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Arsacid king chronicle (BCHP 19)

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BCHP 19: The Arsacid King Chronicle, obverse. Photo Bert van der Spek.
BCHP 19: Arsacid king chronicle (British Museum).**
The Chronicle Concering an Arsacid king, or Arsacid King Chronicle (BCHP 19), is one of the historiographical texts from ancient Babylonia. The tablet can be dated to Parthian period (141 BCE - 224 CE) and offers fairly stereotypical information. For a very brief introduction to the literary genre of chronicles, go here.

The cuneiform tablet (BM 34124 = Sp. 226) is in the British Museum. On this webpage, a reading is proposed by Bert 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).

Babylonian Chronicles
Description
Text and translation
Commentary

Literature

BCHP 19: The Arsacid King Chronicle, reverse. Photo Bert van der Spek.
BCHP 19: Arsacid king chronicle (British Museum).**

Description of the tablet

BM 34124 = Sp. 226 is a fragment of a one-columned tablet. Its height is 7 cm, its width 7.5 cm, and its thickness 2.3 cm.

The right edge is partly preserved, the left edge is lost, but in view of the curvature of the tablet not many signs can be lost.

TEXT: OBVERSE
TRANSLATION
1' [.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..] x x [.. .. .. ..] [.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..] x x [.. .. .. ..]
2' [.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..]  x-ú ana d[a?-.. .. ..] [.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ] .. .. .. .[. .. .. ..]
3' [.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..] x ul KÚR-nu x [.. ..] [.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ] .. .. .. .. .. [.. ..]
4' [.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. IT]I AB ITI BI U[D .. KAM [.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. Mon]th Tebêtu (X). That month,  d[ay .. th
5' [.. .. .. .. .. .. ..] x šá x x DÙ-ú x KA x [.. ..] [.. .. .. .. .. .. ..] .. .. .. .. they made .. .. .. [.. ..]
6' [.. .. .. .. .. .. ..] DA šá-šú ana mx x x –ni áš-š[ú .. ..] [.. .. .. .. .. .. .. at the side of him to PN-ni because [of .. ..]
7' [.. .. .. .. .. .. .. m]a-na iá-šú ù i-nu-šú [.. .. .. ..] [.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .].. .. to me and at that time [.. .. .. ..]
8' [.. .. .. .. .. .. .. ] x x x x x [.. .. .. ..] [.. .. .. .. .. .. .. ] x x x x x [.. .. .. ..]
9' [.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..] x x [ .. .. .. ..] [.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..] x x [ .. .. .. ..]

 
TEXT: REVERSE
TRANSLATION
2' [.. .. .. .. .. .. .. ] /MU?-a-tim\ TA E.K[I ana URU Se-lu-ku-’a] a[.. .. .. .. .. .. .. ] /aforementioned\ from Babyl[on to Seleucia]
3' [šá a-na mu]h-hi ÍD MAŠ.GÚ.GÀR UD.DU UD 13 šá-k[in7 .. .. .. .. ..] [which is o]n the Tigris went out. Day 13th, the gover[nor (šaknu) .. .. .. .. ..]
4' [.. .. .. ..]šá ina É.SAG.GÍL ú-ši-bu-ú TA É.SAG.[GÍL .. .. .. ..] [.. .. .. ..], who was seated in Esagila, from Esa[gila .. .. .. ..]
5' [.. .. .. .. I]M? TA KUR Ma-da-a-a ina pa-hat-ú-tú E.K[I .. .. ..] [.. .. .. .. ]x? from the land of Media to the office of epistates of Babyl[on .. .. ..]
6' [lìb-bu-ú KUŠ] ši-piš-tú šá LUGAL mu-un-nu-ú TA ma-dak-tú L[UGAL] [according to a parchment] letter of the king was appointed, from the camp of the k[ing]
7' [i-na E.KI] KU4-ub UD 26 ŠÀ.TAM É.SAG.GÍL uE.KI.MEŠ [into Babylon] entered.  Day 26, the shatammu of Esagila and the Babylonians
8' [1-en GUD 2 SISKUR.SISKUR].MEŠ ina KÁ DUMU.NUN.NA šá É.SAG.GÍL anapa-hat E.KI [1 ox and 2 sheep] in the Gate of the Son of the Prince of Esagila for the epistates of Babylon
9' [MU-a-tim u]l-te-zi-zu-ú PAD.dINNIN ana dEN udGAŠAN- [aforementioned p]rovided. A food offering to Bêl and Beltia, 
10' [DINGIR.MEŠ GAL.MEŠ u a-na bu]l-&ušámAr-šá-ka-a LUGAL u ana bul-&i-šú| GAR-an [the great gods, and for the li]fe of king Arsakes and for his own life he made.
11' [ITI .. UD .. 1-en DUMU ši]p-ri šá GAL ERÍN.MEŠ šá ana muh-hi 4 [Month .., day .., a certain mes]senger of the stratêgos who is in charge of  4
12' [GAL ERÍN.MEŠ ina E.KI KU4-ub IT]I? BI GAL ERÍN.MEŠ ERÍN.MEŠ LUGAL MAH.| MEŠ [stratêgoi entered Babylon.] That [month/day] the stratêgos conscripted?[13’] numerous royal troops
13' [.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..]x ÍD GARIM.MEŠ šá-ni-tam NIGIN.MEŠ-|u’ [in .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..] and they surrounded the irrigated fields a second time,
14' [.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..].MEŠ šá /GÚ\ ÍD GARIM ti-amat ŠÚ.ŠÚ.|MEŠ [.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..]s of /the bank\ of the irrigated fields of the Sea(land) they overwhelmed
15' [.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..] x x x /ú\-ri-duUN.| [MES KUR?] [and to .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..] x x x they led (them). The people [.. ..]
16' [.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..] x x – GAZ.M[EŠ .. .. .. .. ..] [.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..] x x .. they kill]ed  .. .. .. .. ..]
17' [.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..] x x x [.. .. .. .. ..]  [.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..] x x x [.. .. .. .. ..]
to part two (commentary)
 
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