Nineveh

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Author: Dayanand Deswal दयानन्द देसवाल
Map - Location of Nineveh

Nineveh ( or Ninua नाइन्वेह/ निनेवा/ निनुवा) was an ancient Assyrian city of Upper Mesopotamia, located on the outskirts of Mosul in modern-day northern Iraq. It is on the eastern bank of the Tigris River, and was the capital of the Neo-Assyrian Empire.

Until the year 612 BC, Nineveh was a large city, when, after a bitter period of civil war in Assyria, it was sacked by a coalition of its former subject peoples, the Babylonians, Medes, Chaldeans, Persians, Scythians and Cimmerians. Its ruins are across the river from the modern-day major city of Mosul.

Large amounts of Assyrian sculpture and other artifacts have been excavated and are now located in museums around the world.

World Heritage site

Nineveh is among the sites in the list of UNESCO's World Heritage Sites.

Nineveh in Jat History

Bhim Singh Dahiya writes - The founder of the empire, Deiokes, hereinafter mentioned as Devaka was so famous among his fellow villagers for his sense of justice that all his fellow tribesmen would flock to hear his decisions. When the ministering of free Justice would cross the normal limit Devaka would refuse to give his opinions to settle disputes, on the plea that he too had his private affairs to look into. Thereafter an election was held and he was elected as the king. An excellent psychologist, judge of men and affairs as well as an administrator, Devaka immediately formed a powerful army. When the country was secure, he decided to build his capital for which the mighty granite range of mount Alvanda was selected and at a height of 6,000 ft.above sea level the capital of Ecbatana was built. Its present site is the eastern part of modern Hamadan. The city was built under a fixed plan. It had seven walls which were concentric and so arranged that they rose one above the other by the height of their battlements. The royal palace and treasuries were situated within the seventh wall whose battlements were gilded. The other six walls were decorated in various colours. After this preparation Devaka started expansion of his empire. The Assyrians could never have dreamt that this mountain shepherd at no distant date, would sack the greatNineveh and cause the name of Assyria to disappear from amongst the nations of the world. the adjoining areas were annexed to the Manda empire and after consolidating it for 53 years, Devaka was succeeded by his son Fravarti, the Phraortes of the Greeks, in 655 B.C. The Persians were the first to be conquered. Gaining more than self-confidence from their successes, the Mandas attacked the Assyrian empire but were defeated and Fravarti himself was killed. He was succeeded by Huva Kshatra, the Cyaxares of the Greeks. He was one of those rare leaders in war and administrators in peace who, appear on the stage of the world history from time to time. Used from childhood to ride and shoot from horseback, Huva Kshatra remodeled his army on Assyrian lines. But he retained the bow for his cavalry. After thus modernizing his army he thought of taking revenge from Assyrians whom he attacked. Nineveh was sieged and the adjoining areas were devastated. The victory was so complete and the Assyrian defeat was so terrible, that the prophet Nahum, wrote in his book, " the noise of a whip, and the noise of the rattling of the wheels, and the prancing horses, and of the jumping chariots. The horseman lifted up both the bright sword and the glittering spear; and there is a multitude of slain, and a great number of carcases, and there is none end of their corpses; they stumble upon their corpses."3

Assurbanipal died in 626 B.C. and his successors were disputing the throne. Such an opportunity was not to be lost and the second attack of Nineveh began. The Assyrian emperor burnt himself in his palace and perished with his family. In the words of prophet Nahum, "the gates of the river shall be open and the palace shall be dissolved."

Thus in 606 B.C. Nineveh fell and so utter was its ruin that the Assyrian name was forgotten and the history of their empire soon melted into fable. Babylonia itself was roped with ties of marriage and a daughter of Huva Kshatra became the Queen of Nebu-Chad-Nezzar. Armenia and Cappadocia were included in the Manda empire. Lydia was emerging as a powerful nation in the west and it was inevitable that the two powers should collide. The war began but in 585 B.C. when there was a total eclipse of the sun, it was stopped after six years of fighting, under a peace treaty. A daughter of the Lydian emperor was married to the heir apparent of Manda, and the kingdom Urartu was annexed to Manda empire. Next year, I.e. 584 B.C. this great emperor died. Thus from a beaten nation he raised the Mandas into the most powerful an virile empire of that time. It is aptly stated that the east was Semitic when he began to rule but it was Aryan when he stoped. This leader in one of the great moments in history was succeeded by Ishtuvegu, Astyages of the Greeks. He was an unworthy son of his worthy father and he deviated from the basic policy of the Mandas, i.e., to keep fit and ready for war. Luxuries of all sorts became the habit of the court. Elaborate ceremonies were prescribed for the court and the courtiers were directed to wear red and purple flying robes. Golden chains and collars were affixed and drinking vessels were made of gold. Under such influence the emperor became lethargic. He was also superstitious. He had no son and his daughter named Mandani (after the clan name) was married to a small vassal prince of Ellam, because It was forecast by the Magis that her issue will become the king of Asia and Europe. The emperor saw a vine outgrowing from Mandani which overshadowed the whole of Asia. He, therefore, feared to marry her to a noble man of his own country and thus he wanted to flout the fate. But as always happens, it was impossible to do so. The first issue of princess Mandani, was Cyrus who became the emperor, after putting in prison his maternal grandfather, Ishtuvegu through the help of General Harpagus whose son the crooked king had made into a dinner served to Harpagus himself. Three battles were fought, as per traditions preserved by the classical writers, before Ecbatana itself fell in 550 B.C. Cyrus was emperor of Persia and had inherited the empire of the Mandas which was further extended by him. But this does not mean that efforts were not made to recover the lost empire. We hear that Cyrus himself fought wars against the Jats in Balakh and the Caspian sea. At both the places he was unsuccessful. Balakh remained under the Kangs, and the small kingdom of the Massaagate ruled over by the Dahias, remained free and independent.[1]

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