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Warfare in Mesopotamia

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Mary Chu

on 25 February 2014

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Transcript of Warfare in Mesopotamia

Assyrian warfare
Sumerian City-States
Sumer was on of the earliest civilizations in history. In the cradle of Mesopotamia, the need for resources was of utmost importance thus constant conflict of city states occurred.

The advancement of weapon technology was unprecedented for the time period, along with the development of weapons and armour the tactics of war also was developed
Akkadian Empire
The Fall of Sumer and the unification of Mesopotamia
Babylon-First Empire to Unite all of Mesopotamia
(2000 BCE- 606 BCE)
War in Ancient Mesopotamia
Spear - phalanx
Sword - folded bronze
Ax and mace - piercing blunt weapons
War Chariots - war or transport?
Earlier Beginnings:
. was a provincial
administration centre
. Samu- anbum changed
Babylon from a city into
a small kingdom

Hammurabi- Military strategies:
. Enriched and strengthened
his kingdom
. Had many allies
. Was an opportunist and would
betray his allies if he could
benefit from it
. First to unite all of Mesopotamia
Brought on by the rule of Sargon the Great (2334-2279 BCE)
Overthrew the ruler of Kish,
Unified all of the Sumer city-states.
lead an army of around 4500

There have
been mentions of the use of chariots, mainly in a Babylonian poem, but their use may have been purely ceremonial
Akkadia's first king, Sargon the Great, brought together different cities, including the city-states of Sumer. During the time of the Akkadian Empire, the army made use of the composite bow, a bow which, unlike earlier versions of the bow, was able to withstand the pressure of being pulled, as well as pierce through armor made of leather and bronze.
Kassite Period:
. Hammurabi's death brought the empire decline
. Babylon was captured by Hittite
but Kassites came into power
. Attempt to win over the
Babylonians; brought 500 years of prosperity and peace
The Great Rebellion starring:
Akkad, following King Naram-Sin
Kish, Kutha, Dilbat, Lagabam Sippar, Kazullu, Giritab, Apiak, and Eresh
of North Babylon, following Iphur-kishi (king), Uruk, Ur, Lagash, Umma, Adab, Shuruppak, Isin, and Nippur, following Amarigird (king)
Wars with Assyria and Elam:
. This period was filled with
many wars
. Was defeated by Assyria
& Elam (Marduk)
. The new king, Nebuchadnezzar
I, defeated Elam
. Still struggling under Assyrian's
. Was freed by King Nabopolassor
Nebuchadnezzar II:
. Expanded from the Persian
gulf to the borders of Egypt
. At the height of Babylon
once again after Hammurabi
. Captured Jerusalem twice
. Empire did not last
Sumerian City States

Eridu - First walled City

City states - 35 000 people.... first
standing army

Vulture Stele and the Nara-sin Stele
Most warlike nation of all the Mesopotamian nations
- kept meticulous records of its battles victories and campaigns
-created a massive land empire ruled through fear and domination
- Assyria popularized the usage of a paid standing army of that which numbered over 120 000 men
-famous in the Bible for its destruction of Israel (Not Judah) and Samaria
- King Essarhaddon, brought Assyria to its greatest extent, conquering all neighboring nations and Egypt in a matter of a few campaigns

Use of Iron (spears, swords, and battleaxes)
Siege towers and iron-headed battering rams
Success of the Assyrian Army:
Foot soldiers equipped with iron weaponry
worked as a team
Archers on foot protected by two companions (huge shield, and other a spear)
Cavalry: (Composite bow, and shield)
Two-Wheeled chariots: driver, archer, often one or two shield-bearer
Organized psychological warfare
Decline of the Assyrian Empire:

Civil War
King Assurbanipal and his brother weakened the empire
Assyrian Empire was destroyed in 612 BCE by the Medes from the Iranan plateau and the Chaldeans of Babylonia.
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