The Manuscripts

The original content of each text has been calculated wherever possible, although closing dates remain uncertain when the final entries are missing, for there can be no assurance that a tablet was filled.

A1from Kuyunjik                K 4329 (+) 4329a (+) 4329b
Smith Canon I               Ungnad Ca1
Text: II R 68 no. 1 (K4329); II R 69 no. 4 (K4329a); III R 1 (whole text)
Copy: Plates 1-2
Six column tablet, ruled and written with care. 17.1 × 10.4 cm, bears Aššurbanipal palace mark.
Commenced 910 BC, ended 659 BC.
Scribal errors: 885 entry omitted; 874 mdšamaš-ub-la against A2 [        ]-ú-pa-ḫír; 814 mbēl-ba-laṭ for mbēl-lu-ba-laṭ as A8 and St.


A2from Kuyunjik                K 4388
Smith Canon II              Ungnad Ca2
Text: II R 68 no. 2
Copy: Plate 3
Six column tablet, ruled. 10.5 × 10 cm.
Commenced 910 BC, ended 690-670 BC.
Scribal errors; 840 mdbēl-abūya for mdšamaš-abūya; 738 mdadad-ukīnin for mdadad-bēlu-ukīn₂; 736 mdninurta₂-aya for mdninurta₂-ila-aya.


A3from Kuyunjik                K 4389
Smith Canon III             Ungnad Ca3
Text: II R 69 nos. 3, 5
Copy: Plate 4
Roughly written tablet, 7.85 × 7.75 cm. The scribe began by ruling two columns on the obverse, then found his material was too extensive for four columns, so squeezed three on to the reverse. Apparently he made the vertical wedges of the masculine determinative for all the entries on the reverse before inscribing any names, in order to ensure that he could include all the names. When he entered the names he failed to align them exactly with the determinatives.[[1]]
Commenced c. 810 BC, ends 649 BC.
Scribal errors: 687 maš-šur-aḫḫē-[      ] for mdsîn-aḫḫē-erība; 678 mdnabû left unerased before the correct name, mdnergal-šarru₂-uṣur₂.


A4from Kuyunjik                K 4390
Smith Canon IV              Ungnad Ca4
Text: II R 69 no. 4
Copy: Plate 5
Flake from the obverse of a three column tablet; containing parts of columns ii, iii. 6.1 × 5.8 cm.
Present coverage 753-744, 718-702 BC.
Scribal errors: 748 mdaš-šur-bēlu-ukīn₂, for mdadad-bēlu-ukīn₂; 706 [  m]u-taklak-aš-šur for mmu-tak-kil-aš-šur.
Where other texts have 'Royal name, king', A4 has 'Royal name, king of Assyria'.


A5from Kuyunjik                82-5-22,121
                                     Ungnad Ca5
Text: C. H. W. Johns, PSBA 18 (1896) 206; ADD 1098
Copy: Plate 5
Upper half of a small four column tablet, without rulings, surfaces badly worn. The tablet has the appearance of a Neo-Assyrian letter. Traces in column iv may be part of a colophon. 4.5 × 4.6 cm.
Commences 743 BC, end uncertain; present coverage 743-737, 722-713, 691- 682 BC.
Unexplained variant at 718: maš-šur-mātu-ú-paḫ-ḫir? for mzēru-ibni.


A6from Kuyunjik                Rm 580
                                    Ungnad Ca6
Text mentioned by F. Delitzsch, ZK 2 (1885) 175, n. 1 and C. Bezold, PSBA 11 (1889) 287; copy by J. A. Brinkman, NABU 1989, no. 3, p. 51
Copy: Plate 6
Upper right portion of a six column tablet, parts of columns ii, iii, iv remain, columns v, vi were probably blank. 5.8 × 5.5 cm. Each column had about 57 lines, so the list began with 911 BC. Present coverage 855-840, 798-782, 710-697 BC.
Scribal errors: 852 entry omitted.


A7from Assur                VAT 11254+11257+11276, 11258+11259B, 11260, 11255, 11256
                                Ungnad Cc
Text: KAV 21-24
Copy: Plate 7 (Copy by O. Schroeder. Schroeder copied the fragments separately, but the order of the eponyms shows that they can be arranged to form parts of a single tablet. L. Jakob-Rost kindly checked the arrangement proposed here but had reservations about the placing of the lower left piece.)
Ten column tablet, badly broken, columns i, ii lost. Approximately 16.5 × 12.5 cm.
The list began about 1200 BC, and ended with the post-canonical eponym Aššur-gimillī-tirri, according to the colophon.[[2]] Present coverage, excluding the Middle Assyrian section (see above, pp. 7-8), col. vi 872-860, 858-849, 846-836, col. vii 801-775, col. viii 751-719, col. ix 691-659.
Scribal errors: 861 mdninurta₂-a? [     ] for A1 maššur-ila-aya (but cf. A8); 842 mtak-lak-ana-aš-šur for mtak-lak-ana-šarri; 783 mdmarduk₃-nāṣir₂ for mdninurta-nāṣir₂; 777 mdšamaš-išdēya-ukīn₂ for mdnabû-išdēya-ukīn₂; 738 mdadad-be[l]u-KUR for mdadad-bēlu-kaʾʾin₂.
The total number of years is given for each reign.


