The Burning Cauldron: The Neo Assyrian Empire Defended

Though, I do not take the opinion that the area was a colony from the south. I favor the view that the region was originally associated to theSumero-Akkadian world, but after the Bronze Age, drifted into a more Arab cultural complex. As such, by the time of otl, it is an Aramo-Arabic entity with influences from the Akkadian world.
I broadly agree with your view as well.
 
The War in Anatolia warms up! And the Assyrian consolidation.
588-586 BCE



Adad-apal-Duranki appears in Kalhu and the year of consolidation



Prior to the arrival of Adad-apal-Duranki, Puzur-Adad of the Southern Protectorate perished after a battle with the influenza. His death marked the end of a great warrior General whose life was commemorated as one of the greats. A relief was made in his name in the city of Tima at the Temple of Ishtar:



“Intrepid in war, fearless in combat, Puzur-Adad, the slave of the Mistress of War, gave himself to the service of the Goddess. Blessed be Her, Ishtar, Great and Unique Star, See to the sustenance of your lowly servant in the days without light!” -Relief to Puzur-Adad, Temple to Ishtar in Tima, “The House of the Blessed Mother”



Dagon-Zakir-Shumi upon the death in middle January, sent a note to Sinbanipal, who agreed to the next appointment, a certain eunuch from Sippar, named Kanapalsuhu-Marduk (He prostrates to Marduk). This eunuch was sent with the seal of the Brother Kings to Tima to resume work therein. This eunuch, was however much different than his predecessor, having less aptitude for warfare and was clearly an economical choice. Despite this reality, his military skill was not non-existent.

At Kalhu, Sinbanipal, Maiuqappu and Dugul-Naboo awaited Adad-apal-Duranki who arrived in late January. Adad-apal-Duranki was rewarded by a bracelet and a neckless bejeweled with amber.

Sinbanipal heard the stories from Adad-apal-Duranki was became livid at the small amounts of loot gathered in the conquest. He had heard Dilmun and other lands to the south were lands of great wealth, gardens of beauty and solitude. Why then was the loot so small? Had Adad-apal-Duranki not truly reached Dilmun?

Maniuqappu is said in his age to have interjected. Maniuqappu at age 77 was the eldest person in the court, but also the most conservative. He pontificated matters to Sinbanipal as if Sinbanipal was his servant, surely Sinbanipal must have seemed to be the inferior, always deferring to this aged man.

Regardless, Maniuqappu besought Sinbanipal to still his anger. That perhaps the lands spoken of in myth, were further south in distant lands? Maybe, Adad-apal-Duranki had truly arrived upon Dilmun, but that Dilmun must have been destroyed by someone further afield. Maniuqappu then presented a long oration, speaking of how past kings of Assyria had destroyed great lands and cities and transported their wealth elsewhere. If Dilmun had betrayed their patron, Sin, then it is assured that an enemy destroyed Dilmun and transported its wealth and artifacts to their homeland.

Thus, Maniuqappu expanded, that it would be wise to explore the lower sea, to discover the origin for the poverty of Dilmun.

The Kingdom of Moab

Also, in terms of deaths, only a short time following the death of Puzur-Adad, Yoshi-Dagon I of Moab perished and was succeeded by his son, a 49-year-old prince who took an Akkadian name. He took the name, Dagon-ana-Shezub (Dagon Hath Rescued us), the usage of an Akkadian name symbolized the Moabite situation. Since the reign and consolidation of Sinsharihskun, Moab had remained a loyal vassal state of Assyria. It too, was a kingdom, unlike Judah, which held a consistently evolving dependency upon the Assyrian kingdom. While Judah at times consorted with Egypt or other foreign realms for the sake of independence, the Moabites, more exposed to Qedarite invasions, find themselves ever in debt to the Assyrian or Karduniash kingdoms.

When the Moabite kingdom attacked Edom and assisted readily the Southern Protector, the matter became clearer, that the Assyrian kingdom held a firm vassal in Moab. Yet, Moab was a realm that was not simply loyal… From the year 602 BCE until 589 BCE, the kingdom under Yoshi-Dagon, experienced both a religious and intellectual exchange with Karduniash and Assyria. This was most probably augmented by the Southern Protectorate and its Akkadianization.

Moab experienced a soft form of this, that was actively implemented by Yoshi-Dagon. Worship of many of the Akkadian gods were already common, especially Adad, Dagon and so forth. However, a syncretic appearance began to become more obvious as Yoshi-Dagon began equating different deities and replacing names in his ceremonies. Marduk in particular becomes a common motif that previously was non-existent in Moab.

All of these Akkadianization processes led to the creation of a distinctly Levantine Akkadian realm at the fringes of the Levant. Yoshi-Dagon’s son, Dagon-ana-Shezub displayed this change indeed.

Alongside these cultural changes, Moab was one of the states that benefitted most surely by Assyrian hegemony, especially after 622 BCE. The creation of the Southern Protectorate finally ended Arabo-Qedari attacks upon their lands. Moabite farmers were safe from these predations and likewise, trade links to the south through the Nabtu were increased. In fact, the fall of the Qedar state and its integration into the Assyrian hegemony, led to Dhibon becoming a new and bustling trade nexus. Palmyra to its north, had once been the nexus for merchants in Arabia seeking to reach and or gain access to Phoenician or Canaanite cities. With the fall of the Qedar and in respect of the supposedly fantastic reputation of Yoshi-Dagon, merchants changed course from Palmyra to Dhibon, turning Dhibon into a first-rate city.

Merchants would be beginning in Tima, travel to Dhibon and then to Damascus and thence to the Phoenician lands or north towards Hamath and then to either Aleppo or Carchemish. Funds gained through taxation of the trading goods moving through Moab, most great of them being perfumes, incense and camels, gave the kingdom ready revenue for which to produce new structures. In 591 BCE, Yoshi-Dagon completed the greatest of his structures, a great temple in Dhibon to the God Dagon. In its front, a stele was formed in the Akkadian style, with a triumphant relief, commemorating the life of Yoshi-Dagon and the construction of a new temple (ziggurat).

“To the Great God Dagon, I consecrate a Home for your stay within the City of your Majestic Grace, Dhibon, the city of my ancestors. Great and wonderous is the Great God whose deeds are bottomless and fame higher than the clouds amongst the heavens. Lord Dagon, the Great God Enshrined in Gold, do fulfill this city with a harvest! Entreat with those servants of yours, the denizens of Dhibon, invite those who worship to the Feast!”



The temple was called the House of Gold. Likewise, a unique and growing symbol of Dagon was growing in Moab, Arabia and Karduniash. Namely, Dagon, not only as represented by grain, the scythe, the fish/mermaid, or gold, but by camels. A large flock of camels was ordered by Yoshi-Dagon and the king instructed the priesthood and temple slaves to adhere to herding of the camels on behalf the Great God. Camels perhaps were a wealth symbol and Dagon, the Lord of Wealth, was if anything a bringer of camels.

Sadyattes Resumes the War Path

Sadyattes in his bid to gather more wealth and dig deep into eh nobles had far reaching effects. As part of his 591 reform and tax agenda, large amounts of noble lands were confiscated in Lydia proper. These acquisitions were not immense but fulfilled a goal of Sadyattes, namely the acquiring of new lands outside of Sardis by the royal estate. Urban dwellers, including smiths who had previously been given tokens for which to be repaid later, were repaid in the form of land grants. A 1-hectare grant was given to smiths and producers who had assisted the royalty. The remainder of the land that was not redistributed was used to levy soldiers from.

Likewise, after ‘paying’ those with tokens, the royalty renewed its licenses from smiths and spoke once more of producing for the gods and the holy and popular king. Sadyattes was able to gather the necessary funds for which to regather equipment and training for an army. However, most pressing of his issues was not yet the Skudra to the north or Assyria to the east, but his nobles internally. Some of the nobles rallied a levied force and militia for which to assail the king. A noble army thus formed in the month of March in 588 BCE led by a Uhha-Zita whose army composed primarily of peasant levies and cavalry drawn from the nobles, this army numbered around 11,700 soldiers and fled north, approaching the domain of the Thyni. Sadyattes made haste from Sardis with an army, while dispatching envoys to Wesutarho for him to maintain the defensive line along Gordion and Ancrya.

Sadyattes with his army of some 36,000 marched north from Sardis and did not march fast enough. Uhha-Zita had already reached the lands of the Thyni, under their ‘king’ Thynus. There, Uhha-Zita did the unthinkable and sought aid from the Skudra for dethroning Sadyattes. Thynus agreed to the deal and raised his tribal levies, which had been somewhat dormant for approximately 2 years. The remaining Cicones were also activated, now a submissive tribe under the Thyni. Thynus marched alongside Uhha-Zita southward to meet Sadayattes who exceeded Dorylaion in late March. The two armies met near the Sangarius river, wherein Sadyattes and his new army fought valiantly, but was bested in the field by Thyni and Ahhi-Zita, whose cavalry broke Sadyattes’ line with his cavalry and skirmishers. Sadayattes however was able to rally his forces and retreated in order, but the damage was done. Ahhi-Zita proclaimed himself the King of Lydia in the field and declared himself an ally of the Thyni and the Skudra tribes.

Other Skudra tribes, rallied behind the first victory in the field in years. Charnabon of the Sapaei and Puraykames of the Odryssi re-affirmed their alliance (the Paitoi remained more and more isolated). The Odyrssi and the Sapaei however turned their attention to breaking Gordion, Puaraykames led a coordinated strike upon the Lydian territory and began pillaging the area, in preparation for a siege of Gordion.

Kadashman-Shamash for his part, had spies throughout the region and sending word to Kalhu (increasingly becoming the capitol of the empire once more) of the situation. After making sure to have sent word, Kadashman-Shamash without time to waste, took his garrison army and marched to Dunnunu and then set his sights on Ancrya.

In a matter of a few days, as March ticked into April, the Lydian kingdom was being decimated and thrown into the pit of fire. Sadyattes responded to the dire situation as he always did. Returning to Dorylaion, he pressed the local militia into his army and exited the city and prepared to harry his enemies closing in from the north. The Thyni struck with haste, seeking to not give Sadyattes anytime to prepare, Thynus and Ahhi-Zita struck near Dorylaion and savaged Sadyattes in battle, forcing the Lydian army to flee southward.



“Sadyattes, led an army of peasants and children at Dorlaion. His army though numerous and zealous, had become tired, drained and was poorly equipped for war. Jealousy, rage and a lust to gain victory nevertheless burned in the heart of Sadyattes, a tyrant, yet of the strongest passion. The Lydian king never fled without intent, he made haste to Sardis, prepared for a defense and a reconquest of his realm, crumbling before him….” -Herodotus on the Battle of Dorylaion between the Thyni and the Lydians.

Despite the victory, and the urgings of Ahhi-Zita, the Thyni rejected any move toward sieging Dorylaion yet. Instead, the Skudra forces scoured the countryside of western Phrygia, devastating the area. The tides of war for the region were becoming unbearable, thousands fled south and west or ubsmitted to their new Skudran overlords. The Thyni armies ranged to the Macestus river in the west, wherein their armies ceased looting and pillaging as the Lydian resistance and fortifications increased. Bands of Skudra also spread into the east, reaching the suburbs of Pessinus under Lydian control.

The success of the Thyni was mirrored in the northeast also. Puraykames besieged Gordion in the later part of April. Initially, the Lydian army had high morale and control over the Sangarius river boats permitted their transport of resources from Ancrya. However, words had reached the city, despite a quarantine of information, of the second defeat of the king of Lydia. Likewise, Pessinus was said to (wrongly so) be under siege by a Thyni force. Much worse however, was the true reports that an Assyro-Cimmerian army under the governate of Hatti had invaded Lydian territory once again.

Kadashman-Shamash informed the Assyrian state which was in a consolidation phase of his attack. Kadashmash-Shamash stipulated only local soldiery for his attack, namely deportees, mercenary and Cimmero-Hattian levies.

“Kadashman-Shamash, the son of Field Marshal Dugul-Naboo, eponym 4149, invaded the Ludu kingdom with an army of Hittites and Gimirri. He informed the command at Kalhu, who informed us of his venture. He invaded with the winds of Adad upon his back, a strategic strike. Great God Naboo, the Lord of the Writ, teaches us, no crisis in an enemy land is to be let go waste.” -Nippur Correspondence

Scribes and officials in Kalhu were unhappy at the event, as evident by the Kalhu Codex, which took the invasion, as a breach of custom. For a lowly general to wage a war without first asking, was a great crime indeed to them. Yet, Maniuqappu tolerated the situation, his age seemingly getting the advantage over him.

