On the Present Edition

The present edition concludes the publication of the legal texts from the royal archives or Nineveh. The early texts from the reign of Tiglath-Pileser III through Esarhaddon were published by T. Kwasman and S. Parpola as Legal Transactions of the Royal Court of Nineveh, Part I. Tiglath-Pileser III through Esarhaddon, which appeared as volume VI of the State Archives of Assyria series. The present work, Part II, covers the texts from the reign of Assurbanipal through Sin-šarru-iškun.

The Order of Texts in this Edition

The order of the texts in this edition follows the principles set out in Part I, p. xxxv-xxxvi. The order is basically chronological and texts from different reigns are presented in separate sections. The first part covers the texts dated to the reign of Assurbanipal (1-153). However, large dossiers such as that of Kakkullanu, which, according to the order of post-canonical eponyms adopted here, begin in the reign of Assurbanipal, remain in one chapter even if they clearly extend to later reigns. Although this distorts somewhat the chronological distribution of the documents, it is certainly more useful to keep the major dossiers together, especially when no definite order of the post-canonical eponyms can be fixed.

Texts dating to the time after the reign of Assurbanipal have been organised under the heading "Texts from the Reigns of Aššur-etel-ilani and Sin-šarru-iškun"' (texts 154- 173), even though the eponyms that can be attributed to these reigns with certainty are not attested among these texts.

Of the 500 texts, 137 have post-canonical dates. The chronological order of the post-canonical texts used in this volume is that proposed by Parpola in the introduction to K. Radner (ed.), The Prosopography of the Neo-Assyrian Empire 1/I (1998) xviii-xx. The post-canonical dates are marked with an asterisk.

No date can be assigned to 193 texts (174-423). These probably originate in the reign of Assurbanipal or later, or at least they have no prosopographic or other specific features that would allow them to be assigned to earlier periods with any assurance. Certain features in these texts might indicate an early date, but cannot be used on their own as reliable dating criteria for an individual text. These criteria include sealing with fingernail impressions and the use of copper as currency. Sealing with the fingernail is most frequent in the 8th century, but the practice continues in the 7th century.[[20]] Equally, the use of copper as currency is common in early texts, but attested occasionally even in post-canonical texts.[[21]] The undatable texts are arranged mechanically in alphabetical order according to the central persons, and in the case or unassigned texts, by ADD number.

Texts Included

Included in this volume are all the legal texts from the Nineveh archives published in ADD dating from the reign of Assurbanipal through Sin-šarru-iškun. However, in order to balance the size of the two volumes, the 55 documents of Assurbanipal's chariot driver Remanni-Adad were placed already in Part I. In addition to the ADD material, previously unpublished fragments from the Kouyunjik Collection have been identified by Tuviah Kwasman and included here with the kind permission of the Trustees of the British Museum.

Although the document of Aššur-reši-išši (no. 60 = K 342B and the envelope no. 61 = K 342A) refers to a transaction in Assur, the low K-number may imply that the text was in fact excavated in Nineveh and is to be included in this volume. Also included are no. 59 of unknown provenance[[22]] and no. 62 that belong to the same dossier of Aššur-reši-išši.

This volume also includes private archives from Nineveh published by J. N. Postgate and B. K. Ismail, Texts from Nineveh (Texts in the Iraq Museum XI). Incorporating these texts in the same volume with texts from the royal archives allows the Nineveh legal corpus to be presented and indexed together.

The Addenda to SAA 6

The addenda consist of legal texts that were not edited in Part I, but have since proved to originate from the time before the reign of' Assurbanipal or to belong to the archive of Remanni-Adad.

No. 462 is dated 791. The last line of no. 463 is most probably the dateline and dates this document to the eponymy of Sin-taklak in 739. This elate is further supported by SAA 6 18, likewise dated to 739, where Paršidu also acts as a witness (line r.3'). The phrase "Instead of his seal he impressed his fingernail" similarly favours an early date. No. 464 is dated 713.

