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Records of the Past, 2nd Series, Vol. IV , ed. by A.H. Sayce, [1890], at

p. 24


Translated by the Editor

The so-called Synchronous History of Assyria and Babylonia has been translated in part by myself in the former series of Records of the Past, iii. pp. 29–36. I see no reason for changing the translation given there; but as several new fragments of the history have been discovered since its publication, it is necessary that the document as we now have it should be placed before the reader. Its historical importance is considerable; not only are kings of Assyria and Babylonia mentioned in it with whose names we are otherwise unacquainted, but the order in which they occur, as well as their contemporaneity, is our only guide towards settling the chronology of the earlier period of Assyrian history.

A translation of the document has lately been published by Dr. Peiser and Dr. Winckler in the Keilinschriftliche Bibliothek, i. pp. 194–203. They are doubtless right in holding that it is not a history in the proper sense of the word, but a historical retrospect of the arrangements made by the Assyrian

p. 25

and Babylonian kings in regard to the disputed territory which lay between the two kingdoms. It formed part, in fact, of a legal statement of the case made on behalf of Assyria in the time of one of the immediate successors of Rimmon-nirari III. Hence the absence of dates which characterises it, as well as its reference only to those monarchs who in war or peace concerned themselves with the territory in question. The recently discovered tablets of Tel el-Amarna contain letters from Assur-yuballidh of Assyria and Burna-buryas of Babylonia to the Egyptian king, and they further show that the immediate predecessor of Burna-buryas was not Kara-indas but Ris-takullima-Sin. Since Shalmaneser I., whose date is fixed by an inscription of Sennacherib about 1300 B.C. (see Records of the Past, new series, vol. ii. p. 3, note 2), was the grandson of Pudil or Pediel, who was himself "the son of Bel-nirari the son of Assur-yuballidh," we may consider the last-named to have reigned about 1400 B.C.

The beginning of the document is lost, only the ends of the first eleven lines being preserved. These read as follows:

1. … to (?) Assyria (or Assur)

2. … his….

3. … before (?) him I speak

4. …

5. … for future days

6. [I have indited] a memorial (tablet)

7. … (of) the glory (and) power

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8. [which the kings of Assyria have displayed] in that they overcame everything,

9. … (and of) the former campaigns

10. [in which foreign lands] were conquered

11. [and their spoil] brought back, and

Another fragment of the text has also been found which Messrs. Peiser and Winckler believe should be inserted between col. iii. l. 36, and col. iv. l. 1. This reads:

1. they fixed a common frontier

2. … [Merodach-baladh-’su-iq]bi king of Kar-dunias

3. … [Samas-]Rimmon king of Assyria

4. [defeated; Merodach-baladh-]’su-iqbi he destroyed [utterly],

5. [with the bodies of] his warriors he filled the field.

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