Royal Library of Ashurbanipal was a great library discovered in the ruins of Nineveh in modern Iraq. Ashurbanipal was the last strong king of Assyria with his reign lasting almost 40 years (668 – 637 BCE). Ashurbanipal was a learned man, perhaps the only Assyrian king who could read and write. He built a great royal library which was perhaps the inspiration for the later Library of Alexandria. His library consisted of more than 10,000 distinct texts consisting of 30,000+ clay tablets and numerous wax boards and payrii. He was a strong king and used his wars and threats of war to stock his library with knowledge gleaned from various regions of Mesopotamia. This library is the best source of such classics as the Epic of Gilgamesh (the epic traces its origin to sometime around 18th century BCE) and the creation myth of Enuma Eli. I can imagine the king reclining on his bed with pretty ladies of the harem, enjoying the sweet taste of most expensive wine of the period and reading the epic of Gilgamesh and imagining himself doing the deeds of Gilgamesh.
The alliance of Nabopolassar of Babylonia and Cyaxares of Media was formalized by a marriage between the daughter of Cyaxares, Amytis, and the son of Nabopolassar, Nebuchadnezzar II. It was this Amytis, the legend has it, for whom Nebuchadnezzar II built the Hanging Garden of Babylon, so that she would not miss her native Media. It was this Nebuchadnezzar II after whom Saddam Hussein named one of his Elite Republican Guard Division. The alliance later included the Scythians and Cimmerians. Taking advantage of the internal strife in the Assyrian empire, this alliance of nations that were under the domination of Assyria for a long time waged a war against the Assyrian empire for almost ten years (616 BCE – 605 BCE). This long war included another battle of Megiddo where Necho II of Egypt, who was on his way to assists the Assyrians, defeated King Josiah of Judah. Nineveh, the great capital of Assyrian empire, fell in 612 BCE. The capital of the empire was then moved to Harran that survived a two year siege but fell in 610 BCE. The capital was again moved to Carchamesh. The battle of Carchamesh in 605 BCE finally sealed the fate of the Assyrian Empire. Within 20 years of death of mighty Ashurbanipal, Assyrian empire that had been one of the strongest and greatest kingdom/empire in the greater Mesopotamia for almost 1500 years (21st Century BCE – 7th Century BCE) ceased to exists as an independent nation.