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681-669 BCE

Mesopotamia / Kings /
Assyria / Neo period / Kings /

Assyria around 670 BCE

Stone prism of Esarhaddon
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(Dead 669 BCE) Ruler of Assyria 681-669 BCE, 12 years.
He greatest achievement was the conquest of Egypt in 671, but Assyrian control became shortlived, before later Assyrian kings had more permanent success.
In his homelands, he is mainly noted for restoring the civilizations and religion of Babylonia and Babylon, which had been through periods of hardship for long, allowing citizens to return to their homes.

Before 700: Born as son of king Sennacherib.
680's: Sennacherib has Esarhaddon appointed heir, despite being the youngest of his sons. Esarhaddon becomes governor of Babylon.
681: Sennacherib is murdered. Over the following six weeks of war between princes, Esarhaddon succeeds in taking power.
— Starts the rebuilding of Babylon, restoring the statues of Babylonian gods.
679: Esharra temple at Ashur, and Esagila temple at Babylon are reinstalled.
— Esarhaddon has the Cimmerians defeated at Hubushna following their attack on Cilicia and Tabal. Still, these two northwestern provinces are lost to the Cimmerians.
678: Drives a Chaldean tribe away from Borsippa and Babylon.
677: Suppresses a rebellion in Sidon, has the local king beheaded and the population deported to Assyria.
676: Makes advances into the Taurus mountains, conquering the towns of Sissu and Kundu. Advances were also made into the Zagros mountains and beyond, but without making territorial advances.
674: Knifing over the Phoenician coast, Esarhaddon sends troops against the Egyptians, but is driven back by king Taharqa.
673: Sends troops to Urartu in the north, which had regained its strength from a few decades back.
671: Sends a new campaign to Egypt, fighting Egyptian king Taharqa, first conquering Memphis, securing control of Lower Egypt (north), adding to his title "king of Egypt, Patros and Kush".
Around 670: Taharqa reestablishes Cushite control over Lower Egypt.
669: On his way to Egypt, Esarhaddon dies of unknown causes in Harran. He is peacefully succeeded by his two crown princes, Ashurbanipal becomes king of Assyria, Shamash-shum-ukin king of Babylonia.

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By Tore Kjeilen