ListMoto - Esarhaddon

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(Akkadian: Aššur-aḥa-iddina "Ashur has given a brother"; Hebrew: אֵסַר חַדֹּן‬, Modern ’ēsár ḥadón, Tiberian ’esār ḥādon;[1] Ancient Greek: Ασαρχαδδων;[2] Latin: Asor Haddan[2]) was a king of the Neo-Assyrian Empire
Neo-Assyrian Empire
who reigned 681 – 669 BC. He was the youngest son of Sennacherib
and the West Semitic queen Naqi'a
(Zakitu), Sennacherib's second wife.


1 Rise to power 2 Military campaigns 3 Death 4 See also 5 References 6 Bibliography 7 External links

Rise to power[edit]

Victory stele.

When, despite being the youngest son, Esarhaddon
was named successor by his father, his elder brothers tried to discredit him. Oracles had named him as the person to free the exiles and rebuild Babylon, the destruction of which by Sennacherib
was felt to have been sacrilegious. Esarhaddon
remained crown prince, but was forced into exile at an unknown place beyond Hanilgalbat (Mitanni), that is, beyond the Euphrates, most likely somewhere in what is now southeastern Turkey. Sennacherib
was murdered in 681 BC. The biblical account is that Esarhaddon's brothers killed their father after the failed attempt to capture Jerusalem (2 Kings 19:37). Esarhaddon
returned to the capital of Nineveh
in forced marches and defeated his rival brothers in six weeks of civil war. He was formally declared king in the spring of 681 BC. His brothers fled to the land of Ararat and their followers and families were put to death. In the same year Esarhaddon
began the rebuilding of Babylon, including the well-known Esagila
and the Ekur at Nippur
(structures sometimes identified with the Tower of Babel).[3] The statues of the Babylonian gods were restored and returned to the city. He also ordered the reconstruction of the Assyrian sanctuary of Esharra in Ashur as well. Foreigners were forbidden to enter the temple. Both buildings were dedicated almost on the same date, the second year of his reign. Military campaigns[edit]

Easarhaddon cylinder from fort Shalmaneser at Nimrud. It was found in the city of Nimrud and was housed in the Iraqi Museum, Baghdad. Erbil Civilization Museum, Iraqi Kurdistan.

The first military campaigns of Esarhaddon
were directed against nomadic tribes of southern Mesopotamia, the Dakkuri and Gambulu, who had been harassing the peasants. In 679 BC, the Cimmerians, who had already killed his grandfather Sargon II, reappeared in Cilicia
and Tabal
under their new ruler Teushpa. Esarhaddon
defeated them near Hubushna (Hupisna), and defeated the rebellious inhabitants of Hilakku as well. The Cimmerians
withdrew to the west, where, with Scythian and Urartuan help, they were to destroy the kingdom of Phrygia
in 676 BC.

Black basalt monument of king Esarhaddon. It narrates Esarhaddon's restoration of Babylon. Circa 670 BC. From Babylon, Mesopotamia, Iraq. The British Museum, London.

The Sidonian king Abdi-Milkutti, who had risen up against the Assyrian king, was defeated in 677 BC and beheaded. The town of Sidon
was destroyed and rebuilt as Kar-Ashur-aha-iddina, the "Harbor of Esarhaddon". The population was deported to Assyria. A share of the plunder went to the loyal king of rival Tyre, Baal I, himself an Assyrian puppet. The partly conserved text of a treaty with Tyre mentions the kings of Judah, Edom, Moab, Gaza, Ashkelon, Ekron, Byblos, Arvad, Samsi-muruna, Ammon, Ashdod, ten kings from the coast of the sea, and ten kings from the middle of the sea (usually identified with Cyprus), as Assyrian allies. In 676 BC, Esarhaddon
took the towns of Sissu and Kundu in the Taurus Mountains. The Mannaeans, the Scythians under their king Ishpakaia, and the "Gutians" of the Zagros
proved to be a nuisance as well, as is attested by numerous oracle-texts. The Mannaeans, former vassals of the Assyrians, were no longer restricted to the area around Lake Urmia, but had spread into Zamua, where they interrupted the horse trade between Parsuash and Assyria
and refused to pay further tribute. After the fall of Phrygia, a daughter of Esarhaddon
was wedded to the Scythian prince Partatua of Sakasene in order to improve relations with the nomads. The Medes
under Khshathrita (Kashtariti) had been the target of a campaign as well, the date of which is unclear (possibly before 676 BC). Later, Assyrian hosts reached the border of the "salt-desert" near the mountain Bikni, that is, near Teheran. A number of fortresses secured the Zagros: Bit-Parnakki, Bit-kari and Harhar (Kar-Sharrukin). A certain Mugallu had taken possession of parts of the Syro-Hittite state of Melid, and associated himself with the king of Tabal. The city of Melid
was besieged in 675 BC, but without success. That same year, Humban-Haltash II of Elam
began a campaign against Sippar, but was defeated by the Babylonians, and died soon afterwards. His brother and successor Urtaki restored peace with Assyria.

