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Publisher's Summary

  • Discusses Assyrian military tactics, religious practices, and more
  • Includes ancient Assyrian accounts documenting their military campaigns and more

"I fought daily, without interruption, against Taharqa, king of Egypt and Ethiopia, the one accursed by all the great gods. Five times I hit him with the point of my arrows, inflicting wounds from which he should not recover, and then I laid siege to Memphis, his royal residence, and conquered it in half a day by means of mines, breaches, and assault ladders." (Esarhaddon)

"I captured 46 towns...by consolidating ramps to bring up battering rams, by infantry attacks, mines, breaches, and siege engines." (Sennacherib)

When scholars study the history of the ancient Near East, several wars that had extremely brutal consequences (at least by modern standards) often stand out. Forced removal of entire populations, sieges that decimated entire cities, and wanton destruction of property were all tactics used by the various peoples of the ancient Near East against each other, but the Assyrians were the first people to make war a science. When the Assyrians are mentioned, images of war and brutality are among the first that come to mind, despite the fact that their culture prospered for nearly 2,000 years.

Like a number of ancient individuals and empires in that region, the negative perception of ancient Assyrian culture was passed down through biblical accounts, and regardless of the accuracy of the Bible's depiction of certain events, the Assyrians clearly played the role of adversary for the Israelites.

©2012 Charles River Editors (P)2015 Charles River Editors

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A nice but brief summary.

An easy to understand factual summary. No real narrative is applied; it just covers some of the very basic information about the Assyrians. While I knew the short length going in, it still felt like the time went by really quickly.