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Assyria, also called the Assyrian Empire, was a major Semitic speaking Mesopotamian
Mesopotamian
kingdom and empire of the ancient Near East
Near East
and the Levant. It existed as a state from perhaps as early as the 25th century BC in the form of the Assur
Assur
city-state,[2] until its collapse between 612 BC and 609 BC, spanning the Early to Middle Bronze Age through to the late Iron Age.[3][4] From the end of the seventh century BC to the mid-seventh century AD, it survived as a geopolitical entity, for the most part ruled by foreign powers, although a number of Neo-Assyrian
Neo-Assyrian
states arose at different times during the Parthian and early Sasanian Empires between the mid-second century BC and late third century AD, a period which also saw Assyria become a major centre of Syriac Christianity
Syriac Christianity
and the birthplace of the Church of the East.[5] Centered on the Tigris
Tigris
in Upper Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia
(modern northern Iraq, northeastern Syria, southeastern Turkey
Turkey
and the northwestern fringes of Iran), the Assyrians came to rule powerful empires at several times. Making up a substantial part of the greater Mesopotamian "cradle of civilization", which included Sumer, the Akkadian
Akkadian
Empire, and Babylonia, Assyria
Assyria
was at the height of technological, scientific and cultural achievements for its time. At its peak, the Assyrian empire stretched from Cyprus
Cyprus
and the East Mediterranean to Iran, and from what is now Armenia
Armenia
and Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan
in the Caucasus, to the Arabian Peninsula, Egypt
Egypt
and eastern Libya.[6] Assyria
Assyria
is named after its original capital, the ancient city of Aššur, which dates to c. 2600 BC, originally one of a number of Akkadian
Akkadian
speaking city states in Mesopotamia. In the 25th and 24th centuries BC, Assyrian kings were pastoral leaders. From the late 24th century BC, the Assyrians became subject to Sargon of Akkad, who united all the Akkadian- and Sumerian-speaking peoples of Mesopotamia under the Akkadian
Akkadian
Empire, which lasted from c. 2334 BC to 2154 BC.[7] After its fall from power, the greater remaining part of Assyria
Assyria
was a geopolitical region and province of other empires, although between the mid-2nd century BC and late 3rd century AD a patchwork of small independent Assyrian kingdoms arose in the form of Ashur, Adiabene, Osroene, Beth Nuhadra, Beth Garmai
Beth Garmai
and Hatra. The region of Assyria
Assyria
fell under the successive control of the Median Empire, the Achaemenid Empire, the Macedonian Empire, the Seleucid Empire, the Parthian Empire, the Roman Empire, and the Sasanian Empire. The Arab
Arab
Islamic Conquest
Islamic Conquest
in the mid-seventh century finally dissolved Assyria
Assyria
(Assuristan) as a single entity, after which the remnants of the Assyrian people
Assyrian people
(by now Christians) gradually became an ethnic, linguistic, cultural and religious minority in the Assyrian homeland, surviving there to this day as an indigenous people of the region.[8][9]

Contents

1 Names 2 Pre-history 3 History

3.1 Early period

3.1.1 Akkadian
Akkadian
Empire
Empire
and Neo-Sumerian Empires

3.2 Old Assyrian Empire

3.2.1 Decline, 1450–1393 BC

3.3 Middle Assyrian Empire
Empire
1392–1056 BC

3.3.1 Society and law in the Middle Assyrian Period

3.4 Assyria
Assyria
during the Bronze Age
Bronze Age
Collapse, 1055–936 BC 3.5 Neo-Assyrian
Neo-Assyrian
Empire

3.5.1 Expansion, 911–627 BC 3.5.2 Downfall, 626–609 BC

3.6 Assyria
Assyria
after the empire

3.6.1 Achaemenid Assyria, Osroene, Asōristān, Athura
Athura
and Hatra 3.6.2 Achaemenid Assyria
Achaemenid Assyria
(549–330 BC) 3.6.3 Macedonian and Seleucid Assyria 3.6.4 Parthian Assyria
Assyria
(150 BC – 225 AD) 3.6.5 Roman Assyria
Assyria
(116–8)

3.7 Christian
Christian
period

3.7.1 Sassanid Assyria
Assyria
(226 – c. 650) 3.7.2 Arab
Arab
Islamic conquest (630–780) 3.7.3 Mongol Empire
Empire
(1200–1300) 3.7.4 Breakup of the Assyrian Church (1500–1780)

3.8 Modern history

3.8.1 Ottoman Empire
Empire
(1900–1928) 3.8.2 Simele Massacre
Simele Massacre
and World War II
World War II
(1930–1950) 3.8.3 Ba'athism (1966–2003) 3.8.4 Syrian Civil War (2012–present)

4 Culture

4.1 Language 4.2 Religion

4.2.1 Ancient Assyrian religion 4.2.2 Christian
Christian
history of the Assyrian people

4.3 Architecture 4.4 Arts and Sciences

5 Legacy 6 Notes 7 See also 8 Notes 9 References 10 External links

Names[edit] Assyria
Assyria
was also sometimes known as Subartu
Subartu
and Azuhinum prior to the rise of the city-state of Ashur, after which it was Aššūrāyu, and after its fall, from 605 BC through to the late seventh century AD variously as Achaemenid Assyria, and also referenced as Atouria, Ator, Athor, and sometimes as Syria
Syria
which etymologically derives from Assyria[10] according to Strabo, Syria
Syria
(Greek), Assyria
Assyria
(Latin) and Asōristān
Asōristān
(Middle Persian). "Assyria" can also refer to the geographic region or heartland where Assyria, its empires and the Assyrian people
Assyrian people
were (and still are) centered. The indigenous modern Eastern Aramaic-speaking Assyrian Christian ethnic minority in northern Iraq, north east Syria, southeast Turkey and northwest Iran
Iran
are the descendants of the ancient Assyrians (see Assyrian continuity).[11][12] Pre-history[edit]

Letter sent by the high-priest Lu'enna to the king of Lagash
Lagash
(maybe Urukagina), informing him of his son's death in combat, c. 2400 BC, found in Girsu.

In prehistoric times, the region that was to become known as Assyria (and Subartu) was home to a Neanderthal
Neanderthal
culture such as has been found at the Shanidar Cave. The earliest Neolithic
Neolithic
sites in Assyria
Assyria
were the Jarmo
Jarmo
culture c. 7100 BC and Tell Hassuna, the centre of the Hassuna culture, c. 6000 BC. The Akkadian-speaking people (the earliest historically-attested Semitic-speaking people[13]) who would eventually found Assyria
Assyria
appear to have entered Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia
at some point during the latter 4th millennium BC (c. 3500–3000 BC),[14] eventually intermingling with the earlier Sumerian-speaking population, with Akkadian
Akkadian
names appearing in written record from as early as the 29th century BC.[13][15] During the 3rd millennium BC, a very intimate cultural symbiosis developed between the Sumerians and the Akkadians throughout Mesopotamia, which included widespread bilingualism.[16] The influence of Sumerian (a language isolate) on Akkadian, and vice versa, is evident in all areas, from lexical borrowing on a massive scale, to syntactic, morphological, and phonological convergence.[16] This has prompted scholars to refer to Sumerian and Akkadian
Akkadian
in the third millennium BC as a sprachbund.[16] Akkadian
Akkadian
gradually replaced Sumerian as the spoken language of Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia
somewhere after the turn of the 3rd and the 2nd millennium BC (the exact dating being a matter of debate),[17] although Sumerian continued to be used as a sacred, ceremonial, literary and scientific language in Mesopotamia until the 1st century AD, as did use of the Akkadian
Akkadian
cuneiform. The cities of Assur, Nineveh, Gasur
Gasur
and Arbela together with a number of other towns and cities, existed since at least before the middle of the 3rd millennium BC (c. 2600 BC), although they appear to have been Sumerian-ruled administrative centres at this time, rather than independent states. Greco-Roman classical writers such as Julius Africanus, Marcus Velleius Paterculus and Diodorus Siculus
Diodorus Siculus
dated the founding of Assyria to various dates between 2284 BC and 2057 BC,[18][19][20] listing the earliest king as Belus or Ninus. According to the Biblical generations of Noah, which appears to have been largely compiled between the 7th and 5th centuries BC,[21] the city of Aššur
Aššur
was allegedly founded by a biblical Ashur the son of Shem, who was deified by later generations as the city's patron god. However, the much older attested Assyrian tradition itself lists the first king of Assyria
Assyria
as the 25th century BC Tudiya, and an early urbanised Assyrian king named Ushpia (c. 2050 BC) as having dedicated the first temple to the god Ashur in the city in the mid-21st century BC. It is highly likely that the city was named in honour of its patron Assyrian god with the same name. History[edit] Main article: Timeline of the Assyrian Empire Early period[edit] Main article: Early Period (Assyria)

Early Period

c. 2600 BC–c. 2025 BC

Capital Aššur

Languages Akkadian
Akkadian
language Sumerian language

Religion Ancient Mesopotamian
Mesopotamian
religion

Government Monarchy

King

 •  c. 2450 BC Tudiya (first)

 •  c. 2025 BC Ilu-shuma (last)

Historical era Bronze Age

 •  Established c. 2600 BC

 •  Disestablished c. 2025 BC

Preceded by Succeeded by

Early Dynastic Period (Mesopotamia)

Old Assyrian Empire

Today part of  Iraq

The city of Aššur, together with a number of other Assyrian cities, seem to have been established by 2600 BC. However it is likely that they were initially Sumerian-dominated administrative centres. In the late 26th century BC, Eannatum
Eannatum
of Lagash, then the dominant Sumerian ruler in Mesopotamia, mentions "smiting Subartu" ( Subartu
Subartu
being the Sumerian name for Assyria). Similarly, in c. the early 25th century BC, Lugal-Anne-Mundu the king of the Sumerian state of Adab lists Subartu
Subartu
as paying tribute to him. Of the early history of the kingdom of Assyria, little is known. In the Assyrian King List, the earliest king recorded was Tudiya. According to Georges Roux he would have lived in the mid 25th century BC, i.e. circa 2450 BC. In archaeological reports from Ebla, it appeared that Tudiya's activities were confirmed with the discovery of a tablet where he concluded a treaty for the operation of a karum (trading colony) in Eblaite territory, with "king" Ibrium of Ebla
Ebla
(who is now known to have been the vizier of Ebla
Ebla
for king Ishar-Damu). Tudiya was succeeded on the list by Adamu, the first known reference to the Semitic name Adam[22] and then a further thirteen rulers (Yangi, Suhlamu, Harharu, Mandaru, Imsu, Harsu, Didanu, Hanu, Zuabu, Nuabu, Abazu, Belus and Azarah). Nothing concrete is yet known about these names, although it has been noted that a much later Babylonian tablet listing the ancestral lineage of Hammurabi, the Amorite
Amorite
king of Babylon, seems to have copied the same names from Tudiya through Nuabu, though in a heavily corrupted form. The earliest kings, such as Tudiya, who are recorded as kings who lived in tents, were independent semi-nomadic pastoralist rulers. These kings at some point became fully urbanised and founded the city state of Ashur in the mid 21st century BC.[23] Akkadian
Akkadian
Empire
Empire
and Neo-Sumerian Empires[edit] Further information: Akkadian
Akkadian
Empire
Empire
and Neo-Sumerian Empire During the Akkadian
Akkadian
Empire
Empire
(2334–2154 BC), the Assyrians, like all the Akkadian
Akkadian
speaking Mesopotamians (and also the Sumerians), became subject to the dynasty of the city state of Akkad, centered in central Mesopotamia. The Akkadian
Akkadian
Empire
Empire
founded by Sargon the Great
Sargon the Great
claimed to encompass the surrounding "four quarters". The region of Assyria, north of the seat of the empire in central Mesopotamia, had also been known as Subartu
Subartu
by the Sumerians, and the name Azuhinum in Akkadian records also seems to refer to Assyria
Assyria
proper.[24] The Sumerians were eventually absorbed into the Akkadian
Akkadian
(Assyro-Babylonian) population.[16][17] Assyrian rulers were subject to Sargon and his successors, and the city of Ashur became a regional administrative center of the Empire, implicated by the Nuzi tablets.[25] During this period, the Akkadian-speaking Semites of Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia
came to rule an empire encompassing not only Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia
itself but large swathes of Asia Minor, ancient Iran, Elam, the Arabian Peninsula, Canaan
Canaan
and Syria. Assyria
Assyria
seems to have already been firmly involved in trade in Asia Minor by this time; the earliest known reference to Anatolian karums in Hatti was found on later cuneiform tablets describing the early period of the Akkadian
Akkadian
Empire
Empire
(c. 2350 BC). On those tablets, Assyrian traders in Burushanda implored the help of their ruler, Sargon the Great, and this appellation continued to exist throughout the Assyrian Empire
Empire
for about 1,700 years. The name "Hatti" itself even appears in later accounts of his grandson, Naram-Sin, campaigning in Anatolia. Assyrian and Akkadian
Akkadian
traders spread the use of writing in the form of the Mesopotamian
Mesopotamian
cuneiform script to Asia Minor
Asia Minor
and The Levant
Levant
(modern Syria
Syria
and Lebanon). However, towards the end of the reign of Sargon the Great, the Assyrian faction rebelled against him; "the tribes of Assyria
Assyria
of the upper country—in their turn attacked, but they submitted to his arms, and Sargon settled their habitations, and he smote them grievously".[26] The Akkadian
Akkadian
Empire
Empire
was destroyed by economic decline and internal civil war, followed by attacks from barbarian Gutian people
Gutian people
in 2154 BC. The rulers of Assyria
Assyria
during the period between c. 2154 BC and 2112 BC once again became fully independent, as the Gutians
Gutians
are only known to have administered southern Mesopotamia. However, the king list is the only information from Assyria
Assyria
for this period. Most of Assyria
Assyria
briefly became part of the Neo-Sumerian Empire
Empire
(or 3rd dynasty of Ur) founded in c. 2112 BC. Sumerian domination extended as far as the city of Ashur, but appears not to have reached Nineveh
Nineveh
and the far north of Assyria. One local ruler (shakkanakku) named Zāriqum (who does not appear on any Assyrian king list) is listed as paying tribute to Amar-Sin
Amar-Sin
of Ur. Ashur's rulers appear to have remained largely under Sumerian domination until the mid-21st century BC (c. 2050 BC); the king list names Assyrian rulers for this period and several are known from other references to have also borne the title of shakkanakka or vassal governors for the neo-Sumerians.[27][28] Old Assyrian Empire[edit] Main article: Old Assyrian Empire