Terracotta record of king Esarhaddon's restoration of Babylon. Circa 670 BC. From Babylon, Mesopotamia, Iraq. The British Museum, London.

A preliminary campaign against Egypt
begun by Esarhaddon
the next year seems to have failed. Meanwhile, Esarhaddon
was waging war in the land of Bazu, situated opposite of the island of "Dilmun"[citation needed] (Bahrain), probably Qatar, "where snakes and scorpions cover the ground like ants" - a dry land of salt deserts. In 673 BC, Esarhaddon waged war against Urartu
under king Rusas II, which had strengthened again after the ravages of Sargon II
Sargon II
and the Cimmerians. In 672 BC, crown prince Sin-iddina-apla died. He had been the oldest son and designated as king of Assyria, while the second son Shamash-shum-ukin
was to become the ruler of Babylon. Now, the younger Ashurbanipal
became crown prince, but he was very unpopular with the court and the priesthood. Contracts were made with leading Assyrians, members of the royal family and foreign rulers, to assure their loyalty to the crown prince. In 671 BC, Esarhaddon
went to war against Pharaoh Taharqa
of Egypt. Part of his army stayed behind to deal with rebellions in Tyre, and perhaps Ashkelon. The remainder went south to Rapihu (Rafah, near Gazah), then crossed the Sinai and entered Egypt. In the summer, he took Memphis, and Taharqa
fled to Upper Egypt. Esarhaddon
now called himself "king of Egypt, Patros, and Kush", and returned with rich booty from the cities of the delta; he erected a victory stele at this time, showing the son of Taharqa
in bondage, Prince Ushankhuru. Almost as soon as the king left, Egypt
rebelled against Assyrian rule. Death[edit] Esarhaddon
had to contend with court intrigues at Nineveh
that led to the execution of several nobles, and sent his general, Sha-Nabu-shu, to restore order in the Nile Valley. In 669 BC, he went to Egypt
in person, but suddenly died during autumn of the same year, in Harran. He was succeeded by Ashurbanipal
as king of Assyria, and Shamash-shum-ukin
as king of Babylonia. See also[edit]

Ancient Near East portal

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Esarhaddon.

Kings of Assyria


^ "Ezra 4 / Hebrew - English Bible / Mechon-Mamre". Mechon-mamre.org. Retrieved 2012-08-17.  ^ a b "NEW ADVENT BIBLE: Ezra 4". Newadvent.org. Retrieved 2012-08-17.  ^ Barbara N. Porter (1993). Images, power, and politics: figurative aspects of Esarhaddon's Babylonian policy. American Philosophical Society. pp. 62–. ISBN 978-0-87169-208-5. Retrieved 8 June 2011. 


