Asnapper — probably the same as Assur-bani-pal (Sardanapalos of the Greeks), styled the “great and noble” (Ezra 4:10), was the son and successor ( 668) of Esar-haddon (q.v.). He was “luxurious, ambitious, and cruel, but a magnificent patron of literature.” He formed at Nineveh a library of clay tablets, numbering about 10,000. These are now mostly in the British Museum. They throw much light on the history and antiquities of Assyria.
Assur-bani-pal was a munificent patron of literature, and the conqueror of Elam. Towards the middle of his reign his empire was shaken by a great rebellion headed by his brother in Babylon. The rebellion was finally put down, but Egypt was lost, and the military power of Assyria was so exhausted that it could with difficulty resist the hordes of Kimmerians who poured over Western Asia. (See NINEVEH.)