(681–669 BC)





The sons of Sennacherib were

1 Sharesar, Biblical (Nergal-sarra-yutsur);


3 Esarhaddon

The account of the death of Sennacherib is told us by the Bible, and very briefly, for we read (2 Kings XIX. 37): "And it came to pass as he (Sennacherib) was worshipping in the house of Nisroch his god, that Adrammelech and Shareser his sons smote him with the sword; and they escaped into the land of Armenia. And Esarhaddon his son reigned in his stead."

Josephus says that Sennacherib was buried "in his own temple called Araske". It has been generally thought that Esarhaddon was Sennacherib's eldest son, and this seems to have been the idea of Polyhistor, who made Sennacherib place a son, Asordanes, on the throne of Babylon during his own lifetime. The testimony of a small tablet supports this view.

It has been aptly called the "Will of Sennacherib." It reads: "I, Sennacherib, king of multitudes, king of Assyria, have given chains of gold, etc., to Esarhaddon, my son, who was afterwards named Assur-ebil-mucin-pal, according to my wish."

The name of Esarhaddon is written in the following ways: Assur - akha-IDIN –naAssur-akha-idinna. It means "Assur gave a brother."

Esarhaddon began to reign 681, and he reigned until 668. His brothers Adrammelech and Shareser attempted to obtain the throne, but Esarhaddon drew up his army, and, marching against them, gained a complete victory at Khani­rabbat, a district on the Upper Euphrates. According to some, Adrammelech was killed in battle; according to others, he escaped with his brother and took refuge in Armenia. According to local tradition, the king of Armenia received the vanquished with great kindness, and gave them land to dwell in.

A tablet, containing "addresses" to Esarhaddon, was probably drawn up at the time when Esarhaddon was preparing to fight against his brothers. Column II speaks thus:

Fear not, Oh Esarhaddon,

I (am) Bel, thy strength.

I will ease the supports of thy heart.

Respect, as for thy mother,

Thou hast caused to be shown to me.

(Each) of the sixty great gods, my strong ones,

Will guide thee with his life­

Upon mankind trust not, (but)

Bend thine eyes

Upon me—trust to me !

I am Istar of Arbela.

After the battle (680), Esarhaddon marched into Nineveh. But about this time Nabu-zir-napisti-eser, son of Merodach-Baladan, an old enemy of Assyria, raised an army and went to attack the city of Ur, whose eponym's name was Nin-gal-iddina. He was successful in his siege, and captured the city. Esarhaddon sent out his officers, and Nabu­zir-napisti-esir, knowing this, fled to Elam, asking protection from Ummanaldas, king of that country. But this was refused; and we read that "he had trusted to the king of Elam, who had not caused his life to be spared." Nahid-Marduk, another son of Merodach-Baladan, hearing of the death of his brother, came to Nineveh and sought alliance with Esarhaddon, who received him graciously; and gave him the sea-coast to rule over.

Another revolt in Syria now claimed the attention of the Assyrian king. Abdi-milcutti, king of the city of Zidon, had made alliance with Sanduarri, king of Cundi and Sizu. Esarhaddon marched against Zidon, besieged and captured it. He cut off the heads of Abdi-milcutti and Sanduarri, and, hanging them upon the necks of their great men, exhibited them in the wide spaces (Rehoboth) in Nineveh.

All Palestine and the neighboring regions now submitted to Esarhaddon: twelve districts in Palestine, and ten in Cyprus. Each king sent presents.

At this time, also, he captured the city of Arzani, perhaps a city of Egypt.

Esarhaddon's next expedition was against the Gimirrai, or Kimmerians, whose king was called Teuspa. He conquered them, and, at the same time, the inhabitants of Cilicia and Duha submitted.

Soon after this, Esarhaddon attacked the Mannai, but in this attempt he appears not to have been quite as successful. However, five Median chiefs came to Nineveh and submitted to Esarhaddon.

Esarhaddon now attempted the conquest of Arabia. Many of the Assyrian kings before Esarhaddon had made some conquests in the land of Edom. But he went farther, and reached two cities, called Bazu and Khazu (the Biblical Huz and Buz), and conquered eight kings and queens. The journey, however, was very difficult, and little more is said about it.

A king, called Lailie, asked that the gods which Esarhaddon had captured from him might be restored. His request was granted, and Esarhaddon says—"I spoke to him of brotherhood, and entrusted to him the sovereignty of the districts of Bazu."

Esarhaddon being master of Arabia, Syria, Media, and the other countries which had rebelled against him, was now troubled by Egypt. Before the reign of Esarhaddon, an Ethiopian, called Sabaka, had conquered Egypt. He died, and Sabatok, his successor, made good his cause, and was recognised as king. But now Tirhakah fought Sabatok, who was vanquished, taken prisoner, and put to death.

Tirhakah had been a stubborn and rebellious enemy against Sennacherib, the father of Esarhaddon. It was his army that had opposed Sennacherib at the time of the overthrow of the Assyrian army. Tirhakah, having reigned about twenty years, considered himself well established on the Egyptian throne, so he made an alliance with Bahlu, king of Tyre, and as it is said:

"The yoke of Assur, my lord, they despised; they were insolent and rebellious."

Esarhaddon had entered into a convention with Bahal, by which, in return for services rendered by the Tyrians, the Assyrian monarch ceded to the king of Tyre a considerable portion of the coast of Palestine, including AcchoDor, and all the northern coast of the Philistines, with the cities and Gebal, and Lebanon, and the cities in the mountains behind Tyre.

This very serious rebellion aroused Esarhaddon and brought him and his army against the rebels. He started from the city Aphek, and marched as far as Rapikhi (?), a journey of 30 casbu, or 210 miles.

The Assyrian army was short of water, and was obliged to drink whatever water could be found, for he says:

"Marsh waters from buckets I caused my army to drink."

He then marched into Egypt, and Tirhakah was beaten. Esarhaddon next divided Egypt into twenty provinces; all, except two, being governed by Egyptian generals. The exceptions are:

Sarludari, king of the city of Tsiahnu (Zoan, or Tanis), and Bucur-Ninip, king of the city of Pakhnuti.

Esarhaddon caused to be carved upon the rocks of the Nahr-el-Kelb a long inscription, in which he called himself "King of Egypt, Thebes, and Ethiopia".

Esarhaddon now began his buildings. He first built "ten fortresses" in Assyria and Accad. He then repaired and enlarged the palace at Nineveh, which had been made for the "custody of the camp-baggage." The twenty-two kings of Syria brought him materials for his works. He began a palace at Calah, but it was never finished; and he built one for his son, Assurbanipal, at Tarbitsi (modern Sheref Khan).

While Esarhaddon was yet king, he set his son Assurbanipal upon the throne to reign with him. This is evident from his own words:

Esarhaddon, king of Assyria, the father, my begetter.

The will of Assur and Beltis the gods, his ministers, he exalted.

Which (gods) commanded him to establish my kingship.

The inscription then goes on to say that, on the 12th day of May, Esarhaddon gathered together the principal men of the kingdom, and it was decreed that Assurbanipal should be made king. This event must have taken place between 671 and 668.

When Esarhaddon returned to Assyria, Tirhakah raised a large army and went to besiege Memphis. The city fell into his hands after a "murderous siege." The account of his defeat is given by the annals of Assurbanipal. Esarhaddon died in the year 668.

He left one son, Assurbanipal, king of Assyria, and another called generally Saulmugina, king of Babylon.

