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Ashurbanipal Legacy

Background

Following the death of Ashurbanipal and the transfer of power to his successor the period of Assyrian hegemony began to decline. The cracks had begun to show earlier in Ashurbanipal's reign due to the over-expansion and lack of troops to govern the massive territory. However, he had managed to hold it together throughout his life but his successors were fraught with constant revolutions and civilizations that refused to pay tribute.

Ashurbanipal - Mesopotamian Empires Map (600 BCE)

Mesopotamian Empires 600 BCE - Historical Atlas (1923)

Ashur-etli-ilani would be deposed by his general named Sin-shumu-lishir. The general only ruled for a year before being killed by Sin-shar-ishkun who was the brother of Ashur-etli-ilani. This period of civil war cause a great amount of political and social instability in Assyria and the neighboring Babylonians to the south rebelled under the Chaldean tribal leader named Nabopolassar who along with the Medes under Cyaxares managed to crush the Assyrians once and for all.

Overall Ashurbanipal was the last king to really retain control over Assyria and his death effectively signaled the decline and end of the civilization as an independent power. The Assyrian Empire had existed in some form or another for centuries and from here on out it would continue to be conquered and ruled by the Babylonians under Nebuchadnezzar II and later under the Achaemenid Empire under the rule of Cyrus the Great and his successors.

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