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The Neo-Assyrian adê: Treaty, Oath, or Something Else?

Pages 99 - 115



1 The literature on the institution of the adě is vast. K. Watanabe, Die adě-Vereidigung anläßlich der Thronfolgeregelung Asarhaddons, BaM Beiheft 3. Berlin 1987, 6–8 gathers together some of the seminal discussions that appeared into the 1980's. For subsequent literature, see B. Pongratz-Leisten, SAAS 10, 78 n. 265 to which may be added, inter alios, S. W. Cole, The Crimes and Sacrileges of Nabû-šumaiškun, ZA 84, 1994 (220–252), 222; M. P. Streck, Die Flüche im Sukzessionsvertrag Asarhaddons, ZAR 4, 1998 (165–91), 166 n. 2; G. B. Lanfranchi, Esarhaddon, Assyria, and Media, SAAB 12, 1998 (99–109); F. M. Fales, L'Impero Assiro: Storia e Amministrazione (IX–VII secolo a.C), Roma 2001, 221–43; M. Weippert, Assyrische Prophetie im 7. Jahrhundert v. Chr., OrNS 71, 2002 (1–54), 17 n. 67; S. Parpola, International Law in the First Millennium, in: HdO I/72/1–2 (1047–66), 1056–59; K. Radner, Assyrische ṭuppi adě als Vorbild für Deuteronomium 28,20–44?, BZAW 364, New York 2006 (351–78); B. Levinson, “But You Shall Surely Kill Him!”: The Text-Critical and Neo-Assyrian Evidence for MT Deuteronomy 13:10, in “The Right Chorale”: Studies in Biblical Law and Interpretation, FAT 54, T%übingen 2008 (166–94), 186; M. Sandowicz, Oaths and Curses: A Study in Neo- and Late Babylonian Legal Formulary, AOAT 398, Münster 2012, 65–72; H. U. Steymans, Deuteronomy 28 and Tell Tayinat, Verbum et Ecclesia 34, Art. #870. Note most recently the important contribution of F. M. Fales, After Taʿyinat: The New Status of Esarhaddon's adě for Assyrian Political History, RA 106, 2012 (133–158) which appeared too late to allow anything more than the most cursory incorporation herein.

2 The Middle Assyrian attestations gathered by AHw s.v. adû I are no longer accepted and are not found in CAD A/1 s.v. adû A, see A. Lemaire and J.-M. Durand, Les inscriptions araméennes de Sfiré et l'Assyrie de Shamshi-ilu, Genève/Paris 1984, 93 n. 9, citing previous literature.

3 For the most famous example of someone other than the Assyrian king causing an adě to be established, see SAA 2 8, in which Zakutu, the dowager queen, fills the role. Note also SAA 18 100 in which courtiers have entered into an “adě of rebellion” (adě ša sīḫi) in support of the prince Arda-Mullissi.

4 For Middle Assyrian inscriptions in which Assyrian kings require a foreign ruler to swear an oath of servitude and to pay tribute, see K. Radner, Assyrische ṭuppi adě (see above note 1) 353–56. As in the Neo-Assyrian period, the oath is designated by the word māmītu. A māmītu-oath appears in the Tukulti-Ninurta Epic in connection with a word well-known from Late Bronze Age Hittite texts, rikiltu, typically translated as “treaty” in this context: “Our fathers e[stab]lished a treaty, they made the oath permanent” (i[š-ku]-nu ri-kíl-ta ab-bu-ú-ni ú-kín-⌈nu ma⌉-mi-ta, see P. Machinist, The Epic of Tukulti-Ninurta I: A Study in Middle Assyrian Literature, PhD dissertation, Yale University, 1978, 76 A 15´–16´). Again similar to Hittite edicts, the cognate word riksu is used as a self-designation in the Middle Assyrian Harem Edicts, as in, e.g., “Tukulti-Ninurta, overseer, son of Shalmaneser, also overseer, has issued a decree (riksa irkus) for the palace personnel” (AfO 17 276: 46).

5 J.-M. Durand, Précurseurs syriens aux protocols néo-assyriens, in: Mélanges Garelli (1–71), 70. On the oath protocols, see recently D. Charpin, Un nouveau “protocole de serment” de Mari, in: Opening the Tablet Box. Near Eastern Studies in Honor of Benjamin Foster, ed. S. Melville and A. L. Slotsky, CHANE 42 (49–75).

6 Of course, the logic of the explanation works both ways, see A. Lemaire and J.-M. Durand, Les inscriptions araméennes (see above note 2) 96 and Radner, Assyrische ṭuppi adě (see above note 1) 357. For Akkadian adě as an Aramaic loanword, see, inter alios, D. J. McCarthy, Treaty and Covenant, rev. ed., AnBib 21A, Rome 1981, 142; H. Tadmor, Treaty and Oath in the Ancient Near East, in: Humanizing America's Iconic Book, ed. G. M. Tucker and D. A. Knight, Chico CA 1982 (127–52), 143; A. Lemaire and J.-M. Durand, Les inscriptions araméennes (see above note 2) 101–06; H. Tadmor, The Aramaization of Assyria: Aspects of Western Impact, CRAI 25, 455; and J. A. Fitzmyer, The Aramaic Inscriptions of Sefire, rev. ed., BibetOr 19A, Rome 1995, 57–59.

7 J. A. Brinkman, Political Covenants, Treaties, and Loyalty Oaths in Babylonia and between Assyria and Babylonia, in: I Trattati ne Mondo Antico: Forma, Ideologia, Funzione, ed. L. Canfora, M. Liverani, and C. Zaccagnini, Rome 1990 (81–112), 82–83.