Esarhaddon was truly "the great king," and he adopted the policy of holding court at Nineveh and Babylon. Babylon was the scene of many great battles, and during its existence was fought for oftener than, perhaps, any other city in the Babylonian and Assyrian empires. It was said to have been built in very early times, became capital under Khammuragas, and held this position for 1200 years. Khammuragas (about 1700) calls himself "king of Babylon." He built there a temple to Merodach. It was conquered by Tuculti-Ninip, 1271; by Tiglath­Pileser I, 1110; by Tiglath-Pileser II, 731; by Merodach-Baladan, 722; by Sargon, 721; it was sacked and burnt by Sennacherib, 692, but restored by Esarhaddon, 675; captured by Assurbanipal, 648, also by Nabupal-Yutsur, 626, and finally taken by the Medes and Persians, 539 BC.

In his capacity of ruler he was comparatively merciful and kind, for the phrase "I showed mercy to him" occurs frequently in the inscriptions; also his restoration to his enemies of the gods which he had captured is probably without equal among the deeds of the mighty kings of Assyria "who went before." Another proof of his generosity to his enemies is shown by the fact of his releasing Manasseh, king of Judah, and restoring to him his kingdom after he had been carried captive to Babylon (2 Chron. XXXIII. II). He extended the Assyrian empire by the conquests of Arabia and Egypt, and does not appear to have taken delight in warlike expeditions for their own sake, but only undertook them when necessity required for the submission of his enemies.




Sennacherib, King of multitudes, King of Assyria, bracelets of gold, heaps of ivory, a cup of gold, crowns of gold, and chains with them, these benefits of which there are heaps crystal stone, bird stone. One and a-half mane, two and a half shekels, according to their weight to Esarhaddon my son who afterwards Assur-ebil-mucin-pal his name was named according to my wish.





WE do not know the exact circumstances which led to the assassination of Sennacherib, but we shall not be far astray, in all probability, if we ascribe it to jealousy on the part of his sons. While he yet lived Sennacherib had made his son, Esarhaddon (Asshur Akh Iddin), a sort of regent over Babylonia. He had also by decree made him the legal heir to the throne, though he was almost certainly not the eldest son.

During his residence in Babylonia in these early years of his life Esarhaddon (680-668) was smitten with a great love for the ancient land with all its honored customs. His whole life shows plainly how deeply he was influenced by the glory of Babylon’s past, and how eager he was to see undone the ruin which his father had wrought. As soon as the news of his father's death reached his ears he caused himself to be proclaimed as shakkanak of Babylon. In this he was going back to the goodly example of his grandfather Sargon. Sennacherib had ceased altogether to wear a Babylonian title. Babylonia was to him not a separate land united with his own, but a subject territory inhabited by slaves whom he despised. Esarhaddon did not even take the name of king, which in Babylonian eyes would have been unlawful without taking the hands of Marduk, now exiled to Assyria. Immediately after his proclamation in Babylonia Esarhaddon hastened to Nineveh, where the rebellion collapsed at once, and he was received as the legitimate king. According to the Babylonian Chronicle it had lasted only a month and a half—from the twentieth day of Tebet to the second day of Mar. The biblical story represents the two murderers as fleeing to Armenia, and there is no reason to doubt that this was the case. Esarhaddon's inscriptions say that he left Nineveh in the month of Shabat; and this was probably in pursuit of his brothers. He fought a battle with the rebels and their followers at Khanigalbat, near Melid, and readily overcame them. They had probably been hoping for some assistance from Armenia, and now accepted it. The campaign had lasted only eight months, and in the month of Kislev, 680, Esarhaddon was crowned king of Assyria. It is very difficult to follow closely the order of events in the reign which was now begun. Unlike Sargon or Sennacherib, Esarhaddon has left us scarcely a fragment in which the chronological order of events is followed. He was more concerned in setting forth the deeds themselves than the order and relation of them—such at least must be our judgment unless at some time a text of his in true annalistic style should be found.

In the very first year of his reign (680) Esarhaddon gave clear indications of his reversal of his father’s policy. Babylon had been destroyed; he would rebuild it. No Assyrian king before him had ever set himself so great a task. He did not live to see it brought to the final and glorious consummation which he had planned, but he did see and rejoice in a large part of the work. With much religious solemnity, with the anointing of oil and the pouring out of wine, was the foundation laying begun. From the swamps which Sennacherib had wantonly made, slowly began to rise the renewed temple of E-Sagila, the temple of the great gods, while around it and the newly growing city the king erected from the foundations upward the great walls of Imgur Bel and Nimitti Bel. All these, as the king boasts, were enlarged and beautified beyond that which they had been in their former glory. Slowly through the reign along with the wars which must now be told went on these works of peace and utility, to find their entire completion in the reign of Esarhaddon’s like-minded son.

The first work of war to which Esarhaddon must direct his energies was a new castigation of the Chaldeans. While he was busy in securing his throne a fresh outbreak had occurred in the old district of the Sea Lands. Nabu Ziru Kinish Lishir, a son of Merodach Baladan, had gained some of his family's power in Bit-Yakin, and with this as a base of operations had possessed himself of the country as far north as Ur. When Esarhaddon dispatched an army against him he fled to Elam, whither his father before him had more than once gone for refuge. There was now, however, a new regime in Elam, and the king, Ummanaldash II, seized him and slew him. His brother, Naid Marduk, fled to Assyria and delivered himself up to Esarhaddon, who, with a mercy that honors his heart and his judgment, sent him back to Bit Yakin to rule the country under Assyrian over-lordship. This sudden desertion on the part of Elam of its traditional friendship for Merodach Baladan and the Chaldeans in general is very difficult to understand. Up to this time the Elamites had always aided every movement of the Chaldeans against the Assyrians. There happened also a little later, in 674, another strange manifestation of a new policy among these same Elamites. While Esarhaddon was elsewhere engaged the Elamites surged down into Babylonia, and, murdering and plundering as they went, reached as far as the city of Sippar. The Babylonian Chronicle records this raid, but does not utter a word concerning any retaliation on the part of the Assyrians.

While Esarhaddon was carrying on the rebuilding of Babylon, and the population was returning which had been scattered, he found occasion for a small passage at arms with the Chaldean tribe of Bit-Dakkuri, which had gained sudden wealth through the destruction wrought by Sennacherib. When the Babylonians had been driven away by Sennacherib from the territory about Babylon and Borsippa these Chaldeans had promptly taken possession. As the selfsame people were now returning whom Sennacherib had thus dispossessed, Esarhaddon determined to drive out the settlers. He deposed their king, Shamash Ibni, and set over them Nabu Usallim, a son of a certain Balasu mentioned by Tiglath Pileser III. When they had been dislodged the lands were restored to their former owners. At about the same time Esarhaddon undertook to bring into subjection the tribe of Gambuli, perhaps a mixed race of Aramaeans who were settled in the border country between Elam and Babylonia near the mouth of the Tigris. They had given aid to Ummanaldash in his raid in 674, and must now be humbled. Their prince, Bel-Iqisha, did not dare a battle, and so surrendered and gave pledge to hold his fortress, Shapi Bel, as a sort of outpost against Elamite invasions; it was then strengthened by the Assyrians for this purpose. Esarhaddon was too prudent to attack Elam; and there was shortly less need for it. Ummanaldash II died in the same year, and his successor, Urtaku, was of very different mind as regards the Assyrians. He appears to have used every effort to maintain peace and friendship between the two peoples. As an evidence of this temper of mind stands his action of 673 in sending back to Agade the gods who at some previous time had been carried away by the Elamites.

