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of Egypt to-day is at el 'Arish, the ancient Rhinocolura, on the banks
of what was once the " brook of Egypt." Geographically, both Raphia
and Rhinocolura belong to Syria, not Egypt, for the real desert begins
to the south. I do not see how one can stand under the Egyptian
flag, remember the long history which has shown the urgent need for
Egypt of advanced lines in Syria, and still deny that the dry torrent
bed at one's feet was called the nahal Migraim because it was the
frontier of that country.

Now it may be said that these facts do not absolutely disprove
Winckler's theory. In a sense this is true. What has been shown
is that all the indications of all the history, except that period in dis-
pute, point to Egypt as the one great power on the southern frontier



64 WESTERN ASIA IN THE DAYS OF SARGON

of Syria. In other words, we have what is called in law a rebuttal
presumption, a presumption which will be accepted as presumed fact
unless definite evidence to the contrary is brought up. This may be
stated as follows: In all periods save 948-674, the great, for any im-
portant purpose, the only intriguing power on the south Syrian frontier
was Egypt. Therefore, general physical and political conditions re-
maining the same, approximately, we may assume that it was also
Egypt which was the disturbing force in that period of less than three
centuries. This is certainly a fair presumption, and we must have strong
evidence to the contrary to force us to abandon it.

Such evidence can hardly be shown to be forthcoming. Such deduc-
tions as we can draw from general considerations are distinctly un-
favorable to Winckler's theory. It is true that a trade route ran from
South Arabia to Gaza, although it is a serious question as to how
important this was as compared with the Red Sea ports. Nor has ever
an important army come from Arabia along this route. It is also
true that a large number of movements of tribes fr'^m South Arabia
to the Syrian regions have taken place. But they have not followed
the Gaza road. In the greatest of these, that of the Muslim conquest,
the main army followed the Haj road to Damascus, and Antioch was
taken at about the same time as Gaza. So far as we can see, all the
tribal movements from. South Arabia have followed the same course.
It has always been easy for the Arabian invaders to follow the Haj
road. It was only when they left and turned west that the advance
was checked. Often there has been practically no advance, as in the
case of the Ghassanidae, at other times, it has been comparatively
small as with the Nabataeans. A good modern case of a tribe migrat-
ing to Syria from South Arabia is that of the Beni Sakhr. Why did
they settle east of the Jordan instead of in the Negeb? Much must
be attributed to the somewhat greater fertility of the East Jordan
country, though the Negeb can be made again fertile by irrigation, as
in Roman times. But a greater objection is the difficulty of access
to the Negeb from the east. Much has been made by the geographers
of the great Jordan rift and its divisive influences. After personal
knowledge of both parts of the depression, I feel sure that the Arabah,
the region south of the Dead Sea, is far more of a barrier with its
terribly steep and rough trails. The Negeb seems to be Arabic, not as
a result of the great waves of migration but as the result of a gradual
infiltration. We shall naturally expect, then, that Egyptian influence
will be felt strongly, if not exclusively, on the southwest, while such
South Arabian influence as there may have been, there is no proof
that it was strong, would be exerted on the southeast and so most
strongly on the East Jordan country.



BABYLONIA AND SYRIA 6$

Let us now take up in some detail the events of the period in which
Mugri of the Negeb is supposed to have played a part. It is somewhat
surprising to find in the Very first reign we take up, that of Ashur
bani pal, no reference to Mugri of the Negeb, but plenty of references
to Egypt under the same name. Why is this? Because the references
to Mugri are now so detailed that identification with Mugri must be
made. Many of these Mugrites are actually known to us as rulers from
their own inscriptions written in Egyptian, and the greater part of the
long list of localities named by Ashur bani pal can be located in the
Nile valley. No theory can force us to find a Mugri of the Negeb
here. This being so, let us see what we can learn of Egypt.

