Ancient Assyria: A Very Short Introduction

ISBN : 9780198715900

Karen Radner
160 Pages
143 x 174 mm
Pub date
Mar 2015
Very Short Introductions


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  • Tells the history of Assyria from city state to empire, from the early 2nd millennium BC to the end of the 7th century BC
  • Develops a nuanced picture of Assyrian culture and society by using a mosaic of case studies
  • Provides insights into the lives of various inhabitants of the kingdom of Assyria
  • Introduces the reader to the primary sources to demonstrate the ways they can be used to make an ancient unfamiliar civilization come alive
  • Examines Assyria's role as a pathfinder for subsequent empires

Assyria was one of the most influential kingdoms of the Ancient Near East. In this Very Short Introduction, Karen Radner sketches the history of Assyria from city state to empire, from the early 2nd millennium BC to the end of the 7th century BC. Since the archaeological rediscovery of Assyria in the mid-19th century, its cities have been excavated extensively in Iraq, Syria, Turkey and Israel, with further sites in Iran, Lebanon, and Jordan providing important information. The Assyrian Empire was one of the most geographically vast, socially diverse, multicultural, and multi-ethnic states of the early first millennium BC.Using archaeological records, Radner provides insights into the lives of the inhabitants of the kingdom, highlighting the diversity of human experiences in the Assyrian Empire.
"The ideas and the analyses are combined in a highly readable way, making this "pocket-sized" book a perfect source for the non-professional reader who is interested in one subject or another and wants to become familiar quickly with a certain subject." - Journal of Ancient History and Archaeology, Horatiu Cocis


1: Introducing Assyria
2: Assyrian places
3: Assyrians at home
4: Assyrians abroad
5: Foreigners in Assyria
6: Assyrian world domination
Further reading

About the author: 

Karen Radner is Professor of Ancient Near Eastern History at University College London. Her research concentrates on the Neo-Assyrian Empire. Her books include State Correspondence in the Ancient World: From New Kingdom Egypt to the Roman Empire(OUP 2014) and, edited with E. Robson, The Oxford Handbook of Cuneiform Culture (OUP 2011).

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