Assirië

Assirië was die gebied in die ou Nabye Ooste wat onder die Neo-Assiriese Ryk vanaf Mesopotamië (hedendaagse Irak) deur Klein-Asië (moderne Turkye) en deur Egipte gekom het. Die ryk het beskeie begin in die stad Ashur (bekend as Subartu aan die Sumeriërs), geleë in Mesopotamië noordoos van Babilon, waar handelaars wat in Anatolië handel gedryf het, al hoe meer ryk geword het en die welvaart die groei en voorspoed van die stad moontlik gemaak het.

Volgens een interpretasie van gedeeltes in die Bybelse boek Genesis, is Ashur gestig deur 'n man met die naam Ashur, seun van Sem, seun van Noag, na die Groot Vloed, wat daarna die ander belangrike Assiriese stede gestig het. 'N Meer waarskynlike weergawe is dat die stad êrens in die 3de millennium vC Ashur genoem is na die godheid van die naam; dieselfde god se naam is die oorsprong van 'Assirië'. Die Bybelse weergawe van die oorsprong van Ashur verskyn later in die historiese verslag (Genesis dateer vroeg omstreeks 1450 v.C., die laaste 5de eeu v.G.J.) en blykbaar deur die Assiriërs aangeneem nadat hulle die Christendom aanvaar het. Hierdie weergawe word dus beskou as 'n herinterpretasie van hul vroeë geskiedenis, meer in ooreenstemming met hul nuut aangeneemde geloofstelsel.

Die Assiriërs was 'n Semitiese volk wat oorspronklik Akkadies gepraat en geskryf het voordat die makliker Aramees meer gewild geword het. Geskiedkundiges het die opkoms en val van die Assiriese Ryk in drie periodes verdeel: Die Ou Koninkryk, die Middelryk en die Laat Ryk (ook bekend as die Neo-Assiriese Ryk), hoewel daar op gelet moet word dat die geskiedenis van Assirië voortgegaan het punt; daar woon tans nog Assiriërs in die streke van Iran en Irak, en elders. Die Assiriese Ryk word beskou as die grootste van die Mesopotamiese ryke vanweë sy uitgestrektheid en die ontwikkeling van die burokrasie en militêre strategieë wat dit laat groei en floreer het.

Die handelskolonie Karum Kanesh was een van die winsgewendste handelsentrums in die ou Nabye Ooste.

Die Ou Koninkryk

Alhoewel die stad Ashur sedert die 3de millennium vC bestaan ​​het, dateer die bestaande ruïnes van die stad tot 1900 vC, wat nou beskou word as die datum waarop die stad gestig is. Volgens vroeë inskripsies was Tudiya die eerste koning, en diegene wat hom gevolg het, was bekend as 'konings wat in tente gewoon' het, wat 'n pastorale, eerder as stedelike, gemeenskap voorstel.

Ashur was egter beslis 'n belangrike handelsentrum, selfs al is die presiese vorm en struktuur daarvan onduidelik. Die koning Erishum I het die tempel van Ashur op die terrein in ongeveer c. 1900/1905 vC, en dit het die aanvaarde datum geword vir die stigting van 'n werklike stad op die terrein, hoewel daar duidelik 'n vorm van stad voor die datum moes bestaan ​​het. Die historikus Wolfram von Soden skryf:

As gevolg van 'n gebrek aan bronne, is baie min bekend oor Assirië in die derde millennium ... Ons belangrikste bronne vir hierdie tydperk is die vele duisend Assiriese briewe en dokumente van die handelskolonies in Kappadokië, waarvan Kanesh (moderne Kultepe) die belangrikste was. (49-50)

Die handelskolonie Karum Kanesh (die hawe van Kanesh) was een van die winsgewendste handelsentrums in die ou Nabye Ooste en beslis die belangrikste vir die stad Ashur. Handelaars uit Ashur het na Kanesh gereis, besighede gestig en daarna, nadat hulle vertroude werknemers (gewoonlik familielede) in beheer geplaas het, na Ashur teruggekeer en van daar af toesig gehou oor hul sake. Die historikus Paul Kriwaczek merk op:

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Vir etlike geslagte het die handelshuise van Karum Kanesh floreer, en sommige het baie ryk geword - antieke miljoenêrs. Alle sake is egter nie binne die gesin gehou nie. Ashur het 'n gesofistikeerde bankstelsel en 'n deel van die kapitaal wat die handel in Anatolië gefinansier het, kom uit langtermynbeleggings deur onafhanklike spekulante in ruil vir 'n kontraktueel gespesifiseerde deel van die wins. Daar is nie veel oor die huidige kommoditeitsmarkte wat 'n ou Assiriër nie vinnig sou herken nie. (214-215)

Die opkoms van Ashur

Die rykdom wat uit die handel in Karum Kanesh gegenereer is, het die inwoners van Ashur die stabiliteit en sekuriteit gebied wat nodig was vir die uitbreiding van die stad, en sodoende die grondslag gelê vir die opkoms van die ryk. Handel met Anatolië was ewe belangrik om die Assiriërs grondstowwe te voorsien waaruit hulle die ysterwerk kon vervolmaak. Die ysterwapens van die Assiriese weermag sou 'n beslissende voordeel wees in die veldtogte wat die hele gebied van die Nabye Ooste sou verower. Maar voordat dit kon gebeur, moes die politieke landskap verander.

Die mense bekend as die Hurrians en die Hatti het oorheersing in die gebied van Anatolië en Ashur, in die noorde in Mesopotamië, gebly in die skadu van hierdie magtiger beskawings. Benewens die Hatti, was daar ook mense wat bekend staan ​​as die Amoriete, wat hulle gereeld in die gebied gevestig het en meer grond en hulpbronne bekom het. Die Assiriese koning Shamashi Adad I (1813-1791 BCE) het die Amoriete verdryf en die grense van Assirië beveilig en Ashur as die hoofstad van sy koninkryk beweer. Die Hatti bly steeds dominant in die streek totdat hulle deur die Hetiete binnegeval en geassimileer is in c. 1700.

Lank voor die tyd het hulle egter opgehou om net so 'n groot bron van kommer te wees, soos die stad in die suidweste wat stadig aan die bewind is: Babilon. Die Amoriete was 'n groeiende mag in Babilon vir ten minste 100 jaar toe die Amoritiese koning Sin Muballit die troon inneem, en, c. 1792 vC het sy seun koning Hammurabi (1792-1750 vC) opgevaar om te regeer en die lande van die Assiriërs onderwerp. Omtrent dieselfde tyd het die handel tussen Ashur en Karum Kanesh geëindig, aangesien Babilon nou in die streek bekend geword het en die handel met Assirië beheer het.

Kort na Hammurabi se dood in 1750 VHJ val die Babiloniese Ryk uitmekaar. Assirië het weer probeer om beheer uit te oefen oor die gebied rondom Ashur, maar dit lyk asof die konings van hierdie tydperk nie die taak verrig het nie. Burgeroorlog het in die streek uitgebreek, en stabiliteit is eers herstel tydens die bewind van die Assiriese koning Adasi (ongeveer 1726-1691 vC). Adasi kon die streek beveilig en sy opvolgers het sy beleid voortgesit, maar was nie in staat of wou nie deelneem aan die uitbreiding van die koninkryk nie.

Die Middelryk

Die uitgestrekte koninkryk Mitanni het uit die gebied van Oos -Anatolië opgestaan ​​en het nou die mag in die gebied van Mesopotamië; Assirië het onder hulle beheer geval. Invalle deur die Hetiete onder koning Suppiluliuma I (r.1344-1322 vC) het die Mitanni-mag verbreek en die konings van Mitanni vervang met Hetitiese heersers op dieselfde tyd dat die Assiriese koning Eriba Adad I invloed kon verkry by die Mitanni (nou hoofsaaklik Hetitiese) hof. Die Assiriërs het nou 'n geleentheid gesien om hul eie outonomie te bevestig en het begin om hul koninkryk uit te brei van Ashur na die streke wat voorheen deur die Mitanni gehou is.