All these operations of war were child's play compared with the drama in the west, in which Esarhaddon played the chief role. We have already seen that Sennacherib had signally failed in Syria. He had been absolutely unable to conquer Tyre, chiefly because it had the sea on the western side, forming a defense which the Assyrian could not burn nor pull down, and of which he was probably well afraid, as a landsman from the east might well be. His efforts in Judah, we have also seen, ended in a calamity for which his superstition or faith could find only disquieting causes. Furthermore, the only effort at setting up a new government and of making a center for Assyrian influence had no abiding power. He had planned to set up Sidon as a rival of Tyre, and to gather about it in an artificial manner several cities which were better adapted to be rivals than friends. His rearrangement of the city dominion had no element of stability in it, and soon dissolved. Ethobal, whom he had made king, was probably loyal enough, and his personal influence maintained the status quo, for it was in the end a personal rather than a national plan. As soon as he was dead and his son, Abd Milkot, reigned in his place the people of Sidon quietly dropped the Assyrian allegiance and went on with their dispatching of ships on the Mediterranean and with the piling up of treasure, none of which was paid over to Assyria as tribute. Here, then, in the Phoenician territory were entirely independent states, Tyre and Sidon, each with its own territory. We are clearly instructed concerning the territory of Sidon, and, though Sennacherib had stripped Tyre of her possessions, there is reason to believe that some of them had been regained. The wealth alone of these two states might well tempt a king who was spending upon new and old building operations such regal sums. Former kings had secured vast sums for the non interference with Phoenician commerce; he might certainly hope to gain at least this boon, not to be despised, and he might also really conquer Phoenicia and make a loyal province of it.

With such hopes and dreams Esarhaddon led his first westward campaign. The way had been well prepared by the Assyrian conquerors who had devastated before him, and none would view the onset of his troops with equanimity. Before he could reach the sea a rebellion was genuinely on foot. Abd Milkot had found an ally in Sanduarri, king of Kundu and Sizu, two cities, the latter located in a mountainous, almost impassable, country in northern Cilicia. Sidon had the protection of the sea, while Kundu and Sizu had the wild and trackless mountains about them. The Assyrians had often before crept among the mountains and attacked enemies hidden like birds among the clefts, as the Assyrian annalist loves to portray them. But their success by sea had been inconsiderable. The new confederation seemed to have elements of strength beyond many which had preceded it. On the approach of the Assyrians the courage of Abd Milkot forsook him and he fled to sea. Esarhaddon besieged Sidon, and the city held out well—we do not know exactly how long—but the campaign against the two rebels lasted three years. It is certainly highly probable that the greater part of this long period was devoted to the maritime city rather than to the mountain hamlets. When Sidon fell the city was devoted to destruction. The walls which had been a defense for ages were tumbled into the sea; the houses in which wealthy merchants had lived were torn from their foundations and utterly ruined. The whole city was leveled to the plain and blotted out of existence. All this is after the models of ancient days, and shows to what a pitch of wrath Esarhaddon had been wrought by the long and tedious siege. But at once he turns from this custom and exemplifies the other and better side. Upon the same site another city is built and named Kar Asshur Akh Iddin (Esarhaddon’s burg), that in it the old commerce might live again. The new city thus built was peopled by inhabitants of the mountains conquered in war, and also and more reasonably by others drawn from the coasts of the Persian Gulf. Abd Milkot was captured, perhaps in Cyprus, and beheaded. Kundu and Sizu were also taken, and the unfortunate Sanduarri was treated in the same way.

When Esarhaddon returned from the campaign he brought with him substantial evidences of his victory. Kundu and Sizu had probably enriched him but little, but with Sidon the case was entirely different. Here was a commercial city through which had passed a goodly share of the commerce between east and west. As through Gaza passed the trade of Arabia to the western nations now coveting the luxuries and refinements of the east, so through Sidon, and especially through Tyre, passed all that luxurious Asia had to contribute to the sybarites who lived in Greece and Italy. These things could not pass year by year through Sidon without leaving a share of the choicest of them in the hands of those who trafficked. Esarhaddon enumerates in one bald list the treasure which he carried away. It was of gold, silver, precious stones, ivory, costly woods, tapestries, and dress stuffs. The color and the richness of the east were in this mass of wealth. Esarhaddon had not reckoned too highly upon the gains of his conquest, even if three years had fled away before it was taken. To these were added the cattle, the sheep, and the asses which were driven away to render service hereafter in Assyria. The end of this campaign is a record of return to the most wretched barbarism of Assyria's darkest days. When he came up to his city gates Esar­haddon made a triumphal entry to the sound of loud music. In his train marched his captives, and among them were the chief men of Sidon, and bound round their necks was the ghastly head of Abd Milkot, while the principal men of Kundu and Sizu bore in like manner the head of Sanduarri. It is a strange sight, this entry into Nineveh, when it is remembered that the king who made it was Esarhaddon, who had been merciful to a son of Merodach Baladan and had restored to the Babylonians the lands which his father had wasted. The natural Assyrian temper had revealed itself in this latest of Assyrian monarchs.

The attack on Tyre probably began while Sidon was still in a state of siege. It was an entirely different problem, and much more difficult. Tyre was better defended by the sea than Sidon. It was larger, richer, more determined. There is little doubt that if the Tyrians had believed that the payment of a heavy gift, or even the promise to give a large annual tribute, would have freed them from all further Assyrian disturbance of trade, they would have gladly met either or both conditions. They had done so before. But there was a determination about Esarhaddon's actions that could hardly be satisfied with anything short of absolute control. The people of Tyre wanted to save some sort of autonomy, in order to the greater freedom of their commerce, and the only hope for this now was to fight and not to pay for it. Esarhaddon began his siege in earnest. He walled in the city entirely upon its landward side, and began a wearisome effort to conquer it by famine. But of one entrance to their city, and that the most important, he could not rob the Tyrians. The sea remained open, and by the sea might readily enter all that Tyre needed for the life of its citizens. He could deprive the city of its commerce by land, and that naturally must soon destroy its commerce by sea, but if the Tyrians had the heart to hold out, they certainly could not be starved into submission. Baal was now king of Tyre and he was clearly of different stuff from his less courageous predecessors. Year by year the siege dragged on, while other and greater efforts occupied the attention of Esarhaddon, and in the end there was no result. The siege had to be lifted, and Esarhaddon must confess defeat. It is true that upon one of his largest and most impressive monuments he pictures Baal of Tyre kneeling before his august majesty, who holds him with a ring through his lips. On the inscription, however, there is not one word about the fall of Tyre, nor elsewhere in any of Esarhaddon's records is there any claim that Tyre had been taken. We are forced to the conclusion that Esarhaddon is here glorying without justification, and that Baal of Tyre during his entire reign maintained his independence. The failure to take Tyre was a loss, in that great treasure would undoubtedly have been secured, but in no way was the continued existence of the city a menace to Assyria or an interference with the progress of Assyrian power anywhere in the west. There was no danger of any attack by Tyre upon the Assyrian flank if Esarhaddon should decide to move southward with his forces. Tyre would go on with her commerce and leave the rest of mankind to fight its own battles.

Esarhaddon had administered a salutary lesson to Sidon and its ally; he would now press on to discourage any further alliances or confederations in Palestine against himself and his rule. Again and again the oft-recurring rebellions in Palestine had been brought about by Egyptian agents who stirred up the small states and hoped to gain power when Assyria had been driven off. No Assyrian king had hitherto done more than snuff out the little flame of patriotism and punish the offenders. None had been so bold as to execute a move against Egypt herself, prime cause of all the trouble. It is proof of the power of an ancient name that this had not been done, for opportunities there had certainly been in plenty. Egypt had been so weak that she would probably have fallen an easy prey to armies such as Assyria had long had in the field. But the Assyrians had in their thought the Egypt of Thutmosis III and Ramses II, and did not rightly estimate the Egypt of their own day. Esarhaddon, however, had learned otherwise in some way, and now laid careful and wise plans for the overthrow of Egypt. The Assyrians had broken down the great culture-loving race of the Euphrates and had scattered its treasures; they would now proceed to do in like manner unto the great people who had conserved literature and art and science during the march of the centuries and had survived the wreck which had come to others less fortunate. The freebooters of Asia, who had sacked and burned and made howling wastes where once had been beautiful cities, must seek a wider field and enter Africa.

