[1]Pass ye, saith he, to Calneh & see, & from thence go down to Hamath the great, then go down to Gath of the Philistims. Be they better then those kingdoms? Amos 6. 2. These kingdoms were not yet conquered by the Assyrians except that of Calneh or Chalonitis upon Tigris between Babylon & Nineveh. Gath was newly vanquished by Vzziah king of Iudah (2 Chron. 26) & Hamath by Ieroboam king of Israel (2 King. 14.) And while the Prophet in threatening Israel with the Assyrians instances in desolations made by other nations & mentions no other conquest of the Assyrians then that of Chalonitis neare Nineveh: it argues that the king of Nineveh was now beginning his conquests & had not yet made any great progress in that vast career of victories which we read of a few years after.

For about seven years after the captivity of the ten Tribes, when Sennacherib warred in Syria (which was in the 16th Olympiad.) he sent this message to the king of Iudah. [2]Behold thou hast heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all lands by destroying them utterly, & shalt thou be delivered? Have the Gods of the nations delivered whom my fathers have destroyed, as Gozan & Haran & Rezeph & the children of Eden which were in [the kingdom of] Thalassar? Where is the king of Hamath, & the king of Aspad, & the king of the city of Sepharvaim, & of Henah & Ivah? And Isaiah[3] thus introduceth the king of Assyria boasting: Are not my Princes altogether as Kings? Is not Calno [or Calneh] as Carchemish? Is not Hemath as Arphad? Is not Samaria as Damascus? As my hand hath found the kingdoms of the Idols, & whose graven Images did excell them of Ierusalem & of Samaria: shall not I as I have done to Samaria & her Idols so do to Ierusalem & her Idols? All this desolation is recited as fresh in memory to terrify the Iews, & these kingdoms reach to the borders of Assyria, & to shew the largeness of the conquests they are called all lands, that is, all round about Assyria. It was the manner of the kings of Assyria for preventing the rebellion of of people newly conquered, to captivate & transplant those of several conquered countries into one anothers lands & intermix them variously. [4]And thence it appears that Halah & Habor & Hara & Gozan & the cities of the Medes into which Galilee & Samaria were transplanted & Kir into which Damascus was transplanted, & Babylon & Cuth or the Susanchites, & Hamath & Ava & Sepharvaim, & the Dinaites & the Apharsathchites & the Tarpelites & the Apharsites & the Archevites & the Dehavites & the Elanites or Persians, part of all which nations were led captive by Asserhadon & his predecessors into Samaria, were all of them conquered not long before.

In these conquests are involved on the west & south side of Assyria the kingdoms of Mesopotamia whose royal seats were Haran or Carrhæ & Carchemish or Circusium, & Sepharvaim a <2r> city upon Euphrates between Babylon & Nineveh called Sipparæ by Berosus Abydenus & Polyhistor, & Sipphara by Ptolomy, & the kingdoms of Syria seated at Samaria, Damascus, Gath, Hamath, Arpad & Rezeph a city placed by Ptolomy neare Thapsacus. On the south & Southeast were Babylon & Calneh or Calno a city which was built by Nimrod where Bagdad now stands & gave the name of Chalonitis to a large region under its government; & Thalassar or Talatha a city of the children of Eden placed by Ptolomy in Babylonia upon the common stream of Tigris & Euphrates, which was therefore the river of Paradise, & the Archevites at Arecca or Erech a city built by Nimrod on the east side of Pasitigris between Apamia & the Persian gulph, & the Susanchites at Cuth or Susa the metropolis of Susiana. On the east were Elymais & some cities of the Medes & Kir a city & large region of Media between Elymais & Assyria (Isa xxii.6) called Kirene by the Chalde Paraphrast & Latin Interpreter & Carine by Ptolomy. On the north-east were Habor or Chaboras a mountanous region between Assyria & Media & the Apharsachites or men of Arraphachitis a region originally peopled by Arphaxad & placed by Ptolomy at the bottom of that mountain next Assyria. And on the north between Assyria & the Gordiæan mountains was Halah or Chalach the Metropolis of Calachene. And beyond these upon the Caspian sea was Gozan called Gauzamia by Ptolomy. Thus did these new conquests extend every way from the province of Assyria, to considerable distances, & make up the great body of that Monarchy: so that well might the king of Assyria boast how his armies had destroyed all lands. All these nations a[5] had till now their several Gods & each accounted his God the God of his own land & the defender thereof against the Gods of the neighbouring countries, & particularly against that of Assyria, & therefore they were never till now united under the Assyrian Monarchy: but being small kingdoms, the king of Assyria now easily overflowed them. [6]Know ye not, saith Sennacherib to the Iews, what I & my fathers have done unto all the people of other lands? – – – – – for no God of any nation or kingdom was able to deliver his people out of mine hand & out of the hand of my fathers: how then shall your God deliver you out of mine hand? He & his fathers therefore, Pul, Tiglathpulasser & Salmonasser were great conquerors, & with a current of victories had newly overflowed all nations round about Assyria, & thereby set up this monarchy.

