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BABYLONIAN AND ASSYRIAN LETTERS - Rev. Claude Hermann Walter Johns, Babylonian and Assyrian Laws, Contracts and Letters 
Babylonian and Assyrian Laws, Contracts and Letters (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1904).
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BABYLONIAN AND ASSYRIAN LETTERS
LETTERS AND LETTER-WRITING AMONG THE BABYLONIANS AND ASSYRIANS
External form of the lettersThe ancient Babylonians early discovered the convenience of written communication between friends at a distance. The origin of letter-writing is not yet clear; for, when we first meet with letters, they are fully developed. A piece of clay, usually shaped like a miniature pillow, was inscribed and then enclosed in an envelope made of a thin sheet of clay. On the envelope was written the address. As a rule, the letter was baked hard before being put into its envelope.Their envelope Powdered clay was inserted to prevent sticking. The envelope, after being inscribed, was also baked hard. Of course, the letter could not be read without breaking the envelope, which was therefore a great protection to the interior letter. The envelope was naturally thrown away after being broken. Hence, extremely few envelopes have been preserved.
Their datesThe practice of dating letters does not seem to have been common. We have dated letters at all epochs, but they are few. In some cases the date may have been on the envelope. It is more common for the writer to give the day of the month, sometimes also the month. But the date of a letter was probably not then of any great importance.
Another method of insuring privacySome letters seem to have been covered with coarse cloth, on which was impressed a lump of clay, to act as a seal and bind down the edges. The lumps were then sealed with a signet-ring, or cylinder-seal. The clay envelopes were also sealed, before baking, with the sender’s seal. So usual was this habit, that the word for seal, unu, is often used to denote a sealed letter. Thus when an official acknowledges the receipt of the king’s “seal,” it means a sealed order or rescript.
Style of the opening addressThe early Babylonian letters usually open with the formula, “To A say: Thus saith B.” The formula probably goes back to the times when the message was verbally delivered. These would be the words used to a messenger who had to remember the message. The verb “saith” is not expressed exactly. The word used is umma, which is often rendered “saying”; it introduces a direct quotation. We might render, “In the name of B.” But the written letter replaced the spoken message. Some think the letter was read by a professional reader. Such readers are common still, where education is not widely diffused. It is very clear that the letter was generally written by a scribe. Thus, all ammurabi’s letters show the same hand, while those of Abêshu or Ammi-ditana are quite different. In the case of private letters we have less proof. But it is possible that the king sometimes wrote with his own hand. Some terms of expression render that very likely. It is, however, quite impossible to be certain on such points.
Variations of the formulaThe same opening formula also appears in the Tell el Amarna letters. It is not known in Assyrian letters, but survived in Babylonia to a late period. In Assyria the formula is nearly the same; with the omission of the ibi, or “say,” it reads “To A thus B.” In addresses to superiors, usually adds “thy servant.” Polite letters generally add good wishes for the recipient. These are exceedingly varied. The word šulmu plays a great part in them. Literally it denotes “peace.” “Peace be to thee” is very common. But it soon came to mean the “greeting of peace.” Thus “I have sent ana šulmika” means “I have sent to wish thee peace,” “to greet thee.” But it also takes the more general meaning of well-being. Thus šulmu iâši means “I am well,” “it is peace with me”; not only absence from war, but health and all prosperity was included. Hence Joram’s inquiry of Jehu, “Is it peace, Jehu?” means “Is everything all right?” “Be thou at peace” may be rendered loosely, “I hope you are well,” in the fullest sense that “all is well with you.” No consistent rendering can be given for such phrases as these.
References to a former correspondenceVery often letters quote the previous message of the present recipient, ša tašpuranni, “what thou didst send me.” But the quotation is often omitted and then this becomes an awkward rendering. We have to fill up some general sentence such as, “as to what you sent about.” A very difficult sort of construction arises when the writer sets down a list of questions, which he has been asked, and the answer to each. As there are no capitals, periods, or questionmarks, there is often some difficulty in separating a question from its answer. This may be done differently by different translators, with startlingly different results.
Elliptical phrasesVery many sentences are elliptical. Thus, it was common to add at the end of the letter something like, “I leave it to you to decide.” This might be put, “As the king, my lord, sees fit, let him do.” But a scribe would often merely say, “As the king sees fit.” Such elliptical sentences are often very difficult to complete. They were obviously clear to the recipient. To us they leave a wide margin for conjecture.
Inscribed seals on packagesVery early indeed in the history of Babylonia a sort of postal system had been developed. At any rate, in the time of Sargon I., bc 3800, an active exchange of commodities existed between Agade and Shirpurla. Packages or vessels of produce or goods were forwarded and with them small blocks of clay, impressed with seals and inscribed with the address of the recipient. These were probably used to prevent the fastenings of the packages from being untied, and on their backs may be seen the impressions of the strings which fastened the packages.1 As it happens, no letters have yet been published from the era preceding the First Dynasty of Babylon; but we can hardly doubt that such exist.
Letters of the First Dynasty of BabylonIn the time of the First Dynasty of Babylon letters appear frequently in the collections of tablets brought to our museums. The volumes of Cuneiform Texts from Babylonian Tablets, etc., in the British Museum, published by order of the Trustees,2 contain a large number of letters from copies made by Mr. T. G. Pinches. These have been made the subject of a study by Dr. Mary Williams Montgomery.3 Mr. L. W. King, in his work, The Letters and Inscriptions of ammurabi, published fifty-five letters of ammurabi to his subordinate officer, Sin-idinnam, six letters of Samsuiluna, thirteen of Abêshu’, two of Ammiditana, five of Ammizaduga, and two private letters. These were all transcribed, translated, annotated, and, with a number of other contemporary inscriptions, issued with admirable introductions, glossary, and index.4 Nowhere can a more vivid picture be obtained of the great empire and the manifold duties of a Babylonian king. A number of the texts published in the first volume were translated and commented upon by Dr. G. Nagel under the title, Die Briefe ammurabi’s an Sin-idinnam.5 Professor Delitzsch added some valuable notes. Dr. B. Meissner had already published the text of four letters as Altbabylonische Briefe.6 Professor V. Scheil gave the text of two letters of this period, found by him at Sippara, in the Recueil de Travaux1 and noticed others, and some more in his Une Saison de fouilles a Sippar.2 These are preserved at Constantinople, but the text has not yet been published. They are chiefly private letters and of a business nature. There are a great many other letters in American and European museums, the publication of which should not be longer delayed.
Of the subsequent periodFor the long period before the Tell el Amarna times, circabc 1500, nothing of any extent seems to have been published, though letters are also known to exist of this period. A late copy of one such letter, addressed by Adadi-Shumnâṣir, King of Babylon, to Ashur-narara and Nabû-dâni, kings of Assyria, about bc 1250, is partly preserved in the British Museum.3
The Tell el Amarna lettersThe Tell el Amarna tablets, some three hundred in number, were discovered in 1887-88, at the ruins of the palace of Amenophis IV., in Egypt. They will form the subject of a separate volume of this series. They consist of the letters or despatches sent to kings of Egypt by the kings of Babylon, Assyria, Mitanni, and the subject-rulers of many Syrian and Palestinian cities and states. From these can be obtained a very clear view of the state of Syria and Palestine just before the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt. Naturally, these letters have formed the subject of a very large literature. The most complete edition of the texts is by Winckler, Der Thontafelfund von el Amarna.4 With these should be compared Dr. J. A. Knudtzon’s Ergebnisse einer Collation der El Amarna Tafeln and Weitere Studien zu den El Amarna Tafeln.5 A full transcription with translation and glossary to these texts has been given by Winckler, as Die Thontafeln von Tell el Amarna.1 An excellent English translation by J. P. Metcalf is to be had. There are a few of these tablets, which found their way into private hands, or to other museums than London, Berlin, and Gizeh, whence Winckler’s copies were obtained. It is a duty to science that these should now be published. In the Bulletin de l’Institut Français d’Archéologie orientale, t. II., published at Cairo, Professor Scheil gives the text of two more of these important letters. The explorer, Dr. F. Bliss, found another in the ruins of Lachish. It is included in Winckler’s work above. Professor Sellin has lately found several tablets, which by their script and personal references are shown to belong to this period. They were found at Ta’annek, and are published by Dr. Hronzy in the Anzeige der philos. hist. Klasse der Wiener Akademie.2 The interest of these additions lies in the fact that they were found in Palestine itself.
Cappadocian lettersThe numerous Cappadocian tablets are now generally recognized by their language and script to belong to this period. They also show considerable affinity with the documents of the First Dynasty of Babylon, and the Tell el Amarna letters preserve many characteristic expressions.
Assyrian lettersThe subsequent periods in Babylonia are represented by few letters. It is not until we come down to the end of the eighth century and the Sargonide times that we meet with many letters. The archives of Nineveh contained immense numbers. A great many of these are now in the Kouyunjik Collections of the British Museum. There they early attracted attention. Being written by the imperial officials to the kings of Assyria, they contain most valuable material for history.Published texts George Smith in 1871 gave extracts from several of them in his History of Ashurbanipal. A number were published in Rawlinson’s Cuneiform Inscriptions of Western Asia. Mr. S. A. Smith, in the Proceedings of the Society of Biblical Archæology, 1887-89,1 and in the second and third volumes of his Keilschrifttexte Asurbanipals gave some seventy more. Professor Delitzsch also published a number in his Zur assyrisch-babylonischen Briefliteratur,2 and in his translations and comments laid the real foundation for their interpretation. In 1892 Professor R. F. Harper began the colossal task of publishing the text of all the letters from Nineveh, in his Assyrian and Babylonian Letters belonging to the Collections of the British Museum, of which eight volumes are already published.3
TranslationsA considerable number of scholars have busied themselves with the translation and elucidation of these texts. Professor C. Johnston in his work, The Epistolary Literature of the Assyrians and Babylonians;4 C. van Gelderen, Ausgewählte babylonisch-assyrische Briefe;5 A. J. Delattre, Quelques Lettres Assyriennes;6 G. R. Berry, The Letters of the Rm. 2 Collection, in American Journal of Semitic Literature, xi., pp. 174-202; F. Martin, Lettres assyriennes et babyloniennes—besides the many articles by other scholars on particular words or subjects—have contributed to the understanding of these difficult texts. Professor R. F. Harper has published a few preliminary studies on these texts.7 Dr. H. Winckler not only gave several important texts in his Texte verschiedenen Inhalts,8 but translations and comments on them in his Altorientalische Forschungen.1
Late Babylonian lettersThe letter-texts of the latter Babylonian period at present published are extremely few. Some may be found in Strassmaier’s great collection of Babylonische Texte, among the contracts. A list of those for the reigns of Nabonidus and Nebuchadrezzar is given in Dr. K. L. Tallqvist’s Die Sprache der Contracte Nabû-nâ’ids, p. xviii.
Historical value of the lettersOne of the uses to which the letters may be put is to illustrate the history of the time. From the letters of ammurabi we can gather a great deal of information as to the civil policy of the reign. From the Tell el Amarna tablets we may reconstruct almost a complete survey of the condition of politics in Palestine. From the Assyrian letters we can rewrite the history of affairs in Armenia at the end of Sargon’s reign, or the wars with Elam in Ashurbânipal’s time.
General valueThe letters are also a rich mine of information on all sorts of topics, and those very often on which almost all other literatures are silent. We gain here a closer and more intimate acquaintance with humanity than at any other period of ancient history. We must not expect finality in our translations for a long while to come. Fresh documents will continually be found or published that will help us to revise our views. But that is the perennial interest of the letters. We may read and reread them, always finding something fresh to combine with every new piece of information.
Methods of classificationSeveral different methods of classifying the letters suggest themselves. One plan would be to group those letters which illustrate some phase of civil life. Thus we may collect the references to medical cases, or the illustrations of religious life, or the contributions to astronomy and astrology. But none of these methods will be exhaustive or generally applicable. A letter rarely deals with only one subject. The only scientific classification seems to be that adopted by Professor Harper in his edition of the Nineveh letters, or Mr. King in his letters of ammurabi. This is to place together all the letters written by one scribe. Here we have two difficulties. There may be more than one scribe of the same name. Thus it is practically certain that in Professor Harper’s groups of letters apparently assigned to one man, more than one person is often really involved. Again, a very large number of letters no longer preserve the name of their scribe. Only a prolonged study can reduce these difficulties; it is not likely that we shall ever quite eliminate error.
Royal lettersThere is one large group that has a claim to separate consideration. Many letters are written by, or to, a king. They are on various subjects. A subdivision might be made of reports sent by officials concerning public affairs. But even these often contain side-references; and at the last we have really to consider each letter as a separate document.
THE LETTERS OF AMMURABI
Great historical value of this collectionThe letters of ammurabi are by far the most important collection of letters hitherto published for the period of the First Dynasty of Babylon. They had a certain adventitious value at one time, because one of them was thought to contain the name of Chedorlaomer, and this association with ammurabi, as Amraphel, was exploited in the interests of a defence of the historical value of Genesis xiv. Mr. L. W. King’s edition of the letters, however, showed that such a use was unwarranted. But it served a much more useful end, giving us a very full picture of the times of the founder of the First Babylonian Empire. The excellent account given by Mr. King of the contents of these letters is fairly exhaustive. The importance of such sources for history cannot be overestimated. They are contemporary. They are not written to impress posterity, but with absolute fidelity to fact. We may disbelieve some of the excuses made for misconduct, but in the references to current events or general customs we have a sure witness, if only we can understand them. This is often difficult because a letter presupposes relations between the correspondents which we must conjecture.
The letters to Sin-iddinamSince Mr. King’s introduction to his first volume gives a full account of the few letters previously published, this need not be reproduced here. Of ammurabi’s letters fifty-three are addressed to one and the same man, Sin-iddinam. It is doubtful whether he was the King of Larsa who bore this name, or the official who in the next reign seems to be Governor of Sippara. There are many persons who bore this name known at this period. However, several mentions of the temple of Shamash at Larsa occur in these letters and there is a certain presumption that Sin-iddinam of Larsa was the person intended.
ammurabi as an administratorammurabi’s ability as an administrator, which these letters reveal, and his care even for small details of his rule, may well be the reason why his empire proved so stable. He established a tradition which was long followed by his successors. He organized his land, appointed governors, and held them responsible to himself. He had a direct interest in their doings and sent minute written instructions, demanding reports, summoning defaulters to his presence, or directing their punishment where they were. The dates for his reign, as for others of the dynasty, show, not only raids and conquests, but chiefly public works of utility. The construction or repair of canals, public buildings, temples, the ordering of justice, are works that repaid his care.
His care for the revenues of the templesammurabi was a man of many business enterprises. The collection of the temple revenues was an object of his attention. There is no evidence that these were available for his use, but he had a personal interest in all that was right and just. To him the herdsmen and shepherds of the temple flocks and herds had to report. He often appears as restoring, rebuilding, or adorning shrines, and he was careful of his religious duties. Thus he postponed a case because of a festival at Ur, which he seems to have found demanded the presence of one of the parties.
The ordering of the calendarHe had to settle important questions concerning the calendar; whether or not reports of astronomical observations were then received is not clear, but at any rate the king decided when the intercalary months should be inserted. Thus he told Sin-iddinam there was to be a second Elul.
His supervision of justiceThe administration of justice was also no small part of his work. Not only did he promulgate a code, but he also superintended its execution. There was a right of appeal to his judgment. He actively supervised his judges in the provinces. Thus a case of bribery was reported from Dûrgurgurri and he instructed Sin-iddinam to investigate the case and send the guilty parties to Babylon for punishment. He upheld a merchant’s claim against a city governor, for the recovery of a loan. He protected the landowners against money-lenders. He examined claims to land and sent instructions to Sin-iddinam to carry out his decision. Thefts of corn, loans withheld, rents, were adjudicated by him. He summoned not only the parties, but the witnesses, to Babylon. Prisoners were sent under escort, and arrests ordered.
