Assur Is King! Assur Is King!: Religion in the Exercise of Power in the Neo-Assyrian Empire (HOLLOWAY Steven W 2002: Boston/Brill; Culture & History of the Ancient Near East, 10) is my latest library gold nugget. I am just digging into it now, but it is a highly intriguing book. It's about 600 pages long and has the following description on the back:
Steven Holloway’s work is the first monograph devoted to Neo-Assyrian religious imperialism. Neo-Assyrian religious imperialism was expressed by punitive measures such as "godnapping", the violent deportation of a vanquished foe’s divine images, but also, and this is a far less-studied facet of this topic, by the geographical focus and extent of the material support the Assyrians lavished on favored polities, in effect a Marshall Plan aimed at winning over the elite citizenry pivotal to maintaining economic and political equilibrium.W00T!
I promise to blog about it as I read it. Which will happen when I'm not doing my Arabic homework, like, say, now. (I should be chanting poetry in 8th century CE Arabic so I can recite it properly from memory...)