1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Sennacherib

SENNACHERIB (Ass. Sin-akhi-erba, “ the Moon-god has increased the brethren ”), the son and successor of Sargon, mounted the throne on the 12th of Ab 705 b.c. His first campaign was against Babylonia, where Merodach-baladan had reappeared. The Chaldaean usurper was compelled to fly, and Bel-ibni was appointed king of Babylon in his place. Then Sennacherib marched against the Kassi in the northern mountains of Elam and ravaged the kingdom of Ellip where Ecbatana afterwards stood. In 701 b.c. came a great campaign in the west, which had revolted from Assyrian rule. Sidon and other Phoenician cities were captured, but Tyre held out, while its king Lulia (Elulaeus) fied to Cyprus. Ashdod, Ammon, Moab and Edom now submitted, but Hezekiah of Judah with the dependent Philistine princes of Ashkelon and Ekron dened the Assyrian army, trusting to the fortifications of Jerusalem and Egyptian help. Hezekiah, however, was forced to restore the anti-Jewish Padi to the government of Ekron, from which he had been removed by the Jewish party, and, after the defeat of his Egyptian allies at Eltekeh, to see his country wasted with fire and sword, forty-six fortresses being taken and 200,150 persons carried into captivity. He then endeavoured to buy off the invaders by numerous presents—30 talents of gold, 800 talents of silver, precious stones, couches and thrones inlaid with ivory, girls and eunuchs—but all in vain. Jerusalem was saved eventually by a plague, which decimated the Assyrian army and obliged Sennacherib to return to Nineveh. The following year he was again in Babylonia, where he made his son Assur-nadin-sum king in place of Bel-ibni and drove Merodach-baladan out of the marshes in which he had taken refuge. A few years later he had a fleet of ships built near Birejik on the Euphrates by his Phoenician captives; these were manned by Ionians and transported from Opis overland to the Euphrates and so to the Persian Gulf. Then they sailed to the coast of Elam, and there destroyed the colony of Merodach-baladan's followers at Nagitu. In return for this unprovoked invasion of Elamite territory the Elamites descended upon Babylonia, carried away Assur-nadin-sum (694 B.C.) and made Nergal-yusezib king. Three years later a great battle was fought at Khalulē on the Tigris between the Assyrians on the one side and the Elamites and Babylonians on the other. Both sides claimed the victory, but the advantage remained with Sennacherib, and in 689 B.C. he captured Babylon and razed it to the ground, a deed which excited the horror of all western Asia. Some time previously—the date is not known—he had overrun the mountain districts of Cilicia. On the 20th of Tebet 681 B.C. he was murdered by his two sons, who fled to Armenia after holding Nineveh for forty-two days. Sennacherib was vainglorious and a bad administrator; he built the palace of Kuyunjik at Nineveh, 1500 ft. long by 700 ft. broad, as well as the great wall of the city, 8 m. in circumference.

See George Smith, History of Sennacherib (1878).
 (A. H. S.)