His private propertyThe king’s own herds and flocks were a personal care to him. They were stationed in various parts of the country. He received reports about them, or sent inspectors to report upon them. On one occasion he summoned forty-seven shepherds to come and report to him in Babylon. He ordered additional shearers to assist those already at work. He regulated supplies of wood, dates, seed, and corn. These were often sent by ship, and there is evidence of a large number of ships being employed, of varied capacities.
His building enterprisesPublic buildings demanded large gangs of workmen. They were drawn from the slave and serf population. A great many letters are concerned with the supply and movements of these laborers. Whether forced labor was inflicted as a punishment may be doubted. But the corvée was in full operation. The hire of laborers is referred to, and it is probable that the forced laborers were fed and clothed at the expense of the state. Thus we see that ammurabi was a busy man and worked hard to build up his empire. His successors, though we have fewer of their letters, seem to have been fully as active.
The return of the goddesses of Emutbal to their homesIt is not easy to select specimens for this period. Each letter has an interest of its own, and it is tempting to include most of them. But we may take the two letters referring to the goddesses of Emutbal, because one of them by a series of misreadings and misunderstandings was made to contain the famous reference to Chedorlaomer. The first1 may be rendered.
To Sin-iddinam say, thus saith ammurabi: Now I am sending Zikir-ilishu, the ab-ab-ul, and ammurabi-banî, the du-gab, to bring the goddesses of Emutbal. Do thou forthwith embark the goddesses in a procession-boat (state barge) and let them come to Babylon. Let the hierodules come with them. For the sustenance of the goddesses embark food, drink, sheep, ship’s furniture, and travelling expenses for the hierodules, until they reach Babylon. Appoint men to draw the ropes, and biru men, that the goddesses may come safely to Babylon. Let them not delay but come quickly to Babylon.
The date of their captureThese goddesses were very likely captured during an expedition to Emutbal which was a border province of Elam. It is natural to associate this with the thirty-first year of ammurabi, for which the full date is:
“The year of ammurabi, the king, in which by the help of Anu and Bêl he established his good fortune, and his hand cast to the earth the land of Iamutbal and Rim-Sin, the king.”2
The transport of the goddesses was made possible by the system of canals. Intercommunication was in an excellent state, for ammurabi ordered a man to be sent to Babylon from Larsa, and allowed him two days, travelling day and night. The hierodules are the female attendants of the goddesses. The officers whom ammurabi sent bear titles not yet clearly recognized. The name ammurabi-banî points to a deification of the king. Whether the goddesses reached Babylon and there brought misfortune on the country and so were sent back again, or whether their restoration to their shrines in Emutbal was part of the king’s policy for a pacification of the conquered country, does not appear. But we read in another letter:1
“To Sin-iddinam say, thus saith ammurabi: The goddesses of Emutbal, which are in thy command, the troops of Inusamar shall bring safely to thee. When they shall reach thee, combine the troops with those in thy hands and restore the goddesses to their shrines.”
The construction of the passage seems to imply that the goddesses had protected Inu-samar. The latter was in command of troops that were within Sin-iddinam’s jurisdiction; for when Sin-mâgir complained to ammurabi that Inusamar had impressed some of his servants for military service contrary to a bond given him by the king, ammurabi referred the matter to Sin-iddinam, ordering the servant to be given up.2 It was this name Inu-samar that Scheil misread as Kudur-nû-gamar.
The care of the canalsA number of letters concern the canals of the country. Thus we read:3
“To Sin-iddinam say, thus saith ammurabi: Summon the people who hold fields on the side of the Damanu canal, that they may scour the Damanu canal. Within this present month let them finish scouring the Damanu canal.”
Here we are introduced to the duty which lay upon riparians to keep the canals running alongside their land in order. This was part of the ilku, or customary obligation. It lay with the governor to enforce it. In another letter4 the king complains that a canal which had been partly cleared had not been cleared as far as Erech, and so the boats could not enter that city. Here Sin-iddinam was ordered to do the work with the men at his disposal and complete it in three days. After that he was to go on with the work he had already been ordered to do. In another fragmentary letter the king orders the clearing away of the water-plants which had obstructed the course of the Euphrates between Ur and Larsa. One is reminded of the sudd on the Nile.1
A case of briberyThe case of bribery is referred to in a way that leaves it rather doubtful whether a theft may not be meant. The meaning of the word rendered “bribe” by King is unknown, and his identification of tâtu with da’tu is not certain. But at any rate the wrong was brought under the cognizance of ammurabi, and he writes:2
To Sin-iddinam say, thus saith ammurabi: Shumma-ilu-lâ-ilu saith thus, so saith he, “In Dûr-gurgurri bribery has taken place. The people who took the bribe and the witnesses who know the affair are here.” Thus he saith. Now I will send this same Shumma-ilu-lâilu, a du-gab and a . . . to thee. When this letter is seen inquire into the matter. If there is bribery, take the money, or what was given as a bribe, seal it up and send to my presence. The people that received the bribe, and the witnesses who know the case, whom Shumma-ilu-lâ-ilu will disclose, send to me.
A case of oppression redressedA case of oppression by a governor is complained of, and redressed by the king. He writes:3
To Sin-iddinam say, thus saith ammurabi: Lalu, the kadurru, hath informed me thus, saith he, “Ani-ellati, the governor rabiânu, has laid claim to [alienated] the field which I have held since . . . and [taken] the corn of the field.” Thus he hath informed me. The tablet can be seen in the palace. Lalu holds two gan of land. Why has Ani-ellati, the governor, laid claim to Lalu’s field? Inquire into the matter. If Ani-ellati has lent on mortgage to Lalu, the kadurru, grant him his debt and lay the blame on Ani-ellati, who lent on pledge.
It is clear that Lalu was one of those privileged officials who held lands by royal charter, and who could not be dispossessed of their land. The Code directs1 that a governor shall not lend on mortgage to a reeve or runner or tributary, under pain of death. Although a kadurru is not there named, this letter makes it probable he was similarly protected. It is interesting to notice where the record was to be found. The palace, or “great house,” was the residence of the governor. The tablet probably recorded the appointment of Lalu to his benefice; it therefore was his title-deed.The depository for deeds An interesting question may be raised here. Did ammurabi mean in his own palace? It may be so, for he writes in another letter:2
To Sin-iddinam say, thus saith ammurabi: One gan of water-meadow, a field in the district of Dûr-gurgurri is an old possession of Ea-lubanî. In a tablet it is inscribed as his. Give the field to Ea-lubanî.
Now how could ammurabi know this unless the tablet had been shown to him? Perhaps the claimant brought his tablet with him when he came to lay his plea before the king. That is quite possible, but it may well be that the king insisted that all title-deeds be deposited in the capital.
Restitutions orderedAn order for the restoration of stolen corn appears in another letter:3
To Sin-iddinam say, thus saith ammurabi: Ṭummumu of Nippur hath informed me thus, saith he, “I deposited seventy gur of corn in a granary in Unabu and Amêl-ili has opened the granary and taken the corn.” Thus he hath informed me. Now I will send Ṭummumu himself to thee. Send and let them bring Amêlili to thee. See what they have to say. The corn belonging to Ṭummumu which Amêl-ili took let him return to Ṭummumu.
Another letter reads thus:1
To Sin-iddinam say, thus saith ammurabi: Ilushu-iḳîsh, the merchant, over five, has informed me thus, saith he, “Thirty gur of corn I gave to Sin-mâgir, the Šakkanak, and I took his receipt. I have asked for it for three years and he has not given back the corn.” Thus hath he informed me. I have seen his receipt. Cause Sin-mâgir to give up the corn and its interest and give it to Ilu-shu-iḳîsh.
The title “over five” seems to be meant literally. He was a superior merchant. Like many another hint, this speaks for the strict organization of each class of the community. The Šakkanak was usually the superior official, “governor,” of a city, or of a ward of a city. We are not told what was Sin-mâgir’s district. But it was under Sin-iddinam’s rule. In other letters we read of a Sin-mâgir being sent to Babylon.2 Perhaps he refused to give up the corn.
Another letter illustrates the incidence of taxes and the relations of landlord and tenant:3
About taxesTo Sin-iddinam say, thus saith ammurabi: As to what I sent to thee about the corn that is the tax on the field of Ibni-Martu, which is in the hands of Etil-bi-Marduk, to be given to Ibni-Martu; thou didst say, “Etil-bi-Marduk hath said thus, saith he, ‘I have cultivated another field together with the field of Ibni-Martu, and the corn is all garnered in one place, let them declare on oath before God how much corn was from the field of Ibni-Martu and let them take the tax.’ Thus he said. But Ibni-Martu did not agree. Saith he, ‘Without Ibni-Martu one can do nothing.’ Thus he said, and went away.” As to what thou didst send, “the corn, as much as was in his field, should be declared before God and the tax given him.” As thou didst send, let them declare before God how much corn was in the field of Ibni-Martu, and pay Ibni-Martu the corn that is the tax on his field.
The case is not quite clear, but Ibni-Martu owed a tax on his field. He had either mortgaged or let his field to another. This tenant had not given him the corn to pay the tax and excused himself on the ground that the produce of the field was now mixed up with that of another field. Hence he could not say how much the tax should be; clearly it was proportionate to the yield. The method of solving the difficulty was that a sworn estimate had to be taken from competent witnesses and the tax levied on that basis. This course was recommended by Sin-iddinam in a previous report on the situation. The amount was to be given to the landlord, who then had to pay the tax. He clearly had no rent in corn from the land; but he could not sell or mortgage his crop except subject to the tax. The mortgagee was liable for the tax and the owner was bound to pay. The mortgagee must furnish him the means to do so; he had no right to claim the part of the crop due as tax, whatever bargain he had made with the owner of the land.
Commerce under strict control by the StateWhile agriculture was in the hands of free men who only paid on produce, there are indications that commerce was very strictly controlled by the State. The merchant was the only money-lender as a rule. He also seems to have acted as contractor, or farmer of taxes. The merchant, or factor, was under the king’s protection and also directly responsible to him. Hence some have regarded him as a royal official. But this is hardly correct. He was to ammurabi what the Jew of the Middle Ages was to the king then, or the Stock Exchange or Bourse is now. Probably we should not be far wrong in applying to him the term “publican,” in the New Testament sense. He owed a certain amount to the treasury, which he recouped from the taxes due from the district for which he contracted.The collection of taxes If he did not secure enough, he had to make up the deficit. The following letter1 deals with what was probably common, namely, an evident reluctance on the part of such officials to settle accounts:
To Sin-iddinam say, thus ammurabi: Concerning the chief collector, Shêp-Sin, I wrote to thee, saying, “send him with one thousand eight hundred gur of sesame and nineteen minas of silver, due from him, as well as Sin-mushtal, the chief collector, with eighteen hundred gur of sesame and seven minas of silver, due from him, send them to Babylon, and send with them the market rates (?) . . . ” But thou didst say that these chief collectors had said, “Just now is harvest-time, after harvest we will go.” Thus they said, and thou didst tell me. Now the harvest is over. On receipt of this tablet, when I have sent to thee, send Shêp-Sin, the chief collector, with one thousand eight hundred gur of sesame and nineteen minas of silver, his due, and Sin-mushtal, the chief collector, with one thousand eight hundred gur of sesame and seven minas of silver, his due, to Babylon; and with them thy trustworthy guard, and with all their property let them come and appear before me.
The title which I have rendered “chief collector” may be read “scribe of the merchants.” The sign pa, read aklu, does in some of its connections mean “scribe,” as tamkaru does mean “merchant.” But the sign often denotes merely an overseer. Hence we may take it that this was the derived meaning. The reason may well be that over a group of shepherds or merchants, one was always set who could keep accounts. Hence the term aklu, properly a “scribe,” came to be an “overseer.” Such a high official as the paMartu would be the Superintendent of Martu. The person referred to in this letter, Shêp-Sin, occurs also in two other letters of ammurabi.1 In one, Sin-iddinam is told to send him to Babylon with money; in the other, he complains of not being able to collect money due to a temple, and having to make up the deficit himself.
Illegal impressment for public serviceThe officials who were under obligation to furnish men for public work and the army, doubtless often found a difficulty in making up their quota, and impressed men who were not strictly liable for duty. Such men as those called kadur, kapar, mu, patesi, are named on the letters as exempt from the service. But even this is not conclusive. They are not exempted because they are of these ranks, but because they have been wrongly assigned to the service. Their masters may have been exempt from the liability to furnish a man; or already engaged in royal service. Slaves and poor men were subject, as we know from the Code. Here is one of the letters on the question:1
To Sin-iddinam say, thus saith ammurabi: Naram-Sin, the shepherd, hath said thus, saith he, “The herdsmen in my hands have been put in the corvée.” Thus he said. The herdsmen which are the property of Apil-Shamash and Naram-Sin shall not be put in the corvée. Now summon Etil-bi-Marduk and the officials and order them to return the herdsmen of Apil-Shamash and Naram-Sin, whom they have taken.
Here the kabar, or herdsmen, are the employees of the shepherd, his “sheep-boys.” Their absence would be a danger to the flocks. The delinquent Etil-bi-Marduk was often in fault. Several other complaints against him appear in the letters, in his capacity of money-lender.2 On two occasions he was sent for by the king, evidently with a view to punishment. Further, a patêsi in his service appealed to be transferred to another master.3
THE LETTERS OF SAMSU-ILUNA AND HIS IMMEDIATE SUCCESSORS
Few in numberThe discovered letters of Samsu-iluna are as yet comparatively few. They are not all addressed to one man. We may take one or two specimens.
About change of air for a goddessLike his father ammurabi, Samsu-iluna cared for the health of the goddesses, providing them with an occasional change of scene. This time it is the goddess Anunitum, who makes a journey:1
To Haiab . . . say, thus saith Samsu-iluna: Concerning Anunitum’s going to Sippar-edina, I have sent an officer. Forthwith let Anunitum go to Sippar-edina.
The name of the official to whom the letter is sent is broken and it could be completed in several different ways. Sippar-edina was one quarter of Sippara.
Temple duesThe following letter is concerned with the supply of corn for the Shamash temple at Larsa. It is addressed to three officials:2
To Sin-ilu, Bîtu-rabi, and Nîḳ-Sin say, thus saith Samsu-iluna: The corn for the treasure-house of the temple of Shamash of Larsa, the property of Igmil-Sin which ye deliver, verily ye shall deliver. Forthwith, from the corn that is in your hands, give corn for the supply of food for the treasure-house of the temple of Shamash; what is now standing due make up.
The “treasure-house” may be only a “store-house” in general. Instead of “make up,” we may render “buy.”
Fishing rightsSamsu-iluna looked into the details of his government quite as closely as his father. We see him regulating fishing rights:1
To Sin-iddinam, Kâr-Sippar, and the judges of Sippara, say, thus saith Samsu-iluna: They tell me that the ships of the fishermen go down to the districts of Rabî and Shamkâni and catch fish. I am sending an official of the palace-gate; when he shall reach thee [summon] the ships of the fishermen (who have been catching fish) in the districts of Rabî and Shamkâni, and let it not occur again that the ships of the fishermen go down to the districts of Rabî and Shamkâni.
Clearly each district owned its own fishing rights, as it was responsible for the repairs of the banks and scouring the beds of the water-ways in it. It is far from unlikely that Kâr-Sippar denotes some ruling body in Sippara, for in the contracts we find that cases were brought before the Kâr-Sippar. As they are associated with the judges of Sippara, they may be the town elders. Sin-iddinam here is hardly the official of Larsa to whom ammurabi usually wrote, though he might have been promoted to Sippara in the meantime.
