Assur-nazir-pal (885-860) and Shalmaneser III. (860-825) -- The kingdom of Urartu and its conquering princes: Menuas and Argistis.
Assyria was the first to reappear on the scene of action. Less hampered by an ancient past than Egypt and Chaldaea, she was the sooner able to recover her strength after any disastrous crisis, and to assume again the offensive along the whole of her frontier line.
Image Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a bas-relief at Koyunjik of the time of Sennacherib. The initial cut, which is also by Faucher-Gudin, represents the broken obelisk of Assur- nazir-pal, the bas-reliefs of which are as yet unpublished.
During the years immediately following the ephemeral victories and reverses of Assurirba, both the country and its rulers are plunged in the obscurity of oblivion. Two figures at length, though at what date is uncertain, emerge from the darkness -- a certain Irbaramman and an Assur-nadinakhe II., whom we find engaged in building palaces and making a necropolis. They were followed towards 950 by a Tiglath-pileser II., of whom nothing is known but his name.* He in his turn was succeeded about the year 935 by one Assurdan II., who appears to have concentrated his energies upon public works, for we hear of him digging a canal to supply his capital with water, restoring the temples and fortifying towns. Kamman-nirari III., who followed him in 912, stands out more distinctly from the mists which envelop the history of this period; he repaired the gate of the Tigris and the adjoining wall at Assur, he enlarged its principal sanctuary, reduced several rebellious provinces to obedience, and waged a successful warfare against the neighbouring inhabitants of Karduniash. Since the extinction of the race of Nebuchadrezzar I., Babylon had been a prey to civil discord and foreign invasion. The Aramaean tribes mingled with, or contiguous to the remnants of the Cossoans bordering on the Persian gulf, constituted possibly, even at this period, the powerful nation of the Kalda.**
* Our only knowledge of Tiglath-pileser II. is from a brick, on which he is mentioned as being the grandfather of Ramman- nirari II.
** The names Chaldaea and Chaldaeans being ordinarily used to designate the territory and people of Babylon, I shall employ the term Kaldu or Kalda in treating of the Aramaean tribes who constituted the actual Chaldaean nation.
It has been supposed, not without probability, that a certain Simashshikhu, Prince of the Country of the Sea, who immediately followed the last scion of the line of Pashe,* was one of their chiefs. He endeavoured to establish order in the city, and rebuilt the temple of the Sun destroyed by the nomads at Sippar, but at the end of eighteen years he was assassinated. His son Eamukinshurnu remained at the head of affairs some three to six months; Kashshu-nadinakhe ruled three or six years, at the expiration of which a man of the house of Bazi, Eulbar-shakinshumi by name, seized upon the crown.** His dynasty consisted of three members, himself included, and it was overthrown after a duration of twenty years by an Elamite, who held authority for another seven.***
* The name of this prince has been read Simbarshiku by Peiser, a reading adopted by Rost; Simbarshiku would have been shortened into Sibir, and we should have to identify it with that of the Sibir mentioned by Assur-nazir-pal in his Annals, col. ii.1.84, as a king of Karduniash who lived before his (Assur-nazir-pal's) time (see p.38 of the present volume).
** The name of this king may be read Edubarshakin-shumi. The house of Bazi takes its name from an ancestor who must have founded it at some unknown date, but who never reigned in Chaldaea. Winckler has with reason conjectured that the name subsequently lost its meaning to the Babylonians, and that they confused the Chaldaean house of Bazi with the Arab country of Bazu: this may explain why in his dynasties Berosos attributes an Arab origin to that one which comprises the short-lived line of Bit-Bazi.
*** Our knowledge of these events is derived solely from the texts of the Babylonian Canon published and translated by G. Smith, by Pinches, and by Sayce. The inscription of Nabubaliddin informs us that Kashu-nadinakhe and Eulbar- shakinshumu continued the works begun by Simashshiku in the temple of the Sun at Sippar.
It was a period of calamity and distress, during which the Arabs or the Aramaeans ravaged the country, and pillaged without compunction not only the property of the inhabitants, but also that of the gods. The Elamite usurper having died about the year 1030, a Babylonian of noble extraction expelled the intruders, and succeeded in bringing the larger part of the kingdom under his rule.*
* The names of the first kings of this dynasty are destroyed in the copies of the Royal Canon which have come down to us. The three preceding dynasties are restored as follows: --
[Illustration: 006.jpg TABLE OF KINGS]
Five or six of his descendants had passed away, and a certain Shamash-mudammiq was feebly holding the reins of government, when the expeditions of Ramman-nirari III. provoked war afresh between Assyria and Babylon. The two armies encountered each other once again on their former battlefield between the Lower Zab and the Turnat. Shamash-mudammiq, after being totally routed near the Yalman mountains, did not long survive, and Naboshumishkun, who succeeded him, showed neither more ability nor energy than his predecessor. The Assyrians wrested from him the fortresses of Bambala and Bagdad, dislodged him from the positions where he had entrenched himself, and at length took him prisoner while in flight, and condemned him to perpetual captivity.*
* Shamash-mudammiq appears to have died about 900.
Naboshumishkun probably reigned only one or two years, from 900 to 899 or to 898. The name of his successor is destroyed in the Synchronous History; it might be Nabubaliddin, who seems to have had a long life, but it is wiser, until fresh light is thrown on the subject, to admit that it is some prince other than Nabubaliddin, whose name is as yet unknown to us.
His successor abandoned to the Assyrians most of the districts situated on the left bank of the Lower Zab between the Zagros mountains and the Tigris, and peace, which was speedily secured by a double marriage, remained unbroken for nearly half a century. Tukulti-ninip II. was fond of fighting; |he overthrew his adversaries and exposed their heads upon stakes,| but, unlike his predecessor, he directed his efforts against Nairi and the northern and western tribes. We possess no details of his campaigns; we can only surmise that in six years, from 890 to 885,* he brought into subjection the valley of the Upper Tigris and the mountain provinces which separate it from the Assyrian plain. Having reached the source of the river, he carved, beside the image of Tiglath-pileser I., the following inscription, which may still be read upon the rock. |With the help of Assur, Shamash, and Ramman, the gods of his religion, he reached this spot. The lofty mountains he subjugated from the sun-rising to its down-setting; victorious, irresistible, he came hither, and like unto the lightning he crossed the raging rivers.|**
* The parts preserved of the Eponym canon begin their record in 893, about the end of the reign of Ramman-nirari IL The line which distinguishes the two reigns from one another is drawn between the name of the personage who corresponds to the year 890, and that of Tukulti-ninip who corresponds to the year 889: Tukulti-ninip II., therefore, begins his reign in 890, and his death is six years later, in 885.
** This inscription and its accompanying bas-relief are mentioned in the Annals of Assur-nazir-pal.
He did not live long to enjoy his triumphs, but his death made no impression on the impulse given to the fortunes of his country. The kingdom which he left to Assur-nazir-pal, the eldest of his sons, embraced scarcely any of the countries which had paid tribute to former sovereigns. Besides Assyria proper, it comprised merely those districts of Nairi which had been annexed within his own generation; the remainder had gradually regained their liberty: first the outlying dependencies -- Cilicia, Melitene, Northern Syria, and then the provinces nearer the capital, the valleys of the Masios and the Zagros, the steppes of the Khabur, and even some districts such as Lubdi and Shupria, which had been allotted to Assyrian colonists at various times after successful campaigns. Nearly the whole empire had to be reconquered under much the same conditions as in the first instance. Assyria itself, it is true, had recovered the vitality and elasticity of its earlier days. The people were a robust and energetic race, devoted to their rulers, and ready to follow them blindly and trustingly wherever they might lead. The army, while composed chiefly of the same classes of troops as in the time of Tiglath-pileser I., -- spearmen, archers, sappers, and slingers, -- now possessed a new element, whose appearance on the field of battle was to revolutionize the whole method of warfare; this was the cavalry, properly so called, introduced as an adjunct to the chariotry. The number of horsemen forming this contingent was as yet small; like the infantry, they wore casques and cuirasses, but were clothed with a tight-fitting loin-cloth in place of the long kilt, the folds of which would have embarrassed their movements. One-half of the men carried sword and lance, the other half sword and bow, the latter of a smaller kind than that used by the infantry. Their horses were bridled, and bore trappings on the forehead, but had no saddles; their riders rode bareback without stirrups; they sat far back with the chest thrown forward, their knees drawn up to grip the shoulder of the animal.
[Illustration: 009.jpg AN ASSYRIAN HORSEMAN ARMED WITH THE SWORD]
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a bas-relief in bronze on the gate of Balawat. The Assyrian artist has shown the head and legs of the second horse in profile behind the first, but he has forgotten to represent the rest of its body, and also the man riding it.
Each horseman was attended by a groom, who rode abreast of him, and held his reins during an action, so that he might be free to make use of his weapons. This body of cavalry, having little confidence in its own powers, kept in close contact with the main body of the army, and was not used in independent manouvres; it was associated with and formed an escort to the chariotry in expeditions where speed was essential, and where the ordinary foot soldier would have hampered the movements of the charioteers.*
* Isolated horsemen must no doubt have existed in the Assyrian just as in the Egyptian army, but we never find any mention of a body of cavalry in inscriptions prior to the time of Assur-nazir-pal; the introduction of this new corps must consequently have taken place between the reigns of Tiglath-pileser and Assur-nazir-pal, probably nearer the time of the latter. Assur-nazir-pal himself seldom speaks of his cavalry, but he constantly makes mention of the horsemen of the Aramaean and Syrian principalities, whom he
incorporated into his own army.
[Illustration: 010.jpg A MOUNTED ASSYRIAN ARCHER WITH ATTENDANT]
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from one of the bronze bas-reliefs of the gate of Balawat.
The army thus reinforced was at all events more efficient, if not actually more powerful, than formerly; the discipline maintained was as severe, the military spirit as keen, the equipment as perfect, and the tactics as skilful as in former times. A knowledge of engineering had improved upon the former methods of taking towns by sapping and scaling, and though the number of military engines was as yet limited, the besiegers were well able, when occasion demanded, to improvise and make use of machines capable of demolishing even the strongest walls.*
* The battering-ram had already reached such a degree of perfection under Assur-nazir-pal, that it must have been invented some time before the execution of the first bas- reliefs on which we see it portrayed. Its points of resemblance to the Greek battering-ram furnished Hoofer with one of his mam arguments for placing the monuments of Khorsabad and Koyunjik as late as the Persian or Parthian period.
The Assyrians were familiar with all the different kinds of battering-ram; the hand variety, which was merely a beam tipped with iron, worked by some score of men; the fixed ram, in which the beam was suspended from a scaffold and moved by means of ropes; and lastly, the movable ram, running on four or six wheels, which enabled it to be advanced or withdrawn at will. The military engineers of the day allowed full rein to their fancy in the many curious shapes they gave to this latter engine; for example, they gave to the mass of bronze at its point the form of the head of an animal, and the whole engine took at times the form of a sow ready to root up with its snout the foundations of the enemy's defences. The scaffolding of the machine was usually protected by a carapace of green leather or some coarse woollen material stretched over it, which broke the force of blows from projectiles: at times it had an additional arrangement in the shape of a cupola or turret in which archers were stationed to sweep the face of the wall opposite to the point of attack.
[Illustration: 012.jpg THE MOVABLE SOW MAKING A BREACH IN THE WALL OF A FORTRESS]
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from one of the bronze bas-reliefs of the gate of Balawat.
The battering-rams were set up and placed in line at a short distance from the ramparts of the besieged town; the ground in front of them was then levelled and a regular causeway constructed, which was paved with bricks wherever the soil appeared to be lacking in firmness. These preliminaries accomplished, the engines were pushed forward by relays of troops till they reached the required range. The effort needed to set the ram in motion severely taxed the strength of those engaged in the work; for the size of the beam was enormous, and its iron point, or the square mass of metal at the end, was of no light weight. The besieged did their best to cripple or, if possible, destroy the engine as it approached them.
[Illustration: 013.jpg THE TURRETED BATTERING-RAM ATTACKING THE WALLS OF A TOWN]
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a bas-relief brought from Nimroud, now in the British Museum.
Torches, lighted tow, burning pitch, and stink-pots were hurled down upon its roofing: attempts were made to seize the head of the ram by means of chains or hooks, so as to prevent it from moving, or in order to drag it on to the battlements; in some cases the garrison succeeded in crushing the machinery with a mass of rock. The Assyrians, however, did not allow themselves to be discouraged by such trifling accidents; they would at once extinguish the fire, release, by sheer force of muscle, the beams which the enemy had secured, and if, notwithstanding all their efforts, one of the machines became injured, they had others ready to take its place, and the ram would be again at work after only a few minutes' delay. Walls, even when of burnt brick or faced with small stones, stood no chance against such an attack.
[Illustration: 014.jpg THE BESIEGED ENDEAVOURING TO CRIPPLE OR DESTROY THE BATTERING-RAM]
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a bas-relief from Nimroud, now in the British Museum.
The first blow of the ram sufficed to shake them, and an opening was rapidly made, so that in a few days, often in a few hours, they became a heap of ruins; the foot soldiers could then enter by the breach which the pioneers had effected.
It must, however, be remembered that the strength and discipline which the Assyrian troops possessed in such a high degree, were common to the military forces of all the great states -- Elam, Damascus, Nairi, the Hittites, and Chaldaea. It was owing to this, and also to the fact that the armies of all these Powers were, as a rule, both in strength and numbers, much on a par, that no single state was able to inflict on any of the rest such a defeat as would end in its destruction. What decisive results had the terrible struggles produced, which stained almost periodically the valleys of the Tigris and the Zab with blood? After endless loss of life and property, they had nearly always issued in the establishment of the belligerents in their respective possessions, with possibly the cession of some few small towns or fortresses to the stronger party, most of which, however, were destined to come back to its former possessor in the very next campaign. The fall of the capital itself was not decisive, for it left the vanquished foe chafing under his losses, while the victory cost his rival so dear that he was unable to maintain the ascendency for more than a few years. Twice at least in three centuries a king of Assyria had entered Babylon, and twice the Babylonians had expelled the intruder of the hour, and had forced him back with a blare of trumpets to the frontier. Although the Ninevite dynasties had persisted in their pretensions to a suzerainty which they had generally been unable to enforce, the tradition of which, unsupported by any definite decree, had been handed on from one generation to another; yet in practice their kings had not succeeded in |taking the hands of Bel,| and in reigning personally in Babylon, nor in extorting from the native sovereign an official acknowledgment of his vassalage. Profiting doubtless by past experience, Assur-nazir-pal resolutely avoided those direct conflicts in which so many of his predecessors had wasted their lives. If he did not actually renounce his hereditary pretensions, he was content to let them lie dormant. He preferred to accommodate himself to the terms of the treaty signed a few years previously by Ramman-nirari, even when Babylon neglected to observe them; he closed his eyes to the many ill-disguised acts of hostility to which he was exposed,* and devoted all his energies to dealing with less dangerous enemies.
* He did not make the presence of Cossoan troops among the allies of the Sukhi a casus belli, even though they were commanded by a brother and by one of the principal officers of the King of Babylon.
Even if his frontier touched Karduniash to the south, elsewhere he was separated from the few states strong enough to menace his kingdom by a strip of varying width, comprising several less important tribes and cities; -- to the east and north-east by the barbarians of obscure race whose villages and strongholds were scattered along the upper affluents of the Tigris or on the lower terraces of the Iranian plateau: to the west and north-west by the principalities and nomad tribes, mostly of Aramoan extraction, who now for a century had peopled the mountains of the Tigris and the steppes of Mesopotamia. They were high-spirited, warlike, hardy populations, proud of their independence and quick to take up arms in its defence or for its recovery, but none of them possessed more than a restricted domain, or had more than a handful of soldiers at its disposal. At times, it is true, the nature of their locality befriended them, and the advantages of position helped to compensate for their paucity of numbers.
[Illustration: 017.jpg THE ESCARPMENTS OF THE ZAB]
Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph by M. Binder.
Sometimes they were entrenched behind one of those rapid watercourses like the Radanu, the Zab, or the Turnat, which are winter torrents rather than streams, and are overhung by steep banks, precipitous as a wall above a moat; sometimes they took refuge upon some wooded height and awaited attack amid its rocks and pine woods. Assyria was superior to all of them, if not in the valour of its troops, at least numerically, and, towering in the midst of them, she could single out at will whichever tribe offered the easiest prey, and falling on it suddenly, would crush it by sheer force of weight. In such a case the surrounding tribes, usually only too well pleased to witness in safety the fall of a dangerous rival, would not attempt to interfere; but their turn was ere long sure to come, and the pity which they had declined to show to their neighbours was in like manner refused to them. The Assyrians ravaged their country, held their chiefs to ransom, razed their strongholds, or, when they did not demolish them, garrisoned them with their own troops who held sway over the country. The revenues gleaned from these conquests would swell the treasury at Nineveh, the native soldiers would be incorporated into the Assyrian army, and when the smaller tribes had all in turn been subdued, their conqueror would, at length, find himself confronted with one of the great states from which he had been separated by these buffer communities; then it was that the men and money he had appropriated in his conquests would embolden him to provoke or accept battle with some tolerable certainty of victory.
Immediately on his accession, Assur-nazir-pal turned his attention to the parts of his frontier where the population was most scattered, and therefore less able to offer any resistance to his projects.*
* The principal document for the history of Assur-nazir-pal is the |Monolith of Nimrud,| discovered by Layard in the ruins of the temple of Ninip; it bears the same inscription on both its sides. It is a compilation of various documents, comprising, first, a consecutive account of the campaigns of the king's first six years, terminating in a summary of the results obtained during that period; secondly, the account of the campaign of his sixth year, followed by three campaigns not dated, the last of which was in Syria; and thirdly, the history of a last campaign, that of his eighteenth year, and a second summary. A monolith found in the ruins of Kurkh, at some distance from Diarbekir, contains some important additions to the account of the campaigns of the fifth year. The other numerous inscriptions of Assur-nazir-pal which have come down to us do not contain any information of importance which is not found in the text of the Annals. The inscription of the broken Obelisk, from which I have often quoted, contains in the second column some mention of the works undertaken by this king.
He marched towards the north-western point of his territory, suddenly invaded Nummi,* and in an incredibly short time took Gubbe, its capital, and some half-dozen lesser places, among them Surra, Abuku, Arura, and Arubi. The inhabitants assembled upon a mountain ridge which they believed to be inaccessible, its peak being likened to |the point of an iron dagger,| and the steepness of its sides such that |no winged bird of the heavens dare venture on them.| In the short space of three days Assur-nazir-pal succeeded in climbing its precipices and forcing the entrenchments which had been thrown up on its summit: two hundred of its defenders perished sword in hand, the remainder were taken prisoners. The Kirruri,** terrified by this example, submitted unreservedly to the conqueror, yielded him their horses, mules, oxen, sheep, wine, and brazen vessels, and accepted the Assyrian prefects appointed to collect the tribute.
* Nummi or Nimmi, mentioned already in the Annals of Tiglath-pileser I., has been placed by Hommel in the mountain group which separates Lake Van from Lake Urumiah, but by Tiele in the regions situated to the southeast of Nineveh; the observations of Delattre show that we ought perhaps to look for it to the north of the Arzania, certainly in the valley of that river. It appears to me to answer to the cazas of Varto and Boulanik in the sandjak of Mush. The name of the capital may be identified with the present Gop, chief town of the caza of Boulanik; in this case Abuku might be represented by the village of Biyonkh.
** The Kirruri must have had their habitat in the depression around Lake frumiah, on the western side of the lake, if we are to believe Schrader; Jelattre has pointed out that it ought to be sought elsewhere, near the sources of the Tigris, not far from the Murad-su. The connection in which it is here cited obliges us to place it in the immediate neighbourhood of Nummi, and its relative position to Adaush and Gilzan makes it probable that it is to be sought to the west and south-west of Lake Van, in the cazas of Mush and Sassun in the sandjak of Mush.
The neighbouring districts, Adaush, Gilzan, and Khubushkia, followed their example;* they sent the king considerable presents of gold, silver, lead, and copper, and their alacrity in buying off their conqueror saved them from the ruinous infliction of a garrison. The Assyrian army defiling through the pass of Khulun next fell upon the Kirkhi, dislodged the troops stationed in the fortress of Nishtun, and pillaged the cities of Khatu, Khatara, Irbidi, Arzania, Tela, and Khalua; ** Bubu, the Chief of Nishtun,*** was sent to Arbela, flayed alive, and his skin nailed to the city wall.
* Kirzau, also transcribed Gilzan and Guzan, has been relegated by the older Assyriologists to Eastern Armenia, and the site further specified as being between the ancient Araxes and Lake Urumiah, in the Persian provinces of Khoi and Marand. The indications given in our text and the passages brought together by Schrader, which place Gilzan in direct connection with Kirruri on one side and with Kurkhi on the other, oblige us to locate the country in the upper basin of the Tigris, and I should place it near Bitlis- tchai, where different forms of the word occur many times on the map, such as Ghalzan in Ghalzan-dagh; Kharzan, the name of a caza of the sandjak of Sert; Khizan, the name of a caza of the sandjak of Bitlis. Girzan-Kilzan would thus be the Roman province of Arzanene, Ardzn in Armenian, in which the initial g or h of the ancient name has been replaced in the process of time by a soft aspirate. Khubushkia or Khutushkia has been placed by Lenormant to the east of the Upper Zab, and south of Arapkha, and this identification has been approved by Schrader and also by Delitzsch; according to the passages that Schrader himself has cited, it must, however, have stretched northwards as far as Shatakh-su, meeting Gilzan at one point of the sandjaks of Van and Hakkiari.
** Assur-nazir-pal, in going from Kirruri to Kirkhi in the basin of the Tigris, could go either by the pass of Bitlis or that of Sassun; that of Bitlis is excluded by the fact that it lies in Kirruri, and Kirruri is not mentioned in what follows. But if the route chosen was by the pass of Sassun, Khulun necessarily must have occupied a position at the entrance of the defiles, perhaps that of the present town of Khorukh. The name Khatu recalls that of the Khoith tribe which the Armenian historians mention as in this locality. Khaturu is perhaps Hatera in the caza of Lidjo, in the sandjak of Diarbekir, and Arzania the ancient Arzan, Arzn, the ruins of which may be seen near Sheikh-Yunus. Tila-Tela is not the same town as the Tela in Mesopotamia, which we shall have occasion to speak of later, but is probably to be identified with Til or Tilleh, at the confluence of the Tigris and the Bohtan-tcha. Finally, it is possible that the name Khalua may be preserved in that of Halewi, which Layard gives as belonging to a village situated almost halfway between Rundvan and Til.
*** Nishtun was probably the most important spot in this region: from its position on the list, between Khulun and Khataru on one side and Arzania on the other, it is evident we must look for it somewhere in Sassun or in the direction of Mayafarrikin.
[Illustration: 021.jpg THE CAMPAIGNS OF ASSUR-NAZIR-PAL IN NAIRI]
In a small town near one of the sources of the Tigris, Assur-nazir-pal founded a colony on which he imposed his name; he left there a statue of himself, with an inscription celebrating his exploits carved on its base, and having done this, he returned to Nineveh laden with booty.
[Illustration: 022.jpg THE SITE OF SHADIKANNI AT ARBAN, ON THE KHABUR]
Drawn by Boudier, from a sketch taken by Layard.
A few weeks had sufficed for him to complete, on this side, the work bequeathed to him by his father, and to open up the neighbourhood of the northeast provinces; he was not long in setting out afresh, this time to the north-west, in the direction of the Taurus.*
* The text of the |Annals| declares that these events took place |in this same limmu,| in what the king calls higher up in the column |the beginning of my royalty, the first year of my reign.| We must therefore suppose that he ascended the throne almost at the beginning of the year, since he was able to make two campaigns under the same eponym.
He rapidly skirted the left bank of the Tigris, burned some score of scattered hamlets at the foot of Nipur and Pazatu,* crossed to the right bank, above Amidi, and, as he approached the Euphrates, received the voluntary homage of Kummukh and the Mushku.** But while he was complacently engaged in recording the amount of vessels of bronze, oxen, sheep, and jars of wine which represented their tribute, a messenger of bad tidings appeared before him. Assyria was bounded on the east by a line of small states, comprising the Katna*** and the Bit-Khalupi,**** whose towns, placed alternately like sentries on each side the Khabur, protected her from the incursions of the Bedawin.
* Nipur or Nibur is the Nibaros of Strabo. If we consider the general direction of the campaign, we are inclined to place Nipur close to the bank of the Tigris, east of the regions traversed in the preceding campaign, and to identify it, as also Pazatu, with the group of high hills called at the present day the Ashit-dagh, between the Kharzan-su and the Batman-tchai.
** The Mushku (Moschiano or Meshek) mentioned here do not represent the main body of the tribe, established in Cappadocia; they are the descendants of such of the Mushku as had crossed the Euphrates and contested the possession of the regions of Kashiari with the Assyrians.
*** The name has been read sometimes Katna, sometimes Shuna. The country included the two towns of Kamani and Dur- Katlimi, and on the south adjoined Bit-Khalupi; this identifies it with the districts of Magada and Sheddadiyeh, and, judging by the information with which Assur-nazir-pal himself furnishes us, it is not impossible that Dur-Katline may have been on the site of the present Magarda, and Kamani on that of Sheddadiyeh. Ancient ruins have been pointed out on both these spots.
**** Suru, the capital of Bit-Khalupi, was built upon the Khabur itself where it is navigable, for Assur-nazir-pal relates further on that he had his royal barge built there at the time of the cruise which he undertook on the Euphrates in the VIth year of his reign. The itineraries of modern travellers mention a place called es-Sauar or es- Saur, eight hours' march from the mouth of the Khabur on the right bank of the river, situated at the foot of a hill some 220 feet high; the ruins of a fortified enclosure and of an ancient town are still visible. Following Tomkins, I should there place Suru, the chief town of Khalupi; Bit-Khalupi would be the territory in the neighbourhood of es-Saur.
[Illustration: 024.jpg ONE OF THE WINGED BULLS FOUND AT ARBAN]
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a sketch by Layard.
They were virtually Chaldaean cities, having been, like most of those which flourished in the Mesopotamian plains, thoroughly impregnated with Babylonian civilisation. Shadikanni, the most important of them, commanded the right bank of the Khabur, and also the ford where the road from Nineveh crossed the river on the route to Harian and Carche-mish. The palaces of its rulers were decorated with winged bulls, lions, stelae, and bas-reliefs carved in marble brought from the hills of Singar. The people seem to have been of a capricious temperament, and, nothwithstanding the supervision to which they were subjected, few reigns elapsed in which it was not necessary to put down a rebellion among them. Bit-Khalupi and its capital Suru had thrown off the Assyrian yoke after the death of Tukulti-ninip; the populace, stirred up no doubt by Aramaean emissaries, had assassinated the Harnathite who governed them, and had sent for a certain Akhiababa, a man of base extraction from Bit-Adini, whom they had proclaimed king. This defection, if not promptly dealt with, was likely to entail serious consequences, since it left an important point on the frontier exposed: and there now remained nothing to prevent the people of Adini or their allies from spreading over the country between the Khabur and the Tigris, and even pushing forward their marauding bands as far as the very walls of Singar and Assur.
