People > Ashur-Dan II

Ashur-Dan II

Background

Ashur-Dan II, also spelled Aššur-dān was a king of Assyria during the Middle Assyrian Kingdom between 935 BCE and 912 BCE. He succeeded his father named Tiglath-Pileser II and in turn was succeeded by his son Adad-nirari II. His biggest achievements were reinforcing and rebuilding the internal structure of Assyria from Tur Abdin to Arbel. He was responsible for increasing the government bureaucracy by constructing governmental offices in all of the provinces.

He also was important in providing economic stimulus by making sure that ploughs were provided by the government to the local farmers which helped increase Assyrian grain production to record levels in the ancient world. He was succeeded by four successful kings who used the reforms and initiatives to launch Assyrian to become the first ancient world major superpower of its era.

Ashur-Dan IINeo-Assyrian map 824-671 BC.pngNeo-Assyrian map 824-671 BCReign934-912 BCPredecessorTiglath Pileser IISuccessorAdad-nirari II (911-891) B.CFatherTiglath Pileser IIMotherUnknownAshur-Dan II (Aššur-dān) (934-912 B.C), son of Tiglath Pileser II, was the earliest king of the Neo-Assyrian Empire. He was best known for recapturing previously held Assyrian territory and restoring Assyria to its natural borders, from Tur Abdin (southeast Turkey) to the foothills beyond Arbel (Iraq). The reclaimed territory through his conquest was fortified with horses, ploughs, and grain stores. His military and economic expansions benefited four subsequent generations of kings that replicated his model.[1]Contents [hide]1Background2Accomplishments3Succession4ReferencesBackground[edit]Until the decipherment of cuneiform in the mid-Nineteenth Century A.D., the only information on Neo-Assyrian history came from the Bible and classic authors. The direction of the campaigns conducted by Assyrian kings and the means of reconstructing chronology of events from the period of 841-745 and beyond are found in one type of eponym list, commonly known as 'Eponym Chronicle'.[2] The Assyrian royal annals add to this skeleton outline significantly. Annals are still in existence for all but the last few kings. There are no letters available from this period, however administrative and legal documents exist. For Ashur-Dan II, whose annals are only preserved in fragments, certain characteristics of Assyrian military can be observed. He followed the description of his military exploits by the count of wild animals (wild bulls, elephants, and lions) that he had hunted and killed, which traditionally characterized Assyrian kings as protective and heroic. The accounts conclude with Ashur-Dan building activities, stressing that he did not exploit the spoils of his campaign to enrich himself, but rather to honor and exalt the gods.[1]Accomplishments[edit]Annals preserved in fragments suggest Ashur-Dan was the first king known to have conducted regular military campaigns in over a century. His military campaign primarily focused on northern territories along mountainous terrain that made controlling it problematic.[2] These areas were vital because they lay close to the Assyrian heartland and thus were vulnerable to enemy attacks. Furthermore, several important routes leading to Anatolia ran through these areas and were a source of crucial metals. In one his more significant victories, Ashur-Dan captured the king of the northeastern state of Kadmuhu, flayed and displayed his skin publicly on the walls of Arbela,replaced him with a loyal subordinate, and took valuable bronze, tin and precious stone from Kadmuhu.[1][2]Another chief concern of Ashur-Dan’s known military campaigns was the Armenians to the west. Evident in his own statements found from fragmentary annals, Ashur-Dan believed he was rightfully retaking Assyrian territory occupied by the Armenians in the recent past. He also claimed that he had brought back Assyrians who had fled due to starvation to resettle the lands. The impression conveyed through these annals was that the Armenians enslaved and slaughtered Assyrians and seized their land.[1]Eastwards, the Zagroos foothills down to the lower Zab, were strategic crucial points where Assyrian kings frequently campaigned, both for Assyrian security and to safeguard the limited routes through the mountains. This was a key commercial point for Assyrians, trading horses and valuable lapis lazuli mined in northeast Afghanistan.[2]After reestablishing the Assyrian boundaries, Ashur-Dan went through an extensive period of resettlement and land reclamation. Ashur-Dan also left his mark on the Craftsman’s Gate and the New Palace by performing construction on both sites. His basic ideology and strategy laid the foundation for the Neo-Assyrian period, which was elaborated by his successors.[1] He was able to establish a uniformly structured political entity with well-defined and well-structured borders. His conquest is presented as a return of stability and prosperity after a perceived unlawful period of intrusion. The displaced Assyrians were rehoused in towns and the resettled lands were fortified with agricultural growth. The decline of Early Assyria was largely due to a lack of systematic administration and an influx of Armenians. Ashur-Dan established government offices in all provinces, creating a strong administrative presence in the areas under his rule. At the end of the millennium, Assyria was surrounded by enemies to the south, in and around Babylonia, to the west by the Armenians in Syria, and to the north and east by the Nairi people. Ashur-Dan successfully expanded Assyrian territory surrounded by formidable foes and established provincial administration that once again transformed Assyria from a territorial power to an imperial power known as the Neo-Assyrian Empire.[2] The Neo-Assyrian Empire was a diverse and multi-ethnic state from people from many tribes of different origins. It was a uniformly structured political entity with well-defined and well-guarded borders, and the Assyrian kings certainly regarded it as a unified whole, "the land of Aššur", whose territory they constantly strove to expand. To the outside world, it likewise was a unified, monolithic whole, whose inhabitants were unhesitatingly identified as Assyrians regardless of their ethnic backgrounds.[3]Succession[edit]Ashur-Dan was succeeded by his son, Adad-nirari II (911-891 B.C.). He continued to campaign repeatedly in areas that his father had attacked, expanding on his father’s achievements. He ruled two years less than his father, but the number and range of his military campaigns were greater.To the west he marched as far as the Balikh river, to the south as far as the middle Euphrates, to the north as far as the southern regions of Lake Van, and to the east he penetrated the Zagros mountains. Three versions of his annals are known.Altogether the annals cover campaigns from the accession to the eighteenth regnal year.[1] Other kings that followed his strategies and ideology were Tukulti-Ninurta II, son of Adad-nirari II; Ashurnasripal II, son of Tukulti-Ninurta II; and Shalmaneser III, son of Ashurnasripal II.References[edit]^ Jump up to: a b c d e f Cambridge Ancient History. Cambridge University Press. 1924-01-01. ISBN 9780521224963.^ Jump up to: a b c d e Kuhrt, Amélie (1995-01-01). The Ancient Near East, C. 3000-330 BC. Taylor & Francis US. ISBN 9780415167642.Jump up ^ Parpola,, Simo (1990). "ASSYRIAN IDENTITY IN ANCIENT TIMES AND TODAY" (PDF). Unity and Diversity.

