The First EmpiresChapter 1/Section 3 The Assyrians and the Chaldeans
I. The Assyrians • TheAssyrian Empire arose about 1,000 years after the rule of Hammurabi. • Assyria was in northern Mesopotamia near the Tigris River. • Assyriawaslocated in fertile valleys that attracted outside invaders. They needed a largearmy to protect it.
A./1. Assyrian Army • The Assyrian army fought with spears, daggers, bows and arrows, chariots, and soldiers on horseback. • The Assyrian army was the first large army to use iron weapons. Although iron had been used for tools for centuries, it was too soft for weapons. The Hittites (hih-tytz) of southern Assyria developed a way to make it stronger.
A./2. Assyrian Army continued • Assyrians were ferocious warriors. They would tunnel under walls, climb over walls on ladders, or use battering rams to knock down the gates when attacking cities
B. Assyrian Government • The capital of the Assyrian Empire was Nineveh (nih-nuh-vuh). • The empire was divided into provinces, which are political districts. Each province was governed by an official who collected taxes and enforced laws.
C. Assyrian Arts and Religion • The Assyrians built large temples and palaces, with statues and wall carvings. • One of the first libraries was in Nineveh and held 25,000 tablets of stories and songs.
D. End of Assyrian Empire • Lawbreakers often faced brutal punishments in Assyria. • Assyria’s cruel treatment of people led to many rebellions. • TheChaldeans (khal-dee-uhns) captured Nineveh in 612 B.C., and the Assyrian Empire soon crumbled.
II. The Chaldeans • The Chaldeans wanted to build an empire. Led by King Nebuchadnezzar (neh-byuh-kuhd-neh-zuhr), they controlled all of Mesopotamia from 605 B.C. to 562 B.C. • TheChaldeans, who were descendents of Babylonians, rebuilt Babylon. The city was surrounded by a huge wall. Inside the wall were palaces, temples, and a huge ziggurat.
A. Babylon Rebuilt • Babylon quickly became the world’s largest and richest city. • Nebuchadnezzar ordered the Hanging Gardenstobe built for his wife. The Hanging Gardens were one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
B. Chaldean Contributions • The Chaldeans studied the sky to understand the gods. Their astronomers (people who study the heavenly bodies) mapped stars, planets, and phases of the moon. • The Chaldeans made one of the first sundials • The Chaldeans were also the first to have a seven-day week.
C. The End of the Chaldean Empire • In 539 B.C., Persiansfrom the mountains to the northeast captured Babylon. • Mesopotamia became part of the new PersianEmpire.