Annals of Shalmaneser III

updated by Alan Humm from the translation of

Daniel David Luckenbill

This translation is based on that of Daniel David Luckenbill in Ancient Records of Assyria and Babylonia, pp. 200-252 (Chicago, 1926). My contribution has been to update the language and place names—Modern names have been used where possible. If you know of some I have missed, or if I have gotten some wrong, please inform me. Unless otherwise indicated (by [AH] appended to the end) the descriptions come from Luckenbill.Notes are generally mine, unless noted with [DL]. Sections in blue type are related to biblical characters. Notes are in green. They are cursor hovering notes rather than footnotes. There are a couple of important documents which were unearthed after Luckenbill’s 1926 publication. I will get around to them, but as yet have not.

Please report errors to me (link at end of page). -Alan Humm

Contents:
The monolith inscription (Kurkh Stele)
Bronze Gates of Balâwât
Fragments of the royal annals
Throne inscription
The statue inscription
Inscriptions at the source of the Tigris
Miscellaneous Building Inscriptions
The Black Obelisk inscription

The monolith inscription (Kurkh Stele)

Our earliest annals text of Shalmaneser is the so-called “Monolith Inscription,” engraved, along with the figure of the king in relief, on a stele which came to the British Museum from Kurkh. The record of the military activities of the king, up to the battle of Karkar (sixth year), is given in detail. The stele was probably set up at the end of, or soon after, the sixth year. The text is published in IIIR, Plates 7 & 8.

Invocation of the gods. Titles and genealogy of the king

Column 1 lines 1–12

Assur, the great lord, king of all of the great gods; Anu, king of the Igigi and Anunnaki, the lord of the lands; Enlil, father of the gods, who decrees destiny, who establishes the bounds of heaven and earth; Ea, the wise, king of the Apsu, endowed with wisdom; the god Nanir, illuminator of heaven and earth; the hero god, Shamash, judge of the four regions of the world, who leads humanity in doing right; Ishtar, lady of conflict and battle, who delights in warfare, you great gods, who love my kingship, who have promoted my rule, power and authority, who have honored and dignified my name, far above all other lords!

Shalmaneser, king of all, prince, priest of Assur, mighty king, king of Assyria, king of all the four regions of the world, Sun of all peoples, ruler of all lands, king, sought out by the gods, favorite of Enlil, vigilant viceroy of Assur, honored prince who finds his way among the most difficult paths, who walks on the tops of mountains and highlands far and near, who receives the tribute and gifts of all regions, who opens up trails, north and south, who makes the regions of earth feel threatened at the prospect of fighting him, whose vigorous bravery shakes the lands to their foundations; mighty hero, who goes about, trusting in Assur and Shamash, his divine allies, who is without a rival among the princes of the four regions of earth; the king of lands, the heroic, who advances over difficult roads, traverses mountains and seas; son of Assur-nâsir-pal, prefect of Enlil, priest of Assur, whose priesthood pleased the gods, at whose feet all lands bowed in submission; glorious offspring of Tukulti-Urta, who killed all his enemies, and overwhelmed them like a flood.

When the great lord Assur, determined in his heart, and his holy eyes, to designate me, called me to rule over Assyria, gave to me the mighty weapon that casts down the rebellious, crowned me with a noble crown, the rule of all lands—to rule and forcefully subject the enemies of Assur, he sent me out.

Year of accession

(1.12–29) At that time, at the beginning of my kingship, in my first year of reign, when I solemnly took my place on the royal throne, I mustered my chariots and armies, and entered the passes of Simesi. When I came to Aridi, the royal city of Ninni, I stormed and captured it. I burned up their youths and their maidens in its fire. While I was in Aridi I received the tribute from the Hargeans, Harmaseans, Simeseans, Siresheans, and Ulmaneans—tamed horses, cattle, sheep, and wine. Then I left Aridi and encountered difficult roads, steep mountains, with summits pushing into the heavens like the blade of an iron dagger. I cut through with bronze and copper pickaxes, and lead chariots and troops over them. When I came to Hubuskia, with its 100 neighboring cities, I burned them up. Kakia, king of Nairîland got afraid of my terrible weapons and escaped with his armies into the high mountains. So I climbed the mountain after them, and fought a bloody battle there among the mountains. I completely defeated them and bought back chariots, troops, and tamed horses with me from the mountains. They were struck by the terrorizing fear of Assur, my lord, so they came down and prostrated at my feet. I imposed tribute and tax on them. Then I left Hubushkia and came to Sugunia, royal city of Arame, approaching the Armenians. I stormed the city and captured it, killing multitudes of their soldiers, and carrying off their booty. I built a pyramid of heads in front of their city. I set fire to the neighboring cities and left Sugunia, going down to the sea of Nairîland. I washed my weapons in the sea, offered sacrifices to my gods, and made a statue of myself (the glory of the great lord Assur, my lord) and inscribed the story of my great power; I set it up by the sea. Coming back, I received tribute from Asû the Guzanite—horses, cattle, sheep wine, two Bactrian camels; I brought them to my city of Assur.

Year 1

(1.29–2.13) On the 13th of Airu, I left Nineveh, crossed the Tigris, and came through the lands of Hasamu and Dihnunu to the city of La’la’ti, ruled by Ahûni, son of Adini. Overwhelmed by the terrorizing fear of my lord Assur, they fled into the mountains. I destroyed, devastated and set fire to the city, left La’la’ti and came to Kika, Ahûni’s royal city. He trusted in the size of his army, and came out to fight me. But I trusted in Assur and my lords, the great gods, so I defeated him, trapping him in his city. Then I left and came to Burmar’ana, one of his cities, which I stormed and captured, killing 300 of their soldiers. I build a pyramid of their heads in front of the city. I accepted tribute from the Hapini the Til-abnite, from Ga’uni the Sallite, and from Giri-Adad the …ite—silver, gold, cattle sheep, and wine. Leaving Burnar’ana I crossed the Euphrates using goat-skin rafts. There I accepted tribute from Katazilu of Commagene—silver,gold, cattle, sheep, and wine. I approached Pakarruhbuni and Ahûni’s cities on the other side of the Euphrates. I overthrew the whole land turning his cities into ruins. I filled the wide plain with his fallen soldiers, killing 1,300 of them. I left Pakarruhbuni and arrived at the cities ruled by Mutalli the Gurgumean. Mutalli gave me silver, gold, cattle, wine, and his daughter (with her expensive dowry). So I left Gurgum and came against Lutibu, the royal city of Haianu the Sam’alite. Haianu, with Sapalulme the Hattinite, Ahûni son of Adini, and Sangara of Carchemish (they trusted in each other’s help), prepared for battle and came out to resist me. I fought and defeated them, using the mighty power of Nergal, who goes before me, and the terrible weapons which the lord Assur gave me, I killed their soldiers. Like Adad, I rained destruction upon them; and piled them up in the moat and filled the wide plain with the bodies of their soldiers. I dyed the mountains like red wool with their blood, and took many chariots and tamed horses. I build a pyramid of heads in front of his city, and destroyed, devastated, and set fire to his other cities.

At that time I humbly acknowledged the greatness of the great gods; and extolled the heroic might of Assur and Shamash for all time to come. Then I made a heroic image of my royal self, and inscribed my own heroic deeds and brave actions on it. I set it up at the sources of the Saluara River, which is at the foot of Mount Amanus. I left Mount Amanus and crossed the Orontes River coming to Alimush, the stronghold of Sapalulme the Hattinite. Sapalulme, to save his life, called on Ahûni, Sagara, and Haianu, as well as Kate the Kuean, Pihirisi the Hilukite, Buranate the Iasbukite, and Ada… Assur, (Col. II)… I shattered their forces. I stormed and captured the city.....I carried off . . . his many chariots, tamed horses, …… I killed….. In the middle of that battle, I captured Buranate. Next, I approached the fortress of the Hattineans in the area of the Upper Sea of Amurri, and the Mediterranean, and overthrew them so that they were like the ruins left by a flood. I accepted the tribute from the kings of the sea­coast. I marched along the shore of the wide sea, vindicated and triumphant and I made an image of my royal self, as witness of my name for all time to come, and set it up by the sea. Then I climbed Mount Amanus and cut timbers of cedar and cypress. I marched to the mountain of .... to Mount Atalur, where the image of Anhirbi had been set up, and erected my statue alongside of his. I went down to the sea where I captured the cities of Taiâ, Hazazu, Nulia, and Butâmu, which belonged to the Hattinean. I killed 2,800(?) of his soldiers, and captured another 14,600 of them as booty. I accepted the tribute from Ararne, son of Gûzi,—silver, gold, cattle, sheep, wine, and a couch of gold and silver.

Year 2

(2.13–30) In the year named after me, on the 13th of Airu, I left from [Nineveh]. I crossed the Tigris, marched across the lands of Hasamu and Dihnunu, and approached Til-bursip, the fortress of Ahûni, son of Adini. He, trusted in the size of his army, and came out to fight me; I accomplished his overthrow. I trapped him in [his city]. From there I departed, and crossed the Euphrates in goat-skin rafts at flood-time. I stormed and captured the cities of …gâ, Tagi……Sûrunu, Paripa, Tilbasherê, and Dabigu—six of Ahûni’s strong cities and killed many of his soldiers, carrying off their spoil. I destroyed, devastated, and set fire to 200 nearby cities, then moved on from Dabigu to Sazabê, the fortress of Sangara of Carchemish. I stormed and captured the city, killed many of his soldiers, carried off their spoil, and destroyed, devastated, and set fire to the nearby cities. All the kings of the land of Amurru grew terrified at the approach of my mighty, awe-inspiring weapons, and my grim warfare, and they prostrated themselves at my feet. From of the Hattinites, I received three talents of gold, 100 talents of silver, 300 talents of copper, 300 talents of iron, 1,000 copper vessels, 1,000 brightly colored wool and linen garments, his daughter with her expensive dowry, 20 talents of purple wool, 500 cattle, and 5,000 sheep. I imposed one talent of silver, two talents of purple wool, and 200 cedar logs, upon him as his tribute. I received annually it in my city Assur. I received from Haiânu son of Gabbari, who lived at the foot of Mount Amanus.—10 talents of silver, 90 talents of copper, 30 talents of iron, 300 brightly colored wool and linen garments, 300 cattle, 3,000 sheep, 200 cedar logs, two homers of cedar resin, and his daughter with her rich dowry. I laid upon him as his tribute 10 minas of silver, 100 cedar logs, a homer of cedar resin, which I received annually. I accepted from Aramu, son of Agûsi,—10 minas of gold, 6 talents of silver, 500 cattle, 5,000 sheep. From Sangara, of Carchemish I received,—three talents of gold, 70 talents of silver, 30 talents of copper, 100 talents of iron, 20 talents of purple wool, 500 weapons, his daughter, with dowry, along with 100 of his nobles’ daughters, 500 cattle, and 5,000 sheep. I imposed on him as tribute—one mina of gold, one talent of silver, two talents of purple wool, received annually. I accepted an annual tribute from Katazilu of Kummuhu,—20 minas of silver, and 300 cedar logs.

