ABC 9 (Artaxerxes III Chronicle)

The Chronicle concerning Artaxerxes III ("Artaxerxes III chronicle"; ABC 9) is one of the historiographical texts from ancient Babylonia. It deals with the sack of Sidon, probably in 346 BCE, which was a preliminary to the reconquest of Egypt. The tablet proves that the female POWs became slaves in the royal palace. 

ABC 9: Artaxerxes III Chronicle

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).

Description of the tablet

This text is inscribed on one side of a tablet, BM 31450 (71-11-17, 1177), which has (like Chronicles 2, 4, 6, and 15) the shape of a Neo-Babylonian business document. The other side is blank. The tablet measures 66 mms. wide and 48 mms. long. It was at one time broken into two pieces and where fragments have been joined there is a small lacuna. The provenance of the tablet is registered as Babylon.


[1] The fourteenth year of Umasu, who was called[2]Artaxerxes [III]:

[2] In the month Tašrîtu the prisoners whom the king

[3] had captured at Sidon [were brought] to Babylon and Susa.

[4] On the thirteenth day of the same month a few of these troops

[5] entered Babylon.

[6] On the sixteenth day the women remaining among the prisoners of Sidon,

[7] whom the king had sent to Babylon - on that day

[8] they entered the palace of the king