The Assyrian and Babylonian Empires

This course will look at the Neo-Assyrian and Neo-Babylonian empires of the 1st millennium BC in the ancient Near East, paying particular attention to the major political events marking the rise and fall of these empires. Students will first be introduced to the major sources that we use to reconstruct the history of these empires. Although these sources, in particular the information contained in cuneiform texts, do not really allow us to know well the personalities behind the rulers, they give us a sweeping view of the march of armies, the imposition of rule on conquered territories, and insights into the accumulation of wealth and grandeur in the major royal cities. The empire that Assyria created straddled the Near East, at its greatest extent stretching from Upper Egypt to the western reaches of Iran, encompassing a wide range of peoples, languages and cultures. However, the demise of Assyria was relatively quick, to be replaced by the empire ruled by the Babylonians from their magnificent capital of Babylon. But even this empire proved short lived, lasting less than a century before succumbing to the Persians, the new world power.

DELIVERY MODE

  • Face-to-Face

SUGGESTED READING

  • Bourke, S., Browne, M., The Middle East: the cradle of civilization revealed (Thames and Hudson: 2008)
  • Podany, A., Ancient Near East: a very short introduction (Oxford University Press: 2014)
  • Radner, K., Ancient Assyria: a very short introduction (Oxford University Press: 2015)

COURSE OUTLINE

  • Our sources for reconstructing the history
  • The rise of Assyria in the 9th century BC, period of weakness, then climb to "world power" in the late 8th and 7th centuries BC
  • Capital cities of the Assyrians
  • Policy of deporting peoples
  • Struggle with both Elam and Egypt
  • Subjugation of the kingdoms of Israel and Judah
  • Rise of Babylonia and rapid fall of Assyria
  • Nebuchadnezzar and Babylon
  • Nabonidus and his self imposed "exile" away from Babylon
  • Arrival of the Persians and the fall of Babylon in 539 BC
$79 Limited / $71

<p>This course will look at the Neo-Assyrian and Neo-Babylonian empires of the 1st millennium BC in the ancient Near East, paying particular attention to the major political events marking the rise

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20 Nov

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