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Related to Kassites: Hyksos, Assyrians, Manetho, Amorites, Mittani




(both: kăs`īts), ancient people, probably of Indo-European origin. They were first mentioned in historical texts as occupying the W Iranian plateau. In the 18th cent. B.C. they swept down on BabyloniaBabylonia
, ancient empire of Mesopotamia. The name is sometimes given to the whole civilization of S Mesopotamia, including the states established by the city rulers of Lagash, Akkad (or Agade), Uruk, and Ur in the 3d millennium B.C.
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, conquered the region, and ruled there until the 12th cent. B.C., when they returned to the Iranian plateau. They remained more or less independent until the beginning of the Christian era, when they disappeared from history.



(also Kossaioi; Akkadian, Kashshi), ancient mountain tribes that lived in the Zagros Mountains (western Iran), in what is now Luristan, during the second and first millennia B.C. The problem of their ethnic affiliation remains unresolved. The Kassites first invaded Babylonia in the middle of the 18th century B.C. and by the 16th century B.C. had conquered the entire country (the Kassite Dynasty ruled from 1518 to 1204 B.C.). The Kassite Period in the history of Babylonia has not been studied extensively. Letters and official documents dating primarily from the end of this period have been preserved. The most well-known architectural remain is the temple of King Kara-Indash in Erech (Uruk), dating from the 15th century B.C. The Kassites of western Iran were mentioned for the last time in 324 B.C. (during the time of Alexander the Great).


D’iakonov, I. M. Istoriia Midii. Moscow-Leningrad, 1956.
Balkan, K. Kassitenstudien, vol. 1. New Haven, 1954.
Brinkman, J. A. A Political History of Post-Kassite Babylonia. Rome, 1968. (Analecta orientalia, vol. 43.)
References in periodicals archive ?
Also wide-ranging interpretations concerning the varying roles of Babylonians and Kassites in the acceptance or development of Mesopotamian civilization should not rely on similar contestable evidence.
Leonhard Sassmannshausen's book, a revision of his doctoral dissertation, discusses political, social, and economic institutions of Babylonia under the Kassite dynasty.
1-181), entitled "Social Groups and Institutions in Babylonia during the Kassite Period," has three principal divisions: (a) offices and occupations, (b) ethnic groups, and (c) institutions and buildings.
Though the author mentions in general terms that slavery was apparently widespread in the Kassite period (1) and occasionally refers to persons of servile status attested in individual occupations, he seems to underestimate the pervasive reliance especially of the large institutions at Nippur on large numbers of coerced laborers.
181), which recapitulates some of the previous conclusions and makes comparisons with the institutions of the preceding Old Babylonian period, noting especially earlier features that had disappeared in Kassite times.
The author draws a series of conclusions about members of the Kassite royal family occupying the highest political and religious offices at Nippur and concentrating major political and religious power in a single person.
Here, too, anyone attempting to describe the administrative system of Kassite Babylonia must face squarely the limitations of the available documentation.
The ancient author was probably confusing Marduk-apla-iddina I (a late Kassite king and second successor to Adadsuma-usur) with Nabu-apla-iddina (a ninth-century Babylonian king, whose mother may have been of foreign extraction).
The title zazakku is attested at least once in the Kassite period: [?
DAB in texts from the Kassite period should be read as sakrumas or as kartappu.
Matthews, The Kassite Glyptic of Nippur (Freiburg, Switzerland: Universitatsverlag, 1992).