A Cult Relief from Ashur

A Cult Relief from Ashur


Joshua J. Markby Joshua J. Mark
published on 27 January 2017
A Cult Relief from Ashur (by Osama Shukir Muhammed Amin, CC BY-NC-SA)
Assur (also Ashur, Anshar) is the god of the Assyrians who was elevated from a local deity of the city of Ashur to the supreme god of the Assyrian pantheon. The Assyrian Empire, like the later empire of the Romans, had a great talent for borrowing from other cultures. This penchant is illustrated clearly in the figure of Assur whose character and attributes draw on the Sumerian and Babylonian gods. Assur's family and history are modeled on the Sumerian Anu and Enlil and the Babylonian Marduk his power and attributes mirror Anu's, Enlil's, and Marduk's as do details of his family: Assur's wife is Ninlil (Enlil's wife) and his son is Nabu(Marduk's son). Assur had no actual history of his own, such as those created for Sumerian and Babylonian gods but borrowed from these other myths to create a supreme deity whose worship, at its height, was almost monotheistic. Scholar Jeremy Black notes:

In spite of (or possibly because of) the tendencies to transfer to him the attributes and mythology of other gods, Assur remains an indistinct deity with no clear character or tradition (or iconography) of his own. (38)
Assur had power over the kingship of Assyria but, in this, was no different from Marduk of Babylon. The king of Assyria was his chief priest and all those who tended his temple in the city of Ashur and elsewhere lesser priests. Assyrian kings frequently chose his name as an element in their own to honor him (Ashurbanipal, Ashurnasirpal I, Ashurnasirpal II, etc). Worship of Assur consisted, as with other Mesopotamian deities, of priests tending the statue of the god in the temple and taking care of the duties of the complex surrounding it. Although people may have engaged in private rituals honoring the god or asking for assistance, there were no temple services as one would recognize them in the modern day.

The iconography of Assur is often taken from the Sumerian Anu, a crown or a crown on a throne, but he is as frequently represented as a warrior-god wearing a horned helmet and carrying a bow and quiver of arrows. He wears a short skirt of feathers and is sometimes depicted within a winged disk (although the association of Assur with the solar disk is contested by a number of modern scholars, among them Jeremy Black). Assur is also sometimes represented standing on a snake-dragon, an image borrowed from the Babylonian Marduk, among other gods.

Early Origins
Assur is first positively attested to in the Ur III Period (2047-1750 BCE) of Mesopotamian history. He is identified as the patron god of the city of Ashur c. 1900 BCE at its founding and also gives his name to the Assyrians. From a local, and probably agricultural, god who personified the city, Assur steadily acquired greater and greater attributes. The scholar E. A. Wallis Budge describes the general progression gods made from spirits to local deities to supreme gods:

The oldest of such spirits was the "house spirit" or household-god. When men formed themselves into village communities the idea of the "spirit of the village" was evolved and later came the "god of the town or city" and the "god of the country". Each of the elements, earth, air, fire, and water had its spirit or "god", the earthquake, lightning, thunder, rain, storm, desert whirlwind, each likewise its spirit or "god", and of course each plant, tree, and animal. As time went on, men began to think that certain spirits were more powerful than others and these they selected for special reverence or worship. (81-82)
Such was the case with Assur in that he is originally referenced as the god of only the locale surrounding the city but came to personify and represent the entire nation of Assyria. His city mirrored his rise to fame as Ashur began as a small trading center built on the site of an earlier community founded by Sargon of Akkad (2334-2279 BCE) but flourished through trade with Anatolia and with other regions of Mesopotamia to become the capital of Assyria by the time of the reign of the Assyrian king Shamashi Adad I (1813-1791 BCE). Shamashi Adad I drove the Amorites from the region in Assur's name and secured his boundaries but was defeated by the Amorite king Hammurabi of Babylon (1792-1750 BCE) who then controlled the region. Worship of Assur at this time was restricted to the city and the Assyrian lands surrounding it, while Marduk of Babylon was worshiped as the supreme god and the Babylonian work Enuma Elish was considered the authoritative piece on creation and the birth of the gods and humanity.

Ashurbanipal II Attacking Enemy Archers
Ashurbanipal II Attacking Enemy Archers
by The Trustees of the British Museum (Copyright)
Rise to Power
In the tumult following Hammurabi's death, different powers controlled the region and their gods were considered supreme. The Mitanni and the Hittites both held Ashur and Assyrian areas as a vassal state until they were defeated by king Adad Nirari I (1307-1275 BCE), who united the lands under the first semblance of an Assyrian empire. Assur is credited by the king as the god who granted him the victory, but no history of the god existed to glorify. Scholar Jeremy Black comments on this:

Eventually, with the growth of Assyria and the increase in cultural contacts with southern Mesopotamia, there was a tendency to assimilate Assur to certain of the major deities of the Sumerian and Babylonian pantheons. From about 1300 BCE we can trace some attempts to identify him with Sumerian Enlil. This probably represents an effort to cast him as the chief of the gods. Then, under Sargon II of Assyria (reigned 722-705 BCE), Assur tended to be identified with Anshar, the father of Anu (An) in the Babylonian Epic of Creation. The process thus represented Assur as a god of long-standing, present from the creation of the universe. (37-38)
From the time of Adad Nirari I to the time of the Neo-Assyrian Empire of Sargon II, Assur continued to rise in prominence. In the Enuma Elish, Assur (under the name Anshar) replaced Marduk as the hero. Tiglath Pileser I (1115-1076 BCE) regularly invokes Assur as the god of the empire who empowers the army and leads them to victory and even credits Assur with the laws of the empire. Adad Nirari II (912-891 BCE) expanded the empire in every direction with Assur as his personal patron. Everywhere the Assyrian army traveled, Assur traveled with them, and thus his worship spread across Mesopotamia. Wallis Budge writes, "As the power of Marduk became predominant when Babylon grew into a great city, so the power of Assur waxed great when the Assyrians became a strong and warlike nation" (88). To the men who marched in the Assyrian forces, as well as to those they conquered, Assur was obviously a powerful god worthy of worship and devotion and, in time, he became so powerful as to eclipse the earlier gods of the region.

Assur, the Supreme God
When Ashurnasirpal II (884-859 BCE) came to power, he moved the capital of the empire from Ashur to the city of Kalhu, but this is no indication of waning power on Assur's part Ashurnasirpal II had Assur's name as part of his own (his name means 'Assur is Guardian of the Heir'). The reason for the capital's move is unclear, but most likely it was only because Ashur had grown so great and the populace fiercely proud and Ashurnasirpal II wanted to surround himself with humbler and more easily manageable people. Tiglath Pileser III (745-727 BCE) elevated Assur's name even higher through the stunning victories which marked his reign. Tiglath Pileser III created the first professional army in the history of the world, who, armed with iron weapons, were invincible. Along with the new kind of army, new technology was created such as siege engines which allowed the army to take whole cities with fewer losses.

King Tiglath-pileser III
King Tiglath-pileser III
by Osama Shukir Muhammed Amin (CC BY-NC-SA)
As the Assyrian armies campaigned throughout the land, Assur led them to greater and greater victories. Previously, however, Assur had been linked with the temple of the city of Ashur and had only been worshiped there. As the Assyrians made wider and wider gains in territory, a new way of imagining the god became necessary in order to continue that worship in other locales. Scholar Paul Kriwaczek explains how, in order to maintain worship of Assur, the nature of a god - and how that god should be understood and worshiped - had to change:

One might pray to Assur not only in his own temple in his own city, but anywhere. As the Assyrian empire expanded its borders, Assur was encountered in even the most distant places. From faith in an omnipresent god to belief in a single god is not a long step. Since He was everywhere, people came to understand that, in some sense, local divinities were just different manifestations of the same Assur. (231)
This unity of vision of a supreme deity helped to further unify the regions of the empire. The different gods of the conquered peoples and their various religious practices became absorbed into the worship of Assur, who was recognized as the one true god who had been called different names by different people in the past but who now was clearly known and could be properly worshiped as the universal deity. Regarding this, Kriwaczek writes:

Belief in the transcendence rather than immanence of the divine had important consequences. Nature came to be desacralized, deconsecrated. Since the gods were outside and above nature, humanity – according to Mesopotamian belief created in the likeness of the gods and as servant to the gods – must be outside and above nature too. Rather than an integral part of the natural earth, the human race was now her superior and her ruler. The new attitude was later summed up in Genesis 1:26: 'And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let him have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth' That is all very well for men, explicitly singled out in that passage. But for women it poses an insurmountable difficulty. While males can delude themselves and each other that they are outside, above, and superior to nature, women cannot so distance themselves, for their physiology makes them clearly and obviously part of the natural world…It is no accident that even today those religions that put most emphasis on God’s utter transcendence and the impossibility even to imagine His reality should relegate women to a lower rung of existence, their participation in public religious worship only grudgingly permitted, if at all. (229-230)
Women in Mesopotamia had enjoyed almost equal rights with men until the rise of Hammurabi and his god Marduk. Under Hammurabi's reign, female deities began to lose prestige as male gods became increasingly elevated. Under Assyrian rule, with Assur as supreme god, women's rights suffered further. Cultures like the Phoenicians, who had always regarded women with great respect, were forced to follow the customs and beliefs of the conquerors. The Assyrian culture became increasingly cohesive with the expansion of the empire, the new understanding of the deity, and the assimilation of the people from the conquered regions. Shalmaneser III (859-824 BCE) expanded the empire up through the coast of the Mediterranean and received regular tribute from wealthy Phoenician cities such as Tyre and Sidon.

Assur was now the supreme god not only of the Assyrians but of all those people who were brought under their rule. To the Assyrians, of course, this was an ideal situation, but this opinion was not shared by every nationality they had conquered, and when the opportunity presented itself, they would vent their frustrations dramatically.

The End of Assur
The Neo-Assyrian Empire (912-612 BCE) is the last expression of Assyrian political power in Mesopotamia and is the one most familiar to students of ancient history. The kings of this period are the ones most often mentioned in the Bible and best known by people in the present day. It is also the era which most decisively gives the Assyrian Empire the reputation it has for ruthlessness and cruelty. Kriwaczek comments on this, writing:

Assyria must surely have among the worst press notices of any state in history. Babylon may be a byname for corruption, decadence and sin but the Assyrians and their famous rulers, with terrifying names like Shalmaneser, Tiglath-Pileser, Sennacherib, Esarhaddonand Ashurbanipal, rate in the popular imagination just below Adolf Hitler and Genghis Khan for cruelty, violence, and sheer murderous savagery. (208)
Although there is no denying the Assyrians could be ruthless and were quite clearly not to be trifled with, they were really no more savage or barbaric than any other ancient civilization. In order to form and maintain an empire, they destroyed cities and murdered people, but in this, they were no different from those who preceded and followed them, save in that they were easily more efficient than most.

Assyrian Deportation of People from Southern Iraq
Assyrian Deportation of People from Southern Iraq
by Osama Shukir Muhammed Amin (CC BY-NC-SA)
To the conquered people, however, the Assyrians were seen as hated overlords. The last great king of the empire was Ashurbanipal (668-627 BCE) and, after him, the empire began to break apart. There were many reasons for this but, mainly, it had simply grown too large to manage. As the power of the central government became less and less able to cope, more territories broke away from the empire. In 612 BCE a coalition of Babylonians, Medes, Persians, and others rose against the Assyrian cities and destroyed them. Included in this onslaught was the city of Ashur and the temple of the god as well as other statues of Assur elsewhere. Assur had come to personify the Assyrians, their military victories, and their political power, and so the destruction of this symbol was of special importance to Assyria's enemies.

Worship of Assur continued in Assyrian communities after the fall of the empire but was no longer widespread and no temples, shrines, or statuaries were left standing in the cities and regions which had revolted. In the early Christian era, the understanding of Assur as an omnipotent deity worked well for the early Christian missionaries to the region, who found the Assyrians receptive to their message of a single god and the concept of this god's son coming to earth for the benefit of humanity. Although Assur's son Nabu never became incarnated or sacrificed himself for others, he was thought to have given human beings the gift of the written word. Nabu continued to be venerated after the fall of the empire, and although Assur declined in stature, he was remembered and is still present (often as Ashur) as a personal and family name in the present day.


