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Assyrian Rulers Early 1St Mil. B.C. -II

Assyrian Rulers Early 1St Mil. B.C. -II

  • Book Info
    Assyrian Rulers Early 1St Mil. B.C. -II
    Book Description:

    In this, the seventh volume to be published by the Royal Inscriptions of Mesopotamia Project, A. Kirk Grayson presents the texts of the royal inscriptions from the earlier phase of the Neo-Assyrian period, a time in which the Assyrian kings campaigned as far as the Mediterranean and came into direct contact with biblical lands. In this period the Assyrian empire embraced most of the civilized parts of western Asia including western Iran, Mesopotamia, southern Turkey, and the shores of the Levant. It was an exciting and tumultous period involving palace revolutions and harem intrigues, and it was a time in which the legendary Semiramis played a prominent role.

    The inscriptions speak of the kings' building of palaces and temples in various parts of Assyria, of the gods who were invoked to bless their enterprises, of revolutions and a multitude of military conquests. Each text is accompanied by a brief introduction, a catalogue of exemplars, commentary, bibliography, transliteration, translation, and notes. The book contains an introduction to the volume as a whole and indexes. 'Scores,' published on microfiche, are located in a pocket at the back of the book.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-7107-2
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Foreword
    (pp. ix-x)
    R.F.G. SWEET

    The ancient kings of Mesopotamia ruled one of the two great literate civilizations that set the course of the earliest history of the ancient Near East. Their temples and tombs do not waken vivid images in the minds of the modern reader or television viewer, as do those of the other great centre of early Near Eastern civilization, Egypt. But their cities, some with such familiar names as Babylon, Nineveh, and Ur, have been excavated over the past century and a half, according to the standards of the time, and have yielded an abundance of records of the boasted accomplishments...

  4. Preface
    (pp. xi-xii)
  5. Editorial Notes
    (pp. xiii-xiv)
    R.F.G. SWEET
  6. Bibliographical Abbreviations
    (pp. xv-xix)
  7. Other Abbreviations
    (pp. xx-xx)
  8. Object Signatures
    (pp. xxi-2)
  9. Introduction
    (pp. 3-4)

    With the royal inscriptions published in this volume we step upon the threshold of Assyrian invasion of the biblical and classical worlds, the periods of intense interest to the nineteenth-century explorers and decipherers and still of great interest today. The first king included here, Tiglath-pileser i, led his triumphant armies to the Mediterranean and thus prepared the way in the first millennium for contacts with Palestine, Egypt, Anatolia, and points farther west.¹

    The fortunes of Assyria during this time went from one extreme to another, ranging from the peaks of military might under Tiglath-pileser i at the beginning and Ashurnasirpal...

  10. Tiglath-pileser I (1114–1076 BC) A.0.87
    (pp. 5-84)

    The reign of Tiglath-pileser I (1114–1076 BC) marks a new rise in Assyria’s political and military fortunes, with Assyrian armies marching farther afield than ever before, from Babylonia in the south-east to Lebanon in the west. Not since the time of Tukultī-Ninurta I has there been such a powerful and influential monarch on the throne. These warlike achievements were accompanied, as usual in Assyria, by economic and cultural advances, and indeed the cultural transformations during Tiglath-pileser I’s reign were both profound and prolonged, having permanent effect on Assyrian culture in the first millennium.

    The extent of Tiglath-pileser’s conquests and...

  11. Ašarēd-apil-Ekur (1075–1074 BC) A.0.88
    (pp. 85-85)

    No royal inscriptions are preserved for this rather obscure king who ruled only two years (1075–1074 BC). At one time his name was read Ninurta-apil-Ekur, being regarded as the second monarch with this name, and a text fragment from Aššur (edited in RIMA 1 p. 303 as A.0.82.1) was attributed to him. The correct reading was established by king lists (see Grayson, RLA 6 pp. 86–135). The broken eponym list mentioned in the introduction to the reign of Tiglath-pileser I also has traces of the names of the eponyms for the reign (see Grayson, ARI 2 p. 45...

  12. Aššur-bēl-kala (1073–1056 BC) A.0.89
    (pp. 86-112)

    Despite the setback which Assyria suffered at the hands of the Aramaeans later in the reign of Tiglath-pileser I (and which probably lasted during the shadowy reign of Ašarēd-apil-Ekur), the Middle Assyrian Empire was revived briefly by Aššur-bēl-kala (1073–1056 BC). This monarch boasts in his royal inscriptions of military expeditions as far east and south as Babylonia and as far west as the Lebanon. Babylonia became in fact a vassal state of Assyria and the Egyptians were so impressed by this Asiatic power that, according to Aššur-bēl-kala, the pharaoh sent to the Assyrian king exotic animals as gifts. But...

