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Is The Mosin Nagant Good For Hunting?

Looking toward where he thought the main ruins should be, he saw nothing. He felt precariously poised on the lip of a void; for all he knew, he was. Adventure Novels. More dangerous people than they seek an answer to that same question and also provide definite possibilities for this expedition ending up just as swallowed by the menacing environment as the doomed expedition gone before it.

I like this one better. Besides his great grip of the setting, and his ability so expertly to paint word-pictures of that verdant world, he provides us with an adventurous romp sexual and plot-wise that holds our attention every step of the way. Enter a jungle of passion, greed, and danger. Take a wild trip Beyond Machu and discover high adventure, hot sex, and true love! Two gay men must gather their strength and courage to travel to the ancient Incan city of Machu Picchu, dodging bullets, unsavory villains, and even jaguars—in search of lost ruins and hidden treasure.


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This thrilling romance gallops from the hotels of Lima, Peru to the exotic once-lost city, and then beyond into the impenetrable South American jungle rife with perils. Will our heroes get out alive?

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Will they ever find true love together? A rousing adventure tale with enough plot twists to keep the reader guessing and steaming with enough sensual eroticism to keep the reader wanting more, The depictions of the Peruvian locales, history and culture are written with the attention to detail you only get from a writer who has been there. From the first chapter, Beyond Machu is jam-packed with mystery, adventure, and intrigue. Sennacherib's successor, Esarhaddon, perceived, however, that Babylonia, too powerful and too prestigious, could not be simply annihilated. During his reign, between and , he adopted a policy of appeasement and foresaw a succession based on the solution of two kingdoms, whose thrones were destined, from onwards, to two of his children, Ashurbanipal in Assyria, and Shamash-shumu-ukin in Babylonia.

The balance changed definitely a few years later, with the emergence of a new dynasty in Babylonia under Nabopolassar It seems quite evident that, during the entire period of submission, Babylonia aimed at the destruction of the Assyrian enemy and did everything to assume its place. No alternative which implied a real accommodation was seriously considered and each Babylonian movement constituted - to return to the useful expression of J. Brinkman about the period - a prelude to empire. Weakened and impotent, Assyria saw the ascension of a new mistress of Mesopotamia.

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In alliance with the Medes, Babylonia successively destroyed the principal Assyrian centers: Assur, in ; Nineveh, annihilated in ; Harran, where the Assyrians entrenched themselves in search of political survival, conquered in At the end of this conflict, Assyria disappeared from the political map of the Near East. Therefore, it is foolish to say that the militarization of Babylonia was less emphatic that that of Assyria, even if the royal Babylonian discourse had been stripped almost completely of its warmongering references Jursa, , p.

The competitive process in the valleys between the Euphrates and the Tigris reached a level which would only admit exclusive dominion and propelled an unprecedented military investment, by both parties. The result of the process, Babylonian victory, showed that Assyria was not the only 'warrior nation' at that time. The bipolarity hid an irremediable tendency towards unitary power, stimulating, on both sides, destructive potential based on the logic of war. Inter-regional geo-politics was equally affected.

This is my second point. In the first millennium, the limits of Assyrian action were successively widened, spilling over the traditional frontiers which limited sovereigns in the Middle-Assyrian period, at the end of the second millennium Tenu, ; Caramelo, for Middle-Assyrian expansion. In an initial phase, from the ninth century BCE, confrontations occurred in the northeast, against the Urartu, on the edge of the Caspian Sea, and against the Mannaens - in other words, fighting porous and dispersed political units, characterized by the tribal groups of the mountain people in the Zagros region -, and in the northwest, in the Trans-Euphrate, against the kingdoms which were established in the old zone of Hittite domination, from an Aramaic strata, such as those inadequately called neo-Hittites, extending from the upper course of the Euphrates to the Taurus Mountains, passing through Syria.

Dominion in this region prepared the path to advance beyond the Taurus and to Cilicia. From early on, however, and above all from the middle of the eighth century BCE, the expansion movement pointed clearly towards the Syro-Palestinian corridor, the Levantine coast, opening a never completely explored gate to the Mediterranean which would be limited to the imposing of tribute and the vassalage of some Cypriot kings , and, more ambitiously even to Egypt, in which Assyrian dominion was ephemeral and superficial, although the incursions of Esarhaddon and Ashurbanipal had contributed to put an end of the 'foreign' Kushite dynasty and, in alliance with potentates from the Delta, had stimulated the foundation of the new Saite dynasty, with Necho and Psammetichus.

Geographical amplitude should not, however, induce a mistaken vision of Assyrian expansion.

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It was not a spatially continuous empire, formed by a successive annexation of territories which would come, however, to be governed as part of a more or less homogenous whole, in which the basic hierarchy is represented by the opposition between a center and the provinces. If this had been the case, the war apparatus would essentially be an instrument of conquest.

From the annexation onwards, the periphery would have gradually been controlled by more administrative mechanisms. Military force would always be present, but transformed into a guarantee of the maintenance of local order and submission to the Assyrian king. Evidently, all of this also occurred in the Assyrian case, to a limited degree. Some historians believe that the situation was only initial, and was altered in a consistent manner by the administrative integration of the empire by Tiglat-Pileser, from BCE.

However, this seems to me to be an exaggeration. In fact, various reforms aimed at reducing the autonomy of the periphery, transforming old allies and vassals into Assyrian provinces, commanded by governors designated by the king; tax collection, the conscription of troops, and the system of weights and measures were normalized for greater effectiveness; the deportations of populations intensified.

All these factors, and others noted by Simo Parpola , do not appear to have guaranteed, however, a decisive alteration of the imperial militarist structure. In addition to heterogeneity, weakness was constant. The plain of steppes marked by hills with a low altitude, the Djezirah, had a very dispersed human occupation and the possible unity was maintained by force, by the presence of military garrisons, and the use of a network of roads controlled directly by the palace, complemented by river navigation.

At the time of the imperial apogee and in the central regions, such as Assur and Kalhu, the strong presence of deported Aramaic populations and the incursions of Arab tribes represented obstacles to Assyrian dominion. As was to be expected in more peripheral regions, control was more tepid and unstable.

In Syria and the Levant, 15 Assyrian authority depended enormously on alliances with local kingdoms which, although vassals, always had great autonomy and at time, particularly incited by Egypt, shook things up. Or at least tried, before ending tragically, as in the case of Israel. The scheme functioned in a more or less adequate manner with the Phoenician cities on the coast and with some kingdoms in the interior, such as Edom. Furthermore, military garrisons and some administrative installations sought to guarantee the essential, in other words, the continuity of the flow of taxation.

The main routes had a fundamental role, but the preference of the Assyrians for more secure routes which ran from the Euphrates and descended the Orontes, passing Aleppo, Damascus, and the Beqa'a Valley, to reach Galilee, shows that they did not feel at ease to follow the traditional northern route in the desert, between Habur and Syria, passing by Tadmor later Palmira , except when armies were moving in campaign.

In addition, here the Arab tribes did not give any peace to the Assyrians. Finally, the rocky arc formed by the Tauros and the Zagros delimited a difficult zone, whether populated by mountainous nomads or more complex organizations although, in general, the Assyrians homogenously represented them as 'kingdoms', according to their own references , and which had in common the complete aversion to Assyrian attempts at control. In general, these were fruitless and, with the exception of seasonal incursions in the higher zones, ended up demonstrating that the piedmont and the valleys between the mountains full of paths were a limit imposed on Assyrian pretentions to sovereignty; 16 similarly, Assyrian domination of the transhumance of shepherds, not always amicably, depended almost totally on the occupation of towns and villages, as well as protecting the usual routes, in other words rarefied fixed points in a vast virtually uncontrollable space.

Regional and inter-regional connections need to be analyzed in light of the internal political situation in Assyria, where monarchical power faced serious resistance from part of the elite, whether nobles from successive capitals and the principal cities or local governors. The conflictual relationship between the forces of monarchical centralization and centrifugal tendencies was one of the decisive factors for the reproduction of a very unstable endogenous equilibrium even in moments of foreign advances. Although the opposition between the king and the high ranking dignitaries is the object of debate, it seems certain that the administrative reform of Tiglat-Pileser constituted, at least in part, an attempt at the "domestication of the aristocracy" Demare-Lafont, , p.

It cannot be said that the expansion project did not enlist the effort, at times enthusiastic, of the Assyrian elite. In terms of communicative potential and the effectiveness of the message, visual compositions within palaces appear to correspond less to generalized propaganda aimed at terrorizing and dissuading foreign enemies or coerced allies or guaranteeing the submission of conquered populations than persuasion aimed at members of the Assyrian palace elite Liverani, , p.

Persuasion which was translated by a real erotic seduction, inciting engagement in war conquest efforts through a 'pornography of violence,' as it was labelled by Seth Richardson , p.


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Also in the ideological domain, it is possible to find signals of inconsistency, and a fundamental problem here is the level of sharing of the culture of imperial dominion by metropolitan and provincial elites. As Michael Mann states, alongside clientelist mechanisms, direct armed control, and compulsory material cooperation, belief in a common set of ideas of governance is an essential ingredient of imperial policy. Dealing with the Neo-Assyrian case, Mann suggests that, unlike the tonic of preceding empires, there appeared in Assyria in the first millennium, in a very innovative manner, a type of 'nationalism,' which was not, however, characterized by a transversal ideology, supported by an entire 'nation' the very concept would be anachronistic , but by penetrating and connecting the political elite.

In this sense, Assyrian religion - and he notes that what is in question here is above all a state dimension of religion - had an important role.

This 'moral of the upper-class' is however limited to the imperial core, contributing to define an exclusionary opposition in relation to the dominant groups in the periphery Mann, , p. Following the same line of reasoning, Peter R. Bedford believes, however, that the scope of imperial ideology was broader and that the coopting of local elites through clientelism or imposition ended up including them in an imperial culture of government. For Bedford, it is necessary to make a distinction: it is possible that the peripheral elites were kept marginalized in terms of Assyrian ethnicity or national identity, but this did not prevent their integration in an imperial identity.

This was probably the most Assyrian manner of including foreign elites in their symbolic universe, in their vision of the world Bedford, , p. Here the terms are sensitively different from those which have guided the debate about the 'Assyrianization' of peripheral zones. In general, 'Assyrianization' supposed a much more widespread process, including legal and fiscal standardizations, as well as of the system of weights and measures and the calendar, the use of Aramaic as a lingua franca which suggests a very pragmatic concession by the Assyrians, avoiding the complication of the forced imposition of the Assyrian language and the Cuneiform script , the sharing of religious and ideological elements, etc.

This is said to be the result of a systematic desire for coopting and the imposition on the part of the Assyrians, although it was frequently suggested by diverse authors, does not seem to be based on reality. One of the possible results of this particular mode of operating submission mechanisms has perhaps been the lack of importance of the distinction between an internal territory and an external one: ties of dependence were gestated and reproduced above all through individualized relations between all the members of the empire and the king, expressed in oaths of loyalty which did not make a substantial difference between governors, priests, or Assyrian warriors, on the one hand, and foreign rulers or tribal leaders on the other Barjamovic, , p.

Bradley Parker , p. Moreover, the configurations were very volatile and the relationship with a region could substantially alter over time, above all if we consider that the subordinate entities are not simply passive parts of the equation, but act in the sense of obtaining the best possible position in a game of pressure of various more powerful actors: an example of this are the various political units established in the region of Tabal, in the southeast of Anatolia, in the centuries before the downfall of the Hittite Empire, and which clearly sought to find equilibrium in light of the advances and retreats of Assyria, Urartu, and the kingdom of Phrygia.

Between the ninth and seventh centuries, the actions of Assyria in Tabal took various forms: aggression and pillage; establishment of a negotiated patron-client relationship, with the payment of tributes; transformation into a directly administered province. A trajectory which was punctuated by defections, treasons, and rebellions, of which the annals of Sargon II provide a vivid sample.

In the opposite sense, the same phenomenon occurred: local political elites adjusted their internal relations in functional with repositioning in the external scenario. Many elements which, in principle, indicate a reinforcement of the autonomy of the monarchy such as royal genealogical lists or monumental statues actually serve as mechanisms of cultural resistance, allowing the adopting of more advantageous positions in relation to invaders who could not be halted by arms and, at the same time, providing a discourse to an elite which needed to maintain dominion over the internal population, in a moment of greater financial restriction, due to the duty of paying tributes to Assyria.

Obviously, in practices and in representations the system had important cracks. Friction at the heart of Assyrian politics could be considered the most elementary level of structural vulnerability of empire, only partially compensated by conquests. The synthesis that emerges from this scenario suggests a model of imperialism that to a great extent was an alternative to more traditional visions, which suffer from a certain anachronism: 23 instead of a compact hegemonic and territorially continuous bloc, created and expanded by successive annexations, what can be seen is a fragmented landscape, linked through the lines of connections and nuclei spread through the periphery and the settlement of porous zones.

In other words, a network imperialism. Added to the capital of the kingdom and its environs were entire intermediary zones which not subjected to Assyrian command; these are the interstices of the network which the central palace sought to monitor, but over which it did not manage to impose a regular and effective rule. In addition to the imperial heart, the periphery was composed of an enormous diversity, with its remote provinces, run by governors bel pahete , whether Assyrian or autochthone, directly appointed by the king, and a considerable quantity of vassal kingdoms, assisted - or better supervised - by delegates qepu of the Assyrian king.

Typical cases of these buffers states are the small kingdoms of Shubria, Kumme, Ukku, Musasir, and others most from Hurrian ethnic or linguistic strata , which separated Assyria from the powerful kingdom of Urartu to the northeast, located at the gateway to a large passage between the Van and Urmia lakes. Communication networks, materialized through the frenetic circulation of royal correspondence, acquired crucial importance, assuring the flow of orders and information between the capital and the other regions of the empire, and vice-versa. In relation to what most interests us here, a greater implication of this model is the increase in the military apparatus as a mechanism of imperial power and administration.

War very much exceeded the function of instrument of conquest and the maintenance of external order, transforming it into a tool of continuous administration. As Bernbeck noted, "if a territorial empire mainly works through an administrative dispositive of power, in the case of network empires, the military prevails" Bernbeck, , p.

The brutality of Assyrian actions, as well as their representations, thus arise out of the very nature of the imperial system.

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William Maltese

Systematic warlike interventions, destruction as a daily form of conflict regulation, particularly in the case of insubordination and rebellions, and the militarization of political relations, internally and externally, all emerged in a context of the absence or weakness of other imperial mechanisms of control.

The Assyrian imperial model, based on extreme bellicosity and permanent violence is not, therefore, the result of a character trait or of an ethnic nature. It is a historic response to the new structural conditions which emerged at the end of the Bronze Age. In the first millennium, the gradual advance in the use of iron in the manufacture of weapons and in the military apparatus in general led to a sensitive change in the control of the exercise of terror Meyer, The palace monopoly over bronze which had existed in the second millennium, based on the restricted access to sources of copper and tin, far from Mesopotamia, and the limited knowledge of the alloy production process, gave way to a pulverization of metallurgy, allowing a more systematic entrance into the universe of metallurgy, both of groups from outside the palace and from more modest kingdoms.

Great powers, such as Assyria and Babylonia, could no longer base their strength on the exclusive use of the metallic apparatus. The emergence of new kingdoms in the Levant, resulting from the reflux of traditional powers, was largely based on the use of iron for military purposes Liverani, a , p. When the expansionist Mesopotamian centers retook control of the process, a new logic was imposed and war came to be the principal instrument of imperial dominion.