This Article has been reviewed for accuracy, reliability and adherence to academic standards prior to publication.

Bauer, S. W. The History of the Ancient World. (W. W. Norton & Company, 2007).
Bertman, S. Handbook to Life in Ancient Mesopotamia. (Oxford University Press, 2005).
Black, J. & Green, A. Gods, Demons and Symbols of Ancient Mesopotamia. (University of Texas Press, 1992).
Kriwaczek, P. Babylon: Mesopotamia and the Birth of Civilization. (St. Martin's Griffin, 2012).
Leick, G. The A to Z of Mesopotamia. (Scarecrow Press, 2010).
Wallis Budge, E. A. Babylonian Life and History. (Barnes & Noble, 2005).
About the Author
Joshua J. Marks
Joshua J. Mark
A freelance writer and former part-time Professor of Philosophy at Marist College, New York, Joshua J. Mark has lived in Greece and Germany and traveled through Egypt. He has taught history, writing, literature, and philosophy at the college level.

The Assyrian Relief of Kings and Gods

Dating from about 2,800 years ago and cut ‘from’ the bedrock, in relief, located above an ancient irrigation canal, the story is set in a period of expansion in the Assyrian Empire and shows the Assyrian king Sargon II at both ends of a procession with the seven main Assyrian gods and goddesses. All the gods and goddesses are riding animals and mythical creatures including horses, bulls, lions and dragons and each faces the direction the water once flowed in the ancient canal beneath them.

The unearthed Assyrian relief carvings showing a procession of the seven main Assyrian gods and goddesses, standing or seated on mythical animals, and the Assyrian king Sargon II. (Alberto Savioli / Land of Nineveh Archaeological Project / University of Udine)

According to an article in Live Science , Dr. Morandi Bonacossi said the carving feature: the sun god Shamash on a horse and the moon god Sin is on the back of a horned lion. Furthermore, the god of wisdom is mounted on a dragon, while the weather god is on a horned lion and a bull. Ishtar, the goddess of love and war sits on a lion and Ashur, the chief Assyrian god, is perched upon a dragon and a horned lion, while his wife Mullissu sits on a decorated throne supported by a lion.

Cult Recruitment Tactics

Bill&rsquos story illustrates perfectly the classic cultic recruitment and retention process. Margaret Singer, a preeminent 20th-century authority on cults, wrote in her definitive Cults in Our Midst about the six stages of cultic recruitment and retention.

1. Keep the person unaware of what is going on and the changes taking place.
Bill was recruited as a college student, when he was most vulnerable. He was away from home, far from his social support system, emotionally insecure, and lonely. It&rsquos likely that Sarah had spent days recruiting on the campus and had approached dozens of solitary students before finding Bill. When he initially became involved with Brother Jacob, Bill thought he was joining a Christian church with spiritual and ethical beliefs much like his own. He had no inkling that Sarah had been trolling for new members and that the initial stages of his involvement with the group were carefully orchestrated to reinforce the commonalities Bill felt with the cult members.

2. Control the person&rsquos time and, if possible, physical environment.
Once Bill actually moved in with Jacob&rsquos group, his time was rigorously controlled as he worked multiple physically exhausting jobs. Bill relinquished his income to Jacob, had no meaningful emotional contact with anyone outside the church community, and was dependent on Jacob and the other congregants for shelter, emotional support, and food.

A cult could be in your own neighborhood and you might well not know it because the members have such superficial social interaction with nonmembers. If a cult member were to have outside interests, meaningful contact with friends and family outside of the cult, or personal interests not specifically tied to the cult, it would be a whole lot easier for him or her to just walk out when things got bad. Recruits are not allowed exposure to any people, situations or ideas that might help them look at the situation objectively the consequence is that the ideas of the cult gradually replace independent thought.

3. Create a sense of powerlessness, covert fear, and dependency.
One of the unbending tenets of cults is the &ldquous versus them&rdquo mentality. Cult leaders justify this insularity in innumerable ways. In Bill&rsquos case, Brother Jacob convinced his followers that his was a divinely directed spiritual path and that all other religions, Christian or otherwise, were either well meaning but false, or were diabolical. Citing the danger of &ldquocontamination,&rdquo Brother Jacob instructed his followers that to maintain their spiritual purity and avoid damnation, they needed to avoid as much as possible all contact with persons outside the community. To do otherwise would mean impeding God&rsquos design for world spiritual harmony.

