People > Ashur-uballit II

Ashur-uballit II

Background

Ashur-uballit II, also spelled Aššur-uballiṭ II was famously the last king of the Neo-Assyrian Empire and succeeded the previous king Sin-shar-ishkun in 612 BCE when he died during the brutal street to street fighting of the Battle of Nineveh during the Revolt of Babylon led by Nabopolassar and Cyaxares. He is known to have been a general and member of the royal family who declared himself king following the fall and destruction of the Assyrian capital of Nineveh. It is unclear among historians if Ashur-uballit II was the brother of Sin-shar-ishkun and there is some contention around this relationship.

Following the collapse of Nineveh the remaining fragments of the Assyrian army retreated to the city of Harran where they established a capital and attempted to bolster their forces. The Assyrians were able to hold their own at Harran for four years before the Fall of Harran in 609 BCE. Following the Fall of Harran the Assyrians managed to retreat to the outer city of Carchemish where they began to plan another military offensive to reclaim Assyria.

Upon hearing of the fall of his ally, the Egyptian king named Necho II recruited a mercenary army in order to help prop up the Assyrian regime and reconquer lost territory. The Egyptians came up along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. At this time the leader of the Kingdom of Judah named Josiah attempted to block the advance of the Egyptians at the Battle of Megiddo. During this engagement the Jews were defeated and Josiah slaughtered. Tribute was imposed on the Jews and Egypt continued up towards Assyria.

Following the defeat of the Jews at Megiddo the Egyptians moved north and met up with the Assyrians at Carchemish where they launched a military campaign designed to reclaim Harran. They were defeated once again and the Egyptians and Assyrians forced to retreat back to Carchemish. The Babylonians followed them there under leader Nebuchadnezzar II and launched a siege of Carchemish to end the Assyrian nuisance to their fledgling Neo-Babylonian Empire.

It is unknown if Ashur-uballit II was killed during the second engagement at Harran or the Battle of Carchemish in 605 BCE however, the resulting battle was a loss for the Assyrians and they were forever vanquished from the annals of history. It is also possible he may have also lived out in obscurity for the rest of his days, his eventual fate is very unclear because there are no surviving records from these period of Assyrian history.

Limmu new-year officials were appointed down to the very end of Ashur-uballit's recorded reign; his final known year (= 609 BC), known eponymously for the limmu as Gargamishayu ("the Carchemishite"), was the last year ever in history so to receive an official Assyrian name.[1][2] Ashur-uballit II (Aššur-uballiṭ II) was the last king of the Neo Assyrian Empire, succeeding Sin-shar-ishkun (623–612 BC). He took his name from Ashur-uballit I, the Assyrian king who had overthrown Mitanni Empire and defeated the Hittite Empire, and started the Middle Assyrian Empire (1365 BC – 1020 BC). While it is clear that he was a member of the Assyrian royal family, and that he was a tartan (General) of the Assyrian army before declaring himself king, there is some disagreement as to whether or not he was the brother of Sin-shar-ishkun. Reign[edit] Ashur-uballit II refused to submit in vassalage to Cyaxares and Nabopolassar, and fought his way out of Nineveh during the siege and capture of that city by the Babylonian-Chaldean-Mede-Persian-Scythian-Cimmerian alliance in mid 612 BC. Thereafter, he reigned from the last capital city of Harran from 612 BC to somewhere between 608 and 605 BC. In alliance with Egypt, whose 26th dynasty had been installed by the Assyrians, Ashur-uballit's depleted army was somehow able to defend Harran and the remainder of the Assyrian kingdom from combined Babylonian-Mede-Scythian-Cimmerian attacks for four years following the destruction of Nineveh; however, after the Egyptian army was defeated and had to return to its homeland in 610 BC, the Babylonians, Medes and Scythians eventually took Harran and sacked it in 609 BC. Limmu new-year officials were appointed down to the very end of Ashur-uballit's recorded reign; his final known year (= 609 BC), known eponymously for the limmu as Gargamishayu ("the Carchemishite"), was the last year ever in history so to receive an official Assyrian name.[1][2] Fate[edit] Ashur-uballit II again managed to fight his way out of the city, and called once more upon Assyria's former Egyptian colony. The forces of Egypt under Pharaoh Necho II came to his assistance. King Josiah of Judah allied himself with Babylon and Media and tried to block Necho's way, but was defeated and killed at Megiddo. Pharaoh Necho II joined with Ashur-uballit II and marched on with him to besiege Harran in 608 BC. They were defeated and the Egyptians retreated into northern Syria. It is possible that Ashur-uballit II was killed in this second siege of Harran, although this is not certain. He may have survived and been involved in the final Assyrian-Egyptian defeat in the region, at Carchemish in 605 BC, or survived and lived on in obscurity.[3] In any event, he disappeared from history, marking the final end of the Assyrian empire. Notes[edit] Jump up ^ Approche scientifique d'une chronologie absolue (French) Jump up ^ Geschichte Vorderasiens (German) Jump up ^ Georges Roux -Ancient Iraq Ashur-uballit II of Assyria Neo-Assyrian Period Preceded by Sinsharishkun King of Assyria 612–609 BC Succeeded by Conquest by the Babylonians and Medians

