Essay Paper on The Assyrians and Their History
In the plentiful land between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers, known as Mesopotamia, now modern day Iraq there ruled a powerful civilization like no other in the area. This land had rolling hills and abundant rainfall, making it a very habitable place to live. With such crops as barley and sesame they were able to live a rich life in the area. Animals such as sheep, goats, and cattle also provided a rich life. The name of this great empire was the Assyrians, which struck fear in the hearts of their enemies. This great empire ruled from about 2000 BC to about 612 BC. During this time period the Assyrians went through three separate periods. First there was the Old Assyrian Period which lasted from 2000 BC to about 1363 BC. During this period they invaded Mesopotamia which resulted in the foundation of a number of Assyrian dynasties. This period also consisted of two separate components: independent city-state of Asshur and a group of trading colonies. It was also during this time that Assyria first became independent, this was a time of uncertainty in the Near East political development.
The next period was the Middle Assyrian Period, which lasted from 1363 BC to about 1000 BC. The military might of the empire was transformed at the end of this period. With new innovations like horse drawn chariots, iron smelting and improvement of weapons. The Neo-Assyrian Period lasted from about 1000 BC until about 612 BC. This time in Assyrian history brought about success in battles, the most significant of which being the fall of the Babylonians. During this time they created the worlds first large empire. The Assyrian period was one of the greatest turning points in the history of Mesopotamia. During this time in the history of the world many changes were occurring. Before the civilizations in Mesopotamia, there were no civilizations just small tribes and groups. This rich land allowed large groups to move in and sustain agriculture for many people. The Assyrians were just one group of many to call this land home, but they were advanced in many ways over some of the first civilizations such as the Sumerians and Babylonians.
The Assyrians had many innovative ideas that have affected many aspects of the history of Mesopotamia and the culture of the world today. The Assyrian civilization included a fairly simple system of government, a rigorous daily life, unique religious ideas, and their powerful military status. Assyrian government was very simple. Government for the most part was an absolute monarch. In which the king was the head of administration, as well as the army, religion and court. Subjects of the king, for the most part, spent their lives trying to favor the king. Using such things as slander, gossip and bribes subjects tried to get the kings attention so their voices could be heard. Although all power resided in the king, he alone could not run an empire with such a large population. He had to delegate authority to get all jobs done. Such positions were filled by the rich nobles who made up of the upper class. The positions included military officers, palace superintendent and palace herald. He also used these nobles to divide up his kingdom into smaller provinces. These were either district chiefs or mayors. Using these many nobles he could better run the kingdom…
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