Assyria
Part Thirteen
Author: Godspeed, George

Last Days Of Splendor Ashurbanipal. 668-626 B.C.

248. Upon the death of Esarhaddon the arrangements made by him for the
succession were smoothly and promptly carried out; the empire passed to
Ashurbanipal, while his brother Shamash-shumukin became king in Babylon.
The queen mother, Naqia, who had already acted as regent in the absence of
her son, issued a proclamation calling for obedience to these, the legally
constituted rulers. For Shamashshumukin, however, a further ceremonial was
requisite. He must, according to precedent, "take the hands of Bel" in the
city of Babylon. But the images of the gods of Babylon, removed to Assur at
the time of the destruction of Babylon, had never been returned to the
reconstructed capital. At the command of the sun-god, Ashurbanipal ordered
their return to their temples, and with stately ceremonial the coronation of
the new king of Babylon proceeded in the ancient fashion intermitted for
more than half a century. All seemed to promise well for the peace and
prosperity of the state. The brothers were well disposed toward each other,
and proceeded to the tasks which lay before them, the king of Babylon to
continue the rebuilding of his city and to revive its industrial activities,
the Assyrian ruler to guard and extend the boundaries of the empire.

249. The affairs of Egypt were the first to require the attention of
Ashurbanipal. Esarhaddon's death, while on the march to Egypt to drive back
a new invasion of Taharqa, apparently had not caused a more than temporary
delay of the expedition. The presence of an army in the western provinces,
indeed, at the time of a change of rulers in Assyria was desirable for
holding disaffected peoples to their allegiance. The general of the forces
seems to have improved the moment to obtain renewal of homage and gifts, as
well as a substantial contingent of troops, from the twenty-two vassal kings
of the states already mentioned by Esarhaddon as subject to him (sect. 241).
The only new royal names in the list of Ashurbanipal are Iakinlu of Arvad
and Amminadbi of Ammon. Manasseh king of Judah again appears there, as also
Baal of Tyre, who had evidently submitted so far as nominally to recognize
Assyrian supremacy. The Ethiopian king was already in Memphis, and his
troops met the Assyrians somewhere between that city and the border. The
battle went against Taharqa, who retired to the vicinity of Thebes. Whether
the Assyrians pursued him thither, as one of the several somewhat
contradictory inscriptions states, is doubtful. With good reason it has
been held that the Assyrians were content to renew their sway over lower
Egypt only, restoring the vassal princes to their cities under oath of
fidelity to Assyria, and did not attempt to advance farther up the river.
In the years that followed stirring events occurred. The princes, led by
Necho, Sharruludari, and Paqruru, were discovered to be intriguing with
Taharqa; their cities were severely punished, and the two chief culprits
sent to Nineveh for punishment. Ashurbanipal determined to try a new policy
similar to that employed for Babylon; he pardoned Necho and returned him as
a kind of vassal ruler of Assyrian Egypt, sustained by Assyrian troops. The
plan worked well. Taharqa was quiet till his death (666 B.C.), and his
successor, Tanutamon (Assyr., Tandamani), made no move for at least three
years. Then he, in consequence of divine monitions, and also invited, no
doubt, by the petty princes who were jealous of Necho, marched northward.
Necho and his Assyrians fought bravely, but were too few to make a
successful resistance. Necho was slain, and Pisamilku (Psamtik), his son,
with his troops, was driven out. In 661 B.C. - the date is attested
astronomically - Ashurbanipal sent an army against the Ethiopian invader, to
which the latter made but feeble opposition, retiring at last into Ethiopia,
never again to return to Egypt. The Assyrian army now for the first time
captured Thebes and carried away abundant spoil, returning "with full hands"
to Nineveh. The administration of Egypt under Assyrian supremacy continued
as before. People from Kirbit in Elam were deported thither, after
Ashurbanipal's conquest of that rebellious district. Pisamilku occupied the
position held by his father, Necho, sustained, as he had been, by Assyrian
troops.

