Urartu, which corresponds to the biblical mountains of Ararat, is the name of a geographical region used as the exonym for the Iron Age kingdom known by the modern rendition of its endonym, the Kingdom of Van, centered around Lake Van in the historic Armenian Highlands. The written language that the kingdom's political elite used is referred to as Urartian, which appears in cuneiform inscriptions in Armenia and eastern Turkey, it is unknown what language was spoken by the peoples of Urartu at the time of the existence of the kingdom, but there is linguistic evidence of contact between the proto-Armenian language and the Urartian language at an early date, occurring prior to the formation of Urartu as a kingdom. The kingdom rose to power in the mid-9th century BC, but went into gradual decline and was conquered by the Iranian Medes in the early 6th century BC; the geopolitical region would re-emerge as Armenia shortly after. Being heirs to the Urartian realm, the earliest identifiable ancestors of the Armenians are the peoples of Urartu.
The name Urartu comes from Assyrian sources. Shalmaneser I recorded a campaign in which he subdued the entire territory of "Uruatri"; the Shalmaneser text uses the name Urartu to refer to a geographical region, not a kingdom, names eight "lands" contained within Urartu. "Urartu" is cognate with the Biblical "Ararat", Akkadian "Urashtu", Armenian "Ayrarat". In addition to referring to the famous Biblical highlands, Ararat appears as the name of a kingdom in Jeremiah 51:27, mentioned together with Minni and Ashkenaz. Mount Ararat is located 120 kilometres north of its former capital; the name Kingdom of Van, is derived from the Urartian toponym Biainili, adopted in Old Armenian as Van, because of betacism, hence the names "Kingdom of Van" or "Vannic Kingdom". Other Urartian toponyms and words went through the same sound change as the Armenian language spread throughout the region and absorbed them. In the 6th century BC, with the emergence of Armenia in the region, the name of the region was referred to as variations of Armenia and Urartu.
In the trilingual Behistun Inscription, carved in 521 or 520 BC by the order of Darius I, the country referred to as Urartu in Akkadian is called Arminiya in Old Persian and Harminuia in the Elamite language. The mentions of Urartu in the Books of Kings and Isaiah of the Bible were translated as "Armenia" in the Septuagint; some English language translations, including the King James Version follow the Septuagint translation of Urartu as Armenia. The identification of the biblical "mountains of Ararat" with the Mt. Ararat is a modern identification based on postbiblical tradition; the name Ayrarat, used to describe lands located in the central region of the Kingdom of Armenia seems to have been of local usage as no known classical works use this word to refer to Armenia. The Ararat Province of modern Armenia is named after Mount Ararat, which itself receives its name from the biblical Mountains of Ararat. Scholars such as Carl Ferdinand Friedrich Lehmann-Haupt believed that the people of Urartu called themselves Khaldini after the god Ḫaldi.
Boris Piotrovsky wrote that the Urartians first appear in history in the 13th century BC as a league of tribes or countries which did not yet constitute a unitary state. In the Assyrian annals the term Uruatri as a name for this league was superseded during a considerable period of years by the term "land of Nairi". Shupria, believed to have been a Hurrian or Mitanni state, subsequently annexed into the Urartian confederation. Shupria is mentioned in conjunction with a district in the area called Arme which some scholars have linked to the name of Armenia. Linguists John Greppin and Igor Diakonoff argued that the Urartians referred to themselves as Shurele, a name mentioned within the royal titles of the kings of Urartu; the word Šuri has been variously theorized as referring to chariots, the region of Shupria, or the entire world. Assyrian inscriptions of Shalmaneser I first mention Uruartri as one of the states of Nairi, a loose confederation of small kingdoms and tribal states in the Armenian Highland in the 13th to 11th centuries BC which he conquered.
