THE PERIOD OF THE HEBREW JUDGES 1160-1020 B.C.
FROM 1200 until 876 B.C. Syria and Palestine were left in peace by the great powers. Occasional expeditions for plunder were made by a few exceptionally energetic monarchs, but there was no attempt to established a permanent supremacy. The successors of Ramessu III. in the XXth dynasty were powerless to resist the aggressions of the Theban hierarchy, and during the XXIst dynasty the throne was usurped by the high priest of Amen. The kings of the XXIId dynasty were usurpers of Libyan origin, and those of the XXIIId-XXVth dynasties were Ethiopian conquerors. About 1880 B.C. Babylonia was wasted by a second Elamite invasion under Kidinkhutrudash and Kudurnankhundi II.; it suffered also from repeated incursions of Aramæan horders. The powerful Kassite dynasty, that had reigned for 600 years, fell about 1100, and was succeeded by a number of dynasties of relatively short duration and of little historical importance. During this period Assyria slowly rose into prominence, and prepared to become the mistress of Western Asia in the first half of the next millenium; but she had first to wage a long struggle