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
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