Joe Baker
Re: 5th year of Esarhaddon
Fri May 5, 2017 08:11
124.178.30.14

Hi Michael

Thanks for the Ivantchik. It is time consuming to translate into English as the paper is in jpg format. I have to save it in pdf format and then put it through an OCR and converter program to get a Word document which is very corrupt - but still far easier then having to type it manually. Then put it through a translator program.

Just a few comments on parts of pages 77-78 of Ivantchik’s paper that I have so far translated. First I did not pick up the reference to a lunar eclipse in SAA 10 112 (CT 54 022). Of this Ivantchik says

“Mr. Dietrich assumed that the letter CT 54,22 refers to a partial eclipse of the moon which, according to him, took place on March 21, 675 BC”.

Now Dietrich appears to have the incorrect date for the eclipse. It must be that of Julian 14 Sep 675 because the eclipse of Julian 21 Mar 675 actually occurred in the previous Assyrian year (677/675) because 1 Nisannu 675 did not start until Julian 6 Apr 675. This would also explain Bel-ušezib’s statement that

Last year, when the moon was seen with the sun on the 15th day for 5 months, did Sidon not carry it? Did the city not fall, were its people not chased away?

This is a significant statement as it is rare for 5 lunar eclipses to occur in one year. But in Assyrian 676/5 there were 5 lunar eclipses (even if not all observable). With 1 Nisannu of 676 occurring on Julian 18 Mar 676, the five lunar eclipses of the Assyrian year occurred on Julian 1 Apr 676, 30 Apr 676, 24 Sep 676, 24 Oct 676 and 21 Mar 675.

Ivantchik also says the following which does not make sense.

“The letter CT 54, 22 also mentions a person named Šumma-iddina who is designated in the description of the events of 675/4 BC in the Babylonian chronicle by the title guennakku. The context of the letter proves that at the time of writing, the person in question did not yet occupy the post”.

Now according to Grayson’s transcriptions of Babylonian Chronicle 1 and 14, the title of Šuma-iddina is šandabakku, the exact same title that he holds in SAA 10 112. So Šuma-iddina was still šandabakku when Bel-ušezib wrote his letter (immediately after 14 Sep) but the accusations he included in his letter must have contributed to the execution of Šuma-iddina later in that year - as per the Babylonian Chronicle which might have placed this event after 5 Ululi (Julian 4 Sep).

Another possible misconception I find in Ivantchik’s paper is the statement

“During the excavations at Tell Ahmar (Til-Barsib) in 1927, a stele of black basalt with relief was found. This relief depicts Assarhaddon and two kneeling figures: the king of Sidon Abdi-milkutti and the son of Taharka, Ušnahurri. This stele was probably erected in commemoration of the capture of Sidon, that is to say probably in 677/6 BC”.

I have not seen this stele but I understand that it does not name the two kneeling figures. Also if the kneeling negro figure were Ušnaḫurri the son of Taharqa it is to be noted that he was not captured until Aššur-aḫa-iddina’s 10th year (671/0). Also if the stele belongs to 671/0 then the second figure could equally be Baʾalu of Tyre who submitted in the 10th year. Does the Tell Ahmar contain the titles of Aššur-aḫa-iddina for if they include claims to Egypt then the stele belongs to 671/0 at the earliest?

Regards Joe


  • Re: 5th year of EsarhaddonMichael Liebig, Thu May 4 02:02
    Hi Joe, nearly the same modification you can find here: Ivantchik, A. I.: Les Cimmérians au Proche-Orient, OBO 127(1993).... more
    • Re: 5th year of Esarhaddon — Joe Baker, Fri May 5 08:11
      • Re: 5th year of EsarhaddonMichael Liebig, Sat May 6 05:28
        Hi Joe, Here a link to the text of the Ahmar stele with the figure "Abdi-M[ilk]ūti, king of Sidon": http://oracc.museum.upenn.edu/rinap/corpus/ (all: http://oracc.museum.upenn.edu/rinap/ )... more
      • Re: 5th year of EsarhaddonMichael Liebig, Sat May 6 04:57
        Hi joe, You write: "Now Dietrich appears to have the incorrect date for the eclipse. It must be that of Julian 14 Sep 675 because the eclipse of Julian 21 Mar 675 actually occurred in the previous... more
        • Re: 5th year of EsarhaddonJoe Baker, Sat May 6 08:04
          Hi Michael Oops. Agreed Sidon fell in 677/6, Aššur-aḫa-iddina’s 4th year. But SAA 10 112 still provides some problems if it concerns lunar eclipses. For Bel-ušezib specifically says that Sidon... more
          • Re: 5th year of EsarhaddonMichael Liebig, Sat May 6 11:20
            Hi Joe, Because the Heidel Prisma (now RINAP 4, 2) has the date 22.II. 676/75 and report the conquest of Sidon, this conquest was before. This was the starting point. „Last year, when the moon was... more
      • Re: 5th year of EsarhaddonMichael Liebig, Fri May 5 11:41
        Hi Joe, you write: "Now Dietrich appears to have the incorrect date for the eclipse. It must be that of Julian 14 Sep 675 because the eclipse of Julian 21 Mar 675 actually occurred in the previous... more
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