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the Berlin Museum by M. Mattei, Prussian Consul in Cyprus. Re-
ported by Mas Latrie, Arch, des Missions scientiiiques, I. 112 and pi. 3,
quoted Comptes Rendus of the French Academy, 1899, 716. H. Rawlin-
son recognized the figure as that of the founder of Khorsabad and took
a squeeze, Athenaeum, 1850, No. 1166. Lepsius noted the mention of
Bittaeans in Menander, J. Bonomi, Nineveh and its Palaces,^ 1857, 144
ff. Cf. also I. H. Hall, Proceedings of N. Y. University Convocation,
1876, 107, and L. P. di Cesnola, Cyprus, 1878, 47, for further details
of the discovery. Published III. R. 11 and more fully, Schrader,
Abhandlungen of Berlin Academy, 1881 and separately, Die Sargonstele,
1882; by Winckler, op. cit., II. pi. 46 /. Translations by G. Smith,
Zeitschr. f. Aegypt. Sprache, 1871, 68; Menant, Annates, 206 ff.;
Schrader, op. cit.; Winckler, op. cit., I. 174 ff. The date is year III
of Sargon, King of Babylon = year XV as king of Assyria = 707. The
affinity is rather with the large than with the small inscriptions. Quoted
as S. In I. 51 ff. it adds a fair amount of new information about Hamath.
In I. 46 ff. the battle with Rusash is placed after the capture of
Mugagir, which is perhaps correct.

" The greater number of the fragments of Prisms A. and B, have been
published by Winckler, Sargon, II. pi. 43 ff. There is no doubt as to


Another group is that containing the more strictly chron-

the order of the fragments of Prism A., for they actually join. Of the
three legible sections, one, that relating to the Medes, has been trans-
lated by G. Smith, Assyrian Discoveries,'^ 1876, 288 f. and by Winckler,
Untersuchungen zur Altorientalischen Geschichte, 1889, 118 if.; another,
relating to the Ashdod expedition, by G. Smith, op. cit., 289 ff. and by
Winckler, Sargon, 187 ff.; the third, relating to Dalta is still untrans-
lated but may be used. The fragments are K. 1668 b -|- DT. b.

Prism B. is almost identical with Prism A, in size and character of
writing. The fragments are K. 1668 a + 1671, 1668, 1672, 1673, 8536
(the unnumerirt of Winckler's plate) S. 2021, 2022, 2050, 79-7-8, 14.
K. 4818 which is also given by Winckler clearly does not belong here
and may be excluded. K. 1668a has already been joined to 1671 and
a beautifully clear though minute photograph of these is given by C. J.
Ball, Light from the East, 1889, 185. The other fragments are still
unjoined and practically undeciphered. Bezold, Zeitchr. f. Assyr., 1889,
411, n.* has pointed out that S. 2049, Rm. 292, and 82-5-22, 8 belong
to the same prism but they are still unpublished.

The first necessity is decipherment. When enough has been made out
to assign each fragment its subject, an attempt at arrangement may be
made. As a result of my attempts, I believe that I have secured large
parts of four columns from the eight originally existing. The follow-
ing is my arrangement:

I begin my first column, which really must have been preceded by
one or more columns giving titles, introduction, and the earliest events
of the reign, with Col. I of K. 1672 where we have references to
Samalla and Hamath. Winckler, who has studied this fragment,
Altorientalische Forschungen, II. 71 ff., thinks that this belongs probably
to 711, but long before I had any hope of piecing the prism together, it
had seemed to me that the whole general tenor allowed only 720, or year
II. If now we look for a fragment continuing the same subject, we have
it in Col. I of 79-7-8, 14, Winckler, Mitth. Vorderasiat. Gesellsch., 1898,
I, 53, where we have references to Mugri and to Martu, or Syria, refer-
ences which we naturally connect with the intrigues of Sibu of Egypt.
The second part of this column deals with Urartu and the Mannai which
would then be the Rusash troubles which began, as it would seem, in 719
or year III. We would then be inclined to place next Col. I of S. 2021,
since we have a reference to Ursa or Rusash, and that our assigning of
this Col. I to year III is not far wrong is proved by the fact that Col. II
of S. 2021 is actually dated in year V, so that the upper part of this
column must be year IV. These first columns of these three fragments are
all that we can assign to the first column of the Prism. Comparison