In 673 Esarhaddon makes his first attack upon Tirhaqa, the Ethiopian king of Egypt. The campaign was absolutely without tangible results. The Assyrian army, indeed, reached the Egyptian border, but did not cross it. The way was stubbornly contested, and Esarhaddon at length withdrew temporarily without abandoning his designs. In 670 he again moved forward and probably with greatly increased forces. He was soon over the border upon this campaign, and at the first battle at Iskhupri gained a decisive victory over the Egyptians. Two more battles followed, and in these also was he victorious. After a march of fifteen days from Iskhupri he appeared before the walls of Memphis and laid siege to an ancient and magnificent city. Memphis was unprepared, and soon fell into his hands. The family of Tirhaqa was taken, but the Pharaoh himself made good his escape into Nubia, paralyzed with fear and hopeless of the very idea of resistance. Memphis was plundered and destroyed. Esarhaddon had tasted the joys of plunder and the satisfaction of revenge at Sidon, and was glad to drink them again to the full. The fall of Memphis filled the whole land with dismay. Such an event had probably never seemed to the proud people a possibility. There were no further resources in the country, the king had fled and left all, and only surrender was possible. As far as the confines of Nubia the country surrendered to the Assyrians. In two brief campaigns, with apparently little loss, an Assyrian army had undone the work of centuries and humbled in the dust the world's proudest people. What was lost to the world in the destruction of Memphis can never be known. How much else of works of art, of historical memorials, of beautiful buildings, perished may only be surmised. Esarhaddon admits that he carried away from the temples fifty-five royal statues. It was a complete overthrow, but the resistance had been slight and brief, and the land was happily not devoted to destruction.

At once Esarhaddon reorganized the government of the country. It was already divided into twenty-two divisions, called nomes. Over each of these a native prince was set up, who was really only a puppet in the hands of the Assyrian officials and assistants by whom he was surrounded. Even the names of the cities were changed into Assyrian forms, so that, for example, Sais became Kar Bel Matati (fortress of the lord of lands), and Athribis was to be Limir Ishakku Asshur, though the inhabitants of the country would certainly never adopt such ill-sounding combinations in the room of that to which their ears for many generations had been accustomed. But that many Egyptians quickly acquiesced in the new order of affairs is perfectly plain. Over the twenty-two princes Esarhaddon set Necho of Sais as chief king, subject, of course, to himself as the real overlord. Necho went so far in devotion to his Assyrian masters as even to give his son an Assyrian name. It is no wonder that the heart of Esarhaddon swelled with pride when he contemplated this conquest. That the youngest power in the Orient had been able to conquer and now to administer the affairs of a people who had been famous and powerful centuries before the first Babylonian colonists had settled in Asshur was indeed cause sufficient for boasting.

Though the greatest by far, this conquest of Egypt was not Esarhaddon's only victory in the west besides Sidon. Various Arabian tribes had given trouble to Sargon and to Sennacherib, and Esarhaddon was not free from the same difficulties. Before his first Egyptian campaign in 674 he had been compelled to attack MelukhkhaMelukhkha had indeed no political organization coterminous with its geographical boundaries. Sennacherib mentions a king of Melukhkha, but he could hardly have reigned over a country so extensive as that which the word covers in the Assyrian inscriptions. Esarhaddon began his raid, for it was little else, from Palestine. The deserts were a sore trial to his troops, unused to any such campaigning, and would have been destruction to them but for the help given by the people of the little kingdom of Aribi. Esarhaddon penetrated into the land as far probably as Mount Shamar. The king of Melukhkha, was taken captive, a matter of moment only in this, that he might have become an ally of Egypt. The entire campaign was only undertaken to set the people in dread of Assyria and so make them careful to give no aid or comfort to Assyria's enemies.

In this same connection it is interesting to observe Esarhaddon's treatment of the small land of Aribi, the part of northern Arabia which comes up between Palestine and the Euphrates valley. The Assyrian kings had already had dealings with two queens of this country. Tiglath Pileser, Sargon, and Sennacherib had also ravaged in Aribi, and the land had been brought in a considerable measure under the influence of Assyria. Hazael, a king of Aribi, had suffered much from Sennacherib, and had been especially bereaved in the loss of his gods, which had been carried away. Emboldened, perhaps, by the knowledge that Esarhaddon had reversed his father's policy in Babylonia, he besought the king for the return of his gods. The prayer was granted, and a friendly feeling thus reestablished. And now followed a very strange act. Esarhaddon set up a new queen in Aribi, who appears not to have disturbed the established order at all. Her name was Tabua, and she had been reared at the Assyrian court. How she could have reigned as queen while Hazael continued as king is somewhat difficult of explanation. It appears probable that we have here an instance of a sort of double rule. Perhaps the situation is like that which existed in the Nabataeans kingdom at a very much later date. These kings mention their queens in their inscriptions and stamp their heads along with their own upon coins, which would seem to indicate that they exercised some influence in the state. Hazael died during the reign of Esarhaddon, and was succeeded by his son, variously called Yalu and Yata.

In the reign of Esarhaddon there was felt for the first time in all its keenness the danger of an overflow of the land by great Indo-European immigrations. Long before this time these peoples, living in what is now southern Russia, had begun to spread southward. The Medes formed one great wave of their migration. They had, however, turned eastward, had settled in the mountains northeast of Assyria, and beyond Elam, and had not disturbed the Assyrian empire. Greater migrations than that of the Medes were now becoming severely threatening. One wave swept down from the northern shores of the Black Sea, and met with the first Asiatic power in Armenia. Armenia was not now the power it once had been, but it was, nevertheless, strong enough to separate the Indo-European horde as by a wedge. One great mass moved westward into Asia Minor. The other and much less formidable went westward and southward into the outlying Assyrian provinces. The name of a leader in this second stream of migration has come down to us in the form of Ishpakai, who is called an Ashguzman, which may be the same as the biblical Ashkenaz. This man, leading his horde of Indo-European barbarians, came as far as Lake Urumiyeh. Here he found the people of Man, who had felt the Assyrian power and had paid their annual tribute like their neighbors. They had, however, been entirely undisturbed for a long time, as Sennacherib had not invaded their territory at all during his reign. In the migration of the Indo-Europeans they saw a hope of securing aid by which all allegiance to Assyria might perhaps be thrown off. It was a plan of folly, for the new lords which they would thus secure were not likely to be any better than the old ones whom they put off. Esarhaddon, learning of this alliance, invaded the country and conquered Ishpakai, apparently without much trouble. It was the easy victory of discipline over disorder. Esarhaddon may have satisfied his own mind with the thought that he had removed a great danger, but in reality his victory was of very slight consequence. He had indeed broken down this alliance, but he had not disposed of the hordes of men who formed the migration. Their leaders were ever seeking some new method of harassing his outposts and plundering his tributary states. Some, like Kashtariti, even threatened the very existence of the commonwealth, for he attempted to form a great coalition of the Mannai, the Cimmerians, and the Chaldeans. It fell to pieces from mutual jealousies, but not without sending Esarhaddon in dread to consult still further the oracles of the sun god.

