Who was Sennacherib?



Sennacherib, even in his own records, looms before us as the most ferocious and terrible of all the tiger kings of Assyria. He boasts that in his ravaging of Palestine he carried off as prisoners two hundred thousand of the people. Often after storming a city he hanged every inhabitant or put them all to torture. Yet, on the whole, he was not a successful ruler. Perhaps the very savagery of his punishments drove men to a frenzy of defiance; for he faced constant rebellions. The Babylonian priests were particularly bitter against Sennacherib and roused Babylon to revolt. They declared that their great "baal" or god, Marduk, would never accept him as king. Babylonian revolts had been frequent, but had always before been softened by a peace party, which, when the city surrendered, took control under Assyrian protection. But now there was no peace party. The priests stirred the people to fury; and in the temples of Marduk huge sacrifices were offered to secure the active protection of the god.

Marduk, however, failed to uphold his adherents. Sennacherib stormed and captured Babylon; and, resolving this time to put an end to its rebellions forever, he destroyed the city utterly (B.C. 689). He tore down the walls and temples, set fire to the mass of ruins, and then turned the waters of the Euphrates so that they flowed over the spot where the great city had stood. The first and oldest Babylon, which Hammurabi had built fifteen hundred years before, disappeared completely.






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Read about Who was Sennacherib? in the The Story of the Greatest Nations and the Worlds Famous Events Vol 1

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