A. T. (Albert Ten Eyck) Olmstead.

Western Asia in the days of Sargon of Assyria online

. (page 8 of 18)
Online LibraryA. T. (Albert Ten Eyck) OlmsteadWestern Asia in the days of Sargon of Assyria → online text (page 8 of 18)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


into each other makes the probability of such a fact strong. K. 123 ^ J.
750 is another document of this sort, for it is a list of lands in Hilahha
belonging to Ahi iaqamu and gives the names of owners and of farm-
steads. We have here a good instance of the danger of conjectural
emendation. Winckler, in Alttest. Untersuch., 108 if., suggested
Balah for Halah. Fischer has done exactly the same thing in reading
Balichitis for Chalcitis in Ptol. V. 17, 4, while Muller read Charritis
or Harran. We now know that the manuscript reading is to be
retained in each case, and Winckler, Forsch., I. 292, has withdrawn his
conjecture.

The Habor is clearly the Mesopotamian Habur, the Chaboras of the
Greeks. Jeremias, /. c, is therefore incorrect in making it the small
Assyrian river of that name north of Mosul. Gozan again is not the Guzan
southwest of Lake Van, Schrader, Keilinschr. u. d. Alte Test., 275, but
the city of Guzana, II. R. 53 43a, etc., the Guazanitis of Ptol. VI. 17. 4.
An absolute proof of this Jewish settlement is found in K. 1366 = H.
662, discussed by Johns, Proc. Soc. Bibl. Arch., 1905, 188. Here we
have not only several lau (Yahweh) names but a certain Halbishu who
is called the Samaritan (Samirinai). Spiegel, in Delattre, Mkdes, no,
reads hare, " mountains," for 'are, " cities," of the Medes, on the basis
of Septuagint. I have long suspected myself that a more radical
emendation is needed to find a Mesopotamian town or country but have
had no success. However, Ainsworth, Proc. Soc. Bibl. Arch., 1892, 72,
may be right in understanding the Medes here as Mitani.



BABYLONIA AND SYRIA 73

survivors made Assyrian citizens with the usual tribute to
be paid to the Assyrian governor.^^

The system of deportation was in common use at this
time, the purpose being to break up the local attachments
and to make the new settlers, naturally on bad terms with
the original inhabitants of the land, feel that they owed
everything to the protection of the imperial power. Five
cases are known at least. In 720 the Aramaean tribes from
near Dur ilu, the Tumunu and the Mattisai, were settled in
Syria, probably at Hamath.*^ In 717 the revolted Papa and
Lallukua, two tribes of Hittite origin, were settled in Da-
mascus.*^ In 715 Sargon claims to have settled tribes
in Samaria from Arabia. More probably this was merely
an acknowledgment of the accomplished fact. As the
Syrian localities gradually became deserted owing to the
constant civil wars and the attacks of Assyria, the resistance
to the constant pressure from the desert weakened and the
Arabs pushed in even as they have to this day, when we still
have Bedawin considerable distances west of the Jordan.
If they only paid tribute, the Assyrians could have no ob-
jections to their settlement, and so to this cause perhaps as

"''A. II fF.; D. 24 /.; XIV. 15; P. IV. 3.1 / ; B. 21 ; C. 19. The last
three refer to the conquest of the land of Bit Humri, "the house of
Omri." A discussion of the general question of the settlement of
Syria would carry me too far afield. It should be noted, however, that
II Kings 17^*"^, which is often assigned to this reign, can hardly be so
placed. After stripping off the Deuteronomic accretions, we seem to
have an authentic core. The settlement of cultured men from Babylon
can hardly be ascribed to the Sargon who cared so well for that city.
Such a proceeding would be appropriate rather to Sennacherib or to
Ashur bani pal. Hamath is the only place mentioned in the Biblical
lists which could be well ascribed to Sargon's reign, and in this case
it is unlikely that men from Hamath should be settled so near home as
Samaria.

* See above.