A8from Sultantepe                SU 52/150
Text: STT I pl. LXIV, 47, obverse only
Copy: Plate 8 ( copy by O. R. Gurney)
Four column exercise tablet (the reverse bears mathematical calculations); col. iv.9 to end repeats entries of ii.47 to iii.40 (i.e. 809-764 BC). Commenced 910 BC, ends 750 BC.
Scribal errors: 864 maš-šur-bēlu-uṣur₂ for mšamaš-bēlu-uṣur₂; 861 mdninurta₃-ila-aya for maš-šur-ila-aya (but cf. A7); 835 mšēp-d[šam] for mšēp-šarri; 825 maš-šur-būna-aya for maš-šur-būna-aya-uṣur₂; 823 murāḫulūl-aya for mbēl-būna-aya; 785 mdnergal-ú-bal-ú-liṭ for mdadad-ú-bal-liṭ; 784 mdnergal-šarru₂-uṣur₂ for mdmarduk-šarru₂-uṣur₂; 780 mdšam-ši-uṣur₂ for mdšam-ši-ilu; 771 maš-šur-ŠID[   ] for maš-šur-dānan; 761 mdninurta₂-mu[kīn₂-a]ḫi for mdnabû-mukīn₂-aḫi; 757 entry omitted.


A9from Assur                VAT 8249
                                Ungnad Cd
Text: KAV 20
Copy: Plates 9-10 (copy by O. Schroeder)
Five-sided prism, pierced vertically, listing eponyms by name, faces i, iii, and office, faces ii, iv, while on face v the office follows the name, indented, on the next line. 7.9 cm high, 3.8 cm wide.
Commences 719 BC, ends 662 BC; entries for 698, 697 BC lost.
Scribal errors: 693, 688 mIddin-aḫḫē is titled governor of Ṣimirra, whereas the documents seem to style him governor of Dur-Šarrukēn for 693. There is variation in the titles for 677 and 676, here both are sukkallu dannu, but sukkallu rabû and sukkallu šanû in the documents.


B1from Kuyunjik                K 51
Smith Canon V               Ungnad Cb1
Text: II R 52 no. 1
Copy: Plates 11-12
Bottom and lower right portion of a carefully ruled and written tablet, baked in antiquity. 15.2 × 15.25 cm.
Covers 817-727 BC.
Scribal errors: the ruling after the entry for 734 BC is probably erroneous.


B2from Kuyunjik                K 3403 + 81-2-4,187 + 95-4-6,4
                                    Ungnad Cb2
Text: C. Bezold, PSBA 11 (1889) 286, pls. I, II (K 3403 + 81-2-4,187 only[[3]])
Copy: Plates 13-14
Lower two-thirds of a carefully ruled and written tablet, almost an exact duplicate of B1.
Covers 810-746 BC.


B3from Kuyunjik                K 3202
Smith Canon VIII           Ungnad Cb3
Text: incorporated in F. Delitzsch, Assyrische Lesestücke, 2nd ed., 94; copy by J. A. Brinkman, NABU 1989, no. 3, p. 51
Copy: Plate 15
Flake from one face. 4.3 x 4.7 cm.
Covers 732-722 BC.


B4from Kuyunjik                 Rm 2,97
                                     Ungnad Cb4
Text: C. Bezold, PSBA 11 (1889) 287, pl. III
Copy: Plates 15-16
Part of the right sid e of a carefully ruled and written tablet, baked in antiquity, possibly part of B1 (Bezold and Ungnad). 7.9 × 9.2 cm.
Covers 841-815, 721-706 BC.
The entry for 820 has an extra, illegible, word.


B5from Kuyunjik                 82-5-22,526
                                     Ungnad Cb5
Text: C. Bezold, PSBA 11 (1889) 287, pl. III
Copy: Plate 16
Flake from the upper part of one face of a tablet, the first line is a heading. 8.6 × 5.9 cm.
Commences 858 BC, ends 847 BC.