While there were shrewd men like Kashtariti among these immigrants, who needed to be treated with consideration and firmness, the greater mass were like dumb, driven cattle. The Indo-Europeans, indeed, were not an organized body aiming at a definite conquest of Assyrian territory. They were rather hordes of semi-barbaric and hungry men pushed from old homes and seeking new ones. Many of them settled in Man, and cared not if they did have to join in the annual payment of an Assyrian tribute. The great bulk of the migration moved on into the Assyrian province of Parsua, which was quietly and irresistibly overflowed and filled with a new population. Then spreading yet farther, they went on into Media. Here was already settled a population of closely related stock who had migrated thither at an earlier day, and had, as we have seen, offered but a feeble resistance to the Assyrian kings who were engaged in plundering raids. They were unable to keep out the newcomers who quietly settled among them. Some of the Median princes appealed to Esarhaddon for aid in keeping out the unwelcome immigrants. The Medes had formed as yet no central government. They had not been genuinely engrafted into the Assyrian empire, and they were unable in any united way to oppose the new migration. If there had been less centralized government in Assyria and no standing army, the very soil of the ancient Assyria would undoubtedly have been overrun. Only the disciplined forces which were ready to oppose them wherever they appeared diverted the barbarians who had passed eastward from Urartu into Media.

Among the Median princes who begged Esarhaddon for help against the engulfing wave were Uppis of PartakkaSanasana of Partukka, and Ramateya of Urakazabarna. Esarhaddon was probably glad of the invitation to interfere. He had reason to be, for he was threatened in a twofold manner by this migration on his eastern borders. In the very beginning he was being deprived of control in provinces from which much tribute had been brought, and without the payment of tribute the standing army which had made Assyria powerful could not be kept up. Assyrian merchants would never pay taxes for its maintenance. He was further in fear lest these new Indo-Europeans engrafted on the old stock might make a new state with a government of its own, central in position, ample in authority, and strong enough to threaten its neighbors no less than to maintain its own integrity. When that came to pass Assyria would have on the east an enemy more dangerous than Chaldea had been on the north. Esarhaddon's campaign to help these Median princes amounted to nothing in its results, and we are, of course, not told how much the army suffered in losses before it was withdrawn.

Another expedition with similar purposes was directed against the country of Patusharra, which Esarhaddon carefully locates between the Bikni mountains (Demavend) and the desert, which must be the salt desert of northern Persia. Here he took prisoners two Medo-Persian princes named Shitir Parna and Eparna. There was no valuable result from this expedition also, or we had had it set forth with much earnestness and enthusiasm by Esarhaddon. That he was alarmed by these easterly migrations is beyond doubt.

The nomads could not pierce the ancient land nor approach to Nineveh itself; the armies were too strong and the fortified outposts too numerous for that. They were, however, quickly over-spreading a rich and valuable country which the Assyrians had tried to conquer, and had partially succeeded in conquering, and had undoubtedly hoped to fit fully into the empire. But the nomads were making this forever impossible. The Assyrians armies might conquer them here and there, but it was only along the edges of the slow-moving current. The great volume pressed behind, and the tide advanced again. Esarhaddon was at last compelled to accept the inevitable, and watched fearfully while the people who had been nomads as it seemed but yesterday were settled in the valleys, engaged in agriculture, and making the first steps toward the organization of a new state. In these days the provinces which had been first overrun and plundered by the Assyrians, and then organized and colonized, were taken from Assyria forever. Herein was enacted the same drama which centuries later took place in Italy, as the northern barbarians came southward over the mountains and seized the plains of Lombardy. Rome could make only a feeble resistance, and a little later even the capital went down before them. The parallel goes even that far also, for Nineveh likewise was done to destruction through the help of these same barbarians who now settled in her outlying provinces.

We have traced from its first diversion in Urartu the eastern branch of the Indo-European migration until its settlement in the northeastern Assyrian provinces and in Media. The western branch was vastly more formidable in numbers and power. While the eastern branch has no distinctive general name applied to the entire body, the western is known under the name of the Cimmerians. From Urartu they went westward, passing through the provinces of Assyria which had formed the kingdom of Urartu. Assyria was undoubtedly fearful of the issue. If the head of the stream should be diverted southward ever so little, it would be pressed by the following masses into Mesopotamia, and no man was far­sighted enough to know the result of a situation like that. The end of the Assyrian empire might even now be at hand. Esarhaddon must strike the moving body a blow strong enough to sweep it farther northward and make certain its diversion into the land of Asia Minor, and not into Syria. He did deliver his stroke against the Cimmerians at a place called Khubushna, in northern Cilicia. He boasts that he conquered Teuspa, a Cimmerian, a Manda—that is, a nomad or Scythian. There is very little to be said of the victory, and the probability is that Esarhaddon had not assaulted the main body at all, which was moving rather northwesterly, but only one portion which had turned southward.

However that may be, the chief object of Esarhaddon's concern was achieved. The Cimmerians moved on into Cappadocia, entering Asia Minor rather than Mesopotamia. The little kingdoms of Meshech and Tabal fell before the tide of migration. Assyria lost by it some fine provinces in the northwest, as we have seen that it did in the northeast, through the invasion of the other branch of emigrants. With the exception of these losses Assyria suffered little. It is, however, not to be doubted that no such danger had ever before assailed the Assyrian empire. Esarhaddon had saved it. A weak king at this juncture would have lost all, and Assyria, a barbarism in the robes of civilization, would have been engulfed. It is idle to speculate on the possibilities had such been the end of the invasion. The passing of the headship of the Semitic races from Assyria must have had momentous consequences. The passing of the leadership in western Asia from Semitic to Indo-European hands was clearly impending, but it was now postponed through the energy, the foresight, and ability of Esarhaddon. Even if his name had not been enrolled among the greatest of Assyrian kings by the conquest and annexation of Egypt, he would have deserved the position by the deliverance from the Cimmerians and their eastern fellows in these very threatening days.

The ill arrangement and the fragmentary character of the Esarhaddon texts leave us much in doubt concerning the latest events of his reign.

He took the city of Arzania, in the Syrian desert, in one of his later campaigns, though we do not know just what led to the attack.

In 669 a rebellion of some kind broke out in Assyria. We have no knowledge of its cause or purpose, but it was put down with a strong hand, Esarhaddon promptly causing the death of the chief men concerned in it. A man of his temperament was not likely to be lenient in such matters.

In 668 he undertook a campaign into Egypt. We are not well informed as to the cause of this, for our knowledge of it rests not on any of Esarhaddon's own inscriptions, but only on the brief mention of the Babylonian Chronicle: It is probable that there had already begun in Egypt the situation which demanded the strenuous efforts of Esarhaddon's successor.

Before he set out on this expedition he must have felt some premonitory symptoms which made him doubt the long continuance of his life, for he took steps to provide for his successor. In this he may have been influenced by a desire to spare the people, if possible, such a chapter of difficulties as confronted him in the beginning of his own reign. In the month of Iyyar, 668, at the great festival of Gula, he caused to be published a proclamation commanding all the inhabitants of Assyria, both great and small, from the upper to the lower sea, to honor and acknowledge his son Ashurbanipal as the crown prince and future king. This was the deed of a wise and prudent man. Unhappily he coupled with it another provision, which was fraught with the most awful consequences, and can only be characterized as an act of folly. In, Babylon at the same time he caused his son Shamash Shum Ukin to be proclaimed as king of Babylon. If Ashurbanipal was to rule as king in Assyria, and another brother was to be king in Babylon, no matter what regulations of power or agreements of authority were arranged between them, there was inevitably a reopening of the old difficulty, the old jealousy and strife, between Assyria and Babylonia. Sennacherib had felt this so severely that he had tried to terminate all disputes by the destruction of Babylon. Esarhaddon had undone that wrong by rebuilding the city—a colossal enterprise now nearly finished—and from the very beginning of that great work until this proclamation of Shamash Shum Ukin he had secured peace and at least a measure of contentment in Babylonia. There was now strong reason to hope that by rapid and easy intercourse between the two great sections of the Semitic race all ancient animosities and jealousies might die out and the countries really become one. This could only be brought about by the possession of power in the hands of one king, by centralization, in which, while Assyria held chief place, Babylonia should yet receive the honor due her, because of her venerable antiquity and her great culture. Instead of a wise provision for the continuance of the order by which Esarhaddon was king of Assyria and shakkanak of Babylon—an order that for now twelve long years had produced and maintained peace—Esarhaddon had provided for the return of an old order, often tried and always a failure. Babylonia would get a taste of semi-independence and would at once yearn for something more. The ruler set over her, be he never so faithful to his father and to Assyria, would be forced inevitably into rebellion or lose his head and his throne altogether. In this decision Esarhaddon was following old oriental precedents, which have also often been imitated since his day. He was dividing his kingdom, and there would be shedding of blood ere the reuniting, if, indeed, it were possible ever to achieve it.

