The Neo-Assyrian Empire
(Return to History of Mesopotamia)
The Neo-Assyrian Empire is best understood in continuity with its forebears in the Middle Assyrian period (1365-1031). The Neo-Assyrian kings considered themselves part of an unbroken line of kings stretching as far back as 1500 BC. Neo-Assyrian expansion relied upon an ideology of regaining Assyrian territory rather than one of conquest initially. Calendrical systems, inscriptional formulae, and the centrality of Ashur and its hinterland remained fundamental concepts after the period of decline between the Middle and Neo Assyrian empires. Thus the beginning of the Neo-Assyrian Empire is a time of reclaiming lost territory and reestablishing tribute and military presence throughout the central empire. After a period of consolidation the immense territorial expansion beginning with Tiglath-Pileser III in 744 BC would stretch across the entire Near East and even reach into Egypt during certain periods. Finally, stagnation and decline characterize the last decades of the empire as a coalition of Babylons and Medes brings about the final coup de grace.
The King List
|Ashurbanipal||668-631 (or 627)|
|Ashur-etel-ilani||630 (or 626) – 623|
1 According to Kuhrt, 351.