Die Hetiete het teruggeslaan en kon die Assiriërs weghou totdat die koning Ashur-Uballit I (omstreeks 1353-1318 v.C.) die oorblywende Mitanni-magte onder die Hetitiese bevelvoerders verslaan en beduidende gedeeltes van die streek ingeneem het. Hy word opgevolg deur twee konings wat gehandhaaf het wat gewen is, maar geen verdere uitbreiding is bereik tot die koms van koning Adad Nirari I (ongeveer 1307-1275 v.G.J.) wat die Assiriese Ryk na die noorde en suide uitgebrei het en die Hetiete verdryf het en die verowering van hul belangrikste vestings.

Adad Nirari I is die eerste Assiriese koning oor wie alles met sekerheid bekend is.

Adad Nirari I is die eerste Assiriese koning oor wie alles met sekerheid bekend is, want hy het opskrifte gelaat van sy prestasies wat oorleef het, meestal ongeskonde. Verder het briewe tussen die Assiriese koning en die Hetitiese heersers ook oorleef en maak dit duidelik dat die Assiriese heersers aanvanklik nie ernstig opgeneem is deur dié van ander nasies in die streek totdat hulle hulself te sterk was om dit te weerstaan ​​nie. Die historikus Will Durant lewer kommentaar op die opkoms van die Assiriese Ryk:

As ons die keiserlike beginsel moet erken - dat dit goed is vir die verspreiding van wet, veiligheid, handel en vrede, dat baie state deur oorreding of geweld onder die gesag van een regering gebring moet word - dan moet ons gee aan Assir die onderskeid dat hulle in Wes -Asië 'n groter maatstaf en gebied van orde en voorspoed gevestig het as wat die gebied op aarde ooit tevore geniet het. (270)

Die Assiriese Deportasiebeleid

Adad Nirari I het die Mitanni heeltemal verower en begin met die standaardbeleid onder die Assiriese Ryk: die deportasie van groot dele van die bevolking. Met Mitanni onder Assiriese beheer, het Adad Nirari I besluit dat die beste manier om toekomstige opstand te voorkom, was om die voormalige bewoners van die land te verwyder en dit deur Assiriërs te vervang. Dit moet egter nie as 'n wrede behandeling van gevangenes verstaan ​​word nie. Die historikus Karen Radner skryf hieroor:

Die gedeporteerdes, hul arbeid en hul vermoëns was uiters waardevol vir die Assiriese staat, en hul verhuising is noukeurig beplan en georganiseer. Ons moenie trekke van behoeftige vlugtelinge voorstel wat maklike prooi was vir hongersnood en siektes nie: die afgevaardigdes was bedoel om so gemaklik en veilig as moontlik te reis om in 'n goeie fisiese toestand hul bestemming te bereik. Elke keer as die deportasies in die Assiriese keiserlike kuns uitgebeeld word, word mans, vroue en kinders gewys wat in groepe reis, wat dikwels op voertuie of diere ry en nooit in bindings nie. Daar is geen rede om aan hierdie uitbeeldings te twyfel nie, aangesien Assiriese narratiewe kuns andersins nie van die grafiese vertoning van uiterste geweld af wegskram nie. (1)

Afgevaardigdes is sorgvuldig gekies vir hul vermoëns en gestuur na streke wat hul talente ten volle kan benut. Nie almal in die verowerde bevolking is gekies vir deportasie nie en gesinne is nooit geskei nie. Die dele van die bevolking wat die Assiriërs aktief verset het, is gedood of as slawerny verkoop, maar die algemene bevolking het opgeneem in die groeiende ryk en hulle word as Assiriërs beskou. Die historikus Gwendolyn Leick skryf dit van Adad Nirari I

die voorspoed en stabiliteit van sy bewind het hom in staat gestel om aan ambisieuse bouprojekte deel te neem, stadsmure en kanale te bou en tempels te herstel. (3)

Hy het ook 'n grondslag gelê vir die ryk waarop sy opvolgers sou bou.

Assiriese verowering van Mitanni en die Hetiete

Sy seun en opvolger Shalmaneser I het die vernietiging van die Mitanni voltooi en hul kultuur geabsorbeer. Shalmaneser I het sy pa se beleid voortgesit, insluitend die verskuiwing van bevolkings, maar sy seun, Tukulti-Ninurta I (ongeveer 1244-1208 v.G.J.), het nog verder gegaan. Volgens Leick, Tukulti-Ninurta I

... was een van die bekendste Assiriese soldate konings wat onophoudelik 'n veldtog gevoer het om Assiriese besittings en invloed te behou. Hy reageer met skouspelagtige wreedheid op enige teken van opstand. (177)

Hy was ook baie geïnteresseerd in die verkryging en bewaring van die kennis en kulture van die mense wat hy verower het, en het 'n meer gesofistikeerde metode ontwikkel om te kies watter soort individu, of gemeenskap, hervestig sou word en na watter spesifieke plek. Skrifgeleerdes en geleerdes is byvoorbeeld sorgvuldig gekies en na stedelike sentrums gestuur, waar hulle kan help om geskrewe werke te katalogiseer en te help met die burokrasie van die ryk. Hy was 'n geletterde man en skryf die epiese gedig wat sy oorwinning oor die Kassitiese koning van Babilon en onderwerping van die stad en die gebiede onder sy invloed beskryf en 'n ander een oor sy oorwinning oor die Elamiete.

Hy verslaan die Hetiete in die Slag van Nihriya in ongeveer. 1245 vC wat die Hetitiese mag effektief in die streek beëindig het en die agteruitgang van hul beskawing begin het. Toe Babilon die Assiriese gebied binnegedring het, het Tukulti-Ninurta I die stad swaar gestraf deur dit te ontslaan, die heilige tempels te plunder en die koning en 'n deel van die bevolking as slawe na Assur terug te dra. Met sy geplunderde rykdom het hy sy groot paleis opgeknap in die stad wat hy teenoor Assur gebou het, wat hy Kar-Tukulti-Ninurta genoem het, waarna hy blykbaar teruggetrek het sodra die gety van die algemene opinie teen hom gedraai het.

Sy ontheiliging van die tempels van Babilon word beskou as 'n oortreding van die gode (aangesien die Assiriërs en Babiloniërs baie van dieselfde gode gedeel het) en sy seuns en hofamptenare was in opstand teen hom omdat hy sy hand op die goed van die gode gesit het. Hy is vermoor in sy paleis, waarskynlik deur een van sy seuns, Ashur-Nadin-Apli, wat daarna die troon ingeneem het.

Tiglath Pileser I & Revitalization

Na die dood van Tukulti-Ninurta I, het die Assiriese Ryk in 'n stilstand geval waarin dit nie uitgebrei of afgeneem het nie. Terwyl die hele Nabye Ooste in 'n 'donker era' verval het na die sogenaamde ineenstorting van die Bronstydperk van c. 1200 vC het Ashur en sy ryk relatief ongeskonde gebly. Anders as ander beskawings in die streek wat 'n volledige ineenstorting ondergaan het, lyk dit asof die Assiriërs iets nader aan bloot 'n verlies aan voorwaartse momentum beleef het. Daar kan beslis nie gesê word dat die ryk 'gestagneer' het nie, want die kultuur, insluitend die klem op militêre veldtog en die waarde van verowering, het voortgegaan; Daar was egter geen beduidende uitbreiding van die ryk en beskawing soos onder Tukulti-Ninurta I.

Dit het alles verander met die opkoms van Tiglath Pileser I op die troon (regeer ongeveer 1115-1076 vC). Volgens Leick:

Hy was een van die belangrikste Assiriese konings van hierdie tydperk, hoofsaaklik vanweë sy uitgebreide militêre veldtogte, sy entoesiasme vir bouprojekte en sy belangstelling in spykerskrifttablette. Hy het wyd veldtog gevoer in Anatolië, waar hy talle mense onderwerp het en tot by die Middellandse See gewaag het. In die hoofstad, Assur, het hy 'n nuwe paleis gebou en 'n biblioteek opgerig wat talle tablette bevat oor allerhande vakkundige onderwerpe. Hy het ook 'n wettige besluit uitgevaardig, die sogenaamde Middle Assyrian Laws, en die eerste koninklike annale geskryf. Hy was ook een van die eerste Assiriese konings wat parke en tuine met buitelandse en inheemse bome en plante in gebruik geneem het. (171)

Tiglath Pileser I het die ekonomie en die weermag deur sy veldtogte laat herleef en meer hulpbronne en vaardige bevolkings bygevoeg tot die Assiriese Ryk. Geletterdheid en kunste het floreer, en die bewaringsinisiatief wat die koning geneem het rakende spykerskrifttablette, sou die model wees vir die latere heerser, Ashurbanipal's, die beroemde biblioteek in Nineve. By die dood van Tiglath Pileser I het sy seun, Asharid-apal-ekur, die troon ingeneem en twee jaar lank regeer, waartydens hy sy vader se beleid sonder verandering voortgesit het. Hy word opgevolg deur sy broer Ashur-bel-Kala, wat aanvanklik suksesvol regeer het totdat hy uitgedaag is deur 'n usurpator wat die ryk in 'n burgeroorlog gewerp het.

