Why was Ashurbanipal considered to be the last great ruler of Assyria?

      Ashurbanipal was King of Assyria, and counted as the last great ruler of the country. When his father died, he left Ashurbanipal a kingdom that stretched from Northern Egypt to Persia, but he also made his brother king of Babylonia.

      Throughout his reign, Ashurbanipal had military problems, mainly at the borders of the empire. He attacked Egypt, and campaigns in 667 and 664 BC led to the defeat of the Egyptians. The Assyrian army invaded Elam and Babylonia. Babylon was captured in 648 BC, and the following year, the Elamite city of Susa was destroyed.

      Ashurbanipal is remembered as one of the most cultured rulers of the time. He supported the establishment of the first systematically organized library, which contained tens of thousands of works, in the shape of tablets. He was personally involved in the appointments of governors and prefects, and he functioned as the real general contractor when building state houses and structures.

      After Ashurbanipal died in 631 BC, the Assyrian kingdom started to fall apart, but this is not considered to be his fault. It was not weakness inside Assyria, but continuous attacks from hostile neighbours, that brought it down.