D. 49, 56.



J^4 WESTERN ASIA IN THE DAYS OF SARGON

much as any other we owe the Aramaization of this region.*^
Daiukku (Deioces) of Media and Itti of Allabria were set-
tled at Hamath.*^

These four desert tribes of the " distant Arabs " ** were
the Tamudi, the ibadidi,*^ the Marsimani,'*'' and the Haiapa.
Their former location, if we can judge from the identifica-
tion of the Haiapa with the Midianite clan Ephah,*^ was on
the Gulf of Aqabah and along the eastern shore of the Red
Sea. It is also in this region, at the ruins of Medain Calih,
that we have localized the story of the Thamud, clearly the
Tamudi of our inscriptions. This Thamud, according to
the prophet Mohammed, was a great prehistoric tribe, the
successor of 'Ad. In the pride of their hearts they " made
from the plains castles and dug out the mountains into
houses." At last there came unto them the prophet Calih
who preached to them the doctrine of the Unity. Never-
theless, they would not accept the manifest sign of the she
camel, sprung from the rock in witness against them, but
hardened their hearts and hamstrung her. Then came the
great earthquake, and in the morning they all lay on their
faces, dead in their houses. Such was the tale told by the
prophet to point the moral to those who would not accept

"A. 52.

A. 94 ^.

" These Arbai had already been " conquered " by Tiglath Pileser,
Annals J 219.

"According to Halevy, Rev. Btud. Juives, 1884, 12, the Ibadidi are the
Ibad Ded, the servants of the well-known god Dad.

* The Marsimani are, according to F. Delitzsch, Wo lag das Parodies,
1 88 1, 304, the Maisaimameis of Ptolemy. F. Hommel, Ancient Hebrew
Tradition, 1897, 195, reads Mar Isimani and compares the Jeshimon of
Num. 21*, etc., and the lasumunu of K. 3500.

" Gen. 25*, etc. Delitzsch, Paradies, 304. For their location, cf. E.
Glaser, Skizze der Gesch. u. Geog. Arabiens, 1890, II. 261.



BABYLONIA AND SYRIA 75

his own teaching.*^ In reality, Thamud was a petty tribe in
Assyrian times, and as a petty tribe it was still known to the
Roman geographers.*

To the same year we have assigned the " tribute " the
senders no doubt considered it only a present from ruler to
ruler, of Piru of Mu<;ri (Pharaoh of Egypt) ,^^ Samsi
queen of the land of Aribbi, and of Itamra of Saba. Does
this "tribute" of Pharaoh mean a settlement by treaty of
the Syrian question by the two powers interested? The
fact that there has been found at Kalhu, where Sargon at
this time resided, a bit of clay, evidently affixed to a parch-
ment or papyrus document, bearing the seals of Shabaka
and of an unknown Assyrian ruler, seems to point in this
direction.^^

Samsi, queen of Aribbi, is interesting to us as representing
the older matriarchal form of authority current in Arabia,
the classic example of which is found in the Queen of

^* The story is given in greatest detail in Sura VII. 71 if. Elsewhere
we have frequent references, often extended. Thus, for example, Sura
XIV is called Al Hajr, " the rock," since our story holds the main
place in it. The later writers add nothing of value,

* The form Thamudenoi occurs, Diod. III. 44 ; Agatharcides, Geog.
Min., I. 181 ; Plin., N. H., 28, 32. Stephen of Byzantium, sub voc,
quotes Uranius for the form Thamuda. The Thamyditae of Ptol. VI
7. 4 may be the same, Schrader, Keilinschr. u, Geschforch., 263. Per-
haps we are also to see it in the Thamad of the Talmud, Wiesner,
Ben. Han., talm. forsch., no. 39, p. iii quoted A. Neubauer, Geog. du
Talmud, 1868, 300 n.' Glaser, op. cit., places them about Mecca, but
the legend seems to place it further north, at Medain Calih, where we
have the important Nabataean inscriptions.

Stress has been laid on the connection of Mucri with Aribbi. Has
it ever been noted that Mugri follows Samaria? May not the mention
of Samaria have suggested that the scribe should place here the sub-
mission of the power which had supported Samaria in its last revolt?

"A. H. Layard, Nineveh and Babylon, 1853, 156.



jd WESTERN ASIA IN THE DAYS OF SARGON

Sheba who visited Solomon. ^^ Samsi, who probably lived
in the desert region immediately south of the Euphrates
rather than in Arabia proper,^^ had already sent " tribute "
to Tiglath Pileser.^*

The mention of Itamra the Sabaean is of great importance
for our knowledge of Arabian history. Itamra must be one
of the mukarrib (princes) or kings who appear as Yatha-
'amar in the Sabaean inscriptions,^*^ and thus a clue is se-
cured for the chronology of pre-Muslim Arabia.^^ It also
gives us a new conception of conditions in that region. If
this was not a tribute, but rather a present from equal to
equal, why was it sent? No doubt, it was felt that the two
civilized powers ought to unite against the more barbarous
tribes between. Again, as the two countries had no mutual
boundaries to cause friction, so they had no commercial
rivalries, but rather they had goods each wished to exchange
with the other. Thus far, this trade had been in the hands
of Syrians, but the merchants of Assyria would be glad
to import their goods themselves and by a less round-about
route. The most important reason, no doubt, was the wish
of the Sabaeans to displace the older power of Ma'in. To
do this a stroke directed at their commerce would accom-
plish most. Assyria now held Gaza, the Mediterranean port

" With the name of the queen Samsi we should probably compare
the form Samsi used for the sun god Shamash in the Harran Census.
This is another hint as to location.

^ These Aribbi are probably to be located on the north border of
the desert near the Euphrates. Here Xenophon, Anab., I, 5. i found an
Arabia, here were the Arabes Skenitai of Strab. XVI. i. 3.

''^ Annals 210.

" For a list of these Yatha 'amars, see Mordtmann and Miiller,
Sabdische Denkmdler, 1883, 108. Cf. the Ithamar, son of Aaron,
Ex. 6^.

'^ This chronology is still uncertain, since we do not know whether
we are dealing with a real king or with an earlier makrab.



BABYLONIA AND SYRIA JJ

of the Minaeans. Assyria seems to have taken the side of
Saba and thus accelerated the decay of Ma'in.*^^

For about six years after the settlement of 720 Syria re-
mained fairly quiet. But, whatever the truth about a treaty
with Egypt, that country continued to intrigue with the
Philistine coast. About 714 Azuri,^^ king of Ashdod/
withheld tribute and instigated a revolt of his neighbors.
This was quickly quelled and his brother,^*^ Ahimiti, the
crown prince,^^ elevated to the throne. His reign was short,
for the anti-Assyrian party was still in control, and as soon
as the Assyrian army retired to go into winter quarters he
was overthrown and a mercenary Greek soldier from Cy-
prus, called lamani or "the Ionian," was chosen in his
place.^2 The revolt spread rapidly, Gath, Judah, Moab, and
Edom taking part.**^

" The early history of Arabia is worked out by E. Glaser, Skizze der
Gesch, Arabiens, 1889, a privately published work, impossible to secure,
cf. his Abessimier, 30. See also Winckler, in Helmolt, History of
the World, III. 248 and often in his Forsch. Here also should be
placed K. 1265, published by Winckler, Sammlung, II. 62; Johns,
Deeds, 752 ; translated by Winckler, Forsch., I. 465, and discussed by
Johns, op. cit.. III. 538. It seems to report a tribute of 164 white
camels sent by Hataranu and larapa, the headmen, rab kigir, who present
the tribute of this same Samsi of Aribbi. Other camels are sent by
Ganabu and Tamranu who are soldiers. For the names, cf. Johns,
/. c, where all are shown to bear good Arabic names.

** We also have Aziru in Amarna, 41 etc. Tiele, Gesch., 270 com-
pares the Biblical Azariah. Schrader, op. cit., 162 equates with 'Azur.

Ashdod was called Ashdudu by the Assyrians, Azotus by the Greeks,
and is the modern Esdud. Visited in January, 1905-

** Schrader, op. cit., 162, makes it Ahimiti, "my brother is man" or
" brother of death," comparing Ahimoth of I Chron. 6*".

*^ For talimu, cf. Winckler, Forsch., II. 193.

