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- Assyrian Historiography - 6/13 -

comparison with an earlier one, there is reason to believe that it has the correct text, in fact, it is, as might be expected in the case of a show inscription, filled with mistakes, many of which were later corrected, while in one case the engraver has been forced to erase entire lines. [Footnote: Cf. the textual commentary in Amiaud-Scheil, _passim_, and especially 65 n. 6.] Its date is 829, a whole generation later than the facts first related, and it can be shown that it is a formal apology for the turtanu (prime minister), Dan Ashur, glorifies him at the expense of his monarch, and attempts to conceal the palace revolution which marked his coming into power by changing the date of his eponomy from 854 to 856 and by filling in the year 855 with another event. Nor is it without bearing in this connection that it was prepared in 829, the very year in which the revolt of Ashur dan apal broke out as a protest against the control of his father by the too powerful turtanu. [Footnote: Cf. Olmstead, _Jour. Amer. Or. Soc., l. c._] As these last years of the reign were years of revolt, there is no reason for believing that there was another edition prepared, and the narrative of this revolt in the Annals of his son Shamshi Adad points in the same direction.

Of documents which do not belong to this connected series, the most important is the recently discovered lion inscription from Til Barsip. Aside from its value in identifying the site of that important city and an extra detail or two, its importance is not great, as it is the usual type of display inscription. [Footnote: R. C. Thompson, PSBA. XXXIV. 66 ff.; cf. Hogarth, _Accidents of an Antiquary's Life_, op. 175.] The Tigris Tunnel inscription also has its main importance from the locality in which it was found. [Footnote: Scheil, RT. XXII. 38.] Other brief inscriptions add a bit as to the building operations, which, curiously enough, are neglected in the official annals series. [Footnote: L. 77 f.; Amiaud-Scheil, 78; Rasmussen, XLI; 88 f. Layard, NR. II. 46; I. 281. Bricks in America, Merrill, _Proc. Amer. Or. Soc._, X. c; _Bibl. Sacra._ XXXII. 337 ff.; Streck, _Ztf. Deutsch. Morg. Gesell._, 1908, 758; Scheil, RT. XXVI. 35 ff.; Pinches, PSBA. XXXII. 49 f., of year I; KTA. 26 ff.; 77; MDOG. 21, 20f; 22, 29 ff.; 22, 77; 28, 24f; 31, 15; 32, 15 ff.; 36, 16 ff.; 48, 27; Andrä,_ Tempel_, 41ff; Taf. XX. XXIIf.]



The main source for the reign of Shamshi Adad (825-812) is the official Annals which exists in two recensions. One, written in archaistic characters, from the south east palace at Kalhu, has long been known. After the usual introduction, it deals briefly with the revolt of Ashur dan apal. No attempt is made to differentiate the part which deals with his father's reign from that of his own, and the single paragraph which is devoted to it gives us no real idea of its importance or of its duration. Then follow four expeditions, the first two given very briefly, the last rather fully. As the years of the reign are not indicated, there is considerable difficulty in obtaining a satisfactory chronology. [Footnote: IR. 29 ff. Scheil, _Inscription Assyr. Archaïque de Samsi Ramman IV_, 1889. Abel, KB. I. 174 ff. Oppert, _Hist._, 122 ff.; Menant, 119 ff.; Sayce, RPi, I. 11 ff. Harper, 45 ff. For errors in writing cf. Scheil, VI; for use of rare words, _ibid._ VII.] The other carries the record two years further, but has not yet been published. [Footnote: MDOG. 28, 31 f. Through the courtesy of Dr. Andra, I was permitted to see this in the excavation house at Ashur in 1908.--Cf. also the palace brick, Scheil, RT. XXII. 37.]

The long list of expeditions which the Assyrian Chronicle attributes to the reign of Adad nirari (812-783) indicates that he must have composed Annals, but they have not as yet been discovered. Of extant inscriptions, the earliest is probably that on the statue base of Sammuramat (Semiramis), in which she is placed before her son and emphasis is laid on the fact that she is the widow of Shamshi Adad rather than that she is the mother of the reigning monarch. [Footnote: MDOG. 40, 24 ff. 42, 34 ff.] Next in time comes the inscription on the famous Nabu statue in which Adad nirari is placed first, but with Sammuramat at his side, and which accordingly marks the decline of the queen mother's power. [Footnote: Rawlinson, _Monarchies_, II. 118 n. 7; Photograph, Rogers, 511; _Religion_, op. 86; I. R. 35, 2; Abel-Winckler, 14; Abel, KB. I. 192 f.; Rogers, 307 f.; Winckler, _Textbuch_3, 27 f.; Meissner, _Chrestomathie_, 10; Menant, 127 f.] Near the end of his reign must be placed the two Kalhu inscriptions in which Sammuramat is not mentioned. One refers to the conquests from the sea of the rising sun to the sea of the setting sun, a statement which would be possible only after the conquest of Kis in 786. This is the document which throws a vivid light on the early history of Assyria, but the remainder is lost [Footnote: Layard, NR. II. 20. L. 70; I. R. 35, 3; Delitzsch, _Lesestücke_2, 99; Abel-Winckler, 13. Abel, KB. I. 188 ff. Sayce, RP¹, I. 3 ff.; S. A. Strong, RP², IV. 88f; Harper, 50 f.] and a duplicate adds nothing new. [Footnote: L. 70.] The other Kalhu inscription adds considerable material, but in a condensed form which makes it most difficult to locate the facts in time. The historical portion is divided into three sections which seem roughly to correspond with the chronological order. First comes a list of the peoples conquered on the eastern frontier, arranged geographically from south to north. As but two of these names are listed in the Assyrian Chronicle, and as each occurs several times, it is impossible to locate them exactly in time. The second section deals in considerable detail with an expedition against Damascus but the Chronicle does not list one even against central Syria. The fulness of this account shows that it took place not far from the subjugation of Kaldi land, the narrative of which ends the document and shows it to have been written not far from 786, its date in the Chronicle. [Footnote: Rawlinson, _Athenaeum_, 1856, 174; I R. 35, 1; Winckler, _Textbuch_3, 26 f. Abel, KB. I. 190 ff. Ungnad, I. 112 f.; Rogers, 306 f. Talbot, JRAS. XIX. 182 ff.; Harper, 51 f.; Meissner, _Chrestomathie_, 9; Menant, 126 f.--Nineveh brick, I R. 35, 4. Abel, KB. I. 188 f. Ashur inscriptions, KTA. 35 f.; MDOG. 22, 19; 26, 62.]

For the remaining reigns of the dynasty, we have only the data in the Assyrian Chronicle. No annals or in fact any other inscription has come down to us, and, so far at least as the annals are concerned, there is little likelihood of their discovery, as there is no reason to believe that any were composed in this period of complete decline. But, curiously enough, from this very period comes the document which throws the most light on the earliest period of Assyrian expansion, the so called Synchronistic history. [Footnote: II R. 65, 1; III R. 4, 3; Winckler, _Untersuch_., 148 ff.; CT. XXXVI. 38 ff.; cf. the introduction of Budge-King; King, _Tukulti Ninib._ Peiser-Winckler, KB. I. 194 ff.; G. Smith, _Disc_. 250 f.; Sayce, TSBA. II. 119 ff.; RP¹, III. 29 ff.; RP², IV. 24 ff.; Barta In Harper, 195; cf. Winckler, AOF. I. 114 ff.; Belck, _Bettr. Geog. Gesch._, I. 5 ff.] Adad nirari is the last ruler mentioned, but the fact that he is named in the third person shows that it was compiled not earlier than the reign of his successor Shalmaneser IV.

Our present copy is a tablet from the library of a later king, seemingly Ashur bani apal. [Footnote: Maspero, _Hist_., II. 595, dates its composition to this reign.] In form, it marks an advance over any historical document we have thus far studied, for it is an actual history for many centuries of the relations between Assyria and Babylonia. But it is as dry as possible, for only the barest facts are given, with none of the mass of picturesque details which we have learned to expect in the annals of the individual kings. Nevertheless, its advance over preceding documents should not be over estimated. Its emphasis on treaties and boundaries has led to the idea that it was compiled from the archives as a sort of diplomatic pièce justificative in a controversy with Babylonia over the possession of a definite territory. [Footnote: Peiser-Winckler, KB. I. 194 n. 1.] Its true character, however, is clearly brought out in its closing words "A succeeding prince whom they shall establish in the land of Akkad, victory and conquest may he write down, and on this inscribed stone (naru), eternal and not to be forgotten, may he [add it]. Whoever takes it, may he listen to all that is written, the majesty of the land of Ashur may he worship continually. As for Shumer and Akkad, their sins may he expose to all the regions of the world." [Footnote: IV. 32 ff.]

Obviously, then, this tablet of clay is only a copy of an earlier _naru_ or memorial inscription on stone, and we should expect it to be only the usual display inscription. This is still further proved by the introduction, mutilated as it is, "... to the god Ashur ... his prayer ... before his face I speak.... eternally a [tablet] with the mention.... the majesty and victory [which the kings of Ashur mad]e, they conquered all, [the march] of former [expedi]tions, who conquered..... [their booty to their lands they br]ought..." Clearly, this is the language of a display inscription and not of a diplomatic piece justificative. So we can consider our document not even a history in the true sense of the word, merely an inscription erected to the glory of Ashur and of his people, but with the "sins of Shumer and Akkad," in other words, with the wars of the Babylonians against "the land" [Footnote: Cf. Belck, _Beitr. Geog. Gesch. I._ 5 ff.--The double mention of Ashur bel kala and Shalmaneser points to double sources, one the original of BM. 27859, Peiser, OLZ. XI. 141.] and with the sinful destruction of Assyrian property they caused, also in mind. When we take this view, we are no longer troubled by the numerous mistakes, even to the order of the kings, which so greatly reduce the value of the document where its testimony is most needed. [Footnote: Cf. Winckler, AOF. I. 109 ff.] We can understand such "mistakes" in a display inscription, exposed to view in a place where it would not be safe for an individual to point out the truth. But that it could have been used as a piece justificative, with all its errors, when the Babylonians could at once have refuted it, is incredible.

The accession of Tiglath Pileser IV (745-728) marks a return to warfare, and the consequent prosperity is reflected in an increase of the sources both in quantity and in quality. [Footnote: For inscriptions of reign, cf. Rost, _Keilschrifttexte Tiglat-Pilesers III_; cf. also Anspacher, _Tiglath Pileser_, 1 ff.] Tiglath Pileser prepared for the walls of his palace a series of annals, in three recensions, marked by the number of lines to the slab, seven, twelve, or sixteen, and seemingly by little else. Originally they adorned the walls of the central palace at Kalhu, but Esarhaddon, a later king of another dynasty, defaced many of the slabs and built them into his south west palace. Thus, even with the three different recensions, a large part of the Annals has been lost forever. For years, the great problem of the reign of Tiglath Pileser was the proper chronological arrangement of this inscription. Thanks to the aid of the Assyrian Chronicle, it is now fairly fixed, though with serious gaps. Once they are arranged, little further criticism is needed, for they are the usual type, rather dry and uninteresting to judge from the extant fragments. [Footnote: Detailed bibliography of the fragments, Anspacher, _Tiglath Pileser_, 3 ff.; Discovery, Layard, NR. II. 300. L. 19 ff.; III R. 9 f. Rost, _de inscriptione Tiglat-Pileser III quae vocatur Annalium_, 1892; Rost, Iff.; 2 ff.; Winckler, _Textbuchs³_, 28 ff. Ungnad I. 113 ff.; Rogers, 313 ff.; Schrader KB. II. 24 ff.; Rodwell, RP¹, V. 45 ff.; Menant, 144 ff. For discussion of arrangements of fragments, cf. G. Smith,

Assyrian Historiography - 6/13

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