A report on Achaemenid Empire and Assyria

The Achaemenid Empire at its greatest territorial extent under the rule of Darius I (522 BC–486 BC)
Map showing the ancient Assyrian heartland (red) and the extent of the Neo-Assyrian Empire in the 7th century BC (orange)
The Achaemenid Empire at its greatest territorial extent under the rule of Darius I (522 BC–486 BC)
Map showing the ancient Assyrian heartland (red) and the extent of the Neo-Assyrian Empire in the 7th century BC (orange)
Family tree of the Achaemenid rulers.
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Map of the expansion process of Achaemenid territories
Head of a female figure, dating to the Akkadian period (c. undefined 2334–2154 BC), found at Assur
Cyrus the Great is said, in the Bible, to have liberated the Hebrew captives in Babylon to resettle and rebuild Jerusalem, earning him an honored place in Judaism.
Ruins of the Old Assyrian trading colony at Kültepe
The tomb of Cyrus the Great, founder of the Achaemenid Empire. At Pasargadae, Iran.
Partial relief of Tiglath-Pileser III ((r. undefined – undefined)745–727 BC), under whom the Neo-Assyrian Empire was consolidated, centralized and significantly expanded
The Achaemenid Empire at its greatest extent, c. 500 BC
Detail of a stele in the style of the Neo-Assyrian royal steles erected in Assur in the 2nd century AD (under Parthian rule) by the local ruler Rʻuth-Assor
The Persian queen Atossa, daughter of Cyrus the Great, sister-wife of Cambyses II, Darius the Great's wife, and mother of Xerxes the Great
Line-drawing of a royal seal of the Old Assyrian king Erishum I ((r. undefined – undefined)c. undefined 1974–1934 BC). The seated ruler is thought to represent the god Ashur, with Erishum being the bald figure being led towards him.
Map showing events of the first phases of the Greco-Persian Wars
Stele of the Neo-Assyrian king Ashurnasirpal II ((r. undefined – undefined)883–859 BC)
Greek hoplite and Persian warrior depicted fighting, on an ancient kylix, 5th century BC
Ruins of one of the entrances of the Northwest Palace at Nimrud (Assyrian capital 879–706 BC), destroyed by the Islamic State in 2015
Achaemenid king fighting hoplites, seal and seal holder, Cimmerian Bosporus.
Stele of Bel-harran-beli-usur, a palace herald, made in the reign of the Neo-Assyrian king Shalmaneser IV ((r. undefined – undefined)783–773 BC)
Achaemenid gold ornaments, Brooklyn Museum
Stele of Ili-ittija, governor of Libbi-ali, Kar-Tukulti-Ninurta, Ekallatum, Itu, and Ruqahu, c. undefined 804 BC
Persian Empire timeline including important events and territorial evolution – 550–323 BC
20th-century illustration of a Neo-Assyrian spearman
Relief showing Darius I offering lettuces to the Egyptian deity Amun-Ra Kamutef, Temple of Hibis
Neo-Assyrian relief depicting some Assyrian individuals in a procession
The 24 countries subject to the Achaemenid Empire at the time of Darius, on the Egyptian statue of Darius I.
Relief depicting Naqi'a, mother of Esarhaddon ((r. undefined – undefined)681–669 BC) and one of the most influential women in Assyrian history
The Battle of Issus, between Alexander the Great on horseback to the left, and Darius III in the chariot to the right, represented in a Pompeii mosaic dated 1st century BC – Naples National Archaeological Museum
Old Assyrian cuneiform tablet from Kültepe recording the repayment of a loan, impressed with four different cylinder seals
Alexander's first victory over Darius, the Persian king depicted in medieval European style in the 15th century romance The History of Alexander's Battles
7th-century BC relief depicting Ashurbanipal ((r. undefined – undefined)669–631 BC) and two royal attendants
Frataraka dynasty ruler Vadfradad I (Autophradates I). 3rd century BC. Istakhr (Persepolis) mint.
Old Assyrian cuneiform tablet containing an account of a caravan journey
Dārēv I (Darios I) used for the first time the title of mlk (King). 2nd century BC.
9th-century AD piece of papyrus with Syriac language writing
Winged sphinx from the Palace of Darius in Susa, Louvre
19th-century reconstruction of Nineveh (Assyrian capital 705–612 BC)
Daric of Artaxerxes II
20th-century illustration of decorative patterns found in ancient Assyrian reliefs and garments
Volume of annual tribute per district, in the Achaemenid Empire, according to Herodotus.
Tablet from the Library of Ashurbanipal containing a portion of the Epic of Gilgamesh
Achaemenid tax collector, calculating on an Abax or Abacus, according to the Darius Vase (340–320 BC).
Early 20th-century archbishop of the Assyrian Church of the East with entourage
Letter from the Satrap of Bactria to the governor of Khulmi, concerning camel keepers, 353 BC
Statue of a praying woman, 25th century BC
Relief of throne-bearing soldiers in their native clothing at the tomb of Xerxes I, demonstrating the satrapies under his rule.
Wall relief probably depicting Ashur, 21st–16th century BC
Achaemenid king killing a Greek hoplite. c. 500 BC–475 BC, at the time of Xerxes I. Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Cylinder seal and impression, 14th–13th century BC
Persian soldiers (left) fighting against Scythians. Cylinder seal impression.
Temple altar of Tukulti-Ninurta I, 13th century BC
Color reconstruction of Achaemenid infantry on the Alexander Sarcophagus (end of 4th century BC).
Statue of a nude woman, 11th century BC
Seal of Darius the Great hunting in a chariot, reading "I am Darius, the Great King" in Old Persian (𐎠𐎭𐎶𐏐𐎭𐎠𐎼𐎹𐎺𐎢𐏁𐎴 𐏋, "adam Dārayavaʰuš xšāyaθiya"), as well as in Elamite and Babylonian. The word "great" only appears in Babylonian. British Museum.
Glazed tile depicting a king and attendants, 9th century BC
Achaemenid calvalryman in the satrapy of Hellespontine Phrygia, Altıkulaç Sarcophagus, early 4th century BC.
The Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III, 9th century BC
Armoured cavalry: Achaemenid Dynast of Hellespontine Phrygia attacking a Greek psiloi, Altıkulaç Sarcophagus, early 4th century BC.
Statue of Shalmaneser III, 9th century BC
Reconstitution of Persian landing ships at the Battle of Marathon.
Furniture ornament, 9th–8th century BC
Greek ships against Achaemenid ships at the Battle of Salamis.
Crown of Queen Hama, 8th century BC
Iconic relief of lion and bull fighting, Apadana of Persepolis
Giant lamassu, 8th century BC
Achaemenid golden bowl with lioness imagery of Mazandaran
Portion of the Lion Hunt of Ashurbanipal, 7th century BC
The ruins of Persepolis
A section of the Old Persian part of the trilingual Behistun inscription. Other versions are in Babylonian and Elamite.
A copy of the Behistun inscription in Aramaic on a papyrus. Aramaic was the lingua franca of the empire.
An Achaemenid drinking vessel
Bas-relief of Farvahar at Persepolis
Tomb of Artaxerxes III in Persepolis
The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, one of the Seven wonders of the ancient world, was built by Greek architects for the local Persian satrap of Caria, Mausolus (Scale model)
Achamenid dynasty timeline
Reconstruction of the Palace of Darius at Susa. The palace served as a model for Persepolis.
Lion on a decorative panel from Darius I the Great's palace, Louvre
Ruins of Throne Hall, Persepolis
Apadana Hall, Persian and Median soldiers at Persepolis
Lateral view of tomb of Cambyses II, Pasargadae, Iran
Plaque with horned lion-griffins. The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Achaemenes was himself a minor seventh-century ruler of the Anshan in southwestern Iran, and a vassal of Assyria.

