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ERZINGAN, or ERZINJAN (Arsingaof the ...

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Originally appearing in Volume V09, Page 760 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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ERZINGAN, or ERZINJAN (Arsingaof the middle ages), the chief town of a sanjak in the Erzerum vilayet of Asiatic Turkey. It is the headquarters of the IV. army corps, being a place of some military importance, with large barracks and military factories. It is situated at an altitude of 3900 ft., near the western end of a rich well-watered plain through which runs the Kara Su or western Euphrates. It is surrounded by orchards andgardens, and is about a mile from the right bank of the river, which here runs in two wide channels crossed by bridges. One wide street traverses the town from east to west, but the others are narrow, unpaved and dirty, except near the new government buildings and the large modern mosque of Hajji Izzet Pasha to the north, which are the only buildings of note. The principal barracks, military hospital and clothing factory are at Karateluk on the plain and along the foot-hills to the north 3 M. off, one recent addition to the business buildings having electric power and modern British machinery; some older barracks and a military tannery and boot factory being in the town. The population numbers about 15,000, of whom about half are Armenians living in a separate quarter. The principal industries are the manufacture of silk and cotton and of copper dishes and utensils. The climate is hot in summer but moderate in winter. A carriage-road leads to Trebizond, and other roads to Sivas, Karahissar, Erzerum and Kharput. The plain, almost surrounded by lofty mountains, is highly productive with many villages on it and the border hills. Wheat, fruit, vines and cotton are largely grown, and cattle and sheep are bred. Water is everywhere abundant, and there are iron and hot sulphur springs. The battle in which the sultan of Rum (1243) was defeated by the Mongols took place on the plain, and the celebrated Armenian monastery of St Gregory, " the Illuminator," lies on the hills i i m. S.W. of the town. Erzingan occupies the site of an early town in which was a. temple of Anaitis. It was an important place in the 4th century when St Gregory lived in it. The district passed •from the Byzantines to the Seljuks after the defeat of Romanus, 1071, and from the latter to the Mongols in 1243. After having been held by Mongols, Tatars and Turkomans, it was added to the Osmanli empire by Mahommed II. in 1473. In 1784 the town was almost destroyed by an earthquake. (C.W.W.; F. R. M.) ESAR-HADDON [Assur-akhi-iddina, " Assur has given a brother "], Assyrian king, son of Sennacherib; before his accession to the throne he had also borne another name, Assuretil-ilani-yukin-abla. At the time of his father's murder (the loth of Tebet, 681 B.c.) he was commanding the Assyrian army in a war against Ararat. The conspirators, after holding Nineveh for 42 days, had been compelled to fly northward and invoke the aid of the king of Ararat. On the 12th of Iyyar (68o B.c.) a decisive battle was fought near Malatia, in which the veterans of Assyria won the day, and at the close of it saluted Esar-haddon as king. He returned to Nineveh, and on the 8th of Sivan was crowned king. A good general, Esar-haddon was also an able and conciliatory administrator. His first act was to crush a rebellion among the Chaldaeans in the south of Babylonia and then to restore Babylon, the sacred city of the West, which had been destroyed by his father. The walls and temple of Bel were rebuilt, its gods brought back, and after his right to rule had been solemnly acknowledged by the Babylonian priesthood Esarhaddon made Babylon his second capital. A year or two later Media was invaded and Median chiefs came to Nineveh to offer homage to their conqueror. He now turned to Palestine, where the rebellion of Abdi-milkutti of Zidon was suppressed, its leader beheaded, and a new Zidon built out of the ruins of the older city (676-675 B.C.). All Palestine now submitted to Assyria, and 12 Syrian and to Cyprian princes (including Manasseh of Judah) came to pay him homage and supply him with materials for his palace at Nineveh. But a more formidable enemy had appeared on the Assyrian frontier (676 B.c.). The Cimmerii (see SCYTHIA) under Teuspa poured into Asia Minor; they were, however, overthrown in Cilicia, and the Cilician mountaineers who had joined them were severely punished. It was next necessary to secure the southern frontier of the empire. Esar-haddon accordingly marched into the heart of Arabia, to a distance of about goo m., across a burning and waterless desert, and struck terror into the Arabian tribes. At last he was free to complete the policy of his predecessors by conquering Egypt, which alone remained to threaten Assyrian dominion in the West. Baal of Tyre had transferred his allegiance from Esar-haddon to the Egyptian king Tirhaka and opened to the latter the coast road of Palestine; leaving a force, therefore, to invest Tyre, Esar-haddon led the main body of the Assyrian troops into Egypt on the 5th of Adar, 673 B.C. The desert was crossed with the help of the Arabian sheikh. Egypt seems to have submitted to the invader and was divided into twenty satrapies. Another campaign, however, was needed before it could be finally subdued. In 67o B.C. Esar-haddon drove the Egyptian forces before him in 15 days (from the 3rd to the 18th of Tammuz) all the way from the frontier to Memphis, thrice defeating them with heavy loss and wounding Tirhaka himself. Three days after Memphis fell, and this was soon afterwards followed by the surrender of Tyre and its king. In 668 B.C. Egypt again revolted, and while on the march to reduce it Esar-haddon fell ill and died on the loth of Marchesvan. His empire was divided between his two sons Assur-bani-pal and Samas-sum-yukin, Assur-bani-pal receiving Assyria and his brother Babylonia, an arrangement, however, which did not prove to be a success. Esar-haddon was the builder of a palace at Nineveh as well as of one which he erected at Calah for Assur-bani-pal.
End of Article: ERZINGAN, or ERZINJAN (Arsingaof the middle ages)
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