Building Identities in the Neo-Assyrian Period

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During the first millennium BC, Assyria was constituted as the power with greater territorial extension in the Ancient Near East, incorporating at its peak territories from Anatolia to the Zagros Mountains and from Armenia to the Persian Gulf. Given its’ geographical range, the Assyrians resorted to instruments of political-military and diplomatic nature which, combined with textual and visual records, embodied and effected their power.
From an ideological point of view, the purpose of the Assyrian expansion was to develop the project of a civilized world dominated by the king of Assyria on earth, reflecting the rise of Aššur as leader of the pantheon in the divine world.
The territories beyond the Assyrian domain were considered to be hostile, chaotic, savage but spaces that belonged to the Assyrian king by right. War, legitimized as a means of restoring order and simultaneously as a symbolic instrument of structuring and monopolizing Assyria, became the quintessential place of contact and encounter with the “non-Assyrian”.
The iconographic materialization of the royal figure and his achievements, as a tool for appropriating ways of seeing and organizing the world, mirrored the diversity of historical and cultural experiences, supporting the self-definitions of groups and their members. In this sense, the present paper consists in the analysis of Assyrian bas-reliefs that portray the “other” in order to understand how these representations assumed a fundamental role in the guidance of social behaviour and practices for the purpose of understand the perceptions that Antiquities settled among themselves.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationImages, Perceptions and Productions in and of Antiquity
EditorsMaria Helena Trindade Lopes, André Patrício
Place of PublicationNewcastle upon Tyne
PublisherCambridge Scolars Publishers
Number of pages11
ISBN (Print)978-1-5275-9275-9
Publication statusPublished - 2023
EventIn Thy Arms I Lost Myself: Images, Perceptions and Productions In / Of Antiquity - Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas da Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Lisboa, Portugal
Duration: 9 Oct 201911 Oct 2019


ConferenceIn Thy Arms I Lost Myself
Internet address


  • Assyria
  • First millennium BC
  • Representation of the other
  • Identities
  • Perceptions


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