Old Assyrian Empire

circa 2025 BC–circa 1750 BC

Capital Aššur

Languages Akkadian
Akkadian
language Sumerian

Religion Ancient Mesopotamian
Mesopotamian
religion

Government Monarchy

King

 •  circa 2025 BC Erishum I (first)

 •  circa 1393 BC Ashur-nadin-ahhe II (last)

Historical era Bronze Age

 •  Established circa 2025 BC

 •  Disestablished circa 1750 BC

Preceded by Succeeded by

Early Assyrian kingdom

Kingdom of Mitanni

Middle Assyrian Empire

Today part of  Iraq  Syria  Turkey

The Old Assyrian Empire
Empire
is one of four periods into which the history of Assyria
Assyria
is divided, the other three being: the Early Assyrian Period, the Middle Assyrian Period and the New Assyrian Period. Assyria
Assyria
was a major Mesopotamian
Mesopotamian
Afro-Asiatic-speaking kingdom and empire of the ancient Near East. Centered on the Tigris-Euphrates River System in Upper Mesopotamia, the Assyrian people
Assyrian people
came to rule powerful empires at several times. Making up a substantial part of the "Cradle of Civilization", which included Sumer, the Akkadian
Akkadian
Empire, and Babylonia, Assyria
Assyria
was at the height of technological, scientific and cultural achievements at its peak. At its peak, the Assyrian empire ruled over the what the ancient Mesopotamian
Mesopotamian
religion referred to as the "Four Corners of the World": as far north as the Caucasus
Caucasus
Mountains within the lands of what is today called the Republic of Armenia
Armenia
and the Republic of Azerbaijan, as far east as the Zagros Mountains
Zagros Mountains
within the territory of present-day Islamic Republic of Iran, as far south as the Arabian Desert of today's Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, as far west as the island of Cyprus
Cyprus
in the Mediterranean
Mediterranean
Sea, and even further to the west in Egypt
Egypt
and eastern Libya.[6] Assyria
Assyria
is named for its original capital, the ancient city of Aššur, which dates to c. 2600 BC, originally one of a number of Akkadian
Akkadian
city states in Mesopotamia. Assyria
Assyria
was also sometimes known as Subartu
Subartu
and Azuhinum prior to the rise of the city-state of Aššūr, after which it was Aššūrāyu, and after its fall. Ushpia (2050–2030 BC) appears to have been the first fully urbanised independent king of Assyria, and is traditionally held to have dedicated temples to the god Ashur in the city of the same name.[29] He was followed by Sulili, Kikkiya and Akiya, of whom little is known aside from Kikkiya conducting various building works in Assur. Assyria
Assyria
remained strong and secure; when Babylon
Babylon
was sacked and its Amorite
Amorite
rulers deposed by the Hittite Empire, and subsequently fell to the Kassites
Kassites
in 1595 BC, both powers were unable to make any inroads into Assyria, and there seems to have been no trouble between the first Kassite ruler of Babylon, Agum II, and Erishum III
Erishum III
(1598–1586 BC) of Assyria, and a mutually beneficial treaty was signed between the two rulers. Shamshi-Adad II (1585–1580 BC), Ishme-Dagan II (1579–1562 BC) and Shamshi-Adad III (1562–1548 BC) seem also to have had peaceful tenures, although few records have thus far been discovered about their reigns. Similarly, Ashur-nirari I (1547–1522 BC) seems not to have been troubled by the newly founded Mitanni Empire
Empire
in Asia Minor, the Hittite empire, or Babylon
Babylon
during his 25-year reign. He is known to have been an active king, improving the infrastructure, dedicating temples and conducting various building projects throughout the kingdom. Decline, 1450–1393 BC[edit] The emergence of the Mitanni
Mitanni
Empire
Empire
in the 16th century BC did eventually lead to a short period of sporadic Mitannian-Hurrian domination in the latter half of the 15th century. The Indo-European-speaking Mitannians are thought to have conquered and formed the ruling class over the indigenous Hurrians
Hurrians
of eastern Anatolia. The Hurrians
Hurrians
spoke a language isolate, i.e. neither Semitic nor Indo-European. Ashur-nadin-ahhe I (1450–1431 BC) was courted by the Egyptians, who were rivals of Mitanni, and attempting to gain a foothold in the Near East. Amenhotep II
Amenhotep II
sent the Assyrian king a tribute of gold to seal an alliance against the Hurri-Mitannian empire. It is likely that this alliance prompted Saushtatar, the emperor of Mitanni, to invade Assyria, and sack the city of Ashur, after which Assyria
Assyria
became a sometime vassal state, with Ashur-nadin-ahhe I being deposed by Shaustatar and replaced by his own brother Enlil-nasir II (1430–1425 BC) in 1430 BC, who was then made to pay tribute to the Mitanni. Ashur-nirari II (1424–1418 BC) had an uneventful reign, and appears to have also paid tribute to the Mitanni Empire. The Assyrian monarchy survived, and the Mitannian
Mitannian
influence appears to have been short lived. They appear not to have been always willing or indeed able to interfere in Assyrian internal and international affairs. Ashur-bel-nisheshu
Ashur-bel-nisheshu
(1417–1409 BC) seems to have been independent of Mitannian
Mitannian
influence, as evidenced by his signing a mutually beneficial treaty with Karaindash, the Kassite king of Babylonia
Babylonia
in the late 15th century. He also undertook extensive rebuilding work in Ashur itself, and Assyria
Assyria
appears to have redeveloped its former highly sophisticated financial and economic systems during his reign. Ashur-rim-nisheshu
Ashur-rim-nisheshu
(1408–1401 BC) also undertook building work, strengthening the city walls of the capital. Ashur-nadin-ahhe II (1400–1393 BC) also received a tribute of gold and diplomatic overtures from Egypt, probably in an attempt to gain Assyrian military support against Egypt's Mitannian
Mitannian
and Hittite rivals in the region. However, the Assyrian king appears not to have been in a strong enough position to challenge Mitanni
Mitanni
or the Hittites. Eriba-Adad I (1392–1366 BC), a son of Ashur-bel-nisheshu, ascended the throne in 1392 BC and finally broke the ties to the Mitanni Empire, and instead began to exert Assyrian influence on the Mitanni. Middle Assyrian Empire
Empire
1392–1056 BC[edit] Main article: Middle Assyrian Empire

Middle Assyrian Empire

Middle Assyrian Empire

1392 BC–934 BC

Map of the Ancient Near East
Ancient Near East
during the Amarna Period
Amarna Period
(14th century BC), showing the great powers of the day: Egypt
Egypt
(orange), Hatti (blue), the Kassite kingdom of Babylon
Babylon
(black), Assyria
Assyria
(yellow), and Mitanni
Mitanni
(brown). The extent of the Achaean/Mycenaean civilization is shown in purple.

Capital Aššur

Languages Akkadian

Religion Ancient Mesopotamian
Mesopotamian
religion

Government Monarchy

King

 •  1365–1330 BC Ashur-uballit I (first)

 •  967–934 BC Tiglath-Pileser II (last)

Historical era Mesopotamia

 •  Independence from Mitanni 1392 BC

 •  Reign of Ashur-dan II 934 BC

Preceded by Succeeded by

Old Assyrian Empire

Neo-Assyrian
Neo-Assyrian
Empire

The Middle period (1365 BC–1056 BC) saw reigns of great kings, such as Ashur-uballit I, Arik-den-ili, Tukulti-Ninurta I
Tukulti-Ninurta I
and Tiglath-Pileser I. During this period, Assyria
Assyria
overthrew the empire of the Hurri- Mitanni
Mitanni
and eclipsed the Hittite Empire, Egyptian Empire, Babylonia, Elam, Canaan
Canaan
and Phrygia
Phrygia
in the Near East.[30]

Assyrian troops return after victory.

By the reign of Eriba-Adad I (1392–1366 BC) Mitanni
Mitanni
influence over Assyria
Assyria
was on the wane. Eriba-Adad I became involved in a dynastic battle between Tushratta and his brother Artatama II and after this his son Shuttarna III, who called himself king of the Hurri
Hurri
while seeking support from the Assyrians. The Hittites, having failed to save Mitanni, allied with Babylon
Babylon
in an unsuccessful economic war against Assyria
Assyria
for many years. Assyria
Assyria
was now a large and powerful empire, and a major threat to Egyptian and Hittite interests in the region, and was perhaps the reason that these two powers, fearful of Assyrian might, made peace with one another.[31] Shalmaneser's son and successor, Tukulti-Ninurta I
Tukulti-Ninurta I
(1244–1207 BC), won a major victory against the Hittites
Hittites
and their king Tudhaliya IV at the Battle of Nihriya and took thousands of prisoners. He then conquered Babylonia, taking Kashtiliash IV
Kashtiliash IV
as a captive and ruled there himself as king for seven years, taking on the old title "King of Sumer
Sumer
and Akkad" first used by Sargon of Akkad. Tukulti- Ninurta
Ninurta
I thus became the first Akkadian
Akkadian
speaking native Mesopotamian
Mesopotamian
to rule the state of Babylonia, its founders having been foreign Amorites, succeeded by equally foreign Kassites. Tukulti- Ninurta
Ninurta
petitioned the god Shamash
Shamash
before beginning his counter offensive.[32] Kashtiliash IV was captured, single-handed by Tukulti- Ninurta
Ninurta
according to his account, who "trod with my feet upon his lordly neck as though it were a footstool"[6] and deported him ignominiously in chains to Assyria. The victorious Assyrians demolished the walls of Babylon, massacred many of the inhabitants, pillaged and plundered his way across the city to the Esagila
Esagila
temple, where he made off with the statue of Marduk.[33] Middle Assyrian texts recovered at ancient Dūr-Katlimmu, include a letter from Tukulti- Ninurta
Ninurta
to his sukkal rabi'u, or grand vizier, Ashur-iddin advising him of the approach of his general Shulman-mushabshu escorting the captive Kashtiliash, his wife, and his retinue which incorporated a large number of women,[34] on his way to exile after his defeat. In the process he defeated the Elamites, who had themselves coveted Babylon. He also wrote an epic poem documenting his wars against Babylon
Babylon
and Elam. He progressed further south into what is today Arabia, conquering the pre- Arab
Arab
South Semitic kingdoms of Dilmun
Dilmun
and Meluhha. After a Babylonian revolt, he raided and plundered the temples in Babylon, regarded as an act of sacrilege. As relations with the priesthood in Ashur began deteriorating, Tukulti- Ninurta
Ninurta
built a new capital city; Kar-Tukulti-Ninurta.[35] The Aramaeans of northern and central Syria
Syria
were the next targets of the Assyrian king, who made his way as far as the sources of the Tigris.[36] The control of the high road to the Mediterranean
Mediterranean
was secured by the possession of the Hittite town of Pitru[37] at the junction between the Euphrates
Euphrates
and Sajur; thence he proceeded to conquer the Canaanite/Phoenician city-states of Byblos, Tyre, Sidon, Simyra, Berytus
Berytus
(Beirut), Aradus
Aradus
and finally Arvad
Arvad
where he embarked onto a ship to sail the Mediterranean, on which he killed a nahiru or "sea-horse" (which A. Leo Oppenheim translates as a narwhal) in the sea.[36] He was passionately fond of hunting and was also a great builder. The general view is that the restoration of the temple of the gods Ashur and Hadad
Hadad
at the Assyrian capital of Assur
Assur
(Ashur) was one of his initiatives.[36] Ashur-bel-kala
Ashur-bel-kala
(1073–1056 BC) kept the vast empire together, campaigning successfully against Urartu
Urartu
and Phrygia
Phrygia
to the north and the Arameans
Arameans
to the west. He maintained friendly relations with Marduk-shapik-zeri
Marduk-shapik-zeri
of Babylon, however upon the death of that king, he invaded Babylonia
Babylonia
and deposed the new ruler Kadašman-Buriaš, appointing Adad-apla-iddina as his vassal in Babylon. He built some of the earliest examples of both Zoological Gardens
Zoological Gardens
and Botanical Gardens in Ashur, collecting all manner of animals and plants from his empire, and receiving a collection of exotic animals as tributes from Egypt. Late in his reign, the Middle Assyrian Empire
Empire
erupted into civil war, when a rebellion was orchestrated by Tukulti-Mer, a pretender to the throne of Assyria. Ashur-bel-kala
Ashur-bel-kala
eventually crushed Tukulti-Mer and his allies, however the civil war in Assyria
Assyria
had allowed hordes of Arameans
Arameans
to take advantage of the situation, and press in on Assyrian controlled territory from the west. Ashur-bel-kala
Ashur-bel-kala
counterattacked them, and conquered as far as Carchemish
Carchemish
and the source of the Khabur river, but by the end of his reign many of the areas of Syria
Syria
and Phoenicia- Canaan
Canaan
to the west of these regions as far as the Mediterranean, previously under firm Assyrian control, were eventually lost to the Assyrian Empire. Society and law in the Middle Assyrian Period[edit] The Middle Assyrian kingdom was well organized, and in the firm control of the king, who also functioned as the High Priest of Ashur, the state god. He had certain obligations to fulfill in the cult, and had to provide resources for the temples. The priesthood became a major power in Assyrian society. Conflicts with the priesthood are thought to have been behind the murder of king Tukulti- Ninurta
Ninurta
I. The Middle Assyrian Period was marked by the long wars fought that helped build Assyria
Assyria
into a warrior society. The king depended on both the citizen class and priests in his capital, and the landed nobility who supplied the horses needed by Assyria's military. Documents and letters illustrate the importance of the latter to Assyrian society. Assyria
Assyria
needed less artificial irrigation than Babylonia, and horse-breeding was extensive. Portions of elaborate texts about the care and training of them have been found. Trade was carried out in all directions. The mountain country to the north and west of Assyria was a major source of metal ore, as well as lumber. Economic factors were a common casus belli. All free male citizens were obliged to serve in the army for a time, a system which was called the ilku-service. A legal code was produced during the 14th and 13th centuries which, among other things, clearly shows that the social position of women in Assyria
Assyria
was lower than that of neighbouring societies. Men were permitted to divorce their wives with no compensation paid to the latter. If a woman committed adultery, she could be beaten or put to death. It's not certain if these laws were seriously enforced, but they appear to be a backlash against some older documents that granted things like equal compensation to both partners in divorce. The women of the king's harem and their servants were also subject to harsh punishments, such as beatings, mutilation, and death. Assyria, in general, had much harsher laws than most of the region. Executions were not uncommon, nor were whippings followed by forced labour. Some offenses allowed the accused a trial under torture or duress. One tablet that covers property rights has brutal penalties for violators. A creditor could force debtors to work for him, but not sell them. In the Middle Assyrian Laws, sex crimes were punished identically whether they were homosexual or heterosexual.[38] An individual faced no punishment for penetrating a cult prostitute, someone of an equal social class, or someone whose gender roles were not considered solidly masculine. Such sexual relations were even seen as good fortune.[39] However, homosexual relationships with royal attendants, between soldiers, or with those where a social better was submissive or penetrated were either treated as rape or seen as bad omens, and punishments applied.[38] One historian notes that the laws would not be so detailed "if homosexual behavior were not a familiar aspect of daily life of early Mesopotamia."[40] Assyria
Assyria
during the Bronze Age
Bronze Age
Collapse, 1055–936 BC[edit] The Bronze Age
Bronze Age
Collapse from 1200 BC to 900 BC was a dark age for the entire Near East, North Africa, Asia Minor, Caucasus, Mediterranean and Balkan
Balkan
regions, with great upheavals and mass movements of people. Assyria
Assyria
and its empire were not unduly affected by these tumultuous events for some 150 years, perhaps the only ancient power that was not. However, upon the death of Ashur-bel-kala
Ashur-bel-kala
in 1056 BC, Assyria went into a comparative decline for the next 100 or so years. The empire shrank significantly, and by 1020 BC Assyria
Assyria
appears to have controlled only areas close to Assyria
Assyria
itself, essential to keeping trade routes open in eastern Aramea, south eastern Asia Minor, central Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia
and north western Iran. New West Semitic-speaking peoples such as the Arameans, Chaldeans
Chaldeans
and Suteans moved into areas to the west and south of Assyria, including overrunning much of Babylonia
Babylonia
to the south, Indo-European speaking Iranic
Iranic
peoples such as the Medes, Persians, Sarmatians
Sarmatians
and Parthians moved into the lands to the east of Assyria, displacing the native Kassites
Kassites
and Gutians
Gutians
and pressuring Elam
Elam
and Mannea
Mannea
(all of which ancient non Indo-European civilisations of Ancient Iran), and to the north in Asia Minor
Asia Minor
the Phrygians
Phrygians
overran that part of the Hittites not already destroyed by Assyria, and Lydia
Lydia
emerged, a new Hurrian state named Urartu
Urartu
arose in the Caucasus, and Cimmerians, Colchians (Georgians) and Scythians
Scythians
around the Black Sea
Black Sea
and Caucasus. Egypt
Egypt
was divided and in disarray, and Israelites
Israelites
were battling with other West Asian peoples such as the Amalekites, Moabites, Edomites
Edomites
and Ammonites and the non-Semitic-speaking Peleset/ Philistines
Philistines
(who have been conjectured to be one of the so-called Sea Peoples)[41][42] for the control of southern Canaan. Dorian Greeks
Dorian Greeks
usurped the earlier Mycenaean Greeks
Mycenaean Greeks
in western Asia Minor, and the Sea Peoples
Sea Peoples
ravaged the Eastern Mediterranean. Other new peoples, such as the Sarmatians, Arabs, Nubians
Nubians
and Kushites were to emerge later, during the Neo-Assyrian
Neo-Assyrian
Empire.

