SARDANAPALUS, or Sardanapallus, according to Greek fable, the last king of Assyria, the thirtieth in succession from Ninyas. The name is derived from that of Assur-danin-pal, the rebel son of Shalmaneser II., whose reign ended with the fall of Nineveh in 823 B.C. (or perhaps from that of Assur-dan III., the last king but one of the older Assyrian dynasty); his character is that ascribed to Assur-bani-pal. He was the most effeminate and corrupt of a line of effeminate princes; hence Arbaces, satrap of Media, rebelled and, with the help of Belesys, the Babylonian priest, besieged Nineveh. Sardanapalus now threw off his sloth and for two years the issue was doubtful. Then, the Tigris having undermined part of the city wall, he collected his wives and treasures and burned them with himself in his palace (880 B.C.). His fate is an echo of that of Samas-sum-yukin, the brother of Asur-bani-pal (q.v.).
See J. Gilmore, Fragments of the Persika of Ktesias (1888). (A. H. S.)