New Empire Semitic-speaking people who exploited the use of iron weapons to build an empire by 700 B.C. Semitic-Speaking Spoke Semitic language Included Territory From including Mesopotamia, some of the Iranian Plateau, Asia Minor, Syria, Palestine, and Egypt.
Eventually Fell Eventually, the Assyrian Empire fell to several groups including the Chaldeans (Neo-Babylonians) and the Medes. Assyrian Rulers Assyrian kings ruled with absolute power. Kingdoms were well organized and efficient. Kept direct contact with the people who helped administer their empire Transportation/Courier system They est. a system where they could relay messages by horseback back and forth in a week’s time. Ashurbanipal Considered the greatest Assyrian King. He collected the writings of Mesopotamia and est. the great library of Nineveh
A stone carving of the Assyrians conquering an Egyptian town in their war on Egypt.
Men to Warriors For hundreds of years the Assyrians occupied a territory that was bordered by more powerful civilizations. As a result, the Assyrians were frequently attacked by their neighbors. The constant threat of attack lead the Assyrians to develop what would become the most powerful army in the region.
Cruel Warriors By 900 B.C. their well practiced and well equipped army was ready to dominate the region. The Assyrians began attacking and conquering the peoples who once threatened them. As they did so, they earned a reputation of extreme cruelty to those whom they conquered, often burning their cities, and torturing their peoples.
Military Strength The Assyrian military was one of the strongest in the ancient world. They used fierce iron weapons and psychological warfare. If people refused and were defeated they were treated harshly. King Ashurnasirpal once stated “3,000 of their combat troops I felled with weapons... Many I took alive; from some of these I cut off their hands to the writs, from others I cut off their noses, ears and fingers; I put out the eyes of many of the soldiers.... I burned their young men and women to death.” The Assyrians would often attempt to get an area to surrender before attack.
The Most Successful Fighting Power They were the first major power to equip soldiers with iron weapons and to master the tactics of the light horse- drawn chariot, and this, combined with their superb military organization, turned them into the most successful fighting power the ancient world had yet seen. At its height the Assyrian army numbered in the hundreds of thousands, and the thunder of its chariotry inspired fear in all who heard it.
A Large Empire By 650 B.C. the Assyrians had conquered a vast empire, stretching between the Persian Gulf, the Red Sea, the Mediterranean Sea, the Black Sea, and the Caspian Sea.
A mythological beast called a Lammasu, from the gates of Nineveh.
Empire Down Because of the cruelty and unfair treatment of the Assyrians, they were despised by the people they had conquered. In 612 B.C. the Chaldeans formed an alliance with the Medes and overthrew them, bringing the Empire down.
The Assyrian empire eventually fell and the Chaldeans (Neo Babylonians) under king Nebuchadnezzar made Babylon the most powerful state in the region. Nebuchadnezzar is most famous for the construction of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, considered one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. Nebuchadnezzar is also responsible for the destruction of the Temple of Jerusalem and beginning the Babylonian Captivity of the Jews and the first Diaspora. Babylon is defeated and replaced by the Persian Empire in 539 B.C.