^ The name is generally written lamani, but in A. 220 the form
latna is used. We should compare the similar change from latnana
and lamna as applied to. Cyprus. Johns, Deeds, III. 124 cites the forms
lamanni, lamanu, lamani. Winckler, Mittheil. Vorderasiat. Gesellsch.,



78 WESTERN ASIA IN THE DAYS OF SARGON

How important this outbreak was is shown by the haste
with which Sargon acted. Although it was still early in the
year 713,^* too early for the feudal levy to be called out, he
did not hesitate, but sent his tartan, Ashur igka danin,^
with only the few hundred"^ in his own body guard. The
Tigris and Euphrates were crossed at full flood, and he

I. 26 n. I, would see in him a Yemanite rather than an Ionian. But
we know that only a little later Cyprus was in close relations with
Assyria, and it is certainly far easier for a Greek to come across the
sea from Cyprus than for a South Arabian to cross that country to
the Philistine seacoast. Indeed, a better time for the intervention of
a Greek could hardly be found. The almost total cessation of direct
intercourse between Egypt and Greece which had begun at the end
of the Mycenaean period proper, was now past and the century 750-650
marks the ever-increasing extension of the Greeks. As H. R. Hall,
Oldest Civilization of Greece, 1901, 269 n.**, well observes, the passage
Odyss. XIV. 257 if., where we have Cretan pirates plundering the
Egyptian coast until the king comes out in person, must refer to this
very time when the " Delta kings " divided the sovereignty of Egypt.
So strong was this Greek influence and so nurflerous were the Greek
emigrants that barely a half century later than Sargon, the Greeks had
their own cities in Egypt, the Melesian Fort, Daphnae^ and Naucratis.
It is the most natural thing in the world to assume that, in this great
outpouring of the Greek nation, a Greek pirate turned up in Ashdod,
and, in virtue of his superior armor and superior military training
which was already admitted, should take charge of affairs. It is rather
more difficult to see such a leader in the conductor of a Minaean caravan.
Compare also the Krethim of David's body guard, called Cretans by the
Greek version.

The Assyrian forms are Piliste, Gimtu, laudu, Udumu, Mabu. On
our last trip, we visited Edom and Moab.

** I have finally concluded that the chronology of the Prism is the
more probable. The Annals gives 711. See introduction.

^ That he was tartan is shown by K. 998, quoted by Johns, Deeds, II.
69. Note also that lamani is carried to Sargon's presence, D. 109 fF.',
XIV. 14.

^ If Winckler correctly understands K. 82-3-23, 131, he had but 420.

^^ G. Smith, Discoveries, 293, compares the similar action of Hezekiah,

II. Chron. 2^-*. I do not see where the water came from. Only wells
are used now.



BABYLONIA AND SYRIA 79

suddenly appeared in Syria. lamani had made his prepa-
rations, had surrounded the low-lying city with a trench,
secured a water supply from outside the city,^^ and called to
his aid troops from other parts of the country. In spite of
all this, he lost his heart when the Assyrians appeared so
suddenly and fled to Egypt whence he was extradited and
handed over to Sargon.^^

The cities of the Philistine plain were thus left defense-
less and at least Ashdod with its port^^ and Gath^*^ were
taken. Their inhabitants, men and gods alike, were carried

**A. 225 states that he was carried from Ashdod directly, yet D. 109
ff.) XIV. 14, states that he fled to Egypt and was extradited from thence.
We have also two such statements in the case of Merodach Baladan
along side of a third which relates his escape. Is such a third pos-
sibility to be considered here? When Muguri is said to be sha pat
of the region of Meluhha, need it mean more than that the fact of
Ethiopic control was known in Nineveh? It is well known that the
famous treaty between Ramessu II and the Hittites contained an ex-
tradition clause. Such treaties may still have been made.

The use of Meluhha for Ethiopia is a mere archaism such as is
very common in the later Assyrian empire, cf. e. g., Martu, Muski,
Hashmar, Mash, not one name of which seems really to correspond to
conditions in the time of Sargon. This is clearly shown in Ashur bani
pal, Ras, Cyl., where I 52 ana Magan u Meluhha exactly corresponds
with ana Mugur u Kusi.

Called Asdudimmu which Cheyne, Book of Isaiah, 1895, 121, com-
pares with Ashdod hay Yam or the seaport. It was the Azotas Paralios
of the classical writers and the Mahuz Azdud of Muqadasi, Le Strange,
Palestine, 24. Its present name, Minet el Qal'a, is derived from the
little modern fort which is the only building now there. The ruins
of the classical city are low lying and covered with sand and so worked
over by diggers that excavations would be of little value. Much fine
marble is dug up and many trinkets were offered us for sale. The
city seems to have been large and important and lay directly on the
sea. There was no harbor. To reach it is now a hard hour's struggle
over the blown sands. Visited in January, 1905.

