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- Assyrian Historiography - 10/13 -


Egypt, the advocates of the Musri theory, if any still survive, to the contrary notwithstanding. [Footnote: Cf. Olmstead, _Sargon_, 56 ff.] It is also longer than A in the River of Egypt section, and than B in the Elam account. As a late document, it is of value only for the Uabu affair. [Footnote: Winckler, ZA. II pl. II; AOF. I. 526 ff.] We may also note here another prism fragment [Footnote: 80-7-19, 15; Winckler, _Untersuch. z. altor. Gesch._, 98. Cf. King, _Supplement_, 109.] and a slab with a brief account of many campaigns. The first, that against Bazu, we know dates to 676. The others, to Uruk, to Buesh king of an unknown land, Akku, and the king of Elam, are of doubtful date, but are almost certainly later. [Footnote: K. 8544; Winckler, AOF. I. 532.--I have been unable to see Scheil, _Le Prisme S d'Assarhaddon._]

Finally, we must discuss two display inscriptions from the very end of the reign, whose importance is in no small degree due to the locality in which they were found. One is the famous stele discovered amid the ruins of the North Syrian town of Sinjirli. It dates after the capture of Memphis, 671, and seems to have been composed on the spot, as it shows no relationship to other inscriptions. [Footnote: Photograph and text, Schrader, in Luschan, _Ausgrabungen in Sendschirli_, I. 11 ff., and pl. cf. Rogers, 551; _Hist_, op. 399; Paterson, _Sculptures_, 103. Harper, 90 ff. I have been able to consult squeezes in the library of Cornell University.] The same is probably true of the equally famous rock cut inscription at the Dog River (Nahr el Kelb), north of Berut. Though the oldest Assyrian inscription to have a cast taken, it seems never to have been published. It is rapidly disappearing, as the fact that it was cut through a very thin layer of hard rock has caused much flaking. Esarhaddon is called King of Babylon and King of Musur and Kusi, Egypt and Ethiopia, and the expedition against Tarqu, which ended with the capture and sack of Memphis, is given. Thus it agrees with the Sinjirli inscription and may well date from the same year. [Footnote: Translation, G. Smith, _Eponym Canon_, 167 ff. The text, so far as I know, has never been published, even in connection with the elaborate study of the Nahr el Kelb sculptures by Boscawen, TSBA. VII. 345. I have been able to use the squeeze taken in 1904 in connection with Messrs. Charles and Wrench, but much less can now be seen than what Smith evidently found on the cast. Cast, Bonomi, _Trans. Roy. Soc. Lit._, III. 105; _Nineveh and its Palaces_, 5 f. 86. 142 ff., 367.]

We have a considerable number of building inscriptions, but there are few source problems in connection with them. [Footnote: Collected in Meissner-Rost, _Beitr. z. Assyr_., III. 189 ff. Thureau-Dangin, _Rev. Assyr_. XI, 96 ff.] Perhaps the most important is the prism which tells so much in regard to the earliest days of Assyria. [Footnote: KTA. 51; MDOG. 25, 33.] Another important document is the Black Stone, a four sided prism with archaistic writing. It was found at Nineveh, though it deals with the rebuilding of Babylon, and seems to date from the first year. [Footnote: I R. 49; Winckler, KB. II. 120 ff.; Meissner-Rost, 218 ff. Oppert, _Exped._, I. 180 f.; Menant, 248; _Babylone et Chaldée_, 167 f.; Harper, 88 f. King, _Supplement_, 38, dates from Aru of accession year.] Two others date after 675 as the one on a stone slab from the south west palace at Kalhu states that he took captive the king of Meluh, [Footnote: L. 19a. Winckler, KB. II. 150 f. Oppert, _Exped._, I. 324; Menant, 240.] and the other stone tablet gives him Egyptian titles, [Footnote: I R. 48, 5; Winckler, KB. II. 150 f.; Meissner-Rost, 204 ff.; Menant, 249.] so that they must be placed after the capture of that country. We may also mention in conclusion the one which gives the restoration of the Ishtar temple at Uruk [Footnote: 81-6-7, 209: Winckler, KB, II. 120 n. 1; Barton, _Proc. Amer. Or. Soc._, 1891, cxxx.] and the various ones found at Ashur by the German excavators. [Footnote: KTA. 51-55; 75; MDOG. 20, 26 ff.; 22, 12 f.; 25, 33, 65; 26, 20 f.; 26, 41ff.; 28, 13, 49, 10 f. Weissbach, in Koldewey, _Die Tempel von Babylon_, 71.]