ological documents. The so-called Eponym Canon gives

with the other columns shows that, at the least, thirty-five lines from
the lower part of the column have been lost. For Col. II of the Prism,
we have, if our arrangement of Col. I is correct. Col. II of K. 1672, of
79-7-8, 14, and of S. 2021. Unfortunately, the first two are too mutil-
ated to discover what country they belong to, and the same is true of
the part in S. 2021 above the line. Below that, we have a new year,
year V, when an expedition was made against Ashur liu. In conse-
quence, all above the line must be year IV, or earlier. But more curious
is the fact that the Ashur liu expedition is in year V, not year VI,
as in the Annals. By this time, the Prism has fallen one year behind
the Annals, and this peculiarity we shall find to the end. We naturally
expect something else in this same year VI of the Annals = year V
of the Prism, and we find it in K. 1669, with its references to Kishesim
whose name was changed to Kar Adar, to the Madai, and to Kimirra.
To be sure, the last place is not mentioned in the Annals until year
VII, but the general locality is the same. Below the line and there-
fore in year VI is a section I cannot identify. But to this same year
VI must be referred K. 8536, since the references to Ursa and Que
agree well enough with the Que of Annals year VII. This ends Col.
II of the Prism which must have had at least seventy-five lines. For
the first part of Col. Ill of the Prism, we have A., B., C, of Winckler's
arrangement of K. 1671 ;+ 1668. What A. deals with is not clear. B.
and C. relate to Haldia and Ursa, that is, to the events of year VIII
of the Annals. Making the correction of one year, our year VII fits
in well. After this, we should probably place Col. I of S. 2022 where a
joint may perhaps be made. Here a land whose name begins with I.
may perhaps be in the Mannai region. This must be in the year VIII,
for on Col. II of this fragment we have j'ear IX. This ends Col. Ill
of the Prism. At the beginning of Col. IV we place, though doubtfully,
K. 1673 with its mention of Aragi, perhaps Median. At any rate, we
can hardly deny to this D., E., F., of K. 1671 ;-}- 1668. We should
naturally expect here events of year VIII or year IX of the Annals,
and this we certainly have. D. and E. deal with Amitashshi of Karalla
and with Itti of Allabria, and then below the line, with Dalta of Elli.
So far all is well, and we must place this in the year VIII (IX). When
we come to add to this column Col. II of S. 2022, we find ourselves in
trouble ; for the first half of this is given to Mita and Ambaris who
are placed in year X in the Annals, yet, below the line, we have year
IX for the Ashbod expedition which is year XI according to the An-
nals. In these last cases, then, we have slipped back two years beyond
the Annals dates. What does this mean? Does this mean that some



US the list of eponyms or limmu,*^ and this bare Hst of names
now begins to be amplified by the dated commercial docu-
ments.^* More important are two fragments which add to
the name and office of the eponym some sort of a historical

years were spent " in the land " with no military expeditions, as the
Chronicle Fragment Rm. 2, 97 seems to indicate, and were the events
which actually happened extended to fill up the blank years ? At any
rate, we know how untrustworthy the official chronology is. This ends
the fourth column and assigns a place to all the published fragments.
As the prism was eight-sided, four are still missing. One of these would
be taken up with the introduction. Then would probably come our
four. The last three columns would be taken up with the events after
the Ashdod expedition. This, even with accounts of building opera-
tions, would probably end the prism about the time of the fall of
Babylon. We can hardly place their date much later than 709, for the
whole group of official inscriptions from 707-706 are closely connected
in style, etc., while they are as sharply differentiated from the Prisms.
As these fragments are in the Kuyunjik collection, it is to be presumed
that they came from Nineveh. If so, they probably date from the time
before Sargon had moved into Dur Sharrukin. Note that the deed of
gift of 714 is given at Nineveh. To make clear my plan of arrangement,
I subjoin the following synopsis :

Col. I.


Col. III.

K. 1672.
Hamath (II) X (IV)
79-7-^, 14-
Martu (II)
Urartu (III) X (IV)

S. 2021.
Urartu (III) X (IV)

Karalla (V)
I' K. 1669

Kishesim (V)
X (VI)

K. 8536.
Que (VI)
*' Published III. R. i ; better in F. Delitzsch, Assyriche Lesestiicke,'
1878, 87 ff.

** A complete list of the eponym dates with the authorities may be
seen in C. H. W. Johns, Assyrian Deeds and Documents^ 1898, I. 562 ff.


Urartu (VII)
Urartu (VII)

Urartu? (VII)

Col. IV.
K. 1673.

Aragi (VIII)
1671 + 1668.

Karalla (VIII)

Karalla (VIII)

Elli (VIII)

Allabria (VIII)
5". 2022.