8 Durand, Précurseurs syriens (see above note 5) 70 n. 167. See J.-M. Durand, Réalites amorrites et traditions bibliques, RA 92, 1998 (3–39) 33 for the attestation of this word in “un domaine ouest-sémitique, comme une catégorie qui régit une société tribale,” on which see also FM 8 126. For the distinction between isiktum and adûm at Mari, see J.-M. Durand, LAPO 17, 540.

9 For the purposes of this article, I define “treaty” as “A contract between two or more states, relating to peace, truce, alliance, commerce, or other international relation; also, the document embodying such contract, in modern usage formally signed by plenipotentiaries appointed by the government of each state” (Oxford English Dictionary s.v. treaty, n., mng. 3b).

10 The following examples of adě's and texts mentioning adě's are of course selective by necessity. For a comprehensive collection of the attestations of the word adě in Neo-Assyrian texts, see Watanabe, Die adě-Vereidigung (see above note 1) 9–23. For a discussion of “treaties as instruments of Neo-Assyrian imperialism” that considers not just attestations of adě but also related words (e.g. māmītu, “oath,” sulummû, “peace,” and ṭūbtu, “friendship”) as well as the texts of the adě's themselves, see S. Parpola and K. Watanabe, SAA 2, xv–xxv.

11 mbar-ta-tu-a LUGAL šá KUR ⌈iš⌉-ku-za šá i-na-an-⌈na⌉ DUMU.MEŠ šip-ri-šú a-na pa-an mdaš-šur-ŠEŠ-SUM-na LUGAL KUR aš-šur⌈ki⌉ [i]-⌈na⌉ UGU DUMU.MÍ LUGAL iš-pu-ra GIM mdaš-šur-ŠEŠ-SUM-na LUGAL KUR [aš-šur]⌈ki⌉ DUMU.MÍ LUGAL a-na áš-šu-ú-tu it-tan-na-[áš]-šú mbar-ta-tu-a LUGAL šá KUR iš-ku-za it-ti m[d]aš-šur-ŠEŠ-SUM-na LUGAL KUR aš-šurki dib-bi ki-nu-ú-tu šá-⌈al⌉-mu-tu šá šu-⌈lum⌉-mé-e i-na kit-ti-šú i-dab-bu-ú-bu a-[de]-e šá md[aš-šur-ŠEŠ]-SUM-na LUGAL KUR aš-šurki i-na-aṣ-ṣa-a-ra [mim-ma] ⌈šá⌉ a-na UGU mdaš-šur-ŠEŠ-SUM-na LUGAL KUR aš-šur ṭa-a-bu ip-pu-ú-šú (SAA 4 20 obv. 2–10, cf. rev. 5–10).

12 Herodotus, Histories I 103, see G. B. Lanfranchi, I Cimmeri: Emergenza delle élites militari iraniche nel Vicino Oriente (VIII-VII sec. a.C.), HANE/S 2 bis, Padova 1990, 78–79.

13 ina UGU KUR URI-a-a šá ul-tú qé-reb KUR URI ana KUR šub-ri-a in-nab-tú [mur]-sa-a-a MAN KUR URI ina muḫ-ḫi iš-pur-u-ma la iš-mu-u qí-bit-su [a]-na na-da-ni ul im-gúr ek-ṣi-iš iš-pur-šú-ma e-tap-pa-lu ze-ra-a-te [ul]-tu KUR šub-ri-a ina tukul-ti daš-šur EN-ía ak-šu-du-ma UN.MEŠ-šú am-nu-u šal-la-tiš [aš]-šú a-de-e na-ṣa-rim-ma ki-tú u mi-šá-ri iš-ruk-in-ni DINGIR.MEŠ GAL.MEŠ [ina] muḫḫi UN.MEŠ šú-a-tu-nu áš-al ú-ṣi-iṣ a-ḫi-iṭ a-bi-ir-ma [x] mun-nab-tú KUR URI-a-a 1-en ul ak-la e-du ul e-zib ana KUR-šú-nu ú-ter-šú-nu-ti (RINAP 4 033 iii 28´–34´).

14 T. Dezsö, Šubria and the Assyrian empire, AcAntHung 46, 2006 (33–38), 37, see also K. Radner, Between a Rock and a Hard Place: Muṣaṣir, Kumme, Ukku and Šubria - the Buffer States between Assyria and Urarṭu, in: S. Kroll, C. Gruber, U. Hellwag, M. Roaf, and P. Zimansky, ed., Biainili-Urartu: The Proceedings of the Symposium held in Munich 12–14 October 2007, AcIr 51, Leuven 2012 (243–264) 263.

15 LUGAL KUR NIM.MAki u LUGAL KUR aš-[šurki] a-ḫa-meš ki-i il-te-nem-⌈mu⌉-[u] ina a-mat dAMAR.UTU it-ti a-ḫa-meš is-se-el-mu u a-na EN.MEŠ a-de-e šá a-ḫa-meš it-tu-ra ERÍN.MEŠ KUR gab-bi ma-la a-na i-sin-na il-li-ku-ni gab-bi a-kan-na tak-te-el (SAA 18 7 obv. 3–10).

16 M. Waters, SAAS 12, 43.

17 lúGÌR.NÍTA.MEŠ lúNUN.MEŠ ù UN.MEŠ uruam-qar-ru-na ša mpa-di-i LUGAL-šú-nu EN a-di-i ù ma-mit šá KUR aš-šurki bi-ri-tú AN.BAR id-du-ma a-na mḫa-za-qi-a-ú kuria-ú-da-a-a id-di-nu-šú nak-riš a-na an-zil-li e-pu-šu ip-làḫ lìb-ba-šú-un (RINAP 3 004 42–43).

