ABC 1 (From Nabû-Nasir to Šamaš-šuma-ukin)

The Chronicle on the Reigns from Nabû-Nasir to Šamaš-šuma-ukin (ABC 1) is one of the historiographical texts from ancient Assyria and Babylonia. It deals with the resistance of an increasingly stronger Babylon, supported by Elam, against Assyria, beginning with the reign of the Babylonian king Nabû-Nasir (r.747-734) and culminating in the accessions of Aššurbanipal in Assyria and Šamaš-šuma-ukin in Babylonia in 668.

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 is preserved on two copies that are now in the British Museum; one of these copies was written in 499 BCE, the twenty-second year of king Darius I the Great. (It is the only Neo-Babylonian chronicle that is preserved on more than one copy.) The best of these measures 193 mm long and 158 mm wide, which is extremely large; this made it possible to create two columns (cf. ABC 7, the Nabonidus Chronicle, which may have been written by the same scribe). It is from Babylon. The other fragments are from Sippar and may belong to one and the same broken, large tablet. A parallel text that contains variant information can be found here.

Translation of Column I

[i.1] The third year of Nabû-nasir,note king of Babylon:

[i.2] Tiglath-Pilesernote ascended the throne in Assyria.

[i.3] In that same year the king of Assyria went down to Akkad

[i.4] plundered Rabbilu and Hamranu

[i.5] and abducted the gods of Šapazza.

[i.6] In the time of Nabû-nasir Borsippa

[i.7] committed hostile acts against Babylon but the battle which Nabû-Nasir

[i.8] waged against Borsippa is not written.note

[i.9] The fifth year of Nabû-nasir:note Humban-Nikaš

[i.10] ascended to the throne in Elam.

[i.11] The fourteenth year:note Nabû-nasir fell ill and went to his destiny in his palace.

[i.12] For fourteen years Nabû-nasir ruled Babylon.

[i.13] Nabû-nadin-zeri, his son, ascended the throne in Babylon.

[i.14] The second year:note Nabû-nadin-zeri was killed in a rebellion.

[i.15] For two years Nabû-nadin-zeri ruled Babylon.

[i.16] Nabû-šuma-ukin, a district officer and leader of the rebellion, ascended the throne.

[i.17] For one month and two days, Nabû-šuma-ukin ruled Babylon.

[i.18] Nabû-mukin-zeri, the Amukanite, removed him from the throne and seized the throne for himself.

[i.19] The third year of Nabû-mukin-zeri:note Tiglath-pileser,

[i.20] having come down to Akkad,

[i.21] ravaged Bit-Amukanu and captured Nabû-mukin-zeri.

[i.22] For three years Nabû-mukin-zeri ruled Babylon.

[i.23] Tiglath-pileser ascended the throne in Babylon.

[i.24] The second year:note Tiglath-pileser went to his destiny in the month Tebêtu.

[i.25] For <eighteen>note years Tiglath-pileser ruled Akkad.

[i.26] and Assyria. For two of these years he ruled in Akkad.

[i.27] On the twenty-fifth of the month Tebêtu, Šalmaneser in Assyria

[i.28] and Akkad ascended the throne. He ravaged Samaria.note

[i.29] The fifth year:note Šalmaneser went to his destiny in the month Tebêtu.

[i.30] For five years Šalmaneser ruled Akkad and Assyria.

[i.31] On the twelfth day of the month Tebêtu, Sargon ascended the throne in Assyria.

[i.32] In the month Nisannu, Marduk-apla-iddinanote ascended the throne in Babylon.

[i.33] The second year of Marduk-apla-iddina:note Humban-Nikaš, king of Elam,

[i.34] did battle against Sargon, king of Assyria, in the district of Der,

[i.35] effected Assyria's retreat, and inflicted a major defeat upon it.

[i.36] Marduk-apla-iddina and his army, who to the aid of

[i.37] the king of Elam had gone, did not reach the battle in time so Marduk-apla-iddina withdrew.note

[i.38] The fifth year of Marduk-apla-iddina:note Humban-Nikaš, king of Elam, went to his destiny.

[i.39] For twenty-six years Humban-nikaš ruled Elam.

[i.40] Šutur-Nahhunte, his sister's son, ascended the throne in Elam.

[i.41] From the accession year of Marduk-apla-iddina until the tenth year

[i.42] Assyria was belligerent towards Marduk-apla-iddina.

[i.43] The tenth year:note Marduk-apla-iddina

[i.44] wrecked and plundered

[i.45] Bit-[...]ri.