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Chronicle concerning Alexander and Arabia (BCHP 2)
eastern stairs of the Apadana
at Persepolis (more).
concerning Alexander and Arabia ("Alexander and Arabia Chronicle";
BCHP 2) is one of the historiographical texts from ancient Babylonia.
It deals with events from the last regnal year of the Macedonian
The cuneiform tablet (BM 41080) is in the
British Museum. On this website, a new reading is proposed by
van der Spek of the Free University of Amsterdam (Netherlands) and
Irving Finkel of the British Museum. Please notice that this is a preliminary
version of what will be the chronicle's very first
edition. This web publication is therefore intended to invite suggestions
for better readings, comments and interpretations (go here
to contact Van der Spek).
Text and translation
Bust of Alexander the Great, from Delos, now in the Louvre.
Alternative translation: "the people of the land [gave] numerous gifts". The phrase may reflect Diodorus' remark about Alexander's entry into Babylon (Library, 17.112.6): "As on the previous occasion, the population received the troops hospitably, and all turned their attention to relaxation and pleasure, since everything necessary was available in profusion."
KÁ.GAL, bâbu rabû, "The Great Gate", is used as an apposition to KÁ.SIKIL.LA, "the Sikilla Gate" or "the Pure Gate", an important ceremonial gate of Esagila, in the Astronomical diaries III, p. 248, No. –129 A2 obv. 18’. Andrew George thinks that the Great Gate differs from the Pure Gate. See George 1992, p. 24 (fig. 4) and p. 87 ("the monumental gate giving access from the central courtyard of the main building to the complex of rooms around Marduk's cella (the excavators' Gate H, significantly explained in VAT 13817 [edited p. 95-97] as bâbu rabû ša kisal Bêl ...)"; cf. also p. 89). In the Esagila Tablet, however, the "Great Gate" is mentioned in a list of six gates of Esagila, while Ka-sikilla is not (George 1992: 85).
G.F. Del Monte argues that the Sikilla Gate was alternatively known as the Dudê Gate on the basis of the Astronomical Diaries AD II, p. 414, no. –178C ‘rev.: 19’; AD III, p. 30, no. –161A (Del Monte erroneously –162) ‘obv’.: 28’ and 29’ and AD III, p. 214, no. –132B obv. 27. The Dudê Gate is also mentioned in two administrative documents from the Rahimesu Archive: Van der Spek 1998c, no. 16 and no. 28. From no. 28: 11-12 it appears that the Dudê Gate was situated in the north wall of Esagila. Cf. Boiy 2000 p. 94.