No. 465 of Bel-duri has been shown on prosopographical grounds to belong to the reign of Tiglath-pileser III or Sargon Il.[[23]] Bel-duri's two other documents, nos. 466 and 467, also belong here. No. 468 is quite likely to date to the reign of Sargon II. The seller lnurta-na'di is probably to be identified with the military official of CTN 3 101 iv 5, as suggested by Dalley and Postgate, CTN 3 p. 187. Of the neighbours mentioned here, Mannu-ki-Adad, Kur-ila'i and Nergal-šarru-uṣur are also attested in the Horse Lists. Equally, the phrase "instead of his seal he impressed his fingernail," and the reference to Ninurta of Calah point to a date in the 8th century.

Most probably from the 8th century is no. 469 where Erihi, temple steward of Nabû, presumably from Calah, seals the tablet with a fingernail (see PNA 1/II p. 403). Also likely to date to the 8th century is no. 470, using the phrase "instead of his seal he impressed his fingernail," and mentioning Calah.

No. 471 belongs to the reign of Sennacherib. Il-amar is most probably identical with Il-amar, chief of granaries of Maganuba, who sells a vineyard to Šumma-ilani in 694 (SAA 6 37), and people, also to Šumma-ilani (SAA 6 38). The mention of Dur-Šarrukin supports an early date. No. 472 is possibly from the reign of Sennacherib (see PNA 1/I p. 37 sub Adad-šumu-uṣur 3), as is no. 473 (see PNA 1/II p. 369 sub Daian-Kurbail 4). No. 474 of Ahu-la-amašši dates to the reign of Esarhaddon (see PNA 1/I p. 79 sub Ahu-la-amašši 12). The name of the eponym dating no. 475 starts with the element Šulmu. All such eponyms are early, the latest being Šulmu-beli-lašme of 670. The use of fingernail impressions for sealing and copper as currency support an early date.

No. 476 is a judgement most probably imposed by Silim-Aššur, and thus belongs to the years 666-656 when Silim-Aššur held the office of sukkallu.[[24]]

The last three texts are documents of Remanni-Adad and should have been placed in Part I with his other documents. No. 477 (dated 664) and no. 478 mention several witnesses known from his documents and no. 479 gives enough of his name and title to allow identification.

Texts excluded

Of the remaining ADD texts that were not published in SAA 6, the following have been excluded from this volume on the basis that they have been shown not to belong to the corpus of legal texts:

ADD 595 is not an ordinary legal document but a fragment of a royal gift, closely related to PKTA 27-30 (SAA 12 86), which records a gift by Sennacherib to the newly built Akitu Temple in Assur.[[25]] ADD 91 may be a letter, ADD 731 a fragment of a grant, ADD 1217 is part of an insurrection query, ADD 1262 a fragment of a royal inscription and ADD 1272 mentions a riksu. ADD 662, dated 716. is a memorandum rather than a legal text.

The following ADD texts, which consist merely of a few broken signs, are too fragmentary to be classified and have been excluded: ADD 561, ADD 1214, ADD 1218, ADD 1228, ADD 1229 and ADD 1234. ADD 106 is illegible.

From the texts published in TIM 11, two have been excluded. These are TIM 11 36, a list of people from Assur,[[26]] and TIM 11 37, which is a lexical text.


The transliterations, addressed to the specialist, render the text of the originals in roman characters according to standard Assyriological conventions and the principles outlined in the Editorial Manual. Every effort has been taken to make them as accurate as possible. The texts housed in the British Museum have been collated at various times by Simo Parpola and Raija Mattila. Heather D. Baker kindly collated passages for me in three tablets in January 2002. Texts collated by Baker and Parpola are so indicated in the critical apparatus, otherwise the previously unpublished collations are by the author. It has not been possible to collate the texts published in TIM 11.

Results of collation are indicated with exclamation marks. Single exclamation marks indicate corrections to published copies, double exclamation marks emendations of scribal errors. Question marks indicate uncertain or questionable readings. Broken portions of text and all restorations are enclosed within square brackets. Parentheses enclose items omitted by ancient scribes or explanatory material inserted by the editors. Numbers that appear at the edge of a break where part of the number might be missing are followed by "[+x" or preceded by "x+]," and it must be borne in mind that "x" may be zero.


The translations seek to render the meaning and tenor of the texts as accurately as possible in readable, contemporary English. In the interest of clarity, the line structure of the originals has not been retained in the translation but the text has been rearranged into logically coherent paragraphs where possible.

