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284 UNIVERSAL HISTORY- THE ANCIENT WORLD.

The Assyrian monarch, however, did not long live to enjoy his double throne. Upon his

death, in the year B. C. 704, insurrections immediately broke out in Babylonia, and

several aspirants claimed the crown. A son of S argon attempted to uphold his father's

claims, but was unable to do so. A prince named HAGISA secured the throne, but was driven

away after a month's occupancy. Meanwhile, Merodach-Baladan, after a captivity of several

years, succeeded in escaping from Nineveh, and reappeared where he was most needed. He

killed Hagisa, and again seized the throne.

His ascendancy was for a short time maintained, but Sennacherib, who had now succeeded

Sargon as king of Assyria, marched against him, overthrew him in battle, and drove him

into exile. The Assyrian then reestablished the authority which had been exercised by his

father in Babylonia, and for the next seventy-five years the status of the country as a

dependency of Assyria was not seriously disturbed. Sometimes the kings of Nineveh

controlled affairs in the South without subordinate governors, and at other times viceroys

were appointed after the manner which had prevailed before the accession of Pul. During

the reigns of Esar-Haddon and Asshur-Bani-Pal, of Assyria, several revolts occurred, but

they were of little importance, arid were easily subdued. In no case did these civil

troubles continue for more than a year.

Two generations had now passed, and the Babylonians had become comparatively contented

under the dominion of the Ninevite rule. Perhaps they had come in some measure to regard

themselves as an integral part of the Assyrian Empire. At any rate, when the first

symptoms of the Median invasion appeared, they were not shaken from the allegiance to

which they had now grown accustomed. In the first disastrous expedition of Cyiaxares

against Nineveh, the Babylonians took no part. During the whole time of the Scythic

invasions, when the attention of the Empire was absorbed with the movements of that

barbaric horde, the southern viceroys made no effort to assert their independence.

Meanwhile the baffled but not broken ambition of Cyaxares was busily at work. His

emissaries were in Babylonia, sowing the seeds of insurrection. The nobles and princes of

the country were taught to expect the not improbable collapse of Assyria under the

assaults of the Mede. Such was the discontent thus created that when the rumor of a second

advance by Cyaxares trough the passes of the Zagros reached Nineveh the news also came

that the Babylonians had revolted, and were marching from the south to cooperate in the

invasion. Under this double peril the forces Of Assyria were divided. Saracus remained at

the head of his principal army to confront Medes, and Nabopolassar, a trusted Assyrian

general, was put-in command of a large division with orders to march into Babylonia,

restore order in the kingdom, and defend the southern border against aggression.

It appears that Nabopolassar was not seriously resisted in his mission. Either by force or

comsul he conciliated the Babylonians to the extent of

gaining admission to capital, where he was quietly installed as viceroy of the kingdom.

Here, however, he soon saw his opportunity. The agents of Cyaxares were ready to foster

and stimulate a treason, which the circumstances had all ready suggested. Nabopolassar

fell from his loyalty and entered into willing negotiations with the Mede. It was arranged

that the viceroy should betray his king and Join in the coming Invasion of Assyria.

Babylonia, as the price of this treachery, was to be made independent. Nabopolassar was to

be the king. His' son Nebuchadnezzar should have for his queen Amyitis, the daughter of

Cyaxares.

As soon as it was known in Babylon that the king of the Medes was on the march,

Nabopolassar set out from the capital with an army. While he made his way northward his

ally came from the east.. The overthrow of Saracus and the siege and capture of Nineveh

followed. The Assyrian Empire was broken up, and each of the confederates took his

allotted portion. Assyria proper fell to the Medes, and Nabopolassar received the kingdom

of Babylon,