BCHP 19 Chronicle concerning an Arsacid King

The Chronicle Concering an Arsacid King (BCHP 19), is one of the Mesopotamian chronicles written in ancient Babylonia in the Hellenistic Period.

BCHP 19 Chronicle concerning an Arsacid King, Obverse

The Chronicle Concering an Arsacid King (BCHP 19), is one of the Mesopotamian chronicles written in ancient Babylonia in the Hellenistic Period. The tablet can be dated anywhere in the Parthian period, which in Babylonia begain in 141 BCE and lasted until 224 CE, and offers fairly stereotypical information that might have been written in every century and decad. Today, this cuneiform tablet (BM 34124 = Sp. 226) is in the British Museum.

BCHP 19 Chronicle concerning an Arsacid King, Reverse

On this webpage, a new reading of the tablet is proposed. The official publication of this text will be in I.L. Finkel,  R.J. van der Spek, R. Pirngruber, Babylonian Chronographic Texts from the Hellenistic Period (2020; = BCHP; Writings of the Ancient World).

Description of the tablet

BM 34124 = Sp. 226 is a fragment of a one-columned tablet. Its height is 7 cm, its width 7.5 cm, and its thickness 2.3 cm. The right edge is partly preserved, the left edge is lost, but in view of the curvature of the tablet not many signs can be lost.


Obverse

[Obv.1'] [.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..] x x [.. .. .. ..]

[Obv.2'] [.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ] .. .. .. .[. .. .. ..]

[Obv.3'] [.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ] .. .. .. .. .. [.. ..]

[Obv.4'] [.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. Mon]th Tebêtu (X). That month,  d[ay .. th

[Obv.5'] [.. .. .. .. .. .. ..] .. .. .. .. they made .. .. .. [.. ..]

[Obv.6'] [.. .. .. .. .. .. .. at the side of him to PN-ni because [of .. ..]

[Obv.7'] [.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .].. .. to me and at that time [.. .. .. ..]

[Obv.8'] [.. .. .. .. .. .. .. ] x x x x x [.. .. .. ..]

[Obv.9'] [.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..] x x [ .. .. .. ..]

Reverse

[Rev.2'] a[.. .. .. .. .. .. .. ] /aforementioned\ from Babyl[on to Seleucia]

[Rev.3'] [which is o]n the Tigris went out. Day 13th, the gover[nor (šaknu) .. .. .. .. ..]

[Rev.4'] [.. .. .. ..], who was seated in Esagila, from Esa[gila .. .. .. ..]

[Rev.5'] [.. .. .. .. ]x? from the land of Media to the office of epistates of Babyl[on .. .. ..]

[Rev.6'] [according to a parchment] letter of the king was appointed, from the camp of the k[ing]

[Rev.7'] [into Babylon] entered.  Day 26, the shatammu of Esagila and the Babylonians

[Rev.8'] [1 ox and 2 sheep] in the Gate of the Son of the Prince of Esagila for the epistates of Babylon

[Rev.9'] [aforementioned p]rovided. A food offering to Bêl and Beltia, 

[Rev.10'] [the great gods, and for the li]fe of king Arsaces and for his own life he made.

[Rev.11'] [Month .., day .., a certain mes]senger of the stratêgos who is in charge of  4

[Rev.12'] [stratêgoi entered Babylon.] That [month/day] the stratêgos conscripted?[13’] numerous royal troops

[Rev.13'] [in .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..] and they surrounded the irrigated fields a second time,

[Rev.14'] [.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..]s of /the bank\ of the irrigated fields of the Sea(land) they overwhelmed

[Rev.15'] [and to .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..] x x x they led (them). The people [.. ..]

[Rev.16'] [.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..] x x .. they kill]ed  .. .. .. .. ..]

[Rev.17'] [.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..] x x x [.. .. .. .. ..]