In all his wars Sargon largely employed the system of whole-sale deportation. The Israelites were removed from Samaria, and planted partly in Gozan or Mygdonia, and partly in the cities recently taken from the Medes. Hamath and Damascus were peopled with captives from Armenia and other regions of the north. A portion of the Tibareni were carried captive to Assyria, and Assyrians were established in the Tibarenian country. Vast numbers of the inhabitants of the Zagros range were also transported to Assyria; Babylonians, Cuthaeans, Sepharvites, Arabians, and others, were placed in Samaria; men from the extreme east (perhaps Media) in Ashdod. The Commukha were removed from the extreme north to Susiana; and Chaldaeans were brought from the extreme south to supply their place. Everywhere Sargon changed the abodes of his subjects, his aim being, as it would seem, to weaken the stronger races by dispersion, and to destroy the spirit of the weaker ones by severing at a blow all the links which attach a patriotic people to the country it has long inhabited. The practice had not been unknown to previous monarchs, but it had never been employed by any so generally or on so grand a scale as it was by this king.
From this sketch of Sargon's wars, we may now proceed to a brief consideration of his great works. The magnificent palace which he erected at Khorsabad was by far the most important of his constructions. Compared with the later, and even with the earlier buildings of a similar kind erected by other kings, it was not remarkable for its size. But its ornamentation was unsurpassed by that of any Assyrian edifice, with the single exception of the great palace of Asshur-bani-pal at Koyunjik. Covered with sculptures, both internally and externally, generally in two lines, one over the other, and, above this, adorned with enamelled bricks, arranged in elegant and tasteful patterns; approached by noble flights of steps and through splendid propylaea; having the advantage, moreover, of standing by itself, and of not being interfered with by any other edifice, it had peculiar beauties of its own, and may be pronounced in many respects the most interesting of the Assyrian building's. United to this palace was a town enclosed by strong walls, which formed a square two thousand yards each way. Allowing fifty square yards to each individual, this space would have been capable of accommodating 80,000 persons. The town, like the palace, seems to have been entirely built by Sargon, who imposed on it his own name, an appellation which it retained beyond the time of the Arab conquest.
It is not easy to understand the exact object of Sargon in building himself this new residence. Dur-Sargina was not the Windsor or Versailles of Assyria—a place to which the sovereign could retire for country air and amusements from the bustle and heat of the metropolis. It was: as we have said, a town, and a town of considerable size, being very little lees than half as large as Nineveh itself. It is true that it possessed the advantage of a nearer vicinity to the mountains than Nineveh: and had Sargon been, like several of his predecessors, a mighty hunter, we might have supposed that the greater facility of obtaining sport in the woods and valleys of the Zagros chain formed the attraction which led him to prefer the region where he built his town to the banks of the Tigris. But all the evidence that we possess seems to show that this monarch was destitute of any love for the chase; and seemingly we must attribute his change of abode either to mere caprice, or to a desire to be near the mountains for the sake of cooler water, purer air, and more varied scenery. It is no doubt true, as M. Oppert observes, that the royal palace at Nineveh was at this time in a ruinous state; but it could not have been more difficult or more expensive to repair it than to construct a new palace, a new mound, and a new town, on a fresh site.
Previously to the construction of the Khorsabad palace, Sargon resided at Caleb. He there repaired and renovated the great palace of Asshur-izir-pal, which had been allowed to fall to decay. At Nineveh he repaired the walls of the town, which were ruined in many places, and built a temple to Nebo and Merodach; while in Babylonia he improved the condition of the embankments, by which the distribution of the waters was directed and controlled. He appears to have been to a certain extent a patron of science, since a large number of the Assyrian scientific tablets are proved by the dates upon then: to have been written in his day.
The progress of mimetic art under Sargon is not striking but there are indications of an advance in several branches of industry, and of an improved taste in design and in ornamentation. Transparent glass seems now to have been first brought into used and intaglios to have been first cut upon hard stones. The furniture of the period is greatly superior in design to any previously represented, and the modelling of sword-hilts, maces, armlets, and other ornaments is peculiarly good. The enamelling of bricks was carried under Sargon to its greatest perfection: and the shape of vases, goblets, and boats shows a marked improvement upon the works of former times. The advance in animal forms, traceable in the sculptures of Tiglath-Pileser II., continues: and the drawing of horses' heads, in particular, leaves little to desire.
After reigning gloriously over Assyria for seventeen years, and for the last five of them over Babylonia also, Sargon died, leaving his crown to the most celebrated of all the Assyrian Monarchs, his son Sennacherib, who began to reign B.C. 705. The long notices which we possess of this monarch in the books of the Old Testament, his intimate connection with the Jews, the fact that he was the object of a preternatural exhibition of the Divine displeasure, and the remarkable circumstance that this miraculous interposition appears under a thin disguise in the records of the Greeks, have always attached an interest to his name which the kings of this remote period and distant region very rarely awaken. It has also happened, curiously enough, that the recent Mesopotamian researches have tended to give to Sennacherib a special prominence over other Assyrian monarchs, more particularly in this country, our great excavator having devoted his chief efforts to the disinterment of a palace of this king's construction, which has supplied to our National Collection almost one-half of its treasures. The result is, that while the other sovereigns who bore sway in Assyria are generally either wholly unknown, or float before the mind's eye as dim and shadowy forms, Sennacherib stands out to our apprehension as a living and breathing man, the impersonation of all that pride and greatness which we assign to the Ninevite kings, the living embodiment of Assyrian haughtiness, Assyrian violence, and Assyrian power. The task of setting forth the life and actions of this prince, which the course of the history now imposes on its compiler, if increased in interest, is augmented also in difficulty, by the grandeur of the ideal figure which has possession of men's minds.
The reign of Sennacherib lasted twenty-four years, from B.C. 705 to B.C. 681. The materials which we possess for his history consist of a record written in his fifteenth year, describing his military expeditions and his buildings up to that time; of the Scriptural notices to which reference has already been made; of some fragments of Polyhistor preserved by Eusebius; and of the well-known passage of Herodotus which contains a mention of his name. From these documents we shall be able to make out in some detail the chief actions of the earlier portion of his reign, but they fail to supply any account of his later years, unless we may assign to that portion of his life some facts mentioned by Polyhistor, to which there is no allusion in the native records.
It seems probable that troubles both abroad and at home greeted the new reign. The Canon of Ptolemy shows a two years' interregnum at Babylon (from B.C. 704 to B.C. 702) exactly coinciding with the first two years of Sennacherib. This would imply a revolt of Babylon from Assyria soon after his accession, and either a period of anarchy or rapid succession of pretenders, none of whom held the throne for so long a time as a twelvemonth. Polyhistor gives us certain details,from which we gather that there were at least three monarchs in the interval left blank by the Canon—first, a brother of Sennacherib, whose name is not given; secondly, a certain Hagisa, who wore the crown only a month; and, thirdly, Merodach-Baladan, who had escaped from captivity, and, having murdered Hagisa, resumed the throne of which Sargon had deprived him six or seven years before. Sennacherib must apparently have been so much engaged with his domestic affairs that he could not devote his attention to these Babylonian matters till the second year after his accession. In B.C. 703 he descended on the lower country and engaged the troops of Merodach-Baladan, which consisted in part of native Babylonians, in part of Susianians, sent to his assistance by the king of Elam. Over this army Sennacherib gained a complete victory near the city of Ibis, after which he took Babylon, and overran the whole of Chaldaea, plundering (according to his own account) seventy-six large towns and 420 villages. Merodach-Baladan once more made his escape, flying probably to Susiana, where we afterwards find his sons living as refugees. Sennacherib, before quitting Babylon, appointed as tributary king an Assyrian named Belipni, who seems to be the Belibus of Ptolemy's Canon, and the Elibus of Polyhistor. On his return from Babylonia he invaded and ravaged the territory of the Aramaean tribes on the middle Euphrates—the Tumuna, Ruhua, Gambulu, Khindaru, and Pukudu (Pekod), the Nabatu or Nabathaeans, the Hagaranu or Hagarenes, and others, carrying into captivity more than 200,000 of the inhabitants, besides great numbers of horses, camels, asses, oxen, and sheep.
In the following year, B.C. 702, Sennacherib made war on the tribes in Zagros, forcing Ispabara, whom Sargon had established in power, to fly from his country, and conquering many cities and districts, which he attached to Assyria, and placed under the government of Assyrian officers.
The most important of all the expeditions contained in Sennacherib's records is that of his fourth year, B.C. 701, in which he attacked Luliya king of Sidon, and made his first expedition against Hezekiah king of Judah. Invading Syria with a great host, he made Phoenicia the first object of his attack. There Luliya—who seems to be the Mullins of Menander, though certainly not the Elulaeus of Ptolemy's Canon, had evidently raised the standard of revolt, probably during the early years of Sennacherib, when domestic troubles seem to have occupied his attention. Luliya had, apparently, established his dominion over the greater part of Phoenicia, being lord not only of Sidon, or, as it is expressed in the inscription, of Sidon the greater and Sidon the less, but also of Tyre, Ecdippa, Akko, Sarepta, and other cities. However, he did not venture to await Sennacherib's attack, but, as soon as he found the expedition was directed against himself, he took to flight, quitting the continent and retiring to an island in the middle of the sea—perhaps the island Tyre, or more probably Cyprus. Sennacherib did not attempt any pursuit, but was content to receive the submission of the various cities over which Luliya had ruled, and to establish in his place, as tributary monarch, a prince named Tubal. He then received the tributes of the other petty monarchs of these parts, among whom are mentioned Abdilihat king of Avrad. Hurus-milki king of Byblus. Mitinti king of Ashdod, Puduel king of Beth-Ammon, a king of Moab, a king of Edom, and (according to some writers) a "Menahem king of Samaria." After this Sennacherib marched southwards to Ascalon, where the king, Sidka, resisted him, but was captured, together with his city, his wife, his children, his brothers, and the other members of his family. Here again a fresh prince was established in power, while the rebel monarch was kept prisoner and transported into Assyria. Four towns dependent upon Ascalon, viz., Razor, Joppa, Beneberak, and Beth Dagon, were soon afterwards taken and plundered.
Sennacherib now pressed on against Egypt. The Philistine city of Ekron had not only revolted from Assyria, expelling its king, Path, who wwas opposed to the rebellion, but had entered into negotiations with Ethiopia and Egypt, and had obtained a promise of support from them. The king of Ethiopia was probably the second Shebek (or Sabaco) who is called Sevechus by Manetho, and is said to have reigned either twelve or fourteen yeats. The condition of Egypt at the time was peculiar. The Ethiopian monarch seems to have exercised the real sovereign power: but native princes were established under him who were allowed the title of king, and exercised a real though delegated authority over their several cities and districts. On the call of Ekron both princes and sovereign had hastened to its assistance, bringing with them an army consisting of chariots, horsemen, and archers, so numerous that Sennacherib calls it "a host that could not be numbered." The second great battle between the Assyrians and the Egyptians took place near a place called Altaku, which is no doubt the Eltekeh of the Jews, a small town in the vicinity of Ekron. Again the might of Africa yielded to that of Asia. The Egyptians and Ethiopians were defeated with great slaughter. Many chariots, with their drivers, both Egyptian and Ethiopian, fell into the hands of the conqueror, who also took alive several "sons" of the principal Egyptian monarch. The immediate fruit of the victory was the fall of Altaku, which was followed by the capture of Tamna, a neighboring town. Sennacherib then "went on" to Ekron, which made no resistance, but opened its gates to the victor. The princes and chiefs who had been concerned in the revolt he took alive and slew, exposing their bodies on stakes round the whole circuit of the city walls. Great numbers of inferior persons who were regarded as guilty of rebellion, were sold as slaves. Padi, the expelled king, the friend to Assyria, was brought back, reinstated in his sovereignty, and required to pay a small tribute as a token of dependence.
The restoration of Padi involved a war with Hezekiah, king of Judah. When the Ekronites determined to get rid of a king whose Assyrian proclivities were distasteful to them, instead of putting him to death, they arrested him, loaded him with chains, and sent him to Hezekiah for safe keeping. By accepting this charge the Jewish monarch made himself a partner in their revolt; and it was in part to punish this complicity, in part to compel him to give up Padi, that Sennacherib, when he had sufficiently chastised the Ekronite rebels, proceeded to invade Judaea, Then it was—in the fourteenth year of Hezekiah, according to the present Hebrew text—that "Sennacherib, king of Assyria, came up against all the fenced cities of Judah and took them. And Hezekiah, king of Judah, sent to the king of Assyria to Lshish, saying, I have offended; return from me; that which thou puttest on me will I bear. And the king of Assyria appointed unto Hezekiah, king of Judah, three hundred talents of silver and thirty talents of gold. And Hezekiah gave him all the silver that was found in the house of the Lord, and in the treasures of the king's house. At that time did Hezekiah cut off [the gold from] the doors of the house of the Lord, and [from] the pillars which Hezekiah, king of Judah, had overlaid, and gave it to the king of Assyria."
Such is the brief account of this expedition and its consequences which is given us by the author of the Second Book of Kings, who writes from a religious point of view, and is chiefly concerned at the desecration of holy things to which the imminent peril of his city and people forced the Jewish monarch to submit. It is interesting to compare with this account the narrative of Sennacherib himself, who records the features of the expedition most important in his eyes, the number of the towns taken and of the prisoners carried into captivity, the measures employed to compel submission, and the nature and amount of the spoil which he took with him to Nineveh.
"Because Hezekiah, king of Judah," says the Assyrian monarch, "would not submit to my yoke, I came up against him, and by force of arms and by the might of my power I took forty-six of his strong fenced cities; and of the smaller towns which were scattered about I took and plundered a countless number. And from these places I captured and carried off as spoil 200,150 people, old and young, male and female, together with horses and mares, asses and camels, oxen and sheep, a countless multitude. And Hezekiah himself I shut up in Jerusalem, his capital city, like a bird in a cage, building towers round the city to hem him in, and raising banks of earth against the gates, so as to prevent escape.... Then upon this Hezekiah there fell the fear of the power of my arms and he sent out to me the chiefs and the elders of Jerusalem with thirty talents of gold and eight hundred talents of silver, and divers treasures, a rich and immense booty.... All these things were brought to me at Nineveh, the seat of my government, Hezekiah having sent them by way of tribute, and as a token of his submission to my power."
It appears then that Sennacherib, after punishing the people of Ekron, broke up from before that city, and entering Judaea proceeded towards Jerusalem, spreading his army over a wide space, and capturing on his way a vast number of small towns and villages, whose inhabitants he enslaved and carried off to the number of 200,000. Having reached Jerusalem, he commenced the siege in the usual way, erecting towers around the city, from which stones and arrows were discharged against the defenders of the fortifications, and "casting banks" against the walls and gates. Jerusalem seems to have been at this time very imperfectly fortified. The "breaches of the city of David" had recently been "many;" and the inhabitants had hastily pulled down the houses in the vicinity of the wall to fortify it. It was felt that the holy place was in the greatest danger. We may learn from the conduct of the people, as described by one of themselves, what were the feelings generally of the cities threatened with destruction by the Assyrian armies. Jerusalem was at first "full of stirs and tumult;" the people rushed to the housetops to see if they were indeed invested, and beheld "the choicest valleys full of chariots, and the horsemen set in array at the gates." Then came "a day of trouble, and of treading down, and of perplexity"—a day of "breaking down the walls and of crying to the mountains." Amidst this general alarm and mourning there were, however, found some whom a wild despair made reckless, and drove to a ghastly and ill-timed merriment. When God by His judgments gave an evident "call to weeping, and to mourning, and to baldness, and to girding with sackcloth—behold joy and gladness, slaying oxen and killing sheep, eating flesh and drinking wine"—"Let us eat and drink, for to-morrow we shall die." Hezekiah after a time came to the conclusion that resistance would be vain, and offered to surrender upon terms, an offer which Sennacherib, seeing the great strength of the place, and perhaps distressed for water, readily granted. It was agreed that Hezekiah should undertake the payment of an annual tribute, to consist of thirty talents of gold and three hundred talents of silver, and that he should further yield up the chief treasures of the place as a "present" to the Great King. Hezekiah, in order to obtain at once a sufficient supply of gold, was forced to strip the walls and pillars of the Temple, which were overlaid in parts with this precious metal. He yielded up all the silver from the royal treasury and from the treasury of the Temple; and this amounted to five hundred talents more than the fixed rate of tribute. In addition to these sacrifices, the Jewish monarch was required to surrender Padi, his Ekronite prisoner, and was mulcted in certain portions of his dominions, which were attached by the conqueror to the territories of neighboring kings.
Sennacherib, after this triumph, returned to Nineveh, but did not remain long in repose. The course of events summoned him in the ensuing year B.C. 700—to Babylonia, where Merodach-Baladan, assisted by a certain Susub, a Chaldaean prince, was again in arms against his authority. Sennacherib first defeated Susub, and then, directing his march upon Beth-Yakin, forced Merodach-Baladan once more to quit the country and betake himself to one of the islands of the Persian Gulf, abandoning to Sennacherib's mercy his brothers and his other partisans. It would appear that the Babylonian viceroy Belibus, who three years previously had been set over the country by Sennacherib, was either actively implicated in this revolt, or was regarded as having contributed towards it by a neglect of proper precautions. Sennacherib, on his return from the sea-coast, superseded him, placing upon the throne his own eldest son, Asshur-inadi-su, who appears to be the Asordanes of Polyhistor, and the Aparanadius or Assaranadius of Ptolemy's Canon.
The remaining events of Sennacherib's reign may be arranged in chronological order without much difficulty, but few of them can be dated with exactness. We lose at this point the invaluable aid of Ptolemy's Canon, which contains no notice of any event recorded in Sennacherib's inscriptions of later date than the appointment of Assaranadius.
It is probable in that in the year B.C. 699 Sennacherib conducted his second expedition into Palestine. Hezekiah, after his enforced submission two years earlier, had entered into negotiations with the Egyptians, and looking to receive important succors from this quarter, had again thrown off his allegiance. Sennacherib, understanding that the real enemy whom he had to fear on his south-western frontier was not Judaea, but Egypt, marched his army through Palestine—probably by the coast route—and without stopping to chastise Jerusalem, pressed southwards to Libnah and Lachish, which were at the extreme verge of the Holy Land, and were probably at this tune subject to Egypt. He first commenced the siege of Lachish with all his power; and while engaged in this operation, finding that Hezekiah was not alarmed by his proximity, and did not send in his submission, he detached a body of troops from Ins main force, and sent it under a Tartan or general, supported by two high officers of the court—the Rabshakeh or Chief Cupbearer, and the Rob-saris or Chief Eunuch—to summon the rebellious city to surrender. Hezekiah was willing to treat, and sent out to the Assyrian camp, which was pitched just outside the walls, three high officials of his own to open negotiations. But the Assyrian envoys had not cone to debate or even to offer terms, but to require the unconditional submission of both king and people. The Rabshakeh or cupbearer, who was familiar with the Hebrew language, took the word and delivered his message in insulting phrase, laughing at the simplicity which could trust in Egypt, and the superstitious folly which could expect a divine deliverance, and defying Hezekiah to produce so many as two thousand trained soldiers capable of serving as cavalry. When requested to use a foreign rather than the native dialect, lest the people who were upon the walls should hear, the bold envoy, with an entire disregard of diplomatic forms, raised his voice and made a direct appeal to the popular fears and hopes thinking to produce a tumultuary surrender of the place, or at least an outbreak of which his troops might have taken advantage. His expectations, however, were disappointed; the people made no response to his appeal, but listened in profound silence; and the ambassadors, finding that they could obtain nothing from the fears of either king or people, and regarding the force that they had brought with them as insufficient for a siege, returned to their master with the intelligence of their ill-success. The Assyrian monarch had either taken Lachish or raised its siege, and was gone on to Libnah, where the envoys found him. On receiving their report, he determined to make still another effort to overcome Hezckiah's obstinacy and accordingly he despatched fresh messengers with a letter to the Jewish king, in which he was reminded of the fate of various other kingdoms and peoples which had resisted the Assyrians, and once more urged to submit himself. It was this letter perhaps a royal autograph—which Hezekiah took into the temple and there "spread it before the Lord," praying God to "bow down his ear and hear; to open his eyes and see, and hear the words of Sennacherib, which had sent to reproach the living God." Upon this Isaiah was commissioned to declare to his afflicted sovereign that the kings of Assyria were mere instruments in God's hands to destroy such, nations as He pleased, and that none of Sennacherib's threats against Jerusalem should be accomplished. God, Isaiah told him would "put his hook in Sennacherib's nose, and his bridle in his lips, and turn him back by the way by which he came." The Lord had said, concerning the king of Assyria, "He shall not come into this city, nor shoot an arrow there, nor come before it with shield, nor cast a bank against it. By the way that he came, by the same shall he return, and shall not come into this city. For I will defend this city, to save it, for my own sake, and for my servant David's sake."
