The Nile Delta is the delta formed in Northern Egypt where the Nile River spreads out and drains into the Mediterranean Sea. It is one of the world's largest river deltas—from Alexandria in the west to Port Said in the east, it covers 240 km of Mediterranean coastline and is a rich agricultural region. From north to south the delta is 160 km in length; the Delta begins down-river from Cairo. The Nile Delta is an area of the world that lacks detailed ground truth data and monitoring stations. Despite the economic importance of the Nile Delta, it could be considered as one of the most data-poor regions with respect to sea level rise. From north to south, the delta is 160 km in length. From west to east, it covers some 240 km of coastline; the delta is sometimes divided into sections, with the Nile dividing into two main distributaries, the Damietta and the Rosetta, flowing into the Mediterranean at port cities with the same name. In the past, the delta had several distributaries, but these have been lost due to flood control and changing relief.
One such defunct distributary is Wadi Tumilat. The Suez Canal is east of the delta and enters the coastal Lake Manzala in the north-east of the delta. To the north-west are three other coastal lakes or lagoons: Lake Burullus, Lake Idku and Lake Mariout; the Nile is considered to be an "arcuate" delta, as it resembles a triangle or flower when seen from above. Some scholars such as Aristotle have written that the delta was constructed for agricultural purposes due to the drying of the region of Egypt. Although such an engineering feat would be considered equivalent to a wonder of the ancient world, there is insufficient evidence to determine conclusively whether the delta is man-made or was formed naturally. In modern day, the outer edges of the delta are eroding, some coastal lagoons have seen increasing salinity levels as their connection to the Mediterranean Sea increases. Since the delta no longer receives an annual supply of nutrients and sediments from upstream due to the construction of the Aswan Dam, the soils of the floodplains have become poorer, large amounts of fertilizers are now used.
Topsoil in the delta can be as much as 21 m in depth. People have lived in the Delta region for thousands of years, it has been intensively farmed for at least the last five thousand years; the Delta used to flood annually. Records from ancient times show that the delta had seven distributaries or branches,: the Pelusiac, the Tanitic, the Mendesian, the Phatnitic, the Sebennytic, the Bolbitine, the Canopic There are now only two main branches, due to flood control and changing relief: the Damietta to the east, the Rosetta in the western part of the Delta; the Rosetta Stone was found in the Nile Delta in 1799 in the port city of Rosetta. The delta was a major constituent of Lower Egypt. There are many archaeological sites around the Nile Delta. About 39 million people live in the Delta region. Outside of major cities, population density in the delta averages 1,000/km2 or more. Alexandria is the largest city in the delta with an estimated population of more than 4.5 million. Other large cities in the delta include Shubra El Kheima, Port Said, El Mahalla El Kubra, Mansura and Zagazig.
During autumn, parts of the Nile River are red with lotus flowers. The Lower Nile and the Upper Nile have plants; the Upper Nile plant is the Egyptian lotus, the Lower Nile plant is the Papyrus Sedge, although it is not nearly as plentiful as it once was, is becoming quite rare. Several hundred thousand water birds winter in the delta, including the world’s largest concentrations of little gulls and whiskered terns. Other birds making their homes in the delta include grey herons, Kentish plovers, cormorants and ibises. Other animals found in the delta include frogs, tortoises and the Nile monitor. Nile crocodiles and hippopotamus, two animals which were widespread in the delta during antiquity, are no longer found there. Fish found in the delta soles; the Delta has a hot desert climate as the rest of Egypt, but its northernmost part, as is the case with the rest of the northern coast of Egypt, the wettest region in the country, has moderate temperatures, with highs not surpassing 31 °C in the summer.
Only 100–200 mm of rain falls on the delta area during an average year, most of this falls in the winter months. The delta experiences its hottest temperatures in July and August, with a maximum average of 34 °C. Winter temperatures are in the range of 9 °C at nights to 19 °C in the daytime. With cooler temperatures and some rain, the Nile Delta region becomes quite humid during the winter months. Furthermore, Egypt’s Mediterranean coastline is being swallowed up by the sea because of global warming and the rise of the sea level, the lack of sediments being deposited since the construction of the Aswan Dam, in some places as much as 90 m a year; as the polar ice caps melt, much of the northern delta, including the ancient port city of Alexandria, will disappear under the Mediterranean. A 30 cm rise in sea level will affect about 6.6% of the total land cover area in the Nile Delta region.