18 mpa-di-i LUGAL-šú-nu ul-tu qé-reb uruur-sa-li-im-mu ú-še-ṣa-am-ma i-na gišGU.ZA be-lu-ti UGU-šú-un ú-še-šib-ma man-da-at-tú be-lu-ti-ia ú-kin ṣe-ru-uš-šú (RINAP 3 004 48).

19 lúA.BA.MEŠ DUMU.MEŠ uru⌈NINA⌉[ki] urukàl-zi-a-[a] uruarba-ìl-a-[a] a-na a-de-e e-⌈ru⌉-[bu] it-tal-ku-⌈ú⌉-[ni] uruŠÀ-URU-a-a ⌈la⌉ [il-lik-ú-ni] (SAA 10 6 obv. 6–11, see LAS 2 3–5 for commentary).

20 [lú]A.BA.MEŠ lúḪAL.MEŠ [lú]MAŠ.MAŠ.MEŠ [lú]A.ZU.MEŠ [lú]da-gíl-MUŠEN.MEŠ ⌈man⌉-za-az É.GAL ⌈a⌉-ši-ib URU itiBARÁ UD.16.KÁM ina ŠÀ a-de-e er-ru-bu (SAA 10 7, obv. 6–14, see LAS 2 5–6 for commentary).

21 [a-d]e e ⌈ša⌉ fza-ku-u-te MUNUS.KUR šá m30-P[AB.MEŠ-SU] [MA]N KUR AŠ AMA maš-šur-PAB-AŠ MAN KUR aš-šur TA* mdGIŠ.ŠIR-MU-G[I].NA PAB ta-li-me-šú TA* mdGIŠ.ŠIR-UG5.GATIL.LA ù re-eh-te PAB.MEŠ-šú TA* NUMUN LUGAL TA* lúGAL.MEŠ lúNAM.MEŠ lúšá ziq-ni [L]Ú.SAG.MEŠ lúGUB-IGI TA* lú⌈zak⌉-ke-e ù lúTU-KUR gab-bu ø!(text: u) TA* DUMU.MEŠ KUR aš-šur ⌈LÚ⌉ [qà]l-lu LÚ dan-⌈nu!⌉ (SAA 2 8 obv. 1–9). On Šamaš-metu-uballiṭ, see E. Weissert, Aššūrbāni-apli, I. Assurbanipal's rise in power, PNA 1/1 (160–63), 162.

22 “(Esarhaddon) gathered the people of Assyria, great and small, from the Upper to the Lower Sea. In order to protect my status as crown prince and afterwards the exercising of the kingship of Assyria, he caused them to swear an adě sworn by the (great) gods. He made the binding agreements strong” (úpah-hir UN.MEŠ KUR AN.ŠÁRki TUR u GAL ša tam-tim e-li-ti ù šap-lit a-na na-ṣir DUMU LUGAL-ti-ia ù EGIR-nu LUGAL-tu KUR AN.ŠÁRki e-pe-še(var. –eš) a-de-e MU DINGIR.MEŠ (var. adds GAL.MEŠ) ú-šá-áš-kír-šú-nu-ti ú-dan-ni-na rik-sa-a-te, BIWA 15–16: 18–22, see also E. Reiner, Your Thwarts in Pieces, Your Mooring Rope Cut: Poetry from Babylonia and Assyria, Michigan Studies in the Humanities 5, Ann Arbor 1985, 18–19.

23 The editio princeps of the Nimrud exemplars is D. J. Wiseman, The Vassal-Treaties of Esarhaddon, Iraq 20, 1958 (1–99+plates), see SAA 2 6 for the most recent edition. For the Tayinat exemplar, see J. Lauinger, Esarhaddon's Succession Treaty at Tell Tayinat, JCS 64, 2012 (87–123). For the Aššur fragments, see E. Weidner, Assurbânipal in Assur, AfO 13, 1939–41 (204–18) and E. Frahm, Historische und historisch-literarische Texte, Keilschriftexte aus Assur literarischen Inhalts 3, WVDOG 121, Wiesbaden 2009, Nos. 70–71.

24 On the designation “city lord” (bēl āli), see G. Lanfranchi, Esarhaddon, Assyria, and Media, SAAB 12, 1998 (99–109), 101 n. 7; K. Radner, An Assyrian View on the Medes, in: Continuity of Empire(?): Assyria, Persia, and Media, ed. G. Lanfranchi, M. Roaf, and R. Rollinger, HANE/M 5, Padova 2003 (37–64), 49; 49; and most recently, K. Radner, Assyria and the Medes, in: The Oxford Handbook of Ancient Iran, ed. D. T. Potts, Oxford/New York 2013 (442–56), 444.

25 A few quotes depicting similar positions on the adě's character are included here for illustrative purposes: “Both the riksu or rikiltu and adě texts are sworn documents, but while the oath plays a secondary and supplementary role in the former texts, it plays a primary and paramount role in the latter. This is what we might call a ‘loyalty’ oath in modern parlance. The interpretation which I would like to propose for the adě texts in general is that they represent sworn pacts of loyalty imposed by a sovereign party upon one or more subordinate parties” (I. J. Gelb, Review of The Vassal-Treaties of Esarhaddon by D. J. Wiseman, BiOr 19, 1962 [159–62] 162); “all ancient treaties are a kind of loyalty oath. This is their distinctive formal characteristic: the obligation is presented as depending on an oath, not on an authoritative decree or an agreement certified by witnesses” (McCarthy, Treaty and Covenant [see above note 6] 118–119); “adě bedeutet meiner Ansicht nach nicht Vasallen- oder Staatsvertrag. adě sind, genau genommen, kein Vertrag zwischen zwei Parteien, seien sie gleichrangig oder einander untergeordnet. adě sind vielmehr ein religiöser Begriff insofern, als sie eine Vereidigung bezeichnen, die vor den Göttern – begleitet von religiösen Handlungen – vorgenommen wird” (Watanabe, Die adě-Vereidigung [see above note 1] 24); “Als eigene Urkundenform dürfte daher der Treueid auch nur in ganz besonderen politischen Situationen vorkommen. Wie im folgenden darzulegen sein wird, ist eine solche Situation etwa für die Thronfolgeregelung Asarhaddons zugunsten seines Sohnes Assurbanipal (SAA 2 6) gegeben. Dabei soll unter Heranziehung bislang noch kaum beachteten, einschlägigen heth. Textmaterials insbesondere auch deutlich gemacht werden, daß diese in mehreren Ausfertigungen überlieferte Urkunde, die sowohl in der Präambel wie auch im Kolophon ausdrücklich als adě bezeichnet ist, keinen Vertrag, sondern einen Treueid darstellt” (F. Starke, Zur urkundlichen Charakterisierung neuassyrischer Treueide anhand einschlägiger hethitischer Texte des 13. Jh., ZAR 1, 1995 [70–82], 73).

26 E.g. “the people of Aššur who swore (itmû) an adě, an oath (māmīt) of the great gods, with water and oil to protect my kingship, did not come to their assistance” (UN.MEŠ KUR aš-šurki šá a-de-e ma-mit DINGIR.MEŠ GAL.MEŠ a-na na-ṣar LUGAL-ti-ia ina A.MEŠ ù Ì.GIŠ it-mu-ú ul il-li-ku re-ṣu-us-su-un, RINAP 4 001 i 50–52).

27 SAA 2 4 may offer another example of such a quotation; note especially the switch from 1st person to 2nd person at line obv. 12´, see S. Parpola, Neo-Assyrian Treaties from the Royal Archives of Niniveh, JCS 39, 1987 (161–89), 173 (more questionable is SAA 2 13, referenced there as another possible example and cited as “Text 4”). In SAA 2 9, another adě in which 1st person verbs appear, the relevant passages may be better understood as “solemn statements” (on which see below) than as the quotation of an oath in light of the curses that immediately follow. In any event, the text likely betrays a “Babylonian orientation” because of its dialect, ductus, and the list of deities invoked at the end, see A. K. Grayson, Akkadian Treaties of the Seventh Century B.C., JCS 39, 1987 (127–160), 139. Due to their poor state of preservation, it is unclear whether other extant adě included the quotation of an oath.

28 DINGIR.MEŠ an-nu-te lid-gu-lu šum-ma a-ni-nu ina UGU maš-šur-PAP-AŠ MAN KUR aš-šur (EN-ni) u maš-šur-DÙ-A DUMU MAN GAL šá É UŠ-ti ŠEŠ.MEŠ-šú DUMU AMA-šú šá maš-šur-DÙ-A DUMU MAN GAL šá É UŠ-ti ù re-eh-ti DUMU.MEŠ ṣi-it lib-bi šá maš-šur-PAP-AŠ MAN KUR aš-šur EN-i-ni si-hu bar-tú né-ep-pa-áš-u-ni pi-i-ni TA* lúKÚR-šú ni-ša-kan-u-ni šum-ma mu-šam-hi-ṣu-u-tú mu-šad-bi-bu-tu li-ih-šu šá a-mat míHUL la DÙG.GA-tu la ba-ni-tu da-bab sur-ra-a-ti la ki-na-a-te šá ina UGU maš-šur-DÙ-A DUMU MAN GAL-u šá É UŠ-te ù ŠEŠ.MEŠ-šú DUMU AMA-šú šá maš-šur-DÙ-A DUMU MAN GAL šá É UŠ-ti ni-šam-mu-u-ni nu-pa-za-ru-u-ni a-na maš-šur-DÙ-A DUMU MAN GAL šá É UŠ-ti bé-li-ni la ni-qa-bu-u-ni u4-mu am-mar a-ni-nu DUMU.MEŠ-ni DUMU.DUMU.MEŠ-ni bal-ta-a-ni-ni maš-šur-DÙ-A DUMU MAN GAL šá É UŠ-ti la LUGAL-ni-ni la EN-ni-ni šum-ma LUGAL MAN-ma DUMU LUGAL MAN-ma ina UGU-ḫi-ni DUMU.MEŠ-ni DUMU.DUMU.MEŠ-ni ni-šá-kan-u-ni DINGIR.MEŠ ma-la MU-šú-nu zak-ru ina ŠUII-i-ni NUMUN-[i]-ni NUMUN.NUMUN-i-ni lu-ba-ʾi-ú (SAA 2 6 494–512)

29 Cf. also some other objections to the adě as “(loyalty) oath,” e.g., “the word adě covers a much broader semantic field than just ‘loyalty oath and is best taken as a general term for any solemn, binding agreement. ‘Covenant’ would probably be the closest equivalent in English, but ‘treaty,’ ‘pact,’ and even ‘loyalty oath’ are equally acceptable, depending on the context. Regarding the latter, it must be kept in mind, though, that adě, as such, does not mean ‘oath’ or even ‘sworn agreement’” (Parpola, Neo-Assyrian Treaties [see above note 27] 182); “it is a mistake to approach the adě texts from the narrow viewpoint of ‘loyalty oaths.’ Basically, they are all binding political agreements, pacts, or treaties, whose exact nature was determined by the mutual status of the contracting parties” (Parpola and Watanabe, SAA 2, xv).

