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Deeds of Suppiluliuma (1.74)

(6,788 words)

Author(s): Hoffner, Harry A., Jr.
Subject: Canonical Compositions from the Biblical World; Hittite Canonical Compositions; Royal Focus; Historiography Commentary Among the Hittite kings Šuppiluliuma I was the greatest conqueror. To him was due the destruction of the great and powerful rival kingdom of Mitanni and the eastward expansion of the Hittite state into North Syria during the first half of the 14th Century bce. The story of his reign has often been told. Among the more recent attempts Güterbock 1960, Kitchen 1962, Bryce 1989, and Kempinski 1993 may be named. Letters from Šup…

The Weidner Chronicle (1.138)

(1,682 words)

Author(s): Millard, Alan
Subject: Canonical Compositions from the Biblical World; Akkadian Canonical Compositions; Royal Focus; Historiography Commentary Excavations at Ashur yielded a damaged tablet which was announced by E. F. Weidner in 1926 and so is called after him. Since then four smaller pieces of other copies have been identified and recently an almost complete tablet was recovered from Sippar, adding greatly to the interpretation of the text, although many uncertainties and gaps remain. The composition is set in the form of a letter from a king of Babylon to a king of Isin in the 19th century bce, but p…

Assyrian King Lists (1.135)

(1,646 words)

Author(s): Millard, Alan
Subject: Canonical Compositions from the Biblical World; Akkadian Canonical Compositions; Royal Focus; Historiography Commentary Lists of Assyrian kings have been found at Assur, Nineveh and Dur-Sharrukin (Khorsabad). The ‘Assyrian King List’ is known in five copies, none complete, two being only small fragments; there are slight variants between them. It begins with names of nomadic kings who lived about 2000 bce, which some scholars think may be names of tribes rather than persons because there are similarities between them and names in the Genealogy o…

Ugaritic King List (1.104)

(739 words)

Author(s): Younger, K. Lawson, Jr.
Subject: Canonical Compositions from the Biblical World; West Semitic Canonical Compositions; Royal Focus; Historiography Commentary This poorly preserved, enigmatic tablet (RS 24.257 =  Ugaritica  5 .5 =  KTU 1.113) contains a retrograde1 list of the kings of Ugarit in two columns on its verso. The very broken recto seems to preserve some sort of ritual, consistently alternating between two musical instruments (tp “a tambourine/drum” and ṯlb “a flute) and the word lnʿm “for the Pleasant One.” What the exact relationship is (if any) between the recto and the verso …

The Hittite Conquest of Cyprus: Two Inscriptions of Suppiluliuma II (1.75)

(1,785 words)

Author(s): Hoffner, Harry A., Jr.
Subject: Canonical Compositions from the Biblical World; Hittite Canonical Compositions; Royal Focus; Historiography Commentary The present text derives from a single tablet found in the 1961 season of excavations at Boğazköy in the area of the House on the Slope. It was published in cuneiform copy by Heinrich Otten in 1963 in Keilschrifttexte aus Boghazköi, Heft XII, No. 38, and was partially transliterated and translated in the same year by Otten (1963a). The definitive edition was by Hans Güterbock in 1967 (see also Carruba 1968), who cites all anterior literature. The tablet …

King Lists (1.37)

(563 words)

Author(s): Hoffmeier, James K.
Subject: Canonical Compositions from the Biblical World; Egyptian Canonical Compositions; Royal Focus; Historiography Commentary King–lists of various types abound in ancient Egyptian sources. Technically, a collection of three or more names is a “group” and a true king–list arranges names in proper historical order and provides the length of reign. Following this definition, the only Egyptian source that meets these requirements is the Turin Canon, and it is not fully preserved. Nevertheless, the term king–l…

The Babylonian Chronicle (1.137)

(1,597 words)

Author(s): Millard, Alan
Subject: Canonical Compositions from the Biblical World; Akkadian Canonical Compositions; Royal Focus; Historiography Commentary The series of cuneiform tablets known as The Babylonian Chronicle covers the years from 745 bce into the late Seleucid period (2nd century bce). Entries follow a chronological order, introduced by the year of reign of the king of Babylon, although not every year is included. Warfare is the most common topic, within Babylonia and beyond, the accessions and deaths of kings are noted, the celebration or laps…

Proclamation of Anitta of Kuššar (1.72)

(1,690 words)

Author(s): Hoffner, Harry A., Jr.
Subject: Canonical Compositions from the Biblical World; Hittite Canonical Compositions; Royal Focus; Historiography Proclamation of Anitta of Kuššar (1.72) Subject: Deut 13:16; Josh 6:26; 1 Kgs 16:34; Isa 25:2; Ezek 26:14; Ezra 4:12–22; 1 Sam 4–6; Judg 6:1; 13:1; 2 Kgs 18–19; Isa 36–37; Jer 12:7; 21:10; Judg 9:45; Josh 8:19 Reign of Pitḫana of Kuššar §1 ( lines 1–4) (Thus speaks) Anitta, son of Pitḫana, king of Kuššar. Say:1 (Pitḫana) was dear to the Stormgod of the Sky.2 When (Pithana) was dear to the Stormgod of the Sky, the king of Neša3 was …4 to the king of Kuššar (…

3. Sakkara King List (sl) (1.37C)

(354 words)

Contributor(s): Hallo, William W.
Subject: Canonical Compositions from the Biblical World; Egyptian Canonical Compositions; Royal Focus; Historiography Commentary Carved on the Sakkara tomb of the “Overseer of Works” from the reign of Ramesses II is the so called “Sakkara King List.” Like its counterpart at Abydos, this is an offering list which originally recorded the names of 58 monarchs. Above each cartouche is the word nsw, “king” with determinative of a seated king, a white or red crown; they alternate throughout. Below each cartouche is the epithet mʾʿ ḫrw, “justified,” indicating that these kings were d…

Crossing of the Taurus (1.73)

(773 words)

Author(s): Hoffner, Harry A., Jr.
Subject: Canonical Compositions from the Biblical World; Hittite Canonical Compositions; Royal Focus; Historiography Crossing of the Taurus (1.73) Subject: Num 16:15; 1 Sam 12:3; Gen 27:40; Lev 26:13; Deut 28:48; 1 Kgs 12:4–14; Isa 14:25; Jer 27:8; Jer 5:22; Deut 33:17; Pss 22:22; 92:11 §1 Thus (says) Puḫanu, the servant of Šarmaššu […] A person to him […] is dressed in a colorful tunic/garment. On his head a basket1 has been placed. He holds his bow (variant: a bow). He has called for help, (saying:) “What have I done? What?” §2 “I haven’t taken anything from anyone. I haven’t t…

Babylonian King Lists (1.134)

(1,345 words)

Author(s): Millard, Alan
Subject: Canonical Compositions from the Biblical World; Akkadian Canonical Compositions; Royal Focus; Historiography Commentary Lists of rulers with lengths of reign were needed by scribes for calculating how long ago legal deeds had been concluded. They also enabled kings to learn when their predecessors had built temples or palaces which they were rebuilding. For a royal family they could supply a genealogy and justification for kingship although in Babylonia there were many changes of dynasty, in contrast…

Assyrian Eponym Canon (1.136)

(1,206 words)

Author(s): Millard, Alan
Subject: Canonical Compositions from the Biblical World; Akkadian Canonical Compositions; Royal Focus; Historiography Commentary From the nineteenth century bce onwards, Assyrian documents bear dates in the form “day X, month Y, līmu Personal Name.” The līmu, “eponym,” was an official who gave his name to the year. Little is known about the operation of the system before the first millennium bce and nothing of its origin. (It may be compared with the systems of archons in Greece and consuls in Rome.) For the system to operate, scribes had to have lists…

Karnak List (1.37A)

(279 words)

Contributor(s): Hallo, William W.
Subject: Canonical Compositions from the Biblical World; Egyptian Canonical Compositions; Royal Focus; Historiography 1. Karnak List (1.37A) A small chapel once stood in Thutmose III’s Akh–menu temple complex at Karnak. Over 150 years ago it was removed to the Louvre in Paris. While its list is offertory in nature, it is made up of seated figures of the kings with various regal titles before the cartouche. The names are grouped in eight parts, but the particular alignments are not always clear. The importance of…

4. Turin Canon (1.37D)

(1,131 words)

Contributor(s): Hallo, William W.
Subject: Canonical Compositions from the Biblical World; Egyptian Canonical Compositions; Royal Focus; Historiography Commentary Located in the Museo Egizio in Turin, Italy, this papyrus is the most important source for the historical and chronological reconstruction of ancient Egypt. It is more than a list. Rather it originally contained a sequence of kings from Dynasty 1, with regnal years assigned to each king. Beginning with Menes (Meni), it continues down to the 19th Dynasty, the period to which this pap…

2. Abydos List (al) (1.37B)

(382 words)

Contributor(s): Hallo, William W.
Subject: Canonical Compositions from the Biblical World; Egyptian Canonical Compositions; Royal Focus; Historiography Commentary In the cenotaph of Seti I at Abydos, which was completed by Ramesses II, is found a sequential list of kings from Dynasty 1 through reigning monarch Seti of Dynasty 19. To the left of the list, stand Seti and crown–prince Ramesses who holds a papyrus containing the list that is recorded to the right. The accompanying inscription indicates that the list was made up of the beneficiari…