The final battle of the campaign was won by Ashurbanipal after killing King Teumann. Shamash-shum-ukin is traditionally believed to have committed suicide by setting himself and his family on fire in his palace,[44][6] but contemporary texts only say that he "met a cruel death" and that the gods "consigned him to a fire and destroyed his life". Ashurbanipal as High Priestby N/A (CC BY-SA). [66], Ashurbanipal was succeeded as king by his son, Ashur-etil-ilani, and he seems to have been inspired by the succession plans of his father as another of his sons, Sinsharishkun, was granted the fortress-city of Nippur and was designated to be the successor of Kandalanu at Babylon once Kandalanu died. [33] In his inscriptions, Ashurbanipal describes his victory as follows: Like the onset of a terrible hurricane I overwhelmed Elam in its entirety. Humban-haltash III, who became the new Elam king, continued battling against Ashurbanipal along with the Chaldean warlord Nabu-bel-shumati. Mark, J. J. Ashurbanipal died in 631 BC after ruling the empire for 38 years. The struggle with Elam was harder; war there dragged on until 639 bc, when the Assyrians sacked Susa. No governor or prefect was appointed without consulting him, and he had authority over many state building projects. Ashurbanipal. By 653 BC, Ashurbanipal’s brother Shamash-shum-ukin had become frustrated due to Ashurbanipal's rule in his own kingdom. [9] The two princes arrived at the capital of Nineveh together and partook in a celebration with foreign representatives and Assyrian nobles and soldiers. [18] Esarhaddon entirely bypassed the third eldest son, Shamash-metu-uballit, possibly because this prince suffered from poor health. During this time Assyria had a string of powerful and capable rulers such as Tiglath-Pileser III, Sargon II, Sennacherib, and Ashurbanipal. Shapibel, the stronghold of Gambulu, I captured. For no better reason than vengeance, Ashurbanipal ordered the royal tombs opened and the bones of the kings bundled off into captivity” (414). Because Lydian mercenaries had assisted Egypt, this help was refused. Ummanigash's army was defeated near the city Der and as a result, he was deposed in Elam by Tammaritu II, who then ruled as king. After the Assyrians had plundered the region of Khuzistan the Assyrian army returned home and Humban-haltash returned and retook the throne. [3], Although Ashurbanipal's final year is often repeated as 627 BC,[9][4] this follows an inscription at Harran made by the mother of the Neo-Babylonian king Nabonidus nearly a century later. By splitting rulership of the empire, he might have surmised that such jealousy and rivalry could be avoided. A freelance writer and former part-time Professor of Philosophy at Marist College, New York, Joshua J. For a general account of the reign of Ashurbanipal consult A. T. Olmstead, History of Assyria (1923), and J. Ashurbanipal's earliest account of his campaign against the Arabs was created in 649 BC and describes how the king Yauta, son of Hazael, king of the Qedarites (who had been a tributary of Ashurbanipal's father) revolted against Ashurbanipal, together with another Arabic king called Ammuladdin, and plundered the western lands of the Assyrian Empire. [3] During his reign, the Assyrian Empire prospered economically, despite its continuing expansion. According to the historian Paul Kriwaczek, "Ashurbanipal went further than mere ability to read and claimed complete mastery of all the scribal arts" (250). In Dananu's stead, Ashurbanipal appointed a noble called Rimutu as the new Gambulian chieftain after he had agreed to pay a considerable sum in tribute to the Assyrian king. Bel-iqisha’s son Dunanu, who fought from the Elamites’ side, was executed. Since Ashurbanipal did not know his brother had invited the Elamites to Babylon, Shamash-shum-ukin continued with his rule and Ashurbanipal continued to dictate it. [3] He was educated by the general Nabu-shar-usur and the scribe Nabu-ahi-eriba and developed an interest in literature and history. Even if he had known his brother was complicit in the Elamite invasion, he would have had no time to deal with the problem. Inscriptions from Babylon indicate that Ashurbanipal had been dictating his brother’s decrees and managing his affairs. Shamash-shum-ukin would rule at Babylonfor sixteen years, apparently mostly peacefully in regards to his younger brother, but there would be repeate… [76] American Professor of Biblical Studies Michael B. Dick has refuted this, pointing out that even though Nabonidus did go to some length to revive some old Assyrian symbols (such as wearing a wrapped cloak in his depictions, absent in those of other Neo-Babylonian