Hezekiah was, according to the Hebrew Bible, the son of Ahaz and the 13th king of Judah. Edwin Thiele concluded that his reign was between c. 715 and 686 BC. He is considered a righteous king by the author of the Books of Kings, he is one of the most prominent kings of Judah mentioned in the Bible and is one of the kings mentioned in the genealogy of Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew. According to the Bible, Hezekiah witnessed the destruction of the northern Kingdom of Israel by Sargon's Assyrians in c. 722 BC and was king of Judah during the siege of Jerusalem by Sennacherib in 701 BC. Hezekiah enacted sweeping religious reforms, including a strict mandate for the sole worship of Yahweh and a prohibition on venerating other deities within the Temple of Jerusalem. Isaiah and Micah prophesied during his reign; the name Hezekiah means "Yahweh Strengthens" in Hebrew. The main account of Hezekiah's reign is found in 2 Kings 18–20, Isaiah 36–39, 2 Chronicles 29–32 of the Hebrew Bible. Proverbs 25:1 mentions that it is a collection of King Solomon's proverbs that were "copied by the officials of King Hezekiah of Judah".
His reign is referred to in the books of the prophets Isaiah, Jeremiah and Micah. The books of Hosea and Micah record. Hezekiah was the son of King Abijah, his mother, was a daughter of the high priest Zechariah. Based on Thiele's dating, Hezekiah was born in c. 741 BC. He was married to Hephzi-bah, he died from natural causes at the age of 54 in c. 687 BC, was succeeded by his son Manasseh. According to the Bible, Hezekiah assumed the throne of Judah at the age of 25 and reigned for 29 years; some writers have proposed. His sole reign is dated by William F. Albright as 715–687 BC, by Edwin R. Thiele as 716–687 BC. Hezekiah purified and repaired the Temple, purged its idols, reformed the priesthood. In an effort to abolish idolatry from his kingdom, he destroyed the high places and the "bronze serpent", recorded as being made by Moses, which became objects of idolatrous worship. In place of this, he centralized the worship of God at the Jerusalem Temple. Hezekiah defeated the Philistines, "as far as Gaza and its territory", resumed the Passover pilgrimage and the tradition of inviting the scattered tribes of Israel to take part in a Passover festival.
He sent messengers to Ephraim and Manasseh inviting them to Jerusalem for the celebration of the Passover. The messengers, were not only not listened to, but were laughed at; the Passover was celebrated with great solemnity and such rejoicing as had not been in Jerusalem since the days of Solomon. Hezekiah is portrayed by the Bible as a good king. After the death of Assyrian king Sargon II in 705 BC, Sargon's son Sennacherib became king of Assyria. In 703 BC, Sennacherib began a series of major campaigns to quash opposition to Assyrian rule, starting with cities in the eastern part of the realm. In 701 BC, Sennacherib turned toward cities in the west. Hezekiah had to face the invasion of Judah. According to the Bible, Hezekiah did not rely on Egypt for support, but relied on God and prayed to Him for deliverance of his capital city Jerusalem; the Assyrians recorded that Sennacherib lifted his siege of Jerusalem after Hezekiah paid Sennacherib tribute. The Bible records that Hezekiah paid him three hundred talents of silver and thirty of gold as tribute sending the doors of the Temple to produce the promised amount, but after the payment was made, Sennacherib renewed his assault on Jerusalem.
Sennacherib sent his Rabshakeh to the walls as a messenger. The Rabshakeh addressed the soldiers manning the city wall in Hebrew, asking them to distrust Yahweh and Hezekiah, claiming that Hezekiah's righteous reforms were a sign that the people should not trust their god to be favorably disposed. 2 Kings 19:15 records that Hezekiah went to the Temple and there he prayed to God. Knowing that Jerusalem would be subject to siege, Hezekiah had been preparing for some time by fortifying the walls of the capital, building towers, constructing a tunnel to bring fresh water to the city from a spring outside its walls, he made at least two major preparations that would help Jerusalem to resist conquest: the construction of the Siloam Tunnel, construction of the Broad Wall. "When Sennacherib had come, intent on making war against Jerusalem, Hezekiah consulted with his officers about stopping the flow of the springs outside the city … for otherwise, they thought, the King of Assyria would come and find water in abundance".
