Toby Charles Anderson
720 Rapihu Sargon vs Sabaka & 715bc Sennacherib vs Shabataka
Sun Aug 11, 2019 06:48

720 Rapihu Sargon vs Sabaka & 715bc Sennacherib vs Shabataka&Taharqa

In Sennacherib's 3rd campaign, Luckenbill para. 309 (See Appendix A), that Luli King of Sidon, fled from him, then, in Sennacherib's prisms for his 3rd campaign:

"In the plain of Altaku (Eltekeh) I fought with them, I defeated them. The charioteers and Egyptian princes, together with the charioteers of the king of Meluhha".

Let's look at first the date, then try to identify the Egyptian Princes and the king of Meluhha.

In the same breath, Sennacherib refers us to both Luli and king of Meluhha (at the battle of Eltekeh. This strongly suggests the Luli and Eltekeh episode occurred at the same time. The Luli episode occured in 715bc/714bc. Sennacherib refers to the Egyptians and Ethiopians (Meluhha).
(See: "Sennacherib, the crown prince vs Luli in 715b";article=18377;search_term=715).

Reade, indicates that the Assyrian conquest in 715, based on the inscriptions in Room 14 of Sargon's palace at Khorsaba, was not led by Sargon himself, but rather someone else, likely Sennacherib, to wit:

"715 (room 14): Sargon does not go on campaign. The Assyrians capture Pazashi/Panzish"
(p. 104, Reade, IBID). Reade goes into much detail as to why he thinks Sargon did not go on the campaign (p.98,99, Reade).

But who are "Egyptian princes, together with the charioteers of the king of Meluhha" mentioned in Sennacherib's prisms?

Both Herodotus and Josephus (who also quotes Herodotus and Berosus) refer to this Battle between Sennacherib and the Egyptian-Ethiopians, though they say the battle was at Pelusium while Sennacherib indicates it was at Altaku (Eltekeh). Further, while Sennacherib does not give names, Herodotus names the Nubian King as Sethos, while Josephus proffers Taharqa.
(See: Appendix B: Herodotus: Sennacherib vs Sethos at the battle at Pelusium)
(See: Appendix C: Josephus on Sennacherib vs Tirhaqa at Pelusium)

At first glance, then, we can equate Taharqa with Sethos.
And while this is very possible, it is also possible that Taharqa's role here was, not as 'king', but rather, as one of the 'Egyptian princes' (spoken of by Sennacherib).

Herodotus says of the Egyptian warriors:
"the warriors one and all refused to come to his aid"
So that 'Sethos'
"collected such of the Egyptians as were willing to follow him, who were none of them warriors, but traders, artisans, and market people"

Herodotus does not mention any Egyptian princes. It is possible that there were not any Egyptian princes, however, it is also possible that these Egyptian princes, mentioned by Sennacherib, referred to the Egyptian princes of Nubian descent.

While I don't have access to the Kawa Stela inscriptions, both Girard Gertoux and John A Wilson state that the two famous Kawa Stelas indicate that Shabataka appointed Taharqa, at age 20, to an important position. Wilson says Taharqa was made co-regeant, while Gertoux says Taharqa was appointed Shabataka's heir and commander of the army.
[See: Appendix D: Tirharqa, age 20, general at the Battle of Eltekeh (Pelusium)]

And this brings us to the Tang-i-var inscription, lines 19 to 21:

"19) I plundered the city of Ashdod. Iamani, its king, feared [my weapons] and ... He fled to the region of the land of Melu""a (Nubia) and lived (there) stealthfully (literally: like a thief).
20) "apataku’ (Shabataka), king of the land of Melu""a, heard of the mig[ht] of the gods A!!ur, Nabu, (and) Marduk which I had [demonstrated] over all lands, ...
21) He put (Iamani) in manacles and handcuffs ... he had him brought captive into my presence"

I suggest Iamani's flight and Sargon's plundering of Ashdod in line 19 occurred in 722 to 720bc at Rafah, while Shabataka's gift of Iamani to Sargon in lines 20 and 21 refer to either this same date or Sennacherib's meeting Shabataka in 715/714bc at Eltekeh. The reasoning for this 720bc date is that Sargon's Display Inscription of Salon XIV states that Iamani's flight occurred when Sargon was at Rapihu and Samaria. Sargon's involvement at Samaria is questionably dated to 722 to 720bc, while Rapihu's dating to the same date is very firm.

"720 is again the only year in which an Egyptian army definitely took the field; ....we have to argue that Sargon encountered his first Egyptians considerably north of the point, Rapihu... The 720 campaign would also be a suitable time for Sargon's capture of Amqaruna."
pg 101 of Journal of Near Eastern Studies vol 35, no2 (april 1976, by J.E.Reade 'Sargon's Campaigns'.

