The Assyrians come to Lachish

Posted: June 13, 2014 in Ancient Near Eastern History, History
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The expansion of the Assyrian empire 900-700 BCE

The expansion of the Assyrian empire 900-700 BCE

The eighth century, marked the high point of the Assyrian Empire in Mesopotamia. Having conquered and subdued the countries to their East, the eyes of the Empire turned westward across the Euphrates River. One reason why this may have happened is that the Assyrian Empire was essentially land bound and was looking for an outlet on the Mediterranean coast to increase its trade potential. Alternatively, they may have been seeking resources which were not commonly found in the Empire as it currently existed. They first conquered Aram and Damascus (Syria) and formed a client kingdom association with the Phoenician cities on the Mediterranean coast. In 720 BCE they turned south conquering the kingdom of Samaria. However, they did not enter into Judah, but again formed a client kingdom relationship by which in return for tribute sent to Assyria the Judean’s were allowed maintain their monarchy and govern their own land. This situation lasted for 15 years but in 705, the Assyrian king, Sargon died. The client kingdoms of Philistia, Phoenicia and Judah joined in alliance with Egypt to throw off the Assyrian yoke. This was a very bad misjudgement, as Sargon was replaced on the Assyrian throne by Sennacherib, certainly one of the most formidable, if not the most formidable of Assyrian leaders. Sennacherib quickly dealt with the states in the North and then turned south down the Via Mara, where he captured the Philistine city states and defeated the Egyptian army. And then he turned inland and came to Lachish.

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