Uncertain or conjectural translations are indicated by italics. Interpretative additions to the translation are enclosed within parentheses. All restorations are enclosed within square brackets. Untranslatable passages or words are indicated by dots. Quotation marks are used as follows: double quotation marks ("") indicate direct speech quoted in the original text; single quotation marks (") indicate quotations within quoted text. or indicate literal or conventional translations of words or phrases that may have had a different meaning or sense in the original.

Month names are rendered by their Hebrew equivalents. followed by a Roman numeral (in parentheses) indicating the place of the month within the lunar year. Personal, divine and geographical names are rendered by English or Biblical equivalents if a well-established equivalent exists (e.g., Esarhaddon, Nineveh); otherwise, they are given in transcription with length marks deleted. The normalisation of names, both foreign and Assyrian, follows the principles established in The Prosopography of the Neo-Assyrian Empire with the exception that the elements -ia and -iu are written -ya and -yu, respectively, as has been customary in SAA volumes.

The rendering of professions is a compromise between the use of accurate but impractical Assyrian terms and inaccurate but practical modern or classical equivalents.

Critical Apparatus

The primary purpose of the critical apparatus is to support the readings and translations established in the edition, and it consists largely of references to collations of questionable passages, scribal mistakes corrected in the transliteration, and alternative interpretations or restorations of ambiguous passages. Restorations based on easily verifiable evidence (e.g., parallel passages found in the text itself) are generally not explained in the apparatus; conjectural restorations only if their conjectural nature is not apparent from italics in the translation. Collations given in copy at the end of the volume are referred to briefly as "see coll."

The critical apparatus does contain some additional information relevant to the interpretation of the texts, but it is not a commentary. Comments are kept to a minimum, and are mainly devoted to problems in the text, elucidation of lexical items or Akkadian expressions necessarily left untranslated. The historical information contained in the texts is generally not commented upon.

Glossary and Indices

The glossary and indices, electronically generated, generally follow the pattern of the previous volumes. The glossary contains all lexically identifi- able words occurring in the texts. The references to professions attached to the index of personal names have been provided by a computer programme written by Simo Parpola; it is hoped that these will be helpful in the prosopographical analysis of the texts, but it should be noted that the programme omits certain deficiently written professions and the references are accordingly not absolutely complete.

Logograms without a known Akkadian equivalent are included in alphabetical order in the glossary written in small capitals. The glossary and indices were prepared by Simo Parpola and edited by Raija Mattila.

20 As pointed out by Radner, SAAS 6 (1997) 38 note 177, of the total 142 Neo-Assyrian tablets sealed with fingernail impressions, 4 date to the 9th century, 53 to the 8th century, 36 to the 7th, and in 49 texts the date is lost.

21 Copper is the currency used in two post-canonical texts, ND 34521 dated 643* and VAT 9702 (SAAB 9 104) dated 644*, see Radner, "Money in the Neo-Assyrian Period," in J. G. Dercksen (ed.). Trade and Finance in Ancient Mesopotamia (MOS Studies I, Leiden 1999), 127-157, especially Appendix 1 on p. 139-149.

22 See Postgate, "More Assyrian Deeds and Documents," Iraq 32 (1970) 130-131.

23 See Mattila, SAAS 11, 36 note 14.

24 For the tenure of Silim-Aššur in the office of sukkallu and for legal documents witnessed by him see Mattila, SAAS 11, 94.

25 See collation of ADD 595 in Mattila, SAAS 11, 92.

26 See Radner. Ein neuassyrisches Privatarchiv der Tempelgoldschmiede von Assur (Studien zu den Assur-Texten 1, Saarbrücken 1999), 139.

Andreas Fuchs

Andreas Fuchs, 'On the Present Edition', Legal Transactions of the Royal Court of Nineveh, Part II: Assurbanipal Through Sin-šarru-iškun, SAA 14. Original publication: Helsinki, Helsinki University Press, 2002; online contents: SAAo/SAA14 Project, a sub-project of MOCCI, 2021 [http://oracc.org/saao/saa14/onthepresentedition/]

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