- Achaemenid Empire

The Achaemenid Empire referred to Assyria as Aθūrā ("Athura").

- Assyria

13 related topics with Alpha

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The Tigris river flowing through the region of modern Mosul in Upper Mesopotamia.

Mesopotamia

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Historical region of Western Asia situated within the Tigris–Euphrates river system, in the northern part of the Fertile Crescent.

Historical region of Western Asia situated within the Tigris–Euphrates river system, in the northern part of the Fertile Crescent.

The Tigris river flowing through the region of modern Mosul in Upper Mesopotamia.
Mesopotamian Marshes at night, southern Iraq; reed house (Mudhif) and narrow canoe (Mashoof) in the water. Mudhif structures have been one of the traditional types of structures, built by the Marsh people of southern Mesopotamia for at least 5,000 years. A carved elevation of a typical mudhif, dating to around 3,300 BCE was discovered at Uruk.
One of 18 Statues of Gudea, a ruler around 2090 BC
After early starts in Jarmo (red dot, circa 7500 BC), the civilization of Mesopotamia in the 7th–5th millennium BC was centered around the Hassuna culture in the north, the Halaf culture in the northwest, the Samarra culture in central Mesopotamia and the Ubaid culture in the southeast, which later expanded to encompass the whole region.
Overview map in the 15th century BC showing the core territory of Assyria with its two major cities Assur and Nineveh wedged between Babylonia downstream and the states of Mitanni and Hatti upstream.
The Code of Hammurabi is a Babylonian legal text composed c. 1755–1750 BC. It is the longest, best-organised, and best-preserved legal text from the ancient Near East. It is written in the Old Babylonian dialect of Akkadian, purportedly by Hammurabi, sixth king of the First Dynasty of Babylon.
Epic of Gilgamesh, an epic poem from ancient Mesopotamia, regarded as the earliest surviving notable literature.
Clay tablet, mathematical, geometric-algebraic, similar to the Euclidean geometry. From Shaduppum Iraq. 2003-1595 BC. Iraq Museum.
Medical recipe concerning poisoning. Terracotta tablet, from Nippur, Iraq.
The Burney Relief, First Babylonian dynasty, around 1800 BC
King Meli-shipak I (1186–1172 BC) presents his daughter to the goddess Nannaya. The crescent moon represents the god Sin, the sun the Shamash and the star the goddess Ishtar.
The Queen's gold lyre from the Royal Cemetery at Ur. C. 2500 BCE. Iraq Museum
Royal Game of Ur, Ancient Mesopotamian board Game.
The Babylonian marriage market by the 19th-century painter Edwin Long
Mining areas of the ancient West Asia.
7th-century BC relief depicting Ashurbanipal ((r. undefined – undefined)669–631 BC) and three royal attendants in a chariot.
Campaign in the Mesopotamian Marshes of southern Babylonia during the reign of Ashurbanipal. Showing Assyrian soldiers on boat chasing enemies trying to run away; some are hiding in the reeds
The Standard of Ur; 2600 BC (the Early Dynastic Period III); shell, red limestone and lapis lazuli on wood; height: 21.7 cm, length: 50.4 cm; discovered at the Royal Cemetery at Ur (Dhi Qar Governorate, Iraq)
Bronze head of an Akkadian ruler, discovered in Nineveh in 1931, presumably depicting either Sargon of Akkad or Sargon's grandson Naram-Sin.<ref>M. E. L. Mallowan, "The Bronze Head of the Akkadian Period from Nineveh", Iraq Vol. 3, No. 1 (1936), 104-110.</ref>
Striding lions from the Processional Street of Babylon.
Lamassu, initially depicted as a goddess in Sumerian times, when it was called Lamma, it was later depicted from Assyrian times as a hybrid of a human, bird, and either a bull or lion—specifically having a human head, the body of a bull or a lion, and bird wings, under the name Lamassu.<ref name="GL109">{{cite book |last1=Leick |first1=Dr Gwendolyn |url=https://books.google.com/books?id=_pqEAgAAQBAJ&pg=PA109 |title=A Dictionary of Ancient Near Eastern Mythology |date=2002 |publisher=Routledge |isbn=978-1-134-64102-4 |pages=109–110 |language=en}}</ref><ref name="Livius.org">Livius.org</ref>
Assyrian ornaments and patterns, illustrated in a book from 1920
alt=|Detail of Nebuchadnezzar II's Building Inscription plaque of the Ishtar Gate, from Babylon
alt=|Artist's impression of a hall in an Assyrian palace from The Monuments of Nineveh by Austen Henry Layard, 1853
alt=|A Neo-Assyrian relief of Ashur as a feather robed archer holding a bow instead of a ring (9th-8th century BC)
alt=|The Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III. The king, surrounded by his royal attendants and a high-ranking official, receives a tribute from Sua, king of Gilzanu (north-west Iran), who bows and prostrates before the king. From Nimrud
alt=|Contemporary artwork depicting Babylon at the height of its stature.
alt=|"Winged genie", Nimrud c. 870 BC, with inscription running across his midriff.
The Ishtar gate was constructed in about 575 BCE by order of King Nebuchadnezzar II. Pergamon Museum, Berlin
The walls of Babylon, in Babylon
Ziggurat of Ur
Ziggurat of Dur-kuriagalzu in 2010
A suggested reconstruction of the appearance of a Sumerian ziggurat
alt=|The alleged Abraham house in Ur
The walls of Babylon, in Babylon

