Assyria was a major Mesopotamian kingdom and empire of the ancient Near East and the Levant. It existed as a state from perhaps as early as the 25th century BC in the form of the Assur city-state, until its lapse between 612 BC and 609 BC, spanning the Early to Middle Bronze Age through to the late Iron Age. From the end of the seventh century BC to the mid-seventh century AD, it survived as a geopolitical entity, for the most part ruled by foreign powers, although a number of Neo-Assyrian states arose at different times during the Parthian and early Sasanian Empires between the mid-second century BC and late third century AD, a period which also saw Assyria become a major centre of Syriac Christianity and the birthplace of the Church of the East. MORE
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