Shalmaneser III, king of Assyria (858-824 BC)

Shalmaneser III (Shulmanu-ashared, 'the god Shulmanu is foremost') succeeded his father, Ashurnasirpal II, as king of Assyria in 858 BC and attempted to consolidate earlier military successes. The new king's immediate problems were in north Syria where he managed to defeat a coalition of states.

In 853 BC Shalmaneser again moved west to collect payment from neighbouring states. Taking his army via Aleppo, he reached the River Orontes and found himself opposed by the forces of a number of southern states, including Damascus and Israel. On four occasions Shalmaneser had to fight the Syrian coalition, but he was not successful until 845 BC. Only after 841 BC was he able to take receipt of tribute from Jehu of Israel.

The king now turned against northern states like Urartu in Anatolia while, south of Assyria, Shalmaneser aided the Babylonian king to crush a revolt. In the Assyrian capital Nimrud he built a great stone palace decorated with glazed bricks, which is known today as 'Fort Shalmaneser'. Despite his achievements the last years of Shalmaneser's reign, which ended in 824 BC, were marked by revolts within Assyria and warfare between two of his sons.

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