[Illustration: 024b.jpg NO.1. ENAMELED BRICK (NIMROD). NO.2. FRAGMENT OF MURAL PAINTING (NIMROD).]
[Illustration: 025.jpg STELE FROM ARBAN]
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from Layard's sketch
Without losing a moment, Assur-nazir-pal marched down the course of the Khabur, hastily collecting the tribute of the cities through which he passed. The defenders of Sura were disconcerted by his sudden appearance before their town, and their rulers came out and prostrated themselves at the king's feet: |Dost thou desire it? it is life for us; -- dost thou desire it? it is death; -- dost thou desire it? what thy heart chooseth, that do to us!| But the appeal to his clemency was in vain; the alarm had been so great and the danger so pressing, that Assur-nazir-pal was pitiless. The town was handed over to the soldiery, all the treasure it contained was confiscated, and the women and children of the best families were made slaves; some of the ringleaders paid the penalty of their revolt on the spot; the rest, with Akhiabaha, were carried away and flayed alive, some at Nineveh, some elsewhere. An Assyrian garrison was installed in the citadel, and an ordinary governor, Azilu by name, replaced the dynasty of native princes. The report of this terrible retribution induced the Laqi* to tender their submission, and their example was followed by Khaian, king of Khindanu on the Euphrates. He bought off the Assyrians with gold, silver, lead, precious stones, deep-hued purple, and dromedaries; he erected a statue of Assur-nazir-pal in the centre of his palace as a sign of his vassalage, and built into the wall near the gates of his town an inscription dedicated to the gods of the conqueror.
* The Laqi were situated on both banks of the Euphrates, principally on the right bank, between the Khabur and the Balikh, interspersed among the Sukhi, of whom they were perhaps merely a dissentient fraction.
Six, or at the most eight, months had sufficed to achieve these rapid successes over various foes, in twenty different directions -- the expeditions in Nummi and Kirruri, the occupation of Kummukh, the flying marches across the mountains and plains of Mesopotamia -- during all of which the new sovereign had given ample proof of his genius. He had, in fine, shown himself to be a thorough soldier, a conqueror of the type of Tiglath-pileser, and Assyria by these victories had recovered her rightful rank among the nations of Western Asia.
The second year of his reign was no less fully occupied, nor did it prove less successful than the first. At its very beginning, and even before the return of the favourable season, the Sukhi on the Euphrates made a public act of submission, and their chief, Ilubani, brought to Nineveh on their behalf a large sum of gold and silver. He had scarcely left the capital when the news of an untoward event effaced the good impression he had made. The descendants of the colonists, planted in bygone times by Shalmaneser I. on the western slope of the Masios, in the district of Khalzidipkha, had thrown off their allegiance, and their leader, Khulai, was besieging the royal fortress of Damdamusa.* Assur-nazir-pal marched direct to the sources of the Tigris, and the mere fact of his presence sufficed to prevent any rising in that quarter. He took advantage of the occasion to set up a stele beside those of his father Tukulti-ninip and his ancestor Tiglath-pileser, and then having halted to receive the tribute of Izalla,** he turned southwards, and took up a position on the slopes of the Kashiari.
* The position of Khalzidipkha or Khalzilukha, as well as that of Kina-bu, its stronghold, is shown approximately by what follows. Assur-nazir-pal, marching from the sources of the Supnat towards Tela, could pass either to the east or west of the Karajah-dagh; as the end of the campaign finds him at Tushkhan, to the south of the Tigris, and he returns to Nairi and Kirkhi by the eastern side of the Karajah-dagh, we are led to conclude that the outgoing march to Tela was by the western side, through the country situated between the Karajah-dagh and the Euphrates. On referring to a modern map, two rather important places will be found in this locality: the first, Arghana, commanding the road from Diarbekir to Khar-put; the other, Severek, on the route from Diarbekir to Orfah. Arghana appears to me to correspond to the royal city of Damdamusa, which would, thus have protected the approach to the plain on the north-west. Severek corresponds fairly well to the position which, according to the Assyrian text, Kinabu must have occupied; hence the country of Khalzidipkha (Khalzilukha) must be the district of Severek.
** Izalla, written also Izala, Azala, paid its tribute in sheep and oxen, and also produced a wine for which it continued to be celebrated down to the time of
Nebuchadrezzar II. Lenormant and Finzi place this country- near to Nisibis, where the Byzantine and Syrian writers mention a district and a mountain of the same name, and this conjecture is borne out by the passages of the Annals of Assur-nazir-pal which place it in the vicinity of Bit-Adini and Bit-Bakhiani. It has also been adopted by most of the historians who have recently studied the question.
At the first news of his approach, Khulai had raised the blockade of Damdamusa and had entrenched himself in Kinabu; the Assyrians, however, carried the place by storm, and six hundred soldiers of the garrison were killed in the attack. The survivors, to the number of three thousand, together with many women and children, were, thrown into the flames. The people of Mariru hastened to the rescue;* the Assyrians took three hundred of them, prisoners and burnt them alive; fifty others were ripped up, but the victors did not stop to reduce their town. The district of Nirbu was next subjected to systematic ravaging, and half of its inhabitants fled into the Mesopotamian desert, while the remainder sought refuge in Tela at the foot of the Ukhira.**
* The site of Mariru is unknown; according to the text of the Annals, it ought to lie near Severek (Kinabu) to the south-east, since after having mentioned it, Assur-nazir-pal speaks of the people of Nirbu whom he engaged in the desert before marching against Tela.
** Tila or Tela is the Tela Antoninopolis of the writers of the Roman period and the present Veranshehr. The district of Nirbu, of which it was the capital, lay on the southern slope of the Karajah-dagh at the foot of Mount Urkhira, the central group of the range. The name Kashiari is applied to the whole mountain group which separates the basins of the Tigris and Euphrates to the south and south-west.
The latter place was a strong one, being surrounded by three enclosing walls, and it offered an obstinate resistance. Notwithstanding this, it at length fell, after having lost three thousand of its defenders: -- some of its garrison were condemned to the stake, some had their hands, noses, or ears cut off, others were deprived of sight, flayed alive, or impaled amid the smoking ruins. This being deemed insufficient punishment, the conqueror degraded the place from its rank of chief town, transferring this, together with its other privileges, to a neighbouring city, Tushkhan, which had belonged to the Assyrians from the beginning of their conquests.* The king enlarged the place, added to it a strong enclosing wall, and installed within it the survivors of the older colonists who had been dispersed by the war, the majority of whom had taken refuge in Shupria.**
* From this passage we learn that Tushkhan, also called Tushkha, was situated on the border of Nirbu, while from another passage in the campaign of the Vth year we find that it was on the right bank of the Tigris. Following H. Rawlinson, I place it at Kurkh, near the Tigris, to the east of Diarbekir. The existence in that locality of an
inscription of Assur-nazir-pal appears to prove the correctness of this identification; we are aware, in fact, of the particular favour in which this prince held Tushkhan, for he speaks with pride of the buildings with which he embellished it. Hommel, however, identifies Kurkh with the town of Matiato, of which mention is made further on.
** Shupria or Shupri, a name which has been read Ruri, had been brought into submission from the time of Shalmaneser I. We gather from the passages in which it is mentioned that it was a hilly country, producing wine, rich in flocks, and lying at a short distance from Tushkhan; perhaps Mariru, mentioned on p.28, was one of its towns. I think we may safely place it on the north-western slopes of the Kashiari, in the modern caza of Tchernik, which possesses several vineyards held in high estimation. Knudtzon, to whom we are indebted for the reading of this name, places the country rather further north, within the fork formed by the two upper branches of the Tigris.
He constructed a palace there, built storehouses for the reception of the grain of the province; and, in short, transformed the town into a stronghold of the first order, capable of serving as a base of operations for his armies. The surrounding princes, in the meanwhile, rallied round him, including Ammibaal of Bit-Zamani, and the rulers of Shupria, Nairi, and Urumi;* the chiefs of Eastern Nirbu alone held aloof, emboldened by the rugged nature of their mountains and the density of their forests. Assur-nazir-pal attacked them on his return journey, dislodged them from the fortress of Ishpilibria where they were entrenched, gained the pass of Buliani, and emerged into the valley of Luqia.**
* The position of Bit-Zamani on the banks of the Euphrates was determined by Delattre. Urumi was situated on the right bank of the same river in the neighbourhood of Sumeisat, and the name has survived in that of Urima, a town in the vicinity so called even as late as Roman times. Nirdun, with Madara as its capital, occupied part of the eastern slopes of the Kashiari towards Ortaveran.
** Hommel identifies the Luqia with the northern affluent of the Euphrates called on the ancient monuments Lykos, and he places the scene of the war in Armenia. The context obliges us to look for this river to the south of the Tigris, to the north-east and to the east of the Kashiari. The king coming from Nirbu, the pass of Buliani, in which he finds the towns of Kirkhi, must be the valley of Khaneki, in which the road winds from Mardin to Diarbekir, and the Luqia is probably the most important stream in this region, the Sheikhan-Su, which waters Savur, chief town of the caza of Avinch. Ardupa must have been situated near, or on the actual site of, the present Mardin, whose Assyrian name is unknown to us; it was at all events a military station on the road to Nineveh, along which the king returned victorious with the spoil.
At Ardupa a brief halt was made to receive the ambassadors of one of the Hittite sovereigns and others from the kings of Khanigalbat, after which he returned to Nineveh, where he spent the winter. As a matter of fact, these were but petty wars, and their immediate results appear at the first glance quite inadequate to account for the contemporary enthusiasm they excited. The sincerity of it can be better understood when we consider the miserable state of the country twenty years previously. Assyria then comprised two territories, one in the plains of the middle, the other in the districts of the upper, Tigris, both of considerable extent, but almost without regular intercommunication. Caravans or isolated messengers might pass with tolerable safety from Assur and Nineveh to Singar, or even to Nisibis; but beyond these places they had to brave the narrow defiles and steep paths in the forests of the Masios, through which it was rash to venture without keeping eye and ear ever on the alert. The mountaineers and their chiefs recognized the nominal suzerainty of Assyria, but refused to act upon this recognition unless constrained by a strong hand; if this control were relaxed they levied contributions on, or massacred, all who came within their reach, and the king himself never travelled from his own city of Nineveh to his own town of Amidi unless accompanied by an army. In less than the short space of three years, Assur-nazir-pal had remedied this evil. By the slaughter of some two hundred men in one place, three hundred in another, two or three thousand in a third, by dint of impaling and flaying refractory sheikhs, burning villages and dismantling strongholds, he forced the marauders of Nairi and Kirkhi to respect his frontiers and desist from pillaging his country. The two divisions of his kingdom, strengthened by the military colonies in Nirbu, were united, and became welded together into a compact whole from the banks of the Lower Zab to the sources of the Khabur and the Supnat.
During the following season the course of events diverted the king's efforts into quite an opposite direction (B.C.882). Under the name of Zamua there existed a number of small states scattered along the western slope of the Iranian Plateau north of the Cossaeans.* Many of them -- as, for instance, the Lullume -- had been civilized by the Chaldaeans almost from time immemorial; the most southern among them were perpetually oscillating between the respective areas of influence of Babylon and Nineveh, according as one or other of these cities was in the ascendant, but at this particular moment they acknowledged Assyrian sway. Were they excited to rebellion against the latter power by the emissaries of its rival, or did they merely think that Assur-nazir-pal was too fully absorbed in the affairs of Nairi to be able to carry his arms effectively elsewhere? At all events they coalesced under Nurramman, the sheikh of Dagara, blocked the pass of Babiti which led to their own territory, and there massed their contingents behind the shelter of hastily erected ramparts.**
* According to Hommol and Tiele, Zamua would be the country extending from the sources of the Radanu to the southern shores of the lake of Urumiah; Schrader believes it to have occupied a smaller area, and places it to the east and south-west of the lesser Zab. Delattre has shown that a distinction must be made between Zamua on Lake Van and the well-known Zamua upon the Zab. Zamua, as described by Assur- nazir-pal, answers approximately to the present sandjak of Suleimaniyeh in the vilayet of Mossul.
** Hommol believes that Assur-nazir-pal crossed the Zab near Altin-keupru, and he is certainly correct: but it appears to me from a passage in the Annals, that instead of taking the road which leads to Bagdad by Ker-kuk and Tuz-Khurmati, he marched along that which leads eastwards in the direction of Suleimaniyeh. The pass of Babiti must have lain between Gawardis and Biban, facing the Kisse tchai, which forms the western branch of the Radanu. Dagara would thus be
represented by the district to the east of Kerkuk at the foot of the Kara-dagh.
Assur-nazir-pal concentrated his army at Kakzi,* a little to the south of Arbela, and promptly marched against them; he swept all obstacles before him, killed fourteen hundred and sixty men at the first onslaught, put Dagara to fire and sword, and soon defeated Nurramman, but without effecting his capture.
* Kakzi, sometimes read Kalzi, must have been situated at Shemamek of Shamamik, near Hazeh, to the south-west of Erbil, the ancient Arbela, at the spot where Jones noticed important Assyrian ruins excavated by Layard.
As the campaign threatened to be prolonged, he formed an entrenched camp in a favourable position, and stationed in it some of his troops to guard the booty, while he dispersed the rest to pillage the country on all sides.
[Illustration: 033.jpg THE CAMPAIGNS OF ASSUR-NAZIR-PAL IN ZAMUA]
One expedition led him to the mountain group of Nizir, at the end of the chain known to the people of Lullume as the Kinipa.* He there reduced to ruins seven towns whose inhabitants had barricaded themselves in urgent haste, collected the few herds of cattle he could find, and driving them back to the camp, set out afresh towards a part of Nizir as yet unsubdued by any conqueror. The stronghold of Larbusa fell before the battering-ram, to be followed shortly by the capture of Bara. Thereupon the chiefs of Zamua, convinced of their helplessness, purchased the king's departure by presents of horses, gold, silver, and corn.** Nurramman alone remained impregnable in his retreat at Nishpi, and an attempt to oust him resulted solely in the surrender of the fortress of Birutu.*** The campaign, far from having been decisive, had to be continued during the winter in another direction where revolts had taken place, -- in Khudun, in Kissirtu, and in the fief of Arashtua,**** all three of which extended over the upper valleys of the lesser Zab, the Radanu, the Turnat, and their affluents.
* Mount Kinipa is a part of Nizir, the Khalkhalan-dagh, if we may-judge from the direction of the Assyrian campaign.
** None of these places can be identified with certainty. The gist of the account leads us to gather that Bara was situated to the east of Dagara, and formed its frontier; we shall not be far wrong in looking for all these districts in the fastnesses of the Kara-dagh, in the caza of
Suleimaniyeh. Mount Nishpi is perhaps the Segirmc-dagh of the present day.
*** The Assyrian compiler appears to have made use of two slightly differing accounts of this campaign; he has twice repeated the same facts without noticing his mistake.
**** The fief of Arashtua, situated beyond the Turnat, is probably the district of Suleimaniyeh; it is, indeed, at this place only that the upper course of the Turnat is sufficiently near to that of the Radanu to make the marches of Assur-nazir-pal in the direction indicated by the Assyrian scribe possible. According to the account of the Annals, it seems to me that we must seek for Khudun and Kissirtu to the south of the fief of Arashtua, in the modern cazas of Gulanbar or Shehrizor.
The king once more set out from Kakzi, crossed the Zab and the Eadanu, through the gorges of Babiti, and halting on the ridges of Mount Simaki, peremptorily demanded tribute from Dagara.* This was, however, merely a ruse to deceive the enemy, for taking one evening the lightest of his chariots and the best of his horsemen, he galloped all night without drawing rein, crossed the Turnat at dawn, and pushing straight forward, arrived in the afternoon of the same day before the walls of Ammali, in the very heart of the fief of Arashtua.** The town vainly attempted a defence; the whole population was reduced to slavery or dispersed in the forests, the ramparts were demolished, and the houses reduced to ashes. Khudun with twenty, and Kissirtu with ten of its villages, Bara, Kirtiara, Dur-Lullume, and Bunisa, offered no further resistance, and the invading host halted within sight of the defiles of Khashmar.***
* The Annals of Assur-nazir-pal go on to mention that Mount Simaki extended as far as the Turnat, and that it was close to Mount Azira. This passage, when compared with that in which the opening of the campaign is described, obliges us to recognise in Mounts Simaki and Azira two parts of the Shehrizor chain, parallel to the Seguirme-dagh. The fortress of Mizu, mentioned in the first of these two texts, may perhaps be the present Guran-kaleh.
** Hommel thinks that Ammali is perhaps the present Suleimaniyeh; it is, at all events, on this side that we must look for its site.
*** I do not know whether we may trace the name of the ancient Mount Khashmar-Khashmir in the present Azmir-dagh; it is at its feet, probably in the valley of Suleimanabad, that we ought to place the passes of Khashmar.
One kinglet, however, Amika of Zamru, showed no intention of capitulating. Entrenched behind a screen of forests and frowning mountain ridges, he fearlessly awaited the attack. The only access to the remote villages over which he ruled, was by a few rough roads hemmed in between steep cliffs and beds of torrents; difficult and dangerous at ordinary times, they were blocked in war by temporary barricades, and dominated at every turn by some fortress perched at a dizzy height above them. After his return to the camp, where his soldiers were allowed a short respite, Assur-nazir-pal set out against Zamru, though he was careful not to approach it directly and attack it at its most formidable points. Between two peaks of the Lara and Bidirgi ranges he discovered a path which had been deemed impracticable for horses, or even for heavily armed men. By this route, the king, unsuspected by the enemy, made his way through the mountains, and descended so unexpectedly upon Zamru, that Amika had barely time to make his escape, abandoning everything in his alarm -- palace, treasures, harem, and even his chariot.* A body of Assyrians pursued him hotly beyond the fords of the Lallu, chasing him as far as Mount Itini; then, retracing their steps to headquarters, they at once set out on a fresh track, crossed the Idir, and proceeded to lay waste the plains of Ilaniu and Suani.**
* This raid, which started from the same point as the preceding one, ran eastwards in an opposite direction and ended at Mount Itini. Leaving the fief of Arashtua in the neighbourhood of Suleimaniyeh, Assur-nazir-pal crossed the chain of the Azmir-dagh near Pir-Omar and Gudrun, where we must place Mounts Lara and Bidirgi, and emerged upon Zamru; the only-places which appear to correspond to Zamru in that region are Kandishin and Suleimanabad. Hence the Lallu is the river which runs by Kandishin and Suleimanabad, and Itini the mountain which separates this river from the Tchami-Kizildjik.
** I think we may recognise the ancient name of Ilaniu in that of Alan, now borne by a district on the Turkish and Persian frontier, situated between Kunekd ji-dagh and the town of Serdesht. The expedition, coming from the fief of Arashtua, must have marched northwards: the Idir in this case must be the Tchami-Kizildjik, and Mount Sabua the chain of mountains above Serdesht.
Despairing of taking Amika prisoner, Assur-nazir-pal allowed him to lie hidden among the brushwood of Mount Sabua, while he himself called a halt at Parsindu,* and set to work to organise the fruits of his conquest.
* Parsindu, mentioned between Mount Ilaniu and the town of Zamru, ought to lie somewhere in the valley of Tchami- Kizildjik, near Murana.
He placed garrisons in the principal towns -- -at Parsindu, Zamru, and at Arakdi in Lullume, which one of his predecessors had re-named Tukulti-Ashshur-azbat,* -- |I have taken the help of Assur.| He next imposed on the surrounding country an annual tribute of gold, silver, lead, copper, dyed stuffs, oxen, sheep, and wine. Envoys from neighbouring kings poured in -- from Khudun; Khubushkia, and Gilzan, and the whole of Northern Zamua bowed |before the splendour of his arms;| it now needed only a few raids resolutely directed against Mounts Azira and Simaki, as far as the Turn at, to achieve the final pacification of the South. While in this neighbourhood, his attention was directed to the old town of Atlila,** built by Sibir,*** an ancient king of Karduniash, but which had been half ruined by the barbarians. He re-named it Dur-Assur, |the fortress of Assur,| and built himself within it a palace and storehouses, in which he accumulated large quantities of corn, making the town the strongest bulwark of his power on the Cossaean border.
*The approximate site of Arakdi is indicated in the itinerary of Assur-nazir-pal itself; the king comes from Zamru in the neighbourhood of Sulei-manabad, crosses Mount Lara, which is the northern part of the Azmir-dagh, and arrives at Arakdi, possibly somewhere in Surtash. In the course of the preceding campaign, after having laid waste Bara, he set out from this same town (Arakdi) to subdue Nishpi, all of which bears out the position I have
indicated. The present town of Bazian would answer fairly well for the site of a place destined to protect the Assyrian frontier on this side.
** Given its position on the Chaldaean frontier, Atlila is probably to be identified with the Kerkuk of the present day.
*** Hommel is inclined to believe that Sibir was the immediate predecessor of Nabubaliddin, who reigned at Babylon at the same time as Assur-nazir-pal at Nineveh; consequently he would be a contemporary of Ramman-nirari III. and of Tukulti-ninip II. Peiser and Rost have
identified him with Simmash-shikhu.
[Illustration: 037.jpg THE ZAB BELOW THE PASSES OF ALAN, THE ANCIENT ILANIU]
Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph by M. de Morgan.
The two campaigns of B.C.882 and 881 had cost Assur-nazir-pal great efforts, and their results had been inadequate to the energy expended. His two principal adversaries, Nurramman and Amika, had eluded him, and still preserved their independence at the eastern extremities of their former states. Most of the mountain tribes had acknowledged the king's supremacy merely provisionally, in order to rid themselves of his presence; they had been vanquished scores of times, but were in no sense subjugated, and the moment pressure was withdrawn, they again took up arms. The districts of Zamua alone, which bordered on the Assyrian plain, and had been occupied by a military force, formed a province, a kind of buffer state between the mountain tribes and the plains of the Zab, protecting the latter from incursions.
Assur-nazir-pal, feeling himself tolerably safe on that side, made no further demands, and withdrew his battalions to the westward part of his northern frontier. He hoped, no doubt, to complete the subjugation of the tribes who still contested the possession of various parts of the Kashiari, and then to push forward his main guard as far as the Euphrates and the Arzania, so as to form around the plain of Amidi a zone of vassals or tutelary subjects like those of Zamua. With this end in view, he crossed the Tigris near its source at the traditional fords, and made his way unmolested in the bend of the Euphrates from the palace of Tilluli, where the accustomed tribute of Kummukh was brought to him, to the fortress of Ishtarati, and from thence to Kibaki. The town of Matiate, having closed its gates against him, was at once sacked, and this example so stimulated the loyalty of the Kurkhi chiefs, that they ha*tened to welcome him at the neighbouring military station of Zazabukha. The king's progress continued thence as before, broken by frequent halts at the most favourable points for levying contributions on the inhabitants.1 Assur-nazir-pal encountered no serious difficulty except on the northern slopes of the Kashiari, but there again fortune smiled on him; all the contested positions were soon ceded to him, including even Madara, whose fourfold circuit of walls did not avail to save it from the conqueror.** After a brief respite at Tushkhan, he set out again one evening with his lightest chariots and the pick of his horsemen, crossed the Tigris on rafts, rode all night, and arrived unexpectedly the next morning before Pitura, the chief town of the Dirrabans.*** It was surrounded by a strong double enceinte, through which he broke after forty-eight hours of continuous assault: 800 of its men perished in the breach, and 700 others were impaled before the gates.
* It is difficult to place any of these localities on the map: they ought all to be found between the ford of the Tigris, at Diarbeldr and the Euphrates, probably at the foot of the Mihrab-dagh and the Kirwantchernen-dagh.
** Madara belonged to a certain Lapturi, son of Tubusi, mentioned in the campaign of the king's second year. In comparing the facts given in the two passages, we see it was situated on the eastern slope of the Kashiari, not far from Tushkhan on one side, and Ardupa -- that is probably Mardin -- ? on the other. The position of Ortaveran, or of one of the |tells| in its neighbourhood, answers fairly well to these conditions.
*** According to the details given in the Annals, we must place the town of Bitura (or Pitura) at about 19 miles from Kurkh, on the other side of the Tigris, in a north-easterly direction, and consequently the country of Lirra would be between the Hazu-tchai and the Batman-tchai. The Matni, with its passes leading in to Nairi, must in this case be the mountain group to the north of Mayafarrikin, known as the Dordoseh-dagh or the Darkosh-dagh.
Arbaki, at the extreme limits of Eirkhi, was the next to succumb, after which the Assyrians, having pillaged Dirra, carried the passes of Matni after a bloody combat, spread themselves over Nairi, burning 250 of its towns and villages, and returned with immense booty to Tushkhan. They had been there merely a few days when the newt arrived that the people of Bit-Zamani, always impatient of the yoke, had murdered their prince Ammibaal, and had proclaimed a certain Burramman in his place. Assur-nazir-pal marched upon Sinabux and repressed the insurrection, reaping a rich harvest of spoil -- chariots fully equipped, 600 draught-horses, 130 pounds of silver and as much of gold, 6600 pounds of lead and the same of copper, 19,800 pounds of iron, stuffs, furniture in gold and ivory, 2000 bulls, 500 sheep, the entire harem of Ammibaal, besides a number of maidens of noble family together with their dresses. Burramman was by the king's order flayed alive, and Arteanu his brother chosen as his successor. Sinabu* and the surrounding towns formed part of that network of colonies which in times past Shalmaneser I. had organised as a protection from the incursions of the inhabitants of Nairi; Assur-nazir-pal now used it as a rallying-place for the remaining Assyrian families, to whom he distributed lands and confided the guardianship of the neighbouring strongholds.
* Hommel thinks that Sinabu is very probably the same as the Kinabu mentioned above; but it appears from Assur-nazir- pal's own account that this Kinabu was in the province of Khalzidipkha (Khalzilukha) on the Kashiari, whereas Sinabu was in Bit-Zamani.
The results of this measure were not long in making themselves felt: Shupria, Ulliba, and Nirbu, besides other districts, paid their dues to the king, and Shura in Khamanu,* which had for some time held out against the general movement, was at length constrained to submit (880 B.C.).
* Shur is mentioned on the return to Nairi, possibly on the road leading from Amidi and Tushkhan to Nineveh. Hommel believes that the country of Khamanu was the Amanos in Cilicia, and he admits, but unwillingly, that Assur-nazir- pal made a detour beyond the Euphrates. I should look for Shura, and consequently for Khamanu, in the Tur-Abdin, and should identify them with Saur, in spite of the difference of the two initial articulations.
