Preface

The history of the Ashurbanipal project up to the publication of the RINAP 5/1 volume has been outlined in the preface to that work. We are once again extremely grateful to the individuals and institutions named in that preface for their past contributions and continuing support which has gone into the preparation of RINAP 5/2.

Although the RINAP 5/2 volume was initially envisioned as the last volume of the RINAP series that would include the remainder of Ashurbanipal's inscriptions and those of his successors Aššur-etel-ilāni and Sîn-šarra-iškun, it was decided that the quantity of material yet to be covered by the series warranted the division of this material into two volumes. The present volume contains Ashurbanipal's certain tablet inscriptions unearthed at Kuyunjik, Nineveh, while the final volume (RINAP 5/3) will contain his inscriptions originating from outside of Nineveh; his uncertain tablet inscriptions (1000-numbers) and those of his family and officials (2000-numbers); and lastly the inscriptions of his successors.

With respect to the present volume, initial work on the texts was carried out by Jamie Novotny, whose 2003 dissertation focused particularly on Ashurbanipal's building projects at Ḫarrān and allowed for several collation trips to the British Museum (London) as part of that work in 2001 and 2002. From 2007 to 2009, significant progress was made on the project as he, in collaboration with Greta Van Buylaere, created drafts for the editions of numerous texts and initial transliterations for several others. Altogether, transliterations for a total of 123 texts comprising 148 discrete tablets were entered into the system, and 66 of these tablets had been collated. At this juncture, however, work on Ashurbanipal's tablets was put on hold while Novotny turned his attention to the publication of other volumes in the RINAP series. During work on the RINAP 5/1 volume in August, 2015, Novotny took up a position at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München and Joshua Jeffers took over the duties as the Research Specialist for the RINAP Project in Philadelphia. Near the completion of the RINAP 5/1 volume in 2018, work resumed on Ashurbanipal's tablet inscriptions. Jeffers added 46 additional texts to the overall corpus, bringing the total number of texts to 169, represented by 194 discrete tablets, and he went to the British Museum to complete the collation of the remaining 128 tablets of the project. The recent proliferation of online photographs for the Kuyunjik tablets greatly assisted the present project as these photos were consulted on a regular basis to check or confirm the readings of various tablets as work on the editions progressed. Jeffers standardized the contents of the book; reworked and finalized the extant editions, while creating editions for the objects that did not yet have them; prepared the front and back material; wrote the text introductions and commentaries, incorporating earlier comments of Novotny for numerous texts; composed almost all of the on-page notes; updated and expanded the bibliographies; and created the scores. Novotny composed the book's introduction and provided additional input on the text introductions, commentaries, and editions. With respect to the book's translations, Novotny's translations from RINAP 5/1 are used whenever the tablets contain duplicate materials, and his translations from SAACT 10 are used as the basis for the translations of those texts that also appear here, with revisions by Jeffers. Novotny also provided an initial translation of the epigraphs, which Jeffers further revised. The translations of the remaining texts are by Jeffers.

Work on the present corpus of texts necessitated extensive travel for collation of previously published inscriptions and for examination of unpublished material. The authors wish to thank the various museums and museum authorities that have cooperated in the preparation of this book. They would like to thank the directors, keepers, curators, and assistants of the British Museum (London) and the Vorderasiatisches Museum (Berlin). Specifically, the authors express their gratitude to John Brinkman, John Curtis, Walter Farber, Irving Finkel, Joachim Marzahn, Jonathan Taylor, and Christopher Walker. These colleagues, and their staff, have been extremely helpful and have extended to us every courtesy and assistance.

As usual with a volume in this series, numerous individuals aided in the production of the volume in some way. Since the preparation of this book has spanned more than two decades, it is impossible to name everyone who has contributed to RINAP 5/2 and thus any omissions are unintentional. While the authors have collated most of the texts themselves, other scholars have kindly collated some texts, provided information on pieces, or aided in some way. These include Israel Ephʿal, Jeanette Fincke, Zsombor Földi, Grant Frame, Pamela Gerardi, Kirk Grayson, Enrique Jiménez, Mikko Luukko, Karen Radner, Julian Reade, Michael Roaf, Laurence Shiff, Ronald Sweet, Jonathan Taylor, Greta Van Buylaere, Christopher Walker, and Cornelia Wunsch.

In Toronto, during the RIM years, and later in Philadelphia and Munich, several individuals contributed to the technical preparation of the volume and they deserve credit for performing tedious and time-consuming tasks. For the Toronto stage of production (1997–2004), the authors offer their gratitude to Hope Grau and Jill Ruby for performing various tasks in connection with the Ashurbanipal manuscripts. For the Munich and Philadelphia stages of production (2018–22), the authors would like to thank Michael Chapin, the student assistant who checked the bibliographies in order to help ensure their accuracy. Last, but by no means least, special thanks must be given to Steve Tinney for undertaking the arduous task of generating the final camera-ready copy and converting and preparing the texts for the online version.

The penultimate manuscript of the 5/1 volume was read by Mario Fales, Andreas Fuchs, and Nicholas Postgate, and the penultimate manuscript of this volume was read by Andreas Fuchs, Nicholas Postgate, and Martin Worthington. These reviewers made numerous astute comments, welcome criticisms, and suggestions for improvement, particularly on the transliterations and translations, for which the authors are grateful. Members of the RINAP editorial board (especially Grant Frame and Karen Radner) and the project consultants offered helpful suggestions at various times near the completion of the volume. Their time, care, and generosity are greatly appreciated.

The authors' appreciation goes out to the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (Historisches Seminar - Alte Geschichte), the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Gerda Henkel Stiftung, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the University of Toronto, the University of Pennsylvania, and several private individuals, in particular Laurence Shiff and Malcolm Horsnell, whose financial support allowed for their travel to the numerous museums cited above and provided the funding necessary for them to conduct research on Ashurbanipal's inscriptions and to publish this volume.

Last, but by no means least, the authors wish to record their gratitude for the ongoing support and encouragement of their families: Jordan Wesolowski, Dave and Kathy Jeffers, and Heather Zeigler; and Denise Bolton, Robert and Diana Novotny, and Jennifer Novotny.

Philadelphia and Munich, April 2022

Joshua Jeffers

Jamie Novotny

Joshua Jeffers & Jamie Novotny

Joshua Jeffers & Jamie Novotny, 'Preface', RINAP 5: The Royal Inscriptions of Ashurbanipal, Aššur-etel-ilāni, and Sîn-šarra-iškun, The RINAP/RINAP 5 Project, a sub-project of MOCCI, 2022 [http://oracc.org/rinap/rinap5/rinap52frontmatter/preface/]

 
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The RINAP 5 sub-project of the University of Pennsylvania-based RINAP Project, 2015-. The contents of RINAP 5 are prepared in cooperation with 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 [http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/] license, 2007-22.
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