Aššurbanipal Cylinder C

Tyre (Phoenician רצṣūr, "rock"; Greek Τύρος; Latin Tyrus): port in Phoenicia and one of the main cities in the eastern Mediterranean.


In the final years of his reign, the Assyrian king Esarhaddon (r.680-671 BCE) had tried to conquer Egypt, but had discovered that his opponent always had access to the Phoenician city states. On several occasions, revolts had to be suppressed.

Esarhaddon's successor Aššurbanipal (r.669-631?) inherited this situation. In his third year, he tried to capture Tyre, occupied the mainland, but - like his predecessors - failed to capture the island city itself. Note the absence of tribute: it seems that a marital alliance was concluded.

Aššurbanipal: Cylinder C

In my third campaign I marched against Ba'al, king of Tyre, who lives on an island amidst the sea, because he did not heed my royal order, did not listen to my personal commands. I surrounded him with redoubts, seized his communications on sea and land. I thus intercepted and made scarce their food supply and forced them to submit to my yoke.

He brought his own daughter and the daughters of his brothers before me to do menial services. At the same time, he brought his son Iahimilki who had not yet crossed the sea to greet me as my slave. I received from him his daughter and the daughters of his brothers with their great dowries. I had mercy upon him and returned to him the son, the offspring of his loins.

Iakinlu, king of Arvad, living also on an island, who had not submitted to any of the kings of my family, did now submit to my yoke and brought his daughter with a great dowry to Nineveh to do menial services, and he kissed my feet.

This page was created in 2012; last modified on 4 August 2020.