  13. Erība-Adad II (1055–1054 BC) A.0.90
    (pp. 113-116)

    Erība-Adad II (1055–1054 BC) is the first in a series of obscure monarchs who ruled Assyria from the end of the second millennium to the early part of the first millennium (c. 1055–935 BC). Little direct information is available for any of these kings and their activities but it is easy to deduce from events preceding and following this dark century that the Aramaeans were now the superior power and occupied much of what had once been regarded as Assyrian territory.

    The only royal inscriptions of Erība-Adad II preserved are two fragmentary display texts from Nineveh and one...

  14. Šamšī-Adad IV (1053–1050 BC) A.0.91
    (pp. 117-121)

    None of the sparse remains of royal inscriptions from this reign (1053–1050 BC) speak of military matters and obviously Assyria’s political eclipse was continuing. Šamšī-Adad IV worked on the Ištar temples at Aššur (A.0.91.1) and Nineveh (A.0.91.2–3). A fragment published by Thompson (AAA 19 no. 219) is possibly part of a text of Adad-nārārī III. An inscription from Byblos of an official of ‘Šamšī-Adad, king of Assyria’ (see ARI 2 p. 64 n. 262) will be included under Šamšī-Adad V. Šamšī-Adad IV is included in various king lists (see Grayson, RLA 6 pp. 86–135).

    This text is...

  15. Ashurnasirpal I (1049–1031 BC) A.0.92
    (pp. 122-123)

    Confusion is the key word for this reign (1049–1031 BC) since it is not certain which Ashurnasirpal this is. He is usually regarded as the first king of this name but a son of Tukultī-Ninurta I called Ashurnasirpal seems to have been recognized briefly in some quarters as the Assyrian king between Tukultī-Ninurta I and Aššur-nādin-apli. No royal inscriptions of this Ashurnasirpal are known, with the possible exception of a broken stele from the row of steles at Aššur (Andrae, Stelenreihen no. 10), and his existence as a king rests only on one exemplar (which may be in error)...

  16. Shalmaneser II (1030–1019 BC) A.0.93
    (pp. 124-124)

    Assyria’s obscurity continues with this reign (1030–1019 BC) for which there is no record of military or building activities. Shalmaneser II did make an endowment for the Aššur temple at Aššur (Schroeder, KAV no. 78 edited by Ebeling, SVAT pp. 20–23 no. 6) and a literary text from Aššur has been ascribed to his reign by some scholars; but others prefer Shalmaneser III (Ebeling, KAR no. 98: see Lambert, AnSt 11 [1961] p. 157; Borger, HKL 1 p. 99; and Schramm, EAK 2 p. 95). Given the shadowy character of this reign and the lack of royal inscriptions,...

  17. Aššur-nārārī IV (1018–1013 BC) and Aššur-rabi II (1012–972 BC) A.0.94 and A.0.95
    (pp. 125-125)

    No royal inscriptions are known for either Aššur-nārārī IV (1018–1013 BC) or Aššur-rabi II (1012–972 BC) although they are included in king lists (see Grayson, RLA 6 pp. 86–135) and there is an eponym list for their reigns (see Grayson, ARI 2 pp. 70–71 §§335 and 338). A stele from the row of steles at Aššur (Andrae, Stelenreihen no. 13) must belong to one of these kings (no inscription is preserved) since it was discovered between the steles of Shalmaneser II and Aššur-rēša-iši II....

  18. Aššur-rēša-iši II (971–967 BC) A.0.96
    (pp. 126-128)

    Although the dearth of royal inscriptions for this reign (971–967 BC) indicates the ongoing weakness of Assyria, the fact that a local ruler, Bēl-ēriš, of a state on the Ḫabur River admits to being an Assyrian vassal (see A.0.96.2001) indicates that Assyria’s political influence stretched that far west. Aššur-rēša-iši II is included in king lists (see Grayson, RLA 6 pp. 86–135).

    This text is engraved on a stele (VA Ass 1202, Ass 15549, Ass ph 4526) found in the row of steles at Aššur.

    1913 Andrae, Stelenreihen p. 22 and pl. xiv no. 12 (photo, copy, edition)


  19. Tiglath-pileser II (966–935 BC) A.0.97
    (pp. 129-130)

    Nothing of importance is known of this king (966–935 BC) who is mentioned in king lists (see Grayson, RLA 6 pp. 86–135) and for whose reign there is a fragmentary list of eponyms (see Grayson, ARI 2 p. 74 §353).

    This fragmentary text appears on a stele (Ass 15550) found in the row of steles at Aššur. Since it was found near the stele of Aššur-rēša-iši II it probably should be ascribed to Tiglath-pileser II.

    1913 Andrae, Stelenreihen pp. 20–22 and pl. xiv no. 11 (copy, edition)

    1926 Luckenbill, ARAB 1 §315 (translation)

    1961 Borger, EAK 1...

  20. Aššur-dān II (934–912 BC) A.0.98
    (pp. 131-141)

    With Aššur-dān II (934–912 BC) the Neo-Assyrian imperial period can be said to begin. This monarch regained territory captured and held for more than a century by Aramaeans (see the introduction to the reigns of Tiglath-pileser I and Aššur-bēl-kala) and returned fugitive Assyrians to these lands (for a history of the reign see Grayson, CAH 3/1 pp. 248–49). These events, together with campaigns in other regions and against other peoples, are described in the fragmentary annals (A.0.98.1–2), the first preserved annalistic texts since the reign of Aššur-bēl-kala.

    A text once tentatively ascribed to Aššur-dān II (cf. Grayson,...

  21. Adad-nārārī II (911–891 BC) A.0.99
    (pp. 142-162)

    Adad-nārārī II (911–891 BC) capitalized upon Aššur-dān II’s reassertion of Assyrian might and launched campaigns in almost every one of his twenty-one years on the throne (for a history of the reign see Grayson, CAH 3/1 pp. 249–51). He had three major regions as targets for these military expeditions, the western territories held by the Aramaeans, the north which included Ḫabḫu and the Nairi lands, and Babylonia. He was so successful in these endeavours that he was able eventually to march through one area, part of the Jezireh, and collect tribute without any signs of resistance, a ‘show...

  22. Tukultī-Ninurta II (890–884 BC) A.0.100
    (pp. 163-188)

    Tukultī-Ninurta II (890–884 BC) continued to campaign like his immediate predecessors but during his brief reign not much territory was actually added to Assyria (for a history of the reign see Grayson, CAH 3/1 pp. 251–53). Campaigns for each of the years 889–85 (inclusive), his second to sixth regnal years, are attested (A.0.100.5) and these cover most of his reign. He also led a ‘show of strength’ expedition in the Jezireh as his father had done (see A.0.100.5 lines 41–127). A new motif in the annals is the cause for a campaign, provocation by the enemy,...

  23. Ashurnasirpal II (883–859 BC) A.0.101
    (pp. 189-393)

    The reign of Ashurnasirpal II (883–859 BC) is one of the most important eras in Mesopotamian history, a fact reflected in the large number of royal inscriptions for this king and the wealth of detail which they contain (see Grayson, CAH 3/1 pp. 253–59). Ashurnasirpal II campaigned at least once a year, sometimes twice, for as much as two-thirds of his time on the throne and there may well have been further expeditions about which no records have yet been recovered. His military advances went in all directions although he never actually penetrated Babylonia proper. He was one...

  24. Unidentified Fragments A.0.0.1013–1018
    (pp. 394-395)

    This fragmentary text, inscribed on a stone fragment found at Nineveh, could be a text of Ashurnasirpal II; but it could just as well be of various kings whose texts are edited in this volume. It seems to describe work on the Ištar temple. The original has not been located. A copy was published by Thompson, AAA 19 p. 113 and pl. lxxvii no. 182. Cf. Schramm, EAK 2 p. 51 and Grayson, ARI 2 ci 45.

    This broken text on a piece of clay tablet (K 9264) mentions […]šam-ši-10 man kur aš ‘Šamšī-Adad, king of Assyria’. Cf. Bezold,...

  25. Clay Cone Fragments from Nineveh A.0.0.1019–1026
    (pp. 396-398)

    There are numerous clay cone fragments from Nineveh which cannot be identified with any particular king. Since the vast majority of such fragments which can be identified belong to Ashurnasirpal II (see the introduction to A.0.101.56), I have placed the unidentified fragments at the end of this volume as A.0.0.1019–1026.

    This clay cone fragment (BM 98719 = 1905–4–9,225) mentions [l]ú.sipa kuraš-š ‘shepherd of Assyria’ (cf. Seux, ERAS p. 248) and construction work (on the Ištar temple?) by previous kings. Cf. King, Cat. p. 67.

    This fragmentary clay cone (BM 98720 = 1905–4–9,226) refers to éd[…]...

  26. Minor Variants and Comments
    (pp. 399-410)
  27. Index of Museum Numbers
    (pp. 411-420)
  28. Index of Excavation Numbers
    (pp. 421-422)
  29. Concordances of Selected Publications
    (pp. 423-425)