|CONFLICTS AND BATTLES OF THE HUMANITY|
||The medio-assyrian era
The neo-assyrian era
End of the assyrian empire
The assyrian army
The history of Assyria begins towards - 2100, in the North of current Iraq, on the most direct road between the high and low Mesopotamy, borrowed by the exchanges between Sumer or Akkad and the rich mine fields of Kurdistan, Armenia and Anatolia. Assur is the object of the covetousness of mesopotamian kingdoms and empires : at the 23rd century, Manishtusu takes Assur for Akkadiens, the Goutis, (originating in the Zagros mountains) invade it, then Ur-Nammu, at the 22nd century, annex it to IIIrd dynasty of Our. It becomes independent towards - 2025, when the sumerian Empire breaks down under the Elamites and Amorrites attacks.
The political domination of Assur strictly limits to the city itself and its immediat surroundings : it is a city-state, with the very restricted territory. At the 20th century, Assur develops by the trade with the Cappadoce, in particular by means of the karum of Kanesh (currently Kultepe), which controls fifteen associations of assyrian merchants in many towns of central Anatolial. Assyrians merchants export exclusively the tin and the luxurious fabrics towards Anatolia, and bring back only the money, result of the sale of these products and the asses which carried them.
Sargon Ist, Puzur-Ashur and Naram-Sin (-1807 -1776), reign successively on the Assyrian throne and fight against the neighbors : Elam, Mari, soon conquered, Eshnunna, Yamkhad. This is the beginning of the territorial expansion. Assur becomes a a political and commercial power at the IInd millenium beginning, its objectives draw : to the South towards the Low Mesopotamy, to the Northwest towards the Mediterranean.
This first Assyrian empire collapse towards - 1755 under the king Hammourabi's conquest of Babylon. Assyria passes then under the guardianship of the Amorrite Dynasty of Babylon, then under the one of the Kassites, populates coming from the central Zagros and at last the one of Mitanni. Towards -1500, Saustatar, king of Mitanni, carry out a raid on the small Assur kingdom and plunder the city, carrying the doors of Assur, particularly.
The medio-assyrien era
The war that book the Hittites to the Mitanni, and the deletion of the latter to the 14th century, allow the Assyria to resume his autonomy. Eriba-Adad Ist succeeds the first one to reject quardianship of Mitanni and at first on the 14th, resumes the city of Ninive as well as the situated territories to the approaches located of the Tiger.
Next, this is Assur-Uballith Ist (- 1366 -1330) which asserts his power and does to recognize itself as sovereign independent by the Egyptian pharaoh Amenophis IV, diplomatic relations are established. His daughter marries with the son of king de Babylone, creating an excellent occasion to intervene later in the Babylonian political matters. This is the beginning of a long cycle revolt/oppression between the Assyria and the Babylonia. Under its reign, Assyria extends to the Euphrate. Assur-Uballith imposes on the weakened sovereign one Mitanni, Artatama IInd then his son Suttarna IIIrd, the restitution of the Assur's doors. Adad-Nirari 1st succeeds to him and and beats the Kassites. Towards - 1300, he reduces in vassalage the Mitanni and he reachs Karkemish.
Adad-Nirari 1st is victorious in Hanigalbat (Eastern party of Mitanni). He takes advantages of the conflict between Muwatalli, the Hittite king and Ramses IInd the Egyptian pharaoh to intervene in the remainder of the past Mitanni under the protection of Hittites, while accusing the king hurrite, to attack him, he beats and obliges him to pay a tribute to life. The Assyrians ones fight the mountain dwellers of Zagros and Kurdistan and dispute to the Babylonians controle trade roads carrying out in Iran.
Under Salmanasar Ier or Shulmanu-asharid Ier, in the middle of 13rd century, all the high Mesopotamy is under the check of the Assyrians that carry their border on the Euphrate and their domination to Karkemish. This sovereign pursues terrible Goutis and expels the Hittites of the Mitanni, and dispute them the first place in the country. This threat will force the Hittite king Hattusili and the Egyptian sovereign Ramses IInd to sign the first peace treaty of the history.
