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Ashurnasirpal II, King of Assyria (883-859 BC)

Ashurnasirpal, whose name (Ashur-nasir-apli) means, 'the god Ashur is the protector of the heir', came to the Assyrian throne in 883 BC. He was one of a line of energetic kings whose campaigns brought Assyria great wealth and established it as one of the Near East's major powers.

Ashurnasirpal mounted at least fourteen military campaigns, many them were to the north and east of Assyria. Local rulers sent the king rich presents and resources flowed into the country. This wealth was ploughed into impressive building works undertaken in a new capital city created at Kalhu (modern Nimrud). Here a citadel mound was constructed and crowned with temples and the so-called North-West Palace. Military successes led to further capaigns, this time to the west, and close links were established with states in the northern Levant. Fortresses were established on the rivers Tigris and Euphrates and staffed with garrisons.

By the time that Ashurnasirpal died, in 859 BC, Assyria had recovered much of the territory that it had lost around 1100 BC as a result of the economic and political problems at the end of the Middle Assyrian period.

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