Business detailsTwo other letters were addressed to him by Samsu-iluna,2 one about corn due from certain persons, the other about a contingent of men sent to strengthen the walls of Sippar-Amnanu. In another letter, the king summons to Babylon, Sin-iddinam, Ibni-Marduk, the Kâr-Sippar, and the judges of Sippara, but the letter3 is too defaced for us to determine the reason. It was to be “at seed-time.”
Letters of Abêshu’The letters of Abêshu’ are somewhat more numerous. Mr. King published thirteen. They are all more or less defective, and add nothing to our knowledge beyond the fact that the same policy of centralization went on.
Of Ammi-ditanaThe letters of Ammi-ditana, two in number, are more interesting. One deals with the supply of corn for men at work on the citadel of Shagga, a town probably near Sippara. The king orders the authorities of Sippara to make up and send on the supply, and adds that the soothsayers were to be consulted as to favorable auspices for sending the corn.1 The other deals, as do three letters of Abêshu’, with tribute due in wool from Sippar-iaruru. The report from the superintendent of this source of revenue in each case is that the tribute is over-due and the king sends a peremptory order for it to be sent forthwith to Babylon.
Of Ammi-zadûgaAmmi-zadûga’s letters, five in number, all happen to be concerned with the annual sheep-shearing at Babylon. They differ slightly, in the person addressed, and the date assigned for the shearing. Thus one2 reads:
To Ibni-Sin, son of Marduk-nâṣir, say, thus saith Ammi-zadûga: A sheep-shearing will take place in the House of the New Year’s Festival. On receipt of this note, take the sheep . . . and the sheep which are sealed, which thou shall set in motion, and come to Babylon. Delay not, reach Babylon on the first of Adar.
Of Sin-iddinamThe one letter written by Sin-iddinam3 is addressed to the rabiânu of Katalla, ordering him to send the plaintiff in a suit to him. Very interesting is a letter from Tabbi-Wadi and Mâr-Shamash to Aâti, the wife of Sin-iddinam,4 asking her to intercede for them with Sin-iddinam. He had himself referred them to her, perhaps because their offence immediately concerned her. They say that they are ill acquainted with the ways of the court. From several unusual forms of expression it may be concluded that they were strangers who had settled in Babylonia. They do not state either their offence or the grounds on which they would be excused, but ask for an interview, that they may remove Aâti’s resentment against them.
Periphrasis for “king”Some letters are addressed to “the man whom may Marduk make to flourish.”1 Some have taken this as a proper name. But that seems very unlikely. Others regard it as a sort of polite address to a superior. Winckler2 suggested that it was an address to the king. The Code has made it clear that the amêlu was the “gentleman,” or “noble,” who lived in a “palace,” or “great house.” Hence, these letters may be addressed to any great official. But many turns of expression support the view that the king is really meant; he was thus the “First Gentleman” of Babylonia. It was not till ammurabi that the title “king” was generally given. Perhaps the old nobles were slow to admit a king over them.
Freeing of runaway slavesAs an example we may take:3
To “the man whom may Marduk make to flourish” say, thus saith Ashtamar-Adadi: May Shamash and Marduk ever make thee flourish. The gardeners, inhabitants of Sippara, have spoken concerning their servants who fled and have been recaptured. Therefore I have sent a note thus to thee, I sent those men to thee. Accept their petition (?) and may they be acceptable to thee before Shamash. Grant their entreaty and set them free. If they come not to Babylon, do this in my name.
It is probable that recaptured runaway slaves, who would not name their owners, were forfeit to the State. The king is the only one who would have power to release such slaves. It is clear that the recipient of the letter was at Babylon.
PRIVATE LETTERS OF THE FIRST DYNASTY OF BABYLON
Many details uncertainIn these cases, as a rule, we know neither the sender nor receiver, beyond their names, and what we can gather from the letter itself. Hence a great deal must always remain uncertain. Here is a letter which comes from a prisoner, who says he is nearly starved and does not know why he was imprisoned:1
A prisoner’s plea to his master for deliveranceTo my lord say, thus saith Bêlshunu, thy servant: From the time that I was shut up in the house of the abarakku, thou, my lord, hast kept me alive. What is the reason that my lord has neglected me for five months? The house where I am imprisoned is a starvation-house. Now have I made the jailer carry a letter to my lord. When thou, my lord, shalt make an end of my misery, send, and the imprisonment, since it has been ended by thee, I will cause to conduce to thy blessing (I will even thank thee for). I am ill . . . ten a of su-da, thirty-one a zag-i-li . . . two a sar-sar el-sar send me that I die not; and clothing send me that I may cover my nakedness. A ubidu has come upon me on account of thee, my lord. Either half a shekel of silver, or two minas of wool, send to me, for my service, let him bring it. Let not the jailer be sent away empty-handed. If he comes empty-handed, the dogs may eat me. As thou, my lord, and the people of Sippara and Babylon, all of them know, I am imprisoned, not for robbery, nor was I caught at burglary. Thou, my lord, didst send me with oil across the river, but the Sutû fell upon me and I was imprisoned. Speak a friendly word to the servants of the king’s abarakku. Send, that I die not in the house of misery. Send a a of oil and five a of salt. That which thou didst lately send no one gave me. Whatsoever thou sendest, send it fastened up (?).
There are many obscurities about this letter. Some are caused by the difficulty of reading the defaced characters. Some by the fact that the signs, printed here in capitals, are ideograms whose meaning is not yet clear. The prisoner, if his plea is true, was sent on an errand for his master, apparently to trade for him. He was either robbed by the nomad Sutû, or compelled to give up his oil to them. Why this led to imprisonment is not clear, unless it was regarded as furnishing supplies to the enemy. But though his master did not get him out of prison, it seems that he had sent him supplies from time to time. The word rendered “jailer” is perhaps a name, Mâr-abulli, “son of the gate.” But it may be a title used as a name, “Mr. Jailer.” The prisoner thinks that it is in the power of his master to put an end to his imprisonment and promises to be grateful. But he does not seem sure whether his master can do this. He asks, however, for further supplies, if he is to live. Let us hope he was released or at least fed. We may perhaps conclude that imprisonment was the punishment due for robbery and burglary.
A father reminded of a broken promiseHere is a letter reminding a father of a broken promise:1
To my father say, thus saith Elmeshu: Shamash and Marduk fill with well-being the days of my father perpetually. My father, be thou well, flourish; the God that preserves my father direct my father’s source of grace. I have sent to greet my father. May my father’s peace endure before Shamash and Marduk. From the time that Sin Amurrû named my father’s name, and I answered for my fault, thou, my father, didst say, “When I shall go to Dûr-Ammi-zadûga, which is on the River Sharḳu, I will forward a sheep and five minas of silver, in a little while, to thee.” This thou saidest, my father, and my expectation was from my father. But thou hast not sent; and now, my father, thou hast returned to the presence of Taribu, the Queen. I have sent a note to my father’s presence. My father, thou shalt not ask the purport of my note, until Lashêr has brought me my father’s note. My father has not sent one to bring even a single shekel, in accordance with thy promise. Like Marduk and Sin Amurrû, who hearken to my father, my ears are attentive. Let my father send and let not my heart be vexed. Before Shamash and Marduk, may I pray for my father.
The letter suggests that the father was king, by the phrase so common in the historical inscriptions, “named his name,” usually equivalent to “nominated” to rule. The word rendered “fault” is sardu, which may be for sartu. There is nothing to show whether Elmeshu is a man or woman. There was an Elmeshu (the name means “Diamond”) who was daughter of Ammi-ditana.1 But the mention of Dûr-Ammi-zadûga seems to demand a date at least as late as that in which this wall or city was built. But Ammi-zadûga succeeded Ammi-ditana. Unless the latter built Dûr-Ammi-zadûga and called it after his son, we can hardly identify this Elmeshu with the daughter of Ammi-ditana. The mention of Sin Amurrû is not quite clear. We may suppose two gods, Sin and Amurrû, or take the latter name as an epithet, “Sin of the Amorites.” To have “the ears attentive,” is to be in a state of expectation. In the last sentence, Elmeshu seems to hint that, if she does not have a favorable answer, she will not be able to pray for her father. This may be regarded as an un-Christian attitude, but people then thought more of the efficacy of prayer; and it was a threat, if so meant, likely to have great weight with the father. But it may mean that Elmeshu being vowed to a religious life, yet needed material means to maintain her alive, and she merely hopes, by her father’s continued sustenance of her, to be long spared to pray for him.
Request from a tenant for the grant of a good cowAnother letter is apparently from a tenant, or serf, to his landlord:1
To my lord say, thus saith Ibgatum thy servant: As, my lord, thou hast heard, the enemy has carried off my oxen. Never before have I sent to thee, my lord. Now I have caused a letter to be brought to thee, my lord. Do thou, my lord, send me one young cow. I will weigh out and send five shekels of silver to thee, my lord. My lord, what thou sayest, under the command of Marduk, thy protector, what pleases thee, no one can hinder thee, my lord. My lord, do thou make her worth the five shekels of silver that I have weighed out and sent to thee. Do thou, my lord, treat seriously this request, do not trifle with my wish. Let my lord not wonder at this request, which I send my lord. I am thy servant. I will do thy will, my lord. As to the young cow, which thou, my lord, dost send, let her be on credit, and either to Baṣu, or wherever is convenient to my lord, do thou send. With Ili-iḳîsham, my brother, let the young cow come. And I, in order that my lord should quickly consent and send the young cow, will forthwith weigh out and send fifteen shekels of silver to thee, my lord.
Evidently, the wise man sent only five shekels on deposit with his brother, holding back the rest of the price, till he had seen what sort of a cow he was to get for his money. It was from this letter that Winckler2 deduced a meaning for ṣamâdu something like “weigh out,” “pay,” whence a better meaning for ṣimittu than “yoke” was readily obtained. As Dr. Peiser pointed out, the word is also used in the Cappadocian tablets in a way that leaves small doubt of its meaning. It may have come to mean simply “pay,” but must have ordinarily meant “measure,” or “weigh,” according as it was applied to grain, or money.
Authorization to compel a creditor to pay his debtsHere is a very interesting example showing how the merchants of those days transacted business at a distance:3
To Erib-Sin say, thus saith Ibni-Nabû, I am here (?): As to the case of Ardi-ilishu, son of Ibni-Dibbara, I gave him two-thirds of a mina of silver, and it was acknowledged in writing, in the presence of my witnesses. He went to Assyria. He did not give the money to Shamaiatu. I and Shamaiatu met in Daganna and disputed over the affair. Said I, “I sent thee money by Ardi-ilishu.” He said, “If Ardi-ilishu has paid the money, let him [here come some uncertain signs].” And concerning what thou didst send about Shamash-bêl-ilâni’s fourteen shekels, I did not give him the money. There is two-thirds of a mina due from Ardi-ilishu; take Ardiilishu and cause him to weigh out the money, and its interest, more or less, and from that take the fourteen shekels and send the surplus.
The two, Erib-Sin and Ibni-Nabû, are either partners, or agents. The former had asked the latter to pay over fourteen shekels to a certain Shamash-bêl-ilâni, either because the latter had money of his, or had promised to honor his order. But this particular order was not honored. Ibni-Nabû had intrusted a sum of forty shekels to one Ardi-ilishu, with which to pay Shamaiatu. But Ardi-ilishu had gone off to Assyria without discharging the obligation. So Shamaiatu had demanded payment and perhaps the doubtful signs express the fact that Ibni-Nabû had to pay a second time. Fortunately, he could prove that Ardi-ilishu had had the money, having taken a receipt. He seems to think that Erib-Sin can find Ardi-ilishu. Was the former resident in Assyria? If so, this must be a copy of the letter sent him. But perhaps Erib-Sin was to arrest the defaulter on his return to Sippara. At any rate, this was a warrant for so doing. That, perhaps, is why the letter was kept. If Erib-Sin could get forty shekels and the interest, he had a fair margin from which to pay the fourteen shekels, due to him from Ibni-Nabû. But he had to take risks. If Shamash-bêl-ilâni had given Erib-Sin consideration for his order on Ibni-Nabû for fourteen shekels, he was badly served.
A warning connected with the filing of a suitHere is a letter, warning a man of a suit brought against him in his absence:
To my lord, say, thus saith Sin-taiar: May Shamash and Marduk give thee health. As to the case of the field about which thou didst send, belonging to the sons of Sin-rêmêni, which is in Bitûtu, which my lord sold me for five minas of silver; Sin-aam-iddinam, Marduk-taiar, and Nabû-malik, have gone about to the king, and have turned over this title to Nûr-parim. Hasten, come, save thy title from Nûr-parim.
The word of most difficulty is nistu, rendered “title.” It may mean something different, but the “title” seems the most likely thing to be disputed.
A request for fish and other foodA letter to a father from an absent son1 is interesting for its personal character:
To my father say, thus saith Zimri-era, may Shamash and Marduk give thee health forever. Be thou well. I have sent for thy health. Tell me how thou art. I am located at Dûr-Sin on the canal Kashtim-sikirim. There is no meat fit to eat. Now I have made them bring two-thirds of a shekel of silver to thee. For this money send some nice fish and something to eat.
A love-letterThe following is what may be fairly described as a love-letter, though the real relation between the correspondents is not certain:2
To Bibêa say, thus saith Gimil-Marduk: May Shamash and Marduk for my sake preserve thy health forever. I have sent for thy health. Tell me how thou art. I went to Babylon and did not see thee. I was greatly disappointed. Send me the reason of thy leaving, and let me be cheered. In Marchesvan do thou come. For my sake keep well always.
It is certain that Bibêa was a lady, perhaps the writer’s wife.
Assyrian copies of old Babylonian lettersThe interest which these ancient letters inspire in us was felt in the seventh century bc, for there are two Assyrian copies of early Babylonian letters, preserved in the remains of Ashurbânipal’s library. One was a letter from the Babylonian King Adadi-shum-uṣur to Ashur-nirari and Nabûdaian, kings of Assyria, about bc 1250.1 It is too fragmentary to translate. Another2 is a letter from a King of Assyria to his father, who is King of Babylon. The names are lost, and its contents cannot now be made out. It was a copy made for Ashurbânipal, and has his “library mark.”3
SENNACHERIB’S LETTERS TO HIS FATHER, SARGON
The proof that the letters are Sennacherib’sAmong the Ninevite collections we can single out several periods where the history is supplemented by the letters. Thus Sennacherib’s letters to his father, Sargon, chiefly deal with events in Armenia, which must have transpired during Sargon’s last few years, when his annals and other historical inscriptions are silent. This view of them was first worked out by the present writer,1 and later with increased material by R. C. Thompson.2 Briefly put, the argument from them is this: a person called Sennacherib, who might be any officer from the times of Sargon onward, writes to the king, whom he does not address as his father, on the reports which have reached him from a number of officials, concerning events in Armenia. We have, however, two letters which refer to the same events, naming the same officials and certainly from the same Sennacherib. In one of them he is twice referred to as the king’s son. The officials named are all found in documents of the reign of Sargon, or the early part of Sennacherib’s reign. The King of Armenia is named Argista in one of these reports to the king, which belongs to the same group. The King of Assyria himself is said to be at Babylon at the time. One report quoted comes from Tabal, and is brought by the major-domo of the Princess Aat-abisha, probably the daughter of Sargon, who was married by him to the King of Tabal. We have independent copies of these reports, quoted by Sennacherib, which enlarge our knowledge of the events. Hence, there can be no doubt that we have here Sennacherib’s letters to his father, Sargon, while that king was absent in Babylonia. We are, therefore, able to reconstruct a chapter of Assyrian history, on which the historical monuments have nothing to say. The first letter reads thus:1
A letter concerning events in ArmeniaTo the king, my lord, thy servant Sennacherib. Peace be to the king, my lord. There is peace in Assyria, peace in the temples, peace in all the fortresses of the king. May the heart of the king, my lord, be abundantly cheered. The land of the Ukkai has sent to me, saying, when the King of Armenia came to the land of Gamir, his forces were utterly defeated; he, his commanders, and their forces were driven off; [then comes a broken space from which the few traces left refer to “two commanders,” someone who “came,” someone or something “was captured,” someone “came to me,” something “of his country,” something “he appointed.”] This was the news from the land of the Ukkai. Ashur-riṣûa has sent, saying, “News from Armenia. What I sent before, that is so. A great slaughter took place among them. Now his land is quiet. His nobles are dead. He has come into his own land. Ḳaḳḳadânu, his tartan, is taken, and the King of Armenia is in the land of Uazaun.” This is the news from Ashurriṣûa. Nabû-li’, the commander of alṣu, has sent to me, saying, “Concerning the garrisons of the fortresses which are on the border, I sent to them for news of the King of Armenia. They report that when he came to the land of Gamir, his forces were all slain, three of his nobles together with their forces were killed, he himself fled and entered into his own land; but that as yet his camp is not attacked.” This is the news from Nabû-li’. The King of Muṣaṣir, his brother, and his son, have gone to greet the King of Armenia. A messenger from upushkia has gone to greet him. The garrisons of the fortresses which are on the boundary all send news like this. The letter of Nabû-li’, the major-domo of Aat-abisha, brought from Tabal; to the king, my lord, I have sent it on.
