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Ur-Nammu (2.138D)

(291 words)

Author(s): Frayne, Douglas
Subject: Monumental Inscriptions from the Biblical World; Sumerian Monumental Inscriptions; Building and Display Inscriptions; Neo-Sumerian Inscriptions Commentary A tablet copy of a royal inscription of Ur-Nammu deals with a campaign against the Elamite King Kutik-Inshushinak (Puzur-Inshushinak). The copy was found at Isin, excavated by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft under B. Hrouda since 1973. Elam was the ancient name for the land east of Sumer and Akkad, corresponding in part to modern-day Iran. Of inte…

Votive Inscriptions (2.SU.B.1)

(185 words)

Author(s): Hallo, William W.
Subject: Monumental Inscriptions from the Biblical World; Sumerian Monumental Inscriptions; Building and Display Inscriptions Commentary Like the Biblical vow (neder), a the Mesopotamian votive offering was of two kinds: before the fact or after. In the former, it was made in the hope of a favor to be granted by the deity in the future, as expressed in the Latin motto do ut des, “I give that you might give.” The most general and common “votive motive” in this case was “for (long) life” of the donor and/or designat…

Ninurta-kudurrī-uṣur — Suḫu Annals (#18) (2.115C)

(698 words)

Author(s): Younger, K. Lawson, Jr.
Subject: Monumental Inscriptions from the Biblical World; Akkadian Monumental Inscriptions; Building and Display Inscriptions; Neo-Assyrian Inscriptions Commentary Inscribed on a stone stela discovered on the island of ʿĀnā, this text describes a revolt of the city of Anat (before the days of Ninurta-kudurrī-uṣur) and the subsequent disaster when “the Assyrian” took action against the city. It records Ninurta-kudurrī-uṣur’s restoration of the city, emphasizing his goodness and kindness. Ninurta-kudurrī-uṣur — Suḫu Annals (#18) (2.115C) ( lines i.1–5) I, Ninurta…

The Die (Pūru) of Yaḫali (2.113I)

(711 words)

Author(s): Younger, K. Lawson, Jr.
Subject: Monumental Inscriptions from the Biblical World; Akkadian Monumental Inscriptions; Building and Display Inscriptions; Neo-Assyrian Inscriptions Commentary In ancient Assyria, the system of dating was by eponym (see  COS COSB.1.136). Each year was named after the līmu, “eponym,” who was a high officer of state. Inscribed clay cubes were used as dice for casting lots to determine the eponyms. This die (× x 28 mm) belonged to Yaḫali, an official of Shalmaneser III. He held the office of eponym twice during Shalmaneser’s reign (833 and 824 bce). The use of lots for many leg…

Sin-kashid (2.104)

(109 words)

Author(s): Frayne, Douglas
Subject: Monumental Inscriptions from the Biblical World; Akkadian Monumental Inscriptions; Building and Display Inscriptions; Early Old Babylonian Inscriptions Commentary German excavations at Uruk have unearthed a large palace built by Sin-kashid, the probable founder of the Old Babylonian period Uruk dynasty. Innumerable bricks and clay tablets found in the walls of the palace (and scattered over the surface of the mound) commemorate its construction in Sumerian. Of interest is Sin-kashid’s title “king of Amnanum,” an Amorite tribal name. Sin-kashid (2.104) ( 1–7) Sin-kas…

Calah Orthostat Slab (2.114G)

(372 words)

Author(s): Younger, K. Lawson, Jr.
Subject: Monumental Inscriptions from the Biblical World; Akkadian Monumental Inscriptions; Building and Display Inscriptions; Neo-Assyrian Inscriptions Commentary Discovered in 1854 at Calah, the text was inscribed on a broken stone slab which was left on the mound of Nimrud. It is known only through its publication based on the paper squeezes1 made by Norris on the site. Only the latter half of the inscription is translated here. Calah Orthostat Slab (2.114G) ( lines 11–14) I subdued from the bank of the Euphrates, the land of Ḫatti, the land of Amurru in its enti…

Ibbi-Sin (2.141A)

(240 words)

Author(s): Frayne, Douglas
Subject: Monumental Inscriptions from the Biblical World; Sumerian Monumental Inscriptions; Building and Display Inscriptions; Neo-Sumerian Inscriptions Commentary A twenty-two line inscription known from clay cones, a stone foundation tablet and an Old Babylonian (?) tablet copy deals with the construction of the “great wall” (likely a temenos wall) of Ur by Ibbi-Sin (the fifth and last king of the Ur III Dynasty, who reigned ca. 2028–2004 BCE). Ibbi-Sin (2.141A) (1–5) Ibbi-Sin, god of his land, mighty king, king of Ur, king of the four quarters, (6–7) on account of the great l…

