Assyria, also called the Assyrian Empire, was a Mesopotamian kingdom and empire of the Ancient Near East that existed as a state from perhaps as early as the 25th century BC until its collapse between 612 BC and 609 BC; thereby spanning the periods of the Early to Middle Bronze Age through to the late Iron Age. This vast span of time is divided into the Early Period, Old Assyrian Empire, Middle Assyrian Empire and Neo-Assyrian Empire.
From the end of the 7th century BC to the mid-7th century AD, it survived as a geopolitical entity, for the most part ruled by foreign powers such as the Parthian and early Sasanian Empires between the mid-2nd century BC and late 3rd century AD during which a number of independent Assyrian states such as Adiabene, Osroene, Beth Nuhadra and Beth Garmai arose. The final part of this period saw Mesopotamia become a major centre of Syriac Christianity and the birthplace of the Church of the East and Syriac Orthodox Church. Greeks, Romans, and subsequently Arabs and Ottomans also took over control of the Assyrian lands.