Assur: The History and Legacy of the Ancient Assyrian - download pdf or read online
By Charles River Editors
*Includes old bills describing Assur and the Assyrians
*Includes a bibliography for extra reading
*Includes a desk of contents
“All who listen the inside track of your destruction clap their arms for pleasure. Did nobody break out your never-ending cruelty?” - Nahum 3:19
In northern Iraq, at the banks of the Tigris River, lie the ruins of the traditional urban of Aššur. This was once the 1st capital and crucial non secular middle of the Assyrian Empire. beneath the canopy of sand and soil are virtually six meters of dense stratigraphic layers that show the passage of millennia. recognized this present day as Qal’at Sherqat, and in addition as Kilah Shregat, the town dates again to the third millennium BCE. In that point interval, the Assyrian military grew to become the biggest but noticeable, and their warriors have been either the best and harshest within the land. They conquered an empire from the Persian Gulf to the Mediterranean Sea; they despoiled the nice urban of Babylon, and so they enslaved the tribes of Israel. Even the pharaoh of Egypt paid them tribute. No military had ever carried warfare so far.
Indeed, Aššur was once the guts of 1 of antiquity’s so much notorious conflict machines. whilst students research the heritage of the traditional close to East, a number of wars that had super brutal outcomes (at least by way of smooth criteria) usually stand out. compelled elimination of complete populations, sieges that decimated whole towns, and wanton destruction of estate have been all strategies utilized by a number of the peoples of the traditional close to East opposed to one another, however the Assyrians have been the 1st humans to make battle a technological know-how. while the Assyrians are pointed out, photographs of struggle and brutality are one of the first that spring to mind, although their tradition prospered for almost 2,000 years.
Like a couple of historic members and empires in that area, the damaging notion of old Assyrian tradition was once handed down via Biblical money owed, and whatever the accuracy of the Bible’s depiction of yes occasions, the Assyrians truly performed the function of adversary for the Israelites. certainly, Assyria (Biblical Shinar) and the Assyrian humans performed a massive position in lots of books of the outdated testomony and are first pointed out within the booklet of Genesis: “And the start of his nation used to be Babel and Erech, and Akkad, and Calneh, within the land of Shinar. Out of that land went forth Ashur and outfitted Nineveh and town Rehoboth and Kallah.” (Gen. 10:10-11).
Although the Biblical debts of the Assyrians are one of the best and are frequently corroborated with different old resources, the Assyrians have been even more than simply the enemies of the Israelites and brutal thugs. A old survey of historic Assyrian tradition finds that even if they have been the best warriors in their time, they have been additionally first-class retailers, diplomats, and hugely literate those who recorded their historical past and non secular rituals and beliefs in nice aspect. The Assyrians, like their different friends in Mesopotamia, have been literate and built their very own dialect of the Akkadian language that they used to write down tens of hundreds of thousands of records within the cuneiform script (Kuhrt 2010, 1:84).
Although warfare performed this sort of valuable function in Assyrian society, they have been additionally lively and wealthy investors, and exchange used to be an important a part of Aššur’s progress from its earliest phases. unusually, even in the course of army campaigns, retailers from town engaged in advertisement interactions with the “enemy,” for instance with the Aramaeans in the course of the campaigns of Adad Nirari II. instead of different towns in Mesopotamia, Aššur’s position intended that it used to be specifically subjected to the affects of its many pals in southern Mesopotamia; Anatolia, Syria, the Zagros Mountains, or even from the barbarian tribes north of the Caucasus Mountains. Their presence could be noticeable this present day within the structure and artifacts of the ruined urban.
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Extra info for Assur: The History and Legacy of the Ancient Assyrian Empire’s Capital City
The Assyrian merchants carried the tin and textiles on donkeys that they all traded (including the donkeys) when they arrived in Anatolia for silver or gold that they then brought back to Ashur (Kuhrt 2010, 1:94). One of the most interesting aspects of the Assyrian trade network was that it was carried out largely by private entrepreneurs. The Assyrian king was not directly involved (van de Mieroop 2007, 97), and it’s unclear why the Assyrian king did not take a more dominant role in the merchant activities of his people during the Old Assyrian period.
Also known as Israel, Samaria repeatedly rebelled against their Assyrian overlords, but in 722, the Assyrians overran Samaria once and for all, killing countless numbers and sending most of the rest of its inhabitants into forced exile. The events of Samaria’s fall were chronicled in the Assyrian annals from the reign of Sargon II and the Old Testament, and although the two sources present the event from different perspectives, they corroborate each other for the most part and together present a reliable account of the situation.
Shamshi-Adad I was forced to defend the Assyrian frontiers from its neighbors to both the north and south.  With these soldiers, the city-state solidified into a stable and powerful organization, unlike the fragile and frequently overthrown settlements that existed elsewhere in Mesopotamia. In many ways, it was the military ethos forged during this time and preserved over centuries that made the Assyrians different.  With this military power, a territorial state began to take form, with Aššur as the central place of governance.
Assur: The History and Legacy of the Ancient Assyrian Empire’s Capital City by Charles River Editors