Assyrian horsemen pursue defeated Arabs.

Despite the apparent weakness of Assyria
Assyria
in comparison to its former might, at heart it in fact remained a solid, well defended nation whose warriors were the best in the world[citation needed]. Assyria, with its stable monarchy, powerful army and secure borders was in a stronger position during this time than potential rivals such as Egypt, Babylonia, Elam, Phrygia, Urartu, Persia, Lydia
Lydia
and Media. Kings such as Ashur-bel-kala, Eriba- Adad
Adad
II, Ashur-rabi II, Ashurnasirpal I, Tiglath-Pileser II and Ashur-Dan II
Ashur-Dan II
successfully defended Assyria's borders and upheld stability during this tumultuous time. Assyrian kings during this period appear to have adopted a policy of maintaining and defending a compact, secure nation and satellite colonies immediately surrounding it, and interspersed this with sporadic punitive raids and invasions of neighbouring territories when the need arose. Neo-Assyrian
Neo-Assyrian
Empire[edit] Main articles: Neo-Assyrian Empire
Neo-Assyrian Empire
and Military history of the Neo-Assyrian
Neo-Assyrian
Empire

Neo-Assyrian
Neo-Assyrian
Empire

Neo-Assyrian
Neo-Assyrian
Empire

911 BC–605 BC

Map of the Neo-Assyrian Empire
Neo-Assyrian Empire
and its expansions.

Capital Aššur
Aššur
911 BC Kalhu
Kalhu
879 BC Dur-Sharrukin
Dur-Sharrukin
706 BC Nineveh
Nineveh
705 BC Harran
Harran
612 BC

Languages Akkadian Aramaic Sumerian(declining)

Religion Ancient Mesopotamian
Mesopotamian
religion

Government Monarchy

King

 •  911–891 BC Adad-nirari II
Adad-nirari II
(first)

 •  612–608 BC Ashur-uballit II (last)

Historical era Iron Age

 •  Reign of Adad-nirari II 911 BC

 •  Battle of Nineveh 612 BC

 •  Fall of Harran 605 BC

Preceded by Succeeded by

Middle Assyrian Empire

Twenty-fifth Dynasty of Egypt

Kingdom of Israel
Israel
(Samaria)

Elam

Median Empire

Neo-Babylonian_Empire

Twenty-sixth Dynasty of Egypt

Today part of  Iraq  Syria  Turkey  Egypt  Saudi Arabia  Jordan  Iran  Kuwait  Lebanon  Palestine  Cyprus  Armenia  Israel

The Neo-Assyrian Empire
Neo-Assyrian Empire
is usually considered to have begun with the accession of Adad-nirari II, in 911 BC, lasting until the fall of Nineveh
Nineveh
at the hands of the Babylonians, Chaldeans, Medes/Persians, Scythians
Scythians
and Cimmerians
Cimmerians
in 612 BC.[43] Assyria
Assyria
maintained a large and thriving rural population, combined with a number of well fortified cities, Major Assyrian cities during this period included; Nineveh, Assur, Kalhu
Kalhu
(Calah, Nimrud), Arbela (Erbil), Arrapha
Arrapha
(Karka, Kirkuk), Dur-Sharrukin, Imgur-Enlil, Carchemish, Harran, Tushhan, Til-Barsip, Ekallatum, Kanesh, Kar-Tukulti-Ninurta, Urhai
Urhai
(Edessa), Guzana, Kahat, Amid
Amid
(Diyarbakir), Mérida (Mardin, Tabitu, Nuhadra
Nuhadra
(Dohuk), Ivah, Sepharvaim, Rachae, Purushanda, Sabata, Birtha (Tikrit), Tell Shemshara, Dur-Katlimmu
Dur-Katlimmu
and Shekhna. Expansion, 911–627 BC[edit] Assyria
Assyria
once more began to expand with the rise of Adad-nirari II
Adad-nirari II
in 911 BC. He cleared Aramean and other tribal peoples from Assyria's borders and began to expand in all directions into Anatolia, Ancient Iran, Levant
Levant
and Babylonia. Ashurnasirpal II
Ashurnasirpal II
(883–859 BC) continued this expansion apace, subjugating much of the Levant
Levant
to the west, the newly arrived Persians and Medes
Medes
to the east, annexed central Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia
from Babylon
Babylon
to the south, and expanded deep into Asia Minor
Asia Minor
to the north. He moved the capital from Ashur to Kalhu
Kalhu
(Calah/Nimrud) and undertook impressive building works throughout Assyria. Shalmaneser III (859–824 BC) projected Assyrian power even further, conquering to the foothills of the Caucasus, Israel
Israel
and Aram-Damascus, and subjugating Persia
Persia
and the Arabs
Arabs
who dwelt to the south of Mesopotamia, as well as driving the Egyptians
Egyptians
from Canaan. It was during the reign of Shalmaneser III that the Arabs
Arabs
and Chaldeans
Chaldeans
first enter the pages of recorded history. Little further expansion took place under Shamshi-Adad V
Shamshi-Adad V
and his successor, the regent queen Semiramis, however when Adad-nirari III (811-783 BC) came of age, he took the reins of power from mother and set about a relentless campaign of conquest; subjugated the Arameans, Phoenicians, Philistines, Israelites, Neo-Hittites
Neo-Hittites
and Edomites, Persians, Medes
Medes
and Manneans, penetrating as far as the Caspian Sea. He invaded and subjugated Babylonia, and then the migrant Chaldean and Sutean tribes settled in south eastern Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia
whom he conquered and reduced to vassalage. After the reign of Adad-nirari III, Assyria
Assyria
entered a period of instability and decline, losing its hold over most of its vassal and tributary territories by the middle of the 8th century BC, until the reign of Tiglath-Pileser III
Tiglath-Pileser III
(745-727 BC). He created the world's first professional army, introduced Imperial Aramaic
Aramaic
as the lingua franca of Assyria
Assyria
and its vast empire, and reorganised the empire drastically. Tiglath-Pileser III
Tiglath-Pileser III
conquered as far as the East Mediterranean, bringing the Greeks
Greeks
of Cyprus, Phoenicia, Judah, Philistia, Samarra
Samarra
and the whole of Aramea
Aramea
under Assyrian control. Not satisfied with merely holding Babylonia
Babylonia
in vassalage, Tiglath-Pileser deposed its king and had himself crowned king of Babylon. The imperial, economic, political, military and administrative reforms of Tiglath-Pileser III
Tiglath-Pileser III
were to prove a blueprint for future empires, such as those of the Persians, Greeks, Romans, Carthaginians, Byzantines, Arabs
Arabs
and Turks. Shalmaneser V
Shalmaneser V
reigned only briefly, but once more drove the Egyptians from southern Canaan, where they were fomenting revolt against Assyria. Sargon II
Sargon II
quickly took Samaria, effectively ending the northern Kingdom of Israel
Israel
and carrying 27,000 people away into captivity into the Israelite diaspora. He was forced to fight a war to drive out the Scythians
Scythians
and Cimmerians
Cimmerians
who had attempted to invade Assyria's vassal states of Persia
Persia
and Media. The Neo-Hittite
Neo-Hittite
states of northern Syria
Syria
were conquered, as well as Cilicia. Lydia
Lydia
and Commagene. King Midas
Midas
of Phrygia, fearful of Assyrian power, offered his hand in friendship. Elam
Elam
was defeated and Babylonia
Babylonia
and Chaldea reconquered. He made a new capital city named Dur Sharrukin. He was succeeded by his son Sennacherib
Sennacherib
who moved the capital to Nineveh
Nineveh
and made the deported peoples work on improving Nineveh's system of irrigation canals. Nineveh
Nineveh
was transformed into the largest city in the world at the time. Esarhaddon
Esarhaddon
had Babylon
Babylon
rebuilt, he imposed a vassal treaty upon his Persian, Median and Parthian subjects, and he once more defeated the Scythes and Cimmerians. Tiring of Egyptian interference in the Assyrian Empire, Esarhaddon
Esarhaddon
decided to conquer Egypt. In 671 BC he crossed the Sinai Desert, invaded and took Egypt
Egypt
with surprising ease and speed. He drove its foreign Nubian/ Kushite
Kushite
and Ethiopian rulers out, destroying the Kushite
Kushite
Empire
Empire
in the process. Esarhaddon
Esarhaddon
declared himself "king of Egypt, Libya, and Kush". Esarhaddon
Esarhaddon
stationed a small army in northern Egypt
Egypt
and describes how; "All Ethiopians (read Nubians/Kushites) I deported from Egypt, leaving not one left to do homage to me". He installed native Egyptian princes throughout the land to rule on his behalf.

Assyrian Empire
Empire
to the death of Ashurbanipal,in dark green the pahitu/pahutu (provinces),in yellow the matu (subjects kingdoms), in cream color the Babylon
Babylon
kingdom, the yellow points show other subjects kingdoms, the black points show the pahitu/pahutu (provinces) of Babylon
Babylon
kingdom, and the brown letters provinces that existed previously

Under Ashurbanipal
Ashurbanipal
(669–627 BC), an unusually well educated king for his time who could speak, read and write in Sumerian, Akkadian
Akkadian
and Aramaic, Assyrian domination spanned from the Caucasus
Caucasus
Mountains (modern Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan) in the north to Nubia, Egypt, Libya
Libya
and Arabia
Arabia
in the south, and from the East Mediterranean, Cyprus and Antioch
Antioch
in the west to Persia, Cissia and the Caspian Sea
Caspian Sea
in the east.

Ashurbanipal's brutal campaign against Elam
Elam
in 647 BC is recorded in this relief.