Uruartri itself was in the region around Lake Van. The Nairi states were subjected to further attacks and invasions by the Assyrians under Tukulti-Ninurta I, Tiglath-Pileser I, Ashur-bel-kala, Adad-nirari II, Tukulti-Ninurta II, Ashurnasirpal II. Urartu re-emerged in Assyrian inscriptions in the 9th century BC as a powerful northern rival of Assyria, which lay to the south in northern Mesopotamia and northeast Syria; the Nairi states and tribes became a unified kingdom under king Aramu, whose capital at Arzashkun was captured by the Assyrians under Shalmaneser III. Contemporaries of the Uruartri, living just to the west along the southern shore of the Black Sea, were the Kaskas known from Hittite sources; the Middle Assyrian Empire fell into a period
Babylonia was an ancient Akkadian-speaking state and cultural area based in central-southern Mesopotamia. A small Amorite-ruled state emerged in 1894 BC, which contained the minor administrative town of Babylon, it was a small provincial town during the Akkadian Empire but expanded during the reign of Hammurabi in the first half of the 18th century BC and became a major capital city. During the reign of Hammurabi and afterwards, Babylonia was called "the country of Akkad", a deliberate archaism in reference to the previous glory of the Akkadian Empire, it was involved in rivalry with the older state of Assyria to the north and Elam to the east in Ancient Iran. Babylonia became the major power in the region after Hammurabi created a short-lived empire, succeeding the earlier Akkadian Empire, Third Dynasty of Ur, Old Assyrian Empire; the Babylonian Empire, however fell apart after the death of Hammurabi and reverted to a small kingdom. Like Assyria, the Babylonian state retained the written Akkadian language for official use, despite its Northwest Semitic-speaking Amorite founders and Kassite successors, who spoke a language isolate, not being native Mesopotamians.
It retained the Sumerian language for religious use, but by the time Babylon was founded, this was no longer a spoken language, having been wholly subsumed by Akkadian. The earlier Akkadian and Sumerian traditions played a major role in Babylonian and Assyrian culture, the region would remain an important cultural center under its protracted periods of outside rule; the earliest mention of the city of Babylon can be found in a clay tablet from the reign of Sargon of Akkad, dating back to the 23rd century BC. Babylon was a religious and cultural centre at this point and neither an independent state nor a large city. After the collapse of the Akkadian Empire, the south Mesopotamian region was dominated by the Gutian people for a few decades before the rise of the Third Dynasty of Ur, which restored order to the region and which, apart from northern Assyria, encompassed the whole of Mesopotamia, including the town of Babylon. Mesopotamia had enjoyed a long history prior to the emergence of Babylon, with Sumerian civilisation emerging in the region c. 3500 BC, the Akkadian-speaking people appearing by the 30th century BC.
During the 3rd millennium BC, an intimate cultural symbiosis occurred between Sumerian and Akkadian-speakers, which included widespread bilingualism. The influence of Sumerian on Akkadian and vice versa is evident in all areas, from lexical borrowing on a massive scale, to syntactic and phonological convergence; this has prompted scholars to refer to Sumerian and Akkadian in the third millennium as a sprachbund. Akkadian replaced Sumerian as the spoken language of Mesopotamia somewhere around the turn of the third and the second millennium BC. From c. 3500 BC until the rise of the Akkadian Empire in the 24th century BC, Mesopotamia had been dominated by Sumerian cities and city states, such as Ur, Uruk, Isin, Adab, Gasur, Hamazi, Akshak and Umma, although Semitic Akkadian names began to appear on the king lists of some of these states between the 29th and 25th centuries BC. Traditionally, the major religious center of all Mesopotamia was the city of Nippur where the god Enlil was supreme, it would remain so until replaced by Babylon during the reign of Hammurabi in the mid-18th century BC.
The Akkadian Empire saw the Akkadian Semites and Sumerians of Mesopotamia unite under one rule, the Akkadians attain ascendancy over the Sumerians and indeed come to dominate much of the ancient Near East. The empire disintegrated due to economic decline, climate change and civil war, followed by attacks by the Gutians from the Zagros Mountains. Sumer rose up again with the Third Dynasty of Ur in the late 22nd century BC, ejected the Gutians from southern Mesopotamia, they seem to have gained ascendancy over much of the territory of the Akkadian kings of Assyria in northern Mesopotamia for a time. Followed by the collapse of the Sumerian "Ur-III" dynasty at the hands of the Elamites in 2002 BC, the Amorites, a foreign Northwest Semitic-speaking people, began to migrate into southern Mesopotamia from the northern Levant gaining control over most of southern Mesopotamia, where they formed a series of small kingdoms, while the Assyrians reasserted their independence in the north; the states of the south were unable to stem the Amorite advance, for a time may have relied on their fellow Akkadians in Assyria for protection.
