Letters not Sent to the King of Assyria

As in the other State Archives of Assyria volumes consisting of Neo-Assyrian and/or Neo-Babylonian letters, not all the letters in this corpus were addressed to the king of Assyria. The following letters in Neo-Assyrian were sent to high-ranking palace officials:

Furthermore, four letters were sent to the palace scribe:

Some doubts may also be raised concerning the recipient of nos. 177,[[32]] 181 and 228, who may not necessarily have been the king but could have been a high-ranking palace official. Letters written in Neo-Babylonian and not sent to the king are:

Moreover, it is not entirely certain whether or not the king was the recipient of no.99 [[33]]

28 No. 132:8, r.12, 15. This " brother" of the sender may have been the vizier (sukkallu) .

29 That no. 165 , addressed to Nabû-nammir, was found among the Nimrud Letters at Calah is interesting and may raise the question of whether he was a high-ranking palace official in the Assyrian capital or, e.g., the deputy of Šamaš-bunaya in Babylonia. Without any further evidence, we may speculate that Nabû-nammir might even have been the Grand Vizier (cf. no. 142), the Chief Eunuch or a provincial governor in northern Babylonia, to mention just some possibilities.

30 The interpretation of the sender is somewhat problematic: if he really was the governor of Calah, then should we render DUMU either as "(my) son" or "(my) lord"? But cf. Luukko Variation p. 178f and the following note. At any rate, latently there is a clash between two different principles and the interpretation "(my) lord" may violate the hierarchy principle according to which the person with the higher status is mentioned first in the letter. On the other hand, using the phrase ṭuppi PN (as done in no. 13) is the most neutral way to begin a letter.

31 The introductory formula and tone of this letter clearly show that Inurta- ila'i was not subordinate to the palace scribe.

32 Although I have restored " [to the king. my lord]" to no. 177 r.7, this letter could have been sent alternatively e.g. to the vizier or to the governor of Calah.

33 See the discussion on no. 99 in the critical apparatus of the letter.

Mikko Luukko

Mikko Luukko, 'Letters not Sent to the King of Assyria', The Correspondence of Tiglath-Pileser III and Sargon II from Calah/Nimrud, SAA 19. Original publication: Winona Laka, IN, Eisenbrauns, 2012; online contents: SAAo/SAA19 Project, a sub-project of MOCCI, 2021 [http://oracc.org/saao/saa19/lettersnotsenttothekingofassyria/]

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