Assyrian Forums
 Home  |  Ads  |  Partners  |  Sponsors  |  Contact  |  FAQs  |  About  
   Holocaust  |  History  |  Library  |  People  |  TV-Radio  |  Forums  |  Community  |  Directory
   General  |  Activism  |  Arts  |  Education  |  Family  |  Financial  |  Government  |  Health  |  History  |  News  |  Religion  |  Science  |  Sports
   Greetings · Shläma · Bärev Dzez · Säludos · Grüße · Shälom · Χαιρετισμοί · Приветствия · 问候 · Bonjour · 挨拶 · تبریکات  · Selamlar · अभिवादन · Groete · التّحيّات

Assyrians in Anatolia, Van, Urmia and Armenia

    Previous Topic Next Topic
Home Forums Education Topic #111
Help Print Share

Fred Aprimmoderator

View member rating
Send email to Fred AprimSend private message to Fred AprimView profile of Fred AprimAdd Fred Aprim to your contact list
Member: Nov-10-1999
Posts: 154
1 feedbacks

Assyrians in Anatolia, Van, Urmia and Armenia

Apr-10-2001 at 01:22 PM (UTC+3 Nineveh, Assyria)

There are indeed questions in life that we cannot have a definite and absolute answer for and we will not try to waste time on that fact. But we possess means which enable us, through the use of simple commonsense and logic, to reach a reasonable understanding to many controversial questions.

The presence of Assyrians in Anatolia, Van and Urmia regions need not be even questioned for that matter. It was very natural and common for Assyrians since the Middle Assyrian Kingdom to be present in those regions due to many reasons, mainly trade. The movement of merchants and traders throughout those regions and the establishment of Assyrian vassals there has been documented throughout history. The presence of Assyrians in those regions does not date back to recent times, as few might think. Let me address few points here.

Assyrians did not vanish

At the fall of Nineveh, the king Sin-shar-ishkun of Assyria disappeared and in Harran (in northwestern Mesopotamia) Ashur-uballit was made king of Assyria. In the 16th year (610 BC) the Babylonians and the Medes, who had combined their forces to destroy Nineveh, again united their armies to attack Harran. This was the new western capital of Assyria occupied by the Assyrian warriors who had escaped Nineveh. The new capital fell to the attackers but the king and most of the Assyrian army escaped across the Euphrates. This fact is verified historically as I, myself, am in position of more than half a dozen historical statements attesting to this fact.

There is no question at all who the Aramaic speaking inhabitants of Mosul and immediate villages and towns are. They are Assyrians (Atourayeh) indeed since many facts are introduced into that reality. Flavius Josephus, the greatest historian of all during early Christianity wrote: I thought it therefore an absurd thing to see the truth falsified in affairs of such great consequences, and to take no notice of it; but to suffer those Greeks and Romans that were not in the wars to be ignorant of those things, and to read either flatteries or fictions, while the Parthians, and the Babylonians, and the remotest Arabians, and those of our nation beyond Euphrates, with the Adiabeni, by my means, knew accurately both whence the war begun, what miseries it brought upon us, and after what manner it ended. In a footnote at the same page Josephus himself will inform us about the term Upper Barbarians he used few lines earlier as: the Parthians and Babylonians, and remotest Arabians ; besides the Jews beyond Euphrates, and the Adiabeni, or the Assyrians.

Therefore, the inhabitants of Arbil (Adiabene) were recognized as Assyrians in early Christianity and since those Assyrians of Adiabene have continued to practice Christianity ever since through well documented records, there should be no question about who they are ethnically today.

Anatolia (Diyarbakir and the entire southeastern region), Van, Armenia, northwestern Iran (Urmia) and northeast Syria, had been proven to be important Assyrian vassals 3000 years ago. Assyrians have lived in those regions since the Middle Assyrian period and were in contact with their brethrens in other regions always until differences due to misunderstanding of the nature of Jesus and his mothers relation to God changed all that.

Let's read these facts attesting to the fact that Assyrians inhabited all those regions, facts relating to archaelogical findings and not statements by clergymen driven by certain interests:

Assyrians in Urmia region

1. Letters 197 and 646 identifies the area of the disastrous rout of the Urartians as the land of Gamir. Since the area was southeasterly from Urartu (Armenia) this would place it in the territory of the Mannai, a kindred people ruled over by the Urartians. (The Cuneiform inscriptions of Van, A. H. Sayce, 1882) This area, south of Lake Urmia and adjacent to Media (referred to as the land Gamir) was where a large number of the ten-tribed Northern Kingdom of Israel had been placed by the Assyrians. This proves that Assyrians had some sort of authority if not control over Urmia to be able to place captive tribes of Israel there.

2. The Neo-Assyrian kings used far more aggressive methods to secure and defend their resources and markets. They marched into the foothills of Iran and tightened their control over the northern half of Iraq.

3. Historians attest to the fact that Assyrian merchants settling in Urmia were responsible for continuous horse trading which the Assyrians were in dire need for. During the XLV1e Rencontre Assyriologique Internationale (The 46th International Congress of Assyriology) in Paris, Pauline Albenda presented a work under the title:
"Horses of Different Breeds: Observations in Assyrian Art."
In the ancient Near East horses were an integral part of the military organization of rulers powerful enough to assemble large numbers of chariotry and, at a later date, cavalry. By the early first millenium BC, Assyria proved to be the most powerful. Through conquest, tribute, and on occasion royal gifts, horses were imported to Assyria from the mountainous regions to the north and east of Assyria, and from the west as far as Egypt. Neo-Assyrian administrative texts document the various regions from whence differents breeds of horses were brought to Assyria. Albenda added that Assyrians had trades with the region of Lake Urmia and that the Assyrian merchants during Shalmaneser III reign (858-824 BC) were established already around Lake Urmia region for that purpose. In addition, she added, that a stelea indicates that in 737 BC Tiglathpileser III brought 1500 horses from the region of Zagros mountains and that in 714 BC, Sargon II received 4609 horses from the Medes. The Caspian Sea region has a pony, which is identified with a breed seen in a court in Assyria, perhaps a gift from a chieftain.
It is safe, Albenda concluded, that the Assyrian breeds spread to many different regions after the fall of the empire and were used even by the Arabs later.

Assyrians in Van and Armenia region

Old and recent excavations in Turkish and Russian Armenia - in particular at Toprak Kale (ancient Rusahina), near Van, and at Karmir Blur (ancient Teisbaini), near Erivan- have supplied us with copious information on the history and archaeology of the kingdom of Urartu. Its main cities were built of stone or of mud bricks resting on stone foundations; they were enclosed in massive walls and dominated by enormous citadels where food, oil, wine and weapons were stored in anticipation of war. Urartian artisans were experts in metallurgy, and they have left us some very fine works of art displaying a strong Assyrian influence.

Assyrians in Armenia

1. Now these sons of his were driven away, on account of the murder of the father, by the citizens, and went into Armenia, while Assarachoddas took the kingdom of Sennacherib.

2. Sennacherib was slain by two of his sons. Esarhaddon, a third son and successor to the throne, in hid records, corroborates the Biblical account of this slaying. In the month Nisan, writes Esarhaddon in 680 BC, I entered the royal palace, the awesome place wherein abides the fate of kings. A fierce determination fell upon my brothers. They forsook the gods and returned to their deeds of violence, plotting evil and revolting. To gain the kingship they slew Sennacherib their father. The gods looked with disfavor upon the deed of the villainsand made them submit themselves to meAs for those villains, who instigated revolt, they fled to parts unknown. From the Biblical account we learn that the assassination took place in the temple of Nisroch, and that the names of the villains were Adrammelech and Sharezer, and that it was to Armenia that they fled. (II Kings 19:37)

Assyrians in Anatolia (southeastern Turkey)

1. In his second campaign, Ashurnasirpal attacked the region of the upper Tigris and annexed that territory to the empire. It was at that time that he chose the city of Tushan to be the Assyrian military and administrative center in the region. He fortified the city and ordered a palace to be constructed. From that moment on Tushan would play a pivotal role in the pursuit of Assyrian Imperial interests in southeastern Anatolia. Inscription of Ashurnasirpal II stated:

I took Tushan in hand for renovation. I cleared away its old wall, delineated its area, reached its foundation pit (and) built, (and) completed in a splendid fashion a new wall from top to bottom. A palace for my loyal residence I founded inside ... I brought back the enfeebled Assyrians who, because of hunger (and) famine had gone up to other lands to the land of Subru, I settled them in the city of Tushan.

Letters of correspondence later written from Tushan indicate that by the reign of Sargon, Tushan had become the most important Assyrian political, economic and military center in the upper Tigris. These letters include reports on negotiations with neighboring states, visiting emissaries, and matters concerning the extradition of fugitives fleeing the Assyrian authorities. They also show that Tushan was an important military center, which participated in espionage, and played an active role in both guarding Assyrian interests and facilitating Assyrian expansion. Finally, Tushan was a vital base for economic exploitation of southeastern Anatolia. Letters from Tushan reveal that the governors there were concerned with a wide array of economic matters including the cutting of timber, the extraction of corvee laborers from the local population, and the acquisition of wool and stone. Tushan is adjacent to the state of Subria and near both the kings road through the Mardin pass and the Batman river corridor-leading north through Subria and on to Urartu. The Assyrian centers along the upper Tigris between the Batman river and Amedi (Diyarbakir) should be (in order from east to west): Tushan-Tidu (Uctepe)-Sinbu (Pornak)-Amedi.

2. The Assyrian kingdom though coming under various dominating powers, never lost its hunger for independence and existence even many are unaware of the existence of such Assyrian vassals. "The Old Assyrian kingdom for example passed first under the armies of Hammurabi and then by the Indo-Aryan kingdom of Mitanni. Though the records of Assyria were to be silent for several centuries, the institutions, native dynasty and cult of Ashur survived despite the period of foreign domination. The archives of the El Amarna period, however, show a new, independent Assyrian kingdom had regained her independence under kings such as Ashur-Uballit I (1365-1330), Tukulti-Ninurta I (1244-1208) and Tiglath-Pileser I (1114-1076, all dates according to the traditional chronology). Challenging Babylonian commercial control of the Mesopotamian world, the new Middle Assyrian kingdom frightened the Kessite kings."

We cannot, should not, and must not compare this Assyrian movement and settlements between Nineveh, Urmia, Van and Anatolia (Hakkari, Diyar Bakir, etc.), heavily documented throughout history, to that of some vague unclear so-called migration of some unidentified Christians from southern Mesopotamia 400-500 miles away to Nineveh in the north when Nineveh was looked upon as an enemy! It simply does not make sense. Someone who is escaping religious persecution in Chaldea will not escape toward Assyria, a country that had always been in war with Chladea. If, and only if, there had been a migration from the south, the route along the Euphrates towards Syria used many times before by the Babylonians and Chaldeans would make more sense.

Finally, these is no proof whatsoever that an ethnic Chaldean people existed in southern Mesopotamia in the Christian era and more definitely Chaldeans did not exist after the conquest of Islam. Not ONE document, not even ONE, show that some Chaldeans migrated towards northern Mesopotamia. Patricia Crone and Michael Cook in their well-known book "Hagarism" attest to the fact that if Chaldeans did exist in southern Mesopotamia then they all converted to Islam after the Islamic conquest and lost their identity and became Arabs.

Alert   IP Print   Edit        Reply      Re-Quote Top

Forums Topics  Previous Topic Next Topic

Assyria \ã-'sir-é-ä\ n (1998)   1:  an ancient empire of Ashur   2:  a democratic state in Bet-Nahren, Assyria (northern Iraq, northwestern Iran, southeastern Turkey and eastern Syria.)   3:  a democratic state that fosters the social and political rights to all of its inhabitants irrespective of their religion, race, or gender   4:  a democratic state that believes in the freedom of religion, conscience, language, education and culture in faithfulness to the principles of the United Nations Charter — Atour synonym

Ethnicity, Religion, Language
» Israeli, Jewish, Hebrew
» Assyrian, Christian, Aramaic
» Saudi Arabian, Muslim, Arabic
Assyrian \ã-'sir-é-an\ adj or n (1998)   1:  descendants of the ancient empire of Ashur   2:  the Assyrians, although representing but one single nation as the direct heirs of the ancient Assyrian Empire, are now doctrinally divided, inter sese, into five principle ecclesiastically designated religious sects with their corresponding hierarchies and distinct church governments, namely, Church of the East, Chaldean, Maronite, Syriac Orthodox and Syriac Catholic.  These formal divisions had their origin in the 5th century of the Christian Era.  No one can coherently understand the Assyrians as a whole until he can distinguish that which is religion or church from that which is nation -- a matter which is particularly difficult for the people from the western world to understand; for in the East, by force of circumstances beyond their control, religion has been made, from time immemorial, virtually into a criterion of nationality.   3:  the Assyrians have been referred to as Aramaean, Aramaye, Ashuraya, Ashureen, Ashuri, Ashuroyo, Assyrio-Chaldean, Aturaya, Chaldean, Chaldo, ChaldoAssyrian, ChaldoAssyrio, Jacobite, Kaldany, Kaldu, Kasdu, Malabar, Maronite, Maronaya, Nestorian, Nestornaye, Oromoye, Suraya, Syriac, Syrian, Syriani, Suryoye, Suryoyo and Telkeffee. — Assyrianism verb

Aramaic \ar-é-'máik\ n (1998)   1:  a Semitic language which became the lingua franca of the Middle East during the ancient Assyrian empire.   2:  has been referred to as Neo-Aramaic, Neo-Syriac, Classical Syriac, Syriac, Suryoyo, Swadaya and Turoyo.

Please consider the environment when disposing of this material — read, reuse, recycle. ♻
AIM | Atour: The State of Assyria | Terms of Service