The second letter2 began in exactly the same way, so far as one can judge from the traces of the first seven lines. As before,Another letter regarding the movements of the Armenian king Sennacherib quotes reports, which he has received, in the sender’s own words. From what is left of the first report we learn that the King of Armenia had ordered the forces at his command to capture the commanders of the King of Assyria and bring them alive to him. The city of Kumai is named as the place where these commanders were. As yet the sender “is cut off” and has not withdrawn from his post. But, as he has heard, so he has sent to the king’s son:
“Now let him quickly send forces. This is the news from Ariê: On the fourteenth of Elul, a letter came to me from Ashur-riṣûa, saying that the King of Armenia, when the Zikirtai brought things to him, at least obtained nothing, they returned empty-handed; that he went to the city Uesi with his forces and entered it, that his forces are in the city Uesi, that he and his forces are few, that they are with him with their possessions.”
This seems to be the end of Ashur-riṣûa’s news. A few traces refer to news from the Mannai concerning some “letter,” “as yet” something has “not” happened.
“As I have heard I have sent, that the commander in the district, in the midst of the city Uesi, he and his forces are assembled; that with his troops he has set out and driven him out of Uesi, that he has not seen the roads (to some place), that he has made good the bridges, that as he has heard, whatever takes place, whether he comes with his forces, or whether he goes off free, I will quickly send to the king’s son.”
These fragments of the report are difficult to disentangle, as the person referred to seems sometimes to be the King of Armenia, sometimes another person. But all may be news sent from the Mannai to Ashur-riṣûa.
This is the news from Ashur-riṣûa: The land of Arzabia sends word, saying, The land of the Ukkai has broken away from me (?), that now they are killing me; you care for yourselves. I have sent my body-guards to the Ukkai. The messengers of Arzabia said, . . .
Then follow a few traces from which we gather that a messenger came to the writer and brought a present; that the “Mannai said” something, someone “returned” and “I appointed him” something, that a messenger from the land of Sadudai came to Kala, that “I received and sealed” something, and “I appointed” something. Again we have a reference to the month of Elul, a letter, and the word “brought.”
These letters explained by a comparison with those of Ashur-riṣûaThis letter is very obscure from the many lacunæ. We naturally turn to the letters of Ashur-riṣûa. This man may well be the same as the witness, shaû, and scribe of the queen, at Kala in bc 709. We have nine letters of his referring to Armenian affairs. In one of them1 he announces that “at the commencement of Nisan the King of Armenia set out from Ṭurushpîa and went to Eliṣada, that Ḳaḳḳa-dânu, his tartan, went into the city Uesi, that all the forces of Armenia have gathered to Eliṣada.” The rest of the letter is obscure. At the end of another2 he says: “I have heard, saying, “the king has come into the midst of Uesi, as yet he has not left.” In the same letter he reports that “three thousand foot-soldiers, with their officers, belonging to Sêtini, his military commander, have set out to Muṣaṣir, crossed the river by night, that Sêtini has camels with him, and that Sunâ, who is in command among the Ukkai, has started with his troops for Muṣaṣir.” It is clear from these that the movements here refer to the beginning of the year after that in which, in Elul, the King of Armenia was in Uesi, and before the defeat of Armenia by the Gimirri.
A mere glance at the contents of his other letters will show their connection with these events. In one,3 he sends Naragê, a colonel, with twenty men who had plotted against the king and were caught. He mentions the capture of a second tartan, Urṣini, in Ṭurushpîa and the mission of Urṣini’s brother, Apli-uknu, to see him there. The King of Armenia had entered Ṭurushpîa with a number of restless men. In another,1 he reports the return to Assyria of a messenger from the Ukkai, who had gone up into Armenia; and mentions Muṣaṣir. In a third,2 he reports that “Gurânia, Nagiu, the fortresses of Armenia and Gimirri, are giving tribute to Armenia.” But that “when the Armenians went to Gimirri, they were badly defeated.” The rest is so injured as to give little sense. In another,3 he names Ariê and Ariṣâ, Dûr-Shamash, Barzanishtun, the city of Ishtar-dûri, and Shulmu-bêl-lashme; but the text is so defective that one cannot discern what he had to say about them. In another,4 he acknowledges the king’s order to send scouts into the neighborhood of Ṭurushpîa. In another,5 he writes that “the Mannai in the cities of Armenia on the coast of the sea rebelled, that Apli-uknu, the commander of Muṣaṣir, and Ṭunnaun, the commander of Kar-Sippar, went to the borders of the Mannai, to garrison Armenia and made a slaughter there, that all the commanders are present.” But these are not the only references to him. Ṭâb-shâr-Ashur6 writes to the king that he has received a letter from Ashur-riṣûa: “Thus it is written in it, saying, a messenger of the Ukkai went to Armenia, he has sent a letter to the palace, and these are the contents of the letter, on the morning of the sixth, this letter came to me; he sent, saying, the Ukkai have heard concerning Ariê that he went against him (the king of Armenia) and his city.” Then the letter becomes very defective, but we hear again of Kumai and Eliṣ (clearly the Eliṣada above). Ṭâb-shâr-Ashur again mentions Ashur-riṣûa,7 saying that a letter of his was brought, which referred to the King of Armenia entering some city. But too little is preserved to make out the message. In a report8 about beams of wood, collected by Ashur-riṣûa, he is associated with Ariê, and Uriṣâ, evidently the Ariṣâ above, and the city Kumai. Finally, on a letter by Gabbu-ana-Ashur he is mentioned in a most significant way. The writer says: “Concerning the news which the king gave me about the garrisons of Armenia, from the time that I entered the city Kurban, my messengers went to Nabû-li’, to Ashur-bêl-danân, to Ashur-riṣûa; they came to me.” After a break he goes on, “Like this I have heard; the Armenian (king) has not gone out of Ṭurushpîa.” After some more uncertain traces, he adds: “On the twenty-third of Tammuz I entered into Kurban, on the twentieth of Ab I sent a letter to the king, my lord.” It is evident that Nabû-li’, Ashur-bêl-danân, and Ashur-riṣûa were the commanders most concerned in these events. Nabû-li’, we have already seen, sent reports to Sennacherib; no letters of Ashur-bêl-danân, yet published, seem to refer to these events. But clearly the king was concerned to hear from other quarters than Kala, where Sennacherib evidently was. Ashur-riṣûa is also named elsewhere on fragments not yet published.
We may now pursue the clew given by the fact that Uesi was the city which seems to have been the bone of contention. Thus Urzana, whose name recalls that of the King of Muṣaṣir, who may have been reinstated as a vassal by Sargon, writes1 to the nâgiru of the palace:
“What thou didst send me, saying, Has the King of Armenia with his troops moved away? He has gone. Where is he dwelling? The commander of Uesi, the commander of the district of the Ukkai, came, they sacrificed in the temple, they say that the king has gone, he is dwelling in Uesi; the commanders returned and went away. In Muṣaṣir they sacrificed. What thou didst send, saying, Without the king’s orde let no one put his hand to the work, when the king of Assyria shall come, I will serve him, what I have [always] done I will keep doing, and this according to his hand (?).”
Evidently Urzana lived in Muṣaṣir and was anxious to be thought a faithful vassal. An unknown writer1 tells the king that
“five commanders of Armenia entered the city of Uesi, Sêteni [of whom we heard above] commander of . . . teni, Ḳaḳḳadânu of the writer’s district, or of Ukkai, Sakuatâ of Ḳaniun, Siblia of Alzi, Ṭutu of Armiraliu, these are their names. With three underlings, they entered Uesi. Now their forces are weak and weakening (?), the forces are (?), the king has set out from Ṭurushpîa, he has come into Kaniun. What the king, my lord, sent me, saying, ‘Send scouts,’ I have sent a second time. The spies (?) came, these are the words they say, and the spies as yet have not started.”
The whole tone of the letter and the fact that Ashur-riṣûa above acknowledges having received an order to send scouts make us think he is the unknown writer. But, of course, the king may have sent the order to other commanders as well. In an unpublished text we read that the commander of Uesi was slain.
The references to Ṭurushpîa are also significant. We know that this city was once the stronghold of Sardaurri, King of Armenia, and was doubtless still attached to its old rulers. We have a letter written by Upair-Bêl, doubtless the Eponym of bc 706, and governor of Amedi. He writes in the same style as Sennacherib and Ashur-riṣûa:2
Concerning news of Armenia I sent scouts, they have returned; thus they say: “The commander of that district, and the deputy-commander with him, in arda, the district of the sukallu, keep ward from city to city as far as Ṭurushpîa; weakness is written down, the messenger of Argista has come,”
and so on. The rest does not concern us here. But another letter,3 evidently from the same writer, gives news from Armenia and a message from Argista, which the writer says he has answered, as the king directed. It also states that the commander keeps ward in arda. Ṭurushpîa is also mentioned on fragments not yet published.
Other fragments occur which clearly belong to this group. Thus1 a letter from an unknown writer names Ashur-riṣûa in connection with Kumai, Babutai, Ukkai, and Uliai, and narrates something about ten commanders. The loss of nine commanders in Armenia, at one time, is the subject of a very fragmentary letter,2 but it is not clear that it refers to this period.
To the same period seems to belong another letter of Sennacherib, probably to his father Sargon.3 It begins with precisely the same formulæ of greeting in the first seven lines. Then it goes on:
The chieftains of the land of Kumuai (Commagene) have come and brought tribute. Seven mule mares apiece they brought and tribute with the mules. The chieftains are in the house appointed for the Kumuai. They are fed at their own expense, they would journey on to Babylon [where Sargon evidently is]. They have brought šaklâ (?), they have received them here. As we have told the king, my lord, let him send quickly. They brought cloth and fruit each of them. The factors say that we have received seven talents from them, that the Kumuai are not contented, saying, “Our produce is reduced, let them bring the king’s weavers and let them take charge.” Let the king, my lord, send word to whom they shall assign them.
“in the district of Kurban are excessively great floods, they go on.”
We know from another source that this was the case, in bc 708, when the floods came into the lower part of the city, and the tribute could not be levied in the district.1 Yet another fragment, opening in precisely the same manner, refers to a certain Nabû-eṭir-napshâte and the city of Kalu.2 Here also we have too little left to make out any connected sense.
LETTERS FROM THE LAST YEAR OF SHAMASH-SHUM-UKÎN
The period well knownAnother period on which the letters throw considerable light is the close of the reign of Shamash-shum-ukîn in Babylon. This was coeval with the suppression of a great combined rebellion against the rule of Assyria. From the historical texts of Ashurbânipal’s reign we know the names of many of the actors in that great struggle. They are frequently referred to in the letters. Already G. Smith, in his History of Assurbanipal, 1871, had used the information given by some of the letters. This was utilized by C. P. Tiele in his Babylonisch-assyrische Geschichte.
The case of Nabû-bêl-shumâteBut much more may be made out when the letters are fully available. Thus Nabû-bêl-shumâte, grandson of Merodach Baladan II., had been made King of the Sealands on the death of his uncle, Nâ’id-Marduk. When the revolt broke out, Ashurbânipal sent Assyrian troops to help Nabû-bêl-shumâte to repel Shamash-shum-ukîn. During the long process of suppressing the revolt, it is clear that Nabû-bêl-shumâte conceived the idea of reasserting the independence of the Sealands. He endeavored to gain the alliance of the Assyrian garrison, some he imprisoned, others may have joined him. On the fall of Babylon, in bc 648, he saw that Ashurbânipal’s vengeance must overtake him, so he fled to Elam. He took with him a certain number of Assyrians, evidently to hold as hostages. Ashurbânipal had a long score to settle with Elam. He began by demanding of Indabigash the surrender of Nabû-bêl-shu-mâte and the Assyrians with him. But before the ambassador could deliver the message, Indabigash had been succeeded by Ummanaldash. Nabû-bêl-shumâte was evidently a difficult person to lay hands upon. At any rate, Ummanaldash’s land was invaded and devastated. But when the Assyrian troops were gone, he again returned to his capital, Madaktu, and Nabû-bêl-shumâte joined him there. Again Ashurbânipal sent to demand his surrender. Rather than further embarrass his host, and quite hopeless of protection or pardon, Nabû-bêl-shumâte ordered his armor-bearer to slay him. Ummanaldash attempted to conciliate Ashurbânipal by sending the body of the dead man and the head of the armor-bearer to him. Such is the story as Ashurbânipal tells it in his great cylinder inscription.
Letters about himThe letters make no less than fifty distinct references to him. The officers write many bad things of Nabû-bêl-shumâte, and it is plain that he had been a very vicious enemy. We have a number of letters from a writer of his name, who may well be the King of the Sealands before he broke with Assyria. Thus we read:1
A letter reporting the dethronement of the King of ElamTo the king, my lord, thy servant Nabû-bêl-shumâte. Verily peace be to the king, my lord; may Ashur, Nabû, and Marduk be gracious to the king, my lord. Cheer of heart, health of body, and length of days may they grant the king, my lord. As I hear, the King of Elam is deposed and many cities have rebelled against him, saying, “We will not come into thy hands.” According to what I hear I have sent to the king, my lord. I have inhabited the Sealands from the time of Nâ’id-Marduk. The brigands and fugitives who came to the Gurunammu, five hundred of them, did Sin-balâṭsu-iḳbi, when he caught them, lay in fetters and hand over to Natânu, the King of the Uṭṭai, their ruler, whom the king had given them.
Then come a number of defective lines, from which not much can be made out. But there can be little doubt that this letter was written in the days when policy still kept him faithful to Assyria. There was another Nabû-bêl-shumâte, whose letters1 begin quite differently, and refer to horses and troops. There is even a third, a êpu of Birati, named by Tâb-ṣil-esharra,2 who was concerned in repelling a raid on Sippara, and is named in a contract of bc 686.3 It is just possible that the second and third are the same man. But while we must exercise care in assigning the references of the letters, we have a guide in the historical connection.
Bêl-ibni’s lettersBêl-ibnî was a very important officer who held the position of a manzâz pâni, having the right of access to the royal presence and a place near the king on all state occasions. He is probably to be distinguished from the Bêl-ibnî set on the throne of Babylon by Sennacherib in bc 702. He is a frequent writer to the king during this period. Ashurbânipal placed him over the Sealand after the flight of Nabû-bêl-shumâte. The king’s proclamation to the Sealanders4 reads thus:
Letter sppointing him governor of the SealandsOrder of the king to the Sealanders, elders and juniors, my servants: My peace be with you. May your hearts be cheered. See now how my full gaze is upon you. And before the sin of Nabû-bêl-shumâte, I appointed over you the courtesan of Menânu. Now I have sent Bêl-ibnî, my dubašu, to go before you. Whatever order is good in my opinion which is [written] in my letters [obey].