4. Suppress much of the person&rsquos old behavior and attitudes.
In his groundbreaking book on &ldquobrainwashing&rdquo techniques used by Communist prison guards during the Korean War, Dr. Robert Jay Lifton points out that

&ldquoWhatever its setting, thought reform consists of two basic elements: confession, the exposure and renunciation of past and present &lsquoevil,&rsquo and re-education, the remaking of a man in the Communist image. These elements are closely related and overlapping, since both bring into play a series of pressures and appeals&mdashintellectual, emotional, and physical&mdashaimed at social control and individual change.&rdquo (5, 1961)

This is certainly what happened to Bill. He had renounced his past beliefs and affiliations, but in this case the &ldquoconfession and redemption&rdquo exercise that he participated in finally caused him to metaphorically snap. Years of hard physical labor, a failed marriage, and humiliation from his wife, Jacob, and the other cult members caused such emotional exhaustion that he fled the cult to try to recoup his sanity.

5. Instill new behavior and attitudes.
With cults, the goal is to take whatever sense of morality or personal identity the person originally had and replace it with the leader&rsquos own vision. Cultic indoctrination is gradual and incremental, just like the mind control described by Dr. Lifton. Everything happens in small, sometimes seemingly inconsequential steps. Had Bill been told at the first service at Brother Jacob&rsquos church that he would have to disavow his family, drop out of school, perform mind-numbing physical labor for years, accept Jacob as a prophet, and be subjected to continual emotional abuse, it is unlikely he would have attended a second service. Jacob and his followers, however, kept hidden the central precepts of Jacob&rsquos message.

6. Put forth a closed sense of logic allow no real input or criticism.
Brother Jacob continually reminded his congregation that to desert the group was tantamount to eternal damnation. Members of the community were taught that temptation was everywhere and could come from anyone and everyone not associated with Jacob. For hours each evening, Jacob lectured on theology, the evils of modern society, and the hypocrisy of organized religion. He warned his congregation that to lose sight of his message, even for a minute, would be tantamount to suicide.

He urged them to report any doubts or negative thoughts to Jacob immediately, and to assist each other in remaining spiritually pure by informing Jacob of any concerns they felt about the purity and purpose of their fellow congregants. Bill tried his best to live up to these strict rules in doing so, he came to unquestionably accept the belief that Jacob was a prophet appointed by God.

Ashur’s worship in Old Assyria

In the Old Assyrian era, Ashur was believed to be a mere local deity in charge of agriculture. Over time, he burgeoned into a national god in the region. He was seen as the deity who helped in the founding of the city and the Assyrian Empire. He thus represented the entire Assyrian nation.

And as the city of Assur rose in fame and might, so did the worship of Ashur, spreading far into other places in the region. This started around the reign of Sargon of Akkad (2332-2279 BCE), and would continue into the reign of Shamashi Adad I (1813-1791 BCE). King Adad I is believed to have been inspired by Ashur and successfully wrestled control of the city from the Amorites.

4) Sexual Frustration

Since Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t have the right to experience their sexuality normally like everyone else, their sexual frustration is widespread in the religion.

Because of this, we observe two real facts among Jehovah’s Witnesses.

1) Addiction to pornography beyond the normal percentage.

2) Very early marriages and often times loveless, because it is the only way to have sex.

These two facts lead to an avalanche of problems in the form of uneasiness, discomfort, depression, and other physiological and psychological problems.

At times ex-Jehovah’s Witnesses have admitted that they had some issues with addiction to pornography due to their sexual frustration as young men in this cult.

The Evangelical Era (1947-1974)

Following World War II, many people began moving to the cities, and the C&MA continued to move forward. The tabernacles were exchanged for traditional church buildings and many C&MA churches moved to the suburbs. In 1974 the C&MA officially declared itself to be a denomination, along with a sweeping restructuring of the organization. During this time, Dr. A.W. Tozer and Dr. Louis L. King greatly influenced The Alliance. Dr. King as head of the missionary effort began to implement the indigenous church policy—envisioning each national church of the C&MA as self-supporting, self-propagating, and self-governing entity. Learn more about the growth of the church both overseas and domestically.

