The Fall of the Neo-Assyrian Empire, 630-609 BC
The demise of the Neo-Assyrian Empire is somewhat obscure due to the patchiness of the textual sources, but some conclusions can be made. First, following the reign of Ashurbanipal the kingship of Assyria was held by 3 weak figures who ultimately held little or no sway in Babylon. Second, Nabopolassar’s rise to prominence in the mid-620s in Babylon would eventually lead to the demise of Assyria. Nabopolassar consolidated his power over Babylon until 621/20 BC and then in 616 BC began his move against Assyria. By 615 BC he had advanced as far as Ashur itself, though here he was defeated and besieged until the arrival of the Medeans caused the Assyrian army to withdraw. In 614 BC the Medes had besieged and sacked Ashur, and following this they made a treaty with the Babylonians. After a brief revolt in 613 BC, the combined armies marched against Nineveh in 612 BC and captured it. Following the fall of Nineveh the Assyrian forces were scattered, and though some of the army attempted to fight against the Babylonians and Medes with the help of Egypt, they were defeated. After 608 BC Assyrian references are absent from textual records. With this development the Neo-Assyrian Empire vanished and Ashur never again enjoyed the trappings of imperial power.
(Return to the The Neo-Assyrian Empire)