Alhoewel die opstand verpletter is en die deelnemers uitgevoer is, het die onrus toegelaat dat sekere streke wat deur Assirië vasgehou is, loskom, en onder hulle was die gebied bekend as Eber Nari (hedendaagse Sirië, Libanon en Israel), wat veral belangrik vir die ryk vanweë die gevestigde hawe langs die kus. Die Arameërs het Eber Nari nou vasgehou en van daar af begin invalle maak in die res van die ryk. Terselfdertyd het die Amoriete van Babilon en die stad Mari gesê dat hulle die mag van die ryk probeer verbreek het.

Die konings wat Ashur-bel-Kala gevolg het (onder wie Shalmaneser II en Tiglath Pileser II) het daarin geslaag om die kern van die ryk rondom Ashur te behou, maar het nie daarin geslaag om Eber Nari weer in te neem of die Arameërs en Amoriete heeltemal van die grense te verdryf nie. Die ryk het geleidelik ingekrimp deur herhaaldelike aanvalle van buite en rebellies van binne, en sonder 'n koning wat sterk genoeg was om die weermag te laat herleef nie, het Assirië weer 'n tydperk van stilstand ingegaan waarin hulle saam gehou het wat hulle kon van die ryk, maar niks anders kon doen nie.

Die Neo-Assiriese Ryk

Die Laat Ryk (ook bekend as die Neo-Assiriese Ryk) is die een wat die studente uit die antieke geskiedenis die bekendste ken, aangesien dit die periode is van die grootste uitbreiding van die ryk. Dit is ook die era wat die Assiriese Ryk die mees besliste naam gee vir genadeloosheid en wreedheid. Die historikus Kriwaczek skryf:

Assirië moet sekerlik een van die ergste persberigte van enige staat in die geskiedenis wees. Babilon is miskien 'n bynaam vir korrupsie, dekadensie en sonde, maar die Assiriërs en hul beroemde heersers, met skrikwekkende name soos Shalmaneser, Tiglath-Pileser, Sanherib, Esarhaddon en Ashurbanipal, beoordeel die gewilde verbeelding net onder Adolf Hitler en Genghis Khan vir wreedheid, geweld en blote moorddadigheid. (208)

Die reputasie word verder opgemerk deur die historikus Simon Anglim en ander. Anglim skryf:

Hoewel historici geneig is om van analogieë af te skrik, is dit aanloklik om die Assiriese Ryk, wat die Midde-Ooste van 900-612 vC oorheers het, te sien as 'n historiese voorvader van Nazi-Duitsland: 'n aggressiewe, moorddadige wraakgierige regime ondersteun deur 'n manjifieke en suksesvolle oorlog masjien. Net soos met die Duitse leër van die Tweede Wêreldoorlog, was die Assiriese weermag die tegnologies en leerstellige gevorderde van sy tyd en was dit 'n model vir ander vir geslagte daarna. Die Assiriërs was die eerstes wat groot ysterwapens gebruik het [en] ysterwapens was nie net beter as brons nie, maar kon ook in massa geproduseer word, sodat inderdaad baie groot leërs toegerus kon word. (12)

Hoewel die reputasie van beslissende, genadelose, militêre taktiek verstaanbaar is, is die vergelyking met die Nazi -regime minder. Anders as die Nazi's, behandel die Assiriërs die verowerde mense wat hulle verhuis het goed (soos reeds hierbo aangespreek) en beskou hulle as Assiriërs nadat hulle hulle aan die sentrale gesag onderwerp het. Daar was geen konsep van 'n 'meesterras' in die Assiriese beleid nie; almal word as 'n aanwins vir die ryk beskou, of hulle nou as Assiriërs gebore is of in die kultuur opgeneem is. Kriwaczek sê: "In werklikheid was die Assiriese oorlogvoering nie meer wreed as dié van ander hedendaagse state nie. Die Assiriërs was inderdaad ook nie wreedaardiger as die Romeine nie. "(209). Die enigste billike vergelyking tussen Duitsland in die Tweede Wêreldoorlog en die Assiriërs is dus die doeltreffendheid van die weermag en die grootte van die leër, en dieselfde vergelyking kan gemaak word met antieke Rome.

Die opkoms van die koning Adad Nirari II (ongeveer 912-891 vC) het die soort herlewing gebring wat Assirië nodig gehad het.

Hierdie massiewe leërs lê egter nog in die toekoms toe die eerste koning van die Neo-Assiriese Ryk aan bewind gekom het. Die opkoms van die koning Adad Nirari II (ongeveer 912-891 vC) het die soort herlewing gebring wat Assirië nodig gehad het. Adad Nirari II verower die verlore lande, waaronder Eber Nari, en beveilig die grense.

Die verslane Arameërs is tereggestel of gedeporteer na streke in die hartland van Assirië. Hy verower ook Babilon, maar leer uit die foute van die verlede en weier om die stad te plunder en sluit in plaas daarvan 'n vredesooreenkoms met die koning waarin hulle met mekaar se dogters trou en wedersydse lojaliteit belowe. Hulle verdrag sou Babilon vir die volgende 80 jaar as 'n kragtige bondgenoot, in plaas van 'n meerjarige probleem, verseker.

Militêre uitbreiding en die nuwe siening van die God

Die konings wat Adad Nirari II gevolg het, het dieselfde beleid en militêre uitbreiding voortgesit. Tukulti Ninurta II (891-884 BCE) het die ryk in die noorde uitgebrei en verdere gebied in die suide in Anatolië verkry, terwyl Ashurnasirpal II (884-859 BCE) die bewind in die Levant gekonsolideer het en Assiriese bewind deur Kanaän uitgebrei het. Hul mees algemene veroweringsmetode was deur belegoorlogvoering wat sou begin met 'n wrede aanval op die stad. Anglim skryf:

Meer as enigiets anders, het die Assiriese weermag uitgeblink tydens beleëringsoorlogvoering en was dit waarskynlik die eerste mag om 'n aparte ingenieurskorps te dra ... Aanval was hul belangrikste taktiek teen die sterk versterkte stede in die Nabye Ooste. Hulle het 'n groot verskeidenheid metodes ontwikkel om vyandelike mure te breek: sappers is gebruik om mure te ondermyn of om vuur onder houthekke aan te steek, en opritte is opgegooi om mans in staat te stel om oor die skanse te gaan of om die boonste gedeelte van die muur te breek. waar dit die minste dik was. Mobiele lere het aanvallers in staat gestel om grotte oor te steek en vinnig enige punt van verdediging aan te val. Hierdie operasies is gedek deur massas boogskutters, wat die kern van die infanterie was. Maar die trots van die Assiriese belegstrein was hul enjins. Dit was veelhistoriese houttorings met vier wiele en 'n rewolwer bo -op en een, of soms twee, ramme aan die basis. (186)

Die vooruitgang in militêre tegnologie was nie die enigste, of selfs die primêre, bydrae van die Assiriërs nie, aangesien dit gedurende hierdie tydperk aansienlike vordering gemaak het in die geneeskunde, voortgebou op die grondslag van die Sumeriërs en gebruik gemaak het van die kennis en talente van diegene wat verower en geassimileer. Ashurnasirpal II het die eerste sistematiese lyste van plante en diere in die ryk gemaak en skrifgeleerdes saamgeneem om nuwe vondste op te teken. Skole is in die hele ryk gestig, maar was slegs vir die seuns van die rykes en adel.

