Annals of Shalmaneser III

Years 8–9 (852–851, BC)

Against the rebels in Babylonia;
second campaign into Babylonia

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

YEAR 8

Bronze Gates of Balâwât

SHEATHING

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.

Fragments of the royal annals

B. FROM CALAH

649 (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, The Black Obelisk inscription (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

Bronze Gates of Balâwât

BAND 11

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

SHEATHING

(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

B. FROM CALAH

(3. 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.

C. ADDITIONAL FRAGMENTS FROM ASSUR

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 ………

Throne inscription

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……

Miscellaneous Building Inscriptions

A. FROM ASSUR

6. KAH, I, Nos. 26–28 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. 97 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. 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.

707 9. 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. 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. 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. 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.

The Black Obelisk inscription

(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.

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