250. During these years, or at the close of this second campaign of 661
B.C., the affairs of the west were placed in order. Baal of Tyre, whose
allegiance to Assyria varied according to Assyrian success in Egypt, had
finally roused Ashurbanipal's wrath, and was shut up in his island-city so
strictly that famine forced him to make terms. He sent his son, as a
hostage, and his own daughter with the daughters of his brother for the
king's harem, with rich gifts. The women and the gifts Ashurbanipal
graciously accepted, but returned the son to his father. Iakinlu of Arvad,
who had shown himself only nominally submissive hitherto, now, likewise,
sent his daughter to the king, as did also Mukallu of Tabal and Sandasarme,
a prince of Cilicia. Some special reason induced the Assyrian king to
remove the king of Arvad and place his son Azibaal upon the throne. Tribute
was laid upon all these states. It is not improbable that the difficulties
which these northwestern communities were having with the Kimmerians induced
their kings to seek Assyria's aid in opposing these new enemies. This is
the reason assigned by Ashurbanipal for the appeal of king Gyges of Lydia,
for Assyrian help. This ruler, under whom the Lydian state comes forth into
the world's history, was establishing and extending his power chiefly
through the employment of mercenary soldiers from Caria. The Kimmerians
assailing him in fresh swarms, he was led, by the revival of Assyrian
influence in Tabal and Cilicia, to send ambassadors to Ashurbanipal.
Before, however, any aid was rendered, it appears that the Kimmerian crisis
had passed away, and Gyges had no intention of paying tribute to the far-off
monarch on the banks of the Tigris. The latter, however, did not hesitate
in his inscriptions to make the most of the appeal. The affair is notable,
chiefly as showing how the world of international politics was widening
toward the west, and new factors were entering to make more complex the
political relations of the times.

251. The friendly relations with Elam which characterized the later
years of Esarhaddon (sect. 239) gave place, soon after his death, to a
renewal of hostilities. By 665 B.C. Urtaki of Elam, in conjunction with
Kaldean and Aramean tribes, raided northern Babylonia and besieged Babylon.
Ashurbanipal was satisfied to drive the invaders back into their own land,
where in a short time Urtaki was succeeded by his brother Te-umman, who
attempted to kill off all members of the royal house. Sixty of them
succeeded in escaping to Assyria. Teumman demanded that they be given up to
him. Ashurbanipal's refusal led to another Elamite invasion which was
checked by the advance of an Assyrian army to Dur Ilu and thence toward
Susa, the Elamite capital. The decisive battle was fought at Tulliz on the
Ula River before Susa, and resulted in an overwhelming defeat for Elam. The
king and his son were killed; the army cut to pieces. The event marked,
according to Billerbeck (Susa, p. 105), the end of the old kingdom of Susa.
The Assyrians made Khumbanigash, son of Urtaki, king of Elam; his son,
Tammaritu, became prince of Khidal, one of the royal fiefs. The division of
power was evidently made with the purpose of intensifying the dynastic
conflicts in the kingdom, which hitherto had contributed more to the
overthrow of the Elamite power than had the defeats of its armies. The
punishment of the Gambulians, the Aramean tribe whose secession from Assyria
had played so large a part in inducing hostilities, formed another and
concluding stage of the war. Their chiefs were captured and suffered
shameful deaths in Assyria (about 660 B.C.).

252. For some years affairs in Babylonia and Elam remained on a
peaceful footing. The latter country had been too frightfully devastated
and left too thoroughly in confusion to permit hostile movements there. In
Babylonia, too, Shamashshumukin had ruled in harmony with his brother,
content to administer the affairs of his city, to direct the religious
ceremonial, and to enjoy the prerogatives which were the prized possession
of the king of that wealthy capital and the holy seat of the great gods. In
the very nature of the situation, however, contradictions existed which were
bound to produce trouble. Babylon's claims to supremacy were secular as
well as religious, and her nobles never relinquished their rights to
supremacy over the world of nations as well as over the world of the gods.
Their king, too, was an Assyrian, with the ambitions of a warrior and a
statesman as well as the aspirations of a priest. Yet, in the very nature
of things, Ashurbanipal was lord of the empire and the army, the protector
of the peace, and conqueror of the enemies of the state, the defender of
Babylon from assailants, its head in the political sphere. A clash was
therefore inevitable, and it speaks well for the brotherly confidence of
both rulers that for fifteen years they worked together peacefully. Nor is
it possible to indicate any special reasons which brought on the conflict
that in its various ramifications shook the state to its foundations. The
ambition of the younger brother was doubtless intensified by the intrigues
of his priestly advisers, and his pride wounded by the achievements of
Ashurbanipal and the glorification of them. It appears, also, that an
economic crisis, caused by a series of bad harvests, was imminent in
Babylonia about this time, which may have brought things to a head.
Shamashshumukin determined to declare his independence. The course of
events shows how carefully he laid his plans and how wide a sweep was taken
by his ambitious design, which in its fulness comprehended nothing less than
the substitution of Babylon for Assyria as ruler of the world. Two main
lines of activity were followed: (1) agents were employed to foment
rebellion in the vassal states; (2) the treasures of the temples were freely
used to engage the help of the peoples about Babylon in driving the
Assyrians from Babylonia, and to raise an army of mercenaries to defend and
maintain the new centre of the empire. How far these emissaries succeeded
in the former work is not certain, but Ashurbanipal found traces of their
activity in the provinces of southern Babylonia, along the eastern
mountains, in Syria, and Palestine and in western Arabia, while Egypt and
far-off Lydia are supposed to have been tampered with by them. Northern
Babylonia was already secure for Shamashshumukin, and his gold had found
acceptance in Elam, Arabia, and among Kaldean and Aramean tribes. Even some
Assyrian officers and garrisons had been corrupted.

253. The conspiracy was well advanced before any knowledge of it came
to the surface. The prefect of Ur, who had been approached in the interests
of the plot, sent word to his superior officer, the prefect of Uruk, that
Shamashshumukin's envoys were abroad in that city. The news was immediately
sent to Ashurbanipal, who seems to have been taken take utterly by surprise.
If he had had suspicions, they had been allayed by a recent embassy of noble
Babylonians who had brought to him renewed assurances of loyalty on the part
of his brother. His feelings are expressed in the following words of his
inscription:

At that time Shamashshumukin, the faithless brother, to whom I had done
good, and whom I had established as king of Babylon, and for whom I had made
every possible kind of royal decoration, and had given him, and had gathered
together soldiers, horses, and chariots, and had intrusted them to him, and
had given him cities, fields, and woods, and the men dwelling in them, even
more than my father had commanded - even he forgot that favor I had shown
him, and he planned evil. Outwardly with his lips he spoke friendly things,
while inwardly his heart plotted murder (Rm Cyl., III. 70-81; ABL, p. 107).

254. Shamashshumukin now threw off the mask and launched the rebellion
(652 B.C.). He closed the gates of his fortresses and cut off the
sacrifices offered on his brother's behalf before the Babylonian gods. The
various kings and peoples were either summoned to his aid, or invited to
throw off the Assyrian yoke. The southern Babylonians responded by
besieging and overcoming Ur and Uruk. The king of Elam entered Babylonia
with an army. Ashurbanipal, though taken unawares, was not disconcerted.
Obtaining a favorable oracle from the moon-god, he mustered his troops and
sent them against the rebels. Meanwhile his partisans in Elam also set to
work. Suspicion and intrigue, however, brought to naught all assistance
expected by the Babylonians from that quarter. Khumbanigash lost his throne
to Tammaritu, and he, in turn, to Indabigash, who withdrew his forces from
Babylonia (about 650 B.C.). Meanwhile Ashurbanipal's army had shut up the
rebels in the great cities, Sippar, Kutha, and Babylon, and cleared the
south of invaders, driving the Kaldeans under their leader, Nabu-bel-shume,
a grandson of Mardukbaliddin, back into Elam. The three sieges lasted a
year or more, and the cities yielded only when famine and pestilence had
done their work. The despairing king killed himself, apparently by setting
fire to his palace and throwing himself into the flames. With his death the
struggle was over (648 B.C.). Wholesale vengeance was taken upon all who
were implicated in the plot; the streets of the cities ran with blood.
Ashurbanipal had conquered, but the problem of Babylon remained. He
reorganized the government, and himself "took the hands of Bel," becoming
king of Babylon under the name of Kandalanu (647 B.C.).