3100 BC) to the fall of Babylon in 539 BC, when it was conquered by the Achaemenid Empire.

Mesopotamia housed historically important cities such as Uruk, Nippur, Nineveh, Assur and Babylon, as well as major territorial states such as the city of Eridu, the Akkadian kingdoms, the Third Dynasty of Ur, and the various Assyrian empires.

Map of the Neo-Assyrian Empire under Shalmaneser III (dark green) and Esarhaddon (light green)

Neo-Assyrian Empire

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Map of the Neo-Assyrian Empire under Shalmaneser III (dark green) and Esarhaddon (light green)
Approximate map of the preceding Middle Assyrian Empire at its height in the 13th century BC
Assyrian borders and campaigns under Ashur-dan II ((r. undefined – undefined)934–912 BC), Adad-nirari II ((r. undefined – undefined)911–891 BC) and Tukulti-Ninurta II ((r. undefined – undefined)890–884 BC)
Annals of Tukulti-Ninurta II ((r. undefined – undefined)890–884 BC), recounting one of his campaigns
Stele of Ashurnasirpal II ((r. undefined – undefined)883–859 BC)
Depiction of Shalmaneser III (right) shaking hands with the Babylonian king Marduk-zakir-shumi I (left)
Stele of Shamshi-Adad V ((r. undefined – undefined)824–811 BC)
Stele of Bel-harran-beli-usur, a palace herald, made in the reign of Shalmaneser IV ((r. undefined – undefined)783–773 BC)
Partial relief depicting Tiglath-Pileser III ((r. undefined – undefined)745–727 BC)
20th-century illustration of Tiglath-Pileser III's capture of Damascus
The Neo-Assyrian Empire at the start (purple) and end (blue) of Tiglath-Pileser's reign
Relief depicting Sargon II, founder of the Sargonid dynasty
20th-century reconstruction of Sargon II's palace at Dur-Sharrukin
Line-drawing of a relief depicting Sennacherib ((r. undefined – undefined)705–681 BC) on campaign in a chariot
19th-century reconstruction of Nineveh, made capital under Sennacherib
20th-century illustration of Sennacherib's destruction of Babylon
Esarhaddon ((r. undefined – undefined)681–669 BC), as depicted in his victory stele
20th-century illustration of the Assyrians capturing Memphis, the Egyptian capital
Relief depicting Ashurbanipal ((r. undefined – undefined)669–631 BC) in a chariot, armed with a bow
The Diversion of an Assyrian King (1876) by Frederick Arthur Bridgman
Impression of a seal possibly belonging to the eunuch usurper Sin-shumu-lishir ((r. undefined – undefined)626 BC)
Fall of Nineveh (1829) by John Martin
20th-century illustration of the Battle of Carchemish
20th-century illustration of the Fall of Nineveh
Line-drawing of a relief from Nimrud depicting a Neo-Assyrian king
Seal of Hama, queen of Shalmaneser IV ((r. 783 – 773) BC)
Provinces and vassal kingdoms of the Neo-Assyrian Empire at its height in the 7th century BC
Glazed tile from Nimrud depicting a Neo-Assyrian king, accompanied by attendants
Neo-Assyrian relief depicting eunuchs carrying booty from a war
Relief from Sennacherib's palace at Nineveh depicting two Assyrian spearmen
Line-drawing of a Neo-Assyrian relief showing soldiers forming a phalanx
Neo-Assyrian relief from Nimrud depicting a tribute-bearer
Line-drawing of a Neo-Assyrian relief depicting a family of deportees leaving a captured Babylonian city in an ox-cart
Relief from the time of Ashurbanipal, depicting Babylonian prisoners under Assyrian guard
Neo-Assyrian cuneiform tablet from the Library of Ashurbanipal listing synonyms
Line-drawing of a relief depicting Neo-Assyrian scribes recording the number of enemies slain by soldiers
Line drawing of an Assyrian lion weight once belonging to the king Shalmaneser V ((r. undefined – undefined)727–722 BC). The inscriptions on the weight are in both Akkadian (on the body) and Aramaic (on the base).
Reconstruction of the Library of Ashurbanipal
Relief depicting the gardens of Ashurbanipal in Nineveh (left) with a color reconstruction (right). As can be seen on the right side of the relief, the garden featured sophisticated irrigation aqueducts.
A giant lamassu from Sargon II's palace at Dur-Sharrukin
Egyptian papyrus from c. undefined 500 BC containing the Story of Ahikar
Great Semiramis, Queen of Assyria by Cesare Saccaggi
The Defeat of Sennacherib by Peter Paul Rubens
1861 illustration by Eugène Flandin of excavations of the ruins of Dur-Sharrukin
1849 illustration of a relief from Dur-Sharrukin by Eugène Flandin
1852 illustration by Austen Henry Layard of excavations at Nineveh
Portrait of the Assyrian archaeologist Hormuzd Rassam c. undefined 1854
Chart depicting the ideological translatio imperii, i.e. supposed transfer of the right to universal rule, from the Neo-Assyrian Empire to (rival) early modern states claiming the same right
Relief of Sennacherib, depicting an Assyrian soldier beheading a prisoner
Relief of Ashurbanipal, depicting Elamite chiefs having their tongues removed and being flayed alive
Relief of Ashurbanipal, depicting the beheading of the Elamite king Teumman

