Great Assyrian Monarch, Ashurbanipal, As A Lion Hunter This famous conqueror was one of the most enlightened of Assyrian rulers. He encouraged literature, and through his wise counsels the annals of Babylonia and Assyria, written on clay tablets, have been preserved for us in the library of his palace. From these we have learned practically all we know of Babylonian-Assyrian history and religion
The Assyrian Empire

Assyria proper, as heretofore stated, was a table-land, bounded on the north by part of Armenia; on the east by that part of Media which lies towards Mt. Zagros; on the south by Elam or Susiana and part of Babylonia; and on the west by the river Tigris, or later by the Chaboras, a branch of the Euphrates. The greater part of the ancient kingdom of Assyria is now contained in the modern province of Kurdistan. In size it may be compared to Great Britain.

Divisions and Cities of Assyria

It was divided into seven provinces, and contained many great cities, of which the chief after Nineveh, the capital, were Asshur, which alone stood on the west bank of the Tigris, Calah, Dur-Sargon, Arbela, Tarbisi. The ruins of many cities are grouped around Nineveh; while lower down the Tigris is exhibited an almost unbroken line of ruins from Tekrit to Bagdad.

Nineveh  was situated on the eastern bank of the upper Tigris opposite the modern Mosul, two hundred and thirty miles northwest of Bagdad. The ruins of the original capital, Asshur, now called Kalah Sherghat, are some sixty miles south. Nineveh, Calah (Nimrud), and Dur-Sargon (Khorsabad), ultimately supplanted it in importance. When Nineveh itself fell, the whole Assyrian empire—essentially a military power—perished with it. It was not until the excavations of Botta in 1842 and Layard in 1845 that the remains, first of Dur-Sargon, then of Nineveh itself, were revealed to the world.

As a result of these excavations, the general outline of the city, the remains of four palaces and numerous sculptures, and thousands of tablets (principally from the so-called library of Ashurbanipal) were discovered. The greater part of these is now in the British museum. The city had a circumference of from seven to eight miles, the ruins of the walls showing a height in some parts of fifty feet. Shalmaneser I. built a palace at Nineveh and made it the city of his residence. Samsi-ramman III. decorated and restored the temple of Ishtar, famous for a special phase of the cult of the goddess. For a time Nineveh was neglected, but Sennacherib (705-681 B. C.), was a special patron of Nineveh. He surrounded it with a wall, replaced the small palace at the northeast wall by a large one, built another palace which he filled with cedar wood and adorned with colossal bulls and lions, and beautified the city with a park. Esarhaddon finished a temple, widened the streets, and beautified the city, forcing the kings whom he conquered to furnish materials for adorning the city and palaces. Nineveh succumbed to the combined attack of the Medes under Cyaxares and the Babylonians under Nabopolassar in 608 B. C.

In its times of prosperity, Assyria extended its borders on every side; and the Greeks and Romans often included the whole of Syria and of the regions watered by the Euphrates and the Tigris under the name.

Assyria and the neighboring provinces were celebrated for their great fertility; they were the original home of wheat and barley, and the date-palm grew there to perfection. The irrigation of the crops was ensured by the annual overflow of the Tigris.

Early Assyrian History Shown By the Inscriptions

The Assyrian kingdom first began to be powerful about 1350. Shalmaneser I. had become so powerful that he invaded and captured Babylon about 1250 B. C. His descendant in the direct line of kings was Tiglath-Pileser I., about 1100 B. C., the real founder of the first Assyrian empire, whose reign forms the zenith of the early empire. He spread the dominion of Assyria over all western Asia, from the frontiers of Elam to the shores of the Mediterranean, and from the slopes of the mountains of Armenia to the shores of the Persian Gulf. He captured Babylon, Sippara, and reduced Babylonia to the position of a tributary state. On the west he advanced as far as Khilikhi (Cilicia), defeated the Hittites, captured their stronghold Carchemish, and received the homage of the people of Arvad and the cities of northern Phœnicia.

Second Important Dynasty Established

In 960 B. C. a new dynasty was founded by Assur-dân II., whose son Rimmon-nirari II., and great-grandson Asshur-nasirpal, by a long series of cruel wars once again extended the power of Assyria. The extensive trade carried on by Phœnician merchants in Assyria at this time is largely illustrated by the Phœnician bronzes and ivories disinterred in the palace of Asshur-nasirpal at Nimrud.

His son, Shalmaneser II., was successful in war against the monarch of Babylon, Benhadad, king of Damascus, the rulers of Tyre and Sidon, and Jehu, king of Israel. In 745 B. C., Tiglath-Pileser II. became king of Assyria, made himself master of Babylon, and had great successes in war against Syria and Armenia, extending the empire greatly.

Reign of Sargon the Assyrian

Sargon (722-705 B. C.) was engaged in war against Samaria, which he captured, carrying the people into captivity; against King Sabako of Egypt, whom he defeated; and the revolted Armenians, whom he thoroughly subdued. He then turned against Merodach-Baladan, king of Babylonia, and drove him from his throne, and, after extensive internal reforms, was succeeded by his son, the famous Sennacherib.

Assyria Begins Period of Greatest Splendor

This warlike monarch marched into Syria in 701 B. C., captured Sidon and Askelon, defeated the forces of Hezekiah, king of Judah, with his Egyptian and Ethiopian allies, and made Hezekiah pay tribute. In 700 B. C. Sennacherib marched into Arabia, there defeated Tirhakah, king of Egypt and Ethiopia, and then his army perished before Libnah, in the south of Judah, by the catastrophe recorded in the Hebrew Scriptures. Sennacherib was engaged, on his return to Assyria, in crushing rebellions of the Babylonians, constructing canals and aqueducts, and greatly adding to the size and splendor of Nineveh.

In 681 he was murdered by two of his sons, and another son, Esarhaddon, became king in 680. Esarhaddon made successful expeditions into Syria, Arabia, Egypt, and as far as the Caucasus Mountains, and after the erection of splendid buildings at Nimrud and other cities, was succeeded in 668 by his son Asshur-banipal (the origin of the Greek “Sardanapalus”).

Great Extent of the Empire at Its Height

The Assyrian Empire was at its height of power under the kings Sennacherib, Esarhaddon, and Asshurbanipal. The states nominally subject to the Assyrian king, paying tribute and homage, extended from the river Halys, in Asia Minor, and the seaboard of Syria, on the west, to the Persian Desert on the east; and from the Caspian and the Armenian Mountains, on the north, to Arabia and the Persian Gulf, on the south; and latterly included Egypt.

Decline and Fall of the Empire

Ashurbanipal inherited Egypt as part of his dominions, but his power was not firmly established in that country until he led an expedition there, and sacked the city of Thebes. He erected splendid buildings at Nineveh and Babylon, and did much for literature and the arts; so that under him there was a great development of luxury and splendor. He died in 625 B. C.; and soon afterwards Babylonia, for the last time, and with success, revolted. The Babylonians marched from the south against Nineveh, under their governor Nabopolassar; and the now powerful Medes, from the north, came against it under their king, Cyaxares. Nineveh was taken and given to the flames, which have left behind them in the mounds the calcined stone, charred wood, and statues split by the heat, that furnish silent and convincing proof of the catastrophe. Thus, about 625 B. C., warlike, splendid, proud Assyria fell, after which it became a Median province.

The Campaigns of Tiglath Pilesar II

In the course of the ninth century B.C. the power of Assyria had made considerable progress. In addition to the ancient dependencies on the upper Zab and the upper Tigris, in Armenia and Mesopotamia, the principalities and cities on the middle Euphrates had been reduced, the region of the Amanus had been won. Cilicia had been trodden by Assyrian armies, Damascus was humbled, Syria had felt the weight of the arms of Assyria in a number of campaigns; the kingdom of Israel and the cities of the Phenicians had repeatedly brought their tribute to the warlike princes of Nineveh; at length even the cities of the Philistines and the Edomites could not escape a similar payment. Tiglath Pilesar I. had seen the great sea of the West, the Mediterranean; three centuries later Bin-nirar III. received the tribute of all the harbour cities of the Syrian coast, the great centres of trade on this sea. Nor was it to the West only that the power of the Assyrians advanced. Shalmanesar II. and Bin-nirar III. gained the supremacy over Babylon, the ancient mother-country of Assyria. Each offered sacrifices at Babylon, Borsippa, and Kutha; while to the North-west the power of Assyria extended beyond Media as far as the shores of the Caspian Sea.

The successors of Bin-nirar III. were not able to sustain their power at this height. Shalmanesar III. (781-771 B.C.) had again to fight against Damascus and Hadrach (in the neighbourhood of Damascus [1]); in his short reign of ten years he marched six times against the land of Ararat (Urarti). Assur-danil III. (771-753 B.C.), the successor of Shalmanesar III., also fought against Hadrach and Arpad (now Tel Erfad, near Hamath [2]). He had, moreover, to suppress disturbances which had broken out on the upper Zab in Arrapachitis (Arapha), and in the land of Guzan (Gauzanitis) on the Chaboras. In the reign of Assur-nirar II. (753-745 B.C.) there were risings in Assyria, even in Chalah, the metropolis.[3] But the prince who succeeded Assur-nirar II. on the throne of Assyria, Tiglath Pilesar II., was able not merely to raise the kingdom to the position which it had occupied under Shalmanesar II. and Bin-nirar III., but to make it a predominant power over a still wider circuit.

The armies of Shalmanesar II. had invaded Media; among the tribute brought to him by the land of Mushri we found camels with two humps, buffaloes, (yaks) and elephants. After a successful campaign against Babylon, which he undertook immediately after his accession, Tiglath Pilesar led his army to the table-land of Iran, and forced his way to the East.[4] A tablet discovered at Chalah, which gives a summary of Tiglath Pilesar's achievements from the first to the seventeenth year of his reign, mentions the districts subjugated in this direction. It is a long list, beginning with the land of Namri.[5] The districts of Parsua, Zikruti, Nisaa, and Arakuttu are mentioned,[6] and the enumeration concludes with districts in the wilds of Media.[7] The king defeated the numerous warriors of this region; "60,500 of their people, children, horses, asses, mules, oxen, and sheep without number I carried away."[8] Such are the words of the inscription, which proceeds: "I took possession of the land of Namri anew, and the land of Parsua." With these regions thirteen districts already mentioned are again enumerated. "Zikruti in rugged Media I added to the land of Assyria; the cities I built up anew; in them I placed warriors of Asshur, my lord, and people whom my hand had taken captive. I received the tribute of Media, of Ellip, and all the princes of the mountains to Bikni; horses, asses, mules, oxen, sheep without number. My general, Assurdainani, I sent into rugged Media towards the rising of the sun. He brought back 5000 horses, oxen, sheep without number."[9]

According to this inscription Tiglath Pilesar, on his first campaign against Iran, which we may place, on the authority of the list of rulers, in the year 745 or 744 B.C.,[10] though he failed to reach Bactria and the Indus, forced his way into the eastern regions of Iran as far as the further shore of lake Hamun. The meaning of the names Nisaa, Zikruti, and Arakuttu is hardly doubtful. Nisaa must denote the region or district of Nisæa in the east of Media. Zikruti,[11] which is mentioned together with Nisæa, may be the name of the Sagartians of Herodotus, the Açagarta of the inscriptions of the Achæmenids, a race mentioned by Herodotus among the tribes of the Persians; they were settled or wandered to the east of the latter. Arakuttu gives us the Semitic form of the name of the Harauvati of the Persian inscriptions, the Haravaïti of the Avesta, the Arachoti of the Greeks. The Arachoti were settled in the river-valley of the Arachotus (now Arghandab), which falls into lake Hamun, to the east of the river. But Tiglath Pilesar did not maintain his supremacy on the table-land of Iran to this extent. In the enumeration of the conquered districts of the second campaign the names Nisaa and Arakuttu are wanting, while Zikruti, Parsua, and Madai (Media), and the tribute of Media, which must therefore have been obtained by a new campaign of the general of Tiglath Pilesar, are brought into prominence. The second campaign of the king was therefore limited to the western regions of Iran. At a later time, in the ninth year of his reign (737 B.C.), he once more marched into the land of Media.[12] A second inscription says, in summary, that Tiglath Pilesar imposed tribute on the "land of Parsua" and the "city of Zikruti," which was dependent on the land of the Medes, and on the princes of the land of Media as far as the land of Bikni.[13]

When Tiglath Pilesar ascended the throne Nabonassar (747-734 B.C.) had been king of Babylon for two years, according to the canon of Ptolemy. Babylonia no longer possessed the extent of country once given to her by Hammurabi, and which we may ascribe to her during the numerous wars carried on with Assyria from the middle of the fifteenth century, and even at the date of Shalmanesar II. and Bin-nirar III. Either through the preponderance which Assyria had obtained over Babylon after the middle of the ninth century, or from other causes, we find several independent principalities on the lower course of the Euphrates after the middle of the eighth century; the Assyrian inscriptions mention as such, Bit Sahalla, Bit Silan, Bit Dakkur, Bit Amukan, and Bit Yakin at the mouth of the Euphrates, on the shore of the Persian Gulf. So far as we can discover from the monuments, Tiglath Pilesar was at war with Babylonia in the very first year of his reign.[14] Dur Kurigalzu, the old border fortress of Babylon against Assyria, Sippara, and other cities of the land of Kardunias on the river or canal Ukni, are mentioned, and the priests of Bit Saggatu or Bit Zida,i. e. of the chief temples of Babylon and Borsippa, together with the priest of Nergal, who bring gifts to Tiglath Pilesar; we hear of 10 talents of gold, and 1000 talents of silver, received by Tiglath Pilesar in the first year of his reign.[15] In the summary of his achievements (on the tablet of Chalah) the king says that he has taken Dur Kurigalzu, that he has offered sacrifice at Sippara, Nipur, Babylon, Borsippa, Kutha, and Ur, that in the beginning of his reign he ruled from Dur Kurigalzu to Nipur.[16] The king of Babylon, against whom he fought and whom he compelled to open the gates of his fortresses and of Babylon, is not mentioned by Tiglath Pilesar. We must assume, from the canon of Ptolemy, that it was Nabonassar who bowed himself before the weight of the arms of Assyria. Yet the obedience of Babylon was not secured. Fragments of the detailed annals of Tiglath Pilesar inform us that his general again fought against the Babylonians, that he himself again conquered a city which the Babylonians had taken, that in the region of Tel Assur he sacrificed to Merodach the god of Tel Assur.[17] An inscription of Chalah narrates that Tiglath Pilesar laid waste Bit Amukan and Bit Sahalla, and took their kings Nabu-sabzi and Zakiru prisoners; that he besieged king Kinziru in Sapiya (Sape), his capital, and added to Assyria Pillutu on the border of Assyria and Elam; that he received the tributes of the kings of the Chaldæans, of Balasu, the son of Dakkuri, of Nadin of Larrak, and Merodach Baladan, the son of Yakin, the king of the sea coast.[18] The large tablet tells us more at length. "Pillutu on the borders of Elam I added to Assyria; the Chaldæans I removed from thence and placed in the midst of Assyria. The warriors of Nabu-sabzi, the son of Silani, I defeated under the walls of his city of Sarrapani, and I crucified him before the great gate of his city. Five thousand five hundred of his people I took captive; his sons, his daughters, his gods I carried away: his city and the cities round about it I destroyed and burnt. Zakiru, the son of Sahalli, and his chieftains I captured; I put them in irons and brought them to Assyria; 5400 of the people of Bit Sahalla I captured; I laid waste all the districts of Bit Sahalla and united them to Assyria. The numerous army of Kinziru, the son of Amukan, I defeated before the great gate of his city, Sapiya; I besieged him and overthrew all his cities. Bit Silan, Bit Amukan, Bit Sahalla, I have laid waste throughout their whole extent; I received the tribute of Balasu, the son of Dakkuri, and of Nadin of Larrak; Merodach Baladan, the son of Yakin, the king of the sea-coast, was overcome by the fear of Asshur, my lord: he came to Sapiya and kissed my feet, and I received his tribute."[19]

The canon of Ptolemy represents Nadius as succeeding Nabonassar of Babylon in the year 733 B.C. Is the Nabu-sabzi of Bit Silan whom Tiglath Pilesar defeats near the city of Sarrapani the king Nadius of the canon; and ought his name to be altered in the canon to Nabius? According to the canon Nadius reigned only two years (733, 732 B.C.); the campaign of Tiglath Pilesar, which ended in the conquest and execution of Nabu-sabzi, must therefore have taken place in the year 732 B.C. After the conquest of Nabu-sabzi, as the inscriptions told us, Tiglath Pilesar subjugates Kinziru of Bit Amukan, when he had besieged Sapiya, his capital; in this city he receives the homage of Merodach Baladan. The list of rulers places the campaign against Sapiya in the year 731 B.C. In the canon of Ptolemy, Nadius is succeeded by a joint rule: from the year 731 to 727 B.C. Chinzirus and Porus reign over Babylon. Is the Kinziru of Bit Amukan the Chinzirus of the canon?

After the subjugation of Merodach Baladan, king of the sea-coast, i. e. the coast of the Persian Gulf, Tiglath Pilesar's dominion extended over the whole region of the Euphrates. He assures us that "he laid waste the land of Chaldæa throughout its whole extent," and "received tribute from all the Chaldæans;" that "he possessed the whole land of Kardunias (Babylonia), and was lord over it;"[20] and with perfect truth, for an inscription of king Sargon tells us, that Bit Amukan, Bit Dakkur, Bit Silan, Bit Sahalla, Bit Yakin form the whole of the land of the Chaldæans.[21] Tiglath Pilesar calls himself "king of Asshur, king of Babylon, king of Sumir and Accad;" he claims the full title of the kings of Babylon. The names of the principalities of Chaldæa are obviously taken from their dynasties. Nabu-sabzi is called the son of Silan, and his land Bit Silan; Merodach Baladan is the son of Yakin, and his land is Bit Yakin. Shalmanesar II., as we saw (Vol. II. p. 239), spoke of Israel as Bit Omri, i. e. the house of Omri. The Chinzirus of the canon of Ptolemy enables us to assume that Tiglath Pilesar after the defeat of Kinziru of Bit Amukan placed this Kinziru as a vassal-king or viceroy over Babylon, a proceeding which recurs often enough in the proceedings of the kings of Asshur towards conquered principalities and lands.

The canon of Ptolemy does not make Chinzirus the sole king of Babylon. From 731 B.C. to 727 B.C.Chinzirus and Porus are said to have reigned together—a joint sovereignty, of which this is the only instance in the canon. Strikingly enough their two reigns end in the same year, and this, 727 B.C. is the very year in which, according to the Assyrian canon, Tiglath Pilesar's reign is brought to a close. In the excerpt fromBerosus' list of the kings of Babylon, given by Polyhistor, of which Eusebius has preserved some very scanty fragments, the 45 kings who reigned over Babylon for 526 years are followed by "a king of the Chaldæans, whose name was Phul."[22] If the Babylonians named Tiglath Pilesar Phul in their list of kings, and if Porus in the canon of Ptolemy is a mistake for Polus (Pul), the Babylonians, in order to conceal their dependence on Assyria, must have placed their countryman before the stranger, the vassal king before the real king in their series of rulers.

The Hebrew Scriptures tell us that Phul of Asshur marched against Israel; Menahem of Israel paid Phul a tribute of 1000 talents of silver, and the king of Assyria returned into his land. Then Ahaz of Judah sent messengers to king Tiglath Pilesar of Asshur to save him out of the hand of Rezin, king of Damascus, and Pekah, king of Israel. Pekah had put to death Pekahiah, the son of Menahem, after a reign of two years, and seated himself on the throne. Tiglath Pilesar listened to Ahaz and came and carried away a part of the Israelites to Assyria, and Hoshea set on foot a conspiracy and slew Pekah and became king in his place.[23]The inscriptions of Tiglath Pilesar mention among the princes who brought him tribute "Minihimmi (Menahem) of Samirina (Samaria),"[24] and also "Jauhazi (Ahaz) of Judah;"[25] a fragment informs us that Tiglath Pilesar reached the borders of Bit Omri, i. e. of Israel (Vol. II. p. 239). "Pakaha (Pekah) their king they had slain;" so Tiglath Pilesar continues in this fragment, "I put Husi (Hoshea) to be king over them."[26] The inscription also speaks, in this place, of sending or carrying away to Assyria, but it is in such a mutilated condition that more accurate knowledge is impossible. Still it is abundantly clear from this fragment that the king of Assyria, who received tribute from Menahem of Israel and then marched against Israel when Pekah had ascended the throne, was one and the same prince, Tiglath Pilesar. We might assume a double payment of tribute on the part of Menahem, a payment to Phul and a second payment to Tiglath Pilesar, but this is met by the fact that the monuments of Assyria know no king of the name of Phul, and the continuity of the lists of Assyrian Eponyms does not allow us to insert a king of the name of Phul between Tiglath Pilesar and his predecessor Assur-nirar II. The error of the Book of Kings in ascribing the first campaign against Menahem of Israel to Phul, and the second, in support of Ahaz against Pekah of Israel, to Tiglath Pilesar, is most easily explained, if we admit the hypothesis given above,[27] that the Babylonians gave the name Phul to Tiglath Pilesar as their supreme king.

Tiglath Pilesar held the western regions of the table-land of Iran in dependence. He ruled as king over Babylonia, over the whole region of the Euphrates down to the borders of Elam and the shore of the Persian Gulf; and in the North also he led the armies of Assyria to victorious campaigns. His tablets tell us that he incorporated with Assyria the land of Nairi, i. e. the region between the upper Zab and the upper Tigris, that he defeated king Sarduarri of Ararat (Urarti), who had rebelled against him, took his camp and besieged him in his city of Turuspa; that he set up "an image of his majesty" there, and laid waste the land of Ararat far and wide.[28] Afterwards Sarduarri and Sulumal of Milid (Melitene) and Kustaspi of Kummukh (Gumathene), each trusting to the power of the other, rebelled; these he defeated, and took captives to the number of 72,950 men. In the middle of the battle Sarduarri rode away: he (Tiglath Pilesar) took the seal from his neck, his neck-band, his royal chariot, and his couch, and dedicated them to Istar of Nineveh.[29]The inscriptions further inform us that Kustaspi of Kummukh, Sulumal of Milid, and Vassurmi of Tubal gave tribute to Tiglath Pilesar, and when Vassurmi was negligent in the service of Assyria and did not appear before his face, Tiglath Pilesar sent his chief captain against him and set up Chulli to be king of Tubal in Vassurmi's place.[30] The list of rulers puts the first war of Tiglath Pilesar in the year 743 B.C., the second campaign against Ararat and the princes leagued with him in the year 735 B.C.

Of the successes of Tiglath Pilesar in Syria we shall hear below. When he received the tribute of Hamath, Byblus, and Israel before the ninth year of his reign, i. e. in the year 738 B.C., Zabibieh, the queen of the Arabs, also paid tribute.[31] When he had overthrown Damascus, Israel, and the Philistines (732 B.C.), he fought against Samsieh, the queen of the Arabians, in the region of Saba,[32] as we are told in a fragment of his annals, and took from her 30,000 camels, and 20,000 oxen. In the inscriptions which sum up the achievements of the king we are told that he subjugated the Nabatu (who must be sought to the south on the lower Euphrates), the Hagaranu (the Hagarites), the Pekudu (Pekod);[33] that the distant tribes of Tema (the Temanites) and Saba (the Sabæans), on the borders of the setting sun, heard of his power, and submitted to him, brought gold, silver, and camels, and kissed his feet.[34] A fragment of the annals repeats this statement; on the borders of the land of the setting sun they heard of his power and his victories and submitted to him.[35] Hence it was not only migratory tribes in the neighbourhood of Syria and the lower Euphrates, like the Pekod and Hagarites, whom Tiglath Pilesar forced to recognise his supremacy and pay tribute: his armies must have advanced from Syria and the lower Euphrates to the interior of Arabia, if the Temanites (I. 324) and the tribes of the South, "on the borders of the setting sun," i. e. the tribes of the South-west, the Sabæans, in "fear of his power and his victories," sent him tribute.

If the armies of Assyria reached no further than Deraeah in the interior of Arabia, it was still a vast stretch of country which they traversed in the eighteen years in which Tiglath Pilesar sat on the throne. Yet they also reached Lake Hamun and the land of the Arachoti in the East on the further side of the Persian Gulf. On the terrace of Chalah which supported the royal citadels Tiglath Pilesar built himself a palace to the south of the house of Shalmanesar II. It is the central palace of the explorers. The great inscription on one of the marble slabs found in the floor in the ruins tells us that he built his royal abode in the midst of Chalah for his glory; that he placed it higher above the bed of the Tigris than the palaces of his predecessors; that he adorned it with costly decorations, and placed in it the tributes of the kings of the Chatti, the princes of the Aramæans and Chaldæans, who had bowed their might at his feet [36] The inscription begins with the words, "Palace of Tiglath Pilesar the great king, the mighty king, the king of the nations, the king of Assyria, the high priest of Babylon, the king of Sumir and Accad, the king of the four quarters of the earth, the mighty warrior, who in the service of Asshur his lord has marched through the lands, swept over them like a storm, treated them as captives; the king, who, under the protection of Asshur, Samas, Merodach, the great gods, his lords, ruled from the sea of Bit Yakin as far as Bikni, and from the sea of the setting sun (i. e. the Mediterranean) as far as Muzur (Egypt)."[37] The second shorter inscription says in a similar manner: "Palace of Tiglath Pilesar the great king, the mighty king, the king of the nations, the king of Assyria, the king of Babylon, the king of Sumir and Accad, the king of the four quarters of the earth, the mighty warrior, who in the service of Asshur, his lord, has trodden to pieces like clay all who hated him, has washed them away like a flood and made them into shadows—the king who marched out under the protection of Nebo and Merodach, the great gods, and reigned from the sea of Bit Yakin to the land of Bikni, to the rising sun, and from the sea of the setting sun to Muzur, who possessed all lands from the setting to the rising and ruled over their kingdoms."[38] Of this proud palace but scanty ruins remain. One of the successors of Tiglath Pilesar, who ascended the throne of Assyria 46 years after him, caused the slabs on which Tiglath Pilesar had depicted his campaigns and victories together with the explanatory inscriptions above them, to be taken away, in order to have them smoothed, and placed when filled with pictures of his own achievements in the house which he built in the south-west corner of the terrace of Chalah. This successor died during the building of his house. This is clear from the fact that slabs and inscriptions of the palace of Tiglath Pilesar, intended for the new structure, have been found partly in the remains of the old building and partly in the new structure, with the defacement partially carried out.[39]


[1]The older Zachariah mentions the land of Hadrach beside Damascus and Hamath, Zech. ix. 1, 2.

[2]Fifteen miles to the north-west of Aleppo the ruin-heaps at Tel Erfad mark the site of the ancient Arpad; Kiepert, "Z.D.M.G." 25, 665.

[3]A document has been preserved from the reign of Assur-nirar, belonging to the year 747 B.C., regarding the lease of a piece of land; Oppert et Ménant, "Docum. Juridiq." p. 151.

[4]The list of rulers represents him as marching to the stream, i. e. to the Euphrates, immediately after his accession, and afterwards to the land of Namri, i. e. to the Zagrus.

[5]G. Smith reads Zimri.

[6]Nissi in G. Smith, "Disc." p. 260, but in frag. 4 Nissa.

[7]So according to G. Smith [who reads Likruti].

[8]Ll. 29-33 in G. Smith, "Disc." p. 260; Ménant, "Annal." pp. 142, 143.

[9]Ll. 34-42, in G. Smith, "Disc." p. 261; Ménant, loc. cit. 143. The words "I possessed anew" are wanting in G. Smith; cf. Lenormant, "Z. Ægypt. Sprache," 1870, s. 48 ff. The statement about the subjugation of Bit Hamban and the regions which follow, ll. 34-37, is repeated in the inscription in Layard, pp. 17, 18, l. 17; in Ménant, loc. cit. 139. The statement about the campaign of Assurdainani is repeated in frag. 4, p. 271 in G. Smith, loc. cit.

[10]This gives 745-744 B.C.: Bildanil. To the land of Namri; cf. frag. 3 in G. Smith, "Disc." p. 269.

[11]Ménant translates, "city of Zikruti;" G. Smith's rendering does not give this description in this passage (p. 260), but on p. 271.

[12]G. Smith, loc. cit. p. 279; Ménant, loc. cit. p. 146.

[13]L. 17 in Ménant, loc. cit. p. 139.

[14]Above, p. 2, note 4.

[15]Frag. 1, 2 in G. Smith, "Disc." pp. 266, 267.

[16]Ménant, loc. cit. p. 139.

[17]The list of rulers inserts a second campaign of Tiglath Pilesar to the land of the stream in the year 737 B.C.; frag. 8, 11. 18, 19, 52-55 in G. Smith, loc. cit. pp. 277, 280, 281.

[18]Ll. 12-19 in G. Smith, "Disc." pp. 255, 256.

[19]Ll. 14-28 in G. Smith, "Disc." pp. 258-260.

[20]G. Smith, loc. cit. pp. 255, 258.

[21]Oppert, "Dur Sarkayan," p. 20; Ménant, "Annal." pp. 160, 181.

[22]Vol. II. p. 27; Euseb., "Chron." 1, p. 26, ed. Schöne.

[23]2 Kings xv. 19, 29; xvi. 7-9; 1 Chron. v. 26.

[24]G. Smith, "Disc." p. 277.

[25]G. Smith, loc. cit. p. 263.

[26]G. Smith, loc. cit. p. 284.

[27]It is due to E. Schrader.

[28]Frag. 4, ll. 12-23 in G. Smith, "Disc." pp. 271, 272.

[29]Frag. 5 in G. Smith, loc. cit. p. 272, 273.

[30]The large inscription, lines 57-59, 64, 65 in G. Smith, loc. cit. p. 263.

[31]Frag. 8, l. 33 in G. Smith, loc. cit. p. 279.

[32]Frag. 13, l. 3; cf. frag. 10, l. 16; frag. 12, l. 19 in G. Smith, pp. 283, 285, 286.

[33]Tablet of Chalah, l. 6 in G. Smith, p. 254; stone of Chalah, ll. 6, 8, 13, p. 254.

[34]Stone of Chalah, ll. 53-55 in G. Smith, loc. cit. p. 262.

[35]Frag. 13, loc. cit. p. 286.

[36]Ll. 67-86 in G. Smith, loc. cit. p. 264, 265.

[37]G. Smith, "Disc." ll. 1-4, p. 256, 257.

[38]G. Smith, loc. cit. p. 254.

[39]The three private documents on the sale of a slave, the loan on the mortgage of a field, and the interest and security for an advance, which are placed in the time of Tiglath Pilesar III., are given in Oppert et Ménant, "Docum. Juridiq." p. 153 sqq.


Sennacherib had been compelled to retire from Syria before the Egyptians and Ethiopians, before the army of Tirhaka. If he did not seek to compensate this failure by new campaigns to Syria, if he omitted to attempt the subjugation of Syria a second time, the reason obviously lay in the fact, that his arms were occupied nearer home by the rebellion of Babylonia, the attitude of Merodach Baladan in South Chaldæa, and his combination with Elam. We are acquainted with the series of rebellions and struggles which Sennacherib had to meet here, till in the year 694 B.C. he finally succeeded in overcoming the confederates leagued against him in a great battle, and capturing the city of Babylon (p. 118). Yet even after these important successes, Sennacherib's armies, so far as we see, never appeared again in Syria. The Books of the Hebrews tell us nothing of any further attacks of Sennacherib on Judah: they merely say: "Sennacherib afterwards remained in Nineveh." The accounts preserved in the inscriptions of the campaigns of Sennacherib do not go beyond the capture of Babylon: the account which reaches furthest down is dated 691 B.C. Of the next ten years, during which Sennacherib continued to sit on the throne of Assyria, we have no connected information. Even the inscriptions which collect the acts of Sennacherib, the inscription of Nebbi Yunus, and the inscription of Bavian, end their account of his military deeds with the battle of Chaluli and the capture of Babylon. Indications lead to the conclusion that Sennacherib, even in this last decade of his reign, was so actively engaged in contests on the lower Euphrates and against Elam, that he was compelled to leave Syria to her fate. The fragment of an inscription speaks of Sennacherib's wars against a queen of the Arabs; in an inscription of his successor also we hear of a conquest of Sennacherib in Arabia.[314] Tiglath Pilesar had fought against Samsieh, the queen of the Arabs, Sargon had received tribute from her, and Sargon and Tiglath Pilesar had also received the tribute of the Sabæans.[315] Herodotus, as we saw (p. 141), calls Sennacherib the king of "the Arabians and Assyrians," from which we may conclude that in the tradition of Egypt, on which this account given by Herodotus of Sennacherib was based, he was a ruler to whom a considerable part of Arabia was subject. In the inscriptions of the successor of Sennacherib, we find at his accession Nabuzir, a son of Merodach Baladan, in possession of Bit Yakin, the land of the sea, the old domain of his race.[316] He must, therefore, have won it back in Sennacherib's time, and though he may have had to pay tribute he must have maintained his conquest. Lastly, we hear that Halludus, the successor of Uman Minanu of Elam, made a vigorous resistance to Sennacherib, and that Sennacherib won from him Bit Imbi, a border fortress.[317]

Sennacherib's inscriptions repeatedly inform us that he caused trees to be felled on Mount Amanus, i. e. in the neighbourhood of Cilicia, for his buildings.[318] Inscriptions from the third and ninth years of Sennacherib also mention the fact that captive Cilicians were compelled to work at these buildings (p. 107), and in the inscription of Nebbi Yunus, the mention of the Syrian campaign of Sennacherib is followed by the statement, that he reduced the Cilicians, who inhabited the forests, and destroyed their cities.[319]Sennacherib, therefore, must have maintained by repeated contests the dominion over the Cilicians, which Sargon had already gained (p. 103). Polyhistor tells us that Sennacherib in Assyria heard of the landing of a Grecian army in Cilicia; he hastened thither and defeated the Greeks, after losing many of his own people; in remembrance of this victory he caused his image to be set up there, with an inscription in Chaldæan letters, as evidence of his bravery and skill, and built the city of Tarsus after the model of Babylon. In the somewhat different account of Abydenus, Sennacherib, after subjugating Babylon, defeated a fleet of the Greeks in a naval battle off the coast of Cilicia, founded the temple of Anchiale, set up brazen pillars with an inscription of his achievements, and built the city of Tarsus after the model of Babylon, so that the Cydnus flowed through Tarsus in the same manner as the Euphrates through Babylon. Hellanicus had already told the Greeks that Tarsus and Anchiale had been built by a ruler of Babylon, and the companions of Alexander of Macedon saw near the walls of Anchiale the picture of a king of Assyria, with the right hand raised.[320]

After an eventful reign of 24 years, Sennacherib came to an end even more miserable than the end of his father (681 B.C.[321]). "When Sennacherib was worshipping in the house of Nisroch his god," so we find in the Books of Kings, "his sons Adramelech and Nergal Sarezer slew him with the sword. They escaped into the land of Ararat, and Esarhaddon his son reigned in his stead."[322] According to Polyhistor, Ardumuzanes, the son of Sennacherib, was the treacherous assassin of his father; in Abydenus Nergilus succeeds Sennacherib; Nergilus was slain by his son Adrameles, who was killed by his brother Axerdis, and his army driven back to the city of Bizana (in Armenia).[323] The canon of the Assyrians merely mentions at the year 681 B.C., "Assur-akh-iddin (Esarhaddon) ascends the throne."[324] Sennacherib's inscriptions told us that after the campaign in which he had driven Merodach Baladan out of Bit Yakin, he had placed his eldest son, Assurnadin, as regent over Babylon (p. 115). Of this Assurnadin we only know this fact: we hear nothing of his later fortunes. On a tablet, Sennacherib states that he has set apart golden chains, ivory, and precious stones, a mina and a half in weight, for his son Esarhaddon.[325] Esarhaddon, therefore, a fourth son of Sennacherib, wrested from his brothers, Adramelech and Nergal Sarezer, the murderers of his father, the fruit of their evil deeds, and became Sennacherib's successor.

The acts of Esarhaddon show that he was a prince of energy, and knew how to guide the reins with a strong hand. His father's reign had not been poor in results, but still he had not been able to maintain the dominion of Sargon in its full extent: he had been compelled to give up Syria. Esarhaddon was not only able to recover this loss, he raised Assyria to a height which she had never attained before. Shalmanesar II. had trodden Syria, received the tribute of Israel, and reduced the west of Iran to submission; Tiglath Pilesar II. had seen Arachosia, received the homage of Judah, and ruled over Babylonia; Sargon had held sway over Syria and Babylonia, Cilicia and Media; Esarhaddon kept the west of Iran in submission; he not only extended the dominion of Assyria further to the north than any of his predecessors; he reduced Babylon to certain obedience, his armies passed far beyond the borders of Syria, and of Asia towards the south-west.

According to a cylinder found at Kuyundshik and much injured at the beginning, Esarhaddon with his army hastened to Nineveh; Asshur, Samas, Bel, Nebo, and Istar, had fortunately placed him on the throne of his father. In Nineveh he heard that Nabu-zir, the son of Merodach Baladan, the lord of Bit Yakin, had attacked the faithful overseer of Ur (Mugheir), had smitten him with the sword, and refused homage. Esarhaddon sends his troops against Nabu-zir, who flies before them to Elam: Nahid Merodach, the brother of Nabu-zir, comes from Elam to pay homage to Esarhaddon; he receives the land of the sea-coast, the inheritance of his brother. "Without fail," we are further told, "he came each year to Nineveh, with rich presents to kiss my feet."[326] The inscription of a second cylinder, found at Nebbi Yunus, mentions the same event. "Nabu-zir," we are told, "trusted in Elam, but he did not by that means save his life. I requested his brother Nahid Merodach to do homage to me. He hastened from Elam to Nineveh, and kissed my feet; the whole of the sea-coast I gave to him."[327] "Samas-ibni, prince of Bit Dakkur in Chaldæa, took land in possession which belonged to the sons of Babylon and Borsippa. I gave it back to them, and put Nabu-Sallim, the son of Balasu, on the throne, who became my servant."[328] On a third cylinder (Aberdeen) Esarhaddon says: "At the beginning of my reign, on my first warlike enterprise, I established myself firmly on the seat of my dominion." He marches to Babylon, makes prisoners, assembles the warriors, and all the tribes of the inhabitants of Kardunias, assumes the crown, and bids the chiefs prostrate themselves before him.[329] That Esarhaddon bore the crown of Babylon is told us in the current title of his inscriptions: "King of Asshur, king of Babel, king of Sumir and Accad (king of Kardunias)." According to the astronomical canon, Asaridinus (Assur-akh-iddin) reigns over Babylon from the beginning of the year 680 B.C. to the end of the year 668 B.C. Over Assyria Esarhaddon reigned from 681 to 668 B.C.

Esarhaddon appears to have adopted a different method from his fathers for securing his dominion over Babylonia. So far as we can see, he attempted to pacify and win the Babylonians by mild regulations, by setting up the temples destroyed by his father, and restoring the city. A tablet of Esarhaddon narrates in detail the wars which Sennacherib carried on against Babylonia, and then mentions the destruction of the city in order to conclude with the enumeration of the buildings which he, Esarhaddon, erected in Babylon.[330] According to the cylinder Aberdeen, Esarhaddon, at his coronation in Babylon, liberated the prisoners whom he had taken; according to the cylinder of Nebbi Yunus, he restored, as already mentioned, to the sons of Babylon and Borsippa the land which Samas-ibni of Bit Dakkur had taken from them. The cylinder Aberdeen tells us that Esarhaddon fixed the year and the day for the building, i. e. for the restoration of Bit Saggatu—it was the chief temple of Babylon, the sanctuary of Bel Merodach, the protecting deity of the city (I. 295)—that he had bricks made for this building, that he restored the injured temples of the gods, and the walls of Babylon, Imgur-Bel, and Nivit Bel.[331] Bricks of the ruin-heaps of Amram Ibn Ali, on the site of the ancient Babylon, bear the stamp: "To the god of Merodach, his lord, Esarhaddon, king of Asshur, king of Babel, begun and built the altars of Bit Saggatu."[332] On the cylinder of Nebbi Yunus, Esarhaddon says: "When Samas, Bel, Nebo, Istar of Nineveh, and Istar of Arbela had given me the victory over my enemies, out of the booty of foreign lands, which my hand reduced by the aid of the great god, my lord, I built (36 great) temples in the cities of Assyria and Babylonia, covered them with silver and gold, and made them to shine as the day."[333]

Of Esarhaddon's relations to Elam, the inscriptions only tell us that he strongly fortified a border-city against Elam.[334] The tribes of the Arabs were reduced far and wide. The cylinder of Nebbi Yunus mentions the city of Adumu, the fortress of the Arabs, which Sennacherib took;[335] he, Esarhaddon, made Tabua, a woman brought up in his palace, queen of the Arabs, and increased by 65 camels the tribute paid to his father. When Hazael, the prince of another Arabian tribe, died, Esarhaddon put his son Yahlu on the throne, and raised the tribute paid by Hazael by 10 minæ of gold, 50 camels, and payments of other kinds.[336] The distant land of Bazu had been trodden by none of his forefathers; he advanced thither; six princes of this region, Kisu, Akbaru, Mansaku, Habizu, Niaru, Habanamru, and two queens, Yapah and Bailu, he slew; their gods, their possessions, and their people, he carried off to Assyria; the king of the Gambul, who dwelt in the marshes and waters (in the region at the mouth of the Euphrates), submitted, and brought presents and tribute.[337]

In the East, Esarhaddon kept the tribes of the Medes in subjection. The cylinder of Nebbi Yunus says: "The land of Patusarra, a region in the neighbourhood of ——, in the midst of the distant land of Media, on the border of the land of Bikni, of the copper-mountains—this land none of the kings, my forefathers, had subjugated. Sitirparna and Iparna, the princes of the strong places, had not bowed before me; I carried them to Assyria, with their subjects, horses, chariots, oxen, sheep, asses, as rich booty." "Arpis, Zanasana, Ramatiya, the princes of the cities of Partakka, Partukka, and Uraka-Zabarna in the land of Media, the position of which was distant, who in the days of the kings, my forefathers, had not trodden the soil of Assyria,—the fear of Asshur my lord threw them down; they brought for me to my chief city, Nineveh, their great beasts, copper (?), the product of their mines, bowed themselves with folded hands before me, and besought my favour. I placed my viceroys over them, who united the inhabitants of those regions with my kingdom; I laid upon them burdens, and a fixed tribute."[338]

Of Esarhaddon's acts in the North, we learn that he drove out the inhabitants of the land of Van from their dwellings, that he trod down the inhabitants of the land of Chilaki (Cilicia), and the Duha who dwelt in the forests of the land of Tabal. Twenty-one fortresses, and the small places round them, he took and burnt down; and carried away the inhabitants. Tiuspa of the land of Gimirai (Cimmeria), which lay in the far distance, submitted to him.[339]

The most important achievements of Esarhaddon were accomplished in the West. On the cylinder of Kuyundshik, the expulsion of Nabu-zir, and the establishment of Nahid Merodach his brother in Bit Yakin, to which the cylinder of Nebbi Yunus adds the subjugation of Bit Dakkur, is followed by a campaign of Esarhaddon to Syria, which must, therefore, fall in the year 679 or 678 B.C. Sennacherib had dethroned Elulæus of Sidon in the year 701 B.C., and put Ithobal in his place (p. 125.) Ithobal was no longer at the head in Sidon. Esarhaddon tells us, that Abdimilkut of Sidon, and Sanduarri, a king in the mountain-land (therefore, no doubt, a prince of Lebanon), united against him. "Abdimilkut trusted in his position by the great sea, and threw off my yoke."[340] "The great city of Sidon," so we are told on a cylinder of Nebbi Yunus, "which lies on the sea, I attacked; all their places, fortresses and dwellings, I destroyed; I threw them into the sea. Abdimilkut, who had fled before the face of my warriors into the middle of the sea, I seized like a fish, and cut off his head. His possessions, gold, silver, and precious stones, the treasures of his palace, his innumerable people, oxen, sheep, and asses, I carried away to Assyria. The princes of the land of Chatti (Syria) I collected. I caused a new city to be built, and called it the city of Esarhaddon. The people which my bow had taken in the lands and on the sea of the rising sun (i. e. the inhabitants carried away from Bit Yakin), I settled there, and placed my viceroys over them. I caught Sanduarri like a bird in the midst of the mountains, and caused his head to be cut off. The heads of Sanduarri and Abdimilkut I hung up beside the heads of their chiefs, and marched to Nineveh."[341]

The overthrow of Sidon, and the terrible example which Esarhaddon had made by this execution of the conquered princes, appears to have frightened all Syria into obedience. To this, at any rate, the assembling of all the princes of Syria, of which the cylinder speaks, points; and we learn further, without any mention of new contests in Syria, that the princes of Cyprus paid homage to Esarhaddon. After the cylinder has narrated the achievements of Esarhaddon against the Arabs, the Medes, and the Cilicians, which he accomplished down to the close of the year 674 B.C. (the cylinder bears the date of the year of Atarilu i. e. of 673 B.C.), it proceeds to the description of the buildings of Esarhaddon. In Nineveh he built at the smaller edifice of his father to the south of the Khosr, and at the great palace of Sennacherib to the north of it (p. 106). The description of the buildings begins with the mention of an embassy of Esarhaddon to the princes of Syria and Cyprus, and their assembling; they have to provide the material and adornment of these palaces by taxes and contributions. Twelve kings of the Chatti were called upon: Baal, king of Tyre; Manasses, king of Judah (Minasi sar ir Jahudi ); Kausgabri, king of Edom; Musuri, king of Moab; Zilli-Bel, king of Gaza; Mitinti, king of Ascalon; Ituzu, king of Ekron; Milkiasap, king of Byblus; Matanbaal, king of Arvad; Abibaal, king of Samaria; Puduil, king of Ammon; Achmilku, king of Ashdod. No mention is made of a prince of Sidon; as the inscriptions told us above, that city was under a viceroy of the king. In addition to these twelve kings, a summons was sent to "ten kings of Yatnan (Cyprus), in the midst of the sea:" Ikistusu (Aegisthus) king of Idalium (Idial); Pisuaguru (Pythagoras), king of Kitrusi (Chytrus?); ——, king of Salamis (Sillumi); Ituandar (Eteandros), king of Paphus (Pappa); Iriil (according to another reading Eresu), king of Soli (Sillu); Damasu (Damasus), king of Kurion; Rumisu, king of Tamasus; Damusi, king of Amtihatasti (Amathus?); Unasagusa, king of Limenia (Limini); Buhli, king of Aphrodision (Upridissa). "In all, I called upon 22 kings of the land of the Chatti on the sea coast and in the sea."[342]

But in spite of this obedience of the princes of Syria and Cyprus, Esarhaddon had to undergo contests in Syria after this time, i. e. after the year 674 B.C., which brought him beyond the borders of Syria. In the year 697 B.C. Manasses succeeded his father Hezekiah in Judah; he was then a boy of 12 years of age.[343] But when he came of age he did not follow in the steps of his pious father; therefore, we are told in the Chronicles, Jehovah caused the captains of the army of the king of Assyria to come upon him; they took Manasses prisoner with thorns, and bound him in chains, and carried him to Babel. And when he was in distress he besought Jehovah, and humbled himself before the God of his fathers, and Jehovah heard his prayer, and caused him to return to Jerusalem, to his kingdom.[344] The Books of the Hebrews further tell us that Esarhaddon, king of Assyria, settled people from Persia, Erech and Babel, from Susa and Elam, in Samaria.[345] The carrying away of Manasses, and strengthening of the foreign population in Israel, can only have been caused by attempts at rebellion in the kingdom of Judah and land of Israel. These attempts must have taken place after 674 B.C., with which year the cylinders close, which narrate the deeds of Esarhaddon down to this point, without any mention of such rebellions; on the contrary, we saw that these cylinders at the close of this epoch describe Manasses of Judah and Abibaal of Samaria as among the obedient and tributary vassals of Esarhaddon. The fragment of an inscription of Esarhaddon, which narrates the events of his tenth campaign, and which we cannot place before the year 673 B.C., as there is no mention of the campaign in the inscriptions dated from that year, informs us of a rebellion of Baal, king of Tyre, who was mentioned at the close of the inscriptions previously quoted at the head of the vassals of Esarhaddon in Syria. We can assume the more certainly that Judah and Samaria joined this rebellion, as the fragment adds: King Baal of Tyre "threw off the yoke of Assyria, trusting in king Tarku (Tirhaka) of Cush."[346]

It must have been the interference of Egypt, the hope in Egypt and Ethiopia, which urged a portion of the Syrians to renewed attempts at rebellion. Tirhaka, as we have seen, fought against Esarhaddon's father in the year 701 B.C., by no means without success, at Eltekeh; after the battle Sennacherib abandoned Syria. The restoration of the supremacy of Assyria, which took place after the overthrow of Abdimilkut of Sidon, was calculated to drive the ruler of Egypt and Ethiopia to an attempt to prevent the establishment of Assyria on his borders. In the hope of such assistance, Tyre, which stood at the head of Phœnicia, after the defeat of Sidon, may have taken up arms; Judah and Samaria may have joined her. The fragment of another inscription of Esarhaddon tells us that he sent out his forces "to fight against Tarku, the king of Cush, against the men of Egypt, and the allies of Tarku" (i. e. no doubt, against Tyre, Judah and Samaria). The Assyrian army won the victory. Tarku fled.[347] The return of Tirhaka was followed by the subjugation of Judah and Samaria, the carrying away of Manasses to Babel (Esarhaddon built, as we saw, at Babel, and then, no doubt, resided there), and the settlement of inhabitants from the East in Samaria, in order to secure the obedience of this land. We may put these events in the year 673 B.C. As Tyre on her island continued her resistance, Esarhaddon marched to break this down, on his tenth campaign, in the early spring, in the month of Nisan, crossed the swollen waters of the Euphrates and Tigris, caused fortifications to be thrown up against Tyre, cut them off, as he says, from water and food, and directed his march against Muzur (Egypt) and Miluhhi (Napata). From Aphek in Samaria he set out southwards against Raphia (Refah near Gaza), where his grandfather Sargon had defeated Sabakon (Seveh) of Ethiopia and Egypt nearly 50 years before (p. 88). On the march through the desert the army suffered from want of water; but Merodach came to the aid of Esarhaddon's warriors, and saved their lives,—as the inscription tells us, which breaks off at the point where it is telling of the first conflict with the enemy. After the indubitable successes of Esarhaddon against Tirhaka, Tyre submitted: the king Baal was pardoned; we find him again at the head of the city under Esarhaddon's successor. In the same way, after the subjection of Tyre, or some time later, when no one in Syria could any longer found hopes on Egypt, Manasses again became king of Judah, as the Hebrews state. In the list of the subject princes of Syria after the death of Esarhaddon, the king of Judah follows immediately after Baal of Tyre; unfortunately the name (in any case Manasses) is broken off.