Summary Inscription 8 (2.117E)

(993 words)

Author(s): Younger, K. Lawson, Jr.
Subject: Monumental Inscriptions from the Biblical World; Akkadian Monumental Inscriptions; Building and Display Inscriptions; Neo-Assyrian Inscriptions Commentary This inscription (ND 400, now BM 131982) is found on a well-baked tablet fragment (8.×.8 cm) discovered at Nimrud in 1950. While it may be possible that the inscription is part of the same tablet as Summary Inscription 7 (K 3751), this is far from certain (it may be an additional copy). Summary Inscription 8 (2.117E) Subject: Amos 1:6–8; 1 Chr 4:41; 2 Chr 20:1; 26:7 ( lines 1´ -9´) […] […] his […] on dry land […] […] I…

Aššur Basalt Statue (2.113G)

(407 words)

Author(s): Younger, K. Lawson, Jr.
Subject: Monumental Inscriptions from the Biblical World; Akkadian Monumental Inscriptions; Building and Display Inscriptions; Neo-Assyrian Inscriptions Commentary This is a Summary or Display inscription which is incised on the front, left hip and back of a broken basalt statue of Shalmaneser. It was discovered in the 1903 German excavations at the entrance to a Parthian building where it had been moved from its original location at the Tabira Gate. The statue had been broken into two large and many small pieces and the head was missing. The text appears to date to 833 bce based on the…

Nur-Adad (2.99A)

(379 words)

Author(s): Frayne, Douglas
Subject: Monumental Inscriptions from the Biblical World; Akkadian Monumental Inscriptions; Building and Display Inscriptions; Early Old Babylonian Inscriptions Commentary A Sumerian inscription from Ur belonging to Nur-Adad, eighth king of the Larsa dynasty (who reigned ca. 1865–1850 bce) deals with the king’s construction of a kir4-MAḪ “great (bread) oven” and a du8-MAḪ (possibly “great cauldron”) for the moon god Nanna. Copies of the text are inscribed on three copper cylinders and several clay cones that were found in a room northwest of t…

Sennacherib: the “Azekah” Inscription (2.119D)

(615 words)

Author(s): Cogan, Mordechai
Subject: Monumental Inscriptions from the Biblical World; Akkadian Monumental Inscriptions; Building and Display Inscriptions; Neo-Assyrian Inscriptions Commentary The remains of twenty-one lines of a tablet, one fragment of which (K 6205) was formerly ascribed to Tiglath-pileser III ( ANET 282b), the other (82–3–23, 131) to Sargon. The reference to the Judean city of Azekah, as well as the name of Hezekiah (partially restored) definitively set the location of the battles in Judah, but there is still some question as to their date.…

Lipit-Eshtar (2.95)

(189 words)

Author(s): Frayne, Douglas
Subject: Monumental Inscriptions from the Biblical World; Akkadian Monumental Inscriptions; Building and Display Inscriptions; Early Old Babylonian Inscriptions Commentary Numerous clay cones found or excavated at Isin record the construction by Lipit-Eshtar (the fourth king of the Isin I dynasty, who reigned ca. 1934–1924 bce) of a storehouse (ganīnum) for the gods Enlil and Ninlil. This text provides us with the earliest Akkadian translation of the Sumerian royal title lugal ki-en-gi ki-uri, Akkadian šar māt šumerim u akkadim, “king of the land of Sumer and Akkad.” Lipit-Es…

Pavement Inscription 4 (2.118G)

(233 words)

Author(s): Younger, K. Lawson, Jr.
Subject: Monumental Inscriptions from the Biblical World; Akkadian Monumental Inscriptions; Building and Display Inscriptions; Neo-Assyrian Inscriptions Commentary The text was inscribed on a pavement slab for the gates at Dūr-Šarrukīn (Khorsabad). Pavement Inscription 4 (2.118G) ( lines 31–41) (Sargon II) … who conquered Samaria and the entire land of Bīt-Ḫumria (Israel);1 who plundered Ashdod (and) Šinuḫtu,2 who caught the Ionians3 like fish in the middle of the sea; who deported the Kasku, all of Tabal, and Ḫilakku; who drove away Mita (Mi…

Rim-Sin (2.102B)

(213 words)

Contributor(s): Hallo, William W.
Subject: Monumental Inscriptions from the Biblical World; Akkadian Monumental Inscriptions; Building and Display Inscriptions; Early Old Babylonian Inscriptions Commentary A different Sumerian cone inscription of Rim-Sin commemorates the construction of a temple of Nergal in Ur. Nergal was a deity venerated by Assyrian deportees (especially those from Cuthah) who were re-located in Samaria following the downfall of Israel in 722 bce. Rim-Sin (2.102B) Subject: 2 Kgs 17:30 ( 1–6) For the god Nergal, a supreme lord, who possesses great might, the one with a perfect fea…

Gungunum (2.98)

(197 words)

Author(s): Frayne, Douglas
Subject: Monumental Inscriptions from the Biblical World; Akkadian Monumental Inscriptions; Building and Display Inscriptions; Early Old Babylonian Inscriptions Commentary Gungunum, the fifth member of the Larsa dynasty and its first effective king, reigned from ca. 1931–1906 bce. A Sumerian cone inscription from Ur deals with the construction there of a storehouse for the sun god by En-ana-tuma, en-priestess of the moon god Nanna. Though installed by her father Ishme-Dagan of Isin (above, COSB.2.94), she was allowed to keep her p…

Nabonidus’ Rebuilding of E-lugal-galga-sisa, The Ziggurat of Ur (2.123B)

(990 words)

Author(s): Beaulieu, Paul-Alain
Subject: Monumental Inscriptions from the Biblical World; Akkadian Monumental Inscriptions; Building and Display Inscriptions; Neo-Babylonian Inscriptions Commentary This inscription, recorded on several clay cylinders found at Ur in the remains of the ziggurat, is probably the last building inscription of Nabonidus. It attests to the intensity of the king’s personal devotion to the moon god Sîn, and to his attempt to impose him as supreme deity of the Neo-Babylonian empire. Sîn is praised as “king/lord of the…

Annals: Calaḫ Bulls (2.113C)

(1,210 words)

Author(s): Younger, K. Lawson, Jr.
Subject: Monumental Inscriptions from the Biblical World; Akkadian Monumental Inscriptions; Building and Display Inscriptions; Neo-Assyrian Inscriptions Commentary This is a reconstructed recension (Recension D according to Schramm  EAK 2:76–77) based on inscriptions on two monumental bulls found at Calaḫ and supplemented by two small fragments of inscribed stones. The edition apparently dates to 841 bce1 and is the first edition of Shalmaneser’s annals that documents Shalmaneser’s campaign in his eighteenth regnal year against Hazael of Damascus…

Black Obelisk (2.113F)

(1,136 words)

Author(s): Younger, K. Lawson, Jr.
Subject: Monumental Inscriptions from the Biblical World; Akkadian Monumental Inscriptions; Building and Display Inscriptions; Neo-Assyrian Inscriptions Commentary Sculpted from black alabaster, the famous “Black Obelisk,” is 2.02 meters in height and contains the longest account of Shalmaneser’s reign, stretching down to the king’s thirty-first regnal year.1 It was discovered by Layard at Calaḫ in 1846. The text is identified as Recension F and dates to 828–827 bce. The Obelisk is formed in the shape of a ziggurat, having four sides with five panels on each…

Rim-Sin (2.102A)

(430 words)

Author(s): Frayne, Douglas
Subject: Monumental Inscriptions from the Biblical World; Akkadian Monumental Inscriptions; Building and Display Inscriptions; Early Old Babylonian Inscriptions Commentary A Sumerian cone inscription of Rim-Sin (the fourteenth king of the Larsa dynasty, who reigned ca. 1822–1763 bce) records the construction of a temple of the god Dumuzi in Ur. Dumuzi was in origin a Sumerian shepherd god who, with the goddess Inanna, served as tutelary deity of the ancient city of Badtibira (var.: Patibira), modern Tell al-Madaʾin. For the most recent discuss…

Ur-Ninurta (2.96)

(164 words)

Author(s): Frayne, Douglas
Subject: Monumental Inscriptions from the Biblical World; Akkadian Monumental Inscriptions; Building and Display Inscriptions; Early Old Babylonian Inscriptions Commentary A tablet from Nippur contains the copy of one (or more) Sumerian royal inscriptions of Ur-Ninurta (the fifth king of the Isin I dynasty, who reigned ca. 1923–1896 bce). The excerpted section deals with the fashioning of a statue depicting the king holding a votive goat kid at his breast; the statue was set up in the courtyard of the goddess Ninlil (Enlil’s spouse) in Nippu…
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