kings but present in Assyrian art) and attempted to link himself to the Sargonid dynasty, there is "no evidence whatsoever that Nabonidus was related to the Sargonid Dynasty". The empire prospered economically despite the threatened closure of the northern and eastern trade routes due to Lydian and Median expansions. If he wasn't one of Ashurbanipal's brothers, he was likely a Babylonian noble who had allied with Ashurbanipal in the civil war and had been rewarded with the rank of king. Assyrian garrisons and officials there continued to report to the Assyrian king, and he continued to appoint governors both in the Sealand (Persian Gulf) and in Ur. Ashurbanipal, also spelled Assurbanipal, or Asurbanipal, (flourished 7th century bc ), last of the great kings of Assyria (reigned 668 to 627 bc ), who assembled in Nineveh the first systematically organized library in the ancient Middle East. A letter from Zakir, a courtier at Shamash-shum-ukin's court, to Ashurbanipal described how visitors from the Sea Land had publicly criticized Ashurbanipal in front of Shamash-shum-ukin, using the phrase "this is not the word of a king!". This same Taharqa forgot the might of Ashur, Ishtar and the other great gods, my lords, and put his trust upon his own power. The fourth monarch of the Sargonid dynasty, he is remembered for constructing the world’s first systematically organized library, ‘Library of Ashurbanipal’. But he forgot this kindness I had shown him and planned evil. In between collecting his library, renovating Nineveh, and running the empire, Ashurbanipal continued to lead his own military campaigns. [4] Egypt had been conquered by Esarhaddon in 671 BC, one of Ashurbanipal's father's greatest accomplishments. Ashurbanipal. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. These later accounts also explicitly connect Yauta's rebellion to the revolt of Shamash-shum-ukin, placing it at the same time and suggesting that the western raids by the Arabs were prompted by the instability caused by the Assyrian civil war. Lion-hunting was reserved for Assyrian royalty and was a public event, staged at parks in or near the Assyrian cities. All rights reserved. He left the empire in the hands of his son Ashur-etel-ilani but this decision was challenged by the new king’s twin brother, Sin-shar-ishkun and a civil war erupted. A longer variant is presented on one of Ashurbanipal's building inscriptions in Babylon: Ashurbanipal, the mighty king, king of the universe, king of Assyria, king of the four regions of the world, king of kings, unrivaled prince, who, from the Upper to the Lower Sea, holds sway and has brought in submission at his feet all rulers; son of Esarhaddon, the great king, the mighty king, king of the universe, king of Assyria, viceroy of Babylon, king of Sumer and Akkad; grandson of Sennacherib, the mighty king, king of the universe, king of Assyria, am I. [9], Because Esarhaddon was constantly ill, much of the administrative duties of the empire fell upon Ashurbanipal and Shamash-shum-ukin during the last few years of their father's reign. [80] He has also been seen as a patron of the arts due to the many sculptures and reliefs he erected in his palaces at Nineveh, depicting the most important events from his long reign. 3 (1925). Although Ashurbanipal did as his father did with his own sons, appointing them as co-regents before his death in 627 BC, the wars he fought during his reign weakened his empire a great deal. Shamash-shum-ukin committed suicide in his burning palace in 648 bc. Three of Urtak's sons, chief rival claimants to the Elamite throne, escaped to Assyria and were harbored by Ashurbanipal, despite Teumman demanding them to be returned to Elam. [9], Most of the traditional Mesopotamian stories and tales known today, such as the Epic of Gilgamesh, the Enûma Eliš (the Babylonian creation myth), Erra, the Myth of Etana and the Epic of Anzu, only survived until the modern era because they were included in Ashurbanipal's library. A similar titulature is used on one of Ashurbanipal's many tablets: I, Ashurbanipal, the great king, the mighty king, king of the universe, king of Assyria, king of the four regions of the world, son of Esarhaddon, king of the universe, king of Assyria, grandson of Sennacherib, king of the universe, king of Assyria, eternal seed of royalty ...[88]. ( CC BY-SA 3.0 ) Once Egypt was captured, Esarhaddon and his successor, Assurbanipal (680-626 BC), ruled an empire that stretched over 1,000 miles from the Nile River to the Caucasus Mountains. When Ashurbanipal died in 627 BCE the empire broke apart. Shamash-shum-ukin, a son of equal status by another wife, was appointed crown prince of Babylonia.