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- Assyrian Historiography - 5/13 -


of a certain document was copied or abstracted, we must entirely cast aside the copy in favor of the contemporary writing. This would appear self evident, but failure to observe this distinction has led to more than one error in the history of the reign. [Footnote: The majority of the inscriptions for the reign were first given in Layard, _Inscriptions_, and in the Rawlinson publication, cf. for first working over, Rawlinson, JRAS. OS. XII. 431 ff. The edition of Amiaud-Scheil, _Les inscriptions de Salmanasar_ II, 1890, though without cuneiform text, is still valuable on account of its arrangement by years, as well as of its full notes, cf. also Winckler-Peiser, KB. I. 128 ff. The one edition which is up to date is N. Rasmussen, _Salmanasser den II's Indschriften_, 1907, though the same may be said of the selections in Rogers, 293 ff.]

Each of these editions ends with the account of some important campaign, the need of writing up which was the reason for the collection of the events of previous years which were not in themselves worthy of special commemoration. The first of these is the one which ends with the famous battle of Qarqara in 854. This has come down to us in a monumental copy which was set up at Kirkh, the ancient Tushhan, and which has been named the Monolith inscription. [Footnote: III R 7f; Rasmussen, cf.; 2 ff. Photograph, Rogers, 537; _Hist_., op. 226. Amiaud-Scheil, _passim_; Peiser, KB. I. 15off. Menant, 105 ff.; Sayce, RP¹, III. 83 ff.; Scheil, RP², IV. 55 ff.; Craig, _Hebraica_, III. 201ff.; Harper, 33 ff.; cf. Jastrow, AJSL. IV. 244 ff.] For the events of 860-854, then, we need go no further than this, for it is strictly contemporaneous with the events it describes. No actual errors can be pointed out in it, a seeming distortion of the chronology being due simply to the desire of the scribe to indicate the unity of two campaigns, carried out in different years, but against the same country. [Footnote: II. 66.] How moderate are its numbers is shown by comparing its 14,000 killed at Qarqara with the 20,500 of the Obelisk, the 25,000 of the Bulls, and the 29,000 of the recently discovered statue from Ashur. As we shall see below, it is correct in giving no campaign for 855, though the Bulls inscription, written a generation later, has not hesitated to fill the gap. This is the only edition which seems to be entirely original and a comparison with those which are in large part compilations is favorable to it in every way. In fact, the oft repeated reproach as to the catalogue nature of the Shalmaneser writings, is due to the taking of the Obelisk as a fair sample, whereas it stands at the other extreme, that of a document almost entirely made up by abridgement of other documents, and so can hardly be expected to retain much of the literary flavor of its originals. The Monolith, on the other hand, free from the necessity of abridging, will hold its own in literary value with the other historical writings of the Assyrians.

The next edition was prepared in 851, at the conclusion of the Babylonian expedition. The document as a whole is lost, but we have excerpts in the Balawat inscription. [Footnote: Pinches, PSBA. VII. 89 ff.; _The Bronze Ornaments of the Palace Gates of Balawat_, 1880; Rasmussen, XIff.; Amiaud-Scheil, _passim_; Delitzsch, _Beitr. z. Assyr._, VI. 133 ff.; Winckler KB. I. 134 ff. Scheil, RP², IV. 74 ff.] For the years 859, 857, and 856, the excerpts are very brief, but fortunately this is of no importance as we have their originals in the Monolith. No mention is made of the years following until 852-851 which are described so fully that we may believe we have here the actual words of the document. It is interesting to notice that there is no particular connection between the reliefs on the famous bronzes [Footnote: Pinches, _Bronze Ornaments_, a magnificent publication. A cheaper edition of the reliefs, with valuable analysis of and comments on the sculptures, Billerbeck; _Beitr. z. Assyr._ VI. 1 ff. Additional reliefs owned by G. Schlumberger, Lenormant, _Gazette Arch._, 1878 p1. 22 ff. and p. 119 ff. Still others, de Clerq, _Catalogue_, II 183 ff., quoted Billerbeck, 2. I have not yet seen King, _Bronze Reliefs from the Gates of Shalmaneser_, 1915.] and the inscription which accompanies them. The latter ends in 851, the pictures go on to 849. The more conspicious pictures were brought up to date, but, for the inscription which few would read, a few extracts, borrowed from the edition of two years previous, sufficed. Incidentally, it shows us that no new edition had been made in those two years. For the years before 853, the practical loss of this edition need trouble us little as it seems merely to have copied the original of the Monolith. That it might have had some slight value in restoring the text of that lost original seems indicated by a hint of a fuller text in one place [Footnote: II.6 f.] and a more moderate number of enemies slaughtered in another. [Footnote: Balawat kills but 300 while Monolith slaughters 3400.] For the events of 853, as given in this edition, we have only the abstract of it in the Bulls inscription. [Footnote: Bull 75 ff.]

