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"Politai" Chronicle (BCHP 13)

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The Politai Chronicle (obverse). Photo Bert van der Spek.
BCHP 13: Politai Chronicle
(British Museum).**
The first Babylonian document on the politai (Greek citizens of Babylon), the Politai Chronicle (BCHP 13), is one of the historiographical texts from ancient Babylonia. The tablet can be dated to SE 140 (=172/1 BCE) ands belongs, therefore, to the reign of the Seleucid king Antiochus IV Epiphanes (175-164). For a very brief introduction to the literary genre of chronicles, go here.

The cuneiform tablet (BM 46120 = 81-7-6,572) 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 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

The Politai Chronicle (upper edge). Photo Bert van der Spek.BCHP 13: Politai Chronicle (upper edge) (British Museum).**

Description of the tablet

Left side of a small, roughly square tablet, covering certain years of the Seleucid era, starting with year 140. Length: 5 cm., width at top: 3 cm., at bottom 1,5 cm. The top and bottom edges are preserved, but the reverse is lost. In size and shape it resembles the Greek community Chronicle (BCHP 14) (SE 149 = 163/2 BCE) and ABC 9 (= Artaxerxes III chronicle, 345 BCE).
TEXT: Obverse
TRANSLATION
line numbers with link refer to commentary
1 MU 1.ME.40.KAM SIG [.. .. .. .. ..] Year 140, Simanu (month III = 24 May-22 June 172 BCE) [.. .. .. .. ..]
2 šá pu-li-&e-[e .. .. .. .. ..] of/which the politai [.. .. .. .. ..]
3 ana tar-@i KÁ.GA[L .. .. .. .. .. ..] opposite the Great Gate [.. .. .. .. .. ..]
4 SIG4 šá É ni-x[.. .. .. .. .. ..] Bricks of the [.. .. ..] house [.. .. ..]
5 UD BI ina na-x[.. .. .. .. .. ..] That day, in x [.. .. .. .. .. ..]
6 šá ana tar-@i K[Á .. .. .. .. .. ..] which opposite the [.. .. ..] Ga[te .. .. ..]
7 bi-ki-tú ina x[? .. .. .. .. .. ..] Weeping in x[ .. .. .. .. .. ..]
8 MU 1.ME.40[+1?.KAM .. .. .. .. ..] Year 14[1? .. .. .. .. .. ..]
9 šá SAHAR.HI.A [.. .. .. .. .. .. ..] of the debris [.. .. .. .. .. .. ..]
10 UD 25.[KAM .. .. .. .. .. .. ..] Day 25 [th .. .. .. .. .. ..]
11 [.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..]x
Bottom edge
Bottom edge
12 [.. .. ..] x [.. .. .. .. .. .. ] [.. .. ..] x [.. .. .. .. .. .. ]
13 [.. .. ..] x x [ .. .. .. .. .. ] [.. .. ..] x x [ .. .. .. .. .. ]
14 [.. .. .. ] x [.. ] x [ .. .. .. .. ] [.. .. .. ] x [.. ] x [ .. .. .. .. ]
Reverse: lost
Reverse: lost
Upper edge
Upper edge
1 GU4 23 x x x [.. .. .. .. .. ..] Ajaru (month II), (day) 23 x x x […land]
2 zaq?-pi ù bir?-x [.. .. .. ..] planted with palmtrees and balks? [.. .. ..]
3 ina dul-la-a-tú DU?-’ [.. .. .. ..] through works? they went? […]
to part two (commentary)
 
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