Ancient Assyrian Empire

Assyria came as the other great states mezhdurechja – Babylon and Mitanni, of the city-state of Ashur. Later, he was joined by other cities – Nineveh, Arbell and others.

They formed an enclave cities that were transformed into Assyrian power. So before you go to the right of the Assyria, I must say a few words about Ashur.

The city-state of Ashur

The name of this city semmitskoe, but according to sources Ashur was a vassal of Mitanni, and then from Babylonia. But with the XV century BC this dependence has become a formality.

Noble tip of this city became rich, by the geographical location of Ashur, which was located at the intersection of trade routes. His benefit residents were removed from posrednecheskoy traders between Mesopotamia and the Zagros Mountains, Asia Minor, Syria and the Armenian highlands. The most important objects of commerce were cloth and ore.

It is believed that Ashur, Nineveh Arbell and also engaged in the purification of ore. Ashur was the center of a small nome state. At the beginning of its existence, Ashur traded silver Kanish the city in Asia Minor.

However, with the conquest of the region by the Hittites, these trading city ceased to exist, but to retain some independence. The rulers of these cities bore the title ishshiakku (analogue Babylonian ENSI). Their power was hereditary.

In addition, they were the priests and leaders of the city administration. Apparently, he’s ranked ukullu – High land surveyor and chairman of the community council. They are appointed Lymm – treasurers of cities that were responsible for the payment of taxes and other financial transactions.

Over time, with increased power ishshiakku, the power of the Hittites, and the community fell. And the role of the community within the genome was high. Ashur itself consisted of small rural settlements (communities). They were led Khazanov (council of elders).

They owned the land the peasants. Farmers could not independently buy and sell land. However, contracts for the sale was signed personally ishshiakku.

Economy and Agriculture of Ashur

According to sources in the territory of Ashur were distributed the money made from lead. That is, the commodity-money relations were common in these parts. Also not rare are cases of sale into slavery (debt bondage).

Also practice voluntary surrender into slavery – in the case of hunger or bankruptcy – a wealthy patron. Gradually wealthy obschiniki left their land (they worked and practiced rent debt slaves (and, if the slave did not perform his duties for debt bondage, he became a slave for life, while remaining a full member of the community) and went to the city of Ashur.

Therefore, after some time, it called Ashur – City among communities. Wealthy residents did not pay taxes and do not carry conscription (the exact date of the law is not known).

The governor of Ashur – King of the Assyrian empire

Then select the tribal aristocracy, which has been actively to strengthen the central government. Although the Mitanni and Kassite Babylon believed Ashur its tributaries, they are destroyed wall ‘New Town’ in Ashur and established direct diplomatic relations with Egypt since the beginning of the XIV century BC

Moreover, the governor of Ashur called himself the brother of the Egyptian pharaoh. Yes, and the ruler of the country called himself king of Assyria. According to the Assyrian documents from the reign of Ashur-Ubalita I (1365-1330 BC) (which he first called himself king) begins the story of Assyria.

After the defeat of Mitanni Ashur-ubalit participated in the division of Mitanni possessions. Now Assyria spent many years in military clashes with Babylon and the seizure of new territories. Now in her possession included land near the headwaters of the Tigris and the Zagros Mountains.

Change of the role of the king. He became the autocratic ruler. If earlier the city council (well-off farmers who have moved to the city) had an impact on the decision-making of the ruler, now the council was dissolved. For example, Adad-nerari I added to the title of the king of Assyria country title Lymm – treasurer eponymous.

With his reign (1307-1275 BC) begins flourishing Assyrian empire.

The heyday of the Assyrian power: the ferocity and cruelty

First, he reformed the Assyrian army, which was considered invincible before the rise of the Median empire. Now the king’s army were the people who received plots of land for service or payёk.

In case of military campaigns, they were joined by community contributors. Adad-nerari commander was successful: the border of Assyria pushed far to the south, defeated Mitanni kingdom to gather strength by assigning part of its territory (to the big bend of the Euphrates and the city of Carchemish), and very successfully fought against Babylon.

His son, Shalmaneser I (1274-1245 BC) had to re-fight the Mitanni and the Hittites and Aramaeans allies. After his campaign against Mitanni, the state has finally ceased to exist, and all upper Mesopotamia was annexed to the Assyrian power.

Assyria was known in the ancient world, as one of the most ferocious and bloodthirsty. The documents testifying to victories Shalmaneser, given that he captured 14,500 people and blinded them.

In the subsequent war against the hill tribes and other uruatri Assyrians destroyed homes, killed and mutilated civilians, putting an enormous indemnity city (taxes). Prisoners are usually not carried away captive, if only they were skilled craftsmen.

The main purpose of the Assyrian military campaigns were not even learn new lands and trade routes capture. Merchants had to pay high fees for the carriage of goods. Although the Assyrian war and did not shun ordinary robbery on the roads.

The capture and killing of the king of Babylon

Subsequent kings were military campaigns against the Hittites, nomads and mountaineers east and north. But in 1223 BC, King Tikulti-Ninurta zhvatil Babylon and held it seven years. Now the changes have affected the palace etiquette – after the conquest of Babylon in the city of Kar-Tu-Kulnev-Ninurta (literally trading marina Tukulti-Ninurta) was built a magnificent palace, where the king lived.

Access to the king was now limited – only eunuchs and very close courtiers could count on an audience with him. To establish strict rules of the daily routine in the royal chambers and send religious rituals, defending the king from evil forces.

Further gains – invincible Assyria

But the palace infighting, which resulted in the murder of the king, has weakened the country. Babylon regained independence. But the reign of Tiglath-Pileser I (1115-1077 BC), everything changed.

The overall political situation contributed to this: Egypt in the stage of decline, the Hittite kingdom fell, Babylon fought against the nomads of the Chaldeans. Assyria, by and large, remained the only strong power in the region. She only had to wait out the invasion of nomads and then proceed to the conquest.

To resist the invasion was not easy. Tiglath-Pileser was able to persuade most of the tribes on their side, won over others. He has made trips to Babylon and the Euphrates valley, but could not hold on to these regions. The Assyrians were driven back to their indigenous territory and to the VIII century BC they are not mentioned in any source.

From 745 BC board with Tiglath-Pileser III was defeated state of Urartu and reformed army. The army consisted of poor farmers that are completely contained at the expense of the state – the king’s party.

It was tyazhёlo- and lёgkovooruzhёnnaya infantry and cavalry battle. The Assyrians were the first to develop a military engineer cost catapults and battering rams. The Phoenicians, taken prisoner, built ships (gallery) with a sharp nose for ramming enemy.

Subsequent kings were conquered the kingdom of Israel (720 years BC) was conquered by Shalmaneser V, Egypt (671 BC) was conquered Esarhaddon, Lydia, Phrygia, Media and Thebes fell under the blows of Assurbanipal. Assyria was considered invincible until 630 BC, when Midia became independent, and in 609 BC Assyria ceased to exist.


Дивіться також:
Ancient Assyrian Empire