Either on the campaign, of which the first incidents have been already related in the fragment last mentioned, or on a campaign immediately following, Tirhaka was not only defeated, but driven out of Egypt, back to his own native land. Esarhaddon became lord of Egypt. A fragment of Abydenus says: "Esarhaddon obtained the lower portions of Syria and Egypt by conquering them."[348] On that rock of the Phenician coast at the mouth of the Nahr el Kelb, between Byblus and Berytus, where Sennacherib had caused his picture and inscription to be engraved beside the sculptures of Ramses II., Esarhaddon also caused his image to be engraved, after he had become master of Egypt. In its damaged condition the inscription only allows us to ascertain that victories over Tirhaka, the capture of Memphis, the conquest of Egypt, are mentioned in them. At the close the inscription speaks of Tyre, and again mentions 22 kings, i. records the second complete submission of Syria.[349] Esarhaddon's successor informs us: his father had marched to Egypt, and forced his way to the midst of Egypt. "He defeated Tirhaka, the king of Cush, and destroyed his power. He conquered Egypt (Muzur) and Cush, and carried away innumerable prisoners. He subjugated the land throughout its whole extent, and annexed it to Assyria. The earlier names of the cities he altered, and gave them new names; his servants and viceroys he entrusted with the dominion over them; the payment of tribute he imposed upon them."[350] The list of the 20 viceroys or princes which Esarhaddon placed over Egypt after the expulsion of Tirhaka, allows us to see that the greater number of the reigning families in the districts of Egypt, who had maintained themselves under the dominion of the Ethiopians, must have recognised the dominion of Esarhaddon in the place of the dominion of Tirhaka, and passed from vassalage to him into vassalage to Assyria. But not all. Many of them may have shared Tirhaka's fortunes. In the place of those who did not adapt themselves to the new rule, came others who thought to rise as adherents of Assyria. The prince who received from Esarhaddon the regions of Sais and Memphis, and consequently the most important position, Niku (Necho), was certainly a man who had vigorously supported the new government.[351] Sarludari is said to have governed the canton of Zitinu; Pakruru, the land of Pisaptu; Putubasti, the land of Tanis (Zanu, Zoan); Harsiesu administered the land of Zabnuti (Sebennytus); Tapnachti (Tnephachtus), the canton of Bunubu; Sushinqu, the land of Busiris (Pusiru); Ziha, the land of Siut; Lamintu, the land of Chimuni; Ispimatu, the land of Taini (Thinis); Muntimianche, the land of Thebes (Niha).[352] According to this, Esarhaddon made those princes of the districts in Egypt who, though they had hitherto obeyed Tirhaka, were willing to submit to him, his vassals, so far as he did not replace them by Egyptians, whom he considered more trustworthy, and here and there by Assyrians. To Necho he handed over or continued the important districts of Memphis and Sais. As Necho of Sais came to the throne, according to the statement of Manetho, eight years before Psammetichus, and Psammetichus, according to the date of the Egyptians, became king in 664 B.C., Necho's accession falls in 672 B.C., and the conquest of Egypt by Esarhaddon may be placed in this year. The conquest of Cush, i. e. of the land of the South, is due to the exaggeration of Esarhaddon: we find Tirhaka soon after in possession of Napata. The slabs of reliefs which Esarhaddon caused to be made for the adornment of the new palace which he began to build at Chalah after the conquest of Egypt, bear on the reverse the inscription: "Palace of Esarhaddon, king of Asshur and Babel, king of Muzur (Lower Egypt), king of Patrus (Patores, Upper Egypt), of the land of Miluhhi (Meroe), and of the land of Cush."[353]

This new palace at Chalah was built by Esarhaddon in the south-west corner of the terrace on which rise the royal fortresses of this city, to the west of the building of Tiglath Pilesar II. In extent it comes nearest to the palace of Assurnasirpal in the north-west corner (II. 311). But it was not completed, though Esarhaddon did not hesitate to take the reliefs from the palace of Tiglath Pilesar and use them for his new building (p. 14). A broad staircase leads to the south front, to a double portico guarded by lions and sphinxes. The sphinxes are recumbent lion-bodies, with wings; the human head bears the Assyrian tiara surrounded by horns. These forms, not elsewhere found in Syria, prove a certain imitation of Egyptian models, which the Assyrians must have become first acquainted with on the Nile.[354]


[314]G. Smith, "Assyr. Canon," p. 139. The fragment must speak of events subsequent to the year 691 B.C., since the cylinder Taylor, which dates from this year, does not mention this war.

[315]Above, p. 11.

[316]E. Schrader, "K. A. T.," s. 227.

[317]G. Smith, "Assurbanipal," p. 207, 247. Ménant, "Annal." p. 291.

[318]e. g. Nebbi Yunus in Ménant, loc. cit. p. 233.

[319]Nebbi Yunus in Ménant, p. 231.

[320]Alexander and Abydenus in Euseb. "Chron." I. p. 27, 35, ed. Schöne. For templum Atheniensium, it is obvious that we must read Anchialensium.

[321]Private documents from the reign of Sennacherib on the sale of houses, vineyards, slaves, debts, are in existence from the years 699, 695, 694, 692, 687, 683, Oppert et Ménant, "Doc. juridiq." p. 169 ff.

[322]Kings xix. 37. The statement of Josephus ("Antiq." 10, i. 5) rests only on this passage. In calling Adramelechus and Saraserus the elder sons of Sennacherib, and representing them as fleeing before the Assyrians to Armenia, he can scarcely have any other authority than this passage, although immediately before he quotes a passage of Berosus.

[323]Bizana is a conjecture of Von Gutschmid for in Byzantinorum urbem.

[324]G. Smith, "Assyr. Canon," p. 39.

[325]Sayce, "Records of the Past," 7, 138.

[326]Talbot, "Records of the Past," 3, 104-106.

[327]Talbot, loc. cit. 3, 114.

[328]Talbot, loc. cit.; Ménant, "Annal." p. 243.

[329]Ménant, loc. cit. p. 248.

[330]G. Smith, "Disc." p. 314.

[331]Ménant, p. 248.

[332]Ménant, p. 247.

[333]Talbot, "Records of the Past," 3, 119; Ménant, p. 245.

[334]Talbot, loc. cit. p. 118.

[335]G. Smith, "Assyr. Canon," p. 137.

[336]Talbot, "Records," 3, 116.

[337]Talbot, loc. cit. p. 106, 116, 117.

[338]So E. Schrader translates.

[339]Vol. I. p. 547; Ménant, loc. cit. p. 242.

[340]Talbot, "Records," 3, 106.

[341]G. Smith, "Assyrian Canon," p. 137, 138.

[342]E. Schrader, "K. A. T." s. 228; G. Smith, "Assyrian Canon," p. 139; Talbot, "Records," 3, 108; the name of Eteander of Paphus is also read on golden armlets, found at Kurion. Cf. G. Smith, "Assurbanipal," p. 31.

[343]The year 697 is obtained for the accession of Manasses, by calculating the reigns of the kings of Judah from the date of the taking of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar, i. e. from the year 586 B.C.As Hezekiah must have ascended the throne in 728 B.C. (p. 17, n.), he reigned no doubt two years longer than the Books of Kings allow, which allot to him a reign of 29 years.

[344]Chron. xxxiii. 11-13.

[345]Ezra iv. 2, 9.

[346]G. Smith, "Disc." p. 212.

[347]G. Smith, "Assyr. Canon." p. 141.

[348]In Eusebius, "Chron." I. p. 35, ed. Schöne.

[349]Oppert, "Mémoires de l' Acad. des Inscript.," 1869, 1, 578. G. Smith, "Assyrian Canon," p. 169.

[350]E. Schrader, "K. A. T." s. 212.

[351]Psammetichus begins to reign in the year 664, according to the Egyptian reckoning, as will be shown below. The list of Manetho allots eight years to his father Necho. Necho, therefore, began to reign in 672 B.C.i. e. in the year in which Esarhaddon conquered Egypt. Nechepsus and Stephinates, whom Manetho places six and seven years before Necho, belong to the family of Psammetichus. Perhaps they were at the head of Isis, under Tirhaka; then Necho, the son of Nechepsus, would have made himself noticed by Esarhaddon by going over to him.

[352]G. Smith, "Assurbanipal," p. 20 ff. Haigh, "Zur aeg. Sprache," 1871; s. 71 ff. The Muntimianche of Thebes may be the Month-em-ha of the inscription of the temple of Mut at Thebes, the pious foundations of which it enumerates; in a slab found in this temple he is called: "Hereditary lord, prince of Patores, prophet of Ammon." Brugsch, "Hist, of Egypt," II. 270.

[353]Ménant, "Annal." p. 249.

[354]Private documents on the sale of lands, slaves, on loans from the time of Esarhaddon, are in existence, belonging to the years 680, 677, 676, 674, 671. Oppert et Ménant, "Docum. jurid." Cf. G. Smith, "Disc." p. 415 ff.

The First Collision of Assyria and Egypt

When Tiglath Pilesar ascended the throne of Assyria, he first compelled Babylonia to recognise his supremacy; after that he advanced into the table land of Iran, as far as Arachosia, and there at the least maintained his supremacy far and wide over the Medes. To the North he fought against Nairi and Urarti, against Kummukh and Tubal (743 B.C.); even the union into which the distressed princes of that region entered against him did not protect them; after a second subjugation the Tubal, i. e. the Tibarenes, received a prince from the hand of Tiglath Pilesar (735 B.C.). Meanwhile he had already overthrown Arpad in the West, which had resisted his predecessors so vigorously in a struggle which continued for three years; received tribute from Karchemish, Damascus, and Tyre; and placed the region of Amanus, Lebanon, Hadrach, and several districts of Hamath under Assyrian viceroys (742-740 B.C.). Two years afterwards the princes of Cilicia, of Hamath, of Byblus, Menahem king of Israel, and Zabibieh, the queen of the Arabs, submitted (738 B.C.). The appeal of Ahaz for help brought him again into Syria; after a struggle of three years Damascus was overthrown, Israel deprived of a portion of her population, and given to another prince, the cities of the Philistines conquered, the Ammonites, Moabites, and Edomites overthrown, and at length Samsieh, the queen of the Arabs, was defeated (734-732 B.C.). This complete subjugation of Syria was followed by new conflicts on the lower Euphrates. Nabu-sabzi and Kinziru were overpowered; Kinziru became a vassal of Babylon, and when Merodach Baladan paid homage at Sapiya, the dominion of Tiglath Pilesar extended to the shore of the Persian Gulf (731 B.C.). He now called himself king of Asshur and Babel, and in the last years of his reign received the tribute of tribes from the south of Arabia. After an eventful reign of 18 years which gained for Assyria the supremacy over Media, Syria, and Babylonia, Tiglath Pilesar died in the year 727 B.C.

His successor was Shalmanesar IV. No inscriptions have been preserved from the short reign of this king. The astronomical canon represents a change in the succession of Babylon at the death of Tiglath Pilesar; in the place of the joint reign of Chinzirus and Polus, in which we believed that we might recognise the supremacy of Tiglath Pilesar, obscurely given in Babylonian tradition under the name Polus (Phul), and the vassal-reign of Kinziru (p. 9), comes the reign of Elulæus in the year 726 B.C. That Chinzirus and Polus died in the same year, that Kinziru died in the same year as Tiglath Pilesar, would be remarkable, but by no means impossible. It is more probable that Shalmanesar found it advisable to make a change in the vassal king at Babylon, and that after his accession he placed Elulæus (Illuhillu) there as a vassal. Shalmanesar's attention was soon occupied in another direction.

Saved by the arms of Assyria from the overpowering advance of the Damascenes and Israelites, the Philistines and Edomites, Ahaz, king of Judah, had paid homage to Tiglath Pilesar at Damascus. "When Ahaz saw the altar which was at Damascus," so we are told by the Books of Kings, "he sent a pattern of it to Uriah the priest, and Uriah built the altar after this pattern, and when Ahaz came from Damascus he sacrificed on this altar, and offered burnt offerings and meat offerings, and poured out his drink offering, and sprinkled the blood of his thank offering on the altar. The iron altar, which stood before Jehovah, he removed, and the iron sea he took from the oxen and placed it on the pavement (II. 184). And Ahaz bade Uriah offer the burnt offering in the morning, and the meat offering in the evening, and the burnt and meat offering of the king, and all the sacrifices of the whole people of the land, on the new altar, and the king's entry he turned to the house of Jehovah for the king of Assyria."[175] According to this Ahaz, in order to prove his submission to his sovereign, altered the altar and arrangements of the temple at Jerusalem after the pattern of an altar on which he had seen Tiglath Pilesar sacrifice to his gods at Damascus, and the ritual there observed.[176] The high priest Uriah submitted. He not only allowed the king to sacrifice in person, against which the priesthood had contended in the case of Uzziah, but he altered the service of the temple according to the wishes of the king.

Judah was laid waste through her length and breadth. The Damascenes and the Israelites, the Philistines and the Edomites, had got the whole land into their power as far as the metropolis. Even from this heavy blow Judah would learn nothing. Instead of turning thankfully to Jehovah for rescue from such distress, the altars of the temples were altered after an Assyrian pattern. Isaiah saw this movement with the deepest indignation. "Your country is desolate; your cities are burned with fire; your land, strangers devour it in your presence. And the daughter of Zion is left as a cottage in a vineyard, as a lodge in a garden of cucumbers. Had not Jehovah left to us a small remnant, we had been as Sodom and Gomorrah. From the sole of the foot to the head there is no soundness in us, but wounds and bruises and putrefying sores; they have not been pressed out, nor bound up, nor mollified with ointment. Why should ye be stricken any more, and revolt any more? They are replenished from the east, and are soothsayers like the Philistines, and agree with the children of strangers. The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master's crib, but Israel knows him not."[177]

Israel suffered still more than Judah by the carrying away of the population of the northern and eastern districts, the land of Nephtali, and the land of Gilead. Hoshea reigned over the remainder from the year 734 (p. 48). According to the Books of Kings he set on foot a conspiracy, slew Pekah, and became king in his place; according to the inscriptions of Tiglath Pilesar, Tiglath made him king over Israel. These statements are not contradictory. Pekah had been in league with Rezin of Damascus, the opponent of Assyria and Judah: why should not Tiglath Pilesar recognise and establish as king of Israel the man who had removed the opponent of Assyria?[178] Hoshea sent his tribute yearly to the king of Assyria.[179] But when the dreaded warrior prince of Asshur—when Tiglath Pilesar died, there awoke in the Philistines, the Phenicians, and above all in Eulæus, king of Tyre, and Hoshea, king of Israel, the hope of withdrawing themselves from the yoke of Assyria. If Hoshea had risen as a partisan of Assyria, he determined now that he was in possession of the throne to break loose from that empire. The hope of liberation rested not only on the fact that Tiglath Pilesar was no more; it received a still stronger point of support in the change which had taken place in Egypt in the last years of Tiglath Pilesar. Menahem of Israel had already thought of securing the assistance of Egypt before he sent his tribute to Assyria (p. 38), and the same thought must have occurred to Uzziah in his last years. Hanno of Gaza had taken refuge in Egypt from Tiglath Pilesar (p. 48). The prudent Bocchoris had left, or been compelled to leave, Syria untouched. But since his reign Sabakon had united the forces of Dongola, Nubia, and Egypt into a strong power. When Tiglath Pilesar had extended the dominion of Assyria as far as Gaza and Elath, and a victorious aggressive power of great strength stood on the borders of Egypt, the attack of Assyria might be expected there. A far-seeing ruler of Egypt, secure of his military power, must endeavour to anticipate this attack; he must prevent it by uniting the elements of resistance existing in Syria. If the issue were favourable, the dominion of Assyria over Syria would thus be removed; in any case Egypt would have allies in Syria for the war against Assyria. "Hoshea sent messengers to Seveh (Sabakon) king of Egypt," so the Hebrews tell us, "and brought the king of Assyria no present more as formerly." It is this attempt to gain assistance, and probably the presents which accompanied it—perhaps also gifts from Hanno at Gaza, the princes of Tyre, Zemar, and Hamath (see below)—which Sabakon, on the walls of Karnak, describes as tribute received from the inhabitants of Palestine (p. 73).

Isaiah foresaw very plainly what would be the issue of this undertaking which to him appeared madness and intoxication. He announced destruction and ruin to the Philistines, the kingdom of Israel, and the Phenicians. The carrying away into captivity already sent by Jehovah upon Israel, in punishment of her offences, and the war against Judah had brought about no improvement, no reformation; the severe lesson teaching them to remain at rest, which the sons of Israel had then received, is disregarded; they are calling down upon themselves a still heavier judgment. Isaiah spoke the more strongly as he was desirous to prevent Judah also, where Hezekiah, the son of Ahaz, ascended the throne in 728 B.C., from joining in this attempt. In reference to the death of Tiglath Pilesar he cries to the cities of the Philistines: "Rejoice not, whole Philistia, because the rod is broken which smote thee. For out of the serpent's root shall come forth a cockatrice, and his fruit is a flying serpent. From the north cometh a smoke."[180] To the cities of Tyre and Sidon, he cries: "Howl, ye ships of Tarshish, for Tyre is laid waste: there is no house more, no entering in. Be still, ye inhabitants of the coast, which the merchants of Sidon that pass over the sea replenished. By distant waters the seed of the Nile, the harvest of the river, was their revenue, and she was the mart of nations. Be thou ashamed, Sidon, for the sea hath spoken; the strength of the sea thus: I travailed not, and brought not forth; I brought up no young men and maidens. Pass ye over to Tarshish; howl, ye inhabitants of the coast! Is this your joyous city, whose antiquity is of ancient days? Her own feet shall carry her afar off to sojourn. Who hath taken this counsel against Tyre, the crowning city, whose merchants are princes, whose traffickers are the honourable of the earth? Jehovah the Lord of Hosts hath purposed it. Jehovah gave command over Canaan to destroy her fortresses, and said: Thou shalt no more rejoice, thou oppressed virgin, daughter of Sidon! Pass over to Chittim (the Cyprians, II. 53). There also thou shalt have no rest. When the report comes to Egypt, they shall be sorely pained at the report of Tyre."[181]

Isaiah directs his most severe warning to those of his own race, the kingdom of Israel. "Woe to the proud crown of the drunken Ephraim, the faded flower on the head of the fat valley of those possessed by wine," he cries. "Priests and prophets have erred through strong drink, and are overcome with wine. Jehovah will speak to this people with an alien tongue, to whom he said: Give ye rest to the weary; this is the way of salvation. But they would not listen. To whom shall he teach knowledge? whom shall he make to understand doctrine?—them that are weaned from the milk, and removed from the mother's breast? Behold, a stronger and mightier shall come from the Lord, as a tempest of hail, and a destroying storm; as a flood of mighty waters overflowing, he shall cast them with violence to the earth. He will trample it under foot, the proud crown of the drunken Ephraim; the faded flower on the head of the fat valley will disappear like early fruit before the gathering."[182]

"Shalmanesar the king of Assyria," so the Books of Kings tell us, "discovered a conspiracy in Hoshea, that he had sent messengers to Seveh (So), the king of Egypt, and brought him no more a present as before. He went up against Hoshea, seized him, and put him in chains in prison, and marched over the whole land, and against Samaria, and besieged the city three years." Josephus tells us: "It was told Shalmanesar that Hoshea had secretly invited Egypt to a combined struggle. In his anger he marched out against Samaria, besieged the city for three years, and took Hoshea prisoner." "But the king of Assyria fought against the whole of Syria and Phœnicia. He marched against Tyre while Elulæus reigned there. Menander, who has drawn up the annals and translated the archives of the Tyrians into the Greek language, vouches for this when he says: Elulaeus reigned 36 years; when the Citians revolted, he sailed thither and again reduced them to subjection. The king of Assyria sent an expedition against these, overran all Phœnicia with war, made peace with them all, and returned. Sidon, and Acco, and old Tyre, and many other cities revolted from the Tyrians; but as the Tyrians themselves did not submit, the king turned again upon them, and the Phenicians manned 60 ships for him, and placed upon them 8000 rowers.[183] Against these the Tyrians set sail with 12 ships; destroyed the vessels of the enemy, and made about 500 prisoners. But the king of Assyria placed guards on the river, and on the conduits, to prevent the Tyrians from drawing water, and returned home. The Tyrians endured this for five years, during which they drank water from wells that they had dug. This is what is stated in the records of the Tyrians about Shalmanesar, the king of the Assyrians."[184]

According to these indications and statements we may assume the course of affairs to have been something of the following kind. The cities of the Phenicians, and of the Philistines, and the kingdom of Israel hope for the assistance of the king of Meroe and Egypt, of Sabakon, whom the Hebrews call Seveh, and the inscriptions of the Assyrians, Sabhi. Shalmanesar overruns Syria, before the assistance from Egypt has arrived there (726 B.C.).[185] Hoshea is either taken by surprise and overcome, or in his terror attempts to appease the king of Asshur by submission. He is carried away to prison, and Shalmanesar turns towards the coast. The cities of the Phenicians submit; only the island city of Tyre resists (II. 265). The cities, which had submitted, were now compelled to furnish ships to Shalmanesar for the conquest of Cyprus, and the blockade of the island city, which was carried on from the mainland also, since old Tyre was garrisoned there, and the inhabitants of the island city were prevented from drawing water on the coast. It is remarkable that the Tyrians are said to have met the 60 ships of the blockade with 12 ships only. Yet this is no doubt no more than a mere sally of the besieged. The ships of the inhabitants of the mainland may not have taken a vigorous part in the fighting; and the blockade may not have been carried on very strictly. Tyre may very well have been able to endure a somewhat lax investment for five years. The resistance of the Tyrians appears to have inspired courage in the Israelites and the metropolis of Israel, so that they defied the arms of the Assyrians even after the carrying away of Hoshea. In the year 724 B.C. Shalmanesar turned from the coast, against Samaria. The Israelites defended their city most stubbornly. Damascus had resisted Tiglath Pilesar two years; Samaria, like Arpad, held out for three years. "The king of Assyria took Samaria," so we are briefly told in the Books of Kings, "and carried Israel to Assyria, and gave them dwellings in Chalah and Chabor, by the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes."

The monuments of Assyria inform us that Shalmanesar IV. did not live to see the fall of Samaria. He died in the course of the last year of the siege (722 B.C.). Sargon, his successor, boasts of this achievement of his arms. "In the beginning of my reign," so we are told in the annals of Sargon, "I besieged the city of Samaria (Samarina), and took it with the help of the god Samas, who gives me victory over my enemies. I took 27,280 prisoners. I took 50 chariots as my royal portion. I brought them to Assyria, and in their place I put people whom my hand had reduced. I placed my officers and viceroys over them, and imposed tribute upon them as on the Assyrians."[186] This statement is repeated in the inscription which gives the more important acts of Sargon (the so called fasti ), with this difference at the close: "My officers I placed over them; I imposed on them the tribute of the previous kings."[187] The inscription of the bulls says quite briefly: "He (Sargon) overthrew Samaria, and all the house of Omri."[188] The inscription on the cylinder says: "I have subjugated the great land of Bit Omri."[189] The annals recapitulate: "I have laid waste the region of Samaria, and the land of Bit Omri." After informing us that the king of Israel was carried away to the East, the Books of Kings tell us, like the annals of Sargon, that other inhabitants were settled in Israel: "He caused people to come from Babel and from Kutha, from Sepharvaim, Ava, and Hamath," and placed them in the cities of Samaria in the room of the children of Israel.[190] Sargon's own account confirms this statement; his inscriptions show us further to what stock these settlers belonged. In the year 721 B.C., very soon after the capture of Samaria, he transplanted people from Babylonia to the land of the Chatti, i. e. to Syria.[191] We are also told that people were removed from the four districts of Armenia to Syria, to the coast;[192] and finally, that people of Arabian descent, "of Thammud, Marsiman, Chayapa, and the land of Bari," were settled in the city of Samaria. The strengthening of the alien element in Samaria was caused by the fact that the Israelites, in spite of the severe punishment which they had undergone, had nevertheless attempted to rebel once more against Assyria.[193]

The carrying away of the inhabitants of Naphtali and Gilead, which Tiglath Pilesar had executed, the removal into a new environment, which Sargon now carried out twelve years after the former deportation, were blows from which the ten tribes could not again recover. Not that the existence of the people was annihilated; many, no doubt, perished in the conquest of the land and metropolis, yet it was by no means the whole remnant that was carried away. It was only a part of the population on whom that severe lot descended. Isaiah tells us Jehovah punished the people by measure, and allowed a remnant to remain.[194]The number of those who remained was sufficient to gain the preponderance in a population so strongly mixed with foreign settlers.[195] Yet this admixture sapped the national vigour at the core. In the inscriptions of the Assyrians we hear no more of the land of Omri, but only of Samaria; from them we see that kings remained at the head of the land; they mention a second Menahem and an Abibaal as kings of Samaria. The community over which the descendants of David ruled was, in the first place, only anxious for the preservation of the national life and faith. Judah remained obedient to Assyria. Hezekiah of Judah looked on at the long siege of Samaria, the death-struggle of Israel, and the carrying away of his kindred without moving. He must have paid his tribute regularly. An inscription of Sargon, belonging to the first years of his reign, enumerates the "distant Judah" among the subject lands.[196]

The subjugation of the Phenicians, the punishment of Israel for her defection, did not break the hopes which the Syrians reposed in Egypt. Two years after the fall of Samaria, Egypt may have been better prepared for war, for a march into Syria, than at the time of Shalmanesar's campaign against Hoshea and the Phenicians. Egypt's power appeared nearer at hand; Sargon had to advance from the Tigris. Hamath rebelled against Assyria. "Ilubid possessed himself of the crown of Hamath," so we are told in the inscriptions of Sargon; "he took the city of Karkar, and roused the cities of Arpad, Damascus, Zemar (Simyra), and Samaria against me. I besieged him and his warriors in the city of Karkar."[197] The city of Karkar, near which, 130 years before, Benhadad of Damascus and Ahab of Israel had fought against Shalmanesar II., was taken; Ilubid was captured, and Sargon caused him to be flayed—a relief in the palace of Sargon exhibits the execution of this sentence.[198] The memorial stone of Larnaka says: "Ilubid of Hamath rebelled; I fought against him, and covered the land of Hamath with ruins." Sixty-three thousand people were transplanted from Assyria into the land of Hamath.[199]

But Sargon succeeded in becoming master of a mightier opponent, in maintaining Syria against Egypt. Sabakon had marched through the desert with the forces of Ethiopia and Egypt; Hanno of Gaza, who once retired to Egypt before Tiglath Pilesar, joined him with his warriors. Sargon went to meet them. The armies met at Raphia (now Refah, between El Arish and Gaza, where at a later period Ptolemy Philopator of Egypt overcame Antiochus the Great). "Sabhi trusted in his forces," so the annals of Sargon tell us, "and came to meet me to offer me battle. I called upon the great god Asshur, my lord; I smote them. Sabhi fled with a shepherd, who kept the sheep, and escaped. Hanno I took prisoner. All that he possessed I carried away to Assyria. I laid waste and destroyed his cities, and burned them with fire. I carried away 9033 men with their possessions."[200] The introduction to the annals and the inscription on the bulls say briefly: "The armies of the land of Muzur (Egypt) he (Sargon) defeated near the city of Raphia (Rapih). Hanno, the king of Gaza, he brought into slavery."[201] The inscription of the cylinder says: "Near the city of Raphia I defeated the king of Muzur; the king of the land of Gaza I took prisoner and carried to Assyria." The Fasti of Sargon inform us: "Hanno, king of Gaza, marched with Sabhi, the sultan of Egypt (siltannu mussuri ), to meet me near the city of Raphia, to offer me battle and conflict. I put them to flight. Sabhi was seized with fear of the might of my arms; he fled, and not a trace of him was seen. Hanno, the king of Gaza, I took captive with my own hand."[202]

Sargon's contests in Syria did not end with the battle at Raphia (720 B.C.). After the inscription on the bulls has narrated the victory over the army of Egypt, it continues immediately: "I fought against the tribes of the Thammud, Ibadid, Marsiman, and Chayapa, who had invaded the land of Bit Omri, i. e. Israel."[203] On the other hand, the annals tell us, under Sargon's seventh year (716 B.C.): "I marched against the tribes of Tasid, Ibadid, Marsiman, and Chayapa; against the distant dwellers in the land of Bari, which the scholars and the wise knew not. None of the kings my forefathers had heard this name. I compelled them to obey Asshur, and those who remained I drove out of their dwellings, and placed them in the city of Samaria." On this campaign Sargon must have advanced into the peninsula of Sinai, and far into Arabia, for the annals continue: "Pharaoh (Pirhu), the king of Egypt (Muzur), Samsieh the queen of the Arabs, Iathamir the Sabæan, are kings from the distant coast of the sea and from the land (chasm). As their tribute I received herbs of the East of various kinds, metals, horses, and camels."[204] The Fasti, which compress events, have the following words after the account of the battle of Raphia: "I received the tribute of Pharaoh the king of Egypt, of Samsieh the queen of the Arabs, of Iathamir the Sabæan; gold, herbs, horses, camels."[205] We remember that Samsieh, like the Sabæans, had already paid tribute to Tiglath Pilesar.

The stubborn obstinacy of the Syrians was not broken even by the desolation of Hamath and the battle at Raphia. Building on the assistance of Shabataka of Meroe and Egypt, the son and successor of Sabakon, Ashdod, the city of the Philistines, revolted in the eleventh year of Sargon, i. e. in the year 711 B.C. The hope in Egypt was shared by their neighbours in Judah, Edom, and Moab. But Ashdod was soon invested by the Assyrians and taken, and the invasion of Egypt by the Assyrians was expected in Judah. In Isaiah we are told: "In the year in which Tartan, i. e. the Assyrian general-in-chief, came unto Ashdod, when Sargon sent him, and besieged Ashdod and took it, at that time spoke Jehovah: Go and loose the sackcloth from thy loins, and put off the shoes from thy feet; and Isaiah did so, and walked naked and barefoot. Then spake Jehovah: As my servant Isaiah has walked naked and barefoot three years for a sign and wonder upon Egypt and Ethiopia (Cush), so shall the king of Assyria lead the Egyptians prisoners, and the Ethiopians captives, young and old, naked and barefoot, with their nakedness uncovered, to the shame of Egypt. Then shall they be ashamed of Ethiopia their expectation, and of Egypt their glory. And the inhabitants of these coasts said on the same day: Behold, such is our expectation, whither we fled for help, to be delivered from the king of Assyria: how shall we escape?"[206]

Sargon's annals tell us: "Azuri, the king of Ashdod, lifted up his spirit to disobedience, so as to pay his tribute no longer. He sent messages hostile to Assyria to his neighbours. I bethought me of vengeance, and put another ruler over his land. I raised his brother Achimit to the throne, but the people of the Chatti inclined to rebellion, and were weary of the reign of Achimit, and raised to the throne Yaman, who had no right to it. In the anger of my heart I marched with my warriors against Ashdod. I besieged, I took Ashdod and Gimt-Asdodim; with the gods which inhabit these cities I took the gold, the silver, and all that was in his palace. Then I restored these cities; I placed people whom I had subjugated in them. I put my viceroy over them, treated them as Assyrians, and they were obedient."[207] The much injured inscription of a cylinder informs us that "Sargon, in the ninth year of his reign (713 B.C.), when he had come to the shore of the great sea, and Philistæa, displaced Azuri of Ashdod, because he had hardened his heart to pay tribute no longer, and had sent to the kings, the enemies of Assyria. Before the face of Azuri I exalted his brother Achimit, and laid taxes and tribute on him as on the kings round about him. But the people would not pay taxes and tribute, rebelled against him, and drove him out for the good that he had done them. Yaman, who had no right to the throne, they made their lord, and armed and fortified their cities for war." "The nations ofPhilistæa, Judah, Edom, and Moab, though they brought their tribute and presents to the god Asshur, spoke treachery like their evil kings; in order to fight against me, they sent gifts to Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, a prince who could not save them, and besought his alliance." "I preserved the honour of Asshur; I crossed the Tigris and Euphrates in the height of the flood." "When Yaman heard of my campaign against the land of the Chatti, the fear of Asshur, my lord, overcame him. He fled to the borders of Egypt, to the border-land of Meroe (Miluhhi); to a distant place he fled, and his hiding-place was not discovered."[208] The introduction to the annals of Sargon tells us: "Yaman had misjudged my power; he fled to the borders of the land of Meroe."[209] In the Fasti of Sargon we learn: "Yaman heard of the approach of my army; he fled to a region of Egypt which lies on the border of Meroe: not a trace of him was seen. I besieged, I took Ashdod and Gimt-Asdodim: his gods, his consort, his sons, his treasures, possessions, the costly things of his palace, and all the inhabitants of his land I destined to captivity." The annals tell us at the very beginning: "Yaman of Ashdod, who despised my power, fled into the lands of the South, to the borders of Meroe. The king of Meroe was overcome by the fear of Asshur; he bound his (Yaman's) hands and feet with iron chains, and sent his messengers before my face to Assyria."[210] The Fasti say: "The king of Meroe, in a desolate region, whose fathers had not sent ambassadors to my royal forefathers to entreat for peace—the power of Merodach, a mighty terror, overcame him; fear seized him. He put him (Yaman) in iron chains; he guided his steps to Assyria, and he appeared before me."[211] From these statements it follows, that the army of Egypt, in which Yaman of Ashdod hoped, on whose forces the rest of the cities of the Philistines, Judah, Edom, and Moab reckoned in order to rebel against Assyria, as Isaiah and Sargon told us, never came. It was no doubt again the unexpected celerity with which the Assyrian army appeared before Ashdod in the year 711 B.C. (Sargon has told us already that he crossed the Tigris and Euphrates at the time of the flood), which destroyed all these plans. But the invasion of Egypt and Napata by the Assyrians, which Isaiah expected and announced, did not take place; according to Sargon's statement, Shabataka preferred to avert the attack of the Assyrians by surrendering Yaman.

At the commencement of his annals Sargon tells us, that he imposed tribute on the kings of the land of Yatnan, who dwelt at a distance of seven days' voyage in the sea of the setting sun.[212] The Fasti narrate: "The seven kings of Yatnan, whose names none of the kings, my fathers, nor any one in Assyria and Babylonia, had heard of, received intelligence of my victories in the land of the Chaldæans and the Chatti. My glory spread to the midst of the sea. They bowed their pride; they humbled themselves; they appeared at Babylon before me, and brought gold, silver, vessels, the products of their land." Yatnan is the island of Cyprus; the seven days' journey is the distance from Tyre to Citium, about 150 miles. The payment of the tribute of the seven kings of Cyprus took place in 709 B.C. Hence we may assume that after the punishment of Ashdod and the surrender of Yaman, Sargon's dominion was established in Syria, and that Tyresubmitted like the other cities of the Phenicians. Hence the princes of Cyprus might consider it advisable to pay homage to the king, unless perhaps they sought in him a point of support against Tyre. As a symbol of his dominion over Cyprus, Sargon caused his image to be engraved on a memorial stone in the usual manner, and set it up at Citium in the midst of the island; it is now in the Berlin Museum. The inscription gives the extent of the dominion of Sargon; relates the most important events of his reign; mentions the temples he has built, the offering of the tribute of the seven princes of the land of Yatnan at Babylon—then the erection of the image—and threatens with curses and annihilation those who alter the tablet and change Sargon's name or anything else written on the tablet: if any one attempts such a thing, Nebo and the gods who dwell in the middle of the wide sea will destroy him and his race.[213]


[175]2 Kings xvi. 10-18.

[176]No one can seriously maintain that Ahaz imitated the ritual of the chief enemy of Assyria and Judah, the altar and worship of Rezin, who was moreover now overthrown.

[177]Isa. i. 3, 5-9; ii. 6.

[178]The Books of Kings are only wrong in representing Hoshea as first subject, and paying tribute, to Shalmanesar IV. (xvii. 3).

[179]2 Kings xvii. 4.

[180]Isa. xiv. 29-31.

[181]Isa. xxiii. 1-12.

[182]Isa. xxviii. 1-6.

[183]So must we read for 800; 60 penteconters required 3000; 60 triremes at least 8000 rowers.

[184]"Antiq." 9, 14, 2.

[185]As Samaria was besieged 724-722 B.C., we may place the beginning of the Assyrian war in 726.

[186]Oppert, "Dour Sarkayan," p. 8, 30; "Records of the Past," 7, 28; E. Schrader, "K. A. T." s. 160; Ménant, "Annal." p. 161.

[187]E. Schrader, loc. cit. s. 158; Ménant, "Annal." p. 181.

[188]L. 26, in Ménant, loc. cit. p. 192.

[189]L. 17, in Ménant, p. 200.

[190]2 Kings xvii. 6, 24.

[191]"The Annals of Sargon," Oppert, "Records of the Past," 7, 29.

[192]Oppert, loc. cit. 7, 30.

[193]G. Smith, "Assyr. Canon," p. 125, 126.

[194]Isa. xi. 6-8; 2 Chron. xxx. 6, 10; xxxiv. 9.

[195]2 Kings xvii. 26 ff.

[196]Inscription of Nimrud, in Ménant, loc. cit. p. 205; in E. Schrader, loc. cit. p. 90.

[197]"Annals of Sargon," Oppert, "Records of the Past," 7, 29; G. Smith, loc. cit.

[198]In the great hall No. 8, in Botta. Ménant, p. 182.

[199]Memorial-stone of Larnaka, in Ménant, p. 207; G. Smith, "Assyr. Canon," p. 127.

[200]Oppert, "Records of the Past," 7, 29; E. Schrader, "K. A. T." 258; Ménant, loc. cit. p. 161.

[201]Ménant, loc. cit. p. 159, 192.

[202]E. Schrader, loc. cit. s. 258.

[203]Oppert, "Records of the Past," 7, 34.

[204]Communication from E. Schrader.

[205]E. Schrader, "K. A. T." s. 258; Ménant, loc. cit. p. 181.

[206]Isa. xx. 1 ff.

[207]Oppert, loc. cit. 7, 40; Ménant, p. 169; cf. l. 12 of the inscription on the bulls in Ménant, p. 162.

[208]G. Smith's Cylinder, "Disc." p. 289 ff.

[209]Ménant, p. 159.

[210]Oppert, "Records of the Past," 7, 26.

[211]E. Schrader, "K. A. T." s. 257 ff.; cf. Ménant, loc. cit. p. 186.

[212]Ménant, loc. cit. p. 159.

[213]Ménant, p. 189, 206-208. That the stone cannot have been set up in Babylon before the payment of tribute in 709 B.C., is proved by the mention of the tribute upon it. Cp. G. Smith, "Z. Ægypt. Sprache," 1869, s. 109; 1870, s. 70, 71.

Sennacherib in Syria

When Babylonia rebelled against Sennacherib, immediately after the murder of Sargon; when Merodach Baladan, whom Sargon had deprived of the rule over Babylon, and had finally suffered to remain in South Chaldæa, succeeded in again making himself master of Babylon; when the Aramæans, the tribes of Arabia, Elam, and the land of Ellip had taken up arms against Sennacherib—the regions of Syria also thought of shaking off the yoke of Assyria. The cities of the Phenicians and of the Philistines, the kingdom of Judah, over which king Hezekiah had ruled since the death of Ahaz (728 B.C.), rebelled. The old opponent of Assyria in the East, Merodach Baladan, sought support in the West; the West put hope in the successes of the East: Babylonia and Syria entered into combination.

The Hebrew Scriptures tell us: "Merodach Baladan, the son of Baladan, king of Babel, sent a letter and present to king Hezekiah. And Hezekiah listened to him, and shewed them all his treasure-house, the silver and the gold, the spices, and the precious oil, and all the house of his armour, and all that was found in his treasures: there was nothing that he did not show them in his house, and in his dominion."[270] The request of Merodach Baladan to make common cause with him, which reached Hezekiah in the year 704 B.C.,[271]did not find Judah unprepared. Since Ahaz had purchased the safety of his kingdom before the combined forces of Damascus and Israel, by submission to the dominion of Assyria, Judah had been at peace. In nearly thirty years of peace, which had elapsed since that time, the kingdom had been able to recover her position. The long siege of Samaria, the fall of the kingdom of Israel, were seen by Hezekiah without any movement. But the thought of shaking off one day the yoke of Assyria was not new to him. Sargon has already told us, that at the time when Ashdod rebelled under Yaman (711 B.C.), the Philistines, Edom, Moab and Judah, did indeed pay their tribute, but they thought of treachery, and had sent presents to the king of Egypt (at that time Shabataka, p. 91). Hezekiah had provided armour, weapons and shields in abundance; he could now no doubt show a well-furnished armour-house to the envoys of Merodach Baladan.[272] The neighbours of Judah, the cities of the Philistines, and Sidon among the Phenicians, were prepared to make common cause with Hezekiah. In the deepest secrecy he formed connections with Tirhaka the successor of Shabataka in Egypt and Meroe, and sent him valuable presents.[273] Beside Babylonia, Hezekiah could reckon on Egypt; it was much to the interest of Egypt to nourish the resistance of Syria against Assyria, and to support the Syrians against Sennacherib as soon as they took up arms.

Isaiah most earnestly warned the king and the people of Judah against such a rash enterprise—how could any one hope to withstand the crushing power of the Assyrians? "Woe to the rebellious children," is the cry of the prophet to the king and his counsellors, "that take counsel without Jehovah, and make covenants, not in Jehovah's spirit, that they may add sin to sin; who go down to Egypt and enquire not at the mouth of Jehovah, to protect themselves with the protection of Pharaoh, and trust in the shadow of Egypt! The protection of Pharaoh shall be your shame, and the trust in Egypt your confusion. They will carry their riches on the backs of asses, and their treasures upon the bunches of camels to a people that shall not profit them. Egypt's help is vain and void. I call Egypt a tempest, which sits still. Woe to them that go down to Egypt for help, and stay on horses and on chariots because they are many, but look not unto Jehovah! The Egyptians are men, and not God; and their horses are flesh, and not spirit. The protector stumbles, and the protected falls to earth.[274] But ye are a rebellious people, lying children, and will not hear the command of Jehovah. Ye say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us true things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceit.[275] Beware that your bands be not made stronger.[276] Say not, The overflowing scourge shall not come to us, for we have made lies our refuge, and under deceit we have hid ourselves.[277] The overflowing scourge shall tread you down. The Lord Jehovah, the Holy One of Israel said, In repentance and rest ye shall be saved; in quietness and confidence shall be your strength. But ye said, No; for we will flee upon horses, we will ride upon the swift.[278] Because ye trust in oppression and perverseness your iniquity shall be as a watercourse breaking out against a high wall, whose breaking cometh in an instant.[279] I have heard from Jehovah God of hosts, of a consumption, even determined upon the whole earth."[280]

"Add ye year to year, let the feasts go round, for I will distress Jerusalem, saith Jehovah, and encamp against thee round about, and will lay siege against thee with a mount, and raise forts against thee.[281] The enemy is come to Aiath, he is passed to Migron; at Michmash he hath laid up his carriages. They are gone over the passage; they have taken up their lodging at Geba; Ramah is afraid; Gibeah of Saul is fled. Lift up thy voice, O daughter of Gallim; cause it to be heard unto Laish, O poor Anathoth! Madmenah is removed, and Gebim's inhabitants flee. This day they shall remain in Nob; then he shall shake his hand against the mount of the daughter of Zion, the hill of Jerusalem.[282] What aileth thee now that thou art wholly gone up to the house-tops, thou that art full of stirs, a tumultuous city, a joyous city? Elam bears the quiver, with chariots of men and horsemen, and Kir uncovers the shield. Thy choicest valleys are full of chariots, and the horsemen shall set themselves in array against the gate. The walls are broken down, and there is a sound of crying to the mountains."[283]

We saw how Sennacherib succeeded in forcing Merodach Baladan from Babylon into South Chaldæa, in defeating the Aramæans, in driving back the Elamites, and subjugating the land of Ellip (704 and 703 B.C.). After the rebellion in the East was crushed, he turned, in the year 701 B.C., to Syria, to bring again into obedience the rebellious cities and states.[284] In the inscription on the bulls, and on the cylinders Smith and Taylor,[285] Sennacherib tells us: "In my third campaign I marched against the land of the Chatti (the Syrians). Luli (Elulæus), the king of Sidon, was seized with a mighty terror of my rule, and fled from the West land (acharri ) to Cyprus (Yatnan), in the sea. I reduced his land to subjection. Great Sidon, and Little Sidon, Beth Zitti, Zarephath, Machallib, Achzib, Akko, his fortified cities, the might of my warriors and the terror of Asshur overpowered them. They submitted to me. Tubal (Ithobal) I placed upon the royal throne over them, and the payment of yearly tribute to my kingdom I imposed upon them as a continuous tax. Menahem of Samaria (the second of this name, p. 87), Tubal of Sidon, Abdilit of Aradus, Urumelek of Byblus, Mitinti of Ashdod, Kamosnadab of Moab, Malikram of Edom—all the kings of the West land, brought their costly presents and things of price to me, and kissed my feet. But Zidka of Ascalon, who had not bowed to my yoke, the gods of the house of his fathers, the treasures, his wife, his sons, his daughters I brought to Assyria. Sarludari, the son of Rukibti, their former king, I placed over the people of Ascalon. I imposed upon him the payment of tribute, as the symbol of subjection to my rule, and he rendered obedience. In continuing my campaign I marched against the cities of Zidka, Beth Dagon, Yappa (Joppa), Bene Barak, Azor (Yasur), which had not submitted to my service, I besieged them. I took them and led away their prisoners. The chiefs and the nation of Ekron, who had put Padi their king, who remained true and faithful to Assyria,[286] into iron bonds, and had handed him over to Hezekiah (Chazakiyahu) of Judah, my enemy. Their heart was afraid, for the evil deed which they had done. In the neighbourhood of Eltekeh (Altaku), the battle was drawn out against me; they encouraged their warriors to the contest. In the service of Asshur I fought against them and overpowered them. The charioteers and sons of the king of Egypt, together with the charioteers of the king of Meroe, my hand took prisoners in the midst of the fight. Eltekeh and Timnath (Taamna) I attacked, I took, I carried their prisoners away. I marched against the city of Ekron. The priests,[287] the chiefs, who had caused the rebellion, I put to death; I set their bodies on stakes on the outer wall of the city (the inscription of the bulls says: 'I smote them with the sword'). The inhabitants of the city who had exercised oppression and violence, I set apart to be carried away; to the rest of the inhabitants who had not been guilty of faithlessness and rebellion I proclaimed forgiveness. I brought it about that Padi their king could leave Jerusalem, installed him on his throne of dominion over them, and laid upon him the tribute of my rule. Hezekiah of Judah who did not submit—46 of his fortified cities, and innumerable fortresses and small places in his kingdom I besieged and took. Two hundred thousand one hundred and fifty captives, male and female, horses, mules, asses, camels, oxen, and sheep without number, I took out from them, and declared to be booty of war. Hezekiah himself I shut up like a bird in a cage in Jerusalem (Ursalimma), his royal city. I threw up fortifications and towers against the city; I broke through the exit of the great gate. His cities which I laid waste I separated from his land, and gave them to Mitinti the king of Ashdod, and Padi the king of Ekron, and Ismibil the king of Gaza, and thus I diminished his land. He (Hezekiah) was overcome with fear before my power, and the Urbi (?) and the brave warriors whom he had brought up to Jerusalem for defence inclined to submission. He agreed to pay tribute.[288] Thirty talents of gold, 800 talents of silver, precious stones, chairs of ivory, skins and horns of Amsi, great treasures, his daughters, the servants of his palace, women and men, he sent to Nineveh, my royal abode, and his envoy to pay the tribute and promise submission."[289]

The account of Sennacherib shows that Sidon and Judah stood at the head of the rising in Syria, that the population of the cities of the Philistines was more eager than their princes for war with Assyria. The men of Ascalon had either deposed their prince, who adhered to Assyria, or raised up Zidka, after him, to oppose Assyria. When Padi, the prince of Ekron, would not join the rebellion against Assyria, the chiefs, the priests, and a part of the population of the city, took him prisoner, and handed him over to Hezekiah. We have already seen from the statements of the Hebrews, that Hezekiah had made better preparations for the contest than Hoshea of Israel 25 years before. Not only were weapons and armour ready for the people; the towers and walls of Jerusalem had been improved and strengthened. The defensive work between Zion and the city, Millo, had been secured by new fortifications, a copious conduit brought into the city. When the danger came, the streams and springs round the city were filled up, and an outer wall was carried round the city as a first line of defence. In order to obtain the materials for this, a number of houses were pulled down in the city.[290]

The Books of Kings tell us that "Sennacherib, king of Assyria, came up against all the fortified cities of Judah and took them. Then Hezekiah sent to the king of Assyria to Lachish, and said: I have sinned, depart from me; what thou layest upon me I will bear. Then the king of Assyria laid upon Hezekiah 300 talents of silver and 30 talents of gold. And Hezekiah gave all the silver that was in the house of Jehovah, and in the treasures of the king's house, and cut down the doors and posts of the temple of Jehovah, which he had overlaid, and gave it to the king of Asshur. But the king of Assyria sent Tartan and Rabsaris and Rabshakeh from Lachish with a great army against Jerusalem, and when they were come up, they halted by the conduit of the upper pool which lies by the street of the fuller's field. And they cried to the king. Then there went out to them Eliakim, the overseer of the king's house, and Shebnah the scribe, and Joah the chancellor. And Rabshakeh said to them: Ye trust in the staff of a broken reed, even Egypt, which passes into a man's hand and pierces him who leans upon it. How will ye thrust back a single captain, one of the least of the servants of my master? And Eliakim, Shebnah, and Joah said: Speak to thy servants in Syriac; we understand it; speak not in the Jews' language in the ears of the people that are on the wall. Has my master sent me to thy master and to thee, said Rabshakeh, and not to those who sit on the wall, who, with you, shall eat their dung and drink their water? And Rabshakeh came up and cried with a loud voice, in the Jews' language, towards the wall: Hear the words of the great king, the king of Assyria: If ye will make peace with me,—thus he saith to you,—and come forth, ye shall eat every one of his own vineyard, and fig tree, and drink the water of his well. But the people remained quiet: for the king had given commandment not to answer the Assyrians. And Rabshakeh turned back, and found the king of Assyria warring before Libnah. Here he heard of Tirhaka, king of Ethiopia, that it was said: See, he has come up to contend with thee. And he again sent messengers to Hezekiah, and said: Be not deceived by thy God in whom thou trustest. Have the gods of the nations whom my fathers overthrew saved them—Gozan, and Haran, and Rezeph, and the sons of Eden and Telassar? (p. 6.) Where is the king of Hamath, and the king of Arpad, and the kings of Sepharvaim, Hena, and Iva?"[291]

This account of the Hebrews is confirmed, and supplemented by the inscriptions of Sennacherib, given above. They tell us that the king of Assyria directed his arms first against Sidon. He takes the smaller cities of the coast belonging to Sidon, Zarephath, Achsib, Akko. King Elulæus retires to Cyprus. Sidon opens her gates, and receives a new prince, Ithobal (Tubal), at the hands of Sennacherib. Aradus and Byblus bring tribute. It must have been at the time of this campaign in Syria that Sennacherib caused his image to be engraved on the rocks at the mouth of the Nahr el Kelb, beside the reliefs which Ramses II. had caused to be cut there more than 650 years before. The picture represents him in the usual manner of Assyrian rulers, with the kidaris on his head, the right hand raised, and inscriptions in cuneiform letters beside the hieroglyphs of Ramses. The cuneiform inscription is destroyed to such a degree that only the name of Sennacherib can be read. From the coast of the Phenicians Sennacherib marches to the South, along the sea, against the cities of the Philistines. First, the places subject to Ascalon, Japho, Beth Dagon, Bene Barak, Yasur, are besieged and taken. Matinti, the prince of Ashdod, pays tribute to Sennacherib. Ascalon herself appears to have opened her gates while Zidka escaped, for the inscription only mentions the carrying away of his wife, his sons and daughters. Sarludari, the son of Rukibti, who had previously reigned in Ascalon, and remained loyal to Assyria, was placed on the throne. The prince of Samaria, Menahem II., the princes of Moab and Edom, bring tribute. Sennacherib turns against Ekron: as already remarked, the Ekronites had deposed their prince, Padi, and given him up as a prisoner to Hezekiah. Beside Ekron only Judah remains in arms against Assyria. The account of the Hebrews says that Sennacherib took all the fortified cities in Judah. Sennacherib's account says that he took 46 fortified places, small places without number, and carried away 200,150 men and women. Then, according to the account of the Hebrews, Hezekiah sent to the king of Assyria at Lachish to enter into negotiations.

Hezekiah was terrified by the overthrow of the cities of the Phenicians and Philistines, the subjugation of the remaining princes, and the invasion of his land. As the army of Tirhaka was not yet in Syria, he despaired under such circumstances of maintaining his position, and paid the tribute which Sennacherib required—30 talents of gold, and 300 talents of silver, according to the Hebrew account. The statement of Sennacherib gives 30 talents of gold, and 800 talents of silver. The difference is explained if we may assume that the amount given by Sennacherib is founded on the light Babylonian talent, that of the Hebrews on the heavy Syrian talent; 300 heavy Syrian talents are equivalent to 800 light Babylonian talents.[292] If Sennacherib states further that he "brought Padi out of Jerusalem" (p. 126), he, no doubt, required and obtained the surrender of Padi besides the tribute in this negotiation with Hezekiah. But Sennacherib was not content with this demand. It is clear that when the tribute had been paid, and Padi given up, he made the further request to open the gates of Jerusalem. This Hezekiah refused. The siege of Jerusalem, which Hezekiah had sought to avert, commenced. "I shut him up," says Sennacherib, "in Jerusalem, like a bird in a cage."

As the account of the Hebrews shows, Sennacherib did not appear himself in person at Jerusalem.Hezekiah's envoys find him at Lachish, in the south of Judah. A relief of the palace of Sennacherib at Kuyundshik (p. 106) shows us the king in the camp at Lachish. With two arrows in the right, and the bow in the left hand, he sits in the tent, on a high and richly-adorned chair; two eunuchs with fans are behind him, fanning him; before him is a general, and behind the latter, curly-haired and bearded prisoners, and women among them.[293] The upper inscription says: "Tent of Sennacherib, king of the land of Asshur." The lower inscription says: "Sennacherib, king of the nations, king of the land of Asshur, sits on an exalted throne, to receive the booty from Lachish."[294] As we gathered from his inscriptions, Sennacherib marched along the coast from Sidon to the south; he had passed beyond Japho, when the resistance of Ekron checked him. In order to bring Ashdod and Ascalon to obedience, and to await the approach of Tirhaka, Sennacherib encamped at Lachish, to cover the siege of Ekron, and beat back the Egyptians and Ethiopians who, according to his account, marched to the aid of Ekron. In order to avoid having any enemy in the rear at the time of Tirhaka's arrival, he sends his commander-in-chief, Tartan, with a part of his army, to invade Judah. He was so far successful that Hezekiah paid tribute and surrendered Padi. The surrender of Jerusalem did not take place. He now caused Jerusalem to be invested. Under these circumstances the approach of the Assyrians did not take place, as Isaiah had announced, from the north, through the pass of Michmash, but from the south. When arrived before Jerusalem, the leaders of the Assyrians begin to negotiate; they demand the surrender of the city, "the hope in Egypt is vain." As they failed to produce an effect on the emissaries of Hezekiah, they attempt to entice the soldiers on the wall to desert. In order to lend force to the negotiations the siege is commenced. Meanwhile the Egyptians come nearer; Sennacherib goes back to Libnah, and the renewed negotiations, which according to the statements of the Hebrews he here commences with Hezekiah, show how anxious he was to get Jerusalem into his hands. As the negotiations failed, he was compelled to attempt to gain the city by assault, by trenches, and besieging towers.

Isaiah had proclaimed the day of judgment with more earnestness than any prophet before him. None of them had set himself with such force to take away every support from the feeling of self-confidence. The Jews were to look forward with fear and trembling to the day of judgment, that they might learn to trust in Jehovah alone, and from this renovation of the heart might spring into blossom the new and better time—the new kingdom. When all splendour and wealth is destroyed; when the chiefs and the warriors are overthrown; when "the sinners in Zion quake, and trembling seizes the godless;" when "the Lord has thus washed away the lewdness of the daughter of Zion,"[295] and "purged away the dross as with lye," then "he will be very gracious to his people which dwelleth in Zion, at the voice of her cry; when he shall hear it, he will answer thee."[296] But Isaiah had not proclaimed the coming judgment for Judah only; he had announced without ceasing, that no earthly power, however great and proud it might be, could stand before Jehovah. In his lofty conception the judgment over Israel became a judgment over the whole world, from the cleansing punishment of which would arise the new and true religion for all, a new life in the fear of God and in piety, in righteousness and peace. "The day of the Lord of hosts," he says, "shall be upon every thing that is proud and lofty, and upon every thing that is lifted up; and it shall be brought low; and upon all the cedars of Lebanon, and all the oaks of Bashan, upon all the high mountains, and lofty towers, and upon every fenced wall, and upon all the ships of Tarshish, and all costly pictures. The loftiness of man shall be bowed down, and the haughtiness of men, and their idols of silver and gold they shall cast down to the moles and the bats, and Jehovah alone shall be exalted in that day."[297] Thus Egypt and Ethiopia also will be smitten, and at length the line will reach even the scourge with which Jehovah has punished the sins of the others, even the Assyrians. This great day of judgment, "which avenges their misdeeds on the inhabitants of the earth," is followed by the restoration, for Jehovah "smites and heals."[298] As the exiles of Israel shall return from Asshur and the lost from Egypt (the Israelites who had fled thither before Sargon), and Israel's power shall be restored, so will Assyria and Egypt be restored, and Jehovah will say: "Blessed be Egypt my people, and Assyria, the work of my hands, and Israel my inheritance."[299] The standard of Jehovah will be planted on the hill of Zion, and under this banner the people shall assemble. "All nations shall come to the mount of Jehovah to learn the way of Jehovah, and walk in his paths, for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of Jehovah from Jerusalem. Then will Jehovah judge among the nations, and the work of righteousness is peace, and the fruit of righteousness is rest, so that the nations will beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning-hooks. Nation shall not raise up sword against nation, nor shall they learn war any more.[300] The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid. The cow and the lioness shall feed together; the lion shall eat straw like the ox; the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp."[301] But in order that this happy time, "which shall be full of the knowledge of Jehovah as the waters cover the sea," may be brought on, Jehovah's worship must be maintained by a remnant of the people which he has chosen, to which he announced his will since the days of the patriarchs. Isaiah was, therefore, firmly convinced that Zion and the temple of Jehovah, "in which he had founded a precious corner-stone," could not perish;—that "from Jerusalem a remnant would go forth, and the ransomed from Mount Zion." As Jehovah had punished Israel only in measure [302] by carrying the people away into captivity, but had turned aside the complete annihilation of the people, so Isaiah firmly believed that in the present instance also Judah would not be entirely destroyed, that Jerusalem would not be taken, and the judgment of Jehovah would be accomplished by the harrying and devastation of the whole land by the Assyrians, and the capture of the remaining cities. This hope was in him the more surely founded as Hezekiah worshipped Jehovah with zeal and earnestness.

Though the cities of Judah were lost, and Sennacherib lay in the south of Judah with a mighty army, though hundreds of thousands had been carried away, and Jerusalem itself was now shut up, Isaiah was nevertheless more zealous and earnest in urging the people and the king to resistance than he had previously been in advising them to desist from the undertaking. The line of destruction would soon reach the Assyrians, they would not march into Jerusalem; Jehovah would rescue the remnant of Judah. "Lo! the Assyrian," thus Isaiah represents Jehovah as saying, "the rod of mine anger and the staff of mine indignation is in his hand. Against the people of my wrath I will send him to take the spoil, and to tread them down like the mire of the street.[303] But it shall come to pass that when the Lord hath performed his whole work upon Mount Zion and on Jerusalem, I will punish the fruit of the stout heart of the king of Assyria, and the glory of his high looks. For he saith: I have removed the bounds of the people, and have robbed their treasures, and I have put down the princes like a valiant man. My hand hath found as a nest the riches of the people, and as one gathereth eggs that are left, have I gathered all the earth; there was none that moved the wing, or opened the mouth, or peeped. By the strength of my hand I have done it, and by my wisdom, for I am prudent. Shall I not, as I have done to Samaria and her idols, so do to Jerusalem and her idols? Shall the axe boast againsthim that heweth therewith; or shall the saw magnify itself against him that shaketh it? As if the rod led him that bears it, or the staff raised the man. Therefore the Lord of hosts will send a blight upon his fatness, and a firebrand will destroy his splendour, and diminish the glory of his forest and his fruitful field, and the remnant of the trees will be so few, that a child may write them.[304] When thou shalt cease to desolate, thou shalt be desolated: when thou shalt make an end to plunder, they shall plunder thee.[305] Jehovah hath determined it from the days of old, and from distant times he hath established it. I have suffered it to take place that the Assyrian destroyed the cities and made them heaps of ruins, and that their inhabitants were put to shame, of small power, as grass of the field. But I know the insolence of the mighty, and his going out and coming in, saith Jehovah. For the sake of his insolence, and because his tumult has come up into my ears, I will put my ring in his nose, and my bit in his mouth, and carry him back on the way that he came. O my people that dwelleth in Zion, be not afraid of the Assyrian. He smote thee with the rod, and lifted up his staff against thee. Yet a little while and my indignation shall cease, and mine anger shall turn to their destruction, and in that day his burden shall be taken from thy shoulder, and his yoke from thy back.[306]The king of Assyria shall not come into this city, nor shoot an arrow there, nor come before it with a shield, nor cast a bank against it. By the way that he came, by the same shall he return. And I will defend this city to save it for my own sake, and for the sake of my servant David.[307] As I have purposed so shall it come to pass. I will break the Assyrian in my land, and tread him under foot.[308] Lo! a noise of many nations, which make a noise like the sound of mighty waters. But Jehovah shall rebuke them, and they shall flee far off, and shall be chased as the whirling dust before the wind. And behold at evening trouble, and before the morning they are not. This is the portion of them that spoil us, and the lot of them that rob us."[309]

No doubt the Assyrians threw up trenches and besieging towers round the city; no doubt they endeavoured to destroy the walls and gates. But Jerusalem was saved. The army of Tirhaka, though it appeared very late in Syria, did not fail to come. Sennacherib had time to bring the siege of Ekron to an end, to execute the leaders of the rebellion, to carry away a part of the population, and set up Padi again as the prince of Ekron (p. 127), before the Egyptians and Ethiopians came. He retired before their approach from Libnah to Timnath and Eltekeh, in order, no doubt, to be nearer the part of his army which was besieging Jerusalem, and to be able to withdraw troops from it for the decisive battle. Of this battle, which took place near Eltekeh, he tells us that he was victorious in it; that he took captive charioteers and sons of the princes of Egypt, and charioteers of the king of Meroe in the conflict. But while in other cases the hostile king is invariably mentioned by name, Tirhaka's name is wanting; Sennacherib speaks quite vaguely of the kings of Egypt (sarrani mat Mussuri ) and the king of Meroe (sar mat Miluhhi ), who came to aid Ekron, of sons of the kings of Egypt, of charioteers of the kings of Meroe, whom he captured; captive sons of princes are also mentioned elsewhere in the inscriptions. Further, Sennacherib does not tell us, as is usual elsewhere, how many of the enemy were killed, how many prisoners he took, that the enemy fled, and that he pursued them. If we add to this that the siege of Jerusalem ends suddenly according to the account of the Hebrews, that Sennacherib's army did not appear afterwards in Syria, although he sat for 20 years on the throne of Assyria after this battle, we cannot fail to see that Sennacherib, if not completely defeated at Eltekeh, must have suffered the severest losses—losses of such weight that they compelled him to retire immediately after the battle, and break off the siege of Jerusalem on the spot.

This result Sennacherib's inscriptions conceal by speaking very vaguely of the enemy, and bringing into prominence some captures, which may have been effected even by the defeated side in the battle. This concealment was aided by the fact that the rulers who rose again in the districts of Egypt under Sabakon—the "hereditary lords," who maintained themselves under Sabakon's successors—could be described as kings, while their sovereign, Tirhaka, could be kept in the background, and made to appear as the king of Meroe. Of more importance is the attempt in the annals to give the appearance of a favourable issue to the campaign in Syria, by altering the chronology of the events. They represent that, which took place before the battle of Eltekeh, as taking place after it; the invasion of Judah, the negotiations with Hezekiah, his payment of tribute, which according to the account of the Hebrews took place before the battle at Eltekeh, when Sennacherib was at Lachish, they put after the battle, so that Sennacherib's campaign appears to close with the submission of Hezekiah. The inscriptions do not give any false facts: they even mention the attempt to seduce the soldiers of Hezekiah, saying that "the good warriors, whom he had brought to Jerusalem for defence, were inclined to submission;" they only alter the order, and represent the capture of Ekron, the shutting up and siege of Jerusalem, the division of the land in the south of Judah among Ashdod, Ekron, and Gaza, and, finally, the payment of tribute by Hezekiah, as coming after the battle of Eltekeh, whereas these events preceded it; and in their usual manner they exaggerate the payments of Hezekiah, when they represent him as sending "his daughters" to Nineveh. That the inscription of Nebbi Yunus mentions the subjugation of the land of Judah (Jehuda) and its king Hezekiah (Chazakiyahu), beside the dethronement of Luli of Sidon,[310] has no basis beyond the tribute of 330 talents.

To the Hebrews the rescue from the most grievous distress, the sudden departure of the Assyrians from the walls of Jerusalem, could appear only as a decree of Jehovah, as the work of his mighty arm. When Isaiah announced to Hezekiah the word of Jehovah: "I will protect this city, and save it for my own and my servant David's sake"—the Books of the Kings continue—"It came to pass in the selfsame night that the angel of Jehovah went out, and slew in the camp of the Assyrians 185,000 men.[311] And when they arose in the morning, behold, they were all dead corpses. Then Sennacherib departed, and went and returned, and dwelt in Nineveh." In most complete contrast to his father Ahaz, who had sacrificed his son to Moloch, and altered the arrangements of the temple at Jerusalem after an Assyrian model (p. 78), Hezekiah was sincerely devoted to the worship of Jehovah. He had "removed the high places, broken the pillars, and destroyed the Astartes;" he had made thorough regulations for the purification, arrangement, and elevation of the worship, and taken measures for the better maintenance of the priests and Levites.[312] The revision by the prophetic hand, in which we possess the Books of Kings, naturally derives all the misery which fell upon Israel and Judah from the idolatry of the kings, who for this reason, no doubt, are made to sacrifice on the hills more frequently than was really the case, to offer incense to strange gods, and pray to all the host of heaven. The more easy was it, on the other hand, to believe that the sudden, most unhoped-for rescue of the pious king was brought about by the direct interposition of Jehovah, and the announcement of the great prophet fulfilled on the spot.

The priests of Memphis, or the interpreter, gave the following account of the meeting of Sennacherib and the Egyptians to Herodotus: Sethos, a priest of Hephæstus (of Ptah of Memphis), ruled over Egypt, when Sanacheribus, the king of the Arabs and Assyrians, led a great army against Egypt. Of the warriors in Egypt none would go against him, for Sethos had despised them, as though he had no need of them, treated them badly, and taken away the plots of land which they had possessed under former kings. In despair Sethos lamented in the temple before the image of the god, and the god appeared to him in a dream, and bade him be of good courage; he would suffer no harm if he marched out against the enemies; the god would himself send him helpers. So Sethos marched out with those who would follow of their own will—none of the warriors followed—and pitched his camp near Pelusium. Then field-mice spread over the camp of the enemies, and gnawed to pieces their quivers, their bows, and shield-handles; and when on the next morning they fled away without arms, many of them were slain. "And now this king," so Herodotus concludes his narrative, "stands in stone in the temple of Hephæstus (of Ptah), with a mouse in his hand, and says by his inscription—'Look on me, and be pious.'"[313] Neither the list of Manetho nor the monuments mention or know a priest Sethos of Memphis, who ruled over Egypt in the days of Sennacherib. The opponent of Sennacherib from the Nile, whose name is passed over in his inscriptions, was Tirhaka, the king of Napata and Egypt, as the Hebrews tell us, and the statement has been already confirmed by the monuments of Egypt.


[270]2 Kings xx. 12.

[271]Merodach Baladan was, as has been shown (p. 113), driven out of Babylon in the year 703 B.C.; it is certain that he was ruler there in 704 B.C. If the Books of the Kings do not mention his embassy to Hezekiah till after the siege of Jerusalem by the Assyrians, they show by the announcement of Isaiah to Hezekiah, which they put after the embassy of Merodach Baladan thus: "He will be saved out of the hand of the Assyrians" (2, xx. 6), that the embassy was at Jerusalem before the campaign of Sennacherib; cf. Isa. xxxix.

[272]Isa. xxii. 2; 2 Chron. xxxii. 4, 5.

[273]Isa. xxx. 2, 3, 6.

[274]Isa. xxxi. 1-3.

[275]Isa. xxx. 9, 10.

[276]Isa. xxviii. 12.

[277]Isa. xxviii. 15. The deceit is no doubt to be explained by the secrecy of the negotiations with Egypt.

[278]Isa. xxx. 15, 16.

[279]Isa. xxx. 12, 13.

[280]Isa. xxviii. 22.

[281]Isa. xxix. 1.

[282]Isa. x. 28-32.

[283]Isa. xxi. 1, 2, 5-7.

[284]It is the third warlike enterprise of Sennacherib, which for the following reasons cannot be placed earlier than 702 B.C. The cylinder Bellino dates from the seventh month of the third year of Sennacherib, i. e. from the year 703 / 702; it concludes with the subjugation of Ellip and the tribute of the Medes. Sennacherib, therefore, may have first marched to Syria in the year 701 B.C.The inscription of the bulls narrates this campaign, which extends to the establishment of Assurnadin in Babylon; so the cylinder Smith, which dates from the year 697 B.C. Hence, as the year of Hezekiah's accession is fixed for the year 728 B.C. (p. 16, n.), the siege of Jerusalem does not fall in the fourteenth year of Hezekiah, in which the Books of Kings place it, but in the twenty-eighth year.

[285]I combine these three accounts, which differ but little from each other.

[286]Cylinder Smith, "Disc." p. 304.

[287]G. Smith, "Disc." p. 304.

[288]Inscription of the bulls in E. Schrader, "K. A. T." l. 31, s. 187.

[289]E. Schrader, "K. A. T." 171 ff. G. Smith, "Disc." p. 303 ff. Rodwell, "Records of the Past," 7, 61 ff.

[290]Isa. xxii. 9, 10, 11.

[291]2 Kings xviii. 13 ff.; 2 Kings xix. 8-13; Isa. xxxvi., xxxvii.; 2 Chron. xxxii.

[292]Brandis, "Münzwesen," s. 98.

[293]Room 36, in Layard.

[294]E. Schrader, "K. A. T." s. 170.

[295]Isa. i. 25.

[296]Isa. xxx. 19.

[297]Isa. ii. 12-22.

[298]Isa. xix. 22.

[299]Isa. xix. 25.

[300]Isa. ii. 3, 4.

[301]Isa. xi. 6-8; cf. xxv. 6-12; xxxv. 5-10. The ideas of the happy future are not quite consistent in Isaiah. If in one place he extends the peace of the world down to the beasts of prey, in others he represents the restored kingdom of David, the united Ephraim and Judah, as "oppressing their oppressors." "Judah will be a terror for Egypt" (xix. 17), and the Israelites will "flee to the sea on the shoulders of the Philistines: together they will plunder the sons of the East, and subjugate Edom, Moab, and Ammon" (xi. 14). In the same way the new king of the race of David, who will then rule, appears to him at one time gifted with the strength of David, and is again described as participating in the Divine nature, and passes into a general picture of the happy future.

[302]Isa. xxvii. 8.

[303]Isa. x. 5, 6.

[304]Isa. x. 7-18.

[305]Isa. xxxiii. 1.

[306]Isa. x. 24-27.

[307]2 Kings xix. 25-33; Isa. xxxvi., xxxvii. 1-34.

[308]Isa. xiv. 24-27.

[309]Isa. xvii. 12-14.

[310]In Ménant, "Annal." p. 231.

[311]2 Kings xix. 35, 36.

[312]2 Kings xviii. 4.

[313]Herod. 2, 141.

Assurbanipal's Wars and Victories

In his last years Esarhaddon had raised his son Assurbanipal to be co-regent with himself.[355] Shortly before his death, which overtook him in the year 668 B.C. after a short but eventful reign of 13 years, he appears to have given up the government entirely to him.[356] Immediately after his accession the new prince received the intelligence that Tirhaka, whom his father had driven out of Egypt into Napata, had invaded Egypt, and taken Memphis, that the princes whom Esarhaddon had entrusted with the government of Egypt had fled before Tirhaka into the desert.[357] Assurbanipal collected his army in order to maintain Egypt. In Syria he received the homage of the princes of that land and of Cyprus, who had brought tribute and had been subject to his father. These were the lords of the states mentioned in the inscriptions of Esarhaddon,—the princes of Tyre, Judah, Edom, Moab, Gaza, Ascalon, Ekron, Byblus, Arvad; with the exception of Baal of Tyre (p. 156), their names are broken out of the inscription (Cylinder C); the three last states of Syria, found in the list of Esarhaddon, Samaria, Ammon, and Ashdod, are also wanting here. Then follow the kings of Cyprus, in which the cities and the persons are those of the list of Esarhaddon; only the three first are wanting. But as the whole number is again put at 22 princes of the land of the coast and the sea, we may conclude with certainty that from the year 672 B.C.—since the rebellion and re-installation of Baal of Tyre, and Manasses of Judah, there had been no movements and changes in Syria.

Assurbanipal informs us that he went down from Syria to Egypt; at Karbanit he met the army of Tirhaka, and drove it out of the field. When Tirhaka heard of this at Memphis, he retired to Thebes. Assurbanipal pursued him, took the city, and caused his army to encamp in it; he restored the 20 princes to whom his father had given the districts of Egypt, left behind a portion of his army, and returned to Nineveh with rich booty (668 B.C.).[358] Tirhaka was again forced back to Napata,[359] but the dominion of Assyria was not yet firmly established in Egypt. Assurbanipal may have imposed heavier duties on the rulers of the districts; the continued stay of Assyrian troops in Egypt may have appeared too burdensome and oppressive. Whatever the motive, some of these vassals entered into secret communication with Tirhaka; at their head was Necho, the chief of the most important districts, Memphis and Sais, and with him Sarludari of Zihinu, and Pakruru of Pisaptu. They intended to return from the vassalage of Assyria to the vassalage of Napata; they invited Tirhaka to return to Egypt and again seize the sovereign power. The condition would without doubt be that Tirhaka should continue them in their rule over the cities and districts which Esarhaddon and Assurbanipal had given over to them. But the leaders of the Assyrian troops captured their messenger, caused Necho, Sarludari, and Pakruru to be arrested, put them in chains, and sent them to Nineveh. The Assyrians took Memphis, Mendes (Ben-didi), and Tanis (Zanu, Zoan), cut down the inhabitants who resisted, and broke the towers on their walls. Tirhaka retired before the Assyrian troops to Napata.

It appears that Assurbanipal attempted to give other supports than mere force of arms to his rule over the distant Egypt. He released Necho from his bonds, restored to him the government of Sais, and gave to his son Neboshezban the government of the canton of Athribis: "I continued to extend to them," he tells us, "the kindness and favour which my father had shown them." Even these means were soon found to be insufficient. Tirhaka's days came to an end. He was succeeded on the throne of Napata by Urdamane, whom Assurbanipal calls a son of Sabakon (Sabaku). He set out to restore the dominion of Ethiopia over Egypt; he won Thebes, defeated the Assyrian troops before Memphis, shut up the defeated army in Memphis, and took them prisoners. "A messenger went in haste to Nineveh" to bring to the king the intelligence of these grievous disasters.[360]

Assurbanipal set out for Egypt in person, to make good the blow which the arms of Assyria had received, to restore the prestige and dread of his power. When he had crossed the borders of Egypt, Urdamane left Memphis in order to return to Thebes. "The princes and viceroys whom I had placed over Egypt, came before my face and kissed my feet," so Assurbanipal tells us. "I pursued Urdamane and came to Thebes; he fled at the approach of my mighty army. I took the city of Thebes; silver, gold, precious stones, the treasures of the palace, men and women, two great obelisks, which stood before the gates of the temple, engraved with beautiful sculptures; a great and innumerable booty I carried away from Thebes (Niha) to Assyria. I made my warriors march over Egypt and Cush, and won glory."[361] "No-Ammon (Thebes) was situate among the rivers,"—so the prophet Nahum describes the capture and desolation of Thebes by Assurbanipal and the Assyrians,—"with waters round about her, whose rampart was the stream, and her walls the stream. Ethiopia (Cush) mighty in numbers, and Egyptians endless in multitude, Phut (Arabians) and Libyans (Lubim) were her helpers. Yet she went forth into misery and captivity; her children were dashed to pieces at the tops of all the streets. They cast lots for her honourable men, and all her great men were bound in chains."[362]

The repeated attempts of Tirhaka and his successor to re-establish the government over Egypt from Napata were wrecked. After the capture and sack of Thebes, which we can place in the year 663 B.C.,[363]Assurbanipal sought further to secure the obedience of Egypt by settlers, whom he brought there from conquered lands.[364] From that time, for at least ten years, Egypt remained in his possession without any disturbance. But in spite of this establishment of the Assyrian dominion in Egypt Assurbanipal had again, in the next few years, to quell rebellions in Syria. Tyre and Aradus attempted to regain their independence, an attempt at defection, which could now have even a less chance of success than when Egypt stood unbroken under the Ethiopians. Baal, king of Tyre, who had already rebelled against Esarhaddon, and was afterwards pardoned and restored, who subsequently paid his tribute with all obedience, now took up arms anew, ten years after his first rebellion. Assurbanipal's third war was directed against Tyre and Aradus. He tells us that the fortresses of king Baal were taken, that he cut off all exit from Tyre, and compelled the inhabitants to drink the water of the sea, that he brought about their submission by a close investment. When Baal had given up his son, his daughters, and the daughters of his brothers, with a considerable tribute, he was again replaced in his dominion.[365] The king of Arvad, also Yakinlu, "who dwelt in the sea" (the city of Arvad lay on an island off the coast, II. 277), was compelled to submit; he sent his daughter with many presents to Nineveh for the harem of the king, and kissed Assurbanipal's feet; after his death the government of Arvad was entrusted to Azibaal, a son of Yakinlu.

Assurbanipal's power and supremacy reached far to the west beyond Syria. He tells us that Mugallu, the king of the Tibarenes, and Sandasarmi of Cilicia, who had not obeyed his predecessors, sent their daughters to Nineveh, and kissed his feet. Gyges (Gugu) also, the king of Lydia, "a land, the name of which my father had not heard," says Assurbanipal, sent a message to Nineveh. Gyges had obtained the throne of Lydia by violence; he was opposed by a strong party who adhered to the old royal family which he had overthrown; and it was not in domestic matters only that he found himself in difficulties. The Cimmerians who had invaded Asia Minor and were settled there on the lower Halys, who, as Esarhaddon told us, recognised his supremacy (p. 151), had forced their way from thence to Phrygia and Lydia. Gyges obviously sought support in Assyria, the strong neighbour of the Cimmerians, as soon as and as long as Tubal and Cilicia obeyed the king of Asshur. The inscriptions of Assurbanipal tell us that Gyges promised obedience to him and brought tribute.[366] Thus the supremacy of Assyria reached the west of Asia Minor, the coasts of the Ægean Sea (about 660 B.C.).

The next campaigns of the king were directed to the north. Achsheri, king of Minni, had kept back his tribute. The Assyrians traversed and desolated his land in two successive invasions; Achsheri's own subjects rose against him, and slew him; his son Ualli submitted, sent his daughter to Nineveh, and paid the tribute which had been kept back, and which Assurbanipal increased by 30 horses.[367] Sarduri, king of the neighbouring Ararat (Urarti), sent rich presents, and acknowledged the supremacy of Assyria. The rebellion of Birizchadri, a chief of the Medes, and of the two sons of Gagi, a chief of the Sacae (Sachi), Sariti and Pariza was defeated; 75 fortified places were taken; the three rebels were taken prisoners and carried to Nineveh.[368]

Assurbanipal bestowed especial attention on Babylonia, the government of which he had entrusted to his younger brother Samul-sum-ukin (Samuges in Abydenus, Saosduchinus in the canon of Ptolemy).[369] He tells us that here also he had continued the building of the temples which his father had begun, that he built at Bit Saggatu at Babel, and erected four silver bulls at the gate of the temple of Bit Zida at Borsippa, that he had adorned the abodes of Bel and Bilit. A brick found at Babylon bears the inscription, "to the god Merodach, my lord, Assurbanipal, king of Assyria, king of Babylon."[370] When Urtaki, king of Elam (he had succeeded his brother Ummanaldas I. on the throne there), invaded Babylonia, Samul-sum-ukin called on his brother for assistance; the Elamites were already encamped before the walls of Babylon.[371] "To protect Bel and Nebo, my gods, whom I served," says Assurbanipal, "I gathered together my warriors." The Elamites were driven back to their borders. Not long after this failure Urtaki, king of Elam, died, and the third brother of Ummanaldas and Urtaki, Teumman, ascended the throne. The sons of the two elder brothers, the sons of Ummanaldas, and the sons of Urtaki (the latter were called Ummanigas and Tammaritu) were afraid that Teumman would cause them to be removed out of his way, in order to secure the succession for his own sons, and fled to Assyria.[372] Teumman demanded that they should be given up. Assurbanipal refused; and when in consequence Teumman declared war and invaded Assyria, Assurbanipal sacrificed to the war-goddess Istar at her abode in Arbela, "the city of the joy of her heart," and prayed: "O thou goddess of goddesses, dreadful in battle, goddess of war, queen of the gods, rejoice the heart of Asshur; strike down Teumman and destroy him. And the goddess heard my prayer and said: Fear not; I will grant thee favour." But in that night Istar appeared in a dream to the seer, with her bow in her hand, and announced that the enemy would not remain; in the midst of the battle she would protect the king of Asshur.[373] Assurbanipal went against Elam in his fifth war, which he led in person. Teumman retired before theAssyrians, and awaited the attack of their army in a position at Eulæus (Ulai), in the neighbourhood of Susa. The Assyrians, and with them the sons of Urtaki, Ummanigas and Tammaritu, fought with success. Teumman, wounded in the battle, fled with his eldest son; the chariot broke down in the forest; they were taken and slain. Assurbanipal placed Ummanigas on the throne of Susa. A relief in the palace of Assurbanipal depicts the enthronement of Ummanigas at Madaktu and Susa by an Assyrian officer.[374]Chidalu, a part of Elam, which hitherto had been ruled over by Istar-Nandi—the East of Elam apparently—was handed over to Tammaritu. Teumman's head was seen at the entrance of Assurbanipal into Nineveh: it was placed on the great gate of that city (about 655 B.C.).[375]

Assurbanipal had carried off one success upon another; he was master of Egypt, received tribute from Lydia, and placed kings over Elam at his pleasure, when the rebellion of his brother Samul-sum-ukin in Babylon threatened to overthrow the foundations of the kingdom. Eager to reign independently, Samul-sum-ukin opened the treasures of the temples of Bel at Babylon, of Nebo at Borsippa, of Nergal at Kutha, and sent rich presents to Ummanigas, whom Assurbanipal had raised to the throne of Elam not long before, in order to incite him to take up arms against Assyria and to secure the aid of Elam. Ummanigas took his side.[376] Samul-sum-ukin also called on the districts on the Euphrates and Tigris to join him. In vain did the prefects of Erech, Amida, and Arapha attempt to check the rebellion. The children of Babylon forgot the favour shown to them, says Assurbanipal, the temples which he had restored and adorned with silver and gold; the inhabitants of Sippara, Babylon, Borsippa, Kutha disregarded their brotherhood, and took up arms against him. The signal given by the king's own brother was followed by the Arabians, Syrians, and Lydians. "That faithless brother, Samul-sum-ukin, led astray the inhabitants of Accad, of Chaldæa, of Aram, and of the sea coast, my tributary subjects, to rebel against me. The princes (sarri ) of the land of Guti, of the land of the West (mat acharri ), of Miluhhi, which my hands brought into submission, all these he seduced to fall from me, they took his side:" such is the statement of Assurbanipal.[377]

This rising was all the more dangerous, as some of the vassal-princes of Egypt thought it a favourable moment for throwing off the yoke of Assyria. The son of the Necho, whom in spite of his conspiracy with Tirhaka Assurbanipal had a second time made prince of Sais, Neboshezban, who was then ruler of the canton of Athribis, and after the death of his father Necho, which occurred in the mean time (Necho died shortly before, or in, the year 664 B.C.),[378] succeeded him as prince of Sais, was at the head of this movement. Assurbanipal tells us that Gyges of Lydia sent aid to Pisamilki, the prince (Sar ) of Muzur, who had cast off the yoke of his rule.[379] In this Pisamilki we may recognise the Psammetichus of the Greeks, the Psamtik of the Egyptians, the son of Necho of Sais, the same person whom Assurbanipal, when he mentions the restoration of Necho and his son, calls by the Assyrian name of Neboshezban. When the failure of that attempt had made Necho and his son captives of Assyria, the important point was to give pledges to the king of Assyria that the fidelity of his vassals would not again be broken. The Egyptian tradition of the rise of Psammetichus, preserved for us by Herodotus and Diodorus, ought not to have more weight than that Assyrian name against the identity of Pisamilki and Psammetichus. That tradition knows of nothing but contests of Psammetichus with his fellow-princes, not with the Assyrians; like Manetho's list of kings, it is absolutely silent about the Assyrians, because it wishes to conceal the fact that the Assyrians ever had dominion over Egypt. The tradition of Egypt imagines a voluntary retirement of the king of Ethiopia, or his abdication of the government of Egypt, and then represents the Egyptians as setting up 12 princes in the place of one: we have already seen that 20 were set up by Esarhaddon, and retained by Assurbanipal. Manetho's list says nothing either of the Assyrian dominion, or of the twelve; in it the rule of the last Ethiopian is followed by the dynasty of the Saites, two forefathers of Necho, and then by Necho and Psammetichus. The sepulchres of the Apis show, that as a fact, the dates were differently fixed in the seventh century B.C. in Egypt. Even then the kings of Assyria were disregarded; the reign of the Ethiopian Tirhaka is followed immediately by the reign of Psammetichus. The struggles which Psammetichus had to undergo with his fellow-princes, of which Herodotus, Diodorus, and Strabo tell us, were, as a fact, contests with those among the princes who adhered to Assyria, who would not follow the lead of Psammetichus against Assyria, and submit to his rule over Egypt.

The rebellion of Samul-sum-ukin appeared to tear from its lines the whole structure of the Assyrian supremacy. But Assurbanipal knew how to cope with serious danger: deep-seated confusion in Elam made his task easier. Thus he succeeded in this sixth war in driving his brother's army out of the field. He besieged Sippara and Kutha. Against Ummanigas of Elam, who, though placed there by Assurbanipal himself, was now an ally of Samul-sum-ukin, his own son Tammaritu rose in rebellion. He slew his father, but persisted in the war against Assyria, which his father had begun. He marched out to aid Samul-sum-ukin; in the middle of the war Indabigas, one of his servants, rebelled against him; Tammaritu found it necessary to seek the protection of his enemy Assurbanipal. Thus Samul-sum-ukin's hope in the help of Elam vanished. After Sippara, Kutha, and Borsippa had fallen, Babylon was shut up. The famine in the city was so great that "they ate the flesh of their sons and their daughters," as Assurbanipal tells us. Of the death of his brother he tells us: Asshur, Sin, Samas, Bin, Bel, Nebo, and Istar thrust him into burning fire, and destroyed his life. Assurbanipal's punishments were fearful. He had the tongues torn out of those who spoke against him; even those of the offenders who escaped the famine and the burning fire, did not get away free; they were slain or reduced to slavery. But he spared the remainder of the sons of Babylon, Kutha, and Sippara. On the people of Accad, on the portion of the Chaldæans and Aramæans, and those of the sea coast who had taken the side of Samul-sum-ukin, he again placed the yoke of Asshur. A relief of the palace of Assurbanipal exhibits him on the chariot of war, with prisoners and booty before him. The inscription says: the king commands the coronation robe of Samulsum-ukin, his garments, his wives, his chariots, his captains, his warriors, and his slaves to be brought before him.[380]

After thus suppressing the rising of the Babylonians, Assurbanipal directed the whole of his forces to the subjugation of Elam. The domestic condition of Elam seemed to promise success to a vigorous attack. Indabigas experienced the fate which he had prepared for Tammaritu; he was driven from the throne by a man of the name of Ummanaldas, the son of Attamitu.[381] This rebel did not find universal recognition; Pache maintained a part of the land against him. Under such circumstances the victory could not be very difficult. Assurbanipal sent troops under Balibni against the land of Bit Yakin, which was governed by Nabubelzikri, a grandson of Merodach Baladan, as a tributary prince (perhaps the son of Nahid-Merodach, p. 147), who appears to have taken part in the rebellion of Samul-sum-ukin, and then to have escaped to Elam. Assurbanipal had already demanded his surrender from Indabigas, and he repeated the demand after the rise of Ummanaldas, who also refused it. The Assyrian army led by Assurbanipal to his seventh war crossed the borders of Elam. Ummanaldas abandoned his metropolis, Madaktu, and fled into the mountains. Assurbanipal placed Tammaritu on the throne at Susa, but soon returned, either from fear of his disobedience or because he had heard of it, to Elam, dethroned Tammaritu, and carried him prisoner to Assyria; marched through the whole land, devastating it, and took 30 cities, which are enumerated in the inscription. Nevertheless, after his departure, Ummanaldas again obtained power over Elam; Assurbanipal was compelled to march against the country once more. This was his eighth war. He obtained the most complete success; Madaktu and Susa fell into his hand. "I opened their treasure-houses," says Assurbanipal; "I took the treasures, which the earlier kings of Elam and those of these days had collected. No enemy beside myself had laid hands upon them. The silver and gold which the earlier and later kings of Sumir and Accad, and of Kardunias, had sent to Elam, which earlier kings and Samul-sum-ukin had paid for the help of Elam; robes, arms, chariots, I carried to Assyria. I broke down the tower of Susa; Susinak, the god of their oracle, whose image no man had seen, and the remaining gods (eighteen gods and goddesses are mentioned) with their treasures, priests, and servants, I carried to Assyria. Thirty-two images of the kings in silver, gold, brass, and stone, I carried away from Susa, Madaktu, and Huradi, and in addition an image of Humbanigas (p. 99), of Istar-Nandi, of Halludus (p. 144), and the younger Tammaritu. I broke the winged lions and bulls, which guarded the temples, the winged bulls before the temple gates of Elam, and sent their gods and goddesses into captivity: I destroyed the palaces of their kings, the earlier and the later, the opponents of my father; the rulers and inhabitants of their cities, the people great and small, I carried away with their flocks; their warriors I divided throughout the land of my kingdom (645 B.C.)[382]"

In spite of this savage destruction, Ummanaldas could return from the mountains, and again take possession of the ruins of Madaktu. He was now, as it appears, prepared to accede to Assurbanipal's renewed request to give up the grandson of Merodach Baladan. The latter anticipated his surrender, inasmuch as he and his armour-bearer mutually slew each other. Ummanaldas gave up the corpse, and Assurbanipal had the head cut off. Thus died the last scion of Merodach Baladan of whom we hear: so ended the race which for 80 years, with incredible endurance and stubbornness, had asserted the independence of South Chaldæa and Babylonia against Assyria. After this Ummanaldas had to give way to Pache, who received a part of Elam. But Pache could not stand before the Assyrian army, or did not venture to resist it. He was taken prisoner; Ummanaldas also was captured, "like a raven," in the mountains, into which he had fled for refuge. "Tammaritu, Pache, and Ummanaldas, who ruled over Elam in succession, I brought them beneath my yoke, with Uaiti, the king of the Arabs, whom I brought out of his land to Assyria. I had them bound to the yoke of my war-chariot; they drew it to the gate of the temple of Bilit, the famed wife of Asshur, the mother of the great gods."[383]

Ancient Elam, the oldest power in the region of the Euphrates and Tigris, and in all hither Asia, which once, before the times of Hammurabi of Babylon, before the year 2000 B.C., had held sway over the states of the lower Euphrates, whose armies in those days had seen Syria, was fallen, never to rise again. "In the midst of hell," says the prophet Ezekiel, "is Elam, and all her multitude about her grave; all of them slain, fallen by the sword, which are gone down uncircumcised into the nether parts of the earth. They who caused terror in the land of the living have borne their share with them that go down to the pit. They have set her a bed in the midst of the slain with all her multitude; they are placed among the slain."[384] It is true that, more than a century after the fall of Susa, we hear of stubborn attempts on the part of Elam to restore her state; but after that Elam ceased to exist, except as a name, and her history was then the more utterly forgotten, because after this rebellion the metropolis of Susa became the residence of the wide dominion of the kings of another people, the Achæmenids.

Babylonia was in subjection, and Elam had ceased to exist. Assurbanipal employed his arms in punishing the Arabian tribes who had supported the rebellion of his brother. Ammuladin, the king of the Kedarites, had attacked the princes of Syria who remained loyal to Assurbanipal. The attack failed. Ammuladin was defeated, and taken prisoner by Kamoshalta, the king of Moab; with him Adiya, a princess of the Arabians, was given up to Assurbanipal.[385] Two other princes of the Arabs, the brothers Abiyateh and Aimu, had led their warriors to Babylon, to Samul-sum-ukin. They had been there defeated together with him and shut up in Babylon. When the famine was sore there, they attempted in vain to break through the siege; Abiyateh gave himself up to Assurbanipal. With them the soldiers of a third Arabian prince, Uaiti, had marched to Babylon. Assurbanipal now attacked Uaiti, whose tribes dwelt on the borders of Ammon, Moab and Edom, in Hauran and near Zoba; their dwellings and tents were burnt. Uaiti was carried prisoner to Nineveh, andAbiyateh was set up in his place. Scarcely had he been set up, when he united with Nadnu, the prince of the Nebaiyoth, against Assyria. On his ninth campaign, Assurbanipal marched over the Tigris and Euphrates into the deserts of Syria. As he tells us, he defeated the servants of the deity of Atar-Samain and the Nebaiyoth, took both princes prisoners in the battle, and caused their flocks to be driven off far and wide. "I divided camels like sheep," he says; "they fetched half a shekel of silver at the gate. On my return I took Hosah, which lies on the shore of the sea, which was disobedient, and did not pay tribute, and carried the people to Assyria. The people of Akko, who did not obey, I destroyed; the remnant I carried to Assyria."[386]

Not only the Arabian tribes between the Euphrates and the Jordan, not only the princes of Syria, but the land of Ararat also, as Assurbanipal expressly declares,[387] and Cilicia and the East of Asia were subject. This follows, without a doubt, from the circumstance that Ardys, king of Lydia, who succeeded his father Gyges on the throne in the year 653 B.C., soon after recognised anew the supremacy of Assurbanipal, in order to obtain his aid against the Cimmerians, who again heavily oppressed Lydia from the Halys. Assurbanipal had not only maintained the kingdom against the revolt of Samul-sum-ukin, he had strengthened it by the overthrow of Elam, established the supremacy of Assyria in Hither Asia, and extended it to the west of Asia Minor. We do not hear anything of an attempt to renew the vassalage of Egypt, though the war against the Nabatæans and Kedarites brought Assurbanipal to the borders of Egypt. We may suppose that the resistance of the regions of Akko and Hosah (to the south of Tyre [388]) possibly rested on the expectation of Egyptian assistance. But the inscriptions of Assurbanipal end with the war against the Arabians; beyond this we have no accounts of Assyrian origin. The struggles of Assurbanipal with the Nebaiyoth and the Kedarites on the borders of Ammon and Moab, the reduction of Akko, are the last acts of the Assyrians in Syria, of which we have any definite information. They must have taken place not long before the year 640 B.C. It will be seen further on that Assurbanipal after this time was engaged in the East.

The Hebrew Scriptures also know nothing of any interference of Assyria in the fortunes of their race after the reign of Manasses of Judah, which ended in the year 642 B.C. A statement of Herodotus, which is indeed very obscure, makes it possible to conclude that there was a later border war between Assyria and Egypt. He says: "Psammetichus besieged Ashdod (Azotus), a large city of Syria, for 29 years, till he took it." "This city," Herodotus adds, "endured the longest siege of any that we know."[389] Psammetichus could not besiege the Philistine city of Ashdod, until the southern fortresses of the Philistines, Raphia, Gaza and Ascalon were in his hands. His object in the attack upon these cities could only be to render the march of the Assyrian armies to his land more difficult. These armies would have to collect in the south of Philistia, and provide themselves with stores, especially water, before they could begin the march through the desert. In the beginning of this war, at any rate, it could not have been merely the forces of the Philistines which Psammetichus had to contend with here; there must have been Assyrian garrisons and Assyrian troops in the cities. Diodorus also tells us of the mode in which Psammetichus drew out his forces in the battles which he fought in Syria.[390] That the siege of a city should last 29 years is in itself inconceivable; we can only accept the statement of Herodotus as meaning that the war for the possession of the cities of the Philistines on the coast lasted 29 years. If we calculate this time from the irruption of the Scythians into Syria, which in any case put an end to this war, i. e. from the year 625 B.C., Psammetichus rebelled against Assyria in the year 654 or 653 B.C., and immediately afterwards desired to establish himself on the borders of Syria beyond the desert. If Assurbanipal was fighting against Arabian tribes, on the borders of Edom, just before the year 640 B.C., and took Akko, the narrative of this campaign ought also to speak of a collision with the Egyptian army, if Psammetichus was carrying on war against Ashdod as early as this date. We saw above that Psammetichus's rebellion against Assyria in Egypt could not take place later than the year 653 B.C.

Assurbanipal begins the account of his buildings with a statement of what he had done for the temples of Babylon;[391] he concludes it with a description of his works at Nineveh. The walls with which Sennacherib had surrounded that city had been injured by heavy falls of rain which Bin sent down. Assurbanipal strengthened the substructure, and restored them from the foundations to the pinnacles.[392] He restored, extended, and adorned the palace of his grandfather Sennacherib, in which he had grown up: the kings of the Arabians whom he had captured in battle had been compelled to work at them. Whoever destroys the inscription of his name, or the name of his father and grandfather, and does not set it up along with the inscription of his own name, him will Asshur and the rest of the gods, Sin, Samas, Bin, Bel, Nebo, Adar, and Nergal punish with the condemnation which will correspond to the glory of his (Assurbanipal's) name.[393] In the ruins of this palace, the ruins of Kuyundshik, a number of slabs with reliefs have been preserved, exhibiting the warlike achievements of Assurbanipal, with which he caused the halls of this building to be adorned. On them we see the envoys of the kings of Ararat paying homage to Assurbanipal. Urtaki, Teumman, and Tammaritu are seen in battle against the Assyrians; we see the head of Teumman of Elam brought to Assyria, and Ummanigas is enthroned at Madaktu by an Assyrian officer, (p. 169). Further, a relief shows us Assurbanipal sitting under some trees with some women; on one of the trees hangs the head of the descendant of Merodach Baladan, Nabubelzikri.[394] Finally, we find on these reliefs the cities of Elam, the city of Susa, and their sieges. The inscriptions give the names, and briefly explain the incidents depicted.


[355]G. Smith, "Assyr. Canon," p. 164.

[356]G. Smith, "Disc." p. 320. E. Schrader, "K. A. T." s. 208. The astronomical canon makes Esarhaddon's reign in Babylon end with the year 668 B.C.

[357]G. Smith, "Disc." p. 324.

[358]G. Smith, "Disc." p. 322.

[359]Assurbanipal, it is true, says that he has conquered Muzur and Cush (G. Smith, loc. cit. p. 324), which is certainly an exaggeration unless Upper Egypt is meant by Cush.

[360]G. Smith, loc. cit. p. 328.

[361]G. Smith, loc. cit. pp. 328, 329.

[362]Nahum iii. 8-10.

[363]The Apis-pillar from the twenty-first year of Psammetichus proves that the Egyptians put him immediately after Tirhaka. As they make the reign of Psammetichus commence with the year 664 B.C. the death of Tirhaka must fall in this year, and the war of Urdamane in the next.

[364]Inhabitants of Karbit, in the land of Halahasta, were brought here; compare Cyl. B. in Ménant, "Ann." p. 291. If the king of the memorial stone of the ruins of the temple of Ammon at Napata, whose name is read with much uncertainty as Nuat-Mi (amun), or Amun-merinut, or Tonuat-amen, is not one and the same person with the Urdamane or Undamane (Unt-amen?) of Assurbanipal, it is very difficult to explain who he is. If the name of the person making dedications beside Tirhaka at Karnak is the same which the monument gives (Mariette, "Monum. divers." pl. 80, sqq.), this would be an important factor for the identification with Urdamane, which is also supported by the fact that Piker of Pasupti is prominent among the opponents of this Ethiopian: Pakruru of Pisaptu has been previously mentioned by Assurbanipal. The narrative of the memorial stone would then be the counterpart of the Assyrian account; the only striking thing in the narrative of the Ethiopian king is that the victory of Memphis is mentioned, but not the capture of the Assyrians. He ought also, it is true, to have mentioned the retreat forced upon him by the Assyrians. The narrative runs: In the year when he came to the throne Nuat-amon saw two serpents in a dream, and when he asked the interpretation of the dream, it was announced to him: "he possessed the south, he should conquer the north." He set out, and when he arrived at Thebes the prophet of the temple of Ammon-Ra met him with the astrologers, and the inhabitants who were at first hostile to him were filled with joy. But when Nuat-amon approached Memphis, the sons of the rebellion marched against him, in order to do battle: he inflicted on them a great defeat, and made himself master of the city of Memphis. From Memphis he marched out, in order to do battle with the chiefs of the land of the North, but they remained in their walls. When their cities were besieged, they appeared before Nuat-amon lying on their bellies, with their faces on the ground, and Piker the chief of Pasupti said: "Thou slayest whom thou wilt, and thou givest life to whom thou wilt, and all vow to be thy servants." The heart of Nuat-amon was full of joy when he heard these words. They turned back into their cities and sent all the good things of the North and the South to the lord of Upper and Lower Egypt. Maspero, "Essai sur la stèle du songe." Rev. Archéol. 1868, 17, 329 ff.

[365]G. Smith, "Assurbanipal," p. 62, 63.

[366]G. Smith, loc. cit. p. 74, 75.

[367]G. Smith, loc. cit. p. 95 ff.

[368]G. Smith, loc. cit. p. 115, 96, 97.

[369]G. Smith, loc. cit. p. 151.

[370]G. Smith, "Disc." p. 380.

[371]G. Smith, "Assurb." p. 103. Ménant, "Annal." p. 282.

[372]G. Smith, loc. cit. p. 107, 117.

[373]Cylinder B., in G. Smith, loc. cit. p. 120 ff.

[374]G. Smith, loc. cit. p. 140, 146. Ménant, "Annal." p. 286.

[375]G. Smith, loc. cit. p. 133, 155, 142-145.

[376]G. Smith, loc. cit. p. 171.

[377]G. Smith, loc. cit. p. 154, 155, 169, 201. "Disc." p. 338.

[378]Above, p. 163. It is certain that Psammetichus's reign ends in the year 610 B.C.; Boeckh, "Manetho," Zeitschr. "für Geschich.," s. 716 ff., Unger, "Manetho," s. 280. Herodotus and Manetho allot 54 years to the reign of Psammetichus, and an Apis-pillar tells us that a new Apis was installed in the month Athyr of the 54th year of the reign of Psammetichus. Necho therefore died before, or in the year 664 B.C. (610 + 54).

[379]G. Smith, "Assurb." p. 66; "Disc." p. 332. In the computation of Herodotus, the accession of Gyges of Lydia takes place in 719 or 716, according as the fall of Sardis is put in 549 or 546 B.C.; his death takes place in 681 or 678 B.C. In the canon of Eusebius, on the same data, he is computed to have ascended the throne in 699 or 696, and to have reigned till 663 or 660. In the list of Lydian kings (Euseb. "Chron." I, p. 69, ed. Schöne), he ascended, on the same data, in 689 or 686, and reigned to 653 or 650 B.C. The latter dates must be accepted if Gyges sent help to Psammetichus. Samul-sum-ukin would not have found it necessary to invite the prince or princes of Miluhhi to rebellion, if Egypt had revolted from Assyria before his rebellion—Miluhhi must then be used on the cylinder in a wider sense for Egypt and Meroe—and Gyges could not send any help to Psammetichus, if he was not king himself. We are not in a position to fix accurately the date of the rebellion of Samul-sum-ukin, since the list of the Assyrian rulers breaks off with the year 665 B.C. The fact that it is the sixth war of Assurbanipal in which he marches against his brother—I enumerate the wars according to Cylinder A—only proves that the war cannot have taken place before 660 B.C. In the astronomical canon the reign of Saosduchinus ends with the year 648 B.C.; and we may therefore assume with certainty that the overthrow of Samul-sum-ukin took place in this year. How long before this Samul-sum-ukin took up arms, we do not know; he may very well have done so in the year 652 B.C. For the rebellion was not brought to a close till after a long siege of Babylon: or the rebellion may have commenced even earlier, so that Gyges could undoubtedly have sent help to Psammetichus in the last years of his reign. The cylinders, which narrate the history of the wars of Assurbanipal, date from the year of Samasdainani, who in Cylinder A is called viceroy of Accad, and on the others viceroy of Babel. We are not in a position to fix definitely the place of this year. A tablet of Erech bears the date of 20 Nisan of the twentieth year of Assurbanipal in Babel (Ménant, "Annal." p. 29 ff.). As Assurbanipal must have dated his rule in Babylon from the overthrow of Samul-sum-ukin, and Assurbanipal himself died in the year 626 B.C., Samul-sum-ukin's death must have taken place at least before 646 B.C. On the cylinders and on the reliefs in his palace at Nineveh, Assurbanipal merely calls himself king of Asshur. If in the documents relating to his buildings in Babylon as well as on the Babylonian brick already mentioned he calls himself king of Babel, it follows that these inscriptions belong to the period after the war with his brother. G. Smith, "Disc." p. 378, 380.

[380]G. Smith, "Assurb." p. 199; Ménant, loc. cit. p. 288.

[381]Ménant, loc. cit. p. 293; G. Smith, loc. cit. p. 165-168, 181.

[382]G. Smith, "Disc." p. 349 ff. If Babylon fell in the sixth war, 648 B.C., the destruction of Susa at the end of the eighth war cannot have taken place earlier than in the year 645 B.C.

[383]G. Smith, "Disc." p. 371; "Assurb." p. 237, 241, 243, 304, 306; Ménant, loc. cit. p. 291.

[384]Ezekiel xxxii. 24.

[385]G. Smith, "Assurb." p. 299; "Assyr. Canon," p. 148.

[386]G. Smith, "Disc." p. 370.

[387]G. Smith, loc. cit. p. 370.

[388]Joshua xix. 29.

[389]Herod. 2, 157.

[390]Diod. 1, 67.

[391]Beginning of Cylinder C. in G. Smith, "Disc." p. 377.

[392]Above, p. 108. G. Smith, "Assurb." p. 308.

[393]End of Cylinder A. in G. Smith, "Disc." p. 372 ff.

[394]Place, "Ninive." Pl. 57.

The Rise of Assyria

The campaigns which Tiglath Pilesar, king of Asshur, undertook towards the West about the end of the twelfth century, and which carried him to the Upper Euphrates and into Northern Syria, remained without lasting result. The position which Tiglath Pilesar then had won on the Euphrates was not maintained by his successors in any one instance. More than 200 years after Tiglath Pilesar we find Tiglath Adar II. (889-883 B.C.) again in conflict with the same opponents who had given his forefather such trouble—with the mountaineers of the land of Nairi, the district between the highland valley of Albak on the Greater Zab and the Zibene-Su, the eastern source of the Tigris. The son and successor of this Tiglath Adar, Assurnasirpal, was the first whom we see again undertaking more distant campaigns; the successful results of which are the basis of a considerable extension of the Assyrian power.

Assurnasirpal also chiefly directed his arms against the mountain-land in the north. On his first campaign he fought on the borders of Urarti, i. e. of the land of Ararat, the region of the Upper Araxes. In the second year of his reign (881 B.C.) he marched out of the city of Nineveh, crossed the Tigris, and imposed tribute on the land of Kummukh (Gumathene, p. 41), and the Moschi, in asses, oxen, sheep, and goats. In the third year he caused his image to be hewn in the place where Tiglath Pilesar and Tiglath Adar his fathers had chosen to set up their images; he tells us that his own was engraved beside the others.[555] Only the image of Tiglath Pilesar I. is preserved at Karkar. Assurnasirpal received tribute from the princes of the land of Nairi—bars of gold and silver, iron, oxen and sheep; and placed a viceroy over the land of Nairi. But the subjugation was not yet complete; Assurnasirpal related that on a later campaign he destroyed 250 places in the land of Nairi.[556] He tells us further, that on his tenth campaign he reduced the land of Kirchi, took the city of Amida (now Diarbekr), and plundered it.[557] Below this city, on the bank of the Tigris at Kurkh (Karch), there is a stone tablet which represents him after the pattern of Tiglath Pilesar at Karkar (p. 40.)

Between these conflicts in the north lie campaigns to the south and west. In the year 879 B.C. he marched out, as he tells us, from Chalah. On the other bank of the Tigris he collected a heavy tribute, then he marched to the Euphrates, took the city of Suri in the land of Sukhi, and caused his image to be set up in this city. Fifty horsemen and the warriors of Nebu-Baladan, king of Babylon (Kardunias), had fallen into his hand, and the land of the Chaldæans had been seized with fear of his weapons.[558] We must conclude therefore that the king of Babylon had sent auxiliary troops to the prince of the land of Sukhi (whom the inscriptions call Sadudu). In the following year he occupied the region at the confluence of the Chaboras with the Euphrates, crossed the Euphrates on rafts, and conquered the inhabitants of the lands of Sukhi, Laki, and Khindani, which had marched out with 6000 men to meet him. On the banks of the Euphrates he then founded two cities; that on the further bank bore the name of "Dur-Assurnasirpal," and that on the nearer bank the name of "Nibarti-Assur." During this time he pretends to have slain 50 Amsi (p. 43) on the Euphrates, and captured 20; to have slain 20 eagles and captured 20.[559] Then he turned against Karchemish, in the land of the Chatti (p. 43). In the year 876 B.C. he collected tribute in the regions of Bit Bakhian and Bit Adin in the neighbourhood of Karchemish, and afterwards laid upon Sangar, king of Karchemish, a tribute of 20 talents of silver, and 100 talents of iron. From Karchemish Assurnasirpal marched against the land of Labnana, i. e. the land of Lebanon. King Lubarna in the land of the Chatti submitted, and had to pay even heavier tribute than the king of Karchemish. Assurnasirpal reached the Orontes (Arantu), took the marches of Lebanon, marched to the great sea of the western land, offered sacrifice to the gods, and received the tribute of the princes of the sea-coasts, the prince of Tyre (Ssurru), of Sidon (Ssidunu), of Byblus (Gubli), and the city of Arvada (Aradus), "which is in the sea" (p. 277)—bars of silver, gold, and lead;—"they embraced his feet." Then the king marched against the mountains of Chamani (Amanus); here he causes cedars and pines to be felled for the temples of his gods, and the narrative of his exploits to be written on the rocks, and worshipped at Nineveh before the goddess Istar.[560]

According to the evidence of these inscriptions, Assurnasirpal established the supremacy of Assyria in the region of the sources of the Tigris. But even he does not appear to have gone much further than Tiglath Pilesar before him, for he also fought once on the borders of Armenia, i. e. of the land of Ararat, and on the other hand forced his way as far as the upper course of the Eastern Euphrates. Against Babylon he undertook, so far as we can see, no offensive war; he was content to drive out of the field the auxiliaries which Nebu-Baladan of Babylon sent to a prince on the middle Euphrates without pursuing the advantage further. The most important results which he obtained were in the west. He gained the land of the Chaboras, and fixed himself firmly on the Euphrates above the mouth of that river. To secure the crossing he built a fortress on either side, and then forced his way from here to the mountain land of the Amanus, to the Orontes and Lebanon. For the first time the cities of the Phenicians paid tribute to the king on the banks of the Tigris; Arvad (Aradus), Gebal (Byblus), Sidon, and Tyre, where at this time, as we saw (p. 267), Mutton, the son of Ethbaal, was king.

Shalmanesar I., who reigned over Assyria about the year 1300 B.C., built, as we have remarked above, the city of Chalah (Nimrud), on the eastern bank of the Tigris above the confluence of the Greater Zab. The remains of the outer walls show that this city formed a tolerably regular square, and that the western wall ran down to the ancient course of the Tigris, which can still be traced. In the south-western corner of the city, on a terrace of unburnt bricks, rose the palaces of the kings and the chief temples. They were shut off towards the city by a separate wall. Nearly in the middle of this terrace on the river-side we may trace the foundation-works of a great building, called by our explorers the north-west palace. In the remains of this structure, on two surfaces on the upper and lower sides of a large stone, which forms the floor of a niche in a large room, is engraved an inscription of Assurnasirpal, and a second on a memorial stone of 12 to 13 feet high. Inscriptions on the slabs of the reliefs with which the halls of the building were adorned repeat the text of these inscriptions in an abbreviated manner. They tell us that the ancient city of Chalah, which Shalmanesar the Great founded, was desolate and in ruins; Assurnasirpal built it up afresh from the ground;[561] he led a canal from the Greater Zab, and gave it the name of Patikanik;[562] traces and remains are left, which show us that the course of the canal from the Greater Zab led directly north to the city. Cedars, pines, and cypresses of Mount Chamani (Amanus) had he caused to be felled for the temples of Adar, Sin, and Samas, his lords.[563] He built temples at Chalah for Adar, Bilit, Sin, and Bin. He made the image of the god Adar, and set it up to his great divinity in the city of Chalah, and in the piety of his heart dedicated the sacred bull to this great divinity. For the habitation of his kingdom, and the seat of his monarchy, he founded and completed a palace. Whosoever reigns after him in the succession of days may he preserve this palace in Chalah, the witness of his glory, from ruin; may he not surrender it to rebels, may he not overthrow his pillars, his roof, his beams, or change it for another structure, or alter his inscriptions, the narrative of his glory. "Then will Asshur the lord and the great god exalt him, and give him all lands of the earth, extend his dominion over the four quarters of the world, and pour abundance, purity, and peace over his kingdom."[564]

The palace of Assurnasirpal at Chalah was a building about 360 feet in length and 300 feet in breadth. Two great portals guarded by winged lions with bearded human heads, the images or symbols of the god Nergal, led from the north to a long and proportionately narrow portico of 154 feet in length and 35 feet in breadth. In the south wall of this portico a broad door, by which stand two winged human-headed bulls, images of the god Adar, and hewn out of yellow limestone, opens into a hall 100 feet long and 25 broad. On the east and south sides also of the central court (the west side is entirely destroyed) lie two longer halls, and a considerable number of larger and smaller chambers. The height of the rooms appears to have been from 16 to 18 feet.[565] The walls of the northern portico were covered with slabs of alabaster to a height of 10 or 12 feet, on which were reliefs of the martial exploits of the king, his battles, his sieges, his hunting—he claims to have killed no fewer than 370 mighty lions, and to have taken 75 alive. The reliefs on the slabs of the second hall, which abuts on this, exhibit colossal forms with eagle heads. Above the slabs the masonry of the walls was concealed by tiles coloured and glazed, or by painted arabesques. Beside the fragments of this building a statue of the builder, Assurnasirpal, was discovered. On a simple base of square stone stands a figure in an attitude of serious repose, in a long robe, without any covering to the head, with long hair and strong beard, holding a sort of sickle in the right hand, and a short staff in the left.[566] On the breast we read, "Assurnasirpal, the great king, the mighty king, the king of the nations, the king of Asshur, the son of Tiglath Adar, king of Asshur, the son of Bin-nirar, king of Asshur. Victorious from the Tigris to the land of Labnana (Lebanon), to the great sea, he subjugated all lands from the rising to the setting of the sun."[567]An image in relief at the entrance of the west of the two temples which this king built, to the north of his palace, on the terrace of Chalah (at the entrance to the first are two colossal winged lions with the throats open, and at the entrance of the second two wingless lions), exhibits the king with the Kidaris on his head, and his hand upraised; before the base of the relief stands a small sacrificial altar.[568] We have already mentioned the image of Assurnasirpal which he had engraved near Kurkh, and which is preserved there. According to inscriptions lately discovered, and not yet published, Assurnasirpal built a palace at Niniveh also, and restored the ancient temple of Istar, which Samsi-Bin formerly erected there (p. 31).[569]

The reign of Assurnasirpal gave the impulse to a warlike movement which continued in force long after his time, and extended the power of Assyria in every direction. His son, Shalmanesar II., who ascended the throne in 859 B.C., followed in the path of his father. In the first years of his reign he fought against Khubuskia, which, as we find from the inscriptions, was a district lying on the Greater Zab, against a prince of the land of Nairi (p. 41), against the prince of Ararat (Urarti), Arami, and received the tribute of the land of Kummukh (p. 41). He crosses the river Arzania—either the Arsanias (Murad-Su), the Eastern Euphrates, or the Arzen-Su (Nicephorius), which falls into the Tigris before it bends to the south—and takes the city of Arzaska in Urarti, i. e. perhaps Arsissa, on Lake Van.[570] These wars in the north were followed by battles on the Euphrates. He conquers the city of Pethor on this side of the Euphrates, and the city of Mutunu on the farther side, which Tiglath Pilesar had won, but Assur-rab-amar had restored by a treaty to the king of Aram, and settled Assyrians in both places. Then he fought against a prince of the name of Akhuni, who resided at Tul Barsip on the Euphrates. Shalmanesar takes this city, transplants the inhabitants to Assyria, and calls it Kar-Salmanassar. He receives the tribute of Sangar, prince of Karchemish, against whom his father had fought, and finally took Akhuni himself prisoner.[571] Then he advances towards Chamani (to the Amanus), crosses the Arantu (Orontes); Pikhirim of the land of Chilaku (i. e. of Cilicia) is conquered by him.[572]

The next object of the arms of Shalmanesar was Syria, which he had merely touched on the north in passing by on the campaign against Cilicia. On a memorial stone which he set up at Kurkh, on the Upper Tigris, where we already found the image of Assurnasirpal,—the stone is now in the British Museum,—Shalmanesar tells us that in the year 854 B.C. he left Nineveh, marched to Kar-Salmanassar, and there received the tribute of Sangar of Karchemish, Kutaspi of Kummukh, and others. "From the Euphrates I marched forth, and advanced against the city of Halwan. They avoided a battle and embraced my feet. I received gold and silver from them as their tribute. I made rich offerings to Bin, the god of Halwan. From Halwan I set forth and marched against two cities of Irchulina of Hamath. Argana, his royal city, I took; his prisoners, the goods and treasures of his palace, I carried away; I threw fire upon his palaces. From Argana I marched forth to Karkar. I destroyed Karkar and laid it waste and burnt it with fire. Twelve hundred chariots, 1200 horsemen, 20,000 men of Benhadad of Damascus;[573] 700 chariots, 700 horsemen, 10,000 men of Irchulina of Hamath; 200 (?2000) chariots, 10,000 men of Ahab of Israel; 500 men of the Guaeer; 1000 men of the land of Musri; 10 chariots, 10,000 men of the land of Irkanat; 200 men of Matinbaal of Aradus (Arvada); 200 men of the land of Usanat; 30 chariots and 10,000 men of Adonibal of Sizan; 1000 camels of Gindibuh of Arba;—hundred men of Bahsa of Ammon; these twelve princes rendered aid to each other, and marched out against me to contend with me in battle. Aided by the sublime assistance which Asshur my lord gave to me, I fought with them. From the city of Karkar as far as the city of Gilzana [574] (?) I made havoc of them. Fourteen thousand of their troops I slew; like the god Bin I caused the storm to descend upon them; during the battle I took their chariots, their horses, their horsemen, and their yoke-horses from them."[575] On the obelisk of black basalt found in the ruins of Chalah, Shalmanesar says quite briefly, "In my sixth campaign I went against the cities on the banks of Balikh (Belik) and crossed the Euphrates. Benhadad of Damascus, and Irchulina of Hamath, and the kings of the land of Chatti and the sea came down to battle with me. I conquered them; I overcame 20,500 of their warriors with my arms." The same statement is repeated in a third inscription, that of the bulls.[576]

The kings of Syria were defeated, but by no means subdued. Shalmanesar says nothing of their subjugation and tribute (p. 246). The arms of Assyria were next turned in another direction. An illegitimate brother, Marduk-Belusati, had rebelled against Marduk-zikir-iskun, the son and successor of Nebu-Baladan of Babylon. Shalmanesar supported the first. During the second campaign against Marduk-Belusati the united troops of Marduk-zikir-iskun and Shalmanesar, or the latter alone, succeeded in defeating the rebels; Marduk-Belusati was captured and put to death with his adherents. Shalmanesar sacrificed at Babylon, Borsippa, and Kutha. He claims to have imposed tribute on the chiefs of the land of Kaldi (Chaldæa), and to have spread his fame to the sea.[577]

After this decisive success in Babylonia, Shalmanesar resumed the war against Damascus. For two years in succession he marched out against Benhadad of Damascus. In the year 851 he defeats Benhadad of Damascus, the king of Hamath, together with 12 kings from the shores of the sea.[578] Then the king tells us further: "For the ninth time (850 B.C.) I crossed the Euphrates. I conquered cities without number; I marched against the cities of the land of Chatti and of Hamath; I conquered 89 (79) cities. Benhadad of Damascus, 12 kings of the Chatti (Syrians), mutually confided in their power. I put them to flight." And further: "In the fourteenth year of my reign (846 B.C.) I counted my distant and innumerable lands. With 120,000 men of my soldiers I crossed the Euphrates. Meanwhile Benhadad of Damascus, and Irchulina of Hamath, with the 12 kings of the upper and lower sea, armed their numerous troops to march against me. I offered them battle, put them to flight, seized their chariots and their horsemen, and and marched against the cities of Hazael of Damascus, took from them their baggage. In order to save their lives, they rose up and fled."[579]This victory also was without result. In vain Shalmanesar had marched four times against Damascus; in vain he led out on the last campaign 120,000 men against Syria. Not till some years afterwards, when Hazael, as we saw above (p. 252), killed Benhadad and acquired the throne of Damascus in his place, can Shalmanesar speak of a decisive campaign in Syria. "In the eighteenth year of my reign (842 B.C.) I crossed the Euphrates for the sixteenth time. Hazael (Chazailu) from the land of Aram trusted in the might of his troops, collected his numerous armies, and made the mountains of Sanir,[580] the summits of the mountains facing the range of Lebanon, his fortress. I fought with him and overthrew him; 16,000 of his warriors I conquered with my weapons; 1121 of his chariots, 410 of his horsemen, together with his treasures, I took from him. To save his life he fled away. I pursued him. I besieged him in Damascus, his royal city; I destroyed his fortifications. I marched to the mountains of Hauran; I destroyed cities without number, laid them waste, and burned them with fire: I led forth their prisoners without number. I marched to the mountains of the land of Bahliras, which lies hard by the sea: I set up my royal image there. At that time I received the tribute of the Tyrian and Sidonian land, of Jehu (Jahua), the son of Omri (Chumri), i. e. of Jehu, king of Israel."[581]Though Sidon, Tyre, and Israel paid tribute, the resistance of the Damascenes was still unbroken. Shalmanesar further informs us that (in the year 839 B.C.) he crossed the Euphrates for the twenty-first time,But he does not say that he reduced them; he only asserts that he received the tribute of Tyre, Sidon, and Byblus, and then assures us, quite briefly, in the account, of his twenty-fifth campaign (835 B.C.), that he received "the tribute of all the princes of Syria" (of the land of Chatti).[582]

In the very first years of his reign Shalmanesar had contended against the prince Arami of Ararat, and against the land of Nairi, between the Eastern Tigris and the Greater Zab. The obedience of these regions was not gained. In the year 853 Shalmanesar again marched to the sources of the Tigris, erected his statue there, and laid tribute on the land of Nairi.[583] Twenty years later he sent the commander-in-chief of his army, Dayan-Assur, against the land of Ararat, at the head of which Siduri now stood, and not Arami. Dayan-Assur crossed the river Arzania (p. 314) and defeated Siduri (833 B.C.). On a farther campaign (in 830 B.C.) Dayan-Assur crosses the Greater Zab, invades the territory of Khubuskia (p. 314), fights against prince Udaki of Van, i. e. of the Armenian land round Lake Van, and from this descends into the land of the Parsua, which Shalmanesar himself had trodden seven years before. Here Dayan-Assur collected fresh tribute. On a third campaign (829 B.C.) Dayan-Assur received tribute from the land of Khubuskia, then invaded Ararat, and there plundered and burned 50 places.

Meanwhile Shalmanesar himself marched in the years 838 and 837 B.C. against the land of Tabal, i. e.against the Tibarenes, on the north-west offshoot of the Armenian mountains, advanced as far as the mines of the Tibarenes, and laid tribute on their 24 princes.[584] In the next year he turns to the south-east, marches over the Lesser Zab, against the lands of Namri and Karkhar, which we must therefore suppose to have been between the Lesser Zab and the Adhim and Diala, on the spurs of the Zagrus. Yanzu, king of Namri, was taken captive, and carried to Assyria. Shalmanesar left the land of Namri, imposed tribute on the 27 princes of the land of Parsua, and turned to the plains of the land of Amadai, i. e. against Media (835 B.C.).[585] Two years afterwards. Shalmanesar climbed, for the ninth time, the heights of Amanus (Chamani), then he laid waste the land of Kirchi (831 B.C.), then marched once more against the land of Namri, there laid waste 250 places, and advanced beyond Chalvan (Chalonitis, Holwan).[586]

On the obelisk of black basalt, dug up at Chalah in the remains of the palace of Shalmanesar II. (the central palace of the explorers), we find beside the account of the deeds of the king five sculptures in relief, which exhibit payments of tribute. Of the picture which represents the payment of Jehu, of the kingdom of Israel, we have spoken at length above (p. 257). Above this, which is the second picture, on the highest or first, is delineated the payment from the land of Kirzan. The title tells us: "Tribute imposed on Sua of the land of Kirzan:[587] gold, silver, copper, lead, staves, horses, camels with two humps." As on the second strip the king is represented receiving the tribute of Israel; so on this strip also we see the leader of those who pay tribute prostrate on the ground before him; behind the leader are led a horse and two camels with double humps; then follow people carrying staves and kettles. The superscription of the third relief says: "Tribute imposed on the land of Mushri: camels with two humps, the ox of the river Sakeya." On the picture we see two camels with double humps, a hump-backed buffalo, a rhinoceros, an antelope, an elephant, four large apes, which are led, and one little one, which is carried. The superscription of the fourth relief says: "Tribute imposed upon Marduk-palassar of the land of Sukhi:[588] silver, gold, golden buckets, Amsi-horns, staves, Birmi-robes, stuffs." The relief itself depicts a lion, a deer, which is clutched by a second lion, two men with kettles on their heads, two men who carry a pole, on which are suspended materials for robes, four men with hooked buckets or hooked scrips, two men with large horns on their shoulders, two men with staves, and lastly a man carrying a bag. The superscription of the fifth relief says, "Tribute imposed on Garparunda of the land of Patinai: silver, gold, lead, copper, objects made of copper, Amsi-horns, hard wood."[589] Under this we see a man raising his hands in entreaty, a man with a bowl with high cups on his head, two men with hooked buckets, carrying horns on their shoulders, one man with staves; after these two Assyrian officers, a man in a position of entreaty, two men with hooked buckets and horns, a man with two goblets, two men with hooked buckets and sacks on their shoulders, two men, of whom one holds a kettle, and the other carries a kettle on his head.

Assurnasirpal had already fought against the land of Sukhi. As he marches to the Euphrates in order to attack Sadudu, prince of Sukhi, as the king of Babylon sends auxiliaries to Sadudu at that time, and the land of Chaldæa is seized with terror after the conquest of the land of Sukhi, we must look for Sukhi on theMiddle Euphrates, below the mouth of the Chaboras. The tribute which, according to that inscription, Shalmanesar imposed on the prince of Sukhi, who has a name which may be compared with the names of the kings of Babylon,—gold, silver, robes, and stuffs,—does not contradict this assumption. Shalmanesar fought against the Patinai in the first year of his reign, according to the inscription of Kurkh. Shapalulme, the prince of the Patinai at that time, combined with Sangar of Karchemish and Akhuni of Tul-Barsip. Like these, the Patinai were vanquished, their cities were taken, 14,600 prisoners were carried away, and they were compelled to pay tribute. As Shalmanesar in order to reach the Patinai marches against them from Mount Amanus,[590] we must look for their abode on the Upper Euphrates, to the north of Karchemish, between the Euphrates and the Orontes. The tribute imposed on Garparunda of Patinai—gold, silver, copper, Amsihorns, hard wood—is not against this supposition. The land of Kirzan or Guzan we can only attempt to fix by the tribute paid—camels with double humps. This kind of camel is found on the southern shore of the Caspian Sea and Tartary, and we are therefore led to place Kirzan on the southern shore of the Caspian. The land of Mushri, the tribute of which consists of hump-backed buffaloes, i. e. Yaks (an animal belonging to the same district, Bactria and Tibet), camels with double humps, elephants, and rhinoceroses, and apes, must therefore be sought in eastern Iran, on the borders of the district of the Indus, whether it be that Shalmanesar really penetrated so far, or that the terror of his name moved East Iranian countries to send tribute to the warrior prince of Nineveh and Chalah.

Like his father, Shalmanesar resided at Chalah. On the terrace of this city, to the south-east of the palace of his father, he built a dwelling-place for himself, and in this set up the obelisk, the inscriptions on which give a brief account of each year of his reign. In the ruins of this house two bulls also have been discovered, which are covered with inscriptions, which, together with the inscription of Kurkh on the Tigris, supplement or extend the statements of the obelisk. More considerable remains have come down to us of another building of Shalmanesar. Assurnasirpal had erected at Chalah two temples to the north of his palace. To the larger (western) of these two temples on the north-west corner of the terrace Shalmanesar added a tower, the ruins of which in the form of a pyramidal hill still overtop the uniform heap of the ruined palaces. On the foundation of the natural rock of the bank of the Tigris lies a square substructure (each of the sides measures over 150 feet) of 20 feet in height, built of brick and cased with stone. On this base rises a tower of several diminishing stories. In the first of these stories, immediately upon the platform, is a passage 100 feet long, 12 feet high, and 6 feet in breadth, which divides the storey exactly in the middle from east to west.

Two centuries after the fall of the Assyrian kingdom, Xenophon, marching up the Tigris with the 10,000, reached the ruins of Chalah. After crossing the Zapatus, i. e. the Greater Zab, he came to a large deserted city on the Tigris, the name of which sounded to him like Larissa (Chalah); it was surrounded by a wall about seven and a-half miles long. This wall had a substructure of stone masonry about 20 feet high; on this it rose, 25 feet in thickness, and built of bricks, to the height of 100 feet. Beside the city was a pyramid of stone, a plethron (100 feet) broad and two plethra high; to these many of the neighbouring hamlets fled for refuge.[591] Shalmanesar's tower was broken, and by the fall of the upper parts had become changed into a pyramid. The sides of the tower Xenophon put at almost half their real size; the height of the ruins is still about 140 feet. That Shalmanesar also stayed at Nineveh is proved by the inscriptions; that he possessed a palace in the ancient city of Asshur is proved by the stamp of the tiles at Kileh Shergat.[592]

In a reign of 36 years Shalmanesar II. had gained important successes. In the north he had advanced as far as Lake Van, and the valley of the Araxes, the Tibarenes in the north-west, and the Cilicians in the west had felt the weight of his arms. He had directed his most stubborn efforts against the princes on the crossings over the Euphrates towards Syria, and towards the region of Mount Amanus and Syria itself. Damascus and Hamath were forced to pay tribute after a series of campaigns; Byblus, Sidon, and Tyre repeatedly paid tribute, and Israel after it had received a new master in Jehu. By Shalmanesar's successful interference in the contest for the crown in the civil war in Babylon, the supremacy of Asshur over Babel was at length obtained. The regions of the Zagrus had to pay tribute to Shalmanesar. He first trod the land of Media, and his successes were felt beyond Media as far as the southern shore of the Caspian Sea and East Iran.

In spite of the unwearied activity of Shalmanesar, in spite of his ceaseless campaigns and the important results gained by his weapons, his reign ended amid domestic troubles, caused by a rebellion of the native land. Shalmanesar's son and successor, Samsi-Bin III. (823-810 B.C.), tells us in an inscription found in theremains of his palace, which he built in the south-east corner of the terrace of Chalah, that his brother Assurdaninpal set on foot a conspiracy against his father Shalmanesar, and that the land of Asshur, both the Upper and Lower, joined the rebellion. He enumerates 27 cities, among them Asshur itself, the ancient metropolis, and Arbela, which joined Assurdaninpal; but "with the help of the great gods" Samsi-Bin reduced them again to his power. Then he tells us of his campaigns in the north and east. In his first campaign the whole land of Nairi was subjugated—all the princes, 24 in number, are mentioned; the land of Van also paid tribute. The Assyrian dominion, asserts the king, stretched from the land of Nairi to the city of Kar-Salmanassar, opposite Karchemish (p. 315). Then he fought against the land of Giratbunda (apparently a region on the Caspian Sea, perhaps Gerabawend), took the king prisoner, and set up his own image in Sibar, the capital of Giratbunda,[593] and afterwards directed his arms against the land of Accad (Babylonia). When he had slain 13,000 men and taken 3000 prisoners, king Marduk-Balatirib marched out against him with the warriors of Chaldæa and Elam, of the lands of Namri (p. 320) and Aram. He defeated them near Dur-Kurzu, their capital: 5000 were left on the field, 2000 taken prisoners; 200 chariots of war and ensigns of the king remained in the hands of the Assyrians (819 B.C.). At this point the inscription breaks off; elsewhere we hear nothing of further successes against Babylonia, we only learn that Samsi-Bin in the eleventh and twelfth years of his reign (812 and 811 B.C.) again marched to Chaldæa and Babylon,[594] and we can only conclude from the fact that the king of Babylon received help not only from Namri and Aram, but also from Elam, that the Assyrians under Samsi-Bin continued to advance, and that their power must by this time have appeared alarming to the Elamites also.

Bin-nirar III. (810-781 B.C.), the son and successor of Samsi-Bin, raised the Assyrian power still higher. Twice he marched out against the Armenian land on the shore of Lake Van; eight times he made campaigns in the land of the rivers, i. e. Mesopotamia. In the fifth year of his reign he went out against the city of Arpad in Syria; in the eighth against the "sea-coast," i. e. no doubt against the coast of Syria. The beginning of an inscription remains from which we can see the extent of the lands over which he ruled, or which he had compelled to pay tribute. "I took into my possession," so this fragment tells us, "from the land of Siluna, which lies at the rising of the sun, onwards; viz., the land of Kib, of Ellip, Karkas, Arazias, Misu, Madai (Media), Giratbunda throughout its whole extent, Munna, Parsua, Allabria, Abdadana, the land of Nairi throughout its whole extent, the land of Andiu, which is remote, the mountain range of Bilchu throughout its whole extent to the great sea which lies in the east, i. e. as far as the Caspian Sea. I made subject to myself from the Euphrates onwards: the land of Chatti (Aram), the western land (mat acharri ) throughout its whole extent, Tyre, Sidon, the land of Omri (Israel) and Edom, the land of Palashtav (Philistæa) as far as the great sea to the setting of the sun. I imposed upon them payment of tribute. I also marched against the land of Imirisu (the kingdom of Damascus), against Mariah, the king of the land of Imirisu. I actually shut him up in Damascus, the city of his kingdom; great terror of Asshur came upon him; he embraced my feet, he became a subject; 2300 talents of silver, 20 talents of gold, 3000 talents of copper, 5000 talents of iron, robes, carven images, his wealth and his treasures without number, I received in his palace at Damascus where he dwelt.[595] I subjugated all the kings of the land of Chaldæa, and laid tribute upon them; I offered sacrifice at Babylon, Borsippa, and Kutha, the dwellings of the gods Bel, Nebo, and Nergal."[596]

According to this king Bin-nirar not only maintained the predominance over Babylon which his grandfather had gained, but extended it: his authority reached from Media, perhaps from the shores of the Caspian Sea, to the shore of the Mediterranean as far as Damascus and Israel and Edom, as far as Sidon and Tyre and the cities of the Philistines. The Cilicians and Tibarenes who paid tribute to Shalmanesar are not mentioned by Bin-nirar in his description of his empire. So far as we can see, the centre of the kingdom was meanwhile extended and more firmly organised. Among the magistrates with whose names the Assyrians denote the years, at the time of Shalmanesar and his immediate successors the names of the commander-in-chief and three court officers are regularly followed by the names of the overseers of the districts of Rezeph (Resapha on the Euphrates), of Nisib (Nisibis on the Mygdonius, the eastern affluent of the Chaboras), of Arapha, i. e.the mountain-land of Arrapachitis (Albak); hence we may conclude that these districts were more closely connected or incorporated with the native land, and governed immediately by viceroys of the king. How uncertain the power and supremacy of Assyria was at a greater distance is on the other hand equally clear from the fact that Bin-nirar had to make no fewer than eight campaigns in the land of the streams, i. e.between the Tigris and the Euphrates; that he marched four times against the land of Khubuskia in the neighbourhood of Armenia, and twice against the district of Lake Van, against which his father and grandfather had so often contended.

Bin-nirar III. also built himself a separate palace at Chalah, on the western edge of the terrace of the royal dwellings, to the south of the palace of his great grandfather Assurnasirpal. In the ruins of the temple which he dedicated to Nebo have been found six standing images of this deity, two of which bear upon the pedestal those inscriptions which informed us that the wife of Bin-nirar III. was named Sammuramat (p. 45). On a written tablet dated from the year of Musallim-Adar (i. e. from the year 793 B.C.), the eighteenth year of Bin-nirar, on which is still legible the fragment of a royal decree, we also find the double impress of his seal—a royal figure which holds a lion. A second document from the time of the reign of this prince, from the twenty-sixth year of his reign (782 B.C.), registers the sale of a female slave at the price of ten and a half minæ, and gives the name of the ten witnesses to the transaction.[597] The preservation of this document is the more important inasmuch as a notice in Phenician letters is written beside it. Hence we may conclude that even in the days of Bin-nirar III. the alphabetic writing was known as far as this point in the East, though the cuneiform alphabet was retained beside it, not only at that time, but down to 100 B.C., and indeed, to all appearance, down to the first century of our reckoning.[598]


[555]Ménant, "Ann." pp. 71, 72, 73.

[556]Ménant, loc. cit. p. 82.

[557]Ménant, loc. cit. pp. 90, 91.

[558]Ménant, loc. cit. p. 84.

[559]Ménant, p. 86.

[560]E. Schrader. "K. A. T." s. 66, 67.

[561]Schrader, loc. cit. s. 20, 21.

[562]"Records of the Past," 3, 79.

[563]Ménant, loc. cit. p. 89.

[564]Ménant, p. 93.

[565]G. Rawlinson, "Monarch." 2 2 , 94.

[566]G. Rawlinson, "Monarch." 1 2 , 340.

[567]Ménant, loc. cit. p. 67.

[568]G. Rawlinson, "Monarch." 1 2 , 319; 2 2 , 97.

[569]G. Smith, "Discov." pp. 91, 141, 252.

[570]Sayce, "Records of the Past," pp. 94, 95.

[571]According to the inscription of Kurkh in the year 856; according to the obelisk 854 B.C.

[572]Ménant, "Ann." p. 107.

[573]Bin-hidri is read by E. Schrader and others. Rimmon-hidri by Sayce. As the god Bin was also called Rimmon, the ideogram of the name may be read one way or the other. The Books of the Kings call the contemporary of Ahab, Benhadad. For farther information, see p. 247, note.

[574]Sayce, "Records," 3, 100.

[575]E. Schrader, "Keilinschriften und A. T." s. 94 ff., 101, 102; Ménant, loc. cit. pp. 99, 113.

[576]Ménant, "Ann." p. 115.

[577]Vol. i. 257. Ménant, "Babyl." p. 135.

[578]Inscriptions on the bulls in Ménant, "Ann." p. 114.

[579]E. Schrader, loc. cit. s. 103; above, p. 251.

[580]Communication from E. Schrader; cf. Deuteron. iii. 9.

[581]E. Schrader, "K. A. T." s. 106, 107.

[582]Cf. above, p. 257.

[583]Inscription of the obelisk and the bulls in Ménant, "Ann." 99, 114.

[584]Ménant, loc. cit. p. 101.

[585]Ménant, p. 101.

[586]Ménant, p. 104.

[587]Sayce reads Guzan.

[588]According to a communication from E. Schrader, Marduk-habal-assur ought to be read, not Marduk-habal-iddin.

[589]Oppert, "Memoires de l'Acad. d. inscript." 1869, 1, 513; Sayce, "Records of the Past," 5, 42.

[590]Sayce, "Records of the Past," 3, 88, 89, 90, 91, 99.

[591]"Anab." 3, 4, 7-9.

[592]Ménant, loc. cit. p. 96.

[593]The reading is uncertain.

[594]Oppert, "Empires," pp. 127, 128; G. Rawlinson, "Monarch." 2 2 , p. 115, n. 8; Ménant, loc. cit. p. 124.

[595]E. Schrader, loc. cit. s. 111, 112.

[596]Ménant, loc. cit. p. 127; cf. G. Rawlinson, 2 2 , 117.

[597]Oppert et Ménant, "Documents juridiques," pp. 146-148.

[598]G. Smith, "Discov." p. 389; Oppert et Ménant, loc. cit. p. 342.

The Constitution, Army, and Art of the Assyrians

"Asshur was a cedar in Lebanon," so the prophet Ezekiel tells us; "a shadowing thicket, and of a tall stature, with fair branches, and his top was among the thick boughs. The waters made him great, the flood set him up on high; with her stream she went round about his plants, and sent her conduits unto all the trees of the field. Therefore his height was exalted above all the trees of the field, and his boughs were great, and his branches became strong because of the multitude of waters, and spread themselves out. All the fowls of heaven made their nests in his boughs, and under his branches did all the beasts of the field bring forth their young, and under his shadow dwelt all great nations. Then was he fair in his greatness, in the length of his branches. The cedars in the garden of God could not hide him; the cypresses were not like his boughs, and the planes were not like his branches. No tree in the garden of God was like to him in beauty. I (Jehovah) have made him fair by the multitude of his branches, and all the trees of Eden envied him."[395]

Babylon and Asshur are two stems springing out of the same root. The younger could borrow from the elder her religion, her ritual, her models in art and industry, and finally her writing; and along with this those scientific acquisitions, by no means contemptible, which had been made on the Euphrates. The peculiar characteristic of the younger branch rests on its warlike power, which (nurtured in those long struggles in the Zagrus and in the Armenian mountains) at last far exceeded the power of the Babylonians.

There is no state in the ancient East, which, beginning from a reign so small in proportion, and provided with such scanty material means, rose so high as Assyria—which from such a basis attained to a wider supremacy, or maintained it so long and so vigorously. By slow and laborious steps this kingdom worked its way upward in frequent and severe conflicts beside Babylonia. To reduce and keep in obedience the region round the sources of the Euphrates and the Tigris, the land of Van and Ararat, to subjugate the territory of the Moschi and Tibarenes, required the most severe struggles. The attempt of Tiglath Pilesar I. to reach the North of Syria and the Mediterranean was a success, yet it remained without any lasting results. Not till the beginning of the ninth century B.C. does the dominion of Assyria obtain more important dimensions, not in the North only, but also in the West and East. Assurnasirpal reached Mount Amanus, the Orontes, Mount Lebanon; he received the tribute of the Phenician cities. Shalmanesar II. directed his most vigorous efforts against Hamath and Damascus, while at the same time he reduced the Cilicians, as well as the nations of the Western table land of Iran, to pay tribute. At the division of the ninth and eighth centuries B.C. Bin-nirar III. held sway from the shore of the Red Sea over Edom, on the shore of the Mediterranean over the Philistines and Israel, in the East over Mount Zagrus and the Medes. Then after the middle of the eighth century Tiglath Pilesar II. forced his way as far as Arachosia, and at the least maintained his dominion over the tribes of the Medes; in the West he humbled Hamath, Damascus, Samaria; Judah paid homage with the Philistines and all the princes of Syria with the distant tribes of the Arabians, to the great king of Asshur. He first completely subjugated Babylonia, and forced even Southern Chaldæa to recognise his supremacy. Sargon, after him, maintained Syria even against the arms of Egypt, and added the crown of Babylon to the crown of Asshur: Cyprus as well as the islands of the Persian Gulf pay homage to him. Sennacherib maintains the dominion over Babylonia against the most stubborn rebellions, as well as against the Elamites, and also the supremacy over Media; and if he was not able to maintain Syria against Egypt, he still retained the upper hand in the eastern half of Asia Minor. Esarhaddon ruled over Asshur and Babel; he restored the dominion over Syria; he conquered Egypt. The armies of his successor not only march victoriously into the gates of Memphis, Thebes, and Babylon, but even into the gates of Susa. In repeated campaigns he annihilates the ancient kingdom of Elam, and receives from the West the homage of Lydia.

No other kingdom can display so long a series of warlike and active princes, unwearied in conflict, as Assyria. They believed that they were fighting not for dominion only, or glory, but also for their gods, for Asshur, Sin and Samas, for Istar, Bin and Adar, against the nations who did not worship these deities. It is this extraordinary activity of the princes which alone explains the long continuance, and the constantly increasing extent, of the Assyrian power. For great as is the activity and unwearied perseverance of these princes, there is an equal lack of capability to create any organisation of their dominion and sovereignty which could secure even approximately the dependence of the subject nations. They take the field, defeat the enemy, and rest content if he pays homage and tribute, if the image of the victorious king of Asshur is engraved on the rocks of the conquered land, or set up in the city of the enemy. Ere long, if the tribute fails, war must be again commenced. The enemy is removed from the government, another prince is set on the throne of the subjugated land; the same game is commenced once more, as soon as there is the least prospect of shaking off the yoke. Owing to the stubbornness, more especially of the Semitic tribes and the mountaineers in the North, the kings of Asshur are condemned to constant campaigns. The defections are punished with savage devastation of the land and destruction of the cities. The rebellious princes and their leading adherents are often put to death with exquisite cruelty; they are flayed, or beheaded, or impaled, and yet such terrorism produces no visible effects. On the other hand, if they submit, they are often pardoned; they are again recognised or set up as princes over their lands, in some cases even after repeated defection. Occasionally, in order to maintain independently the Assyrian supremacy, Assyrian fortresses are planted in the conquered districts; as at the crossings over the Euphrates, in the region of the Medes, on the borders of Elam, and in Syria. For the most part it is only over the smaller districts that Assyrian viceroys were placed. Native kings, chiefs, and princes remain on the throne in the more extensive lands, and over the greater nations, as in the cities and principalities of Syria. Sometimes an attempt is made to secure the submission of princes by alliance with the royal house of Assyria. Over Babylonia alone were sons and brothers of the king repeatedly placed, and not always with a happy result. If Esarhaddon, instead of transferring the government of Egypt, under his supremacy, to one prince, divides it among 20, this organisation was not an Assyrian invention; in all essentials it was a transference of the lords of the districts from vassalage to the king of Napata to vassalage to the king of Assyria. The chief means of the kings of Assyria for securing the obedience of the vanquished for the future consisted at all times in carrying away and transplanting parts of the conquered population. The nationalities of Hither Asia, as far as the table-land of Iran, underwent considerable intermixture in consequence of this system, but this means could only work thoroughly in the smaller regions and communities—for the kingdom of Israel, for Hamath, and the Arabian tribes.

In such a defective organisation of the empire, while limited to such elementary, and at the same time such unproductive, means, it would be more interesting to find an answer to the question, how the kings of Assyria were able to keep their own nation willing to undertake these endless wars; how from their native land, of no great extent, they could obtain the men and the means for such burdensome efforts—and in any crisis this was the only power they could rely upon—how the authority of the crown could be maintained in spite of such heavy requisitions on their subjects;—did our knowledge allow us to give even an approximate explanation. An hereditary succession, interrupted far less than is usual elsewhere in the East, appears to have rendered these tasks easier to the kings of Asshur, to have been favourable to the continuance of the kingdom, and to have assisted the rulers in extending their supremacy. Tiglath Pilesar I. mentions four of his ancestors in unbroken succession on the throne (II. 36). The kings always describe themselves as sons and grandsons of preceding rulers. Down to the time of Sargon we hear nothing of the murder of kings, and only of one attempt at rebellion on the part of a king's son. With Sargon a new dynasty seems to have ascended the throne: he neither calls himself a son of his predecessor (Shalmanesar IV.), nor does he mention any other of the earlier rulers as his progenitor. But his race, in its turn, seems to have held the throne till the fall of the kingdom, though he and his son Sennacherib fell by assassination, though Esarhaddon only acquired the throne after a conflict with the two brothers who had slain their father, and Assurbanipal had to defend it against the rebellion of a brother. That the power exercised by the kings of Assyria was unlimited even in their own territory is beyond a doubt. The king is the supreme judge, the general in chief, the high-priest. He ascertains the will of the gods, who reveal themselves to him, who send him dreams, assure him of their assistance. It is the gods, their lords, who overthrow the enemy and the rebellious princes before them. The kings offer sacrifice and pour libations in person, not the priests. In his palace at Kuyundshik (p. 181) Sennacherib pours a drink-offering over four lions which he has slain in hunting, and which lie before the altar. Other monuments exhibit the king, with a bowl in his hand containing gifts for the gods, or holding up a pine-apple. At the sacrifices the king wears a peculiar priestly robe: small pictures of the sun and moon, with a horned cap, a pitcher, and a two-pronged fork, hang from his neck: in his hand he has a short staff. The priests serve at his side; behind the form of the king on the monuments stand winged spirits, in expectation or protection, at the sacrifices. Only the king wears the upright tiara or kidaris ; a tall conical cap, flattened at the top. He alone speaks in the inscriptions. He frequently relates the deeds of his generals as performed immediately by himself. Service about the person of the king is entrusted to eunuchs, who are distinguished on the monuments by corpulence, flat cheeks, beardless chins, and lank hair—while all others wear long hair curling at the end, and long, carefully-trimmed beards. Eunuchs carry the parasol and the fan of the king; they are his butlers, and conduct into his presence those who come to pay homage or tribute; they also perform the duties of the royal scribes. We find them equally active as magistrates of the state; and finally we see them on war chariots as commanders of divisions of the troops.

On the organisation of the government we have very scanty information. The prophet Nahum speaks of the leaders and mighty men of the king of Asshur, of the "crowned" of the Assyrians who are numerous as the locusts, and the captains whom he compares to a swarm of grasshoppers.[396] Ezekiel mentions the "captains and rulers of Assyria gorgeously clothed in blue purple, horsemen riding upon horses, all of them desirable young men."[397] From the chronicle of the Assyrian kingdom preserved to us from the beginning of the ninth century,B.C. we find that the years were regularly distinguished in a definite series by the names of certain high officers. The beginning is made by the year of Turtanu (Tartan), the chief-commander of the king; then follows the year of the chief of the palace, the year of the Rabbitur, i. e. controller of the harem (or this precedes the other), the year of the privy councillor of the king, the year of the overseer of the land, then the years of the prefects of the cities or regions of Rezeph, Nisibis, Arapha; and finally, the year of the prefect of the metropolis, Chalah. The viceroys of other cities or districts, e. g. of Gozan and Amida, were sometimes prefixed to the year; in the second half of the reign of Assurbanipal we also find the prefect of Babylon in the series of these high officers.[398] The regular list of the officers, after whom the year is named, and the record of the most important events which took place in the year, placed against the name of the officer, indicate a certain established order in the management of business. That in other respects also records were accurately kept is shown by the inscriptions, not only in the definite chronological statements for remote events, but also in the continued announcements of the numbers of slain enemies, of prisoners, of cattle taken as booty, of men and women removed and transplanted, and tribute received in money and animals. We see on the reliefs (at least on the monuments of the time of Sargon and after) the scribes occupied with these enumerations; they put down their notes on strips of leather. Short accounts of their successes by generals who have been sent out, reviews of affairs in neighbouring states, invariably directed to the king in person, are still in existence. The informant as a rule refers to the detailed communications which the messengers will make. There is also preserved a fragment of the diplomatic correspondence between Assyria and Elam, a letter of Ummanaldas II. of Elam concerning the descendant of Merodach Baladan, who fled to him (p. 174), and a proclamation of Assurbanipal to the subjects of this Nabubelzikri, that he had taken them under his protection, and made Balibni a viceroy over them.[399]

As to the activity, the forethought, and the results of the regular government, we only learn from the inscriptions of the kings about their buildings, that storehouses were in existence and kept up for the booty taken in war, and the tribute; that horses and beasts of burden were kept for the army. If we may conclude from these lists of the years and officers, these indications and hints, that the government of the native land was duly arranged and discharged its functions regularly, the fact that the army and siege apparatus were perpetually in readiness leads us to assume an active and careful military government. The army no doubt occupied the first place in the attention of the kings. Their warlike activity, supported by a force always in readiness, was the only foundation of their power beyond the borders of Asshur. Of the warriors of Assyria Isaiah says: "They shall come with speed from the ends of the earth; none shall be weary nor stumble among them; none shall slumber nor sleep; neither shall the girdle of their loins be loosed, nor the latchet of their shoes be broken; whose arrows are sharp and all their bows bent; their horses' hoofs shall be counted like flint, and their chariots like a whirlwind. They shall roar like young lions, and lay hold of the prey, and shall carry it away safe, and none shall deliver it."[400] According to the description of Herodotus, the Assyrians wore brazen helmets worked in a peculiar way; cuirasses of linen, lances, and shields and swords like the Egyptians; and besides these, war-clubs with iron heads.[401] From the evidence of the monuments the Assyrian infantry were divided into troops, distinguished by their clothing and armour. The heavy-armed had conical helmets or round caps with a high ridge and cheek-pieces, armour-coats, provided with plates or rings of steel on the breast, or cuirasses of scale armour in the place of these plates and rings, greaves extending from the knee to the ancle, or scale-armour hose. Beside this they cover themselves with round or oval shields. Their weapons of attack are the lance, and a short sword, straight or crooked, which was carried in the belt. In addition to this heavy infantry there were the light troops; bowmen and slingers. The first were occasionally accompanied by shield-bearers, who carried shields of the height of a man, and planted them before the bowmen.

The kings fought from their chariots with bow and arrows. This was the mode of fighting of the princes and captains throughout the Semitic warlike states. The kings of Elam and Ur and those of Erech and Babel were no doubt the first to take the field with war-chariots; after them the kings of Damascus and Hamath, and the princes of the Philistines. From the Syrians the Pharaohs borrowed their royal war-chariots and the chariots for their army. So long as the Hebrews were husbandmen and breeders of cattle, they fought simply on foot; when they established a monarchy we saw that the first care of the new princes was to provide themselves with chariots of war. From the Semites this mode of fighting spread westward, not only to Egypt but also to Asia Minor and Hellas, and eastwards to the Indians on the Ganges. The commanders of the Assyrian army also fought from their chariots, which at the same time carried the standards of their divisions. The mass of chariots formed a special portion of the Assyrian army. Beside the two pole-horses, which are yoked, they are, as a rule, provided with a third or subsidiary horse; on the chariot, as a rule, are three men, a charioteer, and an archer, besides a shield-bearer, provided with coats of mail which leave only the arms free, and scale-armour for the legs. Occasionally the charioteer, as well as the archer, has a shield-bearer behind him. Cavalry was not wanting in the armies of Assyria any more than in the armies of the Pharaohs. We see numerous troops of cavalry with well-trained horses, partly armed with the lance and partly with the bow; partly sitting without any saddle on the bare back of the horse, and partly provided with pack saddles. Pictures of parade-duty are not uncommon. In these the lance is held free in the right hand, the shield is carried under the left arm. In the camp the rows of tents are separated by a broad gangway, in which rises the great tent of the king. We have already seen the king seated even in the camp on a high seat, with his bow in one hand and his arrow in the other. In the spacious tents, the warriors kindle fire between stones and place pots thereon, while in others the wounded are being tended on beds. We see the Assyrian army crossing a river; the king, the chariots and the baggage are rowed over in boats; the horses and the men swim, the latter with the aid of inflated bladders, as is still the custom in Mesopotamia. Other pictures exhibit ships with two rows of oars. In the battle we see the line of the heavy-armed infantry awaiting the attack of the enemy; the first rank kneel down with outstretched lance; the second rank, in a somewhat crouching position, also hold the lance in rest; while the bowmen in the third rank stand upright and shoot over the two first ranks. Then the king, on his splendidly adorned chariot, drawn by richly caparisoned horses, sending forth arrow upon arrow, with the picture of Asshur the supreme deity over him, dashes upon the ranks of the enemy. In some reliefs, the infantry, or the cavalry of the enemy, already turned back in flight, shoot their arrows as they fly, an artifice well understood by the cavalry of the Medes and Persians. We also see the riders on camels defending themselves in this way in their flight.

The greater number of reliefs exhibit the enemies of the Assyrians in strongly fortified cities, protected by lofty walls and towers, in part with beautifully decorated pinnacles; sometimes two or three walls rise one behind the other. The fortresses lie on heights surrounded by vineyards, or forests of pines and fir-trees, or on rivers by palm-groves, where the fruits occasionally indicate the season of the siege; in other representations the position of the enemy's city on a river or the sea-coast is indicated by creatures of the water or the sea, like tortoises, large fish, etc. The Assyrians knew how to throw walls of circumvallation round the hostile city,[402] to build besieging-towers, to undermine the walls or force their way into the city by means of shafts under the earth.[403] But the ordinary mode of attack was to fill up the moat and then to make a breach in the walls by battering-rams. The battering-rams stood on wheels, and were protected by a case covered by the skins of animals, or they were placed in the lower story of a moveable wooden tower, the upper part of which is occupied by archers; and the whole is then moved up on wheels to the wall. Machines for throwing stones are also to be seen on the monuments. When a breach is made, the infantry advance towards it under the protection of the "tortoise." If an attempt is made to scale the walls by ladders, the bowmen, where possible, from a covered position, such as a wood near the walls, keep up a lively fire upon the turrets of the wall, in order to distress the defenders and drive them from the breastwork, while the heavy-armed plant their ladders. The besieged then attempt to meet the storm by a shower of arrows, by throwing down stones and firebrands. When the walls are scaled we see the besieged pledging submission by raising their hands, the women escaping on mules or camels, or kneeling and praying for mercy. The victors collect the booty: arms, tripods, vessels, beds, stools; guards are set over these, while others bring to their commanders the heads of the slain, the number of which is taken down by the scribes. The flocks and herds of the vanquished, camels, sheep, and goats, are driven away; the prisoners are put in fetters and led before the king, who has ascended the throne. Here they appear, some with heavy irons on their hands and feet, some with the hands tied, some led by ropes, which are drawn through holes in their lips and noses, sometimes tied in pairs, sometimes in troops, driven forward with blows by the soldiers in charge. The king plants his foot on the neck of a captive prince; he puts out the eyes of another with his lance; others are impaled. Then follows the victorious return; soldiers and music go before the king's chariot, before which, as we already know, the heads of the slain or executed princes of the enemy were occasionally carried.

The strength of the chief cities formed in the last resort the support of the kingdom. The walls of these the kings of Asshur cannot have neglected to renew and strengthen. In the inscriptions only the buildings of Sennacherib and Assurbanipal at the walls of Nineveh are mentioned. According to the statements of Ctesias, preserved in Diodorus, the city of Nineveh formed a long rectangle of 480 stades (60 miles) in the circuit. The walls which inclosed this space were 100 feet high, and were overtopped by 1500 towers of double the height.[404] A writing of the Hebrews, which, however, is not earlier than the fourth century B.C., maintains that the circuit of Nineveh was three days' journey; 120,000 inhabitants lived in the city, who could not distinguish the right hand and the left, i. e. children in the earliest years of life. More important is the evidence of Nahum, from the middle of the seventh century B.C., that "Nineveh is full of men as a pool is full of water; her merchants are more numerous than the stars in heaven."[405] The position of Nineveh is marked by the ruins of Kuyundshik and Nebbi Yunus, opposite Mosul; and the remains of the outer wall allow us to fix, with tolerable accuracy, the circuit which it really had. As a fact it formed a long rectangle, somewhat out of the square. On the west the course of the Tigris covered the city; the wall on this side of the city extended along the ancient bed of the river for 13,600 feet; the wall of the longer eastern side measures 16,000 feet; the wall of the north side is exactly 7000 feet; that on the short south side is only half this length;[406] so that the whole circuit of the city does not reach ten miles, i. e. does not reach a sixth part of the extent given to it by Ctesias. Even if we add to this the circuit of the strong outer ramparts which run in a double and sometimes in a quadruple line, on the east side, from the point where the Khosr flows into the city, as far as the stream which, emptying into the Tigris, covered the southern front of Nineveh—even if we reckon in the city of Sargon (Khorsabad), which lay ten good miles to the north-east of Nineveh, on the left bank of the Khosr (p. 95), the circuit of both cities taken together does not amount to more than 15 miles. Xenophon, who was on the spot, and saw the walls of Nineveh still standing, gives them a circuit of six parasangs, i. e. of 20 miles. According to this, either the fortresses of Khorsabad and Nineveh were connected, and this circuit is actually given,—or Xenophon assumes that they once were in connection. We are hardly justified in excluding the first hypothesis. The lower part of the walls, so Xenophon tells us, was built of smoothed shell-stone;[407] the thickness was about 50 feet, and the height also 50 feet. On this substructure is raised the wall of bricks, which also is 50 feet thick, but 100 feet high. Hence these walls were standing 200 years after the fall of Nineveh; with the walls of Khorsabad, though broken by wide breaches, they were still to be traced through a circuit of 20 miles, and reached the astounding height of 150 feet, i. e. higher than Ctesias puts them. The remains of the walls of Khorsabad possess to this day a thickness of 45 feet, which agrees with Xenophon's measure; in the walls of Nineveh the substructure of well-hewn limestone can be traced, but the remains of the walls do not rise more than 46 feet above the present surface of the ground. If we are to venture on a supposition about the number of the inhabitants from the extent of the walls of Nineveh and Khorsabad—the total of the two cities, in which the royal palaces and temples occupied a considerable space, can hardly be put down at more than 300,000.

Twenty good miles to the south of Nineveh lay the other residence of the kings of Asshur, Chalah, the city founded by Shalmanesar I. Chalah was naturally even stronger than Nineveh. On the west, as at Nineveh, the Tigris formed the protection; about seven and a half miles to the south the greater Zab emptied into the Tigris. The course of this from the north-east to the south-west formed on the east also an outer line of defence, which was made still more strong by the fact that a not inconsiderable tributary of the Zab, the Bumodus (Ghasr), which flows from north to south, empties into the Zab about ten miles to the east of Chalah, just before the latter unites with the Tigris. Above the mouth of the Zab, Assurnasirpal carried a canal from that river in a northern direction to Chalah (II. 312). The city itself formed, as has been already remarked, a regular square, the extent of which reached about half the circuit of Nineveh; the south-west corner of the city was occupied by the royal palace. Xenophon gives to the walls of this "large but desolated" city, which he calls Larissa, a circuit of two parasangs (seven miles, nearly). The walls also were of less dimensions here. Xenophon found the substructure of stones 20 feet high; the walls of burnt bricks on the substructure 100 feet high; the thickness of the walls was 25 feet.[408] Northward of Chalah, on the brook Shordere, which flows past on the south and east of Chalah, are heaps of ruins, extending as far as Keremles, and from this point again through the plain as far as the district of Khorsabad. It is possible that the line of these forts formed an outer system of defence for Nineveh and Chalah, and that it lies at the bottom of the story of the 60 miles of circuit of Nineveh. The same circuit is given by Herodotus for the city of Babylon (cf. Chap. xv.). Of the third chief city, Asshur, which stood in ancient times, as we have seen, not only before Chalah, but also before Nineveh, nothing is left but heaps of refuse, out of which rises a conical hill. The ruins are of brick, among which here and there are seen some stones. The line of the old walls can still be traced. This city also formed a square, not less, but rather longer, in circuit than Chalah.[409]

It seems that the kings of Assyria laid less weight on the fortification of the city of Asshur, than on the strengthening of Chalah and Nineveh. They saw danger in the west only, from the lower Euphrates. The city of Asshur, on the western bank of the Tigris, was exposed to attacks from the west; Chalah and Nineveh were covered in this direction by the Tigris, which the enemy had to cross. To make the two cities so covered impregnable from the eastern side also was the object of the kings of Assyria, especially of Sargon, Sennacherib, and Assurbanipal. The thickness given to the walls of Nineveh, Khorsabad, and Chalah (25 to 50 feet), was sufficient to defy the battering-ram—the turrets, raised to the elevation of 120 to 150 feet, were so high that the stones of the slingers and the arrows of the bowmen could not reach them with effect, and no scaling-ladder or besieging-tower could be set up which would carry men to these turrets.

What Babylon possessed or acquired in science and poetry, Assyria did not fail to appropriate, just as she used her divisions of the heavens and the year, her weights and measures, her standard of coinage, and her writing from all antiquity. In the ruins of Kuyundshik a great number of tablets have been dug up,[410]copies of old Babylonian originals, which have preserved for us the story of the Babylonians about Chasisathra (Xisuthrus) and the great flood, about the descent of Istar to the under world, and other narratives of a mythical character. In addition to this are prayers and poems, with fragments apparently on cosmogonical subjects, very difficult of interpretation, and hardly to be referred to any definite date. Of especial value for the deciphering of the Babylonian and Assyrian cuneiform writing are the clay tablets discovered here, on which the cuneiform symbols are explained by placing beside them the phonetic value of the words and inflections, first of the Accadian, that language unknown to us, and then of Babylonian-Assyrian.[411] The use of writing was not less extensive in Babylonia and Assyria than in Egypt. The copious application of it for the purposes of government and legal business has been already mentioned. We are indebted to this for the remains of the list of years and rulers, the synchronistic tablets of the kings of Asshur and Babel, and a long series of private documents from the time of Bin-nirar III. down to the overthrow of the empire. These documents, and the ambition of the kings to retain their names in the buildings which they erected, to set up their images wherever their armies or their dominion advanced, to transfer to the walls of the buildings which they erected their achievements written on cylinders or stone slabs, to adorn the walls of their palaces with pictures of their hunts, their sieges, their victories and triumphs, accompanied by written explanations, have enabled us to restore, at least in its main lines, the lost history of Assyria—a history of which the Greeks have left and could only leave to us the fact that a kingdom of this name existed, and was the foremost power in Hither Asia, along with echoes of Medo-Persian songs about Ninus, Semiramis, and Sardanapalus—from which the Hebrews have retained no more than the names and the acts of the rulers who made their influence most deeply felt in the fortunes of Israel. Yet even the inscriptions of the kings of Asshur do not give us the history of Assyria undefiled. But whatever care they took to represent their successes in the most brilliant light possible—here and there we are driven to the attempt to bring back these accounts to the fact—they are far removed from the extravagance and the voluble assertions of the inscriptions of the Pharaohs. The far more realistic and historical sense of the Assyrians is stamped in their monuments and inscriptions. As they allow us to see, year by year, the activity, the untiring perseverance, and warlike skill of the Assyrian nation and its princes, even though they magnify their successes—so too the reverse side of these qualities is brought into prominence; the fierce cruelty, the bloody savagery which the conquered had to undergo. The kings constantly boast of the punishments they have inflicted, and appear more than once to exaggerate them.

The rivalry of the long series of the rulers of Assyria in building temples and palaces, which begins with the oldest period of the realm, after the pattern of Babylonia, has preserved for us no inconsiderable remains of Assyrian arts, and ocular evidence of the industry and mode of life, of the character and manners of the Assyrians—not indeed in the breadth and unbroken succession of development in which the monuments and the inexhaustible sepulchres on the Nile have retained the picture of ancient Egypt. For monuments of plastic art, the ruins of Erech, and Ur, and of Babylon, have been investigated almost in vain. The ruins of Nineveh and Chalah have preserved a considerable series of works of sculpture. If in the ruins of Babylon, with the exception of outlines on seals or other cylinders, there is scarcely a single image of a god preserved, there have been discovered at Nineveh some statues of gods, and innumerable pictures in relief of gods and demons, on the slabs of the palaces. The most frequent object on these is the image of the god Asshur. On a bearded human head, of grave aspect, the god wears a round cap or a helmet, round which are horns; the figure extends only to the knees; it is surrounded by a winged disk to which, from the knees of the god downwards, are attached the tail-feathers of a bird. In battle-pictures the breast of the god is clothed with a cuirass of steel-plates; his bow is in his hand; he shoots his arrows against the enemies of his nation. On the pictures representing a victorious return, and the seal-cylinders of the kings, the bow rests in the hands of the god. Nebo, the god of the planet Mercury (I. 267), is exhibited in standing images, with long beard and bared breast; the robe descends from the breast. Of a statue of Istar, in her old temple at Nineveh, we have at the least the head.[412] The god Bin also is to be seen on cylinders; he holds the trident of his lightning in his hand, a pointed cap is on his head; his robe falls, not from the shoulders, but only from the hips down to his ancles. The moon god Sin is seen on Assyrian cylinders in a long robe, with a long beard, standing on a half-moon; a second half-moon rises above the tall covering of his head. In a figure swimming in water, with a round horned cap on the head, and ending in the body of a fish from the hips downwards, we may no doubt recognise Dagon. The cylinders most frequently exhibit a sun's disk by the side of the images of Asshur, the crescent and seven stars.[413] On the slabs of stone which exhibit to us the forms of the kings, symbolical indications of the chief deities are visible to the left of the kings; we see the sun, the moon, a horned cap, and a winged disk, perhaps the symbol of the god Asshur. In the reliefs winged demons are often to be seen. They wear the high round cap, out of which rise four united bull's horns: occasionally the head is uncovered, and then it is surrounded merely with the narrow fillet of the priests; the arms and thighs are always uncovered. These forms also are frequently found in pairs, guarding the entrance to rooms; at times standing or kneeling in an attitude of blessing or prayer, on both sides of a wonderfully-shaped and adorned tree. In the same way two eagle-headed genii often stand opposite each other. Human figures, clothed in royal attire, with the head and wings of an eagle, are often found. Walking figures of lions with eagle heads and wings, or the back of a man on the legs of a bird surmounted by a lion's head, are found. The gates of the temples and palaces are guarded by winged bulls and lions with human heads. These are always placed in pairs. The height of these images ranges from 10 to 18 feet. At the point where the long, richly-worked wings, which are thrown far back, are joined to the shoulders, rises a grave and solemn countenance, with a strong beard, sometimes wearing a cap, sometimes a tall tiara, round which wind four bull's horns. These figures stand at times entirely detached before the entrance; in others the fore part and fore legs alone are free from the pilasters of the doors, and the figure is continued in relief on the side of the pilaster.

Plastic art in Assyria is less forced and typical in the lines, forms, and figures, than plastic art on the Nile: it is not fettered by the unchangeable laws of Egyptian art; it is less solemn, and free from the tiresome parallelism of the Egyptian forms. The sculpture of Assyria is more significant and vigorous. Not tied down by the hieratic style, like the Egyptian, it also works for the most part in the softer material of limestone, while the Egyptians prefer granite, the hardest of all materials. The Assyrians do not strive after the gigantic and colossal forms of Egypt: the dimensions even of the colossal bulls and lions are on a more moderate scale. Far more naïve, they conceive of life more freshly, fully, and powerfully, and aim far more at a true representation of life than the Egyptian. Egypt prefers the sunk, Assyria the raised picture. On the Nile the outline is the chief object: in Assyria the forms are always modelled full, strong, and round, with energetic expression of the limbs, and muscular to an excess. The movement is more vigorous and full of expression than in Egypt, without, however, sacrificing repose and fixedness, and without destroying dignity in the representation of ceremonies. The feet of the figures exhibit the Egyptian position in profile, but the upper part of the body is full, rounded, and closely compressed. The tall and thin forms of Egypt are not to be found in the monuments of Assyria. The clothing is heavy; the position and expression of the face is far more varied than in Egypt. The animals are represented plump and full of life, often with startling truth even in the most rapid motion; though not unfrequently with great exaggeration in the muscles. The great guardians of the portals exhibit a beautiful effect in the contrast of their mighty animal energy, and the quiet dignity of their human faces. Great practice in the treatment of the forms can hardly be mistaken anywhere; in spite of the dimensions, often colossal, the proportions are correctly preserved; and the larger pictures of camps, battles, and marches, if not better than those of Egypt, are more various and free in composition. Within the sphere of Assyrian art we are in a position to establish a certain distinction, a progress of some importance. The figures in the palaces of Assurnasirpal and Shalmanesar II., the two great princes of the ninth century B.C., are stronger and thicker, more coarse, violent, and exaggerated than the reliefs in the buildings of Sargon. In the century which passed since that time the plastic art of Assyria obviously made technical advances, and attained a more delicate treatment and greater regularity in the exposition. Later still, at the height of its development, Assyrian art is seen in the figures of the great palace of Nineveh (Kuyundshik), which Sennacherib, Esarhaddon, and Assurbanipal built in succession (p. 181).

The architecture of Assyria was not essentially different from that of Babylonia. The Assyrians had brought with them from the lower Euphrates the habit of building in bricks, and continued to use this style, though harder material lay at a less distance from them than from the cities of the Babylonian plain. The temples and the palaces of Asshur, Nineveh, and Chalah consisted for the most part of unburnt brick-slabs, dried in the sun and mixed with straw. This material made it necessary here, as in Babylonia, to make the walls stout, which was also advisable owing to the summer heat. The thickness varies between five and fifteen feet. The stone for the substructure and casing, mostly limestone and shell-stone, was quarried in the adjacent mountains. The buildings were roofed by beams extending from wall to wall: by this necessity the breadth of the rooms was limited. As a rule these are narrow, and the want of breadth is compensated by length. These are the dimensions of the porticoes and galleries which we can trace in the remains of the royal palaces: the great portico of the palace of king Assurnasirpal at Chalah (II. 313) has only a breadth of 35 feet, with a length of 154 feet; the porticoes in the palace of Kuyundshik are from 150 to 180 feet long, and 40 feet in width; the great gallery is only 25 feet broad, but more than 200 feet in length. Yet in the palace of king Sargon at Khorsabad, remains of the bases of pillars have been found. The application of the brick-vaulted roof in the form of pointed and round arches is shown in the narrow passage in the building of Shalmanesar II. at Chalah (II. 323), and in some remains of door-arches at Khorsabad. The pictures of cities in relief also occasionally exhibit arched gateways. The sculptures in the stone slabs of white, grey, and yellow limestone or alabaster, which cover the walls and chambers to a height of 10 or 12 feet, were painted, as is shown by numerous traces of colour upon them.[414] The walls of the chambers above the sculptures, where they did not make way for window lights, were decked with burnt and glazed tiles, sometimes coloured and enamelled; the beams of the roofs were adorned with carved work of wood and ivory, with plates of gold and silver, and precious stones.[415] The outer walls of the palaces must also have been cased with slabs of stone.

The wealth of Nineveh is called endless by the prophet Nahum. He mentions the abundance of carved and molten images, of costly vessels in the "house of their god." The monuments exhibit not only the "carved" images; beside many actual remains, they prove that costly furniture was in extensive use in the temples, at the court, and among the great officers of Assyria. The tables, stools, seats, drinking-vessels, vases, harness and bridles of horses, shown in the reliefs of the palace, are wrought with great delicacy and with good taste. The yokes of the chariots, the bows and bow-covers, exhibit very delicate carved work. On the robes of the kings we see groups of wild animals inwoven, partly real in form, as lions, partly mythical, like scenes of hunting and war. The ear-drops, which the kings and other persons of distinction wear, the bands round the arms and wrists, are of artistic work, and generally closed by the heads of lions, rams, and bulls; the weapons also, the handles and sheaths of the swords and daggers, must have been finished with great care and neatness, and in an excellent style. The not inconsiderable number of vessels of copper and bronze, of pitchers, stained glass, ivory articles, necklaces, armrings, and eardrops, which have been preserved in the ruins, prove that the monuments represent the possession of the Assyrians, without exaggeration of their beauty, that Assyria, besides what was brought to her by trade, possessed a school of artisans long trained in the art, and excellently taught, without which such great and excellent works in architecture and sculpture would have been impossible. Of the tombs of the Assyrians few have been opened as yet. The coffins, like those in the Babylonian sepulchres, are narrow and small, and only contain skeletons, with bands on the arms and neck, and some simple clay vessels beside the coffins.[416]


[395]Ezek. xxi. 3-9.

[396]Nahum iii. 17, 18.

[397]Ezek. xxiii. 6, 12.

[398]E. Schrader, "Z. D. M. G." 25, 449 ff.; G. Smith, "Assyrian Canon;" Vol. II. p. 328, and above, p. 171, note.

[399]G. Smith, "Assurb." p. 252.

[400]Isaiah v. 26-29.

[401]Herod. 7, 63.

[402]Isaiah xxxvii. 33; cf. 2 Kings xix. 32; above, p. 127.

[403]Layard, "Nineveh," p. 378.

[404]Vol. II. p. 4.

[405]Nahum ii. 9; iii. 16.

[406]G. Rawlinson, "Monarchies," 1 2 , p. 254 ff.

[407]Lyell, 'Elements of Geology,' ed. 3. p. 368.

[408]Xenoph. "Anab." 3, 4, 7-9.

[409]Layard, "Nineveh and its Remains," 2, 44.

[410]The so-called Archive of Assurbanipal in chambers 40 and 41 on Layard's plan.

[411]Lénormant, "Etudes Accadiennes," 1, 3, p. 67 ff.; E. Schrader, "Jen. Lit. Z." 4th April, 1874.

[412]G. Smith, "Disc." p. 248.

[413]G. Rawlinson, "Monarchies," 2 2 , 16, 17; Layard, "Mon." Pl. 69 note, 45, 47, 48.

[414]Ezekiel also supports this, xxiii. 14, 15.

[415]Layard, loc. cit. p. 327, 328.

[416]Layard, loc. cit. p. 304.

The Story of Ninus and Semiramis

About the middle course of the Tigris, where the mountain wall of the Armenian plateau steeply descends to the south, there is a broad stretch of hilly country. To the west it is traversed by a few water-courses only, which spring out of the mountains of Sindyar, and unite with the Tigris; from the east the affluents are far more abundant. On the southern shore of the lake of Urumiah the edge of the plateau of Iran abuts on the Armenian table-land, and then, stretching to the south-east, it bounds the river valley of the Tigris toward the east. From its vast, successive ranges, the Zagrus of the Greeks, flow the Lycus and Caprus (the Greater and the Lesser Zab), the Adhim and the Diala. The water, which these rivers convey to the land between the Zagrus and the Tigris, together with the elevation of the soil, softens the heat and allows olive trees and vines to flourish in the cool air on the hills, sesame and corn in the valleys between groups of palms and fruit-trees. The backs of the heights which rise to the east are covered by forests of oaks and nut trees. Toward the south the ground gradually sinks—on the west immediately under the mountains of Sindyar, on the east below the Lesser Zab—toward the course of the Adhim into level plains, where the soil is little inferior in fertility to the land of Babylonia. The land between the Tigris and the Greater Zab is known to Strabo and Arrian as Aturia.[1] The districts between the Greater and Lesser Zab are called Arbelitis and Adiabene by western writers.[2] The region bounded by the Lesser Zab and the Adhim or the Diala is called Sittacene, and the land lying on the mountains rising further toward the east is Chalonitis. The latter we shall without doubt have to regard as the Holwan [3] of later times.

According to the accounts of the Greeks, it was in these districts that the first kingdom rose which made conquests and extended its power beyond the borders of its native country. In the old time—such is the story—kings ruled in Asia, whose names were not mentioned, as they had not performed any striking exploits. The first of whom any memorial is retained, and who performed great deeds, was Ninus, the king of the Assyrians. Warlike and ambitious by nature, he armed the most vigorous of his young men, and accustomed them by long and various exercises to all the toils and dangers of war. After collecting a splendid army, he combined with Ariæus, the prince of the Arabs, and marched with numerous troops against the neighbouring Babylonians. The city of Babylon was not built at that time, but there were other magnificent cities in the land. The Babylonians were an unwarlike people, and he subdued them with little trouble, took their king prisoner, slew him with his children, and imposed a yearly tribute on the Babylonians. Then with a still greater force he invaded Armenia and destroyed several cities. Barzanes, the king of Armenia, perceived that he was not in a position to resist. He repaired with costly presents to Ninus and undertook to be his vassal. With great magnanimity Ninus permitted him to retain the throne of Armenia; but he was to provide a contingent in war and contribute to the support of the army. Strengthened by these means, Ninus turned his course to Media. Pharnus, king of Media, came out to meet him with a strong force, but he was nevertheless defeated, and crucified with his wife and seven children, and Ninus placed one of his own trusty men as viceroy over Media. These successes raised in Ninus the desire to subjugate all Asia as far as the Nile and the Tanais. He conquered, as Ctesias narrates, Egypt, Phœnicia, Cœle Syria, Cilicia, Lycia and Caria, Lydia, Mysia, Phrygia, Bithynia, and Cappadocia, and reduced the nations on the Pontus as far as the Tanais. Then he made himself master of the land of the Cadusians and Tapyrians, of the Hyrcanians, Drangians, Derbiccians, Carmanians, Chorasmians, Barcians, and Parthians. Beside these, he overcame Persia, and Susiana, and Caspiana, and many other small nations. But in spite of many efforts he failed toobtain any success against the Bactrians, because the entrance to their land was difficult and the number of their men of war was great. So he deferred the war against the Bactrians to another opportunity, and led his army back, after subjugating in 17 years all the nations of Asia, with the exception of the Indians and Bactrians. The king of the Arabians he dismissed to his home with costly presents and splendid booty; he began himself to build a city which should not only be greater than any other then in existence, but should be such that no city in the future could ever surpass it. This city he founded on the bank of the Tigris,[4] in the form of an oblong, and surrounded it with strong fortifications. The two longer sides measured 150 stades each, the two shorter sides 90 stades each, so that the whole circuit was 480 stades. The walls reached a height of 100 feet, and were so thick that there was room in the gangway for three chariots to pass each other. These walls were surmounted by 1500 towers, each of the height of 200 feet. As to the inhabitants of the city, the greater number and those of the most importance were Assyrians, but from the other nations also any who chose could fix his dwelling here, and Ninus allotted to the settlers large portions of the surrounding territory, and called the city Ninus, after his own name.

When the city was built Ninus resolved to march against the Bactrians. He knew the number and bravery of the Bactrians, and how difficult their land was to approach, and therefore he collected the armies of all the subject nations, to the number of 1,700,000 foot soldiers, 210,000 cavalry, and towards 10,600 chariots of war. The narrowness of the passes which protect the entrance to Bactria compelled Ninus to divide his army. Oxyartes, who at that time was king of the Bactrians, had collected the whole male population of his country, about 400,000 men, and met the enemy at the passes. One part of the Assyrian army he allowed to enter unmolested; when a sufficient number seemed to have reached the plains he attacked them and drove them back to the nearest mountains; about 100,000 Assyrians were slain. But when the whole force had penetrated into the land, the Bactrians were overcome by superior numbers and scattered each to his own city. The rest of the cities were captured by Ninus with little trouble, but Bactra, the chief city, where the palace of the king lay, he could not reduce, for it was large and well-provisioned, and the fortress was very strong.

When the siege became protracted, Onnes, the first among the counsellors of the king and viceroy of Syria, who accompanied the king on this campaign, sent for his wife Semiramis to the camp. Once when he was inspecting the flocks of the king in Syria, he had seen at the dwelling of Simmas, the keeper of these flocks, a beautiful maiden, and he was so overcome with love for her that he sought and obtained her as a wife from Simmas. She was the foster-child of Simmas. In a rocky place in the desert his shepherds had found the maiden about a year old, fed by doves with milk and cheese; as Simmas was childless he had taken the foundling as his child, and given her the name of Semiramis Onnes took her to the city of Ninus. She bore him two sons, Hyapates and Hydaspes, and as she had everything which beauty requires, she made her husband her slave; he did nothing without her advice, and everything succeeded admirably. She also possessed intelligence and daring, and every other gift likely to advance her. When requested by Onnes to come to the camp, she seized the opportunity to display her power. She put on such clothing that it could not be ascertained whether she was a man or a woman, and this succeeded so well that at a later time the Medes, and after them the Persians also, wore the robe of Semiramis. When she arrived in the camp she perceived that the attack was directed only against the parts of the city lying in the plain, not against the high part and the strong fortifications of the citadel, and she also perceived that this direction of the attack induced the Bactrians to be careless in watching the citadel. She collected all those in the army who were accustomed to climbing, and with this troop she ascended the citadel from a deep ravine, captured a part of it, and gave the signal to the army which was assaulting the walls in the plain. The Bactrians lost their courage when they saw their citadel occupied, and the city was taken. Ninus admired the courage of the woman, honoured her with costly presents, and was soon enchained by her beauty; but his attempts to persuade Onnes to give up Semiramis to him were in vain; in vain he offered to recompense him by the gift of his own daughter Sosana in marriage. At length Ninus threatened to put out his eyes if he did not obey his commands. The terror of this threat and the violence of his own love drove Onnes out of his mind. He hung himself. Thus Semiramis came to the throne of Assyria. When Ninus had taken possession of the great treasures of gold and silver which were in Bactra, and had arranged everything there, he led his army back. At Ninus Semiramis bore him a son, Ninyas, and at his death, when he had reigned 52 years, Ninus bequeathed to her the sovereign power. She buried his corpse in the royal palace, and caused a huge mound to be raised over the grave, 6000 feet in the circuit and 5400 feet high, which towered over the city of Ninus like a lofty citadel, and could be seen far through the plain in which Ninus lay.

As Semiramis was ambitious, and desired to surpass the fame of Ninus, she built the great city of Babylon, with mighty walls and towers, the two royal citadels, the bridge over the Euphrates, and the temple of Belus, and caused a great lake to be excavated to draw off the water of the Euphrates. Other cities also she founded on the Euphrates and the Tigris, and caused depôts to be made for those who brought merchandise from Media, Paraetacene, and the bordering countries. After completing these works she marched with a great army to Media and planted the garden near Mount Bagistanon. The steep and lofty face of this mountain, more than 10,000 feet in height, she caused to be smoothed, and on it was cut her picture surrounded by 100 guards; and an inscription was engraved in Syrian letters, saying that Semiramis had caused the pack-saddles of her beasts of burden to be piled on each other, and on these had ascended to the summit of the mountain. Afterwards she made another large garden near the city of Chauon, in Media,[5] and on a rock in the middle of it she erected rich and costly buildings, from which she surveyed the blooming garden and the army encamped in the plain. Here she remained for a long time, and gave herself up to every kind of pleasure. She was unwilling to contract another marriage from fear of losing the sovereign power, but she lived with any of her warriors who were distinguished for their beauty. All who had enjoyed her favours she secretly put to death. After this retirement she turned her course to Egbatana, caused a path to be cut through the rocks of Mount Zagrus, and a short and convenient road to be made across them, in order to leave behind an imperishable memorial of her reign. In Egbatana she erected a splendid palace, and in order to provide the city with water she caused a tunnel to be made through the lofty mountain Orontes at its base, which conveyed the water of a lake lying on the other side of the heights into the city. After this she marched through Persia and all the countries of Asia which were subject to her, and caused the mountains to be cut through and straight and level roads to be built everywhere, while in the plains she at one place raised great mounds over her dead generals, and in another built cities on hills; and wherever the army was encamped eminences were raised for her tent so that she might overlook the whole. Of these works many are still remaining in Asia and bear the name of Semiramis. Then she subjugated Egypt,[6] a great part of Libya, and nearly the whole of Ethiopia, and finally returned to Bactra.

A long period of peace ensued, till she resolved to subjugate the Indians on hearing that they were the most numerous of all nations, and possessed the largest and most beautiful country in the world. For two years preparations were made throughout her whole kingdom; in the third year she collected in Bactria 3,000,000 foot soldiers, 500,000 horsemen, and 100,000 chariots. Beside these, 100,000 camels were covered with the sewn skins of black oxen, and each was mounted by one warrior; these animals were intended to pass for elephants with the Indians. For crossing the Indus 2000 ships were built, then taken to pieces again, and the various parts packed on camels. Stabrobates, the king of the Indians, awaited the Assyrians on the bank of the Indus. He also had prepared for the war with all his power, and gathered together even a larger force from the whole of India. When Semiramis approached he sent messengers to meet her with the complaint that she was making war upon him though he had done her no wrong; and in his letter he reproached her licentious life, and calling the gods to witness, threatened to crucify her if victorious. Semiramis read the letter, laughed, and said that the Indians would find out her virtue by her actions. The fleet of the Indians lay ready for battle on the Indus. Semiramis caused her ships to be put together, manned them with her bravest warriors, and, after a long and stubborn contest, the victory fell to her share. A thousand ships of the Indians were sunk and many prisoners taken. Then she also took the islands and cities on the river, and out of these she collected more than 100,000 prisoners. But the king of the Indians, pretending flight, led his army back from the Indus; in reality he wished to induce the enemy to cross the Indus. As matters succeeded according to her wishes, Semiramis caused a large and broad bridge to be thrown skilfully over the Indus, and on this her whole army passed over. Leaving 60,000 men to protect the bridge, she pursued the Indians with the rest of her army, and sent on in front the camels clothed as elephants. At first the Indians did not understand whence Semiramis could have procured so many elephants and were alarmed. But the deception could not last. Soldiers of Semiramis, who were found careless on the watch, deserted to the enemy to escape punishment, and betrayed the secret. Stabrobates proclaimed it at once to his whole army, caused a halt to be made, and offered battle to the Assyrians. When the armies approached each other the king of the Indians ordered his horsemen and chariots to make the attack. Semiramis sent against them her pretended elephants. When the cavalry of the Indians came up their horses started back at the strange smell, part of them dislodged their riders, others refused to obey the rein. Taking advantage of this moment, Semiramis, herself on horseback, pressed forward with a chosen band of men upon the Indians, and turned them to flight. Stabrobates was still unshaken; he led out his elephants, and behind them his infantry. Himself on the right wing, mounted on the best elephant, he chanced to come opposite Semiramis. He made a resolute attack upon the queen, and was followed by the rest of the elephants. The soldiers of Semiramis resisted only a short time. The elephants caused an immense slaughter; the Assyrians left their ranks, they fled, and the king pressed forward against Semiramis; his arrow wounded her arm, and as she turned away his javelin struck her on the back. She hastened away, while her people were crushed and trodden down by their own numbers; and at last, as the Indians pressed upon them, were forced from the bridge into the river. As soon as Semiramis saw the greater part of her army on the nearer bank, she caused the cables to be cut which held the bridge; the force of the stream tore the beams asunder, and many Assyrians who were on the bridge were plunged in the river. The other Assyrians were now in safety, the wounds of Semiramis were not dangerous, and the king of the Indians was warned by signs from heaven and their interpretation by the seers not to cross the river. After exchanging prisoners Semiramis returned to Bactra. She had lost two-thirds of her army.

Some time afterwards she was attacked by a conspiracy, which her own son Ninyas set on foot against her by means of an eunuch. Then she remembered a prophecy given to her in the temple of Zeus Ammon during the campaign in Libya; that when her son Ninyas conspired against her she would disappear from the sight of men, and the honours of an immortal would be paid to her by some nations of Asia. Hence she cherished no resentment against Ninyas, but, on the contrary, transferred to him the kingdom, ordered her viceroys to obey him, and soon after put herself to death, as though, according to the oracle, she had raised herself to the gods. Some relate that she was changed into a dove, and flew out of the palace with a flock of doves. Hence it is that the Assyrians regard Semiramis as an immortal, and the dove as divine. She was 62 years old, and had reigned 42 years.

The preceding narrative, which is from Diodorus, is borrowed in essentials from the Persian history of Ctesias, who lived for some time at the Persian Court in the first two decades of the reign of Artaxerxes Mnemon (405-361 B.C.). On the end of Semiramis the account of Ctesias contained more details than the account of Diodorus. This is made clear by some fragments from Ctesias preserved by other writers. In Nicolaus of Damascus we are told that after the Indian war Semiramis marched through the land of the Medes. Here she visited a very lofty and precipitous mountain, which could only be ascended on one side. On this she at once caused an abode to be built from which to survey her army.

While encamped here, Satibaras the eunuch told the sons of Onnes, Hyapates and Hydaspes, that Ninyas would put them to death if he ascended the throne; they must anticipate him by removing their mother and Ninyas out of the way, and possessing themselves of the sovereign power. Moreover, it was to their great dishonour to be spectators of the licentiousness of their mother, who, even at her years, daily desired every youth that came in her way. The matter, he said, was easy of accomplishment; when he summoned them to the queen (he was entrusted with this business) they could come to the summit of the mountain and throw their mother down from it. But it happened that behind the altar, near which they held this conversation, a Mede was lying, who overheard them. He wrote down everything on a skin and sent it to Semiramis. When she had read it she caused the sons of Onnes to be summoned, and gave strict orders that they should come in arms. Delighted that the deity favoured the undertaking, Satibaras fetched the young men. When they appeared Semiramis bade the eunuch step aside, and then she spoke to them: "You worthless sons of an honest and brave father have allowed yourselves to be persuaded by a worthless slave to throw down from this height your mother, who holds her empire from the gods, in order to obtain glory among men, and to rule after the murder of your mother and your brother Ninyas. Then she spoke to the Assyrians."[7] Here the fragment of Nicolaus breaks off. From the fragments of Cephalion we may gather that the sons of Onnes were put to death by Semiramis. Yet Cephalion gave a different account of the death of Semiramis from Ctesias; according to him Ninyas slew her.[8] In Ctesias, as is clear from the account of Diodorus and other remains of Ctesias, nothing was spoken of beyond the conspiracy which Ninyas prepared against her.[9]

After the death of Semiramis, so Diodorus continues his narrative, Ninyas ruled in peace, for he by no means emulated his mother's military ambition and delight in danger. He remained always in the palace, was seen by no one but his concubines and eunuchs, took upon himself no care or trouble, thought only of pleasure and pastime, considered it the object of sovereign power to give himself up undisturbed to all sorts of enjoyment. His seclusion served to hide his excesses in obscurity; he seemed like an invisible God, whom no one ventured to offend even in word. In order to preserve his kingdom he put leaders over the army, viceroys, judges, and magistrates over every nation, and arranged everything as seemed most useful to himself. To keep his subjects in fear he caused each nation to provide a certain number of soldiers every year, and these were quartered together in a camp outside the city, and placed under the command of men most devoted to himself. At the end of the year they were dismissed and replaced by others to the same number. Hence his subjects always saw a great force in the camp ready to punish disobedience or defection. In the same way his descendants also reigned for 30 generations, till the empire passed to the Medes.[10]Slightly differing from this account, Nicolaus tells us that Sardanapalus—to whom in the order of succession the kingdom of Ninus and Semiramis finally descended—neither carried arms nor went out to the hunting-field, like the kings in old times, but always remained in his palace. Yet even in his time the old arrangements were kept and the satraps of the subject nations gathered with the fixed contingent at the gate of the king.[11]

From what source is the narrative of Ninus and Semiramis derived? what title to credibility can be allowed it? Herodotus states that the dominion of the Assyrians in Asia was the oldest; their supremacy was followed by that of the Medes, and the supremacy of the Medes was followed by the kingdom of the Achæmenids. Herodotus too is acquainted with the name of Semiramis; he represents her as ruling over Babylon, and building wonderful dykes in the level land, which the river had previously turned into a lake.[12] Strabo tells of the citadels, cities, mountain-roads, aqueducts, bridges, and canals which Semiramis constructed through all Asia, and to Semiramis Lucian traces back the old temples of Syria.[13] We may assume in explanation that the tradition of Hither Asia has ascribed to the first king and queen of Assyria the construction of the ancient road over the Zagrus, of old dykes and aqueducts in the land of the Euphrates and Tigris, the building, not of Nineveh only, but also of Babylon, the erection of the great monuments of forgotten kings of Babylon,—as a fact, Assyrian kings built in Babylon also in the seventh century. We may find it conceivable that this tradition has gathered together and carried back to the time of the foundation all that memory retained of the acts of Assyrian rulers, the campaigns of conquest of a long series of warlike and mighty sovereigns, the sum total of the exploits to which Assyria owed her supremacy. Yet against such an origin of this narrative doubts arise not easy to be removed. It is true that when this tradition explains the mode of life and the clothing of the kings of Asia, and the clothing of the Medes and Persians, from the example of Semiramis, who wore in the camp a robe, half male and half female (p. 6); when this tradition derives the inaccessibility of the kings of Asia and their seclusion in the palace from the fact that Ninyas wished to hide his excesses, and appear to his subjects as a higher being,—traits of this kind can be set aside as additions of the Greeks. To the Babylonians and Assyrians, the Medes and Persians, the life and clothing of their rulers could not appear contemptible or remarkable, nor their own clothing half effeminate, though the Greeks might very well search for an explanation of customs so different from their own, and find them in the example and command of Semiramis, and the example of Ninyas. And if in Herodotus the empire of the Assyrians over Asia appears as a hegemony of confederates,[14] this idea is obviously borrowed from Greek models. The opposite statement of the division of the Assyrian kingdom into satrapies, the yearly change of the contingents of troops, comes from Ctesias, who transferred the arrangements of the Persian kingdom, with which he was acquainted, to their predecessors, the kingdom of the Assyrians, or found this transference made in his authorities, Persian or Mede, and copied it.

Yet, after making as much allowance as we can for the amalgamating influence of native tradition, after going as far as we can in setting apart what may be due to the Greeks, how could such an accurate narrative, so well acquainted with every detail of the siege of Bactra, and the battle on the Indus, have been preserved for many centuries in the tradition of Hither Asia, retained even after the overthrow of Assyria, and down to the date when curious Greeks, 200 years after the fall of Nineveh, reached the Euphrates and Tigris? We possess a positive proof that about this time, in the very place to which this tradition must have clung most tenaciously, within the circuit of the old Assyrian country, no remembrance of that mighty past was in existence. When, in the year 401 B.C., Xenophon with his 10,000 marched past the ruins of the ancient cities of the Assyrian kingdom, the ruins of Asshur, Chalah, and Nineveh, before Ctesias wrote, he was merely told that these were cities of the Medes which could not be taken; into one of them the queen of the Medes had fled before the Persian king, and the Persians, with the help of heaven, took and destroyed it when they gained the dominion over Media.[15] From the Assyrians, therefore, Herodotus and Ctesias could not have obtained the information given in their statements about Ninus and Semiramis, nor could their knowledge have come from the Babylonians. The tradition of Babylonia would never have attributed the mighty buildings of that city and land to the queen of another nation, to which Babylon had succumbed. Hence the account of the Greeks about Assyria and her rulers could only come from the Medes and Persians. But our narrative ascribes to Semiramis even the great buildings of the Median rulers, the erection of the royal citadel of Egbatana, the residence of the Median kings; the parks and rock sculptures of Media, even the rock figure on Mount Bagistanon (p. 7). This sculpture in the valley of the Choaspes on the rock-wall of Bagistan (Behistun) is in existence. The wall is not 10,000 but only 1500 feet high. It is not Semiramis who is pourtrayed in those sculptures, but Darius, the king of Persia, and before him are the leaders of the rebellious provinces. It was the proudest monument of victory in all the history of Persia. Would a Persian have shown this to a Greek as a monument of Semiramis? It would rather be a Mede, who would wish to hide from the Greeks that Media was among the provinces a second time conquered and brought to subjection.

The difficulty of ascertaining the sources of our narrative is still further increased in no inconsiderable degree by the fact that the books of Ctesias are lost, and that Diodorus has not drawn immediately from them, but from a reproduction of Ctesias' account of Assyria. Yet the express references to the statements of Ctesias which Diodorus found in his authority, as well as fragments relating to the subject which have been elsewhere preserved, allow us to fix with tolerable accuracy what belongs to Ctesias in this narrative, and what Clitarchus, the renewer of his work, whom Diodorus had before him, has added.[16] It is Ctesias whoenumerates the nations which Ninus subdued (p. 3). With him Semiramis was the daughter of a Syrian and Derceto, who throws herself into the lake of Ascalon, and is then worshipped as a goddess there.[17] To Ctesias belongs the nourishment of the child Semiramis by the doves of the goddess, her rise from the shepherd's hut to the throne of Assyria. He represents her as raising the mountain or the tomb of Ninus; he ascribes to her the building of Babylon, its mighty walls and royal citadels, the aqueducts, and the great temple of Bel. He represented her as marching to the Indus [18] and afterwards towards Media; as making gardens there and building the road over the Zagrus. He represented her as raising the mounds over the graves of her lovers;[19] he told of her sensuality, of the designs of her sons by the first marriage, and the plot of Ninyas; he recounted her end, which was as marvellous as her birth and her youth: she flew out of the palace up to heaven with a flock of doves. If the conquest of Egypt by Semiramis also belongs to Ctesias,[20] the march through Libya, and the oracle given to her in the oasis of Ammon, together with the version of her death, which rests on this oracle (she caused herself to disappear, i. e. put herself to death, in order to share in divine honours), belong to Clitarchus.

If, therefore, we may regard it as an established fact that our narrative has not arisen out of Assyrian or Babylonian tradition, that the views and additions of Greek origin introduced into it leave the centre untouched; if we have succeeded in discovering, to a tolerably satisfactory degree, the outlines of the narrative of Ctesias, the main question still remains to be answered: from what sources is this narrative to be derived? In the first attempt to criticise this account we find ourselves astonished by the certainty of the statements, the minute and, in part, extremely vivid descriptions of persons and incidents. Not only the great prince who founded the power of Assyria, and the queen whose beauty and courage enchanted him, are known to Ctesias in their words and actions. He can mention by name the man who nurtured Semiramis as a girl, and her first husband. He knows the names of the princes of the Arabs, Medes, Bactrians, and Indians with whom Ninus and Semiramis had to do. The number of the forces set in motion against Bactria and India are given accurately according to the weapon used. The arrangements of the battle beyond the Indus, the progress of the fight, the wounds carried away by Semiramis, the exchange of prisoners, are related with the fidelity of an eye-witness. Weight is obviously laid on the fact that after Semiramis had conquered and traversed Egypt and Ethiopia, after her unbroken success, the last great campaign against the Indians fails because she attacked them without receiving any previous injury. The message which Stabrobates sends to her, the letter which he writes, the reproaches he makes upon her life, the minute details which Ctesias gives of the relation of Onnes to Semiramis, of the conspiracy of the sons by this marriage, who felt themselves dishonoured by the conduct of their now aged mother, of the letter of the Mede, whose fidelity discovered the plot to her, of the speeches which Semiramis made on this occasion, carry us back to a description at once vivid and picturesque. If we take these pictures together with the account of Ctesias about the decline of the Assyrian kingdom, in which also very characteristic details appear, if we consider the style and the whole tone of these accounts of the beginning and the end of the Assyrian kingdom, we cannot avoid the conclusion that Ctesias has either invented the whole narrative or followed a poetic source.

The first inference is untenable, because the whole narrative bears the colour and stamp of the East in such distinctness that Ctesias cannot have invented it, and, on the other hand, it contains so much poetry that if Ctesias were the author of these descriptions we should have to credit him with high poetic gifts. We are, therefore, driven to adopt the second inference—that a poetic source lies at the base of his account. If, as was proved above, neither Assyrian nor Babylonian traditions can be taken into consideration, Assyrian and Babylonian poems are by the same reasoning put out of the question. On the other hand, we find in Ctesias' history of the Medes episodes of at least equal poetic power with his narrative of Ninus and Semiramis. Plutarch tells us that the great deeds of Semiramis were praised in songs.[21] It is certain that they could not be the songs of Assyria, which had long since passed away, but we find, on the other hand, that there were minstrels at the court of the Medes, who sang to the kings at the banquet; it is, moreover, a Mede who warns Semiramis against Hyapates and Hydaspes; and the other names in the narrative of Ctesias bear the stamp of the Iranian language. Further, we find, not only in the fragments of Ctesias which have come down to us, but also in the narratives of Herodotus and other Greeks concerning the fortunes of the Medes and Persians down to the great war of Xerxes against the Hellenes, remains and traces of poems which can only have been sung amongst the Medes and Persians. We have, therefore, good grounds for assuming that it was Medo-Persian poems which could tell the story of Ninus and Semiramis, and that this part of the Medo-Persian poems was the source from which Ctesias drew. It was the contents of these poems recounted to him by Persians or Medes which he no doubt followed in this case, as in his further narratives of Parsondes and Sparethra, of the rebellion and struggle of Cyrus against Astyages, just as Herodotus before him drew from such poems his account of the rebellion of the Magi, the death of Cambyses, and the conspiracy of the seven Persians.

After severe struggles the princes and people of the Medes succeeded in casting down the Assyrian empire from the supremacy it had long maintained; they conquered and destroyed their old and supposedimpregnable metropolis. If the tribes of the Medes had previously been forced to bow before the Assyrians, they took ample vengeance for the degradation. Hence the Median minstrels had a most excellent reason to celebrate this crowning achievement of their nation; it afforded them a most agreeable subject. If, in the earlier and later struggles of the Medes against Assyria, the bravery of individual heroes was often celebrated in song, these songs might by degrees coalesce into a connected whole, the close of which was the overthrow of the Assyrian empire. The Median poems which dealt with this most attractive material must have commenced with the rise of the Assyrian kingdom; they had the more reason for explaining and suggesting motives for this mighty movement, as it was incumbent on them to make intelligible the wreck of the resistance of their own nation to the onset of the Assyrians, and the previous subjection of Media. In these poems no doubt they described the cruelty of the conqueror, who crucified their king, with his wife and seven children (p. 3). The more brilliant, the more overpowering the might of Assyria, as they described it, owing to eminent sovereigns in the earliest times, the wider the extent of the empire, the more easily explained and tolerable became the subjection of the Medes, the greater the glory to have finally conquered. This final retribution formed the close; the striking contrast of the former exaltation and subsequent utter overthrow, brought about by Median power and bravery, formed the centre of these poems.

The prince of the Assyrians whose success is unfailing till he finds himself checked in Bactria, the woman of unknown origin found in the desert, fostered by herdsmen, and raised from the lowest to the mostelevated position,[22] who in bravery surpasses the bravest, who outdoes the deeds of Ninus, whose charms allure to destruction every one who approaches her, who makes all whom she favours her slaves in order to slay them, who without regard to her years makes every youth her lover, and is, nevertheless, finally exalted to the gods—are these forms due to the mere imagination of Medo-Persian minstrels, or what material lay at the base of these lively pictures?

The metropolis of the Assyrians was known to the Greeks as Ninus; in the inscriptions of the Assyrian kings it is called Ninua. From this the name of Ninus, the founder of the empire, as well as Ninyas, is obviously taken. In Herodotus [23] and the chronographers Ninus is the son of Belus, i. e. of Bel, the sky-god already known to us (I. 265). The monuments of Assyria show us that the Assyrians worshipped a female deity, which was at once the war-goddess and goddess of sexual love—Istar-Bilit. Istar was not merely the goddess of battles—bringing death and destruction, though also conferring victory; she was at the same time the goddess of sensual love. We have already learned to know her double nature. In turn she sends life, pleasure, and death. If Istar of Arbela was the goddess of battle, Istar of Nineveh was the goddess of love (I. 270). As the goddess of love, doves were sacred to her. In the temples of Syria there were statues of this goddess with a golden dove on the head; she was even invoked there under the name of Semiramis, a word which may mean High name, Name of the Height.[24]

Thus the Medo-Persian minstrels have changed the form and legend of a goddess who was worshipped in Assyria, whose rites were vigorously cultivated in Syria, into a heroine, the founder of the Assyrian empire; just as in the Greek and German epos divine beings have undergone a similar change. This heroine is the daughter of a maiden who slays the youth whom she has made happy with her love, who gave her her daughter, i. e. she is the daughter of the goddess herself. Like her mother, the goddess, the daughter, Semiramis, inspires men with irresistible love, and thus makes them her slaves. At the same time, as a war-goddess, she surpasses all men in martial courage, and brings death to all who have surrendered to her. The origin of the goddess thus transformed into a heroine is unknown and supernatural; her characteristics are marvellous powers of victory and charms of love. The neighbourhood of Ascalon, where we found the oldest and most famous temples of the Syrian goddess of love (I. 360), was the scene of the origin of the miraculous child. The doves of the Syrian goddess nourish and protect her in the desert. She grows up in Syria, where the worship of the goddess of sexual love was widely spread. Whether Simmas, her foster-father, has arisen out of Samas, the sun-god of the Semites, and Onnes, the first husband of Semiramis, out of Anu, the god of Babel and Asshur, cannot indeed be decided. But in her relation to Onnes, whom her charm makes her slave, to whom she brings uninterrupted success, till in despair at her loss he takes his life, the Medo-Persian minstrels describe the glamour of love and the sensual pleasure, as well as the destruction which proceeds from her, in the liveliest and most forcible manner. Even after the Indian campaign she indulges her passions, and then puts those to death to whom she grants her favours. In this life the poems found a motive for the plots of her sons, from which she was at first rescued by the fidelity of a Mede,—a trait which again reveals the origin of the poem. As Semiramis was a heroine merely, and not a goddess, to the minstrels, they could represent her overthrow, her defeat and wounds, on the Indus, which afterwards was the limit of the conquests of the Medians and Persians. At the end of her life the higher style reappears, the supernatural origin comes in once more. She flies out of the palace with the doves of Bilit, which protected her childhood. In Ctesias the goddess of Ascalon is Derceto,[25] and therefore later writers could maintain that the kings of Assyria, the descendants or successors of Semiramis, were named Dercetadæ.[26]


[1]Strabo, pp. 736, 737. Arrian, "Anab." 3, 7, 7. The same form of the name, Athura, is given in the inscriptions of Darius.

