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Chronicle of the Market Prices (ABC 23)

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  The Chronicle of the Market Prices (ABC 23) is a historiographical text from ancient Babylonia. It deals with the prices of commodities and reminds one of similar information in the Astronomical Diaries. The tablet was written in the Seleucid age.

For a very brief introduction to the literary genre of chronicles, go here. The translation on this webpage was adapted from A.K. Grayson, Assyrian and Babylonian Chronicles (1975) and Jean-Jacques Glassner, Mesopotamian Chronicles (Atlanta, 2004)

This text is preserved on a broken tablet, BM 48498 (81-11-3, 1209), which measures 30 mm wide and 65 mm long. It is the left-hand side of a medium size tablet. Both surfaces and particularly the reverse are badly marred. A small portion is missing from the bottom of the tablet.

One kor is 180 liter.
A mina is 500 gr.
A is 0.84 or 0.97 liter.
A shekel is 8.33 gr silver.
A sûtu is 6 liter.

Translation Obverse

Obverse
1 In the time of [...]
2 N kor of [...], wool [...]
3 the market prince of his land to [...]
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4 In the time of [...]
5 used to be purchased [...]
6 10 minas of copper, the market price of his land [...]
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7 In the time of Hammurabi [...] [1]
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8 In the time of Kurigalzu [...] [2]
9 3 PI of sesame, 3 minas of wool [...]
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10 The twenty-first year of Merodach-Baladan: [...] [3]
11 1 kor of barley, 1 kor of dates [...]
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12 The thirteenth year of [...]
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13 The ninth year of Nebuchadnezzar: [...] [4]
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14 The second[?] year of Marduk-[...] [5]
15 1 sûtu, 3 [...]
Lacuna

Translation Reverse

Lacuna?
1' [...]
2' 1 sûtu, N [...]
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3' Year ten, eleven, twelve, thirteen [of ...]
4' one kor of barley [...]
5' for four shekels [...]
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6' Year five, year six, [of Nabû-šuma-iškun?] [6]
7' 1 sûtu, 4 , [...]
------------------------------------------

Note 1:
Hammurabi was king of Babylonia from 1792 to 1750 according to the Middle chronology.

Note 2:
Kurigalzu I was king in c.1400, Kurigalzu II in 1332-1308.

Note 3:
Merodach-Baladan (Marduk-apla-iddina) was king from 1171 to 1159.

Note 4:
Nebuchadnezzar I was king from 1125 to 1104.

Note 5:
Several kings are possible: Marduk-nadin-ahhe (1099-1082), Mardik-šapik-zeri (1081-1069), Marduk-ahhe-eriba (1046), and Marduk-zer-xxx (1045-1034).

Note 6:
Nabû-šuma-iškun died in 748 after a reign of at least thirteen years.

Assyrian and
Babylonian Chronicles

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Mesopotamian Kings
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Online 2006
Latest revision: 1 April 2006
 
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