Assyria
Part Twelve
Author: Godspeed, George

Imperial Expansion And Division Esarhaddon. 681-668 B.C.

234. No contemporary narrative has been preserved which gives in clear
detail the story of the critical months that followed the murder of
Sennacherib. The deed was done on the twentieth of Tebet (early in
January), according to the Babylonian Chronicle. Second Kings xix. 37
states that his murderers escaped into the land of "Ararat," that is,
Urartu. The Chronicle adds that the insurrection in Assyria ceased on the
second of Adar (middle of February), and that Esarhaddon became king sixteen
(?) days thereafter (18th (?) of Adar). An inscriptional fragment of
Esarhaddon seems to refer to events of these days and describes the climax
of the struggle:

I was fierce as a lion, and my heart (liver) was enraged. To exercise
the sovereignty of my father's house and to clothe my priestly office, to
Ashur, Sin, Shamash, Bel, Nabu and Nergal, Ishtar of Nineveh, Ishtar of
Arbela, I raised my hands, and they looked with favour on my petition. In
their eternal mercy they sent me an oracle of confidence - viz.: "Go, do not
delay; we will march at thy side and will subjugate thine enemies." One day,
two days, I did not wait, the front of my army I did not look upon, the rear
I did not see, the appointments for my yoked horses, the weapons for my
battle I did not inspect, provisions for my campaign I did not issue. The
furious cold of the month of Shebat, the fierceness of the cold I did not
fear. Like a flying sisinnu bird, for the overthrow of mine enemies, I
opened out my forces. The road to Nineveh, with difficulty and haste, I
travelled. Before me in Hanigalbat, all of their splendid warriors seized
the front of my expedition and forced a battle. The fear of the great gods,
my lords, overwhelmed them. They saw the approach of my mighty battle and
they became insane. Ishtar, the mistress of onslaught and battle, the lover
of my priestly office stood at my side and broke their bows. She broke up
their compact line of battle, and in their assembly they proclaimed, "This
is our king." By her illustrious command they joined themselves to my side
(Cyl. B, I. 1-25).

235. While it is possible that Esarhaddon was in the far northwest when
he received news of the murder, and that he proceeded hastily toward Nineveh
only to find the army of his brothers barring his way, his more probable
starting-point was Babylonia, where he was governor (sect. 230), whence his
march would take him northward through Nineveh, the murderers retiring
before his advance, until the decisive battle was fought on the upper
Euphrates. The desertion of a part of the hostile forces sealed the fate of
the insurrection. The brothers escaped to Urartu, and Esarhaddon became
king (March, 681 B.C.).

236. The inscriptions of the king, which are available for his reign,
are not chronologically arranged, and hence some uncertainty exists as to
the duration and order of his various activities, which is not altogether
dispelled by the useful chronology of the Babylonian Chronicle. They
describe, however, the important movements, both of war and peace, in
sufficient fulness and with a variety of picturesque detail that suggests
the influence of the literary school of the time of Sennacherib. No such
splendid battle-scenes as that of Khalule (sect. 231) decorate the
narratives, which, indeed, reveal a decline in energy and an inclination to
fine writing that reaches its climax in the following reign. The numerous
building inscriptions illustrate a prominent and important feature of the
king's rule. On the southern platform of Nineveh, he erected a palace and
arsenal on the site of the building of Sennacherib (sect. 231), which had
grown too small. At Kalkhi his palace occupied the southwestern corner of
the mound; it was partially excavated by Layard. The indications are that
it was unfinished at the time of the king's death. Curiously enough, there
were found piled up in it a number of slabs, from the palace of
Tiglathpileser III.; these had been trimmed off, preparatory to recarving
and fitting them for use in the new edifice (sect. 187). A characteristic
of both of his palaces, indicative perhaps of a new architectural impulse,
is the great hall of unusual width, its roof supported by pillars and a
medial wall. Another striking feature is the use of sphinxes in decoration.
No bas-reliefs of any significance have as yet been discovered. A tunnel
was built by the king to bring the waters of the upper Zab to Kalkhi, a
renewal of the channel dug by Ashurnacirpal. Esarhaddon was also pre-
eminently a temple-builder. He rebuilt the temple of Ashur at Nineveh. In
Babylonia he was especially active, the temples at Uruk, Sippar, Dur Ilu,
Borsippa, and elsewhere being restored by him. Not less than thirty temples
in all bore marks of his work.

