Thursday, May 18, 2017

The Assyrian King: Sargon II

Sargon II (r. 721-705 BC) took the throne of Assyria when his predecessor (and likely half brother) Shalmaneser V was killed.

Sargon II’s accession was no doubt a violent one, and it took him about one year to quell opposition in Assyria and solidify his position as king. Sargon’s reign can almost be summarized as a series of holding actions. The Assyrians empire was large - perhaps too large for its resources.
The peoples on all sides of the empire were restive, and revolts were commonplace. From time to time they formed alliances; ultimately it was by such alliance that the empire was defeated.

In 710 BC, Sargon II defeated Merodack-Baladan and Assyrian assumed complete control of Babylon. Upon vanquishing Merodack, Sargon II declared himself as king of Babylon and rules his entire Assyrian kingdom from Babylon for the next three years.

Merodack-Baladan remained as a local ruler and supported Sargon to the end of his reign. Sargon II died in battle in 705 BC while campaigning in the north.
The Assyrian King: Sargon II
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