CHAPTER VII

ASHUR BANI APAL AND ASSYRIAN EDITING

The reign of Ashur bani apal (668-626), stands preeminent for the mass of material available, and this has twice been collected. [Footnote: G. Smith, _History of Assurbanipal_, 1871; S. A. Smith, _Keilschrifttexte Asurbanipals_, 1887 ff.] Yet in spite of all this, the greater number of the inscriptions for the reign are not before us in adequate form, and there are problems which only a renewed study of the originals can solve.

Once again we have the usual Annals as our main source. Earlier scholars have in general satisfied themselves with the publication and study of the latest edition, sometimes supplemented by more or less full extracts from the others. There are reigns, such as that of Sennacherib, where such procedure results in comparatively little distortion of the history. But in no reign is the distortion of the earlier statements more serious, indeed one can hardly recognize the earlier documents in their later and "corrected" form. Accordingly, in no reign is it more imperative that we should disentangle the various sources and give the proper value to each. When we have discovered which document is our earliest and most authentic source for any given event, we have already solved some of the most stubborn problems in the history of the reign. The various conflicting accounts of the Egyptian campaigns, for example, have caused much trouble, but if we recognize that each is a step in the movement toward increasing the credit the king should receive for them, and trust for our history only the first in date, we have at last placed the history of the reign on a firm basis.

Our very earliest document furnishes a beautiful illustration of this principle. It is a detailed narrative of the unimportant Kirbit expedition, which is ascribed to the governor Nur ekalli umu. Cylinder E gives a briefer account and Cylinder F one still shorter. Both vaguely ascribe it to the "governors" but do not attempt to claim it for the king. It remained for Cylinder B, a score of years later, to take the final step, and to inform us that the king in person conducted the expedition. Further, the formal conclusion, which immediately follows the Kirbit expedition in our earliest document, shows that this event, unimportant as it was, was the only one which could be claimed for the "beginning of the reign." This campaign is further fixed by the Babylonian Chronicle to the accession year. Yet later cylinders can place before it no less than two expeditions against Egypt and one against Tyre! Our earliest document alone would be enough to prove that these had been taken over from the reign of his father, even did we not have some of this verified by that father himself. [Footnote: K. 2846; Winckler, AOF. I. 474 ff.]

Next in date and therefore in value we are probably to place Cylinder E, a decagon fragment, which contains a somewhat less full account of the Kirbit campaign, and a picturesque narrative of the opening of diplomatic relations with Lydia. Before these events, it placed an account of the Egyptian expedition. Although only a portion is preserved, it is sufficient to show that the "first Egyptian expedition" at least was credited to his father. [Footnote: G. Smith, 34f, 76 f., 82f; K. 3083 is identical for a line each with Cyl. E and F.]