255. It remained to punish the associates of Shamashshumukin in the
great conspiracy. Elam was the first to suffer. Ashurbanipal demanded of
Indabigash the surrender of the Kaldean, Nabu-bel-shume, who had not only
violated his oath, but had captured and carried away Assyrian soldiers. On
the refusal of the Elamite, an Assyrian army entered Elam. Indabigash fell
a victim to a palace conspiracy, and was succeeded by Khummakhaldash III.,
who retired before the Assyrians. They set up in his place Tammaritu (sect.
251), who had escaped and made his peace with Assyria. He, too, soon proved
false to his patron and plotted to destroy all Assyrian garrisons in Elam.
The plot was discovered and the king thrown into prison. Khummakhaldash
III. remained, and met the advance of the enraged Assyrians in their next
campaign. They would not be restrained, but drove the Elamites back on all
sides, devastated the land and encompassed Susa, which was finally taken and
plundered (about 645 B.C.). The royal narrative dwells with flowing detail
upon the destruction wrought upon palaces and temples, the indignities
inflicted upon royal tombs and images of the gods, and the rescue and return
to its shrine of the famous statue of Nana of Uruk, carried away by the
Elamites sixteen hundred and thirty-five years before (sect. 63). Again
Ashurbanipal demanded the surrender of the Kaldean fugitive, but the latter
saved the wretched Elamite king the shame of yielding him up by falling upon
the sword of his shield-bearer. Khummakhaldash himself, together with
another claimant to the Elamite throne, Pa'e, finally fell into the hands of
the Assyrians. Elam was thus at last subdued under the Assyrian yoke, and
disappeared from the scene (about 640 B.C.).

256. The Arabians, also, felt the weight of Assyrian displeasure.
Yailu, king of Aribi, who had been placed upon his throne by Esarhaddon
(sect. 242), had been persuaded to throw off allegiance to Assyria. He sent
a detachment to the aid of Shamashshumukin, and also began to make raids
into the Syrian and Palestinian provinces. The Assyrian troops succeeded in
holding him back and finally in defeating him so completely that he fled
from his kingdom and, finding no refuge, was compelled to surrender. His
throne went to Uaite, who, in his turn, made common cause with the enemies
of Assyria, uniting with the Kedarenes and the Nabateans, Bedouin tribes to
the south and southeast of Palestine, in withholding tribute and harassing
the borders of the western states. Ashurbanipal sent an expedition from
Nineveh, straight across the desert, to take the Arabians in the rear.
After many hardships by the way, defeating and scattering the tribes, it
reached Damascus with much spoil. Then the army marched southward, clearing
the border of the Bedouin and moving out into the desert to the oases of the
Kedarenes and Nabateans. The chiefs were killed or captured, camels and
other spoil were gathered in such numbers that the market in Nineveh was
glutted, camels bringing at auction "from a half-shekel to a shekel of
silver apiece (?)." In connection with this campaign the Phoenician cities
of Ushu (Tyre on the mainland) and Akko (Acre) were punished for rebellion.
It is strange that other states of Palestine had not yielded to the
solicitations of the king of Babylon. The Second Book of Chronicles
(xxxiii. 11), indeed, tells how Manasseh, Mansasseh, king of Judah, was
taken by the captains of the host of the king of Assyria and carried in
chains to Babylon. Does a reminiscence of punishment for rebellion along
with Shamashshumukin linger here? Possibly, though neither the Books of
Kings nor the Assyrian inscriptions refer to it. Not improbably the excess
of zeal on the part of the rebellious Arabians, which led them to attack the
frontiers of these Palestinian states, soon discouraged any inclination in
these communities to rise against Assyria, whose armies protected them
against just such fierce raids from their desert neighbors. Those who had
withheld tribute must have soon made their peace, among them, it may be,
Manasseh of Judah. It was precisely the coast cities, because they were in
no danger from the Arabs, that persisted in the rebelliousness for which
they now suffered.

257. The policy of his predecessors made the difficulties of
Ashurbanipal, upon his northern borders, of comparatively slight moment.
That policy which was followed and developed by him, consisted essentially
in arraying the northern tribes against one another, and in avoiding, where
possible, direct hostilities with them. Thus, friendly relations were
cultivated with the kings of Urartu, Ursa (Rusa) III. and Sarduris IV.,
whose deputations to the Assyrian court were cordially received. The
Mannai, however, continued aggressively hostile, and their king, Akhsheri,
valiantly resisted an expedition sent against him. When he had been
defeated he fled; a rising of his people against him followed in which he
was slain; his son, Ualli, was placed by Ashurbanipal upon the throne as a
vassal king. Other chieftains of the Medes and Sakhi, and Andaria, a
rebellious prince of the Lubdi, were likewise subdued. In the far northwest
Gyges of Lydia (sect. 250) had fallen before a renewed attack of the
Kimmerians under Tugdammi, a fate in which Ashurbanipal saw the reward of
defection from Assyria. His son, Ardys, renewed the request for Assyrian
aid, and the forces of Tugdammi were met by the Assyrians in Cilicia, and
beaten back with the loss of their king (about 645 B.C.). Thus, all along
these mountain barriers, Ashurbanipal might boast that he had maintained the
integrity and the glory of the Assyrian empire. He was not aware what
momentous changes were in progress behind these distant mountains, what
states were rounding into form, what new masses of migratory peoples were
gathering to hurl themselves upon the plains and shatter the huge fabric of
the Assyrian state.

258. By the year 640 B.C. the campaigns of Ashurbanipal were over. The
empire was at peace. Its fame and splendor had never seemed so great, nor,
in reality, had they ever been so impressive. The king, like his
predecessors, sought the welfare of his country, and thus bears witness to
its prosperity under his rule:

From the time that Ashur, Sin, Shamash, Adad, Bel, Nabu, Ishtar of
Nineveh, Queen of Kidmuri, Ishtar of Arbela, Ninib, Nergal, and Nusku
graciously established me upon the throne of my father, Adad has let loose
his showers, and Ea has opened up his springs; the grain has grown to a
height of five yards, the ears have been five-sixths of a yard long, the
produce of the land - the increase of Nisaba - has been abundant, the land
has constantly yielded heavily, the fruit trees have borne fruit richly, and
the cattle have done well in bearing. During my reign plenty abounded;
during my years abundance prevailed (Rassam Cyl. I. 42 ff.).

259. Ashurbanipal, too, was a builder. Temples in Nineveh, Arbela, and
Tarbish, in Babylon, Borsippa, Sippar, Nippur, and Uruk were embellished or
rebuilt by him. Nineveh owed almost as much to him as to his grandfather
Sennacherib. He repaired and enlarged its defences, and reared on the
northern part of the terrace, upon the site of the harem built by
Sennacherib, a palace of remarkable beauty. In form this palace did not
differ from other similar structures, but it was adorned with an
extraordinary variety and richness of ornamentation, and with sculptures
surpassing the achievements of all previous artists. Sennacherib had led
the way, but the sculptors of Ashurbanipal improved upon the art of the
former day in the elaboration of the scenes depicted, the delicacy and
refinement of details, and the freedom and vigor of the treatment. For some
of these excellences, particularly the breadth and fulness of the battle
scenes, it has been said that the new knowledge gained of Egyptian mural art
was responsible. But in the hunting sculptures and the representations of
animals, the Assyrian artist of Ashurbanipal's time has attained the highest
range of original and effective delineation that is offered by antiquity.
The reliefs of the wounded lioness, of the two demonic creatures about to
clinch, and of a dozen other figures represented in the hunting scenes, are
instinct with life and power; they belong to the permanent aesthetic
treasures of mankind.

260. Within the palace was, also, the remarkable library which has made
this king's name famous among modern scholars. Whether it was founded upon
the nucleus of the royal library which Sennacherib had gathered in Nineveh,
or was an original collection of Ashurbanipal, is uncertain, but in size and
importance it surpasses all other Assyrian collections at present known.
Tens of thousands of clay tablets, systematically arranged on shelves for
easy consultation, contained, besides official despatches and other
archives, the choicest religious, historical, and scientific literature of
the Babylonio-Assyrian world. Under the inspiration of the king's literary
zeal, scribes copied and translated the ancient sacred classics of primitive
Babylonia for this library, so that, from its remains, can be reconstructed,
not merely the details of the government and administration of the Assyria
of his time, but the life and thought of the far distant Babylonian world.
It is not surprising, then, that the inscriptions of this king, produced in
such an atmosphere, are superior to all others in literary character. The
narratives are full and free; the descriptions graphic and spirited, with a
sense for stylistic excellence which reveals a well-trained and original
literary quality in the writers of the court. The impulse had been felt in
the time of Sennacherib (sect. 231), and was gained, no doubt, from the new
literary reinforcements which Nineveh received from Babylon at the time of
the destruction of that ancient city. After two generations this school of
writers had attained the high excellence which these inscriptions disclose.

261. It is evident that the king himself was personally interested in
this higher side of the life which appears in the art and literature of his
day. He has left a charming picture of his early years, how, in the harem,
which he afterwards transformed into a splendid palace, he "acquired the
wisdom of Nabu, learned all the knowledge of writing of all the scribes, as
many as there were, and learned how to shoot with the bow, to ride on horses
and in chariots and to hold the reins" (R. Cyl. I. 31 ff.; ABL, p. 95). The
latter part of this statement reveals, also, his training in the more active
life characteristic of the Assyrian king. The truth of the description is
vouched for by the many representations of the king's hunting adventures,
the pursuit of the gazelle and the wild boar, the slaying of wild oxen and
lions. His was no effeminate or indolent life. This union of culture and
manly vigor is the characteristic of a strong personality.

