A ruling class of Hurrians founded Mitanni circa 1500 BC.
The state became a regional power after Hittites
destroyed Babylon in 1535 BC. Its capital was located on the
Khabur River. Mitanni even allied with its
chief rival, Egypt, against the expanding Hittite empire.
Ancient Egypt called the land "Naharin"; Assyrians
called it "Hanigalbat".
King Barattarna (Parshatatar) expanded to the west and made vassal states of emerging Assyria and
Alalakh (a Bronze Age capital in southern Turkey). The kingdom of
Kizzuwatna later became an allied vassal in mid-15th century BC.
King Shaushatatar later maintained buffer states against the Hittites. Circa 1457 BC, Pharaoh
Thutmose III invaded Mitanni's territory
and won a victory against the ruler of Kadesh
in the Battle of Megiddo. Despite his
victories over Mitanni, Egypt only consolidate gains in Phoenicia
and the mid-Orontes River region.
Mitanni war chariots gave them early superiority against foes. King Shaushatatar sacked
Assur in the 15th century BC and forced Assyria to pay
yearly tribute until the reign of King Eriba-Adad I (1392-1366 BC).
Early in the 14th century BC, king Shuttarna II gave his daughter in marriage to Pharaoh
A war of succession weakened the kingdom upon the death of Shuttarna. Assyria under
Shalmaneser I conquered Mitanni.