Joe Baker
Assyrian Babylonian Dates
Sun Apr 15, 2018 18:54

Hi Toby

I have inserted a “corrected” version of your count of reigns

722bc Sargon 17? years                17  Šarru-ukin
705bc Sennacherib 24? years 24 Sin-aḫḫe-eriba
681bc Essarhaddon 12/13 years 12 Aššur-aḫu-iddina
1 Aššur-bani-apli
668bc Shamash-suma-ukin 20 20 Šamaš-šuma-ukin
648bc Kandalanu 21/22 21 Kandalanu
1 Sin-šar-iškun/Sin-šumu-lišir
626bc Nabopolassar 21 21 Nabu-apla-uṣur
605bc Nebuchadnezzar 43 43 Nabu-kudurri-uṣur

in 669 Aššur-aḫu-iddina died and his son Aššur-bani-apli succeeded in Assyria. In Babylon the enthronement of Šamaš-šuma-ukin was delayed until the following year because of mishaps, such as the journey of the statues of Marduk and Zarpanitu from Aššur to Babylon being called off due to bad omens. So Babylon continued to recognise Aššur-bani-apli as king. It was not until 668 that the statues returned to Babylon and Šamaš-šuma-ukin could begin his accession year.

In 627 both Aššur-etil-ilani (in Aššur) and Kandalanu (In Babylon) died which lead to a civil war. Sin-šar-iškun succeeded to the throne but he was faced by the rebellion of Sin-šumu-lišir (who was soon overcome), both of whom had support in Babylonia. In 626 Nabu-apla-uṣur rebelled in Babylonia and eventually, after some years, expelled Sin-šar-iškun. In Babylonia, because of the conflicts, scribes dated by either Sin-šar-iškun, Sin-šumu-ukin or the more neutral “after Kandalanu”.

I tried in vain to locate: the eponym year of "Upakhkhir-Bel"

This is because your sources (Rice, Rodgers) use published lists from the very early days of Mesopotamian studies that are way out of date and far too old. Try using more recent translations which are based on years of subsequent research into cuneiform studies. You could try getting a copy of Alan Millard’s “The Eponyms of the Assyrian Empire 910-612 BC”. Extracts from it are available here (but they are not in page order)

Here you will find that the name of the limu for 705, which you give as Upaḫḫir(ra)-Bel, is now read Našḫur-Bel (see page 60). Also not that there is a Babylonian document dated to 2/Nisannu/limu year of Našḫur-Bel which equates this limu year with year 17 of Šarru-ukin (see page 71).

For the eponym year of Nabu-ake-eresh, 24 years after the accession of Sennacherib, is the notation "Esarhaddon took his seat on the throne" (Rogers 225, see also Smith 39, citing Canon I)." ... The question, however, is, WHO MADE THE Esarhaddon NOTATION which ROGERS and SMITH refer to?

That variation of the Eponym List is found in List Ca1. In column 5 after the entry in lines 42 (for 682) is a ruled line followed by line 43 (for 681) reading “[Nabu]-aḫḫe--ereš” and line 44 reading “[Aššur]-aḫu-iddina sat on the throne”. This ends column 5 and column 6 line 1 (680) lists the next limu, Danunu. The other lists do not include the line about Aššur-aḫu-iddina.

Sennacherib, was different than all the other kings for he took 18 years to make the Eponym list, when he should have taken only 2 years.

No. Things starting changing with Salmanu-ašared 5 who did not hold the limu office until his 4th year. Šarru-ukin did not hold it until his 3rd year, Sin-aḫḫe-eriba until his 18th year and all later kings never held the limu office.

Or did Sargon reign 17 years, as king of Assyria, to 705, then become King of Babylon, whereupon he changed his name to Sennacherib

An old theory amongst people who have no idea of Assyrian history. Sheer fantasy, not worthy of debating. Sort of people who would argue that think Attila the Hun was Genghis Khan the Mongol.

It was customary for the Assyrian kings to record their titulary back through father and grandfather. There are two notable exceptions in neo-Assyrian history: interestingly, Sargon and Sennacherib, who record neither father nor grandfather

In Šarru-ukin’s palace at Aššur at least one tile does name his father as Tukulti-apil-Ešarra. "Palace of Šarru-ukin, mighty king, king of the universe, king of Aššur; son of Tukulti-apil-ešarra, also king of Aššur". Another example exists from a letter that a Babylonian official sent to Šarru-ukin. For a paper on these two references see

Sin-aḫḫe-eriba did name his father as Šarru-ukin in one known inscription, BM 99178 - See page 194 of Eckart Frahm’s “Einleitung in die Sanherib Inschriften” atür_Orientforschung_Beiheft_26_Vienna_Institut_für_Orientalistik_1997

Prism S - and it appears in the same form in several other documents as well - that he was 'son of Sennacherib and (grand)son of Sargon' ... What one notices in all of the above cases of what I have deemed to be primary evidence is that bracketting is always involved. Prism S, the most formidable testimony, has the word "(grand)son" in brackets. In Prism A, the entire titulary has been square bracketed, which would indicate that Assyriologists have added what they presume to have been in the original text

Again, I assume, from the same person who is trying to say Šarru-ukin was Sin-aḫḫe-eriba and again showing his complete lack of knowledge with the sources. Several texts preserve the genealogy - have a look at prism B, column 1, lines 5 and 6 (now called Esarhaddon 002) which you can select at

Here Aššur-aḫu-iddina calls himself “son (DUMU) of Sin-aḫḫe-eriba, king of the land of Aššur, son (DUMU) of Šarru-ukin, king of the land of Aššur”. Such expression are common in royal inscriptions where they can use Sumerian logograms for “son” (DUMU or A) or the equivalent Akkadian word (maru or aplu). The fact that the translators use “(grand)son” or “descendant” is just their own personal preference for translation into English - as they presumably think it make it easier to understand. That is, it is personal preference if one write “A son of B, son of C” or “A son of B, grandson of C” or even “A son of B, (grand)son of C”. If an Assyrian scribe had wanted to emphasise “grandson” he would have written it as DUMU.DUMU.

Regards Joe

  • In the 14th (not 24th) year of HezekiahToby, Thu Apr 12 01:07
    Joe, You wrote: "Now a simple back calculation of the reign dates, given in the bible, from Nabu-kudurri-uṣur’s annexation of Judah in 587 back to the Assyrian 701 campaign would require that... more
    • Assyrian Babylonian Dates — Joe Baker, Sun Apr 15 18:54
      • What was Sargon's name?Toby Anderson, Wed Apr 25 23:29
        Hello Joe, You wrote: “Sin-aḫḫe-eriba did name his father as Šarru-ukin in one known inscription, BM 99178 - See page 194 of Eckart Frahm’s “Einleitung in die Sanherib Inschriften” “ I... more
    • In the 14th (not 24th) year of HezekiahToby, Thu Apr 12 01:16
      Apparantly, my simple calculation was too long and this website truncated off the missing part. HEre it is: It was customary for the Assyrian kings to record their titulary back through father and... more
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