King Ilu-shuma of the Old Assyrian Empire in a known inscription describes his exploits to the south as follows: The freedom of the Akkadians and their children I established. I purified their copper. I established their freedom from the border of the marshes and Ur and Nippur and Kish, Der of the goddess Ishtar, as far as the City of. Past scholars extrapolated from this text that it means he defeated the invading Amorites to the south and Elamites to the east, but there is no explicit record of that, some scholars believe the Assyrian kings were giving preferential trade agreements to the south; these policies were continued by Ikunum. However, when Sargon I s
Sargon of Akkad
Sargon of Akkad known as Sargon the Great, was the first ruler of the Akkadian Empire, known for his conquests of the Sumerian city-states in the 24th to 23rd centuries BC. He was the founder of the "Sargonic" or "Old Akkadian" dynasty, which ruled for about a century after his death until the Gutian conquest of Sumer; the Sumerian king list makes him the cup-bearer to king Ur-Zababa of Kish. His empire is thought to have included most of Mesopotamia, parts of the Levant, besides incursions into Hurrite and Elamite territory, ruling from his capital, Akkad. Sargon appears as a legendary figure in Neo-Assyrian literature of the 8th to 7th centuries BC. Tablets with fragments of a Sargon Birth Legend were found in the Library of Ashurbanipal; the Akkadian name is normalized as either Šarru-kēn. The name's cuneiform spelling is variously šar-ru-gen6, šar-ru-ki-in, šar-ru-um-ki-in. In Late Assyrian references, the name is spelled as LUGAL-GI. NA or LUGAL-GIN, i.e. identical to the name of the Neo-Assyrian king Sargon II.
The spelling Sargon is derived from the single mention of the name in the Hebrew Bible, as סַרְגוֹן, in Isaiah 20:1. The first element in the name is šarru, the Akkadian for "king"; the second element is derived from the verb kīnum "to confirm, establish". A possible interpretation of the reading Šarru-ukīn is "the king has established" or "he has established the king"; such a name would however be unusual. There is some debate over whether the name was a birth name; the reading Šarru-kēn has been interpreted adjectivally. The terms "Pre-Sargonic" and "Post-Sargonic" were used in Assyriology based on the chronologies of Nabonidus before the historical existence of Sargon of Akkad was confirmed; the form Šarru-ukīn was known from the Assyrian Sargon Legend discovered in 1867 in Ashurbanipal's library at Nineveh. A contemporary reference to Sargon thought to have been found on the cylinder seal of Ibni-sharru, a high-ranking official serving under Sargon. Joachim Menant published a description of this seal in 1877, reading the king's name as Shegani-shar-lukh, did not yet identify it with "Sargon the Elder".
In 1883, the British Museum acquired the "mace-head of Shar-Gani-sharri", a votive gift deposited at the temple of Shamash in Sippar. This "Shar-Gani" was identified with the Sargon of Agade of Assyrian legend; the identification of "Shar-Gani-sharri" with Sargon was recognised as mistaken in the 1910s. Shar-Gani-sharri is, in Sargon's great-grandson, the successor of Naram-Sin, it is not clear whether the Neo-Assyrian king Sargon II was directly named for Sargon of Akkad, as there is some uncertainty whether his name should be rendered Šarru-ukīn or as Šarru-kēn. Primary sources pertaining to Sargon are sparse. Here, Sargon is mentioned as the son of former cup-bearer of Ur-Zababa of Kish, he took it to his own city of Akkad. Various copies of the king list give the duration of his reign as either 55 or 56 years. In absolute years, his reign would correspond to ca. 2340–2284 BC in the Middle Chronology. His successors until the Gutian conquest of Sumer are known as the "Sargonic Dynasty" and their rule as the "Sargonic Period" of Mesopotamian history.