First as to the use of terms. Ashur bani pal twice describes the
objective of the expeditions. Once, Ras. CyL, I. 53, it is against Magan
and Meluhha, once L 57, it is against Mugur and Kusi. Here Magan and
Meluhha are merely the high sounding, archaistic forms of Mugur and
Kusi. This use of old names to represent altered political conditions
is quite characteristic of the Sargonid dynasty, compare the use of
Mash, Martu, Gutium, Hashmar. Clearly, then, to Ashur bani pal,
whatever the earlier significance, Magan stood for Mugur, and Meluhha
was Kusi. The possibility of such extension or transference of names
is of course one of the commonplaces of historical geography, com-
pare, e. g., Hilakku north of the Taurus, the later Cilicia south of it.
But, to that ruler, Mugur meant Egypt and Kusi Ethiopia as I. 122 /.
shows. Meluhha, then, was, at this time, Ethiopia. It is then probable
that during the half century which had elapsed since the accession of
the dynasty, there had been no important change in the nomenclature.
If this is true, then the reference to Mugri, a region of Ethiopia, by
Sargon simply shows that he knew, and it would be amazing if he
did not, that Ethiopians were in control of Egypt. Another sig-
nificant fact it is that he received " great horses " as tribute from
Egypt (Mugur). Sargon extended his boundary to the "brook of
Egypt," nahal Mugri. He also mentions " great horses " of Muguri, A.
440. We may feel that the earlier lack of horses in Egypt ought to
forbid finding them there in the Sargonid period, but when we actually
do find them, and " great horses " at that, in the time of Ashur bani pal,
we have no right to deny the Egyptian origin of " great horses " from
Muguri claimed by a king who but fifty years before had reached the
boundary of Egypt.

Much stress has been laid on the difference in form, Mugri, Mugur,
Muguri, Migir, Migri, It is to be feared that those who do so depend too
much on rules of phonetics as found in grammars. All that is indi-
cated by these different forms, strange as it may seem to one accus-
tomed to the more fixed character of Aryan vowel sounds, is that the

5



66 WESTERN ASIA IN THE DAYS OF SARGON

ancient orientals, like the modern, must have felt perfectly at liberty
to modify, elide, or insert one of the obscure short vowels. Any
unfortunate traveller who has attempted to write down exactly the
vowel sounds in a new proper name from the mouth of a native will
understand the modification such words are capable of. We have
already seen that Muguri and Mugur must be connected. Ashur bani
pal uses the form Mugur, but the Babylonian Chronicle IV. 30 uses
the form Migir, while the Amarna tablets regularly use Migri. The
step to MuQri is short.

The final conquest of Egypt was due to Ashur bani pal, but the earlier
expeditions were led by his father Esarhaddon. Indeed, it is generally
recognized that the expedition of year I of Ashur bani pal according
to his Prism is that attributed to year XII of Esarhaddon by Bab.
Chron., IV. 30. The expedition of year X, ih., IV. 23, was also clearly
against Egypt, for Memphis is mentioned by name as captured. The
three battles they were now forced to fight would make us suspect that
the last expedition was not a success, and indeed under year VII, ib. IV.
16, we are told that the Assyrians were defeated in Egjrpt. In year
VI, Meluhha is attacked, if we are to accept Winckler's restoration.
As this is a Babylonian document, Meluhha more probably meant the
Sinaitic peninsula, though its use as meaning " South West Land,"
corresponding to Martu for " West Land," is perhaps as probable. We
have then a definite advance in years VI, VII, X, XII.

Year VI was 675 and year VII 674. We should therefore expect
some reference to so important an event as the invasion of Egypt in
the Prisms of Esarhaddon, which date from 673. Only one place is
possible. This is where we have the mutilated lines I. 55-II. 5. The
Arzani city of I. 55 is a problem, but the nahal Miigri, " brook of
Egypt," shows where we are. Another reference which clearly locates
this " rook of Egypt " is the fragment of Esarhaddon's Annals, K.
3082 + 3086 ;+ S. 2027, first published by Boscawen, Trans. Soc. Bibl.
Arch., IV. 84 if., and more fully by Budge, Hist, of Esarhaddon, 1881,
114 ff. The reverse refers to the Arabian campaign. The expedition
took place in Nisan of year X, 1. 12, This is clearly the one of year
X when Memphis was taken, Bab. Chron., IV. 23. That this refers
to Egypt is further proved by 1. 15 where we hear of Baal of Tyre
trusting to Tarqu of Kusi who is, of course, Taharka of Ethiopia.
Esarhaddon claims the victory, and the impartial Babylonian Chronicle
states that he conquered Memphis. On the other hand, he made no
expedition in the next year, according to the same source, and it is
therefore probable that, when he says that he directed his way from
Mugur to Meluhha, he was really falling back from Egypt. Here
Meluhha is used clearly in a different and older sense, for it is the



