Ruslan A. Tsakanyan
Key words – Assyria, Tiglath-Pileser III, mass deportation, settlement, internal policy, Mesopotamia, Babylon, Urartu.
In this paper we discuss the application of the policy of deportations and resettlements in Assyria. This application of this policy begins in Assyria as a result of the military and political reforms of Tiglath-Pileser III (745-727B.C.). An opinion is expressed in the article that that policy was borrowed from Urartu. What concerns the application of the policy ofnasāḫu, the author tries to bring it into line with a corresponding policy (agency) of a later period. He comes to the conclusion, that the whole responcibility for that policy was concentrated in the hands of the “rab ummâni” agency and was carried out through “lúmušarkisu”. In all probability the functions of “rab ummâni” were similar to those of “hazarapati” in Iran of Achaemenid and Armenia of Arsacid dynasty and to those of “χιλίαρχος” mentioned in the Greek sources. The application of the policy of nasāḫuin Assyria had serious political and economic motivations (one paid especially a serious attention to installing of a control on the Assyrian part on the trade roads). One paid also serious attention to the question of resettlement of the deported population: In the deported population the experienced warriors were divided from the rest, who were given to the king and complemented the lines of the royal guard. One divided from the rest of the deported population a group of experienced (professional) people (in the manuscripts we have very heterogeneous information about these people among who we find high-ranking officials up to shepherds and gardeners), who were given to the stratum of pagan priests, especially they were given to the temple of God Aššur. One part of the deported people was given to the royal court who the royal officials divided between themselves. His share in the deported population had also the environment of the royal palace which had a firm place in the land and was a kind of a balance to the Assyrian military upper class. The last part of the deported population was given to the bigger cities (Aššur, Calah, Nineveh, Arbail). In the course of the massive resettlements the ethnic picture of each concrete region was changed, of course, and the possibility of an uprising on the part of those resettled became less probable, this happened, of course, in case of the presence of strong military forces. But the decay of the same military forces was, of course, to lead a catastrophic situation, the decline of Assyria.