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Objectives and Consequences of the Neo-Assyrian Imperial Exercise

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image of Religion and Theology

The Neo-Assyrian Empire was most ascendant in the eighth and seventh centuries B.C.E., ultimately controlling most of the ancient Near East before fading from history in 612. Assyrian ideology was predicated on cosmic supremacy of their chief deity Ashur, with the Assyrian monarch considered to be his vice-regent in "world" conquest. Assyrian imperialism may thus be said to have been religious in character. Nevertheless, the impetus for Assyrian domination was not primarily cultic. It was not compulsive desire to make subject peoples worship Ashur, but rather (as with empires in general) political and economic concerns that motivated Assyrian actions.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Religion, Bishop's University, 2600 College St., Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada J1M 1Z7; Department of New Testament and Early Christian Studies University of South Africa, P.O. Box 392, Pretoria 0003, Republic of South Africa


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