Year 3

(2.30–66) In the year named after Assur-bêl-kain, on the 13th of Duzu, I left Nineveh, crossed the Tigris, went through the lands of Hasarnu and Dihnunu to Til-bursip, the fortress of Ahûni, son of Adini. Ahûni, terrified by my terrible, awe-inspiring weapons and my grim warfare, crossed over the Euphrates to save his life, and made his way to other lands. At the command of my lord Assur, the great lord, I annexed Til-bursip, Aligu, [Nappigi], Rugulit as royal cities. I settled Assyrians there, built Palaces in them for my royal residence. I renamed Til-bursip’s as Kâr-Shalmaneser, Nappigi as Lita-Assur, Alligu as Asbat-lakunu, and Ruguliti as Kibit–.

At that time I restored the city of Ana-Assur-uter-asbat on the Sagur River (across the Euphrates), which the Hatti people called Pitru, and the city of Mutktnu (on this side of the Euphrates), which Tiglath-pileser, my ancestor before me, had settled, and which in the reign of king Assur-rabi of Assyria, the king of Arumu had seized; I settled Assyrians there. While I was staying in Kâr-Shalmaneser, I received the tribute from the kings of the seacoast and the kings along the banks of the Euphrates—silver, gold, lead, copper, copper vessels, cattle, sheep, and brightly colored woolen and linen garments.

I left Kar-Shalmaneser, and going through the land of Sumu(?), descended upon the land of Bit-Zamani. On leaving Blt-Zamani I went through the lands of Namdanu and Merhisu, following difficult roads and steep mountains, with summits pushing into the heavens like the blade of a dagger. I cut through with bronze pickaxes; and led chariots and troops over them. Against came down on the land of Enzite in Ishua. I completely conquered Enzite; I destroyed, devastated, and set fire to their cities and carried off vast amounts of their booty, property and goods. I made a heroic statue of my royal self. The glory of my lord Assur the great lord, and inscribed my powerful deeds on it. I set it up in Saluria, under an empty…., and left Enzite. I crossed the river Arsania to the land of Suhme, capturing Uashtal, its fortress. I destroyed, devastated, and set fire to the land of Suhme in its entirety, seizing Sûa, their governor. I left the land of Suhme and descend on the land of Daiaeni, where I captured the city of Daiaeni in its totality, destroying, devastating, and burning their cities, and seizing vast amounts of their booty, goods, and possessions. Then I left Daiaeni.

Then I came to Arzashku, the royal city of Arramu, the Annenian. Arramu grew frightened of my mighty, awe-inspiring weapons, and my grim warfare, and escaped from his city. He went up into Mount Adduci, so I climbed the mountain after him, and fought a terrible battle in the midst of the mountains; I killed 3,400 of his soldiers. I rained destruction upon them like Adad. I dyed the mountain like red wool with their blood. I took his camp from him, bringing out of the mountain large quantities of chariots, cavalry, horses, mules, colts(?), goods, spoil, and property. Arramu, to save his life, climbed a steep mountain. In my virile vigor I trampled down his land like a wild bull. His cities I turned to wastes, destroying, devastating, and burning Arzashku, along with its nearby cities. I built four(?) pyramids of heads in front of its gate, and fastened some of his people alive onto these pyramids, while others I hung up on stakes around the pyramids. Then I left Arzashku.

I climbed up Mount Eritia and made a heroic statue of my royal self. I inscribed on it the glory of my lord Assur, and my great power; which I had displayed in the land of Armenia and set it up on Mount Eritia. When I left Mount Eritia, I came to the city of Aramalê; I destroyed, devastated, and set fire to its cities. From there I went to Zanziuna; he was afraid, and prostrated at my feet. I accepted tamed horses, cattle, and sheep from him. I had mercy on him. . . . . . . . . In the course of my march, I went down to Lake Van where I washed the terrible weapons of Assur in the sea. I offered sacrifices and made a statue of my royal self on which I inscribed the glory of my lord Assur, the great lord, my deeds of heroism, and my brave acts. Then I left the seashore.

I approached the land of Gilzânu. King Asâu of Gilzânu, together with his brothers, and his sons, came out to meet me. [I accepted from him tribute and gifts for my royal self— tamed horses, cattle, sheep, wines, and seven Bactrian camels. I made a heroic statue of my royal self and inscribed on it the glory of my lord Assur, the great lord, and the great power which I had displayed in the land of Nairî. I set it up in his temple in the middle of the city. I left Gilzanu, coming to Shilaia, the fortress of Kâki, king of Hubushkia. I stormed and captured the city, killing many of his soldiers, and carrying off 3,000 of them as captives, along with their cattle, sheep, horses, mules, and numerous colts(?), bringing them to my city Assur. I went into the pass in the land of Enzite, and came out through the pass in the land of Kirruri, north of Arbela.

A short résumé of the sorties against Ahûni before the fourth year

(2.66–69) Ahûni, son of Adini, had boldly and violently acted against my ancestor kings. At the beginning of my reign, in the year named after me, I left Nineveh and stormed his fortress Til-bursip. I surrounded it with my . . . . soldiers, and fought a battle in the middle of it. I cut down its parks and showered them with a fiery rain of spears. He grew afraid of my awe-inspiring weapons and my lordly splendor, left his city, and crossed the Euphrates to save his life.

Year 4

(2.69–78) The next year, the year named after Assur­bânaia-usur, I pursued him. He had made Mount Shîtamrat, a mountain peak on the bank of the Euphrates, which is like a cloud hanging from the heavens, into his fortress. At the command of my lord Assur, the great lord, and Nergal, who goes before me, I approached Mount Shîtamrat, into which none of my ancestors, had come. In three days the hero conquered the mountain, his stout heart bent on battle,—on his own feet he climbed up, and overcame the mountain. Ahûni trusted in his widely spread army and came out against me. He drew up the battle line. I hurled the weapons of my lord Assur among them, bringing on their defeat. I cut off his soldier’s heads. I dyed the mountain with the blood of his soldiers. Large numbers of his men hurled themselves off the cliffs of the mountain. I fought a terrible battle in the middle of his city. The awe-inspiring splendor of my lord Assur overwhelmed them, they came down; they prostrated themselves at my feet. Ahûni with his armies, chariots, cavalry, and the lavish and immeasurable wealth of his palace, came before me. I had the booty taken across the Tigris, brought to my city Assur, and distributed it among the peoples of my land. In the same year I marched against the land of Mazamua, entered the pass into the land of Bunagish, and approached the cities of Nikdime and Nikdiera. They were afraid of my mighty, awe-inspiring weapons and my grim warfare, and tried to escape on the sea in wicker(?) boats. I followed after them in goat-skin boats, fought a great battle on the sea, and defeated them. I dyed the sea with their blood like wool.

Year 6

(2.78–I02)In the year of Daian-Assur, on the 14th of Airu, I left Nineveh, crossed the Tigris, and approached the cities ruled by Giammu, near the Balih(?) River. Afraid of my dominion, and terrorized of my frightful weapons, they grew terrified; his nobles killed Giammu with their own weapons. When I came into Kitlala and Til-sha-mâr-ahi, I had (statues of) my gods brought into his palaces, where I spread a banquet. I opened his treasury and saw his wealth. I carried off his goods and property, and brought to my city Assur. I keft Kitlala and came to Kar-Shalmaneser. I crossed the Euphrates the second time, at its flood in goat-skin boats. I received the tribute from the kings on that side of the Euphrates,— Sangara of Carchemish, Kundashpi of Commagene, Arame son of Gûzi, of Lalli the Aslantepean, Haiani son of Gabari, Kalparuda of Hattina, and Kalparuda of Gurgum,—silver, gold, lead, copper, and vessels of copper, at Ina-Assur-uttir-asbat (on that side of the Euphrates, on the river Sagur, which the Hatti people call Pitru). Leaving the Euphrates, I approached Aleppo. They were afraid to fight with me, so they prostrated themselves at my feet. I accepted silver and gold, as their tribute. I offered sacrifices before the god Adad of Aleppo, and left Aleppo, moving on to the cities of Irhulêni, the Hamathite. I captured his royal cities of Adennu, Bargâ, Arganâ. I brought out his spoil, property, and palace goods and then set fire to the palaces. Then I left Argana and came to Karkar.

I destroyed, devastated, and set fire to Karkar, his royal city. <Irhulêni> brought twelve kings to his support; they came against me to offer battle and fight: 1,200 chariots, 1,200 cavalry, and 20,000 soldiers belonging to Hadad-ezer of Damascus; 700 chariots, 700 cavalry, and 10,000 [or 20,000] soldiers belonging to Irhuleni of Hama; 2,000 chariots, and 10,000 soldiers belonging to Ahab, the Israelite; 500 soldiers belonging to the Gueans; 1,000 soldiers belonging to the Musreans; 10 chariots and 10,000 soldiers belonging to the Irkanateans; 200 soldiers belonging to Matinuba’il the Arvadite; 200 soldiers belonging to the Usanateans; 30 chariots and [ ],000 soldiers belonging to Adunu-ba’il the Shianean; 1,000 camels belonging to Gindibu’ the Arabian; and [ ],000 soldiers [belonging to] Ba’sa, son of Ruhubi, the Ammonite. Trusting in the exalted might which the lord Assur had given me, in the mighty weapons, which Nergal, who goes before me, had presented to me, I battled with them. I routed them from Karkar to the city of Cilzau, killing 14,000 of their soldiers, raining destruction on them like Adad. I scattered their bodies far and wide, and covered the face of the desolate plain with their vast armies. Using my weapons, I made their blood to flow down the valleys(?). The plain was too small to let their bodies fall, the wide countryside was used up in burying them. I spanned the Orontes with their bodies like a bridge(?). In that battle I took from them their chariots, cavalry, and tamed horses.

Bronze Gates of Balâwât

The “Bronze Gates of Balâwât,” as they are popularly known from the alleged site of their discovery (in 1876), are one of the choicest treasures of the British Museum. From the earliest to the latest days of Assyrian history we hear of gates and doors of cedar, and other woods, “whose odor is pleasant,” covered with bands of bronze, sometimes even silver and gold, and set up in the entrances to palace or temple. In the Bronze Reliefs from the Gates of Shalmaneser, edited by King, will be found collotype reproductions of the thirteen bronze bands which formed part of the decoration of the “Balâwât Gates,” and which have generally been conceded to “represent the finest example of work in bronze repoussé which has survived from so early a period,” 123 King, Bronze Reliefs from the Gates of Shalmaneser , p. 9. Not so well known are the bronzes from the gates oa a palace of Assur nâsir-pal, father of Shalmaneser [DL]. The recent remarkable discoveries of Hall and Woolley a.t Tel Obeid, near the site of the ancient Ur, will hardly compel us to modify our estimate of the Shalmaneser bronzes, but they do raise the question as to whether King’s doubts as to their source, based upon the smallness of the mound of Balâwât, are justified. The reader is referred to King’s work for a detailed description of the bronzes, as well as for a bibliography of the more important works dealing with them. Below is given King’s table of “the thirteen bands in the British Museum in the chronological order of the scenes engraved upon them,” as well as a translation of the short descriptions engraved in the field above the figures by the Assyrian artists.

BAND 1

(upper register) I set up an image on the shore of Lake Van; I offered sacrifices to my gods

(lower register) I captured Sugunia, the city of Arame of Armenia

BAND 2

(upper register) Attacked [ ] of the land of Armenia

BAND 3

(upper register) I received the tribute of ships from Tyre and Sidon.

(lower register) Attacked the city of Hazazu

BAND 4

(upper register) Attacked Dabigu, the city of Ahûni, son of Adini

BAND 5

(upper register) Tribute from the Unkians

BAND 6

(upper register) Tribute from Sangara of Charchemish

BAND 7

(upper register) I captured the city of Arame, the Armenian

(lower register) Tribute from Gilzani

BAND 8

(upper register) I captured Uburne, the city of Anhiti of Shupria

BAND 9

(upper register) I captured the city of Pargâ and Adâ, a city of Urhilêni in Hama (lower register) I captured Karkar, the city of Urhilêni in Hama

BAND 10

(lower register) I captured and set fire to Kulisi, the royal city of Mutzuata. I entered the sources of the river, offered sacrifices to my gods, and set up my royal image

BAND 11

(upper register) The tribute from Adini, son of Dakuri, the Chaldean

BAND 12

(upper register) I captured Arnê, the city of Arame

(lower register) I captured …agdâ, the city of Arame, son of Gusi

BAND 13

(upper register) I captured Ashtamaku, the royal city of Irhulêni in Hama, along with 86 cities

SHEATHING

In addition to the bronze bands which were nailed across the doors and around the massive doorposts, there was a sheathing of bronze running from the top to the bottom of the free edge of each of the doors. On these edgings was engraved the so-called “Gate Inscription,” in duplicate. Only a selected few events from the first four years are recorded and the inscription closes with a detailed account of the campaigns against Babylonia, years 8 and 9. But in view of the fact that the scenes and inscriptions on the bands include the campaigns against Arnê and Ashtamaku, it is probable that the gates were not set up until after the eleventh year.

The text was published in TSBA, VII, 89 f., and again by Pinches, The bronze ornaments of the palace gates of Balawat. See also Billerbeck and Deliltsch in BA, VI (Part I), and Unger, Zum Bronzetor von Balawat.

Titles and genealogy of the king; résumé of his conquests

(1.1–2.3) Shalmaneser, the great and mighty king, king of the universe, king of [Assyria, son of Assur-nâsir-pal, king of the universe, king of Assyria, grandson of Tukulti-Urta, king of the universe, king of] Assyria; the powerful hero who in the four regions of the world gives no quarter, who conquers rebellion, to whose hand all the regions of the earth are entrusted, who crushes those who do not submit to Assur; the mighty flood, in whose hands Assur has set the ends of the lands. King of the regions (of earth, who is covered) with splendor, who is fearless in battle, [under the yoke of whose dominion, mighty and ruthless kings, as far as the setting sun, have bowed ....... Shalmaneser, the rightful ruler, priest of Assur, the powerful.

Year of accession

At that time, when the great lord Assur, [my lord, had uttered my name for the rulership] of the nations, and had crowned me with the exalted crown of dominion, (when) he had entrusted to my hand the sword, the scepter and the staff to rule all peoples, and I was going about, trusting in the aid of my lord Assur, the great lord, and the god who loves my priesthood, and when he had placed all lands and mountain regions, to their farthest border, under my hand;—I, Shalmaneser, the mighty king, the Sun of all peoples conquered from Lake Van and lake Urmia, to the Mediterranean,— I overwhelmed the Hittite-land to its farthest border so that it was like a mound left by the flood. I carried away 44,400 mighty soldiers from their lands and counted them with the people of my land………The splendor of my sovereignty I poured out over the Hittite­land.

Year 1

(2.3–5) On my march to the sea, I made a heroic image of my royal (self) and set it up beside the image of Anhirbe. I destroyed, devastated, and set fire to the cities along my path..... I marched to the Great Sea where I washed my weapons, offered sacrifices to my gods, and accepted the tribute from all the kings of the seacoast. I made a heroic image of my royal self, inscribed on it the mighty deeds which I had done by the shore, and set it up by the sea!

Year 3

(2.5–3.5)From Enzite to Daiaeni, from Daiaeni to........ I captured, destroyed, devastated, and set fire to Arsashkun, the royal city of Arama of Armenia. While I tarried in Arsashkun, Aramu of Armenia put his trust in the number of his troops and mustered all of his armies. He advanced against me intent on battle and combat. I defeated him; I shattered the resistance of his soldiers, striking down 3,000 of his fighters. I filled the wide plain with the blood of his soldiers. Then I took his battle equipment, his royal treasure, and his cavalry. To save his life he climbed a steep mountain. I ravaged the broad land of the Kutê like Girra I thundered over them like Adad the Storm-god from Arsashkun to Gilzani, from Cilzsni to Hubushkia. I established my harsh rule over Armenia.

620 I shut up Ahûni, son of Adini in his city, who since the days of my ancestor kings had been exercising haughty and forceful rulership, carrying off his grain, and cutting down his orchards. To save his life he crossed the Euphrates and took refuge in his fortress Shitamrat, a mountain peak which hangs from the sky like a cloud, located on the bank of the Euphrates ........

Year 4. Defeat and capture of Ahûni

62l (3.5–6)The next year I went after him. I besieged the mountain peak. My soldiers pursued them like the divine Zu-bird. I carried off 17,500 of his soldiers. I took Ahûni, together with his armies, his gods, his chariots (and) his horses for myself, and I brought (them) to my city Assur, and counted them among the people of my land.

Year 8. Against tire rebels in Babylonia

622 (4.l–5)In the year named after Shamash-bêl-usur during the reign of Marduk-zâkir-shumi, king of Babylonia, Marduk-bêl-usate, his brother, revolted against him tearing the whole land in half. Marduk-zâkir-shumi sent his rnessenger to Shalmaneser, to ask for his aid. Shalmaneser, the powerful, the ferocious, whose ally is the god Urta, marched out, and gave the order to advance upon Akkad. When I drew near to the city of Zaban, I offered Sacrifices before my lord Adad. Then I left Zaban, coming to the city of Mê-turnat. I stormed that city, captured, and slew its inhabitants, carried off its spoil and left. When I came to the city of Gannannte, Marduk­bêl-usate, the wretched king, who did not know what he was doing, came out offering battle and combat. I defeated him, killed his people, and trapped him in his city, I carried off the grain of his fields, cut down his orchards, and dammed up his river.

Year 9. Against Babylonia

(4.5–6.8) On a second campaign, in the year named after Bêl-bunâia, on the 20th of Nisanu I left Nineveh, crossed the Great and Little Zap Rivers, and came to the city of Lahiru. I stormed and captured it, killed its people, and carried off its spoil. Leaving Lahiru I approached Gannanate. Marduk-bêl-usate got away, like a fox, through a hole in the wall, and headed toward the Iasubi mountains, He made the city of Arman into his fortress there. I captured Gannanate, killed its inhabitants, and carried away its spoil. Then I climbed the mountain in pursuit of him, trapping him in Arman. I stormed and captured that city, slew its inhabitants, and carried off its spoil. I cut down Marduk-bêl-usate with the sword, and not one of his camp-followers who were with him escaped.

After Marduk-zâkir-shumi had conquered his foes, and Shalmaneser, the mighty king, had attained to all his heart’s desires, he (Shalmaneser) obeyed the command of the great lord Marduk. Shalmaneser, king of Assyria, issued the command to proceed to Babylon. He reached Kutha, the city of the warrior of the gods, the exalted Nergal, He bowed humbly in prayer at the door of the temple, offered his sacrifices, and presented his gifts. He entered Babylon, the connecting-link between heaven and earth, the abode of life. He went up to Esagila, the temple of the gods, the abode of the king of the universe. Before Enlil and the queen he made his reverent appearance and directed their step. He lavished splendid sacrifices and pure offerings upon Esagila; he offered his pure sacrifices in the shrines of the gods of Esagila and Babylon. He went to Borsippa, the city of the warrior of the gods, the exalted, the ferocious Son. He entered Ezida, the house of destiny, the house of his unchangeable law. He bowed in prayer and directed his step, reverently, into the presence of his lords Nabû and Nanâ. He provided large cattle and fat sheep which he offered up lavishly; he offered gifts to all alike in the shrines of the gods of Borsippa and Ezida; he prepared a feast for the people of Babylon and Borsippa, the protégés, the freemen of the great gods—he gave them food and wine, clothed them in brightly colored clothes, and presented them with gifts.

After the great gods had looked on Shalmaneser with favor, the mighty king, king of Assyria, and had “directed” his countenance, had accepted his self-abasement and praise, And had heard his prayer, I left Babylon, and went down to Chaldea, arriving at the city of Bakâni, the fortress of Adinu, son of Dakûri. I stormed and captured it, killing a large number of his men. I carried off their heavy booty—their cattle and their sheep. I destroyed, devastated, and set fire to that city. When I left Bakani I crossed the Euphrates with him, and approached Enradi, Adinu’s royal city. The terrible splendor of the great lord Marduk overwhelmed Adinu, so I received heavy tribute,—gold, silver, copper, lead, iron………, copper, and elephant tusks and hides. While I was there on the shore of the sea, I accepted tribute from King Iakinu of the sea-land, and from Mushallim-Marduk son of Aukani,—silver, gold, lead, copper……., and elephant tusks and hides.

Fragments of the royal annals

A. FROM ASSUR

From Kalat Sherkat we have three fragments of the annals as they were edited some time after the sixteenth year. The texts are published in KAH, II, Nos. 112-114. It is possible that the first of these, which contained a full account of the events of the year of accession, belongs to a much earlier period.

Titles and genealogy of the king

1. (KAH II #112.obv.) [Shalmaneser, etc. ……… son of Assur-nâsir-pal), the exalted [priest], whose priesthood [was pleasing to the gods, and who brought all [lands] in submission to his feet]; illustrious offspring of Tukulti-Urta, who slew all his foes and [destroyed them like a hurricane.]

Year of accession

At that time, at the beginning of my reign, [when I solemnly seated myself] on the royal throne, [I mustered] my chariots and armies, [entered] the passes [of Simesi], and advanced into the city of Aridu, the fortress of Ninni. I stormed and captured it, killed many of its soldiers, and carried off [their spoil]. From Aridu I went and set fire to Hubushkia, together with 100 nearby towns. King Kâki of Huhushkia, [terrified] of my mighty arms, made the mountain into his fortress. [I waged] a fierce battle on the mountain……

Year 3 (?)

(KAH II #112.rev.) ….. from the city……from the land of Gilzânu……like…….

Summary

……lands and mountains……I imposed tribute and tax, and service……

Hunting exploits of the king

The gods Urta and Nergal, who love my priesthood, have entrusted [the wild creatures of the field] to me, [commanding me] to follow the chase…. I killed…X+73 wild oxen, 399…,……[X lions?] from my hunting chariots and by my fearless attack, [with…… I also killed] X+33 elephants by ambushing them....

Year of accession

2. (KAH II #113.1 (obv.)) …… I carried off their plunder. After leaving Aridu I approached and set fire to Hubushkia, along with 100 nearby cities. King Kâki of Hubushkia, was terrorized my mighty weapons, and turned the mountain into his fortress. I climbed the mountain, and waged a fierce battle on the mountain. I brought down what was left of their possessions out of the mountain and left Hubushkia. When I got to the sea of Nairî, I washed my weapons in the sea, and offered sacrifices to the gods. On my return, I received the tribute from Azû, the Gilzânite and brought it to my city Assur.

Year 1

In the first year of my reign I crossed the Euphrates at its flood, and advanced to the [Mediterranean, of] the setting sun. I washed my weapons in the sea, and offered sacrifices to my gods. Next I climbed Mount Amanus. I cut logs of cedar and pine, then I climbed Mount Lallar, and set up my royal [image] there. I destroyed, devastated, and set fire to the cities of the Hattineans: those ruled by Ahûni, son of Adini, those of the people of Carchernish, and those of the people of Bargun, which are on the other side of the Euphrates.

Year 2

In my second year I left Nineveh for Til-Bursip. I destroyed, devastated, and set fire to Ahûni’s cities. I trapped him in his city, and then crossed the Euphrates at its flood. In my second campaign, I advanced against Dabigu, a fortress of Hatti, together with its nearby cities, and against the rest of the cities of all of those countries. I destroyed, devastated, and set fire to them. Then I received the tribute from all the kings who live on the other side of the Euphrates, establishing my might and power over all lands.

Year 3

[In my third year; Ahûni, son of Adini, grew afraid before my [terrible] weapons. He left his royal city of Til-Barsip.

(End of Col. 1. Cols. 2 and 3 are gone)

Year 15

2. (KAH II #113. 4 (rev.)) …I killed [the soldiers of Ennam]...... and carried off their spoil.

After I left Ennam, I traveled up the Euphrates, and came against Aslantepe. I accepted the tribute from Lalli, the Aslantepeian,—[silver, gold, lead, and copper. I made my royal image and set it up by the Euphrates.

Year16

[In my sixteenth] year I left from Arbela crossing Mount Kullar. In the land of Inner Zamua(?), I seized the city of ...... I advanced from Inner Zamua to the land of Munna and from Munna to the land of Allabria. There, in Adira(?), the royal city of Ianzi the Allabrian, I carried off the beautiful golden door-leaves from his palace, along with a large number of his palace [treasures]. Leaving Allabria [I came to ..... ] Parzua. I burned from Parzua to the city of ...., and from Sabiddâni to the city of Hamban, pouring over them the brilliance of my majesty(?). King Marduk­mudammik, of [Namri], trusted in size of his army and rode out against me with his cavalry and foot-soldiers to offer battle and fight. He drew up the battle line in front of me by the Namri River. I defeated him and seized his cavalry. Marduk-mudarnmik grew afraid before my terrible weapons; to save his life, he deserted and fled from his strong, walled Tukliash cities of Shumurzu, Bît-Adad, and Niku, so I made a raid upon his palaces. I carried off his gods, his goods, his property, the valuables of his palaces, and his tamed horses, in countless number. Then I accepted the tribute from Parû, of Ellipi, in the pass of Tukliash. The chilling terror of my weapons, and the brilliance of my majesty [overwhelmed him ………

Year 15

3. (KAH II #114) …… by the Euphrates, I devastated, and plundered ......... of the Euphrates ……… of Assur I set up there …… I …… I received from him. I set up. …… my royal image…… On my return, ........ I marched against Suhni ....... along with the nearby cities, I captured,…… I carried off their spoil. I went from Suhni to……I drew near ……large cities, killing many of their soldiers. I went from.......... and approached ……. [I accepted] tribute from [Lalli the Aslantepeian]—silver, gold and lead. [I made my royal image and] set it up by the Euphrates.

Year 16

[In my sixteenth year, I left from Arbela.] .... Mount Kullar, I seized the city of –tu …… I moved on……Adira, the royal city of Ianzi the Allabrian, I carried off……from his palace, in large numbers……. Parzu ....... fire ……his……

B. FROM CALAH

On two large bull-colossi, from the center of the mound at Nimrûd, we have slightly varying copies of a version of Shalmaneser’s annals which ended with the eighteenth year (text published in Layard, Inscriptions, Plates 12 f. and 46 f.), See also Delitzsch, BA, VI, 144 f., whose numbering of the lines is here followed.

Shalrnaneser, king of all people, prince, etc.

(The text continues in the words of the Monolith Inscription, § 596, with the following variants:)

1. the four regions feel themselves threatened, the cities are shaken;

2. son of Assur-nâsir-pal, exalted prince whose priesthood etc.

3. (After last words of § 597:) Conqueror from Lake Van and Erçek Gōlü, to the Mediterranean, as far as Mount Amanus,— I brought the Hittite-land to its farthest border under my sway. My hands conquered from the source of the Tigris to the source of the Euphrates. I overwhelmed all lands from Enzite to Suhni, from Suhni to Melidi, from Melidi to Daiaeni, from Daiaeni to Arsashkun, from Arsashkun to Gilzani, from Gilzani to Hubushkia, from the land of Namri to the Persian Gulf, which they call Bitter Sea, so that they were like the mounds of cities, left by the flood.

Traces of the annals of the third year of the reign are left (cf. KAH, II, 113 [Col. I. 29 f.] and 115).

Year 4

(lines 60–66) In my fourth year, in the month ……I left from Nineveh, crossing the Euphrates at its flood, I pursued [Ahûni, son of Adini], to Shîtamrat, a mountain [peak on the bank of the Euphrates he made into his fortress.] I stormed [that mountain] peak, and captured it. I carried [Ahûni] off, [together with his gods, his chariots, his horses, his sons, his daughters, and his army, bringing them to my city Assur.]

[The same year] I left my city, crossed Mount Kullar, [and marched against Zamua. I captured the cities of Nikdime and Nikdiara]. His surviving troops [tried to escape by sea in wicker boats], I followed them, killed many of them in a sea [battle, and dyed the sea like wool with their blood].

Year 5

(lines 66–67) [In my fifth year, I went up against] Mount Kashiari, capturing 11 mighty cities. I trapped [Anhiti the Shuprean, in his city, and accepted many gifts] from him.

Year 6

(lines 67–75) In my sixth year I left from Nineveh, and approached the cities on the banks of the Balih River. [The land] was afraid before my powerful weapons, and killed Giammut [the ruler of their city.] I entered Til-mâr-ahi and appropriated it for myself. I left the shore of the Balih, [crossing the Euphrates at its flood.] I received [the tribute] from the kings of Hatti, and then left Hatti and came to Aleppo, where [I offered sacrifices before Adad] of Aleppo.

From Aleppo I came to the city of Karkar. Hadad-ezer of Damascus, Irhuleni of Hama, together with 12 kings of the seacoast, trusted in each other’s might and marched out against me, offering battle and combat. I fought with them. I killed 25,000 of their soldiers, taking their chariots, cavalry, and weapons of war. They fled to save their lives, so I boarded boats and went into the sea.

Year 7

(lines 75–78) In my seventh year I attacked the cities of Habini ruled by Til-abni. I captured Til-abni and set fire to his fortress along with the surrounding cities. From there I went to the head of the Tigris, the place where the waters came forth and offered sacrifices. I cut down the cities that were not submissive to Assur, and received the tribute from the Nairîlands.

Year 8

(lines 78–79) In my eighth year, in the time of Marduk­zâkir-shumi, king of Babylonia, Marduk-bêl-usate, his brother, revolted against him. To take vengeance, I marched out and captured the cities of Mê-turnat and Lahiru.

Year 9

(lines 79–84) In my ninth year, in a second campaign, I captured the city of Gananâte. to save his life Marduk-bêl-usate fled to Aleppo. I followed after him. With the sword I cut down Marduk-bêl-usate, together with the rebels who were with him. Then I marched to Babylon and offered sacrifices in Babylon, Borsippa, and Kutha. I went down to Chaldea and captured their cities and then on to the sea which they call Bitter. In Babylon I received the tribute from Adini, son of Dakuri, of Mushallim-Marduk, son of Ukani—silver, gold, maple-wood, and ivory.

Year 10

(lines 84–89) In my tenth year I crossed the Euphrates an eighth time. I destroyed, devastated, and set fire to the cities of Sangar of Carchemish. Then I left the cities of the Caehemisian, and approached the cities of Arame, capturing Arnê, his royal city. I destroyed, devastated, and set fire to it along with l00 nearby cities. I killed their inhabitants, and carried off their spoil.

At that time Hadad-ezer of Syria, Irhuleni of Hama, together with 12 kings of the seacoast, trusted in each other’s might and advanced against me, offering battle and combat. I fought with them, and defeated them, taking from them their chariots, cavalry, and weapons of war. They fled for their lives.

Year 11

(lines 90–96) In my eleventh year, I left from Nineveh, crossing the Euphrates at its flood for the ninth time. I captured 97 cities of Sangar, then captured, destroyed, devastated, and set fire to 100 cities of Arame. I kept to the side of Mount Amanus, crossed Mount Iaraku, and descended against the cities of Syria. I captured the city of Ashtamaku, together with 99 smaller cities, killing their inhabitants, and carrying off their spoil.

At that time Hadad-ezer of Damascus, Irhuleni of Hama, together with 12 kings of the seacoast, trusted in each other’s might and advanced against me, offering battle and combat. I fought with them; I defeated them, killing10,000 of their soldiers. I took their chariots, cavalry, and weapons of war.

On my return march, I captured Apparazu, the fortress of Arame. At that time I received the tribute from Kalparundi of Hattina—silver, gold, lead, horses, cattle, sheep, and woolen and linen garments. I went up Mount Amanus and cut cedar logs.

Year 12

(lines 96–98) In my twelfth year, I left from Nineveh, and crossed the Euphrates for the tenth time. I marched against the land of Pakarahubuni. The inhabitants ran away to the steep mountain, so I stormed the mountain peak, captured it and slew their people. I brought down their booty, and their goods, out of the mountain.

Year 13

(lines 98–99) In my thirteenth year, I entered the pass of the city of Ishtarâte, I marched against the land of Iâtu, and captured it completely; I killed its inhabitants and carried off their booty I in huge quantities.

Year 14

(lines 99–102) In my fourteenth year, I mustered the people of the whole wide land, in countless numbers. I crossed the Euphrates at its flood with 120,000 of my soldiers.

At that time Hadad-ezer of Damascus, Irhuleni of Hama, along with 12 kings of the upper and the lower seacoast, mustered their numerous armies—countless soldiers—and advanced against me. I battled with them, defeated them, destroyed their chariots, and cavalry, and appropriated their weapons of war. They fled for their lives.

Year 15

(lines 102–67)In my fifteenth year, I marched against the land at Nairî. At the sources of the Tigris I cut an image of my royal self in the cliffs of the mountain, by the (place where the water) breaks forth. I wrote on it the glory of my might, the triumph of my power.

I went through the pass into the land of Tunibuni. I destroyed, devastated, and set fire to the cities of Arame of Armenia, as far as the source of the Euphrates,.

I returned to the source of the Euphrates where I offered sacrifices to my gods and washed the weapons of Assur in it. King Asia of Daianu came and prostrated himself before me. I accepted tribute and tax from him, then fashioned my royal image and set up in the middle of his city.

Year 18

(lines 41–52) In my eighteenth year, I crossed the Euphrates for the sixteenth time. Hazael of Damascus trusted in the masses of his troops. He mustered his troops in great numbers. He made Mount Saniru, a mountain peak which is in front of Mount Lebanon, into his fortress. I fought with him, defeated him, and killed 16,000 of his soldiers. I appropriated l,131 of his chariots, and 470 of his cavalry, together with his camp.

C. ADDITIONAL FRAGMENTS FROM ASSUR

Three more fragments of Shalmaneser’s annals, found at Assur (Kalat Sherkat), are here given. The first (KAH, II, No. 109) is a duplicate, with slight variants, of the Monolith Inscription (Col. I, lines 1-7); the second (KAH, II, No. 110) is a duplicate, with additions, of parts of the Obelisk Inscription; the third (ibid., No. 115) has the end (If the third year’s campaign as given in the Monolith, and the beginning of the fourth as given in the Obelisk.

1. (KAH, II #109) Assur, the great lord, king of all the great gods,…… Ea, king of the deep, lord of wisdom, …… Shamash, judge of heaven and earth, ……Ishtar, lady of battle and combat,…… who lordship, might ..... Shalmaneser, king ruler ...... who finds his ways among the most difficult paths.

Year 9

2. (KAH, II #110 (rev.)) He went up [to] Aleppo.... . . . I cut down with the sword...... I went down to Chaldea……the tribute from Adini, son of [Dakûri]—silver, gold, maple-wood ………

Year 10

In my tenth year, I crossed the Euphrates for the eighth time……from the cities of Carchemish to. . . . . . . together with 100 cities in the area. At that time Hadad-ezer of [Damascus]…… trusted in one another’s might…… I was able to defeat them. Their chariots …….

Year 11

In my eleventh year, [I left] from Nineveh…...[the cities of Arame] ……

Year 3

3. (KAH, II #115) of Kiaki of …… ……By the pass of Kiruri, I came out opposite Arbela.

Year 4

[In the year named after Daian-Assur], I left from Nineveh, crossed the Euphrates at its flood, and pursued Ahûni, son of Adini. He made Mount Shîtamrat, by the bank of the Euphrates, [which hangs like a cloud] in the sky, into his fortress. I stormed and captured [the mountain peak] and carried off [Ahûni, with the cities, his chariots], his horses, [his sons, his daughters and his arms] and [brought them to Assyria].

D. ANOTHER FRAGMENT FROM CALAH(?)

A fragment of the annals is published in KAH, Plate 5, No.6. It gives the events of the eighteenth year in greater detail than our other texts.

Year 18

In my eighteenth year, I crossed the Euphrates for the sixteenth time. Hazael of Damascus trusting in the size of his army, mustered a force of significant size, and established his fortress in Mount Saniru, a mountain peak at the border of Lebanon. I met him in battled, and was able to overthrow him. I kiled 6,000 of his soldiers, and apprehended 1,121 of his chariots and 470 of his cavalry, along with his camp. He ran for his life up into the mountain. I followed after him and trapped him in Damascus; his royal city. I cut down his orchards, and advanced as far as Mount Hauran destroying, devastating, and setting fire to countless cities. I carried off a great amount of their spoil. I marched to Mount Ba’li-ra’si, a headland of the [Mediterranean], and set up my royal image there. At that time, I accepted the tribute from the men from Tyre, Sidon, and from Jehu, son of Omri.

Throne inscription

On the throne of the black-basalt seated figure of Shalmaneser, found at Kalal Sherkat, and now in the British Museum, stands the following commemoratory inscription (text, Layard, Inscriptions, Plates 76 f.) [DL].

Dating this is a little trickier. The second paragraph describes Shalmaneser’s campaign to stabilize the dynasty in Babylon, which he elsewhere puts in the years 852-851. Then the repairs to the wall are said to take place, “At that time.” But the statue inscription uses the same language for wall repair during the end of Hadad’s reign and the beginning of Hazael’s in Damascus (843-842). It is unlikely that the walls were a one year project, so this need not be viewed as a problem, although it also means that it could have already been under way before 852, and still continuing after 843. In any case I have put the two descriptions with their respective datable entries. Non-datable ones (Miscellaneous Building Inscriptions) I have put with the throne inscription, since it is the longer of the two [AH].

On the throne of the black-basalt seated figure of Shalmaneser, found at Kalal Sherkat, and now in the British Museum, stands the following commemoratory inscription (text, Layard, Inscriptions, Plates 76 f.):

Shalmaneser, the mighty king, king of the universe, the king without rival, the absolute ruler, the powerful one of the four regions of the world, who shatters the might of the princes of the whole world, who has smashed all of his foes like pots, the mighty hero, the unsparing, who gives no quarter in battle, son of Assur-nâsir-pal, king of the universe, king of Assyria; grandson of Turkulti-Urta, king of the universe, king of Assyria, conqueror from the upper sea to the lower sea,—the lands of Hatti, Luhute, Adri, Labnana, Kuk, Tabali, Melidi, and discoverer of the sources of the Tigris and the Euphrates.

To avenge Marduk-zâkir-shumi, I marched against Akkad. I struck Marduk-bêl-usâte, his younger brother. I went into Kutha, Babylon and Borsippa, and offered my sacrifices to the gods of the cites of Akkad. Then I went down to Chaldea, and received the tribute from the kings of Chaldea.

At that time the great wall of my city Assur, and its outer wall, which my ancestor kings, who lived before my time, had built long ago,—those walls had become ruinous and old. I took the two of them for my first project from the Metal-Workers Gate up to the Tigris. I cleared their sites, going down to the foundations. I completely rebuilt them from their foundations up on a base of great blocks of mountain stone. Then I returned the steles of my ancestor kings to their places.

At that time I made a new stature of the god Kidudu, the guardian of the wall,—it had been destroyed with the wall.

I hope some future prince will restore theses walls again, when they once again fall into ruin. He should likewise restore my inscription to its place; then Assur will hear his prayers.

The name of the great wall is Whose-splendor-covers-the-landThe name of the outer wall is Oppressor-of-the-four-regions. Ulâ is guardian of his city. Kidudu is guardian of his wall.

The name of the Metal-Workers’ Gate of the great wall, the entrance of all lands is Subduer-of-princes, but the name ‘Metal-Workers’ Gate’ is preferred by its artisans. The gate of the entrance of the king, by the mushlal, is called She-who-firmly-establishes-the-throne. The gate of the temple towers is called Assur-is-subduer-of-the-proud. The Assur-gate is called The-king’s-guardian-deity-shines. The gate of the court is called Shamash-is-destroyer-of-the-arrogant. The gate of Shamash is called Wine-pourer-of-the-gods. The gate of the river landing is called Merciless-punishment. The gate of tisirri……

The statue inscription

The Berlin statue of Shalmaneser also came from Assur (Kalat-Sherkat) (text published in KAH, I, No. 30). [DL]

The paragraph on Syria (Hadad and Hazael of Damascus) describes events in the time frame of 843-842, BC. The attack on Namri which follows that probably comes from the year before that (844), even though he calls it his “second time.” The other annals have 844 (year 16) as his first attack on Namri, the second coming in year 24 (836) which is enough distant from the Syrian war to give us pause before assigning this tablet that late.

As I noted in my discussion of the Throne Inscription, construction on the walls seems still to be under way [AH].

Shalmaneser, the great king, the mighty king, king of all the four regions of the world, the powerful, the mighty rival of the princes of the universe, the great ones, the king, son of Assur-nâsir-pal, king of the universe, king of Assyria; grandson of Turkulti-Urta, king of the universe, king of Assyria; conqueror of Enzi, Gilzânu, Hubushkia, and Uratu,— I brought about their overthrow and burst upon them like fire. I snatched away from Ahûni, son of Adini, his gods, his armies, his land, and his household goods, for the people of my land.

At that time I defeated Hadad-ezer of Damascus together with his 12 allied princes. I brought low like shubi 29,000 soldiers, his fighters. The rest of his armies I drove into the Orontes River. They went up into the mountain to save their lives. When Hadad-ezer died. Hazael, the son of a nobody, seized the throne, mustered his large army and came out against me, offering battle and fight. I battled with him, and defeated him. I seized the wall of his camp from him. He went up into the mountain to save his life. I advanced as far as Damascus, his royal city. ({left hip} [I cut down] his orchards……[for] Anu and Adad……pacification……I received…

(reverse) A second time I marched against Namri, and carried away King Ianzû of Namri, together with his gods, the spoil of his land, and the property of his palace, to my city Assur. Then I went up to Mount Taurus, the silver mountain, and Mount Mulî, the marble mountain. I set up the image of my valor between them, and carried away immeasurable quantities of marble. I attacked Cilicia and Tabalu, striking their lands, and turning them to mound and ruins. I trapped the wicked enemy Katî in his capital city. The terrifying splendor of my sovereignty overcame him and he brought his daughter, with her dowry, to Calah, and prostrated himself at my feet.

683 At that time I rebuilt the walls of my city Assur from their foundations to their summits. I made an image of my royal self and set it up in the Metal-Workers’ Gate. The name of the great wall was Whose-splendor-covers-the-land, the name of the outer wall was, Oppressor-of-the-four-regions.

Inscriptions at the source of the Tigris

Shalmaneser’s inscriptions at the source of the Tigris have been edited by Lehman-Haupt (Materialien, Nos. 20f. [pp. 31f.]).

1. (KAH, II, # I07) This inscription mentions the Syrian wars against Hadad, but does not mention Hazael. He says it is the fourth time they have fought, which is already more than we know about with Hadad. Presumably that would date this inscription around year 17 (843, BC) [AH].

Shalmaneser, the great king, the mighty king, king of the universe, king of Assyria, king of all the great peoples, who with the aid of the gods Shamash and Adad, his helpers, marched forth in might and brought under his [control] mighty mountain regions from East to West; the powerful, unsparing king, who advanced in pursuit of his enemies and victoriously trampled down streams and difficult mountains, so that they were like the remains of a city left by the flood; son of Assur-nâsir-pal, king of Assyria, grandson of Tukulti-Urta, king of Assyria, conqueror from Lake Van. to the Mediterranean.

I brought in subjection the land of Hatti to its farthest border, the land of Melidi, the lands of Daiani and Suhme, Arzashkun, the royal city of Arame of Armenia, the lands of Gilzanu and Hubushkia, from the source of the Tigris to the source of Euphrates, from Lake Urmia, to the Persian Gulf. I marched to Babylon, offered sacrifices there and went down to the land of Chaldea. I captured their cities and received their tribute. Hadad-ezer of Damascus, Irhulini of Hama, along with 15 coastal cities, advanced against me, I fought with them for the fourth time and brought about their overthrow. [I destroyed their chariots and cavalry, and appropriated their battle equipment. They fled for their lives.

2. This inscription mentions attacking Nairî and going to the source of the Tigris, which he did in his 15th year (845). Of course, he may have done this on other occasions as well [AH].

To the great gods Assur, Sin, Shamash, Adad and Ishtar, who love my kingship, who make great my name: Shalmaneser, king of the universe, king of Assyria, son of Assur-nâsir-pal, [king of Assyria], grandson of Tukulti­Urta, king of Assyria; conqueror from Lake Van to the Mediterranean.

I conquered the entire Hittite-land…… [I went] into the passes of the land of Enzite, and entirely conquered lands of Suhme, Daiani and Armenia. Then I came against Gilzanu, and accepted their tribute. For the third time I attacked the land of Nairî and inscribed my name at the source of Tigris.

3. If it is Hadad who is leader of the coalition (rather than Hazael) then this probably dates to before the 17th year (843), as in #1, above. If not, well, it could be any time[AH].

Shalmaneser, the great king, the [mighty king, king of the universe, king of Assyria, king of all of the great peoples, the prince], the priest of Assur, (who) with the aid of the gods his helpers (Shamash and Adad), marched out in might and brought under his control] mighty mountain regions from East, [to West. the powerful], the unsparing king, who, fighting at the front and advancing in pursuit of his foes, has trampled them down victoriously, so that they were like a ruin left by the flood.

<I am> conqueror [from Lake Van to the Mediterranean,] who brought into subjection the entire Hittite-land, Melidi, Daiani, Suhme, Arazashkun, the royal city of [Arame of Armenia, the land of Gilzani], the city of Hubushkia, and the land of Armenia: [from the source of Tigris to the source of the Euphrates, from Lake Urmia to the Persian Gulf. I marched to Babylon and offered sacrifices in Babylon, Borsippa and Kutha. I went down and attacked the land of Chaldea, capturing their cities, and receiving tribute from the kings who had fled from there. The terror of my armies overpowered them, as far [as the Persian Gulf]..

[Hadad-ezer], king of Damascus along with 12 kings of the Hittite-land [advanced against me]. I fought with them for the fourth time and brought about their overthrow. I confiscated their chariots, their cavalry, and their battle equipment; [they fled for their lives.]

4. There are a number of parallels to #2, above, especially his claiming that this the third time he has attacked Nairî . If that was year 15 (845) probably this is too [AH].

To the great kings, Assur, Adad, Sin, Shamash, and Ishtar, who love my kingship, who, for a rule of power and might have made great my honored name: Shalrnaneser, king of all peoples, viceroy of Assur, the mighty king, king of Assyria; son of Assur-nâsir-pal, king of the universe, king of Assyria, grandson of Tukulti-Urta, king of the universe, king of Assyria. <I was> conqueror from Lake Van to the Mediterranean.

I conquered the entire Hittite-land; I entered into the passes of the land of Enzite and conquered Suhme, Daiani and Armenia. I accepted tribute of Gilzanu for the second time. For the third time I marched against the land of Nairî, I enscribed my name at the source of the Tigris.

Miscellaneous Building Inscriptions

A. FROM ASSUR

Before the removal to Calah, Shalmaneser was very active in the rebuilding of palace walls and temples at Assur.

1–3 Bricks from the palace, with inscriptions of varying length, published in Layard, op. cit., Plate 77B.: Lehman-Haupt, op. cit., No. I8; British Museum, bricks nos. 90,211–223; KAH, Nos. 104. 105, 107; and a bowl fragment in the British Museum (No. 56-9-9, 142), give only the genealogy of the king.

1. (KAH, II, # I07) Palace of Shalmaneser, king of the universe, king of Assyria; son of Assur-nâsir-pal, king of the universe, king of Asssyria; grandson of Tukulti-Urta, king of the universe, king of Assyria.

2. (KAH, II, #101) has an additional phrase at the end.

Shalmaneser, the mighty king, king of the universe, the king of Assyria; son of Assur-nâsir-pal, the mighty king, king of the universe, king of Assyria; grandson of Tukulti-Urta, king of Assyria; is builder of this house.

3. A somewhat different text is found in (KAH, II. #108)

Shalmaneser ……… prefect of Enlil, priest of Assur, son of Assur-nâsir-pal, priest of Assur; son of Tukulti­Urta, priest of Assur,

4–5 Inscriptions recording the restoration of the city wall are given below (KAH, I, No. 29 [ibid., II, No. 96, abbreviated form; bricks]):

4. Shalmaneser, king of the universe, [king of Assyria]; son of Assur-nâsir-pal, king of the universe, [king of Assyria]; grandson of Tukulti-Urta, king of the universe, king of Assyria.

5. KAH, II. No. I02, brick:

Shalmaneser, the mighty king, king of the universe, king of Assyria; son of Assur-nâsir-pal, the mighty king, king of the universe, king of Assyria; grandson of Tukulti-Urta, the mighty king, king of the universe, king of Assyria; builder of the city wall of Assur.

6–7 (cf. Andrae, Fest., p. 173.) Zigatu-inscriptions:

6. KAH, I, Nos. 26–28 Shalmaneser king of the universe, king of Assyria priest of Assur, son of Assur-nâsir-pal, king of the universe, king of Assyria priest of Assur, son of Tukulti-Urta, king of the universe, king of Assyria priest of Assur, for his life and the peace of his city.

Since the wall and its gates, which the kings who went before me had previously built, had fallen to decay, I completely rebuilt it, from foundation to cap, and laid down zigâte.

Let a prince who comes after me rebuilds them again, let him put back the tablet with my name to its place, and Assur, Adad and the great gods, will hear his prayers. Let him return them to their places of zigâte. 28th of Shakinate, in the year named after Iahalum. — chief minister.

7. KAH, II, No. 97Shalmaneser, prefect of Assur; son of Assur-nâsir-pal, prefect of Assur: grandson of Tukulti-Urta, prefect of Assur for life, for the welfare of his city.

The walls of its gates, which the former kings had previously built, had fallen into decay. I repaired its ruins from its foundation to its cap. I set up my zigatu. Let some future prince, when the wall of that gate shall fall to ruins again, rebuild it. Then Assur and Adad will hear his prayers. Let him restore my zigâti to their places.

8. , alabaster slab (KAH, II, No. 100):

Shalmaneser, king of the universe, king of Assyria; son of Assur-nâsir-pal, king of Assyria; grandson of Tukulti-Urta, king of Assyria. I got booty into my possession from the great sea of Amurru, the Mediterranean, and from the Persian Gulf, which they call the Bitter Sea.

When the wall of my city of Assur, which Tukulti-Urta, son of Shalmaneser, had built a good time ago, fell to decay, I cleared away its rums, and reached its foundation. From its foundation I rebuilt the wall all the way to its cap. I made it more beautiful than it was before; I made it splendid. I set up my memorial stele and my cylinder.

May some future prince restore its ruins, and return my inscription to its place, then Assur will hear his prayers.

The name of the outer wall is Destroyer of the (Four) Regions.

9. Unpublished inscription on a gold tablet in the collections of the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago:

Shalmaneser, prefect of Enlil, priest of Assur, son of Assur-nâsir-pal, priest of Assur, grandson of Tukulti-Urta, priest of Assur, conqueror from the upper sea to the lower sea, even the Persian Gulf, which they call the Bitter Sea, who marched to the Hittite-land, who brought it under his control to its farthest border: I went to Babylon, Borsippa and Kutha and offered my sacrifices.

When the old wall of my city Assur, which a good time ago Tukulti-Urta, son of Shalmaneser, a king who lived before me, had built aforetime, fell into ruins, I rebuilt it.

10. Brick inscription recording the restoration of the temple of Bêlit-nipha (text in KAH, II, No. 98).

Palace of Shalmaneser, prefect of Enlil, king of the universe, son of Assur-nâsir-pal, priest of Assur, king of the universe, grandson of Tukulti-Urta, priest of Assur, king of the universe. When the temple of my lady Bêlit-nipha, which my ancestor Tukulti-Urta, priest of Assur, had built a good time ago, fell to decay, I, Shalmaneser, king of Assyria, restored it.

11. Brickinscription recording the making of a golden image of the god Armada (text in KAH, II, No. 103).

Shalmaneser, prefect of Enlil, priest of Assur: son of Assur-nâsir-pal, priest of Assur; grandson of Tukulti-Urta, priest of Assur. The image of the god Armada, in the temple of my lord Assur, which had not existed before, which in my own wisdom I made of gold.

12.Brick inscription recording repairs on the wall of the AnuAdad temple (text in KAH, II, No. 106).

Palace of Shalmaneser, king of the universe, king of Assyria, son of Assur-nâsir-pal, king of Assyria, grandson of Tukulti-Urta, king of Assyria. From the retaining-wall of the temple of Anu and Adad.

B. FROM CALAH

The completion of the zigurrat at Calah (Nimrûd) was one of Shalmaneser’s building achievements. Bricks from the structure have found their way into more than one European museum. The texts vary in length, according to the fullness of the genealogy. See Layard, Inscriptions, Plate 78B; Lehman-Haupt, Materialien, Nos. 13–17; British Museum, Nos, 90, 224–227;98,068

Shalmaneser, the great king, the mighty king, king of the universe, king of Assyria, son of Assur-nâsir-pal, the great king, the mighty king, king of the universe, king of Assyria, grandson of Tukulti-Urta, king of the universe, king of Assyria: Brick. belonging to the structure of the zigurrat of Calah.

The Black Obelisk inscription

In the inscription on the famous “Black Obelisk” of the British Museum we are in possession of what was in all probability the final edition of the annals of Shalmaneser III (858–824 B.C.), This black alabaster monolith came from the central building at Calah (Calah), and is inscribed on its four sides with the record of the king’s military achievements from the year of accession to the thirty-first year. In addition to this inscription there are twenty small reliefs, with annotations, depicting the payment of the tribute of five conquered regions.

The text of the obelisk was published in Layard’s Inscriptions, Plates 87 f., and has been translated many times! The inscription on the fragment of a stone slab found at Kalat Sherkat seems to have been a duplicate of the obelisk inscription. This text, which breaks off at the end of the account of the campaign of the second year, was published in KAH, 1, No. 77.

Invocation of the gods, Titles and genealogy of the king (lines 1–21)

(1–21) Assur, the great lord, king of all the great gods; Anu, king of the Igigi and Anunnaki, the lord of lands; Enlil, the exalted, father of the gods, the creator; Ea, king of the Deep, who determines destiny; Sin, king of the tiara, exalted in splendor; Adad, mighty, pre-eminent, lord of abundance; Shamash, judge of heaven and earth, director of all; Marduk, master of the gods, lord of law; Urta, valiant one of the Igigi and the Anunnaki, the all powerful god; Nergal, the ready, king of battle; Nusku, bearer of the shining scepter, the god who decides; Ninlil, wife of Enlil, mother of the great gods; Ishtar, lady of conflict and battle, whose delight is warfare, great gods, who choose destinies, and who have made my kingdom great.

Shalmaneser, king of all peoples, lord, priest of Assur, mighty king, king of all the four regions, Sun of all peoples, despot of all lands; son of Assur-nâsir-pal, the high priest, whose priesthood was acceptable to the gods and who brought in submission at his feet all the countries; glorious offspring of Tukulti-Urta, who slew all of his foes and overwhelmed them like a flood.

Year of accession. Against the city of Aridu

(22–26) At the beginning of my reign, when I solemnly took my seat upon the royal throne, I mobilized my chariots and troops; I entered the passes of the land of Simesi, and captured Aridu, the fortress of Ninni.

Year 1. To the Mediterranean

(26–31) In my first year, I crossed the Euphrates at its flood; I advanced to the shore of the Mediterranean, where I washed my weapons in the sea and offered sacrifices to my gods. I climbed Mount Amanus and cut cedar and cypress timbers. I climbed Mount Lallar, and set up my royal image.

Year 2 Against the cites of Ahûni and the city of Dabigu

(32–35) In my second year, I approached Til-barzip, capturing the cities of Ahûni, son of Adini, and trapping him In his city. Then I crossed the Euphrates at its flood, and captured Dabigu, a fortified city of Hatti, along with its nearby towns.

Year 3. Against Ahûni and back to Assyria by way of Armenia

(35–44) In my third year, Ahûni, son of Adini, was frightened before my mighty weapons and retreated from Til-barzip, his royal city. I crossed the Euphrates and seized for myself the city of Ana-Assur-utir-asbat, which is on the Sagur river, on the far side of the Euphrates. The Hittite people called it Pitru. On my return, I entered the passes of the land of Alzi; I conquered the lands of Alzi, Suhni, Daiaeni, Tumme, Arzashkunu (the royal city of the Armenian king Arame), Gilzânu, and Hubushkia.

Year 4. Defeat and capture of Ahûni. Against the land of Zamua

(45–52) In the year named after Daian-Assur, I left from Nineveh, crossed the Euphrates at its flood, and pursued Ahûni, son of Adini. He made Shitamrat, a mountain peak on the bank of the Euphrates, his fortress. I stormed and captured the mountain peak. I carried off Ahûni, together with his gods, his chariots, his horses, his sons, his daughters, and his troops, and brought to my city, Assur. In that same year I crossed Mount Kullar and descended against Inner Zamua, I captured the cities of Nikdiara: the city of Ida and Nikdima.

Year 5. Into the Masius hills

(52–54) In my fifth year, I went up against Mount Masius. I captured eleven strongholds and trapped Assur-itti-sheruriai in his city. I received many gifts from him.

Year 6. Against the cities on the Balih, then against Hadad-ezer and his allies

(54–62) In my sixth year, I approached to the cities on the banks of the Balih. They slew Giammu, governor of their cities, so entered Til-Mâr-ahi. I crossed the Euphrates at it flood, and received gifts from all the kings of Hatti. At that time Hadad-ezer of Damascus, and Irhuleni the Hamathite, along with the kings of Hatti and the seacoast, relied on each other’s strength and came out against me to engage in battle. At the command of my lord Assur, the great lord, I fought with them and was able to defeat them. I appropriated their chariots, their cavalry, and their weapons of war and killed 20,500 of their soldiers.

Year 7. Against Til-abnê. To the source of the Tigris

(63–72) In my seventh year, I attacked the cities of Ha-rat, the Til-abnêite. I captured Til-abnê, his royal city, along with the towns in the area. I advanced to the source of the Tigris, from which the river emerges. I washed the weapon of Assur there, offered sacrifices to my gods, and spread a fantastic banquet. I made a heroic image of my royal self and inscribed on it the glory of my lord Assur, and all my brave deeds which I performed in various places, and set it up there.

Year 8. Against the rebels in Babylonia

(73–76) In my eighth year, Marduk-bêl-usâte, the younger brother, revolted against Marduk-zâkir-shumi, king of Babylonia, and the land was completely divided. In order to avenge Marduk-zâkir-shumi, I marched out and captured Mê-Turnat.

Year 9. Second campaign into Babylonia

(77–84) In my ninth year, I attacked Akkad a second time, besieging Gananate. As for Marduk-bêl-usâte, the terrifying splendor of Assur and Marduk overcame him and he went up into the mountains to save his life. I pursued him and cut down with the sword Marduk-bêl-usâte and the rebel army officers who were with him. I marched to the great cities and offered sacrifices in Babylon, Borsippa, and Kutha, presenting gifts to the great gods. Then I went down to Chaldea and captured their cities. The Chaldean kings brought me gifts. The terror of my weapons overwhelmed the enemy as far as the Persian Gulf.

Year 10. Against Sangara of Carchemish

(85–86) In my tenth year, I crossed the Euphrates for the eighth time. I captured the cities of Sangara of Carchemish and advanced against the cities of Arame. I captured Arnê, his royal city, along with 100 of his small cities.

Year 11. Against Hadad-ezer and his allies

(87–89) In my eleventh year, I crossed the Euphrates for the ninth time. I captured numerous cities. Then I came down upon the cities in the land of Syria where I captured 89 of them. Hadad-ezer of Damascus and twelve kings from the land of Hatti stood by each other, but I succeeded in overthrowing them.

Year 12. Against Pakarhubuna

(89–90) In my twelfth year, I crossed the Euphrates for the tenth time and marched against the land of Pakar-hubuna, carrying off their spoil.

Year 13. Against Iaeti

(90–91) In my thirteenth year, I went up against the land of Iaeti and carried off their spoil.

Year 14. Against the Syrian allies

(92–93) In my fourteenth year, I mustered all the resources of my land and crossed the Euphrates. Twelve kings advanced to meet me. I battled with them and successfully overthrew them.

Year 15. To the sources of the Tigris and Euphrates

(92–93) In my fifteenth year, I advanced to the sources of the Tigris and Euphrates, where I carved my royal image on their cliffs.

Year 16. Eastward against Namri

(93–95) In my sixteenth year, I crossed the Azaba river and marched against the land of Namri. King Marduk-mudammik of Namri, went into the mountains to save his life. I carried his goods, his armies, and his gods to Assyria. I appointed Ianzû, son of Hangan to king over them.

Year 17. To Mount Amanus

(96–97) In my seventeenth year, I crossed the Euphrates and went up on Mount Amanus where I cut cedar timbers.

Year 18. Against Hazael of Syria

(97–99) In my eighteenth year, I crossed the Euphrates for the sixteenth time. Hazael of Damascus came out in battle. I captured 1121 of his chariots and 470 of his cavalry from him, along with his camp.

Year 19. To Mount Anamus

(99–100) In my nineteenth year, I crossed the Euphrates for the eighteenth time. I went up on Mount Amanus and cut cedar timbers.

Year 20. Against Cilicia

(100–102) In my twentieth year, I crossed the Euphrates for the twentieth time. I went down and attacked the land of Cilicia, capturing their cities, and carrying off their spoil.

Year 21. Against Hazael

(102–104) In my twenty-first year, I crossed the Euphrates for the twenty-first time. I advanced against the cities of Hazael of Syria and captured four of them. I accepted gifts of the Tyrians, Sidonians, and Jubaylians.

Year 22. Against Tabal

(104–107) In my twenty-second year, I crossed the Euphrates for the twenty-second time. I went down and attacked the land of Tabal where I received the gifts from 24 kings of Tabal. Then I move on to Mount Taurus, the silver mountain, and Mount Mulî, the marble mountain.

Year 23. Against Aslantepe

(107–110) In my twenty-third year, I crossed the Euphrates. I captured Uetash, the royal city of Lalla of the land of Aslantepe The kings of the land of Tabal arrived and I accepted their gifts.

Year 24. Against Namri

(110–126) In my the twenty-fourth year, I crossed over the Little Zap River. I advanced through the land of Hashimur and went down to the land of Namri. King Ianzû of Namri, was frightened before my mighty weapons, and he went up into the mountains to save his life. I captured Sihishalah, Bît-tamul, Bît-sakki, and Bît-shedi, his fortified cities, killed his soldiers, and carried off his spoil. I destroyed, devastated, and set fire to his cities. The rest of them went up into the mountains, so I stormed and captured the mountain peak and killed their soldiers, bringing down their booty and goods. After I left from Namri, I received gifts from 27 kings of the land of Parsua. Then I left Parsua, went down to the lands of Messi and the Medes, the lands of Araziash and Harhâr and captured the Tarzanabi, Esamul, and Kinablila, along with the towns in the vicinity. I killed their soldiers, carried off their spoil, and destroyed, devastated, and set fire to their cities. I set up my royal image in the land of Harhâr. I captured Ianzû, son of Haban and brought him to Assyria, along with his great wealth, his gods, his sons, his daughters, and his many soldiers.

Year 25. Against Cilicia

(126–131) In my twenty-fifth year, I crossed the Euphrates at its flood and received the gifts from all the kings of Hatti. I crossed over Mount Amanus to the cities ruled by Katei in the land of Cilicia. I went down, stormed, and captured Timur, his royal city. I killed their warriors, carried off their spoil and destroyed, devastated, and set fire to countless cities. On my return, I seized Mûru, the royal city of Arame, son of Agusi, as a fortress for myself. I strengthened its thresholds and built a palace in it for my royal residence.

Year 26. Against the Cilician Cities

(132–141) In my twenty-sixth year, I crossed Mount Amanus for the seventh time; and for the fourth time I marched against the cities ruled by Katei of Cilicia. I besieged Tanakun, the royal city of Tulka. The terrifying splendor of my lord Assur, overpowered him. They came out and prostrated themselves at my fee. I accepted from him hostages, silver, gold, iron, cattle, and sheep as tribute. Then I left Tanakun and attacked Lamenash. The people of the land fled, climbing a steep mountain, so I stormed the mountain peak and captured them. I destroyed, devastated, and set fire to their cities. When I moved on to Tarzi; they prostrated themselves at my feet, so I accepted silver and gold as their tribute. I appointed Kirri, brother of Kattei, as their king. On my return I ascended Mount Amanus, cut cedar timbers, and carried them away, bringing them to my city, Assur.

Year 27. Against Armenia

(141–146) In my twenty-seventh year, I mustered my chariots and troops. At the head of my armies I sent turtan Dâian-Assur, commander of my immense armies, against Armenia. He went down and attacked Bît-Zamâni, entering by the pass of Ammash and crossing the Arzania river. Sêduri, the Armenian, heard about it and trusted the strength of his many troops, so he advanced against me to offer battle. I fought with him and was able to defeat him. I filled the wide plain with the bodies of his soldiers.

Year 28. Against Hattina

(146–156) In my twenty-eighth year, while I was staying in Calah, word was brought me that the people of Hattina had slain their lord Lubarna, and had raised Surri, who was not of royal blood, to the kingship over them. I dispatched turtan Dâian-Assur, commander of my immense armies—sending him at the head of my army and camp. He crossed the Euphrates at its flood and came to a halt in Kinalua, the royal city. The awe-inspiring splendor of Assur, my lord overcame Surri, who not being of royal blood, went to his death. The people of Hattina, being afraid before the terror of my mighty weapons; seized Surri’s sons, together with the insurrectionists and delivered them to me. I impaled these rebels on stakes. Sâsi the Uzzite, prostrated himself at my feet, so I appointed him over them as king. I accepted silver, gold, lead, copper, iron, and ivory without measure from them. I made a heroic image of my royal self and had it set up in his temple in Kinalua, his royal city.

Year 29. Against the land of Kirhi

(156–159) In my twenty-ninth year, I dispatched and sent an army against Kirhi. I destroyed, devastated, and set fire to their cities. I overwhelmed their lands like a flood and poured awe-inspiring terror over them.

Year 30. Eastward against Hubushkia, Manash, Parsua

(159–174) In my thirtieth year, I was staying in Calah, so I sent turtan Dâian-Assur, commander of my immense armies, at the head of my forces. He crossed the Great Zap River; he approached into the midst of the cities of the Hubushkians. I accepted the tribute from Datana, the Hubushkian and left the area of the cities of the Hubushkians. Then I approached the area of the cities of Magdubi, the Malhisite, where I also accepted tribute and left the area. When I came near to the area of the cities of Ualki, the Mannean, Ualki was terrified of the splendor of my weapons and deserted Zirta, his royal city, going up into the mountains to save his life. I pursued him and brought back his cattle, sheep, and property in countless numbers. I destroyed, devastated, and set fire to his cities. I left Manash and approached the cities of Shulusunu of Harruna. I captured Masashuru and his royal city, along with the towns of its region. I pardoned Shulusunu and his sons and returned him to his land, but I imposed tribute and tax in the form of tamed horses. Then I drew near to Shurdira and accepted the tribute from Artasari, the Shurdirite. I descended upon Parsua. I accepted the tribute from the kings of Parsua, but I captured the rest of Parsua—the cities who were not loyal to Assur. I carried off their spoil and property to Assyria.

Year 31. Against Hubushkia, Musasir, Namri

(174–190) In my thirty-first year, for the second time turned toward Assur and Adad, so at that time, while I remained in Calah, I sent turtan Dâian-Assur, commander of my immense armies, at the head of my forces. He approached the cities ruled by Datana the Hubushkian. I accepted tribute from him. Then I marched against Sapparia, the fortress of the land of Musasir and captured it, along with 46 cities of the Musasirites. I marched as far as the fortresses of the Armenians. I destroyed, devastated, and set fire to 50 of their cities, and then went down and attacked Gilzânu. I accepted the tribute from Upû, the Gilzânite, of the M[...], the [...], the Harranites, the Shashganites, the Andites, and the [...tribute]: cattle, sheep, and tamed horses. I went down against the cities of the land of Tabal. I destroyed, devastated, and set fire to Perria and Shitiuaria, and its strong cities, along with 22 towns of in the area. I poured awe-inspiring terror over them. He attacked the cities of the Parsuans. I captured Bushtu, Shalahamanu, and Kinihamanu, fortified cities, along with 23 towns in the area. I killed their soldiers, and carried off their booty. Next, I came down on the land of Namri. The awe-inspiring terror of Assur and Marduk overwhelmed them, so they deserted their cities, going up into the wild mountains. I destroyed, devastated, and set fire to 250 of their cities. After that, I went down through the passes of Simesi at the head of the land of Aleppo.

RELIEFS & CAPTIONS

The Black Obelisk has 20 bas relief images in it, five on each sice. Each level, in sequence, represents tribute received from a particular king. So, for example, the first image on the top row (with Sûa prostrating before Shalmaneser) is followed by the top row image next to it (rotating clockwise), and so on around giving four images for each tribute. The second row is the most famous, because it depicts the tribute from Jehu, “son of Omri.” Each row has a caption written above it, which is how I have presented them below (contrary to the usual modern practice of captions below) [AH].

(relief band 1) I accepted tribute from Sûa, the Gilzânite: silver, gold, lead, copper vessels, staves for the hand of the king, horses, and Bactrian camels.
 
(relief band 2) I accepted tribute from Jehu, son of Omri silver, gold, a golden bowl, a golden beaker, golden goblets, pitchers of gold, lead, staves for the hand of the king, and javelins
 
(relief band 3) I accepted tribute from the land of Musri: Bactrian camels, a river-buffalo, a sakêa, a sûsu, elephants, monkeys, and apes.
 
(relief band 4) I accepted tribute from Marduk-apal-usur of Suhi: silver, gold, pitchers of gold, ivory, javelins, bûia, and brightly colored linen garments.
 
(relief band 5) I accepted tribute from Karparunda of Hattina: silver, gold, lead, copper, copper vessels, ivory, and cypress timbers.

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