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Early Years of Nabopolassar (ABC 2)

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The Chronicle Concerning the Early Years of Nabopolassar (ABC 2) is one of the historiographical texts from ancient Babylonia. It deals with Nabopolassar's capture of  Babylon, his accession as king and his war against the Assyrians. This chronicle belongs to one large text that continued with the Fall of Nineveh Chronicle (ABC 3) and the Late Years of Nabopolassar (ABC 4).

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).

Babylonian Chronicles


Mesopotamian Kings

Chronicle 2 is inscribed on a small tablet, BM 25127 (98-2-16, 181), which has, like Chronicle 4, 6, 9, and 15, the shape of a Neo-Babylonian business document. It measures 52 mm long and 60 mm wide. A large piece is missing from the left-hand corner.


1 In the month of [...] Nabopolassar, having sent troops to Babylon, at night
2 entered the city and they did battle within the city all day.
3 They inflicted a defeat on Assyria. The garrison of Sin-šarra-iškun fled to Assyria.
4 The city was entrusted to [...]. On the twelfth day of the month Ulūlu the army of Assyria
5 went down to Akkad, entered Šasanaku, set fire to the temple
6 and plunderded it. And in the month Tašrītu the gods of Kiš went to Babylon.
7 The Nthe day, the army of Assyria went to Nippur and Nabopolassar retreated before them.
8 The army of Assyria and the Nippureans followed him to Uruk,
9 they did battle against Nabopolassar in Uruk, and retreated before Nabopolassar.
10 In the month Ajaru the army of Assyria went down to Akkad. On the twelfth day of the month Tašrītu
11 when the army of Assyria[12] had marched against Babylon and the Babylonians
12 had come out of Babylon; on that day[11] they did battle against the army of Assyria,
13 inflicted a major defeat upon the army of Assyria, and plundered them.
14 For one year there was no king in the land. On the twenty-sixth day of the month Arahsamna [23 November 626] Nabopolassar
15 ascended the throne in Babylon. The accession year of Nabolossar (626/625): in the month Addaru [24 February/23 March]
16-17 Nabopolassar returned to Susa the gods of Susa whom the Assyrians had carried off and settled in Uruk.
18 The first year of Nabopolassar (625/624): On the seventeenth of the month Nisannu panic overcame the city.
19 Šamaš and the gods of Šapazzu went to Babylon.
20 On the twenty-first day of the month Ajaru [14 May 625] the army of Assyria entered Raqmat and carried off the booty.
21 On the twentieth day of the month [...] the gods of Sippar went to Babylon.
22 On the ninth day of the month Ābu [30 July 625] Nabopolassar and his army marched to Raqmat.
23 He did battle against Raqmat but did not capture the city. Instead, the army of Assyria arrived so
24 he retreated before them and withdrew.
25 The second year of Nabopolassar (624/623): at the beginning of the month Ulūlu [9 August 624] the army of Assyria
26 went down to Akkad and camped by the Banitu canal.
27 They did battle against Nabopolassar but achieved nothing
28 [...] and withdrew.
29 The third year (623/622): On the eight day of the month [...] Der rebelled against Assyria. On the fifteenth day of the month Tašrītu [11 October]
30 [the Assyrian general] Itti-ili joined battle with Nippur. Afterward the king of Assyria went down to Akkad
31 with his troops and took possession of Der; het took out its treasures and had them sent to Nippur.
32 He pursued Itti-ili, ravaged Uruk?, and set up a garrison at Nippur.
33 He went up from beyond the Euphrates and set out
34 toward Assyria. He ravaged [...]nu and set out for Nineveh.
35 [...] who had come to do battle against him
36 [..wh]en they saw him they bowed down before him.
37 [...]
38 The rebel king [...]
39 one hundred days [...]
40 [...] when [...]
41 [...] rebel [...]

Online 2006
Latest revision: 1 April 2006
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