(2) Assyria’s downfall:
In the year 705 BC the Cimmerians defeated and killed
the Assyrian king Sargon II in a battle that probably took place similar to the defeat of the Roman commander Varus in 9 AD at today’s Kalkriese.
Sargon remained unburied on the battlefield, in Assyria the twelfth tablet of the Gilgamesh epic was created thereupon, one discussed violently its topic, the fate of the unburied dead warrior.
The ruling family was plagued by publicly proclaimed religious self-doubt (the “sin of Sargon”).
In 701 B.C. the Assyrian king Sanherib besieged Jerusalem and imprisoned the Jewish king Hezekiah in the city “like a cage bird” (Assyrian annals). Nevertheless, Sanherib had to leave without conquering Jerusalem, because – according to tradition in 2 Kings 19:35 – the Jewish God had punished the besieging Assyrians with a plague.
In 653 B.C. Assyria lost Egypt which had just been conquered, between 650 and 630 B.C. it withdrew from Cilicia, at the end of this century it was defeated by Medes and Babylonians, the Assyrian cities were destroyed: Assur 614, Nineveh 612, Charran 608 B.C.