Ashur-uballit II

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Ashur-uballit II (Aššur-uballiṭ II) was the last king of the Neo Assyrian Empire, succeeding Sin-shar-ishkun (623-612 BC). He reigned from the last capital city of Harran from 612 BC to somewhere between 608 and 605 BC, having refused a request to submit in vassalage to Cyaxares and Nabopolassar, and fought his way out of Nineveh during the siege and capture of that city by the Babylonian-Chaldean-Mede-Persian-Scythian-Cimmerian alliance in mid 612 BC.

In alliance with Egypt, whose 26th dynasty had been installed by the Assyrians, Ashur-uballit's depleted army was somehow able to defend Harran and the remainder of the Assyrian kingdom from combined Babylonian-Mede-Scythian-Cimmerian attacks for four years following the destruction of Nineveh; however, when the Egyptian army were defeated and had to return to their homeland in 610 BC, the Babylonians, Medes and Scythians eventually took Harran and sacked it in 609 BC, although Ashur-uballit II managed to once more fight his way out of the city.

Assyria again called upon its former Egyptian colony, who came to their assistance. King Josiah of Judah allied himself with Babylon and Media and tried to block the way of the forces of Egypt under Pharaoh Necho II. Josiah was defeated and killed at Meggido. Pharaoh Necho marched on together with Ashur-uballit II, to besiege Harran in 608 BC. They were defeated and the Egyptians retreated into northern Syria. Ashur-uballit II disappeared from history, bringing an end to the Assyrian empire. Limmu new-year officials were appointed down to the very end of his recorded reign; his final known year (= 609 BC), known eponymously for the limmu as Gargamishayu ("the Carchemishite"), was the last year ever in history so to receive an official Assyrian name.[1][2]

It is possible that Ashur-uballit was killed in this 2nd siege of Harran in 608 BC, although this is not certain. He may well have survived and been involved in the final Assyrian-Egyptian defeat in the region, at Carchemish in 605 BC, or survived and disappeared into obscurity.[3] In any event, he was never to arise again in any known historical record.

While it is clear that he was a member of the Assyrian royal family, and that he was a tartan (General) of the Assyrian army before declaring himself king, there is some disagreement as to whether or not Ashur-uballit II was the brother of Sin-shar-ishkun, who ruled the empire from 623 BC to 612 BC. He took his name from Ashur-uballit I, the Assyrian king who had overthrown Mitanni Empire and defeated the Hittite Empire, and started the Middle Assyrian Empire (1365 BC – 1020 BC).


Ashur-uballit II of Assyria
Preceded by
Sinsharishkun
King of Assyria
612–609 BC
Succeeded by
Conquest by the Babylonians and Medians
  1. ^ Approche scientifique d'une chronologie absolue (French)
  2. ^ Geschichte Vorderasiens (German)
  3. ^ Georges Roux -Ancient Iraq