Chapter 11- persia and the greeks, 550-490 bc. In 930s bc, assyrians, an agricultural people who lived along the upper banks of the tigris river, began raiding their neighbours and within 50 years, these bandit-kinds reached the mediterranean coast. They started conquering, the aristocracy providing more troops and kings rewarding them with plunder which enriched them to provide more troops who won more victories. They started putting in assyrian governors over the defeated peoples. Some rulers submitted to assyria and paid tribute. They did this to avoid devastation and might themselves have the chance to join the assyrian elite and their support in local disputes. 739 bc- assyria took babylon, greatest city in mesopotamia. They depopulated israel in 722 bc and brought in foreigners to settle the land, these foreigners came to be known as the samaritans. Assyrians fed on war, and their demands transformed western asia.