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Ashurbanipal(ä`sho͝or–), d. 626? B.C., king of ancient Assyria (669–633 B.C.), son and successor of Esar-HaddonEsar-Haddon
, king of ancient Assyria (681–668 B.C.), son of Sennacherib. Immediately upon ascending the throne he had to put down serious revolts and defeat the Chaldaeans. He was successful in both enterprises.
..... Click the link for more information. . The last of the great kings of Assyria, he drove TaharkaTaharka
, d. 663 B.C., king of ancient Egypt, last ruler of the XXV dynasty; son of Piankhi. Before he was king, he led the Egyptians against Sennacherib, who disastrously defeated him. Seizing (688 B.C.
..... Click the link for more information. out of Egypt and firmly established NechoNecho
, fl. 670 B.C., lord of Saïs, Egypt. He was confirmed in his holding after the Assyrian conquest in 670; he was later taken to Nineveh in chains for plotting to revolt but was pardoned and restored. He probably fell opposing (663) the Nubian reconquest under Tanutamon.
..... Click the link for more information. in power there only to have Necho's son PsamtikPsamtik
, Lat. Psammetichus, d. 609 B.C., king of ancient Egypt, founder of the XXVI dynasty. When his father, Necho, lord of Saïs under the Assyrians, was defeated and killed (663 B.C.
..... Click the link for more information. revolt in 660 B.C. and wrest Egypt permanently from Assyria. The uprising took place during a campaign by Assurbanipal against the Elamites and Chaldaeans. His brother, in command at Babylon, also headed a serious revolt by the enemies of the king. This insurgence was suppressed, though not without difficulty, and in retaliation, Assurbanipal took Babylon and slaughtered (648 B.C.) many of the inhabitants. He then defeated Elam and sacked Susa; Elamite power disappeared. Under Assurbanipal, Assyria reached the height of sumptuous living. The famous lion-hunt reliefs in the royal palace at Nineveh date from his reign and are among the finest examples of ancient sculpture. Assurbanipal was interested in learning; excavations at Nineveh have uncovered 22,000 clay tablets from his library—the chief sources of knowledge of ancient Mesopotamia. Among the tablets were found copies of the Babylonian flood and creation stories as well as historical and scientific literature. His reign ended the greatness of the empire (although two of his sons ruled briefly after his death), and Assyria succumbed to the Medes and the Persians only a few years later. His great expenditures in wars to preserve the state contributed somewhat to its collapse. Assurbanipal is probably the Asnappar or Osnapper of Ezra 4.10. He is identified with, but only faintly resembles, the SardanapalusSardanapalus
, in the Persica of Ctesias, an Assyrian monarch who lived in great luxury. He was besieged in Nineveh by the Medes for two years, at the end of which time he set fire to his palace and burned himself and his court to death. Byron wrote a tragedy on the theme.
..... Click the link for more information. of the Greeks.