Bit Buritash (VIII)

Ashdod (IX)


Statement. One belongs to the so-called Assyrian Chronicle
and covers practically the whole reign. The chronological
clue has now fortunately been discovered, and it can now be
utilized. The date is entirely a matter of conjecture, and
its sources cannot be found in any inscriptions known to us.
Its tendencies seem to be priestly, but its chronology agrees
fairly well with Prism B, and it seems quite reliable.*^ The

" The fragment of an " Assyrian Chronicle," Rm. 2, 97, was published
by C. Bezold, Proc. Soc. Bibl. Arch., 1889, 287 and pi. Ill a. Sayce
utilized it in Records of the Pastf II. 126 /. He omitted 1. 1-4 and in
several cases made two lines refer to one year. To him, our fragment
was only a variant of II. R. 69, which however is a chronicle of a sort
unique as yet. Winckler translated and transliterated it in Keilinschr.
Bibl., III. 2. 144 ff. In general, this is more accurate, but strangely
enough he has omitted 1. 4 which throws out of gear his whole later
chronology. Barta, in Harper, Assyr. Bab. Literature, 215, has also
given a translation with 1. 4 in its proper place.

The first error made by all these is in not seeing what Bezold had
already pointed out, the fact that it belongs to the type of the real
Assyrian Chronicle, and that therefore one line and no more must be
assigned to each year. Bearing this in mind, we may utilize the clue
given by Sayce when he takes the ri of 1. 15 to be the end of Kirruri.
In 1. 14-18, we have to the left of the text a vertical line and to the
left of this, on each of the five lines, a single character. If this frag-
ment really belongs to the Assyrian Chronicle class, then there can be no
doubt that this first column contained the eponym for the year together
with the place he was governor of. In 707, as II. R. 69 shows, Sha Ashur
dubbu of the city of Tush-ha-an was eponym. Here then belongs the
an of 1. 16. In 1. 15, the ri is clearly the last part of Kirruri of which
Shamash upahhir was eponym and in 708. In 710, Mannuki Ashur
li'u was eponym of Tile. As we might expect, the a of this line is only
the last half of the e. For 706, we have> Mutakkil Ashur of Guzana.
Here Bezold reads tu which is probably a misreading of za-na, one
stroke of the za being lost and the na having the form common in the
letters. For 705, Upahhir Bel of Amedi, the ur is probably a mis-
reading for di. This order of eponyms, Tile, Kirruri, Tushhan, Guzana,
Amedi, is to be found in the Chronicle under 766-762 and 730-726, and
for the last three in II. R. 69. Let us now go through our fragment
year by year to see if this scheme will work out. In 1. i, kar'lru should
be read. Karru is an obscure word ; whether it means a destroying


Other is not very different from this type, but its exact
parallel is still to be found. Each year from 708 to 704
has several lines devoted to historical data. It has close

preparatory to rebuilding or actually the rebuilding itself, is still uncer-
tain. It already occurs in the Chronicle under 788. The year here
would be 722. In 721, 1. 2, Winckler restores e'\tarab. Read ilu X ana
beti eshshi eltarab, "the god X entered a new house," cf. the Chronicle
under 787. 722-21 therefore correspond to 788-87. L. 3, 720 is ba-la.
What this may mean has thus far baffled me. For 1. 4, 719, read
ushshu sha bit Nerlgal karru, " the foundations of the house of Nergal
were rebuilt," cf. the Chronicle under 789 according to Delitzsch, Beitr.
Assyr., I. 616. This was probably the Nergal temple at Kutha, for
there is no account later of its capture by Sargon. L. 5, 718, is not
to be read Iramlu Mannai, " Iranzu of the Mannai," for the name of
an enemy never occurs in the Chronicle. The half destroyed sign before
Mannu is rather with Sayce to be taken as alu, " city," though I confess
I know only matu and amelu used before it. The events here referred
to are given in A. under 716. L. 6, 717, is pehuti shaknu, "governors
appointed," and refers either to a settlement consequent upon the fall of
Carchemish or to the Mannai troubles. L. 7, 716, reads f-di (alu)
Mugagir Haldia. The first sign can hardly be a. Haldia has no deter-
minative, and whether god or people is not evident. The next line, 715,
has rabute, " the nobles," followed by ina {matu) Ellipa, " into the land
of Elli," a reference to the events of A. 83 if. L. 9, 714, should be
read {ilu) X ana bet'\i eshshi etarab, " the god X entered a new house,"
the complement to 1. 4 as 1. 2 is to 1. i. L. 10, 713, ana^ {alu)
Mugagir, is the expedition not mentioned in the Annals, cf. Belck and
Lehmann, Zeitschr. f. EthnoL, 1899, 102, and the chapter on the Armen-
ian wars. For 712, we read ina mati, " in the land." This is inter-
esting, as the Annals has expeditions for each year. For 711, we have
ana {alu) Markasa, which agrees with the facts known from other
sources for that year. Under 710, ana Bit Zirna'id, sharru ina Kesh
bedi, " to Bit Zirna'id, the king was distant in Kesh," if, with Muss
Arnolt, we take bedi from a root well known to every traveller in Syria,
must of course refer to the campaign against Babylon in that year, while
the next line, Sharrukin qata Beli iggabat, " Sargon seized the hands of
Bel," as clearly refers to what took place at the beginning of 709.
{Alu) Kumuha kashid, {amelu) pehu shakin, " Qummuh captured, a
governor established " must be placed under 708. The first part refers
to events properly dated in the Annals. Whether the second part refers
to the same or to Babylonia is uncertain. The second is more probable.


affinities with the Babylonian Chronicle, but seems in at
least one case not to have so well repeated its tradition. It
has no relationship with the first fragment. Though prob-
ably late, it used good sources and seems trustworthy .*

The fourth group consists of the early inscriptions. The
Nimrud inscription comes from Kalhu, the early capital of
Sargon. Its date is about 716. Unfortunately it is brief,
and is not in chronological order. Some new facts are to
be gleaned, such as the conquest of laudu and the capture
of Carchemish.*^ A brief fragment from year six has little

Under 707, sharru ishtu Babili issuhra, we have the return from Babylon
at the end of that year on the news of the Cimmerian invasion, for
which see chapter VIII. The next two years refer to Dur lakin, but
just what they indicate is obscure. The first, 706, reads, sha (alu)
Dur lakin naga, " he of Dur lakin went out," the other, 705, (a/w) Dur
lakin nahil, " Dlir lakin was destroyed." Under 704, we have ana
bitatishunu etarbu, which we must take, with Winckler, " the gods of
Shumer and Akkad] to their houses returned." For 703, rabut']e ina
Karalli " the nobles into Karalla." This seems to refer to Sennacherib,
Prism, I. 63-II. 7, in his second expedition, for the conquered tribes
are annexed to the province of Arapha. The last line, under 702, is
mahra, " former." What it refers to I do not know.

While this fragment clearly belongs to the same class as the Assyrian
Chronicle, it does not seem to be related to any of the known documents
dealing with Sargon's reign. It therefore has the value of an inde-
pendent witness. Its chronology seems to agree with that of Prism B.
where the two touch, and on the basis of these two I have built my
chronological scheme. The large part devoted to religious buildings
seems to indicate priestly leaning, if not priestly authorship. The au-
thor seems to have been an Assyrian, not a Babylonian, nevertheless. As
to his date, we only know that the fragment closes at 702.

** II. R. 69 d = K. 4446. A good translation in Schrader, Keilinschr.
Bibl., I. 215. Several changes have been made by the author. For
these, see the pertinent sections of the text.

^"^ Published by A. H. Layard, Inscriptions in the Cuneiform Character,
1 85 1, pi. 33 f.; Winckler, Sargon,H.^\. /^'&,'D. G. Lyon, Assyrian Manual,
1884, gfF. Translated by Winckler, Sargon, I. 169 if.', Peiser, Keilinschr.
Bibl., II. 34 fF. Quoted as N. The large part in it played by Pisiris
of Gargamish shows that its date must be placed soon after his capture.


value,*^ but the one from year two (720) is extremely im-
portant not only for its chronology but for the vivid light it
casts on the causes of Sargon's accession.* A few other
fragments are known but are either unpublished or of little
importance.^^ No affinities have been found within this

We may conclude our survey of the official material by
mentioning the labels on the sculptures, the bricks, the
inscribed fragments of pottery and of glass, and the minor
building inscriptions.^^ In some periods, all this would have
great value, but so full are our sources that we rarely need
their help, though the building inscriptions add to the culture
history and the labels enable us to utilize the beautiful bas-
reliefs which have a real historic value.

Such, then, are the official documents the king of Assyria
wished to hand down to posterity. Edited though they are, a
careful study may often secure the truth. Yet were we
confined to these alone, our knowledge would be very one-
sided, as indeed it is even now. Fortunately, we have other

E. Schrader, Die Sargonstele, 1882, 8n.\ makes the Karalla expedition
(716) the limiting datum. But A. 78 under 715 corresponds with N.
9 where the restoring of disordered Man is mentioned. Still, much of
this Man section may be placed earlier, so the question is still unsettled.

*'K. i66o, published Winckler, Sammlung, II. 4.

"K. 1349, published Winckler, Sammlung, II, 1893, i, translated
Forsch., I. 401 fF.