" Gath is the Gimtu of the Assyrians. Its site is not known but
Tell es Safi, which we visited in January, 1905, is a splendid situation
and is not forbidden by the data we possess.



80 WESTERN ASIA IN THE DAYS OF SARGON

off into captivity. But these towns were too important to
remain desolate long. They were therefore rebuilt and set-
tled with loyal colonists. Over them was probably placed
that Mitinti we meet as king early in the reign of Sennache-
rib."^^ The other revolted states probably remained un-
conquered. If Sargon now held the cities of the Philistine
plain and controlled the great trade routes, he could afford
to permit a precarious liberty to the mountaineers of Judah,
Moab, and Ammon.'^

This sudden punishment seems to have strongly impressed
the imagination of the Syrians and to have had a good
effect in keeping Syria quiet. There are no further accounts
of revolts. For the twelve years which extend to the
invasion of Sennacherib in 701, there is absolutely not a
single fact known in regard to the history of Syria.

"According to A. 271, a governor was placed over the city but this
is probably a mere formula, as Sennacherib, Prism II. 51 (702) already
knows Mitinti as king.

"A. 215 ff.; XIV. 14; D. 90 ff. The fragments of Prism A. give
more detail. A few additions are made from K. 82-3-23, 131, published
by Winckler, Forsch., II. 570 if. Ascalon seems to have remained quiet
under its pro-Assyrian king, Rukibti, Sennacherib, Prism II. 62.



CHAPTER IV

THE NORTHWEST FRONTIER

The second of the frontiers was that on the northwest
which we have already touched upon in mentioning Samal.^
Here the greatest advance in the reign took place, although
the region had already been conquered by Shalmaneser I
and Tiglath Pileser I. The half-century-long weakness of
Assyria had given Haldia control of this region. Tiglath
Pileser HI broke the power of Sardurish and forced the
states to pay tribute. For some reason he did not attempt
to inflict his provincial system on them. Consequently, on
his death, Haldia once more gained the ascendency.^

Conditions were, however, changed, and Haldia found a
new power which was, if a rival, also an ally against Assyria.
This new power was that of Mita of Muski, or, to give him
the name he more commonly is known by, Midas the
Phrygian.^

^ Cf. chap. III. n. 20.

^ Annals, 59 If.

^ The fact that Midas and Mita were equivalent was first noted by H.
Rawlinson, in G. Rawlinson, Herodotus,^ I. 131, quoted by G. Rawlinson,
Monarchies, II. 151, n. 7. The definite working out of this identifica-.
tion was first done by Winckler, Forsch,, II. 136. He seems to think
that Mita was actually the Midas of the Greeks. But I rather believe
that the Mita lord of the [city] of the oracle 83-1-18, 557 =: Kn. 51
is the Midas who killed himself when defeated by the Cimmerians,
Strabo, I. 3. 21. The names of Gordius and Midas alternated in the
Phrygian dynasty, and I would, therefore, make this Mita the grand-
father of the last of the line. In the time of Tiglath Pileser I, Prism,
I. 62 if., the Muski are on the upper Euphrates. From that to the days
of Sargon, there is no reference to them, I believe that Winckler,
/. c, is right in thinking that Midas the Phygian is called the Muskian
6 81



82 WESTERN ASIA IN THE DAYS OF SARGON

Some centuries earlier a number of Thracian tribes had
invaded Asia Minor. The most important of these were
the Phrygians, who seem to have already worked their way
well to the east by the time of Tiglath Pileser. An oppor-
tunity for decided advance was here presented. Sardurish
was weakened by defeats and Shalmaneser was weak in
character. By the time when Sargon came to the throne,
all Asia Minor was Phrygian, or under Phrygian influence.
His actual frontier left the Mediterranean at Cilicia Trachaea
and ran past Lake Tatta to the Halys river, the earlier
Haldian boundary. Pteria itself, the old Hittite capital in
this region, was probably in his hands, and perhaps from
this fact he gained the title of the Muskian. He thus had,
it would seem, as large an immediate kingdom as the later
Lydians, while his influence beyond his borders to the east
was greater. It is rather startling to find Carchemish on the
Euphrates revolting at Phrygian instigation.