Vroue mag nie skool bywoon of gesagsposisies beklee nie, alhoewel vroue vroeër in Mesopotamië byna gelyke regte geniet het. Die afname in vroueregte korreleer met die opkoms van Assiriese monoteïsme. Terwyl die Assiriese leërs deur die hele land veldtog gevoer het, het hulle god Ashur saam met hulle gegaan, maar aangesien Ashur voorheen verbind was met die tempel van die stad en slegs daar aanbid is, het 'n nuwe manier van verbeel van die god nodig geword om die aanbidding voort te sit in ander plekke. Kriwaczek skryf:

U kan Ashur nie net in sy eie tempel in sy eie stad bid nie, maar ook oral. Namate die Assiriese ryk sy grense uitgebrei het, is Ashur op selfs die verste plekke teëgekom. Van geloof in 'n alomteenwoordige god tot geloof in 'n enkele god is nie 'n lang stap nie. Aangesien Hy oral was, het mense besef dat die plaaslike goddelikhede in 'n sekere sin net verskillende manifestasies van dieselfde Ashur was. (231)

Hierdie visie -eenheid van 'n opperste godheid het gehelp om die streke van die ryk verder te verenig. Die verskillende gode van die verowerde volke en hul verskillende godsdienstige gebruike het opgeneem in die aanbidding van Ashur, wat erken is as die enigste ware god wat in die verlede deur verskillende mense verskillende name genoem is, maar wat nou duidelik bekend was en kon behoorlik aanbid word as die universele godheid. Hieroor skryf Kriwaczek:

Geloof in die transendensie eerder as immanensie van die goddelike het belangrike gevolge gehad. Die natuur het ontakraliseer, ontwy. Aangesien die gode buite en buite die natuur was, moet die mensdom - volgens die Mesopotamiese geloof wat na die gode gelyk is en as dienaar van die gode - ook buite en bo die natuur wees. In plaas van 'n integrale deel van die natuurlike aarde, was die mensdom nou haar meerdere en haar heerser. Die nuwe gesindheid is later opgesom in Genesis 1:26: 'En God het gesê: Laat ons die mens maak na ons beeld, na ons gelykenis; en laat hom heers oor die visse van die see en die voëls van die lug, en oor die vee en oor die hele aarde en oor al die diere wat op die aarde kruip. ' Dit is baie goed vir mans, wat uitdruklik in die gedeelte uitgesonder is. Maar vir vroue is dit 'n onoorkomelike probleem. Terwyl mans hulself en mekaar kan mislei dat hulle buite, bo en bo die natuur is, kan vroue hulle nie so distansieer nie, want hul fisiologie maak hulle duidelik en duidelik deel van die natuurlike wêreld ... Dit is geen toeval dat selfs vandag nog godsdienste wat het die meeste klem gelê op God se totale transendensie en die onmoontlikheid selfs om hom voor te stel dat sy werklikheid vroue tot 'n laer stadium van bestaan ​​sou laat daal, en dat hul deelname aan openbare godsdienstige aanbidding slegs as gruwelik toegelaat sou word. (229-230)

Die Assiriese kultuur het toenemend saamgevoeg met die uitbreiding van die ryk, die nuwe begrip van die godheid en die assimilasie van die mense uit die verowerde streke. Shalmaneser III (859-824 v.C.) het die ryk uitgebrei tot aan die kus van die Middellandse See en hulde gebring aan die welgestelde Fenisiese stede Tirus en Sidon. Hy het ook die Armeense koninkryk Urartu verslaan, wat lankal 'n beduidende oorlas vir die Assiriërs was. Na sy bewind het die ryk egter in 'n burgeroorlog uitgebreek toe die koning Shamshi Adad V (824-811 vC) saam met sy broer om beheer geveg het. Alhoewel die rebellie neergelê is, het die uitbreiding van die ryk gestop na Shalmaneser III.

Die regent Shammuramat (ook bekend as Semiramis wat later die tradisionele godin-koningin van die Assiriërs geword het) het die troon van haar jong seun Adad Nirari III vanaf c. 811-806 vC en in daardie tyd die grense van die ryk beveilig en suksesvolle veldtogte gereël om die Mede en ander lastige bevolkings in die noorde neer te sit.

Toe haar seun volwasse word, kon sy 'n stabiele en aansienlike ryk aan hom oorhandig, wat Adad Nirari III toe verder uitgebrei het. Na sy bewind het sy opvolgers egter verkies om te rus op die prestasies van ander en het die ryk 'n ander tydperk van stagnasie binnegegaan. Dit was veral nadelig vir die weermag wat onder konings soos Ashur Dan III en Ashur Nirari V.

Tiglath Pileser III (745-727 vC) het die weermag herorganiseer en die burokrasie van die regering herstruktureer.

Die Groot Konings van die Neo-Assiriese Ryk

Die ryk is herleef deur Tiglath Pileser III (745-727 BCE) wat die weermag herorganiseer en die burokrasie van die regering herstruktureer het. Volgens Anglim het Tiglath Pileser III "uitgebreide hervormings van die weermag uitgevoer, die sentrale beheer oor die ryk herbevestig, die Middellandse See weer herower en selfs Babilon onderwerp. het ook kontingente van vasalstate geëis "(14). Hy verslaan die koninkryk Urartu, wat weer opgestaan ​​het om Assiriese heersers in die moeilikheid te bring, en onderwerp die streek Sirië. Onder die bewind van Tiglath Pileser III het die Assiriese leër tot op daardie tydstip die doeltreffendste militêre mag in die geskiedenis geword en sou dit 'n model wees vir toekomstige leërs in organisasie, taktiek, opleiding en doeltreffendheid.

Tiglath Pileser III is gevolg deur Shalmaneser V (727-722 BCE) wat die koning se beleid voortgesit het, en sy opvolger, Sargon II (722-705 BCE) het hulle verbeter en die ryk verder uitgebrei. Alhoewel Sargon II se heerskappy betwis is deur edeles, wat beweer het dat hy die troon onwettig ingeneem het, het hy die samehorigheid van die ryk behou. Na die leiding van Tiglath Pileser III, kon Sargon II die ryk op sy hoogste hoogte bring en Urartu beslis in sy beroemde veldtog van 714 vC verslaan.

Na sy dood word hy opgevolg deur sy seun Sanherib (705-681 v.G.J.), wat wyd en genadeloos veldtog gevoer het deur Israel, Juda en die Griekse provinsies in Anatolië te verower. Sy sak Jerusalem word uiteengesit oor die 'Taylor Prism', 'n spykerskrifblok wat Sanherib se militêre planne beskryf, wat in 1830 ontdek is deur die Britse kolonel Taylor, waarin die koning beweer dat hy 46 stede verower het en die mense van Jerusalem in die stad vasgekeer het. totdat hy hulle oorweldig het. Sy weergawe word egter betwis deur die weergawe van die gebeure wat in die Bybelse boek II Konings, hoofstuk 18-19, beskryf word, waar beweer word dat Jerusalem gered is deur goddelike ingryping en dat Sanherib se leër uit die veld verdryf is. Die Bybelse verslag het egter betrekking op die Assiriese verowering van die streek.

Sanherib se militêre oorwinnings het die rykdom van die ryk verhoog. Hy verhuis die hoofstad na Nineve en bou wat bekend staan ​​as "die paleis sonder 'n mededinger". Hy het die oorspronklike struktuur van die stad verfraai en verbeter deur vrugteboorde en tuine te plant. Die historikus Christopher Scarre skryf:

Sanherib se paleis het al die gewone toebehore van 'n groot Assiriese koshuis: kolossale beskermfigure en indrukwekkend gekerfde klipreliëfs (meer as 2 000 beelde in 71 kamers). Sy tuine was ook besonders. Onlangse navorsing deur die Britse assirioloog Stephanie Dalley het voorgestel dat dit die beroemde Hanging Gardens was, een van die sewe wonders van die antieke wêreld. Later het skrywers die Hanging Gardens in Babilon geplaas, maar uitgebreide navorsing het geen spore daarvan gevind nie. Sanherib se trotse weergawe van die paleistuine wat hy in Nineve geskep het, pas by die hangende tuine in verskeie belangrike besonderhede. (231)

Sonder om die lesse uit die verlede te ignoreer en nie tevrede was met sy groot rykdom en die weelde van die stad nie, het Sanherib sy leër teen Babilon gedryf, dit afgedank en die tempels geplunder. Soos vroeër in die geskiedenis, word die plundering en vernietiging van die tempels van Babilon beskou as die hoogtepunt van heiligmaking deur die mense in die streek en ook deur die seuns van Sanherib wat hom in sy paleis in Nineve vermoor het om die toorn van die gode te versag. Alhoewel hulle beslis gemotiveerd sou gewees het om hul vader vir die troon te vermoor (nadat hy sy jongste seun, Esarhaddon, as erfgenaam in 683 vC gekies het, sou hulle 'n wettige rede daarvoor nodig gehad het; en die vernietiging van Babilon het hulle van een voorsien.

Esarhaddon (681-669 vC) het Egipte suksesvol verower en die grense van die ryk tot in die noorde tot by die Zagrosberge gevestig.

Sy seun Esarhaddon (681-669 v.G.J.) neem die troon op, en een van sy eerste projekte was om Babilon te herbou. Hy het 'n amptelike afkondiging uitgereik wat beweer dat Babilon deur die wil van die gode vernietig is weens die goddeloosheid van die stad en die gebrek aan respek vir die goddelike.

Nêrens in sy proklamasie word daar melding gemaak van Sanherib of sy rol in die verwoesting van die stad nie, maar dit maak duidelik dat die gode Esarhaddon gekies het as die goddelike middel vir herstel: “Eens tydens 'n vorige heerskappy was daar slegte tekens. Die stad het sy gode beledig en op hul bevel vernietig. Hulle het my, Esarhaddon, gekies om alles op die regte plek te herstel, om hul woede te kalmeer en hul woede te kalmeer. ”

Die ryk floreer onder sy bewind. Hy het Egipte suksesvol verower (wat Sanherib probeer het en dit nie kon regkry nie) en die grense van die ryk tot so ver noord as die Zagrosberge (hedendaagse Iran) en so ver suid as Nubië (moderne Soedan) gevestig met 'n spanwydte van wes tot oos van die Levant (hedendaagse Libanon na Israel) deur Anatolië (Turkye). Sy suksesvolle veldtogte en noukeurige instandhouding van die regering het die stabiliteit gebied vir die vooruitgang in medisyne, geletterdheid, wiskunde, sterrekunde, argitektuur en kunste. Durant skryf:

Op die gebied van kuns het Assirië haar voorganger Babylon gelykgestel en oortref haar in bas-reliëf. Stimulated by the influx of wealth into Ashur, Kalakh, and Nineveh, artists and artisans began to produce – for nobles and their ladies, for kings and palaces, for priests and temples – jewels of every description, cast metal as skilfully designed and finely wrought as on the great gates at Balawat, and luxurious furniture of richly carved and costly woods strengthened with metal and inlaid with gold, silver, bronze, or precious stones. (278)

In order to secure the peace, Esarhaddon's mother, Zakutu (also known as Naqia-Zakutu) entered into vassal treaties with the Persians and the Medes requiring them to submit in advance to his successor. This treaty, known as the Loyalty Treaty of Naqia-Zakutu, ensured the easy transition of power when Esarhaddon died preparing to campaign against the Nubians and rule passed to the last great Assyrian king, Ashurbanipal (668-627 BCE). Ashurbanipal was the most literate of the Assyrian rulers and is probably best known in the modern day for the vast library he collected at his palace at Nineveh.

Though a great patron of the arts and culture, Ashurbanipal could be just as ruthless as his predecessors in securing the empire and intimidating his enemies. Kriwaczek writes:

Which other imperialist would, like Ashurbanipal, have commissioned a sculpture for his palace with decoration showing him and his wife banqueting in their garden, with the struck-off head and severed hand of the King of Elam dangling from trees on either side, like ghastly Christmas baubles or strange fruit? (208)

He decisively defeated the Elamites and expanded the empire further to the east and north. Recognizing the importance of preserving the past, he then sent envoys to every point in the lands under his control and had them retrieve or copy the books of that city or town, bringing all back to Nineveh for the royal library.

Ashurbanipal ruled over the empire for 42 years and, in that time, campaigned successfully and ruled efficiently. The empire had grown too large, however, and the regions were overtaxed. Further, the vastness of the Assyrian domain made it difficult to defend the borders. As great in number as the army remained, there were not enough men to keep garrisoned at every significant fort or outpost.

When Ashurbanipal died in 627 BCE, the empire began to fall apart. His successors Ashur-etli-Ilani and Sin-Shar-Ishkun were unable to hold the territories together and regions began to break away. The rule of the Assyrian Empire was seen as overly harsh by its subjects, in spite of whatever advancements and luxuries being an Assyrian citizen may have provided, and former vassal states rose in revolt.

In 612 BCE Nineveh was sacked & burned by a coalition of Babylonians, Persians, Medes, & Scythians.

In 612 BCE Nineveh was sacked and burned by a coalition of Babylonians, Persians, Medes, and Scythians, among others. The destruction of the palace brought the flaming walls down on the library of Ashurbanipal and, although it was far from the intention, preserved the great library, and the history of the Assyrians, by baking hard and burying the clay tablet books. Kriwaczek writes, “Thus did Assyria's enemies ultimately fail to achieve their aim when they razed Ashur and Nineveh in 612 BCE, only fifteen years after Ashurbanipal's death: the wiping out of Assyria's place in history” (255). Still, the destruction of the great Assyrian cities was so complete that, within two generations of the empire's fall, no one knew where the cities had been. The ruins of Nineveh were covered by the sands and lay buried for the next 2,000 years.

Legacy of Assyria

Thanks to the Greek historian Herodotus, who considered the whole of Mesopotamia 'Assyria', scholars have long known the culture existed (as compared to the Sumerians who were unknown to scholarship until the 19th century CE). Mesopotamian scholarship was traditionally known as Assyriology until relatively recently (though that term is certainly still in use), because the Assyrians were so well known through the primary sources of the Greek and Roman writers.

Through the expanse of their empire, the Assyrians spread Mesopotamian culture to the other regions of the world, which have, in turn, impacted cultures worldwide up to the present day. Durant writes:

Through Assyria's conquest of Babylon, her appropriation of the ancient city's culture, and her dissemination of that culture throughout her wide empire; through the long Captivity of the Jews, and the great influence upon them of Babylonian life and thought; through the Persian and Greek conquests which then opened with unprecedented fullness and freedom all the roads of communication and trade between Babylon and the rising cities of Ionia, Asia Minor, and Greece – through these and many other ways the civilization of the Land between the Rivers passed down into the cultural endowment of our race. In the end nothing is lost; for good or evil, every event has effects forever. (264)

Tiglath Pileser III had introduced Aramaic to replace Akkadian as the lingua franca of the empire and, as Aramaic survived as a written language, this allowed later scholars to decipher Akkadian writings and then Sumerian. The Assyrian conquest of Mesopotamia, and the expansion of the empire throughout the Near East, brought Aramaic to regions as near as Israel and as far as Greece and, in this way, Mesopotamian thought became infused with those cultures and a part of their literary and cultural heritage.

Following the decline and rupture of the Assyrian empire, Babylon assumed supremacy in the region from 605-549 BCE. Babylon then fell to the Persians under Cyrus the Great who founded the Achaemenid Empire (549-330 BCE) which fell to Alexander the Great and, after his death, was part of the Seleucid Empire.

The region of Mesopotamia corresponding to modern-day Iraq, Syria, and part of Turkey was the area at this time known as Assyria and, when the Seleucids were driven out by the Parthians, the western section of the region, formerly known as Eber Nari and then Aramea, retained the name Syria. The Parthians gained control of the region and held it until the coming of Rome in 116 CE, and then the Sassanid Empire held supremacy in the area from 226-650 CE until, with the rise of Islam and the Arabian conquests of the 7th century CE, Assyria ceased to exist as a national entity.

