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Euphrates Chronicle (BCHP 20)

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BCHP 20: The Euphrates Chronicle, obverse. Photo Bert van der Spek.
BCHP 20: Euphrates Chronicle (obv) (British Museum).**
The Chronicle Concering the Digging of the Euphrates is a historiographical text from ancient Babylonia. It describes the digging out of the Euphrates in 94 BCE, and, therefore, belongs to the reign of the Parthian king Mithradates II. For a very brief introduction to the literary genre of chronicles, go here.

The cuneiform tablet (BM 35031) is in the British Museum. On this website, a reading is proposed by Bert van der Spek of the Free University of Amsterdam (Netherlands) and Irving Finkel of the British Museum. Please note that this is a preliminary version of this tablet's first publication.* This webpage 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 20: The Euphrates Chronicle, reverse. Photo Bert van der Spek.
BCHP 20: Euphrates Chronicle (rev) (British Museum).**

Description of the tablet

The document is the right upper part of a round tablet of irregular and unusual shape. The obverse is flat, the reverse is clumsily made and is skewed at the edge. The height of the obverse is 5.4 cm, its width 5.1 cm. The lines do not follow a straight direction at the edges.

It is obviously not made by an experienced hand. 

TEXT: OBVERSE

TRANSLATION

1 [MU n.kam iti .. mAr-šá-ka-a lugal. mMi-it-ra-d]a-ta-a [Year n, month MN. That month. Mithrad]ates?
2 [.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. k]u?-us [.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ] x x
3 [.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. š]á?lúun.meš [.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ] which/of the people
4 [.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ]x ta E.ki [.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ]x from Babylon
5 [.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. a-n]a he-ru-ú šá íd ud.kib.nun.ki [.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..] to dig out of the Euphrates
6 [.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..] ul-te-er  (blank) [.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..] he began.
7 [.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .]/a?\ gal en.nun [.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. Mithradat]es?? the garrison commander
8 [.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..]x un.meš šá ta /E?\.[ki(?)] [. .. .. .. .. .. ..]x the people, who from /Babylon?\
9 [.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. m]eš ana ud.kib.nun.ki [.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ]s to Sippar (or: the Euphrates)

TEXT: REVERSE

TRANSLATION

1' [.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..] x x [.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..] x x
2' [.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. k]ù? ki.ta [.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ] below
3' [.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..] x ki x [.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..] .. .. ..
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4' [.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..] /ta?-a?\ gal en.nun [.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..Mithra]/dates??\ the garrison commander
5' [.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..] x x x šá lugal [.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..] x x x of/which the king
6' [.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..].meš íd ud.kib.nun.ki [.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..]s the Euphrates
7' [.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..] ta bar.sìb.ki [.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..] from Borsippa
8' [.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ki-m]a igi-ú [.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. a]s previously
Remainder lost Remainder lost
to part two (commentary)
Bert van der Spek © 2005
Revised: 31 March 2006
 
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