Various Observations

Unusual month names

Scribes usually followed the standard Babylonian calendar, but gave other month names occasionally, as follows:

845Ninurta-nādin-šumi[ ]:ša kināte
833Yaḫalu28:ša kināte
673Atar-ilu:o:pēt bābi.

All of these are royal inscriptions, except that of 738, which is the Khorsabad King List.

The first two months are known from the Old Assyrian calendar, although their position in the year is not certain. The order suggested for Old Assyrian times may not give a fixed equation with the standard months used later if the old calendar was a lunar one,[[1]] although it may be noted that both a Neo-Assyrian list and a text of Shalmaneser III equate the month ša kināte with Tašrit, the seventh month.[[2]] The other three names may all be equated with months of the Elamite calendar, adopted, it is surmised, in place of the standard Babylonian ones under the anti-Babylonian policy of Sennacherib (but by 673 BC Esarhaddon had reversed that trend).[[3]]

1 See M. E. Cohen. The Cultic Calendars of the Ancient Near East (Bethesda, MD 1993) 239f.

2 Annals, Fuad Safar, Sumer 1 (1951) 3-21, left edge 1,2.

3 M. E. Cohen, op. cit., 362-64 and 299.

Alan Millard

Alan Millard, 'Various Observations', 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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