The narratives of the Bible state. According to the biblical record, Sennacherib sent threatening letters warning Hezekiah that he had not desisted from his determination to take the Judean capital. Although they besieged Jerusalem, the biblical accounts state that the Assyrians did not so much as "shoot an arrow there... nor cast up a siege rampart against it", that God sent out an angel who, in one night, struck down "a hundred and eighty-five thousand in the camp of the Assyrians," sending Sennacherib back "with shame of face to his own land". Sennacherib's inscriptions make no mention of t
Dur-Sharrukin, present day Khorsabad, was the Assyrian capital in the time of Sargon II of Assyria. Khorsabad is a village in northern Iraq, 15 km northeast of Mosul; the great city was built in the decade preceding 706 BC. After the unexpected death of Sargon in battle, the capital was shifted 20 km south to Nineveh. Sargon II ruled from 722 to 705 BC; the demands for timber and other materials and craftsmen, who came from as far as coastal Phoenicia, are documented in contemporary Assyrian letters. The debts of construction workers were nullified in order to attract a sufficient labour force; the land in the environs of the town was taken under cultivation, olive groves were planted to increase Assyria's deficient oil-production. The great city was built in the decade preceding 706 BC, when the court moved to Dur-Sharrukin, although it was not finished yet. Sargon was killed during a battle in 705. After his unexpected death his son and successor Sennacherib abandoned the project, relocated the capital with its administration to the city of Nineveh, 20 km south.
The city was never completed and it was abandoned a century when the Assyrian empire fell. On 8 March 2015 the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant started the plunder and demolition of Dur-Sharrukin, according to the Kurdish official from Mosul Saeed Mamuzini; the Iraqi Tourism and Antiquities Ministry launched the related investigation on the same day. The town was of rectangular layout and measured 1758.6 by 1635 metres. The enclosed area comprised 288 hectares; the length of the walls was 16280 Assyrian units, which according to Sargon himself corresponded to the numerical value of his name. The city walls were massive and 157 towers protected its sides. Seven gates entered the city from all directions. A walled terrace contained the royal palace; the main temples were dedicated to the gods Nabu and Sin, while Adad and Ninurta had smaller shrines. A temple tower, was constructed; the palace was adorned with sculptures and wall reliefs, the gates were flanked with winged-bull shedu statues weighing up to 40 tons.
Sargon lost at least one of these winged bulls in the river. In addition to the great city, there was a royal hunting park and a garden that included "all the aromatic plants of Hatti and the fruit-trees of every mountain", a "record of power and conquest", as Robin Lane Fox has observed. Surviving correspondence mentions the moving of thousands of young fruit trees, almonds and medlars. "On the central canal of Sargon's garden stood a pillared pleasure-pavilion which looked up to a great topographic creation: a man-made Garden Mound. This Mound was planted with cedars and cypresses and was modelled after a foreign landscape, the Amanus mountains in north Syria, which had so amazed the Assyrian kings. In their flat palace-gardens they built a replica of what they had encountered." Dur-Sharrukin is a square with a border marked by a city wall 24 meters thick with a stone foundation pierced by seven massive gates. A mound in the northeast section marks the location of the palace of Sargon II. At the time of its construction, the village on the site was named Maganuba.
The site was first noticed by the French Consul General at Mosul, Paul-Émile Botta in 1842. Botta believed, that Khorsabad was the site of biblical Nineveh; the site was excavated by Botta in 1842-44, joined in the stages by artist Eugène Flandin. Victor Place resumed the excavations from 1852 to 1855. A significant number of the items recovered by the French at Dur-Sharrukin were lost in two river shipping incidents. In 1853, Place attempted to move two 30-ton statues and other material to Paris from Khorsabad on a large boat and four rafts. All of the vessels except two of the rafts were scuttled by pirates. In 1855, Place and Jules Oppert attempted to transport the remaining finds from Dur-Sharrukin, as well as material from other sites being worked by the French Nimrud. All of the collection, over 200 crates, was lost in the river. Surviving artifacts from this excavation were taken to the Louvre in Paris; the site of Khorsabad was excavated 1928–1935 by American archaeologists from the Oriental Institute in Chicago.
