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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.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(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.)
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
The Amorites, for example, never reunited the Babylonian region into a stable unit: Hammurabi's state split up during the reign of his successor, and Babylonia was not reunified again until Kassite times.
Ur III kings also gained priestly sanction for their rule by piously carrying out religious ceremonies and building lavish temples for the priests.(68) These patriotic appeals, combined with improved social technology, seem to have worked: Ur III kings apparently faced few revolts in the Sumerian heartland, though the culturally distinctive Elamites were much less submissive.(69) Later Kassite kings followed the same formula of religious ceremony, temple-building projects, and deference to tradition with even more success: they controlled Babylonia for some three centuries, apparently with few attempts at revolt.(70)
Kassites among the Hurrians: A Case Study from Nuzi.
Foreigners under Foreign Rulers: The Case of Kassite Babylonia (2nd Half of the 2nd Millennium B.C.).
Reade, "Kassites and Assyrians in Iran," Iran 16 (1978): 139-40; and "Hasanlu, Gilzanu, and Related Considerations," AMI 12 (1979): 179; contra Brown, "Media and Secondary State Formation," 111; and Lanfranchi in this volume.
According to the Nippur archives, which furnish the vast majority of the pertinent texts from the period, almost all members of minorities--with the exception of the Kassites, who included the ruling dynasty, and a few Assyrians who appear as messengers, merchants, or the like--appear as marginalized servile laborers under the dominance of powerful economic institutions and not as free and active participants in the cultural life of the towns and cities.
For instance, do Babylonians, Kassites, and Chaldeans really have the same or a similar social structure (19) simply because the same polyvalent terms "house" and "son" are employed to designate relationships within groups or between individuals?
This need not be merely anecdotal ("Sargon sacked Ebla [he didn't] and here is the resulting destruction") but can be more processual ("the Kassites controlled the upper Diyala basin and here are their Kassite pots, or tablets, or seals, to prove it").
Three tablets, one dated to year 30 of Samsuiluna, yield more information on the role of Kassites in OB society.
timiras 'a dark/black color (of an animal)' in the Kassite language,
timiras be included among the Kassite words derived from Indo-Aryan.
Kashtiliashu's Akkadianized Kassite name is an enigma, and Podany has argued that the Hanean king may be not only contemporary with the Kassite king Kashtiliash, but in fact the same person, although she admits the evidence is still scanty.