His successor, Tukulti-Ninurta Ist must face as early as his
advent to revolts in the Zagros and in the High Tiger. He uses the
terror to chokes any attempt at revolt. He is attacked towards 1235 in
south, by the Kassite's king Kashtiliash IVth. The
Assyrian king retorts violently and wins a brilliant victory on the
Babylonians ones weakened by the Elamites' assaults, captures
Kashtiliash IVth, plunders Babylon and interns a part of the
of which of the scribes in Assyria. Babylon is annexed for about twenty
years. Akkad and Sumer are under assyrian domination.
decides the construction of a new capital,
on the Tiger opposite Assur. Towards - 1208, he perishes murdered by
noble ones while the kingdom of Babylon is restored.
The kassite Babylonia finds his row and a peoples
conglomerate appears: to the northwest, the
and Kaska (mountain dwellers of the Pont Euxin) and, to the southwest,
the Arameans, come from Syria mountains, that form soon a powerful
confederacy on Euphrate. In the south, the Chaldeans ones install
themselves in the area of Ur. In the middle of the XIIth century, the
Assyria, thus besieged, undergoes
the attack of the Elamites and grants them the region of the Small Zab.
succession crisis weakens the Assyria and ends
with the Assurresh-ishi Ist advent. Then the Gasgas, the Phrygian
ones and the Moushkis
destroy the Hittite empire, burn Hatusa their capital and numbers
of cities to the north of the Assyria, the Aramean invasions
devastate this kingdom by the west. The Assyrian king Tiglath-Phalasar
Ist writes: "Twenty-eight times to the pursuit of the Aramean ones I
crossed the Euphrate". Towards - 1100, Assyrian cuneiform Annals of the
king, quote the attacks of the Moushkis, a
part of the
People of the Sea, on high Euphrate, threatening Ninive and
saying his victory, at first of this reign, on the 20 000 men
of the country of Mushkis, leaded by their five kings, populates
that is a constant threat to north-west. The King Tiglath-Phalasar Ist,
(Tukulti-apil-Esharra Ist) must fight to the north towards the Lake of
Van and to the west around Palmyre. He does also facing the Elamites
and fight two times against Babylon. His army penetrates to
the Amourrou country and in Syria. That is the first time since a
century, that an Assyrian army crosses Euphrate. But they cannot
Aramean ones that push their incursions even under the walls of
Ninive. The Assyria survives to these threats, by the development of
his army and the modernization of his weapons and of his tactics.
At the beginning of 11st century, the military campaigns of
Tiglath-phalasar, conduits him to the Mediterranean sea. He submits the
peoples of the higer Tiger and he follows the Aramean ones up to Syria,
he obliges the Phoenician cities and the king of Karkemish to pay the
tribute. The border is pushed back to the coast Phoenician.
The Assyria transforms the war, such as one knows it in the
antiquity. His army attacks by surprised, with for pricipal goal
plundering, they slaughter the prisoners torture victims. This is a
total war. These victories obtain to the Assyrian ones checks
importants trade roads, in particular towards the Mediterranean
The wars contribute also to furnish to the country the first matters of
which it lacks. A serious crisis follows the Tiglath-phalasar Ist'
his conquests are lost after his disappearance. The Aramean ones, after
to have conquered Babylone, install themselves to the heart of the
Assyrian country and devastate the countries. This is a stop blow
to the Assyrian expansion, for more of a century.
The neo-assyrian era
Even threatened in his territorial integrity, the Assyria did
lose his military potential military. Continuous dynastic line, assure
to the Empire, a solid political continuity and, despite an unruly
nobility, the strength benefits from a relative stability. The
conjoncture.internationale is favorable:
The Babylonie undergoes the pressure of the Aramean, Egypt, leaves Asia since a long time, is divided between Libyan pharaohs on the delta of the Nile and Amon high priest in High-Egypt.
The sovereigns Adad-Nirari II, Tukulti-Ninurta II and
Assur-Nazirpal (Assur-natsir-aplil) II, take advantage of this
The Assyrian "reconquest"
She is progressive since the end of the Xe century. It is
a matter first to check the ways vital communications. Then comes
Assurnazirpal (Assur-natsire-apli) II, qui.each year, takes his armies
in campaign, repressing the rebels with a pitiless ferociousness and
being founded again centers, reinforcing thus the Assyrian power. He
launches many expeditions in high Mesopotamy. Assurnazirpal II
reachs the Mediterranean Sea, extorting to the passage quoted them
Phoenician cities. These campaigns, by plundering and the payment of an
annual tribut, increase suddenly the assyrian economic potential and
assure uniform returns. Assurnazirpal II does to construct a new
capital to Kalhu (current site of Nimrud). A long wall more than seven
kilometers is built, confining an area of three hundred sixty hectares.
