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Assyrian king Sennacherib

Sennacherib (reigned 704-681) likely was involved in the death of his father, Sargon II. Sennacherib moved the Assyrian capital back to Nineveh (modern day Mosull, Iraq) and demarcated a huge area north and south of the original site for his massive building projects. He diverted water courses, built water horses and funneled water from afar (even 20 miles away) with canals that included the famous Jerwan Aqueduct. Sennacherib also built an Incomparable Palace (a.k.a. Palace Without Rival) referred to in inscriptions as ekallu sa sanina la.

When Maduk-apla-iddina usurped the Babylonian throne, Sennacherib stationed his troops along the Tigris. After seizing some Babylonian territory, a power struggle ensued between he and Babylonia. In 691 BC, the Babylonian ruler lost his chief ally when the Elamite ruler died of a stroke. Sennacherib invaded, and in an example of god-napping he took a revered statue of Marduk back to Assyria. Sennacherib seized Lachish in Judah, building upon his predecessor's success at Samaria, but he failed to conquer Jerusalem. To maintain frontier security, Sennacherib also campaigned in Anatolia as well as the Syrian desert and southern Levant. However, he failed to reach Egypt as Assyria's homeland grew unstable without his presence.