Timeline of Assyrian History

Peter BetBasoo

5000 B.C. (-250) The earliest known settlement of Nineveh. In 1932, Sir Max Mallowan, the eminent British archaeologist, dug a deep sounding which reached virgin soil ninety feet below the top of the mound of Nineveh; this gave a pottery sequence back to prehistoric times and showed that the site was already inhabited by 5000 B.C..
4750 B.C. (0) The first temple of Ashur is built. This marks the beginning of the Assyrian calendar.
2500 B.C. (2250) The three great Assyrian cities of Ashur, Arbel and Nineveh are clearly established long before this date, yet no solid archaeological evidence can be cited (because of a lack of research into this area). By 2500 B.C., these cities were thriving metropoli.
2371 B.C. (2379) Sargon of Akkad rises to power, establishing the first Assyrian kingdom in South Mesopotamia.
2000 B.C. (2750) Assyrian merchant colonies in Cappadocia are well established by this time. From the Assyrian clay tablets found at these sites, trade with the city of Ashur in tin and textiles was the main business.
1765 B.C. (2985) The great code of Hammurabi is produced in Babylon.
1365 B.C. (3385) Ashuruballit lays the foundations of the first Assyrian empire.
1307 B.C. (3443) Adad-narari establishes the first Assyrian empire.
1115 B.C. (3635) Tiglath-Pileser establishes the second Assyrian Empire. The Aramean invasions of Assyria begin.
934 B.C. (3816) Ashur-dan II establishes the Neo-Assyrian empire. The Empire unifies the Middle East, from Egypt to the Caspian Sea, under one rule and by so doing lays the foundation for the subsequent rise of the Persians, Hellenism, Christianity, and Islam. Great advances in science, technology, philosophy, medicine, and government are made. The Assyrian conquests spread civilization to formerly savage lands. This aspect of the Neo- Assyrian empire is often overshadowed by scholars' baffling preoccupation with the Assyrian military machine and its so-called "barbaric behavior". The Assyrians never conquered and destroyed, they conquered and civilized, teaching their subjects the art of the highest civilization then in existence. The cultural unification of the middle east is a subtle point to grasp, yet it must be understood that this was the greatest achievement of the Assyrians. Other achievements in that period are to numerous to list fully. Some examples are: paved roads, postal system, magnifying glass, electric battery, plumbing (with flush toilet), the first use of iron, the first chariots, the first aqueduct (which was in use until 1996 A.D.), the first library, the first system of musical notation.
752 B.C. (3998) Aramaic is made an official language of the Empire, alongside Akkadian.
612 B.C. (4138) The Neo-Assyrian empire collapses under an attack by Medes, Scythians and Babylonians tribes. The Royal family escapes to Harran.
609 B.C. (4141) Ashur-uballit is proclaimed the new king of Assyria in Harran. Egypt sends its army to support the Assyrians but is delayed by Jewish resistance in Gaza and Judah. When the Egyptian army does finally arrive, it is met by a Chaldean force and is defeated. With the collapse of the Egyptian army, its final buttress, the Assyrian empire came to its end.
500 B.C. (4250) The Persians ascend to power. They adopt the Akkadian writing system (Assyrian cuneiform).
350 B.C. (4400) Assyrians attempt to reestablish their autonomy, but the Persians suppress the attempt and castrate 400 members of Assyrian ruling families.
50 B.C. (4700) Some Assyrians experiment with Judaism.
0 A.D. (4750) Jesus Christ is born.
33 A.D. (4783) Assyrians become the first nation to convert to Christianity. The Holy Apostolic Catholic Assyrian Church of the East is founded by Thomas, Theodos and Bartholomew.
200 A.D. (4950) The Assyrian New Testament, the Psheeta, is produced.
256 A.D. (5006) The last known Ashur worshippers. Assyrians are now all Christians.
358 A.D. (5350) The School of Nisibis is Established, the first university in the world.
400 A.D. (5150) The great translation movement. Assyrian monks, because of their close ties with Greek Christianity, translate the significant body of Greek knowledge into Assyrian, including all the great works of religion, medicine, philosophy, science, and mathematics. These works are eventually translated into Arabic and brought to Spain by the Moors, where they are translated from Arabic to Latin and distributed through Europe, igniting the Renaissance.