A citadel of twenty hectares dominates the site.
Tiglath Phalasar II during a siege (wikipedia)
From that time, the nomadic ones, the Aramean cities, the
neo-Hittites and Phenicians
ones undergo the Assyrian power rediscovered. Assur-Nazirpal II
domination assyrienne towards north and the west, while taking care not
to attack its powerful neighbors: Ourartou in north and Babylonia in
Salmanasar (Shulman-asharedu) III undertakes 32 countries during
the 35 years of his reign. He turns himself towards the west: northen
Syria, southern Anatolia and Cilicy. These States, neo-Hittite or
Aramean are weaks. In - 856, after several campaigns, the Aramean
state of the Bat Adini is overcome and integrated to the
Assyria checks henceforth to the buckle Euphrate. The countries
go beyond, but without annexations. The confrontation with the Syrian
States and Palestine peaks with the battle of
Qarqar in High Syria, on Oronte, in - 853. Salmanasar
is stopped by a coalition of Aramean princes (Damask,
and of Egyptians, allied to Israel of which the king Achab furnishes
the most important quota of chariots without forgetting the king
and its 1 000 meharists. This is a failure cooking and the Assyrian
ones set off again without tribut. They return in - 842 and have
more success, but they cannot remain in Damask. Salmanasar is
very interested by the Babylonia to support Marduk-zakir -shumi climbed
on the holds court in - 854, against his offended brother. Salmanasar,
vainc the rebel in - 850 and imposes his protectorat. He takes also a
campaign against the Sud Chaldean ones, and returns in Assyria loaded
of a heavy loot.
At the end of the reign of Salmanasar III, one of his sons
offends himself against him, supported by the small nobility. He is
overcome by his brother, Shamshi-Adad V (- 823 to - 811) who must
reward his supporters. The successors are weakened, while the superior
officers impose and that the small nobility shakes itself. The
Assyria loses his influence, itself threatened by the Ourartu that
checks the nortern Syria. The empire is in sleep for 75 years.
Nevertheless Salmanasar IV must enter in campaign against the Medes.
Tiglath-Phalasar (Toukoulti-apil -Esherra) III (- 745 -727) who comes
in power by a revolt, decides to be founded a universal empire.
He confused his authority while reducing the strength of the noble ones
and establishes a permanent based army massively on foreign quotas. The
Assyrian ones climb to horse, without saddles or etriers. This
cavalry replaces chariotry. He plans his campaigns with the intention
of to annex the ennemy territories. To break their cohesion, the
conquered peoples are moved and installed in Assyria. He relieves the
empire of the Aramean one's pressure that threatens the region of the
central Tiger and hunts of the Syria Ourarteans, their capital Turuspa
(Van) is taken. The Ourartou is overcome in 743 and next he attacks the
Syria. He annexs the Aramean states of Damask and of Arpad and does to
pay the tribut to Israel, to Juda and to several cities of Phoenicia.
He does campaign against the Medes towards - 737.
To Babylone, in - 729, He reigns under the name of Poulou,
establishing a double monarchy system. The Syria is completely
submitted. The Palestine is occupied for done piece to the Egyptians.
Salmanasar V succeeds his father Tiglat-phalasar III in - 726, but
reigns only five years. He puts the seat for two years to Samarie.
Sargon II (regn -722 - 705)
Sargon II climbs on the holds court to his place, in - 722. The capital of the Israel kingdom, Samarie, fall in - 721, the population is interned and replaced by Babylonians, Arabs and Hittites. The Syrian princes and the one of Gaza, supported by an egyptian army, offend themselves but Sargon triumph to Qarqar and Raphia, the soldiers of the "ethiopian pharaoh" are beaten. Israel and Armenia are annexed. In -720, a Chaldean, Merodach-baladan takes advantage of the vacancy of the holds court to install himself in Babylon, helped by Elam. The war bursts and the encounter takes place near Dêr, and even if Sargon announces himself victorious, he must fight ten years to crush the revolt of Babylon. A coalition of the king of Hamath (supported by the "ethiopian" pharaoh) is crushed. In the north, towards - 719, he confronts the powerful Ourartou of which the king Rousa 1st dies in battle. The loot is condiderable. An second offensive becomes real by the elimination of an Ourartou's ally, Mettati after a long resistance. But the fortresses of Ourartou (Teishebaini, Erebuni) are intact.