Ultimately, Assyria
Assyria
conquered Babylonia, Chaldea, Elam, Media, Persia, Urartu
Urartu
(Armenia), Phoenicia, Aramea/Syria, Phrygia, the Neo-Hittite States, the Hurrian
Hurrian
lands, Arabia, Gutium, Israel, Judah, Samarra, Moab, Edom, Corduene, Cilicia, Mannea, and Cyprus, and defeated and/or exacted tribute from Scythia, Cimmeria, Lydia, Nubia, Ethiopia
Ethiopia
and others. At its height, the Empire
Empire
encompassed the whole of the modern nations of Iraq, Syria, Egypt, Lebanon, Israel, Palestine, Jordan, Kuwait, Bahrain, Palestine and Cyprus, together with large swathes of Iran, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Sudan, Libya, Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan. Downfall, 626–609 BC[edit] The Assyrian Empire
Empire
was severely crippled following the death of Ashurbanipal
Ashurbanipal
in 627 BC—the nation and its empire descending into a prolonged and brutal series of civil wars involving three rival kings, Ashur-etil-ilani, Sin-shumu-lishir and Sin-shar-ishkun. Egypt's 26th Dynasty, which had been installed by the Assyrians as vassals, quietly detached itself from Assyria, although it was careful to retain friendly relations. The Scythians
Scythians
and Cimmerians
Cimmerians
took advantage of the bitter fighting among the Assyrians to raid Assyrian colonies, with hordes of horse-borne marauders ravaging parts of Asia Minor
Asia Minor
and the Caucasus, where the vassal kings of Urartu
Urartu
and Lydia
Lydia
begged their Assyrian overlord for help in vain. They also raided the Levant, Israel
Israel
and Judah (where Ashkelon
Ashkelon
was sacked by the Scythians) and all the way into Egypt
Egypt
whose coasts were ravaged and looted with impunity. The Iranic
Iranic
peoples (the Medes, Persians
Persians
and Parthians), aided by the previous Assyrian destruction of the hitherto dominant Elamites
Elamites
of Ancient Iran, also took advantage of the upheavals in Assyria
Assyria
to coalesce into a powerful Median-dominated force which destroyed the pre- Iranic
Iranic
Assyrian vassal kingdom of Mannea
Mannea
and absorbed the remnants of the pre- Iranic
Iranic
Elamites
Elamites
of southern Iran, and the equally pre- Iranic
Iranic
Gutians, Manneans
Manneans
and Kassites
Kassites
of the Zagros Mountains
Zagros Mountains
and the Caspian Sea. Cyaxares
Cyaxares
(technically a vassal of Assyria), in an alliance with the Scythians
Scythians
and Cimmerians, launched a surprise attack on a civil war beleaguered Assyria
Assyria
in 615 BC, sacking Kalhu
Kalhu
(the Biblical Calah/Nimrud) and taking Arrapkha
Arrapkha
(modern Kirkuk) and Gasur. Nabopolassar, still pinned down in southern Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia
by Assyrian forces, was completely uninvolved in this major breakthrough against Assyria. Despite the sorely depleted state of Assyria, bitter fighting ensued; throughout 614 BC the alliance of powers continued to gradually make hard fought inroads into Assyria
Assyria
itself, however in 613 BC the Assyrians somehow rallied against the odds and scored a number of counterattacking victories over the Medes-Persians, Babylonians- Chaldeans
Chaldeans
and Scythians-Cimmerians. This led to the coalition of forces ranged against it to unite and launch a massive combined attack in 612 BC, finally besieging and entering Nineveh
Nineveh
in late 612 BC, with Sin-shar-ishkun being slain in the bitter street by street fighting. Despite the loss of almost all of its major cities, and in the face of overwhelming odds, Assyrian resistance continued under Ashur-uballit II (612–609 BC), who fought his way out of Nineveh
Nineveh
and coalesced Assyrian forces around Harran
Harran
which finally fell in 609 BC, ending the Assyrian Empire.[44] During the aftermath, Egypt, along with remnants of the Assyrian army, suffered a defeat at the battle of Carchemish. Certainly by 609 BC at the very latest,[45][46] Assyria
Assyria
had been destroyed as an independent political entity, although it was to launch major rebellions against the Achaemenid Empire
Achaemenid Empire
in 546 BC and 520 BC, and remained a geo-political region, ethnic entity and colonised province until the late 7th century AD, with small Assyrian states emerging in the region between the 2nd century BC and 4th century AD. Assyria
Assyria
after the empire[edit] Achaemenid Assyria, Osroene, Asōristān, Athura
Athura
and Hatra[edit] Main articles: Osroene, Asōristān, Athura, and Hatra Assyria
Assyria
was initially ruled by the short lived Median Empire (609–549 BC) after its fall. In a twist of fate, Nabonidus
Nabonidus
the last king of Babylon
Babylon
(together with his son and co-regent Belshazzar) was himself an Assyrian from Harran. He had overthrown the short lived Chaldean dynasty in Babylonia, after which the Chaldeans
Chaldeans
disappeared from history, being fully absorbed into the native population of Babylonia. However, apart from plans to dedicate religious temples in the city of Harran, Nabonidus
Nabonidus
showed little interest in rebuilding Assyria. Nineveh
Nineveh
and Kalhu
Kalhu
remained in ruins with only small numbers of Assyrians living within them, conversely a number of towns and cities such as Arrapkha, Guzana, Nohadra
Nohadra
and Harran
Harran
remained intact, and Assur
Assur
and Arbela (Irbil) were not completely destroyed, as is attested by their later revival. However, Assyria
Assyria
spent much of this short period in a degree of devastation following its fall. Achaemenid Assyria
Achaemenid Assyria
(549–330 BC)[edit] Main article: Achaemenid Assyria After the Medes
Medes
were overthrown by the Persians
Persians
as the dominant force in Ancient Iran, Assyria
Assyria
was ruled by the Persian Achaemenid Empire (as Athura) from 549 BC to 330 BC (see Achaemenid Assyria). Between 546 and 545 BC, Assyria
Assyria
rebelled against the new Persian Dynasty, which had usurped the previous Median dynasty. The rebellion centered around Tyareh
Tyareh
was eventually quashed by Cyrus the Great. Assyria
Assyria
seems to have recovered dramatically, and flourished during this period. It became a major agricultural and administrative centre of the Achaemenid Empire, and its soldiers were a mainstay of the Persian Army.[47] In fact, Assyria
Assyria
even became powerful enough to raise another full-scale revolt against the Persian empire in 520–519 BC. The Persians
Persians
had spent centuries under Assyrian domination (their first ruler Achaemenes and his successors, having been vassals of Assyria), and Assyrian influence can be seen in Achaemenid art, infrastructure and administration. Early Persian rulers saw themselves as successors to Ashurbanipal, and Mesopotamian
Mesopotamian
Aramaic
Aramaic
was retained as the lingua franca of the empire for over two hundred years, and Greek writers such as Thucydides
Thucydides
still referred to it as the Assyrian language.[48] Nineveh
Nineveh
was never rebuilt however, and 200 years after it was sacked Xenophon
Xenophon
reported only small numbers of Assyrians living amongst its ruins. Conversely the ancient city of Assur
Assur
once more became a rich and prosperous entity.[49] It was in 5th century BC Assyria
Assyria
that the Syriac language
Syriac language
and Syriac script evolved. Five centuries later these were later to have a global influence as the liturgical language and written script for Syriac Christianity
Christianity
and its accompanying Syriac literature
Syriac literature
which also emerged in Assyria
Assyria
before spreading throughout the Near East, Asia Minor, The Caucasus, Central Asia, the Indian Subcontinent and China. Macedonian and Seleucid Assyria[edit] In 332 BC, Assyria
Assyria
fell to Alexander the Great, the Macedonian Emperor, who called the inhabitants Assyrioi. The Macedonian Empire (332–312) was partitioned in 312 BC. It thereafter became part of the Seleucid Empire
Empire
(312 BC). It is from this period that the later Syria
Syria
vs Assyria
Assyria
naming controversy arises, the Seleucids applied the name 'Syria' which is a 9th-century BC Indo-Anatolian derivation of 'Assyria' (see Etymology of Syria) not only to Assyria
Assyria
itself, but also to the Levantine lands to the west (historically known as Aram and Eber Nari), which had been part of the Assyrian empire but, the north east corner aside, never a part of Assyria
Assyria
proper. When the Seleucids lost control of Assyria
Assyria
proper, the name Syria survived but was erroneously applied not only to the land of Assyria itself, but also now to Aramea
Aramea
(also known as Eber Nari) to the west that had once been part of the Assyrian empire, but apart from the north eastern corner, had never been a part of Assyria
Assyria
itself, nor inhabited by Assyrians. This was to lead to both the Assyrians from Northern Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia
and the Arameans
Arameans
and Phoenicians from the Levant being collectively dubbed Syrians (and later also Syriacs) in Greco-Roman and later European culture, regardless of ethnicity, history or geography. During Seleucid rule, Assyrians ceased to hold the senior military, economic and civil positions they had enjoyed under the Achaemenids, being largely replaced by Greeks. The Greek language
Greek language
also replaced Mesopotamian
Mesopotamian
East Aramaic
Aramaic
as the lingua franca of the empire, although this did not affect the Assyrian population themselves, who were not Hellenised during the Seleucid era. During the Seleucid period in southern Mesopotamia, Babylon
Babylon
was gradually abandoned in favour of a new city named Seleucia on the Tigris, effectively bringing an end to Babylonia
Babylonia
as a geo-political entity. Parthian Assyria
Assyria
(150 BC – 225 AD)[edit] Main article: Adiabene By 150 BC, Assyria
Assyria
was largely under the control of the Parthian Empire. The Parthians
Parthians
seem to have exercised only loose control over Assyria, and between the mid 2nd century BC and 4th century AD a number of Neo-Assyrian
Neo-Assyrian
states arose; these included the ancient capital of Assur
Assur
itself, Adiabene
Adiabene
with its capital of Arbela (modern Irbil), Beth Nuhadra
Beth Nuhadra
with its capital of Nohadra
Nohadra
(modern Dohuk), Osroene, with its capitals of Edessa
Edessa
and Amid
Amid
(modern Sanliurfa
Sanliurfa
and Diyarbakir), Hatra, and "ܒܝܬܓܪܡܝ" (Beth Garmai) with its capital at Arrapha
Arrapha
(modern Kirkuk).[50] Adiabenian rulers converted to Judaism from paganism in the 1st century.[51] After 115 CE, there are no historic traces of Jewish royalty in Adiabene. These freedoms were accompanied by a major Assyrian cultural revival, and temples to the Assyrian national gods Ashur, Sin, Hadad, Ishtar, Ninurta, Tammuz and Shamash
Shamash
were once more dedicated throughout Assyria
Assyria
and Upper Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia
during this period.[52] In addition, Christianity
Christianity
arrived in Assyria
Assyria
soon after the death of Christ and the Assyrians began to gradually convert to Christianity from the ancient Mesopotamian
Mesopotamian
religion during the period between the early first and third centuries. Assyria
Assyria
became an important centre of Syriac Christianity
Syriac Christianity
and Syriac Literature, with the Church of the East evolving in Assyria, and the Syriac Orthodox Church
Syriac Orthodox Church
partly also, with Osroene
Osroene
becoming the first independent Christian
Christian
state in history.[5] Roman Assyria
Assyria
(116–8)[edit] Main article: Assyria
Assyria
(Roman province) However, in 116, under Trajan, Assyria
Assyria
and its independent states were briefly taken over by Rome as the province of Assyria. The Assyrian kingdom of Adiabene
Adiabene
was destroyed as an independent state during this period. Roman rule lasted only a few years, and the Parthians
Parthians
once more regained control with the help of the Assyrians, who were incited to overthrow the Roman garrisons by the Parthian king. However, a number of Assyrians were conscripted into the Roman Army, with many serving in the region of Hadrian's Wall
Hadrian's Wall
in Roman Britain, and inscriptions in Aramaic
Aramaic
made by soldiers have been discovered in Northern England
Northern England
dating from the second century.[53] With loose Parthian rule restored, Assyria
Assyria
and its patchwork of states continued much as they had before the Roman interregnum, although Assyria
Assyria
and Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia
as a whole became a front line between the Roman and Parthian empires. Other new religious movements also emerged in the form of gnostic sects such as Mandeanism, as well as the now extinct Manichean
Manichean
religion. Christian
Christian
period[edit] Sassanid Assyria
Assyria
(226 – c. 650)[edit] Main article: Asōristān In 226, Assyria
Assyria
was largely taken over by the Sasanian Empire. After driving out the Romans and Parthians, the Sassanid rulers set about annexing the independent states within Assyria
Assyria
during the mid- to late 3rd century, the last being Assur
Assur
itself in the late 250's to early 260's. Christianity
Christianity
continued to spread, and many of the ethnically Assyrian churches that exist today are among the oldest in the world. For example, the Syriac Orthodox Church
Syriac Orthodox Church
is purported to have been founded by St Peter
St Peter
himself in 67 AD. Nevertheless, although predominantly Christian, a minority of Assyrians still held onto their ancient Mesopotamian
Mesopotamian
religion until as late as the 10th or 11th century AD.[54][55] The Assyrians lived in a province known as Asuristan, and the region was on the frontier of the Byzantine and Sassanian empires. The land was known as Asōristān
Asōristān
(the Sassanid Persian name meaning "Land of the Assyrians") during this period, and became the birthplace of the distinct Church of the East
Church of the East
(now split into the Assyrian Church of the East, Ancient Church of the East
Church of the East
and Chaldean Catholic Church) and a centre of the Syriac Orthodox Church, with a flourishing Syriac (Assyrian) Christian
Christian
culture which exists there to this day. Temples were still being dedicated to the national god Ashur (as well as other Mesopotamian
Mesopotamian
gods) in his home city, in Harran
Harran
and elsewhere during the 4th and 5th centuries AD, indicating the ancient pre-Christian Assyrian identity was still extant to some degree. During the Sasanian period, much of what had once been Babylonia
Babylonia
in southern Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia
was incorporated into Assyria, and in effect the whole of Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia
came to be known as Asōristān. Parts of Assyria appear to have been semi independent as late as the latter part of the 4th century AD, with a king named Sennacherib
Sennacherib
II reputedly ruling the northern reaches in 370s AD. Arab
Arab
Islamic conquest (630–780)[edit] Centuries of constant warfare between the Byzantine Empire
Empire
and Sassanid Empire
Empire
left both empires exhausted, which made both of them open to loss in a war against the Muslim
Muslim
Arab
Arab
army, under the newfound Rashidun Caliphate. After the early Islamic conquests, Assyria
Assyria
was dissolved as an official administrative entity by an empire. Under Arab
Arab
rule, Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia
as a whole underwent a gradual process of further Arabisation
Arabisation
and the beginning of Islamification, and the region saw a large influx of non indigenous Arabs, Kurds, Iranian, and Turkic peoples. However, the indigenous Assyrian population of northern Mesopotamia retained their language, religion, culture and identity. Under the Arab
Arab
Islamic empires, the Christian
Christian
Assyrians were classed as dhimmis, who had certain restrictions imposed upon them. Assyrians were thus excluded from specific duties and occupations reserved for Muslims, they did not enjoy the same political rights as Muslims, their word was not equal to that of a Muslim
Muslim
in legal and civil matters without a Muslim
Muslim
witness, they were subject to payment of a special tax (jizyah) and they were banned from spreading their religion further in Muslim-ruled lands. However, personal matters such as marriage and divorce were governed by the cultural laws of the Assyrians.[56][57] For those reasons, and even during the Sassanian period before Islamic rule, The Assyrian Church of the East
Church of the East
formed a church structure that spread Nestorian Christianity
Christianity
to as far away as China, in order to proselytize away from Muslim-ruled regions In Iran
Iran
and their homeland in Mesopotamia, with evidence of their massive church structure being the Nestorian Stele, an artifact found in China which documented over 100 years of Christian
Christian
history in China from 600 to 781 AD.[58] Assyrian Christians
Christians
maintained relations with fellow Christians
Christians
in Armenia
Armenia
and Georgia throughout the Middle Ages. In the 12th century AD, Assyrian priests interceded on behalf of persecuted Arab
Arab
Muslims in Georgia.[59] The Assyrian Church structure thrived during the period of 600–1300, and is regarded[by whom?] as a golden age for Assyrians. Mongol Empire
Empire
(1200–1300)[edit] The first signs of trouble for the Assyrians started in the 13th century, when the Mongols first invaded the Near East
Near East
after the fall of Baghdad
Baghdad
in 1258 to Hulagu Khan.[60] Assyrians at first did very well under Mongol rule, as the Shamanist
Shamanist
Mongols were sympathetic to them, with Assyrian priests having traveled to Mongolia centuries before. The Mongols in fact spent most of their time oppressing Muslims and Jews, outlawing the practice of circumcision and halal butchery, as they found them repulsive and violent.[61] Therefore, as one of the only groups in the region looked at in a good light, Assyrians were given special privileges and powers, with Hülegü even appointing an Assyrian Christian[disambiguation needed] governor to Erbil
Erbil
(Arbela), and allowing the Syriac Orthodox Church
Syriac Orthodox Church
to build a church there.[62]

