The sources for the reign of Sargon (722-705) [Footnote: Collected in Winckler, _Kellschrifttexte Sargons_, 1889.] have already been discussed in detail elsewhere. All that is here needed is a summary of results. [Footnote: Olmstead, _Western Asia in the Days of Sargon of Assyria_, 1908, 1 ff.] They fall into three well marked groups. The first includes the early inscriptions of the reign, which are miscellaneous in character. [Footnote: _Sargon_, 17 ff.] The circumstances under which Sargon came to the throne are indicated by a tablet from the second year which is of all the more value in that it is not a formal annals or display inscription. [Footnote: K. 1349; Winckler, _Sammlung_, II, 1; AOF. I. 401 ff.] The Nimrud inscription comes from Kalhu, the earliest capital of Sargon. Unfortunately, it is very brief and is not arranged in chronological order. Aside from the rather full account of Pisiris of Carchemish, sufficient to date the inscription soon after its capture, we have only the briefest of references, and its value would be nothing, could we only secure the original, perhaps the earliest edition of the Annals, on which it is based. [Footnote: L. 33f; Winckler, _Sargon_, I. 168 ff. II. 48; Lyon, _Assyr. Manual_, 9f; Pelser, KB, II. 34 ff.; Menant, 204 ff.] A brief fragment may be noted because of its mention of the sixth year, though we cannot be sure of the class to which it belongs. [Footnote: K. 1660; Winckler, _Sammlung_, II. 4.] Other fragments are either unpublished or of no importance. [Footnote: K. 221+2669; K. 3149; K. 3150; K. 4455; K. 4463, Winckler, _Sammlung_, II. 6; K. 4471, _ibid_. II. 4; DT. 310; 83-1-18, 215. The unpublished fragments known from Bezold, _Catalogue, ad loc_.]
As a proved source for the second group, the newly discovered tablet should begin our study. [Footnote: Thureau-Dangin, _Relation de la Huitieme Campagne de Sargon_, 1912.]From the standpoint of source study, it is of exceptional value as it is strictly contemporaneous and yet gives a very detailed account in Annals form of the events of a single year. The tablet was "written", probably composed, though it may mean copied, by Nabu shallimshunu, the great scribe of the King, the very learned, the man of Sargon, the eldest son of Harmaki,--seemingly an Egyptian name,--and inhabitant of the city of Ashur. It was brought (before the God Ashur?) in the limmu or eponym year of Ishtar duri, 714-713, and tells us of the events of 714. It is written on an unusually large tablet of clay and is in, the form of a letter. It begins "To Ashur the father of the gods... greatly, greatly may there be peace. To the gods of destiny and the goddesses who inhabit Ehar sag gal kurkurra, their great temple, greatly, greatly may there be peace. To the gods of destiny and the goddesses who inhabit the city of Ashur their great temple, greatly, greatly may there be peace. To the city and its inhabitants may there be peace. To the palace which is situated in the midst may there be peace. As for [Footnote: So Thureau-Dangin, _ad hoc_.] Sargon the holy priest, the servant, who fears thy great godhead, and for his camp, greatly, greatly there is peace." So this looks like a letter from the king to the god Ashur, to the city named from him, and to its inhabitants. Yet it is a very unusual rescript, very different from those which have come down to us in the official archives, especially in the use of the third person in speaking of the king, while in the regular letters the first is always found. Further, in the body of the supposed letter, the king, as is usual in the official annals, speaks in the first person.
However it may be with the real character of the "letter," there can be no doubt as to its great value. To be sure, we may see in its boast that in the campaign but six soldiers were lost a more or less severe stretching of the truth, but, at least in comparison with the later records, it is not only much fuller, but far more accurate. Indeed, comparison with the later Annals shows that document to be even worse than we had dared suspect.
Comparison of the newly discovered inscription with the parallel passages of the broken prism B shows that this is simply a condensed form of its original. The booty seems to have been closely copied, but the topographical details are much abbreviated. The discovery of this tablet, while supplying the lacunae in Prism B, has made this part useless. But all the more clearly is brought out the superiority, in this very section, of the Prism over the later Annals. Naturally, we assume the same to be true in the other portions preserved, in fact, the discovery of the tablet has been a brilliant confirmation of the proof long ago given that this was superior to the Annals. [Footnote: Olmstead, _Sargon_, 11 ff., with reconstruction of the order of the various fragments, as against Prasek, OLZ. XII. 117, who sharply attacked me "über den historischen wert den Stab zu brechen."] Unfortunately but a part of these fragments has been published [Footnote: Winckler, _Sargon_, II. 45 ff. cf. I. xif. Photograph, Ball, _Light from the East_, 185. Thureau-Dangin, _op_. _cit_., 76 ff.] and the difficulties in the way of copying these fragments have made many mistakes. [Footnote: To judge by a comparison of Winckler's text with that prepared by King for Thureau-Dangin, _l.c._] But a few of these fragments have as yet been translated or even discussed. [Footnote: Winckler, _Sargon_, I. 186 f.; AOF. II. 71 ff.; _Mitth. Vorderas. Gesell._, 1898, 1, 53; Thureau-Dangin, _l.c._] For all parts of the reign which they cover, save where we have the tablet, they are now clearly seen to be our best authorities, nearer in date to the events they chronicle and much freer from suspicion than the Annals. The most urgent need for the history of the reign is that the fragments which are still unpublished [Footnote: Cf. Bezold, ZA. 1889, 411 n. 1.] should be published at once with a collation of those previously given. Even a translation and examination of the fragments already published would mark a considerable advance in our knowledge of the period. [Footnote: For detailed study of Prism B, cf. Olmstead, _l.c._]
Very similar to Prism B is our other broken prism, A. [Footnote: Winckler. _Sargon_, II. 44; 1. 186 ff.; _Untersuch. Altor. Gesch._, 118 ff.; _Textbuch_3, 41 f.; Rogers, 329 f.; G. Smith, _Disc._, 288 ff. Boscawen, _Bab. Or. Rec._ IV. 118 ff. The Dalta episode and the beginning and end are still untranslated.] Both were found at Nineveh [Footnote: G. Smith, _Disc._, 147.] and this of itself proves a date some distance from the end of the reign when Sargon was established at Dur Sharruken. [Footnote: Cf. Olmstead, _Sargon_, 14 n.] Prism A is of much the same type as the other, in fact, when we see how the Ashdod expedition, begun in the one, can be continued in the other, [Footnote: As in Winckler, _Sargon_, I. 186 ff.] we are led to believe that the two had a similar text. If, however, the Dalta episode in each refers to the same event, then they had quite different texts in this part of the history. Which of the two is the earlier and more trustworthy, if they did not have identical texts, and what are their relative relations cannot be decided in their fragmentary state, but that they are superior to the Annals is clear. Like Prism B, Prism A is worthy of better treatment and greater attention than it has yet been given.
The third group consists of the documents from about the year 707, which have come down to us inscribed on the walls of Sargon's capital, Dur Sharruken. [Footnote: For discussion of this group, cf. Olmstead, _Sargon_, 6 ff.] The earliest document of this group is naturally the inscription of the cylinders which were deposited as corner stones, [Footnote: Place, _Nineve_, II. 291 ff.; Oppert, _Dour Sarkayan_, 11 ff.; I R. 36; Lyon, _Keilschrifttexte Sargons_, 1 ff. Winckler, _Sargon_, II. 43; Menant, 199 ff.; Peiser, KB. II. 38 ff. Barta, in Harper, 59 ff.] indeed, it closely agrees with the deed of gift which dated to 714. [Footnote: Cf. Olmstead, _Sargon_, 178 f.] The same inscription is also found on slabs. [Footnote: Menant, RT. XIII. 194.] It is the fullest and best account of the building of Dur Sharruken, and from it the other documents of the group seem to have derived their building recital. Nor are other phases of the culture life neglected, as witness, for example, the well known attempt to fix prices and lower the high cost of living by royal edict.
The remaining inscriptions of the group are all closely related and all seem derived from the Annals. The display inscription gives the data of the Annals in briefer form and in geographical order. Numbers are very much increased, and its only value is in filling the too numerous lacun? of its original. [Footnote: Botta, _Mon. de Nineve_, 95 ff.; Winckler, _Sargon_, II. 30 ff.; I. 97 ff. Oppert-Menant, _Fastes de Sargon_.-JA. 1863 ff.; Menant, 18 ff.; Oppert, RPı, IX. 1 ff.; Peiser, KB. II. 52 ff.] Imperfect recognition of its character has led many astray. [Footnote: The error in connecting Piru and Hanunu, for example, already pointed out by Olmstead, _Sargon_, 10, is still held by S. A. Cook, art. Philistines, in the new _Encyclopedia Britannica_.] Other inscriptions of the group are incised on bulls, on founda-slabs, on bricks, pottery, and glass, or as labels on the sculptures. Save for the last, they are of absolutely no value for the historian as they simply abstract from the Annals. As for the Cyprus stole, its location alone gives it a factitious importance. [Footnote: For full bibliography of the minor inscriptions, cf. Olmstead, _Sargon_, 6 f. For others since found at Ashur, cf. KTA. 37-42; 71; MDOG. 20, 24; 22, 37; 25, 28, 31, 35; 26, 22; 31, 47; Andr?, _Tempel_, 91ff.; Taf. XXI; Genouillac-Thureau-Dangin, RA. X. 83 ff.]
The one important document of the group, then, is the Annals. That, with all its value, it is a very much over estimated document, has already been shown. [Footnote: Olmstead, _Sargon_, 3 ff.] There are four recensions, some of which differ widely among themselves and from other inscriptions. For example, there are three accounts of the fate of Merodach Baladan. In one, he is captured; [Footnote: Display 133.] in the second he begs for peace; [Footnote: Annals V.] in the third, he runs away and escapes. [Footnote: Annals 349.] Naturally, we are inclined to accept the last, which is actually confirmed by the later course of events.
But it is only when we compare the Annals with earlier documents that we realize how low it ranks, even among official inscriptions. Already we have learned the dubious character of its chronology. The Assyrian Chronicle has "in the land" for 712, that is, there was no campaign in that year. Yet for that very year, the Annals has an expedition against Asia Minor! It is prism B which solves the puzzle. In the earliest years, it seems to have had the same chronology as the Annals. Later, it drops a year behind and, at the point where it ends, it has given the Ashdod expedition as two years earlier than the Annals. [Footnote: Cf. Ohmstead, _Sargon_, 11.] Even with the old data, it was clear that the Prism was earlier and therefore probably more trustworthy; and it was easy to explain the puzzle by assuming that years "in the land" had been later padded out by the Annals, just as we have seen was done for Dan Ashur under Shalmaneser III. Now the discovery of the tablet of the year 714 has completely vindicated the character of Prism B while it has even more completely condemned the Annals as a particularly untrustworthy example of annalistic writing.
In the first place, it shows us how much we have lost. The tablet has 430 lines, of which a remarkably small portion consists of passages which are mere glorifications or otherwise of no value. Out of this mass of material, the Annals has utilized but 36 lines. That this is a fair sample of what we have lost in other years is hardly too much to suspect. Further, it would seem that the Annals used, not the tablet itself, but, since it has a phrase common to the Annals and the Prism, [Footnote: Ann. 125 f.; Prism B, Thureau-Dangin, _op. cit._, 76 f.] but not found in the tablet, either the Prism itself or a common ancestor.
The cases where we can prove that the editor of the Annals "improved" his original are few but striking. It is indeed curious that he has in a few cases lowered the numbers of his original, even to the extent of giving three fortified cities and twenty four villages [Footnote: Ann. 105.] where the tablet has twelve fortified cities and eighty four villages. [Footnote: Tabl. 89.] On the other hand, by a trick especially common among the Sargonide scribes, the 1,235 sheep of the tablet [Footnote: Tabl. 349.] has reached the enormous total of 100,225! [Footnote: Ann. 129; of. Thureau-Dangin, _op. cit._, 68, n. 4 for comparison of numbers. The same phenomenon can be constantly seen in the huge increases of the numbers of the Display inscription as compared with its original, the Annals.] More serious, because less likely to be allowed for, is the statement that Parda was captured [Footnote: Ann. 106.] when the original merely says that it was abandoned by its chief. [Footnote: Tabl. 84.] But the most glaring innovation of the scribe is where, in speaking of the fate of Rusash, the Haldian king, after his defeat, he adds "with his own iron dagger, like a pig, his heart he pierced, and his life he ended." [Footnote: Ann. 139.] This has long been doubted on general principles, [Footnote: Cf. Olmstead, _Sargon_, 111.] but now we have the proof that it is only history as the scribe would like it to have been written. For the new inscription, while giving the conventional picture of the despair of the defeated king, says not a word of any suicide. [Footnote: Tabl. 411ff.] However, the tablet does elsewhere mention the sickness of Rusash, [Footnote: _Ibid._ 115.] and it may well be that it is to this sickness that we must attribute his death later. [Footnote: Cf. Thureau-Dangin, _op. cit._, xix.] The complete misunderstanding of the whole campaign by earlier writers [Footnote: Compare, for example, the brief and inaccurate account in Olmstead, _Sargon_, 112 ff., with that in thureau-Dangin, _op. cit._ on the basis of the new tablet] furnishes the clearest indication of the unsatisfactory character of our recital so long as we must rely entirely on the Annals. It is the discovery of conditions like these which forces us to subject our official inscriptions to the most rigid scrutiny before we dare use them in our history. [Footnote: Botta, _Monuments de Ninive_, pi. 70 ff.; 104 ff.; 158f£.; Winckler, _Sargon_ II. pl. 1 ff. Oppert in Place, _Ninive_, II. 309 ff.; _Les Inscriptions de Dour Sarkayan_, 29 ff.; RP: VII. 21 ff.; Menant, 158 ff.; Winckler, _De inscriptione quae vocatur Annalium_, 1886; _Sargon_, I. 3 ff.] Agathic atrioventricular seawater marmot! Heterodiode postsurgical sprays diagometer reverse subballast cavernitis scoop guying recrement pylorin dibbler. Reedbuck gender epididymography; spinnery slub radiolocating swapper. Circumintestinal. tadalafilnaproxen 500cialis tadalafilsoma onlineplavixvoltarentriamcinolonesoma onlinetramadol hclcleocinariceptzolpidem
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