*^K. 221 -j- 2669; K. 3149 with references to Urartu; K. 3150, refer-
ences to Harran; K. 4455, mention of ... shum ishkum son of
Ninib . . . ; and to Urartu ; K. 4463 published Winckler, Sammlung, II.
6; K. 4471, references to Urartu, Nar Marrati, Kaldu, published
Winckler, Sammlung, II. 4; D. T. 310; 83-1-18, 215, references to
Labdudi, Hanban, Sirra, Amana. The unpublished fragments are known
from C. Bezold, Catalogue of the Cuneiform Tablets in the Kouyunjik
Collection, 1889 ff.

" Grouped together by Winckler as Kleine Inschriften, Sargon, II. pi.
49 and I. 190 if. Further bibliography may be found under the second


data. For we have, almost in its entirety, the contents of
the Nineveh archive chambers, and much of the material
goes back to the days of Sargon. Of the documents there
found, the most important are the letters and reports. Many
are from commanders in the field and throw a new light on
the strategy of the times, on the foreign relations, and even
on the culture life of the neighboring peoples. Others deal
with domestic affairs, reports, favorable or unfavorable
omens, state the health of the royal family, or merely pay
their respects to their lord. Valuable as these are, it is not easy
to localize them. Dates are rare ; the same name may belong to
more than one person ; a connection with known events is
difficult to find. To make matters worse, they have been
until recently sadly neglected, and in consequence are still
hardly out of the decipherment stage. A large number have
been given in the collection of Harper,^^ but others which
seem from the catalogue to belong to our period are still
unpublished. Of those published, a minority have been
really studied. One group, those dealing with the events
of the last few years on the northern frontier, have been
already isolated and a fairly complete account can be

" The great corpus of Assyrian letters is being made by R. F, Harper,
Assyrian and Babylonian Letters, 1892 if. Reference will be made to
other publications, translations, etc., as each letter is cited. The col-
lection is quoted as H. When I began this work, I had the impression,
which is perhaps still somewhat current, that the number of letters to
be assigned to this reign was small and I hoped to be able to work them
all out, taking the letters already studied as a basis. It was not long
before I recognized the difficulty and soon the impossibility of my
task. I have of course utilized all those which have been translated or
transliterated and a partial quotation or even bare reference has in-
duced me to attempt letters thus far unstudied. In addition, I have
stumbled upon certain others which have seemed worth further study.
In too many cases, this has shown that the events referred to did not
belong to the reign or could not be definitely located. Often an one line
reference has meant hours of work. No doubt I have made mistakes.


gained from these alone.^^ Here and there a reference may
be made to a letter, but full study from the historical stand-
point must be preceded by full study by the philologist.
Yet, little as they have yet been used, their use has materially
changed our account in places.

These letters were not the only documents preserved in
the Nineveh archives, for in them were preserved all sorts
of written material after that peculiarly oriental fashion
which knows no distinction between public and private,
when the ruler is concerned. Even the literary texts, mostly
philological or religious in character, which formed the so-
called library, seem really to have been a part of this general
collection. Of purely private documents there was no lack.
Every business transaction, no matter how simple, must have
its written voucher. Through these, the whole political,
religious, social, and economic life of the people is laid bare
before us. To what an extent this collection of data can be
utilized for our period, the chapter on the culture history
will show.^*

Thus far we have been discussing only the sources which
give us the Assyrian point of view. We are fortunate in
having records, few as they are, from the surrounding
nations. Babylonia, Haldia, Judaea, and by these we can
check the ones already noted.

Merodach Baladan, in spite of his long reign, prepared
no war annals or, if he did, they have not come down to us.

A score is considered enough for a philologist to study for a doctoral
thesis, if it is to be done well. I have worked through some two hun-
dred. A further difficulty is the fact that mutilated letters, though often
of great value, are generally neglected. When a larger number is made
more accessible, I hope to return to the historical phases of the study.

'^ Cf. chap. VIII. n. 5.

"The great collection of C. H. Johns, Assyrian Deeds and Docu-
ments^ has superseded, so far as our period is concerned, all preceding
publications. Quoted as J.


The only historical document we have is the Babylonian
Chronicle.^'^ This is a fine piece of work. The author is
indeed a patriotic Babylonian. But he seems to have no
more bias in favor of the Chaldaean Merodach Baladan than
he has for the Assyrian Sargon. In his opinion, no doubt,
one was as much a foreigner and a barbarian as the other.
This impartiality seems to be proved where we can test it.
The date is late, perhaps in the Persian period, but he clearly
used good sources.

Equally valuable is the boundary stone^^ which gives the
text of a charter by which Merodach Baladan granted a plot

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