Babylonia (123-129)

Babylon   123   124   Uruk   125   126   127   128   Tell Haddad   129  


123 [/rinap/rinap2/Q006603/]

Text nos. 123 and 124 are brick inscriptions that deal with the restoration of Babylon's city walls for the god Marduk during the time of Sargon II. The first, written in Akkadian, is found on at least twenty exemplars from Babylon and Kish. In addition to recording work on Imgur-Enlil ("The God Enlil Showed Favor") and Nēmet-Enlil ("Bulwark of the God Enlil") — the inner and outer city walls respectively — the inscription mentions work on the quay-wall of Babylon. Sargon is given the traditional titles "governor (GÌR.NÍTA) of Babylon" and/or "king of the land of Sumer and Akkad" in this and several other Babylonian inscriptions (text nos. 124–127).

Access the composite text [rinap/rinap2/Q006603/] of Sargon II 123


(01) EŞ — (02) Ash 1924.640 (03) Ash 1932.652
(04) Ash 1932.977 (05) BM 90599 + BM 90629 (81-7-1,3406) (06)
(07) — (BE 30680) (08) — (BE 30681) (09) — (BE 30682)
(10) — (BE 30683) (11) — (BE 30684) (12) — (BE 30698)
(13) — (BE 30700) (14) — (BE 30706) (15) — (BE 30707)
(16) YBC 13510 (BE 30708) (17) — (BE 30709) (18) — (BE 30710)
(19) — (BE 31080) (20) — (BE 32062)


According to M. Gibson (Iraq 34 [1972] p. 120), the bricks found at Kish with this inscription may have been brought there from Babylon for reuse in the Neo-Babylonian temple. In every case where information is available, the inscription appears in contemporary Babylonian script. The text is inscribed (not stamped) on the edge of each brick, with the number and arrangement of lines varying greatly among the exemplars. While some bricks have the inscription written down the edge (exs. 1–2, 7, 13, 15–17, and 19) in 24–28 lines, others have it written across the edge, in either one (exs. 8–12, 14, 18, and 20) or more columns (exs. 3–6) of 5–7 lines each. The line arrangement and the master line are based on ex. 1, with help from ex. 10 in lines 9–12.

H. de Genouillac's excavations at Kish in 1912 discovered exs. 1 and 6. Since ex. 6 was both catalogued among pieces in Paris (Kich 2 p. 29 P.208) and given a reference number indicating that it was in Istanbul (Kich 2 pl. 1 O.5), it is not known whether this exemplar was sent to Paris or to Istanbul. The Oxford-Field Museum, Chicago, expedition to Kish 1923–1933 discovered exs. 2–4, and ex. 5 was found during H. Rassam's excavations in Babylonia (probably at Babylon, according to Walker, CBI p. 65).

Excavations conducted by the Deutsche Orient-Gesellschaft discovered exs. 7–20 at Babylon. The inscriptions on several are known only from excavation photographs and no details are available on several exemplars. Two Babylon photos (nos. 868 and 869) show five and four exemplars respectively. Excavation records give the excavation numbers of four pieces for each photo, but do not indicate which bricks shown have which excavation numbers. The variants from all but two of these nine bricks are cited by the photo number followed by A, B, C, etc. (e.g., 689D), with A indicating the brick on the photo which is separated from the others by the ruler. It is possible to be reasonably certain about the identification of two bricks on photo 689 — nos. B and C, exs. 17 and 7 respectively — and they are cited by exemplar number. Not all the bricks are in good condition and many of the inscriptions are difficult to read, particularly from photographs. Thus, readings must often be considered tentative. The minor variants are listed at the back of the book, but no score for this brick inscription is given on Oracc.


