and for whom I had made every possible kind of royal decoration, and had given him, and had gathered together soldiers, horses, and chariots, and had intrusted them to him, and had given him cities, fields, and woods, and the men dwelling in them, even more than my father had commanded — even he forgot that favor I had shown him, and he planned evil. Outwardly with his lips he spoke friendly things, while inwardly his heart plotted murder (Rm Cyl., III. 70-81; ABL, p. 107).

254. Shamashshumukin now threw off the mask and launched the rebellion (652 B. C.). He closed the gates of his fortresses and cut off the sacrifices offered on his brother's behalf before the Babylonian gods. The various kings and peoples were either summoned to his aid, or invited to throw off the Assyrian yoke. The southern Babylonians responded by besieging and overcoming Ur and Uruk. The king of Elam entered Babylonia with an army. Ashurbanipal, though taken unawares, was not disconcerted. Obtaining a favorable oracle from the moon-god, he mustered his troops and sent them against the rebels. Meanwhile his partisans in Elam also set to work. Suspicion and intrigue, however, brought to naught all assistance expected by the Babylonians from that quarter. Khumbanigash lost his throne to Tammaritu, and he, in turn, to Indabigash, who withdrew his forces from Babylonia (about 650 B. C.). Meanwhile Ashurbanipal's army had shut up the rebels in the great cities, Sippar, Kutha, and Babylon, and cleared the south of invaders, driving the Kaldeans under their leader, Nabu-bel-shume, a grandson of Mardukbaliddin, back into Elam. The three sieges lasted a year or more, and the cities yielded only when famine and pestilence had done their work. The despairing king killed himself, apparently by setting fire to his palace and throwing himself into the flames. With his death the struggle was over (648 B. C.). Wholesale vengeance was taken upon all who were implicated in the plot; the streets of the cities ran with blood. Ashurbanipal had conquered, but the problem of Babylon remained. He reorganized the government, and himself "took the hands of Bel," becoming king of Babylon under the name of Kandalanu (647 B. C.).

255. It remained to punish the associates of Shamashshumukin in the great conspiracy. Elam was the first to suffer. Ashurbanipal demanded of Indabigash the surrender of the Kaldean, Nabu-bel-shume, who had not only violated his oath, but had captured and carried away Assyrian soldiers. On the refusal of the Elamite, an Assyrian army entered Elam. Indabigash fell a victim to a palace conspiracy, and was succeeded by Khummakhaldash III., who retired before the Assyrians. They set up in his place Tammaritu (sect. 251), who had escaped and made his peace with Assyria. He, too, soon proved false to his patron and plotted to destroy all Assyrian garrisons in Elam. The plot was discovered and the king thrown into prison. Khummakhaldash III. remained, and met the advance of the enraged Assyrians in their next campaign. They would not be restrained, but drove the Elamites back on all sides, devastated the land and encompassed Susa, which was finally taken and plundered (about 645 B. C.). The royal narrative dwells with flowing detail upon the destruction wrought upon palaces and temples, the indignities inflicted upon royal tombs and images of the gods, and the rescue and return to its shrine of the famous statue of Nana of Uruk, carried away by the Elamites sixteen hundred and thirty-five years before (sect. 63). Again Ashurbanipal demanded the surrender of the Kaldean fugitive, but the latter saved the wretched Elamite king the shame of yielding him up by falling upon the sword of his shield-bearer. Khummakhaldash himself, together with another claimant to the Elamite throne, Pa'e, finally fell into the hands of the Assyrians. Elam was thus at last subdued under the Assyrian yoke, and disappeared from the scene (about 640 B. C.).

