Ashurbanipal Royal Lion Hunt Assyrian King 668 BC
Sku : AS20
Ashurbanipal (Akkadian: A��ur-bāni-apli, "Ashur is creator of an heir"; 685 B.C. � c. 627 B.C.) also spelled Assurbanipal or Ashshurbanipal, was the son of Esarhaddon and the last great king of the Neo-Assyrian Empire (668 B.C. � c. 627 B.C.) He established the first systematically organized library in the ancient Middle East, the Library of Ashurbanipal, which survives in part today at Nineveh.
In the Bible he is called Asenappar (Ezra 4:10). Roman historian Justinus identified him as Sardanapalus.
Ashurbanipal was born toward the end of a fifteen-hundred-year period of Assyrian ascendancy.
His father, Esarhaddon, youngest son of Sennacherib, had become heir when the crown prince, Ashur-nadin-shumi, was deposed by rebels from his position as vassal for Babylon. Esarhaddon was not the son of Sennacherib's queen, Tashmetum-sharrat, but of the West Semitic "palace woman" Zakutu, known by her native name, Naqi'a. The only queen known for Esarhaddon was Ashur-hamat, who died in 672 BC.
Ashurbanipal grew up in the small palace called bit reduti (house of succession), built by his grandfather Sennacherib when he was crown prince in the northern quadrant of Nineveh. In 694 BC, Sennacherib had completed the "Palace Without Rival" at the southwest corner of the acropolis, obliterating most of the older structures. The "House of Succession" had become the palace of Esarhaddon, the crown prince. In this house, Ashurbanipal's grandfather was assassinated by uncles identified only from the biblical account as Adrammelek and Sharezer. From this conspiracy, Esarhaddon emerged as king in 680 BC. He proceeded to rebuild as his residence the bit masharti (weapons house, or arsenal). The "House of Succession" was left to his mother and the younger children, including Ashurbanipal.
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