Battle of Qarqar

Kurkh stela of Shalmaneser depicting the battle of Qarqar

Fought in 853 BCE when the army of the Neo-Assyrian Empire led by Emperor Shalmaneser III encountered an allied army of eleven kings at Qarqar led by Hadadezer, called in Assyrian Adad-idir and possibly to be identified with King Benhadad II of Aram-Damascus; and Ahab, king of Israel.

- Battle of Qarqar
Kurkh stela of Shalmaneser depicting the battle of Qarqar

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Shalmaneser III, on the Throne Dais of Shalmaneser III at the Iraq Museum.

Shalmaneser III

King of the Neo-Assyrian Empire from the death of his father Ashurnasirpal II in 859 BC to his own death in 824 BC.

King of the Neo-Assyrian Empire from the death of his father Ashurnasirpal II in 859 BC to his own death in 824 BC.

Shalmaneser III, on the Throne Dais of Shalmaneser III at the Iraq Museum.
Kurkh stela of morates the battle of Carcar.
Marduk-zakir-shumi I (left) greeted by Shalmaneser III (right). Detail, front panel, Throne Dais of Shalmaneser III, Iraq Museum.
Jehu bows before Shalmaneser III. This is "the only portrayal we have in ancient Near Eastern art of an Israelite or Judaean monarch".
The Campaigns of Shalmaneser III
The Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III, 9th century BC, from Nimrud, Iraq. The British Museum.
Statue of Shalmaneser III at Istanbul Archaeological Museums
Statue of Shalmaneser III from Nimrud, Iraq Museum
Kurba'il Statue of Shalmaneser III from Fort Shalmaneser, Iraq Museum
Shalmaneser III, detail of glazed wall panel from Fort Shalmaneser, Iraq Museum
Throne dais of Shalmaneser III from Fort Shalmaneser, Iraq Museum
Unfinished basalt statue of Shalmaneser III, from Assur, Iraq. Ancient Orient Museum, Istanbul
The upper end of the Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III, from Nimrud, the British Museum
Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III, the British Museum
Throne dais of Shalmaneser III, Royal reception
Throne dais of Shalmaneser III, procession
Statue of the Assyrian king Shalmaneser III at the Iraq Museum in Baghdad
Shalmaneser III, detail, North Face, East End, Throne Dais of Shalmaneser III from Nimrud, Iraq
Shalmaneser III, detail, south face, west end, Throne Dais of Shalmaneser III from Nimrud, Iraq
Kurba'il Statue of Shalmaneser III at the Iraq Museum in Baghdad

In 853 BC, a coalition was formed by 11 states, mainly by Hadadezer (Hadad-ezer) the Aramean king of Damascus, Irhuleni king of Hamath, Ahab king of Israel, Gindibu king of the Arabs, and some other rulers who fought the Assyrian king at the Battle of Qarqar.

Kurkh stela of Shalmaneser depicting the battle of Qarqar

Qarqar

Name of an ancient town in northwestern Syria, known from Neo-Assyrian sources.

Name of an ancient town in northwestern Syria, known from Neo-Assyrian sources.

Kurkh stela of Shalmaneser depicting the battle of Qarqar

It was the site of one of the most important battles of the ancient world, the battle of Qarqar, fought in 853 BC when the army of Assyria, led by king Shalmaneser III, encountered an allied force comprising military units from 11 local kingdoms.

Aqueduct in Epiphania (Hama).

Hama

City on the banks of the Orontes River in west-central Syria.

City on the banks of the Orontes River in west-central Syria.

Aqueduct in Epiphania (Hama).
An alley in Old Hama
Nur al-Din Mosque
The gate in the old city of Hama, Mamluk architecture
The Azem Palace in Hama was built in 1742
General view
The clock tower of Hama
A Greek Orthodox church.

According to Assyrian sources, they were confronted by 4,000 chariots, 2,000 horsemen, 62,000-foot-soldiers and 1,000 Arab camel-riders in the Battle of Qarqar.

Ammon and its neighbors, around 830 BC

Ammon

Ancient Semitic-speaking nation occupying the east of the Jordan River, between the torrent valleys of Arnon and Jabbok, in present-day Jordan.

Ancient Semitic-speaking nation occupying the east of the Jordan River, between the torrent valleys of Arnon and Jabbok, in present-day Jordan.