Foster argued that the reading of 55 years as the duration of Sargon's reign was, in fact, a corruption of an original interpretation of 37 years. An older version of the king list gives Sargon's reign as lasting for 40 years. Thorkild Jacobsen marked the clause about Sargon's father being a gardener as a lacuna, indicating his uncertainty about its meaning. Ur-Zababa and Lugal-zage-si are both listed as kings, but separated by several additional named rulers of Kish, who seem to have been governors or vassals under the Akkadian Empire; the claim that Sargon was the original founder of Akkad has been called into question with the discovery of an inscription mentioning the place and dated to the first year of Enshakushanna, who certainly preceded him. The Weidner Chronicle states that it was Sargon who "built Babylon in front of Akkad." The Chronicle of Early Kings states that late in his reign, Sargon "dug up the soil of the pit of Babylon, made a counterpart of Babylon next to Agade." Van de Mieroop suggested that those two chronicles may refer to the much Assyrian king, Sargon II of the Neo-Assyrian Empire, rather than to Sargon of Akkad.
Sargon became the subject of legendary narratives describing his rise to power from humble origins and his conquest of Mesopotamia in Assyrian and Babylonian literature. Apart from these secondary, legendary, there are many inscriptions due to Sargon himself, although the majority of these are known only from much copies; the Louvre has fragments of two Sargonic victory steles recovered from Susa. Sargon appears to have promoted the use of Semitic in inscriptions, he calls himself "king of Akkad" first, after the city of Akkad which he founded. He appears to have taken over the rule of Kish at some point, also much of Mesopotamia, referr
Assyrian lion weights
The Assyrian lion weights are a group of bronze Mesopotamian weights from the 8th century BCE, with bilingual inscriptions in both cuneiform and Phoenician characters. The lion weights are now in the British Museum; the weights date from the 8th century BCE and they have bilingual inscriptions in both cuneiform and Phoenician characters. The Phoenician inscriptions are epigraphically from the same period as the Mesha Stele, they are one of the most important groups of artifacts evidencing the "Aramaic" form of the Phoenician script. At the time of their discovery, they were the oldest Phoenician-style inscription, discovered; the set form a regular series diminishing in size from 30 cm to 2 cm in length. The larger weights have handles cast on to the bodies, the smaller have rings attached to them; the group of weights included stone weights in the shape of ducks. The weights represent the earliest known uncontested example of the Aramaic numeral system. Eight of the lions are represented with the only known inscriptions from the short reign of Shalmaneser V.
Other similar lion weights were excavated at the Iranian site of Susa in 1901 by the French archaeologist Jacques de Morgan and are now in the Louvre in Paris. There are two known systems of measures from the ancient Middle East. One system was based on a weight called the mina which could be broken down into sixty smaller weights called shekels; these lion weights, come from a different system, based on the heavy mina which weighed about a kilogram. This system was still being used in the Persian period and is thought to have been used for weighing metals; the weights were discovered by Austen Henry Layard in his earliest excavations at Nimrud. A pair of lamassu were found at a gateway, one of which had fallen against the other and had broken into several pieces. After lifting the statue, Layard's team discovered under it sixteen lion weights; the artefacts were first deciphered by Edwin Norris, who confirmed that they had been used as weights. Assyrian lion Edwin Norris, On the Assyrian and Babylonian Weights, Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland, Volume 16 Frederic Madden, History of Jewish coinage, of money in the Old and New Testament, B.
Quaritch Fales, Frederick Mario, Assyro-Aramaica: the Assyrian lion-weights, in Immigration and Emigration within the Ancient Near East, pages 33–55.
A monarchy is a form of government in which a single person holds supreme authority in ruling a country performing ceremonial duties and embodying the country's national identity. Although some monarchs are elected, in most cases, the monarch's position is inherited and lasts until death or abdication. In these cases, the royal family or members of the dynasty serve in official capacities as well; the governing power of the monarch may vary from purely symbolic, to partial and restricted, to autocratic. Monarchy was the most common form of government until the 20th century. Forty-five sovereign nations in the world have monarchs acting as heads of state, sixteen of which are Commonwealth realms that recognise Queen Elizabeth II as their head of state. Most modern monarchs are constitutional monarchs, who retain a unique legal and ceremonial role, but exercise limited or no political power under the nation's constitution. In some nations, such as Brunei, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Eswatini, the hereditary monarch has more political influence than any other single source of authority in the nation, either by tradition or by a constitutional mandate.
The word "monarch" comes from the Greek language word μονάρχης, monárkhēs which referred to a single, at least nominally absolute ruler. In current usage the word monarchy refers to a traditional system of hereditary rule, as elective monarchies are quite rare; the form of societal hierarchy known as chiefdom or tribal kingship is prehistoric. The Greek term monarchia is classical, used by Herodotus; the monarch in classical antiquity is identified as "king" or "ruler" or as "queen". From earliest historical times, with the Egyptian and Mesopotamian monarchs, as well as in reconstructed Proto-Indo-European religion, the king held sacral functions directly connected to sacrifice, or was considered by their people to have divine ancestry; the role of the Roman emperor as the protector of Christianity was conflated with the sacral aspects held by the Germanic kings to create the notion of the "divine right of kings" in the Christian Middle Ages. The Chinese and Nepalese monarchs continued to be considered living Gods into the modern period.
Since antiquity, monarchy has contrasted with forms of democracy, where executive power is wielded by assemblies of free citizens. In antiquity, some monarchies were abolished in favour of such assemblies in Rome, Athens. In Germanic antiquity, kingship was a sacral function, the king was directly hereditary for some tribes, while for others he was elected from among eligible members of royal families by the thing; such ancient "parliamentarism" declined during the European Middle Ages, but it survived in forms of regional assemblies, such as the Icelandic Commonwealth, the Swiss Landsgemeinde and Tagsatzung, the High Medieval communal movement linked to the rise of medieval town privileges. The modern resurgence of parliamentarism and anti-monarchism began with the temporary overthrow of the English monarchy by the Parliament of England in 1649, followed by the American Revolution of 1776 and the French Revolution of 1789. One of many opponents of that trend was Elizabeth Dawbarn, whose anonymous Dialogue between Clara Neville and Louisa Mills, on Loyalty features "silly Louisa, who admires liberty, Tom Paine and the USA, lectured by Clara on God's approval of monarchy" and on the influence women can exert on men.
Much of 19th-century politics featured a division between anti-monarchist Radicalism and monarchist Conservativism. Many countries abolished the monarchy in the 20th century and became republics in the wake of either World War I, World War II, the Palestine War, or the Cold War. Advocacy of republics is called republicanism. In the modern era, monarchies are more prevalent in small states than in large ones. Monarchies are associated with political or sociocultural hereditary reign, in which monarchs reign for life and the responsibilities and power of the position pass to their child or another member of their family when they die. Most monarchs, both and in the modern day, have been born and brought up within a royal family, the centre of the royal household and court. Growing up in a royal family, future monarchs are trained for their expected future responsibilities as monarch. Different systems of succession have been used, such as proximity of blood and agnatic seniority. While most monarchs have been male, many female monarchs have reigned in history.
Rule may be hereditary in practice without being considered a monarchy: there have been some family dictatorships, some political families in many democracies. The principal advantage of hereditary monarchy is the immediate continuity of leadership; some monarchies are non-hereditary. In an elective monarchy, monarchs are elected, or appointed by some body for life or a defined period, but once appointed they serve as any other monarch. Four elective monarchies exist today: Cambodia, Malaysia and th
Assyria called the Assyrian Empire, was a Mesopotamian kingdom and empire of the ancient Near East and the Levant. It existed as a state from as early as the 25th century BC until its collapse between 612 BC and 609 BC - spanning the periods of the Early to Middle Bronze Age through to the late Iron Age. From the end of the seventh century BC to the mid-seventh century AD, it survived as a geopolitical entity, for the most part ruled by foreign powers such as the Parthian and early Sasanian Empires between the mid-second century BC and late third century AD, the final part of which period saw Mesopotamia become a major centre of Syriac Christianity and the birthplace of the Church of the East. A Semitic-speaking realm, Assyria was centred on the Tigris in Upper Mesopotamia; the Assyrians came to rule powerful empires in several periods. Making up a substantial part of the greater Mesopotamian "cradle of civilization", which included Sumer, the Akkadian Empire, Babylonia, Assyria reached the height of technological and cultural achievements for its time.