Meanwhile it is probable that Sennacherib, having received the submission of Libnah, had advanced upon Egypt. It was important to crush an Egyptian army which had been collected against him by a certain Sethos, one of the many native princes who at this time ruled in the Lower country before the great Ethiopian monarch Tehrak or Tirhakah, who was known to be on his march, should effect a junction with the troops of this minor potentate. Sethos, with his army, was at Pelusium; and Sennacherib, advancing to attack him, had arrived within sight of the Egyptian host, and pitched his camp over against the camp of the enemy, just at the time to when Hezekiah received his letter and made the prayer to which Isaiah was instructed to respond. The two hosts lay down at night in their respective stations, the Egyptians and their king full of anxious alarm, Sennacherib and his Assyrians proudly confident, intending on the morrow to advance to the combat and repeat the lesson taught at Raphia and Altaku. But no morrow was to break on the great mass of those who took their rest in the tents of the Assyrians. The divine fiat had gone forth. In the night, as they slept, destruction fell upon them. "The angel of the Lord went out, and smote in the camp of the Assyrians an hundred fourscore and five thousand; and when they arose early in the morning, behold, they were all dead corpses." A miracle, like the destruction of the first-born, had been wrought, but this time on the enemies of the Egyptians, who naturally ascribed their deliverance to the interposition of their own gods; and seeing the enemy in confusion and retreat, pressed hastily after him, distressed his flying columns, and cut off his stragglers. The Assyrian king returned home to Nineveh, shorn of his glory, with the shattered remains of his great host, and cast that proud capital into a state of despair and grief, which the genius of an AEschylus might have rejoiced to depict, but which no less powerful pen could adequately portray.
It is difficult to say how soon Assyria recovered from this terrible blow. The annals of Sennacherib, as might have been expected, omit it altogether, and represent the Assyrian monarch as engaged in a continuous series of successful campaigns, which seem to extend uninterruptedly from his third to his tenth year. It is possible that while the Assyrian expedition was in progress, under the eye of Sennacherib himself, a successful war was being conducted by one of his generals in the mountains of Armenia, and that Sennacherib was thus enabled, without absolutely falsifying history, to parade as his own certain victories gained by this leader in the very year of his own reverse. It is even conceivable that the power of Assyria was not so injured by the loss of a single great army, as to make it necessary for her to stop even for one year in the course of her aggressive warfare; and thus the expeditions of Sennacherib may form an uninterrupted series, the eight campaigns which are assigned to him occupying eight consecutive years. But on the other hand it is quite as probable that there are gaps in the history, some years having been omitted altogether. The Taylor Cylinder records but eight campaigns, yet it was certainly written as late as Sennacherib's fifteenth year. It contains no notice of any events in Sennacherib's first or second year; and it may consequently make other omissions covering equal or larger intervals. Thus the destruction of the Assyrian army at Pelusium may have been followed by a pause of some years' duration in the usual aggressive expeditions; and it may very probably have encouraged the Babylonians in the attempt to shake off the Assyrian yoke, which they certainly made towards the middle of Sennacherib's reign.
But while it appears to be probable that consequences of some importance followed on the Pelusiac calamity, it is tolerably certain that no such tremendous results flowed from it as some writers have imagined. The murder of the disgraced Sennacherib "within fifty-five days" of his return to Nineveh, seems to be an invention of the Alexandrian Jew who wrote the Book of Tobit. The total destruction of the empire in consequence of the blow, is an exaggeration of Josephus, rashly credited by some moderns. Sennacherib did not die till B.C. 681, seventeen years after his misfortune; and the Empire suffered so little that we find Esar-haddon, a few years later, in full possession of all the territory that any king before him had over held, ruling from Babylonia to Egypt, or (as he himself expresses it) "from the rising up of the sun to the going down of the same." Even Sennacherib himself was not prevented by his calamity from undertaking important wars during the latter part of his reign. We shall see shortly that he recovered Babylon, chastised Susiana, and invaded Cilicia, in the course of the seventeen years which intervened between his flight from Pelusium and his decease. Moreover, there is evidence that he employed himself during this part of his reign in the consolidation of the Western provinces, which first appear about his twelfth year as integral portions of the Empire, furnishing eponyms in their turn, and thus taking equal rank with the ancient provinces of Assyria Proper, Adiabene, and Mesopotamia.
The fifth campaign of Sennacherib, according to his own annals, was partly in a mountainous country which he calls Nipur or Nibur—probably the most northern portion of the Zagros range where it abuts on Ararat. He there took a number of small towns, after which he proceeded westward and contended with a certain Maniya king of Dayan, which was a part of Taurus bordering on Cilicia. He boasts that he penetrated further into this region than any king before him; and the boast is confirmed by the fact that the geographical names which appear are almost entirely new to us. The expedition was a plundering raid, not an attempt at conquest. Sennacherib ravaged the country, burnt the towns, and carried away with him all the valuables, the flocks and herds, and the inhabitants.
After this it appears that for at least three years he was engaged in a fierce struggle with the combined Babylonians and Susianians. The troubles recommenced by an attempt of the Chaldaeans of Beth-Yakin to withdraw themselves from the Assyrian territory, and to transfer their allegiance to the Elymaean king. Carrying with them their gods and their treasures, they embarked in their ships, and crossing "the Great Sea of the Rising Sun"—i.e., the Persian Gulf—landed on the Elamitic coast, where they were kindly received and allowed to take up their abode. Such voluntary removals are not uncommon in the East; and they constantly give rise to complaints and reclamations, which not unfrequently terminate in an appeal to the arbitrament of the sword. Sennacherib does not inform us whether he made any attempt to recover his lost subjects by diplomatic representations at the court of Susa. If he did, they were unsuccessful; and in order to obtain redress, he was compelled to resort to force, and to undertake an expedition into the Elamitie territory. It is remarkable that he determined to make his invasion by sea. Their frequent wars on the Syrian coasts had by this time familiarized the Assyrians with the idea, if not with the practice, of navigation; and as their suzerainty over Phoenicia placed at their disposal a large body of skilled shipwrights, and a number of the best sailors in the world, it was natural that they should resolve to employ naval as well as military force to advance their dominion. We have seen that, as early as the time of Shalmaneser, the Assyrians ventured themselves in ships, and, in conjunction with the Phoenicians of the mainland, engaged the vessels of the Island Tyre. It is probable that the precedent thus set was followed by later kings, and that both Sargon and Sennacherib had had the permanent, or occasional services of a fleet on the Mediterranean. But there was a wide difference between such an employment of the navies belonging to their subjects on the sea, to which they were accustomed, and the transfer to the opposite extremity of the empire of the naval strength hitherto confined to the Mediterranean. This thought—certainly not an obvious one—seems to have first occurred to Sennacherib. He conceived the idea of having a navy on both the seas that washed his dominions; and, possessing on his western coast only an adequate supply of skilled shipwrights and sailors he resolved on transporting from his western to his eastern shores such a body of Phoenicians as would enable him to accomplish his purpose. The shipwrights of Tyre and Sidon were carried across Mesopotamia to the Tigris, where they constructed for the Assyrian monarch a fleet of ships like their own galleys, which descended the river to its mouth, and astonished the populations bordering on the Persian Gulf with spectacle never before seen in those waters. Though the Chaldaeans had for centuries navigated this inland sea, and may have occasionally ventured beyond its limits, yet neither as sailors nor as ship-builders was their skill to compare with that of the Phoenicians. The masts and sails, the double tiers of oars, the sharp beaks of the Phoenician ships, were (it is probable) novelties to the nations of these parts, who saw now, for the first time, a fleet debouche from the Tigris, with which their own vessels were quite incapable of contending.
When his fleet was ready Sennacherib put to sea, and crossed in his Phoenician ships from the mouth of the Tigris to the tract occupied by the emigrant Chaldaeans, where he landed and destroyed the newly-built city, captured the inhabitants, ravaged the neighborhood, and burnt a number of Susianian towns, finally reembarking with his captives. Chaldaean and Susianian whom he transported across the gulf to the Chaldaean coast, and then took with him into Assyria. This whole expedition seems to have taken the Susianians by surprise. They had probably expected an invasion by land, and had collected their forces towards the north-western frontier, so that when the troops of Sennacherib landed far in their rear, there were no forces in the neighborhood to resist them. However, the departure of the Assyrians on an expedition regarded as extremely perilous, was the signal for a general revolt of the Babylonians, who once more set up a native king in the person of Susub, and collected an army with which they made ready to give the Assyrians battle on their return. Perhaps they cherished the hope that the fleet which had tempted the dangers of an unknown sea would be seen no more, or expected that, at the best, it would bring back the shattered remnants of a defeated army. If so, they were disappointed. The Assyrian troops landed on their coast flushed with success, and finding the Babylonians in revolt, proceeded to chastise them; defeated their forces in a great battle; captured their king, Susub; and when the Susianians came, somewhat tardily, to their succor, attacked and routed their army. A vast number of prisoners, and among them Susub himself, were carried off by the victors and conveyed to Nineveh.
