It thus happened that in the expedition which now followed, Asshur-bani-pal had a party which favored him in Elam itself. Temin-Umman, however, aware of this internal weakness, made great efforts to compensate for it by the number of his foreign allies.
Asshur-bani-pal, then, on the withdrawal of the barbarians, had still an empire to rule, and he may be supposed to have commenced some attempts at re-organizing and re-invigorating the governmental system to which the domination of the Scythe must have given a rude shock. But he had not time to effect much.
All that Saul-Mugina could do was to defend his towns, which Asshur-bani-pal besieged and took, one after another. The rebel fell into his brother's hands, and suffered a punishment more terrible than any that the relentless conqueror had as yet inflicted on his captured enemies. Others had been mutilated, or beheaded; Saul-Mugina was burnt.
They frequently spared their prisoners, even when rebels, and seem seldom to have had recourse to extreme punishments. But Asshur-bani-pal reverted to the antique system of executions, mutilations, and tortures.
On his return from an expedition against Arabia, about B.C. 645, Asshur-bani-pal found that Hosah, a small place in the vicinity of Tyre, and Accho, famous as Acre in later times, had risen in revolt against their Assyrian governors, refused their tribute, and asserted independence. He at once besieged, and soon captured, Hosah.
Asshur-bani-pal, who was far from being of a clement disposition, suffered himself to be appeased by the submission made, restored Baal to his favour, and allowed him to retain possession of his sovereignty. Another Phoenician monarch also was, about the same time, threatened and pardoned.
Asshur-bani-pal also paid him considerable respect, mentioning him and his wife Warmita, as the deities under whose auspices he undertook certain literary labors. In the latter portion of the list of Eponyms obtained from the celebrated "Canon," we find Nebo an element in the names as frequently as any other god excepting Asshur.
She had a very ancient temple at Asshur, the primeval capital, which Tiglath-Pileser I., repaired and beautified. Asshur-izir-pal built her a second temple at Nineveh, and she had a third at Arbela, which Asshur-bani-pal states that he restored.
It has been generally supposed that Asshur-bani-pal died about B.C. 648 or 647, in which case he would have continued to the end of his life a prosperous and mighty king. But recent discoveries render it probable that his reign was extended to a much greater length that, in fact, he is to be identified with the Cinneladanus of Ptolemy's Canon, who held the throne of Babylon from B.C. 647 to 626.
As a builder, Asshur-bani-pal aspired to rival, if not even to excel, the greatest of the monarchs who had preceded him. His palace was built on the mound of Koyunjik, within a few hundred yards of the magnificent erection of his grandfather, with which he was evidently not afraid to challenge comparison. It was built on a plan unlike any adopted by former kings.