People > Ashur-uballit II
Ashur-uballit II, also spelled Aššur-uballiṭ II was famously the last king of the Neo-Assyrian Empire and succeeded the previous king Sin-shar-ishkun in 612 BCE when he died during the brutal street to street fighting of the Battle of Nineveh during the Revolt of Babylon led by Nabopolassar and Cyaxares. He is known to have been a general and member of the royal family who declared himself king following the fall and destruction of the Assyrian capital of Nineveh. It is unclear among historians if Ashur-uballit II was the brother of Sin-shar-ishkun and there is some contention around this relationship.
Following the collapse of Nineveh the remaining fragments of the Assyrian army retreated to the city of Harran where they established a capital and attempted to bolster their forces. The Assyrians were able to hold their own at Harran for four years before the Fall of Harran in 609 BCE. Following the Fall of Harran the Assyrians managed to retreat to the outer city of Carchemish where they began to plan another military offensive to reclaim Assyria.
Upon hearing of the fall of his ally, the Egyptian king named Necho II recruited a mercenary army in order to help prop up the Assyrian regime and reconquer lost territory. The Egyptians came up along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. At this time the leader of the Kingdom of Judah named Josiah attempted to block the advance of the Egyptians at the Battle of Megiddo. During this engagement the Jews were defeated and Josiah slaughtered. Tribute was imposed on the Jews and Egypt continued up towards Assyria.
Following the defeat of the Jews at Megiddo the Egyptians moved north and met up with the Assyrians at Carchemish where they launched a military campaign designed to reclaim Harran. They were defeated once again and the Egyptians and Assyrians forced to retreat back to Carchemish. The Babylonians followed them there under leader Nebuchadnezzar II and launched a siege of Carchemish to end the Assyrian nuisance to their fledgling Neo-Babylonian Empire.
It is unknown if Ashur-uballit II was killed during the second engagement at Harran or the Battle of Carchemish in 605 BCE however, the resulting battle was a loss for the Assyrians and they were forever vanquished from the annals of history. It is also possible he may have also lived out in obscurity for the rest of his days, his eventual fate is very unclear because there are no surviving records from these period of Assyrian history.Limmu new-year officials were appointed down to the very end of Ashur-uballit's recorded reign; his final known year (= 609 BC), known eponymously for the limmu as Gargamishayu ("the Carchemishite"), was the last year ever in history so to receive an official Assyrian name.Ashur-uballit II (Aššur-uballiṭ II) was the last king of the Neo Assyrian Empire, succeeding Sin-shar-ishkun (623–612 BC). He took his name from Ashur-uballit I, the Assyrian king who had overthrown Mitanni Empire and defeated the Hittite Empire, and started the Middle Assyrian Empire (1365 BC – 1020 BC). While it is clear that he was a member of the Assyrian royal family, and that he was a tartan (General) of the Assyrian army before declaring himself king, there is some disagreement as to whether or not he was the brother of Sin-shar-ishkun.ReignAshur-uballit II refused to submit in vassalage to Cyaxares and Nabopolassar, and fought his way out of Nineveh during the siege and capture of that city by the Babylonian-Chaldean-Mede-Persian-Scythian-Cimmerian alliance in mid 612 BC. Thereafter, he reigned from the last capital city of Harran from 612 BC to somewhere between 608 and 605 BC.In alliance with Egypt, whose 26th dynasty had been installed by the Assyrians, Ashur-uballit's depleted army was somehow able to defend Harran and the remainder of the Assyrian kingdom from combined Babylonian-Mede-Scythian-Cimmerian attacks for four years following the destruction of Nineveh; however, after the Egyptian army was defeated and had to return to its homeland in 610 BC, the Babylonians, Medes and Scythians eventually took Harran and sacked it in 609 BC.Limmu new-year officials were appointed down to the very end of Ashur-uballit's recorded reign; his final known year (= 609 BC), known eponymously for the limmu as Gargamishayu ("the Carchemishite"), was the last year ever in history so to receive an official Assyrian name.FateAshur-uballit II again managed to fight his way out of the city, and called once more upon Assyria's former Egyptian colony. The forces of Egypt under Pharaoh Necho II came to his assistance. King Josiah of Judah allied himself with Babylon and Media and tried to block Necho's way, but was defeated and killed at Megiddo. Pharaoh Necho II joined with Ashur-uballit II and marched on with him to besiege Harran in 608 BC. They were defeated and the Egyptians retreated into northern Syria.It is possible that Ashur-uballit II was killed in this second siege of Harran, although this is not certain. He may have survived and been involved in the final Assyrian-Egyptian defeat in the region, at Carchemish in 605 BC, or survived and lived on in obscurity. In any event, he disappeared from history, marking the final end of the Assyrian empire.NotesJump up ^ Approche scientifique d'une chronologie absolue (French)Jump up ^ Geschichte Vorderasiens (German)Jump up ^ Georges Roux -Ancient IraqAshur-uballit II of AssyriaNeo-Assyrian PeriodPreceded bySinsharishkunKing of Assyria612–609 BCSucceeded byConquest by the Babylonians and Medians