30 So already R. Frankena, The Vassal Treaties of Esarhaddon and the Dating of Deuteronomy, OtSt 14, 1965 (122–54), 125: “The grammatical structure of the text is interesting: the whole text has to be regarded as consisting of only one sentence construed in the form of a conditional construction, of which the protasis ends in l. 413 and the apodosis begins in l. 414. In their translations Wiseman and McCarthy do no justice to this particularity of the text; they take the protasis as a long sequence of oaths and McCarthy goes even so far as to raise objections against the CAD, which translates a similar construction from ABL 1239 as a simple conditional construction, whereas, in his opinion, the vassal-treaties of Esarhaddon would prove that the clauses were to be translated as oaths. He is of course right in pretending that šumma lā denotes the affirmative and šumma the negative oath in Accadian, but he does not take into account that these oath-sentences are conditional sentences without an apodosis.” As I understand the majority of šumma-clauses to be “solemn statements” (see below), I understand the protasis to be restricted to lines 397–413. This interpretation follows the translation of SAA 2 6, where the relevant lines are translated as conditional sentences, so also M. Krebernik, M. Weinfelds Deuteronomiumskommentar aus assyriologischer Sicht, in: Bundesdokument und Gesetz: Studien zum Deuteronomium. Herders Biblische Studien/Herder's Biblical Studies 4, ed. G. Braulik, Freiburg/Basel/Wien/Barcelona/Rom/New York 1995 (27–36), 29. Note especially that positive statements are not negated with lā in these lines. On the interpretation of the šumma-sentences, cf. H. U. Steymans, Deuteronomium 28 und die adě zur Thronfolgeregelung Asarhaddons: Segen und Fluch im Alten Orient und Israel, OBO 154, Freiburg, Schweiz/Göttingen, 34–37 and Streck, Die Flüche (see n. 1) 187–90, citing previous scholarship. The other extant adě that are well-enough preserved for comment also contain apodoses in the form of curses, with the exception of SAA 2 8, which is likely an excerpt taken from a longer text or a preliminary draft (see n. 35 below).

31 S. Parpola and K. Watanabe, SAA 2, xl. As evidenced by comparing the different manuscripts of SAA 2 6, where one finds e.g. in line 301 the variant la ta-šá-ka-na (text 36) for the expected form ta-šá-kan-a-ni (text 35 +), see S. Parpola and K. Watanabe, SAA 2, xl for examples of this phenomenon as well as “[s]imilar variation between other functionally equivalent expressions.”

32 E.g. “As you stand at the place of this oath, you shall not swear the oath with your mouth only. You shall swear it wholeheartedly. You shall teach (it) to your sons who are born after the adě” (šum-ma at-tu-nu ki-i ina kaq-qar ta-mì-ti an-ni-tu ta-za-za-a-ni ta-mì-tu ša da-bab-ti šap-ti ta-tam-ma-a-ni ina gu-mur-ti ŠÀ-ku-nu la ta-ta-ma-a-ni a-na DUMU.MEŠ-ku-nu ša EGIR a-de-e ib-ba-áš-šú-u-ni la tu-šal-mad-a-ni, SAA 2 6 385–388).

33 Although it does not preserve the word adě, Šamši-Adad V's agreement with the Babylonian king Marduk-zakir-šumi (SAA 2 1) seems to be an official inscription as well. However, this inscription was most likely written in Babylonia and sent to Assyria. It displays the Babylonian dialect, ductus, and an abridged version of a sequence of curses found in the Code of Hammurabi, see R. Borger, Mardukzākir-šumi I. und der Kodex Ḫammurapi, OrNS 34, 1965 (168–69). Perhaps most tellingly, the text is carved into stone. As discussed in detail below, an Assyrian ṭuppi adě needed to be written in clay in order that it could be sealed with the seals of Aššur.

34 E.g. SAA 2 5, which ends with a descriptive label that specifies the adě has been concluded, the name of the contracting party, and perhaps the time or place of its conclusion: “Tablet of an adě that was established. Made by (lit. that of) Baal, the Ty[rian]. In/when […]” (ṭup-pi a-d[e]-e kun-nu šá mba-a-lu kurṣu[r-ra-a-a] ina […], SAA 2 5 iv 20´–21´). The word kunnu should not be a Babylonian verbal adjective as it does not agree with adě and makes little sense if it modifies ṭuppi. I analyze it as a Babylonian stative in the subjunctive mood as part of an asyndetic relative construction. For the Babylonian dialect in SAA 2 5, see, e.g., the precative forms lišēšibkunu and lizaʾʾiza in the immediately preceding line (iv 19´).

35 E.g. SAA 2 8, the adě imposed by the dowager queen Zakutu which does not conclude with a series of curses as usual but ends on a stipulation. Note also the restricted nature of the stipulations: If we take nabalkattu in line obv. 13 as an accusative of respect (cf. CAD S s.v. salāʾu B v. usage a-2´ (“whoever (among you) who makes up and spreads untruths and seditious lies.”) and K. Hecker, Der Loyalitätsvertrag der Zakūtu, TUAT NF 2, 92 (“Wer von euch … lügnerisch ausübt”), the stipulations only concern traitorous speech, with no prohibition against actually harming Aššurbanipal! Given the many errors and omissions in the text as well as the absence of any descriptive label of the sort found in the adě of Baal of Tyre as described in note 34 above (the tablet ends with two blank lines), one wonders whether the text of the Zakutu adě as we know it might not be a preparatory draft for a longer adě rather than an excerpt from one, see already Parpola, International Law, (see above note 1) 1047 n. 3: “The corpus includes several short one-column tablets, two of which (nos. 8 and 10) are probably drafts and two (nos. 3 and 12), excerpt tablets.” See also Frahm, Historische und historisch-literarische Texte see above note 23) 133 for SAA 2 3 as “eine Kurzfassung oder einen Auszug der Loyalitätseide Sanheribs.”

36 On these features of the ṭuppi adě, see already K. Watanabe, Die Siegelung der ‘Vassallenverträge Asarhaddons’ durch den Gott Aššur, BaM 16, 1985 (377–92); K. Watanabe, Die Anordnung der Kolumnen der VTE-Tafeln, ASJ 10, 1988 (265–66); Radner, Assyrische ṭuppi adě (see above note 1) 367. For the date of the second seal, see U. Moortgat-Correns, Zur Abrollung C auf den Vasallenverträgen Asarhaddons aus dem Jahre 672 zu Nimrud, SMEA 35, 1995 (151–71).

37 NA4.KIŠIB NAM.MEŠ [šá] AN.ŠÁR MAN DINGIR.MEŠ NAM.MEŠ dí-gì-gì da-nun-na-ki AN-e KI.TIM u LÚ-[u-ti] ina ŠÀ-bi i-kan-na-ku mim-mu-u i-kan-na-ku-ú la in-ni šá in-nu-u AN.ŠÁR MAN DINGIR.MEŠ dNIN.LÍL a-di DUMU.MEŠ-šú-nu ina gišTUKUL.MEŠ-šú-nu dan-nu-t[u] li-ni-ru-šú a-na-ku md30-PAB.MEŠ-SU MAN KUR [Aššur]ki NUN pa-lih-ka šá MU [šaṭ]-ru i-pa-áš-ši-ṭu NA4.KIŠIB NAM.MEŠ-ka an-nu-u ú-nak-ka-ru MU-šú NUMUN-šú ina KUR pi-šiṭ, see Wiseman, The Vassal-Treaties (see above note 23) 16. The inscription of the Old Assyrian seal reads ša da-šùr ša É a-limki, “(Property) of Aššur. (Property) of City Hall,” see Larsen, City State, 214 n. 72. The inscription of the third seal is largely illegible, see Moortgat-Correns, Zur Abrollung C (see above note 36) 154.

38 ù dqin-gu šá ir-tab-bu-u i-na bi-ri-šu-un / ik-mi-šu-ma it-ti dUG5 .GA-e šu-a-⌈ta⌉ im-ni-šu / i-kim-šu-ma DUB NAM.MEŠ la si-ma-ti-šu / i-na ki-šib-bi ik-nu-kám-ma ir-tuš it-muh (En.el. IV 119–122, cited by Watanabe, Die Siegelung (see above note 36) 382 and A. R. George, Sennacherib and the Tablet of Destinies, Iraq 48, 1986 (133–46), 139.

39 George, Sennacherib (see above note 38) 139.

40è.kisib.gur?.sag.dil! = a-šar šak-nu DUB NAM.MEŠ pi-riš-tú kan-kát = É URU (B. Menzel, Assyrische Tempel 2, St.P. s.m., Rome 1981, No. 64: 159, cited by George, Sennacherib (see above note 38) 140, see now A. R. George, OLA 40, 178–79 and A. R. George, Studies in Cultic Topography and Ideology, BiOr 53, 1996 (364–95) 391–92 for the reading of the lines after collation.

41 George, Sennacherib (see above note 38) 141.

42 “It must first be observed that although the word [akītu] certainly describes a particular kind of festival, there are various indications that the ceremony was not restricted to any one time of year, and that the king at least could initiate it at any time as he desired. We shall accordingly speak of ‘an akītu ceremony’ rather than ‘the akītu festival’” (J. N. Postgate, The bit akitu in Assyrian Nabu Temples, Sumer 30, 1974 [51–74] 60–61, see also B. Pongratz-Leisten, The Interplay of Military Strategy and Cultic Practice in Assyrian Politics, in: Assyria 1995, [245–52].).

43 J. A. Black, The New Year's Ceremonies in Ancient Babylon: ‘Taking Bel by the Hand’ and a Cultic Picnic, Religion 11, 1981 (39–59), 50, see also B. Pongratz-Leisten, Ina šulmi īrub: Die kulttopographische und ideologische Programmatik der akītu-Prozession in Babylonien und Assyrien im I. Jahrtausend v. Chr., BaFo 6, Mainz am Rhein, 1994, 64.

44 “All of the great gods who decree [destinies] / entered and were filled with [joy] before Anšar … They decreed a des[tiny] for Marduk, their avenger” (DINGIR.DINGIR GAL.GAL ka-li-šú-nu mu-ši-mu [NAM.MEŠ] / i-ru-bu-ma mut-ti-iš AN.ŠÁR im-lu-u [hi-du-ta] … a-na dAMAR.UTU mu-tir gi-mil-li-šú-nu i-ši-mu šim-[ta], En.el. (SAACT 4) III 130–31 and 138, cf. IV 1–24); “The great gods gathered and / raised high the destiny of Marduk while prostrating themselves. / They invoked a curse upon themselves, / swore (an oath) by water and oil, (and) ‘touched throats.’ / They gave to him the power to exercise the kingship of the gods. / They confirmed him for the lordship of the gods of heaven and earth” (ip-hu-ru-nim-ma DINGIR.DINGIR GAL.GAL / ši-mat dAMAR.UTU ul-lu-ú šu-nu uš-kin-nu / ú-zak-ki-ru-ma a-na ra-ma-ni-šú-nu a-ra-ru / ina A.MEŠ ù Ì.GIŠ it-mu-ú ú-lap-pi-tu nap-šá-a-ti / id-di-nu-šum-ma šar-ru-ut DINGIR.DINGIR e-pe-šá / a-na be-lu-ut DINGIR.DINGIR šá AN-e u KI.TIM šu-nu uk-tin-nu-šu, En.el. (SAACT 4) VI 95–100).

45 Black, The New Year's Ceremonies (see above note 43) 46 and 48. As for the form of the decree, Black observes (p. 46), “What exactly this involved we cannot know. Maybe oracles and omens for the coming year were published: Babylonian omens were characteristically interpreted as concerning the king directly. Maybe it was a general affirmation of the king's authority.”