Then after some defaced lines, he threatens that if they do not obey,
“I will send my troops.”
This order is dated the fifth of Iyyar, bc 650. By that date Nabû-bêl-shumâte had fled. It is not easy to say whether Ashurbânipal had appointed a lady, once the arimtu, or courtesan, of Menânu, as ruler of the Sealand before Nabû-bêl-shumâte, or whether he means to call Nabû-bêl-shumâte by this opprobrious epithet. Who is meant by Menânu is hard to see, unless it be the Elamite King, Umman-minana, the contemporary of Sennacherib, who had protected the family of Merodach-Baladan II.
Letter of Ummanaldash offering to give up Nabû-bêl-shumâteWe have a fragmentary letter1 from the King of Elam, Ummanaldash, to Ashurbânipal, which says:
Letter of Ummanaldash, King of Elam, to Ashurbânipal, King of Assyria, peace be to my brother. From the beginning, the Martenai [Elamite name for the Sealanders, from Marratu, “the Salt Marshes”] have been sinners against thee. Nabû-bêl-shumâte came from there. The crossing of the land . . . over against Elam I broke down, [to keep him out]. Thou hast sent letters [or forces?] saying, “Send Nabû-bêl-shumâte.” I will seize Nabû-bêl-shumâte and will send him to thee. The Martenai whom from the beginning Nabû-bêl-shumâte brought us . . . they are people who came by water from . . . it entered into their minds and they came, they broke into Lairu and there they are. I will send to their border my servants against them and by their hands I will send those who have sinned against us. If they are in my land, I will send them by their hands; and, if they have crossed the river, do thou [take them].
The rest of the letter is hard to make out. It was dated on the twenty-sixth of Tammuz, in the Eponymy of Nabû-shar-aêshu, probably bc 645.
Letter of Bêl-ibnî accusing Nabû-bêl-shumâte of imprisoning his brotherBêl-ibnî had a great hatred for Nabû-bêl-shumâte. For the latter had years before laid hands upon Bêl-ibnî’s eldest brother, Bêlshunu, and put him in prison. This we learn from a letter to the king,2 which, although the name of the writer is lost, is clearly from Bêl-ibnî. The first few lines yield no connected sense, but name Umman-shimash and the nobles with him:
When they assembled they spoke evil words against their king. From those days they kept on plundering his land. Before the forces of the lord of kings, my lord, want, like a pestilence, entered the land. When the forces of the lord of kings, my lord, have arrived at Dûr-ili, they shall not take a holiday; that smitten of Bêl, accursed of the gods, Nabû-bêl-shumâte, and the sinners with him, they shall capture and give them to the lord of kings, my lord. And the Assyrians, as many as are with them, they shall release and send to the lord of kings, my lord. Bêlshunu, my eldest brother, a servant of the lord of kings, my lord, now four years ago, did that smitten of Bêl, that accursed of the gods, Nabû-bêl-shumâte, when he revolted, bind hand and foot with bronze and imprison him.
The rest is obscure, but names Ṣalmu-shar-iḳbi as sending news to the palace.
Bêlshunu’s identityThe Bêlshunu here named is probably the Eponym of bc 648, who was then governor of indana, who also dates a letter from the king to Umman-shimash, which names Bêl-ibnî. There are over fifty references in the letters to Bêl-ibnî, most of which directly connect him with these events. His duties in command of the Sealand brought him into relations with the many Elamites, who in the frequent revolutions in that land, fled for refuge to the Assyrians. Here is one of the best of his letters to the king:1
His letter about the fugitive ShumâTo the lord of kings, my lord, thy servant Bêl-ibnî. May Ashur, Shamash, and Marduk decree length of days, cheer of heart, and health of body to the lord of kings, my lord. Shumâ, son of Shumiddina, son of Gaal, sister’s son to Tammaritu, fled from Elam and came to the Daai. From the Daai, when I had taken him, I made him cross over. He is ill. As soon as he has completely recovered his health, I will send him to the king, my lord. A messenger is here from Natan and the Pukudu, who are in Til-umba, to say that they came before Nabû-bêl-shumâte at the city Targibâti. They took an oath, by God, one with another, saying, “According to agreement we will send thee all the news we hear.” And according to contract they furnished fifty oxen for money at his hands, and said to him, “Let our sheep come and among the Ubânât in the pasture let them graze among them. Thou mayest have confidence in us.” Now let a messenger of the king, my lord, come and make Natan learn in his mind, that “if thou dost send anything for sale to Elam, or one sheep be allotted to pasture in Elam, I will not suffer thee to live.” I have sent trustworthy reports to the king, my lord.
The incident here referred to, the reception of the fugitive Shumâ, who probably on account of his illness was unable to join his uncle Tammaritu, is very similar to that related of Tammaritu himself. This King of Elam succeeded his cousin Ummanigash, whom he dethroned, but after a short reign was himself dethroned by the usurper Indabigash. He and his brothers and family and eighty-five princes of Elam, his supporters, fled by sea from Elam to the marshes at the mouths of the Tigris and Euphrates. There he fell sick. But Ashurbânipal sent him a friendly message, and he came before the Assyrian governor, and kissed the ground in token of submission. We learn that Mardukshar-uṣur was the officer who received him, and a very mutilated letter seems to refer to it. He was probably the Rabshakeh to whom Bêl-ibnî wrote1 complaining of certain slanders about him. So even the faithful servant was not entirely free from court intrigues. In another letter Bêl-ibnî refers to his having received and sent on to the king, Tammaritu, his brothers, family, and nobles.2
Many letters of this periodLike Ummanigash and Indabigash, Tammaritu corresponded with Ashurbânipal. We have letters from him to the King of Assyria and from Ashurbânipal to him. Unfortunately these letters are very imperfect, or not yet published. He is mentioned continually in the letters. There were several of the name: (1) son of Urtaku, third brother of Teumman, (2) son of Teumman, slain with his father, (3) son of Ummanigash, King of Elam, succeeded his cousin Ummanigash, whom he dethroned, (4) son of Attamitu. To which of these a reference is made is often hard to decide.
LETTERS REGARDING AFFAIRS IN SOUTHERN BABYLONIA
Their character that of forecasts or omensAnother group refers to the events at Ur, in the far south of Babylonia. Sin-tabni-uṣur, son of Ningal-iddina, was governor there during the time of Shamash-shum-ukîn’s great rebellion. This we learn from some of the forecast tablets, published in George Smith’s Assurbanipal.1 The greater part of these tablets is unintelligible, containing a record of the omens observed, probably on inspection of the entrails of the slaughtered sacrifices. What these symptoms were cannot yet be determined. Much has been done by Boissier in his Textes Assyriens relatifs au Présage, and many articles contributed to various journals. The omens are generally such as also occur in the tablets published by Dr. Knudtzon in his Gebete an den Sonnengott, and ably discussed by him there. The tablet evidently was meant to submit these omens to some oracle that a prediction might be given on their authority. The king also usually stated his cause of anxiety and asked for guidance and direction. These forecast tablets, many of which are dated,Their great value are of the greatest service for the chronology of the period. They have been partly discussed by the present writer.2 Thus the two, which refer to Sin-tabni-uṣur, announce that he is governor of Ur, and seem to inquire whether he can be relied upon to prove faithful. We may conclude that his appointment took place in Ab, bc 648.
A letter of the governor of ErechFrom a letter,1 which G. Smith2 ascribes to Kudur, governor of Erech, we learn that he had heard from Sin-tabni-uṣur, who reports that a messenger had arrived from Shamash-shum-ukîn, inciting the people to rebel against Ashurbânipal. As a result,
“the Gurunammu have rebelled against me. Re-enforce me at once.”
The good Kudur sent five or six hundred archers and joined Aplîa, the governor of Arrapa, and Nûrêa, governor of Ṣameda, and went to Ur. He was able to seize the leaders of the revolt, among them Nabû-zêr-iddin. But someone had captured Sin-tabni-uṣur. Bêl-ibnî is named, and later Nabû-ushêzib, the archer, but the text is too mutilated to make out a clear account. But it seems likely that Sin-tabni-uṣur was rescued, and being re-enforced, held out well for his master. Ashurbânipal writes to assure him of his continued confidence.3
The king’s replyMessage of the king to Sin-tabni-uṣur: It is well with me. May thy heart be cheered. Concerning Sin-shar-uṣur, what thou didst send. How could he say evil words of thee and I hear anything of them? Shamash perverted his heart and Ummanigash slandered thee before me and would give thee to death. Ashur, my god, withholds me. I would not willingly slay my servant, and the support of my father’s house. In that case, thou wouldst perish with thy lord’s house. I would not see that. He and Ummanigash have compassed thy death, but because I know thy faithfulness I have increased my favor and bestowed honor upon thee. Is it not so? For these two years thou hast not caused hostility or want to thy lord’s house. What could they say against a servant who has loved his lord’s house and I believe it? And with respect to the service which thou and the Assyrians, thy brothers, have done, what thou sendest, all that thou hast done and the guard thou hast kept, . . . which is pleasing before me [I will reward] and return thee favors to thy children’s children.
The persons mentionedIt is clear that Sin-shar-uṣur and Ummanigash had been intriguing against Sin-tabni-uṣur. There are several persons of the name Sin-shar-uṣur about this time. No less than three Eponyms bear the name after bc 648. The aba mâti, or governor of Hindana, or the arû might be meant here. But there was a brother of Sin-tabni-uṣur, of this name, who perhaps coveted his post. Among the many unpublished texts which refer to him one may, perhaps, be found to explain the hostility. Nor is it clear which Ummanigash is meant. There was one of the three sons of Urtaku, who took refuge at the court of Ashurbânipal, when their father was murdered and dethroned by his brother, Teumman. When the Assyrian king espoused his cause, he was enabled by Assyrian troops to defeat and slay the usurper Teumman and take the throne of Elam. But he was faithless and allied himself with Shamash-shum-ukîn. He was dethroned by his cousin, Tammaritu, shortly before the fall of Shamash-shum-ukîn. That he, while at the Assyrian Court, should have slandered the governor of Ur, is quite in accordance with his character, but what was his purpose, or what he alleged, we do not know. There was another Ummanigash, brother of Urtaku; another, son of Umbadara; another, a son of Amedirra. The latter raised a rebellion against Ummanaldash, as we learn from a report by Bêl-ibnî.1 After his usual salutations, Bêl-ibnî reports,
Bê-libni’s letter about UmmanigashWhen I left the Sealand, I sent five hundred soldiers, servants of my lord, the king, to the city Ṣabdânu, saying, “Hold a fort in Ṣabdânu and make raids into Elam, slay and make prisoners.” When they went against Irgidu, a city two leagues this side of Susa, they slew Ammaladin, the sheik of Iashi’ilu, his two brothers, three brothers of his father, two of his brother’s sons, Dalâ-ilu, son of Abi-iadi’, and two hundred well-born citizens of that city. They had a long journey before them. They took one hundred and fifty prisoners. The sheiks of Lairu and the people of Nugû’, when they saw that my raiders had extended on their farther side, were full of fear, sent word and took the oath to Mushêzib-Marduk, my sister’s son, a servant of the king, my lord, whom I had appointed over the fort, saying, “We will be servants of the King of Assyria.” When they had gathered their bowmen, as many as they had, they went with Mushêzib-Marduk, and marched into Elam.
Here follows a bad break in the narrative, but Iḳisha-aplu is named, and Bêl-ibnî promised to send on to the king whatever they captured and brought to him. The letter then resumes:
News from Elam: they say that Ummanigash, son of Amedirra, has rebelled against Ummanaldash. From the river udud as far as the city a’adânu they have sided with him. Ummanaldash has gathered his forces, and they are now encamped on the river opposite one another. Iḳisha-aplu, whom I have sent to the palace, has penetrated their designs. Let one question him in the palace.
Kudur’s letters about the king’s favoriteKudur, governor of Erech, who sent news of the outbreak of rebellion in the south, gives us further information about Mushêzib-Marduk, who was a favorite with the king. After a long salutation occupying nearly the whole of the obverse, with a short reference to a certain Upaḳu, the reverse side goes on:1
Mushêzib-Marduk, Bêl-ibnî’s sister’s son, who has come two or three times into the presence of the king, my lord, on a message from Bêl-ibnî, Bêl-ibnî has appointed him concerning it (the case in hand). The gate-keepers have told him that those soldiers are not lovers of the house of my lord. It is not good for them to cross over to our midst. They will give news of the land of the king, my lord, to Elam, and if there be a famine in Elam, they will furnish them provisions. To the king, my lord, I have sent; let the king, my lord, do what he sees fit.
The king’s replyThe king himself writes to Bêl-ibnî2 in a most friendly way about Mushêzib-Marduk:
Message of the king to Bêl-ibnî: I am well. May thy heart be cheered. Mushêzib-Marduk, about whom thou didst send, in the fulness of time he shall enter my presence, I will appoint the paths for his feet (i.e., make a way for his advancement). The holiday in Nineveh is not finished.
Mushêzib-Marduk is also mentioned by Nabû-zêr-ukîn, in a letter to the king,1 in close connection with Shum-iddin, the governor of Dûr-ilu. It is not clear what the writer had to say of him, but farther on in the letter Bêl-ibnî is named. The same Nabû-zêr-ukîn is mentioned in a tablet of epigraphs,2 where he is associated with Shamash-shum-ukîn, Tammaritu and Indabigash. He is there said to be son of Nabû-mushêṣi. In another letter he writes with Adadi-shum-uṣur, Nabû-shum-iddin, Ardi-Ea, and Ishtar-shum-êresh to the king,3 but hardly anything remains except a mention of Nineveh. The same group of writers is elsewhere associated with Nabû-mushêṣi. Of another letter4 from him to the king only the introduction is found.
Kudur’s letters about the rebellionKudur, governor of Erech, was a frequent correspondent with the king. A score of letters from him to the king, or from the king to him, are preserved. They are nearly all concerned, more or less, with the events during the great rebellion. There were several others of the name, one an Elamite prince, son of Ummanaldash. The name itself may be Elamite and may point to a strong admixture of Elamite blood in Erech. The element Kudur occurs in such names as Kudur-Mabug, Kudur-Naunte, and Kudur-lagamar, the prototype of Chedorlaomer. There was another Kudur, son of Dakkuri, who was brought captive to Assyria with Shum-iddin. We may take as one example:5
To the king of countries, my lord, thy servant Kudur. May Bêl and Nabû decree peace, health, and length of days for the king, my lord, forever. Since I was in the enemy’s country the Puḳudu have made an end of the Bît-Amuḳâni, servants of my lord, the king, by their attacks. The cities which were to be held for the king, my lord, they captured. Let the servants of the king, my lord, march. They have occupied the cities, killed the men and ravished the women. Also they have attacked Ṣâbâ, the body-guard. The day they reached Bît-Amuḳâni, it is said, the attackers attacked the body-guard. I sent soldiers, saying, “Go, slay ’Ala’ with the pike, save the garrison and take them captive.” When on the king’s canal they attacked Nabû-shar-uṣur, the colonel, he took them captive. Let the king, my lord, inquire of them, as he can. The king, my lord, knows how Bît-Amuḳâni is destroyed. The Puḳudu keep their land. The soldiers with us have not set out, and they are the attackers, and we abhor the alienation of territory. Let the king, my lord, give orders and the soldiers shall set out against the cities, where they dwell.
