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“I Fell Upon Him Like A Furious Arrow”: Toward A Reconstruction Of The Assyrian Tactical System

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Chapter Summary

The Assyrian Royal Army was an ideal tool for incorporating the ancient seats of power in Sumer, Akkad, and Babylon, and stretching its reach even to Egypt, a fearsome war machine that for centuries rampaged across the Near East, pouring "awesome terror over the land," as the Assyrian royal inscriptions put it. The Assyrian royal records comprise a series of inscriptions in a variety of media, such as clay objects buried in building foundations, archival tablets, or carvings on stone walls or stelae. As a consequence, they include lengthy disquisitions on the baseness of the enemy, the brilliance and justice of the Assyrian king, his closeness to the gods, the difficulties of the march, and other such themes that are not directly relevant to reconstructing the Assyrian tactical system. The equipment of the Assyrian heavy spearman is suggestive of their role on the battlefield such as helmet, and sword.

Keywords: Akkad; Assyrian tactical system; Babylon; Egypt; Sumer



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