Kadashman-Shamash invaded these lands and whilst Gordion was besieged by the Skudra, Kadashman-Shamash set siege to Ancrya. Ancrya fell before Gordion, the Lydian levy having managaed to flee into the countryside south, alongside a small number of the population. Kadashman-Shamash set the city ablaze and permitted the Cimmerians to pillage much of the city. However, important structure such as walls were left standing, as was several other structures. Only the mayor residence, and the city residential neighborhoods were set ablaze. The city had a population of 14,000, of which, the Nippur Correspondence claims, 1/5 were massacred. The rest were transported outside of the city walls while Kadashman-Shamash fortified the city.

Meanwhile, rumors of the fall of Lydian authority, inspired more rumblings in the Thraco-Dacian world. Three new tribes the Melinophagi, the Meladitai and the Bithnyi all sent word to the Byzantion and Athens, requesting transport into Asia. Solon of Athens, agreed to transport more Skudra into Asia, readily, according to Herodotus, Solon was feeling the death of Lydia to be near and any more Thracians, would cause a collapse of the Lydian kingdom and hence, a return to Ionian predominance and thus more allies for Athens. Greek strategists in later eras would laud Solon and the usefulness of the Greek navies in regards to the transport of these peoples into Asia.

These Skudran tribes migrated to Byzantion to await transport (their male warrior elite that is, their other members march slowly onward to the coast), there they engaged in more than waiting. A certain Pirûkamon (son of the mountain), the Lord of the Bithnyi engaged the other two lords in a fearsome ritualized battle near the coastline of Byzantion. Pirûkamon deafedt the other two tribal lords handily and declared both tribes his subjects. This new lord proclaimed himself a king of the Skudra onland and at sea. Pirûkamon would prove himself to be the most fearsome of the Skudran lords, by a significant margin. While the new Skudra were seeking to cross the sea in May, Gordion fell on May 5th as the city surrendered to the Skudran army. Pessinus fell also to the army of Ahi-Zita on May 17th and Dorylaion fell to the Thyni and the noble army of Ahhi-Zita on June 1st. Sadyattes meanwhile had been strengthening his defenses in the city of Sardis and the neighboring area, and oddly gathering a western army to defend his western flank against the Ionian League.


Sadyattes had lost contact for weeks with Wesutarho in Gordion, when the city fell however, Wesutarho surrendered to the Odryssi and to the rage of Sadyattes, defected and submitted to the Odryssi. The collapse of the Lydian frontline however would not lose indefinitely. Sadyattes struck north once again with what little he had. Ahhi-Zita having already marched south, fled from the king, and returned to Dorylaion to inform Thynus. Thynus however, was slow to act, his army content to raid, pillage and loot across the region and feast upon Dorylaion and its populace. Sadyattes in the mean wasted no time and struck band after band of the Thyni, massacring each of them. His movement north saw the recapture of the Macestus river and then following with a northeastern push towards Dorylaion. There, in a fantastic turn of events, Sadyattes launched a gamble by attacking the Thyni at the city of Dorylaion, whose walls were already in ruins after weeks of intentional deconstruction.

The gamble paid off, despite the Lydian army being made up entirely of militia, the Lydian army inflicted a short blow upon the Thyni, forcing their forces behind the broken down walls. Much of the Thracian populace and the bands outside the city fled into the city, while thousands according to Sadyattes fled to the army of Sadyattes who gaining a victory in deterrence, fled back south into Lydia proper with a host of ‘liberated’ denizens.

The attack seemed to be in vain, but the Lydian counter deterred the Thyni, who relented from further attacks and instead turned of Ahhi-Zita, whom they branded a traitor. Thynus attacked Pessinus under Ahhi-Zita in July, expelling his army from Pessinus, and dislodging the noble from the area, who fled to the city of Gordion under the Odyrssi.

The Odyssian king Puraykames accepted Ahhi-Zita at first but had him assassinated the next week in July. Puraykames, had no intention of placing a new lord onto the throne of Lydia and instead seated himself in Gordion and sent his forces south into Lycaonia, already in a chaotic situation. The region was abandoned by the Lydian army however for an odd reason…this led to the Odyrssian king conquering the Tatta lake from July until September, subjugating the entire region of Lycaonia (Lukkawana) into his realm. The Odyrssians seemed ascendant throughout 588 BCE.

While the Odryssi were conquering Lukkawana; Sadyattes returned to Sardis. His kingdom was collapsing around him. Much whispers covered the capitol and much to his discontent, soldiers from the east had arrived into Sardis, including nobles. These were the final contingent of anti-Sadyattes conspirators, who after the defeats of Sadyattes, solidified their support among the priesthood, the prince and the city. Sadyattes was thus upon his return to the palace, attacked by his own guards and slain. Alyattes was declared the new king do Lydia.

Alyattes vowed with great heart to avenge Lydian losses in the previous years, at whatever cost. Claiming himself to be the “Avenger of Lydia” he maintained the authority and populist undertones of his predecessor but revoked the taxes upon the nobility and restored lands owed the nobility taken from them. In September, Alyattes used the nobles in coordination with the standing army of his father to strike east. This counter saw the reclamation of Isauria but failed to retake the city of Ikununda (Iconium). However, the Lydian forces held the Calycadmus river in the far south, with illegal assistance from Phoenician sailors and mercenary, who garrisoned along the river and defeated detachments of Skudra.

Lydian fortunes for the rest of 588 BCE did not continue. Alyattes held what was currently under Lydian control and made no further gambles. The Skudran meanwhile were set to battle amongst themselves.

From September until October of 588 BCE, the Bithnyi were preparing their entry into Asia. Once Athenian ships finally amazed, the Bithnyi were starved for loot and lands. The Athens transported them into the Paitoi, who immediately demanded the Bithnyi submit to them.

Such terms were met with little more than the cold edge of iron. Pirûkamon attacked the Paitoi under its king Langarus during the month of October and by the beginning of November, the entirety of the Paitoi were subjugated by the new Skudran king, who likewise attacked southward into the lands of the Sapaei under Charabon. The Paitoi for their part were forced to submit and subsumed. With said victory over the Thyni, Pirûkamon claimed himself to be the king of Bithynia.

Pirûkamon initiated his attack upon the Sapaei, who were tired from recent wars and inflicted devastating raids upon them. The Sapaei, were at the same time, beset by a series of Cimmerian raids originating from the Assyrian lands and their slow response gave Pirûkamon his time for an invasion. Promising Langarus lands, Pirûkamon sent the Paitoi alongside 1/3 of his force east to attack Charabon. In December of 588, they met in battle and Charabon fell to the blade of Langarus in personal combat. The head of Charabon was transformed into a drinking vessel for Pirûkamon who drove the Sapaei south, fleeing into the new Odyrssian kingdom, where they were accepted as brothers.

Despite the offensive, the Odryssians and Bithynians seemed to have come to an agreement between each other, as the two did not attack each other from 587-586 BCE. In the west, the remaining 2/3 of the army of Pirûkamon attacked the Thyni. This attack reached Nicaea, which had been sorely under-protected. The Thyni were met with a fearsome barrage of foes from the north, who decimated their armies and massacred their people. The Thyni within the north fled southward toward Mysia and Dorylaion. Pirûkamon followed and in the month of January 587 BCE, engaged the Thyni near Dorylaion. The conclusion of the battle according to Herodotus, was one wherein the two were unable to gain the better of the two but amounted to a strategic victory for Thynus of the Thyni. Pirûkamon returned north, to lick his wounds. Despite the short setback however, in the matter of less than a year, Pirûkamon had successfully subjugated two of the original Skudran tribes and conquered a sizable kingdom. His future would be bright indeed.

Thus, by the month of February the situation in Anatolia was as such:

-Lydian rule included Lydia proper north up to the Macestus river and following its course to the sea. To the west, Lydian holdings stretched from Sardis till the Aegean Sea. To the direct east/north, the Lydian border sat at the end of the Hermmus river. In the south, Lydian holdings stretched to the sea and then east towards Isauria and then to the Calycadnus river, thus bordering Assyria in the southeast.

-The Thynian holdings stretched from the Hermmus river ending (Lydian territory) and the Macestus until Dorylaion. Then its eastern border ended at Gordion and included Pessinus but did not extend east of Gordion. Controlling thus, western Phrygia and eastern Mysia.

-The Odyrssian lands being from Gordion to Ancrya and from Gordion until the Halys river. Then south ending at the mentioned Lydian border and ending also at the Assyrian eastern borders. Controlling thus eastern Phrygia and Lukkawanda.

-Assyria controlled the land of Hatti, Kizzuwatna/Tabal, Quwe under the Phoenician cities, the vassal state of the Palan Cimmerians and then finally controlling from Gangra in the Palan state up to Ancrya.

-Bithynia ruling all that was left in the northwest.

Assyrian-Karduniash consolidation 588-586 BCE

While a new phase of devastation was occurring in the west, the Assyrian sphere after the invasion and conquest of Gerrha reached a peaceful period of growth and improvements. Foremost in improvements was the king of Karduniash, Dagon-Zakir-Shumi.

Dagon-Zakir-Shumi, despite his young age, had good counsel and he learned well the necessity of taking advice. Unlike his elder brother, Sinbanipal, Dagon-zakir-shumi had little pride and understood his positioning in the world. He too, knew the importance of a strong mercantile class, that abounded his court readily. Dagon-zakir-shumi under the counsel of his court ordered the reconstruction of canals across his kingdom, focusing especially on repairing the canal links between the Euphrates and the Tigris. A large budget was formed and usage of corvee labor from deportees was brought to bear, as a canal from Lagash on the Euphrates was linked to the Tigris River in the east. Likewise, the creation of a new Karduniash navy was given to the head Sentinel Adad-apal-Duranki, ordered with the construction of new riverine vessels for the transit of soldiers and the defense against banditry.

Construction of new towns was also underway. In the past the border of the sea to Sumer was at Lagash, however a series of climatic changes have led to a greater and greater recession of the sea. Marshes and river inlets off the Euphrates and Tigris have replaced what was previously the Lower Sea. Accompanied this change was the settlement of deportee Chaldeans and Gambulu across these new lowland marshes.

Dagon-Zakir-Shumi in 587 BCE, ordered settlement of these marshes more thoroughly with towns and merchants. This stepped upon the toes of the existing Chaldean populace, but after the rebellion of Nabopolasser II, there was little for them to do about their objection. A first town south of Lagash was established, called Dagonumetellu or Dagon Hath Lordship, settled with 1,000 inhabitants in late 587 BCE with a population of Philistines, Akkadian debtors and merchants and then a guards population of Itu and Tabal warriors. It was placed under the protection of the city to its north, Lagash, a city that was seeing a massive expansion of infrastructure under Dagon-Zakir-Shumi.

Dagon-Zakir-Shumi constructed a foundation for a great palace in Lagash and refined the local port, designating it as the key port of the south. Dagon-zakir-shumi seems to even in 585 BCE, to have moved his court partially to Lagash for the construction and revitalization process. Reliefs begin to appear readily once again in Lagash when Dagon-Zakir-shumi begins in his revitalization:



“Dagon-Zakir-Shumi is the Brother King, the benevolent Lord of the Lands, King of Karduniash, brother of the Great King and allies to the Heavens. I have distributed a rimutu, a gift to the city of Lagash, the old city of the south. This foundation for a palace, house and living space for the King of the Lands, I have established.” -587 relief depiction

Additionally, Dagon-Zakir-Shumi ordered the beginning phase of a lower tax regime. Persuaded by the mercantile class, seeking to inspire greater movement between the cities, the traditional custom duty tax to enter and trade goods was lowered by considerably. This was due to a vast increase in revenues and returns in the recent campaigns and a general age of economic prosperity within the lands of Karduniash.

At the time, the Assyro-Karduniash currency was reasoned with a series of talents and minas. These were the two basic units of economic exchange aside from bartering. Both were then transmuted into a shekel, the idea of a currency in the Akkadian marketplace. One talent of silver was the equivalent to one shekel, whilst a mina of silver was equivalent to 60 shekels.

Generally, each represented a notation or abstraction on what each item in the economy was valued in relation to the metal and resource reserve of the Assyrian treasury. The amount of liquidity in the market was derived entirely from the amount of resources the treasury possessed in real terms as such there was no conception of fiat or inflation as derived by debasement of currency. This system of exchange had been in play since the Early Bronze Age in the region.

