Nomenclature and History
– In the Old Assyrian period, Assyria was referred to as ‘ālu Aššur’ and ‘māt Aššur’, derived from the name of the Assyrian national deity Ashur.
– The modern name Assyria is of Greek origin, derived from Ασσυρία.
– Assyria existed as a city-state from the 21st century BC to the 14th century BC and then became a territorial state and eventually an empire from the 14th century BC to the 7th century BC.
– Ancient Assyrian history is divided into the Early Assyrian, Old Assyrian, Middle Assyrian, Neo-Assyrian, and post-imperial periods.
– Assyria rose to power under Ashur-uballit I in the early 14th century BC and became the dominant power in the ancient Near East.

Early History of Assur
– Assur became an independent city-state and experimented with free trade.
– It established itself as a prominent trading city in northern Mesopotamia.
– Assur was frequently threatened by larger foreign states and kingdoms and came under the control of various empires.
– It returned to being an independent city-state under Bel-bani.

Assyrian Empire
– Assyria expanded and consolidated territories in northern Mesopotamia.
– Significant military achievements were made under various kings.
– The Mitanni kingdom was formally annexed into Assyria.
– The empire reached its greatest extent under Tukulti-Ninurta I.

Neo-Assyrian Empire
– Neo-Assyrian kings worked to retake the lands of the Middle Assyrian Empire.
– The empire became the dominant political power in the Near East under Ashurnasirpal II.
– The town of Nimrud was restored as the new capital of the empire.
– The empire expanded in all directions under Shalmaneser III.
– The empire collapsed after Ashurbanipal’s death due to Babylonian revolts and invasion.

Later History of Assyria
– Assyrian culture survived after the downfall of the empire.
– Assyria experienced recovery and revival under the Achaemenids, Seleucids, and Parthians.
– The Assyrian dialect of Akkadian went extinct, replaced by Aramaic.
– Assyria faced suppression and persecution under various empires.
– Assyrians have made unsuccessful proposals for autonomy or independence.Sources: