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Fall of Nineveh Chronicle
The remains of one of the defenders of Nineveh (Photo David Stronach; ©*)
|This is the
text of a chronicle,
also known as Chronicle 3 or ABC 3, that describes the final years of the
empire. This chronicle is the central part of one large text that began
with the Early
Years of Nabopolassar Chronicle (ABC 2) and ended with the Late
Years of Nabopolassar Chronicle (ABC 4).
The translation was adapted from A.K. Grayson and can be found in Assyrian and Babylonian chronicles (1975); some readings were adapted from Jean-Jacques Glassner, Chroniques Mésopotamiennes (1993). An introduction can be found here.
The text of this chronicle is inscribed on a medium-size tablet, BM 21901 (96-4-9, 6), which measures 132 mm long and 69 mm wide. At one time it was broken into four pieces and, although the fragments have been joined, there are several surface flaws as well as a large lacuna in the center of the tablet.
the army of Akkad
and marched along the bank of the Euphrates.
The Suheans and Hindaneans [people living south
did not do battle against him but placed their tribute before him.
In the month Ābu the army of Assyria prepared for battle in Gablini and Nabopolassar went up against them. On the twelfth of the month Ābu [24 July 616] he did battle against the army of Assyria and the army of Assyria retreated before him. He inflicted a major defeat upon Assyria and plundered them extensively. He captured the Manneans, who had come to the Assyrians' aid, and the Assyrian officers. On the same day he captured Gablini.
|| In the month Ābu
the king of Akkad and his army went upstream to Mane, Sahiri and Bali-hu.
He plundered them, sacked them extensively and abducted their gods.
In the month Ulūlu the king of Akkad and his army returned and on his way he took the people of Hindanu and its gods to Babylon.
In the month Tašrītu the army of Egypt and the army of Assyria went after the king of Akkad as far as Gablini but they did not overtake the king of Babylonia. So they withdrew.
In the month Addaru the army of Assyria and the army of Akkad did battle against one another at Madanu, a suburb of Arraphu [modern Kirkuk], and the army of Assyria retreated before the army of Akkad. The army of Babylonia inflicted a major defeat upon the Assyrian army and drove them back to the Zab river. They captured their chariots and horses and plundered them extensively. They took many [lacuna] with them across the Tigris and brought them into Babylon.
The eleventh year [615-614]:
The king of Akkad mustered his army, marched along the bank of the Tigris,
and in the month Ajaru
he encamped against Aššur. On the [lacuna] day of the month Simanu
he did battle against the city but he did not capture it. The king of Assyria
mustered his army, pushed the king of Akkad back from Aššur and marched
after him as far as Takrita'in, a city on the bank of the Tigris. The king
of Akkad stationed his army in the fortress of Takrita'in. The king of
Assyria and his army encamped against the army of the king of Akkad, which
was stationed in Takrita'in, and did battle against them for ten days.
But the king of Assyria did not capture the city. Instead, the army of
the king of Akkad, which had been stationed in the fortress, inflicted
a major defeat upon Assyria. The king of Assyria and his army turned and
symbols of ancientMesopotamia, 1992)
The twelfth year [614-613]: In the month Ābu the Medes, after they had matched against Nineveh [lacuna], hastened and they captured Tarbisu, a city in the district of Nineveh. They went along the Tigris and encamped against Aššur. They did battle against the city and destroyed it. They inflicted a terrible defeat upon a great people, plundered and sacked them. The king of Akkad and his army, who had gone to help the Medes, did not reach the battle in time. The city was taken. The king of Akkad and Cyaxares met one another by the city and together they made an entente cordiale. Later, Cyaxares and his army went home. The king of Akkad and his army went home.
The thirteenth year [613-612]: In the month Ajaru the Suheans rebelled against the king of Akkad and became belligerent. The king of Akkad mustered his army and marched to Suhu. On the fourth day of the month Simanu[11 May 613] he did battle against Rahi-ilu, a city which is on an island in the middle of the Euphrates and at that time he captured the city. He built his [lacuna] The men who live on the bank of the Euphrates came down to him. [lacuna] he encamped against Anati and the siege engines he brought over from the western side [lacuna] he brought the siege engines up to the wall. He did battle against the city and captured it. The king of Assyria and his army came down and the king of Akkad and his army went home.
The fourteenth year [612-611]: The
king of Akkad mustered his army and marched to Assyria. The king of the
Medes marched towards the king of Akkad and they met one another at [...]u.
The king of Akkad and his army crossed the Tigris; Cyaxares had to cross
the Radanu, and they marched along the bank of the Tigris. In the month
the Nth day, they encamped against Nineveh.
The fifteenth year [611-610]: In the month Du'ūzu the king of Akkad mustered his army and marched to Assyria victoriously. He marched about of [lacuna] and Šu[lacuna], plundered it and carried of its vast booty.
In the month Arahsamna the king of Akkad took the lead of his army personally and marched against Ruggulitu. He did battle against the city and on the twenty-eighth day of the month Arahsamnu he captured it. He did not leave a single man alive. [lacuna] He went home.
The sixteenth year [610-609]: In the month Ajaru the king of Akkad mustered his army and marched to Assyria. From the month Simanu until the month Arahsamna he marched about victoriously in Assyria. In the month Arahsamna the Medes, who had come to the help of the king of Akkad, put their armies together and marched to Harran against Aššur-uballit, who had ascended the throne in Assyria. Fear of the enemy overcame Aššur-uballit and the army of Egypt that had come to help him, and they abandoned the city, and crossed the Euphrates. The king of Akkad reached Harran, fought a battle, and captured the city. He carried off the vast booty of the city and the temple. In the month Addaru the king of Akkad left his troops and their camp, and went home. The Medes, who had come to help the king of Akkad, withdrew.
The seventeenth year [609-608]:
In the month Du'ūzu
Aššur-uballit, king of Assyria, with a large army from Egypt crossed the
river Euphrates and marched against Harran to conquer it. They captured
town on the road to Harran]. They defeated the garrison which the
king of Akkad had stationed inside. When they had defeated it they encamped
against Harran. Until the month Ulūlu
they did battle against the city but achieved nothing. The king of Akkad
went to help his army but did not join battle. He he went up to Izalla
and the numerous cities in the mountains [lacuna] he set fire to
In the eighteenth year [608-607]:
In the month Ulūlu
the king of Akkad mustered his army and [lacuna].