Work in the first season was concentrated on the palace area. A colossal bull estimated to weigh 40 tons was uncovered outside the throne room, it was found split into three large fragments. The torso alone weighed about 20 tons; this was shipped to Chicago. The preparation and shipment of the bull back to the Oriental Institute was arduous; the remaining seasons were led by Hamilton Darby. Their work examined one of the city gates, continued work at the palace, excavated extensively at the palace's temple complex. Since Dur-Sharrukin was a single-period site, evacuated in an orderly manner after the death of Sargon II, few individual objects were found; the primary discoveries from Khorsabad shed light on Assyrian architecture. In 1957, archaeologists from the Iraqi Department Antiquities, led by Fuad Safar excavated at the site, uncovering the temple of Sibitti. Cities of the ancient Near East Destruction of cultural heritage by ISIL Short chronology timeline List of megalithic sites Buckingham, James Silk, The buried city of the East, Nineveh: a narrative of the discoveries of Mr. Layard and M. Botta at Nimroud and Khorsabad, National Illustrated Library, 1851 A. Fuchs, Die Inschriften Sargons II.
Aus Khorsabad, Cuvillier, 1994, ISBN 3-930340-42-9 A. Caubet, Khorsabad: le palais de Sargon II, roi d'Assyrie: Actes du colloque organisé au musée du Louvre par le Services culturel les 21 et 22 janvier 1994, La Documentation
Piye was an ancient Kushite king and founder of the Twenty-fifth dynasty of Egypt who ruled Egypt from 744–714 BC. He ruled from the city of Napata, located deep in Nubia, modern-day Sudan. Piye adopted two throne names: Sneferre, he was passionate about the worship of the god Amun, like many kings of Nubia. He revitalized the moribund Great Temple of Amun at Jebel Barkal, first built under Thutmose III of the New Kingdom, employing numerous sculptors and stonemasons from Egypt, he was once thought to have used the throne name'Menkheperre' but this prenomen has now been recognized as belonging to a local Theban king named Ini instead, a contemporary of Piye. Piye was the son of Pebatjma, he is known to have had four wives. Abar was the mother of his successor Taharqa. Further wives are Tabiry and Khensa. Piye is known to have had several children, he was the father of: King Shebitku. Said to be a son of Piye, or alternatively a brother of Piye. King Taharqa. Son of Queen Abar, he would take the throne after another male relative Shebitku.
God's Wife of Amun Shepenwepet II. Installed in Thebes during the reign of her brother Taharqa. Qalhata, wife of King Shabaka, she was the mother of king Tanutamun and of King Shabataka as well. Tabekenamun married her brother Taharqa. Naparaye married her brother Taharqa. Takahatenamun married her brother Taharqa. Arty, married king Shebitku. Har. Known from an offering table of his daughter Wadjrenes from Thebes. Khaliut, Governor of Kanad according to a stela found at Barkal. Princess Mutirdis, Chief Prophet of Hathor and Mut in Thebes and daughter of Piye according to Morkot. Thought to be a daughter of a local ruler named Menkheperre Khmuny from Hermopolis by Kitchen; as ruler of Nubia and Upper Egypt, Piye took advantage of the squabbling of Egypt's rulers by expanding Nubia's power beyond Thebes into Lower Egypt. In reaction to this, Tefnakht of Sais formed a coalition between the local kings of the Delta Region and enticed Piye's nominal ally—king Nimlot of Hermopolis—to defect to his side.