237. His crowning achievement in this respect was the reconstruction of
the city of Babylon, to the account of which he devotes several
inscriptions. The wrath of Marduk at the spoiling of his treasure in order
to send it to Elam (sect. 228) had been the cause of the city's destruction.
"He had decreed ten years as the length of its state of ruin, and the
merciful Marduk was speedily appeased and he drew to his side all Babylonia.
In the eleventh year I gave orders to re-inhabit it" (The Black Stone
Inscr., ABL, p. 88). For Marduk had chosen him in preference to his elder
brothers for this work. With profoundly solemn and impressive religious
ceremonies, the enterprise was undertaken, all Babylonia being summoned for
service and the king himself assuming the insignia of a laborer. The
temple, Esagila, the inner wall, Imgur-bel, the ramparts, Nemitti-Bel, began
to rise in surpassing strength and magnificence. The royal bounties for the
service of the sanctuary were renewed. The scattered population was
recalled. It is not unlikely that the city had not been so utterly
destroyed as Sennacherib's strong language suggests. The walls, temples,
and palaces were, indeed, demolished, but there is no evidence that the site
had been utterly abandoned during these years. As the destruction involved
the taking away of the religious, political, and commercial supremacy of the
city in punishment for its rebelliousness, but not necessarily its complete
desolation, so the rebuilding signified that its former headship and
prerogative were restored under the fostering favor of the ruler of the
empire. Hence the king called it "the protected city." The same conclusion
follows from the fact that the work was practically completed in three years
(680-678 B.C.). The estates of the nobility in the vicinity of the city,
which had been appropriated by the Kaldeans of Bit Dakurri, were restored to
them, and the king of that principality paid for his crime by the loss of
his throne.

238. This important enterprise had a political as well as an
architectural significance. It involved the reversal of Sennacherib's
policy, and reinstated Babylon among the problems of imperial rule. The
motives which induced Esarhaddon to take this step have been variously
conceived. He himself ascribes it to the mercy and forgivingness of the
gods. But religion in antiquity, particularly official religion, usually
gave its oracles in accordance with royal or priestly policy, and the
question therefore still remains. A clew may be found in the personal
interest taken by the king in Babylon and its affairs owing to his residence
there as governor, or to family ties, if, as is assumed, his mother or wife
belonged to the Babylonian nobility. He may have thus paid off a political
debt, as his accession to the throne had been made possible by the immediate
acknowledgment of him as king in Babylon and through the aid furnished him
by Babylonian troops. By some scholars the fundamental political division
in the empire is assumed to account for the undertaking. This division
appeared originally between hierarchy and army (sect. 185), but now took the
more concrete form of Nineveh against Babylon without losing the inveterate
opposition of a military and secular policy to a peaceful and commercial, a
cultural and religious ideal. Sennacherib devoted himself to the interests
of Nineveh and the army; Esarhaddon took the opposite course, and the
rehabilitation of Babylon naturally followed. This theory is too rigorously
maintained and applied by its advocates; one cannot conceive that any
Assyrian ruler or party would voluntarily undertake to set Babylon above
Nineveh, or that the ambitions of the Babylonian hierarchy would not be
offset by the equally pretentious claims of the Assyrian priesthood. Yet it
is quite probable that at the Assyrian court Babylonian influences emanating
from personal, religious, and commercial interests alike, were strong, and
at this time may have overruled, in the king's mind, the counsel of those
who regarded the rebuilding of the city as inimical to the welfare of the
state. The very violence of Sennacherib's measures would tend to produce a
reaction of which the representatives of Babylon's wrongs would not fail to
take advantage. Whatever may have been Esarhaddon's motive, his
inscriptions reveal the lively interest he took in the work, and the
importance he attached to its completion.

