Mosul is a city in northern Iraq and the capital of the Nineveh Province, some 400 km (250 mi) northwest of Baghdad. The original city stands on the west bank of the Tigris River, opposite the ancient Assyrian city of Nineveh on the east bank, but the metropolitan area has now grown to encompass substantial areas on both banks, with five bridges linking the two sides. The majority of its population is Arab (with Assyrians, Turcoman and Kurdish minorities). It is Iraq's third largest city after Baghdad and Basra.
The fabric Muslin, long manufactured here, is named after this city. Another historically important product of the area is Mosul marble.
In 1987, the city's population was 664,221 people; the 2002 population estimate was 1,740,000, and by 2008 was estimated to be 1,800,000. People from Mosul are called Maslawis.
The city's mayor is Mohsin Mohammed Abdulazeez.The city of Mosul is home to the University of Mosul, one of the largest educational and research centers in Iraq and the Middle East.
The city is also a historic center for the Nestorian Christianity of the Assyrians, containing the tombs of several Old Testament prophets such as Jonah.
The name of the city is first mentioned by Xenophon in 401 BC in his expeditionary logs. There, he notes a small town of "Mepsila" (???????) on the Tigris at about where modern Mosul is today (Anabasis, III.iv.10). It may be safer to identify Xenophone's Mepsila with the site of Iski Mosul, or "Old Mosul", 20 miles north of modern Mosul, where six centuries after Xenophon's report, the Sasanian Persian center of Budh-Ardhash?r was built. Be as it may, the name Mepsila per se, however, is doubtlessly the root for the modern name, albeit, in its metathetic form of Mosul.
Nineveh gave its place to Mepsila after its violent fall to the Babylonians, Medes and Scythians in 612 BC. In fact, Xenophon makes no mention of it in his expedition of 401 BC (during the