home   :    index    :    ancient Mesopotamia    :     Babylonian Chronicles      :     article by Bert van der Spek ©

End of Seleucus Chronicle (BCHP 9)

Ancient-Warfare.com, the online home of Ancient Warfare magazine
End of Seleucus Chronicle (BCHP 9; BM 32235), obverse. British Museum, London (Britain). Photo Bert van der Spek.
BCHP 9: End of Seleucus
Chronicle (BM 32235 obv.)
(British Museum).**
The Chronicle concerning the last years of Seleucus ("End of Seleucus chronicle"; BCHP 9) is one of the historiographical texts from ancient Babylonia. It describes the final days of the reign of king Seleucus, who defeated his opponent Lysimachus at Corupedium, but was assassinated not much later. For a very brief introduction to the literary genre of chronicles, go here.

The cuneiform tablets (BM 32235 [=76-11-17, 1962] and BM 32957 [78-6-31, 46]; no join) are in the British Museum. On this website, a first reading is proposed by Bert van der Spek of the Free University of Amsterdam (Netherlands) and Irving Finkel of the British Museum.* Please notice that this is a preliminary edition.

Babylonian Chronicles
Text and translation


End of Seleucus Chronicle (BCHP 9; BM 32235), reverse. British Museum, London (Britain). Photo Bert van der Spek.
BCHP 9: End of Seleucus
Chronicle (BM 32235 rev. **)

This web publication is intended to invite suggestions for better readings, comments and interpretations (go here to contact Van der Spek).

Description of the tablet

From this document two non-joining fragments survive, which cover the same lines on the reverse. The fragments come from just below the middle of the tablet. BM 32235 is the left part and is inscribed on both sides. The preserved left edge measures 2.3 cm, the broken right side 3.5 cm. The length of the tablet is 5.5 cm, the dividing line of the obverse is 3.2 cm., the longest line of the reverse measures 4.3 cm.
End of Seleucus Chronicle (BCHP 9; BM 32957), reverse. British Museum, London (Britain). Photo Bert van der Spek.
BCHP 9: End of Seleucus
Chronicle  (BM 32957 rev.)

BM 32957 is the reverse of the right part of the tablet (the obverse is broken away). The height of the tablet is 4.7 cm, the preserved lines measure 3 cm. The lost part between the pieces measures circa one (bottom) to three centimeters (top).

Previous editions

ABC 12; CM 33; TBH 197-200
1’ x x x x x [ .......
2’ ina ma-la-ku šá É.SAG.[ÍL ... in/from the procession road of Esag[ila ...]
3’ MU 30.KAM ITI SIG IT[I BI ... Year 30, month Simanu (III = 20 June - 9 July 282). [That] mon[th king Seleucus]
4’ [i]d-ke-e-ma ana KUR S[a-par-du GIN... mustered [his troops] and to the land of S[ardes he marched .....]
5’ /lú?\ Ia-a-ma-na-a-/a\[... the Greek [ ..... ]
6’ UD.DU-ma ina E./KI\ x [... he went out and in Ba[bylon? ..... ]
7’ GAR TA [ ... the governor (šaknu) from/with [ ..... ]
8’ É.SAG.Í[L .... Esag[ila ..... ]
lacuna lacuna

lacuna lacuna
1’ MU 3[1.KA]M I[TI .. ITI BI ERÍN.MEŠ-šú LUGA]L TA KUR Sa-p[ar-du] Year 3[1], m[onth .. . That month, the king] mustered [his troops] from the land of Sa[rdes]
2’ id-ke-e-ma A.A[B.BA  .....] KI-šú ú-še-bi[r-ma] and he made [his army] cro[ss] the se[a (...)] with him [and]
3’ ana KUR Ma-ak-ka-du-nu KUR-šú [GIN GAL ERÍN?].MEŠ TA ERÍN.MEŠ-š[ú-nu] to the land of Macedonia, his land, [he went. General]s? with th[eir?] troops (or: from [h]is troops)
4’ si-hi ana muh-hi-šú is-hu-/’\ [-ma ... GA]Z-šú ITI BI TA UD [.. KAM] rebelledpl against him [and PN ki]lledsg him. That month, from day [..]
5’ EN UD 11.KAM ERÍN.MEŠ KUR [ .. .. l]a-gim šu-ut AB? i- [.. ..] to day 11, the troops of the land of [ ..... l]agim .. .. ..  [(arrived?).]
6’ [PAD.]dINNIN GIŠ HUR KUR Ia-a-ma-n[u ina ... a-dií]dUD.KIB.NUN.KI DU .[MEŠ] They made [an of]fering in the Greek fashion [in the  … on the bank of the] Euphrates [(and)]
7’ NINDA.HI.A ina lìb-bi GU7-/’\ [-ma TA l]ìb-bi UD.DU.MEŠ-ni they ate bread within it [and] they went out from it.
8’ ITI ŠU ITI BI /UD 12+\[.KAM .....] šá KUR Ba-ah-tar Month Du'ûzu? (IV). That month, day 12?, [elephants] of the land of Bactria
9’ [x] x LUGAL ú-[ ..... ] ITI BI /UD 14?.KAM\ [x] x the king ...[ ..... arrived. Month ...]. That month, day 14?,
10’ [x x] x [ .....] ....................
broken off broken off
to part two (commentary)
Bert van der Spek © 2005
Revision: 1 April 2006
home   :    index    :    ancient Mesopotamia
Babylonian Chronicles