239. In connection with the rebuilding of the city Esarhaddon, as
shakkanak of Babylon (sect. 216), was engaged in the reorganization and
administration of Babylonia. During the troubles connected with the
succession, the Kaldi, under the leadership of a son of Mardukbaliddin,
named Nabu-zer-napishti-lishir, took up arms and besieged Ur. The energetic
advance of the provincial governor of southern Babylonia into his domain
compelled the Kaldean to retreat and finally to flee to Elam, his father's
old resort in time of trouble. There Ummanmenanu had been succeeded by
Khumma-khaldash I., and he by another of the same name. Khummakhaldash II.,
however, contrary to the policy of his predecessors, put the fugitive to
death. His brother Na'id Marduk, who had accompanied him, fled to Assyria
and threw himself on the mercy of Esarhaddon, who promptly made him vassal-
lord of the Kaldi, and thereby not only widened the breach between the Kaldi
and Elam but also secured the allegiance of the former. The Gambulians, an
Aramean tribe of the southeast, were likewise won to the Assyrian side, and
their capital fortified against Elam. Still, though thus isolated, the
Elamites ventured a raid into northern Babylonia (674 B.C.) while Esarhaddon
was in the west, and his mother, Naqia, was acting as regent. They stormed
Sippar and carried away the gods of Agade, but were evidently prevented from
doing further damage by the well-organized system of Assyrian defence. It
seems that this somewhat unsuccessful expedition cost Khummakhaldash II. his
throne. The same year he died "without being sick," and was succeeded by
his brother, Urtagu (Urtaki), who signalized his accession by returning the
gods of Agade. He continued the policy of peace with Assyria during
Esarhaddon's reign. It is probable that not only the Assyrian defensive
arrangements, but also troubles arising on his northern and eastern
frontiers from the encroachments of the Medes, explain this attitude.

240. Assyria, likewise, had her problem to solve upon the northern
frontier. During the quiet which reigned here in the years of Sennacherib
(sect. 219), the Medes of the northeast had been passing from the condition
of tribal independence into a somewhat consolidated confederacy, which now
acknowledged as leader a certain Mamitiarshu, who is called in Assyrian
documents "lord of the cities of the Medes." In the north the kingdom of
Urartu was held in check by the Mannai, who owed their place and power to
Assyrian favor (sect. 210); but in the last years of Sennacherib, a new wave
of migratory peoples came rolling down from the Caucasus. It broke on the
Assyrian border and produced confusion and turmoil. These peoples were
called by the Assyrians Gimirrai (anglicized, through the Greek, as
"Kimmerians"). Reaching the high and complex mountain-mass behind which lay
Urartu, they seem to have split into two divisions, one moving westward
along the Anti-Taurus into Asia Minor, the other likewise following the
mountains in their southeasterly trend toward Iran. In both directions they
emerged upon territory under Assyrian influence, and came into conflict with
Assyrian troops. The western body came out above the upper Euphrates, in
the provinces of Milid and Tabal, where Esarhaddon met them under the
leadership of a certain Teushpa, whom he claims to have defeated. If the
restoration of the reading in a broken place in the Babylonian Chronicle is
correct, this battle took place as early as 678 B.C. The result of it seems
to have been to drive the Gimirrai farther to the northwest, where they fell
upon the kingdom of Phrygia. The complications in the northeast were much
more formidable. Urartu became restless, and it is not surprising
therefore, that the sons of Sennacherib, who murdered him, fled northward,
made their stand on the upper Euphrates, and finally took refuge in Urartu.
Their presence there may have had something to do with the disturbances
which soon arose on the frontiers. These broke out, however, not in Urartu,
but in the pro-Assyrian state of the Mannai, which seems to have united with
the Gimirrai, and threatened Assyrian supremacy in the mountains. Then, as
the Gimirrai pushed farther to the southeast, they sought alliance with the
Medes. Before the Assyrians were awake to the situation, they were startled
to find that the Gimirrai, Mannai, and Medes were forming a league under the
leadership of Kashtarit, lord of Karkashshi. A series of curious documents,
apparently official inquiries made of the sun god with reference to these
disturbances and the king's measures taken to quiet them, reveals at the
same time the gravity of the situation and the procedure prerequisite to
Assyrian diplomatic and military activity (Knudtzon, Assyrische Gebete).
The Assyrian plan is laid before the god for his approval; an oracle as to
the outcome of the king's policy or of the enemy's reported movements is
requested in a fashion which, though introduced and accompanied with a
stately and elaborate ritual, is in essence similar to that employed by the
kings of Israel (1 Sam. xxx. 8; 1 Kings xxii. 5, 15). From Esarhaddon's own
report and the hints given in these prayers, the details of the wars can be
recovered and the general result stated. How many years the struggle
continued is quite uncertain; it was brought to an end before 673 B.C. The
league against Assyria failed to do serious harm, as much because of its own
weakness as through Esarhaddon's attacks upon it. Promises which were made
to some tribes detached them from the alliance; a King Bartatua seems to
have secured as his reward a wife from the daughters of Assyria's royal
house; some Median chieftains, who were being forced into the league, made
their peace with Assyria and sought protection. Campaigns were made against
the Mannai and their Kimmerian or Scythian ally, king Ishpaka, of Ashguza
(Bibl. Ashkenaz?), and against Median tribes in the eastern mountains.
Intrigues were set on foot to array the different peoples one against
another. Urartu, even, came to terms with Assyria, and in 672 B.C., when
Esarhaddon was recovering from the Gimirrai the fortress of Shupria, he set
free Urartians who were found there and permitted them to return home.
Esarhaddon had succeeded in averting the storm and in protecting his
frontiers, as well as in inflicting punishment upon the intruders by
campaigns which he had made into the regions of disturbance; but there is no
evidence that he extended Assyrian authority there, or even that he
established on a firm basis in the border-lands the Assyrian provincial
system. On this side of his empire the stream of migration was neither
turned aside nor dissipated; it was merely halted at the frontier. In such
a situation the future was ominous.

