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The Kassites were a mountain tribe that conquered Babylonia. They were then defeated by the Elamites.

The Kassites lived in the mountains northwest of Elam, immediately south of Holwan, when Sennacherib attacked them in 702 BC[?]. They are the Kossaeans of Ptolemy, who divides Susiana[?] between them and the Elymaeans[?]; according to Strabo (xi. 13,3,6) they were the neighbours of the Medes. Th. Nöldeke (Gott. G. G., 1874, pp. 173 seq.) has shown that they are the Kissians of the older Greek authors who are identified with the Susians by Aeschylus (Choeph. 424, Pers. 17, 120) and Herodotus (v. 49, 52).

We already hear of them as attacking Babylonia in the 9th year of Samsu-iluna the son of Khammurabi, and about 1460 BC they overran Babylonia and founded a dynasty there which lasted for 576 years and nine months. In the course of centuries, however, they were absorbed into the Babylonian population; the kings adopted Semitic names and married into the royal family of Assyria.

Like the other languages of the non-Semitic tribes of Elam that of the Kassites, was agglutinative; a vocabulary of it has been handed down in a cuneiform tablet, as well as a list of Kassite names with their Semitic equivalents. It has no connection with Indo-European, as has erroneously been supposed. Some of the Kassite deities were introduced into the Babylonian pantheon, and the Kassite tribe of Khabira seems to have settled in the Babylonian plain.

This entry was originally from the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.



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