Taxation in the time of Dagon-Zakir-Shumi was of several types. These taxes also existed in the Assyrian realm to the north. These were as follows, generally:

-Land taxes. These were taxes upon individual landowners or owners of establishments. These taxes were extremely low. Often amounting to around .23% of their estimated value and at times increasing to 3-5%. Most land was owned by landlords or nobles, who in turn held peasants and slaves. Slaves were differentiated by having no payment and peasants received a day labor and could go where they pleased after payment (they were not tied to the land).

-A customs duty. This was the duty that one paid in order to do business in a city. When a person no matter his caste, slave, peasant, noble, merchant or so forth, when they entered a walled settlement, a customs tax was due. This was never appraised by percentages but was a fixed payment that was a flat payment. In Karduniash, this was 5-7 shekels. This was almost never paid with actual silver, but with a percentage of what the person was carrying. Denizens of cities however, did not pay the custom duty, hence the attractiveness of city living. Yet, in the city, one had to pay high rents which were under no regulatory mechanism or price control. One also paid their urban rent, typically to the mayor or to the temples, both uncompromising. Failure to pay an urban rent after a period of time, legally designated said person as a slave. Hence, it was certainly safer to reside in the rural lands.

-A tithe to the temples. Those in a particular area, were expected to give a percentage of their income as a community to the temples. This often revolved around peasant communities gathering a tribute and then bestowing it to the temples on an annual basis.

Hence, the taxation was never based upon income or revenue. Only upon action in the case of transportation to the city or the value of land. Thus, most people in the society would not pay taxes, especially slaves, agricultural labor and pastoralists. Only those merchants, nobles/landlords and mercenary. Taxes were the domain too of the Great God Naboo, and those who took them prayed for his wisdom and benevolence.

Regarding the prices of items and economic value of items, this may give a good example:

For peasant farm workers, the average pay varied from 18-27 shekels per month. Of which, a peasant would keep the entire amount without taxes. Thus, a male with consistent work, would make between 216-324 shekels depending on the year and location. Amounting to an annual income of peasants to 4-5 minas.

The price of goods when understanding these above figures were often as such:

-camel: 1.5 mina

-Male slave: 1.07 Mina

-Female slave: 1.04 Mina

-Child slave: 1 Mina

-Donkey: 35 shekels

-Pig: 30 shekels

-Dog: 5 shekels

-Bull: 1.10 Mina

-Oxen: 1 Mina

-Horse: 7 Mina

-Litre of barley: 5 shekels (note, one could thus pay their taxes at custom with a litre of barely)

And so forth were examples of pricing.

Thus, the lowering of taxes saw Dagon-Zakir-Shumi decrease the standard custom duty tax from 5-7 to 1-4, a substantial decrease. However, Dagon-zakir-shumi increased taxes on property from .23% to a total general of .45%. Dagon-Zakir-Shumi for these tax reforms was noted as an ally of the people across the land, but also a friend of the mercantile interest which with lower customs, would surely increase their profits considerably.



In Assyria under Sinbanipal, no great economic reform or series of economic investments occurred. Rather, Sinbanipal saw to the expansion of the military budget and the construction of new monuments, reliefs and expansions of temples. The Temple to Ninurta was expanded significantly or set for expansion in 586 BCE and a series of new constructions were developed. Most importantly, a so-called Place of the Ancestors.

This Place of the Ancestors would be a large palace in Kalhu open to the public. Rather than a residence the active king, it was a large construct with a series of grand statues. The statues present were to be the images of the Great Kings of Assyria, alongside an epithet. Erection of such a statue would become an important part of Assyrian kingship. The palace however, would be outside of the city, but within close proximity. Expansion and maintenance of this Place of Ancestors would become a critical point of reference and legitimacy for later Akkadian monarchs.

Sinbanipal also transcribed for himself a new name, that of ‘Great Carver of Stone.’ Praising the Great God Naboo for the monument of the Place of the Ancestors. The Kalhu Codex however disagreed with the momentous success and the validity of the new construct. Cryptically attacking the king:



“Kings come and go, yet the Great Gods last eternal…A point of devotion to any but the Family, is beneath the status of the pious, whose affixed gaze is towards the Great Gods, the Lords of all Things.” -Kalhu Codex

The Kalhu scribal class understood the construction as a move towards secularism and a deification of the king. Sinbanipal, according to later Kalhu recordings, was a king who shifted between a process of deification when in success and in loss, a humble servant of the Great Gods. Nevertheless, no active deification process was being taken overtly by Sinbanipal aside from subtle activities.

Scribes and Writing in Akkad

Currently in the Assyrian imperial hegemonic sphere, there exists two primary languages of exchange. These are Akkadian and Aramaic, each with their own scripts.

Akkadian is the official language, if you could call it such. It is an ancient language, dating to the Early Bronze Age, an Eastern Semitic tongue, distantly related to all Semitic languages. It however differs drastically from Western Semitic (such as Hebrew, Arabic, Phoenician, etc…) due to its absorption of Sumerian, Hurrian, ancient pre-Sumerian and Indo-European tongues spoken in Mesopotamia. It is written in the cumbersome yet aesthetically pleasing cuneiform script. It is the language of general government correspondence, formal occasions in speech, devotion to the Gods (in conjugation with Sumerian) and so forth. It is also the language of the Kalhu Codex and using a highly formal version.

Akkadian is further subdivided into approximately two general types. Assyrian spoken and written in the north. Meanwhile, the south is utilizing Babylonian for written texts, with the dialect spoken in Babylon being the standard for Karduniash. In the case of Karduniash however, distinct dialects abound the region. Akkadian spoken in Lagash differs from Babylonian as does Akakdian in Isin. In contrast, Akkadian in Assyria is more uniform, owing to the colonization process of Akkadian in Assyria, whilst Akkadian native to Karduniash and organic, grew into dozens of localized forms of speech. Sumerian, remains a larger influence on the south of the region, in terms of the local Akkadian, ranging from mutual comprehension in Lagash to only Sumerian vocabulary being a principal factor in speech in the north. Sumerian despite this, remains a dead language and is only spoken by the educated classes for the purposes of divination and certain ultra-formal praises of the Gods or Kings.

Aramaic in contrast is a western Semitic tongue from Syria. It began to spread into Mesopotamia in the year 1145 BCE and then accelerated in the years 1016-900 BCE. These Aramaens were called a western wind by the Akkadians and were pastoral communities combined with aspects of farming. They carried with them Aramaic and an abjad-alphabet. Their prevalence in Assyria and Karduniash as a larger plurality of the population played a role int eh adoption of Aramaic as the informal language of deportees. Deportees brought from wars waged by Assyria, led to the placement of many disparate ethnic groups into Mesopotamia and with the existing powerful plurality of Aramaic common, the tongue of all deportees drifted towards Aramaic. Such was the prevalence of this, that the Palace Herald of Assyria, often composed texts solely in Aramaic.

Aramaic too had broken into a few different varieties. Aramaic spoke in Hamath, Aleppo and most of west central Syria or Amurru (Aramaic derives from the word, Amurru, or western), which is the base Aramaic. In Assyria proper, Syriac abounded, a form of Aramaic spoken in Assyria itself. To the south, in Karduniash, Aramaic was in the form of Chaldean and Gambulu. With Chaldean situated in main-line Karduniash, whilst Gambulu existed in the east and spread deep into Elam.

Considering this situation, both were used to some degree. Sinsharishkun’s reign however saw major changes in the linguistic equilibrium of the empire. The affirmation of an ascendant scribal class solidified Akkadian usage, as did the court reforms of Sinsharishkun. Yet, in the successive early reign of Sinbanipal,less formal texts were composed, yet also in Akkadian. These were the Nippur Correspondence and associated texts. In these productions, in order to maintain the strict Akkadian usage and yet quicken the timer it took to compose texts, compilers of the Nippur Correspondence, beginning in 586 BCE, began to use a shorthand version of cuneiform.

This shorthand was essentially making the characters less fine and rigid. Allowing lines to flow more freely and less straight, Likewise, omission of certain characters became common in 585 BCE. What this entailed for the future was yet to be seen fully.

The Median Exodus

Ainyava had led his people from western Drangiana northeast into the lands of Arachosia along the Sarayu/Arius river. Their number had decreased by around 1/2. With a collection of tribes making flight to Parsa or the Assyrian realm to be deported. Another amount migrating to the Dahae lands north of Parthia. The main cadre however, remained loyal to the Gaudamid royal caste, which solidified itself as a guiding light for the remaining Median folk.

Their settlement and or movement east, came with little conflict. Their peoples moved into areas once their zone of soft influence in Arachosia and there they settled amongst the populace as visitors of sots for the time. Their northern compatriots were not so lucky. For in 587 BCE, Parthia was invaded and subjugated by Ipanqazu and the Medes there fled before him north into the domain of the Dahae. Ipanqazu however did not pursue the Medes further east.

Thus from 590-585 BCE, the Medes under a young king Ainyava, were residing in the southern sections of the Sarayu river, just south of the Realm of the Kamboja.

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Hope that this is a good update! Another will come this week.
 
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So long Sadyattes. Honestly, I'm suprised he lasted so long given the amount of powerful enemies his actions made. He has left behind a mess.

The Place of the Ancestors is interesting. It reminds me of Chinese Imperial Ancestral Temples. It really does tend towards emphasising the importance of a particular lineage which you have explained was not always true in Assyria. By the way was ancestor worship any part of Assyrian religion? It certainly never seems to have been very important if it was.
 
So long Sadyattes. Honestly, I'm suprised he lasted so long given the amount of powerful enemies his actions made. He has left behind a mess.

The Place of the Ancestors is interesting. It reminds me of Chinese Imperial Ancestral Temples. It really does tend towards emphasising the importance of a particular lineage which you have explained was not always true in Assyria. By the way was ancestor worship any part of Assyrian religion? It certainly never seems to have been very important if it was.
Yes, there was a specific cult of the ancestors however such things never gained their own temples or places of worship for veneration. The cult or practices related to ghosts, spirits and ancestors had to do with the notion that the dead humans always pass into a dismal life after death. That being they remained slaves of the Great Gods, but in a more dreadful manner. However, great men and those who received certain prayers and goods as offerings, were said to be cared for and given provision in the afterlife to assist them in their difficult life therein.

Royal funerary cults however, though given some level of veneration was never to the level of the creation of great palaces filled only with statues to kings, in mimicry of the Great Gods. However, in more traditional Mesopotamian society, a tradition of retainer sacrifice existed and the burying of the dead was more fanciful. However, by the Middle Bronze Age, this was extinct, and certainly so by our timeline.
 
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Non-Protectorate vassals of Assyria/Karduniash king list
This is a list of kings of vassal states to Assyria, called the 'Yoke of Assur.'

Name///years reigned/// vassalage status

Kingdom of Tyre:

Tyre Dynasty I
Abi-Miliku --- 1350-1335 BCE --- Mitanni vassal state
-------------- Mitanni annexation,, regained independence
Aribas --- 1258-1233 BCE --- Hittite vassal state
Baal-Termeg --- 1233-1219 BCE --- Hittite vassal state
Baal I ---- 1219-1193 BCE --- Hittite Vassal State
----------------------- Sea People conquest of Tyre, Hittite kingdom breaks apart 1187 BCE, Tyre falls 1193-1192 BCE.
--------------------Bronze Age Collapse, records end for a time
Tyre Dynasty II
Abi-Baal --- 994-981 BCE --- Independent
Hiram I --- 981-947 BCE --- Independent
Baal-usr I --- 947-930 BCE --- Independent
Abd-Astart' --- 930-921 BCE --- Independent
----------Coup, new dynasty ascends
Tyre Dynasty III
Ashtart I --- 921-900 BCE --- Independent
Ashtart II --- 900-889 BCE --- Independent
Ashtar-Rom --- 889-880 BCE --- Independent
Ithobaal I ---- 880-847 BCE --- Independent
----------- Assurnasirpal defeats Ithobaal I in war, most of Phoenicia comes under Assyrian rule
Baal-usr II ---- 847-841 BCE --- Assyrian vassal state
Mattan I ---- 841-832 BCE --- Assyrian vassal state
Pummay --- 832-785 BCE --- Assyrian vassal state
Ithobaal II --- 785-730 BCE --- Assyrian vassal state
Hiram II --- 730-694 BCE --- Assyrian vassal state
Abd-Melqart --- 694-680 BCE --- Assyrian vassal state
Baal II --- 680-675 BCE --- Assyrian vassal state
-----Baal II rebelled, flayed alive and beheaded by Assurhadon, Hiram III appointed new king
Tyre Dynasty IV
Hiram III --- 675-649 BCE --- Assyrian vassal state
Baal III --- 649-593 BCE --- Assyrian vassal state
Ithobaal III --- 593-??? BCE --- Assyrian vassal state


Kingdom of Moab

Chamosh-Gayut --- 902-870 BCE --- Vassal state of Israel
Mesha --- 870-838 BCE --- Independent
--------------------Assyrian annexation of Moab, Moab rebels agaisnt Assyrian in 726 BCE
Shalman --- 726-724 BCE --- Independent
-------------------Assyrian conquest, Moab made vassal by Sargon II
Kammu-sun-nabdi --- 724-700 BCE --- Assyrian vassal state
Mutzuri --- 700-668 BCE ---- Assyrian vassal state
Kamashalta --- 668-633 BCE --- Assyrian vassal state
Yoshi-Dagon --- 633-589 BCE --- Assyrian vassal state
Dagon-ana-Shezub --- 589-??? BCE --- Assyrian vassal state

Kingdom of Judah

David --- 1000-962 BCE --- Independent
Shelomoh --- 962-922 BCE --- Independent
---------Shoshenq I of the XXII Dynasty invades Judah during the reign of Reha'vaam, subjugates Jerusalem
Reha'vaam --- 922-915 BCE --- Egyptian Vassal State(XXII Dynasty
Aviyaam --- 915-912 BCE --- Egyptian vassal state (XXII Dynasty)
--------------Kingdom breaks free from Egyptian yoke, Egypt defeated in battle and expelled
'Asa --- 912-873 BCE --- Independent
Yehoshafat --- 873-847 BCE --- Independent
Yehoraam --- 847-839 BCE --- Independent
'Ahazyahu --- 839-838 BCE --- Independent
-------------------Succession crisis, Assyria enforces vassalage upon Judah,
Yeho'ash --- 838-798 BCE --- Assyrian vassal state
'Amatzyah --- 798-783 BCE --- Assyrian vassal state
---------Judah rebels against Assyria in 766-740 BCE, submitted to Tiglath-Pileser III 740-739 BCE
Uziyahu --- 783-736 BCE --- Assyrian vassal 783-766 and 740-onward
Yotam --- 736-732 BCE --- Assyrian vassal state
'Ahaz --- 732-716 BCE --- Assyrian vassal state
---------------Judah rebels against Assyria in year 704 BCE after the death of Sargon II, enforced as a vassal in 703 BCE by Sinnacherib
Hizqiyah --- 716-687 BCE --- Assyrian vassal state 703-onward
Menasseh --- 687-642 BCE --- Assyrian vassal state (Assyria granted Judah, 'Most Favored Nation Status')
'Amon --- 642-640 BCE --- Assyrian vassal state
Yoshi'yahu --- 640-602 BCE --- Assyrian vassal state
----------------Yoshi'yahu killed by Necho II, Judah becomes a vassal of Egypt after an invasion of the Assyrian empire by Egypt and Lydia
Ilu-Kiyeh --- 602-599 BCE --- Egyptian vassal state
--------------- Sinbanipal retakes Jerusalem in 599 BCE, appoints Yehu'ahaz as king
Yehu'ahaz --- 599-??? BCE --- Assyrian vassal state

Kingdom of Byblos

Abichemu I --- 1821-1796 BCE --- Egyptian vassal state
Yapachemu abi I --- 1796-1756 BCE --- Egyptian vassal state
Abichemu II --- 1756-1723 BCE --- Egyptian vassal state
---------------------Hittite conquest of Syria and sacking of Babylon
Yapachemu abi II--- 1723-1688 BCE --- Hittite vassal state
Rib-Hadda --- 1688-1649 BCE --- Hittite vassal state
Yapachemu abi III --- 1649-1601 BCE --- Hittite vassal state
Yantin-Amu --- 1600-1559 BCE --- Independent
--------------Annexed by Mitanni 1559-1340 BCE
Riba-Adaa --- 1340-1329 BCE--- Hittite vassal state
Ili-Riba --- 1329-1317 BCE --- Hittite vassal state
----------------------Byblos conquered by Anziru, the king of Amurru, an Egyptian vassal, who then defected to the Hittite,,, 1320-1189 BCE
----------------------1189-1180 BCE, Amurru kingdom falls to an invasion from the Sea Peoples
---------------------- Byblos liberated by Assyria, who imposes a more harsh rule upon them than the Sea Peoples
Ahiram --- 1097-1063 BCE --- Assyrian vassal state
----------------------- Assyrian empire crumbles after the death of Tiglath-Pileser I in 1076 BCE
Zakar-Baal --- 1063-1024 BCE --- Independent
Ithobaal --- 1024-980 BCE --- Independent
Yahimilik --- 980-939 BCE --- Independent
Abi-Baal --- 939-919 BCE --- Independent
Ilu-Baal --- 919-888 BCE --- Independent, annexed by Assyria
--------------------Byblos annexed by Assurnasirpal
--------------------Byblos restored under Assyrian vassal kings in 714 BCE, under Sargon II
Harumiliki --- 714-670 BCE --- Assyrian vassal state
Milkiashapsha I --- 670-645 BCE --- Assyrian vassal state
Yehau-Malak --- 645-629 BCE --- Assyrian vassal state
Milkiashapsha II --- 629-609 BCE --- Assyrian vassal state
Barek-Baal --- 609-596 BCE --- Assyrian vassal state
Yehomilk --- 596-??? BCE --- Assyrian vassal state

Kingdom of Halabu (Aleppo)

Dynasty I (Greek Mercenary Dynasty)

Buri-Adad I --- 601-582 BCE --- Assyrian vassal state
Buri-Adad II --- 582-??? BCE --- Assyrian vassal state

Kingdom of Carchemish

Dynasty I
Aplah-Andah I --- 1786-1764 BCE --- Assyrian vassal state
Yatar-Ami --- 1764-1762 BCE --- Assyrian vassal state
Yahdun-Limi --- 1762-1744 BCE --- Babylonian vassal state
Aplah-Andah II --- 1744-1731 BCE --- Babylonian vassal state
Yahdun-Limi II --- 1731-1685 BCE --- Babylonian vassal state
----------------Carchemish falls into obscurity
Dynasty II
Atalsenu --- 1549-1502 BCE --- Mitanni client state
Anish-Hurpe --- 1502-1487 BCE --- Mitanni client state
Arip-Teshub I ---- 1487-1482 BCE --- Mitanni client state
Ari-Yuki --- 1482-1449 BCE --- Mitanni client state
Arip-Teshub II --- 1449-1433 BCE --- Mitanni client state
Uza-Nanini --- 1433-1415 BCE --- Mitanni client state
Kilip-Seriesh --- 1415-1409 BCE --- Mitanni client state
Arzi-Hipo --- 1409-1404 BCE --- Mitanni client state
Arip-Teshub III --- 1404-1377 BCE --- Mitanni client state
------------------ Carchemish conquered by the Hittites
Dynasty III (Hittite Dynasty, royal family of Hatti)
Piyassili --- 1369-1315 BCE --- Hittite Union
Shakhranuwa --- 1315-1284 BCE --- Hittite Union
Ini-Teshub I --- 1284-1253 BCE --- Hittite Union
Ini-Teshub II --- 1253-1229 BCE --- Hittite Union
Talmi-Teshub --- 1229-1197 BCE --- Hittite Union
------------------Fall of Hittite Kingdom 1178 BCE
Kuzi-Teshub --- 1197-1170 BCE --- Independent
Ini-Teshub III --- 1170-1134 BCE --- Assyrian vassal tributary
Ini-Teshub IV --- 1134- 1121 BCE --- Independent
Tudhaliya --- 1121-1100 BCE --- Assyrian vassal state
Sapaziti --- 1100-1068 BCE --- Assyrian vassal state
Ini-Teshub V --- 1068-1044 BCE --- Independent
Uratarhunda --- 1044-1011 BCE --- Independent
--------------------------Dynasty changed
Dyansty IV
Suhi I --- 1011-977 BCE --- Independent
Astulwalamanza --- 977-946 BCE --- Independent
Suhi II --- 946-925 BCE --- Independent
Katuwa --- 925-903 BCE --- Assyrian vassal state
Suhi III ---- 903-880 BCE ---Assyrian vassal state
--------------------Sangara of Carchemish rebels against Assyria in 879 BCE, is defeated and submits
Sangara --- 880-848 BCE --- Independent 880-876 BCE,,, Assyrian vassal state 876-848 BCE
Isarwilumuwa --- 848-840 BCE --- Assyrian vassal state
Kilawilamuwa --- 840-835 BCE --- Assyrian vassal state
------------------- noble coup, new dynasty ascends
Dynasty V (Astiruds)
Astiru I --- 835-829 BCE --- Assyrian vassal state
Kamani --- 829-790 BCE --- Assyrian vassal state
------------------ Assyria is defeated by Urartu and Elam in a series of wars, Assyria declines
Sastura --- 790-762 BCE --- Independent 790-779 BCE and Urartu vassal state 779-762 BCE
Astiru II --- 762-729 BCE --- Vassal of Urartu 762-737 BCE, Assyrian vassal state 737-729 BCE
Astiru III --- 729-717 BCE --- Vassal of Assyria 729-724 BCE,,, Independent 724-722 BCE,,, Urartu vassal state 722-719 BCE,,, Vassal of Assyria 719-717 BCE
-------------------Assyrian king Sargon II sacks Carchemish, dethrones kingdom
--------------------Carchemish under direct Assyrian rule 717-582 BCE
-------------------- King Sinbanipal appoints a new king of Carchemish 582 BCE
Dynasty VI (Neo-Suhids)
Suhi IV --- 582-??? BCE --- Assyrian vassal state




King of Parsa/Persia

Cišpiš or Teispes --- 676-639 BCE --- Independent
------------------------- Persia annexed by the Medes
Kuruš I or Cyrus I --- 602-585 BCE --- Assyrian vassal state 590 BCE onward
Kabūǰiya I or Cambyses I --- 585-??? BCE --- Assyrian vassal state
 
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Atrahasis and the Enuma Elish in context and combined in 585 BCE
Atrahasis and the Enuma Elish in context, year 585 BCE

The cosmology of the Akkadian world was one that was very complex by the year 585 BCE and is one that had been in production and refining for some 3000 years by the year 585 BCE and likely prior into the periods prior to writing. Most formally, the cosmological view of the people was held in a series of mythical and legendary texts which when combined with context, create a cosmological view. In brief, this is how one may reckon (as does the Kalhu Codex does in brief, later texts will be composed to assert this as the formal scenario) the cosmological views of the day combining the aspects of all the traditions:



In the beginning there was a primordial couple, who existed and pre-existed all things. This primordial couple being that of Abzu and Tiamat. Ab-zu, meaning ‘deep water,’ a conception of the void, the emptiness and depth of something. Tiamat whose name is of unknown origins, was an entity described as a great serpent of immense power, who mingled with Abzu, the great deep and their mingling, inferred as some sort of sexual relation or sharing, created gods in the abyss. The first of such gods was the so-called Zodiac the stars of destiny, referred to as Lahmu.

Lahmu however, was a god whose nature was one of inaction, who lacked agency. His heirs however would have all that he lacked, namely agency, will and power, beyond being fixtures in the abyss. These were three male deities and one female deity. Anu, Enlil, Enki and Ninhursang, the so-called four primordial. Anu was the Lord of the Sky and was referred to as ‘Whole Heaven.’ Enlil was a god shrouded in light and was the Lord of light and the winds below the sky. Enki was the Lord of water and knowledge. Ninhursang was the Goddess of the earth and the ground beneath the feet of Enki or Enlil. The four whence born, mingled together at a place and there they created a structure called Duranki and here they began as Gods do, to create structure in the abyss building and restoring.

The noise of such actions perturbed the ancient entities, Tiamat and Abzu, whose existence had been one of silence for eternity prior. Tiamat, termed the Serpent of Chaos, is especially agitated and her agitation gives way to rage. The four gods of Duranki who had only recently come into existence, feared Tiamat and Abzu greatly. Thus, preemptively, the gods made a call to Abzu, the Lord of the Primordial Deep to appear before them and discuss their noise. Abzu forms himself into an image fit for meeting and appears to them at Duranki.

His appearance was one of an ever-changing water stream with black and blue coloring and a halo atop his summit. His appearance at Duranki however was not peaceful. The Primordial betrayed the trust of a meeting and placed their powers together and charmed Abzu into a deep sleep, paralyzing him for eternity. Anu then took the halo of Abzu and distributed it amongst his siblings, who had essentially slew and enslaved Abzu.

Tiamat however, shifting in the depths, felt a distinct lack of her partner Abzu, as if he had fallen asleep and could not commune with her. She inquired as to the happening and discovered the betrayal of her partner’s trust at the hands of the gods.

Spirits formed around Tiamat upon her realization. They appeared from her emotions, as she was an object of chaotic creation (the antithesis to the gods’ ordered creation) and spoke to her as opinions. They spoke and decried the loss of Abzu. These spirits too castigated her, calling for war and bloodshed and that Tiamat should avenge her partner with whom she had known for eternity.

Tiamat vows then to destroy the gods and discover a means to restore Abzu. She sets about this by the creation of new beings through her chaotic emotions, in the same way she created the spirits that spoke to her. These creations were 11 demons of immense power and strength. The first among them was an entity named Kingu (unskilled laborer), a god whom Tiamat made her commander in chief. Other demons were as follows; Pazuzu, a demon who caused draught and appeared as a naked man with red skin, red eyes, and massive bat wings, he was a fearsome beast. A third, was Humbaba, a giant entity and monster who carries a great club to crush the enemy gods in a heap, he yearned to consume the gods. A fourth, was that of Azag, a demon with a multitude of heads, the body of a man shrouded in lava which he wore as a cloth and surrounded by a boiling mist of acid. A fifth, a demon called Ira, was a human figure dressed in black robes and wore a massive crown with horns and carried a great battle ax of legend, he was called the lord of pestilence and unordered mayhem. A sixth called Anzuu, a giant falcon of yellow and red, yet with a face of a lion, and he spewed water into the abyss from his mouth. Among others, these made up a host of twelve entities who in turn produced their own armies made of their creation. They sought to besiege the Duranki and destroy the gods for good.

The four primordial had heard or felt the ripples of the entities created by Tiamat and observed her rage and her vow to destroy them. They feared for they could not restrain her. It had required a disarmed and unattended Abzu and all their prowess to subdue him. Much less defeat Tiamat or her host of creatures. In such a moment of desperation, a creation of 11 entities occurred without input from the four primordial. Marduk, the personification of the river, the great god of heroes appeared riding upon a dragon with a great aura covering him of a red color. Appearing from the south, a second god appeared, the god Sin, the moon, Lord of Destinies, and illumination. Thence came Shamash, from the east, the sun and lord of justice and stability. Following him, was Ishtar, the unique star, goddess of sex, motherhood, and bloody battle. Following her, was Nurgle, the god of slaughter, looting, warfare, and unquenchable flames. Thence came Naboo, the builder god, the lord of writing, cities and information, the strategist of the gods. After Naboo, appeared Ninurta, the slayer of beasts, the hunter and the god of duels and adventure. Thence appeared Adad, the god of the storm, thunder, the rain, of anger, and the raging cyclone. Afterward, Gula appeared, the goddess of mercy, healing, guardianship, and medicine. Following Gula, appeared Dagon, the god of magnificence, wealth, grandeur, gold, multiplication and the harvest of crops. Then finally, came Ilawela, the god of sacrifice, intelligence, blood and was called ‘The Ear.’

These were the Great Gods, who appeared, they exceeded their predecessors in every way imagined. Their power was such that Anu pleaded with them to do battle alongside him against Tiamat. The Great Gods agreed, under the circumstance that they be recognized as the true lords of the universe, greater in power than Anu.

Thus, with the agreement, the Great Gods formed into an army. Anu for his part fused with Enlil and Enki and became Assur, ‘He who commands’ and sat upon a throne and joined the Great Gods in war against Tiamat. Their battle arrangements were as follows:



  • Assur to command and sit atop the Duranki
  • Marduk to lead his forces on a chariot of fire pulled by a dragon.
  • Naboo to plan the battle lines and organize the front.
  • Gula to serve as the healer of the host and the creator of walls around Duranki.
  • Adad and Nurgle to be sent upon the enemy with a host of fire, cyclones, snakes, dogs, scorpions, and hail of glass. They were to cause mayhem prior to the true attack
  • Ninurta and Ishtar to hold the frontlines of charge and battle the enemy demons as they approached.
  • Ilawela to be the scout for the army of the Great Gods and be the sentinel of the Great Gods at Duranki.


So, the battle proceeded as an epic battle of the gods often mentioned in Akkadian texts. That is the Great Gods battled the entities of Tiamat, the demons of her creation. In the battle between the entities, Tiamat stood as the greatest foe, she attempted to devour the Great Gods with her gaping maw. However, she was upon a period of battle, engaged in personal combat with Marduk. In facing her, Marduk exclaimed his superiority to her, enraging her, as she lunged toward him with an open maw, seeking to consume him. However, he released an ‘evil-wind’ which was empowered by Adad and Nurgle with fire, lightning and so forth, that coalesced into her mouth causing her to close her mouth (which seems to have acted as a vacuum). Upon which, her pain caused the being to expose her body more so, permitting Marduk; pulling a divine bow, fired an arrow that possessed the aura of glory and the power of the Great Gods infused. It smashed into her, immobilizing her alongside this, a divine net was cast by Marduk that stopped her movement.
The rest of the demons hurried to save their mother yet were stopped by the Great gods who defeated them and dispersed. Some fled into the abyss, while others were enslaved and or stripped of their power. Kingu himself was captured and shackled in chains by Nurgle and carried him to Duranki. Tiamat herself was taken as loot to Duranki and while weakened, Marduk fashioned a divine mace. He used this mace of heaven to smash Tiamat’s head in, slaying her instantly After breaking her head, he grasped her body and tore it into two. These parts were molded into the earth; hence the chaos of the land is seen as being the upward birthing of Tiamat’s energy of chaos.

Kingu, the defeated demon king, was then enslaved and ordered to work fro the Great Gods. The Great Gods had also created gods to do their bidding, minor gods who were distributed about the face of the earth. These gods yearned to cease working for and around the slaved demon god, Kingu. So they petitioned a new creation to work the land. Hearing their plea, the Great Gods decided to create an inferior yet reproductive species. Taking the slave Kingu, they had him slain by the Great Gods and his body was torn into its essence, his body of work was distributed. Then, Gula fashioned from Kingu the body of humans. Yet, these bodies lacked agency or a soul, for that which was Kingu, was slain and erased and only his body had remained, the soul he once had was taken into the hands of Ishtar.

For the matter of giving them agency, Ilawela offered himself as a divine sacrifice to produce a soul in the body of Kingu. Ilawela thus, stood atop Duranki and ritually sacrificed himself and was slaughtered ritually by the Great Gods. His blood and thus energy, was taken by Gula, and molded to the bodies made from Kingu. Thus, the creation of man. Yet, Ilawela had sacrificed himself, he had however remained as existing within humanity as their driving force, for the phrase was: ‘The Great Gods slaughtered one of their members, yet They of the Hallowed Host, heard His Drumbeat for eternity.’

Humans were thus created as a rapidly reproducing slave caste of the Great Gods, who instructed the minor gods to see to their oversight. The Great Gods thus appointed a king over the humans from the city of Eridu and transcribed it as the executor of the Great Gods and the ‘mouthpiece.’ However, after this act, the Great Gods ordered the kingdoms to exist, yet otherwise, the Great Gods payed little attention to the creations of theirs whose sole duty was service to the Great Gods.

As of the year 607 BCE, this became the narrative of the cosmology of the universe prior to the Deluge. Kalhu Codexes began mentioning this strand of events, molding together the different myths and legends around 606 BCE, without corresponding religious edicts, that were to come in future decades. Nevertheless, it is an important cosmological framework. It sets the precedent that the younger gods overtook the older gods and at the moment sit atop the heights of the universe. Humans in their relation to the Great Gods, act thus, as autonomous slaves, whose role is to:

  • Garden the Lands, that is tend to the world, enriching the Lands of Piety (Mesopotamia).
  • -Devote oneself and society to correct cult worship of the Great Gods and their servants.
  • -Wage war and conquer the world for the sake of the Great Gods.
  • -Bring a quiet unto the world that is in chaos and opposition to the Great Gods

The third and fourth point, comes from the narrative following the flood. Namely, that once humans, left alone for large period (the Sumerian kinglist claims 240,000 years!) grew into a displeasing state and population to the Great Gods. They thus, commanding the powers of water, namely Enki, flooded the earth and massacred most of the humans in the universe. Only a select few remained and the waters subsided, and the kingship was given to Kish. While the city of Kish remained and so did its immediate area, it was alone in worship to the Great Gods. All other lands who had survivors, began worshipping false gods, idols and or living lifestyles in opposition to the Great gods. Hence, the goal of Kish and thus the Assyrian successor kingdom, was to conquer the world and bring all the world once in vassalage or service to the Great Gods, back under its canopy.
 
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So the myth does not explain where the Great Gods came from?
From my interpretation and the interpretation of most scholars, the Great Gods in the Enuma Elish seem to appear from nothing, without any specific act of creation. The implication, I suppose, that they thrust themselves into existence. There are many interpretations for this, that will be explained as more and more esoteric implications and different strands develop within the religious tradition in later centuries. Right now however, these esoteric understandings are not formalized. They will be so however. Rest assured, the religions of the region, are expected to develop at least tangentially similar to Hinduism or Buddhism of otl.

However, an interpretation likely held in 585 BCE is similar to the manner in which Kali was said to have appeared from the pain and defeat of Shiva in Shaktism varieties of Hindu thought. That is, from a moment of desperation, that is strong emotion and surprise, the Great Gods appeared from such things of the Primordial, but exceeded them in power (until the Primordial fused into one entity, Assur [something that Assyrian religious propagandists were claiming for centuries by 585 BCE, combining the various titles of the Primordial into Assur]). Other possible interpretations exist also, that the Great Gods already existed, but were within occultation or that as great men become gods(a common occurrence in the Akkadian mythos), so too did an entity attain godhood and upon such, thrusted themselves into that critical juncture of time. Yet, by this period of time, that is 1750-585 BCE, none of the scholars of the religions in that region would have held that the Great Gods were truly the children of the Primordial except in the metaphorical sense and often, priests of each of the Great Gods, would claim their particular devoted God as the preeminent of the Family.

This is important as it nullifies the older tradition that most of the current Great Gods were borne from sex between different gods. Thus, this is a modification of that process, beginning with Enuma Elish and continuing greater and greater towards abstracting the relations, removing more archaic renderings of the Great Gods and firmly placing the pantheon of 12 deities as the foremost and highest of all. The Great Gods, who are kings of Mesopotamia.

That sounds like it would make a wicked anime
Yes. Battles between Demon Gods and Great Gods would make for quite the epic in the media of animation.
 
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The fact that it isn't the original gods that are worshipped is odd but also true of an incredible amount of pantheons. I've often wondered about the meaning behind making the supreme deities rebels of a sort that gained their authority by attacking the original primordial beings.

Was Ilawela worshipped in any way? Seeing as he made such a sacrifice to create humanity.
 
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The fact that it isn't the original gods that are worshipped is odd but also true of an incredible amount of pantheons. I've often wondered about the meaning behind making the supreme deities rebels of a sort that gained their authority by attacking the original primordial beings.

Was Ilawela worshipped in any way? Seeing as he made such a sacrifice to create humanity.
It has to do with the perception that the younger gods exceed the prior. It may have originally had something to do with the changing of cities int he region, that being some cities fall and others rise in their lot. Later, this became simply fact of their religious understanding, that the younger Great Gods, had ascended beyond the Primordial, who if you hold Assur to be a Great God, as most do by 585 BCE, weaker individually, combined into one (Assur) and thus is still worshiped but alongside the other 11 Great Gods. These are all Gods who command, if you like.

Ilawela had only very limited worship. He has yet to have a temple in Mesopotamia, though knowledge of his sacrifice was noted. Though it is good that you mention him, he as a Great God will become increasingly of importance moving forward, as will his cult. One can imagine how such a worship would be, considering his sacrifice and his reality. Already in the future, there is great plans regarding this deity and the region of Mesopotamia.
 
The 2nd Biai-Colchis war 585-580 BCE
585-580 BCE



Campaign of 585 BCE and a Look into the New Acquisitions of Assyria



After approximately three years of consolidation in Assyria, a new campaign was to be declared for 585 BCE. Assyria had recently launched two prior campaigns since the campaign against the Gaudamids. In 589 a campaign into Gerrha (now called Habaru) and Dilmun and then un 588-587 BCE, an unauthorized campaign to capture Ancrya by Kadashman-Shamash, the enforcer of Hatti. The acquisition of Ancrya, which was transcribed as Ankrutu, was unauthorized by the Assyrian state, but otherwise, supported, nevertheless. Sinbanipal made sure to not alienate the Field Marshal and his family and awarded Kadashman-Shamash with a necklaced gift.

Regarding the conquest in Arabia, this had been a relatively disheartening adventure. Adad-apal-Duranki was sent forth with the expectation that the Dilmun area would be of a great wealth and prosperity. The truth of its relatively backwards state had made the country relatively uneasy. However, it also asserted the true importance of the Assyrian monarchy in the maintenance of civilization.

“Without the care of the executor of the Great Gods, lands once devoted to the Great Gods, become a ruin and a pile upon which the unfaithful flock.” -Kalhu Codex referencing cryptically as always, the dilapidated state of Dilmun and the Akkadian world that once existed in the Persian Gulf.

Nevertheless, Dilmun was treated with great care. Dagon-Zakir-Shumi made the city a vassal realm under a priest named Sin-Gishru (Sin is the Bridge). Who ruled the city as a holy realm to the Great God Sin and dutiful vassal of Karduniash. The so-called High-Priesthood realm of Dilmun came to be a common vassal spoken of in the Assyrian court.

Dilmun itself from 587-580 BCE, would experience a level of migration to its city. From various venues, but most prominently from the Southern Protectorate and Karduniash. However, other amounts arrived in from the north, from Elamtu and Persia, where due to the recent tributary status of Persia, the country had gained a newfound interest in trade with Dilmun and vice versa. Yet, for the time being, Dilmun remained a relatively minor, yet over exaggerated city in Assyrian and Karduniash court documents.

Other new vassals in the Assyrian realm included Shamash-Makhir-Nisie, the governor of Elamtu and the Eastern Protector General, Dugalu-Kinutu-Assur. The Elamite governate under Karduniash from the year 589-584 BCE, was sometimes called, the merchant kingdom. The Elamite merchants had come to dominate society and pledged themselves in devotion to the Assyrian state. Likewise, a few Elamite noble houses readily assisted in governance of the realm. Elam’s main objective however was the following:

  • The solidification of a local elite and ruling caste. This was being activated in Elam via the usage of the Elamite and Akkadian mercantile castes. In Elam, there had already been a faction of merchants and families who supported Assyria without much reservation. Merchants and the few remaining pro-Assyrian Elamite nobles formed this ruling caste and saw to the implementation of Elam into the overarching empire.
  • The deportation of the Gambulu and Paqudu. Both Aramaic groups were required to be deported from the area. With their tribal leaders either killed or submitted, most of the Aramaen populace agreed to be lead forth. The Paqudu were split into four groups and the Gambulu were split into six groups, both composed of Karduniash and Elamite Gambulu-Paqudu. Shamash-Makhir-Nisie was ordinated with the responsibility to deport these groups out of his realm, upon which the general officials, that is the army would lead them to destinations.

  • These groups of deportees from Gambulu and Paqudu were called new terms by the Akkadian records. From 588-577 BCE, they were near fully deported from the region. Of the six groups of Gambulu, one group was sent to Dilmun where they were to be used as levies and labor to build a new temple. Another group was deported to the Southern Protectorate Two of the six were then distributed as rimutu slaves to be sold in the city of Nineveh. Finally, the last two were given as rimutu to Urartu in the year 585 BCE as part of a gift process. Regarding the Paqudu, three of their number were sent to the Eastern Protectorate and the remaining tribe of Paqudu were sent to the Tabal mountain ranges to the city of Habaru.

  • Finally, a process of restoring the Elamite economy and harvest was in order. Shamash-Makhir-Nisie implemented this by attempting to increase the population. Slaves were purchased on credit in bulk from the Assyrian state. These were primarily peoples from the Median realm, a melangue of different folk. However, more controversially, the Elamtu governor began permitting the transit of Persian farmers into his ream. The desolation of the land beckoned to a new number of Persian farmers arriving and settling the land. Likewise, Chaldean tribes moved in beginning around 582 BCE, inhabiting some areas in the west of Elam. Other matters of the economy was the city of Susa, a pile of rubble surrounding the palace and a few residential districts and a major ziggurat. The governate however, lacked the revenue to rebuild for the moment.
In the realm of the Eastern Protectorate, peace with Elma to the south garnered for it a trade link of great value. Media as a whole, now called Marhashi, was not as devastated as Elam. The area was more resilient likewise, and able to recover some revenue. Kassite tribal elites filled the halls of powers as advisors to the Protector General of the east, as did returned Median informants. Yet, the Marhashi region, alongside Parthia, called Partushi, were undeniably being treated as little more than Akkadian states.

Assyrian appointees were made the ruling power brokers in the area and taxes were collected by Assyrian appointed officials from the capitol, who collected a regular tax on tribal estates throughout the region. In Partushi, Ipanqazzu maintained a rule there, but appointed several eunuchs to rule the region as underlings for the Eastern Protectorate. Cimmerian interest, however, was made the most important voice in the appendage of the Protectorate, due to their immense importance for the military viability of the ‘eastern shielding’ of the empire.

Partushi itself was already inhabited by a semi-sedentary population of Parthians, who were reliant tributaries of the Assyrian ruling elite. Interspersed amongst them now, was a farming population of new Paqudu and then a semi-nomadic population of horse-breeding Cimmerians. The newcomers were held in line by the Assyrian military presence in the region, which was for the time becoming truly overstretched in the east, for the time being, Assyria had no capability to expand east, even if inclined to do so.

Drangiana for its part, had come under the soft influence of Parsa, which claimed to lord of the area as tributaries of the Great King. Nevertheless, in the year 585 BCE, Cyrus I of Persia died of an unknown reason. He was succeeded by Cambyses I (Kabūǰiya I, Old Persian and Kabūǰitin in Neo Elamite), who reassured the assigned qepu in Anshan of his fealty to Assyria. Persian under Cambyses I saw the kingdom reach an accord with Assyrian from 585-579 BCE, as Persian began to benefit as the exterior realm of the Assyrian state. Such benefits culminated in the fifth year of Cambyses I, the construction of a new wall in the city of Anshan to the Elamo-Persian god, Humban the god of the sky. Such a wall was the second great wall to be risen in Anshan, wherein Cambyses I claimed to have made the city impregnable to all assaults.

Cambyses I thus in his first five years, was known as a great builder and skillful in the ways of economics, he nevertheless was noted for his disinterest in military affairs and relative submissiveness to the local qepu from Assyria. Tribute to Assyria was paid consistently by Cambyses I annually to the Eastern Protectorate and Karduniash. In the form of the Eastern Protectorate in a loan of soldiers but to Karduniash in the form of silver shekels, which were the recently adopted currency by Cambyses I in the year 581 BCE. Such a submissive attitude, for the time drew no ire from the public, for Assyria was ascendant, the Medes were a past thought, the Persians had gained considerably and a greater amount of transit into Elam was permitted through the healing of war wounds. Yet, the Persian kings of late, came from warriors and conquerors, it was not their way to remain servile in perpetuity.



To the north of Assyria, the land of Bianili under Rusas IV was in a stagnant yet improving phase. Wars and scars from the wars with the Scythians and to a lesser degree, the Colchis kingdom, had left a void. Many peasants had fled in the wars into the hills of into Assyria. Traditionally, the custom in the royalty of the Biai, was in times of great strife, their royal class fled into either the Zagros mountains or into Assyria, especially the city of Musasir, a Hurrian speaking city in Assyria that the Biai royalty considered their hometown. However, some three decades since the harrowing fall of the kingdom and the peasant rebellion, the kingdom was improving steadily. With most peasants having returned to their fields by 609 BCE. In 588 BCE, a large group of Gambulu were given as rimutu to the Biai and were put to work in the field and or into guard positions in the army. Rusas IV also gave a percentage of the Gambulu to the temple of Shivini in the city as an appeasement to the god of the sun.

Traditionally, the Kingdom of Biai, was a Trinity styled kingdom. Worshipping three gods as the supreme aspects of the Divine Pantheon. Those three were the gods Teshub, the thunder god, Shivini, the god of the sun and Khaldi, the god of war. Shivini, being the patron god of Tushpa and of the Biai kingdom in general, whilst the god Khaldi was the personal god of the monarchs and of the Hurrian populace in northern Assyria. Teshub by contrast, was the supreme god of the nearby Anatolian peoples to the west, especially in the Luwian countryside.

In the tail-end of 586 BCE, Maniuqappu and Sinbanipal deliberated on future campaigns. It was dictated therein, after discussion, that two campaigns would be waged in 585-584 BCE. The first, would be designated to Rusas IV, who was to resume a hot war with Colchis beginning in 585 BCE, with the assistance of Assyrian resources and mercenary from the deportee population. In coordination, Dugul-Naboo was instructed to return to Hatti and work alongside Rusas IV, oversee both the unfolding situation in the west and north. The second campaign would be a southern invasion that would be led personally by Sinbanipal alongside Southern Protector Kanapalsuhu-Marduk. The goal seemingly to subdue the Ahsa, acquire tribute from the Arab tribes of the interior and then return to the border of Egypt and demand tribute once more from Egypt. This thus would complete the southern section of the four-corner goal of Sinbanipal. The Nippur Correspondence explains:



“The Great King, eponym 4353 was instructed by the Great Gods, to bring ruin upon the four corners in a consecutive series of movements. In the year of his 18th year of reign, the Great King commissioned a great expedition south to conquer the Arabs and subjugate their hills, mounds and beasts of burden.” -Nippur Correspondence.



Sinbanipal by this point, was aged 29 in the year 586 BCE. His reign had been 17 years of hegemony for Assyria after a short break from 602-598 BCE. From 598-586, the empire was truly hegemonic in the region. Sinbanipal was by this point an ambitious king who attempted to emulate his father in what ways that he could. Sinsharishkun was a famed and renowned fighter, a battle king. Sinbaniapal in contrast, resembled more Assurbanipal in war, he was content with remaining at home, directing battles from a distance or otherwise using his generals to launch most campaigns. Much of this was his personality, later Nippur articles describe Sinbanipal as being somewhat fickle in warfare, that is, he frequently changed his mind and was arbitrary. As such, planning intensively prior to campaigns and permitting campaign flexibility to his generals and subordinates, permitted much of this fickleness to be dealt with. Yet, the Nippur articles also described this as a strength, for Sinbanipal was unorthodox.

Later Akkadian scholar, Ilawela-urkutu-Duranki (Ilawela is the rearguard of Duranki) said as such:

“The Kings of old who serviced the Family, were Lords of Battle. They threw themselves into the pits of battle as a lion sets himself upon a bison. They fashioned themselves as lions, men of renown who hunt their prey. Later Kings, Assurbanipal among others took caution and held back from the lines, preferring the life of a palace, the cushion of a couch and the vices of Dagon, without the duties of the Great God who provides…. Sinsharishkun returned to the field of battle, they say he covered himself in blood upon the field and led his cavalry with sword and bow in hand, a man of war. He too was decisive, yet not innovative or abstract…. The son, Sinbanipal, the Great Elder Brother King, took initiative as the lesser and held planning and unpredictability as his mantra of choice.” -Narration of the Generals



An example of such unpredictability is Sinbanipal often extending his armies to the four corners, on small incursions and raids. In prior years, states around Assyria expected yearly campaigns, but not necessarily consistent often unwarranted raiding strikes by hyper mobile forces. Assyria under Sinbanipal from 594 BCE onward, was engaging often constant war with its neighbors who were not subjugated, much of which was perpetuated by the aggressive toning that Sibanipal ushered into his reign. This, however, came at the cost of resources in totality and a greater extending of Assyrian armed forces out of concentrated zones and into a more dispersed field of operation. Likewise, Assyria had become fully reliant upon its vassals surrounding it to act as buffers for which Assyria could use as its vehicles for constant expansion. The creation of protectorate style politics by Sargon II and then perfected by Sinsharishkun and finally realized by Sinbanipal, was perhaps the greatest boon and remaining constant in the wider Akkadian imperial project moving forward.

Protectorate and dual-monarchy based politics however had delegitimized the provincial system of Tiglath-Pileser III and Sinnacherib. Currently, Assyria possessed a provincial system, but only for those lands ruled outside of Mesopotamia, mostly referring to Syria. Otherwise, all of the ‘yoke of Assyria’ was ruled by the direct Assyrian government and its bureaucrats without excessive usage of provinces. The result of this, was a marked decline in tax revenue internally in Assyria, where taxes were less strictly observed. In fact, from the reign of Assurbnipal, there is a decline of 29% in revenue acquired through taxation. Thus, Assyrian revenue in this reign relied upon tributes paid by Protectorates and from the vassals. But even more importantly through that of looting. Looting, tributes and state monopolies made up 59% of all of Assyria’s revenue. While taxation made up a 39%, primarily the land tax and the customs duty. This made Assyria even more reliant on warfare and less substantial in a civil sense.

Nevertheless, Sinbanipal implemented in December of 585 BCE, a series of edicts revolving around vassals, protectorates, war, and looting. This edict, preserved in the Nippur Correspondence, stipulated the following:



  • The creation, effective immediately of a hereditary estate in Hatti to be bestowed to the family of Dugul-Naboo, who will inherit the governate as if a landed estate. This would be the first implementation after 45 years in office, of Maiuqappu’s dream of extending noble privileges and rights beyond Assyria proper.
  • All Protectorates and vassals would be distributed a seal with which they could wage war on all realms outside of Assyrian zones. For this matter different seals were to be constructed.
  • The seals of the realm were to be the following:
  • -Seal of the Great King
  • -Seal of the King of Karduniash
  • -Seal of a Protector General
  • -Seal of a Mandated Expansionary realm
  • -Seal of a Vassal without expansion privileges
As outlined by the Nippur Correspondence, and the Assyrian court registry, the difference was simple. Vassals were granted the ability to expand in the name of Assyria if they possessed a seal permitting such. The seals given them, would double as the seal for which other peoples would be forced to submit to in event of conquest. However, seals used by vassals without privileges, were simply signs for which they could use to display submission to Assyria. The court registry in Kalhu describes these states as receiving Expansionary Realm privileges:

Parsa

Judah

Tyre

Sidon

Byblos

All Protectorates



Thus, leaving out Moab, Elam, Marilik, the rest of the Phoenician cities, and so forth. This policy affirmed the trends in Assyrian politick under Sinbanipal. It did not however sit well apparently among the Kalhu scribes who wrote polemically about the situation in later eras.



“The Great King wages war with the leave of the Great Gods alone…” -Kalhu Codex

Ultimately, arch conservatives disliked the conception of a war as not decided upon directly by the Great King, but instead permitted to subordinates. Nevertheless, it is an aspect that the Nippur Chronicles lauded as an effective strategy for which to apply pressure on exterior realms and also ensure Assyrian integrity on all fronts. Maniuqappu can be credited much for the development of this strategy in addition to the unorthodoxy of Sinbanipal.

The Resumption of war in the Mountains

Rusas IV, now around the age of 41, had already made himself a new crown prince a certain Ishpuini of the age of 20 years. Rusas IV, gathered an army and began to launch counter raids against Colchis in the Spring of 585 BCE. Already, Colchis subordinates had been attacking the Urartu frontiers on occasions, especially during the harvest. The Urartu response was simply to hold their mountain garrisons and stop advances. Now however, Urartu/Biai was instructed to overly conquer and destroy Colchis.

Colchis, then under Zurab I, was while a sparsely populated country, was not to be trifled with. Their armies were disproportionately large and Zurab I, who referred to himself as ‘the great mountain’ was a fearsome general, who in a short pan of time, had carved a kingdom out of the hills and mountains of Iberia, Colchis and Barbashru. In 588-587 BCE, Zurab I had struck the Cimmerian tribes in the Pontus, inflicting wounds on them and gathering tribute from their tribal elites. Zurab I had also campaigned in 586 BCE into the far north, capturing lands beyond the mountain covers along the Black Sea Coast, gaining formal envoys from Greek merchants at Bospora and from the Scythian tribes to the northeast. Zurab I was around 63 years of age and his son, Zurab was 35. His son Zurab was stationed at the time of 585 BCE north of Pityus along the northern Black Sea coast, where he was ruling as lord. Zurab I however had returned to the capitol of Aia (Kutaisi) when news had arrived to him of a new series of Biainili attacks upon Barbashru and Iberia.

Zurab I responded to the attacks by raising his army back in Colchis and seeking a coalition army alongside his tribal allies, in accordance with the Caucasian warlord system. This war in the north would begin in earnest with Rusas IV setting forth with an army from his kingdom and funding from Assyria. Additionally, several mercenary bands hired in the campaign to capture Dilmun were hired by Sinbanipal and loaned to Rusas IV.

Initial movements by Rusas IV were more conservative than the prior campaign by Sinbanipal. Rather than sweeping the field with a large force, Rusas IV, sought to use his resource advantage and attempt to slowly grind the numerically inferior Colchean kingdom into the dust in a slow moving invasion over the Barbashrru, and into Colchis proper. Zurab I however sought to counter the Biai advance and then counter the enemy. In recent years, Zurab I had developed a strong character and authority as warlord over his kingdom. This necessitated clear victories over enemies and display of dominance. Rusas IV required no such achievements in the current moment, he also was not given a specific timetable for which to complete his war.

Early attacks thus resembled a series of organized raids and coordinated sustained tactical attacks upon fortresses. Zurab I and his army arrived in Barbashru and engaged in defending their territory and attempting to counter the raids with his own attacks. For the majority of 585 BCE, both armies, according to accounts, ‘stood parallel, neither wishing to engage until an opportune moment.’

Rusas IV, held the advantage in terms of quality soldiers. His forces were some of the most well equipped in the world for the period and his cavalry were extremely skilled. However, Zurab I compensated for this by excessive numbers. The mountain hill folk often could raise very large armies at short notice for defensive measures. Likewise, militia remained a common stay for the peoples of the hill country. This was something however that Rusas IV knew well how to deal with. Using his cavalry only to harry enemy villages and attack supply lines, whilst using his infantry as shock troopers and soldiers intent upon breaking militia and then fleeing back into the cover of larger forces, provided a series of fear inducing auras upon the Colchean army.

Zurab I thus as 585 BCE waned, resolved to induce a confrontation in 584 BCE. In the cover of winter, Zurab I gathered most of his force and rose more levies and impressed tribal warriors into his army and attacked deep into Biai in the month of February 584 BCE. Zurab I brushed aside the enemy raiding parties and struck Biai at Delibala. This forced Rusas IV to muster his army at Erbouni and strike a decisive blow. Such blow came near the cities of Aanshi and Alashkerti. Therein, Rusas IV and Zurab I fought a famed battle The battle near Anashi saw Rusas IV gain a decisive victory over Zurab I. Defeated in battle, Zurab fled north. Several of his lords too were slain in the battle. Supposedly, the Biai heavy infantry were able to break the enemy ranks alongside a concerted series of cavalry charges supplied by javelins and horse archers newly adopted by the Biai.



Rusas IV pushed ahead this time, sweeping the Barbashrur tribes before his formidable army. This quick movement however led to several ambushes and significant casualties. Likewise, a Cimmerian warlord named Dandashmatu entered the Colchis kingdom with a force of some 12,000 warriors from Pontus, attacking and raiding the Colchean kingdom. Rusas IV remained however remained conquering the Barbashru from March until September, when Rusas IV pushed into Colchis proper. Dandashmatu had already pushed northeast, raiding and pillaging across the country. The Cimmerian lord reached the city of Pshizi along the Black Sea coastline, the port city of Aia. There, the Cimmerian lord was engaged by Zurab I, who defeated him in battle and dispersed the Cimmerian raiders, who fled back towards Pontus. However, shortly upon their flight, Rusas IV had entered the edge of Aia. There, Zurba I set a defense and blocked the advance of the Biai army. Likewise, Iberian raids cut deep into Barbashru, slowing the advance of Rusas IV, the delay of Rusas IV would last until November, when Rusas IV, fully gathered and joined by reinforcements, invaded Iberia. Rusas IV intended with the invasion of Iberia in late 584 BCE, to draw Zurab I out of Aia and also to frighten the Iberians from impeding his advance northward.

Zurab I did not leave Aia however. Word had reached him of disturbances and renunciation of his fealty ties by the Iberian lords. Hoping that Biai could clean up his foes while he gained a new army, became Zurab I’s plan. Zurab I ordered his crown prince, Zurab to travel to the Don river, where he was to meet the Scythian and Budin nobles, so as to gain their alliance. At the time, there was several Scythian noble clans ruling on the Don and the south of the Don. The Budin tribes, a branch of the Scythians, resided just north of Colchean spheres of influence in modern Circassia, called in Assyrian sources as ‘Budirbutishu’ (the barren land of the Budin). Zurab travelled to their realm in January of 583 BCE. Prthtuva ( Pṛθ-tuvā) was the lord of the Budin at this time who met with Zurab. Apparently, according to the Kalhu Codex, the Budin lord agreed to assist Zurab. And marched southward with him to crush the expansion of Assyria before it reached the steppe region.

The Fall of Zurab I and the rise of a new king.

As prince Zurab and Prthuva marched south to deal a blow to the Biai army, Rusas IV had turned his attention to Aia, after failing to bring out the Colchean king. Rusas IV set siege to Aia in late January and by the first week of February, had broken the walls of the mountain city. A furious battle erupted in the small city. Zurab I had held firm in the city and marched out with his men, aged 65 to do battle. House to house battles were occurring throughout the city as fires sparked across the residential huts dotting the city. After three days of gruesome fighting and bloodshed, Rusas IV had emerged victorious. Zurab I was searched for by captured soldiers from the city guard, who found his body amongst a pile of dead near the city shrine to god Armazi. Rusas IV, had the body beheaded and placed into a box to be sent to Nineveh.

Rusas IV placed a garrison in the city and sent word alongside the head of Zurab I, to order a garrison force of Itu to be given to his new acquisitions. Rusas IV then marched to Pshizi where he took the city without much resistance. After said capture, Rusas IV dispatched word Dugul-Naboo to deal with the Pontic Cimmerians who after the death of Zurab I, had been creeping back into Colchean territory. Yet, much of this was in vain, for Zurab the prince returned in the month of May with an army of 30,000 Scythian warriors and 5,000 Colchean noble levies. Prince Zurab marched straight southward toward Aia. Rusas IV, turned north to face him, near the meeting point of the Pontic steppe and the Caucasian mountains, near the town of Pitsunda. Therein, Zurab the prince of Colchis, inflicted a grueling defeat upon Rusas IV, slaying him in battle and routing the Biai army, which fled south into Aia, where it was reorganized by Ishpuini, the prince of Biai, who retreated from Aia and marched to Tsunda in Barbashru. There, he ordered his forces to protect the town and appointed a general to oversee his army while he travelled in haste to Tushpa to be crowned king of Biai and request an aid from Assyria.

Zurab for his part re-entered Aia as a vanquisher of Assyria and was crowned king, Zurab II. His first priority oddly, was to assert his status as warlord. Zurab II thus attacked the Baiai at Tusnda and cut a portion of their numbers inf a first series of attacks from June to July, where in early July, the Biai army, despite wishes from Ishpuini II, retreated south and fled most of the Barbashru. Only the southern sectors of Barbashru remained in Biai hands, due to occupation of the many hill forts in the area. After that success in middle 583 BCE, Zurab II would spend the rest of 583 rebuilding his army and paying back the Budin allies of his, by permitting them to raid and pillage as they please across the region, aside from his capitol district of Aia. Zurab II invaded however with a new army of 14,500 warriors into Iberia. There he subjugated the recalcitrant lords of Iberia, which had all resubmitted their fealty to Colchis by 582 BCE. Zurab II followed up by making more advances upon Biai, which was still reeling after the loss near Pitsunda, by pushing them from Barbashru entirely and proceeding to raid across northern Biai, alongside their Budin allies.

In March of 582 BCE, with new resources and a hastily formed army, Ishpuini II was able to stop the Budin horde near Erbouni, setting the border there for the moment. Later in 582 BCE, Zurab II pushed eastward, conquering along the Kura river until his broder reached the Caspian Sea. In that critical juncture, Zurab II, had turned chaos into a massive conquest, yet it was mainly due to his assistance from the Budin and his own excessive military talent. The Karas river acquisitions that he gained were only loosely controlled as a series fo tribute paying tribes, who feared Assyria and Biai. They were attacked so as to assure Zurab II had a means by which to freely travel to then attack Zagalu, which was done in the winter of 582 BCE, leading to a failed siege and a hasty retreat by Zurab II. The throne and territorial expanse that Zurab II was holding would eb tested in time.

For the entirety of 581 BCE, Zurab II spent his time consolidating his realm and gathering tribute to pay to the Budin tribe had migrated back to their lands. The tribute to the Budin and the fame of victory in the south, inspired a greater number of Scythian and Budin warriors to travel south in mercenary bands and bands of raiders and warriors. Most of whom funneled in beginning in the 581 BCE return of Prthuava. These bands were used by Colchis as hired warriors, but most of these groups either moved toward Pontus, or toward the Assyrian empire. Smaller bands though, took to robbing and banditry, forcing Zurab II into a position as a weak king, refusing to enforce law and order in his realm for fear of angering his new patron.

