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

p. 86


Translated by S. Arthur Strong

The following inscription is on a pavement slab found at Nimrud, the ancient Calah, and now in the British Museum. It has been published in the first volume of The Cuneiform Inscriptions of Western Asia, p. 35, No. 3, as well as (from an incomplete duplicate) by Layard on p. 70 of his volume of Cuneiform Inscriptions, and Bonomi in his work on Nineveh, p. 339. It has been translated by Sayce in the first volume of the former series of Records of the Past, and (into German) by Abel in the first volume of Schrader's Keilinschriftliche Bibliothek.

It contains the genealogy of Rimmon-nirari III, whose reign lasted from 811 to 783 B.C., during which time he was ceaselessly occupied in consolidating and extending the conquests of his predecessors. In fact, on the eponym list for this period there is not a single year not marked by a campaign. Among other exploits he subdued Damascus, and forced its king to pay tribute. His empire extended from the borders of Elam on the south-east to the Mediterranean on the west, and included as vassal-states

p. 87

[paragraph continues] Tyre, Sidon, Edom, Philistia, and Israel. After his death the Assyrian power of the first epoch, having reached its furthest limits, began to decline.

One of the most striking events of his reign was the revival in Assyria of the worship of Nebo. The latter had not been unknown to the Assyrians, but his cult was not so important with them as with the Babylonians, as is shown by the fact that up to the time of Rimmon-nirari his name rarely enters into the composition of proper names. Rimmon-nirari built a new temple for him at Calah, which, as we learn from the eponym list, he entered in the year 787.

From the concluding words of the inscription on the statue of Nebo in the British Museum (W. A. I., 35, 2) it might even appear as if it had been intended that the worship of Nebo should dominate, or actually supersede, that of all other gods: "Put thy trust in Nebo; trust in no other god!" But if this was the project, it was not successful.

The inscription here translated is remarkable from the fact that Rimmon-nirari, after tracing his descent back to his great-grandfather, Assur-natsir-pal, begins again, as it were, at a point still more remote, and boasts himself the descendant of Tiglath-adar, son of Shalmaneser I., behind whom again there stand the mysterious forms of the otherwise unknown Belkap-kapi and ’Sulili.

But the rendering of the latter part of the inscription is put forward only provisionally, to be contradicted or confirmed by future researches.

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