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Esarhaddon Chronicle (ABC 14)

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King Esarhaddon and his mother attend the refounding of Babylon. Relief from the Louvre, Paris (France). Photo Marco Prins.
King Esarhaddon and his mother (Relief from the Louvre)
The Chronicle Concerning the Reign of Esarhaddon (ABC 14) is one of the historiographical texts about ancient Assyria. It deals with the wars of king Esarhaddon (680-669) and the accessions of his sons Aššurbanipal in Assyria and Šamaš-šuma-ukin in Babylonia.

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).

This chronicle is preserved on a tablet, BM 25091 (98-2-16, 145), which is 50 mm wide and 76 mm long. At one time the tablet was broken into two fragments. There are several lacunae in the table and the top portion is entirely missing, but can be restored from parallel texts.


Assyrian and
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Mesopotamian Kings

Nahr al-Kalb. Reliefs of Ramesses II (left) and Esarhaddon (right). Photo Jona Lendering.
Nahr al-Kalb (Lebanon). Esarhaddon's relief (left) was cut into the rock directly opposite a relief of the Egyptian king Ramesses II.


1 [The first year of the reign of Esarhaddon (680/679), Nabū-zer-kitti-lišir,
2 governor of the Sealand, having come upstream, set up camp before Ur but did not take the city.
3 He fled before the officers of Assyria and reached Elam.
4 In Elam] the king of Elam [captured and executed him.
5 Es]arhaddon named his brother Na'id-Marduk governor of the Sealand.
6 In the month Ulūlu the Great and the gods of Der entered Der;
7 Humhumya and Šimalya entered Sippar.
8 In the month Tašrītu the forecourt [...] in the mont[h...]
9 The second year (679/678): the major-domo conscripted troops in Akkad.
10 In that same year Arza was captured and sacked.
11 The people were ransomed, the king and his son were taken prisoner.
12 There was a slaughter in Buššua and there was a slaughter of the Cimmerians in Šubuhnu.[1]
13 The third year (678/677): [...]-ahhe-šullum, governor of Nippur, and Šamaš-ibni, the Dakkurean
14 were transported to Assyria and executed in Assyria.
15 The fourth year (677/676): Sidon was captured and sacked. In that same year the major-domo conscripted troops in Akkad.
16 The fifth year (676/675): On the second day of the month Tašrītu, the army of Assyria captured Bazza.
17 In the month Tašrītu the head of the king of Sidon was cut off and conveyed to Assyria.
18 The sixth year (675/674): The army of Assyria marched to Milidu and encamped against Mugallu.
19 On the fifth day of the month Ulūlu, Humban-haltaš, king of Elam, without becoming ill and still appearing healthy, died in his palace.
20 For six years, Humban-haltaš, ruled Elam.
21 Urtak, his brother, ascended the throne in Elam.
22 Šuma-iddina, the governor of Nippur, and Kudurru, the Dakkurean, were executed.
23 The seventh year (674/673): On the eighth day of the month Addaru the army of Assyria marched to Šamele.
24 In that same year Ištar of Agade and the gods of Agade left Elam and
25 entered Agade on the tenth day of the month Addaru.
26 The eighth year (673/672): On the sixth day of the month Addaru the king's wife died.
27 On the eighteenth day of the month Addaru the army of Assyria captured Šubria and
28 sacked it. The tenth year (671/670): In the month Nisannu the army of Assyria marched to Egypt.
29 On the third day of the month Tašrītu there was a massacre in Egypt.
30 The eleventh year (670/669): In Assyria the king put numerous officers to the sword.
31 The twelfth year (669/668): The king of Assyria marched to Egypt
32 but became ill on the way and died on the tenth day of the month Arahsamna.
33 For twelve years Esarhaddon ruled Assyria.
34 For eight years under Sennacherib, for twelve years under Esarhaddon,
35 twenty years altogether, Bźl stayed in Aššur and the Akitu festival did not take place.
36 Nabū did not come from Borsippa for the procession of Bźl.
37 In the month Kislīmu Aššurbanipal, Esarhaddon's son, ascended the throne in Assyria.
38 The accession year of Šamaš-šuma-ukin [2] (668/667): In the month Ajaru Bźl and the gods of Akkad
39 went out from Aššur and on the twenty-fifth [3] day of the month Ajaru, they entered Babylon.
40 Nabū and the gods of Borsippa went to Babylon.
41 In that same year Kirbitum was taken and its king was captured.
42 On the twentieth day of the month Tebźtu, Bźl-etir, the judge of Babylon was taken prisoner and executed.
43 The first year of Šamaš-šuma-ukin (667/666): [...]
44 to [...]
45 Taharqo, king of E[gypt, ...]
46 Eg[ypt...]
47 Necho, king of Eg[ypt...]
48 The second year (666/665): [...]
Left edge
Combat. Combat [4]

Note 1:
Other sources refer to Cimmerians in Hubušnu.

Note 2:
The brother of Aššurbanipal.

Note 3:
Lines 34-40 are identical to ABC 16, lines 1-8, but the date is different.

Note 4:
The purpose of these words are unclear.

Online 2006
Latest revision: 1 April 2006
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