The Neo-Assyrian Empire was the fourth and penultimate stage of ancient Assyrian history and the final and greatest phase of Assyria as an independent state.

Ancient Greek historians such as Herodotus and Ctesias supported a sequence of three world empires and a successive transfer of world domination from the Assyrians to the Medes to the Achaemenids.

Neo-Babylonian Empire

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The last of the Mesopotamian empires to be ruled by monarchs native to Mesopotamia.

The last of the Mesopotamian empires to be ruled by monarchs native to Mesopotamia.

The Neo-Babylonian Empire under Nabonidus ((r. undefined – undefined) 556–539 BC)
Map of the Old Babylonian Empire under Hammurabi ((r. undefined – undefined)c. undefined 1792–1750 BC).
Locations of some major Mesopotamian cities.
The so-called "Tower of Babel stele", depicting Nebuchadnezzar II in the top-right and featuring a depiction of Babylon's great ziggurat (the Etemenanki) to his left.
Stele of Nabonidus exhibited in the British Museum. The king is shown praying to the Moon, the Sun and Venus and is depicted as being the closest to the Moon.
Map of the path of Cyrus the Great during his 539 BC invasion of Babylonia.
Illustration of the inhabitants of Babylon deriding the Achaemenid king Darius I during the revolt of Nebuchadnezzar III in 522 BC. From the History of Darius the Great (1900) by Jacob Abbott.
Major cities of Lower Mesopotamia in the 1st century BC.
Partial view of the ruins of Babylon in modern-day Iraq.
9th century BC depiction from a cylinder seal of the Statue of Marduk, Babylon's patron deity Marduk's main cult image in the city.
Cylinder by Nabonidus, commemorating restoration work done on a temple dedicated to the god Sîn in Ur. Exhibited at the British Museum.
Tablet concerning a legal dispute over barley, from Uruk and dated to the reign of Nabonidus (544 BC). Exhibited at the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago.
Striding lions from the Processional Street of Babylon. Exhibited at the Pergamon Museum in Berlin.
Neo-Babylonian terracotta figurine depicting a nude woman. Exhibited at the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore.
Tablet containing a 6th-century BC Babylonian "map of the world", featuring Babylon at its center. Exhibited at the British Museum.
The Babylonian marriage market, painting by Edwin Long (1875)
Tablet recording a silver payment from the temple dedicated to the god Shamash in Sippar, written during the reign of Nebuchadnezzar II. Exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum of Art
Irrigation canal from modern-day Iraq, near Baghdad
Approximate borders of the Neo-Babylonian Empire (red) and neighboring states in the 6th century BC.
Babylonian soldier as represented on the tomb of the Achaemenid king Xerxes I, c. 480 BC.
The Ishtar Gate, one of Babylon's eight inner city gates, was constructed by King Nebuchadnezzar II c. undefined 575 BC. The reconstructed gate is exhibited at the Pergamon Museum in Berlin.
City plan of Babylon, showcasing the locations of major points of interest. The outer walls and the northern Summer Palace are not shown.
Reconstruction of the Etemenanki, Babylon's great ziggurat.
Mud-brick from the Processional Street of Babylon stamped with the name of Nebuchadnezzar II.

Beginning with Nabopolassar's coronation as King of Babylon in 626 BC and being firmly established through the fall of the Neo-Assyrian Empire in 612 BC, the Neo-Babylonian Empire and its ruling Chaldean dynasty were short-lived, conquered after less than a century by the Persian Achaemenid Empire in 539 BC.

Babylonia was founded as an independent state by an Amorite chieftain named Sumu-abum c. undefined 1894 BC. For over a century after its founding, it was a minor and relatively weak state, overshadowed by older and more powerful states such as Isin, Larsa, Assyria and Elam.

The Apadana Palace, 5th century BC Achaemenid bas-relief shows a Mede soldier behind a Persian soldier, in Persepolis, Iran

Medes

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Ancient Iranian people who spoke the Median language and who inhabited an area known as Media between western and northern Iran.

Ancient Iranian people who spoke the Median language and who inhabited an area known as Media between western and northern Iran.

