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Assyrian queen Semiramis

I will meet you at the Semiramis Hotel, or we will listen to the Italian opera Semiramis tomorrow, and you may have seen a movie with the same name,  but the name that came to our ears a lot was also not devoid of the legend revealed by the Encyclopedia of Myths, the legend of beauty and wisdom, who was raised by a pigeon and married, kings and battles were fought.

Meaning of the name Semiramis

The translation of this name refers to the dove, or the beloved of the doves, and in another narration it is believed that this name is an unintended Greek distortion due to the circulation of the original name (Samur Amat), which means (lady of the royal court), and she is a real Assyrian queen originally from Babylon, or the Aramaic Ishmiram, Queen of Assyria, it means the sublime name.

The duration of her reign

It is agreed that Semiramis ruled the Assyrian empire for 42 years in general, but she did not rule this period alone, but rather in partnership with her husband, the king, except that she ruled alone for 5 years after his death.

Description of Semiramis

It was said about her that she was extremely beautiful, with thick eyelashes and friendly looks, she was known for her wisdom, sharp intelligence, strength, and mystery.

the legend

Since ancient times, the sources of the Euphrates River overflowed, which led to the river flooding, it is said that after the river flooded, the fish came out to the shore, and among them were two large fish. 

They headed to the middle of the river, then they pushed a large egg towards the shore, and then a large white dove came and embraced the egg and took it away.

 From the riverbed, it took care of it and embraced it until it hatched and emerged from it as a wonderfully beautiful baby girl surrounded by flocks of pigeons to surround her with care and protection from the heat and cold. 

That little girl and the pigeons lived a happy life in which she did not know misery, the pigeons cared for her until they discovered a place where the shepherds stored the milk their sheep produced and the cheese they made, the doves carried whatever they could with their beaks to the little girl.

Then suddenly her life turned into a new stage of suffering, as the shepherds discovered that the birds were stealing milk and cheese, so they watched her until they knew where the child was, and that she was the one who was drinking the milk, as punishment, they took her to their tents, then decided to sell her in the large “Nineveh market,” and they called her Semiramis, it means "dove" in the Assyrian language. 

In the market, a sterile man who had no children fell in love with her, so he bought the child from the shepherds and took her to his wife to take care of her and become her daughter.

Semiramis grew up and became very beautiful, one day, when King Unas' advisor was checking on the people's conditions, he saw Semiramis and was impressed by her beauty, he asked to marry her, and he actually married her, and he had two children with her and named them "Hefatha" and "Hedasghe".

 They seemed to be happy, but (Semiramis) was extremely intelligent, as she would advise her husband on serious matters and he became successful in all his endeavors.

Meanwhile, the King of Nineveh was organizing a military campaign against neighboring Bactria, he prepared a huge army for this purpose because he was aware of the difficulty of seizing it, after the first attack, he was able to control the entire country except for the capital, Bactra, which held out, the king felt the need for Ouns and so he sent for him, but Ouns did not want to part with his beloved wife, so he asked her if she wanted to accompany him, she did so, and when her husband traveled on orders from the king to the capital to follow one of his battles, he took her with him, and there she supervised the battle and drew up war plans.

When the king's campaign succeeded and he was able to invade the capital, the king admired her very much, and asked her husband to leave her to him, and threatened to gouge out his eyes if he did not respond. Indeed, her husband was forced to give up Semiramis to the king because of his fear, and he died immediately after her marriage to the king, and she gave birth to Ninas, and she ruled. Semiramis was king until he died, and she became ruler of Mesopotamia.

Semiramis the Queen

Despite the legendary stories told about the life of Semiramis, she is a real Assyrian queen, she is “Samoramat,” the mother of King “Adad-nirari III,” who ruled Iraq from 783-810 BC. She is also the wife of King “Shamshi-Adad V,” who ruled From 823-811 BC, after the death of her husband, she became guardian of her son, Adad-Nirani, and ruled for 5 years until her son reached the age of majority, however, she had been participating in the rule since the days of her husband, as well as with her son for many years.

Its cultural and military achievements

Semiramis immortalized her reign in Iraqi history with the obelisk that she erected in the courtyard of the obelisks in the Assyrian Temple, during her reign, Semiramis was also able to carry out huge urban projects, the most important of which was building the city of Assyria with its huge temples and palaces, and surrounding it with high walls.

She also built a domed tunnel of stone under the course of the Tigris River to connect the two sides of the city, constructed bridges and canals on the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, established parks and decorative fountains in the cities she entered, and built a huge and luxurious shrine to glorify the memory of her husband.

Iraq witnessed major expansions outside its borders during Semiramis’s rule, she was able to control Egypt, part of Abyssinia, the Levant, and Media, in addition to launching a military campaign against India, but it failed and almost claimed her life, as she was stabbed there and forced to withdraw.

It was also a notebook that had religious and cultural contributions, represented by the introduction of many Babylonian cultural tributaries to the Assyrian civilization in Nineveh, represented by the addition of some Babylonian spirituality to the Assyrian religion, which tended to sanctify the virility of the god Assyria, it also highlighted some secondary Assyrian deities such as “Nebo,” the god

    her dominance of modern European culture

Semiramis was able to impose her influence on the minds and hearts of European queens in the modern era, the name Semiramis was given to Queen Margaret, Queen of Denmark, Sweden, and Norway, who ruled from 1350 to 1412, and Queen Catherine II, Tsarina of Russia 1729-1769 AD, and the writer described her as: Melville states in his novel, “Sarka Don: The Legend of the Great Queen,” that “she was undoubtedly extremely beautiful, a beauty that words cannot describe, a victorious beauty, no less than the beauty to which others submit unwillingly.”

Many writers and artists were influenced by the legend of Semiramis and her political life in many literary and artistic works, starting with Dante, who was inspired by her biography in his book The Divine Comedy, and the philosopher Voltaire, who mentioned her in his play, she also appeared in the opera Domenico Chomerosa, and the Italian musician performed Rossini wrote an opera bearing the name Semiramis, and she also appeared in several films, including Semiramis in 1973, in addition to drawing inspiration from her name in a series of hotels around the world.

Semiramis' accomplishments

• Creating a huge and luxurious shrine to honor the memory of her husband

• Construction of bridges and canals on the Tigris and Euphrates rivers

• The empire penetrated into Asia and created parks and decorative fountains

• Establishing a number of cities in Mesopotamia and Asia

• Subjugating Egypt and part of Abyssinia to the empire

• A military campaign against India failed and nearly cost her her life, as she was stabbed there

Therefore, the withdrawal was made and the bridge through which they reached India was destroyed to prevent the enemy from retreating.

Achievements attributed to her in legend, but not confirmed

• Legends attribute to her that she supervised the construction of the huge city of Babylon because she wanted to build another city to witness its era other than Nineveh, for this purpose, she used more than two million workers from all parts of the sprawling empire to accomplish this huge task, according to what the Greek historian (Diodorus) says.

The perimeter of the wall alone was about 66 kilometers in length, and as for its width, 6 horse-drawn carts could pass over it as they drove side by side, and its height was about 100 meters, and 250 towers were erected to protect the city, and a 900-meter-long bridge was also erected over the Euphrates River, which He was passing through the city center.

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