448 A.D. (5198) 153,000 Assyrians are massacred by order of the Sassanid king, Yesdegerd II.
450 A.D. (5200) The Assyrian Church splits over a doctrinal dispute. Mar Yacob leaves the Church of the East and establishes the Monophysitic Syrian Orthodox Church (also known as the Jacobite church).
633 A.D. (5383) Muhammad declares himself the prophet of God and originates Islam. It is well known that Muhammad's principal teacher was the Assyrian monk Sargis Bkheera. This accounts for the extraordinary doctrinal similarity between some aspects of Islam and the Assyrian Church of the East. For example, according to Assyrian Church doctrine, there is no awareness of passage of time between the moment of death and final judgement; final judgement occurs immediately even though thousands of years may have passed on Earth. Islam holds this same view. It is also noteworthy that the Koran states that in the day of final judgement the angels of Allah will speak to man in Assyrian.
650 A.D. (5400) Church of the East missionaries reach China and Japan.
781 A.D. (5531) A stone monument is erected in China during the T'ang Dynasty in honor of the 130th anniversary of the Church mission in China.
1000 A.D. (5750) Assyrian monks develop a writing systems for Mongolian using the Assyrian alphabet.
1200 A.D. (5950) The Church of the East is at its largest, larger than the Greek Orthodox and Roman Catholic combined, with eighty million members, from Egypt to Japan.
1250 A.D. (6000) The Paradise of Eden is published by Mar Abdisho Sowa, effectively silencing Arab critics of the Assyrian language.
1300 A.D. (6050) Timurlane the Mongol sweeps westward and destroys everything in his path. The Assyrian Church of the East is completely destroyed. Assyrians are forced to retreat into the Hakkary mountains of eastern Turkey. The Church becomes a small, single nation entity.
1552 A.D. (6302) The Assyrian Church of the East splits in a dispute over Patriarchal succession. The hereditary faction wins and takes control of the church; the election faction becomes a uniate of the Roman Catholic Church. Assyrians now belong to three denominations: Nestorian (Holy Apostolic Catholic Assyrian Church of the East), Jacobite (Syrian Orthodox Church), and Chaldean (Roman Catholic Uniates).
1843 A.D. (6593) 50,000 Assyrians are massacred by the Kurd Badr Khan-Bek.
1918 A.D. (6668) The Ottoman Empire collapses. Three of four Assyrians (750,000 total) are killed by Turks and Kurds. The surviving Assyrians flee to Iraq and Syria (British and French mandates). The Patriarch Mar Benyamin Shimoon is assassinated by the Kurd Simko. A nationalistic movement sweeps through the Assyrians.
1933 A.D. (6683) The Assyrian town of Semile, and its surroundings, is massacred by Iraqi troops on August 7th. Because this was a massacre specifically targeted against Assyrians as a nation, as opposed to a Christian group as in World War One, Assyrians would eventually adopt August 7th as official martyr's day.
1957 A.D. (6707) The Assyrian Democratic Organization is founded in Syria.
1967 A.D. (6717) The Assyrian Universal Alliance (AUA) is founded in Iran.
1970 A.D. (6720) The great Assyrian exodus from the Middle East begins, which would see one million Assyrians flee into a diaspora, mostly to America and Europe, by 1997.
1974 A.D. (6724) The Patriarch Mar Esha Shimoon is assassinated. The successor, Mar Dinkha is elected, thus ending the hereditary succession.
1979 A.D. (6729) The Assyrian Democratic Movement is founded.
1980 A.D. (6730) Iran-Iraq war begins. 60,000 thousand Assyrians would die by the war's end.
1990 A.D. (6740) Iraq invades Kuwait.
1991 A.D. (6741) The United Nations Coalition Forces drive Iraq out of Kuwait. The Kurds rise against the Iraqi government and are given protection in North Iraq by the United Nations. The Assyrian Democratic Movement (ADM) achieves a significant presence and wins 5 of 100 seats in the parliamentary elections.
2003 A.D. (6753) The Unites States invade Iraq and overthrow the regime of Saddam Hussein.
2004 A.D. (6754) A systematic, low grade genocide against Assyrians begins in Iraq, perpetrated by Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds.
2010 A.D. (6760) More than 50% of Assyrians have fled from Iraq to Syria, Jordan and Lebanon as a result of ethnic cleansing.
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