Aramaic
Aramaic
language and Syriac Christianity
Syriac Christianity
in the Middle East and Central Asia
Central Asia
until being largely annihilated by Tamerlane
Tamerlane
in the 14th century

However, the Mongol rulers in the Near East
Near East
eventually converted to Islam. Sustained persecutions of Christians
Christians
throughout the entirety of the Ilkhanate
Ilkhanate
began in earnest in 1295 under the rule of Oïrat
Oïrat
amir Nauruz, which affected the indigenous Assyrian Christians
Christians
greatly.[63] During the reign of the Ilkhan Öljeitü, the Assyrian Christian inhabitants of Erbil
Erbil
seized control of the citadel and much of the city in rebellion against the Muslims. In spring 1310, the Mongol Malik
Malik
(governor) of the region attempted to seize it from them with the help of the Kurds
Kurds
and Arabs, but was defeated. After his defeat he decided to siege the city. The Assyrians held out for three months, but the citadel was at last taken by Ilkhanate
Ilkhanate
troops and Arab, Turkic and Kurdish tribesmen on July 1, 1310. The defenders of the citadel fought to the last man, and many of the Assyrian inhabitants of the lower town were subsequently massacred.[64][65] Regardless of these hardships, the Assyrian people
Assyrian people
remained numerically dominant in the north of Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia
as late as the 14th century AD, and the city of Assur
Assur
functioned as their religious and cultural capital. However, in the mid-14th century the Muslim
Muslim
Turk ruler Tamurlane
Tamurlane
conducted a religiously motivated massacre of the indigenous Assyrian Christians, and worked tirelessly to destroy the vast Assyrian Church structure established throughout the Far East, destroying the entire structure of the church with the exception of the St Thomas Christians
Christians
of the Malabar Coast
Malabar Coast
in India, whom number 10 million or so in modern times.[66] After Timurs campaign, The Assyrian Cultural and religious capital of Assur
Assur
was completely destroyed, thousands of Assyrians were massacred, the vast church structure of the Assyrian Church of the East
Church of the East
was decimated, and the Assyrian population was from that point on reduced to a small minority living within Muslim
Muslim
dominated lands.[67] Breakup of the Assyrian Church (1500–1780)[edit] Around 100 years after the massacres by Timur, a religious schism known as the Schism of 1552
Schism of 1552
occurred among the Assyrians of northern Mesopotamia, when a large number of followers of the Assyrian Church of the East in Amid
Amid
elected a rival Patriarch
Patriarch
named Shimun VIII Yohannan Sulaqa after becoming dissatisfied with the leadership of the Assyrian Church, at this point based in Alqosh. Due to a need for an ordination by a metropolitan bishop, Sulaqa went into communion with the Roman Catholic Church
Roman Catholic Church
after at first failing to gain acceptance within the Syriac Orthodox Church. Rome named this new church The Church of Assyria and Mosul
Church of Assyria and Mosul
and its first leader Patriarch
Patriarch
of the East Assyrians in 1553 AD. Soon after coming back Sulaqa was assassinated by supporters of the rival patriarch in Alqosh, but was able to form a new church structure and line of succession known as the Shimun Line prior to his death. This group of Assyrians eventually broke off ties with Rome, moved en masse to the Hakkari
Hakkari
Mountains, and returned to the Assyrian church they once adhered to prior to the Schism of 1552, while still operating independently from the original Assyrian Church structure based in Alqosh. A decade or so before the Shimun line broke off ties with Rome, another faction within the Assyrian Church entered into communion with Rome known as the Josephite line, and upon the Shimun line leaving, inherited the now vacant Church of Assyria
Assyria
and Mosul, which was renamed the "Chaldean Catholic Church" by The Vatican in 1683. This is now believed to be due to an error by the Roman Catholic Church
Roman Catholic Church
which already had a history of labelling eastern Christians
Christians
(including Cypriots) as Chaldeans, but due to that error, some of their followers became known as Chaldean Catholics
Chaldean Catholics
or Chaldo-Assyrians, despite having absolutely no ethnic, historical, linguistic, cultural or geographic connections whatsoever to the by now long extinct Chaldean tribe of south east Mesopotamia. However, these appellations appear to have only emerged relatively recently, as in the late 19th century, Hormuzd Rassam, himself a member of the Chaldean Catholic Church, states that church members were using the ethnic term Assyrian and the theological term Nestorian to describe themselves.[68][69] Later on in the 1830s the original Assyrian Church of the East structure in Alqosh
Alqosh
combined with the Catholic one, creating the modern Chaldean Catholic Church
Chaldean Catholic Church
structure, which is ironic considering that the only remaining ethnic Assyrian Church to practice the Assyrian Church of the East
Church of the East
denomination was the first one to split from the Assyrian Church of the East
Church of the East
back in 1552. There was also another Nestorian Denomination known as the Ancient Church of the East, which split from the Assyrian Church of the East
Church of the East
due to reforms passed under the rule of Shimun XXIII Eshai
Shimun XXIII Eshai
in the 1960s, but with the election of Gewargis III
Gewargis III
in 2015 the churches had a reconciliation, and reunited. In addition to the Eastern Rite Churches, The Syriac Orthodox Church also has a large number of ethnically Assyrian Adherents, who are known sometimes as Syriacs, the term 'Syriac' being etymologically derived from 'Assyrian'. The Syriac Orthodox Church
Syriac Orthodox Church
has 5 million adherents across the globe, but is based in Damascus. However, since the 11th century it was based in the Saffron Monastery
Saffron Monastery
of Tur Abdin, and prior to that it was based in Antioch. Like the Nestorian churches, schisms also occurred within the Syriac Orthodox Church. In 1626 Jesuit
Jesuit
and Capuchin missionaries began to proselytize among the Syriac Orthodox faithful at Aleppo, forming a larger pro-catholic movement within the Syriac Orthodox Church. So in 1662, when the Syriac Orthodox Patriarchate had fallen vacant, the Catholic party was able to elect one of its own, Andrew Akijan as Patriarch
Patriarch
of the Syriac Church. This provoked a split in the community, and after Akijan’s death in 1677 two opposing patriarchs were elected, with one of those becoming the first Patriarch
Patriarch
of the Syriac Catholic Church. This line of succession died out quickly, however, but in 1782 with the election of Michael Jarweh as Patriarch
Patriarch
the Ignatius line has been the head of the Syriac Catholic Church
Syriac Catholic Church
since then, and also has its base in Damascus. Modern history[edit] Ottoman Empire
Empire
(1900–1928)[edit]

The burning of bodies of Christian
Christian
Assyrian women during the Assyrian Genocide

After these splits, the Assyrians suffered a number of religiously and ethnically motivated massacres throughout the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries,[70] such as the Massacres of Badr Khan
Massacres of Badr Khan
which resulted in the massacre of over 10,000 Assyrians in the 1840s,[71] culminating in the large scale Hamidian massacres
Hamidian massacres
of unarmed men, women and children by Turks and Kurds
Kurds
in the 1890s at the hands of the Ottoman Empire
Empire
and its associated (largely Kurdish and Arab) militias, which greatly reduced their numbers, particularly in southeastern Turkey
Turkey
where over 25,000 Assyrians were murdered.[72] The Adana massacre
Adana massacre
of 1909 largely aimed at Armenian Christians
Christians
also accounted for the murder of some 1,500 Assyrians.[73] The Assyrians suffered a further catastrophic series of events during World War I
World War I
in the form of the religiously and ethnically motivated Assyrian Genocide
Assyrian Genocide
at the hands of the Ottomans and their Kurdish and Arab
Arab
allies from 1915 to 1918.[74][75][76][77] Some sources claim that the highest number of Assyrians killed during the period was 750,000, while a 1922 Assyrian assessment set it at 275,000. The Assyrian Genocide
Genocide
ran largely in conjunction with the similarly ethno-religiously motivated Armenian Genocide, Greek Genocide
Greek Genocide
and Great Famine of Mount Lebanon. In reaction against Ottoman cruelty, the Assyrians took up arms, and an Assyrian war of independence
Assyrian war of independence
was fought during World War I
World War I
which took place in what is today south eastern Turkey, northern Iraq, north western Iran
Iran
and north eastern Syria. For a time, the Assyrians fought successfully against overwhelming numbers, scoring a number of victories against the Ottomans and Kurds, and also hostile Arab
Arab
and Iranian groups. However, due to the collapse of the Russian Empire—due to the Russian Revolution—and the similar collapse of the Armenian Defense, the Assyrians were left without allies. As a result, The Assyrians were vastly outnumbered, outgunned, surrounded, cut off, and without supplies. The only option they had was to flee the region into northwest Iran
Iran
and fight their way, with around 50,000 civilians in tow, to British train lines going to Mandatory Iraq. The sizable Assyrian presence in south eastern Anatolia
Anatolia
which had endured for over four millennia was thus reduced to no more than 15,000 by the end of World War I, and by 1924 many of those who remained were forcibly expelled in a display of ethnic cleansing by the Turkish government, with many leaving and later founding villages in the Sapna and Nahla valleys in the Dohuk
Dohuk
Governorate of Iraq. In 1920 the Assyrian settlements in Mindan
Mindan
and Baquba
Baquba
were attacked by Iraqi Arabs, but the Assyrian tribesmen displayed their military prowess by successfully defeating and driving off the Arab
Arab
forces.[78] The Assyrians also sided with the British during the Iraqi revolt against the British. The Assyrian Levies
Assyrian Levies
were founded by the British in 1922, with ancient Assyrian military rankings, such as Rab-shakeh, Rab-talia and Turtanu, being revived for the first time in millennia for this force. The Assyrians were prized by the British rulers for their fighting qualities, loyalty, bravery and discipline, and were used to help the British put down insurrections among the Arabs, Kurds
Kurds
and Turcoman, guard the borders with Iran
Iran
and Turkey, and protect British military installations. During the 1920s Assyrian levies saw action in effectively defeating Arab
Arab
and Kurdish forces during anti-British rebellions in Iraq.[78][79][80] Simele Massacre
Simele Massacre
and World War II
World War II
(1930–1950)[edit]

Map of Assyrian populated areas

After Iraq
Iraq
was granted independence by the British in 1933, the Assyrians suffered the Simele Massacre, where thousands of unarmed villagers (men, women and children) were slaughtered by joint Arab-Kurdish forces of the Iraqi Army. The massacres of civilians followed a clash between armed Assyrian tribesmen and the Iraqi army, where the Iraqi forces suffered a defeat after trying to disarm the Assyrians, whom they feared would attempt to secede from Iraq. Armed Assyrian Levies
Assyrian Levies
were prevented by the British from going to the aid of these civilians, and the British government then whitewashed the massacres at the League of Nations. Despite these betrayals, the Assyrians were allied with the British during World War II, with eleven Assyrian companies seeing action in Palestine/ Israel
Israel
and another four serving in Greece, Cyprus
Cyprus
and Albania. Assyrians played a major role in the victory over Arab-Iraqi forces at the Battle of Habbaniya
Battle of Habbaniya
and elsewhere in 1941, when the Iraqi government decided to join World War II
World War II
on the side of Nazi Germany. The British presence in Iraq
Iraq
lasted until 1955, and Assyrian Levies remained attached to British forces until this time, after which they were disarmed and disbanded. A further persecution of Assyrians took place in the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
in the late 1940s and early 1950s when thousands of Assyrians settled in Georgia, Armenia
Armenia
and southern Russia were forcibly deported from their homes in the dead of night by Stalin
Stalin
without warning or reason to Central Asia, with most being relocated to Kazakhstan, where a small minority still remain.[81] Ba'athism (1966–2003)[edit]

