The country of Samaria was named after its capital city, so that Samaria became synonymous with the Northern Kingdom. After the division of Israel into two kingdoms the Northern Kingdom was failed to follow God and was enticed by the peoples around them. As punishment God sent the Assyrians to destroy them and carry off what was left to Assyria in approximately 740 BC. In about 586 BC the Babylonians conquered the Assyrians and Samaria as well. During the time of Assyrian and then Babylonian rule there is little information written about the land. But what is known is that the when the Assyrians conquered the land they carried off many of the Israelite population and resettled Assyrian people in the land. These people intermarried and so did their religions. The Samaritan people embraced a religion that was a mixture of Judaism and idolatry. At the time of Jesus the Samaritan were considered to be generally "half-breeds" and were universally despised by the Jewish people.