Midterm1 - Midterm #1, Part 1 Question 2: The Assyrians...

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Midterm #1, Part 1 Question 2: The Assyrians Introduction Since the rise and establishment of the city-states of Mesopotamia in 3000 B.C., mankind has flourished in its efforts toward technological and societal betterment. For the following 3000 years, civilizations were brought forth successfully and each reaped the benefits of human innovation. But regardless of such fruitful events, the flowering of economical stability and societal standards inevitably brought forth the need for power, and thus war. It is clear through documentations of human history in the Bronze Age that many civilizations experienced the capture, as well as the loss, of power over other civilizations. Among the more notably powerful of these peoples were the Assyrians, who dominated neighboring civilizations of the Near East throughout the Bronze Age. The Rise of Assyria The Assyrian Empire was among the first of various powers to emerge upon the advent of the power vacuum caused by the fall of the Hittite kingdom and the decline of Egypt. After the death of Solomon, King of Israel, conflict between the northern and southern tribes of Israel broke out, and two separate kingdoms were established thereafter. Because of circumstances such as these, in which different city-states and kingdoms were constantly at war, the Assyrians were able to take advantage of and subdue great parts of the Near East. In order to maintain control over conquered lands, the Assyrians forced the conquered to resettle to foreign lands and pay tribute to the empire, which heavily burdened the economical supply of those subject to this policy. The Assyrians also relied heavily on iron weaponry and “each year embarked on military expeditions to continue [the] expansion” of the Assyrian kingdom. ( http://joseph_berrigan.tripod.com/ancientbabylon/id21.html ) Over the course of many years, the Assyrians developed effective military tactics and leaders, enlisting and deploying troops by the hundred thousands. In addition to size, the Assyrian military was also extremely disciplined and organized, and included a standing army, cavalrymen and horse drawn chariots, which collectively guaranteed effectiveness and success in war. In addition, kings exercised absolute control, which helped to guarantee organization within the empire. Governorship based on a hereditary basis was eliminated, and officials were directly responsible to the king, a policy change which gave the king greater control over resources. In essence, the Assyrians ruled by what has been called “barbarous and unspeakable cruelty”, testament to their success as powerful, but brutal conquerors. ( http://countrystudies.us/iraq/12.htm#SUMERIANS :) By utilizing sheer force, military brilliance and political savvy, the Assyrians were able to rise to power and effectively dominate the Near East. The Fall of Assyria
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This note was uploaded on 08/30/2008 for the course HIST 4A taught by Professor Feig during the Spring '08 term at UCSD.

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Midterm1 - Midterm #1, Part 1 Question 2: The Assyrians...

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