The Flag of the Assyrian Nation (created and used since 1968)[82]

The period from the 1940s through to 1963 was a period of respite for the Assyrians in northern Iraq
Iraq
and north east Syria. The regime of Iraqi President Kassim in particular saw the Assyrians accepted into mainstream society. Many urban Assyrians became successful businessmen, a number of Assyrians moved south to cities such as Baghdad, Basra
Basra
and Nasiriyah
Nasiriyah
to enhance their economic prospects, others were well represented in politics, the military, the arts and entertainment, Assyrian towns, villages, farmsteads and Assyrian quarters in major cities flourished undisturbed, and Assyrians came to excel and be over-represented in sports such as boxing, football, athletics, wrestling and swimming. However, in 1963, the Ba'ath Party
Ba'ath Party
took power by force in Iraq, and came to power in Syria
Syria
the same year. The Baathists, though secular, were Arab
Arab
nationalists, and set about attempting to Arabize the many non- Arab
Arab
peoples of Iraq
Iraq
and Syria, including the Assyrians. This policy included refusing to acknowledge the Assyrians as an ethnic group, banning the publication of written material in Eastern Aramaic, and banning its teaching in schools, together with an attempt to Arabize the ancient pre- Arab
Arab
heritage of Mesopotamian
Mesopotamian
civilisation. The policies of the Baathists have also long been mirrored in Turkey, whose nationalist governments have refused to acknowledge the Assyrians as an ethnic group since the 1920s, and have attempted to Turkify the Assyrians by calling them "Semitic Turks" and forcing them to adopt Turkish names and language. In Iran, Assyrians continued to enjoy cultural, religious and ethnic rights, but due to the Islamic Revolution of 1979 their community has been diminished. In the aftermath of the Iraq
Iraq
War of 2003, Assyrians became the targets of Islamist terrorist attacks and intimidation from both Sunni and Shia groups, as well as criminal kidnapping organisations; forcing many in southern and central Iraq
Iraq
to relocate to safer Assyrian regions in the north of the country or north east Syria. Syrian Civil War (2012–present)[edit] Main article: Genocide
Genocide
of Christians
Christians
by ISIL

An Assyrian wedding in Mechelen, Belgium.

In recent years, Assyrians in northern Iraq
Iraq
and north east Syria
Syria
have become the target of attacks amounting to genocide by Islamist militants like ISIL and Nusra Front. In 2014, ISIL attacked Assyrian towns and villages in the Assyrian homelands of northern Iraq
Iraq
and north east Syria, and Assyrians forced from their homes in cities such as Mosul had their houses and possessions stolen, both by ISIL and also by their own former Arab
Arab
Muslim
Muslim
neighbours.[83] Assyrian Bronze Age and Iron Age
Iron Age
monuments and archaeological sites, as well as numerous Assyrian churches and monasteries,[83] have been systematically vandalised and destroyed by ISIL. These include the ruins of Nineveh, Kalhu
Kalhu
(Nimrud, Assur, Dur-Sharrukin
Dur-Sharrukin
and Hatra).[84][85] ISIL destroyed a 3,000 year-old Ziggurat. ISIL destroyed Virgin Mary Church, in 2015 St. Markourkas Church was destroyed and the cemetery was bulldozed.[86] Assyrians in both Iraq
Iraq
and Syria
Syria
[87][88][89] have responded by forming armed Assyrian militias to defend their territories,[90] and despite being heavily outnumbered and outgunned have had success in driving ISIL from Assyrian towns and villages, and defending others from attack.[91][92] Armed Assyrian militias have also fought ISIL alongside armed groups of Kurds, Turcoman, Yezidis, Syriac-Aramean Christians, Shabaks, Armenian Christians, Kawilya, Mandeans, Circassians and Shia Muslim
Muslim
Arabs
Arabs
and Iranians. “Dewkh Nawsha”, translates to “the ones who sacrifiace”. The group was formed days after ISIL took over Mosul. The militia is made up of volunteers, who come from all over the Nineveh
Nineveh
plain. Dewkh Nawsha is supported by Assyrian Patriotic Party and are led by Wilson Khammu[86] It is estimated that nearly 60 percent of Iraqi Assyrians have fled. Assyrians who have fled have ended up all over the world. 2009 U.S Census Bureau survey, reported that roughly 100,000 have relocated to the United States.[93] Culture[edit] Main article: Assyrian culture Assyria
Assyria
continued to exist as a geopolitical entity until the Arab-Islamic conquest in the mid-7th century. Assyrian identity; personal, family and tribal names; and both the spoken and written evolution of Mesopotamian
Mesopotamian
Aramaic
Aramaic
(which still contains many Akkadian loan words and an Akkadian
Akkadian
grammatical structure) have survived among the Assyrian people
Assyrian people
from ancient times to this day. An Assyrian calendar has been revived. Language[edit] Main articles: Sumerian language, Akkadian
Akkadian
language, Aramaic
Aramaic
language, and Assyrian Neo-Aramaic

The pastime of an Assyrian King by F.A. Bridgman

Assyrian was a dialect of Akkadian
Akkadian
language, a member of the eastern branch of the Semitic family and the oldest historically attested of the Semitic languages, which began to appear in written form in the 29th century BC. The first inscriptions in Assyria
Assyria
proper, called Old Assyrian (OA), were made in the Old Assyrian period.[94] The ancient Assyrians also used Sumerian in their literature and liturgy,[95] although to a more limited extent in the Middle- and Neo-Assyrian periods, when Akkadian
Akkadian
became the main literary language.[95] During the 3rd millennium BC, a very intimate cultural symbiosis developed between the Sumerians and Akkadian-speakers, which included widespread bilingualism.[16] The influence of Sumerian on Akkadian (and vice versa) is evident in all areas, from lexical borrowing on a massive scale, to syntactic, morphological, and phonological convergence.[16] This has prompted scholars to refer to Sumerian and Akkadian
Akkadian
in the 3rd millennium BC as a sprachbund.[16] Akkadian gradually replaced Sumerian as the spoken language of Mesopotamia somewhere around the turn of the 3rd and the 2nd millennium BC (the exact dating being a matter of debate),[17] but Sumerian continued to be used as a sacred, ceremonial, literary and scientific language in Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia
until the 1st century AD. In the Neo-Assyrian
Neo-Assyrian
period, the Aramaic
Aramaic
language became increasingly common,[96] more so than Akkadian—this was thought to be largely due to the mass deportations undertaken by Assyrian kings,[95] in which large Aramaic-speaking populations, conquered by the Assyrians, were relocated to Assyria
Assyria
and interbred with the Assyrians, and due to the fact that Tiglath-pileser II made it the lingua franca of Assyria
Assyria
and its empire in the 8th century BC. The destruction of the Assyrian capitals of Nineveh
Nineveh
and Assur
Assur
by the Babylonians, Medes
Medes
and their allies, ensured that much of the bilingual elite (but not all) were wiped out. By the 7th century BC, much of the Assyrian population used distinct Akkadian
Akkadian
influenced Eastern Aramaic
Aramaic
varieties and not Akkadian
Akkadian
itself. The last Akkadian inscriptions in Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia
date from the 1st century AD. The Syriac language also emerged in Assyria
Assyria
during the 5th century BC, and during the Christian
Christian
era, Syriac literature
Syriac literature
and Syriac script
Syriac script
were to become hugely influential. However, the descendant Akkadian
Akkadian
influenced Eastern Aramaic
Aramaic
dialects from the Neo-Assyrian
Neo-Assyrian
Empire, as well as Akkadian
Akkadian
and Mesopotamian Aramaic
Aramaic
personal, tribal, family and place names, still survive to this day among Assyrian people
Assyrian people
and are spoken fluently by up to 1,000,000 Assyrians, with a further number having lesser and varying degrees of fluency.[95] These dialects which contain many Akkadian loan words and grammatical features are very different from the now almost extinct Western Aramaic
Aramaic
of the Arameans
Arameans
in the Levant
Levant
and Trans-Jordan, which does not have any Akkadian
Akkadian
grammatical structure or loan words. After 90 years of effort, the University of Chicago
University of Chicago
in 2011 completed an Assyrian dictionary, the style of which is more like an encyclopedia than a dictionary.[97] Religion[edit] Ancient Assyrian religion[edit] Main article: Ancient Mesopotamian
Mesopotamian
religion The Assyrians, like the rest of the Mesopotamian
Mesopotamian
peoples, followed ancient Mesopotamian
Mesopotamian
religion, with their national god Ashur having the most importance to them during the Assyrian Empire. This religion gradually declined with the advent of Syriac Christianity
Syriac Christianity
between the first and tenth centuries.[54] The major deities worshipped in Assyria
Assyria
include;

Adad
Adad
(Hadad) – storm and rain god Anu
Anu
or An – god of heaven and the sky, lord of constellations, and father of the gods.The name is dervied from Sumero-Akkadian/ana/, which means heaven; He is considered the father of great gods. In stories, he is menationed as a father, creator, and god; and is believed to be the supreme being.[98] Dagan or Dagon
Dagon
– god of fertility Enki
Enki
or Ea – god of the Abzu, crafts, water, intelligence, mischief and creation and divine ruler of the Earth and its humans Ereshkigal
Ereshkigal
– goddess of Irkalla, the Underworld Ishtar
Ishtar
or Inanna/ Astarte
Astarte
– goddess of fertility, love, and war Marduk
Marduk
– patron deity of Babylon
Babylon
who eventually became regarded as the head of the Babylonian pantheon Nabu
Nabu
– god of wisdom and writing Nanshe
Nanshe
– goddess of prophecy, fertility and fishing Nergal
Nergal
– god of plague, war, and the sun in its destructive capacity; later husband of Ereshkigal Ninhursag
Ninhursag
or Mami, Belet-Ili, Ki, Ninmah, Nintu, or Aruru – earth and mother goddess Ninlil
Ninlil
– goddess of the air; consort of Enlil Ninurta
Ninurta
– champion of the gods, the epitome of youthful vigour, and god of agriculture Nisroch - god of agriculture. Some other religions also consider him the fallen angel or demon.[98] Nusku
Nusku
- The messenger for the Gods. “"the offspring of the abyss, the creation of Êa," and "the likeness of his father, the first-born of Bel." Nusku
Nusku
was also considered a great commander, counselor of the gods, and protector of gods in heaven. Assyrian kings mention Nusku many times, especially before wars; Nusku
Nusku
was fearless in battle.[98] Shamash
Shamash
or Utu
Utu
– god of the sun, arbiter of justice and patron of travellers Sin
Sin
or Nanna – god of the moon. Considered to be the prince of the gods. Described as having a perfect body: everything from beard to horns is perfect. The name is believed to come from “Zu-ena” but was changed at some point. Zu-ena means “knowledge-lord”. Sin
Sin
is also mentioned in other religions in Babylonia[98] Tammuz or Dumuzi – god of food and vegetation Tiamat

