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Mari (2.MARI)

(130 words)

Contributor(s): Hallo, William W.
Subject: Monumental Inscriptions from the Biblical World; Akkadian Monumental Inscriptions; Building and Display Inscriptions; Late Old Babylonian Inscriptions Commentary The ancient city of Mari (modern Tell Hariri) was a major player on the Mesopotamian stage from Early Dynastic to Old Babylonian times. The site has been excavated by a long series of French expeditions led by A. Parrot (1933–38, 1951–74) and J.-Cl. Margueron (since 1979). After a long period of rule by “viceroys” ( šakkanakkū) in the Sargonic, Ur III and early Old Babylonian periods, the Amorite l…

The Laws of Hammurabi (2.131)

(15,921 words)

Author(s): Roth, Martha
Subject: Monumental Inscriptions from the Biblical World; Akkadian Monumental Inscriptions; “Functional” Inscriptions; Laws Commentary By the beginning of the second millennium, Amorite and other nomadic population groups integrated into Mesopotamian urban political and social life. The Amorite Sumu-abum (ca. 1894–1881 bce) settled in Babylon, in the wasp-waist center of Mesopotamia, at the time that the rival cities of Isin and Larsa were struggling for dominance in the south. He and his successors for one hundred years stayed focuse…

The Borowski Stela (2.118B)

(378 words)

Author(s): Younger, K. Lawson, Jr.
Subject: Monumental Inscriptions from the Biblical World; Akkadian Monumental Inscriptions; Building and Display Inscriptions; Neo-Assyrian Inscriptions Commentary This text is inscribed on a broken stone stela,1 belonging to a type of stela which was set up locally to commemorate events in the district. Thus it was probably incised after the successful completion of the campaign in Syria and Palestine in 720 bce. This document reveals what had not been known before its publication, namely that thousands of Assyrians were “guilty” of rebellion according …

Sennacherib’s First Campaign: Against Merodach-baladan (2.119A)

(1,760 words)

Author(s): Cogan, Mordechai
Subject: Monumental Inscriptions from the Biblical World; Akkadian Monumental Inscriptions; Building and Display Inscriptions; Neo-Assyrian Inscriptions Commentary The date of this earliest of Sennacherib’s campaigns is disputed; it was directed against Merodach-baladan, who had seized the opportunity of Sargon’s death (705 bce) to proclaim himself king of Babylon, in opposition to the upstart rebel Marduk-zakir-shumi. Levine (1982) favors a date from winter 704 through early 702, while Brinkman (1984) opts for 703–702, considerably sh…

Šamši-ilu — Stone Lions Inscription (2.115A)

(853 words)

Author(s): Younger, K. Lawson, Jr.
Subject: Monumental Inscriptions from the Biblical World; Akkadian Monumental Inscriptions; Building and Display Inscriptions; Neo-Assyrian Inscriptions Commentary This inscription was incised on two colossal, dark gray basalt lions that were discovered at Tell Ahmar (Tīl-Barsip/Kār Shalmaneser)1 originally in 1908. A study of one of the lions in 1988 revealed that it was 258 cm in height; with a length of 250 cm; and a width of 120 cm (Roobaert 1990:127). While the text is in the form of a royal dedicatory inscription, its au…

Nabu-apla-iddina (2.125B)

(117 words)

Contributor(s): Hallo, William W.
Subject: Monumental Inscriptions from the Biblical World; Akkadian Monumental Inscriptions; Votive Seal Inscriptions Commentary This four-sided bead is described as a seal in its inscription. It provides a parallel of sorts to the seal from Beer-sheba, since it mentions the same unusual divine name. The donor is a namesake of a king of Babylon who ruled in the first half of the ninth century, but had a different patronymic. A seal of lapis lazuli — Nabu-apla-iddina, son of Shamash-eresh, for the well-being of his life, the length of his days (and) the furthering …

Sabaʾa Stela (2.114E)

(812 words)

Author(s): Younger, K. Lawson, Jr.
Subject: Monumental Inscriptions from the Biblical World; Akkadian Monumental Inscriptions; Building and Display Inscriptions; Neo-Assyrian Inscriptions Commentary This inscription is engraved on a badly worn stone stela from Sabaʾa, south of Jebel Sinjar. The stela is 192 cm in height and contains a relief of the king along with divine symbols on its top and text below. Interestingly, about two-thirds of the text (lines 1–22) are a royal dedicatory inscription; then Nergal-ēreš, a governor under Adad-nirari I…