256. The Arabians, also, felt the weight of Assyrian displeasure. Yailu, king of Aribi, who had been placed upon his throne by Esarhaddon (sect. 242), had been persuaded to throw off allegiance to Assyria. He sent a detachment to the aid of Shamashshumukin, and also began to make raids into the Syrian and Palestinian provinces. The Assyrian troops succeeded in holding him back and finally in defeating him so completely that he fled from his kingdom and, finding no refuge, was compelled to surrender. His throne went to Uaite, who, in his turn, made common Cause with the enemies of Assyria, uniting with the Kedarenes and the Nabateans, Bedouin tribes to the south and southeast of Palestine, in withholding tribute and harassing the borders of the western states. Ashurbanipal sent an expedition from Nineveh, straight across the desert, to take the Arabians in the rear. After many hardships by the way, defeating and scattering the tribes, it reached Damascus with much spoil. Then the army marched southward, clearing the border of the Bedouin and moving out into the desert to the oases of the Kedarenes and Nabateans. The chiefs were killed or captured, camels and Other spoil were gathered in such numbers that the market in Nineveh was glutted, camels bringing at auction "from a half-shekel to a shekel of silver apiece (?)." In connection with this campaign the Phoenician cities of Ushu (Tyre on the mainland) and Akko (Acre) were punished for rebellion. It is strange that other states of Palestine had not yielded to the solicitations of the king of Babylon. The Second Book of Chronicles (xxxiii. 11), indeed, tells how Manasseh, king of Judah, was taken by the captains of the host of the king of Assyria and carried in chains to Babylon. Does a reminiscence of punishment for rebellion along with Shamashshumukin linger here? Possibly, though neither the Books of Kings nor the Assyrian inscriptions refer to it. Not improbably the excess of zeal on the part of the rebellious Arabians, which led them to attack the frontiers of these Palestinian states, soon discouraged any inclination in these communities to rise against Assyria, whose armies protected them against just such fierce raids from their desert neighbors, who had withheld tribute must have soon made their peace, among them, it may be, Manasseh of Judah. It was precisely the coast cities, because they were in no danger from the Arabs, that persisted in the rebelliousness for which they now suffered.

257. The policy of his predecessors made the difficulties of Ashurbanipal, upon his northern borders, of comparatively slight moment. That policy which was followed and developed by him, consisted essentially in arraying the northern tribes against one another, and in avoiding, where possible, direct hostilities with them. Thus, friendly relations were cultivated with the kings of Urartu, Ursa (Rusa) III. and Sarduris IV., whose deputations to the Assyrian court were cordially received. The Mannai, however, continued aggressively hostile, and their king, Akhsheri, valiantly resisted an expedition sent against him. When he had been defeated he fled; a rising of his people against him followed in which he was slain; his son, Ualli, was placed by Ashurbanipal upon the throne as a vassal king. Other chieftains of the Medes and Sakhi, and Andaria, a rebellious prince of the Lubdi, were likewise subdued. In the far northwest Gyges of Lydia (sect. 250) had fallen before a renewed attack of the Kimmerians under Tugdammi, a fate in which Ashurbanipal saw the reward of defection from Assyria. His son, Ardys, renewed the request for Assyrian aid, and the forces of Tugdammi were met by the Assyrians in Cilicia, and beaten back with the loss of their king (about 645 B. C.). Thus, all along these mountain barriers, Ashurbanipal might boast that he had maintained the integrity and the glory of the Assyrian empire. He was not aware what momentous changes were in progress behind these distant mountains, what states were rounding into form, what new masses of migratory peoples were gathering to hurl themselves upon the plains and shatter the huge fabric of the Assyrian state.

258. By the year 640 B. C. the campaigns of Ashurbanipal were over. The empire was at peace. Its fame and splendor had never seemed so great, nor, in reality, had they ever been so impressive. The king, like his predecessors, sought the welfare of his country, and thus bears witness to its prosperity under his rule:

From the time that Ashur, Sin, Shamash, Adad, Bel, Nabu, Ishtar of Nineveh, Queen Of Kidmuri, Ishtar of Arbela, Ninib, Nergal, and Nusku graciously established me upon the throne of my father, Adad has let loose his showers, and Ea has opened up his springs; the grain has grown to a height of five yards, the ears have been five-sixths of a yard long, the produce of the land — the increase of Nisaba — has been abundant, the land has constantly yielded heavily, the fruit trees have borne fruit richly, and the cattle have done well in bearing. During my reign plenty abounded; during my years abundance prevailed (Rassam Cyl. I. 42 ff.).