The Apadana Palace, 5th century BC Achaemenid bas-relief shows a Mede soldier behind a Persian soldier, in Persepolis, Iran
Excavation from ancient Ecbatana, Hamadan, Iran
Timeline of Pre-Achaemenid era.
Rhyton in the shape of a ram's head, gold – western Iran – Median, late 7th–early 6th century BC
The neighboring Neo-Babylonian Empire at its greatest extent after the destruction of the Neo-Assyrian Empire
Protoma in the form of a bull's head, 8th century BC, gold and filigree, National Museum, Warsaw
The Ganj Nameh ("treasure epistle") in Ecbatana. The inscriptions are by Darius I and his son Xerxes I.
Apadana Hall, 5th century BC Achaemenid-era carving of Persian and Median soldiers in traditional costume (Medians are wearing rounded hats and boots), in Persepolis, Iran

Although they are generally recognized as having an important place in the history of the ancient Near East, the Medes have left no written source to reconstruct their history, which is known only from foreign sources such as the Assyrians, Babylonians, Armenians and Greeks, as well as a few Iranian archaeological sites, which are believed to have been occupied by Medes.

In any case, it appears that after the fall of the last Median king against Cyrus the Great of the Persian Empire, Media became an important province and prized by the empires which successively dominated it (Achaemenids, Seleucids, Parthians and Sasanids).

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Elam

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Ancient civilization centered in the far west and southwest of modern-day Iran, stretching from the lowlands of what is now Khuzestan and Ilam Province as well as a small part of southern Iraq.

Ancient civilization centered in the far west and southwest of modern-day Iran, stretching from the lowlands of what is now Khuzestan and Ilam Province as well as a small part of southern Iraq.

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Timeline of Elam.
Kneeling Bull with Vessel. Kneeling bull holding a spouted vessel, Proto-Elamite period, (3100–2900 BC)
Proto-Elamite (Susa III) cylinder seal, 3150–2800 BC. Louvre Museum, reference Sb 6166
Polities during the Old Elamite period, and northern tribes of the Lullubi, Simurrum and Hurti.
Silver cup with linear-Elamite inscription on it. Late 3rd millennium BC. National Museum of Iran.
Orant figure, Susa IV, 2700–2340 BC.
Seal impression of King Ebarat, founder of the Sukkalmah Dynasty (also called Epartid Dynasty after his name). Louvre Museum, reference Sb 6225. King Ebarat appears enthroned. The inscription reads "Ebarat the King. Kuk Kalla, son of Kuk-Sharum, servant of Shilhaha".
An ornate design on this limestone ritual vat from the Middle Elamite period depicts creatures with the heads of goats and the tails of fish (1500–1110 BC).
Stele of Untash Napirisha, king of Anshan and Susa. Sandstone, ca. 1340–1300 BC.
The Chogha Zanbil ziggurat site, built circa 1250 BC.
Elamite archer fighting against the Neo-Assyrian troops of Ashurbanipal, and protecting wounded king Teumman (kneeling), at the Battle of Ulai, 653 BC.
Ashurbanipal's campaign against Elam is triumphantly recorded in this relief showing the sack of Hamanu in 647 BC. Here, flames rise from the city as Assyrian soldiers topple it with pickaxes and crowbars and carry off the spoils.
Relief of a woman being fanned by an attendant while she holds what may be a spinning device before a table with a bowl containing a whole fish (700–550 BC).
Elamite soldier in the Achaemenid army circa 470 BC, Xerxes I tomb relief.
ššina, one of the last kings of Elam circa 522 BC was toppled, enchained and killed by Darius the Great. The label over him says: "This is ššina. He lied, saying "I am king of Elam.""
Golden statuette of a man (probably a king) carrying a goat. Susa, Iran, c. 1500–1200 BC (Middle Elamite period).
Cylinder seal and modern impression- worshiper before a seated ruler or deity; seated female under a grape arbor MET DP370181
Statue of Napirasu
A carved chlorite vase decorated with a relief depicting a "two-horned" figure wrestling with serpent goddesses. The Elamite artifact was discovered by Iran's border police in the possession of historical heritage traffickers, en route to Turkey, and was confiscated. Style is determined to be from "Jiroft".
Indus round seal with impression. Elongated buffalo with Harappan symbol imported to Susa in 2600–1700 BC. Found in the tell of the Susa acropolis. Louvre Museum, reference Sb 5614<ref>{{cite web |title=Site officiel du musée du Louvre |url=http://cartelfr.louvre.fr/cartelfr/visite?srv=car_not_frame&idNotice=13556|website=cartelfr.louvre.fr}}</ref>
Indian carnelian beads with white design, etched in white with an acid, imported to Susa in 2600–1700 BC. Found in the tell of the Susa acropolis. Louvre Museum, reference Sb 17751.<ref>{{cite web |title=Site officiel du musée du Louvre |url=http://cartelfr.louvre.fr/cartelfr/visite?srv=car_not_frame&idNotice=13589 |website=cartelfr.louvre.fr}}</ref><ref>{{cite book |last1=Guimet |first1=Musée |title=Les Cités oubliées de l'Indus: Archéologie du Pakistan |date=2016 |publisher=FeniXX réédition numérique |isbn=9782402052467 |pages=354–355 |url=https://books.google.com/books?id=-HpYDwAAQBAJ&pg=PA354 |language=fr}}</ref><ref>{{cite book |title=Art of the first cities : the third millennium BC from the Mediterranean to the Indus. |page=395 |url=https://archive.org/details/ArtOfTheFirstCitiesTheThirdMillenniumB.C.FromTheMediterraneanToTheIndusEditedByJ }}</ref> These beads are identical with beads found in the Indus Civilization site of Dholavira.<ref>{{cite book |last1=Nandagopal |first1=Prabhakar |title=Decorated Carnelian Beads from the Indus Civilization Site of Dholavira (Great Rann of Kachchha, Gujarat) |publisher=Archaeopress Publishing Ltd |isbn=978-1-78491-917-7 |url=https://www.academia.edu/37860117 |year=2018 }}</ref>
Indus bracelet made of Fasciolaria Trapezium or Turbinella pyrum imported to Susa in 2600–1700 BC. Found in the tell of the Susa acropolis. Louvre Museum, reference Sb 14473.<ref>{{cite web |title=Louvre Museum Official Website |url=http://cartelen.louvre.fr/cartelen/visite?srv=car_not&idNotice=13532 |website=cartelen.louvre.fr}}</ref> This type of bracelet was manufactured in Mohenjo-daro, Lothal and Balakot.<ref name="FeniXX réédition numérique"/> It is engraved with a chevron design which is characteristic of all shell bangles of the Indus Valley, visible here.<ref>{{cite book |title=Art of the first cities : the third millennium B.C. from the Mediterranean to the Indus. |page=398 |url=https://archive.org/details/ArtOfTheFirstCitiesTheThirdMillenniumB.C.FromTheMediterraneanToTheIndusEditedByJ }}</ref>
Indus Valley Civilization weight in veined jasper, excavated in Susa in a 12th-century BC princely tomb. Louvre Museum Sb 17774.<ref>{{cite book |title=Art of the First Cities: The Third Millennium B.C. from the Mediterranean to the Indus |date=2003 |publisher=Metropolitan Museum of Art |isbn=9781588390431 |pages=401–402 |url=https://archive.org/details/artoffirstcities0000unse |url-access=registration }}</ref>
A 4.5 inch long lapis lazuli dove is studded with gold pegs. Dated 1200 BC from Susa, a city later on shared with the Achaemenids.
Elamite reliefs at Eshkaft-e Salman. The picture of a woman with dignity shows the importance of women in the Elamite era.{{Opinion|date=October 2019}}

