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Title: The Assyrian Background to the Books of Kings, Chronicles and Isaiah
Contributor(s): Dolan, Mary Boyd (author)
Publication Date: 2003
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Abstract: Ancient Assyria was situated adjacent to the mountainous region in the north of modern Iraq. Its main river was the Tigris (Idi-glat, 'arrow-swift') with its two main tributaries the Greater and Lesser Zab rising in the mountains to the east in what is now Iran. To the south lay a once very fertile plain, where the great civilisations of Sumer-Akkad and Babylonia had flourished, watered by the Euphrates (Uruttu, 'copper') river, useful for irrigation andtransport. To the west of Assyria lay a great plain, the Jazirah, extending into modern Syria, giving access to trade routes leading to the Mediterranean and beyond, but leaving Assyria vulnerable to attackfrom nomadic tribes. To the north were the Taums Mountains. Assyria did not lack for natural resources - wood, stone, pasture and grain, bitumen, silver, copper, lead (in Armenia) and iron.It was into the Iron Age (c. 1200 BC) that Assyria began to come into her own, when a combination of weakness in the surrounding powers and astute Assyrian rulers provided opportunity for Assyria to flex her military muscles and start being the subjugator rather than the subjugated one - as she had been under Sargon of Akkad (c.2360 BC), the Ur III rulers and Hammurabi of Babylon (1700s BC).Even then, Assyria's struggle for supremacy in the region was hard won and far from assured. Fortunately for us, the Assyrian kings were keen to trumpet their achievements, and we have copious inscriptions.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Buried History, 36(3-4), p. 15-23
Publisher: Australian Institute of Archaeology
Place of Publication: Burwood, Australia
ISSN: 0007-6260
Field of Research (FOR): 130399 Specialist Studies in Education not elsewhere classified
HERDC Category Description: C6 Editorship of a Scholarly Journal
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