46 The exemplars were found broken into over 300 fragments, together with fragments of ivory inlay that originally decorated the throne, and covered in ash from the burning of the temple. A line of thought holds that the Nimrud exemplars of EST were originally stored in the tablet room of the temple (room NT 12) and were brought into the Throne Room and smashed by the Medes when they conquered Nimrud, see, e.g. M. E. L. Mallowan apud Wiseman, The Vassal-Treaties (see above note 23) i; M. Liverani, The Medes at Esarhaddon's Court, JCS 47, 1995 (57–62), 62; B. Porter, Noseless at Nimrud: More Figurative Responses to Assyrian Domination, in: Of God(s), Trees, Kings, and Scholars: Neo-Assyrian and Related Studies in Honour of Simo Parpola, ed. M. Luukko, S. Svärd, and R. Mattila, StOr 106, Helsinki 2009 (201–220), 219; and most recently J. Scurlock, Getting Smashed at the Victory Celebration, or What Happened to Esarhaddon's So-Called Vassal Treaties and Why, in: Iconoclasm and Text: Destruction in the Ancient Near East and Beyond, ed. N. N. May (ed.), Oriental Institute Seminars 8, Chicago 2012 (175–186). Scurlock considers that the exemplars of EST found at Nimrud were originally deposited in Media and were brought by the Medes to Nimrud in order to be smashed in the Throne Room of the Ezida, because “[d]amaging or destroying the tablets was supposed to break the communication chain or turn the curses into harmless wraiths or both” (p. 182). In proposing this scenario, Scurlock does not account for the fragments of EST known from Aššur. Perhaps these belonged to a ṭuppi adě documenting the adě into which Nabopolassar presumably entered? Other scholars have considered the Nimrud exemplars to have been kept at their find spot, e.g. Radner, Assyrische ṭuppi adě (see above note 1) 369. Recently, Jennifer Swerida has emphasized to me (personal communication) that, although the EST fragments are often described as being found mixed together with the ivory fragments, they were actually found in layer 7, grey ash in the west end of the throne room, beneath which were found the ivory fragments and thick black ash (layer 8) and above which was found the mud-brick of collapsed architecture (layer 6), see M. E. L. Mallowan, Nimrud and Its Remains, Vol. 1, London 1966, 243 figure 204. She suggests an alternate scenario wherein the exemplars of EST were suspended above the throne dais and fell after fire consumed the objects at floor level (layer 8), at which time the tablets broke and were covered in the grey settling ash (layer 7), before in turn being covered by the collapsing mud brick (layer 6). This scenario fits well with the archaeological context of the Tayinat exemplar of EST, on which see below.

47 Postgate, The bit akitu (see above note 42), see also Oates, Nimrud, 119–23, and Radner, Assyrische ṭuppi adě (see above note 1) 368. On the importance of Nabu in the akītu-ceremony at Babylon, see Black, The New Year's Ceremonies (see above note 43) 55–56.

48 Mallowan, Nimrud (see above note 46) 240, cf. D. Oates, Ezida: The Temple of Nabu, Iraq 19, 1957 (26–39) 34–36.

49 Postgate, The bit akitu (see above note 42) 57–59.

50 Among the Nimrud exemplars, dates are preserved on three fragments: 36 C dates to the 16th day while 54 D and 54 F date to the 18th day. A date is also preserved on the Tayinat exemplar, but unfortunately the day is damaged. It dates from the 16th to the 19th.

51 Pongratz-Leisten, Ina šulmi īrub (see above note 43) 104–05, see also George, Studies in Cultic Topography (see above note 40) 378–86.

52 SAA 2 3 rev. 8´. The context is a curse, and Parpola and Watanbe restore in line obv. 11´ “[the gods of the akītu-house]” as the subject of an earlier curse, see already Parpola, Neo-Assyrian Treaties (see above note 27) 178–79. Parpola notes, “[t]he highly distinctive sequence of gods that appears in the curse sections of the text is otherwise known only from texts relating to Sennacherib's work on the Akitu Chapel of Assur,” so that “[t]he fact that the Akitu Chapel is actually mentioned in line 8 of the text may indicate that the treaty ceremonies were synchronized with the celebration of the New Year's festival” (p. 164).

53 Cf., “Er besteht im wesentlichen aus Ritualanweisungen, die angeben, wie die Tafel dem König zur Kenntnis zu bringen ist,” Weippert, Assyrische Prophetie (see above note 1) 17. On the date of SAA 9 3, see S. Parpola, SAA 9, lxx.

54 ṭup-pi a-de-e an-ni-u šá daš-šur ina UGU ḫa-ʾu-u-ti ina IGI LUGAL e-rab Ì DÙG.GA i-za-ar-ri-qu UDU.SISKUR.MEŠ ep-pu-šú ŠIM.ḪÁ il-lu-ku ina IGI LUGAL i-sa-as-si-u (SAA 9 3 ii 27–32). I follow B. Pongratz-Leisten, SAAS 10, 80 in understanding the phrase ṭuppi adě anniʾu ša Aššur with a meaning “wie in anderen Fällen auch, als ‘adě (geschworen) bei Assur’ … und nicht als adě = ‘Bund des Assur (mit dem König).’ Gestützt wird diese Interpretation durch die häufig gebrauchte Apposition: mamīt ša GN oder nīš ilāni ‘Eid, Treueid bei den Göttern’,” see also M. de Jong, Isaiah among the Ancient Near Eastern Prophets: A Comparative Study of the Earliest Stages of the Isaiah Tradition and the Neo-Assyrian Prophets, VTSup 117, Leiden/Boston, 2007 411 n. 211. De Jong (p. 411) understands the demonstrative anniʾu that qualifies ṭuppi adě to describe the preceding text (i.e. SAA 9 3 i 1–ii 26). However, those lines are not the text of an adě but, in his own words, “reworkings of oracles that previously had been orally delivered and reported, and afterwards were inserted in an elaborate form into a new context.” This same process explains the unexpected presence of the demonstrative before ṭuppi adě as well: The demonstrative lost its original referent on being excerpted. The ṭuppi adě in question may be the adě established by Esarhaddon's father concerning Esarhaddon's succession or a later adě that Esarhaddon himself established just before his accession, both of which are known from chancellery copies at Nineveh (SAA 2 3 and 4 and the former from Esarhaddon's own inscriptions as well; for the dating of SAA 2 4 to “shortly before Esarhaddon's accession,” see S. Parpola and K. Watanabe, SAA 2, xxviii). On haʾūtu as cushion, see M. Nissinen, Prophets and Prophecy, 121 note k.