Between the reigns of Ieroboam II & his son Zecharias there was an interregnum of about 10 or twelve years. And <3r> the Prophet Hosea[7] in the time of that interregnum or soon after, mentions the King of Assyria by the name of Iarib & another conqueror by the name of Salman. And perhaps Salman might be the first part of the name of Salmonasser & Iarib or Irib (for it may be read both ways) the last part of the name of his successor Sennacherib. But whoever these Princes were it appears not that they reigned before Salmanasser. Pul (or Belus) seems to be the first who carried on his conquests beyond the Province of Assyria. He conquered Calneh with its territories in the reign of Ieroboam (Amos. 1.1 & 6.2 & Isa. 10.8, 9) &invaded Israel in the reign of Menahem (2 King. 15.19) but stayed not in the land, being bought off by Menahem for a thousand talents of silver. In his reign therefore the kingdom of Assyria was advanced on this side Tigris. For he was a great warrior & seems to have conquered Haran & Carchemish & Reseph & Calneh & Thalasser & might found or enlarge the city Babylon. For the Æra of Nabonasser (the first king of Babylon in the Canon) began soon after the reign of Pul; and Isaiah who lived & prophesied in the days of Pul & his successors, thus describes the founding of Babylon. Behold, saith he, the land of the Chaldeans; this people was not till the Assyrian founded it for them that dwell in the wilderness [that is, for the Arabians,] they set up the towers thereof, they raised up the palaces thereof. Isa. 23.13. This city is said (by the followers of Ctesias) to have been built by Semiramis, a woman (as Herodotus relates) five generations older then Nitocris the mother of Labynitus or Nabonnedus the last king of Babylon, & therefore she was contemporary to Tiglathpileser the successor of Pul & might be the widdow of Pul. For she was the widdow of Belus the first king of Assyria. < insertion from f 3v > She was the widdow of Belus king of Assyria, & perhaps she might be the widdow of Pul & the mother of the next king of Babylon & govern during the minority of her son: but her story is full of fables. < insertion from lower down f 3v > Other authors ascribe the building of Babylon to Belus himself, that is to Pul. ✝ < insertion from higher up f 3v > < text from lower down f 3v resumes > So Dorotheus an ancient Poet of Sidon

Ἀρχᾶιη Βηβυλῶν Τυρίοὺ Βηλοιο πόλισμα

The ancient city Babylon built by the Tyrian Belus: that is by the Syrian or Assyrian Belus; the words Tyrian, Syrian Assyrian being all of them derived from Tzór the Phenician name of the city Tyre. Herennius[10] tells us that it was built by the son of Belus; & this son might be either Nabonassar or the predecessor of Nabonassar. After the conquest of Calnah, Thalassar & Sipparæ, the father might begin to build Babylon & leave it to his widdow & his younger son, & the son might erect the Temple of Iupiter Belus to his father. For all the kings of Babylon in the Canon of Ptolomy are called Assyrians, & Nabonassar is the first of them Babylon is ascribed to the Assyrians by Isaiah. And Nebuchadnezzar recconed himself descended from Belus that is from Pul the Assyrian And the building of Babylon is ascribed to the Assyrians by Isaiah < text from f 3v resumes > Other authors ascribe the building of Babylon to Belus himself, that is to Pul. So Curtius[11] tells us Semiramis eam condiderat, vel ut plerique credidere Belus, cujus regia ostenditur. And Abydenus:[12] λεγεται Βῆλον Βαβυλῶνα τειχει περιβαλειν τῳ χρονω δὲ τῶ ἰκνευμενα αφανισθῆναι. τειχίσαι δὲ αυθις Ναβυχοδονόσορον &c Fama est Belum Babylonem mœnibus cinxisse quæ tempore aboleta sunt & nova mœnia struxisse Nebuchadonosorum, æneis portis distincta, quæ ad usque Macedonum imperium steterunt. ✝ And so Dorotheus

< text from f 3r resumes >

Tiglathpileser warred in Phœnicia & captivated Galilee with the two Tribes & an half in the days of Pekah King of Israel, & placed them in Halath & Habor & Hara & at the river Gozan, places lying on the western borders of Media between Assyria & the Caspian sea (2 King. XV.29. & 1 Chron V.26.) & about the fift or sixt year of Nabonassar, he came to the assistance of the king of Iudah against the kings of Israel & Syria, & overthrew the kingdom of Syria which had been seated at Damascus ever since the days of king David, & carried away the Syrians to Kir in Media, as Amos had prophesied, & placed other nations in the regions of Damascus (2 King XV.37 & XVI.5, 9. Amos. 1.5. Ioseph Antiq. l. 9. c. 13.) Whence it seems that the Medes were conquered before, & that the Empire of the Assyrians was now grown great. For the God of Israel stirred up the spirit of Pul king of Assyria & the spirit of Tiglathpilaser <4r> king of Assyria to make war. 1 Chron. V.26.