It seems that the men of Pekod (see Jer. i. 21, Ez. xxiii. 23) had made an attack upon Bît-Amuḳâni and nearly destroyed the country. Kudur moved into the country, but sent for explicit orders as to what he should do. He changes his subject rather abruptly at times and it is not quite clear always of whom he is speaking. The most obscure sentence is where he says that “we abhor the alienation of territory,” literally “the sin of the land.” It seems that a land sinned when it was occupied by an enemy.
Ashurbânipal was deeply attached to his faithful servant, as the following letter shows:1
His affectionate letter of thanks for the king’s favorsTo the king of countries, my lord, thy servant Kudur. Erech and E-anna (the temple there) be gracious to the king of countries, my lord. Daily I pray to Ishtar of Erech and Nanâ for the health of the king, my lord’s life. Iḳîsha-aplu, the doctor, whom the king, my lord, sent to heal me, has restored me to life. The great gods of heaven and earth make themselves gracious to the king, my lord, and establish the throne of the king, my lord, in the midst of heaven forever. I was one who was dead and the king, my lord, has restored me to life. The benefits of the king, my lord, toward me are manifold. I will come to see the king, my lord. I say to myself, I will go and I will see the face of the king, my lord; then I will return and live. The chief baker made me return to Erech from the journey, saying, “A special messenger has brought a sealed despatch to thee from the palace, thou must return with me to Erech.” He sent me this order and made me return to Erech. The king, my lord, must know this.
The king had sent a doctor who had restored Kudur, when he had despaired of himself. Then he started to come and thank the king in person, but when on the road the chief baker (if that was his right title) recalled him, because a sealed despatch had reached Erech addressed to him from the king. He sends at once this letter, not having reached Erech again; at any rate, he does not refer to the contents of the despatch.
LETTERS ABOUT ELAM AND SOUTHERN BABYLONIA
The downfall of Elamite powerIn Elam, during the reign of Ashurbânipal, there was a protracted series of revolutions, interspersed with invasions of, or by, Assyria. The result was the utter decay of Elamite power, and after Ashurbânipal’s final reduction of the country and sack of Susa, the land was an easy prey to the Aryan invaders. From the story, as told by Ashurbânipal, the Elamites richly deserved their fate, and lest we should suspect him of undue partiality, the matter-of-fact letters of his officers give us substantial grounds for crediting his view. It seems that Urtaku, who came to the throne of Elam in bc 675, was always on good terms with Assyria. We have a letter from Esarhaddon to him1 in very friendly terms. It begins:
A friendly letter from Esarhaddon to UrtakuLetter of Esarhaddon, King of Assyria, to Urtaku, King of Elam: I am well. Peace to thy gods and goddesses. There is peace in my land and with my nobles, peace be to Urtaku, King of Elam, my brother. There is peace with my sons and my daughters, peace be to thy nobles and thy land. Now what Ashur, Sin, Shamash, Bêl, Nabû, Ishtar of Nineveh, Ishtar of Arbela, the gods . . . have said, I have (fully?) accomplished.
This friendship at first maintained by AshurbanipalThe rest is obscure by reason of lacunæ. The reverse seems to be inscribed with numerals, perhaps relating to items of presents sent. Ashurbânipal kept up the friendship, and, when a famine broke out in Elam, allowed some Elamites to take refuge in his land, and afterwards restored them to their country. He also sent grain into Elam itself. But, perhaps as consequence of having spied out the land, the Elamites contrived to make Urtaku attack Assyria.The Elamites invade Babylonia He was incited to this act by Bêl-iḳisha, prince of the Gambûlai, who inhabited the marshes about the mouth of the Uknû, or Blue River, perhaps the modern Karoon, bordering on Elam. Bêl-iḳisha rebelled against Assyria, and with his troops joined Elam. Nabû-shum-êresh, the tik-en-na, apparently sheik of the district of Dupliash, another Assyrian subject, seems to have done the same. Marduk-shum-ibnî, the general of Urtaku, who led the invasion, was evidently not an Elamite, but perhaps a Chaldean, or renegade Babylonian. At any rate, the Elamites invaded Akkad and covered the land like grasshoppers. They laid siege to Babylon. On the approach of the Assyrian army, the invaders fled. Urtaku died.The punishment Bêl-iḳisha was killed by a wild boar. Nabû-shum-êresh was smitten with dropsy and died. “In one year the gods cut them off.” The throne of Elam fell to Teumman, a brother of Urtaku, who maintained a hostile attitude. Dunânu, son and successor of Bêl-iḳisha, joined Teumman. Ashurbânipal accordingly invaded Elam, defeated and slew Teumman, ravaged the land of Gambulû and captured Dunânu, who was taken to Nineveh and made to march in the triumphal procession, with the head of Teumman slung about his neck, and was finally tortured to death.
Nabû-ush-abshi’s letters as governor of Southern BabyloniaAll the time that Shamash-shum-ukîn was king in Babylon, Ashurbânipal seems to have retained the rule over Southern Babylonia. At any rate, the governors of the cities there wrote to him as their king and lord. The above-mentioned revolt in Gambulû was a direct concern of the governor of Erech, who seems to have suffered severely. As late as the twentieth year of Ashurbânipal, Nabû-ushabshi was governor there. We have many letters from him to the king. One1 refers to the above events:
To the king of countries, my lord, thy servant Nabû-ushabshi. Erech and E-anna (the temple of Ishtar at Erech), be gracious to the king of countries, my lord. Daily I pray to Ishtar of Erech and Nanâ for the well-being of the life of the king, my lord. The king, my lord, sent, saying, “Take troops and send against Gambulû. The gods of the king, my lord, assuredly know how, from the time that Bêl-iḳisha revolted from the hands of the king, my lord, and went to Elam, he plundered my father’s house and went about to kill my brother.”
Then comes a break, in which the fragments indicate that Nabû-ushabshi prayed daily for revenge. Then we read:
now as the king, my lord, has sent, I will go and fulfil all his bidding. If on any ground, over there, the inhabitants of Gambulû will not obey, if it be pleasing to the king, my lord, let a messenger come and let us assemble all Akkad and we will go with him, we will win back the land and give it to the king, my lord. I have sent. Let the king, my lord, do what he will. Preserve this letter.
The last request is very unusual, but we are glad it was obeyed. Another of his letters refers to the intrigues of Pir’-Bêl, son of Bêl-eṭir. This Bêl-eṭir may be the son of Nabû-shum-êresh, who, with his brother, Nabû-nâ’id, was carried captive to Nineveh, along with Dunânu, and there made to desecrate the bones of their father. But it seems possible that we have here to do with another Bêl-eṭir, as these events seem earlier in the history. After the same introduction as before, the letter2 reads:
Pir’-Bêl, the son of Bêl-eṭir, sometime after he and his father went, some ten years ago, to Elam, came again from Elam to Akkad, he and his father. When they came, whatever was evil against Assyria, they kept on doing in Erech. Afterwards when they went back to Elam, Bêl-eṭir, his father, died in Elam; and he in Marchesvan brought letters to me, and to Aplîa, the governor, we sent the letters on by Daru-Sharru, the body-guard.
After some broken lines:
“Now a certain servant of . . . came with him to Erech.”
if he say to the king, my lord: “I have come from the land of Elam,” let not the king, my lord, believe him. From the time when in the month of Marchesvan, he brought the letters and we sent them to the king, my lord, until now, he has not returned to Elam. If the king, my lord, desire to verify these words, Idûa, a servant of Kudur, who brought him to Erech, the contents are known to him [there are some very obscure phrases in the next two lines], and those letters, what lies are written, let him tell the king, my lord, and as to those letters, which, in the month of Marchesvan we sent to the king, my lord, by the hands of Daru-sharru, if the king, my lord, does not understand, let the king, my lord, ask Daru-sharru, the body-guard. To the king, my lord, I have sent, let the king, my lord, be aware.
Letters about presents sent to the sanctuary of ErechOne event, very characteristic of the times, is the subject of three letters. The sanctuary of Ishtar, at Erech, was celebrated far and wide, and on one occasion the King of Elam sent gifts to it. These Nabû-ushabshi seems to have been unable to possess himself of, or to send to the king. Thus, we read:1
To the king of countries, my lord, thy servant, Nabû-ushabshi [after the same introduction as before]; the sheep of the temple and of the city Puḳudu are detained in the city Ru’ua, two shepherds of them, one belonging to the temple, and the second from Puḳudu, three white horses with harness and trappings of silver, and fittings of bronze. On the trappings were written . . . which the King of Elam had sent to Ishtar of Erech. The horses, which they brought, I will now preserve. Before the king, my lord, I was afraid and in the temple I will not place them, until the shepherds bring the three horses. To the king, my lord, I have sent, and the bronze inscribed fittings, when I see them, I will send on to the king, my lord. What the king my lord will, let him do.
The king replied:1
To Nabû-ushabshi, concerning the horses about which thou didst send, as yet thou hast not sent them to me. I have sent Ashurgimil-tirru, the abarakku, and troops with him. Whatever is good to do, that do; whether the River arru be dammed, or whether those people come, and as to the contents of the letter which thou didst send. Bêl-eṭir, Arbaia, the colonels, two hundred horses in their hands, I have sent to thee; let them stand on your side, let them do the work.
Evidently in consequence of this, we have another letter,2 where both writer and recipient are unknown. It is much injured, and while there are a few sentences intelligible, it is not easy to say to what they refer. But on the reverse after the first six or seven lines, the words of the last letter are repeated verbatim. It is perhaps another letter from the king to Nabû-ushabshi. The governors of Lairu and Arbaa are said to be with the receiver of the letter.
MISCELLANEOUS ASSYRIAN LETTERS
Letters about omens and predictionsA very interesting group may be made up of letters concerned with omens and predictions. The Assyrian kings were firm believers in omens. They did not venture upon any great undertaking without consulting the augurs. We have numerous letters telling the king what days were propitious for certain projects which he had formed. For the most part, the whole point is obscure to us. We know neither the purpose he had, the omens relied on, nor the real grounds of the decision. Very often translation is impossible. In some cases the publication of the innumerable omen texts may give some light on the subject, but usually it is quite impossible to see how these were made to apply to the actual case. It is very like the case of Nebuchadrezzar’s dream. We are without any data to work from.
About a fox’s falling into a wellHere is an example of some interest, and more easily understood than many:1
To the king, my lord, thy servant Nabûa. May Nabû and Marduk be gracious to the king, my lord. On the seventh of Kislev a fox entered into the city, and fell into a well, in the grove of Ashur. They got him out, and killed him.
Whether this was a good or evil omen, or even an omen at all, we do not know. Nabûa is a very common name. There are fourteen of fifteen astrological reports which bear his name. In these he appears as an inhabitant of the city Asshur. The name occurs some forty times in the contracts, but it is clear that there were several of the name. Perhaps the scribe who appears from bc 668 down to postcanon times may be our writer, but, as he lived at Nineveh, that is doubtful.
Regarding auspicious days for a journeyAnother case which is fairly intelligible is a letter of Balasi and Nabû-aê-erba,1 on a question of auspicious days for a journey. It reads:
To the king, our lord, thy servants, Balasi and Nabû-aê-erba. Peace be to the king, our lord. May Nabû and Marduk be gracious to the king, our lord. As to Ashur-mukîn-palêa, about whom the king, our lord, has sent to us, may Ashur, Bêl, Sin, Shamash, and Adad be gracious to him. May the king, our lord, see his well-being. Things are auspicious for a journey. The second is auspicious. The fourth extremely auspicious.
We have fairly frequent references to Ashur-mukîn-palêa in a way that shows that he was delicate. From a letter of Ardi-Nabû’s we learn that the order of seniority in the family of Esarhaddon was Ashurbânipal, Shamash-shumukîn, Sherûa-eṭirat (a princess), Ashur-mukin-palêa, Sharrushame-erṣiti-balâṭsu-(iḳbi). He is often named in the letters, usually as king’s son. But despite his delicate health he survived to be made high-priest of Sin at arrân, by his royal brother, and even as late as bc 648 his name occurs in the contracts.2
Balasi’s letters about astrologyBalasi is a frequent writer of astrological reports, some five and twenty being preserved, besides some fifteen letters. In the latter he is associated with Nabû-aê-erba no less than seven times, once with Ishtar-shum-êresh also. In these cases we probably have the same person. But the name occurs often in the contracts, and there belongs to at least three different men. Nabû-aê-erba was the writer of some five and thirty astrological reports, besides some seven or eight letters, usually with Balasi. The name belongs to several persons named in the contracts.
Ardi-Êa’s letters of congratulationArdi-Êa was also a frequent writer to the king. Besides three or four astrological reports, he wrote nine letters to the king. He is generally associated with Adadi-shum-uṣur, Ishtar-shum-êresh, Akkullânu, or Marduk-shâkin-shum. But one letter,1 written to Sargon II., and mentioning Merodach-Baladan II., clearly belongs to another Ardi-Êa. Most of his letters are defective. The most intelligible2 reads thus:
To the king, my lord, thy servant Ardi-Êa. Peace be to the king, my lord. May Nabû, Marduk, Sin, Ningal, and Nusku be gracious to the king, my lord. Sin, Ningal (and other gods) shall grant health, long days, to the king, my lord. Day and night I pray for the life of the king, my lord.
Adadi-shum-usur’s lettersThe great group of writers with whom he is associated is responsible for a large number of letters. Adadi-shum-uṣur wrote some thirty-five letters and five or six astrological reports. He is especially prolix in his introduction. Here is a specimen:3
To the king, my lord, thy servant Adadi-shum-uṣur. Peace be to the king, my lord. May Nabû and Marduk be excessively gracious to the king, my lord. The king of gods shall decree the name of the king, my lord, to the kingdom of Assyria. Shamash and Adad, in their changeless regard to the king, my lord, have confirmed him in the kingdom of all lands. A gracious reign, settled days, years of righteousness, plenteous rains, copious floods, high prices. The gods are reverenced, the fear of God increased, the temples are flourishing. The great gods of heaven and earth are exalted in the reign of the king, my lord. Old men dance, young men sing, the women and girls are given in marriage, the bridegrooms marry wives, marriages are consummated, sons and daughters are begotten, children are born. To those that have sinned and look for death, the king, my lord, has given new life. Those that for many years were captive, thou hast freed. They that many days were sick have recovered. The hungry are satisfied. The lean grow fat. The plantations are covered with fruits. Only I and Ardi-Gula among them have our soul depressed, our heart disturbed. Lately has the king, my lord, shown love for Nineveh, to his people, to his chiefs,A plea for his son to be appointed to the court saying, “Bring your sons, let them stand before me.” Ardi-Gula, my son is he, let him stand with them, before the king, my lord. We with all the people will rejoice indeed, and dance for joy. My eyes are set upon the king, my lord. They that stand in the palace, all of them, love me not. There is not a friend of mine among them, to whom I might give a present, and they would receive it, and take up my cause. Let the king, my lord, take pity on his servant. Among all those people, I hope none of my slanderers may see the purpose of their hearts against me.
Judging from the frequent mention of Ardi-Gula in other letters and that he wrote to the king about his sons, Ashurbânipal and Shamash-shum-ukîn, we may be sure the old courtier got his request, and that he was writing to Esarhaddon. The letters of Adadi-shum-uṣur concern domestic affairs, the sickness of one, an auspicious day, the health of another, rarely does he mention any news of public interest. The persons about whom he writes are the members of the royal family, Esarhaddon’s children and the above-named circle of officials. The king sent him to see certain sick folk,1 he writes about an eclipse, or a ring, or something of the sort. He usually gives a very long introduction; often the real message occupies only a few lines.
