The Neo-Assyrian empire collapsed under the attack of Babylonians and Medes after some years of harsh military confrontation, which rapidly reached the heart of the empire, and ended with the destruction of its major cities and the capital Nineveh (612 BC). The reasons and dynamics of this final collapse are however largely shrouded in the dark, since the last decades of Neo-Assyrian history are scarcely documented and official sources reduced to a minimum. Various causes have been proposed and their combined effects hypothesized: dynastic struggles, rivalry and war with Babylonia, hostility of urban and tribal ruling elites, rebellion of the Median troops, economic and demographic problems deriving from an excessive military engagement, difficulties in controlling the provinces, the new economic circuits and the flow of incomes, climatic changes, etc. The paper provides an updated overview and discussion of data and interpretations, especially in the light of sources concerning the organization of the imperial complex body and its detectable weak points.

The End of the Neo-Assyrian Empire

Simonetta Ponchia
2022-01-01

Abstract

The Neo-Assyrian empire collapsed under the attack of Babylonians and Medes after some years of harsh military confrontation, which rapidly reached the heart of the empire, and ended with the destruction of its major cities and the capital Nineveh (612 BC). The reasons and dynamics of this final collapse are however largely shrouded in the dark, since the last decades of Neo-Assyrian history are scarcely documented and official sources reduced to a minimum. Various causes have been proposed and their combined effects hypothesized: dynastic struggles, rivalry and war with Babylonia, hostility of urban and tribal ruling elites, rebellion of the Median troops, economic and demographic problems deriving from an excessive military engagement, difficulties in controlling the provinces, the new economic circuits and the flow of incomes, climatic changes, etc. The paper provides an updated overview and discussion of data and interpretations, especially in the light of sources concerning the organization of the imperial complex body and its detectable weak points.
978-3-658-36875-3
Assyria, Babylonia, Medes, Ancient empires, Political change
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11562/1080247
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