The Fall of Harran refers to the siege and capture of the Assyrian city of Harran by the Median and Neo-Babylonian empires in 610 BCE.

Fall of Harran
Part of Medo-Babylonian war against Assyrian Empire
Date610 BCE
Result Decisive Medo-Babylonian victory[1]
Map of Assyria.png Assyria
Commanders and leaders
Ashur-uballit II
Unknown Unknown
Casualties and losses
Unknown Unknown


The Neo-Assyrian Empire, from the year 639 BCE, had been suffering from a decline in their power, culminating in Babylonian and Median invasions of their lands. The city of Arrapha fell in 615 BCE, followed by Assur in 614 BCE, and finally the famed Nineveh, the newest capital of Assyria, in 612 BCE. Despite the brutal massacres that followed, the Assyrians survived as a political entity and escaped to Harran under their new king, Ashur-uballit II.[2] Establishing Harran as a capital for the Assyrians caught the attention of the Babylonian King Nabopolassar[2] and Median King Cyaxares, who were determined to forever destroy the threat of Assyrian resurgence.


Assyrian annals record no more after 610 BC[2] - the presumed date of the siege. The siege lasted for another year before the city finally fell in 609 BC.[3] Not much is known of the siege itself — it is presumed that Ashur-uballit II was killed in the battle.


With the fall of Harran, the Assyrian empire ceased to exist as a state. Remnants of the former Assyrian empire's army met up with the Egyptian forces that had won at Megiddo. In 605 BC, the Babylonians were again successful, as they defeated Egyptians along with part of the army of the former Assyria at Carchemish, ending the Egyptian intervention in the Near East.


  1. ^ Oxford Bible Atlas "Ashuruballit assumed control over what remained of Assyria in Haran, but Haran too was captured by the Medes and the Babylonians in 610 and the might of Assyria was ended"
  2. ^ a b c Bertman, Stephen (2005). Handbook to Life in Ancient Mesopotamia. New York: Oxford UP. p. 80.
  3. ^ Grant, R.G. (2005). Battle: A Visual Journey Through 5000 Years of Combat. London: Dorling Kindersley. p. 18.