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ASSYRIA: THE MIGHT OF ANCIENT IRAQ INFORMATION & PICTURES SOURCED FROM NELSON ANCIENT HISTORY, THE NEAR EAST
introduction Assyrian culture was spread widely through the Near East from approximately 3000 BCE. It was influential in spreading religion, art as well as advances in science, technology and medicine during this time. The powerful Assyrian Empire rose to power in 744 BCE, under the rule of Tiglath-Pileser III. Using their superior military and technology, the Assyrians swept across the Fertile Crescent like a destructive storm. They would either threaten their enemies into submission or crush them in battle. When they controlled a new territory, they would relocate the recently conquered people to other areas of the Assyrian Empire as slaves.
Introduction continued The Assyrians were the dominant culture in the land until 608 BCE when they were defeated by the Medes (who would later join together with the Persians to form a great empire). The Assyrian Empire stretched across modern day Iraq, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Israel and Egypt. The Assyrians were one of the most brutal and cruel nations in all of history, though they should not be remembered for this alone. they also built impressive cities, magnificent palaces, imposing temples. Citizens of their cities had constant flowing water, cities had beautiful gardens and parks and public libraries contained huge works of literature, religion, history, science and medicine.
Significant sites: The Royal Cities Ashur (or Assur) Nimrud (or Calah) Dur-Sharrukin (modern Khorsabad) Nineveh
Ashur Became the capital of the Assyrian Empire sometime between 1363-1328 BCE It remained the religious capital for more than 600 years. Ashur, the god of the city, became the chief-god of the whole empire and was responsible for determining the fate of kings. “The god Ashur … has entrusted me with unrivalled kingship.” (Sennacherib’s Annals) Location: the city was built at the top of a cliff edge, above the Tigris River. It was also the central point of many trade roads to the west and the north-west. The largest buildings in the city was Ashur’s temple, a ziggurat built to Ashur and Enlil, and a temple to Ishtar.