Shortly after this successful campaign, possibly in the very next year, Sennacherib resolved to break the power of Susiana by a great expedition directed solely against that country. The Susianians had, as already related, been strong enough in the reign of Sargon to deprive Assyria of a portion of her territory; and Kudur-Nakhunta, the Elymaean king, still held two cities, Beth-Kahiri and Raza, which were regarded by Sennacherib as a part of his paternal inheritance. The first object of the war was the recovery of these two towns, which were taken without any difficulty and reattached to the Assyrian Empire. Sennacherib then pressed on into the heart of Susiana, taking and destroying thirty-four large cities, whose names he mentions, together with a still greater number of villages, all of which he gave to the flames. Wasting and destroying in this way he drew near to Vadakat or Badaca, the second city of the kingdom, where Kudur-Nakhunta had for the time fixed his residence. The Elamitic king, hearing of his rapid approach, took fright, and, hastily quitting Badaca, fled away to a city called Khidala, at the foot of the mountains, where alone he could feel himself in safety. Sennacherib then advanced to Badaca, besieged it, and took it by assault; after which affairs seem to have required his presence at Nineveh, and, leaving his conquest incomplete, he returned home with a large booty.
A third campaign in these parts, the most important of all, followed. Susub, the Chaldaean prince whom Sennacherib had carried off to Assyria, in the year of his naval expedition escaped from his confinement, and, returning to Babylon, was once more hailed as king by the inhabitants. Aware of his inability to maintain himself on the throne against the will of the Assyrians, unless he were assisted by the arms of a powerful ally, he resolved to obtain, if possible, the immediate aid of the neighboring Elamitic monarch. Kolar-Nakhunta, the late antagonist of Sennacherib, was dead, having survived his disgraceful flight from Badaca only three months; and Ummanminan, his younger brother, held the throne. Susub, bent on contracting an alliance with this prince, did not scruple at an act of sacrilege to obtain his end. He broke open the treasury of the great temple of Bel at Babylon, and seizing the gold and silver belonging to the god, sent it as a present to Ummanminan, with an urgent entreaty that he would instantly collect his troops and march to his aid. The Elamitic monarch, yielding to a request thus powerfully backed, and perhaps sufficiently wise to see that the interests of Susiana required an independent Babylon, set his troops in motion without any delay, and advanced to the banks of the Tigris. At the same time a number of the Aramaean tribes on the middle Euphrates, which Sennacherib had reduced in his third year, revolted, and sent their forces to swell the army of Susub. A great battle was fought at Khaluli, a town on the lower Tigris, between the troops of Sennacherib and this allied host; the combat was long and bloody, but at last the Assyrians conquered. Susub and his Elamitic ally took to flight and made their escape. Nebosumiskun, a son of Merodach-Baladan, and many other chiefs of high rank, were captured. The army was completely routed and broken up. Babylon submitted, and was severely punished; the fortifications were destroyed, the temples plundered and burnt, and the images of the gods broken to pieces. Perhaps the rebel city now received for viceroy Regibelus or Mesesimordachus, whom the Canon of Ptolemy, which is silent about Susub, makes contemporary with the middle portion of Sennacherib's reign.
The only other expedition which can be assigned, on important evidence, to the reign of Sennacherib, is one against Cilicia, in which he is said to have been opposed by Greeks. According to Abydenus, a Greek fleet guarded the Cilician shore, which the vessels of Sennacherib engaged and defeated. Polyhistor seems to say that the Greeks also suffered a defeat by land in Cilicia itself, after which Sennacherib took possession of the country, and built Tarsus there on the model of Babylon. The prominence here given to Greeks by Greek writers is undoubtedly remarkable, and it throws a certain amount of suspicion over the whole story. Still, as the Greek element in Cyprus was certainly important at this time, and as the occupation of Cilicis, by the Assyrians may have appeared to the Cyprian Greeks to endanger their independence, it is conceivable that they lent some assistance to the natives of the country, who were a hardy race, fond of freedom, and never very easily brought into subjection. The admission af a double defeat makes it evident that the tale is not the invention of Greek national vanity. Abydenus and Polyhistor probably derive it from Berosus, who must also have made the statement that Tarsus was now founded by Sennacherib, and constructed, after the pattern of Babylon. The occupation of newly conquered countries, by the establishnient in them of large cities in which foreign colonists were placed by the conquerors, was practice commenced by Sargon, which his son is not unlikely to have followed. Tarsus was always regarded by the Greeks as an Assyrian town; and although they gave different accounts of the time of its foundation, their disagreement in this respect does not invalidate their evidence as to the main fact itself, which is intrinsically probable. The evidence of Polyhistor and Abydenus as to the date of the foundation, representing, as it must, the testimony of Berosus upon the point, is to be preferred; and we may accept it as a fact, beyond all reasonable doubt, that the native city of St. Paul derived, if not its origin, yet, at any rate, its later splendor and magnificence, from the antagonist of Hezekiah.
That this Cilician war occurred late in the reign of Sennacherib, appears to follow from the absence of any account of it from his general annals. These, it is probable, extend no further than his sixteenth year, B.C. 689, thus leaving blank his last eight years, from B.C. 689 to 681. The defeat of the Greeks, the occupation of Cilicia, and the founding of Tarsus, may well have fallen into this interval. To the same time may have belonged Sennacherib's conquest of Edom.
There is reason to suspect that these successes of Sennacherib on the western limits of his empire were more than counterbalanced by a contemporaneous loss at the extreme south-east. The Canon of Ptolemy marks the year B.C. 688 as the first of an interregnum at Babylon which continues from that date till the accession of Esar-haddon in B.C. 680. Interregna in this document—[—Greek—] as they are termed—indicate periods of extreme disturbance, when pretender succeeded to pretender, or when the country was split up into a number of petty kingdoms. The Assyrian yoke, in either case, must have been rejected; and Babylonia must have succeeded at this time in maintaining, for the space of eight years, a separate and independent existence, albeit troubled and precarious. The fact that she continued free so long, while she again succumbed at the very commencement of the reign of Esar-haddon, may lead us to suspect that she owed this spell of liberty to the increasing years of the Assyrian monarch, who, as the infirmities of age crept upon him, felt a disinclination towards distant expeditions.
The military glory of Sennacherib was thus in some degree tarnished; first, by the terrible disaster which befell his host on the borders of Egypt; and, secondly, by his failure to maintain the authority which, in the earlier part of his reign, he had estaldished over Babylon. Still, notwithstanding these misfortunes, he must be pronounced one of the most successful of Assyria's warrior kings, and altogether one of the greatest princes that ever sat on the Assyrian throne. His victories of Eltekeh and Khaluli seem to leave been among the most important battles that Assyria ever gained. By the one Egypt and Ethiopia, by the other Susiana and Babylon, were taught that, even united, they were no match for the Assyrian hosts. Sennacherib thus wholesomely impressed his most formidable enemies with the dread of his arms, while at the same time he enlarged, in various directions, the limits of his dominions. He warred in regions to which no earlier Assyrian monarch had ever penetrated; and he adopted modes of warfare on which none of them had previously ventured. His defeat of a Greek fleet in the Eastern Mediterranean, and his employment of Phoenicians in the Persian Gulf, show an enterprise and versatility which we observe in few Orientals. His selection of Tarsus for the site of a great city indicates a keen appreciation of the merits of a locality, if he was proud, haughty, and self-confident, beyond all former Assyrian kings, it would seem to have been because he felt that he had resources within himself—that he possessed a firm will, a bold heart, and a fertile invention. Most men would have laid aside the sword and given themselves wholly to peaceful pursuits, after such a disaster as that of Pelusium. Sennacherib accepted the judgment as a warning to attempt no further conquests in those parts, but did not allow the calamity to reduce him to inaction. He wisely turned his sword against other enemies, and was rewarded by important successes upon all his other frontiers.
But if, as a warrior, Sennacherib deserves to be placed in the foremost rank of the Assyrian kings, as a builder and a patron of art he is still more eminent. The great palace which he raised at Nineveh surpassed in size and splendor all earlier edifices, and was never excelled in any respect except by one later building. The palace of Asshur-bani-pal, built on the same platform by the grandson of Sennacherib, was, it must be allowed, more exquisite in its ornamentation; but even this edifice did not equal the great work of Sennacherib in the number of its apartments, or the grandeur of its dimensions. Sennacherib's palace covered an area of above eight acres. It consisted of a number of grand halls and smaller chambers, arranged round at least three courts or quadrangles. These courts were respectively 154 feet by 125, 124 feet by 90, and probably a square of about 90 feet. Round the smallest of the courts were grouped apartments of no great size, which, it may be suspected, belonged to the seraglio of the king. The seraglio seems to have been reached through a single narrow passage, leading out of a long gallery—218 feet by 25—which was approached only through two other passages, one leading from each of the two main courts. The principal halls were immediately within the two chief entrances one on the north-east, the other on the opposite or south-west front of the palace. Neither of these two rooms has been completely explored: but the one appears to have been more than 150 and the other was probably 180 feet in length, while the width of each was a little more than 40 feet. Besides these two great halls and the grand gallery already described, the palace contained about twenty rooms of a considerable size, and at least forty or fifty smaller chambers, mostly square, or nearly so, opening out of some hall or large apartment. The actual number of the rooms explored is about sixty; but as in many parts the examination of the building is still incomplete, we may fairly conjecture that the entire number was not less than seventy or eighty.
The palace of Sennacherib preserved all the main features of Assyrian architecture. It was elevated on a platform, eighty or ninety feet above the plain, artificially constructed, and covered with a pavement of bricks. It had probably three grand facades—one on the north-east, where it was ordinarily approached from the town, and the two others on the south-east and the south-west, where it was carried nearly to the edge of the platform, and overhung the two streams of the Khosr-su and the Tigris. Its principal apartment was that which was first entered by the visitor. All the walls ran in straight lines, and all the angles of the rooms and passages were right angles. There were more passages in the building than usual but still the apartments very frequently opened into one another; and almost one-half of the rooms were passage-rooms. The doorways were mostly placed without any regard to regularity, seldom opposite one another, and generally towards the corners of the apartments. There was the curious feature, common in Assyrian edifices, of a room being entered from a court, or from another room, by two or three doorways, which is best explained by supposing that the rank of the person determined the door by which he might enter. Squared recesses in the sides of the rooms were common. The thickness of the walls was great. The apartments, though wider than in other palaces, were still narrow for their length, never much exceeding forty feet; while the courts were much better proportioned.
It was in the size and the number of his rooms, in his use of passages, and in certain features of his ornamentation, that Sennacherib chiefly differed from former builders. He increased the width of the principal state apartments by one-third, which seems to imply the employment of some new mode or material for roofing. In their length he made less alteration, only advancing from 150 to 180 feet, evidently because he aimed, not merely at increasing the size of his rooms, but at improving their proportions. In one instance alone—that of a gallery or passage-room, leading (apparently) from the more public part of the palace to the hareem or private apartments—did he exceed this length, uniting the two portions of the palace by a noble corridor, 218 feet long by 25 feet wide. Into this corridor he brought passages from the two public courts, which he also united together by a third passage, thus greatly facilitating communication between the various blocks of buildings which composed his vast palatial edifice.
The most striking characteristic of Sennacherib's ornamentation is its strong and marked realism. It was under Sennacherib that the practice first obtained of completing each scene by a background, such as actually existed as the time and place of its occurrence. Mountains, rocks, trees, roads, rivers, lakes, were regularly portrayed, an attempt being made to represent the locality, whatever it might be, as truthfully as the artist's skill and the character of his material rendered possible. Nor was this endeavor limited to the broad and general features of the scene only. The wish evidently was to include all the little accessories which the observant eye of an artist might have noted if he had made his drawing with the scene before him. The species of trees is distinguished, in Sennacherib's bas-reliefs; gardens, fields, ponds, reeds, are carefully represented; wild animals are introduced, as stags, boars, and antelopes; birds fly from tree to tree, or stand over their nests feeding the young who stretch up to them; fish disport themselves in the waters; fishermen ply their craft; boatmen and agricultural laborers pursue their avocations; the scene is, as it were, photographed, with all its features—the least and the most important—equally marked, and without any attempt at selection, or any effort after artistic unity.
In the same spirit of realism Sennacherib chooses for artistic representation scenes of a commonplace and everyday character. The trains of attendants who daily enter his palace with game and locusts for his dinner, and cakes and fruit for his dessert, appear on the walls of his passages, exactly as they walked through his courts, bearing the delicacies in which he delighted. Elsewhere he puts before us the entire process of carving and transporting a colossal bull, from the first removal of the huge stone in its rough state from the quarry, to its final elevation on a palace mound as part of the great gateway of a royal residence. We see the trackers dragging the rough block, supported on a low flat-bottomed boat, along the course of a river, disposed in gangs, and working under taskmasters who use their rods upon the slightest provocation. The whole scene must be represented, and so the trackers are all there, to the number of three hundred, costumed according to their nations, and each delineated with as much care as it he were not the exact image of ninety-nine others. We then observe the block transferred to land, and carved into the rough semblance of a bull, in which form it is placed on a rude sledge and conveyed along level ground by gangs of laborers, arranged nearly as before, to the foot of the mound at whose top it has to be placed. The construction of the mound is most elaborately represented. Brickmakers are seen moulding the bricks at its base, while workmen, with baskets at their backs, full of earth, bricks, stones, or rubbish, toil up the ascent—for the mound is already half raised—and empty their burdens out upon the summit. The bull, still lying on its sledge, is then drawn up an inclined plane to the top by four gangs of laborers, in the presence of the monarch and his attendants. After this the carving is completed, and the colossus, having been raised into an upright position, is conveyed along the surface of the platform to the exact site which it is to occupy. This portion of the operation has been represented in one of the illustrations in an earlier part of this volume. From the representation there given the reader may form a notion of the minuteness and elaboration of this entire series of bas-reliefs.
Besides constructing this new palace at Nineveh, Sennacherib seems also to have restored the ancient residence of the kings at the sane place, a building which will probably be found whenever the mound of Nebbi-Yunus is submitted to careful examination. He confined the Tigris to its channel by an embankment of bricks. He constructed a number of canals or aqueducts for the purpose of bringing good water to the capital. He improved the defences of Nineveh, erecting towers of a vast size at some of the gates. And, finally, he built a temple to the god Nergal at Tarbisi (now Sherif khan), about three miles from Nineveh up the Tigris.
In the construction of these great works he made use chiefly, of the forced labor with which his triumphant expeditions into foreign countries had so abundantly supplied him. Chaldaeans, Aramaeans, Armenians, Cilicianns and probably also Egyptians, Ethiopians, Elamites, and Jews, were employed by thousands in the formation of the vast mounds, in the transport and elevation of the colossal bulls, in the moulding of the bricks, and the erection of the walls of the various edifices, in the excavation of the canals, and the construction of the embankments. They wrought in gangs, each gang having a costume peculiar to it, which probably marked its nation. Over each was placed a number of taskmasters, armed with staves, who urged on the work with blows, and severely punished any neglect or remissness. Assyrian foremen had the general direction of the works, and were entrusted with all such portions as required skill or judgment. The forced laborers often worked in fetters, which were sometimes supported by a bar fastened to the waist, while sometimes they consisted merely of shackles round the ankles. The king himself often witnessed the labors, standing in his chariot, which on these occasions was drawn by some of his attendants.
The Assyrian monuments throw but little light on the circumstances which led to the assassination of Sennacherib; and we are reduced to conjecture the causes of so strange an event. Our various sources of information make it clear that he had a large family of sons. The eldest of them, Asshurinadi-su, had been entrusted by Sennacherib with the government of Babylon and might reasonably have expected to succeed him on the throne of Assyria; but it is probable that he died before his father, either by a natural death, or by violence, during one of the many Babylonian revolts. It may be suspected that Sennacherib had a second son, of whose name Nergal was the first element; and it is certain that he had three others, Adrammelech (or Ardumuzanes), Sharezer, and Esar-haddon. Perhaps, upon the death of Asshur-inadi-su, disputes arose about the succession. Adrammelech and Sharezer, anxious to obtain the throne for themselves, plotted against the life of their father, and having slain him in a temple as he was worshipping, proceeded further to remove their brother Nergilus, who claimed the crown and wore it for a brief space after Sennacherib's death. Having murdered him, they expected to obtain the throne without further difficulty; but Esar-haddon, who at the time commanded the army which watched the Armenian frontier, now came forward, assumed the title of King, and prepared to march upon Nineveh. It was winter, and the inclemency of the weather precluded immediate movement. For some months probably the two assassins were recognized as monarchs at the capital, while the northern army regarded Esar-haddon as the rightful successor of his father. Thus died the great Sennacherib, a victim to the ambition of his sons.
It was a sad end to a reign which, on the whole, had been so glorious; and it was a sign that the empire was now verging on that decline which sooner or later overtakes all kingdoms, and indeed all things sublunary. Against plots without, arising from the ambition of subjects who see, or think they see, at any particular juncture an opportunity of seizing the great prize of supreme dominion, it is impossible, even in the most vigorous empire, to provide any complete security. But during the period of vigor, harmony within the palace, and confidence in each other inspires and unites all the members of the royal house. When discord has once entered inside the gates, when the family no longer holds together, when suspicion and jealousy have replaced the trust and affection of a happier time, the empire has passed into the declining stage, and has already begun the descent which conducts, by quick or slow degrees, to destruction. The murder of Sennacherib, if it was, as perhaps it was, a judgment on the individual, was, at least equally, a judgment on the nation. When, in an absolute monarchy, the palace becomes the scene of the worst crimes, the doom of the kingdom is sealed—it totters to its fall—and requires but a touch from without to collapse into a heap of ruins.
Esar-haddon, the son and successor of Sennacherib, is proved by the Assyrian Canon, to have ascended the throne of Assyria in B.C. 681—the year immediately previous to that which the Canon of Ptolemy makes his first year in Babylon, viz., B.C. 680. He was succeeded by his son Asshur-bani-pal, or Sardanapalus, in B.C. 668, and thus held the crown no more than thirteen years. Esar-haddon's inscriptions show that he was engaged for some time after his accession in a war with his half-brothers, who, at the head of a large body of troops, disputed his right to the crown. Esar-haddon marched from the Armenian frontier, where (as already observed) he was stationed at the time of his father's death, against this army, defeated it in the country of Khanirabbat (north-west of Nineveh), and proceeding to the capital, was universally acknowledged king. According to Abydenus, Adrammelech fell in the battle; but better authorities state that both he and his brother, Sharezer, escaped into Armenia, where they were kindly treated by the reigning monarch, who gave them lands, which long continued in the possession of their posterity.
The chief record which we possess of Esar-haddon is a cylinder inscription, existing in duplicate, which describes about nine campaigns, and may probably have been composed in or about his tenth year. A memorial which he set up at the mouth of the Nahr-el-Kolb, and a cylinder of his son's, add some important information with respect to the latter part of his reign. One or two notices in the Old Testament connect him with the history of the Jews. And Abydenus, besides the passage already quoted, has an allusion to some of his foreign conquests. Such are the chief materials from which the modern inquirer has to reconstruct the history of this great king.
