- An ancient Mesopotamian people of unknown origins who entered the region from the east, across the Zagros Mountains, in the early second millennium b.c.Their native language was unrelated to any other known tongue and is still not well understood. Mentions of the Kassites first appear in Babylonian records in the late 1700s b.c. They seem to have settled somewhere near the city of Sippar, and for the next few generations they were viewed as a threat to the stability of the surrounding region. In the early years of this period the Kassites established a ruling dynasty that is variously dated from ca. 1595 to 1155 b.c. or from 1729 to 1155 B.c.if one counts the kings who ruled before the Kas-site occupation of Babylon.That 1595 b.c. occupation was accomplished by the Hittites with the aid of the Kassites, in ways that are unclear. The Hittites soon departed and left the Kassites in control of Babylonia. Wasting little time, the Kassite ruler Ulam-Buriash defeated the king of Sealand in southernmost Mesopotamia, near the Persian Gulf. The Kassites transformed the loosely organized Babylonian lands into a strongly centralized state. Under their rule the countryside became more densely populated, with the creation of many new small towns and villages. They also respected existing religious traditions and encouraged the use of the Babylonian dialect of Akkadian across Mesopotamia. The Kassite period was largely peaceful, as the rulers showed little interest in foreign conquests. The Kassites did have an army, though; they bred horses and developed a lighter, faster version of the chariot.Eventually the Kassite Babylonians fell prey to the Elamites, who launched several attacks on Babylon in the early twelfth century b.c. The Kassite dynasty was terminated in 1155 b.c., but the Kassites continued to exist as a distinct group in the region for several more centuries. Some served in high positions in the governments of various Mesopotamian kingdoms.
Ancient Mesopotamia dictioary. Don Nardo Robert B. Kebric. 2015.
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