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 three first columns are here.

Translation of Column IV

[iv.1] The third year [of Esarhaddon]:note [...]-ahhe-šullim, the governor of Nippur, and

[iv.2] Šamaš-ibni, the Dakkurean, were transported to Assyria and executed in Assyria.


[iv.3] The fourth year:note Sidon was captured and sacked.

[iv.4] In that same year: the major-domo conscripted troops in Akkad.


[iv.5] The fifth year:note On the second day of the month Tašrîtu the army of Assyria

[iv.6] captured Baza[5]. In the month Tašrîtu the head of [Abdi-Milkutti] the king of Sidon

[iv.7] was cut off and conveyed to Assyria. In the month Addaru the head of [Sanduarri] the king

[iv.8] of Kundu and Sissu was cut off and conveyed to Assyria.


[iv.9] The sixth year:note The king of Elam entered Sippar and a massacre took place. Šamaš

[iv.10] did not come out of Ebabbar. The Assyrian marched to Milidu. On the seventh day of the month Ulûlu

[iv.11] Humban-haltaš, king of Elam, without becoming ill, died in his palace.

[iv.12] For five years, Humban-haltaš ruled Elam.

[iv.13] Urtak, his brother, ascended the throne in Elam.

[iv.14] In an unknown month Šuma-iddina, the governor of Nippur,

[iv.15] and Kudurru, the Dakurrean, were transported to Assyria.


[iv.16] The seventh year:note On the fifth day of the month Addaru the army of Assyria was defeated in Egypt.

[iv.17] In the month Addaru, Ištar of Akkad and the gods of Akkad

[iv.18] left Elam and entered Akkad on the tenth day of the month Addaru.


[iv.19] The eighth year of Esarhaddon:note On the TEXT BROKENnote day of the month Tebêtu

[iv.20] Šubria was captured and sacked.

[iv.21] In the month Kislîmu its booty entered Uruk.

[iv.22] On the fifth day of the month Addaru the king's wife died.


[iv.23] The tenth year:note In the month Nisannu the army of Assyria marched to Egypt TEXT BROKENnote

[iv.24] On the third, sixteenth and eighteenth days of the month Du'uzu

[iv.25] - three times - there was a massacre in Egypt. It was sacked and its gods were abducted.

[iv.26] On the twenty-second day Memphis, the royal city, was captured and

[iv.27] abandoned by its king [Taharqo]. The king's son and brother were taken prisoner.

[iv.28] The city was sacked, its inhabitants plundered, and its booty carried off.


[iv.29] The eleventh year:note In Assyria the king put his numerous officers to the sword.


[iv.30] The twelfth year:note The king of Assyria marched to Egypt but

[iv.31] became ill on the way and went to his destiny on the tenth day of the month Arahsamna.

[iv.32] For twelve years Esarhaddon ruled Assyria.

[iv.33] Šamaš-šuma-ukin and Aššurbanipal, his two sons, ascended the throne in Babylon and Assyria respectively.


[iv.34] The accession year of Šamaš-šuma-ukin:note In the month Ajaru

[iv.35] Bêl and the gods of Akkad went out[36] from Aššur

[iv.36] and on the fourteenth/twenty-fourth of the month Ajaru they entered Babylon.

[iv.37] In that same year Kirbitu was taken and its king captured.

[iv.38] On the twentieth day of the month Tebêtu, Bêl-etir, judge of Babylon, was taken prisoner and executed.


[iv.39] The first edition, written according to the pattern tablet, checked and collated.note

[iv.40] Tablet of Ana-Bêl-eriš, son of Liblutu,

[iv.41] descendant of Ur-Nanna. Written by Ea-nadin, son of

[iv.42] Ana-Bêl-eriš, descendant of Ur-Nanna. Babylon,

[iv.43] the N+6th [day of the month ...], the twenty-second year of Darius, king of Babylon and all lands.