Ammon and its neighbors, around 830 BC
Statue of an Ammonite deified King on display at the Jordan Museum. The statue was found near the Amman Citadel and is thought to date to 8th century BC.
An Ammonite watch tower at Rujm Al-Malfouf in Amman
Qasr Al Abd was built by the governor of Ammon in 200 BC
David punishing the Ammonites, by Gustave Doré
Gate of Ammon in Amman Citadel

The Kurkh Monolith lists the Ammonite king Baasha ben Ruhubi's army as fighting alongside Ahab of Israel and Syrian allies against Shalmaneser III at the Battle of Qarqar in 853 BC, possibly as vassals of Hadadezer, the Aramaean king of Damascus.

Orontes River

571 km long river in Western Asia that begins in Lebanon, flowing northwards through Syria before entering the Mediterranean Sea near Samandağ in Turkey.

571 km long river in Western Asia that begins in Lebanon, flowing northwards through Syria before entering the Mediterranean Sea near Samandağ in Turkey.

The Orontes flowing at the foot of the Syrian Coastal Mountain Range
Orontes River in Hama, Syria
The Orontes in Antakya, Hatay
Bronze copy, 1st or 2nd century CE, from Tartus of Eutychides' Tyche of Antioch, 4th century BCE, Louvre Museum; at the goddess' feet a male swimmer personifying the Orontes is represented.

The river was also the site of the Battle of Qarqar fought in 853 BCE, when the army of Assyria, led by king Shalmaneser III, encountered an allied army of 12 kings led by Hadadezer of Damascus.

"Battle of the Israelites against King Hadadezer'' from a Georgian manuscript, 1665

Hadadezer

The king of Aram Damascus between 865 and 842 BC.

The king of Aram Damascus between 865 and 842 BC.

"Battle of the Israelites against King Hadadezer'' from a Georgian manuscript, 1665

According to the Kurkh Monoliths, Hadadezer and Irhuleni of Hamath later led a coalition of eleven kings (including Ahab of Israel and Gindibu of the Arab) at the Battle of Qarqar against the Assyrian king Shalmaneser III.

from Promptuarium Iconum Insigniorum

Ahab

The seventh king of Israel, the son and successor of King Omri and the husband of Jezebel of Sidon, according to the Hebrew Bible.

The seventh king of Israel, the son and successor of King Omri and the husband of Jezebel of Sidon, according to the Hebrew Bible.

from Promptuarium Iconum Insigniorum
Shalmaneser III's (859–824 BC) Kurkh Monolith names King Ahab.
Death of Ahab, by Gustave Doré

Shalmaneser III of Assyria documented in 853 BC that he defeated an alliance of a dozen kings in the Battle of Qarqar; one of these was Ahab.

Arqa

Lebanese village near Miniara in Akkar Governorate, Lebanon, 22 km northeast of Tripoli, near the coast.

Lebanese village near Miniara in Akkar Governorate, Lebanon, 22 km northeast of Tripoli, near the coast.

The city of Irqata sent 10,000 soldiers to the coalition against the Assyrian king in the Battle of Qarqar.

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

Neo-Assyrian Empire

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

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

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

Though Assyrian records claim that he scored a great victory at the subsequent Battle of Qarqar it is more likely that the battle was indecisive since no substantial political or territorial gains were achieved.

The Namara inscription, an Arabic epitaph of Imru' al-Qais, son of "Amr, king of all the Arabs", inscribed in Nabataean script. Basalt, dated in 7 Kislul, 223, viz. 7 December 328 CE. Found at Nimreh in the Hauran (Southern Syria).

Arabs

Ethnic group mainly inhabiting the Arab world in Western Asia, North Africa, the Horn of Africa, and the western Indian Ocean islands (including the Comoros).

Ethnic group mainly inhabiting the Arab world in Western Asia, North Africa, the Horn of Africa, and the western Indian Ocean islands (including the Comoros).

