Events Leading Up To The Uniting of (Syria) and Babylon
Prior to these events, the land of Syria was divided into two military powers known as the New Kingdom Egypt and the Hittite Empire. The power struggles between the two resulted to the Battle of Kadesh in 1290 BC. This weakened these empires with the result that numerous attacks from invaders soon caused the downfall of these two empires in Syria.
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Once the Egyptian and Hittite empires collapsed, this paved the way for a new leadership to arise. The Phoenicians soon came to Syria and introduced their culture to the locals. This group of people lived in coastal city-states where maritime trade was the main source of livelihood. Phoenician merchants and sailors were adept in trade routes, mainly because of their length of experience in traveling the Mediterranean. (It was during this time the Phoenicians spread their alphabet to facilitate communication with the Greeks and other trading partners in the western world.) During this time the Israelites, a tribal society, had been united into a powerful kingdom that was ruled by King David. In 930 BC After his death and the death of his son Solomon, the kingdom was divided into two nations, Israel consisting of ten tribes to the North and Judah to the South.
Around 880 BC, the Assyrians conquered most of Mesopotamia. They had a policy of deporting conquered peoples to other lands to prevent nationalistic revolts.
In the meantime a neighboring power, Babylon was having a few problems. Babylon’s leader Marduk-zakir-shumi called upon Shalmaneser and the Assyrians to help him establish his kingship against a challenge by his younger brother, who was defeated by Shalmaneser’s army in 850 BC.
Shalmaneser went on to defeat and take tribute from the Chaldeans and plunder the land of Namri. The next year Shalmaneser led an army of 120,000 against Arzashkun, the capital city of Urartu’s King Aram (r. 858-844 BC) and killed 3,400 troops. The Assyrian power grew rapidly and they eventually turned on their former partner in war and conquered Babylon taking control.
In the middle part of the 8th century, Palestine and Syria soon came into decline because of the control of Assyria. In 722 BC, the kingdom of Israel collapsed as Assyrian power rose. Under Assyria’s policy for keeping control, the people of the kingdom were deported to other areas of this empire. This is the time referred to as The Lost 10 Tribes. The kingdom of Judah was made a vassal state.
However, Assyria eventually came to its downfall in 612 BC. At this time, the situation had reversed and Palestine and Syria were again ruled by Babylonians. In 586 BC, when the kingdom of Judah attempted to rebel against the Babylonians, they lost and experienced massive destruction. A large number of Jews were in exile after the destruction of the kingdom of Judah. This is known as the time of the Babylonian Captivity.
By 539 BC, Syria was ruled by Persians, as with other lands in the Middle East.
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