Tefnakht sent his coalition army south and besieged Herakleopolis where its king Peftjauawybast and the local Nubian commanders appealed to Piye for help. Piye reacted to this crisis in his regnal year 20 by assembling an army to invade Middle and Lower Egypt and visited Thebes in time for the great Opet Festival which proves he controlled Upper Egypt by this time, his military feats are chronicled in the Victory stela at Gebel Barkal. Piye viewed his campaign as a Holy War, commanding his soldiers to cleanse themselves ritually before beginning battle, he himself offered sacrifices to the great god Amun. Piye marched north and achieved complete victory at Herakleopolis, conquering the cities of Hermopolis and Memphis among others, received the submission of the kings of the Nile Delta including Iuput II of Leontopolis, Osorkon IV of Tanis and his former ally Nimlot at Hermopolis. Hermopolis fell to the Nubian king after a siege lasting five months. Tefnakht took refuge in an island in the Delta and formally conceded defeat in a letter to the Nubian king but refused to pay homage to the Kushite ruler.
Satisfied with his triumph, Piye proceeded to sail south to Thebes and returned to his homeland in Nubia never to return to Egypt. Despite Piye's successful campaign into the Delta, his authority only extended northward from Thebes up to the western desert oases and Herakleopolis where Peftjauawybast ruled as a Nubian vassal king; the local kings of Lower Egypt—especially Tefnakht—were free to do what they wanted without Piye's oversight. It was Shabaka, Piye's successor, who rectified this unsatisfactory situation by attacking Sais and defeating Tefnakht's successor Bakenranef there, in his second regnal year. Piye's highest known date was long thought to be the "Year 24 III Akhet day 10" date mentioned in the "Smaller Dakhla Stela" from the Sutekh temple of Mut el-Kharab in the Dakhla Oasis. However, the inscriptions within a vizier's tomb, discovered in 2006 in Deir El-Bahari, indicate that the vizier died in the 27th year of Piye. Relevant are the reliefs from the Great Temple at Jebel Barkal, which depict Piye celebrating a Heb Sed Festival.
Such festivals were traditionally celebrated in a king's 30th Year. It is debated whether the reliefs portrayed historical events, or were prepared in advance for the festival - in which case Piye might have died before his 30th regnal year; the 2006 discovery lends more weight to the former theory. Kenneth Kitchen has suggested a reign of 31 years for Piye, based on the Year 8 donation stela of a king Shepsesre Tefnakht, viewed as Piye's opponent. A dissenting opinion came from Olivier Perdu in 2002, who believes that this stela refers instead to the king Tefnakht II because of stylistic similarities to another, dated to Year 2 of Necho I's reign. More in the February 2008 issue of National Geographic, Robert Draper wrote that Piye ruled for 35 years and invaded all of Egypt in his 20th regnal year in about 730 BC. Piye's tomb was located next to the largest Pyramid in the cemetery, designated Ku.1, at el-Kurru near Jebel Barkal in what is now Northern Sudan. Down a stairway of 19 steps opened to the east, the burial chamber is cut into the bedrock as an open trench and covered with a corbelled masonry roof.
His body had been placed on a bed which rested in the middle of the chamber on a stone bench with its four corners cut away to receive the legs of the bed so that the bed platform
University of Chicago Oriental Institute
The Oriental Institute, established in 1919, is the University of Chicago's interdisciplinary research center for ancient Near Eastern studies, archaeology museum. It was founded for the university by professor James Henry Breasted with funds donated by John D. Rockefeller, Jr, it conducts research on ancient civilizations throughout the Near East, including at its facility, Chicago House, in Luxor, Egypt. The Institute publicly exhibits an extensive collection of artifacts related to ancient civilizations at its on-campus building in the Hyde Park, Chicago community. In the early 20th century, James Henry Breasted built up the collection of the university's Haskell Oriental Museum, which he oversaw along with his field work, teaching duties, he dreamed, however, of establishing a research institute, “a laboratory for the study of the rise and development of civilization”, that would trace Western civilization to its roots in the ancient Middle East. As World War I wound down, he sensed an opportunity to use his influence in the new political climate.