The Namara inscription, an Arabic epitaph of Imru' al-Qais, son of "Amr, king of all the Arabs", inscribed in Nabataean script. Basalt, dated in 7 Kislul, 223, viz. 7 December 328 CE. Found at Nimreh in the Hauran (Southern Syria).
Traditional Qahtanite genealogy
Nabataean trade routes in Pre-Islamic Arabia.
Assyrian relief depicting battle with camel riders, from Kalhu (Nimrud) Central Palace, Tiglath Pileser III, 728 BCE, British Museum
Arab soldier (Old Persian cuneiform: 𐎠𐎼𐎲𐎠𐎹, Arabāya) of the Achaemenid army, circa 480 BCE. Xerxes I tomb relief.
Life-size bronze bust sculpture of historian Ibn Khaldun.
Façade of Al Khazneh in Petra, Jordan, built by the Nabateans.
The ruins of Palmyra. The Palmyrenes were a mix of Arabs, Amorites and Arameans.
Fragment of a wall painting showing a Kindite king, 1st century CE
The Near East in 565, showing the Lakhmids and their neighbors
The imperial province of Arabia Petraea in 117–138 CE
Age of the Caliphs
Tombstone of Muhammad (Left), Abu Bakr and Umar (right), Medina, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
The Great Mosque of Kairouan in Kairouan, Tunisia was founded in 670 by the Arab general Uqba ibn Nafi; it is the oldest mosque in the Maghreb and represents an architectural testimony of the Arab conquest of North Africa
The Umayyad Mosque in Damascus, built in 715, is one of the oldest, largest and best preserved mosques in the world
The Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem, constructed during the reign of Abd al Malik
Mustansiriya University in Baghdad
Scholars at an Abbasid library in Baghdad. Maqamat of al-Hariri Illustration, 123.
Harun al-Rashid receiving a delegation sent by Charlemagne
Al-Azhar Mosque, commissioned by the Fatimid Caliph Al-Mu'izz for the newly established capital city of Cairo in 969
Arabesque pattern behind hunters on ivory plaque, 11th–12th century, Egypt
Soldiers of the Arab Army in the Arabian Desert carrying the Flag of the Arab Revolt
A map of the Arab world
The Near East in 565, showing the Ghassanids, Lakhmids, Kinda and Hejaz
Arabian tribes before the spread of Islam
Post-card of Emir Mejhem ibn Meheid, chief of the Anaza tribe near Aleppo with his sons after being decorated with the Croix de Légion d'honneur on 20 September 1920
Old Bedouin man and his wife in Egypt, 1918
Commander and Amir of Mascara, Banu Hilal
Population density of the Arab world in 2008.
An overview of the different Arabic dialects
Arabic-speaking peoples in the Middle East and North Africa
Syrian immigrants in New York City, as depicted in 1895
Amel Bent, a French-born Maghrebi pop singer
The Arab American National Museum in Dearborn, Michigan, the United States of America
Georgia and the Caucasus in 1060, during the final decline of the emirate
Kechimalai Mosque, Beruwala. One of the oldest mosques in Sri Lanka. It is believed to be the site where the first Arabs landed in Sri Lanka.
Baggara belt
Bas-relief: Nemesis, Allāt and the dedicator
The holiest place in Islam, the Kaaba in Al-Haram Mosque, is located in Mecca, the Hejazi region of Saudi Arabia
A Greek Orthodox Church during a snow storm in Amman, Jordan
An Abbasid-era Arabic manuscript
Arabic calligraphy
Aladdin flying away with two people, from the Arabian Nights, c. 1900
A giraffe from the Kitāb al-Ḥayawān (Book of the Animals), an important scientific treatise by the 9th century Arab writer Al-Jahiz.
Illustration from Kitab al-Aghani (Book of Songs), by Abu al-Faraj al-Isfahani. The 14th-century historian Ibn Khaldun called the Book of Songs the register of the Arabs.
Self portrait of renowned Lebanese poet/writer Khalil Gibran
A large plate of Mezes in Petra, Jordan
Mosaic and arabesque on a wall of the Myrtle court in Alhambra, Granada.
Arabic miniature depicting Al-Harith from Maqamat of al-Hariri
The Mosque-Cathedral of Córdoba, built by Abd al Rahman I in 987
Bayad plays the "Oud to The Lady," from the Bayad & Riyad, Arabic tale
Umm Kulthum was an internationally famous Egyptian singer.
Al-Lat was the god of Arabs before Islam; It was found in Ta'if
Averroes, founder of the Averroism school of philosophy, was influential in the rise of secular thought in Western Europe.
Ibn Arabi, one of the most celebrated mystic-philosophers in Islamic history.
Hevelius's Selenographia, showing Alhazen [sic] representing reason, and Galileo representing the senses. Alhazen has been described as the "world's first true scientist".
Albategnius's Kitāb az-Zīj was one of the most influential books in medieval astronomy
The Tabula Rogeriana, drawn by al-Idrisi for Roger II of Sicily in 1154, is one of the most advanced ancient world maps. Modern consolidation, created from the 70 double-page spreads of the original atlas.
Henna tattoo in Morocco

Listed among the booty captured by the army of the Assyrian king Shalmaneser III in the Battle of Qarqar (853 BCE) are 1000 camels of "Gi-in-di-bu'u the ar-ba-a-a" or "[the man] Gindibu belonging to the Arabs" (ar-ba-a-a being an adjectival nisba of the noun ʿarab).