55 J. N. Lawson, The Concept of Fate in Ancient Mesopotamia of the First Millennium: Toward an Understanding of Šīmtu, Orientalia Biblica et Christiana 7, Wiesbaden 1994, 130.

56 “Warum aber wurden gerade jene acht Vereidigungstafeln gefunden, und dann gerade im Nabû-Heiligtum von Kalḫu – und nicht in Assur, Ninive oder auch Dūr-Sarruken? … Es muß nun an dieser Stelle darauf hingewiesen werden, daß auch aus Assur ein kleines Fragment eines Paralleltextes zu den Nimruder Exemplaren bekannt ist,” Radner, Assyrische ṭuppi adě [see above note 1] 370–71). For the two additional fragments from Aššur that have since been published, see note 23.

57 I do not think that we should consider there to have been two sealed ṭuppi adě for each person or group entering into the adě, one of which was kept in Assyria and the other given to the oath-taker, as suggested, e.g. by H. U. Steymans, Die neuassyrische Vertragsrhetorik der “Vassal Treaties of Esarhaddon” und das Deuteronomium, in: Das Deuteronomium, ed. G. Braulik, ÖBS 23, Frankfurt am Main/Berlin/Bern/Bruxlles/New York/Oxford/Wien 2003 (89–152), 97. The reality of a ṭuppi adě as Tablet of Destinies on which the oath-takers' very destinies were inscribed implies that only one tablet should exist for each group of oath-takers.

58 Radner, Assyrische ṭuppi adě (see above note 1) 372. The reference is to Steymans, Die neuassyrische Vertragsrhetorik (see above note 57) 96, where after discussing the evidence, Steymans concludes, “Die Fürsten des Ostens lieferten vor allem Pferde als Tribut. Kalhu und sein Nabû Tempel war die zentrale Musterungsstelle für Pferde in Assyrien. Es hat also einen konkreten Grund, warum die adě der Fürsten aus den Ländern im und jenseits des Zagros im Nabû Tempel von Kalhu gefunden wurden.” See also H. U. Steymans, Asarhaddon und die Fürsten im Osten: Der gesellschaftspolitische Hintergrund seiner Thronfolgeregelung, in: WOO 3 (61–85), 67–69. But on this suggestion cf. now Fales, After Tayyinat (see above note 1) 152 n. 115. See also Steymans, Deuteronomy 28 (see above note 1) for the suggestion that the tablets “may have been kept in Calhu and not been given to them, because they [the Medes] lived in tents and had no temple buildings.”

59 Radner, Assyrische ṭuppi adě (see above note 1) 372–73.

60 J. Lauinger, Some Preliminary Thoughts on the Tablet Collection in Building XVI from Tell Tayinat, JCSMS 6, 2011 (5–14), 12, and T. P Harrison and J. F. Osborne, Building XVI and the Neo-Assyrian Sacred Precinct at Tell Tayinat, JCS 64, 2012 (125–43), 137.

61 The find spot is significant whether the tablets were actually deposited there or brought there by Medes who wished to break them at the site of their earlier oath, see note 46.

62 Mallowan, Nimrud (see above note 46) 248–50, with figures 209–10.

63 “You shall go and tell Aššurbanipal, the great crown prince designate, saying: ‘Your father established an adě concerning <you> with us, (and) he makes us swear (it)’” (šum-ma la tal-lak-⌈a-ni-ni⌉ a-na maš-šur-DÙ-A DUMU MAN GAL-u šá É UŠ-te la ta-qab-ba-a-ni ma-a AD-ka a-de-e ina UGU-hi-<ka>? is-si-ni is-sa-kan ú-tam-ma-na-a-ši, SAA 2 6 349–52, see now JCS 64 96 v 5–7); “You shall bring frightful terror into their hearts, saying: ‘Your (pl.) father wrote (this) in the adě, he established (the adě), and he makes us swear (it)’” (pu-luh-tú NÍG.BA.MEŠ-te ina ŠÀ-⌈bi⌉-šú-nu la tu-še-rab-a-ni ma-a AD-⌈ku-nu⌉ ina ŠÀ-bi a-de-e is-sa-ṭar is-sa-kan ú-[t]am-ma-na-a-ši, SAA 2 6 357–59, see now JCS 64 96 v 13–15 with p. 116 for the reading of NÍG.BA.MEŠ). The change from perfect-tense verb to present-tense verb is striking enough that Watanabe, Die adě-Vereidigung (see above note 1) 160, who had at her disposal only the Nimrud exemplars in which the verb is poorly preserved, suggested the emendation uttamminâši, for the perfect tense.

64 [D]UB NAM.MEŠ ri-ki-is den-líl-ú-[ti] (Iraq 48 133 Text B line 1).


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