"...two reliefs of the series show Saron II standing on his chariot as captives are brought before him (Room V of the Khorsabad palace, Reliefs 2 in Door O and 13). This is an articstic convention, which does not imply per se that teh three towns Gibberthon, Ekron, and Gaza were captured in 720bc and not in 712bc, for instance, when the king did not participate in the campaign. The double representation of Sargon nevertheless FAVORS TEH DATING OF THE SCENES TO 720BC (J.E. Reade, "Sargon's Campaigns of 720, 716, and 715bc: Evidence fro teh Scultures, in JNES 35 (1976), p.95-104 (see p. 100-101))."
pg 76, Edward Lipinski

Let's look at 'Iamani's' appearances in Sargon's inscriptions. (See, for details: Appendix E. Iamani in Sargon's: Annals, Display Inscriptions, Prism A). There are 4 sources, and the only source which can be used to reasonably date Iamani is the 'The Display Inscription of Salon XIV' which dates Iamani's flight to 722 to 720bc.

1. The Annals.
In the section under Sargon's 11th year, he describes 3 kings of Ashdod, Azuru, Ahimit (his brother), and IATNA (which Luckenbill says means 'the Greek'). It is presumably this section with which most people date Iamani to 712bc, this becasue Sargon ascended the throne in 722, and so his 11th year would be 712/711bc. It is NOT clear, as some claim, that this IATNA is one and the same as IAMANI. Sargon says he replaced Azuri with Ahimit, then the people coup'ed Ahimit and replaced him with IATNA. Then Sargon marched on and captured Ashdod. It is hard to believe that this all happened in the same year. Further, this section does not indicate that this IATNA fled let alone was returned back to Sargon as a gift from the Nubian Shabataka.

Lukenbill says these inscriptions occured sometime between Sargon's ascession and his 15th year, ie. 722 to to 707bc. There isn't anything in this passage where IAMANI is found (Luckenbill paragraph 63) which ties this event to any year or any campaign, except that it refers to the Ethiopian (Meluhha) king.
3. The Display Inscription of Salon XIV
This section dates the Rapihu (Rafah) and Samaria conquests with Iamani's flight from and return to Sargon by the Ethiopian King. The Rapihu conquest occured in 722 to 720bc.

This prism is fragmentary and apparently missing many lines/sections/words, describes IAMANI's coup where he took the throne. It is possible, though uncertain to me anyway, that this occurred after Azuru was replaced with his brother Ahimilki. It describes IAMANI's flight from Sargon, but not his return by the hand of the King of Ethiopia. At the end of paragraph 191 it says: 'The land of Ellipi' which is also mentioned in para.79 which refers to section above 'The Display Inscripion of Salon XIV.


Appendix A - Sennacherib, Luli, and the battle of Altaku (Eltekeh)

"Third Campaign.

309. In my third campaign I went against the Hittiteland. Lull, king of Sidon,-my terrifying splendor overcame him, and from Tyre he fled to Iadnana (Cyprus) in the midst of the sea, and died. Tuba’lu I placed on his royal throne, (and) imposed my kingly tribute upon him.

310. The kings of Amurru, all of them, brought their heavy tribute before me in the neighborhood of the city of Ushu, and Sidka, king of Ashkelon, who had not submitted to my yoke,-the gods of his father’s house, himself, together with [his] family, I tore up and carried away to Assyria. Sharru-lu-dari, son of Rukibti, their [former] king, I placed [over the people of] Ashkelon, and imposed my royal tribute upon him.

311. In the course of my campaign I captured his cities, which had not submitted at my feet, I carried off their spoil. The governors and people of Amkaruna (Ekron), who had thrown into iron fetters Padi, their king, who was bound by oath to Assyria, and had given him to Hezekiah, the Jew, he kept him in confinement,-they became afraid, and appealed (for aid) to the Egyptian kings, the bowmen, the chariots and horses of the king of Meluhha, a countless host. In the plain of Altaku (Eltekeh) I fought with them, I defeated them. The charioteers and Egyptian princes, together with the charioteers of the king of Meluhha, I captured alive with my (own) hand."

Appendix B: Herodotus: Sennacherib vs Sethos at the battle at Pelusium

Herodotus tells us in Book 2 of 'THE HISTORIES', para. 141

[141] The next king, I was told, was a priest of Vulcan, called
----Sethos----. This monarch despised and neglected the warrior class of
the Egyptians, as though he did not need their services. Among
other indignities which he offered them, he took from them the
lands which they had possessed under all the previous kings,
consisting of twelve acres of choice land for each warrior.
Afterwards, therefore, when ----Sanacharib----, king of the Arabians and
Assyrians, marched his vast army into Egypt, ---the warriors one and
all refused to come to his aid---. On this the monarch, greatly
distressed, entered into the inner sanctuary, and, before the image
of the god, bewailed the fate which impended over him. As he wept
he fell asleep, and dreamed that the god came and stood at his side,
bidding him be of good cheer, and go boldly forth to meet the
Arabian host, which would do him no hurt, as he himself would
send those who should help him. Sethos, then, relying on the
dream, collected such of the Egyptians as were willing to follow
him, who were none of them warriors, but traders, artisans, and
market people; and with these marched to ----Pelusium----, which
commands the entrance into Egypt, and there pitched his camp.

Appendix C: Josephus on Sennacherib vs Tirhaqa at Pelusium

Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, Book 10, Chapter 10, para. 4 & 5

4. About the same time also the King of Assyria wrote an epistle to Hezekiah; in which he said, “He was a foolish man, in supposing that he should escape from being his servant; since he had already brought under many and great nations: and he threatened, that when he took him he would utterly destroy him; unless he now opened the gates, and willingly received his army into Jerusalem.” When he had read this epistle, he despised it; on account of the trust that he had in God: but he rolled up the epistle, and laid it up within the temple. And as he made his farther prayers to God for the city, and for the preservation of all the people, the Prophet Isaiah said, that “God had heard his prayer; and that he should not be besieged at this time by the King of Assyria; that for the future he might be secure of not being at all disturbed by him; and that the people might go on peaceably and without fear with their husbandry and other affairs.” (2) But after a little while, the King of Assyria, when he had failed of his treacherous designs against the Egyptians, returned home, without success; on the following occasion. He spent a long time in the siege of Pelusium: and when the banks that he had raised over against the walls were of a great height, and when he was ready to make an immediate assault upon them, but heard that Tirhaka, King of the Ethiopians, was coming and bringing great forces to aid the Egyptians, and was resolved to march through the desert, and so to fall directly upon the Assyrians, this King Sennacherib was disturbed at the news: and, as I said before, left Pelusium, and returned back without success. Now concerning this Sennacherib Herodotus also says, in the second book of his Histories, “How this King came against the Egyptian King, who was the Priest of Vulcan: and that as he was besieging Pelusium, he broke up the siege on the following occasion. This Egyptian Priest prayed to God, and God heard his prayer; and sent a judgment upon the Arabian King:” but in this Herodotus was mistaken, when he called this King not King of the Assyrians, but of the Arabians. (3) For he saith, that “A multitude of mice gnawed to pieces in one night both the bows, and the rest of the armour of the Assyrians: and that it was on that account that the King, when he had no bows left, drew off his army from Pelusium.” And Herodotus does indeed give us this history. Nay and Berosus, who wrote of the affairs of Chaldea, makes mention of this King Sennacherib; and that he ruled over the Assyrians, and that he made an expedition against all Asia and Egypt; and says thus. (4)

5. “Now when Sennacherib was returning from his Egyptian war to Jerusalem, he found his army under Rabshakeh his general in danger [by a plague, for] God had sent a pestilential distemper upon his army: and on the very first night of the siege an hundred fourscore and five thousand, with their captains and generals, were destroyed. So the King was in a great dread, and in a terrible agony at this calamity; and being in great fear for his whole army, he fled with the rest of his forces to his own Kingdom, and to his city Nineveh. And when he had abode there a little while, he was treacherously assaulted, and died by the hands of his elder sons (5) Adrammelech and Sarasar: and was slain in his own temple, which was called Araske. Now these sons of his were driven away on account of the murder of their father by the citizens, and went into Armenia. While Assarachoddas took the Kingdom of Sennacherib.” And this proved to be the conclusion of this Assyrian expedition against the people of Jerusalem.

Appendix D: Tirharqa, age 20, general at the Battle of Eltekeh (Pelusium)

“According to the two stelae of Kawa(fn5), after the death of Shabaka, his successor Shabataka immediately summoned an army which he placed under the command of his brother Taharqa, a young son of Piye aged 20, to repel Assyrian attack which was threatening. In addition, Taharqa states explicitly on these stelae that he was designated as heir by Shabataka despite his other brothers and all children.
fn5: M.F. LAMING MACADAM – The Temples of Kawa I. The Inscriptions, London 1949 Ed. Oxford University Press pp. 14-32”
pg. 3 by Gerard Gertoux “Dating the Sennacherib’s campaign to Judah”

“We find that he (Taharqa) was twenty years old when he was made coregent with his brother (or half-brother) Shabataka (fn2).
fn2: The author’s final chapter deals with the relationships within the Ethiopian royal family. Further consideration of this problem has been undertaken by D. Dunham and Macadam in JEA XXXV (1949)”
pg 63 John A. Wilson, Book Review of "The Temples of Kawa. I. The Inscriptions. M. F. Laming Macadam," Journal of Near Eastern Studies 12, no. 1 (Jan., 1953): 63-65.

Appendix E. Iamani in Sargon's: Annals, Display Inscriptions, Prism A

Year 11 Against the rebels in Gurgum and Ashdod
30. ---Azuru---, king of Ashdod, plotted in his heart to withhold (his) tribute and sent (messages) of hostility to the kings round about him Bcause of the evil he had done, I put

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    • 720 Rapihu Sargon vs Sabaka & 715bc Sennacherib vs Shabataka — Toby Charles Anderson, Sun Aug 11 06:48
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