By 1100 B.C., Aramaean tribes throughout northern and western Syria form petty competing kingdoms. On the coast, seafaring Canaanites, known to the Greeks as Phoenicians, reestablish maritime trade with Egypt and the eastern Aegean. Further south, the Philistine coastal cities maintain close contact with Cyprus. In the interior highlands, small kingdoms emerge including Israel, Judah, Amon, Moab, and Edom. From the middle of the ninth through the end of the seventh century B.C., the armies of Assyria, in their quest for booty and tribute, repeatedly attack the Levantine cities. The Assyrian empire eventually incorporates territory as far south as Israel and the Philistine cities. The Egyptians to the south, keen to maintain their influence in the region, unsuccessfully clash with the Assyrians, who extend their control into the Nile valley. With the fall of the Assyrian empire at the end of the seventh century B.C., the Neo-Babylonian empire claims the region. After only fifty years of rule by the Babylonians, the region is incorporated into the vast Achaemenid Persian empire, which lasts for two centuries. Following the death of Alexander of Macedon, who overthrew the Persian empire in 331 B.C., the south falls to the new Ptolemaic rulers of Egypt, while Syria is incorporated into the Seleucid empire. During the first century B.C., Rome‘s aggressive expansionist policies lead to its control over the entire region.