241. If Esarhaddon had been able to do little more in the north than
maintain his frontier intact, his activity in the west was productive of a
far more brilliant result. It is a signal testimony to Sennacherib's
administration of the empire that for more than twenty years after the
expedition of 701 B.C. no troubles appeared in the western provinces, not
even when the new king came to the throne in circumstances so favorable to
uprisings in dependent states. Several years after the accession of
Esarhaddon the first difficulty arose, in connection with Sidon. This city
owed its power and prosperity to Assyria, favored as it had been by
Sennacherib as a rival to Tyre (sect. 223). Its king, Itobaal, had been
succeeded by Abdimilkuti. He proceeded to withhold the usual tribute (about
678 B.C.), relying apparently upon a league formed with Sanduarri, a king of
some cities of Cilicia (?), and hoping also for assistance possibly from the
kings of Cyprus and Egypt. In this he was disappointed, and when Esarhaddon
appeared (676 B.C.?), he made little resistance, fled to the west, and,
together with his ally, was after a year or two caught and beheaded. Sidon
was treated as Babylon; it was utterly destroyed, the immense booty
transported to Assyria, and a new city built near the site, called Kar
Esarhaddon, in the erection of which the vassal kings of the west gave
assistance. In the list of these kings appears Baal of Tyre, who, either at
this time or in Sennacherib's reign, had yielded to Assyria. The same
kings, together with the kings of Cyprus who renewed their allegiance on
Sidon's downfall, contributed materials for the building of Esarhaddon's
palace in Nineveh. The list is instructive, as showing the states which at
this date (about 674 B.C.) retained their autonomy in vassalage to Assyria.

Ba'al of Tyre, Manasseh of Judah, Qaushgabri of Edom, Mucuri of Moab,
Cil-Bel of Gaza, Metinti of Askelon, Ikausu of Ekron, Milkiashapa of Byblos,
Matanbaal of Arvad, Abibaal of Samsimuruna, Buduil of Ammon, Ahimilki of
Ashdod, twelve kings of the seacoast; Ekishtura of Edial, Pilagura of
Kitrusi, Kisu of Sillua, Ituandar of Paphos, Eresu of Sillu, Damasu of Kuri,
Atmesu of Tamesu, Damusi of Qartihadashti, Unasagusu of Sidir, Bu-cu-su of
Nure, ten kings of Cyprus in the midst of the sea, in all twenty-two kings
of Khatti (Cyl. B, Col. v. 13-26; ABL, p. 86).

