Warfare > Battle of Ulai
Battle of Ulai
Battle of UlaiPart of the Assyrian conquest of ElamDatec. 653 BCLocationKarkheh RiverResultDecisive Assyrian victoryBelligerentsNeo-Assyrian EmpireElamCommanders and leadersAshurbanipalTeumman †[hide] v t eCampaigns of theNeo-Assyrian EmpireRise of Neo-Assyria Campaigns of Ashurnasirpal II (Suru) Campaigns of Shalmaneser III (Qarqar) Campaigns of Shamshi-Adad V (Dur-Papsukkal) Campaigns of Tiglath Pileser III (Gezer) War with Urartu Campaigns of Sargon II Campaigns of Sennacherib (Sennacherib's campaign in Judah, Azekah, Lachish, Jerusalem, Diyala River, Halule, 1st Babylon) Campaigns of Esarhaddon Conquest of Elam Campaigns of Ashurbanipal (Ulai, Susa, Ashdod) 2nd Babylon Arrapha Assur Nineveh HarranThe Battle of the Ulai River (called in modern times the Kerkha or Karkheh River), also known as the Battle of Til-Tuba, in c. 653 BCE, was a battle between the invading Assyrians, under their king Ashurbanipal, and the kingdom of Elam, which was a Babylonian ally. The result was a decisive Assyrian victory. Teumman, the king of Elam, and his son Tammaritu were killed in the battle.Contents [hide]1Background2Battle and aftermath2.1Relief carvings3References4Sources5External linksBackgroundUnder the reign of Tiglath-Pileser III (744-27 BCE) through Ashur-uballit II (611 BCE) Assyria led several campaigns across the known world. However Assyria struggled to maintain control over their closest neighbor Babylonia. In a rebellion against one of Sennacherib's (704-681) rule in Babylon, Chaldean Mushezib-Marduk seized the throne and formed a coalition including the Chaldeans, Aramaens, Elamites, and Babylonians and went to battle in 691 near the city of Halule. The coalition was defeated and Sennacherib began a 15-month campaign against Babylonia, sacking palaces and burning temples. Sennacherib's son, Esarhaddon (680-69) attempted to rebuild Babylonia and establish himself as king. His successors Ashurbanipal (668-27) took the throne in Ninevah while Shamash-Shuma-Ukin claimed kingship in Babylon and continued to rebuild it. While Babylonia was technically independent of Assyria, the correspondence between the two brothers suggests that Ashurbanipal saw Babylonia as a vassal state and exercised control over it. Shamash-Shuma-Ukin began looking for a chance to rebel. A few years before, Teumman (or Te'uman, 664-653 BCE), a known enemy of Assyria, had usurped the Elamite throne, forcing the sons of Urtaki to flee to Nineveh, the Assyrian capital. Teumman demanded they be extradited, but Ashurbanipal refused. Teumman began a campaign against Na'id Marduk, Assyria's puppet ruler in the Sealand, around 675 BCE. After pushing out the Assyrian influences, Teumman placed Nabo-usalim on the throne in Ur.Battle and aftermathTeumman, Nabo-Usallim and Shamash-Shuma-Ukin all formed a coalition and marched against Assurbanipal and met his forces on the banks of the Ulai River (hence the name "Battle of the Ulai River") where they were defeated. Teumman was killed in battle and his head was carried to Ninevah and placed on display in Ashurbanipal's court. Ashurbanipal began a 4-year campaign against Babylonia and placed Kandalanu on the throne to replace his brother. Susa, the capital of Elam was sacked in 647 BCE and Elam never regained its power until the Persians conquered it a century later.Relief carvingsThe Battle of Ulai is well known because of the relief carvings found in Ashurbanipal's palace in Ninevah. These chaotic images portray the torture and death of countless enemy soldiers. The severed head of Teumman can be found in nearly every panel including the panel depicting the king's victory banquet. This is consistent with the Assyrian propaganda "which urges viewers to be both fearful and in awe of Assyrian might".ReferencesJump up ^ Roux, p. 333Jump up ^ Roux, p. 332Jump up ^ Van De Mieroop, Marc (2007). A History of the Ancient Near East (2 ed.). Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing. p. 229. ISBN 978-1-4051-4911-2.Jump up ^ Roux, p.332Jump up ^ Waters, Matthew (1999). "Te'umman in the Neo-Assyrian Correspondence". Journal of the American Oriental Society. University of Delaware. 119.3.Jump up ^ Van De Mieroop, Marc (2007). A History of the Ancient Near East (2 ed.). Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing. p. 229. ISBN 978-1-4051-4911-2.Jump up ^ Bahrani, Zainab. "Battle of Til-Tuba (Battle of the River Ulai)".SourcesGeorges Roux, Ancient IraqExternal linksAssyrian limestone wall panel depicting the battle, held by the British MuseumBattle of the Ulaï RiverDate: 652 BCPlace: 28 miles west of Susa [32°12'41.97''N and 47°45'44.88''E]Participants: Assyria ¤ ElamResult: Decisive Assyrian victoryConsequence: The beginning of the fall of Elam and the rise of the Iranian tribes in the areaThe Elamites had a bad habit of interfering in the domestic policies of their Babylonian allies, who were in the Assyrian sphere of interest. They had also aided the Babylonians in several rebellions. A major showdown between these rivals was inevitable. Ashurbanipal, the grandson of Sennacherib and king of Assyria, saw the Elamites as a potential threat due to their geopolitical situation close to the trading routes of Mesopotamia and The Iranian plateau. The Assyrians figured out that the wisest move was an assault on Elam, because by annexing Elam, they could secure their trade and they could prevent potential rebellions by the Babylonians.(The relief of Ashubanipal, livius.org)Therefore they attacked the Elamites and defeated them decisively in the Battle of the Ulaï River. Ashurbanipal even made reliefs in the palace of Sennacherib, depicting his victory over their historical adversaries.