It appears that the first expedition of Esar-haddon was into Phoenicia. Abdi-Milkut king of Sidon, and Sandu-arra king of the adjoining part of Lebanon, had formed an alliance and revolted from the Assyrians, probably during the troubles which ensued on Sennacherib's death. Esar-haddon attacked Sidon first, and soon took the city; but Aladi-Milkut made his escape to an island—Aradus or Cyprus—where, perhaps, he thought himself secure. Esar-haddon, however, determined on pursuit. He traversed the sea "like a fish," and made Abdi-Milkut prisoner; after which he turned his arms against Sandu-arra, attacked him in the fastnesses of his mountains, defeated his troops, and possessed himself of his person. The rebellion of the two captive kings was punished by their execution; the walls of Sidon were destroyed; its inhabitants, and those of the whole tract of coast in the neighborhood, were carried off into Assyria, and thence scattered among the provinces; a new town was built, which was named after Esarhaddon, and was intended to take the place of Sidon as the chief city of these parts; and colonists were brought from Chaldaea and Susiana to occupy the new capital and the adjoining region. An Assyrian governor was appointed to administer the conquered province.
Esar-haddon's next campaign seems to have been in Armenia. He took a city called Arza**, which, he says, was in the neighborhood of Muzr, and carried off the inhabitants, together with a number of mountain animals, placing the former in a position "beyond the eastern gate of Nineveh." At the same time he received the submission of Tiuspa the Cimmerian.
His third campaign was in Cilicia and the adjoining regions. The Cilicians, whom Sennacherib had so recently subdued, reasserted their independence at his death, and allied themselves with the Tibareni, or people of Tubal, who possess at the high mountain tract about the junction of Amaans and Taurus. Esar-haddon inflicted a defeat on the Cilicians, and then invaded the mountain region, where he took twenty-one towns and a larger number of villages, all of which he plundered and burnt. The inhabitants he carried away captive, as usual but he made no attempt to hold the ravaged districts by means of new cities or fresh colonists.
This expedition was followed by one or two petty wars in the north-west and the north-east after which Esar-haddon, probably about his sixth year B.C. 675, made an expedition into Chaldaea. It appears that a son of Merodach-Baladan, Nebo-zirzi-sidi by name, had re-established himself on the Chaldaean coast, by the help of the Susianians; while his brother, Nahid-Marduk, had thought it more prudent to court the favor of the great Assyrian monarch, and had quitted his refuge in Susiana to present himself before Esar-haddon's foot-stool at Nineveh. This judicious step had all the success that he could have expected or desired. Esar-haddon, having conquered the ill-judging Nebo-zirzi-sidi, made over to the more clear-sighted Nahid-Marduk the whole of the maritime region that had been ruled by his brother. At the same time the Assyrian monarch deposed a Chaldaean prince who had established his authority over a small town in the neighborhood of Babylon, and set up another in his place, thus pursuing the same system of division in Babylonia which we shall hereafter find that he pursued in Egypt.
Esar-haddon after this was engaged in a war with Edom. He there took a city which bore the same name as the country—a city previously, he tells us, taken by his father—and transported the inhabitants into Assyria, at the same time carrying off certain images of the Edomite gods. Hereupon the king, who was named Hazael, sent an embassy to Nineveh, to make submission and offer presents, while at the same time he supplicated Isar-haddon to restore his gods and allow them to be conveyed back to their own proper country. Esarhaddon granted the request, and restored the images to the envoy; but as a compensation for this boon, he demanded an increase of the annual tribute, which was augmented in consequence by sixty-five camels. He also nominated to the Edomite throne, either in succession or in joint sovereignty, a female named Tabua, who had been born and brought up in his own palace.
The expedition next mentioned on Esar-haddon's principal cylinder is one presenting some difficulty. The scene of it is a country called Bazu, which is said to be "remote, on the extreme confines of the earth, on the other side of the desert." It was reached by traversing it hundred and forty farsakhs (490 miles) of sandy desert, then twenty farsakhs (70 miles) of fertile land, and beyond that a stony region. None of the kings of Assyria, down to the time of Esar-haddon, had ever penetrated so far. Bazu lay beyond Khazu, which was the name of the stony tract, and Bazu had for its chief town a city called Yedih, which was under the rule of a king named Laile. It is thought, from the combinaqon of these names, and from the general description of the region—of its remoteness and of the way in which it was reached—that it was probably the district of Arabia beyond Nedjif which lies along the Jebel Shammer, and corresponds closely with the modern Arab kingdom of Hira. Esar-haddon boasts that he marched into the middle of the territory, that he slew eight of its sovereigns, and carried into Assyria their gods, their treasures, and their subjects; and that, though Laile escaped him, he too lost his gods, which were seized and conveyed to Nineveh. Then Laile, like the Idumaean monarch above mentioned, felt it necessary to humble himself. He went in person to the Assyrian capital, prostrated himself before the royal footstool, and entreated for the restoration of his gods; which Esar-haddon consented to give back, but solely on the condition that Laile became thenceforth one of his tributaries.
If this expedition was really carried into the quarter here supposed, Esar-haddon performed a feat never paralleled in history, excepting by Augustus and Nushirvan. He led an army across the deserts which everywhere guard Arabia on the land side, and penetrated to the more fertile tracts beyond them, a region of settled inhabitants and of cities. He there took and spoiled several towns; and he returned to his own country without suffering disaster. Considering the physical perils of the desert itself, and the warlike character of its inhabitants, whom no conqueror has ever really subdued, this was a most remarkable success. The dangers of the simoom may have been exaggerated, and the total aridity of the northern region may have been overstated by many writers; but the difficulty of carrying water and provisions for a large army, and the peril of a plunge into the wilderness with a small one, can scarcely be stated in too strong terms, and have proved sufficient to deter most Eastern conquerors from even the thoughts of an Arabian expedition. Alexander would, perhaps, had he lived, have attempted an invasion from the side of the Persian Gulf; and Trajan actually succeeded in bringing under the Roman yoke an outlying portion of the country—the district between Damascus and the Red Sea; but Arabia has been deeply penetrated thrice only in the history of the world; and Esar-haddon is the sole monarch who ever ventured to conduct in person such an attack.
From the arid regions of the great peninsula Esar-haddon proceeded, probably in another year, to the invasion of the marsh-country on the Euphrates, where the Aramaean tribe of the Gambulu had their habitations, dwelling (he tells us) "like fish, in the midst of the waters"—doubtless much after the fashion of the modern Khuzeyl and Affej Arabs, the latter of whom inhabit nearly the same tract. The sheikh of this tribe had revolted; but on the approach of the Assyrians he submitted himself, bringing in person the arrears of his tribute and a present of buffaloes, whereby he sought to propitiate the wrath of his suzerain. Esar-haddon states that he forgave him; that he strengthened his capital with fresh works, placed a garrison in it, and made it a stronghold to protect the territory against the attacks of the Susianians.
The last expedition mentioned on the cylinder, which seems not to have been conducted by the king in person, was against the country of Bikni, or Bikan, one of the more remote regions of Media—perhaps Azerbijan. No Assyrian monarch before Esar-haddon had ever invaded this region. It was under the government of a number of chiefs—the Arian character of whose names is unmistakable—each of whom ruled over his own town and the adjacent district. Esar-haddon seized two of the chiefs and carried them off to Assyria, whereupon several others made their submission, consenting to pay a tribute and to divide their authority with Assyrian officers.
It is probable that these various expeditions occupied Esarhaddon from B.C. 681, the year of his accession, to B.C. 671, when it is likely that they were recorded on the existing cylinder. The expeditions are ten in number, directed against countries remote from one another; and each may well have occupied an entire year. There would thus remain only three more years of the king's reign, after the termination of the chief native record, during which his history has to be learnt from other sources. Into this space falls, almost certainly, the greatest of Esar-haddon's exploits the conquest of Egypt; and, probably, one of the most interesting episodes of his reign—the punishment and pardon of Manasseh. With the consideration of these two events the military history of his reign will terminate.
The conquest of Egypt by Esar-haddon, though concealed from Herodotus, and not known even to Diodorus, was no secret to the more learned Greeks, who probably found an account of the expedition in the great work of Berosus. All that we know of its circumstances is derived from an imperfect transcript of the Nahr-el-Kelb tablet, and a short notice in the annals of Esar-haddon's son and successor, Asshur-bani-pal, who finds it necessary to make an allusion to the former doings of his father in Egypt, in order to render intelligible the state of affairs when he himself invades the country. According to these notices, it would appear that Esar-haddon, having entered Egypt with a large army, probably in B.C. 670, gained a great battle over the forces of Tirhakah in the lower country, and took Memphis, the city where the Ethiopian held his court, after which he proceeded southwards, and conquered the whole of the Nile valley as far as the southern boundary of the Theban district. Thebes itself was taken and Tirhakah retreated into Ethiopia. Esar-haddon thus became master of all Egypt, at least as far as Thebes or Diospolis, the No or No-Amon of scripture. He then broke up the country into twenty governments, appointing in each town a ruler who bore the title of king, but placing all the others to a certain extent under the authority of the prince who reigned at Memphis. This was Neco, the father of Psammetichus (Psamatik I.)—a native Egyptian of whom we have some mention both in Herodotus and in the fragments of Manetho. The remaining rulers were likewise, for the most part, native Egyptians: though in two or three instances the governments appear to have been committed to Assyrian officers. Esar-haddon, having made these arrangements, and having set up his tablet at the mouth of the Nahr-el-Kelb side by side with that of Rameses II., returned to his own country, and proceeded to introduce sphinxes into the ornamentation of his palaces, while, at the same time, he attached to his former titles an additional clause, in which he declared himself to be "king of the kings of Egypt, and conqueror of Ethiopia."
