I Ashur-bani-pal, within the palace, learned the wisdom of Nebo, the entire art of writing on clay tablets of every kind. I made myself master of the various kinds of writing ... I read the beautiful clay tablets from Sumer and the Akkadian writing, which is hard to master. I had the joy of reading inscriptions on stone from the time before the flood.
— Ashurbanipal

Ashurbanipal, the last great king of the ancient Assyrian empire, was famed for his cultural advancements as well as for his military prowess. Amassing a great library at his capital, Nineveh, he provided for the scholars and scientists of his empire. His military was one of the first to experiment with iron-tipped spears and arrows, defeating bronze-armed and armoured foes with relative ease. He was very brutal to his defeated foes, torturing survivors and forcing them to live out the remainder of their lives as slaves.

Ashurbanipal inherited several conflicts with neighbouring Egypt and Nubia from his predecessors, and went on to defeat both foes near-simultaneously. He installed puppet rulers to extend his influence across the Nile region, directing operations from his capital in Nineveh. He also defeated a seditious Elamite ruler who rebelled against Assyrian rule, forcing him to commit suicide to escape capture. He also put down domestic unrest during a brief civil war and besieged Babylon, taking the city in 648 BC. At the time of Ashurbanipal's death in 627 BC, he ruled the largest land empire in existence.

Battle vs. Sargon of Akkad (by El Alamein)

Sargon of Akkad: Red.pngRed.pngRed.pngRed.png

Ashurbanipal: Blue.pngBlue.pngBlue.pngBlue.png

The glint of the early morning sun shines down on the back of Ashurbanipal, the king of Assyria, as he stands straight and proud in his chariot, spear held outward menacingly. He is out for his daily hunt, with another chariot accompanying him - the game will be large today. Off in the distance, a lion bends down to lap up water from a pool in the king's gardens. These animals are imported from exotic Egypt and other lands for Ashurbanipal's entertainment. Lowering his spear, Ashurbanipal raises his composite bow and notches an arrow, taking careful aim at the unsuspecting beast. The arrow flies through the air, quivering as it finds its mark. Just as Ashurbanipal steps down from the chariot, a smaller arrow snaps past his head. Turning, Ashurbanipal finds Sargon holding up his short bow, Sumerian soldiers standing at the ready behind him. Lowering his gaze, Sargon unsheaths his sword and points it at the Assyrians. His troops advance steadily, crouched behind their shields, spears extended. 

Ashurbanipal coolly orders his chariot driver to drive in a wide arc around the Sumerians, while his Assyrian troops charge directly at the advancing enemies. Nocking an arrow to his composite bow, Ashurbanipal holds the projectile against his bow until the chariot comes close to the confused Sumerians. Letting loose the string, Ashurbanipal watches as the arrow flies straight to its mark, killing one of Sargon's men. Red.png Sargon responds with his bow and arrow, firing at Ashurbanipal's chariot as it breaks away, driving out of range. Meanwhile, the Assyrian and Sumerian ground troops clash, the longer spears of the Assyrians holding Sargon's men at bay. One especially powerful downward thrust from an Assyrian spear punches through the chestplate of a Sumerian soldier, throwing him to the ground, bleeding out. Red.png The Assyrian responsible pulls the weapon out of his fallen foe, only to be met with a dagger right to his neck. Blue.png Sargon releases his slain foe and looks up, only to receive a spear to the stomach. Red.png The Sumerian king doubles over in pain and shock, right as Ashurbanipal rides up with his chariot, sword unsheathed. With one lazy flick of his wrist, Ashurbanipal decapitates his defeated enemy. The head rolls off into the dust.

Looking off into the distance, Ashurbanipal notices Sargon's last surviving soldier running, full speed, in the opposite direction. He has dropped his weapons and shield as he runs for his life. Ashurbanipal merely nods at his soldiers and rides off, not even glancing backwards as one of his men loads a stone into a sling. With three twirls to gain momentum and a quick downward snap of the arm, the Assyrian sends the projectile flying all of 300 meters to strike the fleeing Sumerian in the back of the head. Red.png The man tumbles facefirst into the dust and lies still.

"The king has ordered us to retrieve all of their heads," the Assyrian captain orders his men. "You know what to do." With a grim efficiency, the Assyrian soldiers unsheath their short swords and head over to the dead Sumerian troops.

Expert's Opinon

Sargon may have been a better leader, but Ashurbanipal's technological advantages coupled with his superior military organization, led him to an easy triumph over his predecessor.

To see the original battle, weapons, and votes, click here.

Battle vs Ramesses II (by MilenHD)

Ashurbanipal: Yellow.png Yellow.png Yellow.png Yellow.png Yellow.png

Ramesses: Purple.png Purple.png Purple.png Purple.png Purple.png

In the hot deserts of the Middle East, Ashurbanipal is riding his horse followed by four of his loyal soldiers. The Assyrians were hunting lions again. As Ashurbanipal saw lion in the distance but they had arrived late, the lion was already killed by the arrows of the Egyptians and no long after the chariot of Ramesses II was noticed.

Ashurbanipal ordered his warriors to raise their bows and fired at the Egyptians who raised their shields, but of of them was killed by arrow in the neck.Purple.png Ramesses ordered his soldier start driving his chariot and holding his hyksos bow he fired few shots, all being blocked by the Assyrian's shields, Ramesses fired another arrow, this time killing an Assyrian soldier.Yellow.png

Ashurbanipal grabbed his spear and charged at Ramesses followed by his three remaining soldiers, Ramesses raised his bow and ordered his charioteer to go forward against the enemies, followed by his two Egyptian soldiers. Charging at the Assyrians, the charioteer threw a javelin, which missed Ashurbanipal. Ramesses was firing his bow, missing Ashurbanipal, in the end as the horse and chariot clashed, the charioteer was pierced by the spear and killed.Purple.png

The chariot moved over big rocks and Ramesses fell down from it. One of the Egyptians threw a javelin killed Ashurbanipal's horse. As the Assyrian king rose up he pierced the javelin thrower with his dagger in the throat.Purple.png In the mean time Ramesses had got up and wielding his khopesh he sliced the throat of a Assyrian soldier.Yellow.png As another Assyrian charged at Ramesses, he quickly got decapitated with his khopesh and charged at Ahurbanipal.Yellow.png

Meanwhile an Assyrian and Egyptian were trading blows with their swords, but the Egyptian lost his sword in the next attack and quickly pulling his mace, he crushed the Assyrian's face.Yellow.png As the Egyptian turned his head, Ashurbanipal swung with full force, cutting the Egyptian's head in nearly two with his sappara.Purple.png

As Ramesses got near Ashurbanipal, both leaders clashed their swords and neither got an advantage, as Ashurbanipal made a powerful cleave attack with his sappara, he sliced Ramesses shield in half, only to notice Ramesses ducking and chopping off his leg, as the assyrian king felt down, the Pharaoh sliced Ashurbanipal's throat.Yellow.png

As the Assyrians were slain, Ramesses raised his khopesh and gave a shout of victory.

Expert's Opinion

While Ashurbanipal had more mobility with his horse, his iron weapons were softer than Ramesses bronze weapons and he was inferior in leadership and tactics, he brutality and thirst for blood were not going to help him in this match.

To see the original battle, weapons, and votes, click here.

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