Assyrian King List

King NameYears of RuleKingdom
Eriba-Adad I1380–1353 BCEMiddle Assyrian Empire
Ashur-uballit I1353–1318 BCEMiddle Assyrian Empire
Enlil-nirari1317–1308 BCEMiddle Assyrian Empire
Arik-den-ili1307–1296 BCEMiddle Assyrian Empire
Adad-nirari I1295–1264 BCEMiddle Assyrian Empire
Shalmaneser I1263–1234 BCEMiddle Assyrian Empire
Tukulti-Ninurta I1233–1197 BCEMiddle Assyrian Empire
Ashur-nadin-apli1196–1194 BCEMiddle Assyrian Empire
Ashur-nirari III1193–1188 BCEMiddle Assyrian Empire
Enlil-kudurri-usur1187–1183 BCEMiddle Assyrian Empire
Ninurta-apal-Ekur1182–1180 BCEMiddle Assyrian Empire
Ashur-Dan I1179-1133 BCEMiddle Assyrian Empire
Ninurta-tukulti-Ashur1333 BCEMiddle Assyrian Empire
Mutakkil-nusku1333 BCEMiddle Assyrian Empire
Ashur-resh-ishi I1133-1115 BCEMiddle Assyrian Empire
Tiglath-Pileser I1115-1076 BCEMiddle Assyrian Empire
Asharid-apal-Ekur1076-1074 BCEMiddle Assyrian Empire
Ashur-bel-kala1074-1056 BCEMiddle Assyrian Empire
Eriba-Adad II1056-1054 BCEMiddle Assyrian Empire
Shamshi-Adad IV1054-1050 BCEMiddle Assyrian Empire
Ashur-nasir-pal I1050-1031 BCEMiddle Assyrian Empire
Shalmaneser II1031-1019 BCEMiddle Assyrian Empire
Ashur-nirari IV1019-1013 BCEMiddle Assyrian Empire
Ashur-rabi II1013-972 BCEMiddle Assyrian Empire
Ashur-resh-ishi II972-967 BCEMiddle Assyrian Empire
Tiglath-Pileser II967-935 BCEMiddle Assyrian Empire
Ashur-Dan II935-912 BCEMiddle Assyrian Empire
Adad-nirari II912-891 BCEMiddle Assyrian Empire
Tukulti-Ninurta II891-884 BCEMiddle Assyrian Empire
Ashur-nasir-pal II884-859 BCEMiddle Assyrian Empire
Shalmaneser III859-824 BCEMiddle Assyrian Empire
Shamshi-adad V824-811 BCEMiddle Assyrian Empire
Shammu-ramat811-808 BCENeo-Assyrian Empire
Adad-nirari III811-783 BCENeo-Assyrian Empire
Shalmeneser IV783-773 BCENeo-Assyrian Empire
Ashur-dan III773-755 BCENeo-Assyrian Empire
Ashur-nirari V755-745 BCENeo-Assyrian Empire
Tiglath-Pileser III745-727 BCENeo-Assyrian Empire
Shalmaneser V727-722 BCENeo-Assyrian Empire
Sargon II722–705 BCENeo-Assyrian Empire
Sennacherib705–681 BCENeo-Assyrian Empire
Esarhaddon681–669 BCENeo-Assyrian Empire
Ashurbanipal669–631 BCENeo-Assyrian Empire
Ashur-etli-ilani631-627 BCENeo-Assyrian Empire
Sin-shumu-lishir626 BCENeo-Assyrian Empire
Sin-shar-ishkun627-612 BCENeo-Assyrian Empire
Ashur-uballit II612-608 BCENeo-Assyrian Empire

Sources

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