Miscellaneous lettersMarduk-shâkin-shum is another of the same group, with twenty-five letters. They are of the same domestic nature as the last. Ishtar-shum-êresh is the writer of a score of letters and about thirty astrological reports. He was evidently a younger member of the group, son of Nabû-zêr-lîshir, and chief scribe to Ashurbânipal. In the reign of Esarhaddon he ranked as a mašmašu. Akkullânu, who was an êrib bîti, of Ashur, writes sixteen letters and some dozen astrological reports.
Nabûa’s letters about the calendarWe have seen that in the second epoch the king had to fix the time when intercalary months should be inserted. In this period the calendar was very carefully regulated by astronomical observations. As a new month began on the day on which the new moon was seen, it is clear that a month would often exceed twenty-nine days, but that a new moon might sometimes be seen on the twenty-ninth. Nabûa, the astronomer of the city Asshur, sends a number of such letters as:1
On the twenty-ninth, we kept watch, we did not see the moon. Nabû and Marduk be gracious to the king, my lord. From Nabûa of Asshur.
So Nabû-shum-iddin writes:2
To the Gardener, my lord, thy servant Nabû-shum-iddin, the rabûte of Nineveh. Nabû and Marduk be gracious to the Gardener, my lord. On the fourteenth we kept watch on the moon. The moon suffered an eclipse.
The gardener, or rather irrigator, may be a royal title. At present these observations are useless to us in our attempts to fix chronology, as we do not know the month and year of many of them.
The queendowager’s importanceThe queen-mother was always an important personage in the state and she had very great influence indeed at court. But probably few ladies ever obtained a higher degree of power than did Naki’a, or Zakutu as she was also called, the wife of Sennacherib and mother of Esarhaddon. She had a sister Abirami.3 The queen-mother resided in Lairu, but there seem to have been more than one city of the name. Her necklace, or some part of it, is in private possession and has been described by Professor Scheil.1 She survived her son, and, with her grandsons, Ashurbânipal, Shamash-shum-ukîn, and the nobles of Assyria, issued a proclamation to the empire, declaring Ashurbânipal the true heir to the throne.
Letter of Nâ’id-Marduk to herIt is, of course, uncertain whether the person addressed as mother of the king is always Zakûtu, since we cannot always date the letters. But the letter of Nâ’id-Marduk,2 which names Ummanigash as King of Elam, was certainly addressed to her. Nâ’id-Marduk was a son of Merodach Baladan, who, in the reign of Esarhaddon, when his brother Nabû-zêr-kînish-lîshir was killed by Ummanaldash II., threw himself on the mercy of Esarhaddon and was by him made ruler of his ancestral domain of Bît Jakin, as a vassal king. He speaks for himself:
To the mother of the king, my lord, thy servant Nâ’id-Marduk. Peace be to the mother of the king, my lord. May Ashur, Shamash, and Marduk give health to the king, my lord. May they decree the cheer of heart of the mother of the king, my lord. From Elam they came to me, saying, “They have seized the bridge.” When they came, I sent to the mother of the king, my lord. Now let the bridge be restored and the bolts of the bridge strengthened. They say, “They have burnt it.” I have not sent them, we do not know. They came, it was gone. To the mother of the king, my lord, I will send. Do thou, my lord, send troops. The son of Ningal-iddina has gone to the King of (Elam?) and taken the side of ubanigash. [Several lines follow with only fragments of sentences.] “Since these are trustworthy reports, whatever the Chaldees in future send to the gods of the king, my lord. If a messenger of the King of Elam does not bring messages to me, he shall enter and I will see him, and whatever is his message, he shall explain until I understand.” They came on the second of Ab, his messenger came to me to the border; he did not pass over to hinterland, and I sent my messenger to the palace. My lord, may he decide, and what is right for the house of my lord, fulfil.
It is evident that the writer regards the queen-mother as so thoroughly identical with the king that he does not scruple to address her as “my lord.” Despite several lacunæ the general sense is clear. After the break the passage in quotation-marks seems to be quoted from a report made to the writer. The sons of Ningal-iddina were Sin-tabni-uṣur, Sin-balâṭsu-iḳbi, and Sin-shar-uṣur, all of whom were in important commands in Southern Babylonia. It seems probable that the events referred to in this letter are those which led up to the Elamite invasion of Babylonia, when they came raiding as far as Sippara. Esarhaddon was away at the time in the west. There is no record of how they were driven back.
King’s letter to herHere is a letter from the king to his mother:1
Message of the king to the king’s mother: I am well. Peace be to the king’s mother. Concerning Amushe’s servant, what thou didst send me, as the king’s mother has told me, I will at once order. What thou hast said is extremely good. Wherefore should amunai go?
The meaning is obscured for us by our complete lack of information as to the persons concerned. We may conjecture that amunai was the servant of Amushe, but we do not know. However, we see that the queen-mother gave good advice.
Aplfa’s cordial letter to herZakûtu must often have been a prey to great anxiety, left in command as she was in Assyria, with her warrior son nearly always away and such awkward neighbors as the Elamites. But she was on the whole faithfully served. It seems that the proud nobles of Assyria became restless during Esarhaddon’s long absences, for we learn from the Babylonian Chronicle that, in bc 670, Esarhaddon put a number of them to death. Here is a letter, however, from an attached subject:2
To the mother of the king, my lady, thy servant Aplîa. May Bêl and Nabû be gracious to the mother of the king, my lady. Every day I pray Nabû and Nanâ for life and health and length of days, for the king of lands, my lord, and for the mother of the king, my lady. May the mother of the king, my lady, be bright. A messenger of good news from Bêl and Nabû has come from the king of lands, my lord.
There is a suggestion in the mention of Nanâ that Aplîa wrote from Erech. He may be the Aplîa afterwards associated with Bêl-ibnî and Kudur in the south. If so, we may suppose that the messenger came from Esarhaddon, from Egypt, by way of Southern Babylonia. One would suppose that a messenger from Canaan, or the west, would reach Nineveh, before Chaldea. But, of course, the queen-mother may have been at Lairu. Only it is doubtful whether she lived there, while Esarhaddon was away.
It is more likely still that the Aplîa is the same as the râb ali of Lairu, who in bc 678 was over the house of the queen-mother there.1
Asharîdu’s letter of loyaltyAnother letter2 conveys assurance of fidelity:
To the mother of the king, my lord, thy servant Asharîdu. May Nabû and Marduk be gracious to the mother of the king, my lord. Daily I pray to Nêrgal and Lâz for the life and health of the king, and the king’s mother, my lords. There is peace in the city and temples of the king and now I keep the watch for the king, my lord.
That Asharîdu is the same as the writer of some thirty astrological reports who was the son of Dankâ, a atnu, and servant of the king, may be doubted. He is more likely to be the author of several letters who seems to have been connected with Borsippa. Another letter3 is from Nêrgal-sharâni in response to another about some sacrifices, sent by the queen-mother. He prays for a thousand years of rule for Esarhaddon, so there can be no mistake about the period. He recounts the preparations made—an ox, two sheep, and two hundred geese. But he says that Ninḳai, the handmaid of the queen-mother, for some reason, will not perform the sacrifice. The queen-mother is asked to send authority for someone to open the treasury and perform the work. The letter is defective and obscure by reason of unknown words. Nêrgal-sharâni may be the same Ashur-shum-uṣur who so often writes to the king about this time. Again Nabû-shum-lîshir writes to the queen-mother1 about a woman, Kallati, who was intrusted to the writer in the house of Shama’, and about some sheep.
Medical lettersAnother group includes the letters which refer to medical treatment. Here especially Dr. C. Johnston, himself a medical man, has made a most valuable start in his Assyrian Epistolary Correspondence, and we can hardly do better than to follow his guidance. As a rule, what these ancient peoples said and thought of disease is very obscure to us. Many terms were then, as now, used in the medical vocabulary which were well known in ordinary language, but which were given a distinctly different technical meaning. Great attention was paid to surgery and medicine, as is shown by the clauses in the Code.2Medical records numerous There are also a great number of tablets dealing with medicine, some of which have been published. Long ago Professor Sayce discussed one such text under the title, “An Ancient Babylonian Work on Medicine,”3 and from the British Museum Catalogue fully four hundred and fifty such texts are known. Dr. C. F. H. Küchler in his Beiträge zur Kenntniss der Assyrischen Medicin has made great progress toward settling the reading and meaning of certain words and phrases. Dr. Baron Felix von Oefele, who has devoted much study to ancient medicine in general, has made noteworthy contributions to the study, by his articles in learned journals. Still, the great obstacle is that so much of the materia medica, which was a very full one, is unknown; and the diseases appear under names which do not assist us in determining the meaning. The medical treatises considered affections of all parts of the body, and made much of symptoms. They prescribe roots and oils and a great variety of powdered drugs. Some of the treatment is evidently based on extended trial and observation.Exorcism as well as hearing the duty of a physician But also much reliance was placed on charms, and diseases were associated with demons. To drive away the demon, as well as cure the pain, was the doctor’s duty. There was full recognition of the mental factor in sickness.
A letter reporting the progress of a diseaseWith considerable hesitation the following two letters from the physician Ardi-Nanâ to the king Esarhaddon are given, in which Dr. C. Johnston’s rendering is closely followed. In the first, Ardi-Nanâ reports on the state of a patient, perhaps one of the young princes, who was suffering from a disease of the eyes, or perhaps facial erysipelas. He was progressing so well that the physician piously opines that some god has taken the case under his care. The gods who were special patrons of the healing art were Ninip and Gula, whose blessing the physician accordingly invokes. We read:1
To the king, my lord, thy servant Ardi-Nanâ. May it be peace in the highest degree to the king, my lord; may Ninip and Gula give cheer of heart and health of body to the king, my lord. It is extremely well with that poor man whose eyes are diseased. I had applied a dressing to him, it covered his face. Yesterday, at evening, I undid the bandage which held it, I removed the dressing which was upon him. There was pus upon the dressing as much as the tip of the little finger. Thy gods, if any of them has put his hand to the matter, he has indeed given his order. It is extremely well. Let the heart of the king, my lord, be cheered. In seven or eight days he will be well.
There is also another letter1 from Ardi-Nanâ to the king, but part of it is too defective to render. It begins in exactly the same way as before, save that greeting is also sent to the king’s son.
For the cure which we wrought on . . . we were given five-sixths of a shekel. The day he came, he recovered, he recovered his strength, he stayed until. . . . Concerning the patient who had blood run from his nose, the messenger has told me, saying, “Yesterday, at evening, much blood ran.” Those dressings are not with knowledge. They have been placed upon the breathing passages of the nose and oppress the breathing and come off, because of the bleeding. Let them be placed within the nostrils, they will preserve the breath and the blood will be held back. If it is right in the sight of the king, in the morning I will come and prescribe for him. Now let me hear his well-being.
The messenger here was a rab mu-gi, in which title it has been proposed to see the original of the Rabmag of Jeremiah xxxix. 3. He was a high official charged with the care of horses and chariots, and here sent to hear news of the patient. There is no evidence that he had any medical knowledge himself. In another letter,2 Ardi-Nanâ writes concerning Ashur-mukîn-palêa, a younger son of Esarhaddon and brother of Ashurbânipal. He bids the king not to fear. The young prince seems to have been in the doctor’s care. Further he writes about the health of a tooth (of the prince’s?) about which the king had sent to inquire. He had greatly improved its condition (literally, uplifted its head). In another letter,3 also partly defective, he directs the king to anoint himself as a protection against draughts (?), to drink pure water, and to wash his hands frequently in a bowl. Presently the rash (?) will disappear. In another still more defective letter4 he mentions the plant martakal, to which magical efficacy was ascribed. Another long letter,1 after the same complimentary opening as the others, goes on:
Continually has the king, my lord, said to me, thus, “The nature of my disease is this, thou hast not seen to it, its recovery thou hast not effected.” Formerly I said before the king, my lord, “The ulcer is incurable (?), I cannot prescribe for it.” Now, however, I have sealed a letter and sent it. In the presence of the king, let them read it, I will prescribe for the king, my lord. If it be agreeable to the king, my lord, let a magician do his work on him. Let the king apply a lotion (?). Shortly the sore will be loosed. This lotion of oils (?) let the king apply two or three times. The king will know if the king says . . .
The rest is obscure, simply because we do not know what the disease, or remedy, was.
Shamash-mîtu-uballiṭ, probably the youngest son of Esarhaddon, writes to the king, but whether to his father or his brother Ashurbânipal does not seem clear, about the health of a lady, in whose well-being the king seemed to take interest.2
To the king, my lord, thy servant Shamash-mîtu-uballiṭ. Verily peace be to the king, my lord, may Nabû and Marduk be excessively gracious to the king, my lord. Verily the king’s handmaid, Baugâmelat is excessively ill, she can eat nothing. Forsooth let the king, my lord, send an order and let a doctor come and see her.
Letters regarding the appointment of officialsThere is also an interesting letter concerning the appointment of a successor to a dead official,3 sent by a writer whose name is lost:
To the king, my lord, thy servant, . . . verily peace to the king, my lord. May Ashur and Beltu be gracious to the king, my lord. Concerning the overseer of the house of the seers, who is dead, as I said in the presence of the king, my lord, to wit, his son, his brother’s son, are alive. Now his son, his brother’s son, and Simânai, the son of Nabû-uballiṭ, and the son of the father’s brother, of Ashurnâ’id, the deputy priest, with them, shall come into the presence of the king, my lord. Whoever shall find favor in the sight of the king, my lord, let the king, my lord, appoint.
It is clear that succession was not purely hereditary. Even when the son was alive, he might be passed over in favor of a cousin, or for a still more distant relation. There are many other interesting cases where the king inquires for the proper persons to be placed in the offices vacated through death or deposition. For example, when Esarhaddon began to set in order the temple services, he heard the following report:1
To the king, my lord, thy servant Akkullânu. Peace be to the king, my lord. Nabû and Marduk be gracious to the king, my lord. In the long desuetude of the customary rights of Ashur, regarding which the king, my lord, sent word to his servant, saying, “Who among the magnates have not complied, have not given, be it much or little (their default),” yesterday I could not write to the king, my lord. Now these are the magnates who have not given their dues: the governors of Baralza, Raṣappa, Kalzi, Isana, Bêlê, Kullania, Arpadda; these have failed to pay their dues. Raṣappa, Baralza, Diḳuḳina, the chief of the vineyards, Daian-Adadi, Isana, alziatbar, Birtu, Arzuina, Arbailu, Guzana, Sharish, Dinunna, Rimusu, all these have not given the barley and wheat due from them. And as to the overseer of the bakehouse, the overseer of the larder and the chief purveyors, concerning whom the king, my lord, inquired, they are removed from their posts, and this is alleged as the reason: The overseer of the bakehouse is a child, Sennacherib removed him; Ashur-zêr-iddin, the priest of Nineveh, slandered him. I was frightened at the troubles. He had not committed any great crime. . . . The overseer of the larder had broken (?) a dish of Ashur’s, for this deed thy father removed him from charge of Ashur’s dish, and appointed a turban-maker’s son; he is without education. And concerning the chief purveyors, Sennacherib made a reduction of their allowances, and the son of the turban-maker receives the rest. Now for six years he has been dead and his son indeed stands in his office. Justice has been in abeyance since Sargon. Sennacherib was the remover. This is according to their reasons. The king, my lord, as he will, let him do.
The text is difficult, partly because some signs are defaced, partly because some words could be read more ways than one, and others are obscure. It seems quite clear that the cult of Ashur had greatly suffered. We know from the arrân census that certain lands were charged with dues to the temples, others with salaries to officials. The list of defaulters is of geographical value. The deposition of rightful temple officers and the intrusion of unworthy substitutes, on slight grounds, is charged to Sennacherib. He was evidently estranged from the cult of Ashur. Doubtless a comparison of other letters will clear up some of the obscurities, but sufficient is clear to indicate the importance of such documents.