[2]Plin. "Hist. Nat." 6, 27; 5, 12: Adiabene Assyria ante dicta. Ptolemæus (6, 1) puts Adiabene and Arbelitis side by side. Diodorus, 18, 39. Arrian, Epit. 35: τὴν μὲν μἑσην τῶν ποταμῶν γῆν καὶ τὴν Ἀρβηλῖτιν ἔνειμε Ἀμφιμάχῳ.

[3]Polyb. 5, 54. The border line between the original country of Assyria and Elam cannot be ascertained with certainty. According to Herodotus (5, 52) Susa lay 42 parasangs, i. e. about 150 miles, to the south of the northern border of Susiana. Hence we may perhaps take the Diala as the border between the later Assyria and Elam. The use of the name Assyria for Mesopotamia and Babylonia, as well as Assyria proper, in Herodotus (e. g. 1, 178) and other Greeks,—the name Syria, which is only an abbreviation of Assyria (Herod. 7, 63),—arises from the period of the supremacy of Assyria in the epoch 750-650 B.C. Cf. Strabo, pp. 736, 737, and Nöldeke, ΑΣΣΥΡΙΟΣ, Hermes, 1871 (5), 443 ff.

[4]The Euphrates, which Diodorus mentions 2, 3 and also 2, 27, is not to be put down to a mistake of Ctesias, since Nicolaus (Frag. 9, ed. Müller) describes Nineveh as situated on the Tigris in a passage undoubtedly borrowed from Ctesias. The error belongs, as Carl Jacoby ("Rhein. Museum," 30, 575 ff.) has proved, to the historians of the time of Alexander and the earliest Diadochi, who had in their thoughts the city of Mabog (Hierapolis), on the Euphrates, which was also called Nineveh. The mistake has passed from Clitarchus to the narrative of Diodorus.

[5]Steph. Byzant. Χαύων, χώρα τῆς Μηδίας, Κτησίας ἐν πρώτῳ Περτικῶν. Η δὲ Σεμιραμις ἐντεῦθεν ἐξελαύνει, κ. τ. λ.

[6]Diod. 1, 56.

[7]Frag. 7, ed. Müller.

[8]Frag. 1, 2, ed. Müller; cf. Justin. 1, 1.

[9]Anonym. tract. "De Mulier." c. 1.

[10]Diod. 2, 21.

[11]Nicol. Frag. 8, ed. Müller.

[12]1, 184.

[13]Strabo, pp. 80, 529, 737; Lucian, "de Syria dea," c. 14.

[14]Herod. 1, 102.

[15]Xenoph. "Anab." 3, 4, 6-10.

[16]Diodorus tells us himself (2, 7) that in writing the first 30 chapters of his second book he had before him the book of Clitarchus on Alexander. Carl Jacoby (loc. cit.)—by a comparison with the statements in point in Curtius, who transcribed Clitarchus, and by the proof that certain passages in the narrative of Diodorus which relate to Bactria and India are in agreement with passages in the seventeenth book, in which Diodorus undoubtedly follows Clitarchus; that certain observations in the description of Babylon in Diodorus can only belong to Alexander and his nearest successors; that certain preparations of Semiramis for the Indian campaign agree with certain preparations of Alexander for his Indian campaign, and certain incidents in Alexander's battle against Porus with certain incidents in the battle of Semiramis against Stabrobates; and finally by showing that the situation of the ancient Nineveh was unknown to the historians of the time of Alexander, who were on the other hand acquainted with a Nineveh on the Euphrates (Hierapolis, Mabog; Plin. "Hist. Nat." 5, 23; Ammian. Marcell. 14, 8, 7)—has made it at least very probable that Diodorus had Ctesias before him in the revision of Clitarchus. We may allow that Clitarchus brought the Bactrian Oxyartes into the narrative, unless we ought to read Exaortes in Diodorus; but that the name of the king in Ctesias was Zoroaster is in my opinion very doubtful. The sources of Ctesias were stories related by Persians or Medes from the epic of West Iran. That this should put Zoroaster at the time of Ninus, and make him king of the Bactrians, in order to allow him to be overthrown by the Assyrians, is very improbable. Whether Ctesias ascribed to Semiramis the building of Egbatana is also very doubtful; that he mentioned her stay in Media, and ascribed to her the building of the road over the Zagrus and the planting of gardens, follows from the quotation of Stephanus given above. Ctesias has not ascribed to her the hanging gardens at Babylon. Diodorus makes them the work of a later Syrian king, whom Ctesias would certainly have called king of Assyria. Ctesias too can hardly have ascribed to her the obelisk at Babylon (Diod. 2, 11); so at least the addition of Diodorus, "that it belonged to the seven wonders," seems to me to prove.

[17]"Catasterism." c. 38; Hygin. "Astronom." 2, 41. In Diodorus Aphrodite, enraged by a maiden, Derceto, imbues her with a fierce passion for a youth. In shame she slays the youth, exposes the child, throws herself into the lake of Ascalon, and is changed into a fish. For this reason the image of the goddess Derceto at Ascalon has the face of a woman and the body of a fish (2, 4).

[18]Diod. 2, 17, init.

[19]Georg. Syncell. p. 119, ed. Bonn.

[20]Diod. 1, 56.

[21]"De Iside," c. 24.

[22]Diod. 2, 4, init.

[23]Herod. 1, 7.

[24]Lucian, "De Syria dea," c. 33, 14, 38. The name Semiramoth is found 1 Chronicles xv. 18, 20; xvi. 5; 2, xvii. 8.

[25]Ctesias in Strabo, p. 785.

[26]Agathias, 2, 24.

The Beginnings of the Assyrian Kingdom

To relegate Ninus and Semiramis with all their works and deeds to the realm of fiction may appear to be a startling step, going beyond the limits of a prudent criticism. Does not Ctesias state accurately the years of the reigns: Ninus reigned, according to his statement, 52 years; Semiramis was 62 years old, and reigned 42 years? Do not the chronographers assure us that in Ctesias the successors of Ninus and Semiramis, from Ninyas to Sardanapalus, the last ruler over Assyria, 34 kings, were enumerated, and the length of their reigns accurately given, and has not Eusebius actually preserved this list? Since, at the same time, we find out, through Diodorus and the chronographers, as well as through this list, that Ctesias fixed the continuance of the Assyrian kingdom at more than 1300 years, or more exactly at 1306, and the fall of the kingdom took place according to his reckoning in the year 883 B.C., Ninus must on these dates have ascended the throne in the year 2189 B.C. (883 + 1306), and the reign of Semiramis commenced in 2137 B.C. (883 + 1254). Eusebius himself puts the accession of Ninus at 2057 B.C.[27]

If in spite of these accurate statements we persist in refusing to give credit to Ctesias, Berosus remains, who, according to the evidence of the chronographers, dealt with the rule of Semiramis over Assyria. After mentioning the dynasty of the Medes which reigned over Babylon from 2458-2224 B.C., the dynasty of the Elamites (2224-1976 B.C.), of the Chaldæans (1976-1518 B.C.), and of the Arabs, who are said to have reigned over Babylon from the year 1518 to the year 1273 B.C., Berosus mentioned the rule of Semiramis over the Assyrians. "After this," so we find it in Polyhistor, "Berosus enumerates the names of 45 kings separately, and allotted to them 526 years. After them there was a king of the Chaldæans named Phul, and after him Sennacherib, the king of the Assyrians, whose son, Esarhaddon, then reigned in his place."[28] If we take these 45 kings for kings of Assyria, who ruled over this kingdom after Semiramis, then, by allowing the supplements of these series of kings previously mentioned (I. 247), the era of these 45 kings will begin in the year 1273 B.C. and end in 747 B.C., and the date of Semiramis will fall immediately before the year 1273 B.C. In the view of Herodotus, Ninus was at the head of the Assyrian empire, but not Semiramis. As already observed (p. 14), he mentions Semiramis as a queen of Babylon, and does not place her higher than the middle of the seventh century B.C.;[29] but he regards the dominion of Assyria over Upper Asia as commencing far earlier. Before the Persians the Medes ruled over Asia for 156 years; before them the Assyrians ruled for 520 years; the Medes were the first of the subject nations who rebelled against the Assyrians; the rest of the nations followed their example. As the Median empire fell before the attack of the Persians in 558 B.C., the beginning of the Median empire would fall in the year 714 B.C. (558 + 156), and consequently the beginning of the Assyrian kingdom in the year 1234 B.C. (714 + 520), i. e. four or five decades later than Berosus puts the death of Semiramis. For the date of the beginning of the Assyrian dominion Herodotus and Berosus would thus be nearly in agreement. It has been assumed that the 45 kings whom the latter represents as following Semiramis were kings of Assyria, who ruled at the same time over Babylon, and were thus regarded as a Babylonian dynasty. This agreement would be the more definite if it could be supposed that, according to the view of Herodotus, the beginning of the 156 years which he gives to the Median empire was separated by an interval of some decades from the date of their liberation from the power of the Assyrians. In this case the empire of the Assyrians over Asia would not have commenced very long before the year 1273 B.C., and would have extended from that date over Babylonia. In complete contradiction to this are the statements of Ctesias, which carry us back beyond 2000 B.C. for the commencement of the Assyrian empire. They cannot be brought into harmony with the statements of Herodotus, even if the time allotted by Ctesias to the Assyrian empire (1306 years) is reckoned from the established date of the conquest of Nineveh by the Medes and Babylonians (607 B.C.). The result of such a calculation (607 + 1306) carries us back to 1913 B.C., a date far higher than Herodotus and Berosus give.

Is it possible in any other way to approach more closely to the beginning of the Assyrian kingdom, the date of its foundation, or the commencement of its conquests? We have already seen how the Pharaohs of Egypt, after driving out the shepherds in the sixteenth and fifteenth centuries B.C., reduced Syria to subjection; how the first and third Tuthmosis, the second and third Amenophis, forced their way beyond Syria to Naharina. The land of Naharina, in the inscriptions of these kings, was certainly not the Aram Naharaim, the high land between the Euphrates and Tigris, in the sense of the books of the Hebrews. It was not Mesopotamia, but simply "the land of the stream (Nahar)." For the Hebrews also Nahar, i. e. river, means simply the Euphrates. It has been already shown that the arms of the Egyptians hardly went beyond the Chaboras to the east; and if the inscriptions of Tuthmosis III. represent him as receiving on his sixth campaign against the Syrians, i. e. about the year 1584 B.C., the tribute of Urn Assuru, i. e. of the chieftain of Asshur, consisting of 50 minæ of lapis-lazuli; if these inscriptions in the year 1579 once more mention among the tribute of the Syrians the tribute of this prince in lapis-lazuli, cedar-trunks, and other wood, it is still uncertain whether the chief of the Assyrians is to be understood by this prince. Had Tuthmosis III. really reached and crossed the Tigris, were Assuru Assyria, then from the description of this prince, and the payment of tribute in lapis-lazuli and cedar-trunks, we could draw the conclusion that Assyria in the first half of the sixteenth century B.C. was still in the commencement of its civilisation, whereas we found above that as early as the beginning of the twentieth century B.C. Babylonia was united into a mighty kingdom, and had made considerable advance in the development of her civilisation.

Our hypothesis was that the Semites, who took possession of the valley of the Euphrates, were immigrants from the south, from Arabia, and that this new population forced its way by successive steps up the river-valley. We were able to establish the fact that the earliest governments among the immigrants were formed on the lower course of the Euphrates, and that the centre of the state in these regions slowly moved upwards towards Babel. We found, further, that Semitic tribes went in this direction as far as the southern slope of the Armenian table-land.[30] In this way the region on the Tigris, afterwards called Assyria, was reached and peopled by the Semites. With the Hebrews Asshur, beside Arphaxad and Aram, beside Elam and Lud, is the seed of Shem. "From Shinar" (i. e. from Babylonia), we are told in Genesis, "Asshur went forth and built Nineveh, and Rehoboth-Ir, and Chalah, and Resen between Nineveh and Chalah, which is the great city." There is no reason to call in question this statement that Assyria was peopled and civilised from Babylonia. Language, writing, and religion exhibit the closest relationship and agreement between Babylonia and Assyria.

On the west bank of the Tigris, some miles above the confluence of the Lesser Zab, at the foot of a ridge of hills, lie the remains of an ancient city. The stamps on the tiles of these ruins tell us that the name of the city was Asshur. Tiglath Pilesar, a king of Assyria, the first of the name, whose reign, though we cannot fix the date precisely, may certainly be put about the year 1110 B.C., narrates in his inscriptions: The temple of the gods Anu and Bin, which Samsi-Bin, the son of Ismidagon, built at Asshur 641 years previously, had fallen down; King Assur-dayan had caused the ruins to be removed without rebuilding it. For 60 years the foundations remained untouched; he, Tiglath Pilesar, restored this ancient sanctuary. Tiles from this ruin on the Tigris, from this city of Asshur, establish also the fact that a prince named Samsi-Bin, son of Ismidagon, once ruled and built in this city of Asshur. They have the inscription: "Samsi-Bin, the son of Ismidagon, built the temple of the god Asshur."[31] Hence Samsi-Bin built temples in the city of Asshur to the god Asshur as well as to the gods Anu and Bin. His date falls, according as the 60 years of the inscription of Tiglath Pilesar, during which the temple of Anu and Bin was not in existence, are added to the space of 641 years or included in them, either about the year 1800 or 1740 B.C.; the date of his father Ismidagon about the year 1830 or 1770 B.C.

In any case it is clear that a place of the name of Asshur, the site of which is marked by the ruins of Kileh-Shergat, was inhabited about the year 1800 B.C., and that about this time sanctuaries were raised in it. The name of the place was taken from the god specially worshipped there. As Babel (Gate of El) was named after the god El, Asshur was named after the god of that name. The city was Asshur's city, the land Asshur's land. Beside the city of Asshur, about 75 miles up the Tigris, there must have been at the time indicated a second place of the name of Ninua (Nineveh), the site of which is marked by the ruins of Kuyundshik and Nebbi Yunus (opposite Mosul), since, according to the statement of Shalmanesar I., king of Assyria, Samsi-Bin built another temple here to the goddess Istar.[32] Ismidagon, as well as Samsi-Bin, is called in the inscription of Tiglath Pilesar I. "Patis of Asshur." The meaning of this title is not quite clear; the word is said to mean viceroy. If by this title a vice-royalty over the land of Asshur is meant, we may assume that Assyria was a colony of Babylonia—that it was under the supremacy of the kings of Babylon, and ruled by their viceroys. But since at a later period princes of Assyria called themselves "Patis of Asshur," as well as "kings of Asshur," the title may be explained as meaning that the old princes of Assyria called themselves viceroys of the god of the land, of the god Asshur. Moreover, it would be strange that a colony of Babylonia, which was under the supremacy of that country, should make its protecting god a deity different from that worshipped in Babylonia.

From this evidence we may assume that about the year 1800 B.C. a state named Asshur grew up between the Tigris and the Lesser Zab. This state must have passed beyond the lower stages of civilisation at the time when the princes erected temples to their gods at more than one chief place in their dominions, when they could busy themselves with buildings in honour of the gods after the example of the ancient princes of Erech and Nipur, of Hammurabi, and his successors at Babylon. With this result the statements in the inscriptions of Tuthmosis III do not entirely agree. Two hundred years after the time of Ismidagon and Samsi-Bin they speak only of the chief of Asshur, and of tribute in lapis-lazuli and tree-trunks; but this divergence is not sufficient to make us affirm with certainty that the "Assuru" of Tuthmosis has no reference whatever to Assyria. If we were able to place the earliest formation of a state on the Lower Euphrates about the year 2500 B.C., the beginnings of Assyria, according to the inferences to be drawn from the evidence of the first Tiglath Pilesar and the tiles of Kileh-Shergat, could not be placed later than the year 2000 B.C.

Beside Ismidagon and Samsi-Bin, the inscriptions of Tiglath Pilesar and the tiles of the ruins of Kileh-Shergat mention four or five other names of princes who belong to the early centuries of the Assyrian empire, but for whom we cannot fix any precise place. The date of the two kings, who on Assyrian tablets are the contemporaries of Binsumnasir of Babylon, Assur-nirar, and Nabudan, could not have been fixed with certainty if other inscriptions had not made us acquainted with the princes who ruled over Assyria in succession from 1460—1280 B.C.[33] From these we may assume that Assur-nirar and Nabudan must have reigned before this series of princes, i. e. before 1460 B.C., from which it further follows that from about the year 1500 B.C. onwards Assyria was in any case an independent state beside Babylon. We found above that the treaty which Assur-bil-nisi, king of Assyria, concluded about the year 1450 B.C. with Karaindas, king of Babylon, for fixing the boundaries, must have been preceded by hostile movements on the part of both kingdoms. We saw that Assur-bil-nisi's successor, Busur-Assur, concluded a treaty with the same object with Purnapuryas of Babylon, and that Assur-u-ballit, who succeeded Busur-Assur on the throne of Assyria, gave his daughter in marriage to Purnapuryas. In order to avenge the murder of Karachardas, the son of Purnapuryas by this marriage, who succeeded his father on the throne of Babylon, Assur-u-ballit invaded Babylonia and placed Kurigalzu, another son of Purnapuryas, on the throne. We might assume that about this time, i. e. about 1400 B.C., the borders of Assyria and Babylonia touched each other in the neighbourhood of the modern Aker-Kuf, the ancient Dur-Kurigalzu.[34] Assur-u-ballit, who restored the temple of Istar at Nineveh which Samsi-Bin had built, was followed by Pudiel, Bel-nirar, and Bin-nirar.[35]The last tells us, on a stone of Kileh-Shergat, that Assur-u-ballit conquered the land of Subari, Bel-nirar the army of Kassi, that Pudiel subjugated all the land as far as the distant border of Guti; he himself overcame the armies of Kassi, Guti, Lulumi and Subari; the road to the temple of the god Asshur, his lord, which had fallen down, he restored with earth and tiles, and set up his tablet with his name, "on the twentieth day of the month Muhurili, in the year of Salmanurris."[36]

Bin-nirar's son and successor was Shalmanesar I., who ascended the throne of Assyria about 1340 B.C. We learnt above from Genesis, that "Asshur built the cities of Nineveh, Rehoboth-Ir, Resen and Chalah." Assur-nasirpal, who ruled over Assyria more than 400 years after Shalmanesar I., tells us that "Shalmanesar the mighty, who lived before him, founded the ancient city of Chalah."[37] It is thus clear that Assyria before the year 1300 B.C. obtained a third residence in addition to the cities of Asshur and Nineveh. Like Asshur and Nineveh, it lay on the banks of the Tigris, about 50 miles to the north of Asshur, and 25 to the south of Nineveh. It was not, however, like Asshur, situated on the western bank of the river, but on the eastern, like Nineveh, a little above the junction of the Upper Zab, in a position protected by both rivers, and thus far more secure than Asshur. Shalmanesar also built in both the old residences of Asshur and Nineveh. Tiles of Kileh-Shergat bear the stamp, "Palace of Shalmanesar, son of king Bin-nirar."[38] His buildings in Nineveh are certified by an inscription, in which Shalmanesar says: "The temple of Istar, which Samsi-Bin, the prince who was before me, built, and which my predecessor Assur-u-ballit restored, had fallen into decay in the course of time. I built it up again from the ground to the roof. The prince who comes after me and sees my cylinder (p. 37), and sets it again in its place, as I have set the cylinder of Assur-u-ballit in its place, him may Istar bless; but him who destroys my monument may Istar curse and root his name and race out of the land."[39] In the same inscription Shalmanesar calls himself conqueror of Niri, Lulumi and Musri, districts for which—at any rate for the two last—we shall have to look in the neighbourhood of Nineveh, in the chain of the Zagrus. The son of Shalmanesar I. was Tiglath Adar; he completed the restoration of the temple of Istar at Nineveh, and fought with such success against Nazimurdas of Babylon that he placed on his seal this inscription: "Tiglath Adar, king of the nations, son of Shalmanesar, king of Asshur, has conquered the land of Kardunias." But he afterwards lost this very seal to the Babylonians, who placed it as a trophy in the treasure-house of Babylon (about 1300 B.C.).[40]

These are the beginnings of the Assyrian kingdom according to the indications of the monuments. After the series of kings from Assur-bil-nisi to Tiglath Adar, whose dates come down from about the year 1460 to about 1280 B.C., there is a gap in our knowledge of some decades. After this we hear at first of new struggles with Babylon. In these Belkudurussur of Assyria (about 1220 B.C.) lost his life. The Babylonians, led by their king, Binpaliddin, invaded Assyria with a numerous army in order to take the city of Asshur. But Adarpalbitkur, the successor of Belkudurussur, succeeded in forcing them to retire to Babylon.[41] Of Adarpalbitkur his fourth successor proudly declares that "he was the protector of the might of Asshur, that he put an end to his weakness in his land, that he arranged well the army of the land of Assyria."[42] His son, Assur-dayan (about 1180 B.C.) was able to remove the war again into the land of Babylonia; he claims to have carried the booty from three places in Babylonia—Zab, Irriya and Agarsalu—to Assyria.[43] It was he who had carried away the ruins of the fallen temple which Samsi-Bin had built at Asshur to Anu and Bin, but had not erected it again. According to the words of his great-grandson, "he carried the exalted sceptre, and prospered the nation of Bel; the work of his hands and the gifts of his fingers pleased the great gods; he attained great age and long life."[44] Of Assur-dayan's son and successor, Mutakkil-Nebu (about 1160 B.C.), we only find that "Asshur, the great lord, raised him to the throne, and upheld him in the constancy of his heart."[45] Mutakkil-Nebu's son, Assur-ris-ilim (between 1150 and 1130 B.C.) had to undergo severe struggles against the Babylonians, who repeatedly invaded Assyria under Nebuchadnezzar I. At length Assur-ris-ilim succeeded in repulsing Nebuchadnezzar, and took from him 40 (50) chariots of war with a banner. Tiglath Pilesar, the son of Assur-ris-ilim, says of the deeds of his father, doubtless with extreme exaggeration, "he conquered the lands of the enemy, and subjugated all the hostile lands."[46]

The tiles of a heap of ruins at Asshur bear the inscription, "Tiglath Pilesar, the favoured of Asshur, has built and set up the temple of his lord the god Bin." At the four corners of the foundation walls of this building were discovered four octagonal cylinders of clay, about a foot and a half in height, on the inscriptions of which this king repeats the narrative of the deeds of the first five years of his life. He restored the royal dwelling-places and the fortresses of the land which were in a bad condition, and planted again the forests of the land of Asshur; he renovated the habitation of the gods, the temples of Istar and Bilit in the city of Asshur. At the beginning of his reign Anu and Bin, his lords, had bidden him set up again the temple which Samsi-Bin had once built for them. This he accomplished; he caused the two great deities to enter into their high dwelling-places and rejoiced the heart of their great divinity. "May Anu and Bin grant me prosperity for ever, may they bless the work of my hands, may they hear my prayer and lead me to victory in war and in fight, may they subdue to my dominion all the lands which rise up against me, the rebellious nations and the princes, my rivals, may they accept my sacrificial offerings for the continuance and increase of my race; may it be the will of Asshur and the great gods to establish my race as firm as the mountains to the remotest days."[47]

These cylinders tell us of the campaign of Tiglath Pilesar. First he defeated 20,000 Moschi (Muskai) and their five kings. He marched against the land of Kummukh, which rebelled against him; even that part of the inhabitants which fled into a city beyond the Tigris which they had garrisoned he overcame after crossing the Tigris. He also conquered the people of Kurkhië (Kirkhië) who came to their help; he drove them into the Tigris and the river Nami, and took prisoner in the battle Kiliantaru, whom they had made their king; he conquered the land of Kummukh throughout its whole extent and incorporated it with Assyria.[48] After this he marched against the land of Kurkhië; next he crossed the Lower Zab and overcame two districts there. Then he turned against the princes of the land of Nairi (he puts the number of these at 23); these, and the princes who came from the upper sea to aid them, he conquered, carried off their flocks, destroyed their cities, and imposed on them a tribute of 1200 horses and 2000 oxen. These battles in the north were followed by a campaign in the west. He invaded the land of Aram, which knew not the god Asshur, his lord;[49] he marched against the city of Karkamis, in the land of the Chatti; he defeated their warriors on the east of the Euphrates; he crossed the Euphrates in pursuit of the fugitives and there destroyed six cities. Immediately after this the king marched again to the East, against the lands of Khumani and Musri and imposed tribute upon them.

"Two-and-forty lands and their princes," so the cylinders inform us, "from the banks of the Lower Zab as far as the bank of the Euphrates, the land of the Chatti, and the upper sea of the setting sun, all these my hand has reached since my accession; one after the other I have subjugated them; I have received hostages from them and laid tribute upon them."[50] "This temple of Anu and Bin and these towers," so the inscription of the cylinders concludes, "will grow old; he who in the succession of the days shall be king in my place at a remote time, may he restore them and place his name beside mine, then will Anu and Bin grant to him prosperity, joy and success in his undertakings. But he who hides my tablets, and erases or destroys them, or puts his name in the place of mine, him will Anu and Bin curse, his throne will they bring down, and break the power of his dominion, and cause his army to flee; Bin will devote his land to destruction, and will spread over it poverty, hunger, sickness, and death, and destroy his name and his race from the earth. On the twenty-ninth day of Kisallu, in the year of In-iliya-allik."[51]

In memory of his achievements against the land of Nairi, Tiglath Pilesar also set up a special monument. On a rock at one of the sources of the Eastern Tigris near Karkar we see his image hewn in relief. He wears the tall cap or kidaris ; the hair and beard are long and curled; the robe falls in deep folds to the ancles. The inscription runs: "By the grace of Asshur, Samas and Bin, the great gods, my lords, I, Tiglath Pilesar, am ruler from the great sea of the west land (mat acharri ) to the lake of the land of Nairi. Three times I have marched to the land of Nairi."[52] The first subjugation of this district could not, therefore, have been complete.

As this monument proves, Tiglath Pilesar's campaigns could not have ended with the fifth year of his reign. From the synchronistic tablets we can ascertain that he had to undergo severe struggles with the Babylonians. Marduk-nadin-akh of Babylon invaded Assyria, crossed the Tigris, and the battle took place on the Lower Zab. In the next year, according to the same tablets, Tiglath Pilesar is said to have taken the border-fortresses of Babylon, Dur-Kurigalzu, Sippara, Babili and Upi (Opis ?).[53] However this may be, Tiglath Pilesar in the end was at a disadvantage in his contest with the Babylonians. Sennacherib, king of Assyria, tells us, "The gods of the city Hekali, which Marduk-nadin-akh, king of the land of Accad, had taken in the time of Tiglath Pilesar, king of Asshur, and carried to Babylon 418 years previously, I have caused to be brought back again from Babylon and put up again in their place." A Babylonian tablet from the tenth year of Marduk-nadin-akh of Babylon appears to deal with loans on conquered Assyrian territory.[54]

When Tiglath Pilesar ascended the throne about the year 1130 B.C. the empire of Assyria, as his inscriptions show, had not as yet made any extensive conquests beyond the circle of the native country. The Muskai, i. e.the Moschi, whom we have found on the north-western slopes of the Armenian mountains, against whom Tiglath Pilesar first fought, had forced their way, as the cylinders tell us, into the land of Kummukh.[55] As the inhabitants of the land of Kummukh are conquered on the Tigris and forced into it, while others escape over the Tigris and defend a fortified city on the further side of the river, as the land itself is then incorporated with Assyria, we must obviously look for it at no great distance to the north on both shores of the Upper Tigris. We shall hardly be in error, therefore, if we take this land to be the district afterwards called Gumathene, on the Tigris, which Ammianus describes as a fruitful and productive land, i. e. as the canton of Amida.[56] The next conflicts of Tiglath Pilesar took place on the Lower Zab, i. e. at the south-eastern border of the Assyrian country. Further to the south, on the Zagrus, perhaps in the district of Chalonitis, or between the Lower Zab and the Adhim, or at any rate to the east, we must look for the land of Khumani and the land of Musri. The image at Karkar, Tiglath Pilesar's monument of victory, gives us information about the position of the land of Nairi. It comprises the mountain cantons between the Eastern Tigris and the upper course of the Great Zab, where that river traverses the land of Arrapachitis (Albak). The lake of the land of Nairi, to which the inscription of Karkar extends the rule of Tiglath Pilesar, and the upper sea from which auxiliaries come to the princes of the land of Nairi, are both, no doubt, Lake Van. The inhabitants of Nairi are not like those of the land of Kummukh, incorporated with Assyria, they have merely to pay a moderate tribute in horses and oxen. The campaign of Tiglath Pilesar against Karkamis (Karchemish) proves that the dominion of Assyria before his reign did not reach the Euphrates. He marches against the land of Aram and has then to fight with the army of Karchemish on this side, i. e. on the east side of the Euphrates; the results which he obtained on this campaign to the west of the Euphrates he does not himself rate very highly. We saw that in the end he remained at a disadvantage in his contest with Babylon. On the other hand, in campaigns which took place in years subsequent to the attempt against Karchemish, he must have forced his way to the west far beyond the Euphrates, in order to be able to boast on the monument at Karkar "that he ruled from the sea of Nairi as far as the great sea of the west land," i. e. to the Mediterranean. Hence we have to assume that he went forth from Karchemish westwards almost as far as the mouth of the Orontes. We should be more accurately informed on this matter if the fragment of an inscription on an obelisk beside an inscription of Assurnasirpal, who reigned more than 200 years after Tiglath Pilesar, could be referred to Tiglath Pilesar. The fragment speaks in the third person of the booty gained in hunting by a king, which is given in nearly the same totals as the results of Tiglath Pilesar's hunts on his cylinders. These represent him as slaying 120 lions and capturing 800. The fragment speaks of 120 and 800 lions, of Amsi killed in Charran on the Chabor, of Rim whom the king slew before the land of Chatti at the foot of Mount Labnani (Lebanon), of a crocodile (nasukh ) which the king of Musri sent as a present. The hunter, it is said, ruled from the city of Babylon, in the land of Accad, as far as the land of the west (mat acharri ).[57]

According to the inscriptions on the cylinders the land of Aram lies to the east of the Euphrates; the city of Karchemish lies on the west bank in the land of the Chatti. The Chatti are the Hittites of the Hebrews, the Cheta of the Egyptians. We found that the inscriptions of Sethos and Ramses II. extended the name of the Cheta as far as the Euphrates (I. 151, 152). But although the kingdom of the Hittites had fallen two centuries before Tiglath Pilesar crossed the Euphrates, the name still clung to this region, as the inscriptions of Tiglath Pilesar and his successors prove, more especially to the region from Hamath and Damascus as far as Lebanon. The land of the west (mat acharri ) in the strict sense is, of course, to the Assyrians, from their point of view, the coast of Syria. Whatever successes Tiglath Pilesar may have gained in this direction, they were of a transitory nature.

The first of his sons to succeed him was Assur-bel-kala, whose reign we may fix in the years 1100-1080 B.C. With three successive kings of Babylon, Marduk-sapik-kullat, Saduni (?), and Nebu-zikir-iskun, hecame into contact, peaceful or hostile. With the first he made a treaty of peace, with Saduni he carried on war, with Nebu-zikir-iskun he again concluded a peace, which fixed the borders. This was confirmed by intermarriage;[58] Assur-bel-kala married his daughter to Nebu-zikir-iskun, while the latter gave his daughter to Assur-bel-kala. Of the exploits of his successor, Samsi-Bin II. (1080-1060 B.C.), a second son of Tiglath Pilesar, we have no account.[59] We cannot maintain with certainty whether Assur-rab-amar, of whom Shalmanesar II. tells us that he lost two cities on the Euphrates which Tiglath Pilesar had taken,[60]was the direct successor of Samsi-Bin.

After this, for the space of more than 100 years (1040-930), there is again a gap in our knowledge. Not till we reach Assur-dayan II., who ascended the throne of Assyria about the year 930 B.C., can we again follow the series of the Assyrian kings downwards without interruption. This Assur-dayan II. is followed by Bin-nirar II., about 900; Bin-nirar, by Tiglath Adar II., who reigned from 889-883 B.C. He had to contend once more against the land of Nairi, i. e. against the region between the Eastern Tigris and the upper course of the Upper Zab. As a memorial of the successes which he gained here he caused his image to be carved beside that of Tiglath Pilesar in the rocks at Karkar (see below). Besides this, there is in existence from his time a pass, i. e. a small tablet, with the inscription, "Permission to enter into the palace of Tiglath Adar, king of the land of Asshur, son of Bin-nirar, king of the land of Asshur."[61]

Neither at the commencement nor in the course of the history of Assyria do the monuments know of a king Ninus, a queen Semiramis, or of any warlike queen of this kingdom; they do not even mention any woman as standing independently at the head of Assyria. Once, it is true, we find the name Semiramis in the inscriptions in the form Sammuramat. Sammuramat was the wife of king Bin-nirar III., who ruled over Assyria from the year 810-781 B.C. On the pedestal of two statues, which an officer of this king, the prefect of Chalah, dedicated to the god Nebo, the inscription is: "To Nebo, the highest lord of his lords, the protector of Bin-nirar, king of Asshur, and protector of Sammuramat, the wife of the palace, his lady." The name of Ninyas is quite unknown to the monuments, and of the names of the 33 kings which Ctesias gives, with their names and reigns as successors of Ninyas down to the overthrow of the kingdom and Sardanapalus (p. 26),—unless we identify the last name in the list, that of Sardanapalus, with the Assurbanipal of the inscriptions, i. e. with the ruler last but one or two according to the records,—no single one agrees with the names of the monuments, which, moreover, give a higher total than six-and-thirty for the reigns of the Assyrian kings. The list of Ctesias appears to have been put together capriciously or merely invented; the lengths of the reigns are pure imagination, and arranged according to certain synchronisms.

Not less definite is the evidence of the monuments that the pre-eminence of Assyria over Upper Asia cannot have commenced in the year 2189 or 1913 B.C., as Ctesias asserts, or as may be assumed from his data, nor in 1273, as has been deduced from the statements of Berosus, nor finally in the year 1234, according to Herodotus' statements (p. 27). Though we are able to find only approximately the dates of the kings of Assyria, whose names and deeds we have passed in review, the result is, nevertheless, that the power of Assyria in the fifteenth and fourteenth centuries did not go far beyond the native country—that her forces by no means surpassed those of Babylon—that precisely in the thirteenth and twelfth centuries B.C. the kingdom of Babylon was at least as strong as that of Assyria—that even towards the close of the twelfth century Tiglath Pilesar I. could gain no success against Babylon—that his successors sought to establish peaceful relations with Babylonia. There is just as little reason to maintain the period of 520 years which Herodotus allows for the Assyrian empire over Asia. This cannot in any case be assumed earlier than the date of Tiglath Pilesar I., who did at least cross the Euphrates and enter Northern Syria. The beginning of this empire would, therefore, be about 1130 B.C., not 1234 B.C. The date also which Herodotus gives for the close of this empire (before 700 B.C.) cannot, as will be shown, be maintained. According to this datum the decline and fall of Assyria must have began with the period in which, as a fact, she rose to the proudest height and extended her power to the widest extent. The period of 520 years can only be kept artificially by reckoning it upwards from the year 607 B.C., the year of the overthrow of the Assyrian empire; then it brings us from this date to 1127 B.C.i. e. to the time of Tiglath Pilesar I. But we saw that the conquests of Tiglath Pilesar did not extend very far, that his successes west of the Euphrates were of a transitory nature; in no case could a dominion of Assyria over Babylon be dated from his reign.

The complete agreement of the Assyrian and Babylonian style and civilisation is proved most clearly by the monuments. The names of the princes of Assyria are formed analogously to those of the Babylonians; the names and the nature of the deities which the Assyrians and Babylonians worship are the same. In Assyria we meet again with Anu the god of the high heaven, Samas the sun-god, Sin the moon-god, Bin (Ramman) the god of the thunder; of the spirits of the planets Adar, the lord of Saturn, Nebo, the god of Mercury, and Istar, the lady of Venus, in her double nature of destroyer and giver of fruit, reappear. There is only one striking difference: the special protector of Assyria, Asshur, the god of the land, stands at the head of the gods in the place of El of the Babylonians. He it is after whom the land and the oldest metropolis is named, whose representatives the oldest princes of Assyria appear to have called themselves. The name of Asshur is said to mean the good or the kind;[62] which may even on the Euphrates have been an epithet of El, which on the Tigris became the chief name of the deity. As the ancient princes of Ur and Erech, of Nipur and Senkereh, as the kings of Babel—so also the kings of Assyria, as far back as our monuments allow us to go—built temples to their gods; like them they mark the tiles of their buildings with their names; like the kings of Babel, they cause inscriptions to be written on cylinders, intended to preserve the memory of their buildings and achievements, and then placed in the masonry of their temples. The language of the inscriptions of Assyria differs from those of the Babylonian inscriptions, as one dialect from another; the system of writing is the same. The population of Assyria transferred their language and writing, their religious conceptions and modes of worship, from the Lower Euphrates to the Upper Tigris. If the princes of Erech, Nipur and Babylon had to repel the attacks of Elam, the Assyrian land, a region of moderate extent, lay under the spurs of the Armenian table-land, under the ranges of the Zagrus. The struggle against the tribes of these mountains, in the Zagrus and in the region of the sources of the Euphrates and the Tigris, and the stubborn resistance of these tribes appears to have strengthened the warlike powers of the Assyrians, and these ceaseless campaigns trained them to that military excellence which finally, after a period of exercise which lasted for centuries, won for them the preponderance over Mesopotamia and Syria, over Babylonia and Elam, no less than over Egypt.


[27]Diod. 2, 21; Euseb. "Chron." 1, p. 56; 2, p. 11, ed. Schöne; Syncellus, "Chron." 1, 313, 314, ed. Bonn; Brandis, "Rer. Assyr. tempor. emend." p. 13 seq.

[28]Euseb. "Chron." 1, p. 26, ed. Schöne.

[29]1, 184, 187.

[30]Vol. i. 512.

[31]Ménant, "Annal." p. 18.

[32]G. Smith, "Discov." p. 249.

[33]The date of Tiglath Adar is fixed by the statement of Sennacherib that he lost his seal to the Babylonians 600 years before Sennacherib took Babylon, i. e. about the year 1300 B.C. As the series of seven kings who reigned before Tiglath Adar is fixed, Assur-bil-nisi, the first of these, can be placed about 1460 B.C. if we allow 20 years to each.

[34]Vol. i. p. 262.

[35]This series, Pudiel, Bel-nirar and Bin-nirar, is established by tiles of Kileh-Shergat, and the fact that it joins on to Assur-u-ballit, by the tablet of Bin-nirar discovered by G. Smith, in which he calls himself great grandson of Assur-u-ballit, grandson of Bel-nirar, and son of Pudiel; G. Smith, "Discov." p. 244.

[36]G. Smith, "Discov." pp. 244, 245.

[37]E. Schrader, "Keilinschriften und A. T." s. 20; "Records of the Past," 7, 17.

[38]Ménant, "Annal." p. 73.

[39]G. Smith, loc. cit. p. 249.

[40]G. Smith, loc. cit. p. 250; E. Schrader, "A. B. Keilinschriften," s. 294. As Sennacherib states that he brought back this seal from Babylon after 600 years, and as Sennacherib took Babylon twice in 704 and 694 B.C., the loss of it falls either in the year 1304 or 1294 B.C. As he brings back the Assyrian images of the gods at the second capture (694 B.C.), the seal of Tiglath Adar may have been brought back on this occasion.

[41]G. Smith, loc. cit. p. 250.

[42]So the passage runs according to a communication from E. Schrader. On the reading Adarpalbitkur as against the readings Ninpalazira and Adarpalassar, see E. Schrader, "A. B. Keilinschriften," s. 152. On what Ménant ("Annal." p. 29) grounds the assumption that Belkudurussur was the immediate successor of Tiglath Adar I cannot say; it would not be chronologically impossible, but the synchronistic tablet merely informs us that Adarpalbitkur was the successor of Belkudurussur; G. Rawlinson, "Mon." 2, 49. Still less am I able to find any foundation for the statement that Binpaliddin of Babylon, the opponent of Belkudurussur and Adarpalbitkur, was a vassal-king set up by Assyria. The date of Tiglath Pilesar I. is fixed by the Bavian inscription, which tells us that Sennacherib at his second capture of Babylon brought back out of that city the images of the gods lost by Tiglath Pilesar 418 years previously (Bav. 43-50), at the period between 1130 and 1100 B.C. If he began to reign 1130, then the five kings before him (the series from Adarpalbitkur to Tiglath Pilesar is fixed by the cylinder of the latter), allowing 20 years to each reign, bring us to 1230 B.C. for the beginning of Belkudurussur. To go back further seems the more doubtful, as Tiglath Pilesar put Assur-dayan, the third prince of this series, only 60 years before his own time.

[43]Sayce, "Records of the Past," 3, 31; Ménant, loc. cit. p. 31.

[44]Communication from E. Schrader.

[45]Cf. G. Smith, loc. cit. p. 251.

[46]Vol. i. p. 263; Ménant, loc. cit. p. 32.

[47]Ménant, "Annal." pp. 47, 48.

[48]Column, 1, 62, seqq., 1, 89.

[49]Column, 5, 44.

[50]Column, 6, 39.

[51]Ménant, loc. cit. p. 48.

[52]Vol. i. p. 519; E. Schrader, "Keilinschriften und A. T." s. 16.

[53]Ménant, loc. cit. p. 51.

[54]Vol. i. p. 263; Bavian Inscrip. 48-50; Ménant, "Annal." pp. 52, 236. Inscription on the black basalt-stone in Oppert et Ménant, "Documents juridiques," p. 98. Is the name of the witness (col. 2, 27), Sar-babil-assur-issu (p. 115), correctly explained by "The king of Babel has conquered Asshur"?

[55]Col. 1, 62.

[56]Ammian. Marcell. 18, 9.

[57]Araziki cannot be taken for Aradus, the name of which city on the obelisk and in the inscriptions of Assurnasirpal, Shalmanesar, and elsewhere is Arvadu.

[58]Sayce, "Records," 3, 33; Ménant, "Annal." p. 53; "Babylone," pp. 129, 130.

[59]According to G. Smith ("Discov." p. 91, 252) this Samsi-Bin II. restored the temple of Istar at Nineveh which Samsi-Bin I. had built (above, p. 3).

[60]Inscription of Kurkh, "Records of the Past," 3, 93; Ménant, "Annal." p. 55.

[61]Ménant, "Annal." p. 63.

[62]E. Schrader, "Keilinschriften und A. T." s. 7.

Assyria in the Reigns of Sargon and Sennacherib

In his inscriptions Sargon speaks of the kings who ruled over Asshur before him, but he mentions neither his father nor his grandfather, though these are regularly mentioned by all the other kings of Assyria who ascended the throne in direct succession. It follows that he was neither the son nor the grandson of Shalmanesar IV.; nevertheless he was one of the mightiest, most victorious, and powerful of the rulers of Assyria. Nor did the uninterrupted series of his campaigns prevent him from undertaking and carrying out great buildings. To the two ancient chief cities of Assyria—Asshur and Nineveh—Shalmanesar I. had added Chalah, which was subsequently adorned by Assurnasirpal, Shalmanesar II. and Tiglath Pilesar II. with temples and palaces. Sargon built a new residence in the neighbourhood of Nineveh. On the course of the Khosr, which flows through ancient Nineveh into the Tigris, ten miles up the stream, he built a new royal abode, which he called after his name Dur Sarrukin, i. e. fortress of Sargon. The new city (Khorsabad) formed, as the remains of the outer walls show, a rectangle, each of the shorter sides of which measures more than 5000, and each of the longer sides 5500 feet.[214] In the north-west front of the outer wall the palace, surrounded by a separate wall, rose above the rectangle of the new city. The outer walls of the city were 45 feet in thickness; they were built up in brick, on a basis of stone; the outer wall of the palace, which flanked as a fortress the north-western side of the city wall, was entirely cased with stone.[215] The entrance to the main structure of the royal fortress was guarded by two human-headed bulls. The halls were adorned with reliefs, which exhibit the exploits of the king. Here was to be seen the execution of Ilubid, king of Hamath (p. 88); the besieging and storming of cities. Over the reliefs, beginning from the entrance in the form of a broad frieze, an inscription runs toward the left round the hall, which explains the pictures on the reliefs and ends on the opposite side of the entrance. In some halls this frieze forms a connected narrative, which relates the acts of the king in succession according to the years of the reign (the so-called Annals). In the great gallery and the chambers abutting on it the inscriptions are shorter: here they are content with bringing into prominence the most important acts of the king (the so-called Fasti). The two bulls at the entrance of the palace are also covered with inscriptions. In the foundations of the palace was found a stone chest, in which lay seven plates of gold, silver, tin, copper, lead, alabaster, and marble, on which are inscriptions as well as on the clay cylinders found in the ruins. On the bricks of the palace we read: "Palace of Sarrukin the viceroy of Bel, Patis of Asshur (II. 31), the mighty king, king of the nations, king of Asshur." And on the gold plate: "Palace of Sarrukin, viceroy of Bel, Patis of Asshur, the mighty king, king of the nations, king of Asshur, who rules from the rising to the setting sun, over the four regions of the world, and places viceroys over them. According to my pleasure I have built a city in the neighbourhood of the mountains, and given to it the name of Fortress of Sarrukin. For Salman, Sin, Samas, Bin, and Adar, I have built dwellings for their great divinities in the midst of the city. The glory of my name I have inscribed on tablets of gold, silver, copper, lead, tin, alabaster, and marble, and placed them in the foundations of the palace. Whoso injures the works of my hand, and robs my treasure, may Asshur, the great lord, destroy his name and seed."[216] The Annals mention this palace in the year 712 B.C.; at the close they speak of the completion of it in the year 706 B.C. "With the heads of the provinces, the viceroys, the wise men, I settled down in my palace, and exercised justice."[217] In the inscriptions on the bulls, as well as on a cylinder, the king says, that he has named the gates to the East after Samas and Bin; those to the West after Anu and Istar; and those to the South after Bel and Bilit; those to the North after Salman and the lady of the gods.[218]

Sargon's predecessor, Shalmanesar IV., as we were able to assume, placed Elulæus over Babylon as a vassal king. The astronomical canon observes that the reign of Elulæus came to an end in 722 B.C., the same year in which Shalmanesar IV. died, and Merodach Baladan (Mardokempados) ascended the throne of Babylon in the year 721 B.C. We may suppose that this Merodach Baladan was no other than the prince of Bit Yakin,i. e. of South Chaldæa, who had submitted ten years before to Tiglath Pilesar at Sapiya (731 B.C.). He must have availed himself of the decease of Shalmanesar, and the occupation of the Assyrian army in Syria, which was detained before Samaria, to make himself master of Babylon from the South, and unite the whole region of Babylonia under his rule. As soon as Samaria fell, Sargon turned against him. In the Annals, the account of the capture of Samaria is followed, in the very first year of Sargon (722-721 B.C.), by a campaign against Humbanigas, the king of Elam, who, as the Fasti say, was defeated "in the plains of Kalu."[219] The Annals then continue: "Merodach Baladan, who had made himself lord of the kingdom of Babylon against the will of the gods." The destruction of the remainder of the narrative has left only a few words legible, from which we may gather that Sargon fought against Merodach Baladan, that he removed people from Babylonia to the land of the Chatti, i. e. to Syria: according to the Books of Kings these were inhabitants of Sepharvaim and Kutha (p. 86). Whatever losses Merodach Baladan suffered, in this way he retained Babylon and the throne. The astronomical canon represents him as reigning from 721 B.C. to 710 B.C. Clay tablets in the shape of lentils, found in the ruins of Sargon's palace at Khorsabad (they were brought there, no doubt, as booty from Babylonia), bear the date of the ninth, tenth, and eleventh years of Marduk-habaliddin, king of Babylon (sar Babilu [220]); even Sargon's Annals represent Merodach Baladan as ruling over Sumir and Accad for twelve years (i. e. from 721 to 709 B.C.).

