(reigned 858–824 B.C.)
   Assyrian king, son and successor of Ashurnasirpal II. Having inherited the vast empire his father had built, he was hard-pressed to maintain Assyrian hegemony in the face of widespread revolts. He relied on diplomacy coupled with a show of force when deemed necessary and thus managed to expand Assyrian influence even further. The most persistent problems were in Syria. Here a coalition of local rulers was formed who assembled their troops for a violent confrontation with Assyrian forces. This alliance was commanded by the sheikh of the Bit-Adini, who were a powerful tribe. Sennacherib defeated them, and Bit-Adini became an Assyrian province. Some time later, though, he faced a much more serious contingent of rebellious polities led by the kings of Hamath and Damascus. Here, too, he claimed victory in a great battle at Qarqar on the Orontes in 853, but the coalition was to continue its resistance activities for some years after that.
   Shalmaneser was on friendly terms with Babylonia and supported its king, Marduk-zakir-shumi, when he faced a rebellion by his own brother. Sennacherib used the opportunity to show his strength to the Aramean and Chaldean tribes and made a tour of the major Babylonian temples. He also campaigned in Anatolia, especially against Urartu. In his capital, Kalhu, he built temples, a ziggurat, and a large fortress.

Historical Dictionary of Mesopotamia. . 2012.

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