Inscription of Narām-sîn: Deification of the King (2.90)

(382 words)

Author(s): Kienast, Burkhart
Subject: Monumental Inscriptions from the Biblical World; Akkadian Monumental Inscriptions; Building and Display Inscriptions; Old Akkadian Inscriptions Commentary This inscription is preserved on the socle of a statue made of copper, representing a crouching male figure of a laḫmu-Monster with the upper part of the body missing. The statue was found 1975 near Bāṣetkī, a small village on the way from Mossul to Zākhō, during road construction. The text deals with the background of the deification of Narām-s…

Ninurta-kudurrī-uṣur — Suḫu Annals #2 (2.115B)

(3,073 words)

Author(s): Younger, K. Lawson, Jr.
Subject: Monumental Inscriptions from the Biblical World; Akkadian Monumental Inscriptions; Building and Display Inscriptions; Neo-Assyrian Inscriptions Commentary Discovered by Iraqi archaeologists in salvage work in the Ḥadītha Dam area, this four-column clay tablet was found at Sūr Jarʿā and contains a lengthy account of Ninurta-kudurrī-uṣur. It was apparently composed in the seventh year of his “governorship” (see lines iv.38b´-40´).1 Written in the Babylonian dialect with both Assyrian and Aramaic influences, the text describes Ninurta-kudu…

Abbael’s Gift of Alalakh (AT 1) (2.127)

(500 words)

Author(s): Hess, Richard S.
Subject: Monumental Inscriptions from the Biblical World; Akkadian Monumental Inscriptions; “Functional” Inscriptions; Treaties Commentary This Old Babylonian text from Alalakh Level VII records the background behind the gift of the city of Alalakh as a reward for military efforts. Gifts of lands and towns are also reported in Joshua 13 where, as in  AT 1, they serve as a recollection of past events. See also Joshua 20 and 21 and the towns of asylum and of the Levites, both of which are presented as gifts of towns from the tribes to these groups. A similar gift of towns appears in  AT 456. Bot…

Inscription of Narām-sîn: Campaign Against Armānum and Ebla (2.91)

(1,308 words)

Author(s): Kienast, Burkhart
Subject: Monumental Inscriptions from the Biblical World; Akkadian Monumental Inscriptions; Building and Display Inscriptions; Old Akkadian Inscriptions Commentary This inscription was originally carved on the socle of a statue also showing the relief of a city on top of a mountain; it is preserved in three Old Babylonian copies on clay tablets from Ur. Exemplar A contains lines 1–118 and the captions describing the city, exemplar B has the lines 119–185 and two short captions while exemplar C seems to contain th…

Warad-Sin (2.101B)

(679 words)

Contributor(s): Hallo, William W.
Subject: Monumental Inscriptions from the Biblical World; Akkadian Monumental Inscriptions; Building and Display Inscriptions; Early Old Babylonian Inscriptions Commentary Kudur-mabuk’s construction of the throne of the god Nanna of Ur for his son Warad-Sin is known from two Sumerian school tablet copies found in Sir Leonard Woolley’s excavations at Ur. The deed was commemorated in the name of the sixth year of Warad-Sin. The two protective genie (Sumerian lamma) described in lines 68–75 of this text as protecting the god Nanna’s throne may be compared with the Hebrew cherubim who …

Nebuchadnezzar II’s Restoration of the Ebabbar Temple In Larsa (2.122A)

(650 words)

Author(s): Beaulieu, Paul-Alain
Subject: Monumental Inscriptions from the Biblical World; Akkadian Monumental Inscriptions; Building and Display Inscriptions; Neo-Babylonian Inscriptions Commentary This inscription is recorded on several clay cylinders and baked bricks found at Larsa, all written in Neo-Babylonian script. It commemorates the rebuilding of Ebabbar, the temple of the sun god Shamash at Larsa, by Nebuchadnezzar II (605–562 bce), the son and successor of Nabopolassar and the real architect of Neo-Babylonian hegemony. Nabonidus restored Ebabbar again in his 10th regnal year (546–45 bce). He c…

Ur-dukuga (2.97)

(258 words)

