ABC 1 (From Nabû-Nasir to Šamaš-šuma-ukin)

The Chronicle on the Reigns from Nabû-Nasir to Šamaš-šuma-ukin (ABC 1) is one of the historiographical texts about ancient Assyria and Babylonia. It deals with the resistance of an increasingly stronger Babylon, supported by Elam, against Assyria, beginning with the reign of the Babylonian king Nabû-Nasir (747-734) and culminating in the accessions of Aššurbanipal in Assyria and Šamaš-šuma-ukin in Babylonia in 668.

For a very brief introduction to the literary genre of chronicles, go here. The translation on this webpage was adapted from A.K. Grayson, Assyrian and Babylonian Chronicles (1975) and Jean-Jacques Glassner, Mesopotamian Chronicles (Atlanta, 2004).

The text is preserved on two copies that are now in the British Museum; one of these copies was written in 499 BCE, the twenty-second year of king Darius I the Great. (It is the only Neo-Babylonian chronicle that is preserved on more than one copy.) The best of these measures 193 mm long and 158 mm wide, which is extremely large; this made it possible to create two columns (cf. ABC 7, the Nabonidus Chronicle, which may have been written by the same scribe). It is from Babylon. The other fragments are from Sippar and may belong to one and the same broken, large tablet. A parallel text that contains variant information can be found here.

The fourth column is here.


Translation of Column I

[i.1] The third year of Nabû-nasir,note king of Babylon:

[i.2] Tiglath-Pilesernote ascended the throne in Assyria.

[i.3] In that same year the king of Assyria went down to Akkad

[i.4] plundered Rabbilu and Hamranu

[i.5] and abducted the gods of Šapazza.


 

[i.6] In the time of Nabû-nasir Borsippa

[i.7] committed hostile acts against Babylon but the battle which Nabû-Nasir

[i.8] waged against Borsippa is not written.note


[i.9] The fifth year of Nabû-nasir:note Humban-Nikaš

[i.10] ascended to the throne in Elam.


 

[i.11] The fourteenth year:note Nabû-nasir fell ill and went to his destiny in his palace.

[i.12] For fourteen years Nabû-nasir ruled Babylon.

[i.13] Nabû-nadin-zeri, his son, ascended the throne in Babylon.


 

[i.14] The second year:note Nabû-nadin-zeri was killed in a rebellion.

[i.15] For two years Nabû-nadin-zeri ruled Babylon.

[i.16] Nabû-šuma-ukin, a district officer and leader of the rebellion, ascended the throne.

[i.17] For one month and two days, Nabû-šuma-ukin ruled Babylon.

[i.18] Nabû-mukin-zeri, the Amukanite, removed him from the throne and seized the throne for himself.


 

[i.19] The third year of Nabû-mukin-zeri:note Tiglath-pileser,

[i.20] having come down to Akkad,

[i.21] ravaged Bit-Amukanu and captured Nabû-mukin-zeri.

[i.22] For three years Nabû-mukin-zeri ruled Babylon.

[i.23] Tiglath-pileser ascended the throne in Babylon.


[i.24] The second year:note Tiglath-pileser went to his destiny in the month Tebêtu.

[i.25] For <eighteen>note years Tiglath-pileser ruled Akkad.

[i.26] and Assyria. For two of these years he ruled in Akkad.

[i.27] On the twenty-fifth of the month Tebêtu, Šalmaneser in Assyria

[i.28] and Akkad ascended the throne. He ravaged Samaria.note


 

[i.29] The fifth year:note Šalmaneser went to his destiny in the month Tebêtu.

[i.30] For five years Šalmaneser ruled Akkad and Assyria.

[i.31] On the twelfth day of the month Tebêtu, Sargon ascended the throne in Assyria.

[i.32] In the month Nisannu, Marduk-apla-iddinanote ascended the throne in Babylon.


 

[i.33] The second year of Marduk-apla-iddina:note Humban-Nikaš, king of Elam,

[i.34] did battle against Sargon, king of Assyria, in the district of Der,

[i.35] effected Assyria's retreat, and inflicted a major defeat upon it.

