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The Alexander Chronicle (BCHP 1): Text and translation

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BCHP 1, the Alexander Chronicle, obverse. Photo Bert van der Spek.
BCHP 1: Alexander Chronicle (obverse; **)
The Babylonian Alexander Chronicle (BCHP 1; a.k.a. ABC 8, Chronicle 8) is one of the historiographical texts from ancient Babylonia. It deals with events from the reigns of the Persian king Darius III Codomannus and his Macedonian successor Alexander the Great.

The cuneiform tablet (BM 36304) is in the British Museum and was first published by A.K. Grayson in 1975 in Assyrian and Babylonian Chronicles. On this website, a new reading is proposed by Bert van der Spek of the Free University of Amsterdam (Holland). The official publication can be found in Achaemenid History XIII (2003). An alternative reading, not by Van der Spek, is proposed here.

Babylonian Chronicles
Description
Text and translation
Commentary
Notes
Alternative reading

Literature

TEXT: OBVERSE
TRANSLATION
@ = tsade
line numbers with link refer to commentary
 
1' [.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. x x .. .. ..]  
2' [.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..] (blank)  
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3' [MU ... ITI ŠU? .. .. .. .. .. ina gišG]U.ZA-š id-de-ku-š mbi-/e\-[es?-su?] [Year 330?  month IV? …… from] his [thr]one they removed him. Be[ssos?],
4' [šmAr-tak-šat-su (?)] MU-š MU-’u u m{DIŠ (over erasure)}a-lik-sa u ERN-[MEŠ-š] [whom Artaxerxes?] as his name they named, and Alexa(nder) and his troops
5' [.. .. .. .. .. ERN]-MEŠ-š i-@u-tu TA lERN.ME[Š ..] [ ....... with] his few [troop]s from the troops [...... (...)]
6' [.. .. .. .. x x i]d-duk lERN ha-ni-e lERN.MEŠ-š š[ .. ..] [(...) ...............] he killed/defeated. The Hanaean troops, his troops wh[ich ......]
7' [.. .. .. ..] AN /RA?\ [..] m/da-ri\-ia-a-muš LUGAL GIN [MEŠ?] [...... from] /Babylon?\ [to?] Darius, the king, went.
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8' [ITI NE? U]4 15 mki-di-nu ina gišTUKUL GAZ KIN U4  [.. .. ..] [Month V? d]ay 15 (14 Aug.?) Kidinnu was killed by the sword. In the month Ullu (VI=28 Aug. - 26 Sep.), on the [..th] day
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9' [.. .. .. ..] KUR -zu-ia-a-nu URU š KUR gu-ti-i  [..... in] the land of -zu-ia-a-nu, a city of the land of Gutium,
10' [...] (blank) [....].
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11' [.. .. .. .. .. TA] .GAL E.KI ul-te-@u  NG./ŠU ši\-na-ti [Year 329? ... Month.. .. from] the palace of Babylon they brought out, /their (fem.) goods\ [(..)]
12' [.. .. .. .. .. ana] e-pe-š šgiš x ina [.. .. .. .. .. /a\ .. ]  [.. .. .. .. .. .. for] the making of the xx [.. .. .. .. .. ..]
13' [.. .. .. .. .. .. ..] ana e-pe-š š /EZEN\ š dEN ana DUMU.M[EŠ E.KI SUM-’u] [.. .. .. .. .. .. ..] for the performance of the festival of Bl to the [Babylon]ians [they gave].
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14' [.. .. .. .. .. .. ..]dEN /A-š\ a-na mu-ma-’-ir-[-tu] [Year 328? .. .. .. .. ..]-Bl, /his son(?)\, to the office of satrap
15' [ip-qid .. .. .. .. .. ..] /HUL-t ana\ LU[GAL] /ik-pu-du\ [they/he appointed .. .. .. ..] evil to the ki[ng] they plotted. 
16' [.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..] (blank) [...]
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17' [.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .]. ar .[. .. .. ..] [...] x [...]
broken off

TEXT: REVERSE
 
1’ [.............] (blank)  
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2’ [.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..] x ina GIŠ TUKUL x [.. .. ..] [......] with the sword [....]
3’ [.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..]x ip-qid ITU BI 1-en [.. .. ..] [......] he appointed. That month, a certain [...]
4’ [.. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..]x m?pi-ta-nu lERN[.MEŠ-š] [......]x Pi-ta-nu, his troop[s]
5’ [.. .. .. .. .. .. URU/D] UD.KIB.NUN.KI A.MEŠ-š a-na[.. .. ..] [he assembled, .......] the Euphrates/Sippar his sons/its water to [...]
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6’ [.. .. .. .. .. ..] (blank)  
7’ [.. .. .. .. ip-q]id? NG.ŠU.MEŠ u mim-ma ana aš-ri DINGIR /\ [-t .. ..] [Month ...... he appoi]nted(?). The valuables that belong to the territories of the godhead [...]
8’ [.. .. .. .. ..] na-din (blank) [...] was given. (blank)
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9’ [.. .. .. .. ..] MAH-tum ina KA mAl!-pu-ul-us!-[su .. .. ..] [Month  ......] numerous [...] at the command of Alpulus[su ...]
10’ [ana PN lIa-ma-n]a?-a-a SUM-’u U4 10 KAM /x x x\ [.. .. ..] [...... to PN, the Gree]k, they gave. Day 10th, (erasure) [...]
11’ [.. .. .. .. .. ina] KA LUGAL TAR (erasure) (blank). [......] at the command of the king it was cut off (erasure) (blank).
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12’ [.. .. .. .. ..-s]u? -mar-ri ma-dak-ta-š ŠUB-d[i ..] [.......]....... his camp he pitched [...]
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13’ [.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .K]UR /ma-ak\-ka-du-nu [...]
(broken off)
[...] Macedonia [...

to part three (commentary)




 
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