However high we may rate the value of this campaign, it was eclipsed by the following one. The Aramaeans on the Khabur and the middle Euphrates had not witnessed without anxiety the revival of Ninevite activity, and had begged for assistance against it from its rival. Two of their principal tribes, the Sukhi and the Laqi, had addressed themselves to the sovereign then reigning at Babylon. He was a restless, ambitious prince, named Nabu-baliddin, who asked nothing better than to excite a hostile feeling against his neighbour, provided he ran no risk by his interference of being drawn into open warfare. He accordingly despatched to the Prince of Sukhi the best of his Cossoan troops, commanded by his brother Zabdanu and one of the great officers of the crown, Bel-baliddin. In the spring of 879 B.C., Assur-nazir-pal determined once for all to put an end to these intrigues. He began by inspecting the citadels flanking the line of the Kharmish* and the Khabur, -- Tabiti,** Magarisi,*** Shadikanni, Shuru in Bit-Khafupi, and Sirki.****
* The Kharmish has been identified with the Hirmas, the river flowing by Nisibis, and now called the Nahr-Jaghjagha.
** Tabiti is the Thebeta (Thebet) of Roman itineraries and Syrian writers, situated 33 miles from Nisibis and 52 from Singara, on the Nahr-Hesawy or one of the neighbouring wadys.
*** Magarisi ought to be found on the present Nahr- Jaghjagha, near its confluence with the Nahr-Jerrahi and its tributaries; unfortunately, this part of Mesopotamia is still almost entirely unexplored, and no satisfactory map of it exists as yet.
**** Sirki is Circesium at the mouth of the Khabur.
Between the embouchures of the Khabur and the Balikh, the Euphrates winds across a vast table-land, ridged with marly hills; the left bank is dry and sterile, shaded at rare intervals by sparse woods of poplars or groups of palms. The right bank, on the contrary, is seamed with fertile valleys, sufficiently well watered to permit the growth of cereals and the raising of cattle. The river-bed is almost everywhere wide, but strewn with dangerous rocks and sandbanks which render navigation perilous. On nearing the ruins of Halebiyeh, the river narrows as it enters the Arabian hills, and cuts for itself a regular defile of three or four hundred paces in length, which is approached by the pilots with caution.*
* It is at this defile of El-Hammeh, and not at that of Birejik at the end of the Taurus, that we must place the Khinqi sha Purati -- the narrows of the Euphrates -- so often mentioned in the account of this campaign.
Assur-nazir-pal, on leaving Sirki, made his way along the left bank, levying toll on Supri, Naqarabani, and several other villages in his course. Here and there he called a halt facing some town on the opposite bank, but the boats which could have put him across had been removed, and the fords were too well guarded to permit of his hazarding an attack. One town, however, Khindanu, made him a voluntary offering which, he affected to regard as a tribute, but Kharidi and Anat appeared not even to suspect his presence in their vicinity, and he continued on his way without having obtained from them anything which could be construed into a mark of vassalage.*
* The detailed narrative of the Annals informs us that Assur-nazir-pal encamped on a mountain between Khindanu and Bit-Shabaia, and this information enables us to determine on the map with tolerable certainty the localities mentioned in this campaign. The mountain in question can be none other than El-Hammeh, the only one met with on this bank of the Euphrates between the confluents of the Euphrates and the Khabur. Khindanu is therefore identical with the ruins of Tabus, the Dabausa of Ptolemy; hence Supri and Naqabarani are situated between this point and Sirki, the former in the direction of Tayebeh, the latter towards El-Hoseiniyeh. On the other hand, the ruins of Kabr Abu-Atish would correspond very well to Bit-Shabaia: is the name of Abu-Sbe borne by the Arabs of that neighbourhood a relic of that of Shabaia. Kharidi ought in that case to be looked for on the opposite bank, near Abu-Suban and Aksubi, where Chesney points out ancient remains. A day's march beyond Kabr Abu-Atish brings us to El-Khass, so that the town of Anat would be in the Isle of Moglah. Shuru must be somewhere near one of the two Tell-Menakhirs on this side the Balikh.
[Illustration: 044.jpg THE CAMPAIGNS OF ASSUR-NAZIR-PAL IN MESOPOTAMIA]
At length, on reaching Shuru, Shadadu, the Prince of Sukhi, trusting in his Cossoans, offered him battle; but he was defeated by Assur-na'zir-pal, who captured the King of Babylon's brother, forced his way into the town after an assault lasting two days, and returned to Assyria laden with spoil. This might almost be considered as a repulse; for no sooner had the king quitted the country than the Aramaeans in their turn crossed the Euphrates and ravaged the plains of the Khabur.* Assur-nazir-pal resolved not to return until he was in a position to carry his arms into the heart of the enemy's country. He built a flotilla at Shuru in Bit-Khalupi on which he embarked his troops. Wherever the navigation of the Euphrates proved to be difficult, the boats were drawn up out of the water and dragged along the banks over rollers until they could again be safely launched; thus, partly afloat and partly on land, they passed through the gorge of Halebiyeh, landed at Kharidi, and inflicted a salutary punishment on the cities which had defied the king's wrath on his last expedition. Khindanu, Kharidi, and Kipina were reduced to ruins, and the Sukhi and the Laqi defeated, the Assyrians pursuing them for two days in the Bisuru mountains as far as the frontiers of Bit-Adini.**
* The Annals do not give us either the limmu or the date of the year for this new expedition. The facts taken altogether prove that it was a continuation of the preceding one, and it may therefore be placed in the year B.C.878.
** The campaign of B.C.878 had for its arena that of the Euphrates which lies between the Khabur and the Balikh; this time, however, the principal operations took place on the right bank. If Mount Bisuru is the Jebel-Bishri, the town of Kipina, which is mentioned between it and Kharidi, ought to be located between Maidan and Sabkha.
A complete submission was brought about, and its permanency secured by the erection of two strongholds, one of which, Kar-assur-nazir-pal, commanded the left, and the other, Nibarti-assur, the right bank of the Euphrates.*
This last expedition had brought the king into contact with the most important of the numerous Aramaean states congregated in the western region of Mesopotamia. This was Bit-Adini, which lay on both sides of the middle course of the Euphrates.** It included, on the right bank, to the north of Carchemish, between the hills on the Sajur and Araban-Su, a mountainous but fertile district, dotted over with towns and fortresses, the names of some of which have been preserved -- Pakarrukhbuni, Sursunu, Paripa, Dabigu, and Shitamrat.*** Tul-Barsip, the capital, was situated on the left bank, commanding the fords of the modern Birejik,**** and the whole of the territory between this latter and the Balikh acknowledged the rule of its princes, whose authority also extended eastwards as far as the basaltic plateau of Tul-Aba, in the Mesopotamian desert.
* The account in the Annals is confused, and contains perhaps some errors with regard to the facts. The site of the two towns is nowhere indicated, but a study of the map shows that the Assyrians could not become masters of the country without occupying the passes of the Euphrates; I am inclined to think that Kar-assur-nazir-pal is El-Halebiyeh, and Nibarti-assur, Zalebiyeh, the Zenobia of Roman times.
** Bit-Adini appears to have occupied, on the right bank of the Euphrates, a part of the cazas of Ain-Tab, Rum-kaleh, and Birejik, that of Suruji, minus the nakhiyeh of Harran, the larger part of the cazas of Membij and of Rakkah, and part of the caza of Zor, the cazas being those represented on the maps of Vital Cuinet.
*** None of these localities can be identified with certainty, except perhaps Dabigu, a name we may trace in that of the modern village of Dehbek.
**** Tul-Barsip has been identified with Birejik.
To the south-east, Bit-Adini bordered upon the country of the Sukhi and the Laqi,* lying to the east of Assyria; other principalities, mainly of Aramoan origin, formed its boundary to the north and north-west -- Shugab in the bend of the Euphrates, from Birejik to Samosata,** Tul-Abni around Edessa,*** the district of Harran,**** Bit-Zamani, Izalla in the Tektek-dagh and on the Upper Khabur, and Bit-Bakhiani in the plain extending from the Khabur to the Kharmish.^
* In his previous campaign Assur-nazir-pal had taken two towns of Bit-Adini, situated on the right bank of the Euphrates, at the eastern extremity of Mount Bisuru, near the frontier of the Laqi.
** The country of Shugab is mentioned between Birejik (Tul- Barsip) and Bit-Zamani, in one of the campaigns of
Shalmaneser III., which obliges us to place it in the caza of Rum-kaleh; the name has been read Sumu.
*** Tul-Abni, which was at first sought for near the sources of the Tigris, has been placed in the Mesopotamian plain. The position which it occupies among the other names obliges us to put it near Bit-Adini and Bit-Zamani: the only possible site that I can find for it is at Orfah, the Edessa of classical times.
**** The country of Harran is nowhere mentioned as belonging either to Bit-Adini or to Tul-Abni: we must hence conclude that at this period it formed a little principality independent of those two states.
^ The situation of Bit-Bakhiani is shown by the position which it occupies in the account of the campaign, and by the names associated with it in another passage of the Annals.
Bit-Zamani had belonged to Assyria by right of conquest ever since the death of Ammibaal; Izalla and Bit-Bakhiani had fulfilled their duties as vassals whenever Assur-nazir-pal had appeared in their neighbourhood; Bit-Adini alone had remained independent, though its strength was more apparent than real. The districts which it included had never been able to form a basis for a powerful state. If by chance some small kingdom arose within it, uniting under one authority the tribes scattered over the burning plain or along the river banks, the first conquering dynasty which sprang up in the neighbourhood would be sure to effect its downfall, and absorb it under its own leadership. As Mitani, saved by its remote position from bondage to Egypt, had not been able to escape from acknowledging the supremacy of the Khati, so Bit-Adini was destined to fall almost without a struggle under the yoke of the Assyrians. It was protected from their advance by the volcanic groups of the Uraa and Tul-Aba, which lay directly in the way of the main road from the marshes of the Khabur to the outskirts of Tul-Barsip. Assur-nazir-pal, who might have worked round this line of natural defence to the north through Nirbu, or to the south through his recently acquired province of Laqi, preferred to approach it in front; he faced the desert, and, in spite of the drought, he invested the strongest citadel of Tul-Aba in the month of June, 877 B.C. The name of the place was Kaprabi, and its inhabitants believed it impregnable, clinging as it did to the mountain-side |like a cloud in the sky.|*
* The name is commonly interpreted |Great Rock,| and divided thus -- Kap-rabi. It may also be considered, like Kapridargila or Kapranisha, as being formed of Kapru and abi; this latter element appears to exist in the ancient name of Telaba, Thallaba, now Tul-Aba. Kapr-abi might be a fortress of the province of Tul-Aba.
The king, however, soon demolished its walls by sapping and by the use of the ram, killed 800 of its garrison, burned its houses, and carried off 2400 men with their families, whom he installed in one of the suburbs of Calah. Akhuni, who was then reigning in Bit-Adini, had not anticipated that the invasion would reach his neighbourhood: he at once sent hostages and purchased peace by a tribute; the Lord of Tul-Abni followed his example, and the dominion of Assyria was carried at a blow to the very frontier of the Khati. It was about two centuries before this that Assurirba had crossed these frontiers with his vanquished army, but the remembrance of his defeat had still remained fresh in the memory of the people, as a warning to the sovereign who should attempt the old hazardous enterprise, and repeat the exploits of Sargon of Agade or of Tiglath-pileser I. Assur-nazir-pal made careful preparations for this campaign, so decisive a one for his own prestige and for the future of the empire. He took with him not only all the Assyrian troops at his disposal, but requisitioned by the way the armies of his most recently acquired vassals, incorporating them with his own, not so much for the purpose of augmenting his power of action, as to leave no force in his rear when once he was engaged hand to hand with the Syrian legions. He left Calah in the latter days of April, 876 B.C.,* receiving the customary taxes from Bit-Bakhiani, Izalla, and Bit-Adini, which comprised horses, silver, gold, copper, lead, precious stuffs, vessels of copper and furniture of ivory; having reached Tul-Barsip, he accepted the gifts offered by Tul-Abni, and crossing the Euphrates upon rafts of inflated skins, he marched his columns against Oarchemish.
* On the 8th Iyyar, but without any indication of limmu, or any number of the year or of the campaign; the date 876 B.C. is admitted by the majority of historians.
The political organisation of Northern Syria had remained entirely unaltered since the days when Tiglath-pileser made his first victorious inroad into the country. The Cilician empire which succeeded to the Assyrian -- if indeed it ever extended as far as some suppose -- did not last long enough to disturb the balance of power among the various races occupying Syria: it had subjugated them for a time, but had not been able to break them up and reconstitute them. At the downfall of the Cilician Empire the small states were still intact, and occupied, as of old, the territory comprising the ancient Naharaim of the Egyptians, the plateau between the Orontes and the Euphrates, the forests and marshy lowlands of the Amanos, the southern slopes of Taurus, and the plains of Cilicia.
[Illustration: 050.jpg CAMPAIGNS OF ASSUR-NAZIR-PAL IN SYRIA]
Of these states, the most famous, though not then the most redoubtable, was that with which the name of the Khati is indissolubly connected, and which had Carchemish as its capital. This ancient city, seated on the banks of the Euphrates, still maintained its supremacy there, but though its wealth and religious ascendency were undiminished, its territory had been curtailed. The people of Bit-Adini had intruded themselves between this state and Kummukh, Arazik hemmed it in on the south, Khazazu and Khalman confined it on the west, so that its sway was only freely exercised in the basin of the Sajur. On the north-west frontier of the Khati lay Gurgum, whose princes resided at Marqasi and ruled over the central valley of the Pyramos together with the entire basin of the Ak-su. Mikhri,* Iaudi, and Samalla lay on the banks of the Saluara, and in the forests of the Amanos to the south of Gurgum. Kui maintained its uneventful existence amid the pastures of Cilicia, near the marshes at the mouth of the Pyramos. To the south of the Sajur, Bit-Agusi** barred the way to the Orontes; and from their lofty fastness of Arpad, its chiefs kept watch over the caravan road, and closed or opened it at their will.
* Mikhri or Ismikhri, i.e. |the country of larches,| was the name of a part of the Amanos, possibly near the Pyramos.
** The real name of the country was Iakhanu, but it was called Bit-Gusi or Bit-Agusi, like Bit-Adini, Bit-Bakhiani, Bit-Omri, after the founder of the reigning dynasty. We must place Iakhanu to the south of Azaz, in the neighbourhood of Arpad, with this town as its capital.
They held the key of Syria, and though their territory was small in extent, their position was so strong that for more than a century and a half the majority of the Assyrian generals preferred to avoid this stronghold by making a detour to the west, rather than pass beneath its walls. Scattered over the plateau on the borders of Agusi, or hidden in the valleys of Amanos, were several less important principalities, most of them owing allegiance to Lubarna, at that time king of the Patina and the most powerful sovereign of the district. The Patina had apparently replaced the Alasia of Egyptian times, as Bit-Adini had superseded Mitani; the fertile meadow-lands to the south of Samalla on the Afrin and the Lower Orontes, together with the mountainous district between the Orontes and the sea as far as the neighbourhood of Eleutheros, also belonged to the Patina.
[Illustration: 052.jpg BAS-RELIEF FROM A BUILDING AT SINJIRLI]
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a sketch by Perrot and Chipiez.
On the southern frontier of the Patina lay the important Phoenician cities, Arvad, Arka, and Sina; and on the south-east, the fortresses belonging to Hamath and Damascus. The characteristics of the country remained unchanged. Fortified towns abounded on all sides, as well as large walled villages of conical huts, like those whose strange outlines on the horizon are familiar to the traveller at the present-day. The manners and civilisation of Chaldaea pervaded even more than formerly the petty courts, but the artists clung persistently to Asianic tradition, and the bas-reliefs which adorned the palaces and temples were similar in character to those we find scattered throughout Asia Minor; there is the same inaccurate drawing, the same rough execution, the same tentative and awkward composition.
[Illustration: 053.jpg JIBRIN, A VILLAGE OF CONICAL HUTS, ON THE PLATEAU OF ALEPPO]
Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph reproduced in Peters.
The scribes from force of custom still employed the cuneiform syllabary in certain official religious or royal inscriptions, but, as it was difficult to manipulate and limited in application, the speech of the Aramaean immigrants and the Phoenician alphabet gradually superseded the ancient language and mode of writing.*
* There is no monument bearing an inscription in this alphabet which can be referred with any certainty to the time of Assur-nazir-pal, but the inscriptions of the kings of Samalla date back to a period not more than a century and a half later than his reign; we may therefore consider the Aramaean alphabet as being in current use in Northern Syria at the beginning of the ninth century, some forty years before the date of Mesha's inscription (i.e. the Moabite stone).
Thus these Northern Syrians became by degrees assimilated to the people of Babylon and Nineveh, much as the inhabitants of a remote province nowadays adapt their dress, their architecture, their implements of husbandry and handicraft, their military equipment and organisation, to the fashions of the capital.*
* One can judge of their social condition from the
enumeration of the objects which formed their tribute, or the spoil which the Assyrian kings carried off from their country.
[Illustration: 054.jpg THE WAR-CHARIOT OF THE KHATI OP THE NINTH CENTURY]
Drawn by Boudier, from a bas-relief.
Their armies were modelled on similar lines, and consisted of archers, plkemen, slingers, and those troops of horsemen which accompanied the chariotry on flying raids; the chariots, moreover, closely followed the Assyrian type, even down to the padded bar with embroidered hangings which connected the body of the chariot with the end of the pole.
[Illustration: 055.jpg THE ASSYRIAN WAR-CHARIOT OF THE NINTH CENTURY B.C.]
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a bronze bas-relief on the gates of Balawat.
The Syrian princes did not adopt the tiara, but they wore the long fringed robe, confined by a girdle at the waist, and their mode of life, with its ceremonies, duties, and recreations, differed little from that prevailing in the palaces of Calah or Babylon. They hunted big game, including the lion, according to the laws of the chase recognised at Nineveh, priding themselves as much on their exploits in hunting, as on their triumphs in war.
[Illustration: 056.jpg A KING OF THE KHATI HUNTING A LION IN HIS CHARIOT]
Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph by Hogarth, published in the Recueil de Travaux.
Their religion was derived from the common source which underlay all Semitic religions, but a considerable number of Babylonian deities were also worshipped; these had been introduced in some cases without any modification, whilst in others they had been assimilated to more ancient gods bearing similar characteristics: at Nerab, among the Patina, Nusku and his female companion Nikal, both of Chaldaean origin, claimed the homage of the faithful, to the disparagement of Shahr the moon and Shamash the sun. Local cults often centred round obscure deities held in little account by the dominant races; thus Samalla reverenced Uru the light, Bekubel the wind, the chariot of El, not to mention El himself, Besheph, Hadad, and the Cabin, the servants of Besheph.
[Illustration: 057.jpg THE GOD HADAD]
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from the photograph in Luschan.
These deities were mostly of the Assyrian type, and if one may draw any conclusion from the few representations of them already discovered, their rites must have been celebrated in a manner similar to that followed in the cities on the Lower Euphrates. Scarcely any signs of Egyptian influence survived, though here and there a trace of it might be seen in the figures of calf or bull, the vulture of Mut or the sparrow-hawk of Horus. Assur-nazir-pal, marching from the banks of the Khabur to Bit-Adini, and from Bit-Adini passing on to Northern Syria, might almost have imagined himself still in his own dominions, so gradual and imperceptible were the changes in language and civilisation in the country traversed between Nineveh and Assur, Tul-Barsip and Samalla.
His expedition was unattended by danger or bloodshed. Lubarna, the reigning prince of the Patina, was possibly at that juncture meditating the formation of a Syrian empire under his rule. Unki, in which lay his capital of Kunulua, was one of the richest countries of Asia,* being well watered by the Afrin, Orontes, and Saluara;** no fields produced such rich harvests as his, no meadows pastured such cattle or were better suited to the breeding of war-horses.
* The Unki of the Assyrians, the Uniuqa of the Egyptians, is the valley of Antioch, the Amk of the present day. Kunulua or Kinalia, the capital of the Patina, has been identified with the Gindaros of Greek times; I prefer to identify it with the existing Tell-Kunana, written for Tell-Kunala by the common substitution of n for l at the end of proper names.
** The Saluara of the Assyrian texts is the present Kara-su, which flows into the Ak-Deniz, the lake of Antioch.
[Illustration: 058.jpg RELIGIOUS SCENE DISPLAYING EGYPTIAN FEATURES]
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from the impression taken from a Hittite cylinder.
His mountain provinces yielded him wood and minerals, and provided a reserve of semi-savage woodcutters and herdsmen from which to recruit his numerous battalions. The neighbouring princes, filled with uneasiness or jealousy by his good fortune, saw in the Assyrian monarch a friend and a liberator rather than an enemy. Carchemish opened its gates and laid at his feet the best of its treasures -- twenty talents of silver, ingots, rings, and daggers of gold, a hundred talents of copper, two hundred talents of iron, bronze bulls, cups decorated with scenes in relief or outline, ivory in the tusk or curiously wrought, purple and embroidered stuffs, and the state carriage of its King Shangara. The Hittite troops, assembled in haste, joined forces with the Aramaean auxiliaries, and the united host advanced on Coele-Syria. The scribe commissioned to record the history of this expedition has taken a delight in inserting the most minute details. Leaving Carchemish, the army followed the great caravan route, and winding its way between the hills of Munzigani and Khamurga, skirting Bit-Agusi, at length arrived under the walls of Khazazu among the Patina.*
* Khazazu being the present Azaz, the Assyrian army must have followed the route which still leads from Jerabis to this town. Mount Munzigani and Khamurga, mentioned between Carchemish and Akhanu or Iakhanu, must lie between the Sajur and the Koweik, near Shehab, at the only point on the route where the road passes between two ranges of lofty hills.
The town having purchased immunity by a present of gold and of finely woven stuffs, the army proceeded to cross the Aprie, on the bank of which an entrenched camp was formed for the storage of the spoil. Lubarna offered no resistance, but nevertheless refused to acknowledge his inferiority; after some delay, ifc was decided to make a direct attack on his capital, Kunulua, whither he had retired. The appearance of the Assyrian vanguard put a speedy end to his ideas of resistance: prostrating himself before his powerful adversary, he offered hostages, and emptied his palaces and stables to provide a ransom. This comprised twenty talents of silver, one talent of gold, a hundred talents of lead, a hundred talents of iron, a thousand bulls, ten thousand sheep, daughters of his nobles with befitting changes of garments, and all the paraphernalia of vessels, jewels, and costly stuffs which formed the necessary furniture of a princely household. The effect of his submission on his own vassals and the neighbouring tribes was shown in different ways. Bit-Agusi at once sent messengers to congratulate the conqueror, but the mountain provinces awaited the invader's nearer approach before following its example. Assur-nazir-pal, seeing that they did not take the initiative, crossed the Orontes, probably at the spot where the iron bridge now stands, and making his way through the country between laraku and Iaturi,* reached the banks of the Sangura* without encountering any difficulty.
* The spot where Assur-nazir-pal must have crossed the Orontes is determined by the respective positions of Kunulua and Tell-Kunana. At the iron bridge, the modern traveller has the choice of two roads: one, passing Antioch and Beit- el-Ma, leads to Urdeh on the Nahr-el-Kebir; the other reaches the same point by a direct route over the Gebel Kosseir. If, as I believe, Assur-nazir-pal took the latter route, the country and Mount laraku must be the northern part of Gebel Kosseir in the neighbourhood of Antioch, and Iaturi, the southern part of the same mountain near Derkush. laraku is mentioned in the same position by Shalmaneser III., who reached it after crossing the Orontes, on descending from the Amanos en route for the country of Hamath.
** The Sangura or Sagura has been identified by Delattre with the Nahr-el-Kebir, not that river which the Greeks called the Eleutheros, but that which flows into the sea near Latakia. Before naming the Sangura, the Annals mention a country, whose name, half effaced, ended in -ku: I think we may safely restore this name as [Ashtama]kou, mentioned by Shalmaneser III. in this region, after the name of laraku. The country of Ashtamaku would thus be the present canton of Urdeh, which is traversed before reaching the banks of the Nahr-el-Kebir.
After a brief halt there in camp, he turned his back on the sea, and passing between Saratini and Duppani,* took by assault the fortress of Aribua.** This stronghold commanded all the surrounding country, and was the seat of a palace which Lubarna at times used as a similar residence. Here Assur-nazir-pal took up his quarters, and deposited within its walls the corn and spoils of Lukhuti;*** he established here an Assyrian colony, and, besides being the scene of royal festivities, it became henceforth the centre of operations against the mountain tribes.
* The mountain cantons of Saratini and Duppani (Kalpani l'Adpani?), situated immediately to the south of the Nahr-el- Kebir, correspond to the southern part of Gebel-el-Akrad, but I cannot discover any names on the modern map at all resembling them.
** Beyond Duppani, Assur-nazir-pal encamped on the banks of a river whose name is unfortunately effaced, and then reached Aribua; this itinerary leads us to the eastern slope of the Gebel Ansarieh in the latitude of Hamath. The only site I can find in this direction fulfilling the
requirements of the text is that of Masiad, where there still exists a fort of the Assassins. The name Aribua is perhaps preserved in that of Rabao, er-Rabahu, which is applied to a wady and village in the neighbourhood of Masiad.
*** Lukhuti must not be sought in the plains of the Orontes, where Assur-nazir-pal would have run the risk of an encounter with the King of Hamath or his vassals; it must represent the part of the mountain of Ansarieh lying between Kadmus, Masiad, and Tortosa.
The forts of the latter were destroyed, their houses burned, and prisoners were impaled outside the gates of their cities. Having achieved this noble exploit, the king crossed the intervening spurs of Lebanon and marched down to the shores of the Mediterranean. Here he bathed his weapons in the waters, and offered the customary sacrifices to the gods of the sea, while the Phoenicians, with their wonted prudence, hastened to anticipate his demands -- Tyre, Sidon, Byblos, Mahallat, Maiza, Kaiza, the Amorites and Arvad,* all sending tribute.
* The point where Assur-nazir-pal touched the sea-coast cannot be exactly determined: admitting that he set out from Masiad or its neighbourhood, he must have crossed the Lebanon by the gorge of the Eleutheros, and reached the sea- board somewhere near the mouth of this river.
One point strikes us forcibly as we trace on the map the march of this victorious hero, namely, the care with which he confined himself to the left bank of the Orontes, and the restraint he exercised in leaving untouched the fertile fields of its valley, whose wealth was so calculated to excite his cupidity. This discretion would be inexplicable, did we not know that there existed in that region a formidable power which he may have thought it imprudent to provoke. It was Damascus which held sway over those territories whose frontiers he respected, and its kings, also suzerains of Hamath and masters of half Israel, were powerful enough to resist, if not conquer, any enemy who might present himself. The fear inspired by Damascus naturally explains the attitude adopted by the Hittite states towards the invader, and the precautions taken by the latter to restrict his operations within somewhat narrow limits. Having accepted the complimentary presents of the Phoenicians, the king again took his way northwards -- making a slight detour in order to ascend the Amanos for the purpose of erecting there a stele commemorating his exploits, and of cutting pines, cedars, and larches for his buildings -- and then returned to Nineveh amid the acclamations of his people.
