Assyria was a major Mesopotamian East Semitic-speaking kingdom and empire of the ancient Near East. It existed as an independent 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 599 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 the Neo-Assyrian Empire and its successor 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.
Centered on the Tigris in Upper Mesopotamia (modern northern Iraq, northeastern Syria, southeastern Turkey and the northwestern fringes of Iran), the Assyrians came to rule powerful empires at several times. Making up a substantial part of the greater Mesopotamian "cradle of civilization", which included Sumer, the Akkadian Empire, and Babylonia, Assyria was at the height of technological, scientific and cultural achievements for its time. At its peak, the Assyrian empire stretched from Cyprus in the Mediterranean Sea to Iran, and from what is now Armenia and Azerbaijan in the Caucasus, to the Arabian Peninsula, Egypt and eastern Libya.
Assyria is named after its original capital, the ancient city of Aššur, which dates to c. 2600 BC, originally one of a number of Akkadian city states in Mesopotamia. In the 25th and 24th centuries BC, Assyrian kings were pastoral leaders. From the late 24th century BC, the Assyrians became subject to Sargon of Akkad, who united all the Akkadian- and Sumerian-speaking peoples of Mesopotamia under the Akkadian Empire, which lasted from c. 2334 BC to 2154 BC.
After its fall, the greater remaining part of Assyria was a geopolitical region and province of other nations between the mid-2nd century BC and late 3rd century AD, with a patchwork of small independent Assyrian kingdoms adjacent to it. The region of Assyria fell under the successive control of the Medes, the Achaemenid Empire, the Seleucid Empire, the Parthian Empire, the Roman Empire, and the Sasanian Empire. The Muslim conquest of Persia in the mid-seventh century finally dissolved it as a single entity, after which the remnants of the Assyrian people gradually became an ethnic, linguistic, cultural and religious minority in the Assyrian homeland, surviving there to this day as an indigenous people of the region....LESS