Post-canonical Eponyms

In the long lists of the eponym-officials covering the entire Neo-Assyrian period, known as the eponym canon, the last eponym preserved is that for the year 649 BC. Thus the eponyms for the years from 648 to 612, when Nineveh was destroyed and the Assyrian Empire came to an end, are referred to as post-canonical (or PC) eponyms. It has long been known, from an inscription of Aššurbanipal, that the eponym for the year 648 was Bēlšunu,[[1]] but otherwise, there is no direct evidence to tie any of the PC eponyms to a particular date, and their order is mostly unknown with clues to their order being scarce. The result is a puzzle of monumental proportions. This puzzle has not been addressed in its entirety since 1956 when a tentative order for the known PC eponyms was published by Margarete Falkner.[[2]] This was a valuable study and the list has been extensively used since, even though it is beset with problems and in a number of places obviously wrong. The present chapter is a brief summary of the advances made since Falkner's study and an interim report on my recent research on the post-canonical eponyms which is not yet completed and will be published elsewhere.

1 C. H. W. Johns, PSBA 24 (1902) 237, 241; PSBA 27 (1905) 98; cf. Streck, Asb II, p. 137 n. 6.

2 M. Falkner, AfO 17 (1954-56) 100-120. Falkner did not include Bēlšunu in her study and her final list used 40 eponyms to fill out 36 years. Years assigned to eponyms by Falkner are preceded by an asterisk in the present discussion.

Robert Whiting

Robert Whiting, 'Post-canonical Eponyms', The Eponyms of the Assyrian Empire 910-612 BC, SAAS 2. Original publication: Helsinki, Helsinki University Press, 1994; online contents: SAAo/SAAS2 Project, a sub-project of MOCCI, 2020 []

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