Sarah Melville

Professor of Ancient History
Sarah  Melville Headshot


Professor Melville research concentrates on the history of the Ancient Near East, specifically the Neo-Assyrian Empire (c. 900-612 BC)

Education Background

Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations Ph.D. - Yale University
Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations M.Phil. - Yale University
Art History and Archaeology M.A. - University of Missouri at Columbia
Ancient Studies A.B. - Smith College

Courses Taught

  • The Ancient World
  • Warfare in Ancient Greece
  • Warfare in Ancient Rome
  • Engineering and the Environment in the Ancient World
  • Ancient Medicine and Magic

Teaching Interests

Professor Sarah Melville teaches Ancient history (Greece, Rome, and the Near East) and The History of War.


  • West Point Summer Seminar in Military History Fellow
  • Military History Instructor’s Course, Combat Studies Institute, United States Army
  • American Philosophical Society Franklin Research Grant



  • The Campaigns of Sargon II, King of Assyria (721-705 B.C.) Campaigns and Commanders 55. Norman: Oklahoma University Press, 2016.
  • Opening the Tablet Box: Near Eastern Studies in Honor of Benjamin R. Foster. S. C. Melville and A. Slotsky, eds. Culture and History of the Ancient Near East 42. Leiden: Brill, 2010.
  • The Role of Naqia/Zakutu in Sargonid Politics. State Archives of Assyria Studies IX. Helsinki: University of Helsinki Press, 1999.

Articles and Chapters

  • “Warfare in the Ancient Near East”. New chapter in Daniel Snell, ed. Blackwell’s Companion to the Ancient Near East, 2nd edition. Oxford: Blackwell, 2020: 399-420.
  • “Neo-Assyrian Royal Women Revisited.” Journal of the American Oriental Society 139 (2019): 687-92.
  • “An Echo of Assyria in Plutarch’s Life of Alexander.” In P. Avetisyan, R. Dan and Y. Greykyan, eds. Over the Mountain and Far Away: Studies in Near Eastern History and Archaeology presented to Mirjo Salvini on the Occasion of his 80th Birthday, pp. 346-353. Oxford: Archeopress, 2019.
  • “Ideology, Politics, and the Assyrian Understanding of Defeat.” In Jessica H. Clark and Brian Turner, eds. Brill's Companion to Military Defeat in Ancient Mediterranean Society, pp. 25-50. Brill’s Companions to Classical Studies: Warfare in the Ancient Mediterranean World, 2. Leiden: Brill, 2018.
  • "The Role of Rituals in Warfare during the Neo-Assyrian Period.” Religion Compass 10 (2016): 219-229 (
  • “Insurgency and Counterinsurgency in the Assyrian Empire during the 8th Century BC”. In Timothy Howe and Lee L. Brice, eds. Brill’s Companion to Insurgency and Terrorism in the Ancient Mediterranean, pp. 62-92. Warfare in the Ancient Mediterranean World 1. Leiden: Brill, 2016.
  • “Win, Lose, or Draw? Claiming Victory in Battle,” In H. Neumann, et al. eds. Krieg und Frieden im Alten Vorderasien 52e Rencontre Assyriologique Internationale International Congress of Assyriology and Near Eastern Archaeology, Münster, 17.–21. Juli 2006, pp. 527-537. Alter Orient und Altes Testament 401. Münster: Ugarit-Verlag, 2014.
  • “Women in Letters: The Neo-Assyrian Period” and “Neo-Assyrian Women’s Inscriptions”. Translations and historical commentary in Mark W. Chavalas, ed. Women in the Ancient Near East, pp. 213-239. New York: Routledge, 2014.
  • “The Last Campaign: The Assyrian Way of War and the Collapse of the Empire.” In Wayne E. Lee, ed. Warfare and Culture in World History, pp. 13-33. New York: New York University Press, 2011.
  • “Kings of Tabal: Politics; Competition, and Conflict in a Contested Periphery.” In Seth Richardson, ed. Rebellions and Peripheries in the Mesopotamian World, pp. 87-109. American Oriental Series 91. Winona Lake: Eisenbrauns 2010.
  • with D. J. Melville, “Perspectives on Perspective.” In C. S. Kaplan and R. Sarhangi, eds. Proceedings of Renaissance Banff II, Bridges Banff: Mathematics, Music, Art, Architecture, Culture, pp. 389-395. St. Albans: Tarquin, 2009.
  • “A New Look at the End of the Assyrian Empire.” In G. Galil, M. Geller, A. Millard, eds. Homeland and Exile: Biblical and Ancient Near Eastern Studies in Honor of Bustenay Oded, pp. 179-201. Vetus Testamentum Supplement 130. Leiden: Brill, 2009.
  • with D.J. Melville, “Observations on the Diffusion of Military Technology: Siege Warfare in the Near East and Greece.” In Micah Ross, ed. From the Banks of the Euphrates: Studies in Honor of Alice Louise Slotsky, pp. 145-167. Winona Lake: Eisenbrauns, 2008.
  • “Adad-nirari II” (pp. 280-285); “Assyrian Eponym Lists” (pp. 293-298); “Sargon II” (pp. 333-342); “Sennacherib” (pp. 342-350); “Esarhaddon” (pp. 350-356); “Naqia/Zakutu” (pp. 356-360); “Ashurbanipal” (pp. 360-368); “The Autobiography of Adad-Guppi” (pp. 389-393). Translations and historical commentary in Mark W. Chavalas, ed., The Ancient Near East: Historical Sources in Translation. Oxford: Blackwell, 2006.  
  • “Symmetry and the Sacred Date Palm in the Palace of Ashurnasirpal II, King of Assyria.” Proceedings of Renaissance Banff Bridges Conference and Coxeter Day: Mathematics, Music, Art, Culture, pp. 155-160. Winfield: Central Plain Book, 2005.
  • “Royal Women and the Exercise of Power in the Ancient Near East.” In Daniel Snell, ed. Blackwell’s Companion to the Ancient Near East, pp.219-228. Oxford: Blackwell, 2005.
  • “Neo-Assyrian Royal Women and Male Identity: Status as a Social Tool,” Journal of the American Oriental Society 124 (2004): 37-57. 



Office Phone Number: 315/268-3966

Office Location: 278 Bertrand H. Snell Hall

Clarkson Box Number: CU Box 5750