Ancient Man and His First Civilizations

When last we left Canaan, t he Phoenician kingdom of Tyre, was made an ally through the marriage of Omri's son Ahab, to the Tyrian princess Jezebel.

Click here for the translated text of the obelisk <<Click>>

However, the establishment of a temple to the pagan god Baal (one of the main Canaanite gods), for Jezebels use. And Jezebels attempts to spread the cult of Baal, aroused great opposition on the part of the zealous Yahwists (Yahway - the Hebrew name for God), among the common people. There was also resentment at the despotic manner of Ahabs rule, which was though to have been incited by Jezebel. She and her cult were challenged by the prophet Elijah - One of Elijah's disciples Elisha, organized the slaughter of Jezebel, Ahab and the whole royal family, as well as all worshippers of Baal. This put a stop to the Baalist threat. "Jehu" Elisha's co-conspirator, and Jehoram's general, who had led this massacre. Became king and established a dynasty that lasted almost a century (842&ndash745 B.C.), the longest in the history of Israel.

Beyond his bloody coup d'etat, little is known of the events of Jehu's reign. He was hard pressed by the predations of Hazael, king of the Arameans, who is said to have defeated his army "throughout all of the territories of Israel" beyond the Jordan river, in the lands of Gilead, Gad, Reuben, and Manasseh. This perhaps would explain why Jehu is offering tribute to Shalmaneser III on his Black Obelisk (where his name appears as mIa-ú-a mar mHu-um-ri-i or "Jehu son of Omri") It is though that Jehu was encouraging an enemy of the Arameans into being his friend. In the Assyrian documents he is simply referred to as "Jehu son of Omri," that is, Jehu of the House of Omri, an Assyrian name for the Kingdom of Israel.

The following four pictures are of the Israelite part of the Black Obelisk.

Meanwhile, in Judah, the Baal cult introduced by Athaliah, who was the queen mother, and effective ruler for a time: Was suppressed by a revolt led by the chief priests. Athaliah was killed and her grandson Joash (Jehoash) was made king. In the following period, Judah and Israel had alternating relations of conflict and amity, and were both involved in the alternating expansion and loss of power in their relations with neighboring states.

The Aramaeans of Damascus were the main enemy. Damascus annexed much of Israel's territory, and exercised suzerainty over the rest. They also exacted a heavy tribute from Judah. However, under Jeroboam II (783&ndash741 B.C.) in Israel and Uzziah/Azariah (783&ndash742 B.C.) in Judah, both of whom had long reigns at the same time, the two kingdoms cooperated to achieve a period of prosperity and tranquility, unknown since Solomon's reign.

The threat of the rising Assyrian Empire under Tiglath-Pileser III, soon reversed this situation. In 734 B.C, Tiglath-pileser invaded southern Syria and the Philistine territories in Canaan, going as far as the Egyptian border.

Assyrian sculpture - From Wikipedia

Assyrian sculpture is the sculpture of the ancient Assyrian states, especially the Neo-Assyrian Empire of 911 to 612 BC, which ruled modern Iraq, Syria, and much of Iran. It forms a phase of the art of Mesopotamia, differing in particular because of its much greater use of stone and gypsum alabaster for large sculpture. Much the best-known works are the huge lamassu guarding entrance ways, and Assyrian palace reliefs on thin slabs of alabaster, which were originally painted, at least in part, and fixed on the wall all-round the main rooms of palaces. Most of these are in museums in Europe or America, following a hectic period of excavations from 1842 to 1855, which took Assyrian art from being almost completely unknown to being the subject of several best-selling books, and imitated in political cartoons.



The palace reliefs contain scenes in low relief which glorify the king, showing him at war, hunting, and fulfilling other kingly roles. Many works left in situ, or in museums local to their findspots, have been deliberately destroyed in the recent occupation of the area by ISIS, the pace of destruction reportedly increasing in late 2016, with the Mosul offensive. Other surviving types of art include many cylinder seals, a few rock reliefs, reliefs and statues from temples, bronze relief strips used on large doors, and small quantities of metalwork. The Nimrud ivories, an important group of small plaques which decorated furniture, were found in a palace storeroom near reliefs, but they came from around the Mediterranean, with relatively few made locally in an Assyrian style.