1850 BC), who entered various military coalitions to contain the power of the south Mesopotamian states; Siwe-Palar-Khuppak, who for some time was the most powerful person in the area, respectfully addressed as "Father" by Mesopotamian kings such as Zimrilim of Mari, Shamshi-Adad I of Assyria, and even Hammurabi of Babylon; and Kudur-Nahhunte, who plundered the temples of southern Mesopotamia, the north being under the control of the Old Assyrian Empire.

The Iranian Medes, Parthians, Persians and Sagartians, who had been largely subject to Assyria since their arrival in the region around 1000 BC, quietly took full advantage of the anarchy in Assyria, and in 616 BC freed themselves from Assyrian rule.

The extent of the Babylonian Empire at the start and end of Hammurabi's reign, located in what today is modern day Iraq

Babylonia

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Ancient Akkadian-speaking state and cultural area based in central-southern Mesopotamia (present-day Iraq) and parts of Syria.

Ancient Akkadian-speaking state and cultural area based in central-southern Mesopotamia (present-day Iraq) and parts of Syria.

The extent of the Babylonian Empire at the start and end of Hammurabi's reign, located in what today is modern day Iraq
Hammurabi (standing), depicted as receiving his royal insignia from Shamash (or possibly Marduk). Hammurabi holds his hands over his mouth as a sign of prayer (relief on the upper part of the stele of Hammurabi's code of laws).
Cylinder seal, ca. 18th–17th century BC. Babylonia
The extent of the Babylonian Empire during the Kassite dynasty
Map of Mesopotamia c. 1450 BC
Prism of Sennacherib (705–681 BC), containing records of his military campaigns, culminating with Babylon's destruction. Exhibited at the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago.
Babylonian prisoners under the surveillance of an Assyrian guard, reign of Ashurbanipal 668-630 BC, Nineveh, British Museum ME 124788
The Neo-Babylonian Empire
Panorama view of the reconstructed Southern Palace of Nebuchadnezzar II, 6th century BC, Babylon, Iraq
Stele of Nabonidus exhibited in the British Museum. The king is shown praying to the Moon, the Sun and Venus and is depicted as being the closest to the Moon.
Babylonian soldier of the Achaemenid army, circa 480 BC. Relief of the tomb of Xerxes I.
Old Babylonian Cylinder Seal, hematite. The king makes an animal offering to Shamash. This seal was probably made in a workshop at Sippar.
Man and woman, Old-Babylonian fired clay plaque from Southern Mesopotamia. Sulaymaniyah museum, Sulaymaniyah. Iraq
Medical recipe concerning poisoning. Terracotta tablet, from Nippur, Iraq, 18th century BC. Ancient Orient Museum, Istanbul

It was often involved in rivalry with the older state of Assyria to the north and Elam to the east in Ancient Iran.

The Chaldean tribe had lost control of Babylonia decades before the end of the era that sometimes bears their name, and they appear to have blended into the general populace of Babylonia even before this (for example, Nabopolassar, Nebuchadnezzar II and their successors always referred to themselves as Shar Akkad and never as Shar Kaldu on inscriptions), and during the Persian Achaemenid Empire the term Chaldean ceased to refer to a race of people, and instead specifically to a social class of priests educated in classical Babylonian literature, particularly Astronomy and Astrology.

Arāmāyā in Syriac Esṭrangelā script

Aramaic

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Semitic language that originated among the Arameans in the ancient region of Syria.

Semitic language that originated among the Arameans in the ancient region of Syria.

