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281 BABYLONIA -CIVIL AND MILITARY ANNALS.

CHAPTER XXV-CIVIL AND MILITARY ANNALS.

BABYLON was ruled by seven kings. Of these the great names are Nabopolassar,

Nebuchadnezzar, and Nabonadius. The history of the Empire begins with the accession of the

first named, in the year B. C. 625. Babylonia, however, as a province or viceroyalty of

Assyria, had had an existence extending over several centuries. The Assyrian conquest had

never extinguished the southern kingdom, but merely reduced it to a position of

subordination. There was thus interposed between the time of the capture of Babylon by the

Assyrians, in B. C. 1300, with the consequent transfer of the leadership of the

Mesopotamian nations to Nineveh, and the sudden revival of Babylonian independence under

Nabopolassar, a long and dubious period in the history of the ancient kingdom of the

South-a period in which the political status of Babylonia fluctuated between absolute

subjection and quasi independence. It is in this chaotic time, between the extinction of

the Chaldaean monarchy and the restitution under Nabopolassar, that the beginnings of

BabyIonian history must be sought and found.

Very soon after the conquest of the country" by Tiglathi-Adar, in B. C. 1300, it was found

desirable to govern* Babylonia as a viceroyalty rather than as an integral part of the

Assyrian Empire. In order to pre- vent revolts and to insure the loyalty of the provincial

government, the Ninevite kings were careful for a long time to select, as their viceroys

in the South, princes and nobles of Assyrian blood. With this pre- caution, the province

was left in a state of comparative independence, subject only to the regular payment of

the tribute. It was but natural, however, that these Baby- Ionian governors, so far

removed from Nineveh, should frequently look askance

at the doings of the home government, and that they should see in the situation the

suggestion of independence. Even under a certain NEBUCHADNEZZAR, the first Babylonian

viceroy, there were .two outbreaks on the part of the governor. He made considerable

headway against the forces of Asshur-Ris-llim, the then Assyrian king, and though defeated

and driven back, he retired into his government without serious punishment.

When Asshur-Ris-llim was succeeded by his son, Tiglath-Pileser I, the latter determined to

avenge the insult offered to his country and led an army into Babylonia. Merodach-Iddin-A-

khi had now become viceroy, and between him and the Assyrian there was a struggle for the

mastery. The Babylonians were beaten. Several of their cities were taken, including the

two Sipparas, Opis, and Babylon; but there was still vigor enough left in the army of the

viceroy to pursue and harass the king as he retired from the country. It is said, even,

that Merodach in one instance made a dash on the rear of the Assyrian army, and succeeded

in capturing and carrying away the images of the gods, which Pileser had brought along to

protect him. These disturbances continued during the two succeeding reigns, and it was not

until the close of the first century after the conquest that a state of comparative quiet

was attained.

This more peaceful condition was brought about rather by the weakening of Assyrian

influence than by any stupor among the Babylonians. For about two hundred years (B. C.

1100-900), the power which had been so signally established by Tiglathi-Adar was allowed

to decline in the hands of incompetent successors. Mean- while the Babylonians, recovering

from the depression of conquest, flourished and extended their influence, political and

commercial, into several surrounding countries. But, with the accession, in the year B. C.

880, of Asshur-lzir-Pal, a new energy was