After the war against Humbanigas and Merodach Baladan, against Elam and Babylonia, Sargon, as we saw, marched to Syria in order to subjugate Hamath and Gaza, and to defeat at Raphia (720 B.C.) the army of the Egyptians and Ethiopians led by Sabakon. In the next years Sargon fought in the north against the people of Van, who had shaken off the dominion of Iranzu, an adherent of Assyria, and against Urza of Ararat; the inhabitants of the four cantons in Armenia he removed to the land of Chatti, and the land of Acharri, i. e. to Syria and the Syrian coast.[221] After this, in the year 717 B.C., Pisiris of Karchemish, who had paid tribute to Tiglath Pilesar, was reduced. Karchemish was taken, Pisiris put in chains, the rebels carried to Assyria, and Assyrians placed in Karchemish. From the booty of Karchemish 11 talents of gold, 2100 talents and 24 minæ of silver were brought into the treasury at Chalah.[222] Urza of Ararat and prince Bagadatti of Mount Mildis (perhaps the region of Melitene, Malatia) excited the people of Van to rebellion, as Sargon says; Aza, the prince of Van, was slain. Sargon terrified the rebels into submission, caused Bagadatti to be flayed at the same place where Aza was slain, and placed Ullusun, the brother of Aza, on the throne of Van. But Ullusun united with Urza of Ararat and the princes of Karalla and Allabur. When Sargon advanced, Ullusun submitted; Sargon allowed him to remain on the throne on condition that he paid heavier tribute; the prince of Karalla was driven out, the people of Allabur carried to Hamath (715 B.C.[223]); in Ararat, Urza maintained his position. Vassurmi, the king of the Tabal, the Tibarenes, had been dethroned by Tiglath Pilesar, and Chulli put in his place (p. 11). Sargon allowed Ambris to succeed his father in the government of the Tabal, gave him his own daughter to wife, and intrusted him with the government of the Cilicians in addition to the Tabal. Ambris abused this confidence. He united with Mita, the king of the Moschi, with Urzana of Mussasir (which must, no doubt, be sought on Lake Van), and Urza of Ararat against Assyria. Ambris was defeated and taken prisoner, and carried to Assyria with his chief adherents. Mita submitted, like the Cilicians: Mussasir, the city of Urzana, was taken by storm: Urza of Ararat, whose resistance had been the longest and most stubborn, wandered about as a fugitive, and took his own life (714 B.C.).[224]

The armies of Shalmanesar II. were the first to make an advance on the table-land of Iran. As already remarked, they trod the plains of Media in 835 B.C. Ninety years later, Tiglath Pilesar II. subjugated the land of Nisaa (the region of Nisæa in Media) and then the cities of Media, on his first, second, and ninth campaigns; he imposed tribute on the princes of the land of Media. Sargon tells us that in his sixth year (716 B.C.) he fought against the land of Karkhar, which we must seek in the Zagrus (perhaps it is a part of the valley of the Kerkha); that he named a city there Kar Sargon. He received considerable tribute from 25 princes of the Medes, and set up his image in the midst of their places.[225] In the next year, when Urza of Ararat conspired with Ullusun of Van, and Ullusun with Dayaukka, the overseer of Van (?), "I took 22 fortresses," so the Annals say, "and carried away Dayaukka and his tribute with me, and restored peace to the land of Van" (715 B.C.).[226] The Fasti also mention the capture of the 22 places; after this they give the capture of Bagadatti, and continue: "I caused him to be flayed, and carried Dayaukka with his adherents away into the land of Amat, and made them dwell there."[227] "In order to maintain myself in Media, I built fortresses in the neighbourhood of Kar Sargon," so the Annals relate in the same year,[228] "and received the tribute of 22 princes of the Medes." To the erection of fortresses in the neighbourhood of Kar Sargon the Fasti add: "I conquered 34 cities in Media, united them with Assyria, and imposed on them a tribute of horses."[229] In the year 713 B.C., according to the statement in the Annals, Sargon marched against Bit Dayauku, and against the nation of Karalla, who had driven out Sargon's viceroy. "The lands of Bit Ili, the district of Media, which belongs to Ellip—and the chief districts of Media, which had thrown off Asshur's yoke, and put mountains and vallies in terror—I pacified. I received the tribute of 45 princes of the Medes; 4609 horses, sheep, and asses in great numbers."[230] The much-injured inscription of an octagonal cylinder enumerates the princes of Media who paid this tribute in this year: among them we find Pharnes, Barzan, Aspabara, Satarparnu, Ariya, and finally Arbaku of Arnasia.[231] Sargon's inscriptions repeatedly boast that he subjugated "the distant land of Media; all places of the distant Media as far as the borders of the land of Bikni;" that "his power extended as far as the city of Simaspati, which belonged to the distant Media in the East."[232]

When Syria had been reduced, Egypt repelled, the North brought into obedience, and Media made tributary, Sargon undertook to restore the supremacy of Assyria over Babylonia. Merodach Baladan's rule must be removed. The dominion of Assyria must be again restored as it was in the time of Tiglath Pilesar. "For twelve years," so the Fasti of Sargon tell us, "Merodach Baladan had roused up the land of Sumir and Accad. I resolved to march against the inhabitants of the land of Kaldi (Chaldæa). Merodach Baladan heard of the approach of my army; he left Babylon, betook himself to Dur Yakin, strengthened the walls there, and called upon the tribes of Gambul, Pekod, Tumun, Ruhua, and Chindar. My warriors defeated the enemy. The migratory tribes fled after this defeat. Merodach Baladan left his tent, the insignia of his royal dignity, his chariot and adornments behind him, and fled away in the night. I besieged and took the city of Dur Yakin. His wife, his sons, his daughters, his palace, and all that was therein, I took. I burnt the city, and threw down the old walls. I permitted the inhabitants of Sippara, of Nipur, of Babylonia, and Borsippa to continue their occupations. To the cities of Arak (Erech) and Larsam (Senkereh) I gave back the gods which dwell there, and restored the temples."[233] The Annals give a more detailed account, but in the narrative of these events the text is interrupted by great lacunæ. In the introduction we have: "Merodach Baladan showed the greatest violence against the will of the gods of Babylon; my hand reached him; I took from him all his land." Then follows the narrative of the occurrence under the twelfth year of the king (710 B.C.): "Merodach Baladan refused to pay tribute. He had concluded an alliance with Sutruk Nanchundi, the king of Elam, and aroused all the tribes of Aram (Mesopotamia) against me. He strengthened his fortresses and assembled his troops. I took captive 18,430 men." After an enumeration of the cities which Sargon took, and the narrative of the subjection of the Pekod, we are told: "The rest of the inhabitants of the land of Aram had put their hopes in Merodach Baladan and Sutruk Nanchundi, and gathered on the river Ukni. I put them to flight." After this Sargon takes several cities of Elam; Sutruk Nanchundi retires before him into the mountains. Merodach Baladan heard this in his palace at Babylon; he left the city at night with his warriors, directed his steps to the land of Elam, and sent a considerable weight of silver to Sutruk Nanchundi, to induce him to send aid. "I marched at once to Babylon, sacrificed to the gods, and set up my power in the midst of the palace of Merodach Baladan." "In the thirteenth year of my reign, Merodach Baladan compelled the cities of Ur and Larsam to pay him tribute, collected his forces at Dur Yakin, and there fortified himself. I went boldly against him, threw his warriors and horses into confusion; I cut down the people of the Pekod and Marsiman, and took the symbols of their kingdom. And Merodach Baladan acknowledged his weakness; he abandoned the sceptre and throne, and kissed the earth in the presence of my emissary. I summoned him, and received him into favour. Dur Yakin I burnt; I laid regular tribute on the upper and lower land of Bit Yakin. While I punished the Chaldæans and Aramæans, and made my power felt by the Elamites, my viceroy, in the land of Kui (Cilicia), in the regions of the setting sun, attacked Mita, the Moschian, took two fortresses and 2400 men, freemen and slaves. To complete his subjugation, Mita sent his envoy with his tribute as far as the coast of the Eastern sea, and acknowledged the power of the god Asshur. The seven kings of Yatnan (Cyprus) also brought their tribute into my presence at Babylon; gold, silver, and the products of their land, and kissed my feet."[234]

These accounts show that Sargon's war against Merodach Baladan occupied two years (710 and 709 B.C.). In the first campaign the Babylonians were defeated in the field; the Aramæans dispersed; the Elamites, among whom the sovereignty had been meanwhile transferred from Humbanigas to Sutruk Nanchundi, driven back, and the cities of Babylonia taken. Merodach Baladan abandons Babylon, and retires to the lower Euphrates, to the land of his nation. Sargon ascends the throne of Babylon, and takes the title, "King of Babel, of Sumir and Accad," which Tiglath Pilesar had borne before him. The second campaign ends with the capture and destruction of Dur Yakin, with the subjugation of the whole region of the Euphrates as far as the shore of the Persian Gulf, and the receiving of Merodach Baladan into favour. According to the astronomical canon, Arkeanus ascended the throne of Babylon in the year 709 B.C. Arkeanus can only be Sargon (Sarrukin). One of the tablets, which contains contracts about the sale of parcels of land, slaves, and loans, from the time of Sargon, bears the date: "Month Sebat, year of Muttakkil-Assur, viceroy of Gozan; fifteenth year of Sargon, king of Asshur, third year of his reign in Babylon."[235] As Sargon certainly cannot have ascended the throne of Babylon later than the year 709 B.C., the year 707-706 would be the third year of his reign over Babylonia; the canon of the Assyrian rulers actually puts the year of Muttakkil-Assur at the year 706 B.C.

The campaigns of the unwearied Sargon did not end with the subjugation of the whole region of Babylonia. The Annals and Fasti narrate how he overthrew Mutallu of Kummukh (Gumathene), who had united himself with Argistis, king of Ararat, who must have taken the place of Urza (p. 99), and that he planted there people from Bit Yakin (707 B.C.). The land of Ellip, which he had previously subjugated, remained faithful to him as long as king Dalta lived. After his death his sons Nibi and Ispabara contended for the throne. The former sought help from Sutruk Nanchundi of Elam; Ispabara vowed allegiance to him (Sargon). To support Ispabara, Sargon sent troops to the land of Ellip, the position of which we can only so far ascertain from the inscriptions, as to know that it bordered on Media (p. 101) as well as Elam. Nibi's warriors and the Elamites were defeated; Nibi was taken prisoner, his adherents were crucified, and Ispabara became the prince of the whole land (706 B.C.).[236]

Sargon, who defeated the Egyptians and the Ethiopians, who subjugated Syria and Babylonia, who had gone through so many battles, came to a violent end, but not in war. He was murdered. The list of the rulers announces the naked fact in the year 705 B.C., and adds the accession of his son Sennacherib, on whom fell the heavy task of maintaining the wide dominion which Sargon had won. If he did not succeed in doing this without some loss, his buildings, which he began immediately after his accession, were not inferior to those of his father. He must have commenced them at the beginning of his reign. The inscription on a cylinder (Bellino), bearing the date of the third year of Sennacherib, gives the dimensions of a palace of Sennacherib at Nineveh, and describes the architecture and adornment. The kings, his fathers, had built this palace, but had not completed its splendour; the waves of the Tigris had injured the foundations; he altered the course of the Tigris, strengthened the dams, built the palace afresh, and caused lions and bulls to be hewn out of great stones.[237] The remains of this structure lie on the site of the ancient Nineveh, immediately to the north of the Khosr, which flowed through the city, on the old bed of the Tigris, near the modern village of Kuyundshik. The dimensions give this palace the first place among the castles of the kings of Asshur. It rose on a terrace of more than 80 feet in height, close by the Tigris. The great porticoes were from 150 to 180 feet in length, and about 40 feet in breadth; the great gallery was 218 feet in length, and 25 feet in breadth. About 70 chambers have been discovered in this building.[238] The main front lay to the north-west; two great winged bulls with human heads guarded the entrance. At the entrance of the north-east front also were two bulls of this kind. In the great portico behind this entrance, and the gallery abutting upon it, the process of building is represented on the reliefs on the walls. We see the clay pits, the workmen carrying baskets filled with clay and bricks, the great blocks intended for the images of the lions and bulls coming up the Tigris, and brought to the elevation on shore by ropes drawn by hundreds of hands. This is done by means of slips under which are placed wooden rollers. A lion, already finished, standing upright and surrounded by a wooden case, and held up by workmen with ropes and forked poles, is drawn along in this manner; the hinder end of the slip is then raised by a lever placed on wedges in order to facilitate the elevation. The overseer stands between the fore-feet of the colossus, and directs by the movement of his hands the efforts of the workmen. Sennacherib himself from his chariot watches the advance of this statue. In the same way a finished human-headed bull is drawn along by four long rows of workmen. In another chamber we see rows of servants, who carry apples and grapes, pastry and other food in baskets. The reliefs of the next porticoes and halls exhibit the warlike acts of Sennacherib; the crossing of rivers, sieges, stormings of cities in the mountain country, in the plain, in the marsh. Unfortunately the inscriptions over these have almost entirely perished along with the upper part of the walls; only a few words are legible. The inscription of the third year of Sennacherib (703 B.C.) concludes the account of this building with the words: "To him among my sons, whom Asshur in the course of the days shall summon to be lord over land and people, I say this: This palace will grow old and fall to pieces. May he set it up, restore the inscriptions and the writing of my name, and clean the images; may he offer sacrifice, and put everything in its place; so shall Asshur hear his prayer."[239] The inscriptions on slabs between the thighs of the two bulls before the north-west entrance give a detailed account of the dimensions and manner of the building of this palace.[240]

In the inscription on the cylinder, Sennacherib boasts that he made a canal from the Khosr through the city; that he renovated Nineveh, "the city of Istar," and made it brilliant as the sun; the prisoners, Chaldæans, Aramæans, captives from Van and Cilicia, were employed on these works.[241] The adornment of Nineveh, the strengthening of its walls, are mentioned on inscriptions on slabs in the palace itself.[242] Another cylinder (Smith) from the ninth year of the reign of Sennacherib (697 B.C.),[243] also mentions the buildings which the king undertook for the restoration of Nineveh: the prisoners of his campaigns worked at them: Philistines and Tyrians are here added to Chaldæans, Aramæans, Armenians, and Cilicians.[244] Later documents inform us that Sennacherib built temples to Nebo and Merodach at Nineveh.[245] A third cylinder (Taylor) has been preserved from the fifteenth year of the reign of Sennacherib (691 B.C.), which tells us of a second great building of his at Nineveh. By the kings, his fathers, a house had been erected for the preservation of the treasure; for the horses and troops. This building had become damaged; he caused the old house to be removed, and built up again on a larger scale.[246] The remains of this building lie to the south of the confluence of the Khosr and Tigris near the modern Nebbi Yunus. According to the evidence of the ruins it was of smaller dimensions than the palace at Kuyundshik. To the north-east of Nineveh, near the modern Bavian, the image of Sennacherib is hewn in the rocks. The inscription on this image informs us in detail what Sennacherib had done for the irrigation of the land of Assyria: among other things it is mentioned, that he had made 16 (18) canals from the Khosr, or into it.[247] Bricks found at Sherif-Khan show by the stamp that Sennacherib built a temple there to Nergal; the bricks of a heap of ruins to the south-west of the ancient Arbela show that he erected there the fortifications of a city called Kakzi.[248]

The most indispensable task which devolved on Sennacherib at his accession was the keeping of Babylon in subjection. The news of the death of Sargon, the mighty warrior, might arouse among all the nations which had felt the weight of his arms so heavily the hope of again shaking off the yoke. If the Babylonians succeeded in freeing themselves from the dominion of his successor, there was the prospect that such a success would be an event of wide importance; a sign and example to the subject lands. According to the evidence of Josephus, Berosus related of Sennacherib that he fought against all Asia and Egypt:[249]Abydenus represented him as subjugating Babylonia.[250] Alexander Polyhistor, according to a fragment which Eusebius has preserved, narrated as follows: "After that the brother of Sennacherib reigned in Babylon, and after him Akises, who was slain by Merodach Baladan after 30 days; Merodach Baladan maintained himself by violence for six months, and was then slain by a man of the name of Elibus. But in the third year of the reign of Elibus, Sennacherib, the king of Assyria, collected an army against the Babylonians, conquered them in the battle, and carried away Elibus with his followers to Assyria. Sennacherib placed his son Asordanes (Esarhaddon) as ruler over Babylon; he himself returned to Assyria."[251] After the reign of Arkeanus (Sargon) from 709 B.C. to 705 B.C., the astronomical canon gives an interregnum for the years 704 and 703 B.C.; after this comes the reign of Belibus, which lasted three years, from 702 B.C. to 700 B.C. Belibus was succeeded by Aparanadius, who reigned six years (699-694 B.C.). If we attempt to unite these statements with the quotation from Polyhistor, Sennacherib, immediately on his accession, made his brother king and viceroy of Babylon, but he was unable to maintain his position; a rebel, Akises, seized the throne, and was in his turn overthrown by Merodach Baladan, whose reign over Babylon only lasted six months. The two years after Sargon's death, which were occupied by this regency and these usurpations, are marked in the astronomical canon as an interregnum. As the last half year of this period was occupied with the usurpation of Merodach Baladan, and the preceding month by Akises, Sennacherib's brother must have reigned over Babylon 17 months after Sargon's death, or a little longer (the canon gives the last year of each reign entirely to the king who died in it). Towards the close of these two years the Elibus of Polyhistor, the Belibus of the canon, overthrew Merodach Baladan, and reigned till 700 B.C., in which year Sennacherib marched against Babylonia, defeated Elibus, took him prisoner, and placed his son Asordanes as king over Babylon. The Aparanadius of the canon must be the Asordanes of Polyhistor.

Sennacherib's inscriptions show that the events took place nearly but not quite in this manner. His archives say nothing of the regency of a brother in Babylon; they do not exclude such a regency, but they show clearly that Merodach Baladan was in possession of the throne of Babylon in 704 B.C. Is this Merodach Baladan the Merodach Baladan of Bit Yakin, of South Chaldæa, who paid homage to Tiglath Pilesar II. at Sapiya in the year 731 B.C., and who after the death of Shalmanesar IV., in the year 721 B.C., possessed himself of the throne of Babylon—whom Sargon fought against at that time, but did not overthrow—whom he deprived of all his land in the years 710 and 709 B.C., and then received into favour? The man who possessed himself of Babylon in the year 704 B.C. belongs without a doubt to the princely house of Bit Yakin; we find him retiring before Sennacherib from Babylon to Bit Yakin, as he had previously retired before Sargon. The Merodach Baladan of Sennacherib can therefore only be the Merodach Baladan of Tiglath Pilesar, and Sargon, or a son of the same name.[252] As the inscriptions give the name simply without any addition, we have in him no doubt the same prince of Bit Yakin who submitted to Tiglath Pilesar and was defeated by Sargon. That Merodach Baladan was in possession of Babylon at least six months, as Polyhistor states, is proved by the combinations into which, according to Sennacherib's inscriptions, he entered with the king of Elam, the tribes of Mesopotamia, and tribes of the Arabians, before Sennacherib attacked him; by the fact that Sennacherib found the troops of Elam united with those of Babylon; and by the embassy of Merodach to Hezekiah, king of Judah, urging him to make common cause with him against Assyria, which is mentioned in the Hebrew Scriptures. He certainly had time to make extensive preparations against Sennacherib.

Merodach Baladan must therefore have obtained the throne of Babylon not long after the accession of Sennacherib. Sennacherib's first campaign was directed against him in order to restore the authority of Assyria over Babylonia. The inscription of Nebbi Yunus tells us at the very beginning: "In a great battle I conquered Merodach Baladan and the nations of Chaldæa and Aram; the army of Elam which had come to their assistance."[253] Four other narratives in greater detail have been preserved relating to this campaign; one from the third year of Sennacherib (703 B.C., the cylinder Bellino, already mentioned), the second from the ninth year of Sennacherib (697 B.C., the cylinder Smith, also already mentioned), the third dates from the fifteenth year of Sennacherib (691 B.C., the cylinder Taylor), the fourth is given in the inscription on a slab between the thighs of the bulls at the entrance to the great palace of Sennacherib at Kuyundshik. This last account, which is uninjured, does not go back beyond the fourth year of Sennacherib. The oldest account tells us: "At the beginning of my reign I inflicted a defeat on Merodach Baladan, the king of Kardunias (Babylon), together with the army of Elam, before the city of Kis. In the middle of the battle he escaped alone, and fled to the land of Guzuman, into the marshes. The chariots, horses, mules, and camels, which he left on the field of battle, fell into my hands. His palace in Babylon I entered full of joy. I opened his treasury; I carried away gold, silver, golden and silver vessels, precious stones; his wife, and the women of the palace. I sent my soldiers to pursue him to Guzuman, to the marshes. They pursued him five days, but no trace of him was seen. In the strength of Asshur, my lord, I took 89 fortified cities and fortresses in the land of Kaldi, and 820 smaller places. The Aramæans and Chaldæans, who formed garrisons in Erech, Nipur, Kis, Chalanne, and Kutha, I carried away with the rebellious inhabitants; Belibus, the son of a man of wisdom, from the neighbourhood of Suanna, I made the ruler of Sumir and Accad."[254] The two accounts immediately following the first agree with it except that the number of the fortified places taken in Chaldæa is given as 75 and 76, and the number of smaller places in both is 420. Both also, like the summary account on the slabs of the bulls, pass over the setting up of Belibus as regent,[255] no doubt because this regency was no longer in existence when they were written. In Polyhistor, as we have seen, it is Elibus who overthrows Merodach Baladan; in the astronomical canon, Belibus ascends the throne of Babylon in the year 702 B.C. According to the inscriptions, Merodach Baladan's rule over Babylon was overthrown as early as 703 B.C.; according to the canon, his overthrow, or at any rate the establishment of Belibus, did not take place till 702 B.C.

After driving Merodach Baladan out of Babylonia Sennacherib subjugated the tribes of Tumun, Richih, Rahua, Pekod, Hauran, Nabatu, and Hagaranu (the Hagarites), who "had not been reduced to submission,"i. e. who had taken up arms against Assyria for Merodach Baladan; 208,000 men and women, children and adults,[256] were captured and carried away to Assyria, with 7200 horses and mules, 5330 camels, 70,000 oxen, and 800,600 head of small cattle.[257] The amount of cattle taken is omitted in the second, third, and fourth accounts; the second and third give us the number of the prisoners. These prisoners (Chaldæans andAramæans), Sennacherib, as we saw above, employed in building his new palace and his buildings at Nineveh. After this Sennacherib turned against Ispabara, king of Ellip, whom Sargon had assisted to the throne against his brother (p. 105). Ispabara escaped, the land was laid waste, 34 places were taken, the chief city Ilinzas received a new name, Kar Sennacherib. "At my return," so we find it stated with complete agreement in all the four narratives, "I received the great tribute of the distant land of Media, and subjugated that land to my dominion."[258]

Merodach Baladan had been compelled to retire from Babylonia. He had maintained himself in his native land in south Chaldæa. When in Syria, Sidon and Ascalon, Ekron and Judah took up arms, and Sennacherib was compelled to march thither, Merodach Baladan could attempt to regain what he had lost. He was soon again in alliance with the king of Elam, or rather he remained in alliance with him. The Elamites reconquered two cities which Sargon had taken from them. In Babylonia a rebellion broke out, at the head of which stood a man of the name of Suzub. Belibus appears to have been unable to maintain himself against him, against South Chaldæa under Merodach Baladan, and Elam. The astronomical canon puts the end of his reign in 700 B.C. The later inscriptions of Sennacherib, as already observed, make no mention of Belibus, but they tell us of a campaign which Sennacherib on his return from the Syrian war, in which at the close, as we shall soon see, he gained no success, undertook against Suzub and South Chaldæa. "In my fourth campaign," so Sennacherib relates on the cylinders Smith and Taylor, "I collected my army: I bade it go against the land of Bit Yakin. In the course of this enterprize I brought about the overthrow of Suzub the Chaldæan, who dwelt in the marshes; he retired. Merodach Baladan, whom I had thrown to the ground on my former campaign, whose war-like forces I had scattered, retired from the approach of my mighty warriors, and the blow of my violent attack; he put the gods, who rule in his land, on board ship, and fled like a bird to Nagitirakki, which lies in the midst of the sea. His brothers, the scions of the house of his father, whom he left behind on the coast, and the remainder of his nation in the lakes and marshes I brought out and took prisoners. I turned back and destroyed his cities. I struck terror into his ally, the king of Elam. At my return I put Assurnadin, my eldest son, on the throne of his dominion, and entrusted him with the whole extent of the land of Sumir and Accad." The stone slabs on the bulls of Kuyundshik also mention the establishment of Assurnadin in Babylon.[259]

From this account we gather that Babylon, if it was not lost, wavered; that the chief of the rebels in Babylonia retired before the approach of Sennacherib into the marshes. The establishment of Assurnadin as regent of Babylonia by Sennacherib did not take place till Merodach Baladan was driven out of Bit Yakin. The inscriptions do not mention Sennacherib's entrance into Babylon. Aparanadius, whose reign the astronomical canon represents as beginning with the year 699 B.C., can only be Assurnadin, the son of Sennacherib.[260]

The expulsion of Merodach Baladan out of South Chaldæa; the establishment of the successor to the throne of Assyria as regent of Babylon, had no more lasting results than the establishment of Belibus three years before. Suzub, who had retired into the marshes before Sennacherib, was again at the head of Babylonia. "The tribes of Bit Yakin," so Sennacherib tells us on the cylinder Taylor, "despised my rule; they settled in the city of Nagitti, in the land of Elam." Sennacherib directed his sixth campaign against them (the fifth was directed against the land of Nipur). "On my sixth campaign (696 B.C.), I attacked Elam, and carried the people of Bit Yakin with the people of Elam into captivity. At my return, Suzub, a child of Babylonia, whom the rebellious people in the land of Sumir and Accad had raised up, came to offer me battle. I conquered him; he fell into my hand; I gave him his life, and caused him to be taken into Assyria. The king of Elam, who came to his assistance, I put to flight."[261] The inscription of Nebbi Yunus gives us a fuller account. It narrates the carrying away of the people of Elam, like the cylinder, and then continues: "After this (?) the leading inhabitants of Babylonia, who were round Merodach Baladan, escaped and called on the king of Elam for help, who placed Suzub, the son of Gated, on the throne. I sent my warriors against the king of Elam; they slew many of his people; they made themselves masters of the gods who dwell in Arak (Erech), of Samas, Bilit, Istar, Nergal, and their endless treasures. Suzub, the king of Babylon, who was taken prisoner after a great battle, they brought to Nineveh into my presence."[262] We see that in spite of the regency of Assurnadin, which would not be weak, in spite of the attack of Sennacherib on Elam, theadherents of Suzub, when combined with the adherents of Merodach Baladan and supported by Elam, were strong enough to remove Assurnadin not long after his appointment, and to raise Suzub to the throne. His defeat and imprisonment were heavy blows for the Babylonians, but they did not break their resistance. The city of Babylon was not attacked by Sennacherib.

The stubborn resistance of Babylonia against Sennacherib was supported, as the inscriptions clearly show, by Elam, where a new king, Kudur Nanchundi, had succeeded Sutruk Nanchundi (p. 103).[263] In order, no doubt, to isolate the Babylonians and take from them this support of their resistance, Sennacherib directed his seventh campaign against Elam: "The king of Elam," we are told in the inscription of Nebbi Yunus, "had been the ally of the people of Babel."[264] The two cities which Sargon had taken from Sutruk Nanchundi,[265] which the Elamites had subsequently reconquered, were taken by Sennacherib, who besides enumerates 34 large cities of Elam, which he had besieged, conquered, and burnt. Kudur Nanchundi abandoned his chief city, Madaktu, and escaped into a distant region. Sennacherib intended to besiege Madaktu, but snow and rain detained him in the mountains; he returned to Nineveh.[266]

Sennacherib had not attained his object, the subjugation of Elam. What Sennacherib announces as the result of his campaign must have appeared to the Babylonians as very small, if not altogether a failure. In the cylinder Taylor a new struggle against Babylon follows the return of Sennacherib to Nineveh, a struggle more important and severe than any preceding. Suzub, whom Sennacherib had taken captive in 696 B.C., escaped out of imprisonment, and again appeared as king at the head of Babylonia. Merodach Baladan is no more, but his son unites with Suzub; all Chaldæa rises; and by its side the Elamites, Aramæans, and several tribes of Arabia. This great rebellion ends with the capture and destruction of Babylon. The date of these events, which took place in the eighth campaign of Sennacherib, can only be defined by the fact that they belong to the period after the year 696 B.C., and before the year 692 B.C. The cylinder which narrates them bears the date of the beginning of the year of Belsimiani, i. e. of the year 691 B.C. The events of the eighth campaign are connected, and follow immediately on each other; the close was the conquest of Babylon and second capture of Suzub, as the introductory words to this campaign on the cylinder prove: "In my eighth campaign the dominion of Suzub came to an end." After the conquest of Babel, this inscription only mentions the erection of the building at Nebbi Yunus (p. 108). We must, therefore, put the beginning of the new struggle in the year 695 B.C., the destruction of Babylon in the year 694 B.C.

The Babylonians—so our inscription continues after the return of Sennacherib from Elam—had closed the great gates of their city; Suzub, who had escaped out of captivity to Elam, and had returned from thence to Babylon, was placed on the throne of Sumir and Accad. He opened the treasure of Bit Saggatu, i. e. of the great temple of Merodach (I. 295), and sent the sacred gold and silver to the king of Elam. Kudur Nanchundi died three months after the campaign of Sennacherib against Elam; he was succeeded by his brother, Umman Minanu, who was ready to give assistance. Nabu-labar-iskun, a son of Merodach Baladan, joined Suzub; the Chaldæan regions of Bit Adin, Bit Amukan, Bit Sahalla, took his side. The Parsua, the land of Ellip, finally the tribes of the Pekod, Gambul, Rahua, and Chindar, rebelled and marched to Babel to Suzub, "whom they called king of Babylon."[267] "The king of Elam, the lands of Parsua and Ellip, the whole of Chaldæa, all the tribes of Aram, were united with the king of Babylon."[268] On the banks of the Tigris, near the city of Chaluli, they offered battle to Sennacherib, 150,000 strong. Sennacherib conquered; Nabu-labar-iskun was captured; Umman Minanu and Suzub escaped. "I granted their lives to those who submitted, and acknowledged my dominion." With these words the account of the eighth campaign of Sennacherib closes on the cylinder Taylor. After the description of the battle of Chaluli the inscription of Bavian continues: "The whole land of Elam I struck with terror; the warriors fled before me to the highest mountains. A second time I turned against Babylon; I won the city; I spared not the men, the children, or the slaves. Suzub, the king of Babylon, who fell into my hands, I carried away and his kindred. The gods of the city of Hekali, Bin and Sala, which Marduk-nadin-akh, king of Accad, had taken from Tiglath Pilesar and carried to Babylon 418 years previously, I took away from Babylon; I put them up again in their place in the city of Hekali. The cities and their palaces I have destroyed from the foundation to the summit; the walls, altar, temples, and towers, I have laid waste."[269]

The statements of the astronomical canon do not agree with these inscriptions. With the canon, this period, distracted by contests in which for the most part Suzub is at the head of Babylon and the city of Babel is not in the power of Sennacherib, was the reign of Aparanadius, or, as we supposed, of Assurnadin, which in the canon lasts from 699 to 694 B.C. The year 693 is given to Regebelus, who is succeeded by Mesesimordakus from the year 692 to 688 B.C. After this the canon places an interregnum of eight years (688-680 B.C.). If we are to attempt to harmonise the two, Regebelus and Mesesimordakus may be regarded as viceroys, to whom, after the capture of Babylonia, Sennacherib entrusted the rule of the country in those years. The interregnum which follows would then be explained by the fact that Sennacherib reigned over Babylonia without a viceroy from the year 688 B.C. But in none of the inscriptions preserved does Sennacherib name himself in his title, king of Sumir and Accad, or king of Babel. The astronomical canon gave us the name of Sargon at the time when he ruled directly over Babylon; why is not Sennacherib's name mentioned in a similar position? It is not impossible that new rebellions followed the capture of Babylon, in which Regebelus and Mesesimordakus were leaders; but it is certain that Babylonia, if not South Chaldæa, was under the dominion of Assyria at the death of Sennacherib.


[214]Flandin gives the long and short sides of the rectangle doubled at 6784 metres; the inscription which reckons in the whole circuit the building of the palace which juts out from the rest, at 16,280 cubits (ammat ). The Babylonian and Assyrian cubits are both = 525 millimetres; Lepsius, "Abh. Berl. Akad." 1853; "Monats-Berichte Ders." 1877. Vol. I. p. 305.

[215]Rawlinson, "Monarch," 1 2 , 324 ff.

[216]Oppert, "Dour Sarkayan," p. 23, 24.

[217]Oppert, "Records of the Past," 7, 55, 56.

[218]Oppert, "Dour Sarkayan," p. 8.

[219]In Ménant, loc. cit. p. 181.

[220]Oppert, "Dour Sarkayan," p. 27, 28; Oppert et Ménant, "Doc. juridiques," p. 168.

[221]Ménant, "Annal." 162. In Oppert, "Records of the Past," 7, 30, the fourth canton is called Pappa. Above, p. 86.

[222]Inscription of Nimrud in Ménant, loc. cit. p. 206. He reads two talents 30 minæ of gold; G. Smith reads 11 talents of gold.

[223]Oppert, "Records of the Past," 7, 32.

[224]Oppert, "Records of the Past," 7, 35, 36, 37. Vol I., p. 520.

[225]Annals in Ménant, loc. cit. p. 164.

[226]Annals in Ménant, p. 164; Oppert, loc. cit. 7, 33.

[227]Ménant p. 183.

[228]Oppert, loc cit. 7, 34.

[229]Ménant, p. 184.

[230]Ménant p. 167; Oppert, loc. cit. 7, 37.

[231]G. Smith, "Disc." p. 289.

[232]Oppert, loc. cit. 7, 27; Ménant, loc. cit. p. 192, 195, 200, 201, 205, 207.

[233]In Ménant, loc. cit. p. 188.

[234]Above, p. 93; Oppert, "Records of the Past," 7, 46-51.

[235]Ménant, "Babylone," p. 157.

[236]The Annals in Oppert, loc. cit. 7, 51-53. The Fasti in Ménant, "Annal." p. 186, 187.

[237]Cylinder Bellino in Ménant, "Annal." p. 229.

[238]G. Rawlinson, "Monarch," 2 2 . 179, n. 5.

[239]Ménant, loc. cit. 229, 230.

[240]Ménant, loc. cit. p. 212.

[241]Ménant, loc. cit. p. 228, 229.

[242]Ménant, loc. cit. p. 211.

[243]Year of Nabudurussur.

[244]G. Smith, "Disc." p. 308.

[245]G. Smith, "Assurbanipal," p. 318.

[246]Ménant, loc. cit. p. 224.

[247]Rodwell, "Records of the Past," 9, 23; Ménant, loc. cit. p. 235.

[248]In Ménant, loc. cit. p. 237.

[249]Joseph. "Antiq." 10, 1, 4.

[250]In Euseb. "Chron." 1, p. 35, ed. Schöne.

[251]Euseb. "Chron." 1, p. 27, ed. Schöne.

[252]Cf. E. Schrader, "K. A. T." s. 213 ff.

[253]In Ménant, "Annal." p. 231.

[254]E. Schrader, "K. A. T." s. 219 ff.

[255]G. Smith, "Disc." p. 298; Cylinder Taylor in Ménant, "Annal." p. 215.

[256]G. Smith's Cylinder, "Disc." p. 298; Ménant reads 2800 prisoners on the Cylinder Taylor.

[257]Cylinder Bellino.

[258]Cylinder Bellino, in Ménant, p. 228; Cylinder G. Smith, "Disc." p. 302; Cylinder Taylor in Ménant, p. 227; "Records of the Past," 7, 61.

[259]G. Smith, "Disc." p. 308; Ménant, "Annal." p. 219, "Records of the Past," 7, 63.

[260]The fourth campaign of Sennacherib, the establishment of Assurnadin cannot be later than the year 698 B.C., since the Cylinder Smith, which dates from the year 697 B.C., concludes with these events, and then speaks only of the buildings; G. Smith, "Disc." p. 308.

[261]In Ménant, loc. cit. p. 220, 221.

[262]In Ménant, p. 232.

[263]An inscription of this king found at Susa is explained by Oppert, "Records of the Past," 7, 82.

[264]In Ménant, loc. cit. p. 232.

[265]Above, p. 114; Annals of Sargon, in Oppert, "Records of the Past," 7, 45.

[266]Cylinder Taylor in Ménant, p. 222.

[267]Cylinder Taylor in Ménant, p. 232, 233; Talbot, "Records of the Past," 1, 78.

[268]Inscription of Nebbi Yunus in Ménant, loc. cit. p. 232. An inscription of Exarhaddon repeats the events of this war: Suzub, "of unknown race, a lower chieftain," came to Babylon, and was raised to be king; Umman Minanu was gained by the treasures of Bit Saggatu; the Parsua joined, etc.; G. Smith, "Disc." p. 315.

[269]Rodwell, "Records of the Past," 9, 27, 28; Ménant, "Babylone," p. 166. Vol. II. p. 40.

The Fall of Assyria

From modest beginnings, with a land of moderate extent, Assyria, after passing through a training of severe warfare against the immediate neighbours, slowly raised herself by unwearied efforts, and extended wider and wider the circle of her dominion. The end of the twelfth century, the course and close of the ninth century, denote the epochs and the halts in this advance, which are followed in turn by periods of decline. With the middle of the eighth century, with the accession of Tiglath Pilesar II., Assyria, by the subjugation of Babylonia and complete overthrow of Syria, and by reducing Media to a regular payment of tribute, passed beyond any height previously attained. Sargon, Esarhaddon, and Assurbanipal raised Assyria yet higher. She ruled over the land of the Euphrates as far as the mouth of the river; the east of Asia Minor and Cyprus bring tribute; Lydia seeks her support; the pride of Babylon is at last broken; Egypt is conquered and maintained by repeated conquests; Thebes has been pillaged, Susa destroyed, and Elam annihilated.

Hardly fifty years after the full tide of these successes—forty years after the overthrow of the strong opponent on the lower Tigris, the ancient Elam—Nineveh had fallen. No slow decline, no gradual extinction after a long period of ripening, during which she grew up to the wide extent of her dominion, was the fortune of Assyria:—this iron city of war and conquest, of cruel desolation and bloody punishments, collapsed suddenly. It seems as if the ceaseless efforts of the last century had overstrained and exhausted the power of the State; at any rate, the most thorough establishment of this power in the first half of the reign of Assurbanipal—perhaps the most energetic, and certainly the most fierce and bloody, ruler of Assyria—was quickly followed by its relaxation and fall.

The monuments of Assyria naturally give us no information on the fall of the kingdom; and it is not easy to ascertain the true facts from the Western writers who narrate the extinction of Assyria. The account which Ctesias and Nicolaus of Damascus have preserved of the matter is as follows: Sardanapalus was the thirty-sixth ruler of Assyria after Ninus. He neither carried weapons like his forefathers, nor went to the chase, but he surpassed all his predecessors in luxury and effeminacy. He was never seen outside the palace. He passed his life with the women, shaved his beard, smoothed his skin by rubbing it with pumice-stone, so that it became whiter than milk, painted himself with white lead, coloured his eyes and eyebrows, put on female apparel, and vied with his concubines in adornment, in dressing his hair, and all the arts of courtezans, and lived as effeminately as a woman. He sat among the women, with his legs stretched out before him, wove purple wool with them, imitated the voice of a woman, delighted himself continually with the food and drink most adapted to excite sensual desire, and pursued without shame the pleasures of either sex.

At the gate of the palace were the satraps of the nations, who led out the forces prescribed for each year (II. 13); among these was Arbaces, the satrap of Media, a man of prudent conduct, experienced in affairs, a good hunter and warrior, who had already performed valiant acts, and aimed at something higher still. When he heard of the life and manners of the king, he was of opinion that Sardanapalus was only ruler over Assyria for lack of a braver man. He was acquainted with Belesys, the viceroy of Babylon, who waited with him at the door of the king. Belesys was of the tribe of the Chaldæans, who were the priests, and enjoyed the greatest respect; the Babylonians were also the most skilful astronomers, and distinguished by experience in matters divine, in the art of the seer, and the interpretation of dreams and wonders. To this man Arbaces imparted his thoughts. Once they conversed in the neighbourhood of the palace, near a manger out of which two horses ate, and, as it was noon, they rested there. Then Belesys saw in a dream that one of the two horses let chaff fall out of his mouth on Arbaces, who also was asleep; and the other horse inquired why he had done this. The first horse replied: "Because he will rule over all those over whom Sardanapalus rules now." Then Belesys roused Arbaces, and invited him to a walk on the bank of the Tigris. Here he said to him: "What would you give me, Arbaces, for the good news, if I told you that Sardanapalus had made you viceroy over Cilicia?" "Why do you mock me?" Arbaces replied; "how is he likely to nominate me, and pass over many better men?" "Still, if such a thing should happen—I know very well what I am saying," replied the other. "Then," said Arbaces, "it would not be the lesser part of this sovereignty that would fall to you.""But if," continued the other, "Sardanapalus made you satrap of all Babylonia, what would you give me then?" "Cease to annoy me," answered Arbaces; "I am a Mede, and not to be scorned by a Babylonian." "By the great Belus," answered Belesys, "I do not say this in mockery, but instructed by signs." Then Arbaces replied: "If I were satrap of Babylonia, I would make you under-governor of the whole satrapy." Belesys continued: "But if you were made king of the whole empire which Sardanapalus now possesses, what would you do?" "Wretch!" said Arbaces; "if Sardanapalus were to hear this, you and I would perish miserably; how comes it into your mind to talk such nonsense?" But Belesys seized his hand, and said: "By this right hand, which is dear to me, and the great Belus, I am not speaking in jest, but because I know accurately the things divine." Then Arbaces replied: "I would give you Babylonia to rule over, as long as you live, without tribute." And when Belesys required him to join hands over the promise, he gladly gave him his right hand; whereupon Belesys answered: "Be assured, you shall certainly be king." When they had concluded this, they went back to the gate of the king to perform their ordinary service. When subsequently Arbaces became acquainted with Sparameizes, one of the most trusted eunuchs of the king, he besought him to allow him to see the king—he desired eagerly to approach his master to see how he lived. When the eunuch replied that this was impossible, and never permitted, Arbaces at first desisted; but after a few days he repeated his request more urgently, and added that he would requite the favour with much gold and silver. The eunuch, who was of an easy disposition, was overcome, and promised to think of the matter at a convenient opportunity. Arbaces presented him with a golden goblet. Sparameizes conversed with the king, and the latter permitted the request. Then Arbaces saw Sardanapalus sitting among the women, spinning purple wool with them, and putting white upon his eyes.[514] Arbaces now knew accurately what the king was, and was more inclined than before to realise the prospect which the Chaldæan had opened to him. He entered into a league with the captains of the other nations, and by entertainments and persuasions won the friendship of each. At length he agreed with Belesys that he should himself excite the Medes and Persians to rebellion, while Belesys prepared the Babylonians for a similar attempt, and persuaded the chiefs of the Arabs, with whom he was on friendly terms, to take part in the undertaking. When the year of service was over, and the new troops came in, the troops which had finished service returned as usual to their countries. On this occasion, Arbaces succeeded in persuading the Medes to rebel against the king, and in gaining the Persians for the same object, on condition that they should remain free for the future. In the same way Belesys induced the Babylonians to rise for their freedom, and by ambassadors prepared the chiefs of the Arabians to join in the undertaking. When the year was past they collected the multitude of their warriors together, and marched with their whole force to Nineveh, in order, as they gave out, to set themselves free, but in reality to destroy the empire of the Assyrians. From the four nations mentioned, about 400,000 men were in all collected, and when these were united, the leaders consulted what was to be done. When Sardanapalus received the intelligence of their defection, he led the forces of the remaining nations against them. A battle took place in the plain: the rebels were defeated; they lost many men, and were pursued as far as the mountains, which lie at a distance of 70 stades from Nineveh; and when they came down a second time into the plain to battle, Sardanapalus drew out his army against them, and sent heralds to proclaim that he would give 200 talents of gold to the man who slew Arbaces the Mede; the man who brought him alive should receive double this sum, and in addition the satrapy of Media. The same promise was made to any one who should slay Belesys, or bring him alive. These messages remained without effect; Sardanapalus attacked, again slew a number of the rebels, and pursued the remainder as far as the camp on the mountains. The rebels, disheartened by two defeats, assembled round Arbaces for consultation; the majority were of opinion that every one should return to his own land, occupy fortified places, and provide everything necessary for war: but Belesys said, that the signs of the gods announced that they would attain their object by toil and disaster, and thus persuaded them all to persist in the dangerous undertaking. In this way it came to a third battle, in which Sardanapalus was again victorious, took the camp of the enemy, and pursued them to the borders of Babylonia. Arbaces fought with the utmost bravery, and slew many of the Assyrians, but was wounded. After so many losses and these repeated defeats, the rebels abandoned all hope, and set themselves to withdraw to their several homes. Belesys, who had kept watch in that night, and observed the stars, told the dejected host that if they would only persist for five days, help would come to them spontaneously, and a great change for the better take place. He was assured, from his knowledge of the stars, that the gods announced this to them. Let them only remain for so many days, and thus put to the proof the favour of the gods, and his own skill. All were called back to wait for the appointed time, when it was suddenly announced that a large force, sent to Sardanapalus from Bactria, was marching up hastily, and already close at hand. Then Arbaces was of opinion that they must go to meet the Bactrians with the best and bravest warriors, and if they could not be persuaded to join the rebellion, they must be compelled to do so by force of arms. First, the leaders of the Bactrians listened to the proposal for liberation, and then the soldiers also, so that the Bactrians united with the rest. The king of the Assyrians knew nothing of the defection of the Bactrians, and, misled by his good fortune, gave himself over to indolence. He caused a feast to be prepared for his soldiers, with many sacrificial victims, abundance of wine, and other accompaniments. By means of deserters the rebels ascertained the carelessness and intoxication of their enemies, and unexpectedly made an attack in the night. Attacking in good order the disordered, well-armed the unarmed, they gained the camp, slew many, and pursued the remainder as far as the city. The king undertook the defence of the city in person, and transferred the command of the army to Salæmenes, his wife's brother. But the Assyrians were defeated in two battles in the plain before the city; many took to flight, many were driven into the Tigris, when their return to the city was cut off, so that the Assyrian army was almost entirely destroyed. The number of the slain was so great that the river was stained with blood for a great distance in its course. The king was now shut up in the city, and many of the subject nations revolted to the rebels in order to acquire their freedom. Sardanapalus saw that the kingdom was in the greatest danger; he sent his three sons and two daughters, with much treasure, to Cottas, the viceroy of Paphlagonia, who was the most loyal of his viceroys, and gave with them 3000 talents of gold.[515] At the same time, by sending out messengers with scribes, he gave orders to all his subjects to send forces to his assistance, while he prepared all that was necessary for the siege. He had received an oracle from his forefathers, that Nineveh would never be taken till the river became an enemy to the city. Since this would never happen, he hoped to be able to maintain the city, and waited for the troops sent by his viceroys. The rebels carried on the siege with vigour, but could not do any harm owing to the strength of the walls, and, thanks to the care of the king, the inhabitants of the city had everything that they required in abundance. Hence the only result obtained by two years of siege was that no one left the city. But in the third year it happened that the Tigris, swollen by constant rains, overflowed a part of the city, and tore away the walls for a space of 20 stades. Then the king knew that the river was an enemy of the city, and abandoned all hope of resistance and rescue.[516] In order not to fall into the hands of his enemies, he caused an enormous pyre, about 400 feet high, to be built in the royal citadel. Upon this was erected a chamber of beams 100 feet in length and breadth. Into this chamber were brought 150 golden couches with cushions, and an equal number of golden tables. Then 10 million talents of gold, and 100 million talents of silver, and a quantity of robes of all kinds, of mantles and purple stuffs, were placed on the pyre. Then Sardanapalus took his place in the chamber on one of the couches with his wife, and on the rest were his concubines. The chamber was roofed with long and massive beams, and when wood had been placed in great quantities round it, so that no one could pass out, the king gave command to light the pile of wood. It burned for 15 days. The people in the city wondered at the smoke rising from the royal citadel; but they believed that the king was sacrificing, for only the eunuchs knew the circumstances. Thus Sardanapalus burnt himself, with all who were in the royal citadel, and, after indulging in pleasure beyond measure, brought his life to a noble end.[517] When the rebels became acquainted with the death of the king, they took the city by forcing their way through the breach in the wall, arrayed Arbaces in the royal robe, saluted him as king, and gave him authority over all. To the captains who had fought with him he gave gifts according to their services, and made them viceroys over the nations. Belesys reminded the king of his services, and the promise to make him ruler over Babylonia. He had also made a vow to Belus in the perils of war, that after the conquest of Sardanapalus and the burning of his royal citadel, he would carry the ashes to Babylon, and make a heap of them near the temple of Belus, on the shore of the Euphrates, which should be to all who navigated the Euphrates an imperishable memorial of the man who had overthrown the empire of the Assyrians. He had ascertained from a eunuch of Sardanapalus how much gold and silver was in the ashes of the citadel. Arbaces, who knew nothing of this, because all besides were burnt with the king, allowed the ashes to be carried away, and gave Belesys Babylonia free of tribute. But when the theft was known to the king, he made the captains of the army with whom he had fought against Sardanapalus, the judges. Belesys acknowledged his fault, and the court condemned him to death. But the king, who was magnanimous, and wished to distinguish the beginning of his reign, not only forgave Belesys the penalty, but allowed him to keep the gold and silver, which had been already conveyed to Babylon; he did not even take from him the government of Babylon, saying that his former services were greater than his recent fault. When this conduct became known, it brought not only good-will, but glory, to Arbaces among the nations, for all judged him to be worthy of the kingdom who treated those who had served in such a manner. He was also gentle in his treatment of the inhabitants of Nineveh. They were divided into villages, it is true, but each retained his possessions: the city he levelled to the ground. But the gold and silver of the pyre which still remained—and it amounted to many talents—he caused to be carried to Ecbatana in Media.[518] After this Arbaces reigned 28 years, and was succeeded in the kingdom over the Medes by his son Mandaces, who was followed by Sosarmus, Artycas, Arbienes, Artæus, Artynes, Astibaras, and Aspadas. Aspadas was conquered by Cyrus the Persian, and the dominion passed to the Persians.[519]

The account given by Herodotus of the fall of the Assyrian kingdom is different: "When the Assyrians had reigned over Upper Asia for 520 years the Medes were the first to revolt from them, and, as they fought bravely against the Assyrians, they obtained their freedom. After them the other nations did what the Medeshad done. And when all the nations of Asia had become independent, they fell under the dominion of one man in this manner. The Medes dwelt in villages, and as lawlessness prevailed among them, they chose Deioces, the son of Phraortes, a man of ability, whose decisions were most sought after for their justice and equity, to be their king. He caused a palace to be built, and surrounded himself with body-guards, and when this was done he compelled the Medes to build a city in order to keep their attention from his further designs, and a fortress, which is now called Ecbatana. In this way he strengthened his power, and united the Median nation. When he had ruled 53 years, he was succeeded by his son Phraortes. This prince was not content to rule over the Medes only; he marched against the Persians, and was the first to make them subject to the Medes, and with these two nations, both of which were strong, he subdued Asia, advancing from one nation to another, till he finally attacked the Assyrians, who possessed Nineveh, and had formerly ruled over all. Their previous confederates had, it is true, now fallen from them, but they were still in an excellent position. Against these Phraortes now took the field, but he and the greater part of his army were lost in the attempt, after he had reigned for 22 years. He was succeeded by his son Cyaxares. In order to avenge his father Cyaxares collected the warriors from all the nations governed by him, and marched against Nineveh to destroy the city. He had conquered the Assyrians in the battle, and shut up Nineveh, when the great army of the Scythians came down upon him, led by Madyas, the son of Protothyas. These had driven the Cimmerians out of Europe, and entered Asia in pursuit of them, and so came to Media. From the lake Mæotis to the Phasis and the Colchians it is, for an active man, a journey of thirty days: but from the Colchians to Media the journey is an easy matter, for there is only one nation between the two—the Saspires—when these are crossed you are in Media. But the Scythians did not enter by this route; they took by mistake the upper route, which is far longer, and has the Caucasus on the right hand. Then the Medes and the Scythians encountered each other; and the Medes were defeated in the battle, and lost their dominion; the Scythians traversed all Asia, and then turned towards Egypt. When they had reached Palestine, Psammetichus, the king of Egypt, came to meet them, and by presents and entreaties induced them to come no further. They returned and came to Ascalon. The greater part of the Scythians passed without doing any harm, but the camp-followers plundered the shrine of Aphrodite Urania. These the goddess punished with a loss of their manhood, and not them only but their descendants after them. For 28 years the Scythians were masters in Asia, and overturned everything in their arrogance and contempt. Beside the tribute which they imposed on all, and what they extorted in addition, they wandered to and fro stealing whatever any one possessed. The greater number were massacred by Cyaxares and the Medes, after they had entertained them and made them intoxicated. Thus the Medes won back their dominion, and ruled again over those over whom they had ruled previously, and conquered Nineveh—how they conquered the city I shall relate in another account—and made the Assyrians their subjects, as far as Babylonia."[520] "But the Scythians, who after 28 years returned to their land, were met by a disaster not less than that caused by the Medes. In the long period during which their husbands had been absent, the Scythian women had lived with their slaves, and from this intercourse a young generation had grown up, who opposed those who returned from Media. Where the Tauric Chersonese abuts on Lake Mæotis, at the point where the lake is broadest, they raised a large dyke, to mark off their territory. When the Scythians wished to enter the territory they encamped opposite them and fought. The battles were many, and the Scythians could not gain the upper hand, till one of them said: 'Our numbers become less in the struggle with our slaves if we fall, and if we continue to slay them we shall have fewer persons to rule over. Let us abandon the javelins and arrows, and take every man his whip, and go against them. So long as they see us in arms they think that they are our equals, and of equal birth; they will then know that they are our slaves, and will not stand their ground.' When this was done the others were terrified, abandoned the struggle, and fled. In this way the Scythians, after they had governed Asia, and had then been again driven out by the Medes, came back into their own land."[521] "Of the nomadic Scythians," so we are further told in another passage of Herodotus, "one tribe separated from the rest, and came into the Median territory, and asked for protection, and Cyaxares received them well, and held them in high estimation—putting boys in their care to whom they were to teach their language, and the use of the bow. The Scythians went out to the chase, and always brought something back. But it happened once that they found nothing, and returned with empty hands. Then Cyaxares, who was quick of temper, as the incident shows, received them harshly and with contempt. Enraged at the unmerited treatment they received the Scythians resolved to cut in pieces one of the boys given into their charge for education, and, after preparing him as they were accustomed to prepare venison, to set him before Cyaxares as the spoils of the chase, and at once to fly to Sardis to Alyattes. This was done. Cyaxares and those who were at table with him ate of this flesh. When Cyaxares demanded their surrender, and Alyattes refused it, the result was a war between the Lydians and Medes, which continued five years. In this war the Medes were often victorious, and also the Lydians; one battle was fought even by night. In the sixth year, when the armies met, and were already engaged, it happened that the day suddenly changed into night. When the night suddenly came upon them in the daytime, the Medes and Lydians desisted from the battle. On both sides there was an inclination to peace. But those who brought about a reconciliation were Syennesis the Cilician, and Labynetus the Babylonian. Through their instrumentality a peace was set on foot, and an intermarriage took place: they arranged that Alyattes should give his daughter Aryanis to wife to Astyages, the son of Cyaxares, for without some binding necessity treaties were not wont to continue."[522] Cyaxares was succeeded by Astyages on the throne of the Medes. When he had reigned 35 years he was defeated by Cyrus the Persian, and the dominion passed to the Persians after the Medes had reigned over Asia 128 years, beside the period during which the Scythians ruled.[523]

We need not point out how widely these accounts of Ctesias and Herodotus differ from each other. In Ctesias the Assyrian kingdom is in the fulness of vigour, with an unbroken organisation. It is an effeminate ruler whose weakness rouses the viceroys of two provinces of the kingdom to rebellion, in which this effeminate ruler confronts them with the most masculine energy; and finally succumbs after the bravest resistance and marvellous changes of fortune in the struggle. The empire, the metropolis, the king of Assyria perish simultaneously. The viceroy of Media takes the place of the king of Asshur as the lord of Asia. In the narrative of Herodotus the empire of the Assyrians is first overthrown; in the struggle against this the Medes win back their freedom; the remaining nations, who were subject to the Assyrians, follow their example, and also attain independence. Then out of the anarchy of the Medes there springs up a monarchy, of which Phraortes is the inheritor. He subdues one nation of Asia after the other. When this object has been obtained, he advances to the attack upon the Assyrians, and in the struggle against these he perishes. After this the Scythians conquer the Medes, and overthrow the dominion of the Medes over the nations of Asia, which Phraortes had won. For twenty-eight years they devastate Asia as far as the borders of Egypt, till the Median Cyaxares becomes their master by treachery, and again overthrows the Assyrians and conquers Nineveh. According to this, Assyria did not receive the death-blow till the Medes and the other nations were liberated from her dominion, and the Medes had twice established their supremacy over the rest of the nations.

