Assyrians and Urartians

Karen Radner

in The Oxford Handbook of Ancient Anatolia

Published in print September 2011 | ISBN: 9780195376142
Published online November 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

Assyrians and Urartians


This article traces the interactions between Assyria and Urartu, military and otherwise, and their impact on the neighboring Anatolian kingdoms, especially the chain of buffer states situated between Assyria's northern and Urartu's southern border. To the Assyrian mind, Urartu was on one hand an anti-Assyria, the archenemy and eternal temptation for its vassals, and on the other a mirror image, a kind of Assyria in the mountains; inscriptions and archival materials alike attribute Assyrian concepts to Biainili, for example, by superimposing the Assyrian administrative structure onto the other country, referring to provinces and governors and using various specifically Assyrian titles for Urartian officials. This tends to promote the idea that the two kingdoms were very much alike, but the fact that climatic conditions and the economic basis of Assyria and Urartu were very different should make it clear that this assumption is implausible. The various states situated in the border region between Assyria and Urartu, too, had their own distinct identities and traditions.

Keywords: Assyria; Urartu; Anatolian kingdoms; buffer states

Article.  7689 words. 

Subjects: Archaeology ; Archaeology of the Near East

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribeRecommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »