I have included only a few items concerning the history of this empire. A good source for more details can be
found on Wikipedia or in history books.
Early Assyria was an Akkadian kingdom,
particularly under the reign of Sargon, who united
the Akkadian and Sumerian people of ancient
Mesopotamia. Assyrian rulers battled
Hurrians and forces from city-states such as
Isin (See Picture),
Larsa and Ur.
Circa 1900 BC, king Ilushuma (32nd king of Assyria) successfully raided various southern states.
FIRST EMPIRE ATTEMPTED:
(late 18th century BC), briefly established the Kingdom of Upper Mesopotamia that
included much of modern upper Iraq, Syria and Turkey. His early conquests were the cities of
Ekallatum, which allowed him to control
Assur. Shamshi-Adad I later seized
Mari. Soon after his death, king
Hammurabi conquered Assyria. During the
15th century BC, Mittani dominated Assyria.
Between 1365 and 1074 BC, Assyria continued to urbanize and develop into an empire under the rule of
Ashur-uballit I, Tukulti-Ninurta I, and
Tiglath-Pileser I. Successes included driving out
Hittite forces and conquering areas near
Lake Van and Malatya
in modern Armenia. Assyria remained stable
during the Dark Age of 1200-900 BC, when Sea Peoples
and other migrating tribes overran old kingdoms and empires. Key to Assyrian ascendancy was its
powerful military prowess.
In 911 BC, Adad-Nirari II conquered large areas of Babylonia and secured eastern Syria around the
Khabur River. During the reign of king
Ashurnasirpal II, Assyria forces seized
the Armenian highlands,
Aram-Naharaim and campaigned
against people in the Zagros Mountains.
Conquests included Hattousa (aka Karkemish). He also
collected tribute from Phoenicia and
Phrygians. He moved Assyria's capital to
Kalhu (aka Nimrud). Ashurnasirpal I
briefly ruled (865-860 BC) and engaged in the popular royal sport of
Lion Hunting, which was depicted in palace stonework.
Shalmaneser III completed the conquest of Babylonia and
battled with Urartu. His armies also defeated a coalition of
Aramean kingdoms at Qarqar in 853 BC. A civil war nearly destroyed the
Assyrian empire that ended in 824 BC. King Adad-Nirari III
expanded the empire by subjugating Arameans, Chaldeans,
Edom, Hittites, Israel,
Philistines and Phoenicia.
In 746 BC, general Pulu seized power during another harsh civil war. He took the name of
Tiglath-Pileser III and brought order to Assyria.
He reclaimed Babylonia (729 BC), seized Arpad and
razed Hamath. Circa 730 BC, the king captured
Astartu in modern
Jordan. In 738 BC, Assyrian forces invaded
Israel and besieged Samaria in 725 BC.
In 722 BC, Sargon II became king and ended the
Siege of Samaria.
He took 27,000 Israelites into captivity, who later were called the Ten Lost Tribes.
In 717 BC, the king successfully campaigned against numerous states and conquered Urartu and retook Babylonia.
The capital briefly was moved to a new city, Dur-Sharrukin.
He died in battle against the Cimmerians (705 BC).
Argon's son, Sennacherib, succeeded to the throne and moved
the capital back to Nineveh. He put down a revolt in Cilicia. In 701 BC,
the king attacked rebels in Judah who allied with
Egypt. His forces reportedly suffered defeat from The Lord and
withdrew from a siege of Jerusalem.
He later campaigned against Elam and Babylonia. In 681 BC,
one of his sons murdered Sennacherib.
King Esarhaddon invaded Egypt and ended the
Kushite Empire in 760 BC. The important city of
Memphis fell in 667 BC.
The king also crushed Urartu and expanded into Dilmun and modern
Saudi Arabia. His son,
Ashurbanipal, built a large library and promoted both art
Upon the death of Ashurbanipal in 627 BC, civil war caused Assyria to disintegrate. A joint force of Assyrian and Egyptian
troops lost the Battle of Harran in 608 BC to a Babyonian-Median army.
In 612 BC, a coalition composed of troops from Babylonia,
Chaldea, Cimmerians, Medes and Scythians
conquered Assyria and sacked Nineveh. As a result,
Babylon became the center of a
Neo-Babylonian Empire (following
over a 1,000-year hiatus).