Arāmāyā in Syriac Esṭrangelā script
Syriac-Aramaic alphabet
The Carpentras Stele was the first ancient inscription ever identified as "Aramaic". Although it was first published in 1704, it was not identified as Aramaic until 1821, when Ulrich Friedrich Kopp complained that previous scholars had left everything "to the Phoenicians and nothing to the Arameans, as if they could not have written at all".
Syriac inscription at the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church's Major Archbishop's House in Kerala, India
"Jesus" in Jewish Aramaic
11th century book in Syriac Serto
One of the Bar-Rakib inscriptions from Sam'al. The inscription is in the Samalian language (also considered a dialect).
Coin of Alexander the Great bearing an Aramaic language inscription
The Kandahar Bilingual Rock Inscription (Greek and Aramaic) by the Indian king Ashoka, 3rd century BC at Kandahar, Afghanistan
11th century Hebrew Bible with Targum intercalated between verses of Hebrew text
Mandaic magical "demon trap"
9th century Syriac Estrangela manuscript of John Chrysostom's Homily on the Gospel of John
Hebrew (left) and Aramaic (right) in parallel in a 1299 Hebrew Bible held by the Bodleian Library
Territorial distribution of Neo-Aramaic languages in the Near East
Amen in East Syriac Aramaic

The scribes of the Neo-Assyrian bureaucracy had also used Aramaic, and this practice was subsequently inherited by the succeeding Neo-Babylonian Empire (605–539 BC), and later by the Achaemenid Empire (539–330 BC).

During the Neo-Assyrian and Neo-Babylonian Empires, Arameans, the native speakers of Aramaic, began to settle in greater numbers, at first in Babylonia, and later in Assyria (Upper Mesopotamia, modern-day northern Iraq, northeast Syria, northwest Iran, and southeastern Turkey (what was Armenia at the time).

Ashurbanipal, closeup from the Lion Hunt of Ashurbanipal

Ashurbanipal

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The king of the Neo-Assyrian Empire from 669 BC to his death in 631.

The king of the Neo-Assyrian Empire from 669 BC to his death in 631.

Ashurbanipal, closeup from the Lion Hunt of Ashurbanipal
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The victory stele of Esarhaddon, Ashurbanipal's father. The front side depicts Esarhaddon and the sides depict the two crown princes Shamash-shum-ukin (on the side shown here) and Ashurbanipal (on the opposite side)
A copy of the Zakutu Treaty, drawn up by Ashurbanipal's grandmother Naqi'a in 669 BC, imploring the populace of Assyria to swear loyalty to Ashurbanipal
Relief depicting Ashurbanipal's army attacking an Egyptian settlement, possibly Memphis, during the Assyrian conquest of Egypt.
The Rassam cylinder of Ashurbanipal, the most complete of chronicle of his reign, includes a description of the campaign of Egypt. Nineveh, 643 BCE. British Museum.
Set of reliefs depicting the 653 BC Battle of Ulai, between the Assyrians and the Elamite king Teumman
Relief depicting tongue removal and live flaying of Elamite chiefs after the Battle of Ulai
Assyrian spearmen depicted in a palace relief from Nineveh, 7th century BC
Stone monument depicting Shamash-shum-ukin as a basket-bearer
Confirmation of a land grant by Shamash-shum-ukin
Relief depicting Ashurbanipal in a chariot, inspecting booty and prisoners from Babylon
Relief depicting Babylonian prisoners under Assyrian guard
Relief depicting the Assyrians besieging the Elamite city of Hamanu in 646 BC
Relief depicting the Assyrians destroying Hamanu in 646 BC; flames rise from the city as Assyrian soldiers topple it with pickaxes and crowbars and carry off the spoils
Relief from Ashurbanipal's palace showing Assyrians fighting and pursuing Arabs on camelback
Relief from Ashurbanipal's palace showing fighting between Assyrians and Arabs
Inscription by Ashurbanipal written at some point after 646, concerning the restoration of a temple dedicated to Nabu
Bust of Pharaoh Psamtik I ((r. 664 – 610)), who peacefully restored Egyptian independence
Portion of the "Garden Party" relief, depicting Ashurbanipal (right) and his queen Libbali-sharrat (left)
Relief from Ashurbanipal's palace depicting corpses floating down a river
Reconstruction of the Library of Ashurbanipal
Cuneiform tablets from the Library of Ashurbanipal
Ashurbanipal depicted in the Lion Hunt of Ashurbanipal reliefs
Dream of Sardanapalus (1871) by Ford Madox Brown
The Death of Sardanapalus (1827) by Eugène Delacroix
Ashurbanipal's reliefs exhibited at the British Museum as part of the exhibition I am Ashurbanipal (2018–2019)
Ashurbanipal, a bronze statue by Fred Parhad in the Civic Center of San Francisco
Detail of a stone monument depicting Ashurbanipal as a basket-bearer

He is generally remembered as the last great king of Assyria.

Among these kingdoms was Parsua, possibly a predecessor of the empire that would be founded by the Achaemenids a century later.

Akkadian language

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Cuneiform writing (Neoassyrian script)
(1 = Logogram (LG) "mix"/syllabogram (SG) ,
2 = LG "moat",
3 = SG ,
4 = SG ,,, ,
5 = SG kam,
6 = SG im,
7 = SG bir)
An Akkadian inscription
Georg Friedrich Grotefend
The Deluge tablet of the Gilgamesh epic in Akkadian.
The first known Sumerian-Akkadian bilingual tablet dates from the reign of Rimush. Louvre Museum AO 5477. The top column is in Sumerian, the bottom column is its translation in Akkadian.
Inscription in Babylonian, in the Xerxes I inscription at Van, 5th century BCE
Neo-Babylonian inscription of king Nebuchadnezzar II, 7th century BCE

Akkadian (, Akkadian: akkadû) was an East Semitic language, now extinct, that was spoken in ancient Mesopotamia (Akkad, Assyria, Isin, Larsa and Babylonia) from the third millennium BC until its gradual replacement by Akkadian-influenced Old Aramaic among Mesopotamians by the 8th century BC.

Under the Achaemenids, Aramaic continued to prosper, but Assyrian continued its decline.

Sasanian Empire

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The last Iranian empire before the early Muslim conquests of the.

The last Iranian empire before the early Muslim conquests of the.