The revolt of Manasseh king of Judah may have happened shortly before or shortly after the conquest of Egypt. It was not regarded as of sufficient importance to call for the personal intervention of the Assyrian monarch. The "captains of the host of the king of Assyria" were entrusted with the task of Manasseh's subjection; and, proceeding into Judaea, they "took him, and bound him with chains, and carried him to Babylon," where Esar-haddon had built himself a palace, and often held his court. The Great king at first treated his prisoner severely; and the "affliction" which he thus suffered is said to have broken his pride and caused him to humble himself before God, and to repent of all the cruelties and idolatries which had brought this judgment upon him. Then God "was entreated of him, and heard his supplication, and brought him back again to Jerusalem into his kingdom." The crime of defection was overlooked by the Assyrian monarch, Manasseh was pardoned, and sent back to Jerusalem: where he was allowed to resume the reins of government, but on the condition, if we may judge by the usual practice of the Assyrians in such cases, of paying an increased tribute.
It may have been in connection with this restoration of Manasseh to his throne—an act of doubtful policy from an Assyrian point of view—that Esar-haddon determined on a project by which the hold of Assyria upon Palestine was considerably strengthened. Sargon, as has been already observed when he removed the Israelites from Sumaria, supplied their place by colonists from Babylon, Cutha, Sippara, Ava, Hamath, and Arabia; this planting a foreign garrison in the region which would be likely to preserve its fidelity. Esar-haddon resolved to strengthen this element. He gathered men from Babylon, Orchoe, Susa, Elymais, Persia, and other neighboring regions, and entrusting them to an officer of high rank—"the great and noble Asnapper"—had them conveyed to Palestine and settled over the whole country, which until this time must have been somewhat thinly peopled. The restoration of Manasseh, and the augmentation of this foreign element in Palestine, are thus portions, but counterbalancing portions, of one scheme—a scheme, the sole object of which was the pacification of the empire by whatever means, gentle or severe, seemed best calculated to effect the purpose.
The last years of Esar-haddon were, to some extent, clouded with disaster. He appears to have fallen ill in B.C. 669: and the knowledge of this fact at once produced revolution in Egypt. Tirhakah issued from his Ethiopian fastnesses, descended the valley of the Nile, expelled the kings set up by Esar-haddon, and re-established his authority over the whole country. Esar-haddon, unable to take the field, resolved to resign the cares of the empire to his eldest son, Asshur-bani-pal, and to retire into a secondary position. Relinquishing the crown of Assyria, and retaining that of Babylon only, he had Asshur-bani-pal proclaimed king of Assyria, and retired to the southern capital. There he appears to have died in B.C. 668, or early in B.C. 667, leaving Asshur-bani-pal sole sovereign of the entire empire.
Of the architecture of Esar-haddon, and of the state of the arts generally in his time, it is difficult to speak positively. Though he appears to have been one of the most indefatigable constructors of great works that Assyria produced, having erected during the short period over which his reign extended no fewer than four palaces and above thirty temples, yet it happens unfortunately that we are not as yet in a condition to pronounce a decisive judgment either on the plan of his buildings or on the merits of their ornamentation of his three great palaces, which were situated at Babylon, Calah, and Nineveh, one only—that at Calah or Nimrud has been to any large extent explored. Even in this case the exploration was far from complete, and the ground plan of his palace is still very defective. But this is not the worst. The palace itself had never been finished; its ornamentation had scarcely been begun; and the little of this that was original had been so damaged by a furious conflagration, that it perished almost at the moment of discovery. We are thus reduced to judge of the sculptures of Esar-haddon by the reports of those who saw them ere they fell to pieces, and by one or two drawings, while we have to form our conception of his buildings from a half-explored fragment of a half-finished palace, which was moreover destroyed by fire before completion.
The palace of Esar-haddon at Calah was built at the south-western corner of the Nimrud mound, abutting towards the west on the Tigris, and towards the south on the valley formed by the Shor-Derreh torrent. It faced northwards, and was entered on this side from the open space of the platform, through a portal guarded by two winged bulls of the ordinary character. The visitor on entering found himself in a large court, 280 feet by 100, bounded on the north side by a mere wall, but on the other three sides surrounded by buildings. The main building was opposite to him, and was entered from the court by two portals, one directly facing the great northern gate of the court, and the other a little to the left hand, the former guarded by colossal bulls, the latter merely reveted with slabs. These portals both led into the same room—the room already described in an earlier page of this work—which was designed on the most magnificent scale of all the Assyrian apartments, but was so broken up through the inability of the architect to roof in a wide space without abundant support, that, practically, it formed rather a suite of four moderate-sized chambers than a single grand hall. The plan of this apartment will be seen by referring to [PLATE XLIII., Fig. 2.] Viewed as a single apartment, the room was 165 feet in length by 62 feet in width, and thus contained an area of 10,230 square feet, a space nearly half as large again as that covered by the greatest of the halls of Sennacherib, which was 7200 feet. Viewed as a suite of chambers, the rooms may be described as two long and narrow halls running parallel to one another, and communicating by a grand doorway in the middle, with two smaller chambers placed at the two ends, running at right angles to the principal ones. The small chambers were 62 feet long, and respectively 19 feet and 23 feet wide; the larger ones were 110 feet long, with a width respectively of 20 feet and 28 feet. The inner of the two long parallel chambers communicated by a grand doorway, guarded by sphinxes and colossal lions, either with a small court or with a large chamber extending to the southern edge of the mound; and the two end rooms communicated with smaller apartments in the same direction. The buildings to the right and left of the great court seem to have been entirely separate from those at its southern end: to the left they were wholly unexamined; on the right some explorations were conducted which gave the usual result of several long narrow apartments, with perhaps one or two passages. The extent of the palace westward, southward, and eastward is uncertain: eastward it was unexplored; southward and westward the mound had been eaten into by the Tigris and the Shor-Derreh torrent.
The walls of Esar-haddon's palace were composed, in the usual way, of sun-dried bricks, reveted with slabs of alabaster. Instead, however, of quarrying fresh alabaster slabs for the purpose, the king preferred to make use of those which were already on the summit of the mound, covering the walls of the north-western and central palaces, which, no doubt, had fallen into decay. His workmen tore down these sculptured monuments from their original position, and transferring them to the site of the new palace, arranged them so as to cover the freshly-raised walls, generally placing the carved side against the crude brick, and leaving the back exposed to receive fresh sculptures, but sometimes exposing the old sculpture, which, however, in such cases, it was probably intended to remove by the chisel. This process was still going on, when either Esarhaddon died and the works were stopped, or the palace was destroyed by fire. Scarcely any of the new sculptures had been executed. The only exceptions were the bulls and lions at the various portals, a few reliefs in close proximity to them, and some complete figures of crouching sphinxes, which had been placed as ornaments, and possibly also as the bases of supports, within the span of the two widest doorways. There was nothing very remarkable about the bulls; the lions were spirited, and more true to nature than usual; the sphinxes were curious, being Egyptian in idea, but thoroughly Assyrianized, having the horned cap common on bulls, the Assyrian arrangement of hair, Assyrian earrings, and wings nearly like those of the ordinary winged bull or lion. [PLATE CXLVI., Fig. 2.] The figures near the lions were mythic, and exhibited somewhat more than usual grotesqueness, as we learn from the representations of them given by Mr. Layard.
While the evidence of the actual monuments as to the character of Esar-haddon's buildings and their ornamentation is thus scanty, it happens, curiously, that the Inscriptions furnish a particularly elaborate and detailed account of them. It appears, from the principal record of the time, that the temples which Esar-haddon built in Assyria and Babylonia—thirty-six in number—were richly adorned with plates of silver and gold, which made then (in the words of the Inscription) "as splendid as the day." His palace at Nineveh, a building situated on the mound called Nebbi Yunus, was, we are told, erected upon the site of a former palace of the kings of Assyria. Preparations for its construction were made, as for the great buildings of Solomon by the collection of materials, iii wood, stone, and metal, beforehand: these were furnished by the Phoenician, Syrian, and Cyprian monarchs, who sent to Nineveh for the purpose great beams of cedar, cypress, and ebony, stone statues, and various works in metals of different kinds. The palace itself is said to have exceeded in size all buildings of former kings. It was roofed with carved beams of cedar-wood; it was in part supported by columns of cypress wood, ornamented and strengthened with rings of silver and of iron; the portals were guarded by stone bulls and lions; and the gates were made of ebony and cypress ornamented with iron, silver, and ivory. There was, of course, the usual adornment of the walls by means of sculptured slabs and enamelled bricks. If the prejudices of the Mahometans against the possible disturbance of their dead, and against the violation by infidel hands of the supposed tomb of Jonah, should hereafter be dispelled, and excavations be freely allowed in the Nebbi Yunus mound, we may look to obtain very precious relics of Assyrian art from the palace of Esar-haddon, now lying buried beneath the village or the tombs which share between them this most important site.
Of Esar-haddon's Babylonian palace nothing is at present known, beyond the mere fact of its existence; but if the mounds at Hillah should ever be thoroughly explored, we may expect to recover at least its ground-plan, if not its sculptures and other ornaments. The Sherif Khan palace has been examined pretty completely. It was very much inferior to the ordinary palatial edifices of the Assyrians, being in fact only a house which Esar-haddon built as a dwelling for his eldest son during his own lifetime. Like the more imposing buildings of this king, it was probably unfinished at his decease. At any rate its remains add nothing to our knowledge of the state of art in Esar-haddon's time, or to our estimate of that monarch's genius as a builder.
After a reign of thirteen years, Esar-haddon, "king of Assyria, Babylon, Egypt, Meroe, and Ethiopia," as he styles himself in his later inscriptions, died, leaving his crown to his eldest son, Asshur-bani-pal, whom he had already associated in the government. Asshur-bani-pal ascended the throne in B.C. 668, or very early in B.C. 667; and his first act seems to have been to appoint as viceroy of Babylon his younger brother Saul-Mugina, who appears as Sam-mughes in Polyhistor, and as Saosduchinus in the Canon of Ptolemy.