He wrote to John D. Rockefeller, Jr. and proposed the foundation of what would become the Oriental Institute. Fundamental to the implementation of his plan was a research trip through the Middle East, which Breasted had optimistically, or naively, suggested was ready to receive scholars again after the disturbances of the war. Breasted received a reply from Rockefeller pledging $50,000 over five years for the Oriental Institute. Rockefeller assured University of Chicago President Harry Pratt Judson that he would pledge another $50,000 to the cause; the University of Chicago contributed additional support, in May 1919 the Oriental Institute was founded. The Institute is housed in an unusual Art-Deco/Gothic building at the corner of 58th Street and University Avenue, designed by the architectural firm Mayers Murray & Phillip. Construction was completed in 1930, the building was dedicated in 1931. In the 1990s, Tony Wilkinson, founded the'Center for Ancient Middle Eastern Landscapes' based at the institute.
Its role is to investigate the Middle East through landscape archaeology and the analysis of spatial data, including images from many decades of Middle Eastern aerial photography, survey maps, as well as, modern satellite imagery. The Museum of the Oriental Institute has artifacts from digs in Egypt, Syria, Turkey and Iran. Notable works in the collection include the famous Megiddo Ivories; the museum has free admission. The Oriental Institute is a center of active research on the ancient Near East; the building's upper floors contain a library and faculty offices, its gift shop, the Suq sells textbooks for the University's classes on Near Eastern studies. In addition to carrying out many digs in the Fertile Crescent, OI scholars have made contributions to the understanding of the origins of human civilization; the term "Fertile Crescent" was coined by J. H. Breasted, the OI founder, who popularized the connection of the rise of civilization in the Near East with the development of European culture.
In 2011, among other projects OI scholars completed publication of the 21-volume Chicago Assyrian Dictionary, a basic cultural reference work. The effort was begun in 1921 by J. H. Breasted, continued by Edward Chiera and Ignace Gelb, with the first volume published in 1956. Dr. Erica Reiner as editor-in-charge led the research teams for 44 years, she was succeeded by dean of humanities at the university. Similar dictionaries are including the Chicago Hittite Dictionary and one for Demotic; the Institute oversees the work of Chicago House in Egypt. The Egyptian facility, established in 1924, performs the Epigraphic Survey, which documents and researches the historical sites in Luxor, it manages conservation at various sites. In 2006, the Oriental Institute was the center of a controversy when a U. S. federal court ruling sought to seize and auction a valuable collection of ancient Persian tablets held by the museum. The proceeds were to compensate the victims of a 1997 bombing in Ben Yehuda Street, Jerusalem, an attack which the United States claimed was funded by Iran.
The ruling threatened sale of an invaluable collection of ancient clay tablets, held by the Oriental Institute since the 1930s, but owned by Iran. The Achaemenid clay tablets were loaned to the University of Chicago in 1937, they were discovered by archaeologists in 1933 and are the property of the National Museum of Iran and the Iran's Cultural Heritage Organization. The artifacts were loaned based on the understanding; the tablets, from Persepolis, the capital of the Achaemenid Empire, date to about 500 BCE. The tablets give a view of daily life, itemizing such elements as the daily rations of barley given to workers in nearby regions of the empire; the tablets were sent to the capital to provide a record of. Gil Stein, former director of the Oriental Institute, said that details concern food for people on diplomatic or military missions; each tablet is about half the size of a deck of playing cards and has characters of a dialect of Elamite, an extinct language understood by a dozen scholars in the world.
Stein described the tablets as providing "the first chance to hear the Persians speaking of their own empire". Charles Jones, Research Associate and Librarian at the Oriental Institute and tablet expert, compared them to "credit card receipts". Most cu
Ahaz (Hebrew: אָחָז, ʼAḥaz, "has held". Ahaz was 20 when he reigned for 16 years. Ahaz is portrayed as an evil king in the Second Book of Kings. Edwin R. Thiele concluded that Ahaz was co-regent with Jotham from 736/735 BC, that his sole reign began in 732/731 and ended in 716/715 BC. William F. Albright has dated his reign to 744 – 728 BC; the Gospel of Matthew lists Ahaz of Judah in the genealogy of Jesus. He is mentioned in Isaiah 14:28. Ahaz's reign commenced in the 17th year of the reign of Pekah of Israel, it is described in 2 Kings 16. Upon his accession, Ahaz had to meet a coalition formed by northern Israel, under Pekah, Damascus, under Rezin; these kings wished to compel him to join them in opposing the Assyrians, who were arming a force against the Northern Kingdom under Tiglath-Pileser III. Isaiah counsels Ahaz to trust in God rather than foreign allies, tells him to ask for a sign to confirm that this is a true prophecy. Ahaz refuses. Isaiah replies that Ahaz will have a sign whether he asks for it or not, the sign will be the birth of a child, the child's mother will call it Immanuel, meaning "God-with-us".