The forebodings of Esarhaddon had been well founded. On his way to Egypt he fell sick, and on the tenth day of Marcheshwan, in the year 668, he died.

He had had sore trials and great difficulties. He had endured grievous defeats and sustained severe losses, but he had, nevertheless, had a glorious reign. That the provinces which once paid great tribute were lost to the Indo-Europeans upon the northeast and northwest was less his fault than his misfortune. No king could well have done more than he, and it is to the credit of his ability that he did not lose much more, even the whole of Mesopotamia or even Assyria, for no army, however well led, was of permanent value against a moving mass of men with unknowing and unthinking thousands pressing from the rear. These losses were far more than compensated by the gaining of the fertile and beautiful valley of the Nile. With this added, even though much was lost, Esarhaddon left the Assyrian empire larger and greater than it had ever been before. In battle and in siege, in war against the most highly civilized peoples and in war upon barbarians, Esarhaddon had been so successful that he must rank with Sargon and Tiglath Pileser III, and must be placed far in advance of his father, Sennacherib. In him, in spite of mercy shown a number of times, there raged a fierceness and a thirst for blood and revenge that remind us forcefully of Asshurnazirpal. His racial inheritance had overcome his personal mildness.

In works of peace no less than in war he was great and successful. In the city of Nineveh he restored and entirely rebuilt a great arsenal and treasure-house which had already been restored by Sennacherib. At Tarbis he began the erection, probably somewhat late in his reign, of a great palace intended for the occupation of his son Ashurbanipal. At Calah he also began an immense palace, which remained unfinished when he died. The excavated ruins reveal a ground plan of vast extent, and the fragmentary sculptures show that the building was richly decorated and beautified.

All these constructions, though they were numerous enough and great enough to have lent distinction to the reign of almost any of the kings who had reigned before him, were comparatively insignificant by the side of the rebuilding of Babylon. In spite of the inscriptions and the fragments which are devoted to the celebration of this work it is impossible to form any adequate idea of so colossal an undertaking. He saw the city re-inhabited and beginning again a glorious career, where, at the beginning of his reign, there had been a swamp and a desert.

The last reign of great achievements in both war and peace was over in Assyria. The morrow would bring change and confusion. A man who had mingled mildness and severity in unusual degree had gone out from among men, and his sons would never be able to exhibit such qualities in union.





the powerful king, king of multitudes, king of the country of Assyria,

son of Sennacherib, son of Sargon, king of Assyria.

The king of multitudes,(king of) the land of the Hittites, of Egypt, (and) Cush, (Ethiopia).

I am Esarhaddon, the great king, the strong king, king of multitudes, king of Assyria, priest of Babylon, king of Sumer and Accad, king of the kings of Egypt of the country of the Hittites, Egypt (?) of Cush.

Upon the land which is within Tarbitsi (a palace) for the seat of Assurbanipal, the son of the great king of the harems, the son, the offspring of my body, I built, I caused to be completed.

Esarhaddon king, king of the country of kar-duniyas, king of multitudes, king of Assyria, priest of Babylon, king of the country of Sumer and Accad, the exalted prince, the worshipper of Marduk Nebo, and Marduk.



680 BC.


... I caused to descend and I caused to take ...

In heart I was discouraged, and was stricken down my liver.

As regards the making of the royalty of the house of my father, the extension of my dominion, to the gods Assur, Sin, Samas, Bel, Nebo, and Nergal, the goddess Istar of Nineveh, and the goddess Istar of Arbela, my hands I lifted up and they were kind to my prayers.

By their grace established, a trusting heart they sent, and said! do not restrain thy hands, we march; and we abhor thy enemies.

On the first day and second day I fought not, the front of my army I set not in array, the hinder part I formed not, the overseers of the horses trained to bear the yoke, without the furniture of my battle, I did not set in line, provisions for my journey I issued not.

Snow, storming the month Sebat came the mighty darkness, I feared not, like a sisinni bird flying against the officer Gab-khakh, of the land I opened out my forces; the road to Nineveh, with difficulty quickly I descended, and beyond me, in the region of the country of Khanirabbat, the whole of their warriors, powerful in front of my army placed themselves and girded on their weapons.

The fear of the great gods, my lords, overwhelmed them, and the onset of my powerful attack they saw, and collected in front.

The goddess Istar, the lady of war (and) battle, the lover of my obedience, my forces she fixed, their bows she broke, their assembled fighting men she struck and in their assembly disturbed, the army turns away from me. By her supreme command, my hands the standard which I had raised, I caused to carry.





... he had been troublesome ...

His camp he assembled and against Nin-gal the governor of the city Ur, a servant, a dependant upon me, battle he brought against him, and had captured his place of exit.

From the time when Assur, Samas, Bel and Nebo, Istar of Nineveh, Istar of Arbela, myself Esarhaddon upon the throne of my father well caused me to be seated, and the government of the country they caused to be entrusted to me, he himself did not reverence the gifts of a brother he presented not, and homage he approached not, and his ambassador to my presence he sent not, and the peace of my kingdom he asked not, his evil deeds within Nineveh I heard, and my heart groaned and was stricken down my liver.

My officers, the prefects of the borders of his country I hastened against him, and he Nabu-zir-napisti-esir, a rebel, of the march of my army heard, and to the country of Elam, like a fox he fled away.

Since the covenant of the great gods he had broken, Assur, Sin, Samas, Bel and Nebo, sin and guilt placed upon him, within the land of Elam they overwhelmed him with weapons.

Nahid-Merodach his brother, of the matter in the country of Elam, which to his brother had happened, saw and from the country of Elam had fled and to make submission to me, to the country of Assyria came and he besought my lordship.

The sea coast, to its whole extent, the dominion of his brother, I entrusted to him. Yearly a sum unvarying with his numerous presents to Nineveh he came and he kissed my two feet.





…(Sumer) and Accad ...and the country of Assyria ...king of the country of Assyria, ....the gods Assur, Sin, Samas, Nebo, Marduk, the goddess Istar of Nineveh, the goddess Istar of Arbela, the great gods his lords, (who) from the rising of the sun to the setting of the sun he hath marched, and an opponent has not had.

The conqueror of Sidon, upon the border of the sea, sweeping away all its inhabitants, its fortress, and its site I captured and into the midst of the sea I cast and the region of its habitation I desolated.

Abdi-milcutti its king who from before my weapons into the midst of the sea had fled like a fish, from the midst of the sea I drew him out and cut off his head.

Spoiling his goods, gold, silver, precious stones, skin of the wild bull, horn of the wild bull, strong wood, chair wood, clothing, and linen, whatever its name the treasures of his palace, to a great (number) I carried off his men and women which number had not, oxen and sheep, asses I turned to the midst of the country of Assyria.

I assembled also the kings of the land of the Hittites, and the sea coast the whole of them into my presence. Another city I caused to make, the city of Esarhaddon. I called its name. The men, the spoil of my bow from the mountains and the sea of the rising sun in the midst of it I caused to dwell, my general as prefect over them I established.