In reading the history of this campaign, its plan and the principal events which took place in it appear at times to be the echo of what had happened some centuries before. The recapitulation of the halting-places near the sources of the Tigris and on the banks of the Upper Euphrates, the marches through the valleys of the Zagros or on the slopes of Kashiari, the crushing one by one of the Mesopotamian races, ending in a triumphal progress through Northern Syria, is almost a repetition, both as to the names and order of the places mentioned, of the expedition made by Tiglath-pileser in the first five years of his reign. The question may well arise in passing whether Assur-nazir-pal consciously modelled his campaign on that of his ancestor, as, in Egypt, Ramses III. imitated Ramses II., or whether, in similar circumstances, he instinctively and naturally followed the same line of march. In either case, he certainly showed on all sides greater wisdom than his predecessor, and having attained the object of his ambition, avoided compromising his success by injudiciously attacking Damascus or Babylon, the two powers who alone could have offered effective resistance. The victory he had gained, in 879, over the brother of Nabu-baliddin had immensely flattered his vanity. His panegyrists vied with each other in depicting Karduniash bewildered by the terror of his majesty, and the Chaldaeans overwhelmed by the fear of his arms; but he did not allow himself to be carried away by their extravagant flatteries, and continued to the end of his reign to observe the treaties concluded between the two courts in the time of his grandfather Ramman-nirari.*
* His frontier on the Chaldaean side, between the Tigris and the mountains, was the boundary fixed by Ramman-nirari.
He had, however, sufficiently enlarged his dominions, in less than ten years, to justify some display of pride. He himself described his empire as extending, on the west of Assyria proper, from the banks of the Tigris near Nineveh to Lebanon and the Mediterranean;* besides which, Sukhi was subject to him, and this included the province of Rapiku on the frontiers of Babylonia.**
* The expression employed in this description and in similar passages, ishtu ibirtan naru, translated from the ford over the river, or better, from the other side of the river, must be understood as referring to Assyria proper: the territory subject to the king is measured in the direction indicated, starting from the rivers which formed the boundaries of his hereditary dominions. From the other bank of the Tigris means from the bank of the Tigris opposite Nineveh or Oalah, whence the king and his army set out on their campaigns.
** Rapiku is mentioned in several texts as marking the frontier between the Sukhi and Chaldaea.
He had added to his older provinces of Amidi, Masios and Singar, the whole strip of Armenian territory at the foot of the Taurus range, from the sources of the Supnat to those of the Bitlis-tchai, and he held the passes leading to the banks of the Arzania, in Kirruri and Gilzan, while the extensive country of Nairi had sworn him allegiance. Towards the south-east the wavering tribes, which alternately gave their adherence to Assur or Babylon according to circumstances, had ranged themselves on his side, and formed a large frontier province beyond the borders of his hereditary kingdom, between the Lesser Zab and the Turnat. But, despite repeated blows inflicted on them, he had not succeeded in welding these various factors into a compact and homogeneous whole; some small proportion of them were assimilated to Assyria, and were governed directly by royal officials,* but the greater number were merely dependencies, more or less insecurely held by the obligations of vassalage or servitude. In some provinces the native chiefs were under the surveillance of Assyrian residents;** these districts paid an annual tribute proportionate to the resources and products of their country: thus Kirruri and the neighbouring states contributed horses, mules, bulls, sheep, wine, and copper vessels; the Aramaeans gold, silver, lead, copper, both wrought and in the ore, purple, and coloured or embroidered stuffs; while Izalla, Nirbu, Nirdun, and Bit-Zamani had to furnish horses, chariots, metals, and cattle.
* There were royal governors in Suru in Bit-Khalupi, in Matiate, in Madara, and in Nairi.
** There were |Assyrian| residents in Kirruri and the neighbouring countries, in Kirkhi, and in Nairi.
The less civilised and more distant tribes were not, like these, subject to regular tribute, but each time the sovereign traversed their territory or approached within reasonable distance, their chiefs sent or brought to him valuable presents as fresh pledges of their loyalty. Royal outposts, built at regular intervals and carefully fortified, secured the fulfilment of these obligations, and served as depots for storing the commodities collected by the royal officials; such outposts were, Damdamusa on the north-west of the Kashiari range, Tushkhan on the Tigris, Tilluli between the Supnat and the Euphrates, Aribua among the Patina, and others scattered irregularly between the Greater and Lesser Zab, on the Khabur, and also in Nairi. These strongholds served as places of refuge for the residents and their guards in case of a revolt, and as food-depots for the armies in the event of war bringing them into their neighbourhood. In addition to these, Assur-nazir-pal also strengthened the defences of Assyria proper by building fortresses at the points most open to attack; he repaired or completed the defences of Kaksi, to command the plain between the Greater and Lesser Zab and the Tigris; he rebuilt the castles or towers which guarded the river-fords and the entrances to the valleys of the Gebel Makhlub, and erected at Calah the fortified palace which his successors continued to inhabit for the ensuing five hundred years.
Assur-nazir-pal had resided at Nineveh from the time of his accession to the throne; from thence he had set out on four successive campaigns, and thither he had returned at the head of his triumphant troops, there he had received the kings who came to pay him homage, and the governors who implored his help against foreign attacks; thither he had sent rebel chiefs, and there, after they had marched in ignominy through the streets, he had put them to torture and to death before the eyes of the crowd, and their skins were perchance still hanging nailed to the battlements when he decided to change the seat of his capital. The ancient capital no longer suited his present state as a conqueror; the accommodation was too restricted, the decoration too poor, and probably the number of apartments was insufficient to house the troops of women and slaves brought back from his wars by its royal master. Built on the very bank of the Tebilti, one of the tributaries of the Khusur, and hemmed in by three temples, there was no possibility of its enlargement -- a difficulty which often occurs in ancient cities. The necessary space for new buildings could only have been obtained by altering the course of the stream, and sacrificing a large part of the adjoining quarters of the city: Assur-nazir-pal therefore preferred to abandon the place and to select a new site where he would have ample space at his disposal.
[Illustration: 067.jpg THE MOUNDS OF CALAH]
Drawn by Boudier, from Layard. The pointed mound on the left near the centre of the picture represents the ziggurat of the great temple.
He found what he required close at hand in the half-ruined city of Calah, where many of his most illustrious predecessors had in times past sought refuge from the heat of Assur. It was now merely an obscure and sleepy town about twelve miles south of Nineveh, on the right bank of the Tigris, and almost at the angle made by the junction of this river with the Greater Zab. The place contained a palace built by Shalmaneser I., which, owing to many years' neglect, had become uninhabitable. Assur-nazir-pal not only razed to the ground the palaces and temples, but also levelled the mound on which they had been built; he then cleared away the soil down to the water level, and threw up an immense and almost rectangular terrace on which to lay out his new buildings.
[Illustration: 068.jpg STELE OF ASSUR-NAZIR-PAL AT CALAH]
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph by Mansell.
The king chose Ninip, the god of war, as the patron of the city, and dedicated to him, at the north-west corner of the terrace, a ziggurat with its usual temple precincts. Here the god was represented as a bull with a man's head and bust in gilded alabaster, and two yearly feasts were instituted in his honour, one in the month Sebat, the other in the month Ulul. The ziggurat was a little over two hundred feet high, and was probably built in seven stages, of which only one now remains intact: around it are found several independent series of chambers and passages, which may have been parts of other temples, but it is now impossible to say which belonged to the local Belit, which to Sin, to Gula, to Ramman, or to the ancient deity Ra. At the entrance to the largest chamber, on a rectangular pedestal, stood a stele with rounded top, after the Egyptian fashion. On it is depicted a figure of the king, standing erect and facing to the left of the spectator; he holds his mace at his side, his right hand is raised in the attitude of adoration, and above him, on the left upper edge of the stele, are grouped the five signs of the planets; at the base of the stele stands an altar with a triangular pedestal and circular slab ready for the offerings to be presented to the royal founder by priests or people. The palace extended along the south side of the terrace facing the town, and with the river in its rear; it covered a space one hundred and thirty-one yards in length and a hundred and nine in breadth. In the centre was a large court, surrounded by seven or eight spacious halls, appropriated to state functions; between these and the court were many rooms of different sizes, forming the offices and private apartments of the royal house. The whole palace was built of brick faced with stone. Three gateways, flanked by winged, human-headed bulls, afforded access to the largest apartment, the hall of audience, where the king received his subjects or the envoys of foreign powers.* The doorways and walls of some of the rooms were decorated with glazed tiles, but the majority of them were covered with bands of coloured** bas-reliefs which portrayed various episodes in the life of the king -- his state-councils, his lion hunts, the reception of tribute, marches over mountains and rivers, chariot-skirmishes, sieges, and the torture and carrying away of captives.
* At the east end of the hall Layard found a block of alabaster covered with inscriptions, forming a sort of platform on which the king's throne may have stood.
** Layard points out the traces of colouring still visible when the excavations were made.
[Illustration: 070.jpg THE WINGED BULLS OP ASSUR-NAZIR-PAL]
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a sketch by Layard.
Incised in bands across these pictures are inscriptions extolling the omnipotence of Assur, while at intervals genii with eagles' beaks, or deities in human form, imperious and fierce, appear with hands full of offerings, or in the act of brandishing thunderbolts against evil spirits. The architect who designed this imposing decoration, and the sculptors who executed it, closely followed the traditions of ancient Chaldaea in the drawing and composition of their designs, and in the use of colour or chisel; but the qualities and defects peculiar to their own race give a certain character of originality to this borrowed art. They exaggerated the stern and athletic aspect of their models, making the figure thick-set, the muscles extraordinarily enlarged, and the features ludicrously accentuated.
[Illustration: 071.jpg GLAZED TILE FROM PALACE OF CALAH]
Drawn by Boudier, after Layard.
Their pictures produce an impression of awkwardness, confusion and heaviness, but the detail is so minute and the animation so great that the attention of the spectator is forcibly arrested; these uncouth beings impress us with the sense of their self-reliance and their confidence in their master, as we watch them brandishing their weapons or hurrying to the attack, and see the shock of battle and the death-blows given and received. The human-headed bulls, standing on guard at the gates, exhibit the calm and pensive dignity befitting creatures conscious of their strength, while the lions passant who sometimes replace them, snarl and show their teeth with an almost alarming ferocity.
[Illustration: 072.jpg LION FROM ASSUR-NAZIR-PAL'S PALACE]
Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph of the sculpture in the British Museum.
The statues of men and gods, as a rule, are lacking in originality. The heavy robes which drape them from head to foot give them the appearance of cylinders tied in at the centre and slightly flattened towards the top. The head surmounting this shapeless bundle is the only life-like part, and even the lower half of this is rendered heavy by the hair and beard, whose tightly curled tresses lie in stiff rows one above the other. The upper part of the face which alone is visible is correctly drawn; the expression is of rather a commonplace type of nobility -- respectable but self-sufficient. The features -- eyes, forehead, nose, mouth -- are all those of Assur-nazir-pal; the hair is arranged in the fashion he affected, and the robe is embroidered with his jewels; but amid all this we miss the keen intelligence always present in Egyptian sculpture, whether under the royal head-dress of Cheops or in the expectant eyes of the sitting scribe: the Assyrian sculptor could copy the general outline of his model fairly well, but could not infuse soul into the face of the conqueror, whose |countenance beamed above the destruction around him.|
The water of the Tigris being muddy, and unpleasant to the taste, and the wells at Calah so charged with lime and bitumen as to render them unwholesome, Assur-nazir-pal supplied the city with water from the neighbouring Zab.* An abundant stream was diverted from this river at the spot now called Negub, and conveyed at first by a tunnel excavated in the rock, and thence by an open canal to the foot of the great terrace: at this point the flow of the water was regulated by dams, and the surplus was utilised for irrigation** purposes by means of openings cut in the banks.
* The presence of bitumen in the waters of Calah is due to the hot springs which rise in the bed of the brook Shor- derreh.
** The canal of Negub -- Negub signifies hole in Arabic -- was discovered by Layard. The Zab having changed its course to the south, and scooped out a deeper bed for itself, the double arch, which serves as an entrance to the canal, is actually above the ordinary level of the river, and the water flows through it only in flood-time.
The aqueduct was named Babilat-khigal -- the bringer of plenty -- and, to justify the epithet, date-palms, vines, and many kinds of fruit trees were planted along its course, so that both banks soon assumed the appearance of a shady orchard interspersed with small towns and villas. The population rapidly increased, partly through the spontaneous influx of Assyrians themselves, but still more through the repeated introduction of bands of foreign prisoners: forts, established at the fords of the Zab, or commanding the roads which cross the Gebel Makhlub, kept the country in subjection and formed an inner line of defence at a short distance from the capital.
[Illustration: 074.jpg A CORNER OF THE RUINED PALACE OF ASSUR-NAZIR-PAL]
Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph by Rassam.
Assur-nazir-pal kept up a palace, garden, and small temple, near the fort of Imgur-Bel, the modern Balawat: thither he repaired for intervals of repose from state affairs, to enjoy the pleasures of the chase and cool air in the hot season. He did not entirely abandon his other capitals, Nineveh and Assur, visiting them occasionally, but Calah was his favourite seat, and on its adornment he spent the greater part of his wealth and most of his leisure hours. Only once again did he abandon his peaceful pursuits and take the field, about the year 897 B.C., during the eponymy of Shamashnuri. The tribes on the northern boundary of the empire had apparently forgotten the lessons they had learnt at the cost of so much bloodshed at the beginning of his reign: many had omitted to pay the tribute due, one chief had seized the royal cities of Amidi and Damdamusa, and the rebellion threatened to spread to Assyria itself. Assur-nazir-pal girded on his armour and led his troops to battle as vigorously as in the days of his youth. He hastily collected, as he passed through their lands, the tribute due from Kipani, Izalla, and Kummukh, gained the banks of the Euphrates, traversed Grubbu burning everything on his way, made a detour through Dirria and Kirkhi, and finally halted before the walls of Damdamusa. Six hundred soldiers of the garrison perished in the assault and four hundred were taken prisoners: these he carried to Amidi and impaled as an object-lesson round its walls; but, the defenders of the town remaining undaunted, he raised the siege and plunged into the gorges of the Kashiari. Having there reduced to submission Uda, the capital of Lapturi, son of Tubisi, he returned to Calah, taking with him six thousand prisoners whom he settled as colonists around his favourite residence. This was his last exploit: he never subsequently quitted his hereditary domain, but there passed the remaining seven years of his life in peace, if not in idleness. He died in 860 B.C., after a reign of twenty-five years. His portraits represent him as a vigorous man, with a brawny neck and broad shoulders, capable of bearing the weight of his armour for many hours at a time. He is short in the head, with a somewhat flattened skull and low forehead; his eyes are large and deep-set beneath bushy eyebrows, his cheek-bones high, and his nose aquiline, with a fleshy tip and wide nostrils, while his mouth and chin are hidden by moustache and beard. The whole figure is instinct with real dignity, yet such dignity as is due rather to rank and the habitual exercise of power, than to the innate qualities of the man.*
* Perrot and Chipiez do not admit that the Assyrian sculptors intended to represent the features of their kings; for this they rely chiefly on the remarkable likeness between all the figures in the same series of bas-reliefs. My own belief is that in Assyria, as in Egypt, the sculptors took the portrait of the reigning sovereign as the model for all their figures.
The character of Assur-nazir-pal, as gathered from the dry details of his Annals, seems to have been very complex. He was as ambitious, resolute, and active as any prince in the world; yet he refrained from offensive warfare as soon as his victories had brought under his rule the majority of the countries formerly subject to Tiglath-pileser I. He knew the crucial moment for ending a campaign, arresting his progress where one more success might have brought him into collision with some formidable neighbour; and this wise prudence in his undertakings enabled him to retain the principal acquisitions won by his arms. As a worshipper of the gods he showed devotion and gratitude; he was just to his subjects, but his conduct towards his enemies was so savage as to appear to us cruel even for that terribly pitiless age: no king ever employed such horrible punishments, or at least none has described with such satisfaction the tortures inflicted on his vanquished foes.
Perhaps such measures were necessary, and the harshness with which he repressed insurrection prevented more frequent outbreaks and so averted greater sacrifice of life. But the horror of these scenes so appals the modern reader, that at first he can only regard Assur-nazir-pal as a royal butcher of the worst type.
[Illustration: 077.jpg SHALMANESER III.]
Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph by Mansell, taken from the original stele in the British Museum.
Assur-nazir-pal left to his successor an overflowing treasury, a valiant army, a people proud of their progress and fully confident in their own resources, and a kingdom which had recovered, during several years of peace, from the strain of its previous conquests. Shalmaneser III.* drew largely on the reserves of men and money which his father's foresight had prepared, and his busy reign of thirty-five years saw thirty-two campaigns, conducted almost without a break, on every side of the empire in succession. A double task awaited him, which he conscientiously and successfully fulfilled.
* [The Shalmaneser III. of the text is the Shalmaneser II. of the notes. -- TR.]
Assur-nazir-pal had thoroughly reorganised the empire and raised it to the rank of a great power: he had confirmed his provinces and vassal states in their allegiance, and had subsequently reduced to subjection, or, at any rate, penetrated at various points, the little buffer principalities between Assyria and the powerful kingdoms of Babylon, Damascus, and Urartu; but he had avoided engaging any one of these three great states in a struggle of which the issue seemed doubtful. Shalmaneser could not maintain this policy of forbearance without loss of prestige in the eyes of the world: conduct which might seem prudent and cautious in a victorious monarch like Assur-nazir-pal would in him have argued timidity or weakness, and his rivals would soon have provoked a quarrel if they thought him lacking in the courage or the means to attack them. Immediately after his accession, therefore, he assumed the offensive, and decided to measure his strength first against Urartu, which for some years past had been showing signs of restlessness. Few countries are more rugged or better adapted for defence than that in which his armies were about to take the field. The volcanoes to which it owed its configuration in geological times, had become extinct long before the appearance of man, but the surface of the ground still bears evidence of their former activity; layers of basaltic rock, beds of scorias and cinders, streams of half-disintegrated mud and lava, and more or less perfect cones, meet the eye at every turn. Subterranean disturbances have not entirely ceased even now, for certain craters -- that of Tandurek, for example -- sometimes exhale acid fumes; while hot springs exist in the neighbourhood, from which steaming waters escape in cascades to the valley, and earthquakes and strange subterranean noises are not unknown. The backbone of these Armenian mountains joins towards the south the line of the Grordyasan range; it runs in a succession of zigzags from south-east to northwest, meeting at length the mountains of Pontus and the last spurs of the Caucasus.
[Illustration: 079.jpg THE TWO PEAKS OF MOUNT ARARAT]
Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph by A. Tissandier.
Lofty snow-clad peaks, chiefly of volcanic origin, rise here and there among them, the most important being Akhta-dagh, Tandurek, Ararat, Bingoel, and Palandoeken. The two unequal pyramids which form the summit of Ararat are covered with perpetual snow, the higher of them being 16,916 feet above the sea-level. The spurs which issue from the principal chain cross each other in all directions, and make a network of rocky basins where in former times water collected and formed lakes, nearly all of which are now dry in consequence of the breaking down of one or other of their enclosing sides. Two only of these mountain lakes still remain, entirely devoid of outlet, Lake Van in the south, and Lake Urumiah further to the south-east. The Assyrians called the former the Upper Sea of Nairi, and the latter the Lower Sea, and both constituted a defence for Urartu against their attacks. To reach the centre of the kingdom of Urartu, the Assyrians had either to cross the mountainous strip of land between the two lakes, or by making a detour to the north-west, and descending the difficult slopes of the valley of the Arzania, to approach the mountains of Armenia lying to the north of Lake Van. The march was necessarily a slow and painful one for both horses and men, along narrow winding valleys down which rushed rapid streams, over raging torrents, through tangled forests where the path had to be cut as they advanced, and over barren wind-swept plateaux where rain and mist chilled and demoralized soldiers accustomed to the warm and sunny plains of the Euphrates. The majority of the armies which invaded this region never reached the goal of the expedition: they retired after a few engagements, and withdrew as quickly as possible to more genial climes. The main part of the Urartu remained almost always unsubdued behind its barrier of woods, rocks, and lakes, which protected it from the attacks levelled against it, and no one can say how far the kingdom extended in the direction of the Caucasus. It certainly included the valley of the Araxes and possibly part of the valley of the Kur, and the steppes sloping towards the Caspian Sea. It was a region full of contrasts, at once favoured and ill-treated by nature in its elevation and aspect: rugged peaks, deep gorges, dense thickets, districts sterile from the heat of subterranean fires, and sandy wastes barren for lack of moisture, were interspersed with shady valleys, sunny vine-clad slopes, and wide stretches of fertile land covered with rich layers of deep alluvial soil, where thick-standing corn and meadow-lands, alternating with orchards, repaid the cultivator for the slightest attempt at irrigation.
[Illustration: 080.jpg End of the Harvest -- Cutting Straw]
History does not record who were the former possessors of this land; but towards the middle of the ninth century it was divided into several principalities, whose position and boundaries cannot be precisely determined. It is thought that Urartu lay on either side of Mount Ararat and on both banks of the Araxes, that Biainas lay around Lake Van,* and that the Mannai occupied the country to the north and east of Lake Urumiah;** the positions of the other tribes on the different tributaries of the Euphrates or the slopes of the Armenian mountains are as yet uncertain.
* Urartu is the only name by which the Assyrians knew the kingdom of Van; it has been recognised from the very beginning of Assyriological studies, as well as its identity with the Ararat of the Bible and the Alarodians of
Herodotus. It was also generally recognised that the name Biainas in the Vannic inscriptions, which Hincks read Bieda, corresponded to the Urartu of the Assyrians, but in consequence of this mistaken reading, efforts have been made to connect it with Adiabene. Sayce was the first to show that Biainas was the name of the country of Van, and of the kingdom of which Van was the capital; the word Bitani which Sayce connects with it is not a secondary form of the name of Van, but a present day term, and should be erased from the list of geographical names.
** The Mannai are the Minni of Jeremiah (li.27), and it is in their country of Minyas that one tradition made the ark rest after the Deluge.
The country was probably peopled by a very mixed race, for its mountains have always afforded a safe asylum for refugees, and at each migration, which altered the face of Western Asia, some fugitives from neighbouring nations drifted to the shelter of its fastnesses.
[Illustration: 082.jpg THE KINGDOM OF URATU]
The principal element, the Khaldi, were akin to that great family of tribes which extended across the range of the Taurus, from the shores of the Mediterranean to the Euxine, and included the Khalybes, the Mushku, the Tabal, and the Khati. The little preserved of their language resembles what we know of the idioms in use among the people of Arzapi and Mitanni, and their religion seems to have been somewhat analogous to the ancient worship of the Hittites. The character of the ancient Armenians, as revealed to us by the monuments, resembles in its main features that of the Armenians of the present time. They appear as tall, strong, muscular, and determined, full of zest for work and fighting, and proud of their independence.
[Illustration: 083.jpg FRAGMENT OF A VOTIVE SHIELD OF URARTIAN WORK]
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph by Hormuzd Rassam.
Some of them led a pastoral life, wandering about with their flocks during the greater part of the year, obliged to seek pasturage in valley, forest, or mountain height according to the season, while in winter they remained frost-bound in semi-subterranean dwellings similar to those in which descendants immure themselves at the present day. Where the soil lent itself to agriculture, they proved excellent husbandmen, and obtained abundant crops. Their ingenuity in irrigation was remarkable, and enabled them to bring water by a system of trenches from distant springs to supply their fields and gardens; besides which, they knew how to terrace the steep hillsides so as to prevent the rapid draining away of moisture. Industries were but little developed among them, except perhaps the working of metals; for were they not akin to those Chalybes of the Pontus, whose mines and forges already furnished iron to the Grecian world? Fragments have been discovered in the ruined cities of Urartu of statuettes, cups, and votive shields, either embossed or engraved, and decorated with concentric bands of animals or men, treated in the Assyrian manner, but displaying great beauty of style and remarkable finish of execution.
[Illustration: 084.jpg SITE OF AN URARTIAN TOWN AT TOPRAH-KALEH]
Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph by M. Binder.
Their towns were generally fortified or perched on heights, rendering them easy of defence, as, for example, Van and Toprah-Kaleh. Even such towns as were royal residences were small, and not to be compared with the cities of Assyria or Aram; their ground-plan generally assumed the form of a rectangular oblong, not always traced with equal exactitude.
[Illustration: 085.jpg THE RUINS OF A PALACE OF URARTU AT TOPRAH-KALEH]
Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph by Hormuzd Rassam.
The walls were built of blocks of roughly hewn stone, laid in regular courses, but without any kind of mortar or cement; they were surmounted by battlements, and flanked at intervals by square towers, at the foot of which were outworks to protect the points most open to attack. The entrance was approached by narrow and dangerous pathways, which sometimes ran on ledges across the precipitous face of the rock. The dwelling-houses were of very simple construction, being merely square cabins of stone or brick, devoid of any external ornament, and pierced by one low doorway, but sometimes surmounted by an open colonnade supported by a row of small pillars; a flat roof with a parapet crowned the whole, though this was often replaced by a gabled top, which was better adapted to withstand the rains and snows of winter. The palaces of the chiefs differed from the private houses in the size of their apartments and the greater care bestowed upon their decoration. Their facades were sometimes adorned with columns, and ornamented with bucklers or carved discs of metal; slabs of stone covered with inscriptions lined the inner halls, but we do not know whether the kings added to their dedications to the gods and the recital of their victories, pictures of the battles they had fought and of the fortresses they had destroyed. The furniture resembled that in the houses of Nineveh, but was of simpler workmanship, and perhaps the most valuable articles were imported from Assyria or were of Aramaean manufacture. The temples seemed to have differed little from the palaces, at least in external appearance. The masonry was more regular and more skilfully laid; the outer court was filled with brazen lavers and statues; the interior was furnished with altars, sacrificial stones, idols in human or animal shape, and bowls identical with those in the sanctuaries on the Euphrates, but the nature and details of the rites in which they were employed are unknown. One supreme deity, Khaldis, god of the sky, was, as far as we can conjecture, the protector of the whole nation, and their name was derived from his, as that of the Assyrians was from Assur, the Cossaeans from Kashshu, and the Khati from Khatu.
[Illustration: 086.jpg TEMPLE OF KHALDIS AT MUZAZIR]
This deity was assisted in the government of the universe by Teisbas, god of the air, and Ardinis the sun-god. Groups of secondary deities were ranged around this sovereign triad -- Auis, the water; Ayas, the earth; Selardis, the moon; Kharubainis, Irmusinis, Adarutas, and Arzi-melas: one single inscription enumerates forty-six, but some of these were worshipped in special localities only.
[Illustration: 089.jpg ASSYRIAN SOLDIERS CARRYING OFF OR DESTROYING THE FURNITURE OF AN URARTIAN TEMPLE]
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from Botta. Scribes are weighing gold, and soldiers destroying the statue of a god with their axes.
It would appear as if no goddesses were included in the native Pantheon. Saris, the only goddess known to us at present, is probably merely a variant of the Ishtar of Nineveh or Arbela, borrowed from the Assyrians at a later date.
