The Correspondents

The Correspondents[[1]]

Due to the fragmentary state of many tablets in the present corpus, the authors/senders of the letters cannot always be identified. Excluding the kings(Tiglath-pileser III and Sargon II), the senders with two or more letters to their name are 24 and their letters amount to 97[[2]], making up roughly 42% of the whole volume (uncertain titles or professions are given in italics within parentheses below):


Qurdi-Aššur-lamur, governor of Ṣimirra11[[3]]
Aššur-šallimanni , governor of Arrapha (eponym of the year 735)9[[4]]
Ašipâ[[5]] (a royal transportation officer active esp. in Babylonia)7
Inurta-ila'i , governor of Naşibina [[6]] (eponym of the years 736 and 722)7
Nabû-nammir (vizier?)5[[7]]
Šamaš-bunaya, Assyrian prefect in northern Babylonia5
Duri-Aššur, governor of Tušhan (eponym of the year 728)5[[8]]
Nabû-be lu-ka" in , governor of Kar-Šarruken and later of Lubda5
Aššur-le' i (a high-ranking military official)4[[9]]
Inurta-belu-uşur, governor of Arpad4
Ululayu (Shalmaneser V) , crown prince4[[10]]
Aššur-da"inanni, governor of Mazamua (eponym of the year 733)3
Aššur-matka-tera (official, an agent of the king?)3
Bel-duri, governor of Damascus3
Nabû-balassu-iqbi (a Babylonian/Chaldean tribal leader)3
Nabû-etiranni, chief cupbearer (eponym of the year 740)3
Adda-hati, governor of Manşuate (?)2
Aššur-ila'i (governor?)2
Aššur-nirka-da" in, governor of Aššur (eponym of the year 720)2
Aššur-simanni , governor of Kilizi (eponym of the year 724)2
Mahde (Ammi-hatî) , governor of Nineveh (eponym of the year 725)2[[11]]
Mušezib-ilu (a royal transportation officer)2[[12]]
Sennacherib, crown prince2[[13]]
Šarru-duri, governor of Calah2

Two of the extant letters may have been sent to the palaces of Calah by Bel-eriba[[14]], Nahiši[[15]], Nergal-uballiṭ[[16]], Śamaš-ahu-iddina[[17]] amd Šamaš-ila'i[[18]].This representative proportion of letters by relatively few senders may indicate that power in the Assyrian empire of the late eighth century was steadily concentrated in a few hands.

1 For Ašipa, Aššur-da"inanni, Aššur-le'i, Aššur-šallimanni, Aššur-šimanni, Bel-duri, Inurta-belu-uṣur, lnurtaila'i, Qurdi-Aššur-lamur, and Ululayu (Shalmaneser V), see also the section "On Some Influential Figures in the Nimrud Letters" above.

2 The number includes 8 letters published in SAA I (nos. 32 [ND 2608], 171 [ND 2645], 172 [ND 2495], 175 [ND 23811, 176 [ND 243 7]) , SAA 5 (no. 74 [ND 2367]) and SAA 15 (nos. 83 [ND 2359 ( +) ND 2777], 84 [ND 2655]) that are not published in the present volume.

3 See also Yamada, Festschrift Eph'al p. 296ff and PNA 3/1, p. 1021f.

4 Nos. 86 and 87 may be from the same tablet, cf. the critical apparatus sub no. 87.

5 See now the discussion on Ašipâ by B. J. Parker, Festschrift Parpola p. 179ff.

6 During his career, he may also have functioned in roles other than that of the governor of Naṣibina, see the section "On Some Influential Figures in the Nimrud Letters".

7 In this count, nos. 98 and 99 are assigned to Šamaš-bunaya. However, this may distort reality as the two letters were probably both written by Nabû-nammir's scribe.

8 For the dating of nos. 60 (NL 67), 61 (NL 29) and 63 (NL 49) - all letters from Duri-Aššur- to Tiglath-pileser's reign, cf. SAA 5 , xxxii.

9For Aššur-le'i, cf. n. 1 (above).

10 Note that no. 158 (ND 2719) is a letter by Sennacherib and not by Ululayu. For the discussion, see the critical apparatus on the letter.

11 For the dating of SAA 5 74 (ND 2367), a letter from Mahde, see also SAA 5, xxxii.

12 The same Musezib-ilu is most likely the sender of nos. 119 and 120, but occasionally he must have employed different scribes (the two letters are clearly written by different scribes) , see esp. the conjectural restoration at the end of no. 119 , because of his task of transporting barley that necessitated him to be mobile.

13 Cf. n. 10 above.

14 Probably the sender of no. 160, see also the critical apparatus sub no. 208.

15 The author/sender of no. 123, cf. the critical apparatus sub no. 132.

16 The sender of no. 89 but see also the critical apparatus sub nos. 95:2 and 224:2.

17 The sender of no. 37, cf. the critical apparatus sub no. 44:2.

18 The sender of no. 68, possibly also that of no. 69; for the discussion of such an interpretation, see the critical apparatus sub no. 69.

Mikko Luukko

Mikko Luukko, 'The Correspondents', 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 []

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