Sanduarri king of the city Cundi, and the city Siza, an enemy, not a reverer of my lordship, whom the gods had deserted, and to the rugged mountains trusted, also Abdi-milcutti, king of the city Sidon to his help established and the name of the great gods to each other they remembered, and to their forces they trusted. But I, to Assur my lord trusted, and like a bird from within the mountain, I drew him out and I cut off his head.

By the might of Assur, my lord, the men all of them, whoever they were, the heads of Sanduarri and Abdi-milcatti upon the necks of their great men I hung and together with the musicians, both male and female.




... he gathered it...

to the country of Assyria I brought.

In front of the great gate at the border of the city Nineveh, with wild bulls, dogs and bears.

I caused them to dwell in a heap, and Teuspd, king of the country of the Gimirrai, a barbarous soldier, whose country remote in the territory of the country of Khupusna, together with the whole of his army, I ran through with the sword; I trampled the necks of the men of the country of Cilicia, the country of Duha, the inhabitants of the forests ) opposite the country of Tabal, who upon their mountains had trusted, and from the days of old did not submit to my yoke, twenty-one of their strong cities, together with the small cities which bordered them I besieged, I captured, I spoiled of their spoil; I threw down, I dug up, with fire I burned.

The remainder of them, who rebellion and curses had not, the heavy yoke of my lordship I placed upon them.

I trampled upon the country of Parnaci, an enemy, destroying the inhabitants of the country of Tel-Assur, which in the language of the men of the city Mekhranu, the city Pitänu they call their name.

I scattered the men of the country of Van, Gutium disobedient, who the armies of Ispacai,the country of the Asguzai, a rebel force, not saving him, I overwhelmed with weapons.

The repeller of Nabu-zir-napisti-esir, son of Merodach­Baladan, who to the king of the country of Elam had trusted and had not caused his life to be saved.

Nahid-Merodach, his brother, in order to make my submission, from within the country of Elam had fled, and to Nineveh, the city of my lordship came and kissed my feet.

The country of the sea to its whole extent, the dominion of his brother I caused to be entrusted to him.

The disturber of the country of Beth-Dakkurri, within the land of Chaldea, an enemy of Babylon, I burned Samas-ibni its king a ravager wicked, not revering the memory of the lords, who the lands of the sons of Babylon and Borsippa, by violence had carried away. And as for myself, the fear of the gods Bel and Nebo those lands I restored, and to the sons of Babylon and Borsippa I caused to be entrusted. Nebo-sallim, son of Balagu, upon his throne I caused to be seated, and he repented of his transgressions.




It is stated that Sennacherib had conquered the city of Edom, in Arabia. A notice of this event is found on a tablet, very much defaced. The invasion by Sennacherib took place about 691. At the time of Esarhaddon, Khazail was king of Arabia, and when he died Esarhaddon bestowed the throne upon Yautah or Yahlua, the son of Khazail. This occurred during the reign of Esarhaddon, and Yautah paid his appointed tribute, as Khazail had done before him, until some time after the death of Esarhaddon. Assurbanipal, was king of Assyria, and Saulmugina, his brother, had revolted. It was then that Yautah joined in the revolt and raised two armies; one he sent to Palestine, and the other to the help of the Babylonians. He had refused to pay his tribute, and his conduct is thus tersely described by Assurban-pal: "For when Elam was speaking sedition with Accad, he heard, and then he disregarded fealty to me, (even) myself Assurbanipal, the King, the noble hero, the powerful chief, the work of the hands of the god Assur. He forsook me, and to Abiyateh and Aimu, sons of Teahri, his forces with them, for the assistance of Saulmugina, my rebellious brother, lie sent, and established his face. The people of Arabia he caused to revolt with him, and carried off the plunder of the people whom Assur, Istar, and the great gods had given me". His was, however, totally defeated, for another notice says: "The Arabians who escaped from before my warriors the god Ninip destroyed. In want and famine their life was passed, and for food they eat the flesh of their children…To Yautah misfortune happened, and he fled away alone to Nabaiti." Assurbanipal placed Abiyateh upon the throne of Yautah. The account of these events goes on to state that Assurbanipal brought Yautah out from Nabatea, and kept him chained in the Gate of the Rising Sun, in Nineveh.

To the city of Edom, a fortified city of the country of Arabia

which Sennacherib, king of the land of Assyria,

the father, my begotter, had conquered, and

its wealth, its riches, its gods,

had carried away to the country of Assyria.

... I brought

Khazail of the land of Arabia, with his numerous presents, to Nineveh, the city of my lordship. He came and he kissed my two feet. Then compassion I showed him, and of these gods their injuries I repaired, and the mighty of the god Assur, my lord, and the writing of my name upon them I caused to be written and, I restored and I gave to him.

The woman Tabua, one reared in my palace, to the sovereignty over them I established, and, together with her gods, to her land I restored her.

Sixty-five camels more than the tribute paid to my father in former times I added, and I placed upon her.

Afterwards Khazail, a plague carried him off, and Yahlu, his son, upon his throne I caused to be seated; and ten manehs of gold, one thousand carved stones, fifty camels, one thousand dromedaries, more than the tribute of his father I added, I appointed him the country of Bazu, a district of which its situation remote, a journey of desert-land, a land of loathsomeness, a place of thirst, one hundred and forty cask of ground, dusty broken, and stones deceitful, snakes and scorpions which, like grasshoppers, they filled the ground.

Twenty kasha of the land of Khazu, a mountain of SAGIL­MUT stone, behind me I left, and I passed through that district, which, from ancient times, had not marched king preceding me.

By the command of Assur, my lord, within it royally I marched. Eight kings, which within that district, I slew; their gods, their wealth, their riches and their men I spoiled. To the interior of the land of Assyria, Lailie, king of the city of Yadiah, which from before my weapons had fled, of the spoiling of his gods he heard, and to Nineveh, the city of my lordship, to my presence he came, and he kissed my two feet.

Compassion I showed him, and I spoke to him of brotherhood; his gods which I had carried off the mighty of Assur my lord upon them I wrote, and I restored and I gave to him. The districts of this land of Bizu I caused to be entrusted to him, offering tribute to my lordship I fixed upon him, Bel-basa, son of Bunani, king of the Gambubli who over twelve kasbu of ground among the waters and reedy marshes like a fish they were establishing their dwelling-place.

By the command of Assur, my lord, terror shook him and according to his own decree offering and tribute ...





…he brought and he kissed my feet,

compassion I showed him, and I caused to be washed away his rebellion.

The city of Sapi-Bel, the city of his strength, its strength I strengthened and he himself, together with his bowmen within, I made him go up and like a door, the land of Elam I shut it up.

The land of Patusarra a district from which the birds return, which within the land of the Medes afar off which on the borders of the land of Bicni, the mountains of marble which among the kings, my fathers, none had trod the territory of their country.

Sidir-parna and Eparna, the lords of the powerful cities who had not submitted to my yoke, they themselves together with their men, horses, chariots, oxen, sheep, asses, flocks, their great spoil I carried off to the land of Assyria.

Uppits, lord of the city of PartaccaZanagana, lord of the city of PartaccaRamateya lord of the city of Uracazabarna, of the country of the Medes, whose territory afar off, who in the time of the kings, my fathers, the country of Assyria had not crossed over, neither had they trodden its soil. The fear and terror of the god Assur my lord over­whelmed them and great war horses, choice marble of his land to Nineveh, the city of my lordship they had brought, and they kissed my two feet.

As regards the lords of cities who my hands had struck them, my lordship they implored and they asked of me a treaty.

My officers, the prefects of the borders of their country with them I urged on and the men, inhabitants of those cities, they trampled and they made to submit to their feet offering tribute to my lordship, yearly the sum, I fixed upon them.