The Phrygian king Mi-ta-a, Midas for the Greeks, towards - 717, allies himself to the king Pisiri of Karkemish to withstand the Assyrian pressure. In 711 Sargon takes Ashdod. In 709, Sargon takes a big offensive against the Mushkis. In three attacks, he takes them two more important fortresses, located in high mountain and ravage the area. Mushkis require peace to Sargon which imposes the presence of an Assyrian representative to the course of the king Midas. Karkemish is annexed and, towards - 707, Midas pays tribute to Sargon but his kingdom remains free. The states neo-hittites of Taurus, are conquered as well Cyprus and Phoenicie. This causes a stamping from the counters of the west (Carthage). Cimmerians come from Ukraine are pushed back. Sargon is killed in a combat in Anatolia, into -705. The domination assyrienne goes from the Mediterranean to the Persian Gulf.
Assyria in his maximum extension towards - 670
The son of Sargon II, Sennacherib (Sin-ahhe-eriba) (- 704 with - 681), provoke the revolt of the Aramean and Elamites while choosing the kings of Babylon. The movement is comparable in Palestine and with the Phoenicians as early as the death of Sargon, the Egyptiens support them while sending Taharqa, the son of the pharaoh ordering a small army that withdraws itself in front of the quick advance of the Assyrian soldiers. Sennacherib reacts promptly. In - 701, Sidon is taken, then Ascalon. A battle to Elteqeh, close to Ashod, allows Sennacherib to break the enemy alliance. The Palestinian city of Lakish, goes after a seat in - 701 and Sennacherib advance towards Jerusalem, then Ezechias, the king of Juda pays a heavy tribut. But the Assyrian army follows his country. The water points having been eliminated by Ezechias, Sennacherib returns to Ninive. The assyrian victory to Kish obliges the Elamites to beat in retirement. He consecrates a lot of times to embellish his capital in the North, the Ourartou and the Phrygie are weakened by the Cimmerians. Again the Assyria must defend himself against the Elam that invades the Babylonia, after the pillage by the Assyrian ones of several elamites cities. The conflict finishes by Hallulle battle, near the Tiger, in - 691 that the Elamites win while inflicting heavy losses to the Assyrian army. Exceeded, the assyrian king takes Babylon by surprised (- 689) and the soldiers plunder and massacre blindly. Then Sennacherib leaves towards Egypt. Herodote relates that the night, an immense invasion of starving rats destroys the Assyrian camp and contaminate the soldiers of the plague. Sennacherib there sees a divine punishment and returns to Ninive The king chooses as successor his younger son Asarhaddon, and is murdered to the instigation of his elder son, but after six weeks of civil war, Asarhaddon (Assur-ah-iddin) becomes king to his turn (- 680 to - 669).
The bad health of the king, obliges him to remain reclusive.
Babylone knows peace and renews with prosperity. The conquest of egypt,
begin from 679 and asks big efforts to the empire. The Assyrian
ones come in "liberating" Egyptians, facing the XXVe dynasty from
nubian origin. They go masters of the Low Egypt (taken of Memphis in -
671, lost in - 669, but none of their conquests does not last.