In Ctesias it is Arbaces who overthrows the kingdom of the Assyrians; in Herodotus it is Phraortes who founds the empire of the Medes, and Cyaxares, the father of Astyages, who conquers Nineveh. The dates of the overthrow, no less than the authors of it, differ widely in Herodotus and Ctesias. In Herodotus,Cyaxares, the conqueror of Nineveh, reigns 40 years, his son Astyages 35 years. As the latter was defeated by Cyrus in 558 B.C., the reign of Cyaxares, and the invasion and conquest of the Scythians, the re-establishment of the Median kingdom, the war with the Lydians, the marriage of Astyages with the daughter of the king of Lydia, the conquest of Nineveh, must fall in the period between 633 and 593 B.C. On the other hand, according to the dates which Ctesias gives for Aspadas and his predecessors, up to the rebellion of Arbaces, Arbaces destroyed the kingdom and metropolis of Assyria in the year 878 B.C.[524]

Let us first examine each of the two accounts separately. In Ctesias the motives of the actors, the interpretations of dreams and constellations, all the incidents and occurrences, are known. He is acquainted with the conversations which Arbaces and Belesys carry on at the gate of the palace at Nineveh, and in their walks on the banks of the Tigris—and knows how they intend to divide the lion's skin before it is won. The effeminate life and nature of the king of Asshur are described in the strongest traits and with the most minute detail. Yet this effeminate man has a lawful wife, with whom he ends his existence, three sons and two daughters, whom, in his care for their lives, he sends away before Nineveh is shut up. After a life passed in the harem, an effeminate ruler, such as this account describes the last king of Assyria to have been, might, under the pressure of great danger, perhaps put himself to death; but he could hardly have the resolution and the capacity to struggle for three years, with heroic courage and obstinacy, for his kingdom and throne. In the narrative of Ctesias this effeminate king three times vanquishes his opponents in great battles. The latter are already resolved to abandon their undertaking, when the unexpected desertion of the Bactrians to the enemy again raises their courage. This desertion, the successful surprise of the Assyrian camp, and the overflow and floods of the Tigris, decide against Sardanapalus, who now, as Ctesias himself says, ends his life in a noble manner. This end takes place in a most remarkable way. In a country without wood, in a besieged city, a wooden mountain 400 feet in height is erected, which must have towered high above all the walls and towers, and have been seen from far by friend and foe. Least of all could the inhabitants of Nineveh, who saw the pyre building, be astonished at the rising smoke, as the narrative relates (p. 255). The narrative allows the pyre to go on burning for fifteen days undisturbed, and though the breach is opened before the building and lighting of the pyre, the besiegers quietly wait till it is burned down before forcing their way into the city.

All these contradictions and marvels, combined with the detailed and lively delineation of the life of the king among his women, the full account of the relation of Arbaces and Belesys, their characteristic traits, and the dramatic description of the battle, where victory hangs by a hair, and the preparations for self-incremation, show us that Ctesias has followed a poetical authority in describing the end, no less than the beginning of the Assyrian kingdom,—an authority of the same kind as that which could give us such accurate information about the origin, character, and fortunes of Semiramis, and the war with the Indians. The question about the origin of this authority is easier to answer here than in regard to the formerdescriptions. It is a Mede who is brought to honour, whose force and vigour can overthrow a great kingdom, whose courage and bravery are marked in comparison with the ruler of Assyria, no less than his honesty and gentleness puts to shame the treachery and avarice of his Babylonian accomplice. On him, the skilful hunter, the brave warrior, when in his service at the gate he hears of the king's effeminate life, the thought forces itself, that there is need of a brave man. The dream of the horse, which lets chaff fall on Arbaces, belongs decidedly to the conceptions of the Iranian nations, the Medes and Persians. The interpreter skilled in the stars, the Babylonian, knows at once what is the significance of the dream, and hastens to secure his share of the spoil, the satrapy of Babylonia, by a solemn promise taken from Arbaces. The sight of the king in female adornment, painting himself, which Arbaces finally obtains by bribing Sparameizes, decides his resolve. He gains the captains of the troops stationed with him at Nineveh. The war commences. The rebels are defeated even in the third battle, in spite of the heroic deeds of Arbaces and the number of the Assyrians slain by him. He is wounded; the army is compelled to retire as far as the borders of Babylonia. The Babylonian, who, after the second battle, has kept up the courage of the confederates by his astrology, adjures them to remain but five days. In this space of time Arbaces, who goes boldly to meet the Bactrians, succeeds in winning them, in surprising the Assyrian camp, in defeating Salarmenes, and destroying the Assyrian army in the third battle before the gates. The rebels have lost three battles, now they win three. The old oracle is fulfilled: the river becomes hostile to the city. Arbaces takes the place of Sardanapalus. The subtilty andcunning of the Babylonian, which is brought strongly forward beside his knowledge of the heavens, is contrasted with the uprightness of the Mede. Belesys has deceived him. When condemned to death Arbaces not only gives him his life; he despises the miserable gold, and leaves it to Belesys; he keeps strictly the promise he had once made to him on the Tigris, and the nations of Asia are in consequence compelled to acknowledge that Arbaces is worthy to rule them.

It is a poetical conception which contrasts the simple character and force of the Median servant with the effeminate splendour of the sovereign of Assyria, and which places beside the former, to aid and support him, the astrology and cunning of the Babylonians. But by this contrast the Medo-Persian Epos obtained another advantage; the completion of the whole poem. A masculine woman, Semiramis, had founded the kingdom; an effeminate man brings it to ruin. Herodotus does not know the name of Sardanapalus. But the name was known to the Greeks; before Ctesias wrote it had passed into a by-word—"more luxurious than Sardanapalus."[525] The effeminate traits are marked with extraordinary depth in the narrative of Ctesias; he not only wears woman's clothes, and does woman's work, but he imitates the voice of a woman, and pursues the pleasures of the male and female. Hence we must conclude that as the Median minstrels have used the myth and the form of Istar, a goddess of the Semites, in their delineation of Semiramis; so in their delineation of Sardanapalus, the opposite of Semiramis, they have used the myth of the Semitic god, who exchanges his nature with the female goddess placed beside him, who wears the woman's robe, and spins purple wool, just as his worshippers on certain festivals wore women's garments (I. 372). But if the god placed by the side of Istar assumed the nature of the woman, as Istar assumed the nature of the man, the masculine nature was not wholly lost to him. Thus the minstrels could represent Sardanapalus as taking up arms at the approach of the danger, and fighting bravely. It is no doubt due to this interchange of the masculine and feminine nature that Hellanicus and Callisthenes maintained that there were two princes of the name of Sardanapalus; the one was noble and active; the other sought his happiness in debauchery.[526]Even in the description of the death of Sardanapalus incidents in the worship of the Syrian goddess seem to have given the type to the Median minstrels. At the great festivals vast pyres were built to the sun-god of the Syrians; a number of precious goods were heaped upon them, which were set on fire together with an image of the god placed upon the pyre, who was supposed to renew his youth in the conflagration.[527] Lucian's statement that a statue of Sardanapalus stood beside that of Semiramis in the temple at Hierapolis can only support the conclusion that traits of the god united with Istar, and of his worship, were employed in the description of Sardanapalus.

To the Greeks Sardanapalus became a prophet of the philosophy which teaches us to exhaust life in enjoyment, because it is short, and nothing remains to a man beyond what the body has enjoyed. Aristobulus, the companion of Alexander, narrates: "Near Anchiale, where the camp was pitched, is a monument of Sardanapalus, on which stands a bronze figure, pressing together the fingers of the right hand, as though snapping them; the inscription says, in Assyrian letters: 'Sardanapalus, the son of Anakyndaraxes, built Anchiale and Tarsus in a single day. Eat, drink, be merry, the rest is not worth so much,' i. e. a snap of the fingers."[528] These words were worked out more fully among the Greeks, embodied in verse, and given out as an epitaph composed by Sardanapalus for his tomb, and to be found either at Anchiale or Nineveh.[529]

In the narrative of Herodotus also there is more than one difficulty. It is intended, as it states, to show how the nations of Asia, after this liberation from the Assyrians, again came under one master. The Medes, as brave warriors, liberate themselves from the Assyrians, but after this liberation they are found in a condition of utter lawlessness. Without combination of their powers, without union under one strong leader, could the Medes have succeeded in withdrawing themselves from a power so great as the Assyrian power was, even in the description of Herodotus? This lawlessness is brought to an end, not by a mighty warrior, but by a clever, ambitious village-judge, who by his decisions so gains the affections of the Medes, that they elect him to be king. When chosen he knows how to lead them by cunning, or rather to infatuate them into giving him a body-guard and building him a palace. Then he compels them to live together in one city, and, in the course of a long reign, establishes the despotic system of Asia to its full extent, with all its appliances, among the Medes. From this establishment of monarchy among the Medes, re-establishment of the despotic government spreads over all Asia. Phraortes, the son of Deioces, subjugates the Persians, and then all the nations which obeyed the Assyrians, in order finally to turn upon the latter. Could the Assyrians, who, according to the narrative of Herodotus, "were abandoned by their allies, but otherwise in a good state," at the time when Herodotus attacked them, have looked on at the successes of Phraortes, and quietly waited till they were reached in the series? Would they not rather have attempted in good time to meet the rise of the Medes, which occurred close upon their borders, and threatened them first of all? Phraortes, with the greater part of his army, is slain. To revenge his death, his son Cyaxares invests Nineveh. But the Scoloti have missed their way; they come upon the Medes instead of the Cimmerians, whom they are pursuing; none the less they begin battle with them, overcome them, and obtain the dominion over Asia—which they never desired—from Media to Egypt. After a part of them had suffered punishment from the goddess of Ascalon, they allow themselves to be made drunk by Cyaxares. They are massacred in part, and when they have returned to their own land—of which we are not told whether they ever possessed it before—they have to undergo a severe contest with the sons whom their wives have in the mean time brought forth to their slaves. These sons do not meet them on the Don, i. e. on the border which Herodotus fixes for the land of the Scoloti, but on the Crimea. The returning host bring this struggle, in which they could not conquer by force of arms, to a happy end by raising their whips. After the departure of the Scythians, Cyaxares again obtains the dominion over the nations which his father previously subjugated, and conquers Nineveh. Whether the war of Cyaxares with the Lydians took place before or after the capture of Nineveh is not clear from the narrative of Herodotus. It is at the least remarkable that Cyaxares, after he has escaped from the yoke of the Scythians by treachery and violence, should not only receive a troop of the same nation into his country, but show them favour, make them his hunters and the educators of Median boys, and then because the Lydian king prevents him from avenging a crime of the fugitives, carry on war for five years with the Lydians, till a sign from heaven puts an end to it. Were Lydia and Media neighbouring countries after Nineveh fell, or before? Had Cyaxares, when at war with Lydia, already recovered the dominion which Phraortes had established for the Medes over all Asia? If this was the case, were there princes of Cilicia and Babylonia in existence, or in such an independent position that they could come forward to negotiate peace and affinity between the contending states, Lydia and Media?

From this examination of the two accounts as to their separate contents, let us now proceed to inquire whether the statements in them agree with what has come down to us from other sources, and can be deduced from the last monuments of Assyria. The narrative of Ctesias is based on the view that the Assyrian kingdom was arranged in satrapies, like the kingdom of the Achæmenids: the inscriptions of the kings of Asshur have made it sufficiently clear that this was not the case. We have already seen that neither the statement of Ctesias about the duration of the Assyrian kingdom, nor that of Herodotus about the strength of their dominion, is tenable (II. 27, 46); not more tenable is the date given by Ctesias for the fall of Assyria. According to Ctesias, Arbaces overthrew the Assyrian kingdom in the year 883 or 878 B.C. (p. 262), and set up the dominion of himself and his descendants, the kings of Media, in the place of the dominion of the Assyrians. But we found above that Assurnasirpal, the son of Tiglath Adar, ascended the throne of Assyria in 883 B.C.—that his campaigns reached the coasts of Syria, that at his time Media was not yet subject to the Assyrian kingdom, that with him the long series of royal princes begins who raised Assyria to the height of her power, and that it was the army of his immediate successors which first trod the land of Media.

Herodotus represents the kings of the Medes as reigning over Asia for 128 years, "deducting the time during which the Scythians ruled."[530] His figures for the reigns of the Median kings, from Deioces to Phraortes, give 150 years from the beginning of Deioces down to the overthrow of Astyages.[531] The overthrow of Astyages took place in the year 558 B.C., and, therefore, Deioces began to reign in 708 B.C. How long before this the Medes liberated themselves from the dominion of Assyria, how long they lived in their free but lawless condition before electing Deioces king, Herodotus does not state. Enough that the Medes must, according to his statement, have liberated themselves in the second half of the eighth century B.C. But at this very time Tiglath Pilesar II. and Sargon ruled over Assyria; at this time the first advanced to Arachosia, repeatedly imposed tribute on the chiefs and cities of the land of Media (p. 3), while Sargon receives tribute from 22, then from 28, and finally from 45, chiefs of the Medes (p. 101). He boasts to be ruler over Media as far as the distant city of Simaspati, in the East; and the Hebrew Scriptures told us that the Israelites carried away after the capture of Samaria (722 B.C.) were settled in the cities of the Medes (p. 85). But not only did the kings of Asshur receive or compel acts of obedience from the tribes of the Medes at the time when, according to Herodotus' statement, Deioces ascended the throne of Media; Sennacherib (705-681 B.C.) imposes tribute on the distant regions of Media; Esarhaddon removes distant tribes of Media, with their flocks, to Assyria, and subjugates cities which, as he maintains, lie far away in the land of Media (p. 150); and even the inscriptions of Assurbanipal, from the period before the year 650 B.C., speak of a captive chief of the Medes (p. 167). From all this it is clear that the liberation of the Medes took place later than Herodotus states. In his account, therefore, we can only retain the facts that Cyaxares, who, according to his statement, ascended the throne in the year 633 B.C., fought with success against the Assyrians—that the invasion of the Scythians, and their expulsion, the fall of Assyria, the great war with the Lydians, and, finally, the capture of Nineveh, took place in his reign, i. e. in the period from 633 to 593 B.C. (p. 262).

Most remarkable is the sudden incursion of the Scythians into Media, the ground for which is a pursuit wholly without any reason (p. 242), and the missing of the proper route. Let us examine the separate statements about this invasion, in order to come, if possible, nearer to the actual facts. The incursion of northern nations into Hither Asia at the time stated by Herodotus, i. e. in the second half of the seventh century, is a fact. In the reign of Josiah, king of Judah (640-609 B.C.), the prophet Zephaniah [532] announces a great judgment, which will come not only on Judah, Gaza and Ascalon, Ashdod and Ekron, Moab and Ammon, Egypt and Ethiopia, but also on Nineveh. Hence the prophet cannot have in his eye a punishment coming on Syria and Egypt from Assyria. From the earnest manner in which the prophet exhorts to repentance and improvement, to the purification of the sanctuary, and removal of "the remnant of Baal," the servants of Baal, it follows that this announcement of a coming judgment belongs to the period in the reign of Josiah, which lies before the reform of the worship and the publication of the new law, i. e. to the period from 640 to 622 B.C. (p. 213). Jeremiah speaks more definitely in the thirteenth year of Josiah [533] or soon after, i. e. in or immediately after the year 628 B.C. "I will bring evil from the north, and great destruction. The lion is come up from the thicket, and the destroyer of the nations is on his way." "Evil appeareth out of the north, and great destruction."[534] "Lo! a people cometh from the north, and a great nation riseth from the uttermost end of the earth. It is a mighty nation, whose language thou knowest not, neither understandest what they say. They come on like clouds, like a whirlwind are their chariots; their horses are swifter than eagles. They shall lay hold on bow and spear; they are cruel, and have no mercy; their voice roareth as the sea, and they ride on horses set in array as men of war against thee. Their quiver is an open sepulchre, they are all mighty men. Jehovah called the families of the kingdoms of the north; a burning wind comes from the hills of the desert, besiegers come from a distant land. Lions shall roar against Israel, and shall make his land a desert, his cities shall be burned, empty of inhabitants. Declare ye in Judah and publish in Jerusalem; blow the trumpet in Tekoa, and set up a sign of fire in Bethhaccerem.[535] Suddenly will the destroyer come upon us, suddenly are the tents spoiled, and the carpets in a moment. Every place shall flee before the noise of the horseman and the archer; they shall creep into thickets and climb up the rocks. Let us go into the strong cities; go not forth into the field, nor walk by the way: for the sword of the enemy and fear is on every side. Our hands are feeble, pain and anguish have taken hold upon us. O my people, gird thee with sackcloth, and wallow thyself in ashes. The besiegers come up from a far country, and give out their voice against the cities of Judah. As keepers of a field they are against Jerusalem round about. The shepherds and their flocks shall come to Jerusalem, they shall feed every one in his own place. They shall glean the remnant of Israel as a vine, saith Jehovah of Hosts; the land shall be a desert. Nevertheless I will not make a full end."

From this description, taken in combination with the proclamation of Zephaniah against the Philistines, against Ascalon and Egypt, it is clear that the whole of Syria, as Herodotus told us, as far as the borders of Egypt—on which, in his account, the Scythians were induced to turn back by the entreaties and presents of Psammetichus (p. 258)—was overrun and laid waste. It is also clear that Jerusalem and the fortified cities of Syria withstood the invaders, and the storm soon passed by. It is not known whether the name Scythopolis, given by the Greeks to Bethshan, is in any way connected with this incursion of Scythians.[536] The only other author who knows of this incursion of Scythians into Asia is Pompeius Trogus. With him it is their third invasion. In the first, which they made before the time of Ninus of Assyria, the marshes prevented them from invading Egypt; on their return from these they spent fifteen years in subjugating Asia and imposing a moderate tribute upon the land, the payment of which was brought to an end by Ninus. The second invasion was made in aid of the Amazons, when hard pressed by Heracles and Theseus, at their entreaty. On the third campaign against Asia they were absent eight years, and on their return had to carry on war against their slaves; in this they finally got the victory by their rods and whips, and all the slaves whom they could capture were crucified.[537]

The chronology which can be deduced from the data found in the announcements of the two prophets gives us the period from 640 to 625 B.C. for the invasion of Hither Asia by the Scythians, and this completely agrees with the statements of Herodotus. In order to avenge the death of his father Phraortes, who fell, with the greater part of his army, before the Assyrians, Cyaxares, according to Herodotus, immediately after his accession, i. e. in the year 633 B.C., set out against Nineveh. During his siege of Nineveh, the incursion of the Scythians into Media took place. According to this, Herodotus placed the commencement of the invasion of Media by the Scythians in the year 633 B.C. or 632 B.C. The chronographers, Eusebius and Hieronymus, put the invasion at the same time; they observe, the first at the year 632 B.C., the second at theyear 634 B.C., that "the Scythians forced their way as far as Palestine." Syncellus gives only the general statement, that in the days of king Josiah, Palestine was overrun by the Scythians, and the city of Bethshan taken by them, whence its name.[538]

The name Scythians, as has been already remarked, was applied by the Greeks and Romans in a wider sense to all the nomadic and equestrian tribes of the North; it was a comprehensive title for almost all the whole complex of the northern nations. To which nation of the Scythians, we may ask, did these hordes belong, which in the period just fixed, i. e. between 632 and 625 B.C., invaded and laid waste Hither Asia, from the Caucasus to Egypt? According to Herodotus, they were the ancestors of the Scythians between the Danube and the Don, the Scoloti. Herodotus represents them as invading Asia in their pursuit of the Cimmerians. But what reason was there for the pursuit, when the Cimmerians had voluntarily abandoned the land which the Scoloti desired? Besides, for more than a century before the date at which Herodotus represents them as flying to Asia before the Scythians, the Cimmerians were settled on the Halys, and must have been well known to the nations of Asia Minor; and ever since the emigration of the Cimmerians, i. e. for an equal period, the Scoloti had possessed the old abodes of the Cimmerians on the Pontus. What could have induced the Scoloti to undertake such a pursuit a good hundred years later? What made them miss the way, and come into Media instead of Cappadocia? Herodotus tells us that the Scoloti had taken a far longer route than that which led past Colchis, to Asia, so that they came out in Media, with the Caucasus on the right hand. By this "upper way," the pass of Derbend, on the Caspian Sea, may be meant, which would have brought the hordes of the North into Media through the land of the Cadusians, who were hostile to the Medes; but if we measure from the banks of the Don, where, according to Herodotus' narrative, we have to conceive the Scoloti as situated in their advance upon the Cimmerians from the East, this route could hardly be described as much longer than that by Colchis. By the upper route Herodotus apparently means the route round the Caspian Sea. The supposed error in the proper route may lead us into the right path, if we assume that the hordes which then invaded Media and inundated Asia were not mounted nomads from the steppes above the Black Sea, on the upper course of the Don, but nomads dwelling beyond the Caspian, in the steppes on the Oxus and Jaxartes. The legendary poetry of East Iran is filled with long and mighty struggles of the ancient heroes with those nations; and Ctesias tells us, again, without doubt, following the minstrelsy of West Iran, of the severe and doubtful wars which the predecessor of Astyages of Media, whom he calls Artæus, and Herodotus Cyaxares, carried on against the Sacæ, the neighbours of the Parthians and Hyrcanians in the steppes on the Oxus. It was these Sacæ who, four centuries after the invasion of Media by Herodotus' Scythians, burst through Parthia and Hyrcania, possessed themselves of the valleys of the Hilmend, the best region in the east of Iran, and gave to this region the name of Sikashtan, i. e. land of the Sacæ, now Sedshestan. On the earlier occasion the Sacæ may have made the same attempt to break into Iran. If nations on the steppes on the Oxus had overpowered Media, if they had also established themselves in Hither Asia, youthful bands of Sarmatians and Scoloti might have felt tempted to go out from the Pontus and take part in the campaign of plunder. In ascribing the invasion of Asia to the Scoloti, Herodotus no doubt followed the authority of his own people, the Greek settlers on the northern coast of the Pontus. The Cimmerians had once dwelt in these regions, and had retired from them before the Scoloti. It happened that at the time of king Ardys of Lydia (his reign, according to Herodotus, extended from 681 B.C. to 632 B.C.), these Cimmerians made an incursion into the west of Asia Minor from the abodes which they had obtained on the Halys, and forced their way at that time as far as Lydia and the Greek cities on the coast. They took Sardis, except the Acropolis. "It was not a subjugation of the cities," says Herodotus, "but only a passing raid."[539]The narrative of Herodotus proves conclusively that he knew nothing of the earlier incursions of the Cimmerians into the west of Asia Minor, and therefore he assumed that this campaign against Sardis and the cities of the Greeks, in the time of Ardys, was identical in date, and, in fact, the same as the incursion of the Cimmerians into Asia Minor. And as Herodotus also learnt that Cyaxares of Media was overthrown by Scythian hordes who devastated all Asia, and that fugitives of these hordes had also come into the west of Asia Minor to the grandson of Ardys, Alyattes of Lydia, he represents the Cimmerians as being pursued towards Asia, along the Pontus, by their ancient enemies, the Scoloti, who, he thinks, missed their way. He was evidently confirmed in this opinion by the fact that certain families of the Scoloti suffered from a loss of sexual power (p. 258), a disease which the Greeks on the Pontus attributed to the anger of Aphrodite Urania, the goddess of fertility, whose oldest and most famous temple was at Ascalon, in Syria. Hippocrates says that this disease showed itself among the wealthiest families of the Scoloti, and not among the poor, because the former were always on horseback;[540] according to Aristotle the disease was hereditary in the royal family of the Scythians.[541] Lastly, a story of the slaves of the Scythians, who, in the absence of their masters, had made themselves masters, helped to attribute the invasion of Asia to this nation of the Scythians. The basis of the story, which obviously belongs to the Crimea, lies in the fact that after the Scoloti had forced the Tauri, the ancient inhabitants of the Crimea, into the mountains of this peninsula, and had subjugated and made slaves of those who remained behind in the plains, both the one and the other must have seized a favourable opportunity to make themselves again masters of the peninsula, and close it against the Scoloti by means of a trench. The supposed effect of the whips is due, no doubt, to the Hellenes in Scythia, who thus marked the nature and the existence of slavery.

The liberation of the Medes from the dominion of the Assyrians must not only have taken place later, but in a different manner from that narrated by Herodotus. The inscriptions of the kings of Asshur showed us that the tribes of the Medes whom Herodotus calls Arizantes, Busæ, Struchatæ, Budæans, and Parætaceni, lived separately, under a number of princes. Not long after the settlement of the Israelites in the cities of the Medes, in the year 715 B.C., Sargon represents a prince Dayaukka as carried away captive with his people; and in 713 B.C. he takes the field against Bit Dayauku, and receives tribute from 45 princes of the Medes (p. 101). Hence among the regions of the chieftains of Media, there was a region which the Assyrians called the land or house of Dayauku, just as with them Israel was Bit Omri. Deioces, the prince from whom Bit Dayauku received its name, who, in Herodotus, is a son of Phraortes, must in consequence have founded a sovereignty in Media, or at any rate have been at the head of a sovereignty derived from his father, about the year 720 B.C. at the lowest. We may without hesitation look for this region in the land of Ecbatana, but at that time it cannot have taken up a large part of Media. Neither the inscriptions of Sargon, nor those of his successors, Sennacherib, Esarhaddon, and Assurbanipal, mention Deioces or his land either in the payment of tribute by the Medes, or in the conquest of the separate tribes. Nothing is said of any central monarchy among the Medes, or of a kingdom of the Medes. If Media had been united and free at the time of Sennacherib and Esarhaddon, Sennacherib would not have marched against Syria and Cilicia, nor Esarhaddon against Egypt; they would not and could not have left in the rear, in the most threatening proximity, the most dangerous enemy. If we nevertheless assume that during the sway of Sennacherib and Esarhaddon over Assyria the influence of Deioces steadily increased, we must concede to Herodotus that this higher position was gained not by martial deeds, but by craft and advice urging union. Then Phraortes, who, according to Herodotus, succeeded his father Deioces in the year 655 B.C., must have been able formally to assemble the tribes of the Medes round Bit Dayauku, and to organise them: it was he who united Media under his dominion. But we cannot place this union earlier than the period at which Assurbanipal destroyed Elam, and directed his arms against Arabia (p. 177): i. e. it must come after the year 645 B.C.Assurbanipal could not possibly employ his troops in repeated campaigns for the maintenance of Egypt, the reconquest of Babylon, the destruction of Elam, and the punishment of the Arabians, if a strong and compact force stood behind the passes of the Zagrus; still less could he look idly on while Phraortes subjugated the Persians, and then one nation after another in Asia, as Herodotus supposes, with the view of throwing himself on Assyria—if he could prevent it. The more probable course of events is, that Phraortes, as soon as he accomplished the union of the Median tribes, had to await and repel the attack of Assyria—that the tribes of the Persians among whom, precisely about this time, Achæmenes obtained the first place,[542] being threatened by the extension of the dominion of Assyria over Elam on their borders, combined with Phraortes for common defence, and consented to be led by the stronger nation. The tradition of the Medes, and their poems, on which the statements of Herodotus rest, would naturally antedate the liberation of their nation, and would place it in the times before Deioces; they would even ascribe conquests to Phraortes, and represent him as falling in an attack on Nineveh. It agrees with the position of affairs and the relation of the powers, that Phraortes should have fallen with the greater part of his army, as Herodotus says, in repulsing Assyria and Assurbanipal in the year 633 B.C. The first duty of his son Cyaxares must have been to avert from Media the consequences of the heavy defeat which destroyed his father. That Cyaxares, and not Phraortes, a century after the death of the latter, passed in the nation of the Medes as the founder of the Median supremacy, is clear from the fact that Phraortes, the head of the rebellion of the Medians against Darius, lays aside his proper name in order to call himself "Kshatrita, descendant of Cyaxares," and that at this time the leader of the Sagartians also gives himself out as a descendant of Cyaxares of Media.

Let us first cling to the fact that in the decade which followed the conquest of Elam by Assurbanipal (644-634 B.C.) Media united her tribes under a sovereign, and freed herself from the dominion of Assyria, and in combination with the Persians on the East obtained the position of a considerable power beside Assyria. In the West, before this date, Assurbanipal had already lost the dominion over Egypt, and the advance of Psammetichus towards Syria (p. 180) must have made the obedience of the Syrian cities and princes doubtful. The rise of the Medes under Phraortes, the successful resistance which they made to Assyria, must have had a far-reaching influence. After such a long series of successes the arms of Assyria could not prevail against this new power. In Judah, where the prophets of the Hebrews from the second half of the eighth century had looked on Assyria as the instrument of Jehovah for the visitation of the nations and the punishment of the sins of Israel and Judah, the position of that power, soon after the year 640 B.C., was seriously shattered or threatened, since the prophet Nahum, when looking back on the destruction of Thebes by the army of Assurbanipal, could already announce that the line of destruction would reach even to Assyria and Nineveh. The lively description of the defenders and the devastation of Thebes, shows that the capture (which had taken place in the year 663 B.C.)[543] was already fresh in the remembrance of the Syrians. "The lion," so we find it in Nahum, "did tear in pieces enough for his whelps, and strangled for his lionesses, and filled his holes with prey, and his dens with ravin. I am against thee, saith Jehovah of Hosts, and I will burn thy chariots in the smoke, and the sword shall devour thy young lions; and I will cut off thy prey from the earth, and the voice of thy messenger shall no more be heard. I will discover thy skirts upon thy face, and I will show the nations thy nakedness, and the kingdoms thy shame. I will cast abominable filth upon thee, and make thee vile. Woe to the well-favoured harlot, the mistress of witchcraft; woe to the bloody city; it is full of lies and robbery; the prey departeth not. The noise of the whip, and of the rattling of the wheels, and of the prancing horses, and of the jumping chariots; the horseman cometh on, the bright sword and glittering spear." "Art thou better than No-Ammon (Thebes) that was situate by the Nile?"[544]"The destroyer is come up before thee, Nineveh; keep the munition, watch the way, gird thy loins, fortify thyself mightily. Draw thee water for the siege, fortify thy strongholds; go into clay, and tread the mortar, make strong the brick-kiln. Thy mighty men hasten to the walls, but they stumble in their walk. The covering shall be prepared for the besiegers. All thy strongholds shall be fig-trees with the first ripe figs; if they be shaken they shall fall even into the mouth of the eater. Fire shall devour thee, and the sword shall cut thee off."[545] "With an overrunning flood Jehovah will make an utter end of her habitations; the gates of the river shall be opened, and the palace dissolved. Behold, thy people are women for thy enemies; the gates of thy land shall be set wide open; the fire shall devour thy bars. Nineveh was full of men while she stood, but they flee. Halt! halt! Yet no one turneth; her maids sigh like doves, and beat the breast. Take the spoil of silver, take the spoil of gold; there is no end of the store; abundance of all kinds of costly vessels. She is empty, and void, and waste, and the heart melteth, and the knees smite together, and a multitude of slain, and a great number of carcases; there is no end of their corpses. They stumble on the corpses. Thy captains fly, O king of Assyria, thy mighty men slumber, thy people is scattered on the mountains, and no man gathereth them. Where is the dwelling of the lions, and the feeding-place of the young lions, where the lion, and the lioness, and the lion's whelp walked and none made them afraid? No more of thy name shall be sown; there is no healing of thy bruise; thy wound is grievous. All that look on thee shall flee from thee and say, Nineveh is laid waste; all that hear of thee shall clap their hands over thee, for upon whom has not thy wickedness passed continually?"[546]

How far the successes which Cyaxares obtained soon after his accession (633 B.C.) in repelling and attacking Assyria and Assurbanipal carried him—whether even then the army of the Medes advanced to the walls of Nineveh, as Herodotus states, cannot be ascertained, and cannot be denied. Whatever advantage Media may have obtained at that time it was not only lost, but the Median empire collapsed, when Cyaxares had vainly attempted to repulse the Sacæ (632 B.C.). These Sacæ, however, were not content with the possession of Media; they descended from the table-land of Iran into the valley of the Tigris and the Euphrates, and spread over Hither Asia. We saw how clearly the prophet Zephaniah announced in thosedays (about 630 B.C.) the great judgments that would come upon Nineveh and Judah, on Gaza and Ascalon, on Ashdod, and Ekron, and Ethiopia. "Jehovah," he says, "will stretch out his hand against the North, and destroy Assyria, and will make Nineveh a desolation, and dry like a wilderness. And flocks shall lie down in the midst of her, all the beasts of the nations; the pelican and the bittern shall lodge in the lintels of it; the birds shall sing in the windows of it; desolation shall be on the thresholds. The cedar work is torn down. All who go by shall hiss and wag the hand. This is the rejoicing city which dwelt carelessly, that said in her heart, I am and there is none beside me! How is she become a desolation, a place for beasts to lie down in!"[547]

Assurbanipal, as we saw, ascended the throne of Assyria in the year 668 B.C., and he retained it till the year 626 B.C. Though we have no evidence from Assyrian inscriptions to fix the end of his reign, the canon of Ptolemy puts the end of the dominion of Saosduchin (by whom is meant Samul-sum-ukin) in the year 648 B.C.i. e. in the year in which Assurbanipal crushed his rebellion and took Babylon. We also possess an Assyrian tablet which dates from the twentieth year of Assurbanipal in Babylon, and consequently extends his reign in the city from 648 B.C. to 628 B.C. Further, the canon of Ptolemy represents a new reign as commencing in Babylon in the year 625 B.C., and therefore we are certain that Assurbanipal remained on the throne for 42 years, down to 626 B.C.[548] The first half of his reign was filled with the most brilliant successes; his armies marched to Thebes, Babylon, and Susa; but the second half was the reverse of the first. Egypt was lost. Serious struggles without results were carried on against the Medes, though they were once varied by a great victory. The Median power advanced nearer and nearer to the native land and the chief cities. The Medes had indeed been compelled to turn against the Sacæ; but these not only overthrew Media, they covered Asia, destroyed the cohesion of the Assyrian kingdom, and entirely disorganised it. Cleitarchus narrated: "Sardanapalus (Assurbanipal) died in old age, after the dominion of the Syrians had been broken down;"[549] and the Syrians, according to the usage of Cleitarchus, are the Assyrians.

Ctesias told us above, that the dominion of the Assyrians succumbed to the united efforts of the viceroys of Media and Babylon, the combined efforts of the Medes and Babylonians. Herodotus, as we saw, represents a prince of Babylon as negotiating peace between Lydia and Media. In an excerpt of Abydenus which has been preserved we read: "After Sardanapalus (Assurbanipal), Saracus reigned over Assyria: when he found that multitudes of a collected horde came up from the sea like locusts, he at once sent Busalossorus as commander of the army to Babylon. This officer resolved on rebellion, and betrothed his son Nabukodrossorus to the daughter of Astyages, king of Media, Amuhea by name."[550] According to the excerpt of Syncellus, Alexander Polyhistor gave the following account: Saracus sent Nabopolassar as general, but he married Amyite the daughter of Astyages, the satrap of the Medes, to his sonNabuchodonossor, and rebelled against Saracus and Nineveh.[551] Hence in Abydenus and Polyhistor, the successor of Assurbanipal on the throne of Assyria was Saracus. Against hosts who came from the sea, i. e.against the hosts of the Sacæ coming up from the Caspian Sea, or marching, on their return from Syria, i. e.from the Mediterranean, against Babylon, he sends the general whom Abydenus calls Busalossorus, and Polyhistor Nabopolassar. According to the canon of Ptolemy, the reign of Nabopolassar in Babylon begins in the year 625 B.C. This prince, the Nabopolassar of the canon and Polyhistor, is not distinct from the Busalossorus of Abydenus. It is the same name: in the one writer he is the father of Nabukodrossorus, in the other the father of Nabuchodonossor. Nabukodrossorus is Nabukudurussur; Nabuchodonossor is Nebuchadnezzar, the corrupted Hebrew form of the name Nabukudurussur. The Belesys of Ctesias, the confederate of the Mede, is Nabopolassar. In both fragments Nabopolassar, whom the king of the Assyrians sends as a viceroy or general to Babylonia, and whose rule over Babylonia begins with the year 625 B.C., resolves to rebel against the king of Assyria; with this object he enters into a league with the king or satrap,i. e. the Assyrian viceroy of Media, who in Abydenus and Polyhistor is called Astyages.[552] In both fragments Nabopolassar marries his son Nebuchadnezzar to Amuhea or Amyite, the daughter of the Mede. Astyages was the son of Cyaxares of Media, who began to reign in the year 593 B.C. Hence in both fragments the father must be put in the place of the son, just as in Herodotus the Nabopolassar of Polyhistor must be put in the place of Labynetus.

The invasion of the Sacæ certainly gave the most severe blow to the Assyrian kingdom: it reached the native territory, and broke the cohesion of the kingdom. The lands previously subjugated could not be protected, and therefore could not be maintained. We found above, that about the year 625 B.C., the Sacæ marched through Syria to the borders of Egypt. It is also certain, from the canon of Ptolemy, that it was the king of Assyria who succeeded Assurbanipal on the throne in 626 B.C., who named Nabopolassar his viceroy in Babylon, in order to protect Babylonia against the Sacæ. Nabopolassar cannot have entered into a league with Cyaxares of Media; Babylonia cannot have broken with Assyria; the rebellion against Saracus cannot have taken place, till Cyaxares was again master in his own land and the Sacæ were driven out of Media, whether this expulsion took place as recorded in Herodotus or in some other way. That Nabopolassar felt himself called upon to draw the league with Media as close as possible is clear from the fact that he at the same time married his son to the daughter of the king of Media. And he not only brought about this marriage, he did away with the war between Media and Lydia, and established an alliance between the royal families of the two nations. This war must be placed before the destruction of Assyria; had it not been necessary to set the forces of Media free against Assyria, the prince of Babylon would have had no interest in reconciling the differences between Lydia and Babylonia. After the destruction of Assyria it would have been much more advisable for Babylon that Media, whose power surpassed that of Babylonia, should be engaged elsewhere. This conclusion is confirmed by the eclipse which separated the armies of the Lydians and the Medes in the sixth year of the war, in the middle of a battle (p. 260). This took place in the year 610 B.C.[553] The war between Cyaxares of Media and Alyattes of Lydia must therefore have begun in the year 615 B.C.

But what caused Media to be at war with the distant land of Lydia? We must assume that Cyaxares first succeeded in setting his land free from the hordes of the Sacæ. He availed himself of this to give aid to the lands bordering on the west of Media, the Armenians and Cappadocians, against the same plundering tribes; to exhibit himself there as a liberator from the Sacæ; and, at the same time, as a liberator from the dominion of the Assyrians. In this way he quickly advanced the borders of Media to the Halys. Here he came upon the Lydians, who on their part had made use of the convulsion and confusion which had been caused by the advance of the Cimmerians as far as the western shore of Asia Minor, to extend their dominion over Phrygia as far as the Halys. As the war between him and the Lydians commences in the year 615 B.C., Cyaxares must have mastered the Sacæ in Media as early as the year 620 B.C. The dominion of the Scythians in Asia, which Herodotus represents as lasting 28 years, is thus narrowed down to a short ten years—or indeed to eight years, the number given by Justin. From this point—the liberation of Media from the Sacæ, i. e. about 620 B.C.,—we have to fix not only the advance of Cyaxares to the West, but his league with Nabopolassar of Babylon, and the marriage of his daughter to Nabopolassar's son must be put about the same time. When Nabopolassar had arranged the peace between Media and Lydia, which fixed the Halys as the border of the two kingdoms, Aryanis, the daughter of Alyattes, is married to the son of Cyaxares (610 B.C.), Media and Babylonia, Cyaxares and Nabopolassar, unite their forces against Assyria.

On the ruins of Chalah, in the south-east corner of the terrace, on which stand the palaces of the kings of Asshur, to the south of the ruins of the house of Samsi-Bin III. (II. 325), are the remains of a not very extensive building; some bricks bear the inscription: "I Assur-idil-ili, king of the nations, king of the land of Asshur, son of Assurbanipal, king of the nations, king of the land of Asshur, son of Esarhaddon, king of Asshur. I caused bricks and beams to be prepared for the building of the house of salvation, situated at Chalah: for the life of my soul I did this."[554] Another inscription of Assur-idil-ili mentions his restoration of the temple of Nebo at Chalah.[555] Hence we must assume that Assur-idil-ili, the son of Assurbanipal, ascended the throne of Assyria after the death of his father, in the year 626 B.C.; that it is he who is called Saracus in Polyhistor, who appointed Nabopolassar viceroy of Babylonia, in order to maintain Babylon against the Sacæ; and that about the year 620 B.C. the latter broke away from Assur-idil-ili. Yet from a broken tablet of Assur-idil-ili, recently discovered, we shall gather that he did not ascend the throne immediately after his father's death, but later;[556] and the opinion is held that the immediate successor of Assurbanipal was Bel-zakir-iskun, whose name occurs in a cylinder found at Kuyundshik. The name of the father of this king is broken off; and he is only placed immediately after Assurbanipal because he styles himself, not only king of Assyria, but also king of Sumir and Accad.[557] But are there not numerous instances to prove that titles of dominion are retained after the lands which they denote as subject have long been lost? Lastly, in two fragmentary tablets the name of Cyaxares is supposed to be concealed in the form Castarit. The first fragment mentions Esarhaddon and Castarit, the lord of the city of Carcassi, beside Mamiti-arsu, the lord of the city of the Medes. At the very earliest, Cyaxares of Media cannot have been born when Esarhaddon died. The second fragment speaks of a hundred days of prayer and thanksgiving, because Castarit with his warriors, and the warriors of the Cimmerians, and the warriors of the Mannai, had taken the towns of Khartam and Kissassu. But here also the inscription seems to be speaking of another period, and indeed of conflicts from the days of Esarhaddon, when the Cimmerians set foot on the southern shore of the Black Sea; and I would not, on this account, allow myself to be led astray, even if a third tablet, supposed to narrate the same circumstances, should mention Castarit as a prince of the Medes.[558]

Of the incidents of the war, which Cyaxares and Nabopolassar commenced in the year 609 B.C. against Assyria, we have no account. According to the songs of the Medes, which lie at the base of the account of Ctesias, it continued three years; many severe battles were fought, with varying fortune, before Nineveh could be invested. The capture of the city was finally achieved, because the Tigris carried away a portion of the city walls. When Xenophon marched past Chalah, which he calls Larissa, 200 years after the fall of Nineveh, and found long strips of wall 120 feet high still standing, he was informed that the king of the Persians, when he took the dominion from the Medes, could not by any means capture the lofty and strong walls of this city of the Medes (II. 16). A cloud hid the sun, and made the city invisible till the inhabitants had left it; and thus it was taken. At that time the queen of the Medes fled to Mespila (the name given by Xenophon to Nineveh), where he saw the walls still standing of the height of 150 feet. This city the king of the Persians could not take, either by length of siege or by storm, till Zeus had dazed the inhabitants by lightning: then the city was taken.[559]

The memory of the Assyrian kingdom had at that time so entirely disappeared, that Xenophon's guides could put the Medes in the place of the Persians, the Persians in the place of the Medes, and the king of the Persians in the place of Cyaxares. In Abydenus we are told, after the excerpt of Eusebius: Nabopolassar (Bussalossorus), after marrying his son to the daughter of the king of the Medes, marched against Nineveh. "When Saracus heard of this, he burnt himself and the royal citadel."[560] Polyhistor, following the excerpt of Syncellus, tells us: Nabopolassar, sent out by Saracus as a leader of his army, turned against his master, and marched against Nineveh. In fear of his approach, Saracus burnt himself with his palace.[561] Strabo tells us: "Nineveh was destroyed soon after the break up of the dominion of the Medes."[562] At the year 607 B.C., Eusebius and Hieronymus observe: "Cyaxares the Mede destroys Nineveh."

"Because Asshur was high of growth," such are the words of Jehovah in the prophet Ezekiel, "and shot up his top, and his heart was lifted up in its height, I have delivered him into the hand of the mighty one of the nations that he may deal with him at his pleasure; I have driven him out for his wickedness. And strangers, the terrible of the nations, have cut him off and cast him away. Upon the mountains and in all vallies his branches are fallen, and his boughs are broken by all the rivers in the land. All the people from the earth are gone down from his shadow and have left him. Upon his fallen trunk the fowls of the heaven remain, and all the beasts of the field shall be upon his branches. I made the nations to shake at the sound of his fall, when I cast him down to hell with those that descend into the pit. In that day I caused a mourning, and restrained the floods round him; the great waters were stayed; I caused Lebanon to mourn for him, and all the trees of the field lamented him. Asshur's grave is made in the depth of the pit, round about are the graves of his host; all of them slain, fallen by the sword, which caused terror in the land of the living."[563]

Media stood triumphant over the kingdom which had so long ruled over Hither Asia and the western edge of Iran; Babylon was victorious over the branch which had grown up out of her own root, had far surpassed the mother-stem, and had struck home the mother-country in many a tough struggle. Babylon had suffered far more heavily than Media. At last retribution had come. Chalah and Nineveh, which had received the tribute of the nations for so many years, which had seen so many vanquished princes, so many embassies of subjugated lands in their walls, were annihilated. And not the ancient cities only, but the condition of the Assyrian nation must have been severely smitten by this war of annihilation. Often as Babylon had been overthrown by the Assyrians—even though mastered by Cyrus—she still was able to rise repeatedly in stubborn rebellion against the Achæmenids: Elam repeatedly attempted to regain her old independence; but of the native land of Assyria, which after the fall of Nineveh became a part of Media, and passed with Media under the dominion of the Persians, we hear only once that the Assyrians, with the Armenians, rebelled against king Darius. But the picture of Behistun, which mentions the double rebellion of Babylon, the three rebellions of Elam against Darius, and exhibits the conquered leaders of these nations, is silent on the rebellion of the Assyrians and Armenians: it was not of enough importance to be mentioned.

The low ruin heaps of Nineveh (Kuyundshik, Nebbi Yunus, and Khorsabad), of Chalah (Nimrud), and Asshur (Kileh Shergat), washed down as they are by streams of rain, have yet preserved for us the remains of the buildings and palaces of the kings of Asshur, from the days of Samsi-Bin I., Tiglath Pilesar I., Shalmanesar I., down to Assur-idil-ili. Set on fire at the time of destruction, the wooden roofs of the palaces were reduced to cinders, and fell in upon the floor of the chambers, where portions of them are still to be found. The upper parts of the brick-walls were then washed down by wind and rain, and covered the lower part of the rooms. Even where the fire did not spread, the beams of the roofs at length broke down, the upper layers of the bricks on the walls were gradually washed down, and raised the floors of the chambers, as well as the ground immediately surrounding them. By this process the palaces of Nineveh, Chalah, and Dur Sarrukin, were changed into heaps of earth. But while the upper part of the buildings buried the lower in their ruins, the lower part, with all the inscriptions and sculptures contained in it, was saved from further destruction; and these unsightly heaps have preserved to us the civilisation and the characteristics of the Assyrians, as truly as the lofty monuments and rock tombs on the Nile have preserved the picture of ancient Egypt, though they do not present the same breadth, and extend in the same way to every side of life.


[514]Nicol. Dam. Frag. 9, ed. Müller. Athenæus, p. 529. Diod. 2, 24.

[515]Athenæus, p. 528.

[516]Diod. 2, 24-27.

[517]Athenæus, p. 529.

[518]Diod. 2, 28.

[519]Diod. 2, 32-34.

[520]Herod. 1, 95, 96.

[521]Herod. 4, 1-4.

[522]Herod. 1, 73, 74.

[523]Herod. 1, 130.

[524]Or, as in Ctesias the victory of Cyrus over Astyages is placed in 564 B.C.—even in the year 883 B.C. Cf. Vol. II., p. 26.

[525]Aristoph. Aves, 102.

[526]Hellan. Frag. 158. Callisth. Frag. 32, ed. Müller.

[527]Movers, "Relig. der Phœniker," s. 154. 394, 465, 496, 612. The pyre which Alexander caused to be erected in Babylon to Hephæstion, after the Semitic pattern, was four stades in circuit and 200 feet in height. Diod. 17, 115.

[528]Aristob. Frag. 6, ed. Müller. Cf. above, p. 145, 146.

[529]e. g. Diod. 2, 24; Amyntas in Athenæus, p. 529.

[530]If we assume that the 28 years of the Scythian dominion have already been deducted from the 128 years, and must therefore be added to them, 714 B.C. (= 558 + 156) is the beginning of the Median dominion. In the other case this must have commenced in the year 658 (558 + 100) B.C.Since Herodotus represents Phraortes as first conquering Asia, and represents him as ascending the throne in 655 B.C., the duration of the Median empire is not even 100, but only 79 years. We shall soon see that it was even shorter.

[531]Deioces reigned 53 years, Phraortes 22, Cyaxares 40, Astyages 35. Each pair of rulers makes up a total of 75 years.

[532]Zeph. i. 1.

[533]Jerem. i. 1; xxv. 3.

[534]Jerem. iv. 6.

[535]Jerem. vi. 1.

[536]2 Maccab. xii. 29. Strabo, p. 763; Joseph. "Antiq." 5, 1, 22, etc. Pliny, "Hist. Nat." 5, 16; Steph. Byzant. Σκυθόπολις.

[537]Justin, 1, 2-5.

[538]Syncell. "Chron." p. 405, ed. Bonn.

[539]Herod. 1, 6, 15, 16.

[540]Hippocr. "De aero," c. 22.

[541]"Ethic. Nicom." 7, 7 (8).

[542]Vol. V., chap. 3.

[543]Above, p. 164.

[544]Nahum iii. 8.

[545]Nahum ii. 13, 14; iii. 1-5, 12-15.

[546]Nahum i. 8, 14; iii. 7-12; iii. 7, 13.

[547]Zeph. ii. 13-15.

[548]In Polyhistor Sardanapalus reigns over the Chaldæans for 21 years after Samuges.

[549]In Athenæus, p. 553.

[550]Euseb. "Chron." 1, p. 37, ed. Schöne. Kiepert, "Monatsb. B. A.," 1873, s. 191.

[551]Syncell. "Chron." p. 210, ed. Bonn.

[552]Asdahag is the Armenian form in the Armenian Eusebius.

[553]As we have the choice between the two eclipses of 610 and 584 B.C. the preference must be given to that of 610 B.C. Where the battle was fought between the Medes and Lydians we do not know; but we do know that in the year 584 B.C. Cyaxares and Nabopolassar were no longer alive. If we replace these names by Astyages and Nebuchadnezzar—although the children of the princes who conclude peace and alliance are expressly named as the parties contracting in marriage—and Astyages had no son, Nineveh had fallen long before 584 B.C., and Babylonia would not have had the least interest in bringing about a peace between Lydia and Media. On the contrary, Nebuchadnezzar, who had erected such enormous fortifications against Media, in order to secure his own weaker kingdom against any attacks of the Median power, would only have been too glad to keep Media engaged in the West by the continuance of the Lydian war. Yet that it was a question of the rescue of Lydia in the interest of Babylonia cannot be supported in the face of the assertion of Herodotus, that the fortune of arms was equal. As the dates given by Herodotus for the reigns of the Lydian kings have to be replaced by those of Eusebius (below, Chapter 17), the dating of the beginning of the war at the year 615 B.C. would allow the first three years to fall in the reign of Sadyattes; but in this there is no difficulty.

[554]E. Schrader, "K. A. T.," s. 233.

[555]G. Smith, "Disc.," p. 344.

[556]G. Smith, loc. cit. p. 382.

[557]G. Smith, loc. cit. p. 382.

[558]Sayce, "Babylon. Litterature," p. 79, seqq.

[559]"Anab." 3, 4, 7-9.

[560]Euseb. "Chron." I., p. 37, ed. Schöne.

[561]Syncell, "Chron." p. 396, ed. Bonn.

[562]Strabo, p. 737.

[563]Ezek. xxxi. 11-16; xxxii. 22, 23.