ABC 7: The Nabonidus Chronicle
Nabonidus Chronicle, obverse (British Museum; ©*)
is a historiographical text from ancient Babylonia.
It describes the
reign of Nabonidus,
the last king of the Babylonian
Empire, who lost
his realm to the Persian king Cyrus
the Great in 539 BCE. These pages present a scholarly edition; an easy-to-read version can be found here.
The notes to this web-edition are based on A.K. Grayson, Assyrian and Babylonian Chronicles (1975, 1977²), but there are modifications, that are explained here.
[RJvdS:] The CAD S”, p. 28, s.v. sahāhu, “to tremble” reads šú instead of x, and the translation has been adapted accordingly. What is meant, remains unclear.
[Grayson, Addenda:] The CT 46 mentioned in the commentary has been edited by Lambert, AfO 22 (1968-9), pp.1-8.
[Grayson, Addenda:] Note Tallquist, APN (s.v.) who reads mdNabû-tat!-tan-úsur.
[Grayson, Addenda:] Berger - see Weippert, Göttingische Gelehrte Anzeigen 224 (1972) p.160 and n.15 - reads [t]am-tim šá kurAmurri(mar.tu). See W.G. Lambert, Proceedings of the Fifth Seminar for Arabian Studies (London, 1972) p.55.
[JL:] Grayson originally translated [uruA]-du-um-mu as Adummu, a country that is not known otherwise; in his Corrigenda, he preferred Edom.
[JL:] An alternative explanation for the fact that the scribe confuses KUR and URU is that Ecbatana, although the capital and main gathering place of the Medes, was not a city in the Babylonian sense of the word, with temples and a wall. Although Herodotus (Histories, 1.98-99) mentions walls, none of these have been identified, and -given the fairy tale nature of Herodotus' Medikos Logos- it is unlikely that they will ever be found. The scribe's confusion may be a reflection of the actual situation.
The last part of the line is broken but from the parallels it is apparent that nothing is missing.
[JL:] Grayson consistently translated the Babylonian month names with their Jewish names (more...); since this assumes a knowledge of the Bible that is no longer common, I have reverted. this.ii.10
The scribe mistakenly omitted ina.
The scribe mistakenly omitted Bābìliki.
See the commentary to Chron 1 iv.22.
[JL]: Dur-Karašu means "Walled Camp".
i-bir-ma: The sign is definitely BIR, not RAB (as Smith mistakenly copied).
[JL:] Grayson originally read the name in the name of the kingdom that was conquered by Cyrus as kur/Lu\-u[d-di?], adopting a suggestion by Sydney Smith. However, in his Corrigenda, he wrote:
Regarding the problem of whether or not Lydia can be read here - Since completion of the manuscript it has come to my attention that a collation by W.G. Lambert and A. Sachs quoted by Galling, Studien, p. 22 reads: ZU-x[...]. In view of this, I have again collated the passage. A further trace at the end of the line, on the edge, was observed and could stand for [il-li]k. But the preceding traces are ambiguous. At best, one can say it is not impossible to read:That Urartu (ana kur/Ú-\[raš-tu il-li]k) must be meant, has been shown by J. Oelsner, "Review", Archiv für Orientforschung 46/47 (1999/2000) 373-380 and has therefore been adopted in this web edition. Cf. R. Rollinger, "The Median 'Empire', the End of Urartu, and Cyrus' Campaign in 547" in: Proceedings of the First International Conference on Ancient Cultural Relations between Iran and West Asia (2004).
ana kur/Lu!?-ú!?\-du? il-li]kbut such a reading is suggested by historical probability rather than any clear indication from the traces. Neither a reading SA nor IŠ (for Sapardu or Išpardu - cf. Smith, Isaiah, p.36 and nn.73-74) is possible. During this recent collation I was fortunately able to examine the tablet with W.G. Lambert and E. Sollberger and derived much benefit therefrom. But sole responsibility for the opinion expressed here is mine.
<<A$>> A scribal error.
[RJvdS:] Grayson translated dâku as "he defeated", perhaps because he believed that this line referred to Croesus, who (according to Herodotus, Histories, 1.86) survived an execution attempt. The normal meaning of this word, however, is "to kill".
Webedition by Jona Lendering
Revision: 21 Jan 2009