BABYLONIA AND SYRIA 6/

region on the immediate frontier of Egypt through which he retreats.
He went thirty kasbu from the city Apqu (Aphek?) of the region (or
boundary, pat) of Samena (Simeon?) to the city of Rapihi. to the
frontiers of nahal Mugri, a place where a river, nar, was not, so that
they were forced to transport water. Whether Samena be the tribe of
Simeon, a possible identification, Rapihi is certainly Raphia, and the
reference to frontiers, iteti, in the land of Egypt, can hardly b'e ex-
plained as other than being at Raphia, a situation agreeing well with
what we know of other periods and of our own day. This definite
statement that there was no nar, river, at the nahal Mugri, seems to
me to bt very strange. A curious confirmation of the quite widely
spread theory that ehir nari, " the region across the river," grew up
in this region ! I do not know what linguistic reasons the supporters
may have for calling a stream bed which sometimes, as, for example, in
the year we visited it, has not in the whole twelve months a drop of
water flowing, a river, nor do I know any case where the modern nahar
or its equivalents in other languages are used for what is properly a
nahal or wadi. Certainly Esarhaddon's direct denial of this term to
our stream bed seems final. In this connection, I may note that
Winckler's attempt to identify the nahal Mugri with the wadi at Raphia
is not well taken. So far from there being a stream bed there, important
enough to mark a boundary, one must needs search to find such a
depression at all. There is no real stream bed worthy of the name
south of the wadi of Gaza until one reaches the Wadi el 'Arish, and
this is much more marked than the Gaza wadi.

We have seen one case where Meluhha was not Ethiopia. The
tablet, Keilinschr. Bibl., II. 150 gives Esarhaddon the title "the king
of the kings of Mugur, Paturisi, Kusi." That these refer to the
various kings who ruled in Egypt can hardly be doubted. But another,
probably later, gives to Esarhaddon himself the title " King of Mugur "
and adds " who took captive the King of Meluh." The king who is so
definitely pointed out in a short display inscription as worthy of special
note cannot be a petty Negeb chief of a wandering tribe. He can only
be the greatest of the Assyrian's rivals, Taharka of Ethiopia. But then
Meluh must be Ethiopia.

We have a similar agreement of data in the accounts of Semacherib's
dealings with Egypt. II Kings 19 distinctly states that Taharka, king
of Kush (Kusi or Ethiopia), made an advance against Sennacherib.
It is unfortunate that just here we are very uncertain as to what were
the original sources of the various versions so badly welded together,
but that they are nearly contemporaneous and fairly accurate seems
certain. Whatever errors in detail, I do not see how the author of
such a document could fail to know what Egyptian king, in an advance



68 WESTERN ASIA IN THE DAYS OF SARGON

on another Assyrian king, saved Jerusalem. That Taharka had some
reason for his boasting may perhaps be surmised from his Karnak lists,
cf, Maspero, Empires, 368. Whatever his exaggerations, the basis
may well have been a victory in Syria.

Of great evidential value, because from so totally different a source,
is the story of Herodotus II. 141 which naturally goes back to Egyptian
beginnings. Here Sanacharibos invades Egypt, gets as far as Pelusium,
a short distance beyond 'Arish, and is driven back by divine inter-
vention. The story no doubt is fantastic and incorrectly located in
Egyptian history. But how the real name of an Assyrian king, correct
in every consonant, could have lingered on in Egypt as part of folk
story for over two centuries I can only explain by believing that some
such expedition was actually undertaken.

We have thus two foreign and absolutely unconnected sources stating
that Sennacherib had important dealing with Egypt. It would be ex-
tremely strange, if we should find no trace of such connections in
Sennacherib's own inscriptions. Yet this is what we must face, if, with
Winckler, we ascribe Prism II. 73 ff. to his Negeb Mugri. Now it
has been said that the real Egyptian relations were after 691 when the
Prism ends, the date of the capture of Babylon. The Babylonian
Chronicle also stops here, and the rest of the region is blank. Why?
It is hardly going too far to assume that these last ten years were
years of comparative peace. Sennacherib could not have been a very
young man, when he ascended the throne, and he was now probably
becoming old and less energetic. We would then be driven to take
the Altaqu campaign. Certainly there is nothing in the account which
forbids our taking Muguri as Egypt. There is no better time than just
now for kings instead of a single king to rule Egypt, for now was the
period of the Delta kings. Nor need we be troubled by these kings
calling in the king of Meluhha or Ethiopia. That is just what was
done. At least, the Ethiopian came in and probably he was invited.
The king had a body of chariots. It would be perfectly easy for
chariots to come through the level desert from Egypt. If we should
take Meluhha to be Ma'in, one would like to know just what route
these chariots took in their way down Ma'in to Altaqu. Our own
difficulties in carrying pack mules over the steep slippery passes of
the Arabah would make us doubt the possibility of the attempt.