The original pagan religion of the Assyrians was widely adhered to until around the 4th century, and survived in pockets until at least the 10th century.[54] However, Assyrians today are exclusively Christian, with most following the Assyrian Church of the East, Chaldean Catholic Church, Ancient Church of the East, Syriac Orthodox Church, Syriac Catholic Church, Assyrian Pentecostal Church and Assyrian Evangelical Church. Assyrians had begun to adopt Christianity (as well as for a time Manicheanism
Manicheanism
and gnosticism) between the 1st and 3rd centuries AD. Christian
Christian
history of the Assyrian people[edit] The Assyrian people
Assyrian people
originally adhered to one of two Churches- The Assyrian Church of the East, an East Syrian Rite
East Syrian Rite
Church, or the Syriac Orthodox Church, a West Syrian Rite
West Syrian Rite
Church. However, now there are nearly 20 different Assyrian Christian
Christian
Churches including the ones followed by ethnically Malayali
Malayali
Converts in India, known as St Thomas Christians
Christians
who are not regarded as Assyrians. The first new Church formed around 100 years after the massacres by Timur during the 14th century due to the Schism of 1552, which occurred among the Assyrians of northern Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia
when a large number of Nestorian (followers of the Assyrian Church of the East) Assyrians in Amid
Amid
elected a rival Patriarch
Patriarch
named Shimun VIII Yohannan Sulaqa after becoming dissatisfied with the leadership of the Assyrian Church (at this point based in Alqosh). Due to a need for an official ordination, Sulaqa went into communion with the Roman Catholic Church
Roman Catholic Church
after at first failing to gain acceptance within the Syriac Orthodox Church. Rome named this new church The Church of Assyria and Mosul
Church of Assyria and Mosul
and its first leader Patriarch
Patriarch
of the East Assyrians in 1553 AD. Soon after coming back Sulaqa was assassinated by supporters of the rival patriarch in Alqosh, but was able to form a new church structure and line of succession known as the Shimun Line prior to his death. This group of Assyrians eventually broke off ties with Rome, moved en masse to the Hakkari
Hakkari
Mountains, and returned to the Nestorian faith they once adhered to prior to the Schism of 1552
Schism of 1552
(although the Shimun line still operated independently from the original Assyrian Church structure based in Alqosh). A decade or so before the Shimun line broke off ties with Rome, another faction within the Assyrian Church entered into communion with Rome known as the Josephite line, and upon the Shimun line leaving, inherited the now vacant Church of Assyria
Assyria
and Mosul, which was renamed the "Chaldean Catholic Church" in 1683. This is now believed to be due to an error by the Catholic Church, but now due to that error their followers became known as Chaldean Catholics
Chaldean Catholics
or Chaldo-Assyrians
Chaldo-Assyrians
despite having no ethnic, historical, linguistic, cultural or geographic connections whatsoever to the by now long extinct Chaldean tribe of south east Mesopotamia.[69] Later on in the 1830s the original Assyrian Church of the East structure in Alqosh
Alqosh
combined with the Chaldean Catholic Jacobite one, creating the modern Chaldean Catholic Church
Chaldean Catholic Church
structure, which is ironic considering that the only remaining ethnic Assyrian Church to practice the Assyrian Church of the East
Church of the East
denomination until this day is ruled by the Shimun line- the very first Church to split from the Assyrian Church of the East
Church of the East
back in 1552. There was also another Nestorian Denomination known as the Ancient Church of the East, which split from the Assyrian Church of the East
Church of the East
due to reforms passed under the rule of Shimun XXIII Eshai
Shimun XXIII Eshai
in the 1960s, but with the election of Gewargis III
Gewargis III
in 2015 the churches had a reconciliation, and reunited. The Syriac Orthodox Church
Syriac Orthodox Church
also has a large number of ethnically Assyrian Adherents mainly in the historically Assyrian regions of north east Syria
Syria
and south east Turkey, who are known as Syriacs. The Syriac Orthodox Church
Syriac Orthodox Church
has 5 million adherents across the globe, mostly in India, but is based in Damascus. However, since the 11th century it was based in the Saffron Monastery
Saffron Monastery
of Tur Abdin, and prior to that it was based in Antioch. Like the Nestorian churches, schisms also occurred within the Syriac Orthodox Church. In 1626 Jesuit
Jesuit
and Capuchin missionaries began to proselytize among the Syriac Orthodox faithful at Aleppo, forming a larger pro-catholic movement within the Syriac Orthodox Church. So in 1662, when the Syriac Orthodox Patriarchate had fallen vacant, the Catholic party was able to elect one of its own, Andrew Akijan as Patriarch
Patriarch
of the Syriac Church. This provoked a split in the community, and after Akijan's death in 1677 two opposing patriarchs were elected, with one of those becoming the first Patriarch
Patriarch
of the Syriac Catholic Church. This line of succession died out quickly, however, but in 1782 with the election of Michael Jarweh as Patriarch
Patriarch
the Ignatius line has been the head of the Syriac Catholic Church
Syriac Catholic Church
since then, and also has its base in Damascus. Some Assyrians converted to Protestantism
Protestantism
during the 20th century as well, forming the Assyrian Pentecostal Church and Assyrian Evangelical Church among others. Therefore, by the end of all the schisms which occurred, the Assyrian people are now followers of the Assyrian Church of the East, Chaldean Catholic Church, Ancient Church of the East, Syriac Orthodox Church, Syriac Catholic Church, Assyrian Pentecostal Church and Assyrian Evangelical Church- in addition to even more sub churches which are located in India
India
that are adherent to the mother sees in the Middle East. Architecture[edit] Main article: Architecture of Mesopotamia Assyrian architecture, like that of Babylonia, was influenced by Sumero- Akkadian
Akkadian
styles (and to some degree Mitanni), but early on developed its own distinctive style. Palaces sported colourful wall decorations, and seal-cutting (an art learned from Mittani) developed apace. Schools for scribes taught both the Babylonian and Assyrian dialects of Akkadian, and Sumerian and Akkadian
Akkadian
literary works were often copied with an Assyrian flavour. The Assyrian dialect of Akkadian
Akkadian
was used in legal, official, religious, and practical texts such as medicine or instructions on manufacturing items. During the 13th to 10th centuries, picture tales appeared as a new art form: a continuous series of images carved on square stone steles. Somewhat reminiscent of a comic book, these show events such as warfare or hunting, placed in order from the upper left to the lower right corner of the stele with captions written underneath them. These and the excellent cut seals show that Assyrian art was beginning to surpass that of Babylon. Architecture saw the introduction of a new style of ziggurat, with two towers and colorful enameled tiles. Arts and Sciences[edit] Main article: Art of Mesopotamia

Relief from Assyrian capital of Dur Sharrukin, showing transport of Lebanese cedar (8th century BC)

Assyrian art preserved to the present day predominantly dates to the Neo-Assyrian
Neo-Assyrian
period. Art depicting battle scenes, and occasionally the impaling of whole villages in gory detail, was intended to show the power of the emperor, and was generally made for propaganda purposes. These stone reliefs lined the walls in the royal palaces where foreigners were received by the king. Other stone reliefs depict the king with different deities and conducting religious ceremonies. Many stone reliefs were discovered in the royal palaces at Nimrud
Nimrud
(Kalhu) and Khorsabad
Khorsabad
(Dur-Sharrukin). A rare discovery of metal plates belonging to wooden doors was made at Balawat
Balawat
(Imgur-Enlil).

Assyria. Head of winged bull, 9th c. B.C.; Brooklyn Museum Brooklyn Museum Archives, Goodyear Archival Collection

Assyrian sculpture reached a high level of refinement in the Neo-Assyrian
Neo-Assyrian
period. One prominent example is the winged bull lamassu or shedu that guard the entrances to the king's court. These were apotropaic meaning they were intended to ward off evil. C. W. Ceram states in The March of Archaeology that lamassi were typically sculpted with five legs so that four legs were always visible, whether the image were viewed frontally or in profile. Although works of precious gems and metals usually do not survive the ravages of time, some fine pieces of Assyrian jewelry were found in royal tombs at Nimrud. There is ongoing discussion among academics over the nature of the Nimrud
Nimrud
lens, a piece of quartz unearthed by Austen Henry Layard
Austen Henry Layard
in 1850, in the Nimrud
Nimrud
palace complex in northern Iraq. A small minority believe that it is evidence for the existence of ancient Assyrian telescopes, which could explain the great accuracy of Assyrian astronomy. Other suggestions include its use as a magnifying glass for jewellers, or as a decorative furniture inlay. The Nimrud
Nimrud
Lens is held in the British Museum.[99] The Assyrians were also innovative in military technology, with the use of heavy cavalry, sappers, siege engines etc. Legacy[edit] Main articles: Achaemenid Assyria, Assyriology, and Assyrian nationalism

Austen Henry Layard
Austen Henry Layard
in Nineveh, 1852

Achaemenid Assyria
Achaemenid Assyria
(539–330 BC) retained a separate identity, official correspondence being in Imperial Aramaic, and there was even a determined revolt of the two Assyrian provinces of Mada and Athura in 520 BC. Under Seleucid rule, however, Aramaic
Aramaic
gave way to Greek as the official administrative language. Aramaic
Aramaic
was marginalised as an official language, but remained spoken in both Assyria
Assyria
and Babylonia by the general populace. It also remained the spoken tongue of the indigenous Assyrian/Babylonian citizens of all Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia
under Persian, Greek and Roman rule, and indeed well into the Arab
Arab
period it was still the language of the majority, particularly in the north of Mesopotamia, surviving to this day among the Assyrian Christians. Between 150 BC and 226 AD, Assyria
Assyria
changed hands between the Parthian Empire
Empire
and the Romans until coming under the rule of the Sasanian Empire
Empire
from 226–651, where it was known as Asōristān. A number of at least partly neo-Assyrian kingdoms existed in the area between in the late classical and early Christian
Christian
period also; Adiabene, Hatra
Hatra
and Osroene. Classical historiographers and Biblical writers had only retained a fragmented, very dim and often inaccurate picture of Assyria. It was remembered that there had been an Assyrian empire predating the Persian one, but all particulars were lost. Thus Jerome's Chronicon lists 36 kings of the Assyrians, beginning with Ninus, son of Belus, down to Sardanapalus, the last king of the Assyrians before the empire fell to Arbaces the Median. Almost none of these have been substantiated as historical, with the exception of the Neo-Assyrian and Babylonian rulers listed in the Canon of Kings, beginning with Nabonassar. The Assyrians began to form and adopt a distinct Eastern Christianity, with its accompanying Syriac literature, between the 1st and 3rd centuries AD; however, ancient Mesopotamian
Mesopotamian
religion was still alive and well into the fourth century and pockets survived into the 10th century and possibly as late as the 17th century in Mardin.[citation needed][100] However, the religion is now dead, and the Assyrian people, though still retaining Eastern Aramaic
Aramaic
dialects as a mother tongue, are now wholly Christian. The modern discovery of Babylonia
Babylonia
and Assyria
Assyria
begins with excavations in Nineveh
Nineveh
in 1845, which revealed the Library of Ashurbanipal. Decipherment of the cuneiform script was a formidable task that took more than a decade; but, by 1857, the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland was convinced that reliable reading of cuneiform texts was possible. Assyriology
Assyriology
has since pieced together the formerly largely forgotten history of Mesopotamia. In the wake of the archaeological and philological rediscovery of ancient Assyria, Assyrian nationalism
Assyrian nationalism
became increasingly popular among the surviving remnants of the Assyrian people, who have come to strongly identify with ancient Assyria. Notes[edit]

See also[edit]

Assyrians portal Ancient Near East
Ancient Near East
portal

Achaemenid Assyria Ancient Church of the East Assur Assuristan Assyrian Christians Assyrian Church of the East Assyrian culture Assyrian Evangelical Church Assyrian Genocide Assyrian nationalism Assyrian Pentecostal Church Assyrian people Assyrian struggle for independence Babylonia Chaldea Chaldean Catholic Church Church of the East Eastern Aramaic List of Assyrians Mesopotamian
Mesopotamian
religion Name of Syria Syriac language Syriac Orthodox Church

Notes[edit]