The first war in which Asshur-bani-pal engaged was most probably with Egypt. Late in the reign of Esar-haddon, Tirhakah (as already stated 619) had descended from the upper country, had recovered Thebes, Memphis, and most of the other Egyptian cities, and expelled from them the princes and governors appointed by Esar-haddon upon his conquest. Asshur-bani-pal, shortly after his accession, collected his forces, and marched through Syria into Egypt, where he defeated the army sent against him by Tirhakah in a great battle near the city of Kar-banit. Tirhakah, who was at Memphis, hearing of the disaster that had befallen his army, abandoned Lower Egypt, and sailed up the Nile to Thebes, whither the forces of Asshur-bani-pal followed him; but the nimble Ethiopian retreated still further up the Nile valley, leaving all Egypt from Thebes downwards to his adversary. Asshur-bani-pal, upon this, reinstated in their former governments the various princes and rulers whom his lather had originally appointed, and whom Tirhakah had expelled; and then, having rested and refreshed his army by a short stay in Thebes, returned victoriously by way of Syria to Nineveh.
Scarcely was he departed when intrigues began for the restoration of the Ethiopian power. Neco and some of the other Egyptian governors, whom Asshur-bani-pal had just reinstated in their posts, deserted the Assyrian side and went over to the Ethiopians. Attempts were made to suppress the incipient revolt by the governors who continued faithful; Neco and one or two of his copartners in guilt were seized and sent in chains to Assyria; and some of the cities chiefly implicated, as Sais, Mendes, and Tanis (Zoan), were punished. But the efforts at suppression failed. Tirliakah entered Upper Egypt, and having established himself at Thebes, threatened to extend his authority once more over the whole of the Nilotic valley. Thereupon Asshur-bani-pal, having forgiven Neco, sent him, accompanied by a strong force, into Egypt; and Tirhakah was again compelled to quit the lower country and retire to Upper Egypt, where he soon after died. His crown fell to his step-son, Urdamane, who is perhaps the Rud-Amun of the Hieroglyphics. This prince was at first very successful. He descended the Nile valley in force, defeated the Assyrians near Memphis, drove them to take refuge within its walls, besieged and took the city, and recovered Lower Egypt. Upon this Asshur-bani-pal, who was in the city of Asshur when he heard the news, went in person against his new adversary, who retreated as he advanced, flying from Memphis to Thebes, and from Thebes to a city called Kipkip, far up the course of the Nile. Asshur-bani-pal and his army now entered Thebes, and sacked it. The plunder which was taken, consisting of gold, silver, precious stones, dyed garments, captives male and female, ivory, ebony, tame animals (such as monkeys and elephants) brought up in the palace, obelisks, etc., was carried off and conveyed to Nineveh. Governors were once more set up in the several cities, Psammetichus being probably among them; and, hostages having been taken to secure their fidelity, the Assyrian monarch returned home with his booty.
Between his first and second expedition into Egypt, Asshur-bani-pal was engaged in warlike operations on the Syrian coast, and in transactions of a different character with Cilicia. Returning from Egypt, he made an attack on Tyre, whose king, Baal, had offended him, and having compelled him to submit, exacted from him a large tribute, which he sent away to Nineveh. About the same time Asshur-bani-pal entered into communication with the Cilician monarch, whose name is not given, and took to wife a daughter of that princely house, which was already connected with the royal race of the Sargonids.
Shortly after his second Egyptian expedition, Asshur-bani-pal seems to have invaded Asia Minor. Crossing the Taurus range, he penetrated to a region never before visited by any Assyrian monarch; and, having reduced various towns in these parts and returned to Nineveh, he received an embassy of a very unusual character. "Gyges, king of Lydia," he tells us, "a country on the sea-coast, a remote place, of which the kings his ancestors had never even heard the name, had formerly learnt in a dream the fame of his empire, and had sent officers to his presence to perform homage on his behalf." He now sent a second time to Asshur-bani-pal, and told him that since his submission he had been able to defeat the Cimmerians, who had formerly ravaged his land with impunity; and he begged his acceptance of two Cimmerian chiefs, whom he had taken in battle, together with other presents, which Asshur-bani-pal regarded as a "tribute." About the same time the Assyrian monarch repulsed the attack of the "king of Kharbat," on a district of Babylonia, and, having taken Kharbat, transported its inhabitants to Egypt.
After thus displaying his power and extending his dominions towards the south-west, the north-west, and the south-east, Asshur-bani-pal turned his arms towards the north-east, and invaded Minni, or Persarmenia—the mountain-country about Lakes Van and Urumiyeh. Akhsheri, the king, having lost his capital, Izirtu, and several other cities, was murdered by his subjects; and his son, Vahalli, found himself compelled to make submission, and sent an embassy to Nineveh to do homage, with tribute, presents, and hostages. Asshur-bani-pal received the envoys graciously, pardoned Vahalli, and maintained him upon the throne, but forced him to pay a heavy tribute. He also in this expedition conquered a tract called Paddiri, which former kings of Assyria had severed from Minni and made independent, but which Asshur-bani-pal now attached to his own empire, and placed under an Assyrian governor.
A war of some duration followed with Elam, or Susiana, the flames of which at one time extended over almost the whole empire. This war was caused by a transfer of allegiance. Certain tribes, pressed by a famine, had passed from Susiana into the territories of Asshur-bani-pal, and were allowed to settle there; but when, the famine being over, they wished to return to their former country, Asshur-bani-pal would not consent to their withdrawal. Urtaki, the Susianian king, took umbrage at this refusal, and, determining to revenge himself, commenced hostilities by an invasion of Babylonia. Belubager, king of the important Aramaean tribe of the Gambulu, assisted him and Saul-Mugina, in alarm, sent to his brother for protection. An Assyrian army was dispatched to his aid, before which Urtaki fled. He was, however, pursued, caught and defeated. With some difficulty he escaped and returned to Susa, where within a year he died, without having made any fresh effort to injure or annoy his antagonist.
His death was a signal for a domestic revolution which proved very advantageous to the Assyrians. Urtaki had driven his older brother, Umman-aldas, from the throne, and, passing over the rights of his sons, had assumed the supreme authority. At his death, his younger brother, Temin-Umman, seized the crown, disregarding not only the rights of the sons of Umman-aldas, but likewise those of the sons of Urtaki. As the pretensions of those princes were dangerous, Temin-Umman endeavored to seize their persons with the intention of putting them to death; but they, having timely warning of their danger, fled; and, escaping to Nineveh with their relations and adherents, put themselves under the protection of Asshur-bani-pal. It thus happened that in the expedition which now followed, Asshur-bani-pal had a party which favored him in Elam itself. Temin-Umman, however, aware of this internal weakness, made great efforts to compensate for it by the number of his foreign allies. Two descendants of Merodach-Baladan, who had principalities upon the coast of the Persian Gulf, two mountain chiefs, one of them a blood-connection of the Assyrian crown, two sons of Belu-bagar, sheikh of the Gambulu, and several other inferior chieftains, are mentioned as bringing their troops to his assistance, and fighting in his cause against the Assyrians. All, however, was in vain. Asshur-bani-pal defeated the allies in several engagements, and finally took Temin-Umman prisoner, executed him, and exposed his head over one of the gates of Nineveh. He then divided Elam between two of the sons of Urrtaki, Umman-ibi and Tammarit, establishing the former in Susa, and the latter at a town called Khidal in Eastern Susiana. Great severities were exercised upon the various princes and nobles who had been captured. A son of Temin-Umman was executed with his father. Several grand-sons of Merodach-Baladin suffered mutilation, A Chaldaean prince and one of the chieftains of the Clambulu had their tongues torn out by the roots. Another of the Gambulu chiefs was decapitated. Two of the Temin-Umman's principal officers were chained and flayed. Palaya, a grandson of Merodach-Baladan, was mutilated. Asshur-bani-pal evidently hoped to strike terror into his enemies by these cruel, and now unusual, punishments, which, being inflicted for the most part upon royal personages, must have made a profound impression on the king-reverencing Asiatics.
The impression made was, however, one of horror rather than of alarm. Scarcely had the Assyrians returned to Nineveh, when fresh troubles broke out. Saul-Mugina, discontented with his position, which was one of complete dependence upon his brother, rebelled, and, declaring himself king of Babylon in his own right, sought and obtained a number of important allies among his neighbors. Umman-ibi, though he had received his crown from Asshur-bani-pal, joined him, seduced by a gift of treasure from the various Babylonian temples. Vaiteha, a powerful Arabian prince, and Nebo-belsumi, a surviving grandson of Merodach-Baladan, came into the confederacy; and Saul-Mugina had fair grounds for expecting that he would be able to maintain his independence. But civil discord—the curse of Elam at this period—once more showed itself, and blighted all these fair prospects. Tammarit, the brother of Ummman-ibi, finding that the latter had sent the flower of his army into Babylonia, marched against him, defeated and slew him, and became king of all Elam. Maintaining, however, the policy of his brother, he entered into alliance with Saul-Mugina, and proceeded to put himself at the head of the Elamitic contingent, which was serving in Babylonia. Here a just Nemesis overtook him. Taking advantage of his absence, a certain Inda-bibi (or Inda-bigas), a mountain-chief from the fastnesses of Luristan, raised a revolt in Elam, and succeeded in seating himself upon the throne. The army in Babylonia declining to maintain the cause of Tammarit, he was forced to fly and conceal himself, while the Elamitic troops returned home. Saul-Mugina then lost the most important of his allies at the moment of his greatest danger for his brother had at length marched against him at the head of an immense army, and was overrunning his northern provinces. Without the Elamites it was impossible for Babylon to contend with Assyria in the Open field.