It is possible that the Egyptian who led this expedition was Shabaka.
At any rate, we know he had dealings with Assyria in this period.
His seals have been found at Kalhu, attached originally to a treaty,
as the string marks on the lumps of clay indicate. These are 51-9-2,
43, and 81-2-4, 352, Layard, Nineveh and Babylon, 156 ff., the inscrip-
tions, E. A. W. Budge, Mummy, 1893, 249. Layard, op. cit., 159,



BABYLONIA AND SYRIA 69

attributes this to Sennacherib, Budge, Egypt, 1902, VI. 127, to Sargon.
The latter is perhaps more probable, as Kalhu was rather more occupied
by him. Perhaps a comparison with the other seals of Sargon, K.
391. 3781, S. 2276, might settle the question.

For Sargon's reign we have only general probability and topography
to guide us, but our experience thus far will materially assist. In
713 we have the revolt of Ashdod instigated by Piru, king of Mugri,
whom we naturally take to be a Pharaoh of Egypt. But Winckler
makes him a ruler of the Negeb Mugri. We may indeed compare the
"Arabian" Piram of Jarmuth, Josh. 10'. But Pharaoh is regularly
used for a king of Egypt, sometimes alone, sometimes prefixed to the
proper name as Pharaoh Necho. Just at this period Pera is used in
this sense by the Egyptians themselves. The Hebrews regularly used
Pharaoh as a proper name, and the Assyrians took lanzu in the same
fashion, though it is the Kashshite for " king." There are therefore good
grounds for supposing similar action in changing pera into Piru. Egyptian
intrigue here is the most natural, and the mention of a Pharaoh at just the
time when this title was most in use in Egypt seems quite conclusive. If
the kihri nari can be taken, Ashdod 42, in the face of the statement of
the Esarhaddon Annals, to refer to Wadi el 'Arish, then lamani would
be fleeing to cross the border at 'Arish. The explanation given above
of Mugri, a country of Ethiopia, would then fit well. We may suspect
that perhaps Egypt did not give up the fugitives. Two versions of
lamani's fate agree with two regarding Merodach Baladan. The third
admits that the latter escaped. Was the same true of the former?

Piru appears already in 716 in company with Samse, queen of Aribbi
and Itamra the Sabaean. Much has been made of this. In the Display
Inscription, 23, he follows Sibu of Muguri, which shows that the two
are to be connected topographically. In Annals 97, he follows
Samaria. Perhaps this is because mention of that city recalled to the
scribe the ruler who intrigued with it.

Sibu of Muguri was the cause of the revolt of Hanunu of Gaza. He
is clearly identical, as all have seen, with the So who caused the falling
away of Samaria, his name perhaps being read really Sibu or the like.
Perhaps we are not justified in comparing Shabaka, even if we take the
ka to be a suffix. At the same time, the resemblance seems hardly an
accident. Whether we take Sibu as Shabaka will depend in the last
resort on the settlement of the still too uncertain chronology of the
time in Egypt.

There is one difficult question for the advocates of the theory to
answer. If Sibu was falling back from Gaza to a Negeb Mugri or to
Ma'in itself, why did he go southwest to Raphia? This is on the road
to Egypt. To go into the Negeb proper, he should have proceeded



70 WESTERN ASIA IN THE DAYS OF SARGON

south^a^f along the well-travelled road to Khalaga (Elusa). If Sibu
was an Egyptian, all is clear. He was falling back on the Egyptian
frontier at Rhinocolura ('Arish) whence he had summoned his tartan
or general, for so we must take it with the Annals ; the Display Inscrip-
tion puts Sibu and Piru together and has place for only one king. He
was naturally overtaken at Raphia, his tartan had probably come up,
and the battle was fought at Raphia, where later the Seleucidae and
Lagidae contended for Palestine and where the present Egyptian
frontier is situated.

Much stress is also laid on the appointment of Idib'ili, a tribe (or
less well a man) to the office of qeputi^ over {eli) Mugri, by Tiglath
Pileser III, Clay Tablet of Nimrud, 56, etc. The Assyrian king had
just driven out Hanunu from Gaza. The next thing was an advance
on Egypt. To do so in safety, it was necessary to buy off the Arabian
tribes who now, as in the days of Cambyses, could make advance on
Egypt impossible. Our passage probably means only that these tribes
were won over or at least rendered neutral by the legalization of their
attacks, at least on Egypt, by making them a sort of officials, A close
parallel is the recognition of the status quo among the Kurds by the
present Sultan of Turkey legalizing these robber bands by calling them
imperial regiments.

May we go a step further and see in the Mugrai of Shalmaneser II,
Monolith, II. 92, Egyptians? We note at once that there is no topo-
graphical order in the list of contingents and thus we can not utilize
this means. We also note the small number, one thousand, and the
fact that no leader is named. This agrees well with the weak condition
of Egypt at this time, less than a century after Shishak invaded
Palestine in person. In this connection, it is perhaps significant that
W. M. Miiller, Zeitschr. f. Assyr., 1893, 209 if., seems to have shown
that the animals attributed to Mugri in the Black Obelisk are really
Egyptian.

