Annals of Shalmaneser III

Year 3 (857, BC)

Against Ahûni & back to Assyria through Armenia

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

The monolith inscription (Kurkh Stele)

(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.

Bronze Gates of Balâwât


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


(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 ........

Fragments of the royal annals

626 A. FROM ASSUR Year 3 (?)

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


……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 3 635 2. (KAH II #113.1 (obv.)) [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)


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

The Black Obelisk inscription

(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.


(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.

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