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Esarhaddon's Conquest of Egypt


Nahr al-Kalb. Relief of Esarhaddon. Photo Jona Lendering.
Esarhaddon
In the first quarter of the seventh century BCE, king Esarhaddon (r.680-669) tightened the Assyrian grip on Phoenicia (677/676) by annexing Sidon and demanding tribute from the other cities (676). Having secured his rear, the Assyrian king attacked Egypt (674). After a setback, he was successfu in 671, but was forced to suppress insurrections in the north. Among the rebels were Ashkelon and Tyre, which were forced into submission.

To make sure that the Phoenician cities knew that Esarhaddon was always victorious, he left an inscription at the mouth of the Nahr al-Kalb, opposite a relief of Ramesses II. The text is badly damaged, but the general meaning is clear, and we're certain that the text ended with a reference to the Tyrian insurrection.

Esarhaddon: the Conquest of Egypt

[Illegible]

I entered Memphis, his royal residence, amidst jubilation and rejoicing. ... Upon the Sad alum, which was plated with gold, I sat down in happiness. ... weapons, a KURnandti of gold, silver, plates of ... Afterwards, I entered ... and his palace, the gods and goddesses of Taharqo, king of Nubia, together with their possessions ... I declared as booty.
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His queen, the female servants of his court, Ušanahuru, the heir to his throne, ...-miri, his court officials, ... his possessions, his ...s inlaid with precious stones, ivory, wooden ..., the plating of which is of gold, their faucets of ... other utensils of gold, silver, ...-stone, ... whatever was in the palace, which had no equal in Assyria and was artfully constructed. And I also opened the chests, the baskets and the ... in which were stored the tribute of his kingdom.

I did ... king ... they had left them behind as well as 16 tiaras, 30 headgears for queens, ...-stone. ... stone slabs ... in large quantities. The treasuries full with gold, silver, antimony, ... byssus-linen, ... the batbat of which is like ... copper, tin, abaru-metal, ivory, ...s of the Suti-people, ... his sons-in-law, his family, ... princes, ... physicians, divination-experts ... goldsmiths, cabinetmakers, ... the son of Binzuqi ... which Taharqo [had made] to their strongholds, ...

[Texts becomes illegible, but the words "Tyre" and "Ashkelon" can be read.]
Jona Lendering for
Livius.Org, 2012
Revision: 26 Jan. 2013



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