Assyrian King List

King Name Years of Rule Kingdom
Eriba-Adad I 1380–1353 BCE Middle Assyrian Empire
Ashur-uballit I 1353–1318 BCE Middle Assyrian Empire
Enlil-nirari 1317–1308 BCE Middle Assyrian Empire
Arik-den-ili 1307–1296 BCE Middle Assyrian Empire
Adad-nirari I 1295–1264 BCE Middle Assyrian Empire
Shalmaneser I 1263–1234 BCE Middle Assyrian Empire
Tukulti-Ninurta I 1233–1197 BCE Middle Assyrian Empire
Ashur-nadin-apli 1196–1194 BCE Middle Assyrian Empire
Ashur-nirari III 1193–1188 BCE Middle Assyrian Empire
Enlil-kudurri-usur 1187–1183 BCE Middle Assyrian Empire
Ninurta-apal-Ekur 1182–1180 BCE Middle Assyrian Empire
Ashur-Dan I 1179-1133 BCE Middle Assyrian Empire
Ninurta-tukulti-Ashur 1333 BCE Middle Assyrian Empire
Mutakkil-nusku 1333 BCE Middle Assyrian Empire
Ashur-resh-ishi I 1133-1115 BCE Middle Assyrian Empire
Tiglath-Pileser I 1115-1076 BCE Middle Assyrian Empire
Asharid-apal-Ekur 1076-1074 BCE Middle Assyrian Empire
Ashur-bel-kala 1074-1056 BCE Middle Assyrian Empire
Eriba-Adad II 1056-1054 BCE Middle Assyrian Empire
Shamshi-Adad IV 1054-1050 BCE Middle Assyrian Empire
Ashur-nasir-pal I 1050-1031 BCE Middle Assyrian Empire
Shalmaneser II 1031-1019 BCE Middle Assyrian Empire
Ashur-nirari IV 1019-1013 BCE Middle Assyrian Empire
Ashur-rabi II 1013-972 BCE Middle Assyrian Empire
Ashur-resh-ishi II 972-967 BCE Middle Assyrian Empire
Tiglath-Pileser II 967-935 BCE Middle Assyrian Empire
Ashur-Dan II 935-912 BCE Middle Assyrian Empire
Adad-nirari II 912-891 BCE Middle Assyrian Empire
Tukulti-Ninurta II 891-884 BCE Middle Assyrian Empire
Ashur-nasir-pal II 884-859 BCE Middle Assyrian Empire
Shalmaneser III 859-824 BCE Middle Assyrian Empire
Shamshi-adad V 824-811 BCE Middle Assyrian Empire
Shammu-ramat 811-808 BCE Neo-Assyrian Empire
Adad-nirari III 811-783 BCE Neo-Assyrian Empire
Shalmeneser IV 783-773 BCE Neo-Assyrian Empire
Ashur-dan III 773-755 BCE Neo-Assyrian Empire
Ashur-nirari V 755-745 BCE Neo-Assyrian Empire
Tiglath-Pileser III 745-727 BCE Neo-Assyrian Empire
Shalmaneser V 727-722 BCE Neo-Assyrian Empire
Sargon II 722–705 BCE Neo-Assyrian Empire
Sennacherib 705–681 BCE Neo-Assyrian Empire
Esarhaddon 681–669 BCE Neo-Assyrian Empire
Ashurbanipal 669–631 BCE Neo-Assyrian Empire
Ashur-etli-ilani 631-627 BCE Neo-Assyrian Empire
Sin-shumu-lishir 626 BCE Neo-Assyrian Empire
Sin-shar-ishkun 627-612 BCE Neo-Assyrian Empire
Ashur-uballit II 612-608 BCE Neo-Assyrian Empire

Sources

Primary Sources

Secondary Sources