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The Political Approach to the Classical World 47
into paying large tribute; the States which resisted, under the
leadership of Damascus, among whom was Israel, were defeated
at the battle of Karkar, and Shalmaneser was able to extract
indemnities from almost all the rest. After these kings there
was a period of comparative weakness in Assyria for over eighty
years, until the advent of Tiglath-pileser III, who usurped the
throne in 745 B.C. He and his successors spent much time in
the west, effecting a more thorough conquest and settlement
than had been attempted before. Palestine had broken up into
small States; the Israelite kings of Samaria were pursuing a
short-sighted policy of aggression against Judah and against
Damascus, to whom they should have looked for leadership
against the Assyrian peril. Damascus fell to Tiglath-pileser,
North Syria was made into a province which included Hamath
and Byblos, Palestine submitted, and Hoshea of Judah ceded
half his territory. Under his successors, the Assyrian Empire
was consolidated and its boundaries extended to their farthest
limits. Periodic revolts in Palestine received harsh treatment.
Israel suffered wholesale deportation at the hands of Sargon;
in the place of the Israelites was put a mixed population from
various parts of the empire whom we know later as the Samari-
tans. Hezekiah of Judah, organizing a western revolt against
Sennacherib, was besieged in Jerusalem and forced to submit.
In nearly all these revolts Egypt had played a covert part.
Against this invincible army of disciplined soldiers she could take
no effective military action. Her prestige in Palestine and Syria
was now practically non-existent. The line of priest kings had
petered out; for a time Thebes shared supremacy with Tanis in
the Delta in a dual kingship; then a vigorous family of native
chieftains arose in Nubia, which had not long been independent
of Egypt. They came down the Nile to Thebes and thence
found the subjugation of the whole country a simple matter*
Emboldened by the ease with which they had conquered a great
nation they dared to challenge the authority of Assyria over