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Ancient Egypt: The fall of Assyria, 610 BCE
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Ashurbanipal hunting lions Ashurbanipal hunting lions
(Source: Emory University website)
 

The Fall of Assyria

    The decline and demise of the Assyrian empire was surprisingly rapid. Under Ashurbanipal Egypt regained its independence and his successors faced two enemies in the east: the Medes and the Babylonians. The fall of Assyria In 626 Babylon shook off the Assyrian yoke, defeating an Assyrian army.
    It was then that Egypt began to give active support to their former overlords, in order to keep Assyria as a much weakened buffer state between their regions of interest and the rising powers of the East - an interesting example of Realpolitik.
Yet Egypt was too weak to be able to withstand the attacks of the Medes for long: Two years after a battle between the united Assyrian-Egyptian forces and the Babylonians only 300 km from Babylon itself in 616, the Medes under Cyaxares conquered Ashur. In the year 612 BCE, Niniveh fell to the combined forces of the Babylonians and Medes. Haran, Ashur-uballit's last stronghold, was taken in 610, ending the Assyrian empire.
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