Among the greatest of their achievements, however, was the Aramaic alphabet, imported into the Assyrian government by Tiglath Pileser III from the conquered region of Syria. Aramaean was easier to write than Akkadian and so older documents collected by kings such as Ashurbanipal were translated from Akkadian into Aramaic, while newer ones were written in Aramaic and ignored the Akkadian. The result was that thousands of years of history and culture were preserved for future generations and this is the greatest of Assyria's legacies.

Author's Note: Many thanks to Ms. Claire Mooney for her contribution to the clarity of this article.


History of Assyria Albert T. Olmstead

It is no easy task to write a history, especially one so involved as that of Assyria. Olmstead, if he has not done the task perfectly, has at any rate done it well. It has meant a tremendous amount of investigation and the reading of sources, many of them as yet untranslated. The author is one peculiarly fitted to his task both by training and by a considerable residence in the countries whereof he writes. He has made large use of the actual words of the Assyrian writers themselves, thereby bringing to the reader something of the spirit of Assyria. This has meant the incorporation of a goodly portion of the Assyrian literature either in translation or paraphrase. The volume is profusely illustrated by almost 200 photographs, drawings, and maps, and very complete indexes add to its usefulness. Chronological charts would have made a welcome addition.

(The paragraph above is taken from Theophile J. Meek’s review of History of Assyria in the American Journal of Semitic Languages and Literatures [1925] 41/2: 140–142).

  • Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1923
  • Bl. xxx + 695 176 figures, 13 maps
  • Out of Print

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Assyrians: "3,000 Years of History, Yet the Internet is Our Only Home"

Assyrians started their immigration to the U.S. and Europe more than 100 years ago. The Assyrians of today number more than five million and are the direct descendants of the ancient Assyrian and Babylonian empires. Immigrants from Iraq and Iran preferred to settle in the U.S. and Australia, while Assyrians from Turkey preferred to settle in Europe. The Internet is finally uniting these Assyrian communities in diaspora, regardless of their geographic, educational, and economic backgrounds.

After the fall of their empire in the sixth and seventh centuries B.C., the Assyrians were reduced to a small nation living at the mercy of their overlords in the Middle East. Assyrians were one of the first people to embrace Christianity and due to their religious beliefs, they suffered numerous atrocities over the following centuries.

In the middle of the 19th century, Assyrians came into contact with the Western world. Also during this time, they experienced a cultural renaissance and played an instrumental role in the economic, political, and educational development of much of the Middle East. During the reign of the Ottoman Empire, however, they fell victim to the massacres inflicted upon most Christians -- Assyrians and Armenians alike -- by the Turks.

During WWI, they joined the Allied Forces to defend themselves against attacks by the Turkish forces and were deemed `our smallest ally' by British historians. In 1918, a few months before the end of the war, Assyrians were isolated and without ammunition. They had no choice but to retreat from Urmia, Turkey, via Hamadan, Iran to the British forces in Baghdad. In this long and costly exodus, the Assyrians lost more than one-third of their population in the constant attacks from all sides. Many fell victim to severe weather, epidemics, and other hardships. Assyrians from northwestern Turkey in Tur Abdin and Midyat suffered similar experiences as they were chased from their homeland to northwest of what is now Syria.

In exchange for their services during WWI, Britain, France, and Russia promised to give the Assyrians a safe and independent homeland in the area of northern Iraq known as `Assyrian Triangle.' This land never materialized and the tensions between the Assyrian population and Iraqi government culminated with a massacre in Simeil, Iraq in 1933. From this time on, the Assyrian diaspora began in an effort to find a safe haven and protect themselves from total elimination.

After the Gulf War in 1992, their situation worsened. While reports focused mainly on the Kurdish refugee situation, more than 250,000 Assyrians fled Iraq towards Turkey, Iran, and Syria. Thousands of Assyrians who fled, died enroute and others suffered unbearable hardships. During their bloodstained history, the Assyrians of Turkey have suffered inhumane atrocities and have never enjoyed equal cultural, ethnic, or human rights. On the contrary, they have constantly been under pressure by their non-Assyrian neighbors to leave their homes and land and flee outside the borders. The recent attacks on villages and the deaths of innocent men, women, and children have reduced the remaining Assyrian population of northern Iraq and Turkey to a small group of terrified and desperate people that await total elimination while today's civilized world watches.

Although the Assyrian refugee migration began before WWI, the mass migration started in 1975 after the Algerian treaty between Iran and Iraq that enabled Saddam Hussein to destroy many Assyrian and Kurdish villages in the north. Many were executed hundreds of thousands were forced to leave their lands and resettled in southern Iraq.

Today, Assyrians are one of the most widely scattered indigenous peoples. Most Assyrian families in the U.S. generally have relatives in Australia, Sweden, Lebanon, Iraq, or Canada. For such a small nation scattered throughout the world, the Internet is a dream come true.

Unfortunately, little is known in the West about Assyrians, our language, or our traditions. More importantly perhaps, our contributions to human civilization have been neglected due to the repressive regimes in the Middle East. In many Middle East countries, we do not have the right to publish our own newspaper or magazine, nor are we free to teach our own language (the Assyrian language is referred to as `neo-Aramaic,' `Chaldean,' or `modern Syriac'). In Iraq, our fundamental human rights were, and continue to be neglected.

Beyond this, the extremely oppressive ideology of Ba'athist regimes in Iraq and Syria denies the very existence of Assyrians as a distinct ethnic group it tolerates us solely as a Christian subset. In reality, our Christian religion is divided into the Apostolic and Catholic Assyrian Church of the East, Free Assyrian Orthodox Church of Anitoch, Chaldean Catholic Church, and the Protestant Church. Our history is falsified and misused to suit pan-Arabic ideology. We are forbidden to teach our own history or to promote and develop our cultural identity in any way. Particularly, under the dictatorship of Saddam Hussein, Iraq punishes Assyrian national activity with persecution and death. Many Assyrian patriots are either imprisoned or have been murdered. This reign of terror has been well-documented by human rights groups such as Amnesty International and from personal accounts by most of us who left countries, such as Iraq, in search of refuge and civilized order in Europe, Australia, and America.

In May 1995, I participated in `Ties That Bind,' the 1995 Community Networking Conference held at Apple Computer headquarters in Cupertino, California. It was there that I learned a great deal on how to serve the Assyrian community by utilizing the Internet. My use of the word `community' is some-what different than most, in that I am applying it not only to a local community, but to a global community as well.

Thanks to the Internet, today for the first time, average Assyrians are free to write about themselves, their history, and their dreams. This is an opportunity, which they could not imagine enjoying in their homeland. It is no small wonder that our people endorse the maxim, `God Bless America!'

'Nineveh On-Line' started as a local BBS, or bulletin board system, in Hollister, California in late 1994. Nineveh, located in modern-day Iraq, is the name of the Assyrian capital, a great city mentioned in the book of Jonah in the Bible. By early 1995, with considerable support from Hollister Internet hyperlink that included unlimited space on their server and various other free services, we were able to build a home for my people in cyberspace.

Today, Nineveh On-Line is home to over 100,000 visitors per month. Other activities include an annual Community Networking Conference and workshops for local Assyrian community organizations and churches. Since the Assyrian presence became visible in the Internet community a few years ago, dozens of web pages have been created that try to mirror the multifaceted nature of the Assyrians.

Now, the global community can learn a great deal about our traditions, language, and history on the Internet. Assyrians of today are not only scattered all over the world, but have also been identified by several terms, religious, as well as ethnic. This is reflected in the various web pages accessible on the Internet which can sometimes be a source of confusion for nonexperts. Consequently, one may find pages developed by those who have emigrated their homeland to resettle in Europe (i.e. Sweden and Germany), and one may note that the segment of this population tends to produce more Churchoriented pages.

The web pages presented by the U.S.-Assyrian community are well organized and offer plenty of information about the Assyrian culture and our activities. These pages have been developed by individuals, as well as organizations and links have been established between most of the pages. Beyond presentations on the church organization, our faith, and our history, we also see web pages with a focus on our ethnic background that refer to Assyrians, Arameans, and our language, `Syriac.'

Increasingly, one may observe the use of Syriacor, the Aramaic language on the Internet. But because the Syriac alphabet is different from English, special fonts need to be developed to view the language correctly. Currently, Tim Ericson, an American from Modesto, California is in the process of developing Islamic fonts for use on-line.

