Ancient Near East

I.                   Assyrians

A.   Rose from the city of Assur

1.     Situated between Tigris and Euphrates Rivers

B.   Assyrian Proper about the size of England

C.   Abundant supply of Metals

1.     Copper

2.     Iron

3.     Stone

D.   Climate is temperate

1.     Receives adequate rainfall

E.   Geography

1.     Foothills to the north

2.     Wooded valleys eastward

3.     Babylon to the south

F.    Daily Life

1.     Homes made of sun dried brick

a)    Most had courtyard where citizens spent their idle time

b)    Each home had a grinders stone

2.     Living slept on the roof of house

a)    Dead spirit were buried under the floor

3.     Meat seldom eaten by common people

4.     Spindle loom and oven were the few machines the Assyrians used

5.     Craftsman

a)    Had small shops in town where they sold their work

b)    Architect and craftsman

6.     Assyrians were Semitic race and Akkadian language

7.     Assyrians saw shame in showing skin so they wore full clothes

a)    Common people wore wool clothing

b)    Rich wore linen

c)     Cloth died from marix shells

d)    Shells were demanded as tribute by the Assyrians

G.  Physical characteristics

1.     Men had shaved head and beards

2.     After 9th wore hair to shoulder length

3.     Typical Assyrian man was robust and warlike

H.   Architecture

1.     Streets paved with stone

2.     Architecture and dome prominent in Assyrian palace and buildings

3.     Walls thick as thirty meters

4.     Predominately Sumerian

5.     Bronze used exclusively esl in sculptures, gates and royal cut figures

I.        Art

1.     Mostly depicts battles and hunting

2.     King is not depicted as larger than others

J.    Writing used

1.     To invocate to gods

2.     Account of military conquest

3.     Statement of building operation

4.     Assyrians helped scrolls of spoils of war                 

K.   Religion

1.     Pantheon

a)    Assur – Chief god and war god

(i)                            Described as savage aloof and stern
(ii)                         Unmoved and cold

b)    Shamesh – sun god

c)     Sin – moon god – Marduk of Babylon

d)    Ishtar – sister of Assur

2.     Festivals common

a)    Food and drink sacrifices to statues of gods

3.     Pessimistic view of Afterlife

L.    Laws

1.     Similar to Hammurabi

2.     Adultery punished brutally

M. Ruler – Mitclam

1.     Have order from Assur to expand boundaries

2.     Authority to conquer people

3.     It is his heavy task to paid in tribute

4.     Conquered people who denounce Assur would have their tongues cut out

N.   Government

1.     King – Uncontested authority and chief priest

a)    Preserve system and maintain the right

b)    Prevent oppression of weak by strong

2.     Government ran smoothly with little corruption

a)    Chief Justice

b)    Chief Cup Bearer

c)     Grand Chamber

3.     Cared for widows, orphans, and even gave serfs money

4.     Regulated prostitution

5.     Adultery prohibited

O.  Military

1.     Each city had quota for soldiers

2.     Army’s commander in chief was called Torlan alt king

3.     All adult males were on call to serve in military during emergency

4.     Soldiers paid in booty confiscated

5.     Captured foreigners were often put in army

6.     Composed of 4 major units

a)    Light infantry – armed with sword, bow and slings but no armor

b)    Heavy Infantry – Heart of army, dagger, sword, and large shield

c)     Cavalry – carried bow and a spear

d)    Chariot Riders – Up to 5 men

7.     King had at least 1,000 troops around him

8.     Possessed excellent siege machines

a)    Catapults

b)    Pulled by strong men

9.     Sappers – soldiers who dug under walls

10. Object was to spread word of Assur and capture and loot cities

P.   746 – Tiglath Pilesur III conquered and took troops

1.     Economic

Q.  Tribute received

1.     Cattle, goats, horses and other animals

2.     Gold Iron and copper

3.     Citizens for labor

R.   Terror

1.     Removal of tongue ears eyes and nose

2.     Cut off arm and legs

3.     Impaling and beheading

S.   Tigleth Piler I (1113-1077)

1.     Conquered Nain lands

2.     Part f Medic Com

3.     Policy of terror

T.    Assurnanipal II (884-858)

1.     Next capable leader

2.     Part of forced labor

U.   Tigleth Pilesar III (746-727)

1.     Extended to Palestine

2.     Began deportation east citizens and placing Assyrians in their place

3.     Government job extremely stressful

4.     Collect texts tribute and supplies

V.   Sargon II (727-705)

1.     Skillful coalition of enemies

2.     709 conquers Babylon and settles Assyrian in capt

3.     Great Library of Nineveh

4.     Left enormous empire to son

W. Sennacherib (705-681)

1.     Revolt rose up in Palestine

2.     Attacked Jerusalem

3.     Got tribute from Hezekiah

4.     Adds to father’s library

5.     Squashes rebellion

6.     Places son on throne of Babylon

7.     Son is murdered so he levels Babylon and butchers every living person

8.     Takes statute of Marduk

X.   Escaradda (680-669)

1.     Invades Egypt as far as Memphis

2.     Assyria at its zenith

3.     Kills them oppressing to his son

Y.   Assurband (669-625)

1.     Stone Elam

2.     Inserts to rule Babylon

3.     Rebels so he lays siege to Babylon

4.     Dismembers every person

5.     Set his sight on Elam

a)    Razed entire country

b)    Take ba for gifts

c)     Ended buffer state between he and Persians

d)    Killed everyone

6.     Enlarged library

7.     Egypt broke off

8.     Nalopolassur allows weaken Assyrian Empire          

9.     Ret with Babylon, Medes Scyithians and obliterates Assyria in 612

10. Over extended the empire

11. Dwindled army made up of foreigners

12. Made many enemies

13. Poor garrisoning habits

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