Tyre's Tribute to Šalmaneser III

Tyre (Phoenician רצ, ṣūr, "rock"; Greek Τúρος; Latin Tyrus): port in Phoenicia and one of the main cities in the eastern Mediterranean.

Tyre's tribute on the Balawat Gate

During his long reign, the Assyrian king Šalmaneser III (r.858-824) tried to seize control of the land west of the river Euphrates. Here, he had to overcome resistance from a coalition, led by king Hazael of Damascus. In 853, the Assyrians came close to defeat at Qarqar. However, Šalmaneser returned, and was increasingly successful in isolating Damascus. In 841, Hazael had no allies left. Šalmaneser looted the land and demanded tribute of several minor powers: Sidon, Tyre, and Israel. As is shown on the Balawat Gate, it was handed over in Tyre.

This text, known as ANET3 280, was translated by Leo Oppenheim.


Tribute to Šalmaneser III

[1] In the eighteenth year of my rule I crossed the Euphrates for the sixteenth time.
 

[2] Hazael of Damascus put his trust upon his numerous army and called up his troops in great number, making the mountain Senir, a mountain facing the Lebanon, to his fortress. I fought with him and inflicted a defeat upon him, killing with the sword 16,000 of his experienced soldiers.

[3] I took away from him 1121 chariots, 470 riding horses as well as his camp. He disappeared to save his life but I followed him and besieged him in Damascus, his royal residence. There I cut down the gardens outside the city, and departed.

[4] I marched as far as the mountains of Hauran, destroying, tearing down and burning innumerable towns, carrying booty away from them which was beyond counting. I also marched as far as the mountains of Ba'li-ra'si, which is a promontory and erected a stela with my image as king. At that time I received the tribute of the inhabitants of Tyre, Sidon, and of Jehu, son of Omri.