^ Encyclopaedia Britannica "The state was finally destroyed by a Chaldean-Median coalition in 612–609 bce." ^ Roux 1964, p. 187 ^ J. M. Munn-Rankin (1975). "Assyrian Military Power, 1300–1200 B.C.". In I. E. S. Edwards. Cambridge Ancient History, Volume 2, Part 2, History of the Middle East and the Aegean Region, c. 1380–1000 BC. Cambridge University Press. pp. 287–288, 298.  ^ Christopher Morgan (2006). Mark William Chavalas, ed. The ancient Near East: historical sources in translation. Blackwell Publishing. pp. 145–152.  ^ a b Winkler, Church of the East: a concise history, p. 1 ^ a b c Albert Kirk Grayson (1972). Assyrian Royal Inscriptions: Volume I. Wiesbaden: Otto Harrassowitz. p. 108.  §716. ^ Roux 1964, pp. 161–191. ^ Parpola, Simo (2004). "National and Ethnic Identity in the Neo-Assyrian Empire
Neo-Assyrian Empire
and Assyrian Identity in Post- Empire
Empire
Times" (PDF). Journal of Assyrian Academic Studies (JAAS) ^ Frederick Mario Fales (2010). "Production and Consumption at Dūr-Katlimmu: A Survey of the Evidence". In Hartmut Kühne. Dūr-Katlimmu
Dūr-Katlimmu
2008 and beyond. Harrassowitz Verlag. p. 82.  ^ Y Odisho, George (1998). The sound system of modern Assyrian (Neo-Aramaic). Harrowitz. p. 8. ISBN 3-447-02744-4.  ^ Saggs notes that: "the destruction of the Assyrian empire did not wipe out its population. They were predominantly peasant farmers and, since Assyria
Assyria
contains some of the best wheat land in the Near East, their descendants would, as opportunity permitted, build new villages over the old cities and carry on with agricultural life, remembering traditions of the former cities. After seven or eight centuries and various vicissitudes, these people became Christians" (Saggs 1984, p. 290). ^ "Parpola identity_article" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 17 July 2011. Retrieved 19 June 2011.  ^ a b John Huehnergard and Christopher Woods, Akkadian
Akkadian
and Eblaite, in Roger D. Woodard, ed., The Ancient Languages of Mesopotamia, Egypt
Egypt
and Aksum, Cambridge University Press, 2008, p. 83 ^ Roux 1964, p. 148. ^ Bertman, Stephen (2003). Handbook to Life in Ancient Mesopotamia. Oxford University Press. p. 94. ISBN 978-019-518364-1. Retrieved 16 May 2015. ^ a b c d e f g Deutscher, Guy (2007). Syntactic Change in Akkadian: The Evolution of Sentential Complementation. Oxford University Press US. pp. 20–21. ISBN 978-0-19-953222-3.  ^ a b c Woods C. 2006 "Bilingualism, Scribal Learning, and the Death of Sumerian". In S. L. Sanders (ed) Margins of Writing, Origins of Culture: 91–120 Chicago [1] ^ Cory's Ancient Fragments, Isaac Preston Cory, 1832, p. 74. ^ Roman History, Book 1, Chapter 6. ^ The History of Antiquity by Maximilian Duncker, 1877, p. 26–30. ^ ^ Jump up to: a b Rogers 2000, p. 1271. ^ Hamilton, Victor (1995). The Book of Genesis, Chapters 1 – 17. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing. ISBN 9780802825216. ^ Saggs 1984, p. 24. ^ "Prehistory and Protohistory of the Arabian Peninsula: Bahrain". M. A. Nayeem. 1990. p. 32.  ^ Malati J. Shendge (1 January 1997). The language of the Harappans: from Akkadian
Akkadian
to Sanskrit. Abhinav Publications. p. 46. ISBN 978-81-7017-325-0. Retrieved 22 April 2011.  ^ Malati J. Shendge (1 January 1997). The language of the Harappans: from Akkadian
Akkadian
to Sanskrit. Abhinav Publications. p. 46. ISBN 978-81-7017-325-0. Retrieved 22 April 2011. ^ "The Invention of Cuneiform: Writing in Sumer". Jean-Jacques Glassner. 1990. p. 7.  ^ "Area Handbook for the Persian Gulf
Persian Gulf
States". Richard F. Nyrop. 2008. p. 11. From about 4000 to 2000 B.C. the civilization of Dilmun dominated 250 miles of the eastern coast of Arabia
Arabia
from present-day Kuwait
Kuwait
to Bahrain
Bahrain
and extended sixty miles into the interior to the oasis of Hufuf (see fig. 2).  ^ Poebel, Arno (1942). The Assyrian King List
Assyrian King List
from Khorsabad, Journal of Near Eastern Studies 1/3, 253. ^ Olmstead, A.T. (1918). The Calculated Frightfulness of Ashur Nasir Pal. Journal of the American Oriental Society. 38. pp. 209–263.  ^ Roux 1964, p. 263. ^ J. M. Munn-Rankin (1975). "Assyrian Military Power, 1300–1200 B.C.". In I. E. S. Edwards. Cambridge Ancient History, Volume 2, Part 2, History of the Middle East and the Aegean Region, c. 1380–1000 BC. Cambridge University Press. pp. 287–288, 298.  ^ Christopher Morgan (2006). Mark William Chavalas, ed. The ancient Near East: historical sources in translation. Blackwell Publishing. pp. 145–152.  ^ Frederick Mario Fales (2010). "Production and Consumption at Dūr-Katlimmu: A Survey of the Evidence". In Hartmut Kühne. Dūr-Katlimmu
Dūr-Katlimmu
2008 and beyond. Harrassowitz Verlag. p. 82.  ^ Roux 1964, pp. 26–34. ^ a b c Chisholm 1911, p. 968 ^ Bryce, Trevor. The Routledge Handbook of The People and Places of Ancient Western Asia: The Near East
Near East
from the Early Bronze Age
Early Bronze Age
to the fall of the Persians
Persians
Empire, p.563 ^ a b Homoeroticism in the Biblical World: A Historical Perspective, by Martti Nissinen, Fortress Press, 2004, p. 24–28 ^ "Homosexuality in the Ancient Near East, beyond Egypt
Egypt
by Bruce Gerig in the Ancient Near East, beyond Egypt". Epistle.us. Retrieved 14 September 2017.  ^ Neill, James (3 October 2011). "The Origins and Role of Same-Sex Relations in Human Societies". McFarland. p. 83. Retrieved 14 September 2017 – via Google Books.  ^ Killebrew, Ann E. (2013), "The Philistines
Philistines
and Other "Sea Peoples" in Text and Archaeology", Society of Biblical Literature Archaeology and biblical studies, Society of Biblical Lit, 15, p. 2, ISBN 978-1-58983-721-8  Quote: "First coined in 1881 by the French Egyptologist G. Maspero (1896), the somewhat misleading term "Sea Peoples" encompasses the ethnonyms Lukka, Sherden, Shekelesh, Teresh, Eqwesh, Denyen, Sikil / Tjekker, Weshesh, and Peleset (Philistines). [Footnote: The modern term "Sea Peoples" refers to peoples that appear in several New Kingdom Egyptian texts as originating from "islands" (tables 1–2; Adams and Cohen, this volume; see, e.g., Drews 1993, 57 for a summary). The use of quotation marks in association with the term "Sea Peoples" in our title is intended to draw attention to the problematic nature of this commonly used term. It is noteworthy that the designation "of the sea" appears only in relation to the Sherden, Shekelesh, and Eqwesh. Subsequently, this term was applied somewhat indiscriminately to several additional ethnonyms, including the Philistines, who are portrayed in their earliest appearance as invaders from the north during the reigns of Merenptah and Ramesses Ill (see, e.g., Sandars 1978; Redford 1992, 243, n. 14; for a recent review of the primary and secondary literature, see Woudhuizen 2006). Hencefore the term Sea Peoples
Sea Peoples
will appear without quotation marks.]" ^ Robert Drews, The End of the Bronze Age: Changes in Warfare and the Catastrophe Ca. 1200 B.C. pp. 48–61. Quote: "The thesis that a great "migration of the Sea Peoples" occurred ca. 1200 B.C. is supposedly based on Egyptian inscriptions, one from the reign of Merneptah and another from the reign of Ramesses III. Yet in the inscriptions themselves such a migration nowhere appears. After reviewing what the Egyptian texts have to say about 'the sea peoples', one Egyptologist (Wolfgang Helck) recently remarked that although some things are unclear, "eins ist aber sicher: Nach den agyptischen Texten haben wir es nicht mit einer 'Volkerwanderung' zu tun." Thus the migration hypothesis is based not on the inscriptions themselves but on their interpretation." ^ Chart of World Kingdoms, Nations and Empires—All Empires Archived 21 January 2012 at the Wayback Machine. ^ Britannica "The Median army took part in the final defeat of the Assyrians in northern Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia
(612–609); and, when the territory of Assyria
Assyria
was divided between Media and Babylonia, Media took Assyria with Harran." ^ 5 Revolts in the Neo-Assyrian
Neo-Assyrian
Empire: A Preliminary Discourse Analysis "Radner provided a typological assessment of revolts throughout the Neo-Assyrian
Neo-Assyrian
period (ca. 1000-609 BCE)" ^ Encyclopaedia Britannica "The last great Assyrian ruler was Ashurbanipal, but his last years and the period following his death, in 627 bce, are obscure. The state was finally destroyed by a Chaldean-Median coalition in 612–609 bce." ^ "Assyrians after Assyria". Nineveh.com. 4 September 1999. Archived from the original on 14 July 2011. Retrieved 19 June 2011.  ^ Van de Mieroop 2004b, p. 293 ^ Curtis, John (November 2003). "The Achaemenid Period in Northern Iraq". L'archéologie de l'empire achéménide (Paris, France): 12. ^ Mohsen, Zakeri (1995). Sasanid soldiers in early Muslim
Muslim
society: the origins of 'Ayyārān and Futuwwa. Otto Harrassowitz Verlag. p. 135. ISBN 978-3-447-03652-8.  ^ Gottheil, Richard. "Adiabene". Jewish Encyclopedia. Retrieved 8 November 2011.  ^ Crone & Cook 1977, p. 55 ^ Charlotte Higgins. "When Syrians, Algerians and Iraqis
Iraqis
patrolled Hadrian's Wall". the Guardian. Retrieved 16 February 2016.  ^ a b c Parpola, Simo. "ASSYRIAN IDENTITY IN ANCIENT TIMES AND TODAY" (PDF).  ^ Fuller, 1864, pp. 200–201. ^ H. Patrick Glenn, Legal Traditions of the World. Oxford University Press, 2007, p. 219. ^ Clinton Bennett (2005). Muslims and Modernity: An Introduction to the Issues and Debates. Continuum International Publishing Group. p. 163. ISBN 0-8264-5481-X. Retrieved 7 July 2012 ^ Hill, Henry, ed (1988). Light from the East: A Symposium on the Oriental Orthodox and Assyrian Churches. Toronto, Canada. pp. 108–109 ^ Ecclesiastical History of Bar Hebraeus (ii 354) ^ Woods 1977, pp. 49–50 ^ Johan Elverskog (2010). Buddhism
Buddhism
and Islam
Islam
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Assyrian Genocide
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References[edit]

 Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911), "Tiglath-Pileser", Encyclopædia Britannica, 26 (11th ed.), Cambridge University Press, p. 968  Parpola, Simo (2004), "National and Ethnic Identity in the Neo-Assyrian Empire
Neo-Assyrian Empire
and Assyrian Identity in Post- Empire
Empire
Times" (PDF), Journal of Assyrian Academic Studies, Vol. 18 (No. 2)  Roux, Georges (1964), Ancient Iraq, London: Penguin Books, ISBN 0-14-012523-X  Saggs, H. W. F. (1984), The Might That Was Assyria, London, ISBN 0-283-98961-0  Van De Mieroop, Marc (2004), A History of the Ancient Near East
Ancient Near East
ca. 3000–323 BC (2nd ed.), Blackwell Publishing, p. 107, ISBN 9781405149112  Van de Mieroop, Mark (2004b), A History of the Ancient Near East, Oxford 

Attribution:

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Easton, Matthew George (1897). "Assyria". Easton's Bible Dictionary
Dictionary
(New and revised ed.). T. Nelson and Sons. 

External links[edit]

Look up Assyria
Assyria
in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Assyria.

 Sayce, Archibald Henry (1878). "Assyria". Encyclopædia Britannica. 3 (9th ed.). pp. 182–194.   Sayce, Archibald Henry (1911). " Babylonia
Babylonia
and Assyria". Encyclopædia Britannica. 3 (11th ed.). pp. 99–112.   Oussani, Gabriel (1907). "Assyria". Catholic Encyclopedia. 2. 

Assyria
Assyria
on Ancient History Encyclopedia "Assyria", LookLex Encyclopedia Theophilus G. Pinches, The Religion of Babylonia
Babylonia
and Assyria
Assyria
in "btm" format Morris Jastrow, Jr., The Civilization of Babylonia
Babylonia
and Assyria: its remains, language, history, religion, commerce, law, art, and literature, London: Lippincott (1915)—a searchable facsimile at the University of Georgia Libraries; also available in layered PDF format

Coordinates: 36°00′N 43°18′E / 36.0°N 43.3°E / 36.0; 43.3

v t e

Ancient Mesopotamia

Geography

Modern

Euphrates Upper Mesopotamia Mesopotamian
Mesopotamian
Marshes Persian Gulf Syrian Desert Taurus Mountains Tigris Zagros Mountains

Ancient

Akkad Assyria Babylonia Chaldea Elam Hittites Media Mitanni Sumer Urartu Cities

History

Pre- / Protohistory

Acheulean Mousterian Trialetian Zarzian Natufian Nemrikian Khiamian Pre-Pottery Neolithic
Neolithic
A (PPNA) Pre-Pottery Neolithic
Neolithic
B (PPNB) Hassuna/Samarra Halaf Ubaid Uruk Jemdet Nasr Kish civilization

History

Early Dynastic Akkadian Ur III Old Babylonian Kassite Neo-Assyrian Neo-Babylonian Achaemenid Seleucid Parthian Roman Sasanian Muslim
Muslim
conquest Timeline of the Assyrian Empire

Languages

Akkadian Amorite Aramaic Eblaite Elamite Gutian Hittite Hurrian Luwian Middle Persian Old Persian Parthian Proto-Armenian Sumerian Urartian

Culture / Society

Architecture Art Cuneiform
Cuneiform
script Akkadian
Akkadian
literature Sumerian literature Music Religion

Archaeology

Looting Destruction by ISIL Tell

Portal

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Ancient Syria
Syria
and Mesopotamia

Syria Northern Mesopotamia Southern Mesopotamia

c. 3500–2350 BCE Martu Subartu Sumerian city-states

c. 2350–2200 BCE Akkadian
Akkadian
Empire

c. 2200–2100 BCE Gutians

c. 2100–2000 BCE Third Dynasty of Ur
Third Dynasty of Ur
(Sumerian Renaissance)

c. 2000–1800 BCE Mari and other Amorite
Amorite
city-states Old Assyrian Empire
Empire
(Northern Akkadians) Isin/ Larsa
Larsa
and other Amorite
Amorite
city-states

c. 1800–1600 BCE Old Hittite Kingdom Old Babylonian Empire
Empire
(Southern Akkadians)

c. 1600–1400 BCE Mitanni
Mitanni
(Hurrians) Karduniaš
Karduniaš
(Kassites)

c. 1400–1200 BCE New Hittite Kingdom

Middle Assyrian Empire

c. 1200–1150 BCE Bronze Age
Bronze Age
collapse ("Sea Peoples") Arameans

c. 1150–911 BCE Phoenicia Syro-Hittite states Aram- Damascus Arameans Middle Babylonia
Babylonia
( Isin
Isin
II) Chal de- ans

911–729 BCE Neo-Assyrian
Neo-Assyrian
Empire

729–609 BCE

626–539 BCE Neo-Babylonian Empire
Neo-Babylonian Empire
(Chaldeans)

539–331 BCE Achaemenid Empire
Achaemenid Empire
(Persians)

336–301 BCE Macedonian Empire
Empire
(Ancient Greeks)

311–129 BCE Seleucid Empire

129–63 BCE Seleucid Empire Parthian Empire
Empire
(Iranians)

63 BCE – 243 CE Roman Empire/Byzantine Empire
Empire
(Syria)

243–636 CE Sasanian Empire
Empire
(Persians)

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Timeline of the Ancient Near East

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Iraq articles

History

Ancient

Sumer Akkadian
Akkadian
Empire Babylonia Assyria Neo-Assyrian
Neo-Assyrian
Empire Neo-Babylonian Empire Achaemenid Assyria Seleucid Babylonia Parthian Babylonia Sassanid Asorestan

638–1958

Muslim
Muslim
conquest of Persia Abbasid Caliphate Buyid dynasty Kara Koyunlu Ak Koyunlu Safavids Ottoman Iraq (Mamluk dynasty) Mandatory Iraq Kingdom of Iraq Arab
Arab
Federation

Republic

1958–68 1968–2003 2003–11 2011–present

Arab
Arab
Socialist Ba'ath Party
Ba'ath Party
Iraq
Iraq
Region (National Command) Saddam Hussein Iran– Iraq
Iraq
War Invasion of Kuwait Gulf War Sanctions Iraq
Iraq
War

U.S. invasion Iraqi insurgency U.S. troop withdrawal

Insurgency (2011–2013) Civil War (2014–present)

Mosul liberation

Geography

Al-Faw Peninsula Al-Jazira Euphrates Hamrin Mountains Persian Gulf Islands Mesopotamia Mesopotamian
Mesopotamian
Marshes Places Lakes Shatt al-Arab Syrian Desert Tigris Umm Qasr Zagros Mountains

Politics

Administrative divisions Constitution Council of Representatives (legislative) Elections Foreign aid Foreign relations Government

Council of Ministers Presidency Council President Prime Minister

Human rights

in pre-Saddam Iraq in Saddam Hussein's Iraq in post-invasion Iraq

in ISIL-controlled territory

LGBT Freedom of religion Women

Law Military Police Political parties Judiciary Wars and conflicts

Economy

Central Bank Dinar (currency) Infrastructure Oil Industry Oil reserves Reconstruction Stock Exchange Telecommunications Transportation

Society

Cuisine Culture Education Health Media Music Smoking Sports

Demographics

Iraqis

diaspora refugees

Languages

Arabic Aramaic Kurdish Persian Iraqi Turkmen
Iraqi Turkmen
dialect

Minorities

Armenians Assyrians Circassians Kurds Mandaeans Marsh Arabs Persians Solluba Turkmen/Turcoman Jews

Religion

Islam Christianity Mandaeism Yazidis

Outline Index

Category Portal

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 25995

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