The first Assyrian conquerors looked upon these northern regions as an integral part of Nairi, and included them under that name. They knew of no single state in the district whose power might successfully withstand their own, but were merely acquainted with a group of hostile provinces whose internecine conflicts left them ever at the mercy of a foreign foe.* Two kingdoms had, however, risen to some importance about the beginning of the ninth century -- that of the Mannai in the east, and that of Urartu in the centre of the country. Urartu comprised the district of Ararat proper, the province of Biaina, and the entire basin of the Arzania.
* The single inscription of Tiglath-pileser I. contains a list of twenty-three kings of Nairi, and mentions sixty chiefs of the same country.
[Illustration: 090.jpg SHALMANESEE III. CROSSING THE MOUNTAINS]
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from one of the bas-reliefs on the bronze gates of Balawat.
Arzashkun, one of its capitals, situated probably near the sources of this river, was hidden, and protected against attack, by an extent of dense forest almost impassable to a regular army. The power of this kingdom, though as yet unorganised, had already begun to inspire the neighbouring states with uneasiness. Assur-nazir-pal speaks of it incidentally as lying on the northern frontier of his empire,* but the care he took to avoid arousing its hostility shows the respect in which he held it.
* Arzashku, Arzashkun, seems to be the Assyrian form of an Urartian name ending in -ka, formed from a proper name Arzash, which recalls the name Arsene, Arsissa, applied by the ancients to part of Lake Van. Arzashkun might represent the Ardzik of the Armenian historians, west of Malasgert.
He was, indeed, as much afraid of Urartu as of Damascus, and though he approached quite close to its boundary in his second campaign, he preferred to check his triumphant advance rather than risk attacking it. It appears to have been at that time under the undisputed rule of a certain Sharduris, son of Lutipri, and subsequently, about the middle of Assur-nazir-pal's reign, to have passed into the hands of Arame, who styled himself King of Nairi, and whose ambition may have caused those revolts which forced Assur-nazir-pal to take up arms in the eighteenth year of his reign. On this occasion the Assyrians again confined themselves to the chastisement of their own vassals, and checked their advance as soon as they approached Urartu. Their success was but temporary; hardly had they withdrawn from the neighbourhood, when the disturbances were renewed with even greater violence, very probably at the instigation of Arame. Shalmaneser III. found matters in a very unsatisfactory state both on the west and south of Lake Van: some of the peoples who had been subject to his father -- the Khubushkia, the pastoral tribes of the Gordaean mountains, and the Aramaeans of the Euphrates -- had transferred their allegiance elsewhere. He immediately took measures to recall them to a sense of their duty, and set out from Calah only a few days after succeeding to the crown. He marched at first in an easterly direction, and, crossing the pass of Simisi, burnt the city of Aridi, thus proving that he was fully prepared to treat rebels after the same fashion as his father. The lesson had immediate effect. All the neighbouring tribes, Khargaeans, Simisaeans, the people of Simira, Sirisha, and Ulmania, hastened to pay him homage even before he had struck his camp near Aridi. Hurrying across country by the shortest route, which entailed the making of roads to enable his chariots and cavalry to follow him, he fell upon Khubushkia, and reduced a hundred towns to ashes, pursuing the king Kakia into the depths of the forest, and forcing him to an unconditional surrender. Ascending thence to Shugunia, a dependency of Arame's, he laid the principality waste, in spite of the desperate resistance made on their mountain slopes by the inhabitants; then proceeding to Lake Van, he performed the ceremonial rites incumbent on an Assyrian king whenever he stood for the first time on the shores of a new sea. He washed his weapons in the waters, offered a sacrifice to the gods, casting some portions of the victim into the lake, and before leaving carved his own image on the surface of a commanding rock. On his homeward march he received tribute from Gilzan. This expedition was but the prelude of further successes. After a few weeks' repose at Nineveh, he again set out to make his authority felt in the western portions of his dominions.
[Illustration: 093.jpg THE PEOPLE OF SHUGUNIA FIGHTING AGAINST THE ASSYRIANS]
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from one of the bas-reliefs on the bronze gates of Balawat.
Akhuni, chief of Bit-Adini, whose position was the first to be menaced, had formed a league with the chiefs of all the cities which had formerly bowed before Assur-nazir-pal's victorious arms, Gurgum, Samalla, Kui, the Patina, Car-chemish, and the Khati. Shalmaneser seized Lalati* and Burmarana, two of Akhuni's towns, drove him across the Euphrates, and following close on his heels, collected as he passed the tribute of Gurgum, and fell upon Samalla.
* Lalati is probably the Lulati of the Egyptians. The modern site is not known, nor is that of Burmarana.
Under the walls of Lutibu he overthrew the combined forces of Adini, Samalla, and the Patina, and raised a trophy to commemorate his victory at the sources of the Saluara; then turning sharply to the south, he crossed the Orontes in pursuit of Shapalulme, King of the Patina.
[Illustration: 094.jpg PRISONERS FROM SHUGUNIA, WITH THEIR ARMS TIED AND YOKES ON THEIR NECKS]
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from one of the bas-reliefs on the bronze gates of Balawat.
Not far from Alizir he encountered a fresh army raised by Akhuni and the King of Samalla, with contingents from Carchemish, Kui, Cilicia, and Iasbuki:* having routed it, he burnt the fortresses of Shapalulme, and after occupying himself by cutting down cedars and cypress trees on the Amanos in the province of Atalur, he left a triumphal stele engraved on the mountain-side.
* The country of Iasbuki is represented by Ishbak, a son of Abraham and Keturah, mentioned in Genesis (xxv.2) in connection with Shuah.
[Illustration: 094b.jpg SACRIFICE OFFERED BY SHALMANESER III.]
[Illustration: 095.jpg COSTUMES FOUND IN THE FIFTH TOMB]
Next turning eastwards, he received the homage offered with alacrity by the towns of Taia, Khazazu, Nulia, and Butamu, and, with a final tribute from Agusi, he returned in triumph to Nineveh. The motley train which accompanied, him showed by its variety the immense extent of country he had traversed during this first campaign. Among the prisoners were representatives of widely different races; -- Khati with long robes and cumbrous head-dresses, following naked mountaineers from Shugunia, who marched with yokes on their necks, and wore those close-fitting helmets with short crests which have such a strangely modern look on the Assyrian bas-reliefs. The actual results of the campaign were, perhaps, hardly commensurate with the energy expended. This expedition from east to west had certainly inflicted considerable losses on the rebels against whom it had been directed; it had cost them dearly in men and cattle, and booty of all kinds, and had extorted from them a considerable amount of tribute, but they remained, notwithstanding, still unsubdued. As soon as the Assyrian troops had quitted their neighbourhood, they flattered themselves they were safe from further attack. No doubt they thought that a show of submission would satisfy the new invader, as it had satisfied his father; but Shalmaneser was not disposed to rest content with this nominal dependence. He intended to exercise effective control over all the states won by his sword, and the proof of their subjection was to be the regular payment of tribute and fulfilment of other obligations to their suzerain. Year by year he unfailingly enforced his rights, till the subject states were obliged to acknowledge their master and resign themselves to servitude.
The narrative of his reiterated efforts is a monotonous one. The king advanced against Adini in the spring of 859 B.C., defeated Akhuni near Tul-barsip, transported his victorious regiments across the Euphrates on rafts of skins, seized Surunu, Paripa, and Dabigu* besides six fortresses and two hundred villages, and then advanced into the territory of Carchemish, which he proceeded to treat with such severity that the other Hittite chiefs hastened to avert a similar fate by tendering their submission.
* Shalmaneser crossed the Euphrates near Tul-barsip, which would lead him into the country between Birejik, Rum-kaleh, and Aintab, and it is in that district that we must look for the towns subject to Akhuni. Dabigu, I consider, corresponds to Dehbek on Rey's map, a little to the north-east of Aintab; the sites of Paripa and Surunu are unknown.
The very enumeration of their offerings proves not only their wealth, but the terror inspired by the advancing Assyrian host: Shapalulme of the Patina, for instance, yielded up three talents of gold, a hundred talents of silver, three hundred talents of copper, and three hundred of iron, and paid in addition to this an annual tribute of one talent of silver, two talents of purple, and two hundred great beams of cedar-wood. Samalla, Agusi, and Kummukh were each laid under tribute in proportion to their resources, but their surrender did not necessarily lead to that of Adini. Akhuni realised that, situated as he was on the very borders of Assyrian territory, there was no longer a chance of his preserving his semi-independence, as was the case with his kinsfolk beyond the Euphrates; proximity to the capital would involve a stricter servitude, which would soon reduce him from the condition of a vassal to that of a subject, and make him merely a governor where he had hitherto reigned as king. Abandoned by the Khati, he sought allies further north, and entered into a league with the tribes of Nairi and Urartu. When, in 858 B.C., Shalmaneser III. forced an entrance into Tul-barsip, and drove back what was left of the garrison on the right bank of the Euphrates, a sudden movement of Arame obliged him to let the prey escape from his grasp. Rapidly fortifying Tul-barsip, Nappigi, Aligu, Pitru, and Mutkinu, and garrisoning them with loyal troops to command the fords of the river, as his ancestor Shalmaneser I. had done six centuries before,* he then re-entered Nairi by way of Bit-Zamani, devastated Inziti with fire and sword, forced a road through to the banks of the Arzania, pillaged Sukhmi and Dayaini, and appeared under the walls of Arzashkun.
* Pitru, the Pethor of the Bible (Numb. xxii.5), is situated near the confluence of the Sajur and the Euphrates, somewhere near the encampment called Osheriyeh by Sachau. Mutkinu was on the other bank, perhaps at Kharbet-Beddai, nearly opposite Pitru. Nappigi was on the left bank of the Euphrates, which excludes its identification with Mabog- Hierapolis, as proposed by Hommel; Nabigath, mentioned by Tomkins, is too far east. Nappigi and Aligu must both be sought in the district between the Euphrates and the town of Saruj.
Arame withdrew to Mount Adduri and awaited his attack in an almost impregnable position; he was nevertheless defeated: 3400 of his soldiers fell on the field of battle; his camp, his treasures, his chariots, and all his baggage passed into the hands of the conqueror, and he himself barely escaped with his life. Shalmaneser ravaged the country |as a savage bull ravages and tramples under his feet the fertile fields;| he burnt the villages and the crops, destroyed Arzashkun, and raised before its gates a pyramid of human heads, surrounded by a circle of prisoners impaled on stakes. He climbed the mountain chain of Iritia, and laid waste Aramali and Zanziuna at his leisure, and descending for the second time to the shores of Lake Van, renewed the rites he had performed there in the first year of his reign, and engraved on a neighbouring rock an inscription recording his deeds of prowess.
[Illustration: 100.jpg SHUA, KING OF GILZAN, BRINGING A WAR-HORSE FULLY CAPARISONED TO SHALMANESER]
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from one of the bas-reliefs on the Black Obelisk.
He made his way back to Gilzan, where its king, Shua, brought him a war-horse fully caparisoned, as a token of homage. Shalmaneser graciously deigned to receive it, and further exacted from the king the accustomed contributions of chariot-horses, sheep, and wine, together with seven dromedaries, whose strange forms amused the gaping crowds of Nineveh. After quitting Gilzan, Shalmaneser encountered the people of Khubushkia, who ventured to bar his way; but its king, Kakia, lost his city of Shilaia, and three thousand soldiers, besides bulls, horses, and sheep innumerable. Having enforced submission in Khubushkia, Shalmaneser at length returned to Assur through the defiles of Kirruri, and came to Calah to enjoy a well-earned rest after the fatigues of his campaign.
[Illustration: 101.jpg DROMEDARIES FROM GILZAN]
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from one of the bas-reliefs on the bronze gates of Balawat.
But Akhuni had not yet lost heart. Though driven back to the right bank of the Euphrates, he had taken advantage of the diversion created by Arame in his favour, to assume a strong position among the hills of Shitamrat with the river in his rear.*
* The position of Shitamrat may answer to the ruins of the fortress of Rum-kaleh, which protected a ford of the Euphrates in Byzantine times.
Shalmaneser attacked his lines in front, and broke through them after three days' preliminary skirmishing; then finding the enemy drawn up in battle array before their last stronghold, the king charged without a moment's hesitation, drove them back and forced them to surrender. Akhuni's life was spared, but he was sent with the remainder of his army to colonise a village in the neighbourhood of Assur, and Adini became henceforth an integral part of Assyria.
[Illustration: 102.jpg TRIBUTE FROM GILZAN]
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from one of the bas-reliefs on the Black Obelisk.
The war on the western frontier was hardly brought to a close when another broke out in the opposite direction. The king rapidly crossed the pass of Bunagishlu and fell upon Mazamua: the natives, disconcerted by his impetuous onslaught, nevertheless hoped to escape by putting out in their boats on the broad expanse of Lake Urumiah. Shalmaneser, however, constructed rafts of inflated skins, on which his men ventured in pursuit right out into the open. The natives were overpowered; the king |dyed the sea with their blood as if it had been wool,| and did not withdraw until he had forced them to appeal for mercy.
In five years Shalmaneser had destroyed Adini, laid low Urartu, and confirmed the tributary states of Syria in their allegiance; but Damascus and Babylon were as yet untouched, and the moment was at hand when he would have to choose between an arduous conflict with them, or such a repression of the warlike zeal of his opening years, that, like his father Assur-nazir-pal, he would have to repose on his laurels. Shalmaneser was too deeply imbued with the desire for conquest to choose a peaceful policy: he decided at once to assume the offensive against Damascus, being probably influenced by the news of Ahab's successes, and deeming that if the King of Israel had gained the ascendency unaided, Assur, fully confident of its own superiority, need have no fear as to the result of a conflict. The forces, however, at the disposal of Benhadad II. (Adadidri) were sufficient to cause the Assyrians some uneasiness. The King of Damascus was not only lord of Coele-Syria and the Hauran, but he exercised a suzerainty more or less defined over Hamath, Israel, Ammon, the Arabian and Idumean tribes, Arvad and the principalities of Northern Phoenicia, Usanata, Shianu, and Irkanata;* in all, twelve peoples or twelve kings owned his sway, and their forces, if united to his, would provide at need an army of nearly 100,000 men: a few years might see these various elements merged in a united empire, capable of withstanding the onset of any foreign foe.**
* Irkanata, the Egyptian Arqanatu, perhaps the Irqata of the Tel-el-A marna tablets, is the Arka of Phoenicia. The other countries enumerated are likewise situated in the same locality. Shianu (for a long time read as Shizanu), the Sin of the Bible (Gen. x.17), is mentioned by Tiglath-pileser III. under the name Sianu. Ushanat is called Uznu by Tiglath-pileser, and Delitzsch thought it represented the modern Kalaat-el-Hosu. With Arvad it forms the ancient Zahi of the Egyptians, which was then subject to Damascus.
** The suzerainty of Ben-hadad over these twelve peoples is proved by the way in which they are enumerated in the Assyrian documents: his name always stands at the head of the list. The manner in which the Assyrian scribes introduce the names of these kings, mentioning sometimes one, sometimes two among them, without subtracting them from the total number 12, has been severely criticised, and Schrader excused it by saying that 12 is here used as a round number somewhat vaguely.
Shalmaneser set out from Nineveh on the 14th day of the month Iyyar, 854 B.C., and chastised on his way the Aramaeans of the Balikh, whose sheikh Giammu had shown some inclination to assert his independence. He crossed the Euphrates at Tul-harsip, and held a species of durbar at Pitru for his Syrian subjects: Sangar of Carchemish, Kundashpi of Kummukh, Arame of Agusi, Lalli of Melitene, Khaiani of Samalla, Garparuda who had succeeded Shapalulme among the Patina, and a second Garparuda of Gurgum, rallied around him with their presents of welcome, and probably also with their troops. This ceremony concluded, he hastened to Khalmaa and reduced it to submission, then plunged into the hill-country between Khalman and the Orontes, and swept over the whole territory of Hamath. A few easy victories at the outset enabled him to exact ransom from, or burn to the ground, the cities of Adinnu, Mashga, Argana, and Qarqar, but just beyond Qarqar he encountered the advance-guard of the Syrian army.*
* The position of these towns is uncertain: the general plan of the campaign only proves that they must lie on the main route from Aleppo to Kalaat-Sejar, by Bara or by Maaret-en- Noman and Kalaat-el-Mudiq. It is agreed that Qarqar must be sought not far from Hamath, whatever the exact site may be. An examination of the map shows us that Qarqar corresponds to the present Kalaat-el-Mudiq, the ancient Apamasa of Lebanon; the confederate army would command the ford which led to the plain of Hamath by Kalaat-Sejar.
[Illustration: 105.jpg TRIBUTE FROM GARPARUDA, KING OF THE PATINA]
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from one of the bas-reliefs on the Black Obelisk.
Ben-hadad had called together, to give him a fitting reception, the whole of the forces at his disposal: 1200 chariots, 1200 horse, 20,000 foot-soldiers from Damascus alone; 700 chariots, 700 horse and 10,000 foot from Hamath; 2000 chariots and 10,000 foot belonging to Ahab, 500 soldiers from Kui, 1000 mountaineers from the Taurus,* 10 chariots and 10,000 foot from Irk and 200 from Arvad, 200 from Usanata, 30 chariots and 10,000 foot from Shianu, 1000 camels from Gindibu the Arab, and 1000 Ammonites.
* The people of the Muzri next enumerated have long been considered as Egyptians; the juxtaposition of their name with that of Kui shows that it refers here to the Muzri of the Taurus.
The battle was long and bloody, and the issue uncertain; Shalmaneser drove back one wing of the confederate army to the Orontes, and forcing the other wing and the centre to retire from Qarqar to Kirzau, claimed the victory, though the losses on both sides were equally great. It would seem as if the battle were indecisive -- the Assyrians, at any rate, gained nothing by it; they beat a retreat immediately after their pretended victory, and returned to their own land without prisoners and almost without booty. On the whole, this first conflict had not been unfavourable to Damascus: it had demonstrated the power of that state in the eyes of the most incredulous, and proved how easy resistance would be, if only the various princes of Syria would lay aside their differences and all unite under the command of a single chief. The effect of the battle in Northern Syria and among the recently annexed Aiamoan tribes was very great; they began to doubt the omnipotence of Assyria, and their loyalty was shaken. Sangar of Carchemish and the Khati refused to pay their tribute, and the Emirs of Tul-Abni and Mount Kashiari broke out into open revolt. Shalmaneser spent a whole year in suppressing the insurrection; complications, moreover, arose at Babylon which obliged him to concentrate his attention and energy on Chaldaean affairs. Nabu-baliddin had always maintained peaceful and friendly relations with Assyria, but he had been overthrown, or perhaps assassinated, and his son Marduk-nadin-shumu had succeeded him on the throne, to the dissatisfaction of a section of his subjects. Another son of Nabu-baliddin, Marduk-belusate, claimed the sovereign power, and soon won over so much of the country that Marduk-nadin-shumu had fears for the safety of Babylon itself. He then probably remembered the pretensions to Kharduniash, which his Assyrian neighbours had for a long time maintained, and applied to Shalmaneser to support his tottering fortunes. The Assyrian monarch must have been disposed to lend a favourable ear to a request which allowed him to intervene as suzerain in the quarrels of the rival kingdom: he mobilised his forces, offered sacrifices in honour of Bamman at Zaban, and crossed the frontier in 853 B.C.*
The war dragged on during the next two years. The scene of hostilities was at the outset on the left bank of the Tigris, which for ten centuries had served as the battle-field for the warriors of both countries. Shalmaneser, who had invested Me-Turnat at the fords of the Lower Diyalah, at length captured that fortress, and after having thus isolated the rebels of Babylonia proper, turned his steps towards G-ananate.**
* The town of Zaban is situated on the Lesser Zab, but it is impossible to fix the exact site.
** Me-Turnat, Me-Turni, |the water of the Turnat,| stood upon the Diyalah, probably near the site of Bakuba, where the most frequented route crosses the river; perhaps we may identify it with the Artemita of classical authors. Gananate must be sought higher up near the mountains, as the context points out; I am inclined to place it near the site of Khanekin, whose gardens are still celebrated, and the strategic importance of which is considerable.
Marduk-belusate, |a vacillating king, incapable of directing his own affairs,| came out to meet him, but although repulsed and driven within the town, he defended his position with such spirit that Shalmaneser was at length obliged to draw off his troops after having cut down all the young compelled the fruit trees, disorganised the whole system of irrigation, -- in short, after having effected all the damage he could. He returned in the following spring by the most direct route; Lakhiru fell into his hands,* but Marduk-belusate, having no heart to contend with him for the possession of a district ravaged by the struggle of the preceding summer, fell back on the mountains of Yasubi and concentrated his forces round Arman.**
* Lakhiru comes before Gananate on the direct road from Assyria, to the south of the Lower Zab, as we learn from the account of the campaign itself: wo shall not do wrong in placing this town either at Kifri, or in its neighbourhood on the present caravan route.
** Mount Yasubi is the mountainous district which separates Khanekin from Holwan.
Shalmaneser, having first wreaked his vengeance upon Gananate, attacked his adversary in his self-chosen position; Annan fell after a desperate defence, and Marduk-belusate either perished or disappeared in a last attempt at retaliation. Marduk-nadin-shumu, although rid of his rival, was not yet master of the entire kingdom. The Aramaeans of the Marshes, or, as they called themselves, the Kalda, had refused him their allegiance, and were ravaging the regions of the Lower Euphrates by their repeated incursions. They constituted not so much a compact state, as a confederation of little states, alternately involved in petty internecine quarrels, or temporarily reconciled under the precarious authority of a sole monarch. Each separate state bore the name of the head of the family -- real or mythical -- from whom all its members prided themselves on being descended, -- Bit-Dakkuri, Bit-Adini, Bit-Amukkani, Bit-Shalani, Bit-Shalli, and finally Bit-Yakin, which in the end asserted its predominance over all the rest.*
* As far as we can judge, Bit-Dakkuri and Bit-Adini were the most northerly, the latter lying on both sides of the Euphrates, the former on the west of the Euphrates, to the south of the Bahr-i-Nejif; Bit-Yakin was at the southern extremity near the mouths of the Euphrates, and on the western shore of the Persian Gulf.
In demanding Shalmaneser's help, Marduk-nadin-shumu had virtually thrown on him the responsibility of bringing these turbulent subjects to order, and the Assyrian monarch accepted the duties of his new position without demur. He marched to Babylon, entered the city and went direct to the temple of E-shaggil: the people beheld him approach with reverence their deities Bel and Belit, and visit all the sanctuaries of the local gods, to whom he made endless propitiatory libations and pure offerings. He had worshipped Ninip in Kuta; he was careful not to forget Nabo of Borsippa, while on the other hand he officiated in the temple of Ezida, and consulted its ancient oracle, offering upon its altars the flesh of splendid oxen and fat lambs. The inhabitants had their part in the festival as well as the gods; Shalmaneser summoned them to a public banquet, at which he distributed to them embroidered garments, and plied them with meats and wine; then, after renewing his homage to the gods of Babylon, he recommenced his campaign, and set out in the direction of the sea. Baqani, the first of the Chaldaean cities which lay on his route, belonged to Bit-Adini,* one of the tribes of Bit-Dakkuri; it appeared disposed to resist him, and was therefore promptly dismantled and burnt -- an example which did not fail to cool the warlike inclinations which had begun to manifest themselves in other parts of Bit-Dakkuri.
* The site of Baqani is unknown; it should be sought for between Lamlum and Warka, and Bit-Adini in Bit-Dakkuri should be placed between the Shatt-et-Kaher and the Arabian desert, if the name of Enzudi, the other royal town, situated to the west of the Euphrates, is found, as is possible, under a popular etymology, in that of Kalaat ain- Said or Kalaat ain-es-Said in the modern maps.
He next crossed the Euphrates, and pillaged Enzudi, the fate of which caused the remainder of Bit-Adini to lay down arms, and the submission of the latter brought about that of Bit-Yakin and Bit-Amukkani. These were all rich provinces, and they bought off the conqueror liberally: gold, silver, tin, copper, iron, acacia-wood, ivory, elephants' skins, were all showered upon the invader to secure his mercy. It must have been an intense satisfaction to the pride of the Assyrians to be able to boast that their king had deigned to offer sacrifices in the sacred cities of Accad, and that he had been borne by his war-horses to the shores of the Salt Sea; these facts, of little moment to us now, appeared to the people of those days of decisive importance. No king who was not actually master of the country would have been tolerated within the temple of the eponymous god, for the purpose of celebrating the rites which the sovereign alone was empowered to perform. Marduk-nadin-shumu, in recognising Shalmaneser's right to act thus, thereby acknowledged that he himself was not only the king's ally, but his liegeman. This bond of supremacy doubtless did not weigh heavily upon him; as soon as his suzerain had evacuated the country, the two kingdoms remained much on the same footing as had been established by the treaties of the three previous generations. Alliances were made between private families belonging to both, peace existed between the two sovereigns, interchange of commerce and amenities took place between the two peoples, but with one point of difference which had not existed formerly: Assur protected Babel, and, by taking precedence of Marduk, he became the real head of the peoples of the Euphrates valley. Assured of the subordination, or at least of the friendly neutrality of Babylon, Shalma-neser had now a free hand to undertake a campaign in the remoter regions of Syria, without being constantly haunted by the fear that his rival might suddenly swoop down upon him in the rear by the valleys of the Badanu or the Zabs. He now ran no risks in withdrawing his troops from the south-eastern frontier, and in marshalling his forces on the slopes of the Armenian Alps or on the banks of the Orontes, leaving merely a slender contingent in the heart of Assyria proper to act as the necessary guardians of order in the capital.
Since the indecisive battle of Qarqar, the western frontier of the empire had receded as far as the Euphrates, and Shalmaneser had been obliged to forego the collection of the annual Syrian tribute. It would have been an excellent opportunity for the Khati, while they enjoyed this accidental respite, to come to an understanding with Damascus, for the purpose of acting conjointly against a common enemy; but they let the right moment slip, and their isolation made submission inevitable. The effort to subdue them cost Shalmaneser dear, both in time and men; in the spring of each year he appeared at the fords of Tul-barsip and ravaged the environs of Carchemish, then marched upon the Orontes to accomplish the systematic devastation of some fresh district, or to inflict a defeat on such of his adversaries as dared to encounter him in the open field. In 850 B.C. the first blow was struck at the Khati; Agusi* was the next to suffer, and its king, Arame, lost Arnie, his royal city, with some hundred more townships and strongholds.**
* Historians have up to the present admitted that this campaign of the year 850 took place in Armenia. The context of the account itself shows us that, in his tenth year, Shalmaneser advanced against the towns of Arame, immediately after having pillaged the country of the Khati, which inclines me to think that these towns were situated in Northern Syria. I have no doubt that the Arame in question is not the Armenian king of that name, but Arame the sovereign of Bit-Agusi, who is named several times in the Annals of Shalmaneser.