At its peak, the Neo-Assyrian Empire of 911 to 609 BC stretched from Cyprus and the East Mediterranean to Iran, from present-day Armenia and Azerbaijan in the Caucasus to the Arabian Peninsula and eastern Libya. The name "Assyria" originates with the Assyrian state's original capital, the ancient city of Aššur, which dates to c. 2600 BC - one of a number of Akkadian-speaking city-states in Mesopotamia. In the 25th and 24th centuries BC, Assyrian kings were pastoral leaders. From the late 24th century BC, the Assyrians became subject to Sargon of Akkad, who united all the Akkadian- and Sumerian-speaking peoples of Mesopotamia under the Akkadian Empire, which lasted from c. 2334 BC to 2154 BC. After the Assyrian Empire fell from power, the greater remaining part of Assyria formed a geopolitical region and province of other empires, although between the mid-2nd century BC and late 3rd century AD a patchwork of small independent Assyrian kingdoms arose in the form of Assur, Osroene, Beth Nuhadra, Beth Garmai and Hatra.
The region of Assyria fell under the successive control of the Median Empire of 678 to 549 BC, the Achaemenid Empire of 550 to 330 BC, the Macedonian Empire, the Seleucid Empire of 312 to 63 BC, the Parthian Empire of 247 BC to 224 AD, the Roman Empire and the Sasanian Empire of 224 to 651 AD. The Arab Islamic conquest of the area in the mid-seventh century dissolved Assyria as a single entity, after which the remnants of the Assyrian people became an ethnic, linguistic and religious minority in the Assyrian homeland, surviving there to this day as an indigenous people of the region. Assyria was sometimes known as Subartu and Azuhinum prior to the rise of the city-state of Ashur, after which it was Aššūrāyu, after its fall, from 605 BC through to the late seventh century AD variously as Achaemenid Assyria, referenced as Atouria, Ator and sometimes as Syria which etymologically derives from Assyria according to Strabo, Assyria and Asōristān. "Assyria" can refer to the geographic region or heartland where Assyria, its empires and the Assyrian people were centered.
The indigenous modern Eastern Aramaic-speaking Assyrian Christian ethnic minority in northern Iraq, north east Syria, southeast Turkey and northwest Iran are the descendants of the ancient Assyrians. As Babylonia is called after the city of Babylon, Assyria means "land of Asshur"Etymologically, Assyria is connected to the name of Syria, with both being derived from the Akkadian Aššur. Theodor Nöldeke in 1881 was the first to give philological support to the assumption that Syria and Assyria have the same etymology, a suggestion going back to John Selden. A 21st-century discovery of the Çineköy inscription confirmed that Syria, being a Greek corruption of the name Assyria, is derived from the Assyrian term Aššūrāyu. In prehistoric times, the region, to become known as Assyria was home to a Neanderthal culture such as has been found at the Shanidar Cave; the earliest Neolithic sites in what will be Assyria were the Jarmo culture c. 7100 BC, the Halaf culture c. 6100 BC, the Hassuna culture c. 6000 BC.
The Akkadian-speaking people who would found Assyria appear to have entered Mesopotamia at some point during the latter 4th millennium BC intermingling with the earlier Sumerian-speaking population, who came from northern Mesopotamia, with Akkadian names appearing in written record from as early as the 29th century BC. During the 3rd millennium BC, a intimate cultural symbiosis developed between the Sumerians and the Akkadians throughout Mesopotamia, which included widespread bilingualism; the influence of Sumerian on Akkadian, vice versa, is evident in all areas, from lexical borrowing on a massive scale, to syntactic and phonological convergence. This has prompted scholars to refer to Sumerian and Akkadian in the third millennium BC as a sprachbund. Akkadian replaced Sumerian as the spoken language of Mesopotamia somewhere after the turn of the 3rd and the 2nd millennium BC, although Sumerian continued to be used as a sacred, ceremonial and scientific language in Mesopotamia until the 1st century AD, as did use of the Akkadian cuneiform.
The cities of A