[i.36] Marduk-apla-iddina and his army, who to the aid of

[i.37] the king of Elam had gone, did not reach the battle in time so Marduk-apla-iddina withdrew.note


 

[i.38] The fifth year of Marduk-apla-iddina:note Humban-Nikaš, king of Elam, went to his destiny.

[i.39] For twenty-six years Humban-nikaš ruled Elam.

[i.40] Šutur-Nahhunte, his sister's son, ascended the throne in Elam.

[i.41] From the accession year of Marduk-apla-iddina until the tenth year

[i.42] Assyria was belligerent towards Marduk-apla-iddina.


 

[i.43] The tenth year:note Marduk-apla-iddina

[i.44] wrecked and plundered

[i.45] Bit-[...]ri.

Translation of Column II

[ii.1] The twelfth year of Marduk-apla-iddina::note Sargon went down to Akkad and

[ii.2] did battle against Marduk-apla-iddina.

[ii.3] Marduk-apla-iddina retreated before him and fled to Elam.note

[ii.4] For twelve years Marduk-apla-iddina ruled Babylon.

[ii.5] Sargon ascended the throne in Babylon.


 

[ii.6-11] The first year of Sennacheribnote [...] Marduk-apla-iddina [...] [too broken]note

[ii.12] The second year of Sennacherib,note he went down to Akkad. Before Kiš, he joined battle with Marduk-apla-iddina. Before him, Marduk-apla-iddina retreated and fled to Guzummanu. In Babylon, Sennacherib entered the palace of Marduk-apla-iddina and the royal treasury [...] he plundered, but

[ii.19] Sennacherib did not disperse the Babylonians.

[ii.20] He pursued Marduk-apla-iddina

[ii.21] [...] the territory [...] but Marduk-apla-iddina remained undiscoverable. Sennacherib plundered his land and

[ii.22] Larak and Sarrabanu he took.

[ii.23] When he withdrew, Sennacherib put Bêl-ibni on the throne in Babylon.


 

[ii.24] The first year of Bêl-ibni:note Sennacherib

[ii.25] ravaged Hirimma and Hararatum.


 

[ii.26] The third year of Bêl-ibni:note Sennacherib, to Akkad

[ii.27] he went down and plundered Akkad.

[ii.28] He led away to Assyria Bêl-ibni and his officers.

[ii.29] For three years Bêl-ibni ruled Babylon.

[ii.30] Sennacherib, Aššur-nadin-šumi, his son,

[ii.31] he put on the throne in Babylon.


 

[ii.32] The first year of Aššur-nadin-šumni:note Šutur-Nahhunte, king of Elam,

[ii.33] was seized by his brother, Hallušu-Inšušinak and Hallušu-Inšušinak shot the door in his face.note

[ii.34] For eighteen years Šutur-Nahhunte ruled Elam.

[ii.35] Hallušu-Inšušinak ascended the throne in Elam.


 

[ii.36] The sixth year of Aššur-nadin-šumni:note Sennacherib

[ii.37] went down to Elam and Nagitum, Hilmu,

[ii.38] Pillatum, and Huppapanu, he ravaged and

[ii.39] plundered. Afterwards, Hallušu-Inšušinak, king of Elam,

[ii.40] marched to Akkad and entered Sippar at the end of the month Tašrîtu.

[ii.41] He slaughtered its inhabitants. Šamaš did not go out of Ebabbar.

[ii.42] Aššur-nadin-šumni was taken prisoner and transported to Elam.

[ii.43] For six years, Aššur-nadin-šumni ruled Babylon.

[ii.44] The king of Elam put[45] Nergal-ušezib in Babylon

[ii.45] on the throne. He effected an Assyrian retreat.


 

[ii.46] The first year of Nergal-ušezib:note On the sixteenth day of the month Du'ûzu

[ii.47] Nergal-ušezib captured Nippur, plundered and sacked it.

[ii.48] On the first day of the month Tašrîtu the army of Assyria entered Uruk and

Translation of Column III

[iii.1] plundered the gods and inhabitants of Uruk.