The first operations in this region took place in 718. In
this year, Kiakki of Shinuhtu,* a petty chieftain of Tabal,
a somewhat ill-defined term applied to southern Cappadocia,*^

by the Assyrians only because he had conquered the territory once held
by the Muski. With them are identical the Meshech of Gen. lo^ and
the Moschoi of Herod. III. 94, etc. Their present location was prob-
ably about Caesarea Mazaka, for Philostorgius, Hist. EccL, IX. 12,
makes as eponymous founder of that city, Mosoch, the ancestor of the
Cappadocians.

* Delattre, L'Asie Occidentale, quoted by Maspero, op. cit.^ 239 n.',
makes Shinuhtu the capital of a district on the Saros. This would bring
it only a few miles east of Tyana. But between that valley and the
Tyana region, there are two mountain ranges running north and south,
one over ten thousand feet high, and there are no roads between. If
we assume that the advance was across the Cilician Gates and that
Shinuhtu was between them and Tyana, on the great road, we have
no objection, and the whole series of campaigns has a beginning we
can understand.

^ Tabal corresponds to the Tibarenoi of Herod. III. 94, etc. At this
time, it clearly means South Cappadocia in general.



THE NORTHWEST FRONTIER 83

refused to send tribute any longer, instigated, it may be
presumed, by Midas. An army was sent against him, prob-
ably that commanded by the governor of eastern Cilicia or
Que. Tarsus appears to have been the base. From this the
army followed the time-honored war route which led through
the Cilician Gates.' In the rough Taurus country to the
north the war dragged on until finally Kiakki and his fight-
ing men were captured and deported.^

Shinuhtu was not made a separate province, perhaps be-
cause it was too small and too poor to be worth the trouble.
A certain Matti of Tuna (Tyana) offered to pay a higher

' Que is the eastern part of the classical Cilicia whose capital was
Tarzi or Tarsus, Sachau, Zeitschr. /. Assyr.^ 1892, 98, the Koaios of
Hicks, Jour. Hellen. Stud., XI. no. VI. i, and the Kouas of CIG. 4402,
4410. For the Assyrian forms Qu, Qua, Quai, Quia, cf. Johns, Deeds,
III. 463. W. M. Miiller, Mitth. Vorderasiat. Gesell, 1898, 3, 59 com-
pares Kyinda = Que plus nda.

'' Cyrus the younger and Alexander, for example, took this road. In
mediaeval times, it was the Darb es Salamah, the great war route
leading north from the Bab al Jihad or " Gate of the Holy War,"
whence each year an army went forth against the Christians, cf. Le
Strange, Eastern Caliphate, 133 /. The new railway crosses the Taurus
by the same route.

' A. 42 ff. ; D. 28 /. That he is called shar Tabali does not mean
that he is king of all Tabal, N. 11. Shar may here mean only " prince."

"Tuna, or, with prosthetic aleph, Atuna, occurs also in Annals 153 of
Tiglath Pileser. I have no doubt that it is the classical Tyana, a
highly important place, cf. W. Ramsay, Hist. Geog. Asia Minor, 1890,
546 n., and Tyanitis, the region immediately about it. The fact that
Hittite inscriptions have been found at the nearby Bor is a further
confirmation. Sachau, Zeitsch. f. Assyr., 1892, 98 and Maspero, op.
cit., 239 n.^ think it rather the Tynna of Ptol. V. 6. 22 and C.I.L. VI.
5076. It is very peculiar that a name so similar to Tyana should be
found so near it, but the epigraphical evidence seems to prove its sepa-
rate existence. The maps omit it. But whether there was a Tynna or
not, I cannot understand the reasoning which would prefer a practically
unknown town to a city so old that it was later considered sacred
and so important that it gave its name to a strategeia. Winckler, in his


1 2 3 4 5 6 8 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

Online LibraryA. T. (Albert Ten Eyck) OlmsteadWestern Asia in the days of Sargon of Assyria → online text (page 8 of 18)