** The text of Bull No.1 adds to the account of the war against Arame, that of a war against the Damascene league, which merely repeats the account of Shalmaneser's eleventh year. It is generally admitted that the war against Arame falls under his tenth year, and the war against Ben-hadad during his eleventh year. The scribes must have had at their disposal two different versions of one document, in which these two wars were described without distinction of year. The compiler of the inscription of the Bulls would have considered them as forming two distinct accounts, which he has placed one after the other.
In 849 B.C. it was the turn of Damascus. The league of which Ben-hadad had proclaimed himself the suzerain was still in existence, but it had recently narrowly escaped dissolution, and a revolt had almost deprived it of the adherence of Israel and the house of Omri -- after Hamath, the most active of all its members. The losses suffered at Qarqar had doubtless been severe enough to shake Ahab's faith in the strength of his master and ally. Besides this, it would appear that the latter had not honourably fulfilled all the conditions of the treaty of peace he had signed three years previously; he still held the important fortress of Bamoth-gilead, and he delayed handing it over to Ahab in spite of his oath to restore it. Finding that he could not regain possession of it by fair means, Ahab resolved to take it by force. A great change in feeling and politics had taken place at Jerusalem. Jehoshaphat, who occupied the throne, was, like his father Asa, a devout worshipper of Jahveh, but his piety did not blind him to the secular needs of the moment. The experience of his predecessors had shown that the union of the twelve tribes under the rule of a scion of Judah was a thing of the past for ever; all attempts to restore it had ended in failure and bloodshed, and the house of David had again only lately been saved from ruin by the dearly bought intervention of Ben-hadad I. and his Syrians. Jehoshaphat from the outset clearly saw the necessity of avoiding these errors of the past; he accepted the situation and sought the friendship of Israel. An alliance between two princes so unequal in power could only result in a disguised suzerainty for one of them and a state of vassalage for the other; what Ben-hadad's alliance was to Ahab, that of Ahab was to Jehoshaphat, and it served his purpose in spite of the opposition of the prophets.1 The strained relations between the two countries were relaxed, and the severed tribes on both sides of the frontier set about repairing their losses; while Hiel the Bethelite at length set about rebuilding Jericho on behalf of Samaria,* Jehoshaphat was collecting around him a large army, and strengthening himself on the west against the Philistines and on the south against the Bedawin of the desert.** The marriage of his eldest son Jehoram*** with Athaliah subsequently bound the two courts together by still closer ties;**** mutual-visits were exchanged, and it was on the occasion of a stay made by Jehoshaphat at Jezreel that the expedition against Eamoth was finally resolved on.
* The subordinate position of Jehoshaphat is clearly indicated by the reply which he makes to Ahab when the latter asks him to accompany him on this expedition: |I am as thou art, my people as thy people, my horses as thy horses| (1 Kings xxii.4).
** 1 Kings xvi.34, where the writer has preserved the remembrance of a double human sacrifice, destined, according to the common custom in the whole of the East, to create guardian spirits for the new building: |he laid the foundation thereof with the loss of Abiram his firstborn, and set up the gates thereof with the loss of his youngest son Segub; according to the word of the Lord.| [For the curse pronounced on whoever should rebuild Jericho, see Josh. vi.26. -- Tr.]
*** [Following the distinction in spelling given in 2 Kings viii.25, I have everywhere written Joram (of Israel) and Jehoram (of Judah), to avoid confusion. -- Tr.]
**** Athaliah is sometimes called the daughter of Ahab (2 Kings viii.18), and sometimes the daughter of Omri (2 Kings viii.26; cf.2 Ohron. xxii.2), and several authors prefer the latter filiation, while the majority see in it a mistake of the Hebrew scribe. It is possible that both attributions may be correct, for we see by the Assyrian inscriptions that a sovereign is called the son of the founder of his line even when he was several generations removed from him: thus, Merodach-baladan, the adversary of Sargon of Assyria, calls himself son of Iakin, although the founder of the Bit-Iakin had been dead many centuries before his accession. The document used in 2 Kings viii.26 may have employed the term daughter of Omri in the same manner merely to indicate that the Queen of Jerusalem belonged to the house of Omri.
It might well have appeared a more than foolhardy enterprise, and it was told in Israel that Micaiah, a prophet, the son of Imlah, had predicted its disastrous ending. |I saw,| exclaimed the prophet, |the Lord sitting on His throne, and all the host of heaven standing on His right hand and on His left. And the Lord said, Who shall entice Ahab that he may go up and fall at Ramoth-gilead? And one said on this manner, and another said on that manner. And there came forth a spirit, and stood before the Lord, and said, I will entice him. And the Lord said unto him, Wherewith? And he said, I will go forth, and will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets. And He said, Thou shalt entice him, and shalt prevail also: go forth, and do so. Now therefore, behold, the Lord hafch put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these thy prophets; and the Lord hath spoken evil concerning thee.|*
* 1 Kings xxii.5-23, reproduced in 2 Chron. xviii.4-22.
The two kings thereupon invested Ramoth, and Ben-hadad hastened to the defence of his fortress. Selecting thirty-two of his bravest charioteers, he commanded them to single out Ahab only for attack, and not fight with others until they had slain him. This injunction happened in some way to come to the king's ears, and he therefore disguised himself as a common soldier, while Jehoshaphat retained his ordinary dress. Attracted by the richness of the latter's armour, the Syrians fell upon him, but on his raising his war-cry they perceived their mistake, and turning from the King of Judah they renewed their quest of the Israelitish leader. While they were vainly seeking him, an archer drew a bow |at a venture,| and pierced him in the joints of his cuirass. |Wherefore he said to his charioteer, Turn thine hand, and carry me out of the host; for I am sore wounded.| Perceiving, however, that the battle was going against him, he revoked the order, and remained on the field the whole day, supported by his armour-bearers. He expired at sunset, and the news of his death having spread panic through the ranks, a cry arose, |Every man to his city, and every man to his country!| The king's followers bore his body to Samaria,* and Israel again relapsed into the position of a vassal, probably under the same conditions as before the revolt.
* 1 Kings xxii.28-38 (cf.2 Ohron. xviii.28-34), with interpolations in verses 35 and 38. It is impossible to establish the chronology of this period with any certainty, so entirely do the Hebrew accounts of it differ from the Assyrian. The latter mention Ahab as alive at the time of the battle of Qarqar in 854 B.C. and Jehu on the throne in 842 B.C. We must, therefore, place in the intervening twelve years, first, the end of Ahab's reign; secondly, the two years of Ahaziah; thirdly, the twelve years of Joram; fourthly, the beginning of the reign of Jehu -- in all, possibly fourteen years. The reign of Joram has been prolonged beyond reason by the Hebrew annalists, and it alone lends itself to be curtailed. Admitting that the siege of Samaria preceded the battle of Qarqar, we may surmise that the three years which elapsed, according to the tradition (1 Kings xxii.1), between the triumph of Ahab and his death, fall into two unequal periods, two previous to Qarqar, and one after it, in such a manner that the revolt of Israel would have been the result of the defeat of the Damascenes; Ahab must have died in 835 B.C., as most modern historians agree. On the other hand, it is scarcely probable that Jehu ascended the throne at the very moment that Shalmaneser was defeating Hazael in 842 B.C.; we can only carry back his accession to the preceding year, possibly 843. The duration of two years for the reign of Ahaziah can only be reduced by a few months, if indeed as much as that, as it allows of a full year, and part of a second year (cf.1 Kings xxii.51, where it is said that Ahaziah ascended the throne in the 17th year of Jehoshaphat, and 2 Kings iii.1, where it states that Joram of Israel succeeded Ahaziah in the 18th year of the same Jehoshaphat).; in placing these two years between 853 and 851, there will remain for the reign of Joram the period comprised between 851 and 843, namely, eight years, instead of the twelve attributed to him by biblical tradition.
Ahaziah survived his father two years, and was succeeded by his brother Joram.* When Shalmaneser, in 849 B.C., reappeared in the valley of the Orontes, Joram sent out against him his prescribed contingent, and the conquered Israelites once more fought for their conqueror.
* The Hebrew documents merely make mention of Ahaziah's accession, length of reign, and death (1 Kings xxii.40, 51- 53, and 2 Kings i.2-17). The Assyrian texts do not mention his name, but they state that in 849 |the twelve kings| fought against Shalmaneser, and, as we have already seen, one of the twelve was King of Israel, here, therefore necessarily Ahaziah, whose successor was Joram.
The Assyrians had, as usual, maltreated the Khati. After having pillaged the towns of Carchemish and Agusi, they advanced on the Amanos, held to ransom the territory of the Patina enclosed within the bend of the Orontes, and descending upon Hamath by way of the districts of Iaraku and Ashta-maku, they came into conflict with the army of the twelve kings, though on this occasion the contest was so bloody that they were forced to withdraw immediately after their success. They had to content themselves with sacking Apparazu, one of the citadels of Arame, and with collecting the tribute of Garparuda of the Patina; which done, they skirted the Amanos and provided themselves with beams from its cedars. The two following years were spent in harrying the people of Paqarakhbuni, on the right bank of the Euphrates, in the dependencies of the ancient kingdom of Adini (848 B.C.), and in plundering the inhabitants of Ishtarate in the country of Iaiti, near the sources of the Tigris (847 B.C.), till in 846 they returned to try their fortune again in Syria. They transported 120,000 men across the Euphrates, hoping perhaps, by the mere mass of such a force, to crush their enemy in a single battle; but Ben-hadad was supported by his vassals, and their combined army must have been as formidable numerically as that of the Assyrians. As usual, after the engagement, Shalmaneser claimed the victory, but he did not succeed in intimidating the allies or in wresting from them a single rood of territory.*
* The care which the king takes to specify that |with 120,000 men he crossed the Euphrates in flood-time| very probably shows that this number was for him in some respects an unusual one.
Discouraged, doubtless, by so many fruitless attempts, he decided to suspend hostilities, at all events for the present. In 845 B.C. he visited Nairi, and caused an |image of his royal Majesty| to be carved at the source of the Tigris close to the very spot where the stream first rises. Pushing forward through the defiles of Tunibuni, he next invaded Urartu, and devastated it as far as the sources of the Euphrates; on reaching these he purified his arms in the virgin spring, and offered a sacrifice to the gods. On his return to the frontier, the chief of Dayaini |embraced his feet,| and presented him with some thoroughbred horses. In 844 B.C. he crossed the Lower Zab and plunged into the heart of Namri; this country had long been under Babylonian influence, and its princes bore Semitic names. Mardukmudammiq, who was then its ruler, betook himself to the mountains to preserve his life; but his treasures, idols, and troops were carried off to Assyria, and he was superseded on the throne by Ianzu, the son of Khamban, a noble of Cossaean origin. As might be expected after such severe exertions, Shalmaneser apparently felt that he deserved a time of repose, for his chroniclers merely note the date of 843 B.C. as that of an inspection, terminating in a felling of cedars in the Amanos. As a fact, there was nothing stirring on the frontier. Chaldaea itself looked upon him as a benefactor, almost as a suzerain, and by its position between Elam and Assyria, protected the latter from any quarrel with Susa. The nations on the east continued to pay their tribute without coercion, and Namri, which alone entertained pretensions to independence, had just received a severe lesson. Urartu had not acknowledged the supremacy of Assur, but it had suffered in the last invasion, and Arame had shown no further sign of hostility. The tribes of the Upper Tigris -- Kummukh and Adini -- accepted their position as subjects, and any trouble arising in that quarter was treated as merely an ebullition of local dissatisfaction, and was promptly crushed. The Khati were exhausted by the systematic destruction of their towns and their harvests. Lastly, of the principalities of the Amanos, Gurgum, Samalla, and the Patina, if some had occasionally taken part in the struggles for independence, the others had always remained faithful in the performance of their duties as vassals. Damascus alone held out, and the valour with which she had endured all the attacks made on her showed no signs of abatement; unless any internal disturbance arose to diminish her strength, she was likely to be able to resist the growing power of Assyria for a long time to come. It was at the very time when her supremacy appeared to be thus firmly established that a revolution broke out, the effects of which soon undid the work of the preceding two or three generations. Ben-hadad, disembarrassed of Shalmaneser, desired to profit by the respite thus gained to make a final reckoning with the Israelites. It would appear that their fortune had been on the wane ever since the heroic death of Ahab. Immediately after the disaster at Eamoth, the Moabites had risen against Ahaziah,* and their king, Mesha, son of Kamoshgad, had seized the territory north of the Arnon which belonged to the tribe of Gad; he had either killed or carried away the Jewish population in order to colonise the district with Moabites, and he had then fortified most of the towns, beginning with Dhibon, his capital. Owing to the shortness of his reign, Ahaziah had been unable to take measures to hinder him; but Joram, as soon as he was firmly seated on the throne, made every effort to regain possession of his province, and claimed the help of his ally or vassal Jehoshaphat.**
* 2 Kings iii.5. The text does not name Ahaziah, and it might be concluded that the revolt took place under Joram; the expression employed by the Hebrew writer, however, |when Ahab was dead... the King of Moab rebelled against the King of Israel,| does not permit of it being placed otherwise than at the opening of Ahaziah's reign.
** 2 Kings iii.6, 7, where Jehoshaphat replies to Joram in the same terms which he had used to Ahab. The chronological difficulties induced Ed. Meyer to replace the name of Jehoshaphat in this passage by that of his son Jehoram. As Stade has remarked, the presence of two kings both bearing the name of Jehoram in the same campaign against Moab would have been one of those facts which strike the popular imagination, and would not have been forgotten; if the Hebrew author has connected the Moabite war with the name of Jehoshaphat, it is because his sources of information furnished him with that king's name.
The latter had done his best to repair the losses caused by the war with Syria. Being Lord of Edom, he had been tempted to follow the example of Solomon, and the deputy who commanded in his name had constructed a vessel * at Ezion-geber |to go to Ophir for gold;| but the vessel was wrecked before quitting the port, and the disaster was regarded by the king as a punishment from Jahveh, for when Ahaziah suggested that the enterprise should be renewed at their joint expense, he refused the offer.** But the sudden insurrection of Moab threatened him as much as it did Joram, and he gladly acceded to the latter's appeal for help.
* [Both in the Hebrew and the Septuagint the ships are in the plural number in 1 Kings xxii.48, 49. -- Tr.]
** 1 Kings xxii.48, 49, where the Hebrew writer calls the vessel constructed by Jehoshaphat a |ship of Tarshish;| that is, a vessel built to make long voyages. The author of the Chronicles thought that the Jewish expedition to Ezion- geber on the Red Sea was destined to go to Tarshish in Spain. He has, moreover, transformed the vessel into a fleet, and has associated Ahaziah in the enterprise, contrary to the testimony of the Book of Kings; finally, he has introduced into the account a prophet named Eliezer, who represents the disaster as a chastisement for the alliance with Ahaziah (2 Ghron. xx.35-37).
Apparently the simplest way of approaching the enemy would have been from the north, choosing Gilead as a base of operations; but the line of fortresses constructed by Mesha at this vulnerable point of his frontier was so formidable, that the allies resolved to attack from the south after passing the lower extremity of the Dead Sea. They marched for seven days in an arid desert, digging wells as they proceeded for the necessary supply of water. Mesha awaited them with his hastily assembled troops on the confines of the cultivated land; the allies routed him and blockaded him within his city of Kir-hareseth.* Closely beset, and despairing of any help from man, he had recourse to the last resource which religion provided for his salvation; taking his firstborn son, he offered him to Chemosh, and burnt him on the city wall in sight of the besiegers. The Israelites knew what obligations this sacrifice entailed upon the Moabite god, and the succour which he would be constrained to give to his devotees in consequence. They therefore raised the siege and disbanded in all directions.** Mesha, delivered at the very moment that his cause seemed hopeless, dedicated a stele in the temple of Dhibon, on which he recorded his victories and related what measures he had taken to protect his people.***
* Kir-Hareseth or Kir-Moab is the present Kcrak, the Krak of mediaeval times.
** The account of the campaign (2 Kings iii.8-27) belongs to the prophetic cycle of Elisha, and seems to give merely a popular version of the event. A king of Edom is mentioned (9-10, 12-13), while elsewhere, under Jehoshaphat, it is stated |there was no king in Edom| (1 Kings xxii.47); the geography also of the route taken by the expedition is somewhat confused. Finally, the account of the siege of Kir- hareseth is mutilated, and the compiler has abridged the episode of the human sacrifice, as being too conducive to the honour of Chemosh and to the dishonour of Jahveh. The main facts of the account are correct, but the details are not clear, and do not all bear the stamp of veracity.
*** This is the famous Moabite Stone or stele of Dhibon, discovered by Clermont-Ganneau in 1868, and now preserved in the Louvre.
[Illustration: 123.jpg THE MOABITE STONE OF STELE OF MESHA]
From a photograph by Faucher-Gudin, retouched by Massias from the original in the Louvre. The fainter parts of the stele are the portions restored in the original.
He still feared a repetition of the invasion, but this misfortune was spared him; Jehoshaphat was gathered to his fathers,* and his Edomite subjects revolted on receiving the news of his death. Jeho -- his son and successor, at once took up arms to bring them to a sense of their duty; but they surrounded his camp, and it was with difficulty that he cut his way through their ranks and escaped during the night.
* The date of the death of Jehoshaphat may be fixed as 849 or 848 B.C. The biblical documents give us for the period of the history of Judah following on the death of Ahab: First, eight years of Jehoshaphat, from the 17th year of his reign (1 Kings xxii.51) to his 25th (and last) year (1 Kings xxii.42); secondly, eight years of Jehoram, son of Jehoshaphat (2 Kings viii.17); thirdly, one year of Ahaziah, son of Jehoram (2 Kings viii.26) -- in all 17 years, which must be reduced and condensed into the period between 853 B.C., the probable date of the battle of Ramoth, and 843, the equally probable date of the accession of Jehu. The reigns of the two Ahaziahs are too short to be further abridged; we must therefore place the campaign against Moab at the earliest in 850, during the months which followed the accession of Joram of Israel, and lengthen Johoshaphat's reign from 850 to 849. There will then be room between 849 and 844 for five years (instead of eight) for the reign of Jehoram of Judah.
The defection of the old Canaanite city of Libnah followed quickly on this reverse,* and Jehoram was powerless to avenge himself on it, the Philistines and the Bedawin having threatened the western part of his territory and raided the country.** In the midst of these calamities Judah had no leisure to take further measures against Mesha, and Israel itself had suffered too severe a blow to attempt retaliation. The advanced age of Ben-hadad, and the unsatisfactory result of the campaigns against Shalmaneser, had furnished Joram with an occasion for a rupture with Damascus. War dragged on for some time apparently, till the tide of fortune turned against Joram, and, like his father Ahab in similar circumstances, he shut himself within Samaria, where the false alarm of an Egyptian or Hittite invasion produced a panic in the Syrian camp, and restored the fortunes of the Israelitish king.***
* 2 Kings viii.20-22; cf.2 Ghron. xxi.8-10.
** This war is mentioned only in 2 Ghron. xxi.16, 17, where it is represented as a chastisement from Jahveh; the Philistines and |the Arabs which are beside the Ethiopians| (Kush) seem to have taken Jerusalem, pillaged the palace, and carried away the wives and children of the king into captivity, |so that there was never a son left him, save Jehoahaz (Ahaziah), the youngest of his sons.|
*** Kuenen has proposed to take the whole account of the reign of Joram, son of Ahab, and transfer it to that of Jehoahaz, son of Jehu, and this theory has been approved by several recent critics and historians. On the other hand, some have desired to connect it with the account of the siege of Samaria in Ahab's reign. I fail to see any reasonable argument which can be brought against the authenticity of the main fact, whatever opinion may be held with regard to the details of the biblical narrative.
Ben-hadad did not long survive the reverse he had experienced; he returned sick and at the point of death to Damascus, where he was assassinated by Hazael, one of his captains. Hebrew tradition points to the influence of the prophets in all these events. The aged Elijah had disappeared, so ran the story, caught up to heaven in a chariot of fire, but his mantle had fallen on Elisha, and his power still survived in his disciple. From far and near Elisha's counsel was sought, alike by Gentiles as by the followers of the true God; whether the suppliant was the weeping Shunamite mourning for the loss of her only son, or Naaman the captain of the Damascene chariotry, he granted their petitions, and raised the child from its bed, and healed the soldier of his leprosy. During the siege of Samaria, he had several times frustrated the enemy's designs, and had predicted to Joram not only the fact but the hour of deliverance, and the circumstances which would accompany it. Ben-hadad had sent Hazael to the prophet to ask him if he should recover, and Elisha had wept on seeing the envoy -- |Because I know the evil that thou wilt do unto the children of Israel; their strongholds wilt thou set on fire, and their young men wilt thou slay with the sword, and wilt dash in pieces their little ones, and rip up their women with child. And Hazael said, But what is thy servant which is but a dog, that he should do this great thing? And Elisha answered, The Lord hath showed me that thou shalt be king over Syria.| On returning to Damascus Hazael gave the results of his mission in a reassuring manner to Ben-hadad, but |on the morrow... he took the coverlet and dipped it in water, and spread it on his face, so that he died.|
The deed which deprived it of its king^ seriously affected Damascus itself. It was to Ben-hadad that it owed most of its prosperity; he it was who had humiliated Hamath and the princes of the coast of Arvad, and the nomads of the Arabian desert. He had witnessed the rise of the most energetic of all the Israelite dynasties, and he had curbed its ambition; Omri had been forced to pay him tribute; Ahab, Ahaziah, and Joram had continued it; and Ben-hadad's suzerainty, recognised more or less by their vassals, had extended through Moab and Judah as far as the Bed Sea. Not only had he skilfully built up this fabric of vassal states which made him lord of two-thirds of Syria, but he had been able to preserve it unshaken for a quarter of a century, in spite of rebellions in several of his fiefs and reiterated attacks from Assyria; Shalmaneser, indeed, had made an attack on his line, but without breaking through it, and had at length left him master of the field. This superiority, however, which no reverse could shake, lay in himself and in himself alone; no sooner had he passed away than it suddenly ceased, and Hazael found himself restricted from the very outset to the territory of Damascus proper.* Hamath, Arvad, and the northern peoples deserted the league, to return to it no more; Joram of Israel called on his nephew Ahaziah, who had just succeeded to Jehoram of Judah, and both together marched to besiege Bamoth.
* From this point onward, the Assyrian texts which mentioned the twelve kings of the Khati, Irkhulini of Hamath and Adadidri (Ben-hadad) of Damascus, now only name Khazailu of the country of Damascus.
The Israelites were not successful in their methods of carrying on sieges; Joram, wounded in a skirmish, retired to his palace at Jezreel, where Ahaziah joined him a few days later, on the pretext of inquiring after his welfare. The prophets of both kingdoms and their followers had never forgiven the family of Ahab their half-foreign extraction, nor their eclecticism in the matter of religion. They had numerous partisans in both armies, and a conspiracy was set on foot against the absent sovereigns; Elisha, judging the occasion to be a propitious one, despatched one of his disciples to the camp with secret instructions. The generals were all present at a banquet, when the messenger arrived; he took one of them, Jehu, the son of Nimshi, on one side, anointed him, and then escaped. Jehu returned, and seated himself amongst his fellow-officers, who, unsuspicious of what had happened, questioned him as to the errand. |Is all well? Wherefore came this mad fellow to thee? And he said unto them, Ye know the man and what his talk was. And they said, It is false; tell us now. And he said, Thus and thus spake he to me, saying, Thus saith the Lord, I have anointed thee king over Israel. Then they hasted, and took every man his garment and put it under him on the top of the stairs, and blew the trumpet, saying, Jehu is king.| He at once marched on Jezreel, and the two kings, surprised at this movement, went out to meet him with scarcely any escort. The two parties had hardly met when Joram asked, |Is it peace, Jehu?| to which Jehu replied, |What peace, so long as the whoredoms of thy mother Jezebel and her witchcrafts are so many?| Whereupon Joram turned rein, crying to his nephew, |There is treachery, O Ahaziah.| But an arrow pierced him through the heart, and he fell forward in his chariot. Ahaziah, wounded near Ibleam, managed, however, to take refuge in Megiddo, where he died, his servants bringing the body back to Jerusalem.*
* According to the very curtailed account in 2 Chron. xxii.9, Ahaziah appears to have hidden himself in Samaria, where he was discovered and taken to Jehu, who had him killed. This account may perhaps have belonged to the different version of which a fragment has been preserved in 2 Kings x.12-17.
When Jezebel heard the news, she guessed the fate which awaited her. She painted her eyes and tired her head, and posted herself in one of the upper windows of the palace. As Jehu entered the gates she reproached him with the words, |Is it peace, thou Zimri -- thy master's murderer? And he lifted up his face to the window and said, Who is on my side -- who? Two or three eunuchs rose up behind the queen, and he called to them, Throw her down. So they threw her down, and some of her blood was sprinkled on the wall and on the horses; and he trode her under foot. And when he was come in he did eat and drink; and he said, See now to this cursed woman and bury her; for she is a king's daughter.| But nothing was found of her except her skull, hands, and feet, which they buried as best they could. Seventy princes, the entire family of Ahab, were slain, and their heads piled up on either side of the gate. The priests and worshippers of Baal remained to be dealt with. Jehu summoned them to Samaria on the pretext of a sacrifice, and massacred them before the altars of their god. According to a doubtful tradition, the brothers and relatives of Ahaziah, ignorant of what had happened, came to salute Joram, and perished in the confusion of the slaughter, and the line of David narrowly escaped extinction with the house of Omri.*
* 2 Kings x.12-14. Stade has shown that this account is in direct contradiction with its immediate context, and that it belonged to a version of the events differing in detail from the one which has come down to us. According to the latter, Jehu must at once have met Jehonadab the son of Rechab, and have entered Samaria in his company (vers.15-17); this would have been a poor way of inspiring the priests of Baal with the confidence necessary for drawing them into the trap. According to 2 Chron. xxii.8, the massacre of the princes of Judah preceded the murder of Ahaziah.
Athaliah assumed the regency, broke the tie of vassalage which bound Judah to Israel, and by a singular irony of fate, Jerusalem offered an asylum to the last of the children of Ahab. The treachery of Jehu, in addition to his inexpiable cruelty, terrified the faithful, even while it served their ends. Dynastic crimes were common in those days, but the tragedy of Jezreel eclipsed in horror all others that had preceded it; it was at length felt that such avenging of Jahveh was in His eyes too ruthless, and a century later the Prophet Hosea saw in the misery of his people the divine chastisement of the house of Jehu for the blood shed at his accession.
The report of these events, reaching Calah, awoke the ambition of Shalmaneser. Would Damascus, mistrusting its usurper, deprived of its northern allies, and ill-treated by the Hebrews, prove itself as invulnerable as in the past? At all events, in 842 B.C., Shalmaneser once more crossed the Euphrates, marched along the Orontes, probably receiving the homage of Hamath and Arvad by the way. Restricted solely to the resources of Damascus, * The site of Baalirasi is left undecided by Assyriologists. The events which follow enable us to affirm with tolerable certainty that the point on the coast where Shalmaneser received the tributes of Tyre and Sidon is none other than the mouth of the Nahr-el-Kelb: the name Baalirasi, |the master of the head,| would then be applicable to the rocky point which rises to the south of the river, and on which Egyptian kings had already sculptured their stelae.
