Warfare > Ashurbanipal's Egypt Campaign

Ashurbanipal's Egypt Campaign

Background

Right before his father died he was planning a continued conquest of Egypt and Nubia to expel the Kushite rulers from the region once and for all. He would die before seeing this campaign through but Ashurbanipal was able to follow through and accomplish what his father could not. In 667 BCE the Assyrians met the Kushite army and defeated king Taharqa near the city of Memphis. This victory meant the end of the Egyptian vassals and all of the conquered leaders were forcibly relocated to Nineveh.

The only leader that was able to remain in power during this time was Necho I who convinced Ashurbanipal to let him rule as a vassal king. He was the Egyptian prince of Sais and only managed to rule for a short period of time. When Taharga died in 664 BCE his successor and nephew named Tantamni invaded Upper Egypt and captured Thebes. The Kushite forces moved towards Memphis and Necho I may have been killed in battle during this period.

Following the defeat of the Egyptian vassal army Ashurbanipal sent more military forces to defeat the combined Kushite/Nubian forces. The Assyrians were eventually able to rout the opposing military and force their retreat to Nubia. Following their victory the Assyrians looted and plundered Thebes and the son of Necho named Psamtik I (Psammetichus I) was able to rule Egypt as a semi-autonomous kingdom with loyalty and alliance to Assyria. There is some debate among scholars and historians about the degree of independence Egypt exerted during this period.

Ashurbanipal was able to conquer the kingdom of Lydia when the king Gyges claimed he received a prophetic dream from the Assyrian supreme god Ashur that said if he surrendered and became a vassal of Ashurbanipal he would defeat his enemies. This vision came true as under Assyrian vassalage that Lydians would defeat the Cimmerians. The victory would be short lived as they later would support Egyptian rebels and be overrun by the Cilicians.

Elam Campaign

See Elam Campaign

Sources

Primary Sources

Secondary Sources