From 900 B.C. on the bank of the river Tigris, a great strong army was built by the Assyr kingdom to stop the attacks of invading nomad tribes. After being successful, the Assyrian army did not come to a halt, it conquered more and more land. Their fighters attacked neighboring nations, conquering the Babylonian, Phoenician. and Armenian kingdoms, one after another. Eventually, after a row of bloody battles, the whole near-east belonged to Assyria. Their kings looked at themselves as rulers of the world. They kept on building larger and larger cities and palaces, competing with their ancestors and wanting to be the greatest in memory. Their palaces were guarded by statues of gigantic mystical creatures. Quote from one Assyrian king's boasting: "34 strong cities, and numerous small ones, I circled, occupied, plundered, demolished, destroyed, and torched. Like a great storm, I covered the skies with the smoke of their fire." The last king of Assyria was Assurbanypli, also know as "bloodthirsty beast" or "man-skinning monster." On the other hand, he was a enthusiastic reader, especially of history. He created the biggest clay-plate library of the time, in Nineveh, capitol of Assyria. That's where he placed originals or copies of Sumerian and Accadian cuneiform literature and religious and other texts. It was partly his merit that the Gilgamesh Ballads and many other ancient cultural records have been conserved. When Nineveh was destroyed, the library got buried under ruins and sand.