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Assyria was a kingdom of northern Mesopotamia, and it is known as the center of one of the empires of the ancient Middle East.
See the fact file below for more information on the Assyria or alternatively, you can download our 24-page Assyria worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
EARLY ASSYRIAN PERIOD
- The history of Assyria is divided into four periods: (1) Old Assyrian Empire, (2) Early Assyrian Period, (3) Middle Assyrian Period, and (4) New Assyrian Period.
- During this period, Assur was the main settlement of Assyria.
- Assur was a city-state.
- The earliest known ruler during this period was Tudiya.
- Tudiya was succeeded by Adamu.
- According to the Assyrian King List, there were thirteen other rulers after Adamu. They were Yangi, Suhlamu, Harharu, Mandaru, Imsu, Harsu, Didanu, Hana, Zuabu, Nuabu, Abazu, Belu, and Azarah.
- During this period, Assyria became subject to the Akkadian Empire, which was ruled by Sargon the Great.
- Due to economic decline, internal civil war, and attacks from the barbarian Gutian people, the Akkadian Empire was destroyed.
OLD ASSYRIAN EMPIRE
- The second period in the history of Assyria is the Old Assyrian Empire.
- During this period, Assyria was able to establish colonies in Anatolia and the Levant.
- As a whole, the land of Assyria during this period consisted of a number of city-states and small Semitic-speaking kingdoms.
- During this period, Assyrian kings established relationships, either as rivals, neighbors, or trading partners, with the Hattians and Hurrians to the north of Anatolia; the Gutian people, the Lullubi, and the Turukkaeans to the east; the Amorites to the west; and other Sumero-Akkadian city-states, including Isin, Kish, Ur, Eshnunna, and Larsa.
- Settlements during this period included Assur, Shubat-Enlil, Nineveh, Karum, Karum Kanesh, Ankuwa, and Hattusa.
- Ashur, head of the Assyrian pantheon, was a deity worshipped mainly in Upper Mesopotamia, including the Old Assyrian Empire.
MIDDLE ASSYRIAN EMPIRE
- The third period in the history of Assyria is the period which lies between the fall of the Old Assyrian Empire and the establishment of the New Assyrian Period (also known as the Neo-Assyrian Empire). It is known as the Middle Assyrian Empire.
- During this period, the Assyrian Empire saw the reigns of many great kings, including Ashur-uballit I, Arik-den-ili, Tukulti-Ninurta I, and Tiglath-Pileser I.
- During this period, Assyria was able to overthrow the
- The Hittites failed to save Mitanni. They later joined forces with the Babylonians to wage an economic war against Assyria, but this resulted in failure.
- During this period, Assyria was organized and under the firm control of their king, who also functioned as the High Priest of Ashur, the state god.
- Priesthood became a major power in Assyrian society.
- During this period, Assyria became known as a warrior society due to the long wars that happened.
- Assyrian free males were obliged to serve in the army for a time. This system was called the ilku-service.
- Due to the Bronze Age Collapse, the Dark Age for the entire Near East, North Africa, Asia Minor, Caucasus, the Mediterranean, and the Balkan regions happened.
- The collapse did not affect the Assyrian Empire much, but the death of Ashur-bel-kala resulted in a comparative decline of the empire.
- Despite the visible weakness of the empire, as compared to its previous strength, the Assyrian Empire was still an empire with a stable monarchy, a powerful army, and secured borders. Due to these, the empire had leverage over its potential rivals, such as Egypt, Babylonia, Elam, Phrygia, Urartu, Persia, Lydia, and Media.
- The ascension of Adad-nirari II marked the start of the Neo-Assyrian Empire.
- During this period, Assyria was able to maintain a large and thriving rural population.
- The major Assyrian cities during this time included Nineveh, Assur, Kalhu (Calah, Nimrud), Arbela (Erbil), Arrapha (Karka, Kirkuk), Dur-Sharrukin, Imgur-Enlil, Carchemish, Harran, Tushhan, Til-Barsip, Ekallatum, Kanesh, Kar-Tukulti-Ninurta, Urhai (Edessa), Guzana, Kahat, Amid (Diyarbakir), Mérida (Mardin, Tabitu, Nuhadra (Dohuk), Ivah, Sepharvaim, Rachae, Purushanda, Sabata, Birtha (Tikrit), Tell Shemshara, Dur-Katlimmu and Shekhna.
- With the rise of Adad-nirari II, Assyria expanded its empire in all directions into Anatolia, Ancient Iran, Levant, and Babylonia.
- Ashurbanipal II continued this expansion and later moved the capital from Ashur to Kalhu.
- Assyria experienced a period of instability and decline after the reign of Adad-nirari III until the reign of Tiglath-Pileser III.
- Tiglath-Pileser III created the world’s first professional army, and he was able to conquer areas as far as the East Mediterranean.
- In history, Assyria was able to conquer Babylonia, Chaldea, Elam, Media, Persia, Urartu (Armenia), Phoenicia, Aramea/Syria, Phrygia, the Neo-Hittite States, the Hurrian lands, Arabia, Gutium, Israel, Judah, Samarra, Moab, Edom, Corduene, Cilicia, Mannea, and Cyprus.
- After the death of Ashurbanipal, the Assyrian Empire experienced its worst decline.
- The empire experienced brutal series of civil wars involving three rival kings, Ashur-etil-ilani, Sin-shumu-lishir, and Sin-shar-ishkun.
- Due to the civil wars, several other groups took advantage of the situation and raided Assyrian areas.
- After its fall, Assyria came under the rule of the short-lived Median Empire.
- Soon after, Assyria was ruled by the Persian Achaemenid Empire.
- During this time, Assyria got back on its feet and became a major agricultural and administrative center of the empire.
- After some time, Assyria fell to Alexander the Great, the Macedonian Emperor.
- By 150 BC, Assyria fell under the control of the Parthian Empire.
- During this period, Christianity arrived in Assyria.
- During the Christian period, Assyria fell under control of the Sasanian Empire and was invaded by the Mongols.
- Assyrians then suffered a number of religiously and ethnically introduced massacres, including the Simele Massacre and World War II.
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about the Assyria across 24 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Assyria worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the Assyria which was a kingdom of northern Mesopotamia, and it is known as the center of one of the empires of the ancient Middle East.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Assyria Facts
- Prominent King
- Fertile Crescent
- Find Them All
- My Life
- Be A Warrior
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