B6from Kuyunjik                K 4446
Smith Canon VI              Ungnad Cb6
Text: II R 69 no . 6
Copy: Plate 17
Lower left corner of a tablet, badly abraded, with small, slightly uneven writing, the longer entries cross vertical rulings. 6.7 × 7.5 cm.
Present coverage 818-803, 708-703 BC, implying that there were two main columns on each face.


B7from Kuyunjik                K 10017
                                    Ungnad Cb7
Copy: Plate 18
Translated by Smith, Canon, 55; transliteration by Ungnad, 435.
Fragment from left side of a tablet, one face only, probably part of B6. 4.0 × 5 .6 cm.
Covers 701-699 BC.


B8from Kuyunjik                K 14183
Smith Canon VII             Ungnad Cb8
Text: Copy by J. A. Brinkman, NABU 1989, no. 3, p. 51[[4]]
Copy: Plate 18
Translated by Smith, Canon 43, 47f.
Flake, probably from the obverse of a tablet. 2.6 × 2.75 cm.
Covers 828-821 BC.


B9from Kuyunjik                K 14304
                                   Ungnad Cb10
Copy: Plate 18
Flake from one face, no rulings. 3.1 × 4.3 cm. Ungnad gave readings from this text for 787, 786, 785 BC, but they do not correspond with the signs visible now. While the fragment may cover 786-776 BC, the traces are too uncertain to permit identification, so the text has not been included in this edition.


B10from Sultantepe                SU 52/18 + 18A + 21 + 333 + 337
Text: STT I pls. LXII, LXIII, 46 + STT II pl. CCLI, 348
Copy: Plates 19-20 (copy by O. R. Gurney; the fragment STT 348 has been included in the copy given here, although made at a slightly different scale)
Badly damaged tablet with horizontal rulings only. 16.2 × 9.5 cm.
Covers 840-765 BC. This tablet is remarkable for its variant readings and orthographic peculiarities, some perhaps being colloquialisms.[[5]] Where other texts have terminal a-Cv, B10 has āC: 780, 770 tur-ta-an for tur-ta-nu, 791 [   ]-iqīš-a-an for mbēl-iqiīš-a-ni/-an-ni, 779 [ r]ém-a-an for mdmarduk-rém-a-ni, 799 [   ]-a-an for mdmarduk-išme-a-ni/-išme-ni; 794, however, has [  ]-ḫa-[n]a for tuš-ḫa-an. Other variants include: si-ḫi for si-ḫu (823-820); [  -]a-li for ia-ḫa-lu (821); []l?-ka-ṣa-bat for mbēl-qātē-ṣabat (810); [      ]-ri-qa for ḫa-ta-ri-ka (765). Where other texts have ana place, B10 has ina place at 835, 803, 800-795, 790-787, 785, 783-778, 774-769, 767-765. For 802 B10 has ina tâ[mti] as against ana muḫḫi tâmti. At 835 and 765 it has the determinative āl instead of māt. Scribal errors are: 797 [ ki]li-zi for ālkal-ḫi; 788 uš-še ša! bīt dnabû a-na ālninua for uššu ša bīt dnabû ša ninua; 787 ālše-bi-su for ālarba-ilu; 784 madad₂-mu-šá-mer! for mdmarduk-šarru₂-uṣur₂; 770 ina mar-ra-ti for ana ālma-ra-ad. Other variants are: 820 si-ḫi against B4 [  ]-x-ri-iṣ; 818 [  ]x si?-mat against B4 [  ]-šum-me; 778 [nāg]ir for nāgir ekalli; 775 GIŠ.A for šade-re-ni; 773 city name uncertain, but not raq-mat. At 831 BC the notice about the god of Der is omitted, while the note for 814 is set a year earlier.

Ungnad listed DT 142 as Cb9, but this fragment is vitrified and illegible, so cannot be included here, although it appears to have been a tablet of this type.

1 Cf. C. H. W. Johns, PSBA 25 (1903) 83.

2 S. Zawadzki (SAAB 7 [1993]) has argued that the colophon refers only to the entries from Sennacherib's eponymate (687 BC) to the end of the text, reconstructing the number of years as 52, placing Aššur-gimillī-tirri in 636 BC. This has to remain a speculation; it would be unusual for a colophon to relate to the final part of the text only.

3 The fragment 95-4-6,4, the upper right corner of the reverse, belonged to C. J. Rich, see L. W. King, ZA 10 (1895) 97, and was copied by Bellino. Smith and Ungnad wrongly treated it as the reverse of B8, see E. F. Weidner AfO 13 (1939-41) 310.

4 As J. A. Brinkman has observed (loc. cit., p. 49), this flake could be from a list of type A.

5 For this feature of the Sultantepe texts see W. G. Lambert, RA 53 (1959) 124f.

Alan Millard

Alan Millard, 'The Manuscripts', 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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