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The Antakya stela
||In the Archaeological
Museum of Antakya (Turkey), one can see a stone stela that was discovered
in what is now a suburb of the city. It was erected by the Assyrian
king Adad-Nirari III (810-783) as a boundary marker between two of his
vassal kings, Ataršumki of Arpad and Zakkur of Hamath. It seems that the
latter had to give up a piece of land surrounding a village named Nahlasi
and a stretch of land in the fertile valley of the Orontes. It is remarkable
that the Assyrian king and his general dictate the terms of the treaty
and invoke Assyrian gods in what was a local dispute.
The stela consists of two parts. The upper half shows king Adad-Nirari, his general Šamši-ilu, and a column. This may be an asherah, a pole that signified the presence of a deity. The lower half contains a beautifully carved inscription, which consists of four sections:
The text was translated by K. Lawson Younger, Jr.
Adad-Nirari [III], great king, might king, king of the universe, king of Assyria, son of Šamši-Adad [V], might king, king of the universe, king of Assyria, son of Shalmaneser [III], king of the four quarters.
The boundary which which Adad-Nirari, king of Assyria, and Šamši-ilu, the commander-in-chief, established between Zakkur, the Hamathite, and Ataršumki, son of Adrame: the city of Nahlasi together with all its fields, its orchards and its settlements is Ataršumki's property. They divided the Orontes river between them. This is the border.
Adad-Nirari, king of Assyria, and Šamši-ilu, the commander-in-chief, have released it from obligations free and clear to Ataršumki, son of Adrame, to his sons, and his subsequent grandsons. He established his city and its territories [...] to the border of his land.
By the name of Aššur, Adad, and Ber, the Assyrian Enlil, the Assyrian Ninlil, and the name Sin, who dwells in Harran, the great gods of Assyria: whoever afterwards speaks ill of the terms of this stela, and takes away by force this border from the possession of Ataršumki, his sons, or his grandsons, and destroys the written name and writes another name: may Aššur, Adad, and Ber, Sin who dwells in Harran, the great gods of Assyria whose names are recorded on this stela, not listen to his prayers.
Latest revision: 1 April 2006