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Myths of Babylonia and Assyria

Page: 198

When the Kassite Dynasty of Babylonia was extinguished, about 1140 B.C., the Amorites were being displaced in Palestine by the Philistines and the Israelitish tribes; the Aramaeans were extending their conquests in Syria and Mesopotamia; the Muski were the overlords of the Hittites; Assyrian power was being revived at the beginning of the second period of the Old Empire; and Egypt was governed by a weakly king, Rameses VIII, a puppet in the hands of the priesthood, who was unable to protect the rich tombs of the Eighteenth Dynasty Pharaohs against the bands of professional robbers who were plundering them.

A new dynasty--the Dynasty of Pashe--had arisen at the ancient Sumerian city of Isin. Its early kings were contemporary with some of the last Kassite monarchs, and they engaged in conflicts with the Elamites, who were encroaching steadily upon Babylonian territory, and were ultimately able to seize the province of Namar, famous for its horses, which was situated to the east of Akkad. The Assyrians, under Ashur-dan I, were not only reconquering lost territory, but invading Babylonia and carrying off rich plunder. Ashur-dan inflicted a crushing defeat upon the second-last Kassite ruler.

There years later Nebuchadrezzar I, of the Dynasty of Pashe, seized the Babylonian throne. He was the most powerful and distinguished monarch of his line--an accomplished general and a wise statesman. His name


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