Egypt and Israel 231 Assyrian control over Egypt seemed to be consolidated when Ashurbanipal set his own nominee, Psammeticus, on the Egyptian throne as Tanutamon's successor (663 B.C.). But Psammeticus threw off his allegiance when in 654 B.C. war broke out between Assyria and the rising power of Babylon. The result was that for some time Egypt was again independent; Psammeticus even sought to renew Egyptian influence over Syria-Palestine by invading Philistia (640 B.C.); nothing came of this, however, owing to the Scythian attack on Syria. It will be readily understood that the conditions being what they were during the seventh century, there was not much scope for direct contact between Egypt andjudah. Towards the end of this century, however, this contact became ominously pronounced. The course of events leading to the final downfall of the Assyrian Empire has been much illuminated by the Babylonian document published within recent years by C. J. Gadd.1 Taking this into consideration, we may give the following brief record of what happened. Soon after the death of Ashurbanipal, in 626 B.C., the ruler of the vassal State of Babylonia, Nabopolassar, asserted his independence; similarly the Medes in the north- east, and the western States. A long-drawn-out struggle followed during the reigns of two sons of Ashurbanipal. Of particular interest is the fact that Egypt fought on the side of Assyria; the Scythians, too, supported Assyria at first, but before long they joined forces with Nabopolassar and the Medes. Two victories were gained by the latter in 616 B.C., and then they, in turn, were defeated. But in 614 B.C. the Babylonian and Median armies surrounded Nineveh; at first they were repulsed, but ultimately, in 612 B.C., Nineveh fell, and according to the Baby- lonian Chronicle the city was 'turned into a mound and a ruin'. Nevertheless, the Assyrians struggled on; Harran, about a hundred miles west of Nineveh, was fixed on as the new capital. z T£tf Fall of Nineveh; the newly discovered Babylonian Chronicle^ No. 21,901 in the British Museum (1923).