259. Ashurbanipal, too, was a builder. Temples in Nineveh, Arbela, and Tarbish, in Babylon, Borsippa, Sippar, Nippur, and Uruk were embellished or rebuilt by him. Nineveh owed almost as much to him as to his grandfather Sennacherib. He repaired and enlarged its defences, and reared on the northern part of the terrace, upon the site of the harem built by Sennacherib, a palace of remarkable beauty. In form this palace did not differ from other similar structures, but it was adorned with an extraordinary variety and richness of ornamentation, and with sculptures surpassing the achievements of all previous artists. Sennacherib had led the way, but the sculptors of Ashurbanipal improved upon the art of the former day in the elaboration of the scenes depicted, the delicacy and refinement of details, and the freedom and vigor of the treatment. For some of these excellences, particularly the breadth and fulness of the battle scenes, it has been said that the new knowledge gained of Egyptian mural art was responsible. But in the hunting sculptures and the representations of animals, the Assyrian artist of Ashurbanipal's time has attained the highest range of original and effective delineation that is offered by antiquity. The reliefs of the wounded lioness, of the two demonic creatures about to clinch, and of a dozen other figures represented in the hunting scenes, are instinct with life and power; they belong to the permanent æsthetic treasures of mankind.

260. Within the palace was, also, the remarkable library which has made this king's name famous among modern scholars. Whether it was founded upon the nucleus of the royal library which Sennacherib had gathered in Nineveh, or was an original collection of Ashurbanipal, is uncertain, but in size and importance it surpasses all other Assyrian collections at present known. Tens of thousands of clay tablets, systematically arranged on shelves for easy consultation, contained, besides official despatches and other archives, the choicest religious, historical, and scientific literature of the Babylonio‑Assyrian world. Under the inspiration of the king's literary zeal, scribes copied and translated the ancient sacred classics of primitive Babylonia for this library, so that, from its remains, can be reconstructed, not merely the details of the government and administration of the Assyria of his time, but the life and thought of the far distant Babylonian world. It is not surprising, then, that the inscriptions of this king, produced in such an atmosphere, are superior to all others in literary character. The narratives are full and free; the descriptions graphic and spirited, with a Sense for stylistic excellence which reveals a well-trained and original literary quality in the writers of the court. The impulse had been felt in the time of Sennacherib (sect. 231), and was gained, no doubt, from the new literary reinforcements which Nineveh received from Babylon at the time of the destruction of that ancient city. After two generations this school of writers had attained the high excellence which these inscriptions disclose.

261. It is evident that the king himself was personally interested in this higher side of the life which appears in the art and literature of his day. He has left a charming picture of his early years, how, in the harem, which he afterwards transformed into a splendid palace, he acquired the wisdom of Nabu, learned all the knowledge of writing of all the scribes, as many as there were, and learned how to shoot with the bow, to ride on horses and in chariots and to hold the reins" (R. Cyl. I. 31 ff.; ABL, p. 95). The latter part of this statement reveals, also, his training in the more active life characteristic of the Assyrian king. The truth of the description is vouched for by the many representations of the king's hunting adventures, the pursuit of the gazelle and the wild boar, the slaying of wild oxen and lions. His was no effeminate or indolent life. This union of culture and manly vigor is the characteristic of a strong personality.

262. As an imperial administrator, he both resembled and differed from his predecessors. He added nothing to the methods of provincial government, but was content to use the best ideas of his time. Deportation was employed by him in Egypt, where peoples from Kirbit in Elam were settled, and in Samaria, where, on the testimony of Ezra iv. 10, he (there called Osnappar) placed inhabitants of Susa, Babylonia, and other eastern peoples, with the resulting confusion of worships referred to in 2 Kings xvii. 24-41. His father's policy of uniting various districts under one vassal king (sect. 246) was continued; the most striking example of this is found in his dealing with Egypt. His armies were recruited, as before, from subject and conquered peoples. In one remarkable respect, indeed, he departed from past precedents. His armies were, rarely if ever, led by himself in person; his generals usually carried on the campaigns. This has been thought to reflect upon his personal courage and manliness. Yet it may be that the variety of demands made upon the ruler of so vast an empire decided him in favor of this reversal of immemorial policy. It is certain that in his case the change proved wise. No whisper of rebellion among his generals has been recorded. His armies, directed in their general activities from one centre, and given free scope in the matter of detail in the field, reflect credit upon the new system by their almost uniformly brilliant success. His predecessors had worn themselves out by long and severe campaigns, which only iron constitutions like that of Ashurnaçirpal or Shalmaneser II. could endure for many years. During their continuance in the field, moreover, internal administration must be neglected. Ashurbanipal was able to hold his throne for nearly half a century; the victories of peace which he won in the fields of culture and administration rivalled, if they did not surpass, the achievement of his armies.

263. Under Ashurbanipal the tendencies toward "orientalism" which appeared in his father's day reached their height. The splendor of his court was on a scale quite unequalled. It formed the model for future kings, and served as the theme for later tradition. Thus, the Greek historians have much to tell of the famous Sardanapalus, the voluptuary who lived in the harem clad in woman's garb, and whose end came in the flames of his own gorgeous palace. While Ashurbanipal was anything but such a weakling, he loved pomp and show, the pleasures of the court, and the splendor of the throne. If the daughters of kings sent to his harem were, in fact, pledges of political fidelity, it is clear that the senders knew what kind of pledges were pleasing to his royal majesty. A famous bas-relief represents him in the garden, feasting with his queen, while, hanging from one of the trees, is the head of the conquered Teununan of Elam. In an oriental court of such a type, pomp and cruelty were not far separated.. It is not strange, therefore, that in his finely wrought sculptures and brilliantly written inscriptions are depicted scones of hideous brutality. Plunder, torture, anguish, and slaughter are dwelt upon with something of delight by the king, who sees in them the vengeance of the gods upon those that have broken their faith. The very religiousness of the royal butcher makes the shadows blacker. No Assyrian king was ever more devoted to the gods and dependent upon them. Among all the divine beings, his chief was the goddess Ishtar, the well-beloved who loved him, and who appeared to him in dreams and spoke oracles of comfort and success. As her love was the more glowing, so her hate was the more bitter and violent. Captive kings were caged like dogs and exposed " at the entrance of Temple street" in Nineveh. No more thrilling and instructive picture of the union of religion and personal glorification can be found than that given by the king in the supreme moment of his proud reign when, all his wars victoriously accomplished, he took the four kings, Tammaritu, Pa'e, Khummakhaldash, and Uaite, and harnessed them to his chariot. Then, to use his own words, " they drew it beneath me to the gate of the temple " of Ishtar of Nineveh. " Because Ashur, Sin, Shamash, Adad, Bel, Nabu, Ishtar of Nineveh, Queen of Kidmuri, Ishtar of Arbela, Ninib, Nergal, and Nusku had subjected to my yoke those who were unsubmissive, and with might and power had placed me over my enemies, I threw myself upon my face and exalted their deity, and praised their power in the midst of my hosts " (R. Cyl. X. 31 ff.).



IX


THE FALL OF ASSYRIA. 626-606 B.C.

264. ABOUT the year 640 B. C. all records of the reign of Ashurbanipal cease. That he remained on the throne for yet fourteen years is evident from the Ptolemaic canon, which gives twenty-two years to the reign of Kineladanos (Kandalanu, sect. 254) over Babylon, that is, 648-626 B. C. This silence is properly interpreted as due in part to the tranquillity of these years and in part to the storm and stress which fell upon the state as they were coming to their close. While the victories of the past century had placed Assyria at the height of its glory and had extended its bounds to regions hitherto unsubdued, these achievements and acquisitions proved, in the end, to weaken its power and gave to new enemies the vantage-points for its ultimate overthrow. Egypt, the scene of hard fighting and splendid conquest, was already practically independent. Psamtik, its vassal king, had taken advantage of the Elamite and Babylonian troubles to withhold tribute, and, by an alliance with Gyges of Lydia, another recreant, had obtained Carian mercenaries to overthrow his Egyptian opponents and maintain his independence against his Assyrian Overlord. He is the founder of the twenty-sixth dynasty. Elsewhere, also, though in a different fashion, the same results were preparing.

