Biography of King of Asiria Assurbanipal (668-631 a.C.)

(Ash-shur-ban-aplu or ASH-shur-KAK-A) Fourth Assyrian ruler of the dynasty founded by Sargón II included in the so-called new Kingdom.

Made personal of this important character and the events of the reign we are known for numerous registrations of all types (letters, decrees, historical texts, legal documents, etc.). He/She was the third son of King Assarhaddon, who was succeeded on the throne, and his wife Eshar-hamath. His ascent was in advance guaranteed by a pledge of allegiance that his grandmother, the Queen Naqi' to, had imposed to the other brothers of Assurbanipal and the rest of the Assyrian nobility. The King, who could still control the great empire created by his ancestors and was going from Memphis to Persia, focused its policy very soon in completing the unfinished work of his father: the conquest of Egypt. For this reason, promptly sent a large contingent of troops who managed a victory at Memphis and the flight of the Pharaoh Taharqa, causing constant disruption. The Assyrians were stacked as well to carry out a larger company: advance on Thebes. However, the magnitude of the adventure and the conspiracy of the own Egyptians made that Assurbanipal chose to suspend such an undertaking. Death of Taharqa motivated that his successor, Tanutamon, seeking the recovery of all Egypt, for which came to Memphis in a quick campaign military, killed Nekao I and Psammético Iexpelled. This action served as a reagent to the Assyrian troops that departed for Egypt, and after taking Memphis, came to Thebes, city that was devastated. In this way, Assyria, at the time that eliminated the Ethiopian power, became owner of all Egypt.

While these events were taking place, the situation in Anatolia and the eastern borders is was complicated, on the happening of revolts and uprisings. Assurbanipal, caught on several fronts, had to leave Anatolia to its fate and forced by Psammetico I, had to withdraw its troops from Egypt (655 B.c.). Only had positive results on the Elam, territory that could control momentarily (there ruled Khumban-Khaltash III). With Urartu carried out totally cordial relations; In addition, Phoenicia, Syria and Palestine and some Cypriot cities sent him gifts and recognized his superiority. Assurbanipal also beat the umman-manda. Interior of Mesopotamia points the situation was critical: Uruk, Eridu, Puqudu, Nippur, and above all, Babylon, had openly shown their opposition to the Assyrian control. In Babylon, in 652 BC, the brother of Assurbanipal, called Shamash-shum-ukin, who had been considered since always handicapped on the unequal inheritance distribution - and which had been biding their time to revolt - he/she took the general discontent and rose against him with the help of Egypt, some Syrian princes, the Elamites and even Arab nomads (qidri(, aribi, nabaiti). Assyria, by sending troops and constant political intrigue, whose relationship can not here detail, managed to contain the situation and deliver a hard blow to Babylon, the city that was taken by assault in 648 B.c. Until the city surrender, Shamash-shum-ukin, the rebellious brother, launched the flames that consumed his own Palace. Babylon was then in the hands of Assurbanipal, who under the name of Kandalanu was recognized as King. For some specialists, however, Kandalanu was an Assyrian Governor put on the throne of Babylon with the title of King. Still Assurbanipal performed other operations of punishment that reported you huge booties; He/She defeated for example to the Arabs, who had helped to Babylon, and the Princes of Syria and Palestine, who had worked in the uprisings. It also decided to end definitively the problem of the Elam, which sent mighty armies that launched a tense operation against Susa and other important cities (victory over Tempti-Khumban-Inshushinak, known for the famous reliefs from the Palace of Nineveh, in today mostly in the British Museum). Susa was dismantled and the Elam became a vassal territory. These facts gave rise to Parsuah (to the South of lake Urmia), then ruled by Ciro I, it submitted and delivered even a Prince as hostage. Anatolia (Khilakku Sandasharme, Mugallu of Tabal and Guggu of Luddu, i.e., Gyges of Lydia), as well as Urartu, unveiled the Elamite events, rushed to enter into friendly relations with Assyria, by sending to Assurbanipal tributes and Royal princesses to his harem.

Assurbanipal was also interested in religion and culture. Enriched and protected many temples of Assyria and Babylon and Nineveh created an extraordinary library in which ordered to gather all kinds of written texts, were original or copy. The King's wife was called Assur-sharrat and their children have reached the names of Assur-ethyl-pi'ilani-ukinni and free-shar-ishkun, who succeeded him on, while the first was questioned in his access to the throne.