In fact, as of 581 BCE, Colchis became a firm tributary of the Budin Scythians as repayment for restoring their crown. Yet, the matters and relations between the two are openly hostile, if not undeniably close.


-----------------------------

This will come shortly in a few days with a post on the same years for Arabia, Egypt, etc... and then following that, an update for the same years on other areas of the world.
 
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So what about the spread of religions like Buddhism? Or the rise of a version of Christianity? Will it continue with the Classical Polytheistic religions, in this timeline?
That is quite some time away. Though, there will be new religions surely. However, Buddhism will occur surely, it will have an effect on the world/Assyria. However, for sure, Christianity will not occur.

Thanks for reading!
 
That is quite some time away. Though, there will be new religions surely. However, Buddhism will occur surely, it will have an effect on the world/Assyria. However, for sure, Christianity will not occur.

Thanks for reading!
ITTL Babylon was never allowed to take Nineveh's place the way was as OTL (if only for 80 years). So then is Judah left alone and content with the situation? Obviously, if there's is nothing like the Babylonian captivity, we can be fairly certain Judaism would be very different by the time of Christ. So much was written during and after that and and it had such a profound effect on their understanding of history that it's hard to really be sure what it would look like.
 
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Babylon was never allowed to fill in for Assyria the way it as OTL (if only for 80 years). Without the Babylonian captivity, we can be fairly certain Judaism would be very different by the time of Christ. So much was written during and after that and and it had such a profound effect on their understanding of history that it would have to be.
Certainly, Judah is even on the 'good-side' of their Assyrian overlord. Assyria is giving the kingdom of Judah free space to colonize former Philistine and other lands freely. Simply by not being placed as a deportee population, both protects Hebrew, the First Temple and creates a very different Jewish population than otl. One that butterflies the Christianity. It is also mostly true, that there will be no Hellenistic era, at least in the Levant.
 
Babylon was never allowed to fill in for Assyria the way it as OTL (if only for 80 years). Without the Babylonian captivity, we can be fairly certain Judaism would be very different by the time of Christ. So much was written during and after that and and it had such a profound effect on their understanding of history that it would have to be.
Many actually believe that Judaism never existed till the Babylonian invasion. Reminds me of Boney M!

The early Hebrews were probably a branch of Phoenicians or closely related people who were fairly nomadic and had ventured into Egypt and North Africa before returning to Judea and Phoenicia, conquering an another branch of Phoenicians, giving rise to the Exodus story and the Proto Monotheism to differentiate from the Native Phoenicians. Or they might have learnt it from the Egyptian Monotheism.

But till the Babylonian invasion, Polytheism was very active in Judea. So Judaism itself may not exist.
 
Many actually believe that Judaism never existed till the Babylonian invasion. Reminds me of Boney M!

The early Hebrews were probably a branch of Phoenicians or closely related people who were fairly nomadic and had ventured into Egypt and North Africa before returning to Judea and Phoenicia, conquering an another branch of Phoenicians, giving rise to the Exodus story and the Proto Monotheism to differentiate from the Native Phoenicians. Or they might have learnt it from the Egyptian Monotheism.

But till the Babylonian invasion, Polytheism was very active in Judea. So Judaism itself may not exist.
Well by Judaism, I am using it in the form that Assyria did, namely a Judahite. Wherein, it simply means the ethno-religious traditions of that area. I do not necessarily mean Judaism as we discuss it in the modern era or even the era of Cyrus II or Darius I.

My opinion, is that Atenism had no effect on Judahite monotheism. I prefer the opinion that the Hebrews appeared from out of Northern Arabia long after the fall of Amenhotep IV or Akhenaten and after the fall of the Hittite kingdom. Their monotheism was a form of henotheism that eventually excluded other gods. It is similar to how the Akkadians generally reject other gods aside from those that are theirs. Or it is as if, in Assyria, what was a chief-patron god, becomes the sole god. The God of Israel, Yahweh, is an entity whose personification in the Biblical text, resemble more closely that of Adad, the Thunder God, than that of Aten, Amun or Ra, the entities most at play in the Atenist monotheistic period.

Anyway, this is a conversation very off topic for the subject in the timeline. Perhaps we should limit for now discussions to the timeline in current. Also, @LostInNewDelhi I wanted to inform you that in a few days, we will reach another critical juncture for which a new map might be needed.
 
Well by Judaism, I am using it in the form that Assyria did, namely a Judahite. Wherein, it simply means the ethno-religious traditions of that area. I do not necessarily mean Judaism as we discuss it in the modern era or even the era of Cyrus II or Darius I.

My opinion, is that Atenism had no effect on Judahite monotheism. I prefer the opinion that the Hebrews appeared from out of Northern Arabia long after the fall of Amenhotep IV or Akhenaten and after the fall of the Hittite kingdom. Their monotheism was a form of henotheism that eventually excluded other gods. It is similar to how the Akkadians generally reject other gods aside from those that are theirs. Or it is as if, in Assyria, what was a chief-patron god, becomes the sole god. The God of Israel, Yahweh, is an entity whose personification in the Biblical text, resemble more closely that of Adad, the Thunder God, than that of Aten, Amun or Ra, the entities most at play in the Atenist monotheistic period.

Anyway, this is a conversation very off topic for the subject in the timeline. Perhaps we should limit for now discussions to the timeline in current. Also, @LostInNewDelhi I wanted to inform you that in a few days, we will reach another critical juncture for which a new map might be needed.
There is quite a lot of similarity between the (Jewish) Biblical view of God and the Akkadian religious outlook, specifically its Assyrian form. Which is obviously very unsurprising considering how closely the people who put the Hebrew Bible into writing were familiar with the Mesopotamian cultural practices and religion, and probably wrote down many portions of Biblical texts precisely while in Mesopotamia (during the Babylonian captivity) or in its aftermath.
There is little doubt that a form of henoteism existed in Judah before the Assyrian conquest and subsequent Babylonian captivity, and there are arguments that a true monotheism emerged right in the period before the Captivity - which is exactly the period described in this TL.
So, the development of Judaism as we know it will clearly not exist ITTL, but the Kingdom of Judah will still have a henoteistic cult of YHWH trending to some form of monotheism, whereby Judeans would be felt to have a special relationship with God (but one fully mediated by the Temple and the "centralized" kingship and priesthood) and will also, albeit in a very different ways, incorporate Mesopotamian elements to a significant degree.
Regarding the origin of the Jewish people, I subscribe to the views suggested by Liverani, who tends to downplay their original nomadism and treats them as largely autochtonous to Canaan/Palestine. Archaeological and linguistic evidence generally supports this, insofar, as far as I can tell, there is very little evidence of major settlement in Palestine from the steppe in the very late Bronze Age (though some groups, such as those Egyptian sources call "Shasu" and may have been related to Arameans further north, might have played a role).
Liverani argues that that the people who coalesced into the later "Israelite/Jewish" identities were, mostly, just Canaanites, who differed from other Canaanites primarily in terms of lifestyle (pastoralism being more important to them, albein never exclusive) and, more critically, social and political allegiance. The fact the Hebrew, as a language, is just a variety of Canaanite with no specific detectable "Arabian" influx relative to Phoenician (as far as I know) seems to me to lend credence to this (albeit, to be fair, Taymanitic, once spoken in Northwest Arabia, shows similitarities with Northwest Semitic such as Canaanite and Aramaic, as opposed to Old Arabic and other Ancient North Arabian languages; so the linguistic argument might be less decisive than it seems). There was certainly some back-and-forth between the Levant and Arabia in the late Bronze Age and, more so, in the second phase of the Iron Age (though a lot of the evidence points to central Syria and the middle Euphrates, the area of Assyrian Mari, rather than Palestine).
There is also an argument that YHWH was orginally a Northwest Arabian deity, and this makes sense (I cannot judge this specific point), but does not have to involve population movements. However, Israelites are already attested in Canaan or its immediate vicinity before the Bronze Age Collapse by the victory stele of Merenptah, usually dated around 1230 BCE.
A note about Atenism. Overall, religious sensibilities in Early Judaism do seem to have closer parallels in Mesopotamia and elsewhere in the Levant than in Egypt in my opinion, but this does not mean that Egyptian resonances are absent, quite the opposite. While I highly doubt that a direct influx could proven, Psalm 104 does indeed bear a striking resemblance with the Great Hymn to Aten attributed to Akhenaten himself.
EDIT: sorry about further derailing the discussion, I was caught away by own writing as I've been rereading material on closely related subjects for work.
 
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There is quite a lot of similarity between the (Jewish) Biblical view of God and the Akkadian religious outlook, specifically its Assyrian form. Which is obviously very unsurprising considering how closely the people who put the Hebrew Bible into writing were familiar with the Mesopotamian cultural practices and religion, and probably wrote down many portions of Biblical texts precisely while in Mesopotamia (during the Babylonian captivity) or in its aftermath.
There is little doubt that a form of henoteism existed in Judah before the Assyrian conquest and subsequent Babylonian captivity, and there are arguments that a true monotheism emerged right in the period before the Captivity - which is exactly the period described in this TL.
So, the development of Judaism as we know it will clearly not exist ITTL, but the Kingdom of Judah will still have a henoteistic cult of YHWH trending to some form of monotheism, whereby Judeans would be felt to have a special relationship with God (but one fully mediated by the Temple and the "centralized" kingship and priesthood) and will also, albeit in a very different ways, incorporate Mesopotamian elements to a significant degree.
Regarding the origin of the Jewish people, I subscribe to the views suggested by Liverani, who tends to downplay their original nomadism and treats them as largely autochtonous to Canaan/Palestine. Archaeological and linguistic evidence generally supports this, insofar, as far as I can tell, there is very little evidence of major settlement in Palestine from the steppe in the very late Bronze Age (though some groups, such as those Egyptian sources call "Shasu" and may have been related to Arameans further north, might have played a role).
Liverani argues that that the people who coalesced into the later "Israelite/Jewish" identities were, mostly, just Canaanites, who differed from other Canaanites primarily in terms of lifestyle (pastoralism being more important to them, albein never exclusive) and, more critically, social and political allegiance. The fact the Hebrew, as a language, is just a variety of Canaanite with no specific detectable "Arabian" influx relative to Phoenician (as far as I know) seems to me to lend credence to this (albeit, to be fair, Taymanitic, once spoken in Northwest Arabia, shows similitarities with Northwest Semitic such as Canaanite and Aramaic, as opposed to Old Arabic and other Ancient North Arabian languages; so the linguistic argument might be less decisive than it seems). There was certainly some back-and-forth between the Levant and Arabia in the late Bronze Age and, more so, in the second phase of the Iron Age (though a lot of the evidence points to central Syria and the middle Euphrates, the area of Assyrian Mari, rather than Palestine).
There is also an argument that YHWH was orginally a Northwest Arabian deity, and this makes sense (I cannot judge this specific point), but does not have to involve population movements. However, Israelites are already attested in Canaan or its immediate vicinity before the Bronze Age Collapse by the victory stele of Merenptah, usually dated around 1230 BCE.
A note about Atenism. Overall, religious sensibilities in Early Judaism do seem to have closer parallels in Mesopotamia and elsewhere in the Levant than in Egypt in my opinion, but this does not mean that Egyptian resonances are absent, quite the opposite. While I highly doubt that a direct influx could proven, Psalm 104 does indeed bear a striking resemblance with the Great Hymn to Aten attributed to Akhenaten himself.
EDIT: sorry about further derailing the discussion, I was caught away by own writing as I've been rereading material on closely related subjects for work.
Maybe. With only making a short comment on this point, we can say that Hebrew is a Canaanite variety if we assume that the Canaanite identity spread so far south as to reach into Edom and Moab. My understanding, is that both of these peoples were near indistinguishable from the Hebrews of Judah. This to me, displays more of a greater Western Semitic and proto-Canaanite inhabitance from Judah into Northern sections of Arabia and Jordan. What would have at one point been a similar people in the Copper Age or the very early Bronze Age, were diverged by the time that we mean, such that the pastoralists Hebrews and others may have migrated into the lands from Northern Arabia. I also would like to note, that the closeness and proximity at times shared between Judah and the Nabtu and other Arabs, has always interested me. One would imagine if the Hebrew were closer to the peoples of Tyre and Sidon in culture, they would have besought their aid against their enemies, rather than groups often far afield to the south. Just a thought though, not a major point.

In payment for derailing the thread, perhaps, what is your thoughts on the recent wars and expectation for the campaign headed by Sinbanipal unfolding during the recent narrative. Or any opinions on other points, such as Sinbanipal and his rule.
 
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