Assyrian nationalism or Assyrianism increased in popularity in the late 19th century in a climate of increasing ethnic and religious persecution of the indigenous Assyrians of the Middle East.
Assyrian nationalism is the ideology of a united Assyrian people, it is to a great degree geographically as well as ethnically and linguistically based. It is espoused by almost all Mesopotamian Aramaic speaking Assyrians (also known as Chaldeans and Syriacs) from Iraq, Iran, south eastern Turkey, north eastern Syria (in effect a region corresponding with ancient Assyria and Mesopotamia), diaspora communities that left these areas for Armenia, Georgia, southern Russia, Lebanon, Jordan and Azerbaijan and migrant Assyrians from all these lands now residing in Europe, North America and Australia.
was originally an Akkadian kingdom which evolved in the 25th to 24th Centuries BC. The earliest Assyrian kings such as Tudiya were relatively minor rulers, and after the founding of the Akkadian Empire, which lasted from 2334 BC to 2154 BC, these kings became subject to Sargon of Akkad, who united all the Akkadian and Sumerian speaking peoples of Mesopotamia under one rule.
The urbanised Akkadian nation of Assyria emerged in the 21st Century BC, and largely evolved from the dissolution of the Akkadian Empire. In the Old Assyrian period of the Early Bronze Age, Assyria had been a kingdom of northern Mesopotamia (modern-day northern Iraq), competing for dominance initially with the Hattians and Hurrians of Asia Minor, and the ancient Sumero-Akkadian “city states” such as Isin, Ur and Larsa, and later with Babylonia which was founded by Amorites in 1894 BC, and often under Kassite rule. During the 20th Century BC, it established colonies in Asia Minor, and under the 20th Century BC King Ilushuma, Assyria conducted many successful raids against the states of the south. It had experienced fluctuating fortunes in the Middle Assyrian period.
Assyria had a period of empire under Shamshi-Adad I in the late 19th to mid 18th Centuries BC, following this it found itself under short periods of Babylonian and Mitanni-Hurrian domination in the 17th and 15th Centuries BC respectively, followed by another period of great power and empire from 1365 BC to 1074 BC, that included the reigns of great kings such as Ashur-uballit I, Tukulti-Ninurta I and Tiglath-Pileser I.
During the ancient ‘Dark Ages’ Assyria remained a strong and stable nation, unlike its rivals. Beginning with the campaigns of Adad-nirari II, it again became a great power, overthrowing the Twenty-fifth dynasty of Egypt and conquering Egypt, Babylonia, Elam, Urartu, Media, Persia, Mannea, Gutium, Phoenicia/Canaan, Aramea (Syria), Arabia, Israel, Judah, Philistia, Edom, Moab, Samarra, Cilicia, Cyprus, Chaldea, Nabatea, Commagene, Dilmun and the Hurrians, Shutu and neo Hittites; driving the Nubians, Kushites and Ethiopians from Egypt; defeating the Cimmerians and Scythians; and exacting tribute from Phrygia, Magan and Punt among others.
Assyria finally succumbed to a coalition of Babylonians, Chaldeans, Medes/Persians, Scythians, and others at the Fall of Nineveh in 612 BC, and the sacking of its last capital Harran in 608 BC. More than half a century later, Babylonia and Assyria became provinces of the Persian Empire. Though the Assyrians during the reign of Ashurbanipal destroyed the Elamite civilization, the Assyrians’ culture did influence the succeeding empires of the Medes and the Persians, Indo-Iranian peoples who had been dominated by Assyria.