Episode 17 – The Fall of Israel

“Then the King of Assyria came up throughout all the land, and went up to Samaria, and besieged it for three years.  In the ninth year of Hoshea, the King of Assyria took Samaria.” – II Kings 18:4 Toward the end of the eighth century […]

Episode 16 – The Assyrian

“And Pul, the King of Assyria, came against the land.” – II Kings, 15:19 In 745 BC, Tiglath-pileser III reformed the administrative and military structure of the Neo-Assyrian Empire, and led the armies of Assur in a virtually-unbroken string of regional conquests.

Episode 15 – Holding Action

During the first half of the eighth century BC, Egypt, Babylonia and Assyria all struggled against the forces of entropy and decline.  In the absence of the Aramean threat, Israel and Judah resumed their perpetual struggle.  Urartu expanded its regional influence at the expense of […]

Episode 11 – The Rise of Assyria

“I slew 14,000 of their warriors with the sword. Like Adad, I rained destruction on them. I scattered their corpses far and wide, and covered the face of the desolate plain with their wide-spreading armies. With my weapons I made their blood to flow down […]

Episode 10 – Picking Up The Pieces

At the dawn of the first millennium BC, the collapse of the great Near Eastern powers allowed the cultures of Canaan to flourish.  While the Phoenicians embarked on a bold new era of maritime expansion, the Hebrews and Arameans carved out new Iron Age kingdoms […]

Episode 9 – The Other 99 Percent

“Regarding what you wrote me before:  ‘Enemy ships were observed at sea!’  If it is true that ships were observed, reinforce yourself.  Where are your troops and chariots?  Are they not with you?  If not, who will deliver you from the enemy?  Surround your cities […]

Episode 8 – Look Upon My Works

“…And on the pedestal these words appear: ‘My name is Ozymandius, King of Kings, Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!’ Nothing beside remains.  Round the decay Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare The lone and level sands stretch far away.”  – Shelley, […]

Episode 6 – The New Kingdoms

After expelling the Hyksos, the rulers of Egypt’s 18th Dynasty led their New Kingdom in an unprecedented drive for territorial expansion.  In Syria and the Levant, they were forced to contend with powerful new states forged by the Hurrians and the Hittites.

Episode 4 – The Pyramid Builders

“From the heights of these pyramids, forty centuries look down on us.” – Napoleon Bonaparte The power of Egypt’s Old Kingdom rulers was reflected in their awe-inspiring monuments. The Harappan civilization of the Indus River Valley traded across Central Asia, the Near East and beyond. […]

Episode 1 – “Climb the Stone Staircase”

“Climb the stone staircase, more ancient than the mind can imagine” – The Epic of Gilgamesh The Sumerians of Mesopotamia, the Elamites of the Persian plateau, and the Egyptians of the Nile River valley were among the first civilizations to emerge in the ancient world.