1913 de Genouillac, RA 10 pp. 83–87 (ex. 1, copy, edition [translation by Thureau-Dangin]; variants from ex. 6)
1924 de Genouillac, Kich 1 pp. 18 and 45, and pl. 2 no. O.4 (ex. 1, copy, study, provenance)
1924–25 Unger, AfK 2 p. 21 no. 2 (ex. 10, study)
1925 de Genouillac, Kich 2 p. 29 no. P.208, pl. XXII no. 2, and pl. 1 no. O.5 (ex. 6, photo, copy, study)
1925 Koldewey, WEB4 pp. 135–136 and fig. 86 (ex. 10, photo, translation [by Delitzsch])
1930 Unger in Wetzel, Stadtmauern p. 79 (exs. 7–20, study)
1930 Wetzel, Stadtmauern pp. 64–65 and pl. 12 (exs. 7–20, provenance)
1981 Walker, CBI pp. 64–65 no. 76 Sargon II O (exs. 2–5, transliteration)
1987 Beckman, ARRIM 5 pp. 2–3 no. 3 (ex. 16, copy, edition)
1988 Beckman, ARRIM 6 p. 2 (ex. 16, study)
1992 George, Topographical Texts pp. 344–345 (lines 10–20, edition)
1995 Frame, RIMB 2 pp. 143–145 no. B.6.22.1 (exs. 1–20, edition)

124 [/rinap/rinap2/Q006604/]

A Sumerian inscription written on four bricks found at Babylon also describes the restoration of Babylon's inner and outer city walls — Imgur-Enlil and Nēmet-Enlil, respectively — for Marduk, the patron deity of the city, by Sargon II.

Access the composite text [rinap/rinap2/Q006604/] of Sargon II 124


(01) — (BE 38583) (02) — (BE 41861) (03) — (BE 42335 + BE 42417)
(04) EŞ — (BE 58377)


The excavations of the Deutsche Orient-Gesellschaft at Babylon discovered all of the exemplars. The inscription, written in Babylonian script, is inscribed (not stamped) down the edge of each brick. The edition of lines 1–2 and 8 is a conflation of exs. 3 and 4; lines 3–7 and 9–10 follow ex. 3; and lines 11–18 follow ex. 1. Ex. 4 may omit line 15 or have had it on the same line as 14 (the end of which is not preserved). No other variants are attested and no score for this brick inscription is presented on Oracc.


1930 Unger in Wetzel, Stadtmauern p. 79 (exs. 1–4, study, provenance)
1930 Wetzel, Stadtmauern pp. 61 and 65, and pls. 37–38 and 51 (exs. 1–4, provenance)
1995 Frame, RIMB 2 pp. 145–146 no. B.6.22.2 (exs. 1–4, edition)


125 [/rinap/rinap2/Q006605/]

Two Akkadian inscriptions and two Sumerian inscriptions commemorate Sargon's work on the Eanna temple of the goddess Ištar at Uruk (text nos. 125–128). This clay cylinder has an Akkadian inscription that is modeled upon one of Marduk-apla-iddina II (Frame, RIMB 2 pp. 136–138 no. B.6.21.1) and may have been intended to replace it. The cylinder has a colophon stating that it had been copied and collated from another exemplar.

Access the composite text [rinap/rinap2/Q006605/] of Sargon II 125


YBC 2181


This barrel cylinder was given to the Yale Babylonian Collection in New Haven by Dr. and Mrs. J.B. Nies, likely in 1912 or 1913 when the collection was being first formed. The inscription is reported to have been discovered at Uruk by local diggers, is composed using contemporary Babylonian script, and is presented in two columns of 40 and 41 lines respectively. Line rulings are found after every two or three lines and there is one before the colophon. One may note the use of -mu and -mi for the enclitic particle -ma in lines i 19, 20, 22 and 38, and ii 3, 23 and 34; the vowel used is the same as the one immediately preceding the enclitic particle. See also Röllig, ZA 56 (1964) p. 231.


1915 Clay, YOS 1 no. 38 (photo, copy, edition)
1930 Jordan, UVB 1 p. 8 (study)
1933 von Soden, OLZ 36 col. 424 (i 3, study)
1953 Gadd, Iraq 15 pp. 125–132 (study)
1954 Follet, Biblica 35 pp. 413–428 (partial transliteration, study)
1995 Frame, RIMB 2 pp. 146–149 no. B.6.22.3 (edition)
1998 Borger, BiOr 55 p. 846 sub S. 136ff. and S. 146ff. (study)
2009 Frame, Studies Parpola p. 82 no. l (study)
2010 Novotny, Studies Ellis p. 463 no. 5.19 (study)
2012 Worthington, Textual Criticism p. 219 (study)

126 [/rinap/rinap2/Q006606/]

A large number of bricks found at Uruk are stamped with an Akkadian inscription recording that fact that Sargon had reconstructed parts of the Eanna temple. It is worthy of note that the king's name is preceded by the divine determinative in line 1; see also text nos. 127 line 6 and 128 line 4. However, M. Karlsson argues that "the overwhelming absence of divine determinatives" before the names of Assyrian rulers (unless a ruler's name commenced with the name of a deity) indicates that they "did not claim divine status in their royal inscriptions" (NABU 2020/1 pp. 33–36 no. 16).

