Assyria one of the great empires of the ancient world, its border extended north to Anatolia (Turkey), south to the Arabian land (Saudi Arabia), east to Persia (Iran), and west to Cyprus and Egypt of the Mediterranean region.
Assyrian dominance of the Middle East lasted about 300 years, from early ninth century В.С. to the end of the seventh. During this period the ancient Assyrians administered а prosperous empire. They built splendid palaces, temples, and constructed aqueducts, canals, and roads. Nineveh, the Assyrian capital then, was the most magnificent city in the world.
Assyrians played а leading role in the civilization of the world. Contribution of the Assyrian legacy to the civilization were many such as: the 360 degree wheel, chemical battery, astronomy, magnifying glasses, library system, irrigation system and the establishment of а governmental system.
Assyrians, also, excelled in the art of war, and no Middle Eastern power could match them in organization and training of troops, quality of weapons, and expertise in siege craft.
Ashurbanipal, the last great king of Assyria, ruled 668-626 В.С. During his long reign, noted as а golden age of culture, the Assyrian empire reached the height of its power, а patron of arts and letters, he amassed an immense library of cuneiform tablets at his capital of Nineveh.
Today, an estimated well over two million Christian Assyrians are spread in the Middle Eastern area, U.S., Europe, and basically all over the world. The majority of the population is concentrated in the northern and central part of Bet-Nahrain (Iraq). Although scattered all over the world, а strong bond of Assyrian language, religion, heritage, culture and tradition keeps the modern day Assyrians together.
The Assyrians of Illinois make up the second largest population with Bet-Nahrain being the first. The concentration of population is in Chicago and the metropolitan area. The Assyrians in Illinois are numbered as being well over 80,000 people. Recently in Chicago, Western Avenue, from Devon south to Peterson was named after King Sargon, an Assyrian king with many contributions to mankind. In greater Chicago land, there are many cultural clubs and humanitarian organizations. Also, there are 10 Assyrian Churches. Many Assyrians are self-employed and own about 300 businesses in Chicago.