From the gods Assur, Samas, Bel, and Nebo. The goddess Istar of Nineveh, the goddess Istar of Arbela over my enemies by the law they had caused to fix for me, I found the fulness of my heart.

By the acquisitions from enemies which in the service of the great gods my lords my two hands have captured.

Ten strongholds of the land of Assyria and the land of Accad I caused to be made, and silver and gold I decorated, and I made brilliant as the day.

At that time also the principal palace within the city Nineveh which the preceding kings, my fathers, they caused to be made for the custody of the camp-baggage and the oversight of the war horses, cows, chariots, arms, the furniture of battle, and the spoil of enemies, all whatever its name.

Which the god Assur, the King of gods to the hand of my kingship hath granted for the establishment of horses, of chariots and the men of the countries




… which I captured ravishing with my bow...

full tax I caused them to bear and they made many bricks.

That small palace to its whole extent I dug up and much earth like the line of a rope from the interior of the lands I dug and upon it, I added; with alabaster a stone from the great mountain the mound I filled up.

I gathered twenty-two kings of the land of the Hittites of the sea-coast and the middle of the sea, the whole of them I hastened them on and great beams, a great floor, Abime wood, cedar wood, sherbin wood from the interior of the land of S'irara,the land of Lebanon, sphinxes, a height of statuary work door posts of burnt brick, of Samulla stone, Cumina stone, stone from the interior of the forests, the place of their production, for the requirements of my palace, laboriously with difficulty to Nineveh they had caused to be brought.

In a fortunate month a favourable day, upon that mound, great palaces for the dwelling of my lordship I built upon it.

A strong temple of ninety-five great baru in length, thirty-one great baru in width, which among the preceding kings, my fathers, any one had not made, I made.

Beams of cedar, great, I caused to be placed upon it.

Doors of Sherbin wood, of which their foundation good, a band of silver and copper I bound, and I hung in its gates bulls and cologgi, who, according to their fixed command, against the wicked they turn ; they protect the footsteps, making peace the path of the King, their creator.

To the right hand I caused to occupy he avenue.

A palace of alabaster and of cedar wood for the renown of my lordship completely I caused to be made.

Female colossi of painted bronze, which on this side, in front and behind, I raised.

  The doors of great planks of cedar wood, of Abime wood, the completion of the gates I placed.

The whole extent of that palace, a battlement broken of eye-stone and marble crystal I caused to be made, and I completed its summit with stairs to the roof.

I caused to surround all the doors coverings of white silver and shining copper and I hung them within it.

The mighty of the god Assur my lord with which in hostile lands he had clothed himself, priests I established within it.

A great plantation like that of the land of Amanus, which contained all spices and trees, its ditch, its walls, I made to stand; its altar in size I made large, and its paths greatly I enlarged for the reception of horses within it.

An opening I caused to make straight, and I caused that palace from its foundation to its roof.

I built, I caused to be finished, and with fulness I filled it; also the great gate I made.

The palace of the oversight of the world, I called its name.

The god Assur, the goddess Istar of Nineveh, the gods of the land of Assyria, the whole of them within it I summoned, and victims plentiful, pure, before them I sacrificed, and I caused to present my peace offerings.

Those gods in the interior of their hearts approached my kingdom.

The chiefs and men of my land, the whole of them, in service and homage with submission, peaceful within it I caused to be seated, and I caused to be glad their soul.

Grape wine upon them I established.

By the command of Assur, King of the gods, and the gods of the land of Assyria all of them in health of limbs, joy of heart, abundance of offspring, within it, eternally, mayest thou dwell, and may its fulness be abundant.

At the left hand of the building, the first month, all the war horses, cows, asses, camels, the furniture for war, the whole army, the spoil of enemies, yearly, a sum unbroken, then I appointed within it.

In the interior of that palace a propitious bull, a propitious colossus the protector of the footsteps of my kingship rejoicing my liver.

Eternally may its walls not be broken.

For a future day among the kings my sons whom the god Assur, and the goddess Istar to the government of the land and people shall proclaim his name when this palace shall grow old and shall decay.

Its ruins may he renew even as I the straight line of writing of the name of the king, my father, my begetter, with the straight lines of the writing of my name, have established, thou like myself also the written writing of my name see and the altar cleanse, a victim sacrifice with thy name place the god Assur, and the goddess Istar thy prayers shall hear.


 Dated in the monthJulyAhazel, the lord prefect of the city Lakhiri.




Cisu, king of Khaldili;

Akbar, king of Dupiate;

Mansacu, king of Magalani;

Yapah, queen of Diahtani;

Khabisu, king of Kadasiah;

Nikharu, king of Gahpani;

Bailu, queen of IkhiluKhabanamru, king of Budah;

…eight kings which (were) within those districts I slew:

like a storm I destroyed. The dead bodies of their warriors…




I assembled, and the kings of the Hittites and along (beyond) the sea:

Baal, king of Tyre;

Menasseh, king of the city of Judah;

ausgabri, king of Edom;

Mutsuri, king of Moab;

Tsili-Bel, king of Gaza;

Metinti, king of Askelon;

Icausu, king of Ekron;

Milciasapa, king of Gubli;

Culu-Baal, king of Arvad;

Abibaal, king of 'Sansimuruna;

Buduil, king of Beth-Ammon ;

Akhimelec, king of Ashdod;

twelve kings of the neighbourhood of the sea.

Ecistura, king of Ediahal;

Pylagoras, king of Cidrusi;

Kissos, king of Salamis;

Ithuander, king of Paphos;

Eriesu, king of Soloi;

Damasu, king of Curi (Kurium);

Adhmezu (Admetus), king of Tametsi (Tamassus);

Damusi, king of Gartikhadatsti;

Unasagusu, king of Lidir;

Butsuzu, king of Nurie;

ten kings of the land of Cyprus in the middle of the sea.

Altogether twenty-two kings of the country of the Hittites, the sea coast (and) the border of the sea, all of them.




No notice or account of Esarhaddon's Egyptian campaign occurs on the large and nearly complete cylinder, a copy of which is printed in the preceding pages. Our knowledge of it is obtained from tablet fragments in the British Museum Collection and short notices in the "Annals of Assurbanipal."

"In my first expedition to Makan and Meroe, then I went. Tirhakah, king of Egypt and Ethiopia, whose overthrow Esarhaddon, king of Assyria, the father, my begetter, had accomplished and had taken possession of his country; then he, Tirhakah, the might of the god Assur, the goddess Istar, and the great gods, my lords despised, and trusted to his own might............. and to capture Egypt he came against them, he entered and sat in Memphis, the city which the father, my begetter, had taken, and to the boundaries of Assyria had added."

"Tirhakah against the men of Assyria, who within Egypt (were) tributaries dependent on me whom Esarhaddon, king of Assyria, the father, my begetter, to kingdoms had appointed, in the midst of it came."

Egypt and Ethiopia were under the rule of Tirhakah during the first part of Esarhaddon's reign, but the latter drove him out of Egypt. In the latter part of Esarhaddon's reign Tirhakah again conquered Egypt, and this was probably the cause of Assurbanipal's expedition to that country.




Esarhaddon, king of the land of Assyria, the father, my begetter, had descended and had marched into the midst of it.

The defeat of Tirhakah, king of the land of Ethiopia, he had established and scattered his forces.

The country of Egypt and the country of Ethiopia he had captured, and to a countless extent carried off its spoil; that country, through its whole extent, he ruled (over) and for a border of the country of Assyria turned (it) the former names of the cities he made strange (abolished) and afresh he established their names.

His men-servants for kingships, prefects and governors he appointed within it.

Offering (and) tribute to his lordship yearly, a fixed sum he placed upon them.