Women’s lettersIt is of interest to note that we have a few letters sent by women. We may select the following:1
To the scribe of the palace, my lord, thy handmaid Sarai. Bêl, Bêltu (of Nineveh?), Bêltu of Babylon, Nabû, Tashmetum, Ishtar of Nineveh, Ishtar of Arbela, be gracious to my lord. Long days, health of mind, health of body, may they give to my lord. The servants of my lord, whom the governor of Bît Naialani took, seven souls in all, he gave to Marduk-erba. Now the people are here, they have come to me and say thus: “Say to the scribe of the palace, Do not cause them to enter into the house of Marduk-erba.” The šâu has sealed for them, now he is with them.
Evidently the lady Sarai had great influence with the scribe of the palace; perhaps she was his wife. The reason why the governor took certain servants of his and gave them to Marduk-erba is not clear. Perhaps they were sold for some government claim. It seems that the lady wished to keep them back, but that the purchaser had called and was about to take them away, unless the scribe in some way intervened.
Private lettersA few quite private letters found their way into the archives of Nineveh, unless indeed this is a mere freak of the discoverers. Thus:1
Note from Marduk to Kurigalzu, his brother: Bêl and Nabû seek the peace of my brother. Wherefore have I not seen thy messenger? Until he enter Borsippa, when I see thy messenger, my heart shall drink the wine of joy. Let my brother send so many pots.
Here is another from Borsippa:2
Note from Bêl-upaḳ to Kunâ, his father: Peace be to my father. Daily I pray to Nabû and Nanâ for my father’s health of life and I have fulfilled the duty to Ezida (the temple of Nabû at Borsippa) for thy sake. When I inquired of Mâr-bîti (a divine name) for thy sake, a fixed time of peace was taken up to the fourth day. Thy workman is informed concerning everything whatever is safe according to his (the god’s) word.
Reports and listsAs before remarked, many letters are notices of the movements of horses. These are really obscure in that we do not know what the real purpose of the reports was. They are very similar to many reports which lack the form of address that marks a letter. Many of the terms applied to the horses are also obscure and there is no way to translate them. In other cases we have reports to the king or his officials on various every-day subjects. A list of slaves assigned to one or more men, a list of guests, men of high rank, sent to stay with certain officials, lists of furniture and effects, including books, sent to arrân with one of the princes, all serve to throw light upon the daily life at the court of Nineveh. Incidentally we have many hints for history as well as life and manners. But such lists and reports do not lend themselves to translation.
Inquiries of the oraclesA group of texts, very similar to the letters, only with an especial character of their own, are the inquiries addressed by Esarhaddon and Ashurbânipal to the oracle of the sun-god. Their great interest lies in the fact that they usually state the events which cause the king’s anxiety and so make important contributions to history. But the larger part of them consist of a detailed statement of what omens have been observed by the augurs on examining the entrails of the sacrifices. On these it is probable that the sun-god was to base his opinion. He would know and declare what they portended.
MetrologyOccasionally a letter serves to make a contribution to some subject which is of interest apart from the events of the day. Thus, information is furnished regarding metrology in a letter primarily concerned with materials for the repair of a temple or palace.1 There we read of “six articles of mismakanna wood, six a apiece, one cubit long and one cubit thick.” The thickness is clearly a cubit each way, and we learn that a cubit cube contained six a. There are many letters and fragments which concern beams of wood and stones sent from great distances for buildings and repairs. When these are all published and considered together, no doubt they will clear up the difficulties which at present render translation impossible.
Diary of a journeyA fragmentary report—it may have been a letter—gives a diary of a journey. If we could complete it, or find a few more like it, we should have a knowledge of geography such as we have not for any other part of the world for early times.2 We may summarize it as follows: On the sixth, the writer went from Bagarri to Sarî, from Sarî to Arzuina, from Arzuina to Tel-Arzuina. He stated the distances from city to city, but these are now lost. This was the first journey. The second journey was from Tel-Arzuina to Dûr-sisite. The third journey was from Dûr-sisite to Maturaba, from Maturaba to Dûr-Taliti. The fourth journey was from Dûr-Taliti to Babiti, from Babiti to Lagabgalagi. The fifth journey was from Lagabgalagi to the river Radânu, thence to Asri. The sixth journey was from Asri to Arrakdi. The seventh journey was from ualsundi to Napigi, thence to Dûr-Ashur. Here we get the whole distance from Arrakdi to Dûr-Ashur as two kaspu, twenty-four uš, twenty-four u. The identification of these places would be of enormous value for a determination of the Assyrian measures of length. The distances are correct to the cubit. The eighth journey was from Dûr-Ashur to Tarzini, thence to Banbala. The ninth journey was from Banbala to Ishdi-dagurrai, thence to Gupni-Bêl-arrân, one kaspu, five uš, fifty-four u. The tenth journey was from Gupni-Bêl-arrân to Dûr-Adadi-rîmâni, thence to Dûr-Tukulti-apil-esharra, on the seventeenth. Several of these places are already known. Others may be identified with some certainty. The whole would have a great value if preserved complete.
LETTERS OF THE SECOND BABYLONIAN EMPIRE
Business lettersSome Babylonian letters of the Second Empire are to be found in the great collections published by Strassmaier. For the most part they are of a business nature, asking for some payment to be made or some object sent on.
Thus,1 one reads:
Order for seedNote from Nabû-shum-lîshir to Bêl-uballiṭ and Ki . . . my brothers. Bêl and Nabû decree the well-being of my brothers. Two gur of dates to Bêl-nâṣir, two gur to Shamash-pir’-uṣur, from the store for seed let my brothers give. Adar the ninth, year eleven, Nabonidus, King of Babylon.
Another for suppliesNote from Shamash-erba to âr-ibnî, my brother: When I send Shamash-uballiṭ to thy presence, do thou send ninety a of meal by his hand. Verily thou knowest. Besides the twelve a of meal before is this. Adar the thirteenth.
A somewhat longer but imperfect letter3 reads:
Explanation of the filling of an orderNote of Nadinu to the priest of Sippara, my brother: Verily, peace be with thee. To my brother, may Bêl and Nabû decree the well-being of my brother. When to my brother I [send], to the presence of my lord. . . . Thou, my lord, knowest why seeds for the képu of Raza I sent, and money for the seeds I gave him. He received it. Let me hear news and the welfare of my brother.
Of some interest for the nature of public works is:1
Note from Shâpik-zêr to âr-ibnî, my brother: The gods decree thy well-being. Give ninety-six a of meal to the men who are digging the canal. Kislîmnu, the twentieth, fifth year, Cyrus, King of Babylon, king of lands.
Requisition for supplies for canal diggingNote from the priests to âr-ibnî, our brother: The gods decree thy welfare. Give thirty-six a of meal to Ardi-âr, for the king’s men who dig the canal. Kislîmnu the twenty-fifth, year five, Cyrus, King of Babylon, king of lands.
The following is another of the best-preserved letters of this period:3
Request for some moneyNote from Nêrgal-a-iddin to Iddin-Marduk, my father: Bêl and Nabû decree the health and well-being of my father. Concerning the money my father sent; the money is little, which has been given for dates. Two minas of silver is needed. Let my father send it. Concerning that (?), as it is good to thee. I have none. See, Nabûmattûa I have sent to my father. The governor has gone to Babylon. As long as he is not here (?) at his side, he demands. Let me hear news of my father. Whether it be corn or whether it be anything that is with me, I will give to my father. Thy word is indisputable with me.
Fragmentary notesFor the most part the others are fragmentary and of no special interest. It is noteworthy that they all begin with much the same form of greeting.
Dr. T. G. Pinches published the text of three letters of this period in Recueil des Travaux.4 Two are very fragmentary; the third reads thus:
Note from Suḳâ to Bêl-zêr-ibnî, my father: May Bêl and Nabû decree health and wealth to my father. Now I am going without the ass. Give the ass to Shamash-eṭir; let him send it. Give him the clothes (?).
Here is an interesting letter:1
Note from Daian-bêl-uṣur to Shirḳu, my lord: Every day I pray to Bêl and Nabû for the health of my lord’s life. Concerning the lambs, which my lord sent, Bêl and Nabû know that there is a lamb from before thee. I have set the crop and fixed the stable. I have seen thy servant with the sheep; send thy servant with the lambs, and direct that one lamb from among them be offered as a gift to Nabû. I have not turned so much as one sheep into money. On the twentieth I worked [or sacrificed] for Shạmash. I saw fifty-six. From his hands I sent twenty head to my lord. The garlic which the governor received from my lord, the owners of the field, when they came, took possession of; the governor of fields sold it for money. I am deprived of the yoke of the harrow (?). As to what my lord said to me, saying, “Wherefore hast thou not sent a messenger and measured out the crop?” Forthwith (?) I will send to thee, let a messenger of thy appointing (?) take it and keep it.
Several words in this text are not found elsewhere, but very strangely we know much about the persons. Shirḳu, whose other name was Marduk-nâṣir-aplu, son of Iddinâ, was of the important commercial house of Egibi, and lived in the reign of Darius. He was a great ship-owner, and had the tolls of a certain bridge. He travelled to Elam in the fifth year of Darius. A great many of his business transactions are detailed by Dr. Pinches.2 Daian-bêl-uṣur and his wife Nanâ-bêl-uṣri were slaves of Shirḳu, who pledged them with their six children, at one time. In the sixteenth year of Darius their master gave them as part of her dowry, to Amat-Bau, daughter of Kalbâ. They lived in the town of Suppatum.
The reader has now before him a few specimens of this extremely valuable but very obscure class of literature. As time and study avail to clear up the obscurities, much more will be learned of the life and customs of these ancient peoples. Enough may have been given to stimulate research, and interest a wider circle of readers. It is the writer’s hope that many may be led, even by these scattered and disjointed specimens, to undertake such studies as may render more perfect his slight contribution and rescue from oblivion the heroes of a bygone civilization.
[1 ] Heuzey, Revue d’Assyriologie, iv., pp. 1 ff.
[2 ] Vol. II., 1897; Vol. IV., 1898; Vol. VI., 1898; Vol. VIII., 1899.
[3 ]Briefe aus der Zeit des Babylonischen Königs ammurabi, Leipzig, 1901.
[4 ] Three volumes, 1898-1900, Luzac, London.
[5 ] , iv., p. 434-500.
[6 ] , ii., pp. 557-64, 573-79.
[1 ] XVI., p. 189.
[2 ] Pages 105, 106, 107, 116, 123, 124, 125, 133, 134, 135, 136, 137.
[3 ] Published III. R. 4. No. 5.
[4 ] Heft I. of Mittheilungen aus den Orientalischen Sammlungen der Königliche Museen zu Berlin, Speman, Berlin.
[5 ] , iv., pp. 101-54, 279-337, and 410-17.
[1 ] Vol. V. of Schrader’s Keilinschriftliche Bibliothek, Reuther and Reichard, Berlin, 1896.
[2 ] June 17, 1903.
[1 ] IX., pp. 240-56; X., pp. 60-72, 155-77, 305-15.
[2 ] , i., pp. 185-248, 613-31; ii., 19-62.
[3 ]University of Chicago Press; Luzac, London.
[4 ] Baltimore, 1898.
[5 ] , iv., pp. 501-45.
[6 ] , 1901, pp. 331-59.
[7 ] , x., pp. 196-201; xiii., pp. 209-12, xiv., pp. 1-16, 171-82; xv., pp. 129-44.
[8 ] Pfeiffer, Leipzig.
[1 ] II., pp. 52, 58, 184 f., 302 f.
[1 ] , No. 34.
[2 ] , iii., p. 237.
[1 ] , No. 45.
[2 ] , No. 26.
[3 ] , No. 71.
[4 ] , No. 5.
[1 ] , No. 4.
[2 ] , No. 11.
[3 ] , No. 6.
[1 ] § .
[2 ] , No. 76.
[3 ] , No. 12.
[1 ] , No. 24.
[2 ] , Nos. 13, 41.
[3 ] , No. 28.
[1 ] , No. 33.
[1 ] , Nos. 16, 30.
[1 ] , No. 3.
[2 ] , Nos. 18, 30, 73.
[3 ] , No. 38.
[1 ] , No. 81.
[2 ] , No. 49.
[1 ] , No. 80.
[2 ] , Nos. 79, 104.
[3 ] , No. 105.
[1 ] , No. 56.
[2 ] , No. 50.
[3 ] , No. 47.
[4 ] , No. 48.
[1 ]Ana Amélim-ŝha-Marduk-ubalaṭuŝhu.
[2 ] , ii., 312.
[3 ] , Th. 793; , ii., p. 563.
[1 ] B. 290 ff.
[1 ] 212.
[1 ] 193.
[1 ] 2185.
[2 ] , ii., p. 90.
[3 ] 315.
[1 ] S. 273.
[2 ] S. 274.
[1 ] III. R. 4, No. 5.
[2 ] K. 2, 41.
[3 ] , i., p. xxiii., note 2.
[1 ] , 1895, p. 220 f.
[2 ] , xvi., pp. 160-67.
[1 ] K. 181; H. 197.
[2 ] H. 198.
[1 ] H. 492.
[2 ] H. 380.
[3 ] H. 144.
[1 ] H. 145.
[2 ] H. 146.
[3 ] H. 147.
[4 ] H. 148.
[5 ] H. 381.
[6 ] H. 101.
[7 ] H. 488.
[8 ] H. 490.
[1 ] H. 409.
[1 ] H. 444.
[2 ] H. 424.
[3 ] H. 548.
[1 ] H. 619.
[2 ] H. 646.
[3 ] H. 196.
[4 ] H. 199.
[5 ] H. 731.
[1 ] , 1141.
[2 ] H. 730.
[1 ] H. 839.
[1 ] H. 832, 833, 835, 836, 837.
[2 ] H. 88.
[3 ] , 9.
[4 ] H. 289.
[1 ] G. Smith, ii., pp. 51 ff.
[2 ] H. 460.
[1 ] H. 282.
[1 ] H. 283.
[2 ] H. 284.
[1 ] Pages 184, 185.
[2 ] In , etc.
[1 ] H. 754.
[2 ] Page 201.
[3 ] H. 290.
[1 ] H. 280.
[1 ] H. 277.
[2 ] H. 399.
[1 ] H. 412.
[2 ] K. 4453.
[3 ] H. 332.
[4 ] H. 513.
[5 ] H. 275.
[1 ] H. 274.
[1 ] G. Sm., p. 24.
[1 ] H. 269.
[2 ] H. 266.
[1 ] H. 268.
[1 ] H. 273.
[2 ] H. 543.
[1 ] H. 142.
[1 ] H. 77.
[2 ] , 1053.
[1 ] H. 30.
[2 ] H. 28.
[3 ] H. 2.
[1 ] H. 1.
[1 ] H. 825.
[2 ] H. 816.
[3 ] , 70.
[1 ] Rec. Trav., xx., p. 200.
[2 ] W. Sm., p. 7.
[1 ] H. 324.
[2 ] H. 303.
[1 ] , No. 301.
[2 ] H. 254.
[3 ] H. 368.
[1 ] H. 263.
[2 ] §§ -21.
[3 ] II.
[1 ] H. 392.
[1 ] H. 108.
[2 ] H. 109.
[3 ] H. 110.
[4 ] H. 111.
[1 ] H. 391.
[2 ] H. 341.
[3 ] H. 577.
[1 ] H. 43.
[1 ] H. 220.
[1 ] H. 345.
[2 ] H. 219.
[1 ] H. 566.
[2 ] , No. 1096.
[1 ] 574.
[2 ] 1134.
[3 ] 460.
[1 ] 207.
[2 ] 209.
[3 ] 376.
[4 ] XIX., p. 104 f.
[1 ] Peek-Pinches, No. 22.
[2 ] Peek-Pinches, pp. 85 ff.