ABC 1b (From Nabû-Nasir to Esarhaddon)

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.

As it happens, there is a variant, which is sometimes referred to as Chronique Mésopotamienne 17 or as tablet B of ABC 1. This chronicle only describes the period from Nabû-Nasir to Šamaš-šuma-ukin. This text is almost identical to the main text, but contains some variants.

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).

Translation of Column I

[i.1'] Bêl did not come out [for the Akitu festival]


[i.2'-6'] The third year of Nabû-nasir,note king of Babylon: Tiglath-Pileser ascended the throne in Assyria. In that same year the king of Assyria went down to Akkad plundered Rabbilu and Hamranu and abducted the gods of Šapazza.


[i.7'] The fifth year of Nabû-nasir:note Humban-Nikaš

[i.8'] ascended to the throne in Elam.


[i.9'] The [...] year: Tiglath-pileser,

[i.10'] took [...]


[i.11'] [...] they went down.


[i.12'-14'] [Too fragmented]

Translation of Column II

[ii.0'] [The fifth year of Marduk-apla-iddina::note Humban-Nikaš, king of Elam, died.]

[ii.1'] For twenty-six years Humban-nikaš ruled Elam.

[ii.2'] Šutur-Nahhunte, his sister's son, ascended the throne in Elam.


[ii.3'] The sixth year, Assyria [...]

[ii.4'] From the accession year of Marduk-apla-iddina

[ii.5'] until the tenth year, Assyria was belligerent

[ii.6'] towards Marduk-apla-iddina.


[ii.7'] The tenth year:note Marduk-apla-iddina, Bit-...ri

[ii.8'] he ravaged and plundered.


[ii.9'] The twelfth year of Marduk-apla-iddina:note Sargon went down to Akkad

[ii.10'] and did battle against Marduk-apla-iddina.

[ii.11'] Marduk-apla-iddina retreated before him

[ii.12'] and fled to Elam. For twelve years Marduk-apla-iddina 

[ii.13']  ruled Babylon. 

[ii.14'] Sargon ascended the throne in Babylon.


[ii.15'] The thirteenth year:note Sargon took Bêl's hand.

[ii.16'] He also captured Dur-Yakin.

[ii.17'] The fourteenth year:note The king stayed in the land.

[ii.18'] The fifteenth year:note On the twenty-second day of the month Tašrîtu the gods of the Sealand

[ii.19'] returned to their shrines. There was a plague in Assyria.

[ii.20'] The seventeenth year:note Sargon marched to Tabalu.

[The remainder is too broken to be intelligible.]

Translation of Column III

[iii.1'] Nergal-ušezib in the district of Nippur on the seventh day of the month Tašrîtu did battle against the army of Assyria.

[iii.2'] He was taken prisoner in the battlefield and transported to Assyria.

[iii.3'] On the twenty-sixth day of the month Tašrîtu, the subjects of Hallušu-Inšušinak,

[iii.4'] king of Elam, rebelled against him. The door in his face they shot

[iii.5'] and they killed him. For six years Hallušu-Inšušinak ruled Elam.

[iii.6'] Kudur-Nahhunte ascended the throne in Elam. 

[iii.7'] Afterwards Sennacherib went down to Elam.

[iii.8'] From Raši to Bit-Burnaki,

[iii.9'] he ravaged and plundered it.

[iii.10'] Mušezib-Marduk ascended the throne in Babylon.


[iii.11'] The first year of Mušezib-Marduk:note On the eighth day of the month Âbu, the

[iii.12'] Kudur-Nahhunte, king of Elam, was taken prisoner in a rebellion and killed.

[iii.13'] For ten months Kudur-Nahhunte ruled Elam.

[iii.14'] Humban-nimena in Elam ascended the throne.

[iii.15'] In an unknown year Humban-nimena mustered the troops of Elam and Akkad

[iii.16'] in Halule

[iii.17'] and battle against Assyria he did.

[iii.18'] He effected an Assyrian retreat.


[iii.19'] The fourth year of Mušezib-Marduk:note On the fifteenth day of the month Nisannu

[iii.20'] Humban-nimena, king of Elam, was stricken by paralysis and

[iii.21'] his mouth was so affected that he could not speak.

[iii.22'] On the first day of the month Kislîmu the city of Babylon was captured. Mušezib-Marduk

[iii.23'] was taken prisoner and transported to Assyria.


Column IV

[iv.1'] The third year [of Esarhaddon]:note [...]-ahhe-šullim, the governor of Nippur, and

[iv.2'] Šamaš-ibni, the Dakkurean, were transported to Assyria and

[iv.3'] executed in Assyria.


[iv.4'] The fourth year:note Sidon was captured and sacked.

[iv.5'] In that same year: the major-domo conscripted troops in Akkad.


[iv.6'] The fifth year:note On the second day of the month Tašrîtu the army of Assyria captured Baza.