To protect himself Ahaz called in the aid of the Assyrians. Tiglath-Pileser annexed Aram. According to 2 Kings 16:9, the population of Aram was Rezin executed. Tiglath-Pileser attacked Israel and "took Ijon, Abel Beth Maacah, Janoah and Hazor, he took Gilead and Galilee, including all the land of Naphtali, deported the people to Assyria." Tiglath-Pileser records this act in one of his inscriptions. Through Assyria's intervention, as a result of its invasion and subjection of the kingdom of Damascus and the Kingdom of Israel, Ahaz was relieved of his troublesome neighbors; this war of invasion lasted two years, ended in the capture and annexation of Damascus to Assyria and of the territory of Israel north of the border of Jezreel. Ahaz in the meanwhile furnished auxiliaries to Tiglath-Pileser; this appeal to Assyria met with stern opposition from the prophet Isaiah, who counseled Ahaz to rely upon the Lord and not upon outside aid. The sequel seemed to condemn the prophet. Ahaz, during his whole reign, was free from troubles with which the neighboring rulers were harassed, who from time to time revolted against Assyria.
Thus it was that, in 722, Samaria was taken and northern Israel wholly incorporated into the Assyrian empire. Ahaz yielded to the glamour and prestige of the Assyrians in religion as well as in politics. In 732, he went to Damascus to swear homage to his gods. Changes were made in the arrangements and furniture of the Temple, "because of the king of Assyria". Furthermore, Ahaz fitted up an astrological observatory with accompanying sacrifices, after the fashion of the ruling people. In other ways Ahaz lowered the character of the national worship. 2 Kings 16:3 records that Ahaz offered his son by fire to Moloch, a practice condemned by Leviticus 18:21. The words may refer to a ceremony of a sacrificial offering; the account in 2 Chronicles 28:3 refers to sons. His government is considered by the Deuteronomistic historian as having been disastrous for the religious state of the country, a large part of the reforming work of his son Hezekiah was aimed at undoing the evil that Ahaz had done, he was succeeded by his son, Hezekiah.
Because of his wickedness he was "not brought into the sepulchre of the kings". An insight into Ahaz's neglect of the worship of the Lord is found in the statement that on the first day of the month of Nisan that followed Ahaz's death, his son Hezekiah commissioned the priests and Levites to open and repair the doors of the Temple and to remove the defilements of the sanctuary, a task which took 16 days. There has been considerable academic debate about the actual dates of reigns of the Israelite kings. Scholars have endeavored to synchronize the chronology of events referred to in the Bible with those derived from other external sources; the calendars for reckoning the years of kings in Judah and Israel were offset by six months, that of Judah starting in Tishri and that of Israel in Nisan. Cross-synchronizations between the two kingdoms therefore allow narrowing of the beginning and/or ending dates of a king to within a six-month range. For Ahaz, the Scriptural data allow dating the beginning of his coregency with Jotham to some time in the six-month interval beginning of Nisan 1 of 735 BC.
By the Judean calendar that started the regnal year in Tishri, this could be written as 736/735, or more 736 BC. His father was removed from responsibility by the pro-Assyrian faction at some time in the year that started in Tishri of 732 BC, he died some time between Tishri 1 of 716 BC and Nisan 1 of 715 BC, i.e. in 716/715, or more 716 BC. Rodger Young offers a possible explanation of why four extra years are assigned to Jotham in 2 Kings 15:30 and why Ahaz's 16-year reign is measured from the time of Jotham's death in 732/731, in
Ancient Olympic Games
The ancient Olympic Games were a festival, or celebration of and for Zeus. The Olympic Games were a series of athletic competitions among representatives of city-states and one of the Panhellenic Games of ancient Greece, they were held in honor of Zeus, the Greeks gave them a mythological origin. The first Olympics is traditionally dated to 776 BC, they continued to be celebrated when Greece came under Roman rule, until the emperor Theodosius I suppressed them in AD 393 as part of the campaign to impose Christianity as the State religion of Rome. The games were held every four years, or olympiad, which became a unit of time in historical chronologies. During the celebration of the games, an Olympic Truce was enacted so that athletes could travel from their cities to the games in safety; the prizes for the victors were olive leaf crowns. The games became a political tool used by city-states to assert dominance over their rivals. Politicians would announce political alliances at the games, in times of war, priests would offer sacrifices to the gods for victory.
The games were used to help spread Hellenistic culture throughout the Mediterranean. The Olympics featured religious celebrations; the statue of Zeus at Olympia was counted as one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. Sculptors and poets would congregate each olympiad to display their works of art to would-be patrons; the ancient Olympics had fewer events than the modern games, only freeborn Greek men were allowed to participate, although there were victorious women chariot owners. As long as they met the entrance criteria, athletes from any Greek city-state and kingdom were allowed to participate, although the Hellanodikai, the officials in charge, allowed king Alexander I of Macedon to participate in the games only after he had proven his Greek ancestry; the games were always held at Olympia rather than moving between different locations as is the practice with the modern Olympic Games. Victors at the Olympics were honored, their feats chronicled for future generations. To the Greeks, it was important to root the Olympic Games in mythology.
During the time of the ancient games their origins were attributed to the gods, competing legends persisted as to, responsible for the genesis of the games. These origin traditions have become nearly impossible to untangle, yet a chronology and patterns have arisen that help people understand the story behind the games; the earliest myths regarding the origin of the games are recounted by the Greek historian, Pausanias. According to the story, the dactyl Heracles and four of his brothers, Epimedes and Idas, raced at Olympia to entertain the newborn Zeus, he crowned the victor with an olive wreath, which explains the four year interval, bringing the games around every fifth year. The other Olympian gods would engage in wrestling and running contests. Another myth of the origin of the games is the story of a local Olympian hero; the story of Pelops begins with Oenomaus, the king of Pisa, who had a beautiful daughter named Hippodamia. According to an oracle, the king would be killed by her husband.
Therefore, he decreed that any young man who wanted to marry his daughter was required to drive away with her in his chariot, Oenomaus would follow in another chariot, spear the suitor if he caught up with them. Now, the king's chariot horses were a present from the god Poseidon and were therefore supernaturally fast. Pelops was a handsome young man and the king's daughter fell in love with him. Before the race, she persuaded her father's charioteer Myrtilus to replace the bronze axle pins of the king's chariot with wax ones. During the race, the wax melted and the king fell from his chariot and was killed. At the same time, the king's palace was struck by lightning and reduced to ashes, save for one wooden pillar, revered in the Altis for centuries, stood near what was to be the site of the temple of Zeus. Pelops was proclaimed married Hippodamia. After his victory, Pelops organized chariot races as thanksgiving to the gods and as funeral games in honor of King Oenomaus, in order to be purified of his death.
It was from this funeral race held at Olympia that the beginnings of the Olympic Games were inspired. Pelops became a great king, a local hero, he gave his name to the Peloponnese. One myth, attributed to Pindar, states that the festival at Olympia involved Heracles, the son of Zeus: According to Pindar, Heracles established an athletic festival to honor his father, after he had completing his labors; the games of previous millennia were discontinued and revived by Lycurgus of Sparta, Iphitos of Elis, Cleisthenes of Pisa at the behest of the Oracle of Delphi who claimed that the people had strayed from the gods, which had caused a plague and constant war. Restoration of the games would end the plague, usher in a time of peace, signal a return to a more traditional lifestyle; the patterns that emerge from these myths are that the Greeks believed the games had their roots in religion, that athletic competition was tied to worship of the gods, the revival of the ancient games was intended to bring peace, harmony and a return to the origins of Greek life.
Since these myths were documented by historians like Pausanias, who lived during the reign of Marcus Aurelius in the AD 160, it is that these stories are more fable than fact. It