The Kings of Tyre and Sidon hastened to offer him numerous gifts, and Jehu, who owed to his presence temporary immunity from a Syrian invasion, sent his envoys to greet him, accompanied by offerings of gold and silver in bars, vessels of gold of various forms, situlae, salvers, cups, drinking-vessels, tin, sceptres, and wands of precious woods. Shalmaneser's pride was flattered by this homage, and he carved on one of his monuments the representation of this first official connection of Assyria with Israel.
[Illustration: 131.jpg JEHU, KING OF ISRAEL, SENDS PRESENTS TO SHALMANESER]
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from one of the scenes represented on the Black Obelisk.
The chief of the embassage is shown prostrating himself and kissing the dust before the king, while the rest advance in single file, some with vessels in their hands, some carrying sceptres, or with metal bowls supported on their heads. The prestige of the house of Omri was still a living influence, or else the Ninevite scribes were imperfectly informed of the internal changes which had taken place in Israel, for the inscription accompanying this bas-relief calls Jehu the son of Omri, and grafts the regicide upon the genealogical tree of his victims. Shalmaneser's victory had been so dearly bought, that the following year the Assyrians merely attempted an expedition for tree-felling in the Amanos (841 B.C.). Their next move was to push forward into Kui, in the direction of the Pyramos and Saros (840 B.C.). In the summer of 839 they once more ventured southwards, but this time Hazael changed his tactics: pitched battles and massed movements, in which the fate of a campaign was decided by one cast of the dice, were now avoided, and ambuscades, guerilla warfare, and long and tedious sieges became the order of the day. By the time that four towns had been taken, Shalmaneser's patience was worn out: he drew off his troops and fell back on Phoenicia, laying Tyre, Sidon, and Byblos under tribute before returning into Mesopotamia. Hazael had shown himself possessed of no less energy than Ben-hadad; and Damascus, isolated, had proved as formidable a foe as Damascus surrounded by its vassals; Shalmaneser therefore preferred to leave matters as they were, and accept the situation. Indeed the results obtained were of sufficient importance to warrant his feeling some satisfaction. He had ruthlessly dispelled the dream of Syrian hegemony which had buoyed up Ben-hadad, he had forced Damascus to withdraw the suzerainty it had exercised in the south, and he had conquered Northern Syria and the lower basin of the Orontes. Before running any further risks, he judged it prudent to strengthen his recently acquired authority over these latter countries, and to accustom the inhabitants to their new position as subjects of Nineveh.
He showed considerable wisdom by choosing the tribes of the Taurus and of the Oappadocian marches as the first objects of attack. In regions so difficult of access, war could only be carried on with considerable hardship and severe loss. The country was seamed by torrents and densely covered with undergrowth, while the towns and villages, which clung to the steep sides of the valleys, had no need of walls to become effective fortresses, for the houses rose abruptly one above another, and formed so many redoubts which the enemy would be forced to attack and take one by one. Few pitched battles could be fought in a district of this description; the Assyrians wore themselves out in incessant skirmishes and endless petty sieges, and were barely compensated by the meagre spoil which such warfare yielded.
[Illustration: 134.jpg A MOUNTAIN VILLAGE]
Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph by Alfred Boissier.
In 838 B.C. Shalmaneser swept over the country of Tabal and reduced twenty-four of its princes to a state of subjection; proceeding thence, he visited the mountains of Turat,* celebrated from this period downwards for their silver mines and quarries of valuable marbles.
* The position of the mountains of Turat is indicated by the nature of their products: |We know of a silver mine at Marash and an iron mine not worked, and two fine quarries, one of pink and the other of black marble.| Turat,
therefore, must be the Marash mountain, the Aghir-Uagh and its spurs; hence the two sorts of stone mentioned in the Assyrian text would be, the one the pink, the other the black marble.
In 837 he seized the stronghold of Uetash in Melitene, and laid Tabal under a fresh contribution; this constituted a sort of advance post for-Assyria in the sight of those warlike and continually fluctuating races situated between the sources of the Halys and the desert border of Asia Minor.* Secure on this side, he was about to bring matters to a close in Cilicia, when the defection of Ianzu recalled him to the opposite extremity of the empire. He penetrated into Namri by the defiles of Khashmur,** made a hasty march through Sik-hisatakh, Bit-Tamul, Bit-Shakki, and Bit-Shedi, surprised the rebels and drove them into the forests; he then bore down on Parsua*** and plundered twenty-seven petty kings consecutively.
* A fragment of an anonymous list, discovered by Delitzsch, puts the expedition against the Tabal in 837 B.C. instead of in 838, and consequently makes the entire series of ensuing expeditions one year later, up to the revolt of Assur-dain- pal. This is evidently a mistake of the scribe who compiled this edition of the Canon, and the chronology of a
contemporary monument, such as the Black Obelisk, ought to obtain until further light can be thrown on the subject.
** For the site of Khashmur or Khashmar, cf. supra, p.35, note 3. The other localities cannot as yet be identified with any modern site; we may conjecture that they were scattered about the basin of the upper Diyalah.
*** Parsua, or with the native termination Parsuash, has been identified first with Persia and then with Parthia, and Rost still persists in its identification, if not with the Parthia of classical geographers, at least with the Parthian people. Schrader has shown that it ought to be sought between Namri on the south and the Mannai on the north; in one of the valleys of the Gordysean mountains, and his demonstration has been accepted with a few modifications of detail by most scholars. I believe it to be possible to determine its position with still further precision. Parsua on one side lay on the border of Namri, which comprises the districts to the east of the Diyalah in the direction of Zohab, and was contiguous to the Medes on the other side, and also to the Mannai, who occupied the southern regions of Lake Urumiah; it also lies close to Bit-Khamban, the principal of the Cossaean tribes, as it would appear. I can find only one position on the map which would answer to all these requirements: this is in the main the basin of the Gave-rud and its small affluents, the Ardelan and the sources of the Kizil-Uzen, and I shall there place Parsua until further information is forthcoming on the subject.
Skirting Misi, Amadai, Araziash,* and Kharkhar, and most of the districts lying on the middle heights of the table-land of Iran, he at length came up with Ianzu, whom he seized and brought back prisoner to Assyria, together with his family and his idols.
* Amadai is a form of Madai, with a prothetical a, like Agusi or Azala, by the side of Guzi and Zala. The
inscription of Shalmaneser III. thus gives us the first mention of the classical Medes. Araziash, placed too far to the east in Sagartene by Fr. Lenormant, has been located further westwards by Schrader, near the upper course of the Kerkha; but the documents of all periods show us that on one side it adjoined Kharkhar, that is the basin of the Gamas- ab, on the other side Media, that is the country of Hamadan. It must, therefore, be placed between the two, in the northern part of the ancient Cambadene in the present Tchamabadan. Kharkhar in this case would be in the southern part of Cambadene, on the main road which leads from the gates of the Zagros to Hamadan; an examination of the general features of the country leads me to believe that the town of Kharkhar should occupy the site of Kirmanshahan, or rather of the ancient city which preceded that town.
It was at this juncture, perhaps, that he received from the people of Muzri the gift of an elephant and some large monkeys, representations of which he has left us on one of his bas-reliefs. Elephants were becoming rare, and it was not now possible to kill them by the hundred, as formerly, in Syria: this particular animal, therefore, excited the wonder of the Ninevites, and the possession of it flattered the vanity of the conqueror. This was, however, an interlude of short duration, and the turbulent tribes of the Taurus recalled him to the west as soon as spring set in.
He laid waste Kui in 836 B.C., destroyed Timur, its capital, and on his return march revenged himself on Arame of Agusi, whose spirit was still unbroken by his former misfortunes.
[Illustration: 137.jpg ELEPHANT AND MONKEYS BROUGHT AS A TRIBUTE TO NINEVEH BY THE PEOPLE OF MUZBI]
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from one of the bas-reliefs of the Black Obelisk.
Tanakun and Tarsus fell into his hands 835 B.C.; Shalmaneser replaced Kati, the King of Kui, by his brother Kirri, and made of his dominions a kind of buffer state between his own territory and that of Pamphylia and Lycaonia. He had now occupied the throne for a quarter of a century, not a year of which had elapsed without seeing the monarch gird on his armour and lead his soldiers in person towards one or other points of the horizon. He was at length weary of such perpetual warfare, and advancing age perchance prevented him from leading his troops with that dash and vigour which are necessary to success; however this might be, on his return from Cilicia he laid aside his armour once for all, and devoted himself to peaceful occupations.
But he did not on that account renounce all attempts at conquest. Conducting his campaigns by proxy delegated the command of his army to his Tartan Dayan-assur, and the northern tribes were the first on whom this general gave proof of his prowess. Urartu had passed into the hands of another sovereign since its defeat in 845 B.C., and a second Sharduris* had taken the place of the Arame who had ruled at the beginning of Shalma-neser's reign.
* The name is written Siduri or Seduri in the text of the Obelisk, probably in accordance with some popular
pronunciation, in which the r was but slightly rolled and finally disappeared. The identity of Seduri and Sharduris, has been adopted by recent historians. Belck and Lehmann have shown that this Seduri was not Sharduris, son of Lutipris, but a Sharduris II., probably the son of Arame.
It would appear that the accession of this prince, who was probably young and active, was the signal for a disturbance among the people of the Upper Tigris and the Masios -- a race always impatient of the yoke, and ready to make common cause with any fresh enemy of Assyria. An insurrection broke out in Bit-Zamani and the neighbouring districts. Dayan-assur quelled it offhand; then, quitting the basin of the Tigris by the defiles of Armash, he crossed the Arzania, and entered Urartu. Sharduris came out to meet him, and was defeated, if we may give credence to the official record of the campaign. Even if the account be an authentic one, the victory was of no advantage to the Assyrians, for they were obliged to retreat before they had subjugated the enemy, and an insurrection among the Patina prevented them from returning to the attack in the following year. With obligations to their foreign master on one hand and to their own subjects on the other, the princes of the Syrian states had no easy life. If they failed to fulfil their duties as vassals, then an Assyrian invasion would pour in to their country, and sooner or later their ruin would be assured; they would have before them the prospect of death by impaling or under the knife of the flayer, or, if they escaped this, captivity and exile in a far-off land. Prudence therefore dictated a scrupulous fidelity to their suzerain. On the other hand, if they resigned themselves to their dependent condition, the people of their towns would chafe at the payment of tribute, or some ambitious relative would take advantage of the popular discontent to hatch a plot and foment a revolution, and the prince thus threatened would escape from an Assyrian reprisal only to lose his throne or fall by the blow of an assassin. In circumstances such as these the people of the Patina murdered their king, Lubarna II., and proclaimed in his room a certain Sum, who had no right to the crown, but who doubtless undertook to liberate them from the foreigner. Dayan-assur defeated the rebels and blockaded the remains of their army in Kinalua. They defended themselves at first energetically, but on the death of Surri from some illness, their courage failed them and they offered to deliver over the sons of their chief if their own lives might be spared. Dayan-assur had the poor wretches impaled, laid the inhabitants under a heavy contribution, and appointed a certain Sasi, son of Uzza, to be their king. The remainder of Syria gave no further trouble -- a fortunate circumstance, for the countries on the Armenian border revolted in 832 B.C., and the whole year was occupied in establishing order among the herdsmen of Kirkhi. In 831 B.C., Dayan-assiir pushed forward into Khubushkia, and traversed it from end to end without encountering any resistance. He next attacked the Mannai. Their prince, Ualki, quailed before his onslaught; he deserted his royal city Zirtu,* and took refuge in the mountains. Dayan-assur pursued him thither in vain, but he was able to collect considerable booty, and turning in a south-easterly direction, he fought his way along the base of the Gordysean mountains till he reached Parsua, which he laid under tribute. In 830 B.C. it was the turn of Muzazir, which hitherto had escaped invasion, to receive a visit from the Tartan. Zapparia, the capital, and fifty-six other towns were given over to the flames. From thence, Dayan-assur passed into Urartu proper; after having plundered it, he fell back on the southern provinces, collecting by the way the tribute of Guzan, of the Mannai, of Andiu,** and Parsua; he then pushed on into the heart of Namri, and having razed to the ground two hundred and fifty of its towns, returned with his troops to Assyria by the defiles of Shimishi and through Khalman.
* The town is elsewhere called Izirtu, and appears to have been designated in the inscriptions of Van by the name of Sisiri-Khadiris.
** Andia or Andiu is contiguous to Nairi, to Zikirtu and to Karalla, which latter borders on Manna; it bordered on the country of Misa or Misi, into which it is merged under the name of Misianda in the time of Sargon. Delattre places Andiu in the country of the classical Matiense, between the Mationian mountains and Lake Urumiah. The position of Misu on the confines of Araziash and Media, somewhere in the neighbourhood of Talvantu-Dagh, obliges us to place Andiu lower down to the south-east, near the district of Kurdasir.
This was perhaps the last foreign campaign of Shalmaneser III.'s reign; it is at all events the last of which we possess any history. The record of his exploits ends, as it had begun more than thirty years previously, with a victory in Namri.
[Illustration: 137.jpg BLACK OBELISK OF SHALMANESER III]
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from the cast in the Louvre. [The original is in the Brit. Mus. -- Tr.]
The aged king had, indeed, well earned the right to end his allotted days in peace. Devoted to Calah, like his predecessor, he had there accumulated the spoils of his campaigns, and had made it the wealthiest city of his empire. He continued to occupy the palace of Assur-nazir-pal, which he had enlarged. Wherever he turned within its walls, his eyes fell upon some trophy of his wars or panegyric of his virtues, whether recorded on mural tiles covered with inscriptions and bas-reliefs, or celebrated by statues, altars, and triumphal stelae. The most curious among all these is a square-based block terminating in three receding stages, one above the other, like the stump of an Egyptian obelisk surmounted by a stepped pyramid. Five rows of bas-reliefs on it represent scenes most flattering to Assyrian pride; -- the reception of tribute from Gilzan, Muzri, the Patina, the Israelitish Jehu, and Marduk-abal-uzur, King of the land of Sukhi. The latter knew his suzerain's love of the chase, and he provided him with animals for his preserves, including lions, and rare species of deer.
[Illustration: 142.jpg STAG AND LIONS OF THE COUNTRY OF SUKHI]
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from one of the bas-reliefs of the Black Obelisk.
The inscription on the monument briefly relates the events which had occurred between the first and the thirty-first years of Shalmaneser's reign; -- the defeat of Damascus, of Babylon and Urartu, the conquest of Northern Syria, of Cilicia, and of the countries bordering on the Zagros. When the king left Calah for some country residence in its-neighbourhood, similar records and carvings would meet his eye. At Imgur-Bel, one of the gates of the palace was covered with plates of bronze, on which the skilful artist had embossed and engraved with the chisel episodes from the campaigns on the Euphrates and the Tigris, the crossing of mountains and rivers, the assault and burning of cities, the long lines of captives, the melee with the enemy and the pursuit of the chariots. All the cities of Assyria, Nineveh,* Arbela, Assur, even to the more distant towns of Harran** and Tushkhan,*** -- vied with each other in exhibiting proofs of his zeal for their gods and his affection for their inhabitants; but his predilection for Calah filled them with jealousy, and Assur particularly could ill brook the growing aversion with which the Assyrian kings regarded her. It was of no avail that she continued to be the administrative and religious capital of the empire, the storehouse of the spoil and annual tribute of other nations, and was continually embellishing herself with fresh monuments: a spirit of discontent was daily increasing, and merely awaited some favourable occasion to break out into open revolt. Shalmaneser enjoyed the dignity of limmu for the second time after thirty years, and had celebrated this jubilee of his inauguration by a solemn festival in honour of Assur and Eamman.****
* Nineveh is mentioned as the starting-place of nearly all the first campaigns in the inscription on the Monolith; also in the Balawat inscription, on the other hand, towards the end of the reign, Calah is given as the residence of the king on the Black Obelisk
** Mention of the buildings of Shalmaneser III. at Harran occurs in an inscription of Nabonidus.
*** The Monolith discovered at Kurkh is in itself a proof that Shalmaneser executed works in this town, the Tushkhan of the inscriptions.
**** Any connection established between this thirty-year jubilee and the thirty years' festival of Egypt rests on facts which can be so little relied on, that it must be accepted with considerable reserve.
[Illustration: 144.jpg THE BRONZE-COVERED GATES OF BALAWAT]
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from the sketch by Pinches.
It is possible that he may have thought this a favourable moment for presenting to the people the son whom he had chosen from among his children to succeed him. At any rate, Assur-dain-pal, fearing that one of his brothers might be preferred before him, |proclaimed himself king,| and nearly the whole of Assyria gathered around his standard. Assur and twenty-six more of the most important cities revolted in his favour -- Nineveh, Imgur-bel, Sibaniba, Dur-balat, Arbela, Zaban in the Chaldaean marches, Arrapkha in the valley of the Upper Zab, and most of the colonies, both of ancient and recent foundation -- Amidi on the Tigris, Khindanu near the mouths of the Kha-bur and Tul-Abni on the southern slopes of the Masios. The aged king remained in possession only of Calah and its immediate environs -- Nisibis, Harran, Tushkhan, and the most recently subdued provinces on the banks of the Euphrates and the Orontes. It is probable, however, that the army remained faithful to him, and the support which these well-tried troops afforded him enabled the king to act with promptitude. The weight of years did not permit him to command in person; he therefore entrusted the conduct of operations to his son Samsi-ramman, but he did not live to see the end of the struggle. It embittered his last days, and was not terminated till 822 B.C., at which date Shalmaneser had been dead two years. This prolonged crisis had shaken the kingdom to its foundations; the Syrians, the Medes, the Babylonians, and the peoples of the Armenian and Aramaean marches were rent from it, and though Samsi-ramman IV. waged continuous warfare during the twelve years that he governed, he could only partially succeed in regaining the territory which had been thus lost.*
* All that we know of the reign of Samsi-ramman IV. comes from an inscription in archaic characters containing the account of four campaigns, without giving the years of each reign or the limmu, and historians have classified them in different ways.
His first three campaigns were-directed against the north-eastern and eastern provinces. He began by attempting to collect the tribute from Nairi, the payment of which had been suspended since the outbreak of the revolution, and he re-established the dominion of Assyria from the district of Paddir to the township of Kar-Shulmanasharid, which his father had founded at the fords of the Euphrates opposite to Carchemish (821 B.C.). In the following campaign he did not personally take part, but the Rabshakeh Mutarriz-assur pillaged the shores of Lake Urumiah, and then made his way towards Urartu, where he destroyed three hundred towns (820). The third expedition was directed against Misi and Gizilbunda beyond the Upper Zab and Mount Zilar.* The inhabitants of Misi entrenched themselves on a wooded ridge commanded by three peaks, but were defeated in spite of the advantages which their position secured for them;** the people of Gizilbunda were not more fortunate than their neighbours, and six thousand of them perished at the assault of Urash, their capital.***
* Mount Zilar is beyond the Upper Zab, on one of the roads which lead to the basin of Lake Urumiah, probably in Khubushkia. There are two of these roads -- that which passes over the neck of Kelishin, and the other which runs through the gorges of Alan; |with the exception of these two points, the mountain chain is absolutely impassable.| According to the general direction of the campaign, it appears to me probable that the king crossed by the passes of Alan; Mount Zilar would therefore be the group of chains which cover the district of Pishder, and across which the Lesser Zab passes before descending to the plain.
** The country of Misi adjoined Gizilbunda, Media, Araziash, and Andiu. All these circumstances incline us to place it in the south-eastern part of Kurdistan of Sihmeh, in the upper valley of Kisil-Uzen. The ridge, overlooked by three peaks, on which the inhabitants took refuge, cannot be looked for on the west, whore there are few important heights: I should rather identify it with the part of the Gordysean mountains which bounds the basin of the Kisil-Uzen on the west, and which contains three peaks of 12,000 feet -- the Tchehel- tchechma, the Derbend, and the Nau-Kan.
*** The name of the country has been read Giratbunda, Ginunbunda, Girubbunda; a variant, to which no objections can be made, has furnished Gizilbunda. It was contiguous on one side to the Medes, and on the other to the Mannai, which obliges us to place it in Kurdistan of Gerrus, on the Kizil- Uzon. It may be asked if the word Kizil which occurs several times in the topographical nomenclature of these regions is not a relic of the name in question, and if Gizil-bunda is not a compound of the same class as Kizil-uzen, Kizil- gatchi, Kizihalan, Kizil-lok, whether it be that part of the population spoke a language analogous to the dialects now in use in these districts, or that the ancient word has been preserved by later conquerors and assimilated to some well- known word in their own language.
Mutarriz-assur at once turned upon the Medes, vanquished them, and drove them at the point of the sword into their remote valleys, returning to the district of Araziash, which he laid waste. A score of chiefs with barbarous names, alarmed by this example, hastened to prostrate themselves at his feet, and submitted to the tribute which he imposed on them. Assyria thus regained in these regions the ascendency which the victories of Shalmaneser III. in their time had won for her.
Babylon, which had endured the suzerainty of its rival for a quarter of a century, seems to have taken advantage of the events occurring in Assyria to throw off the yoke, by espousing the cause of Assur-dain-pal. Samsi-ramman, therefore, as soon as he was free to turn his attention from Media (818), directed his forces against Babylonia. Metur-nat, as usual, was the first city attacked; it capitulated at once, and its inhabitants were exiled to Assyria. Kami to the south of the Turnat, and Dibina on Mount Yalrnan, suffered the same fate, but Gananate held out for a time; its garrison, however, although reinforced by troops from the surrounding country, was utterly routed before its walls, and the survivors, who fled for refuge to the citadel in the centre of the town, were soon dislodged. The Babylonians, who had apparently been taken by surprise at the first attack, at length made preparations to resist the invaders. The Prince of Dur-papsukal, who owned allegiance to Marduk-balatsu-ikbi, King of Babylon, had disposed his troops so as to guard the fords of the Tigris, in order to prevent the enemy from reaching his capital. But Samsi-ramman dispersed this advanced force, killing thirteen thousand, besides taking three thousand prisoners, and finally reduced Dur-papsukal to ashes.
[148.jpg MONOLITH OF SAMSI-RAMMAN IV]
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph by Mansell. The original is in the British Museum.
The respite thus obtained gave Marduk-balatsu-ikbi sufficient time to collect the main body of his troops: the army was recruited from Kalda and Ela-mites, soldiers from Namri, and Aramaean contingents, and the united force awaited the enemy behind the ruins of Dur-papsukal, along the banks of the Daban canal. Five thousand footmen, two hundred horsemen, one hundred chariots, besides the king's tent and all his stores, fell into the hands of the Assyrians. The victory was complete; Babylon, Kuta, and Borsippa capitulated one after the other, and the invaders penetrated as far as the land of the Kalda, and actually reached the Persian Gulf. Samsi-ramman offered sacrifices to the gods, as his father had done before him, and concluded a treaty with Marduk-balatsu-ikbi, the terms of which included rectification of boundaries, payment of a subsidy, and the other clauses usual in such circumstances; the peace was probably ratified by a matrimonial alliance, concluded between the Babylonian princess Sammuramat and Bamman-nirari, son of the conqueror. In this manner the hegemony of Assyria over Karduniash was established even more firmly than before the insurrection; but all available resources had been utilised in the effort necessary to secure it. Samsi-ramman had no leisure to reconquer Syria or Asia Minor, and the Euphrates remained the western frontier of his kingdom, as it had been in the early days of Shalmaneser III. The peace with Babylon, moreover, did not last long; Bau-akhiddin, who had succeeded Marduk-balatsu-ikbi, refused to observe the terms of the treaty, and hostilities again broke out on the Turnat and the Tigris, as they had done six years previously. This war was prolonged from 813 to 812 B.C., and was still proceeding when Samsi-ramman died. His son Bamman-nirari III. quickly brought it to a successful issue. He carried Bau-akhiddin captive to Assyria, with his family and the nobles of his court, and placed on the vacant throne one of his own partisans, while he celebrated festivals in honour of his own supremacy at Babylon, Kuta, and Borsippa. Karduniash made no attempt to rebel against Assyria during the next half-century. Bamman-nirari proved himself an energetic and capable sovereign, and the thirty years of his reign were by no means inglorious. We learn from the eponym lists what he accomplished during that time, and against which countries he waged war; but we have not yet recovered any inscription to enable us to fill in this outline, and put together a detailed account of his reign. His first expeditions were directed against Media (810), Gozan (809), and the Mannai (808-807); he then crossed the Euphrates, and in four successive years conducted as many vigorous campaigns against Arpad (806), Kkazaiu (808), the town of Baali (804), and the cities of the Phoenician sea-board (803). The plague interfering with his advance in the latter direction, he again turned his attention eastward and attacked Khubushkia in 802, 792, and 784; Media in 801-800, 794-793, and 790-787; Lushia in 799; Namri in 798; Diri in 796-795 and 785; Itua in 791, 783-782; Kishki in 785. This bare enumeration conjures up a vision of an enterprising and victorious monarch of the type of Assur-nazir-pal or Shalmaneser III., one who perhaps succeeded even where his redoubtable ancestors had failed. The panoramic survey of his empire, as unfolded to us in one of his inscriptions, includes the mountain ranges of Illipi as far as Mount Sihina, Kharkhar, Araziash, Misu, Media, the whole of Gizilbunda, Man, Parsua, Allabria, Abdadana, the extensive territory of Istairi, far-off Andiu, and, westwards beyond the Euphrates, the Khati, the entire country of the Amorites, Tyre, Sidon, Israel, Edom, and the Philistines. Never before had the Assyrian empire extended so far east in the direction of the centre of the Iranian tableland, nor so far to the south-west towards the frontiers of Egypt.*
* Allabria or Allabur is on the borders of Parsua and of Karalla, which allows us to locate it in the basins of the Kerkhorah and the Saruk, tributaries of the Jagatu, which flow into Lake Urumiah. Abdadana, which borders on
Allabria, and was, according to Ramman-nirari, at the extreme end of Nairi, was a little further to the east or north-east; if I am not mistaken, it corresponds pretty nearly to Uriad, on the banks of the Kizil-Uzen.
In two only of these regions, namely, Syria and Armenia, do native documents add any information to the meagre summary contained in the Annals, and give us glimpses of contemporary rulers. The retreat of Shalmaneser, after his partial success in 839, had practically left the ancient allies of Ben-hadad II. at the mercy of Hazael, the new King of Damascus, but he did not apparently attempt to assert his supremacy over the whole of Coele-Syria, and before long several of its cities acquired considerable importance, first Mansuate, and then Hadrach,* both of which, casting Hamath into the shade, succeeded in holding their own against Hazael and his successors. He renewed hostilities, however, against the Hebrews, and did not relax his efforts till he had thoroughly brought them into subjection. Jehu suffered loss on all his frontiers, |from Jordan eastward, all the land of Gilead, the Gadites, the Keubenites, and the Manassites, from Aroer, which is by the valley of Arnon, even Gilead and Bashan,|** Israel became thus once more entirely dependent on Damascus, but the sister kingdom of Judah still escaped its yoke through the energy of her rulers.