Asarhaddon dies to Harran into 669. His succession is well prepared : a
fidelity engagement is demanded the whole population, that ratifies the
Assurbanipal choice (Assour-ban-appli) as heir on the assyrian holds
court, and of his brother twin Shamash-shum one-ukin on the one of
Babylon knows peace and joins again with prosperity. The
conquest of Egypt, starts from 679 and requires main efforts of the
empire. Assyriens come in "liberators" from the Egyptians, vis-a-vis in
XXVe dynasty of origin nubienne. They are made main from Low-Egypt
(taken of Memphis in - 671, lost in - 669. but none of their conquests
lasts. Asarhaddon dies in Harran into 669. Its succession is well
prepared: an engagement of fidelity is required of all the population,
which ratify the choice of Assurbanipal like heir on the throne to
Assyrie, and of her twin brother Shamash-shum-uki on that
Assurbanipal at the time of the war against Elam
In Egypt, the Delta and Thebes are occupied in - 667, released towards - 663, the "punishment" is the destruction of Thebes the same year. Assyriens are Masters of the two kingdoms of Egypt still ten years and are driven out by it by Shamash-shum-ukin, always sovereign of Babylonia, which takes the head of the enemies of Assurbanipal II, it is the war in - 652. Babylon is destroyed towards - 648 and Mesopotamy is joined together by Assyrie. Assurbanipal II continues Nabateans which supported his/her brother. Petra is plundered. Elam is subjected after several campaigns and Suse, the elamite capital, is in ruin, all Elam is upset. Psammetique 1st benefits from the wars which occupy Assyriens to drive out them with its Greek mercenaries the end of the reign of Assurbanipal II is very dark. Scythes are done threatening and devastate Palestine and Ourartu. It chooses his Ashur-Ete-Ilani son to succeed to him. With its death in - 627, a wild competition opposes the candidates to the throne of Babylon. Nabopolassar is the winner. Towards - 625, it beats, in a battle close to Nippur, Ashur-Ete-Ilani which finds death. The 2nd wire of Assurbanipal, Sin Shar-Iskhun, is made proclaim king d' Assyrie, while Nabopolassar becomes king de Chaldee then king de Babylone.
End of the empire assyrien
In - 616, Nabopolassar the king of Babylone hesitates to confront alone the Assyria that of his side asks the assistance of Egypt, but Psammetique 1st remains foreign to the conflict. A year after, the Medes invade the Assyria and Cyaxare takes the Arapha city then in - 614, puts the seat in front of Assur. The city quickly is taken and pillaged. The Medes and the Babylonian ones ally themselves and in - 612 lance an assault against Ninive. The Assyrian capital withstands two months before becoming a monceau of ruins.
Sin Shar-Iskhun takes refuge in Haran which is due vis-a-vis to Medes until in - 610.
The country is divided into two parts: the plain of Suse for Babyloniens, the mountainous area of Anshan for Medes.
archer with horse
Cavalry and chariots
It is the weapon of shock, true innovation on the ancient battle field (see Hyksos in Egypt) and decisive instrument of the military domination assyrienne by its capacity to carry out raids in-depth. Its equipment is similar to that of the infantry. The first riders assembled their horse to vintage, accompanied each one by one being useful, which directed their horse during the action. At the time of Assurbanipal, the animal is covered with a caparacon and, following progress of horsemanship, only one man leads the horse as a combatant.
The chariot of war, appeared at the 18th
century, gone up on high massive wheels, is tractor drawn by two horses
benefits from the improvement of the mitanniens. The wheels are now
made of six to eight rays. The chariot becomes lighter. It carries
men: the coachman, on the left, directs it, a warrior fights lance or
arc and one being useful protect them with a shield.
The heavy infantry is equipped with a conical helmet, an armour or coat of mail, with a shield, a sword, of a long lance, the whole out of iron and high boots. The light infantry includes the same kinds of soldiers, less protected but more mobile: the shield is in wicker. She is divided into two types of troop: archers provided with an arc and a quiver and piquiers carrying a long blade and a round and convex shield, both equipped with short swords for the close combat. The weapons are light: arcs, slings and javelins. Each one carried in addition to waterproofed skin which inflated once enabled him to cross rivers without risk. Robust and resistant mountain dwellers, the soldiers assyriens are excellent combatants.
Poliorcetique (technique of seat of the cities)
For the seats, the specialized sappers and pioneers, use armoured chariots carrying of the large rams. Assyriens have a genuine "artillery" able to project features and large stones. Mobile turns and rams supplement the device.
Assyriens became Masters in art to take the strengthened cities. It was not rare that the unsubdued cities are completely destroyed. The inhabitants either were killed or slaves in another area of the empire.
A reputation of cruelty
Before leaving to shift, the king consults the gods; spies are sent in the territories to conquer. The army goes under the orders of the king, or the general-in-chief, who carries out the combat, on his chariot, with the head of the army. Standards, ensure the communications within the troops.
Assyriens winners, are illustrated by their cruelty without terminals: the corpses are decapitated to crown the walls of the city taken with their heads, the villages are burned, the women and the children are taken along in captivity, the divinities are removed their temples, the rebels are skinned sharp or alive trapped miners. And all the kings assyriens praise themselves of their cruelty and the destruction carried out. This reputation of cruelty becomes a weapon and facilitates the conquests: many is quickly subjected, free to revolt later when the circumstances seem favourable.
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