The Neo-Assyrian Empire in the Southwest: Imperial Domination and its Consequences

Research output: Book/ReportBookpeer-review


The Neo-Assyrian empire—the first large empire of the ancient world—had attracted a great deal of public attention ever since the spectacular discoveries of the nineteenth century. The southwestern part of this empire, located in the lands of the Bible, is archaeologically speaking the best-known region in the world, and its history is also described in a plethora of texts, including the Hebrew Bible. Using a bottom-up approach, this book utilizes this unparalleled information to reconstruct the outcomes of the Assyrian conquest of the region, and how it impacted the diverse political units and ecological zones that comprised it, forcing the reader to appreciate the transformations the imperial takeover brought in its wake. The analysis reveals the marginality of the annexed territories in the southwest, and that the empire focused its activities in small border areas, facing the prospering clients. A comparison of this surprising picture to the information available from other parts of the empire suggests that the distance of these provinces from the imperial core is responsible for their fate, leading to a better appreciation of factors influencing imperial expansion, the considerations leading to annexation, and the imperial methods of control, challenging some old conventions about the development of the Assyrian empire and its rule. The detailed information also enables an examination of the Assyrian empire within the context of other ancient Near Eastern empires, and of imperialism at large, shedding a new light on the nature of Assyrian domination, and the reasons for the harsh treatment of the distant provinces. The book also examines what set the limits on the Assyrian empire, and highlights the historical development of imperial control in antiquity, and how later empires were able to overcome these limitations, paving the way to much larger and longer-lasting polities.

Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages373
ISBN (Electronic)9780198841630
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2021


  • Assyrian empire
  • Assyrian expansion
  • Assyrian imperialism
  • Southern Levant
  • ancient Israel
  • ancient empires
  • consequences of conquest
  • distant provinces
  • empires
  • imperial economy
  • imperial expansion
  • imperial rule

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Arts and Humanities
  • General Social Sciences


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