Continued from part 1 above
The final period of the Assyrio-Babylonian empire begins c. 950 BCE, with the re-emergence of both a Babylonian and a Neo-Assyrian state after the
so-called "dark age" that the Aramaean migration had caused. Admittedly, the first 230 years or so are kind of boring. Some Babylonian kings with
complicated names wage war against some Assyrian kings with complicated names. First the Assyrians claim some land, then the Babylonians take it
The most historically important figures of the Assyrian empire during these 230 years were probably King Aššūr.nāṣir.pal II, who reigned c. 880
BCE, and succeeded in re-establishing the Assyrian state by creating a new capital city, Kalḫu. A close second was Šammur.amat, the Biblical
Semiramis, who was the first female Queen of Assyria, and who ruled without a King from about 811-809 BCE.
Overall, both Assyria and Babylonia spent the time rebuilding their respective empires, and plotting how to best undermine each other.
In 745 BCE the Babylonian king Nábû.nāṣir was defeated by the Assyrian king Tukultī.apil.Ešarra III, who successfully made Babylon a
vassal-state of the Assyrian empire. For the next 100 years Babylon would remain a vassal-state of Assyria. Coincidentally, almost all of the
historically famous Assyrian kings reigned during the Assyrian occupation of Babylon. These included:
Sîn.aḫḫē.eriba, or Sennacherib, who reigned from 704-681 BCE
Aššūr.aḫa.iddina, of Esarhaddon, who reigned from 681-669 BCE
Aššūr.bani.pal, or Ashurbanipal, who reigned from 668-627 BCE
Sennacherib is famous for his devastation of Judea and his looting and pillaging of Babylon, an act for which he was murdered in a court-coup by two
of his sons. Sennacherib has also been suggested as the original owner of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, although they would have likely been in
Esarhaddon, in response to his father's blasphemous actions, restored Babylon to its glory, and lead a series of wars against almost every enemy of
Assyria imaginable, succeeding in a number of his campaigns. Before his death, Esarhaddon named Ashurbanipal the King of Assyria, and
Šamaš.šuma.ukîn the King of Babylon, in hopes of staving off future revolts.
In 652 BCE however, Babylon rebelled against Assyria again, and was defeated again, thus making Ashurbanipal the sole king of both empires. Besides
being the final powerful king of Assyria, Ashurbanipal is also known for having created the Library of Nineveh, a collection of cuneiform works from
which much Assyrio-Babylonian history has been gleamed.
Assyrian supremacy began to decline after Ashurbanipal's death however, and, in 625 BCE a Chaldean chieftain by the name of Nábû.ápal.uṣur, or,
more commonly, Nabopollasar, succeeded in conquering Babylon and killing the final two kings of Assyria: Sîn.šar.iškun and Aššūr.uballiṭ II.
Nabopollasar's military campaign marked the end of the Neo-Assyrian empire as well as the end of the Assyrian empire itself.
What followed is known as the Neo-Babylonian, or Chaldean, empire, which controlled both Babylon and Assyria. The Chaldean empire persisted for about
100 years, ending with the Persian conquest of Babylon by Cyrus the Great in 539 BCE. There are a number of interesting Chaldean Kings of Babylon,
but, in order to keep this from getting ungainly, I'll leave off here, as I believe the prior contents cover the Assyrian and Babylonian empires quite
A brief recap follows:
c. 2500 BCE - Early Assyrian city-states emerge
c. 1900 BCE - the Old Babylonian empire of Hammurabi begins
c. 1726 BCE - Adasi gains Assyrian independence
c. 1595 BCE - Elamites sack Babylon, ending the Old Babylonian empire
c. 1585 BCE - the Old Assyrian Empire begins
c. 1444 BCE - the Mitanni conquer Assyria
c. 1355 BCE - Assyria gains independence
c. 1350 BCE - the Middle Assyrian Empire begins
c. 1272 BCE - Assyria conquers the Mitanni
c. 1100 BCE - Aramaean migrants invade Assyria
c. 1000 BCE - the Middle Assyrian Empire ends
c. 950 BCE - the Neo-Assyrian Empire begins
c. 745 BCE - Assyria conquers Babylon
c. 625 BCE - the Chaldeans conquer Assyria and Babylon
c. 539 BCE - the Persians conquer Mesopotamia
~ Wandering Scribe
edit on 4/12/14 by Wandering Scribe because: made some long paragraphs shorter and easier to read