(Last Great Ruler of the Neo-Assyrian Empire)
Born: 685 BC
Born In: Assyria, Iraq
Ashurbanipal was the last great ruler of the Neo-Assyrian Empire. He reigned from 669 BC to his death in 631 BC. The fourth monarch of the Sargonid dynasty, he is remembered for constructing the world’s first systematically organized library, ‘Library of Ashurbanipal’. His reign saw the Neo-Assyrian Empire become the largest empire ever at that time. Born as the fourth son to King Esarhaddon, Ashurbanipal was selected as the heir to the throne in 672 BC. His elder brother, Shamash-shum-ukin, ruled separated as the king of Babylon. During the early years of his reign, Ashurbanipal fought against Egypt. His greatest campaigns were against the pre-Iranian civilization, Elam, which was eventually destroyed between 665 and 646 BC. The king also fought against his brother Shamash-shum-ukin who hated the former for his overbearing control over him. Shamash-shum-ukin was subsequently defeated, and he later committed suicide. Ashurbanipal died in 631 BC after ruling the empire for 38 years. He was succeeded by his son, Ashur-etil-ilani.