262. As an imperial administrator, he both resembled and differed from
his predecessors. He added nothing to the methods of provincial government,
but was content to use the best ideas of his time. Deportation was employed
by him in Egypt, where peoples from Kirbit in Elam were settled, and in
Samaria, where, on the testimony of Ezra iv. 10, he (there called Osnappar)
placed inhabitants of Susa, Babylonia, and other eastern peoples, with the
resulting confusion of worships referred to in 2 Kings xvii. 24-41. His
father's policy of uniting various districts under one vassal king (sect.
246) was continued; the most striking example of this is found in his
dealing with Egypt. His armies were recruited, as before, from subject and
conquered peoples. In one remarkable respect, indeed, he departed from past
precedents. His armies were, rarely if ever, led by himself in person; his
generals usually carried on the campaigns. This has been thought to reflect
upon his personal courage and manliness. Yet it may be that the variety of
demands made upon the ruler of so vast an empire decided him in favor of
this reversal of immemorial policy. It is certain that in his case the
change proved wise. No whisper of rebellion among his generals has been
recorded. His armies, directed in their general activities from one centre,
and given free scope in the matter of detail in the field, reflect credit
upon the new system by their almost uniformly brilliant success. His
predecessors had worn themselves out by long and severe campaigns, which
only iron constitutions like that of Ashurnacirpal or Shalmaneser II. could
endure for many years. During their continuance in the field, moreover,
internal administration must be neglected. Ashurnacirpal was able to hold
his throne for nearly half a century; the victories of peace which he won in
the fields of culture and administration rivalled, if they did not surpass,
the achievement of his armies.

263. Under Ashurbanipal the tendencies toward "orientalism" which
appeared in his father's day reached their height. The splendor of his
court was on a scale quite unequalled. It formed the model for future
kings, and served as the theme for later tradition. Thus, the Greek
historians have much to tell of the famous Sardanapalus, the voluptuary who
lived in the harem clad in woman's garb, and whose end came in the flames of
his own gorgeous palace. While Ashurbanipal was anything but such a
weakling, he loved pomp and show, the pleasures of the court, and the
splendor of the throne. If the daughters of kings sent to his harem were,
in fact, pledges of political fidelity, it is clear that the senders knew
what kind of pledges were pleasing to his royal majesty. A famous bas-
relief represents him in the garden, feasting with his queen, while, hanging
from one of the trees, is the head of the conquered Teumman of Elam. In an
oriental court of such a type, pomp and cruelty were not far separated. It
is not strange, therefore, that in his finely wrought sculptures and
brilliantly written inscriptions are depicted scenes of hideous brutality.
Plunder, torture, anguish, and slaughter are dwelt upon with something of
delight by the king, who sees in them the vengeance of the gods upon those
that have broken their faith. The very religiousness of the royal butcher
makes the shadows blacker. No Assyrian king was ever more devoted to the
gods and dependent upon them. Among all the divine beings, his chief was
the goddess Ishtar, the well-beloved who loved him, and who appeared to him
in dreams and spoke oracles of comfort and success. As her love was the
more glowing, so her hate was the more bitter and violent. Captive kings
were caged like dogs and exposed "at the entrance of Temple street" in
Nineveh. No more thrilling and instructive picture of the union of religion
and personal glorification can be found than that given by the king in the
supreme moment of his proud reign when, all his wars victoriously
accomplished, he took the four kings, Tammaritu, Pa'e, Khummakhaldash, and
Uaite, and harnessed them to his chariot. Then, to use his own words, "they
drew it beneath me to the gate of the temple" of Ishtar of Nineveh.
"Because Ashur, Sin, Shamash, Adad, Bel, Nabu, Ishtar of Nineveh, Queen of
Kidmuri, Ishtar of Arbela, Ninib, Nergal, and Nusku had subjected to my yoke
those who were unsubmissive, and with might and power had placed me over my
enemies, I threw myself upon my face and exalted their deity, and praised
their power in the midst of my hosts" (R. Cyl. X. 31 ff.).

 

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