242. Esarhaddon's activities in the west, however, contemplated
something more than the restraining of uneasy vassals or the conquest of
rebellious states. Egypt was his goal. It is conclusive for the view that
the enmity of Egypt had for a long time been the chief hindrance to Assyrian
aggression in the west, and its overthrow a standing purpose of the
Sargonids, that Esarhaddon, at the first moment of freedom from
complications elsewhere, proceeded to lay plans for attacking it. The
breadth of the plans and the persistency of his activities show that he
regarded Egypt as "an old and inveterate foe." Ever since the Ethiopian
dynasty had unified Egypt, the interference of Egypt with Syria and
Palestine, first under Sabako, then under his successor, Shabitoku (about
703-693 B.C.), and now under the vigorous and enterprising Taharqa (about
693-666 B.C.), had been offensive and persistent. It was now, at last, to
be grappled with in earnest by Esarhaddon. In the light of his Egyptian
goal his Arabian campaigns are comprehensible. The Assyrian yoke was fixed
more firmly on the Aribi, to whose king, Hazael, were returned his gods
captured by Sennacherib. A Queen Tabua was appointed to joint sovereignty
with Hazael, and, upon his death, his son Yailu was seated on the throne.
The districts of Bazu and Hazu, somewhere in southwestern Arabia, were
subjugated after a march the appalling difficulties of which are
imaginatively described in the king's narrative. These campaigns (675-674
B.C.) preceded the first advance against Egypt in 674 B.C., in which the
Egyptian border was crossed, and a basis for further progress established.
The next year, however, if Kundtzon's reading of the confused statement of
the Babylonian Chronicle at this point is correct, the Assyrian army was
defeated and driven out. It was this disaster which probably emboldened
Baal, King of Tyre, to withhold his tribute. Esarhaddon, nothing daunted,
spent two years in more extensive preparations, and was on his way to the
west by 670 B.C. Baal was summoned to surrender, and, when he refused and
retired to his island citadel, he was besieged, while the army moved on
southward. The course of the campaign cannot be described more vividly and
tersely than in the royal inscription of Samal:

As for Tarqu, King of Egypt and Cush, who was under the curse of their
great divinity, from Ishupri as far as Memphis, his royal city - a march of
fifteen days - every day without exception I killed his warriors in great
number, and as for him, five times with the point of the spear I struck him
with a deadly stroke. Memphis, his royal city, in half a day, by cutting
through, cutting into and scaling (?) I besieged, I conquered, I tore down,
I destroyed, I burned with fire, and the wife of his palace, his palace
women, Ushanahuru, his own son, and the rest of his sons, his daughters, his
property and possessions, his horses, his oxen, his sheep without number, I
carried away as spoil to Assyria. I tore up the root of Cush from Egypt, a
single one - even to the suppliant - I did not leave behind. Over all Egypt
I appointed kings, prefects, governors, grain-inspectors, mayors, and
secretaries. I instituted regular offerings to Ashur and the great gods, my
lords, for all time. I placed on them the tribute and taxes of my lordship,
regularly and without fail (Mon. 38-51; ABL, p. 92).

243. Twenty Egyptian city-princes, headed by Necho of Sais, were said
to have yielded to Esarhaddon, and, after taking the solemn oath of fidelity
to Ashur, were confirmed in their authority, subject to the oversight of
Assyrian officials (qipani, sect. 167). The usual tribute was required.
Last named among these princes was the king of Thebes; yet he could have
paid but nominal homage at this time, for only after some years did his city
fall into the hands of Assyria. It is evident that Esarhaddon proposed, by
these measures, to incorporate at least lower Egypt into his empire. On his
return he set up the stele at Samal, in which he appears, endowed with
heroic proportions, and holding a cord attached to rings in the lips of two
lesser figures, his captives, one of whom on his knees is evidently Taharqa
of Egypt, and the other presumably Baal of Tyre. The inscription, however,
says nothing of Baal's surrender, and his submission, if offered, was merely
nominal. A similar image and superscription appears graven on the cliffs of
the Nahr-el-Kelb, side by side with the proud bas-reliefs of Egyptian
conquerors of former centuries. Another long-sought goal of Assyrian kings
had been attained, and Esarhaddon was the first of their line to proclaim
himself "King of the kings of Egypt." But a year had hardly passed when he
was summoned to Egypt again by a fresh inroad of Taharqa. He set out in 668
B.C., but never returned, dying on the march in the last of October. The
expedition was concluded triumphantly by his son and successor.

244. As if anticipating that he would never return from the campaign,
Esarhaddon had, in that very year, completed the arrangements for the
succession to the throne. At the feast of Gula (last of April, 668 B.C.)
the proclamation was made to the people of the empire that Ashurbanipal, his
eldest son, was appointed king of Assyria, and a younger son, Shamash-shum-
ukin, was to be king of Babylon. Other sons were made priests of important
temples. This procedure seems to have been necessitated by court or
dynastic difficulties which troubled the last years of the king. The
Babylonian Chronicle, at the year 669 B.C., has the significant statement:
"The king remained in Assyria; he put to death many nobles with the sword."
It is easy to conjecture that this record testifies to a revolt of the
Assyrian party against the pro-Babylonian tendencies of the king (sect.
238), and that Ashurbanipal represented this party and succeeded in carrying
his point (so KAT3, 91 f.), whereby he secured the Assyrian throne and the
primacy in the empire. But this is only conjecture, against which much
might be urged. It is sufficient to observe that Esarhaddon, before his
death, himself determined upon this method of administering the empire,
either to avoid a war of succession, or to secure the future establishment
of that form of government which to him appeared likely to be the wisest and
the most successful for the state.

