Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Assyrian under King Shamshi-Adad I

The Assyrians were a Semitic people who built one of the largest empires of the ancient world. Under King Shamshi-Adad I (1813 – 1781 BC), the Assyrians enjoyed a brief flowering, but with their good fortune acquired enemies.

Shamsi-Adad I, of Amorite origin, was a capable administrator who monitored all aspects of his kingdom. Like many ancient Mesopotamia kings, he engaged in an extensive building program, and his reign is especially known for the construction of canal and irrigation systems.

Pressure from the Babylonians under Hammurabi and from the expanding Hittite Empire to the west was followed by four centuries of foreign domination.

Ancient Ashur
By the time they have shaken this off, their attitudes towards outsiders had changed. The farmers and traders had become warriors. Looking north and east they saw a continual threat from the mountain peoples, and against them adopted a policy of attack and extermination of forced resettlement.

Around 1808 BC, Shamsi-Adad I invaded and conquered the city state of Ashur, the ancient capital of Assyria. Shamsi-Adad continued to expand his kingdom by seizing land from Mari and Babylon and by taking control of important attitude routes in Syria and Anatolia.

At the peak of their power the Assyrians controlled an empire that encompassed present-day Iraq, Syria, Jordan, Israel and Egypt, as well as large parts of Turkey and Iran.
Assyrian under King Shamshi-Adad I
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