[iii.2] After the Elamites had come and carried off[3] the gods

[iii.3] and inhabitants of Uruk Nergal-ušezib[2] in the district of Nippur on the seventh day of the month Tašrîtu

[iii.4] did battle against the army of Assyria. He was taken prisoner in the battlefield and

[iii.5] transported to Assyria. For one year -precisely: six months- Nergal-ušezib

[iii.6] ruled Babylon. On the twenty-sixth day of the month Tašrîtu

[iii.7] the subjects of Hallušu-Inšušinak, king of Elam, rebelled against him. The door in his facenote

[iii.8] they shut and they killed him. For six years Hallušu-Inšušinak ruled Elam.

[iii.9] Kudur-Nahhunte ascended the throne in Elam. Afterwards Sennacherib

[iii.10] went down to Elam. From Raši to

[iii.11] Bit-Burnaki, he ravaged and plundered it.

[iii.12] Mušezib-Marduk ascended the throne in Babylon.


[iii.13] The first year of Mušezib-Marduk:note On the seventeenth day of the month Âbu,

[iii.14] Kudur-Nahhunte, king of Elam, was taken prisoner in a rebellion and killed. For ten months

[iii.15] Kudur-Nahhunte ruled Elam. Humban-nimena in Elam

[iii.16] ascended the throne. In an unknown year Humban-nimena

[iii.17] mustered the troops of Elam and Akkad[16] and battle against Assyria in Halule

[iii.18] he did. He effected an Assyrian retreat.


 

[iii.19] The fourth year of Mušezib-Marduk:note On the fifteenth day of the month Nisannu

[iii.20] Humban-nimena, king of Elam, was stricken by paralysis and

[iii.21] his mouth was so affected that he could not speak.

[iii.22] On the first day of the month Kislîmu the city of Babylon was captured. Mušezib-Marduk

[iii.23] was taken prisoner and transported to Assyria.

[iii.24] For four years, Mušezib-Marduk ruled Babylon.note

[iii.25] On the seventh day of the month Addaru Humban-nimena, king of Elam, died.

[iii.26] For four years, Humban-nimena, ruled Elam.

[iii.27] Humban-haltaš ascended the throne in Elam.


 

[iii.28] The eighth year of there not being a king in Babylon:note on the third day of the month Du'ûzu,

[iii.29] the gods of Uruk went from Elam to Uruk.

[iii.30] On the twenty-third day of the month Tašrîtu, at the noon hour, Humban-Haltaš, king of Elam, at

[iii.31] became paralyzed and died at sunset. For eight years Humban-Haltaš

[iii.32] ruled Elam.

[iii.33] Humban-Haltaš the second, his son, ascended the throne.

[iii.34] On the twentieth day of the month Tebêtu, Sennacherib, king of Assyria,

[iii.35] was killed by his son in a rebellion. For twenty-four years Sennacherib

[iii.36] ruled Assyria. After the twentieth day of the month Tebêtu

[iii.37] the rebellion continued in Assyria until the second day of the month Addaru.

[iii.38] On the eighteenth day of the month Addaru Esarhaddon, his son, ascended the throne in Assyria.


 

[iii.39] The first year of Esarhaddon:note when[40] Nabû-zer-kitti-lišir, governor of the Sealand,

[iii.40] had gone upstream, he encamped against Ur, but did not capture the city.

[iii.41] Instead he fled from the Assyrian officers and went back into Elam.

[iii.42] In Elam the king of Elam took him prisoner and put him to the sword.

[iii.43] In an unknown month the governor [...] in Nippur.

[iii.44] In the month Ulûlu, Ištaran and the gods of Der

[iii.45] went[45] from [...] to Der [...].

[iii.46] went to Dur-Šarrukin [...].note

[iii.47] In the month Adarru [...].


 

[iii.48] In the second year:note the major-domo [conscripted troops in Akkad...]note

[iii.49] In that same year Arza was captured and sacked. The people were plundered, the king and his son were taken prisoner.

[iii.50] There was a slaughter in Buššua and there was a slaughter of the Cimmerians in Šubuhn.]


 

[iv.1] The fourth column is here.