|home : index : ancient Mesopotamia : Babylonian Chronicles : article by Bert van der Spek ©|
Demetrius and Arabia fragment
Demetrius I Soter
|The Diary fragment
on Demetrius and Arabia,
is a very brief historiographical text from ancient Babylonia.
The tablet can not be dated but may belong to the reign of the Seleucid
I Soter (161-150).
The cuneiform tablet (BM 34433) is in the British Museum. On this website, a new 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 diary'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
We suggest that the diary refers to Demetrius'
victory over Timarchus,
who had been satrap
and had proclaimed himself king after the death of Antiochus
V Eupator, who had been murdered by the same Demetrius. If so, the
diary refers to 161 BCE. Timarchus was hated by the Babylonians and Demetrius
Sôtêr, "savior" by the Babylonians on that
of Alexandria, Syrian
GAR-at = šaknat = fem stative of šak?nu, to establish. Hence a feminin noun must be the subject.