Ashurbanipal, or Assurbanipal , the last great king of Assyria, ruled 668–626? B.C. During his long reign, the Assyrian empire reached the height of its power. Ashurbanipal subdued the delta region of Egypt (667 B.C.); put down a revolt led by his brother Shamash-shum-ukin of Babylon (648 B.C.); and pushed back the invading Elamites (639 B.C.). The repeated attacks from both within and without the empire, however, greatly weakened Assyria.

Ashurbanipal's reign was also noted as a golden age of culture. A patron of arts and letters, he amassed an immense library of cuneiform tablets at his capital of Nineveh.