Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts Honours


School of International, Cultural and Community Studies


Faculty of Education & Arts

First Advisor

Peter Bedford

Second Advisor

Nigel Little


There is a common misconception among those who are not scholars in the field that the Assyrian Empire was an aggressive one, relying simply on force, rather than reason, to assert its will over its neighbours and conquer vast territories. Granted that the Assyrian war machine was unparalleled at its apex, its rulers did not hesitate to use oaths, treaties and pacts wherever possible. Assyrian foreign policy was complex and aided Assyrian kings in conquering vast territories, not only with force, but also with words and the threat of force. In the matter of imperial administration, however, there appear variations in the policies aimed at the western states of Assyria's empire, and the policy directed at Babylon. This dissertation aims to cast light upon those differences, and offer answers to questions that surface. Administration of conquered lands takes into account cultural and lingual proximity, as well as religious ideology. Another aim is to present the differences in Assyrian imperial administration under the kings Esarhaddon and Assurbanipal, and explores answers as to why these differences arise, as well as exploring whether foreign or civil policy was used. It also aims to encourage the notion that Assyria was not just a ruthless military power, but also an early empire willing to apply different methods to the creation, and administration, of its empire.