The year 845, the year of the expedition to the sources of the Tigris, seems to mark the end of a third period, commemorated by a third edition, extracts from which are given in the inscriptions on the Bulls. [Footnote: Discovery, Layard, NR. I. 59. L. 12 ff.; 46 f.; Rasmussen, XVff.; 42 ff. Amiaud-Scheil, _passim_; Delitzsch, _op. cit._, 144 ff.; Menant, 113 ff.] That it actually began with the year 850 is shown by the use of a new system of dating, by the king's year and the number of the Euphrates crossing. Comparison with passages preserved in the Balawat extracts shows that the work of excerpting has been badly done by the editor of the third edition. The capture of Lahiru is placed in the wrong year, [Footnote: Bull 79; cf. Balawat IV. 6.] the graphical error of Ukani for Amukkani shows it derived from the Balawat edition, while variations between the two copies of the bull inscription indicate that we cannot be sure of the exact words of the original. [Footnote: Variants in Amiaud-Scheil, _passim_. The most striking is the different text with which they end, of. Amiaud-Scheil, 58 n. 1.] And we can also point to deliberate falsification in the insertion of an expedition to Kashiari against Anhitti of Shupria, when the older edition, the Monolith, knew of no expedition for the year 855. It has already been shown elsewhere that this is closely connected with the attempt of the turtanu (prime minister) Dan Ashur to date his accession to power to 856 instead of 854, and to hide the fact of the palace revolution which seems to have marked the year 855. [Footnote: Cf. below under the Obelisk, and, for fuller discussion, Olmstead, _Jour. Amer. Or. Soc._ XXXIV. 346 f.]

From various hints, it is possible to prove that a fourth edition was prepared in 837, the end of the wars with Tabal. The most striking evidence for this is the fact that, after this year, the Obelisk suddenly becomes much fuller, a clear proof that the author knew that he was now dealing with events not previously written up. We may see, then, in the Obelisk account from 844 to 837 an abstract of the lost edition of 837. But we are not confined to this. One actual fragment of this edition is the fragment which deals with the events of 842 and is so well known because of its reference to Jehu. [Footnote: III R. 5, 6; Rasmussen, XXI; 56; Delitzsch, _Assyr. Lesestücke_, 51f Amiaud-Scheil, 58; Winckler, KB. I. 140; Ungnad, I. 112; Rogers, 303 f.] The first half of this is also intercalated after the introduction to one of the Bull inscriptions, and before year four, thus showing that it was inserted to bring the edition of 845 up to date. [Footnote: L. 12f; Rasmussen, XIX; 53.] Based on this edition, though only in very brief abstract, seems also the so called throne inscription from Ashur, whose references to Damascus, Que, Tabal, and Melidi form a group which can best be correlated with the events of the years 839, 840, 838, and 837, respectively. [Footnote: Discovery, Layard, NR. II. 46 ff.; cf. G. Smith, TSBA. I. 77. L. 76f; Craig, _Hebraica_, II 140 ff.; Rasmussen, XXXVIII; 84 ff.; Amiaud-Scheil, 74 ff.; Delitzsch, _Beitr. z. Assyr._, VI. 152f; cf. Jastrow, _Hebraica_, V. 230 ff.] Another Ashur inscription on a royal statute gives selections from the events of the reign, up to 835, but its main source is evidently the same. [Footnote: Andrä, MDOG. 21, 20 ff. 39 ff.; Delitzsch, _ibid_. 52; KTA. 30; Langdon, _Expository Times_, XXIII, 69; Rogers, 298f; 529.]

But the strongest proof of the existence of this edition is to be found in the two fragments of clay tablets which are not, like all the preceding, epigraphical copies of the originals, but form part of the original itself. [Footnote: Boissier, RT. XXV. 82 ff.] These two bits are written in the cursive style, and, though their discoverer believed them to belong to separate documents, the fact that one so closely supplements the other, and that they have the same common relation to the other editions, justifies us in assuming that they really do belong together. At first sight, it might be argued that they are to be restored from the text of the Obelisk, with which they often agree verbally. Closer inspection shows, however, that they contain matter which is not found in that monument, and that therefore they belong to an earlier and fuller edition, yet the resemblance to the Obelisk is so close that they cannot be much earlier. On the other hand, the Bulls inscription can be compared for the events of 854-852 and this has all that our tablets have, plus a good bit more. They therefore belong between these two editions, and the only time we can place them is 837. Since the clay tablets so fully abstract the Bulls inscription wherever the latter is available for comparison, we may assume that in 857-855 they give the minimum of that inscription. Thus we have the editions of 845, of 837, and of 829, in a common line of descent. Although for 857-856, there are numerous verbal coincidences with the Balawat excerpts, it must be noted that not all the plus of our tablets appears in that document, and we can only assume a common source, a conclusion which well agrees with our characterization of the Balawat inscription as a series of mere extracts. That this common source was also the source of the Monolith seems proved by a certain similarity of phraseology as well as by the reference to Tiglath Pileser in connection with Pitru, but this similarity is not great enough fully to restore our plus passages. Unfortunately for the student of history, our tablets do not add any new facts, for, in the parts preserved, we already had the earlier representatives of the original sources from which the edition was derived. It does, however, throw a most interesting light on the composition and development of these sources.

Last and least valuable of all is the Obelisk. [Footnote: Discovery at Kalhu, Layard, NR. II. 282. Layard, _Monuments of Nineve_, I. 53 ff.; L. 87 ff.; Abel-Winckler, 7f; Rasmussen, XXXIIIff.; 80 ff. Amiaud-Scheil, _passim_; Winckler, KB. I. 128 ff.Oppert, _Expèd._ I. 342; _Hist._ 108 ff.; Menant, 97 ff. Sayce, RP¹, V. 29 ff.; Scheil, RP², IV. 38; Jastrow, _Hebraica_, V. 230. Mengedoht, _Bab. Or. Rec._, VIII, lllff.; 141ff.; 169 ff. Photographs and drawings too frequent for notice. Casts are also common, e. g., in America, Metropolitan Museum, N. Y. City; University of Pennsylvania; Haskell Museum, University of Chicago; Boston Museum of Fine Arts.] Because of its most interesting sculptures and because it gives a summary of almost the entire reign, it has either been given the place of honor, or a place second to the Monolith alone. The current view is given by one of our most prominent Assyriologists as follows: "The first rank must be ascribed to the Black Obelisk, and for the reason that it covers a greater period of Shalmaneser's reign than any other.... It is clear then, that for a study of the reign of Shalmaneser II the black obelisk must form the starting point, and that, in direct connection with it, the other inscriptions may best be studied, grouping themselves around it as so many additional fragmentary manuscripts would around the more complete one which we hit upon, for a fundamental text." [Footnote: Jastrow, _l. c._]

This view might be accepted were the problem one of the "lower criticism". Unfortunately, it is clearly one for the "higher" and accordingly we should quote the Black Obelisk only when an earlier edition has not been preserved. There is no single point where, in


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