245. The verdict upon Esarhaddon has been as uniformly favorable as
that upon his father has been condemnatory. He is characterized by a
"reasonable and conciliatory disposition," a "largeness of aim peculiarly
his own;" he was "a wise and strenuous king who left his vast domains with
a fairer show of prosperity and safety than the Assyrian realm had ever
presented at the demise of any of his predecessors." He "is the noblest and
most sympathetic figure among the Assyrian kings." These are high
commendations of both the personal and public worth of the king. The facts,
however, require a more balanced judgment. The king's action regarding
Sidon was peculiarly cruel. Not only was the city destroyed, and its king
beheaded, but, as the royal record declares, on the triumphal march into
Nineveh, the heads of the monarchs slaughtered in that campaign were hung
upon the necks of their great men. The restoration of captured gods and the
establishment of submissive kings upon their thrones must be regarded as
political rather than personal acts, a part of the policy followed in other
periods of Assyrian history. The king's generalship, personal courage, and
force are all that any king before him exhibited, and his success was
brilliant. Yet he, too, suffered military disasters as in Egypt and on the
northern frontier. In the latter region, moreover, his energy was exhibited
rather in beating off his enemies than in aggressive warfare. A
Tiglathpileser, it may be said, would have followed up and broken the power
of his assailants. In Esarhaddon, also, appears more distinctly than before
something of that orientalism in manners and taste which is accustomed to be
associated with eastern monarchs. He is the first of the Sargonids to boast
of his lineage and to trace it back to a fabulous royal ancestry. Kings
from all parts of his realm throng his court and are summoned regularly to
do him homage at his capital. As captives, they are represented as in his
stele of Samal, as beasts crouching at his feet, with rings in their lips.
His religiosity, amounting almost to dependence upon the priesthood and
their oracles, is another marked and not altogether favorable trait of
character. It is not a mere chance that the largest number of oracle texts
of the temples of Ishtar and Shamash come from his reign and relate to his
affairs. "A pious man and a friend of priests from the beginning" is
Tiele's estimate of him from this point of view, and it is illustrated yet
more completely by his temple-building and his restoration of the city of
Babylon. But piety in Assyria was not far removed from superstition, and
the facts suggest that this was not absent from the king's disposition.

246. As a statesman, Esarhaddon in many respects shows himself a worthy
follower of his predecessors. The provincial system and the policy of
deportation are employed by him in the reorganization of Sidon and the
province of Samaria (Ezra iv. 2). His relations with vassal kings, indeed,
are perhaps more uniformly successful than was the case with former rulers,
and in the Kaldean and Arabian states, where he combines various districts
under native rulers, he reveals distinct and admirable diplomacy. His
larger foreign policy was, however, in every case inadequate, if not
disastrous. In the north he stood on the defensive; but under such
conditions mere defence was worse than useless. His conquest of Egypt was
brilliant, yet in the end it weakened more than it strengthened the empire.
Our larger knowledge of his organization of Egypt makes it clear that he
intended to incorporate it into the state by setting up an administrative
system, in part directly, in part indirectly, related to the central
government. The system failed completely, and the drain on the imperial
resources was severe.

247. His internal policy is revealed in his splendid building
operations that culminated in the new Babylon. In this direction no king
had approached the lavish outlay of treasure which these enterprises must
have required. That this treasure was available was due to the resources
laid up by Sennacherib in his years of peace, and it is a question whether
their dissipation in such operations was wise. No doubt can rest upon the
political inexpediency of the rebuilding of Babylon. It revived at once the
Kaldean and Elamite problems, as well as the most perplexing problem of all,
that of Babylon itself. It led directly to that act which even the most
ardent admirers of Esarhaddon concede to have been "an act of folly" and "a
colossal failure," - the division of the empire between two rulers, the king
of Assyria and the king of Babylon. Sennacherib may have been violent,
ruthless, and short-sighted. He was not so witless as his son, who, while
he added Egypt to the empire, gave the state, by his deliberately adopted
policy of decentralization, a start upon the downward road at the end of
which lay sudden and complete destruction.

 

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