what were the Assyrians greatest achievements?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The Assyrians were a Semitic group of people who lived in Northern Mesopotamia near the rivers Tigris and Euphrates. They ruled various great empires during their time. The Assyrian empire is viewed as one of the greatest of the Mesopotamian empires due to its military strength and size. The following are some of the greatest achievements of the Assyrian people:

Military strength

The Assyrians were known for their military strategies. They were one of the first Mesopotamian empires to introduce the use of iron weapons. They were particularly good at siege warfare and had creative methods of breaking through the city fortifications of their enemies. They also used siege engines that were built with battering rams at the bases.

Library of Ashurbanipal

The last King of the Neo-Assyrian Empire, who went by the name Ashurbanipal, built a library in ancient Nineveh. The library housed thousands of clay tablets that contained the history of various regions in and around Assyria. Texts such as the Epic of Gilgamesh and the Code of Hammurabi were found in this library.

Technological inventions

The Assyrians developed paved roads, indoor plumbing, a sexagesimal system of keeping time, and the use of locks and keys.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The Assyrians are credited with a great many achievements through their timeline. They had practical inventions, like locks and keys, paved roads, use of iron, plumbing, flushing toilets, and the sexagesimal clock (the beginnings of the way we tell time today). The Assyrians also brought about the use of the first guitar, first libraries, first magnifying glass, and the first postal system.

In addition, Assyria contributed invaluable ideas to the world, such as the concept of imperial administration, "of dividing the land into territories administered by local governors who report to the central authority, the King of Assyria" ("Brief History of Assyrians"). Assyria brought high civilization to the people groups living in the empire.

Perhaps the greatest achievement credited to the Assyrians is the founding of the first university, where theology, philosophy and medicine were taught. This was the School of Nisibis. Their statutes would be used as inspiration for the first Italian university.

Literature was also an important contribution by the Assyrians, who systematically translated Greek texts into Assyrian. The subjects included religion, science, philosophy, and medicine. A great medical textbook on ophthalmology, written by Hunayn ibn-Ishaq in 950 A.D. would remain an definitive source up to 1800.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial