Katatepe inscription

Azatiwada inscription

English and Phoenician

Although I must take responsibility for this translation, I got the Phoenician text from K. Lawson Younger, Jr.'s article (see below). If you cannot read Aramaic script (then you almost certainly can't read Hebrew, and Phoenician will likely be lost on you as well) you can go to Younger's article, where it is transliterated into latin script. My translation is consistently informed by this article. I was also drawing ideas from the translations of Franz Rosenthal (ANET), André Dupont-Sommer, and the one that appears on Tayfun Bilgin's page (he does not tell us if he did it, or if not, where it came from). All errors, of course, are my own.
Bilgin, Tayfun. Asatiwatas speaks. http://www.hittitemonuments.com/karatepe/ accessed 1/11.
Dupont-Sommer, André (1948). La grande inscription Phénicienne de Karatepe. in Comptes-Rendus des séances de l’Acadé des Inscriptions et Belles Lettres 92.4, pp. 534-539. http://www.persee.fr/web/revues/home/prescript/article/crai_0065-0536_1948_num_92_4_78333 accessed 1/11.
Rosenthal, Franz, trans. (1969). Azitawadda of Adana. In James B. Pritchard (ed.), Ancient Near Eastern texts: Relating to the Old Testament. Princeton, N.J: Princeton University Press.
Younger, K. Lawson, Jr. (Spring, 1998) The Phoenician inscription of Azitawada: An integrated reading. Journal of Semitic Studies, 43.1, pp. 11-47. http://jss.oxfordjournals.org/content/XLIII/1/11.full.pdf accessed 1/11.

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

Summary: This is an 8th c. bilingual inscription, the other language being hieroglyphic Luwian (Hittite). Azatiwada was a local ruler who built this fortress (which he calls Asatiwadaya—exercizing characteristic humility). One of its most important features, as far as modern scholarship is concerned, is that it is a bilingual inscription, and has proved extremely useful in understand the Luwain language, although as our understanding of that language increases, the inscription has returned the favor on a few nuances of Phoenician.

Introduction: Epithets

1 I am Azatiwada,
blessed by Ba‘al, servant of Ba‘al,
who was placed in authority by king Awarik of the Danunians. [1]
אנך אזתוד 1
הברך בעל עבד בעל
אש אדר אורך מלך דננים

General establishment of Azatiwada's reign

Ba‘al made me a father and a mother to the Danunians;
I gave life to the city of the Danuians;
I enlarged the land of Adana from East to West. [2]
So in my time the Danunians prospered: abundant, and happy.
פעלן בעל לדננים לאב ולאם
יחו אנך אית דננים
ירחב אנך ארץ עמק אדן לממצא שמש ועד מבאי
וכן בימתי כל נעם לדננים ושבע ומנעם
I filled the arsenals of Pahara:
adding horse to horse, shield to shield, army to army
    (by Ba‘al’s and the gods’ grace),
and smashed the rebellious.
ומלא אנך עקרת פער
ופעל אנך סס על סס ומגן על מגן ומחנת על מחנת
בעבר בעל ואלם
ושברת מלצם
I crushed all the evil in the land,
set my lord’s house of in order,
reinforced its authority,
and established the ancestral throne .
ותרק אנך כל הרע אש כן בארץ
ויטנא אנך בת אדני בנעם
ופעל אנך לשרש אדני נעם
וישב אנך על כסא אבי
I made peace with every king;
They viewed me as a father,
on account of my righteousness, my wisdom, and my excellent mind. [3]
ושת אנך שלם כל מלך
ואף באבת פעלן כל מלך
בצדקי ובחכמתי ובנעם לבי

Building fortresses, amassing power

I built mighty fortresses on all my borders,
    in places where there had been ruffians and gang leaders,
    none of whom had been subject to the dynasty of Mopsos.
But I, Azatiwada, put them under my feet.
ובן אנך חמית זת בכל קצית על גבלם
במקמם באש כן אשם רעם בעל אגדדם
אש בל אש עבד כן לבת מפש
ואנך אזתוד שתנם תחת פעמי
I build fortresses in those places
so the Danunians could live there with peace of mind.
I subdued powerful western [4] territories
which no king before me could subdue.
But I, Azatiwada, subdued them.
ובן אנך חמית במקמם המת
לשבתנם דננים בנחת לבנם
וען אנך ארצת עזת במבא שמש
אש בל ען כל המלכם אש כן לפני
ואנך אזתוד ענתנם
I brought them down;
I resettled them in my farthest eastern [5] borders.
Danunians 2 settled there as well.
ירדם אנך
ישבם אנך בקצת גבלי במצא שמש
ישבת שם 2 ודננים
So in my time, all the border areas of Adana were populated,
    from East to West, [6]
Even places people had been afraid of,
Where the roads were not safe.
So in my time, a woman can walk alone with her spindles
    (by Ba‘al’s and the gods’ grace);
in all my time there was abundance, harmony, good living, and peace of mind
    for the Danunians and for the whole plain of Adana.
וכן בימתי בכל גבל עמק אדן
לממצא שמש ועד מבאי
ובמקמם אש כן לפנם נשתעם
אש ישתע אדם ללכת דרך
ובימתי אנך אשת תך לחדי דל פלכם
בעבר בעל ואלם
וכן בכל ימתי שבע ומנעם ושבת נעמת ונחת לב
לדננים ולכל עמק אדן

Building the city and cultic innovations

Then I build this city
and named it Azatiwadaya,
    since Ba‘al and Reseph of the stags had directed me to build it.
So I built it
    by the grace of Ba‘al and of Resheph of the stags
    in abundance, harmony, good living, and peace of mind,
    so it can be a guard-post for land of Adana, and the dynasty of Mopsos.
    Since in my time the land of Adana had abundance and harmony.
And for the Danunians, there was no evil [7] in my time.
ובן אנך הקרת ז
ושת אנך שם אזתודי
כבעל ורשף צפרם שלחן לבנת
ובני אנך
בעבר בעל ובעבר רשף צפרם
בשבע ובמנעם ובשבת נעמת ובנחת לב
לכני משמר לעמק אדן ולבת מפש
כבימתי כן לארץ עמק אדן שבע ומנעם
ובל כן מתם לדננים לל בימתי
Then I build this city
And named it Azatiwadaya.
I brought Ba‘al KRNTRYŠ [8] There,
So now the whole river-valley 3 will sacrifice to him: [9]
1oxan annual sacrifice
1sheepin plowing season
1sheepin harvest season
ובן אנך הקרת ז
שת אנך שם אזתודי
ישב אנך בן בעל כרנתריש
מהמסכת 3 וילך זבח ל כל
זבח ימם אלף 1
ובעת חרס ש 1
ובעת קצר ש 1


May Ba‘al KRNTRYŠ bless Azatiwada
    with life , health,
    and great strength above all kings.
May Ba‘al KRNTRYŠ and all the gods of the city give Azatiwada
    long days, many years, sweet abundance,
    and great strength above all kings.
וברך בעל כרנתריש אית אזתוד
חים ושלם
ועז אדר על כל מלך
לתתי בעל כרנתריש וכל אלן קרת לאזתוד
ארך ימם ורב שנת ורשאת נעמת
ועז אדר על כל מלך
And may this city possess grain and wine; [10]
may its inhabitants possess cattle, sheep, grain and wine.
וכן הקרת ז בעלת שבע ותרש
ועם ז אש ישב בן יכל בעל אלפם ובא ל צאן ובעל שבע ותרש
May they have children beyond measure,
and become strong beyond measure,
and serve Azatiwada and the dynasty of Mopsos beyond measure
    (by Ba‘al’s and the gods’ grace)!
וברבם ילד
וברבם יאדר
וברבם יעבד לאזתוד ולבת מפש
בעבר בעל ואלם


But if a king among kings, or a prince among princes,
even a man of great renown,
erases Azatiwada’s name from this gate
and sets (his own) name,
ואם מלך במלכם ורזן ברזנם
אם אדם אש אדם שם
אש ימח שם אזתוד בשער ז
ושת שם
if he desires this city
and tears down this gate which Azatiwada has built,
and building a different gate
has set his name on it,
or tears it down out of envy,
if he tears down this gate out of hate or evil,
אם אף יחמד אית הקרת ז
ויסע השער ז אשפעל אזתוד
ויפעל ל שער זר
ושת שם עלי
או בחמדת יסע
אם בשנאת וברע יסע השער ז
then heavenly Ba‘al, El, creator of the earth, eternal Shamash,     and the whole assembly of the children of the gods, erase
that kingdom, that king,     or that 4 man of great renown.
ומח בעל שמם ואל קן ארץ ושמש עלם
וכל דר בן אלם
אית הממלכת הא ואית המלך הא
ואית [4] אדם הא אש אדם שם
אדם הא אש אדם שם 4ואית

Climactic invocation

Only may the name of Azatiwada be established forever like the name of the sun and the moon.
אפס שם אזתוד יכן לעלם כם שמש וירח


[1] = Adanaweans.

[2] lit. from the rising to the setting sun.

[3] or good heart.

[4] lit. toward the setting sun.

[5] lit. toward the rising sun.

[6] from the rising to the setting sun.

[7] or, night There is a word play here, lost in my translation, that in Azatiwada’s day was no night (Younger, p. 26).

[8] Vattioni (1968), 7 1 - 3 argues that KRNTRYŠ in this incription refers to Kelenderis, Cilicia [LY].

[9] Following Younger (who is following Morpurgo, Davies, & Hawkins (1987, pp. 270-72) reading מסלת as “river-land’ (informed by the Egyptian parallel—haparis). Older translations took it to refer to the statues (of the gods), so Rosenthal has, “A sacrificial order was established for all the molten images” [AH].

[10] Prov. 3.10.

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