ABC 21 (Synchronic Chronicle) (2)

The Synchronic Chronicle (ABC 21) is a historiographical text from ancient Babylonia. It deals with the relations between Assyria and its southern neighbor Babylonia (which is called Karduniaš), and is an important source for those who want to study the chronology of this period, as it offers many synchronisms. The tablet was written in c. 800 BCE.

The Synchronic Chronicle

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, which informs us about a number of boundary conflicts and has a strong pro-Assyrian bias, is preserved on three tablets from the library of king Aššurbanipal in Nineveh. Tablet A is the main text, which can (at the edge) be supplemented with tablets B and C. The chronicle purports to render the text of a boundary stone between Assyria and Babylonia that stood somewhere on the east bank of the Tigris. This may be a literary fiction. The Babylonian version is Chronicle P.

The text must have been composed after the accession of Adad-nirari III in 810, but not much later, because there are no references to later troubles. 

This is the second part of this webpage; the first page is here.

Column III

[iii.A1] At the time of Adad-nirari, king of Assyria,note

[iii.A2] Šamaš-muddamiq, king of Karduniaš,

[iii.A3] drew up a battle array at the foot of Mount Yalman and

[iii.A4] Adad-nirari, king of Assyria, brought about the defeat[A5] of Šamaš-muddamiq,

[iii.A5] king of Karduniaš, and

[iii.A6] conquered him.

[iii.A7] His chariots, and teams of horses, he took away from him.

[iii.A8] Šamaš-muddamiq, king of Karduniaš, passed away.

[iii.A9] Nabû-šuma-iškun,note son of [Šamaš-muddamiq, ascended his father's throne?].

[iii.A10] Adad-nirari, king of Assyria, fought[A11] with Nabû-šuma-iškun

[iii.A11] king of Karduniaš, and defeated him.

[iii.A12] ...-banbala, Huda-...

[iii.A13] ... numerous cities

[iii.A14] ... he conquered. Their vast booty

[iii.A15] he took to Assyria.

[iii.A16] ... his land, he enclosed him.

[iii.A17] ... he received from him. They gave their daughters to one another in marriage.

[iii.A18] Together they made an entente cordiale.

[iii.A19] The peoples of Assyria and Akkad were joined together.

[iii.A21] They established a boundary to Til-ša-Abtani and Til-ša-Zabdani

[iii.A20] from Til-Bit-Bari, which is upstream on the Zab.


[iii.A22] In the time of  Šalmaneser, king of Assyria,

[iii.A23] Nabû-apla-iddina was the king of Karduniaš.note

[iii.A24] An entente cordially

[iii.A25] together they made. At the time of Šalmaneser, king of Assyria,

[iii.A26] Nabû-apla-iddina, king of Karduniaš, passed away.

[iii.A27] Marduk-zakir-šumi ascended his father's throne.

[iii.A28] Marduk-bêl-usate, his brother, rebelled against him.

[iii.A29] He seized Daban. Akkad

[iii.A30] they equally divided. Šalmaneser, king of Assyria,

[iii.A31] went[A32] to the aid of Marduk-zakir-šumi,

[iii.A32] king of Karduniaš.

[iii.A33] Marduk-bêl-usate, the usurper,

[iii.A34] Šalmaneser defeated him and the rebellious troops who were with him.note

[iii.A35] Cuthah, Babylon

[iii.C1'-C2'] [lacuna]

Together they made an entente cordiale.

[iii.C3'] The people of Assyria and Akkad were joined together.

[iii.C4'] ...

[iii.C5'] They fixed a boundary line by mutual consent.


[iii.C6'] Šamši-Adad, king of Assyria, and Marduk-balassu-iqbi, king of Karduniaš,note

[iii.C7'] ... Šamši-Adad, king of Assyria,

[iii.C8'] brought about the defeat of Marduk-balassu-iqbi.

[iii.C9'] He filled the plain with the corpses of his warriors.


Column IV

[iv.A1] Šamši-Adad enclosed him and captured that city. Baba-aha-iddina

[iv.A2] he took together with his property and the treasure of his palace to Assyria.

[iv.A3] Der, Lahiru, Gananati,

[iv.A4] Dur-Papsukkal, Bit-Riduti, Me-Turan,

[iv.A5] and numerous [other] cities of Karduniaš

[iv.A6] he captured, together with their districts, their gods, and booty.

[iv.A7] Anu the Great, Humhumya, Šarrat-Deri, Bêlet-Akkadi,

[iv.A8] Šimalaya, Palil, Annunitu and Mar-Biti

[iv.A9] of Maliku he carried off. To Cuthah, Babylon,

[iv.A10] and Borsippa he went up and made pure sacrifices.

[iv.A11] He went down to Chaldea and the tribute of the kings

[iv.A12] he received of Chaldea. His officers

[iv.A13] received the tax of Karduniaš ...

[iv.A14] he made. They fixed the boundary-line.


[iv.A15] Adad-Nirari, king of Assyria,note and ..., king of Karduniaš,

[iv.A16] bowed down ...

[iv.A17] in ...

[iv.A18] ... his craftsmen the gods.

[iv.A19] He brought back the abducted people and

[iv.A20] granted them an income, privileges, and barley rations.

[iv.A21] The peoples of Assyria and Karduniaš were joined together.

[iv.A22] They fixed the boundary-line by mutual consent.

[iv.A23] Let a later prince, who in Akkad

[iv.A24] wishes to achieve fame, write[A25] about the prowess of his victories.

[iv.A25] Let him turn to this very stela

[iv.A26] continually and look at it that it may not be forgotten.

[iv.A27] Let the ... vizier heed all that is graved thereon!

[iv.A28] May the praises of Assyria be lauded forever!

[iv.A29] May the crime of Sumer and Akkad

[iv.A30] be bruited about in every quarter!


[iv.A31] Palace of Aššurbanipal, king of the universe, king of Assyria.note