The Assyrians appear as destructive and impious enemies of the Israelites and Judeans in various books of the Bible and this view is reflected in Lord Byron's poem: "The Assyrian came down like the wolf on the fold, / And his cohorts were gleaming in purple and gold" (Hebrew Melodies. The Destruction of Sennacherib). In the ninth, eighth and seventh centuries BCE, Assyrian armies marched out from their homeland in northern Iraq to Iran in the East, Egypt in the West, the Persian Gulf in the south and central Turkey in the north, and they created the largest empire known up until that time. They built impressive palaces and cities, created great works of art and have left us a vast number of documents preserving ancient literature and scholarly knowledge. In the course we will look at the structure of the Assyrian state, Assyrian culture, the development of the Assyrian empire, and its sudden collapse at the end of the seventh century. While the course will emphasize the use of textual sources, archaeological and iconographic data will also be used to help us arrive at an understanding of the great achievements of the ancient Assyrians.
Section 401 - LEC
Department of Anthropology
Museum, Room 325, 3260 South Street Philadelphia, PA 19104
Phone: (215) 898-7461 Fax: (215) 898-7462