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Ashur-Dan II


Ashur-Dan II, also spelled Aššur-dān was a king of Assyria during the Middle Assyrian Kingdom between 935 BCE and 912 BCE. He succeeded his father named Tiglath-Pileser II and in turn was succeeded by his son Adad-nirari II. His biggest achievements were reinforcing and rebuilding the internal structure of Assyria from Tur Abdin to Arbel. He was responsible for increasing the government bureaucracy by constructing governmental offices in all of the provinces.

He also was important in providing economic stimulus by making sure that ploughs were provided by the government to the local farmers which helped increase Assyrian grain production to record levels in the ancient world. He was succeeded by four successful kings who used the reforms and initiatives to launch Assyrian to become the first ancient world major superpower of its era.

Ashur-Dan II Neo-Assyrian map 824-671 BC.png Neo-Assyrian map 824-671 BC Reign 934-912 BC Predecessor Tiglath Pileser II Successor Adad-nirari II (911-891) B.C Father Tiglath Pileser II Mother Unknown Ashur-Dan II (Aššur-dān) (934-912 B.C), son of Tiglath Pileser II, was the earliest king of the Neo-Assyrian Empire. He was best known for recapturing previously held Assyrian territory and restoring Assyria to its natural borders, from Tur Abdin (southeast Turkey) to the foothills beyond Arbel (Iraq). The reclaimed territory through his conquest was fortified with horses, ploughs, and grain stores. His military and economic expansions benefited four subsequent generations of kings that replicated his model.[1] Contents [hide] 1 Background 2 Accomplishments 3 Succession 4 References Background[edit] Until the decipherment of cuneiform in the mid-Nineteenth Century A.D., the only information on Neo-Assyrian history came from the Bible and classic authors. The direction of the campaigns conducted by Assyrian kings and the means of reconstructing chronology of events from the period of 841-745 and beyond are found in one type of eponym list, commonly known as 'Eponym Chronicle'.[2] The Assyrian royal annals add to this skeleton outline significantly. Annals are still in existence for all but the last few kings. There are no letters available from this period, however administrative and legal documents exist. For Ashur-Dan II, whose annals are only preserved in fragments, certain characteristics of Assyrian military can be observed. He followed the description of his military exploits by the count of wild animals (wild bulls, elephants, and lions) that he had hunted and killed, which traditionally characterized Assyrian kings as protective and heroic. The accounts conclude with Ashur-Dan building activities, stressing that he did not exploit the spoils of his campaign to enrich himself, but rather to honor and exalt the gods.[1] Accomplishments[edit] Annals preserved in fragments suggest Ashur-Dan was the first king known to have conducted regular military campaigns in over a century. His military campaign primarily focused on northern territories along mountainous terrain that made controlling it problematic.[2] These areas were vital because they lay close to the Assyrian heartland and thus were vulnerable to enemy attacks. Furthermore, several important routes leading to Anatolia ran through these areas and were a source of crucial metals. In one his more significant victories, Ashur-Dan captured the king of the northeastern state of Kadmuhu, flayed and displayed his skin publicly on the walls of Arbela,replaced him with a loyal subordinate, and took valuable bronze, tin and precious stone from Kadmuhu.[1][2] Another chief concern of Ashur-Dan’s known military campaigns was the Armenians to the west. Evident in his own statements found from fragmentary annals, Ashur-Dan believed he was rightfully retaking Assyrian territory occupied by the Armenians in the recent past. He also claimed that he had brought back Assyrians who had fled due to starvation to resettle the lands. The impression conveyed through these annals was that the Armenians enslaved and slaughtered Assyrians and seized their land.[1] Eastwards, the Zagroos foothills down to the lower Zab, were strategic crucial points where Assyrian kings frequently campaigned, both for Assyrian security and to safeguard the limited routes through the mountains. This was a key commercial point for Assyrians, trading horses and valuable lapis lazuli mined in northeast Afghanistan.[2] After reestablishing the Assyrian boundaries, Ashur-Dan went through an extensive period of resettlement and land reclamation. Ashur-Dan also left his mark on the Craftsman’s Gate and the New Palace by performing construction on both sites. His basic ideology and strategy laid the foundation for the Neo-Assyrian period, which was elaborated by his successors.[1] He was able to establish a uniformly structured political entity with well-defined and well-structured borders. His conquest is presented as a return of stability and prosperity after a perceived unlawful period of intrusion. The displaced Assyrians were rehoused in towns and the resettled lands were fortified with agricultural growth. The decline of Early Assyria was largely due to a lack of systematic administration and an influx of Armenians. Ashur-Dan established government offices in all provinces, creating a strong administrative presence in the areas under his rule. At the end of the millennium, Assyria was surrounded by enemies to the south, in and around Babylonia, to the west by the Armenians in Syria, and to the north and east by the Nairi people. Ashur-Dan successfully expanded Assyrian territory surrounded by formidable foes and established provincial administration that once again transformed Assyria from a territorial power to an imperial power known as the Neo-Assyrian Empire.[2] The Neo-Assyrian Empire was a diverse and multi-ethnic state from people from many tribes of different origins. It was a uniformly structured political entity with well-defined and well-guarded borders, and the Assyrian kings certainly regarded it as a unified whole, "the land of Aššur", whose territory they constantly strove to expand. To the outside world, it likewise was a unified, monolithic whole, whose inhabitants were unhesitatingly identified as Assyrians regardless of their ethnic backgrounds.[3] Succession[edit] Ashur-Dan was succeeded by his son, Adad-nirari II (911-891 B.C.). He continued to campaign repeatedly in areas that his father had attacked, expanding on his father’s achievements. He ruled two years less than his father, but the number and range of his military campaigns were greater.To the west he marched as far as the Balikh river, to the south as far as the middle Euphrates, to the north as far as the southern regions of Lake Van, and to the east he penetrated the Zagros mountains. Three versions of his annals are known.Altogether the annals cover campaigns from the accession to the eighteenth regnal year.[1] Other kings that followed his strategies and ideology were Tukulti-Ninurta II, son of Adad-nirari II; Ashurnasripal II, son of Tukulti-Ninurta II; and Shalmaneser III, son of Ashurnasripal II. References[edit] ^ Jump up to: a b c d e f Cambridge Ancient History. Cambridge University Press. 1924-01-01. ISBN 9780521224963. ^ Jump up to: a b c d e Kuhrt, Amélie (1995-01-01). The Ancient Near East, C. 3000-330 BC. Taylor & Francis US. ISBN 9780415167642. Jump up ^ Parpola,, Simo (1990). "ASSYRIAN IDENTITY IN ANCIENT TIMES AND TODAY" (PDF). Unity and Diversity.

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


Primary Sources

Secondary Sources