Such are the main passages of the Assyrian inscriptions in which a
Negeb Mugri has been found. How many difficulties are in the way
have been indicated. One more question occurs. It is generally agreed
that the main narrative parts of the Pentateuch have assumed their
present form about 850 to 650 B. C, that is, in the very time in which
it is assumed that Mugri was an independent power. Scholars are
agreed that the touches of local Egyptian color in these stories date
from just this same period. It seems to be an important part of the
Mugri theory to assume that the story of the Exodus from Egypt was
in some attenuated form an exodus from the Negeb Mugri. Now the
question is just this. How was it that the exodus story was trans-
ferred from Mugri to Egypt and adorned with local color just at the



BABYLONIA AND SYRIA /I

place at the present time.^^ Hamath, as already noted, was
made an Assyrian colony.

In the case of one city, Samaria,^^ the native records tell
us a little more of this process of settlement. The city itself
had already been taken by Shalmaneser, but all further ar-
rangements seem to have been left to Sargon. Twenty-
seven thousand of the leading citizens of the kingdom were
deported^^ and settled in Mesopotamia and Media,^ there to

time when, according to the theory, Mugri was the one great power
of the southwestern world? Until this and similar questions and
objections are answered, we may very properly refuse to accept an
independent Mugri in the Negeb.

^'A governor of Dimashqu is known in 694, one of Samalla in 681,
of Samaria in 645, of Cimirra in 693, of Curri (Tyre) in 648, of Arpad
in 692, Johns, Deeds, II. 135 If. None of Hamath is known. In
702, Cil Bel was king of Gaza, Sennacherib, Prism, III. 25.

^ The more usual Assyrian form is Samerina A. 25, 97, D. 22, 33, B.
21, but Samirina occurs, D. 33, XIV. 15, P. IV. 31. For discussion
as to the actual form of the name vocalized in the present Hebrew
text Shomeron, but more probably Shamerain or Shameron, cf. B. Stade,
Zeitschr. f. Alttest. Wiss., IV. 165 if. The present name, Sebastieh,
is one of the rare instances of a Greek name, Sebaste, supplanting an
earlier Semitic one. Visited in April, 1905-

'^ The number of deported, 27,290, agrees very well with the 10,000
taken by Nebuchadnezzar from the much poorer Judah, II Kings, 24".
Both, if somewhat exaggerated, have the look of probability as compared
with the 200,150 taken from Judah by Sennacherib, Prism, III. 17.
It is curious to note that most writers, even Maspero, have 27,280.

'^The data for this deportation are found in II Kings 17'; 18",
which seem to rest on nearly contemporary, perhaps Assyrian, sources.
Of the two centers, one is clearly in Mesopotamia. Halah seems to
be the Chalkitis of Ptol. V. 17. 4, a region of Mesopotamia and may
possible be the Chalkidike, east of Apamaea, of Strabo, XVI. 2. 11.
That it is also the Kalachene of Strabo XVI and Ptol. VI is asserted
by Jeremias, Beitr. z. Assyr. III. 92 and Johns, Deeds, III. 478. It
is clearly the city Halahha of the Geographical Catalogue II. R. 53,
36, of K. 10922, and of 79-7-8, 303, 4, Schrader, Keilinschr. und d. Alte
Test., and Winckler, Forsch. I. 292. Jensen, /. c, and Johns, /. c,
place this latter in Assyria proper on the basis of an identification
of the city of Arbaha which is next mentioned in the list, with the



'J2 WESTERN ASIA IN THE DAYS OF SARGON

form a nucleus for that community of Jews, who for a long
time made the east the real center of Jewish thought. But
Samaria was not abandoned. The city was rebuilt and the

Armenian Albagh. But the connection with Harran in K. 10922 and
with Ragapa in II R. 53 clearly shows it to be rather in Mesopotamia.
This location is confirmed by the letter 83-1-18, 6 = H. 421, discussed
by Johns, Doomsday Book, 25. This letter, written probably in the
patois of the district, is from a certain Marduk shum ugur who informs
the king that ten homers of seed land in the land of Halahhu, granted
by his royal father, perhaps Sargon, have been confiscated by the gov-
ernor of Baralgu. He prays for redress, as he cannot leave the palace,
on account of his duties there, to attend to the suit in person. While
it might be rash to assert that Marduk shum ugur was actually one of
the absentee landlords who held their serfs by the feudal tenure we
so often see, the fact that Bible, census, and letter, dovetail so neatly


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