Amitai Baruchi-Unna, "Crossing the Boundaries: Literary Allusions to the Epic of Gilgamesh in the Account of Esarhaddon's Egyptian Campaign," in Mordechai Cogan and Dan'el Kahn (eds), Treasures on Camels' Humps: Historical and Literary Studies from the Ancient Near East Presented to Israel Eph`al (Jerusalem, Magnes Press, 2008), Erle Leichty, "Esarhaddon's Eastern Campaign," in Mordechai Cogan and Dan'el Kahn (eds), Treasures on Camels' Humps: Historical and Literary Studies from the Ancient Near East Presented to Israel Eph'al (Jerusalem, Magnes Press, 2008), David Damrosch, The buried book: The Loss and Rediscovery of the Great Epic of Gilgamesh (Henry Holt and Co., 2007),

External links[edit]

A summary of Assyrian kings The murderer of Sennacherib
- by Simo Parpola Vassal
treaties and Esharhaddon's "Letter to the God" Esharhaddon’s Syrio-Palestinian Campaign Esarhaddon

Preceded by Sennacherib King of Assyria 681 – 669 BC Succeeded by Ashurbanipal

King of Babylon 681 – 669 BC Succeeded by Shamash-shum-ukin

v t e

Assyrian kings

Early Bronze Age

"Kings who lived in tents" (ca. 2500 – 2000 BC)

Tudiya Adamu Yangi Suhlamu Harharu Mandaru Imsu Harsu Didanu Hana Zuabu Nuabu Abazu Belu Azarah Ushpia Apiashal

"Kings who were forefathers" (ca. 2000 BC)

Apiashal Hale Samani Hayani Ilu-Mer Yakmesi Yakmeni Yazkur-el Ila-kabkabu Aminu

"Kings whose eponyms are destroyed" (ca. 2000 – 1900 BC)

Sulili Kikkia Akiya Puzur-Ashur I Shallim-ahhe Ilushuma

Middle Bronze Age

Old Assyrian period (ca. 1906 – 1380 BC)

Erishum I Ikunum Sargon I Puzur-Ashur II Naram-Suen Erishum II Shamshi-Adad I Ishme-Dagan I Mut-Ashkur Rimush Asinum (Seven usurpers: Ashur-dugul Ashur-apla-idi Nasir-Sin Sin-namir Ipqi-Ishtar Adad-salulu Adasi) Bel-bani Libaya Sharma-Adad I Iptar-Sin Bazaya Lullaya Shu-Ninua Sharma-Adad II Erishum III Shamshi-Adad II Ishme-Dagan II Shamshi-Adad III Ashur-nirari I Puzur-Ashur III Enlil-nasir I Nur-ili Ashur-shaduni Ashur-rabi I Ashur-nadin-ahhe I Enlil-nasir II Ashur-nirari II Ashur-bel-nisheshu Ashur-rim-nisheshu Ashur-nadin-ahhe II

Late Bronze Age

Middle Assyrian period (ca. 1353 – 1180 BC)

Eriba-Adad I Ashur-uballit I Enlil-nirari Arik-den-ili Adad-nirari I Shalmaneser I Tukulti-Ninurta I Ashur-nadin-apli Ashur-nirari III Enlil-kudurri-usur Ninurta-apal-Ekur

Iron Age

Middle Assyrian period (ca. 1179 – 912 BC)

Ashur-Dan I Ninurta-tukulti-Ashur Mutakkil-nusku Ashur-resh-ishi I Tiglath-Pileser I Asharid-apal-Ekur Ashur-bel-kala Eriba-Adad II Shamshi-Adad IV Ashur-nasir-pal I Shalmaneser II Ashur-nirari IV Ashur-rabi II Ashur-resh-ishi II Tiglath-Pileser II Ashur-Dan II

Neo-Assyrian Empire (ca. 912 – 609 BC)

Adad-nirari II Tukulti-Ninurta II Ashur-nasir-pal II Shalmaneser III Shamshi-Adad V Shammu-ramat (regent) Adad-nirari III Shalmaneser IV Ashur-Dan III Ashur-nirari V Tiglath-Pileser III Shalmaneser V Sargon II Sennacherib Esarhaddon Ashurbanipal Ashur-etil-ilani Sin-shumu-lishir Sin-shar-ishkun Ashur-uballit II

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WorldCat Identities VIAF: 268727348 LCCN: n85194309 ISNI: 0000 0001 2282 7672 GND: 118504622 SUDOC: 059734000 BNF: