|King of Assyria, Babylonia, Akkad and Sumer|
ܡܠܟܐ ܕܐܬܘܪ ܘܒܒܠ ܘܐܟܕ ܘܫܘܡܪ
Malkā d-ʾĀṯūr w-Bāḇēl w-Akkad w-Šūmēr
Sennacherib during his Babylonian war, relief from his palace in Nineveh
|Born||c. 740 BC|
Sennacherib was the king of Assyria from 705 BCE to 681 BCE. He is principally remembered for his military campaigns against Babylon and Judah, and for his building programs – most notably at the Akkadian capital of Nineveh. He was assassinated in obscure circumstances in 681 BCE, apparently by his eldest son (his designated successor, Esarhaddon, was the youngest).
The primary preoccupation of his reign was the so-called "Babylonian problem", the refusal of the people of Babylon to accept Assyrian rule, culminating in his destruction of the city in 689 BCE. Further campaigns were carried out in Syria, in the mountains east of Assyria, against the kingdoms of Anatolia, and against the Arabs in the northern Arabian deserts. His campaigns in Syria are recorded in the Second Book of Kings in the Hebrew Bible. His death was welcomed in Babylon as divine punishment for the destruction of that city.
He was also a notable builder: it was under him that Assyrian art reached its peak. His building projects included the beautification of Nineveh, a canal 50 km long to bring water to the city, and the "Palace Without Rival", which included what may have been the prototype of the legendary Hanging Gardens of Babylon, or even the actual Hanging Gardens.