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Nimrod

(275 words)

Author(s): Frahm, Eckart (Heidelberg)
[German version] (LXX: Νεβρωδ; Nebrōd). According to Gn 10:8-12 (cf. 1 Chr 1:10; Mi 5:5) a mighty hunter, ruler of Babylon, Uruk and Akkad in the land of Shinar (Babylonia) and probably also (the translation is not entirely definite) the builder of Nineveh (Ninus [2]), Kalḫu and other cities in Assyria; son of Kush, who is actually the eponym of the Nubians, but in Gn perhaps rather the ancestor of the Kassites (Cossaei). The derivation of N. is disputed; despite linguistic difficulties, today the m…

Semiramis

(450 words)

Author(s): Frahm, Eckart (Heidelberg)
[German version] (Σεμίραμις; Semíramis). Legendary Assyrian queen, the protagonist of numerous ancient, medieval and modern tales. Whereas Hdt. 1,184; 3,155 mentions her only briefly (alleged building activity in Babylonia), Ctesias gives a detailed biography (extant e.g. in Diod. Sic. 2,4-20). According to this account, she was the daughter of the Syrian goddess Derketo, who abandoned her; fed by doves and raised by herdsmen, she grew to become a great beauty, married the Assyrian officer Onnes an…

Tukulti-Ninurta

(182 words)

Author(s): Frahm, Eckart (Heidelberg)
(literally 'Ninurta is my supporter'). Name of two Assyrian kings: [German version] [1] T.-N. I (1244-1207). Apart from his military conflicts with the Hittites (Ḫattusa II) it is primarily his campaign against Babylonia, conducted in 1228, that is of significance; it is recounted not only in royal inscriptions [1], but also, in high poetic language, in the T.-N. Epic [2]. T.-N. was the first Assyrian ruler to move his residence out of the ancient ancestral capital of Assur, as he settled in the nearby Kār-T.-…

Sennacherib

(332 words)

Author(s): Frahm, Eckart (Heidelberg)
[German version] (Assyrian Sîn-aḫḫē-erība, '[the moon god] Sîn has replaced the brothers'; 2 Kg 18,13: Sanḥērib; 2 Kg 19,20: Snḥrb; LXX: Σεν(ν)αχηριμ/ Sen(n)achērim u. ä.; Hdt. 2,141: Σαναχάριβος/ Sanacháribos; other forms of the name: [4. 2271]). Son of Sargon [3] II, Assyrian King from 705 to 681 BC. After ascending the throne, he moved the royal residence to Nineveh (Ninus [2]) which was then generously expanded. The main political problem of his regency was the conflict with Babylon. In 689 BC, after several futile at…

Tiglath-Pileser

(386 words)

Author(s): Frahm, Eckart (Heidelberg)
Form in the Bible (2 Kg 16,7; 1 Chr 5,6; 26; 2 Chr 28,20: Gr. Thalga(th)phellasár) and in Josephus (Ant. Iud. 9,11,1: Gr. Theglaphalasár) of the Assyrian royal name Tukultī-apil-Ešarra ('the hereditary son of the Temple of Ešarra - i.e. the god “Ninurta” - is my support'). Of the three Assyrian rulers with this name two were of great significance: [German version] [1] T. I (1115-1076 BC) (1115-1076 BC). With his far-reaching campaigns, e.g. against the Aramaeans and the Mušku people (Moschi) on the upper reaches of the Euphrates and the Tigris (also a campaig…

Ninus

(403 words)

Author(s): Frahm, Eckart (Heidelberg)
(Νῖνος; Nȋnos). [German version] [1] Founder of the Assyrian empire According to the Graeco-Roman tradition, N. is the name of the founder of the Assyrian empire and of the capital city built by him. Diod. Sic. 2,1-28 reports, with reference to Ctesias, that N. conquered Babylonia, Armenia, Media and other parts of Asia, founded the large city of N. named after him, and fathered with his wife, Semiramis, a son Ninyas. After N.'s death (or after he was deposed) and following the subsequent government of Se…

Ninyas

(175 words)

Author(s): Frahm, Eckart (Heidelberg) | Nutton, Vivian (London)
(Νινύας; Ninýas). [German version] [1] Son of Ninus [1] In Graeco-Roman sources, son of the Assyrian King Ninus [1] and Semiramis, whom he succeeded on the throne. According to the report of Diod. (2,20f.), based on Ctesias, he was of an effeminate nature like Sardanapallus (Assurbanipal), and took no part in military campaigns. N., whose name derives from the toponym Nini(w)e (Niniveh; Ninus [2]), is largely a legendary figure; he is not mentioned in the cuneiform sources. Frahm, Eckart (Heidelberg) Bibliography 1 E.F. Weidner, s.v. N., RE 17, 643f. 2 G. Pettinato, Semiramis, 1988,…

Deportation

(1,262 words)

Author(s): Frahm, Eckart (Heidelberg) | Sonnabend, Holger (Stuttgart)
[German version] I. Ancient Orient and Egypt Forcible deportations of combatants and civilians during wars were common practice (though on varying scales) in many periods of the history of the Ancient Orient and Egypt. Deportations had a dual purpose: they made possible the creation of an unfree and, therefore, easily exploited labour force, and they were a convenient means of lastingly weakening the military and economic potential of defeated tribes, cities and states. In Mesopotamia deportations appear to have been a source of unfree labour as early as the late 4th…

Decipherment

(3,931 words)

Author(s): Frahm, Eckart (Heidelberg) | Wachter, Rudolf (Basle)
Frahm, Eckart (Heidelberg) I. Ancient Orient and Egypt (CT) [German version] A. Introduction (CT) In the narrower sense of the word, decipherment is the successful attempt to comprehend the systematics of a text which is based on an unknown script to such an extent that it becomes possible to reconstruct indisputably not only the phonology but also the semantic content of the texts written in this script. The basis of every decipherment is a statistical evaluation of the available inscriptive material, the fi…

Historiography

(6,587 words)

Author(s): Frahm, Eckart (Heidelberg) | Jansen-Winkeln, Karl (Berlin) | Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel) | Meister, Klaus (Berlin) | Hose, Martin (Munich) | Et al.
I. Ancient Orient [German version] A. Introduction Judged by the principles of modern historiography, this discipline did not exist in the Ancient Orient. Nevertheless, the past has been treated in the literature in various ways, which indicates that history was an essential source of political and religious identity in the Ancient Orient. Frahm, Eckart (Heidelberg) [German version] B. Mesopotamia Records with a historical orientation do not emerge until the middle of the 3rd millennium BC in the form of royal inscriptions of Lagaš. Deeds are reported f…