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Astronomical Diary Concerning Bagayasha and Timotheos


KUR ma-di-na-at š NIM.MA.KI, “the district of Elam.” Cf. AD III, 164/5, no. -137B r.21’ in month III SE 174 (8 June – 7 July 138 BC). See also KUR ma-di-na-at š KUR Ma-da-a-a, “the districts of Media” (AD III, 168/9, no. -137C r. 17’).

This line is very difficult to read, not only because of the gap, but also because of the fact that signs were written over other signs. It might even be that some small signs were inserted in the middle between lines 7’and 8’. Despite the fact that substantial traces are present, we were not able to find a satisfactory reconstruction. The traces allow a restoration [K]U4 = “to enter” but in that case we expect ana E.KI, “into Babylon”, before it, which is not conforming to the traces.

Bagayasha. The fact that offerings were presented for the life of the king and for Bagayasha is a strong argument in favour of G.R.M. Assar’s suggestion that Bagayasha acted as substitute king for his brother the king. See the comments under BCHP 18 B/A above. It may be best to date this diary to the years 135-132.

mŢi-ʼ--țu-su apparently is a Greek name. The case is complicated, however,  since the first sign can be read both as Ţi and as Di. So names with Dio- or Theo- are possible. At first sight the last signs seem to represent a Greek ending -tos. Theotos nor Diotos, however, are Greek names. țu-su may also represent theos as in the name mŢi-ʼ-mu--țu-su, probably Timotheos, in AD III, 272, no. 124B r.5’. As a matter of fact, it is possible to interpret the name mŢi-ʼ--țu-su as Timotheos as well, since in late Babylonian the consonant m between vowels was pronounced as w, ʼ, or nothing. Rēmūtu (‘gift’) and rē’ūtu (shepherdship) are homonyms in late Babylonian.

We cannot be certain who this Timotheos was. We know the existence of a Timotheos, son of Hyspaosines, mentioned above. From the context of this diary one might conclude that Timotheos was satrap of Babylonia:

On the 16th (of month VIII = 23 November 125 BC), the satrap of Babylonia entered Babylon from Seleucia. [The shatammu of Esagila and the Babylonians of the assembly of Esagila] provided for him one bull and two sacrificial sheep at the Lamassu-rabi gate; he performed (the offerings) for Bēl. That month, Timotheos, son of Hyspaosines [went] from Babylon to Seleucia” (AD III, p. 273, no. -124B r4’-5’ – the reconstruction is mine).

One month later, month IX = 8 December 125 – 5 January124 BC), the satrap went again to Seleucia and the context again suggests that it was Timotheos, son of Hyspaosines:

[Timotheos the sat]rap of Babylonia went to Seleucia; at the command of the king he was thrown into an iron ring and brought to his father Hyspaosines.” (AD III, p. 275, no. -124B: 20’; the person mentioned in line 19’ is probably someone else as the gap at the end of line 19’and the beginning of line 20’ is too large and the traces point to another name).
Babylonian Chronicles

Fragment A and B


It is difficult to explain how a son of king Hyspaosines of Mesene could have been satrap of Babylonia after the brief reign of Hyspaosines in Babylonia. In view of all these uncertainties we refrain from drawing far reaching conclusions.
Jona Lendering for
Livius.Org, 2011
Revision: 28 Dec. 2011
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