Damascus and Israel tried to organize resistance against him, to this end, they marched against Judah to force its participation in the fight against Assyria, the Judahite king Ahaz (735&ndash720 B.C.) instead called on Assyria for protection In 733 Tiglath-pileser devastated Israel and forced it to surrender large territories, captives were taken and tribute had to be paid. In 732 he advanced upon Damascus, first devastating the gardens outside the city and then conquering the capital and killing the king, whom he replaced with a governor.

In 721 B.C, the Assyrian king Sargon II, laid a protracted siege on the Israeli city of Samaria. After Samaria fell, the Samarian upper class was deported to Assyria and Babylon. Samaria was repopulated with Assyrians and Babylonians.

Meanwhile Judah became a vassal state of Assyria. In about 721 B.C, after an abortive revolt against Assyrian rule by King Hoshea. What was left of the Hebrew state of Israel, was annexed outright by Assyria, and thus became an Assyrian province. As was the custom of Assyria, Israel's elite citizens, amounting to nearly 30,000 people, according to Assyrian figures, were deported to Mesopotamia and Media (Iran), and new settlers were imported from other lands. Thus, the northern kingdom of Israel ceased to exist.

Assyrian and later Babylonian rule, left the kingdom of Judah, the sole heir to the past glories of David and Solomon. King Hezekiah (715&ndash686 B.C.), lured by promises of Egyptian aid, attempted to resist Assyria, but he was defeated and compelled to pay a crushing tribute. It was probably only the timely intervention of an epidemic, which had decimated the Assyrian army of king Sennacherib, that saved Judah from total devastation.

Close-up of a large wall relief depicting Assyrian King Sennacherib&rsquos Attack and conquest of the Judean City of Lachish - 701 B.C. British museum, London - All.

The Cult Of Trump: Cult Expert Explains Trumpism

The Cult of Trump is written by one of the leading experts in cults and mind-control, Steven Hassan. He offers fresh insights about Trump and provides a roadmap on how we are going to heal as a country. According to Hassan:

Cult leaders may seem crazy, but they are cunning masters of manipulation, employing an arsenal of these techniques to render their followers dependent and obedient.

I have learned that mind control is not a vague, mystical process but, instead, is the result of a concrete and specific and systematic set of methods and techniques. Cult leaders may seem crazy, but they are cunning masters of manipulation, employing an arsenal of these techniques to render their followers dependent and obedient. It’s what I call the cult leader’s playbook.

Hassan's book The Cult of Trump: A Leading Cult Expert Explains How The President Uses Mind Control, gives excellent advice on how to talk to "Trump cult" family and friends about the election.

  • Before focusing on someone else, first learn how mind control works.
  • Establish rapport and trust with the other person.
  • Always act with respect, kindness, warmth and integrity.
  • Use good communication strategies and active listening to keep the dialogue open.
  • Be curious, ask open-ended questions.
  • Be patient and wait for them to think and answer.
  • Keep a collaborative, rather than competitive, frame of mind.
  • Find common ground, focusing on things you can agree upon.
  • Avoid talking about the cult at first. Tread lightly around this topic until the other person is comfortable with you.
  • Find outside topics that share characteristics with Trumpism to ease into the topic
  • Don't get angry when they say offensive things.
  • Don't “tell” them. Your goal is to help them make their OWN discoveries.

Here is a download from Steven Hassan's website on how to Free Your Loved Ones from The Cult of Trump.

Bibliography & Thanks

The following were used to draft this article:

    . . . A BBC documentary on masterpieces of the British Museum, episode 2 of 6, 30 minutes.
  1. Personal visit to the British Museum.

As an Iraqi citizen, I would like to sincerely thank all of those who were involved in the excavation, transportation, preservation, protection, and the display of this world-class ancient art! This history belongs to the whole world and humanity, not only to Iraq. Viva Mesopotamia, the Cradle of Civilization!