Ashur


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Related to Ashur: Ashurbanipal, Assyria, Baal, Ishtar, Nineveh

Ashur

(ăsh`ər), in the Bible, founder of Tekoa.

Ashur

(ăsh`o͞or), chief god of Assyria. Important as a god of war, he became the omniscient king of the pantheon, replacing the Babylonian Marduk. His name appears variously as Asur, Assur, Ashshur, Asshur, and Ashir.

Ashur

 

or Assur, a city in Assyria (today the ruins of Qalat Sharqat in Iraq).

The oldest archaeological layer dates back to the fourth millennium B.C. During the late third and the early second millennia B. C. it was a city-state administered by a governor (ishshakkum or shaknu) jointly with a council of elders. It was an advance post of Sumero-Akkadian culture and a major center for transit trade. Ashur became the capital of Assyria in the middle of the second millennium B.C. It ceased to be the residence of the king in the ninth century B.C., but it continued to be the capital. It was destroyed in 614 B.C. by the Medes. In the last centuries up to the Christian era it was a Parthian city. The ruins of Assur were discovered in 1821 and first investigated by the English scholar A. Layard from 1845 to 1847. Between 1903 and 1914 the German scholars R. Koldewey and W. Andrae discovered two lines of fortifications (the most ancient probably date back to the turn of the second millennium B.C.) with monumental gates and bastions. A library with cuneiform texts (including Hittite) was found that was older than Ashurbanipal’s. Pre-Parthian Assur consisted of the Inner City and the New City. (In the Inner City remains of palaces; temples of Nebo, Ishtar, Sin and Shamash, and Anu and Adad; ziggurats; and other structures have been preserved.) Monuments of Parthian times (many built on the ruins of the Assyrian structures) include ruins of a palace and a citadel, the “Parthian Acropolis”with temples, the so-called peripteros of Assur, and others.

REFERENCES

Andrae, W. Das wiedererstandene Assur. Leipzig, 1938.
Parrot, A. Assur. Paris [1961].

Assur

, Asur, Asshur, Ashur
1. the supreme national god of the ancient Assyrians, chiefly a war god, whose symbol was an archer within a winged disc
2. one of the chief cities of ancient Assyria, on the River Tigris about 100 km (60 miles) downstream from the present-day city of Mosul
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