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The Fall of Harran refers to the Median and Babylonian siege and capture of the Assyrian city of Harran in 610 BC.

Fall of Harran
Date610 BC
Result Decisive Medo-Babylonian victory[1]
Babylonians, Medians Assyria
Commanders and leaders
Nabopolassar, Cyaxares Ashur-uballit II
Unknown Unknown
Casualties and losses
Unknown Unknown



The Assyrians, from the year 639 BCE, had been suffering from a decline in their power, culminating in Neo-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 destroy forever 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 - it is presumed that Ashur-uballit II was killed in the battle.


After this last reverse, the Assyrian empire does not 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.