Ancient West Asia , Assyrians

The first recollection of the Assyrians in written records occurs around 2300 BC. During this time, Sargon of Akkad invaded the small kingdom situated in the north. After 2000 BC, when Assur gained independence (from the 3rd Dynasty of Ur that was in the process of collapsing), the Assyrians earned quite a reputation in the world of trading.

The Assyrians were constantly traveling between Assur and southern Turkey , toting donkeys along with them and transporting cloth from Assur. They would trade their goods for gold, silver, and other metals. However, when the Hittites started to take over Turkey around 1800 BC, their trading activities ceased. It is noted that the last Assyrian caravan arriving in Turkey took place 1780 BC.

By the time 1700 BC rolled around, the Assyrians were taken over by the Amorites. In later years, the Hurrians (who lived in the northern part of Mesopotamia) controlled the Assyrians for a bit of time. The Hurrian kingdom collapsed around 1360 BC, which allowed the Assyrian governor of Assur (Assur-uballit) to stronghold the title of King of Assyria.

It didn’t take too long for unrest to emerge. Assur-uballit and the Assyrians found themselves fighting not only the Hurrians, but also the Kassites. This was the only way they could keep their independence. The Assyrians won their wars and were able to better establish themselves. Along the way, a great deal of alliances was made, even with the Kassites , who lived to the south of them. Their method of solidifying a partnership between the two cultures was to create marriages between Assyrian princesses and Kassite princes.

At one point, the Assyrians belonged to the only large ancient West Asian kingdom not to collapse. This meant that they were prime to take over. In the beginning, they resorted to tactics of plundering the regions that they came in contact with.

Soon, the Assyrian army gained a reputation of being feared wherever they went. They started out during the spring, traveling along the Tigris River. When they reached the Euphrates, they crossed it and continued upstream until they reached Assur once again. This journey ended by the end of the summertime. During their travels, the soldiers gathered whatever caught their eye. When they returned home, they had a great deal of gold, pieces of artwork, cloth, and slaves.

During the first Dark Age (612 BC to 33 AD), the Assyrian Empire collapsed in 612 BC. While the people survived losing their state, they would remain hidden for the next 600 years. In some records, the Persians stated that they gave work to some Assyrians in their troops. An unsuccessful attempt to revive the Assyrian Kingdom took place in 350 BC, but the Persian destroyed any hopes. As a result, they castrated about 400 Assyrian leaders to serve as punishment.