A third account, which we may call F, gave credit for the earlier half of the Egyptian campaigns to his father and for the latter half to his own lieutenants. The references to Tabal and Arvad indicate that some time had elapsed in which memorable events in his own reign could have taken place, and this is confirmed by the much more developed form of the Lydian narrative, with its dream from Ashur to Gyges, and its order for servitude. That this account is of value as over against the later ones has been recognized, [Footnote: Tiele, _Gesch_. 372.] but we should not forget that it already represents a developed form of the tradition. [Footnote: K. 2675; III R. 28 f.; G. Smith, 36 ff., 56 ff., 73 ff., 80 ff.; cf. 319 and S. A. Smith, II. 12 ff., for ending giving erection of moon temple at Harran, a proof that we have the conclusion and so can date approximately; Winckler, _Untersuch. z. altor. Gesch._, 102 ff.; Jensen, KB. II. 236 ff. A fragmentary stone duplicate from Babylon, Delitzsch, MDOG., XVII 2 n.*] Somewhat later would seem to be the account we may call G. Here the Egyptian wars are still counted as one expedition, but a second has been stolen for Ashur bani apal by taking over that campaign of his father against Baal of Tyre which is given in the Sinjirli inscription. [Footnote: K. 3402; G. Smith, 78.]

With Cylinder B, we reach the first of what is practically a new series, so greatly has the older narrative been "corrected" in these later documents. Both the Egyptian wars have now been definitely assigned to the king, and the making of two expeditions into Egypt has pushed the one against Baal of Tyre up to the position of third. The octagon B dates from the midst of the revolt of Shamash shum ukin and is a most highly "corrected" document. [Footnote: G. Smith, _passim;_ Jensen, KB. II. 240 ff.; Menant, 278 ff.; for the duplicate K. 1729 from which most of the B text is taken, cf. Johns, PSBA. XXVII. 97.]

The story of the Shamash shum ukin revolt is continued by Cylinder C, a decagon, whose form points to the fact that it is a fuller edition. In general, its text holds an intermediate position between A and B, the lists of Syrian and Cypriote kings, which are copied verbatim from the Cylinder B of Esarhaddon, [Footnote: V. 13 ff.] being found only in it. [Footnote: Rm. 3; G. Smith, 30 ff., 178 ff., cf. 15, 52, 151, 319; S. A. Smith, II. 25 ff.; Menant, 277 f. Jensen, KB. II. 238 ff., 266 ff.] With C should in all probability be listed two decagons one of which is called Cylinder D. [Footnote: G. Smith, 317 f. K. 1794; III. R. 27a; S. A. Smith, II. 18, cf. G. Smith, 319.] Then comes a document which we may call H, with several duplicates, and as the Ummanaldas episode is dealt with in fuller form than in A, it probably dates earlier. [Footnote: K. 2656; G. Smith, 215 ff. Are the duplicates mentioned here to be found in K. 2833 and K. 3085, G. Smith, 205?] For the Tamaritu events, we have a group of tablets of unknown connections. [Footnote: K. 1364; 3062; 2664; 3101; 2631; G. Smith, 243 ff.-Where we are to place the cylinder Rm. 281, dealing with Urtaki's reign, Winckler, AOF. I. 478 n. 2, cannot be told until it is published.]

All the documents thus far considered are fuller and more accurate in dealing with the events they narrate than is the group which has so long been considered the standard. The first known was Cylinder A, a decagon, whose lines divide the document into thirteen parts. It is dated the first of Nisan (March) in the eponymy of Shamash dananni, probably 644. [Footnote: G. Smith, _passim_, III R. 17 ff. RP¹, IX 37 ff.; Menant, 253 ff.] Earlier scholars made this the basis of study, but it has since been supplanted by the so called Rassam cylinder, a slightly better preserved copy, found in the north palace of Nineveh, and dated in Aru (May) of the same year. [Footnote: BM. 91,026; Rm. 1; Photograph, Rogers, 555; _Hist_. op. 444. V.R. 1-10; Abel-Winckler, 26 ff.; Winckler, _Sammlung_, III; S.A. Smith, I. Jensen, KB. II. 152 ff. J.M.P. Smith, in Harper, 94 ff.; Lau & Langdon, _Annals of Ashurbanapal_, 1903.] Still a third is dated in Ululu (September) of this year. [Footnote: G. Smith, 316.]

That this document is by no means impeccable has long been


Assyrian Historiography - 10/13

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