As has already been remarked, the incessant assaults upon the Median tribes of the east were steadily moulding them into a unity of national life, which, once reached, could not be restrained, and which, in- spired equally with hatred of its Assyrian enemy and the sentiment of nationality, under proper leadership was to prove a dangerous antagonist. The breaking down of the vigorous nations of Urartu on the north and of Elam on the southeast not only cost Assyria heavily in men and treasure, but also made it easier for the peoples who were advancing from the north and east to grapple freshly and hand to hand with her before time had been given for recuperation. Indeed, these conquered territories could not be held by the Assyrians. As Egypt, so Elam, once devastated and made harmless, was practically abandoned; within a few years Persian tribes entered and took up the old feud with Assyria. Thus, instead of peace and prosperity within the broad reaches of the immense empire, as the outcome of the tremendous energy of the century, the Assyrian kings found themselves confronted with yet more serious and threatening difficulties, and at a moment when the state was least able to grapple with them.

265. The two sons of Ashurbanipal followed him in the kingdom. The one, by name Ashur-etil-ili, has left memorials of building activity at Kalkhi, where he reconstructed the temple of Nabu (sect. 176). The remains of his palace bare and petty in comparison with the structures of his predecessors, are found upon the same terrace and speak significantly of his limitations. His brother, Sinsharishkun, succeeded, and has the unenviable reputation of being the last Assyrian king. In a broken cylinder inscription he speaks in the swelling language of his great ancestors, of the gifts of the gods and their choice of him as the ruler of the world. It is only an empty echo of the past. Before his reign was over (608-607 B. C.) Necho II. of Egypt, son of Psamtik, had entered Palestine with an army and, after defeating Josiah of Judah at Megiddo (?), had marched into Syria and occupied it as far as the Euphrates, while Assyria, already in the throes of death, made no resistance. But, in Babylonia, Sinsharishkun had shown a vigor worthy of better days in the attempt to maintain his supremacy. Business documents from Babylonia, one from Nippur dated in the fourth year of Ashuretilili, and another from Uruk of the seventh year of his successor, indicate that each was recognized as ruler over that region. Their authority over Babylon itself was hardly more than nominal, however, for already, probably on the death of their father (626 B. C.), according to the Ptolemaic canon a certain Nabu-paluçur had become king of that city. Another tablet from Nippur is dated in the first year of an Assyrian king, Sin-shum-lisir, but of him and his place in the history of this troubled age nothing is known.

266. In tracing the details of these confused years, the student is dependent on three sources of knowledge, all imperfect and unsatisfactory. There is, first, what may be called contemporary testimony, limited to the indefinite utterances of the Hebrew prophet, Nahum, and to statements of the Babylonian king, Nabuna'id, who lived three quarters of a century. later; second, the Babylonian tradition, preserved in the fragments of Berosus found in other ancient writers (sect. 37); third, Herodotus and the other Greek historians who represent, in the full and picturesque, often fantastic, details of their narratives, the Medo-Persian tradition. From all of them together only approximate certainty on the most general features can be reached, and the opportunity for conjectural hypothesis is large.

267. The Medo-Persian tradition as represented by Herodotus lays emphasis on the part taken by the Medes. According to him Deioces, the founder of the Median kingdom, about the beginning of the seventh century, was followed by his son, Phraortes, who attacked and subdued the Persians. Not satisfied with this success, Phraortes engaged in war with Assyria, now shorn of its allies. The Assyrians, however, defeated him; he lost his life in the decisive battle. His son, Cyaxares, reorganized the Median army and proceeded against Nineveh to avenge his father. The Assyrian army had been defeated and Nineveh was besieged, when the Scythians, led by Madyes, fell upon Media, compelled the raising of the siege, and defeated and overcame Cyaxares. They then overran all western Asia as far as the borders of Egypt, whence, by gifts and prayers, they were induced by Psamtik to retire. Their dominion lasted twenty-eight years. Cyaxares, however, succeeded in recovering his kingdom, by slaying the Scythian leaders assembled at a banquet. He then took Nineveh and brought the Assyrian state to an end.