Access the composite text [rinap/rinap2/Q006606/] of Sargon II 126


(01) VA 14664m, edge (W 1635a) (02) — (W 1831a) (03) VA 14664a (W 1831b)
(04) — (W 2589) (05) VA 14664b (W 2703) (06) — (W 2704)
(07) VA 14664c (W 2705) (08) VA 14664d (W 3200a) (09) VA 14664e (W 5753)
(10) VA 14664f (W 6420a) (11) VA 14664g (W 6420b/c) (12) VA 14664h (W 13393)
(13) VA 14664i (14) VA 14664k (15) VA 14664l


German excavations at Uruk discovered all the exemplars of this inscription. The provenances given for exs. 1 and 8 come from the excavation's registry of finds rather than from the statements in UVB 1 (see Marzahn, FuB 27 [1989] pp. 60–61 and 64 nn. 17 and 21). Findspots for exs. 1, 5, and 8 are marked on pl. 3 of UVB 1 and these would suggest that ex. 1 was found in Od XVI 3 (as stated in UVB 1) and that ex. 5 was found in Ob XVI 1 rather than Oc XVI 2. The registry refers to three exemplars with the excavation number W 6420 (W6420a–c). Ex. 10 is W 6420a and ex. 11 is either W 6420b or c (the letter is no longer recognizable); one of exs. 13–15 may be the third brick originally given this excavation number. (See Marzahn, FuB 27 [1989] p. 64 n. 19.)

The inscription is stamped on an edge of exs. 1 and 7 and on the face of exs. 2–6 and 8–15. Ex. 1 also has text no. 127 stamped on its face. The text appears in three columns, with each column having four lines. The edition is based upon the published composite copy and J. Marzahn's work in FuB 27. No variants are attested and no score for this brick inscription is presented on Oracc.


1930 Jordan, UVB 1 pp. 6–7 (provenance)
1930 Schott, UVB 1 p. 56 and pl. 28 no. 20 (exs. 1–8, composite copy, edition, provenance)
1989 Marzahn, FuB 27 pp. 59–61 no. X, nos. 20–31A (transliteration; exs. 1, 3, 5, 7–15, study)
1991 Kessler in Finkbeiner, AUWE 4 p. 183 no. 26 (ex. 16, study)
1995 Frame, RIMB 2 pp. 149–150 no. B.6.22.4 (exs. 1–16, edition)

127 [/rinap/rinap2/Q006607/]

A number of bricks discovered during excavations at Uruk are stamped with a Sumerian inscription that records Sargon's paving of the processional way of the Eanna temple for the goddess Inanna (Ištar).

Access the composite text [rinap/rinap2/Q006607/] of Sargon II 127


(01) EŞ — (W 2) (02) VA 14664m, face (W 1635a) (03) VA 14663a (W 1635c)
(04) VA 14663b (W 1635d) (05) — (W 1635e) (06) VA 14663c (W 4663)
(07) VA 14663d (W 11747) (08) VA 14663e (W 13182)


The Deutsche Orient-Gesellschaft excavations at Uruk discovered all the exemplars of this inscription. Numerous bricks with this inscription and measuring 34×34×7 cm were found within Eanna at one spot north of the ziggurrat (see Jordan, Uruk-Warka p. 48). The provenances given for exs. 2–5 come from the excavation's registry of finds rather than from the statements in UVB 1 (see Marzahn, FuB 27 [1989] pp. 61–62 and 64 n. 21). With regard to the findspot of ex. 2, see the commentary to text no. 126. The inscription is found stamped on the face of the brick. Ex. 2 also has text no. 126 stamped on one edge. No variants are attested for this inscription and no score for this brick inscription is provided on Oracc.

The last sign in line 8, a*, is composed of three vertical wedges, one next to the other. The reading of line 14 is problematic. Although the published copies and the transliteration by J. Marzahn suggest ki-bi bí-in-túm ("he brought to its place," i.e., "he restored"), in comparison with other inscriptions, including brick inscriptions of Sargon from Babylon (text no. 124) and Aššur (text no. 70) and one of Esarhaddon's brick inscriptions from Babylon (Leichty, RINAP 4 pp. 267–269 no. 131 and Frame, RIMB 2 p. 180 B.6.31.13, Akkadian), we might expect u₄-gin₇ bí-in-zálag ("made shine like daylight"). Based upon all the originals and photos examined, u₄, gin₇, and zálag appear to be as good or better than ki, bi, and túm respectively; in particular, the second sign appears to have a vertical wedge at the end (see also the copy in UVB 1). The final sign is more elongated than the first one and this might suggest túm rather than zálag, but the two vertical wedges appear to be angled, narrowing toward the left.


1913 Jordan, MDOG 51 pp. 52–53 (ex. 1?, study [by Delitzsch])
1928 Jordan, Uruk-Warka pp. 42–43, 48, and 50–51 no. 6, and pl. 105c–d (ex. 1, photo, copy, edition [by Schroeder], provenance)
1930 Schott, UVB 1 pp. 55–56 and pl. 28 no. 19 (exs. 1–6, composite copy, edition, provenance)
1989 Marzahn, FuB 27 pp. 61–62 no. XI, nos. 32–36 and 31B (transliteration; exs. 2–4, 6–8, study)
1995 Frame, RIMB 2 pp. 150–151 no. B.6.22.5 (exs. 1–8, edition)

128 [/rinap/rinap2/Q006608/]

Two bricks found at Uruk by the expedition sponsored by the Deutsche Orient-Gesellschaft are stamped with a Sumerian inscription that describes Sargon's reconstruction of the Eanna temple for the goddess Inanna (Ištar). The edition presented below is based upon the copy and information published by J. Marzahn in FuB 27. No score is provided on Oracc for this brick inscription.

Access the composite text [rinap/rinap2/Q006608/] of Sargon II 128


(01) VA 14663f (W 5452) (02) VA 14663g


1989 Marzahn, FuB 27 pp. 62–63 no. XII and nos. 37–38 (transliteration; ex. 1, copy; exs. 1–2, study)
1995 Frame, RIMB 2 pp. 151–152 no. B.6.22.6 (exs. 1–2, edition)

Tell Haddad

129 [/rinap/rinap2/Q006609/]

A fragment of a clay cylinder from Tell Haddad (ancient Mê-Turnat) in the Hamrin area bears an inscription of Sargon II that is almost a total duplicate of the cylinder inscription found at Khorsabad (text no. 43). The line arrangment of this text, however, differs from that of the latter text. Unfortunately, the portion of the text that mentions the structure being rebuilt is not preserved. Since the fragment was found near the temple of Nergal (Ešaḫula), the inscription may have referred to work on that structure. For an axe head dedicated by one of Sargon's eunuchs to the god of that temple, see text no. 2008 and note also text no. 2009.

Access the composite text [rinap/rinap2/Q006609/] of Sargon II 129


IM —


Neither the excavation number nor the museum number of this fragment of the right end of an eight-sided cylinder is known. Parts of the first two faces are preserved, as is a small portion of the last (eighth) face. The text is in Neo-Babylonian script and is edited from the published copy.

The restoration of lines 1–21 is based upon text no. 43 lines 1–17 and 19; for lines 8–21 see also text no. 76 lines 3´–13´.


1994 Al-Rawi, Iraq 56 pp. 37–38 no. 3 and p. 36 fig. 4 (copy, transliteration)
2009 Frame, Studies Parpola p. 82 no. k (study)

Grant Frame

Grant Frame, 'Babylonia (123-129)', RINAP 2: Sargon II, Sargon II, The RINAP 2 sub-project of the RINAP Project, 2021 []

Back to top ^^
The RINAP 2 sub-project of the University of Pennsylvania-based RINAP Project, 2020-. The contents of RINAP 2 were prepared by Grant Frame for the University-of-Pennsylvania-based and National-Endowment-for-the-Humanities-funded Royal Inscriptions of the Neo-Assyrian Period (RINAP) Project, with the assistance of Joshua Jeffers and the Munich Open-access Cuneiform Corpus Initiative (MOCCI), which is based at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Historisches Seminar (LMU Munich, History Department) - Alexander von Humboldt Chair for Ancient History of the Near and Middle East. Content released under a CC BY-SA 3.0 [] license, 2007-21.
Oracc uses cookies only to collect Google Analytics data. Read more here []; see the stats here []; opt out here.