The Chaldean web pages and webmaster serve as an information exchange between the website visitor and the various communities trying to bridge the gaps that existed for decades in the Middle East. The hope is to have a unified Assyrian presentation. The struggle of the Assyrian people has always been, and it remains, the preservation of our important heritage.

Wherever we may land, Assyrians live in peace within the community, which receives them and they readily accept the responsibilities of their acquired citizenship. Assyrians seek the same rights and privileges extended to all citizens. We also want to serve as a voice of conscience in the Western community for all of the relatives and fellow Assyrians who remain behind and who continue to exist in Draconian conditions.

Kopiereg van artikel Cultural Survival, Inc.


Assyrian Empire, End of

The Assyrians were a cruel and warlike people who were used by God to punish his people and the surrounding nations who practiced idolatry. The Assyrians were especially cruel in their tactics and methods of conquest. Most Assyrian kings had a policy to transport the people from defeated kingdoms into other territories. They also enslaved them, killed them in great numbers, tortured humans as a means of entertainment, they praised false gods and they shed innocent blood. The Assyrians were not a righteous and upstanding group of people and in time God had to judge them for their sins. The kingdom of Assyria is completely replaced by Babylon by 600 BC which is when this event appears on the Bible Timeline.

Before God destroyed the Assyrians he sent them some of his prophets to warn them to turn away from their sins. The book of Jonah is a testimony to this truth. Jonah prophesied to the Assyrian city of Nineveh about 100 years before its destruction. This event took place around 740 to 730 B.C. The prophet didn’t want the Assyrian people of Nineveh to escape God’s judgment but God knew that they would repent and this is why he sent him to the city. Even though the people of Nineveh repented when Johan came to them the future generations of Assyrians did not have a change of mind about their cruel acts and sins. The prophet Nahum speaks judgments against the city about the same time as Jonah and his prophesies about the downfall of this city eventually take place.

The Assyrians conquered many people in the Middle East region of the world. The Medes, Scythians, Babylonians, and Medes were some of the major groups of people that were brought under the control of the Assyrians. The Israelites were also dominated by the Assyrians, but the people of Judah were not. They would be conquered by the kingdom of Babylon at a later date. The Assyrians broke their empire down into small and manageable provinces. The Assyrian King Tiglath-Pilezer started this policy and as he expanded the empire he continued to use it to make sure the people would not rebel. Eventually, this policy failed because the Babylonians, Scythians, and Medes rose up against the Assyrians around 632 B.C.

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The Babylonians led this federation and went to war against the Assyrians. Their main objective was to take Nineveh and destroy this city because it was the seat of power for the Assyrian empire. The Babylonians got close to the city and almost destroyed it, but the Assyrians managed to keep them tied up before they could accomplish this objective. Some of the tribal groups of Medes managed to sack Nineveh while the Assyrians were busy fighting the Babylonian federation. Even though the Medes conquered the city the Babylonians would go on to become the official rulers of Assyria. When the Assyrians lost Nineveh they knew that their empire was going to fall into the hands of their enemies. Babylon went on to conquer other Assyrian cities and by 600 B.C. Babylon had become the next dominant empire in the region.

Biblical References:

The Books of Nahum, I and II Kings, 1 and 2 Chronicles and Jonah explains why God took the time out to destroy and in some instances save Assyrians.


Leaders of Assyria

The Assyrians didn't just want independence, though. They wanted control and so, under their leader Tukulti-Ninurta (c. 1233-c. 1197 B.C.), known in legend as Ninus, the Assyrians set out to conquer Babylonia. Under their ruler Tiglat-Pileser (1116-1090), the Assyrians extended their empire into Syria and Armenia. Between 883 and 824, under Ashurnazirpal II (883-859 B.C.) and Shalmaneser III (858-824 B.C.) the Assyrians conquered all of Syria and Armenia, Palestine, Babylon, and southern Mesopotamia. At its greatest extent, the Assyrian empire extended to the Mediterranean Sea from the western part of modern Iran, including Anatolia, and southward to the Nile delta.

For the sake of control, the Assyrians forced their conquered subjects into exile, including the Hebrews who were exiled to Babylon.


Difference Between Assyrian and Babylonian

Assyrian vs Babylonian

The two neighboring sister-states of ancient Mesopotamia competed for dominance and as such grew widely different in character.

Geskiedenis
Assyria took its name from the town of Ashur, which was the main town but it may also apply to the wide empire that was captured and ruled by the Assyrians. Assyria had better climate than Babylonia owing to the fact that it was located in a highland region north of Babylonia. Assyrians were not entirely Semitic and their true origin is not really known. Their culture was also largely indebted to the Babylonians, the Hurrians and the Hittites. Their religion was an adoption from the Babylonians except that the presiding god of the city of Ashur became Assyria’s chief deity. Their nature of worship was animistic.

Babylonia was located at the eastern end of the fertile crescent of west Asia with its capitol as Babylon. At times it was referred to as the land of the Chaldeans. There were originally two political divisions namely Sumer and Akkad. Both the Assyrians and Babylonians made use of the Cuneiform script and all people including royalty, priests, merchants and teachers relied on writing. Nebuchadnezzar ruled Babylon for many years, his reign eventually becoming one of the longest and most accomplished in human history. Some historical moments during his reign include twice capturing Jerusalem and destroying it and the buildings and walls he built in the city, which were admired by Greek historians.

Organisasie
While merchants and agriculturalists sprung up in Babylonia, Assyrians became more militaristic, forming an organized military camp ruled over by an autocratic king as the supreme ruler. Successful generals then founded Assyrian dynasties and the king was the autocratic general of an army, who was in the early days surrounded by feudal nobility. These nobles were aided, from the reign of Tiglath-Pileser onwards, by an elaborate bureaucracy. The king’s palace was more sumptuous than the worship houses (temples) of the gods from which it was separate. All people were soldiers or little else to the extent that even the sailor belonged to the state. This resulted to the sudden collapse of the Assyrian during the age of Ashurbanipal when it was drained of its warrior population. In the neighboring Babylonia, the priesthood was the highest authority with priests having been raised to the throne by the revolution. Under the control of a powerful hierarchy, the Babylonian king remained a priest to the end.

Opsomming:
1. Assyria was located north of Babylonia, its highland location giving it better climate than Babylonia.
2. Assyrians formed a military dynasty whereas Babylonians became merchants and agriculturalists.
3. The supreme ruler in Assyria was an autocratic king while in Babylonia, priesthood was the highest authority.
4. Assyrians’ nature of worship was animistic and that of idolatry while for Babylonians it was in a Supreme God.


More than Warriors

With the wealth they obtained from war and tribute, the Assyrian kings built the well-fortified and beautiful cities of Nineveh, Calah, (present-day Nimrud).

In these cities, they placed their grand palaces, some of which spanned several acres. It these places, Assyrian kings showed their more cultured side.

The first glassmaking, the invention of backgammon, the ancestor of the lock and key, even therapeutic massage, are thought by many scholars to be Assyrian inventions.

But the Assyrian Empire's grandeur did not last. Just as it reached its peak, it began to crumble. Fighting between King Assurbanipal and his brother weakened the empire and opening it up to foreign invaders. The Assyrian Empire was eventually destroyed in 612 BC by the Medes from the Iranian Plateau and the Chaldeans of Babylonia.


Yet, Some in Germany Helped Establish Greco-Roman Power Against the True Faith

On the other hand, many non-faithful who professed Christ have also been in Germany.

The Catholic writer C.M. Mangan reported:

In 312, the Roman Emperor Constantine I the Great was in Trier, Germany where he had an unexpected vision of a cross that appeared in the sky with the haunting words, “In hoc signum vinces” (“In this sign you conquer”). The Emperor was buoyed by the apparition and encouraged his 20,000 troops for the upcoming bloody battle against Maxentius and his 100,000 men. Constantine’s soldiers, the majority of whom were pagans, placed the sacred image of the cross on their shields. (Mangan C.M. In This Sign You Conquer, 0/15/03 Copyright © 2004 Catholic Online)

From ancient times, a type of cross was a sign that the ancient Assyrians promoted:

'N Ander een signatio. was that of putting the neck. a cross or necklace with a cross. This custom is very old, and we find it in old images, e.g. that of Shamshi - Adar V, king of Assyria. (Bagatti, Bellarmino. Translated by Eugene Hoade. The Church from the Circumcision. Nihil obstat: Marcus Adinolfi. Imprimi potest: Herminius Roncari. Imprimatur: +Albertus Gori, die 26 Junii 1970. Franciscan Printing Press, Jerusalem, p.140).