268. In the Babylonian tradition, Sardanapalus (Ashurbanipal) is succeeded by Saracus (Sinsharishkun ?). Hearing that an army like a swarm of locusts was advancing from the sea, he sent Busalossorus (Nabupaluçur?), his general, to Babylon. The latter, however, allied himself with the Medes by marrying his son, Nebuchadrezzar, to the daughter of the Median prince, Ashdakos, and advanced against Nineveh. Saracus, on hearing of the rebellion of his vassal and the contemplated attack, set fire to his own capital and perished in the flames. In another form of the story, which seems to combine elements of both traditions, it is said that the Babylonian chief united with the Median in a rebellion against Sardanapalus and shut him up in Nineveh three years. In the third year the Tigris swept away part of the walls of the city, and the king, in despair, heaped up the treasures of his palace upon a funeral pyre, four hundred feet high, and offered himself to death in the fire, together with his wives.

269. The inscriptions of Nabupaluçur contain no reference to his relations to Assyria, beyond his claim to be king of Babylon and to have conquered the Shubari, a people of North Mesopotamia (sect. 143). The stele of Nabuna'id (ABL, p. 158), however, set up about 550 B. C., while it offers difficulties of its own, throws a welcome light upon the exaggerations and confusions in the traditions. It declares that Nabupaluçur found a helper in the "king Umman-manda," who "ruined the temples of the gods of Assyria" "and the cities on the border of Akkad which were hostile to the king of Akkad and had not come to his help," and "laid waste their sanctuaries." Both traditions, therefore, contain elements of truth. The Babylonians were at war with Assyria and in alliance with another people in this war; yet not the Babylonians, but this other people, actually overthrew Assyria. Whether this people, whom the royal chronicler calls the Ummanmanda, is to be identified with the Medes, or was one of the Scythian hordes of which Herodotus writes, is uncertain. So long as this is undetermined, an important part of the historical situation cannot be cleared up. What is tolerably plain, however, is that, when Nabupaluçur set himself up as king in Babylon, the Assyrian rulers sought to maintain their power there and succeeded in bringing the Babylonian usurper into straits. A happy alliance with the people of the eastern mountains, whether Medes under Cyaxares, as is, indeed, most probable, or Scythians, delivered him from his difficulties and opened the war which closed with the destruction of Nineveh and the disappearance of the Assyrian monarchy. The vicissitudes of the struggle, the length and details of the siege, and the fate of the last Assyrian king may well have lived on in the Median and Babylonian traditions, and in their essential features be preserved in the narratives of Herodotus and Berosus. In the series of references of the prophet Nahum to the defences and dangers of the city of Nineveh, have properly been thought to lie the observations of an eyewitness of the splendors of that mighty capital. His predictions of its overthrow and particularly of the one soon to come, "that dasheth in pieces" (Nah. ii. 1), may have had their occasion in his own experiences upon Assyrian soil during these troubled years. A gruesome memorial of the assault is a fractured skull, preserved in the British Museum, "supposed to have belonged to the soldier who Was on guard in the palace of the king" (BMG, p. 102). The date of the capture of the capital, the final blow which crushed Assyria, while not exactly determined, is probably 606 B. C. Scarcely twenty years after the close of the brilliant reign of Ashurbanipal the empire had disappeared.

270. Assyria's sudden collapse is so startling and unexpected as properly to cause surprise and demand investigation. The series of events which culminated in the catastrophe and gave occasion for this fall were, it is true, such as could not have been prepared for in advance and they would have sorely strained the resisting power of any state. Yet evidently the causes for Assyria's disappearance before this combined onslaught of her enemies must lie deeper. The problem involves a consideration of the elements and forces which made this monarchy so great and enabled it to attain so wide and magnificent an empire. Attention has already been called to the conditions Of soil and climate in which a population hardy, vigorous, and warlike would be nourished. This people was from the first environed by adverse forces that called forth its aggressive energies. The wild beasts of the upper Tigris and the rude tribes of the mountains must be held in check, while a hard living was wrung from the ungracious soil. The effect was to give to the nation a peculiarly warlike character, and to weld the comparatively small population into unity Of spirit and action. Leaders were demanded and produced to whom large initiative was given, and in whom the spirit of conquest was supreme, — a spirit to which religion and culture might contribute energy, but which they could not dominate.

