282 UNIVERSAL HISTORY-THE ANCIENT WORLD.
diffused in Assyrian affairs. This monarch marched an army into Babylonia, and recovered
all those territories over which the viceroys had in the interim extended their authority.
In the year 850 B. C. a civil broil arose in Babylonia, and the distraction thus entailed
gave an easy opportunity to the son of Asshur-lzir-Pal still further to humble the
ambitions of the Babylonians. He had the prudence to espouse the cause of the legitimate
viceroy, who was opposed by a younger brother. The Assyrian king was admitted to Babylon.
The younger brother was ^lain, and the rightful governor restored to his authority. Bill
the Assyrian, having thus become strong by acting as arbiter in a civil war, proceeded to
make himself more completely than ever master of the whole of Lower Mesopotamia. Those
districts which had been dependent upon Babylonia wete made to feel that a mightier than
Babylonia had come. Their petty kings were displaced. Assyrians were put in their stead,
and tribute exacted from all the provinces of the South. The relation of the viceroy alty
to the Ninevite power was no longer ambiguous.
Nine years later the country was again--and this time wantonly-invaded by the Assyrians.
The object seems to have been mere spoliation. The viceroy met his antagonist in the
field, and was twice disastrously defeated. He was obliged to make an absolute submission.
Babylon fell to the rank of a provincial city, subject to a heavy tribute. For more than
fifty years this state of miserable subjection continued. Not until the disturbed reign of
Asshur-Dayan III, B.C. 770, did a revival take place in the fortunes of Babylonia. PUL was
now the provincial governor. Taking advantage of the troubles in Assyria, he organized an
army, overran Lower Mesopotamia, made a successful campaign into the upper valley of the
Euphrates, and carried his victorious arms without serious opposition into Syria and even
Palestine. These bold movements on the part of Pul cleared the ground for the still more
marked successes which were to follow. In 747 B. C., NABONASSAR became ruler
of Babylonia. He is generally regarded as the first king of the Later Empire. Certain it
is that by him Babylonian independence was for a time reestablished. The ambition of
this monarch, however, seems to have extended no further than Babylonia proper. The other
dependent provinces of the South were left to go their ways. Several of them succeeded for
a season in throwing off the yoke and reaching up towards sovereignty. Thus did Yakin,
chief of one of the coast provinces. Thus also did Nadina and Zakiru, two other local
rulers in the northern part of Lower Mesopotamia. Babylonia under Nabonassar was thus
restricted to her narrowest limits. Nevertheless, the kingdom was so completely
established as to constitute the beginning of a new era, from which are dated the
subsequent events in the history of the Empire.
It does not appear that the rather easy- going Tiglath-Pileser II, king of Assyria, was
much disturbed by Nabonassar's assumption of sovereignty. In the early part of his reign
he made an invasion of Chaldaea, but his object seems to have been merely to humble
Merodach-Baladan-son and successor of Yakin, mentioned above--who was trying to maintain
local independence. Pileserdoes not seem to have troubled himself with the more important
work of humbling Nabonassar, who was, perhaps, too large game for the king's quiver. All
of this inured greatly to the bertefit of the Babylonian, who witnessed with delight the
subjugation of the petty, rebellious princes of his own neighborhood by the*Assyrians. It
saved himself the trouble of making war upon the insurrectionists within his own borders.
That which humbled them gave him strength. The broken-down provinces of the South
naturally looked to him as a leader and protector, since he only seemed able to stand
without alarm in the presence of the majesty of Assyria. The reign of Nabonassar extended
I It should not be forgotten in this connection that Nabonassar took care to have
destroyed the records of his predecessor in order to make sure his own place in history as
the founder of a dynasty.