The Sasanian Empire at its greatest extent c. 620, under Khosrow II
Initial coinage of founder Ardashir I, as King of Persis Artaxerxes (Ardaxsir) V. c. 205/6–223/4 CE. Obv: Bearded facing head, wearing diadem and Parthian-style tiara, legend "The divine Ardaxir, king" in Pahlavi. Rev: Bearded head of Papak, wearing diadem and Parthian-style tiara, legend "son of the divinity Papak, king" in Pahlavi.
The Sasanian Empire at its greatest extent c. 620, under Khosrow II
1840 illustration of a Sasanian relief at Firuzabad, showing Ardashir I's victory over Artabanus IV and his forces.
Rock relief of Ardashir I receiving the ring of kingship by the Zoroastrian supreme god Ahura Mazda.
Rock-face relief at Naqsh-e Rostam of Persian emperor Shapur I (on horseback) capturing Roman emperor Valerian (standing) and Philip the Arab (kneeling), suing for peace, following the victory at Edessa.
The Humiliation of Valerian by Shapur (Hans Holbein the Younger, 1521, pen and black ink on a chalk sketch, Kunstmuseum Basel)
The spread of Manichaeism (300–500)
Rome and satellite kingdom of Armenia around 300, after Narseh's defeat
Bust of Shapur II ((r. 309 – 379))
Early Alchon Huns coin based on the coin design of Shapur II, adding the Alchon Tamgha symbol Alchon_Tamga.png and "Alchono" (αλχοννο) in Bactrian script on the obverse. Dated 400–440.
Bahram V is a great favourite in Persian literature and poetry. "Bahram and the Indian princess in the black pavilion." Depiction of a Khamsa (Quintet) by the great Persian poet Nizami, mid-16th-century Safavid era.
A coin of Yazdegerd II
Plate of Peroz I hunting argali
Plate of a Sasanian king hunting rams, perhaps Kavad I ((r. 488 – 496)).
Plate depicting Khosrow I.
15th-century Shahnameh illustration of Hormizd IV seated on his throne.
Coin of Khosrow II.
The Siege of Constantinople in 626 by the combined Sassanid, Avar, and Slavic forces depicted on the murals of the Moldovița Monastery, Romania
Queen Boran, daughter of Khosrau II, the first woman and one of the last rulers on the throne of the Sasanian Empire, she reigned from 17 June 629 to 16 June 630
Extent of the Sasanian Empire in 632 with modern borders superimposed
Umayyad Caliphate coin imitating Khosrau II. Coin of the time of Mu'awiya I ibn Abi Sufyan. BCRA (Basra) mint; "Ubayd Allah ibn Ziyad, governor". Dated AH 56 = 675/6. Sasanian style bust imitating Khosrau II right; bismillah and three pellets in margin; c/m: winged creature right / Fire altar with ribbons and attendants; star and crescent flanking flames; date to left, mint name to right.
The Walls of Derbent, part of the Sasanian defense lines
Sasanian army helmet
A Sassanid king posing as an armored cavalryman, Taq-e Bostan, Iran
Sassanian silver plate showing lance combat between two nobles.
A fine cameo showing an equestrian combat of Shapur I and Roman emperor Valerian in which the Roman emperor is seized following the Battle of Edessa, according to Shapur's own statement, "with our own hand", in 260
Sassanian fortress in Derbent, Dagestan. Now inscribed on Russia's UNESCO world heritage list since 2003.
Egyptian woven pattern woolen curtain or trousers, which was a copy of a Sassanid silk import, which was in turn based on a fresco of King Khosrau II fighting Axum Ethiopian forces in Yemen, 5–6th century
Persian ambassador at the Chinese court of Emperor Yuan of Liang in his capital Jingzhou in 526-539 CE, with explanatory text. Portraits of Periodical Offering of Liang, 11th century Song copy.
Coin of the Kushanshah Peroz II Kushanshah ((r. 303 – 330))
Foreign dignitary drinking wine, on ceiling of Cave 1, at Ajanta Caves, possibly depicting the Sasanian embassy to Indian king Pulakesin II (610–642), photograph and drawing.
Taq-i Kisra, the facade of the Sasanian palace in the capital Ctesiphon. The city developed into a rich commercial metropolis. It may have been the most populous city of the world in 570–622.
Plate of a Sasanian king, located in the Azerbaijan Museum in Iran.
A bowl with Khosrau I's image at the center
Horse head, gilded silver, 4th century, Sasanian art
A Sasanian silver plate featuring a simurgh. The mythical bird was used as the royal emblem in the Sasanian period.
A Sasanian silver plate depicting a royal lion hunt
The remains of the Shushtar Historical Hydraulic System, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Sasanian silk twill textile of a simurgh in a beaded surround, 6th–7th century. Used in the reliquary of Saint Len, Paris
Sasanian sea trade routes
Seal of a Sassanian nobleman holding a flower, ca. 3rd–early 4th century AD.
Ruins of Adur Gushnasp, one of three main Zoroastrian temples in the Sassanian Empire
The Sasanians developed an accurate, phonetic alphabet to write down the sacred Avesta
Sasanian-era cornelian gem, depicting Abraham advancing towards Isaac with a knife in his hands. A ram is depicted to the right of Abraham. Middle Persian (Pahlavi) inscription ZNH mwdly l’styny. Created 4th-5th century AD
A Sasanian fortress in Derbent, Russia (the Caspian Gates)
"Parsees of Bombay" a wood engraving, c. 1873

After defeating the last Parthian shahanshah, Artabanus IV, at the Battle of Hormozdgan in 224, he established the Sasanian dynasty and set out to restore the legacy of the Achaemenid Empire by expanding Iran's dominions.

Every Persian but the peasant and the priest aspired to dress above his class; presents often took the form of sumptuous garments; and great colorful carpets had been an appendage of wealth in the East since Assyrian days.