271. To this people, however, from the beginning was given a higher ideal than mere brutal warfare. The relation of Assyria to Babylon, unique in the history of mankind, while it gave an outlet to Assyria's military activity, infused into her heart a patriotic purpose to deliver the mother country from enemies, and stirred a lofty sentiment of reverence for the culture and civilization there achieved. So deep, indeed, was this sentiment, that the Assyrian adopted in its entirety the culture of Babylonia, its language, its art, the essentials of its religion, and manifested little or no desire to improve upon them. This procedure, on the other hand, contributed immeasurably to the successful achievement of the military ideal which lay deep in the Assyrian heart. Most great nations must work out their own civilization with constant toil and distinct sacrifice of energy. But Assyria, inheriting and appropriating the culture of Babylon, had the residue of strength to give to the work of conquest and political administration. She had an immense start in the race for supremacy; no wonder that the race was so splendidly won.

272. Yet Assyria's weakness lay in the very elements of her strength. The early unity of national life led to pride of race and blood which permitted no admixture and, as revealed in Assyrian monumental portraits, resulted in far purer Semitism than was the case with the Babylonians. But purity of blood, in course of time, enfeebles a people. The Assyrian was no exception. The defects essential to a military state were equally manifest. The exhausting campaigns, the draft upon the population, the neglect of agricultural development which is the economic basis of a nation's existence and for which industry or commerce cannot compensate, least of all the spoils of aggressive warfare, the supremacy of great landowners, and the corresponding disappearance of free peasants, the employment of mercenaries and all that follows in its train, — these things, inseparable from a military régime, undermined Assyria's vitality and grew more and more dangerous as the state enlarged. These weaknesses might have been less pronounced had Assyria been able to work out original and fruitful methods of social and civil progress. But, as has been just noted, her civilization, because it was imitative, set free more energy to devote to conquest; hence her achievements only emphasized her inner emptiness. No great distinctively Assyrian poetry, or architecture, or ideals of life and religion ever came into being. The nation stood for none of these things. Living on a past not its own, it could feel no quickening of the inner life. No contribution to the higher ranges of human thought was possible. Moreover, in its administrative activity, one central thing was lacking, — the ability to organize conquered peoples in a way to unite them vitally to the central government. They yielded and lay passive in the grasp of the mailed fist, but no national spirit thrilled through the mass and made it alive. Assyrian pride of race among other things stood in the way of union. Thus in some measure may be understood how the Assyrian monarchy so suddenly fell at the height of its glory, and so utterly disappeared that, as has often been observed, when Xenophon and his Greeks passed by the site of Nineveh some two hundred years later, they did not so much as know that any such capital had ever existed there. The monarchy had stood in proud isolation, ruling its empire from its palaces on the Tigris; with its passing, the great fabric which it reared was neither shattered nor shaken, since between the Assyrian monarchy and the Assyrian empire no vital connection existed. Hence, when the one disappeared, the other passed under the sway of Babylon. In view of the absolutism and tyranny of the monarchy the outburst of hate and exultation at Assyria's overthrow is not surprising. It is voiced most clearly by the prophets of that petty vassal state upon the Judean hills, the history of which is at the same time the wisest commentary upon the career of its haughty and tyrannical master and his severest condemnation.

273. Yet Assyria's contribution to world-history was real and indispensable. Its rulers supplied, for the first time, the realization of an ideal which has ever attracted the world's leaders, — the unification of peoples in a world-empire, the dominance of one lord, one authority, over all men. In this achievement it worked out the beginnings, necessarily crude and imperfect, of political organization on a large scale. The institutions, forms of government, methods of administration that were devised by its statesmen, formed the basis on which later world-rulers built solider structures. In this empire thus unified, it distributed the elements of civilization, the most fruitful civilization of that day, although not its own. Along the roads under its control trade and commerce peacefully advanced from east to west, and, with these, went art and culture to Asia Minor and to Greece. Even its wars, cruel as they were, served the interests of civilization, in that they broke down and annihilated the various petty and endlessly contending nationalities of western Asia, welding all into a rude sort of unity, which prepared the way for the next onward movement in the world's history. A true symbol of Assyria is offered by that most striking form taken by its art, — the colossal figure standing at the entrance of the royal palaces, a human head upon a bull's trunk; from its shoulders spring the wings of an eagle, but its hinder parts seen still struggling in vain to escape from the massive block of alabaster in which the sculptor has confined them forever.


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