Salmanasser (called Enemesser by Tobit; Chap. 1) invaded a[13] all Phœnicia, took the city Samaria & captivated Israel, & placed them in Chalach & Chabor by the river Gozan & in the cities of the Medes, And Hosea[14] seems to say that he took Arbela. And his successor Sennacherib saith that his fathers had conquered also Gozan & Haran (or Carrhæ) & Reseph (or Resen) & the children of Eden & Arpad or the Arradij. 2 King. XIX.12.

Sennacherib the son of Salmanasser, in the 14th year of Hezekiah, invaded Phœnecia & took several cities of Iudah & attempted Egypt; & Sethon or Sevechus king of Egypt & Tirhakah king of Æthiopia coming against him, he lost in one night 185000 men, as some say by a plague or perhaps by lightning or a fiery wind which blows sometimes in the neighbouring deserts, or as others by being disarmed by mise or rather surprized by Sethon & Tirhakah. For the Egyptians in memory of this action erected a statue to Sethon holding in his hand a mouse, the Egyptian symbol of destruction. Vpon this defeat Sennacherib returned in hast to Nineveh, & his kingdom became troubled so that Tobit could not go into Media. And he was slain soon after by two of his sons who fled into Armenia, & his son Asserhadon succeeded him. At that time did Merodach Baladan or Mardocempad king of Babylon, send an Embassy to Hezekiah king of Iudah.

Asserhadon corruptly called Sarchedon by Tobit (ch. I.21) & Assardin by the Seventy, began his reign at Nineveh about the year of Nabonassar 37[15] & at Babylon in the year of Nabonassar 68; & then peopled Samaria with captives brought from several parts of his new conquests, the Dinaites, the Apharsathchites, the Tarpelites, the Apharsites, the Archevites, the Babylonians, the Susanchites, the Dehavites, the Elamites (Ezra IV.2, 9.) & therefore he conquered & reigned over all these nations. Pekah & Rezin kings of Samaria & Damascus invaded Iudea in the first year of Ahaz; & within 65 years after, that is, in the 20th or 21th year of Manasseh, Samaria ceased to be a people (Isa. VII.8,) vizt by carrying the remainder of Samaria into captivity & placing these nations in their room. Then he invaded Iudea, took Azot carried Manasses captive to Babylon, & a[16] captivated also Egypt Thebais & Ethiopia above Thebais. And by this war he seems to have put an end to the reign of the Ethiopians over Egypt anno Nabonass. 77 or 78.

In the reigns of Sennacherib & Asserhadon the Assyrian empire seems arrived at its greatness, being united under one Monarch & conteining Assyria, Media, Apolloniatis, Susiana, Chaldæa, Mesopotamia, Cilicia, Syria, Phœnicia, Egypt, Ethiopia, & part of Arabia, & reaching eastward into Elimais, & Paratacene a Province of the

[1] Amos. vi. 2

[2] 2 King. xix.11

[3] Isa. x.8


i Chron. v.26

2 King. xvi.9, & xvii.6.

2 King. xvii.24

Ezra iv.9.

[5] a 2 King. xvii.29, 30, 31, & xviii.33, 34, 35. 2 Chron xxxii.15.

[6] 2 Chron. 32.13, 17.

[7] Hosea v.13 & x.6, 14.

[8] a Herod. l. 3 sub finem.

[9] Apud Euseb. Præp. l. 9.

[10] Heren Apud Steph. in Βαβ.

[11] Curt lib. 5

[12] Abydenus apud Euseb. Præp. l. 9.

[13] a Annales Tyrij apud Iosephum l.9 Antiq. c. ult.

[14] ch. X.14.

[15] Canon Ptol.

[16] a Isa. XX.1, 3, 4.

© 2017 The Newton Project

Professor Rob Iliffe
Director, AHRC Newton Papers Project

Scott Mandelbrote,
Fellow & Perne librarian, Peterhouse, Cambridge

Faculty of History, George Street, Oxford, OX1 2RL - newtonproject@history.ox.ac.uk

Privacy Statement

  • University of Oxford
  • Arts and Humanities Research Council
  • JISC