The 20 Most Important Events in Human History

The Fall of The Assyrian Empire

The fall of the Assyrian empire happened far quicker than you might expect. At the time, it was a superpower. It ruled over Mesopotamia absolutely, more powerful in the ancient world than the United States is today. But the dominoes began to tumble relatively quickly.

Though our sources are not as complete as we would like, we know that – during the reign of Ashurbanipal – Egypt won its independence, while the king’s sons then faced two wars with its noisy neighbors, the Babylonians and the Medes. By 626 BCE, the Babylonians had defeated the Assyrian army and sacked their cities.

From then on, all of the regional powers agreed to keep Assyria under the heel. Egypt, the Medes, and Babylon were all happy to simply erase their cruel, violent overlords once and for all. By 610 BCE, the Assyrian empire – perhaps the most powerful force in the world at the time – was eliminated and never rose again.

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