The use of the cross has been a very old symbol of the Assyrians, and other ancient peoples.

It also is one of the symbols of the "Holy Roman Empire," which essentially was led by people of German/Austrian heritage. The Bible tells of a future 'King of Assyria' rising up again (see Germany in Biblical Prophecy) and a cross may well be a symbol (see Mark of the Beast and What is the Origin of the Cross as a 'Christian' Symbol?).

The "Holy Roman Empire" (Latin: Imperium Romanum Sacrum German: Heiliges Römisches Reich Italian: Sacro Romano Impero) is also commonly known as the "Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation." Here are a few brief statements about it:

The empire's territory was centred on the Kingdom of Germany, and included neighbouring territories, which at its peak included the Kingdom of Italy and the Kingdom of Burgundy. For much of its history, the Empire consisted of hundreds of smaller sub-units, principalities, duchies, counties, Free Imperial Cities and other domains. The Holy Roman Empire explicitly proclaimed itself to be the successor of the Western Roman Empire under the doctrine of translatio imperii. In 962 Otto I was crowned Holy Roman Emperor (German: Römisch-Deutscher Kaiser), although the Roman imperial title was first restored to Charlemagne by the Pope in 800. Otto was the first emperor of the realm who was not a member of the earlier Carolingian dynasty. The last Holy Roman Emperor was Francis II, who abdicated and dissolved the Empire in 1806 during the Napoleonic Wars. (Holy Roman Empire. Wikipedia, viewed 07/24/12)

Throughout its history, the "Holy Roman Empire" has caused problems for those in the genuine Church of God. And sadly, when it is fully formed and functional again in the future, it will as well (cf. Revelation 13).


8 things you didn’t know about Assyrian Christians

On NewsHour Weekend Saturday, we travel to Alqosh, a Christian town in northern Iraq just 30 miles from the ISIS stronghold of Mosul. Alqosh was overrun last summer by ISIS fighters and then recaptured with the help of Iraqi Christian and Kurdish militias this past August.

Fighting to protect Alqosh is an Assyrian Christian militia known as Dyvekh Nawsha. But who are the Assyrian Christians?

Here are eight things you should know about this ethnic minority group, whose members are spread across the world.

  • Assyrian Christians — often simply referred to as Assyrians — are an ethnic minority group whose origins lie in the Assyrian Empire, a major power in the ancient Middle East.
  • Most of the world’s 2-4 million Assyrians live around their traditional homeland, which comprises parts of northern Iraq, Syria, Turkey and Iran. In recent years, many have fled to neighboring countries to escape persecution from both Sunni and Shiite militias during the Iraq War and, most recently, by ISIS. Members of the Assyrian diaspora are spread out all over world, including roughly 100,000 in the United States, according to a 2009 U.S. Census Bureau survey.
  • The official language of the three main Assyrian churches is Syriac, a dialect of Aramaic, the language Jesus would have spoken. Many Assyrians speak Aramaic dialects, though they often speak the local languages of the regions where they live as well.
  • Assyrians have been the victims of persecution for centuries, including the Assyrian genocide, in which the Ottomans killed at least 250,000 Assyrians during World War I. Iraqi Assyrians have faced increased persecution following the U.S.-led invasion in 2003, including attacks on Assyrian churches – some estimate that 60 percent of Iraqi Assyrians have fled the country since the Iraq War began.
  • Tens of thousands of Assyrians in Northern Iraq have fled persecution at the hands of ISIS, which demands that Christians living under its control take down their crosses and pay the jizya, a tax on religious minorities. Those who do not pay face a choice between exile and death. ISIS has also attacked Assyrian villages, killing or imprisoning hundreds.
  • Assyrian leaders, describing ISIS’s campaign of violence against Assyrians as genocide, have called on Western governments and international organizations to intervene against ISIS and to provide aid for Assyrian refugees.
  • As part of an effort to rid their territory of pre-Islamic relics, ISIS militants have destroyed ancient Assyrian artifacts at the Mosul Museum and razed the remains of ancient Assyrian cities.
  • Assyrian groups have renewed calls for the creation of an Assyrian autonomous region in Northern Iraq’s Nineveh Plains, a traditional Assyrian stronghold.

Visitors look at Assyrian mural sculptures at the Iraqi National Museum in Baghdad, March 8, 2015. Islamic State militants have desecrated Assyrian relics and ancient sites. Photo by Khalid al-Mousily/Reuters

Left: An Assyrian woman attends a mass in solidarity with Assyrians abducted by Islamic State fighters in Syria, March 1, 2015. Islamic State militants have taken hundreds of Assyrian prisoners in Iraq and Syria. Photo by Omar Sanadiki/Reuters


Assyria - History

Amidst the Islamic State’s destruction of historical sites and museums in Iraq and Syria, Grant Frame, an associate professor of Assyriology and graduate chair in the Department of Near Eastern Languages & Civilizations in the School of Arts & Sciences, is leading an international team translating royal inscriptions of the region’s ancient empires. Their ultimate mission: to increase understanding of Assyrian and Babylonian history.

Frame has received a National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) grant for $245,000 for 2017-19 for his Royal Inscriptions of the Neo-Assyrian Period, or RINAP, Project. The grant—his fifth—brings the total amount provided by NEH for the project since 2008 to $1.2 million. The project, funded under the NEH Division of Preservation and Access, makes available historic materials from Iraq and Syria, some of which have come perilously close to being destroyed by ISIS.

“What we’re trying to do is preserve and make accessible information about the history of the Assyrian Empire. At the time, it was the largest empire the world had ever seen,” says Frame, who is also associate curator of the Penn Museum’s Babylonian Section.

His project, which produces both hard copy and online formats, currently consists of four volumes. This latest grant will enable Frame and his research team to add three additional volumes and complete the project.

Ancient Mesopotamian rulers had countless inscriptions written in the Akkadian language (the oldest written Semitic language) and the cuneiform (“wedge-form”) script, ranging from short one-line inscriptions to lengthy, detailed inscriptions of more than 1,300 lines. Thousands of these texts have been discovered preserved on clay tablets, prisms, and cylinders, stone statues and wall slabs, and numerous other artifacts from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Turkey, and additional parts of the Middle East.

Composed between 744 and 609 BCE, the royally commissioned texts being edited by Grant and his team provide rich history lessons on the lives of ancient Assyrian and Babylonian kings, as well as Israelite and Judean kings of the Hebrew Bible, and rulers such as King Midas, who appears in classical texts.

“One of the volumes to come describes the exile of the lost 10 tribes of Israel,” Frame says.

He and his research team are editing and translating into English all of the known royal inscriptions of the Neo-Assyrian kings from the reign of Tiglath-pileser III (744-727 BCE) to that of the last Assyrian ruler, Ashur-uballit II (611–609 BCE).

Scholars, students, and those interested in ancient history can read texts published in print volumes and online in the Cuneiform Digital Library Initiative and Open Richly Annotated Cuneiform Corpus. Akkadian and Sumerian words appearing in the inscriptions and English words used in the translations are searchable on the RINAP website.

Four books have been published so far. Additional books will include the official inscriptions of Sargon II (721–705 BCE), Ashurbanipal (668-c. 631 BCE), and those of his successors, up until the fall of Assyria.

“One of the books will describe Ashurbanipal’s training to become a king,” Frame says.

He adds that some of the inscriptions describe “the hunting of lions, the building of temples for various gods, and campaigns into [what is now] Iran and Turkey, through mountainous terrain where trees were so thick you couldn’t see the sun.”

The RINAP project builds on Frame’s work begun nearly 40 years ago at the University of Toronto, which produced 10 volumes of official inscriptions of rulers from Assyria, Babylonia, Sumer, and Akkad.

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