Lost the Battle? Three Study Cases of Military Defeat: Rewrite History and Claim you Won the War, Ignore the Defeat and Consolidate Power, or Pray to God

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Abstract

n this article I analyse three historically and chronologi-cally related accounts of defeat in battle, and the losing side’s response to these defeats. The battles all occurred within three decades of each other: The biblical account of Sennacherib’s defeat at Jerusalem in 701 BCE; the Assyrian defeat at the borders of Egypt in 673 BCE; and Taharqa’s defeat in Egypt by the Assyrians in 671 BCE. The main protagonists were Hezekiah, king of Judah, Sennacherib and Esarhaddon, kings of Assyria, and Taharqa, king of Egypt and Kush, who fought for control over the southern Levant and Egypt, and lost. The descriptions of these events were recorded in several sources, from different genres and different kingdoms, but were all written relatively close to the events they depict.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCulture of Defeat: Submission in Written Sources and the Archaeological Record
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of a Joint Seminar of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the University of Vienna, October 2017
EditorsKatharina Streit, Marianne Grohmann
PublisherGorgias Press
Pages97-120
Number of pages24
ISBN (Print)9781463241889
DOIs
StatePublished - 2021

Publication series

NameGorgias Studies in the Ancient Near East
Volume16

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