Author(s): Frayne, Douglas
Subject: Monumental Inscriptions from the Biblical World; Akkadian Monumental Inscriptions; Building and Display Inscriptions; Early Old Babylonian Inscriptions Commentary A Sumerian cone inscription of Ur-dukuga, the thirteenth king of the Isin I dynasty (who reigned ca. 1830–1828 bce), records the construction of a temple of the god Dagan in the royal city of Isin. Dagan was an important Mesopotamian and West Semitic deity with major cult centres at ancient Tuttul (modern Tell Biʿa near the junction of the Euphrates and Balih rivers) and Terqa (m…

Tiglath-pileser III (2.117)

(43 words)

Contributor(s): Hallo, William W.
Subject: Monumental Inscriptions from the Biblical World; Akkadian Monumental Inscriptions; Building and Display Inscriptions; Neo-Assyrian Inscriptions Commentary The Calaḫ Annals The Iran Stela Summary Inscription 4 Summary Inscription 7 Summary Inscription 8 Summary Inscription 9-10 Summary Inscription 13 Tiglath-pileser III (2.117)

Ninurta-kudurrī-uṣur — Suḫu Annals (#18) (2.115C)

(698 words)

Author(s): Younger, K. Lawson, Jr.
Subject: Monumental Inscriptions from the Biblical World; Akkadian Monumental Inscriptions; Building and Display Inscriptions; Neo-Assyrian Inscriptions Commentary Inscribed on a stone stela discovered on the island of ʿĀnā, this text describes a revolt of the city of Anat (before the days of Ninurta-kudurrī-uṣur) and the subsequent disaster when “the Assyrian” took action against the city. It records Ninurta-kudurrī-uṣur’s restoration of the city, emphasizing his goodness and kindness. Ninurta-kudurrī-uṣur — Suḫu Annals (#18) (2.115C) ( lines i.1–5) I, Ninurta…

Warad-Sin (2.101A)

(317 words)

Author(s): Frayne, Douglas
Subject: Monumental Inscriptions from the Biblical World; Akkadian Monumental Inscriptions; Building and Display Inscriptions; Early Old Babylonian Inscriptions Commentary A Sumerian cone inscription of Warad-Sin (the thirteenth king of the Larsa dynasty who reigned from 1834–23 bce) records the construction of the chief storehouse in Ur. This building was apparently not a storeroom for grain, but rather a repository for precious objects donated to the city temples. Warad-Sin (2.101A) ( 1–4) For the god Nanna, lord who beams forth brightly in shining heaven, first…

Summary Inscription 4 (2.117C)

(1,342 words)

Author(s): Younger, K. Lawson, Jr.
Subject: Monumental Inscriptions from the Biblical World; Akkadian Monumental Inscriptions; Building and Display Inscriptions; Neo-Assyrian Inscriptions Commentary Incised on fragmentary pieces of an apparent pavement slab, this summary inscription was discovered in excavations at Nimrud and left in situ. It is preserved in squeezes that are no longer extant. Thought originally to be part of the Tiglath-pileser’s Annals (note Luckenbill  ARAB 1:§§ 815–819 and Oppenheim  ANET 283), Wiseman (1956:118) recognized correctly the text’s affinity to Summary Inscriptions 1 and 9. S…

Marduk-zakir-shumi (2.125C)

(235 words)

Contributor(s): Hallo, William W.
Subject: Monumental Inscriptions from the Biblical World; Akkadian Monumental Inscriptions; Votive Seal Inscriptions Commentary At 19 cm high, this is one of the largest seals known, a worthy votive offering from a king of Babylon (second half of the ninth century bce) to the city’s principal deity. For the divine Marduk, the great lord, heroic, lofty, exalted, lord of all, lord of lords, high judge, rendering decisions for the inhabited world, lord of foreign lands, lord of Babylon, dwelling in the temple Esagil, his lord — Marduk-zakir-shu…

Esarhaddon (2.120)

(422 words)

Author(s): Hallo, William W.
Subject: Monumental Inscriptions from the Biblical World; Akkadian Monumental Inscriptions; Building and Display Inscriptions; Neo-Assyrian Inscriptions Commentary Sennacherib’s destruction of Babylon (see  COS COSB.2.119E) was condemned by the city’s later Chaldaean rulers. Nabo-polassar, the founder of the Chaldaean Dynasty, declared war on the Assyrians and saw their destruction as just retribution (Gerardi 1986); Nabonidus, the last king of the Dynasty, also considered Sennacherib’s assassination as evidence of divine retribution ( ANET 309; Beaulieu 1989:105…
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