* Mansuati successfully resisted Ramman-nirari in 797 B.C., but he probably caused its ruin, for after this only expeditions against Hadrach are mentioned. Mansuati was in the basin of the Orontes, and the manner in which the Assyrian texts mention it in connection with Zimyra seems to show that it commanded the opening in the Lebanon range between Cole-Syria and Phoenicia. The site of Khatarika, the Hadrach of Zech. ix.1, is not yet precisely determined; but it must, as well as Mansuati, have been in the neighbourhood of Hamath, perhaps between Hamath and Damascus. It appears for the first time in 772.
** 2 Kings x.32, 33. Even if verse 33 is a later addition, it gives a correct idea of the situation, except as regards Bashan, which had been lost to Israel for some time already.
Athaliah reigned seven years, not ingloriously; but she belonged to the house of Ahab, and the adherents of the prophets, whose party had planned Jehu's revolution, could no longer witness with equanimity one of the accursed race thus prospering and ostentatiously practising the rites of Baal-worship within sight of the great temple of Jahveh. On seizing the throne, Athaliah had sought out and put to death all the members of the house of David who had any claim to the succession; but Jeho-sheba, half-sister of Ahaziah, had with difficulty succeeded in rescuing Joash, one of the king's sons. Her husband was the high priest Jehoiada, and he secreted his nephew for six years in the precincts of the temple; at the end of that time, he won over the captains of the royal guard, bribed a section of the troops, and caused them to swear fealty to the child as their legitimate sovereign. Athaliah, hastening to discover the cause of the uproar, was assassinated. Mattan, chief priest of Baal, shared her fate; and Jehoiada at once restored to Jahveh the preeminence which the gods of the alien had for a time usurped (837). At first his influence over his pupil was supreme, but before long the memory of his services faded away, and the king sought only how to rid himself of a tutelage which had grown irksome. The temple had suffered during the late wars, and repairs were much needed. Joash ordained that for the future all moneys put into the sacred treasury -- which of right belonged to the king -- should be placed unreservedly at the disposal of the priests on condition that they should apply them to the maintenance of the services and fabric of the temple: the priests accepted the gift, but failed in the faithful observance of the conditions, so that in 814 B.C. the king was obliged to take stringent measures to compel them to repair the breaches in the sanctuary walls:* he therefore withdrew the privilege which they had abused, and henceforth undertook the administration of the Temple Fund in person. The beginning of the new order of things was not very successful. Jehu had died in 815, after a disastrous reign, and both he and his son Jehoahaz had been obliged to acknowledge the supremacy of Hazael: not only was he in the position of an inferior vassal, but, in order to preclude any idea of a revolt, he was forbidden to maintain a greater army than the small force necessary for purposes of defence, namely, ten thousand foot-soldiers, fifty horsemen, and ten chariots.**
* 2 Kings xii.4-16; cf.2 Chron. xxiv.1-14. The beginning of the narrative is lost, and the whole has probably been modified to make it agree with 2 Kings xxii.3-7.
** 2 Kings xiii.1-7. It may be noticed that the number of foot-soldiers given in the Bible is identical with that which the Assyrian texts mention as Ahab's contingent at the battle of Qarqar, viz.10,000; the number of the chariots is very different in the two cases. Kuenen and other critics would like to assign to the reign of Jehoahaz the siege of Samaria by the Syrians, which the actual text of the Book of the Kings attributes to the reign of Joram.
The power of Israel had so declined that Hazael was allowed to march through its territory unhindered on his way to wage war in the country of the Philistines; which he did, doubtless, in order to get possession of the main route of Egyptian commerce. The Syrians destroyed Gath,* reduced Pentapolis to subjection, enforced tribute from Edom, and then marched against Jerusalem. Joash took from the treasury of Jahveh the reserve funds which his ancestors, Jehoshaphat, Joram, and Ahaziah, had accumulated, and sent them to the invader,** together with all the gold which was found in the king's house.
* The text of 2 Kings xii.17 merely says that Hazael took Gath. Gath is not named by Amos among the cities of the Philistines (Amos. i.6-8), but it is one of the towns cited by that prophet as examples to Israel of the wrath of Jahveh (vi.2). It is probable, therefore, that it was already destroyed in his time.
** 2 Kings xii.17, 18; cf.2 Chron. xxiv.22-24, where the expedition of Hazael is represented as a punishment for the murder of Mechariah, son of Jehoiada.
From this time forward Judah became, like Israel, Edom, the Philistines and Ammonites, a mere vassal of Hazael; with the possible exception of Moab, all the peoples of Southern Syria were now subject to Damascus, and formed a league as strong as that which had successfully resisted the power of Shalmaneser. Ramman-nirari, therefore, did not venture to attack Syria during the lifetime of Hazael; but a change of sovereign is always a critical moment in the history of an Eastern empire, and he took advantage of the confusion caused by the death of the aged king to attack his successor Mari (803 B.C.). Mari essayed the tactics which his father had found so successful; he avoided a pitched battle, and shut himself up in Damascus. But he was soon closely blockaded, and forced to submit to terms; Ramman-nirari demanded as the price of withdrawal, 23,000 talents of silver, 20 talents of gold, 3000 of copper, 5000 of iron, besides embroidered and dyed stuffs, an ivory couch, and a litter inlaid with ivory, -- in all a considerable part of the treasures amassed at the expense of the Hebrews and their neighbours. It is doubtful whether Ramman-nirari pushed further south, and penetrated in person as far as the deserts of Arabia Petrsae -- a suggestion which the mention of the Philistines and Edomites among the list of his tributary states might induce us to accept. Probably it was not the case, and he really went no further than Damascus. But the submission of that city included, in theory at least, the submission of all states subject to her sway, and these dependencies may have sent some presents to testify their desire to conciliate his favour; their names appear in the inscriptions in order to swell the number of direct or indirect vassals of the empire, since they were subject to a state which had been effectually conquered.
Ramman-nirari did not meet with such good fortune in the North; not only did he fail to obtain the brilliant successes which elsewhere attended his arms, but he ended by sustaining considerable reverses. The Ninevite historians reckoned the two expeditions of 808 and 807 B.C. against the Mannai as victories, doubtless because the king returned with a train of prisoners and loaded with spoil; but the Vannic inscriptions reveal that Urartu, which had been rising into prominence during the reign of Shalmaneser, had now grown still more powerful, and had begun to reconquer those provinces on the Tigris and Euphrates of which the Assyrians thought themselves the undoubted lords. Sharduris II. had been succeeded, about 828, by his son Ishpuinis, who had perhaps measured his strength against Samsi-raniman IV. Ishpuinis appears to have conquered and reduced to the condition of a province the neighbouring principality of Biainas, which up to that time had been governed by a semi-independent dynasty; at all events, he transferred thence his seat of govern-and made Dhuspas his favourite residence. Towards the end of his reign he associated with him on the throne his son Menuas, and made him commander-in-chief of the army. Menuas proved a bold and successful general, and in a few years had doubled the extent of his dominions. He first delivered from the Assyrian yoke, and plundered on his father's account, the tribes on the borders of Lake Urumiah, Muzazir, Gilzan, and Kirruri; then, crossing the Gordygean mountains, he burnt the towns in the valley of the Upper Zab, which bore the uncouth names of Terais, Ardis, Khanalis, Bikuras, Khatqanas, Inuas, and Nibur, laid waste the more fertile part of Khubushkia, and carved triumphal stelas in the Assyrian and Vannic scripts upon the rocks in the pass of Rowandiz.
[Illustration: 156.jpg TRIUMPHAL STELE OF MENUAS AT KELISHIN]
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph by J. de Morgan.
It was probably to recover this territory that Ramman-nirari waged war three times in Khubushkia, in 802, 792, and 785, in a district which had formerly been ruled by a prefect from Nineveh, but had now fallen into the hands of the enemy.*
* It is probable that the stele of Kelishin, belonging to the joint reign of Ishpuinis and Menuas, was intended to commemorate the events which led Ramman-nirari to undertake his first expedition; the conquest by Menuas will fall then in 804 or 803 B.C. The inscription of Meher-Kapussi contains the names of the divinities belonging to several conquered towns, and may have been engraved on the return from this war.
Everywhere along the frontier, from the Lower Zab to the Euphrates, Menuas overpowered and drove back the Assyrian outposts. He took from them Aldus and Erinuis on the southern shores of Lake Van, compelled Dayaini to abandon its allegiance, and forced its king, Udhupursis, to surrender his treasure and his chariots; then gradually descending the valley of the Arzania, he crushed Seseti, Kulme, and Ekarzu. In one year he pillaged the Mannai in the east, and attacked the Khati in the west, seizing their fortresses of Surisilis, Tarkhigamas, and Sarduras; in the province of Alzu he left 2113 soldiers dead on the field after one engagement; Gupas yielded to his sway, followed by the towns of Khuzanas and Puteria, whereupon he even crossed the Euphrates and levied tribute from Melitene. But the struggle against Assyria absorbed only a portion of his energy; we do not know what he accomplished in the east, in the plains sloping towards the Caspian Sea, but several monuments, discovered near Armavir and Erzerum, testify that he pushed his arms a considerable distance towards the north and north-west.* He obliged Etius to acknowledge his supremacy, sending a colony to its capital, Lununis, whose name he changed to Menua-lietzilinis.**
* The inscription of Erzerum, discovered by F. de Saulcy and published by him, shows that Menuas was in possession of the district in which this town is situated, and that he rebuilt a palace there.
** Inscriptions of Yazli-tash and Zolakert. It follows from these texts that the country of Etius is the district of Armavir, and Lununis is the ancient name of this city. The now name by which Menuas replaced the name Lununis signifies the abode of the people of Menuas; like many names arising from special circumstances, it naturally passed away with the rule of the people who had imposed it.
Towards the end of his reign he partly subjugated the Mannai, planting colonies throughout their territory to strengthen his hold on the country. By these campaigns he had formed a kingdom, which, stretching from the south side of the Araxes to the upper reaches of the Zab and the Tigris, was quite equal to Assyria in size, and probably surpassed it in density of population, for it contained no barren steppes such as stretched across Mesopotamia, affording support merely to a few wretched Bedawin. As their dominions increased, the sovereigns of Biainas began to consider themselves on an equality with the kings of Nineveh, and endeavoured still more to imitate them in the luxury and display of their domestic life, as well as in the energy of their actions and the continuity of their victories. They engraved everywhere on the rocks triumphal inscriptions, destined to show to posterity their own exploits and the splendour of their gods. Having made this concession to their vanity, they took effective measures to assure possession of their conquests. They selected in the various provinces sites difficult of access, commanding some defile in the' mountains, or ford over a river, or at the junction of two roads, or the approach to a plain; on such spots they would build a fortress or a town, or, finding a citadel already existing, they would repair it and remodel its fortifications so as to render it impregnable. At Kalajik, Ashrut-Darga, and the older Mukhrapert may still be seen the ruins of ramparts built by Ishpuims. Menuas finished the buildings his father had begun, erected others in all the districts where he sojourned, in time of peace or war, at Shushanz, Sirka,* Anzaff, Arzwapert, Geuzak, Zolakert, Tashtepe, and in the country of the Mannai, and it is possible that the fortified village of Melasgerd still bears his name.**
* The name of the ancient place corresponding to the modern village of Sirka was probably Artsunis or Artsuyunis, according to the Vannic inscriptions.
** A more correct form than Melas-gerd is Manas-gert, the city of Manas, where Manas would represent Menuas: one of the inscriptions of Aghtamar speaks of a certain
Menuakhinas, city of Menuas, which may be a primitive version of the same name.
His wars furnished him with the men and materials necessary for the rapid completion of these works, while the statues, valuable articles of furniture, and costly fabrics, vessels of silver, gold, and copper carried off from Assyrian or Asiatic cities, provided him with surroundings as luxurious as those enjoyed by the kings of Nineveh. His favourite residence was amid the valleys and hills of the south-western shore of Lake Van, the sea of the rising sun. His father, Ishpuinis, had already done much to embellish the site of Dhuspas, or Khaldinas as it was called, from the god Khaldis; he had surrounded it with strong walls, and within them had laid the foundations of a magnificent palace. Menuas carried on the work, brought water to the cisterns by subterranean aqueducts, planted gardens, and turned the whole place into an impregnable fortress, where a small but faithful garrison could defy a large army for several years. Dhuspas, thus completed, formed the capital and defence of the kingdom during the succeeding century.
Menuas was gathered to his fathers shortly before the death of Eamman-nirari, perhaps in 784 B.C.*
* This date seems to agree with the text of the Annals of Argistis, as far as we are at present acquainted with them; Mueller has shown, in fact, that they contain the account of fourteen campaigns, probably the first fourteen of the reign of Argistis, and he has recognised, in accordance with the observations of Stanislas Guyard, the formula which separates the campaigns one from another. There are two campaigns against the peoples of the Upper Euphrates mentioned before the campaigns against Assyria, and as these latter follow continuously after 781, it is probable that the former must be placed in 783-782, which would give 783 or 784 for the year of his accession.
He was engaged up to the last in a quarrel with the princes who occupied the mountainous country to the north of the Araxes, and his son Argistis spent the first few years of his reign in completing his conquests in this region.* He crushed with ease an attempted revolt in Dayaini, and then invaded Etius, systematically devastating it, its king, Uduris, being powerless to prevent his ravages. All the principal towns succumbed one after another before the vigour of his assault, and, from the numbers killed and taken prisoners, we may surmise the importance of his victories in these barbarous districts, to which belonged the names of Seriazis, Silius, Zabakhas, Zirimutaras, Babanis, and Urmias,** though we cannot definitely locate the places indicated.
* The Annals of Argistis are inscribed on the face of the rock which crowns the citadel of Van. The inscription contains (as stated in note above) the history of the first fourteen yearly campaigns of Argistis.
** The site of these places is still undetermined. Seriazis and Silius (or Tarius) lay to the north-east of Dayaini, and Urmias, Urme, recalls the modern name of Lake Urumiah, but was probably situated on the left bank of the Araxes.
On a single occasion, the assault on Ureyus, for instance, Argistis took prisoners 19,255 children, 10,140 men fit to bear arms, 23,280 women, and the survivors of a garrison which numbered 12,675 soldiers at the opening of the siege, besides 1104 horses, 35,016 cattle, and more than 10,000 sheep. Two expeditions into the heart of the country, conducted between 784 and 782 B.C., had greatly advanced the work of conquest, when the accession of a new sovereign in Assyria made Argistis decide to risk a change of front and to concentrate the main part of his forces on the southern boundary of his empire. Ramman-nirari, after his last contest in Khubushkia in 784, had fought two consecutive campaigns against the Aramaean tribes of Itua, near the frontiers of Babylon, and he was still in conflict with them when he died in 782 B.C. His son, Shalmaneser IV., may have wished to signalise the commencement of his reign by delivering from the power of Urartu the provinces which the kings of that country had wrested from his ancestors; or, perhaps, Argistis thought that a change of ruler offered him an excellent opportunity for renewing the struggle at the point where Menuas had left it, and for conquering yet more of the territory which still remained to his rival. Whatever the cause, the Assyrian annals show us the two adversaries ranged against each other, in a struggle which lasted from 781 to 778 B.C. Argistis had certainly the upper hand, and though his advance was not rapid, it was never completely checked. The first engagement took place at Nirbu, near the sources of the Supnat and the Tigris: Nirbu capitulated, and the enemy pitilessly ravaged the Hittite states, which were subject to Assyria, penetrating as far as the heart of Melitene (781). The next year the armies encountered each other nearer to Nineveh, in the basin of the Bitlis-tchai, at Khakhias; and, in 779, Argistis expressly thanks his gods, the Khaldises, for having graciously bestowed upon him as a gift the armies and cities of Assur. The scene of the war had shifted, and the contest was now carried on in the countries bordering on Lake Urumiah, Bustus and Parsua. The natives gained nothing by the change of invader, and were as hardly used by the King of Urartu as they had been by Shalmaneser III. or by Samsiramman: as was invariably the case, their towns were given over to the flames, their fields ravaged, their cattle and their families carried into captivity. Their resistance, however, was so determined that a second campaign was required to complete the conquest: and this time the Assyrians suffered a serious defeat at Surisidas (778), and a year at least was needed for their recovery from the disaster. During this respite, Argistis hastened to complete the pacification of Bustus, Parsua, and the small portion of Man which had not been reduced to subjection by Menuas. When the Assyrians returned to the conflict, he defeated them again (776), and while they withdrew to the Amanus, where a rebellion had broken out (775), he reduced one by one the small states which clustered round the eastern and southern shores of Lake Urumiah. He was conducting a campaign in Namri, when Shalmaneser IV. made a last effort to check his advance; but he was again victorious (774), and from henceforth these troubled regions, in which Nineveh had so persistently endeavoured for more than a century to establish her own supremacy, became part of the empire of Urartu. Argistis's hold of them proved, however, to be a precarious and uncertain one, and before long the same difficulties assailed him which had restricted the power of his rivals.
[Illustration: 164.jpg URARTIAN STELE ON THE ROCKS OF AK-KEUPBU]
Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph by M. Ximones.
He was forced to return again and again to these districts, destroying fortresses and pursuing the inhabitants over plain and mountain: in 773 we find him in Urmes, the territory of Bikhuras, and Bam, in the very heart of Namri; in 772, in Dhuaras, and Gurqus, among the Mannai, and at the city of Uikhis, in Bustus. Meanwhile, to the north of the Araxes, several chiefs had taken advantage of his being thus engaged in warfare in distant regions, to break the very feeble bond which held them vassals to Urartu. Btius was the fountain-head and main support of the rebellion; the rugged mountain range in its rear provided its chiefs with secure retreats among its woods and lakes and valleys, through which flowed rapid torrents. Argistis inflicted a final defeat on the Mannai in 771, and then turned his forces against Etius. He took by storm the citadel of Ardinis which defended the entrance to the country, ravaged Ishqigulus,* and seized Amegu, the capital of Uidharus: our knowledge of his wars comes to an end in the following year with an expedition into the land of Tarius.
* Sayce shows that Ishqigulus was the district of
Alexandropolis, to the east of Kars; its capital, Irdanius, is very probably either the existing walled village of Kalinsha or the neighbouring ruin of Ajuk-kaleh, on the Arpa-tohai.
The monuments do not tell us what he accomplished on the borders of Asia Minor; he certainly won some considerable advantages there, and the influence which Assyria had exercised over states scattered to the north of the Taurus, such as Melitene, and possibly Tabal and Kummukh, which had formed the original nucleus of the Hittite empire, must have now passed into his hands. The form of Argistis looms before us as that of a great conqueror, worthy to bear comparison with the most indefatigable and triumphant of the Pharaohs of Egypt or the lords of Chaldaea. The inscriptions which are constantly being discovered within the limits of his kingdom prove that, following the example of all Oriental sovereigns, he delighted as much in building as in battle: perhaps we shall some day recover a sufficient number of records to enable us to restore to their rightful place in history this great king, and the people whose power he developed more than any other sovereign.
Assyria had thus lost all her possessions in the northern and eastern parts of her empire; turning to the west, how much still remained faithful to her? After the expedition of 775 B.C. to the land of Cedars, two consecutive campaigns are mentioned against Damascus (773) and Hadrach (772); it was during this latter expedition, or immediately after it, that Shalmaneser IV. died. Northern Syria seems to have been disturbed by revolutions which seriously altered the balance of power within her borders. The ancient states, whose growth had been arrested by the deadly blows inflicted on them in the ninth century by Assur-nazir-pal and Shalmaneser III., had become reduced to the condition of second-rate powers, and their dominions had been split up. The Patina was divided into four small states -- the Patina proper, Unki, Iaudi, and Samalla, the latter falling under the rule of an Aramaean family;* perhaps the accession of Qaral, the founder of this dynasty, had been accompanied by convulsions, which might explain the presence of Shalmaneser IV. in the Amanos in 775.
* The inscriptions of Tiglath-Pileser III. mention Unku, Iaudi, Samalla, and the Patin, in the districts where the texts of Assur-nazir-pal and Shalmaneser III., only know of the Patina.
All these principalities, whether of ancient or recent standing, ranged themselves under one of two kingdoms -- either Hadrach or Arpad, whose names henceforth during the following half-century appear in the front rank whenever a coalition is formed against Assyria. Carchemish, whose independence was still respected by the fortresses erected in its neighbourhood, could make no move without exposing itself to an immediate catastrophe: Arpad, occupying a prominent position a little in front of the Afrin, on the main route leading to the Orontes, had assumed the role which Carchemish was no longer in a position to fill. Agusi became the principal centre of resistance; all battles were fought under the walls of its fortresses, and its fall involved the submission of all the country between the Euphrates and the sea, as in former times had been the case with Kinalua and Khazazu.*
* That Arpad was in Agusi is proved, among other places, by the inscriptions of Tiglath-pileser III., which show us from 743 to 741 the king at war with Matilu of Agusi and his suzerain Sharduris III. of Urartu.
Similar to the ascendency of Arpad over the plateau of Aleppo was that of Hadrach in the valley of the Orontes. This city had taken the position formerly occupied by Hamath, which was now possibly one of its dependencies; it owed no allegiance to Damascus, and rallied around it all the tribes of Coele-Syria, whose assistance Hadadezer, but a short while before, had claimed in his war with the foreigner. Neither Arpad, Hadrach, nor Damascus ever neglected to send the customary presents to any sovereign who had the temerity to cross the Euphrates and advance into their neighbourhood, but the necessity for this act of homage became more and more infrequent. During his reign of eighteen years Assurdan III., son and successor of Shalmaneser IV., appeared only three times beneath their walls -- at Hadrach in 766 and 755, at Arpad in 750, a few months only before his death. Assyria was gradually becoming involved in difficulties, and the means necessary to the preservation of its empire were less available than formerly. Assurdan had frankly renounced all idea of attacking Urartu, but he had at least endeavoured to defend himself against his enemies on the southern and eastern frontiers; he had led his armies against Gananate (771,767), against Itua (769), and against the Medes (766), before risking an attack on Hadrach (765), but more than this he had not attempted. On two occasions in eight years (768, 764) he had preferred to abstain from offensive action, and had remained inactive in his own country. Assyria found herself in one of those crises of exhaustion which periodically laid her low after each outbreak of ambitious enterprise; she might well be compared to a man worn out by fatigue and loss of blood, who becomes breathless and needs repose as soon as he attempts the least exertion. Before long, too, the scourges of disease and civil strife combined with exhaustion in hastening her ruin. The plague had broken out in the very year of the last expedition against Hadrach (765), perhaps under the walls of that city. An eclipse of the sun occurred in 763, in the month of Sivan, and this harbinger of woe was the signal for an outbreak of revolt in the city of Assur.*
* The ideas which Orientals held on the subject of comets renders the connection between the two events very likely, if not certain.
From Assur the movement spread to Arrapkha, and wrought havoc there from 761 to 760; it then passed on to Gozan, where it was not finally extinguished till 758. The last remains of Assyrian authority in Syria vanished during this period: Assurdan, after two years' respite, endeavoured to re-establish it, and attacked successively Hadrach (755) and Arpad (754). This was his last exploit. His son Assur-nirari III. spent his short reign of eight years in helpless inaction; he lost Syria, he carried on hostilities in Namri from 749 to 748 -- whether against the Aramaeans or Urartians is uncertain -- then relapsed into inactivity, and a popular sedition drove him finally from Calah in 746. He died some months later, without having repressed the revolt; none of his sons succeeded him, and the dynasty, having fallen into disrepute through the misfortunes of its last kings, thus came to an end; for, on the 12th of Iyyar, 742 B.C., a usurper, perhaps, the leader of the revolt at Calah, proclaimed himself king under the name of Tiglath-pileser.* The second Assyrian empire had lasted rather less than a century and a half, from Tukulti-ninip II. to Assur-nirari III.**
* Many historians have thought that Tiglath-pileser III. was of Babylonian origin; most of them, however, rightly considers that he was an Assyrian. The identity of Tiglath- pileser III. with Pulu, the Biblical Pul (2 Kings xv.19) has been conclusively proved by the discovery of the Babylonian Chronicle, where the Babylonian reigns of Tiglath-pileser III. and his son Shalmaneser V. are inserted where the dynastic lists give Pulu and Ululai, the Poros and Eluloos of Ptolemy.
** Here is the concluding portion of the dynasty of the kings of Assyria, from Irba-ramman to Assur-nirari III.: --
[Illustration: 169.jpg TABLE OF THE DYNASTY OF THE KINGS OF ASSYRIA]
In the manner in which it had accomplished its work, it resembled the Egyptian empire of eight hundred years before. The Egyptians, setting forth from the Nile valley, had overrun Syria and had at first brought it under their suzerainty, though without actually subduing it. They had invaded Amurru and Zahi, Naharaim and Mitanni, where they had pillaged, burnt, and massacred at will for years, without obtaining from these countries, which were too remote to fall naturally within their sphere of influence, more than a temporary and apparent submission; the regions in the neighbourhood of the isthmus alone had been regularly administered by the officers of Pharaoh, and when the country between Mount Seir and Lebanon seemed on the point of being organised into a real empire the invasion of the Peoples of the Sea had overthrown and brought to nought the work of three centuries. The Assyrians, under the leadership of ambitious kings, had in their turn carried their arms over the countries of the Euphrates and the Mediterranean, but, like those of the Egyptians before them, their expeditions resembled rather the destructive raids of a horde in search of booty than the gradual and orderly advance of a civilised people aiming at establishing a permanent empire. Their campaigns in Cole-Syria and Palestine had enriched their own cities and spread the terror of their name throughout the Eastern world, but their supremacy had only taken firm root in the plains bordering on Mesopotamia, and just when they were preparing to extend their rule, a power had sprung up beside them, over which they had been unable to triumph: they had been obliged to withdraw behind the Euphrates, and they might reasonably have asked themselves whether, by weakening the peoples of Syria at the price of the best blood of their own nation, they had not merely laboured for the benefit of a rival power, and facilitated the rise of Urartu. Egypt, after her victory over the Peoples of the Sea, had seemed likely, for the moment, to make a fresh start on a career of conquest under the energetic influence of Ramses III., but her forces proved unequal to the task, and as soon as the master's hand ceased to urge her on, she shrank back, without a struggle, within her ancient limits, and ere long nothing remained to her of the Asiatic empire carved out by the warlike Pharaohs of the Theban dynasties. If Tiglath-pileser could show the same courage and capacity as Ramses III., he might well be equally successful, and raise his nation again to power; but time alone could prove whether Nineveh, on his death, would be able to maintain a continuous effort, or whether her new display of energy would prove merely ephemeral, and her empire be doomed to sink into irremediable weakness under the successors of her deliverer, as Egypt had done under the later Ramessides.